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Early Depressing and Exciting News for 2020 + Census 2020


By: Veronica Leighton


Depressing news at the start of the year 2020 has blanketed the major news outlets domestically and internationally, even personally and publicly. In the Philippines, there is the Taal Volcano’s outbursts and spewing of ashes that led to the closing of businesses and evacuation of residents to temporary shelters; there is the health scare of the coronavirus (n-CoV) that started from China and quickly spreading around the world (latest is, folks are being quarantined as some 4,000 cases a day are diagnosed…and the physician who warned offi cials early on was “verbally quarantined as a rumor monger, now has died of the disease”) and, the dramatic tearing of the copy of Trump’s speech after his State of the Union address; and, as of the latest, the shutdown of the Philippines’ ABS-CBN’s most popular media network. And, Via Times is always in the forefront in bringing to you the latest developments about these exciting news from all over through our monthly issue. Never a dull moment, as people from the newsroom love to utter.

Here, in VT homefront, many of our writers are already back from their winter getaways and startinng to settle down and report about their escapades in their columns…Elsie Sy-Niebar (Notebook, pages 12-13) from Australia, Louella Cabalona from Philippines and Hanoi (News & Personalities. [age 32)); Girlie Pascual (G-Mail, page 18), her very tiring Chicago- LA commute and her group trip to exciting European cities); Melody Dizon (Unchained Melody, page 21), taking care of her parents’ health concerns in the Philippines. Different folks different strokes, as we would love to say about this.

Though Chicago is undergoing its usual wintry despairs, its social scenes never fail to be as hearty and fi ery as usual, never mind the winter, with the approaching Valentine’s Day. Joe Mauricio (Objectively Harsh, page 22) touches on this topic on a soft (not harsh) way. Not to forget, our full-page coverage of the annual Asian American Coalition of Chicago’s gala celebration of Chinese Lunar New Year, held last February 8th, would remind everyone to greet each one, “Gong Hei Fat Choi”!

As the Illinois primary election is coming up on March 17, we urge you to go to the polls and exercise your right to vote as citizens of this country. Via Times is proud to endorse two candidates for this election, please vote for… Attorney Aileen Bhandari, a Filipino- Indian American running for Cook County Circuit Court Judge (D) (featured on page 37) and Judge Jesse Reyes, a Mexican-American, running for the IL Supreme Court of Cook County (featured on our cover page and page 36, Punch 161). Another upcoming civic duty that you must be reminded is the Census 2020, and please see the prominent advertising pages sponsored by AFIRE and the City of Chicago. Remember, this happens only once in ten years and every number counts, particularly in all immigrants’ households.

We welcome to our family-fold, Jason dela Rosa, our new videographer/photographer for VT/CPRTV. Jason’s impressive background as a military man, community-oriented person, and his passionate and professional approach towards his lens hobbies are the important reasons that we are so proud to bring to the attention of our readers and followers. Please read some more about Jason (with his fi rst assignment at the Chicago Auto Show) on page 5, Veronica’s Vibes.

By reading VT’s exciting local and international news that we carry your way, your dreary winter feeling will turn into an energized, sparkling feeling as the writers express themselves to make your day. (VVL)

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Judge Jesse Reyes(le ) running for IL Supreme Court Judge. Attorney Aileen Bhandari(right), running for Judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County

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