Podcast: Florida Matters Archives

Drug Court:Treatment, Not Jail
People arrested for drug crimes often face jail time and perhaps court-ordered rehabilitation or treatment. In drug court, that’s flipped around: outpatient or residential treatment, regular check-ins with a judge, and jail time as a last resort....
Stimulus and Jobs
Last February, Congress passed a $787 billion bill designed to create (and save) jobs and jump-start the economy. Nearly a year later -- with President Obama making jobs the centerpiece of his State of the Union and his visit to Tampa -- we look at...
Staying Healthy
Once you're admitted to the hospital, you're already sick. But while some patients are trying to heal, they get an infection and get worse instead. The Centers for Disease Control reports that 1.7 million people develop these healthcare-associated...
Seminole Gaming Negotiations
This spring, lawmakers agreed to give the Seminole Tribe exclusive rights to some card games in exchange for millions of dollars in revenue sharing for the state budget. Negotiations are underway to finalize the details, including how much money the...
Defending Freedom
While the explosions and bursts of light this weekend will make us "ooh" and "ahh," that's not the case for thousands of troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. This week on Florida Matters, meet some local members of the military who reflect with...
Mass Transit: The Next 40 Years
For years, the talk in Florida has been about mass transit. Here in the Bay area, a relatively new planning agency is taking a regional approach to transportation planning and has unveiled a 40-year master plan. Light rail, expanded bus routes,...
Transportation
For years, Floridians have heard that the solution to our traffic woes is rail: commuter rail, high-speed rail, light rail. In the Bay area, creation of a regional transit master plan is underway and Tampa's mayor is pushing for light rail in the...
The Amendments 2008
Florida voters once again face a bevy of constitutional amendments on the ballot next month. The six proposals address everything from the definition of marriage and property tax exemptions to allowing local option taxes for community colleges. Each...
Historic Preservation
Occasionally, we hear about a building under dispute because it has historic value to some people but another group of people wants to tear it down. The Belleview Biltmore and Sarasota's Riverview High School are two recent examples - one was saved...
Arts in Tampa Bay
For many artists, their creations are a hobby, a passion, an outlet. Some artists make a go of it as professionals, depending on their creativity to provide an income. But is there demand for art in this sour economy? And how do you take that leap...
Crime and Recession
Conventional wisdom says crime rises when the economy goes bad; studies say that has been true during every recession since the 1950s. With the country facing what many consider to be the deepest recession in 70 years, that could mean a spike in...
Fighting Invasive Species
Burmese pythons are getting plenty of attention lately. Congress is considering a federal ban on importing the snakes and moving them across state lines, and there has been talk of hunting the snakes down. Florida has many non-native plants, pests...
The Impact of Bullying
After a group of middle school students sexually assaulted one of their peers, many parents started to wonder: how bad is bullying i our schools? We look at what's going on in schools and why doctors now consider bullying a health issue. And we...
The Economy
Every day, we hear more reports of layoffs, bankruptcies, foreclosures and public funding shortfalls. It's the chronicle of a faltering economy that is impacting all Floridians. This week, we're taking a look at the state's cycles of economic boom-...
Defining Green
President Barack Obama talks about the promise of an economy built on "green" jobs - the work that will have to be done to make our society more eco-friendly and sustainable. This week, we shed some light on what "green" means and what standards...
Civic Engagement
At every level, our democracy is built on the input of citizens in the governing process. Civic Engagement can mean being part of that process, like speaking out about issues that affect you. This week, we'll look at how people become engaged...
The State of Education
The traditional path of high school to college to career is not always the best path for all students. This week, we explore some of the ways educators are working to get their students prepared for careers, not just prepared for graduation. Plus,...
United States - Cuba Relations
Get caught up on the shows you might have missed so far this year. We talk about how venture capitalists fund innovative ideas in Florida. Get a better understanding of what "green" means in our world today. And we look at ways high school students...
Going Green
Florida officials want more renewable energy. A bill in the Legislature would mandate that power companies get 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources like wind, solar, bio-mass and nuclear power. But it's still uncertain if the measure...
Best of Florida Stories Part 2
As another hurricane season begins, officials don't want residents to be complacent after a few quiet seasons. It only takes one storm to ruin your summer. This week, we'll meet Florida's new emergency manager, debunk some hurricane preparation...
A Tribute to the Bay Area
The economic recession is keeping many would-be travelers at home. Across Florida, that's leading to amped-up marketing in hopes of drawing people here. This week, we take an informal survey of the tourism industry to find out what those businesses...
Best of Florida Stories Part 1
Lawmakers used federal stimulus money and a variety of increased fees to support a $66.5 billion spending plan for next year. But they failed to pass any significant tax reforms. This week, we look back at the annual legislative session and talk...
Crime in the Sunshine State
An often-cited statistic among law enforcement professionals goes something like this: 6 percent of people commit 60 percent of the crime. We'll learn about efforts by one local sheriff's office to catch that 60 percent. Plus, white-collar and...
Florida's Drought
After three years of below-average rainfall, the rivers are low and the reservoir is empty. Water managers and local governments have imposed the tightest water-use restrictions ever. But out West, communities have been dealing with drought for...
Arts in Tampa Bay
For many artists, their creations are a hobby, a passion, an outlet. Some artists make a go of it as professionals, depending on their creativity to provide an income. But is there demand for art in this sour economy? And how do you take that leap...
Innovation
People and companies are always coming up with new ideas and new innovations. But when you have a great idea and no money to build your business or market that idea, where do you turn? This week, Florida Matters takes a look at venture capital -...
Facing the Mortgage Crisis
The number of foreclosures in Florida has quadrupled since 2006. In Bradenton and Sarasota alone, foreclosures rose 600 percent between 2006 and 2008. This week on Florida Matters, we're examining the impact of foreclosure on our community. We'll...
Florida's Robots
We've come a long way from the mechanical robots of 1950s and 1960s science fiction stories. Robots today are science fact -- and some of the leading research in robotics is taking place right here in the Tampa Bay area. This week we explore where...
Feeding Ourselves
Earlier this year, state education officials found they needed $62 million more to cover free and reduced lunches for low-income children. Meanwhile, more families have become eligible for food stamps and food banks say they need more donations to...
Finding Work
This August, Florida Matters is focused on the economy and helping you find resources to face your economic issues. This week: jobs. We'll meet a few Bay area residents doing whatever they can to find a steady paycheck. A job counselor tells us that...
Surviving the Economic Uncertainty
This week, we revisit portions of two shows we produced earlier this year that ring true now more than ever. We'll hear how three area managers operate during a budget crisis. Plus, we'll revisit our discussion on reinventing yourself in a tough...
The Year Ahead
This week on Florida Matters, a look at the year ahead. Join Carson Cooper and his guests, Columnist Howard Troxler of the St. Petersburg Times, and Political reporter William March of the Tampa Tribune.
Year in Review
This week WUSF reporters Steve Newborn and John Sepulvado join Susan Giles Wantuck to discuss important stories aired on Florida Matters. Stem Cell Research, then Environment and the Democratic Primary are among some of the topics. Shows discussed...
A Retrospective
Over the past year, our weekly roundtable program Florida Matters has brought together scholars, politicians, entrepreneurs, engineers and artists to discuss the important issues in our state. This week, we’ll take a look back at the last year and...
Special Session Recap
Florida lawmakers spent the last two weeks in a special session aimed at one task: plugging a $2.4 billion hole in the state's current budget. They accomplished that by slashing more than $1 billion in spending and taking $1.6 billion out of trust...
A Super Bowl's Impact
On February 1, the Tampa Bay area plays host to its fourth Super Bowl, and organizers say it could not come at a better time. The state and local economy is hurting, and the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee says the game will be a much-needed...
Reducing Reliance on Citizens Property
A task force has been meeting over the last few months charged by state lawmakers with finding ways to return Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to the state's "insurer of last resort." Citizens is the largest property insurance company in Florida...
Looking Ahead to 2009
We'll take some time as a new year begins to revisit a couple of shows from the past year, but with a twist: we’ve selected two shows that are likely to be part of the community discussion through 2009. First, we'll hear about the gambling compact...
Best of 2008
In the waning days of 2008, we'll consider two of our favorite shows from the past year. First, we'll revisit our conversation about the changing landscape of newspaper journalism in the Bay area and in the nation. Since we first aired this program...
Giving in a Troubled Economy
Along with mounting unemployment in Florida and around the nation come reports that more and more people are calling on the nation's noprofits for services. But while demand increases, the pool of potential donors shrinks as individuals and families...
The Plunging Housing Market
For nearly a year, home buyers and sellers alike have been wondering: how much farther is the bottom of the housing market? There were some positive signs last month when the Florida Association of Realtors released October's existing home sales...
Florida's Healthcare in '09
Some estimates say 20 percent of Floridians have no health insurance. The rising cost of healthcare - and the number of uninsured - are issues that were at the forefront of the presidental campaign and a focus of Gov. Charlie Crist's 2008...
Holiday Retail Outlook
Black Friday - the day after Thanksgiving - is often recognized as the beginning of the holiday shopping season. It's the day retailers offer deep discounts and early-morning hours to entice consumers to spend. And, given the current economic crisis...
The Challenges of Coastal Living
Scientists, academics, city managers and officials from around the globe gathered this week in St. Pete Beach for the first-ever Coastal Cities Summit, an effort to explore the challenges facing cities along the world's coasts and share information...
Tourism Checkup
Tourism plays a large role in Florida's economy. The state House Committee on Tourism and Trade reported in 2007 that tourism generated $4 billion in sales tax revenue and employed nearly 1 million people. But airlines are cutting back on flights...
Election 2008
The long contest for president is over and the 111th Congress is nearly set. In Florida, the next state Legislature is decided and voters have amended the state's constitution several more times. Now attention turns to moving our communities, our...
Renewing ELAPP
Near the bottom of an already long ballot, voters in Hillsborough County will be asked to consider a local referendum to extend the county's Environmental Land Acquisition and Protection Program. In place since 1987, the program has purchased 44,000...
Is Florida Ready for Another Election?
The Division of Elections in Tallahassee was inundated with new voter registrations just before the voting rolls closed October 6 and had to pass many of those to local elections offices for processing. Part of the problem was a new law commonly...
Market Turmoil Hits Home
In the last couple of weeks, the nation has been taken on a roller-coaster ride by Wall Street: Investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed. Merrill Lynch sold itself to Bank of America. Federal regulators rescued American International Group. And...
The Hispanic Vote
The Pew Hispanic Center reports that Hispanic voters have been shifting their support toward Democrats during the last two years, a reversal of the trend toward the GOP in the earlier part of the decade. As the presidential election nears, both...