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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► The attack on the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday aimed at disrupting the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate from their duty of counting the Electoral College vote was disgusting and reprehensible. It was an act of domestic terrorism and violent insurrection.
President Donald Trump, over several days, invited his supporters to gather in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to stop the stolen election and tweeted, “Be there, will be wild.” He spoke to the crowd Wednesday and continued his narrative that he won the election.
Trump said, “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol. And we’re gonna cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we’re probably not going to be cheering, so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong.” His supporters then marched to the Capitol building and started their invasion and occupation. … January 6 was a dark day for American democracy. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► On Oct. 30, we wrote, “If Biden wins the presidency, we will predict that Democrats will take over the U.S. Senate.” It took a while, but on Tuesday, our prediction came true. …
Georgia now has two Democratic senators. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► With Democrats in charge in Washington, D.C., lobby firms are having to bring in Democratic talent to better serve their clients. One of those firms having to adjust is Ballard Partners, which had a reputation of being close to Donald Trump. Tampa’s own Ana Cruz, who is the managing partner of Ballard Partners Tampa Office will do double duty and take her extensive Democratic credentials and serve as a partner in Ballard’s Washington office. Also joining her from Florida will be Courtney Whitney and Stephanie Grutman.(to read more, buy a paper)

► We are glad to see USF reverse its previous decision and announce the College of Education will be retained within an autonomous college structure and the college will retain its most high-demand undergraduate education programs. The reversal was in response to pressure from local school districts which suffer from a shortage of skilled teachers.(to read more, buy a paper)

► The police arrested 22-year-old Livonte Lamar Howard for allegedly shooting four people in Ybor City on Dec. 26 at 2:00 a.m. Two of the victims died.
The police had in their report that Howard was in front of 7th + Grove on Seventh Avenue near 20th Street with a group of people.
Video shows the gunman running toward the victims and firing.
The police then go on to say Howard was linked to other people in the group. This translated to gang membership in our vocabulary.
Locals know gangs have hung out in front of 7th + Grove before. The crowds outside of the night club have caused nearby businesses to close early for fear of the safety of their patrons and staff.
This problem had been brewing for a year and it took two dead bodies for TPD to take notice. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► The Florida legislative regular session begins on March 2 and runs to April 30. The chair of the Hillsborough Legislative Delegation is Democrat Dianne Hart and the vice chair is Democrat Janet Cruz. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … To those Trump loyalists who are now seeing the light, I have a message:
This is your mess. Own it.
Is it reassuring that a semblance of sanity is emanating and many of the sycophants were opportunists more than they were Kool-Aid drinkers? Yes, but they don’t get to join our side yet. They spent years enabling this creep when it worked for them and when he revealed himself to be the very thing they screamed he was not, a fraud, the exodus started.
I’m going to need at least 40 days and 40 nights from you before you become so outspoken.
To those of you who remained loyal to the Republican Party during this reign of terror. I don’t have any issue with that. You should remain loyal to your party for as long as its goals resonate with you and you have the ability to live with its ideas you oppose and/or effect change when necessary. One man is not the party, or at least he shouldn’t be. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► … Much has been made of what Miguel Cardona, if he is confirmed as the next education secretary, will face in the clean-up after charter school diva Betsy DeVos. From prioritizing civil rights protections and pandemic catch-up tutoring to no longer selling out to predatory, for-profit colleges. But even though so much about education is the purview of states, it could help if the White House education agenda included high-profile use of its bully pulpit by Cardona to make the case for educational changes that could help save our democracy from Trump sequels. Our schools need to prioritize meaningful, mandatory middle-and high-school classes in civics, history and media. In short, how our constitutional republic is supposed to work; how we got here as a nation; and how to avoid manipulation by contemporary partisan media in its various digital forms.
… (to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► I’m just back from DC, or more properly the area around DC. In normal holiday times, Hubby and I could meet our daughter when her work day at the Justice Department ended and then enjoy downtown Washington’s Christmas attractions – the lights on Pennsylvania Avenue, tea at the Willard Hotel, or the holiday flower arrangements at the National Botanical Garden. But Hubby is gone and the times aren’t normal, so I didn’t set foot in the district this year. I did check the web to see Melania’s White House decor, and it wasn’t as disastrous as last year’s devil-red trees. I’m grateful, though, that she won’t get another chance.
Going to Washington always has a sense of going home for me. I made my first trip in 1954, with my mother and siblings to spend Christmas with my older sister (the one who died recently). Dad stayed home to tend the chickens and cows, and we traveled by Greyhound. It was before interstates or emission controls, and the foul-smelling bus swinging around Appalachian roads made us kids nauseous. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Nancy Gonzalez, by Tiffany Razzano

► Before she was born, Nancy Gonzalez’s parents and then-three-month-old sister left Cuba for Florida in 1960. “My dad didn’t like what was going to be happening in the future, so he, my mom and my sister came on the ferry,” she said.
He always intended to return to Cuba – he held on to the return trip ticket from Havana to Key West until he died three years ago. “He didn’t think communism would last, but obviously it did,” she said.
Even still, growing up in Fort Lauderdale, where she was born and raised, her family’s Cuban roots were celebrated. “I grew up in that culture. I absolutely loved it. Even though I was born in the United States, I consider myself Cuban-American,” she said. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … Acaba de salir a la luz el libro Tampa en la obra de José Martí, que intenta en más de 600 páginas reunir análisis, reseñas, notas periodísticas de la época y letras martianas relacionadas con Tampa, destacando su labor junto a la sostenida por decenas de hombres y mujeres que desde esta ciudad le acompañaron en su proyecto de liberación, justicia y progreso para su país. Incluyo a continuación las notas finales del libro.
A modo de corolario:
La pretensión de este libro ha sido destacar la participación de Tampa en las luchas por la independencia de Cuba a fines del siglo XIX, tomando como base la labor del Apóstol cubano en las acciones realizadas en torno al Partido Revolucionario Cubano, la actividad de diferentes figuras en aquellos hechos y la entrega de toda una comunidad al ideal martiano de construir en su país una república democrática, moderna y próspera. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … En su recámara de la morada de su sobrino José Hurtado de Mendoza, en el número 7 de la madrileña calle Hilarión Eslava, literalmente ciego, entre la soledad y la indolencia, muere Benito Pérez Galdós el 4 de enero de 1920, a los 76 años, casi sumido en la pobreza. Al día siguiente, decenas de miles de madrileños acompañaron el féretro en su recorrido desde el Ayuntamiento de Madrid, donde se emplazó la capilla ardiente, hasta el cementerio municipal de La Almudena. …(to read more, buy a paper)

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