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Florida Matters: Hillsborough’s Transit Initiative

If Hillsborough County voters approve a one-cent sales tax hike in the next election, they’re promised better highways, more buses, and a new light rail train system. Proponents say it will create jobs, clear the roads and bring Tampa Bay up to par with competing metro areas. But critics of the plan say light rail’s not the answer to our traffic problems, and argue that a down economy is no time for a tax increase. Other counties are watching, and the Hillsborough referendum could help determine the future of transportation in Central Florida. We’ll hear from both sides, tonight at 6:30 on WUSF 89.7.

Weigh in: Would you vote for an additional one-cent sales tax to fund transportation projects like a light-rail system?

Click here for more on Florida Matters “Hillsborough’s Transit Initiative”

Florida Matters: The Debate Over Amendment 4

Proponents call it “Hometown Democracy”; critics call it a disaster for the state’s economy. Amendment 4 has been proposed as a way to give voters more control over growth and to reign in unchecked development. But it’s stirring up fierce opposition from builders and business groups. They say it’s a jobs-killer and will deepen the recession. Hear both sides of the debate, tonight at 6:30 on WUSF 89.7.

Weigh in: What do you think about the plan to have voters go to the polls to approve or deny changes to cities’ and counties’ comprehensive land-use plans?

More on Florida Matters “The Debate Over Amendment 4”

Florida Matters: The Business of College Football

College football in Florida is more than a Saturday afternoon pastime for players, coaches and fans. It’s also big business, generating millions of dollars in revenues for universities. The start of play this year, though, has included questions about improper benefits for student-athletes in Florida and around the country. We’ll weigh the benefits and limitations of the way our college football system is set up and talk about the ethics and the business of college ball. Join us tonight at 6:30 on WUSF 89.7.

Weigh in: Should college football players be treated like amateurs or has the game become so professional that we should abandon all pretense of amateurism?

More on Florida Matters “The Business of College Football”

Florida Matters: The Way Forward for Florida’s Economy

Economists disagree about how to deal with a recession. Some say direct government spending is best while others argue cutting back on government spending and putting money in people’s pockets works better. We’ll talk about these arguments and weigh the economic proposals being made by the two people who want to be Florida’s next governor — Rick Scott and Alex Sink. Join us tonight at 6:30 on WUSF 89.7.

Weigh in: What do you think is the best way for government to help jump-start the economy? And in your own life, how have you noticed that recovery is not coming as quickly as some officials had hoped?

Click here for more on Florida Matters “The Way Forward for Florida’s Economy”

Florida Matters: Hazing

Hazing on college campuses has been put in the spotlight after a suspected hazing at an off-campus event for the Omega Psi Phi fraternity at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Though details about what happened are still mostly unknown as the state attorney’s office and the Tampa Police Department investigate, we’ll look at what actually qualifies as hazing. And we’ll talk about why it happens despite university policies and state laws forbidding the practice. Join us tonight at 6:30 on WUSF 89.7.

Weigh in: Have you ever been hazed at school or elsewhere? How did you handle the situation?

Click here for more of Florida Matters “Hazing”

Florida Matters: The Pier’s Future

St. Petersburg’s inverted pyramid pier.

The St. Petersburg City Council has voted to tear down the city’s inverted pyramid pier, opting for a new structure and a shorter approach. Some say it would mean the loss of a building that is identified with the city. We’ll hear why some city officials think it’s time to start over, and find out more about the pier’s impact on St. Petersburg. Join us tonight at 6:30 on WUSF 89.7.

Weigh in: If you’ve been to the pier in St. Petersburg, what do you think? What should the city do — rehab the current structure or build something new?

Click here for more on Florida Matters “The Pier’s Future”

Florida Matters: Voters’ Voices

Voters Panel

A group of voters gathered by WUSF, Bay News 9 and the St. Petersburg Times. From top left: Victor Castrillo, Nick Conte, Tinka Diehl, Eli Goodfellow, Gerry VonEhr, Margaret VonEhr, William Wertz, Nick Tinch.

There’s a new poll out almost every day now that the primary election is upon us, and the leader seems to change with every survey. In cooperation with Bay News 9 and the St. Petersburg Times, we’ll be following a group of votersthrough the November election to get their opinions and perspectives as the races progress. Tonight at 6:30 on WUSF 89.7, meet our group and find out what’s on their minds.

Weigh in: What’s on your mind this election season — what messages from the candidates are resonating with you and which ones are pushing you away?

Click here for more from Florida Matters “Voters’ Voices”