2 MORE SISTER PORTS: Miami-Dade County officials has signed International Sister Seaport agreements with the ports of Liverpool, United Kingdom, and Valparaiso, Chile. Implemented by the county commission in 1998, the Sister Seaports program is meant to promote economic growth between the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade and ports around the world. To date, the county has partnerships with 22 world ports.
COAST GUARD CHANGE: The Seventh District of the US Coast Guard, headquartered in Miami, will undergo a change of command June 12. District commander Rear Admiral James "Jay" S. Carmichael will be relieved by Harvey Johnson Jr., director of operations policy at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington. Rear Admiral Carmichael will head to Washington to serve as military assistant to Secretary Tom Ridge of the Department of Homeland Security - a new position whose details have not been disclosed. The Seventh District reaches from South Carolina through Florida and into Puerto Rico.
WESTWARD HO: Rojo Rodami LLC plans to build 140,000 square feet of office and warehouse space for sale to small businesses locating in Miami-Dade's Airport West area. The company this month paid $3.8 million for a seven-acre parcel at Northwest 58th Street and 97th Avenue in the Doral Commerce Park after forecasting demand growth for office and warehouse space in that area. "Despite the war and the economy," said Dario Navarro, Rojo Rodami principal, "the future remains bright for this market."
BARRY ACCREDITED: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business on Tuesday awarded full accreditation to Barry University's Andreas School of Business, recognizing all graduate and undergraduate business programs at the Miami Shores university under its international standards. Only about a third of all business schools in the US are accredited by the AACSB, and Barry is the only Catholic university in Florida to have gained the recognition. Details: (305) 899-3195.
NON-PROFIT AID: Non-profits short of cash can learn about a US Small Business Administration financing tool April 17 and 18. Seminars on the 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program will be held at the Coconut Grove Convention Center, 2700 S Bayshore Dr. While the SBA offers 7(a) loans of up to $2 million, it can guaranty up to $1 million. Loans of up to $150,000 are guarantied up to 85%. Loans greater than $150,000 are backed 75%. Details: (561) 833-3366.
FREE TRADE: The International Roundtable on April 24 will feature a countdown to the Free Trade Area of the Americas, assessing Miami's battle to secure the region's secretariat. Panelists are Ambassador V. Manuel Rocha, vice chair of the trade ministerial meeting for Florida FTAA Inc.: Ambassador Ambler Moss, director of the Dante B. Fascell North-South Center at the University of Miami; J. Antonio Villamil, vice chairman of Florida FTAA and chairman of the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors; and Harold (Ed) Patricoff, county commission representative to the Jay Malina International Trade Consortium. The session, sponsored by the Beacon Council and Miami Today, will be at 5 p.m. at the Sheraton Biscayne Bay Hotel, 495 Brickell Ave. Reservations required. Details: Techy Fernandez, (305) 358-2663.
MEETING MOVED: The Miami City Commission meeting scheduled for April 24 has been moved to May 1. Regular meetings have resumed at the recently renovated City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive.
NEW EWM DIVISION: Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Commercial has launched a hotel brokerage division to help market and sell hotel and resort properties in South Florida, the company announced. Company veteran Jeff Cohen will head the division, which will help local and international companies buy and sell properties in one of the world's top resort destinations. The division will also help develop marketing strategies for prospective sellers. Mr. Cohen, who has sold more than a dozen hotels in the past 18 months, will work with executives Peter Keuter, Howard Willis and Emile Chehab in the new division.
UPS PLANES DIVERTED: UPS has stopped flying its delivery planes to Venezuela and Peru because of dwindling revenues from those countries, said Tom O'Malley, vice president of UPS Air Cargo for Latin America. The company has contracted with other carriers to deliver packages sent to Caracas and Lima from the US. Mr. O'Malley said the planes are now being flown to other regions. He said the change could be temporary. "When Asia was in crisis in the late 1990s, we had to reduce capacity," he said. "Now we are increasing capacity in that region."
OVERTOWN HOMES: BAME Development Corp. of South Florida Inc. has begun building 40 two-story homes in Overtown. Ranging from $102,000 to $115,000, units will have three to four bedrooms. The new homes are between Northwest Fifth and Sixth avenues and Sixth and Eighth streets near downtown and Metrorail. The project would have a combination of market-rate and affordable units. Applications to pre-qualify to buy a unit are available. Details: (305) 373 7233.
REVITALIZATION WORKSHOP: The Miami-Dade County Department of Planning & Zoning will hold a workshop to plan revitalization of Model City, which includes Liberty City and Brownsville. Assisting will be the South Florida Regional Planning Counsel and professional designers. The workshop at 9 a.m. May 17 at the Joseph Caleb Center's library, 2200 NW 54th St. is open to the public. A preliminary design plan based on input at the workshop would be ready by May 23. Details: (305) 375-2800.
SOUTO RECUPERATING: Miami-Dade Commissioner Javier Souto had quadruple bypass surgery last week to clear a blockage in the coronary arteries, he said in a written statement. "The surgery was very successful and my doctors believe that my recovery should be very quick," he wrote. The statement came following rumors that he had suffered a heart attack or a stroke.
MORTGAGE PROGRAM: Miami Dade Community College will offer a Mortgage Finance College-Credit Certificate Program this summer. Funded partly by the Fannie Mae Foundation, the program develops entry-level professionals to work in mortgage finance with an emphasis in affordable housing. Another goal is to increase the role and level of minorities in the industry. Details: (305)-237-3733 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOBBYIST FINED: After the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust found probable cause that lobbyist Sylvester Lukis did not follow proper vendor-representation procedures, the Miami lawyer pleaded no contest and agreed to pay a fine of $500, a trust report showed. He also accepted a suspension from lobbying county officials and staff for 30 days. The trust last month ruled that Mr. Lukis was an unregistered lobbyist when he met with the county's director of public works on behalf of Edd Helms group.
HELPING HANDS: United Way of Miami-Dade is renewing its three-year commitment to Hands On Miami, a non-profit volunteer referral network that provides manpower to about 400 community service organizations throughout Miami-Dade County. Hands On Miami coordinators assess volunteers' skill levels, interests and schedules to better match people with particular community missions. Details: (305) 646-7200 or visit www.HandsOnMiami.org.
GOVERNMENT EXPERTISE: Spillis Candela DMJM in Coral Gables, an architecture, engineering and interior design firm, named Sandy O'Neil vice president in charge of government liaison and community relations. The former senior policy advisor to Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas has 15 years of consulting experience with South Florida architectural and engineering firms. Parent DMJM Design network is part of AECOM Technology Corp., a technical services organization with 15,500 employees and 150 locations.
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.