Written by Miami Today on April 4, 2002
POSITIVE FREIGHT: While passenger traffic and international freight volumes both declined at Miami International Airport for all of 2001 and in January this year, publicists for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department note that domestic freight through the airfield in January was up 33.4% compared to figures recorded in January 2001, fueled by stepped up FedEx and UPS operations here. Department Director Angela Gittens said her staff is looking forward "to having continued positive cargo growth" in the year and hopes for an upswing on the international side. International freight was down 17.6% to about 96,000 tons in the month, plunging overall freight totals at the airport by 8.7%. Officials cited a continued soft US economy and downturns in nations to the south as reasons for the slow pace.
MORE FLIGHT FIGURES: Combined passenger figures at Miami International dropped 11.6% in December, the latest figures show. There was a 9.6% drop on the international side and a decline of 13.5% to about 1.27 million passengers in domestic traffic in the month. Daily operations in December fell 14.5% to 37,819, producing a year-long average of 1,220 take-offs and landings daily throughout the year. That’s down about 9% from totals for December 2001. For all 2001, overall passenger traffic was down 5.8% compared to the previous year, with international off 5.7% and domestic slipping 5.8%.
WHAT’S IN A NAME: Now that Broadway producer and former owner of the Coconut Grove Playhouse Zev Buffman is back in the local news with a proposal to renovate the Miami Arena, you may be wondering about the spelling of his name. Mr. Buffman said Bufman with one `f’ was legally changed to Buffman in 1992 as an anniversary gift to his wife. She thought the extra consonant would cut down on previous pronunciation problems, Mr. Buffman said. The first syllable is correctly pronounced buff’ as in buffalo or buffing a car. The Buffmans live in California. Mr. Buffman heads Arena Management & Construction, a development firm in Palm Desert.
NEW PRO: Pro Player Stadium named Gordon Eric Knowles director of guest services and event staff. Mr. Knowles had been director of community relations for Pro Player earlier in his career. He then joined the staff of American Airlines in June 2000 as director of marketing. "Knowing that Eric possesses the team Pro Player Stadium characteristics we embrace," said Pro Player President M. Bruce Schulze, "we welcome him back into the fold."
AFFORDABLE POST: Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Lloyd J. Boggio to the Florida Affordable Housing Study Commission. Mr. Boggio is president of the Carlisle Group, a real estate development and management firm. "All recent housing studies," Mr. Boggio said on accepting the post, "show that Miami-Dade County has the greatest need for affordable housing in the state by a large margin." Commission members advise and consult with officials from the Florida Department of Community Affairs.
FOCUS ON EUROPEAN LINKS: Links from Europe to South America through Miami will be the subject of a breakfast session of Miami Today’s International Roundtable at 7:30 a.m. April 18 at sponsoring Colonial Bank, 10th floor, 1200 Brickell Ave. Scheduled panelists are Giuseppe Morabito, consul general of Italy in Miami; Holger Ziegeler, deputy consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany in Miami; Glenn M. Cooper, attorney with Becker & Poliakoff, and Faith Gay, attorney with White & Case. RSVP. Details: Techy Fernandez, (305) 358-2663.
PARKS AWARD: The Natural Areas Management Division at Miami-Dade Parks won a "Design With Natives" landscaping award from the Florida Native Plant Society. The first-place recognition was for work at the 458-acre Deering Estate at Cutler. "The Deering Estate," said Joe Maguire, division manager, on receiving the award, "is the crown jewel of Miami-Dade Parks’ nature preserves."
ANTI-THEFT: The Aventura Police Department and Aventura Hospital & Medical Center are offering to etch an ID number on the windows of motor vehicles from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot at the Aventura Comprehensive Cancer Center, 20950 NE 27th Court. The idea is to mark a vehicle to aid in its recovery should it be stolen. Publicists said officers can run the number through a computer to determine a vehicle’s rightful owner. Details: (305) 466-2893.
BRICKELL MOVE: Salon Rik Rak, a Brickell Avenue staple, will relocate from 1060 Brickell to 1428 Brickell Ave., said Edmund Mazzei, who represented the beauty salon in a new 10-year lease. Forced to move by the pending demolition of 1060 Brickell by Gotham Partners of New York, which bought the property last year, the salon was able to find more than 5,000 square feet in its new home’s lobby, double what it has now, Mr. Mazzei said. He said salon owners would likely spend more than $150,000 to make improvements and expect to open in the new location in mid-July or early August.
MORE BRICKELL: Also likely to move to 1428 Brickell, Mr. Mazzei said, is Maria’s Brickell Gourmet, another tenant from the 1060 building. He said he was "80% sure" that the cafe would set up shop in the same building as Rik Rak.
BEACH SCHOLARS: Philadelphia-based SMG, a private management company for public assembly facilities, presented the City of Miami Beach with a check for $30,000 to fund special scholarships for local students looking to further their education in the tourism and hospitality industry. "Educational funding is the one sure investment toward a community’s future and we are proud to be a part of Miami Beach’s continual growth," said SMG’s Doug Tober, general manager of the Miami Beach Convention Center and Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts.
DEAN’S COUNCIL: About 25 prominent area business leaders have been named to a dean’s council by the FIU College of Business Administration to advise Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam on matters of program development, reputation growth, bridging the academic and business worlds, faculty-student interaction and fundraising. Members are "high-level executives with a wealth of business knowledge, experience and contacts – all of which are extremely valuable to the CBA and the newly established Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business," Ms. Elam said. "We will look to the council for their expertise and guidance, especially as we work to achieve our strategic goals."