Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
NEW HEIGHTS: The Beacon Council is set
to announce its highest one-year job-creation results since 1986:
28 ventures (14 new business locations and 14 expansions) that will
add 4,623 direct and 2,739 indirect jobs to the local economy, representing
$231 million in new capital investment. Companies in local enterprise
zones account for 17 of the ventures while 11 of the businesses
are in federal empowerment zones. The economic development organization
will elaborate at its annual meeting breakfast Friday, which features
an address by Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas.
IT'S A GAS: Among projects being highlighted
at the Beacon Council breakfast is NUI/City Gas, which plans to
add 70 jobs and pump $1 million into the economy within the next
three years. Late last month, City Gas, a residential and commercial
supplier of natural gas, added a call center at its Hialeah headquarters,
expanding by 5,000 square feet. The company began operations here
in 1949 as a liquid propane company, but quickly realized the potential
of natural gas interstate pipelines, which came to the area in the
early 1950s. City Gas became part of NUI Corp. in 1988.
MORRISON BROWN EXPANSION: The CPA firm
Morrison Brown Argiz & Co. has absorbed the staff of Ross & Sroka.
Tony Argiz, managing shareholder, said the addition involves principals
and CPAs Barry I. Ross, who was named a Morrison Brown shareholder,
and Phil J. Sroka, who becomes director of Morrison Brown's small
business advisory department, as well as six other former Ross &
FIU MARINE: Florida International University
named Christoper L. Brown director of its marine biology program
with responsibility to build that program on FIU's Biscayne Bay
Campus. To do that, Dr. Brown says, "enormous effort and cooperation
are needed in a relatively short time." Dr. Brown comes to
Miami from the University of Hawaii where he served as acting director
of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. He is founder of the
Hawaii Aquaculture Association and his projects led to the largest
donation in the history of the University of Hawaii.
Michael Lewis, publisher of Miami Today, will speaker on "Making
the Good Times Last Longer" at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 11 in the Rusty
Pelican Restaurant, 3201 Rickenbacker Cswy. as guest of the Miami
chapter of the Building Owners & Managers Association. Cost is $30;
$25 for members with reservations. Details: (305) 530-0083.
UNVEILING: Miami-Dade Art in Public
Places plans to unveil a sculpture by Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter
at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 in American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd.
The installation, "Double Vision," is in the main entrance
atrium space. The artists are expected to attend. Details: (305)
PARROT POSSESSION: Parrot Jungle & Gardens
officially took possession of the Watson Island leasehold property
from the City of Miami for its new $47 milion botanical garden attract
in ceremonies held Tuesday. Under terms of a 60-year lease, Parrot
pays Miami $200,000 a year for the first two years and $300,000
in years three and four. The rent jumps to $400,000 five years from
now or 5% of gross sales, not to exceed $20 million. Over
$20 million, the Parrot pays the city 6%.
SEVEN GRANTS: The Dade Community Foundation
gave out Community Partners for Arts & Culture awards to Art Center
South Florida, the Rafael A. Penalver Clinic and Jubilate Inc.,
$37,500 each; the Black Door Dance Ensemble, $11,500; and Allapattah's
YMCA, Miami Light Project and the New World Symphony, $10,000 each.
Details: (305) 371-2711.
CHAMBER HONORS: The Central American-US
Chamber of Commerce will give 2000 "award of excellence"
honors to Americatel and Banco del Istmo of Panama at a cocktail
party and gala from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 6 in Bussula Restaurant, 264 Giralda
Ave, Coral Gables. Details: (305) 569-9113.
TURNER REPORTS: The Turner Corp. Building
Cost Index for the third quarter 2000 increased seven points to
599 compared to the second quarter and more than 4.5% compared to
a year ago. "Pricing pressures," says Turner's Karl F.
Almstead, who projects a 1.2% price increase in the quarter, "continue
to push building construction costs higher. Overall the high demand
for labor and the backlog in the commercial market remain the major
factors in pricing structures."
NOTES FROM NOWHERE: Jonathan Miller,
a British Renaissance man whose accomplishments range from neurology
to opera, will demonstrate his photographic skills at the next meeting
of the Brickell Avenue Literary Society at noon Oct. 11 in Northern
Trust Bank, 700 Brickell Ave. Dr. Miller's book, Nowhere in Particular,
is a portfolio of strange and fascinating images taken over the
past 30 years things, he says, "one would normally pay
no attention at all." The author's first career as a doctor
was superseded by a second in theater begun when he was one of the
original cast members with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan
Bennett of the theatrical revue Beyond the Fringe. He has
produced and directed a number of programs for the British Broadcasting
Corp., including 11 Shakespearean plays. He's also directed more
than 50 operas in settings from La Scala to the Metropolitan. Details:
IT TOLLS FOR THEE: The town of Bay Harbor
Islands will install a $1.7 million toll collection system over
Broad Causeway that will hypothetically speed passage through the
automated toll lane. It should be in place in about six months,
says Town Manager Linda Karlsson.
PARK WEST NIGHTS: A South Beach club
owner bought the 6,250-square-foot Ace Industrial Warehouse, 34
11th St., for $195,000, with plans to open a second night club.
ComReal broker Robert Lee Bryant represented the seller in the transaction.
Lencor International was co-broker.
MYSTERY GUEST: Mystery writer Vicki
Hendricks is to read a new short story at 8 p.m. Oct. 9 at Tobacco
Road, 626 S Miami Ave., as part of the Butterfly Lightning series,
which presents works in progress by local authors. She'll be joined
by poet Andrew Glaze. Admission is free. Details by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
GUN LAW: County commissioners passed
a highly publicized and controversial ordinance that requires residents
use locking devices on firearms. Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas was
one of many to speak for the item. "This is an issue that is
about gun safety, not gun control," he said. Commissioner Bruno
Barreiro voted against the item, saying it was an infringement on
FINANCE REFORM: Commissioners passed
a campaign finance reform ordinance sponsored by Jimmy Morales requiring
the names, addresses and employment affiliations of conduits of
county campaign fundraising. He deferred a portion of the ordinance
that would have required detailed reports on contributors that give
to a candidate as part of a bundle or large group.
BRITISH EXCHANGE: The Florida Association
of British Business has cancelled its Oct. 17 business card exchange
and networker. The group's next meeting will be from 6-8 p.m. Nov.
14 in John Martin's Pub, 253 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. Cost is
$10; free to members. Details: (954) 565-3429.