Best Body Shop 2012 | Abernathy's Paint and Body | Shopping & Services | South Florida

The man who runs Abernathy's is not named Abernathy — he's Tom Tahmasebi — but don't let that turn you off. He comes highly recommended, and for good reason: On cars he fixes, he gets the paint a near-perfect match to the original color and makes sure it looks as good as new. The waiting room smells reassuringly of solvents, and the workers are friendly. It's never nice to have to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for a messed-up car, but even if this place doesn't offer the biggest discounts, it's a reassuring experience every step of the way.

The animal advocates at Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (STOP) don't have a beef with the Hillsboro Lighthouse — just with the particular way that its beam shines onto the beach, thereby disorienting sea-turtle hatchlings to the point that many completely miss the ocean and end up dying. The turtle protectors have been trying to get the Coast Guard to fix this problem for years and have even offered up a list of solutions that don't in any way involve turning off the century-old light. Just change to a yellow instead of a white light bulb, they've pleaded, or use a type of glass that won't confuse the poor baby turtles. The Coast Guard then turned around last year and misrepresented STOP's argument. The Coast Guard asked for community input, essentially saying, "We're thinking about turning out the lighthouse because of these sea-turtle folks. Do you think we should turn out the lighthouse?" Politicians, historians, and neighbors, of course, freaked out and yelled "Keep our lighthouse on," and now all the turtles are going to die.

Few attorneys would clamor for a government job representing juvenile delinquents. Broward Chief Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weekes treats his clients as he would any other kids — with dignity, respect, and a fierce sense of protection. When a 14-year-old boy alleged he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a guard at the Thompson Academy detention center, Weekes got the teenager released from jail. He also defended Michael Bent, the 17-year-old accused of orchestrating an attack on 15-year-old Michael Brewer, which ended in Brewer's being lit on fire. In each case, Weekes stood up for kids others might shun. Weekes writes letters to Tallahassee complaining about maggots in his clients' food, abusive guards, and other problems at state-funded juvie lockups. He refuses to accept that dysfunctional government agencies such as the Department of Juvenile Justice and Department of Children and Families will never change. He keeps shining a light on the dark places, insisting there is a better way to help troubled kids.

It certainly wasn't the first time something racist was said on the internet, but Santaluces High School was briefly on alert for "cracka beatdowns" after girls posted an outrageous video in February. Turns out, saying "So, guys, if you are watching this video right now and you have a weave and you are black, please be offended, 'cause we are making fun of you" offends people. The same thing happened in Gainesville when two girls posted a 14-minute rant about blacks in their community that got national attention and "response videos" from all over the place. After the video blew up, so did their academic careers at Gainesville High — they never went back. So next time you have a hankerin' for some genuine race-fueled outrage, just say the same thing Michael Scott did in The Office: "I've got to make sure YouTube comes down to tape this."

They say the man who represents himself has a fool for a client, but this long-running David-and-Goliath case just might end with a local government looking like the fool. It all started in 2006, when Lozman, a retired Chicago financier with plenty of money to burn on justice, claimed he had been illegally evicted from his floating home in Riviera Beach because of his activism against last-minute plans to sell the marina to a developer using eminent domain. He won that case, but the city stayed on his heels, coming after him with all kinds of accusations (he owed fees to the marina; his ten-pound dachshund was too dangerous). Lozman resisted, and — long story short — the feds towed away his house. Last year, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that federal authorities had the right to do so, since his house was technically a vessel, subject to federal maritime law. Lozman balked at the ruling — his house, since destroyed, didn't even have engines or steering — and petitioned the highest court in the land to decide what, exactly, distinguishes a boat from a house. The court picked his case, and it will be heard in October.

Driving drunk, plowing your Bentley through a stop sign, and capsizing a Hyundai into a canal is one thing. Leaving the 23-year-old driver of the Hyundai to drown while you stumble off down the road to call your girlfriend is a whole different universe of awful. A Palm Beach County jury convicted Wellington polo mogul John Goodman of all of these crimes in March. A few months before the trial, Goodman added salt to the wound by adopting his 42-year-old girlfriend — a move many observers saw as a way to protect the millions of dollars in his kids' trust funds. By the time Goodman took the stand to defend himself against charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and failure to render aid, much of South Florida had already turned against him. Jurors said they didn't believe much of Goodman's testimony. Can you blame them?

Taking a potential love to the Swap Shop is great place to show your quirky side without having to go out and buy any artsy posters of men covered in body paint. There's no one thing about the place that will make you look cool, but where else in South Florida can you buy hot dogs, studded belts, and flowers before bringing a bottle of booze into a first-run movie (it's a drive-in, no less!)? Plus, it'll be a helluva story telling your grandkids about how Grandpappy wooed Nana over a folding table of old earrings.

Oh, Irene. You big, dirty tease. It looked like you were coming straight at us: In mid-August, the forecast cone painted an elegant swath across the Atlantic, tracing the contours of Cuba and landing smack-dab up the spine of Florida. We rushed to the stores and bought all that great South Florida stuff like batteries and cans of beans and bottled water. And then, just as we battened down and watched your rain bands sweep our eastern skies, you left us. The surprises weren't over: You went on to hit our families and friends up north, to give those who live in sensible climates a little taste of the wrath we've come to expect. With all that coastal damage, you were one of the costliest hurricanes on record. But we got the best of both worlds: all of the pre-hurricane panic (the media thank you) and none of the damage. See you in 2017, darling.

Tired of ripping a bong, then going on a 45-minute YouTube bender? Feel like adding a little excitement to your next stoned escapade, getting all Harold & Kumar with it? If so, twist up a fatty and make your way toward John U. Lloyd State Park, a stretch of Dania Beach scenery wedged between the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. The roar of passenger jets blasting off from the nearby Fort Lauderdale International Airport will startle your stoned senses while the hideous sight of shipping containers being unloaded across the waterway will have you harping on industrialized man in no time. To hit the pinnacle of blazed brashness, just keep following the one road through the park until you find yourself at a chainlink fence adorned with signs warning against taking pictures and something about unauthorized access. Voilà — you're now stoned at an annex of the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center. Just play it cool, man.

In 2010, David Britto was named Officer of the Year by the Boynton Beach Police Department for investigating the shooting of preachers and resuscitating a 2-year-old. Little did his bosses know, he was also allegedly slangin' large quantities of methamphetamine. The feds arrested Britto in July, saying he had "conspired to possess with the intent to distribute more than five hundred grams" of meth, charges for which he faces up to life in prison. But on August 24, the U.S. Marshals office says, Britto cut off his ankle monitor and skipped town as a fugitive from justice. His mother aided his escape to Brazil, where he has dual citizenship and is free to sip caipirinhas on the beach. Before he disappeared, he wrote on his website, "Without faith and hope you won't make the decisions needed to be made today to change your circumstances for tomorrow..." Mom pleaded guilty to helping him escape, but the former cop is still on the lam.

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