Politics

The Florida Roundup
11:30 am
Fri March 14, 2014

SunLife Stadium Renovations: How About Now?

Credit Original photo from Miami Dolphins with added pizzazz by Kenny Malone

The Miami Dolphins renovate plans to fix-up SunLife stadium. Stadium and team owner Stephen Ross offers to pay for up to $400 million in renovations - if - he gets a break on property taxes.  Ross says it’s again about bringing the Super Bowl back to town, but that doesn’t comfort the City of Miami Gardens and the school board that are looking at losing $1 million each in lost property revenue.

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Latin America Report
9:29 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

How A Doral Woman Became A Victim Of Anti-Chavista Witch Hunts

Pietra Diwan in front of her Brazilian sweets business in Miami
Credit Tim Padgett / WLRN

Pietra Diwan takes pride in the master’s degree she earned in history back in her native Brazil. But a passion for historical accuracy may cost her the business she built here in South Florida.

As a historian, Diwan pays attention to document details. That’s why she raised flags last month when Venezuelan friends here started posting Facebook photos of the ongoing anti-government protests in Venezuela.

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Politics
1:00 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Stand Your Ground Law Under Fire, But Likely To Remain

Rev. Al Sharpton (center) marches with parents and family of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis and others in Tallahassee Monday. They are calling on Florida to repeal the state's Stand Your Ground law.
Credit Tom Urban / News Service of Florida

Civil-rights leader Al Sharpton led a crowd of about 1,000 people to the Florida Capitol on Monday, demanding that Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature fix or repeal the "stand your ground" self-defense law.

Sharpton marched alongside the parents of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, two teens the marchers said were wrongly killed under Florida's first-in-the-nation law, which allows people to use deadly force when they feel their lives are in danger and provides immunity from prosecution. 

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Politics
12:55 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Why Freedom Of The Press Should Matter To You, And Other Tenets Of The First Amendment Foundation

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

When Florida media groups are concerned about freedom of the press and open government, they turn to the First Amendment Foundation for help.

Pete Weitzel, former senior editor of the Miami Herald, founded the non-profit 30 years ago.

The foundation is funded through contributions. It provides training, legal aid, and the annual Government in the Sunshine Manual as a guide to Florida’s open meetings and public-records laws. 

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Politics
6:01 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Lawmakers Join Forces For Protection Of Florida Springs

Wakulla Springs, about half an hour from Tallahassee, is one of the state's first magnitude springs. It offers public swimming and glass-bottom boat rides. When the water is clear, riders can see 120 feet to the bottom.
Credit dep.state.fl.us

Attorney David Guest is not on the fence about the protection of springs.

“They’re acting as if this renewable resource is something you can simply mine and when it’s gone, it’s gone,” said Guest, head of the Florida office of Earthjustice. “It’s been there for thousands of years, and only recently have we had this attitude that you just take it and the future generations just don’t get anything anymore.”

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The Florida Roundup
11:18 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Family Of Teen Israel 'Reefa' Hernandez Will Sue Miami Beach Police

A six-month-long medical examination concluded that the “sudden cardiac death” of Israel “Reefa” Hernandez-Llach was accidental.

 

Governor Rick Scott kicks off the legislative session with a State of the State address touting tax cuts and job creation. The state legislature starts by advancing a bill legalizing a form of medical marijuana and passing tougher sex predator laws.   

A medical report on the death of Israel Hernandez, the teen who was tasered by Miami Beach police, finds that he died of a "sudden cardiac death." Shortly before the report's release, the police chief resigns.

We also hear the latest developments on the protests in Venezuela.

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Commentary
6:51 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Venezuela: Can Anyone Mediate This Mess?

It’s a shame that Venezuela just severed diplomatic and economic ties with Panama, because their respective presidents – Nicolás Maduro and Ricardo Martinelli – have a lot in common.

Yes, I know that Maduro is a radical socialist and former bus driver. And that Martinelli is a right-wing supermarket tycoon.

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'United For Care'
3:32 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Why An Orlando Attorney Supports Medical Marijuana

Credit NPR/ Flickr

On Nov. 4, state voters will decide whether to make medical marijuana legal.

The proposed constitutional amendment got enough petition signatures to make it onto the ballot and it also survived a Florida Supreme Court challenge by state Attorney General Pam Bondi.

John Morgan is an Orlando-based personal injury attorney who spearheaded the drive under the "United For Care" campaign.

Here he talks about what led him to the decision to start the effort to legalize medical marijuana.

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Health Care
5:01 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Florida's Insurers Push To Sell Health Coverage To Latinos

Yolanda Madrid of Miami (left) talks with navigator Daniela Campos while signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act in January.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 7:59 am

For all of California's troubles advertising health care to Latinos, that state has embraced the Affordable Care Act and is spending millions of dollars to get people to sign up. Florida is a different story.

Florida has a high rate of uninsured Latinos - almost 10 percent of all the country's uninsured Hispanics who are eligible for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act live in the state.

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Florida Politics
9:39 am
Wed March 5, 2014

How Gov. Rick Scott's State Of The State Compares To What Floridians Want

A word cloud of Governor Rick Scott's State of the State, which emphasized tax cuts and focused on successes in job creation

A campaigning incumbent always has to be upbeat and, in reporting on how you’ve done, you don’t want to bring down the party. Gov. Rick Scott was no exception.

Every state legislative session begins with an address by the Governor on the state of the state. But what if the people of Florida gave that speech instead?

We joined other Florida public radio stations and asked Floridians what they think the state has done well -- or badly -- and how it manifests in their daily lives. Here's what residents from across the state had to say:

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Latin America Report
4:16 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

What My Talks With Hugo Taught Me About Chavismo In Venezuela

Hugo Chavez (left) talking to Tim Padgett in 2006
Credit Steve Pyke

Back in 1998, just before he was first elected President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez described his socialist revolution to me:

“Our revolution is like a river and the rain,” he said with typical bravado. “It’s a natural force.”

These days, it’s looking more like a spent force.

Today, March 5, marks the first anniversary of Chávez’s death from cancer. He was still in power when he died, and his revolution still rules Venezuela.

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Session 2014
7:00 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Session Preview: Tax Cuts And Rosy Budget Outlook In An Election Year

Activists rally outside the Capitol on the eve of Session 2014.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

March 4 marks the start of the 2014 Florida Legislative session at the Capitol. It runs through May 2.

For two months, lawmakers will consider proposed legislation on everything from marijuana to red-light cameras.

All they really have to do is come up with a spending plan for the fiscal year that begins in July.  Gov. Rick Scott is recommending half a billion dollars in tax and fee cuts.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Republicans Split Over Cheaper Tuition For Undocumented Students

Sen. Jack Latvala's tuition bill includes price breaks for families that pay taxes in Florida, whether they're documented or not.
Credit Greenspoon Marder/flickr

Florida's undocumented residents may soon have access to cheaper college tuition. The proposal is part of a sweeping bill aimed at reducing the cost of higher education.

Undocumented students could pay in-state tuition if they meet certain eligibility requirements. They’ve been paying the out-of-state rate, which is three times more expensive.

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The Florida Roundup
12:21 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

What You Should Know About The Florida Legislative Session

State Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) and House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) again presented a joint agenda for this session.

The state legislature convenes next week. And we’ll give you context to understand the 60-day bonanza that begins on March 4.

Will gaming be expanded? Why did a state senator introduce a bill to legalize medical marijuana in advance of the voter referendum? How will the state’s child protective system be overhauled?

Host Tom Hudson speaks with Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times, Kelli Kennedy of the Associated Press, and Gina Jordan and Sammy Mack of WLRN-Miami Herald News.

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Venezuela Unrest
7:56 am
Fri February 28, 2014

For Venezuelan Protesters, A Time To Ask: What's The Endgame?

Protesters wave an "SOS" Venezuelan flag during a diaspora rally in Doral last weekend.
Credit Miranda Nathanson / Miami Herald

There comes a moment in every political upheaval when the sound and fury of protests have to hook up with the clarity and practicality of platforms.

For anti-government demonstrators in Venezuela, that moment's arrived.

Since Feb. 12, the oil-rich but deeply divided country has been rocked by student-led unrest. Protesters are lashing out at President Nicolás Maduro’s heavy-handed socialist government and its inability to solve a raft of economic and social crises, including South America’s worst inflation and murder rates.

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