Written by Miami Today on November 15, 2012
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REKINDLED: Fans of the made-in-Miami spy show "Burn Notice," take heart. USA Network has ordered 13 new shows for the series’ seventh season. The show’s owner, TVM Productions, recently agreed to pay $450,000 per year to continue filming in the former Coconut Grove Exhibition Center, which the City of Miami owns and wants to turn into a waterfront park. The lease extension runs through Oct. 31, 2013.
PARK SEASONING: The Miami-Dade County Recreation and Cultural Affairs Committee Tuesday approved a 10-year contract with the Bill Bird Marina Restaurant at Haulover Park, expected to net the county $1,716,000. If the county exercises four five-year renewal options, the cumulative value would total $7.48 million. The county commission next votes on the contract. In a request for proposals, Florida SE Inc. submitted what was considered the best approach for the restaurant, which has a view of the Intercoastal. Florida SE is a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants Inc., which owns and operates Bahama Breeze Restaurants and a majority of Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Seasons 52 restaurants in Florida. FSE proposed to operate a Seasons 52 on the site, with a menu that would change four times a year. FSE is expected to invest $6.3 million in the restaurant at no cost to the county.
MILITARY DISCOUNTS: The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department is trying to expand discounts to active duty military personnel and veterans with service-connected disabilities. Currently, military personnel stationed in the county get 25% discounts at county golf facilities except Crandon Park Golf Course and 25% discounts for adult and child admissions at ZooMiami year-round, among other things. The proposed new discounts would offer free parking at parks that charge a fee; golf discounts of 50% weekdays and 25% weekends, with the continued exception at Crandon; and a 50% discount on ZooMiami admission. The parks department calculated the discounts would cost $30,000 a year. The county Recreation and Cultural Affairs Committee approved the measure Tuesday. The county commission must approve the discounts before they can take effect.
SPEAKING SPANISH: Florida International University is continuing negotiations with Qingdao University, south of Beijing, China, in establishing a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. Provost and Executive Vice President Douglas Wartzok previously told Miami Today the university has dual degree agreements with several dozen universities around the world and every couple of months it reviews another possible dual degree agreement.