Friends and Neighbors

Columnist: Not all the news is bad


Early Thursday morning, my granddaughter LaQuonia, and I were watching the morning news on television. Story after story seemed to be about the bad news in the community and around the nation.

Between bites of her pancakes, she said, "They are always reporting the bad news on television. ... Isn't there anything good to report?"

I thought for a minute, and then I told her the old story someone once told me: "When a dog bites a man, that's not news. But when a man bites a dog, that's news." I'm not sure how this story related to her dismay about the bad news she is always hearing. But I continued by saying that I, for one, enjoy writing about the good news. "It's not the kind of writing that will win me any prizes," I said, "but it makes the readers feel good. And me, too."

I went on to tell her that in this vast world of journalism, it is the job of the journalist to keep the readers and viewers informed. Sometime the stories are so devastating to tell, even the journalists feel the pain. Still, the job has to get done. The people deserve to be informed about all that happens in our community and around the world.

Sometimes the stories aren't so funny. Sometimes they are scary and sad. Often, I have to look the other way when such a story comes across my television screen. And when there is a disturbing story in the paper, I sometime have to put it away, to read later.

Then I told her: "That's what I like about my job as the author of this column: I get to tell the good news. I like it that when readers open up the Neighbors section of the paper and see my column and read something that will make them smile, or at the very least, think about smiling.

Life can sometime be fickle; you smile one minute and cry the next. But if you keep on living, you are destined to see something on television or read something in the paper that will let you know all is not lost. Such stories give us something to look forward to. They let us know that although we don't hear about them often enough, there are many, many great people out there, who are doing great things in small ways. They are the unsung heroes who work diligently to make this world a better place.

When I come across such a story, it can make me feel good all day long. And that, dear LaQuonia, makes the bad news of the day take a back seat.

‘Family Movie Night’

Speaking of the Good News: the Miami Shores Fine Arts Commission will have its annual Family Movie Night at 7 p.m. Saturday. The movie will be the original 1979 The Muppet Movie and will be shown at O Cinema Miami Shores/Miami Theater Center, 9806 NE Second Ave.

The classic movie includes Academy award-winning sing-a-long songs such as The Rainbow Connection, Moving Right Along, and Never Before, Never Again.

If you go, you will join Kermit the Frog (with your imagination) as he embarks on a cross-country trip to Hollywood. Along the way, he encounters several other Muppets — who all share his ambition of finding success in professional show business — while being pursued by a relentless restaurateur with intentions of employing Kermit as a spokesperson for his frog legs business.

You are invited to dress up as your favorite Muppet, perform your best Kermit the Frog or Miss Piggy imitation and bring along your favorite Muppet stuffed animals for a chance to win prizes.

Tickets are $5 each and advance tickets are available at the Miami Shores Community Center, 9617 Park Dr. Tickets will also be available at the door.

For more information contact David Traupman, vice chair, Miami Shores Fine Arts Commission at 305-758-3067. Or email him at

‘Founders Day Luncheon’

The usually elegant Founders Day Luncheon of the Dade County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 25, at the JW Marriott Hotel, 1109 Brickell Ave. in downtown Miami.

The event will feature radio and television personality Jacque Reid, as the guest speaker. Reid is co-host of NBC4 New York Live; a correspondent for the Tom Joyner Morning Show, and a board member of "Black Girls Rock" and the Black and Missing Children Foundation. Reid is also a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was founded Jan. 13, 1913, by 22 college women at Howard University in Washington.

The Dade County Alumnae Chapter is headed by President Karen Wiggins. The chapter received its charter on Jan. 10, 1981. Charter members are Margaret Baulkman, Bobbie Bowen, Pernella Burke, Martha Day, Darlene Gay, Juanita Lane, Maude Newbold, Beverly Nixon, Zandra Rucker, Dorothy Saunders, Marcia Saunders and Evelyn Wynn. Deceased charger members include Cleomie Bloomfield, Thelma Davis , Ruth Jones, Elmer Kilpatrick, Sheba Martin and Dorothy Sawyer.

If you go, tickets are $75 each and guests are requested to wear business attire. To purchase your tickets you may go online to To purchase tickets by mail, please make your check payable to DeltaCare Inc; and mail to DeltaCare Inc., P.O. Box 52-1806, Miami, FL 33152-1806.

For more information call 305-620-5699, 786-493-4054, or 305-691-1629.

Flamenco concert

Clarita Filgueiras and the Flamenco Puro Dance Company are dedicated to building bridges between cultures through Flamenco dancing.

At 7 p.m. Saturday Filgueiras, an award-winning performer, will join the Flamenco Puro Dancers in performing a "Moon and Magic" concert in the auditorium of South Dade Senior High School, 28401 SW 167th Ave. in Homestead.

The dancers will be accompanied by musicians to include guitarist Jorge Luis Perez.

Adult tickets are $25 each and student tickets are $5 each. You may pay for your ticket by credit card by going to: or, you may purchase them at the door on the evening of the concert.

‘Jewish Population Study’

It is time again for the Miami Jewish Population Study, which happens once every 10 years, and according to Greater Miami Jewish Federation, provides vital information to the Federation, its agencies, synagogues and other institutions about community needs now and in the future.

Beginning Jan. 19, the 2014 Miami Jewish Population Study research team will conduct a six-week phone survey to learn more about Miami's Jewish population 's size, attitudes and behaviors, and to identify subsets requiring specific community services.

The results of the study will be released by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation in the fall of this year as a detailed report to the community with analysis of demographic, economic and Jewish participation trends.

The comprehensive study of the Jewish community is conducted every decade to provide a "snapshot of who we are, where we are and where we're headed," said Amy Berger Chafetz, chair of the 2014 Miami Jewish Population Study Committee.

"This information helps to create a road map for local planners, agencies, congregations and communal organizations to serve changing Jewish needs for years to come," she said.

Through the study, long held beliefs about the Jewish community may be confirmed or dispelled, and new and surprising information may be revealed. For example, the 2004 study found that relative to other communities across the nation, Miami-Dade County had the largest percentage of Jewish residents born outside the United States.

Working under the guidance of demographer Ira M. Sheskin of the University of Miami, a team of trained callers will employ a random-digit-dialing system to contact a sampling of Miami-Dade households via telephone land lines and cellular numbers. It is estimated that as many as 70,000 telephone calls may be required to reach 1,800 respondents.

Efforts are underway to collect non-local cell phone numbers. the numbers can be submitted anonymously for study purpose online at

For more information about the population study, you may also call 786-866-8495.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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