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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► Congresswoman Kathy Castor floated the idea of bringing a Cuban consulate to Tampa when normal diplomatic relations are restored. Castor’s idea is brilliant…We would like to see the County Commission, Tampa City Council, the Port of Tampa, Tampa International Airport and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce take the lead to pass resolutions to encourage the placing of a consulate here.
Their support and Congresswoman Castor’s help could add to the natural advantage of Tampa’s location and history with Cuba.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Last week was qualifying for the City of Tampa election. Two incumbent City Council members, Frank Reddick and Lisa Montelione, are unopposed. With no race in the East Tampa district and no Black candidates on the ballot, the March election is likely to see fewer Black voters turning out than normal…(to read more, buy a paper)

► Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga will present Circuit Judge Ashley Moody with the 2015 Distinguished Judicial Service Award. The honor is for her continuing effort to encourage and support pro bono legal services…(to read more, buy a paper)

► Jeff Vinik says…the area south of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway and in the Downtown area needs a different name…We never thought Downtown was big enough to subdivide into a bunch of named districts but what the heck, really rich guys are never wrong.
We have some ideas. There is the obvious Vinikville. We think SoDo (South Downtown) is hip. For alliteration, we could go with DoDo (Down Downtown). Since the area is on the opposite side of the Central Business District from Tampa Heights, we could call it Tampa Lows.
In an ode to the lost people mover, we could support the moniker of The Historic People Mover District. The future of the center of the district is to have a really happening entertainment area built around what we will always think of as the Ice Palace — so how about Icy Hot?…(to read more, buy a paper)

► President Barack Obama delivered a powerful State of the Union address on Tuesday night. While people can always argue over the words of a speech, there was no argument on style. The president was relaxed and confident. He owned the room. We felt it was one of his best speeches. We give him a 10 for style points…(to read more, buy a paper)

► In Hillsborough County, the number of closed sales on existing single-family homes rose 15.8 percent from a year ago, according to the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors…(to read more, buy a paper)

► The body of Alberto Romero, the Tampa attorney who was killed in Cuba, arrived in Tampa, late Wednesday. We hear the Cuban government autopsied the body as part of its investigation into the homicide and detained some people for questioning.(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► …Media have been talking of a “fresh start” for Gov. Rick Scott. Sorry, but this is one pol who doesn’t deserve a reset button.
Not when there’s no reset on the $2.4 billion in federal dollars – that have gone elsewhere – that he turned down for high-speed rail. Not when he still refuses to lobby for Medicaid expansion dollars for the nearly 1 million Floridians who are still uninsured. Not when he insultingly continues to perpetuate the con job of job creation that’s at blatant odds with his own 2010 campaign promises. Not when he’s added his clueless, ideological voice to those in the Cuban-exile community who resist overtures to finally end the counterproductive Cold War with Cuba.
And that’s for starters…(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► …This is probably blasphemous to write in the pages of La Gaceta but I’m here to tell you that rice is rice. There’s nothing special about it. It’s starch and it fills those empty spots, but it’s only a supporting role, not the star of a dish. That held true in Honduras, as well, but the chicken was fantastic. I assumed with all I’d heard about Caribbean spices, this local treat must be what they ate all the time, and I was jealous.
I was wrong.
It turned out that the chicken was from a place called Bojangles…(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► A Tampa siempre se le se¬ñala, con toda justicia, como el lugar donde brotó la forma¬ción del Partido Revolucionario Cubano, a partir de la primera visita de José Martí. Pero tam¬bién tiene el mérito histórico de ser el lugar en el que se organi¬zaron y enviaron a Cuba la ma¬yor cantidad de expediciones, abastecidas gracias al fervor con que la emigración cubana hizo suya el ansia de una pa¬tria libre.
Una breve mirada a esa la¬bor histórica realizada en Tam¬pa, refleja el peso que tuvo esta ciudad en la forjación de la in¬dependencia de la isla.
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From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► Destacadas figuras de la danza mundial compartirán escenarios con noveles bailarines y bailarinas en la gala “Estrellas de hoy se encuentran con las estrellas del mañana”, con sede en Tampa por quinto año consecutivo.
“Youth America Grand Prix” (YAGP, por sus siglas en inglés), la mayor competencia de estudiantes de ballet del orbe, celebrará su decimosexta edición con la velada a celebrarse en la espaciosa Sala Morsani del David A. Straz, Jr. este sábado, 10 de enero, a las 8 p.m.
(to read more, buy a paper)

To catch up with what’s happening in La Gaceta, pick up a paper at one of our distribution points or subscribe by calling 248-3921.