Written by Miami Today on September 7, 2006
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
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CIRCLE PLAN STILL A MYSTERY: A federal plan for the Miami Circle is due to be unveiled in mid-October after September completion. "They are getting closer to completing the draft plan, but it’s a long process," said Terri Urbanowski, project manager for the National Park Service. Park officials are working to determine who would manage the site and how and the impact on the area if the circle were made part of Biscayne National Park. The Miami Circle, discovered in 1998 during a preconstruction dig at the mouth of the Miami River, is believed to be 2,000 years old. The circle of 24 holes cut into limestone bedrock, put on the National Register of Historic Places in February 2002, is under a protective limestone cover.
BOGUS-CONTRACTOR COMPLAINTS FEW: An investigation by the Miami-Dade County Building Code Compliance Office found no relationship between the 256% increase in contractor complaints from April to June and a licensing scam that affected thousands of county residents this month, said Jennifer Messemer, compliance-office spokeswoman. Of the 439 complaints filed in that period, only four were for contractors who obtained fraudulent licenses from county employees, she said. The bulk of complaints can be attributed to unlicensed contractors taking advantage of post-hurricane repair opportunities after the 2005 storm season, she said, or properly licensed contractors who failed to fulfill their agreements.
TOURISM TO HISTORY: Not everyone leaving a job gets the sendoff Elizabeth Williams did as she left the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, where she had headed the Visitor Industry Council since 1995, to become executive director of the Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida Inc. Bureau President and CEO William D. Talbert III said, "There just aren’t enough good words to say about her." Well-wishers included Larry Rice, Visitor Industry Council board chairman; T. Willard Fair, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Miami; and Antonia Williams-Gary, executive director of Alonzo Mourning Charities.
HEALTH TOURISM FAIR: The new Health Tourism International Chamber of Commerce will hold a health tourism fair Sept. 12-14 at the Sheraton Miami Mart Hotel. The fair will feature Miami-area specialists and their services to make up "a mix of the best in medical facilities and tourism options," said Garis L. Silega, MD, chamber chairman and CEO. The organization offers medical packages, such as executive physicals, for people from other countries who come here for medical treatment. Details: (305) 461-1400 or email@example.com.
UPBEAT: Eduardo Marturet officially takes up the baton for a five-year appointment as music director and conductor of the 80-member Miami Symphony Orchestra. "I am glad that I had an entire season to familiarize myself with this august body of exceptional musicians, and to continue – and even expand – the work begun by my friend, Manuel Ochoa," Mr. Marturet said. Mr. Ochoa, orchestra founder and conductor for 16 seasons, chose Mr. Marturet, one of South America’s most prominent conductors, last year as the orchestra’s first associate principal conductor. The board made the formal appointment following Mr. Ochoa’s death at age 80.
WELCOME ABOARD: The Carlos Albizu University Foundation added two members to its board. Adib Eden, president of New World Broadcasting Inc., and Nelson Zayas, sales director of Local Group Sales for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, will work with the board to help organize fundraising endeavors and special events. Carlos Albizu University is a private university in Doral that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology, education and business.
MOVING TO BAY HARBOR: Evelyn Framer and Meri Framer-Zidel, brokers for Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, have moved from Miami Beach to an office in Bay Harbor at 1055 Kane Concourse.
NETWORKING IN HONG KONG: The Association of Bi-National Chambers of Commerce is sending members on a mission departing from Miami on Nov. 27 to Hong Kong for the World Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Expo, an annual event for small and mid-sized businesses to explore international market opportunities. Those interested in participating must book and pay $1,160 plus a $50 registration fee at least six weeks in advance. Details: (305) 365-7247.
PEREZ TAKES CHARGE: Jorge Perez, CEO and chairman of The Related Group, is new chairman of the Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Council, replacing Carlos Migoya. Mr. Perez has been a member since 1999, serving as the first vice chairman for the past five years. The Cultural Affairs Council is a 15-member volunteer advisory board appointed by the county commission to promote opportunities for artists and cultural organizations.
CONSTRUCTION TRAINING: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and South Florida Workforce received $500,000 for the Florida reBuilds Initiative, a program launched by the Agency for Workforce Innovation to recruit and train workers for one of nine construction trades. Currently, about 13,000 jobs are available in these areas statewide.
CHAMBER TURNING 12: The South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 12th anniversary with keynote speaker Donna Shalala, University of Miami president. A luncheon is scheduled for noon Sept. 29 at the Coral Gables Hyatt, 220 Alhambra Plaza. The chamber has more than 1,000 members. Lunch is $50 for members, $65 for others. Details (305) 534-1903.
NEW HOSPITAL CEO: Ron Bierman, 54, Monday was named CEO of Hialeah Hospital, effective Sept. 11. He was CEO of Parkway Regional Medical Center. Both are owned by Tenet Healthcare Corp. The move is the latest in a domino effect triggered in April when Tenet named Ralph A. Aleman its Miami-Dade Broward Health Network vice president, moving him from CEO of Palmetto General Hospital, also in Hialeah. To fill that gap, Tenet moved Ana Mederos from the Hialeah Hospital CEO post to Palmetto. Mr. Bierman earlier had been CEO of hospitals in the Keys, Kentucky and Pennsylvania and at St. Francis Hospital in Miami Beach.
CALLING ALL MEMORIES The Biltmore School, oldest operating preschool in Miami, is turning 80. School officials and parents are on a quest to document the former Playhouse Country Day School’s eight-decade history and ask that anyone with photos, memories or information contact Gina Romero at (305) 266-4666 or Jennifer Tisthammer at (305) 444-9192. The school will host its anniversary gala at the Omni Colonnade Hotel in Coral Gables on Oct. 7.
CORRECTION: An Aug. 24 article should have listed the title for Jarret Haynes as chief operating officer of the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts.