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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

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► Eric Seidel is the new spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Fire Department. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► We had an enjoyable meeting with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum at the Dirty Shame in Ybor City last Friday.
Gillum was upbeat and sharp. He showed a deep knowledge of our education system and a plan to increase revenues to pay teachers more. One change would be to increase corporate tax.
We told him our litmus test in the Democratic primary for governor is to decide which Democrat will be the best to excite the base and drive higher turnout in the big counties of south Florida. We want a winner. Gillum used the recent race in Georgia as an example of what his nomination as the candidate for governor by the Democratic Party could do here in Florida. He sees a strong turnout only if he carries the Democratic standard.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Steve P. Cona III filed to run for School Board District 1, which Susan Valdes just vacated. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► … In the same article last week, we wrote, ” … we hear [Alicia] Campos will drop out of the race.”
She sent us a classy note on Sunday, June 10, that read, “I read your article. Is that a joke??? What kind of journalism are you doing?? You are predicting Valdes will be elected by your magical powers. Voters will decide who is elected in HD62 not your journalism practices. … Full of corrupted influences … ***have you heard that I am dropping out??? You could have asked me directly … I am not as of today. Journalism is not what you do.”
It goes on to knock Valdes and to portray candidate Campos as one of the “fresh young honest people … committed to their community …”
Monday, June 11, she announced she was dropping out of the race and her name no longer appears on the State of Florida’s candidate listing for the 2018 election. Guess we knew Campos was going to quit before she did. It must be our magical powers. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► The Hillsborough County Commission race got all shook up when Commissioner Sandy Murman did not file her resignation from her current seat on Friday and announced she would not run for the countywide District 7 seat and would instead stay where she is. Some point to her lack of vigorous fundraising – $1,450 in March, $1,940 in April and $10,120 in May – and say she was planning not to run for some months. When we last saw her at the first Lightning playoff game, she said she was running. Well, she’s not, but we have no idea why she waited until the very last moment to announce her intentions.
On the Republican side, Todd Marks and Aakash Patel have jumped to District 7 from the vanishing race for District 1.
Marks came out strong and announced endorsements from Commissioner Murman, Senator Dana Young, Representatives Jackie Toledo and Lawrence McClure, Kathleen Shanahan, Tom Pepin, Mike Griffin, Hung Mai, Gil Singer, Mark Proctor and Todd Pressman. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► Tom Lee finally announced his intentions. His name has been floated as a candidate for County Commission, Congress and CFO. He announced he’ll stay where he is and run for reelection to State Senate District 20. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► We are deeply saddened by the passing of Yvonne Tomei McKitrick on Thursday, June 7. Her life was dedicated to children. She was a librarian, principal at Mort Elementary and the first Supervisor of Early Childhood Education. She also was a key leader in starting Hillsborough County’s first district-wide kindergarten program.
We got to know her well when we supported her candidacy for School Board after she retired. She served two terms from 1988 to 1996 and served her turn as vice chair and chair. After leaving the School Board, she was asked to serve as principal for the new USF Charter School, which she did for two years. In 2001, she moved from Tampa to be closer to family.
McKitrick was a beautiful person and always on point and positive. She led with ease and grace. She improved everything she touched and will be missed.(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► Next Thursday, June 21, will mark 45 years on this planet for yours truly.
I struggled over typing sentence for longer than I would have liked. It started with the word celebrate, but I don’t know if celebrate is exactly what I will be doing. Also crossed off that list was lament, acknowledge and commemorate. Finally, I settled on mark. After all, it’s just one day of 365, right?
I’m sure I should be thankful to still have my health, even though I do not take care of myself the way I should. I am more active at 44 than I have ever been in terms of public service, volunteering, side projects, writing, etc. I am married and actually look forward to going home and seeing my wife. Life just isn’t all that bad.
However, I have this persistent feeling that I should be doing more, or at least should have done more with my life by now. I believe my resume is strong and no one can question my dedication to our community, but there seems to be a cosmic force whispering to me that I’m behind in the race.
They say misery loves company, but this kind of uneasiness isn’t barroom conversation unless it’s really late and the scotch is almost gone. So I have all of you to share in my thoughts. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► I watched Bill Clinton’s interview with NBC’s Craig Melvin the other day and was transported.
I recalled that former presidential adviser Paul Begala once talked of what it was like to be at a summit-like setting and knowing that “the smartest guy in the room was your guy.” Imagine.
I remembered Dick Greco telling me that he spent a few minutes in the back of the presidential limo with Clinton after he flew to Tampa to make an address at Jefferson High School. Clinton asked Greco what was happening in Tampa, and the former mayor told him about the passing of the Community Investment Tax. Greco was later blown away by how Clinton lauded him in impressive, free-flowing detail for his pragmatic approach that included a football stadium as an inducement to get tax support for schools, police and fire departments. Vintage performance.
I wondered why he was submitting to a network interview until it became apparent that he was hustling a book. He even brought along his co-writer, James Patterson. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► I’ve always been an optimist – probably too much so – but decades of researching and writing history compel me to see the sunny side. We have historical high points and low points, but in the long term, the valleys rise to become mountains. This has been the case ever since we climbed out of the sea. Progress is not straight, but it is steady.
To be sure, we Americans are in a political valley right now, but a lot of voters already have come to understand the mistake they made by being indifferent in 2016. Women, especially, will find their way to the polls this fall and, I trust, will elect a different Congress. I think that Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan thinks that, too; otherwise, why would he have announced his resignation? …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Juan Santallana, by Tiffany Razzano

► … His aunt left Cuba several years earlier and his paternal grandfather made his father promise to join her in California where they could look out for each other. “My grandfather wanted us to have family nearby,” he said.
When they arrived, they learned their aunt wasn’t exactly living the lifestyle she had portrayed to her family back in Cuba. “My aunt used to send us pictures of nice houses they had and nice cars,” Santallana said. “But when we got here, we found out they were living in a little efficiency. There were no big cars.”
There weren’t many Cubans in the city, either. “There were little pockets,” he said, “but not as much as there are now.” …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … La memoria conserva un sitio endeleble al embrujo de la primera vez, por mínima que haya sido su presencia en el curso de la vida. Si bien, el primer amor se lleva las palmas en la subjetividad de ese resguardo, también lo alcanza el primer maestro, la primera casa, el primer trabajo. El mito de Prometeo es eterno en la primera vez del fuego, como a Louis Le Prince le corresponde ese lugar en la historia del cine o a Gagarin en la conquista del espacio.
Cuando se habla del esplendor que alcanzó Tampa con la producción de tabacos, fomentando una industria que determinó su crecimiento económico y demográfico en las últimas décadas del siglo XIX y las primeras del XX, recordamos a Vicente Martínez Ybor, a cuyo apellido debemos el nombre de uno de los espacios más acogedores de la ciudad. Es menos común hablar sobre Ignacio Haya, uno de los industriales que acompañó a Don Vicente desde las primeras visitas a Tampa y quien, junto a él, compró los primeros terrenos para iniciar la construcción de sus fábricas de tabaco y las casas donde iban a vivir.
A la hora de construir, Haya optó por el edificio de madera, mientras Martínez eligió el ladrillo. Ello, entre otras razones, influyó en que su firma, compartida con Serafín Sánchez, fuera la primera en recibir la documentación legal del estado para empezar a producir. El 13 de abril de 1886 se recibió el primer tabaco salido de las manos de un fabricante radicado en Tampa. A quien le correspondió la dicha de torcerlo fue a Ramón Fernández, a cuya memoria se destinan estas líneas. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … El sevillano Diego de Silva y Velázquez, uno de los artistas más célebres de todos los tiempos, muchos de cuyos datos personales han desaparecido de los archivos de los historiadores, hubiese cumplido cumpleaños 419 el pasado 6 de junio.
De lo poco que le conocemos, sabemos que a los diez años ya estudiaba pintura en un famoso estudio de Sevilla bajo la tutela de Francisco Herrera. Permaneció allí poco tiempo, porque al año siguiente ingresó en el taller de Francisco Pacheco, cuya fama como pintor y hombre de gran cultura excedía a la de Herrera.
Le sedujo el trabajo de los tenebristas, cuya iluminación provoca contrastes de luz y sombra, que le concede un efecto tridimensional a sus obras. Indudablemente, la influencia más significativa en Velásquez, al principio de su carrera, 1617 a 1623, fue la de Caravaggio. …(to read more, buy a paper)

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