Written by Miami Today on April 7, 2005
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NO YOUTHFUL OFFENDERS: More police officers and park rangers are to be deployed in a bid to keep motorized vehicles out of Miami-Dade County’s parks, commissioners decided Tuesday, and clearer warning signs are to be erected. Commissioner Katy Sorenson sought clarification of the wording of an ordinance later approved 8-0 to determine its applicability to younger violators. "I’m a little concerned about outlining tricycles going on grass areas next to the paths because it might just be a safer way to have kids on the grass rather than the asphalt," she said. "But if it’s motorized vehicles, we probably won’t be arresting 3- or 4-year-olds."
POD SQUAD: Miami Beach is crafting a policy that would dictate how long portable storage devices could remain in city neighborhoods. "We’re going to pass an ordinance," said Commissioner Richard Steinberg. The ordinance is to allow residents to use PODs for a week to move or for a little longer for special purposes such as renovations with a permit. Commissioner Jose Smith brought the issue to the commission after noticing several PODs in Beach neighborhoods – including one that he said sat on North Beach Drive for more than three months. "PODs serve a useful role if used for a limited amount of time," Mr. Smith said. "But problems arise when people use them on a more permanent basis."
NEW WORLD, OLD AID: The New World School of the Arts presented Heart of the Arts Awards to three couples Saturday at its Mardi Gras Gala at Parrot Jungle Island. Carmen and Karl Bishopric, Lydia and Burton Harrison and Myrna and Sheldon Palley were honored for helping the 18-year-old school since its beginning. Joining the festivities and receiving loud applause was the first provost, Richard Klein, who headed the school for its first seven years. He came to the dinner from New Rochelle, NY, with his wife, Rhoda.
NEW WORLD, MORE AID: The New World School – a program of the county’s public schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida – raised $200,000 at Saturday’s gala, said David Lawrence, the school’s executive board chairman. That, he said, is $50,000 more than last year.
A PERFECT 10? Miami-Dade County is one of several targets the operators of Medieval Times are considering for a 10th venue, though it would take until at least 2008 before it opened. The experience, which couples re-enactment of jousting and sword-fighting contests with a banquet, operates in eight sites including Kissimmee. Operators have signed an agreement to open a ninth outside Atlanta. "We’re very interested in opening a park in Miami-Dade County," said CFO Eric Chiusolo from the group’s headquarters in Buena Park, CA. "We’re still in the feasibility-study stage. It takes three years from that stage until opening." He refused to discuss possible sites or costs but said a venue here would add 200 jobs to the economy.
TRUCK RUCKUS: Officials will do spot checks on trucks at the Port of Miami starting next month as part of a three-month pilot program to evaluate whether overweight vehicles cause accidents and congestion. Problems that came to light during mediation relating to a boycott last year by truck drivers have prompted port personnel to devise a program with the Florida Department of Transportation. "We have purchased a scale," said port director Charles Towsley, "for the containers exiting the port. The intent of the program is to determine the extent of the problem in terms of the number of containers or the impact of illegal weight. Overweight containers aren’t necessarily illegal. Carriers can have permits for overweight containers from the state for which they pay a premium."
MOVING UP: Florida International University’s College of Business Administration was ranked as one of the nation’s top 25 international business graduate schools in U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Graduate Schools rankings released Monday. The college, rated 23rd last year, moved up to 22nd.
UNITED LEADERSHIP: Univision Channel 23 Vice President Luis Fernandez-Rocha and Macy’s Florida Vice Chairman J. David Scheiner have been named co-chairmen of United Way’s fundraising drive in Miami-Dade County. They will lead a campaign cabinet of volunteers. "We are delighted to have these two leaders on board," said Harve Mogul, president and CEO of United Way of Miami-Dade." Details: www.unitedwaymiami.org.
ETHICS MEASURE: Mirroring procedures prohibiting former county workers from striking deals with their government employer for a prescribed term, new Miami-Dade employees will also be barred for a set period from entering contracts with their former contractor bosses. County commissioners unanimously passed the conflict-of-interest and code of ethics ordinance imposing the moratorium Tuesday. Rebeca Sosa, a co-sponsor, said, "This will ensure there isn’t preference shown for companies from which employees came."
CUSTOMS MOVES: The US Customs & Border Protection complete move of its operations Monday from the Port of Miami to the Miami Free Zone in Doral. The new location centralizes and consolidates all the agency’s operations. The new location also gives the trade community more space. The new mailing address is 2305 NW 107th Ave., Suite 100, Miami 33172. Details: John Casale, (305) 597-4645 or (305) 808-9633.
SELLING SPREE: Brookwood Bayview Investors has sold Brickell Bayview Tower for more than $50 million to America’s Capital Partners of Broward County. It’s the third property in South Florida that Boston holding company Brookwood Financial Partners has sold in as many months. Brookwood bought the 286,341-square-foot, 33-story property two years ago for more than $38 million before the development of Mary Brickell Village, a mixed-use project rising next to the tower. Last month, it announced the sale of the Ponce de Leon building, 2121 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, for $27.1 million. Deals are pending on the Miami Service Center, the Park Center, River Bridge Shopping Center and 999 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
HOOPS AND HORSES: A basketball court at the northeast end of Lummus Park next to stables for the police department’s horses won Miami Historic and Preservation Board approval Tuesday. The 3,400-square-foot park at 360 NW Third St. is the oldest park in the city, formerly a slave plantation. Eleven horse stalls were approved there in January. "I was one of the board members who approved the horse stables, and I am afraid the city will come back again later with a plan for a tennis court," preservation board member Andy Parrish said. Ernest Burkeen, city director of parks, said the city has no other plans or money for the park. "The court is to be built on a current cement slab," he said, "not removing any green space."
EDUCATING WORKERS: Upgrading Miami’s workforce is the topic of a breakfast session of the International Roundtable on April 21 sponsored by Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Miami Today. Panelists include Rudy Crew, county school superintendent; Jaap Donath, Beacon Council vice president for research and strategic planning; and Bill Schmidt, head of the US International Math and Science Study Center at Michigan State University. Miami Today International Editor Michael Hayes will moderate. The free 7:30 a.m. session will be at school board headquarters, 1450 NE Second Ave. RSVP: Victor Guedez, (305) 358-2663.
CORRECTION: In the March 31 edition, a comment by Graham Winick, film coordinator for Miami Beach, that "Miami Vice" would have "a sizable impact on the community" related to economic and global impact rather than the production itself.
CORRECTION: The name of the recently appointed chief operating officer for Carlisle Development Group, Matthew S. Greer, was misspelled in the People column March 17.