Thursday, January 31, 2008


MLB Should Retire Clemente's #21 for Good
By Ismael Nunez

It is time for Major League Baseball to retire #21 in honor of one of baseball’s greats Roberto Clemente.
It’s up to you Commissioner. You are at bat.
The New York City Council’s Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Relations recently held a hearing on the resolution calling for Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Sleigh to retire # 21 in honor of Clemente, a Hall of Famer and a humanitarian.
Many grassroots activists and baseball fans have lobbied MLB to retire Clemente’s uniform number from all baseball teams. That’s an honor given only to one player: Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson.
That January day advocates made their presentations before the City Council, saying why they support retiring the number.
Two of them were judges from Connecticut: Carmen Lopez and Dale W. Radcliffe.
“We honor a young Latino from Carolina, Puerto Rico, who came north to play baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1950’s and confronted the dual minority status of race and language,” Radcliffe said. “We honor a superb athlete…often over-looked and underappreciated, yet who managed to transform anger and resentment into determination and reached the pinnacle of his profession.”
Radcliffe also spoke of the boricua’s accomplishments on the baseball field.
Lopez said it is about time that MLB retires the number.
“I believe that MLB, as a good corporate citizen, has a wonderful opportunity to showcase a superstar who lived by the principles of respect and service,” Lopez said.
This move, she said, would help a future generation know the legacy of Roberto Clemente.
And she spoke about Clemente’s heroic acts.
Clemente is not a hero, she said, because he played baseball with skill and pride. He’s a hero because he led a life of service to others. He even lost his life in an attempt to help others.
“These are the role models that our children and youth need,” she said.
William Gerena-Rochet, editor of, spoke about how Clemente opened doors for future players.
“Clemente was not the first Latin American to play in the MLB,” he said. “He was the first Latino super star and began playing baseball when ML teams still had quotas on how many players of color they would have on their teams at a given time.
“Whereas Robinson is said to have opened the gate, Clemente can be said to have held it open for the Latino players who followed,” he said.
Bryon Hunter, producer of the documentary “The Legacy of 21,” said that almost ballplayer interviewed for the project agreed that #21 should be retired.
Julio Pabon, founder of Latino Sports, said Clemente deserves the honor because “he was more than just a great baseball player.
“The fact that he was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously after his death without having to wait the five year period is a testament to his great ability as an athlete that still to this day is mentioned and compared when certain plays or throws are made from right field,” Pabon said.
The fact that Clemente was killed on December 31, 1972 in an airplane crash on his way to take badly needed supplies to earthquake Nicaragua victims was the ultimate sacrifice that any human being can make, Pabon said.

Ismael Nunez is a freelance writer based in El Barrio, NYC, who contributes his writings to Puerto Rico Sun.

Roca en Isabela

Roca en Isabela
Originally uploaded by EdVeguilla.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Featured story

Bronx Boricua Princesas Wanted

Bronx Puerto Rican Parade seeking candidates to march down on the Grand Concourse and celebrate their cultural pride in the spring.
Organizers of the annual Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade - celebrating its 20th anniversary this year - are now looking to crown princesses and princes (ages 5 to 65+) to lead the parade.
For more info, go to

Friday, January 25, 2008

Featured story

'Avenida Puerto Rico' leading into a very proud Perth Amboy

PERTH AMBOY (NJ) -- A sign, proclaiming the honorary name "Avenida Puerto Rico" for Hall Avenue, was unveiled Thursday to the applause of residents and supporters who see the move as a tribute to the accomplishments Puerto Ricans have made in the community.

source: Home News Tribune

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Originally uploaded by clarisel.
America's Next Top Model Jaslene Gonzalez signs an autograph for Daisy at Urban Latino Magazine's In the Mix networking reception at Sofritos restaurant in Manhattan. Jaslene, a boricua, is the covergirl for the magazine's current edition.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

RIP: Prof. Serrano

RIP: Prof. Serrano
Originally uploaded by prsuncom

Boricua College Remembers Beloved Professor Alfredo Serrano

By Robert Waddell

Alfred Serrano, professor at Boricua College, often boasted that he had worked at almost any kind of job. He knew the American history behind the creation of blue jeans and he was a war veteran with a gentle soul.
The Boricua College learning annex on East 147th Street in the South Bronx is a little too quiet without the academic facilitator who often offered students and colleagues a dish full of candy. Serrano died suddenly of a massive coronary on January 4.
“He was a caring person and a humanitarian,” said Professor Julio Sanchez. “He believed in rejoicing and for people to come together making a better world through education.”
Serrano had been a member of the Boricua College faculty since 1996.
He had 27 years experience in the fields of elementary through post-secondary education.
From 1965 to 1967, Captain Serrano, a Puerto Rican, served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in Vietnam. He was both an enlisted man and an officer serving in positions as varied as supervisor-unit commander, Infantry advisor in South Vietnam, Staff Officer, Personnel Officer and Communications Officer.
As an educator, he often shared stories about Vietnam and growing up in New York City.
Serrano was quick with a joke and had a loud laugh.
He loved history and geography and often taught courses in these subjects.
“I'm going to miss the conversations we had,” said Professor Esteban Galvan. “He was a very understanding, very caring person. He could talk about all kinds of subjects; he was always interested in learning.”
Serrano is survived by his mother, a brother, two sons and several grandchildren.

Robert Waddell is a freelance journalist based in the Bronx who contributes his writings to Puerto Rico. Waddell, who serves at Boricua College, worked with Serrano for over three years.

Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián II

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Thanks for 'Un Caribe en NY'

Originally uploaded by clarisel.
From left, artist Diogenes Ballester, me and filmmaker Judith Escalona at the Jan. 17 closing reception of the "Un Caribe en NY" photo exhibit

Thanks to everyone who in one way or another supported the "Un Caribe en NY" photo exhibit at Cemi Underground, NYC. A special thanks to my fellow participating photographers Chris Lopez and Eliud Martinez. Another special thanks to Cemi Underground for the space.

The exhibit ran from Jan. 4-18 at Cemi Underground. You can still check out our online "Un Caribe en NY" photo gallery. Just click on the "Photo Exhibit: Un Caribe en Nueva York" link posted right here in this blog.

Clarisel Gonzalez, curator

Montañas de Jayuya

Montañas de Jayuya
Originally uploaded by Jorge Rodriguez.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Juanita Lanzo

Originally uploaded by prsuncom
Boricua Named as the New Director of the Longwood Art Gallery in the Bronx

The Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) is proud to announce that Juanita Lanzo has been named director/curator of its Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos after serving as acting director of the gallery since June 2007. Ms. Lanzo, Longwood’s fifth director since the gallery’s inception in 1981, has a strong studio and art history background with extensive and diverse experience in cultural, academic and community-based environments.

Ms. Lanzo is a Puerto Rican born visual artist, curator and arts administrator who came to the Bronx in 1999 and began working as a Visitor Services Manager at the Bronx Museum of the Arts where she administered the museum's admissions, bookstore, and rentals program. After six years at the Bronx Museum, she came to the Longwood Art Gallery as Program Coordinator for the gallery’s exhibitions, public programs and the Digital Matrix Commissions Program for the 2006-08 seasons.

Specializing in drawing, painting and printmaking techniques, Juanita received her Bachelor in Fine Arts from the University of Puerto Rico in 1996 and her Masters in Fine Arts at CUNY’s City College in 2004. In 1996 she received the Carlos Marichal Award for Academia de Artes y Ciencias award for artistic excellence in printmaking and the Theresa McRabbe O’Connor Fellowship, in 2003 at the City College of New York. She is fluent in English and Spanish with some knowledge of Italian.

Juanita has participated in several group shows in Puerto Rico, New York and Spain. Among them are Saludo a la Bienal de Grabado Latinoamericano in 1995 and 1998 at the Galeria Francisco Oller, at University of Puerto Rico. She has exhibited at Museo de Arte e Historia, and at Ateneo de Arte Puertorriqueño in San Juan, Museo Casa Roig in Humacao, Museo de Arte de Caguas, in Caguas and Galería Guatibirí, in Rio Piedras.

In New York, she was part of Mujeres after Frida at the Lower East Side Centro de Trabajadores Unidos and Post Plátano, Abstraction in the Bronx at Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos. She has co-curated Longwood Arts Project’s 25th Anniversary Digital Matrix at Haven Art Gallery in 2006 and Material Culture at Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos which is currently on view through February 2008. She has served as a panelist for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos is the contemporary art center of the Bronx Council on the Arts, supporting artists and their work, especially emerging and under-recognized artists, through the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos, Digital Matrix Commissions Program, and public programs that provide platforms for free and open dialogue.

source: Bronx Council on the Arts

Photographers and Friends

Photographers and Friends
Originally uploaded by mamarazzi1.
Photo by Mamarazzi
Check out her photo set on the opening reception of the "Un Caribe en NY" Photo Exhibit at

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


CSV Cultural Center Announces
Luis R. Cancel to head San Francisco Arts Commission

The Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, announced yesterday his appointment of Luis R. Cancel as the head of the Dept. of Cultural Affairs for that city.

"A large part of what makes San Francisco such a coveted place to live and visit is its position as a world class arts and culture destination," said Mayor Newsom. "Luis Cancel has done amazing work in New York, both inside and outside of government, to promote the value of the arts in everyday life, and he's going to do amazing work here in San Francisco."

"I'm thrilled we were able to entice Luis to come to San Francisco. He's a serious artist, an experienced public servant, a committed advocate and an innovative arts administrator," said PJ Johnston, President of the Arts Commission. "In every way, Luis is the consummate arts professional and a dynamic leader."

In 2005 Cancel was appointed Executive Director of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center and quickly negotiated a new governance structure with the City of New York, the Center's landlord. He went on to secure $14 million in capital renovation funds from the City as well as over $350,000 in operating support for the Center.

"Our Board is very proud of Luis' tenure at CSV," said Ninfa Segarra, Co-Chair of the CSV Cultural Center Board. "We are grateful for the leadership he provided over the past two-and-a-half years and he leaves behind a fabulous legacy."

"I am very excited to join Mayor Newsom's team, and I share his vision to use the rich cultural resources of San Francisco to expand tourism and economic development for the City," Cancel said. "This city has been a magnet for the creative class -- the painters, dancers, musicians and creators of culture -- and I hope to work closely with the Mayor to promote policies to ensure that this group can continue to live and work in the City."

Cancel will begin his duties at the San Francisco Arts Commission later this month, after relocating with his wife, the Brazilian contemporary dance choreographer, Regina Miranda.

The CSV Cultural Center has launched a search for a new Executive Director for the Center. The City funded capital renovations to the five-story building are expected to take two years and the Center's activities, will continue without interruption.

Founded in 1993, the CSV Cultural Center is the largest arts incubator in New York City and houses 53 visual artists in working studios, 16 performing arts groups, four theaters and two galleries in its City-owned building.


source: press release from CSV Cultural Center

Friday, January 11, 2008

In the Mailbox

Show Your Support for Public Access in the Bronx

On January 17, the City of New York will hold a public hearing to discuss upcoming cable franchise renewal in the Bronx.

BronxNet is the public access TV station and media center, serving the borough's residents, students and public service organizations.

Support BronxNet and community development through media.

When: 3-7 p.m. January 17, Hostos Community College -- Repertory Theater, The East Academic Complex Building, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx

For more info, call (718) 960-1181.

Subpoenas' Rally

Originally uploaded by prsuncom

photo by Ismael Nunez
Rally against Grand Jury of Puerto Rican Independence Activists

Here's a link to a recent Daily News column by Juan Gonzalez on the issue:

TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, Sign-in at 12:30pm

172 East 106th St. (bet 3rd and Lex)

Come be a part of a live television audience, as the FB Lounge (in NYC's El Barrio) hosts Food Network for a program featuring restaurateur Jorge Ayala of La Fonda Boricua.

Food Network is filming Jorge and for a new TV series

Please join Latin food fans, and chicken and rice lovers for this one-of-a-kind event.


Sunset in Old San Juan

Sunset in Old San Juan
Originally uploaded by vergentino.

Monday, January 07, 2008


Originally uploaded by clarisel.
Luis Cordero, owner and co-founder of Cemi Underground, and moi at the January 4 opening reception of the Un Caribe en NY photo exhibit, a group show.

Exhibit runs thru January 18. For more info. visit or

P.S. You are invited to a closing reception from 6 to 8 p.m. January 17 at Cemi Underground.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Originally uploaded by clarisel.
Feliz Dia de Reyes. Happy Three Kings Day.

Photo depicts a Three Kings display at Cemi Underground in NYC's El Barrio. For more info., go to

Friday, January 04, 2008

Un Caribe en NY Photo Exhibit

Un Caribe en NY Photo Exhibit
Originally uploaded by clarisel.
Post Updated on Jan.5: Thanks to everyone who came out to the opening reception last night.

We appreciate your support. For those who couldn't make it, the exhibit runs until January 18.

Just in: Cemi Underground will be having a closing party for our exhibit on January 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. Eliud Martinez, one of the photographers featuring, is planning to provide us with music for the night.

Boricuas represent.