Podcast: Florida Matters Archives

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...
The Best of StoryCorps
Last January, a mobile recording booth was set up in an Airstream™ recreation vehicle at St. Armand's Circle in Sarasota. It was part of StoryCorps, the national oral history project sponsored by NPR and the Library of Congress. Over a three week...
The Tampa Bay Economic Scorecard
We'll look at how our region competes with other metropolitan areas in the South as a place to do business. How does Tampa Bay rate when it comes to job creation, salaries and affordable/attainable housing? We'll get answers and analysis from local...
Looking Ahead to the 2006 Legislative Session
Education and Insurance are among the hot topics state lawmakers will be tackling as they begin the next legislative session on March 7th. From school vouchers and overcrowded classrooms to higher insurance premiums and a bailout of Citizen's...
Four Decades After Dr. Martin Luther King's 'Dream' Speech, a Reality Check (Part 2)
We'll talk to local leaders about the progress made and what challenges lie ahead for Tampa Bay's African-American community. WUSF explores issues ranging from education to community development to gay marriage and today's African-American family....
Four Decades After Dr. Martin Luther King's 'Dream' Speech, a Reality Check (Part 1)
We'll talk to local leaders about the progress made and what challenges lie ahead for Tampa Bay's African-American community. We'll explore issues ranging from education to politics to the state of today's African American family. It's a...
End-of-Life Care
The bitter division over the care of Terry Schiavo exploded from the confines of her family onto the national and global stage. The case touched politics, law, medicine, the media and the court of public opinion. It's been almost a year since...
Red Tide and the Health of the Gulf of Mexico
This past year, we had weeks on end of spoiled beaches and fish kills. Local businesses suffered, too. Hotels, restaurants, fishermen and retail stores felt the economic impact of red tide. The situation has left many wondering whether red tide...
Making Sense of Medicare Plan D
It seems like everywhere you turn, there's an ad for the federal government's new prescription drug plan. And with the advertising blitz, comes many questions: What exactly is Medicare Plan D? Who qualifies for this plan? How much does it cost? Do I...
The Year 2005 in Review
On the next edition of Florida Matters: from Schiavo to hurricanes, outrageous gas prices to a wild real estate market; we'll take a look at the top stories that impacted Tampa Bay and West Central Florida in 2005.
Early Child Health Care: Are Florida's Children Getting an Early Start?
According to a recent study by the group Covering Kids and Families, one out of every four uninsured children in Florida received no medical care for an entire year. What is being done to make healthcare available to children? And is health...
The Energy Crunch: Lessons Learned from Katrina and Rita
This broadcast will deal with our current gas situation and the possibility of oil drilling off the coast of Florida, along with viable alternatives for energy. We all felt the pinch in our wallets at the local gas station, when the price peaked...
Hurricane Preparedness: Tampa Bay Prepares for the Big Storm
Despite two very active hurricane seasons, the Tampa Bay area has yet to suffer from a direct hit. Emergency Operations Center (EOC) directors Chuck Johnston, Ed McCrane, and Gary Vickers discuss how prepared the region will be when the big storm...
Innovation
A bill waiting for the governor's signature would give water-permit approval authority to water management district directors instead of appointed boards. It's part of an unrelated bill allowing more Florida-friendly landscaping and was added at the...
Session Preview: "The Budget"
The state's 60-day legislative session has begun, and the item on everyone's mind is the budget. Facing an estimated $6 billion deficit in the 2009-2010 spending plan set to take effect in July, lawmakers must make cuts in state expenses only a few...
Trade With Cuba
This week, President Obama signed a bill to fund the federal government through September. Tucked into the bill are provisions to loosen travel restrictions to Cuba for people with family on the island, and possible changes in US policy toward Cuba...
Spurring (Economic) Growth
A new law significantly changes how the state handles growth. Business groups and developers say relaxing some of the requirements for new construction will jumpstart work and boost the state's economy, while some local governments and...
Florida's International Culture
If you have not sat through one, you have heard about them: diversity training. Corporations, nonprofits and educational institutions all offer the classes. But do the sessions foster greater understanding among people of different cultural...
What's Going On in the Region's Housing Market?
Is this real estate bubble going to burst? Are speculators driving property prices? Can the average Floridian really find affordable housing? We'll talk to several local experts to find the answers to these questions this week on Florida Matters.
Can We Pave Our Way Out of Gridlock?
On the next edition of Florida Matters: Can we pave our way out of Gridlock? To answer that question, we went to the experts, local and state decision makers who are in the know regarding Tampa Bay's transportation issues.
Education in Florida
The Pinellas School District and Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox experienced a challenging year. The district has faced issues ranging from the academic achievement gap between whites and minority students to the highly publicized problems of...