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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. Listen to the show on WUSF 89.7 Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 a.m.  It's also on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9 on Mondays at 10 p.m.

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On this week's podcast, Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talks to Steve Bousquet, Tallahassee bureau chief for the Tampa Bay Times, and Zac Anderson, political editor of the Sarasota Herald Tribune, about what changed -- and what didn't -- as a result of this year's legislative session.

Bousquet says the new law that generated the most passionate debate gives private school vouchers to kids who have been bullied so they can leave their public schools.

Gina Jodan/WLRN

This week on Florida Matters we're discussing the biggest takeaways from the state's 2018 legislative session.


Want to hear more about live music in the Tampa Bay area?

Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham sat down with Florida Matters producer Stephanie Colombini and WUSF reporter Daylina Miller and asked them about their experiences with and impressions of the local music scene.

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Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

The Tampa Bay area boasts some world class performing arts venues. But you don't have to pay big ticket prices to hear great music. As part of WUSF’s ongoing Art Populi series on live, local music, we visit a restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg where jazz reigns every Monday night.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

The deadly high school shooting in Parkland has people across the nation talking about how to make schools safer. Dozens of Tampa Bay residents and community leaders shared their thoughts on the issue at a recent town hall hosted by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists.

This week on Florida Matters we’ll hear highlights from the event.


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This week's Florida Matters features highlights from a recent town hall meeting in Tampa about school safety. The discussion took place in the wake of the school shootings at a high school in Parkland, and focused mainly on violence and gun control. 

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we'll hear highlights from a recent town hall on school violence. The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists hosted the event in Tampa's Seminole Heights in response to last month's school shooting in Parkland.


This week on Florida Matters we debate the pros and cons of online learning in high school with a panel of experts and with comments our listeners submitted about their experience with virtual education.


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This week on Florida Matters, we're talking about the fact that every public high school student in Florida must take an online class in order to graduate, but some students and parents say it's not a good fit for everyone. Should an online class really be mandatory? 

We continue the conversation on the podcast, with Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talking to the President and CEO of Florida Virtual School,  Dr. Jodi Marshall; Joanne Glenn, principal of Pasco County's eSchool; Carol Crawford, director of Club Z! In Home Tutoring Services; and Adam LeMee, Physics Teach-In-Residence for the University of Central Florida.

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All public high school students in the state of Florida are required to take at least one course that primarily involves online learning in order to graduate. But some critics say it's not a good fit for every student.


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On this week's podcast, we carry forward the conversation started at the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs about the connection between  international tourism and arts and culture in St. Petersburg. We hear about the Tampa airport's importance to the effort, and WUSF News Director Mary Shedden talks to Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham and producer Stephanie Colombini about the three new museums coming on line in St. Petersburg. Also, the meaning of "City of Green Benches" is explained.

 

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Florida Matters recently moderated a panel discussion at the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs called "Arts Mecca: International Cultural Tourism in the Sunshine City." We talked with experts about how to draw culture-lovers from around the world to the Tampa Bay area.

This week on Florida Matters we'll hear highlights from that conversation.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Florida Matters recently hosted a panel discussion in front of a live audience at the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs. We talked with experts about how the Tampa Bay Area is becoming a cultural mecca for international tourists.

We’ll hear highlights from that conversation on this week’s episode.


Florida Matters Wants To Hear From You

Feb 23, 2018
Pixabay

We're going to be discussing the pros and cons of online learning on an upcoming Florida Matters -- and we'd like to hear from you!

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After the horrific shooting at the Parkland high school, Florida Democrats have made gun control their political rallying cry. What will the fallout be -- in our schools and in our politics? Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talks to WUSF's Steve Newborn, Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald Tribune, and Florida Matters producer Stephanie Colombini. Plus, can the upset win by a Democrat in a Sarasota House seat be seen as a bellwether?

Parkland shooting photo: Leslie Ovalle, WLRN

This week on Florida Matters we’re hosting another edition of our monthly news roundtable.

We talk with a panel of journalists about some of the major news stories impacting our state, including last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead, a Democratic upset in a special election for Sarasota’s open state house seat, and the Tampa Bay Rays potential move to Ybor City.


Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our monthly news roundtable. We'll talk with a panel of journalists about some of the latest news stories impacting our state including last week's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

This is the Sunshine State, so doesn’t solar power make sense? Then why does it only make up a tiny fraction of Florida’s electricity output? 

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we’re taking another listen to our conversation about the promise and prognosis of solar power in the Sunshine State.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

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.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Florida Matters recently hosted a town hall event in St. Petersburg about providing health care to the uninsured. We'll hear highlights from the panel discussion and questions from the audience on this week's episode.


Andy Lalino / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we visit the office of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman to talk about his second term in office, which began about a month ago.


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Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham sits down with St. Petersburg, Florida, Mayor Rick Kriseman, who's starting his second term. Mayor Kriseman worries about the "crazy stuff" going on in the Florida House, whether cities like his may lose their home-rule authority to the state, and he poses the possibility of taking a ferry to work.

Andy Lalino

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is wrapping up the first month of his second term in office. This week on Florida Matters he'll talk about his goals for this term, and how he plans to unite a city that was divided during last year's bitter mayoral race.


The state’s lawmakers are hard at work in Tallahassee as the 2018 legislative session continues. This week on the latest edition of our monthly Florida Matters news roundtable series we’re talking about some of their priorities and how they could affect residents.


This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our monthly news roundtable. We'll talk about some of the big issues to keep an eye on as the state's 2018 legislative session progresses and we’ll also discuss some of the politics behind them.


Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

What’s The Solution? Delivering Health Care To Uninsured Floridians

For the past six months Health News Florida has told the stories of people without insurance who use free clinics throughout the Tampa Bay area. Now we’re inviting the community to take part in that conversation during a special taping of Florida Matters. Join us for a panel discussion on providing care to the uninsured.

WUSF reporter Bobbie O'Brien knows her ice hockey, and she joins Robin Sussingham and Stephanie Colombini of Florida Matters for this week's podcast. Bobbie has looked into whether Tampa has truly become a hockey town, and gives us her findings. Plus, the gross things drunk people do during the Gasparilla festival will probably not surprise you.


Tampa is going to be a rather busy city on the weekend of Jan. 27-28. The city will host the 2018 National Hockey League All-Star Game during one of Tampa's biggest annual events, Gasparilla Pirate Festival.


Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The National Hockey League is marking its 100th year by bringing the NHL All Star Game to Tampa Jan. 26-28, 2018. And the Tampa Bay Lightning is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

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