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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► Who would ever imagine in the Deep South that government would keep the liquor stores open and close the churches?(to read more, buy a paper)

► Close to 80 percent of Florida’s state government revenue is from sales tax.
Think of how drastically that source has dried up. The canceling of events started in mid-March. Thousands of tickets weren’t purchased, taxable drinks and merchandise weren’t sold. Next to close were bars – a huge source of sales tax, then restaurants, another big source. … The bright spot for Florida is the current collapse of sales tax collection has yet to be felt in the State’s cash flow. March’s sales collections aren’t paid to the State until the middle of April and those collections will still be significant. April’s collections will be due in mid-May. That’s when the State will see the full effect of its dependence on sales tax. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► Al Greco was named the president of La Nuova Sicilia Unita Lodge No. 1251 in March. He succeeded Nick Capitano. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► On Monday, State Attorney Andrew Warren and Sheriff Chad Chronister announced an arrest warrant was issued for Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne as a result of him conducting church services at the River at Tampa Bay against County and State emergency restrictions and against warnings from the sheriff. That same day, Howard-Browne turned himself in and then bonded out.
We believe State Attorney Andrew Warren was acting in good faith when he decided to work with the sheriff on the arrest warrant.
However, we do have an issue with an email sent on Tuesday from Warren’s reelection campaign that provided justification for the arrest and a pitch for people to send in their names to the campaign to show their support of Warren’s action. … We can’t remember a campaign solicitation for support and money based on an arrest that happened the day before. The state attorney still has to decide if he wants to prosecute this case, yet it appears he is already campaigning on it.
We want our prosecutors, public defenders, sheriffs and judges thinking about justice when they do their jobs. The proximity of this email to the arrest gives the impression that politics was also on the mind of the state attorney. … Warren tells us he was performing his duty and that he knows the campaign email will have no effect on this case. He’s been aggressive in bringing change to the state attorney’s office during his first term and we support much of what he’s done. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► The State of Florida is refusing to provide names of elder care facilities where residents have contracted COVID-19 according to the Sun-Sentinel. That needs to change, considering families cannot visit their loved ones at these facilities.
Sons and daughters should know if their fathers and mothers are at risk. The public should understand where precautions are working and where they have failed.
Truth, honesty and education are keys to dealing with this pandemic.(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … I have been reluctant to offer my thoughts on our president over the past month or so, as there won’t be a whole lot of swaying the public. What I will offer is the rare concept the president understands.
Presidential words matter.
So, what has the president been saying? A lot, especially through Twitter. Most of his tweets are re-tweets of Fox News hosts and conservative talking heads who offer him praise. Sprinkle in some CDC re-tweets contradicted with his own misinformation, hatred toward Democrats, a lot of name calling and the biggest insecurities this side of Napoleon, and you have a mix of a petty man who is ill-equipped to run a lemonade stand, let alone the country during a pandemic.
But don’t take my word for it, take his. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► The job of the newly created Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery is to monitor how the Treasury Department extends loans and loan guarantees. Moreover, the new inspector general has a mandate to notify Congress immediately if the White House doesn’t cooperate with an audit or an investigation involving $2 trillion in stimulus money. What could go wrong with this scenario?
Unsurprisingly, the oversight position isn’t going over well with the Divider in chief. “I’ll be the oversight,” declared Trump.
The new IG is supposed to be nominated by the White House and confirmed by the Senate. Presumably Stephen Miller, Corey Lewandowski, Sean Hannity, Pam Bondi, Ted Nugent and Roger Stone are still in the running. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► It’s hard to know what to say right now, as almost everything that can be said has been said about our history-making times. Still, a few thoughts that may be worth more thought. I wrote last week about possible positive effects of the global pandemic, but I didn’t put that in terms of an epistemological concern that Hubby has had for decades, and I shall take this opportunity to explore it.
After teaching philosophy at the university level for 35 years, he was increasingly worried about how students seemed to be moving from reality to romance. Many young people were rejecting logic, he told me, and they believed that one belief was as good as another. They dismissed expertise and were slow to separate fact from fiction. Some insisted that there are no facts. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Addison Davis, by Tiffany Razzano

► Others might be daunted by the idea of taking the helm of the country’s eighth-largest school district during a global pandemic, but Addison Davis, who stepped in as superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools in February, is no ordinary educator.
As the global spread of coronavirus forces Hillsborough County, like other school districts across the country, to reform how it educates its students, and instills fear in families, Davis considers this “an opportunity to serve and a great time to lead.”
Though, he acknowledges this isn’t how he imagined his first few weeks on the job would be. “Originally, I was coming in to implement a 100-day plan,” he said. “While we’re still getting some pieces of it, we’ve been put on pause (because of COVID-19.)” …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … Durante los últimos días, la humanidad ha estado pendiente de la extensión del coronavirus, el cual provoca el Covid-19 y ya está presente en casi todos los países del mundo. Nunca una pandemia fue más global ni tan rápida en cubrir cada uno de los continentes que habitamos. Cuando las primeras noticias sobre este virus alertaron que en una región apartada de China habían comenzado a morir decenas de personas a consecuencia de este azote, no imaginamos que tres meses después millones de ellas estarían aisladas en sus hogares, en Asia, Europa, América, Australia, África, modificando de un día para otro las costumbres más ancestrales de convivencia social.
Quién nos iba a decir, en medio de las fiestas con que nos deseamos un Feliz Año Nuevo, que miles de seres humanos –hasta hoy más de trece mil italianos, más de diez mil españoles, más de tres mil chinos, más de cinco mil en EE.UU.– no rebasarían el primer tercio del 2020, mientras decenas de miles están hoy ingresados en un hospital con la esperanza de sobrevivir.
En este tiempo, hemos asistido a diversas reacciones por parte de gobiernos y organismos mundiales, que intentan entender la magnitud del problema sanitario que atravesamos y emitir políticas para controlar esta pandemia. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … En estos momentos de crisis sanitaria y reclusión, los residentes de la bahía de Tampa y zonas aledañas podrán continuar escuchando a la Orquesta de la Florida (TFO), incluso cuando no pueden sentarse juntos en una sala de conciertos.
Desde el jueves, 26 de marzo, TFO comenzó a transmitir de forma gratuita grabaciones en vivo de conciertos seleccionados de la serie “Grandes Maestros” a través de las estaciones radiales WSMR 89.1 y 103.9 FM y en línea en WSMR.org, gracias a la asociación de la susodicha excelente agrupación musical con las mencionadas estaciones radiales.
Para reducir la propagación del coronavirus (Covid-19), TFO ha cancelado sus presentaciones por el momento. Sin embargo, las grabaciones en vivo de trece conciertos completos mantienen palpitante la música clásica en nuestra comunidad cada jueves a las 7 p.m. desde el pasado 26 de marzo, comenzando con la grabación de la noche de apertura de la presente temporada bajo la batuta del director musical Michael Francis y piezas de George Gershwin, Edvard Grieg y Maurice Ravel, entre otras. Por primera vez, las transmisiones estarán disponibles a pedido en WSMR.org durante 45 días después de la fecha de emisión. …(to read more, buy a paper)

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