News el observador | local latino | hispanos | news | noticias | entretenimiento|compras |comunidad de san jose |san francisco | en espanol el-observador.com a weekly newspaper serving hispanics worldwide 2014-07-02T20:46:42Z http://news.el-observador.com/feed/atom/ WordPress admin <![CDATA[How to maximize your tax benefits from charitable gifts]]> http://news.el-observador.com/?p=20479 2014-07-02T20:46:42Z 2014-07-02T20:46:42Z gift

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You answer calls to support your alma mater, the local animal shelter and the American Red Cross with gifts of money and volunteer time. And after cleaning out the closets, dressers, kitchen cabinets and garage, you take a trunk load of donations to the thrift store.You know your gifts of cash, time and household items may be tax deductible, but what do you need to do to verify that and maximize your deduction?“Being charitable can cut your taxable income, as long as you follow a few simple rules,” says Jessi Dolmage, spokesperson for popular digital tax preparation brand TaxACT. “Those include giving to eligible organizations and keeping accurate records.”

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To determine if you’ve donated to eligible organizations, search the IRS’ database of Exempt Organization Select Check at www.irs.gov. Most religious organizations and government agencies are eligible, even if they’re not listed in the database.Keeping detailed records is important for accurate valuation of your gifts (and in turn your tax deduction) and in the unlikely event of an audit. Dolmage says records should include organization name, donation date and amount. For monetary gifts, keep the written acknowledgment from the organization with the donation date and amount. A canceled check or card statement with the transaction date also suffices for gifts under $250.

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If you receive merchandise, benefits or privileges in exchange for a gift, you must subtract the value of those from the original gift amount. If your payment is more than $75, the organization must give you a written statement with a description and estimated value of the merchandise, goods or services.For noncash donations, document the charity name, date and location of the items, along with a reasonably detailed description of the items. If you receive a receipt from the charity, keep it with your records.

The IRS requires additional documentation for vehicle donations. You must receive a written acknowledgment or Form 1098-C from the charity for the vehicle.Noncash donations, such as clothing, kitchen gadgets and furniture, must be in good condition or better. The tax-deductible amount of those items is the fair market value (FMV), the price if they were exchanged between willing buyers and sellers. Special rules apply to donations of cars, boats airplanes, property subject to debt, investments that have appreciated in value and inventory from your business.

Mobile apps can make tracking throughout the year painless. Donation Assistant by TaxACT tracks cash, noncash and recurring gifts, with FMVs for more than 1,300 commonly donated household items. You can also save photos of your donations and receipts. When doing your taxes, import the information and TaxACT Deluxe will calculate your maximum deduction and complete your tax forms.You can deduct charitable gifts you made between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 only if you itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A. In order to itemize, all of your itemized deductions must exceed the standard deduction amount based on your adjusted gross income and filing status.

Additionally, you must file Form 8283 if your cash and noncash contributions total more than $500, and a qualified appraisal of property worth more than $5,000.Download the free Donation Assistant app at www.taxact.com/apps and learn more about the tax rules of charitable giving at www.irs.gov and www.taxact.com/taxinfo.

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admin <![CDATA[Reclame un crédito fiscal por los gastos de la guardería infantil este verano]]> http://news.el-observador.com/?p=20476 2014-07-02T20:44:08Z 2014-07-02T20:44:08Z family
Jason Alderman
Practical Money

Para los padres abrumados, la definición del verdadero pánico es darse cuenta en abril que se olvidaron de inscribir a sus hijos en la colonia de vacaciones y ya no hay más vacantes. Vamos al grano: a medida que se aproxima el fin del año escolar, nos desesperamos por encontrar quien cuide de nuestros hijos, porque ninguno de los dos podemos tomarnos licencia en nuestros trabajos para hacerlo.Conozco una pareja que le ocurrió esto, pero con suerte usted estará mejor organizado que ellos. De hecho, tendrá puntos extra si lo planificó con tiempo y en el período de inscripción abierta del último otoño se inscribió en una cuenta de gastos flexibles (FSA) para el cuidado de dependientes, que le permite pagar por el cuidado de sus hijos con dólares antes de impuestos.

Pero si no se inscribió en una FSA, o si su empleador no se la ofrece, todavía hay una forma de obtener un beneficio fiscal por los gastos del cuidado de sus hijos del verano (y otros costos incurridos en el cuidado de los dependientes durante el año): el Crédito para Cuidado de Niños y Dependientes. Así es como funciona:Si le paga a alguien para que cuide a su niño (u otros dependientes calificados) para poder ir a trabajar –o buscar trabajo—podría ser elegible para obtener un crédito fiscal de hasta el 35 por ciento de dichos gastos. Como es el IRS quien da el crédito, hay que cumplir con una serie de requisitos para poder obtenerlo:En general, el dependiente debe ser un niño menor de 13 años bajo su custodia.

No obstante, también puede obtener el crédito si tiene que pagar por el cuidado de su cónyuge u otro dependiente que se encuentre física o mentalmente incapacitado para cuidarse solo y viva con usted más de la mitad del año.

Debe presentar su declaración fiscal como soltero/a, casado/a que realiza la presentación junto con su cónyuge, jefe/a de hogar o viudo/a calificado/a con un dependiente. Si está casado pero presenta la declaración en forma separada de su cónyuge, generalmente no puede recibir el crédito.
Usted (y su cónyuge, si está casado) deben estar trabajando o buscando trabajo al momento en que se prestó el servicio de cuidado. Se hacen excepciones cuando uno de los cónyuges es un estudiante de tiempo completo o está física o mentalmente incapacitado para cuidarse solo.
El pago debe realizarse a un prestador del servicio que no sea: su cónyuge, alguien declarado como su dependiente, el padre/madre del niño, o su hijo menor de 19 años.

Los cuidadores que suelen ser elegibles son: colonias de verano (pero no aquellas donde los niños se quedan a dormir); guarderías infantiles; cuidadores antes o después de la escuela; niñeras o institutrices; amas de llaves que también cuidan a sus niños; e instituciones u otros prestadores que cuidan a dependientes discapacitados ya sea en sus instalaciones o en el hogar.Debe proporcionar en su declaración fiscal el número de identificación tributaria (generalmente, el número del Seguro Social) de cada dependiente calificado.También debe consignar el nombre, la dirección y el número de identificación tributaria (ya sea el número del Seguro Social o el número de identificación del empleador) del prestador del servicio.
Los beneficios por cuidado de dependientes que le ofrece su empleador pueden reducir el monto de su crédito –por ejemplo, la guardería provista por la compañía o el dinero que aportó a una cuenta de gastos flexibles para el cuidado de dependientes.El monto máximo de gastos que califica para el Crédito para el Cuidado de Niños y Dependientes es de $3.000 por año por un dependiente y $6.000 por dos o más. Si sus ingresos brutos ajustados son inferiores a $15.000, puede reclamar un crédito por el 35 por ciento de los gastos elegibles. El porcentaje va disminuyendo gradualmente con el aumento de sus ingresos. Los que ganan más de $43.000, solo pueden reclamar el 20 por ciento.

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admin <![CDATA[Adrian Tepehua Vargas, An Independent San José Filmmaker]]> http://news.el-observador.com/?p=20473 2014-07-02T20:39:36Z 2014-07-02T20:39:36Z download_1
Belinda Quesada
SPECIAL TO
EL OBSERVADOR

For Chicanos/Latinos celebrating Independence Day has always meant acknowledging our duo histories and cultures. For some, we celebrate the 4th of July and the 16th of September equally. For Adrian Tepehua Vargas, Independent Film Producer and original Chicano Son of San José/Silicon Valley, celebrating his dual identity is what inspired his new film, appropriately titled, ‘Impacto!’ www.facebook.com/impacto! Sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society and scheduled for release in November 2016.

‘Impacto!’ is the second film effort for this long running community activist turned theatre and film director, playwright, actor, musician producer and educator. Vargas is also the artistic director of his own production company, Casa Vargas Productions; a multicultural, arts catalyst organization that creates art and media projects for schools and communities.

As an Independent Film Producer, Vargas is tackling his most ambitious project to date: the history of the Chicano/Latino social justice movement in San José/Silicon Valley from the 1950’s to present. In his new film ‘IMPACTO!’, he will explore the sixty-year history of the civil rights movements in San José/Silicon Valley, California, from the perspective of those local Chicano/Latino residents and activists who experienced first-hand the civil rights abuses.

Working as an Independent Film Producer (IFP), Vargas educated himself by reading many books on the subject and using his vast network resources. He is well organized, articulate, efficient, and his track record in the arts speaks for itself. According to Vargas, making this second film has proven to be the most challenging thing he’s done and the most rewarding.
“As an IFP, you are in a solitary creative world and therefore are outside the fray of mainstream Hollywood. This can be good, as no one interrupts your creative dream, or bad, as there are no guaranteed revenue streams from which to draw on. You must be ready for a barrage of daily important challenges. From securing your crew, interviewing and securing talent, writing your own scripts, securing all movie making equipment, obtaining the proper licenses and permits and that’s all before you even shoot your first day. If you are not ready to be the boss, don’t bother.”

Fortunately for Maestro Vargas, he learned some of these lessons on his first directorial debut, ‘El Gigante Awakens’, www.elgiganteawakens.com. This film highlighted the famous May 1, 2006 immigrant rights march in San José, where 200,000 peaceful demonstrators took to the streets to protest the unfair immigration laws and policies of the Bush administration. It was a terrific first effort and gave him the confidence to move forward with his latest project.

“With ‘Impacto!’, I believe this film will serve as an important archival piece of Chicano/Latino history and will be a significant educational tool for all ages.” Continues Vargas, “Chicanos/Latinos and others, specifically minorities, who live in Silicon Valley today could never imagine the sacrifice made by others before them in the area of civil rights. Thanks to their efforts and long term visions, they ultimately paved the way for the advances we now enjoy.”

Since his early days at San José State University, Adrian was serious about making a difference in other peoples lives. It was never about being motivated by personal gain; rather, it was about creating social progress and social justice.

With his talents he wrote songs and plays describing the injustices. The goal was always to encourage Chicanos/Chicanas to achieve their aspirations and help promote justice. For Vargas, he chose to fight and stay committed to the San José community and not to go on to Hollywood.

To this day, Vargas can place a call to Edward James Olmos or Luis Valdez and be assured of a call back. He is that well known as a spokesperson for the Chicano/Latino movement. This is why in part he is making ‘Impacto!’, to preserve the dignity of those who sacrificed to help others and to preserve the legacy of the truth here in Silicon Valley.

As any small start up will tell you, money is a significant need. And Casa Vargas Productions has launched a special sponsorship opportunity for community individuals; it’s called the Deuce Donors (DD) package. For a tax-deductible donation of $200 the benefits are as follows: 1.) Your name is listed in the film credits and website; 2.) There are discount on events, complimentary passes to special receptions and screenings; 3.) And DD’s receive an ‘Impacto!’ DVD Gift Pack.

If you’d like to support Adrian’s film project ‘Impacto!’ please visit the San Francisco Film Society, http://www.sffs.org/filmmaker360/find-a-project?search=impacto%21#.U5Uo1hbyHwI. Or, consider being an Institutional sponsor. Local institutional sponsors include: 4 C’s, Center for Employment (CET), El Observador Newspaper, and Gardner Health Network. If you need more information or know someone Adrian should include in his film, he can be reached at Casa Vargas Productions, rojoavargas@sbcglobal.net.

Now’s your chance to make a difference and be a part of a unique Silicon Valley movie experience. What better way to celebrate Independence Day than to support our own Chicano/Latino living history film?!

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admin <![CDATA[Vacune a sus hijos durante el verano]]> http://news.el-observador.com/?p=20470 2014-07-02T20:36:55Z 2014-07-02T20:36:55Z     Tome ventaja con la salud de sus hijos este verano y vacune a sus niños y niñas pronto.


Tome ventaja con la salud de sus hijos este verano y vacune a sus niños y niñas pronto.

  (NAPSM)

La escuela terminará pronto y muchas familias se estarán preparando para las actividades de verano. Antes de que comience el verano, coordine una cita para vacunar a sus hijos preadolescentes. Coordinar esas citas ahora le permitirá evitar las demoras que se generan cuando llegue la hora de regreso a clases.

Las vacunas ayudan a sus hijos a mantenerse saludables, y varios estados requieren la vacunación antes de que comience la escuela en el otoño. Si bien sus hijos deben recibir la vacuna contra la influenza todos los años, existen otras tres vacunas para preadolescentes que deben recibir cuando los niños tienen entre 11 y 12 años de edad. Todas estas vacunas están recomendadas por la Academia Americana de Pediatría (AAP, por sus siglas en inglés), la Academia Americana de Médicos de Familia (AAFP, por sus siglas en inglés), la Sociedad de Medicina y Salud Adolescente (SAHM, por sus siglas en inglés) y los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de En?fermedades (CDC, por sus siglas en inglés).

Las vacunas para preadolescentes y adolescentes son las siguientes:

•Vacuna contra el VPH: para niños y niñas, protege contra los tipos de VPH que pueden provocar cáncer. VPH son las iniciales de virus del papiloma humano, afecta a más de 79 millones de personas en los EE. UU. y puede provocar varios tipos de cáncer y verrugas genitales. La vacuna contra el VPH es segura y eficaz.

•Vacuna Tdap: protege contra el tétanos, la difteria y la tosferina (pertussis). La tosferina, puede impedirles a sus hijos asistir a la escuela o realizar actividades por semanas. También puede ser contagiosa para los bebés. La tosferina es particularmente grave y a veces mortal para los niños pequeños.

•Vacuna antimeningocócica: protege contra la enfermedad menin?gocócica. La enfermedad meningocócica es causada por bacterias y es la principal causa de la meningitis bacteriana, una infección grave alrededor del cerebro y la medula espinal.

•Vacuna contra la influenza (gripe): hasta los niños saludables pueden tener la influenza y puede ser grave. Todos los niños, incluidos los preadolescentes y adolescentes, deben recibir la vacuna contra la influenza todos los años.

La Dra. Anne Schuchat, Directora del Centro Nacional de Inmunización y Enfermedades Respiratorias, desea que los padres sepan lo siguiente: “las vacunas para preadolescentes y adolescentes ayudan a proteger a sus hijos, y también a sus amigos, a la comunidad y a otros miembros de la familia, contra enfermedades evitables que pueden causarles una afección grave. Existen varias oportunidades para asegurarse de que sus hijos reciban las vacunas que necesitan: puede ser en cualquier visita médica, incluidos durante los exá?menes físicos para realizar deportes o ir a campamentos de verano”.

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admin <![CDATA[Has The Romance Disappeared From Your Relationship?]]> http://news.el-observador.com/?p=20467 2014-07-02T20:34:12Z 2014-07-02T20:34:12Z loves

American Counseling Association

It can be fairly easy to start taking a relationship for granted. We all lead busy lives and can find it easy to get so wrapped up in our work, family issues, financial problems or other daily matters that we forget we have to put effort into keeping a romantic relationship fresh and interesting.

To fix that problem, you might try a more organized approach for keeping the romance in a relationship, not unlike the way you probably handle your busy day at the office or managing a household. It may sound more business-like than romantic, but relationship maintenance can actually be very enjoyable.

Start with your day planner, computer calendar, or a regular old calendar. Schedule events for your relationship, just like you do meetings or appointments. Note special days beyond the usual birthday and anniversary dates. Maybe the day you first met, or the anniversary of a special vacation. Include random prompts to do something romantic at other times for no special reason.

Similarly, keep an intelligence file on your partner.  Make a list of favorite things, from wines to flowers to authors to movies.  It’s not only a way to stay more in tune with each other, but can make gift giving more special and meaningful.

You also want to create a regular schedule for time together. If that orthodontist or gym trainer deserves a set appointment time, why not your romantic partner? Your date night doesn’t have to be a fancy night out, just a time when the two of you can reconnect and get beyond the daily minutia that fills up so much of our lives.

Also, try setting a regular, daily meeting time. Maybe it’s just fifteen minutes at the beginning or end of the day, but make it happen every day. Find out what your partner has been up to, what’s gone right or wrong, and what’s being planned. Stay connected with each other.

If your romantic relationship has started to feel stale and boring, realize it won’t just fix itself.  Put some thought and effort into doing things that will bring the romance back. If you need  extra help, check the yellow pages for professional counselors who specialize in relationship or couples counseling.

Giving a relationship the work and attention it deserves can pay you back with a lifetime of companionship, happiness and love.

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admin <![CDATA[Blueprint to Improve Teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in California]]> http://news.el-observador.com/?p=20463 2014-07-02T20:30:45Z 2014-07-02T20:30:45Z science
SACRAMENTO

“For California to maintain its leadership in high-tech innovation, the state must emphasize helping students become literate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM),” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said, as his STEM Task Force issued a report titled INNOVATE: A Blueprint for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in California Public Education.

“California is in a new era of education, where getting students ready for college and career means acknowledging the needs of tomorrow’s workforce,” Torlakson said. “The new Blueprint for STEM will help us chart that course for the future and meet that demand.”

The STEM Task Force was charged by Torlakson and Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) with drafting a new vision and direction for STEM education in the state. The resulting Blueprint for STEM offered recommendations in seven general areas to expand and improve STEM education in California:

1. Public Awareness: Increase public awareness about the importance of STEM education to ensure support for these fields of study.

2.Resources: Increase support for STEM learning from government, business, charities, and communities through partnerships.

3.Access: Make high-quality STEM experiences and programs accessible to all students in and out of school, before and after school, and to underrepresented youth and girls.

4.Framework: Establish guidance for STEM teaching and learning in all grades that line up with the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

5. Professional Learning: Adopt policies and standards to train teachers in STEM education.

6.Assessment and Accountability: Consider STEM in the state’s testing and accountability systems.

7.Availability of STEM Materials: Ensure that STEM programs can identify and access excellent learning resources.

The Blueprint for STEM noted that California is in a prime position for enhancing STEM education, as the state is actively engaged in remodeling the K-12 system through Common Core and Local Control Funding Formula implementation.

STEM jobs are expected to grow 21.4 percent over the next five years, versus a 10.4 percent growth in jobs overall, and business leaders say they do not have enough skilled workers to fill these jobs. Even students who work outside the STEM fields will have to deal with complex issues that require strong science competence. They will also be consumers of increasingly sophisticated technologies.

Torlakson convened the STEM Task Force two years ago, made up of parents, teachers, administrators, and industry leaders. It is led by Herb Brunkhorst, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education at California State University, San Bernardino; and Susan Hackwood, Ph.D., Executive Director of the California Council on Science and Technology. Members examined the status of STEM learning in the state, including curriculum, instructional practices, professional development for teachers, student testing, existing infrastructure, and partnerships with the community and business.

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admin <![CDATA[La Raza Roundtable has Republican Speaker]]> http://news.el-observador.com/?p=20460 2014-07-02T20:27:07Z 2014-07-02T20:27:07Z tabel

Hilbert Morales
EL OBSERVADOR

Charles Munger, Jr., Ph.D., President, Silicon Valley Republican Party, (Santa Clara County) is a scientist (Particle Physics), graduate of U.C. Berkeley, and Director, Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC). He was La Raza Roundtable’s guest speaker.

Through his family, Munger is connected to the billion dollar wealth earned by his father as a business partner of Warren Buffet. He is married and has two children who were enrolled in public schools (Palo Alto Unified School District). Through his concern for having his kids receive the best education possible, Munger and his wife became involved in local PAUSD school affairs. This led to his becoming involved with the improvement of curriculum content, which resulted in his service at the State Board of Education’s Curriculum Commission. It was at this level that he directly observed how legislation was formulated by elected officials who were committed to their own objectives.

Charles Munger, Ph.D. also took an active interest in the correction of gerrymandered election districts. He contributed millions to the successful establishment of ‘We Draw the Lines’ Commission, which eliminated the gerrymandering which had insured that certain elected officials were almost always re-elected. Today, in all jurisdictions, an elected official faces fair and reasonable competition. Election districts are now drawn by those having no conflict of interest. In addition, in the interest of supporting the election of ‘honest candidate’, the local Republican PAC supported the election of Magdalena Carrasco, candidate, San Jose City Council District 5. Charles explained that his interests were focused upon the creation of a local ‘honest government’. The rationale was that despite being members of different parties, on occasion, when no Republican candidate is running, consideration will be given to helping elect a candidate who is ‘the best choice’. Charles said, ‘If that is the case, then we are open to having a discussion which determines what we do to support that candidate.”

“I did not come here to LRRT to explain the conservative politics of the Republican Party. You can get that perspective by listening to Republican candidates who wish to have your vote. My job is to help them get elected which involves organizing the resources they need for campaigning. That is my job. If there is no Republican candidate for a particular office, then we are open to having a discussion with others who may need support. As an outcome of such a discussion, our PÅC chose to support Magdalena Carrasco over Xavier Campos because we are interested in creating a transparent local government. Twenty-three percent (23%) of the registered voters of Santa Clara County are registered as Republicans. The County of Santa Clara has more registered voters than 13 states, which is an index of the influence it may possess in matters of public policy. Our Silicon Valley Republican Committee has 25 members. We seek to diversify our membership so as to facilitate information exchanges between liberals and conservatives. Ruben Barrales (a former Redwood City resident) is in San Diego conducting a similar effort”.
Manuel Herrera, President, ESUHSD board began the Q&A by asking about the process of moving the Republican ‘center or gravity’ back to a more moderate position. Munger responded ,“By addressing the need to elect different Republicans to replace the current ultra-conservative who need to be held responsible for their actions. Through the election process we can strive for a fiscally sane government”.

The next question had to do with ‘gun control’. Munger indicated he personally did not want a society where all carried, or possessed, a weapon. The real issue is how to create a community that is comfortable with its level of safety and security. Munger pointed out that several of the current shooting events were conducted by individuals who passed current required screenings. “It is really up to all of us to establish and practice standards of safety and security in our communities. If we live in a tough community wherein you feel safer packing a gun, then you need to be able to do that. Guns and drugs have always been available. The issue is personal responsibility. I favor gun safety training and being held responsible. I note that background checks have not been effective.”

When asked about Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Dr. Munger replied that he favors having the undocumented access to some legal status of their own choice. Some may want to become legal residents but not citizens. A path to citizenship must be established. DREAMERS must be included. The new immigration system must not re-create today’s situation 10 years from today. And the criminal element must be deported to their home country.

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admin <![CDATA[Tammy]]> http://news.el-observador.com/?p=20457 2014-07-02T20:22:15Z 2014-07-02T20:22:15Z L14A7351.DNG

After losing her job, husband and car in one day, Tammy Banks (Melissa McCarthy) wants out of her small town existence.  With no money or transportation, her only way out is with her hard-partying grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon).  Their misadventures and brushes with the law lead them on a funny and heartfelt road trip to remember.

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admin <![CDATA[Deliver Us From Evil]]> http://news.el-observador.com/?p=20454 2014-07-02T20:20:23Z 2014-07-02T20:20:23Z DELIVER us form evil

En Deliver us From Evil, el oficial de la policía de Nueva York Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), luchando contra sus propios problemas personales, comienza a investigar una serie de crímenes perturbadores e inexplicables. Suma fuerzas con un sacerdote poco convencional (Edgar Ramírez), educado en los rituales del exorcismo, para combatir las escalofriantes posesiones que están aterrorizando a su ciudad. Inspirada por el libro, que detalla los escalofriantes casos de la vida real investigados por Sarchie.

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admin <![CDATA[Earth to Echo]]> http://news.el-observador.com/?p=20451 2014-07-02T20:18:28Z 2014-07-02T20:18:28Z EARTH TO ECHO

An inspiring science-fiction adventure, Earth to Echo captures all the mystery, excitement and wonder of an extraterrestrial occurrence in a small Nevada suburb. But at its heart, the movie is about friendship. Our three young heroes – Tuck, Munch and Alex – are a closely bonded trio of outcasts, whose time together is coming to an end.

Their neighborhood is being destroyed by a highway construction project; forcing their families to move away. Only the promise of one last thrill together – a journey into the desert to search for the source of strange and mysterious messages that have appeared on their cell phones –can distract them from their impending move

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