Popular Mexican Restaurant Closed by Town of East Hampton

Why is a restaurant employing a dozen or so locals, paying its share of taxes, and providing a valued service to its patrons, shuttered in this period of severe economic turbulence seems foolish?

Unfortunately, that's exactly what the Town of East Hampton has done to the Hideaway Restaurant, a beloved and popular Mexican on West Lake Drive in Montauk.

The official reason is that while the dock-side eatery has a state liquor license and a restaurant permit from the county, it lacks a CofO and a site plan. Hideaway was part of a marina whose owners sought to diversify in order to weather a downturn in its boating business. Waterside restaurant within or near marinas are common across Long Island. It's smart business. But I guess that government officials in East Hampton are not up for creating win-win situations. Too bad.

Of course, when you look at the faces of the people losing their livelihoods, one begins to see another possible motivation. Truth is that government can be dumb. And it can be downright retarded during times of sharp demographic shifts.

Link: Season Ends Early at the Hideaway

Bill Santiago's Comedy Special

Need a Latino comedy break? Watch stand-up comedian Bill Santiago's hysterical Comedy Central Special.

It's a 20 minute show about Santiago's experiences growing up Latino in Brooklyn, learning the wonders of Spanglish, and discovering finally that he's not weird, he's tropical.

Santiago is very funny, and his stories so true.

Bill Santiago's Website
Bill Santiago - MySpace

Pardon My Spanglish


Latinos: Americans All

It's Hispanic Heritage Month and Columnist Miguel Perez offers timely and helpful advice to U.S. Latinos:
"When they ask you how long you and 'your people' have been in this country, tell them, 'Several hundred years.' And when they ask you how long you have been an American, even if you arrived in the United States last week, there is only one accurate answer: 'All my life.'"
It's true, and the advice sound. Click here to learn why.

Bill "The Long Island Guy" Drago's Summer Reminisces


LI Latino Film Fest - Tix Online til Midnight 9/25!

Buy your tickets, before it's too late

Box Office
Festival Tickets: LILIFF offers 7 Screening Programs throughout the festival. Each program features a group of films for one price.

3-Day Festival Pass Price: $40
Festival passes allow access to ALL Screening Programs.
Get your tickets

Individual Programs Price: $10
Get your tickets


Consulate Opens in Queens to be Closer to the 100,000+ Ecuadorean Community

Today, the Ecuadorean Consulate opens a branch office on the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 67th Street in Woodside, Queens.

“We wanted to be where our people are,” Ecuador’s consul, María Eugenia Avilés.

Opened Saturday through Wednesday, the office processes passports and identity cards, registers births and weddings, and provides authorizations for children traveling on their own.

For Ecuadorean immigrants, Queens has been a major destination point with over 100,000 residents, according to 2006 census estimates. Of the 600,000 Latinos in Queens County, Ecuadoreans are the largest group.

(BTW: There are a total of 1.5 million Latinos on Long Island - Long Island City to Montauk.)


Photo: Ecuadoreans came out in force Sunday Aug. 3 2008 for their Independence Day Parade in Jackson Heights, Queens.


¡Sorpresa! Selects Finalists for Hamptons Film Fest

¡Sorpresa!, the Spanish-language children’s network, has selected the five ¡Sorpresa! Youth Film Competition finalists that will screen as part of the Youth Media Program at the 16th annual Hamptons International Film Festival to be held on Oct. 15-19, 2008.

This year’s films focus on immigration issues and the importance of preserving Hispanic culture, highlighting the competition’s 2008 theme and ¡Sorpresa!’s tagline, “The World You Imagine.”

The winner will be selected at the Hamptons International Film Festival, and featured with the other finalists in the 2nd annual original special, “Luz, Cámara, ¡Sorpresa!,” hosted this year by filmmaker Jorge Colon and scheduled to premiere on ¡Cine Sorpresa! on Oct. 26 at 8:30 PM EST after an encore presentation of the 2007 special at 8 PM EST.

Cooper & Boyle Debate the Economy @ Dowling College's Presidential Forum

Martin Danenberg attended Dowling College's Presidential Candidates Impact On The Economy Forum, featuring presidential surrogates Phil Boyle (John McCain) and Jon Cooper (Barack Obama). Click here for his write-up.

El Profesor (that's professor in Spanish) was most impressed by Cooper's views on the responsibilities of American business owners to their employees.

In my opinion, Legislator John Cooper stole the show by teaching the audience that as a small businessman he has never laid off a worker in over four decades. He also pointed out that his company experienced tough times, like many companies, and he provided good salaries and incentives, keeping workers on the job and loyal to his company.
El Profesor adds that while raising the minimum wage is important--something that John McCain has systemically opposed--more is needed to ensure American workers have well-paying and sustainable jobs. He's right -- and it's a view shared by Cooper and Obama.

We complain about the flight of jobs overseas and the candidates talked about keeping jobs in the United States, jobs that pay well. Soon the minimum wage is going to be raised and this will add to the average salary of people in this country, but it has very little or nothing to do with keeping good jobs and creating good jobs for Americans.
I agree with El Profesor, we need a well thought out strategy for U.S. and hemispheric prosperity, something that the Bush administration and McCain are clueless about. Their policies have resulted in millions of jobs -- albeit, low wage jobs in places like communist China, India and Korea. Thankfully, Obama has the interest, commitment and intelligence to craft such a plan. Click here for Obama's economic prosperity plan.

We really have to see what the master plan of the winner does about good job flight overseas. John Cooper pointed out that he could easily have shipped the jobs in his company to China, but he refused to do that.
El Profesor hits on the issue of undocumented workers and offers the only honest solution available.

I have explored the outsourcing issue from my own point of view and I know that paying workers in Latin America, for example, good salaries for work will keep many or most of them from becoming undocumented workers in the United States.
Of course, such a smart, market economics-based solution requires a shift in U.S. Latin American policy away from coddling oligarchs and war lords, and towards investments in human development, fair trade and democratic institutions.

The point is that enlightened U.S. employment practices, combined with smart economic policies and a true partnership with the people of Latin American, will yield greater stability and prosperity for all.

Photo: (L-R) Dr.Ed Gulluson of Dowling College, Suffolk County Legislator Jon Cooper, Martin Cantor, Director of LIESP, Dowling Distinguished Economic Scholar Dr. Irwin Kellner, and Assemblyman Phil Boyle.


Joseph J. Ortego To Be Honored by LIHCC

Attorney Joseph J. Ortego (Nixon Peabody, LLP) will receive the Chairman’s Award from the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (LIHCC) at its 20th Anniversary Gala on October 11, 2008.

The Chairman’s Award recognizes local leaders for their dedication to the Latino community in Long Island.

“I am truly honored to be the recipient of the Chairman’s Award,” said Mr. Ortego. “My involvement with the LIHCC as both the general counsel and former member of the board of directors has brought me closer to the community as I’ve been able to bring together my passion for the law with that of my heritage."

Mr. Ortego is also a trustee of the Adults and Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities (ACLD), an agency serving individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. He and his wife, Shirley, reside in Garden City with their daughters Alexandra and Juliana.


Voter Drive To Register 2,500 Latino Immigrants

A coalition of Long Island community groups are kicking off a voter registration drive for Latino immigrants ahead of the November elections, they announced in a press conference Thursday.

The groups, including the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, say they plan on placing ads, making phone calls and using the addresses of new citizens to register voters. They also plan to teach new voters where to vote and how to read English ballots.

Latinos are the fastest growing minority on Long Island. Last year, nearly 15,000 Latinos became U.S. citizens and thousands more turned 18 and are therefore eligible to vote. It’s just a matter of getting them to go out to the polls, activists say.

"This process that we're initiating today is going to include Latinos from one tip of the Island to the other tip,” Luis Valenzuela, of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, says.

News12 Video
Group wants new citizens to vote

Pro-immigrant Action @ the Suffolk Legislature 9/16

On September 16th, Long Islanders from all walks of life will hold a day of action, at the Suffolk County Legislature to demand that it end the surge of divisive bills introduced in the legislature over the past three years and instead mandate legislation that promotes practical solutions that work for everyone.

Representatives from LI Business, Labor, Health Care, Housing, among others, will report on how the integration of our new neighbors not only creates opportunities for all Suffolk residents but indeed helps to build an Island of Opportunities.

“We are tired of the negative rhetoric; give Suffolk County a chance to get it right,” said Nadia Marin-Molina (Workplace Project). “That is why Long Islanders are taking action to make visible the contributions of our new arrivals.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

- Rally: 8:45 a.m.

- Press Conference: 9 a.m.

- Addressing the Legislature: 9:30a.m.-1p.m.

Suffolk County Legislature, Wm. Rogers Bldg, 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY For more information contact: Luis Valenzuela (LIIA), 631-789-0720 or 631 603-4266


Phil Ramos Victorious!

Assemblyman Phil Ramos won yesterday's Democratic Party Primary for the 6th District (Central Islip, Bayshore, Brentwood). He did so by beating back a spirited challenge from Waldo Cabrera by a 2 to 1 margin. Lacking a a Republican opponent--and with Cabrera on the Conservative Party line, Ramos is guaranteed re-election in November.

Congratulations to Assemblyman Phil Ramos.

This was, of course, a very unusual race. Here's why:

- Primary challenges are rare in New York State politics.

- As the first elected--and only--Latino state representative East of the Queens-Nassau border, Ramos is a genuine pioneer, and a well-regarded leader. Primary challenges to unseat such individuals when they're still in their prime just don't happen.

- A county executive campaigning to remove an assemblyman--who's a member of the same party--is unheard of. Ramos, who stood up to Suffolk's Steve Levy because of his anti-immigrant policies and on state sales taxes, was targeted by the revengeful county executive.

- The governor stepping in in support of an incumbent during a primary is rare as well. Governor Patterson last week visited the 6th District to boost Ramos. In a sense, Patterson-Ramos defeated Levy-Cabrera.

What's next?

It seems to me that this contest has strengthened Ramos. Ramos' has consolidated his position and is probably safe from in-party threats for the foreseeable future. I also expect that through Ramos' victory, the pro-immigrant community has been empowered to challenge Suffolk's promoters of anti-immigrant bigotry.

The entrepreneurial Waldo Cabrera is energetic and tenacious. However, after two runs for the 6th District, crossing party lines, challenging a pioneer incumbent in a primary, and doing so in alignment with a polarizing sponsor, it's probably time for Cabrera to re-assess. I hope he does because Cabrera is a fighter and someone genuinely committed to public service. I can see him re-connecting with the community and becoming an effective leader for change.

Finally, I don't believe Levy can easily let go of the defeat. I would expect a possible re-examination of county resources earmarked for the communities of the 6th District. I also wouldn't be surprised if Levy weighs a challenge to Governor Patterson. Might we see Patterson vs Levy, Round 2?


LI Latino International Film Festival - 9/26-28

The Long Island Latino International Film Festival
Sept.26 - Sept. 28

The Long Island Latino International Film Festival was created to celebrate and showcase the finest in Latino filmmaking. Now in our 4th year LILIFF continues to build its reputation by presenting exceptional works by or about Latinos. Opening night films will be the romantic drama short Mayor O Menor and the world premier of Bracero Stories.

More Info

Box Office
Festival Tickets: LILIFF offers 7 Screening Programs throughout the festival. Each program features a group of films for one price.

3-Day Festival Pass Price: $40
Festival passes allow access to ALL Screening Programs.
Get your tickets
Individual Programs Price: $10
Get your tickets


Papo Vázquez & the Pirate Troubadours: Latin Jazz at Flushing Town Hall 9/20

" ...Papo Vázquez is central to the development of Latin jazz ...." (Ezra Gale, Miami News Times.)

"... Papo Vázquez and his Pirate Troubadours go back to Afro-Rican roots ... to taking it to the year 2050, with the most ... forward-looking harmonies .... Pirate Troubadours is ... moving toward a new sound, a new sonority ...." (Introduction by DJ Felipito Palacio at 5/6/06 Papo Vázquez Pirate Troubadours concert at the Boulton Centre.)

There's plenty more where that came from, as a computer search and Papo's own web site (http://www.papovazquez.com/) will confirm. But what does that matter, when you have an opportunity to hear for yourself the incredible excitement generated by Papo and his world-class sidekicks ... this time with a band double the size of the usual Pirate Troubadours retinue!

Papo shares his musical genuis in a concert Saturday, September 20, 8 PM, at Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard. Tickets are obtainable via phone (718-463-7700 x222) and web site (http://www.flushingtownhall.org/).

Hope to see you there ... let's show Papo that we appreciate and support great artistry.


Invitation to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's East End Community Forum

Dear Friends:

The Office of the Attorney General is coming to the East End! I write to invite you to join me and my senior staff at a community forum on Tuesday September 9th at 7:00 pm at the Suffolk Community College School of Culinary Arts & Hospitality at 20 East Main St. in Riverhead.

We are hosting this meeting to discuss issues of concern to the residents of Eastern Suffolk County. The forum will focus on priority issues such as environmental protection, health care, consumer protection, civil rights, workers rights, and internet safety. I look forward to discussing these topics, but most importantly I am looking forward to hearing directly from you.

We need your help to ensure this forum’s success. We hope you will circulate the attached flyer and encourage your friends, family and anyone else you know who may be interested to attend. Please also visit our website at http://www.oag. state.ny.us to learn more about the Office of the Attorney General. We very much look forward to meeting you at this important community forum. Light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to our Suffolk County Regional Office at 631-231-2179. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Suffolk County Regional office at (631) 231-2424.

New York State Attorney General

United Way Golf Outing, Sept. 29

For more information on sponsorship opportunities visit www.unitedwayli.org or contact Kristen Houston, Events Manager, at (631) 940-3743 or khouston@unitedwayli.org.


LI Latino Educators to be Honored at Dowling College

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Dowling College's Center for Minority Teacher Development and Training will be celebrating Latinos in Education by hosting “Yes We Can” along with The Long Island Latino Teachers Association.

This event will take place on Thursday, September 18, 2008 from 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. in the Fortunoff Hall Ballroom at the Rudolph Campus in Oakdale.

The goal of this event is to recognize extraordinary Latino educators who are positive role models and have contributed to the growth of our society. New York Regent Dr. Betty A. Rosa will also be recognized for her outstanding contributions to the field of Education.

The exemplary list of speakers includes;

Ms. Betzaida Molina, ’91, (Elementary teacher)
Mr. Luis Alcantara, ’07, (Biology teacher)
Dr. Carmela Leonardi (School Principal)
Dr. Ada Nieves-Brull (School Psychologist)
Ms. Julie Burgos (School Social Worker)
Dr. Elsa-Sophie Morote (Dowling College Professor)
Dr. Hector Sepulveda (College Dean)
Dr. Myrka Gonzales (Dowling College Trustee Board Member)

Photo: Dr. Betty Rosa


OLA's 5th Latino Film Festival

OLA of Eastern Long Island, Inc. holds its 5th Latino Film Festival this October at various Hamptons venues.

The schedule includes film screenings October 3rd (Parish Art Museum, Southampton) and October 25th (Guild Hall, East Hampton), as well as an October 4th OLA Fund Raiser Fiesta at Ziggy's of Bridgehampton.

The films are Peter Raymont's A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman, Carlos Sorín's El Perro, Juan Carlos Cremata's Viva Cuba, and Lucía Puenzo's XXY.

All are welcomed.

For more information, please call 631.726.6526 or visit www.holaola.org.

Ya Es Hora: Workshops on Voting and County Government at Brentwood's PRONTO, Inc.

Now is the Time!
County Government & You

Attend two important workshops:

Workshop I: Understanding county government
and how it works

Wednesday, September 17th
Both workshops will be at
PRONTO, 128 Pineaire Dr., Bay Shore, NY 11706

Workshop II: Your right to vote
and why it matters

Wednesday, September 24th

For more information & to RSVP, call Ligia at 631.231.8290
A light dinner will be served

¡Ya es Hora de assistir a
dos talleres importantes!

El Govierno del Condado & Ud:

Taller I: Entendiendo el condado del
govierno y como funcciona

El miercoles, 17 septiembre 2008
Ambos talleres tomarán lugar en
PRONTO, 128 Pineaire Dr., Bay Shore, NY 11706

Taller II: Su derecho de votar
y porqué importa

El miercoles, 24 septiembre, 2008

Para informarse y registrarse, hable con Ligia al 631.231.8290