Written by Miami Today on October 7, 2004
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
UNLEADED GRANT: The City of Miami received a $3 million grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for its Miami Unleaded Program, a safety program that aims to reduce lead hazards in the city’s collection of aging houses. Under the program, lead-hazard control is to become part of every rehabilitation, renovation and repair on housing units built before 1978 where lead-based paint is present. "We have been working for a long time to reduce lead hazards in Miami, both with proposed legislation and other grants," said Miami Mayor Manny Diaz. "This multimillion-dollar award will have a great impact on our efforts to make Miami a safer and cleaner city." Details: www.ci.miami.fl.us.
TRAINING VETERANS: All American Realty Services plans to offer free training to injured Iraq war veterans and their families when the company opens its Realty school in January at 2847 Hollywood Blvd. "This is to help and give back by assisting people who are handicapped by giving them a skill they can use from home," said Phil Strum, who will head the school. He said he will offer employment to all qualified after the six-week course. Details: (954) 889-0044.
HOUSING MODEL: The Florida Housing Coalition has cited a Miami-Dade project as a model for transitional housing. Little Haiti Gateway, a once-rundown motel, underwent a $4.2 million redevelopment that created 76 apartments for 79 formerly homeless people. The project, at 6201 NE Second Ave., is the work of Carrfour Supportive Housing, a nonprofit that fights homelessness. Carrfour officials say the development provides an environment in which residents can rebuild their lives. More than 2,600 homeless people live in Miami-Dade County, according to the county’s economic development department. The waiting list for Little Haiti Gateway has more than 200 names.
COUNTY BIDDING CHANGE: Companies looking to do business with Miami-Dade County will have to look elsewhere for bidding and solicitation information as well as programs for small and minority-owned ventures. The county moved its vendor-information center Friday from the lobby to the 13th floor of the Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW First St. It also moved its small-business development department to the 19th floor. Details: vendors, (305) 375-5773; small business, (305) 375-3111.
MIAMI STYLE: The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau received a Travel Industry of America 2004 award for promoting Miami with fashion-themed advertising. The campaign, launched in early 2003, aimed to position Miami as a trendy destination. Turkel, the bureau’s agency, designed the campaign, which features models wearing stylish clothing in Miami settings. "We’re honored that our campaign was recognized as one of the best in the country," said R. Donahue Peebles, bureau chairman. Details: www.turkel.info.
MORE SPICE: Miami Spice Restaurant Month, a summer restaurant promotion sponsored by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, has been extended through Oct. 15. By September, the promotion’s Web site had received 750,000 hits, 15 times the previous year’s, bureau officials said. The promotion, designed to boost off-season business, offers a fixed price for lunch and dinner at 50 restaurants. Details: www.miamirestaurantmonth.com.
LOOKING FOR FINANCING: Miami technology company Terremark Worldwide, owner and operator of NAP of the Americas, exercised an option to extend closing to Oct. 11 on the balance of the equity interest in Technology Center of the Americas, 50 NE Ninth St. The 750,000-square-foot technology center houses the company’s network-access point for worldwide Internet communications. Closing is contingent upon Terremark getting financing. Another option, if exercised, could extend the deal to Nov. 1.
TERMS: Terremark is to pay $40 million for all partnership interest in Technology Center of the Americas LLC and assume $35 million in debt. The center’s tenants include Global Crossing, e-life Group, Sprint and the City of Miami’s Downtown NET. Terremark also operates data centers in California, Brazil and Spain.
ANNUAL MEETING: Terremark’s annual stockholders meeting is to begin at 10 a.m. Oct. 8 in the conference room at 50 NE Ninth St. Terremark’s common stock closed at 63 cents a share Monday. Terremark reported consolidated revenue of $7.9 million in its second quarter – up 34% from $5.9 million in the first quarter. Losses from operations fell to $4.4 million from $5.2 million in the first quarter. As of June 30, Terremark’s cash balance was $33.2 million.
BE PREPARED: The Beacon Council will present a disaster-preparedness workshop for Miami-Dade County businesses looking to establish policies and procedures. Presenters are expected to include Enterprise Florida, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration. The date will be announced. Beacon Council officials saw a need after a record four hurricanes blew through Florida. The workshop will address planning for any type of disaster, officials said.
BIOSCIENCE CONFERENCE: BioFlorida, a West Palm Beach organization that promotes Florida biosciences, is to hold its annual conference Oct. 17-18 at Boca Raton Marriott. Conference topics include investment banking, marketing, workforce development and technology in clinical development. Keynote speakers include Hamilton O. Smith, Nobel Prize Laureate for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to molecular genetics, and Harry Orf, vice president of scientific operations for Scripps Florida. The conference is to showcase innovations with the potential to drive economic growth. Details: www.bioflorida.com.
HEAT KIDS: The Miami Heat and the Miami Children’s Museum are to offer three child-oriented programs. The Miami Heat Family Outreach Charitable Fund, an organization of Heat employees and wives, is to sponsor a museum exhibit that teaches children the importance of safety. The 56,500-square-foot museum, which includes 12 galleries, classrooms, a parent-teacher resource center and a 200-seat auditorium, is to accommodate community outreach events such as the team’s after-school academic mentoring program, the Heat Academy. In addition, the museum is to host the team’s Read to Achieve program, which encourages South Florida’s youth to read. Details: www.nba.com/heat.
COUNTESS TAKES HELM: Germany’s new consul general in Miami, Eva Alexandra Countess Kendeffy, knows exactly where she has been posted. "I’m looking forward to being in the capital of Latin America," she told a large reception for German Unity Day at InterContinental Miami on Sunday evening. The newly arrived countess, who also has been posted to Costa Rica, Washington and the Dominican Republic in her 22-year career, replaces Volker Anding.
JAPAN ADDS ENVOY: Masakazu Toshikage has been named consul general of Japan in Miami, replacing Ko Kodaira. Mr. Toshikage arrived Sept. 9 from Tokyo. He previously served in the US at the Embassy of Japan in Washington as first secretary. "The alliance between Japan and the US has never been more consolidated, and our two economies are increasingly interdependent," Mr. Toshikage said.
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: When a new mayor replaces Alex Penelas at county hall next month, he’ll have more than shoes to fill – he’ll have a lot of wall space on the 29th floor, where the manager and the mayor work. While walls lining the corridors have a fistful of plaques honoring the county or Manager George Burgess, the award and recognition overflow from the mayor’s personal collection numbers 202 plaques that will depart with him.
LOOKING ABROAD: Of 19 businesses that the Beacon Council helped move to Miami-Dade County in the past year, 13 are international companies, outgoing council Chairman Calixto Garcia-Velez told representatives of the businesses Friday at the Miami City Club, where each got a key to the county. All told, said Beacon Council President Frank Nero, the council helped create 2,640 jobs here and retain 248 others during the year, adding $88 million capital investment.
NOT YOUR TURN: While Ben Mollere’s term as Beacon Council chairman officially began Friday morning, he stood aside as Mr. Garcia-Velez and Mr. Nero did the honors in signing a memorandum of understanding with the Spain US Chamber of Commerce to help the chamber prepare for incoming trade missions and Spanish firms that move here and attract businesses from Spain. "Ben, you’re not formally sworn in yet," Mr. Nero said. The gavel changes hands this week as the Citibank CEO is replaced by Mr. Mollere, Biltmore Hotel vice president of sales.
BEING HEARD: ISN Telcom, a local wireless and Internet services company, has launched a voice-over Internet protocol utilizing its ipFONE service. "Our goal is to flatout be the market leader," says President Jonathan Lieberman. Founded in 1997, the company says it has more than 30,000 customers for local, long-distance, broadband DSL and wireless services, both residential and business, and six retail wireless stores throughout Florida.
BUSINESS AND TRANSPORTATION: The Building Owners and Managers Association, one of the largest professional associations in the office-building industry, will sponsor a luncheon Oct. 13 at the Rusty Pelican restaurant in Key Biscayne. This month’s guest speakers come from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. Chairman Allen Harper and Vice President Barry Johnson will make a presentation on business development and the transportation support network. Admission is $40 for members and $50 for non-members. There will be a $5 additional charge for walk-ins.
CENTER GOES WIRELESS: Room LinX Inc., a provider of wireless high-speed network links to hotels, is expanding into convention centers. Tuesday, it signed a three-year deal with the James L. Knight Center and the Miami Convention Center, 400 SE Second Ave. They will share revenues from use of high-speed access at the center. RoomLinX also will provide onsite tech support year-round for more than 200 convention days a year.
ITALY IN FILMS: Italy is hosting the second Italian Film Festival to promote its culture and language, starting Friday with a 5:30 p.m. screening of "Non ti Muovere" at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. Afterwards, an opening party will be hosted by the Village of Merrick Park. Films continue until Oct. 13. At 2 p.m. Saturday, a tribute to "La Dolce Vita" by Federico Fellini, a digitally remastered version of the 1960 classic, will be shown at the Cosford Theater at the University of Miami. Details: (305) 447-0233.
PORTS SECURITY: How new security measures at the airport and seaport affect the community is the focus of the season’s first meeting of Miami Today’s International Roundtable. Panelists will be Leonard Rosenberg, attorney with Sandler Travis & Rosenberg; Marie Di Rocco, manager of safety and security for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department; Nelson Oramas, director of security at the Port of Miami; and Thomas S. Winkowski, director of Miami field office operations for the US Customs and Border Protection. The free session, sponsored by the aviation department, is scheduled for 5 p.m. Oct. 14 at Miami International Airport Hotel. Details: Victor Guedez, (305) 358-1008.