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Debate over health care reform

06/18/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday)
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Today WMNF presents a debate over whether the United States needs health care reform and what kind of health care reform it needs. Our guests are John Russell who is an acute care nurse practitioner from Pasco County and David McKalip who is neurosurgeon practicing in St. Petersburg.

Russell favors reform along the lines of single payer and/or the president's plan of offering a government option to compte with private health insurance. McKalip favors an expansion of medical savings accoun...

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Largo Democrat aspires to local office listen

06/18/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Although this year is considered an ‘off year’ election-wise, there are plenty of local races on the ballot throughout the Tampa Bay area.

John Mandojano, Democrat, is a candidate for Largo City Commissioner, Seat #4 this fall. Mandojano spoke with WMNF the other day about his candidacy.

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Wastewater rates to rise in Tampa listen

06/18/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Mayor Pam Iorio's administration wants to raise sewer rates for Tampa citizens dramatically over the next three years.

Finance Director Bonnie Wise came before the Tampa City Council this morning, where she said rates would need to increase by 34 percent over the next five years. The rate increase would hit hard initially, with a 14½ percent increase next year, followed by a 12 percent increase in 2011, and 8 percent in 2012.

Asked if the increase could be spread out more evenly over t...

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Tiger bay hosts nine St Petersburg Mayoral candidates listen

06/17/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Nine of the eleven candidates for St. Petersburg Mayor discussed city issues today before a packed Suncoast Tiger Bay Club.

The question from the audience that was voted most difficult required each candidate to say which competitor he or she would vote for. Scott Wagman selected a person who considered running for Mayor, but instead opted to stay on the Pinellas County Commission, Ken Welsh. Wagman says he hopes that Welsh succeeds him as St. Petersburg Mayor.

City Council member Jami...

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Hillsborough land acquisitions program faces budget challenges listen

06/17/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Last November, Hillsborough County citizens voted in large numbers to continue to country’s land acquisitions program, known as ELAPP.

Last week at a budget hearing, County Administrator Pat Bean said that the only way to pay for the program would be by raising taxes, something Commissioners had previously said they were opposed to.

That led to some complaints from local citizens, including some who voiced their opinion at today’s County Commission Meeting.

At the end of the day...

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A discussion about medical marijuana

06/17/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday)
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Today on RadioActivity we feature a discussion with Kim Russell, a founder of People United for Medical Marijuana, Florida.

From the group's official web site:

"There are over 1.7 million seriously ill people in Florida. They have the right to safe, affordable, and effective medication. The goal of this committee is to restore liberties to Floridians. We are collecting signatures on a petition to support a constitutional amendment that gives patients the right to grow, obtain, purchase a...

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Greenpeace criticizes new 'clean coal' plant listen

06/17/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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The Department of Energy has decided to move forward on a stalled futuristic coal-burning power plant in central Illinois that languished under the Bush administration.

The project known as FutureGen would burn coal for power but store emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide underground. It was slated to be built in Mattoon, Ill., but was canceled after a faulty cost analysis put the price of the project higher than it should have been.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a state...

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Reactions to possible cutbacks at Hispanic Liaison's Office listen

06/17/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Hillsborough County is facing over $100 million dollars in budget cuts. Among possible departments that the County is considering reducing would be the County’s Hispanic Liaison office, from 2 full-time positions to one half-time person.

This morning a handful of citizens complained about that.

Angelette Aviles quoted Census figures that say that Latinos will comprise nearly a full quarter of the County’s population by next year, and said it simply could not afford to dismantle that...

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Pinellas Schools move forward with possible quarter mill tax increase listen

06/16/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The Pinellas County School Board today took the first step toward a small tax increase to improve its budget shortfall.

Some members reluctantly supported the tax, but they blame the state Legislature for creating the situation.

“The Legislature and Governor did not do their job. We have a chance to do ours.” Like the six other members of the Pinellas School Board, Linda Lerner approved an “intent to levy” a zero-point-two-five mill inc...

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Ken Welch on Pinellas economy, listen

06/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Pinellas County Commissioners are conducting their public hearing portion of their meeting this afternoon.

Over the weekend, WMNF spoke with Commissioner Ken Welch about the economic woes Pinellas is undergoing. He says the county is staring at a deficit of at least $110 million.

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Report: Florida will be among the last states to escape recession listen

06/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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A new report says that Florida’s economic recovery will be longer and more difficult than the rest of the country.

Forecasters with the Wachovia Economics Group say the state went into recession a full nine months ahead of the rest of the nation. Plus, it says the state’s surplus of housing and commercial real estate is "considerably worse" than the rest of the U.S.

Read the economic forecast for Florida at Wachovia.org.

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Activist Cindy Sheehan, a nuke mystery and a visit to Gaza

06/16/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday)
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Welcome to Radioactivity. I'm Rob Lorei. Today's program comes in three parts: We'll hear from peace activist and author Cindy Sheehan, we'll meet a local recreational fisherman who had a harrowing encounter with a nuclear submarine off Key West, and we'll get an eyewitness account of the situation in Gaza from a local peace activist who has just returned from the Middle East.

But first some comments about last Thursday's program on which the topic of right-wing conspiracy theories was ra...

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World renowned architect to design new USF campus listen

06/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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USF officials announced today that renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has been selected to design the first building on the new Lakeland campus of USF Polytechnic.

The announcement was made this morning by Marshall Goodman, VP/CEO for USF Polytechnic. He was effusive in his praise for the award-winning architect.

David Robinson is the CEO of DSM, and was part of the selection committee. He said the new campus building will transform the region.

Calatrava was conferenced ...

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Charlie Justice on his Congressional race listen

06/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Politico.com reported earlier this year that Democrats have defeated so many vulnerable Republicans over the past four years that there are few obvious targets left for them in 2010.

In some cases, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is hoping some longtime incumbents might retire. Such is the case in Florida’s 10th Congressional District – that’s the Pinellas County seat that’s been owned by C.W. Bill Young for nearly four decades.

Nationally, Democrats think they m...

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Health care experts call for 'play or pay' requirement listen

06/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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As the health care debate heats up in Washington, two new reports arguing that an essential employer health mandate be part of any health care reform plan were released today.

Also a statement signed by more than 330 health care experts and economists was published today echoing President Barack Obama’s call for health care reform happening this year.

MIT Economics professor Jonathan Gruber was one of those signatories. He said that getting rid of the current employer based insurance ...

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