RIVER PLAN: Miami-Dade County commissioners on Tuesday approved in concept a plan to build a greenway of trails, walkways and parks along the Miami River. The $23 million project, now in its conceptual stage, was approved by the City of Miami earlier this year. "The county's approval is a way of saying they want the greenway," said Lavinia Freeman, project manager with the Trust for Public Land, a national conservationist nonprofit helping with the project's design. She said about a quarter of the 5.5-mile-long river is in the unincorporated portion of the county, the rest in Miami.
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PACT WITH BARBADOS: An international sister-seaports agreement between the Port of Miami and the Barbados Port Authority has been officially created. "Forging alliances with ports in the Caribbean will contribute to the well being of the Port of Miami," said Miami-Dade Port Director Charles Towsley. "When you consider that Barbados is a major tourism destination, and our cargo lines import and export from that country, a strong working relationship will benefit both ports." The port now has 16 alliances with counterparts abroad.
RIVER DREDGING FUNDED: Congress last week awarded $4 million for the $74 million dredging of the Miami River to begin in mid-2002. The Army Corps of Engineers will fund it 80%. State, county and city funds cover the balance. Brett Bibeau, assistant managing director of the Miami River Commission, said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen led the drive for federal funds. "Dredging of the river," Ms. Ros-Lehtinen said, "will stimulate shipping-industry developments and provide a more environmentally sound riverside community." Congress allocated $5 million for the project in 1999; local governments have contributed smaller amounts.NO GO ON MICROSOFT: Despite making the short list, Miami was bypassed for a Microsoft meeting, said Jeanne Sullivan, vice president of communications for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. In July, Miami-Dade County hosted the Microsoft Global Briefing, which brought more than 10,000 people here. The upcoming smaller meeting, Ms. Sullivan said, will probably be in Anaheim, CA. "The organizers were very high on Miami from their last visit," she said. "From recent discussions all indications are that we will get a future piece of business from Microsoft." Microsoft representatives could not be reached for comment.
DEAN DE LA TORRE: Florida International University named Jose de la Torre first dean of the Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business. Currently a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles' The Anderson School, he takes office next July. "He is probably in the top five of professors who are really known for international business," said Joyce Elam, dean of FIU's College of Business Administration. "He brings a combination of being a very good scholar and educator."
CODINA CHIPS IN: Armando Codina, chair of FIU's Board of Trustees and chair and CEO of the Codina Group, not only is heading fund-raising efforts for the Chapman School's new building but donated $500,000 - matching receipts of a Nov. 1 dinner honoring his close friend Mr. Chapman. The state has already given the school $16.7 million and plans to match another $10 million. FIU officials hope to get $10 million in pledges within a year, Dr. Elam said. The dinner, she said, kicked off the push for donations. "Now we can get to the business of contacting people and telling them about our vision of the school."
CONDO FUNDING GAP: Kapustin Corp. and partners, planning a $15 million conversion of a semi-vacant office building at 101 E Flagler St. downtown to residential condos, still is seeking about $10 million in construction loans. "Banks are interested in financing projects that serve a public purpose because under the Community Reinvestment Act they get a credit from the federal government when reinvesting in the community," said principal Rafael Kapustin. City of Miami and Miami-Dade County grants are to provide $2.8 million. The venture plans $3 million equity.
SELLING THE NAP: In response to rumors, Sandra Gonzalez-Levy, senior vice president of Terremark Worldwide, said the corporation has not laid off sales staffers to cut expenses but because of their performance. She refused to say how many were let go. "There is a number of sales positions we are looking to fill," she said. The company, which owns and operates the fifth Tier-1 network at Terremark's Technology Center of the Americas, 50 NE Ninth St., has 20 sales representatives locally and globally.
AIR & SEA LINKS: The Port of Miami and Miami Today are collaborating on an International Roundtable updating our air and sea links abroad at 7:30 a.m. Nov. 15 in Terminal 12 at the Port of Miami. Panelists include John Spillman, chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Aviation Alliance; Angela Gittens, director of the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department, and Bernard List, assistant seaport director for marketing and customer service. RSVP. Details: Techy Fernandez, (305) 358-2663.
BUSINESS ACCOLADES: The Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce named David W. Barfield, vice president for the Bartech Group, a successful minority-owned firm, guest speaker at its business awards ceremony at noon Nov. 15 in the Renaissance Miami Biscayne Bay Hotel, 1601 Biscayne Blvd. Cost is $40. Details: (305) 751-8643.
FLORIDA MEMORIAL DAY: Florida Memorial College named C.P. Epps keynote speaker for its annual donation day at 10 a.m. Nov. 20 in the A. Chester Robinson Athletic Center, 15800 NW 42nd Ave. Mr. Epps is senior pastor of the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church of Tampa and has been cited for his work in African and was president of the First South Florida Missionary Baptist Association for more than 20 years. Details: (305) 626-3673.
GRADUATE SCHOOL: "Interview & Resumes," a free presentation sponsored by the Keller Graduate School of Management is being held from noon-1 p.m. in Suite 500, First Union Financial Center, 200 S Biscayne Blvd. Seth Levine, a CPA, is scheduled speaker. Reservations required. Details: (786) 425-1113.
NETWORKER: The next "Cards & Cocktails" networker sponsored by the Aventura Chamber of Commerce is from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Fish 54, 18841 Biscayne Blvd., Loehman's Fashion Island, Aventura. Cost is $10. Details: (305) 935-2131.
REAL PRESENTATION: "Emerging Trends in Real Estate," a talk annually sponsored by the South Florida chapter of the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties, is at 8 a.m. Nov. 15 in Signature Grand Conference Center, 6900 State Road 84, Davie. Ted Klinck, principal, Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, is featured speaker. RSVP. Cost is $60; $20 for members. Details: (954) 938-2137.
CRABBY & PROUD: When the Carnival Pride debuts Jan. 12 out of Miami but bound to operate out of Port Canaveral, it will feature the succulent world famous crustaceans made famous by Miami Beach's Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant, which has an exclusive contract with ships sailing with the cruise line. The tasty claws - among the featured menu items in David's, Carnival Pride's, "steakhouse-style" supper club - made their debut aboard the Carnival Spirit earlier this year.
AIR PRINTERS: Miami-Dade County has entered into an agreement with four firms with exclusive rights to bid for future aviation department printing jobs. A previous contract expired in June. The new contract runs for three years and has a pot of $1.5 million for jobs ranging from the publication of airport brochures to decals for cargo, a Miami-Dade Aviation Department official said.
FEDERALLY SECURE: Miami-Dade County commissioners are sending the word to the federal government that they'd like to see passenger security checkpoint screening federalized at all commercial airports. The resolution to send the message was proposed by Commissioner Katy Sorenson and backed by her fellow commissioners this week.
SISTER MENDOZA: The province of Mendoza in Argentina will be Miami-Dade's next sister city after county commissioners approved this week a resolution by Commissioner Jimmy Morales to create the bond. Miami-Dade and Mendoza, he said, are similar in population and both base their economy on tourism. The move is meant to foster expanded trade, commerce, and education between the locales.