only in South Florida

Five Questions: Peter Zalewski

Mar 18, 2013

Five years ago, Peter Zalewski was working as a business journalist, but he jumped into real estate before the condo crisis hit and founded Condo Vultures. His provacatively named real estate firm has grown by leaps and bounds, helping buyers to sift through the foreclosure stats and find steals in South Florida’s real estate collapse. Last year, he also appeared in Michael Moore’s

Free Divers Add Depth To Their Lives

Mar 18, 2013

South Florida is becoming a freediving hub, thanks in part to renowned Czech diver Martin Stepanek, who founded Freediving Instructors International in Fort Lauderdale. His partner Niki Roderick– also an accomplished free diver– teaches courses too.

Premiere Episode

Mar 18, 2013

In our first episode, you’ll hear the voices of a Holocaust survivor who made pool cues in Miami Beach and a migrant tomato picker who struggles for higher wages in Immokalee.  After losing her son, Queen Brown has taken up the fight to end youth violence, and to make peace in her own family.  Two cat burglars remember how they made off with millions of dollars in jewels from Palm Beach mansions.  The Miracle Fruit Man introduces our co-host Alicia Zuckerman to a magical berry.  A 17-year-old announcer at Dania Jai A-lai hopes to revive a fading sport.  And in our regular “What’s Up With So

Alicia Zuckerman

It’s a time-honored tradition. Spring breakers descend on Miami from across the nation this time of year to guzzle beer, work on their tanlines and hit the clubs.

Or there’s Alternative Spring Break, where you sit in a windowless room, guzzle coffee, and fill out reams of immigration paperwork. You can compile proof of residence, and file for fee waivers. Sound appealing?

Sammy Mack

Give Good Works, a Wynwood thrift store and charity, gives your old and gently used items a second chance.  However, the point is to give people a second chance.  Jennifer Rousseau, who works at the store, transformed her life with the help of the shop’s founder Heather Klinker.

“A lot of people would have given up on us girls,” said Rousseau. “Heather didn’t. She kept going. She’s a hero to me. I love her.”

Human Hair Is Farmers’ Friend

Mar 18, 2013
Dan Grech

That’s according to Blair Blacker, and he should know.  In this story, host Dan Grech visits a warehouse in Florida City with Blacker to have a look at a novel product– mats made from human hair.  Blacker says the mats fertilize plants better than most herbicides, plus they prevent weeds and conserve water.  The circular mats, made by SmartGrow, fit snugly around a plant’s base and biodegrade over time.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Purchased with funds contributed by Dorothy Norman, 1969, Photograph © Robert Frank, from The Americans

This photo of a forlorn, slightly bored young hotel elevator operator was taken on the beach in 1955, at the Sherry Frontenac Hotel (65th and Collins).  It has become one of Frank’s most famous photographs and the face of the exhibition, “Looking In:  Robert Frank’s the Americans” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It runs through Jan. 3.

Episode 4: Hispanic Versus Latino

Mar 18, 2013
Jose Maya

Dan Grech gets a government form in the mail and he’s asked to decide: Is he Hispanic, or “a big white guy?” He’s pretty sure he’s not Latino.

To sort it all out, he invited demographer Maria Aysa to the studio.

In this piece, she explains the difference between the terms Hispanic and Latino, and why some people are so adamant about using one instead of the other.

In our regular What’s Up With South Florida? feature, you decide what we investigate.  You voted overwhelmingly for an explanation of the “Inglish Gratis” sign outside of Hialeah High.  This photo had been circulating virally through email.  It was brought to our attention by  photographer Tomas Loewy.  In Episode 3 of Under the Sun, Kenny Malone set out to solve the mystery of this misspelling. (-T.S.)

Funding for this episode provided by a grant from The Florida Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dinner Set Gang

Mar 18, 2013
Lyn Millner

The writer Somerset Maugham called Florida a “sunny place for shady people.”  A couple of decades before Bernard Madoff hit Palm Beach, a pair of cat burglars hit mansions up and down the coast.  Lyn Millner tells us where they are now.


Before becoming a jewel thief, Dominick Latella played guitar with a band called Two + Two in New York.  Here are some songs from the band’s record: