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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► State Representative Sean Shaw has announced his candidacy for Florida Attorney General. Shaw is a sharp man, an eloquent campaigner and a capable fundraiser. … Shaw made his announcement in front of the Florida Supreme Court Building, where his father, the late Leander Shaw, served as a Supreme Court justice and chief justice. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► Dianne Hart turned in her paperwork on Wednesday to run for House District 61, which is held by Sean Shaw. She’s been planning to run again since her narrow defeat in 2016.
In that Democratic primary, Shaw received 43 percent, Hart received 41 percent and Walter Smith trailed with 15 percent.
This is Hart’s time and we are very confident she will win. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► The West Tampa Chamber of Commerce has a new slate of officers for 2018. Gil Muñoz is the president, Elvin Martinez, Jr. is the president-elect, Joe Citro vice president, Missy Martin was elected secretary and Sal Ingrassia is treasurer. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► Frank de la Grana and Joe Greco are working on a fundraiser for Sheriff Chad Chronister on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Carne Chop House …(to read more, buy a paper)

► Tampa International Airport will have its opening ceremony for its elevated tram, called SkyConnect, on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 7:15 p.m. SkyConnect will link the main terminal to the rental car facility.(to read more, buy a paper)

► … The boundaries of County Commission, School Board, State House and State Senate districts are redrawn every 10 years.
It’s unnecessary, burdensome and expensive to go through this exercise every four years and should be done in a 10-year cycle when new census data is available. Tampa City Council is appointing a commission to review Tampa’s charter. Perhaps that group, or the City Council, should consider a review of Tampa’s frequency of redistricting.(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … Not counting the unborn child killed inside the womb of Crystal Holcombe, who was also killed, the ages of the deceased ranged from 17 months to 77 years. I wish that were the most shockingly depressing sentence I’ve ever written, but these shootings happen so often, those 15 minutes in that church will be a distant memory once the next shooting happens.
Every time there is a shooting such as this, people offer their thoughts and prayers. I’d like for people to offer more, but at the moment, I will offer my thoughts and prayers as such:
Lord, I pray there is a hell, and my thoughts are that Devin Patrick Kelley needs to spend a lot more than 15 minutes there.(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► Back in the day, President Ronald Reagan relied on an old school preparation device for his foreign negotiations, especially his summit sit-downs with Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev. He brought along index cards that he would keep nearby among his official papers and documents. It was a reminder of key points. Sort of shorthand for presidential cheat sheet.
Well, that was then – and that was Reagan, not exactly known as a detail wonk. We get it. Nothing left to chance. We also know that the ultimate fail-safe backup was Secretary of State George Shultz, who once had to provide cover when the president’s index cards fell on the floor – across from the Soviet delegation. Shultz seamlessly stepped in and advanced the U.S. talking points until the cards were recovered and rearranged. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► Yes, I know I should have written this for last week’s column or maybe even the week before that, but we historians like to wait until things have settled. It turned out that no one chose to disrupt Halloween with genuine horror, which many feared. The date, however, meant more to me than Halloween as usual, as it was the 110th anniversary of my mother’s birth on a Minnesota farm. On October 31, 1907, she became the oldest of my grandparents’ eventual 12 children. Their parents had been immigrants from German-speaking provinces before there was a united Germany. Except for one family branch, they came from farming lands near the Baltic Sea, close to modern Denmark and Poland. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Rick Valdez, by Tiffany Razzano

► As a child growing up in West Tampa, Rick Valdez spent much of his free time playing baseball and other sports in local parks.
Decades later, his passion for physical activity and the outdoors endures – he’s recently been named director of the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department.
“I’m a product of parks and rec. I was a parks kid growing up,” he said. “I personally know the difference playing sports made in my life, and I know the difference it makes in other kids’ lives. The impact we have on kids in the community is really special to me.” …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … Conozco a Al Fox –como todos llaman a Alberto A. Fox Jr.- desde que comencé a trabajar en La Gaceta. En la primera conversación que sostuve con él, comprendí que Cuba constituye para él una pasión desbordada. Ha dedicado más de 15 años a luchar a favor de que las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y la Mayor de las Antillas sean normales, debidamente abiertas como con el resto del mundo, incluyendo países con sistemas políticos de orientación comunista, como es el caso de China o Vietnan.
En ese esfuerzo, en 2001 creó la “Fundación Alianza para una Política Responsable hacia Cuba”, ha visitado numerosas veces La Habana, ha propiciado los intercambios de delegaciones culturales y empresariales entre la ciudad de Tampa y la Isla, ha influido en la firma de acuerdos de colaboración entre ambos países y fue una figura importante en el acercamiento que se produjo entre los dos gobiernos en el último tiempo del gobierno de Barack Obama.
Ahora, cuando ha retrocedido el nivel de relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba, por intereses políticos que desconocen el verdadero latido de ambos pueblos, Al Fox ha vuelto a La Habana con una pequeña delegación de Tampa y Saint Petersburg, insistiendo en su convicción de que lo mejor para los cubanos, para los tampeños, para los estadounidenses y para todo el mundo, es que, respetando la diversidad de pensamiento, de estructuras políticas y de decisiones nacionales, se fortalezcan verdaderas relaciones de intercambio y amistad entre los dos gobiernos, porque sólo así estarían cumpliendo con el deseo del pueblo a quien deben representar. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … Un día como hoy, del 2005, Fernando Bujones –vencedor de múltiples lides contra las fuerzas del mal para salvar cautivos cisnes sobre el escenario– sucumbió en el Hospital Jackson Memorial de Miami, a los cincuenta años, a causa de una fatal emboscada montada por un agresivo cáncer.
Bujones –calificado por la crítica de danza del New York Times, Anna Kisselgoff, como “el mejor bailarín norteamericano de su generación”– nació el 9 de marzo de 1955 en la ciudad de Miami. Sus padres, cubanos, decidieron regresar a su patria cuando él tenía siete años. Es allí donde comenzó su formación como bailarín con el Ballet Nacional de Cuba …(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.