Welcome to Florida

Welcome to Florida

Best selling author, award winning reporter and Florida native Craig Pittman is joined by radio personality and Florida transplant Chadd Scott to discuss the state's history, people, politics, environment, animals, current events and weirdness. You'll hear great storytelling and have great fun in each weekly episode.

Episodes

June 10, 2021 38 min

With the Indian River Lagoon - North America's most biodiverse estuary - two National Wildlife Refuges and miles of critical sea turtle habitat along the Atlantic Ocean, Indian River County boasts remarkable natural beauty, even for Florida.

This bonus episode of "Welcome to Florida" focuses on Indian River County's ecotourism opportunities from sea turtle and manatee experiences, to hiking, biking, kayaking, birdwat...

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This week's episode begins with Craig throwing his hat in the ring for a new job! Don't worry about him leaving the podcast, the chances of him landing this job are low.

Our guest is Calvin Branche, a leading historian on Florida author John D. MacDonald whose 21 Travis McGee novels captivated readers for decades. His novels have been turned into successful movies including "A Flash of Green" and "Cape Fear."...

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This week's episode begins by discussing a puzzling decision by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to recommend opening a fishing season on goliath grouper.

Our guest is Jono Miller, author of "The Palmetto Book: Histories and Mysteries of the Cabbage Palm." The Cabbage Palm is Florida's state tree and essential to understanding its history. What makes this tree unique? How has it influenced Florid...

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This week's episode features Buck Island Ranch manager Gene Lollis. Buck Island Ranch is unlike any cattle ranch you've heard of. Buck Island Ranch is working in part to protect the environment and wildlife.

Take a look for yourself.

Ranching and agriculture are both major causes of and solutions for climate change, biodiversity collapse, clean water and clean air. If you'd like to learn more about this connection, regene...

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May 18, 2021 40 min

This week's episode begins with Craig's latest "Washington Post" article where he writes about Miami making history in hiring the nation's first Chief Heat Officer.

Our guests are Susan Fernandez and Bob Ingalls, authors of "Sunshine in the Dark: Florida in the Movies." We'll trace Florida's history in film from the silent area when Jacksonville was Hollywood, all the way through 2016's "M...

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This week's episode begins with a takedown of the Florida Legislature (both parties), Ron DeSantis and Agriculture Secretary Nikki Fried, all of who bowed down to BIG SUGAR in allowing them to continue poisoning residents of western Palm County through pre-harvest sugar cane field burning.

Our guest is New College of Florida anthropologist and archaeologist Uzi Baram. We discuss Florida's surprisingly robust history of ancie...

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This week's episode begins with Craig's concerns Florida could be facing another "Summer of Slime" due to blue green algae and red tide (cow tide) outbreaks. We also talk about corruption in the state legislature and the death - mostly - of M-CORES (Roads to Ruin).

Our guest is author Mike Grunwald who wrote "The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida and the Politics of Paradise." Our conversation focuses on the wor...

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April 27, 2021 47 min

This week's episode started with BIG news from the Everglades and a look at a VERY important Florida woman whose job it will be to protect the state's environment.

Our guest is author Ann McCutchan who has written a new biography of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, a Florida transplant and author of "The Yearling." The book is titled "The Life She Wished to Lead" and details Rawlings' time spent in Cross Creek,...

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April 20, 2021 49 min

This week's episode begins with discussion of Craig's latest Florida Phoenix column and the "solution" for what to do with all of the toxic waste from the Piney Point phosphorus plant.

Our guest is Nancy Klingener, Florida Keys reporter for WLRN - South Florida's Public Radio - and a 30 year Key West resident. We dig into the history, culture and weirdness that is Key West with stops along the way talking about C...

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This week's episode begins with Craig's ongoing reporting of the environmental disaster at the Piney Point phosphate plant where hundreds of millions of gallons of toxic wastewater has been diverted into the Tampa Bay estuary to avoid a collapse of the gypsum stack there. Craig has reported on this coming apocalypse for decades, highlighting how the Florida Department of Environmental "Protection's" history of f...

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April 6, 2021 46 min

This week's episode begins with Craig Pittman's latest Florida Phoenix column highlighting the disastrous environmental impacts of the widely used herbicide/poison glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup.

Our guest is author, veterinarian and professor Mark Jerome Walters whose latest book, "Florida Scrub-Jay: Field Notes on a Vanishing Bird" was released in March of 2021. Mark has also authored "Six Modern Plague...

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This week's episode begins with more "bigfooting" by the state legislature, once again in the pocket of developers, attempting to curtail the amount of impact fees local municipalities have accessed homebuilders in order for them to build the infrastructure necessary for all the new residents.

Craig Pittman and Chadd Scott are joined this week by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer. The married couple live in Tallahassee. Jeff is t...

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March 23, 2021 54 min

This week's episode begins with a look at why Florida's manatees are dying this winter at a rate which threatens the survival of the species. Craig Pittman's latest column for the Florida Phoenix digs in deep on the reasons, which are preventable.

Craig's 2010 book "Manatee Insanity" goes even further in detailing the decades-long conservation effort in Florida to protect manatees, as well as calling out the ...

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This week's episode starts with Craig Pittman sharing some of his favorite Florida Women from the state's history in recognition of Women's History Month. Follow Craig on Twitter and Facebook @CraigTimes and on Instagram @CraigPittman78 for more.

Our guest this week is Amy Green, author of "Moving Water: The Everglades and Big Sugar." Amy's book, which published in March of 2021, takes a look at Big S...

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March 9, 2021 38 min

This week's episode begins with an update on the disastrous "Roads to Ruin" M-CORES toll road proposal and efforts in the state legislature to adjust it.

Our guest this week is historical reenactor Ersula K Odom who has been portraying Mary McLeod Bethune at events across Florida for many years. Odom's performances see her dress in period appropriate costumes and take on the personality of the famed educator, voting ...

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March 2, 2021 48 min

This week's episode begins with Craig Pittman and Chadd Scott discussing the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's unanimous ruling to ban the possession of a large number of non-native snakes and lizards in the hopes of avoiding their introduction into the state's ecosystem like as happened with the Burmese python and tegu lizard.

Our guest is Jack Davis who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2017 for nonfiction wi...

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February 21, 2021 51 min

This week's episode begins with a song from Zora Neale Hurston, "Shove it Over." Throughout this week's show we'll be hearing songs from Hurston which can be found in the State Archives of Florida.

Up next: cruise ships. Craig Pittman wrote recently how Republican state legislators are contradicting their so-called principles of "home rule" and "small government," trying to take away Key West'...

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February 16, 2021 46 min

This week's episode begins with Craig Pittman's latest story for the Florida Phoenix about the remarkable discovery of a new whale species in the Gulf of Mexico. The whale was washed up on a beach near the Florida Everglades allowing scientists to study the animal. In doing so, they determined it had died as the result of a piece of plastic cutting through its stomach.

Single use plastics have become one of the greatest thr...

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This week's episode begins with Craig Pittman putting Ron DeSantis in the crosshairs over the governor's big talk and small action on protecting the state's water. If you'd like to learn more about the state's water quality problems, what causes them, what can be done to fix them, a previous episode all about the Floridan Aquifer does so in depth.

This week's guest is artist Kelvin Hair. Kelvin is the son of ...

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This week's episode focuses on two of Florida's - and the nation's - most endangered species. First up, Craig Pittman tells us about recovery efforts for the Florida grasshopper sparrow which he detailed in a recently released story for "National Geographic."

From the very small to the very big, Craig and Chadd Scott are then joined by Florida panther biologist Deborah Jansen, a key figure in Craig's book abo...

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