Elaine Chen

Elaine is senior producer of news and public affairs at WLRN-Miami Herald News. She produces The Florida Roundup, a Friday news show, and works on building audience engagement around the issues we cover. Elaine moved from New York City, where she was a lawyer for the city government.  She put aside the legal briefs and discovery requests to be back in public radio.  Before WLRN, Elaine worked as a producer for public affairs shows at WNYC and WYPR.

Pages

Sea-Level Rise
7:46 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Study: Our Water Use Is A Major Cause Of Saltwater Intrusion

Both sea-level rise and our pumping of groundwater contribute to saltwater intrusion. Freshwater is less dense than saltwater and will float on top. But with sea-level rise, saltwater pushes in and seeps into the freshwater aquifer. With withdrawals of groundwater, we lower the level of freshwater so there's less of it keep saltwater out.
Credit US Geological Survey

A study finds that South Florida maybe can’t blame the rest of the world for saltwater seeping into the groundwater, also called saltwater intrusion. 

Read more
Politics
6:54 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Group Of Foreign Policy Experts Call On President To Relax Cuban Embargo

Among the signers of a letter calling on the president to ease restrictions in the Cuban embargo are, clockwise, former intelligence chief John Negroponte, former foreign policy advisor Anne-Marie Slaughter, Related Group CEO Jorge Perez, former ambassador Paul Cejas and former Secretaries of the Interior Bruce Babbit and Ken Salazar.

A group of businessmen and former high-ranking U.S. officials is asking President Obama to relax the embargo on Cuba. They want the President to ease travel and investment restrictions to help Cubans with their economic and social needs.

A letter sent last week by the group had 44 signers including former intelligence chief John Negroponte, former foreign policy advisor Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Jorge Perez, CEO of the Related Group.

Read more
The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Can Beckham Bend It At A Boat Slip?

Miami Beckham United unveiled its drawings for the new site on Thursday.
Credit Miami Beckham United

On The Florida Roundup: Former soccer star David Beckham's team presents a new plan for a stadium and park at a boat slip by the American Airlines Arena after their vision for a facility at Miami's Port faced fierce opposition. 

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez got into office by touting his opposition to Marlins Park. But this week he was all over in the news for deals with sports teams, including the Miami Heat and Dolphins. What’s changed?

And a reporter spends eight months delving into the world of South Florida's Seminole and Miccosukee Indians.

Read more
The Florida Roundup
11:42 am
Fri May 16, 2014

The Florida Roundup: Is South Florida Going More Nuclear?

Credit Florida Power & Light

Governor Rick Scott and his cabinet approved two more nuclear reactors to the Turkey Point power plant on Biscayne Bay. But neighbors are worried about the construction of 88 miles of transmission lines, and environmentalists question why Florida Power & Light wants more nuclear facilities by the coast.

A ProPublica investigation reveals unusual billing patterns among Florida’s Medicare providers. We ask how this connects to Florida’s history of Medicare fraud.

Read more
Bond Money
1:42 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Homestead Earns $26 Million In Voter Trust

Former Homestead mayor Steve Bateman was one of three South Florida mayors arrested on corruption charges last August.

UPDATE 8 a.m., May 14: The City of Homestead reports voters overwhelmingly approved bond referendums Tuesday.

Read more
Politics
11:26 am
Fri May 9, 2014

The Florida Roundup: Beckham Wants To Boldly Build Where No One Has Built Before

David Beckham told the Miami Herald editorial board that he wants to be ‘150 percent’ involved in his MLS team in Miami.
Credit C. M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

    

In Miami, the debate over land for a Major League Soccer stadium now moves where there currently is no land -- a deep water boat slip next to the American Airlines Arena.

While the site doesn't have the same alliance of opponents -- unions, cruise lines and cargo carriers -- that opposed the PortMiami location, it comes with its own challenges.

Read more
Sunshine Economy
1:08 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Burgers Before Beer: 5 Questions For Funky Buddha Brewery Co-Owner

Before he went into the beer business, Funky Buddha co-owner KC Sentz (second from the left) was an electrical engineer at Motorola, though his first taste of the working life was at a McDonald's when he was 14.
Credit Courtesy of Funky Buddha

KC Sentz and his brother Ryan opened the Funky Buddha Brewery in June of 2013. It was the first production microbrewery in Broward County, and the best known in South Florida. The brewery added a bottling line recently, a milestone for craft breweries, and this May the Sentz brothers announced plans to expand.

Before seeing success as a brewery owner and manager, KC Sentz worked in engineering. But before that, he got his paycheck from Mickey D's.

Read more
What's the Story?
3:00 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

The Importance Of A Name In South Florida Politics

All in the family: Miami City Commissioner Frank Carollo; Miami City Mayor Tomas Regalado; former Miami City Mayor Joe Carollo, brother of the commissioner; Miami-Dade school board member Raquel Regalado, daughter of the current mayor; Miami City Commissioner Francis Suarez; and his father Miami-Dade Commissioner Xavier Suarez.
Credit Pedro Portal / EL NUEVO HERALD

Going into your family's profession probably gives you an advantage over the average newbie: you know the ins and outs, have connections in the industry, and maybe even got some on-the-job experience. The same advantage holds true for elected office. 

Before Miami City Commissioner Francis Suarez and Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado ran for office, they spent many years in the public eye because their fathers were politicians. Both Suarez and Regalado count that time as valuable experience. 

Read more
The Sunshine Edition
1:06 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Session 2014: The Sunshine Edition - The Winners And Losers

Credit MIAMI HERALD STAFF

In our final installment of Session 2014: The Sunshine Edition, we highlight the big events from this legislative season.

Stand Your Ground reform did not get far, but bills to allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities and to legalize a form of medical marijuana made it through the Republican-controlled legislature, and Governor Rick Scott says he will sign them. 

WLRN-Miami Herald News' Gina Jordan walks us through hallways of the Capitol in the remaining hours of the session.

Read more
The Sunshine Edition
9:57 am
Thu May 1, 2014

In-State Tuition For Undocumented Students Likely To Pass

The effort to allow undocumented students to pay in-state rates at Florida schools has been a top Republican priority for this law writing session.
Credit Judy Baxter / Flickr/Creative Commons

Homestead resident Mayra Rubio was in the audience during President Obama's 2014 State of the Union address and was hoping to hear about reforms that could change her life. She was an undocumented immigrant, though she is now a recipient of deferred action from U.S. authorities. While the president's speech said little about immigration, the state legislature is poised to pass a bill that will allow state colleges and universities to treat undocumented immigrants similar to in-state students and pay a lower tuition rate.

Read more
The Sunshine Edition
8:43 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Could Marijuana Determine Florida Governor's Race?

This fall, when Florida voters consider legalizing medical marijuana, what can they learn from other states that already have it?
Credit James Perkins / Flickr/Creative Commons

 

 

Medical marijuana. Same-sex marriage. These used to be taboo political subjects but no more.

Almost half of Florida voters support gay marriage. 70 percent are okay with legalizing medical marijuana. Those are significant swings of support from just a few years ago. How are Floridan attitudes toward cultural issues changing? What’s the political impact at the ballot box in this gubernatorial election year? Former governor Bob Graham and George LeMieux, who spearheaded Charlie Crist's gubernatorial campaign, give us their take.

Read more
The Sunshine Edition
7:29 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Mike Carroll Is Named Interim Head Of The Department Of Children and Families

On Monday, Governor Rick Scott announced Mike Carroll as his nominee to be the next interim Secretary of the Department of Children and Families. The state senate must approve his nomination.
Credit Department of Children and Families

Florida’s child protective agency’s new designated leader comes from within the troubled agency. Mike Carroll currently runs the Department of Children and Families operations in Tampa and Southwest Florida. What does his nomination mean about the direction of the agency? We speak with Carroll and the Miami Herald's Carol Marbin Miller.  

Florida parents, school kids and teachers await to see what next school year’s assessment test focused on Common Core State Standards will be. While they wait, they’re watching New York state parents opting out of Common Core testing.

Read more
The Sunshine Edition
11:36 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Session 2014: The Sunshine Edition - The Business Of Politics

In a re-election year for Governor Rick Scott, the Republican-controlled legislature has mostly tried to avoid controversial issues.
Credit Meredyth Hope Hall / Courtesy of the Florida Governor's Office

 

 

For two months each year,160 men and women elected by Florida voters gather in Tallahassee to make state policies. Everyday during this final week of the legislative session, WLRN-Miami Herald News will be reporting and examining what Florida lawmakers have accomplished, what’s been ignored, and how it will affect you for our special Session 2014: The Sunshine Edition.

Read more
The Florida Roundup
11:29 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Education Bills Highlight Differences Among Republican Leadership

House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel), left, shakes hands with Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).
Credit Florida House of Representatives

State Senate President Don Gaetz likes to introduce House Speaker Will Weatherford as the “taller, smarter, better-looking version of the Weatherford-Gaetz” duo. Their alliance has led to the quick passage of legislation like last year's ethics reform package and this year's sex offender bills. But on several education bills, the two diverge.

Read more
Desalination
8:17 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Do You Know Where Your Water Comes From?

Florida desalinates the most water in the United States. Above is the water treatment plant in North Miami Beach, the first city in Miami-Dade to process salty water from the Floridan Aquifer.
Credit Elaine Chen

This story originally ran on March 13, 2014.

 

If you mention “desalination,” most people probably think you mean taking salt out of seawater, and they probably think you’re talking about what happens in desert nations in the Middle East.

Read more

Pages