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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► Tampa and the Bay Area once again missed the Big One. That’s a cause for a small celebration, but it also means we are still on borrowed time. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► The only negative that happened to us was that someone stole the 10 sandbags we stacked in front of La Gaceta’s doors.
Who steals sandbags?
Are they thinking La Gaceta deserves the flood over their place? There is a special place in hell for sandbag thieves.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Our governments and elected leaders did a yeoman’s job during the buildup and aftermath of the storm. … Of course, there is always room for improvement and in Hillsborough County, communication between the City and County need a little help. This manifested itself over who can declare a curfew and in the timing of evacuation.
According to state law, any political subdivision (county or municipality) may issue an emergency declaration for its jurisdiction without prior declaration by other levels of government. Along with this power of declaration is the responsibility to order evacuation as early as required by specific local conditions.
The rules also state “Declarations and evacuation orders of higher levels of government are binding upon lower levels of government.” But it doesn’t work the other way.
The City of Tampa declared a mandatory evacuation of all residents in Zone A before the school district and the County were fully ready with storm shelters. Mayor Buckhorn ordered the evacuation of Zone A on Friday at 2:00 p.m. while the County ordered the evacuation of Zone A on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. Zone A is going to flood whether it’s in the city or unincorporated county, so why the different times? Lack of communication and coordination.
The mayor has the power to order the evacuation, but he doesn’t control the storm shelters. The school district needs to open the designated school and the County needs to stock and help man the shelters.
Even the City’s evacuation order hints that it precedes the actual opening of adequate shelters. It read, “Hillsborough County Shelters are opening throughout today and Saturday.”
The City really had nowhere to send the people it just ordered to evacuate. The school district and the County scrambled and got a few shelters open soon after the City’s order but it was reactive, not proactive.
When the County did its evacuation order, 18 hours after the City, it also released a long list of shelters that were open and ready to accept evacuees.
The County could have announced the evacuation of Zone A for all residents of the county, as opposed to it being piecemealed.
The next tiff was over curfew.
The mayor declared a 6:00 p.m. Sunday curfew for Tampa on Sunday morning. County Administrator Mike Merrill said at 4:00 p.m. Sunday there was no curfew in the city or county, as he has the only authority to set a curfew.
The City of Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City and Hillsborough County have signed inter-local agreements in regard to emergency management plans.
The agreement designates the power to order evacuations, curfews and such to the Emergency Policy Group, which is a board of elected officials from each of these governments, along with the sheriff.
Of course, these agreements are as good as the paper upon which they are written.
If the mayor disagrees with the Emergency Policy Group’s decision, he has every right to do what he thinks is best for the city. From what we heard, there was no discussion between the City and the Emergency Policy Group regarding evacuation or curfews. It seems like the City just went out on its own.
The mayor can order a curfew because he controls the police force. Merrill must depend on cooperation, as he has no law enforcement directly under his control.
We can see where the City and County could disagree on a curfew. The need for a curfew in a densely packed urban environment is probably greater than the need in a suburban or rural environment. Because of this, we don’t necessarily disagree with the mayor but with greater effort, government could have avoided confrontation, contradiction and confusion.
Luckily, these miscues had no major repercussions, as the storm was substantially milder than expected.(to read more, buy a paper)

► For those nostalgic for the days gone by, you can relive a long-dead Tampa tradition.
Wrestling is back at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory.
Tuesday, Sept. 26, six matches are on the card along with honored guests that will help us remember the glory days of Florida Wrestling. General admission starts at 7:00 p.m. and tickets cost $20 to $25.
VIP guests arrive at 6:00 p.m. and their package costs $100.
Go online to www.bryanglazerfamilycc.com to purchase tickets.(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … Up until last Thursday I, and my fellow Ybor Lions Club members, were planning our annual Victor E. DiMaio Award of Achievement Banquet at the Columbia Restaurant this coming Sept. 27. With club members and families going through so much adversity, we thought it best to postpone this celebration to a more suitable time.
This means Jack Shiver, for the time being, will not be accepting our award. And with the start of the Latin social season just around the corner, those planning many other events, dinners and celebrations will have to consider their appropriateness and timeliness.
I have urged my fellow Lions Club members – and I urge all of you out there reading – to remember that everyone doesn’t have it as good as we do. There are people in need, and as we saw this past weekend, many are unprepared for the rising tide, for lack of a better term. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► Joe O’Neill is on vacation and will return next week.(to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► … Rather than continue to drive myself crazy with constant weather updates, I decided to write this column on Sunday afternoon, rather than my usual Monday. As you know, it was a loooong week, filled with apprehension and anxiety. But already now I’m diverted, as the computer told me “apprehension” was misspelled, but didn’t offer any suggestions to correct it. I went to my tattered old red “Word Book” that is neither a dictionary nor thesaurus, but simply a list of correct spellings of words. You make your best guesstimate and run down the page until you spy the right one. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, by Tiffany Razzano, an interview with Claire Elisan

► When Claire Elisan moved from the Philippines to San Diego, California, at 10 years old, she adjusted pretty quickly to life in the United States.
“My biggest struggle was not speaking English,” she said. “And there must have been some culture shock, but I’ve always been able to adjust to my environment pretty quickly.”
While slowly learning English as a fourth grader, she connected with her classmates through basketball, discovering she had a talent for the sport. “I got along with everyone,” she said.
Then she hit middle school. “The most challenging years of adolescence for everyone,” Elisan said. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … Un huracán, como cualquier amenaza natural –sismos, tsunamis, tornados– provoca daños en cualquier región del planeta, especialmente dolorosos en los más habitados por el género humano. No nos cansaremos de compadecernos de las familias que pierden un ser querido, o las propiedades adquiridas quién sabe con cuánto sacrificio.
Sin embargo, un detalle positivo aflora en cada una de estas catástrofes y es el comportamiento solidario entre las personas, multiplicado en las circunstancias difíciles más allá de los vínculos familiares o de amistad.
Esta vez, el huracán Irma, a sólo unos días del desastre provocado por Harvey, mayormente en Texas, nos mantuvo en alerta desde que fue anunciada su aparición en el Atlántico, con la advertencia espeluznante de ser el más potente de todos los tiempos de cuantos nacieron en estas aguas.
Enseguida, vimos las imágenes tremendas de los destrozos que Irma fue provocando en las Antillas Menores, como Saint Thomas, San Martín y Barbuda, con vientos que llegaron a alcanzar los 300 kilómetros por hora, sobrepasando los límites requeridos para ganar la categoría 5 –la máxima en la escala de Saffir-Simpson–. Con esa potencia, fue estremecido el cuerpo de Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Haití, Cuba, arrancando árboles, derribando casas y, mucho más triste, cobrando la vida de algunas personas.
… (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … El 14 de abril amaneció esta serie de tres entrevistas que concluye con la presente edición. La genialidad y belleza, la desafiante vigilante irreverencia de la obra de César Santos nos sedujo desde el primer encuentro. La energía de su propuesta artística responde a una sensibilidad creativa sumamente sagaz, a su propia manera de ver el mundo, y en cierto sentido la nuestra, tenaz empeño que innova intuitivamente el orden estético, emocional, intelectual y, ¿por qué no?, su magistral combinación.
A través del horizonte trazado por las preguntas y respuestas de esta entrevista, hemos anhelado dar a conocer mejor la dimensión humana y artística de César Santos.
Concluyamos, pues, este viaje a través de la obra del artista.
¿En qué parte de Miami vives?
Vivo en Miami Shores.
He podido deducir a través de esta conversación que en ti palpita una disyuntiva entre el clasicismo y el arte contemporáneo. Me explicaste que fuiste a Nueva York buscando algo que no encontraste o quizá lo encontraste y te decepcionó. ¿Cómo pudiéramos definir tu estilo?
Tengo la mentalidad contemporánea, eso de provocar el “shock”, la sorpresa, retar el pensamiento tradicional, aunque sea valiéndome de elementos clásicos. Del romanticismo, idealizo y suscito los componentes más humanos y emocionales. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Desde mi escritorio, por Arturo Rivera

► … La Coalición en contra del Estado Islámico está compuesta por Estados Unidos, Rusia, los ejércitos de Siria e Irak y las organizaciones de las Fuerzas Democráticas Sirias y las Unidades de Movilización Popular. Estas fuerzas son las que diariamente están al frente de las operaciones de combate que están derrotando al Califato que una vez proclamara el Estado Islámico.
Sin embargo, el Estado Islámico emplea otros recursos. Uno de ellos es la propaganda de su visión radical del Islam, lo que difículta aniquilar con esa organización solamente usando la fuerza. El reclutamiento a los jóvenes musulmanes del continente europeo está dando frutos al Estado Islámico, lo que contribuye al clima de terror que está sembrando por toda Europa. …(to read more, buy a paper)

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