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Click here to read Governor Scott’s not-so-compelling application to the Federal Government for disaster relief.

What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► The massacre of innocents in Orlando early Sunday morning is tragedy under any name – terrorism, mass shooting or hate crime. It doesn’t need to be spun, it doesn’t need hype and politicians shouldn’t take advantage of it. We need to bow our heads in reflection and prayer for those who are dead, injured and those who bear the loss.
We need to look deep into America’s soul to address how we have become lost in violence.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Tampa Bay Partnership has become one of the loudest voices in supporting the Florida Department of Transportation’s plans to plow over inner-city Tampa neighborhoods of poor and middle-class Hispanics, Black and Whites for a toll lane so suburbanites from Pasco County can make it to Downtown faster by paying $8.00 in tolls on I-275.
The Tampa Bay Partnership (TBP) feels the sacrifice is regrettable but necessary for the region’s transportation network. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► The law firm of de la Grana | Boardman will host a happy hour for judicial candidate Robin Fuson on Thursday, June 23, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m, at their office, 1710 E. 7th Ave. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► The Hillsborough County Human Relations Board reviewed a case this week from a lesbian couple that alleged they were denied “full and equal enjoyment” of The Southern Barn for their wedding. They also alleged they were denied the opportunity to tour the facility.
The Southern Barn is advertised as a wedding venue at the Lonesome G Ranch at 17822 Bill Taylor Road in Lithia, in East Hillsborough County. The business is owned by Anthony and Debra Gill.
The final investigative report by Sr. Human Resource Analyst Edna York Cade found reasonable cause to believe that the Gills discriminated against the complainants, Christine Morin and Rebecca Fowler, because of their sexual orientation, which violates the Hillsborough County Human Rights Ordinance.
The report documents Morin making several attempts by email and phone to see the property, but it seems when The Southern Barn employees started to suspect this was a gay couple, the communication stopped.
Morin then had a wedding planner, Robert Senior, set up the appointment and escorted her to the venue.
According to Morin: Upon arriving at the gate on July 22 of last year, Morin and Senior were met by Kaitlyn Gill-Donley of The Southern Barn. Gill-Donley asked the pair when they planned on getting married. Senior responded that they weren’t getting married, that he was Morin’s wedding planner. Gill-Donley asked the name of the groom. I do not have a groom. I’m marrying my partner, whose name is Angie, was Morin’s response.
Gill-Donley allegedly asked, “Oh, so you’re marrying a woman?” After Morin confirmed her question, Gill-Donley proclaimed, “I apologize. We are a family-owned-and-operated business that has strong Christian beliefs. We do not allow same-sex couples to get married on this property, nor can we offer you a tour. We do apologize.”
The two then had to leave the property.
The Board voted to accept Cade’s findings that The Southern Barn did violate the Human Rights Ordinance, but the Assistant County Attorney told the Board it would not be able to punish the business because on July 1, a new state law takes effect that exempts agritourism-related activities on agricultural land from local ordinances.
Board Vice Chairman Gene Siudut questioned this conclusion and believed that perhaps the new law might not apply in this case because the violation and confirmation of guilt happened before the new bill becomes legally effective.
Siudut made a motion to ask the County Attorney to seek an Attorney General’s opinion on the question.
The ball is now in the court of County Attorney Chip Fletcher, who can seek an AG’s opinion or deny the request.(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … Normally, when tragedies such as this occur in this country, we take a little time to mourn and pretend we’re all in this together.
We’re all New Yorkers.
Boston Strong
Je suis Charlie
We feign compassion with these slogans and the millisecond these tragedies leave the 24-hour news cycle, we go right back to hating each other for our labels. And when I refer to tragedies such as this, it is the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, but it is not the largest mass killing by a long shot and it will be a forgotten memory within time.
Can you name the Aurora shooter? The Virginia Tech shooter? The Columbine shooters? The Sandy Hook shooter? … (to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► … Pragmatic strategy by Hillary Clinton to co-opt all those queries about what the role of a “first spouse” would be. Speculation has been moving on many levels, most involving politically partisan taunts, when said spouse is Bill Clinton. “I’m going to put him in charge of revitalizing the economy,” announced Hillary Clinton.
While opponents will reference the “peace dividend” and the dot-com bubble as Clinton Administration context, the reality is the Clinton Administration represents – increasingly – a time of relative economic nostalgia. Bill Clinton can bring more than baggage to the White House – including a reminder of where the economy was before George W. Bush took office. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, by Tiffany Razzano: An interview with Manny Alvarez

► As a Thomas Jefferson High School student, Manny Alvarez was uncertain about what he wanted to do with his life.
He was born in West Tampa during the Great Depression, and as a high school student in the late 1940s, jobs were still somewhat hard to come by.
He’d always had a knack for numbers, though. During his senior year, he took an advanced accounting course at Jefferson. His bookkeeping teacher had a connection at Marine Bank, a neighborhood business that catered to the community, and suggested that banking would be a good fit for Alvarez. So he went in for an interview and in 1951, at 17 – just shy of his eighteenth birthday – he was offered a position as mail clerk. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► The first of several notable things last week was Hillary going over the top. I have expected it for a long time — but it is historic, and we should pause to reflect. I remember when Geraldine Ferraro became the first vice-presidential nominee. That was much more of a surprise, and dozens of us gathered on short notice in a Seminole Heights backyard to toast with cheap champagne.
I went to that spontaneous party with the late Helen Gordon Davis — whose tastes in champagne and other things never were cheap – but Helen, who then was a state representative, was willing to get down to the level of other feminists. At this time last year, she was in the last stages of dying. It’s even sadder to acknowledge that it has been decades since she braved the ridicule of conservatives to make positive change, especially for women. No one has truly replaced her in that role. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … El pasado 4 de mayo, en un pequeño pueblo situado en el oriente cubano, se apagó la vida física de un verdadero Maestro. Con más de noventa años, Hugo Suárez se mantenía erguido, sonriente, con un libro en la mano, tan atento a la última noticia editorial como a la voz solícita de cada hijo de Niquero.
Saludarle al verlo asomar en la puerta de su casa, ha sido común en todo niquereño. Adiós, Maestro; Maestro, ¿cómo está? brotaron como voces del pueblo, en labios de profesores, pescadores, bodegueros, poetas, camioneros, amas de casa, oficinistas, zapateros. A diario, muchos se detenían un momento, a preguntar la opinión suya sobre la última noticia, o para aclarar un dato, una fecha, una curiosidad de la historia, una anécdota, un nombre olvidado, el origen de un apellido, muchas veces para dirimir una polémica con un vecino, al que se podía regresar con la carta de triunfo: lo ha confirmado Hugo Suárez. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … A petición del público, “Soul Crooners” ha vuelto a la acogedora intimidad de la sala Jaeb del Straz Center con todo un nuevo espectáculo que se presenta hasta el 15 de mayo.
Fiel al original, estos melódicos cantantes e instrumentistas rinden tributo al blues, género musical reconocido en todo el mundo como la “música del alma”, exponiendo un emblemático catálogo de indiscutibles éxitos de la década de los años setenta.
Caracterizado por letras que ahondan en las plañideras experiencias de la vida y el amor, “Soul Crooners” combina orquestaciones exuberantes con apasionadas y armónicas interpretaciones vocales. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Desde mi escritorio, por Arturo Rivera

► … En la literatura latinoamericana contamos con excelentes escritores que han puesto muy en alto a nuestra comunidad. Seis de ellos han sido galardonados con el Premio Nobel: el peruano Mario Vargas Llosa, el mexicano Octavio Paz, el colombiano Gabriel García Márquez, el chileno Pablo Neruda, el guatemalteco Miguel Ángel Asturias y la chilena Gabriela Mistral. Todos han representado, con sus obras literarias, a la comunidad latina/hispana a nivel mundial.
Sin embargo, dentro de la literatura hispanoamericana la representación de los afrodescendientes ha sido excluida, muchas veces silenciada y la mayor parte de las veces estereotipada. … (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.