Displaying items by tag: SouthFlorida

The 23rd Annual South Florida Boat Show returns to the Miami Beach Convention Center on May 20th – 22nd, 2016. The show features hundreds of power boats up to 40′ including center consoles, walk-arounds, cruisers, personal water craft and accessories. Insurance and financing are available on-site; trades are also accepted. There will be an indoor pool featuring stand-up paddle board demonstrations as well as kayaking and other water toy demos courtesy of Nautical Ventures. There will also be a weekend trip give-away to Bimini Sands Resort & Marina. Show hours are Friday 12pm to 8pm, Saturday 11am to 8pm and Sunday 11am to 6pm. Admission is $8.00/adult. Kids are free. Parking is available at the 17th Street Garage ($1.00 per hour). Preferred parking will also be available in front of the center for $15.


South Florida Boat Show is managed by Professional Show Management. Professional Show Management is an industry leader in the production of consumer Home and Garden Shows, consumer Boat Shows and Health and Wellness Events in South Florida. Whether you are an exhibitor or a consumer, you will appreciate the difference Professional Show Management brings to the table. Top name exhibitors, educational seminars and featured giveaways are just a few of the things that set us apart from other trade shows. Come and get inspired for your business or home and you’ll understand why we are one of the premier producers of consumer trade shows on the market!

On a breezy winter morning at Crandon Park Beach on Key Biscayne, Roberto Torres carries his spotting scope, a thick telescope, to spy on winter visitors that have escaped the blustery north.

But these snowbirds are not just any guests. The plump, tiny visitors, known as piping plovers, are tan shorebirds with white underbellies. They run like skittish chicks as they search for small crabs, shrimp and the occasional bivalve mollusk in the seaweed and moss draped along the shoreline.


Torres is guiding two team members from the Nature Conservancy on an urban birding trip around Miami-Dade County. The purpose: to see how migrating and local birds are adjusting to South Florida’s urban lifestyle.

“Roberto is an expert birder, and it’s winter time, the best time time to go with him to see how these rare birds on this public beach are doing,” said Rocio Johnson, marketing manager for the Nature Conservancy.


Once common along the Atlantic Coast, piping plovers have dwindled to the point that they’re listed as threatened on the federal endangered species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services places the Atlantic numbers at fewer than 2,000 pairs.

“There’s only 6,000 of these individuals worldwide. We’ve had as many as 43 spend the winter on this beach, which is a good chunk of their population. It’s pretty exciting to come here because you’re not going to find these guys anywhere else in Dade County and most of Florida,” said Torres.


Torres should know. A birder for 15 years, he is the record holder for spotting 303 species of birds in Miami-Dade County.

“Bird-watching people are happy just seeing birds. When you’re urban birding, the excitement is in the discovery of looking for birds that have to make do in an urban environment,” he said.


As a field representative for the Nature Conservancy, an environmental advocacy group, Torres is mainly charged with helping to help buy wetlands in partnership with Miami-Dade’s Endangered Lands Program, which protects more than 20,000 acres.

“The last remaining long stretches of wetlands are in private ownership in South Florida, so it’s very important that we try and preserve those lands,” he said.


Historically, South Florida’s topography was divided into three areas: pinelands, which dominated the higher ground from Everglades National Park to northern Florida’s Atlantic coast; mangroves on the coast, and freshwater prairies, or Everglades. Development has diminished much of the wildlife habitat, and birds, like many other animals, are taking advantage of slivers of areas that mimic their traditional homes. Torres calls this the “edge effect.”


“Birds love living on the edges of different habitats,’’ he said. “At any given moment we will get a few hundred species coming through South Florida on their way to another stop. Me personally, my favorite are pelagic [ocean] birds because they’re on the edge of where the land meets the sea. Plus you have to be an advanced birder to distinguish one from the other because they look very similar.”


Urban birding means finding birds away from their natural environment. An outing earlier this week started in the predawn darkness at a field near a landfill in South Miami. It’s difficult to see anything but silhouettes of vegetation, but Torres unfolds his scope thinking he has spotted a giant bird perched on a palm tree. He’s not wrong. Far off on the horizon, the outlines of two great horned owls, with their pointy ears and sharp beaks, are clearly visible as they move their heads in the moonlight.


“They’ve probably been hunting all night and now they’re getting ready to roost. These owls stay hidden in the day so it’s hard to see them except at night. But this place close to the landfill is perfect for them since there are snakes and rodents they like to eat,” said Torres.

After hitting Crandon Beach and the wetlands, the birders visit Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables. Three years ago, Torres sighted a rare yellow-green Vireo there.

“It was very quiet. There weren’t too many birds around and I spotted it,’’ he said. “I immediately called some friends of mine and it turns out that it was the first one in Dade County and I think the third or fourth ever photographed in Florida.”


Last winter, another event piqued the interest of the Florida birding community: Thousands of razorbills, which resemble flying penguins, showed up all around the peninsula.

“These are cold-water Canadian birds, which typically winter in New York,” Torres said. “For some reason, the juveniles flocked to Florida by the thousands. Imagine penguins flying over a Miami tropical background.”

The group wraps up its outing near Black Point Marina in South Miami-Dade, driving past endangered large white wood storks that look like feathery statues, their long black beaks poised over the water as they hunt in a narrow ditch behind a residential neighborhood.


“What’s significant is what we didn’t see, and those were ducks’’ Torres says. “It’s been an unusually warm winter here so the ducks have already left. It just shows you how birds, living on the edge, are always looking for their best habitat to survive.”

Before heading to the parking lot of the marina, Torres points to the landfill: Standing on the ground behind a chain fence is America’s mascot, a bald eagle.


“Here we see a bald eagle that normally likes to stay a couple miles from the coast,” said Torres. “South Florida is so important to the survival of bird species all over this hemisphere.”



The Florida Supreme Court disciplined 11 South Florida attorneys in recent actions brought by the Florida Bar.


Of those disciplined, 10 attorneys were suspended and one was publicly reprimanded, according to a news release.


Here are some of the actions by the Bar:

• Patricia Ann Arango, of Fort Lauderdale, was suspended for 30 days, effective Dec. 13. As a non-supervisory and supervisory attorney, Arango did not identify, correct or manage an aspect of a fast-growing litigation division. That resulted in notaries notarizing signatures executed without the presence or active involvement of a lawyer.


• Mariene Garcia, of Coral Gables, was suspended effective immediately following a Dec. 5 court order. Garcia pleaded no contest in court to one felony count of possession of cocaine and was found guilty.


• Caryn Alina Graham, of Miami, was suspended for 60 days, effective Dec. 13. As a supervising/managing attorney for a law firm, Graham failed to properly manage some aspects of the fast-growing company. It resulted in numerous problems, including: failure of some attorneys to appear in court before judges in approximately 22 cases; failure to timely cancel foreclosure sales and/or failure to file a publication notice and pay the clerks fees, and failure to promptly notify the court or file a substitution of lead counsel for those cases assigned to attorneys who left the law firm.


• Stephen Bogart Lebow, of Hollywood, was suspended for two years, effective 30 days from a Nov. 21. Lebow is also a member of the New York State Bar Association. In 2001, Lebow was suspended from practicing law in New York for 18 months. The sanction was based on findings that he neglected a client, failed to promptly refund certain unearned fees, failed to communicate with the client and made misrepresentations to the disciplinary committee during its investigation of the matter. Lebow failed to timely notify The Florida Bar of this New York Bar suspension.


• Marlene Montaner, of Miami, was suspended for 91 days followed by two years probation, effective Feb. 24. Montaner was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of an August 2008 court order directing her to comply with the terms of a rehabilitation contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance in which she was required to refrain from using mood altering substances and participate in an abstinence-based self-help program Montaner admitted to testing positive for cocaine.


• Stanley Howard Orner, of Boca Raton, was suspended for 30 days, effective 30 days from a Dec. 5. Orner agreed to reduce a client’s bill and during a subsequent telephone conversation regarding their billing dispute, Orner made several inappropriate remarks to the client. He also sent an email to the woman encouraging the woman to pay her bill and he talked to the press about the client’s financial situation. Another client received threatening emails and phone calls from Orner. Orner shall attend ethics school.


• Eric Andres Pintaluga, of Delray Beach, will be publicly reprimanded following a Nov. 21 court order. Pintaluga represented a client in a personal injury case and after receiving the settlement fund he attempted to negotiate a reduction of medical fees with the doctor without success. The client decided to negotiate directly with the doctor. He failed to hold any portion of the settlement in his trust account due to the dispute. He also failed to interplead them to the court. Instead, he remitted the funds to the client.


• Lance John Ruffe, of Coral Gables, was suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days from a Nov. 21 court order. Ruffe was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of an April 16 suspension order. Ruffe was required to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his suspension and provide to The Florida Bar, within 30 days of his suspension. Ruffe also failed to provide proof to The Florida Bar that he had scheduled an evaluation with Florida Lawyers Assistance.


• Bruce Warner, of Hollywood, was suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from Nov. 21. In one case, Warner represented a couple in a family law case. He failed to appear at a scheduled hearing, failed to prepare documents for the hearing and failed to notice the husband to appear. The wife notified the court that she had trouble communicating with Warner. Warner also failed to return the call of the magistrate presiding over the case.


• Max Ricardo Whitney, of Deerfield Beach, was suspended for one year, effective Jan. 18. Whitney was hired to provide immigration and legal advice to a client. He failed to communicate with the client and provide adequate representation. In subsequent litigation with the client, Whitney was uncooperative in scheduling hearings, failed to timely produce requested documents and testified falsely at a deposition.


• Paul Bradford Woods, of Miami, was suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from a Dec. 5 court order. Woods was retained to represent clients in a foreclosure sale matter. After a scheduled hearing at which Woods and the debtors convinced the trial court to discharge the debt owed to the bank, an appeals court reversed the decision. The court found that the debtors engaged in fraudulent conduct and Woods’ defense of the debtors on appeal was frivolous.



Source : Shaun Bevan


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