News & Public Affairs

Friday April 18, 2014

Experts respond to president's State of the Union address

President Barack Obama has used his fifth State of the Union address last night to tell lawmakers that he's still willing to work with Congress. But Obama said he'll sidestep obstructionist lawmakers "whenever and wherever" necessary to reduce the wage gap between rich and poor. One executive action he'll take is to increase the minimum wage for some federal contract workers to a minimum of $10.10. He’ll also implement a new Treasury savings bond for workers without access to traditional ret...

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Midtown St. Pete sheds its "food desert" label with Wal-Mart grand opening

Up until today, Midtown St. Petersburg, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, was what people call a food desert.

But at about 7:30 this morning a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market opened its doors for shoppers – many of whom lack transportation to travel outside of the area for fresh food and were forced to make many food purchases from over-priced convenience stores.

St. Pete City Council member Wengay Newton whose district covers part of Midtown celebrated the Grand Opening early this ...

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Photo of Paula Witthaus courtesy of Awake Pinellas.

photo by Awake Pinellas

Friends mourn longtime St. Pete social activist slain in her home

A well-liked social activist in St. Petersburg has been found murdered inside her home on 17th Ave. North.

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, 54-year old Paula Whitthaus was found dead along with her 67-year old male roommate after what a department press release described as a brutal attack.

The exact cause of death hasn’t been determined yet, but police say there was upper body trauma. A suspect has not been identified, but investigators say the attack does not appear ...

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President Obama's State of the Union Address

Today Radioactivity discusses President Obama's State of the Union address. Rob Lorei plays a portion of the speech and also airs the main Republican response to the State of the Union from Congress member Cathy Mcmorris Rodgers.

Listen to the entire show above.

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Florida Rep. Janet Cruz joins The group Florida for All in opposing voter purge efforts they say disproportionately affect minorities.

photo by Janelle Irwin

Latino groups call on Tallahassee Republicans to stop voter purge

Governor Rick Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner are poised to begin efforts to remove potentially ineligible voters from the rolls this year. But critics of the purge say it’s just an attempt to disenfranchise minority communities that often vote Democratic. State Representative Janet Cruz is calling on the state and local supervisors of election to reject the push.

“This is really an attempt to serve up political red meat to the Tea Party.”

In 2012 the state identified 180,000 ...

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Mike Pheneger

photo by

President of ACLU Florida discusses school- to- prison- pipeline system and highlights from documentary Inequality for All

Today on Radioactivity Rob Lorei speaks with President of ACLU of Florida Mike Pheneger about the school- to- prison- pipeline system. The “school-to-prison pipeline” refers to policies and practices that push children out of classrooms and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The path to incarceration begins with inadequate resources in schools, inequitable school discipline practices including zero tolerance, policing of school hallways, use of alternative schools, involvement o...

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Mark Weisbrot

Will Greece start to recover this year?

Today on Radioactivity, Rob Lorei interviews Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. about the economic recovery of Greece. Weisbrot recently wrote an article about the Greek economy for the Guardian.

Listen to the entire show above.

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Republican State Representative Larry Ahern

photo by Janelle Irwin File Photo 2012

Residents speak out to Pinellas legislators about marijuana and Medicaid

On Monday the Florida Supreme Court approved language for the medical marijuana constitutional amendment. Since last week it raised enough signatures, it will be on November's ballot.

Two supporters who signed up to address the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation didn’t show up to their meeting Monday in Largo. But one opponent, pharmacist Larry Golbom, said marijuana might be as dangerous as alcohol.

“The reality is that marijuana is n...

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Members of the Pinellas Legislative Delegation heard from the Florida Division of Emergency Management about ways they can help homowners save on flood insurance premiums

photo by Janelle Irwin

Some flood insurance relief proposed by Pinellas Legislative delegation

Devastating rate hikes to flood insurance premiums have become a focus for homeowners in low-lying and coastal areas. As Congress scrambles to delay implementation of a law that would remove subsidies on policies, Florida lawmakers are looking at ways to combat rising costs through flood mitigation planning. During a Pinellas Legislative Delegation meeting in Largo Monday, Florida Division of Emergency Management director Bryan Koon suggested rallying the state behind FEMA’s community rating ...

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