This category contains 16 posts

A Bridge for Women Veterans and Dept of Veteran Affairs.

1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636)

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a new hotline — 1-855-VA-WOMEN — to receive and respond to questions from Veterans, their families and caregivers about the many VA services and resources available to women Veterans. The service began accepting calls on April 23, 2013.

“Some women Veterans may not know about high-quality VA care and services available to them,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The hotline will allow us to field their questions and provide critical information about the latest enhancements in VA services.” 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.

I Have a Voice: Memoirs of Our Community

STOCKTON, CA – Friday, September 14 2012 the Mexican Heritage Center in collaboration with the Bilingual Weekly will host a reception for the exhibition called, I Have a Voice: Memoirs of Our Community.

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Interview: Vietnam Veteran

 Soto in his library

(bw) STOCKTON, CA – Tracy Native and Veteran, Richard Soto’s began his life in the south side with his widowed mother and 4 siblings. 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

Book Review: The Second Time We Met

 Book Commentator: Richard Soto

Bud West, Principal at Kohl Open School, along with teachers and staff wrote “Shooting Victim Leaves Huge Void,” a letter to the editor published on the March 6, 2012 edition of The Record — Stockton’s daily newspaper.

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Audio books for Military personnel

Connect parents in service and their children

Charterhouse Center for Families in partnership with Karl Ross Post 16 launched its Boots-N-Books campaign.  Boots-N-Books is a program that brings military families together through literacy and books.  The kick-off campaign was on Wednesday, March 7th at the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce. Continue reading

Veterans Day 2011, Frank Reyes Dedicated to Serving his Community

DSC00415studentsdelta | Sarah Lippincott

In honor of Veterans Day, November 11th, Bilingual Weekly reached out to a member of our community who had served our country. We spoke with Vietnam Veteran Frank Reyes, who welcomed us into his home on November 10, 2011. As we visited with Reyes we met a humble person, an unsung hero to other Veterans. His service to America did not end at the closure of the Vietnam war, today, he continues to serve, annually he provides many Veteran organizations with countless volunteer hours as he helps with several tasks at each of the organizations he serves.

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BOOK REVIEW- Becoming Dr. Q: Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, MD

By Richard Soto

(bw) Today, over 600,000 individuals, including nearly 30,000 children, are living with a diagnosis of a primary brain or central nervous system tumor in the United States.  Approximately 75 percent of non-adult patients diagnosed with brain tumors are under the age of fifteen.  Brain cancer is the deadliest form of childhood cancer.  We also know there are more than 130 types of brain tumors, which can make diagnosing brain cancer a challenge.

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Stockton Joins Nation in September 11th Ceremony

“Some of our best and brightest military and civilians… they ar who we celebrate today.”


by Mayra Barrios

STOCKTON, CA – Stockton joined the ceremonies held across the nation in memory of the 10th anniversary of the attacks of September, 11.

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MEMORIAL DAY SPECIAL: A Salute to Hispanic Soldiers by Richard Soto

Hero Street USA- Marc Wilson 2009
In 1963, Raul Morin, a foot soldier in the European front with the 79th Division during World War 2 authored “Among the Valiant” a true hard hitting saga of the Mexican-American soldiers. The first full-length factual account ever written by a U.S. born American of Mexican descent.

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Afghanistan Anti-War Resolution Fails

Bilingual Weekly

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-CA)  today issued support statements with regards to House Concurrent Resolution 28 (HCR-28): the Afghanistan War Powers Resolution.  HCR 28, would have directed the President to remove the U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan by the end of this year.  The Resolution was considered by the House of Representatives during the March 17, 2011 session, and defeated by a floor vote of 321 to 93.  Continue reading

Does it end?

Richard Soto / Bilingual Weekly
It was a warm summer day in August of 2003 and I had celebrated my 37th year mentally scarred but home from the tragedy of VietNam and my war time experience as a Navy Surgical Nurse attached to the U .S. Marine Corp. Continue reading

Opinion:Rivera’s death community version

By Motecuzoma Sanchez

A supporter of the James Rivera family waves a sign outside the Stockton Police (SPD) headquarters on downtown Stockton on Friday, July 24, 2010. Rivera —a Juvenile Hall escapee and carjacking suspect— was killed by Stockton Police on Thursday, July 22, 2010, after a car chase in North Stockton. Some twenty people joined Rivera relatives to protest the shooting, characterizing it as an ongoing abuse of force by the SPD because —according to protesters— the suspect was unarmed and wasn’t given an opportunity to surrender. Rivera was to turn 17 years old the following day.

On Wednesday July 21, 2010, a newly organized coalition of organizations from Stockton, Modesto, and Sacramento, gathered together with the public to host a community town hall focused on educating the public about police misconduct and abuse in communities, especially Black and Mexican, and discussed possible strategies and actions to hold law enforcement agencies accountable and promote responsible policing. Continue reading

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