An El Paso Thanksgiving

November 25th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Families, history, Holidays, People, white center 1 Comment »

Thanksgiving produces mixed emotions for me.  Having grown up Chicano, in El Paso, Texas, the holiday carried considerable cultural baggage for me: the rampant celebration of gluttony, the Dallas Cowboys, America’s corporate franchise, always playing on the tube, the constant consumerism and, of course, the slaughter of Native Americans.  And then there was my mother.  When we lived in Mexico, we obviously did not celebrate Thanksgiving, so I have no early childhood memories of this particular holiday.  When we moved to the states, my mom had a lady who made the best tamales and mole, I have ever eaten.  So initially, we celebrated Thanksgiving in our way — the way I’d always known.

Sometime in my adolescence my mom became a fundamentalist Christian.  I abhorred this sect from the very outset.  I found their rituals, primitive:  speaking in tongues, meeting in store-fronts, fire & brimstone, the rapture – coming very, very soon.  And when I went away to college and matured into my progressive political views, I despised their unabashed right-wing politics.  Needless to say, none of this played well with my mom.

In high school, I would always goad my mother about politics, religion, culture; pretty much anything incendiary that would ignite a fire-storm between us.  These dramas took on heightened intensity on holidays like Thanksgiving, when my mother wanted everthing to proceed just so.  So, many of my memories of Thanksgiving revolve around the interactions with my mom.

My mom adopted, not only the rituals of Christian fundamentalism, but the cultural affects as well.  Instead, of mole and tamales, we got mashed potatoes and gelatin.  When I visited from college and the “gringo food” was served I would storm into the kitchen, fry up some beans, warm up rice and dig out the salsa.  I would set them down and exclaim, this is our food and we should celebrate the holiday with our food, (the turkey is ironically – our food – a New World bird).  I did not goad my mother, but I did ask her why we had to eat mashed potatoes when beans and rice were so much healthier.  And besides, “it is our food.”

I’ve mellowed considerably as I have become a parent.  The curse, “may you have kids like yourself” has come to bite me in a big way.  If I were celebrating Thanksgiving with my folks in El Paso, I would still pull out the home-made salsa, the tortillas, beans and rice, but instead of berating my mother, I would give her (and my dad) a big hug and a kiss and say, “I”m so very happy to be here.  I love you.”  And then we would retire after the meals and root for who-ever was playing the Cowboys.

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Thank you World Vision and Target!

September 7th, 2009 FullTilt Posted in Businesses, Education, Families, Highline School District, New Start High School, Westwood Village 1 Comment »

Teachers from the Highline School District alternative programs get ready to shop.

Teachers from the Highline School District alternative programs get ready to shop.

Last week World Vision teamed up with the Westwood Village Target to help out some local teachers and families. Everyone was given a $100 gift card then let loose in the store; families bought school clothes and teachers stocked up on school supplies. Considering that teachers spend on average $500 of their own money on school supplies each year, this was a much appreciated big deal.

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Reminder: Bring a Donation for White Center Food Bank for Correo Aereo Plays Cafe Rozella Friday, July 24th at 7 p.m.

July 23rd, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Arts, cafe rozella, Families, Fun, Music, west seattle, white center Comments Off

Correo Aereo, (Air Mail), are Austin Music Award winners now based in the NW. The Latin American/World music trio performs traditional and original music from Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico and beyond, combining a stunning array of string and percussive instruments with silken vocal harmonies described as “…locked in carnal embrace.” by the Austin Chronicle. Hailed for exciting musical virtuosity and profoundly moving performances through unknown landscapes of Latin America, their music is both viscerally ancient and vibrantly contemporary. Abel Rocha plays Venezuelan and Mexican harp, guitar, cuatro, quinta huapanguera and vocals. Madeleine Sosin offers violins, maracas, bombo, jarana, quijada and vocals. They are joined by ‘young lion’ Evan Flory Barnes, on hot stand-up bass.

Their music is richly polyrhythmic and soulfully melodic – soaring, fiery, haunting and joyful…this is the universal language; world music at it’s finest. Perfect for all audiences and ages!


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Tutoring Available this Summer

April 29th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Education, Families, Schools, south park Comments Off

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Support Big Brother Big Sister Tonight

December 2nd, 2008 FullTilt Posted in Businesses, Families, Fun, How to Help, Volunteering Comments Off

Big Brother Big Sister is having their “Big Night Out” Today.  Full Tilt is donating 30% of the days till to them. So are a number of other businesses in the area. Follow the link below to find some place that interests you.

Many of the businesses will have represententive from Big Brother on hand to answer any questions that you may have.

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Big Night Out / Big Brother Wanted

November 19th, 2008 FullTilt Posted in Businesses, Education, Families, Fun, How to Help, white center Comments Off

On December 2nd Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound are hosting Big Night Out, a fundraiser for the orginization taking place at area retailers, restaurants, bars, and bowling alleys. Full Tilt will be hosting an event that night for Big Brothers Big Sisters, but in the meantime they are looking for some local help.

Lamonte’ needs a big brother. If you can help, please contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound today at 877-700-BIGS or

“I want a Big Brother to hang out with, have fun, and learn how to play sports with.”

– 7 year old Lamonté


Lamonté is an outgoing, energetic 7 year old who lives in White Center with his mom. Because he does not have any siblings or a father figure in his life, Lamonté’s mom is looking to find a good role model for her son through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound. Lamonté loves sports, and he says that he is looking forward to learning how to play sports and going to sports games with his Big Brother. Lamonté is also interested in animals, computers, art, and music. When he signed up to become a Little Brother, Lamonté said, “I want to see how it feels to have a Big Brother.” Lamonté’s mom says that she knows it’s hard for her son to grow up without a dad or siblings, and she wants someone in his life that he can look up in addition to her. If you have a few hours on the weekends to hang out, play catch, or go to the zoo with a local child like Lamonté, please contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound today at 877-700-BIGS or

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White Center Community Summit – Saturday, November 8th at Mount View Elementary School

November 7th, 2008 Ricardo Posted in Businesses, development, Economy, Education, Environment, Families, Neighborhoods, Politics, Schools, Transportation, white center, White Center Community Development Association Comments Off

The White Center Community Development Association and Trusted Advocates will host the 2008 Community Summit this Saturday, November 8th at Mount View Elementary School.  The event starts at 8:00 am and ends at 3:00 p.m.  Please come and offer your input on the future of your community.   Mount View is located at 10811 12th Avenue SW.

This year’s community summit will gather families, government agencies and local community-based/non-profit organizations in a fun family-friendly environment.  Live cultural performances, ethnic foods, door prizes and children’s activities are just a taste of what the summit has to offer!

Come learn about the issues affecting your community and how you can be involved in a positive way.  There will be info booths and workshops on health, education, jobs, housing, annexation, immigration and more.  Translation services will be provided in Cambodian, Vietnamese, Spanish, Tigrinya, Somali, Amharic, Samoan, Arabic and English (other languages upon request).  Childcare will be provided.

For more info:  Ebony Davis: (206) 694-1082 ext.  168 – or Ian Dapiaoen:  (206) 694-1082 ext. 175 or

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Rossi vs. Gregoire: Who is Better for White Center?

October 14th, 2008 Ricardo Posted in Annexation, development, Economy, Election, Environment, Families, Jobs, Politics, sustainability, white center 5 Comments »

Ok, this is a heavily Democratic neighborhood but there seem to be some Rossi supporters in White Center land?  I am inviting comments on who would be better for White Center, Dino Rossi or Christine Gregoire?  Obviously, we have issues of housing, jobs, health care, affordability, crime, education, sustainability, greenspace etc… And I will gladly share my views.  Forum’s open.  Speak your mind.

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Camp Fire USA: Time to sign up!

September 22nd, 2008 Tracy Posted in Families, Fun Comments Off

Disclosure, I was a Blue Bird, which is what a young Camp Fire member used to be called, back when dinosaurs walked the earth. So I’ve got nostalgic warmth for the Camp Fire USA organization, which was Camp Fire Girls way back then, but welcomes boys as well as girls these days. Here’s the announcement that registration is under way in our area: Read the rest of this entry »

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Back-to-School Block Party: The results!

August 21st, 2008 Tracy Posted in Education, Families, Fun, People Comments Off

Last Friday, we showed you scenes (like the one above) from the Back-to-School Block Party on 12th SW … today, we have an update from executive director Pat Thompson at the YES Foundation of White Center, who says ALMOST A THOUSAND KIDS – 950, to be precise – got backpacks filled with school supplies, as a result! She also wants to thank World Vision and its partner Washington Mutual for generously supporting White Center kids by providing the backpacks. (First day of school – 13 days away!)

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Back-to-School Block Party “packed” with fun

August 15th, 2008 Tracy Posted in Families, Fun, Neighborhoods Comments Off

Till 7 tonight, 12th SW is shut down between Mount View Elementary and Mount View Presbyterian for the Back-to-School Block Party we told you about earlier this week. We stopped by around 4 o’clock to see how it was going; more photos ahead: Read the rest of this entry »

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