###

Stay Up-To-Date!

###

Home

What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► School Board Member April Griffin sat with us this week and told us she will retire from the School Board at the end of her term this year. … She accomplished a lot and made a difference. She feels it is time to move on. The challenges in leading one of the largest school districts in the country are never ending. There is no point where anyone can say the job is done.
She is confident she could win reelection, so retirement is the only way to try new challenges. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► A bill to require the displaying of Florida’s motto, “In God We Trust,” in every school building is making its way through the House.
This state has a load of problems and this is not the solution to any of them. Yet, one House member congratulated the sponsor of the bill for having “courage to take this issue on.” …(to read more, buy a paper)

► There is an effort to have streets such as Bayshore Boulevard closed to traffic for a day to allow the public to enjoy the street for biking, walking, roller skating and other activities.
Many like the idea, including our mayor, but point out that the City’s manpower and budget are limited.
Because of the way the City currently closes streets, it’s next to impossible to have these types of street closures.
When streets are closed for events, the police are put in charge. The police put up the barricades, block the road with cruisers and post a police officer or two at each roadblock. It’s extremely costly and saps the strength of our police force and equipment.
It’s also completely unnecessary.
Instead, the city should put public works in charge of these closings, as they are when streets are closed for repairs. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► Oh, by the way, a new poll shows that Senator Bill Nelson would beat Governor Rick Scott for the Senate seat if the election were held today.(to read more, buy a paper)

► If people with an opioid addiction didn’t have a big enough problem, they now have Kellyanne Conway in charge of saving them.
Trump confidante and White House advisor Kellyanne Conway has taken control of the Federal effort to stem opioid abuse. The professionals of the Office of National Drug Control Policy have been sidelined and their budget cut. She is running a small cabinet of political hacks to address the problem. The group has no experts on the healthcare aspects of addiction, no experts on incarceration issues and no law enforcement officials.
It seems Conway’s path to fixing our national epidemic is a “Just Say No” campaign and a border wall.
Putting her in charge is worse than ignoring the problem. Conway lies like an addict and has shown no ability to craft policy and seems to only parrot the president’s latest tweets. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … The Just-Say-No approach didn’t work in the ‘80s, and it doesn’t work now. Actually, let me rephrase that. Not using drugs does work. It’s just not a solution nor should it be policy, especially today when it’s not shifty schoolyard kids dealing drugs but doctors’ offices.
More oversight over doctors, eradication of pill mills and accessible treatment should be part of the solution. Forcing pharmaceutical companies to create pills that are harder to abuse is another. There are a thousand other ways and they are all worthy of a serious and detailed conversation.
Promoting Just Say No puts the burden on the aforementioned people who were prescribed painkillers and became addicts. When the drugs that we allow to be prescribed and become legal in this country rewire brains, just saying no is not an option. Addicts need help, not scorn. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► If the State of the Union speech is that important, at least symbolically, then it deserves to look like it. With the focus on POTUS – no matter who that is. The president needs to be the center of attention. Literally. Even this one. It’s his scripted take on the state of our union – from economic report to legislative agenda and national priorities.
To that end, let’s clean up the optics of tradition and get rid of that backdrop of de facto distraction represented by the seated presence of the Vice President and Speaker of the House who share the TV frame with the president. Whether it’s Mike Pence and Paul Ryan, Joe Biden and John Boehner, Dick Cheney and Nancy Pelosi or Al Gore and Newt Gingrich. They can’t help weighing in with inevitably partisan body language and gestures that range from approving nods and haughty smirks to standing ovations and seated discordance. We’ve seen it too often. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► The Pentagon plans to spend $391 billion on new fighter planes. The National Parks Department has $11 billion in unmet maintenance needs, including a leaking pipeline that is the only source of water at the popular South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Anyone choose water?
Sixty percent of farmworkers are undocumented immigrants. That’s almost two in every three workers. Anyone want to pick strawberries or plant lettuce? Anyone want to pay the higher prices that understandably will come with their deportation?
Anyone notice that this year’s state budget is over $260 million larger than last year’s? Anyone want to bet that Republican Rick Scott nonetheless will campaign against Democrat Bill Nelson on reduced government spending? …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Edward Banks, by Tiffany Razzano

► Edward Banks had only been living in Tampa for a couple of months when he and his wife, Carol, attended their first Krewe of Sant’ Yago Illuminated Knight Parade during the 1982 Gasparilla season.
Though they were new to town, the couple had heard about the parade from acquaintances and made plans to stand in front of the Columbia Restaurant to view it. “At one point, I stepped into the street and just felt the excitement,” he said. “I could hear the music and the people starting to cheer, and I thought, this is really something. I was so impressed that I told my wife that I was going to join one of the krewes.” …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … La semana pasada, publicamos en esta columna una reseña sobre Elvira de la Fuente Martínez, mujer que desempeñó un papel prominente en el servicio de espionaje inglés durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. En esas líneas se hizo referencia al escritor peruano Hugo Coya, por ser el autor del libro Los secretos de Elvira, donde encontramos la apasionante biografía de la biznieta de Vicente Martínez Ybor –fundador de Ybor City–, escrita con un rigor histórico de tan alto nivel como su calidad literaria.
Al informarnos sobre el intelectual peruano, supimos que hasta hace sólo unas semanas fue Presidente del Instituto Nacional de Radio y Televisión de su país. Periodista de una amplia y respetada trayectoria dentro y fuera de su país, fue uno de los fundadores de CNN en español, en Atlanta, en 1993. Ha sido productor general de Red Global, América Televisión y otras cadenas televisivas y ejerció la presidencia de la Editora Perú. Sus artículos periodísticos aparecen en diferentes publicaciones americanas y europeas. Es profesor de Periodismo Televisivo en la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú y ha impartido cursos de Periodismo Literario en la Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas.
Ha publicado los libros Estación final (2010), Polvo en el viento: esplendores y miserias de un narcotraficante (2011), El periodista y la televisión (2014), Los secretos de Elvira (2014), Genaro (2015) y Memorias del futuro (2017).
Al leer el libro Los secretos de Elvira –cuya protagonista se vincula a Tampa por la línea sanguínea de Martínez Ybor–, envié a su autor unas preguntas que me respondió con prontitud y suma gentileza, contenido que ahora comparto con los lectores de esta columna.
Tu libro Los secretos de Elvira se lee como una novela, pero está basado en hechos reales. ¿Cómo llegaste a la figura de Elvira de la Fuente Martínez, la protagonista de esta obra donde se juntan tan bien historia y literatura?
La historia de esta mujer, en realidad, se parece más a una novela que a la vida real por su apasionante y rica biografía. Mucha gente, al leer mi libro, me lo dice porque hay diálogos, escenas, descripciones. Era una mujer cosmopolita, muy avanzada para su época. Libre de ataduras en un mundo tan distinto al actual que, quizás, por ello sorprende tanto y fascina. Mi primer contacto con su historia ocurrió en el 2005 cuando estaba haciendo la investigación para mi libro Estación final acerca de los peruanos que murieron en los campos de concentración durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Sin embargo, los datos eran parciales y sólo se conocía una de las falsas identidades que empleó: Elvira Chaudior. En esa época, hice algunas búsquedas, pero hallé muy poco. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … En 1876, a los 33 años de edad, Benito Pérez Galdós escribe Doña Perfecta. La retrógrada ciudad de Orbajosa, de sólo 7 mil habitantes, “pueblo enano y por eso soberbio”, es donde se desarrolla la trama de esta novela en que la protagonista, una viuda hondamente religiosa, acuerda con su hermano, residente en Madrid, casar a su hija Rosario con su sobrino Pepe, al que invita a su casa.
“¡Cómo abundan los nombres poéticos en estos sitios feos!”, apunta Pepe Rey para referirse a Valleameno, Villarica, Valdeflores, parajes de Orbajosa, lugar donde nunca ocurre nada y la devastación, la pobreza y el desamparo pululan.
Doña Perfecta, pilar ideológico de la obra, representa a una España oscurantista; en tanto, el ingeniero Pepe Rey es prototipo del progreso, el espíritu ilustrado y tolerante. De esta manera, la pieza narrativa denuncia la maldad que subyace en la intransigencia religiosa, así como aborda la lucha entre progreso y tradición. …(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.