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Intersection: Election-season politics with Dick and Lou

It’s the final weeks before the November elections, and few regions are as important to the presidential race than Central Florida.

The I-4 corridor is considered the swing region of this swing state, which offers 29 electoral votes … more than any other swing state.

90.7 political commentators Dick Batchelor and Lou Frey explain how the presidential election in Florida might shape other important races … like Florida’s senate race. We’ll also discuss new text messages that reveal the behind-the-scenes politics of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.

Plus, the Intersection team continues our look back at our favorite interviews as part of our 5-year anniversary. This week: a 2009 interview with Michael Jackson’s keyboardist.

Tune into Intersection and then share your perspective here. The show airs Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and is rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. Or listen online here.

Intersection: Obama’s New Deal

President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus is transforming the nation. But many Americans and some congressional members see the measure as a give-away for banks.

Miami-based TIME journalist Michael Grunwald writes about why in his new book, “The New New Deal.” This week on Intersection 90.7′s Mark Simpson asked Grunwald about one failed part of the stimulus, high-speed rail in Florida.

Also, it’s Intersection’s 5-year anniversary, and the show’s team continues our look back at our favorite interviews. This week listen to a conversation with an HIV and tuberculosis activist in Africa.

Intersection airs Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. The show is rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. Or listen online here.

Intersection: HUD secretary on Florida’s housing crisis

Five years after the nation’s housing crisis began most Americans still aspire to homeownership, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says.

Florida’s foreclosure rate ranks as the nation’s worst. But in surveys more than three-quarters of Americans still aspire to owning a home, Shaun Donovan says this week on Intersection. In response to a question about whether the crisis will discourage a generation of Americans from buying homes, Donovan described the survey results as surprising.

“We’re not seeing that in surveys, and frankly I might have expected a little more,” he says. “The lesson I take from this is we need to have a more balanced housing policy.”

Also, the Intersection team commemorates the show’s five-year anniversary by looking back at some of the show’s best interviews. This week a World War II veteran describes his D-Day experience.

Has the housing crisis altered your view of homeownership?

Share your perspective here on Florida Talks. Intersection airs Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and is rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m.

Intersection: Republican-turned-Democrat Crist

For Charlie Crist, there’s now no going back.

When the former Republican Florida governor takes the stage Thursday as a speaker at the Democratic National Convention, he will end his political career as an independent, 90.7 political commentators Dick Batchelor and Lou Frey say this week on Intersection.

Crist had a long political career as a Republican before his failed run in 2010 for the Senate. Recently Crist endorsed President Barack Obama in an op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times. Together the endorsement and speech at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., signal Crist is considering running for office again, possibly for governor, Frey and Batchelor say.

Would you support Charlie Crist?

Tune into Intersection and then share your perspective here on Florida Talks. The show airs Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and is rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. Or listen online here.

Intersection: Gram Parsons and country rock

Gram Parsons was a pioneer in the 1960s and 1970s of country rock.

He’s best-known for his work with the International Submarine Band, The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, and he traces his roots to Central Florida.

This week on Intersection 90.7′s Mark Simpson talked with WESH-TV journalist Bob Kealing about his new book, “Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock.”

Also, WUSF journalist John O’Connor gave an update from the Republican National Convention.

Are you a fan of Gram Parsons?

Listen to Intersection and then share your perspective on Florida Talks. The show airs Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and is rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. Or listen online here.

Intersection: Curiosity success boosts Florida’s Space Coast

The Curiosity rover’s Mars landing is a big success for NASA a little more than a year after the end of the shuttle program.

The landing could herald a new focus for Florida’s Space Coast, on research and exploration rather than what essentially was a taxi service shuttling astronauts to the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit, say University of Central Florida space experts Dale Ketcham and Josh Colwell this week on Intersection.

“To me it’s a symbol of NASA getting back to what we want to be doing, which is what we haven’t done before,” Ketcham says.

Florida’s Space Coast, already the beneficiary of a large government program, historically received a small share of space research and exploration funds, Ketcham says. Now that the shuttle program has ended and the Space Coast is working to diversity its economy Curiosity’s success could make it easier to lobby for those funds, he says.

Have you been following Curiosity’s Mars mission?

Tune into Intersection and then share your perspective here on Florida Talks. Intersection airs Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and is rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. Or listen online here.

Intersection: Orlando philharmonic seeks new music director

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra begins its new season next month. At the same time the philharmonic is searching for a new music director.

Maestro Christopher Wilkins will conclude an 8-year tenure in 2014.

This week on Intersection 90.7′s Mark Simpson talked with philharmonic Executive Director David Schillhammer about Wilkins’s tenure with the philharmonic.

“He’s a very sensitive musician,” Schillhammer says. “He’s a great leader. He, I think, has worked well with each of the sections in the orchestra to bring out their best. He’s developed new players. We’ve been able to bring in a whole new crop of players.”

Are you a music lover?

Tune into Intersection and then share your perspective here on Florida Talks. The show airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. and is rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. Or listen online here.

Intersection: Primaries with commentators Dick and Lou

Dave Weldon’s surprising surge against Connie Mack in the Republican race for Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s seat isn’t enough to win next week’s primary election, 90.7 political commentators Dick Batchelor and Lou Frey say.

Batchelor and Frey discuss the primary elections, President Obama’s Central Florida visit and upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa this week on Intersection. For Weldon it’s too little too late, says Frey, a Republican. 

Batchelor compares Mack’s relunctance to engage with the media and his attacks on the St. Petersburg Times to Gov. Rick Scott’s reticence with the media during Scott’s campaign in 2010.

“The fact is now he’s coming back to the media,” says Batchelor, a Democrat. “I think Connie Mack is making a short-term mistake. The fact is you can’t run against the media.”

Who do you plan to vote for in next week’s primary elections? Why?

Tune into Intersection and then share your perspective here on Florida Talks. The show airs Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and is rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. Or listen online.

Intersection: New jobs without recruiting new businesses

Since the state was established Florida’s economy has revolved around growth. 

More tourists. More homebuyers. More businesses.

Now some Florida leaders are considering how to create jobs not by recruiting new businesses to the state but by nurturing businesses already here. This week on Intersection 90.7′s Mark Simpson talks with an expert panel about a new economic development concept called economic gardening.

Fran Korosec oversees day-to-day operations at the Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University of Central Florida. Dale Brill is president of the Florida Chamber Foundation and former director of the Florida Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development, now part of the state Department of Economic Opportunity.

Economic gardening doesn’t replace Florida’s long strategy of recruitment but is a lower-cost compliment, they say. 

“It was very difficult to suggest that we would go for this sort of homegrown and this nurturing concept,” Brill says. “That is in sharp contrast to a recruitment strategy. But it was a significant shift.”

Also Simpson talks with Flora Maria Garcia, new president and chief executive officer of United Arts of Central Florida.

Do you think economic gardening makes sense? Intersection airs Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. The show is rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. Or listen online and then share your perspective here on Florida Talks.

Intersection: A record jump for a new generation

In 1960 Joe Kittinger flew a balloon 19 miles up, to the edge of space. He said a prayer and jumped. At his fastest he fell more than 600 miles an hour.

Today Kittinger’s records for highest, fastest and longest parachute jump remain unbroken. But that could change soon.

Kittinger, a retired Air Force colonel and long-time Orlando resident, is an adviser on a mission by renowned sky-diver Felix Baumgartner to jump from even higher – more than 120,000 feet. Baumgartner would fall faster than the speed of sound. Kittinger talked with 90.7′s Mark Simpson about the mission this week on Intersection.

“That’s why we do things,” Kittinger says. “That’s why we go deeper in the ocean, faster on land, higher. It’s human nature. We want to extend our horizons. We want to extend our limits, and the way to do it is to push the envelope and that’s what Felix is doing.”

Also this week 90.7′s Matthew Peddie discusses why former Gov. Jeb Bush’s appeal remains even though he no longer is in office and is not seeking office.

Intersection airs Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. The show is rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. Or listen online and then share your perspective here on Florida Talks.

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