Podcast: Florida Matters Archives

Fall Arts Preview
The 2008-2009 arts season is upon us, so this week we'll take a look at the upcoming season for a few Bay area arts organizations. We're joined by three local artistic directors to talk about how they approach their work each year and what...
Understanding Diabetes
Recent focus groups organized by the American Diabetes Association asked participants to rank diseases according to their seriousness. Heart disease and cancer were consistently ranked at the top of the list. Diabetes usually fell in the middle of...
Planning More Nuclear Power
Approximately 20 percent of Florida's electricity is generated by nuclear power plants. Most of Florida's power generation come from burning coal or natural gas, but utility companies are starting to look at carbon-free alternatives like solar and...
Brain Drain
In recent years, a growing number of professors have departed from Florida's public universities. Other states are luring them away with higher salaries, new labs, research assistants and other resources. In fact, some other state university systems...
Drilling in the Gulf
In July, President Bush rescinded the executive order banning oil and natural gas drilling of Florida's Gulf coast. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist - once an ardent supporter of the ban - has changed his mind and now supports repealing the ban....
Coping with Infertility
Each year, millions of couples in the U.S. face the prospect of infertility. Those couples can make a variety of choices as they endeavor to have a child, from treating their infertility to adoption. This week on Florida Matters, our panel looks at...
The Everglades Without U.S. Sugar
On June 24, Gov. Charlie Crist announced the U.S. Sugar Corp. has agreed to sell its entire operation and all its assets to the state. The company will end operations in six years and the state will acquire 187,000 acres of land in the Everglades....
Connecting Business and the Arts
In her book "RenGen: Renaissance Generation - The Rise of the Cultural Consumer and What it Means for Your Business," author Patricia Martin argues a so-called "creative class" can connect the business and arts communities in unprecedented ways. The...
Targeting High Tech
Polk County wants an identity change. Its economy has traditionally been based on agriculture, phosphate and industries like warehousing and distribution. But in recent years, there has been a push to attract high-tech, higher wage jobs. Now - in a...
Reinventing Yourself
The state Agency for Workforce Innovation reported this month that Florida's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May reached its highest level in more than five years - 5.5 percent. That's the same rate we're seeing in the Bay area. This week...
Summer Diversions
This week on Florida Matters, we'll help you plan the rest of your summer downtime! From summer movies to summer reading material - new books and the classics - our guests will give you some guidance for your fictional endeavors. And if you just...
Today's Drug Testing
In 2007, Florida lawmakers passed House Bill 461 that mandated state high schools be involved in random testing for anabolic steroids use beginning in fall of 2007. One of three states to mandate testing among high school students so far, Florida's...
Future of Water
On this week's Florida Matters, we look at the state's most precious resource - water. You'd think being in one of the wettest regions this side of Seattle means we don't have to worry about running out of water. But just look to our north: The...
Living With Autism
This week on Florida Matters, we’ll talk about new legislation to try to help families with autism, treatments and how some moms are trying to help others understand the disorder. Join WUSF’s Susan Giles Wantuck and her guests this Friday at 6:00 PM...
The Changing Face of Journalism
This week on Florida Matters: Shrinking newspapers, layoffs in the hundreds, what will become of the traditional watchdog role of newspaper journalists? Join host Carson Cooper and our guests, former Tribune movie critic and blogger Bob Ross, Dr....
Hurricane Season: Are We Prepared?
Floridians have enjoyed two relatively quiet hurricane seasons, but as Andrew proved in 1992 and Katrina in 2005, it only takes one "big one" to plunge a region into chaos. Is the bay area ready? Can a community ever be completely prepared?
Florida As Inspiration
This week on Florida Matters: WUSF's Susan Giles Wantuck is joined in our studio by artist Christopher M. Still, journalist and writer Jeff Klinkenberg and historian and author Ray Arsenault. We'll talk about how Florida, its people and history have...
Latest Efforts Toward Mass Transit
This week on Florida Matters: More roads, a commuter rail or both. As our population grows and traffic jams get longer - how will area residents be getting around in the coming years? We'll take a look at the latest efforts to take mass transit to...
Legislative Review
This week on Florida Matters: Florida lawmakers wrapped up another session last week after hashing out a $66.2 billion state budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. The $4 billion in cuts reflects the largest drop in spending over a year in the state'...
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
A recent RAND Report finds that one in five Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from PTSD or major depression. This week on Florida Matters, we take a look at how these injuries are treated at the bay area's two VA hospitals - and we'll meet a...
Sarasota Growth Referendum
On May 6, voters in Sarasota County will decide a major growth issue. The ballot question - if approved - would make it much more difficult to develop rural areas of the county. Hear what a developer, a community activist, a neighborhood association...
Preventing Suicide
Suicide is a leading cause of death for young people. This week on Florida Matters, we talk with a woman on the front line of suicide prevention and we meet a man whose family was forever changed when his oldest son took his own life.
Mentally Incompetent Inmates Part 2
This week on Florida Matters: By many accounts, Florida's mental health system is broken. At one point, Florida's former DCF Secretary faced jail time because of the backlog of incompetent jail inmates awaiting treatment. The Florida Supreme Court...
Digging into Fertilizer Policy
This week Florida Matters delves into fertilizer policy. Sarasota County recently passed an ordinance regulating how much and when lawn fertilizer can be applied to help stem runoff pollution. Supporters are hoping to take it statewide. But, it’s...
Sales Tax Exemptions
An amendment is heading for the ballot this November that - if passed - would swap some property taxes for other sources of revenue - like an increased sales tax or the elimination of some sales tax exemptions. This week's Florida Matters looks at...
Today's Drug Testing Part 2
The State of Florida is currently taking part in a year-long pilot program that requires random drug testing among high school students who compete in football, baseball, softball, weight lifting and flag football. The Florida High School Athletic...
Today's Drug Testing
In 2007, Florida lawmakers passed House Bill 461 that mandated state high schools be involved in random testing for anabolic steroids use beginning in fall of 2007. One of three states to mandate testing among high school students so far, Florida's...
Mentally Incompetent Inmates Part 2
This week on Florida Matters: By many accounts, Florida's mental health system is broken. At one point, Florida's former DCF Secretary faced jail time because of the backlog of incompetent jail inmates awaiting treatment. The Florida Supreme Court...
2008 Legislative Preview
This week on Florida Matters: State lawmakers will meet on Tuesday for their annual legislative session. By most accounts it will be another tight budget year and Floridians still have questions about taxes, health insurance, education, and much...
Foster Care
This week on Florida Matters: Florida's foster care system has long been plagued by lost children and overlooked abuse. We'll take a closer look at those problems and what's being done about them.
Budget Cuts
This week on Florida Matters: The economy will always have its ups and downs, but it's those down cycles that worry employers and employees the most. We'll hear how three area managers operate during a budget crisis and how Tampa International...
Century Commission
This week on Florida Matters; the Century Commission was created by state lawmakers several years ago to help map out a blueprint for ways to accommodate Florida's growing population while maintaining quality of life. It just released a new report....
Florida Amendment One
Florida voters will head to the polls this Tuesday to decide the fate of amendment one which would increase the homestead exemption, make the Save Our Homes cap on tax increases portable and offer up more modest caps on non-homestead property....
Florida's Energy Future
Florida's major electric utilities say it will take a lot to keep the lights on in the coming years. But just how will they do it? More power plants? Is nuclear energy the answer? And how does the effort to reduce greenhouse gases play into all this...
Plant City Gangs
This week, the intersection of immigration, crime, race and gangs in rural Florida. The problems in Hillsborough County's Plant City echo what's happening throughout the state.
Film Industry
State officials are hoping more car chases and boy-meets-girl stories are filmed in Florida. The hope is big screen exposure can diversify the economy and boost the state's image with national and international audiences. But does Florida have the...
Climate Change and the Media
Thermometers don't lie. There is little question the earth is getting warmer. But the issue of global warming is certainly hot. Is global warming a trend? Is it periodic? Is it natural or manmade? Can it be stopped? It's not the easiest story to...
State Gambling Deal
Governor Crist has signed a compact with the Seminole Indian Tribe to allow expanded gambling at tribal casinos in Florida in exchange for a cut in the profits. Not everyone thinks this is a good idea. Others say it's a deal too good to pass up. We'...
Hillsborough-Tampa Merge
In these days of tax reform and tight budgets, local governments are looking to save money. There has been talk in Hillsborough County of merging some services with Tampa. Can it make a difference? Would it be a good deal for residents? Join us this...
Hometown Democracy Amendment
A 66-word sentence is pitting environmentalists and preservationists against developers and business groups. What makes this sentence so contentious is that it would give voters the final say in any changes to local land use plans. On Florida...
Sarasota County Growth
This week on Florida Matters: Sarasota County's cultural scene, beautiful beaches, and warm weather attract folks from all over the country. But not everyone agrees on how best to manage its rapid growth. We'll hear what the various sides have to...
WWII Stories
It was the bloodiest conflict in human history. At the time, World War II affected nearly everyone on earth. Many current Bay area residents experienced the struggles of WWII first hand. For Veteran's Day week, we bring you three Florida Stories...
National Catastrophic Fund
Fires, earthquakes and hurricanes are costing property insurance rate payers a bundle. And with the devastating fires in southern California, some say Congress should reexamine a national catastrophic fund. It’s an idea that’s been floating around...
Neighborhood Schools
The Pinellas County School Board is considering a new plan for schools in that county. After decades of bussing students to integrate schools, the new plan would essentially keep students in schools close to home. Some call it the neighborhood...
Leadership Vacuum
While lawmakers are dealing with takes, insurance and the state budget, are state and local leaders looking at the bigger picture of a 21st century Florida? We'll take a look on this week's Florida Matters.
Governmental Spending in Real-Life Terms
This week we look at Florida's state budget. Instead of viewing it in terms of millions or billions of dollars, we attempt to humanize the numbers. What do state budget cuts or surpluses really mean? We look for answers in mid-town St. Petersburg...
Homeschooling
It wasn't too long ago when the idea of modern home schooling was considered to be the province of hippies and fringe groups — and perhaps a few small religious groups. Not any more. It is most definitely mainstream. Legalized in Florida in 1985,...
Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority
In May, state lawmakers created a regional mass transit authority with the goal of exploring future transportation options for a seven-county region. Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota are among the counties in...
Climate Change and the Media
Thermometers don't lie. There is little question the earth is getting warmer. But the issue of global warming is certainly hot. Is global warming a trend? Is it periodic? Is it natural or manmade? Can it be stopped? It's not the easiest story to...
Tallahassee Report Card
It's been a typically busy year in Tallahassee so far. Lawmakers started the year with a special session on property insurance reform, some would say to mixed results, to be kind. The regular session produced a budget that's resulting in an October...