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Celebrating Success

Shayla Rivera Changing the World Through Laughter


Visiรณn | FALL 2016

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See your doctor for a referral and Call to schedule your next mammogram.

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Visiรณn | contents 


Celebrating Success contents M








DEPARTMENTS From the Publishers...........................9 Hispanic Heritage............................10 Legal Insights..................................30 Education........................................32

12 Photos Provided by Shayla Rivera

Health..............................................34 People and Events...........................42 Meet Our Writers.............................46

Feature Story Shayla Rivera Changing the World Through Laughter............................12 POLITICAL Voting Trends...................................18

20 6

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contents | visiรณn

TRIBUTE A Tribute to Joe Hernandez................................20 Men & Health Latinos and Cardiovascular Disease .........................................24 LIBRARY The Greatest Equalizer .........................................26 arts A first look at ArtExpressions of San Joaquin................................36 business Conscious Leadership......................................40

36 Photo provided by ArtExpressions


Photo provided by Stanislaus County Library

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Vision M








visión staff Publishers

Fred Bigler and Christine S. Schweininger

Design & Layout


Delvisa DiDomenico

Sally Serrano

Health & Wellness

Contributing Writers

Joseph Hernandez, Ph.D.

Legal Insights Janell Freeman Somera

education Eddie Garcia

medical Kimberley Cockerham MD

Photographers Genevieve Baltierra-Einwalter Dave Barrios Miguel Buenrostro Jennifer Hidalgo Jose Posadas Tim Tafolla

INTERNS Elizabeth Ramirez Vaun Schweininger

Xavier Huerta Matthew Harrington Rodney Cordova Venus Esparza-Zavala David Fauria Arlene Galindo Esmeralda Gomez-Cruz Jennifer Hidalgo Jennifer Ramirez Rangel Vanessa Parra Jose Posadas Rochelle Marapao

DESIGNER Virgil Madrid

Distribution Dieter Schweininger Linda Sandoval Sally Serrano

To advertise in Visión Magazine, call 209.402.1365 Visión Magazine is published four times a year.

Visión Magazine 4120 Dale Road, Suite J8-175 • Modesto, CA 95356 Comments:

Visión Magazine assumes no responsibility and makes no recommendation for claims made by advertisers and shall not be liable for any damages incurred. © Copyright 2012-2015. Visión Magazine All rights reserved. Cover and content may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the Publisher.

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from the publishers | Visión

Partnerships and diversity Welcome to another issue of Visión magazine. We are grateful to you, our reading audience, for your faithful support of Visión magazine. Our desire is to continue to bring you stories and event information concerning the latest in Latino contributions to our communities. Our main story for this issue features the work of former NASA space shuttle and space station astronaut Shayla Rivera who turned comedienne and motivational speaker. Her life journey illustrates for us our many abilities and choices for success.

Photo by Diana Hansen

We continue to proudly partner with important media

is a difficult goal to achieve. I recently had the privilege

events such as the 9th annual “Tea for Hope,” an

of hearing Dr. Robert Johnson, Director of the Emanuel

event held on August 31, to raise awareness regarding

Hospital Chaplaincy program, share his philosophy on

domestic violence. Tina Aldatz, who was featured in Visión

getting along with others; “We Are Empowered to Love.”

magazine, was the key note speaker for the 200 women

He reminded us that we have the power to choose to

attending. Also, we were a media partner for the 7th

love others, in spite of their behavior, race, political beliefs

annual 2016 Sabor del Valle fund-raiser, held on July 22,

or religion. He strongly believes that our choice to love

whose purpose is to raise funds for local non-profits.

others is the best cure for society’s ills. It is believed by some that American society has fallen in love with the new

We are saddened to announce the passing of our

cult of “individual freedom,” which emphasizes personal

good friend and author of Family Matters, Dr. Joseph L.

rights over individual responsibilities. Dr. Johnson's

Hernandez, Ph. D. Dr. Joe, as we affectionately called him,

encouragement to love others seems to be the resolution to

was a personal friend for over 10 years, a faithful supporter

achieve the balance between individual rights and personal

of Visión magazine and a member of our Board of Directors.

responsibilities; we would do well to adhere to his advice.

He will be sorely missed, not only by Visión magazine, but by his many friends and the community he loved to serve.

We continue to appreciate our faithful writers who

Reverend Craig Hunnel, a personal friend and colleague of

diligently labor to bring the latest updates and stories of

Dr. Hernandez in the Family Wellness Program, memorializes

Latino contributions. Also, please let our advertisers know

Dr. Joe’s life in this issue of Visión magazine.

of your appreciation for their support for our magazine; we could not continue without them.

In our last issue we focused our main cover story, Politics and Religion: A lost conversation, on the growing


contention of our diverse people and how difficult it is to effectively and honestly share our opinions and beliefs. We hope that the article was helpful in encouraging effective communication. Unfortunately, we realize that attaining

Fred Bigler

Christine Schweininger


Publication Director/CEO

the maturity of becoming effective in sharing our opinions Visión | FALL 2016


Visión | hispanic heritage

Hispanic Heritage by Luis Molina

National Hispanic Heritage Month is the period from

We have an opportunity

September 15 to October 15 in the United States,

to celebrate the

when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic

generations of

and Latino Americans to the United States and

contributions to the

celebrate the group’s heritage and culture.

betterment of our society, however

Hispanic Heritage Week was established by legislation

we also have the

sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal (D-Los Angeles)

opportunity to expose

and first proclaimed President Lyndon Johnson in 1968.

youth, all youth, about

The commemorative week was expanded by legislation

the significance and

sponsored by Rep. Esteban E. Torres (D-Pico Rivera)

difference that all

and implemented by President Ronald Reagan in 1988

these contributions

to cover a 30-day period (September 15 - October 15).

have made in history, Hispanics come from a diverse

It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

background that include African, European and Indian

September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. All declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21, respectively.


decent. There are some instances that all three are a blend, a mestizo, of two or more cultures that make our gente more colorful, beautiful and unique. We have the great fortune of notable leaders who have made considerable contributions that highlight the talent, passion and love of community in service to others. Guillermo Ochoa, may He rest in peace, Teresa Guerrero, Virginia Madueño, Tony Madrigal, Balvino Erizarry, Abe

As the Mayor for the City of Patterson, and the only

Rojas, Linda Flores, and Elizabeth Meza are some recent

Mexicano/Latino Mayor in Stanislaus County, I am very

examples of Latino/a leadership that exist in Stanislaus

proud of my heritage, culture and traditions that have

County, and we are blessed with other Latino leaders that

been part of our familia for generations. It is important

are great examples for others to follow. We also have Latino

to share our heart, love and passion that have been

leaders from neighboring counties that also share the love

given to us by our antepasados, our elders.

of familia, history and service to their respective community.

During Hispanic Heritage Month we recognize the

It goes without saying that Nuestra Gente is one of

contributions of Hispanic Americans to the many

hard work, intelligence, beauty and cultural pride. It is

contributions that our gente have provided for

incumbent upon us to recognize, celebrate and continue

generations to this country and this world! Our gente,

doing our part in creating a better future for generations

our culture, is diverse and consists of many different

to come. We must share all that we know with our youth,

languages, food, music, dress and dance, and we must

so they will also cultivate the same love and passion for

acknowledge and celebrate the beauty of who we are!!

our heritage and familia. 

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visiรณn | feature


Visiรณn | FALL 2016

Shayla Rivera

Changing the World

Laughter Through

by Rochelle Marapao

Former NASA aerospace engineer-turned-

you never need a man’,” she recalls. “Through my Dad, I

comedian and mother of two, Shayla Rivera was destined

learned to love science, technology, and laughter. Although

for greatness. As a child, she was intelligent and inquisitive

he never attended college, my father was the best

with a relentless interest in human behavior. She was

engineer I’ve ever met. He could fix and/or build anything

fascinated by what makes people tick and possessed a

and had a beautiful way of building my confidence – AND,

passion for science, machinery, and fixing things. And it

he was funny!”

was this adventurous curiosity that’s driven her to follow her Her parents made it clear that going to college was the

dreams throughout her entire life.

way to go in order to have a successful personal and Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Shayla credits her strong

professional life. Shayla attended Texas A&M University,

family values to her Latino upbringing. “Family is everything

earning a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering with a

to me. I grew up surrounded by them, including extended

number of additional credits in Psychology. She went on

family, and we did everything together. I went to school with my cousins, vacationed with them and my aunts and uncles, and spent every holiday with each other. We loved playing jokes on each other. Laughter was the center of all of our gatherings,” she says. “I had the most glorious childhood.” Shayla’s parents were loving and supportive. “I have to give credit to my parents for their influence. My Mom taught me about beauty, independence, and the importance of being an educated woman. She would tell me, ‘You make sure you get an education so Photos Provided by Shayla Rivera

Visión | FALL 2016


visión | feature to work as an Aerospace Engineer at NASA working on

point,” she recalls. “I prepared like an engineer going into

the Space Shuttle and Space Station programs. But after

space, and even though I had five minutes of material, I

eight years, Shayla landed a job in technical sales. This

was on stage for seven minutes - it seems I forgot to give

career change allowed her to use her skills in dealing with

my set some time for laughter, but they did laugh! While in

people while selling products that utilized her engineering

the middle of that set, I KNEW comedy was what I wanted


to do and never looked back.”

Several years in technical sales presented Shayla with

Almost immediately, Shayla became a well-loved regular at

an opportunity to become a corporate trainer, a position

Comedy Clubs nationwide, drawing inspiration from many

she enthusiastically accepted. She began facilitating life-

comedians that she looked up to. “My very first influence

changing seminars on stress management throughout the

was George Carlin, but I also admire Richard Jeni, Paul

U.S. and found herself giving motivational speeches. She

Rodriguez, Bobby Collins, Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart,

was a natural. During this time of conducting seminars and

and Bob Hope who do their act in an intelligent way out of

speeches, she discovered her comedic skills. Encouraged

love for the craft of comedy,” she says. “My inspiration is

by many of her clients, Shayla signed up for a weekend

drawn from the truth of every day life. If you spend one day

seminar on stand-up comedy, at the end of which she

observing people, you will see just how insane we seem to

performed a five-minute routine. “It was a personal turning

be. However, we’re all the same even if we look differently


Visión | FALL 2016

from one another and go about doing things in a different way. We are all a big joke and if we could ‘get that’, the

“I’m also proud

world would be a better place. We just take ourselves way too seriously!” In true fashion, writing her own material and performing

that I’ve met and performed with

stand-up comedy was only the beginning for Shayla. Her undeniable creative talent soon found her producing,

incredible individuals

writing, acting, and hosting. Shayla hosted the thirteen episode TV series, You’re Not the Man I Married, for the Lifetime Real Women Network, and has appeared on the television shows: Comics Unleashed, Xtreme Fakeovers, National Lampoon’s Funny Money, among many others. She has also been a guest on The Dennis Miller Show, The Roseanne Show, The Martin Short Show, was featured in the Paul Rodriguez Latin All Stars, and was part of the Comedy Central special, Comedy Rehab with Paul Rodriguez. She has headlined on entertainment programs for Univision, Galavision, and on The Latino Comedy Jam for Telemundo, and was named, “Funniest Latina Comedian” by the Latin 2015 organization. When asked about her proudest achievements in life thus far, she pauses. “Wow…of course, my son and daughter take first place in this category. And I can claim a Best Actress nomination for the NAACP Theater Awards for my one-woman show, Rocket Science and Salsa, which was directed by Actress/Choreographer/Director/Producer,

all over the world. However, all accolades pale in comparison with the achievement of enduring it all and growing as an individual throughout the whole journey… and I’m not done yet.”

Debbie Allen. Debbie was also nominated for choreography. “I’m also proud that I’ve met and performed with incredible individuals all over the world. However, all accolades pale in comparison with the achievement of enduring it all and

didn’t have any issues and felt healthy. But, after a routine

growing as an individual throughout the whole journey…

mammogram, she was asked to come back for a second

and I’m not done yet.”

look, “just to be sure.” After the second screening, Shayla was asked to meet with the doctor and nurse to receive

Among her many achievements, there is one not mentioned

the results. Although she was prepared to hear the worst,

often, but is a testament of her courage, humility, and ability

she remained calm. “They sat and looked at me with great

to face adversity in a positive way.

kindness, then the doctor, before he started speaking, moved a box of tissue next to me. He said they’d found a

After 20 years of avoiding regular medical check-ups, she

mass and I would need to have two biopsies,” she reveals.

finally decided to schedule one in the summer of 2015.

“I only said, ‘Ok, let’s do it, and if it’s not good news, I will

Shayla didn’t see a need to see a doctor because she

just do my best.’ And I have to say that I truly felt that way.”

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visiรณn | feature


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Shayla’s mother died of cancer at 49, just a month shy of

And today, Shayla’s busy schedule shows no signs of

her 50th birthday. While that would scare most people in

slowing down in the near future. “I’m filming my one-hour

her predicament, Shayla was not too concerned. “What

special in El Paso and will be traveling to Europe as part of

I learned about myself in that moment was that all the

a suicide prevention and motivation tour for our troops. I

work I’d done for my own self-development and learning

also have a book in the works,” she confides.

to live a life not driven by stress was working. We can’t continuously plant the seeds of peace and joy in our hearts

She is also a supporter of the high school STEM program

without yielding a serenity that helps us walk through the

which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and

darkest of places.”

Mathematics. “I use my humor as a speaker to

In fact, the only

motivate young people,

moment she had of

especially female

deep fear and sorrow

Latina students, to get

was when she had

their education in the

to tell her son and

STEM field or the arts,”

daughter that she had

she says. “Because

cancer not because

of my background in

she was scared, but

Aerospace Engineering,

because she didn’t

I have the ability to

want them to be

make a difference and

scared for her. With a

that’s not something

positive attitude and

I take lightly. In fact,

mind-set of a warrior,

I tell young girls how

Shayla reassured her

they are already using

children that, no matter

Science, Technology,

the outcome, they would get through it together. “My

Engineering, and Math every day. I tell them, ‘You know

biggest motivation to get better and my greatest fear can

that boy you really like? You know how every day you

both be summed up into one thing: my children. I wanted

know where his locker and classes are, so when the bell

to do my best for me and for them,” she shares.

rings you know exactly where to stand so that you can see him and you can say hello? Well, that is a trajectory, Ladies!

When asked about her battle with cancer, Shayla is quick

You have done the math to make that happen.’ While

to set the record straight. “I was never ‘battling cancer.’

this may be a simplified view of a trajectory, it’s one way

Not at all. I was getting the treatments that were decided

to demonstrate that we all use the STEM program in our

by my doctors and giving it my best. I had a lumpectomy,

everyday lives.”

radiation, then reconstructive surgery – but I was never battling cancer. My daughter went with me to many of my

Shayla is honest in sharing the story of her humble

procedures and endured watching some painful stuff with

beginnings being born and raised in Puerto Rico and

me. We kept it light and fun. She was the strength I lacked

moving to the U.S. not knowing the language or anyone

and endured with me. Through it all, I was doing what I had

outside of her family. Though she was afraid, she was

to do to heal and now my doctors say that I am cancer-

persistent in believing in herself. “This persistence has filled

free. Today, I can tell you that I have never felt better, looked

my life with great and unexpected things! The world offers

better, nor been more excited about every single day. For

endless possibilities and I intend to do all I can to inspire

me, cancer was a blessing.”

others and deliver laughter,” she says. 

Visión | FALL 2016


Visión | political

Voting Trends by Mike Madrid, GrassrootsLab

Did you know there are more registered

Some contemporary

Latino Republicans in California than the total number


of Republicans in Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa or New Hampshire? Or that Latinos are consistently and

In the current presidential

significantly underrepresented at every level of government?

election, Latinos

Or that a Latino between the ages of 18 and 24 is more

overwhelmingly favor

likely to be arrested than vote?

Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, with Clinton

These facts would be significant in any year, but during a

holding a 76-14 percent

presidential election season, they illuminate the progress,

advantage. The number

potential and setbacks of Latino voting trends in 2016.

is hardly surprising,

Democracy demands participation, and while hundreds of

considering Trump’s

thousands of Latinos are engaged in this year’s election

anti-immigrant rants and

cycle, tens of thousands will stay away from the polls,

racist comments toward Mexico and persons of Hispanic

maintaining their silence and leaving the community with a

ancestry. Four years ago, President Obama defeated Mitt

muted, diluted voice.

Romney 71-27 percent among Latino voters.

At GrassrootsLab, a California based public affairs firm with

Two of the 17 statewide initiatives on the November ballot

specialties in state and local government, technology and

in California have been examined in detail for their support

innovation, we have examined the engagement of Latinos

among Latino voters. The adult-use marijuana initiative,

in politics at the local, state and national level.

Prop. 64, has been losing support among Latino voters.

Photo by Tim Taffola

It stands at 40 percent favorable. The tobacco tax, Prop. By exploring data from a wide spectrum of sources and

56, is favored by six of 10 voters across all ethnic and age

applying research analysis, we revealed information

groups. Curiously, statewide bonds to fund transportation

that helps provide perspective to the Latino voting

(which are not on the ballot) are supported by 69 percent of

experience – and explain why Latinos endure significant

Latino voters polled.

underrepresentation at all levels of government. The U.S. Senate race between Kamala Harris and The overall picture of Latino voter registration presents a

Loretta Sanchez demonstrates a strong propensity

formidable coalition that often fails to exercise its power

among voters of color to champion one of their own.

and authority. For example, among registered Latino voters,

About 52 percent of Harris’ support comes from African

only 18 percent are considered “likely voters.”

Americans, with Sanchez receiving about 43 percent of her support from Latinos.

And while Latino voters are often young – 44 percent of 27.3 million eligible Latino nationally are from the millennial

Partisanship and voter registration are two other areas

generation – their turnout rate is 20 percent than the overall

where Latino voting trends are illustrative. While white

voter population.

residents currently comprise only 43 percent of the adult


Visión | FALL 2016

population in California, they represented 60 percent of the

Los Angeles County offers a clear example of the trend.

state’s likely voters. Latinos account for 34 percent of the

In the 36 years between Gov. Jerry Brown’s first election

adult population, but represent only 18 percent of the likely

and his final term, the county’s population increased by 33

voting pool.

percent to 9.82 million, but voter turnout dropped by more than 28 percent. During that period, the county’s per capita

Fifty-nine percent of Latino voters are registered as

personal income growth stalled, resulting in a significantly

Democrats in California, and only 18 percent are

poorer community.

Republicans. The final 23 percent of Latino voters prefer no party preference or belong to minor parties. The ranks of

The data demonstrates a clear connection between

independent voters are growing among Latinos, especially

economic prosperity and voter engagement.

among younger people.

Unemployment and home ownership are key indicators as well. Fewer than half of Latino households – about

Despite their significant numbers among adults in California, Latinos are significantly under-represented in local, state and federal elected offices.

46 percent – are owner-occupied, while 57 percent of overall households in the state are owner-occupied. As for unemployment, Latinos average about 1.8 percent higher than the general population in the state’s 58 counties. The data presented in this article can be explored from many directions. But the information ultimately becomes a clear indicator of the promise and potential of Latino voters in California. The numbers are overwhelming as indicated by the group’s 34 percent representation in the

While recalling that Latinos are 43 percent of the state’s

overall population.

adult population, they hold only about 13 percent of the seats in the State Senate and about 24 percent in the State

But if eligible Latino voters refuse to register to vote and

Assembly. Latino city council membership averages around

turn out for elections, they can never hope to gain the

14 percent, with school boards slightly lower.

power that presents itself across all levels of government on a scheduled, regular basis – the power of the ballot box. 

The trend of under-representation extends across all geographic regions of California. In the San Joaquin Valley, Latinos are 33 percent of the population, yet hold only 25 percent of the elected offices. In Southern California, where Latinos are 30 percent of the population, they hold just 20 percent of elected seats. Latinos make up 19 percent of the Bay Area, yet have won just 7 percent of elected offices. And where are Latino elected officials found? The vast majority – 72 percent – are elected to offices in small towns with fewer than 75,000 residents. Half of all elected Latino officials come from cities with populations less than 40,000. One key area of concern demonstrated by the data is the connection between poverty and democratic engagement. As people become poorer, they become less likely to vote.

Mike Madrid is a nationally recognized expert on Latino voting trends. He graduated from the Edmund G. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1997, where he wrote his senior thesis on Latino politics and the perspective that politicization of emerging Latino voter groups in Southwestern states was unique in American history. The completion of his thesis became the basis for his pioneering work on Latino communications and outreach strategies in California, Texas, Florida and nationwide. He served as the press secretary for the California Assembly Republican leader and as the political director for the California Republican Party, where he played a key role in developing and executing innovative Latino outreach and communications strategies. In 2001 he was named as one of America’s “Most Influential Hispanics” by Hispanic Business Magazine. He is a regular commentator on Latino political issues in statewide and national media publications. As a partner in the political research, data and consulting firm GrassrootsLab, Madrid has developed new data and analytic approaches to political modeling. Madrid is a fellow at the Unruh Institute for Politics at USC and is a co-director of the Los Angeles / USC Times Poll. In 2013, Madrid was appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC).

Visión | FALL 2016


visiรณn | tribute

Photo by Miguel Buenrostro


Visiรณn | FALL 2016

A Tribute to

Joe Hernandez by Craig Hunnel

If there is anything that can be said of

recently spoke to me and talked about the more recent trip

another person in their lifetime to describe their legacy:

to Michigan for training, where she and Joe were able to get

Dignity and honor would be two words that would offer all

away and have moments together. On this occasion she

explanations about what that person’s life had meant to

showed me the picture of her and Joe sitting along the rocky

those closest him/her. For Tthose who may of known Joe

beach of Lake Michigan. As tears rolled down her cheeks,

Hernandez, he was such a man. Joe embraced his life with

she shared that they were at such a good place, and it was

the dignity and honor that even the casual acquaintances

hard to realize that her friend, husband, confidant, and soul

would sense that this was more than just a contact or

mate was gone.

colleague; he was a man who could and did make a

We met at Gary’s Place called the, “Kountry Kitchen” in Salida,

difference whenever possible.

CA, a local hang out place for Joe and Michelle; convenient Joe’s humble beginnings as a boy were as part of an

because it was right across the street from Joe’s practice. Joe

itinerant farmer family in Central California. He moved often.

met there frequently; with and without Michelle or colleagues.

Later his father began work as a construction laborer, and

And as good as he was with doling out professional and sound

the family lived in Sunnyvale and residing later in the area

advice to so many; making up his mind on what he wanted for

in their own home in Santa Clara, California where Joe

breakfast seemed to bring him great difficulty. Gary, a fellow

graduated from Wilcox High School in 1967. Later, Joe

colleague in mental health with Joe, would finally say, “Just

would go on and graduate college, earn a Master degree,

order the big boy breakfast Joe, Michelle’s not here today.”

and finally his PhD in Psychology. His practice and professional endeavors were geared around working with so many in the mental health and family health industry. Joe and his wife of 47 years Michelle spent the past 20 years working and training many in the Family Wellness program; traveling from Puerto Rico, to Germany, and literally to every state. Michelle Visión | FALL 2016


visión | tribute Gary, Michelle, and I laughed at this little yet profound trivia

man named Fred Bigler. The superintendent was intrigued.

about the man who was a friend, mentor, and consummate

Fred used words like, “This is very interesting.” Or, “This is a

professional to so many. Even the smallest decisions were

very solid program.” Fast forward to 2012, and, from that brief

met with great care. Joe was a man who took the time for the

encounter would be a partnership that would permeate into

people he worked with as well; from colleagues to patients.

this tribute today.

Former co-worker Cindy Radavsky wrote, “I was fortunate

Fred Bigler, Joe, and I stood in that room with the County

to work with Joe for several years. He had such a gentle

Superintendent. Partnerships were formed from that one brief

demeanor and a way of working with both patients and staff.

encounter that would be a part of Family Wellness, the Office of

We started as colleagues and became friends.

Education and Visión Magazine, all because a man wanted to pour out his heart and ministry to others. Well this pastor said,

“From the depths of need and despair

yes! Joe left his legacy that is being felt today in everything that I

people can work together, can organize

do; in Family Wellness, Family Education, and pastoral leadership.

themselves to solve their own problems

Joe’s love for life was evident as well. It wasn’t about work all

and fill their own needs with dignity

the time. Joe and his family frequently made trips to the beach,

and strength.”

to Disneyland, to the S.F. Giants games, and probably the best

– Caesar Chavez

of all, family outings. Jacob Hernandez, 21, shared a story

Pastor Clayton Stokes, a longtime friend of Joe and Michelle,

about his grandpa, it was during spring training in Arizona in

commented about Joe’s legacy he left on his life: “There are

1997. His grandpa Joe dove in for a foul ball, with little Jacob

five people who have been a major influence in my life. Joe is

in arms, then 2 years old. Joe proudly emerged with baseball

definitely in the top five.” “He was generous with his giftedness.

and baby securely in possession. Joe had a passion for life

If I had a particularly difficult counseling case, or my extended

and people. He enjoyed driving the sports car on more than

family needed counsel, or I myself needed guidance, he was

one occasion. There is so much more to say that this is a mere

always an enormous help.” Joe’s love for family, friends, faith,

glimpse into the life and legacy of Joe Hernandez, who left at

and of course the San Francisco Giants, was evident to all.

the age of sixty-seven.

I personally met Joe and later Michelle in 2007. Joe and

Joe was our friend! And when he left this world, we lost a

another colleague of his came to my office to interest me in

friend. The ancient Greek philosopher Pericles once wrote,

Family Wellness. At first I was a bit hesitant, thinking, “Great

“Famous men have the whole earth as their memorial.” Joe

another salesman trying to hook me up.” Joe offered me

and his wife Michelle have been impacting men and women

the opportunity to get in and be trained in Family Wellness:

around the world for the more than 20 years. The legacy of

Teaching Life Skills for Healthy Families. After a few sessions

dignity and honor will never be further demonstrated than in the

with the team of trainers and professionals, I was hooked.

life of Joe Hernandez. The sentiments of Joe’s Family Wellness

For the next several years, Joe, Michelle, and I were able to

colleagues, friends, and family describe him well. Said Michelle:

do several trainings together. As a pastor and teacher it was

“Joe will be missed by everyone who knew him. We were

a natural fit for me, and Joe was the perfect individual to be

fortunate to have him in our lives for so many years. He was a

under for tutelage. He allowed me to use my natural gifts as

very special person.” I echo those sentiments. May we all leave

well as learn the material to teach and train.

such a legacy as Joe Hernandez. 

Early on Joe wanted me to go with him to a meeting. When we showed up at the County Office of Education, Joe began to explain the program to the County Superintendent and a


About the writer: Craig Hunnel is a Character Education and Family Education Facilitator for the Stanislaus County Office of Education. He is also a pastor/founder of LifePointe Ministries in Ceres, CA. He is also a certified Instructor for Family Wellness and Associates. He and his wife Linda have five grown children.

Visión | FALL 2016

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VisiĂłn | SUMMER 2016


Visión | men and health

Latinos and Cardiovascular Disease Did you Know that Latinos face higher risks

mortality is the heart

of cardiovascular diseases because of high blood pressure,

leading to cardiac disease

obesity and diabetes?

and the brain, which can lead to strokes or

Cardiovascular diseases are medical conditions that affect


the heart and the blood vessels of the body. In the United States there is a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease

in most communities. The conditions have contributed

affect the Hispanic

greatly to the high morbidity and mortality in all segments

community equally as

of our society. Both men and women are afflicted by

other communities, but

cardiovascular disease. These are conditions that can

because of the lack of

easily be screened for and managed with regular visits to

understanding and the

your doctor.

barriers imposed, they

by Dr. Miguel Hernandez MD

are less likely to reach out for health care and less so for Contrary to what most might think, cardiovascular disease

screenings and prevention. The individuals less likely to

not affects the heart, but because the blood vessels go

reach out for health care in the community are the men.

to every part of our bodies, it can essentially affect our

There are many cultural and social barriers created from

entire body. These conditions can go on to affect all organ

within the community that prevent them from getting the

systems, but the two systems most impacted with high

care they need. It can range form the position they hold as a leader in their families as a male to not show weakness, even if sick, (so call it “Machismo:) to lack of insurance to needing to take time out of work so see the doctor and for many, the lack of signs and symptoms that these cardiovascular diseases do not readily display. It is very typical for this community to express their belief that, “I feel fine and I feel no symptoms, why go to the doctor”. The reality is that cardiovascular diseases, like the other two health conditions that afflict the Latino community, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia, have no symptoms for many years. Just because one does not feel anything, does no mean that damage is not being done. It is not until enough damage has been done that someone will start to feel ill, and at that point in time it is too late and we try to prevent further damage.


Visión | FALL 2016

Among Hispanic males greater than 20 years of age,

carries a slightly higher mortality rate in men compared to

33.4% will go on to develop cardiovascular disease,

women. Those who suffer a stroke will end up with extreme

compared to the female counter parts which will be 30.7%.

motor deficits for the rest of their lives and those that have

The complexity of this group of medical conditions is

a heart attack for the first time, will die. The slightly higher

that many times they co-exist with other chronic medical

rates for Hispanic males is not much more than for women,

conditions that compounds the severity. These conditions

but the fact that men tend to see the doctor less, may

include diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol. When all

actually indicate that men could have lower rates and live

three conditions exist, they tend to work in a vicious cycle

longer lives if they were to see the doctor on a regular basis.

to worsen each other. Many Hispanic men will have the

“Knowledge is power” and with cardiovascular disease, it

habits of smoking and alcohol consumption which also

can be even life saving. Many in the Hispanic community go

accelerates health deteriorations.

more by the adage of “not know is better, because what you don’t know won’t hurt you. As a community leader, I find it

These medical conditions, when not controlled well can

my obligation to educate this community and to empower

shorten the life span of an individual by anywhere from

them to seek more knowledge and better their lives, which

10-20 years. The two most common devisitations of

does start with a healthy body. 

cardiovascular disease, strokes and myocardial infarctions Dr. Hernandez grew up in Southern California. He attended the University of Southern California, obtaining his degree in Medicine in 1994. After completing his residency at the University of Southern California Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Family Practice, he decided to relocate in the more rural Northern California. Dr. Hernandez has additional training and interests in the management and treatment of diabetes. Additionally, he has obtained further training in sports related injuries and treatment.



celebrating success

Oseguera Juan Carlos Filmmaker Water” “The Fight for

Making a Positive Impact in the Community. VISIÓN MAGAZINE • 4120 DALE ROAD, SUITE J8-175 • MODESTO, CA 95356

visiรณn Visiรณn || welcome library

Photo by Miguel Buenrostro


Visiรณn | FALL 2016

The Greatest Equalizer by Jennifer Hidalgo

As a kid with nothing to do, the local library was my favorite part of summer. The vast amount of books available gave me the opportunity to enter someone else’s reality, to see the world from their point of view. It fostered my love of reading and sparked and kindled my creativity. To this day the smell of books creates nostalgia and makes me wish I had more time to get lost in a good book. As a kid, not only did the library provide a source of entertainment, but also a source of academic information and access to the technology I lacked at home. Even with today’s technology, many continue to utilize the library for the same reasons I did all those years ago. While technology has continued putting information at our fingertips, this has prompted some to ask why libraries are still relevant. And while not everyone uses the library daily, its loss would be felt by all. The Stanislaus County library system began on May 1, 1912. Since then, the library has continued to grow, not only in terms of its book collection, but in terms of the resources it provides the community. In speaking with Olga Cardenas, the Youth Services Outreach Librarian with Stanislaus County Libraries, I can see the passion she has and why the library is such an important part of our community. Olga describes the library as, “the only institution whose purpose is to create a strong democracy by bringing information, which then the community can use to make informed decisions.” Photo provided by Stanislaus County Library

Visión | arts Many wonderful fountains of information and entertainment

better choices. This is a voluntary program which began

are provided by the Stanislaus Library System including

December of 2015 and it’s slowly growing. The more these

a collection of over 600,000 multilingual physical and

kids read, the more skills they can gain. This is a awesome

audio books, a collection of over 7,000 electronic books,

program and the library continues to track its progress.

over 3,000 digital reference books, Mango Language learning program, Zinio online magazines, and other

Brian Lillie at the Modesto library children’s section wants

materials available through Hoopla (a subscriptionbased

the community to know that anyone should feel free to stop

collection). In addition, the libraries offer amazing resources

by their desk anytime. He wants everyone, regardless of

for children and adults in the form of story time (English

language barriers, to feel comfortable asking questions.

and bilingual), a host of fun summer activities, Learning Quest tutoring, Book Club in a box, home delivery service and computer training; as well as services like passport application acceptance, onsite computers, printers, and copy machines routinely used for homework, job searches, resume building, or simply to browse the web. The reality is, there are many within our community who still have no access to high speed internet or computers at home. Olga hopes that by providing outreach to those individuals not using the library, we can bring about change. She explains that 71 percent of Stanislaus County third grade students do not read at grade level. This makes them four times less likely to graduate high school, and that equals fewer opportunities in the future. By partnering with schools, as well as different community organizations such as Stanislaus Community Foundation and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), Olga hopes parents will start utilizing books as tools. She tells us the library is

“Be comfortable, it’s your library! It’s a place to gather. A safe meeting place where everyone, especially kids, can have a good time.” The library is also always growing and looking for additional ways it can serve the community. In terms of technology, a Makerspace is in the works. This space would include technology such as a 3D printer for the community. In addition, many library tools can be accessed online or through mobile applications which allow you to “check out” electronic and audio books. The full range of services can be accessed through the Stanislaus Library website. And although most of the libraries are open Monday through Saturday, these electronic resources are available 24/7.

doing its best to prepare

Photo provided by Stanislaus County Library

students to read at grade level, making them more likely to graduate high school, and giving them the opportunity to help them become productive members of society. Another program is the bimonthly youth book club at Juvenile Hall. These kids have lower literacy levels and this program aims to help them make connections from literature to the real world, and in turn, help them make 28

Visión | FALL 2016

It is the plethora of resources and information the library

know it. It is important to support our libraries by continuing

offers that makes it an invaluable part of the community.

our support of this measure. Without it, the magic books

Which is why it’s important to continue to support what

create, the fun and safe family meeting space, and the

was previously Measure “T.” The Stanislaus County sales

many resources a large part of our community relies on

tax for libraries was first approved by voters in 1995 and

could disappear.

overwhelmingly reapproved in 1999, 2004, and 2012. The continuation of this measure is vital to the survival of the

We have the power to continue funding vital resources in

library, as it provides almost 90% of the library’s funding.

our community; and out of all of the resources the library

2012’s Measure T continued the one eighth of one cent

offers, Olga feels the most important thing it provides is the

sales tax paid on purchases in Stanislaus county. This

potential to transform lives through access. “It is said that

measure only extended the tax for five additional years

public libraries are society’s great equalizer; by reaching out

and will expire in 2018. To prevent a funding gap, voters

to those living in the margins, we hope to contribute to the

will be asked to renew it on the June 2017 special election

making of a community we can all feel proud to call home.”

ballot. The revenue raised through this measure can only be used to fund the county’s library system and would be a

For questions on programs the library offers, please contact

continuation of the current sales tax. It is important to note

209.558.7800 or your local library, you can also visit www.

that this will NOT add a new sales tax. If this measure were for a full list of calendar of events,

to fail, it would mean the end of our library system as we

resources, books, and more. 

Visión | FALL 2016


visión | legal insight

Your First Amendment Rights:

Free Speech, Protests, and Demonstrations by Janell Freeman Somera

During contentious

at the core of the First Amendment. The Fourteenth

political campaigning

Amendment to the United States Constitution makes

and demonstrations

the First Amendment applicable to state governments,

over highly emotional

such as California. The First Amendment freedoms

issues, disputes

are often grouped under the general term “freedom

involving free speech

of expression.” Freedom of expression refers to the

have reached a

ability of an individual or group of individuals to express

heightened level. The

their beliefs, thoughts, ideas and emotions about

First Amendment of

different issues freely, without government censorship.

the U.S. Constitution

However, while people have the right to speak out, the

protects the rights of

government has created laws that specifically define the

individuals to freedom

limits of these freedoms. As a result, the Supreme Court

of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly.

has struggled to determine how far the law can restrict

Challenges to First Amendment rights have come in

free speech and expression. The courts ultimately

many forms. In some cases, demonstrations are shut

determine whether or not a particular expression is

down by way of arrests, through the use of force, or

considered protected under the law. Over the years,

the setting of curfews. In other cases, law enforcement

the courts have clarified when and how speech can,

might limit expression by conducting an arrest for

and cannot, be restricted by the government. The

a verbal statement. In order to fully understand the

Supreme Court has classified obscenity, fighting words,

manner in which people may lawfully speak out or

defamation, child pornography, incitement to imminent

protest, certain basic principles should be considered.

lawless action, and solicitations to commit crimes as

Finally, the First Amendment only applies to the

unprotected speech.

government: freedom of speech does not exist in a non-government forum. For example, private entities

Laws limiting free speech may only be upheld if

can erase unwanted comments or entirely exclude an

they meet a strict standard. Content-based speech

individual from an occasion or forum.

restrictions are subject to strict scrutiny and are constitutional only if they are narrowly tailored to serve a


The right to communicate ideas and peacefully

compelling state interest. If a law appears to violate the

protest is critical to a functioning democracy and is

First Amendment, a citizen who meets certain criteria

| summer | FALL 2016 Visión Visión 2016

may bring suit against the government and ask that

permit should not be so financially burdensome that

the law be overturned and deemed unconstitutional.

it would preclude someone from filing the application.

The court then renders a decision about whether the

Applications for permits usually require, at a minimum,

governmental interest for which the law was created

information about the specific date, time, and location

is important enough to justify the First Amendment

of the proposed assembly, but may require a great deal

restriction. If the law does not actually further the

more information. As mentioned above, certain forms of

governmental interest or is unnecessarily burdensome,

speech, such as incitement to imminent lawless action,

the court will determine that the law is unconstitutional.

does not receive First Amendment protection. Further,

The court will then require that the legislature meet

the government can stop expressive behavior that

the standard by way of creating a better-written, less

violates public safety laws, such as human barricades.

intrusive law.

While this tactic might constitute an effective form of protest, law enforcement can break them up without

The right to demonstrate and protest largely is

violating the demonstrators’ right to free expression.

recognized as a civil liberty. The terms freedom of assembly and freedom of association are often used interchangeably to describe the right to come together and collectively express ideas. While the government cannot simply prohibit a public assembly, they can create restrictions on the time, place, and manner of peaceful assembly, provided that constitutional safeguards are met. The courts have allowed government officials to place non-discriminatory and narrowly drawn “time, place and manner” restrictions on the exercise of First Amendment rights. An example of such a restriction is the requirement to obtain a permit for an assembly.

In addition, if an assembly or protest is deemed unlawful, the government will order a dispersal to shut down the assembly. It is important to listen carefully to any police order to disperse because even if someone is not engaged in any unlawful activity, they are subject to arrest if they do not leave the area as instructed by the police. Law enforcement may consider a lack of cooperation with the arrest process as a separate offense of resisting arrest under California Penal Code Section 148. The First Amendment was founded on the principle that an individual may speak their ideas to the rest of

The Supreme Court has held that it is constitutional for the government to require a permit for protests in certain public areas. The government can also make special regulations that impose additional requirements for assemblies that take place near major public events. The courts have reasoned that since large protests can block traffic, disrupt the flow of the community, or even turn violent, requiring a permit for large protests is a compelling interest that justifies placing restrictions on an individual’s First Amendment rights. In California, someone seeking to organize a large public assembly should check the local municipality laws, as cities typically require permits for protests. A permit can never be denied solely because the event is controversial. The Supreme Court has also held that the cost of the

the nation however offensive those ideas might be. The First Amendment is our last and best protector against too much government repression. In order for The First Amendment to retain its original purpose, the courts must breathe life into the very precious First Amendment. For now, society can watch the right to free expression expand and contract as the courts continue to interpret what is violative of the First Amendment.  ........................................................................................ Janell Freeman Somera practices Immigration and Business law with the Somera Law Group in Stockton, California. Janell is a member of the State Bar of California and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is fluent in Spanish and has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, India, Europe, and the Middle East. Janell sits on several boards, volunteers with multiple organizations, and is very active in her community.

Visión | summer 2016


Visión | education

Through Education Leaders Can Make a Difference in California’s Future by Eddie Garcia

Within a generation, California and many

To ensure a robust economy, it’s important that breadwinners

parts of the nation will have to depend on well-prepared

represent the spectrum of workers from frontline employees

Latino leaders to ensure continued social and economic

to executives. If more than half of the population is under-

growth and stability.

educated and unprepared, thus under-employed, the economic impact on the state’s future could be catastrophic.

Here’s what needs to happen: Smart, talented, and

That’s why it’s imperative that Latinos are prepared for all

compassionate Latinos need to pursue and earn a

levels of employment, including leadership roles.

college education, and, business, education, political, and community leaders need to seek out smart, talented, and

Here are some more numbers: Despite representing

compassionate future Latino leaders.

over half of the students in California, only 9% of college graduates, 18% of teachers, and 6% of education

It’s a simple formula.

administrators are Latino. So what’s the deal? Our school system is preparing more than half of its students to be

The term Latino leader isn’t limited to those who represent

service sector workers, not managers and decision-

just Latino interests. Latinos are capable of representing

makers. The better question is: Why is this happening?

people of all backgrounds, be it racial, ethnic, social, or economic. When I use Latino leader, I’m talking about a

I got an inside look on how school systems work while

leader who happens to be Latino, but provides leadership

serving on the board of trustees at the largest high

for an entire community.

school district in California. With 26,000 students and a $220 million dollar budget, it’s a pretty big and complex

Making the case to develop Latino leaders to be stewards

operation. The district serves a majority of Latino

of our community’s economic, political, and educational

neighborhoods in the city. Its demographics match

health is in the numbers. According to the California

the state’s numbers on Latino students, teachers, and

Department of Education, 53% of students who attend


public school today are Latino. That means that in the next twenty years or so, one out of every two workers in

The most influential interest groups, employee bargaining

California will look like us. Economics require that those

groups and parent organizations, are mostly led by non-

of working age carry the financial burden of keeping a

Latinos. Only one of the five current school trustees is Latino.

community solvent.

This dynamic reflects the typical school district in California where the overwhelming majority of decision-makers doesn’t


Visión | FALL 2016

demographically represent the majority of its students.

Was this a case of inherent bias? You better believe it.

The problem with this is that education leaders who aren’t

Each one of these decision-makers raised concerns about

Latino are more susceptible to making decisions based on

Latino students’ ability to succeed in a rigorous academic

preconceived notions about Latinos. Sociologists call this

environment. But I disagreed. I was one of those students.

phenomenon inherent bias. These biases impact public policy

My high school counselor recommended that I consider

decisions, class schedule assignments, student disciplinary

learning a trade instead of going to college. Fortunately,

action, and the allocation of resources, all of which results in

that was a non-starter for my parents.

disproportionate harm to half of the students. Because of my experience, I didn’t have any preconceived I met the full force of the impact of how an unbalanced

notions about Latino kids. There was no inherent bias driving my

demographic relationship between students, teachers,

decision to fight for the more rigorous graduation requirements.

administrators, and policy-makers in 2010 when I served

University schools.

I figured if I could complete a college track curriculum and succeed in college so could other students who grew up in neighborhoods like mine. So, I charged ahead to change the policy.

Makes sense, right? I thought so. When I was elected

I learned that Latino leaders can deliberate about decisions

board president, I excitedly began to reach out to

without the filter of inherent bias in the way. With Latinos

administrators, teachers, and my board colleagues to get

serving as decision-makers in business, politics, education,

buy-in for a policy proposal that connected high school

and community engagement, half of the population will have

graduation requirements to college prerequisites. I was

more opportunities to contribute to the success of the entire

met with immediate resistance. The stumbling block was a

state. The other half of the population will benefit as well

requirement to complete Algebra II.

from this kind of leadership. After a long and contentious

as board president. A few years earlier, the district chapter of the student group Californians for Justice met with me to advocate for a policy that would make graduation requirements the same as eligibility standards for acceptance to University of California and California State

campaign to raise graduation requirements in 2010, a board Administrators counseled against moving too fast raising

majority led the way to approving a policy that made college-

concerns about the lack of student preparation coming

prep classes the curriculum for all students enrolling in a

from middle school, especially schools with large Latino

district high school.

populations. Math teachers fiercely opposed the idea. The teacher’s union president, an Algebra teacher, sat across

The Class of 2015 was the first class in the district’s history

the table from me in a coffee shop lecturing with authority

to complete a four-year program with every graduate eligible

that “these kids” can’t do Algebra II.

to apply to a University of California and California State University college. That’s precisely why smart, talented, and

Conversations with other trustees didn’t fare any better.

compassionate Latinos need to seek out leadership roles

Two of them wanted to “study” the issue further, a standard

and that’s why the community could use a bunch of smart,

tactic to delay a policy proposal to death. One trustee

talented, and compassionate Latino leaders. 

expressed concerns that the policy would “force” every student to be on a college track. What about the students who wanted to learn a trade so they could begin working right after high school graduation, he asked. I knew who he was talking about.

Eddie García is a leadership development coach who has worked with over 80 Silicon Valley education administrators, community leaders, non-profit executives, corporate managers, and elected officials. He is the creator of, a blog that comments on leadership, education, and politics from a Latino perspective. He served on the Board of Trustees for the East Side Union High School District in San Jose from 2006-2010. His career also includes leadership roles as a corporate executive, political chief of staff, and community advocate.

Visión | FALL 2016


Visiรณn | health

Watery, Tearing Eyes: Causes and Treatments

inflammation that often accompanies dry eyes, and this


of irritation, most people can get relief from their watery,

has been shown to improve ocular lubrication. A variety of treatments for allergies (pills, nasal sprays, eye drops, and environmental modifications) can be beneficial for patients whose eyes are itchy and watery. By treating these causes tearing eyes.

Watery and tearing eyes are extremely common problems here in the Central Valley. There are many reasons why your eyes may be tearing, and understanding the tear production and drainage system (called the lacrimal system) is important for identifying the cause and treatment for each individual. Tears are produced by the lacrimal gland and other tiny glands on the surface of the eye and eyelids. The tears mix with small amounts of oil and mucous to keep the surface of the eye lubricated. The tears flow across the surface of the eye and then into the tiny drains (called punctae) located in the corner of the eyelids near the nose. The tears are then pumped through tiny tubes into the lacrimal sac, down a narrow tube called the nasolacrimal duct, and finally enter the nose. Blocked Outflow Lacrimal system:

Sometimes tearing is a result of a blockage or obstruction

a. lacrimal gland,

in the tear drainage system. This obstruction can occur

b. superior punctum,

as a result of inflammation of the drain tubes over many

c. superior canaliculus,

years, or from infections, trauma, surgery, radiation, or

d. lacrimal sac,

chemotherapy. Depending on the location and severity

e. inferior punctum,

of the obstruction, treatment varies from simple dilation

f. inferior canaliculus,

and probing of the drain, to placing rubber stents to hold

g. nasolacrimal duct*

the drain open, to the creation of a drain bypass called a dacryocystorhinostomy. Testing in the clinic can help

Tear Overproduction

identify the location of the obstruction, the severity of the

The most common cause of tearing is from irritation of

obstruction, and will indicate which procedure has the

the surface of the eyes. The irritation causes the lacrimal

greatest chance of success.

glands to overproduce tears, which overwhelm the drains and end up running down the cheek. Common causes of

Causes of Tearing

irritation are dryness, tiny foreign bodies, and allergies. The

Dryness of the surface of the eyes

overall goal treatment is to reduce the irritation. Dryness can

Eye allergies

often be managed with lubricating drops or punctal plugs.

Foreign bodies in the eyes (dust)

Anti-inflammatory eye drops can be used to treat the mild

Obstruction in the tear drainage system


Visiรณn | FALL 2016

Interview with Dr. Ethan Tittler Dr. Angela Chiang, a family physician at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, CA, sat down with Dr. Ethan Tittler, a Stanford trained oculoplastic surgeon at the Central Valley Eye Medical Group to discuss watery, tearing eyes. Dr. Chiang: Thank you for taking the time to discuss the very common problem of watery, tearing eyes. I see a lot of patients that complain about their eyes, but have never tried to get treatment. How do you figure out the cause of the tearing? Dr. Tittler: Most of the time, with a few questions and careful observation, the cause can be identified. Patients who have itchy eyes as a major component of their symptoms almost always have some allergies contributing to the tearing. Frequently patients will complain about tearing in very specific situations, like while reading, or watching TV, or driving, and this usually points toward dry eyes, because these activities decrease our eyelid blinking rate and accelerate evaporation from the eyes. Once the eyes becomes dry and burning, the lacrimal glands dump a lot of tears on the eyes, which blurs the vision temporarily and often drips down the cheeks. Other times, the cause is more difficult to figure out, and additional testing is required. Dr. Chiang: What types of questions can a patient expect the eye doctor to ask when they have tearing? Dr. Tittler: Certainly simple things like which eye (or both eyes?); how long the symptoms have been going on; and associated symptoms like itching, pain, and changes in vision. You should also be asked what other medical conditions you have; if you have any history of facial trauma, cancer, or radiation; and whether you have had any surgeries to your face or eyelids. All of these factors, and more, can go into the decision making process on the best way to treat a patient’s watery, tearing eyes. Dr. Chiang: What additional tests do you do to evaluate tearing? Dr. Tittler: To diagnose dry eyes, we will frequently perform a test, called the Shirmer’s test, where we measure the amount of tears produced in 5 minutes. This test involves catching the tears with an absorbent strip of paper, and measuring how much of the paper gets saturated. Another very basic test is called the “dye disappearance test.” We place a drop of a yellow dye into each eye. We then check the eyes about 5

minutes later and see which eye has more dye in it. This can sometimes indicates that one of the eyes has a blocked tear drainage system. Another test that we do frequently involves squirting some salt water through the tear drainage system. If the drain is open, patients usually feel a little bit of water trickle down their throats or they get a salty taste in their mouths. If the drain is blocked, the salt water just drips down the cheek. Sometimes we will get a CT scan if we suspect that the bony structures of the tear drainage system might be constricting the tear outflow. None of these tests are painful. Dr. Chiang: Are there effective over-the-counter treatments or home remedies for tearing? Dr. Tittler: It depends on the cause of the tearing. If the eyes are watering because they are irritated, it might be worth trying some simple remedies at home. For example, pointing the fan or the vents in the car away from your face can help keep the eyes from drying out while driving. Also, if you are about to start an activity that makes the eyes feel irritated (like computer work, reading, driving, or watching TV), you can try putting lubricating eye drops in just before. Taking some extra time each day to gently clean the eyelids and lashes of debris and makeup can also do wonders. Dr. Chiang: Are there any supplements that can help with eye health? Dr. Tittler: In general, eating a balanced diet is best. However, there are some data to support the use of omega-3 fatty acids for the treatment of dry eyes, which is a frequent cause of irritation and reflex-tearing. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oil and flaxseed oil. While these supplements can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription, I would recommend checking with your primary care provider before starting them. Dr. Chiang: What is one thing that you wish more people were doing for their eyes? Dr. Tittler: Warm compresses. Treating the eyelids with warm compresses for only five minutes a day can (in many cases) make the eyes feel so much better so you can go about your day in comfort. This said, I think that it is important that if someone has a medical problem that they are concerned about or that is not improving with their current treatment, that they seek out additional help from a health care professional.  *

Visión | FALL 2016


Visión | arts

A first look at ArtExpressions of San Joaquin by Venus Whitted

Stockton definitely has something new to brag about! If you have been to the Miracle Mile strip, you know what I am talking about! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, or you accidently missed it while you were strolling through, you need to head out to ArtExpressions of San Joaquin located at 2318 Pacific Avenue. ArtExpressions of San Joaquin (AESJ) is unlike any other gallery, as it shows off the many talents from a rich and diversecommunity and provides an opulent and cultural experience forthe local community. What makes this gallery stand out from other formal galleries is that it is also a “Gallery on the Move” that is, you never know where they will “pop” up! Their mission is to participate and collaborate within the community to keep the arts alive and thriving! Arturo Vera, is the Director and Founder of AESJ, and he in partnership with his vibrant and beautiful wife Ana Vera, and with the support of their friend and art enthusiast Nishka Yudnich opened the gallery in May of this year. The mission and primary objective of the gallery is to promote and showcase the works of the many dedicated and talented artist to the rest of San Joaquin Valley, while motivating, encouraging, energizing, and supporting upcoming artist from the area as well. The artists who exhibittheir art at AESJ are experts in their field and are masters of their craft making them an asset and treasure to the community. Arturo and Ana are not new to the art scene; they have for many years, devoted their time to photography, advertisement and other artistic business ventures in partnership or individually. 36

Visión | FALL 2016

Photos provided by ArtExpressions

Visiรณn | FALL 2016


Arturo’s photography work has been in circulation as

Another local mover and shaker who saw potential for

he was responsible for cover shots in local community

promoting business the art business is Harry Mavrogenes,

magazines such as Brookside, Spanos, Port O Call,

Director of Stockton Airport, the second semi-permanent

and Weston Ranch. Prior to AESJ, Arturo along with

location in Stockton. He welcomed that AESJ exhibits

other local artist displayed their art and photography

the works of Salvadore Dali at the Stockton Airport. The

at the Tidewater Art Gallery in downtown Stockton.

Salvador Dali artwork had been displayed at the Tidewater

Like many small venues in downtown Stockton, it’snot

Gallery and since its closing, the art of Dali had been in

easy staying open and as much as he tried to keep the

storage. Why keep it in storage when it can be displayed

Tidewater Gallery alive, he wasn’t successful at doing so.

and exhibited for the community to see?, with this in mind

What he was successful of, and with the assistance of

Arturo and Ana set forth to make the Dali exhibition open to

Gabe Karam, was placing art in exhibition at the County

the public and is currently on display.

Administration building in downtown Stockton. This is one of the two semi-permanent locations. The most current exhibition includes the works of a local high school graduate Sydney Spurgeon, an aspiring professional

Arturo and Ana are two of the most compassionate people

photographer. Sydney has won many awards for her

who dedicate themselves to

photographs including the 1st place honors in the 2015

supporting and collaborating

United States Congressional Artist Comp, District 9.

with artist in the community.

Another young, up and coming Mexican American artist is YhoshuaGutierrez. He was born in Brooklyn and raised

Their circles include artist such as Susan Winton, Henry

in Stockton; he is a self taught artist who likes to create a

Paine, Carlos Perez, Chris Thompson Arnold Eilers, Mary

variety of work from portraits to pop culture.

Ann Poletti, Robert Kelley, Robert Austin, andSaul Serna

just to name a few. In fact Carlos Perez, best known as “The Apple Guy” as he is responsible for the Apple Logo illustration will be the AESJ feature commentator and have print signing event on September 17th, 2016. It will start at 4pm with a reception to follow at 5pm. The artists of AESJ meet every last Thursday of the month and provide a show and tell of their work. It is an opportunity to see and meet other artist in the area, but most of all it is a venue that encourages and supports the work of all. Arturo and Ana are very busy collaborating with others at the gallery. When Ana is not assisting at the gallery she is busy with the Summer Youth Art Classes, and Chairing the Annual High School Student Art Show. There will be a free reception and art on display on November 4, 2016 at the County Administration Building. Arnold Eilers a friend of Arturo and Ana and collaborating artist states, “Ana Vera, she is amazing, she is everything, she is a super lady, she keeps track of everything and pays attention to every detail in the gallery. She has a big heart and was instrumental in brainstorming how to get the gallery open” ...

“We the artists stand in awe of Arturo and Ana, as they lead by example!” Their partnership began more than 30 years ago. On August 29, Arturo celebrated his 65th birthday and with an added bonus and even more inspiring was the celebration of their 29th wedding anniversary! When you meet this dynamic couple, you too will be in awe of their love for each other, their passion for art and their drive to bring experts and up and coming artists to the San Joaquin County! Please join Visión magazine in welcoming ArtExpressions of San Joaquin to Stockton! For more information please visit 

Visión | business

Conscious Leadership by Rosie Zepeda

On September 10th, 2016 a most inspiring,

are currently engaging in and conscious of the new ones

empowering and emotional article was published by the

we want to put into practice. This requires that we become

online Latino magazine REMEZCLA. The story was of

self-reflective and ask ourselves how intentional we have

a very elderly “paletero” who had been featured as the

been about putting into practice a new behavior. Knowing

primary beneficiary of a crowdfunding campaign started

where we are starting from and where we want to end up is

by another Latino who was moved to take action when

key. If I asked most Latino Business Leaders about creating

he drove through the Little Village area of Chicago and

a Latino Ecosystem, most would immediately be on board,

witnessed a hunched over Fidencio Sanchez struggling

because our Latino culture is defined by collaboration.

to push a “paleta” cart. The initial goal was set at $6,000.

However, it turns out that many Latinos are not really sure

Everyone was amazed and shocked to learn that $50,000

how to strategically support other Latino Business Leaders.

had been donated by mostly Latinos in less than 17 hours.

Therefore, what follows are three key ways in which we can support each other’s business efforts, thereby maintaining

This is a very simple, yet clear example of Latinos taking leadership roles in their communities and collectively resolving an economic and social issue.

and scaling a strong Latino Ecosystem.

The reaction of the Latino community at large to rush to

media engagement in sharing pictures of our friends,

support and empower this elderly “paletero” proves that

family, showing the location of where we are eating, or

when we support each other’s efforts, promote each other’s

what political stand we are taking, Latinos are missing

successes and unite to create economic impact within our

an opportunity to talk, share or promote each other’s

community, that we truly own our leadership power. This is

businesses on these platforms.

Conscious Leadership is clear, concise and intentional communication and actions. More than any other ethnic group, Latinos are the highest engaged group on social media platforms. Yet, very few Latinos are conscious of the power this medium offers for creating economic impact opportunities in our communities. Despite our deep social

a power that is sustained and can be scaled over time if we Here is a very simple way to have an economic impact

are conscious of creating a Latino Ecosystem.

in our community and support Latino businesses. For Conscious Leadership starts with awareness. As business

example, if there is a Latino accountant you trust and

leaders we must first become aware of the behaviors we

respect, instead of simply sharing their FB business page


Visión | FALL 2016

and saying you recommend them, say something personal

people in the picture are. Make sure you tag the people you

about that person and why that quality makes them a

are with, as well as their businesses. Because our brains

good business leader. If they do not have a business page,

are wired to easily relate to stories and are highly attracted

then download a picture of them from their FB profile page

to seeing groups of people working together, the visibility

and follow the same instructions. Now think of five other

rate will be much higher. Our true nature is collaboration

Latino businesses you can confidently recommend and

and not competition. What this does for your personal and

make a commitment to highlight each of them in a similar

business brand is very positive as well.

manner once a month. If you were to do this each month for a whole year, each of those six Latino Business Leaders would gain visibility twice a year with your network. If you are a Latino Business Leader yourself, you might be asking yourself right now: “Wait a minute, but what about

People love hearing the who and the why of who you are spending time with in your community.

my business and what am I going to gain by promoting another Latino business?” That is a valid and great

Finally, the third and final way is to share positive posts of

question, because no matter how altruistic we might want

other local Latino Business Leaders on your social media

to be, at the core, human beings are programmed for

platform of choice. What is great about this, is that they

“what is in it for me.” However, this is where the paradigm

have already been written and all you need to do is say why

shift happens for you as a business leader. This is what

you are sharing it. This could be anything from someone

Conscious Leadership is all about. In identifying the other

receiving an award, winning a business contract, expanding

5 businesses, choose those whose values are in line with

their business or being featured on a media outlet. By

yours, reach out to each of those business leaders, make

doing so, you get the opportunity to be viewed as a “play it

them aware of your intention to recommend them on social

forward” person, which gains respect and trust for you as

media and ask if they would be compelled to do the same

an individual and business owner.

for you. You will find that each of them will respond with a Back in the Little Village area of Chicago, the crowdfunding

resounding “yes!”

funds continue to pour in and Mr. Sanchez is very grateful

It is said that each person has a network of at least 1,000 people behind them, so think of the power for each of you being exposed to 5,000 new people in a very personal way and the benefits to the community at large. The second way to contribute to the Latino Ecosystem and engage in Conscious Leadership is to share pictures of business events you attend that capture the essence of a group, instead of just yourself. Here you will also follow a similar premise and tell a simple story of what was accomplished or the results of such event and who the

for the outpouring of financial generosity. However, he stated that he will continue to push his “paleta” cart, because as long as he has the ability to walk, he will work every day contributing to the economic impact of this family and community. Imagine the impact if we all adopted the attitude of this 80 year-old “paletero.” 

Rosie “the Closer” Zepeda is a professional speaker, organizational communication and marketing expert. She is the CEO of Compelling Conversations Training & Consulting (www.compelling-conversations. com. Rosie helps companies, organizations and business leaders strategically increase their business results by creating compelling messages to their target audiences. She has worked with Intel, Comerica Bank, San Jose State University, numerous non-profits and hundreds of individual Silicon Valley businesses. She is also the Founder of the premier community for culturally relevant professional development for Latinas: Latina Success Network (LSN) (www.latinasuccessnetwork. com). The second cohort of the LSN Communication Academy starts December 2016. Apply under the “Programs” tab.

Visión | FALL 2016


visiรณn | people and events

AUGUST 4, 2016

Comerciantes Unidos 2016 Annual student scholarships accompanied by the Consul selene barcel. Congratulations to all the students. Held at Cancun Restaurant in Stockton

Photos by Monica Andeola

See more photos from this and other events on our fan page at 42

Visiรณn | FALL 2016

AUGUST 4, 2016

The San Joaquin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held their 2nd Annual Leaders Luncheon on Business at Stockton Golf & Country Club

Photos by Tim Tafolla

Visiรณn | FALL 2016


visiรณn | people and events

May 7, 2016

Stanislaus Mujeres held their Annual Scholarship BreakfastA rich celebration of delicious homemade pozole or menudo in support of the Mujeres annual scholarships breakfast. Held in Ceres California

Photos by Mujeres & Karlha Davies


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SEPTEMBER 10, 2016

John Griswold and the Red-Tie hosted the “Women Of Brazil” celebrating rhythms of Brazil. A wonderful evening under the stars. Amazing Art, Wine, and Brazilian Food. Held at Lucca Winery in Ripon

Visión | FALL 2016


visión | meet our writers Arlene Galindo, mother of three, is an arts and cultural advocate from the San Joaquin Valley. A former Smithsonian Latino Center fellow and Museum Studies graduate from JFK University, Arlene’s interests lie in developing Latino audiences and inclusion for San Joaquin Valley Arts & Cultural institutions. She is the founder of Amigos for the Artes- Stockton Symphony, the third oldest symphony in California and is a founding Board member of the San Joaquin International Film Festival. In addition to her extensive community work she is also a published poet and excellent cook. David Fauria was raised in Oakdale, California and attended Oakdale High. David attended the University of San Francisco, majoring in history. After receiving his teaching credential, David returned to Oakdale where he served as a classroom teacher, coach and adviser to the Hispanic Youth Leadership Club. Over the last several years he has served on the Board of the American GI Forum using his position to advocate for greater access to education and various other Latino issues. David is currently attending Lewis and Clark College of Law in Portland, Oregon, pursuing a Juris Doctor. Matthew Harrington grew up in Modesto, California and has lived here his whole life. Matthew graduated from CSU Sacramento, with a degree in liberal studies and a concentration in social science. After graduating, he entered and successfully finished the teacher preparation program at CSU Sacramento. Matthew has an extensive background in multi-media, having five and a half years as a college radio DJ at KSSU1580/ and one and a half as a staff writer for the Sacramento State Hornet newspaper, writing over 150 articles, including videos and podcasts. Matthew is an avid sports fan, enjoys most styles of music and enjoys spending time with his family. He is proud of his mixed heritage being Mexican-American, with Dutch, Austrian and Canadian ancestry. Rodney Cordova is a native of the Bay Area but has lived in the Central Valley for the last 20 years. He is an entrepreneur on sabbatical and is known as the first Hispanic CEO in High Tech. He is known for his roots not only in the Apple world but also as a public speaker, Motivational Speaker and Life Coach. He is a graduate of Bethany University and is a member of Who’s Who among American High Schools, Colleges and Universities.


Vanessa Parra is originally from Visalia, California. This charming, out-going young lady works out of her home office in Monterey, California. But is often at the main King City facility and travels often to the Central Valley to meet with Clients. She comes to the team armed with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Communications, with a concentration in Print Management, from prestigious Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She has much experience in management and marketing, having previously worked for two other firms in that capacity. She is fluent in English and Spanish and is in the process of pursuing her MBA. Rochelle Marapao Kuikahi has made a career out of building tech startup companies in the Silicon Valley from the ground up and is currently an Engineering Program Manager for a technology company in Santa Clara. Born and mostly raised in California, her father was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy which afforded her family the opportunity to travel and see the world. Rochelle is active in the community and involved with the Modesto Gospel Mission and holds positions on the boards of: Fitness Without Borders, the Mata’irea Polynesian Culture Preservation, and the Hilton Santa Clara. She enjoys writing and is a freelance writer for a number of mainstream health, fitness, and lifestyle magazines. Rochelle is a graduate of San Francisco State University and Stanford University and enjoys travel, music, wine, community events, and meeting new people. She resides in Modesto with her husband Myles and daughter Selena. Esmeralda Gomez-Cruz was born and raised in Lodi, California. After high school, she moved on to San Joaquin Delta College. Then she applied to University of the Pacific and to her surprise she was awarded a full paid scholarship where she earned a B.A. Degree in sociology and a minor in Spanish. Esmeralda returned back to school. This time, married, working full time and as a new mommy to a beautiful baby girl. With the support of her husband and family she graduated from the University of LaVern with a M.S. degree in counseling education. Jose Posadas was raised in the Santa Clara Valley but was born in Mexico City. He is a graduate of San Jose State University with a background in public policy, journalism and marketing. He has co-founded two publications, Silicon Valley Latino and Downtown Magazine. A creative person at heart he enjoys the outdoors and travels annually to his home in Mexico to write and explore. In San Jose he is the president of two non-profit organizations, a community activist and has worked in local politics and nonprofits. He believes that service to others, lifting the dreams of a people and fighting a just cause are the hallmark of a life well lived.

Visión | FALL 2016

Xavier Huerta graduated with a degree in English from CSU Stanislaus and is currently an elementary school teacher. A lover of arts and literature, Xavier is an avid reader, writer and dancer. Xavier dances Salsa on a weekly basis and is an occasional performer at dance showcases in the Valley and in the Bay Area. In his spare time, Xavier likes to film and edit video for various projects including: book trailers, music videos and church outreach programs. Xavier is proud of his Puerto Rican/Mexican heritage and encourages everyone to embrace the culture that is uniquely their own. Jennifer Hidalgo was born in Southern California, raised in Tepic Nayarit, MX and has been a Central Valley resident for 17 years. She graduated with a BA in Communications from the University of the Pacific in 2010 and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix in 2013. She’s currently a project coordinator for Imagen Public Relations working on a variety of contracts within the community; the most prominent being the Outreach and Engagement Team for the ACEforward expansion.

Venus Esparza-Zavala Is a graduate of San Jose State University and holds an MSW and an MA in Mexican American studies. She has two sons and lives in Stockton. Her passions include reading, writing, salsa dancing, travel, good conversation and wine! Venus also serves on Visión Magazine Advisory Board. Jennifer Rangel was born and raised in San Pablo, CA. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley in 2001. She moved to the Central Valley in 2004 and graduated with a MA in Criminal Justice from Stanislaus State in 2006. She currently is a Program Coordinator for Center for Humans Services. She manages the Family Resource Center, Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children, in Ceres, California. Since graduating from Berkeley her focus has been on working with families and or individuals strengths and helping them discover how they can be a positive impact. She has always tried to lead by example. She came from a single parent household and grew up in a poor area but her Father’s strong work ethic and her grandmother’s determination lead her to the path of education and social services.

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Vision Celebrating Success






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MISSION statement Tamara Mena

A Survivo r& True Warri or

Inspirational stories covering Education, Business,

. D. jares,ificPh versity Dr. Mnten Pac Uni of Fresno Preside

Community leadership and the Arts. Visión Magazine presents

Stanislaus Merced San JoaquiN

Our Focus

articles, profiles

We love to share stories

and exclusive

of positive inspiring

interviews of Latino

Latinos doing great things


in our communities. We

highlighting their

like to recognize different


organizations that give back to our communities with a focus on Latinos.

public awareness of

We honor those who have

their leadership and

passed and have given so


much to our communities.


Christine Schweininger

and increasing

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A Professional Law Corporation

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Aggressive representation

with experience & passion (209) 465-6633

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Partnering today for a healthier tomorrow The challenges of our community are not unique, but how we come together in unity to support people throughout San Joaquin and Stanislaus communities is something to celebrate.

With over 330,000 members and growing, Health Plan of San Joaquin continues to build relationships with health care providers, community resource agencies and local businesses so that we can deliver on our mission to improve wellness.

Celebrate Health Celebrate H

Strong community partnerships Strong community partne lead to happier, people. lead tohealthier happier, healthie

Vision Fall 2016  
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