News & Public Affairs

Thursday April 24, 2014


U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross takes questions from constituents in New Tampa.

photo by Janelle Irwin

U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) gets hammered by progressive activists

A Republican member of congress took a verbal lashing from progressive activists during a town hall meeting in New Tampa last night. Dennis Ross was met with a clamor of dissent when he told a young woman working part time at a fast food restaurant that he would not support raising the federal minimum wage.

“Markets do work and I’m not suggesting that we do away with the minimum wage, that’s not it at all. But the minimum wage is not a career wage. It’s a wage that’s paid to make sure th...

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Volunteers hand out shirts and pledge cards in support of "sensible" gun laws.

photo by Janelle Irwin

Mayors of St. Pete and Gulfport sign on with gun control advocacy group

The mayors of St. Pete and Gulfport are joining forces with a new group aimed at stamping out gun violence. Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced Wednesday he’d throw $50 million of his own money into Every Town for Gun Safety.

During a press conference in front of St. Pete City Hall Wednesday, Mayor Rick Kriseman said police officers confiscate at least one gun per day in the city.

“Every Town opens the next phase in the fight to end gun violence. It will take the works of m...

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Researchers used skeletal remains to recreate what a Dozier student may have looked like.

photo by Photo courtesy USF

Researchers' new focus is on identifying remains of 55 boys found at panhandle reform school

Researchers haven’t identified any of the remains exhumed from 55 grave sites found at the former Dozier School for Boys in Mariana Florida. But they are getting closer. Tuesday in Tampa, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson heard an update from the team trying to find out who the boys are so their remains can be returned to family members.

“Especially the families who don’t know what happened; don’t know [if] there was a crime committed, don’t know how their loved one died.”

The Dozier School for...

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Randy Kehler

Are federal income taxes heavily used to support military spending?

Today is the deadline for filling out your forms and paying your federal income taxes for last year. One major component of those taxes, military spending is rarely discussed in-depth. Today on Radioactivity, Rob Lorei explores military spending and speaks with tax resistor who objects to paying his federal income taxes.

Depending on how you measure it, military or what’s usually called defense spending makes up either 20% of the federal budget. If you remove Social Security and Medic...

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Founder of grassroots citizen lobby to speak at USF

Today on Last Call, Rob Lorei welcomes guest Sam Daley-Harris. Sam is the founder of RESULTS, a non-profit, grassroots citizen lobby working to end hunger and poverty, as well as the Center for Citizen Empowerment and Transformation. Sam is also the author of Reclaiming Our Democracy: Healing the Break Between People and Government, which has been recently reissued for its 20th Anniversary Edition. He’ll be speaking this week on the USF Tampa campus on Thursday @ 6:30PM at the Collge of Pub...

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Sandy Lansky and son Gary Rappaport

Infamous mob boss's daughter reveals untold stories of her father in new book

Today on Radioactivity Rob Lorei speaks with the daughter of mob boss Meyer Lansky- who is breaking her silence about her father more than thirty years after his death.

In the Godfather Part two- perhaps one of the greatest films of all time- there’s a famous scene set in Cuba on the eve of the 1959 revolution in which the new Godfather- Michael Corleone (played by Al Pacino) meets with a friend of his father’s –Hyman Roth (Played by Lee Strasberg) in a Havana hotel room. Neither man tru...

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WMNF programmer Pat Kemp announces bid for Hillsborough County Commission

Pat Kemp, former host of WMNF’s Last Call Tuesday, has filed to run for Hillsborough County Commission as a Democrat. Kemp, a Tampa attorney, is running for the countywide district 7 seat being vacated by Mark Sharpe who will be term limited out of office.

Kemp stepped down from the Last Call on WMNF. According to the Supervisor of Elections website, current Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham, Don Cruse and Robin Lester, all Republicans, have filed to run.

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Greener Tampa Businesses and Bay area Biking

We started the WMNF Sustainable Living program with a short piece on a project to construct edible gardens in juvenile detention facilities around Florida. They would be maintained, and the food consumed, by the children on site. Kate Hamilton, a law student at Stetson University, joined the show to talk about the challenges of doing a project like this in a privatized prison system. Next up, Jenna Civitello with Sustany Foundation, a local group that promotes sustainab...

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Former Florida Governor Bob Martinez was in office when ELAPP was first approved.

photo by Janelle Irwin

Hillsborough's environmental lands acquisition program celebrates silver anniversary

Supporters are celebrating the silver anniversary of a program to protect environmentally sensitive lands in Hillsborough County. 25 years ago under the leadership of former county commissioner Jan Platt, the Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program started buying up properties in Hillsborough.

“More voters voted for this than they did for anything else on the ballot and it also passed by the greatest margin. That ought to tell the politicians something when they sit and vot...

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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) is joined by Florida Rep. Mark Danish (D-Tampa) in front of Woodrow Wilson Middle School to demand more even funding between public schools and charters.

photo by Janelle Irwin

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor upset with Florida Republicans over maintenance funding in public schools

Seventeen schools in Hillsborough County have unfunded maintenance projects totaling more than $100 million. During a press conference in front of Woodrow Wilson Middle School in South Tampa Monday, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor rallied against budgets passed by the state House and Senate that would allocate more money for repairs to privately run charter schools than to traditional public schools.

“We’re here today to report a theft. There has been a theft of tax dollars from our public schools...

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