Intersection

Intersection

From WMFE

Where Central Florida's politics, science, business, economics and social issues meet. Listen to host Matthew Peddie and guests examine current issues.More from Intersection »

Most Recent Episodes

Florida's Natural Environment And The Challenge Of A Growing Population

For the first time in 20 years, Florida wildlife officials are issuing permits to hunt bears. The hunt, which starts in October, is part of a plan to manage the growing black bear population. But environmentalists say it's a bad idea, and a lawsuit was filed last week to stop the hunt. Even some hunters say there are some aspects of the hunt that should be changed. Coming up, a conversation with an environmentalist and a bear hunter about the upcoming black bear season. Also, development is changing Florida's wetlands. Tampa Bay times environmental reporter Craig Pittman joins the program to talk about the impact of surging population growth and urban sprawl and the national and state policies aimed at preserving the state's wetlands. And later in the program, a University of Central Florida professor of Biology is studying how oysters can help restore the Indian River Lagoon. She talks about her about her efforts to filter the lagoon naturally — and an uptick of algae blooms that pose a threat to the 153-mile long waterway.

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Friday News Round Table

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush comes to the I-4 corridor, with a pitch to Hispanic voters. He wants a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants - but don't call it amnesty - call it legal status. Is it just semantics or is it a real distinction? Then, two south Florida families hold out hope for their missing teenage sons. Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen's boat was found drifting, capsized off Ponce Inlet in Volusia County, with no sign of the two 14-year-olds. Questions remain about how the boat ended up in deep water. The Coast guard is leading that massive search and volunteers are helping out any way they can including with private drones. And- development is an economic driver - but it can also drive a wedge between residents. Big changes are coming to rural swathes of Orange County, the city of Eatonville is facing an uncertain future, and Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer talks infrastructure and homelessness as he outlines the city's budget and its future. Are big developments changing the view from your front porch? It's the Friday News Round Table with Frank Torres from the Orlando Political Observer, Jason Garcia from Florida Trend Magazine, and Beth Kassab from the Orlando Sentinel.

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The Cost And Consequences Of Downtown Development

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says his city is world class. But what does that mean? A proposed high rise near Lake Eola is raising hackles - so can residents agree on the best way to build up the city? Commercial Developer Paul Ellis joins the program to talk about balancing growth and the needs of the residents. And Mayor Dyer joins Intersection to talk about his vision for a World Class City - and how he plans to draw more business and residents to the heart of Orlando. As Orlando grows up there's more attention on the city's homeless. Andrae Bailey from the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness joins 90.7's Matthew Peddie to talk about the effort to end chronic homelessness in the downtown core and across greater Orlando. The cost and consequences of downtown development.

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Cuba: The Island, The Expats And The Music

For the first time in more than 50 years, the United States will reopen its embassy in Havana and Cuba will reopen its embassy in Washington, D.C. The diplomatic thaw is opening up new opportunities for trade and travel, while here in Central Florida, direct flights from Orlando to Cuba are starting up. But what does the easing of restrictions mean for expat Cubans? And what impact will new business and tourism have on Cuba? To talk more about the changes to come for Cuba, 90.7's Matthew Peddie speaks with Stetson University's International Business chair Bill Andrews. And 90.7's Crystal Chavez reports on how expats in Central Florida are feeling about the diplomatic thaw. Later in the program, we'll hear from a Cuban musician keeping the spirit of Cuban music alive here in Florida.

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The Controversy Over H-1B Visas

Thousands of H1B visas are issued each year. They allow US companies to hire foreign workers for specialized positions that they can't fill with American workers. Some companies say the quota for these visas is too low, and the tech industry especially needs more freedom to hire talent from overseas. But others say there are loopholes in the system that are being exploited. Recently the New York Times reported on layoffs at Disney, where IT workers were told to train their replacements- Indian IT workers on H1B visas. To talk about the visa program 90.7's Matthew Peddie speaks with Julia Preston from the New York Times about her reporting. Also, the CEO of a Central Florida tech start-up joins the program along with Congressman John Mica to talk about the politics of the visa debate.

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Jeb Bush Enters Crowded Race For Republican Nomination

Its official – Jeb Bush is running for President. The announcement ends almost a year of Jeb exploring the possibilities of running while fundraising through his political action committee, Right to Rise. But Bush joins a crowded Republican field – including Florida neighbor and protégé Marco Rubio. Miami Herald's Political Editor Sergio Bustos joins the program to go over the announcement – who was there, who wasn't there, what was said, and what's next for candidate Jeb Bush. We'll also sort through the pro's and con's of a third Bush running for office and what that means for Florida's primary with Republican Strategist Adam Goodman and Democratic Analyst Jeremiah Jaspon. And later in the program – Intersection's Brendan Byrne takes a look at Governor Bush's record with University of South Florida Political Scientist Susan MacManus and how Bush stacks up against Marco Rubio as Floridians will have to decide between two of their own.

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Diving Into Daytona Beach Economy

Daytona Beach is branded 'The Original American Beach', and the city's long been synonymous with motor sports like NASCAR, the Daytona International Speedway , bike week and beach driving. But as Florida's economy picks up after a long recession, some say Daytona needs to do more to keep up with that wave, drawing more visitors with higher-end hotels and more family oriented attractions. Intersection dives into Daytona with a look at the economics, quality of life and business opportunities in the original Beach town.

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Central Florida's Tourism Rise And The Impact On Hospitality Jobs

In the first three months of 2015, more than 28 million visitors came to Florida, many of them drawn to the Orlando area theme parks and attractions. Orlando International Airport is also recording higher passenger numbers, and the airport is pushing ahead with plans for a new terminal. President and CEO of the US Travel Association Roger Dow joins the program to talk about the recent uptick in tourism. But what does a tourism boom mean for the boots-on-the-ground workers in the hospitality industry? To find out, 90.7's Matthew Peddie speaks to University of Central Florida Sociologist Jim Wright about jobs in the hospitality industry. And later, Eric Clinton, President of Unite Here , a labor union for Disney Workers, talks about the push for higher wages.

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Central Florida Lawmakers Weigh In On Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership

President Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal would reduce tariffs on goods traded across the Pacific Ocean. It's the president's biggest legislative push since the Affordable Care Act, and it's making strange political bedfellows: republicans back the president's trade deal while democrats are against it. Supporters say it opens our doors to 40 percent of the world's trade market, opponents say it will kill blue collar jobs back home and allow international companies to sue down to the local level if they don't like restrictions on things like labor and the environment. To talk more about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, 90.7's Catherine Welch speaks with Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson and Republican Congressman John Mica about the plan.

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Florida Legislature In Limbo

The Florida House packed up early, saying they couldn't work through a stalemate with the Senate over health care funding. A special session is likely as the two chambers were unable to pass a budget during the regular 60-day session. But the collapse of the regular session took down some big bills like water preservation and left other legislation like Medicaid expansion in limbo. To talk more about what made it and what didn't, 90.7's Matthew Peddie speaks with reporters Amy Green and Abe Aboraya. And later in the program, University of Central Florida political scientist Aubrey Jewett joins Matthew Peddie to discuss the special session process - and how the two chambers will negotiate Florida's budget.

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