This category contains 16 posts

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

Juan Andrade

The most anticipated soccer game of the London Olympic Games was held at the magnificent Wembley stadium, on Saturday August 11, 2012. The final soccer game between Brazil and Mexico started at 7 AM Pacific time. During the first 30 seconds of the game, the Mexican player, Oribe Peralta, scored the first goal giving his team confidence and surprising the Brazilian team. Continue reading

Stockton has PRIDE for the first time

STOCKTON, CA – The San Joaquin Pride center will host Stockton’s first Pride Festival in recent history on Saturday, August 25th, 2012 at Oak Grove Regional Park. In Addition, there will be a pre-event celebration and art exhibition held on Friday, August 24th, 2012 at the Mexican Heritage Center and Gallery from 6PM until 9PM. Continue reading

EVENT: St. Gertrudes Bazar

STOCKTON, CA – St. Gertrude’s will be hosting their Bazar this weekend. Saturday, 8/4 from 1-9PM and Sunday 8/5 from 11am – 9pm.$1.00 donation at the door 1663 E. Main Street Stockton, California. Contact (209) 466-0278 for more information.

I Have a Voice: Gina Valadez

Gina Valadez is the director and founder of Bread of Life — a San Joaquin County food program.

“I printed some flyers early in the morning, passed them around the neighborhood letting people know that we were giving away groceries,” Valadez shared her duties during the morning when Bread of Life started in Stockton back in 2008.  “The first time we open our doors, we had 60 people outside our church.” Continue reading

Delta Fusion Meets at the River

STOCKTON, CA — “Meet Me at the River” was the theme for the second annual Delta Fusion Pageant, held at Stockton’s Victory Park during the morning of Saturday June, 30th. Continue reading

Reduction of demand for Wild Life may end illegal trade

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – WildAid’s second annual Gala Fundraiser hosted at the Terra Gallery in San Francisco on May 11, 2012 at $120/ticket; bringing celebrity ambassadors to represent WildAids Mission to, “End the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes by reducing demand through public awareness campaigns and providing comprehensive marine protection.” Continue reading

The legendary singers Joan Sebastian and Pepe Aguilar announce concert in Stockton

STOCKTON, CA-Two musical stars of Mexican music, the legendary Joan Sebastian and Pepe Aguilar announce a concert in the City of Stockton — planned for Saturday, June 30 at the Stockton Arena as part of a tour titled “Dejando Huella” (Leaving a trace). Continue reading

Book Review:Evening at the Argentine Club

Evening at the Argentine Club: A book written by Julia Amante

Grand Central Publishing 2009

By Richard Soto

If you want to read a book full of love, young and mature romance and all the challenges that go with both of them, then this is the book for you.  In her first novel, author Julia Amante has taken on the challenge of describing love and has done an excellent job.

Richard Soto

The novel revolves around the Argentinian immigrant families of Victor and Jacqueline Torres and their daughters Victoria and Carmen.  Carmen is away at college studying to become a doctor.  The second family consists of Antonio, Lucia and their son Eric Ortelli.

The Argentine Club is a center created by Argentinian immigrants where they can gather, celebrate Argentinian patriotic holidays, speak Spanish and keep their culture and language alive for themselves and their children—like Victoria, Carmen and Eric.  It promotes the sentiment: “You have to work to keep the Argentine culture alive inside of you”: a sentiment that resonates like the message of La Jamaica/Comision Honorifica Mexicana on Lincoln Street in Stockton.

Victor Torres fell in love with his novia (girlfriend), Jacqueline, and brought her to the United States where he wanted to realize the American Dream.  Antonio Ortelli fell in love with his novia , Lucia, and also promised her the American Dream.  Victor works 24/7 and has a successful restaurant and after 30+ years decides that he wants to grow and create a chain.   A problem: Victor does not share his decision with his family and over the past 30-years Jacqueline is beginning to feel neglect and the pains of empty nest syndrome.

Antonio Ortelli, on the other hand, has been a big risk taker but on more than one occasion he has come out behind, to the point that he loses Eric’s college fund, he is in a fight with his son and Eric leaves home in a fit of anger and does not return for many years.  In this American dream struggle, Victor makes money but is on the verge of losing his wife and daughter, both of whom have dreams of their own.  Along the way, Victor realizes that “all his life he thought he knew his family, and he didn’t know any of them.  He hadn’t paid attention.” Antonio has kept the sparkle in his relationship, lost money and he is trying to win both back.

While I was reading this book I couldn’t help but think of that book “Passages” by Gail Sheehy that deals with predictable crises in one’s life, such as when Jacqueline states on pg. 252. “I was thinking not of seeing them, but about a lifetime of raising them.  I swear, Lucia, I can still remember how they smelled when they were tiny, pudgy babies.”  Pg.123, “It wasn’t new friends she was looking for, it was… a life.” And on pg. 169 on her mature relationship, “She’d mourned the passionate innocent, romantic part of their marriage long ago.  That didn’t hurt anymore.  But now she missed the friendship part that they’d developed in later years.”

Each couple has their trials and tribulations, but the overarching value of this book for parents and young adults are the lessons learned and steps taken to deal with challenges in one’s life.  I had to stop and look for one of my most favorite counseling books, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else,” by Dr. David Campbell, Ph.D. first published in 1974 and used by me as a counselor since 1976.

Some examples: pg. 133 Eric talking with Victoria “Vicky, you’ve gotta accept yourself better your dreams, your body.  It’s who you are.”  Pg. 153 on not letting things just happen, “one bag full of makeup, brushers and combs, her blow dryer, hair straightener, curler, lotion, creams, deodorants, toothbrushes, and birth control pills.”  On planning and getting a mentor pg. 164, “as part of her registration process, she had a counseling session. Victoria spent a couple of hours discussing her goals and planning her courses.” We all need a support team and Victoria’s consisted pg. 164 “Douglas is the one who recommended I get my degree.  He’s my cheerleader and my friend.  He’s right about absolutely everything.”  On making space for what you want to happen, pg. 206 Victoria, “bought a journal and a planner to create a new plan for her future.”

I thought for sure that Juliana was a psychologist, marriage counselor, interior decorator, carpenter chef and many other things to have written such a wonderful book.

Now on the bad side, again, the Argentinian characters all seem to have readily available money to pay cash.  Eric is writing one check after another, taking his graduation class on a cruise, buys a fixer-upper, and pays workers.  Victor is investing in multiple restaurants, Jacqueline goes on a cruise, Carmen is getting her college paid for and Victoria still lives at home.

There are instances of discrimination but again the author does not explore this sufficiently.  She describes the misidentification of all Latinos as Mexicans and leaves it at that.   Then when Steven punches Eric in the face after telling him that he is pretty much white washed and too good for other Argentinians, the author drops out and we do not hear from Steve again…

This and Ms. Amante’s second book were both excellent in dealing with the Latino family navigating through tough time in a changing society.

Book Review: Say You’ll Be Mine

Say You’ll Be Mine: Parte de Julia Amante

By Richard Soto

Grand Central Publishing of New York City has done it again in publishing Julia Amante’s second novel set in Temecula, California and Argentina.  In her second book, Ms. Amante explores with great sensitivity the delicate issues of child adoption, child rearing, love, cultural nationalism, discrimination and success. Continue reading

Teen Truth Film Festival showcases Local Talent

Stockton, CA- Venture Academy was one of the host schools in California of the national Teen Truth (TT) Film Festival tour on Thursday, April 12. Continue reading

Stockton Cinco de Mayo Parade 2012 Gears Up


San Joaquin County — The Coalition of Mexican-American Organizations (known for its acronym in Spanish COMA) announced that the 2012 Cinco de Mayo Parade will be held May 6th at 11:00 a.m. at Stockton’s downtown. Continue reading

Stockton Symphony closes classics series with power Pianist

STOCKTON, CA – Maestro Peter Jaffe conducts the Stockton Symphony’s season-closing Classics concerts featuring Italian pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi on Thursday, April 12, and Saturday, April 14. The concerts will be held at the Warren Atherton Auditorium on the San Joaquin Delta College campus. Continue reading

“Masked Warriors Live” at the Stockton Arena

Stockton, CA- Luchastars such as Lizmark Jr., Super Nova, Pequeño Halloween, Marco Corleone, RJ Brewer, Shane “Hurricane” Helms and Chavo Guerrero Jr., Latin Lover, Melina and Mexican legends, La Parka, Tinieblas and Blue Demon Jr.-all gathered at the “Masked Warriors Live” held at the Stockton Arena on Sunday, March 25, 2012. Continue reading

Children Experience a Symphonic World Premier: Conflict and Resolution

San Joaquin Delta College’s Atherton Auditorium was full of excitement as fourth and fifth graders arrived at the Stockton Symphony’s “Steppin’ Out” concert on Friday, March 2nd.

As the children sat to enjoy the concert, little did they know that they were about to experience a world premiere of Conflict and Resolution—a music project created by Israeli composer and award winner, Avner Dorman.  Conflict and Resolution is based on the children`s book “Uzu and Muzo” by Ephraim Sidon.

“This [Stepping’ Out Concert] is an opportunity for students to see live music,” said Stockton Symphony Director of Marketing, Jan Stanley. “Kids are exposed to so much electronic music in the radio and movies but they don’t hear live music and they are not exposed to instruments of an orchestra.”

The Steppin’ Out Concert is a project beyond a single concert; teachers support music education as they engage children in conversation and basic understanding about music in their classrooms by teaching kids music concepts and appreciation skills, explained Stanley.

In the 30 minute performance Dorman brought life to the story of two brothers, Uzu and Muzu, with symphonic music.  In addition to exposing children to orchestra music, the book teaches kids a message about tolerance and conflict resolution. The Fantasy Overture from Romeo and Juliet by the legendary Russian composer, Tchaikovsky, was also performed.

Dorman is in a residency agreement with the Stockton Symphony to encourage children to read and write about conflict and resolution through a series of educational activities.

26 schools around San Joaquin County and approximately 2,350 students attended two Steppin’ Out performances.  The community may enjoy Dorman’s creation on Thursday March 8th and Saturday March 10th.  Tickets are available at (209) 951-0196.

Other art organizations also harmonized with the Stockton Symphony as they are exhibiting their own interpretations of Conflict and Resolution.  The Mexican Heritage Center and Gallery’s (MHC&G) March exhibit highlights its gallery members’ interpretation of Conflict and Resolution.  Dorman will have a special reception at MHC&G on Monday, March 5 and an Artist Reception will be on Friday, March 9th; both events are scheduled at 5:30 p.m.

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