Shayla Rivera Changing the World Through Laughter
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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
Visiรณn | FALL 2016
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
Visiรณn | FALL 2016
visión staff Publishers
Fred Bigler and Christine S. Schweininger
Design & Layout
Health & Wellness
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.
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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
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
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
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
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Changing the World
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
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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,
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
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
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
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,
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.
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Visión | political
Voting Trends by Mike Madrid, GrassrootsLab
Did you know there are more registered
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?
Or that a Latino between the ages of 18 and 24 is more
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
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
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
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
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
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).
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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,
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
To a lifetime of big, joyous, healthy smiles. 2 minutes, 2 times per day Help your kids brush their teeth two minutes , two times per day â€“ for healthier teeth, good breath, fewer cavities, and to avoid painful dental problems. 3 fluoride varnish applications per year
A varnish, or top coat, of fluoride can be put straight onto the teeth up to three times in twelve months. It can help stop cavities, slow it down, or stop them from getting worse. Fluoride varnish is made from fluoride, a mineral that can make the outer coating on the teeth stronger. Ask your doctor about fluoride varnish.
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
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
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.
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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.
Oseguera Juan Carlos Filmmaker Water” “The Fight for
Making a Positive Impact in the Community.
www.visionmagazine.us 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
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
stanislauslibrary.org 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
at the core of the First Amendment. The Fourteenth
Amendment to the United States Constitution makes
the First Amendment applicable to state governments,
over highly emotional
such as California. The First Amendment freedoms
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
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.
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.
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
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 ESEReport.com, 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
by DR. ETHAN TITTLER
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
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
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. *https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1045167
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 www.artexpressions.org
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
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 www.facebook.com/ourvisionmagazine 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
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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/ KSSU.com 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‚Äôs in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix in 2013. She‚Äôs 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
We love to share stories
of positive inspiring
interviews of Latino
Latinos doing great things
in our communities. We
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
state & federal criminal defense dui defense
A Professional Law Corporation
business litigation immigration law personal injury law school professor
with experience & passion www.SomeraLaw.com (209) 465-6633
Visiรณn | FALL 2016
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