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New Miami Business magazine

Weekend Getaway: Little Palm Island [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Travel: Weekend Getaways
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

A THREE-HOUR DRIVE FROM Miami south into the Keys, weary execs will find solace at Little Palm Island, a secluded island paradise—with only one telephone. It’s reminiscent of the uncharted isle where shipwrecked Gilligan found himself castaway. Of course, Gilligan, never dined at a first-class French restaurant, received an hour-long Thai massage or paddled around in a heated pool. The pampering begins at check-in where a perky concierge greets guests inside a hut by the side of the road near Little Torch Key (at mile marker 28.5). Bearing cocktails and information packets, she charms guests until a zippy motorboat arrives to transport visitors to the island.

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Weekend Getaway: The Grand Bay Hotel [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Feature: Weekend Getaways

SOMETIMES THE BEST WAY TO get away for a weekend is to forego the hassles of traveling. That’s a secret Miami’s elite have known for years, and one of their escapes is the five-star elegance of the 181-room Grand Bay Hotel in Coconut Grove. From the white-gloved bellman that whisks luggage and ladies through the gilded front door to a complimentary glass of champagne offered at check-in, most everything about the Grand Bay is presented with silver-platter courtesy and discretion. Guests even get to choose the room décor they’d like for their suite: safari, Marrakech and Mandarin are most popular, the concierge confides.

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The Politics of Preservation [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Photo by Brian Smith
Design by Kevin Jolliffe


This article received a first place Charlie Award for Feature Writing from The Florida Magazine Association

TWO YEARS AGO, JUST BEFORE the doomed Senator Hotel was razed, a demolition team descended on the historic Miami Beach structure like pall bearers. The shirtless men with white work gloves tore etched glass from the Senator’s window frames. They ignored the graffiti messages: “Save the Senator” and “Royale Kills Deco, which had been spray painted on the half-century old monument. The Senator’s owner, the Royale Group, had decided the land beneath the Senator should be used as a parking lot. The company had finally gotten a demolition permit from the City of Miami Beach after a six-month wait. For those six months, a battle to save the Senator was waged by the 200-member Miami Design Preservation League, led by the late Barbara Capitman, Miami’s most vocal advocate of preserving historic architecture until her death last March. On October 12, 1988, the battle ended. The law was on the side of the Royale Group. There was nothing the preservationists could do to save the hotel, nothing except stand and watch as a wrecking ball crashed into the Senator’s eye browed facade. A backhoe finished the job.

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Good As Gold: Bijoux Terner Dazzles the World with Costume Jewelry [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine / Cover story
Photos by Deborah Gray Mitchell
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

CALL HIM THE EARL OF FAUX PEARL EARRINGS, the Baron oft he Rhinestone Brooch, the Duke of Glass Diamond Chokers. He’s the man who keeps many Miami socialites (he refuses to name names) in costume jewels while the real thing comes out only for the most special occasions. His name is Salomon Terner, a businessman who is at once charming and shrewd in dealing with his customers, the thousands of retailers who stock their stores with Terner’s brand of affordable glamour. “My philosophy is simple,” he says. “We take care of the customer like there is no tomorrow. They are treated like royalty here.” Terner’s business philosophy has made him a wealthy man. A Cuban exile that repaired handbags for a living in Miami in the early 1960s, he now runs a multi-million-dollar international business empire called Bijoux Terner Inc. Annually his company cashes in by selling jewelry that is much less expensive than it looks. Call him the King of Illusion.

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Passion and Profit: The Ascension of Latin American Art [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Photos by Eduardo Galliani
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

AN ANTIQUE SILVER ELECTRIC FAN whilrs warm air around Arturo Rodriguez’s small paint-spattered studio in South Miami. Jars jammed with brushes and tubes of oil paint line a bookshelf. A half dozen half-finished canvases rest against a plaster wall. Standing alone in the center of the room is Rodriguez himself, looking intently at a canvas that he has painted red. “I don’t know what it will be,” he says, bemused. If this painting is anything like Rodriguez’s other works, the images on the canvas will be additions to his now-famous cast of twisted characters that seem to teeter on the edge of sanity. Nude and floating, falling off the rim of a stool or drowning in a bath, the images tell of the loneliness of political exile. “The imagery in much of my work describes a sense of alienation,” Rodriguez says. “Part of it is because I am an exile from Cuba. But a-11 human beings go through periods in their life where they feel exiled. Feeling isolated is a universal emotion.”

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A Day in the Life of Jackson Memorial Hospital [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs and Ken Ibold
New Miami magazine
Photos by Cindy Seip
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

JACKSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL IS A study in contrast and controversy. This month’s referendum on a half-penny sales tax for Jackson is a turning point in the hospital’s history—but it won’t be the last. Other issues will arise. New proposals will follow. New debates will flare up. But dramatic turning points tend to overshadow everyday reality. While the money problems at Jackson are serious, so are the health problems of those who depend on Dade’s only public hospital. Here, then, is a look at the human story behind the public debate—a day in the life of Jackson.

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Heir Apparent [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine / Father’s Day Special
Photos by Donna Victor
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

Many of the sons and daughters in our Father’s Day portrait gallery were groomed for the management positions they now hold. For most of them, joining Dad’s company was a choice, not a duty. In several cases, the kids took a hiatus for a while. In the end, however, they all came home.

Pictured right: Richard, Irving and Sam Getz, Mayor’s Jewelers—Sam on Irving: “My dad’s got tremendous instincts about business. You really learn from that. Sometimes things get convoluted, though. Things that should be family get mixed up with business and things that should be business get mixed up with family.”

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Hotshots: Flautist Nestor Torres [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Photo by Donna Victor
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

This article, part of our monthly Hotshots series, received a first place Charlie Award for Best Column from The Florida Magazine Association

EYES CLOSED, PASSIONATE ENERGY EMANATING from the silver flute he holds gingerly in his hands, Nestor Torres percolates to the rhythm of a cut from his latest album, “Dance of the Phoenix.” Torres, 34, says he chose that name because he feels like a phoenix-the mythical bird that lived in the Arabian desert for 500 or 600 years before setting itself on fire, then rose from its ashes to start another long life. It was May 12,1990, when Torres’ life went up in flames. A nearly fatal accident during a celebrity boating race left Torres with 19 fractured ribs, a concussion, a collapsed lung and two broken collarbones. For months, he couldn’t take care of himself, let alone play his beloved flute.

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Hotshots: Jazz Guitarist Peter Betan [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Photo by Donna Victor
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

JAZZ GUITARIST PETER BETAN HAS carved himself a niche in the Miami club scene. Every night of the week he is booked into nightclubs in Coconut Grove, downtown Miami and Miami Beach. He first looked for his place in the spotlight in New York. To support himself, he drove cabs, cleaned out dog cages and repaired pianos. Nothing was too menial for the Billy Joel wannabe who spent his nights playing Manhattan nightclubs. In 1987, Betan decided the competitive grind of New York was likely to chew him up. His family was in Miami and he headed here for a fresh start. “I saw the music scene here was conducive to a solo format,” he says. He was right.

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Hotshots: Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor James Judd [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Photo by Donna Victor
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

JAMES JUDD HAD HIS WORK cutout for him when he took the job as music director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Florida in 1987. The company—formed only three years earlier when the Fort Lauderdale Symphony merged with the Boca Raton Orchestra—was on a shoestring budget of $600,000. Since then, the amiable Englishman has given South Florida a cultural infusion through his work at the Philharmonic-and this year’s $5.8 million budget reflects the enthusiasm he has generated. “He is a real asset to the community,” says Judy Drucker, president of the Concert Association of South Florida. “He is a complete and perfect gentleman. And besides, I really like his English accent.”

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Hotshots: Paula Winick, Miami Heat [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Photo by Donna Victor
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

BEFORE SHE WENT TO WORK for the Miami Heat, Pauline Winick wasn’t particularly fond of sports. “The only sporting event I ever attended was in the 1960s when I went with a girlfriend to seethe New York Knicks,” she says. “We both had a crush on one of the players.” But Winick, 44, has learned a lot during her three years as executive vice president of the Miami Heat. “It’s amazing how much basketball she knows now,” says Billy Cunningham, one of the partners in the Heat. A New York native, Winick spent most of the 1980s working in the public sector. First, as top PR person for the Metro-Dade county manager, and later as executive assistant to Miami’s city manager. She started her own public relations business in 1987 and landed a job working with the future owners of the Miami Heat—a job that led to her current position as the Heat’s marketing maven. She is one of only two female executives among the NBA’s 27 teams (the other works for the Washington Bullets).

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Hotshots: Educator Tessa Martinez Tagle [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Photo by Donna Victor
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

TESSA MARTINEZ TAGLE HAS A battle on her hands. As a vice president at Miami-Dade Community College, she is using the weapon of education to break the cycle of poverty in Dade County. Her arsenal: MDCC’s nursing and allied health programs. Since Tagle took over the programs in 1988, she has helped increase enrollment from 5,259 in 1989 to 5,701 this year. She also is credited with helping raise the ratio of Hispanic and black students in her programs—from 63 percent to 66 percent. “Education is he key to breaking the cycle of poverty and economic dependence on the public system,” says Tagle, 43. “If you change just one person’s educational level in a family, you change generations to come after that.”

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Dealmakers: President of the Florida Senate, Gwen Margolis [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Dealmakers / April 1991
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

GWEN MARGOLIS LIKES TO PLAY POKER. She often wins. Last fall, she bet her political career when she ran for president of the Florida Senate. The odds were against her. Never before had a woman held the position. The female, Jewish Democrat from North Miami was setting out to wrest power from a coalition of Republicans and conservative Democrats who had controlled the Senate for the past four years. To battle her competitors—a Fort Lauderdale Republican and a Democrat from the Florida Panhandle—Margolis sought help from three Dade Republicans, all of them Cuban American state senators, and from Jorge Mas Canosa, the head of the Cuban-American National Foundation. Their support, plus her solid legislative track record and unbridled confidence, helped the 56-year-old Margolis win the contest for president of the Florida Senate, one of the state government’s most powerful positions.

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Dealmakers: Tobacco Road [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Dealmakers / July 1990
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

CONVERSATION HUMS AND BOTTLES CLINK, the air is filled with the scent of musky oak—or maybe that’s day-old beer? Either way, you know you’ve come home to Miami’s oldest sloppy drinking spot, owner of Miami’s liquor license No. 001. Tobacco Road, a bread bakery until the Volstead Act made it more profitable to operate as a speakeasy, officially became a blue-collar neighborhood bar after the 18th Amendment was repealed. And so it remained, a faded establishment on the verge of obscurity even before owner / police officer Neil Katzman was accused of dealing drugs out of there in the early ’80s. He was never convicted, but the bust killed what was left of his business. Then came two young guns: Kevin Rusk and Patrick Gleber. Recent graduates of the restaurant management program at Florida International University, the 22-year-olds bought the landmark from Katzman for $100,000. With help from some local jazz and blues artists, they turned the dive into a moneymaker.

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Dealmakers: Parrot Jungle Owner, Bern Levine [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Dealakers / April 1990
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

IN THE FALL OF 1988, environmentalists throughout Dade County let out a collective sigh of relief when two little-known investors stepped forward to purchase Parrot Jungle, the half-century-old attraction that just happened to be sitting on 31 highly developable acres in South Miami. Dr. Bern Levine and Richard Schubot, took control of the property on October, 1988—a great day for aviary fans, but an avowedly bad financial move. “This wasn’t a great business decision. It was a deal that came from our hearts and our pocketbooks. Of course, we don’t expect much will return to our pocketbooks,” says Levine, 47. Since then, however, the turnstiles at Parrot Jungle have recorded all-time high numbers of visitors—attendance was up 15 percent last year, and revenue increased by 33 percent—as the two investors have marketed the amusement center in a fresh way that is finally appropriate for the times.

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Dick Clark's New Club: And the Beat Goes On [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
City Beat / September 1990
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

WHAT A NIGHT,” SIGHS DICK CLARK as he eases into a red cushioned booth at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Cafe at Bayside. He has been busy signing autographs, and he pulls three black markers from his pocket to demonstrate. “This thick one is for signing clothes, this Bic marker is for signing napkins, and this thin market is for paper. On my way up here, a young lady asked me to sign her tush. “ He grins, raises an eyebrow and whips out a fourth marker. “ For that, I used the indelible ink.” Meeting him only slightly tarnishes the Dorian Gray image of Dick Clark, the eternal teenager. Yes, the 62 year- old host of the long-running TV teen paean “American Bandstand” has lines in his face and a slightly paunchy mid-section. But his energy, and that smooth-as-silk voice, is ageless.

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City Beat [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
August 1990
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

TRYING AGAIN AT UNITED WAY

Last year’s United Way campaign pulled in $21.6million-a hefty sum, but $400,000 less than the 1988 total. The campaign also fell $2.4 million short of its declared goal of $24 million-a shortfall largely blamed on the financial woes of major past contributors, including Eastern Airlines, Burdines and Jordan Marsh. This year’s chairman of the United Way campaign, beer distributor Carlos do la Cruz, is determined to avoid another year-to-year decline. Even though the campaign does not officially begin until next month, de la Cruz has been working since January to round up support for the 1990 drive. When it comes to discussing this year’s goal, however, de la Cruz gets a little defensive.

CABLES ACROSS THE CARIBBEAN

“Mr. Watson. Come at once. I want you,” Alexander Graham Bell reportedly said upon inventing the telephone in 1876. He had spilt battery acid down his pant leg and needed help. Nearly 125 years later, with the help of AT&T’s TCS- I fiber optic cable, Bell’s invention is linking continents. A June 14 conference marked the christening of the 2,800 miles of shark-proof cable, which now lies beneath the Caribbean and connects South Florida, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. Miami mayor Xavier Suarez greeted the group of 50 AT&T officials and press who gathered outdoors at Bayside Marketplace for the linking party. Don Smith, AT&T regional managing director for Latin America, warmed up the crowd with the significance of the event.

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City Beat: The Perez Family [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
August 1991
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

WHAT WOULD A HUSBAND AND wife talk about at the breakfast table if he had spent 20 years as a political prisoner in Cuba and she had spent those same 20 years selling furniture at Sears? Christine Bell first imagined that darkly comical scene in 1980, when the Mariel boatlift flooded Miami with tens of thousands of Cuban refugees. Her imaginary breakfast scene became the basis for her second novel, “The Perez Family.” The touching tale tracks the lives of Marielitos Juan Raul and Dottie Perez, refugees who struggle to define their place in Miami as free people.

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More New Miami Business magazine Articles


"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.

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