Family of Rhony Ramos seeks answers | Manhattan Times

Community members gathered for a vigil for Rhony Ramos.

As parents picked up their children from the Mama Tingo Childcare Learning Center another family stood outside in the cold, waiting for their son to come home.

Rhony Ramos, 30, was wearing a black coat when left home at approximately 6:20 a.m. on Nov. 28.

He never made it to his job on the Lower East Side. Calls to his phone go unanswered.

Since then his family has mounted an all-out campaign to search for Ramos, who turned 30 just days after he went missing. They have covered the city with posters alerting everyone to Ramos’s disappearance and contact information. Now they are inviting the community to help in a search for Rhony.

At a vigil for her son outside of the childcare center, Ramona Ramos stood silently as others spoke. Rosita Romero, Executive Director of the Dominican Women’s Development Center (DWDC) and Mama Tingo where Ms. Ramos is employed, said she stood by the Ramos family.

“We want to be sure that all of us show our support,” she said. “One thing that we make clear is that we have hope. We have hope that Rhony is well and that he is alive and we expect him home. We don’t know what happened. We want him to come home.”

Rhony’s sister, Elsa Franco, said her mother hasn’t slept or eaten very much since her son’s disappearance. “She’s devastated,” she said. Her brother’s two small children are also worried. “They are asking why they haven’t gotten a call from daddy,” she said.

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White Racist Columbia Student Harasses A Group of Students of Color

File this under NYC is not as progressive as you would think. In Uptown Manhattan of all places, in liberal bastion Columbia University no less – a young, drunk, white racist unleashed a torrent of racist invective at a group of students of color this past Sunday around 4 a.m. Get this, the racist student who has been identified as Columbia sophomore Julian Van Abele, followed the group from Butler Library to a local spot all the while yelling racist nonsense like “white people are the best thing that happened to the world.” While Columbia has denounced the racist tirade, no disciplinary actions have been taken or announced.

Check out The Columbia Spectator for more.

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Mile after mile, day by day | Manhattan Times

Story by Sherry Mazzocchi

“I just want to be happy,” said Heidy Pabón, shown here crossing the marathon finish line. Photo: Rick Bloomer | Van Cortlandt Track Club

(Photo: Rick Bloomer | Van Cortlandt Track Club)

When Heidy Pabón crossed the finish line of the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 4, she immediately went to the medical tent.

Her chest felt like it was full of fluid.

The Inwood resident had trouble breathing. Her vision was cloudy and she was spitting up blood. The doctors said that would happen.

Pabón said, “I thought I was going to die.”

4:23:57 is a very respectable time for most runners. But it’s even more meaningful when, like Pabón, you are battling breast and throat cancer at age 45 and are just finishing chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

One day after the race, Pabón sat at Mr. McGoo’s Pub in the Bronx, celebrating with other members of the Van Cortlandt Track Club.

Pabón’s doctors advised against running the marathon. Her platelet levels and red blood cell counts are low. They asked why she would even consider it.

“I’m doing it for all of the people who are suffering from cancer,” Pabón said. “With the grace of God, I’m going to run. And I’m doing it for all of the other kind people here today.”

Pabón probably couldn’t conceive of not doing it. This was her fifth marathon. She’s been training with the Van Cortlandt Track Club for the past two years, even while in treatment. On the weekends, she ran races, a 5K, a 10K, even a half marathon.

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Spread Love: The Sentence

Make sure you watch the searing and riveting documentary, The Sentence on HBO. This film will move you to tears; it is an agonizing look at the consequences of mandatory minimum sentencing. The Sentence is the first film from Rudy Valdez, who tells the story of his sister Cindy Shank. A mother of three, Shank received a 15-year mandatory sentence for conspiracy charges related to her deceased ex-boyfriend’s crimes. The documentary chronicles Cindy’s three daughters as they get older and try to navigate life without their mother. This heartbreaking film underscores the fact that it is not just the person that is convicted that is serving time.

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Uptown On TV 📺: Take On America On PBS

Our Editor-In-Chief, Led Black, had the honor of taking part in a next generation public forum at the venerable Riverside Church on October 22. The global digital magazine Ozy produced the televised debate, which is part of a new series called Take On America. This installation of the series was dubbed 100 Latinos in New York City and focused on immigration, civic engagement and generational differences among Latinos. Two of the special guests were the Mayor of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto and actress/activist Rosie Perez. Led Black represented Uptown properly and had the opportunity to speak his mind on several of the topics. Please check it out and share widely and with abandon.

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Call For Photos & Video: ESPN Documentary On Felipe Lopez

Hock Films is making a documentary for ESPN on Felipe Lopez that will be premiering in 2019. As part of Felipe’s story, they will be discussing the story of the Dominican community in Washington Heights during the 1980s and 90s. They are hoping that some of our readers will be interested in participating by providing videos/home movies or photos during that time period so they can accurately represent the community, the neighborhood and the people. They are looking to find home movies or photos that people may have filmed while attending Felipe’s high school games playing for Rice, so that they can convey a real sense of how supportive the Dominican community was of him from the onset of his career. Please reach out to Matt Fisher, the researcher on the project, at if you are able to help contribute materials, or have suggestions on local organizations, photographers, filmmakers or other individuals to reach out to.

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New ICE tactics raise concerns | Manhattan Times

Story by Sherry Mazzocchi

“ICE already has a tremendous amount of information at their disposal,” says Fernández.

“ICE already has a tremendous amount of information at their disposal,” says Fernández.

When ICE knocks, you don’t have to open the door.

A recent video from Clayton, North Carolina, reveals a pre-dawn raid conducted by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) where Juan Oliva, 33, says goodbye to his children before his arrest. In the video shot by his wife, agents tell Oliva, who is originally from El Salvador, that if they have to break down the door, they will add criminal charges to the deportation order.

“The details of what happened in North Carolina is something unfortunate that I think is being repeated sometimes thousands of times a day throughout our country,” said Ángela Fernández, Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NMCIR).

The tactic used by ICE —threatening to bring criminal charges if they have to beat down the door—is a ruse. “ICE needs to slip a warrant under the door. The warrant has to say that they are looking for the person and it has to have the exact name of that person and it must be signed by a federal judge,” she said.

“All of the due process protections that have been developed over the past 200 years in the criminal context were developed for a reason,” she said. “It was to stop this kind of behavior. Now this is happening in the context of immigration.”

ICE reportedly told the family that they found Oliva’s home by putting a “chip” on their son, which led them to their location.

Read more: New ICE tactics raise concerns | Manhattan Times

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11/11/18: Crossing Broadway Book Forum & Public Discussion @ Coogan’s

Mark your calendars folks. All roads lead to Coogan’s (4015 Broadway @ 169th Street) on Sunday, November 11 at 3 pm for a book forum and public discussion led by the erudite and engaging Robert W. Snyder. Mr. Snyder is the author of the official history book of Washington Heights, Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City. So this is what you have to do. If you have not read the book, hit up Word Up Books (2113 Amsterdam Ave @ 165th Street) and purchase this indispensable addition to your Uptown library and make sure you are there for the book forum at Coogan’s. This is an event you don’t want to miss. See you there!

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