Plant City, Florida
Firme Estilo Car Club was established in 2003 by a group of guys who share a passion for the lowrider movement. Since then they have set aside one weekend a year where they give back to the community. This year the location was the Mike E. Sansone Park in Plant City, Florida, for the car show and hop off, with all the proceeds going to a children's charity. "There's still a lot of work to do," President Jose Alvarez says.

Custom cars from all over Florida arrived for bragging rights--Rollerz Only chapters from Miami and Tampa were in attendance, Low Life and Classic Angels made the trip from Miami, and Uce from Orlando, all arrived in an impressive fashion. The Individuals Car Club represented the city of Orlando, and from Atlanta, Obsession Car Club made the long trip with their stellar Chevys.

Luis Aviles' '69 Chevy Impala and Eddie Cardenas' '84 Buick Regal from Deltona, Florida, were among the few taking home top awards. The Best Traditional went out to Edwin Rosado from Kissimmee, Florida, and his '63 Chevy Impala, which mastered that category. The top award went to Evelio Perez with his '86 convertible Buick Regal from Miami.

Outside the car show area, the hopping sticks were set up for the rights to king of the swing. The Miami crew, Classic Angels Car Club, entered three cars with Rolando and his yellow Buick Regal topping the charts at 67 inches. The Firme Estilo group sent out their G-body hoppers for exhibition only with their Cutlass "El Mesero" flying to 71 inches. Once the sanctioned hop off was complete, street hopping began and the battles could be seen from the entire park.

"We are very proud that everyone and their families came out to support this charity event and have a good time," Jose says. He was happy that the lowrider movement in Florida showed up strong in Plant City. The most positive thing about the event was the amount of small children enjoying the show and the culture of lowriding. Being one of the few states that can hold events year round, Florida will be on the map for many years to come because of shows that are put on by the Firme Estilo car show and hop off.

San Diego, California
It's official: You voted for change. Now What?
A conversation with some high school students about Obama and his platformIs everyone feeling the pressure yet? I know President Barack Obama surely must be. According to CIRCLE (www.civicyouth.org), a non-partisan organization that promotes research on the political engagement of Americans between ages 15 and 25, youth voters may have proven to have been pivotal to his victory. They voted for Obama over McCain 68 percent to 30 percent--in fact the highest percentage of the youth vote by any candidate since exit polls started reporting results by age back in 1976. Sure, he was elected by an overwhelming majority of young people in this country, but why? Was it his own youth compared to McCain? His demeanor or experience? His ethnicity? Not a simple answer, as I found out recently.