Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
JOBLESS FIGURES UP:
Unemployment in the Miami Metropolitan Area shot up from 5.5% to 5.8% from March
to April, the US Department of Labor reports, while the number of persons employed
in the area dropped 1% to 1,009,500. The unemployment percentage is the highest
in the state. The state's total unemployment was 3.8%, according to the report.
The Miami figure had stood at 5.4% unemployed. The April 2000 figure in Miami
was 5.5%. The nation's unemployment figure in April was 4.2%. Six of the nine
areas with joblessness above 10% were in California's Central Valley.
BRAZILIAN SISTER IN TRANSIT: Miami-Dade County commissioners
resolved Tuesday to pursue a "Sister Transit" relationship with Curitiba,
the capital of Paraná, Brazil. The relationship will allow the county, which recently
sent a delegation to examine the city's innovative transit system, to share technologies
with the city. Curitiba is internationally acclaimed for urban planning and innovative
solutions to metropolitan congestion. Its integrated transit system allows passengers
to make their own itineraries, and its busing system is called a "surface
subway" because it links suburban communities with the downtown area through
exclusive "express bus only" traffic lanes.
MORE FLOWER POWER: The US Department of Agriculture
and the Miami-Dade Aviation Department last week began constructing an inspection
building at Miami International Airport that will permit handling of more perishable
cargo. The $18 million building, financed by the aviation department, will consolidate
four separate inspection operations in one spot and allow the agriculture department
to expand its operations that clear air cargo imports, including a high volume
of cut flowers and other perishables. Statistics show the airport handles 90%
of all US flower imports, a business greater than $500 million annually.
GREEN POWER: The South Florida Regional Planning Council
is spearheading a workshop on community greening Saturday at St. Thomas University.
The 31/2-hour session will target Everglades restoration and water management,
tree canopies, local greening efforts and the resources available to residents
who want to start a community greening program. The free program starts at 9 a.m.
at the St. Thomas Hall of Fame, 16400 NW 32nd Ave. Details: (954) 985-4416.
TAXED OUT: About 580,000 retailers statewide are to
be mailed details late this month on how to handle the state's sales tax holiday
July 28-Aug. 5. During the period, for the fourth year shoppers won't pay state
or local sales taxes on clothing, accessories or some shoes costing $50 or less.
This year some school supplies costing $10 or less are also tossed into the taxless
package. About $25.7 million in state taxes and $2.8 million in local sales taxes
will go by the boards that week. The state promises a tax holiday hotline later
this month at (800) 352-3671. Details: myflorida.com.
COLONIAL HOME: Colonial Bank announced it has completed
the move of its Miami Beach branch from 301 to 901 Arthur Godfrey Road, former
site of a Blockbuster Video outlet. The new location, promoters said, features
more than 7,300 square feet, walk-up windows, night deposit services, safe deposit
boxes and a 24-hour ATM. The bank is working on the final phase - a drive-through
facility recently approved by the City of Miami Beach's design and review board.
NEW TITLE TITLE: Universal Title Insurors of Florida
is being folded into a cluster of Miami-based Lennar Corp. title agencies and
title insurance companies that are now called North American Title Co. Lennar
folded them all together last week. Nationally, Lennar says, the various companies
provided title insurance and closing services for more than 110,000 residential
and commercial real estate deals last year.
BRIDGING TUITION GAPS: James W. Bridges, who was the
first African-American president of the Dade County Medical Association, will
be honored at a reception and dinner at 6:30 Saturday with proceeds to help students
at Meharry Medical College, his alma mater. The dinner is at the Biscayne Bay
Marriott, 1633 N Bayshore Drive. Details: (305) 758-8271.
MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE: The Greater Miami Chamber of
Commerce's new Community Development Council gave its first Management Excellence
Award this week to Maria Pellerin, executive director of Carrfour Corp. "Largely
due to her efforts," said J. Ed Bell, a chamber executive committee vice
chairman, "Carrfour has made significant improvements to urban neighborhoods."
FLYING HIGHER: The number of air passengers using
Miami International Airport inched ahead in April, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department
reports. Total passengers for the month were a shade above 2.9 million, a gain
of about a third of 1% over April 2000. For calendar 2001, however, passengers
are still down 1.19%. The drop is on the international side, where passengers
are down a hair more than 3%. Domestic passenger totals for the year are up almost
a half a percentage point.
KOREA TRADE LINKS: Nine Korean manufacturers will
be at the Hotel Sofitel from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today (6/7) seeking trading partners.
Participants include Sungil Telecom Co., which makes home caller ID devices and
net interface cards; Shin Chang Medical Co., which makes catheter needles, and
Nais Battery Co., which makes motorcycle batteries. The visit was organized by
the Korea Trade Mission Center. Details: (305) 374-4648.