Volume XXIX Number 23 June 10, 2005

FrontPage Stories

Centro Cultural de la Raza: A New Beginning

By Michael Klam

Chicano muralist Victor Ochoa stands in the doorway of his studio next to Golden Hill Park, directly in the flight path. The Centro Cultural de La Raza lies to the west, between the studio and Lindbergh Field. A pilot once told the artist that he used Ochoa’s Centro mural of Geronimo as a marker to guide his way to the landing strip. Ochoa looks toward the Centro and remembers a time when the doors were open every day. He is cautiously optimistic about a future in which the Chicano arts community will once again fully participate in the development of programming at the cultural center.

Victor Ochoa in his studio.

“To me the Centro was the base of operations for so many different artists, so many different groups,” says Ochoa, a former artist-in-residence who supported the Centro for 30 years. “I think for the last five years we’ve been working outside our home.”

In 2000, a new board and administrative manager initiated sweeping reforms in response to financial difficulties. The changes outraged many in the community. According to the Save Our Centro Coalition (SOCC), a Chicano group leading a five-year boycott of the Centro, “these changes included confiscating and destroying artwork, dissolving a community advisory committee, hiring a director without a national search and forcing a Latina activist off the board for defending the rights of artists.”

Since the initial reorganization that shook up the community, the Centro’s board has changed. The new board of trustees includes business and community leaders, lawyers and activists. And there are now signs that the SOCC and the Centro, which have had a contentious relationship since the organizational shift, are opening dialogue and negotiations. The SOCC presented a plan to the new Centro board for resolving the community boycott. Representatives of both parties met Tuesday, June 7 to discuss logistics for an upcoming public meeting.

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“Our children deserve better”
A group of National City Middle School mothers are demanding better school facilities. They say School District officials have mispent Proposition BB funds.
By Pablo Jaime Sainz
National City Middle School facilities need major repairs— pronto.

“Nuestros niños merecen algo mejor”
Un grupo de madres de la National City Middle School exige mejores instalaciones escolares. Ellas dicen que las autoridades del Distrito Escolar están malgastando los fondos de la Proposición BB.
Por Pablo Jaime Sainz
Las instalaciones de la National City Middle School necesitan reparaciones importantes–pronto.

Árboles, los pulmones de Tijuana
Por Luis Alonso Pérez
Maria Guadalupe Pantoja camina frente al Palacio Municipal de Tijuana acompañada de su hija, cada una lleva un arbolito en cada mano. Ella los lleva a su casa en la colonia del Niño para que adornen su entrada “Quiero comprar dos macetas bonitas y ponerlas a un lado de mi puerta para que se vea mejor mi casa” comentó.

Trees, Tijuana’s lungs
By Luis Alonso Pérez
Maria Guadalupe Pantoja is walking in front of Tijuana’s city hall with her daughter, each one is carrying a small tree in each hand. She is taking them home to Colonia del Niño so they can adorn her entrance “I want to buy two pretty pots and put them on each side of my door” she said.


    Wiping off discrimination
    About 1,400 janitors in San Diego County voted to go to strike. They demand better wages and health insurance.
    By Pablo Jaime Sainz
    Hilario Chairez is tired of having to decide between buying a gallon of milk or a little bit of fruit for his three children.

    Limpiando la discriminación
    Mil 400 trabajadores de la limpieza en el condado de San Diego se van a la huelga. Exigen mejores salarios y seguro médico.
    Por Pablo Jaime Sainz
    Hilario Chairez está cansado de tener que decidir entre comprar un galón de leche o un poco de fruta para sus tres hijos.

    A Fight Larger Than Imagined
    Minutemen campaigning to patrol California-Mexico border
    By Gabriel Martinez
    “Minutemen, you have taken on a fight larger than you ever IMAGINED” says a slogan written on a picket-sign being carried by Anthony Vasquez, who is marching in a circle along with dozens other young people of different ethnicities. About 300 other people are lined up along Chapman and Gilbert Avenues in front of the Women’s Civic Center, located in Garden Grove, California, where Jim Gilchrist, the found-er of the “Minutemen,” is scheduled to give a speech.

    California Students Boost Anti-Arnold Protests
    By Raj Jayadev
    In the heart of Silicon Valley, in front of the very elegant Fairmont Hotel, a bunch of fired up students and nurses stopped a limo trying to enter the hotel. They surrounded it and rocked it back and forth. It looked like they might tip it over completely. Union officials, the ones who initially called everyone here, now had to personally escort the limo out of the teeth of danger. The besiegers only relented when they were told their target, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was not inside the vehicle.

    Linda Martinez Named Coordinator of TRIO Outreach Mentoring And Alumni Program
    By Jessica Nager
    Linda Martinez has been appointed Mentor Alumni Program Coordinator for TRIO Outreach Programs at UCSD. TRIO, a unit of UCSD’s Student Educational Advancement Department under Student Affairs, offers academic support to college-bound students through its Upward Bound Classic, Upward Bound Math and Science, and Educational Talent Search initiatives.

    Girl Scouts Name San Diego’s 10 Cool Women For 2005
    Beatriz Barraza among those honored for achievements
    Girl Scouts, San Diego-Imperial Council recently unveiled its fifth list of “San Diego’s 10 Coolest Women” and honored its top volunteers at the council’s 2005 Volunteer Celebration and Annual Meeting.

    Graduation Highlights:
    Vanessa Tapia Receives Best Buy Scholarship
    Best Buy Children’s Foundation has awarded a scholarship to Vanessa Tapia, a 2005 graduate of Sweetwater High School. Vanessa is the daughter of Bertha and Luis Tapia and plans to attend San Diego State University next fall.

    Californianos - ¡Regresen Dinero a Sus Billeteras! Compren electrodomésticos con eficiencia energética y úsenlos de la manera correcta
    Al acercarse el momento de máximo consumo de energía este verano, Flex Your Power está lanzando una agresiva campaña sobre el rendimiento energético y la conservación, para hacerles saber a las familias y a los negocios el verdadero costo de los electrodomésticos.

    Californians – Put Money Back in Your Wallets! Buy Energy Efficient Appliances and Use Them Wisely
    As the summer energy crunch nears, Flex Your Power is launching an aggressive energy efficiency and conservation campaign to encourage families and businesses to think about the real cost of appliances.


    This Time Let There Be a Debate on the U.S. Patriot Act
    The Patriot Act was enacted 45 days after the 9/11 attack, with hardly a debate or dissent. Congress approved over 150 separate sections, under ten major titles, expanding the powers of Law Enforcement and of the White House, with one caveat, that the most extreme of the law enforcement powers be attached with a “Sunset” date. About a tenth of the U.S. Patriot Act will expire on December 31, 2005 unless Congress renews the act before the deadline.

    Schwarzenegger’s hyperbole not the answer to California’s Immigration issue
    AgJOBS Bill is crucial to California’s Long Term Future
    By Fabian Núñez, Speaker, California State Assembly 
    Let’s get this straight: curbing illegal immigration is a worthy cause; fanning the flames of resentment is not.

    La Hipérbole de Schwarzenegger no es la Respuesta al Tema de Inmigración de California
    La Propuesta AgJOBS Bill es Crucial Para el Futuro de California a Largo Plazo
    Por Fabian Núñez, Speaker, California State Assembly 
    Aclaremos algo: El limitar la inmigración ilegal es una causa digna; pero echar leña al fuego de resentimiento no lo es.

    Collas and Cambas Conflict in Bolivia
    By Humberto Caspa,Ph.D
    At the OAS meeting in Fort Launderdale, Texas, President Bush again invited Latin American leaders to follow the path of neoliberal economics, and urged Congress to pass a resolution accepting CAFTA, a multi-national free-trade agreement with Central American countries.

    La Pugna entre “Collas” y “Cambas” en Bolivia
    Por Humberto Caspa. Ph.D
    En la reciente reunión de la OEA en Fort Lauderdale, Texas, el Presidente Bush nuevamente propuso más apertura neoliberal en América Latina. Para el comité boliviano, la arenga de Bush debió ser como un balde de agua fría, ya que el neoliberalismo salvaje ha sido una razón de su sufrimiento. Empero, la crisis actual boliviana se debe también a la creciente animosidad de los “Collas” y “Cambas”, quienes están a punto de enfrascar a su país en una guerra civil inminente.

    In and around San Diego, California and the Nation the political cauldron is heating. Not too surprisingly, in the mix, along with Whiteys, Blacks, and others are our own Raza putting their own interpretation on the politics that are swirling around the Community, the State and Nation. It sure is interesting to see that our Latino-Hispanic- Mexican American political spin is getting the attention of the politicos of this country as well as those from Mexico, and the rest of Latin-America. ¡Way to go Gente. Our spin on politics is mucho más importante than ever before!

    The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico
    Youth Leaders seeking community support
    Some of our youth leaders and I wrote a proposal to NCLR (National Council of La Raza: the largest national constituency-based Hispanic organization)  for the Lideres conference taking place this July. The proposal was to facilitate a workshop around the Youth Organizing that we have been involved with in  San Diego County this past year. Our workshop will focus on four issues: the Militarized Border, Ending Homophobia in Schools, Unjust Gang Laws, and general Youth Organizing Practices in a conservative town. 

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

    Las Sobras de Jaime Ruiz Otis
    Por Luis Alonso Pérez
    “A donde va toda la basura” preguntó Jaime a su abuelo cuando era niño “Pues a la tierra” le contestó.

    El Compa Rivas pulls off yet another coup
    By Ricardo Raúl & Daniel Alberto Pozos y Garay
    An ever-increasing number of albums today bear that “pop” sound calibrated by the mainstream media which, an ever-decreasing number of artists cannily avoid circumventing; however, as we have seen in the past with some all too amenable artists, going “pop” can be the bane of the most ambitious of stargazers. With eight hit albums to his name, El Compa Rivas’ latest, Celda Vacía LP, looks to be his most ambitious and compelling endeavor hitherto.

    “Crónicas” Could be the best ever for the Jaguares
    By Francisco Ciriza
    On May 31st, Mexico’s Jaguares released their first studio album in four years, ‘Crónicas de un Laberinto’ (Sony/BMG). The album was co-produced in Nashville by Saul Hernández, Alfonso André and longtime ally, Adrian Belew who also produced Caifanes’ El Silencio CD (BMG) in 1992. Belew is best known for his impressive guitar playing in the progressive/art rock outfit, King Crimson.

    First Annual Mariachi Conference Tunes Up
    Chula Vista International Mariachi Conference seeks local and visiting musicians to learn from the best
    Mariachi experts from the Sweetwater Union High School District and international professionals from around the world will gather for four days in June to groom the next generation of the culturally rich genre. Hundreds of students from Southern California and neighboring states are expected to attend this exciting blend of mariachi and ballet folklórico instruction and exhibition—but there’s room for many more.

    Gala de Opera, Opereta y Zarzuela Presentaron en el CETYS Tijuana
    Por: Paco Zavala
    La lucha constante, el afán por estudiar, el trabajo sin descanso y el deseo de superación forman un coctel explosivo de enormes proporciones, quien se atreve a tomarlo recoge sus frutos.

    Todo queda en familia
    Robert Rodríguez usa una historia de su hijo Racer para recrear el mundo de la tercera dimernsion en el cine.
    Por Jose Daniel Bort
    Lo hizo otra vez. Robert Rodríguez es una máquina de hacer películas. No contento con lo que realizó con “Sin City”, su último trabajo al lado de Frank Miller, el cineasta decidió compartir con su familia la manufactura de esta historia de esta nueva película: Las aventuras de Lava Boy y Shark Girl en tercera dimensión.

    La actríz Margarita Gralia, estuvo de visita por Tijuana
    Por: Paco Zavala
    La bella y talentosa actríz argentina, Margarita Gralia, visitó Tijuana el pasado jueves 9 de junio para participar en el programa Leo... Luego existo, que se verifica constantemente en la Sala de Lectura del Centro Cultural Tijuana, que promueve el Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes y el Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes.

    Canicula: Snapshots of a Girlhood En La Frontera
    Canícula: Imágenes de una Niñez Fronteriza
    Norma Elia Cantu’s chronicle of the coming of age of a Chicana in the U.S.-Mexico border towns of Laredo and Nuevo Laredo in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s which mixes actual snapshots with recreated memories — Canícula: Imágenes de una Niñez Fronteriza/ Canicula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera, is the focus of the final installment of the bilingual (Spanish and English) four book discussion series which has explored the Mexican-American experience through the prism of contemporary Latino literature.

    San Ysidro’s Mitre Pitching for the Chicago Cubs
    By John Philip Wyllie
    Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, but in the case of Chicago Cubs right-handed pitcher Sergio Mitre, it would be more accurate to say that he wears his feelings on his glove. Mitre, who grew up in San Ysidro, returned home last week to pitch against the San Diego Padres. He played his high school baseball at Montgomery High School and later went on to pitch for San Diego City College. When he took the mound for the Cubs Friday night he was wearing a glove with a Mexican flag woven into the strap. It is his way of celebrating his Mexican heritage.

    Surf Dawgs Support San Diego Students Through Fantasy Baseball
    By John Philip Wyllie
    Nearly 200 county elementary, middle school and high school students converged upon the San Diego Hall of Champions Tuesday for a day of learning and fun at the Eighth Annual San Diego Fantasy Baseball Educational Tournament. For eight hours shrieks and groans filled the air as these students battled each other in an engaging game which combines elements of chance with baseball and mathematical concepts.

    Bullfight World
    By Lyn Sherwood

    La Fiesta’s main player, Toro Bravo, is the most ferocious and beautiful natural-born killer ever devised by nature. He has been matched against lions, tigers, and even elephants, and has rarely been defeated. As Ernest Hemingway wrote, he is to the domestic bull as the wolf is to the pet dog. In frontier California, the fighting bull was frequently pitted against the great grizzly bear. For the much heavier bear, it was considered a cruel fate, and one of the bull’s hooves would sometimes be staked to the ground, in order to give the bear a better chance. From such combats came the bull and bear stock market symbols.
    The Book of Job, description of the behemoth.