FYI Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
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."
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."
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.