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Heard On Sundial: Congresswoman Donna Shalala, Railroad Shop Colored Addition, Farewell Alejandra


On this Thursday, May 7, episode of Sundial:


Congresswoman Donna Shalala on nursing homes and federal aid.


Florida has the second largest percentage of elderly people in the country and a large portion live in nursing homes and elder care facilities. The data over the past couple monthsshow just how vulnerable the elderly are to this virus and how quickly COVID-19 can spread once it enters one of these facilities. 

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Democratic Congresswoman Donna Shalala has called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide answers to the “spiraling death toll” at senior care facilities. 

“Infections in nursing homes are a longtime issue. States are fundamentally responsible for protecting the elderly and the disabled in nursing homes. But the federal government has a clear role which they abandoned,” said Shalala. 


Shalala is also a member of the Congressional Oversight Commission charged with overseeing how the $2 trillion in the Federal CARES Actis dispersed across the country. We spoke with the Congresswoman about protections for the elderly and the new stimulus package being discussed in Congress next week.  

The taking of black-owned land in Miami


The taking of black-owned land is a common story throughout the U.S. history. In Miami, one of those communities was the Railroad Shop Colored Addition. It was made up of black workers who built and serviced local railroad and trains. 


Former WLRN reporter Nadege Green explored a look at a long-ago injustice and the courageous, resilient women who made sure no one would ever forget


Read more: Miami And County School Board Destroyed A Black Community To Build A Whites Only School


Farewell Alejandra 

Sundial associate producer Alejandra Martinez joined the team a couple of years ago, arriving from the Lone Star State and she took to life in South Florida like a native. 

Over the course of her time with the station she produced hundreds of conversations, with artists, politicians and even rodeo clowns. She’s heading back to Texas for a new career opportunity at the NPR member station in Dallas, where she will be working as a Report for America Fellow. She spoke with us about her time in South Florida and some of the stories she produced. 

Chris knew he wanted to work in public radio beginning in middle school, as WHYY played in his car rides to and from school in New Jersey. He’s freelanced for All Things Considered and was a desk associate for CBS Radio News in New York City. Most recently, he was producing for Capital Public Radio’s Insight booking guests, conducting research and leading special projects at Sacramento’s NPR affiliate.