PRESORTED STANDARD MAIL U.S. POSTAGE PAID DAYTONA BEACH, FL PERMIT #189
Firsthand account of services for Rev. Dr. Mack King Carter
CHARLES W. CHERRY, SR. (85) 1929-2004 CHAYLA C. CHERRY (13)
WE LOVE YOU!
VOLUME 21 NO. 42
House Republicans, after taking a beating in the polls, grudgingly agree to a short-term fix after a 16-day government shutdown costing at least $24 billion. But the fight’s not over. BY WILLIAM DOUGLAS, LESLEY CLARK AND JUSTINE MCDANIEL MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU (MCT)
WASHINGTON – The nation stepped back from the brink of default Wednesday as Senate leaders of both parties reached a deal and voted to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling, and House leaders agreed. The Senate approved the proposal crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry
OCTOBER 18 - OCTOBER 24, 2013
Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on an 8118 vote Wednesday night. Twenty-seven Republicans joined Democrats in backing the bill. The measure immediately moved to the House of Representatives, where Speaker John Boehner, ROhio, allowed a vote later in the evening. It passed with a 285-144 vote with support from a mix of Democrats and Republicans. “We fought the good
things done even this year, if everybody comes together in a spirit of, how are we going to move this country forward and put the last three weeks behind us?” he said. Obama thanked congressional leaders for reaching a resolution, but he added, “Hopefully next time it won’t be in the eleventh hour. One of the things that I said throughout this process is, we’ve got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis.” He took no questions but turned and said “No” when a reporter asked whether the deal meant he and Congress would be back OLIVIER DOULIERY/ABACA PRESS/MCT in the same place in three Speaker of the House John Boehner speaks at a press conference on September 30. months. fight. We just didn’t win,” Republicans for their work said Boehner. and said he would sign the measure “immediately,” On to immigration to reopen the government President Obama, who and “begin to lift this cloud spoke after the Senate vote, of uncertainty and unease thanked Democrats and from our businesses and
from the American people.” Obama suggested his focus will return to a stalled immigration overhaul, passing a farm bill and the federal budget. “We could get all these
Back to work The expected approval by Congress would reopen the shuttered parts of the government after 16 days and end for now the stalemate See BLINK, Page A2
Cyberbullied to death
MIAMI BROWARD CARNIVAL 2013
Will tormentors face harsh juvenile justice? COMPILED FROM WIRE REPORTS
WINTER HAVEN – For more than a year, Rebecca Ann Sedwick’s bullies tormented the girl by calling her ugly and urging her to drink bleach and die. The harassment didn’t stop – even after Rebecca’s parents moved the 12-year-old Lakeland girl to a different middle school. The bullies reached her on her smartphone. Rebecca brought it all to an end by jumping to her death from a silo at an abandoned concrete factory Sept. 10. But even after her suicide, the cruelty didn’t cease, family members and investigators say. “Yes ik (I know) I bullied Rebecca nd she killed her self but IDGAF” (I don’t give a (expletive)). That message – posted last week on Facebook by Rebecca’s 14-year-old persecutor – ended with a heart symbol. And resulted in an arrest.
Charged with felonies KIM GIBSON / FLORIDA COURIER
Carnival comes, goes for another year
This was the scene in Miami Gardens last week at the Mas Band Parade, the climax of the 2013 Carnival. After a brief rest, organizers and participants will start planning for next year.
On Monday, Polk County deputies charged the author of the post and another 12-year-old girl with aggravated stalking. The online remark goaded detectives into arresting the two girls earlier than they had anticipated. “That post was the tipping point,” Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said during a Tuesday news conference. “She forced this arrest.” The 14-year-old instigated the bullying after she started dating Rebecca’s ex-boyfriend, Judd said. The 12-yearold girl was once Rebecca’s friend – but See CYBERBULLIED, Page A2
SNAPSHOTS NATION | A3
Many fast-food workers getting public assistance
African dust a reason for fewer hurricanes
FLORIDA | A6
FINEST | B5
State Senate Meet Cybil weighing move to ditch no-fault auto insurance FINANCE | B4
Car shopping going consumers’ way
Schools get break on their own grades
ability system made it hard to tell what was causing unusual drops in school grades. Board members approved the change as an amendment to a package of rule revisions that state Department of Education officials described as technical. But the move drew BY BRANDON LARRABEE THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA concern even from some of the members who ended up voting The State Board of Educa- for the plan, and particularly tion voted Tuesday to extend a from those who opposed it. policy preventing schools from dropping by more than a letter A ‘cute’ move grade on their state-issued reKathleen Shanahan, who port cards through the 2014-15 is set to leave the board at school year, despite the complaints of some board mem- the end of the year, called the move to amend the plan onto bers. The board voted 4-2 to con- the rule changes “too cute by tinue the policy, which was first half.” She also pointed out that used in the report cards issued by the time the plan expired, following the 2011-12 school a proposal that was originally year and continued this year as intended to be temporary will superintendents said a slew of have lasted for four years. “A four-year safety net bechanges to Florida’s account-
FLORIDA COURIER FILES
Confusion around report cards used to evaluate Florida schools’ individual performances caused the State Board of Education to ‘fix’ their grades. comes a bureaucracy, in my opinion,” Shanahan said. By extending the policy until the grades issued after the 2014-15 school year, the policy
would buffer schools through the transition to a new testing regime under the “Common Core State Standards.” The See SCHOOLS, Page A2
COMMENTARY: CHARLES W. CHERRY II: RANDOM THOUGHTS OF A FREE BLACK MIND | A4 COMMENTARY: REV. JESSE JACKSON: GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN IS REALLY A SHOWDOWN | A5
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
The fallacy of racial kinship politics Almost halfway into the second term of America’s First Black President, Black Americans still find themselves providing ample support for an administration that governs over some of the highest Black unemployment numbers in recent history, the gutting of all regional offices of the Minority Business Development Agency, historically Black colleges dropping in their bond ratings because the Obama Department of Education made Plus Loan requirements more stringent, and the highest overall rates of poverty since the civil rights movement. However, Black Americans still rally around Obama whenever Republicans dispense the slightest seemingly racist taunt or political ploy. This political Stockholm syndrome is an excellent indication of the sheer imbecilic nature of racial kinship politics.
Shared experience? Racial kinship politics stems from the ridiculous assumption that simply because a politician is Black, he shares some “essential Black experience” that allows him to understand the condition of the Black community more viscerally and more easily attend
PASCAL ROBERT BLACK AGENDA REPORT
to their political needs. The assumptions stemming from racial kinship are the point where the amateurish nature of Black politics becomes most obvious. Most people fail to realize that it has only been since the implementation of the Voting Rights Act in the 1960s that Blacks have been comprehensive participants in the American electoral political process. After a century of fighting for basic human dignity in the face of sheer terrorism, Black Americans have often made the naïve assumption that the scars of that struggle are either worn or remembered by almost anyone of that race who claims representational capacity as an elected official. The assumption that the experience of the Black freedom struggle somehow magically seeps into the pores of any Black person seeking elected office – if they can fake a Southern accent
when speaking about the hardfought battles of the civil rights movement – is more than a fallacy; it’s collective political malpractice.
One example A practical example of this racial kinship charade was illustrated when Obama yammered on at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. The president talked about the bravery of those in the movement and what they stood for while his administration was dropping drones on innocent Brown children all over the world, in total disregard of the essence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life work. Many Blacks, lead by Obama’s cadre of Black media elites that give him both cover and support cloaking the full range of harm his policies cause, smiled with glee as the president spoke. Obama is the same president who fought to avoid applying retroactive sentence reduction to drug offenders (many of whom were Black) as a recently enacted law allowed. Yet, the president was viewed as the natural fulfillment of Dr. King’s Dream. If Obama is viewed as such a fulfillment, that Dream has become
a nightmarish hell for the Black poor and working class under the Obama presidency. The ultimate idiocy of racial kinship politics is that it empowers an elite Black Misleadership Class that protects its own class interests to the detriment of the majority of the Black masses. Some of these misleaders are actually veterans of civil rights struggles, which gives them license to confer “movement” bona fides upon rank politicians like Obama. Thus, Obama is permitted to “code switch” into Dr. King-like cadences with the most convincing pitch while protecting Wall Street banks that economically raped the Black community during the subprime mortgage meltdown. Racial kinship politics assumes that all Blacks suffer from racism the same way. Moreover, it denies that many Blacks are willing enablers of the system that crushes the Black working class, and those on the margins.
Not the same Should a Black factory worker who is worried about losing his job because of his attempts to unionize be energized about a Black lawyer being denied part-
CYBERBULLIED No cooperation Judd said neither family cooperated with investigators, so the girls were placed under arrest Monday and charged with the third-degree felony. The 12-year-old was released to her parents because she demonstrated remorse to the judge, but she can’t go back to school. The 14-year-old is in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice until her next hearing. Under Florida law, a range of options is available to punish juveniles convicted of felony aggravated stalking. Brian Haas, State Attorney’s Office spokesman for the judicial circuit that includes Polk County, would not talk about the case specifically. But he said the charge carries a maximum penalty of juvenile probation or placement in a residential-commitment program for five years or until the 19th birthday – whichever comes first. Judges have a variety of options for sentencing, including counseling and rehabilitation. But eventually, the 14-year-old could face even more serious charges as the public becomes more aware of the case.
Pascal Robert is a HaitianAmerican lawyer, blogger, and online activist for Haiti. Follow him on Twitter at @probert06; contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
She may eventually be tried as an adult – even as Florida’s juvenile justice system comes under scrutiny.
ing proposals during the spring legislative session, including the use of riskassessment tools and diversion programs to keep all but the worst offenders out of the deep end of the juvenile justice system, where the likelihood of recidivism is greatest.
Harshest in America
from A1 the other girl turned her against Rebecca.
nership at a firm that lobbies Congress to enact harsh anti-union policies, even if his denial may be racial? Which of those two injustices do you think is likely to draw more media attention? Which of the two is more closely related to the actual condition of a larger segment of Black America? Racial kinship politics denies the reality that Black people, like any other people, are motivated by their economic interests. In the case of Black politicians, they are wedded to the interests of those that financially back them. For these corrupt elements, kinship politics is always a oneway street. For the Black masses, it is a dead end street, as is brokerage politics and the politics of charismatic masculinity. Black America no longer has the luxury to engage in these pathetic vestiges of a bygone age.
As state legislators have tried and failed to craft a juvenile-sentencing law that conforms to landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings, a national advocacy group is calling Florida a “clear outlier” among states for its hard-line approach to trying juveniles as adults. The Washington-based Campaign for Youth Justice, which opposes incarcerating youths under 18 as adults, says Florida transfers more teens to adult criminal court than any other state. “These tough-on-crime laws are ineffective at keeping kids from re-offending,” said the group’s policy director, Carmen Daugherty. “Florida needs to take additional steps to reform its juvenile justice system.” Daugherty said youths who are incarcerated in the adult criminal-justice system are 34 percent more likely to commit other crimes after release.
‘Chipping away’ But while the advocacy group praised Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley
BLINK from A1 that started when House Republicans refused to approve funding for the government past Oct. 1 unless the Senate and Obama agreed to defund the new Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare. It also would temporarily extend the government debt ceiling. The government was expected to run out of borrowing authority Thursday evening, raising the specter of default. “The eyes of the world have been in Washington all week,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “And while they witnessed a great deal of political discord, today they’ll see Congress reaching historic bipartisan agreement to reopen government and avoid default on the nation’s bills.” The compromise appeared to be a victory for Democrats, as the health care law was left relatively unscathed.
Another committee Under the deal, the government would be funded through Jan. 15 and the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling would be increased until Feb. 7. A bipartisan House-Senate conference committee – co-chaired by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. – would work on larger budget issues. The committee will have until Dec. 13 to complete its work and report to Congress. McConnell said Republicans managed to preserve tenants of the 2011 Budget Control Act, which includes the
POLK COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE/MCT
Rebecca Ann Sedwick, 12, was found dead at a cement plant near her home in Lakeland after reportedly being cyberbullied. Walters, who has championed diversion programs for youth offenders, Walters took issue with their charge that the state is out of step. She said Florida “is not an outlier.” “We’re chipping away,’’ Walters said. “ We’ve seen almost a quarter-reduction in arrests. We’re seeing fewer and fewer kids get direct-filed (as adults), fewer and fewer kids get-
mandatory domestic and defense cuts known as sequestration.
‘Worth the effort’ “That’s been a top priority for me and for my colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle throughout this debate,” he said. “And it’s been worth the effort.” Still, McConnell acknowledged that Republicans came up short. “This is far less than many of us had hoped for, frankly,” McConnell said. “But it’s far better than what some had sought. Now it’s time for Republicans to unite behind other crucial goals.” Boehner also talked about preserving the Budget Control Act in announcing that he would not stand in the way of a House vote on the Senate plan. “Blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us,” Boehner said. “In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people and undo the spending caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act without replacing them with better spending cuts.” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who was at the forefront of the plan to tie government funding to a demand to defund Obamacare, signaled that he would not block a vote on the Reid-McConnell compromise. “I have no objections of the timing of this vote, and the reason is simple,” Cruz said when asked whether he would filibuster the plan. “There’s nothing to be gained from delaying this vote one day or two days, the outcome will be the same.” That said, Cruz blasted the deal, call-
ting sent away, fewer and fewer kids landing in the deep end (of the juvenile justice system).” According to DJJ figures, Florida’s commitment of low- and moderate-risk youth has decreased by 62 percent during Walters’ two-and-a-half-year tenure at the agency. The group’s report comes as lawmakers prepare to take up juvenile sentenc-
Lawmakers also are gearing up for yet another try at sentencing juveniles under recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings that restrict the use of life sentences, which disproportionately impacts Black children, as the Florida Courier reported in 2010. Three years ago, in Graham v. Florida, the high court banned life sentences for juveniles convicted of non-homicide crimes. And last year, in Miller v. Alabama, the high court found that juveniles convicted of murder can still face life sentences, but the judges must weigh criteria such as the offenders’ maturity and the nature of the crimes before imposing that sentence. Since the Graham decision in 2010, the Legislature has taken up bills that would have allowed life sentences for juveniles with the possibility of release if they show signs of rehabilitation. So far, none has passed. And given the vacuum, the justices of the Florida Supreme Court last month suggested that they could
ing it a victory for the Washington establishment. “The deal that has been cut provides no relief to the millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare,” he said. “This is unfortunate, but nobody should be surprised that the Washington establishment is pushing back. Nobody should be surprised at the resistance to change.”
Tea party angered Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of a group called Tea Party Patriots, called the Reid/McConnell deal “a complete sellout.” “The House ‘leadership’ must stop playing ‘flinch’ with themselves and instead play hardball with the White House, the Senate and the House,” Martin said in a statement. “Otherwise, hard-working Americans are going to bear the burden of this unaffordable law. The American people WILL hold those responsible for this mess accountable.” Senate Republicans, however, appeared ready to move on from the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis. “We’ve been asking from the beginning what’s the ending, how does this end, how do you achieve what you’re purporting to achieve on defunding Obamacare, and I never got an answer to that,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. “If we learned nothing else from this whole exercise, I hope we learned that we shouldn’t get behind a strategy that cannot succeed. And by the way, let’s not forget that the government has been shut down but the Obamacare exchanges are still open.”
impose a review system for juvenile sentences, when they heard cases involving 70-year and 90-year terms.
Court ‘clarity’ “We of the Legislature have a duty to provide clarity to the courts,” said state Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican and former prosecutor. Both he and state Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Lake Worth, who has both law enforcement and prosecutorial experience, make a sharp distinction between juveniles convicted of homicide and non-homicide crimes. “My main concern continues to be whenever you have a murder victim, that that family not be required to relive that heinous act by having to come back and have hearings after hearings in the future, once the trial has resolved and the murderer is sentenced,” Bradley said. “No one wants to be soft on crime,” Kerner said. “But we also don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to have meaningful participation and meaningful rehabilitation of the juveniles in our society who have done wrong. And we need to craft a bill that finds that balance.”
Margie Menzel of the News Service of Florida and Arelis Hernandez and Jerriann Sullivan of the Orlando Sentinel (MCT) contributed to this report.
SCHOOLS from A1 new tests are expected to kick in during the 201415 year. “I do think that it is more important on that final year [of the transition],” said Board Chairman Gary Chartrand. The state is still trying to determine which tests to use under Common Core, after Gov. Rick Scott ordered the education agency to begin disentangling itself from a multistate consortium that has developed tests under the new educational benchmarks. But Patricia Levesque, executive director of former Gov. Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future, knocked the school-grading move in a statement issued later Tuesday. “Florida is in a period of transition to higher standards, and stability and transparency during these times is key,” she said. “That transparency provides valuable information on the state of student learning – what matters most – even when it’s not what we want to hear.”
Still debated The debate over Common Core has lingered over the board’s actions in recent weeks, after Scott issued an executive order regarding how the state would implement the new standards and measure student learning under them. Some Tea Party activists fear that the initiative, which was created in a state-led process and has been adopted by about four dozen states, could lead to too much federal interference in local education. Following Scott’s order, the board also voted not to adopt a series of “appendices” to Common Core, including items like reading lists or suggested tasks for students. Shanahan also questioned that move, saying the appendices could help teachers. “I don’t know why we’re disarming the teachers,” she said.
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
More than half of fast food workers on public aid Average in U.S. earning $8.69 an hour, working part-time shifts, report shows BY ALANA SEMUELS LOS ANGELES TIMES (MCT)
More than half of fastfood workers’ families receive some sort of public assistance, costing the nation $7 billion a year, according to a new report distributed by a group that has been pushing for union representation and higher wages for fast-food workers. Fast-food workers earn an average of $8.69 an hour, and often work fewer than 40 hours a week, qualifying them for food stamps, Medicaid and tax credits, according to the report, which was written by economists at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Even before it was released publicly, the report raised the ire of some conservative groups that said it used faulty methodology to prove a point. “In its quest to unionize the fast-food industry, the (Service Employees International Union) has demonstrated that it will leave no stone unturned — including using ‘research’ and arguments that would get a higher grade in creative writing than in a high school economics class,” said Michael Saltsman, research director at conservative think tank Employment Policies Institute, in a statement.
$1.04 billion in food stamps The report calculates that about $3.9 billion a year is spent on Medicaid and children’s health care for fast-food workers and their families. Families also receive $1.04 billion in food stamp benefits and $1.91 billion from the federal government through the earned income tax credit. Even those workers who are on a 40-houra-week schedule receive benefits; more than half of those families are enrolled
LAURIE SKRIVAN/ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH/MCT
Protesters chant outside the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on Aug. 29 in Rock Hill, Missouri. Organizers of protests were demanding to two things: a minimum wage increase from $7.35 per hour to $15 per hour and the right to organize labor unions. in public assistance programs, the report says. Workers in the restaurant and food services industry far surpass workers in other industries for dependence on public assistance. About 44 percent of workers in the restaurant and food services sector have a family member enrolled in a public assistance program, compared to 35 percent for agriculture, forestry and fisheries and 30 percent in the retail trade.
Effectiveness of programs The report has implications for national policies as Congress debates a farm bill that would cut back on food stamps, and as Republicans look to winnow down costs by scaling back other public assistance programs. Public assistance programs “could be more effective if supplemented by measures that improve workers’ wages and benefits,” the report concludes. The Employment Policies Institute counters
CAROLYN VAN HOUTEN/TAMPA BAY TIMES/MCT
Protesters gathered in Tampa to rally in favor of increased pay for fast food workers. that raising the minimum wage would hurt fast-food workers because restaurants would replace workers with automated alternatives. It also adds that while the earned income tax credit may be costing the government money, it
has proven effective at reducing poverty. A separate report, also out Tuesday, by the National Employment Law Project, calculates how much each restaurant’s employees are costing the federal government because they
receive public assistance to supplement their wages.
Walkouts and strikes McDonald’s, which has 707,850 employees, costs $1.2 billion, the report
said; Yum! Brands, which includes Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC, and employs 379,449, costs $648 million. McDonald’s CEO Donald Thompson received about $14 million in total compensation in 2012, the report points out. Fast-food workers have been holding one-day walkouts and strikes for more than a year to call attention to their wages. They want $15 an hour and union representation; the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. In their last day of protest, in August, workers in around 50 cities walked off the job. Last month, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to raise California’s minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016. Voters in the small town of SeaTac, in Washington State, will soon vote whether to raise the local minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Link between African dust and fewer tropical storms Saharan particles from parched esert region called a major factor by researchers BY KEN KAYEN SUN SENTINEL (MCT)
FORT LAUDERDALE — A burst of African dust in June, pouring over tropical regions of the Atlantic, appears to be a major reason this hurricane season has been remarkably subdued so far. What also might be a plus for Florida, the most storm-battered state in the nation: the dust might flare up a cyclical basis. If so, potentially, future seasons might be tempered as well, said Jason Dunion, a research meteorologist for the University of Miami. “There definitely seems to be a link, when you have more dust, you have fewer tropical cyclones,” he said. “We might see more consistent and larger dust outbreaks.” So far, only two hurricanes have emerged this year, Humberto and Ingrid, and both were relatively weak Category 1 systems. Normally, five hurricanes, including two major ones, have developed by the first week in October.
Mystery for experts Scientists say vast amounts of dry air have worked to keep hurricanes from forming, as tropical systems require warm moist conditions to inten-
sify. As a result, August and September, when the most powerful storms tend to emerge near Africa, were oddly quiet this year. Experts still aren’t sure what created all the dry air, but Saharan dust outbreaks are emerging as a likely factor. Early in the season, an enormous amount of dust floated over the Atlantic region were storms normally develop, making the tropical atmosphere the driest it’s been in three decades. “That’s remarkable, because since the 1980s there have been several remarkably dry years,” said Dunion, who also works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Bermuda High Saharan dust outbreaks occur when clouds of particles are lifted from the parched desert region of north Africa and carried west by the winds. The dust clouds most commonly arise in July and August and can spread across the entire Southeast as far as Texas. It’s possible that strong high pressure over Africa generated the winds that produced the abnormal amount of dust. It’s also possible that a natural cycle might be at play, as the same thing happened in the early 1980s, drying out the Atlantic for several years in that decade, Dunion said. “There may be some kind of background cycle, and we just don’t understand it,” he said. “It’s possible that we could return to a regime like the one in the ’80s.”
SHANNON KAESTLE/MIAMI HERALD/MCT
Downtown Miami is shrouded in storm clouds as Tropical Storm Karen headed toward Florida’s Panhandle on Oct. 3. Another atmospheric feature that helped keep things calm this year was the Bermuda High, an area of high-pressure that normally sits over the western Atlantic during the hurricane season; it steered the dust over the tropics, Dunion said.
Farther than normal Now that it’s October, when storms commonly form in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the western Atlantic, it’s unlikely African dust will weaken any storms that appear during the rest of the season, Dunion said.
Phil Klotzbach, the Colorado State University climatologist who, along with William Gray, develops seasonal predictions, also thinks African dust is in part responsible for making this year a breeze, so far. “Unfortunately, there’s no nice database we can refer to say, exactly, how much dust was in the air this summer and fall,” he said. “But, based on what I’ve seen, I would say that the Saharan dust outbreaks this year were stronger and penetrated farther south and west than normal.”
Nothing dangerous So far this year, there
have been 11 Saharan dust outbreaks strong enough float across the Atlantic and reach South Florida and the Caribbean, said Joseph Prospero, a professor of marine and atmospheric chemistry at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. He noted that Africa produces three-quarters of the dust particles that circulate around the globe. “It is a major phenomenon,” Prospero said. “It is a huge amount of material that is being lifted as dust from Africa.” Meanwhile, the dust caused some elevated air quality readings in South
Florida over the summer, but nothing dangerous, local officials said. Monica Pognon, an air quality supervisor under the Broward County Planning and Environmental Regulation Division, said several bouts of rain apparently kept the air clean. “We had some readings that were higher than normal,” she said. “But we didn’t have to put out any health advisories.” “We didn’t see anything exceptional this summer, compared to previous years,” added Tim O’Connor, spokesman for the Palm Beach County Department of Health.
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
Black legislators need to fight for Black people, Black businesses In the very last remaining days of their presidency, most United States Presidents seek to pardon some convicted criminals. They do it at that time because invariably some people who supported the president will get mad because he pardoned one alleged criminal and didn’t pardon another. But so what? The president will be leaving office and will probably never seek office again so he doesn’t care what voters think about his last days’ actions. When Florida Republicans gerrymandered the state’s legislative districts, they assumed they were dealing a crushing blow to Democrats.
Political power However, what they did was give the state’s Black legislators political power that Black state legislators never had before and may never have again! This realization materialized
Lucius Gantt THE GANTT REPORT
when Black legislators met with representatives of the Florida Lottery seeking to get budget items passed in the Florida House Appropriations Committee. With $25 million dollars to spend on advertising, Lottery officials told Black legislators that $250,000 would be spent with Black media. That was an insult, even to Black legislators! Insulting as it was, it was also possibly one of numerous lies told by Lottery folk. When asked why such a paltry amount was to be advertised in a community that buys, percentage wise, more than many other ethnic groups, the Lottery explained that ad proposals were requested
from Black newspapers to be considered in finalizing the Lottery ad buys. But, a rudimentary investigation by legislators did not find a single Black-owned newspaper that received an ad proposal request from the Lottery. There will be a follow up meeting and I would advise the Lottery to be more honest this time because Black media owners should be in attendance at the next meeting with Black legislators.
Under fire Right now there are two main state agencies under fire for not spending money with Blackowned businesses – the Florida Lottery and the Florida Department of Transportation. FDOT spends billions of federal dollars and, guess what, all federal dollars have minority business and disadvantaged business aspects to those dollars. The state of Florida, unlike
VISIUAL VIEWPOINT: SHUTDOWN
Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant
Random thoughts of a free Black mind, v. 190 D.C. ‘drama’ – It’s all about THEIR jobs, not ours. It’s time for term limits. Bro. Prez caved in to the GOP, bought into budget-cutting, deficit reduction, extending Bush tax cuts, sequester, and refused to fight for targeted stimulus to reduce Black unemployment (even when Democrats controlled Congress) to be reelected. John Boehner wants to retain his speakership so badly he’ll bend over for the Tea Party, shut down the government, and threaten the world economy in the process. I’ve written before that Osama bin Laden is winning from the grave. So are hard-core conservatives. Bin Laden exposed the fragility of the U.S. economy and our pathological mindset in which we exchange freedom for the illusion of security. We overreacted, killed 500,000 Iraqis, invaded two countries, and spent ourselves into oblivion. Sen. Ted Cruz has exposed how easily one man can literally stop the federal government in its tracks. And this latest deal gives him a 60-90 day rest; Cruz and the House GOP nutcases will be back at it in January. Bro. Prez and Democrats should have stood even firmer until the House GOP signed off on a ‘clean’ continuing resolution with no conditions and a debt limit
quick takes from #2: straight, no chaser
Charles W. Cherry II, Esq. PUBLISHER
extension until Obama leaves office. Double standard – If Black people stormed the White House with barricades, and told a sitting president he should “come out with his hands up,” wouldn’t we have been shot on sight? (A group of veterans upset about the shutdown did that this week.) If cyberbullying by two Black kids in Florida compelled a 12-year-old White girl to commit suicide, wouldn’t those Black kids have been charged with manslaughter and tried as adults, especially if their parents were uncooperative?
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many states, has refused to do a disparity study that shows how little business Black businesses get from FDOT and the agency could face a lawsuit stemming from their disrespect, disdain and rejection of federal laws attached to federal funding. In other words, Florida’s Black legislators have all of the information and all of the reasons to demand that state agencies coming before the State Legislature to ask for budget money spend some of that money with Black businesses!
and don’t have to worry about reelection, or playing it safely! Yes, if the Florida Lottery, the Florida Department of Transportation and other state agencies don’t deal properly with Florida’s Black state legislators the 2014 Legislative Session could go long and wrong!
I suggest the Black legislators do what White Congressional Republicans are doing. The Blacks can file amendment after amendment until agencies quit lying and Economic rebellion begin to spend some real money What can Florida’s Tea Party with Black businesses! Republicans do about a political/ Black state legislators have economic rebellion led by Flor- power at the polls too. ida’s Black Legislators that will Buy Gantt’s latest book “Beast slow down the Florida legislative Too: dead Man Writing” online process? Not a damn thing because or at any major bookstore. Conmany Blacks, including some on tact Gantt at www.allworldthe Legislative Appropriations consultants.net. Click on this Committees, are term limited and story at www.flcourier.com to will be leaving office after this year write your own response.
Stop scaring older people, stealing benefits from our children Back on Sept. 12, the Republican-led House of Representatives voted for the 42nd time to derail the Affordable Care Act. That’s 42 more times than they have voted on raising the minimum wage, increasing federal investments in our roads or highways or helping local school districts get the hundreds of thousands of teachers whose jobs were lost when the Great Recession cut local tax revenue back into our children’s classrooms. That makes the count zero votes on the things America’s families want to see Congress address.
WILLIAM SPRIGGS TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM
Thank goodness the president has stood firm to this reckless behavior and refused to negotiate with these tactics.
Creating crises Clearly, this is not the way to run government. Creating crises that affects the functioning of the government and threatening to create a global economic crisis over the honor of America is not acceptable. If President Obama concedes to this type of strategy, then America will limp from one manufactured crisis to the next. Congress has a responsibility to pass a budget, and to pass legislation to ensure that America pay its debt. President Obama need not bargain anything to get Congress to do its job. The economy is still not recovering from the Great Recession of five years ago: employment is still below its 2007 level, median family incomes are still thousands below their peak and more of America’s children struggle in poverty.
Families of veterans cannot get timely payments to help bury their dead, small business owners cannot get loans, people cannot get their home loan papers approved on time, children are losing out on Head Start, mothers are losing out on food assistance for their children through the Women, Infants and Child (WIC) nutrition program, all so the Republicans can try stopping peoples’ access to health insurance from private health insurance companies. Having failed through normal channels of getting legislation passed, Republicans sided with conservative strategists who earlier Economy ruined Fixating on the deficit is this year conceived a plan to shut down the federal gov- ruining our economy. It is ernment to force President now reckless to engage in Barack Obama to concede. further cuts to our children’s
education and risk America’s future with inadequate investments in our roads and bridges, and research in science and health, because it is precisely now we need to concentrate on getting people back to work and improving the prospects for continued American growth and prosperity. It also would be wrong for President Obama to trade our earned benefits from Social Security and Medicare to satisfy the demands of Republicans for low taxes for the richest Americans, many of whom benefited from the bailout of the corrupted banking system.
Enough is enough The lesson of this downturn is that America’s families are underinsured for the ups and downs of the economy. Scaring older people and stealing benefits from our children, who will bear the brunt of the cuts, is not going to make America’s economy stronger. Continuing a path of growth too slow to generate jobs and cutting off our children’s future is a poor legacy to leave. Enough is enough.
William Spriggs serves as Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO and is a professor and former chair of the Department of Economics at Howard University. Click on this story at www. flcourier.com to write your own response.
Native women inspired a movement We’ve heard a lot about men taking rights away from women. We’ve also heard about the racial slur for Washington’s football team. As all of this is happening, I met Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Nation in town to talk about changing the mascot of the football team. I heard a reporter ask why the team’s name was offensive. He mentioned the polls as though polls should determine what is racist. I wonder why people with White privilege question what’s offensive to those who’ve suffered discrimination. I ask that same question about men who deny women the same rights they have. While studying the Oneida Nation, I ran across stories about rights Native women had before we did and that inspired the U.S. women’s rights movement. I found many examples of Native women exercising rights that White women could hardly imagine.
Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. TRICE EDNEY WIRE
held the first women’s rights convention. It’s said that when the Seneca adopted a constitutional government, they retained the tradition of full involvement of women. No treaty could be valid without the consent of 3/4 of the “mothers of the nation”. Native women had property rights. Elizabeth Cady Stanton described seeing a man approach her Indian playmate’s mother. The two conversed and the man handed her money. They went to the barn and selected a horse. The man rode off on the horse. Stanton asked what had happened, and the woman said, “Well, I sold the man one of my horses. Stanton asked, “What will your husband say when he gets home?” The woman said, Feminist vision Lucretia Mott witnessed “Well, it was my horse, and I women sharing in discus- can do with it as I please.” sion and decision-making as men reorganized their Women’s rights What a revelation that governmental structure. Her feminist vision increased by was for a White woman who that experience and she trav- had not imagined it was eled from the Seneca nation possible any woman could to Seneca Falls. There she hold property and dispose and Elizabeth Cady Stanton of it without the approv-
al of a man! U.S. laws at the time gave married women no rights to property, to their earnings or to any inheritance. They didn’t even have rights to their children; a husband could “will away” guardianship to whomever he chose. As early as 1888, a White woman addressed the International Council of Women and spoke of the greater rights of American Indian women, pointing out that those women realized they would lose many of their rights if they became U.S. citizens! She said one Indian woman told her: “As an Indian woman, I was free. I owned my home, my person, the work of my own hands, and my children should never forget me. I was better as an Indian woman than under White law.” When I look at what some legislative bodies are trying to do to the rights of women and people of color today, I sometimes think that there really is such a thing as the good old days!
Dr. E. Faye Williams is National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women. Contact her at www.nationalcongressbw.org. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
Shutdown is really a showdown Did you happen to see Jimmy Kimmel’s interesting skit last week, where he asked people on the street whether they preferred “Obamacare” or the “Affordable Care Act”? Far too many people chose the “Affordable Care Act” over “Obamacare” without realizing that they are one and the same law. Even worse, several of Kimmel’s interviewees rejected “Obamacare” after having already endorsed major pieces of it! Some of this cluelessness is no doubt because of propaganda. Some of it is no doubt because of partisan dislike of the president. But we must not shy away from the truth that too much of this is still about race. This shutdown over the Affordable Care Act is not just about John Boehner’s weak leadership. It’s not just about Ted Cruz’s misinterpretation of “Green Eggs and Ham,” or even his rude and crude attempt to jump to the front of the 2016 GOP presidential contenders in Iowa. It’s not just about personalities, and positioning, and day-to-day politics. This shutdown is also a showdown. Its roots run deep — all the way back to John Calhoun, to the Confederacy, to nullification.
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM
racy Corps’ just-released study on the core groups of the GOP does make this relevant point: “Obama is big government — but much bigger. They believe he is building dependent minorities that will give the Democrats a governing majority.” This shutdown is about race. Consider another Democracy Corps conclusion: “They are very conscious of being White in a country that is increasingly minority — as Democrats use government to build dependency and therefore also their support with minorities. The race issue is very much alive.” Half a century ago, George Wallace stood in a schoolhouse door in Alabama, to try to deny entry to African-American students. He failed. The American people were better than that. Today, almost all Republican governors are standing in the hospital door, barring entrance to poor and working people — a huge percentage of whom are African-American and Latino Dependent minorities? — for health care through MedicThis shutdown is about the fear aid expansion. The New York Times ran the that drives the Republican Party’s hatred for Barack Obama. Democ- census numbers a few days ago.
The D.C. sniper Emerging from that period was that ominous moniker, “The D.C. Sniper,” which has since been dramatized on TV. The sniper(s) became more familiar to us than any of those they killed and remain in our psyche today, but their victims are slipping from memory. There should have been a movie about the victims, and in this case, especially about the one to whom this article is dedicated; but maybe one day, huh? Another dear friend, Bob Lott (Philadelphia), is just the right person to produce it.
Kenneth Bridges The man I am writing about, and I emphasize, “Man,” is Kenneth Bridges. He sought no accolades, even though he did some of the most important work in economic empowerment since Marcus Garvey. He was humility personified, despite being a Wharton School of Business graduate and one of the most intelligent persons around. He did not seek the spotlight, even though his message of self-reliance should have been blasted over all media, especially Black media. Ken refused to allow his spirit to be crushed by negativity, irrespective of the mountain he was climbing and the stiff winds of change he faced daily. (Working for our people is very difficult and trying.)
Economic empowerment He met sacrifice head-on, despite having six children and a loving wife at home, by traveling across this country to spread the gospel of economic empowerment. And Ken never met a stranger; he was known for his bear-hugs and loving persona, always smiling, always encouraging, always ready to help, and always teaching. I continue to write about this giant because everyone should know who he was and what he did. Just as we know about more prominent brothers and sisters who fought for economic freedom, we should know about Ken, and we should teach our children about him. He is the proper example of leadership for young people, thus, the title of this article, “Building Bridges.” Let me pause here
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: LIBERTEA
Here’s the money quote on who will be excluded: “ . . . two-thirds of the poor Blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance. . . . Because they live in states largely controlled by Republicans that have declined to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor, they are among the 8 million Americans who are impoverished, uninsured and ineligible for help.”
ACA weakened These GOP governors are using a loophole created by the Roberts Supreme Court, which managed to sneak in a “state’s rights” loophole to weaken the Affordable Care Act, even as the court judged the overall law constitutional. This loophole allowed Republican governors in half the states to mistreat their own constituents by denying Medicaid to millions of politically voiceless people who need the health care. It’s not just a coincidence that a disproportionate share of African-Americans who need Medicaid, and working poor people who need Medicaid, live in those states. It’s not just a coincidence that Arkansas, that rare Southern state with a Democratic governor, is the only state from the Old Confederacy that is not denying Medicaid expansion. Don’t just take my word for it.
We must build more ‘Bridges’ On Oct. 11, 2002, we lost a great Black leader to an assassin’s bullet. Who was he? Stop reading right now and see if you can answer. If you cannot, then you are one of the reasons I am writing this article. While this is my annual dedication to him and his family, I also dedicate it to those who did not know him and those who have no knowledge of his lesser known assassination, but an assassination nonetheless, and the impact it had upon Black people. We are quite familiar with famous Black men who were killed by assassins, but there are others who have died in that same manner and for similar reasons who are not celebrated, not remembered, and not memorialized. This brother falls into the latter category; he died during that well-known protracted period of chaos, fear, and confusion in and around our nation’s capital.
JAMES CLINGMAN NNPA COLUMNIST
to mention and give honor to Brother Muhammad Nasserdeen, who also died on Oct. 11, 2007.
Leaders serve Great leaders serve; they don’t consider themselves higher than others; they are not intimidated by the initiative and intelligence of younger brothers and sisters; rather they always try to create other leaders by duplicating themselves. Great leaders know and accept the fact that one day they will have to give up the reins of leadership, so they are in a constant mode of developing new and younger leaders to take their places.
Build others Great leaders build other leaders, and if there is one leader in whose image and memory we should build it is Ken Bridges. We must build more “Bridges” in addition to the Bridges children who had a father who taught them well, raised their consciousness, and put them on the path he pursued. If you paused at the beginning of this column and could not answer the question, then you have learned something very important, and I have done my job. Now it’s up you to tell someone else, to educate your children, and expose them to a true Black leader, Ken Bridges, and the work he did. Our children need to be connected with Ken’s children; they are the future leaders who have the consciousness to do the right thing for all the right reasons, as Ken demonstrated during his relatively short life.
Other leaders The likes of Claud Anderson, Bob Law, Rosie Milligan, and others are still working hard to bring Black folks out of the darkness of economic despair and dependence; we should get to know and appreciate them now while they are still with us. Do some research on your own to find out who they are, and take the opportunity to work with and support them. The ball’s in your court Black America. If you’d like to see a video of Ken, go to my website, Blackonomics.com, click on videos, and share the love that exuded from Ken Bridges for his people. Then, as Ken would fondly say, “Let’s Get Busy!” Note: Just before publication of this article I learned that Dr. Walter Lomax, a close friend, mentor, and supporter of Ken Bridges and his family, passed away. Now October 10th will always be just as significant as October 11th.
Jim Clingman is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through his website, Blackonomics.com. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons
Listen to the words of analyst Michael Lind in Salon: “Right now most conservative White local notables in the South and elsewhere in the country don’t want Black and Latino support. They would rather disenfranchise Blacks and Latinos than compete for their votes. And they would rather dismantle the federal government than surrender their local power and privilege.”
versal right that the rest of the civilized world has already agreed upon. So if we stick together in this fight, the odds are that the Calhounites and Cruzies will fail in their quest to roll back progress. The odds are that they will fail in their short-term goal of shutting down the government, and in their longer-term quest to destroy the Affordable Care Act. This is not just a shutdown, it’s a showA universal right down. And our future’s at stake. Unfortunately, for Boehner, Keep Hope Alive! Cruz, the GOP governors, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is presTea Party, they are standing in the way of history. Like their prede- ident/CEO of the Rainbow/ cessor, Gov. George Wallace, they PUSH Coalition. Click on this are trying to deny innocent and story at www.flcourier.com to needy Americans access to a uni- write your own response.
What’s in our shopping carts? With a current buying power of $1 trillion, manufacturers and marketers should be paying careful attention to the shopping patterns of African-American consumers. The latest report on “Black Consumers, Resilient, Receptive and Relevant: The African-American Consumer 2013 Report,’’ illustrates how much of that spending breaks down: Our annual retail spending makes up 87 percent of the total market retail spending, while retail spending for the Total Market accounts for 70 percent. This is a narrow gap in retail spending between Blacks and the Total Market, which indicates our importance as Black consumers. We shell out 30 % more of our annual income than the Total Market as well. So now that you have a glimpse as to where the bulk of our household incomes are spent, let’s take a look at where that spending occurs. Annually, African-Americans, make 154 shopping trips, which is eight trips more than other group. We average, 20 trips to dollar stores, seven trips more; 15 trips to convenience/gas stores, which is two more than any other group, and 15 trips to drugstores, which is one more to drugstores than any other group. Less time is spent at grocery stores, with three fewer trips. The exception to grocery store shopping, though, is with Blacks who earn upwards of $100K annually. We also make three fewer trips to warehouse stores and two fewer trips to mass merchandisers than the Total Market. However, more upper-income Blacks (73 percent) shop at warehouse clubs than non-Blacks annually.
Phenomenon identified The Center for Disease Control has identified a phenomenon specific to some of our communities known as “food deserts” or “retail deserts.” We all know you won’t find some large chains in some urban areas. And, some existing grocery stores simply don’t carry the freshest, most nutritious foods. This might explain the occurrences and store preferences of food shopping trips in the African-American community. As the data also shows that African-Americans tend to frequent retail stores located in our communities, there is an opportunity for expansion of both affordable, quality product variety and actual stores in our neighborhoods. In an effort to try to attack this “food desert” trend, the Whole Foods chain, plans to build a store in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. Earlier this year, the chain announced that a new store would be open in 2016.
Beauty aids Another retail area that’s big for us is ethnic health and beauty care products – I know, no shocker there, right? We spend more than nine times more than any other demographic on ethnic hair and beauty aids. Sure, of course there are other hair care products on the shelves, but those products are not identified as ethnic, but they can lead to tremendous market growth opportunities, as Blacks’ hair care spending within traditional CPG retailers is underdevel-
CHERYL PEARSONMCNEIL NNPA COLUMNIST
oped compared to the total market. In fact, 46 percent of Black households shop at beauty supply stores and have an average annual total spend of $94 on products at these stores. Among other edible and non-edible products, the report shows that on average, African-Americans also purchase more unprepared meat and frozen seafood, dry vegetables and grains, refrigerated juices and drinks (in addition to those that non-perishable and can have an extended shelf life), feminine hygiene products, fresheners and deodorizers. And, that’s just a few of the categories that we tend to over-index. On the other hand, the insights show that we spend less money on the range of dairy products (milk, yogurt, etc.) on the edible side and this could be because many of us are lactose-intolerant; and categories like hair care (not to be confused with Ethnic HABA), some magazines with selected titles plus lawn and garden products round out the non-edible list.
Brand loyal African-Americans are brand loyal consumers, but like other consumer groups; we enjoy value (e.g. better per-item pricing) and spend 18 percent of our retail dollars on private label brands. You know – the store brands. I am always fascinated by how varied different groups’ preferences tend to be. For instance, in the private label category, disposable diapers rank as the most popular item for us; but they rank fifth on the store brand list of White non-Hispanics. Again, this is an opportunity for marketers who are paying attention. And here’s one of the new areas that we explored for this year’s report. All of us make fast food runs from time to time – some of you I know, more often than others, but hey, there is no judgment here. I am sure our busy schedules and multiple mouths to feed at home, make hitting those drive-thrus a lot easier. So we took a look at our preferences for fast food or Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) over the last three months. These are the top five Black household QSRs in comparison to other U.S. households: 1. McDonald’s (65% vs. 60%) 2. Burger King (44% vs. 36%) 3. Subway (43% vs. 40%) 4. KFC (37% vs. 26%) 5.Wendy’s (36% vs. 30%) If you would like to learn more, I invite you to visit our website at www.nielsen. com for the full Black consumers report.
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies, go to www. nielsen.com. Click on this story at www. flcourier.com to write your own response.
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
State Senate weighing move to ditch no-fault auto insurance BY JIM TURNER NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
TALLAHASSEE – Legislation is being drafted to scrap the state’s no-fault auto insurance coverage, as a landmark 2012 effort to remove fraud from the system remains tied up in court. Insurance industry representatives say they have already been told the measure could come before a committee in November, and they’re just waiting to see what is in the package. Senate Banking and Insurance Chairman David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, said he’s advancing the measure at the request of a number of insurance officials who don’t expect reforms to the state’s decade-old Personal Injury Protection (PIP) auto insurance system to fully take hold. “I’ve had several of our major insurance companies come to me and say that they are ready to move on, and that’s irrespective of a 1st District Court of Appeal ruling,” Simmons said. “They’re saying that the system is broke, we acknowledge it’s broken, it’s difficult to fix the unfixable.”
14-day treatment An appeals court ruling is pending in a challenge by a group of acupuncturists, massage therapists and chiropractors over a reduction of individual medical coverage and the contention that the law reduces access to courts. The ruling is expected to be taken to the state Supreme Court, regardless of the outcome. The 2012 law signed by Gov. Rick Scott requires those involved in motor vehicle crashes to seek treatment within 14 days, allows up to $10,000 in benefits for emergency medical conditions and $2,500 for non-emergency conditions. Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled March 20 the law illegally prevents accident patients from using PIP claims to pay for treatment by acupuncturists and massage therapists and limits the services from chiropractors. He also found fault with the law’s lower limit on how much will be paid for non-emergency medical care.
Bodily-injury coverage Backed by Scott and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, the law was considered a last-ditch effort to maintain the nofault, or PIP, system that requires motorists to carry $10,000 in medical coverage. Scott and Atwater contended that fraud involving no-fault claims collectively has hit motorists by as much as $1 billion a year through the increased costs of coverage. Simmons said for most motorists moving to bodily injury coverage wouldn’t require much change to existing policies. The state Office of Insurance Regulation has estimated that more than 70 percent of motorists already have some bodily injury coverage. At the end of the 2013 session, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee voted in support of replacing PIP with bodily injury coverage in a similar measure (SB 7152). But the proposal failed to advance.
More cases in court? Sam Miller, executive vice president of the Florida Insurance Council, said his members are waiting to see what is included in Simmons’ proposal, with keen interest on what would be considered an appropriate level of costs for bodily injury coverage and if there is any medical pay coverage. “It’s not as simple as do
you support repealing PIP or do you not, our support of a bill repealing PIP and replacing it with a new system would be contingent on the details of the new
system,” Miller said. “Our health insurers are concerned that if you replace PIP with only mandatory BI that there will be a shifting of costs to health insur-
ance and an increase in health insurance premiums.” Questions have also been raised that without no-fault, the shift in medi-
cal coverage could also put more cases into the courts as injured parties seek to recoup expenses from atfault motorists. Simmons said that the
draft was still in progress. Florida Insurance Council members have a series of conference calls planned next week to discuss the potential changes.
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Remembering those back-inthe-day desserts See page B4
SOUTH FLORIDA / TREASURE COAST AREA
October 18 - October 24, 2013
SHARING BLACK LIFE, STATEWIDE
The men behind ’12 Years a Slave’ See page B5
PHOTOS BY CHARLES W. CHERRY II / FLORIDA COURIER
Bishop Victor T. Curry eulogizes Dr. Mack King Carter as other ministers, including New Mount Olive’s current pastor the Rev. Marcus Davidson (third from left) and the Rev. Wayne Lomax (right), look on at First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale.
‘In the arms of that Negro from Nazareth’ Men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity prepare to memorialize Dr. Carter in Opa Locka.
Florida Courier Publisher Charles W. Cherry II writes a firsthand account of church services around the state that memorialized the Rev. Dr. Mack King Carter. BY CHARLES W. CHERRY II FLORIDA COURIER
Above: Dr. Eugene Broxton, center, lines a hymn during the Ocala service. Right: Dr. Carter’s wife Patricia, wearing a hat, leaves the Fort Lauderdale service.
ednesday, Oct. 2, 8 p.m. A typically long day is winding down. Wednesday is newspaper “press day” for me, the day we struggle to meet the midnight deadline to submit the Florida Courier and the Daytona Times to our newspaper printing company. My family members know that everything else stops for me. A text from Lisa. “I just heard Dr. Carter may have passed. Don’t repeat it yet. Trying to confirm.” Me, 8:01 p.m.: “Jeez.” I make some phone calls and confirm his death through my sources. Me, 8:25 p.m.: “Damn, my good friend gone on in.” At 10 p.m., I revamp the Florida Courier’s front page, write a quick obituary and broadcast the news via Facebook and Twitter. Florida Courier web traffic triples on the site for the next 24 hours. I’m finally asleep at 2 a.m. Thus begins a series of restless nights thinking about Doc, which continue as of this writing. Friday, Oct. 4: Homegoing services are confirmed for Wednesday, Oct. 9 at New Birth Cathedral of Faith International, Bishop Victor T. Curry’s church in Miami-Dade
County, and Thursday, Oct. 10 at Doc’s old church, New Mount Olive Baptist in Fort Lauderdale. We update the information as it changes, which again results in surges of traffic to the Florida Courier website from the Facebook postings and Twitter Rev. Dr. Mack retweets. King Carter Wednesday, Oct. 9. It’s the first of three observances in Opa Locka, Fort Lauderdale, and his hometown of Ocala. Early on, I make the decision to go the last mile of the way with Doc around the state and try to document the events for Florida Courier readers, but more importantly for his family. Generally for an event of this magnitude, I’m packed with photographic gear, especially two Nikon cameras with a long and a short lens so I can take any shot. However, one was stolen and the other was broken beyond reasonable repair, so I’m forced to use Lisa’s little Sony consumer-grade superzoom digital camera. I buy an extra battery and decide to make do. It’s another press day for me. Doc’s public viewing is at New Birth Cathedral in Opa Locka, about a half-hour drive through Please see CARTER, Page B2
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
CARTER from A1 traffic. I decide to take my MacBook Pro and work from the church to stay on schedule. I’m wearing one of my three more formal African purple and gold outfits in tribute to the membership Doc and I share in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Viewing started at 4 p.m. and The Links, Incorporated and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority had memorial ceremonies (the first I’d hear of the AKAs doing one for a member’s husband. Is that unusual? Maybe I’m just out of the loop).
Waiting brothers As I arrive at New Birth at about 6:45 p.m., I see hundreds of people are already there. The men of Omega Psi Phi, all dressed in black suits and white gloves, were assembled just outside the church entrance. I’ve known many of them for years. We greet each other warmly as we renew ties and prepare to say a collective “goodbye” to Doc, who was respected and loved by his brothers. Brother Dr. Chico Arenas, who led the procession of some 200 Omega men for the brief fraternal memorial ceremony, laughingly needled me as usual about a bombastic speech I gave to older fraternity members in defense of fraternity hazing more than 30 years ago – something that would get me locked up today. My brothers of Eta Nu Chapter in Pompano let me know that my presence at frat meeting (and my dues) have been missed. The mood shifted as brothers sang “We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” as they filed in two by two, then broke off to flank Doc’s gold casket in a line snaking all the way around the church.
Omega Chapter The ceremony is only about 15 minutes long. Toward the end, the words were read that sends chills down the spine of every Omega man – when a brother is removed from his chapter. “The Keeper of Records and Seal is hereby directed to strike the name of Dr. Mack King Carter from the roll of Zeta Chi Chapter.” That makes it official that Doc has passed from time to eternity, and has entered into what we call “Omega Chapter” – the last stop in an Omega man’s journey through the “days of joy and years of pain” of life. I did not walk in with my brothers; I preferred to take pictures. And because I was the only Omega man not dressed in a black suit, I didn’t want to be a visual distraction from the other brothers. I slipped in through a side door that put me at the rear of the line, just next to former Congressman Kendrick Meek. As the ceremony ended, we sang the fraternity hymn, then filed by Doc’s open casket – a gold-plated, solid bronze Batesville Promethean casket with 14K gold hardware, identical to James Brown’s and Michael Jackson’s – as hundreds in the church watched. I was last in line – a point of purple and gold in a long line of black. As I passed by Doc, I was shocked to see that he was dressed in a purple and gold African outfit – a long-sleeved purple African style-shirt with cowrie shell-styled buttons, matching purple pants and white trim, a tunic handembroidered with purple and gold hearts, a cross on a chain that he often wore, and brand-new, neverworn black Stacy Adams shoes. I paused for a few seconds, reflecting on what Doc may have called “our fraternal sartorial synchronicity” – that we would both reflect Africa and Omega at this time. With a small smile, I took my usual place as “tail dog” at the end of the long Omega
PHOTOS BY CHARLES W. CHERRY II / FLORIDA COURIER
Pallbearers carry Dr. Carter’s casket to the grave. line as we all walked away, backs toward our fallen brother.
His own words The New Birth memorial service picked up from there, with the energetically outstanding New Birth choir alternately rocking the sanctuary, then provoking solemnity with a soaring version of Richard Smallwood’s “Total Praise.” (For almost seven years, I would occasionally cry uncontrollably whenever I heard it, as it took me back to my father’s 2004 funeral. Tonight I was able to hold it together.) But the highlight of the memorial service as a compilation of what Doc might call “hermeneutic homiletic exposition.” The New Birth staff had taken years of Doc’s sermons, speeches, Bible studies, and conference appearances and compressed them into a short video of stories, jokes, teachings, and reflections on numerous topics, including his own death. As Doc moaned, sung and hollered on New Birth’s big screens and his distinctive voice boomed through the sanctuary, it was hard to believe that it was now forever stilled in life. I ruminated on what I saw and heard on my way back home, finished the newspapers after midnight, then got a short night’s sleep before waking up Thursday morning, prepared for a long day of “funeralizing.” Thursday, Oct. 10: Almost every American city of any size has a “First Baptist Church” downtown, which is usually the largest, most well-established historically White church in the area. Fort Lauderdale is no different. On short notice, Doc’s South Florida homegoing was moved to First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale (max capacity approximately 3,000) because his former church home, New Mount Olive Baptist (max capacity 1,500) would be too small. First Baptist’s Pastor Larry Thompson and his large staff were great and hospitable hosts and hostesses who made everyone at home in their impressive facility. The service went off without a technical hitch. If Doc was the James Brown of African-American pulpiteers, as I’ve called him, then the Rev. Wayne Lomax was Doc’s emcee (Danny Ray), hype man (Bobby Byrd), and manager/administrator behind the scenes (Charles Bobbitt) during much of the time Doc served as Mount Olive’s pastor. Rev. Lomax presided over what was to be a fourhour ceremony segmented into political, religious and personal reflections. The climax was Bishop Victor Curry’s energetic eulogy comparing Doc to the apostle Paul – complete with a coordinated slideshow of Bible verses and teaching principles shown on First Baptist’s two giant screens.
Florida Courier Publisher Charles W. Cherry II assists in the burial.
A temporary marker identifies the final resting place.
I was lost in my own thoughts when I was involuntarily relieved by the funeral director, Albert McWhite, to make way for the family. I recovered my camera and made my way to the church entrance, paying respect to Rev. Lomax, Bishop Curry, the Rev. Josephus Johnson of Hallandale, and the Rev. R.B. Holmes of Tallahassee. I started taking pictures as the family entered to take their last glance and begin the final homegoing service. As we all looked upon the mortal visage of Dr. Mack King Carter for the last time, the casket’s lid was closed to the strains of “In The Sweet Bye and Bye.”
Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s appearance in the same pulpit with Democrats state Sen. Chris Smith and Congressman Alcee Hastings, at the homegoing service of Broward County’s most beloved Black preacher, was Crist’s informal announcement to Black Floridians that he will run for governor in 2014. If Crist doesn’t win Broward, Florida’s largest pot of Democratic votes in the state, he won’t win. And being allowed to speak at Doc’s homegoing ain’t a small thing. Any time you get a group of preachers speaking from the same pulpit, some become “forensically and expositionally competitive,” as Doc may have said. That generally didn’t happen at this service, even though Dr. Charles Booth – nicknamed “Twin” because he and Dr. Carter were born on the same date – got off the line of the day. “Dr. Mack King Carter is now safe in the arms of that Negro from Nazareth,” Booth said to hoots and laughter from the large audience. He figuratively dropped the microphone and left the building to catch an early flight, highfiving mourners on the way out.
Hitting the exits I’ve learned that Black church folks have an internal church alarm that rings generally after two hours or so. I saw people bailing for the exits after two hours (“I have a doctor’s appointment,” one told me); many of us were going out to put more coins in parking meters after three hours. Rev. Lomax shortened the program by eliminating McWhite Funeral Home’s acknowledgments as well as the recognition of the many resolutions and expressions of sympathy from churches and organizations. For me, it was worth the wait to hear Bishop Curry, who was Doc’s mentee, friend, fraternity brother, confidant, “son,’’ and final pastor as he “made it plain” for the rest of us. He didn’t disappoint. Notable moments: Dr. Alfred Pinkston, Doc’s longtime minister of music, makes First Baptist’s Hammond B-2–style organ “talk” as he played “What A Friend We Have In Jesus,” and as he punctuated Bishop Curry’s eulogy with organ riffs. The New Mount Olive choir brought the
house down, enthusiastically singing a number of selections flawlessly after only a single rehearsal. However, there were numerous spelling errors in the otherwise well-designed funeral program booklet. Doc, a stickler for grammatical and linguistic accuracy, would have hated that. I drive from Fort Lauderdale Friday for my Daytona Beach hometown where I spend the night with Mom, Julia T. Cherry. Saturday, Oct. 12: Mom and I are up at 6 a.m. to get ready to make the 90-minute drive to Ocala, where Doc’s final viewing and memorial service would be held. We pick up Mom’s best friend, Ocala native Lerosa Dixon, and start across State Road 40 through the Ocala National Forest, telling Mack King Carter stories along the way. We arrive at New St. John Baptist Church at about 9:30 a.m. for the 11 a.m. service. People had already assembled, quietly talking as they sat in the pews of the small church with Doc’s open casket positioned just beneath the pulpit. I station myself on the front row with the brothers of Omega Psi Phi’s Ocala-based chapter, Psi Chi. Much like the military, fraternity members generally stand “on post” next to the casket of a deceased brother. I asked a senior member, Bro. Edmond Fordham, if I could do so. He graciously lends me a pair of white gloves and allows me to take his place beside Doc.
Facing reality For about 40 minutes, from a few feet away, I saw varied reactions as people viewed Doc’s remains. Some stood relatively far away, looked over at him as if they were looking over the railing from the top of a 20-story building. Some looked almost longingly, closely examining him from head to feet multiple times, before smiling and moving away. Some did a quick check of his face as if to say “Yep, that’s Mack” – nobody calls him “Doc” in Ocala. Some closed their eyes and prayed over him. Some looked at him helplessly and sighed deeply. A few were convulsed in grief. All were lost in their own thoughts in the few seconds they took to verify the fact that Doc’s mortal existence had ended.
No eulogy For the next two hours and five minutes, it was storytelling, jokes, and reminiscences from first grade (Doc entered first grade at the age of four, but he cried too much so they had to put him out) through adulthood (his church bought him a red Mustang so that he could get back and forth from Ocala to Gainesville, where he was enrolled at the University of Florida), and including his love life (he told another minister he was thinking about kissing Patricia Thomas, who was to eventually become his wife). The small, intimate Ocala service was the perfect complement to the large Opa Locka and Fort Lauderdale services. There was the Second Bethlehem Association District Choir, keeping time with their feet on the lightly carpeted wooden floor. There were older ministers, some moving slowly with the assistance of canes, with voices permanently seasoned from decades of bringing the Word to small congregations in Black churches all over Florida. There was no traditional eulogy; just final remarks punctuated by more Mack King Carter stories. As the McWhite staff prepared Doc to take final leave from his beloved Ocala hometown, the church lined a hymn as only old-time Black church people can do: What a freh-end we-ee Hav-av in Jeeee-sus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a priv-lege too-oo car-ray Evvvv-ry thing to-ooo God in-nn prayer! I tried to stay focused on “getting the shot” as the tears began to roll down my face and the family walked
down the middle aisle. Sunday, Oct. 13: Back in Daytona, I attend Hope Fellowship Church’s 8 a.m. service; Bishop Derek Triplett is Mom’s pastor there. Bishop Triplett acknowledges Doc’s death, and relates a conversation he had with Doc about how he was able to walk away from pastoring New Mount Olive after the relationship between Doc and elements of church leadership got ugly. “On the Florida Turnpike, there’s a sign that says, ‘Last Exit Before Additional Toll,’ Doc told Bishop Triplett. “I refuse to pay any additional toll to continue to pastor, so I took the exit.” After church, Mom and I eat, then go to visit the grave of my father, Charles W. Cherry, Sr., who would have turned 85 today had he lived. Mom and I reminisce and laugh about Daddy and a few hours later, I’m on the road headed back home to South Florida. Monday, Oct. 14: A private burial for Doc is set at Evergreen Cemetery, Fort Lauderdale’s oldest burial site. I’ve never been there, and have to use my phone’s navigation app to find it. Some of us get there an hour early and wait for the family to arrive. While waiting, I stroll around the cemetery reading headstones and wondering what happened in the lives of these people “between the dash” on their grave markers, as Doc and so many other ministers have preached. There were large, impressive grave markers, many with Bible verses confirming Jesus’ promise of eternal life and God’s eternal faithfulness even beyond death. But it was the grave of one Harold Sylvester Lissau, 1920-2004, that caught my eye. PASSED AWAY TO BE WITH THE LORD, the stone read. Just below that was another inscription: TO FLY LIKE AN EAGLE IS DIFFICULT WHEN YOU’RE WITH A TURKEY.
Family arrival The McWhite hearse and two limos arrive around 2 p.m. I position myself to get graveside pictures. After the family is seated, Bishop Curry gives the traditional “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” committal, Rev. Lomax prays a short prayer, and we are done. There’s lingering around the casket as the cemetery workers slowly lower it into a purple and gold burial vault inscribed with Doc’s name. And though the two limos were parked less than 20 feet away, the walk away, back turned, from the grave of a spouse, relative, or close friend is the hardest and longest walk any of them will ever make. I know. I’ve also made that short long walk.
My privilege My hands were some of the last ones to touch my stillborn daughter Chip’s tiny casket when she was buried in 2002. When Daddy died in 2004, I stayed until the last bit of earth was placed on his grave in Daytona Beach; my close friends and fraternity brothers, Kris Colley and C.D. Moody, Jr., did the final shoveling with me. I think that loving hands ought to be the last ones to place a loved one to rest. I’ve done that for friends and with friends. It was a privilege to help the cemetery workers finish Doc’s grave while wearing a purple and gold African tunic similar to the one in which he will forever lie. From Opa Locka to Fort Lauderdale to Ocala, a great man who was greatly loved was greatly celebrated. I’m glad I could tell you the story.
Go to flcourier.com for a picture slideshow. Contact me at ccherry2@ gmail.com; holler at me at www.facebook.com/ ccherry2 and please “like’’ the Florida Courier page; follow @flcourier and @ccherry2 on Twitter.
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
Consumers gaining upper hand in car shopping More online research cutting down time spent negotiating at dealership
scotch guarding. But that era ended when dealerships realized they could improve one-on-one relationships with customers through the Internet as mobile technology allowed Americans to be online all the time. The average consumer spends 19 hours researching before a purchase, with 11.4 hours (60 percent) spent online, according to a JD Powers study.
BY LEON STAFFORD ATLANTA JOURNALCONSTITUTION (MCT)
When Jennifer Williams walked into the Nalley Lexus dealership in Cobb County, Ga., on a recent Tuesday, all she needed was a salesperson to provide her a good deal on her trade-in, the keys to her RX 350 SUV and a happy wave goodbye. Thanks to the Internet, Williams had done research ahead of time and already knew what cars were available on the lot, their features, price and even ownership and mileage records. She also preinvestigated available interest rates, her credit score and, most importantly, what Nalley’s competitors were offering. “I just needed to know what you’re going to give me for my trade, talk interest rates and see if they could take a little bit off the car,” she said.
Not negotiating Williams is the epitome of the new car shopper, industry experts say. Unlike a decade ago, today’s car buyers walk in the door with almost as much knowledge about what’s on a lot as the sales staff. And they don’t want to spend hours negotiating or being wooed into costly upgrades. That has made it more difficult for dealerships to make the same profits of yesteryear and pushed some to change how they compensate employees. Lexus South Atlanta, for instance, switched from pay-
Short in-store time
Lexus salesman Horace McMillan, right, reviews warranty information with car buyer Jennifer Williams at a dealership on Oct. 1 in Smyrna, Ga. ing staff a traditional commission to an hourly salary plus incentives. “The opportunity to negotiate has almost been eliminated,” Sid Barron, general manager at Lexus South, said, emphasizing that this is especially true among young car buyers who don’t even understand the concept of negotiating. “You have to build value.”
Beware of offers But the industry is making up the lost revenue through stronger volume
— car sales have surged since 2009 — and by capturing more of the service business. Today’s cars have become so technologically complicated that independent mechanics are being cut out because they either lack the skills to repair the vehicles or cannot afford the necessary diagnostic machinery, said Rick Nelson, an analyst for research firm Stephens. “Dealers are also getting more aggressive on pricing, such oil changes,” Nelson said. “They also throw in loaner cars of the quality that customers expect.”
Consumer advocates applaud the industry’s openness, but advise car buyers to stay vigilant. Rebates, zero percent financing and other offers often come with strings attached, said Ellen Schloemer, a spokeswoman for the Center for Responsible Lending.
Major change Car buyers also should first consider their banks or credit unions for financing, she said. Some dealerships get a cut of the revenue if customers agree to go through dealer-aligned
loan institutions, who often charge higher interest rates. “That is often completely invisible to the consumer,” she said. It’s all a far cry from the days when salespeople of all brands — from Lexus to Honda to Ford — had the upper hand. They would walk a buyer around a lot and point out different variations of a particular model with the hope of convincing the customer to purchase a higherpriced make. The pressure would continue in the sales office with add-ons such as undercoating and interior
Like all industries, dealers accumulated email lists to blast out news of bargains, new shipments and updated models to past and interested car buyers. Service departments became savvier about updating motorists on scheduled maintenance through emails. And dealerships’ efforts to gain an edge over their competitors led to more transparency about inventory and pricing, giving consumers more information than they had in the past. As a consequence, online car shopping has almost eliminated the need to go from lot to lot searching for the right vehicle. “Prior to 2006, customers visited an average of 4.1 dealerships before purchasing a vehicle,” said Craig Monaghan, president and chief executive officer of Duluth, Minn.-based Asbury Automotive Group, the nation’s fifth-largest public car dealership franchise and owner of the Nalley Automotive Group. “Now, customers only visit an average of 1.3 dealerships prior to purchasing a vehicle,” he said. “The reduction in dealership visits makes it more important than ever to meet the consumer’s needs and expectations well in advance of them visiting our stores.”
Learn early, make more money? Research finds that increased reading and math ability at age 7 will correlate with bigger paychecks later in life BY BRETT GRAFF MIAMI HERALD (MCT)
Miami Shores tech consultant Rudo Boothe, age 33, attributes his professional success — anyone’s professional success, actually — to having learned to read and perform basic math at age 4. So now with his own 19-month-old daughter, he makes sure to introduce those educational concepts at every turn. From putting cans of tomato sauce in the supermarket cart to the backward countdown of the microwave timer, the duo these days is heavy into shapes and word-association. “My attempt is to make numbers very important,” Boothe said. “Greatness is the objective. To be phenomenal at age 7.” Boothe isn’t competitively parenting for mere sport, but rather for investing in his child’s future ability to make money — at least if you believe researchers in Scotland. Boothe, for his part, does put stock in University of Edinburgh findings that prove increased reading and math ability at age 7 will directly correlate with bigger paychecks later in life. And that these educational aptitudes are better predicators of income than even intelligence, education and socioeconomic status in childhood.
Higher earners American educators agree that early childhood education is critical for a lifetime of success, but offer their own proof as to why we shouldn’t dare discount the other variables. Still, they also offer real
and free ways we can introduce fundamentals to our young kids today so they can soar financially tomorrow. “Children who have acquired more skill in reading at age 7 have a cascade of positive events,” said Timothy Bates, a University of Edinburgh psychology professor, “and by adulthood are earning significantly more.” How much? Bates found an increase in one level of reading at age 7 translated into an $8,000 increase in yearly earnings by age 45. In fact, after following 17,000 people in the United Kingdom over four decades, Bates saw that young subjects who were better at reading and math still ended up having higher incomes, better housing and better jobs in adulthood than the kids who had perhaps higher IQs or richer parents, but read or performed math at lower levels. And he expects that here in the United States, where our system is more merit-based, we’d see the same effect, only stronger. “These findings imply that basic childhood skills, independent of how smart you are, how long you stay in school or the social class you started off in will be important throughout your life,” Bates said.
Creating ability early Hold it right there, say a litany of U.S. educators. They agree early learning is critical to career success and — in preferring to use third grade as a marker — say that it produces kindergarten-ready kids who will accelerate. But they also point out that income will
SHANNON KAESTLE/MIAMI HERALD/MCT
Rudo Boothe teaches his 19-month-old daughter, Ziah, counting and shapes. He said he hopes she will learn multiplication before kindergarten. most certainly affect the outcome. For starters, only 40 percent to 55 percent of American children attend quality pre-kindergarten programs, said Libby Doggett, deputy assistant secretary of policy and early learning for the U.S. Department of Education. There, kids not only learn the basics of reading and math but are also introduced to executive function skills, such as motivation and persistence. “It’s not about ability,” Doggett said. “We create ability. And we create it early on.”
Parenting practices count The kids most likely to skip quality pre-K programs are — you guessed it — poor children, said Greg J. Duncan, a professor at University of California-Irvine. That partly explains a gap — equivalent to about 20 IQ points or 120 SAT points — in reading and math skills between the nation’s richest 20 percent and poorest 20 percent of kindergarten-age kids. Even worse, American
schools are not a great equalizer because those in low-income areas tend to have teachers without tenure, behavioral problems that slow down entire classes and more mobile families, he said. “Most of the gap comes from what goes on in the home,” Duncan said. “It’s not to say cognitive ability doesn’t play a role, but much of the gaps are caused by differences in parenting practices.” Reading and math lessons are easily disguised as exciting activities, said Silvia P. Tarafa, principal of the Key Biscayne K-8 Center.
Simple exercises Most people read with kids, but don’t forget to introduce nonfiction books about their interests, such as dinosaurs or sharks, she said. Bake cakes often, relying on your measuring cups or sticks of butter to help with fractions. At the store, compare prices together and try to pay cash for the subtraction equation you’ll get in return. Don’t miss the opportunity to demonstrate that
four quarters make a dollar, or any other useful coin combinations. When they paint pictures, frame the masterpieces, which requires measuring the length, width and perimeter — but feel free to calculate the area of the picture too. “When a child has heard the concepts at an early age,” Tarafa said, “that child will make a connection to the concept when it’s introduced by a teacher.”
Tips that count Tarafa said parents can play a role in introducing the important concepts into daily activities. For example: 1. When packing for a trip, ask the child to bring three or four shirts and five pairs of pants, because number recognition — rather than counting on fingers — is critical. 2. Never use the term “take away” and instead say “subtract.” 3. Together, read nonfiction books about the child’s interest, such as sharks, cooking, outer space or dinosaurs. 4. At the store and online,
always compare prices. 5. Pay with cash and discuss important coin combinations, such as how four quarters make a dollar. 6. Bake brownies, using your measuring cup and sticks of butter as tools to teach fractions. 7. Let them open a savings account and see how interest compounds. 8. Measure the items you’ll buy for your home, converting the lengths to inches, feet, yards — and don’t forget metrics. 9. Frame their artwork, but first, together measure the picture’s length, width and perimeter. 10. Remember, there are some things — such as multiplication tables — that need to be memorized.
Brett Graff is a former U.S. government economist and the editor of w w w. t h e h o m e e c o n o mist.com, where she reports on the economic forces affecting real people. She writes an occasional column for the Miami Herald. Reach her at email@example.com.
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
Decades of decadence FROM Family Features
ach decade has its own distinct foods, including desserts. Yet some of these decadent treats — such as southern Lemon Chess Pie from the 1820s, Strawberry Shortcake from the 1850s, or New York’s Black and White Cookies, first baked up in the Roaring 1920s — have stood the test of time. To celebrate these nostalgic sweets, CanolaInfo’s “Decades of Decadence” recipe collection serves up a delicious trip down memory lane with modern influence by Ellie Krieger, M.S., R.D., host of the Cooking Channel’s “Healthy Appetite.” “History shaped these desserts and they have stuck around because they are inherently delicious,” she says. “They were driven by the availability of ingredients in their day, advertising by food companies in women’s magazines and advancements in food technology or appliances.” To boost nutrition and keep saturated fat in check, the recipes are updated with hearthealthy ingredients, such as low-fat yogurt, whole-grain flour and canola oil, which has the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all common culinary oils. Try this fresh, healthy update on 1930s Pineapple Upside Down Cake, originally invented to take advantage of canned pineapple, which is kept moist and gooey with canola oil. Take a journey back to the ’40s with Chocolate War Cake, a chocolaty indulgence that’s a cinch to make. Or dig into Frozen Grasshopper Pie, a ’50s favorite once home freezers became common, which offers less saturated fat by using canola oil in the crust and reduced-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt in the filling. For the complete “Decades of Decadence” collection and more recipes from Krieger, visit www.CanolaInfo.org.
1 cup cold water 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Chocolate War Cake Yield: 12 slices Serving size: 1 slice 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. In 9-inch round baking pan, whisk together whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In small bowl or measuring cup, combine water and vinegar.
1 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup natural cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
Make well in center of flour mixture in pan and pour canola oil and vanilla extract into well. Pour water-vinegar mixture over top of flour and then stir well to blend all ingredients. Bake until set and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Place cake on rack to cool in pan. Once cool, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Note: Whole-wheat, all-purpose flour can be substituted for whole-wheat pastry flour. Nutritional Analysis (per Serving): Calories 180; Fat 7 g; Saturated Fat 0.5 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 200 mg; Carbohydrates 29 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 2 g
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Yield: 8 servings Serving size: 1 slice Canola oil cooking spray 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar 4 to 5 pineapple rings (about 1/4 of whole pineapple) about 1/2 inch thick 2 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup low-fat buttermilk 1/2 cup canola oil 2 large eggs 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously spray bottom of 9-inch, nonstick layer cake pan with canola oil cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with
1950s Frozen Grasshopper Pie Yield: 8 servings Serving size: 1 slice Canola oil cooking spray 1 1/4 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies or chocolate graham cracker crumbs 3 tablespoons canola oil 4 cups mint chip reducedfat ice cream or frozen yogurt, softened 1/3 cup chocolate shavings Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch pie dish with canola oil cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix cookie crumbs and canola oil until combined, then press mixture into prepared pie dish. Bake until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely. In large bowl, place softened ice cream and
brown sugar, then arrange pineapple rings on top in one layer. Sprinkle chopped ginger pieces in spaces around pineapple rings and in their centers. In medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. In another medium bowl, whisk together butter milk, canola oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix wet and dry ingre dients until combined. Pour batter over pineapple-brown sugar mixture and bake until top is lightly browned and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then run knife around cake edges and, using oven mitts, invert cake onto large serving plate. Note: Whole-wheat, all-purpose flour can be substituted for whole-wheat pastry flour. Nutritional Analysis (per Serving): Calories 390; Fat 16 g; Saturated Fat 1.5 g; Cholesterol, 55 mg; Sodium 270 mg, Carbohydrates 57 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein, 6 g
mix well until uniform tex ture forms, similar to softserve ice cream. Fill cooled pie crust with ice cream, smoothing out top. Garnish with chocolate shavings, cover with plastic wrap and put back in freezer until solidly frozen, at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, heat knife under hot water and use it to cut pie into slices. Note: An ice cream or frozen yogurt without green food coloring is recom mended. To make chocolate shavings, use a vegetable peeler to peel strips from a thick block of chocolate. If the chocolate crumbles as you make the shavings, put it in the microwave at 10-second intervals to soften it slightly. Nutritional Analysis (per Serving): Calories 290; Fat 14 g; Saturated Fat 5 g; Cholesterol 15 mg; Sodium 190 mg; Carbohydrates 36 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 5 g
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
FINEST & ENTERTAINMENT
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More than 4,000 cruisers joined nationally syndicated radio talk show host Tom Joyner on the 13th annual Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage 2012 aboard Royal Caribbean’s “Navigator of the Seas,” one of the world’s largest cruise ships. Featured in April 2012, the Florida Courier spotlights some of the bestlooking people on board. Will, who lives in Chicago, was on his first Tom Joyner cruise. Cybil, a Houston resident, was on her sixth Tom Joyner cruise.
cybil KANYE WEST
Kanye West’s The Yeezus Tour with Kendrick Lamar makes a stop at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Nov. 29.
FLORIDA COMMUNITY CALENDAR West Palm Beach: MSNBC hosts Tamron Hall, Touré and Joy Reid will be the guests on Oct. 18 at the Urban League of Palm County’s Youth Empowerment Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. More information: 561-8331461 ext. 3002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Miami: A Sealing and Expungement Program is scheduled Oct. 29 by Katherine Fernandez Rundle, State Attorney’s Office, at the Joseph Caleb Center, 5400 N.W. 22nd Avenue – Room 110. Preregister at www.miamisao.com. Call 305-5470724 for more information. Miami: State Rep. Kionne L. McGhee (D-Miami) will partner with faith-based organizations on Sunday, Nov. 3 to launch the ‘Souls to Enroll’ initiative to encourage uninsured and underinsured Americans and other eligible residents to enroll in an affordable health care plan before or after Sunday services. More information: Call 305-256-6300 or email
Donntay.Cooper@myfloridahouse.gov. Miami: The African American Performing Arts Community Theatre (AAPACT) will present its production of “Fences,’ written by August Wilson, through Nov. 3 at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave. Show times and more information: www.aapact.com. West Palm Beach: The West Palm Beach Chapter of the Links, Incorporated will host its 35th annual White Rose Luncheon at the Kravis Center on Dec. 7. It will feature Joy-Ann Reid, MSNBC commentator and managing editor of MSNBC’s The Grio, as its keynote speaker. More information: www.pblinkgs. org. Miami: A concert with Drake, Miguel and Future is set for Nov. 5 at the AmericanAirlines Arena. Miami Beach: Tickets are on sale for a concert with John Legend will be at the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackson Gleason Theater in Miami Beach on Nov. 3. St. Petersburg: Tickets are on sale now for Rick Ross at The Mahaffey Theater on Nov. 22.
The men behind ‘12 Years a Slave’ Film by two Brits already receiving Oscar buzz
Michael Fassbender as “Edwin Epps,” from left, Lupita Nyong’o as “Patsey” and Chiwetel Ejiofor as “Solomon Northup” in Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave.”
BY ROGER MOORE MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
ORLANDO – There’s little justice in “12 Years a Slave.” And there’s not a hint of “Django Unchained” revenge in it, no scenes where a bornfree New Yorker — kidnapped and enslaved — shoots, slices or strangles his tormentors. The film’s star says that fits the man whose autobiography it was based on — Solomon Northup. Revenge just wasn’t in his makeup. “There’s something about his humanity, his lack of hatred even as he’s writing about these awful things that happen to him,” says Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays him in the new film. “He was a person with a profound love of life. Not in a skippy, happy way. He just loved life in a deep, reflective way. That shimmers through the entire autobiography. That was something I tried to add to the script in my interpretation of him.”
A global trade A searing, unblinking portrayal of one literate, 19th-century Black man’s experience of a life in bondage, “12 Years a Slave” is already an Oscar favorite, with critics falling all over themselves to sing its praises. “Epic,” says Time magazine. “A great film,” adds Time Out New York. “Believe the Oscar buzz,” raves the Toronto Star. It took two Brits — the Londonborn son of Nigerian parents (Ejiofor) and a director whose parents were West Indian (Steve McQueen) to make a definitive movie about slavery in America. “I’m at the heart of the story, as are so many people all over the world,” says McQueen, whose movies (“Hunger” about an IRA prisoner’s hunger strike, and “Shame,” about sexual addiction) do not shy away from the ugly. “My parents are from Granada, where Malcolm X’s mother was born. And my mother was born in Trinidad, where Stokely Carmichael, who coined the phrase ‘Black Power,’ is from. “Slavery wasn’t just about shipping Black slaves to North America. My ancestors were dropped off along the way to America. It was a global trade, with repercussions and former slaves settling all around the world. Part of that diaspora is my story.”
From Nigeria to Louisiana Ejiofor, 36, would seem even further removed from the story they’re telling. A London native, an acclaimed stage actor and a rising film star, with “Kinky Boots,” “Children of Men” and “2012” among his credits, he was nevertheless drawn to the story McQueen felt compelled to tell. “I think every African person is connected to slavery,” Ejiofor says. “My family comes from the southeast of Nigeria, the Igbo Tribe. I was in Nigeria, shooting another film before making ‘12 Years a Slave.’ The last stop I made before heading out was to the slavery museum in Calabar. You see the roll call of people, hundreds of thousands of them, taken out of Calabar. The next day, I took a flight to Louisiana, the same place many of them were sent. It was eerie, in a way. I’ve always felt deeply connected to what happened there, and the lives they led in America.” Solomon Northup was a married, father of two and a Saratoga, N.Y., musician. He was tricked into taking a gig in Washington, D.C., and kidnapped in 1841.
Deep research Working with history meant both director and star would have to go deep into research to make the film. Despite all that’s been written about slavery over the decades, each found himself taken aback by some corner of the institution that isn’t common knowledge. “We always think of slavery as this amorphous experience,” Ejiofor says. “You don’t think of specifics, little freedoms. The difficulty of obtaining a pen and paper, how a bar of soap can have life or death implications, the distinction between slaves who cut timber and cut sugar cane and those who picked cotton. Those in-
dustries could create completely different lives on their respective plantations. The violence of one wouldn’t necessarily be present on the other.”
Complex story to tell McQueen, 43, was surprised by “how the boundaries of slavery were sort of constantly moving. For example, Mrs. Shaw (played by Alfre Woodard in the film). She’s married to a White slave owner. She started out a slave, and now she owns slaves. There were many slaves in the South, or former slaves, who owned slaves. They were able, on occasion, to buy back their relatives. The relationships were far murkier than simple Black and White. I had no idea of the complexity, the things that were allowed here, not allowed there, the ways the rules bent this way and that.” And most surprising of all to the director? “How could I not have heard of this book? NO ONE had heard of it! My wife found it. To me, this is a story to rival and compare to Anne Frank. His story became the story I had to tell.”
‘Crying out from the past’ Ejiofor sees “12 Years a Slave” as a chance to not merely revisit the horrors of the past, but to mark how the world has changed. In an age when everything from personal liberty to instant communication, the rule of law to freedom of movement is taken for granted, here’s a new appreciation of how hopeless people trapped in slavery could feel and how extraordinary they had to be to survive it. “Northup’s book is one of those great historical documents that take you deep inside the slave experience,” Ejiofor says. “His voice is crying out from the past. It’s a gift from him to us, in the modern world, to open these discussions of what it was really like.”
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
Published on Oct 17, 2013