Florida Matters

Florida Matters tackles tough issues, highlights little-known stories from our part of the world, and provides a greater perspective of what it means to live in the Sunshine State. Join us each week as we journey across the state to explore the issues important to Floridians and cover the challenges facing our community and our state.

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Is it time for the Tampa Bay area to create express toll lanes to speed up urban traffic? Or is it a waste of taxpayer money and an affront to historic neighborhoods?

This week on Florida Matters we're talking about the transportation plan known as Tampa Bay Express, or TBX.

Scott Young

The disease called citrus greening has wreaked havoc on our state's most iconic industry. Florida is harvesting the smallest citrus crop in 52 years. 

State and federal dollars have been pouring into frantic efforts to save groves. Some of the efforts seem to be paying off. But is it too late for the small family farms?

Michael McArthur

The statistics are familiar; most startups don't make it. But job growth and innovation are the life blood of a thriving community. On Florida Matters, we discuss how to grow -- and keep -- successful entrepreneurs in Tampa Bay.

 

The Merriam-Webster definition of an entrepreneur is "a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money." They also must be willing to work hard and crazy hours, and give up the security of working for someone else. But the rewards can be substantial.

Tonight’s show includes the following guests:

 

Todd Bates

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 8 at 7:30 a.m.), we are taking another listen to our discussion about how to grow -- and keep -- successful entrepreneurs here in the Tampa Bay area.

The show includes a conversation WUSF’s Lisa Peakes had with Tonya Donati, the creator of the Mother Kombucha Warehouse in St. Petersburg. 

As 2016 winds down, we’re taking another listen to some of the best news stories we discussed on Florida Matters throughout the year.

As 2016 winds down, Florida Matters is taking a look back at some of the best news stories we discussed throughout the year.

Ileana Morales Valentine

Cookbooks can be both inspirational and useful, making them exceptionally good gifts, according to Tampa Bay Times cookbook reviewer Ileana Morales Valentine.

Krayl Funch

Sometimes when something is as universal, necessary and mundane as eating, it's hard to make "food" sound special. But not for the people on this Florida Matters.

WUSF has been talking to people who communicate their passion about food in particularly interesting ways. Food...as muse.

Our guests include:

Heather Anne Stalker

The holidays are a time to get together with the people you love. And good food and drink is always a part of that.

WUSF's Florida Matters considers "food as muse" this week. And we invited lifestyle blogger Krayl Funch of An Appealing Plan to share some ideas for the season.

Krayl recalls her first food specialty was chicken fingers, which she still loves today. And she draws inspiration from the women in her life who cooked, especially her mom.

Elisa Albo

On Florida Matters "Food as Muse," we're talking to people who communicate their passion about food in particularly interesting ways.

In this preview of the show, WUSF's Robin Sussingham talks to Elisa Albo, a poet and English professor at Broward College in Ft. Lauderdale. 

WUSF’s Robin Sussingham recently hosted “Our Jewish Communion: Religious Identity and Growing Up Jewish in Polk County” at Florida Southern College in Lakeland to discuss what it was like to come of age in a predominantly Christian region. This week on Florida Matters, we bring you highlights of the conversation.

The panel, which was organized by Florida Southern College Professor Catherine Eskin, includes:

Daylina Miller / WUSF

We explore how the 2016 presidential election was affected by social media, fake news and fact checking, and discuss the new face of journalism and its effect on our political system.

Daylina Miller / WUSF

On Florida Matters, we explore how the 2016 presidential election was affected by social media, fake news and fact checking.

In this preview of  the show, WUSF's Carson Cooper talks to Peter Schorsch, the publisher of SaintPetersblog.com and Sunburn; Josh Gillin of Politifact Florida; and USF Communications Professor Kelli Burns.

CHIP SOMODEVILLA / Getty Images

Florida helped propel Donald Trump to his historic presidential win. 

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Join us on WUSF 89.7 for a special, live Florida Matters show on election night, Tuesday.

We’ll have updates from our reporters in the field and commentary from experts in the studio.  And we also want to hear from you. We may share your comments on the air during Florida Matters or our live extended Decision Florida coverage throughout the night.

The I-4 corridor is considered vital to the presidential election -- the swing region in the swing state. Teaming up with NPR member station WMFE in Orlando, we're taking a trip down I-4, with a look at each county and its politics.

Oh, Florida! On the one hand, a white sands, warm winter paradise. On the other hand -- alligators, sinkholes, pythons, hurricanes...you get the idea! Author Craig Pittman explores the irony of the Sunshine State in his new book: "Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country."

Associated Press

The upcoming elections are widely viewed as pivotal for the direction of this state, and the country. People are concerned about issues like gun control,  education, or paying for their health care.

On today's show, we're shedding some light on the way that some of these concerns are playing out in Florida.
 

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

One of the most hotly contested races for Congress in the Tampa Bay area pits two well-known candidates: Former Gov. Charlie Crist and the incumbent, Congressman David Jolly. The two debated recently at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg.

In this excerpt from this week's Florida Matters, they were asked by an audience member what they would do to achieve meaningful campaign finance reform. First, we'll hear from the Democratic challenger, Crist.
 

Marc Haze / WUSF

It might be that big beautiful mural you pass on the way to work. Or the bike rack that looks like a sculpture.  Public art is all around us in Tampa Bay.

When you walk around your community, are you getting a sense of vibrancy and creativity? If so, that may be because you're experiencing "public art."

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