Archive for June 3rd, 2008

Star Telegram

The Irving school district has been targeted in a federal lawsuit that seeks to create single-member school board districts in an effort to get Hispanic representation on the board.

The board presides over campuses that have a 65.5 percent Hispanic enrollment, according to the Texas Education Agency.

About 42 percent of Irving residents are Hispanic, according to the U.S. Census.

The lawsuit was filed Monday by Dallas attorney Bill Brewer, who has also sued the city of Irving, seeking the creation of single-member City Council districts.

School board President Jerry Christian said that getting strong Hispanic candidates to run is the answer. He noted that two African-American candidates beat Hispanic candidates in last month’s school board election.

‘You need to get Hispanics involved in the school district and working in the school district and present themselves as qualified, involved candidates, and I think they can get elected,’ he said.

The plaintiff is Manuel Benavidez of Irving, who lost bids for the school board in 2000 and 2005.

Brewer said he filed the suit on Benavidez’s behalf because the system denies Hispanics representation.

‘The district is following a voting rights scheme that violates the Voting Rights Act of 1964,’ Brewer said. ‘It’s clear that the system in place deprives a very significant group of citizens in the Irving Independent School District of their right to participate in a meaningful way in the election.’

He said the lawsuit might produce two or three Hispanic seats.

Brewer has taken a prominent role in local fights over illegal immigration. He has also filed two lawsuits against Farmers Branch, which has been trying to bar illegal immigrants from renting apartments in the city.

One of his lawsuits is in state court, where Brewer asserts that the Farmers Branch City Council violated Texas’ open-meeting law by discussing the rental ban behind closed doors.

Another suit is in federal court, where Brewer and other parties suing the city won a victory last week when U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay ruled that the rental ban is unconstitutional.

The city has already adopted a new version of the rental ban.

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day laborers

Daily News

It wasn’t your typical field trip that Danielle Quinto took her fourth-grade class at Our Community School in North Hills on last week.

Her 25 students - all from lower- to middle-class working families - didn’t go to the Los Angeles Zoo or Travel Town.

Instead, they went to see men whom they said scared them, men they thought were dangerous and stole things.

Quinto took her class of 9-year-old children on a field trip to a city-funded, day-labor work site in North Hollywood near a Home Depot.

‘It was a little weird taking the kids on a field trip like this, but it turned out to be a teacher’s dream,’ the young, charter school teacher said Monday.

In one hour, she changed misconceptions and eased the fears of 25 children who thought all day laborers were ‘bad men.’

‘It was the first time a group of schoolchildren ever took the time to stop and talk with our men, find out why they’re here and what they do to make a living,’ said Rene Vasquez, site coordinator of the North Hollywood day-labor program where 80 to 110 men look for work every day.

‘I’ll tell you this, the men I talked to after those kids left really appreciated it. I think they saw a little of their own kids in them.’

Read more.

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SignOnSanDiego

SAN DIEGO ? About 140 people at San Diego State University and Cuyamaca College may have been exposed to tuberculosis between late January and early May, county health officials said Monday.

The same woman exposed about 55 people at SDSU and 85 at Cuyamaca, said a spokesman for the county Health and Human Services Agency. The county said it is notifying those who may have been exposed.

County officials refused to say whether the woman was a student. (or in the country illegally)

According to the county, 82 cases of TB have been reported in the county so far this year, compared with 280 in 2007. Most people exposed to TB don’t contract the disease.

SDSU students enrolled during the spring semester who may have been exposed can get a TB test for free at Students Health Services on campus. Anyone exposed who has no medical provider of their own, or who wants more information, can contact the County TB Control Program at (619) 692-8621.

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Party for Socialism and Liberation

“This has never happened before,” said Gilberto, a middle-aged gardener who joined over 600 hundreds residents of the inland City of Pomona to protest what he said were never-ending racist traffic checkpoints, or “retenes.”

The native of Jalisco, Mexico, said he marched through city streets because he was angry. And he had every right to be.

During the last 18 months, the Pomona Police Department had impounded his 1989 Chevy Malibu three times because Gilberto, like many who live in the low-income city about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, does not have a driver?s license. An undocumented worker, he is constantly fearful of being harassed by the authorities.

“Every time they pull me over without a driver?s license, it costs $1,500 to get my car back,” said Gilberto.

Many city residents at the protest expressed similar sentiments, saying the so-called sobriety checkpoints are death traps for hard-working immigrants. After paying hundreds of dollars in fines and impound fees, there is often little left for gas, food or rent.

Read more.

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We have a lot of legal and illegal Armenians in Southern California. Glendale has the second highest Armenian population in the U.S. (I’m not sure who’s first). 40% of students in the Glendale Unified School District are of Armenian descent. (Link: Armeniapedia)

FOX News

Arthur Mkoyan’s 4.0 grade-point average qualified him to enter one of the state’s top universities. But the 17-year-old and his mother have been ordered back to Armenia after their last appeal for asylum failed.

The family fled from what used to be part of the Soviet Union and has been seeking asylum since 1992.

A spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they were given an extension until June 20 so Mkoyan could attend his graduation ceremony.

A federal bill called the DREAM Act that would have given some high-performing illegal immigrants legal status to attend college stalled last year in Congress.

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The drunk, Juan Campos, that drove into the cyclists claims to be an American citizen. The U.S. consulate is looking into it. I highly doubt our consulate is going to do back bends to help this criminal they way the Mexican consulate interferes in our laws to defend their criminals. Juan Campos needs to spend his life in a Mexican jail.

crash

CNN

MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — A car plowed into a weekend bike race along a highway near the U.S.-Mexico border, killing one and injuring 10 others, police said.

A car plows into a crowd of bicyclists participating in a race on a highway near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Click to view previous image

The 28-year-old driver was apparently drunk and fell asleep when he crashed into the race, said police investigator Jose Alfredo Rodriguez.

A photograph taken by a city official showed bicyclists and equipment being hurled high into the air by the collision.

Rodriguez said Juan Campos was charged with killing Alejandro Alvarez, 37, of Monterrey.

Authorities said the wreck happened 15 minutes into the 34-kilometer (21 mile) race Sunday along a highway between Playa Bagdad and Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas.

Campos said he is an American citizen living in Brownsville. The U.S. Consulate could not immediately confirm that.

“We are looking into the incident in terms of whether American citizens were involved,”

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