How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Because it's Friday: The 25th anniversary Night Stalker tour


Photo by Brandi666/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The Night Stalker's likeness on Silly Putty, October 2009

Yes, a tour. The occasion is the 25th anniversary of capture of "Night Stalker" serial killer Richard Ramirez, the onetime Eastside terror who was chased down and beaten to a near pulp on the street by a mob of angry East Los Angelenos who recognized him after the cabrón had the gall to try and steal a couple of their cars one hot, hot late August morning in 1985.

Ramirez, who was eventually convicted on 13 counts of murder, remains on death row in San Quentin. And in celebration of that fact, artist Al Guerrero, aka Eastside Desmadre Tours, has put together a tour of Ramirez's haunts this Sunday, with the added highlights of witness interviews, live musical street theater (really) and a character who goes by Crimebo the Clown.


Must-see photo slideshow gives haunting glimpse of a darker side of Ellis Island

Photo by Vilseskogen/Flickr (Creative Commons)

An interior shot, by a different photographer, of an abandoned medical building on Ellis Island, June 2008

There is the most gorgeous photo slide show on the NPR website today of the abandoned hospital buildings of Ellis Island, the work of photographer Stephen Wilkes. From NPR:
Wilkes' photo project, Ellis Island: Ghosts Of Freedom, shows the somber side of immigration — the side you don't see while on island tours. For many, the dream of a better life terminated in Ellis Island hospitals, where they were detained at any sign of disease. In one of Wilkes' images, the Statue of Liberty is reflected in a mirror. "I suddenly imagined a petite Eastern European woman rising out of her bed every morning," he writes in the caption."Seeing the reflection would be the closest she'd ever come to freedom."

The hospitals were closed in 1954 and basically left untouched, except by the elements of nature, and unseen, until Wilkes came along. Empty rooms, peeling paint, a lonely shoe left on a table — this deterioration is what Wilkes finds beautiful. His meditative studies of light and composition guide the viewer through Ellis Island's dark side, oddly illuminated by an afternoon glow.


In the news this morning

It's day two of my experiment with the new link roundup tool. Still tweaking it (so please pardon the difference in font sizes, etc.), but it seems to be working well enough. Without further ado, here are some of the top immigration and related stories today.

Many Say Coverage of the Poor and Minorities Is Too Negative - Pew Research Center (

The Associated Press: 'Dangerous drugs' tops criminal deportations list (

Immigration law efforts expanding - The Hill's Pundits Blog (The Hill)E

Mosque Near Ground Zero Stirs Mixed Feelings for Local Muslims - (The New York Times)

Behind the Numbers - Obama is a Muslim - 18%, 24% or ? (

The Associated Press: Kenya says Obama aunt was not in danger (

Arizona Sheriff's Tough Tactics on Immigration Face Federal Scrutiny - Newsweek (Newsweek)