THE POWER OF
TECHNOLOGY PP 16-24
IMPACT LYNCH, P 11
MISSISSIPPIâ€™S ROLLING STONES WELLS, P 28
ON A BUDGET P 41
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;dcWTaP]4_XbR^_P[BTaeXRTb X]<XbbXbbX__Xf^d[S[XZTc^ X]ca^SdRT<T]c^aX]V 2WX[SaT]U^aC^\^aa^f>da _a^VaP\U^RdbTbb^[T[h ^]RWX[SaT]fW^WPeT _PaT]cbVdPaSXP]X]_aXb^] The statistics are astounding. One out of every thirty-three children in America has a parent in prison. These children are 72% more likely to become involved in the criminal justice system than other at-risk children. This is where we believe that mentoring can make a difference in their lives. MCT specialists will use their knowledge to match mentors and children who have the best chance of building a trusting long-term relationship.
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December 22 - 28, 2010
9 NO. 15
No New Taxes
AMILE WILSON; AMILE WILSON; FILE PHOTO; SHAWANA JACOME
8 Jackson offers property tax breaks to business expansions. Can the city afford them?
Photograph by Kristin Brenemen
THIS ISSUE: Uneasy Riders
31 32 33 35 36 37 41 42
Citizens who count on JATRAN bus services speak up about the upcoming cutbacks.
.............. Editor’s Note ............................. Talk ...................... Editorial ........................ Stiggers .................... Kamikaze ............................ Zuga ...................... Opinion .................. Diversions ......................... 8 Days .................. JFP Events .......................... Music ........... Music Listings ............................ Astro .......................... Sports ............................ Food ......... Fly Gift Guides .... Fly Shopping Page
daniel fuller Daniel Fuller isn’t your mama’s English teacher. He knows getting students excited about 16th-century literature requires a little innovation. Recently, the Forest Hill High School teacher required his students to create an MP3 file of a scene from William Shakespeare’s “MacBeth” using recording software. Students read the play out loud, recording it using microphones from their laptops, and added sound effects and music. “It has created a lot of buzz,” the New Mexico native says. “… When we told (the students) we were going to be studying ‘MacBeth,’ it may not really have grabbed their attention. But when we moved to the laptops, and they set up a recording studio, that drew in students who would typically be turned off.” Earlier this year, Jackson Public Schools named Fuller as its Teacher of the Year for his use of technology in the classroom. Fuller also hosts web-training seminars for teachers and recently helped Forest Hill launch a new website. His classroom activities include text-message conversations between book characters using post-it notes, creating Facebook profiles for characters and using video to teach his students. Fuller says technology must stimulate a deeper level of thinking to fully engage the students. “Anytime I bring technology in, I try
to think about what my teaching goal is,” he says. “It’s real tempting to bring in new technology because I’m really excited about it, but there has to be some learning objective.” A few years ago, Fuller, 34, decided to change career paths from running his webdevelopment company to being a teacher. His wife, Janet, who teaches English as a second language in the Madison County School District, inspired him to work with students. “I was watching her work and saw the impact she had on her students,” he says. Fuller moved to Jackson to attend Mississippi College where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English. He spent short stints in San Francisco and in Dallas where he earned his master’s degree in theological studies from Texas Christian University. He wanted to move back to Jackson to start a family. Outside his classroom, the father of two is an active member of the Mississippi Scholastic Chess Association and serves as its board secretary. He also helped start the Forest Hill’s chess, drama and literary clubs. He says his students give him a glimpse into Jackson’s promising future. “I hear a lot of my students talking about wanting to live and work in Jackson,” Fuller says. “… I think there is so much going on in the city with all the development, and it’s an exciting place to be.” —Lacey McLaughlin
16 Techno GOOD You can’t avoid technology these days. Here’s how to use it safely and to your advantage.
42 Hi-Tech Fashion For an up-to-the-minute look, weave a tech vibe into your threads and shine on.
6 8 14 14 14 14 15 28 30
Charlotte Blom Charlotte “Cat Scratch Teaser” Blom is a freelance writer living in Hattiesburg. She is a hybrid of extreme explorer and hyper hermit. She wrote a GOOD feature.
Bret Kenyon Pittsburgh, Pa., native Bret Kenyon is a Belhaven College theater graduate who enjoys working in the community, theater, music and writing. He has worked with Off Kilter Comedy, Hardline Monks and Fondren Theatre Workshop. He wrote a GOOD feature.
ShaWanda Jacome Assistant to the editor ShaWanda Jacome is learning to pray without ceasing, to trust in the Lord completely and to have hope and faith in his timing. She wrote a food piece and the shopping guide.
Holly Perkins Editorial intern Holly Perkins is originally from the Jackson area. Holly loves the arts—acting, painting, photography, writing and music. She is a freshmen at Belhaven University and hopes to travel the world after she graduates.
James L. Dickerson James L. Dickerson is the author of 25 non-fiction books, including the prize-wining “Mojo Triangle: Birthplace of Country, Blues, Jazz and Rock ‘n’ Roll.” He founded Sartoris Literary Group, a literary agency for Southern authors. He wrote a book review.
Jesse Crow Former editorial intern Jesse Crow, a Pensacola, Fla., native, is a junior at Millsaps College. She enjoys playing with puppies, summer camp and going on long drives in her station wagon named Herman. She wrote a GOOD feature.
Natalie A. Collier Natalie A. Collier is originally from Starkville and a graduate of Millsaps. She lived in Chicago for a while, but is now back in Jackson. She’s not easy to impress. Try. She coordinated the shopping page and wrote a Talk.
December 22 - 28, 2010
Bryan Flynn is a lifelong Mississippi native who resides in Richland. When not working for the JFP, he writes a national blog, playtowinthegame.com. He lives with his wife and their four cats. He wrote the sports feature.
by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief
Of Barbour and the ‘Uptown Klan’ It seems Haley Barbour went too far this time. In an interview with the conservative Weekly Standard, he downplayed the terror and racial caste system of his town and our state during the Civil Rights Movement. “I just don’t remember it as being that bad,” said the Mississippi governor who apparently wouldn’t mind being president. To point, he defended the dreaded Citizens Councils—which Greenville newspaper editor (and fellow southerner) Hodding Carter Jr. dubbed the “uptown Klan” for their vicious tactics to keep the races separate. “You heard of the Citizens Councils?” Barbour said in the interview. “Up north they think it was like the KKK. Where I come from, it was an organization of town leaders. In Yazoo City, they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. If you had a job, you’d lose it. If you had a store, they’d see nobody shopped there. We didn’t have a problem with the Klan in Yazoo City.” Well, the Citizens Councils—the national headquarters were here in Jackson—were groups of white “town leaders.” Tragically, after the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, many business and professional leaders came together to do everything in their power to stop the integration of schools, businesses and everyday life in Mississippi. They did not overtly support violence, although their rhetoric helped lead to it and spread the anger that caused the Ku Klux Klan—the violent terrorist arm of segregationists—to re-form in Mississippi after being largely dormant for decades. Some members of the Citizens Council would later say they chose to be part of the council because it was the less violent means of “keeping the peace”; of course, that meant keeping the races separate and spreading innuendo and crime hysteria about black people. The Citizens Councils were, in part, state funded and closely allied with the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, a state spy agency that sent agents all over the state looking for evidence of “subversion” (also called liberalism and communism) that ranged from allowing a black man to use your gas station bathroom (from an “intelligence” report about Neshoba County) to feeding the license plates numbers of civil rights workers like James Chaney to sheriffs in the Klan so they could find them and kill them as they did Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner on Father’s Day, 1964. On the Sovereignty Commission website you learn that racist Gov. Ross Barnett got the state to start paying Citizens Councils about $200,000 a month to help maintain segregation, keep blacks from voting and fight federal civil-rights legislation. Members of the Citizens Councils also contributed to legal funds to defend Klansmen who committed violence. This was the kind of group Barbour defended in another example of his attempt to rewrite Mississippi’s race history. Several weeks ago, he said in another interview that schools were integrated in Yazoo City when he was in
school—another blatant untruth. Barbour’s Orwellian approach to denying the bad race stuff is disturbing—and not just because he is either ignorant about his own race’s history or because he might hold some of those views personally. People who are ignorant of racism or sympathetic to racists are a dime a dozen in our state and beyond. It’s bad, but it’s not the real problem. Our governor has long gone beyond simple denial when it comes to our race history. He is dangerous because he actively uses many people’s shame and desire to forget as a way to divide people and froth up white folks to vote against what is actually in their best interest. He uses the “southern strategy” he helped perfect to convince them that black people are scary and want their hard-earned money. It’s no secret that this strategy spawned George Bush Sr.’s “Willie Horton” and Ronald Reagan’s “welfare queen” scare tactics to elicit the “I fear black people” voter response. (The typical welfare recipient in our state is an older white woman.) The Republican Party even apologized to the NAACP for this racebaiting for votes. But Barbour’s role as a clever southern strategist who helped the Republican Party complete its switch from being the party of Lincoln isn’t the most infuriating part—not in the way that it (suddenly) is outraging national journalists this week, who haven’t bothered to pay attention to the real Barbour in the past. As a Neshoba Countian who watched my town and state wrecked by our slavery and Jim Crow legacies, I take Barbour’s whitewashing of our history personally. No, let me be even plainer: I think it is shameful and sinful for a politician or strategist to treat white Mississippians as if we haven’t changed, and then expect
us to respond by giving them everything they want (to benefit their corporate donors). The southern strategy plays right to the heart of the kind of backward bigotry generations of white Mississippians were taught from the cradle to justify our state’s horrifying mistreatment of black people. Even the less prejudiced among us grew up amid a culture of fear of black crime, even as white people were committing the most heinous ones against African Americans—often with a crowd cheering them on. We were taught horrible things about blacks to dehumanize them, often by people whose parents just handed down prejudice without thinking about it. And so on. Thus, to watch someone like Barbour— an educated man—stand up and play us against each other to build a voting base for corporate America turns my stomach. And to listen to him try to make our history sound like it wasn’t as bad as it was infuriates me, especially since it is so important for Mississippians to know how bad it was to fully appreciate how far we’ve already come in a few decades. Knowing and understanding that remarkable progress is what will give us the strength and will to keep going, to rebuild what the white supremacists Barbour loves to defend tore apart, to build diverse alliances for progress. Our racist legacy has left us so much to repair: from “ghettos” created by white people who wouldn’t allow blacks to get loans or build wealth, to a pattern of crime instilled by our state’s habit of dehumanizing black men to the point that too many of them still believe it. We can, and by damn are, bridging these gaps and making progress precisely because of our shared history. We can’t allow a power-hungry southern strategist take that away from us.
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news, culture & irreverence
Thursday, Dec. 16 Vowing to continue releasing classified documents, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange walks out of jail after nine days on $315,000 bail. … The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announces that 120 Mississippi teachers have earned board certification, making the state 16th nationwide for new certifications this year. Friday, Dec. 17 In the face of Republican opposition to a $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill, Congress approves a stopgap measure to prevent a government shutdown. … Freshman U.S. Rep.-elect Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, secures a seat on the House Appropriations Committee in the 112th Congress. Saturday, Dec. 18 The U.S. Senate kills the Dream Act, which would have paved a path to citizenship for young adult immigrants who came to this country illegally as children, and repeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” … Kroger recalls a number of its dog and cat food brands saying the products may pose serious health risks to pets. Sunday, Dec. 19 An explosion in an oil pipeline east of Mexico City kills at least 28, including 13 children. Authorities blame oil thieves. … The U.S. Senate passes a revised version of a food safety bill, mandating tougher rules for large producers. … The Saint’s six-game streak ends when they lose to the Baltimore Ravens, 37-24.
Mississippi led the world of medical research and technology when doctors at the University of Mississippi Medical Center performed the world’s first human lung transplant in 1963. Dr. James D. Hardy performed the world’s first heart transplant, on Jan. 23, 1964.
Tax Exemptions As Reward AMILE WILSON
Wednesday, Dec. 15 The United Nations Security Council lifts three sanctions against Iraq at the urging of the United States, including developing a civilian nuclear program. … The U.S. Justice Department files suit against BP and eight other companies to recover billions from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said last week that the city should follow through with numerous tax exemptions for businesses choosing to stay in the city.
our businesses will save $1 million in property taxes on expansions they made to properties in the city of Jackson last year. The Jackson City Council voted during its Dec. 14 meeting to approve resolutions supporting property-tax exemptions for the businesses. The businesses include: utility company Entergy Services Inc., which expanded the square footage of its operations center and its data processing center near Interstate 220 ; Hesselbein Tire Company, which expanded the size of its Jackson warehouse; Eaton Aerospace, which expanded its facility; and Metal Processors Inc., after it expanded its scrap-metal recycling and processing plant.
The exemptions, which last no more than five years, means the city will accrue no revenue on the extra square footage the businesses added. The city bases property taxes on square footage. Increase your square footage, and you likely increase your property taxes. This is one reason some city residents do not report additions to their homes, like the late Mayor Frank Melton, who did not inform the city for years after adding a large addition including an indoor pool and home theater to his north Jackson home. All in all, the business exemptions will cost the city about $1 million over five years. Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber voted
December 22 - 28, 2010
by Adam Lynch in favor of the tax exemptions, but said he had reservations about the financial loss. “I am nervous about them, but it speaks to the times that we’re in,” Yarber said. “I’m not happy with the revenue loss, but we’ve got to hold on to the jobs we have. It’s a necessary trade-off. The city is facing massive drops in sales revenue in the next five years. Jackson managed to cover a projected $9 million short-term deficit by restructuring its bond debt in a scheme that could require an additional $5 million in annual debt payments by 2014. “This is the city’s way of encouraging development and people to make investments in the city of Jackson,” Jackson Planning Director Corinne Fox said. “Entergy, for instance, has invested so much money into improvements on that center, and the exemption is just on the improvement, the additions. They’re still paying taxes on the original amount.” Fox added that the city does not exempt the businesses from tax increases connected to the city’s fire and police departments, among other things. Former Ward 6 Councilman and mayoral candidate Marshand Crisler said last week that he is still anxious over generous property-tax exemptions. Crisler, now the district director of the adult education department at Hinds Community ColTAXES, see page 9
Monday, Dec. 21 The U.S. Senate confirms Jackson attorney Carlton Reeves as a federal district judge for the southern half of Mississippi. Tuesday, Dec. 22 Gov. Haley Barbour receives criticism for his comments regarding the antiintegration Citizen Council activities in 1960s Yazoo City published in the Weekly Standard … Executions in the U.S. were down 12 percent in 2010 from the previous year, reports the Death Penalty Information Center.
Hinds County DA Robert Shuler Smith takes up bail bonds with the Jackson City Council. p 12
“You heard of the Citizens Councils? Up north they think it was like the KKK. Where I come from it was an organization of town leaders.” —Gov. Haley Barbour quoted in the conservative Weekly Standard about the white supremacist Citizens Council of America’s activities in his hometown of Yazoo City.
e’ve all seen how technology has improved our lives, what with faster, cheaper computers and smartphones that provide continuous connections to our worlds. Some promises, however, remain in the science-fiction realm.
Flying cars X-ray vision Jet packs Data Jane Jetson’s beauty chamber Tricorders A.I. Hal E.T. The Enterprise DING BSPAL DAVID Teleportation “TRON”
Chevy Volt Contact lenses for astigmatism Segues that kill their masters Roomba TSA scanners BlackBerries iPad Xbox Kinect Arsenic-based life forms Challenger on blocks Shrinking JATRAN routes “TRON: Legacy” 3-D
news, culture & irreverence
TAXES from page 8
lege, spoke out against tax and fee exemptions for major downtown development in 2007, including Parkway Properties’ $50 million Pinnacle development. The city agreed to waive one-time building, construction and utility connection fees for the project through an ordinance change that would waive fees to any development costing more than $50 million. Parkway Properties Chief Executive Officer Steve Rogers said the one-time waiver for Pinnacle would cost the city a little more than $100,000, but Crisler worried then that this sacrifice, when combined with nearby construction of the King Edward, Standard Life and Convention Center developments, could cost the city up to $1 million. Fox said the city had no standard code for tax exemptions that determines the value of a tax exemption versus the number of new jobs created, but Crisler said last week that the city should look into creating one. “I’m advocating for a standard code, that the city should benefit from X number of jobs in order to get X number of exemptions, and we should have commitments from these businesses to remain within the city after their exemption period expires,” Crisler said, and then pointed bitterly to the relocation of a Home Depot, near Highway 18 in south Jackson, just months
after its tax exempt status evaporated. “I’m still thinking about that Home Depot,” he said last week. “I wasn’t too pleased about that. The previous council approved the 10-year deal. That was right before I got on that they inked it, but we had to go back and do some type of revision because it came up in several council meetings. One part of the dialogue was what was going to happen after the exemption is over. Next thing you know, they packed up and left,” Flowood Mayor Gary Rhoads said his city rarely offered tax exemptions to new businesses moving into the area. “We don’t give too many tax exemptions for new businesses. We’ve offered tax increment financing to help developers build out infrastructure on some of the shopping centers in our area, but as far as somebody coming over here and starting up a printing shop, no, we don’t do things like that,” Rhoads said. Rhoads said the city offered a tax exemption to Nucor Steel almost 10 years ago on square-footage expansions the company made. “We just renewed the last two years of their 10-year (exemption) because they came in years ago and did a $70 million expansion to the steel industry over there, but that’s the only one we ever did as far as tax exemptions.”
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by Adam Lynch
Oriental Supermarket and Restaurant employees have big plans for Jackson. Pictured from left to right: Wuloung Chen, top chef; Shu Chen, manager; Shery Chen, assistant manager; Qurong Weng, chef; Chuan Wenyu, chef and executive manager.
Oriental Supermarket and Restaurant Opens One of Mississippi’s largest Asian markets and restaurants celebrated its grand opening in Jackson Tuesday next to Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City and Big Lots. Assistant Manager Shery Chen said her family chose the Interstate 55 location for its high traffic and ample parking space. The store stocks an extensive selection of Asian products, including dry
Economic Recovery Slow The January 2011 issue of the Mississippi Economic Review and Outlook, published by the Center for Policy Research and Planning of the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), finds that the state economy is chugging along and gaining momentum, but slowly. “Fiscal austerity and high unemployment rates continue to slow the pace of recovery,” senior economist Marianne Hill wrote. “However, several economic indicators confirm that the economy is gradually gaining steam.” The report, available at www. mississippi.edu/URC/offers an economic forecast for the state between 2011 to 2015, and includes employment forecasts, and an examination of developments influencing the state economy.
goods and seafood like Dungeness crab and other crustaceans, Tilapia and a hearty selection of eels, mollusks and baby squid. The building also features an Asian-style restaurant with a large selection of jellyfish and squid dishes in addition to familiar meals containing beef, pork and chicken. The Oriental Supermarket and Restaurant (5465 Interstate 55 N.) is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. For more information, call 601-978-1865.
by Ward Schaefer
More Room At the Inn
December 22 - 28, 2010
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“If we just built the hotel with a flat, surface parking lot, we could,” Landry said. “That would be a no-brainer. But the city needs parking downtown.” ADAM LYNCH
1935 Lakeland Dr. 601.906.2253
hile plans for a convention-center hotel remain in limbo, downtown Jackson is seeing plenty of hotel development on a smaller scale. Last week, a team of developers that included several Jackson businessmen presented the Jackson Redevelopment Authority with their vision for a 100- to 130-room hotel and residential building at Court and Lamar streets. The group includes businessmen Dean Blackwell and Socrates Garrett, along with Atlanta-based developer Roger Landry. Landry told the Jackson Free Press that construction on the $18 million to $20 million project could start within 12 months. Total construction costs will vary depending on the building’s height. Landry envisions the hotel rising four to five stories above a three-story condominium complex. Landry said the group has selected an Ohio-based hotel operator but has not settled on a hotel brand. The planned hotel only represents 30 percent of the group’s property in the Jackson area and is a “phase one” development, adding that he hoped to see subsequent phases follow the hotel. “It’s hard to visualize right now, but I really think in the next 10, 15 years—with the convention center, the museum, the federal building—all that’s going to become real viable,” Landry said. “Midtown Atlanta, 20 years ago, was just like what downtown Jackson looks like (now).” The three-story apartment complex would consist of between 10 and 20 “livework condos” for sale or long-term lease aimed at attorneys and other professionals with work nearby. A market study will help determine the appropriate number of condominiums and their amenities, he said. The building may also include restaurant and retail space. Parking for hotel patrons could combine with a parking garage planned for the federal courthouse, said JRA Executive Director Jason Brookins. The resulting 300-space parking garage would offer between 100 and 120 spaces for hotel patrons, leased to the hotel, with the remainder going to courthouse employees and visitors, along with other commuters.
Ryan Warren is the general manager of the Sleep Inn & Suites, which opened in Jackson the same day developers floated another downtown hotel proposal.
The JRA board approved negotiations with the group’s attorney, Sam Begley, to craft a public-private partnership laying out the two parties’ intentions. Supporting a parking garage would be a logical step for the authority, Brookins noted, because JRA currently owns and operates three parking garages downtown. Parking garages are more conducive to urban development than the surface lots that dot much of downtown. “The more we can get a denser footprint, the better off we are,” Brookins said, adding that a parking garage typically costs $12,000 per space to build, giving the new proposed garage a $3.6 million price tag. Sleep Inn Opens The LEAD Group, a Jackson-based team of 12 African American investors, completed its first development Dec. 16 with the opening of a Sleep Inn & Suites in downtown Jackson. The 67-room hotel is located between Pearl, Pascagoula and Gallatin streets, where investors hope it will attract visitors from downtown and Jackson State University. The group received $2 million in federal Recovery Zone Facility Bonds from the Hinds County Board of Supervisors to complete the $4.7 million project.
LEAD Group member Robert Gibbs said that the group would like to buy properties adjacent to the Sleep Inn but is not making firm commitments, yet, because of the time it took to complete the hotel. Work began in June 2009 but stopped early this year when the group had to find new financing after missing a December 2009 deadline for finishing construction. The group already owns a strip of buildings on Pascagoula Street east of the hotel that it intends to renovate. “We would like to do it in 2011, but it would be dependent on financing,” Gibbs, a Jackson attorney, said. Metrocenter Avoids Foreclosure Texas-based Jackson Metrocenter Mall Ltd., which owns portions of Metrocenter Mall excluding several anchor stores, avoided foreclosure last week by bringing its mortgage payments up to date. The company had until Dec. 15 to make the overdue payments. Developer David Watkins told the JFP that keeping the mall in the same hands for the moment actually benefits his company, Watkins Development. “This (threat of foreclosure) took us by surprise,” Watkins said. “I wasn’t quite ready to take on another large financial obligation for buying the core, and I’m glad that they brought it current.” Watkins Development is in talks with the Texas company to purchase the property, but the two parties have not agreed on a price. New Look for Belk in 2011 Another Metrocenter Mall property, the former Belk department store, could see changes within 60 days. Watkins Development already owns the 250,000-square-foot property and has plans to redevelop the building as an “office plaza,” with office space, a new food court and new retail tenants such as a drug store. The $27 million project will start in early 2011 and should finish by “the middle of the year,” Watkins said. “We believe that that will stabilize the mall and then give us a chance to continue the negotiations with the owners,” Watkins said.
by Adam Lynch
Health Reform on the Way
translate as a lower monthly insurance bills rather than a check in the mail. The state insurance department also outlined certain penalties for employers who fail to offer an employer-sponsored insurance plan as the new health-care law mandates. Employers with 50 or more employees who fail to offer minimum coverage will suffer an annual $2,000 tax penalty for each of their employees who receives a subsidy through the exchange. Also, if an employer does offer minimum insurance coverage, but one or more of their employees still receive a subsidy from the federal government, the employer could suffer an annual tax penalty of $3,000 per employee. The law exempts small businesses, those employing fewer than 50 workers,
from this penalty. Individuals who are not exempt from buying insurance, in comparison, must maintain essential insurance coverage or pay a $95-a-year penalty for each uncovered family member. That penalty increases to $695 a year per uncovered family member by 2016 and beyond. Anton Gunn, the new regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the southern region, said the new law offers a host of legislative changes that carry many benefits to Mississippians, including 14,531 rebate checks for Medicare beneficiaries to pay for gaps in the infamous Medicare Part D “Donut Hole.” This coverage gap in prescription drug plans temporarily forces enrollees to go from making co-payments on their prescription drugs to paying 100 percent of the costs. Specifically in Mississippi, the new law also makes possible $924,818 in tax credits and grants to support new biomedical research for therapy, curing cancer and reducing long-term healthcare costs. It will also provide $266,000 to the attorney general’s office to create outreach and education programs for parents regarding expanded Medicaid and CHIP coverage. In addition, the federal government is also paying the state $1.4 million for childhood home visiting programs, $400,000 to expand laboratories and health-information systems, $1.6 million to support state health centers, and $1.5 million for “nurse-managed health clinics,” and invest $100,000 in HIV prevention and public-health activities. The federal government will also provide the state $1 million specifically to “crack down” on unreasonable insurance premium increases, Gunn said. Maley said a state agency, most likely the state department Insurance, will monitor and vet proposed insurance price increases, and most likely will have a say in whether or not the increase is allowed.
ENTERTAINMENT WRITERS WANTED
See a play recently and think “No one else should waste their money on this”? Perhaps an exhibit that broadened your world perspective, and now you want everyone to see it? Got tips about getting rest after the holidays?
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Department of Health spokesman Keith Maley said states will work with the federal government in setting up the subsidy scale, and added that no scale existed yet for Mississippi. “Four-hundred percent of Federal Poverty Level is $88,000 (for a family of four), so with Mississippi’s average income, a very large number of Mississippians will be eligible for some kind of subsidy,” Sisk said, adding that the federal government will pay subsidies directly to the insurer, so they will FILE PHOTO
he Mississippi Primary Health Care Association and Health Help for Kids hosted a community forum last week featuring federal and state leaders who outlined some of the changes Mississippians could expect as a result of the new health-care legislation. Each state will feature its own American Health Benefit Exchange, a program required by federal law to be up and running by January 2014, which will act as a marketplace for medical insurance. Mississippi Department of Insurance Senior Staff Attorney Aaron Sisk compared the exchanges to organizations like Expedia, Travelocity and Priceline, describing them as a “one-stop shop for health insurance.” In addition to offering a selection of insurance plans, however, the exchange will also certify and de-certify health plans, operate a toll-free hotline, maintain a website, and determine a customer’s eligibility for government health plans such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or other state and federal plans. Exchanges must also calculate the actual costs of insurance plans after taking into account federal subsidies the government will offer individuals in exchange for buying into a health-insurance plan. The federal government will provide Mississippi $1 million annually to plan and create its health insurance exchange. The new law demands most Americans have some form of health-insurance coverage, either through a government program or through private insurance by 2014—the inception date of state exchanges. Not everyone has to buy healthinsurance coverage, however. The new law expanded Medicaid coverage to those with incomes up to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty level ($14,404 for an individual and $29,326 for a family of four). Sisk pointed out that federal subsidies will be available to taxpayers whose household incomes do not exceed 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. U.S.
Public schools do more than educate children. They measure a city’s pride. They reflect community. They predict the social and economic well-being of a city’s future. For 20 years, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson has worked to keep our public schools strong, to empower parents as leaders for positive change, and to engage community support of our public schools.
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Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith claims county judges set low bonds and release some suspects earlier than necessary.
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by Ward Schaefer
ity Council President Frank Bluntson was certainly not alone in his frustration at last week’s council meeting. Venting about the Dec. 11 arrest of a 16-year-old suspect in connection with an early-morning burglary and armed robbery in south Jackson, Bluntson demanded to know why the suspect was out on bond the day of the crime, having been charged in other robberies this summer. “My understanding is that he was arrested in July, and the bond was set at $150,000,” Bluntson said. “How could a 16-year-old boy make a bond (of) that amount? First of all, he’s not in school. Next, he doesn’t have a regular job.” Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith told Bluntson that retiring County Court Judge William Barnett set the suspect’s bail but “probably didn’t anticipate” his meeting the 10 percent bond fee—in this case $15,000—that most bail-bonding agencies require. “If … that 16-year-old boy can make that $150,000 bond without being in school or even having a job, a light ought to go off in your head,” Bluntson said. “(You should) say: ‘Wait a minute. Something must be going on. Why am I releasing this person?’ ” Bluntson’s anger that Hinds County released a suspected repeat offender is understandable, but the young suspect’s first bail was a right and a necessity, defense attorney Matt Eichelberger said. The state and federal constitutions both recognize a right to bail. “Bail is the recognition that people are innocent until proven guilty,” Eichelberger said. “And people aren’t proven guilty unless they’re tried and convicted, or they plead guilty. None of those things happen within three months on felony charges.” The sheer volume of cases that the dis-
trict attorney’s office handles makes filing indictments within three months of an arrest a challenge, he conceded. Smith maintained that Barnett, who is retiring at the end of this year and handled preliminary hearings for all criminal cases in county court, set “significantly low” bail amounts for some violent and habitual offenders. Eichelberger disagreed. “I thought he was very reasonable,” Eichelberger said. “He didn’t give away the farm; he didn’t say, ‘Here’s a $10,000 bail on a murder case.’ He wouldn’t do that, but he also wouldn’t give you $5 million bail, either.” Eichelberger, who served in the Hinds County Public Defender’s office from 2007 to June of this year, said Barnett typically requires prosecutors to file an indictment within 90 days of a suspect’s first court appearance. If prosecutors fail to meet that deadline, Barnett more often than not submits an order releasing the suspect on his own recognizance. The deadline is “a safeguard, to make sure that we’re not just warehousing people,” Eichelberger said. Police arrested the 16-year-old suspect, whom other media outlets have named, in July following a series of armed robberies of homes. Though a minor, the teen appeared in Hinds County Court rather than youth court, because crimes involving a weapon automatically move to county court. Barnett set his bail at $150,000, and the teen went free Aug. 29 after posting bond—paying a fee to a bailbonding agency that in turn promised to pay his full bail amount if he failed to appear in court. In November, the Hinds County district attorney’s office indicted the suspect on 10 counts of armed robbery for the summer offenses. His original bond covered bail both before and after the indictment, which Eichelberger said was also standard practice. As long as a defendant’s indictment does not differ from the charges in his original arrest, the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department will usually allow the suspect to pay a $25 service fee, colloquially known as a “turning-thekey fee,” and leave on the same bond from his or her arrest. A Jackson Municipal Court judge denied bail to the suspect, along with three other young men, in a Dec. 13 hearing following his most recent robbery arrest, however. The same section of the Mississippi Constitution that provides for bail also mandates that a judge revoke bail from anyone charged or suspected of committing a felony while out on bond. Two days later, Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Malcolm Harrison denied the teen bail in his arraignment for the November indictment. “I know that people are just clamoring for justice, and they want the streets clean,” Eichelberger said. “I want them clean, too, but we don’t just get to lock people away when they’re accused of a crime. We have to let the process work.”
by Natalie A. Collier
Save Our Routes tra $560,000 in next year’s city budget to fund wage increases for the city’s 49 unionized bus drivers and 14 maintenance employees. The additional expenses are a result of the city’s most recent collective-bargaining agreement with union bus drivers. Protesters were unequivocal about whom they thought the change would affect most: “blacks, the poor and the disabled,” one woman shouted to nods of affirmation. In a city that reports 1.2 percent of its population relies on public transportation, including taxi services, the numbers may seem negligible. But it isn’t numbers that will be affected; it’s people, and the suggested service changes are far-reaching. Aside from a 21-person workforce reduction, riders can expect a decrease in peak services from 27 buses to 12; routes 4, 5, 6 and 8 will operate only in peak morning and afternoon hours; routes 10, 11, 13 and part of route 6 will be completely eliminated; handilift services will not expand; and Saturday service will be discontinued. One attendee voiced the concerns of her wheelchair-bound brother Scott Crawford from her notes. “This will devastate the working class of Jackson, and you can forget their taxes,” she said, explaining that those who depend on the bus system to get to and from work, to grocery
shop and conduct their business affairs would reduce the sales tax they pay to the city merely because they will be unable to get around with cut routes. “Who’s going to pay for the public assistance they JATRAN bus drivers stand in solidarity at one of several townhall meetings where the public expressed their opinions need?” she asked. about proposed bus service changes. Her question is valid in a city where, at the last 2000 As one of the last to speak, Pittman urged Census, more than 30 percent of its popula- the audience, as she concluded, to “vote against tion lives below the national poverty line. those who vote against you.” Before JATRAN user Fannie Wilson Saying that city officials told him not to spoke about how the proposed changes affect speak out against the changes, at the meeting’s the poor, she commended Lumumba for his end, Lumumba said, “I am fundamentally opwork on the behalf of the people, to which he posed to this change.” replied, “Thank you, sister, because all of the Some in the crowd showed their apstories on the news aren’t that good.” preciation for his words by standing and Wilson asked, supposedly, Mayor John- applauding. son and those who support the JATRAN serAnd with a twist of irony that confirmed vice changes rhetorically, “Who are you cater- how deeply the proposed service changes will ing to?” affect the citizens of the city without cars, Certainly not the poor and working class, JATRAN Director of Operations Dewayne she suggested. Cheatham orchestrated with Jackson resiThe dissidents who spoke were not all dents who had taken the bus to get to the JATRAN dependent. Some said they were meeting, consolidating routes to ensure they merely concerned citizens who cared about all made it home. not only their neighbors but also about the The proposed JATRAN service changes city’s growth and how the proposed cuts con- are scheduled for a Tuesday, Dec. 28, vote in tradicted the state’s claim to hospitality. the Jackson City Council.
PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T
hen Mississippi winter sets in, you’ll find warmth at Quizno’s Subs of Fondren, from your favorite sub or soup, like the broccoli and cheese soup, served up fresh, to the front door welcome. Actually, at any time Quizno’s Subs of Fondren of the year you will personally experience a welcoming atmosphere and subs deliciously appeasing to the palette. Quizno’s Subs of Fondren, located at 2946 Old Canton Road, provide great, fresh food, a valuable product and just plain Southern charm. For five years, Quizno’s Subs of Fondren have set prices so that everyone can afford a meal away from home or the office. To show appreciation for customers, Quizno’s Subs of Fondren is offering a customer appreciation lunch special that will run into 2011, so grab any small sub, a bag of chips, a cookie and a drink all for $6 plus tax. And if that isn’t tempting, you can pick any 2 menu items and mix and match them, for $5 plus tax. These deals will you give a reason to try a specialty like the Chicken Carbonara sandwich that has all-white meat chicken marinated in creamy bacon alfredo sauce, with mozzarella cheese and bacon. The popular Mesquite Chicken sandwich, with marinated allwhite chicken meat, buttermilk ranch, bacon, fresh cheddar cheese and your choice of vegetables, is a hit, also. A crowd favorite is the freshly sliced, piled-high, juicy, slow-cooked Prime Rib subs. Quizno’s Subs of Fondren sells an “only at Quizno’s Subs” flatbread salad topped with all-white chicken meat, your choice of vegetables, dressing, and artisan garlic bread. Quizno’s Subs of Fondren slices their meats and cheeses many times throughout the day so that customers have fresh ingredients on their subs instead of “pre-sliced” products, creating a “wow factor” so customers can cherish every bite. The employees stand behind the belief of treating others the way you want to be treated, ensuring that each customer has the best lunch or dinner experience possible. Have your next function or event catered by Quizno’s Subs of Fondren or step in for something to warm your body and a greeting to warm your soul when it’s chilly outside. Located on the corner of Lakeland Drive and Old Canton Road next to major hospitals and universities, they are open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and are closed on Sunday. They do offer college student discounts and nursing discounts and are annual sponsors of Belhaven and Millsaps’ athletics. They also accept the Jackson State Supercard.
neva May-Pittman took the mic and walked with a slight limp toward the front of the room to face the audience. Someone said, chuckling, “Ms. Pittman!” If her salt-and-pepper bob and conservative dress didn’t give it away, what she said confirmed her senior-citizen status. May-Pittman’s carinsurance rates have increased. “They say the people who have the most accidents are young people and old people. I may not be able to afford to drive any more and may need the bus,” she said. Depending on what route(s) she would need, however, soon she may not be able to. Nearly 100 concerned citizens gathered in the gymnasium of the Fresh Start Christian Church on Manhattan Road in Ward 2, on Thursday, Dec. 16. The feelings of distress were palpable. Among the citizenry, Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba, city attorney James Anderson and local JATRAN union president Al Burns sat as the group, unanimously expressing their diametrical opposition to the city’s proposed cutbacks of JATRAN services. The changes come after Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. informed members of the city council last month that the city will have to shell out $984,000 in back pay, vacation and other costs by January, and include an ex-
opining, grousing & pontificating
hristmas often brings out the best and worst in people. During the holidays, we are so laden with do-lists, events and shopping that we don’t always take time to look at the underlying issues in our city. In the past year, Jacksonians have celebrated the opening of the Standard Life building, King Edward Hotel (at the end of 2009) and seen several popular new restaurants come online including Parlor Market, Lumpkins and Babalu. But to really measure our success, we need to measure how many people are rising out of poverty, how many Jackson Public Schools students are graduating from high school and how many jobs are available. During public hearings this week, JATRAN riders packed meeting halls and pleaded with council members to not let budget constraints damage their way of life. JATRAN is one city service that predominately serves low-income citizens. If Jackson City Council members vote to cut several JATRAN routes on Dec. 28, it is certain that we will create more economic disadvantages for the community members least able to cope— including those on fixed incomes and the disabled—who depend on the bus for transportation. Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. told city council members last month that the city must cut routes and lay off 21 employees because of a $1.5 million arbitration agreement providing mandatory wage increases for JATRAN employees. The city is also proposing to eliminate Saturday service and reduce the number of buses from 27 to 12 during peak hours. While JATRAN is not the most profitable venture, it is a vital service for many city residents. If people can’t get to their jobs, the city will lose additional sales tax revenue, and it will spur the need for more government services such as food stamps and welfare. That’s moving backward, not forward. In a city where 30 percent of residents live below the poverty line, we have to do more to create growth from the bottom up. While we push for new developments, $80,000 arena studies and more convention-center events and hotels, we must also encourage city leaders to examine other small cities’ public-transportation models. The city council should vote against the proposed JATRAN cuts. For Jackson to reach its true potential and create equal opportunities for everyone, we must invest wisely in all areas of the economy, not just in those that make a lot of money for a few.
A Christmas Safety Net
December 22 - 28, 2010
weem-O-Wheat: “It looks like a lot of people will have a merry Christmas and survive the New Year. Why? Because the left-wing Democrats and right-wing Republicans of the good ship ‘Bi-Partisan’ agreed to appease the rich and accommodate the broke and unemployed by extending the Bush tax cuts and unemployment insurance. Also, those who are fortunate enough to have a job will benefit from a one-year payroll-tax cut. “Meanwhile, the defeat of the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) act has become a nightmare for undocumented immigrant workers who were brought to the United States as children. And the finance pimps are back on the foreclosure scene taking back their homes for the holidays. “What happened to the motto ‘good will to all people’? Good will must be frozen solid in the deep, dark corners of many hearts. “It’s time for the Qweem-O-Wheat Food Bank Foundation to link with the Ghetto Science Community Service Team and establish the ‘QweemO-Wheat Christmas Safety Net for Folks Who Cannot Make It Through the Tax Cuts.’ The ‘Christmas Safety Net’ is a warm gesture during cold times. It’s genuine bi-partisanship with a special interest in helping people. “During the Christmas holiday season, I, Bubba Robinski and Brother Hustle will warm the hearts and souls of the financially challenged community, senior citizens and the unemployed by feeding them hot, ‘qweemy’ and ‘deewishous’ breakfasts daily. “Your safety net is here. Look for our Qweem-O-Wheat Kitchen and Social Service Mobile.”
Same Place, Different Memories
s the years pass, I find it hard to accurately remember each and every detail of my life. It’s easy for stories to be skewed, embellished or just plain forgotten. My wife says I sometimes “adjust” the facts of stories to keep from getting fussed at, and I can’t recall if I do or not. What I do know is that sometimes two people in the same place at the same time can have two totally different accounts of an incident. Nowadays, history is as much about “who” is remembering as it is about the facts. Apparently, our governor—and possible Republican presidential candidate—Haley Barbour has an interesting take on Mississippi history. In an interview recently with the Weekly Standard, Barbour gave a flattering recollection of the Citizens Council. He described them as a “group of town leaders.” Yes, that same Citizens Council that was founded to maintain segregation and white supremacy. Funny thing: I—and many others—don’t quite recall that docile, philanthropic group that Barbour talks about. I guess it depends on which side of the lunch counter you were sitting on, right? Now, the guv’s story is that the Citizens Council made a decree that they weren’t going to tolerate anyone being associated with the Ku Klux Klan in Yazoo City. They’d be run out of town on a rail, he says, and their businesses weren’t going to be patronized. Noble actions I’m sure if the organization in question wasn’t so adamantly opposed to integration. It would be righteous if the group in question didn’t boycott pro-civil rights organizations fighting for equal rights in Mississippi. But then again, I guess it depends on which fountain you had to drink from, right? Look, it’s no secret that the violent Klan quickly started wearing out its welcome in the 1960s, even with other white supremacist groups. It’s well docu-
mented that their aggressive style and penchant for violence brought way too much attention to the covert cause of white supremacy. Those who championed segregation thought it better to abandon the robes and hoods, and adopt a more corporate “suit and tie” approach. The word “Klan” became bad for business. So methinks the all-white Citizens Council’s “intolerance” of the Klan had more to do with “business” than it did with treating black folks as equals. You don’t have to take my word for it, just look up the history. But I guess it depends on what side of the hose you were on, right? What we should all be concerned with is the fact that a lot of our older elected officials have selective memories when it comes to the history of civil rights. Sure, it was a time when these groups held political stroke, and you had to play the role to get their votes. Nowadays, not so much; beware of those that still do. Be leery of those who continue to press you to forget about that turbulent past even as it shapes our futures. Question those who talk about a return to the “good old days” or who say that groups like the Citizens Council “weren’t that bad.” Those things should raise red flags instantly. Governor Barbour could be on the next presidential ticket in 2012. Die-hard Mississippian that I am, I’d hope that a candidate from our state on a national stage does more to destroy stereotypes of Mississippi than enforce them. That starts by not trying to dismiss the atrocities that occurred in our state during the Civil Rights Era as trivial. But then again, I guess it depends on which section of the bus you had to sit in. Funny how folks can see things differently. And that’s the truth ... sho-nuff.
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hether you define yourself as Generation X, Y or (like myself) on the XY cusp, you are a part of a unique and powerful generation that desires to change the world, and has the vigor and technology to do it. We are a generation that is constantly challenging the status quo, a generation that is quick to speak out against injustice (we have easy access to Facebook and Twitter, after all) and a generation that demands something beyond the ordinary. We are not shy about going to the Internet to advocate for causes we believe in; we are active in our communities; and we are a generation that is making our voices heard. To truly take that desired step beyond the ordinary, to make a difference in our cities and around the world, we need a culmination of our voices and our actions. Let’s take a stand and do the one thing that scares us the most: Let’s open up our wallets. The generations that came before us learned the importance of regularly writing a check to support the work of charities. In fact, when I first started working as a professional fundraiser, I was astonished at how the vast majority of financial support for our organization came from people over 50. Our parents and their parents support the work of NGOs across the globe and nonprofits here in the United States. Our generation has proven that we can re-think social responsibilities and environmental concerns of corporations, but how many of us have actually written a check? When I ask this question of my peers, the answer I typically receive is that they are simply unable to give financially. These same people own laptops, iPods, smartphones and flat-screen TVs. When I ask someone my age to become a member of a nonprofit for $20, they protest the feasibility of the gift while ordering another beer, renting another movie, paying a cover to see a band or buying an extra-large latte. While I am not criticizing anyone’s choices to purchase these items, I am challenging the idea that my generation can’t afford to give. If we care about the future of the organizations we claim to support in our online profiles, we can’t afford not to give. After all, if nearly half the world lives on just few dollars a day, shouldn’t we at least consider making a small gift to support the future of the world we want to change? The best thing is that it has never been
easier to give than now. So whether you are part of the group that feels financially unable to give because of a low-paying job, other financial commitments or a tight budget, or if you simply don’t know where to start, here are some easy things to consider and they only takes a few minute of your day. • Most organizations offer online giving. Just go to a website and press a button. • Many charities offer texting as an option for donations. • Many of us have our monthly bills automatically taken out of our accounts by bank draft. Did you know you can do this with donations, too? Sign up for a monthly or quarterly draft, and you can give regularly to your favorite charity without moving a muscle. • Next time you attend an event that benefits a cause you believe in, consider giving more than the suggested admission price, or even sacrifice that last beer of the night for an extra $5 donation. Just tell the people collecting at the door that you want the money to go to the benefiting organization. They will love it, and you might even get a hug! • Make a “Giving Jar” for yourself or together with roommates or family members. Label a mason jar for giving and use it to collect spare change for a month. At the end of the month, your household can collectively decide where your money should go. Want to make sure you know where your money goes? Check out www.guidestar .org or www.justgive.org to see a profile of your favorite charity. The most important thing we can do to make sure that our generation is helping to sustain these organizations in the future is to establish our patterns of giving now. It’s easy to say that we will give when we get a little older, but that could easily continue for our entire lives. Let’s truly be a generation that puts our money where our mouths are—a generation that speaks out to make our voices heard and a generation of action. Melody Moody spends most of her days raising awareness about bicycle and pedestrian issues through her work with Bike Walk Mississippi and the Jackson Bike Advocates. If you see her around town, she’ll be more than happy to give you suggestions on where you can volunteer or donate locally.
Let’s truly be a generation that puts our money where our mouths are.
CORRECTION: In “Respect for the City” (Vol. 9, Issue 14, Dec. 15-21, 2010), reporter Adam Lynch wrote that Quentin Whitwell received his bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Mississippi. Whitwell’s bachelor degree is in history. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the error.
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echnology is a powerful force that is ever changing and evolving. The way we interact with technology can determine the future for our community and society as a whole. If we become consumed with the latest gadgets and have a dependence on our cell phones, technology can take the place of one-on-one communication and time spent with our friends and families. But, if we use
Clicking For Dollars
he moment any person or group forms a new idea, the next question is, “How will we pay for it?” Whether it is a charity marathon, a city proposal for a bike trail, an idea for a comic book or the inspiration for a new work of art, few ideas come without a price tag. The bad news is that finding money is often more difficult than completing the project. Many grants exist, but the competition is fierce, and the grant-writing process is often too complicated for most would-be applicants. Investors are also hard to come by, especially if the project is non-profit or art-based, and investors see no concrete return on their funds. The good news is that while some traditional fund-raising approaches have become more difficult, new approaches and new technology have combined to create easier, more aaccessible means of paying the project bills. Here are a few ideas on how to raise money using the Web.
by Bret Kenyon of independently funded projects. The rules of Kickstarter are simple: You have a project that you need a certain amount of money to complete— let’s say a short film about out-of-work actors living in New Orleans that will cost $2,000 to film, edit and distribute. You open a free account on Kickstarter, create your project, tell the site how much money you need, then sit back and wait for a donor. A donor is someone who wants to fund a project that impresses him or her in some way—whether it’s an artistic element, a humanitarian element or just plain curiosity. The donor pledges an amount to the project, and if the full
December 22 - 28, 2010
Set Up A PayPal account Setting up a PayPal account allows donors to fund your cause directly with a few simple clicks. To set up a Paypal account, visit paypal.com and select “personal account.” Once you go through the proper steps to make an account, you can set preferences for auctions, register your site as a PayPal shop and set up invoice templates.
The Kickstarter website (kickstarter.com) is “a new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors” and its philosophy is “a good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.” The site appears to have unleashed an effec16 tive and potentially game-changing concept into the world
to anyone considering a project. Business proposals range from an American mother wanting to start her own day care, to a woman in Cambodia who needs $1,000 to buy a truck for her broom-making business. Kiva has facilitated more than $100 million in loans since November 2009. Sites such as these and concepts such as the ones behind them are not only encouraging to those with “the next great idea,” but they are a testament to the generosity of strangers. With every transaction, these technologies prove that one person’s inspiration can move another to action. And as these technologies continue to evolve, the next world-changing idea could come from anyone, anywhere, and may be only a few keystrokes from becoming a reality.
Examples of Successful Kickstarter Fundraising: • Academy Award-winning filmmaker Zana Briski raised $50,000 to build a traveling migratory museum with photographs, film and music that explores the connection between humans and insects. The exhibit opens Dec. 21, 2012, in New York City. • Technology consultant Stephen McGloughlin raised $19,000 to build a desktop computer numerical control machine to put computer-automated machining and fabrication in the hands of creators. • Virginia artist McLean Fahnestock raised $2,000 to produce “Grand Finale,” a large-scale video installation that shows 134 NASA space shuttle launches.
Using Social Media While Facebook, Twitter and MySpace can’t fulfill all fundraising needs, they can accomplish the most difficult part of the process—letting folks know you need their money. Once you have raised awareness, it’s a matter of linking the reader to the charity’s website, PayPal account or other means of fund collection. Of course, the drawback is one that has already been mentioned—your audience is limited to your friends and family, and there are only so many times they’ll send a check for your “Macaroons for Melanoma” charity drives. The best fundraising source is a continuous source available to the general public, and this is the arena where things are starting to get really exciting.
technology to bridge social and economic gaps, connect with others and spread awareness on important issues, then we can advance our community and provide more opportunities for a better future. In this GOOD issue (inspired by the national GOOD Magazine) we bring you ideas on innovative ways to use technology whether it’s raising money for a good cause or recycling your e-waste.
project cost is reached, the project creator gets the money. It’s important to note that the site uses the word “donor” and not “investor.” These aren’t projects that promise any sort of return (though project creators can promise “rewards” to their donors—a T-shirt or copy of the film, for instance), so there is no profit on the table and no need for the project creator to worry about how they will pay back the funds. Naturally, there are rules and regulations to protect all involved (funds aren’t transferred if the total budget isn’t raised, funding is organized through Amazon.com, etc), but overall the site is just like the concept—simple, straightforward and surprisingly effective.
MicroFinancing Along similar lines is the site Kiva (kiva.com), a site that pairs entrepreneurs from around the world with potential investors. Unlike Kickstarter, Kiva is a loan site— any money a person donates will be paid back in full. But the loans are interest free—no one is making money off the deals—and the repayment percentages are encouraging
More Online Fundraising Ideas Pepsi Refresh Project (refreshingeverything.com) Any business, nonprofit or person can submit and idea to the project, and Pepsi awards funding for the project with the highest number of votes. Grant categories include: arts and culture, health, the planet, education, neighborhoods, and food and shelter. American Express Members Project (takepart.com/ membersproject) Vote for charities to receive $100,000,000 from American Express, find local volunteer opportunities and find a charity to donate to. Donors Choose (DonorsChoose.org) Teachers post a project that they would like to do with their classrooms, and individuals can donate to the project they like best. You can search for projects based on criteria or school districts. The Jackson Public Schools district currently has 15 projects on the site.
Internet Technology and Privacy by Charlotte Blom
How to Protect Your Privacy Online Under the Bill of Rights, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees protection of American citizens against unlawful search and seizure, including reading mail, wiretapping and entering homes without a warrant. But it is up to individuals to prevent cyber stalking and identity theft. â€˘ Check the security settings on your social networking sites, including on photos and things you or others post. Facebook and other sites are infamous for frequently changing settings without letting its users know. On Facebook, under â€œAccountâ€? and â€œPrivacy Settings,â€? you can customize what you share and with whom. You can also alter your application settings there, as well as customize settings to block unwanted visitors. â€˘ For immediate personal privacy, Dr. Shaoen Wu, a computer-science professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, uses Facebook but always keeps the chat option turned off. He recommends an â€œawareness of what we are trying to disclose to others. (Social networking sites) provide features but you donâ€™t have to use those features,â€? Wu said. â€˘ Facebook requires several steps to cancel your account. If you only go through the first step, Facebook â€œholdsâ€? your account, so that you can return to your profile if you decide to reinstate your account. â€˘ Clear your web browserâ€™s history, cache and
cookies on a regular basis. â€˘ Install good antivirus and spybot programs. Check freeware.com for free options. â€˘ Be wary of who youâ€™re giving your private info to, including your Social Security number, bank account or credit card info, what sites you join or where you make online purchases. â€˘ Be careful about accepting unknown â€œfriendâ€? requests. Some may be looking to spread the â€œKoobfaceâ€? virus by sending infected links via e-mail and/or wall posts in the hopes people click on the infected links. â€˘ Use a unique password for each social network, e-mail or e-commerce account. The passwords should be difficult to guess and include a combination of nonsense words, numbers and symbols. â€˘ Switch browsers. Internet Explorer is the most commonly used browser and the most susceptible to intrusion. Switch to Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, both with built in malware and phishing protection.
Identity Theft Identity theft happens most commonly through â€œdumpster divingâ€? for unshredded mail or stolen wallets, which can reveal Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and other personal info, and from organizations that store sensitive information in hard copy or online. In the online world, one must also be aware of phishing: bogus e-mails or spam, often in the forms of â€œyour bankâ€? or other institutions asking for your personal information. Also, watch out for fake charity websites or PayPal accounts set up to take your money. Of course there is also the potential threat of hackers, hijackers or malware, so always use secure sites for any online purchasing. Secure sites include https:// in the URL, display a padlock (usually on the lower bar of an Internet window) and the URL should be an â€œofficialâ€? domain name. Watch for a string of numbers in a URL or an address separated using â€œdotâ€? segments, like â€œpaypal.bogusaddress.net.â€?
Protect Your Photos Exchangeable Image File Format, or EXIF, tags embedded in a digital camera photo can tell not just technical details about the photo, but also its location using the Global Positioning System. GPS is more commonly found in cell phone cameras like iPhones or smartphones. This feature, just like reverse e-mail address information, can work to a cyber-stalkerâ€™s advantage. If you have a Flickr account or another online site where you upload unprotected photos on the Internet, make your photos available only to trusted friends, or disable the EXIF feature either in your camera or by using software like Photoshop or Gimp.
Attitudes Toward Social Media â€˘ Niaeshia Jones, 19, is senior at Hattiesburg High School. She has a Myspace account and joined Facebook this fall. She is not worried about government surveillance or advertisers soliciting her. She does worry, however, that someone will see her info about her boyfriend, for instance, and spread rumors from what theyâ€™ve read. â€œI donâ€™t share too much information on Facebook,â€? Jones says. She says she doesnâ€™t accept friend requests from people she doesnâ€™t know and intends for family and friends to be the only people who see her information.
A Privacy Timeline >>>
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â€˘ Nathan Bush, 32, a computer programmer for Merchants Foodservice, only has a Facebook account; he cancelled his MySpace account from lack of use. His Facebook page is open to people who arenâ€™t friends because he doesnâ€™t really use it, he says, but his wifeâ€™s page has the security features enabled because thatâ€™s where they share photos. Bush is not worried about government or other entities looking as his data because he has nothing to hide and he is not â€œone of those conspiracy theorists.â€? His biggest concern about Facebook is people updating their status with their whereabouts, especially if their security features arenâ€™t enabled. â€˘ Bernard Jonson, 52, thinks that the Internet and the government, have gone too far. â€œThey are overstepping their boundaries,â€? Jonson said. â€œWe donâ€™t have any privacy any more.â€? Jonson does not use the Internet at all. â€œI donâ€™t think God intended for all this,â€? he says. â€œIâ€™m old fashioned anyway.â€? â€˘ Evaluation consultant Ann Beardshall, 71, says her biggest concerns are identity theft, social marketing and social media networks. Beardshall joined Facebook about two years ago, mainly as a way to enjoy photos of her grandchildren, but she maintains all the security settings so she â€œcan lurk, and they canâ€™t see me.â€?
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he use of and dependence on the Internet and social networking has various implications for personal privacy. Many people worry â€œbig brotherâ€? is watching their virtual footsteps or that their personal data can be auctioned to the highest bidder in the advertising world.
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How To Recycle Technology
by Jesse Crow
ime Magazine reported this month that the United States throws away 20 million to 50 million metric tons of “e-waste” each year. When you throw out a computer, it will likely end up in a landfill or incinerator. E-waste from our trashcans can also end up in developing countries where scrap-yard workers extract valuable substances such as copper, iron, silicon and gold. When you throw electronics away, their hazardous components leak into the earth, poisoning the surrounding ecosystems. Instead of tossing your old phone, computer or television, recycle or reuse it. Most electronics contain lead, mercury and/or cadmium, so it’s important that you dispose of them properly. If your electronics are still functional, donate them so they can be reused. Here’s a list of places you can take your electronics to be recycled or reused: •More than 4.6 million tons of e-waste ended up in U.S. landfills in 2000. (SOURCE: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY)
• In 2003, at least 23,000 metric tons of electronic waste was illegally shipped to the Far East, India, Africa and China. (SOURCE: GREENPEACE)
• 50 to 80 percent of waste collected for recycling is exported to developing countries. (SOURCE: GREENPEACE)
Where to Recycle Electronics in Jackson: • Jackson’s E-Service Center (1570 Terry Road, 601-960-2045) accepts batteries, cell phones and computers for free. Just drop off electronics. The center is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and on the fourth Saturday of every month. • Best Buy (194 Promenade Blvd., Flowood, 601-919-0176 and 6370 Ridgewood Court Dr., 601-977-9115) accepts most electronics, working or not, regardless of where they were purchased. Best Buy won’t take monitors over 32 inches, hard drives, appliances or any electronics with refrigerants. They will take three items per household per day. There is a $10 charge for TVs and monitors, but you get a $10 Best Buy gift card in return. Best Buy will pick up old televisions and appliances to be recycled when they deliver a new television or appliance. The company also has kiosks at every store for recycling ink cartridges, CDs, DVDs, cables and cell phones. • The Apple Store (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 4010, Ridgeland, 601-607-4521) accepts iPods and iPhones and will give you 10 percent off your new iPod or iPhone. You can also mail in your old Apple computer and get credit on an Apple gift card. • Dell Computer owners can call 1-800-463-3339 to schedule a free at-home pickup through FedEx. When you call, tell FedEx you’d like to participate in the Dell PRP Recycling Program. Visit tinyurl.com/342t3tq for a checklist of what to do before they pick up your computer.
How to Reuse Technology • If your electronics are still functional, consider dropping them off at N.U.T.S. (114 Millsaps Ave., 601-355-7458), the Salvation Army (110 Presto Lame., 601-948-0737) or Goodwill (104 E. State St., Ridgeland, 601-853-8110). • Jackson State University’s (1400 J.R. Lynch St., Just Hall of Science, 601-979-8258) Department of Technology accepts computers, which they test and donate to low-income families. Make Art out of Technology Check out “62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer” ($14. 95, Workman Publishing Company, 2010) by Randy Sarafan for projects to turn technology into art.
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Where Does My e-waste Go? Even if you recycle your e-waste, it could still end up in a developing country’s landfill where children or poorly paid workers are exposed to hazardous material. In 1998, The United Nations’ Basel Ban required countries to ban exporting all forms of hazardous waste to developing countries. The United States, however, fought the ban, and refused to sign it. The nonprofit, e-stewards (www.e-stewards.org), launched the “e-stewards pledge program,” which tracks and documents recycler’s toxic materials and certifies that the materials are not exported to developing countries. Unfortunately, the closest e-stewards certified recycler is 5R Processors in Memphis, Tenn. The certification includes: • A certified environmental management system that minimizes workers’ exposure to hazardous materials. • Prohibiting all toxic waste from being disposed in solid-waste landfills and incinerators. • Compliance with international hazardous-waste treaties for exports and imports of electronics, and prohibiting the export of hazardous waste from developed to developing countries. • Prohibiting the use of prison labor in toxic electronics recycling. • Requiring extensive protection and monitoring of recycling workers.
To Multitask or Not to Multitask
by Holly Perkins
oday, I took notes on a lecture, researched a project, text messaged a friend and chatted with another friend who lives in England. But this isn’t a typical day for me; it’s a typical class period. I am a multitasker. I like to think I could tell you every key point my professor made in his lecture and the details of my research, text messages and my conversation with my friend. Multi-tasking is something I consider a strength. And I’m not the only one. Whether it’s sending e-mails while simultaneously talking on the phone, or making dinner while text messaging and watching television, almost everyone multitasks. I can barely have a conversation without someone checking his or her phone out of habit. A 2009 Stanford University study found that out of 100 students surveyed, heavy multitaskers—people do more than one or two things at a time—performed worse than low multitaskers. The study concluded that heavy multitaskers had poorer performance when they were presented with tests that weighed the student‘s ability to switch between tasks, how well they performed with multiple distractions and how well they focused. So maybe multi-tasking isn’t exactly a sign of strength. People who considered themselves “brilliant” multitaskers actually performed lower than people who didn’t.
Tracking Online Use Over the course of a week, I used an online tracking device to monitor the amount of time I spent online. Here is what I found: • I spend between one to three hours (with the exceptions of weekends) a day on the Internet, mostly during school hours. • The majority of my Internet use is for school or work, but usually I’m hopping back and forth between research for schoolwork and looking at blogs, watching shows online or wasting time on Facebook. • If I continue this same time frame, I’ll spend nearly 20 days a year online, and during that time, I’m making my performance levels fall lower and lower. •To track your Internet use, download a free add-on at http://tinyurl.com/27pxu5g
Technology by the Numbers • Searching online activates more brain regions than reading printed words. • On average, multitaskers spend 11 minutes on a project before switching to another and typically change tasks within a project every three minutes. • It takes about 15 minutes to return with full attention to a serious mental task after you responded to an e-mail or text message. SOURCE: “DIGITAL NATION,” BY PUBLIC BROADCASTING SERVICES
December 22 - 28, 2010
What websites do you frequent each day?
www.westjxn.com www.news.google.com www.facebook.com www.brizzly.com www.hootsuite.com Curnis Upkins III, program manager, Jackson State University Center for University-Based Development
• 39 to 49 percent of 18- to 30-year-olds have sent text messages while driving, which slows their reaction time by 35 percent. • People younger than 24 send more than two text messages for every call they make. • The Neilson Company reviewed more than 40,000 phone bills and found that American teenagers send or receive an average of 3,146 messages a month, which translates into more than 10 messages during every hour of the month that they are not sleeping or in school. • Texting or talking on cell phones while driving (hand held or hands free) is the same as a driver having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. • Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely than those not talk on the phone to have crashes serious enough to cause injuries. • Thirty states have enacted laws banning texting behind the wheel. Mississippi’s laws restrict text messaging while driving for minors.
www.childrensdefense.org www.huffingtonpost.com www.facebook.com www.blacksnob.com www.jezebel.com www.npr.org Wendy Schenefelt Schenefelt, Children’s Defense Fund regional director
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