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Education
11:50 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Lawmaker Warns Parent Trigger Bill Confuses Empowerment With Involvement

Sen. Bill Montford wants to see more parents involved in their children's schools. He says the parent trigger bill isn't needed because they are already empowered.
Credit billmontford.com

Sen. Bill Montford, a Democrat from North Florida, doesn't like the Parent Empowerment in Education bill. It's much better known as the parent trigger bill.

“We know overall that the majority of students that are successful have parents that are involved,” Montford said. “It's critical to have parent support and involvement in the schools.”

Montford is CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.

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Internet Sales Tax
11:31 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Why Revenue Neutrality Is Key To Enacting An Internet Sales Tax In Florida

BUT WAIT! You may have to pay Florida sales tax on this on-line item if a bill makes it through the legislature.
Credit Rick Stone

Online shoppers in Florida may have to budget an extra 6 or 7 percent for their Web purchases if State Sen. Nancy Detert's sales tax bill (SB 316) makes it through the Legislature this year.

But they may get some of that back. She's making the legislation politically palatable by ensuring most of the revenue is returned in the form of tax breaks.

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Nerddom
10:00 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Miami Gets Street Cred As One Of The Top 10 Nerdiest Cities In America

Credit http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3ohfi4/

Behind the allure of bikinis and board shorts, Miami residents possess a sea of Star Trek costumes.

At least that's one conclusion you might draw from a recent article in Movodo, a real estate website.  The criteria used to determine the winners, while not scientific, is telling of the "nerd demographic" that our city has nurtured over the years.  Here is a quick rundown of the data used to determine the winners:

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Community Contributor
9:01 am
Fri April 12, 2013

One Man's Gun Control Timeline: Riots, Hurricane Wilma, And A Late-Night Visitor

Gleason: "From birth until death you are responsible for you own safety."

1969.  Seventh grade.  School trip to an amusement park.  While sitting with a friend in a shaded and secluded spot, I was surrounded by 5 or 6 kids who demanded our ride tickets.  When I stood to my 6-foot-2-inch frame and invited them to try and take my tickets, they decided to pick on someone else.

1975.  A high-school football linebacker decided to test the band major in the boys’ locker room.  Football linebacker had a sore nose.  Band major was unscathed.

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Sun Life Stadium
8:41 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Remix The News: How The Dolphins' Stadium Debate Can Be Turned Into Sound Art

Artist's rendering of Sun Life Stadium renovations.
Credit Dolphins/Dolphins

As part of WLRN's Remix the News Challenge: Sun Life Stadium Edition, we're asking people (both expert and amateur) to help us hear what the stadium renovations debate sounds like to them.

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Personal Essay
8:00 am
Fri April 12, 2013

After Yoani Sanchez: What Changes Linger In The Miami Air?

Author Daniel Rivero with prominent Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez during her recent visit to the Miami Herald's editorial board
Credit Patricia Sagastume / WLRN

Seven or eight years ago, during a sociology class at Miami-Dade College, the professor asked us to write a sociological history of our lives. It was the first time I thought long and hard about my life in the scheme of history, about the chain of events that brought me to my life in Miami as a Cuban-American.

For people of my generation, you simply could not avoid getting a crash course on Cuban politics and the dream of a free Cuba.  The reason we are here. We are here because of him. Because of Fidel.

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A Gator-Free Look At Everglades Animals
7:01 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Nine Awesome Everglades Animals (Aside From The Alligator)

Roseate spoonbills.
Tricia Woolfenden WLRN

Is there any animal more closely associated with the Everglades than the American alligator? OK, the Burmese python has been the 'glades press "darling" as of late, but invasive, non-natives do not count for the purposes of celebrating the Everglades. While Florida's iconic reptilian king deserves all of the attention it gets, there are plenty of other cool critters that inhabit the Everglades.

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Florida Constitution
2:28 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Law Of The Land In Florida Is A Source Of Irritation For Asians

CONSTITUTIONAL RACISM: Asians have been angered and insulted for decades by the Alien Land Law in the Florida constitution. But they have still acquired land.

Here's a question we received from one of several hundred South Florida residents who attended a recent WLRN/Miami Herald Town Hall that was held just prior to the current legislative session.

This one comes from friend-of-WLRN Piyush Agrawal, a scholar, educator, businessman and philanthropist who lives in Weston:

"Why does Florida's constitution still allow the state to prohibit foreign citizens from owning real estate?"

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Cuba
1:09 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Jay-Z Stirs Passions About Cuba With New Song

Rapper Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce paid a recent trip to Cuba despite a longstanding trade embargo by the United States.
Credit Vanity Fair

Back from his recent trip to Havana, rapper Jay-Z quickly released a new song, Open Letter, in which he not only addresses controversy about the trip but speaks his mind in a way that is likely to stir up some of the deep passions Americans have toward Cuba and the communist island's tumultuous relationship with the United States.

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Miami Dish
11:36 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Check Out The Miami Bars Planting Gardens To Make You A Better Cocktail

The vertical garden wall at Blackbird Ordinary was installed and planted by Urban GreenWorks.
Credit Blackbird Ordinary

Who's growing cocktails in their gardens? In a manner of speaking, Blackbird Ordinary and Broken Shaker are. The two Miami-Dade bars are growing plants they use to make simple syrups, infusions and garnishes. You can also grow your own "cocktail garden." Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist, visits Books & Books this Friday, and she'll be giving gardening tips.

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Community Contributor
10:32 am
Thu April 11, 2013

'Medical Marijuana' Contradicts A Physician's Do-No-Harm Mantra, Doctor Says

Pot can't be classified as a drug, says Dr. David A. Gross.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

A patient, we’ll call him John, called my office several years ago, frantic over the behavior of his son Aaron. “My son thinks there are helicopters circling our home, following his movements,” he said.

At my office the next day, dad was frantic. Aaron, who appeared disheveled and preoccupied, presented his experiences in a matter-of-fact style. He was certain some authority had singled him out to be placed under surveillance. He had no insight into the psychotic nature of his thinking.

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That's So Miami
8:00 am
Thu April 11, 2013

La Carreta, Tremendo Slideshow And Banyan Trees: The Best Of That's So Miami

@drsherer on Instagram

Here we go again!  Check out some of our favorite #ThatsSoMiami poems from the last couple of days. Like what you see? Check out our Tumblr page, where we collect your submissions and post them for your viewing (laugh out loud) pleasure. Click here to make your submission.

(Maryan Firpo)

Here’s the thing about Miami—

There’s an ancient monastery

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Sea Turtles Are Nesting In South Florida
7:02 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins: Here's How To See Them In Action

Sea turtle nesting season is in full swing in South Florida. Hatchlings, like this green sea turtle, will start appearing later this summer.
Credit USFWS/Southeast / Flickr Creative Commons

Sea turtle nesting season is off and crawling this year with the first reported sea turtle nest in Boca Raton. The nest, made by a leatherback turtle, was recorded on Sunday morning in South Beach Park by Marine Turtle Specialists with the Boca Raton Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program based out of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. 

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Politics
6:00 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Hey, Everybody! Florida Is Looking At A Budget Surplus Next Year

Tax revenues are up, enabling Florida lawmakers to spend $4 billion more than last year.
Credit athrasher/flickr

Florida lawmakers are doing something they haven't done in years: adding money to state programs.

The recession sent the state into multi-billion-dollar budget shortfalls that led to big cuts in education and state government payrolls.

But this year, lawmakers have money to play with. Gov. Rick Scott has proposed a budget of more than $74 billion for the fiscal year that starts in July. That's about a $4-billion increase in spending over the current year.

So where did the extra money come from?

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Film
7:11 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Don't Miss The Stanley Kubrick Retrospective In Wynwood This Week

This haunting scene is from The Shining, a classic film by Stanley Kubrick.
Credit Warner Brothers

The work of the iconclastic filmmaker Stanley Kubrick is part of a retrospective this week at O Cinema in Wynwood.

South Florida native Rodney Ascher directed Room 237, a new documentary exploring the many interpretations of Kubrick's The Shining. Both films will be shown at O Cinema this week. 

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