News & Public Affairs


Some transit officials want lawmakers to support gas tax hike listen

02/22/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Some transit officials want the Florida legislature to let localities increase their local gas tax as much as ten cents per gallon. A Sarasota planning official suggested several possible ways to boost revenue during the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority meeting Friday in Tampa.

Michael Howe, executive director for the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization is pushing for a 2-cent increase to local gas taxes every year for the next five ...

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Some residents fighting proposed Walmart in Sarasota listen

01/08/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Some residents in Sarasota are fighting against a proposed Walmart; they got a boost in their efforts Monday night when the City Commission agreed to hold a new hearing, even though the planning board approved the site plan in November. Jerry Sparkman is a local architect who opposes the Walmart.

"Walmart has proposed a new super center on ...


Debbie Terry talks about Sarasota's upcoming Fabulous Independent Film Festival

08/16/12 Debbie Terry/Mary Glenney
From A Woman's Point of View
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Debbie Terry talked about Sarasota's LGBT themed Fabulous Independent Film Festival coming to Burns Court Cinema on August 18 & 19. The festival, which includes 12 films and 3 parties, is a Broken Rules Production in association with and benefiting the Harvey Milk Festival, a Sarasota non-profit.

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Sarasota Schools get hefty health insurance refund compliments of the Affordable Care Act listen

08/09/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Sarasota County Schools are getting $800,000 back from their health insurance provider because of the new federal healthcare law. The rebate from Blue Cross and Blue Shield could have an impact on the district’s overall budget by mitigating potential tax increases. Al Weidner, deputy chief financial officer for Sarasota schools, said there’s no way to know for sure, but he’s hopeful the Affordable Care Act will continue to drive healthcare costs down for employees and the district. ...

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Kelly Kirschner talks about immigration

03/15/12 Mitch Perry
Last Call Thursday
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Kelly Kirschner is director of Unidos Now, a Latino advocacy group based in Sarasota.

A former Mayor and City Commissioner in Sarasota, the 37-year-old Kirschner talked about how it's vital that Latinos, who will continue to gain in population in the U.S., be treated as an important demographic, vs. being demonized when it comes to discussing illegal immigration.

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Saving Sarasota Watershed from sea level rise and stormwater; preserving economy listen

02/17/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Sarasota’s rapidly changing population makes it difficult to keep up with preserving its watershed. At a three-day symposium that concluded today, professionals in different fields reviewed ways to pick up the pace for the county’s biggest attractor.

The threat of sea level rise has environmentalists worried about damage to homes, roadways, and anything else along coastal areas. Sarasota’s fresh water habitats could also be contaminated by encro...

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Sarasota protesters greet Romney, in town for a fundraiser listen

11/15/11 Doug Driscoll
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Monday night Mitt Romney attended his second fundraising dinner in Sarasota since announcing his bid for the Republican Presidential nomination. Some protesters hoped Romney would also get a glimpse of those who oppose his conservative agenda.

A sedate group of about a dozen protesters stood on the corner in a small affluent community on the way to Longboat Key. They pumped signs with one hand, the other greeting passing motorists with a friendly wave. Most returned the wave with a smile...

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Farmworkers protest at new Publix in Sarasota listen

11/14/11 Doug Driscoll
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Yesterday, about 250 protestors packed the sidewalks in front of Sarasota’s newest Publix. They are asking the food giant to sign the Fair Food Agreement in support of tomato harvesters across Florida. For over two years, Publix has refused to support their request for what amounts to one penny more per pound, along with reasonable working conditions in the field.

The sidewalks were filled with protestors, chanting and marching around the edifice of the corporation’s newest retail stor...


Chalk Festival in Sarasota draws thousands listen

11/09/11 Andrea Lypka
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Now that the stifling summer weather has ended, outdoor art activities are gearing up in Florida. More than one hundred thousand visitors experienced brightly colored streets at the Sarasota Chalk Festival last week. Street painter Caroline Schultz from Orlando is among the 250 artists from around the world who chalked religious themed art on South Pineapple Avenue in Sarasota. She has been chalking since 1995 using inexpensive hard pastels.

“I have never...

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Think Occupy protesters are unemployed slackers? Maybe these folks from Occupy Sarasota will change your mind listen

11/01/11 Doug Driscoll
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The Occupy movement is often stereotyped as being made up of lazy students or unemployed slackers. To see if that myth fits reality, last Saturday WMNF’s Doug Driscoll asked people participating in an Occupy Sarasota protest what they do for a living.

Out of 19 responses, there was 1 student, 2 teachers, 3 professionals and 7 people with “blue collar” jobs, including 2 artists. Two of the people are unemployed, 4 are retired and one is semi-...


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