Community Contributor Network

WLRN wants the news to be a shared experience. The community contribution program builds on that principle by allowing you, our listeners and readers, to become our writers. We want to publish your essays, your prose and your stories about what it's like to live in South Florida. 

If you have a story to tell, email WLRN Public Insight Network analyst Stefania Ferro here.

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Community Contributor
9:01 am
Fri April 12, 2013

One Man's Gun Control Timeline: Riots, Hurricane Wilma, And A Late-Night Visitor

Gleason: "From birth until death you are responsible for you own safety."

1969.  Seventh grade.  School trip to an amusement park.  While sitting with a friend in a shaded and secluded spot, I was surrounded by 5 or 6 kids who demanded our ride tickets.  When I stood to my 6-foot-2-inch frame and invited them to try and take my tickets, they decided to pick on someone else.

1975.  A high-school football linebacker decided to test the band major in the boys’ locker room.  Football linebacker had a sore nose.  Band major was unscathed.

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Community Contributor
10:32 am
Thu April 11, 2013

'Medical Marijuana' Contradicts A Physician's Do-No-Harm Mantra, Doctor Says

Pot can't be classified as a drug, says Dr. David A. Gross.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

A patient, we’ll call him John, called my office several years ago, frantic over the behavior of his son Aaron. “My son thinks there are helicopters circling our home, following his movements,” he said.

At my office the next day, dad was frantic. Aaron, who appeared disheveled and preoccupied, presented his experiences in a matter-of-fact style. He was certain some authority had singled him out to be placed under surveillance. He had no insight into the psychotic nature of his thinking.

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Community Contributor
8:01 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Just Like That, Kaboom! Adds Three New Playgrounds In Miami

Kaboom! plans to build 150 playgrounds this year.

For the third Saturday in a row an under-utilized patch of land in South Florida was transformed.

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Community Contributor
2:01 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Unlike Most States, Florida Forbids Nurse Practitioners From Prescribing Some Drugs

Florida law restricts nurse practitioners from prescribing all kinds of medicine.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Once upon a time, nurses were not allowed to take blood pressure – only the doctor could do that. Times change.

  But they haven’t changed enough. For 19 years, nurse practitioners in Florida have tried to get the right to practice to the full extent of our education and capability, which includes prescribing scheduled substances. So far, our efforts have been fruitless.

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Community Contributor
6:17 am
Wed April 3, 2013

O, Miami Began With A Simple Idea: Poetry Without The Pipe And Blazer

Three years ago, a group of friends and I started to dream up what a lot of people considered impossible: a festival that would bring poetry to all 2.6 million residents of greater Miami.

At that time, Miami’s cultural scene was exploding. Art Basel was in full force, and we wanted to do a festival that was the opposite of the “pipe-and-blazer” readings that most people associate with poetry. We wanted to do a festival that reflected Miami’s diversity and personality.

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Community Contributor
2:02 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Unable To Vote In Miami, Local Venezuelans Mobilize For Road Trip To New Orleans

Emily Bello-Pardo, National Coordinator of VotoJoven in the US, and the Executive Director of Se Habla Venezolano Foundation.
Luis Cedeno

Absentee ballots. Polling centers open for days on end. Early voting. All of these are ways in which Americans can vote for their nation’s elections. So they might be shocked to hear me tell them that 19,542 Venezuelans living in the United States have to go through a much more grueling process to be able to do the same thing they can do rather easily.

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Community Contributor
2:07 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Believed To Be The Nation’s Oldest Cop, 86-Year-Old’s Fists Remain ‘Weapons Of Mass Destruction’

Hialeah Police Lt. Leo Thalassites holds a plaque outside Hialeah City Hall after he was named the oldest active police officer in the country.
Credit Theo Karantsalis

Barrel-chested Leo Thalassites squints like Clint Eastwood, hops around like Jackie Chan and has been an active cop for nearly six decades. He is 86 years old.

He first joined the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1956. He moved to the Hialeah Police Department in 1963, where he has been on active duty ever since.  And now, according to the International Police Association, he is the oldest active police officer.

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Community Contributor
8:01 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Saying Goodbye To The Miami Herald Building That Once Housed The Community’s Pulse

A worker in the press building at One Herald Plaza.
Credit Photo by Eric Barton

On a mostly sun drenched South Florida day, about 900 former Miami Herald employees—myself included-- joined the current staff on Wednesday to reminisce, cry, and mourn the loss of the once proud building by the bay that will soon become a hotel/condo and possible mega casino now planned for the old property.

The Miami Herald isn’t going away. The newspaper operations, along with news partner WLRN, will move out to Doral in April.

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Community Contributor
2:02 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

A Victim Of Gun Violence On Gun Control

The FBI says a few dealers sell a disproportionate number of firearms.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

On June 22, 2004 I was shot point blank with a .45-caliber gun as I entered a subway station in Astoria Queens. The bullet entered my back and rattled around, destroying my hip. It had just enough inertia to come to a stop after puncturing the femoral artery. Nobody was ever prosecuted for my shooting. Meanwhile, I suffered for six years before being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

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Community Contributor
2:01 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

The Florida Public Records Act: A Quick-Start Guide To Open Government

Florida law allows citizens access to all state records that don't have a specific exemption.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

The Florida Public Records Act, also known as F.S. 119, is straightforward:  All state, county and municipal records are open for personal inspection and copying by any person. And it is the duty of each agency to provide you with access to public records.

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Community Contributor
2:02 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Texting-And-Driving Ban Likely To Get Driven Out Of Florida Legislature – Again

As I lean my motorcycle into the curve that takes me onto I-95, I roll the throttle to accelerate up to highway speeds. Up ahead I see a car going well below the minimum speed of 45 mph, with the left turn signal on but swerving to the right. I give this big unknown a wide berth, and as I pass, I see the person gabbing it up on a cell phone.

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The Art of Science
8:00 am
Tue February 12, 2013

From The Curious Vault At The Miami Science Museum: J.P. Friez’s Electrical Sunshine Recorder

The Electrical Sunshine Recorder
Credit Dogan Arslanoglu


“I manufacture but one type of these Registers: THE BEST.” -Julien P. Friez

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Community Contributor
8:02 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Motorcycles And Miami Don't Always Mix, But Then There's The 360-Degree Views

Andrews says the attention needed on a motorcycle helps him reset after the workday.
Credit Photo provided

Perhaps you’ve seen the phrase “Live to Ride—Ride to Live” on a T-shirt or bumper sticker somewhere. It has been on my belt buckle for about 30 years. Motorcycling has been a passion of mine pretty much from the day I got my driver’s license. The activity of being in the wind, leaning into corners, the sight of a bike, and the very simplistic nature of the machine, all bring joy.

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