News & Public Affairs

Wednesday April 1, 2015

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Paula Dockery, Syndicated Political Columnist and former State Senator


photo by Twitter

Columnist Paula Dockery and State Senator Greg Evers address issues facing the State Prison System

Hosting today's talk portion of Midpoint is Paula Dockery, a former state senator from Lakeland and syndicated columnist whose work appears in 22 Florida papers each week. Today she takes on the state prison system. Joining the discussion is State Senator and Chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee Greg Evers. Together they discuss prison privatization,high leadership turnover, reports of corruption and a string of brutal inmate deaths that have plagued the system.

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Wojtek Sawa, Polish-born visual artist and author of The Wall Speak- Voices of the Unheard

Interactive art exhibit gives voice to Polish children of WWII, and Indiana governor defends Religious Freedom Law

Today on Radioactivity we talk with Wojtek Sawa, a Polish-born visual artist based out of Sarasota. Sawa is the the author of The Wall Speaks - Voices of the Unheard, an interactive multimedia exhibit currently on display at The Florida Holocaust Museum. The exhibit tells the story of the Polish experience of World War II, of a country that at one point was simultaneous besieged by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Like many Polish families, Sawa's was personally affected by the war; His f...

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Florida farmers paid by state to store water: conversation with Craig Pittman

On WMNF News' MidPoint we spoke about the crucial issue of water in Florida with Craig Pittman, staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times. His latest article is “Florida taxpayers pay ranchers millions to hold water back from Lake Okeechobee.”

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photo by Sean Kinane

Coal Industry challenges EPA pollution standards in the Supreme Court, and WEDU's Florida this week

We start off this morning's radioactivity with an important US Supreme Court case that has flown underneath the media's radar. Last week the Court heard arguments on whether to keep EPA-set limits on mercury pollution caused by coal power plants. The Mercury and Air Toxin Standards (MATS) that were issued by the EPA in 2011 not only set limits on mercury emissions but other toxic metals and gases that are serious pollutants. The coal industry has fought the impleme...

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Cuban musician Carlos Valera (Second to Right) with Poet of Havana Director Ron Chapman (Second left) and translator Al Fredrick(furthest left)


photo by Rob Lorei

Folk Musician Carlos Valera, often called the 'Bob Dylan of Cuba', joins us today on Radioactivity

Guns are a contentious topic right now in the Tampa Bay Area with an reported increase in gun violence in Tampa, and the tragic case in Hudson where a 12-year-old boy shot and killed his 6-year-old brother before taking his own life. At the same time a bill banning backyard shooting ranges was rejected, while bills allowing firearms on college campuses and during emergency situations are still moving through the state legislature.

Gun control advocacy group, States United to Prevent Gun V...

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Tampa Pride & Tampa/Florida electoral politics

Our first guest was Carrie West is the director of Tampa Pride 2015. It's the first LGBT event in Tampa in over a decade, and a bit of a milestone considering the hostility of previous measures enacted by the Hillsborough County Commission.

Pat Kemp then joined us. Kemp narrowly lost a bid for Hillsborough County Commission in 2014, and has already announced her candidacy in 2016. We talked about the recent Tampa City Council District 6 race, as well as the 2016 U.S. Senate race.

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Rob Boston, Director of Communications for United Americans for the Separation of Church and State

School voucher tax credit violates separation of church and state, opponents say

The debate over school choice has raged ever since a school voucher program was implement during the Jeb Bush administration in the early 2000's. The program was deemed unconstitutional and struck down by the Florida Supreme Court in 2006. Still, there is the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, which gives tax breaks to those who donate to a private school's scholarship program, which many who oppose the plan say is a roundabout voucher program.

Rob Boston, Director of Communications for Un...

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Alan Peacock, Congressional Liaison for the Florida Association of Letter Carriers


photo by Rob Lorei

Letter Carriers union work to increase vote-by-mail participation

Today we look at efforts to increase vote-by-mail participation in Florida. Two bills moving through the Florida Senate and House aim to encourage remote voting by changing the language from "Absentee voting" to "Vote-by-Mail". Two members of the Florida Association of Letter Carriers, Alan Peacock and Al Freedman, explain that many voters are confused by the term absentee voting and mail voting, thinking they must be absent from their voting county in order to vote by mail. They also talk a...

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photo by Pinterest

The fate of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum takes a possible upturn

The city of Saint Petersburg is poised to buy the Dr. Carter G Woodson African-American museum. This move was announced two weeks ago by Mayor Rick Kriseman and Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin during a press conference at the museum's building which is at the center of the dispute. As the dust settles on the city's proposal the museum's administration is reservedly upbeat about the future of the museum's location.

In January The Housing Authority voted to sell the building and told the museum ...

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photo by Kate Bradshaw

The plan to have the US run on renewable energy by 2050, and Frontline looks at the debate over vaccinations.

Today we talk about the plan to have the U.S. run completely on clean energy by 2050. Mark Jacobson is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University and he believes the country is capable of sustaining an infrastructure based on wind, water, and solar energy in all 50 states. He talks with us about his roadmap to steer the country away from dependence on fossil fuels that contribute pollution and negative health effects. He co-founded [The Solutions Project](thesol...

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