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'The Florida Dream' premieres tonight on public TV

10/18/07 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday)
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Tonight on WEDU public television, the premiere of a new documentary about Florida’s rise from being the southern state with the smallest population prior to World War II to the fourth largest state in the country.

We’re joined by USF history professor Gary Mormino whose book "Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams" inspired tonight’s documentary. The documentary was produced by the Florida Humanities Council. (Full disclosure here: my wife Janine Farver is the director of the Humanities...

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Tampa council wants the city to sue Bright House listen

10/18/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Tampa City Council ramped up its opposition to a plan by Bright House Networks that could ultimately decrease viewership to the city’s Government Channel.

In less than two months, analog subscribers in the Tampa bay area will lose access to PEG channels. And for the majority of viewers watching on digital cable, those channels – representing Public access, Education and the Government - will move from the current spot in the lowest channel number slot to a much higher slot, which c...

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Alafia River reclassification put on hold listen

10/18/07 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Earlier this month the director of science and engineering at Tampa Bay Water recommended that portions of the Alafia River receive more protection. But on Monday, the region’s water supply Board of Directors unanimously decided to wait until its Dec. 17 meeting to decide whether to request the reclassification.

Currently, the Alafia River is categorized as a Class III water, which means that it is safe for recreational use and protects fish and wildlife. But Donald Polmann, Director of ...

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Howard Kurtz discusses Imus' comeback listen

10/18/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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There's still no official word from WABC radio in New York City about when Don Imus will start his new morning show.

Published reports have indicated Imus will resume his radio career in early December on the Citadel broadcasting station.

The National Association of Black Journalists and the National Organization for Women, who called for Imus’ dismissal in the spring, had urged Citadel Chairman and CEO Farid Suleman not hire Imus.

In April, Imus lost both his nationally syndicated...

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Legislature fails to devise a tax cut plan

10/18/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Instead of wrapping up plans on a property tax cut this morning, the Florida Legislature instead threw in the towel, saying they’ll come back on Monday to try to again to craft a new constitutional amendment.

House Speaker Marco Rubio spoke briefly this morning to the entire House. He said serious work has been done this week, and gave rare praise to his Democratic colleagues whose proposals won serious consideration.

One Democrat plan would give all homesteaders an exemption equal ...

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Tampa construction fees climb listen

10/18/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Tampa City Council this morning agreed to raise the fees for commercial construction by 75 percent and residential construction fees will rise 10 percent.

Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena asked Cyndy Miller, the director of growth management and development, what could be done to speed up the permitting process, which she said is a loud source of criticism within the development community.

The Council approved a motion from Construction Service and the Fire Chief on how the time to revi...

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USF medical students discuss farmworker healthcare listen

10/17/07 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Florida’s farmworkers, many of whom are migrants and undocumented immigrants, often don’t have access to quality healthcare.

This afternoon, students at USF’s College of Medicine discussed the barriers to health care access for Florida’s farmworkers and how to promote health justice.

The International Health Service Collaborative and Project World Health organized the discussion.

David Sallman, a second year medical student at USF and president of Project World Health, said ...

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Angry Lithia citizens want investigation of Hillsborough Transportation Planning Manager listen

10/17/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Several outraged citizens complained to the Hillsborough County Commission this morning about the South County Transportation Plan and the County’s Transportation planning manager, Ned Baier.

The transportation plan is expected to go before the county’s Planning Commision and board next year.

Pam Prsyner is president of the Rural Lithia Area Neighborhood Defense. Among Prsyner's criticisms is that members of the Technical Advisory Committee and the Project Advisory Committee are too...

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$500M in road projects get green light

10/17/07 Mitch E.Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Despite warnings that they may handicap future county officials, the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners today approved $500 million in transportation improvements.

The board voted 5-2, with Commissioners Jim Norman and Brian Blair voting no.

Norman said that allocating so much money on one specific issue will leave little money available from the half-cent sales tax for future boards to contend with.

But Norman was virtually a lone voice. Instead, there were many more reasons...

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Vote pending on kids' health insurance

10/17/07 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday)
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The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote tomorrow on whether to override President Bush's veto of a bill to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

SCHIP is the Children’s Health Insurance Program for children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid. It’s essentially a program for lower income families.

Today, SCHIP insures more than 6 million children, but 9 million children remain uninsured, with nearly 6 million of them eligible for SCHI...

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Request to expand Hillsborough EPC gains support listen

10/17/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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When the Hillsborough County Commission tried to eliminate the wetlands division of the Environmental Protection Commission earlier this year, Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern spoke out against that proposal. She later told her fellow council members that she’d like Tampa to be represented on the board.

Mulhern is now going further with her goal. Last night, she asked the Temple Terrrace City Council to support her plan, which would also give Plant City representation on the county...

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Dick Cheney and the Imperial Presidency

10/16/07 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday)
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The PBS program Frontline premieres its new season tonight with "Cheney's Law," a look at Vice President Dick Cheney's decades-long concern with the erosion of presidential powers during the Vietnam-Watergate era and his efforts to reassert those powers over the past six years.

The documentary's producer Michael Kirk joins us on the phone.

From the Frontline website: "For three decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive, behind-closed-doors campaign to give the preside...

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USF students bring issues to the administration

10/16/07 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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About 70 students gathered today in the courtyard of the administration building at the University of South Florida in Tampa to protest what they see as misuse of student funds by the USF administration, a lack of transparency by the administration and not enough police officers on campus.

Garin Flowers, the student body president, explained that students are concerned about campus safety.

Freshman Emily Handy said she wishes the administration would be more transparent in how they spen...

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Non-homesteaded exemption makes headway

10/16/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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A House Committee in Tallahassee today passed what is being hailed as a revolutionary move in property tax policy, by imposing a 3 percent cap on all non-homesteaded property in Florida.

If the amendment is approved into law, it would bring about some fairness to who gets property tax relief in the state, something critics say has not been addressed in previous property tax cut plans.

West Palm Beach Democrat Shelley Vana said the proposal was praiseworthy for addressing the unfairne...

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Reaction to verdict in boot camp death

10/15/07 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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On Friday, an all-white Panama City jury handed down all not-guilty verdicts on the manslaughter charges facing seven boot camp guards and one nurse who had been accused in the death of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson.

Today WMNF’s Sean Kinane spoke with people in predominantly African American neighborhoods of East Tampa to get their reaction to the verdict.

The U.S. Justice Department released a statement Friday saying it would review the evidence to see if Anderson’s civil rights...

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