November 21, 2013
Houston's Leading Black Information Source.
FEATURE GEORGE ZIMMERMAN MUST GIVE UP GUNS AFTER LATEST ARREST P8 facebook.com/DefenderNetwork twitter.com/DefenderNetwork Houston’s Leading Black Information Source www.defendernetwork.com Volume 83 | Number 4 NOVEMBER 21, 2013 |FREE NATIONAL NAACP backs marijuana reform Health Special P3 ENTERTAINMENT WHOOPI GOLDBERG presents “Moms” Mabley P7 CHAG’S PLACE OPINION Beating diabetes Black colleges need support The Houston area is blessed to have two HBCUs with great leadership – Prairie View A&M University and Texas Southern University. Yet the very existence of many of the nation’s HBCUs is being threatened. See what schools are in trouble. Learn what alumni can do to help. H Page 4 Juana Collins and Michael Lomax at UNCF gala P12 Andre Johnson looks at season After starting the season with high hopes the Houston Texans are one of the worst teams in the National Football League. Veteran Andre Johnson has experienced disappointment before. Why is he frustrated this time around? What does he have to say about piling up losses? H Page 10 Visit defendernetwork.com defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years 2 DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 newstalk defendernetwork.com Jackson Lee calls for end to violence By CIERRA DUNCAN Defender Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee asked Houstonians to unite to help prevent the gun violence taking a toll on area young people. “It is time that law enforcement and the community take immediate action to stop these senseless crimes on our youth with these guns,” she said during a press conference held in Third Ward. Jackson Lee encouraged the community to come together in support of a strategy that addresses the causes and effects of youth violence. “We must begin discussing common-sense steps we can take right now to combat gun violence,” she said. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an average of 13 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 are victims of homicide every day. Jackson Lee said such statistics are “shocking” and “unacceptable.” “What is further disturbing is the fact that homicide is the leading cause of death for African-Americans between ages 10 and 24, and the second leading cause of death for Hispanic-Americans,” she said. Jackson Lee recently introduced HR 65, the Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act, and has co-sponsored other gun safety legislation while in Congress. If passed, HR 65 will prevent children’s access to firearms. It will also do the following: • Increase youth gun safety by raising the age of handgun eligibility to 21 and prohibit youth from possessing semiautomatic assault weapons. • Increase punishment for youth possession of handguns and semiautomatic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is joined by youths in calling for an end to gun violence. assault weapons and for the transfer of such weapons to youth. • Require gun storage and safety devices for all firearms • Make adults responsible for death and injury caused by child access to firearms. • Require that a child be accompanied by an adult during a gun show. • Authorize the attorney general to provide grants that enable law enforcement agencies to develop and sponsor gun safety classes for parents and children. • Allow each school district to provide or participate in student firearms safety. Jackson Lee said communities must take on the challenge of changing the violent culture among young people, a task that won’t happen overnight. “We collectively fail our children when we fail to teach them to resolve their problems in a nonviolent manner,” she said. “While we can act now and pass legislation to ameliorate some of causes of the youth violence epidemic, this problem is larger than our laws. We must work tirelessly to create an environment in this country that lifts the psychological burden of violence off the shoulders of our kids.” Party shootings, social media dangers cause concern By MARILYN MARSHALL Defender Three local teens have now been killed in two separate house party shootings which were promoted on social media. Braveon Terry, a 17-year-old student at Yates High School, died Nov. 16 outside a Southwest Houston home after a disturbance escalated into gunfire. Three other males were injured, and police are still searching for the gunman. A week earlier, a deadly house party in the Cypress area left teenagers Qu’eric Richardson and Arielle Shepherd dead and some 20 people injured. Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said social media “caused part of the problem we’re dealing with.” Both shootings have focused attention on the dangers that can arise from social media. To shed light on the subject, the Defender turned to expert Crystal Washington, author of the book, “The Social Media WHY.” Defender: For those who aren’t social media-savvy, how is it different from calling someone on the phone? Washington: Unlike sending physical invitations or inviting friends by phone, posting party invites on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram opens you up to the world. Even if you post the invitation on a private profile, friends can easily share the information on the social networks with their own friends and strangers. Defender: If a teen puts a notification on social media, is there any way to control the response? Continued On Page 5 localbriefs VERNA McCLAIN, the Houston woman accused of killing a mother and abducting her newborn son in 2012, pleaded guilty and accepted a life sentence without parole. McClain was accused of shooting Kala Golden-Schuchardt outside of a Spring clinic and taking her 3-day-old son. Investigators said McClain had suffered a miscarriage and wanted another baby so her boyfriend wouldn’t leave her……..HISD IS RESTORING the magnet designation at two elementary schools following a review during the appeal process. Burbank and Elrod elementary schools will keep their magnet designation and funding for the 2014-2015 academic year. They will be reevaluated at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year and every year thereafter. The district decided to remove the magnet designation from 20 schools with the lowest percentages of non-zoned students enrolled……..HARRIS COUNTY HAS ADOPTED a policy to protect and guarantee equal treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inmates. That includes allowing transgender individuals to be housed based on the gender they identify with instead of their biological sex. The Sheriff’s Office is the first to adopt the policy in Texas and believes it’s one of the most comprehensive in the country. It states “discrimination or harassment of any kind based on sexual orientation or gender identity is strictly prohibited.” Houston has the third-largest county jail in the U.S…….. CONGRESSMAN AL GREEN introduced a resolution encouraging the celebration of the month of June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. The resolution was introduced with 23 co-sponsors. “All Americans should be treated fairly and equally regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” Green said. “This resolution is one more step toward granting the LGBT community justice and equality under the law.” He added that “an injustice against a member of the LGBT community is a threat to justice in every community.” defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years defendernetwork.com U.S.briefs THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION was warned as early as March about potential risks with the Affordable Care Act website. According to documents released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, key administration officials received briefings from a private consulting firm that identified possible problems before the Oct. 1 rollout of HealthCare.gov. Officials attending a briefing on the firm’s analysis were Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Medicare Chief Marilyn Tavenner, and Gary Cohen, a Medicare and Medicaid oversight official……..PROBLEMS WITH THE OBAMACARE rollout continue to have a negative effect on President Obama’s popularity. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll found that Obama’s approval rating stands at 42 percent, which is tied for an alltime low. His disapproval rating stands at 55 percent, and is the lowest to date……..DEBO P. ADEGBILE is President Obama’s nominee for the Department of Justice’s assistant attorney general for civil rights. If approved by the Senate he will be the government’s top civil rights lawyer. Adegbile is currently senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. His background includes a long tenure with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He is son of immigrants from Ireland and Nigeria, and grew up poor with periods of homelessness in New York City……..A NEW STUDY suggests that access to excellent teachers should be a civil right and that students should be able to take legal action to get better results. The Center for American Progress, a think tank, partnered with the advocacy group Public Impact on the report. It found that one way to ensure that the highestperforming teachers instructed more students would be to make it a federal law. “If schools and districts do not provide such a child with an excellent teacher, the child should be empowered to take legal action to enforce the right,” stated the report. national NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER 3 Nation’s HBCUs face state of emergency P Defender News Services roblems ranging from decreased funding to declining enrollment are posing a serious threat to some of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). According to a study released by the Ford Foundation, nine HBCUs have had their accreditation suspended or have been put on probation or warned in the last four years. Five HBCUs have closed in the last 20 years. Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, is among those concerned about the problem. He cited Grambling State University’s recent woes as an example. “Current financial problems facing the storied Grambling football program are a sign of funding inequities that are shortchanging students and threatening the very existence of a growing number of HBCUs,” Morial said. “[Last month], in protest of severe budget cuts that have decimated the football facilities and led to the firing of Coach Doug Williams, the Grambling State Tigers players refused to take the 160-mile trip to Jackson, Miss. for their scheduled matchup with Jackson State.” Morial, a native of New Orleans, said the boycott “sent shockwaves” through the Southwestern Athletic Conference and highlighted the dire financial status of many of the nation’s 105 HBCUs. State funding for Grambling is down 56 percent since 2008, and in response, the university has laid off more than 120 staff members and reduced the number of degree programs to 47 from 67. Morial said Grambling’s plight is symptomatic of a larger problem that extends beyond the football field to the financial offices and classrooms of HBCUs. “With lower endowments, cut-rate tuition fees, fundraising challenges and a disproportionate number of first-generation, low-income students, HBCUs have been hit especially hard by the economic downturn,” he said. “Recent cuts in government aid and other funding streams have been the last straw for several of them. St. Paul’s College in southern Virginia closed its doors in June. Atlanta’s Morris Brown College recently declared bankruptcy. “And a board member at Howard University, considered by many to be the nation’s premier HBCU, recently wrote, ‘Howard will not be here in three years if we don’t make some crucial decisions now.’ ” Sidney Ribeau, president of Howard, announced last month that he will step down in December after leading the historic D.C. school for five years. The announcement came after Howard’s credit rating was downgraded due to federal budget cuts, enrollment problems and the financial strain of operating its university hospital. NAACP supports reduced marijuana penalties VOLUME 83 • NUMBER 4 NOVEMBER 21, 2013 Publisher Print Editor Marilyn Marshall Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Art Director Advertising/Client Relations Tony Fernandez-Davila Selma Dodson Tyler People Editor Strategic Alliance Manager Yvette Chargois Clyde Jiles Sports Editors Multimedia Manager Max Edison Tiffany Williams Darrell K. Ardison Online Editor Contributing Writer ReShonda Billingsley Aswad Walker The Defender newspaper is published by the Houston Defender Inc. Company (713-663-6996.. The Defender is audited by Certified Audited Circulation. (CAC). For subscription, send $60-1 year to: Defender, P.O. Box 8005, Houston TX 77288. Payment must accompany subscription request. All material covered by 2012 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher). Defender News Services Members of the NAACP Board of Directors recently passed a resolution that supports allowing states to decrease penalties for low-level marijuana possession. It referred to H.R. 1523, a bill which prohibits the federal enforcement of marijuana laws in states which have decreased penalties, allowed medical use, or legalized recreational use, including, Washington, Colorado, California, and the District of Columbia. The state level law changes will impact communities of color the most. More than 700,000 people are arrested in the United States for possession of marijuana each year. Although studies show that whites and African-Americans use and sell marijuana at relatively the same rates, African-Americans are almost four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession – 30 times more likely in some jurisdictions. The resolution stated that as a result of the “War on Drugs” and mandatory minimum sentences imposed largely at the federal level, the prison population has exploded in the past few decades. It said the crucial result of these “misguided and misplaced policies” has been the disproportionate over-confinement of racial and ethnic minorities, and twothirds of all persons in prison today for drug offenses are people of color. The NAACP Washington Bureau plans to contact members of Congress and urge the swift enactment of H.R. 1523. defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years 4 DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 defendernetwork.com opinion By GEORGE E. CURRY NNPA Columnist Republicans cry crocodile tears over health care Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune R epublicans have no shame. After House Republicans voted more than 40 times to block implementation of what they derisively call Obamacare, they have the nerve to complain that the Obama administration flubbed the Oct. 1 rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Fred Upton (R-Mich,), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who voted against the Affordable Care Act, held a hearing on “the failures and issues surrounding the implementation of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) health insurance exchanges.” Do Republicans who were willing to shut down the federal government because they couldn’t repeal the ACA want us to believe they honestly care about why the health care program had problems during its initial rollout? Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) isn’t buying it. He said, “For the last few years my Republican friends have called the Affordable Care Act a ‘job killer,’ a ‘threat to liberty,’ and that it would ‘pull the plug on Grandma.’ They have said things like ‘We have to do everything in our power to prevent Obamacare,’ and ‘Obamacare. Get rid of it. Period.’ “All of a sudden, our friends on the other side of the aisle have forgotten this, and are now focused on the successful implementation of the law and the problems it faces. This is encouraging, and I hope this is a sign that we can work together on this critical issue.” Don’t hold your breath. While acknowledging that his administration “fumbled” the ball when it came to the Oct. 1 rollout, President Obama has become a serial apologist. He has personally accepted the blame when, in fact, few are asking where was Chief of Staff Denis McDonough during all of this. His primary job is to protect the president and he, along with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, failed miserably. If the White House staff had studied the rollout of Romneycare in Massachusetts, they would have discovered that it, too, had a shaky start, getting only 123 signups in the first month; 2,289 after two months and 36,167 after 11 months. Yet, Mitt Romney, America’s Biggest Loser, has the gall to criticize the federal health law that was patterned after the one he proudly signed and later tried to disavow. Friendly fire has come from Bill Clinton, the man who temporarily lost his Arkansas bar license for lying about having sex with a White House intern. He’s in no position to lecture President Obama and anyone else about keeping their word to Americans. Furthermore, Obama did what Clinton attempted and failed – he got health care reform legislation passed by Congress. It was certainly needed. According to a report by the Commonwealth Fund, “As previous studies have shown, health care spending in the U.S. dwarfs that found in any other industrialized country. In 2009, U.S. spending reached nearly $8,000 per capita. The other study countries spent between one-third (Japan and New Zealand) and twothirds (Switzerland and Norway) as much.” A release accompanying the study noted, “There were 2.4 physicians per 1,000 population in the U.S. in 2009, fewer than in all the countries in the study except Japan. The U.S. also had the fewest doctor consultations (3.9 per capita) of any country except Sweden. Relative to the other countries in the study, the U.S also had few hospital beds, short lengths of stay for acute care, and few hospital discharges per 1,000 population.” The new law will give Blacks more access to health care. A report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, titled, “Health Coverage for the Black Population Today and Under the Affordable Care Act,” found: “Nationwide, just over one in five (21%) of Blacks do not have health insurance. However, the likelihood of being uninsured varies widely across states, ranging from 9 percent of Blacks in Delaware to 30 percent in Louisiana… “The largest uninsured nonelderly Black populations reside in Florida (718,800), Texas (613,100), and Georgia (594,600). In addition, Blacks comprise a large share of the uninsured population in the District of Columbia (52%), Mississippi (48%), and Louisiana (42%).” As much as Obama, in his words, fumbled the ball, there is no reason to forfeit the game, especially in the first quarter. HBCUs – Houston is blessed The very existence of many of the nation’s HBCUs is being threatened. Schools with a rich history, such as Grambling, Morris Brown and Howard, are among those in trouble. Facing an economic downturn, low endowments, fundraising challenges and cuts in state and federal government support, these great institutions, which have been the pipeline for Black professionals nationwide, are struggling to survive. Here in the Houston area, we are blessed to have two Black institutions with great leadership – Prairie View A&M University, under the leadership of Dr. George Wright, who is celebrating 10 years at the helm, and Texas South University, led By Dr. John Rudley. Leadership is a key ingredient in managing any institution or company, and these two individuals have distinguished themselves and their universities for the long run. They are creative, innovative and resourceful in their efforts to maintain high standards of education, along with a bottom line that is in the black, not in the red. These institutions produce almost 50 percent of the local African-American professional workforce and provide the backbone for the middle class in this region. PV and TSU alumni are an integral part of our churches, schools, businesses and organizations, and are interwoven in the fabric of our nation. It is our responsibility to support these institutions whether we were on campus one semester or earned a Ph.D. If everyone who attended PV or TSU donates even one dollar once a year, it would help to sustain an institution that continues to have significant value in our community. Because we are blessed, we should be a blessing to them. defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years defendernetwork.com NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER 5 Claims dismissed against Marshall, HISD Defender News Services U.S. District Court Judge Keith P. Ellison recently dismissed claims in a lawsuit filed by a district contractor against HISD and Trustee Larry Marshall that alleged bribery and manipulation of contracts. “We are very pleased with the court’s decision to dismiss all claims against HISD and Trustee Mar- shall,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said. “We always believed this would be the ultimate outcome because these claims were unwarranted.” The civil suit accused Marshall, HISD and two construction companies of a bribery and kickback scheme involving lucrative contracts. “With nearly 50 years of service to HISD, the district is incredibly pleased to see Trustee Marshall being able to transition off the board to more fully enjoy the retirement he has so rightfully earned,” Grier said. The district estimates it has spent over $1.5 million over three years in legal and court fees since the suit was filed in December 2010. Grier said he will encourage the board to pursue reimbursement for the legal fees. Larry Marshall Social Media... Continued from page 2 CASH CASH THAT’S SAFER THAN Crystal Washington Washington: The only way to control the guest list of a party where invites were posted on social media is to not include details such as address. Instead, include a phone so that only those approved will receive the details by phone. Another option is to allow guests to RSVP by email, but only send the event details to those who the host/hostess approves. Defender: Do you have any general social media safety tips? Washington: Always remember that nothing shared on social media is 100 percent private. Direct messages and items posted on personal profiles can easily be shared with the world by friends. Defender: What can parents can do to educate their children about social media or monitor their usage? Washington: Using apps like Net Nanny [which can control a child’s computer activity and Internet content] allows parents to restrict sites and monitor what their children and teens post on social media as well as messages they receive. This is not an issue of trust, it is one of safety. Social media opens children up to a world of opportunities and dangers. One wrong move can result in cyber-bullying, connecting with pedophiles, or being turned down for jobs and scholarships. Strategic use can allow kids to connect with college recruiters, hiring managers, and even impact others through community service and posting positive messages. Introducing the Balance™ Financial Prepaid MasterCard from ® The safe alternative to cash that’s big on convenience and small on fees. To learn more, visit Walgreens.com/BalanceFinancial. Fees and restrictions apply, see store for details. Card may be used everywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted. Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to license from MasterCard International Incorporated. The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC. MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. 6 DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 defendernetwork.com defendernetwork.com health Defender Special Edition NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER 1B risk for diabetes By ELESKA AUBESPIN Defender ovember is National Diabetes Month, and the Black community is urged to beware of the disease. An estimated 4.9 million – or 18.7 percent – of all African-Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes. A report titled “The Burden of Diabetes in Texas,” compiled by the Texas Department of State Health Services, found that the prevalence for Blacks was 16.5 percent, compared to 11 percent for Hispanics, 8.2 percent for whites and 6.9 percent for other racial groups. Nationally, Black Americans are more likely to suffer complications from diabetes, such as end-stage renal disease and lower extremity amputations. Blacks are also 2.2 times as likely as whites to die from diabetes. Continued on Page 12 Blacks at greater What to eat N Being overweight or obese is a leading risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Eat less… • Fried foods • Fatty cuts of meat • Whole milk & whole milk dairy products • Cakes, candy, cookies, crackers, pies • Salad dressings • Lard, shortening, stick margarine, nondairy creamers • Sodas or fruit-flavored drinks. • Tea or coffee sweetened with sugar • Salty foods such as chips, processed meats, canned soups & vegetables, pickles Eat more… • Dark green veggies (greens, broccoli, spinach) • Orange veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes) • Beans, peas • Fruits such as citrus, berries • Oatmeal, whole-grain breakfast cereals • Whole-wheat bread, tortillas • Fish (not fried) • Nuts • Fat-free milk & yogurt Sources: CDC, American Diabetes Assn. defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years 2B DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 health defendernetwork.com W Message from the Publisher e often take our health for packaging it comes in, and children are being baited to try the new flavors of these granted. Yet when we or disguised products, putting our kids on the a loved one has a health challenge, it becomes pathway to cancer and heart disease. very obvious that we only Parents, wake up or we will lose a genhave one body and if we don’t take care of eration that has not experienced the “don’t ourselves our life can be shorter. smoke” campaigns of former generations. Why wait until a crisis? And for those who want to quit, just call Today, millions of AfriMD Anderson @ 1-877can-Americans are suffering MDA-6789 for info. with diabetes, particularly Speaking of our children and health, Texas Type 2, which is primary Children’s Hospital makes due to lifestyle and diet. it “EASY.” Find out how Knowing how this disease is by reading on. impacting a disproportionate number of members of For those who have our community, the Defender been diagnosed with health staff, under the leadership of issues, Memorial Hermann our editor Marilyn Marshall, has a program that will has made a serious effort help you manage your to arm our readers with the health and reduce your information necessary to health crisis, and it works. The newest addition to “BEAT DIABETES”. our health alliance, Blue From the clear explanaSonceria Messiah-Jiles Cross and Blue Shield of tion of what diabetes is and Texas, has introduced a program that will how it impacts your body to preventive achelp you understand the Affordable Healthtions to lower your risk to the helpful hints of living with diabetes, this publication will care Act called “Be Covered Texas.” Thank give you direction no matter where you are goodness somebody is explaining who is elrelated to this disease. igible, how it works and what steps to take. My compliments to Cierra Duncan and The Defender, along with our partners Eleska Jennings for their hard word in writTexas Children’s, Memorial Herman, MD ing articles that offer resources you can use. Anderson Cancer Center and Blue Cross Thanks to our health alliance partners, and Blue Shield of Texas want you to have this publication delivers even more infora healthy life, and we have joined forces mation to raise your health awareness. to provide you with the information and Tobacco is dangerous no matter what resources to accomplish that goal. Inside Living with diabetes 3B The truth about sugar 3B MD Anderson Cancer Center Tobacco targets teens 4B Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Texas Campaign provides insurance info 6B Beating diabetes 8B Memorial Hermann Health System Helping with chronic conditions 10B Diabetics and vision 12B Texas Children’s Hospital Young athletes; kids’ nutrition 14B Online: defendernetwork.com offers more info on diabetes defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years defendernetwork.com Helpful hints on health NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER 3B living with diabetes I Defender News Services f you have type 2 diabetes, there’s a lot you can do to take control of your condition and keep yourself healthy. Here is some advice from the American Diabetes Association. Check your blood glucose. Your doctor might tell you to check your blood glucose at home. If so, obtain a small machine called a blood glucose meter. Meters work by testing a small drop of your blood for glucose. Most people prick their fingertip to get the blood drop, but you can ask your doctor about other methods. Also talk to your doctor about how often and when to check your blood glucose. Know its importance. Before you had diabetes, no matter what you ate or how active you were, your blood glucose automatically stayed within a normal range. With diabetes, this is no longer true. Checking your blood glucose is one way you can know how food, activity and medicine affect your blood glucose. Write the date, time and blood glucose number in a logbook so you can share it with your doctor or diabetes care team. Stay active. Any type of physical activity you choose can help lower your blood glucose. Physical activity will also give your more energy, help relieve stress, keep your joints flexible and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Find the activity that’s right for you. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about exercising. Examples of physical activity include: Aerobic activity (walking, biking, swimming), being active throughout the day (taking the stairs instead of an elevator), strength training (lifting weights or using resistance bands) and Flexibility exercises (stretching and yoga). Watch what you eat. In the past, diets for people with diabetes were very restrictive. Things are different now, and there isn’t a one-size fits all diet. Eat a variety of foods, including vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy foods, healthy fats, and lean meats or meat substitutes. Spacing your meals evenly throughout the day and do not skip meals. Focus on filling your plate with more non-starchy vegetables and less starchy foods and meats. Take your medicine. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help get and keep your blood glucose in your target range. Some people with type 2 diabetes take both pills and insulin or insulin by itself. If you are starting new medicines, ask your doctor or pharmacist about things you need to know. If you think you are having side effects from your medicine, your doctor or pharmacist. Do not stop taking it unless the doctor tells you to. Get support. Your family and friends can be a great source of support if you want their help. Invite them to attend your appointments or diabetes classes. Include them in your new healthy lifestyle. The truth about sugar Many people associate diabetes with sugar. In fact, years ago, the disease was often called “sugar diabetes.” According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), it’s a complicated issue. Eating sugar has nothing to do with developing type 1 diabetes. Type 1 is caused by genetics and other unknown factors that trigger the disease. One of the biggest risk factors for type 2 diabetes, however, is being overweight, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain. Research has shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes, and the ADA recommends that people limit their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. In the past, people with diabetes were told to completely avoid sugar. Experts thought that eating sugar would raise blood glucose levels too high. Having diabetes doesn’t mean you will never enjoy peach cobbler or sweet potato pie again. With a little planning, you can have a small serving of your favorite dessert once in a while and still manage your diabetes. It’s best to save sweets and desserts for special occasions so you don’t miss out on the more nutritious foods your body needs. If you need something to satisfy a sweet craving, try eating a piece of fresh fruit or fruit salad. When you do decide to include a treat in your meal plan, make sure you keep portions small. If you tend to overeat when it comes to sweets, don’t buy them to eat at home. Instead, plan to have dessert only when you are away from home. Split the dessert with a friend to keep yourself on track. For more information visit diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/ food/what-can-i-eat/sweeteners-and-desserts.html. defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years health Tobacco targets teens: 4B DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 defendernetwork.com Cigarillos, e-cigarettes & hookahs J By MD ANDERSON CANCER CENTER ust one cigarette puff can become a lasting problem for teens. More than 80 percent of daily adult smokers begin smoking before age 18. Today, nearly one in four high school seniors smoke. And, the tobacco industry may be to blame. The industry spends billions of dollars advertising products like e-cigarettes, flavored cigars and hookahs. They’re touting these products as “safe” and capturing the attention of your kids. “All tobacco products are dangerous,” says Alexander Prokhorov, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Tobacco Outreach Education Program at MD Anderson. “Tobacco use at a young age can cause immediate and long-term health problems like cancer.” The good news: tobacco use is preventable. The best defense is to educate your kids. Use our guide to learn what products are on the market so you can inform your kids. berry, peach, grape, sour apple, watermelon and more. Such sweet flavors mask the harsh flavor of tobacco. They sell in packs of 20 or individually for less than 70 cents. Cigarillos may seem fun to kids, but they contain the same dangerous chemicals as regular cigarettes and cigars. Smoking them can cause heart disease, lung cancer and lung disease. Hookahs Hookahs are water pipes that create flavored tobacco vapor. Most people use hookahs at bars and hundreds of different flavors. The only deterrent for kids may be the cost. It’s $10 for one and up to $100 for a kit. The bottom line: even though they don’t use tobacco, e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is addictive. So they can easily become a gateway for teens to try other tobacco products. E-cigarettes also can put kids at risk for lung cancer and heart disease. “Parents, talk to your kids about the dangers of tobacco use,” Prokhorov says. Tell your children what they’re not hearing from media and friends, seeing in movies and reading on the Internet. SNUS is a smokeless tobacco developed in Sweden. It’s similar to dip or chew. Users place it under their lip, but it doesn’t require spitting. It sells loosely or in small bags known as pods. It’s as dangerous as cigarette smoking. A can of smokeless tobacco typically costs $3 to $5. Users absorb the nicotine in smokeless tobacco through the lining of their mouth. It causes oral, esophageal and pancreatic cancers. It may also cause heart disease, gum disease and oral lesions. SNUS Flavored cigars Convenience stores and gas stations are the biggest sellers of flavored cigars. You can find them next to the candy aisle. Flavored cigars come in cherry, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, Da Bomb Blueberry and more. Plus, they’re cheaper than a pack of gum. A typical pack of 20 costs about $2. “The amount of nicotine in an average cigar is nearly 20 times that of a conventional cigarette,” Prokhorov says. “And teens aren’t just puffing on cigars, they’re inhaling. Smoking flavored cigars causes cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus and lung.” cafes to socialize, but companies also sell hookahs for personal use. An average hookah session lasts about 40 minutes. Users can inhale about 100 times the amount of smoke that’s in a cigarette. Hookahs may appear to be fancy and trendy, but they’re not safe alternatives to cigarettes. They still contain tobacco’s cancer-causing chemicals. MD Anderson has interactive learning programs for teen non-smokers and smokers. They teach non-smokers about the dangers of tobacco use and helps teen smokers quit. They include videos, animations and other fun strategies. Learn more at www.mdanderson.org/aspire. Smoking causes a real physical addiction that can be tough to shake. Researchers at MD Anderson are studying treatments that may make it easier for smokers to quit and remain tobacco-free. If eligible, study benefits include compensation for your time, smoking cessation counseling and no treatment costs. Call 1-877-MDA-6789 for information. Tobacco Education for Teens Help Smokers Quit for Good Cigarillos Cigarillos, or little cigars, are a cousin to the flavored cigar. They’re sweet, cheap and come in colorful packages. Cigarillos come in flavors like chocolate, straw- E-cigarettes Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are smokeless electronic devices that look like cigarettes. Ecigarette users inhale a vapor of liquid nicotine similar to the way a smoker puffs on a cigarette. The liquid nicotine inside e-cigarettes comes in defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years defendernetwork.com NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER 5B husband’s son’s best Friend’s Your dad’s Lungs are Worth Fighting For MoM’s grandMa’s uncLe’s If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with lung cancer, insist on MD Anderson, the nation’s top-ranked cancer hospital. Our world-renowned cancer experts are at the forefront of lung cancer discoveries and have pioneered the most advanced life-saving treatments available today. We create customized treatment plans with options such as minimally invasive surgery and innovative radiotherapy techniques. When your loved one is fighting lung cancer, you can never give up. We’re here to help. Contact us today. appointments available 1-877-632-6789 LungsWorthFightingFor.com Scan to hear from some of our lung cancer survivors. 6B DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 health defendernetwork.com Be Covered Texas provides statewide health insurance information B By Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas e Covered Texas is a campaign focused on helping uninsured Texans understand the new health care law and what steps they need to take to gain access to individual health insurance. The campaign works with community partners to provide user-friendly information and on-the-ground guidance with the ultimate goal of helping Texans Be Covered. There are more than 6 million uninsured Texans, and efforts like these help reach those who are eligible to enroll in a health plan. “The Be Covered Texas effort works to provide educational resources and information to established community groups to help their members understand the new health care law,” said Michelle Riddell, chair of the Be Covered Texas Campaign and vice president of Community Investment for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX). “We’re working with more than 150 communitybased organizations and partners large and small to reach people where they live, work, learn, worship, text and tweet.” In October, more than 15,000 Texans attended Be Covered Texas Care Fairs in Houston and Dallas. They came looking for information about the Affordable Care Act and for access to free medical services and community resources. Be Covered booth at Texas Black Expo in Houston Attendees asked for more rights issue and through information about how the new this important educational health care law impacts them, initiative, we hope to help and assistance in determining educate and empower what steps they need to take to our members about the gain access to individual health choices they have for insurance and to the subsidies health insurance in 2014.” that can help reduce the cost. Partnerships between community organizations and the The campaign, which is fully funded by BCBSTX, Be Covered Texas campaign are tailored to each commuis working with more than 150 partners across the state, nity organization’s priorities. including 57 in Houston. Among its partners, Be Covered “For more than a decade, Harmony Public Schools Texas counts community groups, direct service agencies, have provided students from under-served communities the advocacy groups and churches. opportunity to excel in their studies in a small classroom It also works with eight statewide partners: the Caring environment focused on providing the skills they need to for Children Foundation of Texas, Inc.; Cesar E. Chavez succeed in life,” said Soner Tarim, Ph.D., CEO/superintenLegacy and Educational Foundation; It’s Time Texas; Las dent of schools, Harmony Public Schools. Comadres Para Las Americas; Marathon Kids; Texas Crim“We also recognize the importance of access to quality inal Justice Coalition; Texas LULAC; and Texas NAACP. health insurance for our students and are thrilled to partner “The NAACP Houston Branch is proud to partner with Be Covered Texas to further educate our school comwith the Be Covered Texas campaign,” said Yolanda munity on the new health care law.” Smith, executive director, Houston NAACP. “The NAACP Most partners choose to participate in at least one of believes strongly that health advocacy is a 21st century civil four ways: inviting Be Covered Texas to make an education Thousands attended Care Fairs in Houston and Dallas presentation to their members, distributing information at their events, sending out email blasts to members, and engaging through social media. “As a pastor I’m always looking for ways to provide my church family, and the community, with information and services to help improve their lives,” said D.Z. Cofield, senior pastor, Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church. “Our partnership with Be Covered Texas is an essential element in helping us spread the word regarding new health care possibilities for those previously disenfranchised.” Examples of recent partner engagements include a presentation by a Be Covered Texas representative to 7,500 congregants at Windsor Village United Methodist Church’s morning services. Additionally, Be Covered Texas distributed educational information and collateral to hundreds of families at the Marathon Kids Houston kick-off event, and partner organization the Sisters Network sent an email blast to its 11,445 members about Be Covered Texas. “Consumers eligible to enroll in health insurance, many for the first time, will be looking for guidance from people they know and trust,” said Riddell. “Be Covered Texas is working with our community partners to provide user-friendly, bi-lingual information and on-the-ground assistance with the ultimate goal of helping Texans Be Covered.” Community organizations interested in more information, or in becoming partners, can request more information at www.becoveredtexas.org. To learn more visit becoveredtexas.org, call 866-4277492, follow on Twitter (@BeCovered) or “like” on Facebook (Be Covered.org). To receive alerts from the Be Covered Texas campaign text 33633 with the word JOINTX for English updates or UNIRTX for Spanish updates. defendernetwork.com NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER 7B ge, n a h c e r a c h lt a k at he Any way you loo leader. a o t n r u t n a c u yo Call 1.888.731.0321 â€œHighest Member Satisfaction among Commercial Health Plans in Texas, Three Years in a Rowâ€? Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas received the highest numerical score among commercial health plans in Texas in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2011-2013 U.S. Member Health Plan StudiesSM. 2013 study based on 33,533 total member responses, measuring five plans in Texas (excludes Medicare and Medicaid). Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of members surveyed December 2012-January 2013. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com. A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association 8B DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 cover Beating diabet I By CIERRA DUNCAN Defender Know the causes, conseq Many pe their bod properly t is estimated that more than 25 million Americans have “Di diabetes, yet 7 million of them do not know they suffer to avoid from the disease. If left untreated and uncontrolled, The diabetes can lead to serious health consequences. refers to Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile ents to t diabetes, is seen more commonly in children, and people who Ogu have it must take insulin every day. In type 1 diabetes, the The body does not produce insulin, a hormone that is needed to It is cau convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for leading daily life. importan Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Dam It is characterized by insulin resistance, in which the body It can ca does not use insulin properly. Type 2 is typically seen later in or pain. adulthood, but it is now being seen more in adolescents due to cause of increased rates of obesity. diabetes Those with a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes can Dr. Olubunmi Ogundadegbe Dam sharply lower their risk by losing weight through regular physical activity and a diet term complication of hyperg low in fat and calories. their diabetes is not controlle “Patients who are obese are at an increased risk for developing diabetes because The macrovascular com adipose tissue, or fat, can lead to increased insulin resistance,” said Dr. Olubunmi strokes. Diabetics have an in Ogundadegbe, an internist with Memorial Hermann Medical Group. “Outside of controlling Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset other risk factors for heart a of the disease, while type 2 is primarily caused by lifestyle factors. ing hypertension [also know Ogundadegbe said the causes of diabetes can be understood through the breaking levels.” down of biologic processes. The body needs glucose, also known as sugar, Nonvascular complicatio for energy. The body breaks down glucose with insulin. disorder that slows or stops t If there is no insulin in the body or it cannot be testine. Diabetics may suffe properly used, it can lead to hyperglycedecreased appetite. mia, which is elevated levels Some diabetics may also of glucose in the function. blood. Symptoms of diabetes ics may also notice uninten People with type 1 diab of insulin. People with type 2 diabe increase insulin production, d insulin. Any medication use by a physician. “Whether or not a patien ent factors and this is a neces cian,” Ogundadegbe said. There is no cure for diab cal supervision, a person wit defendernetwork.com • Servin r page defendernetwork.com Lower your risk 9B tes Y Get tested ou can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes through a healthy lifestyle. First, however, you must know the symptoms and know if you are at risk. Dr. Olubunmi Ogundadegbe, an internist with Memorial Hermann Medical Group, said any person who has symptoms should be tested for diabetes. Symptoms included increased thirst and hunger, increased urination, unusual fatigue, and unintentional weight loss. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that anyone with a body mass index (BMI) over 25 and at risk for certain factors should be tested. Those factors include: • Decreased physical activity • First degree relative with diabetes • High-risk ethnicity – African-American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander • Women previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes, or a baby weighing less than nine pounds • An HDL (good cholesterol) less than 35 or Triglyceride greater than 250 • Women with polycystic ovary syndrome • Condition associated with increased insulin resistance such as severe obesity or acanthosis nigricans (darkened skin behind the neck or armpits) • History of heart disease • Over the age of 45 be tested for diabetes. The most common test for detecting diabetes is a fasting blood glucose test. Fasting blood glucose refers to the body’s glucose levels after having no food for eight hours. A fasting glucose of 100-125 means a patient has impaired fasting glucose or has prediabetes. A fasting glucose of 126 or higher qualifies as diabetes. If a person is diagnosed as pre-diabetic or would like to prevent diabetes, the most important thing to do is make lifestyle changes. This includes a healthier diet and regular exercise. According to the ADA, losing even 10 to 15 pounds can make a big difference. “A healthier diet includes eating a low-carbohydrate diet, a low-fat diet and increasing foods rich in fiber and whole grains,” Ogundadegbe said. “Other changes to the diet include eating leaner meats such as chicken, turkey or fish. These foods should be baked or boiled but not fried.” Ogundadegbe also said more fresh fruits and vegetables should be added into a person’s diet. In addition, pre-diabetics should decrease their intake of sweetened beverages and concentrated sweets. Exercise is also very important in decreasing the risk for diabetes. The ADA recommends 150 minutes per week of aerobic activity. This should be done over at least three days and includes two days of resistance training. Prior to beginning any exercise regimen, it should be discussed with a physician. To determine if you’re at risk for diabetes, take an online test by visiting diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/diabetesrisk-test/. To calculate your BMI, visit nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bminojs.htm. Change your lifestyle quences eople with diabetes are prescribed insulin, either because dies do not produce insulin (Type 1) or do not use insulin y (Type 2). iabetes is a chronic illness that must be controlled in order d long-term complications,” Ogundadegbe said. ey include vascular complications. The vascular system o the blood vessels and tissues that carry blood and nutrithe different organs of the body. undadegbe said microvascular complications can include: e eye disease retinopathy, which involves vision loss. used by changes in the blood vessels of the retina and a cause of blindness in American adults. “This is why it is nt to get an annual eye exam,” she said. mage that occurs to the nerves, called neuropathy. ause a loss of sensation in the feet, numbness, tingling, Nerve disease caused by Type 2 diabetes is the leading f amputation of feet, toes, legs, hands and arms among s sufferers. mage to the kidneys, called nephropathy. It is a longglycemia, and can lead to diabetics requiring dialysis if ed. mplications from diabetes include heart attacks and ncreased risk of having a heart attack. glucose, the goal in a diabetic patient is to decrease attacks,” Ogundadegbe said. “This includes managwn as high blood pressure] and decreasing cholesterol Disease affects children too W ons include sexual dysfunction and gastroparesis, a the movement of food from the stomach to the small inr from nausea, feeling full early during a meal or having a o experience erectile dysfunction or female sexual dys- include increased thirst, hunger and urination. Diabetntional weight loss. betes can only be treated through a daily dose etes can be treated through the use of oral medications to decrease glucose by other mechanisms or be treated with ed to treat diabetes should be prescribed nt needs to be started on insulin depends on many differssary discussion between a patient and his or her physi- betes. However, through proper diet, exercise, and medith diabetes can lead a full life. hen diabetes strikes children, it is usually assumed to be Type 1, or juvenile-onset diabetes. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, in the last two decades Type 2 diabetes has been reported among American youth with increasing frequency. The growth is attributed to increased rates of obesity and decreased levels of physical activity among children. Each year, more than 13,000 young people are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, 5 to 10 percent of total diagnoses. Children with Type 1 have a genetic predisposition to the disease but at least one environmental factor is needed to trigger its onset. Children and adolescents diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are generally between the ages of 10 and 19, obese, have a family history of the disease, and have insulin resistance. Those who are diagnosed are at an increased risk for developing serious complications such as vision loss, kidney failure, nerve damage and fatty liver. Symptoms include excessive thirst, excessive urination, excessive hunger, weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, high blood sugar level, vaginal yeast infections in girls (even in infants and toddlers) and bed wetting, especially when the child was not wetting previously To confirm a diagnosis, a doctor can perform one or more of the following tests: glycated hemoglobin, random blood sugar test and fasting blood sugar test. In Houston, Texas Children’s Hospital offers care for young diabetics through its Endocrinology/Diabetes Clinic. Texas Children’s has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 hospitals in the country for treating pediatric diabetes and endocrine disorders, and is nationally recognized for its prevention and treatment research. A pediatric endocrinologist is a medical subspecialist who focuses on the evaluation and treatment of children of all ages who have diseases and disorders of the endocrine system. There is currently no way to prevent Type 1 diabetes in children. Type 2 diabetes can be managed through blood glucose control, insulin management, exercise, nutrition and family and medical support. Children and teens with diabetes need to monitor their blood glucose levels closely. They should eat a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They should also participate in regular physical activity to help keep their hearts healthy and have regular doctor visits. ng the Houston area for over 80 years 10B DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 health defendernetwork.com My Health Advocate Helping patients with chronic conditions live independently M By Memorial Hermann Health System anaging people with chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure (CHF) and diabetes has been a challenge for many healthcare providers. For patients, success in managing their chronic conditions means an improved quality of life, decreased disease burden and fewer hospital and emergency room visits. Seven years ago, Memorial Hermann took on the challenge and launched a free program called My Health Advocate (MHA) to assist with managing uninsured, Medicaid and Medicare patients with CHF. The program later was expanded to help patients with diabetes and other chronic conditions. The MHA disease management program was designed to help patients with chronic conditions live longer, healthier lives by helping them take control of their health and make better health decisions. It is very difficult for busy physician practices to manage and sustain the level of ongoing personal outreach with their patients that the MHA program provides. MHA supplements the physician-patient relationship by working with both doctors and patients to ensure that patients stay healthy between their appointments and are accountable for their health. Patients enter the MHA program through physician referral, self-referral or by contact with a program representative as a result of an inpatient stay or emergency center care at a Memorial Hermann facility. Patients must have a primary care physician to participate. Consider the case of a 79-year-old man who first was diagnosed with diabetes in the mid-1990s. Several years later, the man became blind. Making his health matters worse, he suffered a heart attack and underwent a six-artery bypass. In 2008, during Hurricane Ike, the man was hospitalized for shortness of breath. Before being discharged from the hospital, he was enrolled in MHA. Before his enrollment, the man had repeated ER visits and a hospitalization within 60 days. Since enrolling in MHA, he has visited the ER once – for a non-related condition. MHA has proved effective in significantly reducing diabetes complications and the incidence of related chronic diseases. Here’s how the program works: MHA has demonstrated success in many areas, including: • Improved quality of life • Decreased disease burden • Reduced hospital admissions • Reduced Emergency Center visits MHA is designed to: • Encourage patients to take control of their health and make better health decisions • Help patients recognize the signs and symptoms of their disease • Provide ongoing education and support to patients so that they understand and adhere to your plan of care • Reduce inappropriate use of emergency rooms and inpatient services • Reduce medical costs Disease Management Program eligibility: MHA is available for Medicare and Medicaid members. Disease Management Program availability: MHA currently includes programs for management of: • Congestive heart failure • Diabetes How MHA works: • Telephone support • Physician reports. How patients enroll in MHA • Patients enter the program through physician referral, selfreferral or by contact with a program representative as a result of an inpatient stay. • Patients must have a PCP to participate. Patients without a PCP will be encouraged to find a PCP through Memorial Hermann’s Physician Referral Service at 713.222.CARE (2273). • To enroll in the program, patients call 713-338-6711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It employs R.N. case managers who are trained in outpatient disease-management. The case managers provide telephone support to patients, who are regularly contacted and encouraged to follow the instructions of their physicians for medication compliance, exercise, diet, lab work and office follow-ups. “The case manager performs an initial assessment. Based on the patient’s level of understanding of their disease condition, compliance with physician’s orders and lifestyle practices, we assign a risk level – low, moderate or high – which determines the frequency of routine contacts,” explained Pat Metzger, system executive, Care Management. “Hospitalization at a Memorial Hermann hospital triggers a post discharge contact in addition to the patient’s routine contact schedule.” Each patient’s physician receives routine reports of the patient’s progress and activity. If problems emerge that require immediate attention, case managers contact the patient’s physician right away with the patient’s consent. “Too often, patients with chronic diseases do not understand how to manage their conditions,” adds Metzger. “As a result, they end up in emergency rooms seeking treatment for symptoms that could be easily managed through outpatient primary care and by adhering to appropriate measures at home. Our program helps provide what they need to feel better at home and stay independent.” defendernetwork.com NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER 11B Introducing Your Neighborhood Health Center Affordable, convenient, quality medical care for you and your family. Memorial Hermann offers affordable and fast healthcare to meet your urgent care needs. At our affiliated Neighborhood Health Centers, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to take care of basic health issues. Visits are only $48. Appointments are available, but walk-ins are welcome. For your convenience, we have three locations around Houston to serve you. Southwest 7600 Beechnut, Suite A (next to the Memorial Hermann Southwest ER) Houston, TX 77074 713.456.4280 Northwest 1800 W. 26th St., Suite 103 Houston, TX 77008 713.957.8400 Northeast 9813 Memorial Blvd., Suite H Humble, TX 77338 281.319.8500 Mon – Fri 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sat – Sun 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. memorialhermann.org 12B DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 health defendernetwork.com Diabetic? Set your sight on healthy vision I Defender News Services f you or someone in your family has diabetes, you should talk to them about diabetic eye disease, one of the complications of diabetes. Diabetic eye disease includes cataract, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, which is the most common form of the disease. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. More than 800,000 African-Americans have diabetic retinopathy, and this number will likely reach 1.2 million by 2030. While everyone who has diabetes can get diabetic eye disease, African-Americans are at higher risk of losing vision or going blind from it. “The longer a person has diabetes, the greater is his or her risk of developing diabetic eye disease,” said Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Eye Institute (NEI). “If you have diabetes, be sure to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Don’t wait until you notice an eye problem to have an exam, because vision that is lost can- not be restored.” Unfortunately, diabetic eye disease often has no early warning signs. But the good news you can share with your family is that it can be detected early and treated before vision loss occurs. “In fact, with early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care, people with diabetes can reduce their risk of severe vision loss by 95 percent,” adds Suber Huang, M.D., M.B.A., chair of the Diabetic Eye Disease Subcommittee for NEI’s National Eye Health Education Program. Research has also shown that when people with diabetes have good control of their blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, they can help delay getting diabetic eye disease, or slow its progress. In addition to having annual comprehensive dilated eye exams, people with diabetes should do the following to keep their health on TRACK: Take your medications. Reach and maintain a healthy weight. Add physical activity to your daily routine. Control your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Kick the smoking habit. Family matters. So if you or someone in your family has diabetes, set your sight on healthy vision. Schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam today. For more information on diabetic eye disease and tips on finding an eye care professional and financial assistance for eye care, visit nei.nih.gov/diabetes or call the NEI at 301-496-5248 Diabetes...Continued from page 1 .... With this in mind, the Houston Office of the American Diabetes Association has developed programs and initiatives to educate the public, particularly in the Black and Hispanic communities where the disease has been on the rise. “It is truly an epidemic and if we do not stop people from getting this disease, it is going to take over,” said Pamela Huewitt, chair of the African American Initiative for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). “It takes a lot of education in all sectors to reach people, to get them to say we have to take ownership as a culture,” Huewitt said. “It’s a disease you can successfully live with every day but educating the African-American community is a struggle because we don’t want to face it sometimes.” The ADA is utilizing churches, corporations, social organizations and workplaces to spread the word about the disease. Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, scheduled for Nov. 23, is a one-day fundraising walk to support critical diabetes research, information and advocacy efforts. Other programs include Project POWER, a faith-based program that works with local churches through a series of diabetes education classes. Choose to Live, Sisters Strong Together, is a two-session program that focuses on health and designed for use by community organizations and agencies that serve African- American women. Programs that target seniors also include diabetes, kidney disease and nerve damage, as well as the relationship between diabetes and arthritis. Senior Days are educational community presentations for seniors already living with the disease, and ID DAY is a designated Sunday where church pastors and speakers focus on diabetes education. The reason why diabetes is prevalent in the Black community is clear – choices. “We’ve got to make the right choices when focusing on preventing diabetes or even living with it,” Huewitt said. “It’s a cultural shift and we as an Africa-American community have not necessarily been on the forefront of healthy eating and exercise,” she said. “It’s about educating people about what that bad food can do to you.” When it comes to specific advice for African-Americans, the ADA recommends education on diabetes prevention and management. Such information can be found on the ADA website, diabetes.org. The key to prevention is to be aggressive in living a healthy lifestyle, starting with proper nutrition and regular exercise. Huewitt admitted it’s not an easy task to undertake. “It’s really about that commitment to lifestyle change and staying focused,” Huewitt said. “It’s a change for the whole family, not just a shift for one person.” CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT YOUR LIPS SAY ABOUT YOU? If you have medium brown to dark brown or black skin and want to balance your smile by filling one or both of your lips, you may be a candidate for this clinical study. In addition to skin tone requirements, eligible study participants must: • Be female or male, 18 years or older • Be able to follow study instructions and willing to complete all required study visits Other inclusion criteria apply—please contact us today and see if you qualify. For more information or to see if you qualify, please call (877) 363-5989 , toll-free. Trained nurses are standing by to assist you. (877) 363-5989 Allergan Julido Lip Enhancement – Houston Defender 1/4pg 4.79 x 6.5 BW.indd 1 11/13/13 5:40 PM defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years defendernetwork.com NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER 13B 14B DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 Fueling W By Texas Children’s Hospital health defendernetwork.com healthnotes Having a healthy family is E-A-S-Y If you want to help your family lead a healthier lifestyle and you’re not sure where to start – don’t worry it’s E-A-S-Y! E – Exercise 60 minutes daily It is recommended that children and adults are physically active for 60 minutes every day. This means arms and legs should be moving and your heart should be beating fast. It also means that sweat is a good thing! Feeling crunched for time? Don’t worry, not all 60 minutes have to be consecutive – 10 to 15 minute increments work just as well too. If it’s yucky outside, try running in place or jumping jacks during commercials of a TV show. By the end of the hour you will have done 20 minutes of physical activity. A – Always eat breakfast and a healthy snack Breakfast is “breaking the fast” while you have been sleeping. We want to make sure that you eat something in the mornings to wake your body up and rev up that metabolism. Healthy snacks are also important in keeping up our energy throughout the day. A snack should be approximately 100 to 200 calories and contain two or more food groups (for example, 23 almonds and one low-fat cheese stick would be protein and dairy). S – Sugar-free beverages Replace those sugar sweetened beverages with sugar-free ones. Water is your best option. Water not only helps to keep us hydrated but helps to keep us full as well – bonus – you’ll eat less! A regular 12 oz. soda or sweetened juice per day can add up to an additional 15 pounds of weight gain per year! Y – Yes to vegetables Half of your plate should be vegetables. However, they shouldn’t be drowning, or doing the backstroke, in cheese sauce, butter or ranch dressings. So get creative with cooking with herbs and spices – you might be surprised at what you and your family end up liking. “I challenge the kids to go to the store with the main grocery shopper to help pick out a new vegetable to try each week,” says Kristi King, clinical dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital. “It’s fun for everyone!” a young athlete e all know good nutrition is important, but it goes beyond the way we look and feel. For young athletes, maintaining a balanced diet is critical to the health, growth and development, safety and success of their sport. Eating the right kinds of foods at the right time can help provide the sustained energy during exercise and promote the recovery muscles need after strenuous exercise. “Protein is necessary to build and repair muscle and to boost the immune system,” says Roberta Anding, director of sports nutrition at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. “The need for protein in an athlete is increased, but many athletes over consume protein and under consume calories.” Your child can make healthy protein choices by choosing lean meats (turkey, fish, sirloin, beans, tofu), using egg whites instead of whole eggs, choosing low fat dairy products (skim milk, 1 percent milk, low fat yogurt), and avoiding fried meats. Depending on your child’s age, you can calculate your young athlete’s protein needs: 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Protein alone does not fuel muscles for activity. Carbohydrates are the fuel of exercising muscle; however quality always counts. Carbohydrates consist of both sugars and starches. Sugars appear in cookies, candies, cake, and many snacks that children love. The sugars in these foods often contain large amounts of fat making them unsuitable for athletic performance. Sugars are fast acting carbohydrates and the closer it is to competition the more these fast acting carbohydrates take center stage. Think of these sugars as topping off a well-fueled tank. But the staple of the well-fueled athlete are the starches such as bread, rice, beans, some fruits and vegetables. Which carbohydrate choice to use depends on the time remaining before the event. If it is 15 minutes before a soccer match it would be best to use a sports drink or a carbohydrate gel or honey. If there is more time, an hour or so, foods like whole grain cereal and milk or graham crackers with some peanut butter and honey would be a good choice. A low-fat meal like chicken spaghetti or a sandwich and fruit also can be considered part of your performance plate. Get your children involved in their nutrition As families may know, the U.S. Department of Agriculture replaced the food pyramid with the “MyPlate” concept which gives a more visual demonstration of how much of each food group we should have during our main meals. Though the basics still apply, this new concept more visually reminds everyone of the importance of controlling serving sizes and portion control. For instance, some bags of chips or containers of frozen yogurt are multiple serving sizes even though we may think it’s just one. By utilizing “MyPlate” you also can help assure that you are getting a variety of foods from a variety of food groups. “Many parents face the challenge of their children automatically assuming that ‘healthy’ foods taste badly,” says Dawn Bunting, senior clinical dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. “I tell parents that children thrive in an environment where they have some control. If we truly want our children to be successful we need to allow them the opportunity to become active members in their nutrition.” Some ways to easily do this include: allowing children to create the grocery list (with helpful suggestions from parents of course), asking your child to help plan a meal a week and play a part of the meal preparation, let your children select a color for each day and use that as inspiration for a new fruit or vegetable the family tries. Dawn Bunting defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years defendernetwork.com NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER 15B Texas Children’s Health Plan covers children from newborns to teenagers. We even cover adults and pregnant moms through STAR Medicaid. Families with children who qualify for CHIP pay $50 or less a year. Those who qualify for Medicaid pay nothing. CHIP and STAR Medicaid offer a wide range of benefits including checkups and shots, dental services, medications, and more. With Texas Children’s Health Plan you also get: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Over 2,100 doctors. A 24-hour nurse hotline. Free transportation to doctor visits. Pregnancy support program and classes. Help losing weight through the Keep Fit Program. Learn how to play soccer from the Houston Dynamo coaches. Fun, free member events! ■ ■ For more information, to receive an application, or to find an event in your area, visit us online or call today. MK-1208-007 16B DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 defendernetwork.com For some, waiting for HIV test results can be a very excruciating experience. It’s as though everything you have ever done in life (sexually) plays like an old movie…you reﬂect on past partners and unchangeable moments of exploration. Time snaps you back into reality. The intensity of your “I understand heartbeat quickens, causing a resounding thump against your breastplate. You wait...and pray. how it I would tell someone newly diagnosed that they must ﬁrst begin the process of accepting the fact that they have HIV. I personally lived in denial for a while to ﬁnd out you’re feels infected. ” because I hated being a statistic. Over time, I came to terms with what could potentially happen if I didn’t get my act together. Now I feel more in control of my HIV. I would also tell someone it is ok to cry and be angry, frustrated, hurt and whatever other emotion they feel. The negativity can become toxic if not addressed and handled properly, so I strongly encourage seeking out a support system or seeing a counselor upon being diagnosed. Lastly, I would let the person know they are not alone. There are resources and services available that make living with HIV much easier now than in times past. Live life to the fullest because whether you have HIV or not, tomorrow isn’t promised. From “What I Would Tell Someone Newly Diagnosed” by Dontá Read more personal stories at TREATHIVNOW.COM/PERSONALSTORIES ©2013 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. UNBC0254 07/13 7366-1_Gil_BlogPost_Ad_Donta-HoustonDefend.indd 1 7/19/13 9:29 AM defendernetwork.com entertainment NOVEMBER 21| 2013 | DEFENDER 7 Whoopi Goldberg brings Moms Mabley to TV A Defender News Services ctress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg wants the world to know about the woman who inspired her. She accomplished her goal with “Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley,” now airing on HBO. Future playdates include Nov. 24 at 4:45 p.m., Nov. 26 at 10:15 a.m. and Nov. 30 at 12:30 p.m. “Moms Mabley has been a huge inspiration to me and so many others, but not a lot of folks outside of the comedy world know about her legacy,” Goldberg said. “There are a lot of us who wouldn’t be working today without pioneers like her. HBO gave me my first break on TV, so it’s only fitting that Moms has a home there now.” Goldberg executive produced the documentary, which features recently unearthed photographs and rediscovered performance footage. The film includes interviews with Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, Sidney Poitier, Kathy Griffin, Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Arsenio Hall, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, who emphasize how Mabley paved the way for female performers with provocative standup routines. Archival footage showcases Mabley in performance at the Playboy Mansion with Sammy Davis Jr., and on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” Born Loretta Mary Aiken in Brevard, N.C. in 1894, Jackie “Moms” Mabley was one of the most successful entertainers to perform on the Black vaudeville stage, also known as the “chitlin’ circuit.” Mabley’s monologues touched on traditional topics such as family, as well as more controversial subjects that were typically avoided by comedians of the era, including infidelity, poverty, welfare and alcohol. Her successful career spanned five decades, though white audiences generally did not learn of her until the early 1960s. In 1939, she became the first female comedian to play the Apollo Theater in Harlem, where she earned $10,000 a week at the peak of her career. Mabley performed at Carnegie Hall in 1962, and appeared on other mainstream TV programs such as “The Bill Cosby Show” (1970). Goldberg funded most of the project, spending nearly a half million dollars. “I didn’t realize how expensive these documentaries can be,” she said. Goldberg had difficulty finding first-hand accounts of Mabley’s private life, including the fact that she was openly gay. Mabley died from heart failure at age 81 in1975 in White Plains, NY. Goldberg is an accomplished entertainer in her own right. She is one of an elite group of artists who have won a Grammy (“Whoopi Goldberg”), an Academy Award (“Ghost”), a Golden Globe (“The Color Purple” and “Ghost”), an Emmy (Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel” and a Daytime Emmy for “The View”) and a Tony (producer of “Thoroughly Modern Millie”). Goldberg has also appeared in such films as “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “The Long Walk Home,” “Sister Act,” “Ghosts of Mississippi,” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” On TV, she appeared for five seasons on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” co-starred in “Bagdad Café” and hosted her own syndicated late-night talk show. Jackie “Moms” Mabley what’sup FOREST WHITAKER, ANGELA BASSETT, JENNIFER HUDSON and MARY J. BLIGE can be seen in “Black Nativity,” which comes to theaters on Nov. 27. The musical drama is a contemporary adaptation of LANGSTON HUGHES’ play, and follows a street-wise teen from Baltimore who journeys to New York City to spend Christmas with his estranged relatives.……..“The Best Man Holiday,” starring an ensemble cast including MORRIS CHESTNUT, NIA LONG and TAYE DIGGS, was a surprise challenger at the box office. The film, which drew an overwhelmingly female and African-American audience, opened strongly with $30.6 million, second only to the superhero movie “Thor: The Dark World.” By comparison, 1999’s “The Best Man” opened with $9 million.……..LAUREN HILL performs in her first Whoopi Goldberg post-prison concert on Nov. 27 in New York City. Tickets are $106. Hill thanked fans for their support on Tumblr. “I want to thank everyone who wrote letters and sent packages and books. Because of you there was not one day that I didn’t receive mail while I was away,” she said. “Many of your letters not only touched me but continued to confirm for me what I already needed to hear again: that sincere expression has a serious purpose.” Hill served three months for tax evasion……..TAVIS SMILEY’S show, which airs weeknights on PBS, has been renewed. The extension will take the show through 2015. It airs on 97 percent of PBS stations in more than 200 markets. “I am excited to continue with such a strong broadcasting platform as PBS,” Smiley said. “My team and I are proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past 10 seasons and look forward to bringing our loyal viewers more in-depth conversations as we head into the 11th season.” It was recently announced that Smiley will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2014……..KEVIN FRAZIER will co-host the 87th annual “Thanksgiving Day Parade” on CBS on Thursday, Nov. 28, at 8 a.m. Frazier currently co-anchors “Omg!Insider,” the nightly, half-hour newsmagazine now in its 10th season……… An imposter pretending to work for NICK CANNON stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from an upscale Los Angeles store. The man called and said Cannon needed to buy the jewelry for his wife, MARIAH CAREY. An employee took the jewelry to a Hollywood hotel, gave it to a man dressed as a security guard, and never received payment. Los Angeles police are investigating the case. defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years 8 DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 | defendernetwork.com No guns for Zimmerman after his latest arrest Defender News Services Judge Robert Leon Wilkins Blacks support court nominee AFRO Staff Members of the Black legal, legislative and civil rights communities are gearing up for a fight over the confirmation of Judge Robert Leon Wilkins to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the nation’s second highest court. Senate Republicans are expected to block Wilkins’ nomination as the latest salvo in an ongoing partisan battle. The confirmation of another Obama nominee, Georgetown University law professor Cornelia Pillard, was recently derailed when Democrats failed to amass the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster that held up her confirmation. It was the third time Republicans blocked an Obama nominee to the same court – attorneys Patricia Millett and Caitlin Halligan were similarly stymied by GOP procedural delays. Republicans have argued that the D.C. Circuit, which is currently operating with three of its 11 seats vacant, does not have the case load to justify 11 judges. They also allege that Obama is attempting to pack the court to advance his agenda. The D.C. Circuit has special jurisdiction over the actions and regulations of federal agencies and is often viewed as a stepping stone to the Supreme Court. Four months after his acquittal for the murder of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman was released on $9,000 bail following his most recent arrest. As a condition of his freedom, a Florida judge ordered Zimmerman not to possess weapons and wear an electronic monitor while he awaits trial. He is charged with aggravated assault, domestic violence battery and criminal mischief after allegedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend in her home. His arraignment has been scheduled for Jan. 7. A prosecutor argued for a higher bail of $50,000, saying Zimmerman George Zimmerman tried to choke his girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, a week and a half before the shotgun incident. Scheibe also said Zimmerman threatened to commit suicide because he “had nothing to lose.” Zimmerman’s attorney in the murder trial, Mark O’Mara, no longer represents him. His new attorney, public defender Jeff Dowdy, said his client is indigent and about $2.5 million in debt. Zimmerman has had several brushes with the law since his acquittal. He was stopped for speeding in Forney, Texas, in July and was given a verbal warning by an officer. In September, he received a ticket in Florida for driving 60 mph in a 45-mph zone. Also in September, Zimmerman’s estranged wife Shellie called 911 and accused Zimmerman of threatening her and her father with a gun. Police found no gun and Zimmerman was not charged with domestic violence. A jury of six women found Zimmerman not guilty of murder on July 13 in Sanford, Fla. The unidentified jurors determined that Zimmerman justifiably used deadly force to prevent his own death or bodily harm – Florida’s definition of self-defense. Trayvon, an unarmed 17-year-old high school student, was on his way from the store when he was fatally shot by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, on Feb. 26, 2012. The teen’s death and Zimmerman’s subsequent acquittal sparked protests across the country, and shed light on the problems of stand your ground laws and racial profiling. classified Employment Opportunity Freelance reporter needed to write investigative stories for Texas Publishers Association’s news service. Email resume and two samples of your published investigative articles to Hattie Kelly TPA President, at email@example.com Bluestem Enterprises, Inc. Is bidding on Project 13 -11-02 Employee Purchasing and Discount Program for the Houston Independent School District. Our company is looking for possible M/WBE subcontractors. We are currently looking for subcontractors for the following products or services: Creative Services for digital media in retail industry and Creative Services for print media in retail industry. Our company will be looking for M/WBE subcontractors for the next 5 business days. If you have an interest in bidding on the above projects, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by November 26. LEGAL NOTICE Neighborhood Centers Inc. (AGENCY), a non -profit human services organization, announces a Request for Proposal (RFP) #13 -18 for Website Development and Re -Design. Interested Vendors can submit a proposal for Website Development and Re -Design. The deadline for submitting a proposal is December 16, 2013 by 12:00 PM (CST)*. To receive RFP #13 -18, e-mail Ashia Brown, Supply Chain Manager, at abrown@neighborhood -centers.org. NEIGHBORHOOD CENTERS INC. ENCOURAGES SMALL AND HISTORICALLY UNDERUTILIZED BUSINESSES TO APPLY. MENTAL HEALTH MENTAL RETARDATION AUTHORITY OF HARRIS COUNTY will be accepting responses to Request for Qualification for the following service: Agency Facility Space Planning, Design and Project Management Services Specifications may be secured from MHMRA, Harris County, Purchasing Services, 1st floor, located at 7011 Southwest Freeway, Houston, Texas 77074; telephone (713) 970 -7300 and/or via MHMRA website http://www.mhmraharris.org or the Electronic State Business Dailey Site https://portal.cpa.state.tx.us/ beginning Monday, November 25, 2013. Qualification documentation must be submitted to the Purchasing Department by 10:00 a.m., on Thursday, December 19, 2013, at 7011 Southwest Freeway, Houston, Texas 77074 in a sealed envelope marked "REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATION RESPONSE DO NOT OPEN UNTIL - THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2013” “AGENCY FACILITY SPACE PLANNING, DESIGN AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERVICES” – PROJECT #14/0010. Any questions pertaining to this solicitation should be addressed in writing to Nina Cook MBA, CPPB, Purchasing Manager via E-mail email@example.com or fax at (713) 970 -7682, cc: firstname.lastname@example.org. MHMRA reserves the rights to reject any and/or all responses, to waive formalities and reasonable irregularities in submitted documents as it deems to be in its best interests, and is not obligated to accept any response(s) to this solicitation for requested services. defendernetwork.com Annual Small Business Saturday is Nov. 30 business NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER 9 C Defender News Services onsumers are encouraged to support small business owners by participating in Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30. With five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, many small business owners say they’ll be pulling out all of the stops to get customers into stores during the critical holiday shopping season. Small Business Saturday has become an important fixture on the business calendar for merchants and an increasing number are investing more money and providing additional incentives to reach customers. Survey results released by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express found that 70 percent of small business owners believe the annual observance will be helpful in attracting new customers. Discounts continue to be the top incentive used to en- courage consumers to “shop small,” but more business owners are planning to reward customers by offering them a free gift with purchase (33 percent, up from 20 percent in 2012). The observance, now in its fourth year, falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and serves as the traditional kick-off to the holiday season for independent retailers and restaurateurs. It was created in response to small business owners’ most pressing need – more customers. “Small-business owners are always looking for new ways to creatively promote their products and services, especially in a tough economy,” said NFIB president and CEO Dan Danner. “Small Business Saturday is a reminder of how important the small-business sector is to our economy and why it’s so important to Shop Small all year around.” T:9.75” Here are some facts and figures on small businesses from the SBA: • A small business is defined as an enterprise with fewer than 500 employees. In 2010 there were 27.9 million small businesses, and 18,500 firms with 500 employees or more. • Small businesses account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales. • Small businesses provide 55 percent of all jobs. • The small business sector in America occupies 30-50 percent of all commercial space, an estimated 20-34 billion square feet. • Fifty-two percent of all small businesses are homebased. • Small firms accounted for 64 percent of the net new jobs created between 1993 and 2011 (or 11.8 million of the 18.5 million net new jobs). • About three quarters of all U.S. business firms have no payroll. Most are self-employed persons operating unincorporated businesses, and may or may not be the owner’s principal source of income. • The fastest growing sector for freelance businesses in 2011 included auto repair shops, beauty salons and dry cleaners. T:6.5” PLAY RESPONSIBLY. For holiday games, the overall odds of winning (including breakeven prizes) are: Holiday Millions – 1 in 3.08, Merry Money – 1 in 3.83, and Trim the Tree – 1 in 3.83. Must be 18 or older to purchase a ticket. The Texas Lottery supports Texas Education. © 2013 Texas Lottery Commission. All rights reserved. 10 DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 defendernetwork.com sports Houston Texans season of horror continues I By MAX EDISON Defender t has been legitimately confirmed. The Texans are one of the worst teams in the National Football League. Having lost a team record eight consecutive games, they boast a record of 2-8 on the season. With the recent embarrassing loss in front of a packed house at Reliant to the Oakland Raiders, who came to Houston with a robust 3-6 record, the Texans were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in November, with six weeks remaining in the season. Who among us saw this coming? At this same point in 2012, the Texans were 9-1 and competing for home field advantage in the playoffs. Most preseason experts had the Texans rated among the top teams in the AFC. It was a team that one could honestly say had a chance to play in New York/New Jersey – site of the Super Bowl – in February. To say that frustration within the fan base is high would be an understatement. It also runs just as high within the team, starting with the head coach. “I’m as frustrated as everybody else is,” Gary Kubiak said. “I totally understand, from a fan’s standpoint, from a player’s standpoint. We’re trying to work through some things with some really young guys playing football in some situations. We have to stay positive with them. “I know it’s very hard on people like Andre [Johnson] and people like that who have played a lot of football here right now. But it’s frustrating for me too. I want everybody to understand I’m right there with them. It’s very difficult and something I have to try and work us through.” For the team’s elder statesman, 11-year veteran Johnson, the feeling is one of déjà vu. He experienced the franchise’s lean early years. “It’s been very tough,” Johnson said. “I think it’s been the season period, just everything that’s been going when you pile up the losses in a row. Like I said, it’s been frustrating not just for me but for everyone.” Those feelings are ditto for the league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt. “Whatever is beyond frustrated, that’s where I’m at,” Watt said. “Every single loss is extremely difficult. We’ve lost eight games in a row. We need to find a way to win a football game. Eight times we’ve gone out there and tried to do it, and eight times we haven’t done it. “So something’s got to change. We’ve got to figure something out. Every single week I go back and watch the film and try to figure out what we need to do, what we need to change. Every single week, I go out confident and expecting to win. And obviously, eight times it hasn’t happened.” Coach Gary Kubiak Commentary: New coach needed The Texans are on track to lose 10 games minimum this season, after going 12-4 in 2012. Dating back to the last quarter of the 2012 season, the Texans record is a very unimpressive 3-11 over their last 14 games. Last season they were unimpressive in a home playoff win over Cincinnati (19-13) and annihilated by New England for the second time in six weeks (41-28) the following week. When you have a total team collapse of this magnitude someone has to pay and it should cost head coach Gary Kubiak his job. This team has too much talent to be floundering the way it has this season. They obviously need a new direction, a new voice at the top. As a benefit to my friend Texan GM Rick Smith, I offer a few suggestions for a Kubiak replacement. Winston Moss – Assistant head coach/inside linebackers, Super Bowl-winning pedigree and former player Jim Caldwell – Offensive coordinator Baltimore Ravens, Super Bowl rings at Indy and Baltimore as a coordinator, Super Bowl participant as Colts head coach Pep Hamilton – Offensive coordinator Indy Colts, former Stanford OC, known as a developer of QBs (see Andrew Luck and Alex Smith) Lovie Smith – Former Bears head coach, Super Bowl participant, Texas native, defensive guru fired after winning 10 games in Chicago in 2012. J.J. Watt Andre Johnson defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years defendernetwork.com h.s.zone Denzell Bates credits Cinco Ranch O-line NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 DEFENDER 11 sportsbriefs Tournament field set The Woodlands, Clear Falls and Friendswood have punched their ticket to the girls’ state volleyball tournament in Garland. The top-ranked Highlanders (44-0) didn’t lose a game while securing victories over Allen and Plano in the Region II-5A tournament at Huntsville. The Woodlands qualified for a state tournament berth with a convincing win over Plano as Kelly Quinn, Courtney Eckenrode and Madison McDaniel lead the way. The Woodlands has been ranked No. 1 among Class 5A schools in Texas all season. In just their third varsity season of competition, Clear Falls dispatched Cy-Fair to win the Region III-5A crown. Alyssa Enneking and Ashlynn Dunbar led the 40-6 Knights. South Lake Carroll and San Antonio Churchill will join The Woodlands and Clear Falls in the 5A state field. Friendswood overcame Dawson to win its eighth regional 4A title. I did a great job with the push up front,” said Bates, who finished with 186 yards on 16 carries and TD runs of 36, 42 and 15 yards. “So they opened up many t was the third chapter with a familiar oppoholes for the running backs and we finished with nent yet with a strikingly different storyline. seven rushing touchdowns and that’s always good. All For the third year in a row, Cinco Ranch the pride goes to the offensive line because they did a found itself matched up in a first-round playgreat job for us. off football game with Bellaire. The prior two “Our defense was struggling a little bit but I meetings had resulted in Cinco Ranch victothink we’ve got one of the best defenses in our district ries, by advantages of 56 and 31 points. (19-5A),” Bates said. “They pulled their stuff together Would the third time be a charm for the Bellaire and got the job done. We had to hold them while we Cardinals? could and was able “They pushed us to come out with the to the limit and they victory.” did a great job moving The Cinco Ranch to find out more about Denzell Bates. the ball,” said Cinco defense sacked BelRanch head coach Don laire quarterback Clayton. “They were not near the team they Trevon Smith twice in three plays leading up to were last year. They were so much better.” the Mika game-clinching interception. “We The quick-strike Cardinals (8-3) needed a big play defensively,” Clayton said. outgained Cinco Ranch by more than 100 “It was like one of those scary movies yards in the contest held at Barnett Stawhere you thought you killed off the monster dium. Bellaire had two 100-yard running and then all of a sudden, he’s back.” backs and a wide receiver that caught 10 The game was tied 29-29 at halftime and passes for 202 yards and scored four times. 36-36 through three quarters. Yet it still wasn’t enough. Hirsch finished with 169 yards on 20 carCinco Ranch (9-2) ries and four touchdowns. His responded with 382 one-yard TD plunge with rushing yards en two minutes, 41 secroute to 529 total onds left in the fourth yards and a pair of quarter proved to be 100-yard rushthe game winner. ers of its own. “We have a great Denzell Bates and rushing game so we Blake Hirsch scored try to stay behind those all seven Cinco Ranch guys up front as much as touchdowns and Nick we can,” said Bates, a senior Mika sealed the 50-43 who is uncommitted to a nail-biting victory college. “One of the things with a late intercepI’ve enjoyed the most this tion as the Cougars season is watching how reached the area much the offensive line has round of the playoffs stepped up to create holes for the sixth year in and help us score toucha row. downs.” Cy-Fair (10-1) and Cinco Ranch will play Nov. 22 at Running back Denzell Pridgeon Stadium Bates says Cinco Ranch has a great with a 7 p.m. kickoff. rushing game. “This was a hard-fought game and our offensive line By DARRELL K. ARDISON Defender Prep superlatives Worthing wide receiver Yzerick Oliver had a monster game in the Colts’ 54-44 loss to Sweeny in firstround playoff action. Oliver led the District 23-3A champions with 19 receptions for 419 yards and TD catches of 31, 31, 15 and seven yards … North Shore linebacker Zach Whitley has been selected to play in the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The game is set for Jan. 4 in the San Antonio Alamodome and will be televised nationally by NBC at noon… Clear Creek quarterback Jarrett Hildreth was selected a Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week for leading his team to a 63-62 overtime victory over Clear Springs to clinch the district championship. Visit defendernetwork.com Hall of Fame class named The Southwestern Athletic Conference has announced its Hall of Fame class for 2013. Reggie Barlow (Alabama State), James “Jimmy” Jones (Grambling State), Charles Ruth (Mississippi Valley State), James ‘Jim’ Osborne (Southern), Carol V. Cummings (Prairie View A&M), Bob Hopkins (Grambling State) and Richard P. Myles Sr. (Alcorn State) will be enshrined on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Westin Hotel Galleria. The induction ceremony is one of the official events to kick-off the annual SWAC Football Championship Game weekend, consisting of 11 events over a four-day period. What the…? QB beaten The recent CIAA football championship game between Winston-State and Virginia State was cancelled when five Virginia State football players viciously beat Winston-Salem State QB Rudy Johnson in the bathroom during a joint team awards luncheon on the Winston-Salem campus. Virginia State running back Lamont Britt was arrested and charged with assault. Both teams are 9-1 and ranked in the AFCA’s Division II Top 25. The winner would have earned a berth in the Division II playoff. “As you all know, things in life happen, and when things happen, right or wrong, you deal with them head on, and we are committed as a university and an athletic department to deal with this situation head on, honestly, truthfully and with integrity,” said VSU first year head coach Latrell Scott. As a result of the incident the CIAA has declared Virginia State ineligible for the NCAA Division II playoffs. defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years 12 DEFENDER | NOVEMBER 21 | 2013 defendernetwork.com For Event Coverage...visit chag’splace Randle, UNCF area development director Juana Collins and the entire steering committee for an exceptional evening. Continued success!.....ENSEMBLE THEATRE…..The Ensemble Theatre presents its commissioned new work and world premiere holiday musical, “Djembe and the Forest of Christmas Forgotten,” by playwright/ composer Carlton Leake and director/ choreographer Patdro Harris. The play is an epic new musical fairytale that takes us to the imaginative and colorful kingdom of Abahu where it is time for the Royal Christmas Festival (a 300-year-old tradition). Every year the “Call of Christmas” is followed by the playing of the djembe (African drum) where everyone has gathered in the festival square. Trouble ensues when a curse by the king’s twin sister and keeper of the mistletoe has befallen the kingdom. The play runs through Dec. 22nd. A musical fairytale!.....CONDOLENCES…..Our prayers are with the family of Virgil Reece, who recently celebrated his homegoing. God Bless! From Chag’s Place to your place, have a blessed week! defendernetwork.com ADL CELEBRATES 100 YEARS…..To celebrate 100 years music performed by the symphony. Rapper Bernard “Bun B” Freeman provided a tribute to educators honored in the of work against anti-Semitism, bigotry and hate, the Antifirst collaboration between the Houston Symphony and a hipDefamation League (ADL) Southwest Region in partnership hop artist. An amazing evening!.....UNCF with the Houston Symphony hosted HOSTS 25TH ANNIVERSARY….. Houston in Concert Against Hate. The Join Yvette Chargois UNCF chose the theme “A Mind is…” concert was an inspirational and musical Gala, A Sterling Asset, to celebrate its 25th evening honoring the leadership of Events of the Week More photos on defendernetwork.com anniversary held at the Hilton Americas Houston-area heroes and icons, including Hotel. The Excellence in Education Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, Rabbi See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. award was presented to attorney Anthony Samuel Karff and Rev. William W. Hall Jr., principal in the Law Office Lawson for promoting civil rights for of Anthony W. Hall Jr., and the John all; State Sen. Rodney Ellis, State Rep. and Drucie Chase Young Builders award was presented to Senfronia Thompson and the family of James Byrd Jr., including his children Renee, Jamie and Ross for challenging Delesa O’Dell-Thomas, principal of HISD’s first all-girls school, the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy. hate and bigotry; Ester Campos, Michael Feinberg, Dr. Gina Gaston and Khambrel Marshall served as masters Thomas Freeman and Carol Shattuck for encouraging of ceremony and Morris Day and The Time provided the inclusiveness and welcoming education for all, and several entertainment. We salute this year’s honorary chair Reginald others for fighting anti-Semitism. Actress Alfre Woodard Van Lee, gala chair Phyllis Williams, gala co-chair Lauren narrated the stories of each honoree that was interwoven with Honorees Rev. William Lawson, Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza and Rabbi Samuel Karff State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Jarvis Thompson and Louvon Harris Jean Bennett, Jamie Byrd and Flora Adams Gala chairs Lauren Randle, Reginald Van Lee and Phyllis Williams Honorees Atty. Anthony W. Hall Jr. and Delesa O’Dell-Thomas Director Juana Collins and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax Janette Cosley, Eileen Morris and Kathy Kelley Actor Mirron Willis and board president Michael Helm Director Patdro Harris and Playwright Carlton Leake defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years