Friday, March 19, 2010

Puerto Rican/Latino & Multicultural Arts Center Directors Respond to Rumors about Name Change

In the mailbox

Cultural Center's History to be PRESERVED

The Board of Directors as well as the Management of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center in the Lower East Side are proud stewards of a Puerto Rican/Latino multi-cultural center and are tremendously committed to the Center's name and identity as the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center.
Clemente Soto Vélez (1905-1993) was a Puerto Rican poet, a nationalist, and a community activist in New York. He mentored many generations of Puerto Ricans and Latinos in Puerto Rico and New York. The Center stands by his name and is assiduously working to enhance the scope of its programming, including artist mentoring and community programming among Puerto Ricans, Latinos and the New York community.
Recently an unsubstantiated rumor has been circulating that the board of this Puerto Rican Center for the arts is seeking to erase the history of the Puerto Rican struggle and specifically trying to erase the poetry of Clemente Soto Vélez, a Puerto Rican icon in New York. On the contrary, the Board of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center has a mandate to preserve the history of the Puerto Rican struggle and actively treasures and promotes, and always will, the life and art of Clemente Soto Vélez.

source: statement from the Clemente center

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DTM Magazine - San Juan: City of Encanto

DTM Magazine - San Juan: City of Encanto

Check out my article on one of my favorite places in DTM magazine.

New York League of Puerto Rican Women seeks applicants for its college awards

In the mailbox

Edith Padilla, President
Non-Partisan Not-For-Profit Organization
P. O. Box 268, Patchogue, New York 11772-0268

Dear Friend:

We are currently accepting applications for our 2010 College Awards to be
presented at our College Awards Gala Dinner Dance at the Marina Del Rey in the
Bronx, on Thursday, August 19, 2010. These awards are granted annually to
undergraduate Puerto Rican women selected for their academic excellence and
service to the community.

To be eligible, applicants must send a completed 2010 College Award
Application Form to our post office box listed above, by the deadline date of
May 29, 2010, and meet all of the following criteria:

1. Currently matriculated as an undergraduate student in an accredited institution
of higher education, having earned a minimum of 12 accumulated credits.
2. Maintained a minimum GPA of 3.0 with no failing grades.
3. Demonstrate service to the community.
4. Provide an official college transcript.
5. Provide two letters of recommendation from a professor, college advisor, employer
or supervisor.
6. Submit a suitable 4" by 6" photo of the applicant for inclusion in our Commemorative Dinner Dance Journal.

The College Award Committee will review only those applications that comply with all of the above six (6) requirements.

The essays of the selected applicants will be included in our Commemorative Dinner-Dance Journal and should be written meticulously.

You can download the Application from our website.


Edith Padilla, President/CEO, NYLPRW, INC.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Readers: What do you think are the top Puerto Rican-related sites?

Note: This list is aimed at being a resource. The list ranking here is according to the order of submission. That's it. Continue to submit your favorite Puerto Rican-related sites.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

PRSUN Radio chats with watercolor artist Clemente Flores

PRSUN Radio is back at 9 p.m. this Wednesday at My guest is East Harlem-based artist Clemente Flores.

Born and raised in East Harlem/El Barrio, Flores is the son of Puerto Ricans. His parents came from Puerto Rico to New York City in the 1930s. He grew up at 112th Street and Madison Avenue, and says he had a "very adventureous childhood in the 50s."
"Most of my childhood was spent on the streets playing and hanging out my friends," he says, adding that he grew up with three brothers who also became artists ( musicians). He considers his mother and other family members unsung heores because "they sang beautiful (Puerto Rican folk songs) and wrote poetries but never became known or famous."
Clemente is a self taught artist.
"I became an artist thanks to my second son who encouraged me to paint and exhibit my art," he says. He started painting in 1985. His first art exhibit was in East Harlem in 1988 at El Caney del Barrio.

To listen to the interview:

Friday, March 12, 2010

'There is no need to rush' to get new Puerto Rico birth certificates in July

In the mailbox

Last December the Government of Puerto Rico enacted a new law (Law 191 of 2009) aimed at strengthening the issuance and usage of birth certificates to combat fraud and protect the identity and credit of all people born in Puerto Rico. We are working to ensure that the individuals, communities and institutions that will be impacted by this law have access to complete and accurate information on this topic. Therefore, we kindly request your assistance and collaboration to communicate the facts about this change in law to affected citizens as well as federal, state and local governments.

The new law was the result of cooperation with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to address the fraudulent use of Puerto Rico-issued birth certificates to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports, Social Security benefits, and other federal services. Under the new law, all birth certificates issued by Puerto Rico before July 1, 2010, will be invalidated on that date so that new, more secure certificates can be issued in their place. Until then all current birth certificates will remain valid.

This change will impact all people born in Puerto Rico regardless of whether they reside in the island or the U.S. mainland. Affected individuals living in the states will be able to request and receive their new birth certificates through a simple process by mail. However, it is important to understand that there is no need to rush out and get a new birth certificate on July 1, 2010. Instead it is suggested that only people who have a specific need for their birth certificate for official purposes request a new birth certificate right away.

To better inform the public we are providing several public outreach materials in both English and Spanish. They can be found on the PRFAA website through the following links:

Please share these links and the public outreach materials they contain with all of your pertinent networks. We thank you in advance for your help.


Luis M. Balzac
Regional Director
Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration

Sunday, March 07, 2010

National Puerto Rican Day Parade Gives Captain Morgan The Boot

Rum Co. Gets $2.7B to Leave PR – Money Would Have Funded Education & Health

New York City, NY [CapitalWirePR] March 7, 2010 – The National Puerto Rican Parade, one of America’s largest outdoor events with more than 2 million participants, today announced it is terminating its relationship with the makers of Captain Morgan Rum over the company’s planned abandonment of its Puerto Rican distillery in exchange for taxpayer-funded grants of $2.7 billion that the island needs for health and educational needs.
“The corporate sponsorships of Captain Morgan and its British parent, Diageo, PLC, are no longer welcome,” announced Parade Chairperson Madelyn Lugo. Diageo’s brands, Johnny Walker, Jose Cuervo and Captain Morgan, have had a 30 year relationship with the Parade.
“This Parade is about pride and respect, and Captain Morgan has shown us neither,” she asserted. “They are abandoning us in exchange for $2.7 billion in taxpayer-funded corporate handouts that would otherwise be used to meet the educational and health needs of Puerto Rico, where 16 percent are unemployed and 1 in 3 lives below the poverty line.”
Two years ago, the U.S. Virgin Islands lured Captain Morgan to St. Croix by promising to split $6 billion in anticipated revenues from rebates of federal excise tax it expects to receive on the rum. The rebates are the principal form of federal assistance to both Territories, generating $470 million for Puerto Rico last year.
The deal has been sharply criticized by labor groups, who complain that the new distillery on St. Croix, also being financed by federal excise tax rebates, will employ at least 330 fewer workers.
Florida Republican Senator George LeMieux has announced plans to offer an amendment this week to the proposed jobs bill that will effectively scuttle the deal by tying future excise tax rebates to the respective Territories’ populations, rather than the place of production.
The National Puerto Rican Coalition, which has led the fight against the Captain Morgan deal, said today’s decision by Parade organizers will put “serious pressure” on New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. “New York represents the greatest concentration of Puerto Ricans living on the mainland,” said NPRC President Rafael Fantauzzi. “They’ll be watching to see whether their Senators stand with us, or with a British liquor company.”

source: press release