Massages With Happy Endings

The Dallas Observer  is a good weekly newspaper that informs us about certain events or things going on around the Dallas area. It has ads, stories and many many more ads throughout the whole paper. It is hard not to pay attention to these ads because 90% of them are a little on the floozy side. Advertising night clubs, many “hotline bling” numbers and even offer services like massages.

Massages don’t sound too bad until you see the way The Dallas Observer advertises them. At least half of the ones on there use the same exact strategy to pull customers in. They use women.

They show woman barely dressed who look over the top sexy in pictures almost bigger than the ad. Most of them are pictures of young Asian girls but there were a few of other ethnicities being shown.

It seems as though showing off their own bodies helps their business more than just advertising the different types of massages they can provide. Many stating to having no plastic surgery done to their bodies in hopes of getting more clients.

I decided to call to ask a few questions in hopes that at least one would agree to answer a couple. Out of ten businesses that I called no one agreed to participate.

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The first place that was contacted was Doll House. It is advertised by a non-Asian woman on the ad. Surprisingly a woman with a thick Asian accent answered the phone and said the owner was not there to answer the questions at that time.

One place strictly asked for your name before the phone ever rung and they would decide on whether or not to answer. Of course after hearing my voice and fake name provided they did not answer.

Other places just gave out a number where you would call and it would give you pricing. Massages by Ashley was one of those places offering a 30 min. massage for $80 and a full hour for $100. If you wanted to book an appointment she provided a different number to call.

Spectacular Asian Massage answered the phone speaking English but as soon as I told them who I was and what I needed the woman suddenly didn’t speak or understand English and immediately hung up. Making it seem like they were hiding more than just spectacular massages.

After several voicemails left and many calls no one wanted to provide any sort of information. It is certain that not only real woman advertise for this type of business but also transexuals have their fair share of ads in The Dallas Observer.


Cuba came along way.


Picture is courtesy of Laura Vargas, by Laura Vargas.

The taboo has been broken. The Cuban boarders are open for Americans to travel there. Although, this recently happened Cuba has an untold story about its people. Although,this recently happened Cuba has an untold story about its people.

Similar to the United States, Cuba has had its share of racism/caste system within its borders. Now that Americans can visit, they will notice that the majority of the population is Afro-Cuban. According to native Cuban Laura Vargas the percentage of Afro-Cuban is between 33 percent to 62 percent. Of course this depends on who you ask.



Blanqueamiento is a political, social, and economical practice that is literally means whitening. This is whitening was meant to “improve the race.” Improving the race involved marrying a pale person and producing lighter-skinned children. In that time period it was obviously beneficial to have lighter-skin. Throughout the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro saw the inequality of life that racism/prejudice had produced. After he cemented his rule, Fidel Castro made racial inequality a crime. Mrs. Vargas gives a brief statement on how the social caste system affected her and her family.

“Personally, it didn’t affect us since my family is not racist and, we treat everyone equally,” said Mrs. Vargas.

Now with years of reforms that has taken place, things have improved in the society. There is no discrimination in Cuba. According to Mrs.Vargas , in 1891 Cuban independence fighter Jose Marti wrote an essay titled “Nuestras America.” Mr. Marti said there is not  races in Cuba therefore, there is no racism. The unity of Cuba depended on the people seeing themselves as Cuban, instead of using ones racial identity. So in this era Cubans identify themselves as Cubans instead of using their racial identities .

“None discriminates against your color anymore. Inter-racial marriages are extremely common in Cuba. In fact, the most famous sports athletes are black,” said Mrs. Vargas.

Although, Mrs. Vargas said that prejudice no longer exist, a survey was taken at North Lake College and not everyone agrees that racism/discrimination is extinct in Cuba. Along with this survey two others were taken as well.

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Few of us know what it is like to visit or live in Cuba. The only way to observe if racism still exist there is to travel, and view the country for yourself.



The 2016 Dallas International Film Festival

The Dallas International Film Festival celebrated their 10-year anniversary. DIFF is an annual festival held in North Texas operated by the Dallas Film Society. The festival was an 11 day event that ran from April 14-24.

The festival showcased regular screenings, gala screenings, short films, centerpiece films and much more.

Valerie Coll, Rachel Hawkins, Zahra Lokhandwala, and Nathan Woodham were fortunate enough to have received press passes to cover the film festival for the News-Register.

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April 16

Shorts 2 Film Screenings

The second shorts screening included a presentation of seven short films were during the third day of Diff. The following short films were shown to filmgoers Verbatim: The Ferguson Case, PB, The Rain Collector, Battalion To My Beat, Maman(s), How To Lose Weight In 4 Easy Step and Over.

Most of the filmmakers attended the second shorts screening. Below is a video of the filmmakers holding a Q&A panel.

April 18

Zahra Lokhandwala and Rachel Hawkins had the opportunity to meet Seth Kramer the director of The Anthropologist after the film’s screening.

Lokhandwala and Hawkins also attended the media roundtable event for the film Orion, which was held at the DIFF Press Studio. Director Asiel Norton and lead actor David Arquette were in attendance.

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April 19

Three Days in August

It was a full house at the Tuesday night premiere screening of Three Days in August at the Angelika Film Center & Cafe located in Mockingbird Station Dallas, TX.

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April 20


The beautiful and chilling animated documentary Tower directed by Keith Maitland based on the sniper-shooting-massacre from the tower at the University of Texas at Austin back in August 1, 1966.

April 21

Signs of Humanity

A documentary that features and is directed by Willie Baronet. Baronet goes on a month-long journey from Seattle, WA to New York, NY to purchase as many signs possible from the homeless. The signs at the end of the film are gathered and used as artwork in an exhibit in hopes to help outsiders understand the many struggles homeless people face each day.

The director and filmmakers of Signs of Humanity held a Q&A panel with audience members after the screening at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Dallas .

Make sure to check out the 2016 DIFF film reviews at the News-Register Online or grab the April edition of the News-Register located throughout campus.


Soñadores, es así como DACA funciona para usted Usted puede ir a la universidad y se puede obtener becas

Dreamers o estudiantes DACA pueden aplicar a la universidad y se pueden solicitar becas para completar el sueño americano. DACA, es sinónimo de Acción Diferida para los jovences que llegaron en la Infancia. Acción Diferida es una política anunciada por el gobierno de Obama en junio de 2012. Esta política provee una subvención de dos años de acción diferida a ciertos individuos que no están en estado de inmigración legal y entran en los Estados Unidos como menores de edad. Son elegibles para la autorización de trabajo, lo que les permite trabajar legalmente en los Estados Unidos; que podrán solicitar un número de la seguro social y que pueden obtener una licencia de conducir dependiendo del estado, que viven. Las personas que califican para beneficios de acción diferida deben cumplir con ciertas pautas como esquema en la Oficina de Ciudadanía y el sitio web de Servicios de Inmigración (USCIS), bajo la consideración de acción diferida para los que llegaron a pequeña edad (DACA).

Estos son los pasos para calificar como DACA. 1. La entrada a los EE.UU. antes de la edad de 16.

Cinco años de residencia y presencia física en los EE.UU. desde el 15 de junio de 2012, apartir de 2007. 3. Estar inscrito en la escuela o haberse graduado de una escuela secundaria u otro programa educativo o tener un certificado de GED. GED es la equivalencia del diploma de educación general. 4. Los estudiantes deben tener un historial limpio, sin condenas o delitos graves. 5. Tener por lo menos 15 yrs. de edad en el momento de la aplicación, pero no más de 30 años. de la edad, el 15 de junio de 2012.

Las estadísticas muestran aproximadamente 65.000 estudiantes indocumentados que se gradúan de la escuela cada año. sólo el 5% y el 10% va a la universidad. Para aquellos estudiantes que piensan que la universidad está fuera de su alcance debido a las preocupaciones financieras y legales, no debe ser una preocupación más porque hay 18 estados, que permiten la matrícula estatal para ellos. Mientras que el reclutamiento para el programa de levantamiento de la estrella en las escuelas secundarias, tengo la oportunidad de trabajar con los estudiantes y padres de todas las nacionalidades. Algunas de estas familias no poseen documentos o los padres de un estudiante indocumentado potencial. Llegan a mí con preguntas relacionadas con el proceso de admisión y para ver si hay posibilidad de que sus hijos puedan ir a la universidad después de graduarse de la escuela secundaria.


El Dallas County Community Colleges ha sido un paso importante para un número de estudiantes indocumentados. Pueden solicitar la admisión si proporcionan toda la documentación requerida. Una vez admitidos a la universidad, pueden solicitar la Beca Rising Star u otras becas disponibles para usted. En los colegios de la comunidad DCCCD, los estudiantes completarán la solicitud de ayuda financiera o la solicitud FAFSA en papel. Se requiere una transcripción de impuestos que debe atribuirse a la versión impresa. Una transcripción de impuestos es un resumen de los datos fiscales de sus padres con respecto al año anterior. La transcripción de la declaración de impuestos proviene de los Servicios de Impuestos Internos (IRS) cuando sus padres reportan impuestos. Soñadores DACA o estudiantes con la acción diferida, se puede ir a la universidad y usted puede lograr un título de dos años en los colegios comunitarios como North Lake College y se puede transferir a una institución de 4 años. Hay fondos estatales para los estudiantes indocumentados o con la accion diferida y se puede aplicar para ciertas becas. No renuncie a sus sueños de obtener una licenciatura o de cumplir de sus metas académicas. Los sueños se hacen realidad si realmente lo desea.



What’s The Scariest Thing That Happened To You?

IMG_0293“I was about 13 years old and I was just starting my teen years. In the apartment complex we had swings where all the cool kids would swing the highest and even jump off and do flips. Well, I wanted to give it a try so I could fit in with the cool kids. So when no one was at the swing set there I was swinging away and I kept swinging myself higher and higher and I started to get super nervous all of a sudden. But because I wanted to be the cool kid I jumped totally ignoring the gut feeling i had. I saw trees, the sky, the ground and quickly saw the sky again. I had a done a full 360 and then down I went only to land on my back causing me to lose my breath for a few minutes. I thought I was gonna die.”

What motivated you to come to America?

IMG_20160505_104126“I came to America because I know this is the country for opportunity. I have to learn much more to help countries like Africa. In America I can get the education and resources here so I can go back to Africa and help people.”

Changing the world

Alejandra Zavaleta Melara during a Texas Intercollegiate Press Association contest in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Joanna Mikolajczak

Changing the world could be difficult, and so many believe it is impossible. There are more than seven billion inhabitants on Earth with different ways of thinking. Diversity makes our society rich in knowledge and beauty, but also the misunderstanding of this diversity could create conflicts. Journalism can change the world with a simple article, blog or photo. I am Alejandra Zavaleta Melara, a Journalism student in North Lake College that dreams to change the world of so many with my photography and articles. Being part of the News-Register  is one of the most satisfying experiences in my life because of the close contact with students and faculty members on campus. I’m transferring in Fall 2016 to The Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism-Photojournalism. I might be dreaming big about changing the world, but I’m sure that one of my photos or written pieces can lead people to the truth, and the truth to equality.

“Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault,” said Henry Anatole Grunwald.