News & Public Affairs

Tuesday September 23, 2014

THE COMPASS PROJECT

The Compass Project is a new group devoted to encouraging better leadership in the Hillsborough County Commission. Scott Paine, one of the co-founders of the group, described his group's commitment to better planning, health care, housing and transportation.

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FIRED FOR FREE SPEECH?

Former Hillsborough County employee Gary Mitchell was fired last week for giving a tongue-in-cheek speech before the Hillsborough County Commission. Although he was not working at the time of the speech, he was fired by the county's communications director. He was told the talk angered Hillsborough County Commissioner Rhonda Storms and was an action that could not be tolerated. Mitchell today filed a lawsuit against the county alleging his free speech rights are being violated.

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FLORIDA: AMERICA IN EXTREMIS?

This past Sunday the New York Times magazine carried an article by Michael Paterniti who argued that as Florida goes, so goes the nation. In his interview with WMNF today he said Florida is a microcosm of the United States, a projection of our collective dreams and visions. He says the recent news stories emanating from Florida have been some of the most significant of the decade: the 2000 election debacle, Elian Gonzalez, and terrorist flight training.

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THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Several issues affecting the environment were dealt with during the Spring session of the state legislature. Suzie Caplowe, lobbyist for the Florida chapter of the Sierra Club and Denise Layne, president of the Lutz Civic association say the legislature made good strides on some growth issues. At the same time it passed legislation that encouraged urban sprawl and will limit citizen involvement in challenging large developments.

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AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE

A LOCAL DEMONSTRATION IN FAVOR OF QUALITY, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL. Josh Miles of ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for reform Now); Rick Smith, an organizer for the Service Employees International Union and Fred Winter of SEIU local 1220 discussed the upcoming rally for health care in St. Petersburg. They pointed out that per capita the U.S. spends more money (private and public) on health care than any other nation in the world. At the same time some 40 million Americ...

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MANATEE PROTECTION

Interview with Roger Schlickeisen, the president of Defenders of Wildlife, a national conservation organization. He spoke about efforts to save endangered species. In the case of the Florida manatee, he says the governor's office has backed away from establishing promised manatee protection zones in Brevard County.

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CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM AS A CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE?

The executive director of the Fannie Lou Hamer Project, Stephanie Wilson, appeared in this segment. She says the recently passed McCain-Feingold ban on soft money doesn't go far enough. She says few low-income people, people of color and women have the resources to donate to political campaigns. (Less than 1% of the population contributes 80% of the money for political campaigns.) She says this alienates people from the voting process and results in elected officials who do not reflect the di...

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THE CONNECTION BETWEEN U.S. FOREIGN POLICY AND TERRORISM

Chalmers Johnson, author of BLOWBACK (Holt/Owl Books) says that Americans are largely unaware of what the U.S. government is doing on their behalf in foreign countries. He says political assassinations, coups, rapes, wars and bombings performed by United States personnel give rise to anti-American feelings and can result in "blowback" - the unintended negative consequences of U.S. foreign policy. He says the September 11th terror attacks were a direct result of blowback.

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COULD THERE BE A PEACEFUL RESPONSE TO THE INCREASING TENSIONS IN THE WORLD?

In the first segment Jan Roberts of the Institute for Ethics and Meaning and Earth Charter, and Jonathan Price discuss the upcoming EARTH CHARTER AWARENESS CONCERT in Tampa. The charter calls for greater social justice and humane treatment of all people. Also appearing on the program: former Notre Dame theology professor Jim Douglas discusses 9/11 IN LIGHT OF THE LIFE, TEACHINGS AND DEATH OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Douglas will be speaking on this subject at two area churches this weekend...

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IMPACT OF ONE STRIKE POLICY ON PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS

For the past three years public housing residents have faced eviction if they or a family member are accused of a crime involving drugs or alchohol. Two of our guests today, Connie Burton and Jennifer Russell, are public housing residents whose relatives are accused of crimes. Both Burton and Russell now face eviction. Also appearing on the program - Doug McVay, editor of DRUG WAR FACTS; Chaka Zulu, a community activist in Tampa; and a taped interview with Jerome Ryans, executive director of ...

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