Topical Currents

Monday through Thursday at 1:00pm

Bonnie and Joseph
Credit Paul Leary

Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman share the microphone with a wide range of guests including community leaders, artists, scientists, historians, political thinkers and more who bring issues of interest to South Floridians.  Topical Currents first started broadcasting in January 1999. Joseph Cooper is the host and executive producer, Richard Ives is the senior producer, Bonnie Berman joined as co-host and associate producer in September 2012, Jason Zabka is technical director and online producer, and Polly Landess is associate producer, joining the team in mid-2015.

Our listener call-in line is 1-800-743-9576 -- 1-800-743-W-L-R-N (9576)

For cell phone area codes outside South Florida, dial directly 1-305-995-1800

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The early morning hours of August 24th, 1992 created trepidation in South Florida.   Category 5 Hurricane Andrew aimed for landfall in South Dade County.

Topical Currents revisits the 25th Anniversary of the storm’s death and devastation--as well as the raw recovery period.

We visit with meteorologist Bry

an Norcross, one of the key figures in keeping many residents safe and forewarned.

(08-23-2017) History/Miami Museum Resident Historian, Dr. Paul George discusses the sensational murders and kidnappings of the 1960s, drug wars, and urban crimes of the 21st century.

(08-22-2017) Today's episode covers criminal activity from the late-1920s through the 1960s, including the ubiquity of illegal gambling, prohibition defiance, the Greater Miami Crime Commission and Chicago kingpin Al Capone’s celebrated house on Biscayne Bay.

(08-21-2017) An impenetrable South Florida topography hindered access, so it was a haven for deserters and criminals during the Civil War.

In the 1880’s, only Federal Marshals enforced laws. North Miami became a center for booze, gambling and prostitution, and Miami’s first serial killer made his mark.

This is Part 1 of a three-part series on Crime History in South Florida. 

(08-17-2017) We discuss a little known horror story about British prisoner of war ships docked in New York harbor.  More American deaths occurred on these ships than in actual battle.

Lynn University professor Robert Watson talks about his book, THE GHOST SHIP OF BROOKLYN.  

Linda visits with Miami-Dade Public Schools Director of Nutrition, Penny Parham.

(08-16-2017) Given the buildup to the August 21st total eclipse, Topical Currents spotlights South Florida’s Buehler Planetarium & Observatory, housed on the central campus of Broward College in Davie.

In our region, the event will be a “partial” solar eclipse, at its max just before 3 p.m., Monday.

We speak with the Buehler’s Director, Susan Barnett.  

Miami Herald

(08-15-2017)  It’s hard to believe that the son of the “Mambo King,” Tito Puente, Senior, once played in a heavy metal band . . . but for the past 20 years he’s excelled at exciting Afro-Caribbean rhythms.

(08-14-2017) We discuss the impacts of E-P-A, Fish & Wildlife, and Department of Transportation de-regulation promoted by the Trump Administration.

Exploration for oil in the Big Cypress National Preserve is underway. . . the Florida Panther’s endangered species designation is under review . . . and vehicle fuel economy goals are likely to be reduced.

We visit with South Florida Wildlife Association Executive Director Matthew Schwartz.

(08-10-2017) Linda Gassenheimer’s Food & Dining is devoted to tropical fruits, 

including those at stores, stands and backyards.  They include dragon and passion fruits, and red guava.

(2017-08-10) 

Sun-Sentinel consumer columnist Doreen Christensen, known for her smart, penny-pinching ways and “Doreen’s Deals”, celebrates Data Privacy Day with online security tips . . . such as using just one credit card for online charges.

(2017-08-08) No one has had more public service roles in Miami-Dade than Merrett R. Stierheim.  Ever.

His first post at the City of Miami began in 1959. 

There were two stints as County Manager, during some terribly turbulent times, and he was also City of Miami Manager.  Stierheim’s been a Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent, & Manager of Miami-Lakes and Doral, plus many other important roles. 

(8-7-2017) If you covet the urban coffeehouse feel of the ‘60s, you’ve probably put your feet up at The Luna Star Café, in North Miami.

Besides an eclectic menu, there’s an even wider range of live music, poetry and open mics. We visit with Luna Star’s founder, owner and musical director, Alexis Sanfield.  She opened the doors in 1996.

(And far out!) . . . how could we not throw in some live, singer/songwriter/guitar tunes?

(8-3-2017) Miami Spice Months with Bill Talbert, President and CEO Greater Miami Convention and Business Bureau, and Chef Danny Serfer from Blue Collar and the two Mignonette restaurants. Bill gives us tips on how to navigate the offering for this year’s Miami Spice – August and September -  $39 for a 3 course dinner, $23 for lunch. Danny talks about why he decided to participate and brings us a taste of his Miami Spice menus.

(8-3-2017) Today’s Topical Currents checks out downtown Delray Beach and its hip multi-media arts venue, ARTS GARAGE.

It holds jazz, blues & rock concerts, open jam sessions, poetry & spoken word, plus the Grassroots Gallery at Arts Garage.

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