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Miamiland
6:39 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Miami-Dade Looks To Build Theme Park In Backyard (Again)

Developer proposals for a theme park around Zoo Miami are due in April. It will likely take until July before proposals are fully reviewed.
Credit Creative Commons, bunnygoth

For the second time in less than five years, Miami-Dade County is looking to take its zoo to the next level - assuming the next level is possibly a Main Street USA theme park.

The Miami Herald reports that the county invited developers to propose plans for the vacant land surrounding Zoo Miami. "Basically," writes the Herald,"an open-ended plea for bright ideas, conceptual schemes and - this is key - private financing," 

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Inaugural Poet
6:30 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Why Miami Poet Richard Blanco Embodies Obama’s Winning Coalition

Richard Blanco was selected to be the nation's fifth inaugural poet.
Credit Nico Tucci

Today, Miami poet Richard Blanco will recite the poem he has composed for President Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony.

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Key West Literary Seminar
9:00 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Key West Literary Seminar: On Grief And Reason

Colm Tóibín delivers the John Hersey Memorial Address to open the final session of “Writers on Writers.”
Credit kwls.org

All this week, we're bringing you stories from the Key West Literary Seminar which runs through this weekend. Cara Cannella originally posted this piece on the KWLS blog.

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Aaron Lebos
10:00 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Local Music: Aaron Lebos On Childhood

Lebos and his guitar
Credit Aaron Lebos

As a child, Aaron Lebos was given a choice of two musical instruments: piano or violin. He chose the piano and spent the next six years dedicated to the instrument, winning five state-wide competitions.

But at the age of 11, he picked up the guitar.

More than a decade later he's still strumming it.

You can hear Aaron’s music in this week’s WLRN story "Piñata," a work of fiction by Jeremy Glazer. You can listen to "Rita" and "Pravda" below:

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Fiction
8:50 am
Sat January 19, 2013

WLRN Fiction: Piñata

Credit Gary Denness / Flickr

The following is original fiction by Jeremy Glazer. Jeremy is a regular WLRN contributor. 

Every year, on his birthday, for the last twenty-three years, Robert Simmons called the number.

856-3543.

But no one had ever answered before.

“Hello, Robert’s Western Wear,” the voice says, in mock cowboy accent dissolving into a cascade of giggles.

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Public Insight Network
4:18 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Should Public Money Fund Sun Life Stadium Upgrades?

Some supporters of the Dolphins' plan say that others, like the University of Miami Hurricanes, will benefit from an improved stadium.
Credit techyourpicture

Marlins are no help for Dolphins.  The proposal by the Miami Dolphins to fund approximately $400 million in stadium renovations through county hotel taxes and state general funds is not getting a warm reception.  And it’s probably not because of reports by economists showing that events like the Super Bowl don’t contribute significantly to the host communities

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Richard Blanco
12:34 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

VIDEO: Richard Blanco, Inaugural Poet, Speaks To WLRN

When Richard Blanco takes the stage Monday at President Barack Obama's second inauguration, the poetry community of South Florida will be paying especially close attention.

Blanco was born to Cuban parents in Spain. The family immigrated to the United States and settled in Miami when Blanco was a toddler. He trained to be a civil engineer but a class at Florida International University later launched his poetry career.

Blanco's poetry is full of images from a childhood in South Florida and a Cuban-American household. 

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Miami Dolphins Fishing For A Stadium Renovation

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says Miami is unlikely to get the 2016 Super Bowl unless the Sun Life stadium is updated.
Credit Photography MC

On the Florida Roundup: The Miami Dolphins ask the public to go halfsies with them in a $400 million proposition to improve the Sun Life Stadium. But is hosting a Super Bowl really worth it? A skeptical public might be tougher to persuade after the Marlins ballpark deal.  

We take your calls on whether public money fund the stadium facelift.  

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Literary Cocktails
11:00 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Key West Literary Seminar: How To Drink Like A Writer

Sean Hoard’s Whisky Priest combines Scotch, soda, and Brooklyn Hemispherical apple cider bitters.
Credit kwls.org

All this week, we're bringing you stories from the Key West Literary Seminar which runs through this weekend. Shayne Benowitz originally posted this piece on the KWLS blog.

Reading Pico Iyer’s The Man Within My Head is one way to get under the influence of Graham Greene. Another is by sampling the cocktails at this year’s seminar.

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On The Auction Block
10:15 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Bidding On The Glitz: Studio 54 Auction In West Palm Beach

C.DiMattei

A West Palm Beach art gallery is taking collectors on a trip back in time to the golden -- or silver glitter -- age of disco.

Items from the personal collection of Studio 54 owner Steve Rubell are going on the auction block tomorrow at Palm Beach Modern Auctions.

They include hundreds of photos taken in the hey-day of the legendary New York City nightclub.  Rubell, who died in 1989, was known for his celebrity-studded parties.

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Sun Life Stadium
9:30 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Tax Funds For Dophin Stadium Would Be 'Welfare For Billionaires,' Braman Says

Divided opinions may make Dolphins' stadium renovations a hard sell.
Credit Nathan Rupert (flickr)

South Florida businessman Norman Braman is calling the  proposed plan to renovate Sun Life Stadium with the public dollars "plain welfare for a multi-billionaire."

He contends that Miami Dolphins owner Shephen Ross’ football team is a private asset and should not receive any public money. 

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Session 2013
9:00 am
Fri January 18, 2013

'Transparency' Losing Ground In Tallahassee

SKITTISH: Sen. Alan Hayes doesn't want his 'itty bitty' staff memos disclosed. The Transparency 2.0 web site is in trouble.
Credit Florida Senate

TALLAHASSEE -- Senators looking into the state's efforts to make budget information available online are expressing skepticism about Transparency 2.0, a site developed under a $5.5 million no-bid contract that is nonetheless endorsed by some ethics advocates.

The hesitance by members of the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee, which surfaced at a Thursday meeting, raises questions about whether the project has any prospects for revival.

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Public Employee Pensions
8:30 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Florida Public Empoyees Lose Pension Fight

BECOMING LAW: Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill requiring employee contributions to the pension plan on June 23, 2011. The Florida Supreme Court upheld it Thursday.
Credit Corinne Hanna/WDBO

Florida teachers and other public employees are shocked and angry today, now that the state Supreme Court has upheld a two-year-old state law that requires them for the first time to contribute to their own retirement plans.

Under the law, passed by the 2011 Legislature, three percent of most pension-eligible paychecks are deducted for the state pension system, which the state alone has funded since 1974. Most state employees have received no pay raises since 2006.

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7:56 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Russian Ballet Master May Lose His Sight

Lead in text: 
A shocking story from Moscow this morning about passion and power struggles in ballet. An acid attack on the artistic director of the Bolshoi Theater ballet troupe...
A masked assailant threw acid at the artistic director of Russia's Bolshoi Theater ballet troupe, an attack that Bolshoi representatives said may cause him to lose his eyesight and appeared to be linked to power struggles at the famed ballet company.
Voting Problems
7:30 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Completing His 180, Gov. Scott Calls For Restoring Original 14 Days Of Early Voting

RETHINKING: Gov. Scott signed the bill that reduced the early voting period and caused problems for voters such as these in Pembroke Pines. Now he says he favors returning to the original 14 days.
Credit Joe Rimkus

The state's election bureaucracy and local elections officials have already agreed that more early voting days would shorten the lines that kept voters waiting for hours on Nov. 6.

Now, Gov. Rick Scott -- who promoted and then signed the 2011 bill that reduced the early voting period -- has joined the chorus. He said Thursday county elections supervisors should have the option to conduct early voting on as many as 14 days, the number there was before the Legislature reduced it to eight.

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