Archive | March, 2013

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David Hernandez “The Famous Poet” of Chicago

Posted on 26 March 2013 by alejandro

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David Hernandez the “unofficial” poet laureate of Chicago, as he was famously known, died on Monday, February 25th at age 66. He leaves behind his wife Batya and his daughter Matea. David wrote poetry for over fifty years since the age of 11 and is founder of Street Sounds, the musical group that accompanied his poetry for 40 years.

David Hernandez was born in Cidra, Puerto Rico on May 1st 1946. He came to Chicago in 1955, as a young boy with his family. They settled in the Lake View neighborhood around Wrigleyville, when it was home to many Puerto Rican families. David taught poetry workshops in prisons, community centers and the Chicago Public Schools to thousands of Students. In 1971, he cofounded Street Sounds with musician Dean Karabatsos. Street Sounds is a diverse band that accompanied David’s poetry with a plethora of music including Latin-jazz.
David was also author of several books including: Despertando (Waking Up, 1971), Roof Top Piper (1991), Satin City Lullaby (1985) and The Urban Poems (2004). In addition to being noted for reading the poem for Chicago’s 150th Anniversary, he also read the inaugural poem for Mayor Harold Washington, as well as, a poem when the former Mayor died.  David enjoyed humor and used it proudly insisting on a laugh whenever he got up to speak in front of people. He was always introducing himself as, “Hi I’m David Hernandez and I’m a famous Poet.” No one could resist giggling at the notion. All jokes aside, he was always encouraging and mentoring young poets including myself. David Hernandez was the first poet I every saw or met. I first saw David in 1987, I was a sophomore at Clemente High School and part of the Clemente Steel Band. We were invited to play at one of Chicago’s sesquicentennial celebration in Navy Pier. There I saw from far away David Hernandez on stage in front of Hundreds of people reading his Chicago poem for which he had been commissioned to write. A couple of years later, I saw him again in my classroom at Clemente. He had been invited to recite poetry to the students in the Youth Guidance program.

But I still didn’t have a desire to be a poet until a couple of years after in 1991, I was walking west on Division Street, towards Damen Avenue when I came across a café called Random Worlds. There I saw through the window, a tiny-plump Puerto Rican man reciting his poetry with enormous confidence and humor. I stepped in and took a seat to listed. When the program was over, I introduced myself and told him that I had written a couple of poems. He invited me to bring the poems the following week to read. As fate would have it, I returned to the Café the following week and after reading my first poem, I instantly knew I was going to be a poet for the rest of my life. Over 20 years later, I still rely on the dedication he wrote to me when he signed a copy of his book Roof Top Piper in 1993.

He wrote, “For Eduardo the poet I always wanted to be and finally became…sigue con las palabras and your quality life! Love David.” Thank you David Hernandez, for helping me and many others become real poets.

by Eduardo Arocho

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Desde la orillita con Joelle

Posted on 26 March 2013 by alejandro

La Familia de Ángeles
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Al Tribunal Supremo de San Juan, Puerto Rico entran dos damas erguidas, cartera en mano, maquilladas y bien vestidas.  Ambas tienen ese aire de gallardía que algunas veces acompaña a los juristas. A  todas luces podrían ser parte de un grupo de magistrados del interés público, líderes de la judicatura  o simplemente  dos ciudadanas llamadas al deber público de ser jurado. La realidad es amargamente  otra,  Ángeles Acosta y Carmen Milagros Vélez son dos  madres.  Dos mujeres  luchadoras, excelentes ciudadanas, responsables, profesionales y lesbianas que llevan un caso en contra del Estado para que se reconozca la adopción de Ángeles como madre de la hija biológica de Vélez, quien es profesora universitaria.  Si fuese denegada esta sería  la cuarta vez que  a la  peticionaria, se le cuartara  su derecho a declarar legalmente a su familia, compuesta de  su compañera Milagros y de la hija de ambas. “Ella es mi hija desde que nació y así me reconoce”, afirma Ángeles sobre la hija de ambas mujeres quienes mantienen una relación de pareja desde 1988.  A los ocho años de convivencia decidieron convertirse en madres, mediante el método de inseminación artificial. La mujer con voz entrecortada por la situación tan inusitada del caso asegura “hasta ahora solo me han conocido como la peticionaria del caso A.A.R , hoy conocerán a Ángeles Acosta”.

Ángeles Acosta es una sicóloga clínica especialista en niños con impedimentos,  una profesora universitaria y una madre a la cual los jueces del Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico le niegan sus derechos.  En la víspera, la mujer había decidido que mostraría su rostro para que los jueces y el país vieran su realidad,  la de una madre como cualquier otra.  Para explicar la gravedad del caso la mujer declaró que la ley le prohíbe  algo tan cotidiano como acarrear a su hija de un  lugar a otro.  “Tengo que solicitar un poder legal para poder transportar a la niña”.  Agregó que no podía ni llevarla al médico.

El Tribunal Supremo decidió, en una votación dividida, que  Ángeles  no puede adoptar a la hija biológica de su pareja, también mujer, sin que Milagros  pierda su vínculo jurídico con la menor. La opinión mayoritaria, fue emitida por la  jueza Mildred Pabón Charneco, quien basó la determinación en que el discrimen por orientación sexual no está prohibido en la Constitución. La  votación dividida  resolvió que el artículo 138 del Código Civil impide la adopción solicitada y que esta prohibición es válida. Los  otros jueces conservadores  que hicieron eco de esta desacertada opinión fueron: Rafael Martínez Torres, Erick Kolthoff Caraballo, Edgardo Rivera García y Roberto Feliberti Cintrón.
El juez presidente del Tribunal Supremo, Federico Hernández y las juezas asociadas Ileana Fiol Matta y Anabelle Rodríguez Rodríguez, así como el juez Luis Estrella Martínez, fueron las voces disidentes y apoyaron la petición de Ángeles. Sus  opiniones se basaron  en  que el artículo cuestionado no prohibía la adopción solicitada. También añadieron “no podemos ignorar el hecho de que este proceder nos aísla de lo que está sucediendo en el resto del mundo”.

Para afianzar su causa, Ángeles compara su lucha con la de los negros. Mirando hacia el edificio que alberga el Tribunal Supremo, la mujer confía en que prevalecerá con sus nuevos argumentos.  Esta vez su  moción abarca temas  como el  mejor interés y bienestar de la menor, la figura jurídica del segundo progenitor a cargo de la niña también conocida como Second Parent Adoption, la equidad  y también incluye argumentos constitucionales estatales y federales. Ella espera con firmeza y seguridad que al darle un rostro  a sus verdugos en ese foro legal, ellos  tomen  conciencia, se expresen de otra  manera  y que reconozca la diversidad e igualdad que existe en nuestra sociedad.
A esta epopeya jurídico-civil se ha vinculado otro “issue” paralelo al increíble caso de Ángeles, pues los cambios a la Ley 54 podrían ofrecer  una esperanza a estas dos mujeres que quieren legalizar su familia. El gobernador Alejandro García Padilla se ha pronunciado a favor de  someter  dos proyectos para darles “las protecciones adoptantes independientemente de su orientación sexual”, entre otros cambios a esta arcaica ley. Para el gobernador es importante hacer los cambios de la Ley 54 para que  estos sean cónsonos a  ley federal de Violencia Doméstica contra la Mujer. Por lo tanto es  conveniente  que el lenguaje de dicha ley en Puerto Rico garantice  la protección a todas las parejas, independientemente de su estado civil, orientación sexual y de su estatus migratorio. Irónicamente, lo  más importante para el gobernador  es no perder “las asignaciones federales”. Sin los cambios sugeridos por el gobernador  se pondrían en peligro unos $10 millones en asignaciones al Gobierno e instituciones que ayudan a las víctimas  de la violencia de género. Vale señalar que  tanto los ex gobernadores, Sila M. Calderón,  Pedro Rosselló, la alcaldesa de San Juan Carmen Yulín, los presidentes del Senado y Cámara de Representantes, grupos LGBTT y otras instituciones han declarado su sentir a favor de cambios progresistas a esta ley  para asegurar los derechos civiles y humanos de todos los ciudadanos.
El caso de Ángeles y Milagros  es extraordinario y altamente humano. Estamos frente a un atropello, donde no existen recursos legales para apoyar el derecho humano y civil que ellas tienen: legalizar su vínculo como familia. La familia es  un grupo social constituido por personas unidas por la sangre, el matrimonio o la adopción, caracterizado por tener una residencia común, cooperación económica, reproducción y cuidado de la descendencia. Estas  dos mujeres lesbianas son una familia en conjunto con su hija. Al someterse al escrutinio público, Ángeles ha dado un paso gigantesco, dándole una cara humana a este enredo político, jurídico y social. Cuando el presidente de EEUU,  Barack Obama en su discurso inaugural del  21 de enero de 2013 dijo, “nuestro viaje no está completo hasta que nuestros hermanos y hermanas “gays” sean tratados como cualquier otra persona en virtud de la ley”, seguro se refería a nuestras heroínas estas dos  madres lesbianas puertorriqueñas, Ángeles y Milagros.

por Joelle Gonzalez-Laguer, MFA —–
Foto mariel.mejia@gfrmedia.com de  Primerahora.

Joelle González-Laguer MFA
Es Cineasta, Profesor y  Escritor.  Se ha desempeñado como catedrático de Cine y Televisión en New York City. Galardonado con  tres becas CUNY (Educational Development Grants) de desarrollo educativo que le permitió vivir en la Argentina y Cuba. Ex-Moderador y anfitrión del Festival de Cine de La Habana en Nueva York. Escritor, Productor y Director de  varios documentales.  Autor del poemario: Pitonisa de San Juan. Actualmente escribe una adaptación de ficción para el cine.

Nota del escritor.
En  mis años de crianza en Isabela PR, mi abuela siempre me decía “nene vete por la orillita”, eso ha sido  una gran enseñanza para este divagar por la vida. Cuando uno observa las cosas sin estar sumergido en el meollo del asunto, las situaciones se ven claras, diáfanas, sin prejuicio, así  mismo desde orillita, como un silente observador desde la  periferia. Consecuentemente decidí llamar esta columna,
Desde la orillita con Joelle.

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Paseo Boricua Tribute to President Hugo Chavez

Posted on 26 March 2013 by alejandro

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Members of the Chicago Latino Community, particularly the Puerto Rican and Mexican communities, held a service at Adalberto United Methodist Church on Paseo Boricua on Sunday, March 10th to honor the deceased President Hugo Chavez. The program opened with a welcoming statement by Emma Lozano from Centro Sin Fronteras and Jose López of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center with an invocation by Rev. Slim Coleman. This was followed by a cultural presentation of a song from one of the young members of Adalberto Church and a poetry reading by Judy Diaz of Pedro Albizu Campos High School. The Consul General of Venezuela, Jesús Rodríguez Espinoza, delivered a moving and powerful message. He recounted the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution, including the reduction of poverty from 60% to 20%. He also pointed to the successful literacy and health campaigns and the level of engagement of the participatory democracy projects they have developed throughout the country, where the citizens are even able to articulate the local budgets. Additionally, another great achievement was the implementation of the 6-hour workweek. The Consul General of the Republic of Haiti of Chicago, Lesly Condé and the Consul General of the Comorros Islands, Sultan Shafiq Hakim also expressed their condolences to the Venezuelan people and their admiration for President Hugo Chavez. A group of young people who had attended the World Youth Congress in Caracas in 2005 mounted a symbolic honor guard in front of the registry book with a picture of Hugo Chavez. All who attended the event signed the registry book. Minister Abel Muhammad from the nation of Islam and Pastor Pedro Windsor of La Capilla del Barrio delivered a closing prayer.

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BACCA Anti-underage drinking campaign. Promotes Humboldt Park Youth as Agents of Change & Inspiration

Posted on 26 March 2013 by alejandro

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As part of the Barrio Arts, Culture, and Communication Academy (BACCA), a group of youth from the Humboldt Park community has become involved in a campaign to address the issue of underage drinking in the community. BACCA is an innovative after school program developed by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) in collaboration with La Capilla del Barrio Community Chapel and funding from the Bethany United Hospital Fund. The program hopes to provide an alternative outlet to substance abuse. In addition, BACCA seeks to integrate community, culture, and multimedia production to empower youth to be agents of change and inspiration in their community.

The program also seeks to develop the assets that youth already have but which are rarely, if ever, validated in standard educational programs and schools. By working with a group of students, as youth organizers, these young people with be creating meaningful program to engage other youth at their schools and community. We hope to create awareness in the community that will speak to the idea of positive transformation and possibility. We will be creating fliers, posters, theatrical productions, video PSAs, hosting events, and visiting schools. We will be working with high school students, particularly in Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School, Roberto Clemente High School, and ASPIRA High School.

Reflection from Jashlee Ann Turbe

The underage drinking prevention campaign has really helped me understand the importance of being part of a program that attempts to provide positive events for youth in the community.  Before getting to know the campaign, I always used to judge people when I saw them drinking and notice that they would become violent towards others and themselves.  I have made some research and came to the conclusion that there are three common reasons why young people drink: they are depressed, their parents gave them their first drink or their peers influence them.  However with being part the campaign, I came to realize that we as a community have to make some changes now especially reaching out to the youth before it is to late. I have become very aware of these issues.  We have been thinking of ideas to show the youth that they have alternatives in which they can be part of creating a solution for positive change.  For example, we will be having monthly events that will allow for youth to be engaged in something different and meaningful for them to do.  The campaign would also like to show that we have a safe environment where youth can come use the space, just hang out with us, and even help us creating events for our campaign.  We hope that this program will be a motivating force in the community to create something great and unique for youth.

Reflection from Edwin Diaz

Underage drinking is something common in the community that I live in. Many young people are involved in drinking and many of my friends are as well. I always thought why do young people turn to alcohol and that was a question I had wondered for a while now. I have come to understand that many do it to deal with the problem they are facing. When I finally found out that young people drink because of problems in their family, stress, and other issues that are often not dealt with in my community I decided to play a role in which I am part of a solution to provide other ways in dealing with our problems. I understand what they are going through.  To keep my head away from drinking I joined an organization that is called the anti underage drinking campaign. Through the campaign, I am able to understand and see how many teens are feeling towards underage drinking and their opinion on the subject. Not only that, I am able to help create positive change to help others in my community. Through creating messages, workshops, and invents we hope to reach young people around that need it the most. We encourage them to take up the leadership and drop the bottle. We also would like for others in the community to show to us how to be more responsible, which I think is very important.

by Nito Morales

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Billy Ocasio sets new vision for Norwegian American Hospital as Board President

Posted on 26 March 2013 by alejandro

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Below is an excerpt of an interview with Billy Ocasio, CEO of the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. Billy was elected as Chair of the Board of the Trustees at Norwegian American Hospital last October. Billy was born in Norwegian American Hospital and is a life long resident of the Humboldt Park community. He most recently served as a senior advisor to Governor Pat Quinn. Previous to that he served as alderman of the 26th ward in Chicago. In the interview Billy discusses the further development of Norwegian America Hospital.

What role do you think the Norwegian American Hospital plays in the Humboldt Park community?

Along with providing the highest level of care in the Humboldt Park community, one of the major roles the hospital plays is that it’s an employment engine. It employs 800 community residents. The hospital employs more people than any other organization in community. The hospital also meets the health care needs of the community. We see many people with diabetes and other health needs. Yet it’s more about what the hospital can become. It is a place that employs the most community residents and now it is in line to become a place that can meet all the different health needs of the community, including diabetes, behavioral health, heart issues and asthma.

What is your vision for the hospital?

We need to reinvent ourselves. First, we need to find out what are the health needs of the community. Second, let’s recruit those doctors that can provide those resources for the community. José Sanchez, the CEO and President of Norwegian American Hospital and the Board of Trustees are making great strides to bring in the best doctors to Norwegian. We have spent the last 6-8 months talking to doctors. We have recruited a couple hundred new accredited doctors to join the Norwegian American Hospital staff. We have also just opened a new 15-bed psych unit to deal with the mental health needs of the community. Third, we need to align ourselves with well-established institutions that can provide resources that we cannot meet on our own. We have a new partnership with the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital to further meet the community’s needs. Fourth, how do we utilize our vacant land to bring in resources? We are working with the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation to provide Latino veterans and their families with affordable housing. The new building, which will include 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms units, will bring a new holistic approach to meeting the needs of these families. There is no place that targets Latino veterans and their families and we want to ensure that those families are properly served.

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PACHS Student Places 2nd in Louder Than a Bomb

Posted on 26 March 2013 by alejandro

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I have had the privilege of coaching this year’s Louder Than A Bomb teen slam poetry team here at PACHS. The best and most concise description of the competition comes from the Young Chicago Author’s website: Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) was founded in 2001, by Kevin Coval (YCA Artistic Director) and Anna West. LTAB is t he largest youth poetry festival in the world, featuring over 100 zip codes within the Chicago-land area. LTAB was created to give youth around the city of Chicago a platform to share their stories. The festival has since become a “bridge” for young people from many different backgrounds to come together and find a common ground through their narratives.
This is the 13th year of the LTAB Festival and what began with only 4 teams competing now has 100 teams of Chicagoland youth pouring out their hearts, minds, and souls on stage. PACHS has finished the first two preliminary bouts as of Wednesday, February 27, 2013. We have placed 2nd in both of those bouts. Each time in competition, our students have placed with some of the highest scores in that particular round. ‘Prelims’ will be complete on Friday, March 1, 2013 and we will know then if PACHS has made it to the semi-finals as a team. We do, however, in addition to group prospects, have individuals that may go on to the individual finals competition. PACHS has the reputation at the Festival of being “raw” or in other words really, really awesome. And this year, our students are living up to that reputation. Marc Smith, the founder of the genre of “slam” poetry visited the opening ceremony of Louder Than A Bomb this year and told the students that slam poetry is about the marriage of poetry and performance. Our team this year has skill in both arenas. We have put in hours of work and have truly demonstrated the essence of dedication, commitment, and teamwork.

They have a saying at LTAB: “It’s not about the points it’s about the poetry.” This spirit of mutual support and encouragement breeds appreciation of diversity and an atmosphere of kinship among the students from all schools and neighborhoods that is unparalleled in this city. Our students have become a part of a large family of poets and artists and I have witnessed them becoming better, more confident and self-assured young people for it. With their work, they have inspired other students, judges, themselves, and their fellow classmates. But most of all, they have inspired me. – Oni Woods, PACHS teacher.

by Oni Woods

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Carnal Masquerade – Art Exhibit @ IPRAC

Posted on 05 March 2013 by alejandro

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Carnal Masquerade @ IPRAC
Paintings by Santiago Flores-Charneco 

The Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture is opening a new art exhibitMascarada Carnal/Carnal Masquerade, featuring ten large scale paintings by Puerto Rican artist Santiago Flores-Charneco, a recent grant recipient from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, in New York, as part of their program for support and recognition of artists whose creative production is of exceptional quality. The work of Flores-Charneco is characterized by the fragmentation of the canvas, manually sewing pieces of paintings over which, on occasions he also integrates the glossy element of the sequin. The subject matter of these paintings is the carnival, which is manifested not only in the paintings’ display of vivid colors and throbbing flesh, but also in the disarticulation of stances that music and dance provoke, in unison, a sensual unleashing of rhythmic orgies. The exhibition will be open until August 23, 2013 at the main gallery of IPRAC, located in Humboldt Park, at 3015 W. Division Street, in Chicago. For more information please call (773) 486-8345, or fax: (773) 486-8806.

Foto artista 3web

Carnal Masquerade

Flesh and color burst in abundance out of these ten paintings by Santiago Flores-Charneco. Both elements are paramount and not by mere coincidence to the celebration of carnival, to which this Puerto Rican artist has decided to pay a vibrant visual tribute through this recent series of works. For, in these works, such an outburst is not a simple, casual metaphor. It becomes manifest not only in the paintings’ display of vivid color and throbbing flesh, but also in the disarticulation of stances that music and dance provoke, and which generate, in unison, a sensual unleashing of rhythmic orgies. Such outburst also permeates the materials and the composition that form these works; created and recreated by the untiring artist, the paintings are made up of cut-out fragments from other paintings, which Flores joins by means of sewing, as if putting together a pictorial jigsaw puzzle. The streams of paint, the circles of impasto and the glitter of the sequins build the work upon itself in a continuous process, thus erasing the antagonistic essence between the fragments and the finished work.

Through the paintings that make up this series, Santiago Flores-Charneco once again takes up and culminates a creative process and the formulation of a visual lexicon that span a few decades. Painting and sewing be it of pieces of fabric or beads a practice that links him to the tradition of popular arts and crafts) furnish his production with an enormously tactile richness and a lavishness that Puerto Rican art often lacks. In regard to Flores-Charneco, the delayed abstractionism he has practiced thus far begins to fade as he now introduces his work to latent, figurative references, with traces of masks of traditional Puerto Rican cabezudos and vejigantes, and with a true display of playful eroticism through the use of the human figure. Appearance and delusion take on a vital role in this pictorial masquerade, as well. Imbued with the liberty that carnival festivities grant, the figures that stir their bodies to the rhythm of the son in carnival parades unleash their unbridled passions, shielded in the anonymity of their sketched faces.

The life force that these paintings radiate, along with the apparent creative swiftness of the artist, conceal the technical scrupulousness and determination of someone who works with the outmost precision and care. Nothing in these works by Flores-Charneco is the product of randomness; not the feverish motion, nor the dislodged figures or the exuberant chaos of color in which they bathe. They are all inescapable elements of carnival, that carnival that stems from ancient African and Caribbean tradition, and which now flows into this Puerto Rican dance troupe. / Laura Bravo, Ph.D.

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La Caída de un Imperio: La Comay

Posted on 05 March 2013 by alejandro

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El grupo cibernético  Boicot La Comay se desarrolló en  la red social  Facebook y logró la caída del imperio de la marioneta La Comay y su titiritero, Kobbo Santarrosa. Este es el triunfo mediático puertorriqueño más celebrado en nuestros tiempos. La Comay fue una terrorista de los medios.  Un imperio  totalitario que usaba su popularidad para fomentar  la marginación, el acoso y la burla como herramientas para mancillar reputaciones y crear  “un bochinche”.

La debacle  de SuperXclusivo comenzó el 14 de septiembre de 2011 cuando  Kobbo Santarrosa mostró las fotos de un hombre decapitado en San Sebastián.  Ese acto, donde se hacía  un espectáculo morboso de la muerte de un ser humano, no contribuía a la salud mental del pueblo. Nos dimos cuenta entonces  de que La Comay se había pasado de la raya. Vimos la realidad: era una muñeca malévola. Ese día comenzaba la caída de su imperio.  Forzada  por la gerencia de WAPA, la muñeca del terror reculó y pidió disculpas por sus acciones en el programa.  La avalancha de lodo  que producía a diario continuó el 21 de septiembre de 2011 cuando  Santarrosa  explicó el  uso del epíteto “pato” en su programa. En ese momento parecía  que se fumaba la pipa de la paz con la comunidad homosexual, LGBT y con la personas que viven con el flagelo del SIDA, a quienes había criticado y de quienes se había burlado muchas veces.  Dijo: “No volveremos a usar la palabra pato en nuestro programa”. Su rama de olivo resultó falsa, un momento mediático para buscar lo que movía al titiritero, los “ratings”. También el mismo día,  su compinche en el show, Héctor Travieso  declaraba: “En cuarenta años de televisión en Puerto Rico, siempre hemos usado el adjetivo o palabra pato en forma  cómica y a nadie le molestaba”. Esto no es cierto. Era otra artimaña de la muñeca y su socio para continuar el imperio del terror, la opresión y la humillación.

El golpe mortal del show de La Comay ocurrió el 4 de diciembre de 2012. De  forma maquiavélica la muñeca parlante insinuó que la muerte del publicista José Enrique López Saladín había sido auto infligida. En ese momento La Comay cruzó una línea de insensibilidad que no concuerda con la idiosincrasia puertorriqueña. El ser cruel, no es un valor boricua. Nosotros como pueblo somos solidarios con el dolor de otros. Este fue el inicio del fin del imperio. El grupo Boicot a La Comay comenzó a tomar fuerzas huracanadas a finales de noviembre aunque había nacido mucho tiempo antes. Las primeras dos semanas  de diciembre del 2012  fueron el  calvario del titiritero. El día 16 de diciembre, el rotativo NEW YORK TIMES cubría la noticia con un artículo titulado “Por haber comentado sobre una muerte se ha metido en problemas una marioneta”.  Ese día todo estaba consumado para la trilogía del racismo, la homofobia, la xenofobia, la burla, “del bochinche” y  la maldad: La Comay, Kobbo Santarosa y Héctor Travieso.  En el  último párrafo de su cobertura, el afamado periódico dejaba claro que el presidente de WAPA, Joe Ramos, estaba considerando los beneficios y los inconvenientes  de seguir con el show de La Comay.

El éxito del grupo cibernético se debe a que se dedicó a  quitarle uno por uno los auspiciadores al programa. Eran cerca de 50 empresas como Walmart, ATT y Ford. Se les solicitaba formal y respetuosamente que eliminaran sus anuncios en La Comay. El grupo, una simple red social, consiguió 75, 000 miembros en su punto más alto y logró algo sin precedentes: eliminar el primer programa en la televisión puertorriqueña.  El día 8 de enero del 2013, EL NUEVO DÍA amanecía con un titular para la historia, “Renuncia Kobbo Santarosa a WAPA TV”. Ese día los puertorriqueños ganaron. La chabacanería, el odio y la intolerancia engendrado por el trío del terror  dio su  último aletazo.

Joelle Gonzalez-Laguer, MFA

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Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick Visit The Puerto Rican Community

Posted on 05 March 2013 by alejandro

oliver4freemom

From February 1 to 2, 2013, Academy Award director Oliver Stone and American University history professor Peter Kuznick participated in a series of events in the Puerto Rican community in Chicago.  They came to Chicago to screen and discuss The Untold History of the United States, which is the title of the book they co-authored and the ten-part documentary series they produced that was most recently shown on Showtime.

On February 1, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) and the Illinois Coalition against Torture (ICAT) jointly sponsored a program, “Empire, Colonialism, and Torture” at Roberto Clemente High School.  Marcey Sorenson, the principal, welcomed the overflow crowd of more than 700 people to the school.  Margaret Power, the m.c., introduced the program and the speakers.  Peter Kuznick introduced the film that was shown, Vietnam, LBJ, and the Third World by explaining what had transpired in the previous episodes of the series.  The powerful film offered both a coherent overview of U.S. aggression in Vietnam and telling details of its brutality.  It also, however, placed the U.S. war in Vietnam in the context of U.S. intervention in Indonesia, Brazil, and Chile to illustrate the global reach and impact of U.S. imperialism in the 1960s and early 1970s.  Following the film, Oliver Stone, Peter Kuznick, and historian José López discussed the film and responded to questions from the audience. Stone and Kuznick also sold and signed copies of their book, and generously donated all profits to the PRCC and ICAT. Saturday, February 2, Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick spoke at a press conference held at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (IPRAC).  They then attended a luncheon hosted by IPRAC and the PRCC.  When Peter Kuznick spoke at the luncheon, he thanked the Puerto Rican community for its warm welcome and said he now felt himself to be part of the community and looked forward to future activities together.

Margrett Power

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Humboldt Park Very Own Dimar Ortuz

Posted on 05 March 2013 by alejandro

ortuz

Dimar Ortuz is a proud product of Humboldt Park, today a cruise-weight undefeated 7-0 boxer. He carries this label of origin with pride, as part of his promotional presentation, as we can all see on the corner of Division and California. Dimar attended briefly the Consuelo Lee Corretjer Daycare Center, partook in the summer programs sponsored by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center as a young boy, and finally graduated from Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School in 1999. But he is not only excellent in his sport and division, but his life is a testament of human will and power. Dimar has had every reason to not stand where he is at today, but at 31, an age when so many people feel it is not possible to set new goals and ambitions in life, he broke all of the stereotypes of age and life challenges to be 7-0 at 5 knockouts. Our undefeated Dimar, totally a homegrown champ, is a great example of the young people that are produced in Humboldt Park. On behalf of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, we are extraordinarily proud of our homegrown champion as a child of our own, and we know that his beloved mother Elsa Delgado is equally proud. Congratulations, Dimar Ortuz!

Lourdes Lugo

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