Politics

Yoani Sanchez
8:00 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Miami Is Final Stop On Cuban Blogger's World Tour

Yoani Sanchez
Credit Yoani Sanchez

Inspiring millions of virtual fans with heartfelt dispatches and persistent calls for greater political freedom, blogger Yoani Sanchez is the most visible symbol of both sweeping change inside Cuba and the modern power of social media to crack some of the world's most closed societies.

Read more
Transportation
5:11 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Why Hasn't Florida Banned Texting And Driving?

39 states ban texting while driving. An additional 5 states make it illegal for novice drivers to text and drive.
Credit Jason Weaver/Flickr

Steve Augello lives in Spring Hill Florida, just outside of Tampa. Like a lot of dads, he always made his 17-year-old daughter, Alessandra, check-in with him when she was out. Augello also had a rule.

“You weren’t allowed to have that cell phone out while you’re driving,” Augello remembers telling Alessandra. “I even tested her a few times I called her when she was driving and it always went right through to the recorder.”

Read more
Politics
10:00 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Senior Arcades Targeted In Internet Cafe Ban

Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, was one of just six members of the House to vote against the ban on Internet cafes. Senior arcades would be affected, too.
Credit Meredith Geddings/myfloridahouse.gov

The Florida House last week voted to ban Internet cafes and similar businesses. The Senate is expected to do the same.

This is happening very quickly after Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll’s resignation. A client of her former public relations firm is facing criminal charges relating to Internet cafes.

Read more
Politics
11:00 am
Wed March 27, 2013

How To Create A Specialty License Plate In Florida

Florida has more than 100 active specialty license plates, including the "Trees Are Cool" plate.
Credit www.flhsmv.gov/dmv

Have an idea for a specialty license plate in Florida?

You can create one by jumping through a few hoops, forking out some cash, and convincing the Legislature to approve it.

Just as lawmakers pass bills that Gov. Rick Scott signs into law, both the House and Senate have to vote for proposed specialty plates.

Take the proposed Sun, Sea, and Smiles specialty plate. For an additional $25 above the cost of a standard plate, drivers may soon be able to get a specialty plate that raises money for a half-dozen Caribbean-related charities.

Read more
Gay Marriage And The Supreme Court
4:30 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Gay Marriage Arguments: Cellphones, The Internet And Fertility Over 55

This artist rendering shows attorney Charles J. Cooper, who was defending California's voter-passed ban on gay marriage, addressing the Supreme Court on Tuesday. From left, the justices are Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, (Chief Justice) John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 4:25 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard lively arguments Tuesday in a challenge to California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages.

And, as many learned painfully after last year's court decision to uphold Obamacare, it is risky business to predict how justices will rule later based on questions raised in arguments.

So we won't.

Instead, here are five areas of discussion we found interesting, even if they may not prove predictive of the outcome.

Read more
Community Contributor
2:00 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

With Majority Of Floridians In Favor, Lawmakers Debate Medicinal Marijuana

Goldstein's daughter would benefit if medicinal marijuana is approved in Florida.
Credit Photo provided

My dedication to legalizing medical marijuana results from personal experience. My daughter has epilepsy, and although she was always compliant with her medication, she continued to have occasional seizures. When she moved to California for her job, and had yet another seizure, she met with a neurologist, who recommended that she join a medical marijuana dispensary. That was in 2000. She has not had another seizure since.

But she cannot come home to visit us in Florida. Because of our marijuana laws, she cannot legally maintain her doctor-recommended medical regimen.

Read more
Florida Session 2013
8:00 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Governor Scott: "I Made The Tough Choices, Now We're Making Smart Choices"

Florida Governor Rick Scott
Credit Phil Latzman

 

We spoke with the governor about his hopes for this legislative session, his political turn to the left, his support of Medicaid expansion and teacher raises, the issue of illegal internet cafes, guns, jobs, property insurance and a proposed texting-while-driving ban.

HIS POLITICAL SHIFT

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
The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Medicaid Expansion, Dolphins Stadium: What You Should Know From This Week's News

Join us for a conversation about the week's news on The Florida Roundup, live at noon, for an all-staff show during the pledge drive. 

Read more
Politics
10:00 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Who Controls Water Standard Levels In Florida?

The Environmental Protection Agency reached an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Protection Friday to turn over most of its control of water standard levels. The Florida Legislature will have to approve the plan by Dec. 1, 2014 for it to go into effect.
Credit Bogeskov / Flickr

Behind a Florida waterway, a seemingly untroubled scene – behind the turtle sunbathing atop the limestone rock, the water control structure and layers of sawgrass – there’s a political backstage.

The actors: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which currently holds control over water standard levels in Florida, and the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which wants it.

As of Friday, it seems that the two are one step closer to making the swap, which would afford the state jurisdiction over 98.9 percent of the water bodies in Florida.

Read more
Sequester And Florida Air Travel
8:00 am
Fri March 22, 2013

How The Sequester Will Impact South Florida's Small Airports

Air traffic controller Ron Wooldridge looks out over the runway of Boca Raton Airport.
Credit Christine DiMattei

On any given day, 53-year-old Ron Wooldridge guides dozens of flights in and out of Boca Raton Airport, just east of I-95. But early next month, instead of manning the airport's control tower, he could be standing on the unemployment line.

"I find it a little ridiculous,” says Wooldridge. “They're not thinking of the safety of the aircraft.  Or how it's going to affect the rest of the city itself."

Automatic federal budget cuts that took effect this month could force the Federal Aviation Administration to close control towers at least 170 small airports nationwide.

Read more
Politics
2:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Gov. Scott Takes Left Turn As Approval Ratings Flounder

Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll at a news conference in Fort Lauderdale two days before they were elected.
Credit Gov. Rick Scott/flickr

Gov. Rick Scott seems to be trying to appeal to a broader base. He’s done some things lately that suggest he’s willing to turn left a little bit.

Scott thrilled Democrats and irked his fellow Republicans when he suddenly changed his position on the Medicaid expansion in Florida.

Read more
Community Contributor
2:02 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Floridians Would Get Right To Speak Before Public Boards Under Proposed Legislation

Floridians would have the right to speak at public meetings under proposed laws.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Citizens do not have the right to speak before a public board or commission takes official action, according to Florida’s Constitution. Though Florida citizens have a right to access public records and meetings, they do not have a right to be heard before governmental bodies take official action any given proposal.  This means that city council members, county commissioners and other officials could vote on issues without letting citizens have their say.  

Read more
Politics
1:30 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Capitol Visitors Get Up Close With Humvee And Military Chopper

Kid plays with the machine gun mounted on a Vietnam War era helicopter.
Jordan Michael/WLRN

Tuesday was Military Appreciation Day at the Capitol.

National Guard equipment from around the state was parked in the courtyard – the space between the old and new Capitol buildings.

“We have over 12,000 airmen and soldiers in the state of Florida,” said Major Blake Heidelberg, logistics officer with the Florida Army National Guard’s 83rd Troop Command.

Read more
Community Contributor
2:02 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

A Victim Of Gun Violence On Gun Control

The FBI says a few dealers sell a disproportionate number of firearms.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

On June 22, 2004 I was shot point blank with a .45-caliber gun as I entered a subway station in Astoria Queens. The bullet entered my back and rattled around, destroying my hip. It had just enough inertia to come to a stop after puncturing the femoral artery. Nobody was ever prosecuted for my shooting. Meanwhile, I suffered for six years before being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

Read more

Pages