Written by Miami Today on November 11, 2004
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
AIRPORT AGREEMENT PENDING: American Airlines and Miami-Dade County officials are working on a draft agreement that would cover cost overruns on construction of Miami International’s North Terminal and keep American Airlines in charge of the project, said Martha Pantin, airline spokeswoman. "We’re working successfully with Dr. (Carlos) Bonzon to move the project forward," she said. Mr. Bonzon, an assistant county manager, became interim aviation director after last week’s resignation of Angela Gittens. Commissioners have amended the 1995 agreement with American Airlines three times, most recently in 2002, when they increased spending by $211 million, bringing the total for the North Terminal to about $1.5 billion.
CHANGE IN COMMAND: US Army Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, former senior military assistant to the secretary of defense, assumed command of US Southern Command Headquarters in Doral on Tuesday. Gen. Craddock is the fourth commanding general since SouthCom moved to Miami in 1997 and the 18th in the history of the command. He replaces Gen. James T. Hill, who announced his retirement July 27. Gen. Hill had led the unified command, which oversees all US military operations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, since August 2002.
TRANSPORTATION ROLE: One of three vacancies has been filled on the Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust, which oversees spending of Miami-Dade’s $17 billion transportation expansion fund. Its newest member is Linda Zilber, a former Bay Harbor Islands mayor. She replaces Mike Abrams, who resigned Sept. 30 when he moved outside his northeastern Miami-Dade district. The next trust meeting is at 10 a.m. Dec. 2 in the Miami-Dade County Commission Chambers, 111 NW First St. Details: (305) 375-3481.
HISPANIC MARKETING: Juan Martinez, the Florida Marlins’ Hispanic marketing manager, is to explain how companies can better target Hispanics at a Nov. 18 Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce seminar at the Radisson Miami, 1601 Biscayne Blvd. Businesses interested in the market should understand Hispanic subgroups and their different cultures and perceptions, he said. "A generic, all-encompassing promotion has limitations." The Marlins have separate marketing departments for the general market and the Hispanic market, he said. Details: www.greatermiami.com.
MARLINS PROMOS: The team’s Hispanic promotions include game-day events for the independence days of Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The four groups, the largest Hispanic communities in South Florida, love baseball and celebrating their heritage, Mr. Martinez said. In addition, the team hosts a Hispanic week that profiles Latin American players and offers giveaways like straw hats. The Hispanic marketing department does its own advertising instead of translating from English. "What’s tongue in cheek in English doesn’t play well in Spanish," he said. "We like to push the envelope."
HAIL TO THE CHIEF: Sister Linda Bevilacqua will be inaugurated as president at Barry University at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Health and Sports Center. She led Gwynedd-Mercy College in Pennsylvania as president from 1993 to 2002. She was a 17-year-old student when she attended what was then Barry College for Women. The 64-year-old school is at 11300 NE Second Ave. Details: (305) 899-4090.
BIGGER CARGO FLEET: Miami-based Arrow Cargo added a DC10 to its fleet after gaining certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. Arrow, which transports more than 1.2 million pounds of freight daily to Latin America, may add three to five DC10s to its aging fleet of DC8s to have a combination of large and fuel-efficient aircraft, officials said. The company decided to add the planes after it moved out of bankruptcy reorganization in June. It is to use its first DC10 between Miami and Central America, said President Frank Visconti.
PINEAPPLE GALA: A Nov. 19 fundraising event at Homestead-Miami Speedway is to feature an auction, a dinner and appearances by NASCAR drivers. Proceeds from the Pineapple Gala, an annual event, are to benefit the new Homestead Hospital, which is to open in late 2006 on the north side of Campbell Drive. Last year’s gala raised more than $140,000 for children’s services at the hospital. Details: (786) 243-8054.
BIOTECH CONFERENCE: Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development group, is to hold a life-sciences forum Tuesday at Renaissance Tampa Hotel International Plaza. The forum will focus on building the state’s life-sciences industry, a key element of the organization’s plan to diversify Florida’s economy. Donn Szaro, global health-sciences director at Ernst & Young, is to speak about the potential of biotechnology. Panels from North, Central and South Florida are to lead discussions of the challenges their regions face in building life-sciences clusters. Details: www.eflorida.com.
REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK: The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, a forum for commercial real estate, is to hold a morning conference on future trends in commercial real estate Wednesday (11/17) in Davie. The conference is to begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Signature Grand Conference Center. Henry Fishkind, president of Fishkind & Associates, a firm of Florida economic consultants, is to discuss trends that could have an impact on South Florida’s economy, a spokesman said. Details: www.naiopsfl.com.
JOBS FOR DISABLED: Gov. Jeb Bush on Friday opened a countywide campaign to find jobs for people with disabilities. Non-hiring of handicapped leaves thousands jobless and, activists say, costs the state $8 billion to $10 billion annually. Details: South Florida Workforce information officer Marie Bertot, (305) 594-7615, Ext. 274.
SOCK HOP: ISACO International Corp., a manufacturer and distributor of hosiery, socks, intimate apparel and sleepwear, expanded its facilities at MIA Word Distribution Center, 2525-A NW 72nd Ave., from 39,723 square feet to 101,266. "Being close to the airport facilitates the pickup of their cargo coming in," said Ron Berger, landlord broker at CB Richard Ellis. ISACO, which owns a building at 3651 NW 79th Ave. in Hialeah, distributes to stores such as Kmart, Wal Mart and Target.
LAYING TILES: In dominoes, as with everything in Miami, insurers are lucky. Amid the din of clattering tiles, Daniel and Luis Perdomo of AllState Insurance beat Ray Mauri and Luis Noriega of the Port of Miami to win the Florida Foreign Trade Association’s first tournament, Saturday on Brickell Avenue. The brothers formed one of three teams the insurer entered into the 11-team event. It was an afternoon of doubles – the youngest player was 22, the oldest 77 and the set, a Cuban one, ran up to double-9.
FAIR CITY: North Miami’s Enjoy Business and Living Fair highlights the city’s business opportunities, services, infrastructure and education. At a kickoff luncheon at 11 a.m. Nov. 12 at the Griffing Center, 12220 Griffing Blvd., Robert Henderson, author of The New Underground Railroad-Accessing Economic Empowerment, will speak. The fair begins at 10 the next morning at the Griffing Center.
HAULOVER OVERHAUL: A $200,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant will improve Haulover Park’s promenade trail in Miami Beach. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection administers the conservation fund. The US Department of the Interior and the National Park Service puts in the money. "Haulover Park attracts 1 million visitors annually," said Vivian Rodriguez, county parks and recreation director. "This grant will help us improve and beautify the trail, benefiting our patrons and tourists who frequent the park."