miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2011

Justice and the Suffolk County Police

Justice and the Suffolk County Police
Published: September 25, 2011

Suffolk County, N.Y., has seen some of the country’s most shameful political battles over day laborers and a string of violent crimes against Latinos, most notoriously the fatal stabbing of an Ecuadorean, Marcelo Lucero, in 2008 by a gang of teenage boys who had made a sport of hunting and assaulting dark-skinned men.

The county executive, Steve Levy, has cultivated a national reputation as a hard-liner on illegal immigration. Immigrants and their advocates charged that the Suffolk Police Department had routinely tolerated hate crimes. Mr. Levy and his appointed police commissioner, Richard Dormer, denied it.

The Justice Department and the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York have been investigating since 2009. Though its inquiry is not complete, Justice’s Civil Rights Division has now sent Mr. Levy a “technical assistance letter,” pointing out ways the Suffolk police could improve policies and procedures to ensure that they are “constitutional.” Its tone is solicitous, but its content damning. In 28 pages the letter makes more than 100 recommendations.

It said department rules governing when officers could ask people about immigration status were “too vague” and “subject to abuse,” leaving them wide open to accusations of racial profiling. It said that while detectives receiving reports of hate crimes were required to conduct in-person follow-up interviews with accusers, they rarely did so — in person or by phone. It said that by allowing officers to classify attacks as mere “youth disturbances” — and not report them — the department risked leaving hate crimes underreported and unprevented. It noted that other Latino men had told the police that Mr. Lucero’s attackers had attacked them, but nothing was done about it.

Mr. Levy is leaving office at the end of the year, his career cut short by an unrelated scandal. His successor will have a lot of work to do to repair toxic relations with Suffolk’s immigrants and reform a police force that has shirked its responsibility to protect all residents.

martes, 27 de septiembre de 2011







Anti-immigrant posting riles immigrants

September 26, 2011 by JOYE BROWN / joye.brown@newsday.com

A group of activists got a surprise at the Third Precinct in Bay Shore after last week's news conference demanding better Latino-police relations: An anti-immigrant posting on a station house wall.

The posting came under the heading "Are We SLOW LEARNERS or What?" It selectively characterized Theodore Roosevelt's views on immigration, which stressed assimilation. It read, in part: "Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag . . . we have room for but one language."

The group took a photo. "It is offensive," Luis Valenzuela, head of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, said last week, "because it sends a very clear message that immigrants are not welcome here."

The posting was torn down by Inspector Jan Rios, the precinct's commanding officer, when the group complained. But one activist said she had seen it hanging there since December.

This is not the message of inclusion thatSuffolk -- under ongoing scrutiny by a U.S. Justice Department investigation into allegations of discriminatory policing -- wants in a station house.

Monday, Deputy Chief of Patrol Christopher Bergold called the posting "an unauthorized document" that went up in the station's public area. He said he did not know how long it had been there.

"It does not reflect the sentiment, policy or procedures of our department," Bergold said. The department serves residents regardless of "what language they speak and [their] immigration status."

The posting, similar to a message making the rounds on the Internet, states, incorrectly, thatRoosevelt made the comments about English and the flag in a 1907 speech.

Roosevelt actually included the words in a letter he sent to the American Defense Society in 1919, days before he died.

According to David Godshalk, an expert on Roosevelt, race and immigration who teaches history at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, Roosevelt held conflicting views on immigration.

"On the one hand, Roosevelt frequently argued that each American should be treated on 'his merits as a man, giving him no more and no less than he shows himself worthy to have,' " Godshalk said.

"On the other hand, Roosevelt also expressed fears that African-Americans and immigrants -- especially German and Irish Americans -- placed their racial and ethnic loyalties above their duties as citizens."

Early in his career, Roosevelt railed against what he called "hyphenated Americans." DuringWorld War I, his criticism "reached a crescendo, and he publicly questioned the patriotism and loyalty of many German and Irish Americans during the war effort," Godshalk said.

Hyphenated Americans? A century ago, Roosevelt could not have imagined the Internet or DNA testing could gift us the ability to proudly add multiple hyphens.

One flag? What would Roosevelt make of the flags of so many nations adorning many a rearview mirror or back bumper of immigrants and generations of U.S. citizens?

One language? What would he make of religious services or cultural gatherings in native languages?

"An Irish flag hanging from a car mirror, speaking Italian to another Italian, Roosevelt would view them as signs of disloyalty to the U.S.," Godshalk said.

The idea is ridiculous in this global, 21st century economy. Yet Roosevelt's conflicting notion of inclusion -- but not for everyone -- stubbornly survives. Especially for the nation's newest immigrants.

FORO - SALVADOREÑOS EN LONG ISLAND: Festival de Brentwood: un encuentro de todas las c...

FORO - SALVADOREÑOS EN LONG ISLAND: Festival de Brentwood: un encuentro de todas las c...: http://lialdia.com/2011/09/festival-de-brentwood-un-encuentro-de-todas-las-culturas/ Long Island Al Día http://www.lialdia.com/ Jesús Rí...

lunes, 26 de septiembre de 2011


Subject: For Immediate Release to Media

Carta a la comunidad

Por Renee Ortiz, candidata a concejal del pueblo de Islip

Me gustaría aprovechar esta oportunidad para dirigirme a las comunidades de Brentwood, Bay Shore y Central Islip para comentar sobre mi candidatura para concejal del pueblo de Islip. He sido una residente de Central Islip de toda la vida y es evidente la necesidad de una mayor representación de los intereses de las familias trabajadoras en el concejo del pueblo. Hija de un padre puertorriqueño y madre judía que llegaron a Brentwood en la década de los 1950s. Este año, el partido Demócrata me eligió para correr como su candidata oficial. La mayoría de mi vida adulta, la he pasado trabajando en distintos niveles de gobierno lo que me ha dado la oportunidad de ver de cerca los mecanismos que son esenciales para mejorar la calidad de vida de nuestras comunidades. Si soy elegida, planeo unir fuerzas con el asambleísta Phil Ramos, el legislador Rick Montano y por supuesto el supervisor del pueblo, Phil Nolan, así como otros funcionarios electos para darle más poder a nuestras voces y poder satisfacer las muchas necesidades de nuestras comunidades. La he pasado trabajando en distintos niveles de gobierno lo que me ha dado la oportunidad de ver de cerca los mecanismos que son esenciales para mejorar la calidad de vida de nuestras comunidades. Si soy elegida, planeo unir fuerzas con el asambleísta Phil Ramos, el legislador Rick Montano y por supuesto el supervisor del pueblo, Phil Nolan, así como otros funcionarios electos para darle más poder a nuestras voces y poder satisfacer las muchas necesidades de nuestras comunidades. en referencia a la visión de Ginny Fields quien es la candidata a secretaria (clerk) del pueblo ha sido objeto de discusión pública. Me gustaría aprovechar este espacio para dejar claro que no estoy de acuerdo con las opiniones de Ginny Fields en lo que a inmigración se refiere. También es importante señalar que un oficial electo a nivel municipal no tiene jurisdicción sobre asuntos de inmigración. Sin embargo, aunque no sea un tema de jurisdicción oficial, la pregunta es legítima y el público tiene derecho a saber cuál es mi posición sobre el tema.Tengan por seguro de que siempre voy a luchar duro por una representación adecuada de todos los habitantes del municipio de Islip. Estamos a las puertas de hacer historia nuevamente en nuestra comunidad! Por favor, salga a votar el martes 08 de noviembre.

-Renee Ortiz

"A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.” - Henrik Ibsen

jueves, 22 de septiembre de 2011

NEWS NOTES- Gaining comfort between cops, community

Otra columna sobre el "gran trabajo, digno de reconocimiento" hecho por el liderazgo de la policia en Suffolk... Vale aclarar que los errores han sido cometidos por el liderazgo... De ahi emanan los problemas...


Gaining comfort between cops, community
September 21, 2011 by JOYE BROWN / joye.brown@newsday.com

Latino advocates Wednesday held a news conference demanding that Suffolk County police be more responsive to the community.

They did so at a police precinct located in the heart of Long Island's largest and oldest collection of Latino communities. El Salvador has a consulate in the precinct; and Long Island's lone Latino representative in the state Legislature, Phil Ramos, lives there.

Back in the 1930s, Puerto Ricans, savoring the suburban lifestyle, settled in Brentwood in droves. Followed, over later decades, by emigrants from Chile, El Salvador and a host of other South and Central American countries who settled in neighboring Central Islip and in Bay Shore, where the Third Precinct station house is located.

The precinct serves other immigrants as well. At PRONTO, a community outreach center, ESL classes attract students whose native languages include Spanish, Farsi, Russian, Chinese and Polish.

If Suffolk County can't get community outreach right in this mosaic of a district, where can it?

Wednesday, residents at a restaurant and a laundry near the station house had praise for officers in the community. "The ones I see do OK," said a man who would identify himself only as Raoul.

But the emphasis was on policy, not officers during Wednesday's news conference. It was the first called in Suffolk by the Long Island Immigrant Alliance and other advocates since a U.S. Justice Department letter detailed suggested department reforms. "The key issues in this precinct are not hate crimes," Ramos said. "It's the kind of quality-of-life issues, like gangs, cleaning up graffiti, answering domestic violence calls, that police mostly deal with."

That job, Ramos and others said, is key to protecting individuals and, by extension, the community. If police and residents are not comfortable with each other, the job cannot get done.

Tatiana Grez, an emigrant from Chile, said she's lived in the district for 12 years. She said she was frustrated because police reports often did not reflect important points she was trying to make. "I don't have the right words," she said. "I don't think they don't care, I think they don't get what I am trying to say."

The justice department letter detailed recommendations that would address Grez's concerns: Hiring more officers with language skills and making translation services more available. They also recommended improving community relations and retooling internal communications so everyone, from top brass to patrol officer, knows what needs to be done.

Residents and some organization representatives were still milling around after the news conference when Richard Dormer, Suffolk's police commissioner, issued a news release. "We strongly refute the claims being made at a press conference being held outside the Third Precinct this morning asserting that the Suffolk County Police Department is somehow dragging its feet in providing programs . . . to better communicate with members of the public," it said.

"We're not even gone from here and the department is already being defensive," said Luis Valenzuela, head of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance. "This is not a way to build a relationship," he said.

NEWSDAY NOTES- seeks more Latino-sensitive police


seeks more Latino-sensitive police
September 21, 2011 by VÍCTOR MANUEL RAMOS / victor.ramos@newsday.com

At the Suffolk County Police Department's Third Precinct station house, a sign on the front counter, written in Spanish, offers help with interpreters or in filling out forms.

The department says it's routinely providing that help, but immigrant and civil rights advocates disagree.

About 20 protesters gathered outside the station house in Bay Shore Wednesday called on the department to do a better job of providing interpreters, teaching officers Spanish and hiring bilingual employees.

The advocates view such improvements "as a first step" toward making police more responsive to a growing Hispanic community.

"It is incumbent upon the county to get it right with the Latino community," said Luis Valenzuela, of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance. "It's problematic that today we have people from the community who are not being allowed access because of language issues."

The department, under a U.S. Department of Justice investigation over allegations of discriminatory policing stemming from the 2008 hate killing of immigrant Marcelo Lucero, issued a prompt rebuttal.

"We strongly refute the claims . . . that the Suffolk County Police Department is somehow dragging its feet in providing programs that will allow it to better communicate with members of the public," Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said in a statement.

Dormer called the department's efforts "a model for other municipalities," noting the launch of a bilingual police officer exam to attract Spanish-speaking applicants and an increase in bilingual 911 operators.

He also cited Spanish-language training requirements for recruits, efforts to translate police forms, and a section of the department website written in Spanish. The department, Dormersaid, has linked "every precinct, investigative command and public police facility" to interpreters through a telephone service.

But Hispanic community advocates pointed to a domestic violence victim who said she had difficulty filing an accurate police report when information was lost in translation. They also discussed the case of a Latino immigrant who had difficulties filing a police report in the wake of a family altercation.

Central Islip business owner Alba Aquino said she felt left out at a Third Precinct community meeting last month that had no Spanish translator available. Aquino wanted to ask for more patrols to prevent street crime, but said she didn't dare speak up in her faulty English. "There's many of us who don't speak English, and we want to be heard," she said in Spanish.

A police spokesman Wednesday said the department will respond to such concerns by providing translators at community meetings. The department also will reach out to people who say they have encountered language barriers.

That barrier could become a more serious obstacle for immigrants reporting hate crimes or domestic violence incidents, advocates said. "Immigrant communities and immigrant advocates have been waiting far too long," said Amol Sinha, director of the Suffolk chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union. "Until we see that immigrant communities and minority populations aren't living in fear, we won't be satisfied."



Mangano 2012 budget 'out of touch'
September 22, 2011 by ROBERT BRODSKY / robert.brodsky@newsday.com

Nassau County Democrats came out swinging Thursday against County Executive Edward Mangano's proposed fiscal 2012 budget, calling it "out of touch with reality" and a threat to public safety if police precincts are closed.

At a news conference, members of the minority bloc castigated Mangano's $2.63 billion proposal submitted to the Legislature last week. The county plans to close two police precincts, require all employees to contribute 25 percent to their health insurance and lay off 700 workers to close a projected $310 million budget gap next year.

Democrats argue that the plan relies too heavily on union givebacks that will likely never come to fruition and could lead to costly legal battles. "There isn't one realistic expectation in the budget," said Legis. Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury).

Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) said the proposal included "too many what-ifs" and did not offer a Plan B if some of the proposed savings did not materialize.

Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin said the "criticism comes from the same partisan legislators who spent lavishly over the past decade while increasing property taxes and imposing a heating tax on all homeowners."

Abrahams said that he was not prepared to offer $300 million in substitute cuts but said Democrats had found millions in wasteful spending in the budget, including $5 million in outside fees to legal counsel. With only eight votes, Democrats cannot block Mangano's budget unless at least two Republicans vote against the plan, a scenario considered unlikely by both parties. A budget must be adopted no later than Oct. 30.

miércoles, 21 de septiembre de 2011


No nos dejemos engañar, votemos el martes 8 de noviembre
Asambleísta Phil Ramos
6º Distrito

Dice un dicho que cuando el río suena, piedras trae y al parecer, según reportes de miembros de la comunidad así como de miembros del partido demócrata, los republicanos están desesperados y haciendo hasta lo imposible para que los hispanos y las minorías en general no voten este próximo martes 8 de noviembre.

Como ya es tradición en tiempo de elecciones, mucha gente que no ve con buenos ojos el creciente poder político de los hispanos en Long Island están dispuestos a hacer todo tipo de trucos y triquiñuelas para oprimirnos o intimidarnos para que no votemos. En este caso, el objetivo es que los hispanos no salgan a votar ya que las encuestas tienen como favorito entre los hispanos al candidato demócrata, Steve Bellone.

Hay que poner atención ya que, según reportes, miembros o grupos afines al partido republicano- el mismo partido de Steve Levy- en el condado de Suffolk estarán enviando correos y haciendo llamadas a casas de hispanos y otras minorías con la información incorrecta del día de las elecciones.

Y es que la campaña sucia ya inició. Se tienen reportes de que algunos de los nuevos ciudadanos que se han intentando registrar para votar son intimidados con preguntas o se les piden requisitos- innecesarios hasta ilegales- que no son solicitados a ningún otro grupo. Pongamos atención, familia!

En realidad es triste ver que algunos grupos en el condado todavía crean que la manera de avanzar es suprimiendo el voto de las minorías. Esos son los mismos grupos que después de las elecciones se llenan la boca diciendo que los hispanos y otras minorías no hay que ponerles atención ya que no votan.

Además, lastimosamente no faltarán aquellos hispanos que saldrán a defender lo repudiable. Esos mismos que ahora le lavan la cara a Levy, no tardarán en salir hablando o escribiendo en defensa de los opresores argumentando cualquier disparate. Desde ya les decimos, la comunidad hispana está cansada de tanta idiotez e inventos. Estamos listos y nos hemos preparado para salir a votar y les demostraremos que esos grupúsculos no significan nada. De hecho, a partir del 1º de enero del 2012, se les acabó la fiesta.

Este próximo martes 8 de noviembre, los hispanos del condado de Suffolk tenemos la oportunidad de cambiar nuestra historia. O seguimos con las mismas políticas republicanas o cambiamos el rumbo y elegimos a Steve Bellone quien más allá de cualquier discurso nos ha demostrado con acciones que él si cree en la diversidad, en tender puentes y su compromiso de trabajar de la mano con la comunidad hispana.
La columna se da en reacción a la información recibida por autoridades del partido demócrata sobre la intención de algunos miembros o grupos afines al partido republicano para confundir a los votantes y consecuentemente lograr menor participación ciudadana el día de las elecciones.


Schaffer: GOP wants to suppress Democratic vote
Monday September 19, 2011 7:26 PM By Rick Brand

Richard Schaffer, the Suffolk Democratic chairman, held a conference call Sunday night with 126 party candidates, party officials and campaign aides to warn them about voter suppression efforts. He said Republicans are planning to confuse voters in heavily Democratic areas about the date of Election Day this year.

This year’s Election Day is Nov. 8, but Schaffer said he received “credible information” over the weekend that Republicans may seek to confuse voters that the date is Tuesday, Nov. 1 through automated phone calls and video postings to YouTube. He added his understanding is that the GOP plans agressive efforts to challenge voters at the polls to drive down turnout.

John Jay LaValle, Suffolk Republican chairman, said there is “absolutely no concerted effort” to suppress the vote, and that Schaffer is “seeing ghosts.” He said Schaffer is merely trying to rev up party workers who are unenexcited by the party’s own candidates. “The poor performance of the Democratic candidates is suppression enough,” LaValle said.

Schaffer said he was not specifically accusing LaValle of involvement. The Democratic chief declined to identify the authors of the alleged strategy. “I’m not accusing any particular person but the informtion is coming to me from very high-level Republican sources,” he said.

Schaffer said he intends to include the correct election date on all ads and campaign material. He also said he will hold emergency meetings with each town committee and in each town board district in Brookhaven to get out the message. “I wanted to be proactive and show how serious I take it and how serious we are going to be to have our troops combat it,” he said.

LaValle countered that Schaffer is doing negative mailings and push polls — spreading false information on GOP candidates in the form of voter surveys — to Republican households. “They are doing exactly the same thing they claim we’re doing. It’s very odd,” LaValle said.

domingo, 18 de septiembre de 2011



Mangano to cut 700 Nassau County jobs
by CELESTE HADRICK / celeste.hadrick@newsday.com

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano on Wednesday announced that he will eliminate 700 more jobs, consolidate police precincts and require all employees to contribute 25 percent to their health insurance -- but will not raise taxes to close a $310 million budget gap next year.

Mangano was to announce the spending plan at a news conference in Mineola. He must submit his 2012 budget to the county Legislature by Thursday.

Some of Mangano's moves -- such as eliminating minimum manning provisions in police contracts -- would require union concessions and approval of the county Legislature.

Mangano said he is reducing the number of jobs by 1,010 positions, including some police. He said 300 already have been eliminated this year through layoffs and attrition, reducing the current workforce to 8,400. The new cuts would drop the full-time employees to 7,400. Twenty years ago, the county had 16,000 full-time employees.

Without those cuts, Mangano said, property taxes would have to increase by 39 percent. His recommendations adhere closely to an outside consultant's draft report sent to the county by a state board in control of Nassau's finances.

"Nassau's finances spun out of control over the past decade because of a broken assessment system and overly generous contractual obligations that are unaffordable in a sluggish economy," Mangano said. "My reforms will fix Nassau now."

Only appointed employees hired after Jan. 1, 2002 now contribute to their health insurance.

Mangano released only highlights of the budget Wednesday and did not make the full spending plan available.

Al fin, alguien dice lo lógico... En tiempos que se anuncian despidos y cortes a servicios sociales, como se justifica seguir festejando?


Legis. to Mangano: Cancel car show, parade
by CELESTE HADRICK / celeste.hadrick@newsday.com

Nassau Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) Friday called on County Executive Edward Mangano to cancel his antique car show and parade Sunday morning, branding it a "frivolous" expense at a time of financial crisis.

Abrahams said Mangano should show that he's trying to cut all unnecessary expenses after proposing to lay off 710 employees to help close a projected $310 million deficit. "We should be looking to control costs in all situations," Abrahams said. "We should set an example."

Abrahams and law enforcement sources say the parade will cost an estimated $75,000 in police overtime, with 78 officers assigned to the eight-mile route.

But Mangano aide Brian Nevin retorted in a statement that the event "does not cost residents a single dime as all costs, including labor, are funded by hotel/motel tax revenues collected from visitors who stay in local hotels. In fact, the car show generates sales tax revenue that helps hold the line on property taxes."

Mangano, who owns a 1969 gold Corvette convertible, started the "Nassau County Executive's Cruise to the Show Parade and Car Show" last year. This year's parade starts at 9 a.m. at Briarcliffe College inBethpage and heads west on Hempstead Turnpike to Eisenhower Park, where the car show takes place. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomowill be driving the Corvette in the parade.

This week, Mangano announced he will have to lay off employees, close museums, consolidate police precincts, and require givebacks from county unions to balance his proposed $2.63 billion budget.

Nevin accused Abrahams of "carrying the water" for the county's Police Benevolent Association. "We all know that Nassau's finances spun out of control, not due to a car show, but due to labor contracts that provide free health insurance and other costly perks," he said. Nassau's police unions are running commercials against Mangano's cuts.

But Abrahams said, "This has nothing to do with the PBA. This is strictly a budgetary issue." The hotel/motel sales tax revenues would be better spent to keep museums open, he said.

PBA president James Carver could not be reached. But Gary Learned, president of the Superior Officers Association, said, "If we had any chance of convincing our members to make further concessions, he almost negates it by wasting money on a combination car show/parade. In their mind, they think, 'If they can spend money on this type of event, how bad off is the county?' "

miércoles, 7 de septiembre de 2011


800 plazas de trabajos mas en la cuerda floja. Mientras, la casa de Teddy sigue anunciando fiestas, bailongos y pagando publicidad a diestra y siniestra. Sera que la comunidad hispana se beneficia mas de los bailongos que de los trabajos y servicios que se pierden?


En verdad os digo. Nos os preocupéis, septiembre es el mes cívico e inicia es mes de la herencia hispana, "BAILONGOS POR UN SUEÑO" es el nuevo lema de campaña.

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/mangano-warns-up-to-800-layoffs-possible-1.3149505 Mangano warns: Up to 800 layoffs possible.
CELESTE HADRICK / celeste.hadrick@newsday.com

County Executive Edward Mangano warned Nassau employees Tuesday that he may have to lay off as many as 800 of them by Jan. 1 to help close a projected $310 million budget gap next year.

A week before submitting his proposed 2012 budget, Mangano said in an email to all employees that he will eliminate up to 10 percent of Nassau's full-time workforce of about 8,000 if department heads do not find alternative savings and labor unions do not provide concessions. As he did this year, Mangano ruled out any increase in property taxes to cover the shortfall.

Mangano wrote that he wanted employees to understand the "perfect fiscal storm" facing Nassau. He blamed "years of playing kick the can down the road," a broken property assessment system and a bad economy.

"These are the sobering facts," Mangano said in an interview.

Mangano's email came four days after the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state board that controls Nassau's finances, told the Nassau County executive that he needed to offer alternatives for $225 million in risky revenue and savings in next year's budget. "When you take $225 million out, the options become more limited," Mangano said.

According to his email, increased pension and health insurance costs, state mandates and lower sales tax revenue contribute to the projected $310 million gap. Part of the $225 million in risky revenue cited by NIFA -- including $23 million from red light camera fines -- contribute to the gap.

The county legislature's top Democrat, Minority Leader Diane Yatauro (D-Glen Cove), said Mangano, a Republican, "seems to blame everyone except himself."

Mangano responded, "The only thing you can blame on this administration is cutting taxes. We've cut and reduced the size of government, period."

The county executive said he met with department heads Tuesday, telling them to reduce spending by up to 15 percent. He said he also spoke with all county labor leaders, urging them "to come to the table with voluntary concessions."

While he said that workforce reductions will "clearly" be necessary, the "degree of shared sacrifice rests on whether the administration and labor come together with a concession plan that maintains the strength of our workforce. Failure to work together will result in additioinal layoffs of up to 10 percent of the workforce."

But union leaders say they already have made millions of dollars in concessions.

In July, 128 members of the county's Civil Service Employees Association were laid off. If an additional 10 percent of the county workforce is let go, "I don't think there would be a single department that would function properly," said CSEA president Jerry Laricchiuta. "When you call 911, you want someone to pick up the phone."

Police have been protected from layoffs by contract provisions that expire in December. In 2012, Mangano can lay off officers if an arbitration panel cannot find alternative savings.

Superior Officers Association President Gary Learned said his members supervise the police force and would be able to bump back to lower positions if Mangano proposes layoffs. However, he said, that would require "a tremendous amount of restructuring."

Learned added that Mangano "seems to miss the point that concessions have to be voted on by the [union] membership. . . . If they were going to make concessions, it would have to be part of a total package. So far, we haven't seen much of a package except concessions."

Police Benevolent Association President James Carver said: "Again, Mangano has seen fit to wrongly blame the workers of this county for what NIFA states is his failure to balance the budget. Labor has sat down with the county in the past and we are in the midst of a three-year concession plan that continues to give the county savings for 2011 and beyond. The police officers of this country have lived up to their end of the deal."

jueves, 1 de septiembre de 2011


Lo admirable es que en cada conferencia de prensa o intervención pública, "Miguel Bloombito" hace el esfuerzo de hablar español. No solo es cuando va a las comunidades hispanas que dice un par de palabras sino que en cada evento publico hace un punto de dirigirse a los millones de hispanos en NYC que prefieren español. Eso es admirable y digno de imitar.

Ojala que mas politicos hicieran lo mismo, incluyendo a muchos que a pesar de los apellidos latinos no hacen ni el intento o solo pueden pedir "mojitos". Ni piñas coladas porque no pueden mencionar la ñ...

¡Dejen hablar a Bloombito!

El Diario NY

Hola Dolores Prida

Los esfuerzos del alcalde Michael Bloomberg de alertar en español a los ciudadanos sobre el huracán Irene siguen desternillando de risa a medio mundo, inclusive a aquellos que ni siquiera saben hablar el español ni bien ni mal.

Rachel Figueroa-Levin, quien es mitad puertorriqueña y autora de la serie de tweets satíricos sobre el mal español de Bloomberg que la han hecho una celebridad instantánea, confesó al New York Times ayer que “no se siente cómoda hablando español.”

Los que tienen techo de cristal no deben tirar piedras a sus vecinos. Creo que los latinos deben abstenerse de burlarse del acento o de la gramática de una persona que hace su mejor esfuerzo de hablar en español. Bastante que nos quejamos cuando otros se ríen de nuestro acento o errores cuando hablamos en inglés.

Y sobre eso tenemos una larga historia.

En los años 40, 50 y 60, Desi Arnaz, Carmen Miranda y Charo hicieron sus carreras en el cine y la televisión basados en sus exagerados acentos que a los gringos les parecían muy divertidos. Durante los 70 y 80, personajes de comedias televisivas como José Jiménez (“Is no my $”) y Chico Escuela (“Beisebol has bin bery bery gud to me”), ambos interpretados por actores que no son latinos, fueron blanco de la crítica y causa de quejas a las tele-emisoras en cuestión por parte de nuestra comunidad. Y más recientemente, hasta el acento hispano de figuras animadas como Frito Bandito y Chiquita Banana y animales como el chihuahua de Taco Bell han ofendido a nuestra gente.

Como dice el refrán, lo que es bueno para el pavo es bueno para la pava. Además este tipo de burla es infantil, digna del patio de recreo de una escuela elemental.

Dicen que el Alcalde lleva años estudiando el español formalmente, pero como él mismo dijo, para los adultos no es $ácil aprender otro idioma. Esto es algo que muchos de los lectores de este diario conocen muy bien. Yo personalmente lo conozco muy bien. Cuando era una recién llegada a Nueva York, viví en carne propia muchas humillaciones debidas a mi acento y a la mala pronunciación de algunas palabras y la actitud paternalista que muchos adoptan al escuchar un acento hispano (come me pasó una vez en un hospital). Esa experiencia me fuerza a tener más sensibilidad hacia otras personas que luchan por dominar un idioma, sea cual sea.

Quizás en futuros casos de emergencia, sería mejor que el alcalde utilizara los servicios de un intérprete para que la atención de gente que no tiene nada mejor que hacer y de los medios de comunicación en busca de “escándalos” se concentre en el mensaje y no en el acento del mensajero.

Mientras tanto, esperamos que el Alcalde, quien parece haber tomado toda esta mini-crisis con saludable sentido del humor, no pierda los ánimos de continuar sus estudios de nuestro idioma ni deje de intentar comunicarse con sus constituyentes latinos en español.

El idioma es de quienes lo hablan. Con acento o sin acento.