News & Public Affairs

Friday March 6, 2015

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Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin (r) was interviewed by Janelle Irwin.


photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News.

Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin defends vote to oust Superintendent MaryEllen Elia

Tuesday night, four board members prevailed in voting to terminate Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent MaryEllen Elia.

The move has stirred community-wide controversy because of the hefty price tag for buying out Elia's contract. The district will pay Elia $1.1 million. That's two years-worth of salary and her cozy benefits package including two retirement plans, two life insurance policies, health insurance and a car allowance. Elia's supporters have also pointed out the Superinten...

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The Fierce Urgency of Now by Julian Zelizer

History and public affairs professor discuss LBJ and the legacy of the Great Society

Today we talk with Julian Zelizer, Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton, about his new book The Fierce Urgency of Now:Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society. Zelizer's book analyzes LBJ's achievements and programs under his Great Society programs and how it has shaped the modern political landscape in America.

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The evolution of Jeb Bush's education philosophy

Jeb Bush's career in public (and private) life is being scrutinized more closely than ever, now that he's declared that he's seriously considering a run for the White House in 2016.

In the current New Yorker, writer Alec MacGillis examines Bush's history regarding education, which was a cornerstone of his work as governor in Florida from 1998-2006, and even more so after he left for the private sector.

The President's State of the Union address was also fodder for discussion.

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Tariq Abukhdeir (right) and his mother Suha Abukhdeir at their Tampa home.


photo by Seán Kinane / WMNF News (July 2014).

Tampa teen interviewed by UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry into the 2014 Gaza Conflict

The Tampa teenager who was beaten by Israeli police last summer in Jerusalem was interviewed Wednesday morning by officials in the United Nations Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry into the 2014 Gaza Conflict.

According to the Florida Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Tariq Abukhdeir was interviewed by video conference. CAIR-Florida calls it “a significant step towa...

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MaryEllen Elia.


photo by Janelle Irwin/WMNF News (Sept. 2013).

Hillsborough School Board fires district superintendent

Tuesday night the Hillsborough County School Board narrowly voted to fire the district’s superintendent.

MaryEllen Elia will get more than a million dollars in compensation and her last day will be March 5.

Even though the school board voted 4-to-3 to terminate Elia’s contract, many members of the public spoke in favor of keeping her.

That includes Kathleen Shanahan who is the former chief of staff to Governor Jeb Bush.

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photo by Jackson Myers/Flickr

FSU student opposes influence of Koch brothers money on the university's economics department

Today we speak with Jerry Funt, a philosophy and economics student at FSU, who works with student activist group Progress Coalition . Funt and the coalition are opposed to funding from the conservative Koch brothers, saying donations from the Charles Koch foundation would come with strings attached that would compromise the academic integrity of the university's economic department.

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Will Allen on WMNF

On The Sustainable Living Martin Luther King Day Program our very special guest was Will Allen, the founder of Growing Power in Milwaukee. Mr. Allen played basketball for the Miami Hurricanes, then played professional. In 1993 he started the Growing Power project in Milwaukee, was awarded a Ford Foundation Leadership Grant in 2005, and in 2008 received the Mac Arthur Foundation Genius Grant for Urban Farming. Will was featured in the documentary film “Fresh” and co-authored “The Good Food R...

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Bryan Ellis (left) and Crystal Wilson.


photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News.

Black Lives Matter march planned for Bradenton; Cornel West on MLK

Today the guests on the first edition of the noon news and talk show were Crystal Wilson and Bryan Ellis. They're helping to organize a #BlackLivesMatter rally and march in Bradenton this Saturday.

It begins at 5:00 p.m. on the corner of U.S. 301 and Martin Luther King Ave. E. For more information, call: 941-321-7795.

We also heard more excerpts from Cornel West's speech last week in St. Petersbu...

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