Croaking in a public place. Can there be anything more annoying (or mortifying)? With a poverty level highest in the nation, refugees periodically washing up on our shores, traffic congestion and road rage increasing on a daily basis, life in Miami is stressful enough without having to think about leaving home and never coming back. Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and his merry band of commissioners want to help allay some of those concerns. Their aim is to make sure that the only people found dead on the streets of this city are the ones that get there by way of homicide or hit-and-runs and not from any sort of natural cause, especially SCA or sudden cardiac arrest, the irregular heartbeat leading to loss of blood circulation, which kills a quarter-million Americans yearly. Last month the government men teamed up with the City of Miami Fire Department to implement the Public Access Defibrillation Program (PAD). What does that mean? Fire dudes are placing more than 40 automated external defibrillators (AED) throughout the city. Yes! There will be 40 prime places around town where you can feel at ease if you happen to go into cardiac arrest. (Perhaps we can expect a full-color map of the sites sometime soon?) Administered correctly, a defibrillator can shock your heart back into the proper rhythm, allowing blood to circulate freely. Successful defibrillation within one minute of SCA gives a person a 90 percent chance of survival.
Several cities around the U.S. (including Sunnyvale, California, and Norfolk, Virginia) conduct such programs and studies have claimed that more than just trained medical personnel can operate the defibrillators. Ordinary folks can too. But before a good Samaritan gets set to shock you, stop for one life-draining minute. If you can, mention if you're a DNR, a person who prefers not to be resuscitated if suddenly stricken. And make sure you're truly having a SCA and not just experiencing a terrible case of gas. The city wouldn't want to face any nasty lawsuits for saving your life, would it? -- By Nina Korman
With a storied past as a pineapple plantation, a sales pitch as "America's Mediterranean," and an ambitious scheme to create an island community in Biscayne Bay, the planned neighborhood of Miami Shores boomed to life in 1925 with distinctive Mediterranean Revival buildings matched only by Coral Gables. One year later the Shoreland Company, its developer, went bust. By 1932 the Village of Miami Shores was reborn and has been moving along ever since. These days buildings in just about every style of architecture (Art Deco, MiMo, Tudor) can be seen in "The Village Beautiful." The Miami Shores Historic Preservation Board wants you to glimpse a few today when it throws its annual Architectural Walking Tour in conjunction with Dade Heritage Days. That means you'll get to traipse through 4 historic homes in the bay area of the Shores (east of Biscayne Boulevard) since this year's theme pays tribute to South Florida's maritime heritage. The guided walk begins in Bayfront Park (NE 96th Street and Bayshore Drive), runs from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and costs $15. Reservations are required. Call Steven Zelkowitz at 305-854-0800 or 305-758-3430. -- By Nina Korman
Getting the Picture
Art talks attract future collectors
The art world can be a tough nut to crack. Blue chip art, emerging artists, solitary desperadoes. Collectors are famous for sniffing out and trying to discover the next hot thing. If you're curious about buying art, but don't know how to start, Urban Art Access might help you out. The group is hosting 5 different artist showcases, called Access 5, at various galleries and museums. During the events an artist discusses his or her work and noted collectors and curators address issues of aesthetics and market values. Check out Miami native Emilio Perez's latest work for your future collection on display at Rocket Projects (3440 N. Miami Ave.) Future events will focus on artists Naomi Fisher, Natalia Benedetti, Sue de Beer, and Vickie Pierre. The forum starts at 7:00 p.m. Admission for all seminars costs $85. Separately each costs $35. Call 305-535-3006. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
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With the demise of Martha Stewart, America is hurting for a clean-cut arbiter of clean-cut living. There will be a need for someone to show the dirty, mismatched minions what good things in life are all about. What America wants is a squeaky, whistle-clean domestic deity to worship. If you're looking for a way to start your domination of the masses, why not begin with making something everybody could use? Something that screams "clean" and "healthy" and washes away the grime of everyday existence. Think soap. Homemade herbal soap, to be precise. A one-day course in soap making can get you on your way. You can experiment with all kinds of natural ingredients, from oatmeal to grass, and start cleaning up America. Remember that Martha Stewart had a vision. It's a good thing. The class begins at 10:00 a.m. at Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park, 1725 NE 135th St., North Miami. Registration costs $15 and $25. Call 305-893-6511, ext. 2260. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez