Tribute to a Latin American Icon

by Tania Flores

The words and melodies of Facundo Cabral have haunted me for almost a year now, surging and welling up in me on days when I can feel wistfulness in my muscles and the folds of my skin tingle with the touch of fabric or the cool wooden surface of my desk. I could not stop listening to “No soy de aquí, ni soy de allá” after discovering this recording, could not help but sink into the song, the back of my throat prickling. read more

Redistricting to Shift Voting Districts;
Citizen Engagement Limited

Seng Yang

photo by Leslie Layton

Seng Yang, program director for the Hmong Cultural Center, says he’d like to know more about what redistricting might mean for Butte County’s Hmong community.

by Leslie Layton

CHICO, Calif.—For the past 24 years, Republican Congressman Wally Herger has represented a swath of Northern California, seldom facing opponents who have had the financing or support to present a serious challenge. Yet, throughout the Northern Sacramento Valley, residents say they’re eager for competitive campaigns that address high unemployment and poverty rates, immigration reform and health care. read more

Mr. Vig’s Lesson: Failure Not Acceptable

Bernie Vigallon

photo by Leslie Layton

by Leslie Layton

For the past 20 years, Fair View High School Principal Bernie Vigallon has roamed his continuation school campus and beyond, busting pot-smokers and herding kids to class. At the end of the school day, he often visited families, sometimes bought them groceries and on one occasion, pulled a student who was missing the critical days prior to graduation from a den of methamphetamine use. read more

In the Western Sahara, Music is a Bridge


by Washington Quezada

In 1975, Spain abandoned its position as colonizer of the African Northwest, producing an intense instability among the people in the region. Morocco took advantage of this situation by invading the land that belonged to the Saharawi people, who had to live from then on in refugee camps in Algeria. Mariem Hassan, who had been part of the clandestine parties celebrating Saharawi culture during the Spanish colonial period, became a messenger for her people, communicating the living conditions they suffered, isolated in the refugee camps. She traveled with a group of musicians to let the world know about the Saharawi situation. read more

Tax Cuts, Job Growth and their Mythic Relationship

by R.G. Rich

Do tax cuts for the wealthy create new jobs? In fact, the exact opposite is true, and well illustrated in recent history.

Raising tax rates for the wealthy creates new jobs.

Why? When rates are raised, the value of a tax deduction is increased in real terms. Hiring a new employee or buying a new piece of equipment is a new business expense. At higher tax rates, the wealthy, and businesses small and large, look to offset taxable profits.
When rates are low, there may be little incentive to hire or replace older equipment because taxes are not perceived as a burden. When rates are high, those same increased expenditures provide a bigger economic benefit through tax savings, thereby creating an additional incentive to spend. High tax rates provide an incentive for expansion, in order to shelter profits from taxes. Higher rates provide an added benefit for risk-taking. read more

Musicians Reflect their Roots in Lumbalú

 

by Washington Quezada

( lu =collective, mbalu = melancholy in the Bantu Africana language)

Lumbalu are the funeral ritual chants used by the community of African descent in San Basilio de Palenque in Northern Colombia.

With this same name, there is also a musical group founded in 1984 by a group of young people interested in their roots. The members of Lumbalú started a field study of traditional music and dances from the Afro-Colombian communities on the coasts of their country. Learning from the masters, they began making their own presentations, and thanks to the support of the people who listened to them, they became a musical group on their own. Already with the name of Lumbalú, they recorded their first album, “Fandango Alegre,” in 1993, and in 1997 the second one called, “Balada de un tambor sobre el mapa del caribe.” read more