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1st Quarter 2013 - Vol. 3 Issue 11

Connecting You To The Caribbean Community


Caribbean Independenc

Grenada, Saint Lucia, G and The Dominican R page 2

all celebrated their independence in February. Grenada w their 39th Anniversary of Independence on February 7th; Sa 34th Anniversary of Independence on February 22; on Febru their country’s 43rd Republic Anniversary and on February 27th celebrated their 169th Republic Anniversary.


ce Day 2013

Guyana epublic

was first to celebrate aint Lucia celebrated their uary 23, Guyana celebrated h, The Dominican Republic

22

INDEPENDENCE DAY RECOGNITION

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CAHFT is published by The Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas: All Rights Reserved. CAHFT is produced by the Communications Department. Managing Editor/Creative Director Peter Lyn René Contributing Editor Ana Valenzuela

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2011 IMMIGRATION YEARBOOK

Photography Peter Lyn René, Alicia Cave, Yudith Soto Contributors Peter Lyn René, Alicia Cave, Marvan Pilgrim, Ana Valenzuela, Yudith Soto, Jerry Castro-Cayetano Advertising To advertise in CAHFT contact Alicia Cave, Director of Public Relations 713-783-5779 acave@caribbeanheritagetx.org For information about The Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas, our programs and events, call 713-783-5779 and visit our website: www.caribbeanheritagetx.org

CONTENTS AJC Immigration Summit 2.0 .................... 06-07 Global Jewish Advocacy Houston 2013 Summit

Immigration Town Hall ................................. 08-09 Hosted by Congressman Al Green

2011 Immigration Yearbook ........................ 10-11 2011 Immigration Statistics

Permanent Residency .................................... 12-13 2011 Permanent Residence Increases

2012 Immigration Yearbook ....................... 14-15 2012 Summary of Immigration Statistics

CAHFT Festival ................................................... 18-19 CAHFT 3rd Annual Caribbean Month Festival

The Caribbean ................................................... 20-21 A Closer Look at the Caribbean page 4

Independence .................................................... 22-23 Celebrating Independence of Four Caribbean Nations


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STARTING A NEW LIFE IN THE UNITED STATES

CAHFT Celebrates Independence ........... 24-25 CAHFT Celebrates Independence of Four Caribbean Nations

Princess Juliana International Airport ... 26-27 Landing at one of the World’s Scariest Airports

Caribbean Festivals .......................................... 28-29 Ja-ga Festival and Houston Caribbean Festival

The Boston Marathon .................................... 30-31

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SAYING GOODBYE TO SMOKESAX

38

CAHFT ON CAPITOL HILL

The Boston Boil and the Big Bear

Goodbye Smokesax ........................................ 34-35 Iconic Structure Removed from the Richmond Strip

Building A Bright Future................................ 36-37 Starting a New Life in the United States

CAHFT On Capitol Hill ................................... 38-39 Caribbean Legislative Week on Capitol Hill

I Love Soca Passion ......................................... 40-41 Soca Dancehall Event the last Friday of Each Month

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AJC

Global Jewish Advocacy

Houston Immigration Summit 2.0 Congressman Al Green (L), Congressman Gene Green

Compromise is a KEY!

M

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embers of Congress from Houston, Al Green and Gene Green joined U.S. Dept. of Labor Southwest Regional Representative Dusti Gurule and Beto Cardenas, former counsel of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in AJC Houston’s Bridging America Task Force on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 morning immigration summit at Omni Houston Hotel. Gurule flew in from Denver to

represent the Obama Administration. “We can secure the border. We can’t seal the border . We can do all these other things, but dear friends, the thing that we have to negotiate is what does citizenship really mean and how do we get there; and citizenship is about this right to vote,” says Congressman Al Green. Congressman Al Green also went on to say that he wants people legalized so they can

become citizens, and that is where the compromise must be reached.

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ongressman Gene Green also stressed the need for compromise saying that one of the compromises reached in the Senate proposal is that learning to speak English would be a requirement before they became a legal resident. Congressman Gene Green also said that he hopes the Senate plan will provide an ultimate path to citizenship whether it is within 10 or 12 years.


T

he summit, which was open to the community and cosponsored by community groups, focused a discussion on the remedies necessary from a bipartisan perspective on achieving immigration reform. From border security to tax and ID, all related issues were explored during the two plus hours discussion. Southern Core Recycling and Amegy Bank of Texas along with AJC Houston were Summit sponsors. Summit co-sponsors included: AFLCIO; Asian Chamber of Commerce; Greater Houston Partnership; IAPAC. Hon. Consul of Jamaica Omari Fullerton (L), Congressman Al Green (R)

Dept. of Labor Representative Dusti Gurule

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resident Barack Obama’s administration representative for this Summit Dusti Gurule said that part of the reason she wanted to be here for the Summit is that we really wanted to know, for the past few years, from folks on the ground to get a better sense of the immigration issues and to share these issues with the White House. Ms. Gurule also discussed the border saying, “If you build a 10-foot wall, and you have another on the other side of the wall, they are going to find a way to build an 11-foot ladder. “

Randy Czarlinsky, Regional Director AJC Houston, Congressman Al Green, Gordon Quan page 7


(L-R) Congressman Al Green, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Jerry CastroCayetano (special host, CAHFT TV), Leonie Blackshire

(L-R) Congressman Al Green, Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Immigration

town hall by Congressman Al Green March 9, 2013 Bayou City Center

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ongressman Al Green held an Immigration Town Hall Meeting at the Bayou City Event Center...and he brought plenty of star power with him. Joining Congressman Green were Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, 4th Congressional District of Illinois and Houston’s own Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee. The capacity crowd were treated to several testimonies from immigrants sharing their success stories and an inspiring keynote address from Congressman Gutierrez. Congresswoman Lee also lent her support for Immigration Reform by saying, “We are all in this together.”

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Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee,


L-R) Congressman Al Green, Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, Jerry Castro-Cayetano

Local 123 in Houston

Roland Gramajo, left

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2011 Yearbook Of IMMIGRATION STATISTICS Roughly 7% of the popullation in the Greater Houston Area is of Caribbean dessce entt.

Immigrants in Texas from 23 Caribbean Nations Became Citizens in 2011 The Department of Homeland Security indicated that a total of 78,820 immigrants the Caribbean became U.S. citizens in 2011: of which 1,056 resides in Texas. Homeland Security is currently compiling statistics for 2012. According to the department, the leading job category of residents becoming citizens were those with “no occupation and not working outside the house:”

 No occupation - 22,758  Service occupations - 12,049  Management - 10,068 page 10

In Texas, of the 1,056 naturalized citizens, 503 were male and 553 were female.

Naturalization In Texas by Caribbean Nation Caribbean Nation Antigua and Barbuda Aruba The Bahamas Barbados Belize Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic Grenada Guyana Haiti Jamaica Panama Saint Kitts & Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent & Grenadines Trinidad & Tobago

Total 8 4 17 25 45 309 41 109 16 78 63 230 125 3 30 10 182

Male 4 4 9 15 20 165 14 46 11 44 39 105 43 5 6 76

Female 4 8 10 25 144 27 63 5 34 24 125 82 3 25 4 106


Permanent Residence

2012 Naturalization Yearbook According to The Department of Homeland Security, the number of Caribbean immigrants naturalized as U.S. citizens increased to 109,762 in 2012 from 78,820 in 2012. These increases were consistent with the growing number of naturalization applications filed and processed during 2010–2012. From 2011 to 2012, the number of naturalizations increased the most for immigrants from North America. Among leading countries of origin, the largest increase in naturalizations during this period—in absolute and percentage terms—occurred among per-sons born in the Dominican Republic (12,843 or 63 percent) and Cuba (10,173 or 48 percent). Seventy-four percent of all persons naturalizing in 2012 resided in10 states. Texas accounted for 57,762 (11%) of the 757,434 people naturalized in the U.S. in 2012. The Houston-Sugar LandBaytown area accounted for 22,056 of naturalizations last year.

In 2012, females accounted for 55 percent of all persons naturalizing. More than one-half (52 percent) of new citizens were ages 25 to 44 years. The median age of all persons naturalizing was 40 years. Persons 65 years and over accounted or nearly nine percent of naturalizations in 2012 Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of persons naturalizing in 2012were married, and 23 percent were single. continued on page 14

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2011 Permanent Residence Increases The number of individuals granted Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) status in 2011 increased 1.9 percent from 1,042,625 in 2010 to 1,062,040. Texas saw a 0.5 percent rise in LPR.

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ccording to the Department of Homeland Security, LPR adjustments of status increased from 566,576 in 2010 to 580,092 in 2011. New arrival LPRs increased 1.2 percent from 476,049 in 2010 to 481,948 in 2011. Fiftyfive percent of LPRs in 2011 were adjustments of status and 45 percent were new arrivals.

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n 2011,1,062,040 received LPR: of which 133, 680 were Caribbean immigrants, slightly down from 2010 and 2011. In Texas, in reported the 4th largest LPR behind California, New York and Florida, 94,481 immigrants received LPR. The HoustonSugar Land-Baytown area received the biggest number of LPR with 31, 136. Family-sponsored immigrants (immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and family preference classes of admission) represented 65 percent of the total LPR flow in 2011. Immediate

relatives of U.S. citizens accounted for 43 percent of all individuals granted LPR status in 2011. Spouses of U.S. citizens represented 57 percent of immediate relative LPRs. Parents of U.S. citizens accounted for 25 percent, and children of U.S. citizens, including adopted orphans, comprised 18 percent. More than 22 percent of new LPRs in 2011 were admitted under a family-sponsored preference. The second preference (spouses and children of alien residents) accounted for 46 percent of family sponsored preference LPRs, and the fourth preference (siblings of U.S. citizens) comprised 30 percent. Immigrants admitted under an employment-based preference accounted for 13 percent of the LPR flow in 2011. The second preference (professionals with advanced degrees) represented 48 percent of new employment-based

preference LPRs.

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ew LPRs have historically been younger than the native population of the United States. In 2011, the median age for persons becoming LPRs was 31 years. New LPRs are more likely to be female than the native U.S. population. In 2011, females accounted for 55 percent of persons granted LPR status compared with 51 percent for the U.S. native population. The majority (56 per-cent) of new LPRs were married compared with 38 percent of the native population.

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he leading metropolitan area of residence for new LPRs in 2011 was New YorkNorthern New JerseyLong Island, NY-NJ-PA (17 percent). Other prominent metropolitan areas of residence included Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA (8.1 percent), Miami-Fort LauderdalePompano Beach, FL (6.8 percent), WashingtonArlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (3.7 ), and Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI (3.3 percent). These five metropolitan areas accounted for the residence of 39 percent of new LPRs.


Trends, Age, Gender & Marriage

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he leading regions of birth of new LPRs in 2011 were Asia (43 percent) and North America (31 percent) (see Table 3). Together, Asia and North America accounted for 70 percent or more of the LPR flow each year from 2009 to 2011.

I Permanent Residence in Texas by Caribbean Caribbean Nation Antigua and Barbuda Aruba The Bahamas Barbados Belize Bermuda Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic Grenada Guyana Haiti Jamaica Panama Saint Kitts & Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent & Grenadines

Total 6 3 27 17 92 8 1137 17 285 19 48 79 251 129 12 41 6

Male Unknown 14 9 41 Unknown 607 10 126 12 17 31 114 48 8 13 Unknown

Female Unknown 3 13 8 51 Unknown 530 7 159 7 31 48 137 81 4 28 Unknown

n 2011, 14 percent of all persons granted LPR status were born in Mexico. Other prominent coun-tries of birth were China (8.2 percent), India (6.5 percent), Philippines (5.4 percent), and the Dominican Republic (4.3 percent). These five countries accounted for nearly 38 percent of all new LPRs in 2011.

T

he number of persons granted LPR status who were born in China increased by 23 percent from 2010 to 2011. Asylee adjustments accounted for most of this increase.

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New LPRs have historically been younger than the native population of the United States. In 2011, the median age for persons becoming LPRs was 31 years; in con-trast, the median age of the U.S. native population was 35 years.

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ew LPRs are more likely to be female than the native U.S. population. In 2011, females accounted for 55 percent of persons granted LPR status compared with 51 percent for the U.S. native population. The majority (56 per-cent) of new LPRs were married compared with 38 percent of the native population. page 13


2012 Immigration Yearbook - Summary Naturalization & Legal Residence

Persons Naturalized

in 2012

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n 2012, a total of 757,434 persons naturalized, of which, 57,762 resided in Texas. 22,056 of those persons residing in Texas were from the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area. A total 109,762 of those persons naturalized in 2012 were from Caribbean nations. The leading countries of birth of new citizens

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were Mexico (102,181), the Philippines (44,958), India (42,928), the Dominican Republic (33,351), and the People’s Republic of China (31,868). The largest number of persons naturalizing lived in California (158,850), Florida (100,890), and New York (93,584). Seventy-four percent of all persons naturalizing in 2012 resided in 10 states. California was home to the largest percentage of persons naturalizing (21 percent), followed by Florida (13 percent).


Legal Permanent Residency in 2012

T

In 2012, a total of 1,031,631 persons became Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) of the United States, of which 95,557 live in Texas. 31,738 of those living in Texas in the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area. A total 127,477 of those persons receiving LPRs in 2012 were from Caribbean nations. The majority of these new LPRs (53 percent) already lived in the United States when they were granted lawful permanent residence. Nearly 66 percent of new LPRs were granted permanent resident status based on a family relationship with a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States. The leading countries of birth of new LPRs were Mexico (14 percent), China (7.9 percent), and India (6.4 percent). In 2012, the limit on preference immigration was 370,951 which included 226,000 visas in the family-sponsored preferences and 144,951 visas in the employment-based preferences.

Region and Leading Countries of Birth

T

The leading regions of birth of new LPRs in 2012 were Asia (42 percent) and North America (32 percent). Together, Asia and North America accounted for 70 percent or more of the LPR flow each year from 2009 to 2012. In 2012, 14 percent of all persons granted LPR status were born in Mexico. Other prominent countries of birth were China (7.9 percent), India (6.4 percent), Philippines (5.6 percent), and the Dominican Republic (4 percent). These five countries accounted for 38 percent of all new LPRs in 2012. Family-sponsored immigrants (immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and family preference classes of admission) represented 66 percent of the total LPR flow in 2012.

Historical Trends and Characteristics of LPR

T

he number of individuals granted LPR status in 2012 decreased 2.9 percent from 1,062,040 in 2011 to 1,031,631. LPR adjustments of status decreased from 580,092 in 2011 to 547,559 in 2012. New arrival LPRs increased slightly from 481,948 in 2011 to 484,072 in 2012. Fifty-three percent of LPRs in 2012 were adjustments of status and 47 percent were new arrivals. In 2012, females accounted for 55 percent of all persons naturalizing. More than one-half (52 percent) of new citizens were ages 25 to 44 years. The median age of all persons naturalizing was 40 years. Persons 65 years and over accounted for nearly nine percent of naturalizations in 2012. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of persons naturalizing in 2012 were married, and 23 percent were single.

T

he annual LPR flow has exhibited an upward trend since 1945. The average annual LPR flow increased from 250,000 during the 1950s to more than 1 million between 2000 and 2012. Changes in immigration law associated with this increase included the elimination of country quotas controlling Eastern Hemisphere immigration, increases in annual limits for hemispheric and preference immigration, and the inclusion of parents of adult U.S. citizens as numerically exempt immediate relatives.

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CAHFT June Festival

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Come out and Celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month

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E

very ten years, the Census Bureau holds the annual census count, the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of given population. In the United States, this is a constitutional mandate whereby survey results are used for the appropriation of federal resources for community, social and economic development. According to the 2010 Census, there are 3.7 million foreign born Caribbean living in the United States; representing the 3rd largest among foreign born groups with 18 percent. “During the last 50 years, the number of foreign born from Latin America and the Caribbean has increased rapidly from 1 million in 1960 to 21.2 million in 2010”, noted the report by the US Census Bureau which highlights included: •

54 percent of foreign born in the Caribbean living in the United States are Naturalized Citizens

A Closer Look at the Population Development in the United States

• 40 percent of foreign born in the Caribbean are within the ages of 18-44 • 66.5 percent of Caribbean population indicated they were in the labor force • 71 percent of the Caribbean population indicated they had healthcare coverage • The average income for the Caribbean population is $39,934 and a household income of $44,921 While these figures demonstrate a closer look at the community, it also serves as a work plan and blueprint

Op-Ed by Jerry Castro-Cayetano for community leaders to strategize in organizing and advocating for more services and have more presence in the civic, political arena and business development where hot topics such as the economy and immigration are dominating the national conversation in the United States. More importantly, become a visible contributor to the development of the nation.

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aribbean immigrant businesses also play an important role in the economic recovery of the nation. A report by the Policy Institute published in June points that “among the other findings: Immigrants don’t just own companies, they put millions to work. As of 2007, immigrant businesses had $776 billion in revenues and employed 4.7 million.” The New York Daily News highlighted Jamaican immigrant Lowell Hawthorne, 52, who started Golden Krust with a Bronx storefront in 1989, who now has 120 restaurants, an annual sales of more than $100 million and 1,600 employees. An important player in the international economy, the Inter-American Development Bank published that Latin America and the Caribbean $61 Billion in remittances to their home countries in 2011. “The importance of these flows lies in the vital role they play for millions of recipient families that depend on remittances for basic needs, even in countries with higher GDP levels,” the report noted. The Census figures also showed that more work needs to be done in the field

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of education where only 18.5 percent are attaining a bachelors and higher degrees. The same field shows that 26.7 percent did not graduate from high school; 30 percent had a high school or equivalency and 24.8 had some had some college preparation or associates. There are many areas the community’s talent and history of progress can further advance in rural, metropolitan areas and the Caribbean region where strategic partnerships are developed to continue small business, education and workforce development and project the creation of 1 million jobs within the community for the next 10 years.

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ith 3.7 million people who share a common thread of cultural values in America and who’ve had an impeccable track record of progress and influence across the region, the census results are only part of the agenda alongside the reports about the economic power of the Caribbean community in the domestic and international economy. The real work eventually will end with how WE tackle these matters in advancing the development of the Caribbean community in the United States of America.

Jerry Castro-Cayetano interviews two Congressman: Al Green and Luis Gutierrez

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Grenada and Independence Celebrated on February 27, 2013 CAHFT Congratulates the Dominican Community in Houston. Secretary of State John Kerry stated: “On behalf of President Barack Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the Dominican Republic on the celebration of the 169th anniversary of Dominican independence this February 27. The United States and the Dominican Republic have a strong relationship based on historic ties and mutual interests. Our citizens’ security, governance, economic growth, health, and education are regional challenges that we address as partners.”

Saint Lucia Celebrated 34 Years of Independence Celebrated on February 23, 2013 CAHFT Congratulates the Guyanese Consulate in Houston on its day.

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Secretary of State John Kerry said: “On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate Guyana on the 43rd anniversary of the founding of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana this February 23. The United States values its close and collaborative relationship with Guyana. As you participate in the Mashramani festivities, I wish all Guyanese peace, happiness, and a productive year ahead.”


Celebrated on February 7, 2013. CAHFT Congratulates the Grenada Houston Association on its special day. Secretary of State John Kerry remarked: “I commend your Independence Day theme this year, ‘Celebrating 39 Years of Achievement with Renewed Optimism.’ The United States celebrates alongside Grenada our shared achievements, from the health of our citizens to the security, stability, and prosperity of our region. In addition to our strong bilateral cooperation, we are pleased to work with Grenada toward multilateral goals, such as the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.”

Dominican Republic’s 169th Independence Celebrated on February 22, 2013 CAHFT Congratulates the St. Lucia Foundation of Houston on its day. Secretary of State John Kerry said: “On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate St. Lucia on the 34th anniversary of independence this February 22. I wish a joyous and peaceful independence day to everyone in Bel Sent Lisi. As you celebrate, know that the United States stands with St. Lucia as a partner and friend toward a more peaceful and prosperous future for all our people. We are committed to strengthening the ties of friendship between our countries.”

Guyana 43rd Independence Celebration page 23


CAHFT PRESENTS A CELEBRATION OF INDEPENDENCE T

he Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas celebrated Independence Day for Grenada, Saint Lucia, The Dominican Republic and Guyana on Saturday March 2, 2013. The event was held at Elvias Night Club in Southwest Houston.

The event was headlined by Jamai Band, one of Houston’s top Soca Tropical Bands. DJ Bashment Yute, DJ Dovey Dove, and Stay Diverse kept the crowd fired up. One of Houston’s top Latin Djs, DJ Geraldo made a special appearance to make it a fantastic night of celebrating.

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(L-R) Flags of Grenada, The Dominican Republic, St. Lucia and Guyana

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Coming In For a Landing in Saint Marteen FUN IN THE SUN!

The landing strip is so short that planes must approach the island at an extremely low height, which means flying just 30-60 feet above tourists sunbathing on Maho Beach.

Duck!! Jet Roaring Above!

is on the Dutch side of the island and

Imagine lying on the beach, drink in

carries about 1.6 million passengers

hand, with the cool tropical breeze

a year. From the beach, vacationers

blowing in your face when suddenly,

spot the planes coming in from the

that breeze gets stronger and stronger

ocean side and they start running

and is accompanied by an unbearable

towards the center of the beach,

loud noise that you think will shatter

which is the best spot to be directly

the windows of the nearby shacks. As

under the plane when it lands. As it passes overhead people in the center

you look up, you’re face to belly with length of 2,180 metres/7,152 ft,

of the beach and road realize the

resulting in low-flying aircraft on their

plane really is that close and many

final approach over the beach. Due to

start ducking their heads out of sheer

This is a routine experience of

these low flying airplanes (including

excitement or fear.

vacationers at Maho Beach on the

large passenger airliners such as

Caribbean island of Saint Marteen.

the Boeing 747), the location is very

New Security Measures

Scores of aircraft arriving at Princess

popular with plane spotters.

NBC News reports that new security

a commercial airliner. After a few seconds, it’s all over.

Juliana International Airport, situated

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measures will be increased at Maho

a few hundred yards away, have to fly

Saint Martin is a tropical island in the

Beach on the Caribbean island in

low over the beach every day because

northeast Caribbean, approximately

response to a viral video showing

of its short runway and many people

186 miles east of Puerto Rico. The

a woman being injured by jet blast

are taken by surprise by how low the

island, which is 33.5 square miles,

from a JetBlue airplane. The beach is

planes actually fly. Incoming air traffic

is divided roughly in half between

just steps from the airport, and has

is known to have to touch down as

France and the Netherlands Antilles

become a popular attraction for plane

close as possible to the beginning of

and has a population of 73,000.

spotters and tourists. The St. Maarten

runway 10 due to the short runway

Princess Juliana International Airport

Tourism Bureau even markets Maho


Beach as a tourist attraction. But de-

Top Scariest Airport

daily arrivals and departures airline

spite posted signs warning that a blast

Princess Juliana International Airport

timetables are displayed on a board

from a jet’s engines can cause “extreme

in some polls, has been called the

in most bars and restaurants on

bodily harm and/or death,” thrill seek-

scariest airport in the wold. As of

the beach, and the Sunset Beach

ers often gather by the fence at the

2008, it is one of the few places

Bar and Grill has a speaker on its

end of the runway and try to hold on

in the world where one can view

outside deck that broadcasts the

through the jet blast of a departing

aircraft in their flight path virtually

radio transmissions between pilots

plane. YouTube videos show beachgo-

and the airport’s control tower. Sign

ers seemingly enjoying being buffeted

warning passers-by about the risks

by airplane blowback, but in a video

of jet blast. The beach itself is white

posted April 6 and viewed so far more

sand and has little to no vegetation

than 4.7 million times, a woman is

because of the jet blast erosion. The

shown being blown from the fence

Caravanserai Resort, the popular

and tumbling head first toward a

Sunset Beach Bar and other restau-

concrete barrier. Measures currently in

rants/night clubs such as Bamboo

place include double fencing, warning

Bernies and Bliss are located nearby.

signs, and brightly painted guardrails,

While it acknowledges the obvious

the statement said, “all of which have

attraction of planes landing so close

been implemented in consultation

to the beach and knows that this has

with the government to deter danger-

added to the popularity of the desti-

ous activity.” The airport also plans to

nation, the airport said in the state-

work with the St. Maarten government

just outside the end of the run-

ment that “no amount of excitement

on stricter enforcement of the warn-

way. Watching airplanes over the

or thrill can justify putting one’s life

ings posted along the fence.

beach is such a popular activity that

in danger.”

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The Boston Boil and the Big Bear Memoirs of the 2012 Boston Marathon

Dexter R. Handy

Dr. Beverly Handy

By Dexter R. Handy, Lt. Colonel United States Air Force - Retired

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hen you are 240 lbs, flat footed, and big boned (that’s putting it in a nice way…) you never expect to run the Boston Marathon; the PhD of Marathons. And you never expect to run that race when its 90 plus degrees!

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But there I was. At the starting line in Hopkinton on April 16th, which is Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts. Runner number 24545. Wave 3. Coral 9 (the very last coral). And all I had to was run 26.2 miles to Boston before the clock ran out. I had trained all my adult life for this day, despite my inability to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I had completed 24 marathons since 1996, including 7 Goofy Challenges (Disney’s annual two day event, which involved running a half marathon on day one, and a full marathon on day two). Being retired from the Air Force and the “Trophy Husband” of a hard working physician/marathon goddess, I was usually the logistics support whenever we traveled to Boston. Beverly, my wife, had qualified and run seven previous Boston Marathons, and I happily took care of air travel, hotels, meals, and post-race recovery for her. But Beverly thought that it would be nice if I also experienced Boston as a runner (Number 8 was coming up for her, and I had already secured hotel reservations at the Marriott Copley Place early. I was previously happy with the experience of watching the world class runners and the elite runners and the Oh-so-good runners from everywhere finish down Boston’s’ Boylston Street, while

I munched on my favorite carbohydrates – Donuts! “Not gonna happen in this lifetime!” I had commented. Despite my continuous training and running, I had been plagued with outfits that had shrunken while hanging in our closet for the past 6 years (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!), hamstrung with repetitive stress injuries, and I continued to finish in the bottom ten percent of my age group. I was destined to enjoy the Boston Marathon from the sidelines, with my donuts. And besides, I did complete the Boston 5K in 2011! I had already gotten a Boston medal! Thank You, Doctor Bev! But then, last year we discovered the invitation from the America Medical Athletic Association, which invited not only health professionals, but also their family members to run the Boston Marathon with AMAA. “This is your opportunity!” Beverly had excitedly prompted, and I eagerly bit the hook. Being a much faster typist than a runner, I signed up for the AMAA program at the earliest possible moment, and was one of the first to register for the “Run Boston with AMAA” program. I was in. As punishment for convincing me to attempt the impossible, I volunteered Beverly to write an article for the AMAA Journal (which was published in the 2012 Spring Issue).


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had already been in Training with Houston’s “Kenyan Way Marathon Training Program”, and our coach, Sean Wade, tailored months of special runs for all of his runners who had “qualified” to run Boston this year. I felt more like a “special education” version of the Boston bound runner during these training runs, but I continued to press on. I had one goal: I wanted to finish the Boston Marathon on April 16th while the clock was still up and running. My training runs got easier, and the hills Beverly and I both trained on in Bastrop Texas increased my confidence. By the middle of March, I felt ready. Being an advanced planner and a crisis planning/response manager (from my days in the Air Force) I started reviewing the details of the course, the daily weather reports, and the projected highs and lows for Boston. The consistent weather predictions stressed windy conditions with a 40-60 degree window (Great!!!). One week before our trip to Boston, I had already packed a parka, thermal running gloves, running tights, a knit hat, long sleeved running shirts, and a wind breaker (Just in case it got a little warmer). I packed two sets of everything. I even added a heat pack! Hey, it was hot in Texas, but it was projected to be cold and extremely windy in Boston! In retrospect, my wife fared better with her packing. With her busy patient load and research/lab schedule, Beverly didn’t pack until 6 hours before our flight left for Boston. By then, I had just begun to feel the shock of the new weather forecast: 8690 degrees during the race hours on April 16th! So with this new distressing news, I had to redo my entire race wardrobe, and concentrate on not just finishing the Boston Marathon, but also not ending up with heat stroke or overhydrating! By Saturday, April 14th, weather projections looked even worse! The Boston Marathon Race Officials were advising all of us non-qualified runners to consider not running. It was deemed just too dangerous with all of that heat. As an incentive, if we picked up our package, but opted not to cross the starting line, we would be guaranteed a slot in 2013 (but we would still have to pay for it…no refunds, thank you!). I was still determined to run this year. I forwarded this information to our coach back in Houston. Sean Wade (the fearless leader of the Kenyan Way Running Program) cautioned all of us Boston runners from Houston to just take it easy on this race – do not attempt to run a personal best! Just finish safe and finish strong. (I liked that advice...). My decision to run was sealed when a second announcement was made. In anticipation of the difficulty associated with high temperatures, big bones, flat feet, and big egos associated with the larger Clydesdale runners, the Boston Race Officials had decided to keep the finish line open for up to seven hours. (Seven Hours! Yes!!). This was now a run designed for “Big Bear”! So there I was…at the starting line, with lightweight shirt and shorts, sunscreen, running hat, compression socks, orthodics, KT Tape, tinted glasses, water bottle, gue, Iphone, emergency data, last will, and next of kin on the back of my running bib - and confidence. The starting signal went off, and I was now among 22,000 of my new best friends, most of them incredibly much faster than I will ever be (still, 950 of them would not finish this race). I had three modified objectives: 1 – Finish the race. 2 – Don’t get injured. And 3 – Look great for the camera shots. It was around the start of mile two when I first realized what an even greater challenge I was facing. I had trained hard. My lungs were ready; the temperatures was hot, but dry (a real gift when you come from a 98% humidity area like Houston). But my legs were shaky. The hills were almost always there. (So much for that negative altitude gain thing). My quads were getting quite a workout early on. The legs and the feet would really be challenged on this adventure. Because of the tremendous support from all the townsfolk in every village from Hopkinton to Boston, I never felt overtaken by the heat. I consistently ran for the water hoses, grabbed ice cubes from countless friendly folk along the route, and put ice in my hat, down my shirt, down my shorts (the back side!). At mile 9 or so, I posed with Santa Clause for a photo shot (we had met his brother last year on Disney Cruise, and I was looking for Santa that day). I was now so bloated from the previous night’s pasta and the extra amounts of Gatorade, I looked bigger than Santa, and his brother/agent next to him offered to hire me as Santa’s stunt double next Christmas season. Still, I stayed hydrated.

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Say Goodbye to

SMOkESAX

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Saxophone Artist Bob Wade

he Richmond Strip said goodbye to the iconic 70-foot saxophone, on February 28, 2013. The structure,

known as “Smokesax” stood proudly on at 6025 Richmond through many storms and a few hurricanes for 20 years is no more. Artist Bob Wade’s structure will be moved from

Wade oversaw the entire removal project and witnessed

its home in the 6000 block of Richmond in the Galleria

his structure sawed into many pieces which was ultimately

area, to its new home at the Orange Show Center for

loaded onto a flatbed truck for transportation. Smokesax

Visionary Art on Munger Street in east Houston. It was

was restored three years ago to coincide with the grand

donated to the center by property owners, Kensinger

opening of the then Horn Nightclub. The cost for

Properties Ltd., Joe Jaw-Horng Su and Angela Trent.

transportation and installation reportedly will total more than $40,000. Most of the costs, however will be covered

“We are thrilled to have been chosen to receive this fantastic and much beloved symbol of Texas’ creativity from on of the state’s most influential contemporary artists,” said Lynette Wallace, executive director of the Orange Show Center. “We look forward to permanently installing it on the Orange Show’s property and adding to the colorful artistic community in Houston’s east end.” The sculpture made of car parts, oil field pipes, a surfboard and an entire Volkswagon Beetle was a site for the longgone Billy Blues Nightclub, which was the center piece of the Richmond Avenue Strip in the 1990’s. But the Diablo Loco Wings y Mas sports bar soon to take up residence at 6025 Richmond, “Smokesax” just did not seem to fit the decor of the new establishment. Recently, this was page 34

the home for One Love Caribbean Tuesday, featuring the Reggae Band, Galaxy hosted by Supa Neil.

through private donations and public support. Artist Bob Wade reporting for CAHFT TV


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“...building a bright future”

W

hen my family made the decision of moving to the United States of America, we were looking for the opportunity of building a brighter future and a better life. I started that journey with my family 12 years ago. As an immigrant I have had the opportunity of getting to know the best of both worlds: knowing and embracing my Caribbean Heritage as well as my new American Community and fulfilling my American dream. The process of moving to the United States has been a learning experience as I have had the opportunity to become familiar with the immigration process, forms and requirements. What I came to know in particular was the process and procedure involved in the process of filing a petition for a family member to join me in the wonderful Unite States of America.

ANA VALENZUELA

I am happy to say that recently my now husband was able to join me. When our relationship started three years ago, we knew that having a long distance relationship was going to be

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difficult and painful for of both us, and that eventually we will have to face the immigration system in order to be united. So while, the first two years I travel to the Dominican Republic yearly, we decided that the time had come united, begin planting seeds for our family and life in the United States. Thus, the petition process which would unite me with my love began.

“I solicited a fiancé visa for him”

I

solicited a fiancé visa for him, which allowed him to come to the United States to marry me within 90 days of arriving. A fiancé visa allows an American citizen to petition his or her fiancé abroad and conduct their marriage ceremony in the USA. In order to obtain his fiancé visa status, we had to present many documents and prove and provide evidence that our relationship was in good faith; we also had to provide evidence we had meet face to face and had spent time together for at least two years. Eight month after submitting all of the information, we were call to the U.S. Consulate in the Dominican Republic for an interview. After undergoing several interviews and answering many questions in regarding our relationship, his visa was approved.

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IN T

Once my fiancé entered the U.S. and the marriage ceremony takes place, the Adjustment of Status process begins. My husband and I will fill out several immigration forms and will have to fulfill several requirements including an interview with an immigration officer in order for him to receive his temporary residency or green card, which will be valid for a period of two years. The temporary residency allows him to work, travel, and receive all of the rights and responsibilities of a lawful resident. At the end of the two year period, additional forms must completed in order to demonstrate that


A:

TING A LIFE EW

THE U.S. “He will be eligible to become a citizen� our marriage continues to be in good faith and that he continues to meet the criteria for lawful resident and thus receiving his permanent resident status, which will last for 10 years. After three years of marriage, he will be eligible to become an American Citizen. If he chooses to become an American Citizen, an application process will begin and another interview will be conducted. Becoming an American Citizen is the last step of the journey of building a secure and successful future in the United States.

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CAHFT Secretary Yudith Soto(l) and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke(r), Proudly Serving New York’s 9th District, Chairperson of The Caribbean Caucus

CAHFT ON The Hill The Institute for Caribbean Studies, headed by Dr. Claire Nelson, is hard at work on the 2013 June Caribbean Legislative Week on Capitol Hill. CAHFT was in attendance of the 2012 event,and our Board Secretary Judith Soto recalls her experience on Capitol Hill last year.

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D

uring the week of June 18, 2012, I had the pleasure to be in Washington DC for the 2012 Caribbean Legislative Week, as a representative of the Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas (CAHFT). The event was hosted and sponsored by the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS). This magnificent event gathered leaders from all around United States, including leaders from the White House and Congress.


Caribbean Community. This event was a great opportunity and allowed me to network with Congressional leaders and members of the Caribbean Community from around the country. And as the CAHFT photographer for the event, it was such a pleasure capturing special moments from The Caribbean Legislative Week on the Hill. This has been one of the best experiences so far as a member of CAHFT; this most certainly will help me with my consider and plan my future goals and objectives.

I

look forward to attending the 2013 Caribbean Legislative Week, in particular to hear how our Congressional leaders will address the key issues important to the Caribbean Community in regards immigration reform. I am ready and look forward to sharing my knowledge with other great leaders of the Caribbean Community.

Yudith Soto(l) and Congresswoman Maxine Waters

T

he Legislative Week addressed many issues that are affecting our lovely Caribbean countries, such as: economy, health, education, immigration, business and much more. All of these issues were covered by leaders of the White House, Congress, and the Caribbean community. The issues discussed during The Legislative Week allowed me to learn more about the legislative (L-R) ICS President Dr. Claire Nelson, Congresswoman Maxine process and to identify who the key stakeholders and Waters, Congressman Charlie Rangel, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Trinidad & Tobago Ambassador Neil Parsons leaders were on The Hill in these matters affecting the

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A OC ES OV IL

N IO SS PA

T EN EV

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AMNESIA ultimate

Caribbean Fete Houston VS. Baytown

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Party Animalz Ent. & Bad Habit$ Presents

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S

o by mile 13, I realized that the road to Boston must have been a hardened airport runway. At least my legs felt like that. So, I gave in to my old strategy…I walked…and ran…and walked…and crawled….anything to make it to the finish line before they took away the clock. I was challenged by the uphills, the Newton hills, Heartbreak Hill, and even the down hills. My legs were in shock! Finally, I made it over Heartbreak Hill, and I still had a heartbeat. I just needed to start running again…when I hit another hill (Hey! That hill was NOT on the dammed map!!). I crawled and cursed over that one, and then had a recovery moment to start a very, very slow run. By then, with my increasingly slower pace, I had expected the spectators to have headed home by then. But there they were. Still cheering on us “Charity Runners” with the vigor and rowdiness I would have reserved for the elite runners. I ran through Brookline, and then onto Boston, and salivated at the sight of the big CITCO sign, which signified just one mile to go to the finish line.

I knew I was gonna finish, and I still wasn’t really injured. And to Hell with the cameras! But as I headed up that last hill on to Boylston Street, I didn’t expect to be so overcome with emotions. The crowds I was used to being a part of were still out there, this time for me and the other remaining folks still making their way in. I started lengthening my stride, when the leg cramps hit me full force, and I was forced to just jog instead. Still the crowds pushed me those last two hundred yards. I looked at the finish line, and I could not believe I had made it. It took me 6:36:07, but I had made it. I wasn’t really injured. I would still walk and talk. I could pose for photos for my newfound twin, Dexter Emoto the AMAA photographer (Thanks, Dexter), and despite the ten extra pounds of Gatorade, I could still fit within his wide angle lens. Caribbean immigrant businesses also play an important role in the economic recovery of the nation. A report by the Policy Institute published in June points that “among the other findings: Immigrants don’t just own companies, they put millions to work. As of 2007, immigrant businesses had $776 billion in revenues and employed 4.7 million.” The I got my coveted Boston Marathon Medal, and then lost just about every emotion. A wonderfully cheery volunteer helped me locate my pre-race bag, and then pointed me to the family meeting area. There, sitting and waiting (for over two hours since she had crossed the finish line), was my bride, the love of my life, the marathon goddess. A smile and a kiss and a hug never felt so good. ….Epilogue…. I had wanted to attend the post-race parties. But by the time we made it up to our room at the Marriott Copely Place, my body was in stasis. Beverly graciously helped me take off my shoes, and it took me another half hour for me to make it to the shower. Instead of those victory parties at the Colonade, at Fenway Park, and at the House of Blues, room service was the recreation of choice for the evening. After my fifth muscle spasm, Beverly ordered me a salt block, and prescribed bed rest for the evening. Every trip to the bathroom that night was an ordeal, as even rolling out of the bed was painful everywhere I had muscle tissue. But by the next morning I was recovering, and we were up and about, sporting our Boston Marathon runner’s shirts, and relishing the fact that we are now both successful Boston Marathoners. Will I run it again? Will I train harder? Will I beat 5 hours next time? …….To be continued… in another life!

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P.S. If or when you decide to run the Boston Marathon, I suggest going through Marathon Tours for lodging (www.marathontours.com). They offer special rates, and list each hotel’s distance from the finish line. This is very important, as trying to get a taxi back to your hotel room is not very comforting after 26.2 miles of running (in the past, we’ve had to walk an additional mile to a place where the taxis would stop). Viewing the Boston marathon video of the route was extremely beneficial, as I knew when to expect most hills in advance. Also, training to run downhill is just as important as training to run uphill in this race. The hills just never let up, and your lungs and legs will thank you for all the advance effort. While you are in Boston, be sure to visit Bill Rodger’s Running Store (his brother Charlie took the time to share so many stories behind the medals, pictures, and memorabilia, all of which were posted throughout the store). Finally, if you have the energy and time, do visit Fenway Park (the home of the Boston Red Sox), and also walk through Boston Commons and the start of the Freedom Trail, which takes you around a lot of the sites associated with the American Revolution in 1776..

2013 Update Dr Beverly Handy (AKA “The Marathon Goddess), and Dexter Handy are coming off of their annual Walt Disney World “Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge”, which is a 2 day event. On Saturday, January 12th, they both completed the Disney World Half Marathon, which is a 13.1 mile event. After a bit of rest, massage, and carbo-loading, they spent the better part of Sunday, January 13, completing the Disney World Marathon (26.2 Miles). Beverly, being the much faster runner, finished hours ahead of Dexter in both events, only to discover that the official timing system failed to record her Marathon finish. After a terrific emotional meltdown, a series of multiple emails and phone calls to race officials, (and a finish time prove her claim from official photos and videos), the omission was corrected, though ten days after the event. As a result of the recent Goofy Challenge finishes, Dexter and Beverly are still “Perfectly Goofy Runners”, a small club of marathoners who have completed every Goofy Challenge event since its origination in 2006. In short They are “Repeat Offenders.”

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This image was in honor of St. Lucia’s 34th Independence Anniversary, created by A.C.I.D. Kreationz located in Grand Riviere Gros Islet, St. Lucia. Visit their website at page http://www.acidkreationz.wix.com.acid 48

www.caribbeanheritagetx.org


CAHFT Caribbean Magazine - First Quarter 2013