Showing posts from February, 2009

The race for the new Bronx boro prez

Politics Bronx Borough Prez Adolfo Carrion Jr., a boricua, is moving on to his new job for the Obama administration. His last full day on the job as Bronx prez was Friday. Now the race for the new boro prez is heating up. So far, the only one who has announced that he is in the race is Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr. City Councilman Joel Rivera has expressed interest. Diaz and Rivera are boricuas. Here's a WNYC report by Elaine Rivera of what's going on: Bronxites, the special election for a borough president is an important one. Rather than getting blinded by petty partisan politics and last names, residents should be looking at what the new candidate will offer. What are his or her positions on improving the quality of life in the Bronx? Remember that the South Bronx is still considered the poorest Congressional district in the country. The mayor is expected to announce a special election. Bronx Latinos, this race matters. Here's the description of what a borough pres

Serrano Passes Senate Resolution Honoring Joe Cuba

Senator Serrano yesterday introduced a resolution in the State Senate that honored the life and music of Joe Cuba, a renowned musician who ventured into all aspects of Latin music. The resolution passed unanimously, a testament to the importance of Cuba's contribution to the music and culture of the community he loved so much. "It is a great privilege to be able to pay my respects to Joe Cuba with this resolution," said Serrano, chair of the Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee. "Joe Cuba's music defines an era." Cuba is most famously known as the Father of the Boogaloo, a 1960s musical style that mixed African-American and Latino musical traditions. Boogaloo was a powerful reminder of the diversity and vitality of the neighborhood that spawned the style. The fusion of Latin and R&B rhythms exploded onto the popular charts in the 1960s and 1970s, and helped to define the emerging Nuyorican identity of the time. "As a di

A conversation with martial artist Shihan Warixi Soto

Bronxite Shihan Warixi Soto is a high ranking martial artist, a multiple Hall of Fame recipient and the creator and Executive Director of F.A.S.T. (Female Alternative Street Tactics) and "Secure Your Child." F.A.S.T focuses on urban survival and has been created to empower and teach women and teen girls how to avoid all forms of attacks and confrontations. The program was created for the streets of New York City. The other program teaches children ages 4-12 street awareness, self protection and self defense. Both programs have been taught throughout the city since 1983. That same year Shihan Warixi was awarded the rank of “Kaiden” in “Miyama Ryu Combat Ju-Jutsu.” The rank is very similar to 10th degree black belt, and it’s the highest rank awarded. Her specialties are anti-rape tactics, live blade knife techniques, and Ju-Jutsu for adults and children. She has trained and holds certificates in weaponry. She has training in Jodo (the long staff), bokken (wooden sword)
Community calendar PowerHouse Arena presents Latinos in Literature A fresh crop of Nuyorican authors 7-9 p.m., March 5 PowerHouse Arena, 37 Main St., Brooklyn (Click on image for larger text.) Editor's Note: Support our Latino authors. ALL of these books are also available for purchase at the PRSUN aStore (a way of supporting this Puerto Rico Sun community media project). The PRSUN aStore highlights the work of Puerto Rican writers and artists.

Movement to name a NYC street in honor of Richie Perez

Activism A petition is circulating online in support of naming 22nd Street and Park Avenue South Richie Perez Way. You are invited to sign the petition. More street names should honor boricuas like Richie Perez who made a difference in the story of this city. The petition is addressed to the local community board. Councilwoman Rosie Mendez who knew Perez would like to see a street named in Perez's honor during her tenure. The street is in Mendez's district and she will submit the proposal to Community Board 5 at a public meeting on March 5. Here's the text for the online petition: To: Community Board 5 We write to urge Community Board #5 to rename 22nd Street and Park Avenue South Richie Perez Way, to pay homage to one of the nation’s greatest advocates, a community leader and longtime activist in the struggle for global social justice and human rights. Richie Perez was a leading exponent for social justice and political participation. A former Young Lord and Natio
Community calendar Preserving Identity: Puerto Rican Shift from Catholicism to Pentecostalism An examination of the indirect and direct factors why the change from Catholicism to Pentecostalism allowed the early generation Puerto Rican to preserve their identity in New York City Presenter: Ramón Ortiz, New York Theological Seminary 6 p.m., Wednesday, February 25 Centro Conference Room 1437 East Bldg. Hunter College 68th & Lexington Avenue, Manhattan

Miguel Cotto delivers a great show at the ring

On the sports corner After boxer Miguel Cotto suffered a bitter defeat in the hands of Antonio Margarito last July 2008, there were some who questioned whether Cotto lost his confidence. At the same time, he lay low for more than 200 days. There was concern that the layoff would make him rusty. But on the night of February 21, he proved everyone wrong at Square Garden in front of a large fan base. That night Cotto met Michael Jennings from England who came in with a record of 34-2 and 16 knockouts. It was Jennings first time fighting at the Garden. Cotto won every round, scoring with left jabs, shots to the body, two knockdowns in round four and one more in round five. When referee Benji Estevez saw enough, he said no mas , stopping the fight with 2:36 remaining in the fifth round. Cotto captured the vacant World Boxing Organization Welterweight Champion. After the fight, there was some talk about a rematch with Shane Mosley who this past January 24th defeated Margarito. My

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan to lead the Archdiocese of New York

We have a new archbishop. Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of Milwaukee, as the new Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York. The new archbishop says he is looking forward to working with the vibrant Latino Catholic Church community here. When I first heard that Dolan was appointed instead of Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan, Puerto Rico, I was a little disappointed. I guess the Archdiocese of New York is not ready for a Latino archbishop yet. They decided to name another Irishman (nothing against the Irish), but I think it is about time to diversify the leadership of the church. But I'm feeling good about Dolan's appointment. Hearing him speak today, I got a sense that he is very aware of how important Latinos are to the Archdiocese. It is definitely not a community to be taken for granted. He seems to be a down-to-earth kind of bishop. I hear he's strict on such issues as abortion and celibacy in the priesthood. A historian,

My upcoming show: Latinas En Foco/Women in Photography

You are invited March 2009 NYC (Click on image for larger text.)
Community calendar Artists raise money to create 'The Freedom Album' and help Puerto Rican political prisoners and their families The Puerto Rican Freedom Project will be throwing a fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at the 1199 MLK, JR Union Center, 310 West 43rd St., Manhattan. Proceeds will go toward the creation of "The Freedom Album," a dual CD featuring Puerto Rican artists from the island and beyond, due out early this spring. The musical compilation is being created to raise funds for the Puerto Rican political prisoners and their families. The current Puerto Rican political prisoners are Oscar Lopez, Carlos Alberto Torres, Haydee Beltran and Avelino Gonzalez Claudio. Suggested donation for the event: $10-$15. For more information about this project, go to or . (Click on image for larger text.)

Obama names Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion as the White House Director of Urban Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, President Barack Obama announced that Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, a boricua, will be the new White House Director of Urban Affairs. President Obama and Vice President Biden created the White House Office of Urban Affairs to develop a strategy for metropolitan America and to ensure that all federal dollars targeted to urban areas are effectively spent on the highest-impact programs. The Director of Urban Affairs will report directly to the president and coordinate all federal urban programs. Carrion has served two terms as Bronx Borough President and one term as the President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). As Bronx Borough President, Carrion oversaw the creation of 40,000 new units of housing in seven years, 50 new schools, $7 billion in capital and infrastructure expenditures, and over $400 million in new parks and parkland renovation. Prior to his service as Bronx Borough President, Carrion r

The search for Hostos' new prez is on

Hostos Community College is an important institution in the story of Puerto Ricans and Latinos in New York City. Hostos is not only an educational institution but a crown jewel in promoting Latino culture, arts and entertainment. The college is in search of its new president. The selection of the new president is very important in our community. Here's an announcement of upcoming meetings to meet the candidates next week: The three candidates for the position of President of Eugenio María de Hostos Community College are Felíz Matos Rodríguez, Natalie Gómez-Vélez, and Wilfredo Nieves. The candidates will be on campus next week for meetings with groups representing the student body, the faculty, the staff, the administration, and the community at large. There will also be three open forums at which all members of the Hostos family can meet with candidates individually and ask any questions they may have. These open forums will be held in Multipurpose Room on the second floor

Spotlight: Puerto Rico Sun photo group

Since 2004, I have been running the Puerto Rico Sun photo group at . Puerto Rico Sun is a cultural photo group with an emphasis on photography, culture and empowerment. This multicultural photo group has grown to more than 400 members from around the world. What I love about the group is that it is truly multicultural. Our pool features more than 6,000 photos. Selected photos from this group's pool are regularly featured right here in the Puerto Rico Sun blog. I thank all the members of the Puerto Rico Sun photo group for their contributions. Keep those images coming. Here's the link to our Puerto Rico Sun photo group:

Un-True life: We are Nuyoricans!

Commentary by Women of El Barrio members Elsie Encarnación and Alyssa Ruíz On Sunday January 25, 2009, MTV aired a new episode from its widely popular True Life series entitled True Life: I'm a Nuyorican. According to the network’s website, the show was aimed to demonstrate the difficulties young Nuyoricans face when growing up between two worlds. The show featured three young Nuyoricans and highlighted each of their "struggles" with being Nuyorican. Since the airing of this show, there has been quite the uproar within the Nuyorican community concerning whether MTV presented the "True Life" they proclaim to have depicted. Many self-identified Nuyoricans are offended and upset by the inaccurate representation of an entire community that has fought to proudly identify itself and have shown considerable backlash via internet blogs, petitions and even on MTV's own website. One of the communities highlighted in the television program was East Harlem also k


The best way to remember Joe Cuba is with his music. Enjoy this video posted by neels39 on YouTube. Here's a news release by writer and musician Aurora Flores about Cuba and his mark in the world of Latin music: Joe Cuba: The Father of New York Boogaloo has passed The "Father of Boogaloo," Joe Cuba, passed away on Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 4 p.m. at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. He was the most popular exponent of the boogaloo, a fused Latino and R&B rhythm that exploded onto the American top 40s charts during the turbulent 1960s & ‘70s. Hits such as “Bang Bang,” “Push Push,” “El Pito,” “Ariñañara,” and “Sock It To Me Baby,” rocked the hit parades establishing Joe Cuba and his Sextet as the definitive sound of Latin New York during the ‘60s & ‘70s. The Joe Cuba Sextet’s unusual instrumentation featured vibraphones replacing the traditional brass sound. His music was at the forefront of the Nuyorican movement of New York where the children of Pue

Bronx Latino: 'A Portrait of the Bronx Artist Community'

If you are an artist based in the Bronx, Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. urges you to fill out this survey. For more information, Bronx Latino: 'A Portrait of the Bronx Artist Community'

PRSUN Radio: 'On the Stand' with poet Americo Casiano Jr.

PRSUN Radio chats with poet Americo Casiano Jr. at 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 18, at . A little about Casiano: Americo Casiano Jr. is one of the original Nuyorican poets and a key founding activist for the Nuyorican arts movement. He has promoted, produced and coordinated numerous readings and performance series for key arts and cultural organizations in New York City. Among them: El Taller/galleria Boricua (The Puerto Rican Workshop, Inc.), El Museo Del Barrio, Inc., New Rican Village, Inc. the Bronx Council on the Arts and the NuyoRican School Original Poetry Jazz Ensemble, Inc. A 2003 New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellow, he is also the author of "On the Stand," a poetry book. Casiano is also the founder and artistic director of NuyoRican School Poetry Jazz Ensemble. The ensemble blends the use of the written verse with contemporary jazz/Latin jazz. It maintains two distinct versions: a traveling theatre ensemble a

Philly Te Ama! Hispanic Arts and Culture Thrive in the City of Brotherly Love

Cultural Tourism Philadelphia Attractions, Events and Tours Celebrate Hispanic Culture PHILADELPHIA/PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Hispanic heritage thrives in Philadelphia, home to the second-largest Hispanic population in the Northeast. Because this market is the fastest growing ethnic group in the Philadelphia region, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, many new arts and cultural opportunities are emerging that celebrate Hispanic traditions. Those who wish to experience the culture and charisma of the city's lively community can find plenty of activities at popular area attractions. Here's a sampling of temporary events and year-round offerings that showcase Hispanic-American heritage: Special Events and Exhibitions: Opened in October 2008, the Latin Art Gallery showcases an exceptional collection of modern art in a wide range of mediums and themes. Displaying through mid-March 20

On the Grammy

Here's a YouTube video just for you. I think it's cute. Congratulations to "In the Heights" for your recent Grammy win and all your accomplishments. Es un orgullo . (Video by CNitya)
West Side Story returns to Broadway this month with a more bilingual touch. Featured story Bilingual, yet still contentious 'West Side Story' headed back to Broadway Karen Olivo has a leg up as Anita in "West Side Story." Notice to all those Jets and Sharks nostalgics counting the hours for the "West Side Story" Broadway comeback: the actors aren’t botching the words. This time around, Maria’s "I Feel Pretty" becomes "[Me] Siento Hermosa" and Anita spits out "Un Hombre Así" instead of "A Boy Like That." For more, go to this report by Robert Friedman in the Daily News For the show's site, go to

@ the Bronx Tribute to Jose 'Chegui' Torres

Boxing trainer Jose Cotto Talavera, right, and former boxing champion Juan La Porte at the February 7 tribute in the Bronx in memory of the late boxing champion and writer José ‘Chegui’ Torres. Former boxing champion Juan La Porte remembers his mentor as “a true friend who was always at your corner." (photo by Ismael Nunez)

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Prohibido el paso

Prohibido el paso Originally uploaded by Soy Tito . Tonight's featured image from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group is by Soy Tito. Interesting statement .
Politics Featured story Former PR governor pleads not guilty to corruption SAN JUAN — Former Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila entered a federal court to the cheers of supporters and pleaded not guilty to campaign finance charges that could send him to prison for 20 years. U.S. District Judge Paul Barbadoro has said he is concerned about pretrial publicity on the case and as many as 250 prospective jurors will be asked about their exposure to news coverage — something that could extend jury selection for several days. For more, go to

PRSUN Poll: We are bilingual

Sixty-seven percent of blog readers who took part in PRSUN's snap poll consider both English and Spanish as their main languages. They reported that they are fully bilingual (reading, writing and speaking English and Spanish). Meanwhile, 33 percent said their primary language is English. Nobody chose Spanish as the primary language. The question readers were asked was: What is your primary language? This is an unscientific poll, but it gives a glimpse of our readership. Interesting though not surprising.
Community calendar El Maestro Cultural & Educational Center in the Bronx presents Award winning poet Américo Casiano Jr. Special Poetry Reading and Book Signing 4 p.m., Sunday, February 22 El Maestro 1029 East 167 Street (between Westchester Avenue & Bryant Avenue) Casiano will read from his book of poetry: "On The Stand." There will be music beginning at 2 p.m. Doors open at 2 p.m. Music by 5 En Plena Dance by Las Princesas del Caribe There is also an art exhibition. El Maestro is a center that promotes the Puerto Rican culture and sports. For more information: (646) 337-6775 or

Near Arecibo Lighthouse, PR

Near Arecibo Lighthouse, PR Originally uploaded by AnnaAM . Today's featured shot from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group is by AnnaAM .
Community calendar 7 p.m. February 6 Taino Open Mic Poetry hosted by La Bruja Admission: $7 Cemi Underground, NYC's East Harlem For more informaion, .
Opportunity Scholarship Awards Program for students of Puerto Rican heritage Comité Noviembre has always placed special focus on educational excellence as the key to the future of the Puerto Rican community. To this end, in November of 1996 in celebration of its tenth anniversary of Puerto Rican Heritage Month, the Comité Noviembre Scholarship Awards Program (CNSAP) was established. To date, CNSAP has awarded $158,000 in scholarships. The proceeds from the Comité Noviembre Annual Gala Benefit event support the scholarship program. To be eligible for the CN scholarship award, applicants must be of Puerto Rican descent; have community service experience and extracurricular activity; be enrolled in an accredited college or university by the fall of each year and have a B average or better. The application process includes an application form, an essay, two-letters of recommendations, academic transcripts, a short biographical sketch and a personal interview for finalists. CN Scholars

PRSUN Radio chats with Aurora Flores of Zon del Barrio

IMG_3245 Originally uploaded by clarisel . Aurora Flores performs with her group Zon del Barrio in East Harlem last month. Tune in at 9 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 4, to . Aurora Flores is the guest on PRSUN Radio, a 15-minute talk show focusing on themes related to Puerto Ricans and the diaspora. If you can't listen in tomorrow night, the show will be archived and will be available at . Here is Flores' bio as posted at her Zon del Barrio site: Bandleader, composer, Lead and Coro Vocals Considered a 21st century Renaissance woman, Aurora Flores is a musician, writer, producer and activist. Raised in a musical family where her grandfather played plena and aguilnaldos on the accordion, her father wrote songs, her mother sang while her brother plays percussion she started as a classical musician playing violin, guitar and bass while singing in the school and church chorus before recording her first album
Community calendar Tribute to José ‘Chegui’ Torres (May 3, 1936-January 19, 2009) 1965 LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION MEMORIAL- TRIBUTE 7 p.m., Saturday, February 7 (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.) FREE with ticket Hostos Community College 450 Grand Concourse, the Bronx (718) 518-4455 Music by Grupo Folklorico de Ponce and Las Princesas del Caribe Organized by Ponce Laspina of Juan Laporte's Boxing Gym, Julio Pabon of Latino Sports and Ramon Jimenez of Friends of the South Bronx
Community calendar The Puerto Rican Photographic Society, NYC chapter, is having its first meeting at 6 p.m., Thursday, February 12, Cemi Underground in East Harlem. We will discuss our local society's agenda for the year. To join The Puerto Rican Photographic Society's global group on Facebook, go to For more information on the NYC chapter, go to our Google group at While this photo group highlights Puerto Rican photographers, it is open to any photographer interested in photography and/or Puerto Rican culture. Membership is free. Again, our February 12 meeting will be at 6 p.m. at Cemi Underground, 1799 Lexington Avenue @ 112th Street. Clarisel Gonzalez administrator, NYC chapter, The Puerto Rican Photographic Society

Sagrado Corazon

Sagrado Corazon Originally uploaded by carlos aviles . Tonight's featured shot from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group is by carlos aviles. It was taken at a church in San German, PR.

Boricuation Radio to interview Linda Nieves-Powell on MTV's 'True Life' and more

Boricua Entrepreneur Website is . The show airs on . 3-6 p.m. Call in 718 384 6813/Web Cam/Live Chat (Click on image for larger text.) Linda Nieves Powell, author of the book Free Style, is an outspoken advocate against the negative portrayal of Puerto Rican New Yorkers on MTV, which recently aired a new episode of their popular "True Life" series entitled "I'm a Nuyorican." "Unfortunately, MTV chose to highlight three young people who embrace and embody all of the most negative and damaging stereotypes of the Nuyorican community," writes Nieves-Powell on her Facebook page. She will speak on her gripe with MTV, her book, her Latino Flavored Productions as well as her other projects today on Boricuation Radio. Tune in. By the way, there is an online petition circulating related to the MTV show. Go to this link for more information