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.

Florida Matters Preview: Medical Marijuana

Oct 1, 2013
John Sajo

A group called United for Care is behind the push to get a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana on the 2014 Florida ballot. The group is chaired by Orlando attorney John Morgan, founder of the law firm Morgan & Morgan, who is bankrolling the campaign. 

    

This week on Florida Matters, WUSF’s Carson Cooper hosts a discussion on medical marijuana in Florida.

Joe Roberts

Tampa's downtown movie palace, The Tampa Theatre, has stood through boom times and depressions. The jewel still stands along Franklin Street. It has been there since 1926 and was the first commercial building in Tampa with air conditioning.  

Back then the movies were a novelty and people would line up, pay 10 cents to get in and then stand in an even longer line to await the departure of another patron.

Then they'd go inside to watch the movie, and stay until they reached the point at which the story began for them and leave. Apparently, this is where the term, "this is where I came in" comes from.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Take a non-competitive three mile run, add in a few microbrew beers (or wine, if that's your poison), mix in new friends, and you have the kind of fun night a number of Tampa Bay area bars and fitness stores are getting behind.

These "running social clubs" aren't really a "pub run," that kicked-up version of a pub crawl where participants run from bar to bar, but a weekly gathering of people with good health and socializing on their minds.


Exploring The Little Manatee River By Kayak

Sep 25, 2013
Katie O'Connor / Florida Matters

My wife, Katie, and I like our sightseeing a little bit adventurous.

We think one of the best ways to explore a new place is in a kayak.

It's one of the first things we did when we moved to Tampa two years ago.

We paddled down the Hillsborough River into the bay and made a pass by Derek Jeter's house.

We took a kayak out to visit the ruined Eberhard Faber pencil factory on a juniper-filled island near Cedar Key.

Looking at the Dalí Museum Through New Eyes

Sep 24, 2013
WUSF/Yoselis Ramos

When it comes to art, I have but a thimble of knowledge.

Dalia Colón / WUSF

Part of being a tourist is exploring the local dining scene.

In August, 99 food trucks paraded from downtown Tampa to the Florida State Fairgrounds, setting a new record for the world’s largest food truck rally. The old record belonged to Miami, with 64 trucks.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

How do young adults diagnosed with a form of autism describe themselves?

This week on Florida Matters, we meet Andrew Casey, 23, who interviewed his peers about their diagnosis and how they define themselves. And Andrew explains how he manages with Asperger's Syndrome which is on the autism spectrum.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

You may have heard what scientists and researchers say about autism, but what about the folks who are diagnosed with it? 

This week on Florida Matters, we meet Andrew Casey, who explains how he manages with Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum.

His step-mother, Danielle Casey, and Dr. Karen Berkman with the University of South Florida's Learning Academy also join Florida Matters host Carson Cooper.

Hunger Relief in Tampa Bay

Sep 10, 2013
Yoselis Ramos

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its Food Security in the United States report for 2012 and it revealed almost 15 percent of U.S. households are what it calls "food insecure."  

That means at some point during the year, members of those households did not have consistent access to adequate food for active healthy living.

The Mosaic Company recently hosted a hunger relief forum at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. In full disclosure, Mosaic is a business sponsor of WUSF Public Media.  

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Currently, there’s only one Florida Democrat actively campaigning for governor; Nan Rich joins WUSF this week for a special Newsmaker edition of Florida Matters.

The former state lawmaker and senate minority leader gives her assessment of Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s first term in office, which she likened to a dictatorship.

“The problem with his administration is that he believes he doesn’t have to talk to legislators,” Rich said.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Currently, there’s only one Florida Democrat actively campaigning for governor and she is accusing Republican Gov. Rick Scott of running the state like a dictator.

“The problem with his administration is that he believes he doesn’t have to talk to legislators,” former State Sen. Nan Rich said.

Watch as the south Florida Democrat tells Florida Matters her take on Scott and if she would cut taxes as governor.

Dalia Colón / WUSF

As Labor Day approaches, we're taking a look at the local labor market on this week's Florida Matters.

Of course, no matter what line of work you’re in, it all starts with landing that very first job.

Florida Matters: The St. Petersburg Pier, The Lens

Aug 20, 2013

The aging St. Petersburg Pier officially closed to the public on May 31st. The city of St. Petersburg plans to demolish it and replace it with a new pier, a design called the Lens. But not so fast, opponents of the Lens design gathered more than 20,000 signatures to force a referendum on whether or not to move ahead with those new plans. The vote is scheduled for Tuesday August 27th.

Obamacare Questions Answered on 'Florida Matters'

Aug 7, 2013
Lottie Watts / WUSF

We asked our readers to tell us what they thought was confusing about the Affordable Care Act, and you called, e-mailed and Facebooked us with questions. On Florida Matters, WUSF’s Craig Kopp sits down with attorney Linda Fleming of Carlton Fields; Julian Lago, the regional vice president of the National Association of Health Underwriters, and Health News Florida Editor Carol Gentry to help answer some of those questions. 

To listen to the complete show, visit the Florida Matters website

Brad Garner / Dept. of Veterans Affairs

It’s reportedly the largest wheelchair sporting event in the world and its coming to the Tampa Bay area July 13-18. It’s the 33rd annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

Medicaid Expansion and the Florida Legislature

May 15, 2013
Lottie Watts / WUSF

During the 2013 legislative session, Florida lawmakers were unable to agree on a plan to expand health care coverage for more low-income Floridians.  WUSF’s Carson Cooper talked to three state representatives about that issue for this week’s episode of Florida Matters. 

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