Alexander Gonzalez

Associate Producer

Alexander Gonzalez produces the afternoon newscasts airing during All Things Considered. He enjoys helping tell the South Florida story through audio and digital platforms. Alex is interested in a little of everything from business to culture to politics.

 

A Miami native, Alex has been in the journalism game since high school. He was editor of his high school and college newspapers. After graduating from the University of Miami, he first arrived at WLRN as the summer 2015 digital intern. He reported on Latin American communities in Miami, the city’s burgeoning arts culture, and a grassroots group of mango collectors.

 

Before returning to Miami, Alex lived in New York, where he earned his master’s in journalism from NYU. In between, he also spent a year teaching English in France on a Fulbright grant.

 

In his spare time, Alex looks for discount books and listens to podcasts – his favorites include “Death, Sex & Money,” “Spooked” and “99% Invisible.”

Note: This story first ran last summer. The group Mangoes to Share is back at it this summer, and they say they've been scheduling "non-stop" pickups.  Organizer Anna Milaeva tells us the owner of one vacant lot has given them carte blanche to pick mangoes from 30 trees on the property. They've been picking other fruit too, like star fruit, lychees and avocados.

Courtesy / Fringe Projects Miami

When Emile Milgrim left Miami for Oregon in 2003, she recalls a different kind of city.

“There weren’t a lot of people living in downtown Miami, Midtown, Little Haiti, North Miami, MiMo, whatever you want to call that stuff,” she says. “And then now there are, so it looks and sounds different.”

Tiffany Madera / Courtesy

 

They call themselves ABCs: American-born Cubans. Well before Cuba and the United States began to normalize relations this year, a crop of younger Cuban-Americans were working to engage the communist island.

Many Gen. X-ers, in particular, have challenged their parents and communities' wishes in an attempt to lift what some artists and writers have been calling the “emotional embargo” on Cubans on and off the island. 

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald Staff

Miami ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. with the highest number of red-light running fatalities.

The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) launched an interactive map Wednesday, charting the 7,799 red-light running fatalities that happened nationwide between 2004 and 2013, according to the most recent data from the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration. 

Courtesy

The Miami Book Fair International has announced some of the names in its lineup of authors. 

Punk poet Patti Smith will kick off the fair’s 32nd edition, which runs from Nov. 15-22 at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus. Smith will discuss her latest memoir “M Train” on Nov. 15 in MDC’s Chapman Conference Center.

Emma_L_M/flickr

UPDATE, Aug. 3, 4:30 p.m.: The South Florida Management District board reversed its decision against tax cuts.

The board held a special meeting on Friday, July 31, where they approved to cut a property tax rate for the fifth year in a row.

Two weeks ago, the board voted 6-2 to maintain the tax rate that would’ve prevented having to rely on the agency’s reserves.

The final vote on the proposed budget will take place in September.

Dr. Farouk / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Florida International University’s Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Studies a $1.45 million grant to fund a health clinic at Miami Northwestern Senior High (MNW).

The Liberty City-based campus will begin providing family and pediatric care services in November. These will include preventative care, vaccines, flu shots, physical therapy, speech therapy and athletic training.

UM Lowe Art Museum / Courtesy

The University of Miami is adding Baroque paintings and Greek vases to its diagnostic arsenal.

Medical, nursing and physical therapy students at UM are supplementing their clinical training with visits to the Lowe Art Museum at the university’s Coral Gables campus. There, they discuss works of art in small groups and make connections to health care.

Hope Torrents, the Lowe’s school programs coordinator, calls these visits the Fine Art of Health Care. She runs the workshops, which began in 2008.

Crescent Heights

The Baptist brand of health care is coming to Miami Beach.  

The city planning board voted 6-1 to give Baptist the green light to build an urgent care center at 709 Alton Road.

“We’re very happy and delighted that the planning board took such consideration really to give this project the time and attention that it needed,” says Ana Lopez-Blazquez, chief strategy officer for Baptist Health.

Alexander Gonzalez / WLRN

Alba Prieto says life with her son Daniel can be a “roller coaster.”

“One day you’re up, one day you’re down,” she says. “But at the end of the day, at the end of the roller coaster, you feel super excited about what you have been doing.”

Daniel Varela, 10, was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old. It’s a spectrum disorder (one with varying degrees of severity) that can make communication and social interaction challenging. 

State Attorney's Office

On Thursday, prosecutors did not charge the Miami Beach police officer for the Taser death of graffiti writer Israel Hernandez Llach.

The investigation determined that the death was “accidental” because Taser stun guns “are not likely” to cause cardiac death, according to the State Attorney Office’s report.

On Aug. 6, 2013, police caught the teenage graffiti artist known as "Reefa" tagging the wall of an abandoned McDonald’s. This led to a chase, and when Hernandez-Llach was cornered, Officer Jorge Mercado shocked him in the chest.

Nathan Rupert / Flickr

A high number of leprosy cases have been appearing in Florida. The possible culprit: armadillos. 

This year, nine cases have been reported in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Health. The state usually gets about two to 12 cases a year. 

In light of the spike in reported leprosy cases, wildlife officials recommend people wear gloves when handling any animals.

Michael Loretta / shop.mikebusiness.com

In the upcoming action-comedy "Pixels," classic video game characters such as Pac Man and Donkey Kong attempt to take over the world.

These 1980s characters also run amok in Michael Loretta’s digital art. He inserts two-dimensional figures from similar video game titles into high-resolution photos of Miami.

 

BEACH CRUISER

Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Key West was home to many famous American writers, but the most well known is Ernest Hemingway.

More than 50 years after his death, hundreds flock to the writer's old hometown near the end of July for the annual Hemingway Days festival. It begins Tuesday, July 21, on the 116th anniversary of his birthday.

Alexander Gonzalez / WLRN

The artwork at Locust Projects Gallery in the Design District plays with Miami stereotypes.

A palm tree smelling of coconut oil rests on a hammock. In the corner, the static of a television set resembles the sound of waves crashing on the shore. Opposite that lie deconstructed items taken from a strip club.

Twenty high school students made these and other works as part of the sixth-annual summer program, Locust Art Builders or LAB. LAB allows young artists from Miami-Dade County to create their own exhibition, which opened July 11.

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