Politics

Redistricting
7:44 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

After Hearing Arguments, Judge To Rule On New Congressional Map

The judge will decide soon if he will accept the newly redrawn map.
Credit Florida House of Representatives / floridaredistricting.org

  Plaintiffs say newly drawn congressional districts still favor Republicans and discourage black representation in Central Florida.

But the defense argued Wednesday before a judge the new districts follow his order and asked for his approval. 

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis had ruled the districts unlawfully favor Republicans and ordered the Legislature to redraw them. 

David King is a Central Florida attorney for the League of Women Voters and other groups suing over the districts. He rejects the argument the new districts protect black representation.

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Politics
3:02 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Mitt Romney Endorses Miami-Dade School Board Member Curbelo For Congress

File photo of Carlos Curbelo, candidate for U.S. Congress for District 26. He says he wants to be a congressman his district could be proud of.
Credit C.M. Guerrero / el Nuevo Herald

Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo got a big endorsement for his run for Congress on Monday: former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Dressed in a white shirt and tie over jeans and shiny loafers, Romney says Curbelo is what the founding fathers had in mind: a man of his community with a deep understanding of how the economy creates jobs.

  He was there just to endorse Curbelo and not to talk about whether or not he’ll run for president again.

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Latin America Report
6:44 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

The Cuba Debate: Can Capitalist Rookies Thrive In A Communist Revolution?

Visiting Cuban entrepreneurs speak at Miami Dade College this month.
Credit Miami Herald

When you’ve spent your entire life on a communist island where staples like eggs and chicken are rationed, lunch in Miami can be overwhelming.

Ask Sandra Aldama, a Cuban mother and former special education teacher who made her first visit to the United States this month. Settling into a downtown Italian restaurant as waiters whizzed by with plates of fettuccine alfredo and veal parmesan, Aldama was almost certainly reminded of what the average Cuban can’t get at home.

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North Miami
3:17 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

North Miami Mayor Requests Review Of Employee Background Checks

North Miami Acting Mayor Philippe Bien-Aime wants the city to review background and reference checks on employees hired in the past two years.
Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald

North Miami Acting  Mayor Philippe Bien-Aime believes the city may have disregarded its own hiring procedures for city employees.

He points to the recent arrest of the city’s former purchasing director MarcAnthony Tulloch as an example.

Tulloch previously worked for the city of Sunny Isles Beach. Apparently,  Sunny Isles Beach was investigating him for the misuse of a city credit card.

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Politics
4:19 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Florida Lobbying Firms Collect Millions During Second Quarter

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

With industries ranging from casinos to taxicabs looking to influence the Legislature, new reports offer a glimpse of the millions of dollars in fees that lobbying firms collected during the second quarter of the year.

The reports, due before a Thursday night deadline, show that at least four lobbying firms collected $1 million or more in fees from April 1 to June 30 --- a period that included the second half of the 60-day legislative session.

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Latin America Report
12:16 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Canal Quarrel: How PortMiami's Future Is Tied To Tiny Panama

Epic Endeavor: Building the Panama Canal's wider locks.
Credit Panama Canal Authority

The original version of this report was published on May 13 2014.

PortMiami has finally opened its new, billion-dollar tunnel. It’s the jewel of a $2 billion port makeover, which includes a major dredging project and skyscraper-size loading cranes for sending a lot more auto parts to Brazil and getting a lot more handbags from China.

But the long-term success of that effort may depend to a large extent on whether a quarrel gets solved a thousand miles to the south. In Panama.

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Politics
7:03 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Study: Florida Among The Worst States For Gerrymandering

Florida ranks as one of the worst states for gerrymandering.

  Florida ranks third in the country for gerrymandering, according to a study of the most heavily populated states. 

Voting districts are redrawn every 10 years in a process known as redistricting. Gerrymandering happens when district boundaries are drawn to benefit a political party.

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Politics
9:33 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

House Speaker: We'll "Get It Right" On Redistricting

The special session will continue until August 15th. It may end earlier if lawmakers approve a new congressional map.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

The Florida Legislature met for less than 15 minutes on the first day of the special session on redistricting. Lawmakers are back in Tallahassee after a circuit judge tossed out the map they drew two years ago of Florida’s 27 congressional districts.

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Environment
12:18 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Mosquitoes In Miami: Is It Safe To Spray?

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

Miami-Dade's Mosquito Control operation is the oldest in Florida. Operations manager Chalmers Vasquez says it started in 1935.

"There are two reasons that Florida became a state," says Vasquez. "Mosquito control and air conditioning."

The concept of mosquito control is two-fold: Spray to protect from diseases spread by mosquitoes like dengue fever, and now chikungunya, and to make a bug-infested swampland actually livable for people.

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Opinion
6:12 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

As Central Americans Flee Their Countries, Their Leaders Take Refuge In Hypocrisy

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez (left) talks with U.S. Marine General John Kelly during his Southcom visit on Wednesday.
Credit U.S. Southern Command

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández dropped by the U.S. Southern Command in Miami this week to talk about security in Central America. Or the utter lack of security in Central America. Honduras has the highest murder rate on Earth, and things are almost as deadly in neighboring Guatemala and El Salvador.

That’s why the Southcom visit was a nifty photo op for Hernández – who'd like the world to believe that he’s having to wage a war with vicious narco-gangs solely because Americans have an insatiable appetite for drugs.

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Politics
5:59 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

"We Lurch": Activist Bob Moses On The Current Fight For Voting Rights

Civil Right activist and educator Bob Moses. Moses says the federal government should do more to ensure Americans' right to vote.
Credit miller_center / Flickr

Monday is the first day of early voting for this year’s primary elections.

In Florida, voting -- early or otherwise -- has been disputed in various ways over past decade.

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Governor's Race
5:53 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Crist Would Push Lawmakers To Expand Health Care Coverage

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist told the Miami Herald editorial board that he wants a special session to try and convince lawmakers to expand state-run health care coverage for low-income residents.
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist says if he’s elected, he wants a special session to expand a state-run health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

Crist says Florida could cover an additional one million people by expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.

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Politics
7:05 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Special Session In Tallahassee Not Likely To End Redistricting Lawsuits

Florida has 27 congressional districts. A judge ruled districts 5 and 10 unconstitutional, saying the Florida Legislature drew them to benefit the incumbents.
Credit Department of the Interior

The Florida Legislature will convene a special session Thursday in Tallahassee. It runs until noon August 15 or until lawmakers approve a new map of Florida’s congressional districts.

Voting rights groups claimed the boundaries, redrawn in 2012 as part of the once-a-decade redistricting process, violated the state’s Fair Districts constitutional amendments, which were approved by voters in 2010.

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Latin America Report
4:25 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Should The Panama Canal Join Classes As Well As Oceans?

Two Panamas: Panama City's gleaming new towers directly above its large shanty slums.
Credit Peter Nickalls / Flickr

This story originally ran on May 7, 2014  

Jorge Quijano has one of the coolest office views in the Americas: the Pacific port entrance to the Panama Canal. The panoramic vista seems to help Quijano, who heads the Panama Canal Authority, see the bigger picture.

On the one hand, Quijano understands why Panama has run the canal much more effectively than the United States did.

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Election
2:09 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

One Candidate For Florida Governor Makes A Beer Stop In South Florida

At the Wyllie for Governor craft brew tour stop in Coral Springs, campaign members and volunteers gave out materials to supporters.
Credit Carla Javier / WLRN

In a recent Quinnipiac University poll, libertarian gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie has 9 percent of the support in the race for Florida governor.

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