MIAMI BY MARTIN November 2008

A monthly column from Martin Crossland

Welcome to my newsletter!
Current Miami Temperature: 79°F 26°C balmy degrees
Current Miami Beach Surf Temperature: 77°F 25°C degrees

Florida can be a leader in renewable energy.
Charlie Crist, our governor, tells us that billions and billions of dollars are moving overseas and investments here in Florida to replace our thirst for petroleum just is not sufficient," he said. "We're not doing enough, we're just sitting back and saying, 'Let that oil come in from overseas"

There is a growing public discussion for the need for domestic fuel production and he predicted that Florida is in a position to be a leader in renewable energy resources. "If we use sources like switchgrass*, orange peel (citrus waste) and bagasse (sugar cane waste) rather than corn and sugar, we have the opportunity to keep the price of food down, lower the price of fuel and keep Florida green and clean," he said.

*Test plots of switchgrass have produced up to 15 tons of dry biomass per acre, and five- year yields average 11.5 tons-enough to make 1,150 gallons of ethanol per acre each year.

Historic Stadium
The Miami Marine Stadium was saved from the wrecking ball when the city's Historic Preservation Board voted unanimously to designate the site as a historic landmark. The designation opens the door to grant money and tax breaks that could facilitate much needed repairs. The 44-year-old stadium closed in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew swept through. The HEP board opted to also protect the entire basin where the stadium is located, as well as adjacent property along the Rickenbacker Causeway to ensure that the stadium remains visible from the road. Donald Worth of Friends of Miami Marine Stadium said a dozen organizations have expressed interest in making use of the stadium, including ACT Productions and the Concert Association of Florida.

No butts on the beach
Miami Beach Commissioner Jerry Libbin is on a crusade against litter. "This is really a quality of life issue," said Libbin, who plans to crack down on scofflaws this month with the help of volunteers stationed at key entrance points to the beach. "The first weekend they will greet visitors, tell them to enjoy the beach, but also remind them that Miami Beach does not allow glass or bottles and please don't leave cigarette butts in the sand," Libbin said. "The second weekend they will do the same thing, but I hope to have code enforcement out there handing out written warnings." Libbin said the warning could lead to fines. "If you have laws, and don't enforce them, then what is the use of having them in the first place? This is not about banning smoking on the beach, this is about litter and keeping our beaches clean."

Bell ringers convene in Miami to study ancient art
Bells were ringing in Miami as dozens come to learn the centuries-old tradition used to mark church services, weddings and funerals. For 60 or so bell ringers in town last month, there's nothing quite like the feeling of pulling a long rope and hearing the glorious, melodic sound that results. Miami Trinity Cathedral's eight bells, which range from 558 to 2,008 pounds, come from the 438-year-old Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London. So did the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and the bell in London's Big Ben. Miami got its bells in 1984 and today has eight ringers. The bells here typically toll on Sundays before 10 a.m. and during practice on Tuesday nights.

New international advertizing campaign for Miami "Where Worlds Meet"
The Miami Tourist Board in partnership with American Airlines, The Beacon Council, Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami has launched a new advertising campaign which is designed to promote Greater Miami as THE place to live, work and play. The program will be supported with print ads and online banners in markets which include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Spain and New York. Traffic from these efforts will be directed to a micro-site,, which provides information for people planning a vacation, planning a meeting or planning to relocate their business or family. The photo that comes up is really neat. As you move the cursor, it envelopes a birds eye view of downtown Miami to Miami Beach.

Miami International Airport names busiest in the USA for international travel
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics has reported that MIA was the busiest U.S. airport for international travel on U.S. carriers for the first six months of 2008, with 2.5 million international passenger boardings. In the month of June 2008, MIA was the busiest international airport with 454,400 international passenger boardings on U.S. carriers.

Miami's Freedom Tower receives National Historic Landmark designation
The Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami has been designated a National Historical Landmark. Completed in 1925, the tower originally served as the headquarters and printing facility of the Miami News & Metropolis newspaper. Beginning in 1962, as refugees escaping Cuba arrived in the United States, the building was used to provide in-processing services, basic medical and dental services, records on relatives already in the U.S. and relief aid. National Historic Landmarks are sites that have been determined by the Secretary of the Interior to be nationally significant in American history and culture. For more information, visit


1st. Nov. 08
Peruvian Superstar - Eva Ayllón

Up to 2nd. Nov. 08
20th Century Spanish Drawings from the Fundación Mapfre Collection

Up to 2nd. Nov. 08
Excavating Egypt: Great Discoveries from the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

Up to 12th. Nov. 08

Nightmare: Ghost Stories

Up to 9th. Nov. 08
Pablo Cano: The Blue Ribbon

Up to 25th. Jan. 09
The Eye of the Collector: Jewish Vision of Sigmund R. Balka

Up to 1st. Mar. 09
Junior Orange Bowl Festival

1st. Nov. 08
Family Fest - First Saturdays at the Arsht Center

6th. Nov. 08
Kirov Orchestra

6th. Nov. 08 to 4th. Jan. 09

Santa's Enchanted Forest

7th. Nov. 08
JAZZ ROOTS - A Larry Rosen Series
Legends of Jazz: Dave Brubeck is joined by the Cuban-born Grammy-winning jazz great Paquito D’Rivera

7th. to 9th. Nov. 08

4th Annual France Cinema Miami Festival

7th. to 11th. Nov. 08
The Moving Wall

7th. to 16th. Nov. 08
South Florida Auto Show 2008

8th. Nov. 08
Fall in Love Concert

8th. and 9th. Nov. 08
68th. Annual Ramble - A Garden Festival

9th. Nov. 08
Bike Miami

9th. to 16th. Nov. 08
Miami Book Fair International

13th. Nov. to 21st. Dec. 08
Cirque du Soleil: Corteo

14th. Nov. 08
Celebrity Chef Series: Anthony Bourdain

14th. to 16th. Nov. 08
Ford Championship Weekend – NASCAR

15th. to 25th. Nov. 08
La Traviata

16th. Nov. 08
So You Think You Can Dance

20th. to 23rd. Nov. 08
1,000 Homosexuals

21st. Nov. 08
Romance 106.7 y MegaTV Presenta El Gran Concierto
The exciting concert features some of the biggest stars in Latin music, such as Chayanne, Luis Fonsi, Carlos Vives, Cabas, Marco Antonio Solis and Alejandro Sanz.

21st. to 23rd. Nov. 08
A Matter of Life and Death - Firebird Chamber Orchestra

23rd. Nov. 08
Wiggles Presents: Pop goes the Wiggles

26th. Nov. 08 to 18th. Jan. 09
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

26th. Nov. 08
Madonna in Concert

26th. Nov. to 1st. Dec. 08
White Party Week 2008

27th. Nov. 08
Turkey Trot 5K/10K

29th. and 30th. Nov. 08
Holiday Arts & Crafts Show at Cauley Square


October issue of Visit Florida