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Everything you need to know about voting in 2012 A3
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VOLUME 20 NO. 44
NOVEMBER 2 - NOVEMBER 8, 2012
IN THE LAST DAYS President Obama has to deal with an unexpected storm, New Jersey Governor Christie and devastated families as the election cycle comes to a close. FLORIDA COURIER STAFF
It’s the last lap of the election and President Barack Obama finds himself in the midst of a storm during the last few days of his campaign. Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney both temporarily halted their last-minute campaign pitches after Hurricane POOL PHOTO BY MARTIN H. SIMON/CORBIS VIA ABACA PRESS/MCT Sandy does serious damage to the President Barack Obama meets with administration officials at nation’s east coast. The president and New JerFEMA headquarters in regards to cleanup efforts in the wake of sey Gov. Chris Christie, an unSuperstorm Sandy. Shown left to right are FEMA Administrator likely pair – were thrust together W. Craig Fugate, the president and Homeland Security Secreby a national crisis. They toured tary Janet Napolitano. ravaged stretches of the coast on
Tickets, not time
Wednesday. The sun came out, the stock exchange reopened and the electricity crisis ebbed — but the rolls of the dead rose, and some areas were still coming to grips with Sandy’s staggering destruction.
Obama pledges support
By the Florida Courier’s presstime on Wednedsay night, the death toll from superstorm Sandy had risen to 72 and was exToo close to call pected to keep climbing as workA CBS Times/New York Times/ ers combed through floodwaters, rubble and fallen trees in the Quinnipiac University survey reSee OBAMA, Page A2 more than a dozen states affect-
2012 HURRICANE SEASON / ONE MONTH REMAINING
Burned to the ground The Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. was devastated by Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday. More than eight million people in northeastern states are without electricity in frigid weather. Read Page B1 for information on disaster preparation as this year’s hurricane season winds down.
Experiment allows cops to give citations over jail BY MARGIE MENZEL THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
The state’s criminal justice system has seen some success with using alternatives to lock-ups for juvenile offenders. It’s been so successful that there’s a burgeoning movement to increase the use of non-jail diversion programs with nonviolent adult offenders. Backers of the idea announced on Wednesday an agreement with Leon County by which police will have the ability to issue civil citations to people who commit certain crimes rather than taking them to jail. If implemented statewide, backers say providing an alternative to jail or prison for nonviolent adults could save Florida tens of millions of dollars a year. “It’s worked so well with the juveniles that we think it’ll work really well with adults,” said Mark Flynn, president and CEO of the Smart Justice Alliance, which is pushing the concept.
CAROLYN COLE/LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT
Cops have discretion The approach works by giving law enforcement officers the discretion to issue a civil citation rather than make an arrest – but only when the offender has no previous record and the offense is nonviolent. Leon County, which includes Tallahassee, was selected as the pilot partly because the concept of juvenile civil citations began here 17 years ago. Also, all the key players needed to make such a move in the county are on board, particularly State Attorney Willie Meggs, Sheriff Larry Campbell and Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones. Civil citations for juveniles were also a success in Miami-Dade County, where Wansley Walters, now secreSee TICKETS, Page A2
ed by the 900-mile-wide weather system. “We are here for you, and we will not forget,” Obama said. “We will follow up to make sure you get all the help you need until you rebuild. “I don’t want anybody to feel that somehow this is all going to get cleaned up overnight,” Obama said. “But what I can promise you is that the federal government will be working as closely as possible with the state and local officials, and we will not quit until this is done.” Christie has been a vocal supporter of Romney. However, Christie has praised the president for his overseeing of federal emergency efforts.
No gag order; trial set in Trayvon case COMPILED FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
ASHLEY THOMAS / FLORIDA COURIER
In March, friends of Trayvon Martin attended a Sanford rally protesting his shooting death.
Here’s an update of events related to the Trayvon Martin murder case: • George Zimmerman’s defense lawyer can continue his controversial social media and public relations strategy, a judge ruled Monday. • Prosecutors handling the seconddegree murder charge against Zimmerman requested the gag order because of what they believed was a campaign by the defense to taint the jury. • Seminole County Circuit Judge Debra Nelson decided against issuing the gag order in the high-profile murder case, saying that there was no evidence of “an overriding pattern of prejudicial
commentary that will overcome reasonable efforts to select a fair and impartial jury.” • Duval County Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda argued that defense lawyer Mark O’Mara had repeatedly broken accepted Florida Bar rules regarding what an attorney can say and about what. O’Mara, he said, has commented publicly on evidence, the credibility of witnesses and even his own client. The two sides faced off during a 2 1/2-hour hearing Friday before Nelson at the Seminole County courthouse in Sanford. The Miami Herald, the Orlando SenSee TRIAL, Page A2
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NOVEMBER 2 - NOVEMBER 8, 2012
TICKETS from A1 tary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, was then the director of juvenile services. DJJ reports that in 2009-2010, roughly 7,000 young people statewide went through the civil citation process, with just 7 percent re-offending. In comparison, one-third of adults released from Florida prisons re-offend within three years.
Large reduction According to a January 2011 report by the Associated Industries of Florida Foundation, the success of the juvenile diversion programs in Leon and MiamiDade “suggested that the number of juveniles processed through the system could be reduced by 40 percent through diversion.” With juveniles, the nonviolent offenses that qualify them for civil citations usually involve petty theft or marijuana, said Tallahassee Police’s Chief Jones. Asked if leaving such decisions to the discretion of law enforcement officers is wise, Campbell and Jones said that’s how the system works now. “We do that every day,” said Campbell. “Half of law
OBAMA from A1 leased Wednesday gave Obama 50 percent and Romney 45 percent in Ohio, a state without which a Republican has ever won the White House. Obama led by six to 10 points in earlier CBS/Times/Quinnipiac polls. In Florida, Obama had a one-point advantage, 48 percent to 47 percent, after leading by nine points
WALTER MICHOT/MIAMI HERALD/MCT
Police arrest a man on March 30, 2005, who crossed onto the grounds of the hospice in Pinellas Park, Fla., where Terri Schiavo was living. enforcement is discretion.” “This program is designed for the lesser offenses…The attitude of the offender may have something to do with it,” said Jones. “Arrests should be our last tool, regardless.”
‘Scared straight’ The “smart justice” coalition’s plan for Leon requires adult offenders to undergo an assessment within 72 hours, perform at least 25 hours of community service, undergo treatment for contributing factors such as drug abuse, theft or gambling – and pay all costs of the program. Those who fail to meet the conditions face arrest, but clearly the great majority of juvenile offenders have a month earlier. His 49 percent to 47 percent edge in Virginia is less than half the five-point spread found in a poll earlier last month. “After being subjected to what seems like a zillion dollars’ worth of television ads and personal attention from the two candidates reminiscent of a high-school crush, the key swing states of Florida and Virginia are too close to call with the election only days away,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute in Hamden, Ct.
been scared straight. “They’re held accountable,” said Tom Olk, executive director of DISC Village, who has spear-headed the plan to extend civil citations to adults.
‘Minor mistake’ Proponents of the plan say public safety is well served by diverting scarce resources from offenders who don’t need to be behind bars – and targeting dangerously violent felons instead. “Someone who has made a made a minor mistake won’t be put in with a hardened criminal,” said Campbell. Reducing the nightly number of inmates in the county jail – now about
First lady in Florida Obama was to return to campaigning Thursday with events in Green Bay, Wis., Las Vegas and Boulder, Colo. Romney scheduled stops in some of the most populous parts of Florida, with rallies planned in Jacksonville and Coral Gables in the Miami area on Wednesday. The Obama campaign dispatched Biden to play defense in Florida on Wednesday, with stops in the smaller, more conservative markets of Sarasota and Oca-
1,000 in Leon County – would reduce costs on everything from mandatory medical screening to laundry, Campbell said. The coalition hopes to take the approach statewide soon. Existing rules adopted by the Florida Supreme Court provide the authority for it, but local circuit courts have to be involved, too. “We’ve been working on this project on a statewide basis for several years and are finally getting some traction,” said Olk. “We just happen to be the first. I know that there are other circuits that hope to come online in the next couple of months. They’re watching us closely…I can honestly say they don’t have the level of cooperation and support that we do [in Leon]. But we’ve always had it here.”
Some disagree Olk acknowledged that while Leon and MiamiDade have long assimilated juvenile civil citations, not all counties agree. “There are still areas of the state where they don’t (the idea for juveniles), and I’m sure they’re not going to like adult civil citation,” he said. But he predicted the data would prove his case. “What does it cost? Is it effective?” Olk asked. “Once we have that data, we think it’ll spread like wildfire.” la aimed at narrowing the margin where Republicans usually fare well. The first lady, meanwhile, was to head to Florida on Thursday, where singer Stevie Wonder was to perform at a rally in Jacksonville and singer Marc Anthony was to deliver remarks and introduce the first lady at events in Miami and Daytona Beach.
The Associated Press and MCT were used in compiling this report.
TRIAL from A1 tinel and other media companies fought back against the gag order, saying the prosecutor did not present enough evidence to prove it was necessary. “Judge Nelson recognized that gag orders can be used only as a last resort if there is no other way to make sure there will be an impartial jury,” said Scott Ponce, an attorney for The Miami Herald and other media companies. “Judges have a lot of tools they can use to make sure jurors are impartial, and Judge Nelson is going to use those tools instead entering of a gag order.” The judge added that she ruled on the order “without prejudice,” meaning the lawyers can file more motions on the issue in the future. It was the second time de la Rionda asked for a gag order. O’Mara is an Orlando criminal defense lawyer who launched a novel public relations strategy, which included a website dedicated just to that case and a Twitter account. A Facebook page was abandoned when it quickly devolved into bickering among users. He has held occasional press conferences and given both national and local TV and newspaper interviews. O’Mara said he turned to social media to turn around an onslaught of negative publicity that preceded Zimmerman’s arrest. An employee does the bulk of his social media and website announcements. Trayvon Martin, 17, was in Sanford on Feb. 26. Martin encountered
Zimmerman on the way back from a convenience store. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, stopped Martin, words were exchanged, then Zimmerman shot Martin in what he claimed was self-defense. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law allows people to use force if they reasonably believe it is needed to defend themselves or others. Zimmerman’s attorneys intend to use the law to justify Martin’s death. The trial is tentatively set for June 10, 2013. In a separate ruling, Nelson said prosecutors will not have access to Zimmerman’s medical records from before the February shooting.
‘Stand Your Ground’ clarified On Monday, a Central Florida appeals court ruled that a Haines City police officer cannot use “Stand Your Ground” to defend himself against a misdemeanor charge of using unnecessary force during an altercation in October 2010. The Second District Court of Appeal on Friday said the case involving Juan Caamano is the first to directly address whether “Stand Your Ground” applies to law enforcement officers. A three-judge panel overturned a circuit court ruling that would have allowed Caamano to use the law in his defense to a misdemeanor battery charge. The court said another more stringent law applies to cases dealing with use of force by law officers.
Frances Robles of the Miami Herald / MCT, and the News Service of Florida contributed to this report.
NAACP President: Vote NO on Constitutional Amendments; YES to Retain our Justices
Adora Obi Nweze President, Florida State Conference NAACP The Florida State Conference of the NAACP recommends that Floridians vote NO on all of the Legislature’s proposed Amendments and YES to retain all Supreme Court Justices. This election is one of the most important elections of our lifetime. We will be electing a President. We know that this is serious business for the world, for our country and – because of likely appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court – for our future. But in this election, Florida voters need to vote to protect their rights from the powergrabbing Florida Legislature. They are the ones who overloaded our ballot with 11 proposed constitutional amendments that threaten our rights. The Florida State Conference NAACP urges you to Vote No on all 11 constitutional amendments. The first proposed amendment is a symbolic attack on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare. Florida, with the second highest number
of citizens in the country without health insurance, has a Legislature that prefers to hoist the banner of “States’ rights” and pretend that we can opt-out of federal law. Politicians can’t exempt our state from the expansion of health insurance -- and more importantly it’s shameful that they want to leave our citizens unprotected! The NAACP is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act and recommends the immediate implementation of its components to provide quality and affordable healthcare to all Floridians. Amendments 2,3,4,9,10 and 11 could cripple our local communities, limiting funds local governments can raise – and once these limitations are put in the State Constitution, they will be difficult to ever remove. Fewer dollars for local governments mean reduced funds for programs our communities need: police officers, firefighters, emergency responders, neighborhood public schools, public transportation, libraries, parks, and everything else that affects the quality of our lives and the lives of our children. Amendment 6 would mean privacy for everyone, except women. It is an attempt by the Governor and the Florida Legislature to control the reproductive rights of women. These are personal matters in which government does not have the right to intervene. The Legislature is trying to trick voters with Amendment 8. They call it “religious freedom,” but it really undermines the principle of “Separation of Church and State” by allowing the government to send our tax dollars to any church, sect, or religious organization they choose. If this Amendment passes, public schools could be even more severely underfunded than they already are as the Legislature paves the way to re-introduce vouchers into our public schools. The NAACP does not support education vouchers and has deter-
mined that the public school system is the best vehicle to ensure education equality. The League of Women Voters has determined that local governments would lose $1.1 billion in revenues for needed services in the first three years of Amendments 2,3,4,9,10 and 11. At the same time, the Legislature is asking voters for permission to send tax dollars to religious organizations with no oversight or accountability for how those dollars are spent. We need to vote NO on all these schemes. We must also protect our Courts. Please, let’s not let the far-right get away with its last minute, well-funded attack on three of our Supreme Court Justices – Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince. These Justices have each stood on their records in previous elections and they have each been deemed worthy of retention. What is different now to justify opening the floodgates for out-of-state right-wing money to mount a last minute campaign against our Supreme Court Justices? Nothing They angered the right-wing by striking from the 2010 ballot a misleading amendment that attacked the Affordable Health Care Act (it’s back now as Amendment 1), and they struck down the legislature’s attempt to undermine the redistricting amendments that the voters put on the ballot and approved. These Justices have done their job, and now they are being targeted. As Floridians, we know maybe more than other folks around the country, the value of each vote. We know close elections here in Florida. Please vote, and get your family and friends to vote. Remember, vote the entire ballot – to reject all of the dangerous constitutional amendments and to retain our three Supreme Court Justices who are under attack from the farright.
november 2 - november 8, 2012
TAKE THIS PAGE TO THE POLLS WITH YOU! Everything you need to know about voting in the November 2012 election is on the front and back of this page, including a sample ballot of Florida Courier’s recommendations for president, judicial retention, and constitutional amendments. On the back of this page are information on your rights as a voter, election myths vs. facts, absentee and provisional voting procedures, and contacts for your local Supervisor of Elections.
VOTER’S BILL OF RIGHTS
What to BRING PHOTO expect at IDENTIFICATION! order to vote at the polls during early voting or the polls onInElection Day, you must show a photo and signa-
Each registered voter in Florida has the right to: 1. Vote and have his or her vote accurately counted. 2. Cast a vote if he or she is in line at the official closing of the polls in that county. 3. Ask for and receive assistance in voting. 4. Receive up to two replacement ballots if he or she makes a mistake prior to the ballot being cast. 5. Demand an explanation if his or her registration or identity is in question. 6. Cast a provisional ballot if his or her registration or identity is in question.
7. Receive written instructions to use when voting, and, upon request, oral instructions in voting from elections officers. 8. Vote free from coercion or intimidation by elections officers or any other person. 9. Vote on a voting system that is in working condition and that will allow votes to be accurately cast.
Polls will be open on Election Day, Nov. 6, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. local time. Contact your Supervisor of Elections, listed on Page A4, for early voting hours, which may vary between early voting sites. To determine your polling place, check your voter information card or contact your Supervisor of Elections. You may also find your polling place on http:// elections.myflorida.com, through the online voter lookup, or on your Supervisor of Elections’ website.
ture identification. Acceptable forms of photo identification include a Florida driver license; a Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway, Safety and Motor Vehicles; a United States passport; a debit or credit card; a military identification; a student identification; a retirement center identification; a neighborhood association identification; or a public assistance identification. If your photo identification does not contain your signature, you will be required to show an additional form of identification that provides your signature. Once your identity has been established, you will be asked to sign the precinct register or electronic device (or during early voting, the early voting ballot certificate) and then you will be allowed to vote. If you need assistance in marking your ballot, inform the poll worker. If you make a mistake when voting on a paper ballot, ask for a replacement. You may receive up to two replacements, or a total of three ballots.
ELECTION MYTHS VS. FACTS • MYTH: Voters will be turned away if they are wearing campaign apparel. • FACT: Under Florida rules, “Voters may wear campaign buttons, shirts, hats, or any other campaign items when they enter the polling place to vote; voters may not otherwise campaign there.” Merely going to the polls wearing campaign paraphernalia is OK, but under Florida law, one cannot solicit voters within 100 foot of the entrance to any polling place.
• MYTH: The address on the driver license must match the address in the voter registration record in order to be able to vote. • FACT: The address on the driver license does not need to match the address in the voter registration record. If you have moved and haven’t changed your driver license to reflect your new address, that’s okay. What is important is that you vote in the precinct where you currently live, no matter what your driver license says.
• MYTH: If your house is under foreclosure, you will not be able to vote. • FACT: A foreclosure notice does not necessarily mean that a person no longer resides in the home, as people often remain in the home after foreclosure begins and are sometimes able to refinance the home. Voters whose homes have been foreclosed but who remain in their homes may continue to vote in their assigned precinct. Voters who have physically moved from their foreclosed residence with no intention of returning to that address as their residence may still vote, but should provide a change of address to your Supervisor of Elections office listed below. You must vote in your correct precinct.
• MYTH: If you are Florida college student, you have to change your permanent residence to your college address. • FACT: If a college student registers with a legal residence in a Florida county, then no further proof of residency is required, regardless of where the college student’s parents reside or whether the student intends to move back to where the parents are located.
• MYTH: Provisional ballots are only counted when there is a close race. • FACT: A provisional ballot is always counted when the voter is shown to be registered and eligible, regardless of the closeness of the outcome of the election. A person who votes provisionally simply because he or she forgot ID at the polls will not have to do anything else. If the signatures on that ballot certificate and the voter roll matches, the provisional ballot is counted.
• MYTH: Absentee ballots are only counted when there is a close race. • FACT: All absentee ballots are counted if they are properly filled out and signed by the voter.
• MYTH: If a voter owes child support or has pending warrants against him or her, the police will arrest the voter at the polls. • FACT: The voter registration rolls at the polls have no indicators whether a voter owes child support or has outstanding warrants against him or her. Furthermore, law enforcement personnel are not allowed in the polling place without the permission of the election board, so ordinarily there will be not be any law enforcement personnel in the polling place to identify a voter who may have outstanding child support payments due or warrants against him or her.
• MYTH: If the voter is homeless and has no legal residence, the voter may not vote. • FACT: State registration laws may not discriminate against the homeless in voter registration as long as the homeless applicant for voter registration intends to remain in a locale and has either a place where he can receive messages or an effective mailing address. The homeless person will vote in the precinct where the applicant receives messages (e.g., a rescue mission, homeless shelter, etc.) or the precinct in which the applicant‘s effective mailing address is located.
NOVEMBER 2 - NOVEMBER 8, 2012
DO YOU WANT TO CAST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT? Absentee voting refers to voting on a ballot received by mail or picked up by or for a person who is unable or cannot go to the polls to vote during early voting or Election Day. Contact your Supervisor of Elections to request an absentee ballot. How to request an absentee ballot You must request your absentee ballot directly from the Supervisor of Elections online, by written request, in person, by telephone, or by mail. The request can be made by you or if directly instructed to do so, an immediate family member or legal guardian on your behalf. When a request is made, it must include the name of the voter for whom the ballot is being requested; the voter’s address; the voter’s date of birth; and the voter’s signature (if the request is written). If a member of your immediate family or legal guardian is requesting an absentee ballot for you, required information includes the requestor’s address and driver’s license number (if available); the requestor’s relationship to the voter; and the requestor’s signature (if the request is written). A request to receive an absentee ballot by mail must be received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 5 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2012. Otherwise, you can obtain an absentee ballot up until and including Election Day. However, it must still be returned by no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day if the voted ballot is to count. Who can pick up an absentee ballot? The voter may pick up an absentee ballot before Nov. 1, 2012 or on Election Day, Nov. 6. The voter may
also designate someone else to pick up the ballot for him or her. A designee may only pick up 2 absentee ballots per election (other than his or her own ballot and ballots for members of his or her immediate family). The designee must submit a completed Affidavit to Pick Up an Absentee Ballot that includes the written authorization from the voter. If the voter did not already request a ballot, the Affidavit must be accompanied by a request. How to vote using an absentee ballot After you mark your ballot, the Supervisor of Elections must receive it no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 6. Other options are available for military members and their families who are absent from their county of residence due to active duty, and for overseas civilians. Do not return the marked ballot to a polling place except if you decide you want or are able to vote in your precinct on Election Day. In that case, you must take the absentee ballot with you to the polls (whether it has been marked or not). Even if you come to the polls without your absentee ballot, you will still be able to vote a regular ballot if the Supervisor of Elections’ office is able to confirm that it has not received your absentee ballot. However, if it is confirmed that you have already voted an absentee ballot, you cannot vote again at the polls. If you think the Supervisor of Elections’ office is wrong about receiving your absentee ballot or if the Supervisor of Elections’ office cannot confirm that you have already voted an absentee ballot, you will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot. How to track your absentee ballot request and your returned ballot Any voter who has requested an absentee ballot can track online the status of his or her absentee ballot. You can either link through the Division of Elections’ Voter Information Lookup at www.elections. myflorida.com or through your Supervisor of Elections’ website listed below.
WHAT IF YOU VOTE A PROVISIONAL BALLOT? If you end up voting a provisional ballot, regardless of the reason, you must be given a written notice of rights that includes: 1. A statement that you have the right to bring further evidence (if you choose) of your eligibility to the Supervisor of Elections. You have until 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, to do so. 2. A statement that if you voted a provisional ballot solely because you did not bring in identification, you do not have to bring in further evidence of eligibility. The local canvassing board will count your ballot if you voted in the right precinct and the signature on the provisional ballot certificate matches the signature on the voter registration record.
HOW TO REPORT ELECTION LAW VIOLATIONS Report violations in writing to the Division of Elections, Room 316, R.A. Gray Building, 500 S. Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1050, 850-2456200. Complaint forms are available on the Division of Elections’ website at: http://election.dos.state. fl.us/voting/index.shtml. You can also call the Voter Fraud Hotline at 1-877-VOTERFRAUD. Report violations relating to campaign financing, candidates, committees, or other political activities by sworn written complaint to the Florida Elections Commission, Suite 224 Collins Building, 107 West Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1050, phone 850-922-4539.
3. A statement that if you voted a provisional ballot because your personal identifying number could not be verified. You can provide in person or by copy through fax, e-mail, or mail a copy of the card with the identifying number to the Supervisor of Elections before 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8. 4. Instructions on how you can find out after the election if your provisional ballot was counted, and if not, the reason(s) why.
HILLSBOROUGH Dr. Earl Lennard, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd, 16th Floor, Tampa, 33602-4932. Phone: 813-272-5850. Fax: 813272-7043. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.votehillsborough.org/ MIAMI-DADE Lester Sola, PO Box 521550, Miami, 33152-1550. Phone: 305-499-8683. Fax: 305-468-2507. E-mail: email@example.com. Website: http://elections. co.miami-dade.fl.us/ ORANGE Bill Cowles, PO Box 562001, Orlando, 328562001. Phone: 407-836-2070. Fax: 407-254-6596. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www. ocfelections.com/
CONTACT INFO, SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS (Florida Courier readership area only)
PALM BEACH Susan Bucher, PO Box 22309, West Palm Beach, 33416-2309. Phone: 561-656-6200; Fax: 561-656-6287. E-mail: email@example.com. Website: http://www.pbcelections.org/
BROWARD Dr. Brenda C. Snipes, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 102, Fort Lauderdale, 33301-1896. Phone: 954-3577050. Fax: 954-357-7070. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.browardsoe.org
PINELLAS Deborah Clark, 13001 Starkey Road, Largo, 33773. Phone: 727-464-6108. Fax: 727-464-6239. E-mail: email@example.com. http://www.votepinellas. com/
DUVAL Jerry Holland, 105 East Monroe Street, Jacksonville, 32202-3215. Phone: 904-630-1414, Fax: 904-630-2920, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.duvalelections.com/
VOLUSIA Ann McFall, 125 W. New York Ave., DeLand, 327205415. Phone: 386-736-5930. Fax: 386-822-5715. Email: email@example.com. http://www.volusia. org/elections
Sources: Florida Department of Elections; Florida Statutes; Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973; Broward Supervisor of Elections.
NOVEMBER 2 - NOVEMBER 8, 2012
By now, Barack Obama is the clear choice Many Americans have already gone to the polls. Others will go soon to make a collective decision that will determine the direction of this country for the next halfcentury or more. From where I sit, the choice could not be clearer. President Barack Obama’s positions have been firmly rooted in fairness and opportunity. Middleclass and small business tax cuts, development of manufacturing jobs, huge investments in education, infrastructure, and employment re-training to prepare our workers for a new generation of jobs support his ideal of growth from the middle. First Lady Michelle Obama said it best. “When you walk through the door of opportunity, you leave it open for those who follow.”
Questions about Romney Questions surrounding Romney’s own taxes highlight concerns that his only interest is to “redistribute” more money from the working-class to the wealthy. After all, he has said that 47 percent of Americans are unwilling to take personal responsibility and don’t deserve the benefits they receive. He’s told us how he “enjoys
Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. TRICE EDNEY WIRE
firing people,” how we should’ve “let Detroit go bankrupt,” and that “corporations are people.” The health of Americans, specifically women, has been an emphasis of the president’s first term. “Obamacare” answers questions of public health that have been asked for over a century and achieves a goal presidents have tried to reach for over fifty years. President Obama created a comprehensive program that’ll increase delivery while lowering costs of care, and we women have greater control over our bodies. Although his Massachusetts health plan is a near duplicate of Obamacare, Romney’s current prescription for the ill American is to go “to the emergency room.” He suggests protections for those with pre-existing conditions, but we learn that unless people maintain uninterrupted insurance they are not eligible. When President Obama came
Why I’m not voting for Barack Obama Most polling indicates that Barack Obama may win an Electoral College victory. If the past four years are any indication, that victory will do little to help the millions of people who put Obama in office. His claims of success are either dubious or obviously harmful for people in this country and around the world. The health care plan is a great unknown – not the Medicare for all that we need – but a bailout of the private insurance companies who have created the health care crisis in the first place. The war in Iraq which Obama brags about ending would have ended no matter who was in office because George W. Bush signed an agreement mandating the departure of most combat troops. And Obama has used the Federal Reserve to bail out the banks to the tune of $16 trillion.
MARGARET KIMBERLEY BLACK AGENDA REPORT
Would it be bad? The three presidential debates between Obama and Mitt Romney showed more agreement than disagreement about Social Security and on crushing the Iranian economy or killing people with drones. Given this degree of collusion, why would it be so terrible if Obama lost? His supporters argue that the end is near if Mitt Romney is inaugurated in January 2013. They point out that he would overturn Roe v. Wade and appoint conservatives to the federal judiciary. He has said that he will repeal the Obama health care plan, but
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: THE FLORIDA VOTE
into office, he was faced with two unfinanced war. The president has fulfilled his promise to end our involvement in the war in Iraq and has pledged to withdraw our forces from Afghanistan by 2014. He has eliminated the threat of Osama Bin Laden and many of his supporters to the world. For years, Romney sat on the sidelines and condemned the president for “telegraphing” our military withdrawals – first from Iraq and now from Afghanistan. He has simultaneously advocated greater and then lesser US military involvement in the Middle JEFF PARKER, FLORIDA TODAY AND THE FORT MYERS NEWS-PRESS East, and has even suggested preemptive armed conflict with Iran. The war-weary American spir- himself more palatable by mis- founded animus toward our presit and shrinking treasury should representing his philosophies of ident rather than an appreciation governance. He’s saying whatever for Romney. fear this saber-rattling. The choice that is so clear is that he feels is necessary to win. Life’s experiences have gener- we can choose the radical uncerChanges course tainty of a known prevaricator or It’s obvious the Romney team ally shown me that most people we can continue our movement place a great value on truth and has begun to understand the FORWARD. aversion of the uncommitted vot- consistency. We select friends and close associates on those er to his ultraconservative views. Dr. E. Faye Williams is naIn these few days before the elec- qualities and the selection of our tional chair of the Nationtion, Romney is engaging in, as elected representatives usually al Congress of Black Women, President Obama said in the last follows suit. Inc. Contact her via www.naThe reasons for Romney’s lev- tionalcongressbw.org. Click on debate, “airbrushing” history by moderating his previously stat- el of popularity, despite his many this story at www.flcourier.com ed positions. He’s trying to make misrepresentations, suggests un- to write your own response. the benefits of Obamacare are un- Why vote? known and it isn‘t clear what sort Progressives are protecting less of repeal Romney would enact and less with each election cycle. when he pushed through a nearly The winner-take-all electoral sysidentical plan in Massachusetts. tem makes other parties irrelevant and relegates them to spoiler Liberals go along status, but the argument against It is a lack of progressive activ- supporting them is weaker as the ism that has precipitated this cri- system deteriorates. The argusis. In the absence of strong and ment that voting changes nothing coordinated opposition to Demo- for the average person is a valid cratic Party duplicity, progressives one, and the sight of Romney and meekly go along with whatever Obama declaring agreement on bad deals are presented to them the issues of empire and finance and then recoil in fear every four makes that point quite clearly. years when they are told that the We are left with a plea to honor barbarians are at the gate. Repub- the memories of those who sacrilicans only help make the case for ficed, sometimes with their lives, this complicity with openly racist during the freedom struggles of and misogynistic policies. the 1960s. But those people fought The ever-rightward moving shift and died for full citizenship rights, of the Democrats has brought us of which voting was just a part. No to this juncture, where we are told one today should worry about to fear Republicans who are more dishonoring or dismissing their radical on social issues precisely sacrifice by refusing to take part because the Democrats have cop- in the farce that national elections ied them in every other aspect. If have now become. Democrats also believe in wars of Some who claim to be leftists aggression and bailouts and sub- argue against particular Obama servience to finance capital, Re- policies only to conclude at elecpublicans are only left with abor- tion time that he should be electtion and gay marriage as issues to ed anyway. These people undifferentiate themselves. dercut their own arguments and
Budget woes await winner of presidential election No matter who wins the November 6 election, he will have a mess on his hands. DR. The Budget Control Act of 2011 will cut $109 billion from the federal budget in 2013 JULIANNE unless Congress is able to figure out how MALVEAUX to either reduce the deficit or cut another TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM deal. The cuts will range from 7 to 9 percent, and they’ll hit everything – Pell Grants, housthey haven’t done before. ing, employment services, and defense. Republicans don’t want to raise taxes, which is one way to avoid the sequestraStarts next year tion trap. Democrats don’t want to cut vital Already, some government contractors are social programs. The bottom line is we get cutting back in anticipation of what is called more money either by increasing taxes or “sequestration.” The deficit reduction secutting programs. We can’t increase taxes on quester – a result of the failure to enact legthe already beleaguered middle class, and islation that reduces the budget deficit by at the poor don’t have a penny to spare. That least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years – is scheduled to begin in January. It will affect leaves the wealthy, but they are the sacred all non-exempt federal programs, with equal cows of the Republican Party. Cutting social savings coming from defense spending and programs hurts those who have already been from non-defense spending, according to the hurt. Congress has a dilemma. Sequestration will cost jobs, both in the House Budget Committee. federal government and in companies that Congress pushed itself into sequestration in 2011 when our nation’s credit rat- contract with the federal government. Our ing slipped because our leaders failed to extremely weak recovery cannot sustain pass a budget. In a showdown with Presi- more job losses. dent Obama, Congress stepped all the way out on the cliff that we are now poised to fall Wealth gap off. Rather than making reasoned decisions Congress, with a median wealth of $750,000 about cuts, the notion of something auto- (excluding the value of their homes), canmatic was supposed to scare everyone into not fathom the lives of ordinary human besanity. The last year, however, has reminded ings. With median wealth of about $20,000, us that few who make public policy are sane. including home ownership, their lives are a Most economists are clear that cutting far cry from those of their elected represenspending during a recession or its weak re- tatives. The gap, perhaps, explains why the covery makes no sense. Deficit notwith- American Jobs Act has not yet been passed standing, taking money out of the economy after languishing in Congress for nearly a is a prescription for disaster. We have only year. just climbed out of a recession, but recovSequestration is one of the most imporery is not assured. We face the possibility of a tant immediate issues that our nation faces. double-dip recession by withdrawing money Across the board cuts hit more heavily at the from the economy. bottom than at the top, and those who are already suffering will find themselves suffering Is it unavoidable? more. Yet both candidates have been mostly One of the biggest challenges in avoiding silent on this matter. What happens after November 6? Wheththe sequester is the fact that the Congress that will convene to attempt to make a deal er President Obama or Willard Romney wins, in a “lame-duck” Congress. Some will lose hard choices must be made. their jobs as of January, but they still have the Julianne Malveaux is a Washington, opportunity to pass laws between November and January. They have nothing to lose D.C.-based economist and writer. Click on by continuing their obduracy, and they have this story at www.flcourier.com to write few incentives to compromise, something your own response.
make a mockery of themselves. Their pleas to stop surveillance or drone assassinations or the destruction of nations such as Libya and Syria become hollow because they refuse to acknowledge the corruption that is an integral part of the system.
Phony concern Hand-wringing about a Romney victory is mostly phony, and geared to keep progressives silent in the face of each new assault. Obama may win after all, but it shouldn’t be because people who claim to be on the left are complicit and a party to his wrongdoing. On November 6, it is perfectly acceptable, morally right, and politically principled to boycott the election or to vote for a party other than the Democrats.
Margaret Kimberley’s column appears weekly in BlackAgendaReport.com. Contact her at Margaret.Kimberley@BlackAgendaReport.com. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
Electioneering stunt shortchanges churches Every year, on the Sunday before the U.S. Supreme Court convenes its fall term, many justices of the court go to St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the “Red Mass.” A centuriesold tradition that originated in Europe, this special religious service allows judges to seek guidance from the Holy Spirit. This year on the following Sunday during religious services across America, clergy put themselves and their membership in the government’s crosshairs in hopes of creating a case that might put them in front of those justices.
IRS defied October 7 was a “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” where hundreds of clergy openly defied a nearly 60-year-old IRS rule – originally crafted by Lyndon Baines Johnson – banning clergy from discussing political candidates during services. Opponents of the rule are openly challenging it. They want to be penalized so they can challenge the constitutionality of the rule. Before entering full-time ministry, I earned my crusts of bread working and commenting on political issues as well as lobbying. I still enjoy politics as a private citizen, but I was happy to shed the 24/7 political life for the fulfilling vocation I now enjoy. I don’t understand why my fellow ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ want to use their precious pulpit time to talk about Caesar rather than God. In the synoptic gospels of the Bible, Jesus said – when discussing taxes with some Pharisees and Herodians – that they must render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars; and unto God, the things that are God’s. For two millennia, Christians have claimed to understand precisely what Christ was talking about. Whether it is our original Puritan forefathers or those fleeing to America to escape modern persecution, the church has largely remained a sanctuary from the secular world.
ARCHBISHOP COUNCIL NEDD II PROJECT 21
church is supposed to be free from the secular noise – where one can commune with God. It is the job of the clergy to protect that safe haven. Pastors who would willingly throw the door open to the wolves – and even do the bidding of the wolves – should rethink their calling. Why put a congregation at risk? In all the previous “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” events, the IRS never took the bait. After all, the rule pertains to electioneering and not talking about even the most divisive social/political issues such as abortion, education and the definition of marriage. It’s still legal to talk about the issues – just not the candidates. Jesus taught that Christian leadership should be different from worldly concepts of leadership. But many Christian leaders have yielded their God-given authority to pollsters, politicians and public relations experts.
Community needs In this world of declining moral standards and an absence of religious obligations, where fewer people are lifting their hearts and minds up to God, clergy should be preoccupied with dealing with the immediate needs of the community instead of who’s in the mayor’s office, the state capital or Washington, D.C. If the justices of the Supreme Court seek guidance from the Holy Spirit, clergy can always be there – uncorrupted by partisan politics – to assist them in that process. They need not also serve at polling places.
Archbishop Council Nedd II is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 Black leadership network. Contact him via Project21@ nationalcenter.org. Click on this sto‘Free from noise’ ry at www.flcourier.com to write your For an hour or so out of a hectic week, own response.
NOVEMBER 2 – NOVEMBER 8, 2012
Black ministers criticize Franklin Graham BY MICHAEL GORDON THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER / MCT
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – For the second time during the presidential campaign, a group of African-American ministers in North Carolina has criticized Franklin Graham for challenging the spiritual beliefs of President Barack Obama, accusing the evangelist Monday of promoting a narrow form of Christianity that supports a politically conservative point of view. Meeting in Charlotte, the group read an open letter to Graham that comes in response to a series of full-page ads that bear a photograph of his father, Billy Graham, and ask voters to elect candidates who support “biblical principles.” In comments to The Charlotte Observer last week, Graham said his 93-year-old father supported the message, which endorses candidates who support the nation of Israel, “the sanctity of life” and “the biblical definition of marriage.”
Backs Romney Franklin Graham went on to say that Obama’s support for gay marriage and abortion rights challenges “God’s standard” and says, “it’s OK for people to sin.” He said he has cast an early ballot for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose positions “are more in line with the moral teachings that I believe in.” During a meeting this month at his home in Montreat, N.C., the elder Graham offered to help Romney “ any way I can.” State NAACP President William Barber accused Graham of “being seduced by the sirens of money and power,” and of “cherry-picking the easy parts of Christianity” that serve his partisan politics. In doing so, Barber
Franklin Graham, left, escorts his father Billy Graham prior to the funeral for Billy’s wife Ruth Graham in North Carolina in 2007.
said, Graham has ignored the broader messages of the Bible to help the poor, feed the hungry and treat the sick.
‘Hollow at best’ “These texts, Brother Graham, are so primary to our faith tradition but so secondary in your critique,” Barber said, surrounded by more than a dozen other ministers. Why do some Christian conservatives “say so little about what God says so much, Rev. William and so much about what Barber God says so little? To exclude this focus and try to make a claim of concern for Christian values is hollow at best and heretical at worst.” Franklin Graham was returning from a trip to Africa, and was not available for comment. But in a statement Monday night, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said it regretted “that some members of the NAACP find issue with the recent ads.” The ads deal with “biblical values” that Graham has addressed, the statement said. “Certainly there are any number of topics about which other individuals and organizations in this country feel strongly and may prefer to discuss. We respect their right to use their voices and public forums to do so.” Barber said the press conference was not an endorsement of Obama, but a call to use broader, spiritually-based criteria than the one used by the Grahams to evaluate candidates.
Mormons OK The criticism didn’t stop there. Dr. Gregory Moss cited the recent decision by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which Franklin Graham heads, to remove a list of
TODD SUMLIN/ CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
so-called religious cults on its website that included Mormonism. Romney is a lifelong Mormon. Graham said last week that he didn’t know that the list existed and said it was not in keeping with the mission of the Graham organization. In addition, he authored a column in the current edition of the association’s Decision magazine saying it is OK for Christians to vote for a Mormon candidate. The cover of the November issue arriving in the mail has campaign buttons that say “Pray” and “Vote,” along with this message. “Take a Stand for Biblical Values on Nov. 6.” Graham also heads Samaritan’s Purse, a relief agency that responds to disasters worldwide. Its website says the agency plans to offer help in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, now pummeling the East Coast.
‘Morally bankrupt’ As with Barber, Moss spoke directly to Graham. “We have nothing against the Mormons. This country was founded on religious freedom, and we uphold those freedoms,” said Moss, who revealed an Obama Tshirt to his congregation during his Sunday sermon. “But to change your mind for political expediency lends you hypocritical and morally bankrupt.”
Barber was among a group of ministers who met with Franklin Graham this spring after Graham, during an appearance on MSNBC, seemed to question whether Obama is a Christian or a Muslim. He later apologized. The tone of the Graham political ads surprised historians and longtime Graham watchers. One accused the younger Graham of turning his father into “a mouthpiece of the religious right.” A series of similar Graham ads appeared statewide in support of a constitutional amendment restricting marriage to a man and a woman. Franklin Graham said his father, who turns 94 the day after the Nov. 6 election, had approved both campaigns. “Nobody kidnaps my Daddy … his mind remains sharp as a razor,” Franklin Graham said.
‘Please cease’ In reading the open letter to the son, however, Barber raised the question of whether the father still speaks for himself. “If we are wrong, and your dad in his latter years has changed his view of a more democratic, a more inclusive and a more loving world, then let him tell us directly,” Barber said. “If you are misusing your father’s legacy, then please cease.”
Chrysler CEO tells workers Jeep production won’t leave United States BY NATHAN BOMEY AND BRENT SNAVELY DETROIT FREE PRESS / MCT
DETROIT – Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said no U.S. production of Jeep vehicles will be moved to China and that U.S. production of Jeeps “will constitute the backbone of the brand,” in an email to employees five days after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney repeated a false report that suggested Jeep production could be moved to China. Without citing Romney by name, Marchionne said Chrysler remains committed to “investing to improve and expand our entire U.S. operations, including our Jeep facilities,” according to a company email obtained by the Detroit Free Press. “It is inaccurate to suggest anything different,” Marchionne said.
Romney rumor Romney, in a rally Thursday in Ohio, said he “saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China.” His campaign later released a new TV ad saying that Jeep would make vehicles in China, but dropped the claim that U.S. jobs would be moved to China. Obama’s campaign
released its own ad attacking Romney for his auto industry policies, including a 2008 New York Times op-ed titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” In his company email, Marchionne confirmed the company’s previous statements that it plans to eventually restart vehicle production in China because the market “would not otherwise be accessible” without making vehicles there. Chinese regulations make it very difficult to import foreign vehicles.
Bolsters brand “This ultimately will help bolster the Jeep brand, and solidify the resilience of U.S. jobs,” Marchionne said. “Jeep is one of our truly global brands with uniquely American roots. This will never change.” Chrysler is investing $1.7 billion to produce the successor to the Jeep Liberty sportutility vehicle, including a $500 million expansion with 1,100 jobs at a second shift at the company’s assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio. The automaker has also added 2,000 jobs since June 2009 at its Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit, including a third crew that started last week. Overall, Marchionne said, the company has hired more than 11,200 jobs in the U.S. since its government-financed bankruptcy reorganization in 2009.
“Voting YES on Amendment 8 will eliminate discrimination against churches providing social services to help the hungry, the homeless, and the helpless.”
Please vote YES on Amendment 8. Recent court decisions are putting churches and other faith groups who provide many valuable social services at risk. Current language in the Florida constitution is being used to threaten these groups from providing public services, simply because they are faith-based. Amendment 8 stops this religious discrimination once and for all. Nothing more...nothing less. It simply means that Florida
government can continue to partner with faith-based groups, as it has for decades, to provide critical community services like homeless shelters, prison ministries, food pantries, and elder care...services our most vulnerable Floridians rely upon everyday. Let’s stand up for them and for religious freedom!
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HEALTH FOOD || HEALTH TRAVEL | |MONEY SCIENCE | BOOKS | MOVIES | TV | AUTOS LIFE | FAITH | EVENTS | CLASSIFIEDS | ENTERTAINMENT | SPORTS | FOOD November 2 - November 8, 2012
Cooking for a cause See page B3
SHARING BLACK LIFE, STATEWIDE
What seniors should know about Medicare See page B4
SUN COAST / TAMPA BAY
Check this clip-and-save page to see whether your family is ready in case disaster strikes. before it happens
Gather documents and cash
Evaluate your home
Store important documents such as insurance policies, deeds, property records and birth certificates in a bank safe-deposit box. Store copies in your disaster-supplies kit.
q Keep a stash of cash or traveler’s checks at home where you can quickly get them in
case of evacuation.
Make sure your home is bolted to the foundation and the structure is properly reinforced.
Make a family emergency plan
Identify a safe place in each room of your home and practice rapidly getting there. Best locations include under a sturdy desk or table, or beside a sturdy, large piece of furniture such as a sofa or bed. Avoid doorways; doors could bang open and shut during a storm.
Check the roof, foundation, chimney and walls for cracks and overall condition. Contact trained contractors in your area for information on retrofitting.
If you live in an apartment, know where your building’s utility controls are and how to use them.
q Practice home-evacuation drills. Choose someplace nearby for your family to meet.
Expect a lack of transportation.
Educate your children. Get a copy of your school district’s disaster policy regarding transportation and the release of students. Keep photos of family members in your wallet in case someone is missing.
q Take a first-aid course. Learn CPR. q Know where the nearest police and fire stations are. Know the route to the nearest
Strap your water heater (gas and electric ones) to studs in the wall with heavy-duty metal strips or to the floor to prevent gas leaks and possible fires from broken pipes. You can find strapping kits at home-improvement stores.
hospital emergency room. Keep critical phone numbers and your insurance-policy numbers by your phone and in your wallet.
Enter your “ICE” — In Case of Emergency — numbers on your cell phone so emergency workers will know whom to contact if you’re hurt. For example, enter “ICE husband John” and the phone number.
Find out whether any neighbors have medical or other expertise. Plan to unite if your neighborhood becomes isolated. Help elderly, disabled or single-parent neighbors create an emergency plan. Get contact information for their relatives. Fill in the spaces below and keep this page in a handy place.
Family Emergency meeting place: _____________________________________________________ Out-of-state contact, phone number: ____________________________________________ Insurance company and phone numbers: ________________________________________ Insurance policy numbers:______________________________________________________ Driver’s license numbers: ______________________________________________________
Family members should know how to shut off waterlines in case of a leak in the house. Label the shutoff valve clearly; it’s the first valve in the line after it enters the house.
All occupants should also know how and when to turn off the gas. If you smell gas after a storm or other emergency, shut off the meter valve found at the first fitting on the supply pipe coming out of the ground. Use a wrench to turn the valve either way until it is perpendicular to the pipe. Keep a wrench attached to the gas meter with a wire. Call the gas company to get service restored.
Neighborhood Neighbors’ names, phone numbers: _____________________________________________
Utility companies Electricity: ___________________________________________________________________ Water: _______________________________________________________________________ Natural gas: __________________________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________________________________________________
Emergency Call 911 in life-or-death situation: _______________________________________________ Doctor’s phone: _______________________________________________________________ Pharmacy phone: _____________________________________________________________ Police non-emergency phone: __________________________________________________ Fire non-emergency phone: ____________________________________________________ Closest emergency room, address: ______________________________________________
Other ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________
Buy a portable, gas-powered generator for emergency electricity. Only appliances that can use extension cords should be attached to a generator. A 2200-watt unit can power a refrigerator and several lamps. Keep fuel in a safe, protected container.
Learn how to shut off the electricOlder ity: Turn off single panel breakers first, then switch off the main breaker. To turn back on, switch the main breaker first, then the single breakers. On older panels, pull the main fuse blocks.
Newer panel Single breakers
Place flashlights in hallways, bathrooms and bedrooms. Keep a flashlight, spare batteries and sturdy shoes under the bed. (Shoes will protect you from broken glass and other debris on the floor.)
Evaluate each room. Secure appliances, bookshelves and hutches to wall studs. Mirrors should be hung on double hooks; do not lean them against the wall.
Place heavy objects and electronic equipment on lower shelves. Use large Velcro patches or nonskid rubber shelf liner to help keep items in place.
Place a beanbag of sand or shot in the bottom of vases and other breakable items to help hold them down.
q Store household chemicals safely, preferably on or near the floor. after an event
Check on everyone • Provide first aid and a safe place for anyone who is injured or very upset. Check on and help neighbors. • Call 911 or other emergency phone numbers only if injuries are serious or the situation is life-threatening. Unnecessary calls can hamper rescue efforts. Assess surroundings • Check for hazards such as fire, leaks, chemical spills and precarious structures. Naturalgas companies ask customers not to turn off their gas service at the meter unless they smell or hear a leak. If you smell gas coming from inside your home, call your gas company from a phone outside. It’s important not to touch electric switches or use the telephone until the situation is corrected. Only the gas company
can restore service. • Plug appliances into a generator directly or with extension cords. Never plug a generator into a household outlet because power can flow back to the utility’s main system and injure utility workers trying to restore power. Always run generators outdoors to prevent buildup of toxic fumes. • Turn on the radio. In the case of an emergency that displaces many people, shelter locations will be announced. • Give pets food, water and dry shelter. Keep them away from antifreeze. • Turn off all appliances except the refrigerator and one light. This prevents a power surge when power is restored. Call for help • If phone service is available, give your out-
of-state contact an update on your situation. If service is spotty, ask your contact to call your insurance company if necessary, and your family and friends who may be worried about you. Gather water • Be prepared to treat, filter or boil contaminated water. • Use hot water sparingly. Most water heaters can retain heat for three days. • If the water supply is cut off, drinking water is still available in your home in water heaters, in-house plumbing and melted ice cubes. • Use a hose to get drinking water from your water heater’s drain valve in an emergency. It will be cloudy at first but will clear up after a few gallons. • If pipes break or leak, turn off water at the shut-off valve inside your home.
Prepare food • If the electricity is out, open the refrigerator and freezer doors only when necessary. Eat refrigerated food first, frozen food next and dried or canned food last. • Refrigerated foods should be OK for about eight hours, holding a temperature of 40 degrees, unless the door is opened often. • Food in a freezer of 12 cubic feet or more should stay frozen for 48 hours if the freezer is full and the door kept closed; that food will keep safely cold for up to 72 hours. Frozen food that has completely thawed — especially vegetables and dishes containing meat, fish, eggs, cheese and cream sauce — should be tossed out because of possible bacteria growth. If the freezer temperature is higher than 40 degrees, throw out all food.
seattle times / MCT
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VOTE OUR RIGHTS ARE ON THE BALLOT
The Legislature’s proposed constitutional amendments are dangerous and will take away precious rights.
The Florida State Conference of the NAACP recommends that you Vote NO on all constitutional amendments and YES to retain all Supreme Court Justices.
CALENDAR • SPORTS • OBIT
FLORIDA COMMUNITY CALENDAR
NOVEMBER 2 - november 8, 2012
Rap artist 2 Chainz will be at the Florida Theatre Jacksonville Nov. 23 for an 8 p.m. show and at the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater Nov. 26 for an 8:30 p.m.
Tampa: Too Smooth Entertainment will present “I Can’t Stop Laughing’’ featuring comedians that have appeared on BET – T-Ray, Janet Dollar and K-Dubb – at the Cuban Club, 1226 7th Ave., in Tampa’s Ybor City. The show is Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets $30. More information: 813244-7474. Pinellas: The Pinellas Advocates for Children and Families, Inc. and the Pinellas Association for the Education of Young Children will present a School Readiness Forum on Nov. 13, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., at Coordinated Child Care of Pinellas, Inc., 6500 102nd Ave. North. RSVP to cwall@ childcarepinellas.org or by phone 727-547-2986.
Orlando: A free Help for Homeowners Community Event sponsored by Hope Now, Making Home Affordable and several non-profit partners and state agencies will be held at the Hilton Orlando Nov. 2 from 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. More information: www.hopenow. com.
Wellness” at 7 a.m. followed by educational workshops at 8 a.m. and free health screenings beginning at 10 a.m.
St. Petersburg: The 15th Annual African-American Health Forum will offer free health screenings on Nov. 3 at the Johnnie Ruth Clarke Health Center, 1344 22nd St. South. More than 30 Black doctors will be on hand to answer questions. The forum begins with a “Midtown Walk for
Tampa: Rick Gee’s Jazz Jamm, Inc. presents Jazz at the Carrollwood Cultural Center Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature the Sarasota Jazz Project’s 17-piece jazz orchestra playing original pieces and old favorites. The center is located at 4537 Lowell Road. Tickets $19 at
Shirley Murdock and Miguel Nunez will star in the gospel stage play “Holding On to What You Never Had” on Nov. 4 at the Straz Center, 1010 North W.C. Macinnes Place. More information: 813-244-7474.
Buddy Guy will be at Seminole Coconut Creek Casino Nov. 11 for a 7 p.m. show. the door. More information: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.rickgeesjazzjamm.com. Orlando: Tickets are now on sale for a show featuring B. B. King at the Hard Rock Live Orlando on Jan. 1 at 8 p.m. Ocoee: The City of Ocoee will award $10,000 in matching grants for neighborhood improvement projects as part of its Most Valuable Partnership (MVP) Matching Grant
Program. The maximum grant award is $2,000. Applications are available at www. ocoee.org or at the City Hall reception desk. The deadline to submit applications is Nov. 30. More information: www. ocoee.org or call 407- 9053100. Tampa: Wiz Khalifa’s The 2050 tour at the USF Sun Dome Dec. 2 for 7:30 p.m. shows. Orlando: Tyler Perry’s “Madea
Gets a Job’’ makes a stop at the University of Central Florida Arena in Orlando on Nov. 8 and the American Airlines Arena in Miami Nov. 9-10.
Brenda K Starr, C&C Music Factory, Trinere, Charlie Rock, Debbie Dee, Clear Touch, Nayobe, Noel, Corina, Soave and Giggles.
Kissimmee: The Freestyle Legends Tour returns to the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee for its fourth flashback into the ’80s and ’90s Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. The old-school lineup features Lisa Lisa, Sugar Hill Gang, Sweet Sensation,
St. Petersburg: First Fridays are held in downtown St. Petersburg at 250 Central Ave. between Second and Third Avenues from 5:30 p.m.10:30 p.m. More information: 727-393-3597.
Chris Bosh’s big preseason for Miami Heat no random accident lems for the opponent, and he’ll have to continue to do that for us to be successful.”
BY JOSEPH GOODMAN THE MIAMI HERALD (MCT)
DAVID SANTIAGO/EL NUEVO HERALD/MCT
Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat poses during the team’s media day on Sept. 28.
R&B artist Natina Reed hit, killed by car ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities are trying the figure out why R&B artist Natina Reed was in a street when she was struck by a car and killed, two days shy of her 33rd
birthday. Gwinnett County police say they’d like to talk to anyone with information that could help them determine what happened to Reed late
Friday, Oct. 26, near Lilburn in metro Atlanta. The 32-year-old Reed was the rapping member of the 1990s female singing group Blaque, which had hits “808”
Chris Bosh led the Heat in scoring during the preseason. On a team that includes LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, it’s a notable accomplishment. Bosh couldn’t care less. “It doesn’t matter,” Bosh said. “To me, it’s an irrelevant statistic.” Jokingly, Bosh has taken to calling himself the “Mr. Random Guy” of the Heat’s offense. There are no set plays for him. He’s rarely the first option on an offensive set. Yet, Mr. Random averaged 15.8 points per game in eight preseason games. Compared to other forwards, Bosh ranked fourth in the NBA in preseason scoring. James finished the preseason ranked tied for 14th in scoring (13.7 points per game) among league forwards. Exhibition numbers mean little, or perhaps nothing, in the grand scheme of a season, but Bosh’s statistical effort during the preseason is anything but irrelevant — or random — when taken in the correct context. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spent the entire training camp drilling his players on the idea of a free-flowing, equal-opportunity offense. That Bosh, Mr. Random Guy, emerged from training camp as the team’s leading scorer means the Heat’s offense is healthy. “He came in ready, and he has been open to what we’re trying to do and how he fits,” Spoelstra said. “But he’s also, arguably, the most versatile big in the league, so he does present some prob-
and “Bring It All to Me.” She was also an actress, appearing in the 2000 hit movie “Bring it On,” which also featured Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union. Police say Reed was struck and killed while
Basketball jazz More often than not, Bosh is open on the offensive end. The ball found him during the preseason, and Bosh’s skills did the rest. He led the Heat in field-goal percentage (.551) while also leading the team in rebounds (43). James is the driving force behind Spoelstra’s idea of “positionless basketball,” but Bosh might be the second-most important cog in the wheel. On most nights, Bosh is the quickest big man on the floor, and his consistent jump shot allows him to stretch defenses. Conventional defensive strategy against the Heat calls for packing the paint to account for Wade and James. Entering his third season with the Heat, Bosh knows where to find the open spots on the periphery. He likes to call those opportunities random, but, when paired with James, the results are more like basketball jazz. “He’s open,” said James, who led the Heat with 41 assists in the preseason. “We’re playing with a lot more pace and a lot more space for him, and giving him a lot more opportunities to go at his matchup. “There are going to be a lot of games where he has the speed and the matchup to do whatever he wants out on the perimeter, because of his ability to shoot the ball and also to drive.”
Summer of healing Wade credits Bosh’s big preseason to his work before training camp. Bosh skipped
in the roadway at an intersection on U.S. 29. Police say the driver wasn’t at fault and no charges are being filed. They say the only witnesses were the driver and a passenger. Investigators want to
the Olympics to fully heal from the abdominal injury he sustained in the playoffs. Upon his return, he met with Wade and James and vowed to carry more of the load early in the season. When Bosh first arrived in Miami, the Heat wanted him to pack on muscle mass and bulk up for a life in the paint. Spoelstra scrapped that plan after the playoffs when the Heat used an unconventional lineup to win its second NBA championship. The Heat’s coach instructed Bosh to focus on his natural skill set: speed, quickness and shooting. “He is really determined to come out in the beginning of the year and start fast,” Wade said of Bosh. “He said, ‘Listen, I know LeBron is coming off the Olympics. I know you’re coming off of surgery. So, I want to hit the ground running.’ He’s worked at it, and hopefully he can.” Bosh averaged 18.0 points per game last season, but Wade says Bosh is capable of “going for 20-plus a game and probably more effortlessly than” himself and James.
Hybrid power forward While Bosh has accepted the label of center, offensively he’s more of a hybrid power forward than anything. The position of a traditional center is a dying art in the NBA, so much so that the league has removed the designation from All-Star ballots this season. Fans will now vote for three “frontcourt players” and two guards rather than two guards, two forwards and a center. Despite the change, Bosh still doesn’t expect to garner any more votes for a starting spot. “He doesn’t get the respect he deserves,” James said. “I know how important he is, and we know how important he is. He’s an AllStar. He doesn’t need a center or a power forward on the ballot to know that he’s an All-Star. He’s one of the best players we have in this league.”
determine why Reed was in the road. She is survived by a son, Tren, from a relationship with fellow rapper Kurupt. In a statement on Twitter, Kurupt said: “This is a tremendous loss to our family.” Natina Reed
NOVEMBER 2 - NOVEMBER 8, 2012
If you love to entertain and want to support a good cause, now you can do both at the same time. Now in its 10th year, Cook for the Cure presented by KitchenAid is a program that gives people with a passion for cooking a way to support the fight against breast cancer. Through culinarybased fundraising, events, auctions and the sale of pink products, the partnership between KitchenAid and Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has raised over $8 million for the cause. “It adds another layer of purpose to one of life’s great pleasures, cooking and enjoying food with family and friends,” said Debbie O’Connor, senior manager of brand experience for KitchenAid. You can make a difference by hosting a party that lets you Cook for the Cure by raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research. Here are some ideas to get you started: n Invite guests for an evening of appe tizers and drinks. (Try these recipes for Mushroom-Onion Tartlets and Meatball Hors D’oeuvres with Tangy Barbecue Sauce.) Encourage fundraising by awarding a prize to the guest with the highest donation. Or, let donors enter their name into a drawing to win a restaurant gift certificate or spa treatment. n Organize a fundraising bake sale. (Your contribution could be these Coconut-Lemon Layer Bars.) Get the neighbors involved in baking, promoting and selling — it’s a great way to bring everyone together. n Host a potluck brainstorming party. Invite people who share your passion for helping others to bring their favorite dish and think up creative ways you can support the cause as a group. Vote on a project and then let everyone pitch in to get started. Cooking good food, sharing time with friends, and giving back to the community — that’s a recipe for a truly great party. Learn more at www.CookfortheCure.com.
MushroomOnion Tartlets Makes 24 tartlets 4 ounces light cream cheese 3 tablespoons butter, divided 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour 8ounces fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup chopped green onions 1 egg 1/4 cup dried thyme leaves 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese Place cream cheese and 2 tablespoons butter in bowl of electric stand mixer. Attach flat beater to mixer. Turn to medium and beat about 1 minute. Stop and scrape bowl. Add 3⁄4 cup flour. Turn to low and mix about 1 minute, or until well blended. Form mixture into ball. Wrap in waxed paper and chill 1 hour. Clean mixer bowl and beater. Divide chilled dough into 24 pieces. Press each piece into miniature muffin cup (greased, if desired). Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions. Cook and stir until tender. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Place egg, remaining 1 teaspoon flour, and thyme in mixer bowl. Turn to medium-high and beat about 30 seconds. Stir in cheese and cooled mushroom mixture. Spoon into pastry-lined muffin cups. Bake at 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until egg mixture is puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.
Pass the Plate
Meatball Hors D’oeuvres Makes 30 meatballs 1 pound ground beef 2 egg yolks 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt 1/2 teaspoon oregano 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons chopped stuffed olives 1/4 cup olive oil Tangy Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows) Place ground beef, egg yolks, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic salt, oregano, pepper and olives in bowl of electric stand mixer. Attach flat beater to mixer. Turn to low and mix for 1 minute. Form mixture into 30 (1-inch) balls and fry in olive oil until well browned. Drain on paper towels. Warm Tangy Barbecue Sauce and pour over meat balls. Serve warm from chafing dish. Tangy Barbecue Sauce Makes 2 cups 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar 1 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons vinegar 1 cup strong coffee 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper Combine all ingredients in a heavy sauce pan. Mix well and cook over medium heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Cool sauce and store covered in refrigerator until needed.
Coconut-Lemon Layer Bars Makes 32 bars 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs 6 tablespoons butter, melted 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 egg 1 cup (6 ounces) white chocolate chips 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts Preheat oven to 350°F. Place vanilla wafer crumbs and butter in medium bowl. Stir until combined, about 2 minutes. Press crumb mixture firmly in bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan; set aside. Beat cream cheese, lemon peel, lemon juice and egg in bowl of electric stand mixer at low speed until smooth. Spread evenly over crumb mixture. Layer bars evenly with chips, coconut and nuts; press down firmly with fork. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. Cut into 4 rows by 8 rows. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.
Sharing baked goods with friends is a pleasure. Now you can do that and raise money for a good cause. You can purchase the KitchenAid “Pass the Plate” serving platter at www.kitchenaid.com. Designed with charming artwork by celebrity chef and PBS cooking show host Jacques Pépin, the platters were created to be re-gifted again and again, along with a homemade culinary creation from the giver. Each time the individually numbered plates are registered online and passed along to others, KitchenAid will make a $5 donation to Susan G. Komen, making this gift extra sweet. Since 2001, KitchenAid has proudly donated over $8 million to Komen through the Pass the Plate initiative, sales of pink products, celebrity chef auctions, and fundraisers hosted by supporters like you. Please visit www.CookfortheCure.com for more information.
NOVEMBER 2 – NOVEMBER 8, 2012
Medicare changes: What seniors need to know New enrollment period open through Dec. 7 for Medicare Advantage, prescription drug plans BY ROBIN ERB DETROIT FREE PRESS (MCT)
The fine print and the jargon and the tiny language changes — it’s all stuff that makes choosing the right Medicare plan maddening. But a beefed-up federal five-star rating system for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans may make the choice a whole lot easier this year. The new enrollment period is open for beneficiaries of Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans. The annual eightweek window – through Dec. 7 – allows newly minted seniors — baby boomers who turned 65 this past year — to sign up for policies and for current beneficiaries to reassess their current policies. There are some general changes worth noting. Beginning this year, beneficiaries of chronically poorperforming plans will be notified by mail that there might be better options elsewhere and those beneficiaries may switch to the highest-performing plans throughout 2013. Medicare for the first time will cover screenings for depression, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases and alcohol misuse. It also will cover behavioral therapy for cardiovascular disease. Under health care reform, Medicare discounts continue to deepen on drugs in the donut hole. This coverage gap is a period of time when seniors must pay a higher cost for prescription drugs — once the full-cost — until they spend enough to qualify for catastrophic coverage. When beneficiaries reach that gap in 2013, they will pay 47.5 percent of the cost for brand name drugs and 79 percent for generic drugs next year.
Weighing options Knowing the intricacies of your plan may seem daunting, but it’s crucial, senior advocates said.
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Dr. Gwendolyn Graddy-Dansby, a geriantrician for Henry Ford Health Systems talks to her patient, Annie G. Watts, 81, after her dialysis treatment at the Henry Ford Center for Senior Independence in Detroit, on Oct. 11. Watts is a Medicare recipient and really likes the care she gets at the Henry Ford facility; all of her appointments are handled for her. It’s a case of what you don’t know can actually hurt you — either financially, health-wise or both, said Jennifer Therrien, who helps train about 110 paid and volunteer counselors with the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program. MMAP is a federally funded agency that helps beneficiaries weigh their options. For example, plans now may choose to cover benzodiazepines, a class of drugs that includes Valium and is used to treat anxiety and insomnia, and certain barbiturates such as those used to treat chronic mental disorders. Those drugs in the past were excluded from Part D and were typically covered out of pocket. It’s up to individual insurers whether they want to cover those drugs. “Mental health issues really are problematic for a lot of seniors,” said Kara Zivin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan
whose research has included health policy and Medicare. “A lot of seniors retire and are happy and are living out their lives. But for others, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders — they interact with other health problems. “It’s real important that these medications are covered the same way (medications for) physical disabilities are covered,” she said.
Co-pays can change This expanded drug coverage, along with the screenings that will be covered now for mental health, alcohol misuse and sexually transmitted diseases, are the sort of services that not only thread through a senior’s daily quality of life, they have deep impact on long-term mental and physical health, said Dr. Gwendolyn Graddy-Dansby, a geriatrician and the medical director of the Henry Ford Center for Senior Independence, a Medicareand Medicaid-funded center
EARLY VOTING STARTS OCTOBER 27TH AND ENDS NOVEMBER 3RD.
that helps seniors avoid nursing homes and remain in their homes as long as possible That Medicare will now cover those costs signals a shift in understanding to the underappreciated issues that seniors face: “We need to talk about it and take it out of the closet,” she said. Assessing all the options isn’t easy: Seniors and other beneficiaries must weigh short-term savings in premiums against long-term costs in co-pays or limited benefits. They have to consider developing health concerns and how easily they can get access to a favorite doctor or specialist. “Every year things change. And with prescription drug plan, the co-pays can change. The premiums can change, and the list of drugs can change. … It can be really frustrating” navigating the information, Therrien said.
Even the informational brochures are printed in type large enough to read, said Betty Mitchell, 89, language can be sometimes jargon-filled and confusing. “I used to say to my husband, ‘Do you understand this?’ He’d say, ‘Well, about half of it,’” she said. And in an election year, it’s difficult not to be distracted by the noise of politicians’ promises and predictions. But this much is clear: Nothing — nothing — has been changed to substantially change Medicare yet. As it stands now, the heart of Medicare — the idea of offering health insurance to Americans 65 and older and those with certain disabilities — remains strong, said Jo Murphy, director of the state MMAP program. “This is not the time to be anxious,” she said. “This is the time to take action to make sure you have the best coverage you can get.”
President Obama cut taxes for every working American, putting $3,600 back in the pockets of the typical family making $50,000 a years
Low-income students in Florida who received support services to get into college and graduate
Florida children who have been able to take part in Head Start and Early Head Start programs
M IT T ROM N E Y has promised to undo the progress we’ve made and take us backward:
VALID PHOTO ID WITH A SIGNATURE.
To help you navigate the Medicare maze, here are some tips from Gail Jensen, an economics professor at Wayne State University and a researcher at its Institute of Gerontology: Shop around, even if you’re happy with your current plan. You might be able to save money out-of-pocket while preserving your benefits. Remember that with Medicare Advantage, there is no need to buy Medigap insurance. Your medications are most likely covered, too — though not always — so there may be no reason to pay for a Medicare Part D drug plan, either. If you like your current doctor, make a call to the office to make sure he or she still accepts your plan after the new year. Or, if you’re leaving an employer-sponsored plan and want to remain with that doctor, find out what Medicare plans he or she accepts. Likewise, if you’re new to Medicare but like your current insurance, call your insurer. It might have a Medicare version of your current coverage. That can keep you from switching doctors, changing drug coverage or even switching your pharmacy. If you’re looking for Part D coverage, focus on the medications that you know you need rather than stressing about medications you might never need. Remember that health care reform is forcing discounts on drugs that fall into the previous coverage gap known as the donut hole. Remember that the drug plan that is best for you may not be the best plan for your spouse. Most likely, medication and health needs are different, and your most affordable options will differ. When you’re ready to dive in and compare policies, have a list of medications ready. You’ll need them to compare your options. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of your grown children, a trusted friend or trained counselors.
PR E SIDE NT OBAMA is fighting for African Americans:
TO VOTE IN PERSON, BRING A CURRENT,
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African American families who would lose key tax cuts President Obama signed and pay an average of $900 more, while millionaires and billionaires receive a tax cut
African Americans who would be left without health insurance if Obamacare were repealed
NOVEMBER 2 - NOVEMBER 8, 2012
FINEST & ENTERTAINMENT
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Staci Lyon has been doing professional modeling since the age of 7. She started out as a print and catalog model, which she continues to do, as well as runway, fashion and TV commercials. She has graced hundreds of runways both for agency bookings as well as charity events and has also walked in Mercedes Benz Swim Week as well as Miami Beach International Fashion Week. She plans to continue her modeling career in addition to studying fashion design and marketing. Contact Staci on Facebook at www.facebook. com/staci. lyon.7 or through Wilhelmina Models Miami at 305672-9344.
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Larry Ray aka Ray is a model, actor and dancer. The Kansas City, Missouri native moved to Miami last year to elevate his modeling and acting career which he has aspired for since a child. He says “this has not only been my dream but a mission that I must accomplish.” Ray considers himself to be a man of integrity and one who is not afraid to do the unthinkable. “From photo shoots to movies, I’m your man.” Contact Larry at larryvray@ gmail.com or on Facebook at www. facebook.com/ raytheactor.
‘Flight’ lets Denzel soar BY ROGER MOORE MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
Whip Whitaker had an epic layover in Orlando — an all-nighter with a sexy stewardess and much imbibing. A little sniffsniff bump to get him going in the morning? It just gets the day going. He puts on his uniform and shows up for work. He’s an airline pilot. Maybe a couple of bottles of the plane’s mini-vodkas to take the edge off the edge? Why not? He dozes off in the cockpit, brushes off the “You feeling OK, Captain?” questions from the MOVIE co-pilot. He’s an accident REVIEW waiting to happen. But when it does, nobody is cooler under pressure than Whip, given an aged, icy competence by Denzel Washington. He gets a doomed jetliner on the ground near Whip’s hometown of Atlanta with minimal loss of life. He’s a hero, right? Except for all that earlier stuff. “Flight” is a terrific thriller about that crash — detailed to the nth degree — and a moving drama about “that earlier stuff.” Because what do you do with a case like this, a self-destructive alcoholic whose condition may have contributed to a tragedy, or mostly averted it?
Goodman adds laughs
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Washington gives one of the great performances of his career in this fence-sitter of a film. “Forrest Gump” director Robert Zemeckis, returning from the “Polar Express”/ “Mars Needs Moms” toy store of motion-caption animation, and screenwriter John Gatins (“Coach Carter”) serve up a morally ambiguous morality tale that dares to suggest that maybe this guy’s condition was a good thing — in this case. And it’s that rare movie that slaps the imprimatur of comic-cosmic cool on a drug dealer. John Goodman’s drinkingand-driving, pony-tailed swagger as Harling, Whip’s candyman, is hilarious and — dare I say it — heroic. He’s the first guy to visit Whip in the hospital, the first to offer “help,” the first with words of praise. But Whip has dodged a bullet. Maybe he’s ready to get straight. But not without a little rationalizing. “Without me up there, there would have been 102 funerals, and not six.”
Some splendid scenes One thread of the story concerns Whip trying to get a handle on what has happened, and to keep “reluctant hero” attached to his name, with the help of the head of his pilot’s union (Bruce Greenwood, always good) and the union’s lawyer (Don Cheadle, always great). They pitch in despite the gathering evidence to the contrary.
Denzel Washington is pilot Whip Whitaker in the new movie “Flight.” Another thread follows Whip’s new friend, Nicole (Kelly Reilly), a fellow junkie he met in the hospital, a damsel in distress whom he gallantly rescues, even though we wonder if he can even save himself. Zemeckis and Gatins deftly weave those two threads together through some of the best-acted scenes you’ll see in a movie this year. James Badge Dale is splendid as a dying cancer patient who gives Whip and Nicole a little life perspective in a hospital stairwell cigarette break. Brian Geraghty makes a great impression as the frightened co-pilot who leans on his faith the way Whip does his cocaine. And Tamara Tunie is dazzling as an older stewardess, a church-going Atlantan Whip relies on when the chips are down. She delivers the film’s most moving scenes, first in the cockpit, where Whip summons her as they’re about to crash. Remember the black box, he tells her. “What’s your son’s name?” “Trevor.” “Say ‘I love you, Trevor.’” But she and we see Whip’s dark side, the one he wants to hide, the one he’s anxious to get others to lie for him about. He’s arrogant, damaged, unfit for duty, for relationships, for life itself. Washington fearlessly makes this guy as unlikable as any character he’s ever played.
Civil rights icon still fighting for Black vote TRICE EDNEY NEWS WIRE
Ninety-one-year-old Rev. Joseph Lowery may not have been able to campaign as much as he did four years ago at the age of 87. But, canvassing the state of Georgia for the Obama reelection, is doing all he can to turn out the Black vote. “I think it’s an imperative that we turn out in large numbers… It’s imperative that we turn out in ma m m o t h numbers to re-elect him because I Rev. Joseph think he deLowery serves ree l e c t i o n ,” says the civil rights icon who four years ago gave the benediction at the inauguration of the nation’s first Black president. But, Lowery makes it quite clear that race pales in comparison to the real reason that he favors Obama over his Republican opponent Mitt Romney.
‘Raw courage’ “He saved this country from a terrible actual catastrophe with his creativity, with his raw courage to do the stimulus thing,” Lowery said in an interview with the Trice Edney News Wire. “And, in spite of the bloodletting, ‘Let them go bankrupt’ and ‘Let them die’ [suggestion] of Mitt Romney, Obama insisted on saving industry; particularly the automobile industry and others. And I think he deserves re-election. I think we need to do everything we can to turn out the vote and to encourage others to cast their vote for Obama.” But, it is clear that an invisible opposition – that has little to do with political issues – will shave some votes from Obama. The Associated Press poll has concluded that “racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first Black president...Those views could cost President Barack Obama votes as he tries for re-election.” As a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lowery is an old pro at recognizing racism.
‘Not Obama’s fault’ “I’ve never seen such fierce determination on the part of some people in this country to prevent his re-election,” Lowery said. “He’s done very well in spite of the fact that he’s had very little cooperation from Congress.” Just in from a rally in the 68 percent Black city of Macon, Ga., Lowery recognizes that the Black voter enthusiasm from four years ago has somewhat waned in the face of high unemployment and other community needs. But he is hoping that in the few final days before the election, voters will get their druthers. “They have to understand that it’s not Obama’s fault. He inherited this critical state of affairs when he came to office,” he said in a voice raising to a convincing pitch. “That’s a difficult sell to say, ‘Things would have been worse if I hadn’t done so and so.’ But, it’s the truth. And he saved us from a calamitous situation.”
270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. Recent polls show the following: Obama leading Romney 51 percent to 47 percent in Virginia (Washington Post poll); Obama
NOVEMBER 2 – NOVEMBER 8, 2012
leading Romney in Ohio 50 percent to 46 percent (CNN) and the candidates appear to be tied in Florida, according to a CNN/ORC poll.
Not deterred Despite national polls showing the candidates within five points of each other, Lowery is among those who doubt the race
is as close as predicted. He speculated that Black voters, expected to turn out for Obama more than 90 percent, have probably not received the phone calls from polling agencies. “I don’t believe it’s as close as they say it is,” he said, “They haven’t been counting us for years. That’s
nothing new. I prayed and I believe a lot of voters who have not made up their minds, when they get ready to go in that booth, they will recognize that we need this and that Romney is not good for this country, the kind of financials that he’s talking about, he’s not good for this country.”
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Georgia for Romney Despite the determination of Lowery and other get-out-the-vote activists, polls show Romney leading comfortably in Georgia, a state not considered a must win for the president. Republican Sen. John McCain also won Georgia in 2008. Democrats haven’t won Georgia since Bill Clinton over President George H. W. Bush in 1992. In the final days of the campaign, Obama and Romney are focused largely on Ohio, Florida and Virginia in their quest for the
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