Mike Kiniry


Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University. 

He became the first producer of Gulf Coast Live when the show launched in 2004, and also worked as the host of All Things Considered from 2004 to 2006, and the host of Morning Edition from 2006 to 2011. He then left public radio to work as PR Director for the Alliance for the Arts for five years, and was then Principled Communicator at the election integrity company Free & Fair for a year before returning to WGCU in October, 2017.

In the past Mike has been a bartender and cook at Liquid Café in downtown Fort Myers, a golf club fixer/seller at the Broken Niblick Golf Shop in Fort Myers, and a bookseller at Ives Book Shop in Fort Myers. He lives near downtown Fort Myers with his daughter, and their dog and two cats.

Image by Matthew Gollop from Pixabay

The persistent and growing problem of plastics in our environment is becoming increasingly clear. We're sitting down with a local who man who has spent his career in the world of plastics and packaging to get his insights into where we are, and where the industry is heading. Warren Schirado is a Packaging Development and Design Engineer who has spent his life researching plastics, and the never ending efforts to use less of them, or discover more environmentally friendly ways to make them.


Last September, the Director of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve in Port Aransas, Texas was walking along the beach when he came across a disturbing find -- millions of tiny, plastic pellets had washed ashore -- he’d stumbled across an apparent nurdle spill. Nurdles are tiny, plastic pellets that are used as the base material for the manufacture of other plastic products.

Amanda Inscore/The News-Press USA TODAY NETWORK - FLORIDA

Florida has long ranked at or near the bottom when it comes to spending for state-managed mental health programs. And while the lack of available mental health services, for people of all ages, is a statewide problem, it’s particularly acute here in Southwest Florida. In Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties there is roughly one mental health provider per 1000 residents -- that’s compared to the state average of about one in 670 people. Add to that shortage the dramatic increase in the number of children who are experiencing anxiety, depression, and who are self-harming, and threatening or attempting suicide, and we have a serious mental health problem on our hands, and it’s only getting worse.


May is National Foster Care Month, so we're listening back to a conversation we had earlier this year with the owners of a restaurant along U.S. 41 in South Fort Myers that’s hard to miss. It’s painted bright green and called FK Your Diet. The "FK" stands for "foster kids," and it’s run by a Doug Miller, who was raised in foster homes, and his wife, Amy Eldridge. They serve up dishes, mostly comfort foods, Miller learned to cook while staying in more than a dozen homes and in portion sizes that anyone who’s experienced food scarcity would appreciate.


The severity of last year’s dual toxic algae blooms have raised awareness among the public for a need to find real solutions to these persistent problems. While the causes are a complicated knot that won’t be easily untangled, there does seem to be a bipartisan consensus to work to find real solutions.