At the intersection of religion and science. Plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer in his office on Bay Harbor Islands. The Orthodox Jew attracted controversy after producing a video mocking Jewish stereotypes.
Between our finances, fitness, beauty, working -- even our souls. We can spend thousands of dollars on making ourselves better. The self-help business is booming: from personal trainers to plastic surgery, how are we spending money to help ourselves?
Americans spent almost $12 billion on the self-help industry in 2012, according to independent market research firm MarketData. Diet, exercise, motivational speakers, help-yourself books and other strategies are aimed at making us feel better, eat better, be better. It is the business of better. And business is good.
If you've wandered the hallways of the Dadeland or Aventura Malls or walked down Lincoln Road in Miami Beach on a Sunday afternoon, you know shopping in South Florida can be a full contact sport.
South Florida is home to both the biggest outlet mall in the United States (Sawgrass Mills) and the shopping destination generating the highest sales per square foot in the world (Bal Harbour Shops.) The reality of retail is a reflection of two of our most important industries; real estate and tourism.
Click play to hear Tom Hudson host this episode of WLRN's ongoing radio and online series, The Sunshine Economy, airing Mondays at 9:00 a.m. on WLRN 91.3 FM.
Squeezed between South Florida's neighborhoods and the Everglades is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. Tomatoes, beans and avocados all sprout from the rocky South Florida soil along with one of the largest nursery industries growing trees, shrubs and other landscaping plants.
Agriculture generates a direct $700 million dollars a year in Miami-Dade County alone. The economic impact of the plowing, growing and picking of those crops is much larger.
Miami-Dade County Public Libraries have a big financial hole to fill. In order to stave off closing branches and laying off dozens of employees, the Miami-Dade County Commission this year raided the library's reserve fund. That will leave an estimated $20 million deficit in the next fiscal year. In order to generate ideas for the library of the future, library director Raymond Santiago has gathered together a task force with "everything on the table." That means the possibility of higher taxes to support public libraries.
Sale 2791. Lot 8A. "Three Studies of Lucien Freud." $142.4 million.
On the evening of Nov. 12 at Rockefeller Center in New York City, the 1969 oil painting on canvas by Francis Bacon set a record price for publicly auctioned art. Its auction price may bode well for those hoping the upcoming Art Basel Miami Beach will lead to big business. But even if there are no nine-figure sale prices, a rebounding housing market and rallying stock market are expected to lift the spirits, and possibly prices, of the business around Basel.
Only a few months ago, several public libraries in Miami-Dade County were targeted for closure. They were spared thanks to some last-minute financial rearranging of the county's annual budget. But the threat and budgetary maneuver sparked outrage first and now study of the role of public libraries in our modern-information society.
Giving for educational purposes is a popular choice. It's second only to religious donations. According to Giving USA, Americans donated $41.3 billion to educational institutions in 2012. That is a 7-percent increase from the previous year.
May Jean Wolff and her husband Lou have been part of the Fort Lauderdale community since the 1950s. As Lou's career as an architect flourished, the two wanted to give back. They started by donating money for scholarships to Broward College.
This chart from NOAA shows the monthly mean sea level in Miami Beach. The data does not include the regular seasonal fluctuations due to coastal ocean temperatures, salinities, winds, atmospheric pressures, and ocean currents. The long-term trend lines are designed by NOAA to indicate a 95% confidence level of the trend.
The dream of South Florida real estate is beachside. The marquee properties along our beaches attract global attention and eye-popping prices. But as studies from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration have found, sea levels in South Florida have risen about nine inches in the past century. Today's beachside may be the next century's underwater property.
Late August 1992 was going to be a memorable time for Joanna Lederman, her husband Alan and sons John and Michael. They had spent the spring and summer getting ready to open a new independent grocery market. After all the product testing, tastings, employee training, inventory stocking, marketing and other work to get a new business off the ground, they were all set.
Joanna's Marketplace was going to open for the first time on South Dixie Highway in Miami on August 24, 1992. Then Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida.
In the movie Field of Dreams, an Iowan farmer builds a baseball diamond in a cornfield and the ghosts of the disgraced 1919 Chicago White Sox materialize from the stalks.
On a 1.6-acre plot of land in Dania Beach, there's nothing so supernatural taking place. Instead, the community, along with a public-private partnership, have joined together to build an urban garden. They grow vegetables and sell them to neighbors who otherwise have a difficult time finding fresh food near their homes.
Click the play button above and listen to WLRN's hour-long episode, "The Sunshine Economy: The Grocery Business," with host Tom Hudson. The episode is part of an ongoing series examining key industries of the South Florida economy. The show airs Mondays at 9:00 a.m. on 91.3 FM.
Would you pay $12 for this jar of pluot jelly?
It's a combination of apricots and plums. Plenty of people are shelling out the $12 for the 10-ounce jar at independent grocery store Joanna's Marketplace on South Dixie Highway in Miami.
This jelly is just one way the small store looks to compete in an increasingly crowded grocery store industry in South Florida.
Click the play button above and listen to this segment from WLRN's hour-long episode, "The Sunshine Economy: Tourism," with host Tom Hudson. The episode is part of an ongoing series examining key industries of the South Florida economy. Shows air Mondays at 9:00 a.m. on 91.3 FM.
Legal gambling has brought in millions of dollars to the state of Florida. But it's money that could be at risk if the state does not strike a new casino deal with the Seminole Indians over an exclusive arrangement that limits competition toward certain gambling operations managed by the Native American nation.
Click the play button above and listen to this segment from WLRN's hour-long episode, "The Sunshine Economy: Brazil & South Florida," with host Tom Hudson. The episode is part of an ongoing series examining key industries of the South Florida economy. Shows air Mondays at 9:00 a.m. on 91.3 FM.
The years 2009 and 2010 were dark days for Miami real estate. Home prices plummeted. Mortgages imploded. Foreclosures soared.
And buyers flooded in from Brazil.
Since that time, Brazilians have become the top foreign buyers of homes and especially condominiums in South Florida. As recently as June, the largest number of foreign-based online visitors to the Miami Association of Realtors website came from Brazil. In 2011 and 2012, most international buyers of residential real estate in the Miami area came from Brazil.
Click the play button above and listen to WLRN's hour-long episode, "The Sunshine Economy: Brazil & South Florida," with host Tom Hudson. The episode is part of an ongoing series examining key industries of the South Florida economy. The show airs Mondays at 9:00 a.m. on 91.3 FM.
This week was supposed to bring together the leaders of the largest and sixth-largest economies in the world. Brazil President Dilma Rousseff had been scheduled to make an official state visit to the White House but she called off the trip after it was revealed that the U.S. National Security Administration intercepted emails and telephone calls between herself, her staff and the Brazilian state energy company Petrobras.