November 12, 2009
SERVING LOS ANGELES COUNTY WITH NEWS YOU CAN USE
Vol. XXX, No. 1153
PAYING RESPECTS — President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama pay their respects at a memorial service Nov. 10 at Fort Hood, Texas, for the victims of the Fort Hood shootings. A memorial to the 13 soldiers who were killed consisted of framed pictures of the victims in front of a salute to fallen soldiers: a rifle jutting out of empty boots with the soldiers’ helmets on top.
Over 2,260 Vets Died for Lack of Health Insurance in 2008 VIJI SUNDARAM NEW AMERICA MEDIA
Michael Baranik Jennings called it the worst day of his life. As he sat in his doctor’s office that day in January 2007, he was told he had terminal cancer. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he was also told that his veteran’s health care insurance wasn’t adequate to cover the number of chemotherapy sessions he would need. Over the next few weeks, Jennings went from one doctor to another, hoping to find one who would give him the needed treatment. “I begged and begged a doctor, who said he would only give me seven treatments because of insurance,” Jennings wrote in a letter to the nonprofit National Nurses Organizing Committee. But his efforts weren’t enough. Jennings died a few months after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Jennings’ story is not unique. Lack of health insurance claimed the lives of more than 2,260 veterans under the age of 65 last year, says a Harvard Medical School study released Nov. 10. That number is more than 14 times the number of deaths (155) suffered by U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2008, and more than twice as many (911, as of Oct. 31) as have died since the war began in 2003. “Uninsured veterans are a
stain on America’s flag,” said Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, one of the study’s three researchers and professor of medicine at the school. “It’s particularly striking that a combat veteran who has already served his country is denied (adequate) health care.” The Harvard researchers said that health care reform legislation pending in the House and Senate would not “significantly affect this grim picture.” Only a minority of veterans — those disabled by military service — are automatically eligible for Veterans Affairs care. Vets who have a combat-related injury and are 100 percent disabled can get full care from the VA agency, said Allan Campbell, a veteran of the Vietnam War. Campbell said he had to “fight for years and years before he could go from 10 percent care to 100 percent care.” The full-care veterans who live far from a VA hospital or clinic also get reimbursed for travel. “I am a U.S. Navy vet,” wrote a 52-year-old vet from Novato, Calif., to the National Nurses Organizing Committee. “With the VA almost 50 miles from my front door, it just doesn’t work for me in case of an emergency-type situation.” Woolhandler said researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2009 Current Population Survey, which See VETS, page 10
AP Photo by JAY JANNER
Light Rail Proposed for Crenshaw Corridor BY CHICO C. NORWOOD STAFF WRITER
Metropolitan Transportation Authority staff members have proposed a light-rail line over a busway for the Crenshaw/LAX Corridor, partly due to an effort to help relieve transportation woes in Los Angeles. During a telephone conference, Metro officials unveiled the recommendation for the proposed $1.7 billion, 8 1/2-mile rail project that would extend from Exposition Boulevard to the Green Line on Imperial Highway. “The subject of a Crenshaw transit corridor has been discussed in transit circles for decades and has received a lot of attention,” said Dan Rosenfeld, senior deputy for Economic Development, Sustainability and Mobility for Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Rosenfeld said the rail line is being recommended over a previously considered bus line because rail offers the greatest benefit to travel time along the corridor, See CORRIDOR, page 8
FAME Church, Former Minister Sue Each Other BY SLAV KANDYBA CONTRIBUTING WRITER
A former employee at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church and one of the church’s current pastors have filed lawsuits against each other. The Los Angeles church is accusing former executive minister Brenda Lamothe of alleged extortion,
violation of privacy and conspiracy, while Lamothe is claiming that Pastor John Hunter gave her jewelry and had inappropriate sexual relations with her. Church officials gathered at a press conference on the church’s steps Nov. 5 and Constance Fortune, a church trustee, read from a threepage prepared statement that said the
PASTORAL SUPPORT — First AME Church member official Constance Fortune, at podium, was joined by stewards and board members Nov. 5 at a press conference at the church. The briefing was called in response to a lawsuit filed by former minister Brenda Lamothe against First AME Pastor John Hunter. The church members reiterated their unwavering support for Hunter and stated that they “… do not for one moment believe the outrageous allegations in the lawsuit filed by Brenda Lamothe.”
church’s board of stewards “fully support Pastor John” and have decided to join him and his wife “as plaintiffs in our own lawsuit against Mrs. Lamothe.” Church officials alleged they first learned of Lamothe’s accusations when her attorney mentioned she possessed love letters from Hunter. The attorney allegedly “demanded a monetary settlement or he would go to the media,” according to the church’s statement. Both Hunter and his wife “immediately recognized these notes as their own personal communication they had shared with each other as husband and wife,” the statement said. In response to the perceived extortion attempt, the Hunters and the church filed the lawsuit against Lamothe Nov. 3. Lamothe also filed a lawsuit against the Hunters and the church Nov. 3, asking for monetary and punitive damages based on alleged sexual harassment and wrongful discharge. As part of its complaint filed with the L.A. Superior Court, the church included a three-paragraph See FAME CHURCH, page 8
Green Line station
Proposed Metro Rail line route for the Crenshaw/LAX Corridor.
NEWS IN BRIEF THE SOUTHLAND Hospital: X-ray Overdoses Could Cause Cataracts (AP) — The Los Angeles hospital where patients were exposed to X-ray radiation overdoses during CT scans says its investigation found the affected patients could be at higher risk for cataracts. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said in a statement Nov. 9 that about 20 percent of the 260 patients affected — up from their initial finding of 206 patients — had radiation exposure to the lens of their eyes. The hospital sent letters to those affected offering to pay for the treatment of any health problem caused by the overdose, and informing them that the exposure could put them at risk of developing cataracts sooner. Hospital officials say the incident, caused by an incorrect reset of the CT scanning machine, was “completely unacceptable to all of us.”
L.A. Clippers Owner Agrees to Pay $2.73M
owner and real estate mogul Donald Sterling has agreed to pay a record $2.73 million to settle allegations by the government that he refused to rent apartments to Hispanics, blacks and to families with children, the Justice Department announced Nov. 2. The Justice Department sued Sterling in August 2006 for allegations of housing discrimination in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles. Other defendants were Sterling’s wife, Rochelle, and the Sterling Family Trust. The defendants allegedly made statements to employees indicating that African Americans and Hispanics were not desirable tenants. Court filings indicated that Sterling rented to fewer blacks and Hispanics in Koreatown than would be expected based on demographics, according to the Justice Department. In settling the lawsuit, however, the defendants denied any liability. Sterling manages 119 apartment buildings with more than 5,000 apartment units in L.A. County.
(AP) — Los Angeles Clippers
See BRIEFS, page 4
L.A. WATTS TIMES
November 12, 2009
OPINION EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON
The Senate, Not the House, is the Name of the Game on Health Care Reform President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, key House and Senate Democrats and Republicans, and most importantly, the major pharmaceutical companies and private insurers know one thing. They’ve known it from the start of the health care debate. And that one thing is that the Senate, not the House, will decide what, if any, health care reform plan is finally approved. The pharmaceutical companies and private insurers have repeatedly and forcefully made it clear that they flatly reject a true public option and any enforced restrictions of their right to charge whatever the freight will carry for health care. They also made it abundantly clear that they’ll only accept a bill that requires millions to be covered by them at government (taxpayers’) expense and that slaps penalties on those who refuse to go along with it. The full enactment of the main provisions of whatever health care bill is passed won’t take place for nearly another decade and that gives private insurers time to hike prices to cover any added costs in policy and coverage changes they must make under reform. They’ve fielded an army of lobbyists and health insurer flacks and poured millions into ads and mailers to get their way. The Senate, and even more specifically, the Senate Finance Committee, has been the target of the insurers’ relentless, prolonged, and welloiled campaign to get the most generous industry health care plan possible, or no plan at all. Their time, effort and money have been well-spent.
The finance committee quickly killed the public option, slapped penalties on non-buyers, and imposed no tough and enforced procedures to compel the private insurers to keep their bargain to insure everyone. It did not stamp on tight-cost containment measures to ensure that private insurers keep their prices down. Senate leaders did not raise a peep at the crude, naked blackmail threat by America’s Health Insurance Plans, the private health insurer’s industry group. It publicly waved around a study it commissioned that claimed that private insurers would have to sharply increase the prices families would pay if the House version of the health care reform plan passed. The actual House vote is far from the great victory that Pelosi and Democratic leaders declared. The Democrats had a crushing majority, had poll after poll that showed the public wants a real public option and full affordable health coverage for all and no cuts in Medicare services (the cuts are in the House and Senate bills). Yet, the House bill still barely squeaked through, and only after Pelosi and other House liberals shamefully backpedaled and excised abortion coverage from the bill. This all guaranteed that the resistance to the most liberal provisions of the House bill will be even more ferocious in the Senate. Even if none of these factors came into play in the Senate, it still more often than not has been the graveyard for House-passed legislation that the Senate considers too liberal, too pro-labor, too expansive, too costly, and too non-industry friendly.
In the past couple of years, the Senate has killed House-passed legislation on tougher energy standards, increased education spending, House amendments on Iraq and Afghanistan troop withdrawal and decreased war spending, and immigration and major banking reforms. For years, it bottled up the House-passed expanded hate-crimes bill. Industry groups dead set against the House bill have one more trump card, and that’s the conference committees. The Senate can amend, change the language, or red-pencilout anything in a House bill. It then tosses it back to the House to amend, change the language or excise things that the Senate wants tossed out. The conference committee negotiations on controversial legislation are long, tedious and drawn out. When or even if agreement is ever reached, it then goes back to both the full body of the House and Senate for a vote. There’s no time frame for completion for any of this. Nor is there any requirement that the Senate takes a final vote. This was the case with other pieces of “landmark” bills the House passed. The House vote on health care reform was historic only in that one body of Congress took the hotly contested first big step toward reform. The Senate hasn’t spoken. And it, not the House, is the name of the game on health care reform. Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, “The Hutchinson Report,” can be heard in Los Angeles, Fridays on KTYM Radio 1460 AM, and streamed live nationally on ktym.com.
Sound and Fury Signifying... BY MAYA RUPERT CONTRIBUTING WRITER
If I have to sit through one more progress report on Barack Obama’s presidency so far, I’m going to relinquish my citizenship and move to one of those totalitarian countries where they don’t have elections and are therefore spared the constant analysis of election news teams. Between the anniversary of Obama’s election, the recent elections on the East Coast, and the holiday season approaching, it seems I can’t read a paper without being encouraged to take a look back at this year and take stock. It’s become annoying. Suddenly, everything we do and say, no matter how localized or isolated, seems to have a larger meaning that can provide insight to our true feelings about the direction of the country. Listen, I like self-examination as much as the next person (I could do without it, but I play along on New Years so I can drink champagne), but the national dissection of all of our actions — great and small — has gotten a little insane. And when I say “a little” I’m being charitable.
The Democrats lost a Virginia gubernatorial election? We hate Obama! The tea partiers lost the New York 23rd Congressional District race? We love Obama! Last month I paid down debt instead of buying a new purse? The stimulus package failed! I understand the impulse to assume there is a method to our madness, but that ignores the very simple truth that often times there is not. Frankly, sometimes we do things that don’t make any sense. And pundits need to stop trying to find order in our randomness and just learn to love us for our randomness. Do we contradict ourselves? So we contradict ourselves. Give us a break. Not everything happens for a reason. The fact of the matter is that we’re a nation of people often at odds with itself. We’re the people who wanted Carrie Prejean dethroned for not supporting gay marriage while we simultaneously voted to not support gay marriage. We’re the people who elected a Democrat and vilify him every time he gets too “Democraty.”
T h i s i s n ’t new — we’ve always been prone to act in politically irrational ways. Remember nine years ago when we elected George W. Bush Maya Rupert over Al Gore? The narrative was that people voted for the person we would have most wanted to have a beer with, rather than the person most well-equipped to lead the country. I just don’t buy that in nine years we’ve gone from being unable to effectively distinguish between selecting a fraternity brother and selecting a president, to an electorate of covert political operatives who understand how minor elections seamlessly impact larger ones. I think it’s more likely that cable news gets higher ratings when there is drama surrounding politics — and overanalyzing Obama’s first anniversary and the symbolism of the recent elections as a referendum on his presidency makes a good story. See RUPERT, page 9
Veterans Day is for Ordinary People Accomplishing the Extraordinary BY CLARENCE E. HILL
When then-Gov. Ronald Reagan introduced returning prisoner-ofwar John McCain at a speaking engagement in 1974, the future president asked, “Where do we find such men?” He was speaking of many veterans, when he answered: We find them in our streets, in the office, the shops and the working places of our country and on the farms. In other words, Reagan was referring to ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things. And it isn’t just the men. Army Spc. Monica Brown was still a teenager when she went on a routine patrol as a medic in Afghanistan in 2007. Caught under insurgent fire in Paktika Province, she and her platoon sergeant ran a few hundred yards toward a burning Humvee. Dodging rounds by only inches, Brown helped pull injured soldiers from the vehicle and rendered life-saving first aid. For her actions, she was awarded a Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest combat decoration. When she enlisted at age 17, the native of Lake Jackson, Texas, had hopes of becoming an X-ray technician, but the Army convinced her that being a medic would offer her the greatest opportunity to help her fellow soldiers. But to credit the Monica Browns and other brave heroes in our military with helping only their comrades is short-sighted. They are helping us. It is America, not America’s military, that al-Qaida and other terrorists have declared war on. Fewer than 10 percent of Americans can claim the title “military veteran,” and what a list of accomplishments can those 10 percent claim. From defeating communism, fascism and imperialism to keeping the peace during the Cold War and battling terrorism today,
America owes a debt to her veterans that can never be fully repaid. Historians have said that Dwight Eisenhower was prouder of being a sol- Clarence E. Hill dier than he was of being president. While relatively few veterans reach the rank of general, pride in one’s military service is a bond shared by nearly all who have served. The pride is on display on every obituary page in the country, where military service — regardless of how many decades have passed and subsequent achievements reached — is mentioned with the death notice of nearly every deceased veteran. Can any CEO or distinguished Ivy League graduate truly claim to have more responsibility than the 20-year-old squad leader walking a patrol in Afghanistan or Iraq? While the successful real estate mogul may have sold hundreds of homes and raised a wonderful family, what single accomplishment tops the decisive actions he took during the siege of Khe Sanh, which saved the lives of several of his fellow Marines? As leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization, it is my job to remember the brave men and women who have worn the uniform of the U.S. military. The preamble to the constitution of The American Legion calls on us to “preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars.” But those who have not served, in fact, all Americans, should honor the patriots who have. The American Legion supports our heroes through programs such as Heroes to Hometowns, Operation Comfort Warriors, and See VETERANS DAY, page 11
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November 12, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
BUSINESS A PIONEER — The Brotherhood Crusade’s 2009 Bremond-Bakewell “Pioneer of African American Achievement Award Dinner” was held Nov. 6 at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. This year’s honoree was CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien. Pictured: Danny Bakewell Sr., board chair of the Brotherhood Crusade, Charisse BremondWeaver, Brotherhood Crusade president and CEO, and O’Brien.
BIZSHORTS Council Moves to Reconvene Business Tax Advisory Committee (Lacity.org) — The Los Angeles City Council unanimously adopted a motion to reconvene the Business Tax Advisory Committee (BTAC) Nov. 4. The committee will review and recommend reforms to the city’s business tax program. The new BTAC will be comprised of nine members, and they are expected to be selected within the next 30 days and will meet for no more than 18 months.
IRS Seeks 9,400 SoCal Taxpayers for Unpaid Refunds Photo by BILL JONES
When Unemployment Last Hit 10 Percent BY CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER AP ECONOMICS WRITER
WASHINGTON (AP) — The last time unemployment climbed past 10 percent, “The A-Team” was one of the top 10 TV shows and Michael Jackson was about to release “Thriller.” Much has changed since the jobless rate hit 10.1 percent in September 1982, including the composition of the nation’s labor force. American workers are now older, more educated and more Latino. The elderly are more likely to be working. Fewer teenagers are in the work force. After the last time the unemployment rate entered double digits, it stayed there for several months, through June 1983. By the time the rate got above the 10 percent mark again — hitting 10.2 percent last month — the proportion of workers employed in health care and education had nearly doubled since 1982, and manufacturing employment had shrunk by more than half. Lawyers make up a bigger slice of the work force now. So do people who work in restaurants, hotels, and other parts of the leisure and hospitality industry. Here, by the numbers, are some other ways the work force has changed since September 1982: More People, More Workers • 110.7 million: Size of the work force in September 1982 • 154 million: Size of the work force in October 2009 The “He-cession” • 10.7 percent: Adult male unemployment rate in October 2009 • 8.1 percent: Adult female unemployment rate in October 2009 • 9.5 percent: Adult male unemployment rate in September 1982 • 8.4 percent: Adult female unemployment rate in September 1982 • 23.6 percent: Teenage unemployment rate in September 1982. • 27.6 percent: Teenage unemployment rate in October 2009 Analysis: The greater disparity between men and women in this recession reflects the heavy impact of layoffs in male-dominated fields, such as construction and manufacturing. Industries with higher female employment, namely education and
health care, have actually added jobs during the recession. Education Matters ... • 15.5 percent: Unemployment rate in October 2009 for those without a high school diploma • 11.2 percent: Rate for high school graduates • 4.7 percent: Rate for college graduates • 3 percent: Unemployment rate in March 1982 for college graduates (at the time, figure was reported once a year) ... But is No Guarantee • 6.8 percent: Proportion of unemployed with college degree in September 1982 • 14.7 percent: Proportion in October 2009 Analysis: College graduates still have much lower jobless rates than those with less education, but they are more likely to be unemployed than in 1982. Job cuts in the financial industry and in high-skilled manufacturing, such as the aerospace industry, have caught up with them, according to Gary Burtless, an economist at the Brookings Institution. And companies in all sectors are more willing to cut middle managers than in previous recessions, he added, which also affects college graduates. Longer Joblessness • 16.6 weeks: Average length of unemployment in September 1982 • 26.9 weeks: Average length in October 2009, a record Analysis: More than a third of the jobless in October were unemployed for six months or more, compared with less than 18 percent in September 1982. One reason is that layoffs were more likely to be temporary back then, as manufacturers furloughed workers until demand returned. But last month only 10.9 percent of the unemployed were on temporary layoff, compared with 22.2 percent in 1982. African American Unemployment Down • 15.7 percent: Black unemployment in October 2009 • 19.7 percent: The rate in September 1982 Analysis: While unemployment among African Americans is higher than the nationwide rate, it is much lower than in 1982. That reflects both good and bad trends, according to
Undeliverable refund checks in Los Angeles, Imperial, Riverside, Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino counties amount to about $10.2 million owed to taxpayers. Taxpayers can update their addresses and check the status of a refund by visiting the “Where’s My Refund?” section of www.irs.gov, or by calling 1 (800) 829-1954. The IRS says it is looking for 107,831 taxpayers nationwide who are owed about $124 million in refunds.
Social Security Planning Workshop to Take Place This Weekend
(AP) — The Internal Revenue Service is seeking nearly 9,400 taxpayers for undeliverable tax refunds. The refund checks were returned to the IRS by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors.
Certified financial planner Percy E. Bolton will present “Social Security Planning for Boomers: What Everyone Needs to Know!” Nov. 14, 10 to 11 a.m., at 1127 E. Green St., Pasadena. Given the potential of Social
Roderick Harrison, a senior research scientist at Howard University. On the positive side, there is a much larger black professional middle class that is less subject to layoffs than was the case 26 years ago, he said. But on the negative side, more African American men have dropped out of the labor force after giving up looking for work, Harrison said — that means they aren’t reflected in the unemployment statistics.
Highest Unemployment States, September 1982 • Michigan: 15.8 percent • West Virginia: 15.6 percent • Alabama: 13.8 percent • Ohio: 13.1 percent • Illinois: 12.2 percent Highest Unemployment States, September 2009 • Michigan: 15.3 percent • Nevada: 13.3 percent • Rhode Island: 13 percent
Security benefits over a person’s lifetime, the workshop could serve an asset to maximize Social Security benefits. This workshop is designed to help others take their benefits seriously. In 2009, the maximum benefit for a person turning full retirement age is $2,323 per month, Bolton reports. If that person lives for 30 more years, assuming an annual cost-of-living adjustment of 2.8 percent, he will collect more than $1.3 million in benefits. Bolton has been selected for inclusion in the Consumers’Research Council of America’s “Guide to America’s Top Financial Planners.” He’s also been named to the Worth Magazine list of the top 250 Best Financial Advisors several times. To register for the workshop, contact (866) 610-5559. Admission is free. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.percybolton.com. • California: 12.2 percent • South Carolina: 11.6 percent Analysis: Manufacturers in the rust belt were hit particularly hard in the early 1980s, putting Midwestern states such as Michigan, Ohio and Illinois in the top five. While Michigan again has the nation’s highest unemployment today, states like Nevada and California are suffering from the housing bubble.
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L.A. WATTS TIMES
November 12, 2009
COMMUNITY BRIEFS Continued from page 1
THE STATE Earmarks Fill Calif. Water Bond SACRAMENTO (AP) — An $11.1 billion water bond approved last week by California lawmakers is filled with special interest earmarks that reward legislative districts in nearly every corner of the state, from $20 million for economic development in a rural northern county to $10 million to a University of California climate change institute. An Associated Press review found dozens of projects that were injected into the bond bill to secure enough votes to get it passed. The projects will add tens of millions of dollars to the interest taxpayers will have to pay on the bond if voters approve it next year. Many of the projects are only peripherally related to the purpose of the legislative package, which is intended to increase California’s water supply and restore the ecologically fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. For example, $30 million was earmarked to the state Department of Parks and Recreation for grants for
watershed education facilities. Another $20 million is set aside for the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, which manages land for recreation and wildlife and is the Los Angeles district represented by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass. In the final days of negotiations, lawmakers in both chambers padded the bond bill with an additional $1.7 billion, despite previous statements by legislative leaders that the state could not afford such a large bond.
COMMUNITY MEETINGS, FORUMS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS New Pocket Park to Watts Neighborhood Council will include Tony Wallace and church pastors Ron and Irma be Made in Watts to Honor Senior Citizens Roughly 5,000 square feet of vacant city-owned land was secured Nov. 6 for the development of a pocket park at the intersection of East 115th Street and Arvella Grigsby Place in Watts. The park will be developed with $25,000 in beautification grant funds, which have been awarded to the Watts Neighborhood Council. The park will be named Grigsby Park in honor of Mrs. Arvella Grigsby, who has been a community leader in South Los Angeles for more than 40 years. Her efforts have included working for the Westminster Neighborhood Association for 22 years; volunteering with youth groups and organizing the first parents’ club in the Jordan Downs housing development; and being an active member of the Watts Gang Task Force. The new park has an expected completion date of Spring 2010.
THE NATION Sniper John Allen Muhammad Executed JARRATT, Va. — The mastermind of the 2002 sniper attacks that killed 10 in the Washington, D.C., region , John Allen Muhammad, died by lethal injection at 9:11 p.m. Nov. 10 at Greensville Correctional Center.
cut grass or pump gas. His teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, was sentenced to life in prison. Prison spokesman Larry Traylor says Muhammad had no final words. Virginia’s Gov. Tim Kaine had refused to spare the life of Muhammad by granting clemency. Muhammad’s attorneys had asked
John Allen Muhammad
Facts Nov. 12, 1775 Gen. George Washington issues an order forbidding recruiting officers to enlist black soldiers. Source: blackfacts.com
Muhammad was executed for killing Dean Harold Meyers at a gas station during a three-week spree in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., that spread such fear that people were reluctant to go shopping,
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On Nov. 21 at 6 p.m., the Watts Neighborhood Council will host a black and white gala to honor outstanding seniors in its community at the Watts Senior Citizen Center, 1657 E. Century Blvd., Los Angeles. Many dignitaries have been invited to offer well wishes to the honorees, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Information: Henry Broomfield, (323) 563-9744.
Harvest Church to Present Crusade Los Angeles Harvest Church will present the Wildfire Evangelism Crusade 2009, Nov. 18 to 20, 7 p.m., nightly. The event will feature worship, sermons and prayer. Speakers Kaine to commute his sentence to life in prison because they said he was severely mentally ill.
CIA Commercials to Recruit U.S. Arabs, Iranians DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — The CIA plans a Detroit-area premiere for two TV commercials aimed at recruiting Arab- and IranianAmericans. The private screening will be held Nov. 18 in Dearborn, the heart of Michigan’s large Middle Eastern community. The commercials are part of a major outreach effort by the CIA that has included a high-profile visit to Dearborn in September by CIA Director Leon Panetta. He urged Arab-American and Muslim leaders to join efforts to reduce the threat of terrorism in the United States. The agency has a five-year plan to boost fluency in Arabic and other languages deemed critical to its work. Panetta wants to raise foreign language proficiency inside the CIA from less than a third to at least
Lynese Black. Harvest Church is at 3010 W. 48th St., Los Angeles. Information: (323) 290-1100.
Gold Line Offers Free Rides, Festivities to Celebrate Opening Free rides from one end of the Gold Line to the other have been slated for Nov. 15 from the beginning of service to the end of service. The celebration of the Edward R. Roybal Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension will include several events along the alignment, which travels from Pasadena to East Los Angeles. Celebrations will take place at four locations: the East LA Civic Center Station; Mariachi Plaza; Little Tokyo/Arts District; and Union Station. The various festivities will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information: www.metro.net. half of all analysts and intelligence operatives.
THE DIASPORA Chinese Premier Pledges Funds, Aid to Africa SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt (AP) — China’s premier on Nov. 8 pledged $10 billion in new lowinterest loans to African nations over three years, offering the beleaguered continent sorely needed cash while dismissing criticism that Beijing’s motives in Africa are far from altruistic. See BRIEFS, page 9
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November 12, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
WHAT’S GOING ON? Deadline for receipt of What’s Going On listings is Friday, 12 p.m., at least two weeks prior to activity. Fax to: (213) 251-5720, e-mail us at email@example.com or mail to: L.A. Watts Times, 3540 Wilshire Blvd., PH3, Los Angeles, CA 90010. THE HUTCHINSON REPORT — L.A. Watts Times columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson, currently heard Fridays at 9:30 a.m. on KTYM Radio 1460 AM, can now be heard Saturdays, noon to 1 p.m., on KPFK Radio 90.7 FM. Hutchinson will discuss issues featured in his weekly L.A. Watts Times column and much more. The Hutchinson Report will be a weekly locally and nationally focused, caller-driven news, public affairs and talk show, featuring local and national business leaders, elected officials, and community activists. Information: (323) 383-6145. FARMERS’ MARKET — The Crenshaw Farmers’ Market, formerly located in Leimert Park Village, will hold a ribbon cutting for its new location at 3650 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Los Angeles, on Nov. 14, 10 a.m. The farmers’ market will now take place in the parking lot in front of Wells Fargo Bank and the former home of the Sizzler restaurant. The farmers’ market is open year-round, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. WALK/RACE — Caribbean Sounds Race is sponsoring a 5K
walk/10K race to raise funds for Sarcoidosis research. The race will take place Nov. 22, 8 a.m., at Kenneth Hahn Park, 4100 La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. All levels of participants are encouraged to attend this Caribbean-themed event that will include music by Peter Tosh and themed mile markers. There will be cash prizes and other items for the winners, including gift cards, certificates and discounts for stores and restaurants, and more. Registration is $38 online by Nov. 20. Discounted online registration for L.A. Watts Times readers by Nov. 15 is $30 with the discount code LAWT. Information: (202) 262-8267, racedirector@ caribbean soundsrace.com. SANKOFA’S WORD — The community is invited to participate in an evening of spoken word Nov. 18, 10:30 p.m., at the 27th Street Bakery, 4308 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles. There will be an open mic and Nappy Tongue Poets Sadiki Bakari and Lorenzo will also perform. Bakari’s newest book, “Liberation Song,” will also be available. This event is free, but a love offering will be accepted. Vegan food and visual arts will be available. Information: (323) 5173222, SanKofa39Word@yahoo.com. FIGHTIN’ WORDS — A monthly fundraiser for the October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, this open mic spoken word event will
take place Nov. 12, 8 to 10:30 p.m., at Chuco’s Justice Center, 1137 E. Redondo Blvd., Inglewood. Attendees are invited to “fight the power, not each other.” The event will be hosted by Aidge34 of the Aesthetics Crew, with special guests Rebels to the Grain, Sherman Austin, Sacrifice and Lumis, and sounds provided by DJ Starchild from Divine Forces Radio. There is a $5 donation fee, but no one will be turned away. Information: (323) 235-4243, freelanow@ yahoo.com. TOWNHALL MEETING — Easter Seals Southern California Disability Services is sponsoring the “Advancing Futures For Adults with Autism” town hall meeting Nov. 13, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Grand Long Beach Event Center, 4101 E. Willow St., Long Beach. This meeting is one of 16 nationwide, linking families, service providers, elected officials, community members and others via Web cast to focus on the demand for effective services for people with autism. Information: www.southerncal.easterseals.com. INDYMEDIA ANNIVERSARY — The Los Angeles Independent Media Center will celebrate 10 years of media activism Nov. 14, noon to 10:30 p.m., at 1450 E. 6th St., Los Angeles. There will be workshops, films, live bands and music, dancing, spoken word and more.
Plastic grocery bags
All clean film plastic
City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works
Bureau of Sanitation
information? call (800) 773-2489
‘GIDDYUP’ — The Bill Pickett Invitational Championship Finals Rodeo was held Nov. 7 and 8 at the Industry Hills Expo Center in the City of Industry. Touring from April through November with events such as “Bull Doggin’ ” and “Ladies Barrel Racin,’ ” the rodeo is in its 26th year in 2009. Pictured (top): Actress Sonya Maddox-Upchurch and husband, guitarist Phil Upchurch; songstress Deniece Williams; Rodeo CoGrand Marshal Reginald T. Dorsey. (Bottom) Actor and Rodeo Grand Marshal Glynn Turman and “relay race” team captain, actress LisaRaye McCoy.
Information: firstname.lastname@example.org. BOOKSIGNING — Jeffery Haas will sign copies of “The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther” at Leimert Park’s Eso Won Books on Nov. 18, 7 p.m., at 4331 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles. Haas was the attorney for the plaintiffs in the civil suit against the Illinois state attorney who headed the raid in which Hampton and Mark Clark were murdered. Information: (323) 290-1048. WEB CONFERENCE — Home Instead Senior Care offices serving California have scheduled a free Web conference for family caregivers Nov. 19, 4 p.m., as part of National Family Caregivers Month. The conference, entitled “The Best
Photos by BILL JONES
Care for Your Parents: Senior Care Solutions and Potential Pitfalls,” is designed to help family caregivers plan for their loved ones’ care. Information: www.caregiverstress. com. NONTRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING — A “Feminist Salute to Native American Women” will honor the lives of indigenous women with stories, poetry and songs. This event will take place Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m., at Solidarity Hall, 2170 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles. A turkey dinner, with a vegetarian option, will be served at 6:30 p.m. for a $10 donation. This event is sponsored by Radical Women. Information: (323) 7326416, radicalwomenla@earthlink. net.
THE BIG BLUE BIN! Some things are just better in blue Now you can put all clean plastic and styrofoam items marked 1 through 7 into the Blue Container along with the usual items such as brown paper bags, cans/metal, aluminum, steel and tin, carboard, unwanted mail, mixed and colored paper, glass bottles and containers, magazines, metal coat hangers, newspapers and office paper.
Recycle the New Blues
As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure access to its programs, services and activities.
L.A. WATTS TIMES
November 12, 2009
ARTS & CULTURE SHORT TAKES THEATER
• “Lunch: The 8th Grade Bridge Project” will run at the Edison Theatre on Nov. 20 and 21 and Dec. 4 and 5 at 8 p.m., and Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. This play is based on the story of the Dominguez Bridge Theatre Co., which paid a visit to
• Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group draws from the movement languages of the blues, slave and spiritual cultures of Africans in the Americas and combines them with post-modern elements, plus Wilson’s own style, to create “post-African/Neo-Hoodoo Modern dance.” The group will perform its newest work, “The Good Dance-dakar/Brooklyn,” created jointly with African choreographer Andreya Ouamba, Nov. 20 and 21, 8 p.m., at UCLA Live at Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, on the campus of the University of California,
several South Bay middle schools this summer to learn about the lives of local eighth graders. The children talked about the fact that everything interesting seems to happen at lunch. The Edison Theatre is part of the University Theatre Complex on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson. General admission tickets are $12, and admission costs $10 for students and seniors. Information: (310) 2433589.
Los Angeles. This piece examines the metaphoric, historic, and realworld parallels between the Mississippi and Congo rivers and their respective cultures. Tickets are $24
to $48 and $15 for UCLA students. Information: (310) 825-2101, www. uclalive.org. • The UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures Upstarts Series will present “Vestiges of Creation,” the first full-length stage Photo by ROY HURST
RIVER OF STRUGGLE — “The River Niger,” the first play by an African American to win a Tony award, tells the story of a Harlem family. The title comes from a poem comparing the struggle of African Americans to the river in West Africa. The play, presented by the Robey Theatre Co., runs until Dec. 13 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. Pictured (left to right): Alex Morris, Margaret Avery, Ben Guillory and Dane Diamond.
Margaret Avery is a Classic work in three years by Los Angelesbased dance theater artist Michael Sakamoto. This event will take place Nov. 20 and 21, 8 p.m., at the Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater, 120 Westwood Plaza, on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $8 for students and are available through the UCLA Central Ticket Office. Sakamoto is an interdisciplinary artist active in theater, dance, performance, media art and photography. Combining avant-garde theater, contemporary dance, and conceptual performance, “Vestiges of Creation” engages viewers in a show that calls itself into question. Information: (310) 825-2101, www.cto.ucla.edu, www.michaelsakamoto.com. See SHORT TAKES, page 8
BY DARLENE DONLOE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Whether she’s on stage or filling up the silver screen, Margaret Avery is a classic. Spanning four decades, her body of work makes her one of a handful of top-shelf actresses in Hollywood. Although she’s enjoyed an extended and solid career, little is known about Avery, who won rave reviews and garnered an Academy Awards nomination for her 1985 portrayal of Shug Avery in Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple,” a movie adapted from Alice Walker’s haunting novel. Born in Oklahoma, Avery, who is divorced and has one daughter named Aisha, was raised in San Diego. Her first love was teaching, a career she pursued and excelled in, eventually working in the Los Angeles public school system. When the acting bug could no longer be ignored, she began to audition for commercials and stage productions, which led to television appearances on “Sanford and Son,” “The New Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Miami Vice,” “The Cosby Show” and several more. Her film career includes “Cool Breeze,” “Hell Up in Harlem,” “Which Way
Is Up?” and others. You could likely not hear Avery talk much about herself or her career. Her joy comes in doing the work and letting it speak for itself. But, when nudged to have a word, it’s very clear she loves acting. Up next for Avery is Joseph A. Walker’s Tony Award-winning, classic play “The River Niger,” a family drama set in Harlem, scheduled to open Nov. 13. The production, directed by Dwain A. Perry, reunites Avery with her “The Color Purple” co-star Ben Guillory, who played her husband in the drama. “The River Niger” won the Tony Award in 1974, making history as the first play written by an African American writer to win the Tony. I recently spoke to Avery about her life, career and new show. LAWT: The River Niger is a classic play. Is there pressure when you’re doing a classic and do you approach the work differently? MA: No, there isn’t more pressure. You always want to do your personal best. LAWT: You play Mattie, the matriarch of the family. The cadence in the dialogue is unique. How did you develop her? See ‘THE RIVER NIGER’, page 7
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November 12, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
ARTS & CULTURE
Actor Terry Crews
2009 Soul Train Award honoree Chaka Khan
The 2009 Soul Train Awards were held Nov. 3 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Michael Jackson, who holds the record for the most Soul Train awards won, was posthumously awarded the special Entertainer of the Year award. Additionally, this year Chaka Khan, Charlie Wilson, L.A. Reid and Kenny “Baby Face” Edmonds were honored for their careers and musical influences. The event will premiere simultaneously on the new BET spin-off channel Centric and on BET Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. ET.
Actor Lance Gross
Actor and comedian Tommy Davidson as “Bootsy Collins” and William “Bootsy” Collins
Xernona Clayton, president and CEO, The Trumpet Awards
Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam
Ed and Lisa Wu Hartwell (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”)
2009 Soul Train Award honoree Charlie Wilson of the GAP Band
2009 Soul Train Award co-hosts Terrence Howard and Taraji Henson
hours alone at home. I would have these ‘THE RIVER NIGER’ spend imaginary conversations with people. Today, Continued from page 6
MA: There is a rhythm to ‘The River Niger’ dialogue. … You need to say things in one breath. If not, it messes up the rhythm. My challenge is, I speak slowly. I’m trying to speed up my rhythm. She is a very strong woman. As black women we have a history of being strong. I believe in footsteps in the sand. I like Mattie. I feel badly for her. She’s such a caregiver. LAWT: Talk about the tools needed for film, stage and television. MA: The tools for film and stage are different. I started off on stage. Ballet is the foundation for dance. Classical music is the foundation for jazz. Stage is the foundation for acting. If you can do stage you can do film. But not vice versa. It’s a different skill. For this show I’ve gone to a breathing coach. I have to breathe properly and do long sentences with one breath. That’s a tool, a skill. If I don’t stay on top of it, I lose it. LAWT: Do you have to like the character you’re playing? MA: Absolutely. I was approached by a writer about doing a role. I read the script and said, ‘I don’t like this woman.’ There was no redeeming value. Something needs to say why they are that way. Every human being wants to be loved and liked. Show different degrees of a person. You can’t sustain a character on one emotion. LAWT: Do you like the rehearsal process? MA: Absolutely. That’s where you develop the character, where you make mistakes. It feels good when you can feel the lines. You find places and ways of making memorized lines conversational. LAWT: Why did you want to be an actress? MA: I grew up as an only child. I used to
we call them monologues. Both my mom and dad worked. I wasn’t allowed to go outside and play with kids. To keep myself from getting scared, I’d keep the lights on and do things to entertain myself. LAWT: Do you read your reviews? MA: I don’t like to read reviews. Absolutely not. It doesn’t matter what they say. Just focus on the work. Do your character. I have to earn the applause every time. If I’m not nervous going on stage, then I’m nervous that I’m not getting nervous. LAWT: It looks like you’ll be working through the holidays. MA: I’m off during Thanksgiving holidays. I don’t like to do heavy roles during the holidays. It’s a time to see my granddaughter. Some actors can cut it off like that. I can’t. The theater is very consuming. I can cut if off doing film, but not theater. I like to enjoy my holidays; don’t like to be sad and don’t want anything heavy. LAWT: You do a lot of theater, but do you also go to a lot of plays? MA: Yes, but I don’t sit in the front row when I go see my friends. My head starts bobbing. I go to sleep. LAWT: Are you serious? MA: Yes. That’s why I told the director we gotta keep cutting this play because people get tired. We’re not used to sitting that long now with the age of the Internet. I have fallen asleep on some good stuff. If people fall asleep at this show, I’m going to forgive them. Presented by the Robey Theatre Co., “The River Niger” opens at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Theatre 4, 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles. Show times: 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays; and 3 p.m., Sundays, through Dec. 20. Cost: $20 to $30. Running time: 2 hours, 15 minutes. For information, call (213) 4890994, ext. 107 or visit thelatc.org.
America I AM is a touring museum exhibition celebrating nearly 500 years of African American contributions to the nation through artifacts, documents, multimedia, photos and music. Twelve galleries will take visitors through a journey from struggle to triumph to celebration. AT THE
700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90037 californiasciencecenter.org
NOW OPEN! For tickets and information, visit:
AmericaIAM.org Educational Partner
Delve deeper with related exhibitions, programs, and films at the California African American Museum, California Science Center, and the Skirball Cultural Center.
L.A. WATTS TIMES
November 12, 2009
EDUCATION NOTEBOOK Fourth Chicago Teen Charged in Videotaped Beating
Photo by BILL JONES
A GOOD CAUSE — The 6th Annual Millennium Momentum Foundation’s Scholarship Awards Ceremony and Dinner took place Nov. 6 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. The foundation seeks to increase the number of students and young professionals from various ethnic backgrounds in public policy and other public service-related fields. Pictured: Songstress Chante Moore and Tatyana Ali, National Spokeswoman for the Millennium Momentum Foundation.
SHORT TAKES Continued from page 6
BENEFITS • The “Partylite Candle Show” is a fundraiser for the “Pathways to Success” emergency and transitional housing program. This event will take place Nov. 14, noon to 5 p.m., at 6208 West Blvd., Los Angeles. Votive candle sets, designed to liquefy and release fragrance quickly, will be available for $20 per set, plus tax. There will also be raffles, giveaways and food. Information: (323) 7522813, ext. 223, www.ptyf.org. • A Place Called Home will hold its 2009 “Gala for the Children” Nov. 19, 6 p.m., at The Beverly Hilton, 9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. This year’s honorees are Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti, actor and
CORRIDOR Continued from page 1 improves opportunities for economic development, and enables Los Angeles to “catch up with other cities around the country in providing commuter rail service to the airport.” The proposed line would begin at Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards, going south along Crenshaw Boulevard through the area known as the Harbor Subdivision located near Florence Avenue, said Metro Project Manager Roderick Diaz. The line would then go southwest, running parallel to Florence Avenue, through the city of Inglewood. It would continue south to Aviation Boulevard and connect with the Green Line at Imperial Highway and Aviation. “From a transportation perspective, this is the first north-south rail project in the Metro system and will begin to bring congestion relief and air quality relief and mobility options to people on the west side of the county, relieving the 405 freeway and other notoriously congested streets,” Rosenfeld said. “It’s a great step forward.” He said that the hope is to eventually extend the line south to the cities of Torrance, Carson and perhaps Long Beach and San Pedro. It is projected that the line will have a ridership of 15,000 to 21,000 daily. The project is also expected to generate about 7,600 jobs during construction.
singer Tyrese Gibson, and entertainment industry executives Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu of Media Rights Capital. This event recognizes men and women who are role models to young people and have demonstrated a unique and inspiring dedication towards helping the youth of South Central Los Angeles realize their dreams. Information: (323) 904-4400, www. apch.org. • Blues singer and songwriter Kathy Leonardo will perform in a free concert Nov. 18, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., at Dannys Venice, 23 Windward Ave., Venice. Fifty percent of the sales of Leonardo’s CDs, “Here I Am” and “You Don’t Know,” will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club Of Venice. Leonardo will be joined onstage by jazz guitarist Vinnie Caggiano. Information: www. kathyleonardo.com.
According to Rosenfeld, 400 to 500 letters have been received from the community in support of the project. Among the supporters is the Los Angeles Urban League. “We certainly support the lightrail option just with regards to economic development and in terms of speed of transit. We do consider it a victory,” said Trevor Ware, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Urban League. “We are strongly in support of the below-grade options that have been spelled out.” The project calls for belowgrade separations, including one that would be north of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard — at 39th Street and Crenshaw Boulevard — and another one at Crenshaw and 48th Street, south of Vernon Avenue. Stations along the route would include one at Exposition and Crenshaw and others at Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards; Crenshaw and Slauson Avenue; Century Boulevard and Aviation; and more. There are also unresolved alignments that are being proposed, including a grade separation at Exposition and Crenshaw and a potential station at Vernon Avenue and Crenshaw, Diaz said. Manuel Criollo, an organizer for the Bus Riders Union, said trains are often another scheme for gentrification and said funds should be used to improve the overall transportation system as opposed to one corridor.
CHICAGO (AP) — A fourth teen is facing murder charges in the beating death of a Chicago high school honor student in September. The 14-year-old’s name isn’t being released. He was charged Nov. 5 as a juvenile and appeared the following day before a judge. Prosecutors allege the teen delivered the punch that rendered the 16-year-old Derrion Albert briefly unconscious. His attorney and family members refused to comment after the hearing. Three other teens have been indicted on murder charges in Albert’s Sept. 24 beating, which was caught on a cell phone camera. The footage shows him being hit with boards and kicked as he lay on a sidewalk. Albert’s death and Chicago youth violence have attracted attention from federal officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Teens Arrested in Shooting of Girl at High School (AP) — Two 16-year-old boys have been arrested for the murder of a 16-year-old girl who was shot following a homecoming football game in Long Beach. Long Beach police recently did not identify the suspects because they are minors. Police say the teens, both reputed gang members, will face charges connected with firing multiple rounds into a crowd during a brawl at Woodrow Wilson High School Oct. 30. Melody Ross, an honor student and track athlete, was shot. She died at a hospital. An 18-year-old man and a 20“It’s a complicated issue. We’re opposed … based on the real necessity of those who depend on the (public transportation) system,” he said. “The county is so large, job access to different areas is so wide, that if you’re going to invest … a billion dollars on one corridor rather than investing in countywide sys-
FAME CHURCH Continued from page 1 resignation letter that Lamothe allegedly submitted to Hunter on Sept. 10, 2008. “I am grateful to Rev. (Cecil) Murray and Pastor John for both their dynamic ministries, different and similar at the same time,” Lamothe wrote. Her letter came in advance of her beginning a full-time job with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. An online search of L.A. City Hall directory conducted Nov. 9 shows Lamothe is listed under field staff as the South L.A. area representative. Lamothe began working for FAME as director of memberships in August 1997 according to her complaint. In 1999 she was promoted to director of community services and to administrative assistant to the Rev. Cecil Murray in 2001. When Murray retired in 2004, she became Hunter’s executive assistant and in 2006 was promoted to executive minister. Lamothe’s suit alleges the sexual harassment began about April 2005,
year-old man were also struck and were hospitalized with non-lifethreatening injuries.
Sacramento Mayor Engaged to D.C. Schools Superintendent SACRAMENTO (AP) — Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and Washington schools superintendent Michelle Rhee are engaged. The former NBA star and the nationally known education reformer have regularly been seen together ever since Johnson launched his mayoral bid in early 2008. They attended President Barack Obama’s inauguration together. Rhee also served on the board of Johnson’s St. HOPE Public Schools from 2006 to 2007. The engagement was first reported Nov. 6 in The Washington Post’s Reliable Source blog, which said Rhee was seen at Democratic school reform event this week sporting a “pretty sparkly thing on her left hand.” The 44-year-old Johnson and 39-year-old Rhee say they have no immediate plans for a wedding and will continue their cross-country courtship.
professionally appraised at $6 million and will be used for scholarly research. The donation is the largest in-kind gift the university has ever received. The donated recordings are being preserved and will be housed in the school’s library.
Parents of Dead Spelman Student File Lawsuit
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gospel music singer Bobby Jones has donated an estimated $6 million worth of recordings to Tennessee State University, his alma mater. Jones has given about 30 years worth of recordings, along with exclusive rights, of his performances and the television programs he hosted and produced on the Black Entertainment Television cable network. The university said in a statement that the recordings have been
ATLANTA (AP) — The parents of a Spelman College student killed by a stray bullet as she walked on the Clark Atlanta University campus are suing the university for their daughter’s death. In a lawsuit filed Nov. 5 in Fulton County State Court, Constance Franklin and Clint Lynn of Kansas City, Mo., say Clark Atlanta did not take “necessary actions to properly secure its campus.” The lawsuit claims that lack of security directly led to the Sept. 3 shooting death of 19-year-old Jasmine Lynn. The lawsuit asks for an unspecified amount of money. Franklin said her daughter was so proud of getting into Spelman that she gave her acceptance letter to her mother as a Christmas gift in 2008. Lynn had a 3.8 GPA and was studying to be a clinical psychologist, according to the suit. “No amount of money could heal my pain,” Franklin said during a news conference in downtown Atlanta after the lawsuit was filed. “I don’t want another parent to have to stand here in my shoes. We have to save our babies.” Clark Atlanta spokesman Larry Calhoun declined comment. One person has been charged in Lynn’s shooting. The Clark Atlanta campus is more open than Spelman or Morehouse, which are gated.
tems like a bus system that can give you accessibility, then we think it can only recreate what we have right now, which is a lack of access to different parts of the county.” The proposal will go to Metro’s Planning and Programming Committee on Nov. 18 and to the Metro board on Dec. 10.
If approved, the environmental impact report and final impact statement should be completed by mid2010, and groundbreaking and construction could begin in 2012, Rosenfeld said. Construction should take about six years, and the line could open in 2016, he said.
when Hunter initiated a relationship involving “hugging and kissing.” Lamothe “resisted as best as she could, but Pastor John insisted that it was ‘God’s will’ that she comfort him,” according to her complaint. She “relented” and “repeatedly” provided Hunter with “sexual services upon his request, through about Sept. 28, 2008,” the complaint alleged. A FAME statement noted that, “Lamothe also claims that Pastor John gave her jewelry, which is no surprise to anyone. Pastor John routinely brings jewelry as gifts for church executives and ministers when he returns from his trips.” Lamothe’s suit also alleges that once she began work for Villaraigosa, “she never again allowed Pastor John to have sex with her, although he continued to pressure (Lamothe) to do so” until she was terminated on June 2, 2009. The Hunters and the church are bringing attention to the timing of Lamothe’s allegations, which come more than a year after the alleged resignation letter.
Lamothe “was well known and had many friends” at FAME, while “Pastor John was the newcomer,” according to the statement, in which church officials state that they, “simply can’t believe that instead of telling her friends she was being mistreated ... she kept quiet for years.” FAME has retained a public relations firm known for crisis communications, Sitrick and Co., a representative of which was at the press conference. Church officials would not answer questions at the conference. Voice messages left for Lamothe and her attorney on Nov. 9 weren’t returned by presstime.
Gospel’s Bobby Jones Donates Recordings Worth $6M
Facts Nov. 13, 1913 Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, the first person to perform open heart surgery, becomes the first African American elected to the American College of Surgeons. Source: blackfacts.com
November 12, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
HEALTH Black, Latino Women Break Their Silence on HIV/AIDS BY CHARLENE MUHAMMAD CONTRIBUTING WRITER
About 150 black and Latino women broke their silence about HIV/AIDS during an elegant and intimate discussion over dinner and dessert at the Japanese American Cultural Center on Nov. 5. Tony Wafford, National Health and Wellness Director for the National Action Network, hosted the invitation-only dinner. It featured professional women, community leaders, and expert activists who are working to educate and inform women and girls in their communities on the causes, implications, and treatments for HIV/AIDS. The dinner also served as the kickoff to “Breaking the Silence,” a daylong conference on how black and Latino women can take care of themselves while building healthy relationships with men. The conference was held at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science’s Keck Auditorium on Nov. 7. “One really important thing I always want people to know about this topic in particular is that although 1 out of 4 women in the U.S. are black and Latino, 4 out of 5 HIV cases are black and Latino. It doesn’t mean that we’re all infected or anything like that. It just means that among the HIV cases, we’re way overrepresented,” said Nina Harawa, Ph.D., a faculty member at Drew University and a convener of “Breaking the Silence.” Harawa said the more important theme of the event was that women become more honest with themselves about potential risks that occur within relationships. “Often times we might get caught up in whether someone has cheated on us, and we might get mad or think about that other person, but we don’t necessarily think about what this means for our health,” she said. Harawa moderated the evening’s panel discussion, which also included actress Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Divas Simply Singing!”); Camila Crespo and Tania Rodriguez (PALS for Health); Pam Yelsky (Women at Risk); Brenda Stone Browder
(author of “On the Up and Up,” which details how she survived being married to J.L. King, a man on the down low); and activist Yolanda Salinas (“Latinas Living with HIV/AIDS”). During their “Herstory of Women and HIV” presentation, Crespo and Rodriguez gave an HIV/AIDS infection timeline that documented how the rates among women grew. They provide training in language competency, cultural sensitivity and HIV information, but about four years ago they discovered that information exclusive to women and HIV was missing. “We became very frustrated because what we were seeing in the clinics and out in the community wasn’t what we were being taught,” Rodriguez said. “The Centers for Disease Control was reporting (in 1981) that nonhomosexual folks were not at apparent danger to contracting HIV, and actually during that time, AIDS was referred to as GRID, which was Gay Related Immune Deficiency, so that name in itself was already excluding women, because women didn’t consider themselves in this category, and therefore didn’t consider themselves being at risk.” From day one, women were there and from day one, women were not being talked about, they said, but by 1988 women were named the fastest-growing population with HIV. Ralph gave a rendition of R&B and jazz artist Diane Reeves’ “Endangered Species” before she admonished everyone to raise their voices louder against the AIDS pandemic. Five years ago, she began touring the country with a show she wrote called “Sometimes I Cry,” which highlights women’s real stories wrapped around HIV/AIDS, because there is much work to do, she said. “The change that we need to see around this disease begins with each and every one of us. Infected or affected, if you are living and breathing on this planet, it’s our issue,” Ralph said. “1 out of 4 young women across America, every color,
every race, every culture, has been diagnosed to be already infected with a sexually transmitted disease. When the CDC can make that announcement and we still remain silent, then we get the results that we deserve.” Wafford said there’s clearly common ground between black and Latino women, “because when we talk about the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the women’s issues are so parallel, so similar in that they don’t talk about it as our women don’t talk about it.” In response, he created NAN’s I Choose Life campaign, which is a five-year, five-state campaign that partners with social, civic and civil rights organizations and the medical community to address HIV/AIDS (STDs), diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, mental health and obesity, five major interrelated health concerns and disparities facing the African American community. “My goal is to engage and encourage black men to get involved because it’s up to us to rescue and reconstruct ourselves and save our sisters,” Wafford said. “We can’t claim to be fathers and husbands and protectors of our community and our families and our wives if we’re afraid to talk about HIV and AIDS.” Another way to reduce the number of infections among black and Latino women is to take the message directly to the youth, according to Joandrea Reynolds, founder of End to Begin-ings, a grassroots organization that provides education to female adolescents and youth. “We need to go to where they are and come down to their level. We need to speak to them and not at them at their schools, libraries, any public forums where we know the youth and adolescents will be because we know they are the future,” Reynolds said. “They are the ones that are going to be affected by this disease as it’s spreading so rapidly so we have to go find them ... We need to spread this message and on a consistent basis and not let it die ... it’s a never dying process.”
African nations that have relations with Beijing and would build 100 new clean energy projects for the continent. It would also gradually
institute a zero-tariff policy on 95 percent of goods from some of the poorest countries. All this would take place over three years.
BRIEFS Continued from page 4 Wen Jiabao’s promise at the start of a two-day China-Africa summit was warmly received by African leaders and officials, most of whose nations confront a miasma of despair further accentuated by a global financial crisis that is only now showing signs of abating. “The Chinese people cherish sincere friendship toward the African people, and China’s support to Africa’s development is concrete and real,” Wen said at a forum that attracted leaders such as Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir — who faces an international arrest warrant — and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. Both are heads of state out-of-favor with the West. Wen said China wants to help Africa build its financing capacity and would provide $10 billion in concessional loans — ones with generous terms. As part of an eight-point plan, he said China would also forgive government debts of the poorest
RUPERT Continued from page 2 I always thought that it would be a good thing if the news started getting the kind of ratings normally reserved for bad reality shows. The difference is, in my scenario, it would happen because we would develop a genuine interest in public affairs, not because politics would turn into a bad reality show, which is what it’s become. And cable news’ newfound popularity is contingent on creating a compelling story, regardless of whether that story bears a passing resemblance to reality. Obama has been in office less than a year, and the same people who were quick to point out that he hasn’t accomplished enough to win a Nobel Peace Prize would do well to
remember that it is still extremely early in his presidency as they declare it prematurely over. The truth is, we’re going to decide how we feel ultimately about Obama’s first term in 2012 if he runs for re-election. In the meantime, everyone should interpret our actions to mean precisely what they actually mean. Which, honestly, will sometimes be nothing. Maya Rupert is an attorney in downtown Los Angeles. She has previously contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as other publications. Her column explores issues of race, gender and politics and appears in the L.A. Watts Times regularly. She can be reached at email@example.com.
THE PULSE Big Question Mark: Fate of Health Care in Senate WASHINGTON (AP) — The glow from a health care triumph faded quickly for President Barack Obama Nov. 7 as Democrats realized the bill they fought so hard to pass in the House has nowhere to go in the Senate. The government health insurance plan included in the House bill is unacceptable to a few Democratic moderates who hold the balance of power in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., hinted that senators may not be able to finish health care this year. The stumbling block is the idea of the government competing with private insurers. Liberals may have to swallow hard and accept a deal without a public plan in order to keep the legislation alive. Both the House and Senate bills gradually would extend coverage to nearly all Americans by providing government subsidies to help pay premiums. The measures would bar insurers’ practices such as charging more to those in poor health or denying them coverage altogether. All Americans would be required to carry health insurance, either through an employer, a government plan or by purchasing it on their own. Both House and Senate would expand significantly the federal-state Medicaid health program for low-income people. The majority of people with employer-provided health insurance would not see changes.
Maxine Waters to Discuss Health Care at Breakfast The South Bay’s National Women’s Political Caucus will present “Breakfast with Congresswoman Maxine Waters” Nov. 14, 9:45 to 11 a.m., in the Breeders Cup Room Hollywood Park Race Casino, 3883 W. Century Blvd., Inglewood. Waters will discuss health care reform. Reservations are required. Information: Carmen E. Schaye, (310) 863-5358, carmenschaye@cox. net.
Seminar Set for Senior Caregivers Members of the business and local communities are invited to attend a free seminar designed to help working families balance their busy lives while caring for aging loved ones. “Balancing Careers and Aging Families — Care Options and Resources for Decision-Making” will be held Nov. 17, 3 to 5 p.m., at the Alpert Jewish Community Center, 3801 E. Willow St., Long Beach. Paul Hogan, co-author of the recently released book “Stages of Senior Care: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Best Decisions,” will be the keynote speaker. Hogan will review topics including: financial planning for senior care, being a caregiver to an elderly parent, insurance options and the state of senior care in America. Proceeds from the sales of the book will benefit the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation, which provides financial support of
activities designed to improve the quality of life of seniors. Information: (562) 596-4884.
Community Health and Fitness Expo Taking Place The Aetna AARP Magic @ 50 Community Health and Fitness Expo will take place Nov. 21, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Ebony Repertory Theatre in the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles. The event will feature Magic Johnson and is designed to inform, educate, and support the growing health needs of the minority community ages 40 to 64 years old. Information: Joyce Keith Hargrove, firstname.lastname@example.org, (424) 215-4717; Darlene Scaife, dscaife@ smsi-net.com, (213) 305-4442.
University of IllinoisChicago Gets $2 M to Study Sickle Cell Disease CHICAGO (AP) — The University of Illinois-Chicago has received a $2 million federal grant to research chronic pain experienced by patients with sickle cell disease. The school announced the grant and planned research on Nov. 3. The school says researchers will try to find out why sickle cell patients have chronic pain and try to develop medicines to treat the pain. Associate professor Z. Jim Wang is lead researcher for the four-year study. Wang says the neurobiology of pain in sickle cell disease is poorly understood. According to the university, more than 70,000 Americans are affected by sickle cell disease, which can damage lung tissue and cause excruciating pain and stroke.
Nurses Union Says Swine Flu Measures in Contracts (AP) — A California nurses union says it won’t strike after swine flu protections were written into new contracts with the state’s largest hospital system. The California Nurses Association had threatened a one-day strike at 32 Catholic Healthcare West hospitals if state and federal swine flu protection recommendations weren’t included in their contracts. Terms announced Nov. 2 include close monitoring of workplace safety conditions and broad availability of protective gear. The union complained about poor access to protective masks after a 51-year-old Sacramento nurse died in July after contracting swine flu. The contract, which must be ratified by union members, includes a 20 percent wage increase over four years.
Medical Marijuana Shops Abound in California SEBASTOPOL, Calif. (AP) — A surge in medical marijuana in California has left communities trying to regulate or ban the drug. In Los Angeles — the marijuana dispensary capital of the country — about 800 dispensaries are estimated to have opened despite a 2007 order halting new pot operations. See THE PULSE, page 11
L.A. WATTS TIMES
November 12, 2009
SPORTS BRAD PYE JR.
SPORTS BEAT Notes, quotes and things picked up on the run from coast-to-coast and all the stops in between and beyond. With a 7-2 report card, including the 14-9 win over Arizona State on Nov. 7, all eyes will be on USCâ€™s match against Stanford on Nov. 14. With a victory over Stanford (6-3, 52), the University of Southern California Trojans are sure to land a spot in a major bowl game. Injuries have spoiled tailback Marc Tylerâ€™s USC career. He recently had season-ending toe surgery. Tylerâ€™s the son of former UCLA All-American Wendell Tyler. UCLA is on the road Nov. 14 for a date with Washington State. Larry Drew II is expected to quarterback North Carolina to another championship. Heâ€™s the son of former L.A. Laker and assistant coach Larry Drew. Drew Jr. is presently an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks. North Carolina forward Ed Davisâ€™ dad, Terry Davis, played for 10 years in the NBA. Both Drew II and Ed Davis turned to their fathers for assistance in games. Washingtonâ€™s Lorenzo Romar is picked to become Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Florida Stateâ€™s Leonard Hilton is tabbed to win the same honor in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Ex-Fairfax High All-American Renardo Sidney is still waiting for NCAA clearance so he can play basketball at Mississippi State this
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season. The NCAA met with Sidneyâ€™s lawyer a few days ago to review additional records. And the beat continuesâ€Ś Ted Ginn Jr. killed the New York Jets with kickoff returns of 100 and 101 yards in the third quarter to pace the Miami Dolphins to a 30-25 victory. Alabamaâ€™s star running back, Mark Ingram, the son of the 1991 Super Bowl wide receiver star with the same name, could become the schoolâ€™s first Heisman Trophy winner. Going into the Nov. 7 game against Virginia, the Miami Hurricanesâ€™ Randy Shannon (No. 17) was the only black coach with a team rated among the top 25 in the nation. Remember the name Josh Freeman. Heâ€™s the All-American quarterback from Kansas State whoâ€™s set all kinds of records. Freeman got his first start Nov. 8 against Aaron Rodgers and his high-flying Green Bay Packers. Jim Caldwellâ€™s Indianapolis Colts won over Mike Singletaryâ€™s San Francisco 49ers, 18-14, recently. The Colts (now 8-0) and the New Orleans Saints (8-0) were the only unbeaten teams in the NFL, as of Nov. 11. The happiest black NFL head coach Nov. 8 was Tampa Bay Buccaneers Raheem Morris, who collected his first victory as an NFL coach in a 38-28 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Morris is Tampa Bay Bucsâ€™ second black
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