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May 25, 2018

Up Front - The Publisher's Column

Miami -- and Florida -- Rising

Andrew P. Corty | 12/26/2014

If you haven’t visited Miami recently, then you don’t understand Florida.

Miami is at the vanguard of many trends statewide — and oftentimes nationwide. That’s why we’ve selected the city as the “Floridian of the Year.”

As south Florida editor Mike Vogel writes, Miami has solidified its role as a global city. Visitors and investors come from every corner of the world — including Europe, Russia and Asia — not just Latin America and the U.S./Canada.

Miami’s airport is bulging; its port has a huge new connector tunnel; condominiums are being built cheek by jowl; and new museums dot the landscape.

Wealth managers, law firms, top-end hotels, fancy restaurants, expensive retail and many others all benefit from the boom, created largely by international money.

Taxes and fees from all the activity in Miami make up a huge percentage of Florida’s overall revenue.

If you’re wondering whether the city can maintain its frenetic pace and spread its wealth to other nearby cities, you’re not alone. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Our editorial staff had many options when it came to choosing Florida Newsmakers in our Floridian of the Year package. There was Harry Potter, who brought tourists by the droves to Universal in Orlando, and CentComm commanders, who are leading the U.S. efforts in the Mideast.

However, we’ve named only four — C1 Bank’s Trevor Burgess, Gov. Rick Scott; his nemesis John Morgan; and the Mormon Church, which became the state’s top private landowner.

Following tradition, we also memorialize those Floridians in the military who lost their lives in the line of duty. We are grateful that it’s a smaller list this year.

Paint this case with your own preconceived notions. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officer suspected a fisherman of having 72 undersized grouper in his boat. But when the fisherman returned to shore the next day to have his catch inspected, three of the suspected undersized fish were missing. He was ordered to serve 30 days in prison for destroying evidence.

Is this fish tale an example of governmental over-reach? Are three small fish worth 30 days in jail? And should this case take the time of the U.S. Supreme Court?

Honestly, we have more important topics in the legal roundup, ranging from medical malpractice to Chinese drywall, but none is more fun than the undersized grouper suit.

January is the start of an exciting year for Florida Trend and its 250,000 executive readers. In March, we’ll cover the start of the legislative session, and in April we’ll run the annual Economic Yearbook for the 47th year. In May, we plan a major piece on the relationship between Florida and Cuba, and in June we take up higher education. Please see our editorial calendar on pages 76 and 77 or download it at FloridaTrend.com (which itself garners 70,000-plus unique visitors each month).

Fitness update: I planned all sorts of excuses (a year more “mature,” warm weather, a pulled muscle, etc.) but blessedly can report good news. I ran the Turkey Trot 5k in 29:58, eclipsing last year’s time by 1 minute and 1 second. I finished just under the magical 30-minute mark so can claim success beyond all dreams. If I dropped 15 pounds, I could be faster next year.

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