Sunday, January 29, 2006

Featured sports column:
New York Daily News - Sports - Mike Lupica's Shooting From the Lip: Count wins not Latinos

YERBABUENA is a group of young Boricua and Latino musicians, singers and dancers who
come together to play the music that they love under the musical direction of singer-composer-musician Tato Torres, sharing an intense passion for the musical traditions of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

The last thing that will come to your mind while at a YERBABUENA event is that you're watching a show. It feels more like a cross between a jam in the park, a
spiritual ceremony and a family reunion.

The music they play is, by nature, participatory. Whether bomba, plena or musica jibara, it's all interactive. And being witness to their vibrant sounds, just leaves the audience no choice but to join in the singing and dance to the beat of the drums. After a YERBABUENA session, you'll be uplifted, tired and happy.

Visit the band's website for more info. and free music downloads: and (

Source: Yerbabuena
PRSUN Contact Information:

You can always contact Puerto Rico Sun by commenting here on a specific entry or e-mailing me directly at You can also e-mail me at this address in connection to PRSUN TV.

FYI: I have terminated the Puerto Rico Sun Yahoo group and have created a new Google group instead. If you are interested in becoming a Puerto Rico Sun member, feel free to join the group.

Here are the essentials:

* Group name: Puerto Rico Sun
* Group home page:
* Group email address

As you know, there is also a group of photobloggers who belong to the Puerto Rico Sun group at Flickr, showcasing images of the island and stateside boricua communities.

Thank you.


Friday, January 27, 2006


Originally uploaded by igualmente.
Featured report:
Study Finds Rich-Poor Income Gap Growing - Yahoo! News The greatest disparity between rich and poor was in New York, where the top 20 percent of wage earners had average incomes 8.1 times larger than the poorest 20 percent in the early 2000s.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Community Event

La Casa De La Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, Inc.
(The Puerto Rican Cultural Heritage House, Inc.)

Cordialmente le invita a la interesante lectura del drama

“Los Peligros de Chencha” de Anita Vélez Mitchell

Con la participación de:

Actores y Actrices del grupo “Danza Fiesta”
Hilda Rivera Pantoja - Coreógrafa

Domingo, 29 de enero del 2006, a las 3:00 p.m.
1230 Quinta Avenida, salón #458

Invite a sus amigos

Donación $10.00

(212) 722-2600
Featured article:

Text of NYC Mayor Bloomberg's State of the City Address at Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2006 State of the City Address (Gotham Gazette. January 26, 2006)

Friends of the International Leadership Charter School Announce Victory for Bronx Community

On Tuesday January 10, 2006 the New York State Board of Regents voted unanimously to fill the last 4 charter school slots available for New York City. The establishment of the International Leadership Charter School, a high school proposed for the Bronx, is a victory for the Puerto Rican and Latino immigrant youth and the community which it will serve. This grassroots effort led by a Bronx puertorriquena Dr. Elaine Ruiz Lopez is part of a larger vision for the neighborhood in which the school will be located.

With the conviction that, “It takes a village to educate a child…” Dr. Ruiz Lopez, graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University is the founder and Chief Executive Officer for ILCS. She embarked upon a long and rigorous journey to address a problem that is approaching epidemic proportions in the Borough. “If they are not being taught how can they graduate?” A drop-out rate for Bronx high school students that exceeded more than 50% in some areas was the driving force that fueled this Bronx native’s passion for bringing together the most dedicated and experienced individuals in the area of law, finance, non-profit management, school administration and community engagement to ensure that the dream for this community would become a reality.

This effort was made possible with the support of numerous community leaders and organizations that actively united around the concept of establishing a charter high school that would provide a stellar education to the most neglected student population in the Bronx, the ELL and immigrant high school age youth.

The stakes were very high in this process as there were several groups who applied for the remaining slots before the Cap on charter schools closed. ILCS is only the second charter high school in the NYC that has been authorized by Chancellor Joel Klein. The first charter high school is Williamsburg Charter High School whose founder and CEO Eddie Calderon Melendez is on the ILCS Board of Trustees. Other key board members include Frances Lucerna, founder of Peace and Justice Academy El Puente, Peter Moyers, Esq, Professor Frank Tang, Alice Mairs, and Al Prentice McCutchen.

The organizations and individuals who supported this effort includes Community Planning Board 6, El Puente, Inc., the National Council of La Raza, the International Branch of the YMCA, the New York City Charter Center for Excellence, Professor Pedro Noguera, NYU, The Children’s Defense Fund, The Office of the Bronx Borough President, Councilman Joel Rivera, Assemblyman Jose Rivera, Assemblyman Michael Benjamin, and Mastermind, Inc.

The positive outcome validated the numerous sacrifices made by the ILCS founding Board of Trustees and the Friends of ILCS, Inc. Dr. Ruiz Lopez, who prefers being called Elaine, is already preparing diligently for the first day of school and 4 years up the road. Elaine cannot wait to meet all 88 9th grade students who will for the first time, enroll in a public school of choice with an equal opportunity to attend and graduate from a quality school with an academically rigorous curriculum that is designed to pave the way toward enrollment in the college of their choice. According to Elaine, “For hundreds of students this may be the first time that they have been given a fighting chance to be the first in their families to attend college. Failure will never be an option at ILCS. Now that’s social justice.”

For more information, Dr. Elaine Ruiz Lopez at 646-623-8879 or

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Originally uploaded by clarisel.
Freestyle Maurice "Soulfighter" Taylor performs at the Voices For the Voiceless poetry activity in Amherst, MA, in December 2005.

WHAT: "Voices for the Voiceless" poetry and interviews with poets (including Jose Montoya, Tato Laviera and Shaggy Flores) will be featured on PRSUN TV, Bronxnet's Channel 69, Bronx, NY
WHEN: 12:30 p.m., Jan. 26

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Originally uploaded by lapamela.
lapamela says:

"our last shadows in the puerto rico grass"

Happy journey LaPamela and Luke. Thanks for your Puerto Rico images.

baptism and communion

baptism and communion
Originally uploaded by sallypatches.
As a child I believed in God.

Baptism is me. Communion is me.
I say that poppy married me when
I was younger. -- Samaris Ayala

NYC-based writer Samaris "sallypatches" Ayala contributes her poetry (and photo collages) to Puerto Rico Sun. She may be reached at
America�s First Tropical Wilderness Preserve Dedicated

Friday, January 20, 2006


XVIII Boricua College Winter Poetry Series 2006

Calendar of Events

January 27 City Writing
Angie Cruz
Bruce Weber
Lydia Cortes

February 17 New Blood*
Bonafide Rojas
Carmen Bardeguez
Angel Pont Navarro
Marina Ortiz
Magean Ortiz

March 10 Voices**
Alberto Marti­nez Marquez
Jose Acosta
Rita Indiana Hernandez

April 28 Edgardo Rodri­guez Julia:
Visionary Puerto Rican Literature**

**reading in English and Spanish
**reading in Spanish

This event is generously funded by Boricua College and made
possible with public funds from the New York State Council
on the Arts, a state agency

Strategic Plan for La Casa:
La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorrique�a
Here is a message from officials at La Casa:

Strategic Plan For La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, 2006-2009

Prepared by: Juan Ramón Rodríguez-Muñoz, Growth Facilitator

With the participation and leadership of:

Otilio Díaz, Executive Director Eli Alvarado, Chairperson Héctor Ortiz, Vice- President Alfonzo Correa, Member Aurea Mangual, Member Anita Vélez-Mitchell, Member

To whom it may concern:

On behalf of the Board and Staff of La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña (La Casa) we wish to extend our deepest appreciation to the many people that gave their time and energy in the preparation of this Strategic Plan. It was an enormous undertaking by our Board, Staff and Consultant with tremendous input and ownership from all of us. We also wish to express our appreciation for the financial support for this effort provided by a grant from Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation.

The strategic plan process was facilitated by Juan Ramón Rodríguez-Muñoz, Growth Facilitator, with the participation and leadership of Otilio Díaz, Executive Director, and representatives of the Board of Directors (Eli Alvarado, Chairperson, Héctor Ortiz, Vice-President, and Alfonzo Correa, Aurea Mangual and Anita Vélez-Mitchell, Board members). It was a job well done and we are grateful for all their efforts. Mr. Rodríguez-Muñoz did a superb job guiding the strategic process and building consensus by the Staff and Board. We commend the Staff and Board for being able to carry their regular job commitments while providing participation and leadership in this strategic plan process.

The challenge that remains is the implementation of this excellent Strategic Plan of La Casa. We want to thank in advance the Staff and Board members and Volunteers that will dedicate so much time and energy in the implementation of this Strategic Plan. The end results will be the realization of the vision of La Casa of having ample and adequate human and material resources to provide excellent services of ethnic library research and cultural education activities, programs and events and many in the Puerto Rican community and others greatly benefit from these services.

We are requesting that you join us in this endeavor of implementing this Strategic Plan of La Casa that will provide the foundation we need to continue into the future towards long-term stability and success.


Eli Alvarado Otilio Díaz Chairperson Executive Director

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Study Compares Asthma Rates Among Hispanics

'Massarican' Poet

'Massarican' Poet
Originally uploaded by clarisel.

WHEN: 12:30 p.m., Jan. 26
WHERE: Bronxnet's Channel 69, Bronx, NY
WHAT: Voices For the Voiceless poetry event

Nuyorican poet Jaime "Shaggy" Flores is among the poets featured.

According to bio information provided:
"Shaggy Flores is a graduate and scholar from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelors Degree on the African Diaspora. He follows in the tradition of Arturo Schomburg and Louis Reyes Rivera. Shaggy is a new generation Nuyorican Poet, Writer, Scholar, Artist using the word to preserve communities. His poetry challenges the myths of stereotypes and racial superiority. Shaggy’s poetry has been read at many venues throughout the Northeast including: Columbia University, Colgate, Syracuse, Cornell, William & Mary, Old Dominion, UMASS, Northeast Latino student conference, Boston’s Revolution Bookstore, Agueybana bookstore, the Edward James Olmos Spring ’98 lecture, and the Muevete youth Conference. He is considered to be one of the new Nuyorican voices of his generation. His agenda for world domination can be found in his first published book Sancocho - A Book of Nuyorican Poetry, The Anthologies Role Call and Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, both edited by Tony Medina [the latter co-edited with Louis Reyes Rivera], Nuyorican Dreams & Yemaya Y Ochun - the live Voices for the Voiceless poetry concert albums, and the website He is the founder of the annual “Voices for the Voiceless” poetry concert that occurs in the five-college Umass-Amherst area. Shaggy Flores is also the founder of the “Urban Arts Project” and the Dark Souls Arts Collective that serve as Networks for African Diaspora artists."
New York Daily News - Entertainment - Radio: New Air America VP interprets his mission liberally Felipe Luciano becomes vice president of news for Air America (WLIB, 1190 AM).

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Cabo Rojo Salt Flats

Cabo Rojo Salt Flats
Originally uploaded by DeLares.
DeLares says:
"This is the last remaining cultivated salt flats on the Island of Puerto Rico. The sea salts harvested here are used in local agricultural and chemical products. This is also an unique migratory bird sanctuary that services the western hemisphere. Birds are said to migrate to and fro following the warm weather from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina......imagine that!

The most abundant migrants have been small calidrid sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) and Stilt Sandpipers (Calidris himantopus). The birds stop to feed on micro-organisms (Artemia) found in the saline saturated waters. These brine shrimps are rich in proteins and fats. Good stuff for long distance flying."
Featured health article
Living at an Epicenter of Diabetes, Defiance and Despair - New York Times
On TV:

Democracy Now! | Local Public Access TV Under Attack From Trio of Congressional Bills

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Featured article -- a profile on Lolita Lebron
Chicago Tribune | From rebel to peacemaker

Roberto Clemente: Baseball Icon and Political Football?
By Cecil Harris
Few athletes in any sport have had as much impact, on and off the field, as Roberto Clemente. Baseball immortalized the Pittsburgh Pirates legend by inducting him into the Hall of Fame in 1973, seven months after his tragic death at age 38 in a New Year's Eve plane crash while delivering supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Normally, baseball players must wait five years after their final game to be considered for induction into the Hall. But Clemente was deemed so special, and his off-season sacrifice so enormous, that baseball rightfully made an exception. By the way, the five-year rule has not been waived for anyone else and may never be waived again. Nonetheless, a feeling persists among many of Clemente's most ardent supporters that baseball has not done enough to honor the memory of the Carolina, P.R. native.

A movement has been formed in the Latino community to urge Major League Baseball to retire Clemente's uniform number 21, just as MLB did in honor of Jackie Robinson, the sport's first black player. Baseball announced on April 15, 1997, the 50th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, that no major-league player would ever again be assigned Number 42. (Players who already had the number, such as New York Yankees relief ace Mariano Rivera, were allowed to keep it.)

Advocates such as journalist Danny Torres of say retiring Clemente's number would send a powerful message that baseball truly respects the enormous contributions to the sport made by Latino players, for whom Clemente will always be an icon, and would serve as a lasting symbol of inspiration to Latinos everywhere.

Clemente has the resume of a baseball immortal. In 18 seasons, all with the Pirates, he had exactly 3,000 hits. His final hit came in his final major-league game, October 3, 1972, against the New York Mets. He had a .317 career batting average and 240 home runs. Clemente's best season came in 1966, when he had 29 home runs, 117 runs batted in, a .317 average and was named the National League's Most Valuable Player. He led the Pirates to World Series titles in 1960 and 1971, winning Series MVP honors in 1971. Twelve consecutive Gold Gloves (1961-72) and a powerful throwing arm underscored Clemente's brilliance as a right fielder.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has been contacted by a group in favor of retiring Clemente's number. What happened?

"The Commissioner promised to take it under advisement," MLB spokesman Rich Levin told me in a telephone interview. What does "take it under advisement" mean? Basically, nothing. Selig has the authority to announce the retiring of Clemente's number today if he wished. The proposal does not have to be voted upon by any board of directors. It does not need two-thirds approval, or 51 percent approval, from team owners or general managers or players or hot-dog vendors or any group that makes its living from baseball. This is strictly Selig's call, and I believe it is a call he would prefer not to make for as long as he can avoid it.

The retiring of Robinson's number rubbed some people the wrong way, but it was done anyway, largely because Selig deemed it the right thing to do.

I suspect the issue of retiring Clemente's number is a Pandora's Box that baseball would rather not open. Those who criticized retiring Robinson's number would almost certainly object more vigorously in Clemente's case. Why? Because Clemente, for all his athletic greatness and humanitarianism, was not quite the ground-breaker that Robinson was. Clemente, for all the racism he endured as a Latino forced to adapt to a different language and cultural mores in America, was not constantly subjected to death threats and overt on-field harassment in the 1950s and '60s as Robinson was.

But let me make this clear: it's not a question of who suffered more, Robinson or Clemente? Obviously, each man overcame racism and became an iconic figure who transcended the sport in which he excelled. I covered Major League Baseball as a Yankees beat writer in 1997, and I'll repeat now what I said then: Robinson had a unique burden as the first, the trailblazer whose success opened the door for all nonwhite ballplayers who followed.

Italian baseball fans asked me a decade ago, "What about retiring Joe DiMaggio's Number 5? We're as proud of him as blacks are of Robinson?" But, eventually, they understood Robinson's unique contribution to athletics and race relations and they backed off. Similarly, Jewish baseball fans told me, "Why shouldn't they retire Sandy Koufax's Number 32? Didn't he refuse to pitch in a World Series game in 1963 because it fell on Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day? Do you realize how much pride we felt as Jews on that day. And again, two days later, when Sandy pitched a shutout and helped the Dodgers win the Series?" I even heard from Jewish fans who wanted baseball to retire the number of Hank Greenberg, a star slugger for the Detroit Tigers in the 1940s.

If there is any outspoken opposition to retiring Clemente's number, I strongly suspect it would come from white ethnic and religious groups who would believe their baseball brethren deserve a similar honor. I don't believe any serious opposition would come from African Americans. While it is true that Frank Robinson, a baseball Hall of Famer who is black, said he is opposed to retiring Clemente's number, Hank Aaron, another Hall of Famer who is black, said he is in favor of it.

My educated guess is that, in the end, the debate over retiring Clemente's number will become a political football, one that gets kicked around philosophically and ideologically until Selig, the man entrusted with making the decision, chooses the least controversial option and does nothing at all.

Cecil Harris is a freelance journalist based in New York and contributes articles to Puerto Rico Sun. He is the author of "Breaking the Ice," a book about the black experience in professional hockey, and of "Call the Yankees My Daddy," a behind the scenes look at the New York Yankees from the perspective of a journalist and a lifelong fan.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Los Kings

Los Kings
Originally uploaded by clarisel.

Feliz Dia de Reyes

Feliz Dia de Reyes
Originally uploaded by clarisel.

"Yo, La Parranda Puertorriqueña” Today

The documentary will be presented on Thursday, January 5, at 9:00 pm EST/6:00pm PST; Friday, January 6th, 6:00 pm EST/3:00pm PST; and, Saturday, January 7, 9:30pm EST/6:30 pm PST

New York, NY--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--January 2, 2006--The documentary presents the traditional Puerto Rican Parranda as it is celebrated in New York City. Entitled “Yo, La Parranda Puertorriqueña” includes the history of this European tradition and its current manifestation by Puerto Ricans in the Diaspora. The documentary begins in Yomo Toro’s house, as Pepe Castillo and Estampa Criolla, surprise him with a Parranda, traditional music of the season. Finally, both Pepe and Yomo join the festivities at El Maestro Cultural and Educational Center and joined in song and dance by Los Pleneros de 21, a traditional bomba and plena group recently nominated for an Emmy Award. Yerbabuena, a young group of musicians also join the festivities.

The Hispanic Information & Telecommunications Network, Inc., is the first Hispanic public television network in the Unites States. HITN-TV distributes its programming 24/7 and is the #1 Spanish language cable networks in the United Sates.

HITN’s mission is “to advance the educational, cultural, and socio-economic aspirations of Hispanics in the United States and Puerto Rico through Telecommunications”. Since its inception in 1983, HITN has maintained quality programming and is committed to the concept of distance learning for students and producing innovative, entertaining, and informative programs for adults. As a public broadcasting station, it is committed to the production of documentaries based on the unique experiences Spanish speaking community throughout the United States.

HITN has currently relocated to its new administrative offices and state of the arts production studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, at 63 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11205.

HITN Cable and Satellite Transmission Systems

DishNetwork 843 & 9401 National – Regular & Latino Package
DirecTV 438 National - Latino Package
Time Warner Cable 811 NYC/NJ - Latino Package
Time Warner Cable 167 Kansas - Latino Package
ComCast 649 Denver - Latino Package

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Featured opinion article | 01/02/2006 | Let Puerto Ricans decide island's future
Community calendar

Three Kings Parade in El Barrio

El Museo del Barrio will hold its 29th Annual Three Kings’ Day Parade and Theater Program on Friday, Three Kings Day. El Museo’s parade, led by the Three Kings, winds through the streets of El Barrio and includes lively music, colorful costumes, as well as an educational theater program for students following the parade. The theater performance will include an informative demonstration of the cuatro and aguinaldos (carols), as well as the origin of the Three Kings’ Day celebration. The Three Kings Day Parade starts at 10:00 a.m. from the corner of 106th Street between Fifth Ave and Madison.

Piraguero - Old San Juan, PR

Piraguero - Old San Juan, PR
Originally uploaded by jenjenjen.