Â In Mount Vernon and Yonkers on Election Day, I got to see some remarkable things. At Mount Vernon Democratic headquarters, I saw Mayor Clinton Young, who seems to be a rather reserved man, dancing on a table in the corner, away from the News 12 camera, all by himself.
I was reporting on the reactions of black Americans to Sen. Barack Obama’s election as president, and nearly everyone there seemed to speak on behalf of their ancestors, not just themselves. I’ll be posting more of those comments here.
In Yonkers, I got to hear Sayidana Brannan, the daughter of community activist Cheryl Brannan, describe what she liked best about Obama. The historical significance was not lost on her, even if she is 11. Here’s what she said:
In her words, “This is a milestone, yes it is.”
Zafiro Romero and her mother, Aurelia Fernandez, are out today at the Hudson River Museum and the Pelham Art Center, sharing, explaining and celebrating the Mexican tradition of El Dia de los Muertos.Â Aurelia, a folk artist from Morelos, kept her traditions alive when she and her family came to Yonkers. Now she’s become a familiar face at festivals around the area. Earlier in the week, Zafiro gave me a vivid description of the Day of the Dead as it is celebrated by her Mexican family. Here’s a short clip from our conversation. Click here for my story in the Journal News.
In these photos, Zafiro and Aurelia are setting up an altar at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers. As Zafiro told me, the plastic decorations can’t compare with the fresh marigolds, fruits and candies in Mexico. Click here to see an L.A. Times blog post about the scene in Mexico City’s zocalo.
Fruits, marigolds and candy skulls are among the decorations.
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Neita Allen is celebrating her 100th birthday today at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers. Reporter Len Maniace has a story in today’s Journal News about the good cheer, and also the dilemma, that this Jamaican woman has brought to the hospital staff.
Allen came to Yonkers a few years ago to be with her son, since deceased. She is undocumented, with no insurance and apparently nowhere to go. She’s been hospitalized since a fall in December.
While the health care professionals discuss the policy issue at hand, Allen shares with Len a memory from her youth in Green Island, Jamaica.
A big sister take me on her back and take me out in the deep and she would say, ‘Hold on.’ I would hold on and she would take me all the way out until I couldn’t see, and the land was like a pin.
The full story is posted below.
(Photos: Seth Harrison/The Journal News )
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At a Sept. 17 morning meeting on Yonkers Avenue where hundreds of day laborers congregate, Yonkers police officials warned day laborers not to accept jobs with contractors who are going to Rye. Roger Jara, a day laborer leader in Yonkers, said today that police warned them not to go to Rye because police in that community are collaborating with immigration enforcement officials and detaining illegal immigrants. Yonkers police met with day laborers on Sept. 17 to discuss residents’ complaints about day laborers harassing young women and workers’ complaints that some contractors have not paid them their wages.
St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, a Yonkers parish with a large Hispanic immigrant congregation, will hold its autumn benefit concert on Sunday, Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. The church’s five Spanish-language choirs will perform and tickets are $5. The concert will be held in the basement and food and beverages will be served. Call 914-963-0822.
During a tour this morning of the Yonkers Public Schools’ new Vive school at 75 Riverdale Ave. schools Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio explained that the Yonkers Pathways to Success, an adult education program based at Vive, has received support from the Mexican consulate. Pierorazio explained that the Mexican government has given the district books and other materials.
“The goal is to have Mexican nationals assimilate into the community,” Pierorazio said.
The district’s evening adult education programs begin on Sept. 17 at the Enrico Fermi school at 27 Poplar St. and at the PEARLS Hawthorne school at 350 Hawthorne Ave. The Fermi school will focus exclusively on English as a Second Language classes, while PEARLS will offer computing, English, GED, pre-GED classes and basic adult education. Day adult education begins in October at Vive. For more information or registration, call 914-376-8600.
The Yonkers Public Schoolsâ€™ free adult education program Pathways to Success will have three registration nights for its classes, which begin on Sept. 16. The program is not specifically targeted to immigrants, but many immigrants participate in the program because the location is in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood. Classes offered include adult basic education, GED, English as a second language and computers. The registration is from 6-9 p.m. on Sept. 9, 10 and 11 at the Enrico Fermi School for the Performing Arts, 27 Poplar St., Yonkers
The Rev. Jose Mena, a Nicaraguan immigrant priest who formerly ministered at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Yonkers, has helped the Hispanic immigrant community at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Poughkeepsie establish a separate non-profit organization.
The group’s charitable efforts include a food pantry, the San Pablo Mission Screen Printing company and an arts center. Mena helped the group start a screen printing company to give the parish income to fund its charitable works. Click here for a link to St. Mary and Rev. Mena.
(Photo: Ricky Flores/The Journal News)
The Aisling Irish Community Center will hold the New York Irish Sumo Wrestling Championship 2008 on Sept. 14, 2008 at 4 p.m. at Rory Dolan’s parking lot, 890 McLean Ave., Yonkers. Local businesses will nominate staff members or customers to fight wearing inflatable suits for $500 cash prizes. The suggested donation is $20 and there is no admission for children. Proceeds from the event will benefit the social services and programs at the Aisling center. For more information call 914-237-5121.
The Indian American Council of Yonkers will have a flag-raising ceremony this afternoon at 4 p.m. at Yonkers City Hall, 40 South Broadway. The event is outside of the front entrance to the building. The group will commemorate the 61st anniversary of India’s independence. Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone’s office announced that he expects to attend the ceremony.