Written by Miami Today on November 15, 2001
FINISH LINE: Miami commissioners today (11/15) are to discuss authorizing the city manager to sign an agreement among the city, Bayfront Park Management Trust and Raceworks, planning to host the Miami Le Mans Series April 5-7 in downtown streets. The 15-year contract would have an option for 10 added years. It calls for Raceworks to do and pay for improvements needed to upgrade roads and the section of Bayfront Park to be used as a racetrack.
AIR WAYS: The Miami Sports & Exhibition Authority is closer to a lease deal on Watson Island for Chalk’s Ocean Airways. Vicky Garcia-Toledo, an attorney for Chalk’s, had said the airline would sue if the authority didn’t sign the lease by Nov. 2. But, she said, all parties met Thursday and worked out many differences. Ferey Kian, authority finance director, said although small issues remain, the authority hopes to approve a lease within two weeks.
NO JOB, NO FEE: The Florida Atlantic University’s Small Business Development Center is waiving fees to seminars on how to start a business. Nancy Young, program director, said the center wants to open participation to many service workers who’ve recently lost jobs. "We hope that eliminating the $25 fee during this difficult period will allow people to learn about the possibilities of operating a small business, regardless of their present financial situation." Details: (561) 297-1140.
HAIL ANDALUSIA: Andalusia week is being held here Nov. 17-21 in recognition of commercial ties the region has with South Florida. Festivities start with a cocktail reception today (11/15) at Diego’s Restaurant in Coral Gables. Organizers said it is an opportunity to network with representatives of companies in Spain and learn about their products. Details: (305) 372-0028, ext. 515.
BANK CONVERTING: The Banco Credito e Inversiones, a Chilean commercial bank, has preliminary approval from the Federal Reserve Bank and from the state to convert its Miami agency into a branch. With the change, the bank could accept deposits from US resident-aliens and US subsidiaries of foreign companies or persons. Deposits would not be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The Miami agency, opened in 1999, is headed by Fernando Capablanca. "We take this," he said, "as a vote of confidence in BCI and as an indication of the high esteem that US banking authorities have for Chile."
ALL IN THE FAMILY: After 33 years on the Bal Harbour Village Resort Tax Committee, Stanley Whitman, owner of The Bal Harbour Shops, has stepped down, saying, "it was just time to move on." One of the committee’s founding members, 82-year-old Mr. Whitman, through the group, helped fund many projects, including beach nourishment, beach beautification and landscaping along Collins Avenue. But the Whitman name remains: his son, Randy Whitman, will fill the vacant position.
LINKS ABROAD: 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. today (11/15) in Terminal 12 at the port. Panelists are Francisco X. Santeiro, managing director for Global Trade Services with FedEx Express Latin American & Caribbean division; 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.
KEYES RISE: The Keyes Co. Realtors reported a 15% increase in residential sales volume for October as compared to the same month in 2000r. That, company publicists say, betters an 8% increase in October 2000 compared to October 1999. The firm’s Sunset Kendall branch recorded a 123% increase in the month, Coral Gables an 89% gain and Coral Springs a 56% hike. October sales in Keyes’ commercial division rose 57%, the company reports.
ARCHITECTURAL AWARD: The Miami chapter of the American Institute of Architects gave Neison O. Kasdin its governmental leadership award, citing the revitalization of South Beach during his term as mayor of Miami Beach. Mr. Kasdin, now of counsel with the law firm Gunster Yoakley, is to get the award at ceremonies planned today (11/15) in the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Details: (305) 375-6000.
INTELLIGENCE TALK: The Association of Former Intelligence Officers is holding a luncheon at noon Nov. 20 in the Rusty Pelican Restaurant, 3201 Rickenbacker Cswy. Scheduled speakers for a panel discussion, "Castro the Terrorist," are Jaime Suchlicki, UM professor; Felix Rodriguez, former CIA agent; and Jose Cohen, a former Cuban DGI agent. RSVP. Details: (305) 374-7700.
NEW STEP: Dancers for the Miami City Ballet announced formation of MCB Dancers Backstage, a group that will plan events and projects to help support the troupe. "In light of the financial difficulties that Miami City Ballet has recently encountered," said Deanna Seay, principal dancer, "we felt it was important to show our support." The group’s first program, she said, involves greeting audience members in the lobby before the show.
BOOKCHAT: Readers unwilling to brave the crowds at the 18th Miami Book Fair International this weekend can chat with authors in cyberspace. A number of visiting English- and Spanish-language writers have gone on-line this week. Schedules and links are available over the web. Details: miamibookfair.com.
PORT ADDITIONS: The cruise vessel Horizon, operated by Celebrity Cruises, last week began 7-day cruises through April 22 to the Caribbean out of Miami, Port of Miami officials said. Meanwhile, the Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Star will be christened here Saturday. Norwegian Cruise spokesperson Heather Sheats said Norwegian Sun would use Miami as its home port year round while Norway, another of the line’s ships, is to begin weekly sailings from Miami starting Dec. 16.