|TAMPA - One of Tampa Mayor Dick Greco's
traveling companions on a trip to Cuba last year insisted the visit was
"not about right or wrong." But a local priest thinks it was and has
nominated Greco for the Hillsborough County Moral Courage Award for going.
The diverse list of this year's 10 nominees includes Hillsborough
Commissioner Ronda Storms for taking on public access TV's programming and
University of South Florida student Jimmy Baxter, who rescued a father and
son after a car wreck.
Eastern Hillsborough nursery owner Roy Davis was nominated for activism
on government issues affecting agriculture and landscaping industries.
Bob Samuels, a retired banker, was nominated by the Florida Prostate
Cancer Network for his work with that disease.
this is the 12th year the county has given out the moral courage award.
"It was designed to encourage individuals to stand up to the
government," said Commissioner Jan Platt, who initiated the award.
The criteria have become a little broader in recent years. Now people
are nominated for anything thought to be courageous, whether government is
involved or not.
The Citizens Advisory Board will consider the nominees in coming weeks
and make recommendation to county commissioners.
Other nominees include Betty Shaffer, for fighting street crime in her
neighborhood along 109th Avenue, and domestic abuse victim Natalie Pfister
who went to law school and now leads an effort to create a division in the
state attorney's office to deal specifically with abuse.
Also nominated were Ellen Nimon, director of the Homes of Regency Cove
property owners association, and Anna Uninger, who founded the Wimauma
Civic Association, for contributions to their communities.
The Taylor Road Civic Association was nominated for fighting borrow
pits and other projects in the Thonotosassa area.
The Rev. Ramon Hernandez of St. Rita Catholic Church in Dade City
recommended Greco because he thought the olive branch to Cuban leader
Fidel Castro was "very, very, visionary."
Storms said her nomination by the Greater Brandon Republican Club was a
compliment, although she couldn't accept the award because of her
|"But I'm grateful for the continued support folks give me."