WHAT I’M READING
• A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
• Rage – Bob Woodward
• How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe – Charles Yu
• Becoming – Michelle Obama
• The Darwin Affair – Tim Mason
• Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
• The Book of Joy – Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu
• Educated: A Memoir – Tara Westover
• Everything is F*cked – Mark Manson
• White Fragility – Robin Diangelo
• The Library Book – Susan Orlean
• Beyond Anger – Thomas J. Herbin, Ph.D
• Alexander Hamilton – Ron Chernow
• Just Mercy • Bryan Stevenson
• Talking to Strangers • Malcolm Gladwell
• The Great Believers • Rebecca Makkai
• Armada – Ernest Cline
• Gulp – Mary Roach
• Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
• The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson
• The Outsider – Stephen King
• Media Politics: A Citizen’s Guide – Shanto Iyengar
• Atomic Habits – James Clear
• The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris
• Believe Me – JP Delaney
• Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
• Buddhism for Beginners – Jack Kornfield
Math in the Real World No one said
Putting aside how things are going to get better, and how that might be done, one thing is certain: El Paso will endure. Despite my relatively brief time in the area, I was struck by so many Pasenos’ endurance, internal steel and, yes, stubbornness -- traits seemingly required to live and thrive in often unforgiving landscape that is West Texas.
Welcome to the latest edition of Courting Disaster, your guide to the strange, off-beat and occasionally tragic civil filings in Miami-Dade County. This week we have (alleged) tales of woe about pernicious uncles, hangry security guards, foul tax preparers and a secret plot involving the CIA and a Miami Beach library. Let’s dig in!
At about 9 p.m. Tuesday at Barceloneta in Miami Beach, the restaurant, crowded to near capacity with people watching the latest Democratic debate in Detroit, was interrupted by a series of yelps. Instead of a commentary on the current presidential candidates, the sound had emanated from Oliver, a service-animal Beagle. Approximately 60 people attended the event sponsored by the Miami Beach Democratic Club, the sequel to the debates that took place in Miami last month.
The concept of Solutions Journalism is to focus on how an issue is being resolved rather than simply focusing on the issue itself. Much of impactful journalism is about a problem or a failure of someone (or something) in power to do the right thing. I use the word "impactful" because I want to differentiate it from more process-oriented pieces (e.g., dutifully reporting on a city council vote), entertainment news or commentary. Other synonyms might be "watchdog, "investigative" or "news analysis." The Solutions Journalism folks tend to call this type of piece "problems journalism."
I'm writing this in the Admiral's Club in the O'Hare airport in Chicago, leg two of my July journeys. I spent most of last week in the Orlando area, talking to public records experts and journalism professors.
Welcome to the first edition of my newest writing project: Courting Disaster. This is based on a column I wrote for the San Francisco Examiner back in 2001 and 2002 of the same name that looked at the odd, offbeat and just plain strange lawsuits and other recently filed cases.
When I moved to Florida from California a bit more than three years ago, I was amazed by the difference in the public record laws. The Sunshine State has some of the most open laws in the nation. Surprisingly, though, this is not something that is formally taught at many journalism schools in the state, FIU included.
For better or worse, my reading list these days has been focused on the self-help variety. The latest has been "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. Though I have not finished the book, there are a few good ideas that I've picked up. One of them is something he calls "habit stacking," which is essentially adding something you want to start doing regularly into an already established routine.
PUBLISHED WORK (2018 – Present)
Broward/Palm Beach New Times
• Coral Springs Comics Shop Calls It Quits Even as D&D Thrives
Miami New Times
• Former FIU Journalism Professor Leaves Lasting Legacy of Empathy
• Dozens of People in Miami-Dade Have No Legal Name or Identity
• Miami Crew Braves Wind, Chill, and Rain to Win La TraverSeine Dragon Boat Race in Paris
• Snowbirds Vote for Klobuchar at Satellite Iowa Caucuses in Southwest Florida
San Diego Union-Tribune
• Commentary: A shooting and a tax fraud scheme has me thinking about forgiveness
The Washington Post
• With Jacksonville canceled, can Trump win Florida?