Podcast: Florida Matters Archives

Why Is Howard Troxler Leaving Florida?
For three decades, columnist Howard Troxler has been railing against what he sees as the abuses of power in Tallahassee. Now, he's leaving Florida, just as he says some of the worst changes are coming our way. St. Petersburg Times Columnist Howard...
Neglected to Death: The Story Behind the Investigation
A recent Miami Herald/WLRN investigation of Assisted Living Facilities discovered dozens of people who died in Assisted Living Facilities of apparent abuse or neglect. But few caretakers are ever charged in those deaths, and state regulators rarely...
A History-making Session for the Florida Legislature
The GOP used its big majorities to pass sweeping changes to Florida law in education, health care, pensions, and growth management. It failed on only a few issues, such as immigration. And it cut more than $4 billion from the state budget. Now that...
Insuring Our Homes Against Disaster
Hurricanes, sinkholes, and flooding are just some of the expensive problems we face as homeowners here in Florida, and property insurance is an ongoing challenge. Lawmakers are wrestling with the issue now, and their actions could reverberate...
Beyond the Light Switch
Florida and the nation face an expected 30 percent increase in power demand over the next four decades. Can we meet it? Can we balance often conflicting economic realities, environmental concerns and security issues?
The College Application Frenzy
Monday’s the deadline for most high school seniors to decide on the college they'll be attending. With costs at many private colleges at more than $50,000 a year -- financial aid such as Bright Futures in political jeopardy -- and stiff competition...
Rolling Back Growth Management Laws
Governor Scott and GOP leaders in the Legislature are trying to kick start Florida’s economy – especially the construction industry. They want to roll back growth management laws they say discourage builders from creating jobs. But if builders don’t...
What Merit Pay Means for Florida's Teachers and Students
Merit pay and an end to teacher tenure are coming to Florida. What does that mean for teachers, students and the rest of us? Lawmakers, educators and experts debate the merits of this education overhaul on this Florida Matters.
Curbing Prescription Drug Abuse
Lawmakers, law enforcement officials and other have pushed for a database to monitor prescription painkillers. Supporters tout it as a way to fight rampant abuse of the drugs; Gov. Scott says the database is intrusive and expensive, and wants to get...
Florida's 2011 Legislative Session: "Unprecedented"
Long time observers of Florida's legislature call this year's session unprecedented. Republicans have super-majorities in both the House and Senate. A moderate has been replaced by a staunch conservative in the governor's mansion. What are some of...
Best of Florida Matters: Spring 2011
This show spotlights some of the top stories and the most compelling conversations of recent months. Whether political or personal, we bring you the voices and the stories that make up what "Matters" to our community.
Drugs, Politics, Police, and More: Highlights from Recent Shows
On Florida Matters this week, we're spotlighting some of the most compelling conversations of recent months. After the tragic shooting deaths of two St. Petersburg police officers in January, we explored the relationship between the St. Pete police...
The Governor's Budget (Rebroadcast)
Gov. Rick Scott has unveiled his budget – and the extent of the spending cuts has sent shock waves through many government-funded groups. Education and health care in Florida could face especially lean times ahead. On Florida Matters, we’ll discuss...
The Governor's Budget
Gov. Rick Scott has unveiled his budget – and the extent of the spending cuts has sent shock waves through many government-funded groups. Education and health care in Florida could face especially lean times ahead. On Florida Matters, we’ll discuss...
Youth Violence in Tampa Bay
The sad news of another police officer's death in St. Petersburg recently was followed by another shocking revelation -- the alleged killer was only 16 years old. We'll explore the possible reasons that youth become involved in violent crimes, and...
The Future of Tampa: a Mayoral Debate and an Interview with Pam Iorio
Outgoing Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio says she's proudest of the city's reduced crime rate and the new museums and park downtown.
PTSD: New Hope
One in five veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan experience the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although the wounds from PTSD are still not well understood, new treatments are proving effective, and military leaders are stressing...
South St. Pete and the Police
After two St. Petersburg police officers were gunned down in south St. Petersburg, we explore the community's reaction to the tragedy, and we take a look at the sometimes tense relationship between the police and some of the neighborhoods near the...
The Future of Public Media
To paraphrase Dickens, you could say that it’s the best of times, and it’s the worst of times for public radio and television in the U.S. They're enjoying record audiences, and both PBS and NPR have branched into the Internet realm with apps for...
Dali's New Home in St. Pete
Saint Petersburg's collection of Salvador Dali's artwork has merited its own, brand new museum: a $36 million, futuristic, hurricane-proof repository of surrealism. On Florida Matters, we take a look at what makes Dali special. Plus, the...
Living in Limbo: Haitians in Tampa Bay
Many Haitians fled their ravaged island after the earthquake and came to Florida. A year later, they live here in a kind of “legal limbo”, without protected status or the ability to start new lives, but with nothing to return to in Haiti. On...
Five Years, Five Stories from Florida Matters
Five years ago, the unemployment rate in Florida dropped to a record-low 3 percent. Floridians were recovering from a second year of multiple hurricanes. And here at WUSF, we committed to bringing you a public affairs show that treats you -- and the...
The Top Five Stories of 2010
At the close of 2010, we're looking back at some of the news stories and the way that they affected our lives. They are the voices and the people that made headlines -- or that simply made us pause during our busy lives, and listen.
The Ongoing Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill
Starting in April, for three months, oil gushed into the Gulf from the site of the Deepwater Horizon rig. Some oil was captured or washed ashore. Most of it is unaccounted for – and that’s what has scientists worried. Researchers from the University...
Political Wrangling Over High Speed Rail
Other states are turning down federal money for high speed rail, saying it will end up costing them more to take it. And that's meant even more rail money for Florida. But with a new, more conservative Florida legislature, and a new governor in...
My Last Tour: A Conversation with Rex Temple
Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Rex Temple spent the last year working in Afghanistan. Re-trained to supplement the Army and Marine troops on the ground, Temple has been focused on humanitarian missions and supply convoys as well as mentoring a couple...
Seniors and Foreclosure
The housing crisis has hit seniors especially hard. Some need to move to an assisted living facility -- but can't, because they can't sell their house. Others are watching their nest egg disappear along with their home equity. And many seniors are...
The Promise of Biofuel
Hurricanes, disease and development have taken their toll on Florida's agriculture industry. Some say it's time to think "farm to fuel", in part because new crops grown as an alternative energy source could be a boon to struggling farmers. We'll...
The Republican Tide
The big story of the mid-term elections was the triumph of Tea Party-backed candidates and the wave of conservatism sweeping the entire governing body of Florida. We’re discussing the implications of Governor-elect Rick Scott’s victory and the...
Voters’ Voices -- The Final Say
Pundits and prognosticators are trying to read the mood of the electorate this year – so we decided to cut out the middle man and go straight to Bay Area voters. Working with Bay News 9 and the St. Petersburg Times, WUSF brought together nine voters...
The Business of College Football (Rebroadcast)
College football in Florida is more than a Saturday afternoon pastime for players, coaches and fans. It’s also big business, generating millions of dollars in revenues for universities. The start of play this year, though, has included questions...
The Big Stories
The oil spill, the deaths of two police officers, the upcoming election -- these are some of the stories that touched our lives in the last few months. On Florida Matters this week, we're taking a look at some of the most compelling moments from...
Social Media: What's Next?
MacDill Air Force Base is on Facebook. So are politicians, charity groups, u-pick farms and everyone else with a cause to promote -- or a product to sell. But at the same time that social media seems like something we can no longer live without,...
Hillsborough's Transit Initiative
If Hillsborough County voters approve a one-cent sales tax hike in the next election, they're promised better highways, more buses, and a new light rail train system. Proponents say it will create jobs, clear the roads and bring Tampa Bay up to par...
The Debate Over Amendment 4
Proponents call it "Hometown Democracy"; critics call it a disaster for the state's economy. Amendment 4 has been proposed as a way to give voters more control over growth, and to reign in unchecked development...but it's stirring up fierce...
The Business of College Football
College football in Florida is more than a Saturday afternoon pastime for players, coaches and fans. It’s also big business, generating millions of dollars in revenues for universities. The start of play this year, though, has included questions...
The Way Forward for Florida’s Economy
Economists disagree about how to deal with a recession. Some say direct government spending is best while others argue cutting back on government spending and putting money in people’s pockets works better. We’ll talk about these arguments and weigh...
Hazing
Hazing on college campuses has been put in the spotlight after a suspected hazing at an off-campus event for the Omega Psi Phi fraternity at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Though details about what happened are still mostly unknown as the...
The Pier’s Future
The St. Petersburg City Council has voted to tear down the city’s inverted pyramid pier, opting for a new structure and a shorter approach. Some say it would mean the loss of a building that is identified with the city. We’ll hear why some city...
Voters’ Voices
There’s a new poll out almost every day now that the primary election is upon us, and the leader seems to change with every survey. In cooperation with Bay News 9 and the St. Petersburg Times, we’ll be following a group of voters through the...
Primary Election: The Final Push
Several high-profile statewide primary races are neck-and-neck right now, and the candidates have gotten very heated in their rhetoric and their advertising. Would-be nominees have one last week to make their case and position themselves with their...
Primary Election Preview: Senate and Gubernatorial Races
Voters decide Aug. 24 which Republican will face Alex Sink and Buddy Chiles in the governor’s race and which Democrat faces Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio for a U.S. Senate seat. With two weeks to go, these primary races are getting heated, and there...
2010 Legislature: Red-Light Cameras, Texting Ban
State lawmakers are considering two bills this session they hope will make Florida’s roads safer. One would ban texting behind the wheel, making it a secondary offense (which means you have to be pulled over for something else first). We’ll look at...
Primary Election Preview: Attorney General’s Race Part 2
Our coverage of the race for state attorney general continues with the Republican primary election. Three Republicans hope to succeed Attorney General Bill McCollum and continue much of his work in the office. Meet the field -- two Crist...
Primary Election Preview: Attorney General’s Race
The Democratic primary for Florida attorney general has two veteran state lawmakers pitted against one another in a race that has been somewhat overshadowed by contentious contests for governor and U.S. Senate. In the first of our two-part series on...
Oil Spill Claims
Oil giant BP has promised to pay for the damage caused by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. For many fishermen and beachside hotels and restaurants, the company’s money may be all that keeps them from losing their businesses. And now, some local...
Tampa Police Shooting: A Community Conversation
It’s been a little more than a week since the memorial service for Tampa Police Officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab, and while life is starting to return to normal, there is still a feeling of rawness throughout the community. The officers’...
The Oil Spill's Psychology
Social scientists will tell you that every disaster -- natural or man-made -- takes a mental toll on those living through it. More than two months into the Gulf oil spill, we look at the psychological impact of this catastrophe, including how it’s...
The Economic Impacts of the Oil Spill
Pools of oil are washing ashore along Florida’s coast, coating the sand with tar balls and sludge. And though it’s only panhandle beaches that have oil on them so far, hoteliers and tourism officials in the Bay area say visitors think all the state’...
Panhandling and Roadside Commerce
If you’re asking for donations for charity, selling a Sunday newspaper or just looking for a few bucks for yourself, you can’t do it anymore along the major roads in St. Petersburg. The city has enacted a ban on all kinds of transactions along busy...

 

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