Wednesday, February 1, 2017

South Miami Mayor Takes on "Evil Genius" FPL

          The Guardian, NPR, New York Times and many others seek out Phil Stoddard, mayor and FIU biology professor, because he's known for blasting stupidity when he sees it, including calling Marco Rubio "an idiot" for not believing in climate change. Politico called him one of the 50 most influential Americans of 2016. Solar panels power his house, including air conditioning and an electric car, as he pays FPL less than $10 a month.
A Miami New Times story available HERE. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump Controls Liberty Square

Local housing director confident despite negative statements of incoming HUD director. Full story HERE.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ben Carson Getting Final Approval on Liberty Square?

Ultra-conservative neurosurgeon Ben Carson may get the final word on whether Liberty Square has a $300 million makeover because Housing and Urban Development must approve the county's plans for its largest and oldest public housing project. Full story HERE. Updated 12/7/2016 at 11 a.m.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fidel's Death: Looking Back, Gazing Forward

       On Saturday, a WLRN panel spent two hours analyzing his death. Among those speaking were Andy Gomez of UM, Frank Mora of FIU and yours truly. Among other things, I repeated speculation of some Cubanologists who predicted some years ago that the announcement of Fidel's death would come in the late night hours of a weekend, to minimize the threat of spontaneous demonstrations. Perhaps the freshest voice was that of Nora Gamez Torres, an El Nuevo reporter who was an assistant professor at the University of Havana from 2001-2009, then got a masters and Ph. D. in London, and has become an expert on the attitudes of young Cubans. A replay of the broadcast -- from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday -- is available HERE.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Betsy Kaplan Honored

      Betsy Kaplan, who worked tirelessly for decades to improve Miami-Dade public schools, was honored at Wednesday's school board meeting with a special proclamation -- and a recommendation from the superintendent that one of the district's arts programs be named after her. Full story HERE. Video HERE.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Janet Reno: The politician who didn't seem political



    In 1998, I spent weeks profiling Janet Reno for a Tropic cover story. She grudgingly allotted me a 30-minute interview in her office at Main Justice -- uncharacteristically allowing the Q&A stretch to 50 minutes, keeping two groups of men in suits waiting in an anteroom.
    Her answers were clipped, careful. She was never much for big quotes -- her sister Maggie was much better -- but she made a major imprint as attorney general in Washington.
    Today, at noon, five days after she died, I was on WLRN's Florida Roundup show, discussing aspects of Reno's career in Miami-Dade, and it got me to thinking of her Washington career.
    Several memories stand out: The Washington press brutalized her. Full story HERE.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Miami's Media Mystery

           My take for Biscayne Times on "Miami's Media Mystery" -- trying to "survive in a digital, bilingual, Facebook world." Everything's moving toward the web -- but the money isn't there to support serious journalism. A look at print, TV, radio, the snarling blogs and an ambitious nonprofit, plus a little South Florida Russian-language newspaper that manages to get into a bit of controversy. Full story is HERE