Adri Colina is a third-generation Tampa resident with Cuban and Spanish heritage on her mother's side and Italian on her father's.
"My great aunt and grandmother were cigar rollers," Colina said. "I'm as immigrant as they come."
That's just one of the reasons Colina was an ideal choice to host Que Pasa Tampa?, a new City of Tampa Television program aimed at the Spanish-speaking community.
Colina, a city employee and chairwoman of the Mayor's Hispanic Heritage Committee, presents various segments in Spanish. They focus on the Latin flavor of specific neighborhoods (En el Barrio), city services (A la Orden) and Tampa's history (El Ayer de Tampa).
The first show finds Colina chatting with longtime community icon E.J. Salcines at La Ideal, interviewing Tampa Police Department Hispanic liaison Brenda Canino and attempting to roll a cigar.
"I thought that was a bright idea, but that didn't happen," Colina laughed. "My cigar was a piece of modern art.
"But I'm letting my passion lead me. I love that I'm helping my people, helping them learn about the city and allowing the more mature citizens of Tampa to reminisce."
The first show debuted March 1 and airs all month at the following times: Sunday at 2:30 p.m., Monday at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and Friday at 9:30 p.m.
PUTTING YOUR LIFE on the line for God and country requires a tremendous amount of bravery.
But it does have its perks.
The Rock, aka Dwayne Johnson, brings his new film Walking Tall to the troops of MacDill Air Force Base for a free preview today. The movie, a remake of the 1973 film based on a real-life hero, Buford Pusser, tells the tale of a popular sheriff who rescues his Tennessee hometown from a gang of criminals.
No word on whether the Rock will bring the famed 2-by-4 that Pusser used as a trademark.
KUDOS TO YANKEES owner George Steinbrenner, who will hand America's Second Harvest the largest single donation it has ever received at next Wednesday's Red Sox-Yankees spring training game at Legends Field.
Proceeds from the game, expected to reach $100,000, will be donated to the organization. Yankees Derek Jeter and Gary Sheffield also have filmed public service announcements. One will air locally and the other will be shown at Yankees Stadium and on the team's YES Network during the season.
America's Second Harvest, the former Divine Providence Food Bank, has spent more than 20 years feeding more than 40,000 people in West Central Florida. It's a needed effort, especially when you consider that, by Second Harvest estimates, more than 40,000 Hillsborough families do not have enough to eat on a daily basis.
GOODY GOODY, the longtime burger hangout just north of downtown on Florida Avenue is looking better than ever after getting an outside facelift. A new coat of paint has been applied to the venerable building and the original sign has been refurbished and looks new.
Yvonne Freeman, who has leased the restaurant since 1984, said with the surrounding neighborhood improving, it was time to fix up the exterior. The indoor decor remains the same with a stunning collection of old photos and memorabilia.
Freeman started as a waitress at Goody Goody in 1959 and on Wednesday, she was still going strong. I guess Goody Goody has been good to her.
That's all I'm saying.
- Ernest Hooper can be reached at 226-3406 or Hooper@sptimes.com