GREETINGS FROM CUBA: Ever since we reviewed his work last year (see independent.com/messner), Santa Barbara photographer Chris Messner has been on our radar. A family man and devoted Indy reader, Messner has owned and operated a landscape design company in Goleta for 25 years, and only got interested in photography in the late ’90s. “I stumbled upon it by accident,” he told us. Now he’s retiring to devote himself full-time to his art. Messner recently returned from Cuba, where as part of a research delegation he had unrestricted access to the country. Many of the resulting images are now on display at the Public Library’s Faulkner Gallery through August 31. The photo above shows Messner standing with a copy of The Indy in Havana’s Plaza de la Revoluci³n on the exact spot where Castro stood to deliver many of his speeches. “After I had my picture taken, I gave the copy of The Independent to some of the local people who were very happy and intrigued to check it out,” Messner told us. “They really wanted to see what was going on in the outside world.” To see more of Messner’s work, click here or visit his Web site, cmpictures.com.