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ach year, from September 15 to October 15, we celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of Latin American citizens and their ancestors who came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.







Exploring the People, Places, Issues and Events of the Rio Grande Valley




President Lyndon Johnson initiated in 1968 Hispanic Heritage Week. Later, President Reagan in 1988 expanded it to cover a 30-day period. It is timed to correspond with the date of independence celebrated in Mexico and many Central American countries. We are blessed with a truly cultivated and unique community of the world’s best people, the best food, best weather, and great lifestyles that are rich in character. The tremendous contributions and cultural enrichment of our heritage gives us special reasons to celebrate in the Valley. People from all over have come here to enjoy what has become Valley culture, and that with their contributions is just getting better all the time.















One personality who has a lot of culture to share is our cover girl of the month, Yolanda De La Cruz. She is Telemundo’s Noticias 40 anchorwoman seen by thousands of viewers valleywide. We were so delighted to chat with her and learn what makes her tick. Catch up with Yolanda on page 7.

IN THIS ISSUE. Contempo celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month with Telemundo’s Yolanda De La Cruz. (cover photo by Chekotapia Photography)




















Contempo Magazine is, most of all, dedicated to exploring Valley culture. It is about the people, places and the things we do that make us special. Our goal is give you, our readers a closer, more substantial look at what affects us too. Well, it is all right here, so dig in. Or, as we used to say–Dig it!







Contempo is a publication of Contempo Magazine Inc. All opinions represented are of the authors & not necessarily the views of the publisher. The publisher makes no representations regarding advertising content. Contempo Magazine is a trademark of Contempo Magazine Inc. All rights reserved. All content published and constructed by Contempo Magazine is the property of Contempo Magazine Inc. Permission for reprint shall be granted only upon written request and authorized release from Contempo Magazine Inc.


President / Ralph Magaña Copy Editor / Raul Cabrera Politics / Shain Mata Business & Latin American Affairs / Tony Magaña Architectural Impact / Jaime C. Condit Medical Insight / Diane Carbo RN Art & Music / Francisco G. Zarate Photography / R. Magaña / St. Michaels Guest Photographer Ad Sales / Adriana Fernandez 960.2453 Beatriz Casas 569.3134 / Ralph Magaña 467.7880 Issac Miranda 867-4469 / Catalina Nunez 533-3036 Distribution / Rosa Lopez Co-founder & Webpage Editor / Tony Magaña 956.467.7880 e-mail: web site: Suite B, PMB#170, 2403 N. 10th. St. McAllen, Tx 78501

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12 the Valley’s No. 1 On-Line Magazine



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De La Cruz

Spices Up the Airways on

Noticias 40 Contempo chats with Telemundo’s Rising Star

the Valley’s No. 1 On-Line Magazine

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Yolanda De La Cruz of Noticias 40 at Telemundo, is an energetic and talented broadcaster who we had a chance to chat with about her experiences in broadcasting and as a Valley latina role model. How long have you now lived in the Valley and been with Telemundo? I have been living in McAllen since I joined Telemundo 14 years ago. Telemundo has given me a great opportunity to do what I ‘m passionate for, and I am deeply grateful. Where are you originally from and what is it like there? I was born in Sinaloa, Mexico a beautiful state in the northwest with a wonderful culture. Has spanish-language television brought a new dimension to new broadcasting? As a Hispanic broadcaster who represents the largest minority in the country I feel extremely committed to develop the very best programing in Spanish television. What new story had the most impact on you? Not long ago I traveled to Chiapas, Mexico to report on the devastation caused by the San Juan de Grijalva River flooding. It destroyed the entire town and took many lives. The experience really compelled me to realize how vulnerable we are to nature. What do you make of the Valley's cultural mix? We have an excellent opportunity here in the Valley to take advantage of our multiculturalism. As a medium in the industry I want to help preserve the richness of Hispanic heritage and culture as well as to promote, through community events, the future development of our area. What news story made you feel really good all over? We do a special segment called “Mano Amiga y Adopcion� that makes me so delighted. It is all about helping others in the page 8

best way I know how, by nurturing life. How has news broadcasting changed? What role in those changes have women played? Today, more than ever before, women have exceeded in an array of important roles and there has been no exception in television. Great personalities like Oprah, Ellen Degeneris, Maria Celeste and Cristina Sarlegui have opened doors and clearly established that we are not conformists, but eager for more responsibilities. What does latina culture bring to the news industry? Our Latin culture comes with a great sense of contribution for more sensibility in programing, bringing with it the character of human generosity and responsibility. What do you do when not working? Hobbies? My few hours of free time are for my two beautiful treasures–Marcelo and Ma-

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ria Yolanda. With or around them, I like spending time reading, listening to music and exercising. Who inspires you? Favorite perfume? Favorite fashion designer? The experience of life is my inspiration. Each day of life is an inspiration to me, as are my dreams and my children. My favorite perfume at the moment is “Chance” by Chanel and my favorite designers are Oscar de la Renta and Valentino. Do you have any pets? Yes, I have three adorable dogs, Preciosa, Coqueta and Badidada, and a parrot. What’s your favorite music? Do you have a favorite dance song? I like Latin Pop, romantic music, and I love to dance to the song “Love” by Nate King Cole with the person who fills my dreams. Is there a particular charity you are involved with? Yes, I am on the board of directors for Spaulding for Children, an organization that is dedicated to help find homes for over 4000 indigent children. I take great personal joy in participating in their efforts.

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What would you like to tell the new generation o Latina professionals? “ lucha siempre por tus suenos, estos te llevaran siempre a lugares nunca imaginados “ “Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to be on the cover of your great magazine and for this interview. I like very much your penetrating stories and articles on culture.” C

A change proposed in the automatic admission of a student in the top ten percent of any Texas high school to public universities by state Sen. Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) is creating controversy

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In almost every state as the economy has declined the number of students who might normally have considered attending a private university has dropped while the number applying to instate public university has dramatically increased. The difference in tuition costs between the two can vary as much as $40,000 or more per year. Top rated public universities across the country are now becoming much selective and increasing their admissions standards in response to the increased quality of the applicant pool. Texas Senate Bill 175 (SB 175) was sponsored by the well known education reform advocate Sen. Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) at the request of the University of Texas which would change a rule about automatic admission to a Texas public university. Currently public colleges and universities in Texas are required to admit applicants who graduate in the top ten percent of the their graduating classes. This rule appertains to both public and private schools of all sizes and from any place in Texas as long as the school is accredited, the student has taken a recommended curriculum, and achieved a minimum college entrance test score.

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SB 175 would change the rule to allow universities to cap the percentage of those admitted by this measure to 50%. The reason for this is that the University of Texas at Austin has become so full of applicants by the top ten percent rule that no other criteria can be considered. Last year they filled up 85% of the freshman class by the top ten rule.

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Many traditional minority advocacy groups such as the NAACP, LULAC, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund say the measure unfairly would limit automatic admissions that were designed to increase diversity at higher education institutions and enhance opportunities for minority and low-income students, particularly at UT-Austin and Texas A&M. It also would penalize students who finished high school before the recommended curriculum was required.

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Director Sergio Leone


or Boomers there is no better western than The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly hands down! Or rather I should say, Hands Up! In this ground breaking western genre, the Italian spicing of director Sergio Leone sets the stage in a peculiar search for confederate gold. Two bounty hunters and a bandito trek through New Mexico, encountering civil war battles and other obstacles along the way. Interestingly, the plot does follow an actual civil war battle fought in the Old West. However, the simple story line and plot play second fiddle to presentation in this the final of three period western films featuring Clint Eastwood. Once the “Man with no Name”, now tagged as Blondie (Eastwood) teams up with Tuco (Eli Wallach) to scam lawmen for wanted criminal rewards and happen upon a dying soldier in an abandoned coach who sends them in search of gold. Later, Angel Eyes (Ray Van Cleef), “The Bad”, a cut-throat gunslinger is in the hunt for the confederate gold.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, preceded by A Fist Full of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, portrayed the rawness of western life in vivid ways like no other films before them by employing rough Italian style props and rough looking Italian and Spanish actors. Some grotesque and all unshaven, many of them give the film an authentic atmosphere as do the special effects used in the sound of gunfire. The score and theme song composed by Ennio Morricone give a new sense of drama and turmoil to enhance the film sequences. The sound of the whip, the human howls and screams in the theme reflect the savageness of the untamed country the film projects. Much of the music score is dominated by a bell, a whistle, hums and a masculine chorus. page 12

Clint Eastwood

Lee Van Cleef

The set, it was said, was full of unsafe conditions for the actors and extras. Filmed in Spain in the summer of 1966, it underwent limited scrutiny from the government because it portrayed the circumstance of the “Old West”. In one famous scene Tuco (Wallach) severs the chain that binds him to the dead Cpl. Wallace played by Italian Mario Brega. Tuco positions the chain to snap as the train passes over, freeing him from Wallace. As you watch the scene develop, there seems a certainty that a body double or stuntman is shot in place of Wallach at the exact moment the train wheels pass over the chain because it looks so dangerous. So certain, there seems a slight film editing glitch at the very moment of the break. However it was Wallach’s hand only inches away from the speeding steel locomotive wheels afterall and he was almost decapitated as the metal steps followed.

Eli Wallach


Although Wallach has several scenes where he is suspended over a hangman’s knot, he must have been most concerned about those over a horse. On one take where Tuco is to be “hung” and liberated by the sharp shooting skill of Blondie, the horse he is mounted on bolts off with Wallach’s hands tied in the saddle. It was also Leone’s practice to have all nonAmerican actors recite lines in their own language instead of in English, evident with the poor syncronization of voice-over seen in the film. For many fans, this distinct flaw only enhances the perception of frontier reality compared to the clean cut, well shaven performances seen in films both before and after the era of the “spagetti westerns”. C by Ralph Magaña

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Valley Technology & Development

The UTPA Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex A Bold Integration of Architectural Style & Function for Fitness by Jaime C. Condit

One of the newest buildings to grace the

tennis courts, a 10,000 s.f. area for weights use of glass helps in inviting the visitor with UTPA Campus is the Wellness and Rec- and cardio equipment, a 34-foot climbing dynamic views of the activity inside, parreational Sports Complex. Located at the wall, double gym and racquetball courts. ticularly at night. However, the views were corner of Sugar Rd. and Schunior and adjanot the only things the architects had in cent to student housing, the facility opened Although the design of the building repre- mind. Day lighting was key in the design to the delight of the student body in August sents a bold step forward in architectural of this open-flow facility. More day light2007. The Facility was designed by F&S design, it is rooted in the design philoso- ing means less energy usage. In addition, Partners out of Dallas and constructed at a phies of Louis Kahn, of the foremost archi- the use of specially coated (frits) glass helps cost of $26 million. Among the many ame- tects of the 20th Century, thus "fitting-in" with shading and a reduction of exterior nities the nearly 1500 visitors per day can seamlessly with the architectural fabric of heat load. enjoy include a large outdoor pool with the university. Eye appeal is very important lazy river, sand volleyball, basketball and in a facility such as this, and the extensive page 14

Tour the Fitness Center with Contempo Girls Maritza & Lilly photos by Josue Esparza

The interior features wide open spaces and an elevated jogging track that allows the user to view most activities from any location in the building.Wireless Internet, aerobic studios with digital sound and extensive lounging areas afford the visitor a complete workout for both body and mind. Since the WRSC opened its doors, it has been awarded a Facility of Merit Award by

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Lilly on the leg press & weights and grabs a worthy work-out after class.

page 16

At the summit an eight foot overhang adds suspense for suspended climbers below.

Maritza, an experienced climber, works the natural crevaces along the edge.

tion of Texas, as well as being recognized by Athletic Business Magazine, and Recreation Management Magazine. In addition, NIRSA, the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, awarded its Outstanding Sports Facility Award to the WRSC in April. C

Jaime C. Condit is a registered architect in Texas and holds a Bachelor’s of Environmental Design and a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Texas A&M University. He served five years as a Project Manager and architect for UTPA after a five year tenure as City Architect for the City of McAllen. His architectural experiences are many including: the UTPA Wellness Complex (pictured), the UTPA Education Complex and the McAllen Transit Bus Station. He can be reached at

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On Politics

Judge Salinas

Addresses National HELP

Luncheon topic: leadership and ethics in politics

Judge Salinas & Rosalie Wisefield

J C Cervantes President/Founder National Hispanic Entrepreneurs for Leadership in Politics

NHELP President/Founder and Judge J.D. Salinas. Elizabeth C. Martinez, Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas and Lynda L. Garcia. Mission, Texas–On Sept. 3, Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas spoke to an audience gathered together for the National Hispanic Entrepreneurs for Leadership in Politics first luncheon at Cimarron. Salinas began discussing the role of leadership and noted that people who hold leadership positions like elected officials, constantly need that “reality check” to remind them that they are there to serve the people in their community. “I always say that if it’s something that my mother wouldn’t be proud of, don¹t do it,” said Salinas before elaborating on the complex business of running the county. In the discussion he often referred to the notion that “government needs to be addressed like a business where the voters are the proprietors.

in politics. Salinas went on to discuss many topics, such as workforce issues, transportation and education.

The National Hispanic Entrepreneurs for Leadership in Politics board:

He noted that one of the biggest challenges that our region is facing is the lack of an educated workforce. According to figures presented by the Judge, 50 percent of Hidalgo County¹s population has a high school education and only 15-35 percent have a bachelor¹s degree or post high school diploma.

JC Cervantes/president-founder

National HELP will host a series of monthly luncheons inviting political leaders to participate in this new initiative to inspire Hispanics to become involved in politics and get out and vote. C National HELP does not support or endorse any candidate or political party.

Salinas applauded National HELP for collaborating with the professional community to de- For more information, call National HELP President liver the message of leadership and activism JC Cervantes at (956) 638-4074. page 18

Mike Martinez, vice pres./co-founder David Rios, Pedro G. Ayala Elizabeth C. Martinez, Adan Garcia Jose Garza, Lynda L Garcia Advisory Board Ricardo Portillo/Portillo Jewelers Todd Breland/Valley Business Report Roberto Gonzalez/Texas Border Business and Ralph Magaña/Contempo Magazine

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On Politics




Sponsored by the McAllen and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce by Shaine Mata

Congressman Henry Cuellar recently held a town hall

meeting at the McAllen Convention Center, an event that was organized by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. They expected around 400 people to attend, but quickly swelled to over 700. An overflow room was opened up to allow the additional attendees to observe the meeting. Attendees were required to register and pass a security check prior to entering the ballroom. No weapons, signs, banners, publications, flyers, noise-makers, sound amplifiers, or food were allowed. The Chamber wanted to ensure civil discourse between the Congressman and the audience. There were some protesters at the entrance of showed up and the predominant age group, the turnout the convention center. may very well have been representative of the community Prior to this event, representatives of the Rio Grande Val- with respect to political bias. ley had been hesitant to have a town hall meeting in the region, claiming that they often hold town hall meetings From my point of view, many of the questions seemed to in other locations. Congressman Cuellar deserves credit come from a conservative standpoint. The questions were for taking the plunge by having a meeting in South Texas. often very direct, like how the Congressman would vote. Previously, he had a teletown hall meeting in which he He answered that he would not vote on the bill the way it fielded questions from throughout his district. There was is now; he would like to see some changes made. no way of knowing how such an event would turn out. The Rio Grande Valley is generally a democrat-controlled Congressman Cuellar did get some tough questions from area; however, there has been a growing movement by the the crowd. To his credit, the Congressman was able to skillfully address those questions by giving the four critetea parties in South Texas. ria that form the basis of his decision.There were a couple of occasions where the crowd expressed dissatisfaction with his answers, but they let him know and he clarified his position. Cuellar often expressed his values, which he uses to make decisions on how to vote.

and have children; presumably we have more at stake being the ones who will be affected by the legislation and burdened by the taxes for a much longer time. However, if a better time were chosen, we could have possibly had too many people show up; meaning the Chamber would have been criticized for that, instead. The key is that we at least had an opportunity to speak to our representative, whereas there were few opportunities before this event. One thing Congressman Cuellar mentioned is that he has had town hall meetings in the past; but they never turned out such a large crowd. He expressed surprise that the issue of health care reform has generated such an interest by the public. This is significant because it demonstrates the level of apathy the public generally shows when it comes to Washington, D.C. It takes something major and unsettling as health care reform to get people motivated enough to go talk to their congressman. And they did.

You could feel the energy in the crowd. They were there to have their questions answered. Walking around the room during the meeting, you could feel the energy in the crowd. They were there to have questions answered. The audience comprised a mix of people of different ages; however, the majority were clearly older people, who typically are more interested in politics and are more likely to vote. It did seem that many of the people selected to ask questions came from Mission, Texas. The moderators made it a point to make random selections of those wishing to ask a question.

Congressman Henry Cuellar alone, took questions. I expected to see the factions turn out to skew the perception of the community. If the Democrat groups could pack the house, then the questions would seem to favor health care reform. If the conservative groups could pack the house; then the community would seem to disfavor health care reform. Given the volume of people who page 20

The entire event was very well executed by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. They were well organized and kept everything under control. If you really, really had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find something objectionable, it would be the time. Most families, had to attend to their children on their first day of school. Many older people already have some medical coverage through Medicare or Medicaid to various extents.What is in question is healthcare for those of us who are younger

As citizens, we are motivated to action when there is something historic to support; we are also motivated when there is something life changing to oppose. In a Legislature and Executive office completely controlled by the Democrats, health care reform should have been a slam dunk before the public knew what hit them. The pause in pushing the reform through may be indicative of the public’s reaction to the proposed legislation. Whether you think that health care reform is merited or not, it is important for our leaders to listen to the public. Congressman Cuellar has likely increased the respect from his constituents for coming out to listen to their concerns. Who knows, the experience may even serve him to better represent us when the bill comes to vote. C About the Author: Shaine Mata who writes about politics, technology, and social media for McAllen, the Rio GrandeValley,Texas and America. He is a co-founder of Advantj Media Consortium

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There is now more known and discovered than was ever known before. Because individuals of this disorder do not think they have a problem, it goes undiagnosed and untreated. In fact, cases are usually discovered by social service agencies or local government agencies before the mental health professionals are aware of a problem.

The Dangers of Compulsive Hoarding by Diane Carbo, RN

...individuals identified with compulsive hoarding behaviors show a low activity level in the midline part of the brain. ..this low level of energy affects the "firing" of connections in the brain. The result is difficulties with making decisions about throwing things away.

Compulsive hoarding may have been a well

kept family secret, but now the family is concerned over the aging parent's safety in the home. This is an elder care crisis that is starting to rear its ugly head. Care giver stress over concerns about health code violations, fire safety or a fall that could lead to a death and being buried by trash.

There is presently a large and growing diverse group of professionals including local health and fire safety services, health care providers, and social service providers looking into this growing problem. Because of the nature of the hidden disorder community police, legal and judicial services as well as public funding sources have joined forces to learn more about the nuances and problems associated with compulsive hoarding.

Treatment at the present time is still being investigated. It is known that such a strong and emotional attachment is placed on their belongings by the individual. Cleaning the environment and removing the debris is inlongings to get to one spot in the house to effective. The aging senior will just fill up the the next. They are no longer able to care for space with more things. themselves and in many instances have beSome medications are prescribed for some of come a danger to themselves. the other mental disorders the aging senior Symptoms of dementia, Alzheimer's disease may have such as anxiety and depression. and types of mental illness may play a role in Cognitive behavioral therapy is a solution the aging senior's behavior. Studies show that that is being explored. Compulsive hoarders many elderly hoarders have been diagnosed can rationalize everything about the way they live. Unless they see a need to change their with an anxiety or personality disorder. living situation, their hoarding will continue. Cat Scans of individuals identified with compulsive hoarding behaviors show a low activ- As the elder care crisis of compulsive hoardity level in the midline part of the brain. It is ing shed's some light on this disorder, scibelieved that this low level of energy affects ence and research are working to improve the the "firing" of connections in the brain. The treatment. For now, there will be caregiver result is difficulties with making decisions stress concerning that aging senior and the safety in the home. C about throwing things away.

City and county agencies have developed task forces to deal with the compulsive hoarder. The home of a hoarder looks like any other person's home from the outside. Sooner or later, the accumulation of debris in the house gets to a point where the local government agencies are contacted. The neighbors may have complained about a terrible stench coming for the home or the local utility company has cut off the electricity or water to the home. Aging seniors that suffer from this disorder are usually intelligent individuals that will do For some, their care giver or family mem- anything not to make a mistake. They are perber has had to report them. Upon discovery, fectionists to the extreme. To avoid making a what is found is often shocking: things piled mistake, they will choose not to make a decifrom floor to ceiling. Doors and windows are sion. The compulsive hoarder has such high blocked. The stove, refrigerator, bathtubs and standards and fear of failure, that the smallest sinks are unusable because they are covered task that they perform becomes overwhelmby piles of clutter. ing and stressful. They emotionally paralyze themselves with the minutiae of everyday The hoarder has created a maze in their home, tasks. as their nest. They find comfort and solace in Compulsive hoarding is increasing as the having their things around them. They get to population is aging. There have been more point where some tunnel through their be- studies and research done in the past ten year. the Valley’s No. 1 On-Line Magazine

Diane Carbo Registered Nurse has more than thirty five years in the nursing field. Her experience as a geriatric care manager, makes her uniquely qualified to help those who want to live out their lives in their own homes. That decision may be made when you are 20, 30, 40 or in fact at any age, with sooner rather than later being ideal. Diane has developed a web site to make people aware of issues and options. You will find extensive helpful information that will be continually updated. Please visit Diane's web site ( and learn more about compulsive hoarding Sign up for "The Caring Advocate" her free newlsetter and take advantage of a complimentary e-course Advocating For Yourself and Others. page 23

On Politics


For either Hutchison or Perry to capture a significant portion of the Hispanic vote they will have to switch from a passive mode of appeal where Hispanics are assumed to be in the general population of conservatives to an active one that addresses issues relative to the Hispanic community where a conservative answer will have appeal. The upcoming gubernatorial race in Texas could prove to be a test for how Republican candidates can develop a successful strategy to gain the Hispanic vote. The most successful campaigner in Texas history, Governor Rick Perry is facing a serious challenge from the popular Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. On the surface this appears to be a race between a socially and fiscally conservative Republican incumbent versus a moderate Republican but in reality is a much more complex situation with numerous possible outcomes.

worse than pre-election polling had predict- and African American, Ron Kirk, was given the position of U.S. Trade Representative to ed. clear the way for a white Democrat to run for The Texas Democratic party remains im- governor and the Senate. Although pundits mersed in a lawsuit over the Presidential would argue that Hispanics will overwhelmprimary process. The 2008 primary was a ingly vote in the Democratic primary, if a strange concoction were convention attend- Republican candidate in this assuredly close ees and their votes for the candidates were race makes an effort to court the Hispanic determined by a two separate means. Instead vote this could have significant consequences of relying upon just the popular vote, for not only for the Republican primary but also the first time, caucuses were held in the late whether the Republicans can win the general evening which also awarded delegates to the election.

The southwestern states including Texas have an eclectic mix of voting groups affecting elections including fast growing Hispanic populations, conservative Republicans who were once Democrats, and transplanted northerners which consist of young professionals and retirees. The Democratic party has been making progress in gaining seats in the Texas legislature and also making the races closer in state wide elections. Apart from gerrymandered urban districts in state and local elections, the typical Texas Democrat tends to be a centrist or “blue dog” more often than a traditional East coast progressive. But despite it’s gains, the Texas Democratic party, like the Republicans, still has problems with minority voters.

Close to 30% of eligible voters in Texas will be Hispanic by the time of the next election. A Republican candidate who can match George Bush’s ability to garner significant Hispanic support in his gubernatorial and presidential elections could find a winning strategy.

There remains considerable controversy about what happened in the 2002 Texas gubernatorial race where a Mexican-American candidate from South Texas, Tony Sanchez, who outspent Perry 2 to 1 in the election as did Houston area legislator, Rick Noriega, against incumbent John Cornyn in the 2008 Senate race. Both elections recorded a high percentage of Hispanic voters voting for the Hispanic candidates, but this occurred in the setting of an overall very low voter turnout by Hispanic voters. The final election tally showed the Democratic candidates did much page 24

convention but on a formula based upon the previous election’s turnout. Many Hispanic supporters of Hillary Clinton maintain that they were never told about these caucuses. Although Clinton won the popular vote in the Texas primary, Obama ultimately got the majority of delegates from Texas because his supporters dominated the late night caucuses. In addition, areas like South Texas which had low voter turnouts in the previous elections were penalized (some say unfairly) while other areas like Houston’s African American districts received extra delegates because the previous election featured an African American, Ron Kirk, in a statewide election. Albeit, this time it appears there will be no major Hispanic or minority candidate from either the Democrats or the Republicans in the upcoming primaries for governor. A few political Texas insiders from the Democratic party say that popular former Dallas mayor

No doubt feeling the pressure from the conservative base, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, joined Senator John Cornyn in voting nay to the nomination of Judge Sonya Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Governor Rick Perry has a close relationship with radio commentator, Rush Limbaugh, and even named Limbaugh an “honorary Texan” so most Hispanics will have assumed had Perry had a vote his would have been similar to Hutchison. Anyway you look at it, for the Republicans in Texas to get any significant Hispanic support they have to understand they first have to dig themselves out of a hole. Some analysts have pointed to the fact that Republican Senators from Texas and Arizona who voted against Sotomayor, despite having large Hispanic populations, might have insight into those populations as being more conservative than conventionally supposed. Abortion, gun rights, and pro-faith issues which are poten-

tially strong in the Hispanic community of the Southwest may mitigate the long term effect of the negative Sotomayor vote, somewhat goes the unproven theory. Conversely, reflection on the poor showing of John McCain in the Presidential election of 2008 despite his being a strong advocate of immigration reform by Hispanic voters from the Southwest had little to do with his own personal feelings, in my opinion, but was in fact a protest vote against the Republican party as a whole for tolerating the likes of Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo with their shameful anti-Hispanic rhetoric. For either Hutchison or Perry to capture a significant portion of the Hispanic vote they will have to switch from a passive mode of appeal where Hispanics are assumed to be in the general population of conservatives to an active one that addresses issues relative to the Hispanic community where a conservative answer will have appeal. They will need to find an issue which could mobilize a higher turnout for their own Hispanic supporters and just as important also not risk triggering anti-Republican turnout. Following the presidential election, the Pew Hispanic Research Center did a survey of what issues were relative to Hispanics. The major issue was not immigration (only 31 percent reported this) but was first the economy at 57 percent, followed by education at 51 percent. Immigration as a primary issue of political discussion will not likely cause a major increase in turnout by Hispanics but can be a dangerous issue in the negative. Anti-immigration rhetoric that is perceived as veiled racism is a Republican mistake that cannot be repeated. Currently both political parties have taken an attitude to “let sleeping dogs lay.” One of the fastest growing segments of the population in Texas is the Hispanic small business owner. Governor Perry was the author of the state franchise tax which is really an income tax on small business. Although many Hispanic small businesses are exempt because they have revenues of less than $1 million, this has already become a major focus of attack of the Hutchison campaign on the record of the incumbent. On the other hand, Kay Bailey Hutchison, voted for the stimulus bill which a majority of Americans and even more so of Texans see as being a waste of taxpayer dollars.

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Both Governor Perry and Senator Hutchison need to pay more attention to South Texas then they have in the past. Republican Senator John Cornyn has spent considerable time developing close relationships with local elected Democratic mayors and legislators from South Texas. Even when he has disagreed with local politicians on issues like the


the Valley’s No. 1 On-Line Magazine

page 25

Sacred Heart Catholic Church 306 South 15th. McAllen, Texas

construction of the border wall which was going to be an unstoppable federal mandate, he went out of his way to get funding for levee repair and new international bridge construction. His activism should serve as model for the two candidates. Hutchison has shown a compassionate side to the poor in South Texas in the past but has never engaged the Rio Grande Valley to the same extent as Cornyn. Governor Perry has in the past made statements about conditions or situations about the border without consulting local leaders. This is a faux pas that must end. In my opinion, the most important issue that the Republicans should address if they wish to garner Hispanic support is education. Texas remains one of worst states with a fifty percent dropout rate of Hispanics who enter high school and one of the lowest rates of Hispanics under the age of 25 who attend college. Governor Perry has been an advocate for school choice and voucher programs in the past but not consistently. At times he has called for vouchers and distribution of state wide resources to create a statewide equitable school system but then when faced with

Mass Schedule Saturday: 5:00PM English Sunday: 8:00 AM Spanish 11:00 English 7:00 PM Spanish Monday & Wednesday: 8:15 AM English Tuesdays, Thursday, Friday 8:15 AM Spanish First Friday 8:15 AM Holy Days 8:15 AM & 7:00 PM

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen. "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words." St. Francis of Assisi page 26

Governor Perry has been an advocate for school choice and voucher programs in the past but not consistently. At times he has called for vouchers and distribution of state wide resources to create a statewide equitable school system but then when faced with budget problems hastily retreated from those positions. budget problems hastily retreated from those positions. The incumbent has not been a major player in the potential development of a Tier 1 university or medical school in the Rio Grande Valley which is one of the few major metropolitan areas in the country with a population well over 1 million without these facilities.

Hutchison supported a temporary voucher program for students displaced by Hurricane Katrina to attend private schools and also for students living in Washington DC. Her record on education favors school prayer, vouchers, and education savings accounts but she voted against more federal subsidies... riculum in math and science. She supported a temporary voucher program for students displaced by Hurricane Katrina to attend private schools and also vouchers for students living in Washington, DC. Her record on education has been one that favors school prayer, vouchers, and education savings accounts but has consistently voted against more federal subsidies or mandates to local schools. If either Rick Perry or Kay Bailey Hutchison wants to win the support of Texas Hispanic voters, they will need to develop a clear and concise education plan to change the status quo for Hispanic education. This commitment will need to be more than just a minor side issue, but must reflect a political will to make responsible but significant financial investments and system changes to convert a failed education system to one that makes Texas a leader in education rather than a disgrace. All Texas families need to be given choices on which schools their children will attend, school systems must involve communities and families more and be held more accountable. Finally, in situations where private schools or religious institutions or other public school districts can provide better learning opportunities at lower cost per student then a failed public school then students must be given vouchers to attend these schools just as they do in Washington DC. C

Learn more about what is going on in Texas polSenator Kay Bailey Hutchison has been a itics at our blogs @ strong advocate for improving school cur-

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The brown-eyed blond beauty, who was named last year as one of the 25 most beautiful Houstonians by H-Texas magazine, is a senior student at Sam Houston State University. With plans to earn a Master's Degree and pursue a career in television and film, Brooke is majoring in Mass Communications with a minor in radio and television, and she enjoys a career as a professional model. Brooke completed her one year rein as "Miss Texas USA 2009" and relinquished her crown on Labor Day weekend, Sept 5-6 in Houston, TX. She recently competed at the "MISS USA" Pag-


eant at the Planet Hollywood Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada and was selected in the top 10 finalists. In August, Brooke visited the patients at Knapp Medical Center's Pediatric Ward in Weslaco, TX. and signed autographs for charity at Louie's Back Yard at South Padre Island, TX. On Saturday, she conducted a children's reading segment at the Weslaco Museum and met with City Officials and other local dignitaries. She also found time read to local children at the McAllen Public Library. C page 28

Mexican & American One in every eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime and over 30% of all patients are diagnosed after breast cancer has spread beyond the localized stage.




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On Politics

al Megrahi Release–

Compassion or Appeasment? What Should America Do? by Tony Magaña


he cold blooded killer of Pan Am 103 in 1988 was released from prison by Scotland and awaits a hero’s welcome in Libya. Americans are rightfully outraged and should demand not only a Scottish boycott and sanctions for Libya unless al Megrahi is placed in prison. Future crimes against Americans should only be tried in American courts. The families of 259 passengers and crew of Pan American World Airways Flight 103 who suffered an incalculable loss when the Libyan government sanctioned the mass killing of their loved ones were dealt a second perhaps even greater blow today when the Scottish government decided to release Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, an admitted agent of the Libyan government, who was convicted of involvement with the bombing. Scottish officials say that the rule of law allows compassionate release of prisoners who have less than 3 months to live and claim that medical experts have determined that al-Megrahi meets that criteria by suffering with advanced prostate cancer. However initial reports indicate that the application of this specific law is discretionary with at least a third of applicants being refused. The 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland has been controversial in many ways. Although the crime occurred on American sovereign territory, an American owned airliner, the Clinton administration decided to let Scottish authorities prosecute the case. Many liberals have sought for the United States to surrender its sovereignty to “world courts” or other nations. It now appears this decision has come with a heavy price. Early reports are coming in that the British government may have been acting with self-interest because it wants access to the oil fields off the Libyan coast in the Gulf of Sidra.

Tequisquiapan, Qro. Mex. 011.52.414.2733029 page 30

Many vague incriminations have been made that various law enforcement or intelligence agencies may have missed warnings that could have prevented the tragedy but little doubt now remains about the ve-

racity of the involvement of al-Megrahi in the bombing and the complicity of the Libyan government. In 1993, the Libyan government sent a letter to the United Nations Security Council in which they admitted the actions of officials of the Libyan government were to blame for the terrorist act. The world was shocked to watch the terrorist treated like royalty as he was driven in an limousine to a jet waiting at the airport. He was greeted by the son of Libya’s longtime leader, Gaddafi who will accompany him to a hero’s welcome and celebration in Libya. Clearly this event had been planned some time ago, yet the Obama administration is pretending that they are surprised. Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton has been quoted as saying she was only “deeply concerned “ Americans should be more than concerned, they should be outraged that the country that many consider our closest ally would sell out justice for cheap oil. Never again should we compromise justice by allowing another country to try a case of terrorism against American citizens on American territory be it a ship, a plane, or an embassy. Americans must demand an immediate boycott of all British products and travel to British territories. The President of the United States must immediately demand that Congress pass legislation mandating American justice for crimes against Americans on American territory. Any and all diplomatic relations, aid, and/or trade with Libya must cease until Libya places al-Megrahi in a prison. C by Tony Magaña Thanks for reading our blogs which discuss issues for McAllen, the Rio Grande Valley, and America from a conservative Hispanic point of view. Tony is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and also writes for the American Daily Review. Follow him on twitter

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the Surreal of Bradley Oliver

Contempo Picks / Valley Art


by Ralph Magaña


reaking from impressionist and naturalists, expressionists sought to have a strong emotional effect with visual depictions of distorted reality. Whereas naturalists focused on “man against nature” themes and impressionists developed new techniques in abstraction, expressionism projected elevated emotion and required deeper interpretation. Some expressed great anxiety, like Edward Munch’s, The Scream in 1893. Later, surrealism–more a cultural and philosophical movement than an art form, invoked elements of surprise and shock. Surrealism, incubated from the Dada’s anti-art movement, brought anti-art to art, often with humor and the bizarre, along with a disdain for established art expression. The most noted surrealist, Salvador Dali, captured world interest in the movement with art, sculpture and film. The art of Bradley Oliver Wilkinson brings a fresh look to nuvo-surrealism. With a grand sense of free expression that is released in recent pieces depicted here. With vivid color, the use of striking detail, and a convincing accuracy common to the movement, Wilkinson delivers on deep emotion for any observer. As well, he dabbles with provocative themes typical to the movement. In Fingers Down the Beach, a pleasant composition of a girl is dramatically altered by a profound change that yields a simple expression of peace. Even though the alteration projects the same emotion, it is done using bold variations of green, suggesting a skin of palm or banana leaf in a reflection and an unexpected rush of reds and pinks. Yet the strongest impression is of the subject’s gentle smile that seems to be hiding something for the viewer to appreciate. As well, in the enchanting depiction of the facial transformation that shows great imagination, an important aspect of the surrealistic style. Bradley currently resides in Austin attending St. Edwards University and is the son of Rosie and Ray Wilkinson of McAllen, Texas. C See more of Bradley’s work at

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South Padre Island–Season Highlights Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Fishing for Hope & Sea Turtle Rescue Center

4th Annual Fishing for Hope Tournament There is nothing quite like the onset of autumn at the island and there was nothing but great weather and calm waters for Upper Valley bay anglers attending the 4th Annual Fishing for Hope Tournament. Conditions were perfect for good fishing and all around family fun for weigh-in at Louie’s Backyard. The Hope Family Health Center provides quality, holistic medical and mental health services education. “Doctors Hospital at Renaissance remains committed to our mission, offering the most state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to the provision of quality, compassionate care and being the premier hospital in South Texas,” stated Marissa Castañeda, Chief Operations Officer at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.

page 34

Sea Turtle Rescue Center 6617 Padre Blvd. SPI


very year the beaches undergo a ritual of renewal with the hatching of thousands of sea turtles at South Padre Island with help from the Sea Turtle Rescue Center. Hundreds of volunteers participate in the incubation, hatching and journey to the sea of thousands of various species of sea turtles that have made the south texas shoreline their home. Long before man arrived to the area they have returned to South Padre Island to within a few kilometers of their birthplace, and the Center hopes they will continue to do so. Many perish to predators and human activity as only one or two from over a thousand survive the perilous cycle. The Center hosts one of the few protected nesting zones in the world for several species of sea turtles and provides assistance to dis-

tressed turtles on the Island. Distressed sea turtles like Buddy, Bella and Browser suffer from severe trama to their fins and may never return to the gulf. There are however, a few that are rehabilitated and released. Much of the work requires maintaining conditions at the hatch sites along the northern stretches of the beach. You can tour the Center and see live exhibits of rescued sea turtles, listen to lectures on the progress of re-establishing sea turtles that are on the endangered species list, and visit the gift shop. It is open from 10am to 4pm daily except Monday. It is only $3 for adults and $1 for children with proceeds benefiting their research. C

6502 Padre Blvd. / South Padre Island / 1-888-772-3222 the Valley’s No. 1 On-Line Magazine

page 35



SEASON OPENS with Pietro Mascagni’s

Cavalleria Rusticana by Francisco G. “Paco” Zarate photos by St. Michael’s Photography


he cosa vieni a dirmi in questo santo giorno” says Mama Lucia to a bewildered Santuzza after her narration of what has transpired since the days before Turiddu went off to the army and since his return. It is Easter Sunday in a Sicilian village close to Francofonte. Although there is general rejoicing among the villagers, we know that blood will soon be shed as we have heard Turiddu serenading Lola, his old flame who deceived him and is now married to Alfio, the cart driver. Santuzza is well aware of the situation and confronts Lola when Lola comes across the village square and runs into Santuzza and Turiddu arguing. After Turiddu follows Lola into church, Alfio enters to learn the terrible truth from Santuzza’s mouth who soon regrets what she has done. After mass is over, Alfio confronts Turiddu who challenges Alfio to a duel. Turiddu recognizes his traitorous friendship with Alfio and asks Mama Lucia to bless him before he leaves and makes her promise that she will be a mother to Santuzza if he doesn’t return. After a final kiss, Mama Lucia runs after him refusing to admit to herself Turiddu’s quick demise. Indeed, what a terrible event has fallen on such a holy day! Such is the stuff of Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana. This masterpiece of verismo opera was page 36

presented on both August 23rd and August 25th by the South Texas Lyric Opera. The performances were dominated by the appearance of world-renowned diva Carol Vaness as Santuzza. Her voice has lost none of the power that she has demonstrated in performances at the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna Statsoper, La Scala, San Francisco Opera, etc. The “Innegiamo” was exquisite. Particularly outstanding was her rendition of “Voi lo sapete, o mama”. (If you are curious as to how she sounds in this aria, listen to her performance on which she sang at a recital at Indiana University in Bloomington.) Her duets with Tenor Eduardo Kremer as Turridu were also memorable as was her rendition of “Turiddu mi tolse, mi tolse l’onore.” To this writer’s ears, the legato she demonstrated in this aria was extraordinary. Her gestures in the part were also very convincing. The slow covering of her head and face once the murder of Turiddu was discovered made me remember the customs of recently widowed women in our area in the distant past. Tenor Kremer’s voice sounded constricted at the top and did not meet my expectations. I was particularly bothered by his rendition of “Addio a la madre” but the “Siciliana” before the curtain opened was much better. Baritone Chia-Wei Lee, the Alfio, sang smoothly. I only wish that he had done a better job at cracking the whip during his rendition of “Il cavallo scalpita” so as to make his portrayal more believeable.

(continued on page 38)

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Chef Santiago’s SPI Steamed Clam Soup

his tasty broth soup is a light, tangy, easy to make crowd pleaser with a clear and simple presentation. All clams should be chosen carefully. Look for fresh, unopened and moist claims for best results. What You will Need (Serves 4) 3 LBS medium clams 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil 2 ounces raw bacon / diced 7 to 8 garlic cloves minced 1/2 cup Sherry Wine 4 cups water flavored with beef bouillon 2 oz Worcestershire sauce or to taste 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme 1 tablespoon whole butter 1 each Lemon (cut in quarters wedges) Chopped parsley Make it Happen in 25 minutes! 1. Rinse clams in several changes of cold water to remove the sand. 2. In a large pot saute the bacon and the garlic with

the oil, till bacon and garlic are caramelized (about 4 minutes at medium heat). 3. De-glaze the pot with Sherry wine and burn out the alcohol (1 to 2 minutes). 4. Add water and let boil. Add the clams, cover, and steam for 8 to 9 minutes, stirring once gently, or until they are all open. 5. Season the broth with Worcestershire sauce, butter and thyme. 6. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. 7. Serve clams in a bowl with broth garnish with parsley and lemon wedge. Serve with crackers or crusty bread to dip into the broth. Recommended Wine My wine recommendation would be Sterling Chardonnay, Napa Valley because of it crisp taste to the dish. This is a broth soup with lots of garlic essence and is a good alternative to a cream soup for reduced caloric intake.

Santiago De La Cruz

(continued from page 37) The two other minor women’s roles were both sung beautifully. Soprano Cristina Piccardi did a wonderful portrayal of Lola and has a most beautiful voice. It is my understanding that she is soon taking part in a vocal competition of the Chicago Lyric Opera and we wish her much success. Mezzo-soprano Madeline Elizondo also did a wonderful portrayal of Mama Lucia. She was the cover for Soprano Vaness and I had the pleasure of hearing her sing Santuzza during rehearsals. I really believe that she is a soprano rather than a mezzo and that her future lies in soprano roles. Mention must be made of the excellent playing by the orchestra. Especially memorable were the “Prelude” and the “Intermezzo.” The chorus was also very well prepared for the performances. The sets were realistic. The performances were

page 38

a great achievement for Maestro Mazias de Oliveria who is the founder of South Texas Lyric Opera and who served as both Artistic Director and Conductor for the performances of Mascagni’s verismo opera. Word has it that Maestro de Oliveira has been invited to perform this work in Monterrey, Mexico during the near future. What an honor for the arts in the Rio Grande Valley! Only the Maestro’s genius can explain such an event. The 2009-2010 STLO season will continue with a gala scheduled for November before the beginning of the Holiday Season. Performances of Puccini’s La Boheme and Mendelssohn’s Elijah are planned for early 2010. It should be noted that McAllen is currently placing great emphasis on the arts and we hope that the audiences at STLO events continue to grow so that opera can take its rightful place in our beloved Rio Grande Valley as the greatest of the performing arts. C the Valley’s No. 1 On-Line Magazine

page 39

Si No Has Venido A Poncho’s No Has Venido Al Valle! page 40

Disponible para todo evento social Areas Abiertas - Privados - Palapas Capacidad Hasta 1000 Personas para reservaciones llama

956.782.9991 / 607.8612 808 N. Cage, Pharr Tx

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Desayuno Lunch Cena Dom.-Juev. 7AM - 11PM Vie.-Sab. 7AM - 2AM

Dejate Venir a Poncho’s Y Prueba Nuestros Ricos Platillos Bien Estilo Casero.



Contempo Magazine October 2009  

Lifestyle Magazine for McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas

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