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Heard On Sundial: Broward State Attorney Race, #MeToo & the Coast Guard, Miami Marlins Update

Miami Marlins
Miami Marlins player Brian Anderson, right, is greeted in the dugout after hitting a solo home run off Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Alex Cobb during the fourth inning in game one of a baseball double header, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in Baltimore.

On this Thursday, August 6, episode of Sundial:

Broward State Attorney Race

Broward State Attorney Mike Satz is leaving the position after spending 44 years in office. Eight Democrats are running for that position in the August primary. Their experiences vary from spending time in the Obama administration, to working as a high school teacher, to spending years working under Satz himself. 

The Sun Sentinel’s editorial board spent three hours getting to know all of the candidates. And although their platforms differ greatly — one thing is certain: The person elected in November will fundamentally change the office.

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“It’s fair to say that race is an important issue in this campaign,” said Sun Sentinel columnist Steve Bosquet. “A really strong element of the discussion in front of our editorial board was the issue that — just look at who’s at the courthouse on any given day being arraigned and it’s disproportionately people of color who are the ones being accused of crimes and the ones being prosecuted for crimes in Broward County.”

We spoke with Bosquet about Mike Satz’ legacy, the field of candidates, and their ideological similarities and differences.

#MeToo And The U.S. Coast Guard

Sara Faulkner, the first woman to graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard’s helicopter rescue swimmer school and join the elite group, went on countless missions as an aviation survival technician. She garnered national attention for her heroic rescues of 48 people from flooded waters in the course of one night after Hurricane Katrina. 

Credit Courtesy of Sara Faulkner
Sara Faulkner, the first woman to graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmer school at her retirement ceremony.

But during her 20 years of service, she also endured regular sexual harassment and assault from her superiors. Faulkner’s story highlights systemic problems within the Coast Guard and has given a voice to other members who have since come forward to tell their own stories of harassment, assault and retaliation. 

“I finally couldn’t take it anymore, so I reported it to the command,” said Faulkner about her experience trying to report the sexual harassment and assault. "They actually tried to kick me out for a personality disorder that I was never diagnosed with."

We spoke with Faulkner, who is now retired in West Palm Beach after 20 years of service, to talk about the challenges she endured as a woman in the Coast Guard. 

The Coast Guard emailed a statement in response to WLRN's conversation with Faulkner, you can find that full response at the bottom of this post.

Miami Marlins Recovering From COVID Outbreak

The Miami Marlins returned to play this week after a long hiatus. Twenty-one members of their team tested positive for the coronavirus, including eighteen players. 

Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter told the press Monday that the players had a false sense of security and got lax on wearing masks and practicing social distancing. 

“They brought up a handful of guys from their training site in Jupiter. They added seven or eight players from the waiver wires through trade, through free agency signings,” said the Miami Herald’s Jordan McPherson about the team’s rosteramid the COVID-19 outbkreak. “They really have this motley crew type of team that is basically up there with them trying to do whatever they can to win ball games.”

We spoke with McPherson about the Miami Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak and the Major League Baseball teams that have had similar experiences.


The U.S. Coast Guard's response:

“Eliminating sexual assault and harassment in the military is a top priority at every level in the Coast Guard. Everyone has a responsibility to foster a service culture of trust, respect, and dignity. A culture that will not accept sexual assault or its enabling behaviors. Every member of the Coast Guard is not only empowered, but directed to stand up to sexual assault, sexual harassment and predatory actions, whether at work or on liberty. Sexual assault has no place in the Coast Guard.”

“The Coast Guard is doing everything it can to eliminate sexual assault, and the behaviors that enable it, across our Service. This includes:

  • Releasing the Coast Guard’s Sexual Assault Prevention, Response and Recovery (SAPRR) Strategic Plan for 2018-2022, which continues the Service’s comprehensive response and prevention efforts.
  • Increasing reporting options for victims of sexual assault.
  • Developing and distributing a command toolkit to help field commanders to better prevent and respond to sexual assault.
  • Enhancing Sexual Assault Prevention, Response, and Recovery (SAPRR) training for field personnel, as well as bystander intervention techniques and training.”
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.