Elaine Chen

Elaine is senior producer of news and public affairs at WLRN-Miami Herald News, where she works on building audience engagement around the issues we cover and produces The Florida Roundup, a Friday news show.  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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Public Insight Network
9:30 am
Fri January 4, 2013

What's A Better Name: Broward Or Lauderdale?

Bill Andrews from Hollywood says the landmark that best represents Broward is the Broadwalk in Hollywood: "there are plenty of other cities--very nice tourist locations--in Broward besides Ft. Lauderdale."
Bill Andrews

Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca wants to transform Broward County by changing its name.  LaMarca says many outside Florida don't recognize "Broward" and associate Fort Lauderdale with fun in the sun. He plans to propose the name Lauderdale County, an idea that will be debated next week in a function hosted by the Tower Forum, a Broward (soon to be Lauderdale?) non-profit business organization. Miami-Dade changed its name in 1997.

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

How South Florida Will Remember 2012

Floridians may most associate 2012 with its irrelevance in the presidential election, when the nation had declared the winner and Florida was still counting ballots.
Credit Radio_jct

We were once again in the center of the political universe, but perhaps for all the wrong reasons as the state that can't vote straight.  It was also the year that the death of a black teen from Miami Gardens named Trayvon Martin made us reassess race relations, and the right to stand your ground.    

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Gun Control Debate: Is Florida "The Gunshine State"?

With over a million concealed weapons permits, Florida has more than any other state.
Credit Zweroboi

On the Florida Roundup: The tragedy in Connecticut hits home in what some people call “The Gunshine State,”as Florida has over a million concealed weapons permits, the most in the country.    Do you feel safer?  We hear your reaction to Florida’s milestone.  And will gun control be on the agenda in Tallahassee?

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Community Health Center
12:00 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Why A Venerable Coconut Grove Healthcare Center Is Losing Federal Funding

The Bentley center will be losing $1.8 million in federal funds due to federal health agency audit findings that the center did not have proper accounting practices in place.
Credit photoblog0006

The well-regarded Helen Bentley Family Health Center, a fixture in Coconut Grove, will be losing almost to $2 million in federal funding next year.  

The Miami Herald says the funding represents approximately 17 percent of the center’s operating budget.  The center will continue to provide services but laid off several support staff due to the reduction.     

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13th Grade
10:22 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Talk To Us: What We Should Know About Remedial Education At Florida's Colleges

Wendy Pedroso did well in math classes -- until her first algebra course. Twice as many students at Florida colleges took a remedial math course than took a remedial writing or reading course.
Credit fcir.org

The series on remedial education at Florida’s colleges by NPR’s StateImpact Florida and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting has prompted lots of conversations: Why are so many high school graduates needing remediation in college?  Should a high school diploma be a certificate of college readiness -- perhaps only for some students.

We chatted online with StateImpact’s Sarah Gonzalez and FCIR’s Mc Nelly Torres along with a social media audience of students, educators and people interested in education policy.

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Public Insight Network
12:18 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Over 1 Million Concealed Weapons Permits in Florida: Do You Feel Safer?

Florida recently issued its millionth active concealed weapon permit, the most of any state.
Credit ksbuehler

The coincidence of two recent events has brought the issue of gun ownership to the forefront in Florida: the state has issued its 1 millionth active concealed weapon permit, the highest of any state, and the shooting of 20 first graders in Newtown, Conn. 

With 1 million active concealed weapons permits,that means about one in 14 eligible Floridians hold a permit, according to the Palm Beach Post.  We asked members of the Public Insight Network whether that news made them feel safer.  Osmany from Hialeah said

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Charlie Crist
3:34 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

What Charlie Crist Has To Say About Rick Scott’s Handling Of Election 2012

In a U.S. Senate hearing, Crist lambasted Scott for signing an election law that reduced early voting hours, when many minorities vote.
Credit mike3k

In what may be a preview of the governor’s race, former governor Charlie Crist directly criticized Governor Rick Scott before a U.S. Senate hearing on voting rights. Crist was critical of Scott for helping to pass a 2011 election law that limited early voting hours. 

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Everglades
11:05 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Why The Woodstork Is Leaving The Everglades

The wood stork numbers are up - but not without big changes in its range and habits. The endangered bird has largely left the Everglades, once home to a significant number of nesting pairs.
Credit Kenneth Cole Schneider

Florida’s only wading bird on the endangered species list, the wood stork, is on the mend.  From a low of about 2,500 nesting pairs in most of South and Central Florida in 1984, the bird has since grown to around 7,000 to 9,000 nesting pairs. 

But it doesn't mean all is well with the Everglades.

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Charlie Crist
2:50 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

5 Reasons Crist Shouldn't Run For Governor

With his public statements and recent switch to the Democratic party, Crist may be positioning himself for a 2014 run against Governor Rick Scott.
Credit lakelandlocal2

If state Democrats have doubts about Charlie Crist's break with the GOP, he'll be giving them more proof on Wednesday.  

Crist will be testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Voting Rights on the impact of Florida's 2011 election law.  He will be joined by a Democratic state representative from South Carolina and a liberal advocacy group, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  

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Gun Control
11:09 am
Tue December 18, 2012

How The Newtown Shooting Will Affect Florida's Legislative Agenda

Senate Democratic leader Chris Smith doubts that gun control will be a priority in Session 2013.
Credit Office of State Senator Chris Smith

State Representative Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, says the Newtown shooting should prompt us to re-examine our gun policies - and consider allowing more guns at school.

The Florida Current reports that Baxley, sponsor of the Stand Your Ground law and chair of the House Judiciary Committee, contends:

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

How Florida Fails To Prepare Students For College

Many high school graduates in Florida are finding that they are not ready for college-level work.
Credit j.s. clark

 

On the Florida Roundup:  Florida has its new Education Commissioner, former Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett.  We’ll learn why Jeb Bush fans are thrilled and the teachers unions are not. NPR’s StateImpact Florida reporter Sarah Gonzalez will tell us why many of Florida’s high school graduates are not ready for college work.  And we hear from you on Florida’s growing need for remedial education and what the purpose of high school should be.  Tweet us @WLRN.  

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Public Insight Network
6:00 am
Fri December 14, 2012

What Florida Students, Teachers And Parents Think About Remedial Education

Shakira Lockett says in high school she typically earned As and Bs in her English classes. But at Miami Dade College, she had to take remedial courses in math, reading and writing.
Credit Sagette Van Embden / Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

The series on remedial education exposed what some in the public school system at the secondary and college level already knew: that many students are graduating from high school unprepared for college. 

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Tallying It Up: Election Problems, Citizens Insurance And Miami-Dade Prayer

Secretary of State Ken Detzner is touring around the 5
Credit Dan Grech

On the Florida Roundup :  Local leaders and scientists gather in Palm Beach county to discuss how sea-level rise is “sinking in” in South Florida.  Citizens Insurance is awash with complaints about its "incentive plan" to have private insurers take over some of its policies. Will you be paying for it, hurricane or not? 

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Public Insight Network
6:30 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Dade Commission's Polarizing Call To Prayer

The Miami-Dade Commission has brought back the spoken prayer to hold before their official hearings.
Credit wilson.cheong

The Miami-Dade County Commission’s 8-3 decision to reinstate spoken prayer before its official meetings is sparking passionate responses on both sides of the issue. 

A sponsor of the bill to bring back spoken prayer, Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz, called it a matter of "freedom of speech," while Commissioner Sally Heyman, part of the trio opposed to the measure, said it was "unfair to members of the community to be subjected to a religious point of view."  Since 2004, the commission has opened its meetings with a moment of silence during which commissioners and the public could do as they pleased. 

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Art Basel
9:30 am
Thu December 6, 2012

So, You Like Space Flight? Naked People? Doggies? Art Basel Has Something For All

Endless Renaissance at the Bass Museum shows contemporary art works that refer to Renaissance art.
Credit Elaine Chen

Often “Art Basel” is used as shorthand for the many arts events that coincide with the Art Basel fair itself, which takes place inside the Miami Beach Convention Center. 

But throughout Miami, galleries and artists are exhibiting their work so there really is something for everyone this week.  Below is a small sampling for various persuasions. 

You hate contemporary art: Endless Renaissance at the Bass Museum.  

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