Thursday, June 21, 2012

American violinist, Mexican guitarist an inspired musical team

Alex DePue & Miguel de Hoyos
Alex DePue &
Miguel de Hoyos
Expect to be dazzled when American violin master Alex DePue and Mexican classical and flamenco guitar dynamo Miguel De Hoyos perform their first San Diego concert of the year on Thursday at the all-ages Lestat's in Normal Heights. A musical team since 2007, they create a cross-border fusion that bridges the gap between various styles with equal fire and finesse.

Classically trained, DePue made his Carnegie Hall debut when he was 14 and also distinguished himself as a young bluegrass phenom who, from 1994 to 1998, was the Michigan State Fiddling Champion. In addition to various orchestras, he counts rock guitar icon Steve Vai and country-music star Chris Cagle among his past employers.

Also classically trained, De Hoyos is a native of Monterrey, Mexico. He moved to Rosarito in 2006, the same year DePue arrived in San Diego. The two teamed up a year later and have been performing together ever since. De Hoyos has five solo albums to his credit, and also recorded two albums as the leader of the five-piece group La Guitarra Por El Mundo. DePue, meanwhile, has a new solo recording of his own ready to release.

DePue and De Hoyos have released two albums, 2007's "Underground Whispers" and 2009's "Twisted Strings." Both showcase their virtuosic playing and their ability to shine whether playing jazz, blues, rock, classical, swing, flamenco or nearly anything in between. Accordingly, their repertoire can range from such jazz chestnuts as "Autumn Leaves" and "Lady Be Good" to rock classics like "Black Magic Woman," "Eleanor Rigby" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart," with "Classical Gas" and Pachabel's Canon in D thrown in for good measure.

The duo's Thursday concert at the intimate Lestat's will also feature their protégé, guitarist Jake Allen. For those traveling in Baja, DePue and De Hoyos keep their musical chops honed by playing at La Mision, a restaurant located between Rosarito and Ensenada.

Whale Sinks Sailboat Off Coast of Mexico Sailor Rescued After Whale Hits Boat

 A California man was rescued after his 50-foot sailboat was struck by a whale while he was sailing alone about 40 miles off the coast of Mexico.

The impact from the collision disabled the sailboat's steering and the vessel began taking on water late Tuesday.

Max Young, 67, a retired Sacramento high school teacher, quickly stuffed a mattress into the hole in the ship's hull and activated several pumps. Young was "trying to bail out water as fast as he could, because he wasn't sure how long it was going to take to be rescued," his wife, Debra, told The Associated Press.

Young also activated his EPIRB, an emergency radio beacon, around midnight which alerted the Coast Guard.

"The safety equipment he had on board allowed us to find him very quickly. It was a big reason why we were able to rescue him," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Pamela J. Boehland.

The Coast Guard requested assistance from the Ocean Virgo, a Panamanian-flagged merchant ship. The Ocean Virgo was approximately 60 miles away and immediately headed to the scene.

"The fact the freighter was less than 60 miles away and was able to respond to our rescue request was great, but he was very lucky that he was able to be rescued so quickly," Boehland said.

The command center watch also diverted an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Sacramento to investigate the sinking vessel.

When the crew of the Hercules located and established radio communications with Young at about 2 a.m., he was bailing water from his boat. He had also deployed his life raft in case he had to abandon his boat.

The Hercules remained on scene until the Ocean Virgo arrived around 4 a.m., and Young climbed out of his boat via a rope ladder that was thrown by the ship's crew.

Young had been on the final leg of a trip from the East Coast to a marina in Emeryville, Calif., when the collision took place. Young has been sailing for at least 30 years, and having worked on boats with his father, who was a commercial fisherman, he's been on the ocean most of his life, his wife said.

Debra Young said she has been in contact with her husband while he's on board the Ocean Virgo, which is headed for Panama. He's not expected to be back to Sacramento for another few days.

Immigration Upended American Children, Now Struggling to Adjust to Life in Mexico

IZÚCAR DE MATAMOROS, Mexico - Jeffrey Isidoro sat near the door of his fifth-grade classroom here in central Mexico, staring outside through designer glasses that, like his Nike sneakers and Nike backpack, signaled a life lived almost entirely in the United States. His parents are at home in Mexico. Jeffrey is lost.

A family photo of Jeffrey in front of their home in Virginia, where they lived before moving to Texas and then Mexico.

When his teacher asked in Spanish how dolphins communicate, a boy next to him reached over to underline the right answer. When it was Jeffrey's turn to read, his classmates laughed and shouted "en inglés, en inglés" - causing Jeffrey to blush.

"Houston is home," Jeffrey said during recess, in English. "The houses and stuff here, it's all a little strange. I feel, like, uncomfortable."

Never before has Mexico seen so many American Jeffreys, Jennifers and Aidens in its classrooms. The wave of deportations in the past few years, along with tougher state laws and persistent unemployment, have all created a mass exodus of Mexican parents who are leaving with their American sons and daughters.

In all, 1.4 million Mexicans - including about 300,000 children born in the United States - moved to Mexico between 2005 and 2010, according to Mexican census figures. That is roughly double the rate of southbound migration from 1995 to 2000, and new government data published this month suggest that the flow is not diminishing. The result is an entire generation of children who blur the line between Mexican and American.

"It's really a new phenomenon," said Víctor Zúñiga, a sociologist at the University of Monterrey, in Nuevo León State, which borders Texas. "It's the first time in the relationship between Mexico and the United States that we have a generation of young people sharing both societies during the early years of their lives."

Critics of immigration have mostly welcomed the mass departure, but demographers and educators worry that far too many American children are being sent to schools in Mexico that are not equipped to integrate them. And because research shows that most of these children plan to return to the United States, some argue that what is Mexico's challenge today will be an American problem tomorrow, with a new class of emerging immigrants: young adults with limited skills, troubled childhoods and the full rights of American citizenship.

"These kinds of changes are really traumatic for kids," said Marta Tienda, a sociologist at Princeton who was born in Texas to Mexican migrant laborers. "It's going to stick with them."

Jeffrey's situation is increasingly common. His father, Tomás Isidoro, 39, a carpenter, was one of the 46,486 immigrants deported in the first half of 2011 who said they had American children, according to a report by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to Congress. That is eight times the half-year average for such removals from 1998 to 2007.

Mr. Isidoro, wearing a Dallas Cowboys hat in his parents' kitchen, said he was still angry that his 25 years of work in the United States meant nothing; that being caught with a broken taillight on his vehicle and without immigration papers meant more than having two American sons - Jeffrey, 10, and his brother, Tommy Jefferson, 2, who was named after the family's favorite president.

As for President Obama, Mr. Isidoro uttered an expletive. "There are all these drug addicts, drug dealers, people who do nothing in the United States, and you're going to kick people like me out," he said. "Why?"

White House officials have said that under a new policy focused on criminals, fewer parents of American children are being deported for minor offenses. On Friday, the Obama administration also announced that hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to United States as children would be allowed to stay without fear of deportation. The policy, however, does not grant legal status, and because nearly half of the country's 10.2 million illegal immigrant adults have children, experts say that inevitably more families will be divided - especially if deportations over all hold steady around 400,000 a year.

But for Jeffrey, the impact of his father's removal in June last year was immediate. His grades dipped. His mother, Leivi Rodríguez, 32, worried that he had become more distant, from both his friends and his studies. Almost every day, Jeffrey told her he wanted to see his father.

So six months after her husband's deportation, she sent Jeffrey to live with his father in Mexico, and she followed with Tommy a few months later. It was December when he arrived here in a hill town south of Mexico City, surrounded by fields of swaying sugar cane. On Jeffrey's first night, he noticed something strange in his bed. "Dad, what's that?" he asked.

"A scorpion," his father said.

School here presented new challenges, as well. Jeffrey went hungry at first because neither he nor his father realized that without a cafeteria, students relied on their parents to bring them food at recess.

In class, Jeffrey's level of confusion rises and falls. His teacher said she struggled to keep him from daydreaming. "His body is here, but his mind - who knows where it is," she said.

Houston - that is where Jeffrey's thoughts typically drift. There, he had friends, McDonald's, the zoo. It is where he lingered at the library at Gleason Elementary to catch up on his favorite series of books, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." There, his school had a playground; here, there is just a concrete slab. There, computers were common; here, there are none.

"It was just better," Jeffrey said.

The educational disparities between Mexico and the United States are not always so stark. At the elementary level, some of Mexico's schools are on par with, or even stronger than, the overcrowded, underfinanced American schools that serve many immigrant children, education experts say.

But Mexican schools lag when it comes to secondary education. In many areas of Mexico, especially places where the tradition of migration is not as well established, Mexico's educational bureaucracy can make life difficult for new arrivals like Jeffrey. It is not uncommon for American students to be barred from enrollment for a year or more because they lack proper documents.

"The established rules for registration don't need to be so severe," said Armando Reynoso Carrillo, a state legislator from Malinalco, a rural area in Mexico State where dozens of American children have arrived in recent years.

The problems extend beyond registration. Mexicans have a long history of greeting returnees with skepticism - for abandoning Mexico, or because they resent the United States, or view those who moved there as materialistic, culturally out of touch and arrogant. The prejudice often extends to their children.

Graciela Treviño González said that when she returned to Malinalco three years ago, after more than a decade in California, she could not get her American son onto a soccer team because the coaches refused to accept him without Mexican identification. "He felt rejected by everyone," she said. "The kids called him 'leche,' 'gringo' - it was awful." Leche means milk and gringo can range from a neutral reference to a foreigner to a slur.

Here in the central state of Puebla, Mexican children are especially likely to see transnational students as different, according to surveys by Mr. Zúñiga, the sociologist. Some have come to Mexico because of deportations. Others arrived because relatives were sick or without work.

But regardless of the cause, Mexican students tend to see their American-educated colleagues as strangers. Jeffrey's experience is typical: He is friendly and quick to open up in English, but quieter at school, where Spanish is the only language one hears.

At one point this spring, as Jeffrey sat at the edge of the playground, a larger boy approached from behind and asked if he was from Florida or Houston. When Jeffrey pulled away because the boy had leaned into him, the bigger boy seemed surprised. "Are you mad?" he asked.

Later, other boys tested Jeffrey on his English, asking him in Spanish to translate various body parts.
"How do you say foot?" one asked. "Finger?"


Jeffrey provided one-word answers without enthusiasm. At home, a three-room concrete box with furniture hauled from Houston, he said that many of the children called him Four Eyes. He said he was starting to feel more comfortable academically and socially, but even in a school with 11 other children born or educated in the United States (out of 296) he is still a foreigner. Sometimes, he confuses the Mexican pledge of allegiance with the American version.

Ms. Tienda, at Princeton, said children of Jeffrey's age were more likely to struggle with such a difficult transition. "This is the age where they start to be aware of each other's differences," she said. "They're preadolescents and their identity is being crystallized."

She added that how these students fared over the long term will probably vary widely. Some will make the transition easily while others will suffer setback after setback. It will depend on their language skills, school and family dynamics.

Jeffrey, like many other children whose parents have moved them to a country they do not know, seems to be teetering between catching up to his classmates and falling further behind. His parents are struggling to find work and keep their marriage together. Jeffrey, in quieter moments, said he was just trying to endure until he could go home.

"I dream, like, I'm sleeping in the United States," he said. "But when I wake up, I'm in Mexico."

G20 summit meeting in Mexico

LOS CABOS, Mexico (Reuters) - The following are highlights of comments by leaders and officials at the Group of 20 summit meeting in the Mexican beach resort of Los Cabos on Monday.


"The yen's rise is posing downside risks to the economy and the biggest factor lies in Europe's problems. No matter how Europe insists that it is making efforts, it would not mean much unless markets appreciate them. It's time (for Europe) to take concrete action to convince markets ... I as well as other countries said (at the G20 finance ministers' working dinner) that it's time (for Europe) to take concrete action such as unification of banking supervision."


On markets losing confidence in euro zone actions: "That means that the measures which are being taken are not enough to fix the problems because instead of reducing, they are increasing."

On BRICS countries contributions to the IMF, via reserves: "This will increase confidence by making sure there is more ammunition available if there is a problem." 


"I welcome the Greek people's wise decision. As for G20 discussions from now on, I'd like to particularly urge euro zone to strengthen efforts to prevent (its debt crisis) contagion to the rest of the world." 


Britain had played a big part in preventing a slide toward protectionism, "but clearly on the euro zone, we need to do more."

"There has been some progress, the firewalls are bigger, the scale of what can be done to stop contagion is greater, but the underlying problems still have to be dealt with."

"The truth is that everyone in the euro zone is going to have to take difficult decisions in order to make the system work properly and to deliver an easing of the crisis." 


"We're obviously very pleased that the Greek people have given a clear mandate to remain in the euro zone and fulfill the commitments they've made within the euro zone. We think that's a very positive development going forward.

"The problems of the euro zone remain very significant."

"The combination of sovereign and debt crises remain very severe. However, they are clearly within the means of European countries to deal with. What European countries need to do and what we will be looking to see are clear commitments that they are prepared to take all of the necessary actions that are within their capacity to deal with these problems, and to create the structural changes necessary to create a genuine financial union in Europe that can deal with these problems on an ongoing basis."

"Obviously growth is everybody's focus, should be everybody's focus.

That's what we really need, that's obviously part of the solution. We need to see some global growth and particularly in those areas where there are challenges we need to see growth." 


"The euro is very high, it is not a problem. It is a very strong currency. If you ask in Europe, many would like it to be a little weaker." 


"Spain is a solvent country and a country which has the capacity to grow.
"We think ... that the way markets are penalizing Spain today does not reflect the efforts we have made or the growth potential of the economy.

"I think that European leaders are united, we know perfectly well that we are all in the same boat. We know perfectly well that we have to keep going in one direction, in the direction of making more progress towards fiscal union and banking union and there, for example, I think that decisions can be taken very quickly and we could see those in the next few days." 


"The result of the Greek election let me hope that there will be a quick creation of a new stable government. This is good news for the whole of Europe.

"The new government will and must stick to the commitments, which the country has agreed on." 


"The world is looking to the June 28-29 EU summit for important conclusions on the euro zone ... During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Korea experienced large-scale corporate bankruptcies and mass unemployment, and moved quickly to restore market confidence and restructure its economy.

The movement "I am 132". Services

Since movement "Yo soy 132" ("I am 132") was born, first with college students and now including citizens at large, one of the main requests was the democratization of the media. This week they made public a video titled "Luz132" ("#Light132") demonstrating some of the best known cases of information mishandling by the media; they projected it on the walls of Televisa's major building.

The closest and maybe clearest example of this manipulation is the campaign created around Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)'s candidate Enrique Peña Nieto's character to position him as the favorite Mexican presidential contender.

But the Yo soy 132 movement is not the only one complaining about the tampering; research conducted by foreign media agrees, and they even revealed documents related to the strategy used. Both the PRI and Televisa declined their association with said documents and even demanded an apology by "The Guardian", the accusing British paper.

Luz132 talks about the student massacre of 1968, oppression in 1971, the electoral fraud of 1988, the assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio, and the violent procedures taken in Aguas Blancas and San Salvador Atenco to suffocate civil protests in 1995 and 2006 respectively.

Using audiovisual support, Yo soy 132 wants the Mexican public to question information given to them by the most official media since Televisa is not only a television network, but it also owns printed and virtual media.

On signs during the many protest marches through Mexican cities, the word "Televisa" appears constantly in various disapproving phrases.