News & Public Affairs

Saturday May 30, 2015

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Leonel Perez and Joe Parker of the CIW


photo by Rob Lorei

Coalition for Immokalee Workers ramp up for the Fair Food parade and concert in St.Pete

Today Leonel Perez and Joe Parker of Coalition of Immokalee Workers talk about its Fair Food parade and concert, which will take place in St.Petersburg on Saturday starting at noon. The event will celebrate the achievements of CIW's Fair Food Program.The campaign calls for a collaboration between food buyers, distributors and Florida's tomato farm workers to address abuse and exploitation on farms by adhering to a fair food code of conduct. Participating companies also pay an extra penny per ...

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Political Scientist and college professor tackles guns on campus issue

Two gun bills are moving through the state legislature and appear poised to pass. One would allow people who lawfully own a firearm to open carry that weapon with or without a concealed carry permit during the first 48-hours of a mandatory evacuation.

The other measure would allow students and faculty to carry guns on state college campuses.

While both measures are enjoying Republican support in the conservative legislature, there has been huge push back from people favoring what they ...

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photo by "Richard Blanco" by Sam farzaneh - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Richard_Blanco.JPG#/media/File:Richard_Blanco.JPG

Poet Richard Blanco joins Art in Your Ear

Richard Blanco was the fifth inaugural poet, and the first openly gay Latino immigrant poet. His work, One Day, mesmerized the nation. Since then he has been involved in multiple public projects, including a response to the Boston Bombing (Boston Strong) and the marriage equality movement Until We Could.

Richard has a new memoir, The Prince of Los Cocuyos, a...

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Poet Richard Blanco joins Art in Your Ear

Richard Blanco was the fifth inaugural poet, and the first openly gay Latino immigrant poet. His work, One Day, mesmerized the nation. Since then he has been involved in multiple public projects, including a response to the Boston Bombing (Boston Strong) and the marriage equality movement Until We Could.

Richard has a new memoir, The Prince of Los Cocuyos, a...

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Debbie Dooley on criticism of Floridians for solar choice; Starbucks tries to engage discussion on race with baristas

Debbie Dooley is a co-founder of the national Tea Party, and a leading supporter of the movement to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot next year in Florida that would allow citizens the opportunity to purchase solar power from third-party companies, not public utilities. But as they race to get the necessary signatures on the ballot, there has been a tremendous surge against that by other conservatives. Dooley talks about the criticism, which she says is unfounded.

Also - talki...

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Public Employees group files complaint to FDEP over climate change gag order

In the latest in the story over FDEPs "climate change" ban, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility(PEER) has (filed a complaint to the department's Inspector General)[http://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/2015/03/18/scott%E2%80%99s-climate-change-gag-order-claims-a-victim/] for reprimanding an employee who addressed climate change at a official meeting. Land Management Plan Coordinator Barton Bibler was fo...

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photo by FreePress.net/flickr

Sunshine Week and the erosion of Florida's open public records laws

We talk about open government in the midst of Sunshine Week. Florida's Sunshine Law, a series of laws that guarantee public access to government meetings and records, have long been one of the strongest in the country. However over the years the Legislature have been passing a growing number of exemptions to the laws.Over 1100 exemptions exist today, an 250 percent from 1985. Another 43 are being considered in the current legislative session. Rosemary O’hara, the editorial page editor at the ...

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Tanks patrol the streets of Fallujah in 2005


photo by U.S. Navy Seabee Museum/Flickr

First opera about the Iraq War comes to the USF School of Music in Tampa

Award-working Iraqi-American playright Heather Raffo joins us to talk about her latest work, Fallujah, the first opera about the Iraq War that will be performed at the USF School of Music in Tampa on Friday at 7:30 pm. She previously written and starred in an successful off broadway play, 9 parts of Desire, about the lives of 9 Iraqi women set between the two gulf wars.

Falljah is based on the true story of Christian Ellis, an American machine gunner whose platoon was ambushed in an ...

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Journalist Trevor Aaronson


photo by WMNF News

Did the FBI entrap would-be Tampa terrorist Sami Osmakac?

In 2012, Sami Osmakac, a 25-year-old naturalized Muslim American from Kosovo, was arrested in a counter-terrorism sting by the FBI for plotting a terror attack against a popular Tampa bar and casino. The Feds painted Osmakac as a lone-wolf Islamic extremist, citing a "martyrdom video" featuring Osmakac as damning evidence,. But journalist Trevor Aaronson reports in a lengthy investigative piece for The Intercept, tha...

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Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation


photo by Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Bills could gut funding for Floridians with disabilities

Millions of people in the disabled community could be affected by bills wending their way through the Florida Legislature. Senators and Representatives are seeking to inspect and evaluate the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and eventually repeal it if it doesn’t show solvency. Some in the disabled community are skeptical of state legislators’ overhaul proposals.

The federal Rehabilitation Act was established in 1973 and the Florida division is ...

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