MUSEUM CLASSROOMS: Miami-Dade School Superintendent Rudy Crew told the Miami City Commission last week that planned school programs included teaching in what is now city parkland. "We're building a program with City of Miami police to create a police academy in schools," he said. "We're also planning for a career academy where students can attend internship programs within 12 to 15 of our high schools." He told commissioners the school system also wants to hold classes within Miami's new art and science museums when they're built in Bicentennial Park. "It's not creating new classrooms within the museums," he said, "but having a joint use of that space."
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NO FAVORITES: Local contractors may have to wait another year to regain preferential treatment when bidding for City of Miami projects. Commissioners voted last week to extend a suspension of local preference that began last February. Before that, the suspended ordinance allowed local contractors whose bids came within 10% of the lowest bid to match that bid. The vote to maintain a level playing field for another year passed unanimously on first reading. The final vote is due Feb. 23.
SOUNDS FAMILIAR: The names are official. Miami commissioners last week formally changed the name of Southeast First Avenue between Southeast Eighth Street and Southeast 12th Street to Brickell Plaza. Although finally formalized, Brickell Plaza signs have been up for years. Commissioners also renamed Northwest Second Avenue between 73rd and 77th streets Pope John Paul II Avenue.
HOMECOMING: Lauren Stover, Eastern field director for transportation security affairs for the US Transportation Security Administration, will become an assistant director for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department on March 13 in charge of communications with a role in management of security. The 23-year veteran of Miami-Dade County government returns to the department after three years with the federal agency.
HOUSING INITIATIVE: Up to 650 acres in the Homestead Air Reserve Base could be developed as workforce housing under a request by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who last week ordered County Manager George Burgess to list county-owned sites of an acre or more where workforce housing could be built to meet growing needs. He also listed county land adjacent to the Civic Center west of downtown Miami. The mayor asked for a list of available sites by April 14 in a report detailing zoning, funding sources and a timeline for development. He defined the target group for the housing as "teachers, day care workers, and service industry workers and generally anyone making 60% to 120% of the area median income" of $46,350 per family.
UM LEADER RETIRING: The University of Miami's chief business and financial officer, David Lieberman, who is responsible for a staff of 700, this week announced a May 31 retirement after 28 years. He is to work part-time for the university for a year as senior vice president for business and finance emeritus. He has just been named a director for BankAtlantic and has been a director of Foamex International and the Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. He earlier spent 12 years in auditing and consulting divisions of Arthur Andersen and held several posts in private industry. A search is to be conducted for a successor.
TRAVEL JOBS RISE: Tourism not only brings travelers to the area, it brings jobs, said William D. Talbert III, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau as he noted that more than 102,000 people now work in leisure and hospitality jobs in Miami-Dade County, up 4.7% from a year ago.
EN MIAMI: A production crew was to be in Miami this week filming a 30-minute segment for "Destinos," a travel show on CNN en Español featuring family attractions in Miami. The crew is to complete the second portion of filming Feb. 23 and 25. The show is to air in the US and Canada, throughout Latin America and in Japan and Spain. It has an audience of 13 million in Latin America, 3 million in the US and 3 million in Canada.
FOR KIDS, TOO: Michelle and George Zavatsky, owner/author/publisher of the Kids Love Florida guidebook (www.kidslovetravel.com), were to be in Miami this week to gather information for the 2006 edition for distribution throughout Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee.
AND FOR CELEBS: Travel Editor Nelson Branco of Weekly Scoop Magazine is to be in town this week researching celebrity hotspots for a story for the Canadian entertainment magazine's spring edition.
FOXY CHEF: The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is partnering with South Beach Wine Food Festival Chef Hedy Goldsmith of restaurant Nemo on Feb. 18 to promote the festival and Miami's culinary scene on the popular morning TV show "Fox & Friends."
HONORS FOR BANKER: Ocean Bank President and CEO Jose Concepcion is to be named the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Banker of the Year at the organization's 11th annual Banker's Luncheon on March 17 at Bongo's Cuban CafÈ, 601 Biscayne Blvd. Details: (305) 534-1903.
ADJOINING UP: Miami-based Adjoined Consulting Inc., founded in 2000 by Rodney Rogers, is being acquired by Kanbay International Inc. in Rosemont, IL, for $95.7 million cash and $69.3 million in Kanbay stock. Mr. Rogers stays on as a senior managing director at Kanbay. Adjoined's 500-plus employees have more than 200 Global 2000 clients with management consulting, technology services and outsourcing. Kanbay, founded in 1989, has 5,200 employees.
LEADING THE WAY: The University of Miami College of Engineering on Tuesday launched an institute to serve as an international clearinghouse for best practices in leadership. The new Johnson A. Edosomwan Leadership Institute will offer a leadership certificate course June 5-8 and a certificate program for experienced executives July 24-29 and will co-sponsor the first Leadership Best Practices Conference Nov. 3. Mr. Edosomwan, who chairs JJA Consultants, is an alumnus of the college.
MEDICAL TRADE MISSION: The Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency is working with the county's Jay Malina International Trade Consortium to mount a medical trade mission to South Korea coinciding with the Korea International Medical & Hospital Equipment Show March 16-19. Mission members will also meet with medical equipment suppliers: Details: Rafael Esteban Martinez-Pratts, Korea Trade Center Miami, (305) 374-4648.
$10 MILLION AWARD: A Miami circuit court jury has awarded $10 million in damages to the widow of a pilot who died when his poorly maintained plane crashed in Guyana seven years ago. Jurors found that Certified Engines Unlimited, based at Opa-locka Airport, was negligent in repairing the engine of a Cessna 206 flown by Derek Leung. Podhurst Orseck of Miami represented widow Valerie Leung.