Monday, November 30, 2009

Angelica Blanco expands Imagen Latina show to TV after two years on radio

The Imagen Latina radio show, hosted by Angelica Blanco, recently expanded into television, with the debut episodes available on the Imagen Latina YouTube channel.

The radio show has been running for two years and was profiled in the Spanish-language Nashville newspaper Latino News in conjunction with the show's first anniversary in 2008.

Host Angelica Blanco is also head of Imagen Marketing Consulting and was profiled by eSpanglish magazine in this 2008 article.

Blanco is from Colombia, and before she came to the United States in 2000, she worked in the diverse fields of business, dance, and military service, according to her bio. She describes a five-year process of learning English, which culminated in the opening of her own business, Imagen Marketing Consulting. Before she mastered English, however, Blanco worked first "as a cook by day and unloading trucks at a warehouse by night" and subsequently opened a commercial cleaning business claiming such clients as PF Changs and Buca di Bepo.

Blanco also worked at Conexion Americas for three years. She was the Manager of Community Outreach and contributed to the development of the Spanish information line and the creation the one-on-one case management program, helping clients with translations, appointments, and interactions with service providers.

Blanco's Facebook page reports that she was recently interviewed by the Christian Broadcast Network for a March 2010 broadcast, and her bio states:
All of my life I have seen the hand of God at work in miracles, signs and wonders.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The sacrifice that honors me is

I am God Most High!

The only sacrifice I want
is for you to be thankful
and to keep your word.

Pray to me in time of trouble.
I will rescue you,
and you will honor me.

But to the wicked I say:

"You don't have the right
to mention my laws
or claim
to keep our agreement!

You refused correction
and rejected my commands.

You made friends
with every crook you met,
and you liked people who break
their wedding vows.

You talked only about violence
and told nothing but lies;
you sat around gossiping,
ruining the reputation
of your own relatives."

When you did all of this,
I didn't say a word,
and you thought,
"God is just like us!"

But now I will accuse you.

You have ignored me!

So pay close attention
or I will tear you apart,
and no one can help you.

The sacrifice that honors me
is a thankful heart.

Obey me, and I, your God,
will show my power to save.

Psalm 15:14-23, Contemporary English Version

Photo by Kyle Steed. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

December 4 is lottery application deadline for Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary School

Photo source: Glendale on Facebook

"The teachers are amazing"

One of the highest TCAP scores in the city

All incoming MNPS K students are eligible for the lottery

The lottery deadline for 2010-2011 enrollment in Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary School is December 4, 2009. The school encourages families to get their paperwork in now.

According to its web site, Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary offers an exclusive Spanish immersion school curriculum and all incoming MNPS K students are eligible for the lottery, regardless of where you live. There is no longer entrance into a traditional elementary program.

Spanish materials are provided by parents, and no less than 51% of the teaching is in English, according to the Nashville Public Radio piece "Getting into Glendale" produced by Anne Marshall in February 2009. Marshall also reported that the high demand for Glendale was the driving force behind moving to the magnet model, and the change opened up 40 additional seats.

On, the reviews of Glendale are all five-star:
Glendale has a small population, an enthusiastic PTO and a newly renovated facility. The Spanish Immersion curriculum is highly desired with 200+ incoming students per year wait-listed.
Fabulous school that is only going to get better, especially now that is has become a 100% lottery school specializing in Spanish immersion. In addition, the teachers are amazing and parent envolvement is wonderful.
Glendale is one of the best schools I have looked into.
Glendale Kindergarten teacher Christina Amezquita was named WKRN's "Educator of the Week" for the week of October 22, 2009.

The September 2007 edition of Nashville Parent also raved about the benefits of Spanish immersion and Glendale:
Statistically, the addition or study of a second language helps all areas of the curriculum. “Research has shown that critical thinking skills, listening and even creativity improve in association with foreign language study,” says Janice Rodriguez, executive director of the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute. Beckie Gibson, the coordinator of foreign languages for Metro Nashville Public Schools, agrees, pointing out that when learning a language, you use the whole brain: the left brain — the logical and factual side — as well as the creative parts of the right brain. “It helps students learn their other subjects faster,” Gibson says. “Last year, Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary School (Nashville’s only Spanish immersion school) had one of the highest TCAP scores in the city, so it’s proven it works.”

Application instructions

Applications are available via download at or in person at the Magnet Office (2601 Bransford Avenue Nashville, TN 37206) and must be returned to the office no later than 5:30pm on December 4, 2009. Families interested in touring Glendale Elementary can contact the school directly at 615-279-7970.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Marcia Ramirez: "an exceptional talent with a totally cool sound"

Marcia Ramirez

This week's Nashville Scene has a story about Tennessee Titans quarterback Kerry Collins songwriting with Lisa Hentrich (Mrs. Craig Hentrich) and also Marcia Ramirez. Read the Scene story here and listen to the song the three of them co-wrote - "Running Out of Reasons" - here.

The name "Marcia Ramirez" caught my eye.

Marcia has lived in Nashville for 25 years and has been a back-up musician for Rodney Crowell, Patty Loveless, and others. She has released three solo CD's, all available at CD Baby, with the latest being "Life Goes On." Her first solo CD, "Compromise" was critically acclaimed and Robert K. Oermann called her "an exceptional talent with a totally cool sound. " Her second CD "The Barefoot Sessions" (2005) includes the original version of "You Belong In The Sun" which was cut by Jo Dee Messina and released on Jo Dee's Greatest Hits CD. Marcia's husband is Mike Waldron.

How Marcia Ramirez became Marcia Ramirez is the subject of “Ticket To Tulsa” on "Life Goes On." It is the true story of finding her birth parents, an experience she also describes briefly on her blog here.

Marcia's bio on her official web page is a little thin on the "biographical" in "bio," in my opinion (Marcia - how about an interview with, but a Thanksgiving thought last year offers a glimpse:
I love the quiet time in the mornings when I’m the only one up. It gives me time to reflect. Reflect on how blessed I am. Reflect on the choices I’ve made in my life that have brought me here. Some were good choices, and some were just plain wrong. But thankfully, my savior, Jesus Christ has stayed by my side and guided me through all the dumb mistakes I made to lead me where I need to be. He carried me when I couldn’t walk anymore. He pulled me in the right direction when I was heading for disaster. And He stopped me when I was going too far. No matter now I tried to turn away from Him, He never gave up on me. Never.
Marcia's next gig is at 3rd and Lindsley on Friday, December 11 opening for and then singing in Twelve Against Nature at 7pm:
3rd & Lindsley
Twelve Against Nature
816 3rd Ave S
Nashville Tennessee 37201
US (615) 259-9891
Price: $12.00

This will be a special night...with some special guests sitting with the band. AND.... the background singers get to OPEN the show with our own material!! So come early and support Kim Parent, Tim Buppert and ME as we sing some of our own songs as the Opening Act that night!! Whoo-hoo!!
Follow Marcia Ramirez here:
Facebook Fan Page

Preview Life Goes On below:

Some text verbatim from Marcia Ramirez's MySpace page

Friday, November 20, 2009

Club 700 Hoy taping today; audience members needed

Guests: Fernando Arau, Carlos Baerga

Christian Broadcast Network's Spanish-language version of The 700 Club - translated as Club 700 Hoy (The 700 Club Today) - is looking for live audience members for a taping today in Nashville. The show has been taped in Nashville three times a year, a week at a time, for the past five years. Club 700 Hoy can be viewed at 6am Central Time Sundays on Galavision, on the show's web site, and on the show's YouTube channel.

Today's guests are Fernando Arau, former co-host of Univision's Despierta America, and Carlos Baerga, major league baseball player from Puerto Rico. The taping will take place at North Star Studios at 3201 Dickerson Pike, Nashville, TN 37207 today November 20, 2009 from 1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The taping is free, and audience members will also receive gifts.

For more information, contact Monica Perez, 700 Club Audience Club coordinator, at or 787-485-8758.

More about Club 700 Hoy, from CBN:
CBN has broadcast The 700 Club continuously in Latin America for the last 40 years, making it one of the longest-running programs in the region's broadcast history.

Now Club 700 Hoy presents its latest cutting-edge Spanish version of the program. Hosted by reknowned musician Hector Hermosillo and the multitalented Amarilis Rivera. The show continues to offer a mix of commentary, interviews, music highlights, and feature stories.

Club 700 Hoy airs in many local markets across the United States, including the number one ranked Hispanic market in the United States, Univision 34, broadcast in Los Angeles. It can also be seen in more than 16 countries across Latin America.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Alba Gonzalez-Nylander a winner of Office Depot "Adopt a Small Business Contest"

Alba Gonzalez-Nylander of Alba Videos Production announced her company's winning entry in The Office Depot Adopt a Small Business Contest. The contest asked small business owners to submit short videos explaining how they were weathering the economy, and the video submitted by Gonzalez-Nylander was selected as one of the winning entries.

“I was very pleased and surprised to be one of the winners,” said Gonzalez-Nylander. “I have really adapted my business to serve those who the need for high quality video and production but not necessarily large budgets. I have been able to sustain my business through these tough times by being more flexible.”

Based in Franklin, Tennessee, Alba Video Production produces television commercials, corporate videos and other video content. In addition, the company provides streaming of video content to the web.

As a winner, Alba Video Production received a prize package of Office Depot gift cards and technical services with a value of approximately $2,000.

The company's winning video entry can be viewed on Facebook here.

For more information on the company, visit
Facebook: Alba Videos Production
Twitter: AlbaDeli_Video
Phone: 615-479-3046

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rotary Nashville group returns from month-long Argentina trip

Volunteer requests went out in fall 2008

Travel blog recounts photos, stories of trip

Remember last fall when the Rotary Club of Nashville was asking for local Spanish-speaking volunteers for a month-long trip to Argentina? Lindsey Peterson, Tonya Miller and Tom Turk took the plunge, according to the Tennessean:
Turk, a Rotarian and a retired TV producer and arts administrator, sponsored and accompanied the group on this trip. Miller, a native of Michigan and graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and Belmont, is a Spanish translator working in local courts, hospitals and conferences. Peterson, born in Colorado and raised in Missouri and holding a sociology degree from Abilene University, works as an office manager for the Tennessee Respite Coalition, that provides home care services for families and caretakers of the disabled.
The Tennessean article on the group and the trip is here.

The group's travel blog is at, with the first post of the trip to Argentina starting here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dr. Stella Flores: Harvard-educated, quoted-in-Economist Vanderbilt professor

A reader alerted me to a mention of Vanderbilt professor Stella Flores in an Economist article about a higher education gap in achievement "between Hispanic and 'Anglo' students" and how to close that gap. In the article, Flores is cited for the proposition that
the best thing that can be done at the state level is to adopt policies that allow all of a state’s high-school students to pay fees at its public universities at the discounted rate that normally applies to people from that state, regardless of their legal status.
(It would have been my preference that the Economist clarify that not all Hispanic students have legal status problems or are even immigrants - (almost half of all Hispanic residents of Tennessee are U.S.-born, and half of those who were born abroad have legal status) - but maybe the sophisticated readers of that British publication already knew that.)

Dr. Flores tells the Hispanic Nashville Notebook that when in-state tuition is offered to high school students regardless of legal status,
they are more likely to take advantage of such a benefit and enroll in college as compared to similar students who live in states without an in-state resident tuition policy. The overall numbers of students are not massive. However, if the benefit is available, over time, students do go to college as a result of having such a policy in a state.
Flores' latest article on the subject will appear in The Review of Higher Education.

About Dr. Stella Flores

Flores got doctoral and masters degrees from Harvard University, her doctorate being in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy with a concentration in Higher Education. She has another masters in public affairs from U.T. (Texas, not Tennessee), and her bachelors is from Rice, where she spent one semester at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago.

Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Flores served as a program evaluator for the U.S. General Accountability Office and as a program specialist for the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Professor Flores has also served as a policy researcher for the Texas State Legislature and various city governments in Texas.

Professor Flores’ work employs large-scale databases and quantitative methods to investigate the impact of state and federal policies on college access and completion for low-income and underrepresented populations. She has written on the role of alternative admissions plans and financial aid programs in college admissions, demographic changes in higher education, the role of the Hispanic Serving Institution in U.S. higher education policy, and Latino students and community colleges.

The lawyers who read my blog will be particularly interested the citation of her work in the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision Gratz v. Bollinger (dissenting opinion) and in various amicus briefs in the Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger Supreme Court cases on affirmative action in higher education admissions. (Flores and another researcher concluded that "it is incorrect to attribute any significant increase in campus diversity to a percent plan alone." Percent Plans in College Admissions: A Comparative Analysis of Three States’ Experiences (2003)).

Her publications also include two edited volumes, Legacies of Brown: Multiracial Equity in American Education published by the Harvard Educational Review (with Dorinda J. Carter and Richard J. Reddick) and Latino Educational Opportunity published by Jossey-Bass as part of the New Directions for Community College series (with Catherine L. Horn and Gary Orfield).

Professor Flores currently teaches courses in college access policy and general education policy. Her recent work includes an examination of the effect of in-state resident tuition policies on the college enrollment and persistence of undocumented students across the United States, an analysis of institutional response to federal and state changes in race-conscious admissions policies and programs, and an investigation of the interaction of state and institutional financial aid policies targeted at low-income students also across the United States.

Dr. Flores was recently named a co-investigator in a $1.9 million grant from the Gates Foundation on barriers to college completion, and she was also a research expert for Governor Bredesen’s Task Force on Readiness, Acceleration, Models, and Paths (RAMP UP).

Dr. Flores is at the Peabody School of Education at Vanderbilt University. According to Vanderbilt, Peabody is the top-ranked school of education in the nation as ranked by the U.S. News & World Report's 2010 survey. Peabody has held a top-10 ranking for the last 14 years.

Some information taken verbatim from Flores' Vanderbilt bio and the Peabody web site.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hispanic politicians in Nashville

Fabian Bedne, one of the Nashvillians mentioned in the article

"Finding Nashville's Hispanic Voice" is the title of today's Nashville City Paper article that takes a deeper dive into the city's Hispanic politicians and how more might appear in the future.

Among the people quoted are Fabian Bedne, Yuri Cunza, Cesar Muedas, Mario Ramos, and me:
The election of Latinos can be accelerated by these and other appointments to boards and commissions, said John Lamb, editor of the Hispanic Nashville Notebook — one of several Web sites dedicated to news about the city’s Hispanic community.

“Maybe it’s more likely for someone to be electable when they’ve been introduced to the community in places where they can serve,” he said.

Lamb pointed to how Bedne’s community involvement served as something of a launching pad.
Read the full article, written by Tim Ghianni, here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nuevo Tango, Bandoneón, & Ravel’s Bolero: Nashville Symphony November 19-21

Incorporates elements of jazz and classical music

Piazzolla performances to be recorded for future CD release

From the Nashville Symphony:
Schermerhorn Symphony Center will crackle with the bracing, sensuous rhythms of the tango as Giancarlo and the Nashville Symphony perform works by Astor Piazzolla, whose nuevo tango style incorporates elements of jazz and classical music. The Argentine composer was also a master of the accordion-like bandoneón, an instrument that his countryman, the renowned Daniel Binelli, will bring to life in Piazzolla's "Aconcagua" concerto. Keep dancing through intermission as the evening draws to a rousing finish with the hypnotic rhythms and dynamic orchestration of Ravel's always popular Boléro.

There's been a renewed interest in Astor Piazzolla's compositions in recent years, and the Nashville Symphony will be helping to promote that interest by recording the three Piazzolla pieces for future release on the Naxos record label. You'll want to be in the audience for this special performance!

Tickets start at just $37.50! You may purchase tickets online at, by calling 615.687.6400 or in person at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center Box Office.

Special thanks to series sponsor SunTrust, concert sponsor Vanderbilt University Medical Center and media sponsor Nashville Scene.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where are the English as a Second Language classes in Nashville?

It's a frequently asked question: where are the English as a Second Language Classes in Nashville? Ruben de Pena of Metro Nashville Public Schools offers an answer.

Photo by ira. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day statement of Fabian Bedne, President of Middle Tennessee Hispanic Democrats

On Veterans Day 2009, the Middle Tennessee Hispanic Democrats honor the service of all U.S. veterans. MTNHD President Fabian Bedne reflects on the life and death of Major Libardo Caraveo:

"I was reading the biographies of the victims of the horrible tragedy at Fort Hood, and one in particular struck me: Major Libardo Caraveo, a 52-year-old psychologist from Mexico who moved to the U.S. as a teenager and earned his way to a Ph.D. at the University of Arizona. It caught my attention that Caraveo's biography mentioned being born in Mexico and coming to the U.S. knowing little English."

"It brought me to tears to see the moving comments below the news story of Caraveo's tragically abbreviated life. Family and colleagues commemorated his joy of living and his barrier-busting accomplishments. They all mourn his loss, along with the rest of the country."

"I was also born outside the U.S., and English wasn't my first language. Part of my work in the Middle Tennessee Hispanic Democrats is about highlighting the contributions and the potential of immigrants and people who arrive here who aren't yet bilingual. I can't help but be inspired by the life of Major Libardo Caraveo and the military commitment to his adopted country for which he gave his life."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Twitter: @muybna

I tweet under the user ID @muybna over at Twitter. "muy bna" stands for "Very Nashville" and "Very Good."

My list of Hispanic Nashvillians who are Tweeting is at

Monday, November 9, 2009

Conexion Americas launches special edition of "Rumba Roast" coffee Tuesday at 2pm at Bongo Java

J.A. Yances donates original oil painting to raffle

Ticket and coffee sales benefit Latino families

Local nonprofit Conexión Americas will launch a special edition of its Cafe Rumba Roast organic, fair trade coffee on Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., at Bongo Java, 107 S. 11th Street in East Nashville.

The Special Edition Cafe Rumba Roast features original art on the package from renowned artist J. A. Yances, based on Yances’ oil painting “Tucán Colores de la Selva” (Toucan Colors of the Jungle).

“The Special Edition of Cafe Rumba Roast is a one-of-a-kind present for the coffee connoisseurs or the community-minded on your gift list,” said Renata Soto, executive director of Conexión Americas. “Your friends will love the coffee, and you’ll support Conexión Americas, a local nonprofit. Your gift to our community will last far beyond the holidays.”

Yances has donated the painting, valued at $8,000, to Conexión Americas. Art-lovers will have a chance to own the painting with a $10 donation to the nonprofit. Tickets are limited to 2,000 and are available until December 15, 2009.

Tickets and the Special Edition of Cafe Rumba Roast can be purchased online ( by phone at 615-320-5152 or at Conexión Americas’ office at 800 18th Avenue South. The coffee is also available at Ten Thousand Villages, 3900 Hillsboro Road in Green Hills.

Proceeds from ticket and coffee sales support Conexión Americas' mission to help local Latino families; these entrepreneurial initiatives reduce the nonprofit’s dependence on donations.

About Conexión Americas:

Conexión Americas is a nonprofit dedicated to helping Latino families realize their aspirations for social and economic advancement by promoting their integration into the Middle Tennessee community. The organization provides Latino families with education, local resources, support networks and opportunities for advancement. Learn more at

About Cafe Rumba Roast:

Cafe Rumba Roast is the result of an unusual partnership between Conexión Americas and Bongo Java Roasting Company. Organic coffee beans are purchased at a fair price from Latin American farmers and are roasted in Nashville by Bongo Java.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Alexia Medina represents Brentwood at Miss Tennessee Teen USA 2010, places in top five

Alexia Medina

Alexia Medina was named 4th runner-up in the 2010 Miss Tennessee Teen USA pageant held on October 3 in Clarksville. The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle has the story, including a photo of Medina in a yellow evening gown. Medina is the reigning Miss Teen Tennessee Latina and Miss Brentwood Teen USA.

Medina's spot among the top five finalists was also featured in Hola TN. (The Hola TN article reports that Medina won 4th runner-up in the nationals of the Miss Teen US Latina contest, but that event is on hiatus.)

For more information on Alexia Medina, see her web site at, which includes photos of Medina with various law enforcement and elected officials, including Nashville mayor Karl Dean and U.S. congressman Marsha Blackburn.

Medina with Karl Dean and Marsha Blackburn

In an interview with eSpanglish magazine earlier this year, Medina described her decision to participate in the Miss Teen Tennessee Latina pageant:
Alexia says that she thought for several months about whether or not to participate in the Miss Tennessee Latina pageant. She was intrigued by how someone could benefit from being pretty. Her mother always told her that true beauty is inside a person and that there is no such thing as an ugly woman. She is determined to maintain her action in representing what it means to be a young Latina and has done so with glamour, honesty, loyalty and intelligence, and she has felt very honored to do so.

Alexia has done everything in their power to represent the Latin youth in Tennessee and has sought to influence youth participation in society. Her recommendation for young people is to always look for ways to be better people. Besides the incentive of honoring her family and respecting the laws while maintaining clear goals and convictions, most important for her is to never forget that the Creator of all things, God will always be with us.
Medina has roots in Georgia, Mexico, and Spain. She enjoys yoga, reading, animal protection, cheerleading, volleyball, and bicycle riding. According to eSpanglish, she hopes to study international law.

Photo used with permission of Miss Teen Tennessee Latina Pageant. Photo by All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Most Tennesseans want to grant legal immigration status to workers, according to MTSU poll

"They should be allowed to stay...": 51.0%

The 2009 MTSU poll asked this question:
Which comes closest to your view about illegal immigrants who are currently working in the U.S.?
  • "They should be allowed to stay in their jobs, and to eventually apply for US citizenship."
  • "They should be allowed to stay in their jobs only as temporary guest workers, but not to apply for U.S. citizenship."
  • "They should be required to leave their jobs and leave the U.S."
And these were the answers:
"They should be allowed to stay...": 51.0%
  • "...and to eventually apply for U.S. citizenship": 29.4%
  • "...but not to apply for U.S. citizenship": 21.6%
"They should be required to leave...": 42.8%
Conducted by Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Mass Communication, the telephone poll of 716 randomly selected Tennessee adults has an error margin of plus or minus four percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence. Theoretically, this means that a sample of this size should produce a statistical portrait of the population within four percentage points 95 out of 100 times. The Survey Group at MTSU provides independent, non-partisan and unbiased public opinion data regarding major social, political and ethical issues affecting Tennessee. The poll began in 1998 as a measure of public opinion in the 39 counties comprising Middle Tennessee and began measuring public opinion statewide in 2001. Learn more and view the full report on the poll’s website,

Seventy-five percent of Tennessee Hispanics are U.S. citizens or legal residents (story here).

Illustration by

Monday, November 2, 2009

CAO Cigars is next stop on TN Hispanic Chamber's Latin America "Tour" November 19

Premium cigars from Honduras, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

For the November 19 stop on its "Tour" of Latin America, the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce* will feature world-renowned CAO Cigars:
Join us on our second stop of our Latin America Tour Networking Series, as we enjoy premium cigars from Honduras, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

The Tour of Latin America Networking Series is a series of events created to invite you to enjoy the Latin American culture right here in Nashville. With over 20 countries in Latin America to visit and an array of Latin sub-cultures, music, food, and much more, the TNHCC invites its current and potential members to enjoy the Tour of Latin America Series without getting on an airplane.

Join us on our second stop of our tour as we enjoy premium cigars from Honduras, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

As a token of our appreciation the TNHCC and our sponsor GuyBrown will give each attendee to our first stop of the Tour of Latin America Series a premium cigar.

November 19th
6:00 p.m.

6172 Cockrill Bend Circle
Nashville, TN 37209

R.S.V.P. before November 17th

Click here to R.S.V.P.
how many Hispanic chambers are there in Nashville?
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