Spotlight Pulse 240621

Dear Neighbor,

The Coconut Grove Spotlight is launching a second newsletter this week featuring a selection of news briefs and events that may be of interest to you. This week’s roundup includes a brief report on a recent West Grove shooting, an update on the progress of teacher Kate Hamm’s recovery, and two upcoming events to cap off this week’s Juneteenth celebration. Please keep reading, and let us know what you think.

Police Identify West Grove Murder Victim

A Coconut Grove man was shot and killed early Wednesday near the intersection of Douglas Road and Oak Avenue. City of Miami police officers, responding to reports of a shooting at around 1:30 a.m., found 57-year-old Christopher Johnson suffering from gunshot wounds. Johnson was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he later died. Police say no arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing. This is the second fatal shooting in West Coconut Grove since February.

Two Weekend Juneteenth Celebration Events

This year’s celebration of Juneteenth, the federal holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, concludes with two special events this weekend – a Juneteenth Beach Bash on Saturday June 22 from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park (details: and an Emancipendence Celebration Service organized by the Coconut Grove Ecumenical Network on Sunday June 23 at 2:00 p.m. at the Sanctuary of the Arts, St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church, 136 Frow Avenue in Coconut Grove.

Ransom Everglades Teacher on the Mend

Ransom Everglades teacher Kate Hamm is recovering from injuries she sustained on April 11 when she was struck by a car while crossing the street in a designated crosswalk on Main Highway at Commodore Plaza. According to friends, Hamm has been spending time with family in Iowa and working with a therapist to recover. Hamm, the leader of the school’s speech and debate program, was hospitalized with severe injuries following the accident.

Ransom Everglades student Patrick Keedy Brown organized a Go Fund Me campaign after the accident to raise funds to support Hamm’s recovery. To date, the campaign has raised $39,957. The Go Fund Me page describes Hamm as a “beloved coach, history and social sciences teacher at the upper school.” Students also recorded a short “get well” video addressed to Hamm and posted in on YouTube.

Hamm was awarded the school’s Arthur Moses Faculty Award for the upper school at an end-of-year school ceremony earlier this month.

Open Board Seat at Coconut Grove Bid

The Coconut Grove Business Improvement District is accepting nominations for an open board seat. Potential nominees have until August 1 to apply for the three-year term. For details on how to apply and the eligibility requirements, contact Venus Lovely by email at [email protected] or call 305-461-5506.

Top of Mind

Grove Gems

A gallery of the photographs of internationally famous Grovite Karla Farkas opened at The Kampong. (You may already know her daughter, Georgette Ballance.) If you miss The Kampong’s event (open through August 17), you could visit the Smithsonian, where the works are in their permanent collection.

On Wednesday afternoons, total novice sailors and old salts put the Coconut Grove Sailing Club’s Flying Scot sailboats in the water for a low-key regatta on the Bay. (I bumped into them at the after-race gathering on the CGSC veranda, drawn by their laughter and good stories.) “Just show up and we’ll get you on the water and show you how”, they told me. I believe them and I will!

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