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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► We heard the Thursday, May 9, Hillsborough County Republican Party meeting erupted in discord between the Layla Collins and Julie Magill camps with an accusation of a bribe. The two Republicans are facing each other in the District 1 School Board race that also includes incumbent Democrat Nadia Combs.
We called Magill to find out what happened. She told us that Vanessa Vasquez Anderson, who is VP of the New Tampa Republican Club and a Collins supporter, was trying to craft a motion for the party to not support certain candidates if they hadn’t been a Republican for a certain number of consecutive years. She was targeting Magill, who tells us she has been a Republican since 1987 with a one-year hiatus as an independent in 2022.
Magill said Anderson had also been attacking her on Facebook. The motion was moot after a heated discussion that there was no quorum and therefore a motion couldn’t be considered. Magill added that Anderson didn’t take the setback well and told Magill, “You are going to get yours.”
As the meeting went on, there was a chance for members to speak. Anderson was in the queue and Magill was concerned she would be once again targeted with disparaging remarks. When the attack resumed, Magill spoke up to defend herself saying she was being targeted by this smear campaign because “I didn’t accept a bribe from the Collins campaign.” Collins then shouted back, “That’s not true.” Magill retorted, “Yes, it is.” The discord continued and expanded to other members of the crowd as the meeting wound down to an end.
We asked Magill to elaborate on the nature of the bribe. She said, “An individual representing the Collins campaign called her and said that if she would switch from running for School Board to property appraiser that Collins’ campaign would pay her qualifying fee for the property appraiser race.” The qualifying fee for property appraiser is $12,355.08.
That’s a lot of money and would far exceed the maximum campaign contribution of $1,000.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Since Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw received a big raise as part of his $737,000 three-year contract, Tampa’s streets have been awash in blood and bullets.
Chief Bercaw’s contract was approved at the May 2 City Council meeting. On May 3, two people were shot and killed at 10:30 in the morning at Nebraska Avenue and 26th Street. On Saturday, May 4, one person was found dead on N. 34th Street between Columbus Drive and E. 12th Avenue. Police say it was a homicide and the man died from upper body trauma.
On Sunday, May 12, just after bars closed at 3:00 a.m., shots rang out in SoHo. After the confusion and panic, two were dead and one was injured. On April 28, just 200 feet from this shooting, shots were fired at 2:30 in the morning after a fray resulting in four people being arrested. … We asked TPD for the total number of gunshot victims since May 2, but they haven’t got back to us. Perhaps they can’t count that high. …(to read more, buy a paper)

► Louisiana’s legislature is considering reclassifying mifepristone and misoprostol as Schedule IV drugs according to a report by National Public Radio.
Schedule IV drugs have potential for abuse, have acceptable medical use and require a prescription.
Requiring a prescription is key. These two drugs can be used for abortion and can be ordered online and mailed to residents in Louisiana. The change would make it a crime to have these drugs without a prescription, punishable by 10 years in prison. … When we listened to the report on the radio, Sarah Zagorski, head of Louisiana Right to Life, said, “We’ve had pregnancy centers email us with many stories of minors getting access to this medication. That’s just going to create an epidemic in Louisiana of minors and women and putting public health at risk.”
We wonder an epidemic of what? Women who don’t have unwanted pregnancies? …(to read more, buy a paper)

► We were shocked when U.S. Senator Rick Scott compared Donald Trump’s case in New York to his situation in the late ‘90s when the company he was leading, Columbia/HCA was investigated and had to pay a record fine of $1.7 billion for Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
Scott says he was politically persecuted then as Trump is being persecuted now. Back then, Scott wasn’t an elected official. He was just the head of a hospital organization stealing from its customers. That hospital pleaded guilty to 14 corporate felonies.
Trump’s New York case is about 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.
Scott says, “Now they’re trying to put him in jail over an accounting dispute.”
Scott believes billing Medicare for procedures that did not occur to be an accounting error and Trump asking his lawyer to hide where his money was going is also just an accounting error. It’s great how the really rich and powerful excuse their greed as an accounting error but want to prosecute the poor for using EBT cards for cooked food.
This is really the first time Scott has said the Columbia/HCA case was political persecution in the 24 years since the fine.
Scott should stick to covering up his old crimes and not worrying about covering up for Trump.(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … I don’t know of a word that means angry and heartbroken at the same time, but that’s what I felt. I was angry with the parents for having the kids in the elements and angry at anyone who felt shipping these people to freezing temperatures as a political tool can call themselves Americans.
Children being used to tug heartstrings is not new, nor is it foreign to Tampa. Just a drive down to the Target on Dale Mabry, just north of Kennedy, will show a father, mother and a few kids braving the heat all year round asking for change. Anytime I drive by there I have the urge to get out of the car and beat the living hell out of that father, but how much more crap do his kids have to witness.
Somehow, to my knowledge, nothing is done about this obvious child abuse. I’ve lamented about that specific family in this column and called the City about it, yet nothing seems to be done.
There did appear to be one big difference between the homeless in Chicago and Tampa. Chicago’s seemed mostly Latino while Tampa’s seem mostly white. Maybe white homeless people have better curb appeal than minorities and are allowed to stick around longer. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From The Reasonable Standard, by Matt Newton

► Just over a month has passed since the Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning the suspension of Orange-Osceola State Attorney Monique Worrell.
The Governor summarily suspended Ms. Worrell on August 9, 2023, for allegedly “neglecting her duty to faithfully prosecute crime in her jurisdiction.” The governor conveniently executed the move at a time when his presidential campaign’s poll numbers could use a bump.
The suspension’s effects appear to be cascading. Based on the tone and tenor of the Dec. 6, 2023, oral arguments, this selfish political stunt may now be unraveling the entire institution of hometown democracy.
The case relates to a political matter, and who should address it: the State Senate or the Orange County’s voters. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► … It’s also telling that Trump has not led any effort to provide legal aid to the literally thousands of his supporters who have been convicted by juries of their peers of crimes related to the 2021 attack on the Capitol. I see that three Polk County men were charged just this week, but neither Trump nor the Florida Republican Party do anything to help these victims of their demagoguery. Presumably they pay their own legal bills, and their families must survive without the men duped by Trump. And formerly proud boys are shocked that prisons are not the luxury resorts they once believed them to be.
The threat of intimidating mobs was very much on the minds of the men who wrote the Constitution because they had seen it – and a few had encouraged it. What we call the Boston Tea Party was in fact a mob, a bunch of men dressed up as Mohawks who frightened off British tax collectors. The tax was legitimate, as Britain had a right to expect its American colonizers to help pay the costs of its recent victory in the French and Indian War, but like Trumpsters, these folks did not want to pay taxes. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Dontrel Hall, by Tiffany Razzano

► Hillsborough County educator and YMCA staff member Dontrel Hall has a new title to add to his belt: children’s author.
The Pompano Beach native was a student-athlete growing up, which offered him many opportunities, and ever since college, he hoped to one day write a children’s book series to help inspire and motivate other young athletes.
His parents were both “very active” and supportive of his goals. Hall grew up playing football and his mother, a nurse, always stressed that academics came first. Meanwhile, his father, an entrepreneur who owned janitorial and detailing companies, was “a huge football fan” who encouraged his son’s athleticism. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► El 15 de enero de 1945 murió en La Habana Dulce María Borrero, a los 61 años de edad. Aunque es una figura imprescindible en la historia de la literatura y pedagogía cubanas, apenas aparece su nombre –y mucho menos sus propuestas pedagógicas– en el ámbito escolar de las últimas décadas, cuando su utilidad formativa debería no solo aprovecharse en su país, sino desbordar sus fronteras.
Probablemente, hacia las décadas de 1970-80 los maestros cubanos escucharon más el nombre de Nadezhda Krúpskaya –ajena a la tradición pedagógica de la Isla– que el de Dulce María Borrero, cuando ella ocupó un lugar muy visible en el ámbito pedagógico de la primera mitad del siglo XX de su país. La también poetisa y bibliógrafa nació en La Habana el 10 de septiembre de 1883, en una familia de reconocidos intelectuales, como lo fue su padre Esteban Borrero (médico, pedagogo, poeta, narrador) y su hermana Juana Borrero (poetisa modernista y pintora).
Dulce María, al nacer en un ambiente en que sus padres simpatizaban con la independencia de la Isla, tuvo que salir al exilio muy temprano y a los 12 años está viviendo en Cayo Hueso, donde se integra a la efervescencia patriótica que caracterizó a sus compatriotas emigrados. Allí, en revistas cubanas dio a conocer sus primeros versos. Más tarde se trasladó con la familia a Costa Rica, donde vivió hasta el regreso a La Habana en 1899, recién concluida la Guerra de Independencia. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► La ópera Carmen es una de las obras más célebres del compositor francés Georges Bizet. Se trata de una pieza tragicómica en cuatro actos con libreto de Ludovic Halévy y Henri Meilhac, basada en un relato de Prosper Mérimée. Se estrenó sin gran éxito en la Opéra-Cómique de París el 3 de marzo de 1875.
Entre una fábrica de tabacos y un cuerpo de guardia del Regimiento de Alcalá, se inicia la trama. Don José, un apuesto cabo, es embrujado por la hermosura de Carmen, quien hace su entrada triunfal con la interpretación de la célebre habanera, para luego retirarse bajo el acoso de extasiadas miradas.
La atmósfera se torna convulsa. Un grupo de agitadas cigarreras le informan al teniente Zúñiga que Carmen acaba de herir a otra cigarrera en la cara. Don José, obedeciendo órdenes de Zúñiga, la detiene, pero ella le promete que si la deja en libertad se reunirá con él en la Taberna de Lilas Pastia.
Al comenzar el segundo acto, en la susodicha taberna, Carmen se entera de que don José, quien había estado preso por haberle viabilizado la fuga, ya disfruta su libertad. El torero Escamillo, en su primera entrada en escena, queda infatuado con la belleza de Carmen; mientras, cumpliendo a su cita, don José llega a la taberna. Allí, en un diálogo aparte, la cigarrera le propone a don José que se vaya a vivir con ella a la sierra. …(to read more, buy a paper)

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