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This interview is part of the “Tomorrow Lives Here” Conversation Series presented by Miami Business School.
–Alejandro Werner, the Director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called Miami the “hub” of Latin America during a recent interview in Coral Gables.
–”Miami is a bit of a hub for Latin America and for us that’s very important because it is a place where you come and you really address the broad regional interests,” Werner said in the interview. “In contrast to what you find when you go to twenty big capitals in Latin America- after two minutes of talking about the region, you fall back into the country.”
–Werner spoke to Miami Business School Dean John Quelch about the current state of the various economies in the Western Hemisphere and how Miami is positioned in the global market.
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For most in South Florida, Hurricane Irma will be remembered as a dodged bullet.
A storm that devastated other parts of the world and state managed to miss us on the mainland.
But for select pockets of people, Irma is the worst hurricane they’ve ever experienced.
One of those unlucky few is Mark Weiss.
Weiss is a Miami native who is no stranger to hurricanes.
A dentist, he lives on the inter-coastal waterway in the Keystone Point neighborhood of North Miami.
During Irma, he and his family evacuated about 20 minutes north to Davie, FL where they rode out the storm at his sister’s house.
When he finally was able to get home a few days after Irma hit Florida, Weiss was shocked by what he found.
The seawall that protects his home from eroding away into the water was completely destroyed. His dock was destroyed and a large piece of concrete-painted like a basketball court, had buckled up into the air.
“It looks like someone dropped a bomb on my backyard,” a still stunned Weiss told RISE NEWS, a little over an hour after returning home. “I expected to lose the dock, but I did not expect this.”
His boat was still secured the way he had left and it had no damage.
But the destroyed seawall was what had his attention.
“This is the pice you pay for living here”, Weiss said. “We plan and God laughs and see’s how resilient we are.
Weiss said that the seawall is not covered by his insurance because it is technically not on his property.
He estimates that to rebuild the seawall, it will cost him around $100,000.
And if he doesn’t rebuild the seawall then the house would be in danger of eroding into the water.
In terms of personal cost, Irma will be the worst hurricane his family has ever faced.
A few blocks away from Weiss in the same area of Keystone Point, Edwin Birotte surveyed the damage to his property.
He and his wife Maria stayed at their home during Irma.
They regret staying.
“If I had a second opportunity, I would leave,” Birotte said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a few tornadoes came through here just because of the amount of damage.”
One of the more common damaged pieces of property in South Florida were wooden fences.
But Birotte’s fence damage was to an extreme level.
At over 100 feet long and six feet high, his fence was totally leveled in the storm.
Birotte was born in New Jersey and spent many years in Queens so Irma was a very strange experience.
“It’s fear for your life for about 20 hours in a row,” Birotte said. “Every 15 minutes or so, we ran to the bathroom to hide during the tornado warnings.”
He expects his insurance to cover the cost of the fence.
Watch More: Senator Tried To Use Connection To FPL Lobbyist To Get Power On For Her Family Post IrmaPost Views: 773
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–A group of Florida young people are suing the Governor and other state wide officials over what they say is government inaction over climate change.
-The suit, which was filed in a Tallahassee court on Monday, seeks to require the state to “adhere to its legal and moral obligation to protect current and future generations from the intensifying impacts of climate change…”
-Florida Governor Rick Scott does not believe in man-made climate change.
-The eight young people are between the ages of 10 to 20 and they come from various parts of the state.
-There is a nine member legal team that is backing up the suit on behalf of the kids and “Our Children’s Trust”, a group that has helped young people sue their state governments around the country.
-Fort Lauderdale attorney Mitchell Chester is part of the legal team.
-“We can’t delay anymore because climate change is a huge problem,” Levi Draheim, a 10-year-old plaintiff in the suit said. “We must deal with it right now and start reducing the emissions that are causing it.”
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By Kelsey D’Auben
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has become one of the most successful films in modern movie history.
It had the most successful opening weekend in history, grossing over $200 million in box office sales worldwide. This past week the highly anticipated Star Wars sequel broke yet another box office record, passing both Jurassic World and Titanic to become the second most grossing film of all time. And with this after only 19 days of being in theaters, Star Wars is also expected to pass James Cameron’s Avatar and claim the number one spot shortly.
A new trilogy means one sure thing in the Star Wars world- a new trio set to save the galaxy from the dark side.
First came Luke, Leia, and Han Solo in episodes IIV, X, and XI, then Obi Wan, Anakin, and Padame in episodes I, II, and III.
In The Force Awakens we are introduced to the new team- Rey, Finn, and Poe.
This new group of leading characters is much different than the ones before them. They are made up of a Black man, a Hispanic man, and a woman. This is a significantly more diverse cast than the saga’s previous films that had casts that were nearly all white.
Not to say that this film doesn’t have a largely white cast as well. Rey, the female lead of the film, is white and so are Leia and Han Solo, previous lead characters brought back from the original saga.
Star Wars has always been sure to include strong, kick ass, fighter women in their films.
But this time the role wasn’t of the girl who fell for the Jedi, or the princess who needed saving.
Rey isn’t either of those tropes. Rey is (spoiler alert) the young Jedi discovering her powers – a role traditionally only given to the white male characters.
This kind of representation is a crucial aspect of film and television that often is ignored, especially in big budget blockbuster movies. Nearly every other film on the most-grossing films list alongside Star Wars have all-white, mostly male casts.
Titanic, Jurassic World, and Avengers to name a few. For films that are meant to make money and sell a lot of tickets, they seem to only be marketing towards a select few.
That is one reason why Star Wars is gaining more success over it’s competitors. A wider and more diverse cast is more attractive to wider and more diverse audiences.
More people will be willing to go to the movies and spend $15 dollars on a ticket because they see there is a character there for them, someone they can watch and relate to.
This representation is even more important to younger audiences. Seeing a hero who looks like you, up on the big screen, can mean the world to a child. It gives them someone they can look up to.
Star Wars is the first in what will hopefully become a new wave of representation in television and film, opening doors for new actors and audiences of all genders and colors and creating an industry where everyone is represented and welcome.
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