Showing posts from September, 2004
POETRY By Fernando A. Zapater CONDEMNED In that poker game god dealt me cards An anti-Semitic joker as a wild trump That played me like a well-tuned guitar To the fine tune of a mashuganov gentile I traveled 32 hundred miles To reach the rabbis daughter and reconcile But imagine a balsero boricua all the while After he had his heart circumcised Perhaps in past incarnations I had been A nazi luftewaggen first lieutenant air force Maybe I was the roman soldier who gave Christ His hideous last drink Or perhaps had been the Jew that condemned Him to be crucified It is my karma I accept in mazeltov All the while thinking in Luria's mysticism And when my love for Mordecai borders fanatism You will know me also as his sidekick companion Esther's lover, Lilith's cousin, a Jew beloved Like Moses leadership amongst the waters But when Palestinians explode like watermelons It is time to corner Arafat with serious questions Not only traveled a mil
Community News NCLR Supports Report Showing that "Three-Strikes" Laws Fail to Control Crime Washington, D.C. - The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Latino civil rights organization in the U.S., welcomes the report released today by the Justice Policy Institute demonstrating that the "three-strikes" mandatory sentencing laws are highly ineffective. This report, Three Strikes and You're Out: An Examination of the Impact of 3-Strike Laws 10 Years After their Enactment, is a timely analysis of these laws which have been adopted by approximately two dozen states and the federal government in the last ten years. NCLR has expressed great concern with "three-strikes" laws because, in addition to being ineffective, these laws impose unduly harsh sentences on people who commit minor, non-serious crimes, such as shoplifting, and waste resources that could be invested in better methods for reducing crime. Given the data in report
FYI -- My photos are now part of the photo collection at the Escape to Puerto Rico site. My work is located under the categories: Old San Juan Churches Folklore Please visit and send an Isla del Encanto e-card.

Manny Hernandez

Picture MH Originally uploaded by Manny . Read Manny's empowering articles on education right here at the
Education Corner Commentary The Key That Unlocks The Door: Education by Manuel Hernandez Education is the key that unlocks the door to a new world of opportunities here and anywhere in the world. Without education, humanity merely survives and risks its existence. Yet, the talk is about war and politics these days. With all the kidnappings, bombings, and the presidential campaign, education, the key to the future, has been relegated to the back door of daily conversation. When you are born, you do not choose where you will start out in life. I had the blessing of being born in a legendary town right across George Washington's Hudson River, Sleepy Hollow. The positive learning environment imparted by teachers and the educational community at John Paulding, Pearson and Winfield L. Morse went beyond all academic expectations. I was taught to care, open my mind, think for myself, speak out, stand up for what you believe in and be creative. The rising factor in an educati
Community News: New NCLR Study Finds Hispanics in the South are Reluctant to Use Health Care System Lack of Access, Information is a Public Health Concern Atlanta, GA - A report released (this month) by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) finds that, contrary to conventional belief and despite the explosive growth of the population, Hispanics in the South are underutilizing public heath care services throughout the region. The report, The Health of Latino Communities in the South: Challenges and Opportunities, includes the perspectives of health care professionals and members of the community and notes that Hispanics are reluctant to use public health care programs and facilities due to barriers such as lack of information about available services; lack of insurance; insufficient numbers of bilingual, bicultural personnel in the healthcare arena; and disparate treatment. "The fact that many Hispanics are intimidated enough by the health system that they are not
Community News PRdream/MediaNoche FALL WORKSHOP SERIES SCREENWRITING: THE BASICS A workshop with Screenwriter/New School Professor Frank Algarín An introduction to the techniques, tools and vocabulary necessary for turning an idea into a screenplay. The goal is to develop an original idea into an outline for a feature length screenplay and write the first scenes of the script. The workshop will include lectures, discussions, viewings of films, exercises, assignments, resources and handouts. THURSDAYS, 6PM - 8:30PM 10 sessions: October 7 - December 16, 2004 Course Fee: $250 Registration Fee: $25 PRdream/MediaNoche 161 East 106th Street, First Floor (Between Lexington and Third Avenue) NYC For more information and to register: Call (212) 828-0401 Email: Empowering community through technology
Let there be light! Mi gente, I have been off-line for nearly a week as a result of the blackout on Puerto Rico. I finally got electricity at home today, so I'm back to blog. Go figure. The blackout was not even caused by Tropical Storm Jeanne! The blackout and lack of water was actually worse than the storm! I got the water back over the weekend. Some wise person decided to shutoff the power, and the Puerto Rican government is now fending off critics. Whatever! I won't get into the politics of that foolish decision that left the island in chaos for days. I'll leave that to the Puerto Rico radio reporters and commentators, who did a fantastic job of informing and letting people voice their opinions during the last week.
Community News New Report Finds That D.C. Council Juvenile Justice Proposals From Past Year are Ineffective and Unfair WASHINGTON, DC - A consortium of Latino organizations will join civil rights, community, and youth organizations tomorrow in releasing a report on Latino youth in the District's justice system and call on the D.C. Council to reject the harsh juvenile justice proposals they have considered in the past year when they take a final vote this month. The report, District of Columbia Responses to Youth Violence: Impact on the Latino Community, which offers a comprehensive analysis of the proposals introduced by D.C. Council members and District Mayor Anthony Williams since the fall of 2003, finds that some of the policies being considered would be ineffective in protecting public safety and would have a negative impact on Latino families if adopted into law. The consortium's report includes alternative policies that would more effectively reduce youth crime

Jibaro Embraces Lady Liberty

Jibaro Embraces Lady Liberty Originally uploaded by clarisel .
The Reading Life By Vivian Lake, Puerto Rico Sun Book Editor The Turkish Lover by Esmeralda Santiago ($24.95 DaCapo Press, 341 pp.) This much-awaited follow-up to When I was Puerto Rican and Almost a Woman is a riveting memoir of a young woman’s first serious relationship. Santiago, at age 21, meets an older man and leaves her family to be with him. Although the man is older, charming and experienced, she soon learns that he is also a dominating, lying, psychologically abusive man and has no visible means of support. And he calls her “Chiquita.” After a financial setback, he takes her back to New York and dumps her at her parents’ home. After he leaves the country Esmeralda flourishes, finds a job she loves and her own place to live. Unfortunately, she continues to correspond with the Turkish Loser (as I call him) who calls and writes constantly with fervent but vague promises of reuniting with her. Instead of running for the hills (as every reader would advise), Esmer
Community News NCLR to Release First-Ever Survey of Health Care and Hispanic Community in the South ATLANTA, GA - The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights organization in the U.S., will release the findings of the first multistate report to document the health care challenges, needs, and aspirations of Latinos in the South. NCLR will hold a news briefing on the report, The Health of Latino Communities in the Southern United States: Challenges and Opportunities, on Friday, September 17 at Saint Joseph's Mercy Care Services Clinic-North, 3367 Buford Highway, Suite 910, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Hispanics, the nation's largest minority and its fastest-growing population, have experienced their greatest growth in the South. The four states included in the survey - Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee - are those with the highest percentage increases during the 1990s in the number of Latino residents. Yet, despite this exp

Ground Zero

Ground Zero Originally uploaded by nonny . Remembering September 11 Photo by Jonny "Nonny" Newman is part of a collection of Nonny's photos at flickr, showcasing New York City. Worth visiting.
Puerto Rico Sun is republishing this poem by Fernando A. Zapater In honor of 9/11 Victims SCORCHED EARTH By Fernando A. Zapater It keeps creeping upon me As an invisible tower of hatred You perceive it through your senses Where you feel the fire burn unto your soul I despise you suicide victims For you are the perpetrators Of your own invincible weaknesses How can I avenge your threat of killing me? Life is a destiny, it is also a tyranny With being alive, and all its serendipity When things happened and the culprit vanished Where do I unleash my anger? Darkness of night was afraid of my tongue of fire The sun was scared of the burning hatred of my desires Tell me earth where do I unleash my anger The one that burns my life with hateful anxieties For every time I fall, I push you down as I get up I’m only a human that stumbled once upon, One more time Mother earth where do I unleash my anger Brother sun, sister moon, tell me siblings where I do Tell m


Dance! Originally uploaded by clarisel .
Featured site: Latin music lovers, a site worth visiting is
ON TV On PBS ARTS & LITERATURE VISIONES: LATINO ART AND CULTURE "Episode 2" Sunday, September 12, 2004 10:30 - 11 pm This episode features Miriam Colon and the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater Company (PRTT) of New York, Tejana musical artist Selena and the Santero art tradition of New Mexico. Latino artists across the United States take center stage in VISIONES: LATINO ART AND CULTURE, a groundbreaking six-part television series airing on PBS Sundays this month to October 10. Viewers experience the world of Latino artistic expression as the series journeys throughout the country, capturing rich stories about theater, music, dance, spoken word and the visual arts. From New York City's hip hop culture to mural painters in Los Angeles and Chicago to theater in Texas, the series offers a unique cross section of Latino artists. VISIONES: LATINO ART AND CULTURE is the first PBS series to focus exclusively on Latino artistic expression in the United S
Update -- Community News Governor Calderón Announces Success of Nation’s Largest Nonpartisan Hispanic Voter Registration Campaign Washington, DC--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--September 7, 2004--On the steps of the Cannon House Office Building today, Sila M. Calderón, Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, claimed victory for Puerto Rican and Hispanic communities nationwide as she announced that her government’s grassroots empowerment initiative met its goal of registering over 300,000 voters before this year’s general elections. The nonpartisan education, registration and mobilization campaign, dubbed “¡Que Nada Nos Detenga!” or “Let Nothing Stop Us!”, was launched in July 2002 as an effort to empower the 642,000 Puerto Ricans across the nation who were eligible to vote in their local communities yet had not registered. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 3.5 million Puerto Ricans living in the states, 1.7 million of whom are of voting age. “I am
Community News Puerto Rico Governor To Announce Nation’s Largest Nonpartisan Hispanic Voter Registration Campaign Succeeded in Registering Over 300,000 Hispanic Voters Over 100,000 Registered in Key Swing States Including FL, OH and PA WASHINGTON -- From the steps of the Cannon House Office Building, Governor Sila M. Calderón will announce Tuesday that the Hispanic voter registration campaign has reached its goal of registering 300,000 voters and provide details about the impact these voters will have in upcoming local, state and national elections. Calderón, Mari Carmen Aponte, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, and Puerto Rican elected officials from across the country will also announce that PRFAA’s extensive grassroots empowerment operation has succeeded in meeting its goal of registering 300,000 voters before the 2004 presidential elections. Battleground states including Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio have large or rapidly growing Hi

La Isla

La Isla Originally uploaded by clarisel . Hello, you are invited to view the new "Sunrise, Sunset -- Anything Sun!" photo page at flickr. It features sun images from a mix of photographers. Sun images from la isla and different parts of the world are showcased.
Housing U.S. Representative Luis V. Gutierrez Joins Guaranty Bank and Fannie Mae to Announce 'Buy for Family' Mortgage; Qualified Borrower Can Finance the Purchase of a Residence for a Parent or Sibling Who is Unable to Purchase for Themselves CHICAGO, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Representative Luis V. Gutierrez (D- IL) today joined local community leaders, housing advocates, and representatives from nonprofit organizations, Guaranty Bank, and Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM) , the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages, to announce a new mortgage designed to help increase affordable homeownership opportunities for underserved markets, including low- and moderate-income immigrant and minority families. "Buy for Family," a new mortgage designed by Guaranty Bank, allows a qualified borrower to finance the purchase of a residence for his or her parents or a sibling if they are unable to buy a home for themselves. Guaranty Bank will originate the Buy for F