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June 2018

Volume 14 No. 7

Un Peri贸dico Diferente / A Different Kind of Newspaper

Un Peri贸dico Diferente / A Different Kind of Newspaper

Un Peri贸dico Diferente / A Different Kind of Newspaper

Latino Scholarship Fund 27th Annual Celebration Un Peri贸dico Diferente / A Different Kind of Newspaper



Puerto Rican /Latinx Community Mourns the Loss of Angelo Falcón Angelo Falcón, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and raised in New York City, passed away May 24, 2018 at the age of 66. Falcón was a nationally recognized expert on Latino politics and policy issues. Angelo Falcón was a Puerto Rican political scientist best known for starting the Institute for Puerto Rican Policy (IPR) in New York City in the early 1980s, a nonprofit and nonpartisan policy center that focuses on Latino issues in the United States. It was known as the National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP) and Falcón serves as its current President. He was the editor of the Latino Policy eNewsletter, publication of the NiLP. He is one of the longest-serving chief executives of a Latino nonprofit in the country. He was also the co-editor of numerous important reports and books about the Puerto Rican and Latinx experience, among them Latino Voices: Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban Perspectives on American Politics, Boricuas in Gotham: Puerto Ricans in the Making of Modern New York City, Data Disseminating to Communities Color: The Role of the Census Information Centers, Opening the Courthouse Doors: The Need for More Hispanic Judges, and Still on the Outside Looking In: Latino Employment in New York Broadcast Television. His articles appeared in nationally recognized publications, including The Nation, New York Post, National Civic Review, El Diario-La Prensa, New American Media, and the Hispanic Link

News Service. Falcón has been featured on CNN, CNN en Español, WCBS, WNBC, WABC, National Public Radio, Univision, Telemundo, and Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. Falcón served on the boards of many community organizations, including the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, NHMC, and the National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention. He also coordinated the Latino Census Network, and the Latino Voting Rights Network, both online informational networks of Latino community advocates. He was a leading voices and founding member of the Defend the Honor Campaign, a national coalition of Latino organizations and activists that pressured PBS and Ken Burns to include the Latino experience in their World War II documentary series, The War, in 2007. Falcón graduated from Columbia College of Columbia University in New York. He was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Columbia University School of Public and International Affairs. Angelo Falcón was a committed supporter of El Sol Latino. For more that10 years, he allowed us to reprint many of his articles and reports in our newspaper.


Angelo, you will be sorely missed.

Foto del Mes/Photo of the Month

2 Editorial / Editorial Puerto Rican /Latinx Community Mourns the Loss of Angelo Falcón 3 Portada / Front Page Latino Scholarship Fund 27th Annual Celebration 4 Guayama y su Historia como Ciudad del Sureste de Puerto Rico 5 Boricua Stories from MGM Springfield / Andrés Gómez 6 Captain Manuel Febo - Holyoke’s Next Chief of Police 7 Opinión / Opinion Affordable housing support and production 8 The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda: A Case Study in Coalition Building 9 This is About Junot Diaz, But It’s More About Us 10 Libros / Books Stories from Latin America / Historias de Latinoamérica Stories from Spain / Historias de España 11 Poesía / Poetry Martín Espada Awarded 2018 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize 12 Música/ Music Debut Concert El Puerto Rico, The Rich Port 13 Ciencias / Science Genetically Modified Organisms 14 Deportes / Sports OPENING DAY Springfield Old Timers Softball League 15 Inicio de Temporada Holyoke Oldtimers Softball League

Reconocen a Miguel Arce y a Sylvia Galván Armando Feliciano (Hispanic American Library), Juan Falcón (Director Ejecutivo de Hispanic American Library), Miguel Arce, Sylvia Galván y Carlos González (Representante Estatal por Springfield) durante la ceremonia llevada a cabo el pasado 5 de mayo en Springfield. La organización Hispanic American Library, Inc., reconoció la larga e importante labor comunitaria de Galván y Arce.

Founded in 2004 n Volume 14, No. 7 n June 2018 Editor Manuel Frau Ramos manuelfrau@gmail.com 413-320-3826 Assistant Editor Ingrid Estrany-Frau Managing Editor Diosdado López Art Director Tennessee Media Design Business Address El Sol Latino P.O Box 572 Amherst, MA 01004-0572

Editorial Policy El Sol Latino acepta colaboraciones tanto en español como en inglés. Nos comprometemos a examinarlas, pero no necesariamente a publicarlas. Nos reservamos el derecho de editar los textos y hacer correcciones por razones de espacio y/o estilo. Las colaboraciones pueden ser enviadas a nuestra dirección postal o a través de correo electrónico a: info@elsollatino.net. El Sol Latino welcomes submissions in either English or Spanish. We consider and review all submissions but reserve the right to not publish them. We reserve the right to edit texts and make corrections for reasons of space and/or style. Submissions may be sent to our postal address or via electronic mail to: info@elsollatino.net. El Sol Latino is published monthly by Coquí Media Group. El Sol Latino es publicado mensualmente por Coquí Media Group, P.O Box 572, Amherst, MA 01004-0572.

Portada / Front Page

El Sol Latino June 2018


Latino Scholarship Fund 27th Annual Celebration by MANUEL FRAU RAMOS | manuelfrau@gmail.com The Latino Scholarship Fund, Inc. held its 27th Annual Banquet at the Log Cabin in Holyoke on May 23, 2018. The annual event celebrated and recognized the achievement of graduating students and outstanding community leaders. It presented the scholarships awarded to Latinx high school graduates who have been accepted at college and universities to pursue post-secondary education. Since its inception in the early 1990s, the local based organization Latino Scholarship Fund, Inc. has awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships to hundreds of Latinx students from different high schools across the Pioneer Valley. The scholarships help these students to defray the high financial costs of their first academic year. This year’s event was very well attended by the student families, event sponsors and by a host of community and volunteer organizations. The twelve students honorees are, from Holyoke schools – Giovanni Carrasquillo (Holyoke High School – Norwich University), Stephanie Duque (Holyoke High School – Westfield State University), Sebastian Murphy (Holyoke High School – UMass Amherst), Ashley Pérez (Holyoke High School – UMass Lowell, Rose Rivera Carrasquillo (Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School – American International College), Antoine Rodríguez (Holyoke High School – Worcester Polytechnic Institute), and Antonio Santos (Holyoke High School –Western New England University), From Springfield Schools, Natalie Beltrán (Springfield Central High School – Springfield College), Sara Miranda (Sabis International Charter School – Elms College), Jhomary Ramírez, (Springfield High School of Science and Technology - Bay Path University), and Erick Zorrilla (Springfield High School of Commerce – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts). From Chicopee Schools, Naissa Ortiz (Chicopee High School – Rollins College). This year the Carlos Vega Community Champion Award went to Vanessa Pabón- Hernández, Executive Producer, and Veronica García, Co-Host & Producer of Presencia. It is a ground-breaking bilingual (English/Spanish) magazine-format program that is a production of local public television station WGBY, hosted by WGBY’s Veronica García and Zydalis Bauer.

Carlos Vega Community Champion Award

the gamut of housing rights, cultural celebration, education and economic development. In each endeavor he championed the needs and voices of the growing Latino community in Holyoke. Carlos served as Executive Director of Nueva Esperanza for many years, a Holyoke based community development agency he helped found. He also helped create, worked with or served on the board of many respected progressive organizations in the area, including The Holyoke Children’s Museum, Latino Scholarship Association, Community, One Book Holyoke, HAP, Western Mass Jobs for Justice, Western Mass Legal Services, Enlace de Familias, Nuestras Raíces, National Priorities Project, Project Vote, Holyoke Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition, and Valley Opportunity Council. The Antonia Pantoja Award for distinguished achievement was granted to Dr. Carlos E. Santiago, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Education. He was appointed to this position by the Board of Higher Education (BHE) in July 2015. His past academic appointments include that of Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (Wisconsin’s second largest research university). He brings over 30 years of experience in public higher education. Santiago also served as Provost and Chief Operating Officer at the University at Albany, (SUNY). He was a professor of economics at UWM and SUNY-Albany and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University.

The Antonia Pantoja Award In 2000, as President of the Puerto Ricans Studies Association (PRSA), he headed the 4th International Congress of the PRSA hosted by the Center of Latin American Caribbean and Latino Studies – UMass Amherst. More than 350 community leaders, students, professors and scholars attended this successful conference that was co-sponsored by a coalition of regional higher education institutions - Holyoke Community College, Amherst College, and Hampshire College. Santiago is the author or co-author of six books and has published dozens of articles and book reviews, many of which focus on economic development and the changing socioeconomic status of Latinos in the United States. On two separate occasions, in 1996 and 2011, Santiago was named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine.

Lucy Pérez (LSF Board Member), Dr. Carlos E. Santiago, Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education, and Dr. Arlene Rodriguez (LSF Board Member).

Dr. Antonia Pantoja (1922-2002), born in Puerto Rico, was an educator, social worker, feminist and leader of civil rights. She created the National Puerto Rican Forum to promote the economic self-sufficiency of Latinos, and ASPIRA, an organization that promotes educational success, cultural awareness and leadership development among Puerto Rican youth and other Latinos in the United States and Puerto Rico. Presencia production team - Alejandro Cameron (Producer/Video/Editor), Daisy Pereira- Tosado (Director of Development), Anthony V. Hayes (WGBY General Manager), Vanessa Pabón Hernández (Executive Producer), Verónica García (Co-Host & Producer), Zydalis Bauer (Co-Host), Lynn Page (Deputy General Manager), and Keith Clark (Director of local productions and services).

Carlos Alberto Vega immigrated with his family to Holyoke from Quito, Ecuador when he was 5 years old. An outsider and an independent thinker from a young age, Carlos consistently found himself sensitive to any unfairness or inequality he perceived in the world around him. Over the course of his life Carlos endeavored tirelessly to benefit the disenfranchised people within the city of Holyoke. The focus of his community organizing ran

Pantoja helped create Boricua College, an institution of post-secondary studies in New York City, and a research program known as the Puerto Rican Research and Resource Center. Upon her return to Puerto Rico, she founded Producir, an organization that provides economic assistance to small businesses in poor rural communities. In 1996, Pantoja received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Tax-deductible contributions can be made to: Latino Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 6706 Holyoke, MA 01041-6706 or donate on-line by going to www. latinoscholarshipwesternmass.og.


Portada / Front Page

El Sol Latino June 2018

Guayama y su Historia como Ciudad del Sureste de Puerto Rico por ALEXIS O. TIRADO RIVERA, PhD Nota del editor. El historiador y profesor de la Universidad de Puerto Rico - Cayey el Dr. Tirado Rivera ofreció la charla titulada, “Historia de una ciudad: Guayama 1898-1930” el miércoles 23 de mayo en el Wistariahurst. Su presentación fue parte de las actividades de la exhibición Museo Casa Cautiño-Insúa: Romance, Arquitectura y Economía. La exhibición fue una iniciativa de la artista y profesora de Cambridge College, natural de Guayama, Alvilda Sophia Anaya Alegría con la colaboración del historiador y educador Aníbal Ernesto Rodríguez Ayala del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP). El Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP) co-patrocinó la exhibición. La reseña que aparece a continuación está basada en la investigación del Dr. Tirado Rivera sobre Guayama. Guayama, uno de los 78 municipios que comprende la isla de Puerto Rico, está localizado en el extremo suroriental. Fue fundado el 29 de enero de 1736, durante la gobernación del general español, Matías de Abadía. Originalmente el territorio comprendía las tierras que rodean los ríos Guamaní y Patillas; es decir, un extenso valle que si lo vemos hoy día discurría desde el barrio de Aguirre hasta el cabo de Mala Pascua. En sus orígenes, durante el siglo XVI, los primeros pobladores españoles dedicaron sus tierras al cultivo de la caña de azúcar, así también, a la crianza de ganado, según consta en una probanza que solicitó el colonizador Francisco Juancho de Luyando en el año 1546 al ayuntamiento de San Juan referente a sus tierras en el lugar de Guayama. Hacia el año 1582, se hacía referencia en un documento del gobernador Juan de Melgarejo, que las tierras de Guayama, al parecer, habían sido abandonadas ya que eran frecuentemente asediadas por indios Caribes provenientes de las islas del Caribe Oriental. Sin embargo, durante la época precolombina y parte del periodo de la colonización española, las tierras del sureste de la Isla, eran gobernadas por dos caciques: Guamaní y Guayama, que es muy probable que el nombre de Guayama se haya tomado precisamente del segundo

El Dr. Alexis Óscar Tirado Rivera (extrema derecha) le otorga una moción del Senado de Puerto Rico Alcalde Alex B. Morse (al centro) y una proclama de parte del Alcalde de Guayama, Eduardo Cintrón Suárez por ser el anfitrión y haber declarado los meses de abril y mayo “Museo Casa Cautiño-Insúa: Romance, Arquitectura y Economía, Guayama, Puerto Rico”. A la extrema izquierda, Aníbal Ernesto Rodríguez Ayala, seguido de Alvilda Sophia Anaya-Alegría. (Foto suministrada - Anaya-Alegría)

cacique, y que el nombre del actual río, se haya tomado del primero. No obstante, las referencias a Guayama durante el siglo XVI son muy vagas, por lo que inferimos que el territorio pertenecía entonces al Partido Municipal de Coamo. No fue hasta el año 1736 cuando se otorgó el permiso para fundar oficialmente el poblado que estaba cercano a un río, y que era en parte uno de los requisitos para el establecimiento de nuevos poblados de acuerdo a las órdenes reales. Entre estos, cabe destacar, que tuviese cercano cuerpos de agua, de tal manera, que pudiera satisfacer las necesidades básicas y las propias de agricultura. Hacia el año 1736 la población de Guayama, pudiera estar rondando los 2,000 habitantes en todo el extenso valle, lo que haría posible la fundación del mismo. De hecho, casi 30 años después de la fundación oficial del poblado, la población rondaba los 2,400 habitantes, según consta en el documento suscrito por el enviado del rey a la Isla, Alejandro O’ Reilly, en 1765. Además, este señalaba que aparte de la producción agrícola, había observado salitrales, que muy bien podían ser utilizados como renglón comercial en la explotación de la sal. La fundación de Guayama coincide, precisamente, con la introducción en la Isla de la planta de café, por lo que en el año natural de 1776, Guayama se destacaba por la producción a gran escala de café, aportando 5,200 arrobas. Aunque este no sería el producto agrícola principal de subsistencia para los pobladores de Guayama. Mas bien la producción agrícola que proveyó la subsistencia y que le dio un auge extraordinario a la ciudad, fue la siembra de la caña de azúcar. Durante gran parte del siglo XIX, la ciudad de Guayama, fue uno de los centros azucareros de mayor importancia para Puerto Rico, en unión a ciudades como Ponce y Mayagüez. La producción de azúcar a gran escala, obedeció en gran medida a la llegada de inmigrantes que, gracias a la Real Cedula de Gracias de 1815, impulsó que muchos llegaran a estas tierras por lo fértil de las mismas y lo apto para la siembra. Estos llegaron de tierras tan lejanas como las islas Canarias, de la isla de Córcega, de antiguas colonias españolas en América, franceses, y de ciertos territorios en la península ibérica. Se ha calculado que durante todo ese siglo, en Guayama se establecieron 30 haciendas azucareras, aportando a la economía de la región y de la Isla. Además, y no menos importante, con estas llegaron a Guayama una gran cantidad de esclavos africanos, quienes se encargaron de encaminar dicho producto agrícola tanto en la siembra como en el procesamiento de la misma. Cabe destacar, que muchas de las haciendas que se establecieron contaron con modernos instrumentos tecnológicos importados a Puerto Rico, como lo era el molino de viento y el tren jamaiquino, que permitían que el producto final fuese de buena calidad. Aparte, de que la región, contaba con puertos marítimos de gran actividad comercial durante la época, como fue el de Arroyo, que hasta 1855 perteneció a la jurisdicción de Guayama. Entre las haciendas azucareras que contaron con tecnologías se encontraban la de Vives y la Carlota, así como otras más que establecieron sus sistemas de producción, basadas además, en el acaparamiento de tierras. Tan es así, que la producción de azúcar en 1890 superaba los 2,282,818 kilos de azúcar y 813,720 kilos de mieles, siendo valorados en 56,498.36 pesos. Al entrar el siglo XX, Puerto Rico pasaba a formar parte de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica, después de la invasión militar de 1898. Los intereses económicos estadounidenses sobre la Isla, fue más bien basada en la producción de caña de azúcar, por lo que en Guayama se fueron estableciendo el sistema de centrales azucareras. En 1906 se fundó la Central Machete, de capital local, siendo sus dueños la familia

continued on next page

Portada / Front Page

El Sol Latino June 2018


Boricua Stories from MGM Springfield / Andrés Gómez El Sol Latino interviewed Andrés Gómez, the recently hired MGM Springfield’s Director of Restaurants. Andrés, originally from Springfield and now a resident of Ludlow, is the nephew of Gumersindo Gómez, Executive Director of Bilingual Veterans Outreach Center of Massachusetts, and a cousin of Springfield City Councilor Adam Gómez. 1. Where were you born and where did you grow up? Though I was born in New Jersey, I don’t remember any of it. I was still very young when we moved to Puerto Rico. My father is from Sábana Grande, my mother is from Mayagüez, and I lived in both places as well as in Joyuda where my parents had a restaurant. 2. What high school did you graduate from? I was lucky enough to graduate from SABIS International Charter School in Springfield, Ma. I was there from 7th grade. Probably one of the best experiences I’ve had was having the pleasure of going to that school and meeting teachers and peers that I am still close to today.

4. Why and when did you become interested in the field of business finance and management? How did you become involved in the restaurant business? So my father is a chef therefore I’ve been around the food and beverage industry my entire life. Though I never thought I would be in the industry as I was searching for what I was going to do with my life this industry was always around. For example, at one point I was a long-term high school substitute teacher of Spanish. In a conversation with a mentor of mine, he thought it would be a great idea for me to work at a fine dining restaurant. That’s how I started with the Federal Restaurant as a host, just as something to do during the summer to earn some extra money and maybe make some connections. Twelve years later, I was able to work my way up to GM and many other positions. 5. During your tenure with The Federal Restaurant Group you held multiple positions and a wide range of responsibilities from customer service to assistant director of social media marketing and brand development. What are two or three important factors from these work experiences that helped you land your new job with MGM? It really boils down to your willingness to work hard and take on new challenges. Opportunities present themselves. It’s just a matter as to whether you have done everything in your power to be prepared to take them on. Some of those positions that I took on I did because I saw that there was a need for them in our restaurant and no one was willing to tackle them. Fortunately, I worked for amazing people (Ralph Santaniello & Mike Presnal) that took me under their wings and allowed me to take the lead on a number of projects and job. That way when the moment came to see who they would tap into to run their next restaurant we all knew without a doubt that it was me and I was up for the task.

Andrés Gómez, MGM Springfield’s Director of Restaurants.

3. What did you do after high school? After High School I did go to college out in Boston for a period of time and then transferred back to Holyoke Community College (HCC) and UMASS Amherst.

Having that mentality and attitude I think is what helped me not be afraid to take on this new challenge. Not only in the fear that might come from applying, thinking you are not capable, to perusing it and convincing MGM that I could take it on. Now comes the awesome part of learning and developing in the role.

Guayama y su Historia como Ciudad del Sureste continued from previous page

McCormick. Hacia la década de 1930 se estableció la Central Guamaní, siendo su dueño principal Genaro Cautiño Insúa, quien fuera alcalde de la ciudad entre 1914 y 1919. El desarrollo de la ciudad en gran medida obedeció a los intereses económicos provistos por la siembra de la caña de azúcar. En 1832, fue configurándose la cuadrícula en la zona urbana, luego de un devastador fuego que casi acaba con las pocas casas del lugar. Su ambiente urbano fue cambiando hasta dar el aspecto que hoy día la vemos. Grandes casonas, con sus balcones y patio interior, como la de la familia Cautiño- Insúa, entre otros edificios, que en unión al templo católico y su majestuosa plaza de recreo, nos dejan saber la grandeza de su gente y las grandes gestas obreras, económicas, políticas y sociales que se han manifestado en ella. Su historia es una viva, sus gestas por lograr industrializar la ciudad a mediados del pasado siglo veinte, y por preservar su legado cultural, la hace ser hoy día distinta a otras municipalidades. No obstante, sigue cada día escribiendo su

historia particular, sin olvidar y reconocer lo valioso de su legado. Moción de Reconocimiento del Senado de Puerto Rico, introducida por el Honorable Cirilo Tirado Rivera y firmada por el Presidente del Senado, Thomas Rivera-Schatz, presentada a Alvilda Sophía Anaya-Alegría por El Dr. Alexis Oscar Tirado Rivera. La misma destaca la labor de Anaya-Alegría por traer una instalación museográfica y difundir la cultura puertorriqueña a los residentes de a Holyoke, Massachusetts. (Foto suministrad


Portada / Front Page

El Sol Latino June 2018

Captain Manuel Febo - Holyoke’s Next Chief of Police HOLYOKE –May 8, 2018). Last month, Holyoke Police Chief Jim Neiswanger announced his intention to retire on July 20th. After that announcement, Mayor Alex Morse decided he would choose an internal candidate as the next chief. “Because of Chief Neiswanger’s leadership, the Holyoke Police Department is stronger than at any time in recent memory - both internally, and in its relationship to the wider community. Given this, I believe it is time to look within the department for our city’s next police chief,” said Mayor Morse. All four Captains were invited to apply for the position and interviews were held last week. At a press conference held at City Hall on Tuesday, Mayor Morse announced he is appointing Captain Manuel Febo to be Holyoke’s next Chief of Police. “I would like to thank the Mayor for this great opportunity to serve as the Chief. It’s an absolute honor to lead the Holyoke Police Department. Working under Chief Neiswanger for last seven years has shown me that you can balance your responsibilities to the citizens, city officials and the men and women of the police department. The real work in any police department is done by the men and women who respond to the emergency calls for service every day. As Chief of Police I will do my best to make sure the officers of the Holyoke Police Department have the resources, training, and tools necessary to continue the great job they do each and every day,” said Captain Febo. Captain Febo, affectionately known as “Manny,” is a twenty-three year veteran of the Holyoke Police Department. He grew up in Downtown Holyoke in the Churchill neighborhood. He attended the Holyoke Public Schools and is a graduate of Holyoke High School’s class of 1988. Throughout his tenure he served in the patrol division, bike patrol and as a school resource officer. He has over 12 years of supervisory experience as a Patrol Sergeant, Lieutenant Shift Commander and Captain of Budget and Grants. He currently serves as the Field Operations Commander, in charge of uniform patrol along with all major events in the city including the St.

Cita del Mes/ Quote of the Month “There are problems facing students that many administrators might not realize: hunger, homelessness, the need for childcare, access to dependable transportation. Public higher education institutions are on the front lines of the future of education in providing guidance, assistance and resources to help students, particularly Latinx students, earn their degrees.”

Patrick’s Day Parade/Road Race, the Hispanic Festival, Celebrate Holyoke and the Fireworks. “I fully support the Mayor’s appointment. I know that Captain Febo will continue on with our community policing initiatives. He is an excellent choice and will do a fine job leading the men and women of the Holyoke Police Department,” said outgoing Police Chief Jim Neiswanger. “While Manny’s experience in the department and his various assignments are impressive in their own Captain Manuel Febo (Credit - City of Holyoke Police Department) right, it is who he is as a person that makes him the right person for the job. Manny is a stand up guy. He knows that policing is more than locking people up. He recognizes the power of positive personal interactions between officers and the public. He values people and their unique circumstances and realizes that the reward of being an officer isn’t making an arrest, but preventing an arrest,” said Mayor Morse at the announcement. “Capt. Febo has the unique opportunity to act as a role model for all kids growing up in Holyoke. This is a great example of how anyone can overcome many of the challenges that people in Holyoke face by setting goals, staying positive and believing that you too can make an impact on the community,” Mayor Morse added. Captain Febo will be sworn in as Chief upon the retirement of the current Chief on July 20, 2018.

Need Summer Classes? Register Now!

Online: www.stcc.edu/summer Walk-in: Registrar’s Office, Garvey Hall South/Bldg. 15 Phone: (413) 755-4321

By Carlos E. Santiago, Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education, during his remarks at the Latino Scholarship Fund 27th Annual Celebration - May 23, 2018, Log Cabin, Holyoke.

Classe sa of fe re re d o n- c a mp u s on li ne a nd !

5-week Sessions:

June 4–July 6 July 9–August 9

10-week Session: June 4–August 9




Opinión / Opinion Affordable housing support and production by MIGUEL ARCE and WALTER MULLIN

There is a decline of basic, safe and affordable housing. A result is a gap that continues to widen between those who live in comfortably and those whose nominal income do not have resources to access decent housing. Those who labor leading to business success, often live on the margins of society and live in substandard living conditions. Regrettably, recent housing policy creators show little motivation to develop public housing to meet the growing divide. United States Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson seeks to, at least, triple the minimum rent that the poorest Americans pay for federally subsidized housing. His proposal would put nearly one million children at risk of homelessness, according to an analysis of the Department of Housing and Urban Development data by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). They call for the private sector to step up and take advantage of investment opportunities. Two proposed strategies, one local and the other national, have emerged to assist those with insignificant income to be able to afford decent housing.

El Sol Latino June 2018


to poverty. A social justice perspective contends that a community must defend all of its citizens regardless of income. A city will never be better when it has only residents with high incomes. People with resources do not get the right to manipulate those without resources. Protecting people in poverty is as much an issue as ensuring that no one experiences discrimination because of race, religion, gender or any other human status. This experience in Seattle reflects a history of discrimination against those in poverty which is reinforced by the current continuous decline of basic, safe, decent and affordable housing. Seattle hopes to raise $75 million for homeless services.

Tax credits for the wealthy In 1974, the passage of the Housing and Community Development Act was passed to revitalize cities, subsidize housing for the poor and improve housing options. The Section 8 Program was authorized by Congress in 1974 and developed by HUD to provide rental subsidies for eligible tenant families residing in newly constructed, rehabilitated and existing rental and cooperative apartment projects.Section 8 provides assistance to very low-income families to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing. Section 8 subsidies allow the free market to have a guarantee revenue stream for the owners of rental properties while simultaneously providing housing that is affordable and meets minimal health and safety standards. Section 8 subsidies have fallen out of favor by conservatives who believe that the poor are getting a free ride while forgetting the benefits to the private developer guaranteed revenue stream. The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program was created in 1986 remains the largest source of new affordable housing. LIHTC is a program that employs “investable” tax credits to spur production of low income rental housing. Tax credits are sold to banks or syndication firms who benefit from lower taxes. In turn, they assist housing developers who can charge lower rents. Tax credits are sold to the wealthy to reduce their taxable income.

Dr. Walter Mullin and Miguel Arce

Taxing city businesses in Seattle On May 14, the Seattle City Council was faced with the decision of finding a way to support a person’s right to decent, affordable housing regardless of income. The City Council was asked to vote on a proposal to impose a $250 tax on each employee working at a business that was making at least $20 million a year. The problem to be addressed was that as the city’s businesses succeeded, housing costs rose. Neighborhoods have become expensive. People with low incomes cannot afford to live in their own neighborhoods and homelessness has increased. People in poverty were being forced to leave the city. The Seattle City Council voted to support this action despite intense opposition from major, national businesses including Amazon and Starbucks. Originally, the proposal had been that the tax would be $500 per employee, but the pressure of the businesses led the City Council to lower the dollar amount. The businesses based their opposition on the fact that they provide jobs for the citizens of Seattle and this is of major significance to a city such as Seattle. The businesses point to the idea that unemployment is now low, thanks to their successes. This debate in Seattle pits two important social ideas against each other. Advocates for those in poverty are always looking for work opportunities for those without sufficient income. Jobs and work are the perfect antidotes

In Mid-March of 2018, Congress approved the Omnibus Spending Bill, a significant increase in LIHTC in passing a trillion dollar budget. Tax credits continue to provide lucrative benefits to bankers, syndicators and developers first before low-income homeowners or apartment dwellers. There is alarm about other ways the tax reform bill could harm affordable housing production. According to one report, the tax reform legislation would reduce the total amount of LIHTC financed affordable rental homes at a minimum by 232,200 or more over 10 years. The changes would likely result in rental homes that would likely serve higher average incomes levels, provide fewer amenities and/or social services. That significant reduction in housing production would mean the loss of more than 262,000 jobs according to the same report. While strides have been made in the affordable housing sector, once again, business interests come first. There continues to be tension between: housing versus employment and public versus private creation of affordable housing. A social justice commitment requires that affordable housing for all is the priority. Furthermore, given the lower financial feasibility under a lowered corporate rate, the changes would also likely result in rental homes that would likely serve higher average income levels, provide fewer amenities and/or social services. This guest opinion is one in a series on living in poverty. Dr. Walter Mullin (wmullin@springfieldcollege.edu), Professor of Social Work and Miguel Arce (marce@springfieldcollege.edu), Associate Professor of Social Work at Springfield College.


Opinión / Opinion

El Sol Latino June 2018

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda: A Case Study in Coalition Building by FRANK GÓMEZ The NiLP Report | May 1, 2018 We should celebrate the recent election of MALDEF president and General Counsel Tom Sáenz as Chairman of the 46-member National Hispanic Leadership Agenda. Why? Because it validates, once again, the vision of the founders who, in 1990, saw the need for an organization that could speak more effectively for Hispanic America. Its numbers and breadth would add clout to pronouncements on the issues of the day. At the same time, however, I suspect that many current and emerging Latino leaders lack a full understanding of how the NHLA came about after all, it celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016! It may be instructive, therefore, to share a bit of history.

And in doing so, I draw on sometimes faded memories and ask for forbearance of friends who, as I, were present at the creation. Unlike the American GI Forum, LULAC, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) and other organizations, the NHLA was not born out of the urgent pursuit of civil rights. Those organizations - and many others - had been and still are working hard in that area. NHLA, however, was conceived based on the need to give greater voice to and unify Hispanic organizations. In the late 1980s, I was a corporate executive in New York City and had long been on the Latino conference circuit. I had been a founder, furthermore, of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) in 1982 and helped bring corporate support to the National Association of Hispanic Publications. So, I knew the Hispanic landscape fairly well.

The Catalyst In anticipation of the 1992 elections, the NCLR had released an agenda of issues and recommendations that it put in the hands of the Democratic and Republican parties. And former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros and then Denver Mayor Federico Peña produced their own policy prescriptions, also for both parties. The two papers were or would be quadrennial. It struck me as unfortunate that 1) our community should address policy issues in this fashion only in election years, and 2) that the two reports may have been duplicative and confusing. To whom would the parties respond? After conferring with my old friend Rita DiMartino, then AT&T Vice President for Government Relations, and others, I decided to reach out to my friend Henry Cisneros to propose a coalition that would: • Represent a collection of national Hispanic organizations • Speak with a single voice on issues of concern • Conduct research and issue reports on federal government employment and other issues • Be a sustained presence and source of analysis of issues of importance to Latinos Henry and I, joined by then banker Aída Álvarez (later to become President Clinton’s head of the Small Business Administration), met over dinner in New York City. Both liked the idea and agreed to ask Peña and then NCLR president Raúl Yzaguirre to come aboard. I agreed to develop a list of organizations to be invited and to test the idea with potential corporate sponsors. Things moved quickly.

The Organization Frank Cota-Robles Newton, who as Executive Director of the NAHJ had set it up in the National Press Building in Washington, was available to help. And DiMartino agreed to help get corporate support to pay Newton.

Early funders were Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Coca-Cola Company, Miller Brewing Company and Philip Morris Companies Inc. We hired Newton and he organized a “listening tour” to major cities to hear the views of Latino leaders. “We needed to take them into consideration and demonstrate that they are part of our voice,” he said. Newton also proposed the name, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), borrowing words from the NCLR and Cisneros-Peña reports. We were off and running. It was important to formalize the creation of the group, however. So, representatives of about 25 leading Hispanic organizations convened at the Omni Sheraton Hotel in Washington, DC. The lively discussion produced a consensus on the creation of the NHLA, keeping Frank Newton on as Executive Director, and electing a chair from among the member organizations. About 15 joined, while some representatives had to go back to their organizations for approval. Some attendees then, and later, asked me to be a member of the Executive Committee. As I did not represent a group, however, I declined and focused my efforts on promoting unity, guiding discussions and raising funds. By early fall, 1992, we invited George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to a discussion of issues. Only Clinton accepted, and we convened in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington for a lively meeting that Cisneros and Yzaguirre ably moderated. About 80 persons attended, and this was clearly a highlight of our emerging convening power. Imagine receiving an invitation today from a group representing 46 Hispanic organizations! That evening illustrated the convening power of such a coalition! Early in 1993, Newton produced the NHLA’s first “Report Card” on Latino employment in federal agencies. Some got barely passing grades, but most flunked. This was one of Newton’s last achievements before the NHLA decided to vest executive powers in the rotating chairmanship. Among the chairs were Manny Mirabal, then of the National Puerto Rican Coalition, and Ron Blackburn Moreno of Aspira. Another leader who was not a chair but on the Executive Committee was Dr. Juan Andrade, President, United States Hispanic Leadership Institute. As others, a true visionary, he has provided steady guidance and support to the organization. Since then, and through the recently concluded chairmanship of Héctor Sánchez, Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), the group has had no Executive Director. Nonetheless, membership has grown steadily, modest funding continued and under Sánchez’ stellar leadership the NHLA achieved its highest level of influence in its now 26 years. It’s robust website and staff give it visibility, permanence and a Washington, DC presence that Tom Sáenz can use. Sánchez also organized the silver anniversary of NHLA in September 2016 in Washington, DC. It illustrated vividly what can be accomplished when like-minded leaders put aside institutional pursuits to achieve a larger purpose: unity and a single voice. This is not to say that member organizations march in lock step to what NHLA decides by consensus. But it does show that with more than 58 million Hispanics (growing by 1.2 million per year), with more than 18 percent of the population and with nearly $1.5 trillion in purchasing power, our voice must be stronger. Wrongs must be righted, and opportunities expanded. Tom Sáenz is a proven leader. MALDEF is based in Los Angeles but has an office in the nation’s capital. It has an impressive record of wins in litigation to overcome discrimination in many areas, notably in education. I am sure that he will lead NHLA to new heights. Best wishes, Tom. For more information on NHLA visit https://nationalhispanicleadership.org/ and on MALDEF visit www.maldef.org. The NiLP Report on Latino Policy & Politics is an online information service provided by the National Institute for Latino Policy. For further information, visit www.latinopolicy. org. Send comments to editor@ latinopolicy.org.

Opinión / Opinion

9 NiLP Commenary

El Sol Latino June 2018

This is About Junot Diaz, But It’s More About Us by JOSÉ ALFARO The NiLP Report | May 24, 2018 Thank you Linda Martin Alcoff for your insightful response to the Junot Diaz situation. And I applaud all the women who signed the letter addressing Diaz’s inappropriate, sexist, manipulative and power hungry behavior while calling out the press for their portrayal of Diaz as being so different than most males. And despite Diaz’s limited response to the allegations, it is difficult to negate the veracity of the accusations. It’s very painful when we discover that one of our more distinguished Latinos has engaged in behavior that embarrasses, saddens and even enrages our community. The recently packed audience in Washington Heights, at Diaz’s presentation of his children’s book. was evidence of how much pride the community holds for him. I suspect that some of the enthusiasm derives from the importance of having a Latino “represent” at a time that we are maligned from the White House and other elements of U.S. society. I believe we are all capable of change, but I also believe that it is a very difficult process to undergo and requires a great deal of critical reflection and emotional support from the community. This is why I often think of restorative justice circles as healing circles. I also recognize that not everyone has the courage, compassion or community support to change, and this makes change even more difficult. And there are others who are so emotionally scarred that the support required is so great that we often give up on them. I hope that Junot Diaz has the courage and emotional capacity to change. But as the title of the article by Linda Martin Alcoff says, “This Is Not Just About Junot Diaz.” I recognize that within my experiences as a member of progressive community organizations, I have witnessed sexist, homophobic, classist and even racist behavior from some of the people I believed to be fighters for real change in society. I myself have made comments, etc., that have not always been appropriate, and I have not always spoken up to address the behavior of others. Sometimes I don’t think I understood the issues enough, sometimes it might have been fear that I too might be guilty of similar behavior, and other times I thought that the greater good would be compromised if I called someone out. Regardless of the reasons, inappropriate behavior was allowed to continue, causing hurt to individuals and to the community work we were doing. So I want to suggest four points to address the situation of Junot Diaz as well as the rest of us.

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• Recognize that we continue to live in a sexist, racist, classist, homophobic, xenophobic society and none of us are immune to the internalization of these and other isms and the subsequent behavior this internalization can cause. • Recognize that we all have the potential to change, but we often need a lot of support from our community to do so. Recognize the need to encourage Latino men to join together to have ongoing conversations, with a particular focus on sexism. Though I believe that the intersectionality of issues will also cause us to raise other isms, i.e. racism, classism, homophobia, etc., I emphasize the issue of sexism as being in the forefront because I think it will be easier for men to discuss those issues we are directly affected by (such as racism) and avoid discussing those issues we as men often perpetuate such as sexism. I believe that for many of us these will be difficult conversations, and we’ll use avoidance, denial and all means of mental acrobatics to avoid confronting the sexism within. • Recognize that while it’s appropriate for men to meet separately, it’s also important that we meet with women to help us evaluate our progress and setbacks. My hope is that in doing so we’ll encourage the formation of other men’s groups to meet on a consistent basis, including our youth. And, in the end, I think our community will be better for having the courage to become more transparent, more self-reflective and more honest in facing who we are and whom we want to become. So if you know of a space large enough for a group of about 25 men conveniently located in Manhattan where once a month we can substitute a group meeting for viernes social, and/or you are interested in being active in this group place. contact me at joalfaro49@aol.com. José Alfaro is a former social worker for the NYC Department of Education where he learned about Restorative Justic and circles, which he continues to practice. He is also a family therapist as well as a longtime community activist involved in organizing around community health care, education and tenants’ rights, against police abuse of community members, and for peace and sovereignty in the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East. He can be reached at joalfaro49@aol.com. _____________________________________________________________ The NiLP Report on Latino Policy & Politics is an online information service provided by the National Institute for Latino Policy. For further information, visit www.latinopolicy. org. Send comments to editor@ latinopolicy.org.

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Libros / Books

El Sol Latino June 2018

Stories from Latin America / Historias de Latinoamérica by GENEVIEVE BARLOW Third Edition. Side by Side Bilingual Books. NY: McGraw Hill Education, 2017 | 192 pages

Stories from Spain / Historias de España

by GENEVIEVE BARLOW and WILLIAM N. STIVERS. Third Edition. Side by Side Bilingual Books. NY: McGraw Hill Education, 2017 | 176 pages This wonderful series of very short stories gives wise and often humorous insight into Hispanic culture as well as universal human nature. The authors have drawn from Hispanic legends passed on from a thousand years ago to more recent times. And there’s more: The stories are told side by side in English as well as in Spanish. One new to either language can refer to the opposite page should he or she encounter a term unknown to the reader and therefore quickly move back to the story without having to take time out to search for a dictionary and thus be distracted from the story line. The stories can be shared by adults and children alike. I pictured parents reading the stories with their children for a shared cultural experience, all the while building an even deeper filial bond between themselves. I could see parents and their children discussing the values that come across in the stories, universal values which transcend individual cultures. In addition, a reader can pursue the stories in an app online which gives the audio experience. Each book includes two extensive dictionaries of the words used in the stories at the end of each volume, one labeled English/Spanish Vocabulary and the other Vocabulario español-inglés. Each story is briefly introduced, again bilingually, by a bit of history, geography, and the customs of the people represented in the following story. There is a black and white drawing which illustrates the core event of the story to follow. Stories build up to a climax and then end abruptly with a quick resolution of the problem presented in the story. No follow up! Stories are a mixture of history, mythology, legend and even magic. Some examples, first from Stories from Spain/Historias de España: The volume begins by reaching back centuries ago in Lemur of Ireland/ Lémur de Irlanda. The Elder Prince had accidentally shot his father, Morna, king of ancient Ireland. As punishment, the Prince was exiled to the Basque land in northern Spain, land today known as the provinces of Guipúzcoa, Vizcaya y Álava. Having fallen in love with the daughter of the caudillo (leader) Lekobide, Lemur led the defense of the Basque peoples against the aggression of the Asturians. In The Gypsy’s Prophecy/La profecía de la gitana, the Moors lost in a battle against the Visigoths in 718. Abd al-Aziz, “el noble príncipe moro,” fled to a southern mountain, confident of a gypsy’s prophecy that one day a spider would save his life. And it did, in a wonderfully magical way! The introduction to The Bridge of St. Martin in Toledo / El Puente de San Martín en Toledo tells how throughout history Christians, Moors (Muslims) and Jews at varying periods of history lived in Toledo endowing it with a rich culture. At one point, the mayor wanted a new main bridge built which would lead into the city. The project was nearing completion when the architect realized that if he took away the supporting frame, the bridge would collapse. He was about to tell of the structural error to the mayor when, during a violent storm, lightning struck and burned the bridge. The architect nevertheless confessed the

error and, in gratitude for his honesty, the mayor commissioned him to rebuild the bridge. Stories from Latin America/ Historias de Latinoamérica similarly blend history, tradition and imagination, and follow the same format as in the above collection. In Guatemala, the quetzal, a strikingly colored bird of the forests and humid highlands, is a symbol of freedom and represents the nobility of an Indian hero. As the story tells it in Quetzal Will Never Die/Quetzal no muere nunca the oldest soothsayer declared that Quetzal, the brave son of the chief of the Quiché tribe, would never perish. Chiruma, brother of the tribal chief, aspired to be the chief and envied Quetzal who seemed destined for that honor and not he. During a battle against an enemy tribe, Chiruma saw that no enemy arrows reached Quetzal. He was convinced that the amulet, the feather of a hummingbird that Quetzal wore protected him. A hummingbird warned Quetzal of the envy of his enemy. When Quetzal was pierced by an arrow, he became a beautiful bird, which would never die. And that is the reason Guatemalans never kill the quetzal bird. The hero of Pedro de Candía/Pedro de Candía was one of the 12 who responded to Francisco Pizarro’s challenge. Pizarro led an army from Panama which hoped to conquer the Incan empire, but as the battle seemed hopeless, many of his soldiers wanted to return to Panama. Pizarro drew his sword and etched a line in the sand; on one side stood those who wished to return; on the other, twelve men, Pedro among them, stood with Pizarro to proceed with the conquest of the Indians. Later, when Pizarro’s men were about to attack, the Incan chief released five fierce leopards but when they ran toward Pedro who had volunteered to lead the attack, sunlight struck Pedro’s armor and shield which blinded the leopards who fell to Pedro’s feet. The Lame Man of Olancho/El cojo de Olancho tells the story of two men: Isidro was a humble, poor farmer who, nevertheless lived happily with his wife; Juan was a miserly and miserable wealthy man who was lame. Isidro’s wife fell ill; when Juan refused to lend Isidro money for medicine, Isidro turned to prayer and his wife was cured. They both gave thanks in prayer and encouraged Juan to pray for a cure of his lameness. Instead, Juan thought he could buy a cure with a gold chain. At the same time, Isidro also prayed for a cure to Juan’s lameness. When Juan was cured, he bragged that it had cost him a gold chain and that Isidro’s prayers had nothing to do with the cure. Suddenly, Juan collapsed in pain and a gold chain fell at his feet. Review by Cathleen C. Robinson, a retired teacher of Spanish and Latin American history.

Poesía / Poetry

El Sol Latino June 2018


Martín Espada Awarded 2018 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize CHICAGO. May 1, 2018. —The Poetry Foundation is pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, which honors a living US poet for outstanding lifetime achievement. Martín Espada is awarded the prize in recognition of his contribution to poetry. He is the first Latino poet to win this award since its inception in 1986. The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize is presented annually to a living US poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant singular recognition. It is one of the most prestigious awards given to American poets and, with a prize of $100,000, one of the nation’s largest literary prizes. The award is sponsored and administered by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, and will be presented to Espada at a ceremony at the Poetry Foundation on Monday, June 11. “Martín Espada’s work and life tell the real and lived story of America, in which the importance of poems and legal rights go hand in hand,” said Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine. “A tenants’ rights attorney before he became a celebrated and cherished poet, Espada’s passions are as compelling and apt as his precisions—both now more timely than ever.”

speaking tenants in Chelsea, Massachusetts, outside Boston. As a poet, an essayist, an editor, and a translator, he has dedicated himself to the pursuit of social justice, fighting for the rights of Latino/a communities and reclaiming the historical record from oblivion. His greatest influence is his father, Frank Espada, a community organizer, civil rights activist, and documentary photographer who created the Puerto Rican Diaspora Documentary Project. “To receive a lifetime achievement award in the form of the Ruth Lilly Prize is a great honor that causes me to reflect: on my father, as artist and activist, who died four years ago; on Jack Agüeros, the first poet I ever met; on the days I sat outside the courtroom, scribbling poems on legal pads; on the people in the poems I write, Whitman’s ‘numberless unknown heroes equal to the greatest heroes known.’” Espada’s latest collection of poems from Norton is Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (1990). He has received a Shelley Memorial Award, a Robert Creeley Award, a National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, a PEN/Revson Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. Collections of Espada’s poems have been published in Puerto Rico, Spain, Chile, France, Germany, England, and Turkey. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of a Mexican American studies program outlawed by the state of Arizona and has been issued in a new edition by Northwestern University Press. Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Examples of Espada’s poetry are available on the Poetry Foundation’s website. The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit poetryfoundation.org.

Martín Espada @ Bowery Poetry (photo by David González)

Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1957. He earned a BA in history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a JD from Northeastern University. As an attorney, he served as supervisor of Su Clínica Legal, a legal services program for low-income, Spanish-

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine on Facebook at facebook.com/poetryfoundation or on Twitter @PoetryFound. POETRY FOUNDATION | 61 West Superior Street | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.787.7070 Desde Puerto Rico para el mundo— "la primera y única emisora de tv con licencia para la historia"

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Música/ Music

El Sol Latino June 2018

Debut Concert El Puerto Rico, The Rich Port HOLYOKE, MA – MIFA Victory Theatre presents El Puerto Rico, The Rich Port a concert of contemporary classical music featuring Caprichos by renowned Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra, a new piece by Puerto Rican composer Omar Surillo, and a sneak peek of MIFA-commissioned compositions by Surillo and Tony Solitro, inspired by the rich classical and popular music of the island. Debut Concert El Puerto Rico, The Rich Port will be held on June 8, 2018 at 7:30pm at El Mercado, 413 Main Street, Holyoke MA. The public concert is the culminating event of a two-week residency by the Victory Players, the first project of the MIFA Victory Theatre International Arts Academy. Orchestras, ensembles and festivals in the Americas and Europe have performed Roberto Sierra’s works. Sierra came to prominence in 1987, when the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performed his first major orchestral composition, Júbilo, at Carnegie Hall.

Omar Surillo, born in 1979 in San Juan, Puerto Rico is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from the Orlando area. He has performed nationally and internationally in various ensembles ranging from classical to jazz to rock. He received his undergraduate degree from Stetson University, where he studied composition with Sydney Hodkinson and Manual DeMurga. While at Stetson, Omar was awarded the title of Stetson Piano Scholar, selected as an associate artist for the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and inducted into the music honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda. After graduating magna cum laude in December of 2008, Omar went on to teach music theory fundamentals at Stetson University and a course in composition and songwriting at Valencia College. Currently. He is a student at the Yale School of Music, where he studies with Aaron Jay Kernis. Tony Solitro composes concert and stage music that is “fraught with tension” and “amusingly intricate.” Politics, history, literature, drama, and visual art inspire his compositions. Examples from recent projects include: No More in Darkness, a meditation on a feminist explorer’s journey to Tibet; More Beautiful Than Night, a cycle of gay love songs interweaving romance, sensuality, and bawdy quips; living—despite | living—against, which incorporates the syncopated rhythms of protest chants; and Les Bouteilles de la Table Ronde, a surrealist drinking song for women, integrated within a mixed-media installation. Winner of the Cheryl A. Spector Prize from the Third Millennium Ensemble, Tony’s string quintet Shadow Confrontations was composed for bassist Joseph Conyers (Assistant Principal, Philadelphia Orchestra) and recorded with the Daedalus Quartet. He was awarded fellowships and artist residencies at Yaddo, Brush Creek, Kimmel Harding Nelson, VCCA, and the Brevard Music Center. He earned his Ph.D. as a recipient of the George Crumb Music Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.M. from the Longy School of Music on a Nadia and Lili Boulanger Scholarship.

Roberto Sierra

Roberto Sierra has been Composer-in-Residence with the Milwaukee Symphony, Puerto Rico Symphony, New Mexico Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 2003 he was awarded the Academy Award in Music by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Recent recordings include the highly acclaimed Missa Latina for the Naxos label. In 2010 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

The six-member musical ensemble The Victory Players were chosen from around the world to be in residency in Holyoke. They are - Ng Tian Hui Conductor, Yu Mi Bae –Cello, Han Chen - Piano, Giovanni Pérez - Flute, Robert Rocheteau - Percussion, Eric Schultz – Clarinet, and Elly Toyoda - Violin.The residency runs from May 29 – June 8, 2018. The ensemble under the direction of Ng Tian Hui will work with composer Omar Surillo on the featured pieces and on excerpts of newly commissioned works by chosen composer Tony Solitro, reflecting the musical heritage of Puerto Rico. The residency consists of rehearsals, school workshops, and a public performance. Tickets available at www.mifafestival.org

Ciencias / Science

El Sol Latino June 2018

Genetically Modified Organisms by BRYAN SALAS-SANTIAGO When understanding the demands of our society, one thing in specific that allows us to sustain our way of life, health, and population size is the agriculture. Without farming, life wouldn’t exist the way it does, and in order for us to keep improving and helping those needs it is essential that we improve our farming techniques in order to grow more and better foods. One way farmers and scientist have found to make enough food to deal with our demands are GMOs. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. It is the main mechanism scientists have found to grow crops more efficiently in less time that can deal with different scenarios like rough environments or resistance to plagues. Some examples of the most common GMOs are Corn, Soy, Sugar, Papayas, Cotton, Zucchini, Squash, and Dairy.

Before we explain how GMO’s are made, we need to understand that humans have been genetically modifying crops since the birth of agriculture. A simple Google search to compare how bananas, corn, and strawberries grow in the wild and compare it with what we get in the supermarket is enough to notice dramatic differences even if these are organic. What is known as wild cabbage has been modified to half a dozen crops like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, and kale. The reason for this is that we have been selecting the best crops to grow for the next batch we intend to grow, and this has been happening for millennia. Scientist call this artificial selection, it is a way of selecting the best crops for the next generation of farming. Without understanding how this process works, humans have been manipulating the type of foods we eat, making them better, more nutritious, bigger, etc. Even though artificial selection is a way of genetically manipulating crops, they are not considered GMO. GMO are specific crops that are produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA genetic methods and opposed to the traditional cross breeding. We have been doing GMO since 1920’s, basically for one hundred years. This is possible because science has advanced so much that instead of cross breeding foods and waiting for them to get better, we understand the biology and biochemistry that can make them better, and we genetically manipulate specific areas in their biology that will result in a better version of the crop we originally had. For perspective, GMO is simply an organism like any other organism that contains and produces thousands of genes and proteins, but a handful of these genes and proteins were chosen specifically by humans. Farmers deal with a number of problems when growing their foods, like plagues, droughts, slow growing crops, etc. Bugs, fungi, rodents, and bacteria are some of the potential plagues farmers deal every time. For this, scientists have successfully generated GMOs that can be resistant


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to many plagues. In the past many kids were going blind because of lack of vitamin A. Scientists generated a strain of rice (Golden rice) that contains enough Vitamin A to deal with this problem. Squash had a big problem when dealing with droughts, so a more drought resistant squash was generated. A line of goats was created whose milk specifically prevents kids from dying from diarrhea. A species of chicken was created that suppresses the replication of the bird flu virus, and pig resistance to swine flu. In summary, GMOs are created to make more and better foods more efficiently, saving farmers time, energy, and land space while ensuring better and more nutritious foods being in the market. The scientific consensus is that eating GMO is safe. There is no greater risk when eating a GMO in comparison to an organic crop based on FDA reports. We have been eating GMOs for decades with no mayor effect in our life. Our life expectancy has increased in modern times while multiple generations consuming GMOs. From a moral perspective, it is required by us who live in industrialized countries to create better and more nutritious foods. People die around the world because of hunger, and knowing we can give them better crops to grow will be a potential way of trying to solve the hunger problem that exists in this world. The problem with GMOs is not because of the science behind it. Scientists are just trying to improve what we are consuming right now by making them more nutritious, bigger, with a longer shelf life, faster growing, pest resistant, etc. The problem with GMOs is the economic and cultural consequences of placing so much power over our foods into a handful of giant companies whose main goal is to control the market and make money out of it. This is a huge problem, but is an economic and political problem rather than a scientific problem.


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Deportes / Sports

El Sol Latino June 2018

OPENING DAY Springfield Old Timers Softball League 5 de mayo @ Van Sickle Field, Springfield

De izquierda a derecha - José Ortega - Los Artilleros, David Feliciano - KC Royals, Guillermo De Los Santos - Caribe Reds, Roberto Fontánez - Presidente, Carlos González - Representante Estatal por Springfield, Daniel “Danny” Bellavista - VicePresidente, Santiago “Chaguito” Suarez - D-Backs, Julio “Gato” Rivera - Caguas, Orlando “Landy” López - Presidente de Arbitros. (Credito - Springfield Old Timers Softball League)

Deportes / Sports

El Sol Latino June 2018

Inicio de Temporada Holyoke Oldtimers Softball League 5 de mayo 2018 en la Flats

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El Sol Latino June 2018

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Profile for El Sol Latino

El Sol Latino| June 2018 | 14.7  

Un Periódico Diferente A Different Kind of Newspaper

El Sol Latino| June 2018 | 14.7  

Un Periódico Diferente A Different Kind of Newspaper


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