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SaturdayApril 21, 2012

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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Harvard’s Latino Problem: After Forty Years, a Latino Studies Center is Still Missing on Campus

Harvard’s Latino Problem: After Forty Years, a Latino Studies Center is Still Missing on Campus

Photo: Harvard University

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This weekend’s 15th Annual Latino Law Policy and Business Conference celebrated the rise of Latinos in the U.S. and Latin America, but also revealed Harvard’s most glaring weakness: After forty years, a Latino Studies Center is still missing on campus.

Among the topics discussed at the Conference, which featured former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, was a session focused on the possibility of a Latino Studies Center at Harvard and hosted by the Harvard Latino Student Alliance, a university-wide student organization. The session is part of a wider HLSA campaign that aims to establish a Latino Studies Center at Harvard University.

The motivation is simple: If you were a Colombian student or professor, would you go to the Argentine Center for support? If you were Ghanaian, would you get a degree in Nigerian Studies? Why should a U.S. Latino restrict themselves to issues and studies about Latin America? It essentially neglects their experience north of the border and ignores the fact that Latinos have a range of identities that include aspects of their countries of origin and the United States.

Since 1994, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies has been a great resource to students on campus. But the Center’s leadership also recognizes that their charter, focused on Latin America, cannot provide adequate coverage of the “U.S.” part of the Latino identity. In fact, in our Spring 2011 efforts to establish HLSA, the Rockefeller Center was unable to serve as our sponsoring entity because of this very issue. Fortunately, our application to become a university-wide organization received the support of Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership, which has been an incredible resource and partner and is a key reason why HLSA exists today.

If the proposition is so clear, then why doesn’t Harvard already have a Latino Studies Center? For nearly forty years, students, faculty and staff have asked the same question. Earlier attempts to establish a Center in 1971, 1979, 1993, 2001, and 2005 were all rebuffed by Harvard administration.

Resistance to the creation of a Latino Studies Center has taken several different forms. One argument, called “Balkanization,” holds that focusing on a single ethnic group encourages disunity. But this argument has already been played out and found its conclusion. Nearly every other elite institution long ago established a center for Latino Studies. Both Yale and Stanford founded centers in 1977 and Columbia founded theirs in 1920.

What seems like just an academic argument is becoming an explicit strategic imperative. Harvard is simply losing out in the battle to attract and retain the nation’s top Latino talent. The Medical School is training fewer Latinos to become future physicians than the national average, at a time when the needs of the healthcare system demand the opposite. And in 2010, Harvard ranked 3rd among elite institutions, behind Columbia and Stanford, in the number of Hispanic Ph.Ds graduated, despite graduating more Ph.Ds in total.

This inability to maintain pre-eminence among students extends to faculty as well. Harvard’s vaunted History department has been without a tenured professor of Latin American history for years. The Business School and the Law School have a dearth of faculty with core expertise on U.S. Latino issues. Of those faculty members who led previous proposals for a Center in 2001 and 2005, many have left for opportunities at competing universities.

And we have yet to mention the growth of the Latino population. By 2020, the U.S. Department of Education projects that Latinos will make up more than one out of every six postsecondary students. This will affect Harvard’s future candidate pool and therefore its campus environment. Current Latino students are disillusioned with the University’s continued refusal to make a commitment, and Latino alumni—of all schools—are growing tired as well.

But despite our frustration with the lack of support, we care deeply about Harvard. For HLSA and its members, it is as much in our interests, as well as in those of the University, to maintain Harvard’s pre-eminence among all groups domestic and international. There have been enough discussions and proposals of what a Latino Studies Center could look like to be able to launch an initiative very quickly. All that is needed is a commitment from the University.

We urge President Drew Faust to put aside the mistakes of previous administrations and work with us in establishing, after so many years, a Latino Studies Center at Harvard. Students, faculty, staff and alumni want it. And the University needs it.

Read more by HS News Staff →

CESAR MILLAN ‘DOG WHISPERER’ Divorce Settled- Cesar rakes in $170,000/month

CESAR MILLAN ‘DOG WHISPERER’ Divorce Settled- Cesar rakes in $170,000/month

Photo: Cesar Millan "Dog Whisperer"

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‘Dog Whisperer’ Cesar Millan and his wife Ilusion announced in June 2010 that they were calling it quits.

Cesar wrote on his website then:

We are sad to announce that after 16 years of marriage we have decided to file for divorce. The decision was made after much consideration and time. We remain caring friends, and are fully committed to the co-parenting of our two boys.

Cesar Milan is divorced now and the details are out.

The final divorce docs which were just filed, and they show Cesar pulls in an impressive $170,000 a month TMZ reports.

Cesar must now pay ex-wife Ilusion a one-time payout of $400,000, as well as $23,000 a month in spousal suppor, plus another $10,000 in child support.

Cesar did seek and get plenty of confidentiality.  The docs say any “intimate, personal and/or private information about the other party ... including details of their personal and/or sexual relationships” must remain confidential. 

And, of course, any “photograph, film, videotape, recording ... which is not commercially available” must remain private. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Closure of Rio Huge Dump Leaves 1200+ Scavengers Without Livelihood

Closure of Rio Huge Dump Leaves 1200+ Scavengers Without Livelihood

Photo: Rio Lardest Dump Gramacho Garden

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The closure of Latin America’s largest dump will put some 1,200 people out of work who live by selling the reusable goods they find among the 8,400 tons of trash produced daily by Brazil’s second city.

The city dump with the bucolic name of Gramacho Garden occupies an enormous expanse of fields in the Rio suburb of Duque de Caxias next to Guanabara Bay, an ecologically rich marine site that contrasts with the mountains of garbage dumped every day by scores of trucks on the land bordering it.

Inaugurated in 1976 when Brazil was under military rule, the giant dump has had a heavy environmental impact from the decomposition of waste materials that generate methane, a greenhouse gas.

Much of the garbage from Rio de Janeiro and several neighboring municipalities ends up here, attracting an infinity of flies and vultures.

Previously about 70 percent of Rio de Janeiro’s trash went to Gramacho, but since the 2011 establishment of the Seropedica Waste Treatment Center, the quantity has ebbed.

About 2,000 tons of rubbish are unloaded daily at this dump, or around a quarter of what it received several years ago.

Scavengers who labor all day among the huge piles of garbage live by selling the metals, cardboard, cans, plastic and paper they collect there.

Garbage trucks come and go 24 hours a day, while the scavengers work day and night shifts and vultures flay forever overhead.

A worker told Efe that for a kilo (2.2 pounds) of copper, the most prized material, he can get up to 9 reais ($4.83), 2 reais ($1.08) for aluminum and just 1 real ($.54) for each kilo of plastic that they cram into the big canvas bags they carry at all times.

“If you get going you can make up to 150 reais (nearly $80) a day, now only enough for the rent, a coffee and an empanada,” Melquits said.

A few steps further on, Elaine, 24, wore a hat and plastic gloves to keep from dirtying her hair or ruining her nail polish.

The young woman is finishing her studies and plans to be a hairdresser, but meanwhile works at the dump to get by.

Since the city and state of Rio de Janeiro decided to close the dump, the scavengers have been negotiating with the authorities to try and obtain 21 million reais ($11 million) in compensation.

Most of those who pick over the trash have been working here for more than 15 years and are afraid they won’t find another livelihood, which is why they’re pleading with the authorities not to just forget about them.

Others believe the state will come to their aid, like Ivan, who has been working the Gramacho dump for 20 years and plans to take the money they give him to open a business together with some of his fellow workers.

“We need that money to start a business and to survive until we find another job,” said 36-year-old Juliano, who has been working at the city dump since he arrived from Sao Paulo at age 14.

Juliano believes he deserves this help from the state and threatens to start an uprising if it doesn’t come through, though he immediately acknowledged that he would prefer a peaceful solution.

A woman named Angelica said she wants to earn her living with dignity, which is why she has come here every day since 1994. “I don’t want to beg or steal, I have no education and this is my only way to make a living,” she said.

The definitive closure of the city dump is scheduled for this month, but city hall has postponed it until May, due to the lack of an accord with the scavengers on some kind of compensation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Have U.S. Border Agents been Using Excessive Force to Curb Illegal Immigration? New Video Emerges

Have U.S. Border Agents been Using Excessive Force to Curb Illegal Immigration? New Video Emerges

Photo: Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas Vigil

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The death of Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas, which garnered national media attention in 2010, has re-entered the limelight after PBS unearthed new footage of the incident between the Mexican citizen and border patrol agents.

In June of 2010, Hernandez-Rojas was struck with a baton by one border patrol officer and tased with a stun gun with another, after resisting deportation on the U.S.-Mexico border. He died shortly after the incident.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) insisted that Hernandez-Rojas’ behavior necessitated the use of a baton and stun gun. CBP reports maintained that he “became combative” and the baton and stun gun were used to “subdue the individual and maintain officer safety.”

But new footage has prompted some to ask if the federal agents used excessive force.

Watch Need to Know, Fri., April 20, 2012: Crossing the line on PBS. See more from Need To Know.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Dancing With the Stars Find Their Inner Latin Lover with the Samba, Salsa, or Argentine Tango

Dancing With the Stars  Find Their Inner Latin Lover with the Samba, Salsa, or Argentine Tango

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Tears were flowing as Sherri Shepherd was eliminated from the competition last week and everyone knows that they aren’t safe. With the performances themed to Latin music, the celebrities have to find their rhythm to impress the judges and America. The heat was turned up even more as Santana performed, bringing even more Latin heat to the dance floor.

Jaleel & Kym
- Samba - After having a lackluster tango, Kym tried to make sure that his scores improved by making sure that Jaleel could shake his goods. I liked the tribal undertones and the fire, but there was something about Jaleel’s face that was really odd; either he was in conversation or he was singing along at points. Kym looked great, but there were points were Jaleel couldn’t focus on the moves versus the performance quality.

Len thought the rhythm was great, but the technique was questionable. Bruno loved the wiggle. Carrie Ann liked the attack and fire in the performance; she warned about his arm placement. Score: 24 (8,8,8)

Melissa & Maks - Salsa - After suffering from a concussion from the tango, Melissa was warned about getting a headache could trigger more problems. The two practiced with a neck brace for a few hours, but Maks warned her about looking like a “grandma.” I didn’t understand the fruit seller concept and Melissa never seemed on beat the whole dance. She looked like she was being dragged around by Maks.

Bruno loved the wild nature, but she was not on the rhythm. Carrie Ann appreciated the confidence, but she noted that she lacked control. Len thought there were rough and untidy moments. Score: 21 (7,7,7)

Maria & Derek
- Salsa - At the halfway point Maria wanted to make sure the two were sexy. Derek was worried about how many tricks the two had. Maria slammed her chin during practice which freaked the two out, but they recovered. I loved that Maria danced with Dr. Drew in the beginning. Derek’s choreography was steamy and while there were a few minor hiccups in arm work and posing, they did a great job.

Carrie Ann thought the upper body was great, but the kissing was a sellout. Len thought Maria’s talent was large. Bruno thought the performance was saucy and hot. Score: 27 (9,9,9)

Katherine & Mark - Argentine Tango - Katherine was convinced that they were in the bottom last week so the two decided to work harder this week. Katherine kicked Mark in the naughty bits in practice. The two danced with a bottle at first, but it was thrown away soon. I thought some of the transitions into lifts were a bit clunky, but the leg-work was amazing.

Len thought the performance was like a rose; a beautiful bud with an inner thorn. Bruno thought the quality was great, but the storytelling was better. Carrie Ann thought the lunges were amazing and she had great legs. Score: 29 (10,9,10)

Gavin & Karina - Samba - After finally not being in the bottom two for a week, they wanted to make sure they had both the duel and samba. Gavin continued to look awkward during the practice. During his concert, he basically begged his audience to vote for him. I liked the boat/island theme. Gavin looked like a strutting chicken during the performance with his neck going everywhere. His arms were flailing and the two missed a pass.

Bruno thought Gavin had a lot of madness and enjoyed the performance. Carrie Ann thought there were a lot of form issues and she appreciated him for trying. Len thought his performance was a “shamba” but he put as much effort in as he could. Score: 19 (6,6,7)

William & Cheryl - Argentine Tango - While the package didn’t cover the injured ankle, it did mention how much William was worried about lifts after the one trick the two did during the jive went wrong. The two danced marvelously as Cheryl choreographed to the beat of the song to really hit the notes with passionate kicks and flicks.

Carrie Ann thought the performance was convincing. Len loved the mood and passion. Bruno said some random words that steamed double entendre. Score: 29 (10,9,10)

Gladys & Tristan - Samba - After some harsh criticism and landing in the bottom, Gladys was motivated to keep going. Gladys had a lot of traveling because of performances and the two continued to practice with the hopes that they didn’t have to make it to the duel. Gladys was excited to perform, but still had a bit of timid motions. I give her credit for trying samba rolls, but they looked awful. She looked like she was walking to different places, but she seemed spirited in the face.

Len loved how natural her musicality was and called the performance simple but effective. Bruno loved the stage presence and the magic she exuded. Carrie Ann thought there were a few mistakes, but she commanded the stage. Score: 22 (7,7,8)

Roshon & Chelsie - Salsa - After landing in the bottom two, the couple was scared and didn’t want to be in the red again. Roshon was a bit goofy and couldn’t merge his inner sex symbol. He decided to copy William Levy in practice and William was laughing in the break room. I loved the theming of the dance even before the performance started and Roshon definitely delivered. I thought the two had really good chemistry and while there was a minor fashion stumble here and there, the two were great.

Bruno loved the energy and turning skills. Carrie Ann loved the mojo and thought the performance was beautiful. Len loved the enthusiasm, but warned him to occasionally calm himself. Score: 26 (9,8,9)

Donald & Peta - Argentine Tango - The two were happy to be in first place, but wanted to work harder to keep in first place. Donald was worried about twists and spins. He studied old Argentine Tango performances and mysteriously became the teacher of the class. I’m not sure exactly why the two were playing cards, but the dance had a great passion. I really liked Peta’s choices of speed and then sensuality. I really loved the choice of lifts and spins and I could watch Peta kick for days.

Carrie Ann thought the two were so smooth during the lift transitions; he was in control. Len agreed with the lifts, but he thought the rest was missing a bit. Bruno thought the buildup was great for the song, but then the walking section interrupted the performance. Score: 27 (10,8,9)

Week 5 Scores

William & Cheryl - 29
Katherine & Mark - 29

Donald & Peta - 27
Maria & Derek - 27
Roshon & Chelsie - 26
Jaleel & Kym - 24

Gladys & Tristan - 22
Melissa & Maks - 21
Gavin & Karina - 19

Click here to Watch Dancing with the Stars

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Mexican Indians Free 14 Police and 2 Government Officials Held Hostages

Mexican Indians Free 14 Police and 2 Government Officials Held Hostages

Photo: Mexican Police Held Hostage

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Fourteen police and two government officials taken prisoner by a group of Indians in the western Mexican state of Michoacan were released on Friday as talks resumed between authorities and indigenous leaders.

The cops and state officials were seized early Thursday while investigating the deaths of eight people in armed clashes in Cheran, a rebel municipality in Michoacan.

The freed captives are in good health and have already been reunited with their families, a state government source told Efe.

Along with the hostages, the Indians handed over three police patrol cars and 32 guns.

The Cheran High Council met privately Friday with Michoacan Gov. Fausto Vallejo to press demands for an end to the illegal cutting of pine and oak trees, which the Indians say has claimed more than 30,000 hectares (75,000 acres) of forests in recent years.

Cheran, home to some 4,500 Indians, is 123 kilometers (76 miles) from Morelia, the capital of Michoacan.

The community is in the heart of the Meseta Purepecha, where Indians announced last year that they would no longer recognize the federal, state and municipal governments because officials could not protect their forests from illegal loggers backed by organized crime.

The violence that brought the state police and officials to the area began Wednesday morning, when loggers armed with assault rifles opened fire at Purepechas on patrol to prevent illegal cutting of pine and oak trees.

Two of the Indians were killed and several others wounded by the loggers from El Cerecito, a town near Cheran.

Another group of Indians subsequently headed into the forest and engaged the illegal loggers in a shootout, killing six of them, including two who were found by police inside a burnt-out SUV.

Investigators were not able to enter the area until they received permission from Indian leaders in Cheran, which has been barricaded for the past year to protect residents from the groups behind the logging, state police said.

The Purepechas boycotted the Nov. 13 gubernatorial, municipal and legislative ballot in Michoacan and plan to ban voting in Cheran in the July 1 general elections, when Mexicans go to the polls to select President Felipe Calderon’s successor and more than 2,000 other elected officials.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Panetta Reaches Out to Latin American Partners Post Scandal (VIDEO)

Panetta Reaches Out to Latin American Partners Post Scandal (VIDEO)

Photo: Leon Panetta

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta heads to South America as part of Washington’s efforts to build partnerships in the region in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism.  But the U.S. defense chief will also deal with the backlash of the scandal involving U.S. security personnel and Colombian prostitutes.

It is a region that is often out of U.S. headlines. But now, the worry that drug and human smuggling networks in the area may turn into a terrorist corridor is driving U.S. leaders to point their attention South.

This month, President Barack Obama attended the Summit of the Americas in Colombia, and his Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, is paying visits to Colombia, Brazil, and Chile - nations with which Washington has longstanding partnerships.

“This is a way of making contact and dealing with the region at a time when there’s growing concern over the ability of many countries to be able to handle the threat posed by transnational crime and, specifically, drug trafficking organizations,” said Steve Johnson, a former Pentagon official specializing in Latin America.

One U.S. concern is Venezuela’s military buildup and the country’s partnership with Iran. 

Reports of the deteriorating health of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and the country’s elections this year have Washington watching for signs of instability. 

Venezuela is not on Panetta’s itinerary, but analysts expect it to be an underlying factor in his meetings.

“The important thing is not to overplay it, to give more importance to it than it really deserves, but at the same time to take it seriously so that when we deal with other countries we might be able to encourage them to keep an eye on it, to cooperate with us in trying to have a better understanding of what is going on,” Johnson said.

The U.S. defense secretary goes to Colombia days after allegations that U.S. military personnel, along with Secret Service agents assigned to guard President Obama, solicited prostitutes they met at a strip club in Cartagena - the site of the summit.

Some in Colombia complain the affair distracted attention from the meeting.

The U.S. military’s top officer, General Martin Dempsey, called it an embarrassment.

“We let the boss down because nobody’s talking about what went on in Colombia other than this incident,” Dempsey said.

Panetta hopes to turn attention back to the issues of drug trafficking and anti-terror efforts.

Read more at Voice of America →

52.1% of Latinos Said They Have Been Targets of Workplace Bullying

52.1% of Latinos Said They Have Been Targets of Workplace Bullying

Photo: Latino's Targets of Bullying

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Workplace bullying is on the rise in the United States amid the country’s economic woes and particularly afflicts Hispanics, experts told Efe.

Waldemar Serrano-Burgos, a life and business coach in Florida, said that Hispanics are particularly vulnerable to bullying because so many are dependent on a work visa and others are in the country illegally.

“A supervisor or a boss who constantly picks on whatever an employee does badly, who never has a good word to say about his work, who bawls out an individual or a group in a humiliating way and who sabotages a person’s work is engaged in what is considered workplace bullying,” Serrano-Burgos said.

The practice is more common that people believe, he said.

According to a 2010 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute and pollster Zogby, close to 53 million Americans have reported being bullied on the job.

Another survey by WBI indicates that 52.1 percent of Latinos said they were bullying victims, followed by 46 percent of African Americans, 33.5 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 30.6 percent of Asian Americans.

Psychotherapist Alfredo Hernandez told Efe that moments of crisis are times when “the best and worst of humanity” are in evidence, worse still if the boss has “bad authoritarian habits, because bullying is almost always a learned behavior.”

“History tells us that people who have been victims of abuse and mistreatment tend to become abusers in turn,” the expert said.

He said that these are people who generally have low self-esteem, fierce internal conflicts and a self-image of weakness and incompetence.

When they rise to a position of authority they use it to harass their employees because it makes them feel better.

“They think that ‘all I have is this power over you, so I’m going to use it to show you that I’m better than you.’ They get pleasure from that and look good to themselves through this atrocious use of power,” Hernandez said.

Bullying victims suffer anxiety, panic attacks, depression, insomnia and loss of self-esteem when they realize they are unable to face up to a “boss who exercises unwarranted force thanks to the authority he has over them,” the psychotherapist said.

“Workplace bullying gets worse in moments of economic crisis when the number of jobs available shrinks,” Serrano-Burgos said.

Workers tend to “put up with the bullying” when they lack other immediate job opportunities, and those who depend on visas “put up with these conditions for as long as it takes to obtain permanent-residence status.”

“I urge people who are going through this to take action and not keep quiet about the situation because the day that this employee is no longer in the company, there will undoubtedly be another worker suffering the same experience,” Serrano-Burgos said

Read more by HS News Staff →

CareerBuilder Moves into South American Market by Acquires CEVIU in Brazil

CareerBuilder is making a much-anticipated move into the South American market with the acquisition of CEVIU.com.br, the leading information technology job board in Brazil.  CEVIU features the most IT job listings in the country and its online traffic has had a compound annual growth rate of 158 percent over the last three years, providing CareerBuilder with an accelerated entry into the sixth largest economy in the world.  Together, CareerBuilder and CEVIU will bring Brazil’s employers and workers a broader range of recruitment and job search resources for IT and beyond. 

Despite its standing as the fifth most populous country in the world, Brazil’s unemployment rate was at 5.7 percent in February 2012, according to the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics.  Nearly two-in-five Brazilians use the Internet, a statistic that is quickly increasing, according to Internet World Stats.

“Brazil is one of the fastest-growing emerging economies and a great inroad into the rest of South America,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.  “Partnering with the top IT job board in this important market is a key step in CareerBuilder’s international expansion.  There is a lot potential for growth as we pair CEVIU’s expertise in the Brazilian employment market with CareerBuilder’s global reach and services.”

“We’re excited to be a part of CareerBuilder and make an even greater impact on the businesses and workers of Brazil,” said Adriano Dalcin, CEO of CEVIU.  “We’re able to leverage CareerBuilder’s leadership in job search technology and its network of partners as we respond to Brazil’s expanding talent needs.  This gives us and our users a distinct competitive advantage.”

Brazil will be home to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, which are expected to bring even more employment opportunities to the country.

With the acquisition of CEVIU, CareerBuilder now operates in 21 markets outside the U.S. and, through partnerships, has a presence in more than 60 markets worldwide.
CEVIU is the largest IT job site in Brazil, working as a bridge through which 260,000 professionals and over 11,000 companies connect through solutions that attract more than 270,000 unique visitors per month.

Our goal is to continue to expand in the booming Brazilian market through new solutions and partnerships that add value to our services. We are also looking for new markets to take our quality of work to other areas and regions of South America. For more information, visit www.ceviu.com.br.

Read more by HS News Staff →

6th Annual Fiesta Atlanta Looking to Top 50% Waste Recycling and Spread Value of Being Green

6th Annual Fiesta Atlanta Looking to Top 50% Waste Recycling and Spread Value of Being Green

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Fiesta Atlanta is proud to announce that 50% of the waste volume from last year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration was diverted by recycling, according to Lanza Group, LLC producers of Fiesta Atlanta and their waste disposal team at Atlanta-based Southeast Site Services.

Ralph E. Herrera, President of Lanza Group, LLC commented, “Our goal for last year’s Fiesta Atlanta was accomplished and we are very proud to announce this achievement on the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day. The upcoming 6th annual Fiesta Atlanta – Cinco de Mayo Celebration will take place two (2) weeks following Earth Day on Sunday, May 6th and we will continue to expand our environmental efforts by encouraging attendees to recycle and continue to educate them on the importance of acting green.”

As part as Fiesta Atlanta’s environmental strategies attendees are encouraged to recycle their waste at recycling bins placed throughout Centennial Olympic Park. Sponsors and partners are also encouraged to use the recycling boxes and bins.

Fiesta Atlanta is a free, daylong festival that features live Latin music on two stages with international, national and local recording artists. The family stage includes lively, colorful acts like Mexican folkloric dancers, clowns, musicians and storytellers. Artists will sell handmade traditional crafts and delicious Latin foods. The festival’s partners will provide samples of their products and interactive displays.

Centennial Olympic Park has been the site of Fiesta Atlanta since its inauguration in 2007; attendance has grown steadily year by year. Fiesta Atlanta has evolved from a predominately Hispanic event to include the entire Atlanta community with more crossover artists, international arts and crafts and a fun filled atmosphere for people of all ages to enjoy. For additional information please visit www.FiestaAtlanta.com or “Like” Fiesta Atlanta on Facebook.

Earth Day is a day early each year on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment.  Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and is celebrated annually in many countries around the world.  Earth Day is designed to provide people with the opportunity to unite their voices in a call for a sustainable future and direct them towards quantifiable outcomes.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Report Brings Border Patrol Abuses to Light in Washington State

Report Brings Border Patrol Abuses to Light in Washington State

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The borderlands of the southwestern United States are not the only place where immigration enforcement tramples upon the most basic of civil and human rights. Many communities along the northern border are also subject to such abuses, as detailed in a recent report from OneAmerica and the University of Washington Center for Human Rights. The report, entitled The Growing Human Rights Crisis Along Washington’s Northern Border, is based on a year’s worth of interviews and observations in border communities in Washington State. This investigation found that Border Patrol agents, often acting in collaboration with local police, repeatedly harass and abuse immigrants, as well as native-born U.S. citizens perceived to look or sound like immigrants.

Specifically, the report documents three “patterns of abuse”:

1. Racial profiling by the Border Patrol.

“My son called me to tell me that he had been pulled over without his license. I told him that it was alright that I would drive out to meet them with his license. When I arrived there were Border Patrol cars surrounding the area. I had to drive back to the house for my kids’ birth certificates because the Border Patrol officers were accusing them of being ‘wetbacks’ despite my kids telling the agents in English that they were American citizens. When I finally got to my kids I went up to the officers and said, ‘You know what, my kids are American. If they weren’t they wouldn’t have said they were. This thing that you are doing here is called racism; just because you see that my kids are brown [Latino].’ The officer replied, ‘Sorry, but this is my job.’ And I said, ‘Ok, but there was no reason for seven Border Patrol cars to come deal with my kids, with two minors. You are treating them as if they were criminals’” (p. 19).

2. Collaboration between the Border Patrol and other law-enforcement agencies.

“The kids were outside running around and playing, and a little girl had an accident and fell between two cars in the driveway. The mother was worried her daughter wasn’t ok and called 911, asking for an ambulance. The mother spoke English but gave her last name, which was Martinez. Shortly afterwards the ambulance, firemen, Sheriff, and Border Patrol arrived. The Border Patrol began to walk around the outside of the party asking people who they were and their names. The family members were U.S. Citizens, but many of their guests ran inside the home and closed the door. Now whenever those people have an accident they will be fearful to call 911 because the men in green will show up. They see police and Border Patrol as the same—as dangerous for our families” (p. 22).

3. The climate of fear created by these practices.

“A 22 year-old friend of mine lives with her husband at her parent-in-law’s house. Every time he beats her and she attempts to call the police the parents-in-law threaten to call immigration on her or tell the officers her immigration status…The domestic violence has gotten worse as time goes by. In fact, now she can’t even talk over the phone because her husband and parents-in-law have the poor girl on lock-down. She is too young to live her life in fear whether she is documented or not” (p. 25).

The report calls for a wide range of administrative and legislative fixes—at the federal, state, and local levels—in order to remedy such injustices. These include policies stating that:

The Border Patrol should restrict “enforcement at sensitive locations, including schools, hospitals, places of worship, public religious ceremonies, public demonstrations, and courthouses.”
Border Patrol agents “will not engage in enforcement during assistance with emergency checkpoints, health epidemics, or natural disasters.”

Border Patrol agents “should not arbitrarily stop, question or arrest individuals without reasonable suspicion or probable cause that the individual has entered the United States illegally.”

“State and local police should refrain from asking immigration status.”

“State and local police should refrain from enforcing federal immigration laws, including by engaging in interior enforcement operations with Border Patrol agents and requesting translation assistance from Border Patrol.”

The report observes that Border Patrol abuses in Washington State are occurring within the broader context of a post-9/11, nationwide buildup of immigration and border enforcement resources and personnel. Ostensibly, the build up in Washington State is necessary in order to secure the porous border with Canada and keep the country safe from another terrorist attack. But, a decade after the buildup began, “communities of color in Washington State find themselves fearful of the very agencies that are entrusted with their protection,” thanks in large part to the practices of the U.S. Border Patrol.


Read more at Immigration Impact →

Mexican Enrique Arnero Goes from Personal Trainer to Exclusive Gym Owner

Mexican Enrique Arnero Goes from Personal Trainer to Exclusive Gym Owner

Photo: MexicanTrainer Enrique Arnero

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Enrique Arnero is the owner of an exclusive Southern California gymnasium where entertainers, politicians, athletes and businessmen train with this Mexican whose own life is an inspiration on how to achieve the most ambitious goals.

He came to Los Angeles with his parents in 1978 when he was only 4.

“They always instilled Mexican values in me - pride, hard work, getting ahead, and taking the opportunities this country has to offer with all our might and with our arms wide open,” Arnero, now 37, said in an interview with Efe.

His parents - now passed away - worked in factories, sold candy or took care of other people’s children to give him and his two younger sisters a better life.

But he recalls how hard a fight it was not to let himself be overcome by the adversities, the discrimination, the rejection and the feeling he just didn’t belong.

To keep him focused on the positive side of life, his mom gave him a set of weights and membership in a gym when he was 13.

“She said it was better to be in a gymnasium than on the street, and that was true because on the street you met up with guys who had other ideas,” said the immigrant, who boasts among his clients the Latin Grammy-winning Mexican composer Edgar Cortazar, and Mark Portmann, producer for Barbara Streisand, Selena Gomez and Michael Buble.

The young Enrique got to know American culture without forgetting his own, and set himself the goal of being the first Mexican to play American football at school, winning the coveted position of starting quarterback.

“I was the only Mexican on the team - all the rest were African-Americans. From that experience I understood I could bring honor to my Mexico and my family, and that becoming a good athlete would also give me a better chance to study,” he said.

Arnero got a football scholarship to Chicago’s Greenville University and in 1995 took a degree in psychology.

During the same year he received an offer to play American football professionally in Germany, “but following my Mexican tradition, I had to go back and help my parents,” Arnero said.

He fused his passion for sports with his knowledge of psychology to create special therapies for kids at Hollywood’s Hollygrove orphanage, the same place that actress Marilyn Monroe lived for a time during her childhood.

Following his dream of helping the community by combining sports with psychology, in 2006 he decided to give up his work and begin a new project.

“I got my car and put my weights in the trunk, including the ones my mom gave me, and began working as a trainer in parks. I had like four parks where the same people would recommend me, they saw the results and every day I had more and more clients,” he said.

His work, reputation and perseverance allowed him to inaugurate his own gymnasium two years ago - Think-Fit Private Training - where he attends one person at a time from a clientele that includes Los Angeles city officials, police, health professionals, ranking athletes, singers and others whose names he is not authorized to reveal.

“People come from all over - I’m taking this responsibility very seriously because they put their trust in me and give me the chance to change their lives. I assume that commitment and I really love seeing how their image changes as they acquire more vitality, more energy, more strength and health,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mother of Singer Alejandro Sanz, Maria Pizarro, Passes Away in Spain

Mother of Singer Alejandro Sanz, Maria Pizarro, Passes Away in Spain

Photo: Mother of Singer Alejandro Sanz, Maria Pizarro, Passes Away in Spain

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Maria Pizarro, mother of singer Alejandro Sanz, died in her native Alcala de los Gazules, officials in the southern Spanish town told Efe on Friday.

They said Pizarro passed away in the family home at about 11:00 p.m. Thursday of a heart attack.

“She was the boss,” Sanz said on Twitter of his mother’s death. “Her truth was made of marble and her innocence of green pineapples.”

“Don’t let time decide. Don’t let it beat you…Call your parents right now and tell them they are the most important thing in your life. A big hug and thanks again. Life goes on but badly,” the singer told his more than 5.5 million Twitter followers.

“I’ll try to sleep. I want you to know that she loved all of you so much. You were always on her mind. And she would have made a garbanzo bean soup for each and every one of you if she could. Thanks for your affection. There is no consolation,” Sanz said.

Alejandro was named the adopted son of Alcala de los Gazules, where he spent his summers from childhood through his teens.

The Spanish singer, who has sold more than 22 million discs worldwide, lost his father Jesus Sanchez Madero in 2005 and soon after dedicated to him his 2006 Grammy Award.

Sanchez Madero, also a musician who in the 1960s was a member of the Trio Juventud, gave Sanz his first guitar.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayApril 21, 2012