Politics

Opinion
1:35 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Until Moderate Cuban-Americans Vote, No Poll Will Change U.S. Cuba Policy

A Miami Cuban sports a T-shirt calling for an end to the embargo.
Credit Flickr/futureatlas.com

The Cuba policy hardliners in this country look more panicked than Fidel Castro trying to find his dentures.

Each month seems to bring more evidence that Americans – and Cuban-Americans – reject Washington’s long and failed strategy of isolating the communist island. The latest is this week’s Florida International University poll: A majority of Miami Cubans favor dropping the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba and engaging the country as a way of undermining the Castro dictatorship.

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Politics
9:22 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Florida Gets Lion's Share Of Water Bill For Port Expansion, Everglades Restoration

PANAMAXED: Giant new gantry cranes are deployed for the big ships at PortMiami. Port Everglades is preparing to widen and dredge to handle similar vessels.
Credit Ines Hegedus-Garcia/Wikimedia Commons

Florida is the big winner under the new Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which President Obama signed last week. The bill carries $12.3 billion in infrastructure spending for the entire nation and $3 billion of that is coming to the Sunshine State.

There's $2 billion in the bill to expand Florida ports for the new Panamax vessels and another billion to restart four long-stalled Everglades restoration projects. That's 25 percent of the entire appropriation.

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Politics
3:15 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott's Stock In Oil Company Angers Environmentalists

Credit User: MrX / Creative Commons

A few environmental groups in Florida want Gov. Rick Scott out of office due to his involvement in oil stocks.

Scott has a growing stock in an oil company involved in drilling in Collier County, and in 2011 he invested $135,000 in Schlumberger Limited, one of the biggest oil service companies in the world.  

Schlumberger Limited is involved in drilling near the Everglades. Environmental groups including the Sierra Club oppose the drilling.

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Politics
3:05 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Could Jeb Bush's Views On Immigration Cost Him A Presidential Primary?

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Credit Miami Herald

Some conservatives say the recent primary loss of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) shows a Republican like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush cannot win a presidential primary because of his views on immigration. Bush and another Florida politician hoping for the presidency are taking very different approaches to the issue.

As the dust settles on Cantor's stunning primary loss, some analysts say he was ousted because he was seen as a Washington insider. Others say Virginia’s open primary allowed Democrats and independents to sabotage his race.

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Voto Latino
5:05 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Conference Highlights Hispanic Millennials' Voting Power

Participants used photos and social media to promote Voto Latino's message on civic engagement.
Constanza Gallardo

This past weekend, a Voto Latino Power Summit was held at Florida International University, the first such summit in Miami for the first time. The summit had workshops and networking opportunities with different professionals in South Florida and the country.

Voto Latino is a nonpartisan organization that looks to connect with Latino Millennials across the country.

Leadership, advocacy and technology were three themes geared to get participants civically engaged in their communities

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Politics
4:16 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

How Did The Legislature Do On Water Issues This Session?

Rainbow Springs in northern Florida
Credit Florida Trend

According to a panel discussion last Friday, the Florida Legislature did a fair job handling water issues this year. 

Legislators gave millions of dollars for Everglades restoration projects, drinking-water issues and lake clean-ups.

The Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for The Everglades, the League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County and Oxbridge Academy hosted the discussion.

Todd Bonlarron handles legislative affairs for Palm Beach County. He says the one thing the Legislature didn’t pay enough attention to was the more than 900 Florida springs.

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Colombia
1:49 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

President Santos Is Colombia's Comeback Kid, Wins Re-Election

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the University of Miami last December.
Credit C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is back from the brink. Polls had indicated he could lose his re-election bid in Sunday’s presidential run-off vote. But he won another four years in office – and that also breathes new life into Colombia's peace process.

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Marijuana
1:40 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Jamaica Decriminalizes Marijuana: Is This A Hemispheric Trend?

A Jamaican man tends his marijuana crop.
Credit Greg Weeks / Flickr

First Uruguay, now Jamaica. Last week, the Caribbean island became the western hemisphere’s second country to make marijuana possession OK. Is this a trend?

Ganja, as Jamaicans call marijuana, has long been part of their culture. The island’s Rastafarian religious movement promotes it as a means of enlightenment. Still, marijuana has been illegal there. Now Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says Jamaica will decriminalize small amounts of ganja – up to 57 grams, or 2 ounces. Other Caribbean governments look poised to follow suit.

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LGBT Rights
1:34 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Miami Beach Will Offer Transgender Benefits This Fall

Miami Beach joins a small group of just 5 percent of cities across the country that offer transgender benefits.
Credit digital_rex / Creative Commons/Flickr

The City of Miami Beach will be the first in the state to offer transgender benefits to city employees, starting this October. The Commission voted unanimously last Wednesday to offer the coverage.

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Transportation
12:39 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

County Commissioners Talk Taxis, Uber And Lyft

Credit Miami Herald

The Board of County Commissioner’s transportation and aviation committee met this week to talk taxis, Uber and Lyft. The ride-sharing apps have been facing resistance from the taxi industry and some county commissioners.

“I have a problem with companies coming into the area and setting up shop when they’ve been told that what they’re doing is illegal,” said Dennis Moss, chairman of the committee.

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The Florida Roundup
11:11 am
Fri June 13, 2014

The Florida Roundup: This Week In South Florida Sports

David Beckham's group hasn't said the rejection of its second site will end its efforts to bring professional soccer to Miami.
Credit C.M. GUERRERO / EL NUEVO HERALD

 

The search continues for a soccer stadium in Miami. The City of Miami tells David Beckham he cannot build on a bay front boat slip.  

But the beautiful game kicks off its quadrennial contest.  Has Brazil’s confidence on and off the field jeopardized success of the World Cup? And the Heat’s season is in jeopardy after losing two in a row to the Spurs.

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Sports
2:58 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

International Tweeters Use Hashtag To Protest The World Cup

A hashtag protests the World Cup on Twitter.
Credit Openclipart.org

Tweeters, mainly in Spain and Latin America, are using the hashtag #NoVoyABrasilPorque to state why they're not going to -- and some boycotting -- Brazil for the World Cup. The users are mainly protesting Brazil’s economic preference toward the tournament than many of its social issues.

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Transportation
10:36 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Lyft Rep Says The Service Can Coexist With Taxis

Credit Jose A. Iglesias / el Nuevo Herald

Ride-sharing app Lyft has been operating illegally in Miami-Dade County for a little over two weeks now, and the app's directors and lobbyist Jorge Luis Lopez are trying to resolve their legality issue.

They are working on new model legislation that seeks to make room for apps like Lyft in county code. If the Board of County Commissioners approves, the service has the potential to become legal.

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Midterm Elections
12:05 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Wasserman Schultz: GOP Relying On "Distractions" In November

Credit Debbie Wasserman Schultz / Courtesy

As chair of the Democratic National Committee, South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz faces a tough task in November: Keeping her party from losing its U.S. Senate majority and keeping the GOP from enlarging its majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Polls so far indicate both could happen.

But in an interview with WLRN, Wasserman Schultz says she's convinced voters will ultimately reject Republican "extremism" and what she calls the GOP's "distractions" strategy.

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Medical Marijuana
9:19 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Why DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Is Cautious On Medical Marijuana

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks during a recent visit to South Florida.
Credit Constanza Gallardo / WLRN

A new medical marijuana controversy erupted over the weekend when South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz weighed in.

Wasserman Schultz chairs the Democratic National Committee. So last week, when she voted against legislation in the House that would prevent the federal government from interfering with state medical marijuana laws, Florida took notice. That's because Sunshine State voters will decide in November whether or not to legalize medical marijuana.

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