Dennise Rocha

Journalist with Bilingual Weekly Newspaper
Dennise Rocha has written 83 posts for Bilingual Weekly

I Have a Voice: Griselda Olivas

Griselda Olivas

Griselda Olivas, a registered nurse with over 30 years of experience in the medical field, is often described as a true advocate for women in the fight against breast cancer.As a kid Olivas was the friend that will always take care others, “if my friends were injured I will go and get a band –aid,” says Olivas.

“My mom used to tease me and say, you are going to be a nurse when you grow up.”

Today Olivas applies more than just band-aids; she is a registered nurse at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center and Cancer Navigator for the mobile mammography program.

Olivas first job was at San Joaquin General Hospital. But ultimately she wanted to work specifically in women`s health.

And so one day, 16 years ago, looking at the newspaper, a job ad caught her attention.

“They [San Joseph`s Hospital] were looking for a bilingual nurse who would do community outreach for women`s health.”

“I will like to do something like that, to go out to the community and help my Latina women,” thought Olivas that day.

And so she started working for the cancer detention program at medical center and has worked tirelessly to improve the care of breast cancer patients around the community.

“When I started we had one little cart and that was our clientele… we now grown into a file room with over 4, 000 charts and 60 percent and more are Latina women.”

During her first years with the program, Olivas realized that many of her patients only spoke Spanish, and that many women did not attended their appointments.

Olivas created the navigation services programand the “Comadre” (Comrade) workshop which caters to the needsof women, especially Latinas facing breast cancer.

As a Cancer Navigator Olivas, many times picks up her patients and takes them to their appointments.  “I knew for a fact that they will keep up with their appointments and I will be there to advocate to translate and to support them at the same time.”

At the time Latinas had limited informational resources due to the language barrier, the “Comadre” workshop dedicated to provide resources and information about breast cancer in the Latina community.

“I come from a strong Latina family and  there is a lot of “comadres”,  when we sit down  we talk about everything from A-Z …this was a time of sharing , talk about our health and about what we are doing to take care of ourselves.”

13 years have passed and  the mission of the Comadre Workshop continues, the next one to be held at St. Linus Church on Tuesday, October 30th  from 5:30 -8:00 P.M.

“I just want to make sure that my ladies get the best care and are treated with dignity and respect … that is my mission.”

To attend the Comadre Workshop you must registered by calling (209) 461-5367.

A new study examines the behavior of smokers among people from Mexico and Mexican Americans

SACRAMENTO, CA – Led by researchers at UC Davis, the first study of smoking and transnational migration from Mexico to the United states and that of Mexican Americans born in the United States start smoking at a younger age but are more likely to quit their counterparts in Mexico. Continue reading

Delta College Recognized as “2013 Military Friendly School”

San Joaquin Delta College

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY— Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has named San Joaquin Delta College to the coveted 2013 Military Friendly Schools list.

The 2013 Military Friendly Schools list honors the country’s top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that do the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as they work toward academic and career success. Delta College was also selected to the 2012 Military Friendly Schools list.

“Inclusion on the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools shows Delta College’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, Director for G.I. Jobs and Vice President at Victory Media. “As interest in education grows, we’re thrilled to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for military friendly schools. Congratulations to San Joaquin Delta College.”

Denise Donn, Director of Financial Aid & Veteran Services, was proud that Delta College has again been recognized for serving veterans and active military. “Delta College will continue to make the extra effort to help our veterans achieve their academic and career goals. It’s important that those who put their lives on the line for their country know Delta College is their dedicated partner. Our commitment will not waver.”

Victory Media’s 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and data-driven surveys of more than 12,000 VA-approved schools. The survey results for the list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP, based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media. Each year, schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology and criteria developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country.

If you want to learn more about the survey methodology information is available at:

San Joaquin Delta College’s Veteran Resource Center moved to its new location in the DeRicco Student Services Building (DeRicco 151) and it will be open on October 13, 2012 — the first day of Delta’s fall semester. The Veteran Resource Center provides: Quiet Study Area; Tutoring; Computer Access; Workshops; Veteran Benefits Information; Networking and support with other campus veterans and a meeting space for the Veteran Student Alliance.

Cirque du Soleil set to captivate Stockton

STOCKTON, CA- The world known Canadian company, Cirque du Soleil, is set to captivate Stockton with its touring show, “Dralion.” Continue reading

“Dear Stockton Smile You Are Loved” New Downtown Mural

 STOCKTON, CA- “Dear Stockton Smile You Are Loved,” is the message that the reads the new mural on 240 N. Hunter Street in downtown Stockton.

 The mural  “Dear Stockton” is a collaboration between Benjamin Saffold,  a group of local artists, and JF Donaldson Tires ; it  was completed last Sunday, August 26 after three days of work. 

Photo Credit: Dear Stockton Project

 Local artist, Joel Aaron Munoz created the design for mural that is now part of the city of Stockton as part of the “Dear Stockton Project” and ongoing project that allows the community to demonstrate their love for the city of Stockton.

“The mural magnifies the message of Dear Stockton to another level,” said Benjamin Saffold, founder of the Dear Stockton project. “What better positive message can there be?  To say dear Stockton smile you are loved, that is something that is already true but is not something that is always on the front page of the newspaper.”

“There is people that love Stockton that have not had a microphone in front of them, that have not been interviewed or asked about how they see Stockton,” added Saffold.   

And so the “Dear Stockton Project” gives the space for community to express themselves.  

“I hope it inspires some of the young kids in the community that work can be done with local business support youth and art activity” said JFDonaldsonTire owner, Jim Donaldson in a video produced by Saffold prior to the completion of the mural. “Which leads to the support of our city and hopefully a new birth to Stockton after the troubles we been going through, give some hope for all of here in Stockton that things can definitely get better.”

Volaris Airlines launches new route from Sacramento to Guadalajara

Starting November, 15 Volaris will start service between Sacramento International Airport  and Guadalajara, México.

SACRAMENTO,CA- Volaris, one of the most prominent airlines in Mexico, announced the launch of four routes to commence operations on October 15 in stages: Guadalajara-Sacramento, California; Queretaro, Queretaro – Tijuana and Cancun, and Tepic -Tijuana, which strengthens its expansion strategy nationally and internationally.

Enrique Beltranena, CEO of Volaris, explained that with these openings, the airline opens a range of possibilities between destinations that so far were not available to the public.

“As a company we have maintained this strong growth throughout 2012, and these openings contribute to our aim to continue with a planned expansion, consolidating our strength as a proud Mexican airline. By incorporating Querétaro Tepic and our destinations, we add 19 new routes so far this year. Sacramento becomes our sixth destination in California and the tenth in the U.S. territory. ”

Those interested in flying on the Sacramento route, may do as of November 15, on Tuesday and Thursdays.

SJ Bar Association Offers Free Law Clinic

STOCKTON, CA- San Joaquin County residents now have a place to answer their legal questions and get free legal advice. Continue reading

Ace Tomato workers continue to fight for a fair contract

MANTECA, CA- Dozens of farm workers and community supporters gathered across from ACE Tomato company’s headquarters in Manteca on Tuesday, August 21st, to demanding the company to implement a fair contract.        Continue reading

Stockton’s violence Reduction Initiative

STOCKTON, CA- As part Stockton’s violence Reduction Initiative, the Stockton Police Department seeks the help of the community at a town hall meeting on Wednesday, August 23 at the Stockton Civic Auditorium.

“There is an unacceptable level of crime and violence in Stockton and that is why we are here tonight,” said Police Chief Eric Jones. “The purpose is to build police community relations and work together.”

Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones

At the meeting a number of community members expressed their concerns and criticized the strategies of the SPD to defeat crime.

Crime disheartens the entire community and disheartens the police department said Jones.  “My challenge is to provide law enforcement services for the city of Stockton.”

“Our studies have shown that Stockton has a high poverty rate, has high level of drug abuse, a high number of gangs and gang incidents and high amount of violent crime in hot spots … hot spots that are spread through the whole city.”

The police department is currently focused on getting guns and gangs off the streets.

In four years the Stockton Police Department went 441police officers patrolling the streets down to the 320, a thirty percent reduction.

“The rate of officer per violent crime, we are the highest in the nation definitely within the state ,  we have about 11.7 violent crimes per officer within the City of Stockton…Cities like  San Francisco and Los Angeles  have two, Oakland is close to 9,”explained Jones.

“Never before have we needed the community support as much as we need right now… together we can force multiply and changes and began to make some significant changes.”

Jones encouraged the community to report crime and to lessen the chances of them becoming a victim of crime.

I Have a Voice: Michelle Morales

Michelle Morales is determined to support the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community to challenge intolerance and promote acceptance. Continue reading

Health Careers Academy Starts New Academic Year

STOCKTON, CA- Health Careers Academy (HCA) started its second academic year on Tuesday August 14, with 250 students and with a warmth welcoming by local community leaders. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Danny Thomas Dunne Ruiz

Dunne-Ruiz is a retired police officer from Tracy, author of the Blue Mexican, a novel published in 2009 and currently works as English teacher at San Mary`s High School and the San Joaquin Delta College. Continue reading

Who and Where the DREAMers Are

WASHINGTON D.C. – Exactly who might be eligible for the Obama`s “deferred action”? is the question that a recent Immigration Policy Center (IPC) report, Who and Where the DREAMers Are, aims to answer. Continue reading

Carne Asada with the Candidates and First Deferred Action Forum in Stockton

Update August 2, 2012 – Event will be held at 11:00AM

STOCKTON, CA- Statewide and local non-profit organizations bring and opportunity and space for the community to meet with local candidates and learn more about the recent Deferred Action policy on August 4th at La Jamaica located at 609 S. Lincoln St. Stockton, CA 95203.

The event aims to get communities to become more familiar with local candidates and get to meet them personally and so build a strong relationship between community members and political leaders across the Central Valley.

The forum will provide information about the Deferred Action Announcement by the Obama Administration on June 15 and give the community time to ask questions and express their concerns.

“¡Todos a Votar!” (“Let’s Vote!”) National Tour Makes its First Stop in Stockton

STOCKTON, CA- Stockton is the first stop of the national campaign ¡Todos a Votar! (Let`s Vote) tour to register and mobilize Latino voters.

Led by six national Latino advocacy groups, ¡Todos a Votar! Campaign kickoff was held on Thursday, July 26 at the Comision Honorifica Mexicana, “La Jamaica” and is expected to travel to four cities and five other states.

The 2012 presidential election could be one of the most important for Latinos because the political party debates are polarizing issues close to home, such as jobs, taxes, immigration and health care.

“We will decide who will be elected president of the United States and who will be running the congress…  we will also make sure that the issues that we care about are placed on the agenda,” said Eliseo Medina, Service Employees International Union International Secretary Treasure.

Vanessa Maciel and Adriana Granados, two volunteers of Mi Familia Vota, walk through the streets of Stockton encouraging people to cast their vote.

Labor rights leader, Eliseo Medina

Through the door to door campaign Vanessa Maciel (23) and Adriana Granados (14), two of the thirty volunteers in Stockton, are determined to increase the Latino voter turnout in the San Joaquin County.
Are you registered to vote? is the question that Maciel and Granados continuously  ask as they walk through the streets of Stockton, hoping to register as many new voters as they can.

“I am Latina…I really want to get out there and help,” said Macias. “I been a volunteer for two weeks…the message I want to get out is to encourage the community to vote.”
The goal of the campaign is to nationally register 650,000 new voters, – two thousand of them in the San Joaquin County.
For the labor rights leader, Medina, this November the election will also determine whether 1.2 million dreamers and eleven million workers, will legalize their immigration status.The Latino electorate is not a “sleeping giant,” says Arnulfo de la Cruz, California State Director of “Mi Familia Vota,” one of the national participating Latino advocacy groups.

“We [Latinos] are working one to three jobs, we are taking care of the children, we are up early, so we are not sleeping; we are an ignored block,” said De la Cruz. “I don’t think candidates and the political infrastructure do enough to reach Latino voters.”

“Political campaigns have limited money, so they will spend it on people who always vote to try to convince them to vote for them,” explains De la Cruz.  “They will not go out to a Barrio (neighborhood) where there’s Latinos not participating to try to engage them to vote.”

With 30 volunteers in Stockton and 25 Modesto, the campaign plans to triple the number of volunteers as the election gets closer.

The ¡Todos a Votar! National Tour will next travel to Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego, to eventually reach Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Florida and Colorado.

According the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), in California, New Mexico and Texas, at least one in five voters will be Latino.

“These are all states where the Latino vote will play a decisive role,” said Medina. “Democracy works best when we all participate.”

Contact Dennise Rocha,

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