Monday, May 31, 2004

Spanish-language news broadcast debuts in Nashville

"Solo Nashville, the area's first Spanish-language television channel, will broadcast translated local news from WTVF-Channel 5 and Nashville City Paper."

"Solo Nashville launched Feb. 18 on local access Channel 42 and also airs programming from TeleFutura Network, a sister channel of Univision Communications Inc. Solo also uses Channel 5's studio to record news briefs and weather reports for daily broadcast."

"There are more than 130,000 Hispanics living in and around Nashville, the station said."

The Tennessean

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Ad sales soar in Hispanic business directory

"Directorio Comercial en Espanol, a local Spanish-language business directory, reported its advertising sales went up 300% over last year."

"The Hispanic Yellow Pages launched last June with 50,000 copies; the edition coming out in July will have 75,000 copies distributed locally."

The Tennessean

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Chicano bands hit Belcourt

"There was a giddy atmosphere at the Belcourt during last Saturday's 'Rock+Ska=Kultura' show, even though the hall was only one-fourth full. Bands like the headliners, Curanderos and Chencha Berrinches, two groups of Chicano post-punks from L.A., don't come around here very often; the small, predominantly Hispanic audience was hungry."

"After awkward but charming turns by local openers Off Duty Ninjas and Lost Generation, Curanderos kicked off their set with the catchy, U2-inspired title track of their 2003 album, Evolucion Show. By the time the balanced, tight quartet, who draw on Latin styles and British new wave, launched into 'Perro,' their Spanish cover of Beck's 'Freak,' most of the audience was in the mosh pit passing around a Mexican flag and a banner emblazoned with the iconic image of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara."


Friday, May 28, 2004

Walking down Nolensville Road puts a human face on Hispanic Nashville

"Maria Valentin of the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center, a nonprofit organization that assists Hispanics with court mediation, walked with me. We began our trek from the Woodbine Community Health Center and headed to Nolensville Road. Back in the early 1970s, I lived in Nolensville when that area was comparatively rural. Today, Nolensville Road is ethnic."

"As in most third-world countries, the weekends on Nolensville Road are street scenes. Hawkers, strolling families, domino players, leaners and sitters gawking and watching the world go by are the attractions. Music drowns out the rumble of the auto. Our urban walk took us into Discoteca Mexico, which, thankfully, has no Britney Spears or Snoop Dog, but instead tunes that will keep the steps light with delight."

"Pick any road in Davidson County and make a few miles. Go slowly, because the urban walk is about learning, not sweating. If you have a plan to walk where there are no sidewalks, call your Metro Council member and ask why there aren't. Meet new friends. Put a human face on the different parts of Nashville, both yours and theirs. I take urban walks, therefore I am."

Nashville Scene

Thursday, May 27, 2004

City Paper cuts hit immigrant beat

"The City Paper today laid off three employees in its editorial department. All three began working at the daily newspaper when it started in November 2000."

"Those employees no longer with the paper include Colleen Creamer, news reporter. Creamer has covered various Metro departments, Vanderbilt, the immigrant population and wrote film reviews."

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

A Day Without a Mexican apocalyptic satire shows immigrant-free California

"If you think it's tough living with all these immigrants from Mexico, imagine how much tougher it would be to live without them. "

"That's the simple but pointed message behind the new film, 'A Day Without a Mexican,' directed by Sergio Arau. This spicy commentary is based on a theory that immigrant advocates have advanced for years — that illegal immigrants from Mexico could bring the world's most powerful nation to its knees without lifting a finger."

"Or rather by not lifting a finger. That's the whole point — that Mexican immigrants could bring America to a standstill by not picking up a hoe, washing a dish, swinging a hammer or doing any of the multitude of tasks for which foreigners are now responsible on an average day."

The Seattle Times, A Day Without a Mexican Official Site

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Metro audit recommends implementation of Vanderbilt-suggested immigrant measures

"[Mayor Bill] Purcell called for the audit after the Metro Department of Finance released the results of two-year study by the Vanderbilt Institute of Public Policy which found more could be done to help integrate the growing but often isolated immigrant community."

"The immigrant study recommended increasing translators, English classes, employment, housing and service providers to immigrants and refugees. It also recommended an effort to increase residents' understanding of the varying cultures, streamlining country-to-country credentialing and matching services to immigrants geographically."

"As well, the Social Services audit recommends implementing the recommendations made by the immigrant study."

"'We had sent some recommendations to the mayor right after the study,' [Department of Social Services interim director Dorothy] Berry said. 'Immigrants and refugees both need the same kind of services. They are both trying to adjust. They need jobs. They need support. And they need communication.'"

Nashville City Paper

Monday, May 24, 2004

USICE deported three from Tennessee in April

"Immigration officials have announced that they deported 123 undocumented immigrants in April from the five-state immigration area — including Tennessee — that is governed by their New Orleans regional headquarters."

"The deportations included three from Tennessee and are part of a new and continuing strategy called 'Operation Endgame,' officials said."

"The crimes of the deported immigrants included one homicide, cocaine possession and forgery, according to information provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."

The Tennessean

Sunday, May 23, 2004

NASCAR creates program to find Hispanic drivers and crew

"Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson will serve as co-chairman of a new NASCAR committee on diversity."

"Part of Johnson's duties will include helping NASCAR in creating a program to identify and develop black, Hispanic and women drivers and crew members. He also will advise NASCAR chief operating officer George Pyne on diversity issues."

The Tennessean

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Hispanics face segregation 50 years after Brown

"At Garfield High in East Los Angeles, 99 percent of nearly 5,000 students are Mexican-American. Similarly, Latinos across the country largely miss out on the experience of going to school with classmates of different races and cultures."

"Today, 50 years after the Supreme Court ended enforced segregation in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Latinos, the nation's largest minority group, are the most segregated in public schools, according to Harvard's Civil Rights Project. The 1954 landmark decision did not apply to Latinos until 1970."

"Besides ethnic isolation, the Civil Rights Project says, Latinos endure overcrowded schools in areas like East Los Angeles, where immigrants settle in large numbers. In addition, Latino-majority schools tend to have less qualified teachers and fewer educational resources, the project says. The large number of immigrant children who arrive at class unable to properly speak English has also hindered academic achievement in the schools, it says."

Georgia school holds separate Hispanic prom

"At Toombs County High School, there are three separate dances: one for blacks, one for whites and this year for the first time, one for Hispanics."

"The idea of separate proms was first introduced by some white parents in the 1970s in response to integration and has remained a tradition ever since."

"School officials said students are invited to attend any of the proms — even all three if they wish."

"But high school junior Anna Rosa Perez said racial crossover is still discouraged at the dances and thinks the school needs to get involved and sponsor one prom for everyone."

Friday, May 21, 2004

Woodland Middle School: 2% Hispanic

"Woodland Middle School opened in the fall of 1994 and has grown steadily ever since. At one point, student enrollment exceeded 1,000 students, but a reconfiguration of attendance zones in Brentwood has enabled the school to shrink back to its current status."

"The new school still on the drawing board for Nolensville will impact Woodland's population but not for long. Fizer said the new school will mainly help Woodland deal with growth so that it can maintain the numbers it has without growing more. It is not likely that a new school in Nolensville will actually reduce the population for Woodland."

"In addition to the overall large population, Woodland is also home to one of the larger Asian populations in the county."

"Fizer said she tries to make sure students are given buddies in class and ESL classes help students who are struggling with language learning."

"Enrollment: 930"

"Hispanic: 2%"

The Tennessean

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Nurses foundation assists Hispanic mothers and newborns, receives United Way grant

"Last week, at 4 months old, Kimberly went home for the first time to a purple room, where she lies in a white crib propped on pillows and connected to four machines that keep her alive."

"It falls to her mother, Lorraina Dominguez, to operate them. Dominguez, 22, speaks no English. Nurses at Vanderbilt University Medical Center used hand gestures to teach Dominguez life-saving techniques. A hospital nurse, who also relies on nonverbal ways to bridge the language barrier, will visit for the next month to make sure mother and baby are OK."

"Filling the gap between the English-language care and Dominguez going it alone with her daughter — her husband works two jobs — is Georgeanna Morse, a bilingual nurse with the Nurses for Newborns Foundation. Morse says she will visit the family for as long as they need her."

"The agency yesterday learned that it had received a $61,500 grant from the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville for the program that serves Kimberly. It is one of more than 80 agencies that got word they were in for a share of an $8.9 million infusion of grants this year. The grants go toward hard-to-fund overhead costs, such as rent and salaries, said Jim Hinton, chairman of the Community Investment Steering Committee for the United Way."

The Tennessean

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Heritage Middle School: 5% Hispanic

"Enrollment: 689"

"Hispanic: 35"

The Tennessean

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Cracker Barrel menu overhaul includes Spanish

"Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has changed its menu, the first major overhaul in 10 years, and has added a Spanish version in its 498 restaurants nationwide."

"In an effort to serve its growing Spanish-speaking customer base, the company has included a separate menu describing dishes in Spanish, accompanied by an English translation."

Nashville City Paper

Monday, May 17, 2004

Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa sets record with Nashville LPGA win

"The 22-year-old won the Franklin American Mortgage Championship at the Legends Club and became the first Mexican to win an LPGA Tour event. She shot a 4-under 68 to finish the week at 16 under, one shot ahead of Wendy Ward and two ahead of Stacy Prammanasudh, who both shot 5-under 67s yesterday."

The Tennessean

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Davidson County officials say education funding fails to account for immigrant student population

"For example, the 12-year-old formula considers a district's growth in student enrollment, but it allots only a dab of dollars based on the number of students in poverty. And there is only a small amount of dollars tied to the number of children in the English as a Second Language program."

"That means districts like Metro, which has high rates of poor and immigrant students, must dig in their own pockets for extra services such as remedial reading programs or ESL teachers to help those students catch up with their peers — an expense many districts don't face."

"'The people who really benefit from this are the Williamson counties,' [Metro school board member Chris] Norris said. 'They're affluent bedroom communities who don't have the high numbers of non-English-speaking or high-needs kids. They're really taking this to the bank. If you look at the money per student that Williamson County gets as opposed to Davidson County, it just makes no sense in terms of who we're targeting in our schools.'"

The Tennessean

Saturday, May 15, 2004

DREAM Act rally today

"A mock graduation ceremony in a south Nashville park is planned as a show of support for a federal proposal to give undocumented immigrant teenagers the chance to attend college legally — and pay in-state tuition."

"Organizers of the Saturday rally for the 'Dream Act' say they expect 200-300 teens and their parents from around the state to be in Coleman Park at 2 p.m."

"Nationally an estimated 50,000-60,000 teens graduate from American high schools each year without legal immigration status, according to the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington. Most were brought into the country illegally by their parents, and some at a very young age."

The Tennessean

Friday, May 14, 2004

Williamson County Hispanic Achievers starts at Centennial High

"This week Hispanic students at Centennial were asked to join the Hispanic Achievers program set up by the Franklin Family YMCA and funded by a $5,000 donation from the Republican Party of Williamson County. The program, a duplicate of a program begun in Nashville two and a half years ago which now has 250 students enrolled, will give students the opportunity to take career-oriented classes at the Cool Springs Belmont University campus, be matched up with mentors and get extra help preparing for things like the ACT and SAT. And it all is free for students."

"Sandy Arteaga, director of the Williamson County Hispanic Achievers program, said students would be able to take classes in seven different career clusters covering everything from education to business, law and government. They also will be matched with community members who want to mentor them. The group will meet twice a month at the Belmont campus on Seaboard Lane in Cool Springs. It is open to students in grades 7-12 and will also include English classes for parents and literacy classes for younger siblings."

"Hispanic students account for 5.9% of Centennial's 1,600 students. That is the largest population of Hispanics in the county right now, said Principal Terry Shrader. But Shrader knows that number will grow because 85% of his students come from the Franklin Special School District, where 9.1% of the students are Hispanic and each year that number grows."

The Tennessean

Thursday, May 13, 2004

House passes driver certificate bill

"The state House of Representatives Wednesday sent a bill setting new standards for immigrant drivers and Tennessee driver’s licensing to the governor for his signature."

"The bill, which was proposed by Gov. Phil Bredesen, would provide that those without legal documentation could obtain a 'driving certificate' but would not be eligible for a valid driver’s license. Those possessing a certificate could drive but could not use the document for any other purpose such as identification."

"The change, following Bredesen’s signature, would take effect July 1. Those who aren’t legally documented persons could keep their current driver license until its expiration, at which point the new 'driving certificate' would be required."

Nashville City Paper, The Tennessean

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Grassland Middle: 1.7% Hispanic

"Enrollment: 931"

"Hispanic: 16"

The Tennessean

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Bredesen's driver certificate bill passed by unanimous Senate; House vote next

"What it would do: Establishes a 'Certificate of Driving' to replace driver's licenses for people who cannot prove they are U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents. Certificate would say in large, bright yellow letters: 'Not valid for ID.' Certificate could not be used to buy guns, board airplanes or show proof of age to buy alcohol."

"What happened: Approved unanimously by the Senate yesterday."

"What's next: Scheduled for a House vote tomorrow."

The Tennessean, Nashville City Paper

Monday, May 10, 2004

Hispanic business owners on the rise

"There are 1.2 million Hispanic-owned firms in the United States — about one of every 16 companies. Ford says there could be 2 million by 2007. What's more, many Hispanic firms are becoming behemoths with growing spending plans. Annual revenue at each of the top 10 exceeds $400 million, says Hispanic Business magazine's most recent list of the United States' 500 biggest."

"Many, such as Goya Foods in Secaucus, N.J., still cater to the traditional sweet spot plumbed by Hispanic firms: other Hispanics. Goya, whose rice and snacks are staples in many Hispanic homes, ranks No. 4 on the magazine's list with $735 million in revenue."

"Still, more Hispanic companies like AMGtech are aiming for hot sectors — like tech consulting services — far from the Hispanic community. That boosts their revenue and spending muscle, drawing more attention from marketers like eBay and Ford."

The Tennessean

Sunday, May 9, 2004

El Protector ramping up

"Metro Chief of Police Ronal Serpas is developing an 'El Protector' program to improve trust and relations between the South Nashville Hispanic community and the Metro Police Department. It is similar to the program Serpas created in the state of Washington to solve Hispanic-related traffic and other problems while he was chief of the Washington State Patrol."

"The program aims to reduce traffic related crime and heighten the Hispanic community’s awareness of Nashville’s traffic safety rules and other laws as well as inform the department of Hispanic issues."

"A new board will meet for the first time in May."

Nashville City Paper

City Paper hails El Protector program

"Historically, police officers are associated with immigration officers in the Hispanic community and real trusting communication is hard to come by. The El Protector program should go a long way to remedy that situation."

"We applaud Police Chief Ronal Serpas for introducing the El Protector program to Nashville."

Nashville City Paper

Saturday, May 8, 2004

Tim Chavez: Support for Hispanic Achievers unites Williamson County

"On May 10 at Centennial High School, the creation of a Hispanic Achievers chapter in Williamson County will be celebrated. It will be one of only seven in the country. Run by the Franklin YMCA, the program will direct local Hispanic students — starting in middle school — toward college and ultimately professional careers."

"[M]eetings started with the county GOP, which wanted to reach out to Hispanics as members and voters. There were a lot of stops and starts, and needed frank discussions on immigration and illegal immigrants."

"The great thing about the Hispanic Achievers' effort during the past 10 months is that different people in Williamson County have been able to learn how much they share: love of family, love of faith, love of tradition and love of labor that makes things better for our children. And these values transcend politics, skin color and annual incomes."

The Tennessean

Friday, May 7, 2004

Hispanic small businesses get boost from World Relief

"Gerardo Mendoza started Ernet, the region's first Spanish-speaking Internet cafe and computer education business, last year."

"A self-taught computer guru, Mendoza said the real learning curve for immigrant entrepreneurs lies in learning the ropes of U.S. tax law, accounting procedures and insurance regulations."

"A year into a business he says is now profitable, Mendoza, 30, [shared] his experiences ... with an expected 150-plus fellow immigrants at Belmont University who are interested in starting their own businesses or opening a franchise."

"[The] effort was organized by World Relief, an agency that helps refugees adjust to life in the United States."

The Tennessean

Thursday, May 6, 2004

Businesses push for Latin America shipping hub at Nashville airport

"The group, operating under the name Perishable Link, has ambitious plans to build a new air cargo hub in Nashville capable of directly importing seafood, fresh-cut flowers and other perishables from Latin America for distribution throughout the eastern United States."

"Imports make up a significant amount of the perishable products that Americans buy and consume each year. Roughly 76% of the seafood purchased in the United States, or some $10.1 billion in 2002, was imported, with a large portion coming from Latin America. Roughly two-thirds of the cut flowers sold here are imported, with countries such as Colombia and Ecuador two of the biggest exporters."

"If brought to fruition, the Perishable Link project would see 747 jets arriving from South and Central America to unload seafood and other perishable cargo into a yet-to-be-built 60,000-square- foot warehouse right off Nashville International Airport's air cargo runway."

The Tennessean

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

State legislator Buck draws fire for use of term "wetback"

"At the committee meeting that sparked controversy, Buck had said, 'Obviously, if they're a wetback in this country illegally, they're not going to have any identification.' He also said, 'The reason they assume the risk of being a wetback is they do really good work.'"

"He apologized later in the day when a reporter asked him about the incident."

"'I may have gotten carried away,' Buck said. 'I'm brash, but I'm not as bad as I may appear. … I didn't know that word was offensive.'"

"Buck said at the meeting yesterday that migrant workers from Mexico kept the economy going in his agricultural district."

"'You couldn't harvest a crop without Mexican help,' he said."

"Renata Soto, director of the Hispanic-serving agency Conexion Americas, was at the hearing. She said Buck's choice of the term 'was not a good word to describe the people who have come to improve their quality of life.' However, Soto applauded Buck's remarks in which he praised the contributions of Hispanic workers in his district."

The Tennessean, WATE, WKRN, WREG, WMC-TV

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Police department recruitment drive seeks diversity

"One major goal in recruiting is for the makeup of the department to mirror the community of Nashville/Davidson County and surrounding counties."

"'I have spoken with the Kurdish community and the Hispanic community and the African American community and all of these contacts that we have made through the process of the administration of this grant. We have built bridges and partnerships that are going to last for years and years to come,' she [Sgt. Dana Lyon of the department’s recruitment unit] said."

"The department also revamped its Web site to include Spanish translations and biographies of officers. The new recruitment brochures, which do use pictures of real police officers because the exposure is more limited, will also include 1,000 copies in Spanish."

Nashville City Paper

Monday, May 3, 2004

Williamson County churches host Cinco de Mayo festival

"More than 10 local churches and organizations are working with La Casa de Mi Padre, a Franklin bilingual church, to put on the celebration."

"'It includes white and African-American people; Russian people; and us Hispanics,' said Jose Duran, pastor of La Casa de Mi Padre."

"'Hispanic' is a U.S. Census designation for people who have a Spanish language heritage. But within this classification are people from different countries throughout this hemisphere. Foods, music and traditions can be different under the same Hispanic designation, as well as race."

"Cinco de Mayo (Fifth of May), however, is a Mexican celebration. It recognizes the Mexican victory over French forces in 1862 in the Battle of Puebla. Like in the United States and our celebration of July 4, Cinco de Mayo represents the end of the dominance of European colonialism."

The Tennessean

Sunday, May 2, 2004

Apartments reveal Nashville's growing diversity

"At meal time, a passer-by can smell Mexican and Central American aromas as well as the exotic mixtures of African cooking - hints that the apartments' residents come from at least 15 countries, making the complex one of the most culturally diverse places in the city."

"In the past five years, the 288-unit complex, set among some businesses and warehouses, has been home to several hundred refugees and immigrants escaping civil war, ethnic slaughter and terrible economic conditions from countries as varied as Somalia, Sudan, Mexico, Honduras, Vietnam, Iraq and Iran."

"Davidson County tops all other Tennessee counties in the percentage of foreign-born residents, more than tripling to 7% since 1990, according to the U.S. Census."

"That proportion of foreign-born residents also puts Davidson in the top 12% among all 3,200 counties in the nation."

The Tennessean

Saturday, May 1, 2004

Robbery spree hits Hispanic businesses

"Many Hispanic-owned businesses across Nashville have been targeted by armed robbers. In the past month, six businesses have been held up - from Nolensville Road in South Nashville to Charlotte Pike on the west side of town. Police believe that fellow Hispanics are behind the crime wave. Now police are asking for help in identifying the culprits."

"Police want help from the Hispanic community in identifying who is behind the crimes. No one has yet been hurt, but police believe that unless the culprits are caught soon, someone will. If you know anything about these crimes, you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME. Spanish-speaking officers will be on hand."

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