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Welcome to Florida

News & Politics Podcasts

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.


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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.








Episode 136: Florida from 2000-2010

This episode of "Welcome to Florida" begins in Stuart. Our guest this week is author and historian Gary Mormino. Gary's most recent book, published in 2022, is titled "Dreams in the New Century: Instant Cities, Shattered Hopes and Florida's Turning Point." The book covers Florida in the first decade of the new millennium where an extraordinary sequence of stories from Elian Gonzalez to the contested Bush v. Gore election, 9/11, hurricanes, the housing bubble and global economic collapse,...


Episode 135: '72 Miami Dolphins (NFL's only unbeaten team)

The governor is touting his environmental record again, to which Craig Pittman cries foul. Follow Chadd Scott's travel writing at "My Favorite Florida." Our guest this week is Marshall Jon Fisher, author of "Seventeen and Oh: Miami, 1972 and the NFL's Only Perfect Season." Fisher was a 9-year-old living in Miami in 1972 following the Dolphins success week-by-week with his father and brother. He recalls the games, and looks at the societal backdrop of Miami and America at this time which...


Episode 134: Claude Pepper

Craig's dad died recently and he shares a story about his father's work which would eventually dovetail into his own. Our guest this week is author and historian Jim Clark whose book "Red Pepper and Gorgeous George: Claude Pepper's Epic Defeat in the 1950 Democratic Primary" introduces us to a giant of 20th century Florida history. State rep, U.S. Senator and House member, Medal of Freedom winner, namesake of the FSU Library... how come Pepper is so little known today? "Welcome to Florida"...


Episode 133: Kayaking around Florida

"Welcome to Florida" Season 4 begins with an extraordinary Florida adventure! Warren Richey paddled a sea kayak around Florida.


Episode 132: 100th anniversary of Rosewood Massacre

On January 1, 1923, dubious claims of a sexual assault from a white woman against an unidentified Black man in the small community of Rosewood between Gainesville and Cedar Key set off a sequence of events that would leave untold numbers of people killed and Rosewood burned to the ground. The event was completely forgotten and erased, except by those who experienced it and lingering myths and rumors in the area. Then Gary Moore visited in 1982, completely unaware of what had happened...


Episode 131: Villainous Ed Ball & the St. Joe Company

Our episode begins with a trip to Warm Mineral Springs. Our guest is Kathryn Ziewitz, co-author of "Green Empire: The St. Joe Company and the Remaking of Florida's Panhandle." The St. Joe Company, a legacy of the Dupont empire, at one point possessed 5% of all the land in Florida along with banks and railroads. It was run from Jacksonville with an iron fist by a true Florida villain: Ed Ball.


Episode 130: Jacksonville history and today

Craig Pittman is ON YOUR SIDE! Our guest is Florida Times-Union columnist Mark Woods. Find Mark's book, "Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America's National Parks." In the episode we discuss: Jacksonville consolidation Axe Handle Saturday Norman Studios Mandarin Museum


Episode 129: Surfing

One of America's worst polluters resides in Escambia County in the Panhandle. Florida has a rich tradition of surfing which we're focusing on in this episode with Tom Warnke, a longtime Florida surfer and founding member of the Surfing Florida Museum. "Welcome to Florida" is presented by WindstormProducts.com the world's leading online retailer of hurricane hardware. Now is the time to prepare your home or business for next year's hurricane season. WindstormProducts.com has the hardware...


Episode 128: Croquetas

Looking for (more) undeniable proof of climate change and how Florida's current approach to "resiliency" is inadequate? Look to sea turtles. Our guest this week is the former longtime food critic at the Miami Herald, 1st generation Cuban and now host at WLRN radio in South Florida, Carlos Frias. Our subject: croquetas.


Episode 127: Trapper Nelson, the Wildman of the Loxahatchee

This episode's subject is Trapper Nelson, the Wildman of the Loxahatchee, the Tarzan of Florida. Our guest is historian and author James Snyder who lives on the Loxahatchee River not far from where Trapper Nelson did. Snyder wrote a book about Nelson, "Life and Death on the Loxahatchee," which he describes as "part biography, part murder mystery." "Welcome to Florida" is presented by Windstorm Products and no matter where you live in Florida, you are susceptible to damage caused by...


Episode 126: Florida Land Preservation

What environmental problems would Craig Pittman like to see Ron DeSantis address in his second term as governor? These ones. Craig's not holding his breath. Our guest this week is Clay Henderson. His new book, "Forces of Nature: A History of Florida Land Conservation" details the century-plus effort to conserve land in Florida for nature, recreation and human health. Another hurricane just hit Florida and if you managed to elude damage from both Ian and Nicole, chances are, you're next....


Episode 125: Everglades National Park at 75

This week's episode publishes on election day so if it takes you a while to get around to listening, we understand. Founded in 1947, Everglades National Park celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Our guest this episode, James Kushlan, is a former Everglades researcher and author of the book, "Everglades National Park." He's also written books about birdwatching in South Florida, Key Biscayne, the Dry Tortugas and other titles of interest to anyone who loves Florida. "Welcome to...


Episode 124: Walker Evans and Anastasia Samoylova

You can't see it, but you can smell it, and the problem is becoming worse with each successive storm in Florida: wastewater and sewage discharges. Our guest this week was born in Russia and currently lives in Miami Beach. Anastasia Samoylova is a photographer who traveled the state recording what she saw and has shared those images in a new book titled: Floridas: Anastasia Samoylova & Walker Evans. Ana will be participating in this year's Miami Book Fair (as will Craig). An exhibition of...


Episode 123: The Allman Brothers

Craig Pittman was recently invited by the New York Times to write an opinion column regarding Ron DeSantis' approach to combating climate change. It's a topic he has covered regularly at the Florida Phoenix. While better known for their connections to Macon, Georgia, the Allman Brothers were a Florida band, with brothers Duane and Gregg growing up in Daytona Beach and the band forming in Jacksonville. Bob Beatty is the author of a newly published book highlighting a critical moment in the...


Episode 122: The Barefoot Mailmen

When it comes to homeowners in Florida and hurricane damage, it's buyer beware. Our guest is Ralph Krugler, historian at the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse and Florida barefoot mailman historian. The Barefoot Mailmen operated in the late 19th century walking the mail to residents along the Florida frontier on the east and west coasts of the state. Here's a great Sunshine State "did you know:" the official seal of the city of Hypoluxo in Palm Beach County features an image of a barefoot...


Episode 121: Mangroves

A vote for Ron DeSantis is a vote for more Hurricane Ian's. Craig explains. This episode's guest is Samantha Chapman, a professor of biology at Villanova University and a researcher of mangroves around the world, but particularly in Florida. Craig relied on her expertise in a previous story he wrote about how climate change is increasingly allowing mangroves to migrate into areas they haven't traditionally been seen. "Welcome to Florida" is presented by Windstorm Products. Hurricane Ian...


Episode 120: A Land Remembered

Developers and road builders want to plow through a state forest in the Panhandle to bring more people to the Gulf Coast. Patrick Smith wrote "A Land Remembered" in 1984. The historical fiction novel followed a Florida cracker family as it entered the state in the 1850s and successive generations went on to build a fortune here through ranching, citrus and land development. Countless people consider it the greatest piece of Florida fiction ever written. Patrick Smith's son Rick joins us on...


Episode 119: Key Lime Pie!

How do land developers almost always get what they want in Florida even if state law or local residents don't support them? Bribes. Our guest this episode is David Sloan, Key Lime pie researcher, author, baker and founder of the Key Lime festival in Key West. David's newest Key Lime book, "Key Lime Pie: An Intriguing History of Key West's Native Desert," was released this summer. We discuss the pie's origins, it's controversies - meringue or whipped cream - and where to find the best Key...


Episode 118: Miami's 1920s real estate boom & bust

County officials in Sarasota have amended their COMP plan to allow for greater development into rural areas. Our guest is historian and Miami native and resident Paul S. George. George wrote the definitive account of the wild environment of land speculation which took place in Miami during the early 1920s, resulting in the first of many Florida land "busts." George leads a variety of bus, boat and walking tours around Miami, sharing the city's history via HistoryMiami.org. "Welcome to...


Episode 117: Lynching in Florida

Florida's history of racial violence is examined in this episode. Our guest is Tameka Hobbs, Executive Director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute at Edward Waters University. She authored the book "Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home: Racial Violence in Florida" and lectures on this topic through the Florida Humanities. Among the numerous critical discussion points you may want more information on are redlining, Harry T. Moore, the Ocoee Massacre and the Equal Justice Initiative. For a...