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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.

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.

Katie O'Connor

 

We're taking another listen to some of our most memorable stories of 2013.

How Many Ways Can You Cook Kale? Sweetwater Knows

Dec 13, 2013
Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

What do freshly harvested salad greens, university accounting majors and weekly loads of manure from the local zoo have in common?

They are all integral parts of the community created around Sweetwater Organic Community Farm.

Nestled along the banks of Sweetwater Creek in Tampa’s Town & Country neighborhood, the main farm or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) was founded by Rick Martinez almost two decades ago.

John O'Connor

You may know Taco Bus for its street food standards with recipes direct from Mexico.

Or, you may know them from their frequent appearances on the Food Network, Travel Channel or Cooking Channel.

Owner Rene Valenzeula says he fine with either.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

When you say "wine," most people immediately think of California or France, but very seldom do they think of Florida.

And when you do say "Florida wine," most people picture orange wine or some other fruit-heavy concoction - that is if they even realize wine is made in the Sunshine State!

Florida Matters: Adoptions in Florida

Dec 3, 2013
Tammy Curtis

When a 15-year-old foster kid in St. Petersburg appeared before a church congregation last month, pleading for someone to adopt him, tens of thousands of folks responded. In spite of that, there are hundreds of kids who are not making headlines and still are waiting for that call.

Age, Ethnicity No Matter in Adoption

Dec 3, 2013
Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

Fred Ley, 50, and his wife, Laura, 35, just recently adopted an infant.  Ley himself was adopted as an infant by a 50-year-old woman.

Ley is Mexican. His wife is white and their adopted baby girl, Daisy, is half Filipino and half Korean.

We talked with Ley about what it means to bring together a multi-racial family, what it is like to be raised by a 50-year-old single parent, and how his upbringing influences his recent adoption of an infant.

Florida has rejected an offer of more than $50 billion over 10 years from the federal government to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. So the question remains: how will health care be funded for more than a million low-income Floridians? This week on Florida Matters,  a panel discussion that was held last week at Stetson University College of Law to discuss the options. It was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative. 

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.

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.

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