News & Public Affairs

Sunday July 5, 2015


The Scientology Building in Hollywood

photo by Ben Stanfield/Flickr

Journalist Tony Ortega talks about his coverage of The Church of Scientology in HBO doc "Going Clear"

A couple of weeks ago HBO premiered the documentary Going Clear, directed by Alex Gibney, which delves into the history of the Church of Scientology and the life of its founder L. Ron Hubbard, as well as allegations of human rights abuses by the church from former members. The church, whose spiritual headquarters are in Clearwater, has vehemently condemned the film in [this film rebuttal](

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(From left to Right) Julio Fuentes, Roly Marante, Jason Delacruz, and William Ward talk to us about fish poaching in the Gulf.

photo by Rob Lorei

The Fairness Doctrine with Jennifer Sullivan, and the threat of fishing pirates in the Gulf of Mexico

We have the April edition of The Fairness Docrtine, a debate-styled talk show hosted and Jennifer Sullivan. Today's episode tackles the timely topic of mandatory vaccinations, which has garnered a lot of buzz since an recent outbreak of measles late last year in California. In many states vaccinations are mandatory for all school age children but some parents can refuse through medical ,religious, or personal belief exemptions (Florida allows Medical and Religious Exemptions only). Since the ...

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one half of the sailing crew from the Öckerö Sailing School, which landed in Tampa after a trip around the Gulf of Mexico

photo by Rob Lorei

Swedish Sailing students talk about their trip around the Gulf of Mexico and teenage life in Sweden

We talk to a group of high school students from the Öckerö Sailing School in Sweden who just finished up a sailing trip that took them throughout the Gulf of Mexico before landing in Tampa. 20 crew members of the 40 member crew of students join us to talk about their experiences sailing, The life of a Swedish high schooler and their impressions of American society and culture. Their teacher Brita Malmcrona discusses how the Swedish educational system works and educates its pupils in a way tha...

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Rob Lorei, Host of Florida This Week and Radioactivity call-in show

photo by Rob Lorei

WEDU's Florida This Week looks at the battle over medicaid expansion, Amendment 1 funds, and same-sex adoption

We listen to last Friday's Florida This Week, a political talk show on WEDU moderated by Radioactivity host Rob Lorei. This episode includes a spirited debate on 4 billion dollar gap between the proposed budgets of the Florida House and Senate, and at the center of the battle is medicaid expansion that would bridge the coverage gap for 800,000 low-income Floridians. Money for land acquisition has been upped by 35 million but still fall short of expectations of many Amendment 1 supporters. We ...

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What does the "fix" to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indian really entail?

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law the Religions Freedom Restoration Act and was immediately criticized for approving a law that would discriminate against gay and lesbians by making it legal for businesses to refuse services to LGBT couples based on religious convictions.

After several businesses threatened to halt expansion based on the law, Pence walked back the law and it was "fixed" to not include for-profit businesses.

We look at the law from varying media perspectives a...

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Environmental group journeys 900 miles to highlight important ecological areas in Florida

Today we speak with three members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition, who just completed a 900-mile trek from Polk County to the Panhandle. Over about 70 days Joe Guthrie,Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and Carlton Ward Jr biked, walked, and kayaked through State Parks, National Forests, ranch lands and watersheds to bring attention to ecologically important areas throughout Florida's heartland, such the Green Swamp that is a source of drinking water for...

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H Roy Kaplan and Eric Deggans

photo by Samuel Johnson

Race, weed and social justice

Discussing race is necessary – it’s not racist. That was the underlying theme by two authors who spoke Thursday night at Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg.

After their talk WMNF interviewed NPR TV critic Eric Deggans and USF professor Roy Kaplan about race and racism.

Eric Deggans is the author of “Race-Baiter, How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation.” Roy Kaplan wrote “Understanding Conflict and Change in a Multicul...

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Kevin Bcckner (right, with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn) is running for Clerk of Courts.

photo by Janelle Irwin/WMNF News.

Beckner running for Hillsborough Clerk of Court

County Commissioner Kevin Beckner has officially filed to run for Hillsborough’s Clerk of the Circuit Court. This is being seen as somewhat of a curve-ball in the local political world, as Beckner could be running against incumbent Pat Frank, the long-time Hillsborough County political icon and fellow Democrat.

According to Saint Petersblog, Kevin Beckner said it was Frank herself who called him a few months ago to ask if he'd ever considered running for Clerk of the Circuit Courts. Howe...

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Daniel Tilley with the Florida ACLU on "conscience protection" clause on gay adoption; Rays stadium woes

Ever since the Florida House passed a repeal of the ban on same-sex adoption last month, there has been a ferocious reaction by social conservatives in the Florida Legislature. That's what the "conscience protection" bill now being floated in the Florida House is all about, and, according to the ACLU's Daniel Tilley, it's unconstitutional.

Also on the program, several members of the St. Petersburg City Council have been getting hammered by editorial boards and other media sources for being...

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