News & Public Affairs

Wednesday October 22, 2014

Sarasota journalist uncovers hospital privatization plot

There’s a push to privatize Sarasota’s only public hospital. A political action committee tied to hospital giant Healthcare Corporation of America, or HCA, is reportedly trying to buy support for privatization from candidates running for the hospital’s board. If the efforts are successful, it could mean a reduction in care for expensive services like maternity, prisoner and indigent care.

HCA came under fire this spring after the Tampa Bay Times reported bills for some accident victims ...

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Activists with Raices en Tampa distribute information and collect petition signatures in front of a Spanish market on Fletcher Ave.

photo by Janelle Irwin

Immigration group calls on Hillsborough Sheriff to join others in ditching unnecessary detentions

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office keeps undocumented immigrants in jail for a federal immigration enforcement agency instead of letting them bail out. An immigration’s rights group is asking them to join other local agencies who have stopped that practice.

According to an analysis by the group Raices en Tampa, more than 80% of undocumented immigrants held in the Hillsborough County jail aren’t charged with a crime. Marisol Marquez is the founder of that group.

“We found out th...

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Port Tampa Bay discusses dispute over purchase of Channelside

Controversy over who will purchase the Channelside shopping center could be resolved during a hearing in Delaware Tuesday.

The Tampa outdoor mall is being sold by the Tampa Port Authority, which got a $7.1 million bid by a company controlled by the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

During a board meeting Tuesday in Tampa, Port Tampa Bay’s director Paul Anderson laid out the disagreement erupting because of a more recent offer by a challenger.

"CBP LLC was declared the highest and ...

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Max Blumenthal.

photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News (January 2014).

Max Blumenthal criticizes U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) for inaction on Tampa teenager beat up by Israeli police

The Tampa teenager who was allegedly beat up by Israeli Police could be on his way home as early as this week; Tariq Khdeir was beaten and jailed and remains on house arrest in East Jerusalem.

But a well-known author is questioning how much help the Khdeir family is getting from their federal representatives from Florida. Max Blumenthal’s latest article in AlterNet is called “[Fl...

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One idea being batted around to make way for mega-ships is replacing the Skyway with an even taller bridge.

photo by Sean Kinane, WMNF News 2011

Fort DeSoto mega-cruise ship port buzz decried by environmental group

Some Tampa Bay officials want to figure out how to accommodate monstrous new mega-ships too big to call Port Tampa Bay home. But making that happen would be both costly and environmentally controversial. The latest idea being batted around is building a port near the coast of Fort DeSoto. But that idea is opposed by Barbara Howard, president of Friends of Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges.

Another $2 billion possibility is to replace the already massive Sunshine Skyway Bridge with an eve...

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WMNF's Sean Kinane shows off his toes during a stormy Pass-A-Grille sunset.

photo by Sean Kinane

Pass-A-Grille making a move to ban McMansions

St. Pete Beach is getting ready to make some changes to its historical Pass-A-Grille district. The small barrier island at the southern-most tip of the beach is seeing a burst in new development and is high risk for sea level rise. Residents will have a chance to weigh in during a public meeting on Thursday. Chelsey Weldon is the urban planner for the city.

The community meeting is Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the Warren Webster Building on Pass-A-Grille Way. The city is working with a consul...

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Nathan Schwartz, 2013

photo by Sean Kinane, WMNF News 2013

Anti-GMO group launches new Tampa farmer's market

There’s a new farmer’s market coming to Tampa Saturday.

They’re calling it Organarchy and it will only offer non-genetically modified foods. Organarchy non-GMO Farmer’s Market organizer Nathan Schwartz is with March Against Monsanto-Tampa.

The Stained Market Place is hosting the market. That address is 2106 E. 15th Ave in Tampa. It starts Saturday at 8:00 a.m. until noon and will run every Saturday between now and October 25.

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A beach and a frisbee golf course separate Maximo Park from the sensitive Indian Mound.

photo by Janelle Irwin, WMNF file photo 2012

St. Pete Indian Mounds to get a major technological facelift

St. Petersburg has a rich Native American history and lots of Indian Mounds. The city is continuing efforts to protect and enhance the mounds and surrounding parks.

Parks and Recreation planner Mike Vineyard talks with WMNF News about what’s already been done and some really cool stuff still to come.

There’s a public forum 7:00 p.m. Tuesday at the Sunshine Center Auditorium in downtown St. Pete. More information about the technology St. Pete hopes to integrate into these parks [here](...

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Anti-Hobby Lobby demonstrators waved cleverly worded signs in front of the downtown Tampa federal courthouse.

photo by Janelle Irwin

Activists in Tampa still seething over Hobby Lobby birth control decision

It’s been a week and a half since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the retail chain Hobby Lobby and other corporations could refuse birth control coverage if it contradicts its religious edicts. Groups across the nation are continuing to show outrage through creative protests. Here in Tampa, about 40 activists took to the federal courthouse Thursday with signs condemning the decision.

“I was really frickin’ pissed off.”

That’s Bonnie Axler. She’s a concerned mother whose daughter relies on...

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