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is an American computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur. He is best known as one of four co founders of the social networking site Facebook, of which he is chairman and chief executive.Zuckerberg was born and raised in a Jewish household in New York state. While still in middle school in his early teens, he took up writing software programs as a hobby, beginning with BASIC, with help from his father.His father then hired a tutor to help his son develop his programming skills further. Zuckerberg’s enjoyment in writing programs led him to developing computer games, writing a music player, and setting up a primitive home network he called “ZuckNet”.Click NEXT to read more.Marc RichHe is an international commodities trader and entrepreneur. He is best known for founding the commodities company Glencore.He was indicted in the United States on federal charges of tax evasion and illegally making oil deals with Iran during the Iran hostage crisis.He was in Switzerland at the time of the indictment and has never returned to the US. He received a presidential pardon from US President Bill Clinton on 20 January 2001, Clinton’s last day in office.Click NEXT to read more.Gautam AdaniHe is the Chairman of Adani Group. The Adani Group is a globally integrated infrastructure player with businesses spanning coal trading, coal mining, oil and gas exploration, ports, multi modal logistics, power generation and transmission and gas distribution.With a business experience of more than 33 years, Gautam Adani is a first generation entrepreneur who has led the Adani group from a modest background to create a $8 billion professionally managed empire in a relatively short period of time.Click NEXT to read more.Azim PremjiHe is an Indian business tycoon and philanthropist who is the chairman of Wipro Limited, guiding the company through four decades of diversification and growth to emerge as one of the Indian leader in the software industry.According to Forbes, he is currently the third wealthiest Indian, and the 41st richest in the world, with a personal wealth of $15.9 billion in 2012.In 2000, he was voted among the 20 most powerful men in the world by Asiaweek. He has twice been listed among the 100 most influential people by TIME magazine, once in 2004 and more recently in 2011. He is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited which operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center.Adelson vastly increased his net worth upon the initial public offering of Las Vegas Sands in December 2004. He is listed in the Forbes 400 as the eighth wealthiest American. His personal wealth is estimated to be $24.9 billion as of March 2012.Click NEXT to read more.Steve JobsHe was an American businessman, designer and inventor. He is best known as the co founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc.Through Apple, he was widely recognised as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields.John D RockefellerHe was an American industrialist and philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great US business trust.
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Designer Ralph Lauren in his office with Stefan Larsson, global brand president for Old Navy, in New York. Ralph Lauren Corp. said Tuesday, June 7 it plans to close stores, focus on its more popular brands and remove layers of its management team to save costs.

Designer Ralph Lauren in his office with Stefan Larsson, global brand president for Old Navy, in New York. Ralph Lauren Corp. said Tuesday, June 7 it plans to close stores, focus on its more popular brands and remove layers of its management team to save costs.

Iconic apparel company Ralph Lauren has been in a years long rut, delivering sinking profits and lackluster sales in a shopping environment that has been scrambled by the rise of fast fashion and new e commerce players.

On Tuesday, chief executive Stefan Larsson a new hire who joined the retailer after turning Old Navy into a clothing powerhouse unveiled to investors his sweeping plan for fixing the business. Larsson’s strategy calls for shakeups in virtually every corner of the nearly 50 year old company: There are plans to shutter 50 underperforming stores, or about 10 percent of the fleet. The business will be restructured to save up to $220 million in annualized costs, and about 1,000 jobs will be eliminated.

Executives also will move to reduce the lead time it takes to produce clothing and to put more emphasis on three of the company’s sprawling line up of fashion labels. And they’ll work to rein in bloated inventory, which has often resulted in full price merchandise having to be funneled to its outlet stores and sold for less.

“Continuing with this vicious cycle is going to hurt the brand,” Larsson said at a meeting with investors.

Under its new plan, the Ralph Lauren company will put particular emphasis on evolving and shoring up three of its labels, including its eponymous high end line; its casual men’s label,
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Polo Ralph Lauren; and a women’s line, Lauren Ralph Lauren. That means other parts of the business, including labels such as Polo Sport, Chaps, Denim Supply and Club Monaco, as well as categories such as home furnishings and fragrance, won’t be a particularly big focus.

In the three core brands, the focus will be on getting the product right. Today, executives said, some 30 percent of items in its high end line account for 70 percent of sales. Translation: There is a large of quantity of unproductive merchandise in its line up, and it is going to work to trim the fat. And getting the product right will mean rethinking the supply chain, in part by working to trim their average lead time for producing clothes from 15 months to nine months.

The recent struggles at Ralph Lauren are deeply entwined with troubles in the department store category. Ralph Lauren depends heavily on those outlets for its sales, and the likes of Macy’s, Nordstrom and Kohl’s have each seen their sales take a serious hit in recent months. Larsson stressed that he’s still committed to selling through the retailers, even as the company looks for ways to tweak Ralph Lauren’s offering.

“On wholesale, I believe that wholesale will stand strong if you look five, 10 years ahead. What wholesale has to do as a channel is become more exciting,” Larsson said.
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On Tuesday, chief executive Stefan Larsson a new hire who joined the retailer after turning Old Navy into a clothing powerhouse unveiled to investors his sweeping plan for fixing the business. Larsson’s strategy calls for shakeups in virtually every corner of the nearly 50 year old company: There are plans to shutter 50 underperforming stores, or about 10 percent of the fleet. The business will be restructured to save up to $220 million in annualized costs, and about 1,000 jobs will be eliminated.

Larsson took the chief executive job late last year from the brand’s namesake, Ralph Lauren, the designer who continues to work at the company as its creative leader and chairman. Larsson came from Gap,
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where he had served as president of its Old Navy chain and was widely credited for spiffing up that brand by making it more fashion forward, bringing to the clothing empire some of the production know how he developed during an earlier stint as an executive at fast fashion behemoth H bizpage, ralph lauren, ralph lauren new strategy, stefan larsson, stefan larsson ralph lauren, retail
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Beware of buying into hype around hot’ IPOsThe Ticker

June 02, 2000By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

Do initial public offerings tempt you? Be careful. Working Woman, June, says, “Hype aside, hot’ new issues aren’t always what they seem. Ninety percent of hot deals go to big institutions, and the remaining IPOs offered to individuals are the riskiest of all. Rule of thumb: You probably don’t want any IPO you can get shares of.”

After being bounced around in this wild market, many investors are looking for conservative growth stocks. The American Association of Individual Investors Journal lists these choices: Sara Lee Corp., J. C. Penney Inc., Texas Utilities Co., Allstate Corp., Host Marriott Corp., Office Depot Inc. and Sears, Roebuck Co.

“Investors can buy shares of clothing manufacturers at steep discounts,” says Forbes. Under “Out of Fashion,” the article lists Jones Apparel Group Inc., Liz Claiborne Inc., Nautica Enterprises Inc., Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. and Tommy Hilfiger Corp.

WEDDING BELLS: “Talk over your finances with your future spouse,” says Financial Perspectives. “Financial conflicts not low income are the major cause of divorce. Be honest about your debts, spending habits and how household money will be managed.”

WALL ST. WATCH: “The high flying tech stars may lead the next rally, but the investor who buys solid core growth stocks at reasonable prices will receive the best total return’ over the next five years.” (Michael Sivy in Money, June)

“The threat to Cisco is very real. Cisco’s market share for high end routers sold to telecom carriers dropped from 86 percent to 79 percent over the past five years.” (Raj Mehta, analyst, RHK Telecom)
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Contact Us,Remember WAMI, the overly hyped television station startup? The one with the glamorous sidewalk studios on Lincoln Road? The one that was going to revolutionize TV by returning it to its extremely local roots? The City Was Their Studio or something like that? As anyone who has spent any time in this town knows, the real Miami is not South Beach glitz but rather a gritty Hialeah warehouse, like the one from which Channel 41 continues to broadcast handcrafted, exceedingly local, often wonderful programming, absent the self absorbed fanfare. A Oscuras pero Encendidos (In the Dark but Turned On) is a typical success story. A riskier, sloppier, often more fun variant of the Late Show with David Letterman, A Oscuras proves that young affluent Latins will watch Spanish language television. With puppets and spokesmodels and strippers and an opera singing, keyboard playing sidekick, A Oscuras is fun, irreverent, and perfectly Miami. WAMI should take notice if WAMI is still on the air.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

There was much trepidation about the coming of this monster movie theater to our much treasured Road. Would this cold and corporate megaplex shoveling out Hollywood hits put an end to any remaining pretense of funkiness that the mall had? Surprise: The Regal on South Beach has fit in more snug than many thought. First, it lived up to its promise to show alternative movies. At least two screens per week show foreign or gay theme films, or films that otherwise might not have unspooled here. Second, the theaters themselves are comfortable: medium size rooms, plush seats, and good views from every one of them (so often not the case at a megaplex). Parking hasn’t been a problem, either; in fact you can often find a spot right on Alton Road, just a block away. There is a good selection of food, a caf even an outdoor patio and balcony, and absolutely no loud video arcade anywhere on the premises. Finally, before or after the movie you can stroll down the street that, while it has lost much of its counterculture vibe, remains Miami Dade’s most people friendly urban area. Plummer had his re election formula down pat: Raise tons of cash, glad hand voters at community festivals, and have his Cuban friends praise him on Spanish language radio. It had worked seven times before, after all. Upstart businessman Johnny Winton might push him into a runoff, but the veteran’s vast war chest would crush him. Oops! While Miami politics changed, Plummer didn’t. District elections had turned the city’s politically neglected Upper East Side into a powerful force that overwhelmed Plummer’s traditional base in the Cuban community. He also underestimated how badly the city’s scandals sullied his reputation. Most voters, including many in Plummer’s Coconut Grove back yard, didn’t buy his pleas of ignorance as his colleagues were arrested, the city fell into disarray, and taxes climbed. In addition the 29 year incumbent didn’t take underdog Winton seriously. The end result: Plummer maintained his unprecedented streak of seven elections without a runoff. But he was clobbered in the eighth.

It all began here in 1993: salsa classes on Monday and Wednesday nights at the spacious and charmingly down at the heels Blue Banquet Hall. By now the place is packed four nights a week, and Salsa Lovers is a huge enterprise, having expanded to two more locations. But the West Miami Dade scene has a festive, nightclubby quality all its own, and it just keeps getting hotter (sometimes literally; the AC is erratic). Monday through Thursday a large and varied crowd descends on the hall, everyone from senior citizens to families to middle school students, though the 20 to 30 year old crowd dominates. The sheer energy generated by hundreds of slaves to the salsa rhythm is irresistible. Some people skip the classes and instead hang out, flirt, or practice moves with a partner. Oscar D’Leon blares from the speakers, and pretty soon everyone’s in a whirl dile que no,
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dame una, hips going and fondillos shaking, abr abanico, arms rising and feet pivoting, monta balsero, and sometimes the lights will dim and the tacky disco balls will turn. For seven dollars (price per lesson) you get all this, and you might even learn the paseo por el parque.

In many American political plays, a guy (it’s usually a guy) comes onstage and talks. The set, the costumes, the lighting they’re all window dressing, which helps to explain the sorry state of political drama. Doug Wright’s 1995 work Quills, however, dissects the issues of censorship through the trials of the Marquis de Sade. But it’s also a play of images. In the exquisitely designed Florida Stage production, Jim Fulton’s lighting design reproduced the Marquis’s naughty writing as luminescent streaks across the theater walls. Allen D. Cornell’s inventive turntable set gave rise to multiple arresting scenes, not the least of which was the yanking out of the Marquis’s tongue. Suzette Pare’s costumes smartly outfitted the small minded denizens of nineteenth century France as well as the increasingly more disrobed Sade. And Scott Burgess’s sound design created an asylumwide orgy we could “see,” though it happened off stage. At the helm was artistic director Louis Tyrrell, whose fluid hand and wicked sense of humor proved to be assets the Marquis would have loved.

In his many years as the public face of the county’s public schools, Fraind had repeatedly proven himself to be inarticulate, insensitive, and inflexible. When school board members finally got tired of him making them look bad and decided, at their March meeting, to appoint someone else as their spokesman, Fraind demonstrated the wisdom of the decision by offering an upraised arm and fist in the universal gesture for “up yours” to a parent who had questioned his salary level. How ironic that the first candid, straightforward, concise statement from this guy, captured by the television cameras that record each meeting, came only on the eve of his removal as the district’s mouthpiece.

It’s supposed to feel like a little bit of Nantucket down here on the lower peninsula. A fresh and crisp Northeastern respite from the scorching Southern sun. But really the lobby in the new Beach House is Florida through and through. This is no rectangular foyer, stop over while you check in type of lobby. Instead you get different lounges with different flavors for different moods, all outfitted (if the blue hue didn’t already give it away) by the Polo Ralph Lauren design team. If you enter from Collins Avenue, huge vases of fresh cut flowers usually yellow greet the visitor at the entrance, which is decked out in muted blue and white. But no need to dally here. Head for the bright and playful room to the right the, well, Florida room. Two walls are windows, with views out to the pool and to the ocean beyond. Lime green covers the walls; pink, salmon, yellow, green, and blue cover the cushions and pillows on the white wicker furniture. That may sound noisy but it’s not. The colors combine into a soothing balm, light and airy but well removed from the heat. All the rooms are furnished like a bed and breakfast knickknacks on the end tables, art books scattered about for a leisurely browse. The main lobby is toned down, furnished in brown wicker with blue upholstery, and trimmed with sophisticated Chinese porcelains and paintings (heavy on deep red and gold, adding an extra lush touch). From here it’s also possible to see the pool area, which really should be considered part of the lobby as well, with its multicolor cabanas, ample seating, and hedges sculpted into sea horses. Grab a drink from the bar and choose your mood: There’s no better way to refresh your feeling for Florida.

In a season fraught with top drawer solo performances (Charles Nelson Reilly in Life of Reilly, Kathleen Turner in Tallulah, Melinda Lopez in Medianoche, and Jean Stapleton in Eleanor: Her Secret Journey), Judith Delgado towered over all. Playing fashion diva Diana Vreeland, the actress delivered a performance that lived up to Vreeland’s motto: “Give ’em what they didn’t know they wanted.” Vreeland’s life story garnered 1996 Drama Desk and Obie awards for creators Mark Hampton and Mary Louise Wilson when Wilson starred in it. Elizabeth Ashley did the honors when the national tour passed through South Florida in 1998. Nonetheless Delgado, a genius at transforming herself, turned the tastemaker and long time Vogue editor into something of her own (and director Joseph Adler’s) making. Even the actress’s elegant, oversize hands conspired to become a perfect physical match for Vreeland’s elegant, larger than life personality. It was a performance that reached out and grabbed us by our lapels.

“Have Character, Will Travel.” So reads the business card of Daniel Ricker, self appointed “citizen advocate,” who spent the past year attending county commission meetings, city commission meetings, school board meetings, and Public Health Trust meetings, all in an effort to better understand how government operates. He even sat through the public corruption trial of former county Commissioner James Burke so he could hear firsthand how deals are made at the county level. Why did he do it? Ricker, who made his fortune managing international companies that sell coronary pacemakers, says he became so disgusted with the sleaze and corruption of politics in South Florida that, rather than withdraw into apathy, he became hyperactive in the community. He took a year off work and dedicated himself to his task. A man of limitless patience (a necessary attribute in order to sit through some of those meetings), he says he never became bored and always found the working of government fascinating and important. Simply knowing that an informed member of the public was attending those meetings, watching every move they made, undoubtedly had a sobering effect on Miami’s less than trustworthy politicians and bureaucrats.

In a county with woefully slim public transportation options, Miami Beach planners looked out their windows, past the backed up traffic at the stoplights, and saw the future. It was pretty, environmentally friendly, and didn’t cost a lot. The ElectroWave shuttle buses premiered two years ago and have proven to be a wonderfully hassle free way to navigate the often congested streets of South Beach. And a good thing was recently improved: In April the routes were expanded to cover more city blocks north of the original South Pointe to Seventeenth Street loop. Plus the fleet grew from seven to eleven vehicles, and payment options were increased (you can now use your parking debit card to pay the 25 cent fare). The shuttles are completely electric, with propane powered air conditioning units. “We are the only all electric transit system in the country,” exclaims Judy Evans, executive director of Miami Beach Transportation Management Association. “We’ve become a model for other cities.”
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Contact Us,South Florida sports icon Dan Marino retires. It’s a no brainer who we want to see cover the biggest sports story in years. Jimmy Cefalo is not just another sportscaster; he’s also a former Dolphin himself. He even roomed with Marino while a receiver for the team. When he retired in 1985, he made an easy transition to broadcasting. In 1988 he won an Emmy for his coverage of the Olympics in Seoul. He joined Channel 10 nearly eight years ago as the host of Sports Monday. Now as sports director and anchor, Cefalo’s smooth delivery and wealth of experience have proven a boon to South Florida sports fans. Just as expected Cefalo brought the proper poignancy to Marino’s departure without letting the team’s management off the hook for sloppy handling of the transition.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

There was much trepidation about the coming of this monster movie theater to our much treasured Road. Would this cold and corporate megaplex shoveling out Hollywood hits put an end to any remaining pretense of funkiness that the mall had? Surprise: The Regal on South Beach has fit in more snug than many thought. First, it lived up to its promise to show alternative movies. At least two screens per week show foreign or gay theme films, or films that otherwise might not have unspooled here. Second, the theaters themselves are comfortable: medium size rooms, plush seats, and good views from every one of them (so often not the case at a megaplex). Parking hasn’t been a problem, either; in fact you can often find a spot right on Alton Road, just a block away. There is a good selection of food, a caf even an outdoor patio and balcony, and absolutely no loud video arcade anywhere on the premises. Finally, before or after the movie you can stroll down the street that, while it has lost much of its counterculture vibe, remains Miami Dade’s most people friendly urban area. Plummer had his re election formula down pat: Raise tons of cash, glad hand voters at community festivals, and have his Cuban friends praise him on Spanish language radio. It had worked seven times before, after all. Upstart businessman Johnny Winton might push him into a runoff, but the veteran’s vast war chest would crush him. Oops! While Miami politics changed, Plummer didn’t. District elections had turned the city’s politically neglected Upper East Side into a powerful force that overwhelmed Plummer’s traditional base in the Cuban community. He also underestimated how badly the city’s scandals sullied his reputation. Most voters, including many in Plummer’s Coconut Grove back yard, didn’t buy his pleas of ignorance as his colleagues were arrested, the city fell into disarray, and taxes climbed. In addition the 29 year incumbent didn’t take underdog Winton seriously. The end result: Plummer maintained his unprecedented streak of seven elections without a runoff. But he was clobbered in the eighth.

It all began here in 1993: salsa classes on Monday and Wednesday nights at the spacious and charmingly down at the heels Blue Banquet Hall. By now the place is packed four nights a week, and Salsa Lovers is a huge enterprise, having expanded to two more locations. But the West Miami Dade scene has a festive, nightclubby quality all its own, and it just keeps getting hotter (sometimes literally; the AC is erratic). Monday through Thursday a large and varied crowd descends on the hall, everyone from senior citizens to families to middle school students, though the 20 to 30 year old crowd dominates. The sheer energy generated by hundreds of slaves to the salsa rhythm is irresistible. Some people skip the classes and instead hang out, flirt, or practice moves with a partner. Oscar D’Leon blares from the speakers, and pretty soon everyone’s in a whirl dile que no, dame una, hips going and fondillos shaking, abr abanico, arms rising and feet pivoting, monta balsero, and sometimes the lights will dim and the tacky disco balls will turn. For seven dollars (price per lesson) you get all this, and you might even learn the paseo por el parque.

In many American political plays, a guy (it’s usually a guy) comes onstage and talks. The set, the costumes, the lighting they’re all window dressing, which helps to explain the sorry state of political drama. Doug Wright’s 1995 work Quills, however, dissects the issues of censorship through the trials of the Marquis de Sade. But it’s also a play of images. In the exquisitely designed Florida Stage production, Jim Fulton’s lighting design reproduced the Marquis’s naughty writing as luminescent streaks across the theater walls. Allen D. Cornell’s inventive turntable set gave rise to multiple arresting scenes, not the least of which was the yanking out of the Marquis’s tongue. Suzette Pare’s costumes smartly outfitted the small minded denizens of nineteenth century France as well as the increasingly more disrobed Sade. And Scott Burgess’s sound design created an asylumwide orgy we could “see,” though it happened off stage. At the helm was artistic director Louis Tyrrell, whose fluid hand and wicked sense of humor proved to be assets the Marquis would have loved.

In his many years as the public face of the county’s public schools, Fraind had repeatedly proven himself to be inarticulate, insensitive, and inflexible. When school board members finally got tired of him making them look bad and decided, at their March meeting, to appoint someone else as their spokesman, Fraind demonstrated the wisdom of the decision by offering an upraised arm and fist in the universal gesture for “up yours” to a parent who had questioned his salary level. How ironic that the first candid, straightforward, concise statement from this guy, captured by the television cameras that record each meeting, came only on the eve of his removal as the district’s mouthpiece.

It’s supposed to feel like a little bit of Nantucket down here on the lower peninsula. A fresh and crisp Northeastern respite from the scorching Southern sun. But really the lobby in the new Beach House is Florida through and through. This is no rectangular foyer, stop over while you check in type of lobby. Instead you get different lounges with different flavors for different moods, all outfitted (if the blue hue didn’t already give it away) by the Polo Ralph Lauren design team. If you enter from Collins Avenue, huge vases of fresh cut flowers usually yellow greet the visitor at the entrance, which is decked out in muted blue and white. But no need to dally here. Head for the bright and playful room to the right the, well, Florida room. Two walls are windows, with views out to the pool and to the ocean beyond. Lime green covers the walls; pink, salmon, yellow, green, and blue cover the cushions and pillows on the white wicker furniture. That may sound noisy but it’s not. The colors combine into a soothing balm, light and airy but well removed from the heat. All the rooms are furnished like a bed and breakfast knickknacks on the end tables, art books scattered about for a leisurely browse. The main lobby is toned down, furnished in brown wicker with blue upholstery, and trimmed with sophisticated Chinese porcelains and paintings (heavy on deep red and gold, adding an extra lush touch). From here it’s also possible to see the pool area, which really should be considered part of the lobby as well, with its multicolor cabanas, ample seating, and hedges sculpted into sea horses. Grab a drink from the bar and choose your mood: There’s no better way to refresh your feeling for Florida.

In a season fraught with top drawer solo performances (Charles Nelson Reilly in Life of Reilly, Kathleen Turner in Tallulah, Melinda Lopez in Medianoche, and Jean Stapleton in Eleanor: Her Secret Journey), Judith Delgado towered over all. Playing fashion diva Diana Vreeland, the actress delivered a performance that lived up to Vreeland’s motto: “Give ’em what they didn’t know they wanted.” Vreeland’s life story garnered 1996 Drama Desk and Obie awards for creators Mark Hampton and Mary Louise Wilson when Wilson starred in it. Elizabeth Ashley did the honors when the national tour passed through South Florida in 1998. Nonetheless Delgado, a genius at transforming herself, turned the tastemaker and long time Vogue editor into something of her own (and director Joseph Adler’s) making. Even the actress’s elegant, oversize hands conspired to become a perfect physical match for Vreeland’s elegant, larger than life personality. It was a performance that reached out and grabbed us by our lapels.

“Have Character, Will Travel.” So reads the business card of Daniel Ricker, self appointed “citizen advocate,” who spent the past year attending county commission meetings, city commission meetings, school board meetings, and Public Health Trust meetings, all in an effort to better understand how government operates. He even sat through the public corruption trial of former county Commissioner James Burke so he could hear firsthand how deals are made at the county level. Why did he do it? Ricker, who made his fortune managing international companies that sell coronary pacemakers, says he became so disgusted with the sleaze and corruption of politics in South Florida that, rather than withdraw into apathy, he became hyperactive in the community. He took a year off work and dedicated himself to his task. A man of limitless patience (a necessary attribute in order to sit through some of those meetings), he says he never became bored and always found the working of government fascinating and important. Simply knowing that an informed member of the public was attending those meetings, watching every move they made, undoubtedly had a sobering effect on Miami’s less than trustworthy politicians and bureaucrats.

In a county with woefully slim public transportation options, Miami Beach planners looked out their windows, past the backed up traffic at the stoplights, and saw the future. It was pretty, environmentally friendly, and didn’t cost a lot. The ElectroWave shuttle buses premiered two years ago and have proven to be a wonderfully hassle free way to navigate the often congested streets of South Beach. And a good thing was recently improved: In April the routes were expanded to cover more city blocks north of the original South Pointe to Seventeenth Street loop. Plus the fleet grew from seven to eleven vehicles, and payment options were increased (you can now use your parking debit card to pay the 25 cent fare). The shuttles are completely electric, with propane powered air conditioning units. “We are the only all electric transit system in the country,” exclaims Judy Evans, executive director of Miami Beach Transportation Management Association. “We’ve become a model for other cities.”
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Contact Us,How to tell Miami’s film buffs from our town’s film fanatics? Simple. The buffs can be found on Sunday afternoons inside the Alliance Cinema, forsaking a day at the beach for two hours in a darkened room, blissfully soaking up that week’s Cinema Vortex selection. As for Miami’s premier film fanatic, that would be Baron Sherer, the fair haired young man orchestrating the whole shebang: taking tickets, hunching over the projector, often painstakingly splicing together the reels. It’s obviously a labor of love for Sherer, with the only real payoff being the sheer joy of turning audiences on to his own personal faves and latest cinematic discoveries. And like the best film series, Cinema Vortex most definitely is an extension of its curator Sherer’s brain unspooling before a flickering light. That means plenty of vintage film noir, lost classics of the American New Wave like Point Blank, as well as offbeat foreign flicks such as last year’s Made in Hong Kong and Jean Luc Godard’s 1965 dystopian portrait Alphaville. The common denominator is simply good taste and the unspoken realization that you won’t see any of these movies anywhere else in Miami.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

There was much trepidation about the coming of this monster movie theater to our much treasured Road. Would this cold and corporate megaplex shoveling out Hollywood hits put an end to any remaining pretense of funkiness that the mall had? Surprise: The Regal on South Beach has fit in more snug than many thought. First, it lived up to its promise to show alternative movies. At least two screens per week show foreign or gay theme films, or films that otherwise might not have unspooled here. Second, the theaters themselves are comfortable: medium size rooms, plush seats, and good views from every one of them (so often not the case at a megaplex). Parking hasn’t been a problem, either; in fact you can often find a spot right on Alton Road, just a block away. There is a good selection of food, a caf even an outdoor patio and balcony, and absolutely no loud video arcade anywhere on the premises. Finally, before or after the movie you can stroll down the street that, while it has lost much of its counterculture vibe, remains Miami Dade’s most people friendly urban area. Plummer had his re election formula down pat: Raise tons of cash, glad hand voters at community festivals, and have his Cuban friends praise him on Spanish language radio. It had worked seven times before, after all. Upstart businessman Johnny Winton might push him into a runoff, but the veteran’s vast war chest would crush him. Oops! While Miami politics changed, Plummer didn’t. District elections had turned the city’s politically neglected Upper East Side into a powerful force that overwhelmed Plummer’s traditional base in the Cuban community. He also underestimated how badly the city’s scandals sullied his reputation. Most voters, including many in Plummer’s Coconut Grove back yard, didn’t buy his pleas of ignorance as his colleagues were arrested, the city fell into disarray, and taxes climbed. In addition the 29 year incumbent didn’t take underdog Winton seriously. The end result: Plummer maintained his unprecedented streak of seven elections without a runoff. But he was clobbered in the eighth.

It all began here in 1993: salsa classes on Monday and Wednesday nights at the spacious and charmingly down at the heels Blue Banquet Hall. By now the place is packed four nights a week, and Salsa Lovers is a huge enterprise, having expanded to two more locations. But the West Miami Dade scene has a festive, nightclubby quality all its own, and it just keeps getting hotter (sometimes literally; the AC is erratic). Monday through Thursday a large and varied crowd descends on the hall, everyone from senior citizens to families to middle school students, though the 20 to 30 year old crowd dominates. The sheer energy generated by hundreds of slaves to the salsa rhythm is irresistible. Some people skip the classes and instead hang out, flirt, or practice moves with a partner. Oscar D’Leon blares from the speakers, and pretty soon everyone’s in a whirl dile que no, dame una, hips going and fondillos shaking, abr abanico, arms rising and feet pivoting, monta balsero, and sometimes the lights will dim and the tacky disco balls will turn. For seven dollars (price per lesson) you get all this, and you might even learn the paseo por el parque.

In many American political plays, a guy (it’s usually a guy) comes onstage and talks. The set, the costumes, the lighting they’re all window dressing, which helps to explain the sorry state of political drama. Doug Wright’s 1995 work Quills, however, dissects the issues of censorship through the trials of the Marquis de Sade. But it’s also a play of images. In the exquisitely designed Florida Stage production, Jim Fulton’s lighting design reproduced the Marquis’s naughty writing as luminescent streaks across the theater walls. Allen D. Cornell’s inventive turntable set gave rise to multiple arresting scenes, not the least of which was the yanking out of the Marquis’s tongue. Suzette Pare’s costumes smartly outfitted the small minded denizens of nineteenth century France as well as the increasingly more disrobed Sade. And Scott Burgess’s sound design created an asylumwide orgy we could “see,” though it happened off stage. At the helm was artistic director Louis Tyrrell, whose fluid hand and wicked sense of humor proved to be assets the Marquis would have loved.

In his many years as the public face of the county’s public schools, Fraind had repeatedly proven himself to be inarticulate, insensitive, and inflexible. When school board members finally got tired of him making them look bad and decided, at their March meeting, to appoint someone else as their spokesman, Fraind demonstrated the wisdom of the decision by offering an upraised arm and fist in the universal gesture for “up yours” to a parent who had questioned his salary level. How ironic that the first candid, straightforward, concise statement from this guy, captured by the television cameras that record each meeting, came only on the eve of his removal as the district’s mouthpiece.

It’s supposed to feel like a little bit of Nantucket down here on the lower peninsula. A fresh and crisp Northeastern respite from the scorching Southern sun. But really the lobby in the new Beach House is Florida through and through. This is no rectangular foyer, stop over while you check in type of lobby. Instead you get different lounges with different flavors for different moods, all outfitted (if the blue hue didn’t already give it away) by the Polo Ralph Lauren design team. If you enter from Collins Avenue, huge vases of fresh cut flowers usually yellow greet the visitor at the entrance, which is decked out in muted blue and white. But no need to dally here. Head for the bright and playful room to the right the, well, Florida room. Two walls are windows, with views out to the pool and to the ocean beyond. Lime green covers the walls; pink, salmon, yellow, green, and blue cover the cushions and pillows on the white wicker furniture. That may sound noisy but it’s not. The colors combine into a soothing balm, light and airy but well removed from the heat. All the rooms are furnished like a bed and breakfast knickknacks on the end tables, art books scattered about for a leisurely browse. The main lobby is toned down, furnished in brown wicker with blue upholstery, and trimmed with sophisticated Chinese porcelains and paintings (heavy on deep red and gold, adding an extra lush touch). From here it’s also possible to see the pool area, which really should be considered part of the lobby as well, with its multicolor cabanas, ample seating, and hedges sculpted into sea horses. Grab a drink from the bar and choose your mood: There’s no better way to refresh your feeling for Florida.

In a season fraught with top drawer solo performances (Charles Nelson Reilly in Life of Reilly, Kathleen Turner in Tallulah, Melinda Lopez in Medianoche, and Jean Stapleton in Eleanor: Her Secret Journey), Judith Delgado towered over all. Playing fashion diva Diana Vreeland, the actress delivered a performance that lived up to Vreeland’s motto: “Give ’em what they didn’t know they wanted.” Vreeland’s life story garnered 1996 Drama Desk and Obie awards for creators Mark Hampton and Mary Louise Wilson when Wilson starred in it. Elizabeth Ashley did the honors when the national tour passed through South Florida in 1998. Nonetheless Delgado, a genius at transforming herself, turned the tastemaker and long time Vogue editor into something of her own (and director Joseph Adler’s) making. Even the actress’s elegant, oversize hands conspired to become a perfect physical match for Vreeland’s elegant, larger than life personality. It was a performance that reached out and grabbed us by our lapels.

“Have Character, Will Travel.” So reads the business card of Daniel Ricker, self appointed “citizen advocate,” who spent the past year attending county commission meetings, city commission meetings, school board meetings, and Public Health Trust meetings, all in an effort to better understand how government operates. He even sat through the public corruption trial of former county Commissioner James Burke so he could hear firsthand how deals are made at the county level. Why did he do it? Ricker, who made his fortune managing international companies that sell coronary pacemakers, says he became so disgusted with the sleaze and corruption of politics in South Florida that, rather than withdraw into apathy, he became hyperactive in the community. He took a year off work and dedicated himself to his task. A man of limitless patience (a necessary attribute in order to sit through some of those meetings), he says he never became bored and always found the working of government fascinating and important. Simply knowing that an informed member of the public was attending those meetings, watching every move they made, undoubtedly had a sobering effect on Miami’s less than trustworthy politicians and bureaucrats.

In a county with woefully slim public transportation options, Miami Beach planners looked out their windows, past the backed up traffic at the stoplights, and saw the future. It was pretty, environmentally friendly, and didn’t cost a lot. The ElectroWave shuttle buses premiered two years ago and have proven to be a wonderfully hassle free way to navigate the often congested streets of South Beach. And a good thing was recently improved: In April the routes were expanded to cover more city blocks north of the original South Pointe to Seventeenth Street loop. Plus the fleet grew from seven to eleven vehicles, and payment options were increased (you can now use your parking debit card to pay the 25 cent fare). The shuttles are completely electric, with propane powered air conditioning units. “We are the only all electric transit system in the country,” exclaims Judy Evans, executive director of Miami Beach Transportation Management Association. “We’ve become a model for other cities.”
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Contact Us,”You know, I am disgusted to sit in a democratic country and to have to put up with this kind of sickening anarchy, and this is what this is. This is not about good government. This is not about having a better Miami. This is about just a small group that couldn’t get their way in stealing what they hadn’t stolen from Miami, and they want a second crack of the apple. Maybe the next election they’re planning that for us. Maybe the absentee votes will be coming out of the jails. At least a few of them have gone over there already. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a farce that has gone on too long. But let’s not play around any more. If what the majority of my colleagues want to do is turn this city upside down, let’s not play around anymore. If this is what you all want to do, do it now. But let’s not play around anymore. I’m fed up with the corruption that I see around us, corruption that, frankly, starts with some right up here. Because when you steal from this city, how in the heck, how in the heck can you expect an official like this to do right in all the other important things that we have to do with this city? And that’s the problem we have. Frankly we have some people up here that are not honorable. They are dishonorable. Individuals that I am ashamed to serve with because I’ve never seen anything like this before. So if this is what you all want to do, if the majority of you want to turn this city upside down, then go ahead. Let’s not waste any more time. Do it today.”

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

There was much trepidation about the coming of this monster movie theater to our much treasured Road. Would this cold and corporate megaplex shoveling out Hollywood hits put an end to any remaining pretense of funkiness that the mall had? Surprise: The Regal on South Beach has fit in more snug than many thought. First, it lived up to its promise to show alternative movies. At least two screens per week show foreign or gay theme films, or films that otherwise might not have unspooled here. Second, the theaters themselves are comfortable: medium size rooms, plush seats, and good views from every one of them (so often not the case at a megaplex). Parking hasn’t been a problem, either; in fact you can often find a spot right on Alton Road, just a block away. There is a good selection of food, a caf even an outdoor patio and balcony, and absolutely no loud video arcade anywhere on the premises. Finally, before or after the movie you can stroll down the street that, while it has lost much of its counterculture vibe, remains Miami Dade’s most people friendly urban area. Plummer had his re election formula down pat: Raise tons of cash, glad hand voters at community festivals, and have his Cuban friends praise him on Spanish language radio. It had worked seven times before, after all. Upstart businessman Johnny Winton might push him into a runoff, but the veteran’s vast war chest would crush him. Oops! While Miami politics changed, Plummer didn’t. District elections had turned the city’s politically neglected Upper East Side into a powerful force that overwhelmed Plummer’s traditional base in the Cuban community. He also underestimated how badly the city’s scandals sullied his reputation. Most voters, including many in Plummer’s Coconut Grove back yard, didn’t buy his pleas of ignorance as his colleagues were arrested, the city fell into disarray, and taxes climbed. In addition the 29 year incumbent didn’t take underdog Winton seriously. The end result: Plummer maintained his unprecedented streak of seven elections without a runoff. But he was clobbered in the eighth.

It all began here in 1993: salsa classes on Monday and Wednesday nights at the spacious and charmingly down at the heels Blue Banquet Hall. By now the place is packed four nights a week, and Salsa Lovers is a huge enterprise, having expanded to two more locations. But the West Miami Dade scene has a festive, nightclubby quality all its own, and it just keeps getting hotter (sometimes literally; the AC is erratic). Monday through Thursday a large and varied crowd descends on the hall, everyone from senior citizens to families to middle school students, though the 20 to 30 year old crowd dominates. The sheer energy generated by hundreds of slaves to the salsa rhythm is irresistible. Some people skip the classes and instead hang out, flirt, or practice moves with a partner. Oscar D’Leon blares from the speakers, and pretty soon everyone’s in a whirl dile que no, dame una, hips going and fondillos shaking, abr abanico, arms rising and feet pivoting, monta balsero, and sometimes the lights will dim and the tacky disco balls will turn. For seven dollars (price per lesson) you get all this, and you might even learn the paseo por el parque.

In many American political plays, a guy (it’s usually a guy) comes onstage and talks. The set, the costumes, the lighting they’re all window dressing, which helps to explain the sorry state of political drama. Doug Wright’s 1995 work Quills, however, dissects the issues of censorship through the trials of the Marquis de Sade. But it’s also a play of images. In the exquisitely designed Florida Stage production, Jim Fulton’s lighting design reproduced the Marquis’s naughty writing as luminescent streaks across the theater walls. Allen D. Cornell’s inventive turntable set gave rise to multiple arresting scenes, not the least of which was the yanking out of the Marquis’s tongue. Suzette Pare’s costumes smartly outfitted the small minded denizens of nineteenth century France as well as the increasingly more disrobed Sade. And Scott Burgess’s sound design created an asylumwide orgy we could “see,” though it happened off stage. At the helm was artistic director Louis Tyrrell, whose fluid hand and wicked sense of humor proved to be assets the Marquis would have loved.

In his many years as the public face of the county’s public schools, Fraind had repeatedly proven himself to be inarticulate, insensitive, and inflexible. When school board members finally got tired of him making them look bad and decided, at their March meeting, to appoint someone else as their spokesman, Fraind demonstrated the wisdom of the decision by offering an upraised arm and fist in the universal gesture for “up yours” to a parent who had questioned his salary level. How ironic that the first candid, straightforward, concise statement from this guy, captured by the television cameras that record each meeting, came only on the eve of his removal as the district’s mouthpiece.

It’s supposed to feel like a little bit of Nantucket down here on the lower peninsula. A fresh and crisp Northeastern respite from the scorching Southern sun. But really the lobby in the new Beach House is Florida through and through. This is no rectangular foyer, stop over while you check in type of lobby. Instead you get different lounges with different flavors for different moods, all outfitted (if the blue hue didn’t already give it away) by the Polo Ralph Lauren design team. If you enter from Collins Avenue, huge vases of fresh cut flowers usually yellow greet the visitor at the entrance, which is decked out in muted blue and white. But no need to dally here. Head for the bright and playful room to the right the, well, Florida room. Two walls are windows, with views out to the pool and to the ocean beyond. Lime green covers the walls; pink, salmon, yellow, green, and blue cover the cushions and pillows on the white wicker furniture. That may sound noisy but it’s not. The colors combine into a soothing balm, light and airy but well removed from the heat. All the rooms are furnished like a bed and breakfast knickknacks on the end tables, art books scattered about for a leisurely browse. The main lobby is toned down, furnished in brown wicker with blue upholstery, and trimmed with sophisticated Chinese porcelains and paintings (heavy on deep red and gold, adding an extra lush touch). From here it’s also possible to see the pool area, which really should be considered part of the lobby as well, with its multicolor cabanas, ample seating, and hedges sculpted into sea horses. Grab a drink from the bar and choose your mood: There’s no better way to refresh your feeling for Florida.

In a season fraught with top drawer solo performances (Charles Nelson Reilly in Life of Reilly, Kathleen Turner in Tallulah, Melinda Lopez in Medianoche, and Jean Stapleton in Eleanor: Her Secret Journey), Judith Delgado towered over all. Playing fashion diva Diana Vreeland, the actress delivered a performance that lived up to Vreeland’s motto: “Give ’em what they didn’t know they wanted.” Vreeland’s life story garnered 1996 Drama Desk and Obie awards for creators Mark Hampton and Mary Louise Wilson when Wilson starred in it. Elizabeth Ashley did the honors when the national tour passed through South Florida in 1998. Nonetheless Delgado, a genius at transforming herself, turned the tastemaker and long time Vogue editor into something of her own (and director Joseph Adler’s) making. Even the actress’s elegant, oversize hands conspired to become a perfect physical match for Vreeland’s elegant, larger than life personality. It was a performance that reached out and grabbed us by our lapels.

“Have Character, Will Travel.” So reads the business card of Daniel Ricker, self appointed “citizen advocate,” who spent the past year attending county commission meetings, city commission meetings, school board meetings, and Public Health Trust meetings, all in an effort to better understand how government operates. He even sat through the public corruption trial of former county Commissioner James Burke so he could hear firsthand how deals are made at the county level. Why did he do it? Ricker, who made his fortune managing international companies that sell coronary pacemakers, says he became so disgusted with the sleaze and corruption of politics in South Florida that, rather than withdraw into apathy, he became hyperactive in the community. He took a year off work and dedicated himself to his task. A man of limitless patience (a necessary attribute in order to sit through some of those meetings), he says he never became bored and always found the working of government fascinating and important. Simply knowing that an informed member of the public was attending those meetings, watching every move they made, undoubtedly had a sobering effect on Miami’s less than trustworthy politicians and bureaucrats.

In a county with woefully slim public transportation options, Miami Beach planners looked out their windows, past the backed up traffic at the stoplights, and saw the future. It was pretty, environmentally friendly, and didn’t cost a lot. The ElectroWave shuttle buses premiered two years ago and have proven to be a wonderfully hassle free way to navigate the often congested streets of South Beach. And a good thing was recently improved: In April the routes were expanded to cover more city blocks north of the original South Pointe to Seventeenth Street loop. Plus the fleet grew from seven to eleven vehicles, and payment options were increased (you can now use your parking debit card to pay the 25 cent fare). The shuttles are completely electric, with propane powered air conditioning units. “We are the only all electric transit system in the country,” exclaims Judy Evans, executive director of Miami Beach Transportation Management Association. “We’ve become a model for other cities.”
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Plummer had his re election formula down pat: Raise tons of cash, glad hand voters at community festivals, and have his Cuban friends praise him on Spanish language radio. It had worked seven times before, after all. Upstart businessman Johnny Winton might push him into a runoff, but the veteran’s vast war chest would crush him. Oops! While Miami politics changed, Plummer didn’t. District elections had turned the city’s politically neglected Upper East Side into a powerful force that overwhelmed Plummer’s traditional base in the Cuban community. He also underestimated how badly the city’s scandals sullied his reputation. Most voters, including many in Plummer’s Coconut Grove back yard, didn’t buy his pleas of ignorance as his colleagues were arrested, the city fell into disarray, and taxes climbed. In addition the 29 year incumbent didn’t take underdog Winton seriously. The end result: Plummer maintained his unprecedented streak of seven elections without a runoff. But he was clobbered in the eighth.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

There was much trepidation about the coming of this monster movie theater to our much treasured Road. Would this cold and corporate megaplex shoveling out Hollywood hits put an end to any remaining pretense of funkiness that the mall had? Surprise: The Regal on South Beach has fit in more snug than many thought. First, it lived up to its promise to show alternative movies. At least two screens per week show foreign or gay theme films, or films that otherwise might not have unspooled here. Second, the theaters themselves are comfortable: medium size rooms, plush seats, and good views from every one of them (so often not the case at a megaplex). Parking hasn’t been a problem, either; in fact you can often find a spot right on Alton Road, just a block away. There is a good selection of food, a caf even an outdoor patio and balcony, and absolutely no loud video arcade anywhere on the premises. Finally, before or after the movie you can stroll down the street that, while it has lost much of its counterculture vibe, remains Miami Dade’s most people friendly urban area.

It all began here in 1993: salsa classes on Monday and Wednesday nights at the spacious and charmingly down at the heels Blue Banquet Hall. By now the place is packed four nights a week, and Salsa Lovers is a huge enterprise, having expanded to two more locations. But the West Miami Dade scene has a festive, nightclubby quality all its own, and it just keeps getting hotter (sometimes literally; the AC is erratic). Monday through Thursday a large and varied crowd descends on the hall, everyone from senior citizens to families to middle school students, though the 20 to 30 year old crowd dominates. The sheer energy generated by hundreds of slaves to the salsa rhythm is irresistible. Some people skip the classes and instead hang out, flirt, or practice moves with a partner. Oscar D’Leon blares from the speakers, and pretty soon everyone’s in a whirl dile que no, dame una, hips going and fondillos shaking, abr abanico, arms rising and feet pivoting, monta balsero, and sometimes the lights will dim and the tacky disco balls will turn. For seven dollars (price per lesson) you get all this, and you might even learn the paseo por el parque.

In many American political plays, a guy (it’s usually a guy) comes onstage and talks. The set, the costumes, the lighting they’re all window dressing, which helps to explain the sorry state of political drama. Doug Wright’s 1995 work Quills, however, dissects the issues of censorship through the trials of the Marquis de Sade. But it’s also a play of images. In the exquisitely designed Florida Stage production, Jim Fulton’s lighting design reproduced the Marquis’s naughty writing as luminescent streaks across the theater walls. Allen D. Cornell’s inventive turntable set gave rise to multiple arresting scenes, not the least of which was the yanking out of the Marquis’s tongue. Suzette Pare’s costumes smartly outfitted the small minded denizens of nineteenth century France as well as the increasingly more disrobed Sade. And Scott Burgess’s sound design created an asylumwide orgy we could “see,” though it happened off stage. At the helm was artistic director Louis Tyrrell, whose fluid hand and wicked sense of humor proved to be assets the Marquis would have loved.

In his many years as the public face of the county’s public schools, Fraind had repeatedly proven himself to be inarticulate, insensitive, and inflexible. When school board members finally got tired of him making them look bad and decided, at their March meeting, to appoint someone else as their spokesman, Fraind demonstrated the wisdom of the decision by offering an upraised arm and fist in the universal gesture for “up yours” to a parent who had questioned his salary level. How ironic that the first candid, straightforward, concise statement from this guy, captured by the television cameras that record each meeting, came only on the eve of his removal as the district’s mouthpiece.

It’s supposed to feel like a little bit of Nantucket down here on the lower peninsula. A fresh and crisp Northeastern respite from the scorching Southern sun. But really the lobby in the new Beach House is Florida through and through. This is no rectangular foyer, stop over while you check in type of lobby. Instead you get different lounges with different flavors for different moods, all outfitted (if the blue hue didn’t already give it away) by the Polo Ralph Lauren design team. If you enter from Collins Avenue, huge vases of fresh cut flowers usually yellow greet the visitor at the entrance, which is decked out in muted blue and white. But no need to dally here. Head for the bright and playful room to the right the, well, Florida room. Two walls are windows, with views out to the pool and to the ocean beyond. Lime green covers the walls; pink, salmon, yellow, green, and blue cover the cushions and pillows on the white wicker furniture. That may sound noisy but it’s not. The colors combine into a soothing balm, light and airy but well removed from the heat. All the rooms are furnished like a bed and breakfast knickknacks on the end tables, art books scattered about for a leisurely browse. The main lobby is toned down, furnished in brown wicker with blue upholstery, and trimmed with sophisticated Chinese porcelains and paintings (heavy on deep red and gold, adding an extra lush touch). From here it’s also possible to see the pool area, which really should be considered part of the lobby as well, with its multicolor cabanas, ample seating, and hedges sculpted into sea horses. Grab a drink from the bar and choose your mood: There’s no better way to refresh your feeling for Florida.

In a season fraught with top drawer solo performances (Charles Nelson Reilly in Life of Reilly, Kathleen Turner in Tallulah, Melinda Lopez in Medianoche, and Jean Stapleton in Eleanor: Her Secret Journey), Judith Delgado towered over all. Playing fashion diva Diana Vreeland, the actress delivered a performance that lived up to Vreeland’s motto: “Give ’em what they didn’t know they wanted.” Vreeland’s life story garnered 1996 Drama Desk and Obie awards for creators Mark Hampton and Mary Louise Wilson when Wilson starred in it. Elizabeth Ashley did the honors when the national tour passed through South Florida in 1998. Nonetheless Delgado, a genius at transforming herself, turned the tastemaker and long time Vogue editor into something of her own (and director Joseph Adler’s) making. Even the actress’s elegant, oversize hands conspired to become a perfect physical match for Vreeland’s elegant, larger than life personality. It was a performance that reached out and grabbed us by our lapels.

“Have Character, Will Travel.” So reads the business card of Daniel Ricker, self appointed “citizen advocate,” who spent the past year attending county commission meetings, city commission meetings, school board meetings, and Public Health Trust meetings, all in an effort to better understand how government operates. He even sat through the public corruption trial of former county Commissioner James Burke so he could hear firsthand how deals are made at the county level. Why did he do it? Ricker, who made his fortune managing international companies that sell coronary pacemakers, says he became so disgusted with the sleaze and corruption of politics in South Florida that, rather than withdraw into apathy, he became hyperactive in the community. He took a year off work and dedicated himself to his task. A man of limitless patience (a necessary attribute in order to sit through some of those meetings), he says he never became bored and always found the working of government fascinating and important. Simply knowing that an informed member of the public was attending those meetings, watching every move they made, undoubtedly had a sobering effect on Miami’s less than trustworthy politicians and bureaucrats.

In a county with woefully slim public transportation options, Miami Beach planners looked out their windows, past the backed up traffic at the stoplights, and saw the future. It was pretty, environmentally friendly, and didn’t cost a lot. The ElectroWave shuttle buses premiered two years ago and have proven to be a wonderfully hassle free way to navigate the often congested streets of South Beach. And a good thing was recently improved: In April the routes were expanded to cover more city blocks north of the original South Pointe to Seventeenth Street loop. Plus the fleet grew from seven to eleven vehicles, and payment options were increased (you can now use your parking debit card to pay the 25 cent fare). The shuttles are completely electric, with propane powered air conditioning units. “We are the only all electric transit system in the country,” exclaims Judy Evans, executive director of Miami Beach Transportation Management Association. “We’ve become a model for other cities.”

Last year’s winner got even better this year. In Motion Dance Center expanded from its base on Bird Road and is now contributing to the Biscayne Boulevard renaissance with a new studio in a quaint converted house. Local dancers finally get the facilities they deserve, with high ceilings, exposed beams, a wide expanse of mirror, and an enormous floor. Offerings range from staples such as ballet, modern, and jazz to West African, hip hop, contact improvisation, and the posture enhancing Pilates technique. During off hours In Motion instructors and local choreographers use the studio as a rehearsal space for upcoming performances, commercials, and music videos.
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Contact Us,Who wants to go to a smoky bar on a first date? Or a cacophonous dance club where you can’t talk to each other? And who wants to risk half a week’s pay at an expensive restaurant with someone you don’t really know yet? Tell her to go fly a kite. With you. Drive to the Haulover Beach and use the huge kites to guide you into the park area on the west side of Collins. Find the concession trailer displaying an airborne apparatus. That’s Skyward Kites. Buy yourself a kite; they start at four bucks. Then proceed to the park’s field, or cross Collins to the beach. Have some fun. Run around. Relax. Talk. By the end of the day you’ll know a lot more about each other than you would after a bleary night out. If it’s a bust, you still have the kite, and you had some fun flying it. If there’s chemistry, invite her out for dinner. until sunset.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

There was much trepidation about the coming of this monster movie theater to our much treasured Road. Would this cold and corporate megaplex shoveling out Hollywood hits put an end to any remaining pretense of funkiness that the mall had? Surprise: The Regal on South Beach has fit in more snug than many thought. First, it lived up to its promise to show alternative movies. At least two screens per week show foreign or gay theme films, or films that otherwise might not have unspooled here. Second, the theaters themselves are comfortable: medium size rooms, plush seats, and good views from every one of them (so often not the case at a megaplex). Parking hasn’t been a problem, either; in fact you can often find a spot right on Alton Road, just a block away. There is a good selection of food, a caf even an outdoor patio and balcony, and absolutely no loud video arcade anywhere on the premises. Finally, before or after the movie you can stroll down the street that, while it has lost much of its counterculture vibe, remains Miami Dade’s most people friendly urban area. Plummer had his re election formula down pat: Raise tons of cash, glad hand voters at community festivals, and have his Cuban friends praise him on Spanish language radio. It had worked seven times before, after all. Upstart businessman Johnny Winton might push him into a runoff, but the veteran’s vast war chest would crush him. Oops! While Miami politics changed, Plummer didn’t. District elections had turned the city’s politically neglected Upper East Side into a powerful force that overwhelmed Plummer’s traditional base in the Cuban community. He also underestimated how badly the city’s scandals sullied his reputation. Most voters, including many in Plummer’s Coconut Grove back yard, didn’t buy his pleas of ignorance as his colleagues were arrested, the city fell into disarray, and taxes climbed. In addition the 29 year incumbent didn’t take underdog Winton seriously. The end result: Plummer maintained his unprecedented streak of seven elections without a runoff. But he was clobbered in the eighth.

It all began here in 1993: salsa classes on Monday and Wednesday nights at the spacious and charmingly down at the heels Blue Banquet Hall. By now the place is packed four nights a week, and Salsa Lovers is a huge enterprise, having expanded to two more locations. But the West Miami Dade scene has a festive, nightclubby quality all its own, and it just keeps getting hotter (sometimes literally; the AC is erratic). Monday through Thursday a large and varied crowd descends on the hall, everyone from senior citizens to families to middle school students, though the 20 to 30 year old crowd dominates. The sheer energy generated by hundreds of slaves to the salsa rhythm is irresistible. Some people skip the classes and instead hang out, flirt, or practice moves with a partner. Oscar D’Leon blares from the speakers, and pretty soon everyone’s in a whirl dile que no, dame una, hips going and fondillos shaking, abr abanico, arms rising and feet pivoting, monta balsero, and sometimes the lights will dim and the tacky disco balls will turn. For seven dollars (price per lesson) you get all this, and you might even learn the paseo por el parque.

In many American political plays, a guy (it’s usually a guy) comes onstage and talks. The set, the costumes, the lighting they’re all window dressing, which helps to explain the sorry state of political drama. Doug Wright’s 1995 work Quills, however, dissects the issues of censorship through the trials of the Marquis de Sade. But it’s also a play of images. In the exquisitely designed Florida Stage production, Jim Fulton’s lighting design reproduced the Marquis’s naughty writing as luminescent streaks across the theater walls. Allen D. Cornell’s inventive turntable set gave rise to multiple arresting scenes, not the least of which was the yanking out of the Marquis’s tongue. Suzette Pare’s costumes smartly outfitted the small minded denizens of nineteenth century France as well as the increasingly more disrobed Sade. And Scott Burgess’s sound design created an asylumwide orgy we could “see,” though it happened off stage. At the helm was artistic director Louis Tyrrell, whose fluid hand and wicked sense of humor proved to be assets the Marquis would have loved.

In his many years as the public face of the county’s public schools, Fraind had repeatedly proven himself to be inarticulate, insensitive, and inflexible. When school board members finally got tired of him making them look bad and decided, at their March meeting, to appoint someone else as their spokesman, Fraind demonstrated the wisdom of the decision by offering an upraised arm and fist in the universal gesture for “up yours” to a parent who had questioned his salary level. How ironic that the first candid, straightforward, concise statement from this guy, captured by the television cameras that record each meeting, came only on the eve of his removal as the district’s mouthpiece.

It’s supposed to feel like a little bit of Nantucket down here on the lower peninsula. A fresh and crisp Northeastern respite from the scorching Southern sun. But really the lobby in the new Beach House is Florida through and through. This is no rectangular foyer, stop over while you check in type of lobby. Instead you get different lounges with different flavors for different moods, all outfitted (if the blue hue didn’t already give it away) by the Polo Ralph Lauren design team. If you enter from Collins Avenue, huge vases of fresh cut flowers usually yellow greet the visitor at the entrance, which is decked out in muted blue and white. But no need to dally here. Head for the bright and playful room to the right the, well, Florida room. Two walls are windows, with views out to the pool and to the ocean beyond. Lime green covers the walls; pink, salmon, yellow, green, and blue cover the cushions and pillows on the white wicker furniture. That may sound noisy but it’s not. The colors combine into a soothing balm, light and airy but well removed from the heat. All the rooms are furnished like a bed and breakfast knickknacks on the end tables, art books scattered about for a leisurely browse. The main lobby is toned down, furnished in brown wicker with blue upholstery, and trimmed with sophisticated Chinese porcelains and paintings (heavy on deep red and gold, adding an extra lush touch). From here it’s also possible to see the pool area, which really should be considered part of the lobby as well, with its multicolor cabanas, ample seating, and hedges sculpted into sea horses. Grab a drink from the bar and choose your mood: There’s no better way to refresh your feeling for Florida.

In a season fraught with top drawer solo performances (Charles Nelson Reilly in Life of Reilly, Kathleen Turner in Tallulah, Melinda Lopez in Medianoche, and Jean Stapleton in Eleanor: Her Secret Journey), Judith Delgado towered over all. Playing fashion diva Diana Vreeland, the actress delivered a performance that lived up to Vreeland’s motto: “Give ’em what they didn’t know they wanted.” Vreeland’s life story garnered 1996 Drama Desk and Obie awards for creators Mark Hampton and Mary Louise Wilson when Wilson starred in it. Elizabeth Ashley did the honors when the national tour passed through South Florida in 1998. Nonetheless Delgado, a genius at transforming herself, turned the tastemaker and long time Vogue editor into something of her own (and director Joseph Adler’s) making. Even the actress’s elegant, oversize hands conspired to become a perfect physical match for Vreeland’s elegant, larger than life personality. It was a performance that reached out and grabbed us by our lapels.

“Have Character, Will Travel.” So reads the business card of Daniel Ricker, self appointed “citizen advocate,” who spent the past year attending county commission meetings, city commission meetings, school board meetings, and Public Health Trust meetings, all in an effort to better understand how government operates. He even sat through the public corruption trial of former county Commissioner James Burke so he could hear firsthand how deals are made at the county level. Why did he do it? Ricker, who made his fortune managing international companies that sell coronary pacemakers, says he became so disgusted with the sleaze and corruption of politics in South Florida that, rather than withdraw into apathy, he became hyperactive in the community. He took a year off work and dedicated himself to his task. A man of limitless patience (a necessary attribute in order to sit through some of those meetings), he says he never became bored and always found the working of government fascinating and important. Simply knowing that an informed member of the public was attending those meetings, watching every move they made, undoubtedly had a sobering effect on Miami’s less than trustworthy politicians and bureaucrats.

In a county with woefully slim public transportation options, Miami Beach planners looked out their windows, past the backed up traffic at the stoplights, and saw the future. It was pretty, environmentally friendly, and didn’t cost a lot. The ElectroWave shuttle buses premiered two years ago and have proven to be a wonderfully hassle free way to navigate the often congested streets of South Beach. And a good thing was recently improved: In April the routes were expanded to cover more city blocks north of the original South Pointe to Seventeenth Street loop. Plus the fleet grew from seven to eleven vehicles, and payment options were increased (you can now use your parking debit card to pay the 25 cent fare). The shuttles are completely electric, with propane powered air conditioning units. “We are the only all electric transit system in the country,” exclaims Judy Evans, executive director of Miami Beach Transportation Management Association. “We’ve become a model for other cities.”
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