✊"They're not gonna knock us down"

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✊"They're not gonna knock us down"

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, right, and Elizabeth Verrick, left, two of Miami's most devoted progressive crusaders.
Credit: HistoryMiami 1995-628-82

These two women were pivotal to the South Florida we know today. On the right is Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the “Mother of the Everglades,” and on the left is Elizabeth Virrick, who brought housing reform to black neighborhoods in Coconut Grove.

Lately the name “Marjory Stoneman Douglas” is usually used in reference to the Parkland shooting, but we’re here to remind people of the powerhouse woman the school is named after (thanks to reader Alan Khoudari for the suggestion). Marjory joined the Miami Herald as a reporter in 1915 (her father was the publisher of the paper that became the Herald), and started as a society columnist. But the job kind of bored her, and she later admitted to making up some of her stories.

She went on to become a conservationist and champion of the Everglades. Her book “The Everglades: River of Grass,” published in 1947, changed the perception of the Everglades from an undeveloped, swampy wasteland to a natural treasure worth preserving. She won a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her conservation work. She passed away in 1998 at the age of 108.

Elizabeth was a friend of Marjory’s; the two often worked together on civil rights issues. Elizabeth lived on the border of West Grove, back then often referred to as “colored town.” She formed the Committee for Coconut Grove to address some of disparities she saw, and convinced the City of Miami to hold a referendum requiring every house in the city have running water and indoor toilets.

Until that point, houses built by white developers for blacks often only had outhouses. She also set up a fund to help people cover the costs of building the plumbing once the referendum passed. The neighborhood now has a park, swimming pool, and housing development named after her.

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It’s the cutest time of year in South Florida: sea turtle season. Watch out for the nests on South Florida beaches and maybe avoid that after-dark beach visit, unless you do it in total darkness. Any kind of light can disorient the sea turtles and turn them away from the ocean, where they should be heading once they hatch. (WLRN)

Go big or go home. The Florida Legislature approved making Daylight Saving Time a year-round thing, but it still needs Congressional approval to become reality. Sen. Marco Rubio is filing a bill to push it through, but he’s thinking bigger than Florida: He wants the whole U.S. to abandon Daylight Saving Time. Guess it would be kind of confusing to be in a different time zone than the rest of the east coast… (AP)

Champ. Last month, a bunch of local chefs were named semifinalists for a James Beard award, which was a BFD. Now one of them, Brad Kilgore of Alter, is one of six finalists in the Best of the South category. Getting a rez is about to get a whole lot harder for this top-notch spot. (Eater)

The future is now. Depending on how you feel about autonomous vehicles, this video of Ford’s self-driving cars will make you feel either really excited or mildly terrified. It’s  already testing out Domino’s deliveries, and next month, Postmates will get in the game. (The Next Miami)

Paved paradise. A judge lifted the temporary ban on developing one of Miami-Dade’s last remaining thatches of rare pine rockland forest. That means that even though there’s still a pending lawsuit, construction can resume. Now environmentalists are freaking out because, even if the lawsuit ultimately ends in their favor, construction will have already done irreversible damage to the endangered forest. Only 2 percent of the original habitat in Miami-Dade remains. (Miami New Times)

Exiles no more. A wave of Cuban exiles in the U.S., many of them older than 50, are applying for permission to return to la patria. For some it’s about reuniting with family left behind, for others it’s about the free medical care or inheritance. But others are applying with no intention of actually living in Cuba – they just want the economic benefits of reclaiming it as their home. (Miami Herald)

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Things to do


💃 3/16: Celebrate Miami’s epic street traditions at “Avenues of Expression” (Use promo code “NewTropic” for free entry!) (Downtown)

😊 3/16-3/18: Learn the secrets of happiness at the World Happiness Summit (Coral Gables)

🌴 3/22: Cruise HistoryMiami’s South Beach exhibit with DPG (Downtown)

💡 3/25-26: Take a peek inside Miami’s most innovative companies at NewCo Miami (Various locations)


☀ 3/15: Learn about going solar with the Miami-Dade Solar Co-Op (Hialeah, North Miami Beach)

📖 3/16: Swoon over Junot Diaz’s words with Books & Books (Downtown)

💁 3/16: Get femme at Villain Theater (Little Haiti)

🥁 3/16-3/17: Celebrate the rhythms of Cuba at the Global Cuba Fest (Wynwood)

🔬 3/17: Be a scientist for the day with Frost Science (Virginia Key)

💻 3/17: Learn WTF “UX” is (Brickell)

🌃 3/17: The Black Lounge Outdoor Film Series is back under the stars (Overtown)

📗3/17: Catch readings by some of our leading writers of color (Cutler Bay)

🎷 3/17-3/18: Jazz greats head to Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens)

🇮🇪 3/17-3/18: Get down at a St. Patrick’s Day block party (Wynwood)

📷 3/17-3/20: Shoot the equinox sunrise at Deering Estate (Cutler Bay)

🍀 3/18: Get lucky at the Miami Flea (Downtown)

📖 3/18: The founder of O, Miami drops his own book of poems (Coral Gables)

Are you hitting up one of these events? Tag us in your pics with @thenewtropic.

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We’ll catch you mañana.

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