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Report: Florida falls short on education investment listen

03/31/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Last month, the chief economist for former Gov. Jeb Bush released a report that shows Florida falling behind from other states in attracting high-wage jobs because of its lack of investment in education and inadequate linkage between schools and economic development.

Economist Antonio Villamil, who worked for the former governor, says Florida ranks 46 among the 50 states in combined state and local spending for public schools. His report was commissioned by the United Teachers of Dade Coun...

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Author of new biography on Bush - Part 2 listen

03/31/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Journalist Robert Draper was given unprecedented face time with President Bush in 2006 for what became a biography Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush.

In the second part of our interview, WMNF asked Draper about Bush’s second term in office, which went south because of the president’s lack of immediate action in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

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Unprecedented campaign begins against global warming listen

03/31/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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In what is being called one of the most ambitious and expensive public advocacy campaigns in U.S. history, former Vice President Al Gore this week will launch a $300-million campaign designed to mobilize citizens to push for major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The campaign will be run by Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, which he helped create a year ago. Cathy Zoi is the CEO for the Alliance for Climate Protection. Prior to that, Zoi spent two decades in the energy a...

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Palm Beach schools sued over minority graduation rates listen

03/31/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Low graduation rates, especially among minority students, in the School District of Palm Beach County have led to a lawsuit filed earlier this month by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Muslima Lewis is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Florida and director of their Racial Justice Project.

Today, WMNF spoke with Lewis about the lawsuit and about the high school graduation rates in Palm Beach County and in Florida.

Learn more:

ACLU of Florida

...

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House Minority Leader blasts Republican budget plans listen

03/28/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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As the Florida Legislature copes with a $2½-billion deficit, lawmakers have proposed slashing $1-billion out of the Human Services budget.

Among the programs on the cutting list include $170-million from the Medically Needy program, which pays medical bills for people in need of transplants or who have catastrophic illness and cannot qualify for Mediciaid.

Also on the chopping block would be plans to end vision, hearing and dental care for 46,000 seniors covered by Medicaid, and elimi...

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Sanchez named to lead Latino fundraising for Obama listen

03/28/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Yesterday the Barack Obama campaign announced that Tampa businessman Frank Sanchez has been named National Chairman of Latino Fundraising for the campaign.

Sanchez has already been active with Obama as adviser on Latin American issues, and as a chief fundraiser here in Florida.

Sanchez previously worked in the Bill Clinton administration as an Assistant Secretary of Transportation where he oversaw international negotiations.

Sanchez ran and lost to Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio in a run-off ...

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Journalist describes Bush presidency listen

03/28/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Robert Draper has been a national correspondent for GQ magazine for the past decade, and prior to that was senior editor at Texas Monthly. He is author of a novel, Hadrian's Walls, and the biography Rolling Stone Magazine: The Uncensored History.

Last year his biography on President Bush, Dead Certain, was published. His account, based on access to every important figure in his administration, attempts to be the essential biography of the Bush years.

WMNF spoke with Draper and...

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Voting experts discuss bid to eliminate Electoral College listen

03/28/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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As we reported yesterday, Sen. Bill Nelson intends to introduce legislation in Congress soon that includes abolishing the Electoral College.

Such a plan would not be the first time. Opposition to the electoral college has been present throughout the country’s history, but particularly after the 2000 Presidential election, in which Al Gore won the popular vote by more than 500,000.

To get rid of the Electoral College would require a Constitutional Amendment, always a formidable challen...

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Al Lang Stadium's bittersweet farewell

03/28/08 Arielle Stevenson
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Today thousands filled the seats at Al Lang Stadium one last time to watch the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Cincinnati Reds. With the Rays moving their training facility next year to Charlotte County and no new tenants for next spring, the legacy that began more than 80 years ago is drawing to a close.

City Councilman Jim Kennedy says he’s torn between the prospect of a new stadium on the site and the nostalgia of Al Lang.

Al Lang built the stadium in 1914 and was St. Petersburg’s may...

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CSX deal raises tax questions

03/27/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday)
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Our next guest, Lindsay Peterson, has been tracking a proposed deal between the CSX Corportaion and the state of Florida. Yesterday she wrote:

“The cost of the state's commuter rail deal with CSX has risen by a nearly a third, from $491 million to $649 million, according to the latest Florida Department of Transportation estimates.

The state DOT is proposing to buy 61 miles of CSX tracks in the Orlando area for commuter rail and to help CSX expand its freight operations statewide. CSX...

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The ACLU's Racial Justice Program

03/27/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday)
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Our guests today are Muslima Lewis and Dennis Parker. Lewis is director of the ACLU of Florida’s racial justice and voting rights programs; she’s a graduate of Yale Law School. Dennis parker is director of the ACLU’s national racial justice program, he’s a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Tuesday a coalition of groups including the ACLU will be in Tallahassee to call for a truly automatic, paper-work free civil rights restoration process for people with past felony convictions.

F...

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Nelson urges DNC to compromise on delegates listen

03/27/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Sen. Bill Nelson today announced a new plan to have Florida’s Jan. 29 primary count by copying what the Republican National Committee did.

When Florida’s Legislature voted last year to move the primary date to January, lawmakers were aware that penalties loomed but went ahead anyway, daring the national parties to sanction them.

Both parties did – but while the Democratic National Committee stripped the state of all of its delegates, the GOP cut half of theirs – making the prima...

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Survey counts homeless in Hillsborough listen

03/27/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Today the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County conducted a "street survey" of homeless people in the county. Teams of volunteers and government workers fanned out across the county to give a 19-page questionnaire to as many people without permanent housing as they could.

Lesa Weikel, community relations manager for the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County, said the purpose of the survey is to determine what types of services are needed.

“The survey that we’re conducting ou...

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Part 2 of annual tax call-in program

03/26/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday)
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Today we held the second part of our annual federal income tax advice call-in program with guests Phil Scheidt, Anne Marie and Andy Mason. All three are CPA's who practice in the Tampa area.

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Paul Ehrlich Speaks in St. Petersburg listen

03/26/08 Jamie Kidder
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Paul Ehrlich is the Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University. He spoke in last night about how population growth impacts our world.

Ehrlich was at the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg last night to talk about his new book, The Dominant Animal. In it, he describes the rise of human beings to the most dominant species on the planet, and discusses what we can do to reverse the negative impact humanity has had on the planet.

According to Ehrlich, the rise to dominance...

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