Part 2: Spanish language newspaper benefits Texoma

Sherman, TX -- What if you went to the health department for services, but couldn't understand the information? Or to the DMV to get your license, but couldn't read the application? That could become the case for several legal, spanish-speaking Oklahoma residents, and is the case for thousands in other states.

Recently proposed legislation would allow state services to be offered in English. This month, several Oklahoma senators sent the legislation to a conference committee, effectively blocking it for this session.

But that doesn't mean the fight is over to make English the official language of Oklahoma.

One local woman is trying to keep the Hispanic community informed about these proposed laws, and other events in Texoma. She's doing it through a regional spanish language newspaper and the benefits could extend to English speakers alike.

Immigration law, English Only legislation, they're touchy subjects.

"We get calls to the paper saying, 'if they're here, they need to speak English', and I understand and I agree, they need to speak English. But we need to keep their native language."

Luz Roth is helping Spanish-speakers to do both. She's the creator and editor of 'El Tiempo' and makes it her job to inform spanish-speakers about where and how they can learn English, among other things.

"I want it to be an educational newspaper. This is what I can use in case I have to do my income tax. This is what is happening with immigration law right now, if I have an emergency this is where I'm supposed to call," said Roth.

Roth writes and translates articles about business, politics, local and global news, then designs the front page. Then, it's off to the press room at the Herald Democrat.

Through this door is a whole world of information available to Spanish speaking Texomans that many say, was never available to them before.

"We can read in Spanish, not English and understand almost everything, so we can do better things for the community," said Maria Hinojosa, a Spanish speaker who reads 'El Tiempo'.

"I had people calling me before this paper asking me what the English newspaper said. It was sad for me," said Melida Ailshire.

Ailshire has made it her business to help Spanish speakers adapt to Texoma.

She's a freelance interpreter for local hospitals, businesses and the courts. She says this paper provides not only vital information about community services and resources, it motivates readers to learn.

"If you live in a country, you must be aware of what's going on. Especially in politics right now," Ailshire said.

But 'El Tiempo' has an even farther reaching effect, one that impacts Spanish and English speakers alike.

"If Hispanics don't speak English, they don't go into the drug store, they're not going to go into the insurance company," said Roth.

"Many advertisers and individuals are reaching out to the Spanish community, publicizing business here, in spanish, benefiting everyone," Ailshire said.

By providing information in Spanish, Roth hopes to get Hispanics to shop in Texoma, so their money stays in the local economy.

But Roth's main goal is to integrate Spanish speakers into all aspects of life in Texoma, while maintaining their own culture.

"This is happening here in Texas, everywhere in the U.S., so let's take advantage of what we have instead of criticize this, let's solve the problem, give more resources, help them learn English, but teach them also Spanish," Roth said.

'El Tiempo' is available at the following North Texas Businesses:
SHERMAN:
Albertsons
Kroger
Big Lots
Piggly Wiggly (Hwy 56 & 11)
Sunshine Food (Hwy 56 & 11)
Stop & Go (Walnut & King)
El Pueblo
Panaderia (Willow & Lamar)
Wilson N Jones
Public Library
Wal-Mart
Herald Democrat
One Stop (1015 W. Houston)
Sav-A-Lot
Sunset Food (Sunset St.)
Piggly Wiggly (Sunset)
Justice Center
La Placita

DENISON:
Joe's Mini Mart (Crawford St.)
Super Suds (Mirick)
Texaco Armstrong
Herald Democrat Denison
Wal-Mart
KWIK Stop (Austin St.)
Kroger (Armstrong & Crawford)

GUNTER:
Exxon (Hwy 289)

VAN ALSTYNE:
Van Alstyne Post Office

ANNA:
Anna Post Office


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by CW Location: LA on Jun 2, 2008 at 01:13 PM
    There is BIG money to be made by many companies catering to Spanish speaking people. If these people learn English then there would be no need for the businesses that cater to Hispanics. It's all about the money. There are so many illegal aliens of Hispanic descent in LA it's beginning to look like a 3rd world country. There are areas in the middle of the city where the yards are filled with barnyard animals. They have chickens, pigs, goats. Every supermarket I go into I have to listen to the checker speaking Spanish to the bagger. The Managers of most of the Supermarkets are Hispanic so they only hire other Hispanics. That goes for every fast food chain too. These people are never going to learn English because they DON'T HAVE to. There are so many of them here they can go their whole lives living among only other Hispanics. I won't even go into the Gang and graffiti problem here. I am so disheartened by the leaders of my country, America. They're selling her out.
  • by Karen Location: Texoma on May 27, 2008 at 02:54 PM
    How would the above mentioned businesses like it if we boycotted them because they carried this paper? All of them are thinking of money - money - money (going into their pockets), not what is best for the US.
  • by USA Location: USA on May 27, 2008 at 02:27 PM
    whoa anonymous at 3:42, thank God and the men of WW2 german is not our lanuage. i dont know where you are from, but in this part of this country we have a bit of a southern drawl, but then in other parts oh this country there is yankee speach, west coast speach, and east coast speach. so since you perfer german i guess you could pack your bags and head to germany. thanks for visiting, now go home.
  • by Anonymous on May 27, 2008 at 01:42 PM
    Now matter what some of you think, English is not nor should it be the official language. We almost had an official language once. It was actually going to be German. What a bunch of crybabies, If you do not want the paper, don't buy it! Heck the allow Nascar to be shown everywhere and thats printed and spoken in redneck.. so should we ban that and insist that proper english is used there? if they had a spelling or civics test to get in, Nascar would be bankrupt in a week.
  • by resident Location: sherman on May 27, 2008 at 10:50 AM
    Mrs. Roth is a wonderful person who is trying to reach out to the community. She goes above and beyond the call of duty! The immigrant community needs to meet her halfway and put forth more of an effort to adapt to our ways. What annoys me is that they continue to live like they are still in old Mexico. Trash in the yards, kids running everywhere, loud Tejano music...this is what bothers other people. Diverse culture is a wonderful thing, but some things need to change. Your neighbors don't want to watch your men drink beer in the yard, and we don't want to hear your stereo.
  • by me Location: here on May 27, 2008 at 09:13 AM
    THIS IS AMERICA THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE IS ENGLISH IF YOU CAN'T SPEAK IT LEARN IT!!!!!THATS WHAT WE WOULD HAVE TO DO IF WE WENT TO ANOTHER COUNTRY.THEY CLAIM THEY CAN'T UNDERSTAND ENGLISH BUT THEY SURE CAN READ STREET SIGNS TO FIND THE WELFARE OFFICE. I AM NOT BY ANY MEANS AGAINST HISPANICS I JUST THINK THEY SHOULD BE IN AMERICA THE LEGAL WAY.LORD KNOWS THE MEXICAN GOV.WOULD NOT TOLLERATE ME COMING TO THEM WANTING THEM TO PAY FOR MY GROC,OR MEDICAL SERVICES.
  • by Beverly Location: USA on May 27, 2008 at 09:05 AM
    i know where i am shopping as long as Albertsons in Sherman continue to not carry the spanish newspaper.
  • by Anonymous on May 27, 2008 at 08:25 AM
    Don't confuse narrow-mindedness with frustration. People are sick of seeing others get concessions with their own lives are very hard and they feel like noone is helping them. They feel like they are second class in their own country.
  • by American Location: Whitesboro on May 27, 2008 at 07:45 AM
    This is America and our language is English. If we moved to Mexico there is now way that they are going to change things to adapt to our language. Why the hell are we tryng to make things easier for them? If they want to live here, they need to learn our language or go back where they came from. Mexicans have more righs and receive more free help than Americans do and it is not fair. We work hard and pay taxes. Most of them are illegal and dont pay a dime in taxes. They get free medical help that some Americans cant even get. They have more kids so they can get more money and help. Lets send them back to Mexico and quit catering to them!
  • by michelle Location: kingston on May 26, 2008 at 10:13 AM
    I am truly amazed at the ignorance of all of these posts. Is everyone really this narrow minded?
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