News & Public Affairs

Tuesday June 30, 2015

photo by Courtney Greene McDonald/Flickr

Florida history professor recounts black migration from Florida in early 20th century

Today on Radioactivity our guest is Gary Mormino, the Frank Duckwall history professor emeritus at USF St. Petersburg and author of several books on Florida History. He talks to us about the Great Migration in Florida, a period starting right before World War I until the early 1920's when over a million African American workers fled the state for the Northeast and Midwest states. This is was part of a larger exodus of millions of southern blacks seeking to escape low wages and racial discrimi...

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Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida president Susan Smith on WMNF's MidPoint.

photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News.

More problems with standardized tests; discussion of education issues in Florida

There was a new round of problems around the state Monday with Florida's standardized tests; we spoke about this and several other state education issues with Susan Smith, the president of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida.

We also spoke about the state's class size amendment, education funding, charter schools and private school vouchers.

Here's The Associated Press story on Monday's testing problems:

Florida school districts are suspending testing amid a new round of ...

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photo by Flikr/Pascal Subtil

Former senator Bob Graham and independent journalists claim Saudi ties to Sept.11 attacks

This week the New York times reported on former Florida Senator Bob Graham's pursuit to reveal Saudi Arabia's link to the 9/11 hijackers. Graham has called for the federal government to make public 28 classified pages of the 9/11 commission report, which he claims conceals a tie between the hijackers and a Saudi family that hastily left their Sarasota home days before ...

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freeFall Theatre's Harvey & Kirk Ke Wang on Why Art?

The classic play Harvey explores, in a silly and funny way, how we treat people who are odd. freeFall theatre's production refreshes the classic.

Kirk Ke Wang travels frequently between his birth country, China, and his home, Tampa. His work reflects the multiple strands of our multicultural lives. He will be doing a talk Saturday night (4/18/15) at the St.Pete Opera Company in conjunction with his art show, Yes & No.

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photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News

5 years later, effects from the BP oil spill still felt in the Gulf today

Monday is the 5th anniversary of the BP oil spill that devastated The Gulf of Mexico's ecosystems and the coastal economies that depended on them. Raleigh Hoke of the Gulf Restoration Network, an environmental coalition focused on the continued clean-up of the Gulf, says that despite what BP would like the public to think, there are still lingering effects of the oil spill on the Gulf waters today. The Network will be organizing a series of protests and events over the weekend leading up to t...

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Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St.Petersburg).

photo by

Should law enforcement departments keep the spoils from seized money and property?

A Florida Senate committee is considering a bill by St. Petersburg Republican Senator Jeff Brandes to direct money and property seized by police to charities instead of to the law enforcement agency itself.

Thursday morning in the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Republican Senator Joe Negron supported Brandes’ bill.

An amendment by Tampa Democratic Senator Arthenia Joyner attempted to keep seized assets in the hands of law enforcement.


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New pesticides pose risks to environment and farmworkers

Jeannie Economos, pesticide safety coordinator for the Farmworker Association of Florida, discusses the environmental and health effects of heavy pesticides in agriculture and residential use. Economos names herbicide glyphosate, commercially known as Roundup, as a particularly toxic offender that has been linked to groundwater contamination and health problems in humans. She also points out new fumigant Paladin, which contains ozone-depleting chemical Methyl Bromide, that has led to [numerou...

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Florida state Senator Arthenia Joyner campaigns for Barack Obama in 2008 in Tampa.

photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News.

Florida Senate committee advances abortion waiting period bill

A Florida Senate committee advanced a bill Wednesday that would require women seeking an abortion to wait 24-hours; the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected an amendment by Tampa Senator Arthenia Joyner (D) that would have waived the waiting period in cases like rape or incest. Democratic Senator Darren Soto questioned the bill’s sponsor, Republican Anitere Flores, about the constitutionality of the waiting period.

Like in a previous committee stop, time constraints led to many members of t...

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Fight for $15 on the steps of St Pete City Hall

photo by Samuel Johnson

Workers strike and rally in St. Petersburg demanding higher minimum wage

Food food workers, home health care workers, adjunct professors and many other types of workers walked off the job today in St. Petersburg and around the country. The Fight for $15 movement, advocating a $15 an hour minimum wage, took their grievance to the steps of Saint Pete City Hall.

Fast food workers at Burger King started the day long events in South Saint Petersburg by walking out at 6 this morning. The grassroots organization, Fight for $15, four hours late...

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War tax refusers redirect money to civil improvement, and corporations that pay next to nothing in taxes

On this April 15 edition of Radioactivity, we talk about taxes.

Bill Ramsey is an anti-war activist and war tax refuser, one who rejects paying the federal income tax in protest of the use of those funds in military and war efforts . He has participated in peace and social justice movements since the Vietnam War. He has resisted the war tax for just as long, an act that had once landed him in jail for 30 days. Today he works for [Conscience and Military Tax Campaign Escrow Fund](http://n...

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