News & Public Affairs

Friday November 21, 2014

IS FLORIDAS A+ THREAT BETTER THAN NO CHILD LEFT BEHINDS?-Andrew Stelzer

A new study published this week by Harvard University finds that the threats for failure leveled at schools by Floridas A-plus school accountability system are more effective in improving students test scores than are the consequences for not meeting the standards of the federal accountability reform program, the No Child Left Behind Act. This morning, WMNFs Andrew Stelzer spoke with Martin West, a research associate at the program on education policy and governance at Harvard University, an...

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TAMPA CITY COUNCIL ON BLOCK GRANTS - Mitch Perry

Tampa City Councilman Sean Harrison proposed today that the Iorio administration provide $25,000 to begin a public-private program for Faith Based Community Block Grant Programs…

Harrison said he thinks the program should be administered by Shannon Edge, Director of Neighborhood and Community Relations, and should not necessarily be limited to faith based organizations, but to any small group who may not be ‘sophisticated’ to go thru the block grant process (rol...

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TEMPLE TERRACE WALKABLE COMMUNITY WORKSHOP - Seán Kinane

This morning in Temple Terrace a community workshop was held to get input from citizens on how to make the city friendlier to pedestrians. WMNF’s Seán Kinane files this report.

The walkable community workshop was one of eight being sponsored throughout Hillsborough County by the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the City of Tampa, the HARTline bus service, and the National Center for Bicycling and Walking. Billy Jack has 34 years of experience working as a planner for t...

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ACADEMIC BILL OF RIGHTS - Mitch Perry

At a workshop in Tallahassee yesterday, David Horowitz, the former Black Panther associate turned arch conservative, addressed legislators on his proposal that he has been taken to state capitals across the country, a so-called ‘Academic freedom Bill’ that would grant university students the right to be graded without political bias- and say they would have access to opposing points of view from their professor.

The Bill is sponsored by Ocala House Representative Dennis B...

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URS CORP - Mitch Perry

This morning the Hillsborough County Commission discussed whether the URS Corporation should be given a contract for their engineering services for the County’s stormwater projects.

URS has been the contractor involved with expansion of the Crosstown Expressway, which has been beset by problems going back to a year ago.

That project was to deliver 3 express lanes of traffic to Tampa from Brandon in the morning and out again at night….It was on budget and ahead of...

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COUNTY COMMISSION DEBATES RESOURCE RECOVERY CONTRACT-Andrew Stelzer

The Hillsborough county commission debated whether to go ahead with a contract which would expand the resource recovery facility on Falkenburg road from 3 to 4 burners, The plant turns garbage into energy rather that putting it in land fills, and the plan was agreed upon years ago. The new contract would also allow Covanta to continue operating the plant for 20 years at a cost of $420 million--the existing contract expires in September 2007; but county Commissioner Brian Blair spoke out agai...

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JIM NORMAN TRIES TO IMPLEMENT 3 STRIKES AND OUT ON INDIGENT HEALTH CARE - Mitch Perry

As officials look to trim costs for the county's indigent health care program, Hillsborough County commissioner Jim Norman today brought forth his plan to kick people off the plan if they are convicted of three or more felonies.

Under this plan, Norman says that everybody would start with a clean slate – meaning prior convictions would not count toward the 3 strikes. But Norman showed little mercy on those who have violated the law 3 times, saying he wishes he could make the...

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VIDEO LENDING AT LIBRARIES - Mitch Perry

At today’s Hillsborough County Commission meeting, Commissioner Ronda Storms proposed eliminating funding for County libraries to purchase entertainment DVD’s…

The Tampa Tribune reported today that Storms was reacted to a story in the Tribune earlier this year that showed County residents increasingly using public libraries to borrow movies – not read books….. the Tampa- Hillsborough County Public Library System will spend about $559,000 on movies, co...

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GUN BILL - Mitch Perry

Governor Jeb Bush says he will soon sign into law the so-called “Castle Doctrine� bill that critics have said threatens to turn Florida into the OK Corral.

Legislation passed yesterday in the House does away with the legal duty to retreat from an attack and allows a citizen to meet force with force, including deadly force if necessary. Proponents, including the National Rifle Association, say it's about protecting law-abiding citizens. The governor agreed.

Marian Hammer ...

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BOB BARR - Mitch Perry

In an event, co-sponsored by the USF Chapter of Amnesty International AND WMNF Radio, former Georgia Republican Congressman Bob Barr began the first of 3 speaking engagements in the Tampa Bay Area last night on the USF Campus…

Barr now works as a conservative radio talk show host, and suprising to some, consults for the ACLU – speaking out against the USA Patriot Act.

At last night’s event, Barr was introduced by local Tampa Bay Area ACLU member Mike Phene...

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