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Q&A: Where to find jai alai in Florida

Where to find jai alai

I used to like to go to jai alai in Tampa. Are there still frontons anywhere?

The jai alai and dog racing parimutuel industries have been hit hard in the past 20 to 30 years by the growing popularity of state lotteries, poker playing at parimutuel facilities and gambling casinos on Indian reservations.

Jai alai, a sport that traces its history 400 years back, had a strong presence in Florida for more than half a century. Miami led the way with a fronton opening in 1924. In 1953, Tampa and Dania built frontons. West Palm Beach opened in 1955, Daytona in 1959, Orlando in 1962, Melbourne in 1971, Ocala in 1973, Fort Pierce in 1974 and Big Bend in 1978. It also spread to Connecticut, Rhode Island and Nevada.

Then came the collapse. Between 1992 and 2003, most of the major frontons in the United States closed. Tampa's ended 45 years of operation on June 29, 1998.

Today, frontons are still open in Dania, Miami, Ocala, Orlando, Fort Pierce and Hamilton County. In 2009, a fronton was built in Plano, Texas.

Math like the Romans did it

Most of us learned to write numbers in Roman numerals. But, when we want to add, subtract, multiply or divide them, we revert to Arabic numerals (or our fingers and toes) and then transcribe the result back into Roman numerals. Did the Romans actually have a system of arithmetic using their number symbols? If so, can you explain it briefly?

It's possible to use Roman numerals to add, subtract, multiply and divide. But it's tricky, and apparently not even the Romans did it. When they tried to do complicated math, they used an abacus or counting board.

And because it's complicated, we can't explain it briefly. If we tried, we'd certainly make things even more confusing than they already are.

But we did find an excellent, though lengthy, explainer on a website operated by Drexel University in Philadelphia. It's called the Math Forum @ Drexel, and "Dr. Math" is your guide. You can go to, and scroll down to the heading that says "How can I use Roman numerals to do arithmetic problems?"

First federal immigration law

When did the first U.S. immigration laws go into effect?

The Page Act of 1875 was the first federal law limiting immigration, according to a Congressional Budget Office report called the "Immigration Policy in the United States."

It was named for a California congressman named Horace F. Page and sought to strengthen the ban on cheap Chinese labor and prohibit the immigration of Chinese prostitutes to the United States, according to Forbidden Families: Emigration Experiences of Chinese Women Under the Page Law, 1875-1882, by George Anthony Peffer.

Q&A: Where to find jai alai in Florida 03/10/13 [Last modified: Friday, March 8, 2013 5:48pm]
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