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Heard On Sundial: Broward Teachers Union, Police Accountability & Remembering Walter Mercado

Puerto Rican astrologer Walter Mercado has shared his astrological predictions with style and flair for many years on national television.

On this Wednesday, July 8, episode of Sundial:

Broward Teachers On Reopening Schools

President Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that schools must reopen for the fall semester. The president added that he would withdraw federal funding from school districts that don’t fully comply. 

But the number of cases of COVID-19 has been skyrocketing in South Florida, leading to uncertainty about the safety of reopening schools. 

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“We’re trying to say, ‘keep away from each other, keep that social distancing, wear that mask, keep great hygiene, and wash your hands.’ Let’s curb the cases and then, possibly, schools can open if it’s a safe environment,” said Anna Fusco, the President of the Broward Teachers Union.

We spoke with Fusco about new safety requirements in schools and the plan for reopening in the fall. 

Police Accountability 

As protests against police brutality continue across the country, police departments in South Florida are under heightened scrutiny. The Miami-Dade County Commission met Wednesday and approved the creation of a civilian review panel that would investigate claims of police misconduct.

Captain Delrish Moss spent years in Miami’s police force before being recruited to become Ferguson, Missouri’s Police Chief following the death of Michael Brown. Moss is now with FIU’s Police Department.

“This time, you’re seeing a reaction to this across the globe. And that is wholeheartedly different from anything I’ve seen in the past,” he said about the recent protests against systemic racism.

Moss spoke with us about police reform and police violence cases in South Florida.

Remembering Walter Mercado with 'Mucho Mucho Amor'

Walter Mercado commanded the attention of millions of households around the world. 

Instead of tuning in to the weather, people turned on their television to hear their horoscope predictions. Perhaps he’d tell you there was love in your near future or that you should take that risk that you’ve been debating. With his flamboyant capes and extravagant jewelry, he would predict the future with positive messages one horoscope at a time.

“The most surprising thing that I discovered is that the Walter you see on the camera is the Walter who is there when the cameras are off,” said Kareem Tabsch, who co-directed a new documentary film with Cristina Costantini about Walter Mercado.

“Maybe a little less sequence, a little less makeup and a little less jewelry. But just kind of naturally that same effervescent person.”

We spoke with Tabsch about Mercado’s legacy and his new Netflix documentary called “Mucho Mucho Amor.” 

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Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.