Christine DiMattei

Anchor/Reporter

Years ago, after racking her brains trying to find a fun, engaging, creative nighttime gig to subsidize her acting habit, Chris decided to ride her commercial voiceover experience into the fast-paced world of radio broadcasting. She started out with traffic reporting, moved on to news . . . and never looked back. Since then, Chris has worked in newsrooms throughout South Florida, producing stories for radio broadcasts and the web.

In her other life, she has been married to 12 husbands (including a not-so-wild boar and a garden slug), given birth to 15 children, died four times, twice taken vows as a nun and once been abducted by pirates in the Caribbean. And all this by doing English language dubbing for dozens of foreign films, soap operas and cartoons.  Both lives, she says, have been "a most excellent adventure."

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Miami New Drama

In Jewish folklore, a golem is a creature fashioned of clay and animated by magic.  To Michel Hausmann, the golem is less a Yiddisha Frankenstein's monster than a dark knight.

“It’s a Jewish Superman,” says Hausmann. “It’s the ancestor of all superheroes.  When you don’t have the strength to fight your enemies, you create this creature to do the fighting for you.”

But what happens after it defeats your enemies?

“Then YOU become the enemy,” posits Hausmann.

Gemma Bramham

When nominations for South Florida’s equivalent of the Tony Awards – the Carbonells – were announced recently, Broward County theaters snagged a quarter of them.

That comes as no surprise to Bill Hirschman, founder of and chief critic for the website Florida Theater On Stage.

Carl Juste, The Miami Herald

South Florida certainly doesn't lack for interesting personalities.

But the year 2015 saw the loss of several South Floridians who give our region its unique style. Click through the photos above to see some of them, including our former afternoon anchor Kelley Mitchell.

The Miami Herald

She grew up the daughter of an actor, but was too shy to follow in her father’s footsteps. 

However, Christine Dolen eventually parlayed her love of the stage into a successful career in theatrical journalism.  And now, after 36 years as theater critic for The  Miami Herald, Dolen is retiring.

In the last four decades, Dolen has watched the South Florida theater scene grow from little more than a touring company outpost to a formidable and respected artistic wellspring.

Noel Lopez Fernandez

  

Remember what the Matt Hooper character says about sharks in the 1975 Steven Spielberg film “Jaws”?

“What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine,” says Hooper, played by Richard Dreyfus. “It's really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that's all.”

Sharks are the bad boys of the deep, to be sure.  So why would sharks swimming in Cuban waters need protection?

The City of Oakland Park

  

Charles Livio, 62, is proud of his adopted family of 12.

“We have 10 adults and two juveniles,” says a beaming Livio.  “We had a successful breeding.”

If that sounds like a strange way for a foster dad to talk about his charges, it’s only because the family at Oakland Park’s Lakeside Sand Pine Preserve is an unusual one.  And Livio’s 12 dependents are a bit reclusive.

“They are naturally leery of people. And when they see people, they will usually scurry back in their burrow or they’ll just scurry off,” he says.

EMRAH GUREL / AP VIA NPR

The more than 4-year-old civil war in Syria has triggered what the United Nations is calling the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time.

About four million Syrians have been forced to flee their homeland as refugees. And in the last four years, about 1,500 have been relocated to the United States.

According to the State Department, the six states that have housed the most Syrian refugees so far are Texas, California, Michigan, Illinois, Arizona and Florida.

Credit O Cinema

There were no steadicams in 1964, no lightweight cameras or drone-cams.  Perhaps that's why film lovers watching “Soy Cuba” for the first time get understandably excited by what has become known as the “hotel shot.”   At the start of the film, a camera pans across the upper decks of a Havana hotel during a beauty contest, then descends straight down to the pool level as if held by ghostly hands.  The camera pans across bathing beauties basking in lounge chairs, then actually goes underwater in the hotel pool.

J. Bargsten

    

What IS it, anyway?

There are operatic-style singers on stage. There’s definitely a storyline; a futuristic, dystopian vision where corporate grunts peddling anti-melancholia drugs go up against Big Brother. On a screen upstage, film characters seem to interact with the live performers. There are dancers and animation on video. There’s even audience participation of sorts, where a videotaped “focus group” comprised of real people seems to comment on the action and the plot.

Joyce Tenneson

When President Obama was sworn into office for his second term in January 2013, it was Miami-raised writer Richard Blanco who read the inaugural poem.

He was the first Latino and first openly gay inaugural poet in U.S.  history. And now Blanco, a child of Cuban immigrants, will put his poetic stamp on another historic event -- the re-opening of a U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba.

Blanco, now a resident of Maine, was chosen to read his new poem during the re-opening ceremony before a crowd of Cuban officials and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Discovery Channel

 

How often do you see a classic American car on the road?  Every week?  Once a month?  Once in a blue moon?

You know the kind: tail fins, mammoth headlights, painted from front grill to back bumper some sort of electric Crayola crayon color and looking like it was just driven straight off the set of “Grease.”

In Cuba, they’re all over the place. 

Carlos Barria

South Florida is seeing little rain during its rainy season this year.

Eastern Miami-Dade and Broward counties are drying up and are now considered to be in extreme drought conditions, according to water managers.

So far this year, Miami-Dade was 7 inches below average rainfall and Broward was down more than 8 inches.

Dr. Milagros Bello

Just think of it as the Cuban version of Art Basel.

Since late May, art ­collectors and dealers from all over the globe have been flocking to Havana for the month-long exhibition called the Biennial.

Flickr/mathias appel

Should chimpanzees -- humanity's closest living relatives in the animal kingdom -- have the same rights that you do?

A South Florida attorney says they should.  And while Steven Wise hasn't gotten a judge to agree with him yet, he did get a New York State Supreme Court justice last week to admit that the idea was "extremely interesting and well argued."  

Palm Beach Post archives

It was a monster.

First, it hit the Caribbean. And once it touched down in the United States, its victims were mostly African-American. When the waters rose and the levee broke, there was nowhere to go. 

This isn't New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago. This is Palm Beach County during the Great Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928. It was one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history, and yet it's been largely forgotten.

“Most Americans have no clue what happened,” says Palm Beach Post reporter and South Florida historian Eliot Kleinberg.

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