From My Corner: September 22, 2019

What’s happening with Spanish news?

The New York Times announced the closure of its Spanish-language newspaper, NYT en Español.

“As of today, we’ve discontinued NYT en Español as a separate, standalone operation,” a New York Times spokesperson said in a statement.

“We launched NYT en Español in 2016 as part of an experiment to reach and engage more international readers…  While the Español site did attract a new audience for our journalism and consistently produced coverage we are very proud of, it did not prove financially successful.  Our strategy is now focused on our subscription-driven core news report for a global audience.”

That’s exactly what happens when any means of communication that depends of advertising to continue servicing the audience.  We are not educated about the needs of that enterprise to remain on the air or paying the printer. They are quick to criticize or complain ignoring that the people behind must juggle even with their personal finances in order to bring information and entertainment to the public free of charge.

For the past three years, Latinos in New York have enjoyed reading news in Spanish without considering giving the newspaper some advertising to cover the expenses.  Locally, take a moment to think of the many radio programs and newspapers that have come and gone in Lawrence through the years due to the lack of support from advertisers.


Open Meeting Law violation

There was a violation of the Open Meeting Law violation at the last City Council meeting.  I didn’t notice that it happened but the problem was that they voted to bring up the issue of the easement to the building next to the parking lot on Common St.  

It was scheduled for discussion at the next meeting but they brought it back as an emergency item.  I still don’t know why they considered it “an emergency” but the discussed and took a vote.

I was told that it should not be voted on or even discussed by the councilors without a public hearing and no one knew they would play that trick.


Hispanic chambers past efforts

When it comes to organizing Lawrence Latino businesses, there have been many efforts in past years.  Many chambers and associations have been started here and the most they lasted was a couple of years.  Not only because they provided no services to their membership but also due to few of them paying dues.  We have grown so accustomed to getting things for free and money coming like mana from heaven (from the state) that we refuse to pay to organize.

Back in 2001, Community Development created the Main St. program to organize the businesses along Essex St. and appointed Octavien Spanner as director.  It didn’t last long because the city needed money for snow removal and took their funding away.

Then, Nestor De Jesús presided over the Asociación Latina de Comerciantes.  He was able to get a $50,000 loan from the Small Business Association for the members and ended up resigning because they didn’t pay it back.

The Minority Business Council was headed by Rubén Nieves.  It didn’t last long and I don’t remember when it went out of business.


Celina Reyes’ account

It never ceases to amaze me how some candidates make it a habit (or a courtesy) of donating funds from their campaigns to other candidates for office.  I don’t like the idea because is upsetting that we may give money to someone we like and them they may be passing it on to someone we don’t.

That’s the case of Celina Reyes.  This summer she received many contributions for $100, $200, etc. from other legislators.  It’s no surprise that Dan Rivera gave her $100 on August 16.

Celina has not been spending large amounts to justify the large signs and all the high quality literature for her campaign so, I checked Dan’s account and he really, really wants her elected.  Besides cash contributions, I can only assume that the $1,071.09 he paid on March 4, 2019 to Connolly Printing had to be for those signs.

Dan is not running for anything now so why is he spending so much money in political signs?

Let me tell you, reading the OCPF.US account of these candidates is lots of fun because we get to know them for their hypocrisy. 


Police Academy

Speaking of Celina, she took the Police Citizens Academy this year.  That’s something I recommend to everyone in the city. I attended the very first one and loved it.

On the first day of class we were told that unless we attend all the classes, we would not get our diploma.  With my luck, I missed the last class because I was in the hospital and did not get mine.

But, it’s all who you know.  Celina went to about half of the classes and on the last day, she got her certificate.


Firefighters’ Ball

What a beautiful event!  Read our editorial and you’ll see why we say that.

But, there was a sour note.  William Lantigua wanted to buy a ticket and he was refused.  He was told that they didn’t want politicians there. That’s OK if the rule is for everybody but City Councilor at-Large Brian De Peña and Jackie Mármol were in attendance and she is on the ballot.

Some of the firemen were hoping to see him because he mentioned that he would be going and were disappointed.


Day of Remembrance

Next Saturday, August 28th, there will be another gathering to pay tribute to our loved ones who have been lost to violence in Lawrence.

It will take place at the Senior Center at noon.