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TBARTA supports referendum for light rail funding listen

02/27/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) voted unanimously this morning to support Hillsborough County’s efforts to build light rail. TBARTA will back a referendum that could be placed on the 2010 ballot in Hillsborough to fund transit by increasing sales tax.

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio has been a leader in the effort to construct four light rail lines that will link downtown Tampa with the University of South Florida, Tampa International Airport and beyond.

“And I ...

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Some critical of plans for troop withdrawal from Iraq listen

02/27/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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President Barack Obama announced plans today to withdraw the bulk of U.S. forces from Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, and to pull out all remaining troops by the end of 2011, ending the war in Iraq and launching what he called an "era of American leadership and engagement in the Middle East."

Speaking to Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Obama said he wanted to talk about how the war in Iraq would end.

The president’s plan calls for withdrawing most of the 142,000 service members now in Iraq by t...

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Sarasota-Manatee group gets grant to help returning war vets listen

02/27/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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The Gulf Coast Community Foundation has awarded Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Sarasota-Manatee a grant of $300,000 over the next two years to assist families experiencing negative effects from military service in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Research shows that one in every five veterans who have served in either of those countries suffers from depression or a stress disorder.

Rose Chapman, president and CEO of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS), said the grant will...

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Conservatives blast stimulus and other federal expenditures listen

02/27/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Ten days after President Barack Obama signed the massive $787 billion economic stimulus bill, more than 80 people demonstrated in front of the federal courthouse in Tampa today, registering their displeasure with that and other spending expenditures of the young administration.

The rally was organized by John Hendrix, formerly associated with the Tampa Bay Minutemen, the anti-illegal immigration group. He said protests had been planned, but credited the rant by CNBC anchor Rick Santelli a...

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Medicare payments stop during fraud investigation listen

02/26/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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This afternoon in St. Petersburg, about 50 patients came together at the medical clinic where they had been receiving help to demand that Medicare resume paying for their medical treatments. Because of an investigation into alleged fraud, Medicare has stopped all payments to the Advanced Medical Therapy Institute.

A dozen of the patients spoke about how the non-traditional treatment they’ve received at Advanced Medical has helped them fight their cancers and other afflictions.

Mary B...

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Inside the Pentagon’s black budget

02/26/09 Rob Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday)
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Good afternoon, welcome to WMNF’s Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up: we’ll hear from the third most powerful Republican congressman in Washington, D.C., who is stepping down from office and planning to return to Florida. And we’ll hear about efforts to protect drinking water supplies from the Cypress Town Center Mall.

But first we’ll hear about a new book that lifts some of the secrecy surrounding the Pentagon’s secret budget. Our first guest is Trevor Paglen who holds a ...

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Tampa citizens rail against onerous regulations in downtown listen

02/26/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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At a discussion of Tampa’s development in the downtown area, Council members heard from citizens who said city officials seem to do everything in their power to ensure that new businesses can’t thrive.

Ken Sultenberg lives in the Channelside area of Tampa. He says he’s been trying for three years to recruit businesses to Grand Central on Kennedy Boulevard.

Josh Doring works with a commercial brokerage firm in Tampa. He said the city has the assets to excel, but said it’s still ...

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Tampa debates giving bidding preferences to local businesses listen

02/26/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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An effort to give local independent businesses in Tampa a boost by allowing them a preference to bid for city contracts was debated at the Tampa City Council today.

The discussion began with a presentation by Greg Spearman, the director of purchasing with the city of Tampa. He said that a year’s survey of contracts issued by the city showed that 82 percent of such contracts were awarded to businesses within the five-county Tampa Bay area.

Spearman laid out the pros and cons of giving...

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Columnist discusses where to cut fat from Medicare listen

02/26/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Barack Obama's administration announced today a $634 billion down payment on achieving universal health care coverage.

Obama plans to pay for a portion of the funding by cutting payments to insurers that provide Medicare Advantage plans that are determined by a formula. Currently, those payments have been 14 percent higher than what the government typically spends per beneficiary. Under the Obama proposal, insurers would be required to competitively bid to offer plans beginning in 2012....

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Should Florida end the death penalty?

02/25/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday)
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Should Florida end the death penalty? That's the question addressed on this segment of WMNF's Radioactivity with Rob Lorei.

Peter Mills, an assistant public defender and member of the Florida Public Defender Association, was the guest during this segment. He discussed the cost of capital murder appeals and how the appeals are far more expensive than keeping someone in prison for life with no possibility of parole. He also looked at the unequal ways the death penalty is applied in Florida ...

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What is Obama's stance on genocide in Darfur? listen

02/25/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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How will the Obama administration deal with and prevent genocide? Edward Kissi, an assistant professor in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of South Florida, says that in many of his campaign speeches, Obama referenced genocide in order to condemn and draw attention to the mass killings in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Kissi suggests that one reason was to stress his “change” campaign theme by contrasting the failure to stop the 1994 genocide in Rwanda with restoring ...

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San Francisco Chronicle up for sale listen

02/25/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Yesterday the Hearst Corp. said it may sell or shut down San Francisco's main daily newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle.

The paper lost $50 million last year, and has been losing money consistently since 2001.The daily newspaper employs nearly 300 people on its news staff alone, and is the 12th largest paper in the country.

Alan Mutter is a former Chronicle editor and is now an independent analyst and consultant and writes the blog Confessions of a Newsosaur.

WMNF spoke with h...

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Mark Sharpe defends his work on mass transit listen

02/25/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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A clash of egos broke out at a budget meeting today with Hillsborough County Commissioners regarding a possible referendum next year on funding a mass transit system.

Commissioner Mark Sharpe has been actively involved in discussions with other local agencies over the past couple of years on the issue.

After coming back from a meeting with Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, as well as members of HART, the County’s Metropolitian Planning organization and the region’s transit agency, TBARTA, Shar...

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Jeffrey Sachs on climate change and overpopulation listen

02/25/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton wrapped up her first diplomatic mission to Asia earlier this week with climate change experts praising her for putting global warming at the center of U.S. foreign policy.

Clinton said the Obama administration wants to see economic growth continue in China. But she also noted that the two nations produce 40 percent of the world's heat-trapping gas emissions.

Economist Jeffrey Sachs writes extensively about the dangers of climate change. His lat...

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Columnist: Government needs more revenue to function properly listen

02/25/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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In his message to Congress last night, President Barack Obama laid out how he plans on dealing with the various crises facing his administration.

But the Washington Post editorialized this morning that his message was more about what could be done than what would have to be left out.

Obama said in addition to dealing with the banking, housing and financial problems, he plans on addressing health care, education, and alternative forms of energy, and cut the deficit in half by 2013.

...

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