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His baklava is as good as his hat is adorable. Mario Ariza / The New Tropic

The Latest At The New Tropic

Local baker Ali Aziz (that’s him☝️) makes SEVEN different kinds of baklava at Middle East Best Food, using the same process he learned back in Jerusalem decades ago.

He took us in the kitchen and showed us how he makes the magic happen. It involves sugar, orange blossom water, and so much butter. 

Let him show you how he learned to make it back in the Old Country. (Pro tip: Every new customer gets to try a piece of the crunchy, flaky, nut-filled pastry for FREE.)

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IT'S A HUMAN ISSUE

South Florida may support workplace equality, but at a statewide level there’s still no law protecting the employment rights of LGBTQ workers.

That’s why Jessica Fernandez launched Conservatives on the Right Side of Equality to mobilize conservative leaders to support LGBTQ initiatives.

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👸 Treatin’ teachers #MiamiTemptations
Teachers lookin’ to staycate get special treatment at the InterContinental w/ complimentary breakfast, valet, and (well-deserved) dranks.

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What's New In The 305

Why couldn’t you have done that the first time? Miami-Dade got caught last week by Miami Waterkeeper letting a sewage leak off of Virginia Key go on for more than a year. Just a couple days later, it’s been fully repaired and water samples are coming back clean. (WSVN)

Buying in. Magnet schools have long been a kind of equalizer in Miami-Dade – any student, no matter what neighborhood their fam pays taxes in, can go if they get in. But Coral Gables residents are now tryna buy spots just for themselves at a local magnet school. The city is considering paying $4.2 million to create about 180 more spots at the school that would be set aside for Gables residents forever. (Miami Herald)

There was an anti-government uprising in Venezuela this weekend. It happened at a military base and was quickly squashed, but the opposition is calling for troops to continue rebelling. It was the first flare-up since President Nicolas Maduro created a new legislative body that’s now targeting the opposition. (Miami Herald)

Oldie but goodie. If you’ve done literally everything you can think of to use up your mangoes, hold up – WLRN found one more thing to try: this recipe for Caribbean mango chutney that dates back to the 1890s.

Make it rain. Wages and salaries are rising faster in the Magic City, Ft. Lauderdale, and Pompano Beach than in any other major metro area in the country right now. We’re up almost 4 percent and The Bureau of Labor Statistics has the numbers to prove it. Get it, Miami. (The Next Miami)  

Oops. The immigration bill moving through Congress right now would get rid of the EB-5 visa program, which could cost Florida hundreds of millions in investment. The program, which gives immigrants green cards and visas in exchange for business investments, has helped fund projects like the Downtown Miami All Aboard Florida station and the uber skyscraper SkyRise Miami. (Miami Herald)

Bookin’ it. Haitians are fleeing to Canada by the thousands to try and get asylum ahead of the Jan. 22 end to their protected immigrant status in the U.S. The Trump administration says it hasn’t decided yet whether to extend it, but Haitians aren’t taking chances – especially because Haiti already can’t absorb all the Haitians who have been deported from the Dominican Republic. (Miami Herald)

Oh hai. The Dolphins have picked up Jay Cutler to jump in for injured QB Ryan Tannehill. Some Miamians were hoping the ‘Fins would make a bold move and choose Colin Kaepernick, the NFL player who caused a big stir by kneeling during the national anthem in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, but no dice. Here’s what you should know about Cutler, the newest member of the team. (Miami Herald)

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THAT'S OUR KINDA DIY

Courtesy of Rusty Butler

Grove local Johanna Butler, an endurance runner, was jealous of the run clubs in neighborhoods like Brickell, Coral Gables, and South Miami – and didn’t understand why the Grove didn’t have one of its own.

Rather than wait around for one to arrive, she started it herself.

Wanna join? Find ‘em Wednesdays at Kennedy Park at 6:30 p.m. or follow the Coconut Grove Run Community on Insta and Facebook. (Thanks to reader Rusty Butler for the tip!)

AROUND TOWN