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Food crisis, global warming and water shortages

04/30/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday)
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An international group of food scientists says countries should not use food crops to produce biofuels during a world food crisis.

Three scientists with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research say if nations stop turning corn into ethanol this year, it would cut 20 percent from the price of corn next year. Instead of using grains, the international group is calling on the U.S. and other countries to shift biofuels production to nonfood crops such as switchgrass...

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CSX deal still up in the air listen

04/30/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday

A vote in the state House yesterday gave CSX $436 million for the right of way for a transportation project and grants the company lawsuit liability protection.

The Legislature’s bill is a little less expensive than the $650-million plan that the Florida Department of Transportation had previously negotiated. The deal is a controversial one – not only for its still enormous price tag in a terrible budget year, but also because of what critics call a "back deal" arrangement.

Doug Ca...

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Florida Education leader disgusted by school budget cuts listen

04/30/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Under the proposed state budget released earlier this week, $332 million is being cut from public education.

Locally, Hillsborough and Pinellas County Schools will lose a combined $38 million.

Those cuts have disgusted the head of the Florida Education Association, Andy Ford, who says Gov. Charlie Crist and legislative leaders promised schools would be "held harmless" under proposed property tax cut plans. Ford calls those "empty political promises, it’s irresponsible.”

One li...

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Partnership to restore 2.5- million acres listen

04/30/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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In what is being billed as the largest restoration effort ever undertaken in South America, the Nature Conservancy is restoring 2½ million acres by planting a billion trees over the next seven years.

Nook publisher Penguin Classics is supporting the plan and trying to bring attention to the endeavor.

Kathryn Court is the President and Publisher of Penguin Classics. WMNF asked her today why her company was becoming so heavily invested in the project.

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Survey asks: Who is a downtowner? listen

04/30/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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This morning the Tampa Downtown Partnership unveiled the results of their surveys of people who live or work downtown. They call it the first-ever downtown study to determine who is a Downtowner?

According to its website, the mission of the Tampa Downtown Partnership “is to be the steward of Downtown Tampa, while cultivating effective public/private partnerships to facilitate catalytic physical and economic development.”

HCP & Associates conducted two surveys that relied on people...

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In Tampa, McCain addresses U.S. health care listen

04/29/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Republican Presidential nominee John McCain addressed his plan for solving the country’s health care crisis this morning at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. McCain proposes shifting trillions of dollars in tax credits from businesses that provide health coverage to employees who buy their own.

Sen. McCain said the two fundamental problems troubling the American health care system are cost and access. He proposed replacing some employment-based health insurance coverage by giving indi...

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New infrastructure report says U.S. is falling behind listen

04/29/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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As gas prices continue to rise gallon, a report released today calls for raising the national gas tax by as much as a dollar a gallon to begin fixing the crumbling roadway system. The report was jointly published between the Urban Land Institute and Ernst & Young.

Called, “Infrastructure 2008”, it compares the current and planned infrastructure investment in the U.S. in a variety of categories with other nations, and finds the U.S. wanting.

Rick Rosen is president of the Urban Land ...

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Wright holds press conference

04/29/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday)
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The Rev. Jeremiah Wright was, until recently, pastor at Sen. Barack Obama's church in Chicago. Soundbites from several of his sermons have been repeated endlessly on television and radio. Many times those clips have been used to cast doubts about Obama, one of two Democrats vying for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Today WMNF played the unedited press conference that Wright gave to national reporters at the national Press Club in Washington, D.C., yesterday. Following the ...

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Critics scoff at a gas tax in Florida listen

04/29/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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In Tallahassee, Sen. Mike Fasano filed an amendment to a revenue bill Monday that would suspend 10-cents of the state's 15.6-cent per gallon gas tax for a two-week period from July 1-14. It comes after Gov. Charlie Crist has been expressing the same sentiments in recent weeks, saying it would bring relief at the pumps to Floridians.

Doug Calloway is president of Floridians For Better Transportation, a statewide advocate for public transportation created by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. ...

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Interview with author Dudley Clendinen

04/29/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday)
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In 1994, New York Times writer Dudley Clendinen’s mother sold her home and moved into an all-amenities-included geriatric apartment building: Canterbury Tower in Tampa. Canterbury’s residents include the wealthy, moderate income, Christian, Jewish, widowed and married. All of Canterbury’s residents had come together, at the average age of 86, in search of a last place to live and eventually die.

Dudley Clendinen was born and raised here in Tampa. His interest in this final pha...

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Groups sue over registration law

04/28/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Today the League of Women Voters of Florida and several voting rights advocates filed a lawsuit challenging a Florida voter registration law that imposes prohibitive fines on voter registration groups and risks preventing eligible Florida citizens from registering and voting in the 2008 elections.

Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti, president of the League of Women Voters in Florida, says citizens can register on their own if they own a computer with access to the Internet. Visit [411.org](http://...

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Sarasota to vote growth on measurenext week will they require unanimous vote by County Commission to change urban service boundary? listen

04/28/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Sarasota County may soon have more strict controls on growth in rural areas. One of the two questions on the ballot during a special election next Tuesday asks voters whether County Commissioners should unanimously agree to any changes to the comprehensive plan outside the urban service area boundary (USB).

The ballot initiative has support among environmental, business and community activist groups. If passed, it will amend the Sarasota County Charter to require a unanimous vote of County...

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Bipartisan group: Primary should count listen

04/28/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tomorrow Floridians from across the state will protest in front of the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters in Washington. They’ll be calling on DNC Chair Howard Dean to decide the issue with Florida’s congressional delegates.

Rallies were held across the state on Saturday calling for that as well. In St. Petersburg, around 50 people gathered at Gladden Park to demand that the votes from Florida’s Jan. 29 primary count. The event was sponsored by the newly formed group, F...

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Jails Commission discusses confinement listen

04/25/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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In response to allegations of abuse of inmates by Orient Road Jail deputies, including a video of intake deputies dumping a man out of his wheelchair, Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee formed a panel to investigate conditions within the county’s jails. The Independent Review Commission on Jails held its fifth meeting today at the Tampa Port Authority on Channelside Drive.

Col. David Parrish administers the Hillsborough County Jail system. He addressed the commission on the different types o...

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School voucher proposal gets new life listen

04/25/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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The state Commission that meets once every 20 years finished up its business today with a flourish. The Taxation and Budget Reform Commission adjourned today after voting to revive the school tuition-voucher program that was axed by the Florida Supreme Court nearly 2 ½ years ago.

The Commission also passed a proposal requiring school districts to spend 65 cents of every education dollar in the classroom. They later decided to combine the two as one ballot item.

The voucher proposal wou...

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