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Heard On Sundial: Coronavirus Impacts Tourism, The Film When Liberty Burns & Termite Season

Courtesy of Miami Film Festival
The film 'When Liberty Burns' tells the story of the 1980 McDuffie riots in Miami.

On this Wednesday, March 11, episode of Sundial:

Coronavirus impacts to tourism 

COVID-19 is officially a pandemic, says the World Health Organization. 

The impact of the virus is being felt all over the world. On Monday, the Dow Jones was at its lowest point since the 2008 financial crisis. 

“March is the peak of the tourist season,” says Rolando Aedo, Chief Operating Officer for the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

This time of year is a critical time for South Florida, with thousands traveling to the region for Spring Break, music festivals like Ultra and many cruises. There are many concerns around the spread of the disease. Aedo joined Sundial to talk about the long-term effects of the coronavirus will have on tourism.

The film 'When Liberty Burns'

Forty years ago this May, the 1980 McDuffie riots broke out in Miami after Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance salesman and former marine, ran a red light, was chased by police and brutally beaten to death.

Haitian-American filmmaker Dudley Alexis tells McDuffie's story in his feature documentary, “When Liberty Burns.”

“I think a lot of young people have no idea what McDuffie was,” says Lonnie Lawrence, a childhood friend of McDuffie and a retired Miami police officer, in the documentary film. 

The Miami Dade County police officers involved in the case were found not guilty of McDuffie's death and the riots exploded. Alexis interviewed McDuffie's family, close friends, former Miami-Dade law enforcement officers, government officials, and various black Miami historians. He joined Sundial to talk about his film. 

Watch the trailer: 

It’s termite season

The month of March marks the beginning of termite season in South Florida. 

“We’re entering a new scary norm in terms of the health of the urban canopy,” says Thomas Chouvenc, assistant professor of Urban Entomology at the University of Florida. 

South Florida residents need to be weary of potential damage done to the foundation of their homes, but also neighboring trees. Chouvenc has been researching the growth of termite populations over the past decade. He joined Sundial to talk about the damage termites have done to the urban canopy tree in Fort Lauderdale.