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"It came out of the building like it was Puff the Magic Dragon. And smoke just rushed in."

_ Darron Anderson, 16, who was left homeless along with about 50 other people Friday after a fire broke out in the Barcelona Apartments in north Tampa.

"I was tired of being nothing."

_ Kymberly Fitch, 15, one of 43 high school and middle school students honored with Turnaround Achievement Awards last week for changing the course of their academic careers, explaining why she changed direction.

"What a tremendous loss for the Tribune and Times to be defeated by a bunch of Tampa bananas. We are sure that they will write one more anti-Salcines editorial."

_ Roland and Patrick Manteiga, reacting in their weekly La Gaceta newspaper column to the news that former Hillsborough State Attorney E.J. Salcines had been appointed to the Second District Court of Appeal. Both newspapers' editorial pages urged Gov. Lawton Chiles not to appoint Salcines, who was investigated by a federal grand jury in the mid-1980s but never indicted. La Gaceta, and many members of Tampa's Latin community and Democratic establishment, supported Salcines' appointment.

"He's very sensitive, and he knows what it's like to be wrongly accused."

_ Tampa lawyer Barry Cohen, referring to Salcines, his former client.

"The Confederacy is synonymous with slavery. There is a cultural dance of denial that slavery was a significant part of Southern culture."

_ Navita James, director of the Africana Studies Program at the University of South Florida, explaining why most blacks refuse to participate in memorial to the Confederacy.

"Ticket any dead bodies lately?"

_ One of the jokes aimed at downtown parking enforcement officers last week after police found a nearly dead Naples businessman bound, gagged and shot in the backseat of a BMW. A parking officer had ticketed the car without noticing Robert Enlow Sr. He died the next day.

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