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Welcome to our new News section

September 01, 2005By Gus

MiamiBeach411 has redesigned our News section to allow for better archiving and more functionality.

If you are searching for an old article, you can access our news archives from 3/05 to 8/05 here.

If you have browsed MiamiBeach411 News before you won’t be surprised by the new layout at: http://www.miamibeach411.com/news/index.php

Travel, Local News, Entertainment, Events and Headlines can all be linked to from our new Miami News section.

At the bottom of the page, you can also find a search engine where you can search MiamiBeach411 news articles back to August of 2002.

All of our news is free to read. Unlike other Miami newspapers, no registration required to access them.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News, Miami: Travel News, Technology

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Florida universities offer aid to NOLA refugees

September 02, 2005By Gus

Florida colleges are making special accomadations for students attending universities in Katrina’s wake. The University of Florida and Florida State University is doing the same, along with other schools across the State, for any students displaced by the hurricane.

Source: Aligator Online

Related Categories: Miscellaneous

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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Jamie Foxx To Host Miami Benifit For Hurricane Victims

September 03, 2005By Gus

Jaime Foxx will host a charity cocktail party on Sunday night at the Delano Hotel in Miami Beach to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Foxx will serve as auctioneer at the poolside party charity event. Items to be auctioned off include diamond watches, travel packages, and a lunch date with a celebrity, among other things. Tickets are $200. The proceeds will go to the American Red Cross.

Another celebrity event to benefit the American Red Cross is scheduled on Tuesday night at Macarena in Miami Beach. Grammy-winning Bacilos will perform. The minimum donation is $30.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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Shaq and Shaunie, Tobacco Road Katrina Relief Festival

September 08, 2005By Gus

Shaquille O’Neal and his wife Shaunie are coordinating a relief effort to help some of the people affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Through Saturday, the O’Neal family will have collection boxes set up at the eight El Dorado furniture stores in South Florida, and are asking the public to donate toiletries and other personal health items that will be transported to Baton Rouge, LA. in the coming days.

Shaq played college basketball in Baton Rouge at LSU. He canceled his annual charity golf tournament there earlier this month, and has spent several days in Louisiana viewing the damage and assisting with relief efforts.

The team is also kicking in. Miami Heat officials say they will soon finalize a formal plan to help.

UPDATE: MBonline quotes Shaunie saying “The response has been overwhelming. A warehouse commandeered to store the donations is nearly filled to capacity. There’s 10,000 gallons of water, piles of diapers, peroxide, personal items and clothing, plus even some donations of refrigerators and beds—which will be used to help furnish 400 apartments the O’Neals’ plan to rent for refugees in Dallas and other areas.

On Sunday, September 11th from 3pm to 8pm, Tobacco Road is producing the “Katrina Hurricane Relief Festival”. The suggested donation is $10—and every penny raised including all donations, and the procesed raised from the food and bar will go directly to the Red Cross earmarked for Katrina relief.

There will be 3 stages with live music. The bands include: The SpamAllstars, IKO - IKO, Fulano, Rhett y Los Borrachos Empenados, Will Thomas & The Redneck Orchestra, The Baboons, Diane Ward Band, The 18 Wheelers, Kuyayky, Kazak, Oriente, Little Atlas, Papa Joe Blues Ban, and Marcel Anton.

Tobacco Road might also need a few other bands to play. For media and booking details call Mark Weiser at (305) 373-3810.

Don’t forget that you can also help support Hurricane Katrina victims by attending the Jamie Foxx auction at the Delano Hotel.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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South Beach Local Bus To Replace Electrowave

September 11, 2005By Gus
image

The eye-catching Electrowave shuttle bus will cease operations on Sunday, September 25th at 1am; and the Miami-Dade Transit’s Route W will also cease operations at 8pm, Saturday, September 24th.

The two services will now be combined into one route by called the South Beach Local, operated by Miami-Dade Transit. The new service begins at 10am, Sunday, September 25th.

The South Beach Local is a bi-directional circular service to the entire South Beach area.

The best news is the transit fare will be 25 cents.

Several public meetings will be held in September to introduce the new service: September 14 at 5:30 p.m. and September 20 at 4:00 p.m. at Miami Beach City Hall’s Commission Chambers. For more information, call the Miami Beach Transportation Management Association at 305-535-9160.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News, Miami: Travel News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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South Beach Gourmet Wraps

September 12, 2005By Gus

Sobe Wraps is a new express eatery located at 941 Washington Avenue.

The restaurant is the brainchild of Alan Roth (of Rumi) and Tommy Pooch (of Pucci’s Pizza). They offer a few salads, but the menu is more sandwich-focused with gourmet meats (prosciutto, lamb, roast top beef) served on a variety of breads from pitas to tortillas.

The wraps are generous in size—8 to 10 inches long—and include gourmet extras like frisée, radishes, avocado, even artichokes. The 420, for example, packs in smoked chicken, roasted tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, lettuce and akimchee mayo.

Note: When ordering, ask them to go easy on the condiments. Most of the wraps are paired with a heavy-handed amount of dressings (miso soy, horseradish mayo, jalapeño cilantro).

Sobe Wraps
941 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone: 305-673-0066
Web: www.sobewraps.com

Related Categories: Miami: Local News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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Cruise ships for hurricane victims

Three Carnival Cruise ships have been pressed into service by FEMA to provide shelter for as many as 7,000 hurricane victims.

The Ecstasy, the Sensation and the Holiday are being pulled from regular use starting Monday at the Government’s request. The cost of the charters was not disclosed.

Carnival Cruises spokesman Vance Gulliksen said Saturday from Miami, where the company is based, that pleasure cruises were canceled to make the ships available for the next six months.

“I can’t put a number on it, but we are displacing people to accommodate the FEMA charter,” he said. “You’re looking at tens of thousands.”

Ecstasy, normally ported at Galveston for four-and five-day cruises, and Sensation, normally in New Orleans for similar trips, will both be pulled Monday and are scheduled to dock and house Katrina refugees in Galveston, Texas.

The Holiday, which normally sails four and five-day Mexico cruises out of Mobile, Ala., will be pulled Thursday and likely docked in Mobile.

About 920 crew members will staff the Ecstasy and Sensation, with about 660 running the Holiday. The Ecstasy and Sensation can each take 2,606 total passengers, while the Holiday can hold 1,800.

“We sincerely apologize to those guests whose vacations have been impacted by these voyage cancellations,” Carnival’s chief executive, Bob Dickinson, said in a statement. “This inconvenience… will provide desperately needed housing for thousands of individuals affected by this tragedy.”

All Carnival customers with canceled bookings will get full refunds and the opportunity to re-book on any Carnival ship with a $100-per-person shipboard credit.

Related stories:

Katrina Tropical Storm Advisory
Miami Hurricane Warning
Katrina Closes Schools & Airports
Port Everglades Closed, Locals Prepare For Flooding
Katrina has passed - All is well in Miami Beach
Hats off to Miami FPL
Florida universities offer aid to NOLA refugees
Jamie Foxx To Host Miami Benifit For Hurricane Victims
Shaq and Shaunie, Tobacco Road Katrina Relief Festival

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Rescheduled flight, first class upgrade

My friends, Michael and Lisa, just got married in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was storybook wedding, but 6-hours before they were scheduled to board a flight for their honeymoon in New Zealand, they received and email from the airline announcing that their flight had been canceled rescheduled , and the next flight available was the following day.

They called the airlines and got the standard “sorry, but there is nothing we can do” reply.

But Michael was undaunted. He hopped into a cab, and went to the airline ticket office to speak with someone in person. The airlines was much more accommodating face-to-face. The representative apologized for the inconvenience, and made amends by upgrading their tickets to First Class.

If you are traveling and get bumped to a rescheduled flight, here is a list of Airlines in Miami where you can voice a complaint. Michael used the list, and it got him and Lisa First Class tickets on an 18-hour flight.

Related Stories:
Best day to buy air tickets

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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Miami Grand Theft Auto

The National Insurance Crime Bureau ranks Florida cities by car-theft rate. Not surprisingly, Miami ranks #1. (It’s 13th in nation, down from 6th in 2002.)

You don’t think it was a coincidence that the video game “Grand Theft Auto Vice City” was set in Miami do you?

Source: FlaBlog

Related Categories: Miami: Local News, Miscellaneous

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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Wi-Fi security tips

As more and more people travel with wireless notebooks and logon to the Internet at public Wi-Fi hotspots, hackers lie in wait, anxious to exploit the security vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi.

The following four tips will help you fortify your defenses while enjoying the benefits of surfing the Web via public Wi-Fi:

Tip #1 - Beware the “Evil Twin”. An “Evil Twin” is a hacker operated hotspot designed to trick users into believing it is a legitimate public hotspot by mimicking the legitimate public hotspot’s network name and login page (if applicable). Once the user has connected to the “rogue” hotspot, the hacker may even go as far as mimicking login pages for popular email and banking sites thereby stealing the user’s most valued login credentials.

A standard protection against this type of attack is to only use public hotspots that provide an SSL-encrypted login connection which has been certified as legitimate by a trusted third party such as Thawte or Verisign. If the login page’s URL begins with “https” versus “http” and you see a “lock” icon in the lower right hand corner of your web browser, it is SSL-encrypted. You can view the SSL certificate from your web browser by clicking File > Properties > Certificates

Tip #2 - Virtually all public hotspots disable WEP and WPA to provide a hassle free login for users. What this means is that your data is not encrypted as it travels through the air and can be read by a hacker using standard command line utilities found in certain operating systems. Unless your company provides you with a VPN (Virtual Private Network), your best bet is to act as if there is always someone looking over your shoulder because someone might be. If you intend to perform financial transactions, ensure that you are doing so over an SSL-encrypted connection.

Tip #3 - Turn your firewall on and configure your wireless network settings as follows: Start > Settings > Network Connections > Wireless Network Connection > Change Advanced Settings > Advanced Tab > Windows Firewall Settings > Select “On” > OK

Turn ad-hoc mode off: Start > Settings > Network Connections > Wireless Network Connection > Change Advanced Settings > Wireless Networks Tab > Select Network > Properties > Uncheck “This is a computer-to-computer (ad-hoc) network” > OK

Disable file sharing: Start > Settings > Network Connections > Wireless Network Connection > Change Advanced Settings > Uncheck “File and Printer Sharing” > OK

Tip #4- Keep both your operating system and anti-virus software current with the latest updates.

By employing these four security tips, your data will stay out of the wrong hands while you surf the Web via public Wi-Fi.

Related stories:
Wi-Fi Hotspots
Hotels with Internt Access
Miami Beach Internet Cafes

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News, Technology

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Hispanic media influence grows

Meg James of the LA Times points out “As Hispanic Population Grows, So Does Its Presence On TV”.

Meg has some interesting points related to media trends:

“To lend authenticity to UPN’s upcoming prime-time soap, “South Beach,” some scenes are being shot entirely in Spanish. Subtitles will be sprinkled throughout the midseason offering, which Jennifer Lopez’s production company is filming in Miami.

In ABC’s new sitcom, “Freddie,” one of the main characters—Freddie Prinze Jr.‘s Puerto Rican grandmother—speaks only Spanish. The show, which debuts in October, will use subtitles to translate her words.

In “Go, Diego, Go!” a Nickelodeon cartoon that premiered last week, the hero is a brown-skinned bilingual boy who lives in a rain forest and teaches viewers to say “cuidado” (be careful) and “al rescate” (to the rescue).

The Hispanic market is growing in affluence, and it’s growing in influence,” said Felipe Herrera, director of diversity sales and marketing for General Motors, one of the nation’s largest buyers of TV advertising. “We recognize that this is an incredible opportunity.”

Executives at the major networks are experimenting with a mix of English and Spanish to win over what some say is becoming one of the most attractive groups of all: young bilingual Hispanics.”

As Hispanics become the largest minority group in the United States, representing an estimated $700 billion a year in buying power, media companies and advertisers are scrambling to figure how to appeal to them.

We are reaching out t to our Spanish speaking visitors by translating Miami Beach 411 en Español.

Via: Media Spotlight

Related Categories: Miami: Local News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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Goth photoshop contest, Argentine TV is cool

September 13, 2005By Gus

Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing points us to a photoshop contest; Great Worth1000’s: If Goths Ruled.

Michelle and I just got back from our friend’s wedding in Argentina. We had a great vacation, and learned a travel tip, or two.

We can’t say enough good things about Buenos Aires. The food, the exchange rate, even the Engligh TV is cool. While we were there, we watched an unedited version of “Cat People” on public TV.

What’s your favorite Goth movie, or band?

For Goth movie, I choose “The Hunger”, staring David Bowie, Susan Sarandon, and Catherine Deneuve.

I can’t choose a band.

My vampire friend, FaberX, recommended a great Goth song to me, but I can’t remember the title. Perhaps when he wakes from his slumber, we can ask him to post a link.

I think the band’s name had the word “Romulus” in it.

Related Categories: Miscellaneous

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Shaq helps arrest man accused of assaulting gay couple

September 14, 2005By Gus
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Miami Beach’s #1 neighboor, Shaquille O’Neal, has been credited with helping police arrest a suspect who assaulted a gay couple on Sunday night.

The Miami Heat center, who is in the process of becoming a Miami Beach reserve officer, was driving in Miami Beach about 3am Sunday. That’s when he saw a man, riding as a passenger in a silver Honda, yelling gay slurs at the couple, said Bobby Hernandez, spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department.

He then got out of the car and with a 1.75 liter bottle of Brandy, broke it on the pedestrian’s back, who was left shaken, but not seriously hurt.

The suspect got back in the car and sped off, but O’Neal followed.

“He flagged down the Miami Beach officer on duty there, and the officer was able to apprehend the subject,” Hernandez said.

Michael Gonzalez, 18, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and assault with a deadly weapon, but the Honda’s driver was not charged. Why not? Isn’t it illegal to be driving with open bottles of brandy in the car?

Shaq has previously stated that he hopes to be police chief or county sheriff one day. He’s got my vote. 

Related Categories: Miami: Local News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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Escape to Miami Triathlon course unveiled

The Inaugural Escape to Miami Triathlon has unveiled the course that promises to be both exciting and challenging to over 800 athletes. The race will provide the Eastern U.S. with an Escape from Alcatraz style race amid the beautiful backdrop of Downtown Miami and Miami Beach.

With one of the most unique race starts in the triathlon world, swimmers will be ferried out to “Escape Island” in the middle of Biscayne Bay off Downtown Miami. Swimmers will complete a .9 mile swim, reaching Miami at Margaret Pace Park, where the race continues.

A 2-loop bike course will bring bikers across Biscayne Bay. The fast straightaway on the causeway leads bikers to and from the quiet streets of residential Miami Beach. Bikers will head back to Pace Park for the final challenge—the run.

The Escape concludes with an exciting run that will provide a competitive finish. Set on the water along the MacArthur Causeway, runners will head through the Performing Arts District and over to Watson Island, passing cruise ships, American Airlines Arena and catching a final glimpse of where it all started- “Escape Island.”

The picturesque finish line will be set with the ocean and the island in the background, providing triathletes with the perfect view and a lasting memory of their first ever Escape to Miami.

Registration for the Escape to Miami Triathlon remains open but there are only a few spots remaining.

The Inaugural Escape to Miami Triathlon will take place at 7:30am on Sunday, September 18, 2006. Participants are urged to pick up packets on Saturday, September 17 at Margaret Pace Park on N. Bayshore Drive and 20th Street from 11am to 6pm. Athletes must arrive 2 hours prior to the event in order to load ferries and unload athletes on “Escape Island.”

Race organizers have unveiled the Olympic distance Escape course online at EscapeMiamiTriathlon.com

Related Categories: Miami: Local News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Budget Travel Miami Beach podcast

It’s exciting to see travel podcasting catching on. Supposedly, it started in January of 2005 with Adam Curry and his South Beach Podcast.

This new podcast by Budget Travel takes us to Miami Beach. The hosts visit the beach and talk with a sun worshiping butler, and a real estate preservationist.

Budget Travel has put a lot of production effort into this podcast, with original music and natural sound FX, but they do feel a bit staged.

Via: Gadling

Related stories:
South Beach, Miami Hotels
Miami Beach 3-Star Hotels

Related Categories: Miami: Local News, Miami: Travel News, Technology

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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Cop jobs with Miami Beach Police

September 15, 2005By Gus

The Miami Beach Police Department has extended its deadline for job applications to September 29.

The department is looking for candidates for sworn and nonsworn department positions. To apply, candidates must be a U.S. citizen, have a Florida driver’s license, and be at least 19 years old, among other requirements.

Full employment details including requirements and benefits, as well as an application, can be found right here.

If you are interested in applying for a job with the Miami Beach Police, you can also call the department at (305) 673-7000, Ext. 6393.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Miami 311 Call Center

September 18, 2005By Gus

Whether you want to report a pothole or have questions about your property taxes, there is now a new way to find information in Miami-Dade County—call 311.

Officials promise that 311 is the new can-do code for Miami-Dade County and will help you bypass government bureaucracy.

“We’ve basically done away with 1,600 telephone numbers. So, you call a central location, 311. All the information is here,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez said.

Operators take calls in English, Spanish and Creole and are trained to handle almost anything, officials said. If the operators cannot resolve your problem, they pass your request to the right agency.

The center takes calls Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm. Officials say that within a year, they plan to have the service up and running 24 hours a day.

Within three years, officials hope to have all of Miami-Dade’s cities connected. So far, only the city of Miami has participating with the county.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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Delta and Northwest File Bankruptcy

September 19, 2005By Gus

Delta Airlines, the nation’s third-largest carrier, has lost nearly $10 billion over the last four years. In September 2004, Delta announced it would shed its Dallas hub as part of a sweeping turnaround plan aimed at saving the airline.

But these drastic cuts did not work.

After years of financial maneuvering, high fuel costs are pushing Delta and Northwest Airlines into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Delta listed its total debt at $28.3 billion and assets at $21.6 billion. The asset figure makes Delta’s bankruptcy the ninth-largest in U.S. history.

They became the third and fourth major carriers to enter Chapter 11 since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Via: ABC News

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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Vacation Safety Tips

Welcome to Miami: Watch Your Back
image

Miami Beach is a fun, and usually safe city to visit, but a number of random violent acts involving many close friends has urged me to comment on vacation safety. 

First some true stories…

On a Satuday night at 11pm, my friend Dan was coming home from his job at Pacific Time restaurant. At Euclid Ave. and 6th St., Dan got involved in a traffic altercation with a young male. The male violently attacked Dan with a kryptonite bicycle lock. Dan’s leg was severely broken, putting him out of work for nine months.

On a Sunday night at at 3am, my band mates, Pancho and Hernan, were walking down Lincoln Road. Out of nowhere, they were struck from behind by two unidentified attackers. Pancho was knocked unconscious, and fell face first into the pavement, losing his front teeth. The thieves also got away with then stealing Pancho’s wallet. 

On a Sunday night at 11pm, two friends from Tuscan Steak restaurant were assaulted on Washington Ave. and 5th St. Thankfully, Shaq saved the day.

As you can see, it is easy to let your guard down, especially when you are on vacation in a place like Miami Beach.

But the rules of the road may not be the same here as they are at home. Below are 16 vacation safety tips to remember:

  1. Before your trip, study a map of the destination. Pick an emergency meeting spot. We provide a number of local maps that can help you.
  2. Carry minimum luggage. Label each piece of luggage with your name and address.
  3. Do not pack valuables in bags you plan to check. Your bags will pass through many unsupervised hands. Keep your camera, computer, jewelry, money, and important documents in a carry-on bag. And there is always the chance that your baggage may not keep up with you, so pack medications and prescriptions in your carry on bags.
  4. In your hotel room, make sure windows and balcony doors are locked.
  5. Learn the location of hotel exits.
  6. Ask the hotel about the safety of the neighborhood and which areas to avoid.
  7. Ask the hotel for directions and costs before taking a cab.
  8. When exploring the city, don’t look vulnerable. Walk with a purpose and stay alert to what is happening around you.
  9. Use traveler’s checks and credit cards instead of cash whenever possible.
  10. Walkie-talkies, cell phones, and the Internet can keep you in touch with information and emergency services.
  11. Leave nothing in your car. Cars have been broken into for jackets and shopping bags.
  12. Leave copies of your itinerary, identification and credit cards with family or friends at home, so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
  13. Upload your itinerary, identification and credit card information onto a secure website so that you can retrieve the data from a local Internet cafe.
  14. Know where bad neighborhoods are, and avoid them. This is especially true when visiting Downtown Miami. There are no bad neighborhoods in Miami Beach as such. I avoid Washington Ave. and 16th St., but that is because of panhandlers and dirty streets. I also avoid walking on the Beach after dark. It’s not that it’s so dangerous, but why put yourself in a vulnerable situation.And if I need to walk late at night, I will choose to walk a busy street like Washington Ave., Collins Ave., or Ocean Dr., rather than walking a residential street like Euclid Ave., Jefferson Ave., or , Meridian Ave.
  15. It’s easy to let your guard down when it’s late and you’ve had a few drinks. But people should always beware of crime and theft inside night clubs.
  16. Miami Beach attracts a large mix of culturally diverse people; that is what make our city so great, but we can also attract a few hotheaded bullies looking to pick a fight. Avoid volatile situations. Don’t have words with the wrong guy. Just walk away. Later, you will be happy you did.

When you are on vacation have fun, stay alert, and use caution with whom you give your trust.

Photo by Miami Fever

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Update: Rita Storm Warning - All Is Well In Miami Beach

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OK, it’s official. I received an email from the City of Miami Beach anouncing an advisory for Tropical Storm Rita.  A volunteer evacuation has been issued starting at 6pm tonight:

“As of 11:00 a.m. this morning, a hurricane warning has been issued for Miami-Dade County prompting a voluntary evacuation for Miami Beach beginning at 6:00 p.m. tonight.”

The Sun Sentinel has links to a Tropical Storm 5 Day Forecast, a Storm Advisory, and a Strike Probability Map.

MiamiBeach411 has links to Miami webcams that will give you a good sense of the current weather conditions.

Update 1: I just noticed Local 10 News has replaced their exterior webcam shot with an interior shot of a TV inisde the news room, displaying live radar of Hurricane Rita.  You can see the Local10 webcam here.

Update 2: City of Miami Beach offices and services, including beaches, remain closed today, Tuesday, September 20. City business and services are expected to resume to normal operations tomorrow, Wednesday, September 21.

Surfers converge on South Beach. See hurricane rita surf video at nbc6.

Update 3:  The Orlando CVB says hotel rooms are available for those avoiding Rita. 96 hotels report 4,800 rooms are available for Sept. 20th, 5,247 available for Sept. 21st, and 5,700 for Sept. 22nd. For more info, the bureau has activated its hotline at (407) 354-5555.

Update 4: Thankfully, Rita has passed us by. There is NO damage to report. Miami Beach is OPEN for business. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in her path.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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Internet 2 at New World Symphony

September 20, 2005By Gus

New World Symphony is pioneering the use of Internet2 technologies to enable universities and orchestras to join and engage in the remote exchange of music.

Matt Heller has a firsthand review of the New World Symphony Interent2 in action:

“Once they got going, it was easy to forget about all those gigabits of data racing through the ether and concentrate on what Mr. Doane was communicating, which was a lot of great stuff: the beginning of the fugue in the 5th Suite Prelude by Bach should sound “like Rumplestiltskin walking around”, he said, while in Don Quixote the bow arm should be “the marriage of a 100-lb. jellyfish and an eagle, or maybe some seaweed”. It might sound like a bunch of non-sequiturs, but it made perfect sense if you were there - wherever ‘there’ was!”

Via: Hella Frisch

 

Related Categories: Miami: Local News, Technology

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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Mynt Nightclub Door Policy

Gridskipper says you’re never going to get into Mynt Nightclub so stop reading now:

“Your only hope is dropping a couple grand on bottle service—cash in advance, please. It will totally be worth it when Jennifer Lopez orders her publicist to order her bodyguards to order the manager to order security to order the doormen to evict you from your table.”

Via: Gridskipper

Also see: Mynt Reviews

Related Categories: Miami: Local News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Nightclub ID Scanner

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A British company called idscan introduces Clubscan — an ID scanner for nightclubs and entertainment venues.

Here is how it works: at the door, people present their ID which is scanned and validated against a database which recognizes passports, driving licenses, and national ID cards from the US, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the Far East. The scanner also allows club owners to collect information about male-to-female ratios, average age, geographic report by postal code, average time of arrival, Oh, and it has this CD burning feature to help facilitate police cooperation.

Engadget says if you ask clubbers to scan their ID’s they will go elsewhere, but I don’t agree. I’ve seen poeple wait in line for over an hour and then pay $30 to get into Opium. Not to mention, everything you must do to get past Mynt’s ridiculous door policy.

If people think that by letting the club scan their ID, they may be getting to the front of the line, those eager to enter will happily supply their ID for scannage.

Via: Engaget

Related Categories: Technology

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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FCAT Reading and Math Tests

September 21, 2005By Gus

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The 2005 FCAT reading and math exams that Florida’s 10th-graders took last year have been posted on the Internet, along with the answers to each test.

State officials are posting the exams in response to criticism that the FCAT is biased, inaccurate or too difficult. Because the tests are being made public, the state will have to pay test designers to draft new questions.

The FCAT is used to determine both school grades and progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Law.

Online versions of the fourth and eighth-grade tests will be released later this year.

Via: nbc6

Related Categories: Miami: Local News, Miscellaneous

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Hotel Chains With Free Internet

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USAToday is befuddled by how national hotel chains charge for the Internet. Frankly, I was befuddled after reading their article. Here is a short list of what they uncovered:

Hotels with free Internet:

• Marriott
• Courtyard
• Hampton Inn
• Residence Inn
• Fairfield Inn
• TownePlace Suites
• SpringHill Suites

Hotels that charge for Internet:
• Hyatt Regency
• Embassy Suites
• Starwood’s
• W Hotels
• Westin

If you are wondering which hotels in Miami Bech offer Internet service, read our article about local Internet friendly hotels. You will find a list of hotels in Miami Beach that offer Internet access, which hotels have free Internet service, and which hotels charge.

Via: USAToday

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News, Technology

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

We Want To Hear From You

Some have been critical the comments here are somewhat quiet.

Thankfully, Lifehacker has come to our rescue with an excellent guide to blog commenting. If posting comments makes you nervous like it does me, I highly recommend it.

And from now on, please don’t feel nervous to comment. We want to hear from you grin

Via: Google Blogscoped

Update: Since we are talking about writing, BoingBoing told us about a gude to write sensible email messages that should not be overlooked.

Related Categories: Miscellaneous

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Google Maps Rita Tracking

September 22, 2005By Gus

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The Central Florida Hurricane Center is using Google Maps to produce a storm track of Hurricane Rita. Click on “Legend” and you can see how Rita has grown from green (tropical depression) to red (Category 4), and now white (Category 5).

Related stories: Google Map Miami

Related Categories: Technology

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Secure Flight Airline Data

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The government is canceling plans to collect information on air travelers from commercial databases to identify potential terrorists on passenger lists.

The Trasnportations Safety Administration (TSA) has considered using commercial data for their new passenger pre-screening program: Secure Flight, but came under criticism from privacy advocates. In response, the agency has decided to launch the program without commercial data, the Journal quoted TSA chief Kip Hawley as saying.

“There’s no question it would be helpful but it brings with it a lot of privacy concerns,”

The regulations governing Secure Flight will be issued in the next few weeks, with the program set to begin early 2006.

Source: CNN

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Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Symphonic Relief

Saturday the New World Symphony performs a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina relief, including Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story”.

The concert, entitled “Symphonic Relief”, will be conducted by Alasdair Neale. Tickets are $15.

If you can not make the live perfromance, the concert will be broadcast on 91.3 WLRN om Saturday, September 24th at 8pm.

Via: Hella Frisch

Related Categories: Miami: Local News

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

Tonight The Baboons Are At Tobacco Road

September 23, 2005By Gus

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I was looking for something to do tonight. I just found out The Baboons are performing at Tobacco Road.

“THE BABOONS SPECIALIZE IN SPONTANEOUS RHYTHMIC COMBUSTION. Ranging from Afro-Cubandescargas to big-bottomed funk, from the laid-back grind of righteous reggae to syncopated New Orleans blues, from rock ‘n’ roll to primal percussion with a left turn at free jazz.”

Tobacco Road is graet venue for live music; it’s also the oldest Bar, Restaurant & Cabaret in Florida, established in 1912.

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Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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