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Houston’s Leading Black Information Source Volume 80 | Number 28


TEXAS DEMOCRATS Halt education reform debate State Rep. Slyvester Turner


Black ‘APPRENTICE’ Stars urged to denounce Trump Lil Jon


WEEK OF MAY 12, 2011 | FREE

Blacks & Energy

Rainbow PUSH symposium seeks more access to green America

Vonta Leach

In limbo during NFL lockout



Korey Busby and Ovida Williams , Julia C. Hester House participants


H Page 6

Freedom Riders remembered on PBS

In 1961, more than 400 Americans risked their lives and endured beatings and imprisonment for traveling together on buses and trains through the segregated South. They were called Freedom Riders, and their courageous story during the Civil Rights Movement is being told on PBS during May. Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson is behind the inspirational story of six unforgettable months. “Freedom Riders” features recollections from the riders themselves, along with government officials and journalists who witnessed the rides firsthand. The Freedom Riders were Black and white, young and old, male and female, Northern and Southern. Each time they met violence and the campaign seemed doomed, new ways were found to sustain and even expand the historic movement that changed America forever. H Page


Members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in Washington, DC as they prepare for their journey south. Left to right: Edward Blankenheim, James Farmer (Co-founder and National Director of CORE), Genevieve Hughes Houghton, the Reverend B. Elton Cox and Henry “Hank” Thomas. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years




Stay Connected! Experience the Defender on the world wide web.

In The Book Corner

Editorial cartoons

I can Finish College by Marcia Young Cantarella, Ph. D.

“Almost half of the students who get into the college do not can finish college if you learn how these institutions work and how they can work for you.” The Washington Examiner

Automotive highlight

The Class of 2011: More debt, more chances

Julianne Malveaux

Question of the Week

Will NFL owners and players fight hurt the sport of football?


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News & Opinion



localbriefs HPD chief says beating video hurt reputation Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland says violent crime has decreased in all categories in the Bayou City. Yet, it was a videotape showing police officers beating a Black teenage burglary suspect that grabbed national attention in McClelland’s inaugural year. The video of the March 2010 arrest, released to the media in February by a community activist, resulted in harsh criticism by civil rights and community groups and spawned several town hall meetings where residents described other incidents of alleged mistreatment by police. “It did hurt the reputation of [the Police Department] and it was an unfortunate and isolated incident,” McClelland said. “It certainly in no way went to the heart and soul of the 5,300 police officers and 1,700 civilian support staff that do a very good job every single day.” McClelland said in the weeks after the video was made public, tensions did rise in the community as some officers experienced situations where people tried to provoke them by filming them during traffic stops.

Texas Senate approves guns in colleges Texas senators have voted to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons into public college classrooms. The vote is a major push on an issue that has stalled in the Senate and House despite overwhelming support from lawmakers in the Republican-dominated Legislature. Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, had been unable to muster the votes he needed under Senate rules to pass the issue as its own bill. After several failed attempts, the vote tacked the measure onto a universities spending bill. Supporters call it a critical selfdefense measure and gun rights issue. Opponents worry concealed handguns could lead to more campus violence and suicide. The measure has met stiff resistance from higher education officials, notably from within the University of Texas System.


Churches still dealing with

post-Ike realities After years of back-and-forth, Atkins said the church received a $700,000 settlement from the insurance company. Construction on the new building began in September 2010 and the doors opened on Mother’s Day 2011. Atkins’ battle is not uncommon. The Shrine Christian Center of Houston experienced similar hurdles. “Hurricane Ike damaged several of

ment. However, not every church congregation, and especially not every individual homeowner had the ability to do that,” added Walker. hough it has been nearly three years The Shrine Christian Center, located since Hurricane Ike ravaged lives in at 5313 MLK Blvd., re-opened its doors Houston, Galveston, and surroundduring the summer of 2010, after receiving a ing areas, many churches are still settlement much larger than the one originally dealing with the storm’s aftermath with varyoffered. The church’s Cultural Center, howing levels of success. ever, is still in limbo and in need of repair, as a Recently, Progressive New Hope Baptist settlement for that property has yet Church opened the doors to be reached. to their new sanctuary built Progressive New Hope across the street from their Baptist Church and the Shrine home of more than six dewere far from alone. Scores of cades, which was destroyed other churches were damaged by by Hurricane Ike. Hurricane Ike, including the iconic Originally organized as Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. a church fellowship in 1875 Members of that congregathat moved from meeting tion were forced to worship in in the fields near Alabama another building owned by the Street to various buildings church while repairs to their sancthroughout Houston’s historic tuary, which sits behind the Scott Third Ward, the congregaStreet Frenchy’s, were completed. tion finally found a home Of the dozens of other churches after nearly 70 years. They Lamon Atkins Sr., pastor of Progressive New Hope Baptist church, says the settledamaged by the storm, some have ment offers from insurance companies do not address the real cost of repairs settled on a church sanctubeen repaired, some have been torn ary in 1941 on Elgin near our properties, including our sanctuary and down with no plans of being rebuilt, and othRyan Middle School, worshipping there until our cultural center,” said Aswad Walker, the ers remain in limbo, struggling to rebuild with 2008’s Hurricane Ike hit. church’s pastor. little or no insurance money. Lamon Atkins Sr., the church’s pastor The Shrine’s congregation worshipped in Though fewer than 100 people remain since 1993, said negotiations with the church’s their Cultural Center and Bookstore for over active in Atkins’ church today, he and his insurance company for repair funds initially went nowhere. The company offered $50,000 a year, after experiencing the same difficulties congregation view their new sanctuary as a Atkins and his congregation faced. divine gift. for repairs that Atkins and others estimated “What the insurance company offered “It’s a blessing,” said Thelma Alix. were far more extensive and costly. for the damages was so far beneath the costs “When we were driving in [Mother’s Day] “I argued with them back and forth, but to get the sanctuary repaired we had no choice morning, I realized, finally, we were coming they weren’t budging,” said Atkins. “I was at but to hold and out negotiate a better settlehome.” wit’s end.”


By Stephen Gregory Defender

Texas Democrats halt House education reform debate By Aswad Walker Defender

Texas Democrats successfully halted debate in the House recently on a key Republicanbacked education reform measure that would give school districts suffering from budget cuts more authority to deal with the lower funding. After several hours the debate ended when Speaker Joe Straus said he would take under advisement a point of order raised against the bill. Under the bill by State Rep. Rob Eissler, RThe Woodlands, school districts could increase class sizes, cut employee pay and give teachers unpaid furloughs. In addition, schools could

wait until the 15th day before the end of the academic year to notify teachers that contracts won’t be renewed. Under the current law, teachers have to be notified at least 45 days before the end of the year. According to House Democrats the bill facilitates legislators’ continuing underfunding of public schools. “This is a conciliation bill that says we are prepared to downsize and dumb down the educational system of Texas,” said State Rep. Sylvester Turner (District 139). “It is nothing to do about quality education, nothing to do about excellence, and everything to do with us not

wanting to spend one additional dollar from the Rainy Day Fund.” GOP lawmakers contend that Eissler’s bill would save teachers’ jobs, free schools from state mandates, and give school districts what they have been seeking – more leeway to deal with lower funding due to budget reductions in education spending. “These changes should have been made a long time ago,” Eissler said. Eissler said the current law offers school districts only one option – to lay off teachers. However, teacher groups across Texas view Eissler’s legislation as a huge setback for educa-

tors’ ability to remain employed. Many teachers and administrators view the legislation as opening the door to severe pay cuts and make a system that makes it easier to fire teachers. With the state facing a revenue shortfall of at least $15 billion over the next two years, public education has already been hit hard by the budget cuts. Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have passed budgets that underfund schools by billions. Conservative lawmakers, backed by Gov. Rick Perry, have vowed not to take any money out of the state’s $9.4 billion Rainy Day Fund to • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Continued on page 9





Obama seeks support for

immigration reform Defender News Services

During his first visit to the U.S.-Mexico border since taking office, President Barack Obama renewed his call for immigration reform, and said his administration has made progress securing the border. Speaking at Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, Obama outlined a reform plan that includes strengthening enforcement of existing laws and making it easier for immigrants to obtain legal status. “We define ourselves as a nation of immigrants, a nation that welcomes those willing to embrace America’s ideals and America’s precepts. That’s why millions of people, ancestors to most of us, braved hardship and great risk to come here,” Obama said.

“We’ve often wrestled with the politics of who is and who isn’t allowed to come into this times, there has been fear and resentment directed toward newcomers, especially in hard economic times,” he said. Obama’s appearance came at a time when immigration measures have made little progress in Congress. Setbacks include the failure of the Dream Act, which would have allowed children who enter the U.S. illegally before age 16 legal status to stay in the country, provided they attend two years of college or enter the U.S. military. The President criticized Republicans in D.C. for their lack of cooperation in pushing reform. “The question is whether those in Congress who previously walked away in the name of enforcement are now ready to come back to the table and finish the work we’ve started,” he said. Some political observers see Obama’s push for immigration reform as a strategy to court Hispanic voters in the 2012 election. In 2008, Obama received 67 percent of the Latino vote, which could make a difference in many battleground states in his re-election effort.


Why Blacks didn’t celebrate bin Laden’s killing By Stacey Patton Special to the NNPA

Understandably, the killing of Osama bin Laden unleashed strong emotions among Americans – relief, satisfaction, fears of retribution, denial, and even exuberance. But, there was something distasteful about the raucous celebrations that took place outside the White House, in Times Square and at Ground Zero. One obvious point that has been missed in the commentary is that those celebrations were mostly devoid of Black people. The fact is that in Harlem and the Black sections of Brooklyn there were no spontaneous gatherings full of chanting, cussing, flag waving, chest

bumping, carousing, and singing with strangers. There was no loud collective orgy of national pride and triumphalism in any other Black public squares across America. Now, why is that? It’s not that Black Americans, whose patriotism is often undervalued, do not feel some of the same emotions as those who took to the streets. Our quiet response speaks to our long-held understanding of what struggle is – our domestic struggle as a marginalized community is ongoing. We know that the war is not over and that neutralizing Osama bin Laden was a goal but only as part of a war that is not over. Perhaps Black America took its

cue from President Obama’s coolness about the ordeal. Some pundits have said that the raucous celebrations aren’t a bad thing and that their triumphant nationalism is somehow healthy for our national psyche. Thankfully, our President, Black America and most of white America see it differently. The “triumphant nationalism” and arrogance is coming mostly from armchair pundits who haven’t set foot on the battlefield or near a uniform. For the rest of us, we are resolute in our understanding that the struggle continues. We will have to battle the terrorists and those who wrongfully want to set us up as masters of the universe and thereby hated targets.

Security heightened for Obama’s Kenyan grandmother A beefed-up battalion of security was ordered around the Kenyan home of President Obama’s grandmother following the killing of Osama bin Laden. “We received reports of plans to attack the home of Mama Sarah Obama and we immediately put in place adequate security measures,” local police chief Stephen Cheteka told the African Review. Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga feared retaliation. “The loss of [Al Qaeda’s] leader may first upset the movement but then it will regroup and continue,” Odinga said.

Californians work to remove ‘N’ word from gravestones An effort is underway to remove offensive gravestones from an El Dorado, CA, cemetery. According to the Associated Press, 36 grave markers are emblazoned with the “N” word. The graves marked final resting places for African Americans who were part of the settlement known as Negro Hill and died there during the 1850s Gold Rush. The graves gained the “N” word when they were moved by an unknown contractor to accommodate a 1954 Army Corps of Engineers project. The markers read, “Unknown, Moved from N----r Hill Cemetery by U.S. Government-1954. Michael Harris, leader of the Negro Burial Ground Project, has worked to remove the stones for a decade.

Atlantans get preview of Martin Luther King Memorial Visitors from Atlanta, including Martin Luther King III and his wife, Arndrea, recently joined Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Young for a special private tour of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Harry E. Johnson Sr., president and CEO of the King Memorial Project, led the tour through the memorial, which is still under construction. It is scheduled to open to the public on Aug. 28. It was noted that the other memorials on the National Mall are dedicated to U.S. presidents and wars. The King Memorial is the only one dedicated to peace. Compiled by NNPA and the AFRO Staff

VOLUME 80 • NUMBER • 27 MAY 11- MAY 17, 2011

Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Editor Von Jiles Associate Editors Reshonda Billingsley Marilyn Marshall Art Director Tony Fernandez-Davila

Columnist Yvette Chargois Sport Editors Max Edison Darrell K. Ardison Contributing Writer Aswad Walker Webmaster Corneleon Block

The Defender newspaper is published by the Houston Defender Inc. Company (713-663-6996.. The Defender audited By Certified Audited Circulation. (CAC). For subscription, send $60-1 year to: Defender, P.O. Box 8005, Houston TX 77288. Payment must accompany subscription request. All material covered by 2011 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher). • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



what’sup H Robin Quivers leaving

Stern; wants to replace Oprah Robin Quivers will likely step out on her own and leave the Howard Stern radio show. Quivers told Radar Online that after three decades, it’s time to do her thing. “I love to do radio and television and I’ve always wanted my own television show, so I’ve been putting out feelers for those kinds of things,” said the long time sidekick to Stern. And since Oprah is vacating daytime TV, Quivers would love nothing better than to replace her. “It will be like a talk show, but with subjects that I’d be interested in. I think I have some interesting things to say and I don’t think anybody out there is saying them,” she said.

H Ray Nagin putting out book

on Katrina experience

Ray Nagin, the former New Orleans mayor during the time of Hurricane Katrina, has written a book about the catastrophic event that happened in 2005. Look for “Katrina’s Secrets: Storms after the Storm,” to be released on June 8. The memoir will detail Nagin’s experiences during Katrina in 2005 and the aftermath. The book will cover “institutional issues of race and class that secretly conspired to control and slow down the recovery.” A lot of folks, Nagin included, scrutinized the federal government for its slow response of aid to hurricane victims.

H Black ‘Apprentice’ stars urged to denounce Trump

An African-American political advocacy group set a bull’s eye on “Celebrity Apprentice” host Donald Trump in the aftermath of what many feel are racially tinged political comments made about President Obama. The organization ColorOfChange launched a Twitterbased campaign to persuade Black cast members Star Jones and Lil Jon to denounce Trump for what the group terms “race-baiting,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. Trump has made headlines in recent weeks by repeatedly questioning whether Obama was born in the U.S. Obama released his long form birth certificate with the hope of settling the matter, but the issue has been kept alive by a segment of the “birther” movement. Groupon, the discount shopping website, pulled its online advertisements from the “Celebrity Apprentice” website after customers – spurred on by progressive advocacy group ThinkProgress – complained.


Freedom Riders

story to be told on PBS


ouston PBS viewers will soon get a chance to see the story of America’s Freedom Riders, a vigilant group of people fighting non-violently for civil rights. Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson is behind the powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 Black and white Americans risked their lives – and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment – for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. “Freedom Riders” features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the rides firsthand. Produced, written and directed by Nelson, “Freedom Riders” premieres on the PBS series “American Experience” on Monday, May 16, on HoustonPBS/ Channel 8. In addition, the station will present two free community events to commemorate the rides’ 50th anniversary. The self-proclaimed Freedom Riders came from all strata of American society – Black and white, young and old, male and female, Northern and Southern. Each time the Freedom Riders met violence and the campaign seemed doomed, new ways were found to sustain and even expand the movement. After Klansmen in Alabama set fire to an original Freedom Ride bus, student activists from Nashville organized a ride of their own. “We were past fear. If we were going to die, we were gonna die, but we can’t stop,” recalls rider Joan Trumpauer-Mulholland. “If one person falls, others

From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives — and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment — for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Pictured: In Anniston, Alabama, an angry mob stoned and firebombed the Greyhound bus holding some of the original Freedom Riders. Premieres Monday, May 16, 2011, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET. Freedom Riders hang posters from a bus.

take their place.” The riders’ journey was front-page news and the world was watching. After nearly five months of fighting, the federal government capitulated. On September 22, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued its order to end the segregation in bus and rail stations Two Freedom Riders, John Lewis (left) and Jim Zwerg that had been in place for (right), splattered with blood after being attacked and beaten in Montgomery, AL. generations. On May 12, the HousTSU activists to desegregate the tonPBS Elevate Lecture city’s railways café, and were will commemorate the efforts arrested and detained in Harris of those college students who County. coordinated Houston’s August Channel 8 will also air a 1961 Freedom Ride. The panel variety of local and national prodiscussion will feature Freegrams related to the Movement dom Riders from California throughout the month of May. who joined forces with several • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years




Rainbow PUSH energy symposium

seeks more access to green America By Aswad Walker Defender


ev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow/ PUSH Coalition, recently hosted the 3rd Annual Energy Symposium at Texas Southern University. The event theme, “A More Perfect Union: Refueling the Pipeline to Power Green America,” served as the philosophical backdrop for the symposium’s workshops, special sessions and speeches that sought to increase Black business participation in the global energy industry. The symposium also stressed the need for all businesses in the energy fields to function in ways that are more environmentally friendly. Jackson, who came to Houston directly from visiting parts of Mississippi devastated by recent tornadoes, said the challenges faced by those displaced by the storms, the country’s employment woes and even the capture of Osama bin Laden were all related to the issue of energy access. “Today, more and more people are trapped in the polarization of wealth and access to energy resources on the one hand, and poverty and lack on the other,”

“We want more of our businesses to become a part of the oil and gas industry as producers. We want our students, like those here at TSU, to become the next generation’s experts in energy.”

said Jackson. “We want more of our businesses to become a part of the oil and gas industry as producers. We want our students, like those here at TSU, to become the next generation’s experts in energy.” Energy leaders from Shell, Exxon, Chevron, Reliant, CITGO, BP as well as other specialists and suppliers were in attendance, with many leading workshops sessions titled, “Energy: The Green Op-

portunity” and “The New World of Energy.” The symposium offered sessions dealing with financial literacy training and a clergy luncheon that focused on the role of the church in tackling the challenges of poverty, unemployment, home foreclosures and other social/ economic issues. “God has blessed America with the resources of renewal energy and nuclear energy,” said Frank

Stewart, national president of the American Association of Blacks in Energy. “But the key to our future is having the education and talent to bring all these resources into play.” Stewart viewed the symposium as key to bringing this reality about because it represented the interplay of four critical elements – energy, environment, economy, and education. U.S. Congresswoman

Sheila Jackson Lee was both a keynote speaker and honoree at a luncheon on the first day of the symposium. After applauding President Barack Obama, the U.S. military and the intelligence community for bringing down bin Laden, Lee made the connection to the focus of the symposium. “The events of the past 24 hours, the events in the middle east and Asia, are related because they speak to our interests overseas that have been about access to energy,” said Lee. “We must ask and answer the questions, ‘How will we engage the next generation of oil producers? How will we educate the next generation of TSU students and others to become energy leaders? How will we include the small businesses and entrepreneurs in Houston in the energy industry?’ ” “These wars we’re fighting, they all center on the issue of energy,” said Jackson, who added that the nation’s response to the BP oil spill was an overreaction. “Our BP response put many in the oil and gas industry out of work and made us more dependent on foreign oil,” said • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Continued on page 8 DEFENDER | WEEK OF MAY 12 | 2011


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Jodie Jiles named UT distinguished alumni One Houstonian is among the 2011 University of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award recipients: Jodie L. Jiles, managing director of RBC Capital Markets. The Texas Execs elect each year six alumni who have distinguished themselves professionally and through service to the university. Jiles, MPA ’79, who served as chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership in 2005, said, “First and foremost I give glory to GOD. Secondly, I’m humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award from my graduate school.” The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest alumni award of The University of Texas at Austin. Other award recipients are: • Mr. John W. Barnhill, Jr., BJ ’59, Brenham, is a retired executive vice president of Blue Bell Creameries and a former UT regent. In his career of almost 40 years, he helped lead the company from a small creamery to the Jodie L. Jiles number three brand of ice cream in the country. • Mr. I. Jon Brumley, BBA ’61, Fort Worth, is chairman & CEO, Bounty Investments, LP. He has been integrally involved in eight companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and was named, along with his son, as “Entrepreneurs of the Year” in 2005 by Forbes magazine. • Ms. Jane Chestnutt, BA ’73, New York, is a civic leader and former editor-in-chief of Woman’s Day magazine. She has a special interest in issues of women’s health, women business leaders, and the performing arts. • Mr. James R. Huffines, BBA ’73, Dallas, is president and COO, PlainsCapital Corporation and former chairman of the UT Board of Regents. He has a long record of civic involvement including service on the boards of the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. • The Honorable Pamela P. Willeford, BA ’72, Austin, is a former US Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstea. She is also president and partner of Pico Drilling in Breckenridge. This year’s recipients will be honored at a presentation to be held in Austin on October 14. Created in 1958 by the Texas Exes, this award recognizes annually up to six alumni of The University of Texas at Austin. Recipients are chosen by a special Texas Exes committee from nominations submitted by alumni and other members of the university community. “The accomplishments of this group once again validate the University’s vision of ‘What starts here changes the world,’ said Bill McCausland, interim executive director and COO of the Texas Exes. “Each of our six deserving recipients has proven yet again the lifelong benefits of an education from The University of Texas at Austin.”

Rainbow PUSH

Continued from page 6

Jackson who further linked foreign affairs issues with domestic issues of rising gas prices. “Hemisphere security is all about energy and how fast we can get oil from Venezuela, Cuba and other countries,” Jackson said. With the nation’s focus of moving toward a “green” economy, energy industry leaders, elected officials, industry specialists, small business owners and community leaders convened to discuss alternatives necessary to ensure that both energy production and energy consumption patterns change dramatically. Gary Wade, advisor and consultant with Omnipipe Solutions, said he hoped the symposium would open the eyes of the

world’s leading energy corporations to the value of working with small and minority businesses. “For too long Blacks have been locked out of the oil and gas industry,” said Wade. “We have the companies and individuals with the expertise. It is time that we have access.” Jackson concurred. “We are as capable in the energy world as we are in the sports world. We didn’t know how good basketball could be played until everybody could play. We didn’t know how good baseball could be played until everybody could play. It’s the same with the energy industry. We don’t know how good that industry can be until everybody can play.”

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Houston Public Library’s Books Alive! 2011: Feed Your Dreams 2nd Annual Children’s Book Celebration Meet Laura Numeroff, author of If You Give A Mouse a Cookie Saturday, May 14 | 1 - 4 PM Houston Public Library Central Library, 500 McKinney, 77002

Children are invited to enjoy all the fun and exciting activities scheduled for the Houston Public Library’s Books Alive! 2011: Feed Your Dreams 2nd Annual Children’s Book Celebration. Join us for a full day of whimsical performances, hands-on arts and crafts activities, and other special events. The highlight of the celebration is the appearance by Laura Numeroff, renowned children’s book author. This event is free and open to the public. For more information and for schedule of events, please go to or call 832-393-1313.

Children’s Book Celebration is funded by

Linking YOU to the World DEFENDER | WEEK OF MAY 12 | 2011

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                                                                                               

Texas democrats

make up for some of the shortfall. Democratic attempts to change provisions of the bill were repeatedly beat back by Eissler and supporters of his position. Their ability to halt the debate is viewed as a victory, though only partial, in their efforts to stem the tide of under-funded public education.

One of the most contentious provisions of Eissler’s bill involves increasing the 22-pupil class limit in elementary schools. Teacher advocates believe the reforms Eissler seeks should be temporary, as is the Senate bill that allows teacher furloughs and salary reductions only while the state faces a budget crisis. The Senate version of the bill has been stalled in that chamber.

Smart DeciSion

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At HCC, our faculty knows the theory

                                                                                                                           

yet applies the practice of real world experience in the very same classroom. We are preparing students to be the next generation of thinkers and doers.

Dept. Chair for Health Information Distinguished Author


Dr. Carla Tyson-Howard

  

 

 

                                                                                                           

 

 

            

  

 

   

  

  

  

   


Participate in the Family Eats Study

Defender Summer 2011 ad.indd 1

The Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine is looking for African-American families with 8-12 year old children to participate in an 8-session, internet program on healthy eating. You can participate from your home!

5/5/11 12:29 PM

While you watch the Johnson family learn to eat healthy you may: • Access our nutrition website • Get healthy recipes • Complete online questionnares • Receive up to $70 for you and $70 for your child! You will need: • A high–speed internet connection • An e-mail address

   

              

   

                         

For more information, call or email Mamie White at 713-798-0501 or




During NFL lockout

All-Pro Leach in limbo


By Max Edison Defender

s the NFL lockout grinds its way through the court system, fans and players around the country are becoming increasingly frustrated. Most now fear what they shuddered to think just a few months ago. Could this insane dispute between billionaires and millionaires actually affect the start of the season? Perish the thought if the nation’s No. 1 sport didn’t kick off on time. As much as the fans around the world would like to see a resolution to the lockout nobody has a more vested interest in the outcome than All-Pro fullback Vonta Leach. Coming off the best season of his eight-year career, Leach is generally regarded as the NFL’s top rated fullback. He was the personal body guard for the league’s leading rusher and superstar in waiting Arian Foster. A punishing blocker at the point of attack, Leach is an unrestricted free agent, and it’s time to cash in his lottery ticket. Even though the lockout has affected his earning potential in the short term, he remains committed to the union’s cause. “I’m with the union (NFLPA) and I believe in the union,” Leach said. “It’s been a little frustrating, because we’re ready to get a deal done. The generation of players before me paved the way for us, so we have to pave the way for this generation and the generation of players to come.” Likewise Leach is pleased with the leadership of DeMaurice Smith #44 Vonta Leach is and the executive committee of the widely regarded as now decertified NFLPA. the NFL’s top fullback “I’m very satisfied with the leadership we’ve gotten for DeMaurice and the executive committee,” Leach said. “I think if you look across the board the vast majority of players are very happy with the way things have pro-

gressed. They’ve done an outstanding job of keeping us informed and up to date. Of course I’d like for it to be over because I’m a free agent, I understand what’s at stake.” As a player that was undrafted out of East Carolina, “the Hammer” as he’s known by his peers, is hoping that he can remain with the Texans, but understands the business side of the NFL. Needless to say he was disappointed that the Texans made little effort to resign him before the lockout. “Yes it was a little disappointing that there was essentially no conversation from the Texans with my agent or myself before the lockout,” No. 44 said. “It’s a business; you can never lose sight of that. What you’ve done for the organization or what the organization has done for you. They’ve got to do what’s best for their organization and I’ve got to do what’s best for my family. “My thing is I want to be a Texan, but at the same time I’d like to get my market value,” Leach continued. “I’ve worked hard to get to this point. I’m not trying to break the bank, just get what I should as one of the top fullbacks in the NFL. My consistent play over the last five years speaks for itself. “ On a team that has searched for an identity throughout its 10-year history, Leach is the embodiment of what the team should stand for. Tough, unselfish, dedicated, are just a few of the adjectives that apply to Leach’s style of play. An unquestioned leader in the locker room, his presence is much bigger than the sum total of his statistics. Sometimes his steady, relentless contribution gets overlooked by the casual fan and even his coaches. “People really do think they can put just anybody at fullback position,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t think some of the coaches realize what it takes. You’re three yards ahead of the running back and when the snap is made you’ve got a split second to make a decision. If you make the wrong decision, the play is normally doomed. “You’re the last line of defense when protecting the quarterback in the passing game. You also help the offensive line, chipping those pass rushers to give our passing game a time to shine.” When push comes to shove, as much as Leach would like to remain in Texan gear, the businessman in him concedes he might have played his last game as a Texan. “As much as I hate to think about it, if I’m not respected for what I bring to the Texan organization it might be time to move on. Several playoff contenders contacted my agent before the lockout about bringing me in for a visit once the lockout is over,” he said. “Right now I’m just working out every day staying prepared for this thing to be over. In the mean time I’m kind of in a type of football limbo with my peers.” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



Pearland displaying resourcefulness in 2011 By Darrell K. Ardison Defender


he Pearland Lady Oilers experienced very few obstacles en route to the school’s second girls’ state softball championship

in 2010. Yet with injuries to key players throughout the season and a different cast settling into prominent roles on the team, Pearland is taking a different path to the state high school softball tournament in 2011. For the second time in this season’s state playoffs, Pearland rebounded from a game one loss to win back-to-back elimination games against state-ranked Deer Park (33-5) and advance to the third round against Pasadena Memorial. In the bi-district round, Pearland rallied past Fort Bend Travis after losing the first game in a best-of-three series

Brooke DuBois

“I believe we’ve gotten off to a slow start in both series because we know that we have a second chance,” said Pearland senior outfielder Leandra Maly. “I think we’re going to go about it now as believing that we don’t have a second chance and focusing on winning the first game of the series.” Last year, Pearland won 10 consecutive games to win the Class 5A state championship. The school’s first state softball championship came back in 1996. “Our players are learning what it means to play with their backs up against the wall,” said Pearland head coach Laneigh Clark. “The kids performed well, but I wish we’d come out from the start of the series like that. “Maybe we like the pressure of coming back that way or maybe we’re a little too relaxed or a little too tight in the series opener,” Clark said. “I don’t know exactly which one it is. I thought we were loose tonight and I felt like the girls had fun. That was the difference in the game for us.” After suffering a 3-2 loss to Deer Park in the first game of an area round playoff series when they squandered numerous opportunities to put the game away, Pearland came back to their home field and put game two away in the first inning. The Lady Oilers strung together 12 singles in the first inning to score 12 runs and seize control of the game. Maly, Haley Beam, Brooke DuBois, Jessica Bowden and freshman Kristen Cuyos all contributed during the offensive onslaught. DuBois returned from an injury last month. “We had to get back to our game, which is slap-hitting and taking advantage of our field that has a rock-hard surface,” Maly said. “That gave us confidence and we were able to build from that.” Pearland won back-to-back games by scores of 12-2 and 10-2, to the adoring


applause of its home crowd. “Haley and I try to get the team pumped up prior to the games and it seemed to work this time,” said Bowden, last year’s state title game winning pitcher, who has been nursing an injury in recent weeks. “When we’re really cheering loud for one another, that seems to send a spark through the entire team.” The Lady Oilers have lost the two previous meetings with Pasadena Memorial earlier this season. “Those losses came early in the season and both teams have changed since then,” Clark said. “Hopefully, we can utilize the momentum we’ve built up these last two series to find some success against them.” Fear the Lady Oilers if they lose the first game of the series.

Alliance to honor Houston area student-athletes The Positive Coaching Alliance and Deloitte have partnered for the second year on a scholarship program recognizing high school juniors with at least a 2.5 grade-point-average who are committed to sportsmanship. Ten $2,000 college scholarships will be awarded to ethical student-athletes who have a positive impact on three levels, including personal mastery, leadership and honoring the game. The deadline to apply is May 31. Apply online or print out a copy of the application at Winners will be announced Sept. 10 at the Riverway Omni Hotel.

Sullivan signs letter-of-intent to Prairie View Pearland Dawson senior Danielle Sullivan has signed a national letter-of-intent to attend Prairie View A&M University on a full volleyball scholarship this fall. Sullivan, a libero for the Dawson Eagles that advanced to the Region III-4A semifinals, was a first-team all-district selection in District 24-4A for the past two seasons.

Astros sale imminent; businessman mentioned as buyer Rumor has it that the completion of the sale of the Houston Astros could be soon. Drayton McLane, who bought the MLB franchise in 1992, is reported to be close to selling the team to Houston businessman Jim Crane. “Jim Crane is the only person we’re negotiating with now,” McLane said in a recent interview. Crane is founder and CEO of Crane Capital and chairman of Crane Worldwide, which deals with transportation and logistics services. He has been unsuccessful in the past in attempts to purchase the Chicago Cubs in 2008 and the Texas Rangers when they were in bankruptcy last year. McLane purchased the Astros for $117 million. Reports are that in order to purchase the team now the price would exceed the $523 million the Rangers sold for last year.

Rockets search for head coach, when will it end?

Haley Beam

As the NBA playoffs grind from round to round, the Rockets don’t have a head coach. It’s been a month since team GM Daryl Morey and former head coach Rick Adelman agreed to part ways. Since then there has been an exhaustive search for Adelman’s successor and Morey has left no stone unturned. Kevin McHale, check; former team champions Mario Elie and Sam Cassell, double check; Mike Woodson, got him; and the list goes on. The team is looking for someone who would be comfortable grooming and developing young players. There are any number of talented young coaches who could fill that bill.

Join Darrell Ardison and Max Edison for the “Daily Blog” in high school, college and pro sports.



For Event Coverage...visit


A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLORS…….Brentwood dolled up in their fancy hats with unique tea cups Community Foundation Scholarship Committee in hopes of being a winner. They were served by hosted their 29th annual fashion show and luncheon staff members and treated to a catered lunch, poetry that was attended by over 1,000 folks. The smiles readings, excerpts from a play, and entertainment by on the faces of Brentwood’s First the Imani School Jazz Ensemble. Lady, Doris Ratliff, the foundation’s Great party!........ Join Yvette Chargois executive director, Glenda Hopkins COCKTAILS ANYONE?....... Events of the Week and regional director of Macy’s The Julia C. Hester House has More photos on stores, Betsy Zeino, said it all. The been serving the Fifth Ward and See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads proceeds from this event will provide surrounding community since with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. scholarships and grants to college 1943 with programs designed for students. Congratulations!........ TEA individuals ranging from age three PARTY IN THE PARK…….The Mickey Leland to 101 years old. The board of directors invited some Memorial Park was the setting for a spectacular tea friends to join them at a cocktail reception hosted party for seniors that was hosted by Precinct One. by board member, Bellaire Mayor Cindy Siegel and her husband, Bob Siegel. Executive director This annual event brought out about 150 seniors all

First Lady of Brentwood, Doris Ratliff

Kristyn Page, Betsy Zeino, Glenda Hopkins, Regina Garcia and Thomas Hill

Imani School Musicians Khalfani Fullerton, Leon Michison with Commissioner Lee and Marilyn Michison

Delsie Stoute and Ruby DeLeon

Charles McCloud, Jennifer Holmes, Tracey Prince and Dr. Carlos Vital

Korey Busby and Ovida Williams

Jennifer Holmes was beaming with pride when two of the program participants, Korey Busby and Ovida Williams, gave some outstanding remarks about their experiences. Great reception!............ KUDOS……Gary M. Lavergne, author of “Before Brown: Herman Sweatt, Thurgood Marshall and the Long Road to Justice,” was awarded the Carr P. Collins Award for best work of non-fiction by the Texas Institute of Letters. Congrats!........... CONDOLENCES…….Our prayers are with the families of Porter Renfro and Clifton Gilmore who recently celebrated their homegoing. Think of it this way, they both have new positions, they’re now your guardian angels appointed by God to look after all of you. God Bless!.....From Chag’s Place to you place, Ciao Darling!

Monica Sutton, Taylor Sutton and April Armwood

Marsha Williams and Earline Davis-Green

Robert Mills, Mayor Cindy Siegel, Dr. Ross Cullins and Dr. Samoan Johnson • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Houston Defender: May 12, 2011  

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