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Florida congressional primary, Miami leads global climate talks, 'Disorderly Blondes' podcast

 Students from around Miami-Dade county hold signs denouncing the lack of action taken on creating sensible policy around reversing climate change, while they skip class to protest in solidarity with the worldwide Global Youth Climate strike, at city hall in Miami Beach on Friday, September 20, 2019
Miami Herald
Students from around Miami-Dade county hold signs denouncing the lack of action taken on creating sensible policy around reversing climate change, while they skip class to protest in solidarity with the worldwide Global Youth Climate strike, at city hall in Miami Beach on Friday, September 20, 2019.

A congressional race that’s come down to a handful of ballots. Miami-Dade County's plan to cut carbon emissions. Plus, two South Florida moms host a podcast to share their experiences of caring for children with Autism.

On this Monday, Nov. 8, edition of Sundial:

20th Congressional race

Votes are still being counted in Broward and Palm Beach counties to see who will move forward in a congressional race.

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Political newcomer Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness are the two candidates vying to be the Democratic representative for Florida’s 20th congressional district. It’s a race that’s been rapidly changing. They are still just a handful of votes away from each other, with such a close race some are wondering what would happen if they tie.

“It's in the constitution. They will have to draw lots,” said WLRN reporter Danny Rivero. “We're actually, realistically staring at the potential of something being decided by a game of rock, paper, scissors or maybe they come up with a different kind of game of chance. But it could happen.”

That seat represents majority-Black areas of Broward and Palm Beach counties. The results for this primary are expected by Nov. 12 the earliest.

Another story that’s come out of this race for the 20th congressional seat is about the Republican primary winner, Jason Mariner. He is a former felon and has been open about his story, but that’s led to questions about his eligibility to run.

“People like him will be able to to run for office if they have nonviolent convictions … but you have to apply to the state to get your right to run for office back. And he never did that,” said Rivero. “At this point, he won the Republican primary, so people will likely be casting votes for him.”

20th Congressional race
Virginia's Board of Elections has delayed certification of ballots for two districts two weeks after elections there. Ballots in the 28th and 88th house districts are contested after a mix-up.

Miami leads global climate talks

World leaders are wrapping up the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

Some of the officials who were in attendance included Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

“Miami holds a very special place in the global eye. We are a place that is the canary in the coal mine....we have so much money at such a high level of risk that is unlike a lot of other places around the world,” said Alex Harris, the Miami Herald's environmental reporter Alex Harris. “Our adaptation is sort of leading the way for everyone else to see. How do they do it? How what can we learn from them? And if they can save Miami, then we can save other places.”

The county has a plan to cut emissions in half by 2030. It includes expanding solar power use, public transit, green spaces and more. But the actions outlined in that plan are still not enough and don’t add up to meet the county’s goal on emissions.

Miami leads global climate talks

Disorderly Blondes podcast

Autism spectrum disorders occur in about one in 54 children, according to a 2016 study from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

Two South Florida mothers are sharing their experiences raising sons on the autism spectrum in their podcast called 'Disorderly Blondes.'

They share information about different therapies, but they also share other aspects of their lives: how to stay connected to friends and spouses, and how to incorporate fun into what can become an overwhelming schedule of doctor's appointments.

Brenda Propitskin and Kristi Vannatta are the women behind the podcast. On Sundial, they shared what they each went through when their sons were diagnosed.

"I cried a lot, and I just don't even know what I was crying about, because you really can't really fathom, can't wrap your mind around a diagnosis sometimes," said Vannatta. "There was clinical information about autism, but not there's not the networking and the, you know, the Instagram and the mommy chats where people get together and commiserate and share ideas. So it was an extremely confusing time. And I guess I cried because I didn't really know what I was dealing with or what his future would be like."

Propitskin brought up how important it is for families to find routines and therapies that work for them, free of judgment from extended family.

"It doesn't matter what tia or tio or grandma or grandpa say. Just thank them, smile and then just do you," said Propitskin. "Because at the end of the day, it becomes really overwhelming when everyone has an opinion about anything — the food they eat, therapy. So just close your eyes and just at the end of the day, just do what works for you and your family."

Disorderly Blondes podcast

Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.