Are immigrants drawn to gangs? |

Are immigrants drawn to gangs?

Allen Best

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Hispanic gangs are becoming more influential on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, primarily in the Kings Beach area. The Tahoe World reports youth are being pressured to affiliate with the two dominant gangs, the Nortenos and the Surenos.At a recent session called Growing Together, youths surprised even law-enforcement officials with how much they knew about gangs. For example, when asked to pick the hidden gang symbols contained within an elaborate pencil drawing, one 12-year-old girl found them immediately.Although high schools bar certain types of clothing in efforts to suppress gang affiliations, members display their allegiances by drawing sings on their hands or notebooks or by using other, more subtle symbols.Why the gangs? Some speakers at the session seemed to think that gangs are a substitute for shifting nationality. “They don’t know what their history is,” Emilio Vaca said of immigrant children. And when a 12-years-old girl was asked: “Do you feel like an American,” she replied, “I feel like a Mexican.”Park City bars toy with smoking banPARK CITY, Utah – Because of the Mormon influence, Utah has a reputation for the straight-laced and narrow. Liquor, while available, is tightly prescribed. Ironically, when it comes to tobacco use, Utah seems to be more libertine than others.To wit, several Park City bars and restaurants are tepidly experimenting with the concept of a smoke-free evening. No, not a smoke-free day, but a smoke-free evening.One bar owner, Jesse Shetler, told The Park Record what while his business is participating in the smoke-free evening, that doesn’t mean it’s headed in that direction. Curiously, he also owns a restaurant that is smoke-free. He insists on the right of self-determination.The trend elsewhere goes in the opposite direction. In Colorado’s Summit County, smoking is banned at all bars and restaurants. Voters in Eagle County also banned smoking, although the individual towns have not. Ten states have banned smoking in bars and restaurants, as have Italy, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand.Vail, Colorado

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