Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The nation marks the birthday of Cesar Chavez, but years after his death the United Farm Workers has become an insulated, irrelevant force, say critics

* … CHAVEZ: The legacy of Cesar Chavez has been in the spotlight this week - a new biopic movie on his life opened along with National Cesar Chavez Day - but is the union he founded still 
relevant? Some critics say no, and they say his foundation now exists to run radio stations, attract grants and employ a few people. Miriam Powell, who wrote an unflinching portrait of Chavez and the United Farm Workers in the book 'The Union of Their Dreams: Power, Hope, and Struggle in Cesar Chavez’s Farm Worker Movement,' said this in an opinion piece for Fox Latino News:  "The man born 87 years ago today worked with a single-minded intensity few could ever match. For a time, that zeal produced unprecedented gains for California farmworkers. But the union he founded failed to thrive and has become irrelevant; farmworkers today know Cesar Chavez only as the name of a famous Mexican boxer. In the end, Chavez’s legacy is far from the fields, in cities across the country where his name evokes pride and his life serves as an example of what community organizing can accomplish."

 * … HEART HEALTH: Margaret Scrivano Patteson is the seeming picture of perfect health: an avid runner and cyclist, she rarely goes a day without a vigorous workout and watches what she eats. Yet while cycling recently the 51-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep suffered a heart attack, and her story is a cautionary tale for all of us who think we are doing the right thing but are unaware of the silent killers within us. Patteson appeared with me on First Look with Scott Cox to talk about her family history of heart disease and to thank her cardiologist, Dr. Brijesh Bambi, the folks at Bakersfield Heart Hospital and her personal physician, Dr. Raj Patel. Go to bakersfield.com to view the entire interview.

 * … GOOD FORM: Julie Calvin submitted this bit of news to make your day. Last Sunday she went to PetStyling Co. on Coffee Road to pick up her dogs after being groomed. "As I hurried to get them safely into my vehicle, I apparently dropped my wallet in the parking lot. Not realizing that I had dropped it, I continued home.  About five minutes later I received a call from the manager at PetStyling and they had found my wallet (I didn’t even realize yet that I had dropped it!).  I went back to retrieve my wallet and everything was still in it. It’s nice to know that there are still honest people in the world!

* … CIOPPINO: Congratulations to Bakersfield West Rotary for another spectacular Cioppino Feed over at Monsignor Leddy Hall this past weekend. The proceeds from the event - it raised some $100,000 -  will help fund the club's foundation as well as Memorial Hospital's pediatric unit.

  * … WRESTLING: I ran into Vernon Varner at the Cioppino Feed and he reminded me of another upcoming fund raiser to support the storied CSUB wrestling program. The event, planned for Tuesday, May 6, will feature former world wrestling champion and ex New England Patriots player Stephen Neal. Tickets are $75 each. Call Janis Varner at (661) 587-8157. CSUB wrestling could not exist with the help from the Varners and the Coyote Club, and it's worth your consideration to support this effort.

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