Cocking her head with an impish grin, 6-year-old Francisca Ajtum gives her holiday voice a spin at home in Florida City.
“I want to wish you a Merry Christmas!” she sings, belting out José Feliciano’s bilingual classic “Felíz Navidad” in equally proficient English and Spanish. Her showmanship elicits giggles and shrieks from her three siblings: Her 8-year-old sister Margarita, brother Leonardo, 7, and her kinetic little sister, Bani Luz, 4.
Three years ago, when the noise level at the American Airlines Arena shrieked to a deafening level, fan Adele Sandberg covered her ears and winced. Intent on the fast-paced court action, she didn’t yet know about the growing danger of hearing loss. She didn’t know yet that preventing it would become her passion.
Protests continued during the trial of Miami police office William Lozano. On a day before a guilty verdict in his 1989 trial, Asi Niamaya and James Mackey helped carry mock coffin through Overtown during a "Victory March". There were two coffins, symbolizing the two motorcyclists killed by Officer Lozano.
There are plenty of ways to measure the meaning of art: aesthetic value, emotion resonance, ticket sales, auction price, jobs. South Florida's art economy is young but growing.
Communities have invested hundreds of millions of public dollars in performing arts centers and museums, cultural programs and outreach efforts. The arts are embedded in the promise of South Florida marketed to visitors.
And increasingly, South Florida artists are appearing on the world's stage.
Federal Housing Finance Agency hosted a panel discussion at Miami Dade College North Campus about HARP for borrowers whose homes are underwater. From left to right: Laura Reichel of Ditech Mortgage Corporation; Robert Koller of Fannie Mae; Yvette Gilmore of Freddie Mac; Mark McArdle of the Homeownership Preservation Office; and Joseph Cvelbar of Consolidated Credit Solutions, Inc.
From Pensacola to Key West, the ride-sharing company Uber announced that its app-based service -- specifically its lower cost "uberX" service -- will now be available in dozens of new locations around Florida including Naples, Sarasota, Fort Myers and the Florida Keys.
"Now we’re nearly everywhere in Florida," an announcement claimed on the company's blog. "As of today, over 82 percent of Floridians have access to Uber!"
Earlier this year the Florida Department of Transportation entered into a partnership with the traffic data company Waze. The Israeli startup, now owned by Google, lets “Wazers” use a smartphone app to report the location of crashes, congestion, potholes, road kill and police officers among many other things.
The agreement is purely a “data-sharing” partnership. Waze gets access to the stream of information produced by the road sensors FDOT uses to monitor traffic flow on Florida’s major highways. And FDOT gets access to the myriad reports filed by Wazers.