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28 minutes | May 3, 2017
Florida Matters: Libraries In The 21st Century
There was a time when the only place to get a book was to buy it from a store or borrow it from a library. Now in two clicks we can read it on an iPad. What’s the future role of libraries in today’s digital landscape?This week on Florida Matters we're talking to people who work in libraries about what might be in store for the future.Our guests include:Todd Chavez, Dean of Libraries for the University of South Florida.Ava Edhe, Services Manager for Manatee County Public Libraries. Edhe was recently named 2017 Librarian of the Year by the Florida Library Association.Mark Y. Herring, Dean of Library Services for Winthrop University and author of the book “Are Libraries Obsolete?: An Argument for Relevance in the Digital Age”We’ll also take a brief look into the past.
28 minutes | Apr 26, 2017
Florida Matters: LGBT Issues
The Trump administration says bathroom use policies regarding gender are best left at the local level, while state lawmakers are considering new workplace protections aimed at the LGBT community.This week on Florida Matters we’re talking about the latest policy debates surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in Florida.Our guests include:Mark Puskarich, Development Officer with Equality FloridaNathan Bruemmer, Board Member with TransAction Florida and Stetson University College of Law studentRoberto Chavarry, employment expert and instructor in the Information Systems Sciences Department at USF's Muma College of BusinessBridget Ziegler, Vice Chair of the Sarasota County School Board, District 1
28 minutes | Apr 19, 2017
Florida Matters Town Hall: Food Insecurity In Polk County
Polk County is a place of so many contradictions. It's the home of beautiful lakes, charming downtowns and historic landmarks. But this birthplace of several of Florida's governors, was also named by one recent study as having the country's second largest percentage of people struggling to avoid hunger.We hosted a town hall on this issue on April 17 at Florida Southern College’s Annie Pfeiffer Chapel. Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talked to people who are on the front lines of this fight against hunger and deprivation about what they've learned, and we also held a Q&A with our audience of about 80 people.This week on Florida Matters, we listen to highlights from our town hall on food insecurity in Polk County.Our panelists include:Patricia Strickland, Executive Director of KidsPACK, which provides food for students to take home on the weekends.Whitney Fung, a doctoral student at USF's College of Public Health. Whitney was previously an agent with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Program in Bartow.Steve Turbeville, President and CEO of Lighthouse Ministries, a faith-based shelter in Lakeland that offers comprehensive services to the needy, and also distributes food boxes to area churches.We also learn about some non-profits in Polk that are taking creative steps to alleviate hunger. Florida Matters reporter Julio Ochoa explains that some of the things they've learned are surprising.
28 minutes | Apr 12, 2017
Florida Matters: The Phosphate Industry
Phosphate mining and production takes a heavy toll on the state's environment. But the industry also plays a key role in Florida's economy. This week on Florida Matters we’re exploring what phosphate contributes to the state, and at what price.Our guests include: Tip Fowler, CEO of JDC PhosphateDr. Steven Richardson, Reclamation Research Director with the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research InstituteBill Lambert, Economic Development Director of Hardee County
28 minutes | Apr 5, 2017
Florida Matters Re-Broadcast: Self-Driving Cars
Self-driving cars – are they the road to the future or pie in the sky? This week on Florida Matters we’re talking about the promise and the perils of automated vehicles.You may not have noticed, but Florida has become a hotbed for driverless car technology. The self-driving vehicle is quickly moving from the Jetsons to a road near you!Our guests include:State Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg). Senator Brandes has introduced laws that have made Florida the most welcoming place for self-driving cars in the country.Paul Steinman, District Seven Secretary with the Florida Department of Transportation. He represents five counties with nearly three million residents in the Tampa Bay Area.Nidhi Kalra, senior information scientist with the RAND Corp. Kalra recently co-led a study on policy guidelines for autonomous vehicles.Florida Matters’ Robin Sussingham also takes a trip to Florida Polytechnic University, where students are only a few weeks into a brand new class that teaches the basics of building an autonomous vehicle.
28 minutes | Mar 29, 2017
Florida Matters Re-Broadcast: The Fight To Save Florida Citrus
The disease called citrus greening has wreaked havoc on our state's most iconic industry. Florida is harvesting the smallest citrus crop in 52 years.State and federal dollars have been pouring into frantic efforts to save groves. Some of the efforts seem to be paying off. But is it too late for the small family farms?This week on Florida Matters we revisit a discussion on the breathtaking decline in Florida's citrus industry, and learn about new farming methods and research that show promise for the industry’s future.Our guests include: Michael Sparks, CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, a cooperative that represents the interests of the state's citrus growers. Sparks was recently inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame.Dr. Harold Browning, COO of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, the organization that has oversight over greening research efforts.Scott Young, a citrus grower in Alturas. He's the third generation that has worked in the citrus business in his family. Young is also a Polk County Farm Bureau board member.
28 minutes | Mar 22, 2017
Florida Matters: PriceCheck Stories
In 1930, a mother in Kansas spent ten days in the hospital to deliver her baby. Total bill? $66. Well the cost of health care has gone up quite a bit since then -- how can you know how much many medical procedures cost these days?Health News Florida has PriceCheck, an online tool to help you compare costs of common health procedures. This week on Florida Matters we're featuring people who shared their own frustrations and sticker shock!We hear from a St. Petersburg resident who tried to shop around for a CT scan, but it didn't quite work out. Another man from Clearwater should have shopped around for the price of an echocardiogram, but didn't.One woman from the Miami area got a nasty shock from a steep ambulance bill she never expected. And a Medicare patient from Pinellas Park was suffering from back pain, but that’s not the only pain she felt.Do these billing fiascoes sound familiar? Share your story with us or enter your information into the PriceCheck database.Our panel includes:Julio Ochoa, editor of Health News FloridaStephanie Colombini, reporter for Health News Florida and producer of Florida MattersJeanne Pinder, creator of PriceCheck and founder and CEO of Clear Health Costs
28 minutes | Mar 14, 2017
Florida Matters: Restoring The Everglades
The Everglades, Florida’s vast fresh water system that starts near Orlando and meanders South, is in trouble.For years environmental advocates and sugar growers have clashed over how to restore the "River of Grass." And billions of dollars in projects to do just that aren’t going anywhere.Reporters from fellow Florida Public Radio stations, WMFE in Orlando and WLRN in Miami, have been digging into the problems and solutions surrounding the Everglades.This week on Florida Matters we hear stories from their series: River of Grass, Dying of Thirst. We also hear about some of the politics behind Everglades restoration from William "Windy" March, political columnist with the Tampa Bay Times.
28 minutes | Mar 7, 2017
Florida Matters: 2017 State of the State
Governor Rick Scott kicked off Florida's 2017 legislative session with his annual State of the State address. This week on Florida Matters we're re-broadcasting portions of the governor's speech, which aired live on WUSF 89.7.Some highlights include Governor Scott's defense of the state's economic development and tourism arms -- Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida -- and his call for more tax cuts.We also hear a Democratic response to the address from Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon of Miami.What did you think of Governor Scott's address? Share your thoughts in the comments section, on Twitter or on our Facebook page.
28 minutes | Feb 28, 2017
Florida Matters: 2017 Legislative Preview
The azaleas are in bloom -- that means the legislative session in Tallahassee is just around the corner. What’s likely to happen, and how will it affect you?This week on Florida Matters we’re exploring some proposals lawmakers are considering this session, and talking about the politics behind it all.We take an in-depth look at the Florida Senate’s plan to bring sweeping changes to the state’s higher education system, known as the “Florida Excellence in Higher Education” Act.We consider the potential effects of a bill that would repeal the state’s “Certificate of Need” law, which requires communities to get permission from regulators before they can open a new hospital or nursing home.We learn about a bill that would set standards for how to swiftly notify the public about pollution, an issue that’s familiar to the Tampa Bay Area.Our guest is William “Windy” March, political columnist for the Tampa Bay Times. We hear what he thinks are some of the major issues this year which include, among others, abortion rights, gun laws and the state budget.Tune in to WUSF 89.7 Tuesday March 7 for our live coverage of Governor Rick Scott’s State of the State address. It’s expected to start at 11 a.m.Starting March 13, Florida Public Radio stations will be highlighting key issues for the legislative session with stories and Facebook Live streams each day of the week.
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