Rick Stone

Reporter

Rick Stone has been a journalist in Florida for most of his career. He's worked in newspapers and television but believes that nothing works as well as public radio. He and his wife, Mary Jane Stone, live in Broward County.

Pages

Environment
6:00 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

What To Expect During This Weekend's Supermoon, King Tide

SUPERMOON Photographer John Spade got this shot of the last supermoon on May 5, 2012. It shines on an Atlantic Ocean pier north of Fort Lauderdale.
Credit John Spade/Flickr

The sun, the Earth and the moon will align this weekend to leave a supermoon shining on a king tide.

But it’s all a little less spectacular than it sounds. At least, now it is. A few years down the road -- if the climate change people are right -- the king tide may be something to dread. But, right now, it’s just an incremental enhancement of an ordinary event.

Read more
Zimmerman Trial
6:30 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Miami-Dade Knows Riots Too Well; Plans For Zimmerman Verdict

EMOTION ON DISPLAY: The shooting of Trayvon Martin angered and mobilized multitudes in Florida and across the country. What will they do if his killer is acquitted?
Credit Elvert Barnes/Flickr

Miami-Dade County's Community Relations Board -- peacekeeper for the last half-century among the region's raucously contentious cultures and between the people and the police -- is getting ready for the aftermath of the George Zimmerman trial in Sanford.

Read more
Labor
6:00 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Democrats, Labor Urge Gov. Scott To Veto Wage Bill

THEY WANT A VETO: Miami State Senator Dwight Bullard (in black) and State Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez (center with red tie) call for a veto of House Bill 655 at a rally in downtown Miami.
Credit Rick Stone

Florida Democrats and advocates for working folk are turning up all the pressure they can to wring a veto out of Gov. Rick Scott sometime this month.

Their target? House Bill 655, passed during the 2013 legislative session to stop local governments from exceeding federal minimum wage and benefit guarantees.

If the governor signs the bill, counties such as Broward and Miami-Dade with special "living wage" ordinances already on their books, will have to abandon then.

Read more
Exxxotica In Fort Lauderdale
1:46 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Why Broward Is A Better Porn Market Than Miami Beach

WHAT YOU CAME FOR: A survey of Exxxotica's offerings: cars on the lert, sex on the right.
Credit Rick Stone

Exxxotica should be a familiar word to any South Floridian who regularly reads a "What to Do This Weekend" column.

It's a big sex-and-pornography convention that's been bringing fans annually to the Miami Beach Convention Center for the last seven years. But after a souring relationship with Miami Beach -- and a conclusion that Fort Lauderdale offers a much richer vein of porn consumers -- Exxxotica has moved to the Broward Convention Center where its inaugural weekend is underway.

Read more
Florida Legislature
1:25 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

What Tallahassee Lawmakers Failed To Do in 2013

Credit Wikipedia

Editor's Note: Be sure to check out an interactive bill tracker of this year's session from the Miami Herald.

It's curtains for Session 2013 in Tallahassee but a feeling persists that not much was accomplished during the last two months.

Dolphins Stadium

Here in South Florida, the clock ran out on the Miami Dolphins' 2-minute drill for state help on renovations to Sun Life Stadium.

Read more
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.

Read more
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?"

Read more
Florida Legislature
7:00 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Nothing Says 'Miami' To Tallahassee Like A Vat Of Paella (And A Pitch For Funds)

A TON OF STUFF: The seafood, rice and chicken dish known as paella is dished up at the capitol to celebrate Miami-Dade County.
Credit Rick Stone

TALLAHASSEE -- If your plan is to manufacture paella on an industrial, thousand-meals-a-batch scale, first thing you need is a truck. And a trailer, with a heat source. A giant cooking pan, maybe a dozen feet across. And, of course, a ton of food.

Literally a ton.

"It's maybe two thousand pounds of stuff," said Chef Bijan, the official paella chef of Miami-Dade Days at the state capitol. "Chicken, crab, shrimp, saffron, peppers."

Read more
Medical Marijuana
10:00 am
Wed April 3, 2013

What's Snuffing Out Medical Weed In Florida?

SURVIVING ON POT: ALS patient Cathy Jordan has outlived her prognosis by decades, she believes, because of marijuana.
Credit Rick Stone

    

A medical marijuana bill sponsored by two South Florida Democrats has reached the end of the line in Tallahassee.

Read more
Questions From Town Hall
10:00 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Bookseller Wonders, Why Doesn't Florida Get Sales Tax For Stuff You Buy On The Internet?

FIVE YEARS, FIVE TRIES: State. Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda says no-new-tax sentiment has blocked her attempts to pass an Internet sales tax bill.
Credit Rick Stone

Florida's sales tax is a huge competitive downside for local retailers who sell the same products as their Internet competitors.

Because online sellers rarely collect the sales tax, it leaves the brick-and-mortar shops at a roughly 7-percent price disadvantage. And that's why business and retail lobbies have been demanding sales tax collection for online sales for years.

The issue arose during the WLRN-Miami Herald Session 2013 Town Hall last month, where we heard from Fort Lauderdale bookseller Donna Mergenhagen.

Read more
Questions From Town Hall
8:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Campaign Contributions Bill Touches A Nerve That Lawmakers Are Already Addressing

THE PROBLEM: This is what worries some of WLRN-Miami Herald News audience -- money and its effect on politics and legislation.
Credit gnerk on Flickr

  TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida House and Senate are taking ethics and elections seriously this year. Bills to widen voting opportunities by restoring pre-2011 early voting days and hours are making their way through both chambers.

But there's a bill in the House that would originally have increased campaign contribution limits from their current $500 to $10,000.

Read more
Gambling
12:42 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

House Panel Votes To Outlaw Internet Cafes

Reacting to an Internet gambling scandal that forced Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll to resign this week, the Florida House gambling committee today (Friday 3/15) approved a bill that outlaws gambling machines commonly used in strip mall Internet cafes and adult arcades.

Read more
Jennifer Carroll
10:00 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Internet Cafe Gambling Scandal Overshadow Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll's Resignation

Jennifer Carroll has stepped down from her role as Lieutenant Governor in Florida.
Credit www.flgov.com/meet-the-lt-governor/

Jennifer Carroll's days as lieutenant governor and presumed running mate for Gov. Rick Scott's reelection campaign may already have been numbered when she resigned this week because of her connection to an Internet gambling scandal.

Meanwhile, the investigation of  a purported charity called Allied Veterans of the World promises to overshadow the political shakeup in Tallahassee and lead to a big change in Florida's gambling landscape.

Read more
Medicaid Expansion
10:00 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Florida Hospital Association Won't Accept That Medicaid Will Not Be Expanded

CAREGIVERS: The delegation from Ocala's Munroe Regional Medical Center. Lynette Johnson is third from the left.
Credit Rick Stone

Burdened with the expense of medical care for more than a million uninsured Floridians, the Florida Hospital Association isn't ready to accept that Medicaid won't be expanded in Florida under Obamacare.

Scarcely a day after a Florida Senate Select Committee voted down the Medicaid plan, the association had mobilized healthcare providers and patients under the banner "The Florida Remedy" to make their case public.

Read more
Florida Legislature
11:00 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Democrats In Tallahassee Less Outnumbered Than They Used To Be

REVIVAL: They still don't have a majority in the capitol but Democrats felt new confidence at their recent Awake the State rally.
Credit Rick Stone / WLRN

The election results and new leadership in the Florida legislature have made life a little easier for the state's elected Democrats.

Not that that there's been a substantial change in how the state's laws are made. The elections may have stripped House and Senate Republicans of their super-majorities, but Democrats remain profoundly outvoted and relatively powerless.

Read more

Pages