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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► If you measure the Florida Agriculture Commissioner success by the yield of Florida’s No. 1 crop, Commissioner Adam Putnam is an utter failure.
The 2010-11 Florida orange crop produced 165 million boxes of fruit. Putnam took the helm of our agriculture community in January of 2011. Ever since, the yield decreased. The 2014-15 season’s orange crop will only produce 96.4 million boxes. The crop decreased by 42 percent in his just-over-4-year term. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► Brian Willis surprised many when he posted $43,458 in campaign contributions. That is a strong showing for a novice candidate. Willis is running for an at-large Hillsborough County Commission seat. He faces Pat Kemp in a primary. Kemp reported only $1,350, of which $1,100 was her own money. We talked to Kemp who told us her first priority was to meet with community leaders and line up early support. She wasn’t planning to start fundraising until this summer.(to read more, buy a paper)

WFLA-TV’s news series, “Cuba: Behind the Curtain,” gives locals who haven’t traveled to Cuba a video tour of that island.
People seem to be enjoying the series, but the name of the series is unfortunate. Because Cuba is a communist country, the “Curtain” reminds some of the Iron Curtain, which was the Soviet Union’s real barrier between its puppet states and the West to keep its people in and western culture out.
In the case of Cuba, any curtain that has existed in the past 20 years between our two countries has been put in place by U.S. policy, not Cuban. At the moment, no curtain exists.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Sarasota Democrats celebrated a big win in Tuesday’s runoff election for Sarasota City Commission. Liz Alpert defeated Eileen Normile with 53 percent and Shelli Eddie trumped Stan Zimmerman with 54 percent. Both winners are Democrats while both losers were incumbents and Republicans. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► If something goes wrong in Ybor City, you won’t have Vince Pardo to kick around anymore. He is retiring. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► Mike Reedy, Democratic candidate for House District 63, will hold his fundraising kick-off at Alan Clendenin’s South Tampa home on Tuesday, May 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Those who want to attend should call 813-508-8499. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► The Florida Gulfcoast Commercial Association of Realtors sent us an invitation to an “Appreciation Lunch” for our state representatives.
Why are they appreciative?
The Legislature failed to complete its sole required mission – to pass a budget. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► … Pam Geller is 2015’s grand wizard. We hope people can see that.
(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► …Normally, I am accused of being too preachy or judgy when we all get together, but with that much estrogen around I decided to take a backseat and just listen and observe. With that many women, my silence became a focal point as people kept asking me what was wrong. Nothing was wrong. I was just trying to do the right thing, which is keeping my mouth shut.
A reasonable person would say that there is a middle ground between being a jerk whose every word is condescending and someone who sits around and doesn’t say anything. I submit that when surrounded by that many women, keeping my mouth shut was my first and best option.
…(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► It’s no secret that Jeb Bush, the measured, non-Tea Party, Republican “moderate,” still hasn’t made a seminal splash in the early presidential posturing. It’s not what wonks do. Officially, he’s still a noncandidate with ongoing, “Right to Rise” Super PAC heft and name recognition to sigh for.
Unofficially, those early Iowa polls are still not that encouraging.
We know his immigration and Common Core stands are not manna for GOPster primary crowds or a certain caucus state. But he’s popular with the donor class. And we know that he’s road-testing positions, fine-tuning approaches and checking out rhetorical wiggle room while courting the Koch Brothers and working on his Paleo diet. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► La consagración de un día del año a rendir homenaje simbólico a un acontecimiento, deidad, afiliación, personaje u otro motivo, aparece desde los tiempos remotos en que se registra la historia de la humanidad.
Pero tal vez ninguno sea más extendido que el dedicado a expresar la veneración que despierta el ser que nos trajo al mundo. Por eso cada muestra de homenaje a la madre, desde la antigüedad hasta hoy, entraña el motivo de celebración más universal e inclusivo.
Sin embargo, no existe una fecha común para rendir reverencia al emblema materno y a través de los tiempos, en diferentes países o regiones, se ha ido afirmando una fecha propia. Asimismo, han sido diversas las imágenes para la revelación de este tributo. Los antiguos griegos lo expresaban en el culto a Rea, madre de Zeus, Poseidón y Hades, mientras los romanos eligieron a Cibeles, diosa de la madre tierra y símbolo de fertilidad…(to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► Los amantes de la dan¬za académica disfrutaron de un excelente espectáculo el viernes, 1.° de mayo, y doble función el sábado, 2, en la Sala Fergunson del tampeño Straz Center. El “Next Gene¬ration Ballet”, dirigido por el estadounidense Peter Stark y la maître cubana Ivonne Lemus, estrenó la adaptación de uno de los ballets más famosos del repertorio tradicional: “Coppé¬lia”, sobre la puesta original de Arthur Saint-Léon y música de Leo Delibes.
La función del viernes, a la que asistimos, contó con un depurado nivel técnico y ar¬tístico…(to read more, buy a paper)

From Desde mi escritorio, por Arturo Rivera

► El preso político y alcalde metropolitano de Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, se encontraba la semana pasada recluido en una clínica del este de Caracas, donde fue intervenido de una “hernia inguinal reproducida”. Recientemente, fue dado de alta y fue trasladado a su residencia, donde quedaría en arresto domiciliario.
El alcalde estaba hospitalizado en el centro asistencial privado urológico de San Román; y al ser dado de alta, fue trasladado por funcionarios del Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (SEBIN) a su residencia, así lo informó el equipo de prensa de Ledezma…(to read more, buy a paper)

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