Cuban Exclusion
Re: Food Issue: "Cuba Goodies," by Eric Snider (June 15-21)

I must react to your article on Cuban sandwiches. You ignored the West Tampa Sandwich Shop, La Tropicana and yes, the Columbia Restaurant. I agree with the fact that it had its origin in Ybor City. If I remember right, a sandwich in Cuba was called a "mixto" and consisted only of ham, pork, salami, Swiss cheese, pickle and mustard, and many of the old Ybor City and West Tampa restaurants followed that pattern of ingredients. You would see the sandwich maker actually slice the ham and pork with large knives.

Now almost forgotten are Las Novedades, Los Helados de Ybor and The Express Cafe, all in Ybor City with great Cubans and the perfect companion, good café con leche. They all used the great Cuban bread put out by the many bakeries in Ybor. I know that Jack Espinoza [one of the Planet's guest tasters] will remember these names.

Sergio Billy Delgado
76 years old and born in Ybor City

Florida, Our Florida
Re: Scene & Herd, "Heaven Sent?" by Scott Harrell (June 22-28)

I read with much amusement your feature, and I think you and your spiritual connection might be on to something: 1. We indeed have destroyed natural treasures for cool amusement hoping visitors will stay so we can benefit from their largesse. They don't (stay), which in the end may not be all bad. How Florida ever mistook tourism for foreign investment, I'll never know, but that's sorta what happened. 2. Home-growns are indeed eccentric, and this is most likely due to extraneous pressures that are … non-indigenous. A good example of this, certified, no less, is the fact that K. Harris, despite the wishes of her party's poobahs in D.C. has decided to run for Senate. She. Cannot. Be. Controlled. Go figure. 3. The heads-up on promoting one industry to the possible demise or detriment of others may well be less than sound in the long run. Face it, many visitors do view the state like a drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant. Which really isn't a knock on them as much as a testament to our planning. So much for that. Your column really was thought-provoking, and I wonder, can Greens and Wal-Mart co-exist?

Via e-mail

Bad PR
It did not take another Super Bowl to put Tampa on the map! The Hillsborough County Commission has already done that in refusing to endorse or support any Gay Pride events. Now anyone looking for a place to work, live or vacation where PREJUDICE PREVAILS can zoom right in on us. One cannot really help but wonder if the NFL will actually hold another event in a city governed by a bunch of screaming, right-wing Christians. It looks doubtful to me.

The media portrays the gay community reacting to this narrow-minded 5-1 decision by the commission, but it should be noted that many other concerned citizens are also deeply concerned about this affront to basic human rights. I am a non-fanatical Christian, heterosexual, very active in many community groups, and very unhappy about this erosion of freedom. This is how Hitler and the Nazi party began in Germany years ago, and we cannot let that happen here. Equality must be our first concern, for we were all created in God's image: black, white; Jew, Moslem, Christian; men, women and all variations of sex, race and religion. We are the human race, each unique and special and deserving the right TO BE.

Adele Ida Walter

Re: "Monster Homes," by Wayne Garcia (June 22-28)

An incorrect figure was given for the number of homes bigger than 5,000 square feet built in Hillsborough County in 2004. The actual count is 83 "monster homes." The figure that was cited in the paper, 2,300, is the average square footage of homes built that year.

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