Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Evening Sky!

Lake Sam Rayburn TX.
RMStringer

HWY 69.

RMStringer

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RMStringer

Monday, June 29, 2009

(Illegal)Immigrants fighting hard to stay in U.S.

I have not done a piece like this in a long time. The story on MSNBC.COM has just made my BLOOD BOIL!! " They cant get BENEFITS?? I got "DOWNSIZED at my employer in Illinois due to the Economy and i am an AMERICAN CITIZEN, borne and raised in TEXAS. I am not some river crossing Illegal Immigrant coming here to work. So if they dont like it here, then go the hell home and take all of the other illegal workers with you.

Perhaps your own Mexican Government will give you free health care and uynemployment because you are a CITIZEN of that country and not ours. If we went to your country and had a kid(Anchor Baby) would we get all the benefits that you get here??? HELL NO!!! So i am sorry but STOP YOUR BITCHING that you cant find a job here or that you do not get help...

This is what is wrong with Amerika TODAY...BULLSHIT LIKE THIS!!

"Immigrants fighting hard to stay in U.S."

By Helen A.S. Popkin and Tim Vandenack

Losing his job with a supplier in the boat manufacturing industry forced Rodriguez and his family to trade their trailer in Milford, Ind., for a single bedroom in the one-bathroom, one-story dwelling they share with eight others some 20 miles north in Elkhart. It also meant shedding belongings to compensate for the lost space, as well as lost income. So Rodriguez was having a yard sale.

"When I lived in Milford, I lived alone with my kids. I didn’t need anybody’s help," said the husband and father of two. "Now I have to sell my things."

A dozen people living in a single house is not ideal, but it's the price Rodriguez must pay to stay in the United States. Like other Mexican immigrants hit by the recession, it gives his family a way of dealing with the loss of income without having to return to his native country.

"Us illegals, we don’t have unemployment," said Rodriguez, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico City. "If I had unemployment, I wouldn’t have had to give up the trailer."

Hispanic immigrants, chiefly those here illegally, are particularly vulnerable as the recession lingers. Without proper documentation, those out of work can’t access unemployment and other government benefits, increasing the pressure to pull up stakes and look for opportunity elsewhere. Still, many who came to the United States looking to improve their life — make money, open up opportunities for their children, help support family still in Mexico — are hardly eager to return.

Mexico "is a Third World country," said Rodriguez, who knows several who have already gone back. It’s a last resort he’s not willing to consider.

"How’s that going to be? It’s going to be worse."

Thus, Rodriguez and his family make do, exchanging privacy for a shared home and a cheaper lifestyle.

Many immigrants, like Rodriguez, are fighting hard to stay. Some, however, have already trickled back. Whether to stay or leave seems to be a question on everybody's mind.

"Many people are making these decisions," says Ignacio Chagoya, who works with the needy, including some immigrants, at Elkhart's St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. "Do I go to another state? Do I go to Mexico?"

Still, the pressure is strong.

Chagoya, a legal U.S. resident originally from Mexico, lost his factory job here last December and is considering a move to find work, notwithstanding the 23 years he's lived in Elkhart. It's tough, especially since he'd leave behind his two daughters, who live here with their mother, his ex-wife.

At least he has his U.S. residency card, and, thus, a better shot at securing work, precluding a forced or premature return to Mexico. Some he knows who have gone back to Mexico — almost exclusively undocumented immigrants — have done so because they have no other option, their resources whittled to zero.

"The idea was to return with assets," says Chagoya, alluding to the dream some immigrants harbor of making it big here and returning to Mexico with a pocketful of money. "But they're leaving defeated, sad."

To stay or go
The WKAM phone will ring and someone on the other end will ask about job leads, fret about the economy and sound off about the notion of moving back to Mexico.

"The No. 1 worry is unemployment," says Nacho Zepeda, general manager and disc jockey at the Spanish-language AM radio station, better known as La Mejor.

panish-language radio serves as a cultural lifeline in many Hispanic immigrant communities. Such stations are virtual town squares for the immigrant community, and it’s no different at La Mejor.

In response to Zepeda’s query to listeners about how they’re weathering the tough times, the calls to the Elkhart County station, based in Goshen, start coming in.

One man, an out-of-work caller originally from Mexico, expresses skepticism about the American Dream — the idea that you can come to the United States, get a job and live happily ever after. Still, he and his wife are hanging on, helped by his brother. No way are they going to leave Elkhart County and return to Mexico.

"What am I going to do in Mexico?" he wonders, repeating a common refrain. "It’s worse."

Hope for a better life brought many from Mexico to the United States. When the Mexican immigration boom began in the 1970s, many settled in border towns in places like California and Texas. But in the early 1990s, ample job opportunities for both documented and undocumented immigrants drew growing numbers to the Midwest. Here in Elkhart County, the once-booming recreational vehicle manufacturing industry was the draw, quadrupling the immigrant population in a decade.

The Hispanic community in Elkhart and across the country is growing. In Elkhart, Hispanics make up 14 percent of Elkhart's roughly 200,000 residents and are the largest minority group in the county. In 1990, they were just 2 percent of the population. Nationally, Hispanics make up 15 percent of the overall population and have accounted for half the U.S. population growth since 2000.

Now comes the economic downturn, a slowdown in immigration for the first time in decades and increasing uncertainty among the immigrants already here. A recent Pew report notes that the slowdown in U.S. economic growth "has had a disproportionate impact on foreign-born Latino workers" who experienced layoffs in a larger percentage than U.S.-born workers.

Another caller to La Mejor explains that she’s been jobless for six months and scrapes by selling tamales she makes at home. At least if she were back in her native Mexico she could venture into the countryside and snag something free to eat, like nopales, the edible pads of the prickly pear cactus.

"I’m thinking if it doesn’t get better, I’ll go back," she says sobbing. "If you don’t have money you don’t have food."

But there’s a catch to consider. With tightening border security and the increasing difficulty of making a clandestine crossing from Mexico into the United States, a return south of the border may not be easy to reverse should things improve. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported a 20 percent increase in deportations over the last fiscal year.

Then there are the kids to contend with. More than half of the 16 million Hispanic children in the United States have at least one foreign-born parent, according to Pew. Yet children of immigrants with little to no first-hand experience with their parents’ home country may resist a move.

"They have American friends. They speak English. They consider themselves American," said Vera LeCount, coordinator of the English as a Second Language program at the Elkhart Area Career Center, operated by the Elkhart school district. "I don’t think they could consider what it would be like to live there."

Parents, too, may be reluctant to pull their kids out of school here, mindful of the limited educational offerings back in the home country and broader opportunities here. That seems to be the case with another caller to Zepeda’s radio show, a woman originally from Mexico. She says she and her husband are determined to stay in Elkhart County, in part to see their U.S.-born son graduate from college here.

"I’m proud of my American son and I’m not going to leave," she says. "I’m not leaving because I’ve built a family here."



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022, 1st Wave!
RMStringer

Time To Go 1.2


Time To Go 1.2, originally uploaded by RMStringer.

Taken on Rattlesnake Island located in Lake Sam Rayburn, Texas.

Thought that this was a neat photo...

Exposure: 1/4000 sec
Aperture: f/9.0
Focal Length: 18 mm
ISO Speed: 200

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Across The Lake...


Across The Lake..., originally uploaded by RMStringer.

Taken on Rattlesnake Island located in Lake Sam Rayburn, Texas. I took this photo using my Tele-Maro Lens. This is about 3 miles across the lake from where i was standing when i took the photo. That home is located close to Powell Park on the West Side of the lake. Had i taken the time to use a UV filter the haze would have been gone in the photo.

Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1000)
Aperture: f/9.0
Focal Length: 300 mm
ISO Speed: 200

Golden Rays...


Golden Rays..., originally uploaded by RMStringer.

Taken facing West before i drove into my neighborhood. I had been on the lake all day with friends and loved this photo. I took this photo using the kit lens.

Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1250)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 70 mm
ISO Speed: 200

Almost gone...

RMStringer

No Wind At All

Lake Sam Rayburn TX.
RMStringer

Looking West...

Lake Sam Rayburn TX.
RMStringer

Like Glass...

Lake Sam Rayburn TX.
RMStringer

Day Almost Over!

Lake Sam Rayburn TX.
RMStringer

Cloudy Sun! Over Lake

Lake Sam Rayburn TX.
RMStringer

Nice Water! Good Friends!

Lake Sam Rayburn TX.
RMStringer

On Water!

Lake Sam Rayburn TX.
RMStringer

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spider 1.0


Spider 1.0, originally uploaded by RMStringer.

Taken with the Quantaray 70-300mm Tele-Macro Lens and my F58AM flash in the Macro Range on the lens.

Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/9.0
Focal Length: 300 mm
ISO Speed: 200

My Sony a200 Camera.

Hvl-58am flash. Vg-b30am grip and my 70-300mmTele-Macro Lens.
RMStringer

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Almost Down...


Almost Down..., originally uploaded by RMStringer.

Sunset At Lake Sam Rayburn...
Taken with the Minolta 35-105mm Lens.
I love the colors on the water and in the sky from the sunset.

Exposure: 0.025 sec (1/40)
Aperture: f/10.0
Focal Length: 105 mm
ISO Speed: 200

Looking Into The Distance...


Looking Into The Distance..., originally uploaded by RMStringer.

Looking West off into the distance standing in the middle of HWY 255 on the southern end of Lake Sam Rayburn. I wonder where it will end or where it begins...

Exposure: 0.013 sec (1/80)
Aperture: f/9.0
Focal Length: 18 mm
ISO Speed: 200

West x Northwest Sunset


West x Northwest Sunset, originally uploaded by RMStringer.

This sunset was taken standing on the side North side of HYW 255 West using my 18-70mm lens. There were lots of clouds around but we mised all the rain. That is why the sky looks like it does. Looking in this direction, I am looking toward Lufkin Texas that is about 40 miles from the lake.

Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/9.0
Focal Length: 45 mm
ISO Speed: 200

HWY255 West Sunset

Lake Sam Rayburn TX.
RMStringer

From Lookout Point.

Lake Sam Rayburn TX. FM1004
RMStringer

Normal Face!

Serious Look!
RMStringer

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sun On Water...


Sun On Water..., originally uploaded by RMStringer.

Sunset At Lake Sam Rayburn...

Taken off of the side of HWY255. I pulled my Tacoma over to the side of the road and put the flashers on and then stood on the cement wall to get this photo...

I used a Center Weighted Metering Mode to take this photo. That is why it looks all dark. It is a nice effect.

Exposure: 1/4000 sec
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 105 mm
ISO Speed: 200

Going Home...


Going Home..., originally uploaded by RMStringer.

Sunset At Lake Sam Rayburn...

The Sun is almost down and the lake will be dark and quiet. Time to get to the camp and eat and sleep when the time is right for it. I wonder if they had fun on this day and what will they do tomorrow?

Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/10.0
Focal Length: 70 mm
ISO Speed: 200

Sunset...

Lake Sam Rayburn TX.
RMStringer

Sunset in cloud top.

Lake Sam Rayburn TX.
RMStringer

Native Hibiscus


Native Hibiscus, originally uploaded by RMStringer.

Macro Photos Taken at my Grandparents Home using my Quantaray 70-300mm Tele-Macro lens.

Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture: f/9.0
Focal Length: 300 mm
ISO Speed: 100

LakeHorse...


LakeHorse..., originally uploaded by RMStringer.

Lake Sam Rayburn Texas.

Taken at "Hidden Beaches" from a boat. I thought that it was very strange to see this so i had to get a good photo of it. The girl looks like she is enjoying the horse's company! I could not pass a shot up like this...

Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1250)
Aperture: f/9.0
Focal Length: 90 mm
ISO Speed: 200

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New Top Photo and Blog Changes...

I will be taking down the St Louis photo and replacing it with a panorama shot of the dam at Lake Sam Rayburn over the next few days.

I have relocated from the Mid-West back to South East Texas last weekend and i will be doing much photography in the area so stay tuned to see more pictures...

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Evening Sun!

RMStringer

Westwood!

Spent many nights out here!
RMStringer

Water Horse!

RMStringer

Spill Way.

Sam Rayburn Lake.
RMStringer

The cove!

Forest Hills. Sam Rayburn Lake
RMStringer

Another Bloom!

RMStringer

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fire.

Burn Pit in yard. Strange to be able to burn stuff at home again.
RMStringer