Sailing at the London 2012 Olympic Games By Benigna Marko

Sailing pic
Sailing
Image: olympic.org

Unlike the majority of events at the 2012 Olympic Games, which will occur in controlled indoor environments, the sailing competition is staged outdoors in open water. Featuring six events for men and four for women, the swimming portion of the Games will take place in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour off the south coast of England. Between July 29th and August 11th, 380 individuals race such watercraft as dinghies, keelboats, skiffs, and windsurfing boards.

Originally referred to as yachting, officials changed the Olympic sport’s name to sailing in 2000. Men and women have both competed in the event since 1900, with the exception of the 1904 St. Louis Games. In recent years, Great Britain has dominated the sailing competition, earning honors at the Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, and Beijing 2008 games. This year, they will face international competitors in their home waters.

About the Author:
The former Assistant Director of Administration & Operations at the Miami-Dade County Department of Planning and Zoning, Benigna Marko enjoys sailing in her free time. Ms. Marko regularly supports the United Way of Miami-Dade and speaks both English and Spanish fluently.

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Community Planning in Miami-Dade County By Benigna Marko

Miami Dade pic
Miami Dade
Image: miamidade.gov

An active participant in Miami-Dade County’s neighborhoods and municipalities, the Department of Planning and Zoning relies upon residents’ input throughout the community development process. This department boasts a talented team of urban designers, planners, and architects who base their plans on data from Small Area Studies. In these studies, community planning staff members gather residents for a week-long charrette or public planning workshop. These meetings help officials understand how residents envision their community developing in the coming years.

The community planning staff members then compile this data into a charrette report, which prioritizes community recommendations and zoning requests. Ultimately, the Department of Planning and Zoning produces a Comprehensive Development Master Plan that covers not only land use and housing, but also such infrastructural issues as solid waste management, community health, coastal management, and intergovernmental coordination.

About the Author:
A longtime member of the Miami-Dade County Department of Planning and Zoning team, Benigna Marko served as the Administrative Service Division Director and the Assistant Director of Administration & Operations.