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Monday, Nov 20, 2017
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Ernest Hooper: Lawsuit may deliver sweeping changes to Hillsborough County School District

The Hillsborough County School District finds itself mired in growing controversies, the latest coming in a suit from fired human resources chief Stephanie Woodford.

The suit casts a negative light on many, including superintendent Jeff Eakins and chief of staff Alberto Vazquez. It comes at a time when the district already is struggling with budget deficits and academic shortcomings.

The suit may be nothing more than accusations that can't stand up in court. Or it may end with a quiet out-of-court settlement that results in no meaningful changes.

Yet it feels to me this suit has the potential to bring about seismic results to the district's core operations.

More and more, it appears that may not be a bad thing. . . .

Seen on a bumper sticker: Wow! That Bumper Sticker Really Changed My Mind. — No One Ever. . . .

Florida Orchestra music director Michael Francis arrived in Tampa with impeccable credentials, but the resume should have included civic ambassador.

As one of four honorees at the Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts' Impact Awards, Francis spoke so glowingly of Tampa Bay that I had only one thought: We need him talking to Jeff Bezos about bringing Amazon's HQ2 to town.

The event also honored folk artist Ruby C. Williams, lawyer and arts patron Peter Zinober and Neil and Gianna Gobioff of the Gobioff Foundation. . . .

Speaking of the arts, the Ruskin Firehouse Culture Center announces expansion plans today. It's cool to see the arts getting a boost outside our downtown environs. Suburban cultural pursuits can and should go beyond chain restaurants and mall trips.

That's all I'm saying.

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