It's About Florida

It's About Florida is a half-hour discussion program focusing on topical issues in the state, from roundtable discussions with news trackers to one-on-one discussions with leading newsmakers. It's About Florida captures the headlines and goes behind the issues with in-depth discussions on diverse topics such as immigration, the environment, and the economy, just to name a few.

It's About Florida will be broadcast monthly on Thursdays at 6:30 pm ET on 88.9 WFSU-FM & 5:30 pm CT on 89.1 WFSW-FM.

Listeners can email comments or questions about the program to wfsufm@wfsu.org.

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Oystermen in Florida’s iconic Apalachicola Bay say they are facing a crisis which amounts to a ‘perfect storm’ causing an oyster fishery collapse. They are asking for a concerted effort by Florida officials to overcome decades of legal battles with neighboring states (Georgia and Alabama) and the federal government to quickly restore the flow of freshwater to the Bay.

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Guests:

Past President of the Apalachicola Riverkeeper, Don Ashley

  

The US Environmental Protection Agency issued its decision on water pollution rules for Florida late Friday. At first it seemed like a big win for environmental groups but it later turned out to be a split decision giving both sides in the stormy debate something to praise and decry. We assembled some of the key players in this water fight to explain what the ruling means for the state.

Host:

Trimmel Gomes

 

Guests:

It’s About Florida: World AIDS Day

Nov 30, 2012
World Aids Day Guests on WFSU's It's About Florida, sitting in the studio
WFSU

Approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. become infected with HIV each year and in Florida that’s about 5,000 new infections per year. In preparation for World AIDS Day on December 1st, we’ve assembled a panel of experts from the front lines, who are spreading awareness about the disease. The Florida Department of Health estimates that of the 130,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Florida, 20-percent of them don’t even know they have the disease.

Host:

Trimmel Gomes

Guests:

The way children are taught and teachers evaluated in Florida’s public schools is undergoing a sea change, and the Florida Department of Education is directing it all. That includes phasing out the FCAT, bringing on a nationalized education curriculum, and setting controversial goals of setting student achievement levels based on race.

We talk with the Department’s Interim Education Commissioner Pam Stewart about the state of our public schools, and what it all means for the future of the state we live in.

Guests: Interim Education Commissioner Pam Stewart

The face of the Florida legislature is changing, the fate of three Florida Supreme Court Justices has been decided, and the voters have spoken about 11 proposed constitutional amendments. We’re taking a look at the results of the 2012 general election.

Host: Lynn Hatter
Guests:
Florida State University Political Scientist Dr. Carol Weissert
Palm Beach Post Reporter Dara Kam
Sun-Sentinel Reporter Kathleen Haughney

S. Rodriguez / WFSU

A global set of conferences featuring today’s movers and shakers has captured the imaginations of millions of people around the world, and right here in Florida. We are taking a closer look at TED: what it is, now it works, and how it’s built a global network dedicated to the exchange of ideas across different countries.

Host: Lynn Hatter

Guests: Johnson Hunt

Micah Vandegrift

Ken Baldauf

Antron Mahoney

 

Luis Giraldo / WUFT

Five former Florida Governors are speaking out about the direction they see the state heading in. During a panel discussion in Gainesville the former state leaders talked about the danger of politics in the merit retention process and raised concerns about the environment as protections are weakened and that state’s growth management plan is ignored.

Host: Lynn Hatter

Guests: Former governors Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, Bob Martinez, Buddy MacKay and Charlie Crist

Governor Rick Scott says he wants to hear from public school students and teachers on how to make Florida’s education system better. And he’s been meeting with one of his main opponents: The Florida Education Association. The teacher’s union has opposed many of the Governor’s education policies, like a new evaluation system that ties teacher pay to student performance, and the end of tenure for new teachers. But both sides now say they want to find some common ground. Today we speak with Florida Education Association President Andy Ford about the future of Florida’s education system.

Two years after the massive Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Scientists are still trying to piece together what happened to the thousands of gallons of crude oil that kept gushing daily into the ocean. Deep-C Scientists were among the many who worked to determine how much oil was being discharged into the environment. Recently many of those scientists gathered in Tallahassee to discuss their long-term study of the effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. We’ve gathered them all in our studio for an update.

It’s About Florida: Human Trafficking

Sep 27, 2012

The issue of child trafficking is in the spotlight this week as President Obama and Florida officials respond to growing concerns about underage sex workers and other minors being held against their will . More than 250 concerned state and community leaders and advocates attended the first Florida Children and Youth Cabinet Human Trafficking Summit to learn about trafficking in Florida, what the state is doing to prevent it and what people can do to help victims in their own communities.

Host:
Trimmel Gomes
Guests:

An amateur film made in the U.S. on Islam sparked violent protests halfway around the world. We ask experts what that could mean in the state of Florida, the United States and the rest of the world.

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Guests: Lynn Hatter interviews Dr. Christopher Daniels, Political Science Professor at Florida A&M University

Dr. Deana Rohlinger, Sociologist, Florida State University

Now that the conventions are over, we’re recapping the highlights from both the RNC and DNC and discussing why President Barack Obama is benefiting from a post-convention bump in the polls over his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Guest: Dr. Keith Simmonds, Political Science Professor at Florida A&M University

Democrats are making their case at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina for why President Barack Obama should stay in office for four more years. We bring you a look at some of the speakers and some of the highlights at the convention.

Host:

Trimmel Gomes

Guest:

Florida Democratic Party of Chairman Rod Smith 

We bring you a look at some of the speakers and some of the big moments at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Host:
Trimmel Gomes

Guest:
Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry
 

Florida’s housing crisis has sparked a home sales growth spurt where cash is king. Real estate experts say the markets are bouncing back after years of decline.

Host:

Trimmel Gomes

Guests:

Penny Herman, Broker & Owner, Penny Herman Realty

John Sebree, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for Florida Realtors

Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson recently announced he was stepping down from his post only after spending roughly a year on the job. Robinson’s tenure was tainted by controversies over the state’s test-based accountability system but Robinson insists those blunders had nothing to do with his resignation effective August 31st,2012.

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Guest: Florida’s outgoing Education Commissioner, Gerard Robinson

It’s About Florida: Pensions

Aug 10, 2012

Florida lawmakers have been whittling away at public employee pensions over the past few years but some say enough is enough. Employees are now required to contribute 3-percent to their pensions and a challenge to that is now before the Florida Supreme Court. State lawmakers also passed a new law that forces thousands of employees in a certain 401-K type plan to contribute even more towards their pensions. A panel experts discuss what the changes will mean moving forward.

It’s About Florida: Pill Mills

Aug 2, 2012

The so called “pill mills” are clinics and pharmacies and even doctor’s offices that supply prescription medications with very little oversight. Powerful pain killers like Oxycodone and Oxycontin fetch lots of money in the streets. But federal, state and local agencies are trying to change that and pill mill busts have become a familiar sight over the past year. But some say the crackdown has gone too far.

WFSU

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, Florida Governor Rick Scott says the state will not follow through with optional portions of the law. So what is the future of healthcare in Florida? And how will it affect Floridians with and without insurance coverage? We’ve assembled a panel of experts who’ve been tracking the law very closely to help breakdown what the ruling means for the Sunshine State.

As Florida mops up the remains of Tropical Storm Debby, the state’s chief insurance officer says the state can take an even bigger wallop should more storms come. We hear how Florida’s insurance market is still trying to rebound after hurricane Andrew and proposals to raise rates for the state-run Citizens Property Insurance. Jessica Palombo helps to set up the discussion about the state’s insurance market with a report looking at whether Citizens should raise rates.

Host: Trimmel Gomes
Guest: Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty

Florida deals with hurricanes, floods, and droughts. Now a more insidious threat promises to make Florida one of the world’s most vulnerable areas. Sea level rise will continue to damage Florida’s coastal ecosystems and its inland water systems. Salt water intrusion into coastal aquifers, failure of vital drainage canals, and periodic flooding at high tides are already newspaper headlines. Trimmel Gomes traveled to Boca Raton for the Sea Level Rise to talk with experts.

Host:

Trimmel Gomes

Guests:

After a failed legislative effort to reform the state’s troubled assisted living industry the Department of Elder Affairs is trying to create changes by making new rules. But some say the agency won’t get far in breaking the gridlock between the industry and healthcare advocates.

Guests: Brian Lee, Former Florida Longterm care ombudsman, Director of Families For Better Care Pat Lange- Executive Director of the Florida Assisted Living Association

 

It’s About Florida: Voting and Elections

Jun 28, 2012

Florida and the federal government are suing each other over the state’s effort to purge its voter rolls, and the state’s new elections law is still tangled up in litigation. Both issues mean there are still plenty of issues left to resolve before the August 14th primary. A panel of guests talk about what the varying lawsuits mean for Florida voters and what they should know before heading to the polls.

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Florida and the federal government are embroiled in dueling lawsuits over the state’s effort to purge its voter rolls. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner talks about juggling his role as the chief elections officer and planning for the state’s 500th birthday celebration.

 

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Guest: Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner

It’s About Florida: Corruption

Jun 19, 2012

A survey of the state’s political climate gives Florida the dubious distinction of being number one in the nation for public corruption.

Guests:
Dan Krassner, Integrity Florida State University
LT Lafferty, former Ethics Commissioner

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