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Under the Sun Core Team

Peter J“Peter J” Maerz - Under the Sun Executive Producer


Peter serves as Programming and Operations Manager for 91.3 WLRN, South Florida’s NPR News Station and 91.5 WKWM, NPR for the Florida Keys. He began his radio career in 1992 as a “Radio Reader” on WLRN’s closed circuit broadcast channel for the print impaired. He’s acted as a weekend jazz music host, local afternoon anchor/host for NPR’s All Things Considered, and Senior Operations Specialist. A life-long musician, Peter performed regularly during high school and college years and attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He’s led the South Florida pop band “CLIK!” since 1978, now in its 19th year. Scuba diving and underwater photography have taken him to the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Fiji and Raja Ampat, Indonesia, among many other exotic locales. He’s been published in Undercurrent magazine.

Alicia ZuckermanUnder the Sun Co-Creator/Co-Senior Producer/Co-Host

Alicia began making radio as a 7-year-old in rural upstate New York using appropriated material from Casey Kasem’s American Top 40. Twenty years later, she began her real-world radio career as a reporter for NPR’s On the Media. Her reporting has aired on National Public Radio, American Public Media, and Public Radio International, including the World, Studio 360, and This American Life. Alicia also produces WLRN’s weekly news program, The Florida Roundup, feature stories and interviews for the WLRN Arts Desk, and Jazz Roots on WLRN, featuring conversations with renowned jazz artists. Before coming to Miami, she covered arts, culture, and breaking news for WNYC in New York, where she reported on Carnegie Hall, puppet opera, arts education in the South Bronx, authentic Hungarian strudel, two presidential elections, and nuclear power. She was also the lead classical music and dance reporter at New York magazine for six years. She has written frequently on the arts for the Miami Herald and contributes to Dance magazine. Her online reporting has appeared in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and the Jewish culture magazine, Tablet. Alicia holds a B.A. from the University at Albany (New York) where she studied music and English, and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her awards include a Gracie Allen Award presented by The Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) for her radio documentary about New York accents, as well as a first place 2008 Society of Professional Journalists Sunshine State Award for “Cuba: the Developing Story” on WLRN’s public affairs special, Perspectives. She sings alto with the Master Chorale of South Florida. Alicia loves café con leche (sadly, mostly decaf these days).

Dan GrechUnder the Sun Co-Creator/Co-Senior Producer/Co-Host

Dan is the radio news director for the WLRN Miami Herald Report, where he produces 15 daily newscasts for South Florida’s public radio station. Before that, he spent five years reporting on Latin American economics and Hispanic business in the US for Marketplace, the public radio business news show. In 2008, he won a Green Eyeshade award for his coverage of Venezuela and a Ruben Salazar award for his stories on Central American migration. Before transitioning to public radio, Dan worked as the Argentina correspondent for The Miami Herald. He contributed to the Herald’s 2001 Pulitzer Prize for breaking-news coverage of the Elián Gonzalez INS raid. In 2003, Dan earned a Fulbright fellowship and an Inter American Press Association scholarship to earn a journalism master’s degree in Argentina. Dan has taught radio, writing and interviewing at Princeton University, Columbia Journalism School and Florida International University. Dan is the founding vice chair of the Friends of New World Symphony, a young patrons group for the orchestral academy based in Miami Beach, and he’s in an improv comedy troupe, Chasing Tales.

ruthRuth Morris – Under the Sun Associate Producer/Web Editor

Ruth came to South Florida four years ago to cover immigration for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Before that, she worked as a freelance journalist in Latin America, reporting on Colombian drug violence and Venezuelan politics. She has also worked in Israel, covering the Palestinian intifada, and in Cuba, as a member of that country’s small foreign press corps. Ruth returned to freelancing six months ago. She also teaches creative writing at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Ruth edits and writes for the Under the Sun website.

Kenny MaloneUnder the Sun Associate Producer

Kenny is an independent radio producer who has produced stories for Marketplace, NPR’s Weekend Edition, Day to Day, Sound Medicine and The New York Times online. Kenny is also a producer for WLRN/Miami Herald News. He is a glass-blowing apprentice in Hollywood, sings with the Master Chorale of South Florida, and was a finalist for the Maker’s Quest 2.0 CPB grant.

trinaTrina SargalskiUnder the Sun Associate Producer/Web Editor/ “All in a Day’s Work” segment curator

Trina is an independent radio producer and freelance writer. She curates and produces pieces for the segment “All in a Day’s Work,” as well as producing other features for Under the Sun. She also designed, writes, and edits the series’ award-winning website. Trina is the creator and editor of Miami Dish, a multimedia blog about “all things local and edible in South Florida.” Her passions are good food and good stories. She is a Miami native who is also a certified Montessori elementary teacher.

sammy-mack-f-and-c-smallSammy MackUnder the Sun Assistant Producer

Sammy is a freelance writer. She’s been writing for newspapers and magazines since she was 13. Growing up on the Gulf Coast, Sammy published her first articles in the St. Petersburg Times‘ Monday morning kids section. In 2008, she was a Poynter Summer Fellow. She came back to Florida after a stint in New Orleans, where she covered health care and got her masters degree in public health. She recently produced “What’s up with South Florida?”: The Naked Carpet Man.” Sammy lives in a continuous state of wonder at the stories that come out of this place.
Under the Sun Contributors

niala-boodhoo-smallAs a multimedia business reporter, Niala Boodhoo is the only Miami Herald reporter who also does regular radio reporting, including hosting, and producing the weekly Miami Herald Friday Business Report. A native Miamian, Niala is thrilled to be back in South Florida and on local airwaves. She is a 2010 NPR Economic Reporting Fellow, and has been a business reporter since 2000 for the Associated Press, Reuters, and most recently, The Miami Herald.

jeremy-smallJeremy Glazer is a legislative analyst, a former high school teacher, and that rare breed–a Miami native. He has identified himself as a “future hall-of-famer” on his phone message, but he says he hasn’t decided yet which hall of fame, or what his achievement will be. He recently finished his first novel and is looking for a publisher. Glazer’s story “Home” was one of the winners of our unpublished writers contest. Since then, he has been a regular fiction contributor to Under the Sun. The short story, “Walter & Edith” is Glazer’s most recent contribution.

MitchellMitchell Kaplan, a Miami Beach native, founded Books & Books in 1982. The Coral Gables bookstore hosts over sixty events a month, including author readings, live music and film series, and reading and discussion groups. Books & Books has outposts in Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, and Grand Cayman. As the co-founder of the Miami International Book Fair, the nation’s largest book fair, Mitch made Miami an annual destination for authors from around the world. He also serves on the steering committee of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, Miami-Dade College’s new literary center. Mitchell is the former President of the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and he’s served on the Board of ABFFE, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. He lives in Miami with his wife, Rachelle, their twin sons, Jonah and Daniel, and their daughter, Anya. He interviewed author Les Standiford about the Flagler Railroad for our second episode. For our third episode, he interviewed author Edwidge Danticat.

nancy-k-smallNancy Klingener is a recovering journalist and novice librarian in Key West. Since moving to South Florida in 1989, she has worked for The Miami Herald, Blue Heron Books, Westwinds Guesthouse, The Ocean Conservancy, The Key West Citizen, Solares Hill, Florida Keys Community College and now works at the Monroe County Public Library. She has a Master’s degree in the Humanities and just started working on a Master’s in Library Science from the University of South Florida. She is vice president of the Key West Literary Seminar and reviews books for Solares Hill and The Miami Herald. She blogs about books, the Red Sox, and other random subjects at The Bone Island Book Blog. Klingener produced “Letter from Key West: Holiday Parade.”

TristramTristram Korten is a magazine writer based in Miami Beach. He writes about conflict and the environment throughout the Caribbean Basin and the Amazon, as well as South Florida. His work has appeared in Salon, Details, Mother Jones, Men’s Journal, The Miami Herald, Maclean’s, and The Nature Conservancy Magazine, among other publications. He is a former staff writer for the Miami New Times. For his first radio piece ever, Korten profiled legendary pool cue maker Abe Rich. He won a feature reporting in radio award from the South Florida Society of Professional Journalists for this story. For the second episode, he drove over Miami’s “Bridge to Nowhere” for our “What’s Up with South Florida?” segment.

Robert Lyle is a veteran international financial journalist who, until the current global economic crisis, divided his time between Florida and Cornwall in Great Britain. For more than 25 years, he was the Washington-based senior economics correspondent for the RFE/RL radio networks in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He was also a regular contributor to the BBC and other international radio networks from bases in Detroit, New York, Washington, D.C., London, Aix-en-Provence, France, and Munich, Germany. As a break from financial reporting, he has written about food and beer for the Los Angeles Times and One-and-Ale, a Cornish brewing magazine. He has written travel stories for National Geographic Traveler and Washington Flyer magazines. Since moving to South Florida four years ago and settling in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, he has learned to wear shorts every day, clean sand out of his computer keyboard and explore the unique bistros that make South Florida so special. He also occasionally appears as an extra or in minor roles in films. He contributed features about Alabama Jack’s and Palm Meow.

CareyCarey McKearnan is an independent radio producer. She’s also worked as a tour guide, market researcher, paralegal, diner manager, Capitol Hill intern, Radio Reading Service volunteer, communications manager for a real estate investment firm specializing in mobile home parks, community theater singer and dancer, and a Christmas tree seller – not necessarily in that order. Carey reported the “What’s Up With South Florida?” segment in the first pilot episode and assisted in producing the segment for the second pilot. She also helped produce several pieces in the “All in a Day’s Work” series. She is a graduate of Duke University. Since 1999, she has served on the board of PetSet, a young professional’s fundraising charity for the Humane Society of Broward County.

Lyn MillnerLyn Millner, at age 40, tried out to be a Miami Dolphins cheerleader. That led to hunting wild turkeys in Wisconsin. And then she directed a gospel choir. Lyn is not the cheerleading type, she is not a game hunter, and she has no choral experience. She did these things because she loves a good story. She writes and produces humor pieces for American Public Media’s Weekend America and for Gulfshore Life. Her radio stories have also been broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition and Weekend Edition and on Marketplace. Lyn is the program leader for the journalism program at FGCU, and she has a master’s degree in creative nonfiction from Florida International University. Lyn contributed the “Dinner Set Gang” story to the pilot episode.

just-a-hen-from-stock-xchang-smallRick Stone, a reporter/producer for WLRN/Miami Herald News, has had a long career in Florida radio and newspapers. He was born in Daytona Beach, lived all over the state, and once received an award for writing the state’s third-best newspaper column (Florida Press Club, 2007). Stone produced “Chickens in South Florida” and contributed to “The Poem Depot.”

Robert Samuels likes reporting mostly because the job scares his mother. On assignments, he has been punched in the face (twice) and mooned by a convicted sex offender. He’s been attacked by a (standard) poodle and chased by a cow. He’s brought muscular men to tears and brought elderly women to furor. Now, he writes about the curious corners of South Florida for The Miami Herald, where he’s worked since 2006. Robert previously had stints at foxnews.com, The Roanoke Times, the St. Petersburg Times, the Detroit Free Press and The Washington Post. His first Under the Sun piece was the harrowing tale for a family’s search for a grave that was lost amidst the changing face of Miami. He co-reported a story with Kenny Malone about the agricultural program at William Turner Technical High School, which is where the cow chased him. Photo by Marsha Halper/Miami Herald Staff

Dave Barry is a humor columnist. For 25 years he was a syndicated columnist whose work appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Many people are still trying to figure out how this happened.

Dave has also written a total of 30 books, although virtually none of them contain useful information. Two of his books were used as the basis for the CBS TV sitcom “Dave’s World,” in which Harry Anderson played a much taller version of Dave.

Dave plays lead guitar in a literary rock band called the Rock Bottom Remainders, whose other members include Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and Mitch Albom. They are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud. Dave has also made many TV appearances, including one on the David Letterman show where he proved that it is possible to set fire to a pair of men’s underpants with a Barbie doll.

In his spare time, Dave is a candidate for president of the United States. If elected, his highest priority will be to seek the death penalty for whoever is responsible for making Americans install low-flow toilets.

Dave lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife, Michelle, a sportswriter. He has a son, Rob, and a daughter, Sophie, neither of whom thinks he’s funny. Photo by Daniel Portnoy

Under the Sun Engineers

PaulPaul Leary is an on-air host and producer at WLRN. He also produced the interview program, Broadway Edition. Paul originally hails from Boston. At age 15, he was the youngest person to be trained and certified at Boston Neighborhood Network Television, where he interviewed The Elephant Show stars Sharon, Lois, and Bram. He first came to Miami to serve as fundraising producer at WLRN. He’s dedicated to being involved in the best of public broadcasting.

WandaWanda Myles is an on-air Morning Edition host at WLRN. She also produces programs for the Atlantic Radio Network in Coral Gables. Wanda was born and bred in Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating from Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia, she began her career in radio at WELK in West Virginia. In 1990, she moved to Sarasota, Florida, to join the staff at WCTQ. After living and working in Orlando and Tampa Bay, Wanda is now thrilled to call South Florida home. Her pleasures include time with her family and friends, and her pet dog Duncan and cat Bippy. Wanda also enjoys the ongoing search for a good laugh, anything spiritual, quantum physics, discovering new music, indulging in the “old,” and performing onstage as a “drag king.”

BrettBrett Rothfeld is an audio engineer working at POP Sound in Santa Monica, California, as well as a certified public radio junkie. He does mixing and sound design for independent films, TV and radio commercials, and video games. He also plays bass with the L.A.-based funk band, Cousin Junebug. He loves garlic far more than most people do, and he’s known to make a mean guacamole.


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