The Famous Fifteen

by Hugo Acosta

2004 – 2019… 15 years that could be identified in many occasions with many events, but in my life, and hopefully for the local Latino (or even non-Latino) community of Central New York (or even the entire New York State), these 15 years has been a mixed of growing pains and enjoyable pleasure, in a journey of varies experiences, that have developed and made the CNY Latino newspaper, what it is now, and yours truly (Hugo Acosta) what he is now.

There is a popular traditional milestone in the Latino culture called Quinceañera, that is the colloquial name of when a Hispanic Girl becomes a woman, at the age of 15 years old (see article about Quinceañera in the print publication of the CNY Latino newspaper February 2019 edition). Now, I don’t want to insinuate any gender classification, nor to identify our newspaper as a female entity, but we could say that we are right now going through (and celebrating) a Quinceañera moment, with this 15-year anniversary, and we probably should be doing all the different actions and components this cultural moment brings. Well… we are not going to do anything like that… not for now, but we will try to enjoy the moment, reflect the milestone, and contemplate about our progress (or our failures – if any).

During the last week of each month, I try with Marisol and our small staff, to put together a publication we want (and hope) to be proud in our culture and for our people, and we do our best to do it error-less and presentable, not only to have a good product to represent well and with pride the publishing industry, but also to represent well and with pride the Latino culture. That last week of the month very often give us chaotic times of deadlines and rushing goals, that we have to handle and struggle, with other business errands or life procedures, and even though there has been some delays or setbacks during this 15 year, we are proud to also indicate they have been very few and very minor, to consider them of any significant issues to grieve and regret about it.

In each anniversary year (for the past 14 years) I have been trying with these editorials, not only to express myself as celebration of each commemoration, but also to describe the feeling of both accomplishment and success, for a product that has been very well welcome from its creation, until nowadays; and I hope that now, I can again provide here, my humbling sense of achievement and appreciation of success. It has not been easy, and in many occasions, it has been frustrating, but once problems have been resolved and obstacles have been overcome, the overall experience was fulfilling and that mentioned sense of success was always very gratifying.

I believe that for the last 4 or 5 editorials (4 or 5 years) I have mentioned the gradual but surely changes the newspaper industry has been going through, and the business alterations we are experiencing (and suffering) with respect of a traditional way of delivering a message (and the news). Those changes are still happening, and are still affecting our product, and in a way also affecting how we do business, and how our chances of being profitable (or how our chances of survival) are; but we will adapt to those changes, and will keep providing to our community and our culture… as long as they demand or ask for. I hope I didn’t sound pessimistic nor I seemed to be negative, but life always changes, and technology is affecting the publishing trade to the point that many newspapers and publications are closing and disappearing. Nevertheless, thanks to our culture, we believe CNY Latino will still be around for a while… maybe 5 or 7 more years… maybe less… maybe more, and we will keep our goals to defend and protect our culture, preserve and safeguard our people (in America), and deliver the message and the news, in BOTH “English” AND “Spanish”, in the traditional paper format, in the new digital version, or however the new changes bring us to do.

Of course (as also mentioned in past editorials), all these accomplishments and successes could not be done, without the constant help and patience of my business (and life) partner Marisol Hernandez, the dedication and commitment of our associates, the sporadic help of our Interns, and the indirect support of our friends and family (especially during those hard-difficult moments). You put all this together with the unconditional backing of our Latino (and non-Latino) community, the loyal readership and the dedicated advertisers, and the supportive vendors, we in CNY Latino have been lucky to become what we are now, and celebrate such of a commemorative and memorial anniversary.

So, with all this said… THANK YOU…! Thank you very much..! and we will try our best, to keep and better the making of this newspaper, to keep and better the delivery of the message and the news, and to keep and better protecting and defending our culture and our people.

Heart on Health

by SNAP-Ed

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States. Being overweight or obese puts you at risk for many forms of heart disease. February is American Heart Month! It is a great time to take control of your weight and waist line to promote heart health.

There are many factors to consider if you are trying to lose, maintain or gain weight. Factors that influence the number of calories you need are age, height, gender and your activity level. It is important to balance calories in with calories out! When we eat more than we need our bodies store the extra calories as fat. Balance the foods you eat with the activities you do. Try to be active for 30 minutes on most days of the week.

Use these tips to stay active, eat healthy and feel your best!

• Make little changes! Try just 10 minutes of activity at a time. Take a brisk walk, pass a soccer ball, or do some push-ups. Exercising doesn’t have to be stressful. Have Fun! Do activities that you enjoy. Dance, play basketball at the gym, go sledding, or walk the mall with friends.
• Move throughout the day! Park the car further away, take the stairs, walk to a different bus stop or do yoga stretches while you watch TV! It all adds up!
• Be an active family! Get the whole family moving. Kids need at least 60 minutes of activity every day. Play catch with your kids, visit the park or go for a family bike ride. Remember, you are their greatest role model!
• Limit Screen Time! The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends limiting screen to 2 hours or less each day. This includes: TV watching; playing video games and watching movies.
• Make healthy choices! Choose whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat pasta and whole grain breads. Whole grains keep us full longer and give us the energy to be active! Drink water, low-fat milk or seltzer with a splash of 100% juice! Limit soda and juices. Soda and sugar-sweetened beverages have added sugars that can slow us down and cause weight gain.
• Balance Your Portions! Pay attention to how much food is on your plate! Taking too much food can cause us to eat more than our bodies need. Use smaller plates, cups and bowls. Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables first, then add meat and grains. Listen to your body! Notice body cues letting you know when you’re full or hungry.
• Eat slowly! Wait it out! It takes twenty minutes for your mind to realize you’re full after eating.

Tortilla Roll-Ups– Makes 12 servings; ½ tortilla= 1 servings
6 large whole wheat flour tortillas


6 large whole wheat flour tortillas
1 Cup grated low fat cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
1 Cup mild salsa (8 oz.)
1 Cup black beans, drained (½ can)
1 avocado, mashed (optional)


1. Put the tortillas on a plate, cover with a paper towel, and microwave on High for 1 minute (optional).
2. Mix cheese, salsa, and black beans.
3. Spread a thin layer of mixture on each tortilla.
4. Top with a spoonful of avocado (optional).
5. Roll up, cut in half, and serve.

Yield: About 12 servings (½ tortilla each)

Nutrition information:
Calories: 140
Total Fat: 4.5 g.
Sodium: 290 mg.
Carbohydrates: 17g
Fiber: 3g.
Sugar: 1g.
Protein: 6g.

Source: Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness, Cornell University 2015, recipe from Linda Tripp, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia County.

Visit our website for recipe, tips and more at

Should Puerto Rico Become a State?

by Maximilian Eyle

Puerto Rico has a confusing relationship with the rest of the United States. It is classified as an unincorporated territory, not a state. While this offers certain advantages, it also comes with a high cost. For example, Puerto Ricans do not have to pay federal income tax. However, they can only vote in presidential primaries – not in general elections for the federal government. This means that they do not have voting representation in congress. But because Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, they can vote if they move and become residents of a U.S. state.

There is currently a bill in congress to make Puerto Rico a state, introduced by Rep. Jennifer Gonzalez – Colon, Puerto Rico’s non-voting federal representative. About half of Americans agree that Puerto Rico should be made a state. This number grew after Hurricane Maria due to increased sympathy for the island. Unfortunately, a similar percentage of Americans do not even know that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.

Many of Puerto Rico’s political leaders, including the governor, support statehood. Many federal representatives from around the United States do as well, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi. However, the people of Puerto Rico are more divided. A recent poll showed that only about half support statehood, though it is the most popular option. The remaining half is divided between remaining a territory, achieving independence, and simply not having an opinion.

The discussion about PR’s future as a state or a territory remains controversial and may not be resolved soon. What we can agree on is that the current relationship between the island and the federal government is a problematic one. The aftermath of Hurricane Maria proved that. Whether or not Puerto Rico becomes a state, it is imperative that we strengthen the bond between the island and the rest of the U.S.

What do you think? Write in with your opinions to

Maximilian Eyle is a native of Syracuse, NY and a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He works as a media consultant and writes each month about a variety of issues for Spanish-language papers across New York State. Maximilian has a love of Hispanic culture and learned Spanish while living in Spain where he studied and worked as an English teacher. He can be contacted at

Bald Eagles

Let the Bald Eagles Fly
by Gabor Hardy

Today there are plans underway in Onondaga County, state of New York, to build a pathway around the perimeter of Onondaga Lake which is in Syracuse, New York. Much has been constructed and the end is near. However, there is a twist to this story. Basically, this pathway is designed for leisure, exercise, relaxation and overall enjoyment of people everywhere who wish to visit the shores of this wonderful lake. However, there is a barrier to this story that is supposed to have a happy ending. It involves the final completion of a secondary trail that goes onto Murphy’s island – an appendage of Onondaga Lake. This small (one half mile or two) trail is scheduled for construction starting in late spring of 2019.

The problem with these plans is the fact that the proposed trail will be going directly through the habitat or roost area of the bald eagles (there are as many as 35). Eagles are known to have a greater fear of the human form than they have for cars, trains, or airplanes.

Various perspectives are offered; these perspectives translate into many pro and con positions.

Some pro positions are:

A) The freedom of individuals to roam where they want supersedes the needs of bald eagles
B) We need this trail for the benefit of bikers and runners
C) Bald Eagles are tough birds and will adjust
D) No great danger because the trail will be closed for a few months out of the year when the Bald Eagles are roosting
E) We need this trail in order to complete our plan for a pathway leading all around the lake

Con positions:

A) The eagles will permanently leave this area due to human disturbance
B) Murphy’s island is polluted, so why build on it?
C) Even if you close the trail human beings will venture on the pathways – thus creating more expense by hiring security guards
D) Practically all bird experts agree that the pathway is way too close to the Eagle roost
E) Building an observation platform will satisfy those who come to look at Bald Eagles, yet far enough away so that they will not be scared away.
F) Constant disturbance of the Bald Eagles will deplete their reservoir of energy resulting in loss of body weight

There is an important consideration that is often overlooked in discourses concerning animals. It is that animals do not speak, read, or write English or any other human language. We (human people) stand in for their feelings, concerns, and needs. What becomes rather important then – are authentic voices. By an “authentic” voice I mean those individual humans who spend their lives studying the life cycles of these magnificent birds. It is to the “experts” that the legislature, ecological groups, and all other parties who have a vested interest in this trail should look to for answers. It makes sense to give priority to the experts in the field of eagle behavior because most of us have not had the time or the knowledge to study these birds and hear their language.

So, why is this not done? Very often the opinions of experts are ignored, disputed, or taken out of context. Too often the lure of wealth obscures clear thinking as well. If we establish the common ground that bald eagles are worthy of protection, that bald eagles are an endangered species (at least here in Onondaga county), or that Bald Eagles are a distinct asset to this region – then why not err on the side of caution? This county can build a viewing platform or simply not build a trail at all. These two courses of action are a small price to pay because the payoff is significant: the eagles will continue to make their home by the shores of Onondaga Lake.

Bald Eagles are wild creatures. As such, I have no doubt that, if asked, they would say that they prefer solitude and undisturbed areas where they can live and breed. Their habitats at one time encompassed practically the whole USA. Over the years the areas where Bald Eagles can roost has dwindled significantly. Is it not our responsibility … even our moral obligation to give these Bald Eagles a haven of rest? This county should NOT build a trail on Murphy’s Island but should proceed with plans to build a viewing station at the end of the Creekwalk. The viewing station would be close enough to Murphy’s Island to observe the eagles but far enough away to avoid disturbing them. Is it not time to defer to the needs of our wild brethren?

This article was provided by Linda DeStefano and written by Gabor Hardy. Gabor is a member of the board of People for Animal Rights. PAR is one of the organizations helping Save the Bald Eagles of Onondaga Lake. If you want more information about PAR, contact us at PO Box 15358, Syracuse, NY 13215-0358 or by email at or call us at (315)488-PURR (7877) 08 a.m.-10 p.m. Go to our website at

The Wall – The Bone of Contention

by Jose Enrique Perez

For the last two months, we have been hearing about the shutdown and how employees of the federal government have not been receiving their paychecks. What is the reason? Trump’s wall.

President Trump has said that he wants the wall to control the illegal immigration flow. He decided to go into a shutdown of the federal government because he was not receiving the funding of the wall. However, he said more than 1,000 times that Mexico was going to pay for the wall. So, I am confused: Why we shut down the federal government for not getting the money for a wall that Mexico was going to pay?

Before Christmas, Trump decided not to reach an agreement with the democrats to keep the government open. However, on January 25, 2019, he caved, and the shutdown ended after 35 days. The agreement reached did not include one dime for Trump’s wall.

The fact that we are getting the government open and workers back to their jobs does not mean that this is over. The government has been reopened only until February 15, 2019. We are very likely to experience a new shutdown again on that day. The government is only reopening for three weeks and the fight over Trump’s wall is far from over.

Now, he has threatened to declare a national emergency to build his wall. Really? There is no national emergency at the border. All government agencies agree that the border is more secure than ever. Almost nobody is able to cross the border without detection.

President Trump spent 35 days pushing a million federal workers to the wall, but not his wall, and forced to go to Welfare and receive food stamps while not being able to receive paychecks for almost two months. He is forcing the nation to make us choose between federal workers and the immigrant communities. The government never needed to shut down, and the stress felt by federal workers, their families, and the fear of the immigrant communities was not necessary.

We have to make sure not to politicize the issue of immigration. It is not immigrant against the United States. It is not about nativists against people who look different. This is not about Republicans against Democrats. This is a nation of immigrants and it will always be despite Trump. We don’t need a wall. We need to continue fighting for a comprehensive immigration reform. We need a just, humane, legal approach to immigration and not a racist, divisive agenda.

You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about the new immigration policies. Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with representation before immigration courts, USCIS or ICE. Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.

I represent individuals in immigration cases. If you have any questions or concerns about an immigration case or potential case, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 120 East Washington Street, Suite 925, Syracuse, New York 13202. Now with offices in Buffalo and Rochester!!! Please look for my next article in the March edition.

Go for it!

Go for it! Three ways of being a productive, mindful, and healthy woman
by Aixa G. Lopez

The word mindfulness means the state of mind of being conscious or aware of something. In the past years, we have heard how this word has been used to describe the importance of being in the present moment and not worrying about the past or the future.

At age 32 while I was running from one meeting to another and being late for the second meeting, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I thought it was the result of my hurry. I started feeling chest pain and all of a sudden, I felt dizzy. They took me to the hospital and my blood pressure was almost 200/100. After several days getting physical exams, I ended up getting a catheterization. My doctor instructed me that I had to slow down and live a mindful life. I had read about mindfulness but never paid too much attention to it. My life had always been measured by accomplishing tasks, and that’s all I knew.

We, women, put tremendous pressure on fulfilling all of our roles “perfectly.” I started trying to be present, working smartly, but for some reason, the implementation was not as easy as it seemed in the books.

There are days in which I still feel overwhelmed, but that’s when I know I have to stop and take some time off for myself to recalibrate. Some techniques I’ve used to manage my stress are:

1. Identify what is important to you: as nurturing women, our family is the most important thing for us. However, we cannot forget that without a healthy mom or spouse, we can’t have a healthy household. Make sure you have an annual physical exam, take time to meditate, exercise, eat healthily, read, travel, volunteer, and do things that make you happy.

2. Do not try to control the future: Trying to control the future is futile, and it creates anxiety. Worrying is the most challenging aspect for me. Dale Carnegie’s book, “Stop Worrying, and Start Living” describes a technique that has helped me. You think about the worst that could happen if something doesn’t go the way you expect. Then, you think about what would happen if the “worst” occurs, and you get mentally prepared for that. Believe it or not, that takes the stress from your mind, and it allows you to shift your focus to the present.

3. Celebrate every accomplishment: Hispanics celebrate everything. However, not everyone is like that. We let our surroundings dictate so much of how we feel. Now, I celebrate everything. I pat myself on the back. I value my efforts. Celebrating small accomplishments will motivate you and will allow you to produce more and better results.

I encourage you to try any of these mindful techniques. You’ll see the difference. Go for it!

Aixa G. López, P. E. is a Consultant, Leadership Development, Digital Marketing, Organizational Process Improvement living in the Elmira, New York Area. She is a strategically minded, analytical Industrial Engineer with 27+ years of experience providing operations management, organizational process improvement, leadership & team development, and digital marketing. She has been recognized for improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency through leadership, aligning business processes to realize cost savings and revenue growth. She’s an industrial engineer who entered the field because of her passion for fixing things. As a new columnist for CNY Latino, Aixa will be sharing with the readers this passion and the lessons she has learnt along the way. You can contact her at, or at (LinkedIn). Check out her Blog at “”.

Ziggy Stardust

by Gabor Hardy

A meow worth a thousand words
A paw swipe in the dark
So dumb creatures leave their mark
within solitary hearts

A dingy white kitten arrived one day, yellow eyes blazing
Appearing in a patch of snow, torn fur, and ribs outline
His ears were bleeding with one torn paw

We, in curious wonder, opened up our hearts
willing him to remain

This polished cat, destined to roam
Assured and undefeated, down vacant streets
Backyard alleys and slanted rooftops are the places where he ruled
Like some lord of the hunt, ready to pounce
upon a mice or rat which had strayed across his path

We always thought that every night, he would come home
However, he was on loan
From some Transcendent Being
the Creator of his wild heart

We never dreamed of a time of goodbye,
When a high jump and a soaring heart would
greet us no more, as the days and weeks drift by

Note from Linda DeStefano, President, People for Animal Rights: We urge you to keep your cat inside where she/he will be safe. In this case, the cat was half-wild and a decision was made that he wouldn’t adjust to indoor living. There are many other cases in which a feral (half-wild) cat does adjust well; I had a beloved one who I rescued from outdoors; with patience, she became a happy, affectionate indoor cat.

People for Animal Rights can be reached at P.O. Box 15358, Syracuse 13215-0358,, (315)488-PURR (7877) between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., Our website is