W E E K E N D E R
L.A. Watts Times Vol. XXX, No. 1264
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
RIES ~ It is amazing how a big-hearted person like you can button down to the detailed work when you’ve got the big picture still projecting over and over in your mind. Both the big picture and the details are important to you this week. Concentrate on both at the same time. Soul affirmation: Cooperation with others is the key to success for me this week. AURUS ~ Love is always a learning experience but this week, think back over past love affairs and be sensitive to the fact that there is a special truth you can discern. What you know about love can be used on someone rich and powerful this week. Matters of the heart and matters of the mind harmonize. Soul affirmation: I exercise to lower tension this week. EMINI ~ Thinking about what to do about your irritable lover? Make appointments that will create distance between you and those you are close to especially your sweetheart. Let anyone who wishes to fret be by his or herself. Spend time with yourself and find pleasant things to occupy your mind until this week passes. Soul affirmation: I love pressure as a test of how much I can master. ANCER ~ Take some time off for family matters. Work has occupied too much of your attention. Family matters are not most in need of your attention. Your attention is most in need of a focus on the emotional attachments that family relationships involve. Soul affirmation: The enjoyment of good food is high on my agenda this week. EO ~ Use a more diplomatic approach when you when make constructive comments to others. Your candid attitude is appreciated, but diplomacy will be the key to ironing out the wrinkles in a delicate situation. The financial woes that have been preoccupying your mind will soon be over. Feel good about the progress you've already made. Soul affirmation: True friendship is a mirror into which I look to see the beauty of my inner self. IRGO ~ Self-pity is not your style. It saps your energy and makes it hard for you to rise above whatever it is that has been bothering you. Do the usual: Consider the unfortunate sit-
Dec. 29 - Jan. 4
Inside This Edition
uation that arises this week as a learning opportunity. Learn well and move out into a brighter psychological space. Soul affirmation: With a positive spirit I co-create my week. IBRA ~ It’s time to let co-workers and bosses see your astounding ability to organize tasks and get a lot of things done with style and grace. You can dazzle colleagues this week because things will fall into place easily for you. Use your ease to do something important. Soul Affirmation: I become transparent. I let others see into my thoughts. CORPIO ~ Voice your desires to the universe this week! Articulate your thoughts through a song, a poem or a sonnet! You will cause a stir of stimulation and hope for those around you. Find a place of solace where you can meditate and be in harmony with your true self. Soul affirmation: I remain adaptable so I can deal with changing circumstances. AGITTARIUS ~ It’s a great week to tell somebody you are close to that you love them. Saying it aloud gives you energy and of course your designated adoree will be delighted! Keep the big picture in mind this week and you’ll feel completely buoyant! Soul affirmation: Charm is my middle name this week. APRICORN ~ Hardly anyone alive learns new skills in an instant so cut yourself some slack if you feel you’ve made a beginner’s mistake somewhere. Mistakes are part of the learning process that is called Life, so self-correct and proceed with happiness. Soul affirmation: This week family is the source of my joy. QUARIUS ~ A happy week is in store for sociable souls. Lots of friends and a party or two or three will keep your energy bright. Use caution while driving and watch for a pleasant surprise or two this week. Soul affirmation: Each week is a give of spirit. ISCES ~ Your sense of self is feeling unusually well-defined. And it is causing you to look as confident as the lion that you are. People will notice your regal bearing and noble outlook this week. Soul affirmation: This week is a gift that I deserve.
BY MIKE SCHNEIDER | AP
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — New autopsy details show a Florida A&M University student and band member whose death last month uncovered a hazing culture at the school had extensive bleeding in his back and right shoulder. The full autopsy released Wednesday shows Robert Champion suffered heavy bleeding in tissue under his skin and over his muscle in his back, upper chest and upper arm. He also had bruising on
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Obama announces emergency aid for Africa famine WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is announcing an additional $113 million in emergency aid to the Horn of Africa, where millions of people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are suffering through famine and drought. Tens of thousands have died. The new emergency relief assistance will go for food, health, shelter, water and other needs. It is on top of $870 million the U.S. already has provided. Obama said in a statement last Thursday that the “heartbreaking accounts” from the region “remind us of our common humanity and the need to reach out to people in need.”
The photo that ran with the “ ‘Sanford & Son’ actor Graham Brown dies at 87” article about the passing of actor Graham Brown was incorrect. The photo that was displayed was actually that of “Sanford & Son” actor Whitman Mayo, who passed away on May 22, 2001.
his chest, abrasions below his waist, vomit in his lungs, crushed fat tissue and a temperature of 102 degrees at the time attempts were made to revive him. The medical examiner's office released a synopsis of the autopsy report last week in which it concluded that the 26-year-old Champion's death was a homicide. The autopsy found that internal bleeding caused from blunt force trauma led to shock. State and local authorities are investigating the death.
Beverly Cook – Publisher, Managing Editor 1976 – 1993 Charles Cook – Publisher 1976 – 1998 Melanie Polk – Publisher 1998 – 2010
Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. ............Executive Publisher & Executive Editor Brenda Marsh Mitchell ..................................Executive Vice President Tracey Mitchell ......................................................................Controller Brandon I. Brooks ..................................................Co-Managing Editor Yussuf J. Simmonds ..............................................Co-Managing Editor Joy Childs ....................................................................Assistant Editor Bernard Lloyd ....................................................Director of Advertising Benjamin Samuels ....................................................Graphic Designer Chris Martin ..........................................................Production Designer
FAMU student had major bleeding in back, shoulder
January 1, 1863 President Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves in rebel states, with the exception of 13 parishes (including New Orleans) in Louisiana; 48 counties in West Virginia; and seven counties (including Norfolk) in Eastern Virginia. The proclamation did not apply to slaves in so-called border states.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
New Air Jordans cause shopping frenzy across US BY DOUG ESSER | AP SEATTLE (AP) — The release of Nike’s new Air Jordan basketball shoes caused a frenzy at stores across the U.S. Friday as scuffles broke out and police were brought in to stamp out unrest that nearly turned into riots in some places. Shoppers stood in long lines through the night to get their hands on a retro version of one of the most popular models of Air Jordans ever made. The fights were reminiscent of violence that broke out in the early 1990s on streets across
America as the shoes became popular targets for thieves. Disturbances were reported Friday at shopping centers from Washington state to Georgia. In suburban Seattle, police used pepper spray on about 20 customers who started fighting at the Westfield Southcenter mall. The crowd started gathering at four stores in the mall around midnight and had grown to more than 1,000 people by 4 a.m., when the stores opened, Tukwila Officer Mike Murphy said. “Around 3 (a.m.) there started to
AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, Todd Sumlin
Pleading with the crowd: A store employee acts the hordes of folks waiting to buy Nike’s newly released Air Jordan 11 Retro Concords to back up outside a Trax shoe store Charlotte, N.C. AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Danese Kenon
The culprit: Police were called in to control crowds of shoppers flocking Lafayette Square and Castleton Square malls in Indianapolis who were waiting to buy Nike’s retro Air Jordan shoes.
be some fighting and pushing among the customers,” he said. “Around 4, it started to get pretty unruly and officers sprayed pepper
spray on a few people who were fighting, and that seemed to do the trick to break them up.” Murphy said no injuries were
reported, although some people suffered cuts or scrapes from fights. An 18-year-old man was arrested for See AIR JORDAN, page 9
Mortgage Refinancing Today By Sean Banks, Union Bank, N.A.
Sean Banks Vice President and Branch Manager Hawthorne Branch 12801 S. Hawthorne Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90251 (310) 679-1156
With mortgage interest rates near record lows, many homeowners are considering refinancing. You may be wondering if this is an opportune time for you to refinance.
Before you decide to refinance, consider your goals: you may wish to secure a lower interest rate. Perhaps you would like to consolidate debt or convert an adjustable-rate to a fixedrate mortgage. This situation is especially relevant for homeowners wishing to avoid potentially higher payments when their adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) reset. Following are some other points to consider that may help you determine if refinancing is the right choice for you. Rates
In general, if you are able to reduce your interest rate by 1 percent, you may want to consider refinancing. However, if you have a jumbo loan, you may want to refinance if the rate is only .25 percent lower. A jumbo loan is an option for borrowers who have a loan amount that exceeds the limits set by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Your lender may provide you with the most up-to-date information on the current limits of jumbo loans since they can fluctuate and typically vary from state to state. There are many mortgage calculators found online that may also help. Equity
Before you decide to refinance your mortgage, you should verify how much equity you have established in your home. Having equity may place you in a position to obtain a more favorable loan rate.
Having a strong credit score—740 or higher— may help you achieve a lower interest rate (if your lender does risk-based pricing). If you are considering refinancing, it is recommended that you thoroughly review your credit report for any errors. There are several online services that can assist you with finding out your credit score, such as Experian.com and Equifax.com. Consumers can request a free copy of their credit report every 12 months. To receive your free credit report, you may visit www.annualcreditreport.com. Duration
To help recover the costs of refinancing, consider how long you will live in your current home. Refinancing involves fees for appraisals, title and closing costs and often includes points (an origination fee based on a percentage of your loan amount). If you do not plan to live in the home long enough to recoup these costs, refinancing may not be a sound option for you. Consulting your financial or tax advisor is recommended.
A lender that is invested in your relationship is likely to be devoted to helping you, even when times are tough. Since mortgage interest rates and loan options are continually changing, your banker can help keep you up to date and make recommendations. The foregoing article is intended to provide general information about mortgage refinancing and is not considered financial or tax advice from Union Bank. Please consult a financial or tax adviser. Sean Banks is a Vice President and Branch Manager for the Hawthorne branch of Union Bank. Headquartered in San Francisco, UnionBanCal Corporation is a financial holding company with assets of $84 billion at September 30, 2011. Its primary subsidiary, Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operated 404 full-service branches in California, Washington, Oregon and Texas, as well as two international offices, on September 30, 2011. UnionBanCal Corporation is a whollyowned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG, NYSE:MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations. Visit www.unionbank.com for more information.
Relationship with your lender
Once you make the decision to refinance your mortgage, the next step is to team up with a trusted lender. It is advisable to seek a lender focused on creating long-term relationships with clients.
©2011 Union Bank, N.A., Member FDIC
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Republican congressman rants against first lady’s “big butt” SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM THE AFRO-AMERICAN NEWSPAPER First lady Michelle Obama’s physical dimensions were the target of criticism by a Wisconsin Republican, who recently criticized the first lady’s healthy food initiative as unwarranted government intrusion. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (RWis.) issued an apology to the First Lady Dec. 22 in a handwritten note. The congressman’s spokeswoman declined to detail what the note said. Sensenbrenner was apologizing for saying Obama has a “big butt” Dec. 10 at a Wisconsin church bazaar, then repeating the reference to her posterior in a cellphone conversation that was overheard in a Washington area airport. “I regret my inappropriate com-
ment and I have sent a personal note to the First Lady apologizing," Sensenbrenner said in a statement Dec. 22. “She lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself,” Sensenbrenner was heard to say Dec. 21 in a Ronald ReaganNational Airport passenger lounge in what was described in FishBowlDC as a “very loud” cellphone conversation. At the church bazaar the outspoken GOP lawmaker, speaking to a group of church members, criticized her initiative on healthy food and exercise, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. He railed against the first lady’s healthy foods initiative when talking about projects by other first ladies. “And Michelle Obama, her project is obesity. And look at her big
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Object of an insult: Of first lady Michelle Obama, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said she has a “big butt” at a church bazaar earlier this month. He has since apologized butt,” one female church member who was present during the apparently spontaneous comments told the Journal-Sentinel. He said it is hypocritical of the First Lady to push healthy eating
Watch for trains on Metro Expo Line tracks.
dietary advice ... I'm trying to say that our first lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue or of a woman Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you,” Limbaugh said during one show. Congressman Sensenbrenner, who is a fan of shrimp and the cheese-flavored salty snack Cheetos, was referring to the first lady's healthy food initiative in his remarks, the spokeswoman said. “He doesn’t think the government should be telling Americans what to eat,” a spokeswoman for Sensenbrenner told MailOnline.co/uk.
Please remember to: > Obey all tra;c signals and warning devices. > Be alert at all times. Watch for a “TRAIN” signal. > Always push the button and wait for a “WALK” signal before entering the crosswalk. Never jaywalk across the tracks. > Never sit or stand on tracks. > Do not go around lowered gates. > Never make a left turn on a red arrow. This tra;c rule will be enforced by cameras at intersections. > Right turns are allowed while an Expo Line train is passing through, but may be restricted at certain intersections.
For more safety tips, visit metro.net/ridesafely.
12-0889jl ©2011 lacmta
Test trains are now running in preparation for the upcoming opening of the Metro Expo Line, the newest extension of the Metro Rail system. Trains will be moving in both directions on the tracks.
and exercise at the same time hamburgers and fries are served at the White House. Sensenbrenner’s rant echoes commentary by conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who singled out the first lady’s physical dimensions in criticizing her for traveling the country with her message about healthy eating, encouraging grocers to locate in underserved communities and urging the reversal of the nation’s growing obesity problem in Let’s Move!, an exercise program aimed at children. "The problem is — and dare I say this — it doesn't look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritionary,
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Object of an insult: Of first lady Michelle Obama, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said she has a “big butt” at a church bazaar earlier this month. He has since apologized
Thursday, December 29, 2011
California to stop towing unlicensed drivers BY ELLIOT SPAGAT | AP ESCONDIDO, California (AP) — Delfino Aldama was fixing a customer's brakes this month when his smartphone chimed with a text message that tipped him to a police checkpoint more than an hour before officers began stopping motorists. The self-employed auto mechanic frantically called friends with the location and drove an alternate route home. The Mexico native had reason to be alarmed: He does not have a driver's license because he is in the United States illegally, and it would cost about $1,400 to get his Nissan Frontier pickup back from the towing company if it got confiscated at the checkpoint. He has breathed a little easier since he began getting blast text messages two years ago from activists who scour streets to find checkpoints as they are being set up. The cat-and-mouse game ends Jan. 1 when a new law takes effect in California that prohibits police from impounding cars at sobriety checkpoints if a motorist’s only offense is being an unlicensed driver. Thousands of cars are towed each year in the state under those circumstances, hitting pocketbooks of illegal immigrants especially hard. When Aldama’s 1992 Honda Civic was towed from a checkpoint years ago, he quit his job frying chickens at a fast-food restaurant because he had no way to make the 40-mile (65-kilometer) round-trip to work. He abandoned the car rather than pay about $1,200 in fees. “A car is a necessity, it’s not a luxury,” said the 35-year-old Aldama, who lives in Escondido with his wife, who is a legal resident, and their 5-year-old son, a U.S. citizen. Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, a Los Angeles Democrat who tried unsuccessfully to restore driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants after California revoked the privilege in 1993, said he introduced the bill to ban towing after learning the notoriously corrupt city of Bell raked in big fees from unlicensed drivers at checkpoints. A sharp increase in federally funded sobriety checkpoints in California has fueled controversy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration paid for 2,553 checkpoints last year, which authorities say helps explain why deaths caused by drunken drivers dropped to an all-time low in the state. Police also ask for drivers’ licenses at the sobriety checkpoints. Supporters of the vehicle impounds say unlicensed drivers are also a roadside hazard and that the new law is misguided. “It’s a terrible law, really disappointing,” said Jim Maher, who sharply expanded checkpoints in Escondido after being named police chief in 2006. All but three U.S. states — New Mexico, Utah and Washington — deny driver's licenses to illegal
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
Starting Jan. 1, police in California can no longer impound vehicles from DUI checkpoints when the driver's only offense is driving without a license. immigrants but controversy over checkpoints has been strongest in California. Cedillo believes that’s because a 1995 state law has allowed police to impound vehicles from unlicensed drivers for 30 days, resulting in fees that can easily top $1,000. Towing practices vary widely across the state. San Francisco allows 20 minutes to find a licensed driver to claim a vehicle at a checkpoint. The Los Angeles Police Department eased rules on 30-day impounds in March. Checkpoints have divided Escondido, a city of 144,000 people near San Diego whose Latino population has surged in the last 30 years. Latinos moved into aging neighborhoods near downtown as newer subdivisions gradually spread to avocado orchards, vineyards and citrus groves. Nearly half the signs at a big strip mall near City Hall are in Spanish. Like Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and Farmers Branch, Texas, authorities in Escondido have tackled illegal immigration on their own. In 2006, the City Council voted to require landlords to check tenants’ immigration status but a federal judge blocked the ordinance and it never took effect. Last year, Escondido police forged an unusually close alliance with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has four agents at police headquarters to check the immigration status of people who are questioned at checkpoints or elsewhere. “It’s a never-ending battle,” said Councilman Ed Gallo, a transplant from New Jersey, who blames illegal immigration for overcrowded homes and schools. “We didn’t pay attention to it for 25 years and look what happened. It was a long, slow process.” Several residents and a labor union sued Escondido in state court this month to create City Council districts, a bid to increase Latino
representation. The lawsuit says the council has pursued “aggressive anti-immigrant policies that have inflamed racial tensions.” Maher said the partnership with ICE is aimed only at rooting out illegal immigrants who commit crimes
after arriving in the United States, including being previously deported. Those whose only offense is being in the country illegally won’t be bothered by his officers nor will any crime victims or witnesses. Police say they have turned over
670 people to ICE for immigration proceedings since the joint effort began in May 2010. Their most common offenses were previous convictions for driving under the influence and drugs, with lower See CHECKPOINTS, page 17
Thursday, December 29, 2011
As Iraq War ends, no parade for US troops in cards BY BEN NUCKOLS AND SAMANTHA GROSS | AP WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans probably will not be seeing a huge ticker-tape parade anytime soon for troops returning from Iraq, and it is not clear if veterans of
AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File
For now, celebrations for troops returning from the Iraqi War have been small-scale: a somber commemoration by President Barack Obama at Fort Bragg or hugs from families at military posts across the country. the nine-year campaign will ever enjoy the grand, flag-waving, red-
white-and-blue homecoming that the nation's fighting men and
women received after World War II and the Gulf War. Officials in New York and Washington say they would be happy to help stage a big celebration, but Pentagon officials say they haven’t been asked to plan one. Most welcome-homes have been smaller-scale: hugs from families at military posts across the country, a somber commemoration by President Barack Obama at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. With tens of thousands of U.S. troops still fighting a bloody war in
Afghanistan, anything that looks like a big victory celebration could be seen as unseemly and premature, some say. “It’s going to be a bit awkward to be celebrating too much, given how much there is going on and how much there will be going on in Afghanistan,” said Don Mrozek, a military history professor at Kansas State University. Two New York City councilmen, Republicans Vincent Ignizio See IRAQ WAR ENDS, page 18
AP Photo/Erich Schlegel, File
For now, celebrations for troops returning from the Iraqi War have been small-scale: hugs from families at military posts across the country or a somber commemoration by President Barack Obama at Fort Bragg.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
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Ex-SIU student sentenced to 5 years in threat case
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Occupy LA costs at least $2.3 million
BY JIM SUHR | AP
ple dead along with the gunman. Tognarelli ordered the terms to be EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — served at the same time, minus whatevAn aspiring rapper was sentenced er time Oduwole has already spent in Wednesday to five years in prison over jail. He rejected Oduwole’s requests for a 2007 money-demanding note that a new trial and release on bond pending threatened a Virginia Tech-like killing his appeals, saying he still sees spree, failing to convince a judge the Oduwole as a public threat. writing was innocent lyrics and other Oduwole was attending the Illinois musings. school's 13,000-student Edwardsville campus, northeast of St. Louis, when campus police found a piece of paper in his abandoned car, which they had impounded and was out of gas. The writing demanded payment to a PayPal account, threatening “if this account doesn’t reach $50,000 in the next 7 days, then a murderous rampage similar to the VT shooting will occur at another highly populated university. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!” While referencing the Virginia Tech massacre, the writing did not make any direct reference to targeting the Edwardsville campus. Even before the piece of paper was found in his car, Oduwole was being scrutinized by federal agents. A gun dealer had tipped them off earlier in the month that Oduwole appeared overly anxious to get four semiautomatic weapons — including an Uzi-like Mac 10 — that he had ordered. Prosecutors said in court AP Photo/Belleville News-Democrat, Derik Wednesday that the totality of Holtmann, File Olutosin Oduwole, on trial in October for those circumstances, along allegedly making a terrorist threat, was sen- with the loaded gun found in Oduwole’s apartment, constitenced last Wednesday to five years in prison. tuted a potential danger that He failed to convince the judge that the writ- could not be ignored. ings were innocent lyrics. “I’m having a hard time coming up with a scenario A barely audible Olutosin where that isn’t threatening serious Oduwole insisted in court that he “did harm,” prosecutor John Fischer argued, not mean to incite fear.” insisting that Oduwole be given a “That was never my intention. tough sentence that could dissuade othThat is not my character,” said the 26- ers from acting similarly. “Having a year-old rapper and former Southern loaded gun on campus is inappropriate, Illinois University student. The note regardless of the threat. The threat rises was found in his car on the college’s it to another level.” campus. Oduwole’s attorneys, as they had Madison County Circuit Judge at trial, countered that the “note” was Richard Tognarelli said jurors were “nothing more than a piece of scrap right when they convicted Oduwole in paper with private thoughts, the beginOctober of attempting to make a terror- ning of a song.” They said the writing ist threat, a felony. found crumpled in his abandoned car “The jury found that this was not a was never meant to be made public or song. They found it was a threat, and I shared. do not disagree with them,” the judge “Olutosin Oduwole was prosesaid of the case. cuted for his thoughts,” Jeffrey Oduwole stared blankly toward Urdangen argued on Oduwole’s Tognarelli when the judge rejected the behalf. “At the end of the day, judge, defense’s call for probation and ordered everything else being equal, I can what he described as “appropriate” honestly characterize this as a First prison time. The sentence was well Amendment train wreck.” short of the maximum 15-year term After Wednesday’s sentencing, prosecutors were seeking. Oduwole pleaded guilty to felony Tognarelli also sentenced Oduwole charges of theft and computer fraud to 364 days and a $1,000 fine on a related to his online sale of a gun he did related conviction of illegally having or not have, though he collected money storing a loaded pistol in his on-campus from the would-be buyer. Oduwole apartment the day he was arrested in was sentenced to 21/2 years of probation July 2007, just months after the on those charges, which will be served Virginia Tech rampage that left 32 peo- with the prison time.
Many wonder whether the city’s anti-Wall Street movement’s ends justify its million-dollar costs. LA’s involvement in the movement began Oct. 1. BY MICHAEL R. BLOOD AND NOAKI SCHWARTZ | AP LOS ANGELES (AP) — A preliminary report released Friday by the city administrative officer estimates the nearly two-month Occupy LA encampment at City Hall cost the budget-strapped city at least $2.3 million, but officials said the sum is expected to grow by the hundreds of thousands of dollars. City Administrative Officer Miguel A. Santana told The Associated Press his office requested the cost estimates from various city departments two weeks ago. The city attorney’s office has already said it expects its previously submitted $188,000 estimate to climb significantly. “This is based on a moment in time,” Santana said. “Obviously the numbers are going to grow.” The latest tab adds to costs tallied by cities nationwide that have been dealing with the anti-Wall Street movement. An AP survey of 18 nationwide cities through mid-November found that the protests had cost local taxpayers a total of at least $13 million. The Los Angeles report requested by the City Council includes an estimate of more than $1.6 million in overtime for police, the Department of General Services and the Office of Public Safety. But the report notes that the estimate does not include the cost of restoring City Hall park. A rough early estimate of restoring the park to its original condition was $400,000. At the City Attorney’s Office, Chief Deputy William Carter told the AP earlier this week that the agency has spent over $500,000 so far on legal and consulting work, and handling
cases involving hundreds of people arrested would likely drive costs over $1 million. “We are still dealing with Occupy LA. We still have to prosecute these arrests. The job is not over,” Carter said. Councilman Dennis Zine, a former police officer, said he is stunned by the estimate and “had no idea it was going to be that high.” “We’re $70 million in debt,” he said. “This is just money we don’t have that’s being expended because of what Occupy LA has done. What they’ve basically done is cheated taxpayers out of services. I don’t know who wins.” City leaders such as Zine had initially expressed sympathy with the Occupy movement and the council passed a resolution praising the “vibrant exercise in First Amendment rights.” Over time, however, critics said the encampment turned the once-lush City Hall lawns into something more closely resembling a homeless encampment with overflowing trash bins and the stench of urine and body odor hanging in the air. The tent city destroyed the grass and damaged trees. Graffiti appeared on statues and some City Hall walls. Thefts, shoplifting and assaults spiked in the neighborhood, and film productions avoided the landmark site. Local restaurants grumbled about lost business, and weeks of media coverage of demonstrators camped on the City Hall lawn did little to help downtown’s scruffy image. Such complaints contributed to the decision by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to evict hundreds of protesters from the park in a late-night raid at the end of November, resulting in nearly 300 arrests that were largely
peaceful. Councilmembers worried the city opened itself to lawsuits if other protesters aren’t granted similar, extended welcomes on public property. Zine now regrets officials did not enforce city law requiring protesters to leave. “Looking back on it it’s a lesson we’ve learned about enforcing the laws and rules,” he said. “The law is you can’t occupy the park after a certain hour.” Occupy activists, however, were unapologetic about the damage. They believed critics were missing the big picture by focusing on inconveniences instead of the broader problems of society and the camp's efforts to raise awareness. The Occupy Wall Street protests started Sept. 17 with a few dozen demonstrators who tried to pitch tents in front of the New York Stock Exchange. It eventually spread to other cities, including Los Angeles where protests began on Oct. 1. Villaraigosa initially supported the movement, handing out plastic ponchos one rainy day. As the population swelled in October, he said the city would remain “accommodating” but eventually with overflowing waste cans and hundreds of tents, he said the encampment was “simply not sustainable.” “The worldwide uprising that occupied cities and town squares is one of those uncommon events no one can plan for,” he said. “While the city has unfortunately incurred these additional costs in the middle of a challenging budget year, our primary responsibility is to protect public safety.” Michael R. Blood reported from Pismo Beach, Calif.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Obama signs 2-month Black Navy veteran payroll tax cut extension to get medal for WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed legislation extending a payroll tax cut for two months. The action concludes an end-of-year drama that split Republicans and threatened a tax hike on 160 million Americans. Obama acted Friday after the House and Senate approved the tax cut extension, which will maintain the Social Security tax at 4.2 percent. The legislation also extends unemployment insurance for jobless workers and forces Obama to make a decision within 60 days on whether to permit construction of an oil pipeline opposed by environmental groups. By signing the bill, Obama capped nearly a weeklong standoff with House Republicans who demanded a full-year extension. Under a deal reached Thursday, House and Senate leaders named negotiators to begin working on a longer-term bill.
AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari
A big win for the president: Barack Obama signs the payroll tax-cut extension last Friday in the White House Oval Office.
AIR JORDAN Continued from page 3 assault after authorities say he punched an officer.
“He did not get his shoes; he went to jail,” Murphy said.
Let me assist you. There is NO Fee until we win. Jacquelyn Brown, Disability Appeals Rep.
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HAVE YOU BEEN DENIED YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS?
Shoppers also broke two doors. In Richmond, California, police say crowds waiting to buy the Air Jordan 11 Retro Concords at the Hilltop Mall were turned away after a gunshot rang out around 7 a.m. No injuries were reported, but police said a 24-year-old suspect was taken into custody. The gun apparently went off inadvertently, the Contra Costa Times reported. The frenzy over Air Jordans — the new pair retails for about $180 — has been dangerous in the past. Some people were mugged or even killed for early versions of the shoe, created by Nike Inc. in 1984. The Air Jordan has since been a consistent hit with sneaker fans. A new edition was launched each year, and release dates had to be moved to the weekends at some points to keep kids from skipping school to get a pair. AP business reporter Sarah Skidmore contributed to this report from Portland, Oregon.
Black Facts.com December 30, 1929 The “Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work” campaign begins in Chicago with the picketing of chain stores on the city’s South Side. The campaign spreads to New York, Cleveland, Los Angeles and other cities and continues throughout the Depression. December 31, 1930 Odetta Felious Gordon, the folk singer and activist known simply as “Odetta,” is born on this day in Birmingham, Ala.
AP Photo/Office of U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo
Bravery in the face of bigotry: This January, Carl Clark, left, will be formally presented with the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with the Combat Distinguished Device 66 years after his service during World War II. BY JOHN S. MARSHALL | AP SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Black Navy veteran credited with saving the lives of some of his shipmates during a World War II battle will be getting a long-awaited medal for his heroism, a Northern California congresswoman said. Carl Clark, 95, will be awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with the Combat Distinguished Device on Jan. 17, U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo announced last Thursday. Clark was serving as an E-6 Steward First Class aboard the USS Aaron Ward when Japanese kamikazes attacked the destroyer near Okinawa in May 1945. “They would guide those planes directly into the ships,” Clark said of the planes he described as “flying bombs.” Six kamikazes hit the destroyer, with the blast from one plane so powerful that Clark said it blew him “all the way across the ship.” Though he suffered a broken collarbone in the attack, Clark was credited with saving the lives of several men by dragging them to safety. He also put out a fire in an ammunition locker that, according to Eshoo’s office, would have cracked the destroyer in half. Reached at his home in Menlo Park on Christmas Eve, Clark
told The Associated Press that even though the destroyer’s captain acknowledged that he had saved the ship, it took 66 years to be recognized for his actions, according to Clark, because of “bigotry.” “It wouldn’t look good to say one Black man saved the ship,” he said. The captain of the destroyer tried to make up for the slight by giving him extra leave and making sure that he was not sent back to sea, Clark said. The work in eventually getting him the medal was made more difficult because of the lack of documentation and living witnesses to the attack, Eshoo said, adding that the decision to award the medal was a “Christmas miracle.” “It is a singular privilege to be in a position to correct the record for those who have fought to preserve our freedoms,” she said in a statement. “Carl Clark served our nation during a time when the Navy was deeply segregated and a culture of racism was prevalent. His courage stands as a symbol of the greatness of our nation, and this award, also given to Senator John McCain, calls out Mr. Clark as a true American hero.” Clark will receive the medal during a ceremony at Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif.
F E AT U R E
Thursday, December 29, 2011
L.A. Watts Times WEEKENDER
INGLEWOOD UNIFIED OPENS NEW SCHOOL The long awaited La Tijera K-8 School is now open for business.
By Danny J. Bakewell, Jr. Special Contributing Editor On January 4, 2012, the children of La Tijera K-8 School will not only be celebrating a return from their holiday vacation, but they will also be celebrating the opening of their highly-anticipated and long-awaited new campus. La Tijera School is located on the corner of La Cienega and Fairview Blvds., just north of Centinela Ave. The project was funded through an Inglewood Uniﬁed School District (IUSD) bond measure that the Inglewood voters passed in early 2000’s. This is the last project to be completed using Measure K funds; the other schools in the district have already opened new campuses or had major renovations already completed using Measure K funds. “We are so excited about the opening of this campus” said Margaret Bowers, former board member of the Ladera Heights Homeowners Association, “we have monitored the progress of this campus since day one and we believe we have the ﬁnest school in the area – public, private, charter or anything else”. Bishop Johnny J. Young, Ph.D. president of the Inglewood School Board (ISB) had this to say about the opening of this campus: “Although it took years after the passage of Measure K to come into fruition, the NEW LaTijera K-8 School was well worth the wait!” As Board President and a resident of Ladera Heights, I am ecstatic about the opening of our brand new school, LaTijera K-8 School. Our 1998 eơorts to pass Measure K bond will once again be evident to the
Johnny J. Young, Ph.D President
Trina L. Williams Vice-President
immediate community. As I drive by this state-of-the art school on a daily basis, I am overwhelmed with pride, joy and appreciation to know that my property tax dollars, as well as those of all of the residents of Ladera Heights, made this school a reality. On behalf of the Board of Education and the residents of Ladera and Inglewood, I want to thank the Bernard Brothers for their skillful craftsmanship and Turner-Bakewell Construction Management for making this the BEST designed and constructed K-8 School in the State of California.” Trina Williams, vice-president of the ISB, added, “I am so exciting about the grand opening of our La Tierja School. I am a strong advocate of providing our children with an educational environment that is conducive to good learning. I know the children who will attend the new La Tierja School will enjoy the program oơerings that are available. Additionally, the grand opening of La Tierja is conﬁrmation that hard work, endurance, focus and faith do pay oơ. My ﬁnal word to all of the district’s partners and supporters is this: together, we can continue to move the district forward until IUSD is truly the ‘educational jewel’ of the South Bay.” The school which will operate a separate kindergarten facility, has a brand new state-of-the-art library, multi-purpose room with an indoor stage, as well as an outdoor amphitheater, new kitchen facilities, fully equipped science labs, along with every classroom having some of the most state-of-the-art electronic teaching equipment in the history of any public school system. When this project was started, we promised the voters that the residents of this community would
Arnold C. Butler Member
Carol Raines-Brown Member
have the most technologically advanced school in the state, and with the opening of this school, we absolutely delivered. Our project team has been working overtime to make sure that no corners were cut to insure the best for the students of La Tijera. Like most public school systems, the enrollment at IUSD has been dropping for the past several years due to the opening of charter schools and other private schools. The district believes that the opening of La Tijera is the beginning of students who had previously left the district returning to one of the best school districts in the state. Arnold C. Butler, former president of the ISB, in a previous interview, stated “there is no doubt every public school district has been aơected due to the state budget crisis, but even with these ﬁscal challenges, Inglewood has remained one of the best performing school districts in the state. This is mainly because we have a board and a state that make a lot of compromises and concessions however, we never compromise on the quality of the education to our kids”. La Tijera will be full of excitement as the students move over “to the big school” as they aơectionately call it. The students are excited and the children and teachers are excited. Principal Steve Donohue has been looking forward to this day for the past 3 years since he took over as principal of La Tijera. Now, all of the challenges that he went through operating in bungalows for the past three years are over, and the kids are getting the very best in “THE BIG SCHOOL”. For more information on La Tijera K-8 School contact Inglewood Uniﬁed School District at (310)6805170.
Alena C. Giardina Member
Gary McHenry Superintendent
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Vikings’ Peterson Schools object to NCAA multi-year scholarship plan has torn ACL BY ALAN SCHER ZAGIER | AP
AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) is helped up after injuring his knee during the second half of an NFL football game against Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., last Saturday. BY JOSEPH WHITE | AP LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tore a ligament in his left knee Saturday after taking a direct hit in a 33-26 win over the Washington Redskins. An MRI showed the anterior cruciate ligament tear after the team returned to Minnesota. Peterson said he knew “it was something bad” the moment he was hit and that he was in “severe pain” as he lay on the field. He was hurt when tackled by Redskins
safety DeJon Gomes at the end of a 3-yard gain on the first offensive play of the second half. “Anytime you take a blow to the knee like that, you’re concerned about the ACL, MCL,” Peterson said as he stood on crutches in the locker room. “I’m trying to stay as positive as I can.” The torn ACL will likely sideline Peterson for some nine months and make it difficult for him to return for the start of next season. On the play after Peterson was hurt, Minnesota’s Christian Ponder See PETERSON, page 18
49ers release wideout Braylon Edwards
Braylon Edwards BY JANIE MCCAULEY | AP SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Struggling wide receiver Braylon Edwards has been released by the San Francisco 49ers following surgery on his right knee earlier this season. Edwards tweeted the news Tuesday, attributing the move to his injury, which “required more time to rehab and hasn’t allowed me to re-sync with the offense.” The 49ers confirmed Edwards’ release. Edwards had 15 catches for 181 yards and no touchdowns for the NFC West champion 49ers (12-3) after receiving a $3.5 million, one-year contract in August. That gave him a fresh start under coach and fellow Michigan man Jim Harbaugh.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — For the second time in less than two weeks, schools are objecting to a reform measure sought by university presidents and endorsed by NCAA president Mark Emmert. More than 75 schools are asking to override a plan approved in October to allow multi-year athletic scholarships rather than the oneyear renewable awards schools currently provide. That’s the minimum number of dissenters needed for reconsideration by the Division I Board of Directors when it meets next month in Indianapolis at the annual NCAA convention. The NCAA announced the change the Friday before Christmas. On Dec. 15, the NCAA suspended plans to give athletes a $2,000 stipend for living costs not covered by scholarships after at least 125 schools objected. The higher number of protests allows the organization to immediately put the change on hold. Both measures were pushed by Emmert and adopted as emergency legislation after a presidential summit in August. “The NCAA and presidents step up with this legislation and then the universities want to vote it down,” said Christian Dennie, a former compliance officer at Missouri and Oklahoma who now practices sports law in Fort Worth, Texas, and writes an NCAA oversight blog. “They say, ‘We don’t have enough money,’ and then the coach gets a $2 million raise,” Dennie added, speaking in general terms rather than about a specific school. “It’s really a resource allocation issue.” The Division I Board of Directors now faces three options: scrap the two reform measures and operate under previous NCAA rules; modify the rule or create a new proposal that would go back to the schools for another 60-day comment period; or allow members to vote on the override, which needs a 5/8th majority of the roughly 350 Division I members to pass. A permanent reversal could force the NCAA and its schools to have two sets of standards, with an obligation to honor multi-year scholarship offers and stipend payments for some students but not others. David Berst, the NCAA’s vice president of governance for Division I, said that most schools support the concept of multi-year scholarships but have concerns about how to enact such a change. “The overriding concern had to do with the time to prepare and plan (for a change) rather than objecting to the concept,” he said. “I’m anticipating the rule will still be in effect (after the next board meeting).” The list of schools objecting to the multi-year scholarship plan,
obtained by Dennie and provided to The Associated Press, includes Boise State, Boston University, Indiana State, Marquette, Marshall, Rutgers, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming.
The power of the NCAA is being tested in connection with a proposed reform measure. Boise State called the move a “recruiting disaster” that would encourage a “culture of brokering” and pit wealthy schools with larger recruiting budgets against their less well-heeled brethren, while also obligating schools to long-term commitments that may not make competitive sense. “There is never a guarantee that the incoming student-athlete will be a good fit for the program and the institution,” the school wrote in its override request. “If it is a poor fit, the program is put in a difficult situation to continue to keep a student-athlete on scholarship.” Indiana State offered a more blunt assessment, suggesting the change could “create some real nightmares.” The “problem is, many coaches, especially at the (Football Championship Subdivision) level, in all sports, are usually not around for five years and when the coach leaves, the new coach and institution may be ‘stuck’ with a student-athlete they no longer want (conduct issues, grades, etc.) or the new coach may have a completely different style of offense/defense that the student-athlete no longer fits into,” the school wrote. “Yet, the institution is ‘locked in’ to a five-year contract potentially with someone that is of no athletic usefulness to the program.” “The current system works. We don’t need to get into bidding wars where one school offers a 75 percent (scholarship) for two years and the other school then offers 85 percent for three years, etc., etc. This puts the kid into a situation where they almost need an agent/advisor just to determine the best ‘deal.’ Again, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Berst, who collects the complaints, has previously said the opposition to the stipend is coming primarily from FCS schools and those that do not play football. Most of the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences, he said, have informed the NCAA they plan to expand their scholarship limits. The one-year renewable scholarship, with a limit of five years of athletic aid, has been in place since 1973. And while the National Letter of Intent signed by most top recruits includes that caveat, some athletes say coaches on the recruiting trail routinely make more grandiose promises they know they can’t fulfill.
In October 2010, former Rice University football player Joseph Agnew sued the NCAA over its oneyear athletic scholarship policy. Agnew played two seasons for the private Houston school before coaches told him in 2007 his scholarship would not be renewed. He appealed the university’s decision and received a scholarship his junior year but did not receive any tuition money as a senior. A federal judge in Indiana dismissed that complaint in September. Earlier this month, former Missouri women’s soccer player Ann Alexandra Charlebois sued coach Brian Blitz and the university's governing board, claiming that she agreed to attend Missouri only after Blitz vowed in writing to provide more than $106,000 in support through 2015, with the player and her family needing to contribute only half of her college costs in her first year. Charlebois received a 50 percent partial scholarship in 2010 as a freshman. After complaining about receiving a similar amount of financial aid this year, she was kicked off the team in September, her attorney said.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Patriots, 49ers lead Pro Bowl rosters
Eagles blew many chances this season
AP Photo/Sharon Ellman
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) is sacked by Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) during the first half of an NFL football game last Saturday in Arlington, Texas.
BY BARRY WILNER | AP NEW YORK (AP) — The usual names — Tom Brady, Ray Lewis, Troy Polamalu, Tony Gonzalez — are headed for Hawaii, barring a trip to the Super Bowl. Joining them at the Pro Bowl will be the not quite so familiar — from Rob Gronkowski to Jimmy Graham, from Marshal Yanda to Earl Thomas. The thrill is equal, whether it’s eight-time invitee Ed Reed or his Baltimore Ravens teammate, newcomer Yanda. “I am ecstatic, that is really the
AP Photo/Ed Reinke
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis was one of eight 49ers named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday. only thing I can say,” said Yanda, a backup at guard to New England’s Logan Mankins and Brian Water. “This is such a great honor, something that I never really expected.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was one of seven Ravens named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday.
When I made it to the NFL, I was so happy to be on a team and playing in the league, and now, to be a part of a Pro Bowl team is something very special.” Or as old-hand safety Reed put it Tuesday, “It is definitely an honor and blessing. To come back after an injury last year and to be voted by my peers and fans is special.” There are seven Ravens on the AFC squad, equaling the number of Green Bay Packers for the NFC. But they didn’t lead their conferences in voting by players, coaches and fans. Brady is one of eight Patriots, and Patrick Willis is one of eight 49ers to make the Jan. 29 game. “It’s awesome,” said 49ers punter Andy Lee, one of four Bay Area kickers to make it. “I think everybody is deserving. I think some guys are deserving who aren’t going. Hopefully we won’t be there … Hopefully we’ll be in the Super Bowl.” Players who make the Super Bowl will be replaced on the Pro Bowl rosters. Still, it’s a sunny, balmy consolation prize to journey to Honolulu. “It’s a nice honor,” Texans running back Arian Foster said. “People that love watching the game, people that love playing it and also coaches that have been around it for 20-someodd years ... it’s the highest compliment you can get in this league is when you’re voted in by people who know the game. It’s just fun.” Brady is one of seven starters from New England (12-3). The others are receiver Wes Welker, tight end Gronkowski, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, defensive end Andre Carter, See PRO BOWL page 18
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — For all those super expectations, all the preseason hype, all the big-name additions, the Philadelphia Eagles are left to ponder all that went wrong. Despite their late-season surge — a three-game winning streak — the Eagles (7-8) aren’t going to the playoffs. That's the reality for this dream team. So before they begin looking ahead to next season, they’re thinking about the ‘what ifs?’ One play could be the difference in several of the losses, especially because
the Eagles blew five fourth-quarter leads. “If we would have gotten into the playoffs, I feel we would have definitely done some damage,” quarterback Michael Vick said after Saturday’s 20-7 win at Dallas. “It’s unfortunate that we didn’t, and that’s the game of football. If you make some mistakes early and you get behind in the count in the win/loss column, you sell yourself short in the end and you’re in the position that we are in. We’re just happy that we are finishing strong. See EAGLES, page 19
AP Photo/Brandon Wade
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys last Saturday in Arlington, Texas. The Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs despite winning 20-7.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Melanie Amaro crowned first winner of ‘X-Factor’ SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM THE HOUSTON STYLE MAGAZINE It’s been a long run for “X-Factor USA” contestants, but it all came to an end last night on the season finale. After a long couple of months of tears, dance moves and Astro’s antics, this star-studded finale showed us who America’s next breakout star is — and that star is 19-year-old Melanie Amaro. Amaro faced off with Josh Krajcik after Chris Rene was given the thirdplace spot. After a long pause of waiting and surprise performances by Justin
Bieber, Ne-Yo, Pitbull, 50 Cent and others, plus the suspense and task of tallying up votes, it was announced that Amaro was the winner of the competition. She will receive a $5 million recording contract and star in a new Pepsi commercial. When Amaro received the news that she was the winner of the singing competition, she couldn’t help but to fall to her knees and thank God while fighting back tears. I was so incredibly happy to see Melanie win, and I felt that by her response that she was definitely the best
woman for this job. To close out the show last night, Melanie performed Beyonce’s “Listen” for the audience one last time before taking her official reign as the “XFactor’s first winner.” Congratulations to Melanie Amaro! We can’t wait to see how you’re going to turn this music industry upside down! Melanie’s final words before exiting the stage were: “Thank you so much! OMG, I don’t know what even to say… God is good … Thank you, America!”
John Legend engaged to model Chrissy Teigen NEW YORK (AP) — John Legend is engaged. The singer’s publicist said Tuesday that Legend proposed to his girlfriend, model Chrissy Teigen, recently in the Maldives. No more details are being provided. Legend has won nine Grammys and released four albums. Teigen was named “rookie of the year” in the Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue last year. She also has a food blog. Legend turns 33 Wednesday.
John Legend is no longer a bachelor: The piano-playing singer proposed to model-girlfriend Chrissy Teigen over the holidays in the Maldives.
AP Photo/Dan Steinberg
AP Photo/J Pat Carter, FILE
And the first-ever winner is … : Singer Melanie Amaro is the “X-Factor’s” winner for its first season. She will be awarded a $5 million record deal and a Pepsi ad campaign.
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AP Photo/Evan Agostini, FILE
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert De Niro is a father again. Stan Rosenfield, the 68-year-old actor’s spokesman, says De Niro and his 56-year-old wife, Grace Hightower, welcomed a healthy 7-pound, 2-ounce (3.3 kilogram) baby girl named Helen Grace Hightower through a surrogate mother. She is the couple’s second child. Their son, Elliot, is 13. No other details were provided. The star, whose latest projects include “New Year’s Eve” and “Limitless,” has four other children from previous relationships.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
the joy of a smarter,
You may have heard. AT&T and T-Mobile are planning to come together. What will that mean to you? More cell sites and spectrum means better service sooner. And it means your Internet is about to take a big leap forward with LTE — a super-fast mobile broadband technology. We are going to deploy it to more than 97 percent of all Americans, giving you access to a cutting-edge wireless network and all the opportunities it brings. So, the moment something worth celebrating happens in your friends’ lives, you’ll know.
© 2011 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Common gets through ‘low point’ to record 9th CD BY MESFIN FEKADU | AP N E W YORK (AP) — Most people are excited before recording a new album, but Common didn’t particularly feel that way. He says before making his ninth album, “The Dreamer, the Believer,” he was at a low point musically. “I hadn’t figured out what I was going to do, what label I was going to work with,” he said. “I wasn’t inspired.” Common AP Photo/Richard Drew, FILE had major suc- UnCommonly low: The rapper’s newest project comes cess with on the heels of a lack of inspiration, but fans are sure to 2005’s “Be” appreciate that it features Nas, Maya Angelou, John and “Finding Legend and Makeba Riddick. Forever,” which came two years later. The albums reached gold status and each earned multiple Grammy nominations, including a win for best rap performance by a duo or group for “Southside” with Kanye West. Both albums were mainly produced by West. But 2008’s “Universal Mind Control,” produced by the Neptunes, was a commercial disappointment, selling only 245,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan; the CD, however, did earn a Grammy nomination for best rap album.
No longer just white ear buds, headphones in vogue BY MESFIN FEKADU | AP NEW YORK (AP) — When iPods hit the scene 10 years ago, the small, white ear buds that came with the devices became the symbol for listening to music on the go. Today, that’s changing. More and more people are expressing themselves with pricey headphones, with some fashion-forward music lovers rocking updated versions of the oversized headsets popular in earlier eras. Bose has been known for its larger headphones in recent years, and now celebrities have taken note and aided in the resurgence of the ear amplifiers. In 2008, Monster launched Beats by Dre with Dr. Dre, and it is the most recognizable of celebrity-branded headphones. Monster later released headphones with Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Diddy, Daft Punk, Nick Cannon and LeBron James. This year, 50 Cent, Quincy Jones and Ludacris released their own line of headphones. Dre, the Grammy-winning rap legend who has produced hits for Eminem, 2Pac, 50 Cent and Mary J. Blige, says he is offended when he sees people using generic headphones. “It’s almost like a knife in the heart,” he said while promoting the headphones last year. “We’re in the See HEADPHONES, page 19
AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Brian Jones, FILE
Bye-bye generic headphones: Rapper Curtis "50 Cent" debuted his new Sleek by 50 Cent Platinum headphones this year.
See COMMON, page 19
Rapper ‘Tyler, the Creator’ arrested for vandalism
AP Photo/West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department
Creating a ruckus: Tyler Okonma, 20, known as “Tyler, the Creator,” was arrested last Thursday, after authorities say he got rowdy following a show at the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, California (AP) — The rapper known as “Tyler, the Creator,” has been arrested after authorities say he got rowdy after a show at the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood. Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Arthur Famble Jr. says the rapper was arrested Thursday night after he destroyed the Sunset Strip nightclub’s electronic soundboard. The 20-year-old, whose real name is Tyler Gregory Okonma, was booked for investigation of felony vandalism and released on $20,000 bail. The sergeant says that as the rapper was being led to a squad car, the crowd leaving the Roxy became angry and additional deputies were called in to disperse the crowd. No one was hurt. Telephone numbers for Okonma and his record company couldn’t be found. Okonma says in a Twitter message that he wasn’t arrested.
AP Photo/Best Buy, David Goldman
Bye-bye generic headphones: Dr. Dre, from left, cofounder, Beats by Dr. Dre, and Chairman of Interscope Records, Jimmy Iovine, and Sean “Diddy” Combs, launched a new line of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones from Monster, diddybeats in 2008.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Happy New (technological) Year! The countdown is on. As we welcome a brand-new shiny year, I’ve already been pouring through the magazine articles that promise me “A new year, a new you!” Here we go – again. Last year I was convinced that if Jennifer Hudson could lose weight through Weight Watchers, then I could too. And of course, there was an “app” to help me with that. I am not alone in my quest to find a quick way to a new and improved way of life — via my smartphone, according to a recent Nielsen study. “The State of the Media: The Mobile Media Report,” which is the latest of Nielsen’s ongoing smartphone analytics research, tells us nearly half of all American mobile consumers (44%) now own a smartphone. Plus, Nielsen’s recently released “State of the African-American Consumer Report” confirms that 44% of all new mobile phones purchased by Blacks are smartphones, so that now 33%, or a whopping 14 million, of us own one. Smartphones are those handheld mobile devices that allow us to make and receive phone calls, emails, surf the web and perform a host of other activities, depending on just how “smart” of a model you own. Regardless of the model you choose, Nielsen knows that more Blacks prefer an Android (37%) or RIM Blackberry (30%) than the 16% of us who choose an Apple iOS, otherwise known as the iPhone. Regardless of the model, we can download diet plans and fitness apps with virtual trainers for practically pennies. Apps are also available to help with other popular resolutions (and pretty much anything else that might tickle your fancy), like getting organized, spending less to save more, learning something new, etc. And since my quest to be slim like Jennifer did not make it past February 1 in 2011, I decided to get a head start on things this year. Like a zealot on a mission, I spent the entire day after Christmas downloading new and improved apps in preparation for 2012. I have my to-do list app all ready to go, and my “new goals” app is synced with my Outlook calendar, and this time I’m entering the year of new possibilities armed with a “personal trainer” app and even a “101 ways to be healthy” app! Add those to the apps I have to stay abreast of my financial situation and those that keep my wardrobe organized, and my home redecorating projects coordinated for a total of 49 apps (including those that come with the phone). According to
Our educational focus for the new year BY THE REV. ERIC P. LEE
Nielsen, I’m over-indexing on the apps things, since most smartphone app downloaders report having an average of 33 apps on their mobile phone! (Apple iPhone app downloaders have an average of 44 apps, while those with Android smartphones have an average of 32.) But hey, you can’t say I’m not ready! No end-of-the-year column is complete without a year in review, right? So here’s a smartphone recap for 2011: • Most of the 18% of mobile subscribers who had smartphones two years ago were more likely to be male. In 2011, more than half (51%) of the 44% who own smartphones are female. • Younger consumers still led in smartphone penetration. 64% of 25-35 year olds and 53% of 18-24 year olds owned smartphones. • In 2009, RIM’s Blackberry smartphone was the device of choice (even still the choice of President Obama). In 2011, Blackberrys were used by 17% of the smartphone market. • Apple was the top smartphone manufacturer in the U.S., with 28.6 percent of the market, and Android was the most favored operating system by manufacturers, with 44% of the market. • The number of smartphone subscribers using the mobile Internet has grown 45% since 2010. Whether you’re a smartphone user or New Year’s Resolutionmaker or not, on behalf of Nielsen, I wish you a safe and happy new year. I look forward to sharing more exciting information with you in 2012, because — say it with me — knowledge is power! Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of public affairs and government relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies, go to www.nielsenwire.com.
Quality Education has ALWAYS been the great equalizer to the social, political and economic injustices that Black people have faced in America. People of African descent, were forbidden from reading and writing … and for what? — for fear of revealing the truth of humanity. This is why I believe education of Black children has been compromised. The dialogue about the quality of education provided to “disadvantaged children” or “at-risk children” (code name: “Black children”) is really about the failure of society to promote a just and equal society that provides an individual with the equal opportunity to be successful in America today. Success in America is not based on education! Success in America is based on the ability to manipulate and leverage the democratic system of individual progress and the acquisition of power to one’s advantage. A quality education, however, provides an individual with insight into how power is exercised. Consequently, the under-education and/or the mis-education of our Black children deprives our children from understanding how the social, economic and political economic game is played and prevents the natural and spiritual evolvement of the most morally qualified people to lead our city and nation. The history and legacy of Black America, and what we have always taught our children, is the moral imperative for justice and equality for all people. It is a concept of divine equality that originates from the continent of Africa, the birthplace of humanity. The origins of all major religions and all moral teachings come from African origins. Yet, our Black children are neglected in the basics of an American educational system that has systematically and historically failed children of African descent. There are numerous and credible examples of how to educate Black children to learn according to the historical legacy of our culture. The current public education system has NO CLUE on how to accomplish this. For those in the education reform community, we refer to this as “at culturally relevant pedagogy (a teaching method that identifies with our culture). In layman’s terms, we need to meet children where they are. The following suggestions are based on raising Black children in L.A.U.S.D., the horrific results of Black student achievement in L.A.U.S.D., the realization of Black flight from L.A.U.S.D. public schools and the hope for a revolution that changes how we educate our children.
The Rev. Eric P. Lee
First, Black children need to b recognized and acknowledged as the inheritors of the progenitors of humanity from the African continent. As the first civilized people on the planet, credit must be given to the development of languages, sciences, mathematics, arts, astrology and religion. Second, educators must be sensitized to the institutional racism and discrimination that has historically characterized Black children as intelligently unequal and unable to operate in positions reserved for nonWhite people. Third, and most important,
Black parents must embrace our cultural heritage and implant in our children the importance of education. Education always has been and always will be the primary focus of the Black family. There has been the criticism that Black parents today are not as concerned about their child’s education as we once were. However, statistics show that Black families have overwhelmingly placed their children in charter schools, Catholic schools and private, rather than public, educational institutions, for the specific desire of receiving a quality education that has not been provided by the public education system. Some may say that it is only those Black families that have the economic resources or educational background that seek a higher quality education for their children. The reality is that the Black community has ALWAYS placed a high value on education, regardless of our material resources or educational background. In fact, it is when we were legally denied educational opportunities that we excelled the most. The reality is that Black people continue to believe that a quality education is the great equalizer to systemic discrimination. The question becomes, are we willing to demand that the training of teachers recognizes the inherent greatness of our children and includes culturally relevant teaching that affirms the dignity of our children, our culture and our Blackness?
CHECKPOINTS Continued from page 5 numbers for theft and assault. “We certainly have enough of our own criminals. We don’t need someone else’s here,” Maher said. Escondido has impounded more than 3,200 vehicles since 2006, mostly at the federally funded sobriety checkpoints. The city had towed about 1,000 vehicles at driverlicense-only checkpoints until the American Civil Liberties Union and El Grupo, a Latino advocacy group, threatened a lawsuit in 2009, contending they violated the state vehicle code. Maher insists he is targeting unlicensed drivers, not illegal immigrants or Latinos. Six towing companies each pay the city $75,000 a year to take turns at checkpoints, keeping impound fees for themselves. About one-third of the cars towed are believed to be abandoned, allowing the towing companies to auction them. “It was kind of like letting them steal cars,” said Olga Diaz, the only Hispanic on the City Council. Websites that have sprung up in the last two years quickly alert motorists to checkpoints through
social media networks and smartphones, severely undermining their effectiveness. A few years ago, Escondido police impounded 50 or 60 vehicles a night. Now they typically get about 20. One of the final checkpoints before the new law takes effect was one of the slowest in memory for many of the 15 officers who stood under bright lights and encountered a December chill. Activists waved signs several blocks away, giving motorists an opportunity to turn away. Police impounded six vehicles — three for driving without a license and three for driving under the influence. Aldama, who paid a smuggler $1,300 to lead him through the mountains east of San Diego on a weeklong trek 13 years ago, was able to reach all his friends before the checkpoint began. One he didn’t call had his 1997 Ford Explorer towed at an Escondido checkpoint a few weeks earlier. The unemployed construction worker surrendered the SUV to the towing company because he couldn’t afford the fees.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Telemedicine through wireless can reduce costs and improve access Health care costs continue to rise, oftentimes putting major burdens on families struggling to receive needed care at an affordable cost. The health care reform debate from 2009 and 2010 brought many unsettling statistics to light. For instance, around 50 million Americans are estimated to be without health insurance, meaning that at least 17% of Americans cannot afford most health care services. Rising health care costs don’t burden just families: Federal, state and local budgets are also experiencing difficulties in meeting their financial obligations to fund and subsidize programs that provide medical and financial assistance to the elderly, low-income earners and children. The use of new innovative medical technology is often cited as among the many reasons why health care has become so expensive. There is truth to this statement, as innovations in medical devices are costly despite their ability to assist those in need of medical care. At the same time, new technology can be extremely effective at reducing costs and waste. Telemedicine, enabled through
wireless data networks, can provide people with quality care at more affordable prices. Instead of direct visits with a physician, patients can remotely connect to a medical professional through mobile networks. Equipment can relay data in real time for analysis, and the patient can receive updates via audio and visual equipment. What’s missing? The answer is, with telemedicine, an actual visit to a doctor’s office or hospital is often not necessary — saving time, money and resources for both patients and medical professionals. It also promotes efficiency in health service delivery, making for a better health care system. Telemedicine works extremely well for specialists who are concentrated in specific cities with patients from a much larger geographic area. Telemedicine and medical conferencing over wireless networks also make it much easier to schedule visits and maintain regular checkups. Making regular checkups easier to schedule encourages preventative care and also allows for early detection of potentially serious medical problems.
Based on pilot programs and statistics from around the country, telemedicine can save billions of dollars annually in unnecessary costs for patient visits to medical facilities. The American Medical Association estimates that 70% of all doctor visits could be handled over the phone, and that 65% of all emergency room visits were nonemergencies. The savings that could be generated eliminating these expenses are enormous. The number of health-related issues present in African American communities is vast, and telemedicine can help solve them. Affordable medical visits and checkups can help give the nearly 20% of uninsured African Americans access to preventative, primary and specialty care. Several of the most common ailments among African Americans, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, can be better treated through regular access to medical care. Wireless networks can help deliver the benefits of telemedicine, and even simple things like access to a mobile phone can mean that medical care is attainable.
Iraq too soon, as well as from those who feel the war was unjustified. It could also trigger questions about assertions of victory. Mrozek noted that President George W. Bush’s administration referred to military action in the Middle East as part of a global war on terror, a conflict that is hard to define by conventional measures of success. “This is not a war on a particular place or a particular force,” he said. Bush himself illustrated the perils of celebrating milestones in the war, Mrozek said, when he landed on an aircraft carrier and hailed the end of major combat operations in Iraq behind a “Mission Accomplished” banner in May 2003. U.S. troops remained in Iraq for 81/2 more years, and Bush was criticized over the banner. The benchmarks were clearer in previous wars. After World War II, parades marked Japan’s surrender. After the Gulf War, celebrations
marked the troops’ return after Iraqi forces were driven out of Kuwait. The only mass celebrations of U.S. military activities since Sept. 11, 2001, were largely spontaneous: Large crowds gathered in Times Square and outside the White House in April after Osama bin Laden was killed. At the same time, Iraq veterans aren’t coming home to the hostility many Vietnam veterans encountered. The first large-scale event honoring Vietnam veterans was not held until 1982, when thousands marched in Washington for the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Parades were later held in New York in 1985 — 10 years after the war ended — and in Chicago the next year. Samantha Gross reported from New York. Associated Press writers Angela K. Brown in Fort Hood, Texas, and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.
IRAQ WAR ENDS Continued from page 6 and James Oddo, have called for a ticker-tape parade down the stretch of Broadway known as the Canyon of Heroes. A similar celebration after the Gulf War was paid for with more than $5.2 million in private donations, a model the councilmen would like to follow. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last week that he was open to the idea but added, “It’s a federal thing that we really don’t want to do without talking to Washington, and we’ll be doing that.” A spokesman for the mayor declined to elaborate on the city’s reasons for consulting with Washington. Ignizio said he had been told by the mayor’s office that Pentagon officials were concerned that a celebration could spark violence overseas and were evaluating the risk. Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said that he has not heard that issue raised and that New York has yet to make a formal proposal. He also said officials are grateful communities around the country are finding ways to recognize the sacrifices of troops and their families. The last combat troops in Iraq pulled out more than a week ago. About 91,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are in Afghanistan, battling a stubborn Taliban insurgency and struggling to train Afghan forces so that they eventually can take over security. Many U.S. troops who fought in the Iraq War could end up being sent to Afghanistan. A parade might invite criticism from those who believe the U.S. left
PETERSON Continued from page 12 suffered a head injury when sacked by Adam Carriker and London Fletcher. Ponder remained in the game for one more play — a thirddown incomplete pass — before heading to the locker room. Coach Leslie Frazier said Ponder had “concussion-like symptoms.” The coach said he’s uncertain whether the quarterback will play in next week’s season finale against the Chicago Bears. “We’ll have to weigh it when we
get back,” Frazier said, “and I’ll follow the doctor’s lead.” Peterson had 12 carries for 38 yards when he left. He also had a 1yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Ponder completed 8 of 13 passes for 68 yards. He was replaced by Joe Webb, who scored on a 9-yard run on the next series to give the Vikings the lead.
PRO BOWL Continued from page 13 Waters and Logan Mankins. Specialteamer Matthew Slater is the other New England representative. Linebacker Willis, defensive end Justin Smith, cornerback Carlos Rogers and tackle Joe Staley will start for the NFC from the 49ers (123), who had only Smith and Willis make the Pro Bowl last year. Green Bay’s Rodgers is the starting NFC quarterback, backed by record-setting Drew Brees of New Orleans (12-3). “It does have special significance, because when I was voted in in 2009, I was the third guy and I was very thankful to be voted in and got the opportunity to start because of some injuries and guys not going,” Rodgers said. “It’s great to be voted in as a starter, that means a lot to me and it’s a special honor.” Four of the NFL’s biggest headline makers this season did not get voted in by players, coaches and fans: Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Steelers linebacker James Harrison, Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton and Denver quarterback Tim Tebow. Suh might have lost support after drawing a two-game suspension for stomping an opponent, and Harrison’s one-game suspension for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy might have reduced his support. Fifteen first-time Pro Bowl selections made the NFC squad, including Rogers, Staley and safety Dashon Goldson of the 49ers. Thirteen AFC players were first-time selections, including Gronkowski, Carter and Slater of New England. Carter is on injured reserve (left quadriceps) and won't play. “If you look around the NFC, you see a ton of amazing and talented players at tight end,” said the Saints’ Graham, the starter at the position and a first-time Pro Bowl player. “And to be thought of in that company by my peers, the head coaches and the fans who follow the NFL is something I take seriously.” Fourteen teams from each conference were represented, with St. Louis (2-13) and Washington (5-10) drawing blanks in the NFC, and Buffalo (6-9) and Tennessee (8-7) shut out in the AFC. Pittsburgh (11-4), New Orleans and Chicago (7-8) each had five representatives. Three rookies were chosen: Denver linebacker Von Miller, Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green and Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson, selected as a kick return specialist. He has tied an NFL record with four punt runbacks for TDs this season. “As I’ve said before, A.J. is the best first-round draft pick that I’ve ever been around,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “He has shown the other players in this league, and the fans, that he deserved this honor. I have not seen a receiver better than he is at getting to the ball.” NFC special-teamers included two 49ers: Lee and record-setting kicker David Akers; Peterson; and Corey Graham of Chicago. For the AFC, the Raiders’
Sebastian Janikowski is the kicker, Shane Lechler the punter. The kick return specialist is Pittsburgh WR Antonio Brown, and the specialteams player is Slater. NFC starters will be Rodgers, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, Packers fullback John Kuhn, Graham, Panthers center Ryan Kalil, Saints guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks, Eagles tackle Jason Peters and Staley, Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson on offense. “I think it’s the fact that I’m versatile at fullback,” Kuhn said when asked why he was selected. “I can play the traditional fullback role and lead block, and the coaches also entrust the ball-carrying opportunities that I have. I think the combination of the two of those really gets my name out there.” On defense, it will be Vikings end Jared Allen and Eagles end Jason Babin, Cowboys tackle Jay Ratliff and Smith, Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews and Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, inside linebacker Willis, Packers cornerback Charles Woodson and Rogers, Seahawks safety Earl Thomas and Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson. AFC starters will be Brady, Ravens running back Ray Rice and fullback Vonta Leach, Gronkowski, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, Mankins and Waters at guard, Browns tackles Joe Thomas and Dolphins tackle Jake Long, Welker and Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace. On defense, it will be Broncos end Elvis Dumervil replacing Carter, Colts end Dwight Freeney, Wilfork and Ravens tackle Haloti Ngata, Miller and Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, Lewis, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis and Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and Reed. “What makes it special to me now is I’m in my 13th year, and you don’t see guys going to the Pro Bowl this late in their career,” Bailey said. “For me to be able to do it, it feels good, and it feels like I’ve got a lot more left. It feels good that I’m still playing at a high level.”
BlackFacts.com January 4, 1935 Former world heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson is born in Waco, NC. A 1952 Olympic gold medalist, Patterson will fight 64 times and win 40 bouts by knockout in his career. December 31, 1935 Marian Anderson makes her Town Hall debut in New York. Her performance is described by New York Times reviewer Howard Taubman as “music making that probed too deep for words.” January 2, 1965 A voter registration drive, led by Martin Luther King Jr., starts in Selma, Ala.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
DBE Subcontractors Requested Foothill Transit Operation of Transit Services Submittal Date: 1/25/2012 MV Transportation is seeking proposals from DBE Subcontractors for this project. Submit proposals for the following: Office Supplies, Computers, Vehicle Parts, Bus Washing & Detailing, Vehicle Painting and Body Work, Electrical, Windshield Repair, Auto Upholstery, Engine Transmission & Radiator Repair, Consumable Fluids (Oil, Lubricants), Hazardous Waste Removal, Tires, Janitorial Services, Bus Washing Chemicals, Drug and Alcohol Testing, Safety Supplies, Personnel Services and Uniforms. The RFP documents are available from our offices or from the Foothill Transit website at http://www.foothilltransit.org. If you require additional advice and assistance in this process, obtaining bonds, lines of credit, or insurance required by Foothill Transit or MV, please feel free to contact me at 707-430-0368. Interested firms please fax a letter of interest (include DBE certification information) by January 12, 2012. All proposals will be fairly evaluated. Joe Escobedo Vice President of Business Development MV Transportation, Inc. 4620 Westamerica Drive Fairfield, CA 94534 Phone/Fax: 707.430.0368 Joe.Escobedo@mvtransit.com
Drivers: Gross $4,000 month. 100% Paid Benefits! Take truck home! CDL-A, 2yrs OTR Exp. Weekly pay. Get in the Green: 1-888-880-5921 MARCUS GARVEY SCHOOL SEEKING EXPERIANCE ELEMENTARY & MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS ALSO SEEKING Certified & Experienced Pre-School Teacher. Must have at least / 12 units of Early Childhood Development. Please Call (323) 541-5384 if qualified Maintenance Assistant $9.96 - $12.04 per hour (part-time) The City of Claremont Community and Human Services Department is looking for six highly motivated individuals with strong work ethics to provide assistance to the Sanitation Division, Buildings/Parks Division, and Streets/Trees Division.
HEADPHONES Continued from page 16 studio, at least me, for years at a time trying to work on music, tweaking it, trying to get the sound right, and for people to walk around and listen to the music on those cheap white headphones is ridiculous.” But some people may have a reason for not buying Beats by Dre. The cheapest set costs $100, and the most expensive pair is $500. 50 Cent’s Sync by 50 ranges from $130 to $400, and the lowest price for Soul by Ludacris is $70; the highest is $300. (Partial sales from 50 Cent headphones go to charity.) “You go out and spend three, four hundred dollars on an iPod, and then you go put your earphones in and your iPod sounds like crap,” said Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope, A&M and Geffen Records and co-launcher of Beats by Dre, as he was standing with Dre. “This is about releasing the sound that’s in the iPod.” Monster’s CEO Noel Lee took it a step further: “Most people have never heard what their iPod sounds like.” Research shows that most MP3 listeners own multiple headphones, according to Karim Noblecilla, director of product marketing for Sony’s Personal Audio Accessories division. “That’s how we’re seeing the
market,” she said. “People have two, three, even four sets for different purposes.” Noblecilla says Sony has a range of headphones targeting specific and unique demographics, from surfers to 13-year-olds. Its newest series, the Balanced Armature, is billed as the “smallest and lightest in-ear digital noise canceling headphones in the market today.” It ranges from $80 to $500, and Sony says that although the headphones are small in size, they can “achieve high resolution sound.” Noblecilla says style and appearance have played a heavy role in headphone production in recent years. Diddy said that was his contribution to his line, Diddybeats. “Not only did we want to have the best sound, we wanted to have the best-looking ear bud, and we want it to come in flavors,” he said when his line came out. He compared his headphones to the “sleekness of a Ferrari,” and added that the look matches its high sound quality. Oversized headphones were a big trend in the 1970s and 1980s — a time when hip-hop was emerging as a genre and people walked around with boomboxes, blasting a sound that Lee believes the iPod generation has missed out on.
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But Common parted ways with Universal Music, where he’s released five of his nine albums. Now on Warner Bros. Records, the rapper said he’s got his mojo back, mainly thanks to producer and longtime friend No I.D. “He was willing to be like, ‘Yo, let’s go! Let’s get it! Let’s go get on this hip-hop,’” Common recalled. “So I think that meant a lot to me, and from there we just continued to grow.” The album, released Tuesday, features Nas, Maya Angelou, John Legend and Makeba Riddick. The 39-year-old says the disc embarks on “real, traditional, new hip-hop.”
We have one more game to play and we’re going to give it everything we’ve got.” Vick and his teammates wasted an opportunity to repeat as division champions in a mediocre NFC East that will crown a champion — either the Cowboys or New York Giants — with no more than nine wins. The Eagles entered Saturday at 6-8 and still had a chance to win the division but were eliminated when the Giants beat the New York Jets, rendering their game at Dallas meaningless. “I’ve watched this team grow as the weeks have went on,” Vick said. “The last three or four weeks, we’ve
Additional information about job duties and qualifications are available on the City website at www.ci.claremont.ca.us or from the Personnel Office at (909) 399-5450. A completed application is required. The position is OPEN UNTIL FILLED. EOE
“If you’re (in the) baby boomer generation, you grew up with speakers ... (but) during the transition from an audio world to a video world, we kind of lost the audio in favor of the video development,” he said. “The iPod generation ... they never got to hear really deep bass.” But 50 Cent, who says his line is “better than the others,” believes his competitors aren’t making headphones for all styles of music. “I understand that they’re trying to make it more attractive to a hiphop demographic with the bass and stuff like that, but you listen to other music that isn’t from that genre (and) it's way off-balance,” he said in a recent interview. Iovine oversees record labels that are subsidiaries of Universal Music, the home to artists who have released headphones via Monster like Lady Gaga, Diddy and Bieber, as well as acts like Rihanna, Kanye West, Eminem, the Black Eyed Peas and Lil Wayne. Iovine has been able
to promote Monster headphones in music videos for Universal artists, from Nicki Minaj to Maroon 5. Bono, who has a version of Beats by Dre that benefits his Product Red Group, presented a pair to Jon Stewart when he visited his show last month. 50 Cent says the celebrity attachment to headphones helps give the product an identity. “The generic public is responding to products associated with living people. When you say Bose or Sony, I think of buildings. It’s a corporation, it’s not a person associated with it that has respect within hiphop culture or pop culture,” he said. But unlike Universal, the other major labels — Sony, EMI and Warner — have yet to really use their rosters to promote headphones. Noblecilla of Sony wouldn’t comment on whether the company had plans to do so but said people buy their headphones for the “style and the quality that we provide.”
come together as a team. It’s a family environment, a family atmosphere, and that translates to winning. That’s why you see a different team. I think we are well put together and well fit. We’re playing together and that’s what it’s all about. But it takes time to build that chemistry, build that unity, that togetherness. Doing it now, it’s exciting for me and there’s not a place that I’d rather be each and every day.” When the Eagles went on a spending spree and brought in Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Cullen Jenkins, Steve Smith, Ronnie Brown and Vince Young to join a roster that already had a talented core of star players, expectations
were elevated to perhaps unrealistic levels. Even management declared this an all-or-nothing season in which nothing less than a Super Bowl victory would be considered a success. Now the Eagles are looking back and wondering how much they really needed those offseason minicamps and a full training camp. “We are finishing strong and are showing the fans and everybody else what the true Eagles could have been, what we could have been doing at the beginning of the season,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “It just took a while to get there. We take that into the offseason and don’t look back.” It seemed the Eagles could be headed for major changes when they
GOVERNMENT SUBCONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR METRO-CERTIFIED SMALL BUSINESS ENTERPRISES (SBES) On December 21, 2011, the Los Angles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“Metro”) released RFP No. PS4330-2863, for the Union Station Master Plan, to a short-list of six prequalified firms (Proposers). Metro will only entertain proposals from the six pre-qualified Proposers which must be received on or before March 16, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time at the Metro Office of Procurement & Material Mgmt, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (9th Floor). These six Proposers are expected to subcontract several tasks included in the RFP Statement of Work. Metro has established a 25% SBE goal on this state and locally funded project. Only MetroCertified SBEs will count toward achievement of the SBE goal. A Pre-Proposal conference, followed by a “Meet the Primes” event with the six short-listed Proposers, will be held on January 17th, 2012 at the address above. The pre-proposal conference will be held on the 15th floor, at 12:30 p.m. The “Meet the Primes” event will be held on the Plaza and 3rd floors from 2: 00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. You may receive a copy of the RFP, or further information, by emailing Ed Kichi at firstname.lastname@example.org. 12/29/11 CNS-2233969# WATTS TIMES
To place a Classified Ad Call (323) 299-3800 were 4-8. Fans wanted coach Andy Reid fired, and it appeared offensiveline-coach-turned-defensive-coordinator Juan Castillo would lose his job. But a strong finish could keep this coaching staff together for at least another season. Reid is missing the playoffs for just the fourth time in 13 years, so this is new territory for many of his players. “This is an unfamiliar feeling, an unfamiliar sight,” wide receiver DeSean Jackson said. “I’ve never really witnessed this. It’s a reality check. Look in the mirror. Everybody has to check themselves. Hopefully, we can finish strong and come back in the offseason or next year, whenever we are all together, and really eliminate all the mistakes we had early on.”
Thursday, December 29, 2011
For our children and community of Inglewood and Ladera Heights
JOHNNY J. YOUNG, PH.D.
TRINA L. WILLIAMS
ARNOLD C. BUTLER
ALENA C. GIARDINA Member
GARY MCHENRY Superintendent
( 310) 680-5170
Published on Dec 29, 2011