Friday, April 29, 2005

New Home Magazine will publish Spanish insert

The Nashville Business Journal reports that New Home Magazine will print a Spanish-language insert in its June issue and seprately distribute the insert to Hispanic businesses in Middle Tennessee.

"New Home Magazine will launch a Spanish publication in June targeting Middle Tennessee's growing Hispanic population."

"The Spanish version will be distributed as an insert in New Home Magazine's 42,000-copy press run, along with an additional 2,500 copies to be distributed to Hispanic businesses in Davidson, Rutherford, Wilson and Williamson counties."

Sara Rivera is the Tennessee regional vice president for New Home Magazine.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Nashville Ballet plans Argentina, Uruguay tour

The Tennessean reports that the Nashville Ballet will go on tour in October in Argentina and Uruguay.

"It will include a suite of ballets the company has previously done to country/folk or, as Vasterling puts it, 'local' music. Past artists whose music has been choreographed by the ballet include Nanci Griffith, Hal Ketchum and Jonell Mosser."

"'And that's something they really want in South America,' [Artistic Director Paul Vasterling] said. 'The American Embassy is giving us support for this tour, and they're extremely keen on the fact that we do ballet to country music, and that we're the 'Nashville' ballet.'"

"The ballet will also welcome a young Argentinian dancer for the summer ..., as well as an Argentinian ballet master who will teach in the school's summer program."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Judge grants custody without enforcing English "recommendation"

The Tennessean reports that Wilson County Juvenile Court Judge Barry Tatum has returned a child to her mother without requiring the mother to demonstrate proficiency in English, as he had "recommended" earlier.

"Victoria Luna, 18, and her 3-year-old daughter, who were reunited Monday, are doing 'great, and the child is thriving,' Luna's attorney, Julie Rowland, said yesterday."

"'She did everything she had to do to get her child back, and it wasn't contingent on learning the English language,' Rowland said."

"Tatum recommended to Luna in January that she use birth control and learn basic English - both of which, Rowland said, were mere suggestions, not orders."

"Luna's case comes on the heels of a similar case still pending in Tatum's courtroom. Felipa Berrera, a Mexican immigrant, was ordered by the judge last fall to learn English and was supposed to be quizzed for language proficiency last week."

"Tatum postponed his questioning of Berrera, who lost custody of her 11-year-old daughter in October."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Hispanic media company buys Nashville's 1240 AM

The Nashville City Paper reports that 1240 AM has been sold to a media company that specializes in Hispanic radio.

"Nashville urban gospel station WNSG 1240 AM is being sold for $2.7 million to a fledgling media company that specializes in the Hispanic market, according to an application pending before the Federal Communications Commission."

"Formed in April 2004, Davidson Media has rapidly grown its holdings to 21 stations in the eastern United States. Most of them are Hispanic stations, although Davidson does operate some gospel formats."

Monday, April 25, 2005

IRS raids Nashville notario in criminal investigation

The Nashville Business Journal reports that Ceja Enterprises, a "notario" business, has been raided and is under a criminal investigation by the Internal Revenue Service.

"Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation agents raided Ceja Enterprises on Nolensville Pike on April 13 and confiscated documents."

"The criminal investigation division investigates potential violations of Internal Revenue laws and related offenses. The division investigates allegations ranging from tax evasion to the aiding of false tax preparations. Pollard declined to say whether this is the first time either the Ceja Enterprises or its owner has been investigated."

"Ceja Enterprises was founded by Carmen Ceja in 1996 and provides a variety of services to the Hispanic community. Based on the company's advertisements, Ceja helps with clients' immigration process, provides financial advice, bookkeeping service for businesses and individuals, and handles tax preparation."

"The IRS investigation adds to recent attention from the Tennessee Bar Association, which is discussing options for legislation - or an amendment to a law - aimed at limiting the use of 'notario publico' in advertisements by Ceja Enterprises and several other businesses."

Friday, April 22, 2005

Reminder: free Latin Music Street Fair tomorrow

The Nashville City Paper reports on the Latin Music Street Fair to be held at Belmont University from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

"'This is the type of event that unites everyone and isn't only for Hispanics,' [David Herrera, instructor of music business at Belmont,] said. 'It's a very festive gathering, a chance for the community to come out and hear authentic Latin music and get the type of diversified and specially prepared Latin food that you can't get in restaurants.'"

"Some 48 vendors are supplying Columbian, South American, Caribbean and Hispanic food for the event. Other booths will present traditional folkloric dancers, mariachi bands, salsa dance lessons, piƱatas and various children's activities like face painting and inflatables. Some particular events include all-day cooking demonstrations with area chefs, and a 'Best Salsa Contest' with finalists from a three-club contest competing for a $500 prize"

"Getting there

What: Musica Caliente, the Latin Music Street Fair

When: Saturday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Where: The intersection of 16th Avenue South and Wedgewood, Belmont's center campus area

Cost: Free and open to the public

Info: 460-6645"

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Tyson CEO promotes integration of expatriate employees

The Tennessean interviewed Tyson Foods CEO John Tyson, who commented on his diverse workforce.

"We have 30 countries and 30 languages represented in our plant. That language barrier can create concern and fear."

"One of our biggest challenges is to try to help people learn how the system works. Within our company, we have people who help teach employees how to use the banking system. If you stop and think about what you can add to the process, it's how to use this great country. We've worked with employees on qualifying for home loans at a lower rate and helping them out with down payments through Freddie Mac."

"Becoming homeowners helps our team members assimilate into the community. If you own something vs. rent, your net worth goes up significantly, not to mention the self-worth and confidence that comes from it."

"For us, what we have to do is make progress in finding those who want to achieve more. Sometimes folks that get started in our plants have had to get started (there) because they couldn't go on to college or get a two-year degree. But they've got some talent. So how do you find those with talent and skill and create an environment where they can take additional educational programs, and maybe aspire to become the plant manager over time, which is farther than they ever thought they'd be able to get."

Tyson Foods is a "Fortune 100 company that sells $26 billion a year of chicken, beef, pork and other meat products."

"The company has six facilities in Tennessee, including a beef and pork plant in Goodlettsville and a poultry plant in Shelbyville."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Short in subjects like foreign language, Tennessee cuts red tape for new teachers

The Tennessean reports that a teacher shortage in subjects including foreign language has prompted measures that make it easier for people to enter the teaching profession.

"Gov. Phil Bredesen's new Teach Tennessee program - which was unanimously approved Friday by the state Board of Education - will allow today's scientists, mathematicians and engineers to become tomorrow's teachers in a short period of time. In fact, anyone accepted into the program in the coming weeks could be teaching in middle and high school classrooms by this fall."

"The program gives people who have a lot of education, training and experience in a field they'd like to teach an ability to enter the classroom quickly without going through a traditional teacher program upfront. They'll go through a lot of scrutiny and training before they start teaching, but they'll have a mentor and a customized plan for wrapping up any necessary college courses while they're working with kids."

"All eligible candidates must have a bachelor's degree, at least 24 college hours in the field they want to teach and five or more years of related experience and pass screening tests and a criminal background check."

"Tennessee public schools have long struggled to find enough teachers in key areas such as math, science, special education and foreign languages."

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Judge puts off English test for Mexican mother reports that Wilson County Judge Barry Tatum relented yesterday when Felipa Berrera of Mexico appeared before him to regain the custody of her 11-year-old daughter. Tatum had previously indicated that Berrera would have to demonstrate proficiency in English at this hearing or risk losing her daughter.

"A juvenile court judge who ordered a Mexican immigrant mother to improve her English or face losing custody of her 11-year-old daughter did not require the woman to answer a series of questions in English in a hearing Monday."

"Juvenile Court Judge Barry Tatum told Felipa Berrera during a closed hearing in October that she would need to show basic English proficiency when she returned to court in six months. But in an about-face at Monday's hearing, which Tatum opened to the public, he didn't require English responses to questions such as where she works, lives and how long she's been in the United States."

"The judge also challenged her attorneys over using the word 'test' to describe the order he had issued."

The language issue may still come up later in the case, at trial. Judge Tatum did not set a trial date Monday.

Barrera speaks Mestico, a native dialect of Mexico. She does not speak Spanish.

WTVF Channel 5 reported on the story in this video.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Latin Music Street Fair set for Saturday, April 23

The Nashville City Paper reports that a Latin music street fair will be held on April 23 at Belmont University.

"Belmont University will host the Latin Music Street Fair April 23 beginning at 11 a.m. on the Belmont campus. The event includes a day-long schedule of Latin music performances; 48 vendors supplying authentic Columbian, South American, Hispanic and Caribbean food; traditional folkloric dancers; mariachi bands; pinatas; and salsa dance lessons. All net profits will go to the YMCA Hispanic Achievers program and Belmont University underrepresented/underprivileged student funds. For more information, visit"

Friday, April 15, 2005

Tennessee experts give keys to Hispanic marketing

Business Tennessee reports on the nuances of marketing to Hispanics. It takes more than just a translation of marketing materials into Spanish.

"You can’t merely go to a computer, translate your sales literature into Spanish, and think that this will suffice, says Mark Robinson, president and executive creative director of Memphis advertising agency Thompson and Co. 'You have to translate your message culturally, as well as linguistically, in order for it to be meaningful and effective.'"

"Even when businesses do attempt the first step toward marketing to the Hispanic community, they often fail to follow through, adds Marcela Gomez, owner of Nashville-based Hispanic Marketing Group. 'What good does it do to translate a brochure or Web site into Spanish, only to find that when Spanish-speaking people call there’s no one on the staff able to communicate with them?'"

"'There’s also a misconception that if it’s not in Spanish, then Hispanic people will not use or buy it,' says Yuri Cunza, president of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and publisher of a La Noticia, a Spanish-language newspaper in Nashville. ... Cunza suggests that businesses hire bilingual personnel and have employees undergo cultural diversity training in order to make Hispanic customers feel more welcome. 'Many Hispanics don’t go into mainstream places because they don’t feel comfortable, because they feel different. If employees were more prepared for and sensitive to cultural differences, it would create a more comfortable, welcoming environment.'"

Other Tennessee experts on Hispanic marketing cited in the article are Diana Holland, president of Nashville-based Hispanic Link Consulting; and Dominique Pryor-Anderson, president and senior creative director of Memphis’s Vida PR Marketing.

A recent Computerworld article reports that most large U.S. firms have not chosen to translate their web sites into Spanish.

"[O]nly 19% of Fortune 100 companies offer Spanish-language content on their U.S. Web sites, according to reports by Ron Rogowski, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. And even Web sites that do offer some Spanish text fall down when it comes to allowing actual financial transactions in Spanish or optimizing their search engines for Spanish queries, Rogowski says."

"But some companies are getting the message. Verizon Communications Inc. places its Spanish link prominently at the top of its Web page and encourages Spanish-speaking call center agents to promote the Spanish Web site. H&R Block Inc. users can get maps and driving directions to local offices with Spanish-speaking advisers. And Home Depot Inc. even remembered to put its privacy policy in Spanish."

"Among state governments, Texas is the only one to provide a full-fledged Spanish-language Web portal for constituents, says Rogowski."

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Saturday guitar gala brings Jose Feliciano to Nashville

The Nashville City Paper reports that Jose Feliciano will perform with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra this Saturday.

"The third annual Gibson and Nashville Chamber Orchestra Guitar Festival presents in the NCO guitar gala Saturday three exceptional soloists, none of whom have ever remotely been concerned with categories, genres or stylistic restrictions. John Jorgenson, Jose Feliciano and Gary Morse have performed everything from rock to blues, R&B, pop, jazz, classical, flamenco and Latin — sometimes in one setting."

"Jose Feliciano has received 16 nominations and won six Grammys in an incredible career that has also seen him appear on 45 gold and/or platinum records and win five Guitar Player magazine reader’s polls. Feliciano is know for both furious forays and delicate, sentimental ballads, and he’s recorded over the years in Spanish and Italian as well as English, while cutting jazz, rock, classical, flamenco and pop sessions. He’ll be joined by the NCO on such numbers as 'Light My Fire,' 'Through The Eyes of Love' and 'Nina.'"

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Hispanic films featured at Nashville Film Festival April 17-20

The Nashville City Paper reports that the 36th Annual Film Festival will run April 14-21 at the Green Hills Cinema.

There are three Hispanic-themed films, scheduled as follows:

Robbing Peter (Feature) April 17th 7:15 pm - A reception sponsored by La Noticia Newspaper starts at 5:30 pm and is free and open to the public.
(Mario de la Vega, USA) A refreshingly original style, deadpan sense of humor and quiet absurdity form this tale of a Mexican out-of-work engineer who agrees to escort an illegal shipment across the border. (screening also on Tuesday, April 19th at 2:15 pm)

House of the Tiger King (Documentary) April 19th 9:35 pm & April 20th 12:00 pm
(David Flamholc, Sweden) A sometimes hilarious story of insane adventure when an eccentric British explorer Tahir Shah searches the jungles of Peru for a lost city of gold.

Give Me Your Hand (Dame La Mano) (Documentary) April 20th 9:15 pm
(Heddy Honigmann, Netherlands) A rousing look at Cuban exiles in New Jersey and the Bronx and their devotion to the rumba - their one connection to their homeland.

"Prices vary per film from $5 to $8 and are available at or by calling (800) 965-4827. An early-bird all-festival laminate that includes access to all films, panels, workshops (excluding the kids workshop), opening and closing galas and a VIP goodie bag may be purchased for $300 or $350 by calling 742-2500."

More information at The Nashville Scene has reviews of all the films in the festival.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Austin Peay opens Hispanic Cultural Center

The Tennessean reports that Austin Peay State University will open a Hispanic Cultural Center tomorrow.

"It will be a place where students can savor Hispanic culture, said APSU student Tina Tarpe, president of the Spanish Honor Society, Pi Nu Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the campus group that proposed the center. 'It will be a place where they (students) can learn about the Hispanic culture, practice speaking Spanish and develop a sense of cultural awareness,' she said. 'It's exciting because it'll be the first time the students have a place where they can do those things.'"

"[Ramon Magrans, APSU professor of languages and literature and an expert in Latin American and Cuban culture,] added it will be a valuable source for those learning Spanish and studying the Hispanic culture, as well as to those in the surrounding communities who might need resources on Hispanic culture."

"In February, APSU topped the list of Tennessee's public colleges and universities with unequaled Hispanic student enrollment. The number of Hispanic students at APSU was up nearly 21% between 2003 and 2004 and more than 21% over the past five years, according to figures provided by Houston Davis, associate vice president for academic affairs at APSU. Fall 2004 APSU enrollment figures show 438 Hispanic students."

"The grand opening ceremony for APSU's Hispanic Cultural Center will be 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. tomorrow in the Morgan University Center. For information, call 221-6100."

Monday, April 11, 2005

Expatriates give up their money and their lives for the United States

The New York Times reports in two articles (here and here) that expatriates living in the United States are dying for this country in war and contributing billions to Social Security without any expected payout.

"At least 22 Mexican citizens have died fighting for United States in two years of war in Iraq, among 63 immigrants who have been killed there; total of 41,000 permanent resident aliens are in US armed forces, 3,639 of them from Mexico; many Mexicans see armed service as fast track to American citizenship."

"As the debate over Social Security heats up, the estimated seven million or so illegal immigrant workers in the United States are now providing the system with a subsidy of as much as $7 billion a year."

"'Our assumption is that about three-quarters of other-than-legal immigrants pay payroll taxes,' said Stephen C. Goss, Social Security's chief actuary, using the agency's term for illegal immigration."

"Illegal immigrants help even more because they will never collect benefits. According to Mr. Goss, without the flow of payroll taxes from wages in the suspense file, the system's long-term funding hole over 75 years would be 10 percent deeper."

"Using data from the Census Bureau's current population survey, Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, an advocacy group in Washington that favors more limits on immigration, estimated that 3.8 million households headed by illegal immigrants generated $6.4 billion in Social Security taxes in 2002."

Friday, April 8, 2005

Tennessean reader proposes "Americans Month"

A letter to the editor of the Tennessean proposes an "Americans Month" in which we practice civility to all.

"Let's designate a month as 'American's Month' and celebrate it by greeting our neighbors with a smile and handshake regardless of where their roots might be. That way we won't slight anyone and maybe promote bringing people together rather than this ongoing business of hurling charges of racism at our fellow Americans at every opportunity."

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Free admission to Manuel at the Frist this Friday

Fourth Birthday Celebration: The Frist Center for the Visual Arts celebrates its fourth birthday Friday, April 8 with a full day of FREE admission (from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.). Current exhibitions include "American Anthem: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum," "Manuel: Star-Spangled Couture" and "Living On: Portraits of Tennessee Survivors and Liberators." Teri Reid will provide musical entertainment on the piano from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts first opened on April 8, 2001. Visit their website for more information

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

City Paper reports on TIRRC legislative reception

The Nashville City Paper summarizes the recent legislative reception organized by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC).

"Among the legislators from Middle Tennessee attending were representatives Rob Briley, Mike Turner and Janis Sontany and Sen. Douglas Henry, each sponsoring bills this session favored by the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), which sponsored the event."

"TIRRC has singled out three immigration bills it wants the legislature to pass this session and four it opposes."

One of the opposed bills was defeated in committee after the TIRRC reception. That story was reported here on March 31.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

State promotes online Spanish class for police

The Tennessean reports that police officers in Nashville are taking online courses in a continuing effort to overcome communication barriers with Hispanics who have difficulty communicating in English.

"State education officials have launched a campaign to encourage law enforcement and correctional officers statewide to sign up for the new online classes."

"The course, Intensive Survival Spanish for Law Enforcement, costs $120, and can be easily accessed by any officer with a computer and an Internet connection. The learning will take place in cyberspace and includes Spanish-language audio clips, communication with the professor, and live tutoring."

The online courses add to the in-person Spanish courses being taken by some Nashville officers.

"Metro Officer Emmett Hunt is among several officers taking classes from a professor at the Police Department's South precinct."

"'As Hunt said, 'Any Spanish you can learn is going to benefit you.'"

Monday, April 4, 2005

Nashville school board considers socio-economic integration as zoning tool

The Tennessean reports that the Metro school board is looking at North Carolina's mix of socio-economic groups as a model for improving education in Davidson County.

"[The Wake County, N.C. school] district disregards race in student assignment and, instead, uses a prescribed mix of low-income and middle-class students to insure diversity. Last year, 91% of its students were performing on grade level."

"During the meeting, the Rev. Andrew Stephens complimented [Wake County school board Chairwoman Susan] Parry on Wake County's desire to make its schools diverse. Parry cautioned that diversity isn't a universal desire."

"'It takes strong leadership, not just at the school system, but from the business community, the parent community, in the African-American and Hispanic communities,'" said Cyndi Soter O'Neil, director of communications and research for the Wake County Educational Partnership.

Six percent of students in Wake County schools are Hispanic, compared with nine percent in Davidson County.

Friday, April 1, 2005

La Hacienda's growth leads to second restaurant, expanded menu

The Tennessean reports that La Hacienda, one of Nashville's best known Mexican restaurants, is opening a second location and expanding its menu to include seafood.

"The new location will be just [at 3744 Nolensville Road], a few miles from the present restaurant, in the former location of New Asia Restaurant and most recently Manbo Restaurant."

"In addition to La Hacienda's standard fare of homemade tortillas, tacos and margaritas, the new restaurant will feature more than 20 seafood offerings.

"A chef from California will whip up fish tacos, shrimp tacos and shrimp and fish soup, among other new items, said Theresa De La Roca, La Hacienda's accounts manager."

"Tostadas de ceviche, an appetizer that combines fish, onion, cilantro and lime juice, also will be on the menu."
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