satellite view of Florida Leadership Vacuum
While lawmakers are dealing with takes, insurance and the state budget, are state and local leaders looking at the bigger picture of a 21st century Florida? We'll take a look on this week's Florida Matters.

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Theresa Hoopingarner and Linda Haley Theresa Hoopingarner and Linda Haley
Theresa Hoopingarner was a child in 1930's Memphis when her father's ill health forced him to move his family from the area. His family was originally from Italy, and the family still owned a home and land in Bassignana, a rural village in the northwest. Theresa recently spoke with her daughter Linda Haley about her relocation to Italy with her family just prior to World War II, and how day to day life on their small farm taught her the value of work and a greater appreciation of life in the United States.

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money on top of a calculator Governmental Spending in Real-Life Terms
This week we look at Florida's state budget. Instead of viewing it in terms of millions or billions of dollars, we attempt to humanize the numbers. What do state budget cuts or surpluses really mean? We look for answers in mid-town St. Petersburg and at a research center in Tampa. We pose some questions about the process to a Florida lawmaker, and end the broadcast with some late-breaking news in the Martin Lee Anderson case.

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Mel Downing in 1945 Mel and David Downing
Mel Downing was born in Newton, Massachusetts, just outside Boston, in August 1926. By his own admission, Mel didn't do well in high school. At the end of his ninth grade year he entered the New York Military Academy. He enlisted in the US Navy at 17 with his father's consent, and was assigned sea duty on the USS Gosper. He served two years in combat zones in the war's Pacific theater, and by age 19 Mel was a seasoned war veteran. He recently spoke with his son David about his war experience and how the impact of the war stays with him today.

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