Written by Miami Today on September 20, 2001
CITY TAX UPDATE: Scott Simpson, director of the City of Miami’s finance department, said the city had been able to collect in the past months about $100,000 in state sales and use taxes companies leasing city-owned property had failed to pay during the fiscal year 1999-2000. A July report by the city’s internal audit department had shown the city paid $243,881, including more than $93,000 in interest last year for which companies using city property were responsible.
BUDGET MATTERS: Miami city commissioners gave preliminary approval to a $319 million budget for the next fiscal year last week, down from $341 million in the previous budget. They nixed increasing a fire fee from $61 per household to $70 as previously approved by commissioners in July to cover a possible $7 million shortfall. Commissioners also maintained a solid waste tax at $325 instead of raising it to $345 as established in a five-year plan that calls for a $20 annual increase. Commissioners Johnny Winton and Arthur Teele, who are not up for re-election in November, were the only commissioners who voted against using more than $3 million in reserve funds to cover any shortfall. Commissioners also kept an 8.995 mil rate, or $8.995 for every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. A final budget vote is due Sept. 27.
RECEPTION CENTER: The Miami-Dade County mayor’s office opened a substation in South Dade Government Center, 10710 SW 211th St. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. The approximately 800-square-foot station includes reception and conference space and an office that can be used by the mayor or county manager if necessary, said Suzette Rice, community liaison to Mayor Alex Penelas. So far, Ms. Rice said she is the only one working there but a receptionist and interns will be added. Details: (305) 971-5080.
ORANGE GROUPS: The Orange Bowl Committee seeks applications from dance and drill teams, cultural and step groups, and groups specializing in other forms of entertainment that have at least 15 members ages 13 & up. An adult liaison is needed for every 15 members under the age of 18 in any group. Service groups, businesses, and youth organizations that can participate by carrying float banners, handling balloons or walking alongside parade floats are needed. The 2001 Orange Bowl Parade theme is "Underwater Wonderland." Call for an application. Details: Ryan Radzinsky, (305) 371-4600, ext. 131
SKYWAY LEASE: Caribe Export Corp. leased 15,375 square feet in Skyway Center, 7166 NW 12th St., for five years. Ron Berger, vice president for Trammell Crow and a broker in the transaction, valued the lease at $510,000. Mr. Berger said Caribe exports electronic games, hardware, equipment and parts.
HEALTHY CITATION: The American Association of Retired Persons recognized Baptist Health Systems of South Florida for "exemplary practices toward older workers." About 1,770 of the company’s 8,000 employees are 50 or over, said Brian E. Keeley, president & CEO. Baptist Health is one of 11 companies to earn the award nationwide, said E. Bentley Lipscomb, AARP Florida director.
TECH TABLE: Miami Today and the Keller Graduate School of Management are co-sponsoring a roundtable discussion on technology and education at 7:30 a.m. Sept. 21 in the First Union Financial Center, 200 S Biscayne Blvd. Scheduled panelists are Timothy H. Ricordati, vice president for adult & distance learning with DeVry Inc. and dean of the Keller Graduate School of Management; M. Lewis Temares, vice president and chief information officer for information technology and dean of the UM College of Engineering; Andrea Monroe, assistant director and reference librarian at Barry University, and Jesus Fernandez, director of the business school and computer information systems at M-DCC. Reservations are required. Details: (305) 358-2663.
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY: A roundtable on technology in education is scheduled at 7:30 a.m. Sept. 21 in First Union Financial Center, 200 S Biscayne Blvd. Scheduled panelists are Timothy H. Ricordati, vice president for adult & distance learning with DeVry Inc. and dean of the Keller Graduate School of Management; M. Lewis Temares, vice president & CIO of information technology and dean of the UM College of Engineering; Andrea Monroe, assistant director and reference librarian at Barry University, and Jesus Fernandez, director of the business school and computer information systems at M-DCC. The session is co-sponsored by Miami Today and the Keller Graduate School of Management. Reservations required. Details: (305) 358-2663.
FLA/BRA OPENER: Dan Dau, the first event in the FLA/BRA 2001 festival organized by Tigertail Productions, has been canceled because the artists can not now enter the US. The festival continues Oct. 26-28 when Nouveau Cirque is scheduled to perform in Josè Martì Riverfront Park. Details: (305) 324-4337 or tigertail.org.
LEGAL SYMPOSIUM: The 6th Tribal Sovereignty Symposium is to be held at 9 a.m. Friday in the Moot Court Room at St. Thomas University School of Law. The symposium, "Defending Indigenous People’s Heritage & Autonomy," is to look at international human rights and intellectual property law. Erica-Irene Daes, chair of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, is keynote speaker and will preside at a one-week seminar at the school.
HOTEL MEET: The Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association is holding its seventh annual meeting and reception at 4 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Wyndham Miami Biscayne Bay Hotel, 1601 Biscayne Blvd. Florida Sen. James E. King is scheduled keynote speaker. Reservations are requested by 10/9. Details: (305) 531-3553
SEATRADE MEET: The 18th annual Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention March 11-15 in the Miami Beach Convention Center is expected to draw 11,000 representatives from related industries, said Susan Stokes, exhibition manager for CMP, which handles the convention. She said more than 1,000 exhibitors have been booked and the convention would feature two new areas: a design pavilion sponsored by manufacturers and suppliers and a technology pavilion dedicated to electronic products and services. National pavilions are planned by industry representatives from Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the UK. Details: (609) 452-2800 or cruiseshipping.net.
CONSUMER COSTS FLAT: The consumer price index for residents of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area remained unchanged in August from its June level, while nationally the index fell three-tenths of a percentage point in the period. But the local index of 173.5 remains well below the national figure of 177.5, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor reported Tuesday. The index measures the prices urban consumers pay for a standardized list of needs including food, shelter, energy and medical care.