Elaine Chen

Elaine is senior producer of news and public affairs at WLRN-Miami Herald News. She produces The Florida Roundup, a Friday news show, and works on building audience engagement around the issues we cover. Elaine moved from New York City, where she was a lawyer for the city government.  She put aside the legal briefs and discovery requests to be back in public radio.  Before WLRN, Elaine worked as a producer for public affairs shows at WNYC and WYPR.

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If I Were Mayor
6:12 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

'I Can't Undo The Past': Interview With Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter

Mayor Jeff Porter of Homestead says the media given people the wrong idea about the role of the mayor: "I'm not the guy in charge of everything."

Our If I Were Mayor project continues as we bring your ideas to the mayors. We spoke with Homestead's new mayor, Jeff Porter. Mayor Porter, a former councilman and vice mayor, took office last fall. He follows Steve Bateman, one of the three mayors arrested in August of 2013 for corruption charges.   

The position of Homestead mayor pays $6,000. It is intended to be a part-time position.

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State of the County
11:15 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Except For Budget Gap And Pending Layoffs, State Of Miami-Dade Is 'Strong'

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez speaks to reporters after his State of the County address.
Credit Doug Hanks / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez declared the state of the county "strong" in his annual address on Wednesday, save for one $200-million detail.  

Miami-Dade County is the nation's seventh-largest county. It has an international profile; a hot real estate market and a thriving arts, sports and entertainment culture. And all of that, Mayor Gimenez said in his address, enables his government to serve the people through the lens of economic opportunity.

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Snow In Miami
11:58 am
Tue February 25, 2014

This Is What It Sounds Like When You Put Miami Babies On A Pile Of Snow

Despite - or perhaps because of - the warm weather, a group of 2- to 3-year-olds enjoy the snow at a preschool in Little Havana.
Credit Elaine Chen

When I got an email from my daughter’s preschool, titled "Snow Day!" I was confused. In the Northeast, where I grew up, snow days mean the school is closed. 

On the other hand in South Florida, a somewhat common winter tradition is for schools to pay to haul in snow. What kid doesn't like snow? Well, it wasn't a big hit among these 1 year-olds at a preschool in Little Havana. 

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If I Were Mayor
3:23 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Key West Mayor Craig Cates Responds To Your Ideas

Credit Courtesy of Craig Cates

Our final If I Were Mayor interview was with Key West Mayor Craig Cates.

Mayor Cates is a 4th generation Key West resident and has been the mayor of Key West since 2009. Though he got his second term with 70 percent of the vote, in 2013 he garnered only 54 percent, a difference he attributes to his approval of a controversial dredging study and his support for a 24/7 homeless shelter

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The Florida Roundup
7:30 am
Mon February 24, 2014

What To Make Of The Michael Dunn Case And Stand Your Ground

Would George Zimmerman (shown left) and Michael Dunn (right) have been convicted for the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, respectively, if the prosecution had pursued less serious charges?

"The Daily Show" on Comedy Central takes note of the irony of the Michael Dunn verdict occurring during Black History Month.

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Sunshine Economy
5:48 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

From College Dropout To Multimillionaire: 5 Questions For CEO Don Peebles

Credit Courtesy of Don Peebles

 

When he was visiting South Florida in the winter of 1996, developer R. Donahue Peebles read an article in the Miami Herald about a rundown hotel on Miami Beach called the Shorecrest. Over the next several years, Peebles would combine that property with one next door and create the Royal Palm, the first convention-class hotel on Miami Beach owned by an African-American.   

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The Florida Roundup
11:24 am
Fri February 14, 2014

How Jimmy Ryce's Death Changed The Way We Treat Sex Predators

Nine year-old Jimmy Ryce was raped and killed by Juan Carlos Chavez in Redland in 1995.
Credit courtesy of the Ryce family / Miami Herald

Nineteen years after the crime, Jimmy Ryce’s killer has been put to death. Juan Carlos Chavez is the second death row inmate to be executed in Florida this year, as state legislators look to strengthen sexual predator laws, enacted after Ryce’s killing.

This week on the Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson will discuss the Ryce case with Fernando Vila of Fusion, Tia Mitchell of the Tampa Bay Times, Amy Driscoll and Juan Vasquez of the Miami Herald and Rhema Thompson of WJCT Public Radio in Jacksonville. 

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The Sunshine Economy
2:47 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

5 Questions For Invizio's Kevin Michael: South Florida 'Fiercely Competitive'

Invizio co-founder Kevin Michael says South Florida is not all fun-in-the-sun and is more competitive than some might think.
Credit Tom Hudson

 

In our 5 Questions series, we ask local entrepreneurs and CEOs how they got where they are and what they think of the business community in South Florida.   

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Beckham's Charm Offensive To Bring Soccer To Miami

David Beckham, center, poses with Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, left, and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez at a press conference at Perez Art Museum to announce his interest in creating an MLS team in Miami.
Credit HECTOR GABINO / EL NUEVO HERALD

International soccer star David Beckham says the only thing keeping pro soccer from Miami is a stadium. That is indeed a challenge. While Beckham has said he doesn’t want “public funding,” his group has hired a Tallahassee lobbyist to pursue to a sales-tax subsidy, and it’s unclear if he’ll pay market rate for any public site.  

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The Sunshine Economy
11:41 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Learning At The Cash Register: 5 Questions For CEO Suzan McDowell

Suzan McDowell, President and CEO of Circle of One Marketing, tells us about lessons she's learned in her career.
Credit Tom Hudson

As a regular digital feature of the Sunshine Economy, we'll be asking local CEOs how they got where they are and what they think of the business community in South Florida.  

Suzan McDowell is the President and CEO of Circle of One Marketing, a public-relations and community-outreach firm. A Jamaican-American, Suzan was named one of South Florida’s top 50 Most Powerful Black Business Leaders of 2013 by Legacy Magazine and the Miami Herald.

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If I Were Mayor
11:04 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Mayor Carlos Hernandez: Hialeah Gets A Bum Rap

Carlos Hernández is mayor of Hialeah, one of the few towns with a "strong mayor" system.

Our If I Were Mayor project continues as we bring your ideas to the mayors themselves. We spoke with Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernández, who was re-elected last fall.

Here are excerpts from our conversation with him:

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The Florida Roundup
12:08 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Medical Marijuana Question Goes To Florida Voters This November

How might the medical marijuana ballot question affect voter turnout this fall?
Credit “Caveman Chuck” Coker / Creative Commons/Flickr

On The Florida Roundup: The Florida State Supreme Court allows a proposal to legalize medical marijuana to appear on the November ballot. We’ll see how that could affect the governor’s race.

Governor Rick Scott has a $72.4 billion dollar spending plan for the state: the biggest cut was to the state agency that runs the Medicaid program because the state won’t be receiving federal money under the Affordable Care Act. What will that mean for the approximately 3 million Medicaid recipients in Florida?

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If I Were Mayor
3:15 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

'We Don't Talk About It' Miami Lakes Mayor Slaton On Moving Beyond Arrest Of Former Mayor

Our If I Were Mayor project continues as we bring your ideas to the mayors themselves

Mayor Wayne Slaton was the first mayor of Miami Lakes after the town incorporated in 2000. 

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The Florida Roundup
12:59 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

A Ban On Same-Sex Marriage, And A Miami Beach Tech Hub Is "The Dumbest Idea"

Above, the six couples and their attorneys at a press conference announcing the lawsuit challenging the state's same sex marriage ban.
Credit WALTER MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

On The Florida Roundup: six gay couples in South Florida sue over the state's constitutional provision, passed by referendum in 2008, limiting marriage to a man and woman.

We then look at the American Dream for another national minority group: Latino-Americans. Two new polls examine the outlook and views of Latinos.

And Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine causes a furor with his comment that trying to make his city a high-tech hub is "the dumbest idea in the world."  The mayor will join us to explain why he's standing by that assessment.

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The Sunshine Economy
5:21 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

'It's A New Miami': 5 Questions For Kairos CEO Brian Brackeen

Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald staff

As a regular digital feature of The Sunshine Economy, we'll be asking local CEOs how they got where they are and what they think of the business community in South Florida.
 

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