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Today on Context Florida: Happy endings, bad reviews, black bears and no joy in Tallahassee

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Today on Context Florida:

On Tuesday night, Tom O’Hara heard two attorneys at the heart of the redistricting fight tell a riveting tale that has a happy ending. Dan Gelber, a prominent Florida Democrat, and Ellen Freidin, the woman who is primarily responsible for the state constitutional amendments that guarantee fair districts, told a story about how determined citizens can overcome brute political power.

Heather Gibson, who serves as marketing director for the UCF School of Performing Arts, believes it’s critical that the theater department shows be reviewed, and her reasons extend beyond wanting the publicity to help sell tickets. Gibson thinks their university years are the most important time for actors, designers and stage managers to hear a wide variety of opinion about their work, for better or for worse.

Kate MacFall reports on the thousands of trophy hunters who will descend on Florida’s wilderness to kill an estimated 320 Florida black bears, a unique subspecies of the American black bear that’s found nowhere else on Earth. The state is holding this hunt starting Saturday, despite most Floridians’ opposition to it. Nearly 3,000 hunting permits have been sold.

Diane Roberts sees the new Special Session as just like Christmas – only minus the joy. Minus the presents, too. While the members of the Florida Legislature rake in lobbyist largesse during committee weeks and every other hour that God sends, trawling for dollars during a Session is verboten. This makes them surly.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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