Nassau County Exec Tom Suozzi on Immigration Policy 11/17/09

"Getting It Right on Immigration: What’s Working, What’s Next"

Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi and a panel of respected civic leaders will discuss immigration on Long Island and the principles needed to guide the debate on immigration reform.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
6:00PM - 8:30PM

Marriott Hotel
1350 Old Walt Whitman Rd.
Melville, NY 11747


Thomas R. Suozzi
Nassau County Executive

Roger Clayman, LI Federation of Labor

Matthew T. Crosson, LIA

Chung-Wha Hong, New York Immigration Coalition

Sister Margaret Smyth, Hispanic Apostolate of the North Fork

Suman Raghunathan, Immigration Policy Analyst

Admission is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP by email to info@longislandwins.com or by phone to 516-304-5642.


73% of Blacks on LI Concerned About Quality of Healthcare

A new Siena Research Institute Poll shows a huge disparity in the views of Whites and Blacks on Long Island in regards to healthcare.
    • 73% of Blacks said they view the quality of care on Long Island as a problem, compared to 47% of Whites.
    • 45% of Blacks say the number of people without insurance is the single biggest problem that the health care system faces.
    • Only 20% of Whites agreed; instead, their biggest concern is the cost of health care, according to the poll.
    • Blacks are almost twice as likely as Whites - 79% compared to 41% - to support health care overhaul legislation that is based on proposals outlined by President Obama.
Blacks more critical of health care on LI
LIers want health care fix


A Climate of Fear in Levy's Suffolk

In the lead up to the election of Steve Levy as Suffolk County Executive, a family was firebombed in Farmingville, a major front in the nativist war against Latino immigrants. A Democrat, Levy sealed the election by stealing away the Republican's wingnut base with his trademark anti-immigrant taunts.

Suffolk has since seen an unending pogrom against Latinos, including assaults, beatings, destruction of property, stabbings, and the murder of Marcelo Lucero. Stroking the wave of hate has been Levy with a series of legislative proposals and directives intended to make life miserable for Latinos.

Keep in mind that Suffolk has a Latino pop of 200,000. And Levy himself has a half dozen Latino lieutenants and another dozen who serve as advisors.

In other words, who needs enemies?

The film Farmingville captured the ugly '03 marker in the pogrom. PBS is making the full documentary film available online for free through 11/18/09. Watch the film and read the SPLCenter report Climate of Fear detailing anti-Latino violence of the Levy era.

Think about what has been allowed to happen in Suffolk, NY, in America in the 21st Century and share your thoughts and ideas here or privately (us_taino@yahoo.com).

Climate of Fear (SPLCenter) http://bit.ly/Pogrom
Firebomb Destroys L.I. Couple's Dreams (NYTimes) http://bit.ly/firebomb


Sarah Garland: Suburban Gangs

Inequality, neglect and prejudice fuel the growth of gangs. Is it any wonder that gangs have sprouted in suburbia -- including Nassau and Suffolk? Michael Alguera, 15, of Hempstead was murdered by gang members last year on the grounds of the troubled local high school. And Marcelo Lucero (Patchogue) and Jose SucuzhaƱay (Brooklyn) were murder victims of gang violence -- as was Luis Ramirez (Shenandoah, PA).

Suburban Gangland, Young Lives Cut Short (NYTimes, June 19, 2009) is an article adaptation based Sarah Garland's book Gangs in Garden City about the rise of gangs on Long Island (Nation).

Here's an excerpt:

The two rival gangs had appeared on Long Island around the same time in the mid-1990s, after the last of the white residents who built Hempstead into a bustling retail hub half a century earlier moved away and Hispanics filled the void. Mara Salvatrucha was formed by a group of older men, some of them veterans of the Salvadoran civil war, who were often victims of the village’s African-American gangs. They adopted the name from a gang gaining a reputation for ruthlessness in Los Angeles and Central America.

Salvadorans With Pride started as a civic organization, also with the intention of protecting members of Hempstead’s growing Hispanic population. The good intentions disintegrated when some of its members — most of them American-born — clashed with Mara Salvatrucha.

Francisco had never encountered gangs in El Salvador, but he joined Salvadorans With Pride the summer after his first year on Long Island. His new friends promised to end the teasing and bullying, and, like other teenagers, he wanted to fit in. Back at school in the fall, he learned that Jaime had joined Mara Salvatrucha.

The two tried to stay friends. They still passed notes in class. But Jaime was having trouble at home and disappeared from school for days at a time. Francisco had his own problems. He was fighting constantly with his mother, who felt like a stranger after their years apart. When Jaime disappeared for two weeks in December, Francisco worried, but did not go looking for him.

On Jan. 17, 2003, Francisco woke up to a phone call. Jaime, 14, had been stabbed three times by members of 18th Street, a gang affiliated with S.W.P. that had originated in Los Angeles. Jaime had died alone on the steps of the Long Island Rail Road station. Francisco was devastated, but he was too afraid to go to Jaime’s funeral. Instead, he watched the local news for a glimpse of the coffin.

Picture: Michael Alguera, 15, known as Mikey, was fatally stabbed on a handball court at Hempstead High School, in January 2008.


Jackson Heights Poetry Festival - June 18-20, 2009

Jackson Heights Poetry Festival
Poetry & Memory
June 18-20, 2009

June 18 6:30PM - 9:30 PM: Workshop
June 19 7:30PM - 10:30 PM: Open Readings
June 20 All Day: Outdoor Festival

Garden School, Jackson Heights, New York and
Terraza Cafe, 40-19 Gleane St. Elmhurst, New York



"My Block: Strong Island" -- A Film by Jordan Crafton and Tyrell Spencer

My Block: Strong Island by Jordan Crafton and Tyrell Spencer, both 21, is a documentary film about 15 Long Island young people overcoming obstacles as they reach for their dreams. The film premiered June 5th at their alma mater - Uniondale High.

The film provides a glimpse into lives of youths rarely presented on traditional Long Island media. As one commentator wrote after watching the film's trailer on video channel:
LI 12 News does not show the real Long Island. Im glad to see we are slowly steppin up and introducing truth to the rest of NY.
My Block is also about young African Americans from Long Island declaring their challenges, talents and dreams as no less legit or authentic than those of their counterparts in Brooklyn and Queens.

The My Block: Strong Island Trailer

My Block: Strong Island Teaser

My Block: Strong Island Extras

JDC Films
2 Uniondale High School alums to unveil film about LI


Northport’s 2nd Annual Plein Air Painting Event 6/20-22

Northport’s 3rd Annual Plein Air Painting Event!

June 26th -28th

plein air; to paint outdoors in natural light

Once again the region’s most accomplished plein air painters will gather in Northport for the 3rd Annual Plein Air Painting Event.

On Friday and Saturday, June 26th and 27th, selected artists will be set up in locations throughout the village painting their interpretations of the scenery that is so unique to Northport.

On both days spectators can observe the creative process from start to finish and talk with the artists as they work.

Sunday, June 28th, will feature an exhibition and silent auction for the “wet” paintings at LaMantia Gallery.

Click here for more information.


Colson Whitehead on NPR: Young, Black & Living In The Hamptons

Author Colson Whitehead's latest novel, Sag Harbor is a coming-of-age tale about a group of friends spending a 1980s summer in a predominantly black enclave in the Hamptons.

Whitehead talks about his fourth book, which has already received a string of positive reviews. He also shares his summer reading list and suggests the next writer for the new Tell Me More summer reading series.

NPR Interview with Colson Whitehead
Excerpt: 'Sag Harbor'