💪Woonerfs: coming to a Wynwood street near you
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💪Woonerfs: coming to a Wynwood street near you

The Miami Film Festival kicked off Friday night at downtown gem Olympia Theater. It's going strong all week at spots all over the 305. Don’t sleep on it.


Last Wednesday, our legislature sent a bill to Gov. Rick Scott for approval and Friday he signed that bill into law. So what exactly changes? We have the tl;dr version for you below.

Remind me what was in the bill?

Here are the biggest changes:

  • A Floridian would have to be at least 21 years old (instead of 18 years old) to buy a gun from a licensed seller.
  • Someone purchasing a gun would have to wait three days from the time they buy it until they take it home.
  • The police could report a person who poses a potential threat to others and seize that person’s guns.
  • No one in Florida could sell or own bump stocks, the devices that make a semi-automatic gun fire like an automatic weapon.
  • The state would budget $400 million for mental health programs and support for school districts.
  • About $67 million of that would go to a so-called “marshal” program that would train certain school staff and allow them to have concealed weapons. The program requires both local law enforcement and school districts to opt into it (in other words, it’s not required for all schools to participate in it). School officials in the 10 largest school districts – including Miami-Dade – already said they won’t opt in.

And what doesn’t the bill change?

There’s no ban on assault weapons, one of the key demands of gun control advocates.

What do Parkland students and families think of the changes?

Once legislators decided that the “marshal” program would remove most teachers from being armed, the families of all 17 Parkland victims urged lawmakers to approve the bill. Many said it wasn’t perfect but that they wanted to see some kind of progress.

What are the concerns about the “marshal” program?

While classroom teachers won’t be armed under this plan, other personnel and “support staff,” (like custodians, principals, librarians, etc.) could be armed if a school opts into the program. Critics say that introducing more guns into schools won’t prevent another school shooting.

The Tampa Bay Times also reported that across Florida there were at least 19 instances of school support staff members threatening to harm students or other employees. Those same staffers could potentially be eligible for the “marshal” program.

Other concerns? Black lawmakers said there would be an added risk for students of color—especially in lower-income communities. That’s because research shows that students of color are disproportionately disciplined in comparison to their white counterparts.

So what comes next?

It will be up to local governments, school districts and law enforcement to figure out if they will opt into plans like the $67 million “marshal” program. They’ll also be figuring out how to spend their share of $162 million that’s set aside for beefing up police presence at schools.

The bill also creates plans for infrastructure improvements and hardening schools – in other words, making it harder for them to be targets – so districts will have to figure out implementing those changes across the state.

Meanwhile, the NRA has already filed a federal lawsuit to try and block the new law, arguing that it “punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual.”

Have more questions you want us to investigate? Hit reply and let us know. We’ll be keeping an eye on what happens next.

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Woo-wha? A street in Wynwood will soon be home to a wild experiment in street design: a street where cars, bikes, and walkers share the space equally. It’s called a “woonerf,” and one is coming to NW 3rd Avenue. Planters, bollards, and similar items are placed in strategic spots to slow down drivers, making the street safer for everyone using it. (Miami Herald)

MAGIC. If you’re around the FIU Modesto Maidique campus tomorrow, you’re in for a shock: over the weekend, the school dropped a new pedestrian bridge into place over Tamiami Trail, ending a dangerous game of Frogger for students living in Sweetwater. FIU’s been assembling the bridge next to the road for months. By doing it like this way, the school caused virtually no traffic disruptions. FIU, can you teach the county your ways? (Miami Herald)

It me. Spoken word poet Aja Monet’s name is pretty much everywhere these days, making the 305 (her adopted home) proud. So we’re loving this piece that tells the story of how Aja became the badass that she is. (Vice)

Teacher of the Year. If you’ve been impressed with the political savvy of the Parkland students, get to know their AP Government teacher Jeff Foster. He spent last semester teaching students like Emma Gonzalez about interest groups and how they influence policy, laying the groundwork for their badassery this legislative session.The card-carrying Republican doesn’t support some of the policies his students are advocating for, but he says they’re making him proud regardless. (Miami Herald)

Pachanga time. If you’ve jammed on a Little Havana street recently, there’s a good chance that you were dancing to the magic of percussionist Miguel Cruz. The Cuban-born musician came to the U.S. on a Pedro Pan flight, got his start at a club on NW 36th Street, and made his way to the biggest South Beach clubs in the 90s before a heroin addiction took over his life. As Little Havana makes a huge comeback, so is Miguel. (Miami New Times)

Check, please. Last year, City of Miami residents approved a $400 million bond, about half of which would go to paying for things to make the city more climate change resilient. But now there’s a campaign to make the polluters, not the residents, pay up. The Miami Climate Alliance has thrown up billboards challenging energy and utility companies to take on the costs of resiliency projects – and is calling on voters to tell their commissioners to pass laws that will pass the check to those companies. (Miami Herald)

A little bit louder now. Old time-y local favorite Patrick and the Swayzees’ infectious performances always get us on our feet (especially when they play “Twist and Shout”). Lead singer Les Greene is now looking to get the judges of American Idol dancing, too. Catch his tryout for the latest season of the show on Sunday night. (Miami Herald)

Miami Light Project and FUNDarte team up again to present Global Cuba Fest 2018, a celebration of the culture and rhythms of Cuba!! Learn More ».
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Let’s make this week great. 💪


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