Volume XXXI Number 13 March 30, 2007

FrontPage Stories

Baja Becomes a Breeding Ground for Gray Whales

Photo by David Maung

Each year from January to March, thousands of gray whales congregate to breed and give birth to their calves in the warm waters of lagoons in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. With them come thousands of tourists eager for an experience to see and touch a whale.

Until recently, three populations of gray whales had existed in the world, yet by the turn of the century whaling had provoked their extinction in the Atlantic and their near extinction in the eastern and western Pacific.

In 1947, the International Whaling Commission issued a ban on hunting the gray whale, which, coupled with conservation efforts, has allowed the eastern Pacific population to grow to 20,000 to 23,000. Every year, they migrate from summer feeding areas in the Arctic to winter breeding areas along the Baja California peninsula.

There remains however only a few hundred gray whales in the western Pacific, which migrate between Russia and the South China Sea. Although protected, gray whales still face the challenges presented by pollution, net fishing, and a depleting food source in the Artic due to global warming.

Whale watching is tightly controlled by the Mexican government, which declared the breeding and calving lagoons in Baja California Sur to be federally protected zones. In 1972 and 1979 the lagoons were declared refuge areas and an extensive list of rules were drawn up to strictly regulate the observation of whales and limit development.

In 1988 the Mexican government established the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve; an extensive preservation area that includes the San Ignacio and Ojo de Liebre lagoons and with it an expanding and environment friendly tourism industry.

People are allowed to visit certain areas of the lagoons with guides in small boats where, with luck, curious or “friendly” whales will swim alongside the boats and allow them to be touched. A limited number of boats are allowed in the water and are restricted to certain areas of the lagoons and for short periods of time.

(PhotographerDavid Maung has worked for 12 years in Latin America on topics like refugee repatriation, coffee and sugarcane harvests and labor movements. He has worked with Smithsonian, The New York Times, Newsweek and The San Francisco Chronicle and is a member of Impact Visuals, a cooperative photo agency dedicated to using photography as a means of social change. David has participated and assisted in programs such as the Eddie Adams Workshop, The Friends of Photography and The Eye Gallery.)

The Smog of Race War in LA
By Roberto Lovato
LOS ANGELES — These days, Chris Bowers wakes up every morning to a vivid reminder that crossing borders can get you killed in South LA’s Harbor Gateway area. Just outside the fence in front of his rented stucco house on Harvard Boulevard is a silver scooter, an assortment of dried flowers and a dozen candles bearing religious messages written in Spanish and English—a makeshift memorial to Cheryl Green, the 14-year-old whose murder last December by members of the 204th Street Gang sparked accusations of Latino “ethnic cleansing” of African-Americans. “There were two of them,” says Bowers, a 22-year-old college student and high school football coach. “They came up and shot off one shot. They looked confused, and then shot off the rest of the rounds.” Jonathan Fajardo, 18, and Ernesto Alcarez, 20, members of 204th Street, have been charged with gunning down Green as she stood with her scooter talking to friends. Police say they had been seeking a black person to kill.

Education takes a backseat to family time, for some
By Raymond R. Beltran
Students are gearing up for their spring break that begins this week. District wide, they get two weeks off, and teachers say that means ski trips for some and for others, visiting relatives in Mexico.


Proposal would deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants
By Michael Famiglietti
WASHINGTON — When children of illegal immigrants are born in the United States, they automatically become citizens. Some Republicans want to revoke that privilege to discourage others from crossing the border.

What Every California Parent Should Know About the API
By Daffodil Altan and Carolyn Goossen
Editor’s Note: The Academic Performance Index is one of the most important indicators for California parents of how their children are doing compared with other schools and with the state average. Bruce Fuller, professor of education at U.C. Berkeley, answers your questions about how to make sense of your school’s results and what rights you have as a parent.

Lo que todos los padres en California deberían saber sobre el API
By Daffodil Altan y Carolyn Goossen
Nota del editor: El API o el Índice de Ejercicio Académico, es una de las calificaciones más importantes de California para que usted sepa como está progresando la escuela de su hijo. El profesor Bruce Fuller de U.C. Berkeley le da respuesta a preguntas importantes para usted y su hijo.

Mexicanos reciben sistema de monitoreo de calidad del aire
Por Luis Alonzo Perez
Autoridades ambientalistas mexicanas y estadounidenses pactaron el día de ayer la entrega del control de la red de monitoreo de calidad del aire en Baja California.

Pasajeros de Aerolíneas Azteca afectados por suspensión temporal
Por Luis Alonso Pérez
La mañana del lunes 26 de marzo lucía como un día normal en el aeropuerto Abelardo Rodríguez de la ciudad de Tijuana.

México del Norte
Por Jorge Mújica Murias
Peor que antes 
Esa es la respuesta de Jesús Vargas, buen cuate y buen activista inmigrante del Comité 10 de Marzo.

Por Ricardo J. Galarza
Nueva esperanza para la reforma migratoria
El proyecto de reforma migratoria presentado la última semana en la Cámara Baja por el representante demócrata Luis Gutiérrez y el republicano Jeff Flake parece ser el que finalmente se convertirá en ley este año y regularizará la situación de los indocumentados.

Mesa College Leadership Summit a Success for Area Youths
On Friday, March 23, 2007, San Diego Mesa College campus hosted the inaugural African American/Latino Male Summit, a one-day forum that focused on improving self-awareness and personal growth skills, as well as examined the cultural issues that impact and affect the success rate for this community. This leadership workshop is believed to be one of the first of its kind offered for this age group.

LULAC has applications available for three different scholarships.
1. Willy P. Dunn Memorial Scholarship: Available to all students attending a community/junior college, a 4 yr. college/university or Post Graduate school.

Community Notes:
Strategic Planning Workshop #3 for National City
The City of National City will hold its third Strategic Planning Workshop on Thursday, April 5, 2007.

Doctor’s Corner
Talking About Colon Health
By Eduardo Grunvald, M.D.
The subject is something of a secret… not dinner table conversation. But not talking about colon health can be the last secret you ever keep. That’s why public health educational and information campaigns over the last few years has saved lives. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and understanding preventive recommendations help make this cancer the most preventable of all cancers.

Esquina del Doctor
Hablando Sobre la Salud del Colon
By Eduardo Grunvald, M.D.
El tema es algo como un secreto… no es una conversación de sobremesa. Pero no hablar sobre la salud de colon puede ser el último secreto que usted guardará. Por eso, campañas públicas educativas e informativas que se han hecho durante los últimos años han salvado muchas vidas. Marzo es el “Mes Nacional de Conciencia de Cáncer Colorectal”, y entender las recomendaciones preventivas facilita que este cáncer sea el más evitable de todos los cánceres.

Scripps Health Receives $95,000 in Grants to Enhance Breast Cancer Services, Including Chula Vista Promatoras Program
The San Diego affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure has awarded Scripps Health two grants totaling $95,000, which will be used to provide community-based breast cancer education and diagnostic services throughout San Diego County.

Editorial and Commentary

Celebrating César E. Chávez
On March 31st, we celebrate the legacy of César E. Chávez, considered the greatest Mexican-American leader of our, or any, time in the United States. The term “Si Se Puede” cannot be uttered without the specter of Chávez looming over the words.

The Manipulation of Cpl. Pat Tillman’s Death
There has been very little, if any, good news about the war in Iraq.

Controles y balances
Por Humberto Caspa, Ph.D
Es muy probable que el presidente George W. Bush vete la decisión de los legisladores en Congreso en torno a la Guerra en Irak. Pero lo que se acordó ésta y la anterior semana en el Senado y la Cámara de Representantes, respectivamente, es un golpe certero a la política visceral de su gobierno.

Serving the Under-Served: Banking for Undocumented Immigrants
By Calvin E. Bellamy
In recent years, there has been a great deal of controversy over the efforts of some banks to offer financial services to individuals without Social Security numbers, many of whom are undocumented immigrants. More and more banks now allow people to open checking and savings accounts and to apply for credit cards and home mortgages using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or an identification card issued by a foreign consulate in the United States. In February of 2007, for instance, Bank of America announced a pilot program in Los Angeles offering credit cards to individuals who lack either a social security number or a credit history, provided that they have ITINs.

El ocaso de un buen hombre
por Dagoberto Márquez
al señor José Cruz Márquez Díaz ...in memoriam

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico
A Rebuttal to Patty Chavez opinion
RE: “Honoring Cesar Chavez by carrying out his ideals” by Patty Chavez (published 3/23/07).

Etc. Etc. Etc.
Reviews, Sporting news, and other tid bits

By Gustavo Arrellano
Dear Mexican: What do Mexicans think about President Bush’s grandfather having a hand in getting the guy that robbed Pancho Villa’s head out of jail?
Kruising Klassily in Kennebunkport

Filmmaking Takes a Turn on the Darkside
Christopher Chacon: filmmaker & paranormal/supernatural expert
By Enrique Zapata
As an entertainment freelance journalist, I have attended more then my share of lectures on filmmaking and the entertainment industry, however none have ever left such a riveting impression as the lecture I attended at the 10th Annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) is an annual preeminent film event that showcases the world’s best Latino filmmakers, attracting the biggest Latino talent in entertainment.

Apareció la Noche Grís en la Representación de La Boheme
Por: Paco Zavala
En una espléndida noche, con un teatro a foro lleno, en un ambiente de fiesta, invadido por las risas, la charla, la iluminación de la sala, carreras apresuradas, expresiones: el maquillaje, me falta un botón, ¡ah! se me rompió... etc, etc.

Impartirá un Taller de Teatro para Niños la Actriz Esmeralda Ceballos
“Compartirá Cursos con Alicia Martin, Fernando López Mateos y Hugo Harrel”
Por: Paco Zavala
El mes de abril inician nuevos cursos de artes vinculadas con el quehacer escénico, de acuerdo con información proporcionada por el actor y director teatral Fernando López Mateos, director además de la Escuela de Teatro “LOFT”, espacio de Creación, abierta recientemente.

Fajardo Adjusting to New Role
By John Philip Wyllie
Over the last several years, you could probably count on one hand the number of times that any South Bay team has defeated perennial CIF champion La Costa Canyon in volleyball. So far this season, the seventh ranked Otay Ranch Mustangs have done it twice. One of the reasons has been the play of junior defensive specialist, Andre Fajardo.

Zayas a Field General for the Lancers
By John Philip Wyllie
A year ago, Hilltop High School’s softball team dominated the South Bay League posting a 12-1 record in their division and going 16-10 overall. While they are off to a slow 3-5 start, they fully expect to be at the top of the pack when the league championship is decided in June.

Golden Boy vs. Pretty Boy Who Will Be The Man?
By Greg Goodrich
Part Two: The Stats of Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (37-09, 24 KO’s) was born February 24, 1977 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. He stands 5’8, has a reach of 72 inches: and at 30, is physically in his prime.

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