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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► My wife, Angie, and I took a much needed 10-day vacation. Ten days is rare for us to take off from work due to the type of business we have. Our confidence in our dedicated staff made it possible. My friend, Rob Lorei, also helped out and I enjoyed his writing of the “As We Heard It” column. Rob, thank you.
We took advantage of a low air fare to London due to the expansion of flights there from TIA. We stayed in London for three days, then took a train to Cardiff, where we rented a car for six days and drove around south Wales. Each day in Wales, we started the day not knowing where we would end up or where we would stay. England was great. Wales was beautiful. The people of Great Britain are polite, warm and are generous hosts. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► The Florida Legislature was in session to organize, swear in new members and make speeches about their future agendas. The Republicans have a Super majority in the House and Senate, which makes it impossible for Democrats to have any impact on the legislative process.
In her speech, House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell, knowing her party can do little to stop Republicans from further restricting access to abortion, tried to appeal to Republicans’ sense of their place in the history books. She said, “But I encourage every member to think beyond the next election cycle or two. Beyond the presidential primary, or what Senate seats will be open. To think about the arc of history and your place in it. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► New Hillsborough County Commissioner Michael Owen tells us that one of the first items on his agenda is to end any COVID restrictions and protocols in all County government offices and departments except for Aging Services, where County employees often work with medically fragile seniors.
While the County has ended most restrictions already, this, if passed, will be a clear signal that the days of required masking, vaccinations and testing are over.(to read more, buy a paper)

► In 2020 we wrote about our concerns regarding Manny Diaz running for chair of the Florida Democratic Party. Here’s an excerpt, “We aren’t excited about Diaz. Miami failed the Democrats this year, as did the South Florida Hispanic vote. Where was Manny? We worry he will be more loyal to the Cuban-American Community, which is solidly Republican, than to the Democratic Party.
“Diaz turned on the Democrats once before when he volunteered to be the attorney for the Miami relative of Elián González and fought against President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno who wanted to return Elián to his father in Cuba.”
As chair of the Florida Democratic Party, Manny Diaz led the Democrats to their biggest defeat ever in this state. Should we be suspicious? The rest of the nation performed well for Democrats. Florida was an outlier. Supposedly Diaz’ strength was in knowing how to deal with Miami-Dade and attract Hispanics back to the party. He lost Miami-Dade and Hispanics for the Democrats. The failure was so great, its hard to imagine it could happen with everyone trying their best.
Diaz failed in everything except in one area. He made sure Democrats from Biden to the local County Commission adopted Donald Trump’s Cuban Policy instead of Barak Obama’s. Diaz used his power and the State party’s communications to push for a more punitive embargo. In the end, our suspicion that he would be more loyal to the Cuban-American community than to the Democratic Party seems to have vitality. His chairmanship certainly was more beneficial to the Republican Cuban-American leadership than to Democrats. Thanks Manny.
(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver and seemingly all-around bad guy Antonio Brown is back in the news.
You may recall last year when the truculent Buc wideout quit the team in the middle of a game by taking off his shirt, and leaving the stadium to head home, never to be seen again in pewter and white.
Brown has been in and out of the news for various reasons, which include: …(to read more, buy a paper)

From The Reasonable Standard, by Matt Newton

► Takomah Trail Park is a vibrant green oasis in the middle of my neighborhood. The park’s main attraction is a wooden, raised boardwalk over its wetlands, a scenic path that snakes to a hidden pond in the park’s rear. It is my neighborhood’s de facto town square, and it hosts various barbecues, kids’ birthday parties and family celebrations.
But such events cannot last very long as Takomah Trail Park does not have a bathroom. A sign announcing the lack of facilities reminds me every time I enter the park. To many, it serves as a warning to keep visits brief. For those with medical conditions necessitating facilities, it says “Do Not Enter.” It is not the best look. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► When I was young, it was common for people to believe that there was no meaningful difference between political parties, that voting Democratic or Republican was the difference between “Tweedledee and Tweedledum.” Maybe that was true when moderates prevailed during the Eisenhower days of the Republican Party, but it hasn’t been true for a long time now — and that so many party leaders deny the reality of the last election is a tremendous danger for democracy. Although dozens of investigations and court cases found no fraud, a majority of Republican voters nonetheless tell pollsters they think that Trump was the real winner. This refusal to accept facts lays the groundwork for fascism: if we can’t accept the authenticated results of the ballot box, how can democracy prevail? …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Tom Vann, by Tiffany Razzano

► As native Floridian Tom Vann prepares to make the move to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he’ll live with his daughter and her family, begining at the end of October, the 90-year-old reflects on a lifetime in the Tampa area.
He was born in a railroad section house in Durant, Florida in 1931. “That’s south of Turkey Creek, which is south of Plant City,” he said.
By the time he was 6 years old, he was picking strawberries to help with family expenses. “Back in the Depression, it was tough, and the kids had to work. We had to buy our school clothes myself,” he said. “All my family, the kids in the family – there were seven of us – were expected to work.” …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► Es justo que se haya consagrado un mes a la celebración de la cultura hispana en Estados Unidos, no sólo porque es esta la de mayor presencia en la nación después de la anglosajona, en un país multicultural desde las raíces de la colonización europea, cuando a partir del siglo XVI suplantó por la fuerza a sus pueblos originarios.
La historia de Estados Unidos está vinculada a decenas de apellidos españoles, quienes fueron los primeros en adentrase en estas tierras. Si Juan Ponce de León dio nombre a Florida en 1513, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés funda San Agustín y García López de Cárdenas es el primer europeo que contempló embelesado el Gran Cañón de Colorado, en los siglos siguientes también nombres latinos aparecen en los principales acontecimientos que han marcado la evolución de esta tierra americana.
En la guerra de Independencia de Estados Unidos, fue decisiva para la victoria del Ejército de Washington la ayuda que recibió del español Bernardo de Gálvez. Después, en todas las campañas militares estadounidenses, fuera en la Guerra Civil, la Primera y Segunda Guerra Mundial y en otras contiendas, cientos de hispanos han combatido a favor de la bandera de las barras y las estrellas.
En el avance científico de Estados Unidos, aparecen reiteradamente nombres hispanos. El físico Luis Walter Álvarez, hijo de un español que vivió en Cuba, ganó en 1968 el Premio Nobel de Física “por sus contribuciones decisivas a la física de partículas elementales”; Baruj Benacerraf, quien nació en Venezuela, ganó el Premio Nobel de Medicina en 1980, viviendo en Estados Unidos; Chang Díaz, nacido en Costa Rica en 1950, viajó al espacio en el Space Shuttle de la NASA (1986) y participó después en varias misiones cosmonáuticas. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► Por segundo año, The Straz Center enlazará algunas de las numerosas hebras que componen el dilatado tapiz de la cultura hispana sobre el escenario del Riverwalk, una vía peatonal a lo largo de la orilla este del río Hillsborough, con una parada justo afuera del susodicho centro escénico. Atractivas manifestaciones artísticas que honran la cálida zona geográfica que va desde las islas del Caribe hasta las regiones más meridionales de América del Sur estarán presentes en el espectáculo Noche de encanto, una celebración de la cultura hispana.
Con motivo de este evento, parte de la serie Arts Legacy REMIX, que se celebrará el viernes, 7 de octubre, de 7 a 9 p.m., establecimos un diálogo en forma de entrevista con Giovana Pérez-Oliveras, coordinadora de educación y participación comunitaria del Straz Center, el cual reproducimos a continuación.
¿Cuál es el objetivo de la programación Arts Legacy REMIX para el Straz Center y sus organizadores?
Arts Legacy REMIX fue creado con la comunidad de Tampa en mente. La diversidad en nuestra comunidad es inmensa y la forma en que se manifiesta en las artes es admirable. Nosotros no sólo nos enfocamos en celebrar dicha rica pluralidad en nuestro escenario, pero también en emplear esto como una oportunidad para educar a nuestra comunidad sobre las culturas que han dado origen a Tampa Bay. Eventos como estos nos unen y demuestran lo mucho que tenemos en común. Son espectáculos gratuitos al alcance de todos para que así todos sean bienvenidos a la celebración. …(to read more, buy a paper)

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