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Showing posts from June, 2008

Preserving El Barrio: Marina Ortiz

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Anyone who is in NYC's El Barrio, probably knows Marina Ortiz, an independent journalist, local community activist and resident. She is usually armed with a camera, shooting and documenting many of the people, stories and events in East Harlem. This boricua is founder of East Harlem Preservation, a community advocacy group that monitors large-scale development, supports preservation, and fights privatization of public parkland. Ortiz is a watchdog of the rapid changes going on in El Barrio because of gentrification. The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently interviewed Ortiz on her push to save El Barrio, the so-called crown jewel of Puerto Rican and Latino culture in New York City. "I was inspired to begin efforts to preserve the rich history, culture and architecture of Spanish Harlem and the greater East Harlem when the inevitable footprint of gentrification began to take its hold on our community," Ortiz was quoted as saying. To read the article publishe

Colonialismo / Colonialism

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Colonialismo / Colonialism Originally uploaded by Moliniano .

New Social Networking Space for Boricuas

In the Mailbox Saludos! Boricuation Cultural Foundation (BCF) spearheads a Boricua social network named Boricuation Cultural Space (BCS). Created to introduce and unite Puerto Ricans from all over the world. To bring them closer via the internet, for them to express themselves on a forum created for them by Puerto Ricans. The focus is not to exclude ourselves from other Latin nations, but to unite ourselves and express our struggles in identifying our own issues through communications and expressions on BCS, therefore educating ourselves and other nations on Puerto Rican history and culture. We encourage everyone to join this special website, but remember to focus on educating and empowering each other so we can better understand ourselves. Bring your own taste of Boricua culture. Share and relate stories, photos, videos, comments, ideals and everything Boricua. We are all making history here and our history is vast and diverse, so let's get together and vibe on the real issues

Defending Cultura

Featured story Simpsonville resident speaks out on burned Puerto Rican flag Lisa Rodriguez says she doesn’t know of anyone having a problem with her heritage, so she was surprised to learn that someone had set fire to the Puerto Rican flag hanging on the side of her parents’ Simpsonville (South Carolina) home. "We’re just representing who we are," she said Wednesday. "We’re not trying to harm anyone." For more, go to http://www.greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080625/NEWS01/80625011/1004 EDITOR'S NOTE: I had not heard about this until I read this report today. I am saddened and annoyed that someone would burn the Puerto Rican flag. Boricua and proud in Simpsonville y donde sea.

Calle Fortaleza-Viejo San Juan P.R.

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Calle Fortaleza-Viejo San Juan P.R. Originally uploaded by haymaco .

On the Retire 21 Movement

Featured story Yankees Insider: A man worth honoring Inside their lockers in the Yankee Stadium clubhouse, Jorge Posada and LaTroy Hawkins have "Retire 21" stickers. They are part of a small but growing group that would like to see Roberto Clemente's No. 21 retired throughout Major League Baseball, as Jackie Robinson's No. 42 is. As much as Robinson did to change the game of baseball, many believe that Clemente had the same effect for Latinos. "I don't think any of us would be here if he didn't go through what he went through, being a Puerto Rican and being a black Puerto Rican," Posada said. To read more, go to http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/ny-spyinside275743362jun27,0,817627.story

Puerto Rican Sun is a Bronx Gem

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IMG_8737 Originally uploaded by clarisel . Commentary Puerto Rican Sun is on 156th Street and Fox Avenue in the Bronx. It is too bad that there is no sign with the name of this piece of public art or the artist who did it. That's a real shame because this is a piece of history in the Bronx. This steel sculpture of palm trees and the sun is by boricua artist Rafael Ferrer. Something should be done to better preserve this artwork that dates to 1979 and to better inform residents and visitors about its significance in the Bronx. Visitors just see this giant artwork, and there's no information posted. The Fox playground could be better kept too actually. For more info. on the Puerto Rican sculpture, check out this link with some of the history www.lehman.edu/vpadvance/artgallery/publicart/ferrer.htm I, of course, love its name Puerto Rican Sun. After all, my blog is named Puerto Rico Sun as well as one of my favorite photo groups on flickr: Puerto Rico Sun at http://www.fl

'Maldeamores' in the Bronx

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Community Calendar The Association of Hispanic Arts (AHA) in conjunction with SBX Industries LLC is proud to present Cinema el barrio film series screening of Maldeamores Starring Luis Guzman and executive produced by Benicio Del Toro Maldeamores, a 2007 Puerto Rican film, tells three separate stories dealing with the ironies of love, involving a middle class family, a hostage situation, and an elderly couple. FREE 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 2nd HOSTOS Community College auditorium 500 Grand Concourse HOSTED by Cindy SugaRusH For more information regarding this event and/or other Programs, please contact us at 212-876-1242
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Community Calendar Click on image to see larger text.

Puerto Rico Govt. Pledges Commitment to Safeguard Air Access to Caribbean

Under 'One Caribbean' Banner, Governor of Puerto Rico Introduces Measures to Sustain Air Access to the Caribbean and a Multi-Million Dollar Investment Incentive Plan to Support Maritime Access to the Region Anibal Acevedo Vila, Governor of Puerto Rico, addressed media and delegates at the first Annual Caribbean Tourism Summit (ACTS) in Washington, DC, today to present a plan that will preserve air access to Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean. The governor also introduced a Cruise Incentives Law that will continue to provide incentives to the maritime service providers who safeguard existing routes and/or expand their operations to the region. The governor provided an update on a call to action issued by Puerto Rico to Caribbean nations to form a united front that will work with the airline industry to increase access to the Caribbean through the island, a bold move given the specter of the industry. As a result of these efforts, airlines such as Jet Blue, Air Tran,

Picture Spot, Puerto Rico

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Picture Spot, Puerto Rico Originally uploaded by outtacontext .

Feliz Noche de San Juan Bautista

Camino a San Juan

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Camino a San Juan Originally uploaded by verodomica .

Save Public Broadcasting

Activism Dear Friend, We need your help to advocate for a public broadcasting system that offers more independent programming, harder-hitting journalism, and the educational, ad-free content that is missing from commercial media. The Bush administration is pushing for severe cuts to the budget for public broadcasting. The House Appropriations Committee has the power not just to reject Bush's budget cuts, but to demand increased funding for public media to ensure they can continue to serve our local communities. Go to the URL below to check out what's at stake and send a message directly to Congress urging them to stop the cuts. Take action on this alert from Free Press at: Take action at: http://free.convio.net/site/Advocacy?id=271

As Far As The Eye Can See

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As Far As The Eye Can See Originally uploaded by Quiet Storm .

Check out 'Independent Sources' on CUNY-TV

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IMG_8011 Originally uploaded by clarisel . La Voz Hispana, a local newspaper, recently wrote an article about Mike Amadeo. Here, Amadeo, who runs the popular Casa Amadeo record shop on Prospect Avenue in the South Bronx, is given a copy of the newspaper to check out the story. His shop has a space set aside for community residents to pick up La Voz Hispana, a free community newspaper. As a consumer, Amadeo prefers to get his news on radio. He also enjoys listening to news from Puerto Rico on WAPA America via his cable provider because it is news directly from the island. Amadeo talks to "Independent Sources," a new show on CUNY-TV focusing on the ethnic media. The show premiered on Wednesday night and takes a look at how people from different communities use independent sources, including Asian, Jewish and Latino independent newspaper and other media outlets. To watch, tune in at 8 p.m. tonight or 10 a.m. tomorrow on Channel 75, NYC. I was also interviewed for the sh

Northern Manhattan Artist Studio Tour

Community Calendar Artists throughout Northern Manhattan will open their studios for a glimpse at how they create. FREE Shuttle Buses! Look out for the robin egg blue ARC Ft. Washington Senior Center Shuttle bus at the following shuttle stops (North/South): Isham St. and Broadway Isham St. and Sherman Ave. Broadway and 204 St. Broadway and Academy St . Academy St and Sherman Ave. 10 Ave. and 202 St. Nagle Ave. and Ellwood St . Broadway and 187 St. Ft. Washington Ave. and 190 St. Ft. Washington Ave. and 187 St. Ft. Washington Ave. and 185 St. Ft. Washington Ave. and 181 St. Ft. Washington Ave. and 177 St. Ft. Washington Ave. and 170 St. Ft. Washington Ave. and 162 St. Broadway and 165 St. For updates, visit: www.artstroll.com .

Yonkers PR Parade is Sunday

Yonkers Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade And Festival The Yonkers Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade & Festival will celebrate its parade this Sunday. The parade's grand marshal is Ray Negron author and member of the NY Yankee Organization For the past 29 years, the Yonkers Puerto Rican Day Parade and Festival has enabled Westchester Hispanics and other citizens to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture as well as acknowledge and pay tribute to the contributions Puerto Ricans and Hispanic have made to Yonkers, the state and nation. For more information on the festivities, go to http://www.westchester.com/Westchester_News/Community/Yonkers_Puerto_Rican%10Hispanic_Day_Parade_And_Festival_200806209931.html

The Power of the Sun

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The Power of the Sun Originally uploaded by -[ [ Yezi3 ] ]- .

Songwriters Rights Panel in San Juan

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Opportunities Oficinadelmusico.com and BMI presents Songwriter's Rights 101: Fundamentals for Every Composer. The chat will take place July 8 at The Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music (6 p.m.) and will present three attorneys with knowledge in music copyright. Among the subjects to be discussed are the essential information every composer should be acquainted with, why and where to register songs, the difference between mechanical, synchronization and performance royalties, and recommendations. The event is free, but registration is required. Information: (787) 287-8788 or info@oficinadelmusico.com source: NALIP newsletter

Disparo histórico en El Morro (Historic cannon shot at El Morro grounds)

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Disparo histórico en El Morro (Historic cannon shot at El Morro grounds) Originally uploaded by rampg .

'Yo Soy Latina' is not just a Chick Play

Opinion A friend of mine took me recently to a play called "Yo Soy Latina." I was a little skeptic at first thinking it was a chick play, but instead I experienced a very powerful message, freely bringing to the open to some of the stereotypes and prejudices that exist within our Latino nation. I urge you to take the time to so see the play for yourself. It is very funny and very touching, especially for me being a black Hispanic. Although born and raise in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, I always felt unaccepted by Latinos here in the U.S. I'm asked still today if I'm West Indian, Dominican or black. I ask myself why is it so difficult for them to identify me as Puerto Rican? I believe that it is because of these stereotypes and prejudices that keep Latinos from all over from coming together. The link below is a web page which will provide additional information on this as well as other Latino plays. They added my comments they recorded about the play to the

Going Back to Nature. Pellejas River, Adjuntas, Puerto Rico

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Going Back to Nature. Pellejas River, Adjuntas, Puerto Rico Originally uploaded by Oquendo .

Salsa Singer Victor Manuelle at SummerStage

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IMG_8696 Originally uploaded by clarisel . Puerto Rico Sun was there for the outdoor SummerStage concert on Father's Day in NYC's Central Park. While fans represented many countries, the Puerto Rican flag stood out in the crowd. At one point, a fan gave Victor Manuelle a Puerto Rican flag of course. Visit my site at flickr for more of my photos. www.flickr.com/photos/clarisel

'Independent Sources'

On TV NEW!! INDEPENDENT SOURCES on CUNY TV Channel 75 Independent Sources is where viewers meet the ethnic press. Hosted by Garry Pierre-Pierre and Vianora Vinca, engages members of New York's ethnic and mainstream media in an insightful discussion of stories covered by ethnic newspapers, television and radio stations, and websites. Each half-hour episode also features an in-depth profile of an ethnic news organization or a reporter. In the premier episode, Garry and Vianora are joined by Philip Kasinitz, Professor of Sociology at CUNY, and Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush of El Diario/La Prensa. Independent Sources premieres on Wednesday, June 18 at 8:30 p.m. It repeats on Saturday, June 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 22 at 10 a.m. CUNY TV, channel 75, is a cable channel serving the five boroughs of New York City with educational, cultural and public affairs programs. As part of The City University of New York, CUNY TV operates as a non-commercial station. source: CUNY TV EDITOR

Time for Clarification: Puerto Ricans Need to End their Indecision

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Featured Analysis On June 9, the UN Special Committee on Decolonization considered yet again the status of the world’s oldest remaining colony, Puerto Rico. The Committee called on the United States to accelerate the process of self-determination for the island, an action that many Puerto Ricans regard as a crucially important step towards fulfilling their fifty-six year-old quest to achieve a majority opinion on the permanent status of the island. However, this is not the first time the UN has issued the same appeal. For the last eight years, the UN Committee has called upon the United States to grant autonomy to Puerto Rico, but has yet to witness any changes. In response to the most recent resolution, Washington has reminded the international community that Puerto Rico democratically decided to enter into a free association with the United States in 1952. Accordingly, the persisting inconclusive political status of Puerto Rico is a domestic matter that has no place on the UN a

'In the Heights' Wins Tony

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'In the Heights' on Broadway Originally uploaded by clarisel . A musical inspired in NYC's thriving Washington Heights neighborhood wins best musical in the Tony awards! "In the Heights,'' also won for choreography, orchestrations, and original score. Felicidades.

Celebrate Fathers and Poetry in El Barrio

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Américo Casiano Jr. is the founder and artistic director of NuyoRican School Original Poetry Jazz Ensemble. Mr. Casiano has won literary awards such as the 2003 New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry fellowship and the 1974 CAPS Poetry fellowship. His forthcoming poetry volume is titled On the Stand: Poems by Américo Casiano Jr. to be published by Bronxeña Press, Bronx Council on the Arts (2004). His published anthologies include Bum Rush The Page: Def Poetry Jam (2001), New Rains Volume Nine: Our Fathers/Ourselves (1999), Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets’ Café (1994), and Nuyorican Poetry (1976). Mr. Casiano has also been involved in television and film. source: Hope Community

Lin-Manuel Miranda on 'In the Heights'

Boricua Lin-Manuel Miranda, star and creator of 'In the Heights', talks about the inspiration for his hit Broadway musical, nominated for 13 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Lead Actor and Best Original Score. The Tony awards will be announced tomorrow night. (source: IntheHeightsBroadway)

'In the Heights' Musical Montage

(source: IntheHeightsBroadway)

Celebrate In the Heights

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Good luck to "In the Heights" at the Tony awards.
Emerging Photographers: Get Your Work Noticed! WHEN: Tonight, 6-8 p.m. WHAT: Come to En Foco's FREE professional development seminar, "Foot in the Door: Tips for Submitting your Work" WHY: With so much competition, how can you make your work stand out? Learn about the tips, standard guidelines and procedures needed to apply for grants, artist residencies, exhibition and publication opportunities. Find out about El Taller Gallery's submission process, hear about awarded artist Terry Boddie on his experiences from a panelist's point of view, and lots of practical tips from En Foco's Marisol Díaz. En Foco is a Bronx-based organization dedicated to cultural diversity in photography. WHERE: El Taller Boricua Gallery Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center 1680 Lexington Ave at 106th, East Harlem

English Mind, Spanish Heart

I studied Puerto Rican studies at Fordham. My beautiful mind is English and my heart is Spanish. -- Samaris Ayala Samaris, a writer from NYC's Lower East Side, contributes her pensamientos to Puerto Rico Sun .

El Morro Redondo (my first one)

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El Morro Redondo (my first one) Originally uploaded by #(J) .
In the Mailbox Dear Friends and Members of the NoMAA community: The 6th Annual Uptown Arts Stroll (NYC) has taken off and the response has been tremendous! There are many events left to go to and we ask that you join us in celebrating the best art that Northern Manhattan has to offer. Tomorrow kicks off weekend events showcasing the work of NoMAA’s grantees. For more information about these events and other updates on the Uptown Arts Stroll calendar, please visit www.artstroll.com and check out the printed guide distributed throughout the neighborhood. Queridos amigos y miembros de la comunidad de NoMAA: El 6to Paseo Anual de las Artes del Alto Manhattan ha transcurrido con mucho éxito! Todavía quedan muchos eventos para disfrutar. Este fin de semana se llevaran a cabo varios eventos resaltando las obras de los artistas que recibieron la beca de NoMAA. Para estar al día sobre estas y otras actividades favor de visitar www.artstroll.com y ver la guía del Paseo de las Artes
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Activism Puerto Rican Freedom Album Fundraiser 6/13-Oxygen Lounge,NY PSA for the Freedom Album. the music compilation to raise funds and awareness for the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners.
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Community Calendar Lagrimas de Mis Madres Starring Maria Aponte with Chacho Ramirez at 7:30 p.m. Thursday June 12 Place: Julia de Burgos Latino Center Theater 1680 Lexington Avenue @106th S, NYC's El Barrio Info: 718-601-1163, Ext. 3 $10 (Photo of Maria Aponte)
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The National Puerto Rican Day Parade from the lens of Ismael Nunez Ismael Nunez of East Harlem regularly shoots photos of community events and people in NYC, particularly within the boricua community. On Sunday, he, of course, was at the Puerto Rican parade. He says he had a great time though he acknowledges he left the parade by 12:30 p.m. because "it was HOT!"
Featured story Puerto Rico in independence bid Mr Acevedo Vila said Puerto Rico should be able to choose its own status Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila has called on the UN to back his people's right to self-determination. Speaking to a UN committee, Mr Acevedo Vila accused the Bush administration of denying the US territory its democratic right to choose its own course. Puerto Rico has been a US territory since the late 19th Century, but gained greater autonomy in 1952. The UN panel voted to support a motion calling on the US to grant Puerto Rico the right to determine its own status. Mr Acevedo Vila's appeal to the UN reflected a change in tone for the governor's party, analysts said. For more of this report, go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7445615.stm

'Puerto York' Exhibit in the Bx

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(photos by Christopher Lopez) In the Mailbox Hello, An exhibition of my photo work entitled "Puerto York" will have its opening reception June 17th, at The Bronx Borough President's Gallery. If possible, please come and support. Thank you and I hope to see you there. For more info please visit: http://www.enfoco.org/index.php/programs/exhibit/christopher_lopez/ Enjoy your summer! ______________________________ CHRISTOPHER LOPEZ Photographer

IMG_8624

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IMG_8624 Originally uploaded by clarisel . Written on a wall in the gentrifying El Barrio in NYC
Featured report Denuncia 'desbalance democrático" El gobernador de Puerto Rico, Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, hizo historia al comparecer ante el Comité de Descolonización de la ONU, para denunciar la existencia de un "desbalance democrático" en la relación entre Puerto Rico y Estados Unidos. Para escuchar el reporte completo, visita http://wapa.tv/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9076&Itemid=57&videonews=1 ( The (pro-commonwealth) governor of Puerto Rico Anibal Acevedo Vila made history Monday when he spoke before the United Nations' Decolonization Committee to denounce the "unbalanced democracy" in the existing relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States. ) See related story from the Orlando Sentinel: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/nationworld/orl-prgov908jun09,0,3096523.story

Scenes from the PR Parade

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For more photos, visit me at flickr at www.flickr.com/photos.clarisel . Also visit the Puerto Rico Sun group at flickr at www.flickr.com/groups/prsun .
Opinion On the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Angelo Falcon, editor of Latino Policy, the e-newsletter of the National Institute for Latino Policy, wrote a column in his most recent newsletter about the parade and the media coverage. He states: "One of the largest parades in the city, with over 80,000 marchers and two million spectators, and generating great pride among the more than one million Puerto Ricans in the region, however, always gets bad press. Too many pre-Parade stories focused on such things as that there would be fewer police assigned to the Parade this year, but that they were deploying a special unit documenting all arrests made, like the more than 200 unjustified gang arrests that were made last year, or that shopkeepers plan to shudder up their stores along Fifth Avenue. But most disturbing were the reader comments to David Gonzalez's recent New York Times blog on the Parade (check out the comments at the end), prompting the New York Post's Sandra

Happy PR Day

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IMG_1078 Originally uploaded by clarisel . This was shot in last year's Puerto Rican Day Parade. Puerto Rico Sun will be at today's parade, so expect new photos. Happy National Puerto Rican Day Parade everyone! !Que viva Puerto Rico! Featured story National Puerto Rican Day fest to be celebration of success "Like countless Puerto Ricans before me, I traded the mountains and gentle coastlines of Puerto Rico for New York's skyscrapers and subways in the early 1970s. "Ours is a migrating community - traveling from our city to return to an island that holds our hearts with an unwavering allegiance." -- labor leader Dennis Rivera, this year's parade grand marshal To read his full report in the Daily News, go to http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2008/06/08/2008-06-08_national_puerto_rican_day_fest_to_be_cel.html

Artist Spotlight: Classical Guitarist Jose Antonio Lopez

Boricua classical guitarist Jose Antonio Lopez performs Sunday night at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City. His show follows the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in the city. Here he plays "Misionera." Click on the video to enjoy his music and for more information about the show. Congratulations to Lopez for representing boricuas at Carnegie Hall. This is quite an accomplishment. -- Clarisel Gonzalez

Sol the Mascot

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IMG_8381 Originally uploaded by clarisel . Sol is the mascot of this Puerto Rico Sun project. She is a strong, sweet, feisty, curious boricua cat. She was born in Puerto Rico. NYC is home now.
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Community Calendar in NYC's El Barrio tomorrow in celebration of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade For more information, visit La Voz Hispana http://www.myspace.com/lavozhispananewspaper
Featured resource The National Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan is this Sunday and the New York Post's Tempo section recently published a short guide with suggestions of the best places to view the parade for anyone going. The parade is one of those boricua and New York traditions that people should consider going to at least once in their lives. Go to this link for the article "Puerto Rican Day Parade Essentials." http://www.nypost.com/seven/06052008/tempo/puerto_rican_day_parade_essentials_11394 0.htm

IMG_8335

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IMG_8335 Originally uploaded by clarisel .

YES WE CAN!!!

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Commentary "America, it is our time to turn the page on the policies of the past...this is the moment when the tides of the oceans begin to swell and our planet begins to heal." - Barack Obama My head is reeling with so many conversations shared with so many people from family to friends to colleagues to associates and mere acquaintances and complete strangers; people with whom I would otherwise never have shared a meaningful conversation. I call them Barack moments. Moments that caused me to bond with people out of pure joy and PRIDE. Moments of anger in being mocked by people who could not believe, refused to believe that a Black man could be nominated, that a Black man can be President of this country in their lifetime. Moments of shame when confronted with the internalized racism of certain Puerto Ricans and Latin@s of different cultural backgrounds who revealed a particularly annoying mentality and a level of ignorance that prevented them from hearing his message or

Obama without Hillary is Change

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Opinion Sen. Barack Obama is the best candidate for president. He should not name Sen. Hillary Clinton as his running mate. Obama is running on a ticket of change and having Clinton as his VP takes away from that message. Obama for Prez! -- Clarisel Gonzalez Photo courtesy of http://flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom/

El Batey

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El Batey Originally uploaded by kua .
Politics Featured story Obama clinches Democratic nomination, Clinton open to VP WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, becoming the first black candidate to lead a major party into a campaign for the White House. Vanquished rival Hillary Rodham Clinton swiftly signaled an interest in joining the ticket as his running mate. For more, http://www.kare11.com/news/national/national_article.aspx?storyid=513119

Puerto Rican day in Hartford, Connecticut

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IMG_8293 Originally uploaded by clarisel . On Sunday, June 1, boricuas in Connecticut partied in a parade and in a caravan of cars in the streets of Hartford as well as at the Coqui festival at Bushnell Park. Puerto Rico Sun was there. IMG_8294 Originally uploaded by clarisel . For more photos of my day in Hartford, go to www.flickr.com/photos/clarisel.

Flamboyán Tree in Bloom

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Flamboyán Tree in Bloom Originally uploaded by sadlahens .

Spotlight: Entrepreneur Nestor Rentas

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Nestor Rentas proudly carries Puerto Rican flags at his Taino Mayor boricua store at 855 East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. This store is reminiscent of Puerto Rico accessory shops on the island. While customers shop at Taino Mayor, they could enjoy the sounds of songs like "En Mi Viejo San Juan" and "Soñando con Puerto Rico" playing. Rentas is keeping culture alive in the Bx, and this week is a busy one at Taino Mayor because of Sunday's National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City. Rentas says people come from all over looking for Puerto Rico items. His shop sells everything Puerto Rico, including flag earrings, hats, souvenirs from the island, music by boricua and Latino artists and musical instruments. Rentas is a local Bronx celebrity. He has a popular TV show on Bronxnet, a local community media outlet, named "Mi Pueblo es Tu Pueblo." He says his show is one of the oldest on Bronxnet. -- Clarisel Gonzalez
In the Mailbox Hi. Love the site. I was wondering if you knew the name of salsa band that was on TV during the primary campaign. Not sure if it was with Clinton or Obama but the lead singer wore white hat and had sun glasses. At least that narrow’s it down to about 100 singer in the capital alone? I would love to know their name. I love salsa music, as well as Ricky. Best wishes George from London
In the Mailbox Dear Editor: A lot of talk has been going on about the Puerto Rico primary (June 1), and how it shouldn't be taken seriously because islanders can't vote in the general election, but I couldn't help but notice that it has more delegates to the Democratic convention than Montana or South Dakota. But then, the country is called the "United States of America," not the "United States and Territories of America!" I say it's time Puerto Rico became a state. The islanders are American citizens, they're run by the American government, so it should be a state. Also, they use American money and stamps - unlike, say Bermuda, which uses its own postal currency and its own dollar, not the British pound sterling. Besides, we've had a 50-star flag too long. :-) Steve from New Jersey

IMG_8238

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IMG_8238 Originally uploaded by clarisel . All eyes are on Puerto Rico today for the heavily contested Democratic presidential primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory or what some call "colony," Puerto Ricans on the island can vote in the primary but not in the actual race for U.S. president in November. Major Garrett, a correspondent for Fox News, files a broadcast report from San Juan, P.R. on the eve of the primary. Update: Hillary Clinton wins Democratic primary in Puerto Rico. See related stories: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/primary_rdp;_ylt=AvD9VwnTXlZjAihGYW78qC5h24cA http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/01/AR2008060102238.html?hpid=topnews
Politics Featured story Five things to watch in Puerto Rico New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is counting on a big win in today’s Democratic presidential primary (in Puerto Rico), one day after a party ruling left her presidential campaign on the ropes. A landslide victory would bolster Clinton’s argument to superdelegates that she has received more votes than Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and is better equipped to win important Latino votes in a general election matchup with presumptive Republican nominee John McCain. For more on the five things, go to http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0608/10733.html