PRESORTED STANDARD MAIL U.S. POSTAGE PAID DAYTONA BEACH, FL PERMIT #189
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Happy Mother’s Day! Page B1 www.flcourier.com
MAY 10 - MAY 16, 2013
VOLUME 21 NO. 19
‘WE’RE DONE’ WELFARE QUEENS? THE CONCLUSION With those words, the Florida House of Representatives closed up shop for the year, and refused to vote on requests for millions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies to be paid to pro sports entities located around the state. COMPILED FROM WIRE AND STAFF REPORTS
A pair of last-ditch measures tied to potential funding proposals involving the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville’s EverBank Field, Orlando’s Major League Soccer push and the Daytona International Speedway died in the House as the 2013 Florida Legislature’s regular session came to a close on May 3. “I think part of the complication was the fact that it wasn’t just the Dolphins,” House Speaker Will Weatherford said. “You had five or six different franchises that were looking for a tax rebate.
“And, you know, that’s serious public policy. You’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. I think the House just never got comfortable there when the session ended.” The death of the bill spells the end of a May 14 referendum in Miami-Dade County – early voting had started April 29 – on a proposed increase to the hotel bed tax that was to help the Dolphins pay for $350 million in upgrades to Sun Life Stadium. Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, the sponsor of the Senate effort, said
FLORIDA COURIER FILES
Without millions in taxpayer subsidies and rebates, Daytona International Speedway officials may be rethinking the facility’s expansion plans. Weatherford rejected the proposal. “He didn’t have a will to do it,” said Braynon. “We voted for it. We sent it over three times. It didn’t get brought up. Whose fault is that?”
‘Super Bowls at risk’ Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross didn’t hold back in his disappointment, saying Weatherford had given his word the proposal would be heard on the floor. “The Speaker single-handedly put the future of Super Bowls and other big events at risk for Miami Dade and for all of Flor-
ida,” Ross said in a release. “He put politics before the people and the 4,000 jobs this project would have created for MiamiDade and that is just wrong.” Ross, who vowed to “play an important role in fixing the dysfunction in Tallahassee,” also claimed the proposal would have had the votes to advance. “It’s hard to understand why he would stop an election already in process and disenfranchise the 40,000 people who have already voted,” Ross continued. “I can only assume he felt it was in
JAMES BROWN / 80th BIRTHDAY
Happy belated birthday, Godfather!
See DONE, Page A2
$50 billion left on the table Florida won’t use money for ‘Obamacare’ COMPILED FROM WIRE REPORTS
As the Florida Legislature’s latest session came to a close, Democrats renewed a call for a special session to expand health care coverage to cover more uninsured Floridians. Legislators adjourned last week without passing legislation that had been filed that would have either used federal money to extend coverage to more than a million people or used state money for a smaller subsidy.
Billions to Florida
FLORIDA COURIER FILES
James Brown is pictured in 1969 at Los Angeles International Airport with his Lincoln Continental and his private Learjet. Brown died in 2006. Had he lived, he would have turned 80 on May 3.
Under ‘Obamacare’ – the 2010 Affordable Care Act – the federal government promised to pay all of the Medicaid expansion costs during the first three years and the vast bulk after that. Obamacare would send more than $50 billion See MONEY, Page A2
SNAPSHOTS FLORIDA | A3
2013 Legislature: State lawmakers approve budget, finish session AFRICA | a6
Ugandan widow wins compensation after fight TECH | B3
Bionic eye is now a reality FINEST | B5
Rattlers name new Marching ‘100’ director I am looking forward to Young continuing the great traditions of the Florida A&M University (FA- Marching “100” when we deem it MU) has named Sylvester Young its ready to return to the field.” new director of marching and pep Decades of experience bands. Young, a FAMU graduate and Young earned his undergraduate former member of the March- degree in music education in 1969. ing “100,” spent nearly 25 years at He went on to earn his master’s edOhio University, most recently as ucation degree from the Bowling band director. FAMU Interim Pres- Green State of Ohio in 1970 and a ident Larry Robinson made the an- Ph.D. in music education from the nouncement Tuesday after an ex- University of Missouri-Columbia. He served as director of bands tensive nationwide search process. “Dr. Young is a talented and ex- at Lincoln University from 1979 to perienced administrator, musi- 1982 and at Hampton University cian and scholar who I believe will from 1982 to 1990. Young has served as an associprovide strong discipline, leaderate professor of music since 1990 ship and vision for the Marching “100,” Robinson said. “Dr. Young at Ohio University where he taught has had a stellar career as director courses in marching band techSee DIRECTOR, Page A2 of bands at several universities and
SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
FAMU Band Director Dr. Sylvester Young meets the public with FAMU Trustees Belinda Shannon, Spurgeon McWilliams and Interim President Larry Robinson,
COMMENTARY: ASHLEY D. THOMAS: A LETTER TO MY SON | A4 COMMENTARY: JULIE EBENSTEIN, ESQ.: This Mothers’ Day I will think of Mary Graham | A5
MAY 10 – MAY 16, 2013
Is Obama the Republican’s little helper? It is not unusual for editorial readers to disagree with The Gantt Report opinion columns. People don’t like it when I write about historically Black colleges and universities. They don’t like it when I write about pimps and whores. And they really get upset when I write about President Barack Obama! Well, get ready to get mad again! Does it seem to you like President Obama’s programs, policies and his staffing decisions are paving the way for a Republican return to the White House? Well, it seems that way to me.
Let me explain For most people, the more you put into a politician’s political campaign, the more you get back from the politician. If you raise a lot of money and contribute a lot of money to the winning candidate for president, you might get an ambassadorship to an island in paradise or another favorable foreign country. You might get unlimited access to speak with the president or invitations to presidential parties
Lucius Gantt THE GANTT REPORT
and galas. You could possibly get pardons for your family members or friends that are incarcerated in federal prisons. But if you’re Black, no matter what you do, it seems you can’t even get attention!
‘Give him time’ I know, I know. The Obama lovers will say, “Give the president some time. He’s going to do more for Black and poor people than any other president in history before he leaves office!” But tomorrow is not promised. Many of the people that worked so hard to get the president elected and reelected will be dead before anything significant is done, especially for African-Americans! More Black people voted for President Barack Obama than they voted for any president in
the history of the United States. Black people contributed more money to the Obama campaign than they contributed to any other presidential campaign in history. And more Black people fought voter subjugation, voter suppression, voter intimidation and voter oppression to elect President Barack Obama than they ever had before. Yes, 90-95 percent of all Black voters put President Obama first. Where has the president put political needs of African-American and Black voters? I don’t want to say where, because you already know.
Everyone but us Let’s see. The beast bankers got what they wanted – a get out of jail for free card with no real penalties and bank regulations. They got bankers hired into powerful Cabinet positions. And when they stole homes and properties from American citizens in their trillion-dollar mortgage fraud, forgery and perjury schemes, the bankers got off with paying homeowners pennies on the dollar to prevent cit-
izens from suing banks for the millions, billions and trillions of dollars they lost because of bank crooks. The Hispanic citizens got a lot, too. They got a Supreme Court Justice and soon they will get immigration reform. Women got free birth control mandates for health insurers and several highlevel political appointments. I could go on and on. But let’s not waste time.
Will Blacks vote? If the president does not quickly do something for his most loyal supporters, I believe Black voters will refuse to go to the polls in high numbers in the upcoming midterm elections and also in the next presidential elections. Believe it or not, White people expect President Obama to do as much as he can for Black citizens just like Jewish politicians help Jews, or Cuban politicians help Cubans, or Tea Party redneck politicians try and help rednecks! If Black people continue to vote for Black candidates and Democratic candidates and continue
to get their issues ignored, their votes exploited and their communities oppressed and they still run to the voting booth and cast votes for Black candidates and Democratic candidates, according to Malcolm X – not Lucius Gantt – they are not only political punks; they are traitors to their race! I hope the president is not trying to help conservative, Tea Party Republicans gain political power. But if he doesn’t do all he can to improve the lives of Black Americans and the conditions in Black communities, helping Republicans will be exactly what he is doing!
Excerpts from Gantt columns are now posted every week on The Gantt Report’s Facebook page; become a fan. Buy Gantt’s latest book, “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing” on Amazon.com and from bookstores everywhere. Contact Lucius at www.allworldconsultants.net. “Like” The Gantt Report page on Facebook. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
MONEY from A1 to Florida over the next decade. “By blocking passage this session of a plan that would dramatically help 1.2 million of Florida’s lowincome and working families, many Floridians are disappointed and will continue, despite the session’s end, to expect the governor and Legislature to approve a bipartisan health coverage expansion compromise that relies upon available federal funds,” said House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston. He called on Gov. Rick Scott to call lawmakers back to Tallahassee “at the earliest convenience to pass a bipartisan health coverage expansion plan for Florida’s working families.”
Scott now onboard In February, Scott announced that he would support a Medicaid expansion. It was a dramatic turnabout, after Scott had waged a three-year-long political and legal battle against the federal health care law. Republicans, who were in the majority in both the state House and the Senate this year, made it clear they would not approve the Medicaid expansion. Both came up with different proposals to meet the health care requirements. The Senate wanted to use millions of dollars in federal money to create a new system for helping people get private coverage. The House wanted to reject federal dollars, but create a subsidy using state money for people to buy insurance. The Senate architect of the health care effort,
DONE from A1 his political interest to do so. Time will tell if that is the case, but I am certain this decision will follow Speaker Weatherford for many years to come.” Dolphins’ management had said the improvements are needed to attract premier football and soccer events to the Miami Gardens stadium, including their bids to land either the 2016 or 2017 Super Bowl.
Lost benefits Jorge Arrizurieta and H.T. Smith, two paid consultants who co-chaired the Miami Dolphins’ campaign for a stadium renovation, lambasted Tallahassee legislators for closing down the session without approving the proposal. “The House put at risk the future of Super Bowls and other major events in Miami, which are so critical to our
Protesters rally during a “Code Red” rally to oppose health care reform nicknamed ‘Obamacare’ in 2010 at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Sen. Joe Negron, said that there’s no way any sort of compromise on the issue would emerge. “The chasm between the competing visions is too wide to overcome,” he said. Negron described his plan as an “entrepreneurial approach” that would help people get health insurance. Though the plan would rely mostly on federal funding, Negron tried to reinforce that it is not an expansion of Medicaid, which has long been maligned by Republicans in both chambers. “Nothing in this bill expands Medicaid,” Negron said. “We don’t want to expand Medicaid.” Negron’s plan, which was backed by Scott, would use the Florida Healthy Kids Corp. as the vehicle for offering health insurance to people whose incomes are up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Florida Healthy Kids Corp. has long run the KidCare program, tourism economy,” they said in a statement. “It’s a sad day when Tallahassee gives San Francisco and Houston a victory at the expense of our community.”
Speedway project at risk? Officials at Daytona International Speedway were more diplomatic in their response. “We are clearly disappointed by the outcome last week in the Florida Legislature,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said in a statement. “We made a very compelling case for what could have been a successful public/ private partnership with the State of Florida to create jobs and generate real economic growth. We also had substantial local, regional and statewide support. “However, given this setback to our project, we are forced to reassess the proposed redevelopment and closely examine a number of factors such as its timing,
which offers heavily subsidized private insurance to children from low- and moderate-income families.
Senate rejected House members voted 74-45 to reject the Senate proposal, which was offered as an amendment to the House bill. Rep. Mike Fasano, a New Port Richey Republican who spearheaded the amendment, was the only GOP member to cross party lines and support it. All Democrats voted for the amendment. The vote came after about four hours of debate, with Democrats saying the Senate plan would provide needed health coverage to the working poor and Republicans saying the state shouldn’t rely on the debtladen federal government to pay for expanded care.
War on ‘Obamacare’ Democrats repeatedly said the House bill was size and scope, before we decide on next steps.”
Frantic activity With lobbyists busy working the rotunda between the House and Senate chambers, a number of senators gathered with Weatherford on the House floor Friday morning and afternoon imploring him to bring up either of the last-minute proposals for the stadiums. Sens. Andy Gardiner, ROrlando, David Simmons, R-Maitland, and Braynon all made appearances Friday morning in the House to talk with Weatherford, as the Senate measure languished. Gardiner’s proposal would have required the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to prepare an annual list of teams, spring training sites and professional sports franchises seeking assistance from the state. That list would be ranked based upon economic impacts and then sent to the Legislature for a final vote on funding from a pool of up to $13 million a year.
ideologically motivated. The Senate proposal would offer coverage to roughly 1 million people, who were described by Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami, as “casualties” of a broader battle. “The war on Obamacare is really what this comes down to,” Rodriguez said. Fasano implored his fellow Republicans to vote for the amendment, asking them to not “follow the script.” “Follow your heart today – follow your heart, and support this amendment,” Fasano said.
Stuck with costs? But other Republicans said the Senate plan would be akin to expanding Medicaid, which the GOP has long criticized for spiraling costs. Also, they repeatedly pointed to the federal government’s budget problems and raised questions about the long-term financing of
the Senate plan. “Make a stand for your state, because this is not (about) ideology,’’ said House Health Care Appropriations Chairman Matt Hudson, R-Naples. “This is practicality.” More broadly, however, Republicans focused heavily on the Senate plan’s reliance on federal funding. Some lawmakers said Washington would have to use borrowed money to pay for a health expansion, while others raised concerns that Florida ultimately could be forced to swallow costs for the coverage. “What happens when we are forced to pick up a tab that we cannot afford?” asked Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford.
Political fallout Democrats have seized on the differences between Scott and the GOP-controlled Legislature to push back against the idea that
When that measure failed to reach the House floor, the Senate attached the proposal on to a tourist development tax measure. Later, the proposal was tacked on to a sweeping transportation bill without language to support the Miami-Dade County referendum, which was expected to pump $280 million towards the Dolphins over 30 years.
Too many pieces? Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, one of the sponsors of the Dolphins proposal, supported Weatherford, saying the Senate’s final effort was too overloaded. “That had a lot of problems, not only because of the Dolphins, but procedurally,” Fresen said. “It was a lot of 11th hour stuff that the speaker wasn’t going to take.”
Jim Turner of the News Service of Florida contributed to this report.
Scott had a successful session. “The nation’s most unpopular governor attempted to use the 2013 legislative session as an Extreme Makeover: Political Edition. ... Rick Scott knows he’s in trouble, and voters see through his electioneering about-face,” said Max Steele, a spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party. “Despite ample opportunities to pass a bipartisan health care solution that enjoys the backing of Republican Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Senate, House Republican leadership dropped the ball,’’ Thurston said. But not everyone was unhappy that a Medicaid expansion and the Senate health proposal failed. The conservative James Madison Institute issued a statement night pointing to potential problems with the Affordable Care Act and praising the House for not getting pressured into a “rash decision.” “In this case, taking no action instead of the wrong action was a wise decision by Florida’s leadership,’’ Bob McClure, president and CEO of the institute, said in the statement. “Expanding a badly flawed program such as Medicaid – which already consumes an inordinate share of the state budget – would not even necessarily benefit those whom it’s intended to help.” Scott could call lawmakers back for a special session on the issue. Negron said whether that will happen or whether the effort will wait until next year was up to legislative leaders and the governor. He thinks it is “improbable” that lawmakers would return to Tallahassee for a special session to address the issue.
DIRECTOR from A1 niques, jazz ensemble methods, computer skills for musicians and instrumentation. He also served as director of bands for six years. The bands he has directed have been invited to perform at many prestigious events. In 1993, Ohio University’s band was the only marching band to represent the state of Ohio in thenPresident Bill Clinton’s inaugural parade. In 1992 and 1995, the Ohio University Marching Band performed for the Detroit Lions and in 1991 and 1994 for the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.
‘Back home’ “I am honored to be back home at FAMU and fully embrace the challenge ahead,” Young said. “The Marching “100” had such a positive impact on me and I know firsthand what this band means to FAMU. We will enter a new era of excellence for the band and I am proud to be leading the charge.” In his new role as FAMU director of marching and pep bands, Young will report to the chair of the Department of Music and will oversee all aspects of the marching and pep bands. He will also plan and direct the summer high school band camp and serve as the liaison between the Athletic Department, the Division of Student Affairs and the Department of Music. Young is scheduled to report to work on June 14 with an annual salary of $105,000.
MAY 10 – MAY 16, 2013
State lawmakers approve budget, finish session
dent” manner. The law does not define “careful and prudent.”
COMPILED BY THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
Scott will also be weighing a bill that would keep local governments from setting their own policies on forms of compensation like earned sick leave. The legislation would extend the state’s existing ban on cities and counties passing their own minimum wage rules. It would also create a task force to study the issues of employment benefits and issue a report in January 2014.
Local government compensation
On May 3, the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate overwhelmingly approved a $74.5 billion budget, bringing the curtain down on the 2013 legislative session. The spending plan for the year that begins July 1 – the one thing lawmakers are constitutionally required to do – gives raises to teachers and state employees, the latter for the first time in six years; repays $300 million that lawmakers had drained from university reserves last year in an effort to close a budget gap; and sets aside money for projects large and small, including $70 million to help restore the Everglades. The plan was passed a few minutes before 7 p.m. Friday, marking a departure from the late and sometimes bitter denouements to the sessions of recent years. “The era of acrimony between the House and the Senate is over,” said Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, moments after the session ended. In the House, lawmakers voted 106-11 to approve the budget, with a handful of Democrats and Rep. John Tobia, R-Melbourne Beach, voting against the package. Most members of the Democratic Party joined Republicans in approving the deal. The vote was unanimous in the Senate.
Bills that died
On Scott’s desk The measure still needs to be signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott, who will have the opportunity to nix individual projects and proposals with his veto pen. “I’ll be going line-by-line, making sure that we don’t waste any dollars,” Scott said after the session. The era of good feelings was helped along by modest growth in state revenues as the budget finally began to emerge from the shadows of the Great Recession. “There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not another train,” said Rep. Joe Gibbons, D-Hallandale Beach. The extra money allowed the Legislature to both allow spending to grow and say that they were being careful guardians of taxpayer money. “And this year in addition to taking care of the people who you’re supposed to take care of, you’ve also responsibly balanced your budget by putting $2.6 billion in reserves, and responsibly funding one of our most important missions coming up here, and that is education, by putting $1.8 billion new into your entire education system,” said House Appropriations Chairman Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland.
PHOTOS FROM THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
The Florida Capitol building was virtually empty after the Florida Legislature completed its work after the 2013 session.
Budget items Sen. Oscar Braynon II, DMiami, speaks with House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel.
House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, rails against the budget on the House floor.
Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, converses with Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, on the session’s last day.
Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa congratulates Tuskegee Airman Cornelius Davis after he was honored by the state Senate.
date of the presidential primary and instead require that vote be held on the first Tuesday that complies with party rules. Both Republican and Democratic delegations to national conventions had lost members over the last several years as Florida vied for an earlier primary date. Scott said he will sign the bill.
viewing state incentives and economic development programs in an effort to prevent spending on programs that don’t deliver promised jobs, a major focus of lawmakers this session. The bill directs that all applicants for an incentive be evaluated for “economic benefits” in a uniform fashion and requires the state Department of Economic Opportunity to publish information about economic development incentives provided to businesses.
Sentiment not shared Democratic leaders in the House hammered Republicans for not including as part of the budget any program to use federal funds to provide healthcare for low-income Floridians. While Scott and the Senate backed doing so, House Republican leaders balked and said that the federal government was an unreliable partner. House Minority Leader Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, acknowledged that lawmakers should not proverbially let the perfect be the enemy of the good. “But we do have an opportunity to be great, and we’re settling for good,” Thurston said. Here are a few other items of interest from this year’s session. Gov. Rick Scott must sign or veto them within seven days of the time he receives them, or they will become law without his signature.
Election law changes A bill aimed at preventing the problems that plagued parts of Florida during the 2012 elections sailed through the Legislature on its final day after lawmakers dropped an effort to punish problematic local voting officials. The bill that passed would allow up to fourteen days for early voting, though local supervisors could remain at the current eight days, and allows for more flexibility with early voting sites. It would limit the length of some ballot summaries for constitutional amendments. And, in a move that the Tampa Bay Times-Miami Herald’s Tallahassee bureau reported was aimed at helping U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential ambitions, it would dissolve a committee that sets the
• A Senate proposal that would have given motorists a break on their vehicle-registration fees. The rub: It would have required eliminating a longstanding tax credit for insurance companies; • A measure to overhaul the Florida High School Athletic Association. The bill would have expanded the ability of students to transfer schools during the school year, given charter and home school students more opportunities to play for public school teams, altered the makeup of the association’s board of directors, given school districts more say over athletic regulations in each county, and set a 2017 date to eliminate the 93-year-old organization; • A bill changing sentencing guidelines for juvenile offenders to deal with U.S. Supreme Court rulings preventing life sentences for certain juveniles; • A measure prohibiting open parties where minors are in possession or are consuming alcohol; • A bill that would have made it harder to seek punitive damages in lawsuits against nursing homes; • Proposals to revamp the regulation of assisted-living facilities; • The so-called “parent trigger” bill that would have given parents the ability to petition school district about a turnaround plan for failing schools; • An attempt to pass what had become known as the “anti-Sharia law” bill. Though the provision was widely perceived to target Islamic law, the Anti-Defamation League said the measure would have prevented Florida from recognizing divorces granted in Israel to Jewish couples.
Another tax holiday The back-to-school sales tax holiday will likely be back this summer and will include personal computers. Legislators passed a wide-ranging economic development bill that includes a threeday period, Aug. 2 through Aug. 4, during which a number of items won’t be subject to the 6 percent sales tax. Clothes, shoes, wallets, bags, and backpacks costing $75 or less and school supplies costing $15 or less would be covered by the tax holiday. Personal computers and related accessories costing $750 or less, as long as they’re not used for commercial purposes, are also covered, as are digital readers, tablets, and items like keyboards or monitors – as long as they don’t include a TV tuner. In addition to the tax holiday, the bill creates a schedule for re-
Right on red It would be tougher for local governments to issue tickets to motorists caught on camera taking a right on red, under a wide-ranging transportation bill sent to Scott. The measure prevents a notice of violation or traffic citation as long as the vehicle came to a stop, even after crossing the stop line, prior to completing an allowed right turn during a red light. The measure does not alter the ability of municipal and county governments to use red light cameras for traffic traveling straight or making left turns. The law currently states that a violation or citation may be issued unless the motorist made a righthand turn in a “careful and pru-
Scott has the right to exercise a line-item veto, which means that he can reject specific parts of the appropriations bill without rejecting the entire bill. The Florida Legislature can override a line-item veto with a two-thirds majority vote of both houses. Here are some items he is considering: • $50 million for construction of “The Coast to Coast Connector,” a trail for bicyclists or others that will go from St. Petersburg to Titusville; • $1 million for the Bay of Pigs Museum in Miami; • $500,000 from the the Hotel and Restaurant Trust Fund to be spent on a contract with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association to develop a marketing campaign to “promote Florida tourism by residents of the state,” sometimes called “staycations”; • $240,000 from the Citrus Advertising Trust Fund for giving away orange juice at the state’s highway welcome centers along Interstates 10, 75 and 95 and on U.S. 231; • $150,000 from the State Game Trust Fund for alligator marketing; • $100,000 from the General Inspection Trust Fund for alligator marketing; • $75,000 for roof replacement and repairs in the court system statewide; • $1,000 raises for state’s seven Supreme Court Justices, taking their annual pay from $161,200 to $162,200. District, circuit, and county court judges also will get $1,000 raises, along with state’s attorneys and public defenders.
Joyner heads Dems Senate Democrats elected Sen. Arthenia Joyner of Tampa minority leader starting next year. Joyner, who becomes the first AfricanAmerican woman elected Senate Democratic leader, was first elected to the House in 2000 and then was elected to the Senate in 2006. Joyner, a lawyer, was vice chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee and the budget subcommittee that deals with criminal and civil justice.
Brandon Larrabee, David Royce and Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida all contributed to this report.
Orlando-area Medicaid plan begins in August BY JIM SAUNDERS THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
Florida’s shift to a statewide Medicaid managed-care system will start Aug. 1 for seniors who need long-term care in the Orlando area. The state Agency for Health Care Administration held a contract-signing ceremony Monday with seven health plans that eventually will provide long-term care services to about 85,000 people across the state. That is the first part of a long-debated Medicaid transformation that also will later include the broader Medicaid population.
Ceremony unusual Such a contract-signing ceremony is unusual in state government but was an indication of the emphasis that Gov. Rick Scott’s administration has placed on revamping Medicaid. “This is a major milestone along the way to the statewide Medicaid managed-care program,’’ said Justin Senior, an AHCA deputy secretary who directs Medicaid. Federal officials in February approved the long-term care portion of the Medicaid changes, though AHCA had already gone through a lengthy process in which health plans bid for contracts in 11 regions of the state. The seven companies that received contracts in all or some of the regions were American Eldercare, Amerigroup Florida, Coventry Health Care of Florida, Humana, Molina Healthcare of Florida, Sunshine Health and United HealthCare of Florida. Also, another plan, Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers of Dade County, has filed a bid protest in the state Division of Administrative Hearings. If is successful, it could receive a contract in a region that includes MiamiDade and Monroe counties.
Cost containment The basic concept behind the long-term care portion of the Medicaid changes is that managed-care plans will be able to better coordinate services, which could help seniors and people with disabilities stay in their homes instead of having to move into nursing facilities. Ultimately, that could help hold down state costs in the Medicaid program, as nursing-home care is typically more expensive than home- and community-based services. AHCA will start the changes Aug. 1 in a Central Florida region that includes Orange, Brevard, Osceola and Seminole counties. The long-term care changes will gradually expand to other areas and are expected to be in place statewide by March 2014. Florida has long operated what is known as a “nursing home diversion” program, which is a smaller-scale version of the statewide longterm care system. American Eldercare, for example, already provides services in the diversion program and has received contracts in all 11 regions of the new managed-care system. Robert Schemel, president of the company, said the biggest difference with the new system will be the volume of people served.
Still waiting Lawmakers and Scott in 2011 approved a plan to transform Medicaid into a statewide managed-care system, despite opposition from some groups that argued HMOs could shortchange the care people receive. The state submitted applications to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in August 2011. While it has received approval to move forward with the long-term care portion of the plan, it is still waiting for a final sign-off on the broader Medicaid population – though federal officials sent a letter earlier this year indicating that such approval was near.
MAY 10 – MAY 16, 2013
Immigration reform bill hurts Africans The Senate’s Gang of Eight have put together an 844-page monstrosity known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, legislation that President Obama says he “basically approves” of. The crafters of this essentially unreadable bill include Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (DNY), Michael Bennett (DCol.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC). On its surface, the bill provides much-needed relief to many of the 11 mil-
DR. JULIANNE MALVEAUX TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM
lion undocumented people who live in our country. But it disadvantages some immigrants, especially African and Caribbean immigrants, while helping others. Further, the senators crafting the bill put goodies into the bill that only serve to advantage themselves or their states.
Goodies galore Graham wants more visas
for the meat-packing industry. Schumer provided special provisions for Irish people with high school diplomas. Rubio asked for more visas for the cruise ship industry. Bennett wants more visas for workers in ski resorts. Meanwhile, the legislation would eliminate the Diversity Visa Program, which allows a visa lottery for countries that have low levels (less than 50,000 people) of immigration to the United States. Many African immigrants come here through this program (Ghana and Nigeria each had 6,000 immigrants through this program in 2011; Afri-
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION
can immigrants are 36 percent of those receiving diversity visas). Thus, while Sen. Schumer pushes for special provisions for Irish immigrants, there is no one on the Senate side pushing for special provisions for African and Caribbean immigrants.
African immigrants cut Instead of the Diversity Visa Program, Senate Bill 744 creates between 120,000 and 200,000 visas on a “merit-based” system, which gives highest priority to those who have future employment opportunities. Because employers do not seek out African and Caribbean immigrants for employees (as they seek out Indian and Chinese employees), the merit-based point system is likely to provide fewer opportunities for those from Africa and the Caribbean. Sen. Schumer’s special provision for the Irish carries no stipulation that these people be employed,
essentially granting them a has been urging Democrats pass from the merit-based to accept the immigration bill as-is; too many amendpoint system. ments may jeopardize the bill. Canadian border President Obama didn’t ignored get his way on gun conThe Immigration Mod- trol, and he’s been kicked ernization bill will spend around by an obstructionist $4.5 billion in an attempt House of Representatives. to secure the southern bor- He needs immigration reder, which will ‘secure’ our form to fulfill promises he country from Mexican im- made to the Latino commumigrants, but ignores the nity during his campaign. northern border, which The bill is called the Bormakes our country more der Security, Economic Opopen to Canadian immigra- portunity and Immigration tion. Of course, Canadian Modernization Act. Exactimmigrants are more likely ly who will have more ecoto be White, and thus less nomic opportunity? And feared, than Mexican immi- is immigration really being grants. modernized when it locks (The Congressional Black foreign-born Black people Caucus is one of many out of the process? groups that suggest that this The African-American $4.5 billion could be more community must take a effectively spent, perhaps closer look at this legislaon STEM education.) tion. At the very minimum, The immigration bill is by Congress should restore the no means final. The House Diversity Visa program. of Representatives still has to vote on it. Many of them Julianne Malveaux is a will add amendments and D.C.-based economist and exceptions to take care of author. Click on this story their “pet” causes. Mean- at www.flcourier.com to while, President Obama write your own response.
A potpourri of thoughts
Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant
A letter to my son It was 8 p.m. on a Friday night, and my waterproof mascara hadn’t smudged one bit. Only five minutes before, it had just begun. Now it was over. “Wow, that’s not how it happens on TV,” I thought. And well son, that’s when I first laid eyes on you, my sweet little “honey bunny.” You had a headful of hair and the deepest brown eyes I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m sure the eyelashes of those eyes will bat at me in the future and I’ll probably give in, but we will cross that bridge when we get there. Apparently, they do not give out “how to raise a child in the 21st century” handbooks, or maybe they ran out that day. But between your grandparents, Google, your dad and I, we’ll do just fine. This Mother's Day, I want to share a few words with you. Some are requests; others are promises; one or two are simply non-negotiable. Twelve things I want you to know: • Remember to pray. God loves you. • I love you. I will always love you. Even when you have done something that may disappoint me, I love you. • I will always have your best interest in mind, even if you don’t understand why at the moment. • I have your back and always will. See #2. • I will always listen and you can always call, even if I’m busy or if it’s 3 a.m.
Ashley D. Thomas STAFF COMMENTARY
• It’s OK to cry; that doesn’t make you a sissy. • Always be honest. • Always be kind. • Stand up for what you believe in. • Call your grandmothers. • Clean your room. • Read. A lot. Hard work and education pays off. Did I mention I love you?
Ashley Thomas is a Daytona Times staff writer. Her 3-month-old son’s name is Camillus. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
Opinions expressed on this editorial page are those of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of the newspaper or the publisher.
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For over 28 years, the National Congress of Black Women has led the effort to clean up “gangsta rap” because of its deleterious impact upon young people in our community. We’ve always felt that it’s impossible to separate what’s ingested – either physically or psychologically – from its impact upon the body. We’ve testified before Congress, picketed record shops, met with BET and after being rebuffed, we’ve picketed BET. We have purchased stock in companies so that we could speak at stockholders' meetings and make our positions heard. We’ve contacted sponsors of the purveyors of filth in the media and music and we’ve asked them to withdraw their support. We have achieved our greatest success with this strategy. It’s difficult for them to justify feeding the children of others filth they would not allow their own to partake. We will continue to transcribe the lyrics of some of the grossest, most denigrating songs and make them available to parents who may be enjoying the musical beat of their children’s music without knowing the words. Children damaged As you can expect, we’ve experienced tremendous pushback from those whose only interest is in making money. They’ve made it very clear to all who would
Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. TRICE EDNEY WIRE
listen that their concern is in commercial success and not in the damage done to the psyches of our children. They spew their filth and violence-laden garbage in our community and expect us to be willing to pay for the privilege. In their wake, they leave millions of our youth with distorted perceptions – some that will never be corrected – of the realities of life and relationships. In light of the current discussion on violence and other elements of social discourse, we must be vigilant in monitoring information our children consume. We must offer a counterbalance to the detrimental impact of this garbage. We will not quit this effort and we pray that those who are just entering this fight will join our efforts to perform this hard and, often, unrewarding work.
Support Woodson Home The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Home is competing with other historical sites for funds to be used for restorative preservation. The
home is where Dr. Woodson lived when he established the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, and promoted the first Negro History Week. It is the nominal "Birthplace of African American History." I accessed the Partners in Perseveration website (https://www.preservedmv.com) to determine the status of the Woodson Home on the list of 24 sites vying for funds. I sadly report that the Woodson Home ranks 14th with only 55,230 votes. The No.1 site has almost 10 times more votes. Considering the number of African-Americans who have computer and Internet access, this is a travesty. Until the voting deadline on May 10th, you may vote for your chosen site once each day and you are encouraged to do so. I also encourage you to forward this to those in your e-address book, Facebook friends and anyone you contact through social media.
Dr. E. Faye Williams is chair of the National Congress of Black Women, www.nationalcongressbw.org. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
Sequester pain goes beyond air travel When the sequester federal spending cuts forced flight delays because of the furlough of air traffic controllers, the normally deadlocked Congress acted in less than a week to give the Federal Aviation Administration flexibility to avoid the furloughs. The aggravations of business travelers are heard in Washington. But Congress can’t seem to hear the tribulations of the less fortunate. The cuts are not only blind; they are dangerous. They cost jobs and threaten to drive the economy back into recession. Growth is slowing. Europe is already back in recession. Exports are down. Wages aren’t keeping up with prices. The wealthiest Americans benefit from the rising stock market; the vast majority of Americans are looking down, not up.
in the country. There are seven trauma centers in and around the city providing emergency care to a population of 3 million people. But neither the gun violence nor the trauma centers are equally distributed around the city. Southeast Chicago – one of the worst areas of gun violence – has no trauma center. The study Crandall coauthored discovered that distance matters. There is a higher mortality rate among those with gunshot wounds who are more than five miles from a trauma center than among those who live closer. Unequal access kills.
Unequal access hurts
A recent study in the American Journal of Public Health on gun violence and trauma centers co-authored by Dr. Marie Crandall, a professor at Northwestern Medical School, reveals how unequal treatment costs lives. Chicago suffers one of the highest rates of gun violence
Similarly, in a New York Times opinion piece, Sean F. Reardon, an education and sociology professor at Stanford, notes that a recent study about student performance finds a growing gap between the children of rich parents and those of middle-class and poor parents.
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM
Affluent parents provide their children with far greater educational experiences; they start school ready to learn. Poor and middleclass parents have fewer resources for child care, prekindergarten programs and summer programs. Their children start school in the hole. Unequal sacrifices Blind, across-the-board sequester cuts are dangerous. They block disabled seniors’ access to meals, deprive AIDS patients of lifepreserving drugs and slash unemployment checks for families in their time of distress. The cuts may cost business travelers a few hours of aggravation, but they will endanger the lives of the most vulnerable among us. We need public services to serve those most in need. Trauma centers should be located where the most traumas occur. And cuts in services should be selective, seeking to cut the wasteful or the unneeded, while saving the most vital.
Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. is president and CEO of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. Click on this story at www. flcourier.com to write your own response.
MAY 10 – MAY 16, 2013
This Mothers’ Day, I will think of Mary Graham I met Mary Graham last Saturday at a meeting of Mothers StandJULIE ing in the Gap, a group of women in EBENSTEIN, Jacksonville who come together to ESQ. support one another through their sons’ incarceration. Like mothers guest commentary everywhere, they do everything they can for their sons, with little ment or punishment. concern for themselves.
Life without parole
Not ‘miniature adult’
In 2006, Ms. Graham’s son, Terrance, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his first offense, an armed burglary that he committed while he was 16 years old. At the time Terrence was sentenced, Florida was the only state that imposed life without parole on juveniles for commission of an armed burglary as a first offense. Then and now, the U.S. was the only country in the world that sentenced children to die in prison. Like so many other aspects of our criminal justice system, this story can’t be told without understanding its racial dynamics. In the U.S., African-American youth are sentenced to life without parole as children at a per capita rate that is 10 times that of White youth convicted of the same crimes. Terrance challenged the constitutionality of his sentence. His case went all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court and he won his appeal – one of the most significant victories for juvenile justice in recent memory. The court held that sentencing juveniles with life without the possibility of parole categorically violates the 8th Amendment protection against cruel and unusual treat-
The Supreme Court recognized that juveniles are not miniature adults. Teenagers have more transitory personalities than adults and a greater ability for rehabilitation. In an amicus brief submitted to the court, a distinguished lawyer, a U.S. senator, an author, a Broadway actor and a corporate executive each described their own journey from teenage crime committed to successfully making a contribution to their community as an adult. In light of young people’s differences and unique potential for growth and change, as Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority of the court in Graham’s case, there ought to be “some meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation.” While Terrence was not released, he had to be resentenced to a different prison term. Terence’s legal victory is not enough to correct Florida’s propensity to impose unnecessarily excessive prison terms. This year, and the end of the legislative session last week, marks the third year since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that the Florida Legislature has failed to pass legislation implementing the Graham
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: BUILDING COLLAPSES IN BANGLADESH
case. The legislature must pass a law that complies with the letter and spirit of the Graham case and create a fair system that allows for youth in prison to demonstrate their rehabilitation and eventually be reunited with their families.
Not alone Unfortunately, Ms. Graham and the twelve mothers and grandmothers gathered in the meeting at the Jacksonville library last Saturday are not alone. Florida charges and tries more young people under the age of 18 in the adult criminal justice system than any other state. There are currently 167 prisoners under 18 in Florida state prisons, and 443 more in Florida county jails. There are also 1,614 people in state prisons who have been in custody since they were children. The oldest is 69 years old. Not all children charged as adults in Florida have been accused of a violent crime – a U.S. Department of Justice study found that among juveniles charged as adults in Florida 31 percent were charged for property crimes, 11 percent for drug crimes, and only 44 percent for crimes against persons. Compare that with states such California and Arizona where, respectively, 65 percent and 60 percent of children charged as adults are charged with crimes against persons. Perhaps it is not our young people, but our state’s justice system, that is worse than most. In Florida, 11 percent of state prisoners are sentenced to die in prison: 7,819 are serving life without parole and
Hajo de Reijger, The Netherlands
of traveling for brief prison visits. A few told of the heartbreaking experience of finally making the trip to a prison, only to be prohibited from visiting because their son was being held in solitary confinement. All have struggled to keep their families intact. Crime has many victims. It damages individuals, families and communities. But unnecessarily long terms of incarceration create more victims, and these mothers Constant sacrifices This year marks the seventh year have committed no crime. that Terrance Graham has spent Julie Ebenstein is a staff attorin prison. Ms. Graham and other ney for the American Civil Libmothers describe their sacrifice to cover the expense of remaining in erties Union of Florida. Click on contact with their sons by mail or this story at www.flcourier.com by phone, and the prohibitive cost to write your own response. an additional 4,185 are serving a life sentence, which became life without parole when Florida ended parole. Many more are serving long sentences that go well beyond their life expectancy, which are de facto sentences to die in prison. One transgression is never the sum total of someone’s worth or potential. Yet one mistake can forever haunt us, and damage the people who love us.
Businesses interested in youthful consumers’ behavior I believe our future is in good hands, despite what recent news headlines would have us otherwise believe. You are as familiar as I am with the barrage of negative stories of violence, drugs, teen pregnancy, bullying and other questionable behaviors of today’s youth. No matter where you live, I’ll bet there are legions more of good kids in your city or town who are shining in every area of their lives, excelling in school, giving back in ways both small and large to their communities, sports and other extracurricular activities. I claim bragging rights as the mother of one of these outstanding young people, my 16-year-old son. I always talk about how this nation is becoming more multicultural day by day. In eight years, there will be 170 million multicultural consumers in the Unit-
CHERYL PEARSONMCNEIL NNPA COLUMNIST
ed States. America is a huge melting pot already, but these forecasted numbers are promising for people of color – especially young people. According to the most recent U.S. Census, AfricanAmericans, Hispanics and Asians each make up 42 percent of the youngest demographic age groups: 1217, 18-24 and 25-34. These same groups of young folks are going to be in our shoes as adults in a few decades and their numbers are on the rise. The 18 to 24 yearold demographic is, in fact, growing faster than any other segment.
you know they are very good eos the old-school way – on However, acat spending our money. Can television. Businesses and advertiscording to Nielsen’s most I get an “AMEN” on that? ers are paying very close atrecent Cross-Platform Retention to the information port, young consumers unSmartphone I’m sharing with you today. der 34 watched more vidAll of us know by now how penetration eo on the Internet and their critical everything we purOwnership of smart- mobile devices in 2012 than chase, watch, read and listen phones and tablets is grow- they did in 2011. to is for manufacturers and ing faster in households marketers. The same is true with teenagers. There was Under 34 crowd for young people. What are a 45 percent jump in smartThe “under 34” crowd their consumer behaviors? phone penetration among isn’t a monolithic group, How much are they contrib- teens between 2011 and though, when it comes to uting or will they contribute 2012, a 32 percent increase video consumption. Young in the future to the consum- among young adults 18-24 teenagers lead in watcher bottom-line? and 22 percent among those ing content on their mobile Nielsen research shows 25-34. phones; 18 percent more that teens have some real The numbers for lap- than those 18-24 and 46 perpurchasing potential – al- top penetration are inter- cent more than the next age though at this point, that po- esting. It seems laptops are group, 25-35. On the other tential has a lot to do with cool with young people until hand, teens don’t seem to the earnings of their par- they hit their late 20s – even favor watching online, even ents, grandparents or guard- though laptop ownership though laptop ownership is ians, since most kids are not has increased in all three higher in that group. yet making the big bucks. young adult age groups (12The data shows that in the Last year, 29 percent of 17, 18-24, 25-34) over the last quarter of 2012, those in teens in the U.S. lived in last year. the 18-24 age bracket spent households earning more Teens and young adults, nearly three times more conthan $100,000 And if you are like the rest of us, watch suming video on the Internet the parent of teenager(s), most of their shows and vid- than 12 to 17-year-olds. The
A racist hatchet job on Black farmers’ lawsuit Though Andrew Breitbart has been dead a year, his rancid brand of hatemongering slander is alive and well. Its latest rotten pustule burst upon the face of the New York Times in a 5,000-word piece by Sharon LaFraniere, with an assist from self-described conservative blogger Dave Weigel at Slate.com, a web site owned by the Washington Post. The inflammatory title of the NYT piece says it all – “US Opens Spigot After Farmers Claim Discrimination.”
Waiting in line La Franiere depicts a fantasy world in which Black hucksters are enrolling thousands of AfricanAmericans – many of whom were never farmers or even the heirs of farmers – in an apparently successful discrimination suit against the federal government. The Times reporter and her ‘researchers’ drone on without the bother of a single sentence describing the practices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is being sued for. She and the Times apparently consider irrelevant the egregious and well-documented misconduct of USDA bureaucrats and staffers, county supervisors, local commit-
BRUCE A. DIXON BLACK AGENDA REPORT
tees and others. According to USDA’s own admission, they denied and actively blocked the flow of credit, information, loans and resources to Black farmers, leading to financial and business hardships and to a rate of dispossession of Black landowners that far exceeded the numbers of Whites who lost their farms. One of many resources the NY Times might have availed itself of is Pete Daniels, author of “Dispossession: Discrimination Against African-American Farmers in the Age of Civil Rights.” Between 1940 and 1974, the number of AfricanAmerican farmers fell by 93 percent – far higher than the loss of White farmers. During the Black Freedom Movement of the 1960s, local USDA officials purposefully pursued the dispossession of Black landowners who in any way aided or took part in the movement.
One con man The Times reporter sin-
gles out one Anthony Burrell as enlisting hundreds or thousands of patently false claimants in a settlement whose very design “encouraged people to lie... because claimants were not required to present documentary evidence that they had been unfairly treated or even tried to farm.” The NY Times inclusion of Burrell in its story, Dr. Ridgely Muhammad told Black Agenda Report, “is all about smearing and besmirching the Black farmers.” Dr. Muhammad, who operates a large farm near Albany, Ga. on behalf of the Nation of Islam, has also written on the destructive role played by Mr. Burrell over the years in undermining the Black farmers’ efforts to seek justice. The Federation of Southern Cooperatives, the nation’s largest organization of Black farmers, delivered a detailed list of the reporter’s unprofessional omissions, distortions and falsehoods. But as Mark Twain once noted, lies are flashed around the world in less time it takes for the truth to put its boots on. In this case, the lies have been transmitted by the New York Times and tentacles of the Washington Post.
No shame The truly powerful are immune to shame, and the Times seems to be no exception. A gaggle of distinguished historians and academics have been assured that the NY Times stands by its ‘reporting,’ and at least for the moment has no intention of retracting or reexamining any part of its ‘coverage’ of the Black farmers’ lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture. As for hope and change at USDA itself, although there are voluminous findings of official wrongdoing on every level going back decades, Pete Daniels reminds us that it took till 2010 for USDA to fire its very first employee for alleged racist or discriminatory conduct. That employee was Shirley Sherrod.
Bruce Dixon is managing editor of BlackAgendaReport.com. Contact him at bruce.dixon@blackagendareport. com. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
“oldest” of the young demos, the 25 to 34-year-olds, spent the most total time watching video across all platforms in 2012: 19 hours and 30 minutes more per month than 18 to 24-year-olds and 40 hours and 54 minutes more a month than 12 to17-yearold consumers.
Sweet target Whenever I speak to youth groups, I always let them how much of the sweet target they are to marketers. The youth of today should feel empowered, too. Not only are they the future, they are the present and marketers are watching.
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies go to www.nielsenwire.com. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
Expanding Medicaid crucial for economy, health Last week, 400,000 poor and underserved Louisianans, many of them people of color, were shut out of potentially life-saving health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A Louisiana House health committee voted down a measure that would have forced Gov. Bobby Jindal to opt into the Medicaid expansion provision of ACA that is being subsidized by the federal government to cover vulnerable communities. Jindal won’t accept federal funding to expand Medicaid. He appears to be more focused on positioning for his own political future, at a huge cost to Louisianans. Accepting federal dollars would mean that an estimated 398,000 more hardworking Louisianans would get basic health care when they need it, without facing devastating medical bills. Medicaid expansion would also have the most positive impact on AfricanAmericans in the state; nearly half of those in our community who don’t have health insurance would likely gain coverage.
MARC H. MORIAL TRICE EDNEY WIRE
of the country continue to put their own self-interests before the hardworking families in their state. In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry has vowed to block Medicaid expansion. Texas is the only state in the country that ranks higher than Louisiana in terms of uninsured people. Folks like Jindal and Perry must act on behalf of the millions of hardworking families across the country that will benefit from this funding, rather than play politics with their health. Lawmakers must lead on these issues, to accept federal aid to expand Medicaid and provide basic health care to millions. By doing so, they have the potential to transform their states, improve and save lives, and reduce taxpayer costs.
Marc Morial is president/CEO of the National Urban League. Click on this story at www.flcouriSelf-interests first er.com to write your own Politicians in other parts response.
MAY 10 – MAY 16, 2013
South African ruling party criticized Ugandan widow wins over video of frail Nelson Mandela compensation after fight By Robyn Dixon Los Angeles Times / MCT)
By Robyn Dixon Los Angeles Times / MCT
JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s ruling African National Congress defended a controversial decision last week to allow the broadcast on television of a video of an unsmiling Nelson Mandela, looking frail, pallid and uncomfortable, as people snapped flash photos of him when President Jacob Zuma and other ANC luminaries visited him at his house. Mandela, South Africa’s first Black president, was recently hospitalized with pneumonia and is recovering at home under medical supervision. South Africans reacted with alarm on Twitter and other social networks after the video was broadcast Monday on government-controlled SABC-TV.
Denying reality The SABC telecast appeared to contradict reality, with Zuma describing Mandela, 94, as fine and “up and about.” Mandela was seated on a chair with a pillow behind his head, and a blanket over him. His right cheek showed a slight impression or pressure mark that may have been left by an oxygen mask or other medical equipment. Zuma’s ebullience that Mandela was so “well” seemed to underscore how ill Mandela must have been recently, if this was what Zuma considered Mandela looking fine. “We saw him, he’s looking very good, he’s in good shape. We had some conversation with him, shook hands, he smiled, as you can see him, that he’s really up and about and stabilized. We’re really very happy. We think that he’s fine,” Zuma said in an interview with SABC outside Mandela’s front door. Much of the outrage on South African social media concerned criticisms of the invasion of Mandela’s privacy by the ANC. Some accused the ANC of using a frail old man for political purposes. Others expressed concern about the use of flashes, since South African and international media are wellversed on the rule never to use flash photography with Mandela, whose eyes are said to be highly sensitive to bright light after years of working in a limestone quarry when imprisoned on Robben Island. At one point when a flash went off, Mandela closed his eyes, looking discomforted. He remained stiff and unresponsive as officials urged him to smile.
Worldwide concern Mandela is revered by South Africans for his role in fighting apartheid and ushering in a peaceful democracy in 1994. Whenever the former president falls ill, the nation holds its breath, and on several occasions rumors of his death have exploded on social
In this 2005 file photo, an elderly but healthierlooking Nelson Mandela met with President George W. Bush at the White House. networks. “Mandela survived 27 years in prison, only to become a prisoner of the ANC marketing machine,” said one South African on Twitter. “And the DA is no better,” he added in another tweet, referring to a recent advertising campaign by the opposition Democratic Alliance, showing a photograph of Mandela with his arm around Helen Suzman, an independent lawmaker during the apartheid years who for many years was the only anti-apartheid voice in the parliament. Others were simply shocked by how poorly Mandela, known in South Africa affectionately by his clan name Madiba, appeared. “They need to stop saying Mandela is doing well. Look at him,” one South African wrote on Twitter. “Poor Nelson Mandela. Let him be. No elderly person deserves that,” said another. Another said Mandela had been treated “like an animal in a zoo.”
Erratic updates Zuma’s government has struggled to find the right tone in dealing with Mandela’s frailty and recent health crises. It has tended to report news late, allowing rumors to swirl, and has misled the public about which hospital he has been treated in and how seriously ill he has been. Mandela contracted tuberculosis when he was in jail and has struggled with lung infections and other complications in recent years. The ANC said Monday’s video was an effort to keep South Africa and the world informed on Mandela’s condition.
KASANA, UGANDA – When Joyce Birabwa’s husband was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu, 1,000 miles away, her whole world fell apart. Then she discovered her in-laws had plans that would leave her and her two children penniless. First, they grabbed the land and 12 cows her husband, Eriya Kabuye, kept in a rural village outside the central Ugandan town where the couple rented a house. Her brother-in-law claimed a $50,000 payment – compensation for the 2010 death of Kabuye, 27, a Ugandan soldier who served in a peacekeeping force fighting al-Qaida-linked rebels in Somalia. She learned about it only when a relative heard him boasting about the money in a local bar. After a grueling twoyear struggle, she eventually received $24,000.
Widows suffer Uganda, like many African nations, remains a largely male-dominated society. Widows are “left at the mercy of her husband’s line and his heir,” according to a 2010 study by academics Florence Asiimwe of Uganda’s Makerere University and Owen Crankshaw of the University of Cape Town in South Africa. A 2011 U.S. State Department human rights report on Uganda says nearly half of the nation’s widows are dispossessed of all or some of the family property after their husband’s death.
Churches, politicians don’t help Conservative religious groups, including the Catho-
Robyn Dixon/ Los Angeles Times/MCT
After her husband was killed, Joyce Birabwa, shown with her two children, wound up in a battle with her in-laws over land and money paid for his death. lic Church, Uganda’s largest, have helped suffocate efforts at reform. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has also quashed efforts to pass laws protecting women’s rights. “I do not like women who pollute our women emancipation movement by introducing elements of mercenerism (sic) in marriages,” he said, referring to the provisions that would allow women to claim a share of marital property after divorce. Cooking and cleaning shouldn’t entitle them to marital property after divorce, he said. The bill would also prohibit the compulsory payment of goats and cows in exchange for a bride, prevent forced marriages, ban “widow inheritance,” in which a woman can be forced to marry her brother-in-law, and outlaw marital rape. Museveni argued that Uganda was not ready for the proposed changes.
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May 10 - May 16, 2013
Steve Harvey hits on a winning daytime formula See page B5
SHARING BLACK LIFE, STATEWIDE
Food: Serving up smiles See page B6
SUN COAST / TAMPA BAY www.flcourier.com
The Florida Courier staff pays tribute to their moms with personal photos and narratives
Dear Grandma Julia, This Mother’s Day, we want to appreciate you for all you have done for us. You brighten the visits to Daytona in a snap. You’d never know how much we love you through words! Love, Chayla and Wig
To our Wonderful Mom and Granny Mamie Gooden-Lee, Thank you for many years of love. You are truly a blessing to all of us. Your unconditional love has been shown continuously. May God continue to bless you and give you favor for all of your good works. We love you! Lisa, Chayla and Charles III
To a wonderful Mom and Grandma who deserves recognition everyday. On this Mother’s Day we just want to say “thank you” for your unconditional love and support. Your love of the Lord and family shines brightly for us to follow! We love you!, Valerie and Jamal
To the chairwoman of our board: Thanks for being our anchor in the stormy seas of life. We love you! Chuck, Glenn, Cassandra
To our family’s phenomenal First Lady – Mrs. Josephine Griffin. Thanks, Mom, for your godly words of wisdom and for always being there for the really special moments in our lives. Jenise
She was my Mama, my friend, my confidante. Thanks for leaving so many gems to live by. I love you, Julia
Dear Grandma Julia, Just wanted to take the time this Mother’s Day to say I love you and hope you know that I think about you often. Happy Mother’s Day! Jamal
My best friend and confidante: I wish you were still here to share my thoughts. Looking forward to our reunion in heaven. Love ya, Jerry
Momma Margie Garcia: I love you, I love you, I love you! I will share you with my big sisters and brothers sometimes. Thank you for being the special Lady that you are.
Happy Mother’s Day to Lillie Bell Beckton (left) and her sister, Ann Harper. I am truly blessed to have my mom and aunt in my life today. They have always been there for me whenever I needed them. I love both of you very much. James
This is my favorite photo of my mom, my grandma and myself. We aren’t in our Sunday best but it is a candid photo of generational love. Grandma stepped on that “morning train” one year ago on May 28 and even though she is no longer with us the love she had for her family carries on. Love you granma, love you mom! Ashley
To my mother Linda: I Love you, I thank you for never, ever, ever, ever giving up on me, and supporting me through all the good and the bad, you will always be my Ma-me. My mother is strong, dependable. Her insight and love is the rock I stand on. One of eight, she helped raise her siblings, being the first in our family to graduate from Florida A&M University. Starla
To my Mama Jewel: I love you and appreciate every ounce of kindness that flows from you at all times... Thank you, Mama Jewel. Your name says it all for you are truly a Jewel to me. Love, Lynnette
MAY 10 – MAY 16, 2013
FLORIDA COMMUNITY CALENDAR
Walter Beasley will be at the Ritz Theatre in Jacksonville on June 1 for 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows.
Jacksonville: The Jacksonville Jazz Festival featuring Najee, Gary Staling, the John Ricci Quartet and more will be held May 23-26 at 117 West Duval St. Orlando: The first Mothers’ Milk Bank of Florida 5k Run/Walk and 2 Mile Family Walk, which is helping raise funds to create a donor human milk bank for babies, will be held May 11 at Bull Frederick Park, 3401 S. Hiawassee Road. Start time: 7:15 a.m. Jacksonville: Avant and Brian McKnight will be at the Florida Theater Jacksonville May 24 for a 7 p.m. show. Mt. Dora: The Mt. Dora Blues and Wine Festival will be held May 17 – May 19 on Main St. in Downtown Mt. Dora. More information: 352728-5250. Maitland: Central Florida letter carriers will take part in the 21st annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, which will take place across America. Central Florida residents are asked to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal, etc. - next to their mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 11. Local letter carriers will collect these food donations as they deliver the mail and take them to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. More information: www.helpstampouthunger.com or 407-322-3031.
Red Grant is among a slate of comedians performing at the 6th annual Memorial Day Weekend Comedy Fest May 26, 8 p.m. at the James L. Knight Center.
Kelly Rowland and the Dream bring their Lights Out Tour to the House of Blues Orlando June 6 for a 7:30 p.m. show. MCT
Orlando: R&B songstress Jordin Sparks will be at the House of Blues Orlando for a benefit concert hosted by Masters champ Bubba Watson on May 17. St. Augustine: Rap artist Kendrick Lamar will be at the St. Augustine Amphitheater June 19 for a 6:30 p.m. show. Tampa: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Centennial Torch Tour makes a stop in Tampa on May 18. The day, hosted by the Tampa Alumnae Chapter, will include an event for students at the Museum of Science and Industry from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A Crimson Yacht Soiree on the yacht StarShip starts at 6:30 p.m. More information: 850-284-3386 or visit www.dstta.com.
Tampa: State Rep. Janet Cruz presents the 2013 West Tampa Job Fair July 30 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Higgins Hall, 5255 N. Himes Ave. Admission for job seekers is free and an eight-foot table is free to employers. More information and to register as an employer: 813-673-4673. Jacksonville: A youth and young adult revival will be held at Central Metropolitan CME Church May 17 at 7 p.m. 4611 N. Pearl St. Orlando: An Art of Networking workshop teaching entrepreneurs
how to “work a room so it works for you” will be held May 15 from 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce building, 75 South Ivanhoe Blvd. RSVP is required. More information: 407-835-2486. Jacksonville: The stage play and musical “Dreamgirls” will be at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts May 21 at 7:30 p.m. St. Petersburg: LL Cool J, Ice Cube, De La Soul and Public Enemy will be at The Mahaffey in St. Petersburg during their Kings of the Mic
Tour on June 6 and the St. Augustine Amphitheater June 7. St. Petersburg: Youths ages 7 to 11 can enjoy a night of football, kickball, ping-pong, foosball, video games and dance parties during “Freestyle Fridays” at the Fossil Park & Willis S. Johns Center, 6635 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. First visit free; $6 each following visit. More information: 727-893-7756. St. Petersburg: First Fridays are held in downtown St. Petersburg at 250 Central Ave. between Sec-
ond and Third Avenues from 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. More information: 727-393-3597. Fort Lauderdale: The Florida Minority Community Reinvestment along with a coalition of Florida minority non-profits and neighborhood associations are hosting the 2013 Let’s Do Business Florida & Summit June 28-June 29 at the Westin Beach Resort & Spa. No cost to women-minority-veteran businesses and nonprofits. More information: www.letsdobusinessflorida.com.
Co-founder of Florida Mass Choir, Dr. Arthur T. Jones, dies BY THE FLORIDA COURIER STAFF
Dr. Arthur T. Jones, founder and senior pastor of BibleBased Fellowship Church in Tampa and co-founder and executive director of the Florida Mass Choir, Inc., died May 4. He was 65. According to an obituary in the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa native graduated from that city’s Middleton High School and later worked as an IBM marketing executive for 24 years. He graduated from United Theological Seminary, and also received religious training at Harvard and Oxford universities. An informal 1988 Bible study at the Jones family’s home grew to become Bible-Based Fellowship Church in 1992. Since then, BBFC has grown “into a church with more than 5,000 members, and five congregaDr. Arthur tions and two T. Jones schools in Africa,” according to the Tampa Bay Times. Jones was also a writer, gospel singer, songwriter, record and video producer who served in ministry and music capacities in Florida, Texas, South Carolina and Georgia. He recorded and produced 14 albums, CDs and videos with the world-famous Florida Mass Choir as well as a solo 2002 CD entitled, “Speak For Me.” The Gospel Music Workshop of America honored him for his lifetime achievements in the gospel music industry in 2011. Jones also published three books: “Four Words for Tough
Jones and the Florida Mass Choir together recorded 14 albums, CDs and videos.
These homeowners were helped by the program. To hear their story, go to
Times,” “When You Don’t Know What to Do,” and “Just Let God Be God.”
Extensive travels Jones traveled to Israel, Egypt, Switzerland, Greece, China and on five preaching and teaching missions to Africa. While there, he visited Senegal, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, the Central African Republic, Niger, Kenya, and Burkina Faso. In Burkina Faso, Jones established five churches – all named after their mother church, Bible-Based Fellowship – as well as Bethesda Academy, a middle and senior high school with 35 full-time staff and 469 students. According to its website, Bible-Based Fellowship has also established 11 other churches in remote villages around Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. Jones is survived by his wife, Doris; two daughters, Shonda and Natalie, and two sons, Arthur T. II, and Darren; and a sonin-law, Chuck Wilson. Homegoing services were scheduled to be held Friday in Tampa.
If you’re struggling to keep your home, there is help. Today, many people are at risk of foreclosure through no fault of their own. Making Home Affordable is a free program from the U.S. government that has already helped over a million struggling homeowners. The sooner you act, the better the chance we can help you.
MAY 10 – MAY 16, 2013
Bionic eye is now a reality By Ronald D. White Los Angeles Times /MCT
LOS ANGELES – Robert Greenberg got tired of hearing from senior engineers that it wasn’t possible to build his product idea: a bionic eye that gives sight to the blind. “A lot of the folks straight out of school didn’t know any better, so I hired them instead,” quipped Greenberg, chief executive of Second Sight Medical Products Inc., a Sylmar, Calif., biotech company. “They didn’t know how hard it was going to be, that it was impossible. And so they tried.” Greenberg can laugh now that he once thought developing the device would take a year and $1 million. Some 20 years and $200 million later, the first bionic eye has helped more than 20 European patients regain some of their sight.
Now for sale Called the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, the device recently was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Second Sight, which has 100 employees, is allowed to sell the bionic eye system to patients in the U.S. with advanced retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that can cause blindness. “We are a far cry from restoring 20/20 vision,” said Brian V. Mech, Second Sight’s vice president of business development, who holds a doctorate in materials science and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. “We are taking blind people back up to low vi-
experiment, I was hooked.” Greenberg said he thought: “This is just engineering. Put more spots and you could make more pixels, like lights on a scoreboard or pixels on your computer monitor. You could see images.”
sion, and that is pretty significant.” Mech likes to show videos of once-sightless patients who, after receiving the retinal prosthesis, are able to follow a person walking down the street and discern a street curb without using their canes.
Met a financier
‘No other option’ “Until our product, these patients had no other option to obtain the ability to see,” Mech said of the $100,000 device, part of which rests on a pair of Oakley Inc. sunglass frames. The cost to European patients has been paid by insurance companies in most cases. Palo Alto attorney Dean Lloyd, who lost his vision 17 years ago, got the bionic eye system as part of the U.S. testing process. It allows him to see “boundaries and borders, not images” but has had a profound effect on his life. Lloyd cites an incident before he received the eye system that still rankles. In the middle of a courtroom trial, an opposing attorney said Lloyd didn’t stand a chance with his case because he couldn’t even keep his socks straight: Lloyd had mixed up his black, courtroom socks with his white athletic ones. “What did I do after the surgical procedure that I hadn’t been able to do?” Lloyd said. “I went home and sorted all of my socks.”
Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times/MCT
A technician in the clean room, under yellow light, inspects electrodes used on the Arguss II Retinal Prosthesis.
Bionic eye The bionic eye does not help all blind people and does not restore full vision. But the shapes, shades and pixels of light that the prosthesis produces can make a big difference for patients to be able, for instance, to climb sidewalks or get through doors without the aid of a cane. The images are akin to lights on a scoreboard or pixels on a computer monitor and can change the life of a person whose retinas still have some level of functionality. How it works: Glasses with camera
Glasses Portable unit
Camera on the glasses captures a scene, and the video is processed through a small portable unit
Visual data are sent to glasses
Video is transformed into digital instructions, which are sent wirelessly to the eye implant
OF A SPEC IAL OPP ORTUNIT Y.
medical device advances and involves top university researchers who were brought to Southern California to work on the project. Greenberg likened the degree of difficulty to “shrinking a television set to the size of a pea, then throwing it into the ocean
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Image translation in brain
The eye implant receives data
Electronic array emits small pulses of electricity to stimulate the retina’s still-functional cells; they are transmitted along the optic nerve to the brain
Brain interprets object patterns
Pulses are perceived as patterns of light; users learn to interpret the visual patterns
Source: Second Sight Medical Products Inc. Graphic: Wil Ramirez, Lorena Iniguez Elebee, Los Angeles Times
NEW BR ANCH OPENING ADVAN TAGE
A digitized image of the object is displayed in the electronic array
Capturing the scene
The story of how the bionic eye came to be made in Sylmar underscores California’s long record of
YOU TO TAKE
Electronics case with simulator and receiver
Working in Cali
WE INV ITE
© 2013 MCT
and expecting it to work.” For Greenberg, it began in the early 1990s when he was a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Some of the first work was being done there, testing patients who had lost
their vision because of retinitis pigmentosa, to see if electrically stimulating their retinas would produce results. It did. “Using one electrode, the patient saw one spot of light,” Greenberg said. “Second electrode, and the patient was seeing two spots of light. During that
There was a breakthrough of another sort a few years later, in Washington. There, Greenberg was working as a medical officer and a lead reviewer for the FDA’s Office of Device Evaluation when he met entrepreneur Alfred E. Mann. Mann had already established himself as a medical device developer through Mannkind Corp. and several other Southern California companies. During the 1980s, the self-made billionaire founded Pacesetter Systems, which made cardiac pacemakers. From there, he moved on to insulin pumps and related equipment. Another Mann-funded company, Advanced Bionics Corp., took on cochlear implants, which could restore hearing to the deaf. It was the electrode-based cochlear implant that formed the rough basis of Second Sight’s first bionic eye. In 1998, Second Sight opened with the financial backing of Mann and Sam Williams, another successful entrepreneur whose company, Williams International, designed and built small, efficient turbofan jet engines. “Sam Williams was blind from retinitis pigmentosa, the disease that we are treating,” Mech said. “He had invested along with Al in Advanced Bionics, which restores hearing for deaf people, and they were already on the market in the ‘90s. Sam said to Al, ‘Why can’t we do the same for blind people?’”
Increasingly, cameras follow you everywhere By Abbott Koloff the record/mce
They are watching as you work out at the gym, wait for a train, drive a car or walk down the street. Video surveillance cameras, both private and public, are just about everywhere – observing people as they go about their daily lives, typically recording hour after hour of mundane footage. But when something unusual happens, video can be a potent tool for law enforcement. A multitude of pictures – from retailers’ security cameras, but also from thousands of personal phone cameras – gave police in just days compelling visual evidence to zero in on men they suspected to be responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings. And with so many cameras positioned in key spots, it is becoming commonplace to have video of a crime scene or activities that provide authorities with invaluable information.
At a cost Such information comes at a cost, however, as civil rights advocates are quick to point out. Increased use of video surveillance, along with other tracking technologies, such as E-ZPass transponders and GPS chips in phones, creates a danger, they say, by recording too much information about innocent citizens – data that can easily be accessed by the government no matter who does the recording. “We are worried that cameras are becoming so ubiquitous that people won’t be able to go anywhere without having their activities stored forever,” said Ben Wizner, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s speech, privacy and technology project. And in a world that has become all-tooaccustomed to acts of terror, there may be no will to reverse that trend. Some cities have installed their own surveillance systems in an effort to reduce crime and catch criminals. Some have received federal funds to purchase video cameras to monitor so-called soft targets for terrorists, such as highways and malls. An increasing number of police departments have received federal grants to purchase license-plate readers to help spot stolen cars, along with vehicles related to people on watch lists for suspected gang members or terrorists. The informa-
Viorel Florescu/The Record/MCT
Robert Scudieri watches monitors with video feeds from more than 100 cameras across North Bergen, N.J. tion from those readers is downloaded to a national database.
How long? The ACLU has been asking officials in 40 states how long videos and license plate information are retained in the national database, and has compiled public records that provide some answers, Wizner said. The findings, he said, will be released in a report soon. The ACLU, he said, would like uniform regulations for how long surveillance information can be retained, instead of relying on towns or states to set their own rules. “We’ve never been opposed to surveillance cameras in high-impact places or an event like the marathon,” Wizner said. “We’re talking about a balance, the public interest in safety against not turning into a surveillance society where the government retains records on innocent citizens.”
Private storage Police have increasingly relied on video surveillance, mostly from private sources, to solve crimes. The ACLU also is concerned about private databases, citing a Justice Department document that shows cellphone providers, including Verizon and AT&T, keep information about what cell towers customers connect to for a year or more. That information could be subpoenaed by the government to obtain patterns of behavior of individual customers, Wizner said. “You could learn their religious beliefs, sexual orientation, their political affiliation, whether they are having an affair,” Wizner said. He also noted that video surveillance recordings have the potential to be abused. During the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, a law enforcement officer in a helicopter famously recorded images of a couple having sex on a rooftop.
MAY 10 – MAY 16, 2013
By Jennifer King Lindley • Disney FamilyFun magazine
I used to dismiss the highly organized as just a bit ... uptight. Then, one morning, I gazed out of the kitchen window to see my two kids fidgeting in our idling van, five minutes past when they should have left for school. In the garage, my husband hunted among bags of old grass seed and toppled bikes for the tennis racket he needed for a minutes-away match. “It’s around here somewhere!” he said. That was an Aha! moment for me. I realized that, far from being a waste of time, getting our home organized would actually save our family time and stress. Luckily, there are experts out there who specialize in taming just our kind of chaos. Here’s some advice from four professional organizers on managing a home’s most common disaster zones — clutter hot spots — from crowded kitchen counters to messy play areas.
The Challenge: Gone are the days when the kitchen was used mostly for cooking. Today it can serve as communications hub, mail sorting station, homework center and conference room. Is it any wonder you can’t find the pepper grinder? Simple Solutions: 1. Go paper-free. Debbie Lillard, author of “Absolutely Organized: A Mom’s Guide to a No-Stress Schedule and Clutter-Free Home,” says much of what overloads kitchen surfaces is paper — the kind that seems too important to get rid of so it just piles up in drifts. For her three elementary school–age kids, Lillard transfers pertinent information from school announcements, birthday invitations and team schedules to a master wall calendar, then recycles the originals. She also recommends color-coding the calendar by child. 2. Establish an art box for each child. Deposit daily artwork and school papers in it, then at the end of the year, sort through the pile with your child to save, say, 25 treasures. The sorting becomes a time to reflect together on your child’s accomplishments and the truly important mementos don’t get lost under a landslide of old spelling tests. 3. Try a rolling storage cart. Paired with one of these carts, available at most home stores, your kitchen table can do double duty as a craft center or homework station. “Store supplies in the lower drawers and leave the top drawer empty to sweep unfinished work into for next time,” says Cynthia Townley Ewer, author of “Houseworks: How to Live Clean, Green and Organized at Home” and editor of organizedhome.com. When dinnertime rolls around, free up precious floor space by wheeling the cart to a less crowded spot.
The Challenge: Large flat surfaces such as the kitchen table, coffee table or guest bed are clutter magnets. I’m just guessing your own dining room table right now is home to junk mail, an abandoned craft project and a broken tiara awaiting a (missing) glue gun. “Clutter attracts clutter,” says Ewer. “It multiplies like rabbits.” Simple Solutions: 1. Make lost-and-found boxes and charity bins. If items are left out too long in common areas, put them in a lost-andfound box, then kids will know where to look for them. If you don’t mind playing hardball, you can call it a “toy jail” and require your kids to pay bail — do an extra chore — to get their stuff back. Outgrown clothes and toys can go in a box by the back door. When the box is full, take it to a local charity. 2. Establish temporary catchalls. To collect the remains of the day, place baskets at high-traffic points, such as the bottom of the stairs. Make a rule that the stuff must be claimed and put away every night, or else you’ve just created a new dumping zone. 3. Don’t be afraid to improvise. In my own quest to glimpse the surface of our dumping room — I mean, dining room — table, I have experimented by telling my 9-year-old son to “pretend the table is on fire, and everything you leave there will be burned up forever!”
The Challenge: The glowing computer screen has replaced the fireside as the heart of the home. Kids do their homework, play games, load music and check all-important e-mail at this high-traffic, high-demand spot. It easily can become a disaster area: a tangle of cords, disks out of cases and papers left on the chair for the next user to squash.
Follow these basic rules to make your home run more smoothly: Reduce the amount you need to organize in the first place. Keep only those items you truly love or use, says Brooks Palmer, author of “Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What Is Holding You Back” and editor of clutterbusting.com. Don’t hang onto an unwanted item just because it cost a lot or Aunt Sue gave it to you.
Simple Solutions: 1. Create separate spaces. Erin Rooney Doland, author of “Unclutter Your Life in One Week” and editor of unclutterer.com, recommends setting up the computer desktop so that each user has her own password and account. Family members can be given a box or drawer nearby to quickly stash their stuff. And keep handy a box with a stapler, pens and other necessities so that kids can finish their homework without having to hunt for a paper clip. 2. Make a backup box. Store your computer’s hardware manuals and program disks in one dedicated box in a closet, advises Doland. If there’s a problem, all the information will be right there. 3. Try a disk folder. To save space and avoid playing matchmaker with computer game disks and cases, Ewer loves disk folders, available at office supply stores. Manuals and disks are simply slid into the plastic sleeves, where they are easily accessible.
The Challenge: Most kids own many times their own body weight in toys, with new inventory arriving on each birthday and major (or minor) holiday. The result: kids get overwhelmed, have a hard time choosing what they want to play with, or can’t find their favorites. Simple Solutions: 1. Let go of unused toys. Brooks Palmer suggests parents help their kids weed out unwanted and outgrown toys. “I’ll hand a child one toy at a time and ask, ‘How about this one? Do you still play with it … or not?’” Donating the unwanted toys to charity helps kids feel good about the process. Just make sure the bag goes right out the door, or else your kids might be tempted to pull the toys out again. 2. Select smart storage. Group toys by type in open bins on child-level bookshelves. Pasting a picture on each bin of what goes inside will help kids organize. Avoid scooping all playthings into one huge toy box or hard-to-open container. 3. Store toys where kids typically play with them. Why are the board games always strewn around the living room, where inevitably the dice are kicked under the sofa? Because the game shelf is down in the basement, a flight away, says Erin Rooney Doland. Better to clear an area on a living room shelf to make putting away games easier.
home is the first, and last, place you and your guests see, it’s often the most chaotic. Kids dump their backpacks, shoes and coats right inside the door, then make an Olympic dash for the refrigerator. Later, finding a homework assignment or missing sneaker requires an archaeological dig. Simple Solutions: 1. Assign each child his own easy-toaccess space. Use chic lockers or plastic milk crates lined up in the hallway to give kids a self-serve place to stash their boots and bags. A row of sturdy wall hooks at child level for coats. 2. Establish a family launchpad. Ewer suggests giving everyone their own dedicated space for can’t-leave-home-without-it items. Have family members deposit cell phones, keys, flash drives, permission slips, homework, lunch money and sunglasses here.
The Challenge: Often large or awkwardly shaped, sports equipment tends to get tossed onto a messy Mount Everest in the garage or mudroom. Simple Solutions: 1. Thin the herd. Doland advises weeding out items that aren’t being used. “Many people have a hard time getting rid of unused sports equipment because it came with a high price tag,” she says. Selling gear on eBay or to a sports resale shop, or donating it, can ease the pain. 2. Sort by sport. During baseball season, Lillard’s son keeps a sports bag packed with his glove, bat and other essentials hanging at the ready on the garage wall. Use tall freestanding cloth laundry bins to keep equipment sorted by sport and off the floor. 3. Maximize your space. To store unwieldy equipment, use wall hooks, baskets, hanging bags or sturdy shelving.
The Challenge: Though this area of the
Give everything a home. “A place for everything and everything in its place” may seem an old-fashioned idea, but it really works, experts stress. Don’t shoot for perfection. Cynthia Townley Ewer recommends starting small by identifying the problems that are causing the most angst (the missing car keys), then trying the easiest solution (a bowl on top of the fridge!).
Get the kids involved. “More important than having fancy organizing equipment is teaching your kids good routines,” Debbie Lillard says. Spend a little time every day maintaining your system. Erin Rooney Doland suggests creating a halfhour MP3 mix (let kids pick their favorite high-energy selections) and make that your family’s cue to start a daily evening cleanup.
illustrations by Betsy Everitt/courtesy of Disney FamilyFun magazine
MAY 10 – MAY 16, 2013
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Perrish Googins, 23, is a 2012 graduate of the University of South Carolina where he studied Information Management and Systems. While at USC, he participated in track and field, and was a cheerleader. He’s a personal trainer and coaches track, cheer, and song and dance. The actor/ model enjoys playing the violin. Contact Perrish at www. facebook.com/ pharohgogg.
Christina Eliane is a Tampa resident who is outgoing, fun, and adventurous. The 5’10 senior participated in collegiate basketball, and aspires to compete in the WNBA and become a supermodel.
T I Photography by Phil.
Steve Harvey hits on a winning daytime formula By Steve Johnson Chicago Tribune/MCT
CHICAGO – “Steve Harvey” is not everyone’s cup of afternoon tea. Devotees of, say, “The Colbert Report” will find “Harvey’s” rightdown-the-middle humor uninspiring. Funny newspaper headlines and jokes about how men behave versus how women behave – where have we seen that before? “Dr. Phil” fans might consider the veteran stand-up comic’s version of common sense to be delivered with too soft a touch. Come on, Steve, don’t just dole out love and life advice in the hours between lunch and dinner. Shame people! Make them cry! And some women in the target audience could be turned off by Harvey’s residual horny man tendencies, as when he recently told three single women over 40 to let themselves be pursued by a man because “you are everything he’s got to have. All these legs, these dresses, this hair. Breasts. Men got to have all of this.” But whatever the individual pieces of “Steve Harvey” are doing, the package as a whole is adding up to remarkable success for the first-year syndicated talk show taped in Jerry Springer’s old studio in Chicago’s NBC Tower.
Now mainstream Its ratings power is validating the decision to portray Harvey as a recognizable and fully mainstream figure: stern-but-loving father, traditionally masculine husband, a man who will tell the women watching what really goes on in the male brain, even when the thinking gets explicitly anatomical. The show, cannily, is just loose enough to let Harvey’s mind – trained in raucous comedy theaters – threaten to undermine its traditional elements, but tight enough that it never fails to be
fully of its genre, the daytime syndicated talk show. And however often you can see Harvey delivering a less-thancompelling question or fighting back the stand-up’s urge to utter some crude innuendo, the show has a rare quality for daytime or, indeed, any TV: a grounding in emotion.
Helping others Recently, Harvey showcased his charity effort with Disney and Essence magazine to help kids achieve their dreams. He devoted a long, touching segment to a San Francisco group that gives troubled teens a second chance to prove themselves, in a cafe workplace setting. “What I always wanted this show to do,” Harvey said on the air, “was just point out how people change people’s lives.” Again, just to make the contrast crystal clear, this is the show that is in Jerry Springer’s old studio.
Doing well The blend of good deeds and old ideas is working. The show is battling it out for top new syndicated talker of the year with former “Today” anchor Katie Couric’s “Katie,” while new shows fronted by talk veteran Ricki Lake and “Survivor” host Jeff Probst have faltered. “Harvey” outperforms its leadin (the show airing before it), it builds audience throughout the hour, it’s been building audience during the year, and, because it doesn’t rely on celebrities to spike ratings, the audience has tended to be consistent, David Goldberg, CEO of Endemol North America, the reality TV producer for which “Harvey” is the first foray into daytime talk, said in an interview. It’s proven a good match, too, said Goldberg, with Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show, which follows it in many markets. Harvey is a stand-up who dances on his show and talks to real people. De-
Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/MCT
Steve Harvey talks to the audience during a taping of Chicago-based show. Generes is a stand-up who dances and talks to celebrities. For the calendar year, “Harvey” is averaging about 2.1 million viewers, an improvement from its average of 1.9 million for the entire TV season. And in the key demographics, the show will tell you, it is the top new daytime show with women 18-49, a distinction it also claims among women 25-54 in 2013. The hairsplitting tells you, of course, that you can also find categories in which “Katie” leads (total viewers, women 25 to 54 for the entire season), but the bigger story is these are the two most successful new talk shows since “Dr. Oz’s” 2009 debut. And while “Katie” had publicity and expectations in its favor, “Harvey” has been able to almost sneak up on people. The Hollywood Reporter, in a March piece on the show’s surprising success, asked, “Could he be the next Oprah?” “Harvey” is basking in the success as it enters its first May sweep ratings period. One upcoming show featured Dr. Phil, the ratings leader in daytime talk, as a guest. Another guest is no less a personage than Oprah Winfrey. “This feels like the ultimate role reversal,” Winfrey tells Harvey, in an advance clip. “Now you’re here in Chicago, on your own stage, with your own show,” she adds,
and the two do a sort of chairbound, raise-the-roof dance. “Having both Oprah and Phil come on the show is really an indication the show has arrived,” Goldberg said.
Saved ‘Family Feud’ Endemol pursued Harvey over several years, the executive said. The company knew he was one of “The Original Kings of Comedy,” celebrated in that 2000 stand-up concert film, but more recently he proved his mainstream viability by, as host, saving “Family Feud” and writing amusing but sincere best-selling advice books. NBC’s station group backed Harvey’s show early, as well. Early last year, Larry Wert, now of Tribune Co. (parent of the Chicago Tribune) but then executive vice president of station initiatives for the NBC stations, helped to convince Harvey that Chicago, with its talk show traditions, trained workers and available studio space, was a better location than his home base of Atlanta. Indeed, Winfrey looks around and says, “I see so many of my crew here,” and Harvey responds, “You know, that’s what I was going to tell you. Steve ain’t stupid.”
Not perfect Pleasing enough of daytime America to be considered a rat-
ings success doesn’t mean the show is perfect. It is not as tightly produced as Winfrey’s was, for instance. Where Winfrey’s guests almost always felt like the best available examples of their issue, vetted like presumptive FBI agents, Harvey’s guests have been hit-and-miss. And Harvey still needs work as an interviewer. He has personal charm but too often seems content to cruise on that. In a segment about older single women, he brought on three men as potential matches and told the women he would take charge of questioning them. But he proceeded to ask generic, badjob-interview questions. Where do you see yourself in five years? What are your goals? Ho and hum. The afternoon, though, is not a time of day that demands much. By those relaxed standards, Harvey can just ham it up as he rolls his hips in a Zumba segment, turn on the high-wattage smile and then, in the guise of counseling a man and woman having difficulty blending their two families, touch hearts by sharing a story about his kids and wife Marjorie’s kids voting 4 to 3 against them getting married. The former comedy king is looking like, at minimum, a daytime TV prince, and he’s making it look easy.
MAY 10 – MAY 16, 2013
SMILES FROM Family Features
Gathering the entire family around the table for meals or snack time is a great way to stay connected and enjoy time together. You can keep that family time fun by mixing up the menu and preparing quick and tasty meals together. Here are some easy ways to bring smiles to the table every day: • Make breakfast together. Whether it’s PB & J French Toast on a weekend morning or topping everyone’s favorite cereal with fruit before school, there are plenty of delicious ways for the entire family to rise and smile. And working together to put some breakfast magic on the table makes it even more special. Kids can spread peanut butter and jelly, wash fruit, set the table or help pour milk and juice. • Serve something unexpected. Use familiar ingredients in unexpected ways. These recipes, for example, take Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch cereal out of the bowl and into some tasty treats like Creamy Orange-Vanilla Squares or Rainforest Chewy Bars. Made with whole grains, and two unique granolas with real Greek yogurt, it adds a crispy, tangy element the entire family will love. Cereal can also be used in meatloaf and casseroles, and as breading on baked chicken fingers or mozzarella sticks. • Get creative with snack time. Change up the usual snacks for something different. Chocolate-dipped frozen bananas, yogurt parfaits, or these Caramel Balls are all kid-friendly snacks that little hands can help make. You can find more smile-worthy recipes at www. honeybunchesofoats.com. Caramel Balls Total Time: 15 minutes Makes: 7 servings 20 caramels 1 tablespoon water 2 cups Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch cereal, divided Microwave caramels and water in medium microwavable bowl on high 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until caramels are completely melted. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cereal. With hands slightly moistened with cold water, shape cereal mixture into 21 small balls, each about 1 inch in diameter. Crush remaining 1/2 cup cereal; place in shallow dish. Roll cereal balls in cereal until evenly coated. Tip: If kids help out in the kitchen, teach them about food safety. In addition to washing hands thoroughly before starting, make sure long hair is pulled back. When shaping food by hand, caution children not to lick their fingers or put their hands in their mouths during preparation. PB & J French Toast Total Time: 25 minutes Makes: 4 servings 8 slices whole wheat, white or cinnamon raisin bread 1/4 cup peanut butter 3 tablespoons strawberry jam 2 eggs 2 tablespoons milk 2 1/2 cups Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, crushed 2 cups sliced fresh fruit, such as strawberries and/or bananas 1 tablespoon sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup maple syrup Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread each of 4 bread slices with 1 tablespoon peanut butter and about 2 teaspoons of jam. Cover with remaining bread slices to make 4 sandwiches. Break eggs into shallow dish. Add milk and beat with wire whisk for 30 seconds. Place crushed cereal in pie plate. Dip each sandwich into egg mixture, then into cereal, turning to evenly coat both sides. Press cereal gently into bread to secure. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cut each sandwich diagonally in half; top with fruit. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with syrup.
Creamy Orange-Vanilla Squares Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes Makes: 16 servings 2 cups Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch cereal, divided 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, melted 1 8-ounce package Neufchatel cheese, softened 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 2 tablespoons flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1 tablespoon grated orange peel 1/4 cup fresh orange juice Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. Place 1 3/4 cups cereal in food processor; process until finely crushed. Mix with margarine; press onto bottom of prepared pan. Set aside. Beat Neufchatel cheese and sugar with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in flour, baking powder, orange peel and juice; pour over crust. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cereal; press gently into top of dessert to secure. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate several hours or until chilled. Cut into squares to serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Special Extra: Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons powdered sugar just before serving.
Rainforest Chewy Bars Total Time: 10 minutes Makes: 24 servings 1/4 cup honey 2 tablespoons butter 1 10-ounce package marshmallows (about 36 marshmallows) 6 cups Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch cereal 1 cup dried apricots, raisins or dried cranberries chopped 1 cup almonds, chopped 1/2 cup sunflower kernels Microwave honey and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high 1 minute; stir until well blended. Add marshmallows; toss to coat. Microwave 1 1/2 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed; stir until well blended. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Press cereal mixture firmly into greased 13x9-inch pan. Cool. Cut into 24 bars.