Podcasts: More Stories That Matter Archive

Manatee County Phosphate Mine Expansion Up For Vote
A plan to more than double the size of a phosphate mine in Manatee County comes before county commissioners Thursday. WUSF takes us on a tour of the mine - and talks to an environmentalist whose group opposes it.
30 People Evacuated From Flooding At Largo Trailer Park
The heavy rain that came with Tropical Storm Colin led to the voluntary evacuation of some residents in a Largo mobile home park Tuesday morning.
Saving Right Whales From 1,000 Feet Above
The federal government just announced it's expanding protected habitat for endangered North Atlantic right whales along the Atlantic Coast. It's the latest attempt to protect these gentle creatures, which were almost hunted to extinction by the early 20th Century. For several years, spotter planes have flown off the coasts of Florida and Georgia - to alert boaters to steer clear of them. WUSF's Steve Newborn recently flew with a Florida-based crew off Georgia's coast to help protect the most endangered of all whales.
Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera On Why He Wants To Be Florida's Next Senator
Florida Lt. Governor Carlos López-Cantera is one of four Republicans running to replace Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate. The son of Cuban refugees, he served as Florida's House Majority Leader before being tapped to his current post by Florida Governor Rick Scott in 2014. WUSF's Steve Newborn caught up with Lopez-Cantera at the recent Hillsborough County GOP's Lincoln 2016 Red Ball in Tampa, where the candidate highlighted how he’s different from the other candidates.
GOP Senate Candidates Brandish Conservative Credentials
The four Republican candidates for U.S. Senate were the main event Saturday night at the Hillsborough Republican Party's Lincoln 2016 Red Ball. Congressman David Jolly of Dunedin; Congressman Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach; Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami; and businessman Todd Wilcox of Orlando are vying to succeed first-term Sen. Marco Rubio, who himself is trying to succeed President Barack Obama in the White House. Each spoke to the crowd of about 550 people at the Tampa Convention Center, brandishing their conservative bonafides
Former Israeli P.M.: Obama Has 'Closest-Ever' Relationship With Israeli Intelligence
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak spoke Monday night at a meeting of the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. He says that the deal to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons should last for at least five years - but after that, it's anyone's guess. Before the event, he sat down with WUSF's Steve Newborn, and spoke about the U.S. helping Israel develop the capability to bomb Iraq's nuclear facilities - if it's needed.
Identity A Challenge For Latinas Who Are Black
When people think of famous Latina women, Jennifer Lopez or Sofia Vergara come to mind. Not Zoe Saldana or Rosario Dawson. The difference between these pairs of Latina actresses isn't one of talent or fame. Saldana and Dawson also happen to identify as Black - a reality some Tampa-area Afro-Latinas say is difficult to navigate.
Great Russian Nutcracker Incorporates Local Kids
The day after Christmas, audiences will see a different kind of nutcracker at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. The Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker," includes sets designed by an Academy Award winner and hand-crafted costumes. Another distinction for this show is community involvement. More than 100 local children will be dancing with the professional dancers in this "Nutcracker."
Great Russian Nutcracker Incorporates Local Kids
The day after Christmas, audiences will see a different kind of nutcracker at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. The Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker," includes sets designed by an Academy Award winner and hand-crafted costumes. Another distinction for this show is community involvement. More than 100 local children will be dancing with the professional dancers in this "Nutcracker."
Caviar 'Farm of the Future' Grows Amidst Cow Pastures
The newest food gracing high-end retail stores comes from an area known more for cattle ranches and citrus groves than sturgeon. We go to an experimental farm far inland from the Gulf of Mexico, where a treat many of us have never tasted is being raised - caviar.
Experimental Farm Could be the Future for Fish, Veggies
That fish gracing your dinner table now is either caught in the wild - or raised in offshore cages. But with demand growing, researchers are looking for new alternatives to raise food. We take a tour of an experimental farm run by Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota. There, fish and vegetables are being grown using fish waste - far inland from the Gulf of Mexico.
Creativity In The 'PINC' Coming To Sarasota
Sarasota this week is hosting an out-of-the-ordinary symposium that has its roots in the Netherlands. This is the second year the city has hosted the Amercian version of the PINC Conference, a symposium that's brought together creative types in the Netherlands the past 16 years. Think of it as a European version of TED Talks, with a twist. Sixteen speakers will be featured at the second conference of PINC, which stands for People, Ideas, Nature and Creativity. They range from a BMW executive who focus on how the car brand cars sound, to natural history filmmakers to a scientist who created what's called The Cloud Appreciation Society. WUSF's Lisa Peakes spoke with Anand Pallegar, director of PINC USA, about how the program's blending of arts, science and even food together changes the way people see the world.
Global Warming Has Florida in its Sights
As the international forum on climate change heats up in Paris this week, it's placing a spotlight on places such as Florida - which could be Ground Zero for rising sea levels in the United States. One computer model has the Florida Keys completely under water in a little over a century - if greenhouse-causing carbon emissions aren't curtailed. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks about the implications for Florida with Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the University of Florida. Payne recalls one night in September during a blue moon, when a severe high tide nearly took out the seawall of his home in Cedar Key.
Study of Effects of Oil on Fish Begins at Mote Marine Laboratory
The next phase in a multi-year study to look at the effect oil has on fish will begin Wednesday at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with two scientists who are involved in the study, Dana Wetzel of Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota and Ben Prueitt of the C-IMAGE research consortium. It could have lasting impacts on our knowledge of how oil and dispersants used during the BP spill affects life in the Gulf of Mexico.
Cuba And Old Havana: 'Expect The Unexpected'
The easing of travel restrictions to Cuba could unleash a torrent of 'Yanqui' tourists, something that has the potential to transform a poor island that is rich in history, architecture and natural beauty. WUSF's Steve Newborn visited Cuba with Sarasota-based Sea to Shore Alliance before the United States embassy reopened. He takes us on a tour of Old Havana and sees what is being done to prepare for a possible influx of newcomers.
Tampa Bay Seagrasses Rebound to 1950 Levels
There's good news on at least one environmental front in Florida. Water flowing into Tampa Bay has been cleaned up so much in recent decades that seagrasses there now rivals the numbers found in the 1950s. On Friday, Oct. 16, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program will host a celebration on Picnic Island in Tampa. WUSF's Steve Newborn asks program executive director Holly Greening if she's surprised by this progress.
Ringling International Arts Fest Showcases Asian Performers
You might not want to ask The Ringling International Arts Festival Curator Dwight Currie how many mountains he had to move to make this year's RIAF happen. This year, ahead of the Ringling's opening of its Asian Arts and Cultural Center, the focus of the festival is Asian artists. "Because of the artists we select, they are not always on tour. But in the case of Tao Dance Theater... they will come to us in the middle of a four-continent, I think 14 nation, 20-city tour. So they're out there, they're on the road, but when travel problems present themselves, with issues with visas, and schedules and documentation, sometimes it takes a little time to find out where they are." Phare, the Cambodian Circus will make its U.S. debut and have its only performance in the country at the Ringling Festival, which gets underway Thursday, Oct. 15th. And Tom Lee's Shank's Mare, which is having its previews at RIAF, will have its world premiere at La Mama in New York next month.
A Chat with Al Cardenas on the No Labels Problem Solver Convention
No Labels, a bipartisan group working to break the grip of party politics in Washington, D.C., is holding its "Problem Solver Convention" today in New Hampshire. Eight presidential candidates from both parties are taking part in a Town Hall-style meeting. No Labels was formed five years ago. Member Al Cardenas served two terms as head of Florida's Republican Party. Speaking from New Hampshire, he says the group includes Democrats, Republicans and Independents trying to tackle the nation's challenges.
Bird Nesting Island in Tampa Bay to Be Preserved Forever
Four environmental groups recently sued the state over Amendment One, which overwhelmingly was passed by voters last year. They claim state officials are diverting money that should go into the state’s conservation land-buying fund. So other groups are trying to fill the gap. Recently, one of the most productive bird nesting islands in Tampa Bay was bought by the Audubon Society. WUSF takes us on a trip to Little Bird Key, and tells us why the group is trying to raise money to pay for it.
9/11 Photographer Captures Intimate Moments of Attack's Aftermath
It's been 14 years since we were glued to the television, watching those riveting images of planes flying into the World Trade Center, and the towers collapsing into dust. One photographer living near Boston at the time was troubled by those repeating images, and drove to Manhattan to capture what he says is the human toll of the attacks.
My Time In Cannes
The Cannes Film Festival that takes place in the south of France, is touted as one of the world's most prestigious film venues. WUSF's Quincy Walters screened a short film there. He wasn't so thrilled at first, but - as he tells us - he had a change of heart.
St. Pete Free Clinic Builds New Women's Facility
Construction has started on a new building that will house up to 50 women. Smith, who currently works at the Clinic, will be working as an intake coordinator--helping to determine which women are best suited for the women's program. Now, there's only room for 20 women. Even with the expansion, they can only house a fraction of the nearly 1800 homeless women who request help every year.
From Phosphate Mine to Golf Resort: Streamsong
In remote central Florida, land turned inside out by phosphate mining has been transformed yet again -- this time as an upscale golf resort that's getting a lot of attention in the golfing world. The thousands of acres of Mosaic land that makes up Streamsong may be depleted of phosphate -- but it's rich in something invaluable in the golf business. Sand.
New Exhibit Takes Museum-Goers Back...Yard
The 1950's marked the birth of Levittown, TV dinners, and kitchen automation--not to mention about 3.8 million babies per year. Another innovation that gained popularity in this decade was the backyard as we know it. That's the topic of newest exhibit at the Tampa Bay History Center, "Patios, Pools and the Invention of the Backyard." It features six displays that bring viewers to the back lawn of the 1950’s through pictures, drawings and ads.
Susan MacManus: Jeb's Announcement Will Expose 'Generational Divide' in GOP
Former Gov. Jeb Bush made his long-awaited announcement Monday that he's running for president. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with University of South Florida political science professor Susan MacManus about how Bush will fare in his home state, against another favorite son and candidate, Marco Rubio.
Tampa Champion Returns To GRID
he second season of a professional sport called “GRID” begins Saturday. It features 5 men and 5 women performing various fitness moves on a 4 quadrant grid. One of the athletes must be over 40. Last year’s Most Valuable Player was 29 year old Taylar Stallings.
Giving Cuban Manatees a Fighting Chance
Most Floridians see manatees as cute, roly-poly animals that hang out in crowded springs and get too close to boats. Travel south a bit - to Cuba - and their plight is very different. There, the animals often end up as somebody's dinner. WUSF recently traveled with a Sarasota-based conservation group to the island, where their groundbreaking trip tried to find ways to save this iconic creature.
Whovian Singles Night: Just What The Doctor Ordered
Ken Spivey is the man behind "Whovian Singles Night," a yearly event that matches fans of the show with new friends or potential partners. More about him in a moment. Let’s talk about the show that's stayed on television and radio for more than 50 years. The Doctor Who fandom spread across continents and generations, inspiring fans like Spivey to write songs, craft costumes and start conventions.
Who is the Lightning Astronaut?
Millions watched on TV in the U.S. and Canada as the Tampa Bay Lightning faced the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs. During a time out a man in astronaut costume, seated in the front row, taunted goaltender Carey Price with non-stop dancing. Price pretended not to notice but couldn't stop himself from cracking a smile. Both the U.S. and Canadian TV networks captured the moment. By the time the game was over, the astronaut was all over the internet. The twitterverse wanted to know. Was he just a zealous fan? Was he a new Lightning mascot?
Graduation Ceremony Celebrates Student's Best Friends
It's that time of year when thousands of students across the country get ready to graduate from public and private schools. But in St. Petersburg there's a unique group taking a walk across the stage after finishing four years at a local college. It’s graduation week and there’s a buzz of anticipation in the air at Eckerd College. The ceremony is just about to begin and members of this class are too excited to sit or speak. But this is not your normal graduating class You see, this is the Eckerd College Pet Life Third Annual Pet Graduation Ceremony, where the pets of graduating seniors march to receive their own university certificates.
Dry Creek: Field of Cowboy Dreams
In the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams," Kevin Costner built a ballpark in his Iowa cornfield, not knowing why. It turned out it was to re-connect him with his father. That movie strikes a chord with former Tampa Bay traffic reporter and radio personality Les McDowell. McDowell is the creator, producer and one of the stars of the cable TV Western series "Dry Creek". The show is shot on his ranch in Manatee County on a set he built himself out of scrap materials.
Finding Independence at Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind
Louise Peyton of Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind, says that, unlike technology, people's perception of the blind have been slow to change. But, she says technology does level the playing field for people with visual impairments, especially in the job market. She says her job is ensuring that students have a smoother transition to independence. Students like Chris Nunez, who's in the computer program at Tampa Bay Technical High School. He says he wants to change the world with technology.
Tampa Drawers Sketch Gang Draws On
There's an active gang in Tampa's Seminole Heights. Almost anyone can join. The initiation is unconventional. "You gotta smoke a cigarette and go in a haunted house," says Anthony Record, the group's ringleader. They are the Tampa Drawers Sketch Gang. They meet every Wednesday at the Quaid art gallery in Tampa.
Marine Expedition to Investigate Plight of Manatees, Dolphins in Cuba
This has been a record year for counting the number of manatees in Florida, but what about our island neighbor to the south? Columbus first mentioned the waters off Cuba swimming with manatees, but since then they've been hunted for food. No one really knows how many live there. A marine conservation expedition beginning Tuesday aims to shine some light on their plight - as well as that of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. It's being held by Sea to Shore Alliance, a small nonprofit group formed about six years ago in Sarasota. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with it's executive director, Dr. James "Buddy" Powell, who says it's a first-of-its-kind trip to Cuba.
Keys to Freeze Pedaling 9,000 Miles from Key West to Deadhorse, Alaska
A group of six 20-somethings - including three from the Tampa Bay area - decided they needed a little exercise while getting a tour of America. So they decided to hop on their bicycles and pedal across the country. No, this isn't the typical coast-to-coast trip. They started in January in Key West - and are biking to Deadhorse, Alaska. Nine thousand miles. The call themselves "Keys to Freeze." They're now somewhere around Albuquerque, New Mexico. WUSF's Steve Newborn caught up with them recently after they had pedaled a mere one thousand miles to Pensacola. He talks with Rachel Burns of St. Petersburg, Brady Lawrence of Raleigh, N.C., and Reese Wells of Winston-Salem, N.C.
Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition Ends 1,000-Mile Journey
Their trip took them nearly a thousand miles, from the headwaters of the Everglades through the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition has finally come to an end, on an sandy barrier island near Pensacola Beach. WUSF traveled with the trio, and we report on their thoughts on the end of the expedition - and what the future might hold.
Exploring Florida's Wild Northwest with the Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition
The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition is in the final week of a nearly 1,000-mile trek from Central Florida across the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. They're hiking and paddling sandy-bottom rivers in the state's wild northwest corner. It's also home to the biggest military bases in Florida. This week, we report on how helicopter bombing runs mix with the peace of the wild.
Saving Wildlife Under Superhighways with the Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition
The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition maing goes through places untouched by man, where you can feel like you're not living in the nation's third-largest state. But it's not just subdivisions and roads the wildlife expedition - not to mention the wildlife itself - has to navigate. It's also superhighways. The expedition members are trying to get public interest in building passages for wildlife under Interstate highways.
Visiting Rare Coastal Dune Lakes with The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition
We're following the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition as they hike, bike and kayak nearly 1,000 miles in 70 days from Central Florida, through the Panhandle to the Alabama State line. They recently visited one of the rarest ecosystems in the world. The Coastal Dune Lakes are where blackwater lakes mix with the green of the Gulf of Mexico. We went along with them for a paddle in one of these lakes.
Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition Braves the Icy Apalachicola
WUSF is following the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition as they bike, hike and kayak from Central Florida through the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. The three conservationists recently kayaked down the Apalachicola River. It's at the heart of a water war pitting three states that has reached all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. We met up with the group and paddled 50 miles downstream, where the river meets the Gulf of Mexico. Their trip started on the coldest day of the year.
Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition Takes a Hike Through History in St. Mark's
The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition is biking, hiking and kayaking from Central Florida through the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. The three conservationists are trying to call attention to the need to preserve what they call the corridor's "integrity" --- an unbroken pathway for wildlife to travel. They recently led about 75 enthusiasts on a hike through the wetlands of the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.
Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition Takes Trip Back in Time to Steinhatchee
WUSF is following the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition as they bike, hike and kayak from Central Florida through the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. The three conservationists recently visited the coastal hamlet of Steinhatchee, deep in the Nature Coast. We paddled with them down the Steinhatchee River, fording some falls and getting a lesson in how much preserving the lands can spark Florida's economy.
Paddling Florida's Iconic Springs with the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition
WUSF is following the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition as they bike, hike and kayak from Central Florida through the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. The three conservationists recently paddled down the Withlacoochee River from the Green Swamp to the Gulf Coast. We tagged along with them for a trip back to primeval Florida - paddling down one of the state's most pristine springs.
The Florida Wildlfife Corridor Expedition on the Withlacoochee
The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition is crossing the state to bring attention to Florida's wilderness and the need to connect it all. Expedition members Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, Joe Guthrie and Carlton Ward recently met up with several dozen friends and fellow environmentalists in their first "trail mixer" along the Withlacoochee River.
Hiking the Green Swamp with the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition
Members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition are in the second week of their 10-week, 925-mile trek from Central Florida to the Alabama State line. Part of their trip goes through the Green Swamp. It's a mysterious place to most people, but critical to the the water supply for Central Florida.
Journey of Nearly 1,000 Miles Begins with First Step
Three years ago, four conservationists embarked on a trip to walk and kayak the entire length of Florida. Their mission: to bring attention to the need to protect lands connecting the state's wild areas. Now, The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition is back - and it's taking a different turn.
Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition Kicks off First Leg
Back in 2012, four explorers spent 100 days walking and kayaking 1,000 miles up the length of Florida, from the Everglades to the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. The mission – to publicize the need to connect the state’s remaining wild areas. This year, the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition is back.

FirstChoice eNewsletter