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Housing and climate, innovations for hurricane season, ‘Hotel Scarface’

Associated Press

Miami-Dade’s Mayor takes on housing and climate challenges. A preview of the upcoming hurricane season. And this month’s Sundial Book Club pick takes us to Miami in the 80s with stories about drugs, disco and debauchery.

On this Tuesday, May 17, edition of Sundial:

Miami-Dade's Mayor on housing and climate

Housing and the environment are two of the biggest issues South Florida is facing.

They affect everyone: whether your rent has gone up lately, you've been trying to buy a home, or if the last rainstorm flooded your yard or street.

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Both are also issues that Miami-Dade County officials are working to tackle.

Sundial spoke with County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava about some new initiatives she is trying out, including the Building Blocks Program. We started with the housing affordability crisis:

"Salaries have inched up, but rents have skyrocketed," she said.

Earlier this month, the Mayor officially opened the new Office of Housing Advocacy, which can be reached at the Housing Advocacy Hotline: 786-469-4545 or by email: housingadvocacy@miamidade.gov.

The mayor also recently testified before the U.S. Congress and at the United Nations regarding Miami's climate vulnerabilities.

Sundial and WLRN want to hear your thoughts on housing and the environment. What can the county be doing differently? Or maybe there's a program that's really helping you.

You can now stay in touch with us via text by joining our Sundial text club. Send us your thoughts, comments, or questions by texting the word “join” to 786-677-0767.

Housing and climate
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava speaks during a press conference after a building partially collapsed in Surfside, Fla., on Thursday.

How to think smarter, not harder, going into hurricane season 

Forecasting for storms and hurricanes has gotten so much better over time, cutting the percentage of error by miles.

Some hurricane experts have already proclaimed the 2022 season looks like it will be another above-average season. NOAA is planning to announce its initial outlook next week.

WLRN’s Environment Reporter, Jenny Staletovich, recently spoke with National Hurricane Center Director Kenneth Graham. They talked during a break in the annual Governor's Hurricane Conference in West Palm Beach. Graham was in the middle of the National Hurricane Center's preseason tour, making stops around the country.

Hurricane season officially begins on June 1st.

Innovations for hurricane season

‘Hotel Scarface’

One of Miami’s most iconic hotels today was once party central for the cocaine cowboys.

In the 1980s, The Mutiny Hotel became the central base for the cocaine industry. That hotel is the main character in Roben Farzad’s book, ‘Hotel Scarface: Where Cocaine Cowboys Partied and Plotted to Control Miami,’ which is also this month’s Sundial Book Club pick.

The filmmakers of the movie ‘Scarface’ reportedly wanted to film parts of the movie at that hotel but weren’t allowed.

“[The Mutiny Hotel] was an intensely private club. The owner didn't want anyone coming in there and caricaturing Cuban American gangsters. So if you go and look at the history of Scarface, they actually filmed the most of it in Southern California, and they saved the most violent part for Ocean Drive," said Farzad.

Writing this book was a feat for Farzad, who has his own stories of growing up in Miami during that wild time.

You can join the book club here.

‘Hotel Scarface’

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.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.