Thursday, February 19, 2015
Chavez Ravine is the current site of Dodger Stadium, a Major League Baseball stadium in Los Angeles, California where the Los Angeles Dodgers play. Chavez Ravine was named for Julian Chavez, a Los Angeles councilman in the 19th century.
The above film, Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story, is a PBS documentary telling the story of how Dodger Stadium came to be. The film shows how this Mexican American community was destroyed by greed, political hypocrisy and good intentions gone awry. During the early 1950s, the city of Los Angeles forcefully evicted the 300 families of Chavez Ravine to make way for a low-income public housing project. The land was cleared and the homes, schools and the church were razed. But instead of building the promised housing, the city sold the land to Brooklyn Dodgers baseball owner Walter O’Malley, who built Dodger Stadium on the site. The residents of Chavez Ravine, who had been promised first pick of the apartments in the proposed housing project, were given no reimbursement for their destroyed property and forced to scramble for housing elsewhere.
Fifty years later, filmmaker Jordan Mechner explores what happened, interviewing many of the former residents of Chavez Ravine as well as some of the officials who oversaw the destruction of the community. Narrated by Cheech Marin and scored by Ry Cooder and Lalo Guerrero, CHAVEZ RAVINE combines contemporary interviews with archival footage and Normark’s haunting black-and-white photographs to reclaim and celebrate a beloved community of the past.
Hat tip to Ernesto Hernandez.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Some people only watch the Super Bowl for the halftime show (viewers seemed to love or hate the Katy Perry robotic, shark-infested, post-modern extravaganza) and the glitzy new commercials. (I must say that I could not tell what most of the commercials were selling.). The Coca Cola commercial raised the ire of none other than Glenn Beck, who saw the commercial as divisive and promoting immigration. While I may have missed something, the ad seemed to me to promote tolerance and inclusiveness.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Super Sunday? Super Bowl Helps Arizona Adopt More Friendly Image, But Immigrants Say They Are Still Targeted
It is finally game day and the Super Bowl will be played in a matter of hours. And it will be played on a warm winter day in Arizona, which has seen a fair amount of ferment over the years on the issue of immigration. The state's S.B. 1070, a tough immigration enforcement measure, made the national news and was struck down in large part by the Supreme Court in Arizona v. United States.
The International Business Tribune reports that, with the Super Bowl in town, new Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey met with more than 70 CEOs this week hoping to lure new investors to a state that has struggled financially for years because of a global boycott triggered by tough immigration policies. Ducey took office in January succeeding Jan Brewer, who was for many the face of Arizona's anti-immigrant movement.
In contrast, community activists opposed to the state's many anti-immigrant measures, however, said life in Arizona remains difficult for Latinos, who are often targeted by conservative lawmakers and law enforcement officials. Tensions between conservative white residents and Hispanic voters is being whitewashed during the Super Bowl to impress visitors and potential investors, the activists said. "By hosting the Super Bowl here, people think everything is fine now and everything is beautiful, but the reality is Arizona is one of the most anti-immigrant states in the union and that hasn’t changed," said Salvador Reza, who was born in Mexico but has lived in Arizona for 22 years. "We still feel it every day."
Jude Joffe-Block reports the latest on Maricopa County Sheriff (Arizona) Joe Arpaio's legal saga in Melendres v. Arpaio, a case in which a federal district court in 2013 found that Arpaio's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MSCO) had engaged in a pattern and practice of discriminating against Latinos in its law enforcement activities.
District Judge Murray Snow is expected to soon order a hearing to decide whether Sheriff Arpaio should be held in contempt for violating court orders. Lawyers for the sheriff are asking to settle the charges.
In finding that the MSCO had violated the rights of Latinos in Maricopa County, the court ordered sweeping changes at the department, and appointed a monitor to oversee compliance. In recent months Judge Snow has expressed concern that the sheriff's office has seemingly violated several court orders and, earlier this month, he tentatively set aside four days in April to hold a possible civil hearing to find out if Arpaio and his commanders should be found in contempt of court.
On Friday, lawyers for the sheriff asked Judge Snow for a settlement meeting. The motion for a settlement conference was filed on the same day that Arpaio sent an e-mail to supporters announcing his plans to run for re-election in 2016, which would be the seventh term for the 82 year old sheriff.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, often featured on this blog for his immigration shenanigans, is featured in an electronic billboard overlooking Times Square in New York City welcoming Super Bowl visitors to Arizona.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Former Immigrant of the Day Bermane Stiverne lost the World Boxing Council Heavyweight championship last night in a decision to Deontay Wilder. Stiverne was the first heavyweight champiuon born in Haiti and now fights out of Las Vegas. He is in the process of becoming a naturlized U.S. citizen.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Roger Moute a Bidias, a native of Cameroon, began playing organized basketball in 2009 in his homeland before coming to the United States in 2010. He currently plays for the Cal Bears men's basketball team.
Roger is the younger brother of former Division I standouts Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (UCLA) and Emmanuel Bidias a Moute (UCSB and Texas State-San Marcos). Luc helped UCLA to three straight Final Four appearances.
When Roger Moute a Bidias was younger, he had designs of leaving his homeland to play his chosen sport at an elite level. Growing up in the soccer-is-a-way-of-life culture in Cameroon, Moute a Bidias immersed himself in the sport. But as he became taller, he told himself he should at least give basketball a try. He moved to the United States for high school and excelled, ultimately earning a scholarship to play at Cal.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Born in Venezuela, Alcides Escobar is a professional baseball player and starting shortstop for the Kansas City Royals. Last night, in the Royals' blowout of the San Francisco Giants to force a Game 7 World Series game, Escobar was 2-5, with a run and RBI.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend were tragically killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. The 22-year-old outfielder and top prospect was set to compete for a starting job in the St. Louis Cardinals outfield in 2015.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Taveras (born June 19, 1992) played as a rookie in the 2014 National League Championship Series for the St. Louis Cardinals. He hit a game-tying pinch-hit home run, helping to propel the Cardinals to a victory over the Giants in Game 2 of the NLCS.
Taveres was one of the highest-rated prospects in all of Minor League Baseball. He was the recipient of many awards and won batting titles in three minor leagues, including in the Midwest League with a .386 batting average in 2011. Through 2013, Taveras' career minor league batting average was .320 with 45 home runs and 275 runs batted in in 374 games.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Born in Venezuela, Gregor Blanco is the center fielder and leadoff hitter for the San Francisco Giants and played in the team's Game 3 of the World Series last night. He also has played with the Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Royals. Blanco signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants in November 2011, and was selected to be part of the Giants' 2012 Opening Day roster as an outfielder.
The San Francisco Giants won the third game of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 5-4 walk-off win in 10 innings. With a runner on base, Blanco squared up to sacrifice bunt. He bunted and the pitcher threw the ball into right field allowing the runner to score.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Steve Nash,is a professional basketball player with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After a successful high-school basketball career in British Columbia, he earned a scholarship to Santa Clara University. In his four seasons with the Broncos, the team made three NCAA Tournament appearances, and Nash was twice named the West Coast Conference (WCC) Player of the Year.
Nash graduated from Santa Clara as the team's all-time leader in assists and was taken as the 15th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 1998. By his third season with the Mavericks, Nash was voted to his first NBA All-Star Game and had earned his first All-NBA selection. Nash led the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals the following season. After the 2003-04 season, Nash returned as a free agent to the Phoenix Suns.
In the 2004-05 season, Nash led the Suns to the Western Conference Finals and was named the league's Most Valuable Player (MVP). He was named MVP again in the 2005-06 season. Named by ESPN in 2006 as the ninth greatest point guard of all time, Nash has led the league in assists and free-throw percentage at various points in his career. He is also ranked as one of the top players in NBA league history in three-point shooting, free-throw shooting, total assists, and assists per game.
In July 2012, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Nash.les was the best fit for him and his family. Nash has been hobbled by injuries for the last two years. Yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Nash will be out for the entire 2014-15 season. Nash will miss the entire season because of a back injury, putting his future in the NBA in doubt.
In 2006, Nash was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He also received the Order of Canada in 2007 and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Victoria in 2008. Nash is a co-owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC professional soccer team.
Nash was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to a Welsh mother and an English father. He holds British as well as Canadian citizenship. Nash's family moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, when he was 18 months old, before settling in Victoria, British Columbia.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Born in Japan, Nori Aoki is an outfielder for the Kansas City Royals. The Royals are in the post-season for the first time since 1985. Aoki has been solid at or near the top of the Royals' batting order.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Hockey legend Wayne ("The Great") Gretzky, who was a star player from the age of ten, joined the National Hockey League and went on to become the game’s all-time greatest player: winning the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player nine times; leading the league in scoring for 10 seasons, and amassing more assists (1,963), more goals (894), and more points (2,857) than any other player in NHL history. After retiring, he became part owner and head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes. Gretzky was the final Olympic torchbearer at the 2010 Winter Olympics. S
Friday, October 17, 2014
Born in the Dominican Republic,Santiago Casilla is a right-handed relief pitcher with Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball. He pitched 2/3 inning of scoreless relief in the Giants' dramatic 6-3 victory last night over the St. Louis Cardinals. With the win, the Giants made it to the World Series to play the Kansas City Royals.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
After decades of mediocrity, the Kansas City Royals are headed to their first World Series since 1985, finishing a four-game sweep in the AL Championship Series with a 2-1 victory Wednesday over the Baltimore Orioles.
Our Immigrant of the Day,Kelvin Herrera pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for the Royals. Born in the Dominican Republic, Herrera was first called up to the majors in September 2011. On August 30, 2012, Herrera got his first career save.
Herrera throws extremely hard; his fastball averages about 97 mph and tops out at 103. He pairs his fastball with a deceptive changeup.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Born in Taiwan, Wei-Yin Chen is a Taiwanese professional baseball pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball. Prior to joining the Orioles, Chen spent four years pitching in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Born in the Dominican Republic, Oscar Taveras is a professional baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals. He spent time in Montreal, Canada during high school but returned to the Dominican Republic. Taveres is the recipient of many awards and won batting titles in three minor leagues, including in the Midwest League with a .386 batting average in 2011. Last night, Taveres hit a game-tying pinch hit home run in the Cardinals' win in the second game of the National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Born in Venezuela, Pablo Sandoval, nicknamed "Kung Fu Panda, is a professional baseball player with the San Francisco Giants. He is a two-time All-Star and has won two World Series championships with the Giants. Sandoval hit three home runs in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series, becoming just the fourth person to hit three home runs in a World Series game, and was named the World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Born in Santiago, Dominican Republic, Jhonny Antonio Peralta is a professional baseball shortstop for Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals. The Cleveland Indians signed him as a free agent in 1999. Peralta made his Major League debut for the Indians four years later and has also played for the Detroit Tigers. He is a two-time All-Star selection.