Friday, December 23, 2011

Filipino-American Parol Lanterns

Aired on The California Report on December 23, 2011.

Just a few blocks from San Francisco's shopping mania, the Bayanihan Community Center is filled with people engaged in a much more traditional activity -- hand-making star-shaped lanterns out of bamboo and tissue paper. During the Christmas season, many Filipino-American homes display the colorful star shaped lanterns called parols. Parols have a long history in the Philippines, but the holiday symbol isn't so well known in California. Now a community center in San Francisco is encouraging people to reconnect to this tradition, by making their own parols, and sharing them with the community.

Latinos and the "green economy" in Imperial County

Aired on Latino USA, the weekend of December 16, 2011.

In 2009, President Obama called for a New “Green” Deal… evoking Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930’s that dramatically expanded and changed America’s infrastructure. The goal of the Obama plan was to create millions of green jobs. But has that happened? And if so, has this “new deal” been for everyone?

In this piece, I revisit my reporting in Calipatria in Imperial County which sits atop abundant geothermal activity. It’s 80% Latino and has one of the country’s highest unemployment rates. But the people there hope this renewable energy resource will give it just the “green” economic boost it needs.

Salt Farmers in Mendocino

Aired on The California Report Magazine on Friday Dec 16, 2011.

Bob LaMar really does take a boat 3 miles off the Mendocino Coast to harvest sea water (I know, I went with him!), and he and his wife Lora make salt and seasonings at their home salt shed in Gualala. The Mendocino coast, two total individuals, and salt. What's not to love?