From My Corner: December 1, 2023

A bit of history about Rumbo

            Two new terms are being used about newspapers that most people may not be familiar with. One is “news desert” and the other is “ghost newspapers.”

            News desert.  This refers to a city or area that doesn’t have a local newspaper that will cover local news. They may have been large with a big staff that in time was forced to lay off employees leaving them unable to serve their communities with local reporting as before.

            You may think that we still have radio, television, social media, and other places to get our news but we are missing out on the local content. Our democracy depends on our involvement in local issues. If our newspapers are losing personnel, particularly reporters to cover community events, city council, and school committee meetings, how can we expect those residents to be involved in the electoral process?

            If people are kept out of the ins and outs of the local government, that breeds corruption. I watch the city council meetings and as many committees as possible and see that there’s almost no one in the audience. I wonder how many might be watching on television like me but, that leads to fraud.

            This country is in a crisis due to the level of ignorance in areas without a newspaper to inform and educate about proposed tax increases, new laws being enacted, or policies that must be decided.

            Residents need to be made aware of local issues to understand what affects them and vote intelligently but in minority communities, people don’t even know the names of political candidates running for office.


            Ghost newspapers. This is a term used to describe newspapers that have become “ghosts” of their former selves. These newspapers are still published, but the quality, quantity, and scope of their editorial content are significantly diminished. They have become a ghost of what they used to be.

            While Rumbo never was a big enterprise, we cannot be called a “ghost” and we recognize that Lawrence is a “news desert.”

            Think about the type of information our residents get; besides not having reporters to cover the city council meetings, we are deprived of information through television and social media. Watching them on Facebook or any other means is painful with no sound. I can’t wait for the new equipment Councilor Ana Levy ordered!

            Some of us, at least get to hear comments on the radio but what about the non-Spanish-speaking residents? They are totally in the dark; we had a radio station transmitting in English but disappeared several years ago. Even when that information is misguided or erroneous, it is something.

            When Alberto and I started Rumbo on May 15, 1996, 27 years ago, we saw the need to provide that information and there were three of us. Richard Aybar was my right hand working from home for several years until he moved away.

            We still miss him!

            Alberto is now 90 years old and I am 77. We talk a lot about what we have been through, and the people we have met and feel very proud of the work we have done together.

            There are many things that if not for Rumbo, may have never come to light in this city and those things I may not have been able to cover, we gladly accept articles from anyone with the same interest as ours to inform and educate our Lawrence.

            From the very beginning, we paid attention, particularly to social service organizations needing to spread the news about their programs, events, etc. free of charge. We felt it was immoral to ask them to pay to advertise a fundraising activity to support their services.

            We enjoy what we do and God willing, we’ll be able to do it much longer.


George Santos was kicked out!

            I have been watching the Congressional hearings which resulted in a State Representative from New York being kicked out of Congress. The reason was that he lied about his credentials where he worked, that he never attended college, and used campaign funds for personal use like Botox.

            That got me thinking, if they took this action it must be that the majority of the House of Congress feels shame that one of their own has been so arrogant as to think that he is above the law and decency.

            So, why was Wendy Luzón elected when she has done similar things to get ahead in life?

            Her background is made up of lies and intrigue, starting with claiming that this high school graduate had a college degree yet, people elected her.

            There’s a video making the rounds showing her and Kendrys Vasquez ripping Vladimir Acevedo’s posters. I hope that the video has also been sent to the Secretary of State as part of the ongoing investigation.

            Can we kick her out now like George Santos?


Can we pick them?

            Another good example of how not to vote is State Representative Estela Reyes.

            Anyone can research our website and see all the articles I have written about Estela Reyes’ misdeeds through the years yet, she was elected last year to this post.

            My concern was if as a city councilor, she managed to have so much control over local politics – even mayors – what else could she do at the State level? That’s yet to be seen but as a city councilor, she’s making her force be felt during her last few days on that job.

            She now wants the Acting Police Chief William Castro to grant a contract to former chief Roy Vasque for some investigation work.

            I don’t want to elaborate or assume anything but I wonder what her motivation is or if she is offering anything in return. You can figure it out.


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