Archive for

EDITORIAL: Fun Inexpensive Halloween Costumes


Metztli Herrera in costume by Gemma Herrera |

Holidays are near starting with Halloween and the children are the most excited. Thinking about how much candy they will accumulate by the end of the night. For parents it can be a challenge to buy children a costume every year. There is a fun and inexpensive way to get your children a costume. Make them! Creating the costumes with your children can be exciting activity that will save you money.

Continue reading

Esquire Magazine names first ever Hispanic Chef American Chef of the Year

In an ode written to young, aspiring cooks throughout the United States and the world, Esquire magazine Restaurant Critic John Mariani pens an appreciation to a veteran chef of Hispanic decent that has forever altered the way that the world understands and appreciates the history and culture of Latin foods. From the Esquire awards site, Mr. Mariani writes the following:

Dear young chef: Congratulations on your graduation from culinary school! Unless you’re busy competing on a TV show to become a celebrity chef, the smart move would be to apprentice yourself to a master like John Sedlar. He’s twice your age, but he cooks with more verve and a deeper understanding of ingredients than any ten cooks you went to school with. He was born in Santa Fe and always married Mexican and South American food with a southern-California swagger — cutting edge neo-Latino cuisine. At Playa, his thrilling new restaurant, he presents reflexiones (his translation: "windows into memories"), thematic dishes that reflect his favorite chefs or movies — A Clockwork Orange was a recent theme. After you get your pig tattoo, order a mess of tortillas he calls "maize cakes" — one is made with wild mushrooms, black garlic, olives crushed to look like soil, L’Explorateur cheese, and mushroom foam. Try to assess the delicacy of a dish like corn custard with Cotija, black quinoa, and squash-blossom sauce, and learn how he builds flavor into piquillos relleñoswith Gruyère, golden raisins, and chorizo. Then beg him for a job peeling vegetables.

Chef Sedlar owns two restaurants in Los Angeles, California – the critically acclaimed RIVERA in downtown Los Angeles, and the new Playa, named by Esquire as among the Best New Restaurants in America. These awards arrive on the heels of the Thirtieth Anniversary of his historic Saint Estephe Restaurant in Manhattan Beach, California, a dining room that was the first American restaurant to witness foods such as the tamale and the blue corn tortilla – indeed, the foods of his childhood – served in a fine dining, white tablecloth restaurant. The month long retrospective enjoyed a wealth of media attention, honoring Chef Sedlar as one of the primary architects of Modern Latin & Southwest Cuisines.

Upon being named the first chef of Hispanic origin to receive this award, Mr. Mariani generously suggested that the award was not simply in recognition of the two critically acclaimed restaurants currently doing business in Los Angeles, but for a lifetime of commitment to the chef’s Hispanic heritage, indeed of introducing the foods, culture, and history of Latin cuisine into the popular culture of American diners.

When speaking of the importance of opening his first LA restaurant (since Saint Estephe, thirty years earlier) in the downtown historic district, Chef Sedlar was emphatic, offering that “It was critical. Downtown Los Angeles is the crossroads of culture, heritage, race, and ethnicity. It is the place where an entire world of Hispanic American’s arrived to settle and form homes, and families, and careers. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

New Home Just in Time for Día de los Muertos

STOCKTON, CA – After a month of gallery preparation, 25 gallons of paint and handfuls of volunteers, The Mexican Heritage Center and Gallery (MHC) will be opening its doors to the public for the first time in their new location at 111 S. Sutter Street in downtown Stockton with the Día de Los Muertos opening reception Friday October 28, 2011 from 5:30-8:00 PM. The traditional blessing of the Altars at the center will take place on November 2, 2011.

The MHC opening night reception will include special presentation by Congressman Jerry McNerney , music by Luis Marinez, and Dance performance by reflections dance studio for a $5 donation.

The November 2nd blessing of the Altars will begin with a walk from St. Mary’s church to the MHC. Additionally, the evening will include the blessing and Aztec Dancers de Santa Marias at 6:00 PM and Morelia’s Dance Group at 6:30.

“I am excited that we have so much participation with the youth and elders, “Said Niki Smith the coordinator of the event. “We will have participation from LULAC youth, METCHA, and Weber Institute youth,” not to mention,” We have a solid program that will have people entertained moved and educated’

The Altars will be up in the Gallery until November 18, 2011 for visitation.

To Dance Beyond the Grave

SACRAMENTO, CA – Culminating the Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertosfestivities this year,La Raza Galería Posada, Sacramento’s Latino art and cultural center, brings the Panteon de Sacramento (Sacramento’s Cemetery) to life.This isa two day/night outdoor display of fifty large, colorful altares. The altares will be available for public viewing on Saturday October 29 and Sunday October 30. Families, individuals, area artists and local not for profit organizations will build the altares for public display.Theatre, music, poets and children’s workshops are all part of the two-day event. In Sacramento, Día de los Muertos has been celebrated since the early 1970s, commensurate with the Galería’s founding in 1972, 39 years ago.

Continue reading

VIDEO: Jose Hernandez on bid for Congress

Jose Hernandez formal announcement to run for congress.

Video updated with corrections October 27, 2011.

COMMUNITY OPINION: Occupy Stockton | By Ana Castaneda

(bw) STOCKTON, CA – Even if you’ve been only paying a minimal amount of attention to the news you’ve most likely heard about the Occupy Wall Street protests around the country. Occupy Wall Street, OWS, originated as a call for activism by Toronto based magazine, Adbusters. As early as July of this year Adbusters urged activists to march up Wall Street in New York and protest the unfair and corrupt practices by the wealthy 1% (who constitute people making over 26 million dollars a year), while the 99%, such as you and I, struggle with debt due to costs from higher education, unemployment and the recession. [MORE] Recently, the movement has reached the west coast all the way into our own little city of Stockton, California. The question remains, “Can Occupy Stockton achieve success despite our fears?”
Stockton is infamously known for its reputation. The plague of violence is often a spotlight for our city, and one that generates concern for its residents. As a resident I am aware of the consequences of random violence especially since Facebook makes it easy to share incidents with a click of a mouse or by a mobile phone. If you drive down Airport Way a billboard funded by the Stockton Police Department highlights the number of murders up to date. This was a tactic by SPD to gain support through funds as well as to avoid layoffs. Unfortunately, mistrust of the police causes the community to suffer.
Based on media images chronicling the Occupy New York movement, we are bombarded by pictures and video of peaceful protesters slammed on to concrete, shoved into cars and maced with pepper spray by, self-proclaimed, New York’s finest police. If such unprovoked violence can occur in a highly patriotic state such as New York, we, as Stockton residents, are forced to expect the worst from our own law enforcement. Residents here debate whether or not it is possible to risk themselves for the sake of activism in a city on edge and in fear. To find success, as the 99%, we must unite peacefully and demand intelligently. But, these acts alone cannot guarantee our protection by and from the police, whose job consists of enforcing order in established society, and not to defend activists regardless of our good intentions.

S-Comm Silences Domestic Violence Victims

WWW.BILINGUALWEEKLY.COM | New America Media, Commentary, Amy Woo, Posted: Oct 21, 2011

Ed. Note: In commemoration of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the following piece explores the ramifications of Pres. Obama’s federal immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities, or S-Comm, on immigrant victims of domestic violence.

USA – For years, Yan endured brutal beatings and repeated rapes at the hands of her husband. An undocumented immigrant from Asia, she never called the police out of fear that she would be deported and forever separated from their child, who was born in the United States.
Her husband constantly told her as much, so she never sought help and felt trapped in her nightmare marriage. Ultimately, thinking she had nowhere to go and no one to turn to, Yan and her child returned to her country of origin, where at least she had her family to support her.

Undocumented immigrant victims of domestic violence are conditioned by their abusers to fear the police. An abuser will tell a victim that if she were to call the police, when the police arrive, he will tell them that she hit him, she’ll be arrested, deported and ultimately never see her children again.

With the enormous progress that the domestic violence movement has made in empowering victims to seek help such threats should be empty. However, Secure Communities – a controversial immigration enforcement program that allows federal authorities to screen fingerprints of those arrested by local police to identify undocumented immigrants — lends credibility to abusers’ threats by making deportation a very real possibility.

The projected expansion of Secure Communities to every jurisdiction in the U.S. severely undercuts the advances made by advocates to empower battered immigrant women to seek help.

Heightened distrust of police

Only about 19 percent of undocumented domestic violence victims come forward to report their abuse to the police. Some fear deportation, while others have had negative experiences with police in their countries of origin.

For such women, it is not unusual to have previously called the police in their country of origin, only to be told that the abuse was a family matter, not requiring police involvement. Furthermore, such calls often enrage the abuser, putting the victim in even greater danger.

Often times, if abuse victims don’t already fear the police, abusers will convince victims they should be afraid of police. Part of the fear involves police procedures when officers respond to a domestic violence incident.

If both the victim and batterer have wounds (including defensive wounds on the batterer, such as scratches), the police must determine the primary aggressor. If the victim does not understand or speak enough English to explain the truth of the situation, the police may determine that there was mutual combat and arrest both parties. Even worse, the victim may be the only one taken into custody.

Consider what happened to Lin, a battered woman who emigrated to the U.S. with the help of her husband, a U.S. citizen. Upon her arrival, her once-loving husband became extremely abusive, beating her regularly and forcing her to perform unwanted sexual acts. There were threats to kill her, and at one point he pointed a gun to her head.

One day, after a sever beating, he called the police himself. Since he was over a foot taller than her and much stronger, he grabbed her hands and used them to hit himself. When the police arrived, because both Lin and her husband had red marks on them and Lin could not clearly explain what happened in her broken English, they were both arrested. She was later released without being charged, but not before being detained in a holding cell over an entire weekend.

The hope is that in situations like this, justice will prevail and the victim will be exonerated. However, the reality is that some victims are not able to resolve matters quickly at all.

Agatha, an undocumented immigrant originally from Latin America, was wrongfully arrested for domestic violence and had to go through an entire jury trial before being exonerated.

With her bail amount beyond what her family could afford, Agatha describes her incarceration as “the most horrifying” time of her life. She could not eat or sleep for fear of being deported and never seeing her children again. Had she been arrested when Secure Communities was in effect, her greatest fear might have become a reality, even had she been acquitted.

In situations like Agatha’s, the victim finds that in reaching out for help she risks being ripped away from her children and possibly returned to a country where she will be marginalized and persecuted for being a divorced woman, a single mother, or for being perceived as “rejected” by her spouse.

Domestic violence victims should not have to choose between their own and their children’s safety, or being forever separated from their children and sent back to their home countries.

Secure Communities is a significant setback that not only dis-empowers domestic violence victims, but reinforces the structures and beliefs that allow for the perpetuation of domestic violence.

Amy Woo is a staff attorney with the Los Angeles-based Asian Pacific American Legal Center. IMMIGRATION MATTERS features the views of immigration advocates and experts.

Art Exhibit to Benefit Women’s Center of San Joaquin County

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, CA- Local artist Robert V. Fonseca is marking 25 years of “Mannequin Art” with his 2011“Reality Faced” Art Exhibit Tour, on display Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29 at the West Side Theatre in Newman, CA. Tickets are $8 and are available online at or by calling 209-862-4490. Robert’s mannequin art pieces display the social ills of America and parental discretion is advised.


Robert “Robbie” V. Fonseca’s art is a compilation of mannequins displayed in ways that depict the social injustices that are inherent in our world today. He first began his work in 1986 and continues to bring to light many issues that are a still a part of our society even 25 years later. His show debuted in 1989 at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. The exhibition has also had showings with the Arm & Hammer Museum, LA Art Gallery, The Venice Art Gallery, and the LA Art Association Gallery.

As some of his works are focused on the effects of child abuse, rape, and human sex trafficking, Robbie will donate the proceeds of his “Reality Faced” Art Exhibit Tour to the Women’s Center of San Joaquin County, which provides free, confidential services and advocacy for victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

The Women’s Center’s mission is to provide a wide range of supportive, educational, and crisis intervention services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, enabling them to regain control of their lives. For over 35 years, the Women’s Center has been the lifeline to help and hope for thousands of women, children and men, now reaching over 24,000 individuals each year.

On October 26th from 6-10pm the press is invited for a special viewing and discussion with the artist. For more information on the Women’s Center, please visit or call 209-941-2611.

Stagg Alumni Association holds first annual general membership meeting

STOCKTON, CA – The Stagg High School’s Alumni Association will be holding it’s first
Annual General Membership Meeting on November 5, from 10:00 a.m.-Noon
in the Library at Stagg High School, 1610 Brookside Road. Proposed
by-laws will be adopted and Board members elected.
There is no charge for this event but donations are welcome as the
Alumni Association works toward fulfilling the financial obligations
in setting up this new group as a nonprofit organization.

The goals of the Alumni Association are threefold: to sustain and
enrich the educational environment for current students; to foster
pride and a positive image for Stagg in the community; and to provide
connection for our alumni, to each other and to the ongoing life of
the Stagg community. Membership in the Alumni Association is open to
All graduates, former students, current and former teachers,
classified personnel and administrators.

For additional information, please contact Alumni Association
President Linda Driver at aastaggalumni. To register with
the Alumni Association go to

Laws affecting immigrants change in California

Arturo Rodriguez, Natinal President of UFW

Arturo Rodriguez speaks during UFWmarches which achieved the governors signature. Farmworkers may unionize at their work.

CALIFORNIA- While an increasing number of States like Arizona, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina  have shown harsh anti-immigrant policies; the Golden State addresses immigration differently.

Governor Jerry Brown signed on Saturday, October 8th three different bills that support immigrants in three major areas employment, transportation and education.

Continue reading

788,000 Latina’s are business owners: and growth is projected. | Mayra Barrios

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, CA – While “Nena” worked in the fields, under the hot sun of the San Joaquin County, she dreamed of —one day— opening a restaurant to prepare the recipes that her grandmother taught her.  27 years ago her dream became a reality, she opened her first restaurant “Nenas Mexican Restaurant” located in the corner of “B” and “8th” Streets in Stockton, CA.
Behind the known name “Nena” —as everyone calls her— is Maria Elena Salsedo with a story of a hard working entrepreneur women.  Her story is one of many who collectively form the fastest growing group of business owners in Stockton.   According to the most recent Survey of Business Owners (SBO), a total of 788,000 Latinas now run their own businesses in the United States.

Continue reading

Public Trust Recommendations & the Delta: How much water is that?

The Sacramento River

The Sacramento River | By Deanna Lynn Wulff

California’s Chinook salmon came back this fall, due in part to good ocean conditions and abundant water, but the Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast, is still in critical condition. “Thirty-three species are endangered, and likely to go extinct within the next 25 to 50 years, if not sooner,” said Dr. Peter Moyle, associate director of UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences. “Many of these are salmon and trout species, and most of the species are found only in California, so they are part of our heritage. If they disappear, they are lost, not only to California, but to the world, forever.”California’s Bay-Delta covers 1300 square miles, is home to 750 species of plants and animals, and is where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers meet and flow into the San Francisco Bay.  But its ecosystem is collapsing.

Continue reading

Cultural Connection through Dancing at Pacific

“Dancers carefully execute complicated footwork while maneuvering intricate waves through the gathered ruffles of their skirts.” -Lorena Becerra

photoballetfolklorico | By Mayra Barrios

STOCKTON, CA – (bw) Lorena Becerra smiles softly as she twirls her multicolored ruffled skirt along the music.

Ballet folkloriaco a broadly used term to describe all forms of Mexican folk dancing combines elements of the Mexican history, folklore and culture with rhythm and body movement.

Mexican folk dancing has been around for hundreds of years,” said Becerra a dancer with more than 20 years of experience is part of Los Danzantes de Pacific and is also a Spanish Professor at the University of The Pacific.

Continue reading

Occupy El Dorado Street?

occupystockton | By Roberto Radrigan

STOCKTON, CA -The message a dozen of Stockton demonstrators wanted to convey this week at the busiest downtown crossing is so simple that it defies argument: Where is the Middle Class bailout?
Faced with the worst recession since the 1930’s Great Recession, Wall Street, the biggest banks, the automakers and America’s largest corporations have gobbled up the government financial rescue packages, yet the middle class is still waiting for the jobs it was supposed to recoup, or the stable economy that was rebuilding. So, commencing on September 17, a very heterogeneous group of New York City residents started a series of demonstrations in what became known as Occupy Wall Street movement, compared by many as the Arab Spring that shook the Middle East this year.

Continue reading

OPINON: Rest In Peace Mexican Comedian Gaspar Henaine “Capulina”

Por E. Buendia

I recently learned of the death of Gaspar Henaine better known along the artistic world as “Capulina” [Famous Mexican big screen comedian]; a man with a distinct ingenuity in its jokes.  He knew how to make his audience laugh without being vulgar.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: