News

City Planning
6:00 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Why Renaming A Street After A Local Black Hero Scares One Fort Lauderdale Neighborhood

African-American men gather outside a Fort Lauderdale store, circa 1940. During segregation, blacks lived west of the railroad tracks and were forbidden from crossing to the east side after dark.
Credit African-American Research Library and Cultural Center

In every major city, there's at least one street sign that tells black folks they're in the right place, but tells white folks that they probably took a wrong turn.

For decades in Fort Lauderdale, one of those signs has read Sistrunk Boulevard.

The boulevard, which runs through the city’s historically black business district, is currently at the center of a contentious debate between two communities.

And the dispute is raising questions about what it takes for a neighborhood with a troubled past to rehabilitate its image.

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Climate Change
7:52 am
Fri September 27, 2013

It's Clear Humans Are Changing World's Climate, Panel Says

The Larsen B ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, which is among the places where such ice has been breaking off.
Mariano Caravaca Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 10:56 am

Declaring that "human influence on the climate system is clear," a U.N.-assembled panel of scientists reported Friday that "it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century."

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Environment
7:40 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Hunt Is On For Tegu Lizards In South Florida

Jake Edwards, a non-native wildlife technician for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, holds a young tegu lizard.
Credit Emily Michot / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The Argentine tegu lizard doesn’t grow nearly as big as a Burmese python but it may be a greater threat to South Florida’s native animals.

At a maximum size of four feet, a tegu can’t gobble down a full-grown deer or alligator with its rapier-sharp teeth. But the invasive, black and white reptiles have the potential to cause even more ecological damage than the 18-foot snakes that have drawn international media attention in recent years. And now, scientists say, it’s too late to eradicate them.

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Politics
7:12 am
Fri September 27, 2013

New Miami Budget Includes More Money For Police

City of Miami commissioners finalized a budget Thursday evening, for a total of $524 million. One of the stickier points concerned police officers – from how many should patrol city streets to how much they should be paid.

RELATED: Why The City Of Miami Finds It Hard To Hire New Cops

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Transportation
6:00 am
Fri September 27, 2013

It's That Time Again: Thousands Of Critical Mass Cyclists Take To The Streets

Critical Mass takes place in South Florida on the last Friday of every month.
Credit Tropical Pedicab/Flickr

If you're driving through the center of Miami tonight, you need to take a close look at the map below.  

The monthly group bike ride called Critical Mass is taking place again. Cyclists will be riding 12.5 miles around Miami starting at Government Center and ending at Grand Central Park.

The Miami event usually draws a couple thousand cyclists and can back up traffic. The route also changes every month.

Cyclists joining in Fort Lauderdale's Critical Mass have a 14-mile route planned that will start at the War Memorial Auditorium.

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Environment
8:54 am
Thu September 26, 2013

With Murky Water And Manatee Deaths, Lagoon Languishes

Biologists Laura Herren and Brian Lapointe bag red sea grass at Shorty's Pocket, a site in the Indian River lagoon. Manatees have died from eating the toxic macro algae.
Courtesy Brian Cousin FAU Harbor Branch

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:06 am

Something is wrong in Florida's Indian River Lagoon.

Over the past year, record numbers of dolphins, manatees and pelicans have turned up dead in the 150-mile-long estuary that runs along Florida's Atlantic Coast. Bouts of algal blooms have flourished in the waters. All the signs point to an ecosystem that is seriously out of balance. The crisis has mobilized scientists, residents and elected officials in Florida.

An Ailing Lagoon

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Politics
8:33 am
Thu September 26, 2013

How People In South Florida Live On $4 A Day In Food Stamps

Gloria Lewis' meals are distributed to a line of hungry people in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Gloria Lewis

Florida is among the top 10 states with the largest share of its population relying on food stamps. Nearly 20 percent of the state requires assistance. However, with federal cuts to the program likely, many could find it even more difficult in South Florida, where the cost of food is above the national average.

Just over a year ago, Miranda Childe was an assistant professor in English at Miami-Dade College. But due in part to funding cuts at state colleges, she suddenly found herself out of work.

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Agriculture
11:27 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Rooftop Farming Is Getting Off The Ground

Stacey Kimmons and Audra Lewicki harvest lettuce at the Chicago Botanic Garden's 20,000-square-foot vegetable garden atop McCormick Place West in Chicago.
Courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 3:03 pm

From vacant lots to vertical "pinkhouses," urban farmers are scouring cities for spaces to grow food. But their options vary widely from place to place.

While farmers in post-industrial cities like Detroit and Cleveland are claiming unused land for cultivation, in New York and Chicago, land comes at a high premium. That's why farmers there are increasingly eyeing spaces that they might not have to wrestle from developers: rooftops that are already green.

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Business
2:48 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Carnival's Earnings Hit By String Of Cruise Ship Problems

Part of the previously submerged, severely damaged right side of the Costa Concordia cruise ship is seen in an upright position last week after it was righted by salvage crews in Isola del Giglio, Italy.
Marco Secchi Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 3:18 pm

Miami-based Carnival Corp., the world's largest cruise operator, reported a third quarter profit nearly a third lower than a year ago following a series of embarrassing and deadly mishaps involving its ships.

Carnival turned a $934 million profit for the period June through August, down 30 percent from the same quarter in 2012.

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Food
12:06 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Trader Joe's Ex-President To Turn Expired Food Into Cheap Meals

Doug Rauch wants to take wholesome food that grocers have to throw away and cook and sell it as low-cost, prepared meals.
Bunnyhero Flickr

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:18 pm

Here's some food for thought: One-third of the world's food goes to waste every year. In the U.S., about 40 percent of our food gets thrown out. It's happening on the farm, at the grocery store and in our own homes.

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Transportation
11:48 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Why Miami-Dade County Is Raising Transit Fares

Jason Nicholson, 31, of South Beach (above with skateboard), said the 25-cent fare increase won't change his use of the 'long distance car,' his nickname for the bus.
Credit Rachel Morello

Miami-Dade bus and Metrorail commuters will soon have to pay 25 cents more to catch a ride.

The county transit system is increasing its fares for the first time in five years to help offset operating costs. The fare for a one-way trip on Metrobus or Metrorail is increasing from $2 to $2.25, effective October 1. The Metromover will remain free for all users.  

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Real Estate
10:47 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Home Prices Rise At Best Pace In Seven Years

This home was under contract last month in Chicago.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 12:02 pm

Led by more strong gains in Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, home prices in major U.S. cities were up just more than 12 percent on average in July vs. July 2012, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

The average increase was the largest since February 2006, Reuters adds, and is yet another sign that the housing sector is among the economy's strongest sectors.

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Neighborhoods
10:43 am
Tue September 24, 2013

How I-95 Shattered The World Of Miami's Early Overtown Residents

Agnes Rolle Morton (left) and her sister Naomi Yvonne Rolle reminisce about growing up in Overtown before the construction of I-95 through the neighborhood on Jan. 29, 2012 in Liberty City.
Credit Daniel Bock

When Naomi Rolle talks about her childhood home in Overtown, tears fall from her eyes.

Her father, Jerod Hastings Rolle, and his mother — her grandmother — constructed the cozy peach-colored home with swirling concrete pillars in the 1920s.

“It was beautiful,” she said. “It was one of the only houses built with concrete and stucco. The other homes around us were made out of wood.”

Rolle, who now lives in Liberty City, is among thousands who were forced out of their homes in the 1960s to make room for Interstate 95 and later, Interstate 395.

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People
9:04 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Crash Stops Cross-Country Charity Bike Ride, Miles From Goal

Jacob Landis has been riding his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium, to raise money to help the needy pay for cochlear implants. His ride ended Saturday night due to a crash — but Landis says he'll still be at the Marlins' stadium next week.
Jacob's Ride

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:24 pm

Cyclist Jacob Landis, who rode more than 10,000 miles on his bike this year to raise money for cochlear implants, will miss out on the final miles of his ride after being hit by a truck. Landis had planned to ride his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium this season. Despite the crash, he says he'll still go to the final game on his schedule.

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Environment
7:31 am
Tue September 24, 2013

How Many Scientists Does It Take To Write A Climate Report?

An iceberg floats through the water in Ilulissat, Greenland, in July. Researchers are studying how climate change and melting glaciers will affect the rest of the world.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 10:53 am

Scientists and government representatives are meeting in Stockholm this week to produce the latest high-level review of climate change. It's thousands of pages of material, and if it's done right, it should harbor very few surprises.

That's because it's supposed to compile what scientists know — and what they don't — about climate change. And that's left some scientists to wonder whether these intensive reviews are still the best way to go.

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