Carl Juste / Miami Herald

It’s hard to be a fan of hurricanes. Two out of three Haitians don’t have enough food to eat these days – thanks largely to storms like last year’s Hurricane Sandy and how they’ve ravaged Haiti’s agriculture.

And yet we need hurricanes once in a while. They’re a sort of planetary thermostat that cools oceans and redistributes hot air. Their rains more effectively alleviate droughts, and that can be a help instead of a horror to impoverished countries like Haiti.

New Florida Law Challenges Federal Ethanol Standards

Jul 8, 2013
Rama/ Creative Commons

On July 1, close to 200 new Florida laws went into effect, one of which is a direct challenge to Federal fuel regulations.

And one unexpected beneficiary is the recreational boat user.

Florida struck down the following part of its Renewable Fuel Standard Act:

“Each terminal supplier, importer, blender, and wholesaler shall also include in the report to the department the number of gallons of blended and unblended gasoline.”

chrismeller / Flickr Creative Commons

Summer is the time when snow birds and tourists abandon the state and leave native Floridians to swelter alone in the subtropical sun. Instead of bemoaning the heat and humidity (and occasional hurricane), delve into some writings that celebrate -- at least, in most cases -- what it means to live in this state.


06/13/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with info about the “Viva Florida 500” program.  It commemorates the arrival of Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon in 1513.

The Not So Quiet Rebellion Against Florida's State Bird

Jun 12, 2013
Beautiful Lily/Flickr

Birding blogger Nicolas Lund recently argued in an article for Slate magazine that Florida should change its state bird to the Flamingo.

He was actually advocating for several states to change their birds, but he seemed particularly peeved with Florida’s current choice:


05/15/13 - Wednesday's Topical Currents is with veteran Florida journalist and raconteur Jeff Klinkenberg. In the tradition of the great Al Burt, Klinkenberg discovers the quirks and funky aspects of our diverse and often unusual state. He’s found that a low register tuba blast can trigger bull alligators to bellow. That and more in his book, ALLIGATORS IN B-FLAT:  Improbable Tales from the Files of Real Florida.    Topical Currents at 1pm on WLRN-HD1 rebroadcast at 7pm on WLRN-HD2 and audio on-demand after the live program. 

Saving Florida Wildlife

Apr 8, 2013
via www.booksandbooks.com

03/05/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents is with journalist T.D. Allman.  His latest work is a ten-year project to create  FINDING FLORIDA:  The True History of the Sunshine State.  The 500-year recorded history of the Sunshine State is rife with myths and outright deceit.  Ponce de Leon did not “discover” Florida, nor did he search for a “Fountain of Youth.”  He sought gold . . . but there wasn’t any.  The revered Seminole figure, Osceola, was actually a mostly white man, named William Powell.  Allman says Florida’s legacy is mostly “sugar-coated.”  That’s Topical Currents Tuesday at 1pm, rebroadcast at 7pm on WLRN-HD2.

T.D. Allman South Florida Appearances: 

Early in November, a tortoiseshell cat named Holly jumped out of her human family's RV in Daytona Beach, Florida, and ran off. After a fruitless search, the husband and wife returned home to West Palm Beach without their cat.

Holly showed up back in West Palm Beach, only a mile from her house, on New Year's Eve. Because she had been micro-chipped, the family, two surprised and grateful humans and one bedraggled cat, were readily reunited.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Florida man's floating home was a house, not a boat, and that therefore, the city marina where he kept it docked could not seize the structure under federal maritime law. The case could affect thousands of houseboat owners nationwide.