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MondaySeptember 5, 2011

Latino Daily News: Bringing You the Latest Hispanic Current Events and News Stories 24/7

To reflect the dynamic interests of our audience, Latino Daily News is an online daily news source and virtual cultural center for and about Latinos. We offer the latest news headlines, as well as innovative and insightful Hispanic current events stories, photos, videos, and commentaries from a Latino perspective, 24/7.

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NCLR Finds Barriers to Quality Preschool Education for Hispanic Children

NCLR Finds Barriers to Quality Preschool Education for Hispanic Children

Photo: Preschool education for Latinos

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The U.S. Department of Education recently released the “Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge” application, marking a $500 million investment to improve the quality of early learning programs for children across the country.

NCLR (The National Council of La Raza) applauds this effort, but urges policymakers to address the significant barriers to preschool education for young Hispanics, which continue to place them at an academic disadvantage to their non-Hispanic counterparts. NCLR has released “Preschool Education: Delivering on the Promise for Latino Children,” which provides recommendations to ensure that young Latino children enter school on track for academic success.

The report shows that in 2009, only 48 percent of Latino four-year-olds attended preschool, compared to 70 percent of White and 69 percent of Black children of the same age, putting Hispanic children at a disadvantage as they enter into elementary education. Today, one in every four children in the United States under the age of five is Hispanic, a growth rate that is predicted to continue multiplying in the coming decade. In states such as California, Hispanics make up more than half of all school children enrolled in public schools. While the population of Latino children in the school system has significantly increased, many of the schools educating our nation’s youngest students may still lag behind in developing quality measures that ensure they are addressing the needs of this culturally and linguistically diverse population.

“Too little attention has been placed on the particular challenges facing young Latino children who are entering the school system,” said Erika Beltrán, author of the report and Senior Policy Analyst, Education and Children’s Policy Project at NCLR’s Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation. “Almost three-fifths of Latino children live in low-income families and more than one-third live in high-poverty neighborhoods and are likely to have fewer educational resources at home.

“Compounding these challenges is the fact that almost two-fifths of students entering schools as English language learners are Hispanic, yet many preschools do not have mechanisms in place to measure language acquisition in either English or the child’s home language,” she added. “The momentum behind improving systems of early learning, as seen by the investment in the Early Learning Challenge, is encouraging, and we hope this report can inform implementation of this program.”

The report recommends:
• Requiring states to develop early learning guidelines that establish benchmarks for English-language development
• Promoting professional development, training, and technical assistance for teachers to better understand second language acquisition
• Support programs that promote meaningful parent engagement
• Fund facilities development in communities where there are limited early learning programs

Read more by HS News Staff →

Quick Thinking Farm Worker Lasso’s Two Drowning Dogs

Jesus Villanueva was working Wednesday when he heard a disturbance along the Roza irrigation canal.  A woman and her husband were trying to save their two dogs from being swept away in the current. The dogs couldn’t climb up the steep concrete sides of the canal.

A Yakima sheriff’s deputy had a rope but was having no luck. It took quick thinking Villanueva just one lasso for each dog to bring them ashore.

Despite signs warning folks to stay out of the canal, Deats said she has let her dogs, Fawn and Nia, off their leash before without any problems. But when they decided to take a swim they were swept away.

Matt Deats climbed down a canal ladder, his body half submerged in the water, and reached out to grab one of the dogs. He barely touched a collar as it passed by.

Fawn, a Labrador mix, seemed to be keeping her head above water. Nia, an Australian shepherd mix, was struggling, Matt Deats said.

“I was trying to figure out a safe way to try and jump in and grab them myself,” he said. “You feel hopeless — you don’t know what to do, how to handle it.”

“I was amazed,” Noya Deats said. “He just kind of came out of nowhere. It was amazing how fast he lassoed them.”

Villanueva was equally amazed. He said he learned to lasso in Jalisco, Mexico, where he worked on a cattle ranch, but it had been 30 years since he had roped anything.

Read more at The Daily Journal →

In Jane Fonda Memoir:  Biggest Regret was Never Sleeping with Che Guevara

In Jane Fonda Memoir:  Biggest Regret was Never Sleeping with Che Guevara

Photo: Jane Fonda Regrets Not Sleeping with Che Guevara

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Well the actual quote in a new book about the movie star is:  “My biggest regret is I never got to f*** Che Guevara.” 

The British newspaper the Daily Mail is highlighting excerpts from a new book on Jane Fonda by author Patricia Bosworth, aptly titled ‘Jane Fonda’.  The book will be out on October 1st.  The author has published books on Montgomery Clift, photographer Diane Arbus and Marlon Brando.

The book apparently chronicles the many loves and lovers of 73 year old Jane Fonda and her love with radical causes.  Apparently during a feminist consciousness-raising session Fonda talked about the Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara.  If alive today Guevara would have be 83. 

It is not known if the two ever cross paths, we will have to read the book to find out.  Nor do we know if Fonda had naughty thoughts about Fidel Castro, though Guevara had always been a favorite of the ladies in his youth.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Something to Think About:  U.S. Farmer Can’t Find U.S. Citizens to Replace Immigrant Labor (VIDEO)

Something to Think About:  U.S. Farmer Can’t Find U.S. Citizens to Replace Immigrant Labor (VIDEO)

Photo: Farm Plight Without Immigrant Labor

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As the annual sweet corn harvest season ends, Colorado farmer, John Harold has learned something very interesting as it relates to the immigrant labor work ethic.

When the season started in July Harold decided not to hire legal Mexican migrants with a H2A visas but opted to hire locally.  He was motivated to do so seeing the local unemployment rate at 9.8% and some hirer costs getting visa workers.  With that decision he saw lines of applicants but few that could do the work and even fewer that stayed to do the work.

Typically he hires 150 seasonal migrant workers to hand pick the corn and pays them $10.48/hour, the same rate he was offering his new hires.  The result was for every three U.S. citizens he hired only one stayed.  As of last Thursday he just has 39 workers instead of the 150 he needs. 

He has documented every resignation and the fact that he has been advertising throughout Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma for these positions.  Harold will be taking those facts to his local Senator and advocating for immigration reform.  Harold concluded: “You have to understand there is a work ethic of migrant laborers that is just not found with local labor.”


 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Los Rakas is Rockin the Bay Area (VIDEO)

Los Rakas is Rockin the Bay Area (VIDEO)

Photo: Los Rakas

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Los Rakas is originally from Panama. They came to the US in their teens with their “camisetas bordadas” or fly embroidered tank tops. But now the two cousins are making it big with their own twist on Bay Area indie Hip-Hop by adding Panamanian Folk influenced reggae. It’s a unique sound that’s making the Oakland-based Los Rakas one of the hottest up-and-coming duos.

Los Rakas Album Release Party from Major League Films on Vimeo.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Negotiations Begin on U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Energy

Negotiations Begin on U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Energy

Photo: US Mexico Border

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Representatives from the United States and Mexico met in Washington, DC, on August 30 and 31 to begin formal negotiations on a transboundary energy agreement. The agreement is intended to govern the disposition and regulation of hydrocarbon reservoirs that cross our international maritime boundary.

The United States and Mexico are committed to the safe, efficient, and equitable development of such reservoirs, in accordance with the highest degree of safety and environmental standards.

The commencement of formal negotiations follows a period of informal consultations, outreach to stakeholders, and issue-specific workshops, important preparatory work that clarified many of the key issues under negotiation. A transboundary reservoirs agreement would enhance energy security in North America and would support the shared duty to exercise responsible stewardship of the Gulf of Mexico. The negotiating teams intend to conclude these negotiations by the end of 2011.

Mexico will host the next round of negotiations in September.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Presidential Contenders, Romney and Perry, Speak Out About Immigration over Labor Day Weekend

Presidential Contenders, Romney and Perry, Speak Out About Immigration over Labor Day Weekend

Photo: Perry vs Romney on immigration

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As the Republican contenders for the Presidency get ready for their Labor Day debate two of them made comments on the issue of immigration over the weekend.

First Texas Governor Rick Perry, while in New Hampshire, confirmed his opposition to building a fence around the entire U.S.-Mexico border viewing it as not useful.  Instead he is proposing ‘strategic fencing’ with more National Guard troops to protect the border. 

This position is in stark opposition to the very conservative segment of the party and the Tea Party’s stance on immigration. Conservatives are not pleased with Perry’s fence stance and the law he signed in Texas giving illegal immigrants in-state tuition. 

Mitt Romney on the other hand while speaking to the Republican Hispanic National Assembly reminded everyone that he is ‘pro legal immigration’ which many conservatives also oppose.  In addition he made it clear he opposes any form of in-state tuition benefits for undocumented students, in essence opposing the DREAM Act by saying “We must stop providing the incentives that promote illegal immigration.”

Both candidates have not spoken on what do to with the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. many that have been here for years and have no criminal record.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Havana’s Ladies in White Ask Church to Mediate Over Harassment

Havana’s Ladies in White Ask Church to Mediate Over Harassment

Photo: Cuba's Ladies in White

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Havana’s Ladies in White, who advocate for the liberation of political prisoners, have asked the Catholic Church to mediate with President Raul Castro over harassment which they were subjected to in August.

The Spanish news agency EFE reported that Berta Soler, a leader of the Ladies in White and wife of ex-prisoner Angel Moya, told journalists that the chancellor for the Archdiocese of Havana, Msgr. Ramon Suarez Polcari, and the archdiocesan spokesman, Orlando Marquez, were very receptive to the request, made in a meeting Aug. 30.

EFE said that Soler, speaking for the women’s group, said they asked the church for help because the women have been subjected to “harassment, repudiation and repression” over their efforts to bring attention to the situation of political prisoners.

In the summer of 2010, Havana Archbishop Jaime Ortega Alamino and other Cuban bishops intervened with the government after harassment of the women escalated. For years the women and other family members of prisoners have waged peaceful protests, typically marching silently, dressed in white, after Mass on Sundays.

Not long after the church leaders first wrote to Castro in May 2010 and then began meeting with government authorities, Cardinal Ortega announced that the government had promised to release the last of 75 prisoners who had been held since a 2003 crackdown on dissidents. Those prisoners and others, totaling 126 people, were released over the next nine months. Most went with their families to Spain, although a few were permitted to remain in Cuba.

This summer, the Ladies in White have reported various types of harassment, including the arrest of a few of their members, both in Havana and in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba.

On Aug. 18 the group reported being stopped during a peaceful protest in Havana by people in plain clothes who were acting on behalf of the government. The Havana march was intended to bring attention to being harassed in Santiago, they told reporters.

Soler told EFE that they asked Msgr. Suarez and Marquez to take their concerns to Cardinal Ortega and ask him to raise the issue with the government.

The women planned a march in Havana Sept. 8 to mark the feast of the patroness of Cuba, Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre.

Read more at US Catholic →

Mexico Sets Guinness Record for Largest Folk Dance

Mexico Sets Guinness Record for Largest Folk Dance

Photo: Largest Folk Dance in Guadalajara

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A total of 457 Mexicans on Saturday set a Guinness record for the largest folk dance performance in the world at the International Mariachi and Charreria Conference being held in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara.

In front of the Guadalajara Metropolitan Cathedral, dancers performed for 10 minutes to typical Mexican songs like “Guadalajara,” “El Jarabe Tapatio” (The Guadalajara Jarabe Dance), and “El Son de la Negra” (The Dark Girl’s Music), a combination that got them into the Guinness Book of Records.

A representative of the Guinness organization certified the participation of the dancers who filled the Plaza Liberacion with their colorful costumes and joyous rhythms to the delight of a huge crowd.

The melodies were played by more than 300 mariachi musicians from Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia and the United States who took part in the international conference that ends Saturday.


It was also announced that at the next conference an attempt will be made to set a record for the greatest number of people drinking tequila simultaneously!

Read more at Latin American Herald Tribune →

Rafa Nadal Collapses at Press Conference After Winning at US Open (VIDEO)

Spanish tennis sensation, Rafael Nadal, experienced such severe cramping on Sunday that he collapsed during a post-game press conference at the US Open.  After beating his opponent David Nalbandian, Nadel attended a press conference where he was seated and in mid-sentence was under some type of distress and stopped speaking.

In Spanish he called for this trainer or ‘physio’ in Spanish then slide from the chair under the press conference table.  The room was cleared so that the champion could be assessed to make sure there was not anything else going on.

He received fluids and a massage before leaving the room unassisted.  It is believed that the two and a half hour match in severe humid conditions caused the severe cramping.

Later Nadal commented as questions arose about his overall health:  “It’s bad luck it happened here and not in the locker room.”


Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hurricane Katia - Projected Path

Hurricane Katia - Projected Path

Photo: Hurricane Katia

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Hurricane Katia has become better organized to the northeast of the Lesser Antilles.

The forecast calls for continued strengthening to a major hurricane (category three or higher) as Hurricane Katia moves off to the northwest. It is still too early to determine if any land areas, including the U.S. East Coast, will be directly affected by this system.

Much of the uncertainty in the track forecast is associated with an upper-level trough, partially associated with Lee, over the eastern states later in the week. The exact orientation and postion of this trough will play a role in the steering for Katia.

Residents along the East Coast should monitor this situation closely.

Interactive map: Projected path

Read more at The Weather Channel →

HS News Pays Tribute to The American Worker this Labor Day

HS News Pays Tribute to The American Worker this Labor Day

Photo: Labor Day

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Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.
Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”
But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Immigrant Laborers Continue to Strengthen American Workforce, Economy

Immigrant Laborers Continue to Strengthen American Workforce, Economy

Photo: Immigrant Workers

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This Labor Day, we reflect on the many contributions workers make to the U.S.—including those of immigrant workers. While immigration restrictionists have long tried to demonize immigrant workers and blame them for high unemployment rates and other economic woes, the facts make it clear that immigrants actually create jobs and businesses and boost the wages of native-born workers. report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) finds that the “effect of immigration from 1994 to 2007 was to raise the wages of U.S.-born workers, relative to foreign-born workers, by 0.4% (or $3.68 per week).” Even the small (and shrinking) number of “U.S.-born workers with less than a high school education saw a relative 0.3% increase in wages (or $1.58 per week)” as a result of immigration during this period.

This isn’t to say that the current system functions perfectly—far from it.  The employment-based immigration system created in 1990 hasn’t been updated for 21 years, and the antiquated and burdensome laws and regulations make it difficult for foreign workers to immigrate to the U.S.  There is evidence that more and more highly-skilled immigrant workers and entrepreneurs have decided to take their investments and skills to other countries that offer more attractive incentives.

This Labor Day, it’s important to think about how immigrants have and continue to contribute to our economy, but also about how our immigration system needs to change if America is to remain competitive in the global economy in the long run.

Read more at Immigration Impact →



MondaySeptember 5, 2011