Written by Miami Today on June 7, 2001
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
JOBLESS FIGURES UP: Unemployment in the Miami Metropolitan Area shot up from 5.5% to 5.8% from March to April, the US Department of Labor reports, while the number of persons employed in the area dropped 1% to 1,009,500. The unemployment percentage is the highest in the state. The state’s total unemployment was 3.8%, according to the report. The Miami figure had stood at 5.4% unemployed. The April 2000 figure in Miami was 5.5%. The nation’s unemployment figure in April was 4.2%. Six of the nine areas with joblessness above 10% were in California’s Central Valley.
BRAZILIAN SISTER IN TRANSIT: Miami-Dade County commissioners resolved Tuesday to pursue a "Sister Transit" relationship with Curitiba, the capital of Paraná, Brazil. The relationship will allow the county, which recently sent a delegation to examine the city’s innovative transit system, to share technologies with the city. Curitiba is internationally acclaimed for urban planning and innovative solutions to metropolitan congestion. Its integrated transit system allows passengers to make their own itineraries, and its busing system is called a "surface subway" because it links suburban communities with the downtown area through exclusive "express bus only" traffic lanes.
MORE FLOWER POWER: The US Department of Agriculture and the Miami-Dade Aviation Department last week began constructing an inspection building at Miami International Airport that will permit handling of more perishable cargo. The $18 million building, financed by the aviation department, will consolidate four separate inspection operations in one spot and allow the agriculture department to expand its operations that clear air cargo imports, including a high volume of cut flowers and other perishables. Statistics show the airport handles 90% of all US flower imports, a business greater than $500 million annually.
GREEN POWER: The South Florida Regional Planning Council is spearheading a workshop on community greening Saturday at St. Thomas University. The 31/2-hour session will target Everglades restoration and water management, tree canopies, local greening efforts and the resources available to residents who want to start a community greening program. The free program starts at 9 a.m. at the St. Thomas Hall of Fame, 16400 NW 32nd Ave. Details: (954) 985-4416.
TAXED OUT: About 580,000 retailers statewide are to be mailed details late this month on how to handle the state’s sales tax holiday July 28-Aug. 5. During the period, for the fourth year shoppers won’t pay state or local sales taxes on clothing, accessories or some shoes costing $50 or less. This year some school supplies costing $10 or less are also tossed into the taxless package. About $25.7 million in state taxes and $2.8 million in local sales taxes will go by the boards that week. The state promises a tax holiday hotline later this month at (800) 352-3671. Details: myflorida.com.
COLONIAL HOME: Colonial Bank announced it has completed the move of its Miami Beach branch from 301 to 901 Arthur Godfrey Road, former site of a Blockbuster Video outlet. The new location, promoters said, features more than 7,300 square feet, walk-up windows, night deposit services, safe deposit boxes and a 24-hour ATM. The bank is working on the final phase – a drive-through facility recently approved by the City of Miami Beach’s design and review board.
NEW TITLE TITLE: Universal Title Insurors of Florida is being folded into a cluster of Miami-based Lennar Corp. title agencies and title insurance companies that are now called North American Title Co. Lennar folded them all together last week. Nationally, Lennar says, the various companies provided title insurance and closing services for more than 110,000 residential and commercial real estate deals last year.
BRIDGING TUITION GAPS: James W. Bridges, who was the first African-American president of the Dade County Medical Association, will be honored at a reception and dinner at 6:30 Saturday with proceeds to help students at Meharry Medical College, his alma mater. The dinner is at the Biscayne Bay Marriott, 1633 N Bayshore Drive. Details: (305) 758-8271.
MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s new Community Development Council gave its first Management Excellence Award this week to Maria Pellerin, executive director of Carrfour Corp. "Largely due to her efforts," said J. Ed Bell, a chamber executive committee vice chairman, "Carrfour has made significant improvements to urban neighborhoods."
FLYING HIGHER: The number of air passengers using Miami International Airport inched ahead in April, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department reports. Total passengers for the month were a shade above 2.9 million, a gain of about a third of 1% over April 2000. For calendar 2001, however, passengers are still down 1.19%. The drop is on the international side, where passengers are down a hair more than 3%. Domestic passenger totals for the year are up almost a half a percentage point.
KOREA TRADE LINKS: Nine Korean manufacturers will be at the Hotel Sofitel from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today (6/7) seeking trading partners. Participants include Sungil Telecom Co., which makes home caller ID devices and net interface cards; Shin Chang Medical Co., which makes catheter needles, and Nais Battery Co., which makes motorcycle batteries. The visit was organized by the Korea Trade Mission Center. Details: (305) 374-4648.