Breathing in Houston Can be Dangerous

If you live in the Houston area, playing outside could be damaging to your health. Though exaggerated, the statement holds some truth as Houston’s overall air quality remains among the nation’s worst. When you’re outdoors in Houston, beware of inhaling some of the toxins and pollutants that you may be taking in.

Two of the most harmful air pollutants present in the Houston area are butadiene (1,3, butadiene) and benzene. Butadiene, which is produced from burning fuels, can cause nausea, skin irritation and fatigue. The exposure to butadiene can also cause leukemia; children are especially at risk for leukemia after exposure to the pollutant.
Be aware of that the emissions from vehicular combustion and industrial processes in the Houston area release benzene.

The hazardous pollutant can cause dizziness and irritation to the respiratory system, eyes, and skin. Long-term chronic exposure to benzene can also lead to blood disorders and cancer.
Ozone, also known as smog has also been an issue in Houston’s air quality. Produced by vehicles and industry businesses, it is known to cause respiratory problems, stunt lung development, and can aggravate existing conditions of the lungs. The city is working to improve the issue of ozone through the Clean Air Act and regulatory monitors that have preliminary design values which comply with the 8-hour, 84 ppb standard.

Though the city is working to improve the air quality, there is still room for improvement. There remains a lot of work to be done to clean Houston’s air. For more information on air quality, visit the site for the Center of Houston’s Future at

By Production Assistant: Angel Hadnott

What I learned this week:

If I can’t understand what a person is going through. I try to walk in their shoes and quit pointing fingers.

What I am grateful for:

I live in a country where there is separation of church and state.~ Patricia Gras

Latina Voices: Smart Talk and Living Smart with Patricia Gras are currently on hiatus due to our membership drive. We will be back Sept. 26!

Disclosure: The views shared in this article do not reflect the view at HoustonPBS.


Race for the Cure, Dealing with Change and Health Care

What I learned this week:
No one can take away my peace of mind unless I let them.

What I am grateful for:
I work to live, so I get to go on a long vacation.

Here’s a sneak-peek into what’s on Living Smart and Latina Voices this week
Living Smart: Herb Agan on dealing with Change.Dr. Herb Agan, a family therapist and professor at the University of Houston, reveals the unseen opportunities in a crisis. Agan discusses ways to effectively deal with and explore the inherent possibilities of change. 3pm on Sunday and 10pm on Friday night

Latina Voices:
We interviewed the opposing sides of the debate over universal healthcare. Although we shot this before health reform was pased the information is still applicable. Health care reform will affect our lives, our pocketbooks and our health for years to come. My advise, focus on prevention. Sunday at 2:30pm Wednesday nights 11:30pm

This year I am a spokesperson for Race for the Cure. My Book club has formed a team and I would love it if you would join us. Last year I did the walk while undergoing radiation. This year, I am in much better shape and a much stronger person!

Please join my Book Club team! There should be a link below to sign up. Even if you aren't sure if you will walk, please join and we can work on raising money and participating in some way.

Click here to view the team page for Book Club Team
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:


Olympians, College smarts and the value of Silence

What I learned this week:
Sometimes we need time to really discern what is going on in our lives, therefore we should not make any decisions when we are upset, overwhelmed or depressed.

What I am grateful for: I am going on a long trip and I can do that because I have worked in the same station for 20 years and I work to live, instead of living to work.

Here’s a sneak-peek into what’s on Living Smart and Latina Voices this week!
Living Smart: Getting your Kid into the Right College by Beth Dennard EdD
Beth Dennard EdD, Educational Advisor
An educational consultant and a mother herself, Dr. Beth Dennard tries to match the right colleges with the right student. She also helps students prepare their applications for college admissions and scholarships. Dennard discusses what you need to know to select the right school based on student’s personality and needs. If you are a parent or grandparent with college age kids, you will get a lot of great tips from Dr. Dennard.

(Sun, 3:00 PM, date—Repeats following Friday at10 PM) **

Click here to see more of your favorite Living Smart shows!

Latina Voices: The Olympian Family : Lopez Brothers

This Sunday at 2:30pm we interviewed the Taekwando Olympic Champions, The Lopez Brothers. This was right after they won the bronze medal. These young role models were really open and shared their love of family and country. Their sister could not make it to the interview but I could really relate to how close they are to each other and their parents.

(Sun, 2:30 PM, date—repeats Wed, 11:30 PM)

This is a poem written by a young poet Alexander Winegardner. He is only 12 years old but has the soul of a wise man.
He wrote it in Spanish and this is his translation.


Silence makes people wonder
Why not get away from the city and thunder
And fly to the peaceful lakes of Argentina that are silent
Glowing like the silver coat of a wolf in the cold Patagonian night
Silence flies with the wind through the mountains
To the lake
Then sits down quietly
Coiled like a snake
It waits
For intrepid city dwellers
That ignore the silence that soon overcomes them and petrifies them with loneliness
Because for them hearing silence is as rare as seeing a white lion
And they become perplexed
Entering a world of silence may not be so bad
Better than being in a city driving you mad
But soon they recoil
From the deafening stillness
And fearful of being abandoned to themselves
They scurry back to the cities roar
Left alone under a dazzling vastness filled with stars
Villa la Angostura purrs, contented in its sleep.

El silencio

El silencio hace preguntarse a la gente
Porque no irse de la ciudad y del ruido
Y volar a los pacíficos lagos de la Argentina, que son silenciosos,
Resplandecientes como el pelo plateado de un lobo
En la fría noche de Patagonia.
El silencio vuela con el viento a través las montañas
Al lago
Después se sienta tranquilo
Enrollado como una serpiente
A intrépidos habitantes de la ciudad
Quienes ignoran el silencio que pronto llega
Y los petrifica de soledad,
Ya que para ellos escuchar el silencio es como ver un león blanco.
Y se tornan perplejos
Ingresar en un mundo de silencio puede no ser tan malo,
Mejor que estar en una ciudad que te vuelve loco.
Pero pronto se alejan
Del silencio ensordecedor.
Y miedosos de ser abandonados a sí mismos
Se arrastran nuevamente al estruendo de la ciudad.
Sola bajo un resplandeciente vacío lleno de estrellas
Villa La Angostura susurra, contenta en su sueño.


Moral Intelligence, Guns and Attack on Aid Workers

What I learned this week: When people criticize me or bring me down, I have to learn from it, change if necessary but keep an eye on the prize and never give up my dreams.

What I am grateful for: My master teachers who give me a hard time.

Here’s a sneak-peek into what’s on Living Smart and Latina Voices this week on Living Smart: Moral Intelligence with John Bradshaw.

Author, counselor, theologian and lecturer John Bradshaw discusses his newest book, Reclaiming Virtue, the definition of virtue and how to live life with moral intelligence. Referencing his own experiences as a former seminarian and recovered alcoholic, Bradshaw takes these theological and philosophical concepts and applies them to our everyday lives. Bradshaw draws on decades of psychological, social, and theological expertise he has used in numerous lectures and previous books. I found John Bradshaw to be highly entertaining and a great storyteller. I really enjoyed interviewing him.

Sun, 3:00 PM, date—Repeats following Friday at 10 pm)
This Friday night at 10 pm. August 13th. Enjoy the daring, bold and visionary Yvonne Butler PhD. Her work with sugar free schools is revolutionizing the way we look at education and health.

To watch past Living Smart shows go to and type Living Smart with Patricia Gras

On Latina Voices at 2:30pm on sunday, repeats Wednesdays at 11:30pm)
Trailblazers grace the set of Latina Voices, as well as a hefty debate about gun control...and of course newsmakers talk.
You'll meet the former Texas A and M President before she resigned. We will also discuss the controversy over guns.

Sun, 2:30 PM, date—repeats Wed, 11:30 PM

Our town forum on the Environment, Energy and the Economy: Making it work, We would like to hear from you about your thoughts on air quality, climate change and the future of the energy industry. If you are interested on this topic, You can also watch our show on Fuel for thougth: High Gas Prices and how they got that way. This work, introduces us to the real reasons gas prices go up and down and what this may mean for us in the future.

The town forum will be live on October 26th at 7pm.

A life of Purpose by Patricia Gras

A few years ago, I interviewed a young West Point graduate and Iraq war veteran Elizabeth Vallette about microfinance on Living Smart. Click to view

This young woman had served in Iraq and travelled in many countries to find a way to combat poverty. She felt microfinance was an effective way to do so. She is now working for a Canadian non profit trying to help the ravaged nation of Afghanistan.

When I heard of the murder of 10 unarmed US medical workers, I felt sad. They were victims of a chaotic war, in a country that has for most of his history lived in conflict. The attack was described as 'the worst attack on humanitarian workers in 30 years."

People die every day in Afghanistan, many who have done nothing wrong. They are just victims of their fate. They were born there and have no where to go. These 10 aid workers on the other hand led a purpose driven life, but put themselves in harm's way by doing so. They chose to help the most needy in one of the most violent countries in this planet today. As a result, they paid the ultimate price.

All I can say to them and all the people around the world who risk their lives to make this world a better place. Your service is a legacy we can all honor. You made a very difficult choice, but if you ask Elizabeth or the many people I have met over the years who do this type of work if this will deter them, they usually say no. Their work and kindness is greater than their fear. They are Muslims, Christians, Jews, Bahai,Buddhists even Atheists. Let's not forget and honor them all and remind them their work is never in vain. I wish I had their courage.

Sugar Free Schools, The border, and the Media's role

What I learned this week:
When we are tired, we don't act, think, or discern things properly. It is essential for me to get at least 8 hours of sleep to perform well in life!

What I am grateful for: I do what I love and love what I do.

Here’s a sneak-peek into what’s on Living Smart and Latina Voices this week.
On Living Smart with Patricia Gras, we interview Yvonne Butler, the first principal in the country to establish a sugar free school. Her work has led to the better health, test scores and behavior of her students. Find out what it took her to revolutionize her school, district and ultimately her city, Sun, 3:00 PM, date—Repeats following Friday at 10 PM)

This Friday night August 6th Watch award winning writer Chitra Divakaruni PhD discuss some of the greatest poems of all time.

To see more of the Living Smart favorite shows go to You Tube and type Living Smart or our website

Latina Voices: Smart Talk
This show was recorded before the election of 2008. We guessed who might win the Vice Presidential spot. We also interviewed a local Olympic Medal Winner Raj Bhavsar who had failed to make the olympic team twice but never gave up and eventually brought home the bronze. We talked to him and his coaches about what it takes to become an olympic winner. It wasn't easy! We also interviewed Richard Huebner of the Houston Minority Business council about women entrepeneurs and why they fail or succeed when they start a business. Finally Stephen Klineberg PhD and Joan Neuhaus Schaan both from Rice University explain the immigration issues we face in our region and what we are to expect as a result of the border violence in Mexico.

Sun, 2:30 PM, date—repeats Wed, 11:30 PM)

For more on Latina Voices, go to

The Media's role by Patricia Gras

Many were shocked to hear what happened in Bell, California when they found the salaries of City Manager Robert Rizzo, (800,000 dollars) Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia and Police Chief Randy Adams were a combined $1.6 million a year in a city where the median household income is $40,000, according to the Southern California Association of Governments.

People are mad and they want everyone fired. Understandably, because this has been going on for a long time.

My question was why did we just find out about this? Why is it we always find out after it is too late? Wall street also blew up in our face in 2008 and we are just now slowly dragging ourselves out of an unprecedented recession.

The Los Angeles Times cracked this particular story. Why didn't they catch it sooner?It may be because there are less investigative journalists doing this kind of work.

That's because all across the United States in every newsroom, staff is shrinking. In 2009, 8000 journalists lost their jobs.

What happens when you get rid of investigative journalists? You have less information, less government being covered, from the community to the state to the region. We all pay the price when this happens. Why is that? the old economic model of journalism isn't working. The fact is news organization are trying to figure out what needs to be done to keep business afloat.

We may not live in a country like Mexico where violence for instance has a chilling effect on investigative media. Many journalists there have lost their lives trying to report the truth. In the USA our challenge is to figure out how to make a profit out of telling the truth.

Greatest Poems of All times, Health Prevention, and The Environment

What I learned this week:
Sometimes old behavior patterns are difficult to change. Each time I get angry I have to remove myself from the situation, calm down and then respond. That's just Living Smart "ly"

What I am grateful for:
I have learned to forgive myself when I mess up and choose to be happy rather than to
"be right. "
Here’s a sneak-peek into what’s on Living Smart and Latina Voices this week!
Living Smart: *Chitra Divakaruni and the Greatest Poems of All Time"
Green segment on Rain Water Harvesting with Steve Easton

Award Winning Writer Chitra Divakaruni shares some of the greatest poems of all time. We'll discuss poems by Rumi, Khalil Gibran, Elizabeth Browning, Chitra Divakaruni herself and many others. My favorite poem is by Khalil Gibran on raising children. "Your Children are not your children, they are the children that belong to life, You are the bow, they are the arrow." Wow when you hear it you will love it!
here is one of my favorites. A poem by Pablo Neruda I read when my boyfriend gave it to me. I was only 15.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Pablo Neruda

(Sun, 3:00 PM, date—Repeats following Friday at10 PM)

Latina Voices: Smart Talk
Disease prevention is one of the ways to keep healthy. Hear what Nationally recognized Internist, Dr. Carlos Rivera, says will help you stave off diabetes, obesity, cancer, and other chronic conditions. Also, Texas To is a new place to go to get up to speed on latest Apps and technology to stay on top of your business. Learn from CEO Sahnya Schulterbrant.
(Sun, 2:30 PM, date—repeats Wed, 11:30 PM)

Click here to see more of your favorite Living Smart shows!

Town Forum on "The Environment, Energy and The Economy: Making It Work. "
October 26th 7pm by Patricia Gras

The energy industry is the engine of our Houston Economy. Even our national economy relies heavily on oil and gas produced in the gulf of Mexico. How do we keep our vibrant community without harming the environment.

According to a Rasmussen poll report, and even after the catastrophic oil spill, 47% of voters continue to support deepwater drilling. Thirty-one percent (31%) say deepwater drilling should not be allowed, but another 22% are not sure. They still express concern about the environment but jobs tend to be a priority. A new Gallup poll also points that Americans now prioritize energy production over environemntal protection for the first time in its 10 year history.

The economy is still struggling and recently Senate Democrats abandoned the effort to pass an energy/climate bill that would begin to regulate greenhouse gases that cause global warming and promote renewable energy. Republican Senators had no plans on voting for the bill either.

What are the health, political and economic ramifications of our national, state and local energy policies? How do we make it work? That will be the topic of our town forum and we want to hear your ideas, thoughts and concerns. Let us know what you think.


Money and Success, and the life of a retired Olympian

What I learned this week:

For me, it is essential that I get out of my comfort zone every now and then, so I can learn to expand my brain and my soul.

What I am grateful for:

All the people who help me get my work done.
Here’s a sneak-peek into what’s on Living Smart and Latina Voices this week!
Living Smart: Money and Success
By Production Assistant: Shelby Cole
(Sun, 3:00 PM, July 25—Repeats following Friday at10 PM)

No matter what your belief system is, money and religion have gone hand in hand since the earliest days of human history. Whether your place of worship is funded by tithes, donations, fundraisers, or even the pillaging of the Crusades, religious orders of all types have relied on the uses of finances to fund their practices. Church, while typically charitable and virtuous, has a business face as well. Such is the nature of the beast.
Tithing has been around since religion’s inception. Tithing exists in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and even Scientology. Essentially, being a part of a religious tradition means that, at some point, you will be asked to give of your finances to help keep your place of worship up and running.
What of the guilt that is typically associated with money, though? We’ve had it beaten into our heads that having money is bad. Over time, we’ve become conditioned to associate guilt with wealth. That is old school.
Living Smart explores this topic with Dr. John Demartini. Dr. Demartini has over 40 books including the recently titled “How To Make One Hell of a Profit and Still Get To Heaven, and Secrets to Financial Success.”
What are your thoughts on money and religion? Leave a comment below, and make sure to tune in to Living Smart this Sunday!

Click here to see more of your favorite Living Smart shows!

Latina Voices: Life Post Ski-Skating
By Production Assistant: Shelby Cole
(Sun, 2:30 PM, July 25—repeats Wed, 11:30 PM)


Olympic Speed Skater Chad Hedrick takes a Bronze Medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and announces his retirement. Now what? The Olympian chats it up with the Latina Voices Ladies about his sport, his new life and his promising future. And, the new Entrepreneur Broadcasting Company (EBC) has launched with programming appealing to business owners and entrepeneurs. You’ll learn what you need to know to succeed!

Current Events: Haiti Today...Effective Aid or Not?

By: Lorís Simón Salum (Production Assistant)

After the disaster in Haiti this January, little has been said about what has been going on these days. Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, criticized the president and Prime Minister of Haiti on their lack of initiative to accelerate Haiti’s recovery. He reported that there are superfluous “bureaucratic obstacles at a time when Haiti cannot afford to delay.” According to an article in the Yahoo News , “In all, just 2 percent of the $5.3 billion in near-term aid pledges have actually been delivered, up from 1 percent last week,” so it could become a debatable matter when it comes to Haiti’s efficiency.
On the other hand, the Clinton Foundation has donated 141 trucks, 40 pieces of heavy equipment, $300,000 worth of seeds, portable classrooms, educational supplies, flashlights and lanterns, street lights, 68 generators, tents, large tents, community water purification systems, bottled water, medical supplies and medicines, latrines, clothing, stoves, whistles, a mobile command center, and educational needs since Janurary 2010. The Clinton Foundation, through the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, along with the Fundación Carlos Slim, found a $20 million fund to help instigate small to medium businesses for Haitian entrepreneurs with no profits intended. They believe it will help create more jobs and facilitate the economy. Carlos Slim commented, "Employment is the way to fight poverty and dignify a human being."
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), informed that as of May 31, Haiti relief received about $122 million in public donations. On that same day, MSF spent $71.5 million, where more than $14.8 million went to surgery, $5.4 million to maternal health (MSF delivered 3,700 babies) and over $11 million in providing shelter. MSF has predicted that $120 million will be spent on helping the Haitian population alone by the end of 2010. “The publicly disseminated Action Plan for Reconstruction and National Development of Haiti, produced by the government of Haiti with inputs from the U.N., European Commission, the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and civil society, has assessed Haiti’s reconstruction needs over the next three years at $11.5 billion.”


The Oil Spill and what YOU can do

Current Events: BP Oil Spill


By: Production Assistant Jennie Kamin

Since April 20, 2010, the British-based global energy powerhouse, British Petroleum (BP), has grown continuously synonymous with the words “oil spill.” Nearly eighty days and at least 200 million gallons of crude oil later , the gulf coast is facing the greatest environmental disaster in American history.

One website, if , allows internet-surfers to visualize the spill by placing a black murky image scaled to the size of the spill over a map of their home city. As gulf-coast neighbors, Houstonians need not view the image of black oil spanning a radius from Lufkin to Freeport in order to capture the magnitude of this disaster. On the contrary, in order to witness the devastation firsthand, Houstonians merely have to look in their own backyards, (or at least just beyond the horizons of their beachfront Galveston getaways).

Millions are aware of the damages, but as the world grows frustrated, the question remains: What can gulf coast residents do to help? One multinational organization, ACS Industries, Inc. sought an answer to that same question. ACS Industries, Inc. manufactures knitted wire mesh technologies. Their separations and mass-transfer division is located in Houston . As the original designers and manufacturers of oil/water separators mounted in the hull of MSRC vessels, ACS’ claim to fame is engineering and manufacturing 32 units for oil clean-up responder ships. If you are like me and do not follow engineering jargon, in layman’s terms, this design enabled massive clean-up efforts in the 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill. For this, ACS won the Vaaler award .

The separators mounted on the MSRC ships were designed to run 550 gallons/minute each. This means that each ship has the capacity to separate over 1,000 gallons/minute of oily water. Despite their positive track records with the Exxon-Valdez spill, ACS’ units have been unused in relief efforts for the gulf-coast spill. In fact, ACS contacted BP’s Chief Operating Officer of Exploration, Doug Suttles, members of the Obama Administration and other officials, offering their support. As ACS understands it, the oil in this particular spill cannot be separated in their units. In order to help the cause, they have designed another vessel that could be manufactured very quickly. This vessel would potentially be able to separate the oil from the water at a combined rate of 600,000 gallons per hour. All ACS would need in order to process these vessels are samples of the oil to test. Getting samples has been impossible and none of the company’s 10 ships currently in the gulf are being used.

I contacted BP’s general answering service to ask why they have not responded to ACS’ offer. To this the agent with whom I spoke replied, “…we have tons and tons of submissions..20,000 thousand in one day...there is a chance they haven’t gotten to it yet.”

In search of more answers on how gulf coast residents can do their part, I contacted the Sierra Club and asked about volunteer opportunities. As hazmat work requires a significant amount of professional training, hands-on volunteer opportunities are better left to the professionals at this point. The Sierra Club did recommend, however, that civilians spend time writing letters and urging the Obama administration to move away from oil and into alternative energy. In addition, donates made to the Sierra Club will aid campaigns that lead us to such alternative energy sources .

Another organization, the National Audubon Society , provides multiple ways in which gulf coast residents, or anyone for that matter, can help. By following the steps provided on their website, volunteers and concerned citizens can donate, stay informed and even lend their support through volunteering. By filling out information on experience and interest, the Audubon Society works to match concerned parties with relief organizations related to wildlife rescue. Their website also provides an easy step-by-step form for citizens so they can
send email letters to members of Senate urging them to fund gulf coast restoration. Regardless of political preference, gulf coasters can agree that the devastation caused by this spill is tremendous. As such, a few organizations are working to answer the question: what can we do to help? There are a few things that residents can do in order to channel their frustration into taking action. In addition, ordinary citizens should follow the advice of the Sierra Club and insist that their representatives endorse alternative energy. After the moratorium is lifted on offshore drilling, we can also urge the government to continue to put pressure on oil companies to fortify their safety measures so that this kind of disaster never happens again.

The Master of Love and Cyberbullying

What I learned this week:

When I am tired. I have to get more sleep! Most of us don't realize the importance of sleep. It can be more important than what you eat.

What I am grateful for:

I watched many World Cup soccer games with my family and had a blast!


Here’s a sneak-peek into what’s on Living Smart and Latina Voices this week!


Latina Voices: Bullying 101


By Production Assistant: Jennie Kamin

(Sun, 2:30 PM, July 18—repeats Wed, 11:30 PM)

This week, we hear about an issue plaguing many adults: arthritis and how you can survive. We also hear from Anti Defamation League affiliate, Dena Marks on an issue pertaining to a younger generation. Today’s youth are said to possess qualities and aspirations unlike any preceding generation. Labeled “Generation Y” by AdAge Magazine, we are defined by the Internet and social media culture that expanded and grew alongside us, as it also proved what we are capable of achieving . Now deemed “Generation Z” or “The I Generation,” today’s school-kids are well versed in digital media, especially cell phones. Although these advances in technology have shaped the personality of today’s youth, they have also caused unprecedented issues for parents and teachers alike. Ask any cell-phone-using, computer-wielding kid, and they will certainly know the meaning of digital jargon such as “LOL” and “OMG.” Versed in a language of their own, the growing connectivity of youth today also poses a growing issue in schools: Cyber-bullying. What makes this form of bullying exceedingly more troublesome is it’s near impossibility to monitor . While kids are now able to communicate with greater ease and speed than ever before, they are also able to do so without their parents or teachers every hearing the content of their conversations. Despite the opportunities that technology has offered to today’s youth, it is also exacerbating one of adolescence’s toughest issues and is even linked to an alarming increase in teen suicide . Last year, a Massachusetts teenager, Phoebe Prince hanged herself after being the victim of cyber-bullying . Following the indictment of six alleged bullies, the teenage suicide led to the enactment of strict anti-bullying laws in Massachusetts . In addition to making illegal any acts of bullying, these laws also mandate teacher education on how to prevent bullying. While the threat of cyber-bullying lingers in school hallways and classrooms, it seems that the best defense is education for teachers, parents, and students.

Living Smart: Personal Transformation

By Production Assistant: Jennie Kamin

(Sun, 3:00 PM, July 18—Repeats following Friday at10 PM)

In addition to the threat of cyber-bullying, the growth of technology has also led to other lifestyle challenges. In an increasingly digitized world, it is becoming easier to lose oneself in the Internet and lose sight of spirituality. This week, on Living Smart, Don Miguel Ruiz shares his tools for people to achieve personal transformation and the Mastery of Love. Raised in rural Mexico, Ruiz comes from a long familial line of healers based in the Toltec tradition. In spite of his roots, Ruiz sought a more Western path and practiced as a surgeon after attending medical school. He later reached out to his ancestral calling and decided to focus on spiritual healing. Along the way, Ruiz became a speaker, teacher and author after he created his practical-tool box for transformation, which he calls The Four Agreements and tips on finding true love.

Click here to see more of your favorite Living Smart shows!


Reflections on World Soccer, The Body's Wisdom, and Latino Students' Challenge

What I learned this week:
To truly win or succeed, you have to lose and fail many times.

What I am grateful for:

After rainfall, the sun always comes out.

Germany's crushing defeat of Argentina
Since I was a little girl, I never truly understood the lure of soccer in Argentina. I remember the quiet Sunday afternoons where families would eat their "asado" and watch their favorite soccer team at play. Then the children would go out to the streets and continue playing with whatever ball they could find. As I grew older and went to my first world cup in 1978, I lived a thrilling experience when Argentina won and then in 1986 when Maradona's hand of God led the team to the final. I however became very leery of the injustices committed by referees and the refusal to use instant replay to make fair decisions. (I didn't much care for the Maradona goal with the "hand of God.)" On Saturday we watched as Argentina got clobbered by Germany and I realized there is so much that the soccer players from the country show us about Argentine idiosyncracies in victory as well as defeat.
Diego Maradona is Argentine's best known export. He was very poor as a child and quite misguided in his life. No one doubts a great, brilliant unique soccer player, but with too many personal challenges to mention. For many Argentines, he is considered a genius, a god, with almost superman qualities. No one remains indifferent to him. He is either adored or reviled. Everyone knows however that a good player does not a good coach make! Maradona is not a technical coach but I will let the experts better explain why. Some examples of his failures are: He never called on his best international defense players and as a result had a weak back field. His midfield players failed to control the game when most needed. When a clear change was needed he didn't make it, but here is why I don't blame him.

Maradona is not God and he is not a coach and he could not make a team with the highest paid players in the world work as a team simply because he doesn't know how.But here is what Argentines tend to do, They either treat him like a genius or like an idiot. I don't believe he is totally to blame for the loss to Germany. He did the best he could. I blame those who chose him to be coach based on his celebrity status. That's right. He was never or ever will be a good coach. The reason the Argentine team did so well in this tournament is because individually most of the players are very good and very well paid thank you, but that does not make a great team. There is so much more to it than that.

They love their country and probably get along very well, but when it comes to soccer as in life you must know your strengths and weaknesses. Argentina for instance may have one of the best forwards and strikers in the world but in this tournament, Maradona chose a very ill prepared defense. Maradona had no strategy or the technical capacity to make the right changes.Do I blame him? No way. We in the United States know about celebrity culture. Heck we had to watch Paris Hilton in a ranch for weeks. There was nothing real about that! Now we had to watch a soccer player, suddently become a world cup award winning coach. Maradona did what he knew best. He was his old self, funny, emotional, loving, erratic, arrogant and somewhat bewildered. He was not ready for that particular job. We may love to watch him at work, but if we want a winner, we must find a coach with winning qualities. Let bygones by bygones. It is time for change. Argentina must realize that they can't win with the same belief system that they have had in the past 24 years. Do you want a winning coach? Get one. As a player Maradona may have won for Argentina, but as a coach, you are asking for way too much.

I want to thank him for entertaining us and for the players for their commitment. As for Messi, please stop picking on the guy or questioning his patriotism. He's used to playing with a team that absolutely knows how to play as a team and posesses very few weakneses. Barca is one of the best if not the best club team in the world. Messi did as well as he could. It has nothing to do with his love of country but it does have to do with the idiocyncracy of many in a nation who believe Diego is God!
Here’s a sneak-peek into what’s on Living Smart and Latina Voices this week!

Living Smart: The Body's Wisdom

By Production Assistant: Shamsa Mangalji

(Sun, 3pm July 11th-- Repeats following Friday at 10pm)

Obesity. Depression. Marriage Problems. We know all too well how much these issues plague our society. This week’s Living Smart guest, Dr. Kimerer Lamothe, will give us a devastatingly simple solution to solve all of our problems: (drumroll please…) Listen to our bodies! Lamothe believes that one’s body is the best doctor.
In America, we’ve made it a habit to prioritize mind over body. Most of us live our day-to-day lives by quelling our true desires for food, sex, and spirit. More often than not, we fall victim to outside forces like advertising to dictate what we need:
Though companies will swear that (blank) food and (blank) sex position will ‘make you happy’, don’t listen to them; our lack of awareness of our inner selves leads to unhappiness and debilitating habits.
We don’t want to raise those horrifying health statistics even more. Learn how to help yourself on this week ‘s ‘Living Smart’ show with Dr. Kimerer Lamothe!

green tip segment for this show is about glass recycling with Mark Austin.

here to see more of your favorite Living Smart shows!


Latina Voices: Latino Students' challenge

By Production Assistant: Shamsa Mangalji

(Sun, 2:30 PM, July 11)

Multiple studies have shown that Latinos lag far behind any other ethnic group in pursuing higher education. Experts deem poverty and engrained cultural beliefs as key factors contributing to this issue. Researchers also point to serious faults in schools’ institutional structures; many Hispanic students feel socially excluded and underrepresented in their high schools.
A UTSA research report stated that high school history classes painted an overwhelmingly negative picture of Latinos in general; the classes failed to showcase Mexican/Chicano’s achievements and contributions to U.S. society. Stereotypes and discrimination reign supreme in many institutions.
This week on Latina Voices, listen to top educators Dr. William Flores, the President of University of Houston Downtown, and Dr. Guadalupe San Miguel, Mexican-American Studies Professor break down sad numbers of Latinos seeking at higher education, and discuss promising solutions.


Current Events: Want a mosque to be built by Ground Zero...?

By: Production Assistant, Shamsa Mangalji

Recently, the chairman of a Muslim organization proposed building a community center near Ground Zero in New York City. The chairman, Imam Feisal Abdul Raif, envisioned a center that would enrich Lower Manhattan; it would house sports facilities and discussion rooms. An auditorium would serve as a venue for shows and art exhibitions. And, a space would be reserved for Muslim prayer.
News editors eagerly latched on to this last proposition and began to publish stories about the ‘mega-mosque’ that would be built by Ground Zero. Word spread quickly; this propaganda catalyzed an intense, passionate reaction from both supporters and protestors of the plan.
The ‘mosque’ proposal enraged families affected by 9/11 and reinvigorated the actions of ardent Islamophobes worldwide. Many protestors believed the building of a mosque so close to Ground Zero would glorify the ‘Muslims’ who attacked the World Trade Center. People marched around Ground Zero wielding signs emblazoned with phrases like, ‘A Mosque at Ground Zero is a Monument to Terrorism‘. And that was a tame one. Houston’s very own radio talk show host, Michael Berry, declared that the mosque should not be built, and stated, “if you do build a mosque, I hope somebody blows it up...I hope the mosque isn't built, and if it is, I hope it's blown up, and I mean that."
Various New York politicians, however, have supported the idea of building a ‘mosque’ by the site. In a radio address, Mayor Bloomberg emphasized that everyone had the right to construct a ‘religious house of worship’ in whatever place they desired..’if somebody was going to try to build a church or a synagogue on that piece of property, no one would be yelling..”
Simply by interchanging the words, ‘community center’ and ‘mosque’, news media has incited the world audience. This issue is fostering the pervasive misunderstanding about Islam everywhere.
Personally, I believe that this proposed ‘community center’ should be a completely secular space in which people can discuss issues that cultivate terrorism. Research has shown that terrorists act out of misinformation, feelings of depression, and/or a desire for a better standard of living. If we address these complex problems in a holistic way, we may deter future acts perpetrated by terrorists.
People must learn to disassociate the words, ‘Muslim’ and ‘terrorist’. Building a Muslim house of worship so close to Ground Zero would not promote this initiative, but further foster this dangerous misconception. As a Muslim, I feel it is my duty to break this stereotype, and promote the development of mutual understanding worldwide.

What do you think about this proposal? Is the community center promoting a positive view of Islam, or is it a slap in the face to 9/11 victims' families?

Post below!


Living Smart, FIFA's embarrassment and Goal Line Technology

What I learned this week: I must fight against injustice wherever I see it, even if it happens in a soccer match!

What I am grateful for: My family. Every day, I realize how blessed I am to have it.

Are you Ready for Retirement? Probably not! Find out from
Elder Care Attorney Colleen Campbell Root This Sunday at 3pm on Living Smart (repeats the following friday 10pm)

By Jennie Kamin

As I learned from my freshman biology teacher, all human beings share a few common characteristics: We require energy in the form of food, we are conceived through reproduction, we sleep and we die. This week on Living Smart, Colleen Campbell Root addresses the last part of the human lifecycle, an issue that many Americans avoid as long as possible. Root advises a clientele of mostly retirees on maintaining their independence and quality of lifestyle while preparing for a future for their loved-one’s after they are gone. Although the processes of creating a will and preparing an estate can be frightening, Root seeks to provide a comfortable conversation for her clients by focusing on the idea that we must care for ourselves now. Through using a holistic approach to prepared planning, Root coordinates with family and community members on topics such as asset planning and fund preservation. In addition, Root seeks to elucidate the confusing legal jargon associated with will-planning and sheds light on lesser-known estate and home-care options, such as the Veteran’s Administration Pension. Despite the unwillingness of some to confront the idea that we will not be here one day, Colleen Campbell Root emphasizes her belief that we are never too young to begin planning. As death and perhaps even disability are imminent, Root helps her clients plan for the unexpected.


The Green Tip for this week is sustainable eating. The show features restaurant owner, Frederico Marques, who discusses how he lives smart by living green.

To view past Living Smart shows go to and type Living Smart with Patricia Gras

This Sunday on Latina Voices at 2:30pm on HoustonPBS (

This week, on Latina Voices: Smart Talk, we speak with the First Lady of Rock Radio, Dayna Steele. Emcee turned author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur, Steele wrote a book titled Rock to the Top: What I Learned about Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars. In her radio days, Steele covered such artists as Mick Jagger, Gene Simmons, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and Sammy Hagar, to name a few. While still on the mike, this anchor acquired a large fan-base, referred to as Dayna’s “Steele-workers.” Fast-forward a few years, Steele is now the CEO of Steele Media Services as she also travels all over the world in order to teach her acclaimed presentation, “Find Your Inner Rock Star!” Also on Latina Voices: Smart Talk, we learn about LifeGift. The nation’s largest organ procurement organization, LifeGift is looking for donors, particularly those of Hispanic backgrounds.



Two great goals annulled against the USA
A goal scored with two hands by a Brazilian player
A wrongful red card for a Brazilian player
A goal annulled against England that would have tied the game
An offside goal by Argentina against Mexico
A hand goal by the French team against the Irish in qualifiers

The list goes on and on. Frankly I don't understand how the world can't stand up to Sepp Blatter and FIFA. Why can't we vote him out? What is wrong with this people. As much as I may want my team to win. I don't want my team to CHEAT to win.
Here is what the world knows. We have the technology to stop this non sense.It is goal-line technology and instant replay. Please FIFA stop coming up with excuses. We already use the Hawk-Eye system employed in tennis and cricket or the concept of a micro-chipped ball being developed in Germany. USE IT!


World Cup, Intimacy and Violence in Mexico

What I learned this week. Just because many criticize you, demean you or fail to believe in you, there is no excuse for not believing in yourself. No one know your potential the way you do. Trust yourself.

What I am grateful for. I feel loved by my higher power despite my so many shortcomings!

This Sunday on Living Smart we discuss intimacy. Therapist Michele Lees has been counseling clients for almost 30 years.

What Michele Lees knows about intimacy
By Shamsa Mangali

Close your eyes. (no, really, shut those peepers!) Think about what it would feel like to wake up, rejuvenated and happy, next to your partner. After a couple of minutes of silent, content meditation in bed, you walk to the kitchen and give hugs and kisses to your smiling, adoring children. Before you saunter off to work, you get a chance to read a few chapters of your favorite novel, and have a fun conversation with your best friend.
Sound like a dream? An unrealistic, laughable fantasy? Think again. This week on Living Smart, psychotherapist Michele Lees will let you in on some secrets about how to achieve this lifestyle in today’s stressful world. You’ll learn how to gain self-awareness and become truly comfortable with yourself. You’ll learn the steps to rekindling intimate, fulfilling relationships with your partner, your families, and your friends.
Intimacy does not just mean sexual intimacy, but emotional, spiritual, and intellectual intimacy, as well. During her career as a professional dancer, Lees learned to understand the mind/body connection necessary to foster this sense of intimacy. She now feels an invaluable sense of harmony within herself, and is willing to share!
Tune in to Living Smart this Sunday (June 27) at 3 PM to hear more! It repeats the following friday night at 10pm.

On our green tip, listen to David Ronn, the owner of a LEED certified house, talk about his extreme energy savings!

On Latina Voices This Sunday at 2:30pm we tackle violence in Mexico

Violence in Mexico

(CBS News)

American newspapers are always emblazoned with headlines about drug-related violence in Mexico. Worried parents shake their heads when their teenagers propose spending their spring breaks in the country. Foreign companies are wary of investing in Mexico due to these security issues. Even Mexican immigrants to America think twice about visiting their homes, especially if they are located in turbulent areas. Drug-related violence has led to thousands of preventable deaths in the country. Here’s the scoop:
Mexican drug cartels both produce and transport drugs across borders. The cartels often fight each other in violent ‘turf battles’ to acquire profitable trade routes, and gun down terrified civilians in the process. (drug war coverage clip)
President Felipe Calderon has deployed many troops to these dangerous areas, but, paradoxically, this policy has actually increased fighting and intensity of the cartels’ violent demonstrations. Druglords are attempting to intimidate government entities and demonstrate their power to civilians. Police and military forces are guilty of contributing to this terrible violence; many feel inclined to join these financially-endowed drug cartels. Thus, these so-called ‘security forces’ have also committed atrocious human rights violations.
To stop the violence, policies have been passed to address the demand for these drugs. Economics 101 teaches us that demand fuels supply; if there’s no demand for the products, suppliers will stop producing. Sounds like a good solution. But guess who’s fueling the demand? America. The United States’ insatiable demand for cocaine and methamphetamines is promoting the violence in Mexico. President Bush tried to crackdown on drug-users; he spent millions to threaten them into complying with drug laws. President Obama prefers to focus on preventative measures; he is currently funding many drug rehabilitation programs.
Violence in Mexico is an extremely complicated issue. You can learn more about it on this Sunday’s episode of "Latina Voices"

The "Injustice" of Soccer matches by Patricia Gras

Many of you know how crazy my family is during the world cup. When you grow up playing soccer, it is in your blood. It can become a pseudo religion and motivate you like no other sport. My friend described a game of soccer as a game of life, full of small victories and defeats but most importantly, a game full of injustices, same as life! The other day, I was talking to a Brazilian friend and I joked about Maradona's hand of God goal against England years ago. The Brazil team had just scored using two hands so I reminded him, God did probably have two hands but I hated just how unjust this game was and how because FIFA masters of the universe refuse to use Instant Replay, a sole referee can determine the final outcome of a game! not the players, not the teams, not strategy, not fair play, not the coach but the referee. This is very disturbing to me. I always argue this is not just and all I have heard in my lifetime is. This is the way the game is. This is how we have always done it. We like not knowing whatt is going to happen. It would change the game. I get into a daze and look at them in utter disbelief. Really? you don't care if the team you are rooting for loses because a referee made a mistake? You don't care that a referre can be bought or sold? Why do so many accept this? I believe it is impossible to change the rule because FIFA does not want to change it so they can control outcomes. Next time I hear this is the way it is, I will say. The best team may not win, because one man who does have access to the truth instantly, may not use this technological tool because FIFA says so. I may love soccer but I hate the injustice of it.


I have a dream, Consumer Rights and The Census

What I learned this week: If you have a dream, never give it up.

What I am grateful for: Those friends who believe in me despite my shortcomings. They are my evangelists. They love the projects that make them think they are making a world a better place and guess what. They are!

We just finished our membership drive. We want to thank all of you who became members of HoustonPBS and those of you who continue to support our programs. As I always say we can't do it without you. Now news on Living Smart and Latina Voices.

This Friday night at 10pm on Ch. 8 Author Robyn O'Brien reminds us what is wrong with our food suply and what we can do it. If you have kids you must watch this show!

Consumer Rights on Living Smart
By Production assitantShamsa Mangalji

I know how frustrating it can be when your flight gets cancelled. You sigh and wring your hands in despair when you realize that you will miss your important business meeting/nephew’s bar mitzvah/grandmother’s 97th birthday party.
But, wait a second. Don’t lose hope so quickly. Invoke your ‘travelers’ rights! There’s a rule that can help you– if an airline cannot get you to your destination at the time, they are required to send you to any competitor’s airline that can get you there sooner. This is an underutilized resource; not many people know that they can, indeed, advocate for their consumer rights.
Tune in to Living Smart this week to learn more about your consumer rights. Our guest, Myron Bernstein, can help you navigate consumer protection agencies, insurance commissions, and the courts. Whether you’re unsatisfied with your insurance coverage or the quality of your mattress, Dr. Myron Bernstein can help.

Sunday at 3pm on June 20th

Whats on Latina Voices this week? By Shamsa Mangalji
Do you groan when you see the Census form in your mailbox? Roll your eyes when the Census Taker knocks on your door? I know filling out this form has been an annoying, time-consuming process in the past, but this year, the form’s been condensed into one tiny ‘10 Questions in 10 Minutes’ document.
There are many benefits to filling out the Census; the results determine everything from the number of House Representatives for your state to the amount of federal funding received in your community.Find out how the Census serves your community and why you want to think twice before you say no.
Learn about all about the issues surrounding the Census 2010 on this week’s episode of ‘Latina Voices’ featuring Census 2010 Media Specialist, Eduardo Guity, and Complete Count Committee Member, Gracie Saenz.
Carla Powers has a harrowing story. As a teenager, this lawyer, professor, and journalist was forced by her father to join an oppressive cult in Northeast Texas called ‘The Radio Church of God’. The cult maintained strict rules regarding food consumption, financial responsibilities, and sexual affairs. Perpetrators who failed to uphold these rules got into serious trouble, because they did not fulfill their tasks to reach the so called ‘Kingdom of God’. Her memoir is a story of redemption and survival.
Listen to her speak about her personal experience on this week’s episode of Latina Voices.

Sunday at 2:30pm on HoustonPBS

The Stain, Middle East and World Cup

What I learned this week: When I am critical of others, it does not take me long to realize, they are a mirroring aspects of myself I don't care to see.

What I am grateful for: I have friends who hold me accountable for my words and actions, even if at times I don't like it!

Living Smart, Latina Voices and Town Forums are on hiatus due to our membership drive, but I must say, I feel like focusing on three other things that occupy my thoughts and mind. This morning I saw an "oily bird." It is day 51of the BP oil spill. I have read a lot and still know little. The subject is so complicated. The technology, the engineering, the ocean temperatures are all news to me. Politicians are flying for cover, while those affected on the coast are crying foul and feeling the black ocean will also become a black cloud in their future. It is a sad time for America, and for those of us living in the gulf coast, a wake up call that CAME TOO LATE. The fact is, no matter what we do, it is too late. The damage has been done and will continue for years to come. What are we to do? First, we should never forget. Yes, I heard a friend say, mistakes happen. Look at the challenger. should we stop going into space because we made a mistake? I guess my question would be. What is the magnitude of the "mistake" How many "mistakes" were made before the accident? Who made them? Why? The most important question I would ask is. What role did I play in all of this? Have I ever done something that was not comfortable to protect the environment? like drive less, or fly less or clean up the messes on the beach? I keep saying, we can't keep living the way we have. The planet will continue to exist whether we are here or not, but it is a gift and this spill is a reminder of our own desire for more, for comfort, for cheap energy. I am not an energy expert, or engineer or a futurist. I do know when I look deeply within. I too played a role in this. Ask yourself that question.

The middle east continues to be a mess. The fact is, major decisions are not being made based on human rights. Why is it people have to die for the world to pay attention? I would love to see peace in the middle east and it would ultimately benfit us all, but the world does not have the leadership it needs to make the hard decisions for this conflict to end. All I can do is pray for peace.

World Cup
Need I say I am passionate about soccer? As a first generation American of Argentine parents and Spanish grandparents, I have the USA team to root for, and also Argentina and Spain, how fun is that? To understand the world's passion for soccer, we must see the sport is the great equalizer. Anybody, rich or not, tall or short, religous or heretic can play it ANYWHERE. I used to play with my brother in the streets with a plastic ball, a ball made of sheets, a real ball or a tennis ball. The idea was to play all day until dawn. If we had lights in the street we would continue to play until mom called us to go to bed. Soccer has been a part of my life ever since and after being present in three world cups, I plan to go to many more. This is truly a sport for the world. It is almost the first time you see so many people of many nationalities in the same celebration. I can't wait!

Living Smart and Latina Voices return on June 20th at 2:30 and 3pm respectively. Stay tuned!


Men and Women in Uniform and Membership Drive

What I learned this week: When I am under a lot of stress, I do things out of character. I realize that if I do something wrong as a result of life challenges I am facing, I need to slow down, analyze and forgive myself.

What I am grateful for: Those difficult, prickly people who I call "Master Teachers" for being so challenging that they force me to be better, work harder and get more creative.

This past Sunday Latina Voices honored men and women in Uniform. Our membership drive starts today and all the shows I work on will be on hiatus for a few weeks but during the drive I will get to talk about 4Troops,an American pop vocal group made up of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans. Their repertoire is inspirational and up lifting - I'M ALREADY THERE, BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD, YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE, and more. Their positive message is for all serving troops, veterans, and American citizens who are inspired by them every day. They will air

6/8/2010 11:00 am SD8.2 more
6/10/2010 7:00 pm HD more
6/12/2010 1:00 am HD more
6/13/2010 4:30 pm HD more

HONORING MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM on Latina Voices by Gaby Lopez

Every day at home and abroad we are protected by the tireless efforts of our policemen, firefighters, and military personnel. While we are all grateful for their work and their sacrifices, some people turn that gratitude into action. Meredith Iler, a Houston attorney and public relations firm president, is one of those people.
Many American military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have difficulty adjusting to civilian life after coming home, but for those who come back with physical and psychological wounds the adjustment can be even harder. Iler's non-profit organization, Helping a Hero, tries to use its services to make life easier for these wounded veterans.
Helping a Hero builds specially adapted homes for severely wounded veterans and their families. While emotional support of American troops is important, says that, "Financially our wounded heroes deserve every American's support to help them get on the road to recovery and regain their independence."
The Trejos are one such family. Army Sergeant Sergio Trejo and his wife, former air force Staff Sergeant Jessica Trejo, are recipients of Helping a Hero home. The Trejos believe that the mentorship and emotional support provided by the organization are just as important as the physical home. “They’ve helped build a foundation that we can build on for our children,” Jessica Trejo said, referring to the financial and social mentorship aspect of the program. Helping a Hero eases the process of integrating returning soldiers back into society, said the Trejos, who are grateful for the assistance they have received during that sometimes overwhelming transition.
In this episode of Latina Voices: Smart Talk, Iler discussed her organization and its work. Patricia Gras, Sofia Adrogue and Minerva Perez also interviewed some of our local women in uniform, Rosenberg Officer Danielle Delgado and Houston Firefighter Laura Saavedra.

Links about women in uniform.
For more information on this show go to HTV (Latina Voices Show #21)

Food Supply, Soccer/Dynamo and Muhammad Yunus

What I learned this week:
Keeping myself fit and healthy takes time, commitment, persistence and faith. Every time I get tired, or see great food or get upset, I have to remind myself that to be healthy I have to stay the course.

What I am grateful for:
Six months after radiation, I am cancer free. I am full of gratitude.

This Sunday at 3pm and June 18th at 10pm You will learn facts about food you probably never heard.

Robyn O'Brien by Lihue Rearte (Production Assistant)

Why is it important to eat healthy and know the contents of food? The answer will be given by the author Robyn O'Brien on Living Smart with Patricia Gras. She talks about her book "The truth: how our food makes us sick and what we can do about it." In this book she warns consumers about the ugly truth of the food industries and what they hide from us in the foods we eat daily. Go to

The bad reputation, of food additives, colorings and sweeteners such as aspartame, is one that needs a wake up call. The author points out some that can cause dangerous effects in our bodies.
The author O'Brien that after doing research and understanding scientific studies, some substances provoke allergies and terminal illnesses.

The food industry can use only those products that have been approved after having gone through detailed studies to verify that licensed doses can not cause any harmful effects to our health, but some countries like the United States choose to ignore these studies.

"Our corporations have done an incredible job in responding to needs, to remove substances from consumers in other countries like Britain," the author says. "But the United States allows these substances in our food."

In Living Smart with Patricia Gras, O'Brien advises to be aware of what we eat and shares research and studies to support which products harm our health.

Watch this program on Sunday at 3pm (repeated on Friday June 18th at 10 pm.) For more information visit or visit

Last week I had the opportunity to meet Muhammad Yunus,

the creator of Grameen Bank or Village Bank. Let me explain that I have met presidents, celebrities, heroes and extraordinary people, but I must say when you meet someone like Muhammad Yunus who has impacted so many millions of the world's poor. (over 100 million) I was in awe and considered myself very lucky to get to interview him. I have done interviews and hosted some events for Results, an organization that works to impact the poor by lobbying congress. It is strictly a volunteer organization and has quietly done great work to end poverty over the years.

Yunus was on their board of directors and they both have worked to treat the poor with dignity, compassion and to effectively give them tools to succeed. Isn't that what we all want? We will write more about this at length but I will let you know when the story airs on Latina Voices on HoustonPBS. We will also interview Gayle Ferraro, the filmaker who produced a show about Muhammad Yunus' work in the United States. It is called to Catch a Dollar and will be released in September.

This Sunday at 2:30pm May 23rd on Latina Voices, you'll get a first look at Houston Dynamo's Oliver Luck and striker Brian Ching. Life coach expert Laura Lopez also shares her experience as an executive for Coca Cola and her most recent book, "Committed Leader."

Many of you know of my passion for soccer. I will be writing about it here and my facebook page. I started playing soccer with my brother as a child and my parents are from Argentina, so the month of June will be ALL SOCCER ALL THE TIME for friends and family!!!

The World Cup and Houston Dyanamo by Shelby Cole (Production Assistant)

Great news in the sports world for all the Houston soccerheads out there! The Fifa World Cup that is right around the corner, and the whole world is talking about who will take home the ultimate prize. The Houston Dynamo’s own Brian Ching has a very strong chance of traveling to South Africa to help the U.S. team compete for (and hopefully win!) the cup. This will be Ching’s second time to be a candidate and possible player on the American team, as he traveled to Germany for the 2006 Fifa World Cup.

Ching’s supporters couldn’t be more proud of him for all of his accomplishments, both on native and foreign turf. Currently the Captain and leading goal-scorer of the Dynamo, Ching hopes to use his leadership, talent, and discipline to guide the U.S. team to victory in South Africa. Patti, Minerva, and Sofia interviewed Brian on Latina Voices, where he mentioned the new Houston Dynamo Soccer stadium.

This new stadium will be an excellent addition to Houston’s already thriving sports scene. Located just southeast of Minute Maid Park, the Houston Dynamo stadium will seat 21,000-22,000 ravenous fans and will cost an estimated $95 million. Despite its costs, the construction of this stadium is a good step in a new direction for the soccer world, as the stadium will definitely garner more respect for a sport that tends to be written off.

See this interview on Latina Voices on May 23 at 2:30, and be sure to tune in and support Brian Ching as he represents his city and country at the World Cup!