CSUB Todd Madigan Gallery’s Art Exhibit: “Arte de la Gente: Mexican Masters”

30 09 2008

The exhibit features works from Sacal, Diego Rivera, Vladimir Cora, Rodolfo Nieto, Raul Anguinao, José Luis Cuevas, Leonora Carrington, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros!

Opening Reception, Thursday, Oct. 2, 5-8pm



Come join the celebration: National Hispanic Heritage Month at CSUB

Hispanic faculty and students at CSUB invite you to join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by attending the Todd Madigan Gallery’s art exhibit, “Arte de la Gente: Mexican Masters from the Dr. and Mrs. Richard Zapanta Collection”! Come join the opening day festivities on October 2, 2008 from 5pm-8pm (free admission, food, drink, music and parking in lots B&C). The exhibit features works from Sacal, Diego Rivera, Vladimir Cora, Rodolfo Nieto, Raul Anguinao, José Luis Cuevas, Leonora Carrington, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros! The “Arte de la Gente” exhibit runs from October 2nd through November 16th (Gallery hours – Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.). More information is available at http://www.csub.edu/art/gallery (click on “Present” for exhibit flyer). Our warm thanks to Deanna Heikkinen, Gallery Director, for bringing the Mexican Masters collection to CSUB and the Bakersfield community!

Facts on Hispanic Heritage Month

Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson first established a national week of celebration of Hispanic culture and traditions in September 1968. Later, this national week of observance of the contributions of the U.S. Hispanic population was expanded to a month-long celebration (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15). Hispanics are composed of diverse cultural groups primarily with roots in Mexico, Spain, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. September 15th marks the start of this celebratory 30-day period, a date that is meant to commemorate the anniversary of independence of countries like: Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Hispanics are a significant and sizeable U.S. population that is presently estimated at 45.5 million – making it the nation’s largest ethnic population (15% of the nation’s total population). By July 2050 the population is projected to increase to approximately 132.8 million and will then constitute about 30 percent of the nation’s population. Hispanics of Mexican cultural backgrounds are the largest group (64%), followed by people of Puerto Rican backgrounds (9%), and of Cuban backgrounds (3.4%). California and Texas are home to the largest concentrations of the Hispanic-origin people in the nation with nearly 48 percent of the population residing in these prominent states (13.2 million in CA and 8.6 million in Texas). In addition, 44 percent reside in New Mexico, 30 percent in Arizona and 25 percent in Nevada. Also, Hispanic consumer spending power has increased significantly – it’s now estimated at $222 billion (up by more than 31% from 1997-2002); notably Mexican-origin people (Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Chicanos) own 44.6% of all Hispanic business firms.

By most measures, the Hispanic population continues to thrive and contribute to the U.S. economy and to the enrichment of the diverse, multicultural landscape of American life. Join us in celebrating our cultural diversity and our American unity!


CSUB’s Hispanic Excellence Scholarship Fund celebrates 25 years of student support

18 09 2008

AUG. 26, 2008
CONTACT: Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, kmiller26@csub.edu,
or Jaclyn Hernandez, 661/654-2138, jhernandez37@csub.edu

The Hispanic Excellence Scholarship Fund at California State University, Bakersfield will host its 25th annual awards dinner on Saturday, Sept. 20, at The DoubleTree Hotel at 6 p.m.

The HESF was established at the university in 1984 by CSU President Emeritus Tomás Arciniega to increase access to a college education for academically outstanding, financially needy, local students who demonstrate strong leadership potential. In its first year, nine students were awarded scholarships; since then, the program has grown and provided more than $2 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 students.

Thomas Martínez, chair of the public administration department, said the scholarship program has been very successful. “Due to the growing support of local businesses and individuals, the CSUB President’s Scholarship Matching Program, and endowment collaboration with the national Hispanic Scholarship Fund, our scholarship fund has become one of the premier scholarship programs of its kind,” he said. “This year 80 students will be awarded scholarship totaling $130,000. Most importantly, at the award dinner, the hard work and academic excellence of financially needy local students will be recognized.”

The HESF Advisory Board is comprised of local business, education, and community leaders. Supporters of this event include State Farm Insurance, Bright House Networks, Univision, Allstate and Chevron.

Arciniega will be the keynote speaker for this year’s event. Tickets for the dinner are $60. To purchase tickets or to obtain sponsorship information, please call (661) 654-3406 or log on to http://www.csub.edu/hesf/.

“25th Anniversary CSUB-HESF Scholarship Awards Dinner”
Saturday, September 20, 2008
6:00 p.m. Social ~ 7:00 p.m. Dinner
The DoubleTree Hotel
Rosedale Highway at Highway 99
Phone: 654-3406


18 09 2008

Hello Friends,

This is a Special Edition of the Parra Notes. The following is a copy of a press release that I sent out today to correct errors and misleading statements in today’s Bakersfield Californian newspaper.

September 17, 2008


SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Nicole Parra (D-Hanford) released the following letter to the Bakersfield Californian in response to a misleading column in today’s newspaper:

“September 17, 2008

Lois Henry
Bakersfield California
1707 Eye Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Dear Lois,

It is with extreme disappointment that I read your article in today’s Californian. Disappointment because you seem to have completely dismissed the real impact of my tenure in the State Assembly and commitment to my constituents in the 30th Assembly District, just for one of your cheap headlines. Being an Assemblymember involves introducing and passing bills, which I have successfully done. But more importantly, being an Assemblymember requires one to introduce issues into public debate, and fight for your people and priorities. This I have done with much effectiveness, often bringing Legislative leaders from Los Angeles and the Bay Area into the District.

During my six years in office, I have brought a number of key policy makers into Kern County and the 30th Assembly District to witness first-hand the needs and concerns of my constituents. Rather than making decisions in a vacuum from their offices in Sacramento, I brought Assembly Speakers, Committee Chairs, and fellow legislators to the District so they see the impacts of their decisions on the fantastic people of the Central Valley.

Since you have blatantly failed to notify the readers of this newspaper, let me remind you of just a few of the things I have accomplished. Former Assembly Speakers Herb Wesson and Fabian Núñez, and current Speaker Karen Bass came to the 30th Assembly District to gain a greater understanding of the impact of water and agriculture on our communities.

Working with Occidental Petroleum and others, I brought a number of legislators on a tour of Kern County’s oil-producing lands and facilities. Kern County is the leading oil producing county in California and legislators were able to better grasp the economic importance of this energy activity on our towns.

I have served as past Chair of the Select Committee on Water Infrastructure and the Economy, holding an informational hearing on the status of the restoration of the San Joaquin River and its impact on surrounding communities. Last year, I brought together local potable water supplier entities in the 30th Assembly District and the State agencies of jurisdiction for an open dialogue to discuss water quality, reliability, and availability within the Southern San Joaquin Valley. The meeting included approximately 35 representatives from the District – from Alpaugh to Arvin – and numerous state agencies.

Any journalist worth their salt knows that the Valley cares about solutions, not ideologues. And my record of working across the aisle is both well known and very productive. Always working in a bi-partisan manner, as my constituents have repeatedly asked their elected officials to do, I have worked on important economic development issues. In 2005, I held an economic development conference in Bakersfield with State Treasurer Phil Angelides to address job retention, development, and tax credits. From getting Governor Schwarzenegger to sign the Executive Order creating the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley to leading the fight to protect jobs at Lemoore Naval Air Base from federal cuts, I have been there in the trenches for our communities when they needed it most – providing economic opportunities for our families and neighbors.

On the Assembly Floor, I have effectively and judiciously used my vote to protect the interests of Kern County and my constituents. When the Kern County Board of Supervisors asks me to oppose cuts to funding for critical services, I have stood firm in my opposition, even when that meant going against well funded special interests.

In short, I have been a dedicated stalwart for the people of Kern County and the 30th Assembly District. That is why I have been elected three times in three vigorous contests. The people recognize that I consistently stand up for their issues, for their concerns, and for their priorities, even when that means I have to buck my party and pay a high price in Sacramento.

Lois, get your facts straight. You have been sitting alone at your desk for over a decade. Get out from behind your blinders, get out in the real world, and you’ll see and hear that Nicole Parra has been a champion for the wonderful people of Kern County and my district, because these great people deserve nothing less from me.”


Member of the Assembly
30th District

# # #

This Is What Happens To California Legislative Moderates

21 08 2008

Joe Mathews –
August 18, 2008 – 4:30pm

Chief of staff, Derek Chernow, packs up the belongings of assemblywoman, Nicole Parra, from her office August 18, 2008. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass is kicking Parra out of her office at the State Capitol building because she failed to vote on the state budget Sunday. She will be relocated to the legislative office across the street. (Autumn Cruz / Sacramento Bee Staff Photo)

This picture from the Sacramento Bee is of the chief of staff to Democratic Assemblywoman Nicole Parra packing up her office after Assembly Speaker Karen Bass kicked her out of the Capitol. Parra’s crime? Showing a little independence. Parra, a Central Valley moderate Democrat from one of the few competitive legislative districts in the state, refused to vote for the Democratic budget proposal for a simple and good reason: the legislature refuses to pass a badly needed water bond even after it was presented with a bipartisan compromise fashioned by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So Parra becomes the only legislator to not have an office in the Capitol. This is not the first time this punishment has been used. The previous speaker and the current Democratic leader in the Senate, Don Perata, have also kicked lawmakers out of their offices for the crime of showing independence. Something like this might make a good ad for Prop 11, the November ballot initiative to remove the power to draw districts from the legislature.

Updated: A few sources and readers point out that Parra is defending her district’s interests, particularly the agricultural ones. Which is true. But that’s no crime, and shouldn’t get you tossed out of the Capitol. The point is that there is simply no room for independence.

Parra Kicked Out Of Her Office Juvenile Partisan Antics Irritates Voters and Demeans Legislature

21 08 2008


Rigid partisan antics
MediaNews editorial
Article Launched: 08/20/2008 11:41:21 AM PDT

IF CALIFORNIANS believe that the primary responsibility of their elected legislators is to represent the interests of the voters who elected them, they would be mistaken. At least that apparently is the view of Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.

Last Sunday, after Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, D-Hanford, failed to vote the Democratic Party line in support of a doomed state budget proposal, the speaker booted Parra out of her Capitol office and into one across the street.

Parra abstained from the budget vote because she wants lawmakers first to approve a comprehensive water package that would benefit her Central Valley farm district. The $9.3 billion bond measure was proposed by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But the speaker could not countenance anything but rigid conformance to partisanship. That is particularly galling, when everyone knew well in advance that the budget vote was a meaningless exercise.

Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked with the former opposed to tax increases and the latter opposed to spending controls.

Parra is not opposed to her party’s view on the budget. However, she put her constituents’ interest first in pushing for a vote on the water measure.

Kicking a wayward legislator out of his or her office is nothing new. Both parties have done it, but relocating a lawmaker to a different building takes such juvenile antics to an even lower level.

This is the kind of nonsense that understandably irritates voters and demeans the Legislature.

Perhaps if California had more competitive legislative districts, party leaders would allow lawmakers to have more latitude in representing the interests of those who elected them.

Unfortunately, that is not the case today as the speaker clearly demonstrated in penalizing a legislator for her independence.

Parra..principled politician, holding out for her constituents, unwilling to bend to the petty wants of her liberal Los Angeles masters

21 08 2008

Big Daddy
By Big Daddy (published Thursday, August 21, 2008)
Hey Big Daddy, So, Nicole Parra is now politically homeless. What are your thoughts on the merits of moving her out of her Capitol office?

— Fran in Fresno

Hey Fran,

I understand the Democrats’ desire to throw Nicole Parra out of her office. She’s been openly flirting with Republicans, professionally flirting that is, for months. She’s all but endorsed Danny Gilmore in his race against the matriarch of the Florez clan, and we’ve even heard stories of Parra being ignored by her colleagues at a recent political dinner, and sitting instead with Republicans.

But really, Parra’s sins pale in comparison to say, a true political traitor like Benedict Arnold, Judas, or Joe Lieberman. And Parra’s recent trip into exile underscores a dilemma for Democrats across California.
Think back for a moment at the recent lawmakers to be punished by their legislative leaders. There was Juan Arambula, who was locked in a Capitol closet for refusing to support one of the Speaker’s pet bond projects.

Over in the Senate, Lou Correa, Gloria Negrete McLeod and Ron Calderon were all locked out of their Capitol offices for sins against God, country and Don Perata.

Now, what do these five legislators have in common? Anyone needing a clue can check out the handy-dandy Capitol Weekly political scorecard located in these here pages. They’re all moderates.

Yes, liberals like Patty Berg grouse that Parra “owes” her caucus her loyalty because of the millions of dollars they spent to elect her. Well, what exactly did they think they were buying? John Laird of Hanford? No, they were buying an assurance that Parra would vote with Democrats most of the time, not all. Now, it was Parra’s right to vote her conscience, and hold out for a water bond, just as it was Bass’s right to kick her to the curb – literally. But Democrats might want to think about how they’re spending their money before they start complaining about what they’ve got.

If you buy yourself a puppy, you can’t really get too mad when it poops in the living room, or eats your favorite slippers. That’s what puppies do. You knew that going in. Sure, you can try to train the puppy, and hope they outgrow it, but remember, puppies chew things throughout their first year, and since one dog year is equal to seven human years, and term limits for a new Assembly member are only six years, well, you do the math.

The truth is, throwing Parra out of her office is like throwing Br’er Rabbit into the briar patch. And she’s made the most of this so-called punishment. Political independence is a valued commodity anywhere – particularly in Yellow Dog country in the state’s Central Valley.  Parra now look likes the principled politician, holding out for her thirsty constituents, unwilling to bend to the petty wants of her liberal Los Angeles masters. It will serve her well if she ever runs for elected office again.

But it’s also a win for Bass. It allows the new speaker to look tough, and this administration needed some discipline points. There have been plenty of whispers about the lack of order in a post-Fabian Nunez Assembly. Exiling Parra helps Bass keep the liberals happy, as well as the Teutonic types who like to see a firm grip on the reins of power. Sure, Nicole Parra may have lost her office. But both Parra, and the Speaker who exiled her, gained something far more valuable.

Nicole Para Punished for Failing to Vote on Budget

20 08 2008