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.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

It's been said that in Florida, any building that's more than 30 years old is well, old, and worthy of being torn down for something new and shiny. That mindset has changed somewhat in recent years, and we take a tour of one historic neighborhood that's coming back to life.
 

A handful of architects and preservationists took a break from the recent Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Conference to take a bus ride around Tampa Heights and Ybor City.

State lawmakers ended this year's 60-day legislative session by passing a record $77.1 billion budget, along with laws that deal with everything from immigrant tuition to medical marijuana.

We take a look at what lawmakers did and did not do on Florida Matters tonight at 6:30 p.m. on WUSF 89.7 FM. 

Our panel includes state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, state Rep. Mark Danish, D-Tampa, and senior political reporter William March of The Tampa Tribune.

SunRail Challenge: Changing the Psychology of Commuters

May 6, 2014
Carmel Delshad / WMFE

This November, voters in Pinellas County will decide whether or not to raise the county's sales tax to 8 percent -- the highest in the state -- to fund Greenlight Pinellas.  That's the transit plan that would expand bus service and help build a light rail connecting Clearwater and St. Petersburg.

The Suncoast Tiger Bay Club recently hosted a debate over the transit plan, and we'll take you there on Florida Matters Tuesday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 11 at 7:30 a.m. on WUSF 89.7 FM.

Transit is changing in other parts of Florida, and we take a look at the first phase of SunRail, which opened this month in Orlando. 


Lottie Watts / WUSF

Florida Matters host Carson Cooper literally took your questions with him when he sat down this morning with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman at City Hall to talk about the mayor's first 100 days in office.

For an upcoming Florida Matters, we gathered your questions and comments for the mayor, loaded the audio files on a laptop and played them for the mayor during the interview. 

How Tampa Landed the Bollywood Oscars

Apr 8, 2014
Steve Newborn / WUSF

The International Indian Film Academy's 15th annual awards takes place April 24-26 at various spots around the Tampa Bay area.

The event is held in a different country each year, and this is the first time the Bollywood Oscars will be held in the United States. It's expected to draw 800 million TV viewers from around the world.

It has been about 100 days since Rick Kriseman was sworn in as mayor of St. Petersburg.   For an upcoming Florida Matters, we will sit down with the mayor to talk about his first few months in office.   We want to know what questions you think we should ask. Post a comment, send an email to FloridaMatters@wusf.org or call and leave us a voicemail  at 813-974-8652.  

Kate Barth

In a Florida Matters show first aired Tuesday night on WUSF 89.7 FM, a panel of experts answers reader and listener questions about the Affordable Care Act.

10 Ways to Celebrate Veterans Day

Mar 27, 2014

Have you missed the Veterans’ Day parade or the ceremony at your local VA National Cemetery?

Well, there’s still time to show your appreciation for the men and women who have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces. Here are a few suggestions you can practice year-round:

In a Florida Matters show first aired Tuesday night on WUSF 89.7 FM, a panel of experts answers reader and listener questions about the Affordable Care Act.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

Florida Gov. Rick Scott delivered his annual State of the State address to kick off the 60-day legislative session Tuesday morning.

Our special coverage included analysis by StateImpact Florida reporter John O'Connor and senior political writer William March of the Tampa Tribune.

We will re-air portions of Scott's speech and the Democratic responses on Florida Matters this week on Tuesday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 9 at 7:30 a.m. on WUSF 89.7 FM.

Florida Matters: 2014 Legislative Preview

Feb 25, 2014
Michael Rivera

Before the Florida legislative session starts March 4, Florida Matters is previewing some of the issues facing lawmakers this year:

Lottie Watts

The late C.W. "Bill" Young served in Congress for more than four decades. A special election will be held March 11 to decide who will replace him.

Democrat Alex Sink is running against Republican David Jolly and Libertarian Lucas Overby to fill the open seat in 13th Congressional District, which covers most of Pinellas County.

Sink is Florida's former Chief Financial Officer. She lost in the last race for governor to Rick Scott. She recently moved from her home in Hillsborough County to Pinellas County.

Lottie Watts

The late C.W. "Bill" Young served in Congress for more than four decades. A special election will be held March 11 to decide who will replace him.

Republican David Jolly is running against Democrat Alex Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby to fill the open seat in 13th Congressional District, which covers most of Pinellas County.

Jolly spent most of his career working for Congressman Young, most recently as his general counsel. Jolly has also has worked as a consultant, lawyer and lobbyist.

Florida Matters: Planning for Long-Term Care

Feb 5, 2014

Baby boomers have seen it coming for quite some time -- retirement, senior living and senior survival. 

Experts say most of us begin planning too late for the help we might need as we get older.

On Florida Matters this week, we take a look at long-term care, including costs, legal issues and how you can start the conversation with your loved ones. 

Experts say most of us begin planning too late for the help we might need as we get older. 

On Florida Matters this week, we take a look at long-term care, including costs, legal issues and how you can start the conversation with your loved ones. 

Elder law attorney Emma Hemness tells WUSF's Carson Cooper few middle class people can afford long-term care.

Florida Matters: Income Inequality

Jan 28, 2014
Lottie Watts / WUSF

Democrats and Republicans have been going back and forth over income inequality for years and years. 

President Obama brought up income inequality, also known as the gap between the rich and the poor, during his State of the Union address.

Dalia Colón / WUSF

Victor "Joseph" Doxa was a successful businessman with a six-figure salary and 7,000-square-foot home.

Then came the Great Recession.

Florida Matters: StoryCorps in St. Petersburg

Jan 21, 2014
Lottie Watts / WUSF

In January, StoryCorps is recording the oral history of people in its MobileBooth, parked in front of the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. 

In this episode of Florida Matters, we will hear excerpts of some of the conversations that have been recorded so far.

Jihad Saadeh

Last April, Florida Matters brought you the story of University of South Florida student Noor Shakfeh, a Syrian-American who spent her spring break aiding Syrian refugees on the Syrian-Turkey border.

Florida Matters – guest host Bobbie O’Brien talks with Shakfeh and her cousin who has been granted political asylum in the U.S. and is living in Florida.

The following audio is a portion of WUSF's weekly public affairs program Florida Matters, which first aired January 14, 2014. Florida Matters guest host Bobbie O’Brien talks with a Syrian refugee who was granted political asylum in the U.S. and is living in Florida.

Mazen Jasem Al Mahmoud,30, shares what life was like in Syria before the revolution started, his surreal experience attending his first protest and then details of being detained and tortured several times by the al-Assad government.

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