Podcast: Florida Matters Archives

Florida Matters: The Future of the Cruise Industry in Tampa Bay
Tampa's cruise industry could be heading into rough waters. Cruise ships are getting bigger, but the Sunshine Skyway Bridge isn't. A new study by the Florida Department of Transportation looks at three options: build a taller bridge, build a new...
Florida Matters: Manatees
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing the endangered status of manatees. The Pacific Legal Foundation has filed a lawsuit against the agency for failing to act on a 2012 petition to move the manatee from endangered to threatened. We have...
Planning for Death
The end-of-life is not the easiest topic to bring up with a loved one, and the experts say many folks just don't do it.  Beginning next year, Medicare plans to pay doctors to do voluntary counseling with patients about end-of-life care. This week on...
Florida Matters: Planning for Long-Term Care
Baby boomers have seen it coming for quite some time -- retirement, senior living and senior survival. Experts say most of us begin planning too late for the help we might need as we get older. We take a look at long-term care, including costs,...
Florida Matters: Backyard Agriculture
More and more these days, farms are coming to the city. Laws have been changing around the state that make it easier for suburban homeowners to dabble in backyard agriculture. We're taking a look at this "do-it-yourself" food movement, from...
Florida Matters: Medical Marijuana Town Hall
This November, voters in Florida will get the chance to weigh in on Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana. The Village Square at St. Petersburg College's Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions recently hosted a town hall meeting on...
Clone of Florida Matters: Seeing Tampa Bay Like a Tourist
You may call the Tampa Bay area home, but have your really seen it through the eyes of a tourist? What is your favorite part of living in the Tampa Bay area? Is it seeing the glint of a dolphin's tail as it surfaces just offshore? The sweet smell of...
Florida Matters: Preparing for Hurricanes
Hurricane season is now under way, and we're helping you prepare. A look at what you need to stock in your emergency kit, this season's hurricane forecast and a tour of a hurricane hunter airplane that flies directly into a storm's path.
Florida Matters: 70th Anniversary of D-Day
Friday, June 6 marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the historic military landing at Normandy during World War II. We take a look at D-Day through the eyes of a C-47 pilot who was there. Retired First Lt. Gerald “Bud” Berry was among those who...
Florida Matters: Florida Architecture
Florida has its share of boring, disposable architecture -- from sprawling neighborhoods of stucco houses to buildings that age quickly and are torn down just as fast. But there are plenty of gems on the Florida landscape -- and the idea of...
Florida Matters: The Future of Florida's Springs
Most everyone agrees that Florida's springs have seen much better days. Decades of growth, agriculture and lawn fertilizer are among the factors that have turned many springs into a soupy, murky muck. But a comprehensive bill to protect and restore...
Florida Matters: 2014 Legislative Session
State lawmakers ended this year's 60-day legislative session by passing a record $77.1 billion budget, along with laws that deal with everything from immigrant tuition to medical marijuana. We take a look at what passed -- and what didn't -- on this...
Florida Matters: Greenlight Pinellas Transit Plan
This November, voters in Pinellas County will decide whether or not to raise the county's sales tax to 8 percent to fund Greenlight Pinellas. That's the transit plan that would expand bus service and help build a light rail connecting Clearwater...
Florida Matters: A Look at the BP Oil Spill 4 Years Later
It's been four years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We take a look at the lingering effects, ongoing clean-up efforts and the future of drilling in the Gulf. We talk to an oil industry expert and two scientists from the...
Florida Matters: St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman
For a special "newsmakers" edition of Florida Matters, we took some of your questions with us when we sat down with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman at City Hall to talk about the mayor's first 100 days in office. We talk with the mayor about the...
Florida Matters: Bollywood Oscars in Tampa
The International Indian Film Academy's 15th annual weekend and awards takes place April 24-26 at various spots around the Tampa Bay area. The event is held in a different country each year, and this is the first time the Bollywood Oscars will be...
Florida Matters: Florida's Population Increase
Recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau suggest Florida could soon become the third most populous state in the country. Whether that's good or bad depends on whom you ask. We discuss why people move to Florida and the consequences of an...
Florida Matters: Affordable Care Act Questions Answered
Do I have to buy health insurance? How do I compare plans? How can I find a plan I can afford? What if I have a preexisting condition? Can I kick my kid off my health insurance plan? How can I make sure I'm covered when I travel? What if I don't...
Florida Matters: Choosing the Next FCAT
Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart is expected to recommend a test to (mostly) replace the FCAT later this month. A new test is needed because Florida is finishing the switch to new K-12 math, language arts and literacy standards this fall....
Florida Matters: State of the State
Florida Gov. Rick Scott delivered his annual State of the State address to kick off the 60-day legislative sessions. The speech took up the better part of a half-hour on March 4, so we've edited portions of long breaks of applause so we can bring...
Florida Matters: 2014 Legislative Preview
Before the Florida legislative session starts March 4, we're bringing you previews of some of the issues facing lawmakers this year: In-state tuition for student veterans Questions about Common Core standards Resort style casinos in South Florida...
Florida Matters: Congressional District 13 Special Election - Alex Sink
The late C.W. "Bill" Young served in Congress for more than four decades. A special election will be held March 11 to decide who will replace him. This week on Florida Matters, our guest is Democratic candidate Alex Sink. Last week, our guest was...
Florida Matters: Congressional District 13 Special Election - David Jolly
The late C.W. "Bill" Young served in Congress for more than four decades. A special election will be held March 11 to decide who will replace him. This week on Florida Matters, our guest is Republican candidate David Jolly. Next week, our guest is...
Lowering the Drinking Age
More than 100 college and university presidents around the country have signed on to the Amethyst Initiative, a call for national discussion about underage alcohol use. The list includes the presidents of big-name schools like Ohio State University...
Florida Matters: Planning for Long-Term Care
Baby boomers have seen it coming for quite some time -- retirement, senior living and senior survival. Experts say most of us begin planning too late for the help we might need as we get older. We take a look at long-term care, including costs,...
Florida Matters: Income Inequality
Democrats and Republicans have been going back and forth over income inequality for years and years. President Obama brought up income inequality, also known as the gap between the rich and the poor, during his State of the Union address. We talk to...
Best of Florida Matters from 2013
We're taking another listen to some of our most memorable stories of 2013. We look at the issue of gun violence in Florida and the popularity of recreational shooting. We talk to people who helped bring the story of the Dozier School for Boys to...
Florida Matters: StoryCorps
StoryCorps is recording the oral history of people in its MobileBooth, parked in front of the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. In this episode of Florida Matters, we will hear excerpts of some of the conversations that have been recorded so...
Syrian Refugee
Last April, Florida Matters brought you the story of University of South Florida student Noor Shakfeh, a Syrian American who spent her spring break aiding Syrian refugees on the Syrian-Turkey border. In this episode of Florida Matters, guest host...
Florida Matters: JFK in Tampa: The 50th Anniversary
You may not have known this - unless you're over 55 and have lived in Tampa since the early 1960s - but Tampa was one of the final stops for John F. Kennedy before that fateful ride he took in the presidential convertible in Dallas. He was treated...
Florida Matters: Looking Ahead to 2014
We're just a few days into 2014, and already Floridians have a lot to talk about. This week on Florida Matters, we'll take a look at some of the issues that are sure to make headlines this year.
Florida Matters: 2013 Year in Review
It has been quite a year in Florida news, with the George Zimmerman acquittal, the death of political legend C.W. Bill Young, a new mayor in St. Petersburg and candidates gearing up for the governor's race next year. This week on Florida Matters, we...
Florida Matters: Tampa Bay's Foodie Scene
It's that time of year when our waistlines tend to expand. Now that we've put the turkey and cranberry sauce away and are getting ready for those office parties and holiday dinner outings, is there a better time than now to place a spotlight on some...
Adoptions in Florida
When a 15-year-old boy appeared before a church congregation last month, pleading for someone to adopt him, tens of thousands of folks responded. In spite of that, there are hundreds of kids who are not making headlines and still are waiting for...
Citrus Greening: The War to Save Florida's Crop
Citrus greening has now infected every citrus producing county in Florida, and is threatening the survival of Florida's signature crop. It's gotten so bad that the CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual tells homeowners who are thinking of planting an orange...
Florida Matters: Medicaid Expansion Town Hall
Florida has rejected an offer of more than $50 billion over 10 years from the federal government to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. So the question remains: how will health care be funded for more than a million low-income...
Florida Matters Newsmaker: Adam Putnam, 'I'm a Conservative, but I'm not angry about it..'
At age 26, he was the youngest member of Congress when he took office in 2001, but after a decade in Washington, Adam Putnam of Polk County said he wanted to leave on his own terms and come back to Florida. “Nobody wonders now why it was that I...
Florida Matters: The End Of Remedial College Classes
Half of Florida students who take the state's college placement exam end up failing at least one section. In the past, those students would have brush up in remedial reading, writing or math courses before starting their college degree. But a new...
Florida Matters: Debate for St. Petersburg Mayor
The next mayor of St. Petersburg won't have any shortage of issues he'll have to handle. What to do about the Rays wanting to leave Tropicana Field. The future of the iconic pier - which now sits shuttered on what is likely the city's most visible...
Florida Matters: Tampa Bay Times Festival Of Reading
Thousands of book lovers flock to the University of South Florida Times Festival of Reading each year. And this year it's expected to be another busy Saturday when the festival returns on October 26th. It features writers such as Edwidge Danticat,...
Florida Matters: Flood Insurance
If you live near the water, you can’t rule out a flood. But a change to a federal law is poised to make living in flood zones a lot more expensive. A change in the federal flood insurance program took place on Oct. 1. The 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood...
Florida Matters: Medical Marijuana
A group called United for Care is behind the push to get a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana on the 2014 Florida ballot. The group is chaired by Orlando attorney John Morgan, founder of the law firm Morgan & Morgan, who is...
Florida Matters: Seeing Tampa Bay Like a Tourist
You may call the Tampa Bay area home, but have your really seen it through the eyes of a tourist? What is your favorite part of living in the Tampa Bay area? Is it seeing the glint of a dolphin's tail as it surfaces just offshore? The sweet smell of...
Florida Matters: Living on the Autism Spectrum
How do young adults diagnosed with a form of autism describe themselves? This week on Florida Matters, we meet Andrew Casey, 23, who interviewed his peers about their diagnosis and how they define themselves. And Andrew explains how he manages with...
Hunger Relief in Tampa Bay
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its Food Security in the United States report for 2012 and it revealed almost 15 percent of U.S. households are what it calls food insecure. Food insecure means at some point during the year, members of...
Florida Matters: Nan Rich Makes Her Case to be Governor
Currently, there’s only one Florida Democrat actively campaigning for governor, Nan Rich joins WUSF this week for a special Newsmaker’s edition of Florida Matters. The former state lawmaker and senate minority leader gives her assessment of...
Work to Do: A Check-Up on Florida's Labor Market
With Labor Day just around the corner, we’re taking a look at Florida’s labor market--starting with Gov. Rick Scott’s promise to create 700,000 new jobs in seven years. Guest host Craig Kopp leads the discussion. Richard Gonzmart Columbia...
St. Petersburg Pier: The Lens
The aging St. Petersburg Pier officially closed to the public on May 31st. The city of St. Petersburg plans to demolish it and replace it with a new pier, a design called the Lens. But not so fast, opponents of the Lens design gathered more than 20,...
Florida Matters: St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate
St. Petersburg is at a crossroads - what to do about the homeless, mass transit, the future of the Pier - and the future home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Current Mayor Bill Foster will be angling for another term during the Aug. 27 election for mayor....
Florida Matters: Affordable Care Act Questions
We asked our readers to tell us what they thought was confusing about the Affordable Care Act, and you called, e-mailed and Facebooked us with questions. This week WUSF’s Craig Kopp sits down with attorney Linda Fleming of Carlton Fields, Julian...