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A month of new beginnings

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By James Diaz

Aaahh! The New Year!

Time for fresh starts, new resolutions and change.

At the top of most lists: get healthy, get fit. This month we take a look at how Latinos get in shape and stay in shape, some of whom are tapping into Latino artistic cultural roots to keep the excitement going. From the dances of Zumba, to the Brazilian martial arts of capoeira, to hang-gliding across Colorado Plateau, we take a look at fun and creative ways to trim some holiday excess.

As the haze of the New Year’s Eve celebration clears we are faced with returning to the old grind at work. Mid-life Crazies can lead to lust for a new career and Coty Miranda tells the stories of some who have mustered up the courage for a career change and provides a checklist for those who are contemplating a new direction for their work day.

Julie Amparano discovers that how we make our New Year resolutions has a big impact on how well we keep them. She quizzes some notable local Latinos on their resolutions for the coming year.

In other stories this month, Ruben Hernandez explores the commitments many parents make to allow their children to explore their athletic potential. Actor Cheech Marin reminds us about the importance of all of us supporting local Latino arts efforts and Catherine Anaya reveals how she got her start in the news business.

A few changes are happening at LPM as well. With this issue we will debut our newest guest columnist, Israel Torres, who every month will give us his insider’s take on the political process and challenge us Latinos to get involved. I am also delighted to announce that Anita Mabante Leach has agreed to take on the full-time responsibilities of managing editor. Anita has been with us from the start as a freelancer, writer and editor. Her strong personal commitment, local journalistic experience, intellectual curiosity and cheerful heart will help us further our editorial mission to serve our readers and community. Anita will be sharing this space with me to weigh in on the issues facing our community.

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By Anita Mabante Leach

Okay, now it’s my turn, literally.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone who has always been in the trenches of journalism, whether it was copy editing, designing pages or reporting.

As Jim noted, I have been writing for the magazine since its birth. I guess that makes me a bit of a parent, watching LPM grow in size and influence, guided by the MEs before me, playwright James Garcia and Senior Editor Ruben Hernandez.

I’ve handled writing assignments that have largely fallen in the features category, taking opportunities to interview Latino artists and celebrities. But I have also tackled issues such as Latino veterans, the impact of cancer on our community, Latina entrepreneurs, religion, and the notable absence of a Hispanic cultural center in the nation’s fifth largest city. This year, as in the past, the impact of immigration has been examined through our unique American Latino lens. I was proud to be part of the LPM team that produced a powerful presentation on that subject.

These all are stories of interest to me, both as a writer and a reader. It’s the type of content Latino Perspectives has built its reputation upon, stories that elicit the positive response of readers, and sometimes, moves them to act.

I am anticipating more of the same type of coverage. We like to say that we are “shining the light in dark places,” telling stories you won’t see in other publications. In fact, we often find ourselves with so many ideas, we are physically unable to write them all.

I am looking forward to a year in which we provoke discussion by examining events and issues that impact the members of our community. The magazine will not only make readers stop and go, “Hmmmmm?!” its content will also make you laugh, scream and perhaps, cry.

And as I often say, I invite you to get off your como se llama and join us in welcoming in the New Year. Let’s make 2007 the year we make a difference!

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