Hofstra to Celebrate Suburban Diversity

Hofstra University is hosting a Celebration of Suburban Diversity banquet this fall to raise funds for scholarships and research. It's part of a conference on the "The Diverse Suburb," scheduled for October 22, 2009, 6 p.m., at the university's David S. Mack Student Center.

"The evening will feature inspiring speeches and dramatic presentations, as well as musical performances, art work and awards to students and others."

It's great that Hofstra recognizes that the island's (and Hofstra's ) future is directly tied to the region's exploding racial/ethnic diversify. Hey, late is better than never, right?

Q: Why then are the folks fighting nativism (in its many local guises) missing among the conference planners and speakers? Where is Dr. Valenzuela, Sister Margaret Smith, Patrick Young, Maryann Slutsky, Nadia Marin, Rev. Allen Ramirez, Rev. Dwight Lee Wolter, et al?

Just asking.

Photo: Hofstra towers.


Suffolk Home Foreclosures Up 62%

According to a Long Island foreclosure report, new foreclosures were down in Q2 '09 (757) 20% from Q1 '09 (944), but up 9% over Q2 '08 (696).

In a good sign for Long Island real estate, the rate of new Nassau County foreclosures has diminished. Compared to Q1 '09 (626), new foreclosures in Nassau County Q2 '09 (265) went down 58%. Since Q2 2008 (393), new foreclosures declined by 33%.

In sharp contrast, foreclosures in Suffolk County reached a two-year high in Q2 2009. There were 492 new foreclosure auctions scheduled in Q2 '09. This was up 62% compared to Q2 '08 (303), and up 55% from Q1 '09 (318).

The Suffolk towns of Brookhaven (267), Islip (244), and Babylon (152) and Nassau's Town of Hempstead (649) have the greatest number of foreclosures in the first half of '09.

Click here for the full Long Island Q2 09 Foreclosure Report.


Smithtown Arts Council Presents 'La Guitarra' - Saturday 8.22.2009

The Smithtown Township Arts Council is pleased to present La Guitarra, a concert of Flamenco music, song and dance, in celebration of the Spanish Guitar, Saturday August 22, 2009, at 7p.m. at the Mills Pond House. Join us as two Flamenco guitarists and a Flamenco singer interpret songs that reflect the difficulty, dignity, forbearance and hopes of the outsider in a new land and culture. Dancers Maria Loreta Celitan and Ricardo Santiago will perform a variety of dances of this fascinating Spanish art form.

Local artist Pura Cruz uses the guitar to symbolize the parallel experience of the Latino immigrants as they struggle to assimilate into American society today. Her series “Border Wall” will be on display as part of the Arte Latino Exhibition opening August 22, 2009 (reception 4:30-6:30pm). Seating is very limited. Advance reservations are required. Admission by donation.

The Mills Pond House is located at 660 Route 25A, in St. James. For reservations, call 631.862.6575 or email programs@stacarts.org.


Lourdes Ventura Considers Bid for Queens Assembly D38

The Queens Courier reports that seven individuals are ready to compete for the open seat in the State Assembly's 38th District (Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Glendale, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Middle Village).

The seat was most recently occupied by Anthony Seminerio who resigned last month following an indictment on corruption charges.

Among those said to be considering a run is Lourdes Ventura, currently the Counsel for Latino and Immigrant Affairs for State Senator Malcolm Smith. An assistant attorney general and former prosecutor, Ventura, was recognized last year as a “Rising Star” in Queens County.
The daughter of Dominican immigrants, Ventura grew up as the oldest of three children and recalls that one of her earliest obstacles was the language barrier. “I remember being in my first-grade classroom and how difficult it was,” she says, “because I didn’t know English at all even though I was born and raised in Queens.” UB Today: Lourdes Ventura
Ventura was an associate at the Long Island-based law firm of Ahmuty, Demers, and McManus and a former president of the Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County.

She is a graduate of the University at Buffalo where she obtained her BA, MSW and JD degrees. Ventura resides in Queens with her husband and son.