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Fyi Miami

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Written by on June 8, 2000

METER

ADS EXPIRED:

Due to opposition from downtown business owners and residents, the

Miami Parking System has postponed indefinitely a plan to raise

revenues by placing advertising on parking meters, said Art Noriega,

executive director. He said people are overwhelmed with advertising

on newsstands and banners and "don’t want to see anything else

installed in the public right of way."

CENTER

FUNDING:

Although Gov. Jeb Bush vetoed $150,000 for the Trade Mission Center

of the Americas because he said the program lacked a statewide focus,

Chairman Jay Malina said it is fully operational thanks to county

funding, including $200,000 this year and $100,000 sought next year.

Another $30,000 source, he said, will soon be announced. Mr. Malina

said the center, which within two weeks will have three staffers,

will refocus on federal and state grants to advance international

trade. He said the fledgling agency may review priorities. "We’re

obviously going to sharpen our focus. We’re very optimistic about

the trade mission center’s future."

NACHLINGER

PAY:

Robert J. Nachlinger, who will replace Bertha Henry as Miami’s assistant

city manager for finance and administration July 5, was offered

a salary of $122,169 plus benefits, including a leased car and an

8% contribution to his city pension. Mr. Nachlinger formerly worked

for the city in 1997 during its financial emergency and most recently

was finance director for Homestead.

NEW

BANK:

Bristol Bank has opened for business at 1493 Sunset Drive, Coral

Gables. The bank, said Peter Dunbar, president and CEO, "has

spent the last six months honing the skills of its staff and fine

tuning its operations."

PRO

SEARCH:

Pro Player Stadium President Bruce Schulze says executives remain

in a search mode, scouring the globe for a naming-rights partner

to replace the 10-year, $20 million Pro sports line contract with

Fruit of the Loom. Stadium officials won a federal court’s permission

in April to change contract names after the clothing retailer filed

for bankruptcy in December, shutting down its sports apparel division

this year. Mr. Schulze said the goal is to land a new moniker by

the start of the Miami Dolphins’ season in September.

SHIPS

GET MOVING BUFFER:

Miami-Dade Commissioners approved an ordinance Tuesday to restrict

personal boats, including jet skis and wave-runners, from coming

too close to commercial boats in the channels of the Port of Miami.

The ordinance prohibits recreational boaters within 500 feet of

the front of a commercial ship and 100 from a ship’s sides or stern.

Bruno Barreiro sponsored the ordinance as a way, he said, to increase

safety and protect commercial interests at the port.

MORALES

HONORED:

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jimmy Morales was awarded the 2000 Bill

Colson Leadership Award at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s

weekend goals conference. According to the citation, Mr. Morales

was cited for taking the lead in government reform issues, including

campaign finance and procurement.

E-ELECTION

DATA:

In the spirit of campaign finance reform, commissioners Tuesday

OK’d an ordinance sponsored by Mr. Morales that requires electronic

reporting and posting of campaign contributions and expenditures

for candidates seeking elected office in the county. The information

is to be posted on the Internet within three business days of reporting.

A final report is due four days before an election and is to be

posted at least two days before an election. The measure applies

to candidates for the commission, mayor, community council and fire

board.

BUDGET

WORKSHOP:

Miami-Dade Commissioners will get a first chance to discuss the

2000-01 county budget at a workshop June 13. Commissioners will

take up the budget after weighing potential changes to the governance

structure at Miami International Airport at 2 p.m.

SIGN

OFF:

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush signed a bill into law that would promote

the growth of the information technology sector in Florida. Among

other things, it includes a tax exemption for investments in infrastructure

to create a Network Access Point — an Internet data switching

station. Also on hand for the signing was Roy Cales, the state’s

chief information officer, and Julia Johnson, chair of the Information

Service Technology Development Task Force. Details: www.flgov.com.

INTERESTING

FACTS:

Forty-two percent of Hispanic households in the US have a computer,

According to 2000 figures from Cheskin Research. That number is

up 68% from the past two years, experts say. Also, 28% of these

households are Internet users.

JOINT

E-VENTURE:

Foodtrader.com, which is a business-to-business marketplace for

global food exchange announced a joint marketing agreement with

Tachyon Inc. — an Internet infrastructure company. Through

Tachyon’s two-way satellite connections Foodtrader members in rural

communities will be able to access the Internet. The service utilizes

geostationary satellites to make two-way broadband access to the

Internet available to remote locations, company executives say.

TEEN

E-TALK:

StarMedia, an Internet company for Spanish and Portuguese speaking

audiences and Pepsi-Cola launched www.pidemasonline.com. Promoters

are calling the site the first pan-regional online community created

for teens by teens. The site, which was launched in Puerto Rico,

will soon be launched in Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela.

SPORTS

STARS:

Miami-based Sportsya.com — a Spanish and Portuguese language

Internet sports portal — announced a partnership with two Brazilian

sports stars. Formula One World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi and

soccer player Zico will serve as advisors to the portal by contributing

editorial content and multi-media commentaries, promoters said.

LEGAL

MATTERS:

Do you have any legal questions? Get answers to them at b4blaw.com.

The Coral Gables-based site is an interactive solution provider

that allows users to address legal problems either alone or with

their attorney, promoters say. The site also makes legal forms and

information more accessible to small businesses and the general

public. Company executives say b4blaw.com provides free legal information

in four areas: bankruptcy & collections, estate planning, real estate

and start-up & small business. Details: (305) 476-0680

CREATIVE

SURFING:

QuickCreative.com, an online graphics design company, was launched

in Miami. Promoters say the site allows users to download professionally

designed marketing materials. "QuickCreative customers are

offered professional, Fortune 500-looking designs at a fraction

of the cost and time," said Brian McCarthy, the company’s co-founder.

NEW

TENANT:

MCI Worldcom purchased 14.9 acres for $8.3 million at International

Corporate Park located between Northwest 107th Avenue and Northwest

19th Street in the Airport West area. Broadband fiber worth $70

million will be installed at the facility, promoters said. Easton

& Associates, which owns the property, closed the transaction.

E-XPANDING:

Viajo.com, a provider of Internet travel services for Latin America,

launched operations in Brazil, Argentina and Chile, company executives

say. By 2003 Brazil is expected to have some 20.1 million Internet

users. Argentina and Chile are expected to have 4.0 million and

1.3 million Internet users by 2003, respectively, according to Forrester

Research. Details: (305) 344-436

NEW

NEWS: Executives

at the Web Hatchery — a South Florida-based incubator launched

MundoIT.com, a Spanish language Internet news service focused on

information technology issues. Promoters say the up-to-the-minute

news service tracks trends and developments in the technology sector

and how they affect Latin America. The e-company has an in-house

staff of journalists and correspondents in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia

and Spain. Details: (954) 334-0400.

SOFT

TO SOFT:

Softbank Latin America Ventures spearheaded the first round of financing

for LearningSoft Corp., which is the parent company of Jugamos.com

and VamosBrincar.com — Spanish and Portuguese-language educational

game websites, company executives say. The total round was $13 million,

promoters said. Details: LearningSoft, (305) 500-9959.

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