What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta
From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga
► According to the Tampa Police Department, crime is down around the city and Ybor City is leading all other areas in reducing property crimes. In just one year, property crime in Ybor City fell 44 percent, while violent crime declined 14.6 percent. … (to read more, buy a paper)
► County Commissioner Stacy White had a hugely successful fundraiser on Thursday, March 9, at the Columbia Restaurant. He pulled in $55,750 … (to read more, buy a paper)
► … the question is, can any Democrat win a statewide election for governor or cabinet post in 2018. Since the turn of the century, Democrats have only won one of these elections. That was when Alex Sink won the office of CFO in 2006. … (to read more, buy a paper)
► … The Cuban government has not been too excited in the past about yacht clubs and races. The ideals of the revolution didn’t leave much room for exclusive, monied groups racing around in their toys, but their experience with this event opened some eyes in the halls of government that even yacht races, done right and in the spirit of friendship, bring our countries together. (to read more, buy a paper)
► We’ve had some confusion over when County Commissioner Les Miller is term-limited out of District 3. The general rule is commissioners can run in a district twice and a term is four years. Miller was first elected to District 3 in 2010, so term limits should mean he’s out in 2018, but that’s not true. He’ll go to 2020. His first term was only two years, causing him to rerun in 2012. … (to read more, buy a paper)
► … We asked Cohen, who attends each year, how was this year’s. He told us it was disappointing compared to past meetings.
He remembered during the Obama Administration that top federal officials would engage with city representatives during each session. At one conference, he saw the vice president, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the EPA secretary.
This time, the only top Trump official scheduled was Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was a no-show. It seems the only communications the Trump administration is delivering to the cities is a list of potential cuts. (to read more, buy a paper)
► We visited Cuba last week and noticed, when measured over a few years, there has been a lot of visible change in the Cuban economy. Just a few years ago, there were just a handful of private restaurants in Havana. Now, there are over 500 and they are spread throughout the city. The owners of these businesses are Cuba’s new business class. They have money to spend, jobs to offer. … (to read more, buy a paper)
From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut
► … The tail is wagging the dog.
In yesteryear, say 10 years ago, regardless of a person’s stature, all he or she needed to do was “leak” a sex tape to become instantly famous, or infamous depending on the public’s knowledge of a person. In the cases of the aforementioned Kardashian and Hilton et. al., scarcely known young women became internationally known when their sex tapes were publically circulated. And they cashed in on that fame with incredible success.
However, the sex tape of Tanya Harding, a publicly despised person, only sent her deeper into the downward spiral of infamy, which no amount of skin could repair.
Today, leaked tapes or videos have nothing to do with fame. Before I go any further, there are several actors and actresses, along with ordinary people walking the streets, who have been victims to hacking or the legitimate leaking of their most-intimate acts. This is akin to sexual assault in my book, but that’s another column. … (to read more, buy a paper)
From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill
► Call it a win for public safety, the sort of victory that is too infrequent when it comes to the law and guns in this state. When Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court Judge Susan Barthle made the decision that Curtis Reeves didn’t kill Chad Oulson in Stand Your Ground-rationalized self-defense, she also made a de facto statement that the process hasn’t been totally hijacked by Marion Hammer and the NRA puppeteers.
By allowing the case to proceed to trial, Judge Barthle made the point that credible physical evidence was lacking. By so doing, she also indicated that firing a weapon in response to tossed popcorn just might be as legally flawed as it is commonsensically absurd. … (to read more, buy a paper)
From In Context, by Doris Weatherford
► I was thrilled with the front page of the Times last week, on the day after International Women’s Day. It featured a glorious photo of women in Australia, standing in front of an imposing governmental building, wearing t-shirts that proclaimed “Feminist Agenda,” and reaching their hands high toward the sky. The caption added, “In the United States, many women stayed home from work, joined rallies, or wore red to demonstrate how vital they are to the country’s economy.”
Beneath it was a photo of local women gathering in St. Petersburg’s Williams Park, as well as one of the new statue, “Fearless Girl,” that was installed in front of Wall Street’s famed bull. Placed to show the pony-tailed girl ready to confront the bull, this is an important art installation that will inspire thought for decades to come. Kudos to State Street Global Advisors, which hired artist Kristen Visbal to create “Fearless Girl.” It makes me proud that when Hubby and I lived in Boston many years ago, it was State Street that issued our first credit card. … (to read more, buy a paper)
From Silhouettes, by Tiffany Razzano, an interview with Angela Small
► Demetrius Smith was just 12 years old when he lost his battle with brain cancer.
The Cleveland boy had been diagnosed with an ependymoma brain tumor, a malignant primary brain tumor a decade earlier.
At age 3, after recovering from his first brain surgery – surprising doctors – he began attending a Montessori school. This is where he learned to play the piano.
The tumors returned a few years later, when he was 7, and Demetrius was granted a “wish” through a nonprofit organization. The budding musician asked for a piano, which became one of his prized possessions. … (to read more, buy a paper)
From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya
► … La desazón con que ¬Esperanza respondió al Doctor Loumié cuando éste le preguntó si podía guisarle “aunque sea una caldosa” estaba muy acreditada. ¿Acaso él no recordaba que dos días atrás había re-ga-la-do las provisiones que ella guardó en el congelador? El plural fue una ilusión exagerada de una suegra que debía arreglárselas cada día para que su hija y él, por muy buen médico que sea, más los tres hijos que trajeron al mundo en tiempos de tanta escasés, no se fueran a la cama con depresión estomacal, concepto creado por ella para completar un diagnóstico a medio camino de Su Eminencia, como dijo entonces al facultativo del hogar.
Su primer impulso fue acompañado con un adagio de reproche: el que da lo que tiene, a pedir se atiene. Pero cuando él insistió, agregando que dos colegas estaban al llegar con una botella de ron, ella sonrió, al darse cuenta de que su yerno se estaba despidiendo de los amigos, tal vez para siempre, porque en los próximos días iría de visita a Estados Unidos y aunque no lo había dicho a nadie, ella estaba segura que el ida y vuelta del pasaje se cumpliría a la mitad.
Ante el gesto inicial de Esperanza, el Dr. Loumé recordó por primera vez el refrán ”Dichoso Adán que no tuvo suegra”–, oído a su padre, pero no le dio tiempo a expresarlo, contenido el injusto pensamiento con la aparición de una sonrisa maternal en la que se dibujaron los primeros asomos del manjar. Sólo entonces se permitió responderle y lo hizo desgranando, como ella, las sílabas esenciales: Yo no he re-ga-la-do nada, mi vieja, sólo he pres-ta-do el hueso protegido por usted. … (to read more, buy a paper)
From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta
► … El internacionalmente célebre guitarrista flamenco Juan Manuel Cañizares se presentó, junto con la Orquesta de la Florida, en lo que fuera su debut en la Sala Morsani del Straz Center, el Mahaffey Theater y el Ruth Eckerd Hall, los días 3, 4 y 5 de marzo, respectivamente.
A raíz de estos tres conciertos, bajo el título “La experiencia de Dalí”, Cañizares –que interpretó el “Concierto de Aranjuez” de Joaquín Rodrigo – conversó con este espacio sobre su carrera, ofreció comentarios del instrumento de mástil largo con trastes y cuerdas que magistralmente entona, así como brindó detalles de su vida. Hace dos semanas publicamos la primera parte de la entrevista. En esta edición, les ofrecemos la conclusiva segunda parte. … (to read more, buy a paper)
From Desde mi escritorio, por Arturo Rivera
► … La crisis fiscal en Puerto Rico ha llegado a niveles sumamente preocupantes y se estima que el Gobierno de la Isla no contará con los fondos necesarios para operar en el año fiscal 2017.
La economía del país ha estado en recesión y en contracción desde el 2006. Así, las cosas llegaron a un punto que los bonos de Puerto Rico fueron degradados hasta el nivel de chatarra, lo que imposibilita que la Isla tenga acceso a los mercados para su financiamiento. … (to read more, buy a paper)