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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► Is Mayor Bob Buckhorn reconsidering a run for governor? Months ago, it looked like a sure thing. Now, we hear there are second thoughts.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Attorney Shelton Bridges is contemplating running for judge. Bridges is in-house counsel for an insurance company and served at the State Attorney’s and Public Defender’s offices.(to read more, buy a paper)

► We hear the Downtown Partnership was shaking down the Channel District CRA for over a quarter-million dollars to help fund the Partnership’s electric cars. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► Randy Toler, who works for a software company, filed again to run for a countywide School Board seat. In 2014, he ran for the countywide seat ultimately won by April Griffin.
This year, Toler is joined by his wife, Alicia, who filed to run against School Board member Cindy Stuart. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► People are talking about the potential matchups once the new Senate district maps are drawn. … Because the district is losing its Black Pinellas population, it’s likely to get more white or Hispanic as it is redrawn to stay inside of Hillsborough County. We had many people tell us the district could be favorable to Democratic State Representative Janet Cruz. A Cruz/Reed primary would be difficult for the Party.
(to read more, buy a paper)

► Jim Norman is running for County Commission and the dirty business of politics just got dirtier. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► A couple weeks ago, Port Tampa Bay released its plans to develop 45 acres of property along the west side of the Ybor Channel. … We are very worried that close to $2 billion in public money could be spent invigorating the waterside along the channel, just to be shut down if a terror attack happens again on US soil. The marina would be closed down. The park would be walled off from the water. Access to buildings would be restricted.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Rena Jade Upshaw-Frazier is a commercial litigation attorney and partner with Quarles & Brady. She is running in the District 59 House race. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► A poll shows Pat Kemp ahead of Jim Norman, 44 percent to 35 percent. We’ve been told of another poll that shows Kemp ahead of the Democratic field with Tom Scott in second place and Brian Willis in third.(to read more, buy a paper)

► We had to chuckle when we saw Hulk Hogan blame his upbringing in South Tampa for his use of the N-word.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Tampa City Council voted yesterday on storm water improvement assessment. We are writing this column before the vote but are assuming Council voted yes for the fee that would fund the operations and maintenance of the storm water department. … This is the largest tax/fee increase in City government in at least 20 years, which was as far back as we looked.
Some believe their storm water problem will be fixed; we aren’t so sure.
The personnel costs are going from $1.2 million to $7.4 million. That will eat up a bunch of this fee increase.
(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … I would not presume that someone in the mall at Christmastime is only there because he/she is Christian, just as much as I wouldn’t presume someone in Wawa on December 25 isn’t Christian.
This is about courtesy. I’ve found that people who are against reasonable political correctness are that way because they are very politically incorrect themselves. Think of that person who tells Black jokes or drops “N-bombs” and justifies it by letting you know he or she has friends who are Black …(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► … Not to dwell overly on that Republican presidential debate, but there was an ominously tell-tale reference made before the official 9 p.m. starting time by Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly. She feigned looking at her watch and gave a heads-up to predebate viewers that “the show” would begin in less than a minute, right after a commercial break.
Whether it was brutal honesty or the TV version of Freudian slippage, it proved true. That wasn’t a debate. That was a casting call. That was speed dating. That was, indeed, a show. Pointed questions and references to actual issues prompted lip service responses and pivots to prepared agenda points. Fox, under the guise of some leading, adversarial questions, helped make sure Donald Trump, an actual TV celebrity and Exhibit A for narcissistic personality disorder, was not spotlight challenged. He merely played his assigned, carnival-barker-cartoon role. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, by William March: An interview with Hillsborough County Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Belcher

► … Belcher said as chairman of the local party, her focus will be on grass roots and voter turnout efforts, and believes she’s also making progress on fundraising.
The successful legal fight against gerrymandering of legislative districts by the Republican-controlled state Legislature gives her “a glimmer of hope” to end the GOP’s dominance of state government, she said, if Democrats can get their voters to turn out and vote, particularly in lower-level, “down-ballot” races.
“I think the message is starting to get through that the party in power is not listening to the citizens.”(to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► … The 1960s rhetoric opposing Medicare was just like today’s opposing Obamacare. My mother and my pastor and way too many others were frightened by “socialized medicine,” without having a clue what that meant. They merely repeated the propaganda of the upper class and voted for conservatives who opposed President Johnson. In the 1968 election – just three years after the Medicare bill passed – many of them voted for conservative Republican Richard Nixon instead of liberal Democrat Hubert Humphrey. At the same time, however, they got their Medicare cards. Mom retired from St. Mary’s in 1972, and until her death in 2002, she depended on Social Security and Medicare. The pension fund into which she had regularly paid, however, disappeared when the family she trusted sold St. Mary’s to a corporate entity. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … La carta de José Martí a Victoria Smith fue dada a conocer en el Anuario no. 12 del Centro de Estudios Martianos, en 1981. Está fechada en Nueva York, año 1887, sin definirse el día y mes en que fue escrita. Para entonces, hacía dos años que María Miyares Peoli había enviudado, pues su esposo Manuel Mantilla murió el 18 de febrero de 1885.
El año 1887 tiene fuertes impactos en la vida emocional de José Martí, quien lleva dos años alejado de su esposa y su hijo, quienes viven en Cuba mientras él está en Nueva York. El 2 de febrero muere su padre en La Habana y sus cartas de esos días dan fe de su profundo dolor. En el mes de noviembre logra llevar a la madre a Nueva York y estará a su lado durante dos meses. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … Suma la luna el rosario de sus trigonométricas cuentas prehistóricas, asustada de cráteres y del temblor que crispa cierta nocturnal ilusoria hoja, sin tallo que la sujete, sin agua, sin clorofila, sin viento que sacuda sus inmovilizadas ansias de sentir. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Historia de la histora, por Javier Sanz

► … Detrás de todas las guerras hay millones de historias de sufrimiento, muerte y desesperación. Esposas, maridos, hijos, padres… han tenido que resignarse ante la pérdida de un ser querido… o no, como el caso de la rusa Mariya Oktyabrskaya. Perdió a su marido durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial y decidió no quedarse llorando la pérdida de su esposo… empleó todos sus recursos para vengarse de los alemanes. … (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.