When you imagine, a frightening character running around covered in a white hood, possibly screaming frightening demands, you may assume it’s your run of the mill angry ghost. But, in this case you won’t find a disfigured ghoul under that hood, you will find a White Supremacist. While comparable to a ghoul, a White Supremacist presents real problems and sometimes they can be deadly. One of the most popular White Supremacy groups is the Ku Klux Klan.
Popularly referred to as the KKK, this is a hate group whose roots began when the Civil War ended. Klansman, would go on nightly runs to harass the black community, in efforts to regain “White power” in the south. They would often rape, murder and beat unsuspecting black citizens. However, after the new Jim Crow laws were implemented, the Klan felt as if they won back the South and the number of active groups declined.
It wasn’t long before they started back up as more Jewish and Catholic immigrants came into the United States, and of course groups skyrocketed when the Civil Rights Movement began. Then from 2010 to 2014 there was a steep drop from active Klan groups, however the situation drastically changed in 2015 when Klan groups nearly tripled in the United States.
The Ku Klux Klan even has a group in Fort Worth, and according to the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’s disturbing website, they had a successful Klan’s rally in North Texas and they claimed to have had a good turnout. These people are congregating in our very own backyard, but I wouldn’t be nervous. Like I mentioned in the title, “I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost”. These Klansman are nothing to worry about. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, it is the “Lone Wolf” domestic terrorists that carry the most danger.
“Terror from the Right, Conspiracies and racist rampages since Oklahoma City”, is a detailed pamphlet created by the Intelligence Project for Southern Poverty Law Center, a group created in the 70’s made up of civil rights lawyers to ensure equality for all. This organization wanted to inform the public of the growing danger of solo or sometimes duo domestic terrorists.
According to the Intelligence Project’s information on domestic terrorism, there has been an increase of White Supremacists or antigovernment individuals who are veering away from popular groups like the Ku Klux Klan and moving more towards “internet activism”, these are generally racist message boards and racist websites.
These Lone Wolf terrorists also have very common backgrounds, and according to the study of 100 racist driven murders by racist extremists, they all had 10 common characteristics. These angry guys and gals were unemployed, engaged in public activism or leafletting, incidents occurred at home, posted on a racist forum or blog, sustained online activity, antagonistic online, changed their posting patterns, sees violence as a solution, discussed weapons, and identified an enemy. The danger of getting immersed in this radical idealism on the internet can turn your regular White Supremacist into a murderer. A recent SPLC report has stated that 74% of the domestic terrorist incidents in the last Six years were carried out or attempted by these Lone Wolves.
Dylan Roof is always the first to come to mind when imagining these solitary domestic terrorists. Dylan, showed every warning sign but nobody ever spoke up or took him seriously. Friends that he had re- connected with him a few weeks before the shootings, described him as more violent and agitated. One friend even took Roof’s gun from his possession, fearing he would do something irrational. The amount of time he spent on racist forums and websites only fueled his rage and pushed him towards violent extremism. Tragically, not one person who witnessed his odd behavior reported him to authorities. Dylan Roof would eventually enter the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, sit in for at least an hour before getting up and gunning nine black parishioners down in a racist, maleficent rampage.
While the threat of entire hate groups like the KKK seem to be trivial, the hate speech and rhetoric they have perpetrated throughout this country has certainly done some damage. They have long since solidified the anger of White Supremacist towards people of color, Jews, and Catholics. People like Timothy McVeigh and Dylan Roof were clearly influenced by the core beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan, and while these two separate attacks didn’t have the Klan’s involvement, there is still blood on their hands.
During these trying times when it seems all is lost within the moral fabric of our communities, it is important to remember our values as a country. When you have a friend or family member headed down a questionable road, you must speak up. Sometimes all someone needs is a voice of reason, and sometimes they need to be turned in to authorities. It is time to take a stand against hate, and to keep moving forward against this new tide of extremism, racism and prejiduce.
KU KLUX KLAN
Southern Poverty Law
May,17 2017 / May 17, 2017
FROM THE RIGHT
PLOTS, CONSPIRACIES AND RACIST RAMPAGES SINCE OKLAHOMA CITY
Southern Poverty law/intelligence project
It was 5 a.m. and we were meeting the regatta to make our 90-mile journey in the predawn darkness. We were just outside the Stock Island channel and I was looking for the big catamarans because most of the people in our group had chartered catamaran yachts in Key West to make the journey across. It was not a bad deal, $2,000.00 a head for six days and seven nights. I was out here for the adventure, so paying someone to take me across was of no interest. I found the string of yachts and fell in a quarter mile behind the last yacht.w
We were running at a steady 9-10 knots. I kept track of my flowscans to be sure that we were burning no more than one gallon per mile. After about 40 miles, I noticed that we were losing speed steadily. I also noticed our fuel consumption steadily going up.
“I think there’s something wrong,” said Don. He had joined us in Key West as planned and now we were getting him warmed up at the helm.
“Must be the gulf stream,” I said. I had always heard of its power. But here it was firsthand. We were traveling with the engine RPMs at 1800 and our speed had gone down from 9-10 knots to 4.5 to 5. “Kick up the RPM’s, “I told him. He kept increasing the RPMs until we were back at 9-10 knots.
“We are burning 1.3 gallons per mile,” said Don. “Is that ok?”
“We have no choice. We have to stay with the group. We have to clear customs together,” I told him.
“Ay Cap,” he said. I had brought 300 gallons of diesel so I had to keep close track. I didn’t not want to fuel up in Havana. As we pushed on we kept gaining on a boat that was getting passed by the formation. The Captain announced that his boat would not go over 5 knots in the gulf stream and he would join us later. We soon passed him up. It was a $500,000.00 Grand Banks trawler. The boat was known for excellent fuel economy and blue water capability. However, that was one thing I really loved about my Quid Pro Quo, it was that ability to cruise at a mile per gallon at 8-10 knots or at 22 knots at two gallons per mile.
At 20 miles to Havana the GPS screen suddenly went blank. We lost all data; GPS position, speed, location and distance. I almost went into panic mode. I checked all the connections and everything seems ok. Don checked all the connections too. Then I realized that I had made a rookie error. Despite all my preparations, I had never checked the GPS to see if we picked up data in Havana. I had no paper charts and I knew nothing about the topography of the ocean surrounding the port of Havana. I didn’t know if it was shallow and dangerous like the Florida Keys or a deep harbor like Galveston. For a second I thought about turning back. The last thing I needed was to damage my boat. However, I knew that as long as I followed in tight and had plenty of daylight we would be safe.
We pulled into Marina Hemingway at 5:20 pm. The Marina was arranged so that you stopped at a Cuban customs office dock when you first entered the marina. The Captain of the customs office was a very nice and professional man. He asked if we wanted our passports stamped. Usually US citizens don’t want the Cuban stamp because the boats go to Cuba without proper permits. However, we did want our stamps because we were doing everything above board. They put a small cocker spaniel into our boat named, “Cachorrito.” He sniffed around and once they were satisfied they gave us our dock assignment. I offered the Captain a “tip” but he declined. I had been told to offer a $20.00 but he said no thanks and waved it off.
We were in Havana.
The tour guides started spreading leaflets and brochures for the activities for the trip. I gathered up my crew and we left the marina to catch a cab to the city.
I had several goals for my trip to Cuba. It was my first trip to a Communist country. After reading Marx’s Manifesto I was curious to see what the rank and file Cubano thought about life in Cuba. The problem was getting the trust to have real conversations with our hosts. The last thing I needed was to be accused of being a spy or trying to incite political unrest. I had to tread lightly.
The second goal was to follow Hemingway’s footsteps. He loved Havana but lived there in the fast and crazy mob riddled Cuba right before Castro started the Revolution. After the Revolution, Hemingway, along with most Cubano land owners, had his hacienda nationalized by the Cuban government. I wanted to see the bronze Hemingway statute at the bar in La Floridita restaurant in Havana. I also wanted to see Hemingway’s Hacienda.
The story circulated amongst the TMCA members that I was taking off to Havana and soon we had four taxi loads of fellow boaters that wanted to join. I realized I was probably the only Spanish speaker in our group. Taxis were 20 dollars each when you got one in the marina, but only 10 dollars each if we left the marina. Stepping out of the Marina was like stepping back 60 years in time. Our cabi quickly gathered three other 1950’s model cars and we started our trek.
“Amigo, queiro un lugar barato para comer. Un lugar donde coman los Cubanos. Y que sirvan tacos,” I told him.
“Tacos,” he asked?
I was incredulous. “No sabes lo que es un taco?” I asked
“No, que es eso?”
“Bueno, llevanos a un lugar barato y autentico. No quiero un lugar turistico con platillos de 20 a 25 kuks.”
“Esta bien,” he said. He kept shifting the transmission of his 1947 Hudson on the tree. When he shifted from third gear, to fourth, to fifth I asked him.
“Que transmission traes?” I asked. I knew that the original Hudson only had a three speed transmission.
“Toyota,” he said.
“Russian diesel,” he said. I thought I had picked up the diesel from the fumes. It appeared that things were not as they appeared in Cuba. It was funny seeing grown men morph into children and their wives into their moms. Seeing all the antique cars had all the men in the group giddy with glee and pointing from one to the other like children at a toy store. We zig zagged through Havana and parked in front of an abandoned 10 story building.
We gathered the group and my cabi led us into a side entrance. The entire first floor of the building was gutted out. We went up three flights of stairs and double doors led into a nice, fancy restaurant, complete with dancers and nice menus. I looked at the menu and all the items were from 20 to 35 kuks. This was exacerbated by the fact that the exchange rate for kuks was 87 kuks to each 100 dollars.
“Vamos,” I said. We all took off and I led the group towards La Floridita. The cabi was not happy that he was losing out on some big tip the restaurant probably gave him for bringing in tourists but I didn’t really care. Along our walk we were approached be several young men offering to sell us cigars. I did want cigars, but everything in due course.
Once in La Floridita we ordered Cubano sandwiches and Cubalibre drinks. They had live entertainment. La Floridita was government owned. I was hoping for a small Cuban owned place but maybe that was going to be a tall order given the lack of free enterprise. Several members of the group came by our table to thank me for being the tour guide. I loved boaters, you had to be a bit crazy to come out here on a boat. Two of my friends, Dan and Jill, had also come here on their own 65-foot yacht via the intercoastal waterway. They were heavy drinkers and partiers and often competed only against each other to see who was the most loud and obnoxious.
When it was time to leave, I asked our waiter for a good cigar shop to find authentic Cohibas. He directed me a couple doors down to the government owned “Havana Club.” I walked up the flight of stairs and met Gustavo who managed the place. He went through the various cigars in the glass cases and walked me through the humidor. It was very impressive, particularly the prices. A single Cohiba was 23 Kuks. Too much.
The group dispersed and my crew and I walked to “El Morro.” A fort that overlooked the Havana Harbor. We walked along the “Malecon.” I had left my gold Rolex stashed in the boat. There was a police officer stationed at almost every other corner. Young men or women. They did not carry guns. They only had a two-way radio. I had heard that crime was almost non-existent in Cuba. I could see why. It seemed like the police’s job was to be the eyes and ears. I think that if you got reported they came and got you in the middle of the night.
There were couples embracing and people fishing right off the Malecon. From the dark blue color of the water it looked like it dropped off to 100 feet almost immediately. I didn’t think there would be any beaches in the vicinity with this topography. The sun was going down over the horizon and the warning was to stay out of Havana at night. The story was that the police officers left their posts and the place was not as friendly. We hailed a 57 Bel Air and headed back to the marina.
I saw a place with local people lined up outside. “Que es ahi, Amigo,” I asked our cabi.
“Una tienda de comida. Pero no tienen mucho surtido,” he said.
“Se paga ahi con kuks o con pesos Cubanos,”
He looked at me for a second. “Pesos,” he said. It confirmed what I already thought. Cuba had two currencies. The kuks was for the tourists. The pesos were only for Cubanos. We arrived at the Marina as the sun was setting.
“Ill make us some beef tacos,” said Roberto with half a smile on his face.
“Ill help you,” said Don. “Pinche Cuba,” he smiled.
We ate tacos, drank Bucanero beer and played Dominos on my Cuban domino table. We were in Havana!
During my high school years, I practiced sports such as swimming, camp run and track. Like many other athlete’s cases, mi regular practice of these sports changed when I got to college, as mi career and my job took the main part of my time, I found myself in a dilemma; I wanted to find a way to keep practicing physical activity regularly and maintain my social life active.
Besides on helping me maintain a healthy life “KMF performance” helped me on to get better on my communicative abilities, building friendships and professional friendships as well with the “KMF performance” members.
Keep Moving Forward, offers a complete range of accessible entertainment services that adapt to every kind of athlete’s needs and they’re physical condition level as well. KMF also ignores the athletes’ age, gender, religion, experience or previous exploits with the only purpose of reaching the chosen goal; finding that motivation of keep moving forward. KMF’s philosophy is to provide a personalized entertainment based on the sport level and the personal objectives of each one of it’s members. “KMF performance” has a variety of coaches with professional experience including being named the best triathlon coaching in the year of 2014, it also offers accessible entertainment sites for the college level community and Denton as well.
“KMF performance” establishes specific times and places for their entertainment availability and it gives members the opportunity of establishing practice hours that work with they’re schedules. It also provides them with local competitions and social groups; it shares information about healthy eating and techniques on having a healthy life on their Facebook and Twitter pages, and the organization’s official website.
Like everything else in life, it’s necessary to find a balance in between all the aspects on our day to day basis. The key to success is found by balancing and administering our time in the most efficient way; finding a routine between our academic, social, labor and personal home works. In my case, it was necessary finding a group just like “KMF” that would help me find the motivation I had lost of doing physical activities; it doesn’t matter which place you choose for exercising, nor if you do it by yourself or with friends, what matters is to get off the sofa, stop procrastinating and to begin living your life now.
This past year, the United States became a very polarized country due to the 2016 Election. To many people’s happiness or dismay, Donald Trump was the Republican nominee who was sworn into office back in January of 2017. Trump signed many executive orders, including a ban on people being able to enter the United States from multiple countries. He has also been seeking out to officially build a wall between Mexico and the United States.
During his campaign, Donald Trump had already expressed distaste in immigrants and refugees coming to the United States. It was an important issue throughout his campaign, his views loved by many of his followers and hated by many of those who do not support him. On Thursday, February 16th, 2017, there was a nationwide protest named A Day Without Immigrants. Many people did not show up to work or school on that Thursday to show solidarity with immigrants. Apparently, more than 100 participants ended up being fired from their jobs, according to multiple news sources.
Soon enough, there was another protest-taking place in Dallas, Texas. This protest was created to express support of refugees seeking to come to this country in times of war in their homelands. It was a peaceful protest, though there were Trump supporters who showed up at this protest as well. Multiple Trump supporters were armed with weapons, showing their support of Trump’s policies and their support for legal immigration and maybe support for open weapon carrying as well.
As the months go by, there are sure to be multiple new protests, marches, and rallies happening still for these same topics of immigration and refugees. With a quick search of events, there are already people seeking to set up future marches. A specific march will be hosted on Saturday, May 6 in downtown Dallas. Already 6,500 people have said that they will be going, with 21,000 more interested in going as well. “We are a nation of immigrants. We work, we build, we raise families, we vote. #WeAllBelong” it says on the description of the event.
One thing is for sure that every time people have something to say, they will say it. I hope that the United States as a whole can come together with a positive solution to the issues that face it currently.
My earliest childhood memory of my Tata Cesar is being in La Paz where we lived with him and my Nana Helen, spending time with him while he would teach me to read. I was named by him because his favorite city was Santa Barbara.
When I was born in Delano I went home to his house where we lived for two years before moving next door. This was when we became lifetime close and why I was his favorite.
For me he was mostly an amazing grandfather and a special teacher. I only knew him in these two ways and it was all I needed to last me a lifetime. He was always simply “Tata Cesar” who with my “Nana Helen” loved and showed me, my sister and brothers and all our family the way life should be lived and shared.
I remember him as a teacher who led by example and patience with a lot of laughter and fun. When I was still a child he would laugh, and enjoy the times I would walk into his office while he was in meetings. He seemed to stop and encourage me to be curious. This was one of many real-life games he would play with me. Somehow it seemed natural to do this and will always be among my earliest recollections in life.
Though his life was fully dedicated, day and night, to his own cause of farmworkers while l ending himself to any people who were poor or interested in social justice, Tata Cesar seemed to always find time for his grandchildren. Again, I must say even with a rigorous seven days a week work schedule, he gave me the impression that he loved simply being Tata Cesar when it came to showing, sharing and loving me, and my siblings.
His patience was something I will never forget. Whether speaking to me as a child using his pet names (he seemed to call all of us “chimbimbos”) or as I grew up Tata Cesar focused on us whenever he could. He somehow made the most of each and every encounter. Special recollections include the many times he played baseball with us, or took us on hikes in La Paz where he lived.
During times like those he would give us all of his attention, fully enjoying moments of laughter and fun while taking time to teach us about our surroundings, the importance of taking care of the land and our environment. I never once remember him being upset and his words were always positive, funny and of an encouraging nature.
Easter Sunday along with Christmas Day were days he reserved for spending time with his grandchildren and family. On Easter Sunday, there was always a family softball game, where he played pitcher for both teams, as too always be fair, followed by a barbecue. Even though he was a vegetarian he could often times be heard showing us how to barbecue meat and chicken properly while telling us how bad it was to eat the poor animals.
I miss my Tata Cesar every d and our family has not been the same without him. Christmas is a day when I remember him the most. Tata Cesar loved playing Santa Claus after Midnight Mass. We would all cram into the small living room of their two-bedroom home with the smell of tamales, hot chocolate and the sounds of Christmas music. As we grew up the room got smaller every year with hardly any space to walk among a roomful of excited grandchildren and adults. One by one Tata would reach for presents, read and call out the name of who it was for and from, make a guess about the content of the present and hand or pass it to each of us.
I was only 20 years old when we lost Tata. I had grown to understand who he was to others and what his cause represented to people and our world. His hard work and dedication to what he really believed in was in and of itself a great lesson and inspiration. He didn’t preach to us about doing the right things, he just did them and showed the way through example. The main thing I learned from him was to have the courage of your convictions, act on them consistently and treat people in the way you want to be treated, to stand on my own and to take what he taught me to confidently create and innovate in whatever I do and wherever I go. I really miss him as the leader of our family. While the world and his cause truly lost a great leader to me losing my Tata was an everlasting personal jolt. I am always curious as to what other things he would have done had he lived longer. He had many plans beyond his work with farm workers.
What I cherish most is that we had a grandfather/granddaughter relation-ship that was real, lasting and personal. He showed his love and affection in a genuine way, always teaching us how to be good people. I feel truly honored to have known him in a way that not many others did.
Barbara Chavez Ybarra is Cesar and Helen’s fifth grandchild. She lives in San Diego, CA and owns and operates Ybarra Public Affairs with her family.
It was official. I was going to Havana. I had opened my email and there it was, a permit from the Coast Guard allowing me to take my yacht into Cuban waters. It seemed like a far-fetched dream last December when my buddy told me to join the Texas Mariners Cruising Association because they were planning a trip to Havana. I didn’t really believe it but thought it would be fun to join the group to work on my yachtsman skills regardless of whether the Cuban trip materialized.
Now it was April in what was the most difficult financial year that I had in the past 15 years. Havana was in my sights. The logical part of me told me to just call Chris over at Texas Mariners and gracefully bow out of the endeavor. The truth was that it would cost me about $8,000.00 in diesel to get my 1984 48-foot twin diesel Albin North Sea Cutter to Havana and back. That’s assuming 2000 miles’ round trip at one gallon of diesel per mile at 4.00 average per gallon. I would also need about $5,000.00 in cash for spending money and food. It was $13,000.00 that I didn’t have and would need to borrow.
It was not a smart or logical thing to do, but my philosophy was that if something was important enough to dream about then it simply had to be done, no matter what the cost. On the bright side, I knew my vessel was up for the task. I had logged over 4000 nautical miles on her since I bought her in Key West back in 2011. It took me over a year to find her because of my criteria. I was looking for a yacht under $100,000.00 that had upgraded, modern power. It needed a heavy blue water hull that could withstand the punishment of the open sea. I also needed a full beam bedroom with a queen-sized bed and an open cockpit. When my captain found it in Key West I flew out and bought her for $119,000.00 after the sea trial. We zig zagged 1150 miles as we made our way back to Galveston. Once I had her back I put her on dry dock. I spend $15,000.00 on bow and stern thrusters to make it more maneuverable in docking situations. I spent $5,000.00 on an upgraded Garmin Chart plotter and an additional $14,000.00 new paint on the hull. I put 10 coats of varnish on her exterior teak. I renamed her the Quid Pro Quo. Something for something. It was the motto for the high school I went to. Work hard and you would reap the rewards. Give something and expect something back. The boat would be my ticket to adventure. My Segway to childhood dreams. The fact was there was no doubt in my mind. I was going to Havana. I would be the only Mexican of a 19-yacht fleet. I would be the only captain/owner who would be taking his yacht straight across the gulf from Galveston, Texas to Key West, Florida. I would be the first private yacht to clear US Customs in Galveston from Cuba. I would smoke a Cohiba cigar while admiring Hemingway’s boat, Pilar in Cuba. With my mind at peace, I turned my attention to details and logistics.
I called each of my crew members to confirm that we had received clearance and permits from the US Coastguard as well as their availability. My brother Uvaldo had accompanied me on blue water adventures before. Blue water has different meanings to different people. One common definition is that you are in Blue water when you are so far off shore that the US Coast Guard will not come get you. Typically rescue helicopters have a 500-mile cruise range, so once you are more than 250 miles off shore you are all alone in the event of an emergency. Uvaldo was a truck driver and a diesel mechanic. He was the epitome of reliability. He was quiet and reserved and preferred to listen and observe rather than be the center of attention. Fortunately, on our prior adventures we had not needed his services. However, that was in part because of the precautions and preventative maintenance that we did on the Quid Pro Quo’s engines while in the safety of our own marina. Without Uvaldo, I would not be as confident about the trip. I’m not sure if he understood what inspired me to go on these crazy trips. He never asked. It could be something as simple as being my older brother. One thing was certain, he did take pleasure in the days and nights at open sea. There is nothing quite like the open sea.
My third crewman was Roberto. Roberto was an interesting character. He was my sister’s boyfriend and I was very surprised when he asked if he could come on the trip. He did not have a mechanical background or a yachting background. He had a lot of enthusiasm and a good attitude. He was a good soul and always trying to help out at the ranch and also with the rental properties. Don was my final crew member. He was ex navy and was experienced working on small engines, generators and electronics. We had talked for years about him joining us on a blue water adventure. He had worked over 20 years for the postal service. My prior invitations had always been met with a quick and enthusiastic yes followed by a disappointing withdrawal as the trip date approached. I had considered not even inviting him to Cuba for that reason but did it anyway. He went to high school with me but had been kicked out of the school for an incident that had humiliated the school. It was a boarding school for ghetto youth and he and two school mates left the school at about 2 am, broke into a local convenience store and stole three cases of beer. Mr. Moore, the principal found them the next morning and kicked them out of school. “Take that road back to Houston. And don’t look back!” he yelled at them. His eyes blaring red and holding back tears of rage. Mr. Moore loved Don. He loved all of us. Don and his buddies had betrayed Mr. Moore. They betrayed all of us. Despite this I had been in contact with Don about 10 years ago, and he had done his best at redemption. He had finished high school and even got an associates degree. He had also joined the Navy. He felt truly bad about what he had done. He felt terrible about not apologizing to Mr. Moore before he died. He had a history with drug abuse and was a recovering drug and sex addict. To my surprise, he answered the phone right away and was beside himself with joy when I told him we had the green light from the Coast Guard. Don was going to join us in Key West and would go with us into Havana then back to Key West and back to Galveston. That left us with a three- man crew to Key West. It was doable but I preferred a four- man crew doing six hour shifts in pairs during the day and 4 hour shifts at night. I three man crew put a lot of stress on the crew, particularly on lookout duty at night.
We had 20 days before our departure. We still had weather to contend with to make our safe journey across the gulf. We needed a four-day window of good weather. I considered swells less than 6 feet winds less than 20 knots to be adequate. If the weather didn’t cooperate we could go through the Intercostal Waterway along with the other six yachts that were departing Galveston. However, that would increase the miles from 2000 to 2500 and probably make the trip too expensive. We had several minor projects on the boat to complete before departing. Finally, I had to meet with my banker to get my credit line increased to fund the trip. I hated the thought of playing with borrowed money but this was a special trip.
Part 2 online at www.nuestravozdetc.com Trouble at sea! (May not be copied or used without the expressed written permission from author and Nuestra Voz de North Texas)
It was May 16th, 2016 and we were taking on 1000 gallons of fuel at the Galveston Yacht basin. It was 5:30 pm. I was hoping for an earlier departure but had a couple of delays. I had a buddy from years ago, call me the day before. I mentioned the trip and he offered to come with us to Key West. I knew he didn’t have a passport so I never invited him to Cuba. He owed about $6,000.00 in back child support so according to him he was not eligible for a passport. His name was Erick and he was a self-proclaimed hillbilly from Arkansas. I considered him to be a space alien. When I met him 15 years ago, he claimed to be illiterate. Despite this he was a wealth of knowledge in a variety of topics, including mechanics, electronics, husbandry, plumbing and a host of other things. I agreed to pay a plane ticket back from Miami and he was all aboard.
I kept looking through my list of safety equipment and spares to be sure I was not overlooking anything. Sure enough, I was short on racor filters. The filters cleaned the diesel and separated water. Each engine had two and I typically wanted 12 spares for blue water. I only had four spares. I checked with the marina folks and managed to get an additional four. Once back at the boat I did a final review and we checked all the fluids on the boat from the 300 gallons of potable water to transmission fluid and coolant. We said our good byes to our loved ones and I fired up the yanmar diesels.
“All aboard!” I yelled from the bridge.
Baldo and Erick were manning the lines.
“Stern clear?” I yelled.
“Stern clear, Captain,” yelled Erick as he boarded the cockpit.
“Bow clear? I yelled.
“Bow clear,” yelled Baldo.
The wind was picking up from the north and pushing up against the dock. I pushed the thruster joysticks to portside and the 40,000-pound Quid Pro Quo moved away from the dock. I switched the transmission levers to forward and we were underway. I could see the whitecaps in the distance out in Galveston Bay and wondered if the forecast was off. I asked Erick to turn the running lights on since it was close to dusk and we made out way toward the jetties. The swells were picking up steadily and by the time we reached the jetties the swells felt like a roller coaster.
The jetties were 2 miles long before we were out in open water. It was getting progressively worse and the duration was getting shorter. The quicker the duration the greater the impact on the hull. It was dark already and that always added to the situation. I had an overhead remote spotlight but it was frowned upon when you use it at night as a headlight. It also created a danger of impairing your ability to distinguish navigation lights on any vessels that might be in the area. There are rules of the road for ocean navigating. The main one was unwritten. Steel crushes fiberglass. There were always 200-foot crew boats to 900 foot freighters navigating between the jetties. It was critical to not only control your own vessel, but also to avoid colliding with something larger.
“The dingy is coming’ loose,” yelled Eric from the mid deck.
“Climb up there and check it out,” I yelled back. “All hands-on deck and everybody put on life jackets.” I ordered. Erick reached into the life jacket locker on the bridge and handed out the work vests. Those let you work because they inflate with air automatically only if you get tossed overboard. The typical life vests are very bulky and hard to work in but they are better for long term at sea because they will float forever and turn you right side up if you go unconscious. We all put our vests on and buckled them up. Not what I was expecting before we even left the jetties.
We were now in 6 foot swells and the boat was taking a beating. We got slammed by a wave at the bow portside and the dingy jumped up and broke the mounting davits. We had glued the davits in place the way the prior owner had them. However even though he had traveled the Great Loop and the Caribbean, it was quite possible that the boat had not been in high seas with waves of short duration like this. The whole purpose of the jetties was to provide protection to vessels. It was not a good sign for what was waiting for us once we were out in open water. We got hit by another wave and the bow of the boat was momentarily submerged before coming back up. The water drained out the scuppers and the bow came back up. We came out of the jetties and I started to navigate towards our destination.
“The Dingy is about to fall off,” yelled Roberto. He was on the mid deck with Erick and the Dingy was swinging wild. The swells got bigger as we exited the jetties. We were now in 8 foot swells. Not good. The dingy was half hanging off the deck and I started to worry it was going to take the deck with it and possibly Erick and Roberto.
“I’m turning around,” I barked. “Erick, I’ve got a spider strap in the box in the cockpit.” I swung the boat around, careful to not get caught in a deep trough broadside. Roberto and Erick were soaking wet and then it started raining. Baldo climbed up on the mid deck and was holding the anchor line for the dingy to keep it from going over.
“I got the spider,” yelled Erick. He moved like a cat making his way up the deck and swung the spider strap over the dingy. I was thinking about abandoning the mission. It was not a good start to the trip having the weather forecast this inaccurate. They each took ends of the spider strap and started to ratchet them down. I had to turn around every few seconds to be sure none of them got tossed overboard. By now it was completely dark and the moon was not giving any light because it was completely overcast. I thought about heading back to marina and looking for another break in the weather. The dingy was now secure and the crew was all on the bridge with me.
“I’m turning the boat back, we will travel for four hours and sea how the sea behaves once we are in deeper water. Everybody ok with that?”
“Hell yeah,” said Erick. I didn’t listen a whole lot to what he said because Erick was crazy.
“I think we will be ok,” said Baldo. It was worse coming back from Cancun. “But you’re the captain.” I trusted what Baldo said. All of his ocean experience was with me but he had good sound judgment. I felt fear because I didn’t want to lead my crew into danger. However, Baldo was right, we had been in worse conditions. He had not seen the bow buried by one wave that might have changed his mind but the boat had popped right back out like a giant cork. It did what it was designed to to.
“Turning to Starboard,” I yelled. The crew braced as we did a 180 turn, slow and steady. It was still like a roller coaster but at least the dingy was not swinging around. The boat felt strong and steady. I looked over at Roberto. He was getting blue around the gills.
“You ok Roberto,” I asked. We can go back if you want. It’s ok to be afraid. I know I am,” I told him.
“No,” he said. “Tu eres el Capitan.” Dale pa delante. His eyes looked wild and bloodshot from the salty sea. He had that look of someone who fears for their life and does not quite know what to do about it.
“Alberto, go down below and get Dramamine pills from the restroom cabinet. Give two to everybody and be sure to take some yourself. I’m sorry, I should have had everybody take them before we left. I didn’t expect it to get so nasty so soon.”
“Si senor,” he said as he disappeared into the salon. We exited the jetties. We were traveling steady with the twin engines at 1800 rpms. We were barely clearing 8 knots due to the rough sea conditions. If we got up on a plane it might steady the boat but the fuel consumption would go way up. It was too early to start burning extra fuel. We had to maintain our course and speed. I looked at the chart plotter and checked our bearing. I confirmed out heading with the compass and headed out into the dark sea.
End of Part 2
The majority of people from Hispanic backgrounds highly values higher education. According to pewsearch.org, 83% of Hispanics living in the United States indicated education was an important part of deciding their vote in the past presidential election. Although Latinos wish to obtain a higher level of education many don’t have the ability to pay for school after high school. In 2014 66% of Latinos decided not to attend college after completing high school due to a lack of money.
However, times are changing. In 2014 Latino students accounted for 35% of the college population, an increase of 13% from 1993, the largest rise in enrollment of all other ethnicities. According to the Huffington Post, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) estimates this percentage to rise to 42% by 2021, a growth of ten times more than whites with a growth of 4%. Additionally, pewsearch.org reported the index of Latino students that dropped out of high school dropped drastically from 2% in 2000 to 12% in 2014, the largest drop compared to all other ethnicities.
These statistics are reflected at the University of North Texas in Denton, their webpage indicates the percentage of Latino student rose from 10.83% in 2006 to 22.12% in the Fall of 2016. Once UNT reaches a 25% population of Latino students the U.S will recognize it as an institution that serves the Hispanic community. Thus, the government would grant it more funding for Hispanic students with financial need.
Even though Hispanics are the largest minority in the U.S, the percentage of Latinos attending college is still lower than some other ethnicities. However, statistical trends indicate this will change in upcoming years giving many more Latinos an opportunity to obtain a higher education which would result in jobs of higher caliber and better opportunities for this ethnic group.
Assert that refusal to provide care is unconstitutional and harms those turned away.
It is time that John Peter Smith, our county hospital, began to follow the law requiring all inhabitants who qualify according to their income be served according to several attorneys, public officials and community members.
They will address our public hospital on April 13, 2017 at 1:00 during their monthly board meeting.
Texas voters amended the Texas Constitution to enable counties to use taxpayer dollars to establish county hospital districts in 1954 and declared that these hospital districts “shall assume full responsibility for providing medical and hospital care to needy inhabitants of the county.”
The current income level is $61,500 for a family of four, plus some additional requirements limiting the value of family assets.
Multiple court decisions, including a 1980 federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion, as well as multiple Texas Attorney General opinions (1975, 1988 and 2001 agree that undocumented individuals cannot be excluded.
In 2004, the Tarrant County District Attorney provided an updated analysis of the legal requirement to serve all bona fide residents who satisfied the income eligibility requirements. They report
“It could not be more clear that . . . those aliens who are in the United States illegally but who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria . . . are eligible for benefits . . . [and] hospital districts have an absolute duty to provide healthcare to its needy inhabitants / indigent residents . . .”
Instead of following the D.A.’s opinion, the JPS Board of Managers reviewed a 2003 statute which does not eliminate this duty, and voted 6-4 to continue to deny services to this population.
Those who advocate changing this illegal policy vow to appeal to higher authorities if JPS does not change this policy.
Ann Sutherland, PhD
As a member of a large family and extended family, 11 brothers and sisters, 41 nephews and nieces, numerous great nephews and nieces, and numerous cousins, I have been able to observe the impact and benefits of public education. Most of us owe our success to getting a good public education. There is a strong movement within our Nation called School Choice and vouchers which may sound great but is nothing more than a movement to gut our great public education system. Our public schools are still producing some very intelligent and successful students and we should be very proud of that. Even though schools are producing very successful students there are still many students that are not successful. It is my belief that it is the parents who are the primary motivators for a successful student. Teachers provide the tools for success. With the advent of large schools parents have been pushed out from assisting with the education of their children. Teachers are over tasked and expected to teach, volunteer and solve every problem their students have. It is time to bring parents back into the school system to help teachers. It is time to teach parents whose children are failing, to motivate their children. Our public school and teachers are some of the best.
With a few minor tweaks we will see more students graduating from high school. Our public schools are expected to do more with less while our state officials cut funding then blame the schools and teachers. Parent Teacher Association (PTA) should be an army of parents, concerned with the education of their children who will contact their local legislators demand funding for the education of their children because it is the right thing to do. I see schools hosting rallies where parents and students attend and where motivational speakers, speak to parents and students on the importance of education. Many parents do not have the tools to motivate their children because their parents did not have those tools either. The cycle has to be broken. Motivational speakers will give parents an opportunity to also learn parenting skills. Teaching our students skills that will help them find a good job is very important. I also believe in teaching students life skills like balancing a personal budget, cooking, sewing, home maintenance skills, helping around the house, coping with family issues, police engagement skills, etc.
o Married to Prudence Sanchez, Attorney at Law
o Have been married for 35 Years
o Have four adult children and 4 grandchildren
o Small property investor and remodel homes
o Have been president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (worked with the President of NAACP, Willie Hudspeth, to bringing NAACP and LULAC to work together)
o Attended the Denton Citizens Police Academy
o Instrumental in Kids First Program (instructs 9th graders to defuse encounter with policemen in order to reduce fatalities of young people).
Voter Registrar for several years: primary voter registration done at TWU, NCTC and UNT, (passion is to get young people registered and to vote because they will inherit this country).
Have served as Precinct chair for several years.
Served as an Election Judge and Alternate Judge during elections for several years.
Operate a single family dwelling whose tenants are formerly homeless working males;
Consulted by the City establishing Boarding House zone ordinance.
Have been a volunteer for Monsignor King Homeless Shelter
o Member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. I taught religious education there for several years.
Member of the Mayor’s Together Collation
Member of Latino Democrats of Denton County
Editor and distributor for Nuestra Voz newspaper in Denton
Co-Founder of the Committee to oppose the Tax Freeze for Seniors and the disabled. This tax freeze will benefit wealthy home owners and shift the tax burden to those under 65 many of whom are struggle from month to month.
Philosophy of Life:
Within you is the compass of right, follow it and be successful.
To those of us that much has been given, much will be expected.
It is best to fail then never to have tried. Failure is temporary.
I do not have a personal vendetta against DART. I wrote in last month’s article I appreciate being able to take advantage of the DART rail and buses. But, when “The approved operating budget for Fiscal Year 2016 is $971.1 million…” (That’s almost a billion dollars.) how is so little being spent on customer service compared to marketing and expansion of its light rail system? I wonder how much worse the customer service will be with more miles of rail and the lackadaisical attitude they have towards customer service now. Have I tried to complain to DART? Of course, that’s an article in itself.
I arrive to the Parker Station early most days. I have the luxury of parking close, one day I found a flyer announcing those wanting to park in the closer lots must have a parking permit. December 15, I tried to get one except the concierge was not in. A friendly DART employee attempted to locate the concierge; after about 30 minutes, I was told by another DART employee, "she had gone downtown to her weekly Wednesday meeting”. A sign would have been nice.
121616: Around noon the next day I returned for my parking permit, I attempted to use one of the pickup/drop off parking spots near the offices, all but one were taken despite the fact no passengers were being dropped off or waiting to be picked up. A friendly employee (not the concierge) told me all the spots were full because that was where the DART employees parked. When pushed for an explanation she said it was because they (the DART employees) are supposed to have reserved parking but they were never provided by DART, so they used the pickup/drop spots. Who said DART customers come first?
I received my parking permit that day. I placed it on my windshield within a day or two. DART must have run out of stickers shortly thereafter because every morning and evening since when I have used the rail there are always cars without stickers parked in the closer lot. Every day.
In consideration of word count, I will condense and count my personal commuter observations from December 19, 2016 to February 17, 2017. In last month’s article, I mentioned homeless riders sleeping on the train to get out of the cold. A very worthy consideration by DART. My biggest concern is only once I have not seen them use up two seats.
Another commuter once noticed my making of note of a homeless sleeper, he offered the following, "One day last week (the week of January 9th), there were about eight homeless "riders" each sleeping across two seats, several people had to stand because there wasn’t [sic] enough seats. Then close to downtown a female fare enforcement officer got on the train saw the sleeping homeless and just stood at the front of the car.”
January 6, it was 21 degrees outside, I think it was just as cold on the train; I had to wear my gloves while riding. Many of these eleven days, it was cold going home too. I know these trains have heat, some days the train is actually warm.
One last complaint/request for DART: Please do something about the panhandlers riding the trains downtown.
We all remember when our kids were little. We vowed not to miss a day or event in their lives. We cried when they said their first word and when they took their first steps. We cried more than they probably did on the first day of school. We were there for the award ceremonies, Christmas recitals, valentine’s parties, cheerleading and football practice and games. It was times, that were so memorable.
Yet, as they all do, they grow up and we feel that it should be getting easier on us. They can do so much more on their own. They can now walk to and from school. They can do their own homework. They can attend school social events on their own. We rely on their friends to be their company more than us. The “Meet the Teacher Day” isn't as much priority. Seen one game, seen them all. As our kids grow into their middle school and high school years a lot changes. Our marital status change, our financial situation changes, and our priorities get switched around.
Teenagers seem to get less of our time as they grow. Is this really the time to let them bloom or is it the time that they most need of us, as parents. Teenage years seem to be the life changing ones. So, it would be safe, to say that these years are just as important as any.
Not only do they change physically and mentally, they have life changing situations. The teenage years have changed from when we were kids, the obstacles, challenges and temptations have only multiplied. Our teenagers require as much attention as we gave them when they were little. Parenting is a lifelong commitment. Our job as parents are to see them thru every day not on selected days. To kiss and nurture them at all ages of their lives. To know, who their friends are, what interest they have in, which girl/boy they like, everything that we knew from them as small kids.
My message for all our teenage parents are “Donde Estas – where are you?”, are we still the active parents that we were when our kids were young? Are we there for kids in all aspects as they grow into teenagers and young adults?
Let’s stay united as a family and community to see that our children grow up to successful young adults. Let us, as parents not fail to enjoy every “Memorial Moment.”
Many of our Latino leaders have been forgotten and neglected throughout our Texas history. Many Tejanos fought, bled and died to allow Texas to exist and later flourish. I am writing about a segment of history and needs to be told. I encourage more Latinos to follow in the footsteps of Juan Seguin - soldier of Texas, Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, Senator of Texas and most definitely Hero of Texas. Latinos need to become leaders within their communities and run for elective office. So, that our Voice can be heard Loud and Clear!
The Battle of Gonzales was the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution. It was fought near Gonzales, Texas, on October 2, 1835, between rebellious Texian settlers and a detachment of Mexican army troops.
Tejano Colonel Juan Nepomuceno Seguir 1806 - 1890
1834 - Being the first to organize opposition to Gen. Santa Anna by preparing a circular inviting citizen to take part in a Texas Constitutional Convention.
1835 - Appointed to the rank of Captain in the Texas Army by Commander in Chief Stephen F. Austin: Captain Seguin recruited fighters to defend against the invasion of Santa Anna's army; Juan Seguin personally provide his own troops with horses, food and shelter.
1835 - Battle of Gonzales erupted over possession of a cannon wanted returned by Mexican troops; Gonzales citizens challenged the troops to "Come and Take It." They then used it to fire the first shot of the Revolution.
1835 - Juan Seguin fought alongside Jim Bowie in the Battle of Concepcion; then rushed to join the Grass Fight south of San Antonio to slow the pace of Santa Anna's invading Army.
1835 - Siege of Bejar - Captain Seguin with his 160 Tejano ranchers and Texas volunteers attacked Gen. Cos troops then in control of San Antonio in a crucial battle that signaled no turning back by Texas freedom fighters.
1836 - The advance guard of Santa Anna's troops was sighted near San Antonio which alerted the small detachment of defenders to quickly regroup on the grounds of the Alamo: Once there, the small unit of Texans immediately prepared their defense of the mission against the attacking troops of Gen. Cos that were soon to be dramatically increased by the much large forces of General Santa Anna.
1836 - The Siege of the Alamo commenced; Captain Seguin defended the mission alongside Crocket, Travis and Bowie until ordered by Colonel Travis to break through The Mexican lines in search of additional Texas troops.
1836 - The Fall of the Alamo occurred while Captain Seguin was following his orders to ride to Goliad in search of reinforcements from the troops of Colonel Fannin.
1836 - He next rushed to warn and help defend Texas citizens fleeing from the path of the Mexican Army during the ensuing Runaway Scrape.
1836 - Captain Seguin commanded Company (cavalry) of the 2nd Regiment during the Texas victory over Santa Anna Army at San Jacinto; soon after that brief struggle, he was ordered by General Sam Houston to enforce the orderly withdrawal of Santa Anna's troops from Texas.
1836 - Captain Seguin with his army reentered San Antonio to accept the surrender of the Mexican forces there under the command of Lt. Francisco Castaneda, the same officer involved in the opening skirmish over the cannon at Gonzales.
1836 - He was promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel by Republic of Texas President David Burnet, who expressed special trust in the courage, patriotism and ability of Juan N. Seguin.
1837 - He successfully appealed to his friend, Sam Houston, to rescind a prior military order to destroy San Antonio by fire, thus earning Colonel Seguin the respect for saving that city.
1837 - Ordered by Sam Houston to bury the remains of the Alamo defenders, Colonel Seguin provided the martyrs with a Christian burial including full military honors.
1839 - - Senator Juan N. Seguin presented a bill that established a mail route from Austin to San Antonio.
1839 - Colonel Seguin was honored by the citizens of Walnut Springs who voted to change the name of their community to Seguin because of his service to Texas during its heroic struggle for Independence.
1837 - 1840 - - The Biographical Directory of the Texas Conventions and Congresses states that Juan Seguin was an elected member of the Senate of the Republic of Texas 2nd, 3rd and 4th Congresses; Senator Seguin's legacy includes his strong leadership for adoption of a bill requiring all of the Laws of the Republic of Texas to be written in both English and Spanish. Senator Seguin held high his views that the Republic's law should protect all citizens and that there can be no doubt as to the rights an individual enjoys, and equally important what his responsibilities are, as a citizen of Texas.
January 19, 1840. Austin was selected as the official capital. Col. Seguin was on the joint Senate and House Committee to select the site for the Capitol of Texas which was named for his bosom friend Stephen F. Austin, it is related that the committee killed buffalo for their food while camped to locate the site for the capital of Texas.
1841 - Juan Seguin is elected Mayor of San Antonio.
1852 - Won election as Bexar County Justice of the Peace; re-elected for a second term two years later.
1869 - Elected Wilson County Judge.
1874 - Juan Seguin was declared a hero of the Texas War for Independence by the Texas Legislature and provided a lifetime pension by the state.
By Jesse Jimenez
He is one of two dark horse candidates for the city council He is a transplanted Californian who fell in love with Fort Worth at first sight. Besides his education, he brings a well-rounded working knowledge of issues he may encounter in the city council.
Tony Perez is a member of the City Council Board of Adjustment – Residential.
His personal accomplishments include:
Association of Realtors
When Tony first joined the MetroTex Association of Realtors he joined the Community Outreach Committee and was surprised they did not have a formal program encouraging diversity in its membership base. While many association leaders supported the concept, they had yet to establish a path to attracting new members from under-represented cultures. Within a year, Tony became the committee’s Vice-Chairman. Shortly after, Tony created a framework and with the support and participation of the Committee Chairperson and the rest of the committee, they convinced the Board of Directors to approve the association’s first Diversity Statement posted on its website, now included on its literature. They also changed the committee name to the Diversity and Housing Initiatives Committee. The following year, as the committee’s Chairperson, Tony worked to increase membership by asking the committee organize new events which educated association membership and increased the appreciation all real estate professionals should have for other cultures and ethnicities. Events demonstrated the positive effects diversity brings to a real estate business and communities it serves. Membership rolls showed a significant increase almost immediately.
Home Owners Association
Tony Pérez served on the Chisholm Ridge HOA Board of Directors, as its Vice President for three years before he had to take a year off and now serves as its President. In the first three years, he partnered with another Board member to reduce expenses and increase collections of past-due accounts that were allowed to lapse during the recession. With the plan approval by the remaining Board members, the HOA increased their reserve funds by tens of thousands of dollars and were able to make capital improvements and establish lower operating costs thus avoiding an increase in annual fees. The result was that, within two years, property values increased over 35%!
He is the populist candidate.
This is a return trip for Steve Thornton. He ran last time barely losing the election to the incumbent. The close election led him to believe that he had been robbed a little. In his words in a firefighter’s words “Firefighter’s finish the task.”. That is why he is running. To finish the task.
Steve Thornton believes in the status quo but he is not running as a rubber stamp for city hall. He feels that the neighborhood has been forgotten and neglected too long and needs better representation. He is committed to be a part of the community and “Make my barrio better place to live.”
Steve Thornton moved to North Texas from San Antonio to attend North Texas State University. He got his degree in History specializing in Pre-Colombian History. He became a teacher but left to follow his wife to Fort Worth. He got into the restaurant business. To pursue his dream of getting a Master’s Degree he left the business and became a firefighter for the city of Fort Worth. Being from the West Side of San Antonio and bi-lingual he was a natural fit to serve the people of the North Side.
Steve Thornton a product of the "Robin Hood" schools is acutely aware of the necessity of children growing up with positive role models. He supports naming a street after Cesar Chavez. Commemorating his accomplishments gives our children the opportunity and pride to celebrate our heroes just as we do the many other great heroes in our society.
In a way, you could say that nothing has changed in Washington.
The Trump administration is the well-oiled squeaky wheel.
None of this should really bother us unless; Trumpism comes to Fort Worth.
Of real concern to many Latinos in North Texas is the mass deportations. We as Mexican Americans and Latinos should be concerned because none of us is safe from being picked up. A young man was detained supposedly he is an American citizen. People live in fear of someone knocking on their door. Fearful that they will be deported and the family broken up. This is America and no one should live in fear. We do have a constitution that applies to everyone that lives in America regardless of how they got here. People are not like disposable wipers.
Trumpism. A strong nationalist fervor characterized by attacks on Muslims, Mexicans, women, hatred against most non-white groups and the LBGT community. The single greatest target of all the hatred is Hillary Clinton.
Has it Trumpism spread to Fort Worth?
At a rally in downtown Fort Worth on Saturday many Blacks showed up voicing their displeasure against racism in the City of Fort Worth. They attributed some negative comments directed by the Mayor against the Black community. Negative comments against minorities are common from Trump. But the Mayor???????
Carlos is the only candidate born and raised in Fort Worth’s District 2. His family has deep roots in the Northside and Diamond Hill. He is an All Saints Catholic School Alumnus and Nolan High School Alumnus. He and his family are All Saints Catholic Church parishioners.
Because of his established record of service, Carlos is endorsed by a broad coalition of community, city, and State leaders. Certainly, his knowledge and experience working with city government as the Chairman of the City Zoning Commission, former Chairman of the Building Standards Commission, former board member of the Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD), Fort Worth ISD Advisory Committee, Library Foundation, Stockyards Design Standards and Guidelines Task Force, Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure would all be valuable assets as a city council member.
Leading by example is something Carlos believes in firmly. He was a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and volunteered as a corporate college recruiter at Lockheed Martin educating and mentoring college students interested in careers in engineering. He and his wife, Isabel, both volunteer at All Saints Catholic School in the Home School Organization (HSO), parish fundraisers, and Girl Scouts of America.
Carlos has a long history of grassroots volunteerism. He is a former President of the Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods, member of the Inter District 2 Alliance and serves as the President of the Northside Neighborhood Association. He is supportive of naming a street after Cesar Chavez and has encouraged those seeking a name change to reach out to business owners, the neighborhood, city and county officials. As a member of the CCPD, he participated in the selection of community-based programs to address issues ranging from domestic abuse to juvenile crime prevention.
Carlos is an Aerospace Engineer and studied at the University of Texas at Arlington and a graduate of the Leadership Fort Worth Program Class of 2008. In his career, he has worked on major national defense projects like the P-3 Orion, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 Lightening II fighter aircraft. He works at Parker-Hannifin Stratoflex as an Engineer. He, his wife and two children live in the Northside and are active in their community.
Valentine's Day, also known as Saint Valentine's Day or the day we show our love and affection to others. It has a story for which we continue to celebrate this date. The story goes that Saint Valentine was a priest, during the third century, who performed secret marriages among young people since Emperor Claudius II had prohibited marriage.
According to the Emperor's belief the young men would be better soldiers if they were not married or had children. Valentin thought it was not fair because they deserved to know love and to form a family. The emperor then discovered what Valentine was doing, sent him to jail and beheaded him on 14 February.
It is also said that a Roman officer asked Valentin to cure his daughter who was blind from birth. Valentin agreed and cured the little girl. After Valentin was beheaded, the girl brought flowers to her grave as symbol of gratitude that he had granted her sight. This was taken into account as a representation of gratitude from one person to another.
Since then and until today, both in the United States and in some other countries of the world, February 14 is a day in which we can show our feelings either in a loving relationship or with our friends. Now we can also show gratitude even to teachers, since in the stores you can find gifts designed specifically for them.
On this date women are the ones who usually expect some detail from their partner. However, at no time has it been said that only women are the ones who have to receive gifts. Men also have the right to receive something from their partner or some secret admirer. This date is also used by many men to request marriage to their partners. And just as there are people who are very fond of this date and anxiously waiting for it, there are also people for whom it is an ordinary day since they do not need a specific day to show their affection towards another person.
Finally, let's take into account that Valentine's Day is a day in which everyone shows their affection or friendship towards another person. You can even declare love to that special person. But remember, women are not the ones who always have to receive, nor are men the ones who always have to give some detail.
This was surely a gut-wrenching election, riddled with lies, propaganda, racism, prejudice, extreme sexism and apparently; Russians. While some were pleased with the outcome of the election, there was a large number of disheartened individuals who were completely side swiped with how it all ended. However, amongst all the chaos we now call our President; there is a glimmer of progress, change and opportunity and her name is first Latina Senator Catherine Cortez.
In addition to her dedicatio
Senator Cortez was born in Nevada where she was raised by Joanna Cortez and Manny Cortez who worked his way up to become head of Las Vegas Convention and Visitors authority, in addition to being the County Commissioner. Cortez showing the same drive as her father, graduated with a business degree in 1986 and made her way to Gonzaga University School of Law where she earned her law degree in 1990. Her career had an interesting start as Nevada Governor Bob Miller's chief of staff and was assigned to coordinating logistics for a visit to Las Vegas by President Bill Clinton, along with her now Husband Paul Masto who was a former US Secret Service agent.
Catherine Cortez would move on from working at the Governor's office to work as a civil attorney. From there she would become a federal prosecutor for the United States Attorney's Office in Washington, DC and continue to work her way up.
According to her website catherinecortezmasto.com, in 2007 Catherine became the 32nd Attorney General of Nevada, where she worked tirelessly to improve the lives of families, the elderly and women. In 2013 she supported a Bill that would make Sex Trafficking a Federal Crime in Nevada and gave women the right to sue their accusers, making vast improvements to the fight against Human Sex Trafficking.
n to families and women, she also had a strong position on the removal of drugs like methamphetamine from neighborhoods and communities. Cortez worked with law enforcements to put together concrete plans to alleviate this vast epidemic taking over Nevada. Along with settling with Bank of America for almost $2 billion for their predatory lending practices and mass foreclosures which they refused to accept responsibly for, she proved to try her hardest to hold the "bad guys" accountable.
After her term for Attorney General of Nevada was over in 2015, she was not unemployed for long as Senator Harry Reid was retiring the same year and was passing the torch to Catherine Cortez. She opposed Republican Candidate Joe Heck in November of 2016 and won 47% of the votes (520,658 votes) becoming the First Latina Senator in United States history. She gave her victory speech before the President and exclaimed, "I will promise you this, I will be one hell of a check and balance on him". Senator Catherine Cortez has shown she has the power and stamina to take on any hard-hitting issue and I am excited to see her future achievements unfold.
As school’s struggle to keep up with teaching the latest technology and making sure students master all the state test requirements, one important class has been eliminated from the school curriculum.
Schools have stopped teaching life skills to our children. I believe that life skills should be taught at home but with many single parent or both parents working there is little time for parents to teach life skills at home. Some parents don’t have life skills so how can they teach something they don’t know. Teaching life skills at school will break the cycle at home. Many life skills, that earlier generations took for granted, many young people have no clue how to perform.
So, what are life skills?
Teaching life skills would include teaching the following to students: balancing a checkbook, budgeting for a house hold, cleaning the house, washing clothes, minor repairs around the house and automobile, cooking, sewing, reading labels on food products, saving coupons, writing resumes, raising a garden, trimming trees around the house, help parents manage the house, etc. This is only a very small list of life skills teachers could develop a much more inclusive list. Along with having to know how to read or write young people need to know how to complete tasks that are part of everyday life.
For example, it does not matter how much a person earns if he/she does not know how to budget the earnings. A person that does not know how to budget will struggling financially. Teaching life skills should be brought back to the school curriculum and made mandatory for all students. It should start with middle school. Parents should demand this for their children.
“God is Love” I have heard this so many times said by many preachers and people in the church.
I had never really analyzed what those words really mean. Since I have gotten closer to the church and have been seeking more and more information about my faith this is what I have concluded and what I believe.
First, I believe in God the Father almighty creator of heaven and earth and I believe in his son Jesus Christ. Jesus was both man and God. Yes, he had two natures. Ok you ask why God needed to come to earth as a man, then suffer and die so harshly after being crucified. Well my friends he did that because he loves us. He had to show that Love by going through all that suffering because that is the only way our little minds can be able to understand what real Love is. You see Adam and Eve’s sin of disobeying God doomed all humanity. Yep that one little sin was like a negative number in a formula that equaled us. We were faulted humans not worthy to be united with God. To fix that negative number in our human equation, another human who was God in the flesh had to come to the world to turn that negative into a positive thus allowing us to enter God’s positive kingdom. Yes, he loves us that much. His human sacrifice made us worthy to be saved and not thrown into the fires of hell’s incinerator. (Boo! I hope that scared you!)
We still must do some things to enter God’s kingdom. God allowed us to start clean after being baptized as Christians. Then the journey thru life and all the things the devil tries to do to tempt us into corruption begins. God gave us one big hint on how to get thru life and all those traps that liar Satan is setting for us. The big hint is summed up in one word and that word is, “LOVE”.
So, if God is Love then to me that would mean the very Character of God is the state of Love. So, to be like him we must take on that same character and that is to Love.
Ok so we love our spouses, we love our families, our friends. That kind of love is great and easy to do. Almost anyone can do that even the ungodly do it. The hard thing to do is to love our neighbors, now that my friend is hard to do. We all know that, because some of our neighbors are hard to even like much less love. And sometimes that person that walks by us well we don’t know them so how can we love them. They dress different, talk different, look different and not the sort of people you want to be around, etc.
As I go thru life wrestling the challenges that come at me trying to get into the love character, here is what I have figured out so far about love. There are many definitions of love. For this article, I will define it as” An intangible connection between two people that feels exceptionally good”. We have all been there. When you are in that state of Love it sure feels good.
So how do we stay in that feel-good state? For me it takes a lot of practice. I started by first changing my attitude towards all people. I started greeting people as I walked by them, I became politer, more friendly, patient and just more outgoing. All those actions on my part made me feel good. I found that most people respond with the same type of warm friendly greeting. I showed love and in turn was also shown Love which made me feel good. Now I am seeing other ways to show love and how to treat people good. What I am finding out is I am building a Character which will equate to Love. Man, life’s journey sure can be interesting. A lot of times you are challenged to stay in that state of Love. Especially when you find yourself in an environment of what seems like bulldogs snipping at you every day. Guess what, show them bulldogs some love they will change and then return that love. It works! That’s what I am finding out. It is a good place to be. Go out there and try it.
Good luck and don’t let the big dog bite.
Joe M. Govea
a devout Catholic whose duty is to evangelize
A Novel Idea
A “novel idea” is basically defined as “a good idea" whether it be based on fact or BS. From my personal experience over the last few months of riding DART, I / me / myself call their customer service the latter. At the best.
This is not the mindless rant of someone that doesn’t appreciate DART, I am blessed to be able to make use of the DART Light Rail, and not waste countless hours stuck in traffic each workday. I am blessed my employer foots half the bill of my ridership. I am blessed I am able to utilize the GoPass app, not everyone can. I am blessed that my stop in downtown Dallas is mere steps from my office building.
Yes, I really do appreciate my overall DART experience. Nevertheless, to you Dallas Rapid Area Transit, I say you have plenty of room to improve your customer service. Now if I can only say in 500 – 600 words or less.
My Initial Experiences
I have utilized the DART train off and on for the last ten years, since May/June 2016 almost exclusively. In the previous 91/2 years, there were instances sprinkled here and there, that soured me on DART enough to discourage me from making it my primary mode of work transportation. The two (separate) instances at the top of the list: punks jumped men at one of the downtown stations after dark, both were beaten, one was robbed; one fought back didn’t lose any money but had to wear sunglasses temporarily. Being an ex-cop I strongly encouraged both to file a report after the fact, I even offered to go with them, both declined, the one robbed because he is an undocumented worker. Makes an ex-cop wonder if this is an isolated incident.
My Recent Experiences
Summer months 2016 (June - August): I get there early each day to park in a shaded area under a tree in parking lot across the street from trains, but typically was not able to. The day laborers get there early and take most of them. I guess they pay DART taxes too
082416: A DART employee (wearing a DART uniform and the name tag McKinney) was apparently running late, honked at me while I was in the crosswalk (I can only presume I was walking too slow for him), sped into the parking lot, parked in a handicap spot, jumped out of the van, ran towards a bus that was leaving, and tried to flag it down. Not sure if he was successful.
Cooler months: Homeless riders are now almost a daily occurrence; they usually take up two seats lying across both of them sleeping. I get on at the Parker Rd Station; I can only assume they are boarding downtown somewhere because coming into Plano they are on the last train. Leaving they are on the first one. Once another passenger and I were commenting on the “sleeper” and she said, “I came up here from the next car because there are several asleep on it.”
I am not heartless toward the homeless in cold weather, we all need a warm place to sleep, but when they are taking up two seats on an already crowded train, I feel DART police should intervene. Speaking of DART Police, I’ve texted them couple of times (about this issue) as the posted signs direct and I always get polite text replies asking pertinent questions. Where did I board? Which station am I now? Etc. But 45 minutes later when I arrived at a stop in FRONT OF THE DART BUILDING and no one had responded I realized they weren’t.
Well I’ve exceeded my word limit. Maybe next month “Part 2”
Throughout time it seems as if the Confederate Flag has lost its true meaning; most people waving the flag claim it stands for southern pride. However, it is important to remember why this flag was created in the first place. Much like many southerners today, in 1860 Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States claimed the south was seceding over States Rights. The South felt the federal government had too much power over individual states. However, some southerners fail to mention the only right southerners were in fear of losing was the right to own another human being. No matter how hard anybody tries to downplay the true reason for the south succeeding from the Union, the facts are clear as day; it was all about slavery.
The documentation of the pure racism that drove the south to leave the Union is harsh to say the least. Southern Democrats often referred to President Lincoln as the “Black Republican”. The Vice president of the Confederate States was quoted saying slavery was the “immediate cause” of the Civil War and succeeding from the United States. Other states like South Carolina wrote in their Declaration of Immediate Causes of Succession, “increasing hostility on the part of the non- slave holding states to the institution of slavery” as part of their reason for leaving. Mississippi, leaving no question as to why they were succeeding, stating how preserving slavery is the reason for succeeding.
All the efforts of the Confederate army to preserve slavery proved fruitless, and on May 10, 1865 Jefferson Davis was captured by federal troops, then two days later Lee surrendered. Years after the Civil War had finally ended some confederate veterans began to give sugar coated ideas of States Rights being the reason why they fought in the Civil War. But, Nathan Bedford Forest a wealthy slave trader disregarded their reasoning and exclaimed how the only reason he fought was to “Keep his N** and other folks’ N**”, I cleaned up the quote but I am sure you get the picture.
The population of Texas around 1800 was about 5,000. Mostly they were Mestizo, mixed Spanish and Indian. Most lived in South Texas. There were a handful of Spaniard brought in from the Canary Island in 1731 to San Antonio. Above San Antonio extending beyond North Central Texas and North Texas there were thousands of Native Indians of every make and every model.
Texas was sparsely populated because Spaniards did not want to come to Texas. Texas being as large as it is they could have grabbed as much land as they wanted to. The Spaniards had heard about Indians and the harsh life in isolated Texas. The Spaniards were not enticed by free land regardless of how big. Americans on the other hand were hungry for land. Texas above San Antonio was available.
There were incursions into sovereign Spanish Territory. The most notable were the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Zebulon Pike expedition to Colorado and by Philip Nolan who was killed by Spaniards nearby in Bosque County. Zebulon Pike fared better he was only imprisoned. Cajuns were sneaky enough to enter into Spanish Territory to trade rifles for furs. They too were aware that if they were caught there would be consequences. Philip Nolan’s marker states that his death led to the Texas Revolution. This is a bit of a stretch. The US was posturing during this period trying to figure out how to take all the land west of the Mississippi. The US interpretation of the Louisiana Purchase was that the purchase extended to the Rio Grande.
Monument marking the place where Philip Nolan was supposedly killed by Spaniards.
When Texas declared its independence from Mexico in 1836 there were about 40,000 Americans and 10,000 Tejanos in Texas a 10 to 1 ratio. These are only estimates. All bells and whistles set aside about the event, Mexico refused to ratify the Treaties of Velasco granting Texas its independence because Santa Ana signed the treaties, one public and one secret, under coercion.
When the US annexed Texas it actually annexed a part of Mexico since Texas was still a part of Mexico, Mexico never having granted Texas its independence. There was an issue of the territorial limits of Texas. The only way to resolve the issue was to have a war.
The Mexican American War in 1848 settled forever the question of who owned Texas and its territorial limits. The US sent troops to Mexico knowing that Mexican sovereignty was being violated. The Mexican military attacked the US troops and the war was on.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo did basically four things; 1. It legitimized the annexation of Texas by the US. 2. It granted American citizenship to those Texas Mexicans (Tejanos) that wanted to remain in the conquered land. 3. It granted ownership of land owned by Tejanos under Spanish rule. 4. The US purchased land claimed by Mexico north and west of Texas.
The saying goes “to the victor belong the spoils” and the US got what it wanted. Manifest Destiny became a reality, the US from coast to coast. The US compensated Mexico fifteen million dollars for all the territory west and north of Texas.
Pageants have become a much-loved tradition throughout history, some avid pageant contestants start as soon as young as 2 weeks old. But, Miss Texas Latina and Miss Teen Latina pageant contestants are no, ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’, they are young intelligent women with the drive to succeed and look great while doing so.
When I met with the dedicated coordinator, Edna Tijerina of the Fort Worth Pageant in the middle of Sundance Square in Downtown, she was excited to tell me how pleased she was with the stamina the young Pageant winners showed, as being Miss Texas Latina and Miss Teen Texas Latina is not an effortless position to hold.
After a short walk from Sundance Square, to the TCC Trinity River campus, I was met by the current Title holders, Montserrat Badilla of Miss Teen Latina Texas 2016, and Karla Bello of Miss Texas Latina 2016. Although I was interrupting a photo shoot, the Pageant Winners were very polite and had no problem sharing with me. Both ladies have been competing in pageants for only a few years, but clearly found their way quickly, as they are both currently title holders. The Miss Texas Latina Organization must have an eye for upstanding citizens, as their winners seem to have the peoples interest at heart. Both ladies, who are both originally from Mexico, have a clear passion for their communities, Miss Latina Texas made it a point to express her love for San Antonio. Montserrat Badilla, displayed compassion for the safety for teens and the dangers of underage drinking, she hosts parties with the message of anti-underage drinking to combat this issue. Miss Teen Latina Texas, surely will be an asset to the Hispanic Community as a thoughtful and resourceful person.
Karla Bello has taken advantage of her platform, as she uses the voice her title gave her to encourage young Latinas to continue their education. Miss Bello, describes herself as a …” very humble girl”, which shows with her vibrant attitude towards the betterment of the Hispanic community, and helping women continue their education.
These pageants are undoubtedly not your everyday ‘beauty pageants”, these young women are both brains and beauty, they make amazing role models for young girls all over Texas.
The pageant begins on March 18, 2017, complete with a Red Carpet at 6:30 pm. Good Luck to all the pageant contestants!
Update; 03/18/16 Fort Worth Texas, Mercedes Olivares from Dallas. Texas was Miss Texas Latina 2017 with Karen Ramirez from Fort Worth, Texas as the First Runner Up
Miss Teen Texas Latina 2017 was awarded to Genesis Sosa from Katy Texas, First Runner Up for 2017 is Viviana Santos from Fort Worth, Texas
Congratulations to the winners and all the young ladies that participated in the Miss Texas Latina Pageant 2017, in addition to Pageant Director Ms. Edna Bowles from Nuestra Voz de North Texas
Jennifer is one of four candidates for Fort Worth City Council District 2. She is one of the three that is not native to Fort Worth. Jennifer was born in California but came to Texas with her family when she was three years old. Many members of her extended family also moved to Tarrant County around this time for job opportunities. Upon graduating as the valedictorian of Joshua High School, she went on to Texas Tech University to earn her business degree. After college, she returned to her adopted roots in the metroplex to work for HEB Grocery. She earned her masters degree from TCU after getting married to Fort Worth native, Chris Treviño and making Fort Worth her home.
Jennifer is one of two dark horses in this election. Through her work experience and as a leader of the Fort Worth Chapter of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, she has acquired the skills to communicate effectively with diverse groups, a skill that will be beneficial to the City Council and as a leader in the Latino community. Jennifer has worked in her neighborhood for many years and played a strong role in many of their successes such as installation of street sign toppers, improved communications, coordinator of annual cleanups and being awarded the “Spirit of Fort Worth” twice. She has impressive credentials which include being named “40 Under 40” by the Fort Worth Business Press, receiving the Hispanic Heritage Award from the United Hispanic Council and being named “Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas” by the Texas Diversity Council. The best description of Jennifer is that of a very qualified candidate and involved Latina. Jennifer brings a strong competitive spirit to the race.