Florida Matters is WUSF's weekly current affairs show that explores the events, ideas, politics and issues that matter to Floridians.
Long Faced With Sub-Standard Conditions, Farm Workers Deal With Added Challenges During A Pandemic
Originally aired Dec.8
We’re headed into peak agriculture season in Florida. That includes tomatoes and strawberries grown in Hillsborough County and oranges in Polk County.
Farm laborers — most of them are migrants from Mexico, Central America, and Haiti — will pick the bulk of those crops.
On this week's Florida Matters, we learn more about how the coronavirus is impacting Florida’s agricultural sector. We travel about two hours south of Tampa Bay to Immokalee.
It's a town with few resources: there is no hospital, and workers often live in close quarters.
Farm labor advocates have complained about these conditions for years, with the calls for change gaining new urgency during the ongoing pandemic.
You'll hear two perspectives about what’s being done to protect the health of farm workers.
First, Kelly Morgan, the director of the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, which is part of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The center has developed a COVID safety training program for farmworkers.
After the break is Gerardo Reyes Chavez, a farmworker activist with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.
Gov. DeSantis Deepens Divisions, Looks To Reelection In State Of The State Address
Florida’s 2021 legislative session is now underway. Gov. Ron DeSantis kicked it off Tuesday morning with his State of the State address.
On this week's episode, you'll hear some excerpts of the governor’s speech. And breaking down what it all means — excerpt by excerpt — is host Bradley George and political journalist William March.
Class Of COVID-19 Project Gives Many Faces To Florida's Education System Issues
The pandemic has been hard on everyone. But for children, it’s catastrophic.
This week, we talk about Class of COVID-19, a recently launched project looking into the pandemic’s effect on disadvantaged children in Florida's education system. Reporters at public radio stations across Florida wrote stories for the project including WUSF's Kerry Sheridan.
Host Bradley George talks with her about how she reported her story on Hillsborough County's migrant education program. Also joining the conversation is Jessica Bakeman, a reporter and project editor at WLRN Miami.
Tampa Native Marty Baron Retires After Storied Career In Journalism
Marty Baron is about to retire after more than 40 years in journalism.
Since 2013, the Tampa native has served as executive editor of The Washington Post.
Shortly after his arrival, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought the paper. Since then, Baron has led a newsroom that has expanded as many others have shrunk.
He joined host Bradley George via Skype from his home in Washington last week. They talked about Baron's Florida roots as well as the most important stories of his career, including the Elián González custody saga.
Health News Florida Series Explores Use Of The Baker Act on Children
Each year, about 36,000 children in Florida are committed for psychiatric exams under the Baker Act.
The 50-year-old state law was designed to help adults who are struggling with mental health issues. But schools have been using it to deal with unruly students.
Parents have few rights when the Baker Act is invoked, and often it’s school resource officers who make the call.
While some students genuinely need help, others have been committed because they made an off-color joke, or struggle with learning problems like ADHD.
This week on Florida Matters, host Bradley George talks with Lynn Hatter, a Health News Florida reporter based at WFSU in Tallahassee. She produced a five-part series on the issue in December.
What Could A Scaled Back Super Bowl Look Like For Tampa Bay?
As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepare to play Super Bowl 55 in their home stadium, Tampa Bay businesses and sports officials are bracing for what could be an underwhelming economic impact from the big game — at least in the short term.
We first hear from WUSF reporter Steve Newborn and Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and President and CEO of the Super Bowl Host Committee.
Then host Bradley George talks with Chris Jones, an economist who teaches at the University of South Florida, in the second half of the show.