ROUND TWO: The Morningside Civic Association is trying again with Miami's zoning board to block a major use special permit for Morningside Developers LLC to build a nine-story, 92-foot building at 5301-5501 Biscayne Blvd. that would have 105 residences and 11,994 square feet of offices. The board was to hear the issue Feb. 27 but postponed it to let members read transcripts of a December 2004 meeting at which the board granted the permit. Residents appealed and city commissioners denied the permit in March 2005, but the 11th Circuit Court quashed the city's ruling and returned the issue to the zoning board. The 7 p.m. Monday meeting will be at city hall, 3500 Pan American Dr.
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NO FAVORITES: A final vote to suspend for a second year preferences to local contractors bidding for city capital-improvement work is to go before Miami commissioners today (3/9). The suspended ordinance allowed local contractors whose bids came within 10% of the lowest bid to match the bid.
ON THE TRAIL: The Virginia Key Beach Park Trust is meeting today (3/9) at Simpson Park, 55 SW 17th Rd., to discuss the interpretative nature trail and improvements to the existing nature trails at Virginia Key Beach. "The environmental aspect and ecological element that include the park's nature trails are very important to Virginia Key Beach Park," said Judi Hamilton, trust marketing and media director.
ON THE TRAIL OF CASH: Miami's Department of Parks and Recreation is going before city commissioners today (3/9) to ask them to let City Manager Joe Arriola seek $200,000 from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Recreational Trails Program to improve the Virginia Key nature trail and add a section.
PARKS LAND: Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones is to ask the commission today (3/9) to rename Northwest Sixth Avenue from 62nd to 71st streets to Rosa Parks Avenue.
COUNSELING CASH: Miami's Department of Community Development is asking city commissioners today (3/9) to give the Carrie P. Meek Foundation $100,000 to counsel homebuyers in western downtown, Overtown, Wynwood, Model City and Little Haiti.
SQUARE DEAL: Miami commissioners today (3/9) are being asked to accept a plat for Lafayette Square along Northeast 78th and 79th streets between First and Second avenues. Lafayette Square has 101,903 square feet suitable for 302 apartments and four townhouses.
SHINING STAR: Customers of expedia.com, an online travel service, have rated the Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne the No. 1 luxury five-star hotel - and the No. 1 hotel in any category - in the US in a just-released survey of customer satisfaction in the past year.
IN WITH THE OLD: The City of Coral Gables has hired Kara Noelle Kautz, formerly an associate architect with R.J. Heisenbottle Architects in Miami, as city historic-preservation officer. She will oversee the Historical Resources Department and city preservation programs. She has been involved in restoration of historic buildings including the Overtown Lyric Theatre, the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts and Vizcaya Farm Village.
NEW DIRECTOR: Carladenise Edwards, president and CEO of BAE Company LLC, has been named executive director of the Florida Health Information Network, a community partnership established by the Health Foundation of South Florida.
NEW DIRECTIONS: The Florida Health Information Network will sponsor a health-care summit May 18 at the Radisson Hotel. University of Miami President Donna Shalala, former US secretary of health and human services, will be opening speaker. "We want to bring together the CEOs and CIOs from the hospitals, people from managed-care organizations, Medicaid, administrative services, possibly the pharmaceutical companies - all of the health-care stake owners - to learn how technology can improve the quality of health care and patient safety," Ms. Edwards said. Details: (305) 574-7200.
CORPORATE HOME: Miami Today's International Roundtable focuses on Miami as a corporate headquarters today (3/9), sponsored by the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County's economic development arm. Panelists include Neisen Kasdin, Beacon Council chairman, a shareholder in law firm Gunster Yoakley and chairman of the firm's land-use practice; Gilberto Neves, chief executive officer of Odebrecht Construction USA; and Pete Pizarro, chief executive officer of Telef█nica USA. The 5 p.m. panel at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables will be followed by a reception. Details and RSVP: Jannina Roman, (305) 358-2663.
STRETCHING A SHOESTRING: Can you visit Miami on a shoestring budget? "The Today Show" thinks so. It was here last week filming for a series it's re-introducing, "Visiting the Most Expensive Cities on a Shoestring Budget." Executives have chosen Miami and are to feature select destinations in South Beach, Little Havana and Coral Gables - all on a budget of less than $100 a day.
MORE THAN A SHOESTRING: More national media promotion for Miami is in store during the "Wheel of Fortune" Royal Treatment Week to air nationally on ABC April 17-21. A participant will win airfare and a six-night, seven-day stay for two at Trump International Sonesta Beach Resort in Sunny Isles as well as transfers by limousine, a VIP night out on South Beach and dining at Savoy Hotel's Ola on Ocean Drive. The promotion is valued at $85,000.
BIGGEST DEAL: William D. Talbert III, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, is in Berlin heading a delegation to sell Miami at ITB, which calls itself the World's Largest Tourism Fair, attracting more than 45,000 travel professionals. His staff will be joined by representatives of Macy's, Le Meridien Sunny Isles, Morgans Hotel Group, Ocean Five Hotel and Newport Beachside Resort.
NON-PROFITS PROFIT: Teach for America and the Women's Advocacy Project of the Women's Fund of Miami-Dade received Not-for-Profit Novo Awards from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce last week. Jane Henzerling of Teach for America and Claudia Kitchens of the Women's Fund each accepted a $1,000 check in the juried competition for non-profit service, now in its fifth year. The awards were presented during the chamber's monthly meeting at Parrot Jungle Island.
CORRECTION: A Feb. 16 story erred in reporting that the Miami Parking Authority spent $500,000 on preliminary development and construction of two Model City parcels being returned to the city. The expenses on the two lots, plus a third, totaled about $176,000.