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September 14, 1989|EDWARD J. BOYER

* "Women and minorities hold the keys to America's future in science and technology," said Margarita Colmenares after she was installed as the first female president of the National Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. "If we don't invest in that segment of society, we risk losing our future."

Colmenares, an engineer at Chevron Inc. and a Stanford graduate, added that "technological literacy can make a difference between those who have and those who have not."

* "When I started telling the Hispanic population eight years ago that AIDS is here, they looked at me as though I were from outer space," said Eunice Diaz, the only Latino member of the National Commission on AIDS. "Now 42% of all cases are in the black and Latino communities. We can no longer remain in a state of denial."

An assistant clinical professor at the USC School of Medicine, Diaz, of Cerritos, said she wants her role on the commission to be that of "an advocate for getting more AIDS education to all ethnic and racial groups in this country."

* Sal Lopez inherited organizing the Mexican Independence Day Parade in East Los Angeles from a fellow Rotarian 27 years ago. "And now I can't get rid of it," he joked.

The 58-year-old parade, now sponsored by the Mexican Civic Patriotic Committee, is at least 10 times as large as when he started, said Lopez, 75, a native of Los Angeles whose father immigrated to this country in 1910.

"This is the Mexican 4th of July," Lopez said. But the day probably only has significance for "the new immigrants," he said. "The ones who are born here have become Americanized. I don't think they get the idea that this celebrates Mexico's independence from Spain."

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