Daily Archives: Sep 11, 2018

The story of Hispanic Americans stretches from coast to coast and across 500 years of history. The Spanish first arrived in Florida long before the pilgrims and the settled in California. Long before California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas were part of the United States, it was Mexico.

But the history of the United States, as most of us learned it, still begins with Jamestown, Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims.

“We tend to think of the United States as an English thing,” says Ray Suarez, who wrote the companion book to “Latino Americans,” a six-part, three-night documentary series  on PBS. “But this is a case of three empires, Spain, France and Britain, that went charging into this new territory, elbows out, bumping into one another and jostling for dominance.”

In fact, Suarez reminds us, “The first American settlement in 1565 in St. Augustine, Fla., predates Jamestown, and Spanish was the first language spoken in what became the United States. So, Latinos are the newest immigrants to the United States and also the oldest inhabitants.”

Suarez, chief national correspondent for PBS’ “NewsHour,” admits that covering the entire history of Latino Americans in just six hours or 256 pages is “a lot to tackle. It’s a big bite of history, and there’s a lot to stuff into each hour. But I think the series handles that in a way that’s both interesting and coherent, and I hope the book supports that.”

The series and book are structured chronologically, beginning with the earliest history of the Americas. But each episode or chapter also singles out characters (sometimes depicted in dramatizations)

Through whom the story comes alive.

We meet Apolinaria Lorenzana, who as a child is snatched from Mexico and grows old as an important figure in the Spanish Missions.

Juan Seguin, both Texan and Mexican, fights at the Alamo on the American side, next to Davy Crockett. Moving along, in World War II, Macario Garcia becomes the first Mexican National to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor. Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta march for the rights of migrant workers in the 1970s.

Hispanics service to the United States Military can be traced back to the Civil war. Records of Hispanics in the armed forces were not kept until the 1970s, according to the Pew Center for Latino Studies. While some records show that thousands of Hispanic American men — Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans for instance — fought in the Civil War as well as the two World Wars, researchers have determined that many more served and died than official documents show. As a result of the omission, the full story of Hispanic sacrifice may never be fully told. And that is a shame, since Latinos have been part of the building of America — including dying while protecting it — for hundreds of years. If the records don’t show that Hispanics served and died, that we toiled in the trenches and contributed with blood, how does our nation measure Hispanic contributions, let one acknowledge them?

In the new American conversation, cultural celebrations like these matter, and they matter greatly. They help us better explain our Hispanic story to each other and ourselves; they matter for the individual and national psyche, because they allow the 50 million-plus Hispanics, and the larger American family, to better appreciate the Hispanic story within the greater American narrative.

Why is this important to know? By 2050, almost one in three people in the United States will be Latino, a total of more than 130 million, Suarez writes, citing a Pew Hispanic Center projection. Pew also expects the Hispanic population to triple between 2005 and 2050.

As immigration remains a divisive issue, the vision of the United States as a melting pot is different today, Suarez says.

“Our ideas of what becoming American means have changed. The old idea was that we gave up everything we were. In the middle of the 20th century, it wasn’t uncommon for grandparents to talk

to parents in the old language to exclude the children, because they didn’t want the children ever to speak that language.”

Now, the children or grandchildren of immigrants may want to be 100 percent American, or they may want to celebrate their roots and their family history, he says. “It’s up to them. For young Latino Americans, Spanish and English can exist side by side, as two living tongues.”

Suarez’s family came from Puerto Rico in the 1930s, escaping terrible poverty during the Depression, and more followed in the 1950s, when migration was encouraged by both the governments of Puerto Rico and the United States. He was born in New York, the first in the family born on the mainland, and grew up in Brooklyn, “confident that I was Puerto Rican and proud of it.”

Now, his own three kids speak Spanish “from very well to hardly at all,” Suarez says. “It’s been interesting watching them construct their own identity. Their mom isn’t Puerto Rican, so they are figuring out who they are and where they fit.”

By: Gail Pennington




Unveiling of the Hispanic Heritage District Mural Project taking place on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 4:45 pm at 448 Niagara Street, Buffalo, New York.

BUFFALO- The Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, in partnership with the Buffalo Public Schools Art Education Department, with support from the Community Foundation of WNY, will be unveiling a 44’ x 8’ mural designed by Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) students and local WNY artists. The mural depict a visual narrative of our Latino community, as well as the city’s most recent newcomers, of the journey

they experienced as they made their way to Buffalo, New York.

Over 200 Buffalo Public School students and their families, and dozens of community stakeholders, were involved in some capacity in thedevelopment and creation of this mural, called From One Home To Another/De Un Hogar A Otro – a public art piece that the entirecommunity can be proud of. We will then celebrate the unveiling with a Family Fun Arts Night for all community members to partake in.

Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to preserving the history of Hispanics in Western New York for future generations. The Buffalo Public Schools Art Education Department mission is to encourage and cultivate in our students a life-long love, respect and appreciation for the visual arts, helping to make it an integral part of their future successes and achievements.

    Seventeen years out from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the nation comes together Tuesday to mourn and remember a day that changed history.

    The country watched in horror as hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

    The attack killed 2,996 people, making it the deadliest foreign attack ever on U.S. soil.

    Ceremonies begin in New York City on the 9/11 Memorial plaza at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. Family members of victims of the 2001 and 1993 attacks, and they have been invited to participate in this year’s reading of the names.

    For each of the past 16 years, Sept. 11 has been a somber day in America. It’s a day to remember the terrorist attacks that happened in 2001, to honor those who lost their lives, and to celebrate the heroes who worked tirelessly to rescue as many people as possible. Whoever’s president typically commemorates the occasion somehow — but this year, former President Barack Obama’s tweet on the 17th anniversary of 9/11 carries a drastically different message than the one current President Donald Trump released.

    We will always remember everyone we lost on 9/11, thank the first responders who keep us safe, and honor all who defend our country and the ideals that bind us together,” Obama tweeted on Tuesday morning. “There’s nothing our resilience and resolve can’t overcome, and no act of terror can ever change who we are.”

    Trump, by contrast, tweeted eight times before noon on the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The first tweet quoted a Fox News personality, repeating the claim that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. The second did reference Sept. 11; he tweeted the hashtags #NeverForget and #September11th, along with a retweeted of a post from his social media director Dan Scavino. Scavino had released a photo of Trump signing a proclamation “designating ‘Patriot Day 2018’ to honor the memories of the nearly 3,000 lives lost on September 11, 2001, and of every hero who has given their life since that day to protect our safety & our freedom.”Trump next two tweets then turned back to Fox News, mentioning former FBI official Peter Sztrok’s alleged wrongdoings and claiming that Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department “would be behaving no differently than it is” if former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder was running it.

    He moved back to the subject of Sept. 11 with the next tweet, where he honored a specific person who played a role on that day.

    Rudy Giuliani did a GREAT job as Mayor of NYC during the period of September 11th,” Trump tweeted, complimenting his current lawyer. “His leadership, bravery and skill must never be forgotten. Rudy is a TRUE WARRIOR!”


    HOLDEN BEACH, N.C. (Reuters) – More than 1.5 million people were ordered to evacuate their homes along the U.S. southeast coast as Hurricane Florence, the most powerful to menace the Carolinas in nearly three decades, barreled closer on Tuesday.

    Florence, a Category 4 storm packing winds of 130 miles per hour (210 kph), was expected to make landfall on Friday, most likely in southeastern North Carolina near the South Carolina border, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

    U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed declarations of emergency for both North Carolina and South Carolina, a step that frees up federal money and resources for storm response.

    Residents boarded up their homes and stripped grocery stores bare of food, water and supplies. The South Carolina Highway Patrol sent “flush cars” eastbound on major highways to clear traffic, before reversing lanes on major roadways to speed the evacuation of the coast, state officials said on Twitter.

    South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered about 1 million residents along his state’s coastline to leave starting at noon on Tuesday, when the highways will become westbound only. He evoked the memory of 1989’s Hurricane Hugo, which killed 27 people in the state, in urging people to comply.

    “I’d rather be safe than sorry,” McMaster told ABC’s “Good Morning America” TV show on Tuesday. “We want people to get out and get safe.”

    Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued an evacuation order for about 245,000 residents in flood-prone coastal areas beginning at 8 a.m. local time.

    GRAPHIC: Hurricane Florence heads toward Carolinas – tmsnrt.rs/2oZ5m1v


    The storm was located about 950 miles (1,530 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, at 8 a.m. ET, according to the NHC, which warned it would be “an extremely dangerous major hurricane” through Thursday night.

    In addition to flooding the coast with wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as 12 feet (3.7 m), Florence could drop 20 inches to as much as 30 inches (51 cm to 76 cm) of rain in places, posing the risk of deadly flooding miles inland, forecasters said. They warned the storm could linger for days after making landfall, drenching an already saturated landscape.

    Shares of generator maker Generac Holdings Inc rose 3 percent, adding to Monday’s more than 5-percent gain, in expectation that the company will benefit from increased demand as the storm knocks out power for residents in the storm’s path.

    Anticipating a rush for home protection and repair materials, investors also pushed up the shares of Home Depot Inc and Lowe’s Cos Inc for the second day.


    At least 250,000 more people were due to be evacuated from the northern Outer Banks in North Carolina on Tuesday after more than 50,000 people were ordered on Monday to leave Hatteras and Ocracoke, the southernmost of the state’s barrier islands.

    “We haven’t plywooded our house for several years but I am for this one,” said Tom Pahl, 66, by phone from Ocracoke Island. Pahl, who serves as a Hyde County commissioner, said he had not yet made up his mind about leaving the island, which is reachable only by ferry and plane.

    Retired Maryland State Police pilot Paul Jones and his wife hit the road early on Tuesday to avoid traffic from Hatteras Island to their Maryland residence.

    “I will not stay for a hurricane,” Jones, 68, said. “I have had enough excitement in my life.”

    Classified as a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane strength, Florence is the most severe storm to threaten the U.S. mainland this year.

    The United States was hit with a series of high-powered hurricanes last year, including Hurricane Maria, which killed some 3,000 people in Puerto Rico, and Hurricane Harvey, which killed about 68 people and caused an estimated $1.25 billion in damage with catastrophic flooding in Houston.

    Onondaga County works hard to promote its lakes and parks, plus secure job opportunities to attract and retain residents and a creative workforce. Tourism initiatives have made Syracuse one of the top places to live in the state, according to U.S. News & World Report. The arts and entertainment industry plays a key part in this.

    For events in your area staring in September 2018 visit: http://CNYarts.org

    Central New York’s Arts and Entertainment Calendar  http://CNYarts.org

    This industry not only enhances a community’s culture and improves quality of life, it serves as an economic driver. Investment in the arts supports full-time jobs, household income and generates tax revenue to local and state governments. There has been evidence of how local support of the arts has strengthened the economic vitality of Syracuse and Onondaga County at large.

    In 2018, once again, there will be a Tourism & Economic Development Grant Program made possible by the leadership of Onondaga County and supported by the majority of the Legislature. Created five years ago, this program is managed by CNY Arts and greatly impacts Onondaga County.

    In 2017, $100,000 was distributed among arts organizations that were able to leverage other funds to create programs that attract out-of-town and local audiences, benefiting quality of life and local economic vitality.

    For instance, based on a formula derived through the 2012 Economic Impact Study developed by Le Moyne College in conjunction with Americans for the Arts, the awardees for this cycle are estimated to have generated at least $1,856,820 economic impact on the County of Onondaga, while hosting over 68,415 audience members. Almost one-third of these were visitors to Onondaga County.

    This report also determined that in the greater Syracuse area, an audience member additionally spends an average of $21.66 (residents) or $37.57 (non-residents) on event-related spending (such as going out to dinner, coffee and dessert, hotels). Programming that attracts visitors from out of the county brings new dollars to the table that could have been spent elsewhere.

    Grant recipients include four Syracuse-based nonprofits, including Everson Museum of Art, which received $30,000 for its first “Ceramics Symposium and Exhibition,” which coincided with its exhibition “From Funk to Punk: Left Coast Ceramics.” The symposium welcomed 62 registrants, 53 percent of whom traveled from outside of Onondaga County to attend. “From Funk to Punk” attracted more than 6,000 visitors in two months.

    Redhouse Arts Center’s $20,000 went toward its City Center marketing campaign and “The Little Dog Laughed” production. The direct mail campaign included more than 30,000 out-of-area households to inform them of their expansion into a new downtown facility.

    Symphoria’s “Fourth of July Concert” at the Lakeview Amphitheater welcomed an audience of over 5,000 from across the region and the “Video Game Music Concert” at the Landmark Theatre received $25,000. Thanks to the funding, the organization can continue to provide more and diverse programming, while strengthening collaborations with local businesses.

    Syracuse Stage’s holiday production of “The Wizard of Oz” received $25,000. This allowed Syracuse Stage to promote sensory-friendly performances and their Ruby Red Slippers Ball, a New Year’s celebration. Twenty-four percent of the show’s 23,000 patrons were from outside the county.

    The Tourism & Economic Development Grant Program was developed by Chair of the Onondaga County Legislature, Ryan McMahon. “Onondaga County continues to invest in cultural organizations and economic development projects that will ensure we are attracting new businesses and visitors while providing our residents with the arts and cultural opportunities they desire,” said McMahon.

    The Tourism & Economic Development Grant program supports promotional and marketing projects, allowing arts organizations to implement new community engagement initiatives to deepen, broaden or diversify their audience.

    In addition to the economic development program developed by the Legislature, each year County Executive Joanie Mahoney has been a strong advocate for arts organizations, requesting in the Executive budget presentation a dedicated funding stream for arts, culture and heritage that is derived from the hotel room and occupancy taxes paid by visitors to the county.

    “We are incredibly grateful to Onondaga County’s leadership for their continued interest and support of the arts, culture and heritage sector,” said CNY Arts executive director Stephen Butler. “The organizations and programs selected this year offer a unique cultural and entertaining experiences for families and visitors to Syracuse and Onondaga County.”

    CNY Arts also awarded $86,000 in project support grants to 31 organizations throughout the county. Awards ranging from $500 to $1,000 were awarded to diverse organizations including Civic Morning Musicals, Juneteenth, Clear Path for Veterans, Wacheva Cultural Arts, Armory Square Association and Syracuse Poster Project. Decisions were made based on artistic merit, collaboration and benefit to the community by a peer panel of community members and arts professionals.

    For more information about the 2018 grant programs and past grant recipients, visit the CNY Arts website, cnyarts.org/grants.

    Story by: Christopher Malone


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