Written by Miami Today on June 16, 2005
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
GOLF DEVELOPER: The City of Miami continues to seek a developer for a four-star hotel on the city-owned Melreese Golf Course, 1802 NW 37th Ave. The city has been searching for a developer for the 135-acre land near Miami International Airport since last year. The project would include a first-class hotel with fewer than 349 rooms and a clubhouse and pro shop at the 18-hole golf course. Proposals are due Sept. 7. Details: Meredith J. Nation, (305) 400-5061 or email@example.com.
HIRING PLANS: A third of employers across Miami-Dade County say they plan to recruit staff in the third quarter, results from a study out this week show. That’s almost twice as many who said they would be hiring between April and June but half as many as in Broward County, where employers plan to expand their workforces from July to September. The Manpower study showed 31% of the 16,000 employers polled nationally anticipated new hires. The Florida average is 36%.
HONOR HELPS: The Miami Museum of Science & Planetarium is using the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring to boost its mentoring program for underprivileged youth. "We are trying to increase the pipeline by getting more kids into college and seeing them graduate," said Judy A. Brown, senior vice president of programs. The award includes $10,000 and a certificate given by the National Science Foundation for the White House. The funds, she said, support college students’ salaries for summer jobs at the museum.
GAS AGREEMENT: Florida International University and the National Agency for Hydrocarbons of Colombia signed an agreement last month to explore and develop Colombia’s oil industry, said Harlan Sands, executive director of FIU’s Hemispheric Center for Environmental Technology and the Center for Technology and Energy of the Americas. Mr. Sands and Jose Armando Zamora, director of the National Agency for Hydrocarbons of Colombia, signed the agreement. The goal is to help the Colombian government set up an agency to maximize value of the country’s natural resources through a better regulatory agency, said Mr. Sands. Funded by the Colombian National Agency for Hydrocarbons, the university’s research entities will lead the effort.
FINANCIAL ACQUISITION: A subsidiary of Swiss company EFG Bank has agreed to acquire Dresdner Lateinamerika Financial Advisors for an undisclosed price. Victor M. Echevarria, chairman and chief executive of EFG Capital International, said the company signed an agreement Monday to acquire DLFA and the transaction is expected to close in August. The acquisition, Mr. Echevarria said, will enable the company to expand its geographical coverage. "They are more active in Central America than we are," he said. "We have been more focused on South America and Mexico." EFG Capital will absorb all 25 employees from DLFA, boosting its headcount to 73. Mr. Echevarria said EFG Capital will continue to keep an eye out for other acquisition opportunities.
AIRPORT LOBBYING: Representatives of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce returned from a Washington trip this week cautiously optimistic about receiving funds for airport security. Lobbying for $123 million, chamber members are seeking help to purchase explosive-detection systems and hire additional customs inspectors to speed up processing time. "We have been receiving a broader recognition of the problem at Miami International Airport," said Lee Sandler, chairman of the chamber’s advocacy committee. Mr. Sandler said the airport has to make better use of existing resources. "It is not an easy solution to the problem," he said.
NO LIGHTING FLYERS: You can’t smoke on airplanes, so naturally, you can’t take lighters beyond security checkpoints at the nation’s airports or take into airplanes in checked or carry-on baggage. The Transportation Security Administration has banned all lighters and added them to the agency’s prohibited list. Banned lighters include, for example, those that are butane, absorbed-fuel (Zippo-type), electric/battery-powered and novelties.
TESTING EXPLOSIVES DETECTION: The Transportation Security Administration installed an explosives-detection trace portal machine at Miami International Airport to detect concealed explosives using puffs of air. Miami is one of 14 airports chosen to test the device. TSA screeners will direct selected passengers to step into the portal where they will remain for several seconds while puffs of air are released. The portal analyzes the air for traces of explosives. In Miami, the machine is located at the passenger security checkpoint in Concourse E.
NEW WORLD VISITS OLD: Four students of downtown’s New World School of the Arts are taking one-man shows to the Edinburgh International Festival in August. A fundraising performance of the collection, titled "Cheaper Than Therapy," is to be staged at GableStage at the Biltmore Hotel on Tuesday, ahead of the foursome’s departure to Scotland on Aug. 4. Collin Palomares of Coral Gables will perform "Ad Infinitum," West Kendall resident Luis Sosa will perform "Jackpot!" Los Angeles resident Miska Kajanus will perform "Happy Man" and Jupiter resident Michael Scirrotto will perform "Dancing With Myself." Details: (786) 344-8541 or www.luissosa.com.
BIOTECH MEETING: Palm Beach will host the Scripps/Oxford International Biotechnology Conference Nov. 13-15 at the Breakers Resort Hotel. Meetings will focus on advances in research on neurodegenerative diseases of aging and technologies for drug discovery. The Scripps Research Institute, one of the world’s largest independent biomedical research organizations, is constructing an economic development cluster in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research in South Florida. Details: www.scripps.edu/florida/conference.
FRAUD ARRESTS: Ten of 28 people arrested in Florida this month during a crackdown on workers’ compensation fraud came from Miami-Dade County. During a three-day sweep statewide, eight individuals from Miami and two from Hialeah and Homestead were picked up. The suspects are John Carrera, Hector Gonzalez, Alina Jones, Jorge Lara, Jay Marks, Carlos Trejos, Adolfo Villaraos and Jorge Zaragozi of Miami; Modesto Fernandez of Hialeah; and James Vergho of Homestead.
ARTS TIES: International links in Miami’s world of arts and culture will be the June 23 topic of the International Roundtable. Panelists will be Laura Bruney, executive director of the Arts & Business Council of Miami; Marialaura Leslie, chief of information and outreach for the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs; Al Milano, executive director of the Miami Performing Arts Center Foundation; and Rosa Sugrañes, chairwoman of the Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Council and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. The free 5 p.m. session at the J.W. Marriott, 1109 Brickell Ave., will be hosted by Miami Today and the J.W. Marriott. RSVP: Victor Guedez, (305) 358-2663.