Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council to Host 25th Annual Business Expo on March 11-12, 2010

Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council to Host

25th Annual Business Expo on March 11-12, 2010

The Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council (SFMSDC) will host its 25th Annual Business Expo on March 11-12, 2010 at the Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale from 8:30am to 5pm.

"Innovation: The Gateway to Opportunities" is the theme of this year's Expo. "The 2010 Business Expo will bring together a cross-section of minority entrepreneurs, large corporations and government agencies to discuss business opportunities and growth industries", said Beatrice Louissaint, President of the SFMSDC. The event is designed to ensure minority businesses at all stages of development are positioned for greater success and to provide corporations and government agencies with information about supplier diversity.

The 2010 Business Expo is an ideal opportunity for minority entrepreneurs to present their goods and services to purchasing agents from government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. Exhibitors and sponsors include: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Florida Power & Light, United Parcel Service, Broward College, Burger King Corporation, Tyco International, University of Miami, South Florida Water Management District, CVS/Caremark, Broward Health, Comcast, Clear Channel, Turner Construction, Superior Design International, Miami Dade Expressway Authority, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, AT&T and Bank of America.

Expo workshops will focus on growth industries such as Healthcare, Green Industry, Information Technology and Food and Beverage. At the workshop entitled, "Purchasing Trends and Issues", attendees will hear from Chief Purchasing Officers responsible for billions in procurement share their views on the current business environment. Minority Business Enterprises will get tips on how they can open the door to corporate and government procurement departments. In addition, there will be a Youth Entrepreneurship session, a workshop on opportunities in Construction, Doing Business with the NFL and Super Bowl XLIV and International Trade. At the workshop entitled "The Titans Share Their Business Secrets and Successes" prominent South Florida minority business owners will share success stories and how despite the downturn in the economy, their companies are experiencing significant growth.

The luncheon key note speaker is Jose Mas, President & CEO of MasTec, Inc. Mr. Mas started with MasTec in 1992 and from 1999 until 2001, he was the head of MasTec's Communications group, responsible for approximately $350 million in annual revenue.

Since August of 2001, Jose R. Mas, served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Vice President of Business Development where he was primarily responsible for the company's customer marketing and acquisition activity.

During that time, he was responsible for growth in many of MasTec's largest accounts including DIRECTV, AT&T, Verizon and Florida Power & Light Company

The 2010 Business Expo is open to the public. Admission to the Workshops is $30 and the Tradeshow is $40. The cost to attend the Luncheon is $40.

For additional information log on to or please contact the SFMSDC at (305) 762-6151 or email


SFMSDC is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to advancing the growth of minority businesses in South Florida. The organization's goal is to increase purchasing from minority businesses by government entities and corporations, while increasing MBEs' operating capacity through hands-on business assistance, training and access to technology and capital resources. SFMSDC was founded in 1975 and is one of 38 regional councils affiliated with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). The Council acts as a liaison between Corporate America and (MBE)Minority Business Enterprises in Dade, Broward, Monroe, St. Lucie, Collier, Charlotte, Martin, and Palm Beach Counties.

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Join The Dolphin Democrats March 13th at 2pm

Join The Dolphin Democrats March 13th at 2pm
Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival
Parade Begins At 2pm

To March With The dolphin Democrats And Our Special Guest email
Saturday, March 13, 2010

Festival - Noon to 9:00 p.m
Huizenga Plaza and along the Riverwalk to Riverfront

Parade - 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Along Las Olas Boulevard

For more information, please call 954-828-5985 or visit

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Alex Sink In Broward

Alex Sink for Governor

Save the Date

For a fundraising brunch in support of

Alex Sink
Florida's CFO and Candidate for Governor

Sunday, February 28, 2010

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

At the
Home of Michael & Marilyn Moskowitz
7100 Cutter Court
Parkland, Florida 33067

Co-Chair • Raise $5,000
Co-Host • Raise $2,500

Suggested Contribution • $500

Contributions are limited to $500 per person or corporate entity.
Please make checks payable to "Alex Sink 2010."

You may also contribute online at

To RSVP please contact Stephanie Grutman

at or (813) 391-9460.

The purchase of a ticket for, or contribution to, the campaign fundraiser is a contribution to the campaign of Alex Sink.
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Greenacres Democrat teams with Rep. Soto in homeowners' defense bill

As Florida continues to lead in the nation's housing meltdown crisis, few advocates have emerged to protect homeowners from rapacious Wall Street lending institutions attempting to seize distressed homes under the legal radar screen.

That uneven playing field may soon level, however, under legislation filed this week by state Senator Dave Aronberg (D-Greenacres) . Senate Bill 1778 is aimed at protecting a homeowner's access to court while providing powerful new legal tools to ward off imminent eviction.

Similar legislation has been filed in the House of Representatives by Rep. Darren Soto (D-Orlando).

"Homeowners have seen their property values plummet thanks in large part to risky Wall Street behavior," said Aronberg, a passionate crusader for consumers' rights. "Meanwhile, the same institutions doling out big bonuses are now seeking to evict residents from their own homes without giving them their day in court. This bill gives Florida homeowners an equal footing and the legal means to defend their own property."

"There are two vastly different approaches emerging to handle our foreclosure crisis," noted Soto. "As the banks seek to avoid the judicial process altogether and foreclose upon over a half-million Floridians putting our economy in further tailspin, this bill provides a basic set of rights to assure Floridians are not kicked out on the street unnecessarily, and stabilizes property values."

The state of Florida has the second highest foreclosure rate, with an estimated 500,000 property owners currently in or having faced such legal action. In these high stakes battles, strapped homeowners are frequently at a distinct legal disadvantage when fending off deep-pocketed

banks unwilling to renegotiate mortgage loan terms, including interest rates and the reasonableness of the original conditions of the loan.

Under the Aronberg/Soto measure, the "Foreclosure Bill of Rights" would preclude banks or other mortgage brokers from foreclosing on homesteaded properties outside of judicial scrutiny. The measure would require court-ordered mediation and add stipulations that a lending institution would have to follow in order to foreclose, including an examination of whether any fraud had occurred in the issuance of a loan, such as inflated appraisals.

Other requirements include a "good faith effort" on the part of the lending institution to "renegotiate the loan at a principal equivalent to the actual market value" determined by a new appraisal accurately reflecting current market values, and assistance from circuit courts to defendants representing themselves in supplying legal forms and instructions at no cost.

"Despite some assistance from the federal government and an administrative order from the state Supreme Court, too many homeowners have been left to the mercy of the financial Goliaths of the banking and mortgage loan industries," said Aronberg. "This legislation gives Florida's 'Davids' a legal slingshot to even the odds."

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Broward County Health Department offers HIV/AIDS 101 Training

Class open to the general public and professionals whose certifications require certificate of training in HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS 101 Training Class on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 from 8:30AM to 12:30PM in the 2nd floor auditorium at the Fort Lauderdale Health Center. The Health Center is located at 2421 SW 6th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, 33315.

The HIV/AIDS 101 Training Class is recommended for persons in professions whose certification does not specify Continuing Education Units (CEU’s), but requires certificate of training in HIV/AIDS. The class provides the basics and fundamentals of HIV/AIDS and participants will receive information on the latest HIV medications, research and comprehensive HIV prevention. The class also provides information on national, regional and local statistics and discussions on evidenced based interventions. There is a $20 fee for those seeking certification (a certificate will be issued at the end of the class). If no certification is needed, attendance is free of charge, on a first come first served basis.

Participants are encouraged to register early. For more information, or to register call

(954) 467-4955 or(954) 467-4750.

Broward County Health Department is an equal opportunity provider. If you require accommodations for this class, please call (954) 467-4955 no later than 12Noon, Monday, February 22, 2010.

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Will McCollum Condone or Condemn Cronyism With Campaign Cash At Stake?

Despite the scandals of cronyism-at-all-cost that some critics would say cost Rudy Giuliani the Republican Presidential nomination in 2007 and early 2008, the Florida GOP gubernatorial hopeful and long-time Giuliani ally Bill McCollum made the former Presidential hopeful star of his campaign, Saturday in Orlando.

"Rudy Giuliani became the poster-boy for political cronyism during the Bernard Kerick scandal, and despite recent revelations of the level of corruption, Bill McCollum is still using his connections with Giuliani to raise money for his campaign," Florida Democratic Party Spokesman Eric Jotkoff said. "Does Bill McCollum condone or condemn the kind of political cronyism Giuliani's promotion of Kerick embodied?"

Newly Released Legal Papers Showed "Hints Of The Lumps" That Giuliani's Reputation Would Have Taken In The Kerik Trial. Last month, The Village Voice reported that "buried in court legal papers that were not released until weeks after Kerik's guilty plea [in November 2009] are some strong hints of the lumps that the reputation of New York's legendary former chief executive might have taken had the Kerik case gone to trial."

* Village Voice: Giuliani "Has Always Been Fuzzy About His Own Knowledge Of Kerik's Ties." "Giuliani, who started out as a rackets-busting prosecutor, has always been fuzzy about his own knowledge of Kerik's ties to Interstate Industrial Corp. The contractors were desperately trying to convince city regulators that their business dealings with organized-crime figures were incidental, and that they should not be denied lucrative city contracts worth some $30 million. The city's concerns had been sparked after Interstate bought a large waste-transfer station on Staten Island from a Gambino crime family soldier named Edward 'Cousin Eddie' Garafola, and then kept the gangster's wife and sons on the payroll as mob-owned trucks rolled through the gates. Kerik helped contractors Frank and Peter DiTommaso relay their side of the story to city officials. The grateful builders in turn secretly funded a quarter-million-dollar renovation of Kerik's new Bronx apartment."

* Kerik's Law Breaking Happened "Even As Giuliani Was Promoting" Kerik For Police Commissioner Job. "All of this happened even as Giuliani was promoting his former driver and bodyguard from head of the city's Corrections Department to police commissioner. When Kerik's Homeland Security nomination blew up in a tempest of scandal in 2004, the ex-mayor insisted that he knew nothing about his top cop ever going to bat for the mob-tainted contractors. But back in 2007, the Times' William Rashbaum got hold of a transcript of Giuliani's April 2006 testimony before a Bronx grand jury that was the first to probe the episode. Giuliani, the transcript showed, admitted that he was briefed more than once by his own top investigations chief-but then forgot all about it. It took a lot of forgetting."

* Prosecutors Were Prepared To Introduce Never Released Notes That Kerik Typed Out To The Commissioner Who Briefed Giuliani About The Related Agency Activities. Among the exhibits that prosecutors were prepared to introduce as evidence in the federal case were three pages of never-released notes that Kerik typed out in March 2000 regarding his involvement with Interstate. The memo-in detective-style jargon of initials and free-form punctuation-was written, prosecutors explained, for then city investigations commissioner Edward Kuriansky, who was regularly briefing Giuliani about his agency's activities." (The Village Voice, 01/19/10)
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Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti to the Residents of Pompano Beach

I was advised late Monday afternoon of a letter to the Pompano Beach City Commissioners that was written by the newly hired Pompano Beach City Manager. HE RECOMMENDED THAT POMPANO BEACH LEAVE BSO AND START THEIR OWN POLICE FORCE. The commission will be discussing the issue at the regular commission meeting next Tuesday, February 9 at 7:00 pm. I urge you to attend. If you are happy with BSO then LET THEM KNOW. The future safety of your family might very well depend on it. I wanted to clarify some issues for you so that you can be as informed as possible with accurate information concerning the possible departure of BSO from Pompano Beach:

  • Residents and business owners of Pompano Beach are being asked to participate in a potentially dangerous and costly experiment in public safety.

  • The Wildan Study that the City commissioned to evaluate the effects of starting their own police department is inaccurate, contains false financial evaluations and has made faulty and risky assumptions. The City recognized it and admitted during our discussions that the study has inaccurate numbers and assumptions. The information Commissioners are being given by their consultants is not reliable information. Agendas aside, the numbers simply don’t add up. Yet the new City Manager is still using the flawed recommendations to justify the switch from BSO.

  • It is being recommended that Pompano Beach follow the City of Miami Gardens model for police department start up. Please be aware the model recommends raising property taxes and borrowing money to offset the start-up costs.

  • The Study projected a $10 million start up deficit for the city in the first year with savings of $1.4 million per year for 5 years. Their start up costs do not take into consideration a host of other operational costs necessary to run a minimal department like human resources, legal costs and risk management (lawsuits) which alone could add up to many millions of dollars that they simply overlooked in their evaluation. I ask why?

  • The recommendation claims it can reduce costs by $4 million by hiring less experienced officers (1 to 5 years experience). Again it doesn’t make sense. What the residents would get is a young and inexperienced, lower paid police force (most likely the lowest paid in the county) with a critical void of experienced supervisors. This would historically create a police revolving door as soon as the next higher paying opportunity came around. It is bad public safety policy.

  • Our proposal to the City included significant cost reductions, and included in our costs all the critical operational elements they chose to ignore. Even then they rejected our proposal. Their evaluation underestimates many significant costs necessary to operating an effective police department. There are also issues like dealing with unions, pension funds, lawsuits and all the contractual fiscal and legal liabilities that go along with them. The city would now be involved in those critical issues as well.

We have again offered Pompano Beach city officials the best, fully accredited law enforcement system in the nation, one that they admittedly have been satisfied with over the last 10 years of BSO service to the community. They might very well refuse our offer again next Tuesday and settle for less than mediocre in public safety for the residents of Pompano Beach. It is a potentially dangerous scenario. Please remember that the first obligation of government as outlined in our Constitution is “to insure domestic tranquility.” You owe it to yourself and to your family to get involved.

We Need A New Courthouse

Alu: We Need A New Courthouse


Broward County is in dire need of a new Courthouse.

The media who have written negatively about this issue has gotten it completely wrong.

I work in the courthouse from morning to night, five to six, sometimes seven days-a-week.

I can tell you that the courthouse is ridden with vermin*, mold, and plagued with elevators which are over a half century old. When an elevator part breaks, which occurs on a daily basis, more often than not the parts have to be custom made because the elevators are so old that the parts are not manufactured any longer. This can shut an elevator down for several months.

The present Broward County Circuit Courthouse is a building that was never intended to last fifty years. The experts who have looked at it have said that it will never withstand another hurricane. The Courthouse is regularly plagued with plumbing leaks, roof leaks, caved in ceilings and other problems of every kind imaginable. It should have been replaced twenty-five years ago.

Shame on all of the columnists who have attacked the County Commission for authorizing the financing and construction of a new courthouse.

The Commissioners who voted to fund the new courthouse showed real leadership. This is a representative democracy. Construction contracts have never been submitted to a voters’ referendum.

Did the public ever vote on financing or building the Sunrise arena, financing or building a new runway at the airport, a new Supervisor of Elections building, or any other of the countless public works projects, which the County has undertaken?

The only reason that the bond issue went to a referendum previously was because the County was seeking to have the courthouse built with public funds, which would be outside the 10-mil cap. In order to finance the courthouse in that way, state law required that the County go to a referendum. When the public was not willing to finance the courthouse in that fashion, the County decided to seek another funding mechanism.

This time, the debt will be inside the millage cap. Regardless of what the voters may think, the undeniable fact is that we do need a new courthouse…and we need it badly.

We do not need it for aesthetics. We need it because the present building is unsafe.

People who work there regularly, and this includes judges and public defenders, as well as prosecutors, and their staff, frequently get sick from the mold. Indeed, the County is presently being sued due to damage inflicted on people by the ever-present courthouse mold.

This tired, dangerous, and obsolete building presents countless other perils, not the least of which is that we have prisoners, many unshackled, walking through the building, mixed in with general population, including victims, judges and attorneys. It is only a matter of time before there is an incident.

A new Broward Circuit Courthouse is long overdue.

I commend the County Commission for its willingness to do the right thing in the face of unwarranted criticism from the press.

The County Commission is supposed to think for itself and act accordingly, and not blindly follow what the press or what the current mood of the people may dictate. The Commission is supposed to do what it thinks will be best for the public and for the future of our County.

That is, after all, what leadership is about?

Sheila D. Alu

Sheila is the assistant deputy mayor of Sunrise and an assistant state attorney (prosecutor) who works in the downtown Fort Lauderdale courthouse.

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Gov. Charlie Christ (R)- FL Supports Don't Ask Don't Tell

Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, does not support abolishing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy affecting gays and lesbians in the military. The 1993 policy was intended to be a political compromise that let gay men and women serve so long as they stayed silent about their sexuality. But President Obama and military brass say it is time to end the discrimination all together.

Crist disagrees. "We are a nation at war. The governor believes the current policy has worked, and there is no need to make changes," campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.
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