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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► Lynn Gray filed to run for reelection to the Hillsborough County School Board in April. She holds one of the countywide seats and this is her first time defending it. … So far, she’s attracted one opponent, Josephine Amato, who is a parent who has become very involved since her children lost access to courtesy busing by the school district. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► Bill Person is floating an idea on Facebook that he and his wife, Laurie Rodriguez, might be on the ballot in 2020. … Person is suggesting that he would run for School Board and his wife would run against Valdes for her current state representative seat. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► For years, we have witnessed leading Latin families and organizations give to the USF Latino Scholarship program. We have seen Donna Parrino and now, Patsy Feliciano, nurture the program over its like and all that work pays off.
This week, 140 USF students will be awarded more than $278,000 in scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year. Many are the first in their family to go to college.
The program doesn’t just hand out money. It also comes with mentors and staff support. The most recent class of Latino Scholarship alumni graduated at a rate of 97 percent.
Since its beginning, the Latino Scholarship Program provided $3.5 million in funding to students.(to read more, buy a paper)

► The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in Mississippi that netted over 600 people being arrested as undocumented immigrants sent a message to illegal immigrants. The message was that there are now 600 jobs for them in Mississippi. … If President Donald Trump were to send a message that the status quo of illegal immigration is going to end, all he needs to do is arrest the owners of the chicken-processing plants where these 600-plus undocumented immigrants worked. Have the cameras follow agents to the posh offices of Joseph Grendys, who owns Koch Foods and is worth $3.3 billion. Lead him out of those offices in handcuffs with reporters holding out their microphones asking why he hired illegal aliens instead of American citizens. Send the cameras to the posh boarding school of his children to see them crying because daddy got arrested. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► Tampa City Council asked the Tampa Wastewater Department to conduct a public information campaign regarding the implementation of a new fee structure for city water and wastewater customers. The city wants to add a substantial fee for water and wastewater that does not currently exist and to raise the water usage cost by 90 percent and wastewater cost by 70 percent. Customers’ overall bills with the new fees would more than double.
The City has not listened to Tampa City Council. … We will soon see if City Council is a force to be reckoned with or a rubber stamp.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Hillsborough County government is proposing a significant increase for fees/taxes to fund stormwater projects. Homes were paying $42 each and apartments were $21 each. Agriculture was at $42 and there was a formula for commercial/non-residential.
The maximum rate that most homes will go to $193.23 per year. Larger homes will be bumped to $295.64. Apartments will be hit for $96.62. Agriculture fees go to $193.23. The formula for commercial is by the square foot of impervious surface. The maximum proposed rate will be $0.0453 per square foot of impervious surface. That means buildings’ roof square footage plus paved parking lots and driveways. … If you want to oppose or support the tax increase, attend the public meeting on Sept. 5, at 10:00 a.m. at the County Commission Board Room on the 2nd floor of the County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Hillsborough County water rates will also be significantly increased. The cost of water will go up over 27 percent by 2025 and the base rate will also significantly increase. … To boo or cheer this tax increase, go to the County Center on Aug. 21, at 10:00 a.m.
(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … I am certainly aware that most scams urge a person to press a digit on the keypad and since I have no dealings with Social Security, other than what comes out of my check, I know this one to be terribly false.
But receiving this call can be unnerving to those who are unaware it is a scam.
I’ll give a little shout out to my father, who introduced me to Charles Bronson movies at a young age, by writing that if Mr. Majestyk (or any other Bronson character) were around, we could resolve this issue pretty darn quick.
But he’s not and the problem persists.
The problem of scammers is not new, but today we tend to think of them as emails and pop-ups on a computer. Anyone who has had a relationship with the elderly or ever fallen prey to a scam knows the two most prevalent and convincing scams for our citizens of a distinguished age are phone calls and direct mail. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► … As we know all too well, a few votes one way or another can make or unmake a president-elect. Ask Al Gore and Hillary Clinton. Recently the Democratic Socialists of America gathered in Atlanta for their biannual convention. Among its feistier members: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Besides the usual “Bernie or Bust” optics, progressive fealty and targeting of the loathsome Donald Trump, there was this sobering resolution. “Bernie or Bust” is meant literally. The DSA will not officially endorse anyone other than Sen. Bernie Sanders as the party’s nominee in the general election. Déjà-vu all over again? …(to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► No, I’m not going to talk about Jeffrey Epstein, at least not until we know more. Instead, I’m going to talk about something that I didn’t know until this week – and a major omission, especially in Southern and African-American history. My sister in Arkansas is a successful businesswoman who makes more money than I, but she volunteers a lot of time in preserving history. Right now her biggest cause is to ensure that the newest casino franchise goes to the Cherokee tribe because they inhabited our home area until the 1830s, when they were driven out on the Trail of Tears to the Indian Territory of Oklahoma. We grew up not knowing any of that, nor other minority history, or anything beyond white military and political men. That is not what is most important, as the nation is slowly discovering. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Wayne David Atherholt, by Tiffany Razzano

► Like many, Wayne David Atherholt is enjoying St. Petersburg’s recent transformation into a global arts and cultural must-see destination. And as director of cultural affairs for the city, he’s played a significant role in its renaissance over the past five years.
But he recognized St. Pete’s “magic” long before its recent revival. He was an early cheerleader for the city, three decades ago, when he became the director of marketing and public relations for the Salvador Dali Museum.
“I love St. Petersburg very much. I love the arts here. This cultural destination has grown so much and the artists who are here have given so much,” he said. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … Al producirse la Paz del Zanjón en 1878, con la que termina sin independencia una guerra de diez años, José Martí regresa a Cuba, casado con la camagüeyana Carmen Zayas Bazán. Enseguida se encuentra con su amigo Fermín, quien había contraído matrimonio con la joven Consuelo Quintanó Ramos. Ambas esposas están embarazadas. La de Valdés Domínguez da a luz el día 9 de noviembre de 1878 a la niña Consuelo Amparo de las Mercedes –sólo viviría 10 meses– y Martí recibió a su hijo José Francisco, el 22 de ese mes.
Los dos amigos comparten esa felicidad y se visitan con mucha frecuencia. Pero los independentistas cubanos, inconformes con el Pacto del Zanjón, comenzaron a conspirar a favor de un nuevo alzamiento. Enseguida el joven abogado, a riesgo de la paz familiar y del puesto de trabajo que había encontrado en uno de los mejores bufetes de La Habana –el de Miguel Viondi– se mezcla en el proyecto conspirativo. Es detenido y nuevamente deportado a España, el 25 de septiembre de 1879, al día siguiente de la muerte de la hija de Fermín. En la metrópoli ibérica estuvo poco tiempo y en enero de 1880 está en Nueva York, reincorporado a los planes de liberación de la Isla. Mientras, su amigo Valdés Domínguez seguía en La Habana, comprometido con su profesión de médico y desarrollando investigaciones a favor de lo que hoy llamaríamos medicina preventiva. Un trabajo suyo, titulado “Enfermedades de origen bacteriano” constituye uno de los estudios pioneros sobre bacteriología en Cuba. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … El 20 de agosto de 1955, Emmett Till y su primo Curtis Jones salieron en tren de Chicago rumbo a Mississippi, en un vagón de “gente de color”. Iban de vacaciones a casa de sus familiares. A pesar de conocer los efectos perniciosos de la segregación racial en el Norte, no habían experimentado aún la crueldad desmedida del Sur.
La tarde del 24, una semana después de su llegada, Emmett –de sólo 14 años– y siete muchachos de su propia raza se dirigieron llenos de júbilo a una pequeña tienda que respondía al nombre de Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market. Según el recuento basado en el testimonio de los jóvenes que acompañaban a Emmett, que aparece en el libro The Civil Right Movement, de Sandford Wexler, dos de los que viajaban con él le habían retado a entrar en el establecimiento y piropear a la atractiva dueña blanca, Carolyn Bryant. …(to read more, buy a paper)

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