Florida Matters Florida Matters is a weekly public affairs program that goes beyond the daily headlines to examine issues important to Floridians.
Florida Matters

Florida Matters

From WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Florida Matters is a weekly public affairs program that goes beyond the daily headlines to examine issues important to Floridians.

Most Recent Episodes

Florida Matters: 2018 Race For Commissioner of Agriculture

The race for governor is not the only statewide political contest during primary season. Republicans and Democrats will also choose their favorite candidate to run for the state's top consumer watchdog: the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Florida Matters is continuing our special two-part program this week to bring you conversations with many of the candidates running for two important state offices: Attorney General and Commissioner of Agriculture. In the first half of this show we hear from the three Democratic candidates competing in the Commissioner of Agriculture primary: Ft. Lauderdale lobbyist Nikki Fried, South Florida Audubon Society President Roy David Walker of Broward County and Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter. In the second half we hear from two Republican candidates, State Sen. Denise Grimsley of Sebring and State Rep. Matt Caldwell of North Fort Myers. Their two primary opponents, former U.S. Army Col. Mike McCalister and former State Rep. Baxter Troutman of Winter Haven, were invited to speak but could not make the scheduled interview. All candidates were interviewed by Tom Hudson with NPR member station WLRN in Miami and the editorial page editors of the Miami Herald, South Florida Sun Sentinel and Palm Beach Post. Hear the candidates give their views on restoring rights to felons and how to enforce the "Do Not Call" list on our podcast Florida Matters More. The first episode in our special two-part program features candidates running for Florida Attorney General. Listen to their conversation about issues like felon voting rights, the state's Stand Your Ground law and lawsuits against opioid manufacturers. Tune into WUSF 89.7 Tuesday Aug. 28 for live coverage of Florida's Primary Election. Join us at 8 p.m. for an hour-long Florida Matters election special.

Florida Matters: 2018 Race For Commissioner of Agriculture

Florida Matters: WUSF Awards

In recent months, journalism groups have been recognizing news outlets across the country for outstanding work done in 2017, and WUSF has garnered multiple awards. This week on Florida Matters we highlight some of the award-winning journalism produced by our WUSF news team. This year Florida Matters won a Society of Professional Journalists' Sunshine State award for Best Public Affairs Program. We were recognized for our episode "Foster Care in the Suncoast Region" that dove into some of the many challenges those who work in the industry face as they try to protect Florida's children---with limited resources. We hear a segment from that show, as Florida Matters producer Stephanie Colombini tells us about the connection between the opioid crisis in Manatee and Sarasota Counties and the uptick in how many children were placed into foster care there last year. Roberto Roldan and Steve Newborn were awarded second place in the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Awards Continuing Coverage category for their work reporting on the Seminole Heights murders and the impact they had on the community. We hear a report by Roberto Roldan about how residents joined together after the suspect was arrested to help the neighborhood heal with some holiday spirit. Throughout last year you may have heard stories from WUSF's ongoing Art Populi series. In 2017 it was all about live, local music. Reporters Daylina Miller and Stephanie Colombini earned second place in the Florida AP Broadcasters Awards for Best Series/Franchise Reporting. Stephanie took us to a restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg that hosts a popular jazz jam every Monday night and introduced us to a quirky tribute band called the Florida Bjorkestra. In this week's show we hear Daylina Miller take us on an unconventional history tour of "death metal" music, a genre that got its start in Tampa. We hear Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham's powerful story about the "Violins of Hope," restored instruments that belonged to Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. Her piece won a Regional Edward R. Murrow award, as well as a Green Eyeshade award, Sunshine State award, and Florida AP Broadcasters award for Feature Reporting. WUSF listeners are probably familiar with our weekly University Beat segment. University Beat reporter Mark Schreiner did a story about the University of South Florida women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez celebrating his 300th career win. That piece won first place from the Florida AP Broadcasters for Sports Feature Reporting and a Second Place award from PRNDI. Reporter Bobbie O'Brien was honored for her work as part of the national American Homefront collaborative. The story, "An Unknown Future for Military Caregivers of Post-9/11 Veterans" won Second Place in PRNDI's Nationally Edited News Feature Category. Her story aired at local stations across the country as part of the collaborative led by WUNC in North Carolina. The piece also earned second place awards from the Florida AP Broadcasters and Society of Professional Journalists Florida chapter. Hear some of the reporters behind these stories talk about how the pieces came together on our podcast Florida Matters More.

Florida Matters Remembers WUSF's Carson Cooper

On Florida Matters, we remember our friend and colleague – and the stories he shared with all of us.

Florida Matters Remembers WUSF's Carson Cooper

Florida Matters: Craft Beer In Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay area is becoming a hub for craft beer both statewide and nationally, with the highest density of breweries in Florida. This week on Florida Matters, we talk with people who work in the industry about the craft beer phenomenon. We also visit a research farm in southern Hillsborough County where scientists are growing more than 14 strains of hops, a key ingredient in beer that is typically grown in places far from Tampa Bay - like the Pacific Northwest. Are you a fan of craft beer? What's your favorite kind to drink? Favorite brewery? Share your feedback on our Facebook page, tweet @FloridaMatters or email FloridaMatters@wusf.org. During this week's episode of our podcast Florida Matters More, we do a "Craft Beer 101" of sorts, and even sample a couple flavors! Listen to our discussion to learn more about the different kinds of beer and how major corporations can influence the craft scene.

Florida Matters: Pedestrian Safety

Walking or bicycling the streets of Tampa Bay can be a very dangerous way to get around. Why is that and what can be done about it? This week on Florida Matters, we talk about pedestrian and cyclist safety in our region and how to balance that with the needs of drivers. We also asked listeners to share their experiences as drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in the region. We hear some of those comments during the show. You can hear more conversation about traffic safety on our podcast Florida Matters More. Share your stories on our Facebook page, on Twitter or by emailing FloridaMatters@wusf.org.

Florida Matters: Art Museums in Tampa Bay

Besides its beautiful beaches, the Tampa Bay area boasts a rich collection of art museums — and it's growing. This week on Florida Matters we feature stories about museums and galleries in the region, part of WUSF's occasional Art Populi series. We visit the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, where an exhibit is highlighting some of the iconic jazz and civil rights photography of Herb Snitzer. We tour a display at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa called "Restricted" that shows off about 50 hidden gems from their collection of over 5000 pieces. We take a look at some new art destinations in downtown St. Petersburg like the Jamse Museum of Western and Wildlife Art that reflect a global trend of wealthy art collectors opening up their own institutions. We explore the region's glass art scene to find out why some in the business are dubbing this area the "Glass Coast." We also check out a new exhibit at the Dali Museum that showcases the real-world inspiration for Salvador Dali's surrealist painted landscapes in the form of black and white photos by Clyde Butcher, who is best known for his photos of the Florida Everglades and Big Cypress. Follow the links to each story to see photos and videos of the museums and exhibits we visit in our Art Populi series. You can hear some of the reporters behind the series talk more about the museums they covered on our podcast Florida Matters More. And we always like to hear from you. What are some of your favorite experiences with Tampa Bay's art museums? Share your stories on our Facebook page, on Twitter or by emailing FloridaMatters@wusf.org.

Florida Matters News Roundtable: The Latest In State Politics And Pulse Two Years Later

State politicians are jockeying for position before the August primaries. Pulse nightclub first responders are still struggling with PTSD more than two years after the mass shooting that killed 49 people. We take a deeper dive into these stories on this week's Florida Matters monthly news roundtable. We talk with Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya, who has been looking at PTSD in first responders as part of a special project for ProPublica. We also get the latest on some state and local political races from William March, veteran reporter and longtime correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times. You can hear William March provide more insight on Florida's political scene our podcast Florida Matters More.

Florida Matters News Roundtable: The Latest In State Politics And Pulse Two Years Later

Florida Matters: Life After The Parkland Shooting

Seniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland recently celebrated graduation, but they had to do so while still dealing with the trauma from the February mass shooting. This week on Florida Matters, we meet one of the graduates and hear about her life since the massacre. 18-year-old Leonor Muñoz was one of thousands of students and staff at the school who fled to safety while shooter Nikolas Cruz used an AR-15 to kill 17 people on Valentine's Day. At the request of member station WLRN in Miami, Leonor started recording her experiences in the weeks after the shooting and continued to do so leading up to her graduation. In addition to hearing Leonor's audio diary, we also speak with the reporter who produced it, WLRN's Sammy Mack, and her colleague Caitie Switalski, about how the Parkland community is moving forward. You can hear more conversation with the reporters on our podcast Florida Matters More.

Florida Matters: Life After The Parkland Shooting

Florida Matters: 2018 Hurricane Season

This week on Florida Matters we talk to weather experts and hear stories about how communities across the state are preparing for the 2018 hurricane season. The season kicked off on June 1, and scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict this year will be normal or above average with up to four major hurricanes. We hear meteorologist Jeff Huffman with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network talk with Max Mayfield, former director of the National Hurricane Center and current hurricane specialist for WPLG-TV in Miami. They recently sat down together at the National Tropical Weather Conference in South Padre Island, Texas. We remember those who died in a sweltering Broward County nursing home during a power outage in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Those deaths spurred the state legislature to pass new rules that require nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to have backup generators. Though the rules went into effect June 1, much of the industry is not in compliance. We visit a St. Petersburg facility to see what challenges they face in making sure vulnerable residents are safe in severe weather. We get tips about how residents can prepare for storms from Jacksonville-based meteorologist Angie Enyedi with the National Weather Service. She recently sat down with student journalists with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network at FPREN's weather center at WUFT in Gainesville. We learn about a push in South Florida after Irma to help neighbors help each other if another major storm makes landfall, particularly those living in low-income communities. We also visit Everglades City, which is still trying to piece itself back together more than eight months after Irma. We hear from a resident of the tight-knit fishing village who was deeply affected by the storm but is optimistic about the future. You can hear more conversation about the 2018 hurricane season on our podcast Florida Matters More. WUSF will keep you updated throughout the season with coverage of any storms that could impact our area. You can find the latest stories on our website. You can also share your hurricane prep tips on our Facebook page or by tweeting @FloridaMatters.

Florida Matters Re-Broadcast: Health Care Town Hall

While across the nation the cultural and political tug-of-war over health care rages on, locally, healers keep on healing. But providing care for people can get complicated when they don't have health insurance. Florida Matters recently hosted a panel discussion in front of a live audience at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg about caring for the uninsured. This week we take another listen to highlights from our conversation with experts and questions from the audience. Our panelists include: Jay Wolfson, Associate Vice President of USF Health and Senior Associate Dean of USF's Morsani College of Medicine. Dr. Ajoy Kumar, Medical Director of the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Chief Medical Officer of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and President of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians. Julio Ochoa, the editor of Health News Florida and producer of "Their Only Option," a special series on free clinics in the Tampa Bay area. If you're looking for a free clinic in your area you can check out this map on the Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics website. You can hear more conversation about free clinics and Health News Florida's "Their only Option" series on our podcast Florida Matters More.

Florida Matters Re-Broadcast: Health Care Town Hall

Back To Top