December 3, 2009
SERVING LOS ANGELES COUNTY WITH NEWS YOU CAN USE
Vol. XXX, No. 1156
Photos by MARTY COTWRIGHT
‘PEACE AND UNITY IN THE COMMUNITY’ — Eighth District Councilmember Bernard Parks kicked off the holiday season with the Seventh Annual Peace and Unity Tree Lighting in Leimert Park on Nov. 30. Several community-based organizations took part in the festivities, including the lighting of the 65-foot “Peace and Unity Tree.” Pictured (top left): The Lula Washington Dance Academy dancers perform for the audience. Left (bottom): Attendees at the Leimert Park tree lighting. Above (right): Councilmember Bernard C. Parks and wife, Bobbie, The Greater Crenshaw Bear Cheerleaders and a host of others take part in the lighting of the Christmas tree.
Book Outlines Intertwined U.S. History of Cotton, Race Panthers to Gather to Commemorate ‘Victory’ BY EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS AP WRITER
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Gene Dattel grew up in the segregated South and was one of the few Mississippians enrolled at Yale University in 1962 when his home state became ensnared in a bloody confrontation over integration. More than 1,200 miles and a cultural universe away from the land of cotton, the white freshman found himself answering questions about the violent resistance to James Meredith’s court-ordered admission as the first black student at the University of Mississippi.
BY THANDISIZWE CHIMURENGA ASSISTANT EDITOR
“I was really put on the defensive,” Dattel, now 65 and living in New York City, recalled recently. He said his struggle to answer questions, and to understand what led to events of the day, prompted him to begin an intense course of study. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale in 1966 and a law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1969. Now, after decades of working in international finance and See BOOK, page 10
Dec. 8, 2009, marks the 40th anniversary of the Los Angeles Police Department’s shootout at the Southern California Black Panther Party’s headquarters. Local members of the party will honor those who survived the altercation with a program at 6 p.m. at the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research at 6120 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. Entitled “Victory: A Day of Remembering,” the program will include eyewitness accounts from members involved in the shootout, as well as a viewing of the film “41st and Central” by filmmaker Gregory Everett. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP), co-founded in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, was a community-based organization which had a platform that called for a number of rights and liberties for black See PANTHERS, page 10
Artist Avery Clayton Succumbs BY CHICO C. NORWOOD STAFF WRITER
Avery Clayton, former president and chief executive officer of the Mayme Clayton Library & Museum, died on Thanksgiving Day. He was 62. Funeral services were still pending at presstime. Clayton died at his Culver City home while entertaining guests, according to a Los Angeles Times article. Clayton was the eldest son of librarian and black history historian Mayme A. Clayton, who for more than 40 years prowled bookstores and garage sales to amass one of the largest collections of black history memorabilia in the country. The
collection reportedly rivals that of New York’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and has been labeled by some scholars as one of the most important of its kind. Carrying on the work of his mother to preserve and promote the importance of black history to the community, Clayton worked to bring the collection to the public. Prior to his mother’s death in 2006, he secured a permanent home for the 20,000-plus-piece collection at 4130 Overland Ave. in Culver City and for the past three years had worked to raise funds to open the library to the public.
Earlier this year, Clayton was the keynote speaker at the Discover Your Roots conference, See CLAYTON, page 15
Photo Courtesy of GREGORY EVERETT
41ST AND CENTRAL — Members of the Los Angeles Police Department surround the entrance to the Southern California Headquarters of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense on Dec. 8, 1969. The pre-dawn assault lasted for five hours.
NEWS IN BRIEF THE SOUTHLAND L.A. City Budget Deficit May Hit $1 Billion in 2013 (AP) — A city budget analyst has warned that Los Angeles could face a $1 billion deficit in 2013 unless more cuts are made. City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana told the City Council Nov. 25 that they will need to cut services and possibly eliminate some departments to close the impending gap. He also suggested that they consider privatizing the Los Angeles Zoo and Convention Center. The city faces a $98 million budget shortfall this year. Santana said that gap could widen due to expected declines in tax revenue. The city’s credit rating was downgraded recently by Fitch Ratings, which could make it more expensive for Los Angeles to borrow money.
Schwarzenegger Calls RedZone Parking a Mistake (AP) — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says photographs of his Porsche illegally parked in a Beverly Hills red zone are proof that even he makes Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger mistakes. The Republican governor said his violation shows “no one is perfect — not even me.” The photos displayed Nov. 23 on celebrity Web site TMZ.com show Schwarzenegger getting into the silver convertible. The photos were snapped just weeks after his wife, first lady Maria Shriver, apologized for parking her Cadillac Escalade in a red zone and was caught holding a cell phone while driving. See BRIEFS, page 5
L.A. WATTS TIMES
December 3, 2009
OPINION EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON
No JFK Moment for Obama on Afghanistan The great hope was that President Barack Obama would have the courage and political sense to do what John F. Kennedy did approximately 46 years ago. Kennedy told the generals “no” to their demand for escalation in Vietnam. It wasn’t easy. The Pentagon had drawn up plans for the massive military rampup, had an active lobby on Congress and in the defense establishment, and had National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy pounding on Kennedy for escalation. To force Kennedy’s hand, the generals dragged their feet on implementing his directive for a contingency troop withdrawal plan. Despite the back-door insubordination to an order from their commanderin-chief, Kennedy held firm on withdrawal. But it took political craft to accomplish his goal. He quietly drew up a plan for withdrawal and then sent his two top military advisers Maxwell Taylor and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara on a fact-finding tour to publicly confirm that a massive escalation in American troops would be a resounding failure. The South Vietnamese government was corrupt and unpopular, and the resistance was well-armed, fiercely ideological and battle-tested after years of war against the French. The United States would have to permanently garrison tens of thousands of troops, at a cost of billions, risking large-scale casualties with
little hope of victory. Kennedy did not live long enough to thwart the generals. They got their war and it dragged on for years, costing thousands of American lives, killing and maiming, reinforcing the image of America as a global bully, and jading a generation of young persons who now saw the U.S. policymakers as liars and deceivers. Obama knows this tragic history. He has read many of the books on the Vietnam catastrophe, which tell how the war ripped apart a nation and totally discredited the once highly popular and promising presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. He’s heard from the experts and seen all the polls that show the war is unpopular. For a brief moment in September, it appeared that Obama’s dither on Afghan troop escalation might be a JFK moment. The right elements were in place to turn his dither into a “no” to the generals on escalation. Polls showed that Americans were opposed to escalation. The overwhelming majority of Democrats openly voiced opposition to war funding increases and escalation. A number of military and foreign policy experts said the war was unwinnable and told him why. With public worry and unease rising over the economy, and an unfinished health care reform battle, escalation seemed even more absurd. During the campaign, much was made of the Obama-JFK comparison. Both were young, dynamic, inspired hope, and, once elected,
immediately faced a military and foreign policy crisis that forced Kennedy, and now Obama, to weigh pressure from the Pentagon to expand a war. In JFK’s case, the immediate crisis was the Cuban Missile episode. The story is well known. The generals pushed hard for a quick strike against Russian missiles, and a bellicose warning to the Soviet Union that if they responded, the USSR would be obliterated. Kennedy rejected both. The U.S.-Soviet stand down was brokered through back-channel talks initiated by Robert Kennedy with the Soviet ambassador to the United States. After they hammered out the bare details of the agreement, Robert Kennedy and other senior advisers urged John F. Kennedy to finally approve the deal. JFK choose diplomacy, embargo, containment of Cuba and beefed up military aid and assistance to Latin American governments over direct U.S. military intervention. John F. Kennedy had one major advantage over Obama: He did not inherit a full-blown war. When he took office, U.S. military involvement in Vietnam was fleeting. There were less than 1,000 military advisers in the country, and fewer than 10 Americans had been killed in combat-related action. To most Americans, Vietnam then was merely a name on the map. The military and foreign policy issues involved in the prolonged See HUTCHINSON, page 4
The Importance of the Oscar Grant Trial BY KOKAYI KWA JITAHIDI
The recent decision to move the criminal trial of Johannes Mehserle — the former BART officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day — to Los Angeles has once again thrust the city to the forefront of controversy involving police abuse and murder. Nearly two decades after the Rodney King beating case and close to 45 years since Watts exploded in protest of law enforcement’s brutal behavior, the Grant case offers Los Angeles another opportunity to show the world how far we have progressed, or regressed, in ensuring that everyone — including police officers — is equal and accountable to the law. As with any case involving law enforcement, it is not merely a legal matter. It is very much a battle for social power between the elements of the status quo (i.e. law enforcement, politicians, business) who benefit from police officers’ arbitrary violence against black people, in particular, and those who are fighting against it. Specifically, the Mehserle trial will go a long way in concluding if the state of California is willing to convict a police officer for murder. While we are at least six months away from the start of the trial, its history-making potential
begs for us to understand and analyze some important elements that will impact the verdict: 1. Support from Police Mehserle is enjoying tremendous support from law enforcement despite the fact that he resigned from the BART police force and left for Nevada following the shooting. Police organizations throughout the state have allegedly raised more than $3 million in support of his defense. Why would California police officers shell out millions to help someone who shot an unarmed person, quit the police force, and left the state? They understand that if Mehserle is found guilty of murder it potentially creates a precedent that would make it easier to convict other officers of murder and other tougher felonies. Remember, the greatest taboo in law enforcement is to convict officers of murder. The belief is that they have the “right” to kill — no matter how racist, tragic and unjust. Police organizations will do whatever it takes to maintain that right. 2. Legal Strategy Most people assume that because the incident was recorded for the world to see, Mehserle will automatically be found guilty. As many legal experts and activists know all too well, this is far from
the truth. In order to receive the maximum punishment, the defendant will have to be convicted of either first- or second-degree murder. According to the law, Kokayi Kwa Jitahidi first-degree murder is premeditated and intentional. In contrast, second-degree murder may be intentional but not premeditated. In either case, these charges are difficult to prove against onduty officers who are given the right to carry and use a gun everyday. Furthermore, Mehserle has already stated that he mistakenly grabbed his gun and shot Grant. The Alameda County District Attorney’s office, which hasn’t made a decision yet on which charge it will pursue, has the huge responsibility to put together a strategy to disprove Mehserle’s theory and show that he killed Grant intentionally. Did he shoot Grant because he was a young black man? Did Mehserle have a history of committing abuse and misconduct? These are some of the questions that may be considered by the prosecution in establishing intentionality and premeditation. See KOKAYI, page 7
Presidents ‘New’ Afghanistan Troop Increase Not the Right Answer BY JAMES M. SIMMONS
President Barack Obama’s decision to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to stem the military rise of the Taliban will do little to defeat the threat of terrorism or bring peace to the troubled country. Based on allegations that alQaida — led by Osama bin Laden — was the perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., then-president George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan vowing to bring in the perpetrators dead or alive. This military action, while killing thousands and throwing Afghanistan into turmoil by removing the Taliban from power, has neither defeated nor slowed down terrorism. This is an international issue which affects us locally on many fronts. Billions, perhaps trillions, of tax dollars will be poured into this increased military effort while the cities and state where we live are cutting back services and laying off workers due to budget shortfalls. Critics of the health care plan complain that it will drain the treasury and increase the national debt, but this war effort has caused, is causing and will continue to cause present-day taxpayers and future generations to deal with its costs and consequences. The people of the United States cannot win fighting yet another war of attrition against an army of people who legitimately see themselves as fighters against “one more” foreign invader in a long line of foreign invaders with ideologies and interests hostile to their own. Obama’s commitment to increase troops occurs at a time when the University of California system has raised fees and threatens the education of our youth. The schools in our community cannot reasonably rely on either state government or
the feds to maintain, much less improve, our crisis-ridden schools. So what will the addition of 30,000 more troops James M. do to defeat terrorSimmons ism and bring peace and stability to this land of turmoil with a history of defeating empires and superpowers confident enough, or foolish enough, to try to occupy their rocky deserts and treacherous mountains? Mostly nothing. The danger from al-Qaida and the Taliban comes not from its idealistic soldiers or dusty training camps in the hinterlands of Afghanistan but its ideas. The U.S. military is not the correct tool to fight the ideas of alQaida or the home-grown appeal of the Taliban’s fundamentalism. U.S. military adventures did not stamp out communism in Vietnam, Korea or Cuba. It will not quash Afghanistan’s affair with Islamic fundamentalism, which is not the point in any case. Terrorism is a tactic, not an ideology, and al-Qaida is neither an army, nor is it a country to be invaded. Al-Qaida can set up in a remote corner of Afghanistan, cross over into Pakistan or reform itself in some other land anywhere across the planet. In fact, the planning of 9/11 by mostly Saudi nationals occurred in Germany in far away Europe, not in the Afghanistan cave bases of al-Qaida. Al-Qaida is a small group with an ideology whose appeal grows with its intended audience each time it is attacked by U.S. might. The Taliban is a movement with decades of fighting experience with an army supported by individuals known as foreign fighters. It did See SIMMONS, page 3
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December 3, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
BUSINESS BIZSHORTS Ways Businesses Seek to Blunt Swine Flu’s Impact (AP) — Here are some common strategies employers are using or planning to limit the spread of swine flu among their work force and keep operations going normally: • Posting information about the swine flu, including tips on hygiene and overall healthy behavior aimed at preventing infection, at the work site or on the company intranet. • Giving hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes to employees or placing them in major traffic areas. • Limiting in-person meetings and instead opting for teleconferences. • Encouraging social distancing, such as not shaking hands. • Cross-training employees to cover critical functions. • Planning to shift work from hard-hit locations to other facilities. • Stocking up on protective face masks. • Stepping up office facility cleaning, particularly in “hightouch” areas. • Telling workers to stay home if they are ill, generally until a day after their fever breaks. • Allowing telecommuting for staff members who must stay home to care for relatives sick with swine flu. • Holding drills to verify that computer systems can handle a sharp increase in those working remotely.
Government Delays New Ban on Internet Gambling WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are giving U.S. financial institutions an additional six months to comply with regulations designed to ban Internet gambling. The two agencies said Nov. 27 that the new rules, which were to take effect on Dec. 1, would be delayed until June 1 of next year. A key Democratic opponent of the ban on online gambling praised the action and said it would give Congress time to overturn a law passed in 2006 when Repub-
licans controlled Congress. The delayed rules would curb online gambling by prohibiting financial institutions from accepting payments from credit cards, checks or electronic fund transfers to settle online wagers.
Union Pacific Wins Award for Cutting Air Pollution OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Union Pacific’s efforts to reduce air pollution around the busy California ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have been recognized. The Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce of Southern Ca l i forni a re c e ntly gave the Omaha-based railroad its “Salute to Industry” award. UP says its fleet of locomotives is the cleanest of any North American railroad. Since 2000, Union Pacific has added more than 3,300 fuel-efficient, long-haul locomotives and has retired more than 2,200 older locomotives. Union Pacific also uses Genset switching locomotives in its California rail yards to help limit pollution.
Schumer is Calling on the NBA Leadership to Terminate Adidas Contract NEW YORK (AP) — A prominent U.S. senator is calling on the NBA leadership to terminate the league’s contract with Adidas if the sports apparel maker moves production of players’ official uniforms to Asia. New York Sen. Charles Schumer said he had spoken to NBA Commissioner David Stern about Adidas’ plan to outsource jersey production to Thailand. At stake are about 100 jobs at American Classic Outfitters’ upstate New York factory. More than half the uniforms worn by NBA players are manufactured at the plant in Perry, about 54 miles southwest of Buffalo. The NBA didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Adidas has said its plan is part of the company’s strategy of consolidating its supply chain.
Customer Gifts Shouldn’t be Economic Casualties BY JOYCE M. ROSENBERG AP BUSINESS WRITER
NEW YORK (AP) — Small business owners with cash flow problems might be tempted during yet another difficult holiday season to forgo gifts for clients or customers. Many look at gifts as budget items that just aren't critical. There’s another, bigger-picture way to look at business giving. Gifts selected with care convey to customers how important they are, and how much an owner will continue to value their relationship going forward. They also don’t have to break the bank. They can be very small but still be meaningful. Or an owner can splurge on just a few of his or her biggest customers. Spending as an Investment Many company owners see holiday gifts as an investment in their companies, one that will continue to pay off as business gets better. Even in a difficult economy, Terri Slater doesn’t think it’s a good idea to stint on client gifts. “I know it’s rough out there and people are cutting back, but this is one area where you really say, you can’t afford to” stop giving, said Slater, who runs Healthy Lifestyle Publicity, based in Boca Raton, Fla. “I think it’s important to acknowledge the people you work with and who are contributing to your success.”
“I’ve never missed a year. I’ve never cut back,” she said, and explained that while she did briefly consider not giving client gifts this year as she lost some revenue, “I wouldn't feel right about it.” Slater tries to match the gift with a client’s personality, so one might get a tower of chocolates, while another will get a high-quality pen. Think Twice About Tchotchkes The pens, mugs and calendars that used to be staples of companies’ gift-giving have been falling out of favor in recent years and cost is just one reason. Many small business owners have tried in recent years to give clients and customers gifts that
help build or cement a relationship, and a mug or a pen just doesn't do that. Of course, if you run a retail business or a service business like a gas station or dry cleaner, handing out these smaller gifts is more feasible than giving personalized ones (although you might want to make an extra effort for some of your very best customers). And if you’re aiming for name recognition or making sure your phone number is easy for a customer to find, refrigerator magnets can help you achieve that goal. But you might want to give something that your customers will See GIFTS, page 4
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SIMMONS Continued from page 2 not invade nor attack the United States. Truth be told, the entire invasion of Afghanistan could have been avoided if the Bush regime had not been so gung-ho about making someone, anyone, pay for the atrocities committed against the civilians working in and around the World Trade Center. The U.S. government fights wars over what it defines as its economic and military interests. These interests do not include the rights of women or it would have invaded Saudi Arabia and India long ago. These interests don’t include ending genocide, or it would have attacked the Sudan, where the U.S. Secretary of State has declared that the government is committing genocide in Darfur; Rwanda, where up to a million people died in ethnic slaughter; or the Congo, where upward of 2 million civilians have died since the U.S.-supported dictator Joseph Mobuto was
deposed almost 15 years ago. The United States is interested in the oil and natural gas reserves of Central Asia. As in Iraq, U.S. and Afghan lives are being lost over oil once again. Control of proposed oil and natural gas pipelines through Afghanistan will help to feed the continuing American addiction to fossil fuels. We as Angelenos, Californians and U.S. taxpayers cannot afford to sit back as trillions of dollars are siphoned off into useless military adventures. This money would be better spent maintaining and improving the lives of both the people of California and Afghanistan. Simmons is a co-founder of Human Rights Advocacy, a Southern California-based organization dedicated to human and civil rights education and advocacy. He can be reached at humanrightsadv@gmail. com.
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L.A. WATTS TIMES
December 3, 2009
COMMUNITY COMMUNITY MEETINGS, FORUMS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Í¸Â–ÂŠÂ?Â?Â—ÂƒÂŽÂ‘Â›Â”Â‹Â˜Â‡ BENEFITING AT-RISK-CHILDREN We will be collecting new unwrapped toys for underprivileged and at-risk youth ages 3 years old to 17 years old through Friday, December 11, 2009. For more information on the Toy Drive contact:
(323) 954-8988 or to get a listing of drop-off locations visit
To maximize the reach of potential donations, BlackNLA.com is seeking participation of businesses and individuals of companies to organize their staff, fellow co-workers, client bases and the surrounding areas to participate in the Toy Drive. Those businesses participating, as drop-off locations will be listed on our toy drive page and included in e-mails to be distributed to over 26,000 Los Angeles area companies and professionals.
Southern California Edison Offers Free Appliances, Services With cooler temperatures settling in as winter rapidly approaches, many local residents will begin to increase their use of appliances that warm their homes. However, the combination of higher electricity demands and the use of LQHIÂżFLHQWDSSOLDQFHVFDQOHDGWRDQLQFUHDVHLQFXVWRPHUVÂś HOHFWULFLW\ELOOVDQG in these tough economic times, every cent saved counts. This is why Southern California Edison (SCE) encourages customers who PHHWLQFRPHTXDOLÂżFDWLRQVWRHQUROOLQ6&(ÂśV(QHUJ\0DQDJHPHQW$VVLVWDQFH (0$ SURJUDP 7KH SURJUDP SURYLGHV IUHH HQHUJ\HIÂżFLHQW DSSOLDQFHV such as refrigerators and air conditioners, as well as lighting, weatherization VHUYLFHVDQGRWKHUHQHUJ\HIÂżFLHQF\PHDVXUHVWRKHOSVDYHHQHUJ\PRQH\DQG WKHHQYLURQPHQWIRU6&(ÂśVLQFRPHTXDOLÂżHGUHQWHUVDQGKRPHRZQHUV Âł:HNQRZKLJKHUHQHUJ\FRVWVLQZLQWHUDUHHVSHFLDOO\GLIÂżFXOWIRUWKRVHZKR KDYHKDGDGURSLQLQFRPH%X\LQJDQHZHQHUJ\HIÂżFLHQWDSSOLDQFHPD\EH ODVWRQWKHLUOLVWRISULRULWLHVÂ´VDLG/LQGD<DPDXFKL6&(ÂśV&RQVXPHU$IIDLUV PDQDJHUÂł:HZDQWSHRSOHWRNQRZWKDWZHÂśUHKHUHIRUWKHPDQGWKDWZHKDYH programs and services that can help.â€? Just in time for winter, qualifying SCE customers can apply for the following appliances and services: Weatherization Services $ TXDOLÂżHGFXVWRPHUZLWKHOHFWULFVSDFHKHDWLQJPD\EHHOLJLEOHWRUHFHLYHIUHH weatherization services, where SCE makes repairs or improvements that help keep a home warm in winter and cool in summer. Please Note: Customers with natural gas space heating should contact their local natural gas provider for weatherization services. Lighting Measures Â‡&RPSDFWĂ€XRUHVFHQWOLJKWEXOEV&)/V ZKLFKXVHXSWROHVVHQHUJ\ WKDQRUGLQDU\LQFDQGHVFHQWEXOEVDQGODVWWRWLPHVORQJHU Â‡5HSODFHPHQWRIRXWGRRUÂż[WXUHVZLWK&)/VPD\DOVREHSURYLGHG Â‡$TXDOLÂżHGFXVWRPHUZKRKDVDZRUNLQJLQFDQGHVFHQWRUKDORJHQWRUFKLHUH PD\UHFHLYHDUHSODFHPHQWHQHUJ\HIÂżFLHQWWRUFKLHUH Refrigerator Replacement $ TXDOLÂżHG FXVWRPHU ZKR KDV D ZRUNLQJ HOHFWULF UHIULJHUDWRU WKDW ZDV PDQXIDFWXUHGEHIRUHDQGDWOHDVWFXELFIHHWLQVL]HPD\UHFHLYHDIUHH replacement that will use much less energy than the old model. 7RTXDOLI\IRU(0$ VHUYLFHVDQ6&(FXVWRPHUPXVWPHHWSURJUDPHOLJLELOLW\ requirements, including the installation requirements for each service and meet the following income guidelines:
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6&( ZLOO YHULI\ WKH FXVWRPHUÂśV HOLJLELOLW\ DQG ZLOO DVVHVV WKH KRPH IRU DOO eligible free services and appliances. In addition, SCE may inspect the home to assure that the services and new appliance(s) will work properly. Homeowners must show proof of ownership and renters must obtain written consent by apartment owner. (0$ LV DYDLODEOH \HDUURXQG WR DOO 6&( FXVWRPHUV ZKR TXDOLI\ )RU PRUH information regarding enrollment and guidelines, call (800) 736-4777 or visit www.SCEenEspanol.com. $GYHUWRULDO
Christmas Extravaganza to Benefit Save Africaâ€™s Children A Christmas extravaganza for Save Africaâ€™s Children will take place Dec. 11, 7 p.m., at the West Angeles Crystal Room, 3045 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles. The gala and fundraiser is aimed toward aiding children, including orphans, in sub-Saharan Africa. Ticket information: (323) 733-1048. Other information: Latonya Stephens, (323) 733-1048, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.saveafricaschildren.org.
Search On for the Nationâ€™s Best Drummer Eric Seats and Team will conduct a nationwide search and â€œdrum offsâ€? for the nationâ€™s best drummer. Sam Ash Music Stores, a family-owned chain since 1924, is the official venue sponsor, and competitions will begin at their California locations starting in January. The drum offs aim to provide a safe and yet fun forum for youth (ages 3 to 15) and young adults (16 and over) to display their drum skills and network with drum professionals and peers.
Contestants are judged by award-winning drummers and music producers, who offer constructive criticism to encourage and inspire growth. Some winners will compete in finales at selected theme parks. The first drum off will take place Jan. 9 at 20934 Roscoe Blvd., Canoga Park. A finale will be held at Knotts Berry Farm. Registration fees are $25. Drum off Information: (818) 709-5650. General information: www.nextgreatdrummer.com.
Sisters Perfecting Sisters to Present Annual Conference The Sisters Perfecting Sisters annual conference will take place Dec. 4 to 5 at Holy Chapel Baptist Church, 1016 E. Rosecrans Ave, Compton. The two-day event will feature several people including evangelist Valerie Higgins, Pastor Maxine Rockett-Henry, senior pastor of Sunflower Baptist Church and several others. It will also include a worship service on Dec. 4 and morning service on Dec. 5, among other features. Information: (310) 364-4401, email@example.com, www.sistersinministry.org.
â€˜Authenticâ€™ Seminar Set for Marina del Rey Norma Thompson Hollis Inc. will sponsor a one-day seminar Dec. 5 geared toward helping individuals find out how authentically they are living their lives. Opportunities to network with like-minded people for personal development, in addition to learning about the professional speaking industry, will be provided. This event will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, 13480 Maxella Ave., Marina del Rey. Information: (310) 822-8555, (323) 734-7144.
Black Flight Attendants of America Promote Literacy The 35th annual â€œHoliday Promote Literacyâ€? will take place Dec. 9, 11a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Denzel Washington Childrenâ€™s Center of King-Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles. Attendees are encouraged to bring a book for children in any language. The age range for the literature is 3 to 16 years old. Information: (888) 682-2322, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.BlackFlight Attendants.com (under construction).
GIFTS Continued from page 3 appreciate even more â€” a discount. Giving customers 10 percent off their dry cleaning bill or a free oil change is a great way to strengthen the relationship with them and keep them coming back. Gifts With a Dual Purpose Some owners are giving gifts that are more than relationship builders. They also help sell a client's products or services. Caroline Lubbers has always devoted a great deal of time and energy to finding what she calls cool presents for her marketing firmâ€™s clients. â€œIâ€™d usually pick different things for different personalities, and itâ€™s very time consuming,â€? said Lubbers, whose company, Goldfish
HUTCHINSON Continued from page 2 fighting between the Vietnamese and French, and increasingly the Americans, were barely known, and even less understood. The public was not asked to make a leap of faith that an untested president could handle a war crisis; but surprisingly Kennedy did. The situation Obama faces with Afghanistan is the opposite of what Kennedy faced. Thereâ€™s the depth of American military involvement, commitment, and the entrenched thinking that Afghanistan is the front line in the War on Terrorism. Obama shares this thinking with the generals. This made it even less likely that he would defy them and chart a course that relies solely on diplomacy, containment, partnerships with foreign allies, Afghan governmental reforms, and Afghan security training and overhaul, in place of troop
Marketing Communications, is based in Chicago. Not this year. â€œI have to work harder, so I have less time to seek things out,â€? Lubbers said. So she got the idea to make gift baskets that contain the products of her clients, who include specialty food makers. It takes less time than shopping and helps do some marketing for her clients. Lubbers is also including products made by some of her friends who are entrepreneurs. Itâ€™s also cheaper. â€œI looked at the amount I budgeted for holiday gifts and I realized I could probably save hundreds of dollars,â€? Lubbers said. Giving the Gift of Face Time A material gift isnâ€™t the only way to go. Some owners have been
escalation to attain his goals. JFK opted to take this course to deal with Cuba and Vietnam. Obama should have taken the same course with Afghanistan. If he did, it wouldâ€™ve been his JFK moment. Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, â€œThe Hutchinson Report,â€? can be heard in Los Angeles, Fridays on KTYM Radio 1460 AM, and streamed live nationally on ktym.com.
making donations to charitable organizations rather than buying gifts. Maureen Rothman used to give traditional gifts like candy or cookies, but this year sheâ€™s taking clients to lunch, making face-toface contact that is as much networking as it is celebrating. â€œWhat Iâ€™ve done is really focus on the people I have done work with throughout the year and have helped keep my business afloat,â€? said Rothman, whose Philadelphia-based firm, Rothman Associates Inc., is a manufacturers representative for the furniture industry that serves hotels and other hospitality companies. â€œI really want that one-oneone that I think is more important this year than ever.â€? Rothman is also finding opportunities to give what she calls spontaneous gifts, in the form of buying another business associate a drink at holiday networking parties. If she knows that some furniture designers are struggling, sheâ€™ll offer to pay for their tickets to the events. She believes even such small gestures during the holidays will have an impact on her business. â€œFor those of us who understand small business, networking is more important now,â€? she said.
Facts Dec. 2, 1859 Abolitionist and guerrilla fighter John Brown is hanged at Charleston, Va., for masterminding and carrying out a military raid at Harperâ€™s Ferry, W.Va., to secure guns and ammunition in order to overthrow slavery. Dec. 3, 1847 Abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass, along with Martin R. Delaney, starts The North Star, an anti-slavery paper, Source: blackfacts.com
December 3, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
COMMUNITY BRIEFS Continued from page 1
L.A. Anti-Gang Worker Gets 12 Years for Burglary (AP) — A Los Angeles antigang intervention worker has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for a burglary he admitted was done for the benefit of a street gang. Marlo “Bow Wow” Jones and three co-defendants pleaded no contest to residential burglary Nov. 24 in Los Angeles Superior Court in the robbing of rapper Bryon McCane, also known as Bizzy Bone. McCane raps with the group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Prosecutors say the men beat McCane in his Universal City hotel room last January and stole his jewelry. When he was arrested, Jones was listed as a contract employee with Unity One, a subcontractor under the city’s gang intervention program. His co-defendants were sentenced to six to 19 years each.
of hastening an eventual U.S. pullout. The size and speed of the troop increase will put a heavy strain on the military, which still maintains a force of more than 100,000 in Iraq and already has 68,000 in Afghanistan.
Mobile Mayor Endorses Davis for Alabama Gov. MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Mobile’s first African American mayor is trying to help U.S. Rep. Artur Davis become Alabama’s first African American governor. Mayor Sam Jones held a news
conference Nov. 30 in Mobile, where he issued his first endorsement in a statewide campaign. Jones, a Democrat like Davis, has a positive vision for the future of Alabama’s economy and is not satisfied to let Alabama lag behind neighboring states any longer.
Jones was elected Mobile’s first African American mayor in 2005 and was re-elected this year. Jones said Davis can get elected in Alabama and he has the potential to become one of the state’s greatest governors. See BRIEFS, page 6
SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will refile tax information to clear an IRS lien for nearly $80,000 after a celebrity Web site posted an IRS document showing Schwarzenegger owed the money, his spokesman said Nov. 27. The Web site TMZ.com posted a “notice of federal tax lien” filed in May with the Los Angeles County Recorder’s Office. The document showed Schwarzenegger owes $39,047 in taxes, fines or penalties from 2004 and $40,016 from 2005. Schwarzenegger’s spokesman, Aaron McLear, said a representative of the governor contacted the IRS recently and determined there was a “paperwork tracking discrepancy.” “The governor had not been notified of any discrepancy or of the lien until today,” McLear said in a statement. “The governor is resubmitting certain information to the IRS and we fully expect that the matter will be resolved and the lien expunged without any penalty assessed upon the governor.”
THE NATION President Obama Announces Afghanistan War Plan WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced Dec. 1 he was dispatching 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, accelerating a risky and expensive war buildup, even as he assured the nation that U.S. forces will begin coming home in July 2011. The first new Marines will join the fight by Christmas. The escalation — to be completed by next summer — is designed to reverse significant Taliban advances since Obama took office 10 months ago and to fast-track the training of Afghan soldiers and police toward the goal
Facts Dec. 5, 1935 Educator Mary McLeod Bethune establishes the National Council of Negro Women. Source: blackfacts.com
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L.A. WATTS TIMES
December 3, 2009
COMMUNITY Victims’ Families Get ‘Grim Sleeper’s’ Sketch BY CHARLENE MUHAMMAD CONTRIBUTING WRITER
The families of victims of a serial killer that targeted primarily black women in South Los Angeles in the 1980s have finally received a composite sketch of the alleged murderer from the Los Angeles Police Department after more than 20 years. One of his survivors, attacked in 1988, said the suspect was a soft-spoken, articulate black male, between 20 to 30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches, 160 pounds, with a pock-marked face. He drove a 1970s two-door Pinto hatchback that was orange with a white stripe, tinted windows, green interior, and tan seat covers. According to Margaret Prescod, founder of the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, after decades of requests and a recent weeklong battle with investigators for the sketch, the group finally received it via e-mail with little discussion. Several calls seeking comment from the LAPD were not returned. The coalition released the sketch to reporters and concerned residents during a Nov. 21 town hall meeting at the Amistad Plaza Housing Complex Community Room in South Los Angeles. “I’m happy that we have it
now, so hopefully somebody will see this picture and know and remember something about this guy,” said Mary Alexander. Her daughter, Alicia, was murdered in 1988 shortly after graduating from high school. Alicia was a lovable, kind and friendly person, she said. “I hope we’re getting closer to justice with this. One minute I think so, but at other times I think it’s taking so long. It’s been 21 years, and they (investigators) had labeled them all as prostitutes, so I don’t think anyone cared,” Alexander said. The other victims were Debra Jackson; Henrietta Wright; Bernita Sparks; Barbara Ware; Thomas Steele; Janecia Peters; Lachrica Jefferson; Princess Berthomieux; Valerie McCorvey; and Mary Lowe. In the first set of 11 murders in the mid-1980s, police named the suspect the Prostitute Killer. After pressure from the coalition, the name was changed to the South Side Slayer. Ballistics linked the early murders and DNA evidence linked the latter killings. For Alicia’s father, Porter, neither time nor name changes have healed the wounds of losing his youngest child. He feels that there was a lack of concern by law enforcement and city government
that has only added to his emptiness and pain. “When there’s any devastation throughout the surrounding areas, floods, you name, it, the minute they strike, Govenor (Arnold) Schwarzenegger, all of them, are out there immediately dealing with it and they find the money, but we’re facing the murders for decades of our daughters, but not one time have they come out,” Porter Alexander alleged. Coalition founder Prescod urged the community to take the opportunity to show love, support and concern for the victims. She also made a call for volunteers to help print and pass out quality flyers of the composite sketch and photos of the known victims. “A lot of us have been really critical … about how the LAPD has handled this investigation, about how it hasn’t been prioritized, about the lack of response from the mayor,” Prescod alleged. “When they were stealing plates or porcelain down in Beverly Hills, the mayor was down there in half an hour but meanwhile so many women in our community have died, and we haven’t heard squat from him.” She added that the community should take the responsibility to bring awareness to the issue, partly by getting the word out, distribut-
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HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN? — This is the composite sketch released by the Los Angeles Police Department in the decades-old “South Side Slayer” serial killings. The sketch was shown during a Nov. 21 town hall meeting after being held by police for more than 20 years, according to organizers. This sketch was based on descriptions by surviving victims at the time.
ing flyers and telling everybody “black women’s lives count.” “Every life is of value and we could care less what those women were forced to do for a living, espe-
cially in this economy,” she said. The city is offering rewards for anyone who helps solve the cases ($50,000 per victim, See SERIAL KILLER, page 7
BRIEFS Continued from page 5
THE DIASPORA UNAIDS Chief in South Africa for AIDS Day JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa has more people infected with the AIDS virus than any other country, but it also has a new government determined to end the crisis, the head of the U.N. AIDS program said Nov. 30. “If I am not in South Africa for World AIDS Day, I don’t know where I should be,” UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe told The Associated Press on the eve of the day when the world takes stock of efforts to fight the epidemic and remembers those who have died. South Africa, a nation of about 50 million, has an estimated 5.7 million people infected with HIV — more than any other country in the world. Nearly 1,000 South Africans die every day of AIDSrelated diseases. Former President Thabo Mbeki questioned the link between HIV and AIDS, and his health minister distrusted drugs developed to keep AIDS patients alive, instead promoting beets
and garlic as AIDS treatments. A Harvard study has concluded that more than 300,000 premature deaths in South Africa could have been prevented had officials here acted sooner to provide drug treatments to AIDS patients and to prevent pregnant women with HIV from passing the virus to their children.
Nearly 2 Tons of Ivory Seized in Eastern Africa NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — African authorities raided shops, intercepted vehicles at checkpoints, and used sniffer dogs to detect and seize over 3,800 pounds (1,768 kilograms) of illegal elephant ivory in a six-nation operation, Interpol and the Kenya Wildlife Service said Nov. 30. During the three-month-long operation, authorities also seized leopard, crocodile and snake skins, among other illegal animal products, said Awad Dahia, Interpol’s eastern Africa chief. Dahia told journalists that the operation was coordinated by the international police organization and involved the wildlife authorities, police and customs departments of Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
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December 3, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
WHATâ€™S GOING ON? Deadline for receipt of Whatâ€™s Going On listings is Friday, 12 p.m., at least two weeks prior to activity. Fax to: (213) 251-5720, e-mail us at email@example.com or mail to: L.A. Watts Times, 3540 Wilshire Blvd., PH3, Los Angeles, CA 90010. WATTS-WILLOWBROOK CHRISTMAS â€” â€œBreaking The Barriers For A Change Has Comeâ€? is the theme of the 44th Annual WattsWillowbrook Christmas Parade. The parade will take place Dec. 5, beginning with a gospel concert at 10 a.m. at East 120th Street and South Central Avenue. The parade will be from noon to 3 p.m., beginning at El Segundo Boulevard and Central Avenue, traveling north to 103rd Street. There will be bands, floats, drum and bugle corps, majorette teams and more. Information: (323) 563-3629, (323) 757-7506. CAPOEIRA WORKSHOPS â€” Capoeira Angola master Mestre JoĂŁo Grande will lead a series of movement and music workshops Dec. 3 at Rogers Park, 400 W. Beach Ave., Inglewood, and Dec. 4 to 5, at Chucoâ€™s Justice Center, 1137 E. Redondo Blvd., Inglewood. Each dayâ€™s workshops will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the exhibitions will end by 7 p.m. Information: (424) 200-4968. HOLIDAY LIGHTS â€” The 14th annual Griffith Park Holiday Light Festival will be open nightly Dec. 3 through Dec. 30, 5 to 10 p.m.,
KOKAYI Continued from page 2 There is a lot at stake. In California, anyone convicted of first-degree murder gets no less than a sentence of 25 years to life and no less than 15 years to life for a conviction of second-degree murder. If Mehserle is convicted of either, it would be a rare and historic moment. It would be similar to the first time Ku Klux Klan members were first convicted of murdering a black man in the South. 3. Jury Selection If history is any indication, these types of cases are largely won and lost during jury selection. In almost every police brutality and murder case, the officerâ€™s attorneys will fight to move the trial to an area that can produce a pro-police jury (e.g. white, suburban) that will likely acquit their client. This tactic was recently used by Mehserleâ€™s lawyers, who demanded that the trial be moved out
with a display of seasonal scenes accompanied by music along a 1mile stretch of Crystal Springs Drive. Those who want to drive through the presentation or take a free shuttle from the Los Angeles Zooâ€™s parking area can do so beginning Dec. 18 to Dec. 30. The entrance to Griffith Park is located at Los Feliz Boulevard and Riverside Drive. Free parking will be first-come, first-served at the zoo. Information: (323) 913-4688, www. dwplightfestival.com. EXHIBIT â€” The Banning Residence Museum will be transformed into a Victorian recreation of â€œA Southern California Christmas.â€? The setting of the house will be a large afternoon Christmas dinner and will show how Southern Californians tried to create a feeling of winter in a semi-tropical climate. This exhibit will last for four weeks beginning Dec. 5 at 401 E. â€œMâ€? St., Wilmington. Information: (310) 548-7777, www.thebanningmuseum.org. HOME RESCUE FAIR â€” Homeowners in neighborhoods hardest hit by foreclosures can receive additional resources to help stay in their homes at this fair sponsored by the Alliance for Stabilizing our Communities. The fair will take place Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at South El Monte High School, 1001 N. Durfee Ave., El Monte. Counseling services, foreclosure prevention workshops, and in-language assistance will be provided, as well as workshops on
Foreclosure 101 and Crisis Budgeting. Opportunities for one-onone sessions with loan specialists will also be available. Information: (323) 722-3955. LIGHTS, CAMERA KIDS â€” The Hollywood Black Film Festival and others will present a one-day workshop geared towards providing information for parents of babies, children and teens trying to break into the entertainment industry as actors, models, singers or dancers. The event will take place Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Hollywood Center Studios, 1040 N. Las Palmas Ave., Los Angeles. This event costs $60 for one parent, $15 for each additional parent or child, and children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or adult. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org, www. hbff.org/lightscameraskids.php. FATHERHOOD WORKSHOP â€” Current and expectant fathers are invited to participate in workshops covering a variety of topics related to parenting on Dec. 9, 6 p.m., at Great Beginnings for Black Babies, 3311 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood. Information: (323) 789-7955, www. fatherhoodinitiative.org. BOAT PARADE â€” The Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce will hold its 18th Annual Christmas Boat Parade Dec. 12, 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the King Harbor Yacht Club, 280 Yacht Club Way, Redondo Beach. The entire harbor along Harbor Drive will light up with decorated boats
of Alameda County for concern that the jury pool in the area was largely prejudiced against the ex-BART police officer. While they were pleased that the trial was moved, they were just as disappointed that it ended up in downtown Los Angeles rather than a court in the more conservative, pro-police San Diego County. With a population more diverse and critical of police abuse and misconduct than many, the jury pool in Los Angeles potentially provides prosecutors in this case with a rare situation: a jury open to finding a police officer guilty. When Oakland exploded in anger after Grantâ€™s killing, many in Los Angeles sat on the outside looking at a scene familiar to the civil unrest in 1965 and 1992. Now, through the inner workings of the justice system, Angelenos are center stage of another police-related tragedy. With a new LAPD chief in
office and multiple investigations of the nearby Inglewood Police Department pending, the regionâ€™s leadership will be closely monitoring the Mehserle trial. The verdict â€” whether guilty or innocent â€” may greatly impact the type of policing we will see here for the foreseeable future. Community activists and residents will need to be attentive and, most importantly, need to effectively organize to make sure that police abuse and murder becomes a thing of the past. Kokayi Kwa Jitahidi is a community organizer with the Families for Community Safety Campaign, a grassroots effort to create a more just and peaceful society by holding law enforcement officers accountable for their actions. FCSC seeks to work with all sectors of the community including political organizations, elected officials, and residents in general. Jitahidi can be reached at email@example.com.
Photo Courtesy of NGOLO ARTS PRESERVATION SOCIETY
MOVEMENT MASTERY â€” 79-year-old Mestre JoĂŁo Grande is a Grand Master of Capoeira Angola, the centuries old fighting system brought to Brazil by enslaved Africans. With more than 50 years of experience, Grande is a highly respected figure in the world of Capoeira and has received numerous awards, including a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2001. Mestre Grande will lead a series of workshops when he visits the Southland this weekend.
parading sparkling, colored lights and seasonal decorations. This parade is free and can be seen from many of the pier or marina restaurants or along the break wall. Information: www. khyc.org/index.htm. TOY GIVEAWAY â€” â€œThe Candy Land Carnivalâ€? is the theme of the Second Chance Resource Centerâ€™s annual Spirit of Giving Toy and Gift Giveaway. The giveaway will take place Dec. 12, noon to 4 p.m., in the centerâ€™s parking lot at 6077 S. Normandie Ave., Los Angeles. There will also be carnival rides and games. Information: (213) 842-7900, kmorgan@secondchance resourcecenter.com. MINISTRY TRAINING â€” Frederick Price will be leading a twoyear, trimester program at the Crenshaw Christian Center, 7901 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. The program is designed for people who want to know the Bible more and who are also interested in the â€œfivefold ministry.â€? Registration for this program will be held on Dec. 12 and 13. Information: (323) 758-3777, ext. 4660, firstname.lastname@example.org. PET TOY DRIVE â€” The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) is collecting items for its annual Holiday Toy and Needed Items Drive. This toy/item drive is ongoing
through Dec. 31. Each Southern California location has a donation box to collect the following mostneeded items: Clay (non-scoopable) kitty litter; new, durable dog and cat toys; new (or gently used) clean towels and bedding; dog sweaters and coats. A full list of needed items can be found at http://spcala.com/donate/ needs_list.shtml. Information: (323) 730-5300, www.spcaLA.com. TENNIS â€” Registration is now under way for the 92nd annual Los Angeles Metropolitan Open Tennis Championships, which will be held the weekends of Jan. 9 to 10 and Jan. 16 to 17, 2010, at the Griffith Park Tennis Complex, 3401 Riverside Drive, Los Angeles. The event will have menâ€™s and womenâ€™s singles, menâ€™s and womenâ€™s doubles, and mixed doubles competitions. The registration fee is $40 for singles events and $45 per doubles team. The deadline to register is Dec. 18 by 1 p.m. Information: (818) 246-4088. HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS â€” Primm Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church, at 1938 S. Towne Ave., Pomona, will hold its annual holiday jazz and gospel music talent showcase Dec. 12, 3 to 8 p.m. There are still opportunities for talent and vendors to sign up. Information: (909) 627-0818 or e-mail mjshop@ aol.com.
SERIAL KILLER Continued from page 6 $200,000 per claimant, $500,000 for all cases). Meanwhile, the coalition is circulating a petition for signatures demanding, among other things: â€˘ An urgent public information campaign on the murders. â€˘ Complete information from the LAPD on any and all related murders and how they are being tracked. â€˘ An accurate count of the
number of women believed to have been killed by the serial killer(s). â€˘ A congressional hearing and investigation by the Department of Justice into the handling and potential mishandling of the cases by law enforcement. Anyone with tips about the murders or seeking more information can e-mail email@example.com, call (323) 2211698, or visit www.blackcoalitionfightsback.org.
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FOR OVER 100 YEARS...LIFE. POWERED BY EDISON.
L.A. WATTS TIMES
December 3, 2009
ARTS & CULTURE The 2009 Hollywood Christmas Parade was held Nov. 29 along Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. Thousands of fans turned out to participate in the 70-year-old tradition. The brother team of Kyle Massey (“That’s So Raven”; “Corey in the House”; “Life is Ruff”) and Christopher Massey (“Zoey 101”; “City Girls”; Emmy Award nominee) served as Parade Route Reporters during the 2009 Hollywood Christmas Parade.
R&B artist Brian McKnight and family members wave to the crowd during 2009 Hollywood Christmas Parade.
Veteran actor Louis Gossett, Jr. rides along the route of the 2009 Hollywood Christmas Parade.
Actors Morris Chestnut and Taraji P. Henson, and Jarvee Hutcherson, president of the MMPA
The 17th Annual Diversity Awards were held Nov. 22 at the Luxe Bel Air Hotel in Bel Air. The awards are a project of the Multicultural Motion Picture Association (MMPA), which honors individuals in the entertainment industry for their contributions to diversity in film and television. Photos by ROCHELLE PORTER/PEACHÉ PHOTO MEMORIES
Actors Hope Olaide Wilson and Camille Winbush
LeBron James’ Documentary Gets Nomination BY TOM WITHERS AP SPORTS WRITER
CLEVELAND (AP) – LeBron James is up for another award. “More Than A Game” has been nominated in the documentary category for the Spirit Awards honoring independent films. The film follows the NBA superstar and four high
school friends on their journey to a national championship while James becomes a celebrity. James is the reigning league MVP. He spent part of last summer on a worldwide promotional tour for the film. It was nominated along with “Anvil! The Story of Anvil,” “Food, Inc.,” “October Country”
and “Which Way Home.” Presented by the cinema group Film Independent, the Spirit Awards honor movies that cost less than $20 million to make. The awards will be presented March 5, 2010, two days before the Academy Awards. The Cavaliers host the Detroit Pistons that day.
December 3, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
ARTS & CULTURE SHORT TAKES FILM SCREENING • “Operation Small Axe,” a film which draws parallels with the struggles against oppression in Palestine and South Africa and the life of Oakland residents under what some call police repression,
will be shown Dec. 12, 6:30 p.m., at Leimert Park’s Kaos Network, 4343 Leimert Blvd., Los Angeles. The film tells its story through the lens of the Oscar Grant and Lovelle Mixon cases. Grant was shot in the back and killed by Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle this year on New Year’s Day. On March 21, Mixon was killed by Oakland police after having allegedly shot five OPD officers, killing four. Narrator and producer of the film, Bro. JR, will address the audience for a Q-and-A session following the film. Information: www.blockreportradio.com.
PERFORMANCES • L.A. Theatre Works will present actors Russell Hornsby an d Charlayne Woodard i n “Crumbs from the Table of Joy” from Dec. 9 to 11, 8 p.m., Dec. 12 at 2:30 p.m., and Dec. 14 at 4 p.m.,
at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. Written by 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage, “Crumbs from the Table of Joy” tells the story of the Crump family, which is in trouble. Godfrey is widowed and adrift, and his teen daughters, Ernestine and Ermina, have immersed themselves in glamorous illusions of Hollywood to escape the racial prejudices of 1950s Brooklyn. But things change quickly when free-spirited Aunt Lily shows up. Suddenly, Godfrey remarries a white woman, Ermina discovers boys, and Ernestine is torn between embracing bebop and the Communist Party. Tickets range from $20 to $48 and can be purchased at the L.A. Theatre Works box office. All performances will be recorded for broadcast on L.A. Theatre Works’ nationally syndicated radio theater series, which airs locally in Southern California on KPCC 89.3 every Saturday from 10 p.m. to midnight and can be streamed on demand at
www.latw.org. Information: (310) 827-0889, www.latw.org. • Award-winning director and choreographer Debbie Allen will premiere her dance-driven musical “OMAN...O Man!” from Dec. 10 to 12 at Royce Hall on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles. Featuring an original score by Grammy and Emmy award-winning composer Arturo Sandoval, “OMAN...O Man!” is the story of two young men — one Omani (Muslim) and the other an African American (Christian) — who are roommates at a military academy. Through music, movement, song and dance, the men take a journey discovering the similarities and differences between their two cultures as they learn much about each other. Information: (310) 202-1711, (310) 825-2101, www.TheOman-OmanShow. com. • The Matrix Theatre Co. will present a staged reading of the Branden Jacobs-Jenkins play “N(E)IG(H)G(BO)ERS.” Directed by Niegel Smith, this work examines race in America through the lens of an upwardly mobile African American academic who is pitted against a family of black vaudeville performers who threaten his comfortable, middleclass life when they move into the house next door. The reading will take place Dec. 6, 1 p.m., at The Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. This event is free to the public. Information: (323) 852-1445.
Grand Central Publishing. Shepherd will sign copies of her book Dec. 11, 7 p.m., at Barnes & Noble, The Grove at Farmer’s Market, 189 Grove Drive Suite K 30, Los Angeles. Information: (323) 525-0270. • Charles Connor, an original drummer for Little Richard and author of the book “Don’t Give Up Your Dreams,” will sign copies of his book at the Pasadena Book, Print, Photo and Paper Fair Dec. 5, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Dec. 6, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will take place at the Pasadena Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena. Information: www.bustamante-shows.com.
EXPO • “Back To The Root,” The Natural Hair Expo, will take place Dec. 5, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., in the Museum of African American Art, located on the third floor of
Macy’s in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, 4005 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles. This event will showcase natural products and wearable art, with speakers, celebrities, giveaways and food. Vendor applications for this event are still available. Information: (323) 2810766.
Committee, 10950 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles. Ticket prices for this event, which are tax deductible, range from $50 to $2,500 and up. All proceeds will benefit the program that operates four sober living homes serving 40 to 50 women and children per year, and offers a wide range of support services to help facilitate a successful transition back to community life. Since its founding in 1998, A New Way of Life has helped more than 220 women. Information: (323) 5633575, www.anewwayoflife.org.
• A New Way of Life Reentry Project, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and re-entry support to formerly incarcerated women and their children, will celebrate their 11th anniversary with a gala affair Dec. 12, 5 to 9 p.m., at the Watts Labor Community Action
Dec. 4, 1909 James Henry Anderson, a relatively unknown South Carolina native, establishes the New York Amsterdam News. Anderson parlays a $10 investment, six sheets of paper, and two pencils into his venture and launched one of the most influential publications in the annals of the black press. Using his wife’s 5 x 4-foot dressmaker’s table in the basement of his home, the Amsterdam News began life as a 2-cent-per-copy, sixpage weekly that covered city items, black social organizations and local YMCA events. Source: blackfacts.com
CONCERTS • Les Nubians will perform Dec. 12, 8 p.m., at The Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles,
5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles. The Grammy-nominated international recording artists have performed in front of audiences for nearly a decade with their inventive and distinctive “Afropean” style. Information: (323) 3436600, www.luckmanarts.org.
BOOKSIGNINGS • Sherri Shepherd, Emmy Award-winning co-host of ABC’s “The View” recently released her memoir, “Permission Slips: Every Woman’s Guide to Giving Herself a Break,” published by
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L.A. WATTS TIMES
December 3, 2009
ARTS & CULTURE
Music Review: Cosby Rap CD Bold but Lacks Spark BY JESSE WASHINGTON AP WRITER
Bill Cosby is gangster when it comes to helping black people. Meaning he’s ruthless, bold, fearless — and will do almost anything to achieve his objective. Cosby has already absorbed enormous criticism from African Americans for his blunt attacks on self-destructive black behavior and hip-hop culture. Now he’s taking his crusade into the lion’s den with the improbable rap album “Bill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergency.”
BOOK Continued from page 1 lecturing occasionally at universities, Dattel has written a book titled “Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power.” The publisher, Ivan R. Dee of Chicago, gave the book an initial print run of 7,500 copies. “Cotton and Race” is a compelling story of how the cash crop shaped the 19th-century global economy and magnified the United States’ racial problems. His narrative begins during the framing of the U.S. Constitution in the 1780s, decades before the cotton boom. It ends in about 1930, when, Dattel says, subsidies made cotton “a permanent ward of the federal government.” While Dattel’s work condemns slavery as “a tragedy of racial epic proportions,” the book focuses more on money than morality. “Without cotton, slavery would most probably have been headed for extinction,” Dattel writes. The book outlines changes in society, including Europeans’ demand for clothing made from cotton rather than wool, that made the crop the top U.S. export from 1803 to 1937. It also notes that the cotton trade helped propel New York to commercial prominence. Charles Reagan Wilson, chairman of the history department at the University of Mississippi, said Dattel researched primary sources to create a “very sweeping” narrative about how the rapid expansion of the cotton market in the early 19th century shaped history and reinforced slavery in the United States. “It’s a global story,” said Wilson, who has known Dattel for years. “It’s extremely well crafted.” The book also makes clear that racial oppression was not limited to the South. Although there was significant anti-slavery sentiment in the North and the West, there were also strong anti-black attitudes in those areas. Dattel notes, for example, that Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin were among the states with laws excluding blacks from full civic participation. “Someone who was anti-slavery could also be anti-black — the same person,” Dattel said in an interview. Dattel writes that “the blatant racial bigotry of the North played a vital role in consigning blacks to a life in the cotton fields by impeding and even curtailing their physical and economic mobility, thus furthering the entrapment of most blacks in
No, the Cos is not on the mic — he executive produced the project and provided the concepts for all 14 songs. The actual rapping is done by three little-known artists; the music was created by Cosby’s longtime collaborator William “Spaceman” Patterson, with help from Cedric “Ced Gee” Miller of the 1980s rap group Ultramagnetic MCs. The songs range from descriptions of black afflictions, challenges to self-improvement, celebrations of black women to visions of a better future. Sometimes the the South after the Civil War.” Lee A. Daniels, communications director for the New Yorkbased NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., praised Dattel’s book as an “epic.” He said it meticulously outlines how — by law and by social pressure — the United States carried out a policy of containment that kept blacks in the South during and after slavery and in Northern ghettos later. Daniels said Dattel challenges a broadly held belief that racial oppression was limited by geography or carried out only by certain groups of people — an assumption Daniels said is “one of the ways America takes comfort from its slave past.” “In fact, all of America condoned, really, the oppression of all black people,” said Daniels, who read Dattel’s book upon the recommendation of a friend. Dattel worked in investment banking from 1969 to 1992 and his career took him to Tokyo, Hong Kong and London. Since 1998, he has been a financial-institutions adviser to the Pentagon. He spent three years writing “Cotton and Race” — his second book after 1994’s “The Sun That Never Rose,” an analysis of Japan’s failed financial institutions during the 1980s. He had been researching race and cotton since he was at Yale in 1963. Dattel was raised in what he called a “very assimilated” Jewish community in Ruleville. The Mississippi Delta town now has a population of 3,234, of whom 81 percent are black and 19 percent are white. At the time he lived there, Dattel said, the population was more evenly split between black and white. From 1997 to 2004, he traveled to several states with Clifton Taulbert, author of the 1990 memoir “Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored.” In a presentation they called “Parallel Lives,” they discussed what it was like for Dattel to grow up Jewish and white, and for Taulbert to grow up black in the Mississippi Delta in the 1950s. Dattel was recently in Jackson to discuss “Cotton and Race,” and about 60 people attended his presentation at the state archives. Meredith sat quietly near the back of the room, wearing an Ole Miss baseball cap. Dattel said later he was intrigued to see, in person, the man whose integration of Ole Miss helped propel his own first efforts at explaining race and history. “The symmetry,” Dattel said, “was unbelievable.”
rappers play bad guy, delivering first-person narratives that provide context for their evil ways and showing that Cosby is not simply “blaming the victim.” It’s a powerful, much-needed message, the polar opposite of today’s chart-topping rap. (50 Cent’s invitation to unwed pregnancy “Baby By Me” comes to mind.) Combined with Cosby’s call for nationwide meetings to discuss his album and create action plans, “State of Emergency” has the potential to actually change lives. There’s only one problem: the music itself. Asking your average rap fan to listen to this is like asking a kid to give up Twinkies for tofu — so the healthy stuff had better be extra good. On “Emergency,” the rappers are decent, but they don’t say anything rewindable. Spaceman’s beats are aiight, with sonic themes that accompany the subject matter, like a siren on the title track, curious guitar twangs on “Why” and a horn-snare march on “Where’s the Parade.” But when you put them together, they don’t create the spe-
cial flavor that makes you hungry for more. “State of Emergency” is food for starving souls, but definitely in need of some spice.
Check this track out: “Fear No Man” describes ghetto pitfalls over a plink-plunk beat reminiscent of Jay-Z’s “Can I Get A...”
between the Panthers and local police was imminent. “There was a national plan for local police, egged on by the FBI, to attack Panthers all across the country,” according to Ayuko Babu, currently the Executive Director of the Pan African Film Festival, and a community activist who worked with the Panthers at that time. “We found out about it because (an official) in Seattle, Washington, said that he wasn’t going to go along with the plan. It was in all the papers at the time.” Roland Freeman, a survivor of the shootout on Central Avenue, says that about one week before the shootout, a police officer had attempted to enter the party’s office. “He was told to leave,” Freeman said. “He knew he was not welcomed in our office, a shotgun was pulled on him, and he ended up leaving.” According to Freeman, that confrontation was used as the pretext for the police to come and search for weapons. “They had done some dry runs in the community, so they had been planning it,” Freeman said. “They came in there to kill us, they were going to kill us; there’s no doubt in my mind.” The LAPD’s account about what led to the shootout bears some similarity to Freeman’s. “A community relations officer named Morton and two patrol officers observed the occupants of 41st and Central training their weapons on police cars and officers as they drove by,” said Sgt. Chuck Buttitta with the LAPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. “Officer Morton tried to resolve the problem, and entered the headquarters and observed two occupants inside. One of the occupants inside pointed a .45 caliber weapon at Officer Morton,” he said. “The other occupant picked
up a shotgun and told Morton … ‘Count to three and you better be out of here.’ Officer Morton exited the premises and notified supervisors and a crime report was made.” The charge was assault with a deadly weapon on police officer, Buttitta added. A search warrant was then secured for the location and the warrant was served on Dec. 8, 1969, he said. The SWAT unit had been created in the late 1960s but their first “challenge” came with the Panther confrontation in 1969, according to the unit’s Web site. Under the section “Challenges Faced by S.W.A.T.,” the Web site states, “The Black Panthers resisted and attempted to shoot it out with 40 members of the SWAT Team. In the ensuing four-hour siege, thousands of rounds of ammunition were fired, resulting in the wounding of three Panthers and three police officers. The Panthers finally surrendered to SWAT officers, whose first mission was now an indelible part of history.” Albeit for different reasons, the LAPD and the Panthers consider the event to be historic. The Los Angeles SWAT Foundation, a nonprofit organization, sells an unofficial SWAT patch that contains the number “41” on it, which commemorates the confrontation on East 41st Street and South Central Avenue. The patch is not worn on SWAT tactical deployment uniforms, but it can be purchased and worn on a jacket or T-shirt, Buttitta said. The patch is generally sold to other law enforcement officers. Everett, whose film is part of a documentary project to tell the story of the Southern California chapter the BPP, says the incident was a defining moment for both the LAPD and the Panthers. “Eleven people … the majority of them teenagers 19 and under, See PANTHERS, page 11
PANTHERS Continued from page 1 people, including free health care, full employment, decent housing and decent education. The platform also called for an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people. “That principle seemed to get the most attention,” said Richard “Dhoruba” Moore, a member of the New York chapter of the BPP at the time, in “Framing the Panthers,” a documentary on Moore. The BPP emphatically espoused the right of African Americans to self-defense, up to and including against local police departments, which put them in conflict with those agencies. The party also insisted that African Americans control their own political destiny, as reflected in party documents and speeches. The BPP’s commitment to such principles, in addition to their “Serve the People” programs such as free breakfast for children and free sickle cell anemia testing, are what led to then-Director of the FBI J. Edgar Hoover’s labeling of the BPP as “the greatest single threat to the internal security of the country,” in a Sept. 8, 1968, New York Times article, according to “The Cointelpro Papers: Documents from the FBI’s Secret Wars Against Dissent in the United States,” a book written by Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall. The LAPD assault of the BPP headquarters on East 41st Street and South Central Avenue in Los Angeles occurred about four days after a similar pre-dawn raid of the party’s Illinois headquarters in Chicago that killed Illinois Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clark. The Chicago incident was one of several acts against BPP headquarters across the country at that time. Some people said they thought that a confrontation in Los Angeles
December 3, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
EDUCATION Report: More Latinos and African Americans Value Higher Education
CSU Campuses to Set Aside Spots for Special Skills
Obama to Honor Young Inventors at Science Fair
FRESNO (AP) — Some California State University campuses will set aside additional slots for athletes, musicians and other special students this fall as the system prepares to turn away more applicants. The 23-campus system is facing a $564 million budget cut this fiscal year, forcing it to cut enrollment by about 40,000 at the same time applications have reached record highs. That has forced many schools to prioritize applications from local students and rank qualified out-ofarea students based on academics. For the first time, some campuses also plan to expand their academic exceptions to ensure sports, band, ROTC-specialized programs such as agriculture and engineering are filled. Jim Blackburn, CSU’s systemwide director of enrollment management, says the group goes far beyond athletes to “all special talents.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he will have a national science fair next year to honor young inventors with the same gusto that college and professional athletes celebrate their victories at the White House. Obama on Nov. 23 said he would have a national science fair at the White House next year. He said he wants to show the country that inventors and engineers deserve the same recognition that athletes and celebrities get. The president made his remarks as he announced his administration was partnering with private companies to boost science and math scores. He said private companies already have pledged $260 million to help move U.S. students to the top of international rankings.
Music Center Extends Deadline for Spotlight Awards Visual Arts Applications The Music Center of Los Angeles County has extended its deadline for students to submit their artwork applications in the Visual Arts categories for the 22nd Annual Music Center Spotlight Awards. Visual Arts applications must be received online or postmarked by no later than Dec. 8. The program is free and open to all students who attend high school in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties at time of deadline. The Visual Arts categories are photography (black/white, color, and digital) and two-dimensional art (works of art with height and width but no depth, using drawing, painting, and computer-generated or mixed media). All visual arts participants will be invited to attend master classes and museum tours. Work by semifinalists will be showcased in a Southern California gallery in the spring 2010. The first grand prize scholarship is $5,000 and the second grand prize scholarship is $4,000. Honorable mentions receive $250 scholarships. Semi-finalists receive $100 scholarships. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org, musiccenter.org.
Students Get Schooled on Hip-Hop at Minn. College ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A professional DJ since 1992, Freddy Fresh (real name Fredrick Schmid) is among the new teachers brought in by McNally Smith College of Music for a hip-hop studies program that school officials say is the first in the nation. The private downtown St. Paul college — where rapper-actor Ice Cube already funds a scholarship for music technology studies — began the hip-hop program in September and hopes the first students, after completing a recorded project and a live performance, get their diploma certificates at commencement next summer. College classes on the language of hip-hop or how to work turntables are not new. Berklee College of Music in Boston held its annual Business of Hip-Hop Symposium in October and has had visits from pioneering hip-hop DJ Grandmaster Flash and rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently hosted a semester-long fall lecture series on hip-hop. Marcyliena Morgan, a professor at Harvard University, founded The Hiphop Archive in 2002. But McNally Smith is offering a full, 45-credit, three-semester hip-hop program. The school hopes that hip-hop graduates will then enter McNally Smith’s twoor four-year programs, where those students can apply some of their credits, said Cliff Wittstruck, dean of academic affairs.
BY VIVIAN PO NEW AMERICA MEDIA
A higher percentage of Latinos and African Americans in California value college education as a necessary path to success in today’s work world, compared to their Asian and white counterparts, according to a recent survey. The Public Policy Institute of California recently released its latest report, “Californians & Higher Education,” which reflects a spectrum of perspectives on California’s higher education among different ethnic groups. PPIC polled 2,502 adults in five languages — English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. Eighty-one percent of Latinos and 76 percent of African Americans believe that college education is necessary for a person to become successful, the report found. Only 57 percent of whites and 66 percent of Asians share the same perspective. Kim Thomas-Barrios, executive director of the Neighborhood Academic Initiative Program at University of Southern California,
said she was not surprised by the survey’s findings. “Education (means a) better life for them,” she said. Her program offers college prep for low-income students who are predominantly African American and Latino. Students enrolled in the program receive additional courses in English and mathematics, and extra information on college access, on the campus during weekends. Thomas-Barrios said that historically African American and Latino families who attended college earn better salaries and are often seen by their communities as those “who made it.” While more Latinos and African Americans highly value college education, they are not necessarily receiving one. Their college admission rates remain significantly lower than other major ethnic groups. According to admissions data from the University of California, African Americans and Latinos make up 4 percent and 22.2 percent, respectively, of the fall 2009
admissions to UC campuses; Asian Americans and whites make up 34.9 percent and 33.1 percent, respectively. Michele Siqueiros, executive director of Campaign for College Opportunity in Los Angeles, said the survey figures show there is “a gap between aspiration and actualization” in the Latino and African American communities. Siqueiros said the high cost of higher education is one hurdle for black and Latino students. They typically can’t afford the extras — like SAT prep courses — as well as the four-year tuition and expenses. The survey proves her point. According to the survey, 74 percent of African Americans and 64 percent of Latinos believe qualified students from low-income families, regardless of their ethnic background, have fewer opportunities to receive a college education, compared to nearly 60 percent of Asians and whites. “That is why it is so important to preserve Cal Grants and other grants to low-income students,” Siqueiros said.
Montgomery Bus Boycott, cites a plaque he saw in Soweto, South Africa, as proof of the historic nature of what happened that day in 1969. At a museum dedicated to the struggle against apartheid that Babu visited in 2007, he observed the plaque that was dedicated to the black youth of the United States in the 1960s who helped inspire us (South Africans) to stand up and carry out our struggle.
“That act on Central Avenue had a worldwide effect,” he said. A Dec. 24, 1971, Los Angeles Tribune article detailed the acquittal of all the Panthers involved in the Dec. 8 shootout, according to “The Cointelpro Papers.” “(It was) one of the longest trials in California history, if not the longest at the time,” Freeman said. “That was a highlight of the struggle; it didn’t get much better than that.”
PANTHERS Continued from page 10 in a five-hour shootout with over 300 police officers, including SWAT. It’s SWAT’s first public mission and they break out 16 millimeter film cameras to film the event, no one is murdered, and they (the Panthers) eventually beat the case … this is the climax of the Black Power Movement in America,” Everett said. Talibah Shakir, an 18-year-old member of the party at the time, also described the confrontation as a defining moment. “We were like, ‘We’re tired of turning the other cheek.’ We were tired of seeing our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, shot down in the street by the local police agencies, the occupying force, and then it being classified as justifiable homicide time and time again,” she said. Babu, who described the incident as a victory that should be celebrated in the same way as the
• Strong Arts, P.E. and Technology Programs • Emphasis on Self-Reliance and Mutual Respect • Pre-K through 6th Grade • Challenging and Individualized Curriculum 3430 McManus Ave., Culver City, CA 90232 (310) 838-2442 • echohorizon.org
L.A. WATTS TIMES
THE PULSE Calif. Dept. of Public Health: Don’t Travel With the Flu SACRAMENTO — As the holiday season begins, Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health, is advising travelers that the flu will not be staying home for the holidays and encouraging them to follow simple steps to avoid having the flu as an unwanted traveling companion. The holiday season is one of the busiest periods annually for travel. Close contact with others while traveling can help spread infectious diseases like the flu. Horton recommends that travelers practice “Healthy Traveling” by doing the following: • Don’t travel with the flu. • Stay home if you are sick. • Get vaccinated for both the seasonal and H1N1 flu. • Wash your hands often. • Carry hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are not able to wash your hands. • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue. For more information on healthy traveling, go to www. cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/ Pages/h1n1travel.aspx.
Healthy Communities Town Hall to Take Place Community Health Councils and others will sponsor a meeting on “South Los Angeles Building Healthy Communities, Dec. 5, 9 a.m. to noon, at the Weingart YMCA and Aquatic Center, 9900 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss what changes can be made on the state and local level for healthier communities. Information: milena@chc-inc. org, (323) 295-9372.
Alzheimer’s Research in Blacks Gets Federal Boost CHICAGO (AP) — Alzheimer’s research in Chicago is getting a big boost from the federal government. The National Institute on Aging announced Nov. 23 that $4.7 million in American Recovery Act money will fund research on mental decline in older black Americans. Dr. Denis Evans at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago is involved. He’ll collect and analyze DNA from more than 4,000 blacks enrolled in aging studies in Chicago and Indianapolis. Data from this analysis will help identify risk factor genes for mental decline and late-onset Alzheimer’s. More than 100 Alzheimer’s or Alzheimer’s-related research grants have been awarded under the Recovery Act.
Kaiser Permanente to Present Fibroid Program “Fibroids and You: A Group Appointment for Kaiser Permanente Patients” will take place Dec. 3, 1 to 5 p.m., at the Kaiser Permanente Playa Vista Clinic, 5620 Mesmer Ave., Culver City. The meeting is for women who urinate frequently, experience pelvic pain, have heavy menstrual periods, and other physical problems. These are all symptoms of uterine fibroids. Gynecologists will discuss these physical issues along with treatment methods. The meeting is for Kaiser patients only. Free parking will be available. Registration, information: (310) 737-4872, www.ask4UFE.com.
L.A. County Approves Public Hospital Pact with UC (AP) — Los Angeles County supervisors have unanimously approved a deal to create a new See THE PULSE, page 15
Shop Saturdays at your Neighborhood Farmers’ Markets this holiday season!
Fresh seasonal produce, prepared food, and local handcrafts Watts Healthy Farmers’ Market Ted Watkins Memorial Park 103rd & Central Ave 10 am-2 pm
Crenshaw Farmers’ Market Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Crenshaw Blvd & Stocker St. 10 am-3 pm
Operated by Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA). For more information please call 323-463-3171 or visit www.farmernet.com
December 3, 2009
HEALTH Bound for Homeland or Hometown? Figure the Flu Into Holiday Travel BY JERRY SULLIVAN COURTESY OF LOS ANGELES GARMENT & CITIZEN/LABEEZ.ORG
Add the H1N1 virus — also known as the “swine flu” — to long check-in lines, bad weather, flight delays and the rest of the concerns that typically greet holiday travelers at this time of year. The concerns have grown in recent weeks as indicators have pointed to higher numbers of cases of H1N1 compared to a year ago. Some medical professionals have attributed the apparent increase to the H1N1 virus arriving in force just as the regular flu season approaches. They have also cited delays in getting sufficient dosages of vaccines to various areas of the country. Numerous H1N1 vaccination sites have still drawn long lines in Los Angeles in recent weeks, and public health officials continue efforts to warn locals about the dangers of the virus. But should the possibility of contracting the H1N1 virus prevent anyone from traveling to see family or friends for the holidays? Should fears about the flu keep folks from taking a trip for Christmas or Hanukkah? Not if you are an otherwise healthy adult under the age of 65, according to Dr. Byron Williams, director of infectious control at White Memorial Medical Center in the Boyle Heights district east of downtown. “I would say (that you should) only alter your travel plans if you’re (already) ill with the flu,” Williams said. Williams said that otherwise healthy individuals have as much
chance of contracting H1N1 whether or not they travel. “Exposure to the flu can happen on a plane, it can happen in a hospital, it can happen on the street, it can happen in a grocery store,” he said. Williams nevertheless urged holiday travelers to be aware of the H1N1 flu strain, which is highly contagious and has already spread to locales throughout the United States. Yet he noted that the spread of the virus is the main reason that the chance of getting H1N1 is no greater on an airplane than anywhere else people gather. Vaccinations remain the best defense against the virus, according to medical professionals. But Williams and others view good hygiene as a key secondary defense for travelers and anyone else. “ Wa s h y o u r h a n d s , ” s a i d Williams. “Try to keep your hands away from your nose and mouth if you feel sick.” That might be simple stuff, but it’s also effective — and too often overlooked — according to Williams. “Good hygiene practice is a fundamental and often taken-forgranted practice,” he added. Medical professionals generally take a more cautious view of travel plans for anyone who is experiencing flu-like symptoms, has chronic illnesses, adults over the age of 65, children less than 5 years old and pregnant women. Officials with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging travelers in those categories — considered to have increased risk of complications from flu — to consider postponing travel.
Officials of the federal agency advise anyone who is in a high-risk category to talk to a doctor about whether to take flu medications along in case they develop the flu but can’t get medical attention right away. Anyone who is considered high risk or is experiencing flu-like symptoms is urged to cancel travel plans in order to keep airports and airplanes from becoming H1N1 infection breeding grounds. Visit the White Memorial Medical Center’s Web site at whitememorial.com for more information in Spanish and English on the H1N1 virus; visit the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Web site at lapublichealth.org or call the 2-1-1 telephone line for more dates and locations for H1N1 vaccination clinics and other information in English, Spanish, Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, Khmer, Korean, Russian, Tagalog and Vietnamese. Jerry Sullivan is editor of the L.A. Garment & Citizen. This story is from Labeez.org, a Web site established by New America Media and features contributions from a number of publications that cover various ethnic communities in the Los Angeles area. The Garment & Citizen and Watts Times are both members of L.A. Beez.
A Doctor’s Word — Deciphering the New Mammography Guidelines BY ERIN MARCUS, M.D. NEW AMERICA MEDIA
Whenever I order a mammogram for a woman in her 40’s, I also give her a warning: “Don’t get scared if it’s abnormal.” I tell her this because research shows that a woman who undergoes 10 routine screening mammograms has a 50-50 chance of having something unusual that requires her to go for more tests. The vast majority of these mammographic abnormalities aren’t cancer, but she still needs to get the additional tests, just to make sure. So the new mammogram recommendations by the United States Preventive Services Task Force really didn’t surprise me. While there’s pretty good evidence that mammograms save lives in women age 50 and older, it’s not a great test in younger women. Women under 50 are more likely than older women to have false positive mammograms, resulting in their needing additional testing for something that turns out not to be cancer.
They are also far less likely than older women to have breast cancer detected by mammograms. When you look at the overall population, mammography’s lack of precision in picking up cancer in younger women is pretty astounding. According to data from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, a network of mammogram registries, 556 women in their 40s have to get a screening mammogram for the test to pick up one invasive, or potentially life-threatening, cancer. One out of a thousand screened women will have a breast cancer that’s not picked up by their mammogram, while close to 1 out of 10 women in this age group will have a false positive result. For older women, the test is more precise. For example, 200 women in their 60s have to be screened to find one invasive cancer, and there are fewer false positives. One recent academic article pointed out that even though the advent of mammography 30 years ago led to a surge in the number of
women diagnosed with tiny, localized breast cancers, it hasn’t significantly decreased the number of women found to have disease that’s already spread to other parts of the body. If mammograms were truly effective, the article’s authors argued, there should have been a bigger drop in the number of women with advanced cancer, because their disease should have been caught before it was able to spread. Some researchers contend that many of these tiny cancers, called ductal carcinomas in situ, won’t grow, and, by finding them, widespread mammography has resulted in lots of women being “overtreated” with aggressive therapies. Despite all these concerns, the fact remains that breast cancer kills 40,000 women in the United States every year, more than any cancer except lung cancer. Given all the questions about mammograms’ effectiveness, we clearly need better ways to screen women. See MAMMOGRAPHY, page 15
December 3, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
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L.A. WATTS TIMES
December 3, 2009
SPORTS BRAD PYE JR.
SPORTS BEAT Notes, quotes and things picked up on the run from coast-to-coast and all the stops in between and beyond. The USC Trojans trampled UCLA 28-7 on Nov. 28. On Dec. 5, Troy will play its last regular season game against the University of Arizona Wildcats at the Coliseum. Coach Randy Shannonâ€™s Miami Hurricanes (9-3) should be in line for a major bowl after their 31-10 victory over South Florida Nov. 28. And the beat continuesâ€Ś The Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints continued their perfect report cards to 11-0. The Colts will play against the Tennessee Titans and the Saints will battle the Washington Redskins, both on Dec. 6. And the beat continuesâ€Ś Orlando Hudson shouldnâ€™t have a hard time finding a job in 2010. The Dodgers would be stupid to let Hudson get away. After all, Hudson made the All-Star team in 2009 and continued to play like one for the rest of the season. And the beat continuesâ€Ś
Is Andrew Bynum the best free throw shooting center the Lakers have had? He will be if he continues to shoot â€œfreebeesâ€? the way he has to date. At present, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has this distinction. The United States Sports Academy is the latest organization to
Facts Dec. 4, 1969 Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, leaders in the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, are killed in a Chicago police raid. Civil rights leaders said the two men were murdered in their beds. Ballistic evidence showed that most bullets during the raid were aimed at Hamptonâ€™s bedroom. Source: blackfacts.com
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