Pete's Picks
WMNF's Pete Gallagher's Links to Pertinent Stories

Keep Oil Drilling Out of Florida Panther Habitat. Please, send a letter asking Miami's mayor to make sure this absurd and destructive idea to allow new oil operations in the Big Cypress National Preserve remains completely off the table. Click Here for form letter.
Officials try to solve major deer decline. The population density of the white-tailed deer in the Stairsteps unit's zones 3 and 4 has been in decline going back to 2001.
Click Here for story.
A new warning system should decrease Florida panther road-kill deaths.
Click Here for story.

Where Have All The Bobcats Gone? For the past dozen years, the National Park Service has been tracking mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats in the Santa Monica Mountains to study how these animals are adapting to the urban environment, gathering data on genetics, diet, movements, litter size, ranges, and mortality rates. New research points to rat poison as a culprit in the animals' decline. Click here for story.
A biologist intent on saving wild panthers wants to spread orchids, which share the animals' habitat, in South Florida's natural lands.
Click here for story.

What exactly is a Florida Panther? - Take the 5 minute Florida Panther crash course
The Florida panther is a subspecies of the North American cougar, latin name (Felis or Puma) Concolor Coryi, that has adapted to the subtropical environment of Florida, and is one of the most endangered mammals in the world. Characteristics believed to be typical of the subspecies include a crook at the end of the tail, a dorsal hair whorl (cowlick), and white flecking around the neck and shoulders. Sadly, the Florida Panther population remaining in the wild is approximately 110 to 120.
Florida panthers are solitary, territorial animals, and seldom range together except when mating. Annual movement patterns vary little. However, they travel more at night than during the day in the warmer months. Males are polygamous and breed with several females residing in their home ranges. Home ranges average about 550 square kilometers for males and 300 square kilometers for females. Habitat quality and prey density appear to determine female home-range size and possibly litter size. Male home ranges may reflect the density and distribution of adult females.
Peaks in breeding activities in Florida seem to occur year-round. Panthers produce from 1 to 6 young approximately every 2 years. Prenatal litter size ranges from 3 to 4, and a litter that is 6 to 12 months old contains an average of 2 kittens. Gestation lasts 92 to 94 days. The young are born in a densely vegetated thicket (e.g., saw palmetto cluster). Kittens have been observed to remain with their mothers for 12 to 18 months. Sexual maturity is believed to be at approximately 2 years of age. Expected longevity of panthers is approximately 10 years. Panthers are susceptible to a number of diseases and parasites that range from infections to potentially fatal. Florida panthers are killed by cars and trucks also, particularly on State Road 29 and Alligator Alley (I-75), and - although it is against the law - hunters still shoot panthers occasionally.
Florida panthers spend much of their time traveling their territories in search of prey and to reaffirm their presence to other panthers. Following a large kill, they often eat 4 to 5 kilograms at a feeding, after which time they typically cover the remainder with soil and vegetative debris. They feed principally on deer and wild hogs, but armadillos are readily taken if the opportunity occurs. Unlike western mountain lions, Florida panthers are not regular livestock killers, and attacks on humans are unknown.
The threats facing Florida panthers require quick and aggressive actions if panthers are to be saved from extinction. Broad public support is needed to carry out the actions essential to the panther's survival.
Think you can hold a conversation about Florida Panthers now? Why not become an expert by reading the full continuation of the above article .....
Click Here for the complete verson of the above article.
Then email us so we know we have yet another soldier in the fight to preserve a vanishing Florida!
As Florida Panther numbers increase, so does their range.

   Is Florida really ready to limit growth and set aside enough land for its state animal? Is the Florida panther trying to make a come back, and will there be enough room for it to do so? With its numbers approximately 90 and with the high amount that are killed by vehicles on the road, things don't look good. Follow us as we take to the road to talk to a man that claims to have heard a Florida panther far north of its current habitat.
Click on the video to watch it.
The Florida Folk Show is available via webcast!

The Florida Folk Show on WMNF 88.5FM Tampa, Florida is now being webcast at
Shows can be watched anywhere in the world via the internet every Thursday morning between 9:05 to 10:01am. Watch Pete Gallagher and his co-host Raiford Starke bring you all things pertinent to the preservation of our vanishing Florida. There is also usually a live studio guest performer. Call-in lines are open also. Listen to The Florida Folk Show on WMNF 88.5FM Tampa, Florida on your radio live every Thursday morning from 9:05-10:01 AM.
CLICK HERE to watch live.

Getting Tampa Bay EV Ready!
Get Ready Tampa Bay for electric transportation. CLICK HERE
Get Ready Tampa Bay is a regional collaboration between the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, local governments, electric utility companies, business partners, and other interested groups to prepare Tampa Bay for the roll-out of electric vehicles in the very near future.
Plug-in electric vehicles will be launched into the marketplace late this year and aggressively into 2012. Cities and regions that demonstrate they are getting “plug-in ready” will attract the vehicle manufacturers to launch in their area.
Get Ready Tampa Bay is an affiliate of the national Project Get Ready, an initiative of the Rocky Mountain Institute. To learn more about the national Project Get Ready program,
click on the following link:
88.5 FM “Florida Folk Show” Debuts

  TAMPA – A very eclectic, and sometimes misunderstood, generally under-rated musical genre was explored by community radio WMNF 88.5FM, Tampa, Florida on January 23, 2003 when the brand new “Florida Folk Show” hit the airwaves.
Hosted by Tampa Bay area songwriters Pete Gallagher and Bobby Hicks, the Florida Folk Show was one of nine new program offerings by WMNF, all part of the largest programming reorganization in WMNF’s 25-year history as Tampa Bay’s premier community radio station. “Florida Folk music is not just a guy or girl with a guitar singing about the Suwannee River,” says Gallagher, who has been involved with numerous Florida folk arts projects since the early 70s. “It’s amazing how many Florida singer/songwriters there are, performing in public every day, singing about Florida people, places, culture and living. I hope to present a lot of this new Florida Folk music, along with the gems from the past.” "You don't pick up a dictionary and start rhyming Okeechobee and call it Florida Folk" said Bobby Hicks, whose personal anthem "Florida, Need I Say More" is considered a state musical treasure. "What is Florida folk music. I know it when I see it."
The Florida Folk Show is still being hosted by Pete and assorted guest hosts including currently, hit songwriter, Jim Mason. Many awesome artist perform live in the new state-of-the-art studio recently built for WMNF. Tune in and listen every Thursday morning from 9:05AM till 10AM on 88.5FM Tampa Bay!
Click Here for Full Article
Click Here to hear WMNF 88.5FM LIVE! online

Local Artist Feature Showcase

  Pat Barmore is a singer/songwriter from the Tampa Bay area. His influences include Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Sr., Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, and many more. 'I grew up in the space program. My father designed guidance systems for spacecrafts. I spent my youth criss-crossing the United States from Maine to California. At the age of eleven we stayed a year on Indian Rocks Beach. There was only one paved road, the waters were clear and plentiful. I was Huckleberry Finn in Paradise. I fell in love with Florida. I returned at age fifteen and the affair has never waned.'
For several months in the fall of 2002, on Monday nights members of the Fugitive Kind would meet at the Zen Recording Studio in Pinellas Park, Florida. It was during these sessions that Flatwoods was born. This work captures the emotion and spirit of the Flatwoods culture and was conceived as a watermark in the evolution of the South and Central Florida Sound. I dedicate this album to my daughter Ashley, my son Lowell, and my brother Dave who have been supportive witnesses to the creation of these songs.
When the Fugitive Kind play folks come for miles to hear original Flatwoods music. It is a true albeit rare Florida experience to hear them. Fueled by the singing, writing and musical arrangements of Pat Barmore, their music is true Florida. From the beaches to the deepest swamp this music resonates the rhythms and rhymes of those who cherish this sacred strand and respect the rights of all people to live, love and celebrate.
Email to purchase "Postcards from Florida ", the latest CD from Pat Barmore And The Fugitive Kind.

Chief Jim Billie's (left) "Big Alligator" video.


What? You've never been to Florida and experienced the nature we're trying so desperately to preserve? One of the world's largest and deepest fresh water springs, Wakulla Springs is a great place to start.
This video was made on the three-mile riverboat tour. It shows alligators, birds, turtles, limpkin, purple gallinules, heron, egret, bald eagle, anhinga, osprey, black and turkey vultures, American widgeon, hooded merganzer and American coot. And then there are the jumping fish.
Museum Of Florida History Online Photograph Collections

  I stumbled across this website and ended up spending most of the night surfing through these amazing photos from Florida's past. For instance great photos of Florida cities from the early twentieth century. I took a photographic journey of Saint Petersburg from it's days as a dock that sailors use to tie up to, and then the railroad that ran out to where the pier now stands. I even found a vintage postcard of my neighbor's property.
Over 100,000 of the photographs have been scanned and placed online. The collection spans a wide range of visual images from copies of mid 15th Century maps to current photographs. Most of the holdings in the collection have been obtained singly or in small groups. Together, they form the most complete portrait of Florida available--one that draws its strength from family pictures, the homes of Floridians, their work, and their pastimes.
It took me a while to figure out that if I typed ' AND all' in the search box, I would get the whole collection to surf through. You can also fine tune your search with keywords. Be aware that there are over 100,000 photos took look at and it gets addicting.
Click Here for Museum Photo Website

Enjoy this rare vintage photo of Florida Folk legend, Gamble Rogers, entertaining a crowd of Floridians

Click Photo To View Poster Size Copy

The Editor's Box

Click Here to read the stories from scroller at top.

Bobby Hicks succumbed to cancer December 19th, 2007.
Read Pete Gallagher's eulogy for one of his best friend's and a lifelong protector of "Old Florida".
Click Here to read the eulogy.

Florida, you get uglier by the day.
Every Florida resident should be concerned that we are losing our precious environment. To see the damage being done and what is left to be saved, all of us should get in our cars and drive some of the back roads across and up and down the state.
Click Here to read St. Pete Times article.

Saving Florida's Gopher Tortoises - Humane Society Rescue Project Digs Deep
The Humane Society partners with a developer and a sanctuary to save hundreds of gopher tortoises threatened by a construction project. See how rescuers dig in to make this project a success.
Click Here to watch video.

Gov. Charlie Crist's three appointments August 2007, to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission show a favoritism to trophy hunting and development interests. As a result, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) implores the governor to provide balance to this important public body with future appointments.
Click Here to read entire Humane Society article.   Click Here to read August 9th article.
Tell Governor Crist to Appoint Humane Individuals to the Wildlife Commission The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is governed by seven commissioners who set the rules, direction, and vision for this important wildlife agency. The commissioners are appointed by the Governor.
Despite requests from environmental and animal protection advocates throughout Florida, urging Governor Crist to select individuals with backgrounds in science or wildlife protection, Governor Crist is choosing to appoint individuals with backgrounds in trophy hunting. These individuals have strong ties to the development industry. In making these appointments, the Governor missed a vital opportunity to provide balance for our public wildlife agency.
The decisions that our commissioners will make are crucial to Florida's native wild animals and their habitat—many of whom are threatened or endangered—as well as wild animals kept in captivity or hunted for sport.
You can inform the Governor that wildlife and habitat protection matter to Floridians and help influence the Governor's decision on future appointments.
You can make a brief, polite phone call to Governor Crist at 850-488-7146 and inform him that his recent nominations to FWC did not reflect the best interests of Florida's wildlife and ask that he please appoint a humane, wildlife and habitat protection candidate to the FWC in January.

Don Juan was born in the Big Cypress in 1995. His mother was one of those Texas cougars, his father an uncollared male Florida panther about which nothing else is known. Nobody can say, for sure, why he changed his dining habits. Perhaps, as a panther old man, he was tired. Perhaps a younger, stronger male had chased him out of his regular territory. At 12, maybe he just got lazy. Easier to eat a kitty than chase down a hog that fights back...
Click Here to read entire article.

Panthers rebound into danger - Growing numbers bring growing troubles.
Click Here to read article.

Editor's news composite page of past top preservationist stories.
Click Here to read articles.

The Fugitive Kind Appear On Folk Lure!

The Fugitive Kind have been entertaining audiences for years with their original Florida brand of folk music. Recently the group appeared on Whistle Entertainment's Folk Lure show.
You can watch that "Folk Lure" show now by clicking the video to the right! To watch the second half of their appearence on Folk Lure, Click Here. You can also watch a shorter segment from Folk Lure at by Clicking Here.
The Fugitive Kind is comprised of Pat Barmore on guitar and vocals, Elan Chalford on Fiddle, and Jim Terry on guitar. Their CD called "Postcards From Florida", is available for download CLICKING HERE.

Green Grass Boys Video #1 On YouTube!

The "Green Grass Boys" from St Petersburg, Florida, were featured on Access Pinellas TV Show "Folk Lure" in March 2007. The "Green Grass Boys" included their rendition of "Orange Blossom Special".
It was uploaded to new video wonder website, "". The video has become number one with a bullet!
You can watch that "Folk Lure" show now by clicking the video to the right!
The group recently recorded a CD "Grassapelli," featuring Chalford's arrangements on the Top Ten fiddle songs of all time (with a bonus track "Orange Blossom Special.")
The "Green Grass Boys" is comprised of "Sunset Beach" Pete Gallagher, Elan Chalford, Sandra Jemison, Raiford Starke, & Jack Piccalo.

Florida's Diamond Teeth Mary

A Colorful Enigma - Folk Music in Florida

By Peter B. Gallagher
Stephen Foster never set foot in Florida, yet he composed the most famous Florida folk song of all time. Jimmy Buffett, the state's most famous folksinger, is a native Mississippian who doesn't even live in Key West anymore. Beloved Florida songwriter Don Grooms was a Cherokee Indian, born and buried in western North Carolina. And modern-day troubadour Raiford Starke is a native Virginian who combined state prison names to create a Florida outlaw image.
All are part of the colorful enigma that is both contemporary Florida folk music and the alligator stew of folks who compose and perform original Florida songs. Unlike Texas, which promotes a sound immediately marketable as Texas music, Florida's own folk sound is a changeling flitting all over the musical map.
"Our musical atmosphere has been influenced by more transplants than any other area of the country, by every culture whose people have established communities on our shores," says Ken Crawford, a state department staffer and former Florida Folk Festival director.
"In Texas, most everybody is a Texan. But in Florida, people are from all over the world. There are Chicago-style blues bands playing Florida folk songs. There are reggae bands playing it. And everybody has their own idea what Florida folk music is or isn't."
Bona fide Florida rock stars like Manatee County's Dickey Betts, Gainesville's Tom Petty, and Tarpon Springs' Bertie Higgins, unplugged, could actually qualify as Florida folk musicians. "Everything I write is folk music," says country-music icon John Anderson, a Lutz native whose acoustic guitar and fiddle-driven "Seminole Wind" first told a world audience about the destruction of the Florida Everglades. "They all start out as folk songs. Just a man and his guitar."
Most people would agree that Florida folk music must be acoustic--or it becomes something else. Then again, when you hear Tampa songsmith Ronny Elliott's recordings of "Jack's St. Pete Blues" and "Elvis Presley Didn't Like Tampa," or Scotty Clark's renditions of "Largo," or Rock Bottom's performance of "Gator Tail," or the Liz Pennock/Dr. Blue recording of "Sting Ray Shuffle," they all sound pretty darned Florida folk, even with the splash of drums and hint of electricity.
"I never ever thought of myself as a folk song writer," says Elliott. "Then they started playing my records on the folk show. I thought to myself, 'Hmmm. I guess I am a folksinger.'"
A Wayward Florida Panther Is Killed Crossing North Florida's I-95!
On June 3rd or 4th, 2005, an un-collared 6-foot-long, 120-pound adult male Florida Panther was killed on Interstate 95 in St. Johns County near Jacksonville, Florida. Confirming stories of sightings of the endangered animal much further north of their past ranges. Theory is they are being forced up the "spine" of the Florida Peninsula either by encroachment and/or seeking nonexistent breeding females.
Mark Cunningham, a veterinarian with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said Monday that he had performed a necropsy on the animal and said it was probably hit by a vehicle and killed instantly.
"Otherwise, he was healthy and in good condition, probably about 3 years old," Cunningham said. "He had a lot of good fat reserves." Male Florida panthers range widely, seeking females. That can mean crossing busy highways and risking death, Cunningham said.
"They can go anywhere. There was one killed in Tampa on Interstate 4 two years ago. Another one with a radio collar on crossed I-4 once," he said. "If they're not finding females, they keep searching and searching."

Some wildlife officials said the panther population in South Florida had rarely strayed north of the Calusahatchee River in Southwest Florida.....
Click Here for entire article.



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