Public Services
2:02 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Six Of 22 Miami-Dade Libraries Could Be Saved From Chopping Block

Miami-Dade library supporters rally against potential budget cuts that threaten to close down 22 branches on Saturday, July 27, 2013, outside the Concord Branch Library.
Credit Alex M Sanchez / Miami Herald Staff

An updated plan for cuts to the Miami-Dade County budget would keep open six of 22 public libraries initially slated for closure.

The tentative change would save the Culmer, Lakes of the Meadows, Lemon City, Little River, Opa-locka and Shenandoah branch libraries, bringing the total number of library closures to 16.

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Trivia
12:09 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Join WLRN For A Night Of South Florida Trivia

Key West once supplied the bulk of the U.S. market for sponges.
Credit State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/8820

We want to see who is the most knowledgeable local out there! The questions will be about South Florida history and pop culture. Here are some examples (for the answers, please scroll to the bottom):

1.  What TV show set in Miami was a break-out hit for actor Edward James Olmos? 

2. Name the last Category 5 hurricane to hit the continental United States. HINT: This is trivia about South Florida.

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Urbanism
7:45 am
Wed July 31, 2013

How You Can Help Improve Miami's Public Spaces

Credit Mark Hogan/Flickr

Miami doesn’t have a lot of public spaces. Experts say things like parks and plazas are in short supply, and that might hurt the city’s ability to attract and retain talented workers.

In order to change that, the Miami Foundation is trying out something new. It's holding a contest for ideas to make more public space in the county and awarding $100,000 in prize money to implement the best ideas.

Battling History

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Schools
7:24 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Why School Grades In Florida Are Full Of Controversy

Florida legislators recently enacted what they call a safety net that ensures no school's performance drops more than one letter under the state's grading system. But despite students' academic improvement, there are a record number of F-rated schools this year.

An "A" was always the gold standard.  Every student knows that the better the grade, the greater the reward, whether the reward is a gold star, a trophy or a scholarship.

It’s no different for schools.  Since 1999, Florida schools have worked to measure student learning gains and to objectively measure teacher and school performance.  An "A" school brings recognition, prestige and financial gain.

But measuring school accountability has become more difficult than anyone thought it would be.  And, as recent legislative decisions show, may carry huge political consequences.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Florida’s Landlord and Tenant Laws

Leonard Elias
http://www.dadecountybar.org/

07/31/13 - Wednesday's Topical Currents is an “At Your Service” edition, which addresses  Florida’s landlord and tenant laws. Questions about eviction procedures, tenant rights, security deposits, partial rent payments and attorney fees?  We’ll have a panel of experts including: Miami-Dade Consumer Advocate Leonard Elias, Jeffrey Hearne of Legal Services of Greater Miami and attorney Michael Birnholz. . What are the legal obligations of renters of single-family homes to homeowner associations? Find out on Wednesday Topical Currents at 1:00pm on WLRN-HD1 rebroadcast at 7:00pm on WLRN-HD2 and audio on-demand after the live program.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

A History Of America’s Financial Disasters

Scott Nelson
http://srnels.people.wm.edu/

07/30/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents looks at the history of US financial crunches.  It’s easy to recall the recession of 2008 or the 1929 stock market crash, but there have been many more panics, and they’ve all revolved around consumer, state and federal defaults. We’ll speak with Scott Reynolds, author of A NATION OF DEADBEATS:  An Uncommon History of America’s Financial Disasters. The first U-S financial crisis was in 1792. Tha

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Standards
9:12 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Rubio Opposes Florida's Common Education Standards

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is the highest-profile Florida Republican to oppose Common Core State Standards.
Credit JIM LO SCALZO / EPA/LANDOV

Add U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to those opposing shared education standards fully adopted by Florida and 44 other states.

The standards, known as Common Core, have been under fire from those on the political right and left. Conservatives argue the federal government coerced states with money to adopt the standards, undermining local control of education. Those on the left protest increased testing.

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Economics
9:05 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Local Politicians Spend A Week Trying To Live On Florida's Minimum Wage

Credit FlickR.com/Images_of_Money

Two South Florida politicians said a week spent just "getting by" -- has gotten to them.  

Broward County Commissioner Martin Kiar and State Senator Dwight Bullard agreed last week to spend five days trying to live on Florida's current minimum wage of $7.79 an hour.

Kiar says the week-long budget he drew up for himself left only $106 dollars for food, travel and entertainment for him and his family.

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Labor
9:04 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Fort Lauderdale Airport Employees Demand Higher Pay On Minimum Wage Anniversary

It is the fourth anniversary of the last time the United States’ raised the minimum wage, which is currently set at $7.25 per hour. Florida’s minimum wage is slightly higher at $7.79, but this is below the calculated “living wage” for most Floridian families

A living wage allows an individual or family to meet basic needs and have a normal standard of living.

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Labor
9:02 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Who Should Define A Living Wage In Florida: Your State Or County?

Rich Templin of the Florida AFL-CIO is fighting a bill in the state legislature that would ban county living-wage ordinances. The bill has already passed the House and a less sweeping version is moving through Senate committees.
Credit Jordan Michael/WLRN

The Florida House has passed a bill that would preempt local living wage ordinances and a similar version is making its way through the Senate.

The House measure would not allow local governments to mandate that their vendors pay employees more than a set minimum or provide them with special work-related benefits.

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