The right mayor at the right time

Kansas City, Mo., just reached a couple grim milestones. A fatal shooting on the East Side Monday afternoon marked the 153rd homicide in 2020, tying the city’s record high set back in 1993. Also on Monday, the bistate metro area reported a record number of new coronavirus cases for the third consecutive week. The KCMO […]

Hurricanes, wildfires, plus pandemic: double whammy

Last weekend, many of the 11 million Texans, Louisianans, Mississippians and Floridians in the path of Hurricane Delta (downgraded to a tropical storm) were forced to make a real life “Sophie’s Choice.” Menaced by life-threatening conditions, they had to hurriedly choose between two deadly options: stay and face the storm or flee to a designated […]

Eliminating technology gap for students

Some K-12 students are thriving since classes resumed. Other students aren’t; in fact educators and sociologists warn that we’re failing a worrying number of students. At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, there are necessarily new models in place from entirely remote instruction to hybrid combinations of in-person and online learning to fully in-person […]

Masking to prevent Covid-19 spread

On the night of Sept. 16, a promising young Latina lost her life to gunfire on Kansas City’s Westside. Daisy Martinez, 19, was among hundreds of people lining Southwest Boulevard to watch car stunts. Video footage of the event is ubiquitous on the Internet. A suspect, Diego Calderon-Guzman is in custody facing charges. He’s being […]

Season of civic spirit

As Hispanic citizens of this great country, it’s a privilege and incumbent upon us right now to channel our positive energies into assertive civic participation. This season presents unique opportunities. The 2020 Census deadline is fast approaching, and there’s a worrying shortage of poll workers for this year’s election cycle. It’s vital to each of […]

Hispanic Heritage Month 2020

Tuesday marked the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. Observances look very different this year. Like other special occasions and holidays since March, the nation’s 30-day celebration of the histories, cultures and contributions of those with ties to Latin American countries has adapted to the pandemic. And the hybrid programming is ambitiously full-throated, nationwide and widely […]

Let’s don’t put off preventative checkups

My late brother, Guillermo Rodriguez and the recently deceased award-winning actor, Chadwick Boseman share a sad fate: Both lost long battles with colon cancer and died young. Guillermo was barely 50, Chadwick was 43. His death on Aug. 28 offers a stark reminder of the urgency of continuing to get regular health checkups and screenings […]

He embodied human kindness & dignity

A longtime dogged area activist and gentle social justice champion, Florentino “Tino” Camacho Jr. died Aug. 11, 2020, a little over a month shy of his 73rd birthday. Tino was kindhearted, compassionate, helpful and generous with people in need and advocated wholeheartedly for survivors of injustice, intolerance, fraud or injury. He was a kind gentleman […]

Not a traditional back-to-school

Like everything else this year, anticipated annual events such as starting a new school year is unprecedented. The all-consuming crisis wrought by the pandemic has everyone navigating uncharted territory. Now, the focus is on education. Parents, public health and school district officials, teachers, school employees – all recognize the urgency of charting the correct course […]

In tribute: Trini Lopez

Baby Boomers worldwide are mourning the Aug. 11 death of Trini Lopez – yet another coronavirus casualty. Lopez was 83. A documentary, My Name is Lopez by P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes is in postproduction with an expected 2021 release. The filmmakers had just completed shooting when Lopez died. The biopic includes “great archival […]