Podcast: Florida Matters Archives

Mental Health and Young People
The number of college students seeking mental health counseling has risen considerably in recent years. About 2,500 students sought help at the USF Counseling Center last year. That represents a 50 percent increase since 2001. And, a recent Stetson...
Tampa Bay 2057 Part 2
Florida Matters continues its look into the future as we envision the Tampa Bay area in the year 2057. How will Tampa look and feel 50 years from now? (Part 2 of 2).
Property Tax Dilemma
Property taxes continue to be an issue of concern for Floridians. Some lawmakers have suggested doing away with property tax on homestead properties in lieu of a larger state sales tax. What can be done to address the tax problem? We discuss...
Light Rail for Tampa Bay?
Could Tampa Bay residents be taking the train to work someday? Would light rail help reduce traffic jams and save energy? We discuss the future of a commuter rail in the Bay Area, with this week's guests.
2007 Legislative Preview
The 2007 Florida Legislative Session begins on Tuesday, March 6th. This week on Florida Matters we discuss the major issues that the legislature will be facing as well as how new Governor Charlie Crist will influence the process.
Sexual Predators
Some local governments — including Tampa — have considered banning convicted sex offenders from living in certain areas. How do we best deal with “sexual offenders?” More treatment? More jail time? More of both?
Insurance Reform
Governor Crist has signed the insurance reform package into law. Now what? Will the insurance market in Florida stabilize? Will your rates go down? By how much? More importantly - what happens after the next big storm hits?
Black Leadership
State and federal officials say health care,affordable housing, and educational performance are among the challenges facing African Americans in Florida this year. NPR's Juan Williams joins Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times and Joseph Brown...
Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is a worldwide problem that is, by many accounts, alive and well in Florida. What is human trafficking? Who are its victims? What is being done about the problem? We explore these questions and others with our guests.
The Future of Cuba
Speculation continues as to the health of Fidel Castro, but it's nearly certain that a permanent change in leadership is on the way for Cuba. We discuss what may lie ahead for our neighbor to the south and how future changes might affect Florida...
Wetlands
Wetlands are vital to the health of the environment and to people, but they’re disappearing as Florida continues to grow. How bad is the problem? What's being done to reverse the trend? This week on Florida Matters, we take a look at disappearing...
Tampa Bay 2057
On the next Florida Matters, we look into our crystal ball and envision the Tampa Bay area in the year 2057. How will Tampa look and feel in the next 50 years?
Mentally Ill Inmates Part 2
The Florida Department of Children and Families came under fire recently over its handling of the mentally ill at jails and other correctional facilities. The issue has become so serious that Governor Bush has called for an emergency meeting of the...
Mentally Ill Inmates Part 1
The Florida Department of Children and Families came under fire recently over its handling of the mentally ill at jails and other correctional facilities. The issue has become so serious that Governor Bush has called for an emergency meeting of the...
2006 - The Year in Review
On this edition of Florida Matters:a look back at the top stories that impacted Tampa Bay and West Central Florida in 2006. From tragedy at a juvenile boot camp to insurance woes, property tax increases and election controversy - it's been an...
Florida's Property Tax Crisis
Many Florida homeowners complain they have faced dramatic property tax increases in recent years, as property values have risen sharply. Governor Bush recently appointed a Property Tax Reform Committee to make recommendations on how to improve...
Florida's Boot Camp System Revisited
The death in early 2006 of 14-year old Martin Lee Anderson at a youth boot camp in Bay County raised questions about effectiveness of military-style youth boot camps. After the arrests of 8 people for aggravated manslaughter in the death of Martin...
Holiday Food
The holidays are here and many of us are guilty of over indulging at family dinners and holiday parties. In fact, for some, our new year’s resolutions will be to lose a few extra pounds. Can you eat healthy and eat well this holiday season? WUSF’s...
Florida's Aquaculture
Some marine scientists are warning that the seafood industry as we know it will collapse within 40 years. Others believe that, with regulation of pollution and limits on catches of popular species, offshore fishing can continue indefinitely. Will we...
Florida Manufacturers
Florida manufacturers have been complaining that they can't find qualified workers to fill available positions while some educators believe more emphasis is needed on training some students to move directly into the workforce rather than the college...
A Look at Florida's Proposed Amendments
On November 7th, Florida voters will choose a governor and a US senator as well as numerous other state and municipal officials. They will also be asked to vote “yes” or “no” on six constitutional amendments. But, with the election less than a week...
Substance Abuse Among Older Adults
Drug and alcohol abuse is often thought of as a problem among teens and young adults, but experts say that alcoholism and drug abuse have reached epidemic proportions among older adults. And, as the "Baby Boomer" generation starts to reach...
The Creative Class in Tampa Bay
Several years ago, the economist Richard Florida coined the phrase the "Creative Class" to describe the artists, musicians, engineers, entrepreneurs and others who become "urban pioneers" revitalizing blighted areas. Florida maintains that when this...
The Returning War Veteran: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Challenges
A recent military study found that about 20 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan had PTSD symptoms. Many more are simply having trouble readjusting to civilian life.
Childhood Obesity
The Centers for Disease Control estimates more than 15 percent of the nation's children and adolescents are obese. Who's to blame? Is it the parents? The schools? The fast food industry? Many experts say that when we promote healthy eating habits in...
The Future of Bio-Fuels
New plants around the state are gearing up to produce ethanol. Is bio-fuel the answer to our energy problems or does it cost too much to produce? This week’s guests say a switch to homegrown fuels can provide relief from our nation’s dependence on...
Affordable Renting
With real estate prices at an all time high, the prospect of owning a home is nearly unimaginable for many Floridians. Now some lower income workers are having trouble finding housing to rent. Faced with rising taxes, insurance and other costs,...
The Primary Election and the Race to November
In Tuesday's statewide primary election, Floridians chose which of their party's candidates to send into the race toward the November general election. From the Governor’s race and the contests for U.S Senate and House, to the state House and Senate...
The Myths and Realities of Homelessness
By some estimates there are at least 20 thousand people in the Tampa Bay Area without a home on any given night. Most of them do not fit the stereotype of the drug addicted derelict. In fact, many are among the working poor and a growing number are...
The Health of the Tampa Bay Estuary
An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water formed where freshwater from rivers and streams flows into the ocean, mixing with the salty sea water. Estuaries and the lands surrounding them are places of transition from land to sea, and from...
The Tampa Beltway Proposal: Pros and Cons
Traffic congestion and construction delays have become a way of life for Tampa Bay commuters. Transportation planners are promoting a new project for West-Central Florida: a proposed beltway which would begin in Manatee County, head through Eastern...
Four Decades After Dr. Martin Luther King's 'Dream' Speech, a Reality Check
To commemorate the 43rd anniversary of Dr. King's historic speech, Florida Matters is replaying a broadcast from February 3rd of of this year. In August of 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his influential "I Have a Dream" speech on the...
Your 21st Century Commute
Transportation planners insist it's time to start thinking regionally.The alternative, they say, is gridlock within 20 years. WUSF’s Robin Sussingham hosts a discussion of the future of transportation in the Tampa Bay region.
The Returning War Veteran: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Challenges
A recent military study found that about 17 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan had PTSD symptoms. Many more are simply having trouble readjusting to civilian life.
Innovative Ideas
The Speaker Designate of the Florida House, Republican Representative Marco Rubio of Miami is on a mission to collect innovative ideas from Florida's citizens. Rubio is traveling the state asking Floridians to fill a book with the best 100 ideas for...
Drinking Water
Our area is going to need a lot more of it in the coming years and officials are trying to anticipate that demand with long range planning. One promising solution may be another multi-billion gallon reservoir like the one currently operating in...
The Health of Florida's Beaches
The state's active storm cycle is proving to be a challenge for our famous, white sandy beaches, home to sea turtles, high rise condominiums and hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. About half of Florida's coastline is suffering from erosion...
Tampa's Bid for the 2008 Republican National Convention
Tampa is a finalist along with Minneapolis, New York and Cleveland for the event to take place in September of 2008. The RNC Site Selection Committee is set to visit the area this August. The convention would bring an estimated 50,000 people to...
Florida's Disappearing Farm Land
Thousands of people move to Florida every week. Demographers predict the state’s population will grow by 10 million in the next 25 years. Many of these new Floridians will live in housing developments on land that is now home to cattle ranches,...
Preparing for a Pandemic: Is Florida At Risk?
Avian flu H5N1 is one of the most highly pathogenic viruses the world has seen. The virus has sickened at least 224 people in 10 countries, killing 127 of them, but it remains a pandemic in birds, not humans. Is Tampa Bay prepared in the event of a...
Big Worries Over Property Insurance
Insurers have taken a loss of 30 billion dollars in Florida during the last two hurricane seasons and they're sending the bill to us, the property owners. Some of the companies are giving up and leaving the state. We'll be looking at the issue with...
Hurricane Season 2006
June 1st marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season. The National Hurricane Center is predicting up to 16 named storms this year, including six major hurricanes. Is Tampa Bay ready for this hurricane season? Who’s in charge during an...
The State of Florida's Emergency Rooms
With reports of some Emergency Room patients having to waiting longer and longer for care, we’ll take a look at the situation within the ER’s of Tampa Bay. Is this service being misused? Are there too few hospital beds? Will wait time get longer? We...
An Overview of the 2006 Florida Legislative Session & What It Will Mean to You
Over the last two months, state lawmakers made many decisions that will affect your everyday life – from housing to education to homeowners insurance and eminent domain. We sat down and spoke to local lawmakers themselves.
Port Security
The Port of Tampa is a huge, sprawling complex with a constant flow of people and cargo. It is close to downtown Tampa, MacDill Air Force Base and the Crystal River nuclear power plant. The Port is also the site for huge amounts of hazardous...
Immigration Reform
It's undoubtedly one of the hot-button issues in America today. Recently, thousands of immigrant-rights activists took to the streets of Tampa and other Florida cities to make their position known. There were also counter-protestors from groups like...
After the Dream: A Student's Perspective
Our community discussion continues as we speak to a local high school student and his teacher. We'll explore issues ranging from education to the state of today's African-American family. This a follow-up to a 2-part series, "Four Decades After Dr....
Lung Cancer in Women: A Florida Perspective
The recent death of Dana Reeve at age 44 from lung cancer has raised the awareness of lung cancer. According to the National Institutes of Health, lung cancer kills more women every year than breast cancer. Researchers, including those at the...
Does Florida's Boot Camp System Work?
The recent death of 14-year old Martin Lee Anderson at a youth boot camp in Bay County has many Floridians wondering about the need for and effectiveness of military-style youth boot camps. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of juvenile boot camps in...
What's Happening with Desal in Tampa Bay?
In 2003, Tampa Bay's $160 million desalination plant was scheduled to open in Apollo Beach. It was slated to become the nation's largest desalination facility taking in salt water from the Bay and converting it to drinkable water for West Central...

 

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