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Taveras draws big cheers at Latino Public Radio soiree

April 30, 2012

Mayor Angel Taveras received a big welcome at last Saturday’s Latino Public Radio `Havana Nights’ soiree at Twin River in Lincoln.

Taveras was a bit late, but the crowd of more than 250 didn’t mind. “Sorry I’m late, quipped Taveras. “I’m on Latino time.’’

Alternating between English and Spanish, Taveras urged leaders of the Spanish news and culture station, which can be heard at 1290-AM, to hold next year’s dinner in Providence.

“Why can’t we have this event in Providence. Where is the mayor of Lincoln?,’’ he said to laughter.

Taveras said he clearly was joking and said that Lincoln Town Administrator Joe Almond “is a friend of mine.’’

Taveras, who in 2010 became the first Latino mayor of Rhode Island’s capital city, posed for photos with many in the audience and worked the large function room at Twin River even as some in the post-dinner crowd drifted into the bar area in the slot parlor room to catch Jon Lester’s pitching gem as the Boston Red Sawx defeated the Chicago White Sox, 1-0.

Other Latino political figures, including State Sen. Juan Pichardo, D_Providence and Central Falls Councilman James DiOssa, also attended. Taveras said he hopes DiOssa becomes mayor of Central Falls.

The `Havana Nights’ event was a celebration of Latino Public Radio’s move to the 1290 signal and the shift to 24-hour programming. The audience was treated to several colorful dance presentations performed by Fraternidad Folkorica Boliviana of Rhode Island and the JJ Latin Dancers.

Master of ceremonies was Dr. Pablo Rodriguez, chairman of Latino Public Radio’s board of   directors. Rodriguez has been a longtime booster of  Latino Public Radio and is a regular panelist on Rhode Island Public Radio’s `Political Roundtable’ show.

A passel of non-profit and corporate sponsors were honored for supporting Latino Public Radio, including Rhode Island Public Radio, Cox Communications, BankRI, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island and Dr. Italo Lozada.

Joe O’Connor, general manager of Rhode Island Public Radio, gave the keynote address and was honored for spurring the partnership of RIPR and Latino Public Radio that has led to full-time programming for LPR.

Other sponsors included The Carter Family Charitable Trust, Rhode Island Hospital and Lifespan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of RI, Navigant Credit Union, The Chace Fund, Inc., The Familia Rodriguez Fund, Women & Infants Hospital, The Providence Journal Charitable Foundation, Familia Olivares, Familia Burdiel and The Rhode Island Foundation.

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