Written by Miami Today on June 26, 2003
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
TAPPED BY BUSH: Miami attorney Robert H. Fernandez was appointed deputy general counsel by Gov. Jeb Bush. Mr. Fernandez left Coral Gables law firm Colson Hicks Eidson, where he had worked since 1998, to replace Carlos Muniz, who resigned from the governor’s office.
BRIDGE OPENS: The Second Avenue Bridge opened Saturday after more than 21/2 years of construction. The new $43.5 million bridge over the Miami River is twice as wide as the old bridge and 16 feet higher. It is the largest steel drawbridge in Florida.
SPEED IT UP: Coral Gables is moving its Internet server to the NAP of the Americas building to increase the efficiency and speed of the city’s service. Director of Business Administration Stephen Albee said Coral Gables is the first city to move its server into the building. "The mayor talks about this all the time." he said. "It is going to be the cornerstone of what we want to do with the city as far as technology."
BIG WINNER: Coconut Grove-based Crispin Porter & Bogusky won the film Grand Prix at last week’s International Advertising Festival in Cannes, France, with a television commercial for Ikea lamps. The firm moved six weeks ago to Mayfair Shops, at 3390 Mary St., from 2601 S Bayshore Drive.
TWO ROLES: Audrey H. Ross, senior vice president and shareholder at Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell and one of the community’s top sellers of high-end homes, has joined market strategist The Americas Group as an investor partner. Ms. Ross will handle real-estate activity for the group’s US and Latin American customers, said Howard Glicken, chairman of The Americas Group. She also will continue as a real-estate broker for EWM.
WE’RE NUMBER ONE: Miami-Dade College, which just changed its name from Miami-Dade Community College, says it is now the largest institution of higher education in the US, pulling ahead of the University of Texas at Austin. The college’s enrollment now is 51,717, topping the Texas university by more than 1,100. The school that is now Miami-Dade College opened in 1960 as Dade County Junior College with 1,428 students. The college unveiled a new logo this week to match its new name as it prepares to begin offering limited four-year degree programs in September.
PASSINGS: George Kirkland, who led the Greater Miami Convention & Visitor Bureau during the 1980s, died June 11 in San Francisco. He was credit for promoting the destination during an era when Time Magazine declared the area "Paradise Lost" on its front cover, said friend and former bureau board chair Steve Nostrand, who helped recruit Mr. Kirkland from San Francisco. "No one wanted to come here. It was a mammoth task to undertake," Mr. Nostrand said. "He was able to book business because of who he was… he had a giant personality." Added current bureau President and CEO William Talbert III: "George was a great industry leader who put Miami on the map."
BAR PRESIDENT: Coral Gables attorney Miles A. McGrane III of McGrane and Nosich will be sworn in as the 55th president of the Florida Bar on Friday at Orlando World Center Marriott. Mr. McGrane, who has been active in the bar since 1982, will be sworn in by Chief Justice Harry Lee Anstead of the Florida Supreme Court.
NAME CHANGE: The Black Lawyers Association of Miami-Dade County changed its name this week to Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association in memory of the first black judge on Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals who died this month. Walter J. Harvey of Steel Hector and Davis was voted president-elect of the association.
WAREHOUSE DEAL: San Francisco-based AMB Property Corp. paid $3.1 million for a warehouse formerly owned and occupied by Miami-based National Electronics. The 93,499-square-foot Gratigny Central industrial building at 11451 NW 36th Ave. has been leased for five years to Miami-based Caribmar Forwarding Inc. for more than $2.3 million. Cushman & Wakefield Director Brian Smith and Senior Director Wayne Ramoski brokered the deals.
FREE-TRADE TALK: Jorge Arrizurieta, chief executive of the Florida Free Trade of the Americas initiative, will be guest speaker at a luncheon sponsored by the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce Inter-American Chapter on Friday at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. The proposed agreement would open trade among 34 nations in the Western Hemisphere. Details: (305) 379-6090.
EASTWARD HO: Florida Delegation, Southeast US Japan Association and the Florida Korea Economic Cooperation Committee are recruiting volunteers to travel to Osaka, Japan, Oct. 26-28 and Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 29-32. The 600-person delegation, led by Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood, is to meet with Japanese and Korean government and budget officials. Details: Dave Woodward, (786) 845-0408.
ROAD SHUTDOWN: Construction on the Northwest 14th Street and Northwest 37th Avenue drainage system and roadway was to begin this week. The 0.7-mile stretch of 14th Street, which parallels Dolphin Expressway, is to be closed for six months. The project is to be complete in April. In addition to roadway and drainage improvements, the project also will refurbish lighting, landscape and sidewalks. A gasoline station is to be added at 37th Avenue.
STREET RENAMING: Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis Moss will rename Southwest 216th Street in honor of Odell T. Johns, community activist and political leader, in a ceremony Saturday at Community Health of South Dade, 10300 SW 216th. Mr. Johns was involved in several community building projects and helped found Community Health of South Dade, a private, non-profit health provider. He was chairman for more than 20 years. Details: (305) 252-1122.
BOOK THAT DATE: The Miami-Dade Public Library System is to inaugurate its expanded and renovated Doral branch at 10:30 a.m. July 7. Upgrades at the library, in the Doral Isles Shopping Center at 10785 NW 58th St., include additional computer stations and new sections. Details: (305) 716-9598.
CHAMBER ADDS DIRECTORS: The Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce has added five new directors elected for three years starting Sept. 1: Carol Ellis-Cutler of Abood Wood Fay Real Estate Group; George Feliciano of Bay Plumbing Co.; JC Gutierrez of JC Gutierrez & Associates; Ann Pope of Ann Pope Consulting Inc.; and Victoria Villalba of Victoria & Associates Career Services Inc.
TRADE LUNCHEON: Women in International Trade and the University of Miami will be host for a luncheon July 9 at the UM School of Business Administration, 5250 University Drive, Coral Gables. Paulo Rocha, president of the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, will speak on the economy and political climate in Brazil. Details: email@example.com.