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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► On Monday of this week, Judge Rex Barbas signed the final orders regarding the one-cent sales tax for transportation lawsuit. The clock is now ticking on the 30 days for appealing his decision.
Among the final paperwork from the judge’s office was a clarification that the vote on the tax could not set a percentage given to the cities. The referendum dedicated 54 percent of the revenue generated by the tax to Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City based on population. That split cannot be determined by the voters, only by the County Commission.
While the tax, if still collected, will have to give some amount to each of the cities, the Commission could make that miniscule. An interlocal agreement has probably made this point moot since the County has already agreed to give the cities their fair share.
The split, however, is not the big issue.
The big problem now is the oversight committee is out, by judicial decree, and the splits on how each government will spend the money is also null and void.
If the plaintiff, Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White, appeals Barbas’ ruling and argues the tax should be eliminated because key elements that were listed on the ballot are illegal, we believe there is a strong chance White would win … We hear White is contemplating his next move but in the meantime has asked his lawyer to draft an appeal.
He is so close to winning, we can’t imagine he will stop now.(to read more, buy a paper)

► This appeared in the Tampa Tribune Alumni Facebook page:
“When the Trib was still alive, the Times was forced to publish some news about itself. Those who were around in the late 1980s remember the tremendous news that was broken by the Trib — the scummy way the Times had treated Poynter’s heirs, and that the Bass organization (and later Yale University) were attempting takeovers. About four years ago, the Trib began looking at the failure of Tash & Co. to make payments to the employees’ pension fund, and the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) slapped liens on the Times and the Poynter Institute. Tash’s CFO lied in saying they were in arrears only $10 million — the number was actually about $30 million. That should be distressing to any Times employee and ex-employee who is in the pension plan.
“What’s worse is that the deficit in the pension fund grew to about $70 million shortly after the Trib was purchased and killed. It’s very clear that the Times’ strategy re the Trib was an utter failure — reflected in Tash’s inability to make payments to the pension fund.
“It’s now much, much worse. The lien amount has grown to $116,533,766 as of April 15, 2019. …”(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► One of my guilty pleasures is reading or seeing a story about Florida Man.
If you ever see a headline that starts with “Florida Man,” you will be in for a treat of idiotic proportion.
Recent gems include:
“Florida Man Hunting Iguanas Misses and Shoots Nearby Pool guy Instead”
“Florida man arrested after throwing firecrackers under child’s bed in ‘prank gone wrong’”
“Florida Man Caught Feeding Wild Alligator Resists Arrest: ‘He’s a Good Boy…And He Loves Bagels’”
“Florida man arrested after pelting girlfriend with McDonald’s sweet and sour packets: police”
And the gem of the week … “Florida Man Angrily Throws Feces at Judge During His Trial”
I write this with the full understanding that I am from New Jersey, which is home to the second-highest number of stupid stories. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► … Trump’s Fourth of July speech beneath the statue of Lincoln underscored a soberingly obvious point. No staff-prepared, homily-rich speech, even if not delivered awkwardly from a teleprompter, can offset the image of tanks on parade. What works well in Beijing, Moscow, Pyongyang and Caracas, looks like hell in Washington. And B-2 stealth bombers remind us that we don’t, alas, have a stealth president. His mega-MAGA presence is ubiquitous.
Plus, exclusive VIP seating for deep-pocketed Republican donors only made an ego-driven, charade parade into a partisan sham. The new normal now includes a hallowed holiday.
…(to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► My friend – and probably yours – Dr. John Belohlavek published another book a couple of years ago, but only recently got around to giving me a copy. It’s titled “Patriots, Prostitutes, and Spies: Women and the Mexican War”, it’s about that war of the late 1840s. As John says, it probably is America’s most forgotten conflict, even though it was a congressionally declared war. It shouldn’t be forgotten, especially because of our increasingly large Mexican population. It’s also especially important for Floridians because the Mexican War is closely connected to our wars against the Seminoles. Professional army men under General Zachary Taylor (for whom downtown’s Zack Street is named) temporarily gave up here, heading to Mexico and a new foe. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Joe Greco, by Tiffany Razzano

► West Tampa native Joe Greco, born in 1970, grew up in a city on the precipice of change. “I remember the city, it looked nothing like this [now] back then,” he said.
His father, “a construction guy,” owned a stucco company, Buccaneer Plastering, and worked on some of the largescale projects in Tampa, including some of the developments on Harbour Island and the distinctive “beer can” building downtown.
Often, he’d bring his son with him during implosions of old buildings as property owners prepared for the construction of new development and a changing city. “They used to let us [kids] run out once the building was down and take a piece of debris from the building,” Greco said. “They’d never let you do that today. But it was pretty cool.” …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … A Gertrudis, Yulius, Lesya-
nis, Gabriela e Isabela
Ha amanecido el día de hoy –23 de junio de 2019– sin un hombre que hace casi 99 años era habitante activo de la tierra. Ha muerto Graciliano Sariol Machado en el crepúsculo de ayer, cerca del mar, en un pequeño y cálido pueblo del oriente cubano que se llama Niquero.
Sariol, a quien nunca oí decirle Graciliano, pues para la familia y su pueblo siempre fue Chencho, nació en uno de los barrios de campo cercanos a Niquero, en el lejano 1920, cuando apenas su país llevaba dos décadas ensayando un proyecto de república que apenas conseguía enderezar el curso democrático que le propuso su primera Constitución, pues entre los rezagos de caudillismo, soberbias doctoriles y ambiciones de riqueza y mando entre líderes que emergieron de la independencia, había marcado la política (politiquería es más exacto) de la que se oyó hablar, sin muchas explicaciones, en el barrio donde creció el hombre que se despide ahora de la vida con casi cien años. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … Partiendo de las anotaciones del académico Raman Selden, basadas en la percepción del filósofo francés Michel Foucault sobre la significación de la verdad en su relación con el discurso, se puede deducir que la clase en el poder es la que ha establecido el concepto de lo que es aceptado como válido.
Dicha percepción básica de la verdad y el discurso, aplicada a la teoría literaria feminista, asevera que el lenguaje al reflejar en sus formas el señorío de la masculinidad perpetúa la discriminación del otro sexo, argumentando, por ejemplo, que en el proceso histórico en que el concepto de género ha sido elaborado, éste ha sufrido una alteración simbólica de su significación. …(to read more, buy a paper)

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