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Florida Hometown Democracy Act debated

08/09/07 Florida Public Radio and Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday)
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Florida Public Radio presented a debate earlier this week on the proposed Florida Hometown Democracy Act.

The amendment to the Florida Constitution would allow local residents to challenge changes to their local comprehensive plans.

Backers see it as a way to slow sprawl while developers see it as another unnecessary hurdle to growth. This program featured an edited version of a debate bewteen Ross Burnaman with Florida Hometown Democracy, and Adam Babington with the Florida Chamber of ...

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Corps of Engineers chief speaks in Tampa listen

08/09/07 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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David Hobbie, chief of the Regulatory Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District, is traveling the state for a series of four “Meet the Chief” forums.

Today several dozen environmental consultants, developers and environmentalists attended a forum at Tampa’s Crowne Plaza hotel to ask questions of Hobbie and learn about changes in national permitting procedures.

The Army Corps’ Regulatory Division is responsible for issuing permits for developments that im...

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Mayor Iorio unveils slimmed down Tampa budget

08/09/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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An upbeat Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio unveiled her budget for the next fiscal year.

She mentioned several times during today's presentation to the City Council that it had been a challenging process necessitated by the rollback of ad valorem taxes dictated by property tax reform.

Like every municipality in Florida, the city of Tampa is having to make major adjustments in the way it runs its business. Cuts from the city payroll include $20 million and 240 jobs. The budget is actually incr...

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Tampa water rates to double in five years

08/09/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Tampa City Council approved a measure today that will double the amount that citizens pay for water within the next five years.

The Council also approved a motion to begin reducing the price of reclaimed water. The rate increases appear to be relatively incremental; a customer defined as a middle user will see their rate go from $11 to $12.62 in the first year.

Although the city of Tampa pays much lower rates for water than virtually any other local government in the bay area, Cit...

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New Port Richey Councilman Rob Marlowe on animal rights

08/09/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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In New Port Richey Tuesday night, the City Council dropped a proposed ban on feeding strays and removed limits on cats and dogs from its new animal control law.

But as City Councilman Rob Marlowe tells WMNF, most of the law's provisions – such as the stray feeding ban and the three-per-household limits on dogs and cats – have been on the city's books since 1964. But many elected officials and residents had no idea the rules existed.

The new law now requires New Port Richey dog owne...

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Will proposed landfill threaten Tampa's drinking water?

08/08/07 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday)
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There is a proposal to build a landfill in east Pasco County, close to the headwaters of the Hillsborough River, a main source of drinking water for the city of Tampa.

The proposed landfill is about one mile from the Hillsborough River basin, near Dade City. The initial proposal called for a 30-acre landfill, but the company that wants to build it has the option of expanding it to 600 acres.

In east Pasco, a citizen’s group called Protector’s of Florida’s Legacy is trying to get t...

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Publix says it wasn't policy to provide cheap drugs

08/08/07 Mitch E.Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Earlier this week, Publix supermarkets made huge news state wide, and even nationally, when the chain announced it was offering seven generic antibiotics for free to its pharmacy customers.

But what Publix officials didn’t say was that they were simultaneously discontinuing a policy that had allowed customers to obtain other medications for just $4 a prescription.

The Orlando Sentinel reported today that the grocer claimed it had dropped its policy of matching – when a customer re...

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Poll: Floridians support Crist's climate change agenda

08/08/07 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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An opinion poll released today at a press conference in the Westin Hotel on Tampa’s Harbor Island revealed that Floridians of all political stripes support Gov. Charlie Crist’s policies on climate change.

The Mason-Dixon/Environmental Defense poll is the first to ask Floridians how they feel about climate change since the governor’s climate change summit in Miami last month.

In general, responses from Republicans were less favorable than those from Independents and Democrats on ma...

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Democrats spar over labor issues at MSNBC debate

08/08/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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The nation's largest labor federation will not immediately endorse any of the Democratic presidential candidates in next year's primary.

According to draft copies of a statement provided to the Associated Press, the AFL-CIO made the decision in part because union members say that all of the Democratic candidates "are impressive."

The decision means that the AFL-CIO's 55 unions are now free to endorse the candidate of their choice. Several unions already have made plans to endorse aft...

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Feds crackdown on employers who use illegal workers

08/08/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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In an effort to crack down on illegal immigrants, federal authorites are expected to announce new penalties this week that will require employers to fire workers who use false Social Security numbers.

Russ Knocke, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, tells the New York Times: "There are not going to be any more excuses for employers, and there will be serious consequences for those that choose to blatantly disregard the law.”

Homeland Security will soon release reg...

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Howard Dean on getting young people to vote

08/08/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and presidential candidate, became chairman of the Democratic National Committee in February 2005.

Shortly after he took over, he pledged to bring reform to the Party. Rather than focusing just on "swing states," Dean proposed what has come to be known as the 50-State Strategy. The goal, he says, is for the Democratic Party to be committed to winning elections at every level in every region of the country, with Democrats organized in every single vo...

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Dan Matthews of PETA interview, Part II

08/08/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Dan Matthews of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was in Tampa yesterday to promote his new book, “Committed: A Rabble-Rouser’s Memoir.”

Matthews is the mastermind behind many of the audacious and outrageous protests that have made PETA such a controversial, but effective group.

Speaking with WMNF yesterday, we asked him if there’s ever been any incident he did that made him feel like PETA had gone a little "too far."

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Pinellas environmentalists win round in battle to preserve county land listen

08/07/07 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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This morning in Clearwater, the Pinellas Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted down a proposed ordinance that would have established restrictions on the sale or transfer of county-owned parks and environmental lands.

This ordinance contained too many loopholes and changes that could be made too easily and without sufficient input from the public, according to 10 environmentalists who spoke during the public comment period of the meeting.

John Miolla is president of the Homeown...

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PETA official condemns Sarasota woman charged in dog abuse

08/07/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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A Sarasota deputy investigating the foul smell coming from a house reportedly found the "mummified" remains of two pug dogs that were locked in a bedroom for two months.

Deputies say the dogs died a cruel death. There were claw marks at the doorway and damage to the window blinds where they tried to escape. There was no water in the room, and feces all over the floor.

The owner, 37-year-old Deanna Ramono, told deputies she could not take care of her dogs because "I work too much."

...

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Pinellas officials discuss hurricane preparedness

08/07/07 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday)
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Tom Iovino is the No. 1 expert in Pinellas on hurricane preparedness, and Chris Settle specializes in the host home program.

They came to WMNF today to talk about hurricane prep including: -42 percent of county residents would have to evacuate in case of a Category 3 hurricane -the height of storm surge in Pinellas should a hurricane hit -hurricane emergency kits -evacuation planning -setting up a host home program -special needs evacuations -preparing the home...

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