News & Public Affairs

Thursday July 2, 2015


Tampa Heights property owner Andrew Ayo looks over the neighborhood's Community Garden, which could be relocated.

photo by Kim DeFalco / WMNF News.

Tampa City Council members sympathize with residents furious about FDOT plans for interstate expansion

Residents packed the seats and stood along the walls of the Tampa Council chambers Thursday morning; most were there to oppose plans by the Florida Department of Transportation to expand the interstate highways in Tampa to include express toll lanes.

Fourteen people spoke out during public comment against these what are being called “Lexus Lanes.” Resident Jon Dengware expressed concerns...

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Great white egrets fly over the everglades

photo by Rasmus Bøgeskov Larsen

Leading Environmentalist Gives Florida Legislature F Grade for Failing to Follow Constitutional Amendment One

Joining us today is Eric Draper, Executive Director of Audubon of Florida, to talk about the millions of dollars promised to environmental conservation under Amendment 1 that the Florida Legislature has been unable to agree on how to spend. Draper goes over how the money could help conserve land around the Green Swamp, a large area of wetland which feeds many rivers that thousands of bay area residents rely on for drinking water. Many environmentalists also want law...

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Martin A Lee, journalist and author of Smoke Signals

Journalist Martin A. Lee discusses the science of medical marijuana and non-psychoactive compound CBD

Today we talk with journalist and author Martin A. Lee on the science of medical marijuana, particularly CBD, a chemical compound found in pot that is like THC but does not give the user a psychoactive "high". CBD is claimed to shrink malignant tumors, improve insulin sensitivity, and ease anxiety and chronic pain.

Martin A. Lee has written extensively on drug politics, authoring the books Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana and *Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD...

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Brandon activist holds a photo of sandhill cranes she says will be harmed if the proposed gas station is built.

photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News.

Activists oppose gas station on wetlands in Brandon

UPDATE: after a long debate on Tuesday (June 9) County Commissioners -- acting as the Land Use Board -- continued the issue until the July 21 Land Use Hearing. The vote was 6-0.

Community activists in Hillsborough County are pushing back against proposed development of a gas station on wetlands near Brandon; Lela Lilyquist is an activist in Brandon who opposes the development of a RaceTrac gas station at the corner of W. Lumsden Rd. and S. Kings Ave.

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Linda Saul-Sena.

photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News (October 2010).

Will express toll lanes transform neighborhoods like Tampa Heights?

Proposed express toll lanes could transform communities like Tampa Heights, a neighborhood north of downtown.

Joining us via phone on MidPoint is former Tampa City Council member Linda Saul-Sena. She has a column in the current issue of Creative Loafing. It’s called: [Their way or the highway? Suddenly Tampa Heights is faced with highway expansion once thought to be decades away](

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Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee

photo by Stuart Seeger/Flickr

Florida This Week looks at senate bill on healthcare, Gov.Scott's economic summit, and land-buying for conservation

On today's show we listen to the latest episode of WEDU's Florida this week, a political panel discussion moderated by Radioactivity host Rob Lorei. We look at the recent bill passed by the senate last week during the special session, which would allocate billions of dollars to health insurance for over half a million Floridians. Gov. Rick Scott and House Republicans remain steadfast in their opposition to accepting federal money to expand healthcare.

We also look at an economic summit h...

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Chris Eiler and Rich Carpenter from the Green Party of Florida,ACLU Director of Advocacy Joyce Hamilton Henry

photo by Rob Lorei

Green Party to hold annual meeting in Tampa, and ACLU official calls for investigation into profiling by Tampa Police.

Today we talk with Chris Eiler and Rich Carpenter from the Green Party of Florida, a progressive political party whose platform is based on social justice, environmentalism, and grassroots organization. The party has been active in the state for over 15 years, having, most notably, backed Ralph Nader in the 2000 presidential run. They will be convening at several locations through out Tampa over the weekend, as part of their [annual members...

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photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News.

Fast food workers protest in Tampa for minimum wage hike

About twenty low-wage workers protested Friday outside a McDonald's restaurant in Tampa; they want a fifteen-dollar-an-hour minimum wage and the right to unionize.

At the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Central Avenue WMNF interviewed Tina McElroy. She works as a cashier at McDonalds on Dale Mabry Highway and Spruce Street in Tampa.

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Hillsborough County Commission moving to stop wage theft

The Hillsborough County Commission has moved a little closer to combating wage theft. At Wednesday's meeting commissioners voted to have an attorney draft a wage theft ordinance. Before the vote the commission listened to emotionally charged stories of residents who have had their wages stolen by employers.

Wage theft has many forms, like not paying overtime or withholding earnings and not paying on time. For unmarried low wage workers and families struggling to make ends meet, a fraudulen...

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