Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Time to recall Mayor Lantigua.

Lawrence Mayor Willie Lantigua is employing an ugly tactic to fight the recall effort: he’s turning the Latino community against itself. The mayor’s already alienated non-Hispanic citizens, as all recent ads against the recall effort are in Spanish.

Not satisfied with making this a “Latinos versus others” issue, he (or at least his supporters) decided to turn Dominicans against Puerto Ricans, an old rivalry Lawrence really should’ve outgrown by now.

Details can be found in this Eagle Tribune article, which comments on the recall movement (It’s Your Right), Lantigua’s ads, and other related tension. The article explains that a Dominican website (translated in the article) blames Puerto Ricans who wanted Isabel Melendez as mayor are heading the movement. In all actuality, the core group is made up of three Dominicans, three Puerto Ricans and an Anglo.

The group needs to collect 5,232 signatures by August 8, and a fair number of those will come from Dominicans like Johnny Castillo.

“Lawrence is an immigrant city and we come to Lawrence to get a better future,” says Castillo. “As a Dominican, I’m proud of my heritage and because of that, it’s discouraging to see what (Lantigua) has done and how he has embarrassed us.”

It’s terrible that Lantigua would tear apart the united Latino base that helped elect him to remain in power. He’s disillusioned many, and betrayed all that Isabel Melendez has worked for, setting the Hispanic community back with his corruption and incompetence.

If you’ve seen my earlier posts, you may have guessed I’m not Lantigua’s biggest fan. I oppose him as a Lawrence citizen and a Latino. He’s shown no interest in the city, which has been struggling since the industrial decline of the 1950s. He’s turned his back on the Latino’s who have been through a lot since coming here, including riots and being unfairly blamed for the city’s urban crisis.

Lantigua has disgraced this city, my home, and should resign before things get worse.


The two minute film “Splitscreen: A Love Story” (watch it after the jump) won the Nokia Shorts 2011 Competition. The contest featured short films shot entirely on Nokia cell phones, and the winner and  finalists’ films will premier at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

This is the first time Nokia’s mixed cell phones and film. They announced in 2008 that Spike Lee would direct a film made up of people’s submitted cell phone videos (watch it here).

While the contest does a lot for low-budget filmmakers, the fact that it’s shot on cell phones doesn’t mean just anyone can make a movie now. Looking at “Splitscreen,” we can see that a lot of traveling and clever editing was needed. That’s time and money.

There’s also the director, J.W. Griffiths. Despite shooting the entire film on a Nokia N8 cell phone,

He’s hardly a newbie. According to his official site, he’s filmed a commercial starring Ray Winstone (“The Departed”) as well as a book trailer for best-selling author James Ellroy (“L.A. Confidential”).

via Low budget is no problem for cell phone filmmaker | The Upshot – Yahoo! News.

The contest may not mark a low-budget, proletariat revolution in cinema, but the charming film and the contest itself shows that talent and hard work still matter more than technology.

The film and other finalists can be found here.

Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

Father John with Cardinal Sean Photo: by Matlack and courtesy of Cardinal Sean's blog

People were outraged when the Rainbow Ministy of St. Cecilia’s Church in Boston invited friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a special mass in honor of Gay Pride Month. In response to criticism, the Archdiocese canceled the Mass, saying that the wording in their press announcement “may have given the unintended impression that the Mass is in support of Gay Pride Week; it is not.” They added that the pastor would clarify the situation.

In a Huffington Post Article, Tom Matlack (founder of the Good Men Project) describes how the Church’s pastor, Father John Unni, clarified the situation:

What followed was one of the most inspiring speeches I have ever witnessed in any context. Apparently, Father John had an official message from the Archdiocese which he never read. Instead he walked amongst his flock, back and forth, speaking with so much passion that at times his face became red. He talked in the strongest terms possible about the importance of inclusion not exclusion…

via Tom Matlack: Standing Up For Gays In A Boston Catholic Church.

Despite one heckler, Father Unni’s speech was met with applause. Matlack says Father Unni became one of his heroes that night, and its easy to see why: he showed bravery and acceptance that the archdiocese didn’t and stood up for a group they wouldn’t.

From the Yahoo! Sports.

In the wake of the Vancouver riots following the Bruins’ Stanley Cup victory, some Canadian hockey fans have written in to the Boston Globe to apologize for their fellow fans’ destructive and embarrassing behavior.

“I would like to congratulate the Boston Bruins on a game well played for the Stanley Cup,” Lindy Bellamy, a Canucks fan from Abbotsford, British Columbia, wrote to the Globe. “And most of all I would like to apologize to the Bruins hockey team and the people of Boston for the outrageous behavior and disgusting sportsmanship shown by a small few that caused so many problems in riots in the city of Vancouver after the game.”

via Canucks fans apologize to Boston for post-game rioting.

Sarah Forrest of Vancouver wrote the riots weren’t caused by hockey fans but troublemakers. Vancouver Sun columnist Cam Cole commented that most rioters were too young to even remember the last 39 years of disappointment, pretty much saying the riots were caused by a bunch of rowdy, drunk kids.

Forever 21 is threatening to sue fashion blogger Rachel Kane, owner of WTForver21. The company accuses Kane and her satirical site of copyright infringement, and threatens a lawsuit if she doesn’t shut it down. While Kane originally decided to shut down the site, she changed her mind and is now standing up to the company.

Kane has every right to continue the site without fear of lawsuit. As she explains,

It contains only criticism, commentary, and news reporting, all written in an educational and humorous manner, which are protected under applicable law. To the extent any of the material used on the site is in fact subject to intellectual property protection (which, in many instances, is by no means clear), the site’s incorporation of that material is a “fair use” under copyright, trademark law, and similar state law

via Fashion Blogger Stands Up to Forever 21, Will Not Take Down Mocking Site – TIME NewsFeed.

Parody and commentary are highly protected forms of free speech, one reason the satirists at “That Guy With the Glasses” are allowed to post parodies and reviews using substantial amounts of footage (in addition to the transformative nature of the reviews).

I see this story as a big, bad company taking on a small, vocal critic, looking to eliminate any small factor that could keep teenage girls from buying silly products like this:

From WTForever21

I support Kane’s decision to continue the blog. You can find her site here.

Fr. Reyes gives a homily to the last graduating class of St. Mary's. From the Eagle tribune

The grammar school I graduated from is closing. St. Mary’s of the Assumption graduated its last class on Friday, July 3, to the tears of many former students.

The school had been fighting to stay open for nearly two years (I even wrote an article about it for last year’s Journalism class, long before the local papers picked it up) but the Archdiocese and Cardinal O’Malley refused to listen.  Even after parents raised $335,000 in a last effort to keep the school open, the Archdiocese of Boston still refused to keep St. Mary’s open.

There was some hope when a Texas man with no connection to the school decided to come in and help, moved after reading about the closure on the Internet.

Unfortunately, St. Mary’s supporters have lost the battle. Now the pastor, Fr. Jorge Reyes, is being sent away from the church and school.

This was all to make way for the new Lawrence Catholic Academy, which merges Our Lady of Good Council and St. Patrick’s. The new academy will be built on St. Patrick’s current location.

Anyone who lives in Lawrence can spot the class conflict here. St. Patrick’s is located in South Lawrence, the richer side of the city, while St. Mary’s is located in North Lawrence, the poorer side. Most students are Hispanic, walk to St. Mary’s, and come from families that likely won’t be able to afford the new Catholic Academy. The Archdiocese is coldly ending Catholic education for underprivileged Hispanics, denying an opportunity that has served me well in life.

The school played a big role in my life and I hate to see it close, especially like this.

From the Boston Globe

There’s always something to talk about when it comes to William Lantigua. The Lawrence mayor is being investigated by federal and state authorities on allegations of corruption involving everything from weapons to narcotics, according to the Boston Globe.

The FBI, the Essex district attorney, and other agencies are looking into Lantigua’s dealings with companies that work for the city and into his ongoing public battle with the Lawrence Police Department, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Authorities are also interested in his connections to half a dozen bars, night clubs, and his control over taxi and towing permits with the city.

Lantigua naturally denies the allegations and is certain he’ll be found innocent, saying “There is nothing to hide … I am standing here today to say there is no corruption in my administration.” Even if he is innocent, the allegations have strengthened efforts to get the mayor recalled. The group leading this movement is called “It’s Your Right,” and they accuse Lantigua of being an incompetent mayor and bully who divides the Whites and Latinos of the city.

This is the toughest challenge Lantigua has faced since becoming mayor. He’s managed to land on his feet after the last few controversies, so I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him somehow get out of this mess. Still, even if he’s proved innocent, I doubt he’ll be reelected for another term.