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Both sides of Pinellas County transit referendum say the other is spreading misinformation listen

04/10/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Ken Welch, psta, Greenlight Pinellas, transit, bus, rail, Pinellas County, Barbara Haselden

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Both sides of a controversial transit referendum in Pinellas County think the other is spreading misinformation. During a debate at Suncoast Tiger Bay Club Thursday, PSTA board member Ken Welch accused the group No Tax for Tracks of blurring the lines between fact and fiction. Welch was interrupted by longtime opponent David McKalip.

"There are so many misinformation items being put out there. Look, I'm used to this because I was chairman during the fluoride debate, Dr. McAlister. I'm use...

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Mayor Buckhorn announces plan to keep police chief one more year during State of the City address listen

03/25/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Bob Buckhorn, Jane Castor, Tampa, North Boulevard Homes, transit, Transportation, economic development, Rays

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced during his State of the City address Tuesday that police Chief Jane Castor will stay on for at least one more year after retiring in May. That means she’ll stay in “the drop” which some consider double dipping - collecting a paycheck and pension. Buckhorn said he wants to keep Chief Castor on board because crime has dropped 69% in the city.

“You know what that means? That means there’s over 150,000 less victims. That’s us. The men and women of the Tampa ...

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Anti-rail activist rallies against Pinellas transit plan

03/14/14 Janelle Irwin
Last Call Friday
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Tags: transit, Greenlight Pinellas, rail, Barbara Haseldon, No Tax for Tracks

The Greenlight Pinellas Plan as its called would fund things like increased bus service, bus rapid transit and 24 miles of light rail connecting downtown St. Pete, the Carillon business district in mid-county and Clearwater. The one penny tax hike would raise Pinellas’ sales tax from 7% to 8% and would grow PSTA’s revenue from about $30 million to $130 million. The campaign pushing the referendum calls this a tax swap because the sales tax would replace the portion of property taxes currently...

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Public transportation use up in Tampa Bay and the nation listen

03/13/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: psta, HART, APTA, transit, Transportation, bus rapid transit, BRT, rail, Greenlight Pinellas

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Transit agencies on both sides of Tampa Bay posted record ridership for the month of February. Bus rides in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties have continued to increase, mirroring a national trend of growing public transportation use. Bob Lasher, spokesperson for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, says many routes are running at capacity.

“Not just at rush hour, but during the middle portion of the day, we’re running buses that are having – we’re putting extra buses out because we ...

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U.S. Rep. Castor OK with SOCOM funding despite sea level rise concerns listen

03/07/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: kathy castor, Greenlight Pinellas, transit, Macdill AFB, immigration reform, Ken Welch, David McKalip

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MacDill Air Force Base will fare well in the proposed 2015 federal budget. U.S. Representative Kathy Castor agrees with funding despite the threat of rising sea levels to the low-lying military base in South Tampa.

“Nothing really is built on the outer near the coastline, everything is up on grade. This is one place I’ve got to compliment the department of defense.”

President Obama’s proposed Pentagon budget includes a 10% boost in funding for U.S. Special Operations Command which is ...

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At USF Charlie Crist bashes Rick Scott over 2011 high-speed rail rejection listen

02/27/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Charlie Crist, Rick Scott, transit, rail, high-speed rail, Howard Frankland Bridge, USF, Tampa

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Former Governor Charlie Crist made a campaign stop at USF in Tampa Thursday in an effort to win back the governor’s mansion. Crist spoke to students urging them to vote in the university’s student body election.

Afterward he briefly spoke to reporters about plans for the aging Howard Frankland Bridge over Tampa Bay and how it should be used to further mass transit initiatives in the region. Crist said it would have been a great way to connect to high speed rail that was rejected by curren...

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Conservative transportation group calls for resignation of TBARTA chair listen

02/11/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Ronnie Duncan, Sharon Calvert, Greenlight Pinellas, Yes for Greenlight, transit, rail, Pinellas County, TBARTA, Citizens Orgnaized for Sound Transportation

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A conservative transportation group is calling for the resignation of the chair of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority. Ronnie Duncan has assumed a leadership roll in the political action group Yes for Greenlight behind a campaign pushing a one penny sales tax transit referendum in Pinellas County. Sharon Calvert with Citizens Organized for Sound Transportation wrote a letter to Duncan yesterday and copied all other members of the board as well as Governor Rick Scott who re-a...

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New campaign asks for yes vote on Pinellas transit referendum listen

02/07/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: Greenlight Pinellas, transit, Pinellas County, psta, Brad Miller, rail

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The campaign for a Pinellas County transit referendum officially launched Friday. The Yes for Greenlight initiative is gathering support for a one penny sales tax increase that would fund massive transit improvements including light rail and bus rapid transit.

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is looking forward to a November ballot question asking voters to approve the increased sales tax to replace property taxes that currently fund the agency. Brad...

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Passenger ferry proposal moves forward in Hillsborough listen

02/05/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Ed Turanchik, Ferry, passenger ferry, MacDill Air Force Base, Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Commission, transit, Tampa, St. Petersburg

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Hillsborough County moved ahead today with a high-speed passenger ferry partnership. The County commission approved an interim public-private partnership agreement with HMS Ferries and South Swell Development Group to study a ferry linking the south part of the county, perhaps near Apollo Beach, with MacDill Air Force Base. Former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik is the public face of the project.

"We've already said this, no other transportation option can do so much for so little so fas...

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Transit corridor near I-4 and I-75 may be in line for some upgrades listen

02/03/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: transit, Transportation, buses, rail, Hillsborough County, HART

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A group of elected officials from across Hillsborough County is looking at ways to patch some of the region’s traffic woes. During a monthly meeting earlier this month, members of the Transportation for Economic Development Policy Leadership Group were given a list of 52 proposed projects around the area where I-4 and I-75 meet. Mike Williams is director of the county’s engineering and environmental division.

“They need access to the spine system to move goods and people as well. So, if ...

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