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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► Our best wishes to all the mothers. You’re the center of the family, offering unconditional love, nurturing, encouragement and safety. All I am, I owe to my mother. She is passed, but my memories of her are frequent and as vivid as if she were still with me.
Happy Mother’s Day and please take the time to let your mother know how much you cherish her.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Rafael Pizano has been on a crusade to besmirch, embarrass and punish some people in Tampa who don’t share his opinion on US/Cuba policy or are in proximity of Cuban officials.
Pizano busted into a local restaurant to disrupt a dinner for the Cuban ambassador. He filmed the scene and tried to use the footage to embarrass the attendees. He organized protests against three local politicians who were at the restaurant for the event. He has labeled them fascists and in one case insinuated one of the elected’s grandfather was a fascist.
These attacks have been in the media, on social media and in the halls of the Capitol.
He even encouraged legislators to pass a resolution condemning Tampa City Councilman Guido Maniscalco, Clerk of the Court Cindy Stuart and School Board Member Karen Perez for being at the Tampa dinner for the Cuban ambassador.
The resolution was not voted on by the Florida Senate due to skillful maneuvering by Senator Darryl Rouson.
While Pizano attacks the reputation of others, his own past is checkered.
Pizano was arrested for battery, false imprisonment and trespass of a conveyance.
Here is the victim’s statement, who was Pizano’s former girlfriend at the time of the incident: “met up at the house and asked to speak w/me. Spoke outside the house then by force of pulling hair came into speak. Began slapping me left and right. I fell to the floor he started kicking me in my chest, legs, stomach and arms. I got up. He said it was done and I could leave and I began to get up and the slaps and kicks started again for the second time. Then he said that he was done doing what he had to do so I could feel the pain I put him through. We went outside and I started getting my stuff to go to my car and the beating started outside pulled hair busted my lip and got in my car and fled while he followed me, snatched the keys took out stuff out of the car and put it in his car. Took my car to a parking lot and left it there so no one could see my car. When he meant by saying he was done with me on the couch. He had one hand on my neck and the other on my mouth so I wouldn’t scream. He then told me to unbutton my pants and I told him OK if only he would take his hands off my mouth and stop hitting me then he forced his two fingers, pointer and middle, inside my vagina and asked me how it felt. Before the couch incident he asked to have sex with him for one last time and I told him I would as long as he wouldn’t hit me. After he finished he said ‘OK. I’m done’ and I got dressed and he went to the living room. I tried to get my keys and that’s when the initial beating and abuse started.”
The victim told the deputy she didn’t want to pursue the sexual battery charge for personal reasons but wanted to go forward with other charges.
The deputy wrote that he observed and photographed injuries including split lip, abrasions to her back, abrasions to her left knee and both ankles.
The charges were not filed by the State Attorney because the victim lived in Miami and failed to complete a phone interview and did not attempt to reschedule.
We called texted and emailed Pizano to hear his side, but he did not respond.
In his written statement at the time, he says she wanted to renew their relationship and after spending the night together he found out she had been with someone else. He wanted her to leave. She got angry and kicked the water bowl and slipped and began throwing furniture. He wrote, “She then came at me to assault me when I told her I didn’t want anything to do with her cheap ass.” She continued to assault him as he pushed her out the front door.
In 2012, Pizano’s stepmother, Margarita Pizano, unsuccessfully petitioned for an injunction for protection against repeat violence from him.
In the petition she wrote, “My husband and I are going through a divorce and my stepson is terrorizing me and I am genuinely afraid of him.”
His stepmother said of one physical incident, “Attacked my son, broke his head open requiring sutures, hit me over my right eye causing a small laceration, and threw his father down to the ground. He uses steroids and drugs. I did not press charges against him because he was on probation at the time and I didn’t want him to go to jail for my husband’s sake (his father).
Later she added, “He has a history of violence against women. He has been Baker Acted after stabbing his neighbor 32 times. The neighbor declined to press charges. His previous case against his girlfriend was nolle prossed because she did not come in to press charges or testify. His last girlfriend has also been a victim of domestic violence.”
There are many pages of documents. Click here for the arrest record.
Pizano is a firefighter/paramedic for the City of Tampa and serves on the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council.(to read more, buy a paper)

► The FBI ran a two-year sting operation in Tallahassee from 2015 to 2017 trying to entrap Andrew Gillum. The FBI in 2017 ended this sting and subpoenaed thousands and thousands of pages of City documents. The investigation continued until 2022 when the feds indicted Gillum on 21 felony counts.
All of this time, manpower, money and ruining of Gillum’s reputation end with a jury acquitting him last week of lying to the FBI and failing to reach a verdict on the other charges.
After the verdict, eight of the 12 jurors released a statement that one of the jurors had made up their mind that Gillum was guilty before deliberations began and would not change their mind. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► The Florida Supreme Court Nominating Commission has forwarded nominees to Governor Ron DeSantis for consideration to be appointed to fill a vacancy on the Florida Supreme Court. The nominees are Michael Thomas McHugh, Joshua Aaron Mize, Thomas Nelson Palermo, Meredith L. Sasso, Jared Edward Smith and John K. Stargel.(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … My philosophy was that every breakup and past relationship was a benefit to the next mate. As long as a person learns the lessons of why his or her relationship ended, that person became a better partner. I remember waxing philosophic to Keri when I met her about being the positive product of a lifetime of failed relationships. After all, every relationship ends in a breakup or marriage.
I’m pretty damn charming now, and luckily, back then, I was on the cusp of becoming the charmer I am today. Being so aware of why I was single and it seemingly having nothing to do with being a broken person or an addict or anything that might be a major red flag was intriguing to Keri. We dated long distance for a good while and the majority of contact we had was over the phone. This led to many introspective conversations, but I think one above all sealed the deal.
And it was about an ex-girlfriend.
…(to read more, buy a paper)

From The Reasonable Standard, by Matt Newton

► … Historically, people have been taught to guard themselves against sophistry by studying logical fallacies. For example, the adage “if everyone jumped off a cliff, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea” warns against the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum.
But logical fallacies only detect bad logic, not lies. For example, the sentence “Tampa is in Hillsborough County, I am in Tampa, therefore I am in Hillsborough County” is accurate and logical.
However, the sentence “Tampa is in Pinellas County, I am in Tampa, therefore I am in Pinellas County” is plainly false — but just as logical as the preceding sentence. And likely persuasive to someone ignorant of Floridian geography.
Logical arguments based on false premises — but cloaked in confident and intellectual words — are the heart of modern sophistry. This is because it requires a suspicious, vigilant and educated audience to pick apart — an audience intentionally avoided (and often condemned) by the modern sophist. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► I guess I did, sorta, especially 50 years ago when there was plenty of room in Florida, but that is not the case anymore. I drove to Mount Dora last week, a historic town in Lake County that has not lost its charm. The GPS estimated 95 minutes but it took more than twice that, and I was an hour late for my lunch date. Traffic, traffic, traffic, and inexplicable slowdowns.
It’s not as if some of us didn’t anticipate this. Remember “concurrency?” That was the promise, back in the 1990s, that we would not issue building permits until the necessary infrastructure was in place, including roads, schools, and utilities, especially water and sewer. County commissioner Pam Iorio appointed me to the committee of volunteers who wrote our comprehensive plan, which was sent to the state as Hillsborough’s official promise on foreseeing problems. Then Republican Jeb Bush defeated Democratic Governor Buddy McKay in 1998, and that was the end of that. I don’t think legislators ever had the nerve to repeal the acts that created concurrency; they just let it wither on the vine. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Omar Garcia, by Tiffany Razzano

► The son of Cuban immigrants, Omar Garcia is the first generation of his family born in Tampa. His older siblings were also born in Cuba and came to Florida with their parents.
By 1957, his father was working in Tampa as a chemical engineer. Eventually, his parents purchased a home in the Baycrest area.
Garcia attended Christ the King Catholic School and graduated from Tampa Catholic High School. But he wasn’t the best student, he said. “My grades weren’t the best…They weren’t stellar.”
He took difficult courses in high school, but “I just did enough to pass,” he said. “I graduated with a 2.0.”
His parents considered sending him to trade school to become a welder. “Just so I’d have a career,” Garcia said. “But my mom said, ‘Absolutely not. You’re going to college.’”
So, after high school, he first attended Hillsborough Community College, which prepared him for his higher education. There he took what’s considered a “weeder class” – thermodynamics. “If I got an A, I automatically moved to classes at (the University of South Florida,” he said.
…(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► Cuando Ucrania resiste a más de un año la cruenta agresión rusa, es bueno recordar que en Kiev nació el gran escritor Mijaíl Bulgákov, quien falleció en Moscú el 10 de marzo de 1940 sin contar, en el vasto territorio de lo que entonces era la Unión Soviética, con el reconocimiento que por su obra merecía.
A pesar de ser autor de la novela El maestro y Margarita, considerada uno de los testamentos literarios más importantes del siglo XX, a Bulgákov lo persiguieron las altas estructuras del poder soviético por criticar las deficiencias del sistema socialista implantado. Al ser considerados sus escritos como antisoviéticos, lo condenaron a varios años de ostracismo. En 1930 escribió una carta a Iósif Stalin, el máximo líder de la Unión Soviética, solicitando salir del país. Cuentan que el Mandatario, quien había asistido a algunas representaciones teatrales del escritor, le llamó personalmente al leer su solicitud. Entonces, Bulgákok no encontró palabras para reiterar su deseo y sólo balbuceó que un escritor no puede vivir lejos de su patria.
Aunque en el teatro se siguieron estrenando algunas de sus obras, tuvo que soportar un constante acoso por parte del Comisariado del Pueblo de Asuntos Interiores (NKVD), cuyos agentes registraron en más de una ocasión su vivienda, le detuvieron varias veces y boicotearon la publicación de sus escritos.
… (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► El Barroco español representa la negación de los valores de la conciencia moderna que el Renacimiento europeo encarna para ese país. Bajo la sombra de ese estilo, aún cultivaba ciertas formas de la Edad Media: gestos y valores caballerescos, la muerte como exaltado consuelo, plebeyismo exuberante, o lo que llama Mariano Picón Salas, “el preciosismo de la grosería”, que ejemplifica “como ocurre a veces en el arte de Quevedo; empaque y ceremonia altisonante y burla cruel”. Los extremos son populares en una época que desconoce de forma absoluta lo módico.
El sentir barroco implica desaliento y desmayo, así como el típico desengaño español. La idea de desproporción se cumple en el Renacimiento en el plano de una inteligencia ordenadora, que ambiciona un excelso ideal estético y de conducta. Sin embargo, el Barroco exalta la soledad existencial.
Para catar lo deplorable de dicha aplastante soledad, que implica todo un desvalimiento e impotencia ante lo efímero y transitorio del sino humano, basta escuchar o leer el célebre monólogo de Segismundo en La vida es sueño de Pedro Calderón de la Barca. …(to read more, buy a paper)

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