News & Public Affairs


USDA program helps families build their own homes, and journalist Tony Ortega's latest book on Scientology

06/26/15 Rob Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Friday)
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Tags: USDA, Self Help Housing Program, Earl Allen Pfeiffer, Florida Home Partnership, affordable housing, Ruskin, Hillsborough, Pasco, Tony Ortega, scientology, Mike Rinder, Paulette Cooper, Clearwater, wmnf, Rob Lorei


June is national homeownership month and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the USDA Self-Help Housing Program, which helps families build their own homes through local partnerships. Over the years the program help build nearly 50,000 affordable homes for many low income and minority families in rural communities. Today we talk with Earl Allen Pfeiffer, Executive Director of Florida Home Partnership, one of the two affordable housing organizations that works with t...

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Greenlight Pinellas supporters take pro-transit message to commuters stuck on Tampa Bay bridges listen

10/31/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: Greenlight Pinellas, Yes on Greenlight, transit, Pinellas County, Transportation, light rail, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Tampa Bay, Howard Frankland Bridge, Tampa Bay Partnership


In a push to influence voters during the last few days before the election, Yes on Greenlight is flying a banner from a sailboat near heavily trafficked bridges across Tampa Bay.

The group is encouraging voters to support the Greenlight Pinellas ballot initiative to fund transit by increasing sales tax by a penny and eliminating the transportation portion of the property tax.

Friday morning they sailed near the Howard Frankland Bridge.

On the Tampa end of the bridge, several peopl...

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Resident pushes back against Clearwater plan to move Countryside public library listen

06/19/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: libraries, Clearwater

There are plans for a public library in Clearwater to move to a nearby park, but some residents are fighting the plan. Margaret Mann wants the Clearwater Public Library System to keep the Countryside library where it is.

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Governor Scott vetoes $360 million from state budget listen

05/20/13 AP
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Florida Governor Rick Scott hit back at the state Legislature today by vetoing almost $400 million from the state's new budget.

Scott praised the budget, which now stands at roughly $74.1 billion. The governor vetoed a 3 percent tuition hike for college and university students that had been championed by House Speaker Will Weatherford. There are legal questions, however, about the move and it could prompt a lawsuit from the Legislature.

The governor also said no to a $50 million item to...

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Clearwater breaks ground on second reverse osmosis plant listen

05/06/13 Samuel Johnson
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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This morning the City of Clearwater broke ground on its second reverse osmosis municipal water treatment plant to get drinking water from brackish water. Nearly 100 people gathered in a vacant lot to listen to government officials commemorate the new construction. When the second water treatment plant is finished Clearwater will be able to produce almost 100% of its drinking water.

The official name of the plant is the Reverse Osmosis #2 Brackish Water Treatment Plant; or RO2 in governmen...

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Preview of protest against new Clearwater policies affecting people without homes

10/03/12 Seán Kinane
Last Call Wednesday
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This summer, the Pinellas county city of Clearwater approved ordinances ranging from strengthening the city’s ban on panhandling, to restricting whether people can sit or lie on sidewalks, docks or piers.

But some homeless advocates aren’t taking the new rules well. This Saturday they’re organizing a demonstration, food sharing and music at Coachman Park in downtown Clearwater to protest To protest what they call an inhumane and un...

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City council member Bill Jonson and homeless advocate Sarah Snyder weigh in on Clearwater's new laws targeting the homeless

07/20/12 Lisa Marzilli
Last Call Friday
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Good afternoon and welcome to Last Call, I'm Lisa Marzilli, joined by engineer Alvaro Montealegre. Today we’re going to talk about a set of laws unanimously approved by Clearwater city officials this week that specifically target the homeless. They range from tightening the city’s current ban on panhandling (adding more banned areas and replacing the current punishment of a fine with...

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Janet Reitman: author of Inside Scientology (The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion)

07/18/11 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Monday)
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Good afternoon, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei.

Scientology, a religion founded by science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard describes itself as the world’s fastest growing religion. The Church of Scientology is a significant player locally—owning significant amounts of real estate in Clearwater and Ybor City.

For years the church has been embroiled in scandal. Some describe it as a cult. But faithful Scientologists say the church has helped them. The Church has been embroile...

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Habitat for Humanity goes partially solar on some Pinellas homes listen

07/12/11 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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You hear it all the time – this is the Sunshine State; where’s all the solar energy? Critics say capturing power from sunlight is too expensive to ever catch on, but today one of Florida’s largest utilities paid for the installation of solar water heaters in low income housing.

Suzanne Grant is a spokesperson for Progress Energy Florida. She said the solar collector workers were installing overhead could store enough energy to meet the hot water needs of the average family.

The ro...

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Tampa Bay residents gather in Clearwater to discuss race in the 21st century listen

01/17/11 Zack Baddorf
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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In the run-up to Martin Luther King Day, the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater hosted a workshop and discussion on race in the 21st century. About 25 participants came together over the weekend for several hours of discussions.

Eliseo Santana, Jr., is Puerto Rican. He says he changes the way he conducts himself with people of other races so that he can succeed. Yet, people still look at him differently.

“When I walk into a room in a professional setting, too often my assistants,...

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