Podcast: Florida Matters Archives

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...
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....
What the Oil Spill Means for Florida
Oil has been pouring into the Gulf of Mexico since an oil rig exploded last month. The rig was leased by BP, which has been trying to cap the well and stem the flow of petroleum. Meanwhile, Gulf Coast communities are watching and waiting to see what...
The Shifting Politics of Oil
Is it a waffle or a flip-flop or just a revised opinion based on new evidence? The ongoing oil spill in the Gulf has some elected leaders and political candidates scrambling to point out their opposition to offshore drilling -- even if they once...
Drilling After the Oil Spill
Florida lawmakers have commissioned reports and held hearings as they explore opening state-controlled waters for oil and gas exploration. The question of offshore drilling has been floating around Tallahassee for years, and it looked like the...
Florida Legislature: Mid-Session Update
The big stories in this year’s annual session of the Florida Legislature have not turned out to be the ones most observers expected. Lawmakers have passed major education changes and signed a gaming deal with the Seminole Tribe. But the biggest job...
Review of the Legislative Session
Observers of Florida politics say the legislative session that ended last Friday was especially rough-and-tumble. Rampant partisanship and power plays -- along with a state republican party at war with the Governor -- all affected the legislation...
Hurricane Season 2010
As June 1 approaches each year, emergency managers remind us to think about our hurricane evacuation plan and put together our supplies kit. Just a few years ago, in the wake of two very active seasons, it wasn’t too hard to get people motivated to...
U.S. Senate Race & the Politics of Independence
Will Gov. Charlie Crist avoid the Republican primary in the U.S. Senate race by running as a candidate with no party affiliation? By the end of the week, we’ll know Crist’s plans. What he’s been thinking -- and its ramifications -- have been the...
Florida Legislature: 2010 Session Preview
According to some estimates, state lawmakers have to find $2.6 billion more for next year’s state budget. Either that, or cut that much in government spending. That means negotiating a state budget will again be front and center for the yearly...
Expanding Offshore Drilling
Last week, President Obama announced plans to expand offshore drilling in the United States, allowing new exploration in federal waters as close as 125 miles from Florida’s Gulf coast. The move comes on the heels of efforts in Florida last fall to...
Overhauling Teacher Tenure and Pay
The talk of the first half of this year’s legislative session has been education, and especially a proposal that eliminates teacher tenure and ties teachers’ pay raises to student performance. Introduced by a north Florida Senator and supported by...
Best of Florida Matters, Part 2 - WUSF 89.7 Spring Membership Campaign
Listen back to a few of the engaging conversations we brought you recently on Florida Matters. A group of local Haitians shares their efforts to find family members after January’s devastating earthquake there, and they offer their thoughts on the...
Best of Florida Matters - WUSF 89.7 Spring Membership Campaign
We’re looking back at some of the stories and conversations you make possible every week on Florida Matters. We’ll examine the impact of watering to protect crops during the freeze earlier this year. Experts weigh the benefits and costs of opening...
Commuting and Traffic in the Tampa Bay Area
Sometimes driving in the Bay area can be a real pain. But are we really worse than Los Angeles, New York or even Atlanta? Forbes magazine says we are -- the magazine dubbed the Tampa Bay metro area as the worst for commuters in a recent issue. That...
Recession Saving and Investing
As our current recession has persisted -- and even deepened -- we’ve heard the stories of people cutting back to make ends meet. Sometimes that means changing investment strategies or even reducing contributions to retirement accounts because paying...
The Impact of Sept. 11
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are imprinted on the nation’s collective psyche, influencing everything from the nation’s foreign policy and how we travel by air to where our military forces are deployed and how we train first responders....
St. Petersburg Mayor's Race
A couple of weeks ago, 10 St. Petersburg residents were vying to be the city’s next mayor. Now, that list has only two names on it. The winner will inherit a list of unresolved issues, like deciding the future of downtown -- including BayWalk and...

 

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