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Florida Matters

Cathy Carter/WUSF

One of the oldest continuously operated attractions in Florida is an 11-acre oasis just minutes away from a busy strip mall.

At Sarasota Jungle Gardens, visitors can feed flamingos, stroll under a canopy of lush foliage and even see the occasional unicycle-riding cockatoo.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

With growing concerns about pesticides and where our food comes from, more people are growing their own produce right in their own yard.

This "edible landscaping" has become the basis for some businesses.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Imagine a baseball park that is free and open to the public when no games are scheduled. Imagine real grass but with a roof to shield you from Florida’s frequent rain storms.

Those are just a few of the ideas and innovations Tampa Bay Rays President Brian Auld has in mind for a new stadium no matter where it gets built.

Tropical System Threatening Florida

Jun 3, 2016

Ready or not, a tropical system could threaten Florida as early as Monday. Whether it has a name or not, heavy rain and flooding will be the biggest potential hazards. The panhandle is likely to be spared, but much of the peninsula could be soaked by several inches of rain over a two-day period starting Monday. If the system strengthens into a formidable tropical storm, minor wind damage and coastal flooding will also be possible somewhere from the Nature Coast to the Florida Keys.

Daylina Miller/WUSF / WUSF

Telling Tampa Bay Stories is a new project from WUSF News, where our journalists will be visiting some of the region’s lesser-known spots -- to record stories from members of those communities.

We featured some of those stories this week on Florida Matters.

AP

On an upcoming Florida Matters, we're discussing the Florida primary. 

Who has your vote and why? Share your thoughts with us, and we may use your comments on the air. 

Robin Sussingham / WUSF News

As 2015 comes to a close, we are taking a look back at some of the discussions we brought you throughout the year.

Daylina Miller

How are people consuming news these days -- and how is that changing?

We recently welcomed an audience from Leadership Tampa into our studio for a taping of a Florida Matters discussion on media trends with Tampa Bay Business Journal special projects director Chris Wilkerson and USF Tampa journalism professor Wayne Garcia.

A Palm Beach County philanthropist is making good on her promise to herself to share the story of the nation's disabled veterans with as many people possible.

You can be a part of our audience for a special Florida Matters town hall featuring a panel discussion and preview of the new Ric Burns film “Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History.”

Steve Newborn / WUSF

In 2013, Florida had more new cases of HIV than anywhere else in the nation. When it comes to the presence of HIV in Florida, the state’s six largest metropolitan areas could be states unto themselves.

M.S. Butler

When it comes to children, the definition of homeless includes more children than you may think.

Under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act children and youth who "lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence are considered homeless." That means children who are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds -- or doubled-up with relatives or friends  --are homeless, as well as those who stay in shelters, on the street or in abandoned buildings.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF News

Same-sex couples have been able to marry in Florida since Jan. 6, 2015. On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide. What are the impacts of this ruling on Florida’s same-sex couples? And what questions are they asking as they consider tying the knot?

Thirty years ago, a HIV-positive diagnosis was a death sentence, and gay men and IV-drug users were most likely to get infected.

Today, the demographics of infection have changed a lot, and advancements in drug treatment that make HIV a "chronic disease" have created a new set of problems.

Jeff Houck / Locale Market

Canned tuna, boxed apple juice, peanut butter crackers. What’s in your hurricane supply of non-perishable food?

Emergency response experts suggest that families have food and water to last from three to seven days.

But who wants to eat seven days of canned chili?

Steve Newborn / WUSF

On April 5, WUSF-TV will air the first part of the new Ken Burns’ documentary “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.”  

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

For Thanksgiving  week -- Florida Matters takes a look at food, family and cooking traditions.

Reporter Bobbie O’Brien has an Irish heritage among other ancestors.

Her husband is 100 percent French Canadian. And marrying into his clan meant that she learned how to make the traditional French Canadian meat pie, tourtiere, from a family recipe that had been passed down for generations.

She makes the traditional pie for our listeners and shares a few of their family stories and recipe secrets along the way.

Yoselis Ramos / WUSF Public Media

Thanksgiving at my house means waking up to Latin music blasting through the speakers as mom starts the day's cleaning and of course, the smell of the pork shoulder seasoned in adobo, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and sazón, coming from the kitchen. My grandma, Teresa Rodriguez, who has always been just "Abu" to me, starts the cooking early in the morning.

The pork shoulder sat in the oven at 350 degrees for six hours. And Abu told me, the secret to getting a crispy skin, what we call, el cuero, is done by spreading salt over the top.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Beyond the battlefield and the barracks, some of Florida’s 1.5 million veterans have had trouble transitioning to civilian life. Yet, there are signs that poetry, art and performance are helping veterans adjust.

With Veterans’ Day approaching, we bring you their stories this week in a special edition of Florida Matters.

Bay News 9

Florida's candidates for Attorney General met for their first and only debate earlier this month in the studios of Bay News 9.

We will bring you the highlights of the debate, co-moderated by the Tampa Bay Times, this week on Florida Matters on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 26  at 7:30 a.m. on WUSF 89.7 FM.

Florida Matters Preview: A Look at Aging in Place

Sep 16, 2014
Yoselis Ramos

Mildred Barnett of Tampa says she once saw a picture with three faces: one of a baby, one of a woman and one of an older lady.

"And it says, ‘the sunrise is as beautiful as the sunset,’ and with proper planning, it most certainly can be," she said.

Barnett is a VA geriatric psychiatrist who recently remodeled her home to accommodate her 81-year-old mother. 

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. 


Florida Matters: Choosing The Next FCAT

Mar 11, 2014
biologycorner / Flickr

Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart is expected to recommend a test to (mostly) replace the FCAT later this month.

A new test is needed because Florida is finishing the switch to new K-12 math, language arts and literacy standards this fall. The standards are largely based on Common Core standards fully adopted by 44 other states and the District of Columbia.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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