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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.

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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.

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Florida grasshopper sparrows vs. fire ants
7:01 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Here's One Way To Help The Almost-Extinct Grasshopper Sparrow: Kill Fire Ants

Less popular than even the Burmese python? The red imported fire ant is a blight on Florida's landscape.
Credit AZRainman / Flickr Creative Commons

Fire ants are notorious Florida invasives, leaving a trail of painful welts and blisters in their wake. Those pesky exotic intruders also happen to be a serious threat to some of the state's most vulnerable endemic species. This includes the Florida grasshopper sparrow, which recently made the March/April cover of Audubon Magazine as "the most endangered bird in the continental United States." 

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Ultra Music Festival
7:00 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Map: How Far Does The Sound From Ultra Music Festival Travel?

Shaded area indicates the reach of Ultra's sounds. This is not a scientific map, but rather one based on observations. We drew the lines from the point where ambient sounds from the urban environment become louder than the music itself.
Credit Daniel Rivero / WLRN

 

For more than a hundred thousand electronic dance music fans from across the world, Ultra Music Festival is heaven on earth. But tell that to the people who live and work close by.

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Ultra Music Festival
6:00 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Ultra Might Be Damaging Your Ears As It Rattles Your Windows

A sound level meter reading safe sounds blocks away. Any workplace with a constant level of 90 or louder must provide protection for employees. Ultra employees were provided protection.
Daniel Rivero WLRN

 Standing outside the gates of Ultra Music Festival, an audiologist and her colleague are staring at their sound level meters.  The devices track the decibel level of the atmosphere, giving us some unsettling clues as to how safe the environment is for your ears.

After an extended buildup, the beat finally drops.  As the fans go crazy, the bass starts to pump.  Even a few hundred feet from the stage, casual conversation is strained.

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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.

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Session 2013
12:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Like Father, Like Daughter: School Board Member on Education Priorities

Raquel Regalado
Credit http://district6.dadeschools.net/
  • An ambitious Miami-Dade school board member--who happens to be daughter of Miami's mayor--talks up education priorities for state lawmakers. What Raquel Regalado has to say about teacher raises, charter schools and the transition away from F-CAT's.

     

It's all in the family. 

Miami-Dade school board member Raquel Regalado grew up listening to her father Tomás host one of Miami's most popular radio talk shows. She watched as her famous dad won a spot on the Miami City Commission, and eventually become mayor in 2009. 

Now, she's got a high-profile job of her own, and may be following in dad's footsteps.

The younger Regalado hosts her own Spanish-language radio program on La Poderosa, 670 AM, and was elected in 2010 to represent district 6 on the Miami-Dade School Board. 

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Emerging Artists
11:00 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Miami-Based Limited Fanfare Records Succeeds On Rock And Roll, Not Rocket Science

Stallone is one of the bands with local ties on Miami-based Limited Fanfare Records.

Record labels -- the kind that lovingly hand-pick a few bands and release real, tactile product by them -- aren't exactly cash cows in 2013. Yet two years of solvent success shows that Brian Kurtz, the proprietor of Miami-based indie outfit Limited Fanfare, has discovered a niche. In releasing music and promoting concerts by, and even managing, a selected handful of promising underground rock and roll bands, he's managed to move physical units. Imagine!

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music
9:00 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Fela! An Afro-Beat Musical In Miami

Fela! the musical is based on the life and songs of Nigerian protest singer Fela Kuti.
Credit courtesy of the Adrienne Arsht Center

The Tony-award winning Broadway musical, Fela! is in Miami this week. The production is based on the complex life-- and music-- of late Nigerian activist, musician and singer Fela Kuti.

Kuti is known worldwide for founding the musical genre afro-beat. But in Nigeria, he’s known for using his music to protest the country’s military government through the 70s and 80s.

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Education
7:01 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Referendum Would Give Miami Dade College A Half-Cent Tax

Miami Dade College would benefit from a proposed half-cent tax.
Credit Photo from Miami Dade College's Facebook page

Lonnie Robinson fell on hard times in the early 80s with drugs and alcohol. Addiction kept him out of college for decades, and he found himself living under a bridge. During the day, Robinson found solace at a Miami Dade College library in Liberty City, where a reading program changed the future course of his life. He graduated from the college in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.

"No other college would accept me," said Robinson, who’s 59. Today, Robinson visits the same library daily, where he hopes to mentor and inspire younger students.

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News
6:00 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Puerto Rico's Murder Problem

According to the U.S. Department of Justice and the ACLU, the police are part of the problem. But changes are afoot.
Credit Dave Conner / www.flickr.com

Fifteen thousand people are leaving Puerto Rico every year, and half of them are coming to Florida. Many are leaving because of an explosion of violence on the island. Over the last several years, the murder rate has been between five and seven times the national average. 

Miami New Times reporter Michael E. Miller traveled to Puerto Rico to find out how things got so bad. The answer? Drugs and police, says Miller. Here's what he found out

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Aesthetics and Values
3:00 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Student Curators Bring Miami Art To Florida International University

John Bailly leading his students through Wynwood art galleries.
Constanza Gallardo

This evening, academics and artists will meet to celebrate the closing reception of Aesthetics and Values at  the Patricia and Philip Frost Art Museum

The exhibition isn't just an art show; it's a class with the honors college of Florida International University.

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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.  

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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.

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Arts
11:00 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Nine Acclaimed Authors You Didn't Know Lived In South Florida

Judy Blume hangs out in Key West.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

South Florida may not exactly have the brainiest reputation -- but those of us in the area's intellectual trenches know that it's not all beach bimbos here. In fact, the pleasant weather and peaceful shoreline vistas may well be making the population collectively smarter.

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