Community Voices

Neighbors thank police, code enforcers for keeping their streets safe

A 2001 neighborhood view from atop the old Westview Country Club at 2601 N.W. 119th St.
A 2001 neighborhood view from atop the old Westview Country Club at 2601 N.W. 119th St. Miami Herald file

We live in a world where, all too often, the good that our public servants do is taken for granted. That is not the case in the neighborhood where Richard “Click-Click” Johnson and his family live. “We appreciate the sacrifices our police officers and the code enforcers make for us on a daily basis and we want them to know how we feel,” said Johnson, a retired professional photographer. “The code enforcers check our neighborhoods to make sure they are free of junked cars, illegal trailers and junk and trash along the curbsides,” Johnson said.

Bea Hines.JPG.jpg
Bea L. Hines

In an effort to show their appreciation to the men and women who keep their neighborhood safe, Johnson and the members of the Little River Farms Homeowners Association decided to throw an appreciation dinner to honor them.

At least one or two officers from Station II attend the monthly association meetings, Johnson said. “They report to us about break-ins in the area and how they are trying to cut back on the speeders by placing speed monitors between 103rd and 119th streets along the 22nd Avenue corridor. “The speeders slow down,” Johnson said, “but as soon as the monitors are taken down, the speeders get at it again.”

Johnson moved to the Little River Farms area more than four decades ago. The area stretches along Northwest 22nd Avenue from around 111th street, north to 119th Street. Just west of 22nd Avenue was once home to Westview Country Club Golf Course. The country club building was at 119th Street between 22nd and 27th avenues. “I moved here with my family when the area was not really developed,” Johnson said. “There were few homeowners in the area back then and a lot of open land.”

Today, the golf course and the country club have been demolished, and new construction, complete with a new road is being built.

Johnson said he doesn’t know how the new construction and new neighbors will affect his community. He does know that for years, there has been little crime in the area. He is hoping that the same tranquility the community experienced in the past will continue.

Meanwhile, he said, the homeowners association wants to “give honor where honor is due” to the officers who patrol our area “day and night by throwing a dinner to show our appreciation.”

The dinner will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Henry Reeves Elementary, 2005 NW 111th St., where Julian Gibbs is the principal. Johnson said Gibbs is to be commended for cooperating with the homeowners association and for providing the venue for the event.

“Our homeowners association wants to help the officers by being good citizens in other ways, too,” Johnson said. “For example, if we see something that needs to be reported we report it. If we help the police, then they will be safer and will be able to go home to their families at night. If we see something, we say something.”

“The police is all we have to protect us,” he said. “And we want them to know we care and that we believe it is our duty to help keep them safe. After all, they have families and they want to live peacefully, too. We simply must help each other.”

Johnson is proud that everyone in the association agreed to the idea of the dinner for the police. “And they put their money where their mouth is,” Johnson said.

Major Shawn C. Brown, district commander of Station II at 799 NW 81st St., which patrols Johnson’s community, said the homeowners association members “are doing a great thing for us.”

“We appreciate what they are trying to do. Any opportunity we get to interact with the citizens is certainly appreciated,” Brown said. “And this is a grand gesture,” Brown said.

National Primitive Baptist president

A warm Neighbors in Religion salute to Elder Dr. Kenneth A. Duke, who was installed as the 14th president of the National Primitive Baptist Convention on Feb. 18 at New Jerusalem Primitive Baptist Church, 7 NW 87th St., where he is the senior pastor.

Elder Thomas W. Samuels served as the installation officer.

Monica Lewinsky to speak

Temple Emanu-El at 101 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach, will present Monica Lewinsky as its guest speaker at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2.

Lewinsky is known for her affair with then-President Bill Clinton, which led to his impeachment. She will speak from personal experience of the online culture of humiliation and will offer advice on how to overcome bullying.

The event is open to the public, but is closed to press and media and as such Lewinsky’s remarks and questions and answers will be off the record. The cost is $40 general admission, and $160 for VIP admission, which includes preferred seating and a meet and greet reception with Lewinsky. Group discounts are available for 20 or more. Tickets may be purchased by calling 305-538-2503, ext. 221 or online at www.tesobe.org/monicalewinsky.html.

Sororities and Fraternities Collection

The Brown Bag Lunch series at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater, 819 NW Second Ave., will be from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday and will feature the Sororities and Fraternities Collection, consisting of material relating to Greek-letter organizations in black South Florida, collected by the staff of the Black Archives.

The collection documents sorority and fraternity chapter history and activities, such as community programs, volunteer service and fundraising. It is a free community event.

Also, the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater will host the second annual Thirlee Smith Jr. Brain Bowl, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater.

The event, named in honor of Smith, the first African-American reporter for the Miami Herald and a Dade County Public Schools administrator, is an academic competition that challenges five-member student teams from participating schools to demonstrate their knowledge of African-American history. It’s free and open to the community.

Black History Month

Bishop Walter H. Richardson is inviting the community to a final Black History Month program at 10 a.m. Sunday at The Church of God Tabernacle (True Holiness), 1351 NW Sixth St. in Liberty City. The Youth Department, headed by Missionary Rosa Moore, has prepared a program to feature music and dramatic sketches. Demetrius Walton of the New Urban Development, will be the guest speaker.

The fourth and final Black History Month event sponsored by South Florida People of Color, will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Miami Theater Center, 9806 NE Second Ave. in Miami Shores. The event will feature a special screening of “Sankofa” (Haile Gerima, 1993) the story of an African-American model who is doing a photoshoot in a slave dungeon in contemporary Ghana, when she finds herself mystically transported through time and space to the horrors of slavery on a plantation in the Caribbean.

Dr. Pamela Hall and Richard Wright, MA, will facilitate a discussion after the film.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Church hall dedication

Plymouth Congregational Church at 3400 Devon Rd. in Coconut Grove, will celebrate the opening of McNaughton Hall on March 3. The celebration will begin with the 10 a.m. worship service and will continue at 11 a.m. with the hall’s dedication ceremony.

The McNaughton Hall, which will serve as the new home of the church’s Children and Youth Ministries, is named fo Ginnie McNaughton, a longtime director of Christian Education at the church. Her children gave the church a generous gift in her memory, which was used to realize the dream of a permanent home for ministry.

The community is invited.

Spirituality

Neale Donald Walsh, a modern-day spiritual messenger, will speak on “Accelerating Our Spiritual Evolution” 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at Unity on the Bay, 411 NE 21st St.

Walsh, who showed an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, while searching for spiritual meaning before experiencing his now-famous conversation with God. The conversations birthed series of books, ”Conversations with God,” from those encounters and have been translated into 37 languages.

He has written 29 books on spirituality and its practical application in everyday life.

For tickets and for more information go to: www.unityonthebay.org/ndw or call Jason Weeks , director of Marketing and Technology Ministries at 305-573-9191.

Yard sale

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at 14260 Old Cutler Rd. will have a yard sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 2.

According to a press release, this will be a “win-win” event, where one can spend the day hunting for bargains. Proceeds will benefit the church’s outreach and youth programs.

Items for sale will include clothing for men, women and children, shoes, baby items, decor items, sporting goods, CDs/DVDs, toys, jewelry, and electronics.

There will also be a bake sale, and coffee, hamburgers, hot dogs and sodas will also be available for purchase.

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