Digital hip hop ‘BasedGod’ Lil B confuses critics while evolving the genre

To many hip hop listeners, Lil B can come off as an oddball. And with such a large discography and inconsistent rap-style, hip hop fans may be reluctant to take what the artist, called The BasedGod, has to say seriously. When I first heard Lil B, I thought he was hysterical. With “I’m Miley Cyrus” blasting out of my laptop speakers, all I could think was that there was no way a rapper could sound this bad on his own track and feel confident enough to release this! How can anybody listen to this guy?

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope in Scandal. Photo courtesy ABC.

‘Scandal’ fashion hits the racks in El Paso

By Estefania Y. Seyffert

EL PASO – Fans of the hit ABC TV series “Scandal” have been delighted to find the fashion of their favorite character available in a local store. Scandal joined forces with The Limited Store’s head designer Elliot Staples, costume designer Lyn Paolo, and actress Kerri Washington, to create an affordable collection reflecting the style of Washington’s character, Olivia Pope. “People want to dress like Olivia Pope, they want to be Olivia Pope,” said Sarah Perez, sales lead manager at The Limited at Sunland Park Mall

Although most of the collection is made to resemble the type of clothing Olivia Pope would wear, some highlighted pieces such as a crème wool coat and a charcoal jacket are as seen on the show. Some pieces have tags that inform shoppers which articles of clothing have already been seen in the series

Fashion Merchandising student Claudia Garza at Texas State University in San Marcos explains how the extensive detail and neutral color palette gives the career clothes a more feminine feel. “Sometimes people think career clothes or professional attire would age somebody, however this collection brings about some modern twists,” Garza said.  

For Hispanics, same-sex marriage another sign of generational culture shift

By Vanessa Hornedo, Hispanic Link News Service
WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 8 –The Supreme Court’s recent decision to not hear five states’ appeals that challenge same-sex marriage, coinciding with the majority of states now accepting the rapid social change, leaves the nation’s 54-million Hispanics trying to determine where their cultural heritage fits in. “Hispanics have been lagging a couple of steps behind and this will move our community to be more embracing,” Armando Vázquez-Ramos, professor of Chicano and Latino Studies at California State University, tells Hispanic Link News Service. “We have to go beyond the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church relative to same-sex marriage and gay and lesbian communities in Latino families because it’s not typically accepted.”
According to a 2013 Pew Research Center National Survey, 55 percent of Latinos identify as Catholic – a faith which denounces marriage between two people of the same gender. Bishop Richard Malone, who chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, responded in a joint statement released Oct.

About 25 people participate in the Huerto Amistad garden on Beverly Ann in San Elizario. The garden was started in 2013. (Kirstie Hettinga/Borderzine.com)

Water, commitment are challenges for sustainable gardens in El Paso

EL PASO — San Elizario, Texas is a newborn city with a long history. The area was established in the mid-18th century as part of the Spanish colonial mission trail, but it’s only been officially incorporated since November 2013 and its first mayor took office on May 22, 2014. The rich history of San Elizario is largely agricultural and according to Mayor Maya Sanchez, honoring those roots and protecting the rural community is critical. “My family goes back five generations in San Elizario. It’s an agricultural community, historically has been.

The results of a workshop at La Semilla on how to produce herb infused cooking oil. (April Lopez/Borderzine.com)

La Semilla Food Center — planting the seeds of sustainable agriculture in the borderland

EL PASO — Almost four years ago, founders of La Semilla Food Center went on a mission to build a more sustainable and self-reliant food system in the El Paso-Las Cruces, NM, border region. In 2010, Aaron Sharratt, Cristina Dominguez-Eshelman, and Rebecca Wiggins-Reinhard created a small community garden in Anthony, New Mexico. Today they farm land, create policy to help local farmers, and organize numerous community outreach programs.

“They took on a task that seems monumental to me, but because people in our region are so unfamiliar with food justice issues and food systems. It takes a lot of education,” said Catherine Yanez, La Semilla Program and Outreach Coordinator. “We’ve already seen a difference in the people that we’re engaging; we’re seeing that light bulb turn on.”

Within their community outreach programs, La Semilla hosts many youth projects. And through them La Semilla has engaged more than 800 local children.

Carlo Mendo, co-founder of EPPG, explains the basics of permaculture to students of Somerset Charter School. (Josue Moreno/Borderzine.com)

Volunteers hope to transform urban blight into green gardens

EL PASO – A once destroyed alleyway covered in syringes and broken bottles in downtown El Paso was turned into a thriving garden by a group of volunteers brought together by the El Paso Permaculture Group (EPPG). “Permaculture is a way of life that helps everyone, and teaches you to respect the earth,” said Claudia Paolla, a volunteer with EPPG. “It teaches the children to learn about their food sources and to appreciate the environment.” EPPG invested staff time and money to set up the garden for nearby families and taught them how to tend the crops. Created about a year ago with the help of various activists and volunteers, EPPG continues to reach out to the community, creating gardens in local schools and unexpected places. Permaculture is a growing movement that examines the issues and problems brought up by the way human beings relate to the earth.

San Elizario’s unique revival gathers local history, gardening and hundreds of artists

SAN ELIZARIO, TX – There’s only one place in El Paso County where a family can see work by hundreds of artists, visit a veteran’s museum, get a homemade empanada at a café, see a live band at a restaurant that’s right next to the jail that once housed Billy the Kid, then walk a few blocks down the street to a community garden. This is the San Elizario Historic district, also known as “San Eli,” home to the only art district in the county, located about 10 miles east of the city limits. “We started this madness out here in 2009 with the Main Street Gallery and things just quickly grew,” said Al Borrego, a self-taught artist who invests most of his time promoting San Elizario and all the artists. “I take pride in my community and I think with the history and talent out here, it’s the perfect place for something like this.”

There are over 100 artists exhibiting their artwork in about 40 galleries, with more venues on the way. The artworks range from traditional acrylic and oil paintings, to iron and woodwork as well as sculptures, stained glass and jewelry.