A monthly column from Martin Crossland

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Current Miami Temperature: 83 balmy degrees
Current Miami Beach Surf Temperature: 83 degrees

Saving the Everglades

The languishing effort to revive and restore the Everglades — one of the most ambitious environmental initiatives on the planet — received an unexpected and potentially spectacular boost on Tuesday when Gov. Charlie Crist announced that Florida had agreed in principle to buy 187,000 acres of farmland from the United States Sugar Corporation, the nation’s largest sugar-cane producer.

The farmland, located along the southern edge of Lake Okeechobee, would be converted into reservoirs to store water and artificial marshes to help clean it.

The US$1.75 billion deal would remove a big source of phosphorus pollution, which sugar-cane farming produces in abundance. The greater benefit would come from restoring a good part of the historic water flow between Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades — a flow that sustained the Everglades for centuries but has since been diverted (at great cost to the ecosystem and its wildlife) to Florida’s cities and farms.
New York Times

Miami's Cultured Campaign
The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau has rolled out a new ad campaign focused on Miami's art and culture scene in the hopes of targeting a more sophisticated and wealthy crowd
to our sunny city. The campaign, titled "Miami: Express Yourself", features local artists in surreal Miami landscapes. The campaign is a departure from past promotions witch focused more the sexy aesthetic of the city.

The city is also targeting more refined outlets for the ads to run in such as Architectural Digest, Gourmet and the New Yorker.

Miami Nights posted an intelligent and appropriately snarky post on the ad campaign. Click here to visit the official site of "Miami: Express Yourself"
Plum Miami Beach

Miami Spa Month
Living in a city where the year-round dress code calls for minimal clothing, keeping up a strict beauty regimen is a must. However, affording spa and facial treatments leave us looking great but feeling broke. Enter Miami Spa Month. For the first year ever, July marks the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau launch of discounted treatments and specials at some of Miami’s most favorite places of beauty. Foodies get Miami Spice Month and now, facial and spa aficionados have Miami Spa Month. For just $99, more than twenty of Miami’s spas offer their most popular treatments at the discounted rate. American Express is sponsoring the month, and if you use your AMEX card to pay, you can receive an additional 10% off spa services and products. Click here for more information on Miami Spa Month including a complete listing of participating spas.

Brothel on Wheels
Leave it to the entrepreneurs on Miami Beach to come up with this gem. A young madame named Christine Morteh operated her brothel on wheels, a sleek, black limo bus. She offered an all-you-can-drink ride for $40. For this you got to jump on the skank wagon which had a fully stocked bar, prostitutes and a few fat sweaty techy guys. Their enterprise came to a screeching halt at 3:15 Sunday morning, when they picked up the wrong fare -- three undercover Miami Beach cops -- within walking distance of the police station. They quickly learned that Morteh was pimping out the girls on board. The girls took their clothes off, performed lap dances, and for $125, beckoned their clients to the VIP room -- a curtained-off area in the bus -- according to the report and a detective's testimony in court.

Then there was the money -- more than $2,000 in the cash drawer alone. ''It was spread out all over the place,'' a detective, whose name is being withheld, said in bond court. “In 19 years, I've never seen anything this.''

Miami Beach July 4th. Independence Day Celebration.
Celebrate America’s birthday in the heart of sizzling South Beach. The City of Miami Beach proudly presents its annual Fourth of July patriotic celebration of music and fireworks, with music by DJ Irie. The event is free and open to the public. Everyone is encouraged to arrive early, bring beach chairs and towels. No coolers or bottles will be permitted on the beach. The celebration takes place July 4, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. at 8th Street and Ocean Drive on Miami Beach. Public parking is available at the 7th Street and Collins Avenue Garage and other conveniently located public garages on Miami Beach.



An American Celebration
July 4th on Miami Beach

Fourth of July at Bayfront Park
Miami Bayfront Park

7/9/08 – 7/13/08
Miccosukee's Zo's Summer Groove
(ZSG) Introducing D. Wade

7/9/08 – 7/27/08
XXIII International Hispanic Theatre Festival
Arsht Centre for the Performimg Arts

7/10/08 – 7/13/08
Rare Fruit Conference
Fruit and Spice Park

7/12/08 – 7/13/08
International Mango Festival
Fairchild Tropical Garden

7/12/08 – 7/19/08
GALA Choruses Festival 8
Arsht Centre for the Perfoming Arts

7/16/08 – 7/20/08
South Florida Film Festival
Coconut Grove

7/18/08 – 7/20/08
Florida Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies
At Dolphin Stadium

7/18/08 – 7/20/08
IFE-ILE Afro Cuban Dance Festival
Coconut Grove

7/18/08 – 7/22/08
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Miami Swim
Various location on Miami beach

7/24/08 – 8/17/08
Slava's Snowshow
Arsht Centre for the Performing Arts

Summer Cabaret Concert Series
Deering Estate at Cutler Ridge

7/30/08 – 8/3/08
7th Miami Salsa Congress
Miami Beach and Coral Gables