Stay Up-To-Date!



What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► Congratulations to our friend Karen Perez on being elected by her peers as chair of the Hillsborough County School Board. She has served on the Board since 2018. Perez is passionate about the students the Board serves and will continue to lead the Board with common sense and avoid the culture wars that are embroiling other Florida school districts.
She replaces Nadia Combs as chair. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► The reorganization meeting of the Hillsborough County Commission on Nov. 14 was peaceful. Ken Hagan remained chairman and Michael Owen replaced Gwen Myers as vice chair.
Joshua Wostal didn’t want to continue to serve on the Environmental Protection Commission and was replaced as chair of the EPC by Myers with Harry Cohen as vice chair.
The only somewhat contentious vote was for the Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) Board. The Commission has four members who serve on HART. These four members – Myers, Owen Wostal and Pat Kemp, wanted to keep their seats. Commissioner Donna Cameron Cepeda wanted on the Board. She beat out Kemp with four votes to three.
Cepeda is so awkward on the Board and still doesn’t seem to have a handle on governance. We wonder who or what motivated her to push out Kemp from the HART Board.(to read more, buy a paper)

► A second arrest was made in the Ybor City Halloween weekend shooting on Thursday, Nov. 16. A 14-year-old boy was arrested in Palm Beach County and charged with being a minor in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.
This shooting has a 14-year-old alleged perpetrator at a 14-year-old victim. The more we learn, the less an early closing of bars seems to be the answer for this problem. Two 14-year-olds shouldn’t be on the streets anywhere in Tampa at 3:00 in the morning. These kids should not have been ignored by Tampa Police officers, who were in force and around the area of the shooting. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the mayor’s dog getting a ride from the mayor’s office to her home in the back seat of a police cruiser, chauffeured by an on-duty officer. The use of on-duty officers to cart the mayor’s dog around seems to us a little outrageous.
We asked for the camera footage from the City Hall camera that covers the area where the mayor and City Council park so we could see the incident for ourselves.
We have been denied the footage, supposedly for security reasons.
The reality is that writing about something embarrassing has less power than seeing it. Had there only been a story without footage of Police Chief Mary O’Connor showing her badge to get out of a ticket, she would still be police chief. The video killed her career.
If news media showed a police officer and a security officer trying to round up the mayor’s dog and shove it in the back seat of a patrol car, it would have been highly embarrassing to the mayor. That is why the City won’t let me have the footage.
If a lawyer would like to do some pro bono work and help us go to court and challenge the City’s denial of my records request, please contact La Gaceta at 813-248-3921(to read more, buy a paper)

► The Governor Ronald DeSantis show is likely to cost Florida taxpayers more for defending his shoot-first-ask-questions-later policies.
Right after the horrible Hamas attack of Israel, Governor DeSantis and his henchman, Chancellor Ray Rodrigues of the State University System, told its universities to disband Students for Justice in Palestine organizations on its campuses.
The reason for DeSantis’ order, besides pandering to the Jewish community, was that he said the local student organizations were linked to the national organization, Students for Justice in Palestine, which he said supported terrorism and Hamas.
It appears this link DeSantis says exists does not and these organizations at USF and University of Florida are independent of the national group. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was recognized for my volunteerism at the New Tampa YMCA. And while I appreciate the honor, there are so many other people who are deserving of recognition for their volunteerism, in the YMCA community and in a million other organizations and groups. It’s hard enough to find people who want to work for a living. Finding people to work for free is next to impossible, yet every day, I see people giving their time for worthy causes. For all the volunteers out there, I am thankful.
There is a quote by everyone’s favorite neighbor, Mr. Rogers, that makes the rounds when tragedy strikes, and it always strikes, that goes, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” A few sticks in the mud have lashed out at adults using this quote for other adults when it was meant to comfort children. Their sentiment being adults should help not watch. I agree with that, but I still like the phrase. And regardless of the detractors, I am thankful for the helpers. We don’t know what we are capable of until we are put in extreme situations. Thankfully, many rise to the occasion. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From The Reasonable Standard, by Matt Newton

► Gods did not create our courts, nor write our laws. As such, the legal system will never be perfect. But we try.
Recent history demonstrates that rigorous licensing requirements, oversight, and an ever-growing, triple-checked body of law promotes an environment where every human engaged in the legal process receives fair and even treatment from American tribunals.
But the road to appearing before an impartial tribunal is paved with fees. And not just attorneys’ fees.
These financial obstacles promote a damaging reputation that is difficult to debate: that the law systematically favors the wealthy.
Of all the types of non-attorney fees a lawsuit generates (e.g. filing fees, court reporter fees, mediator fees), one fee needs to be abolished: the electronic legal research fee.
In 2023, we should not have a paywall between people and legal texts.
Paywalls, of course, are everywhere. Begin reading an interesting book? Enter a credit card to finish it. Want to watch a specific show? Sign up for a streaming service. Newspaper article? Money, please. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► I’ve attended election forums in which the school board candidates were the last to speak – and they addressed a room of empty chairs because educational issues were seen as non-controversial and boring. That has changed in the last few years. Instead, school board members have been targeted by right-wingers convinced that teachers and librarians are a threat to children. Librarians as dangerous? How did this happen? Yet loud lunatics present themselves at board meetings to attack elected officials.
Which brings me to Tiger Bay, our non-partisan political debating society. It meets for lunch on the third Friday of the month, and if you want to catch an elected official or a candidate, the chances are good that you will see them there. Last month’s panel discussion was with the school superintendents of Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties, and I was favorably impressed with all of them. No complaints from me at all – we finally have good guys in charge. Especially in Hillsborough, the infighting needed to end, and I think we have a board and a superintendent who can work together to do good things. Unless Ron DeCeiver upsets the apple cart, which he intends to do. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Mellissa Longo, by Tiffany Razzano

► During a sixth-grade class trip to a local park in her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, Mellissa Longo and a few friends snuck away from the watchful eyes of their teachers. “We wandered off and were playing our boombox, as one would,” she said.
That’s when the young students were mugged, their boombox stolen. “It was scary, but it’s definitely funny now, for sure,” she said.
More importantly, it instilled an early interest in the law within her. “Becoming a lawyer was all I ever wanted to do,” she said. “And it goes back to when I was in grammar school and I was mugged. That moment really sparked a passion in me to help others and to do so through the law.” …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► Conocí al doctor en Medicina Antonio Cobo en 1995. Un día, al anochecer, llegó a mi casa de Manzanillo detrás de una noticia que le había dado Joel James, entonces director de la Casa del Caribe de Santiago de Cuba. Yo le había comentado a Joel que el médico forense que hizo la autopsia a José Martí estaba enterrado en el cementerio de Manzanillo, según me había mostrado el único hijo sobreviviente de quien tuvo la responsabilidad de hacer la primera exhumación de los restos del Apóstol.
Entonces el Dr. Cobo, médico forense que entre otros méritos profesionales contaba con el de haber exhumado en el cementerio de Santiago de Cuba los restos del último galeno de Napoleón Bonaparte, salió inmediatamente para la ciudad del Guacanayabo. A las dos horas de conocernos ya estaba armado el plan de trabajo del día siguiente: visitar a Rodolfo Acebal, hijo extramatrimonial de Valencia que llevaba el apellido del padrastro, hacer los trámites requeridos en Medicina Legal y el Gobierno de la ciudad y, con ello, proceder a la exhumación de los restos del Dr. Pablo de Valencia y Forns, cuyo estudio y preparación para su conservación realizó el Dr. Cobo con tanta pericia como pasión.
Antonio Cobo, como tantos especialistas cubanos de enorme prestigio, está viviendo en Miami, donde acaba de publicar dos libros que tuvo la generosidad de enviarme: Memorias de un médico forense y Francois Antommarchi: el médico que lucró con la muerte de Napoleón. Al leerlos, le propuse entrevistarlo para La Gaceta, para que muchos le conozcan cuando visite nuestra ciudad.
Memorias de un médico forense nos trae una muestra de una literatura poco común: la experiencia de un médico con esa especialidad y de una extensa ejecutoria. ¿Qué te motivó a escribir esta obra?
Mostrar que la medicina forense es algo más que encontrar evidencias criminales en un cadáver como piensan muchos, incluso hasta los propios profesionales de la salud. Fue la manera de hacer llegar lo importante y estimulante que resulta explorar el universo de las Ciencias Forenses atendiendo a las necesidades socio-culturales y científicas de tu entorno, argumentados con los resultados concretos obtenidos en los aspectos socio culturales en la provincia de Santiago de Cuba. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► Ha sido costumbre que la noche del 1.° de noviembre, Día de los fieles difuntos, se represente en muchos teatros de España y Latinoamérica, especialmente México, el Don Juan Tenorio de José Zorrilla (cuyo estreno tuvo lugar el 28 de marzo de 1844), la obra más célebre del teatro español y un mito que ha sobrevivido el paso del tiempo y ha traspasado fronteras.
El mito de don Juan responde a diferentes épocas y culturas, idiosincrasias y valores típicos de cada ambiente, lo que nos da la impresión de enfrentarnos a un personaje diferente en cada oportunidad. Si para un romántico como José Espronceda en El estudiante de Salamanca (1840) significa la fuerza diabólica, destructora del amor, para el parnasiano Théophile Gautier representa “la aspiración hacia el ideal”, merecedor del Paraíso en vez del Infierno por haberse afanado en hallar “el verdadero amor y la belleza absoluta”.
Aunque es identificado con la virilidad, hay quienes lo consideran un homosexual reprimido, al igual que la Naná de Émile Zola, en su talante lesbio, al intentar probar lo que no se siente mediante los impulsos heterosexuales, por exceso. El periodista y escritor italiano Giovanni Papini considera que las muchas mujeres en su vida no son más que la atormentada infructuosa búsqueda del amor homoerótico. Don Juan desprecia a las mujeres que conquista, rehúsa su intimidad. Lo único que requiere es saberse deseado. …(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.

Artwork Submissions

Send camera ready art to:

Deadline for camera-ready artwork is 5:00 PM Tuesday!