© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

We look back at the best Florida Matters conversations of 2021

Two men, wearing hats, talk while sitting on the ground next to a tree.
Steve Newborn
Brian Kelly, left, and Carlton Ward Jr. at Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area west of Lake Okeechobee. They are both featured in the April issue of National Geographic magazine for their work with Florida's panthers.

Excerpts from four episodes are featured in our recap, ranging from topics like the redevelopment of Tropicana Field to mental health during a pandemic.

This week on Florida Matters, we look back at some of our best conversations of 2021.

We are featuring excerpts from four episodes.

First, we hear from Gwen Reese and former host Bradley George in a March episode on the redevelopment of St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field. Reese is a former resident of the Gas Plant neighborhood that was destroyed to make way for the ballpark.

We also hear from Carlton Ward and Brain Kelly, who were interviewed by host Steve Newborn in April at Fisheating Creek in rural South Florida. Ward is a Tampa-based wildlife photographer and Kelly is a panther biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. They were both featured in the April edition of National Geographic magazine.

Then George speaks with LGBTQ activist and Pasco Pride president Nina Borders.

On June 1 — the first day of Pride Month — Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that prohibits transgender athletes from playing on high school and college sports teams. LGBTQ activists view the law as another setback during a year when many states passed similar legislation targeting transgender people.

Lastly, Newborn and Clara Reynolds, CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa bay, discussed the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health issues in November. We first heard from Reynolds in the summer of 2021, but she says people continue feeling the long-term effects of isolation, job loss and more.

You can listen to all the conversation excerpts by clicking on the “Listen” button. Or you can listen on the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

Hi there! I’m Dinorah Prevost and I’m the producer of Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show. That basically means that I plan, record and edit the interviews we feature on the show.
Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.