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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► We raise our glasses to the Tapper Pub as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. Owners Guido and Joni Caggiano will honor the occasion with a party for their customers this Saturday, Nov. 12, starting at 5:00 p.m. The Tapper Pub is located in Britton Plaza in South Tampa. Cheers!

► “We will follow two simple rules – buy American and hire American,” – President Donald Trump, inaugural address, Jan. 20, 2017.
Mar-a-Lago, one of the most visible pieces in the Trump empire, run by Trump offspring Donald, Jr. and Eric, received 70 visas to be used to bring foreigners to Florida to work at Mar-a-Lago as maids, cooks and servers. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► Opening a Political Action Committee seems to be the trendy thing for Tampa politics. David Straz and Jane Castor, both potential mayoral candidates, have opened PACs – in Castor’s case, to raise money in hopes of scaring off opponents and in Straz’ case, to show he’s serious, can and will self-fund and isn’t scared off by Jane Castor.
We spoke with City Councilman Harry Cohen and he is also thinking of opening a PAC …(to read more, buy a paper)

► The race for mayor of St. Petersburg went as it should have – incumbent Rick Kriseman won. … Leave it to the Times to be a poor loser. The day after the election, Times columnist John Romano wrote, “You [Kriseman] won the most votes, but you didn’t win as many hearts.
“I’m sure it hurts to hear that, but you probably knew it already.”
Really? The only tears from Election Day results are falling on the keyboards at the Times.
Congratulations, Mayor Kriseman.
(to read more, buy a paper)

► In politics, a rule most live by is raise your money early and spend it late.
Aakash Patel isn’t following that rule. He’s raised $182,063 for his campaign for Hillsborough County Commission District 1. While that’s impressive, we are more impressed he already spent $83,918.
He spent more than all other candidates in Hillsborough County combined, excluding judicial races.
In comparison, we looked at Ashley Moody’s campaign for attorney general. She is running a statewide campaign and has to travel to Miami, Tallahassee and everywhere in-between. She has consultants and has to build infrastructure across the state. Patel is running for a district that is roughly, in land mass, a quarter of the county.
Moody has raised $864,146 and spent $43,182.
What’s also intriguing about Patel’s expenditures is the vast majority of his money is flowing into New Jersey.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Tampa has a new police chief. It’s Brian Dugan, who was our interim chief.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn made the announcement on Tuesday, but timing seems a little odd.
We were in the middle of a national search for a police chief and are in the middle of a search for a killer on Tampa’s streets. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► The Times wrote a story on David Straz, who is affiliated with no party, on his potential run for mayor where they tried to characterize his political activity as mostly Republican, but that’s not the true story. … Why didn’t the Times focus on the last 10 years instead of old history? We don’t know what their motive is, but here is the skinny on Straz.
According to a Straz spokesperson, over the last decade, he’s donated $24,750 to Democrats and $13,700 to Republicans. He’s given to 17 Democrats and seven Republicans.
He’s given to stalwart Democrats such as Kathy Castor and Alex Sink. He’s donated to local Dems in partisan and nonpartisan races, such as Dick Greco, Bob Buckhorn, Mary Mulhern, Pat Frank, Charlie Miranda, Linda Saul-Sena, Kevin Beckner, Bob Henriquez, Guido Maniscalco and Yolie Capin. He even did a press conference where he endorsed Democrat Charlie Crist against Rick Scott for Governor.
In the St. Petersburg race for mayor, which was extremely partisan, he donated $7,000 to Kriseman’s campaign and his PAC.(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … Not counting the unborn child killed inside the womb of Crystal Holcombe, who was also killed, the ages of the deceased ranged from 17 months to 77 years. I wish that were the most shockingly depressing sentence I’ve ever written, but these shootings happen so often, those 15 minutes in that church will be a distant memory once the next shooting happens.
Every time there is a shooting such as this, people offer their thoughts and prayers. I’d like for people to offer more, but at the moment, I will offer my thoughts and prayers as such:
Lord, I pray there is a hell, and my thoughts are that Devin Patrick Kelley needs to spend a lot more than 15 minutes there.(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► Back in the day, President Ronald Reagan relied on an old school preparation device for his foreign negotiations, especially his summit sit-downs with Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev. He brought along index cards that he would keep nearby among his official papers and documents. It was a reminder of key points. Sort of shorthand for presidential cheat sheet.
Well, that was then – and that was Reagan, not exactly known as a detail wonk. We get it. Nothing left to chance. We also know that the ultimate fail-safe backup was Secretary of State George Shultz, who once had to provide cover when the president’s index cards fell on the floor – across from the Soviet delegation. Shultz seamlessly stepped in and advanced the U.S. talking points until the cards were recovered and rearranged. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► Yes, I know I should have written this for last week’s column or maybe even the week before that, but we historians like to wait until things have settled. It turned out that no one chose to disrupt Halloween with genuine horror, which many feared. The date, however, meant more to me than Halloween as usual, as it was the 110th anniversary of my mother’s birth on a Minnesota farm. On October 31, 1907, she became the oldest of my grandparents’ eventual 12 children. Their parents had been immigrants from German-speaking provinces before there was a united Germany. Except for one family branch, they came from farming lands near the Baltic Sea, close to modern Denmark and Poland. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Rick Valdez, by Tiffany Razzano

► As a child growing up in West Tampa, Rick Valdez spent much of his free time playing baseball and other sports in local parks.
Decades later, his passion for physical activity and the outdoors endures – he’s recently been named director of the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department.
“I’m a product of parks and rec. I was a parks kid growing up,” he said. “I personally know the difference playing sports made in my life, and I know the difference it makes in other kids’ lives. The impact we have on kids in the community is really special to me.” …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … Conozco a Al Fox –como todos llaman a Alberto A. Fox Jr.- desde que comencé a trabajar en La Gaceta. En la primera conversación que sostuve con él, comprendí que Cuba constituye para él una pasión desbordada. Ha dedicado más de 15 años a luchar a favor de que las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y la Mayor de las Antillas sean normales, debidamente abiertas como con el resto del mundo, incluyendo países con sistemas políticos de orientación comunista, como es el caso de China o Vietnan.
En ese esfuerzo, en 2001 creó la “Fundación Alianza para una Política Responsable hacia Cuba”, ha visitado numerosas veces La Habana, ha propiciado los intercambios de delegaciones culturales y empresariales entre la ciudad de Tampa y la Isla, ha influido en la firma de acuerdos de colaboración entre ambos países y fue una figura importante en el acercamiento que se produjo entre los dos gobiernos en el último tiempo del gobierno de Barack Obama.
Ahora, cuando ha retrocedido el nivel de relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba, por intereses políticos que desconocen el verdadero latido de ambos pueblos, Al Fox ha vuelto a La Habana con una pequeña delegación de Tampa y Saint Petersburg, insistiendo en su convicción de que lo mejor para los cubanos, para los tampeños, para los estadounidenses y para todo el mundo, es que, respetando la diversidad de pensamiento, de estructuras políticas y de decisiones nacionales, se fortalezcan verdaderas relaciones de intercambio y amistad entre los dos gobiernos, porque sólo así estarían cumpliendo con el deseo del pueblo a quien deben representar. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … Un día como hoy, del 2005, Fernando Bujones –vencedor de múltiples lides contra las fuerzas del mal para salvar cautivos cisnes sobre el escenario– sucumbió en el Hospital Jackson Memorial de Miami, a los cincuenta años, a causa de una fatal emboscada montada por un agresivo cáncer.
Bujones –calificado por la crítica de danza del New York Times, Anna Kisselgoff, como “el mejor bailarín norteamericano de su generación”– nació el 9 de marzo de 1955 en la ciudad de Miami. Sus padres, cubanos, decidieron regresar a su patria cuando él tenía siete años. Es allí donde comenzó su formación como bailarín con el Ballet Nacional de Cuba …(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.