Vol. XXX, No. 1165
SERVING LOS ANGELES COUNTY WITH NEWS YOU CAN USE
FIRST COLUMN: BLACK HISTORY MONTH FEATURE
Group Plans Celebration of Historic Johnson-Jeffries Fight BY GUY CLIFTON RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
RENO, Nev. (AP) — The 100th anniversary of the legendary heavyweight title fight between African American champion Jack Johnson and “white hope” James Jeffries in Reno on July 4, 1910, is fast approaching and a group of boxing enthusiasts is planning a multi-day celebration to commemorate the event. “It’s going to be very cool,” said boxing historian Gary Schultz, who is organizing the celebration with Terry Lane of Let’s Get It On Promotions and Mike Martino of USA Boxing. Among the events being planned are a gala “Jack Johnson Pardon Dinner,” showings of the
fight film, tours of the fight site and training camps, appearances by past heavyweight champions and live boxing. Lane, the son of longtime boxing referee and former Washoe District Judge Mills Lane, said he’s hoping the live boxing will be a world championship fight. “We just hope we can do a copromotion with Top Rank and make a nice title fight,” he said. “We’ve been throwing some ideas around and we’re talking about some big names here, so we hope it all works out.” Schultz said the group is trying to get President Barack Obama to come to Reno to sign a presidential pardon for Johnson, who was imprisoned because of his romantic ties with a white woman. Schultz, Lane and Martino late last year met with a representative of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to ask for help in obtaining Obama’s participation. Earlier in 2009, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed a resolution urging a presidential pardon for Johnson. The resolution was sponsored by U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. “Jack Johnson is a trailblazer and a legend, whose boxing career was cut short due to unjust laws See HISTORIC FIGHT, page 8
Congresswoman Maxine Waters Makes Call to Action for Haiti There’s a need for thousands of more tents, she says BY CHARLENE MUHAMMAD CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Back from a recent fact-finding mission to the earthquake-ravaged Haiti, Congresswoman Maxine Waters called on the Los Angeles community Jan. 31 to get more relief to the Caribbean nation — now. While there, Waters met with Haiti President René Préval and others, who said tents are currently the number-one priority for the country, which was hit with a 7.0 earthquake on Jan. 12. “If the people are left outdoors, all kind of disease is going to spread,” said Waters, who gave her fact-finding report to a packed room of more than 100 people at the African American Cultural Center in Los Angeles. “Already, they’re bringing the babies into the makeshift hospitals with diarrhea and dysentery. There are many conditions that people are living under that just would shock you ... The number of amputees is mind-boggling.” Specifically, the country needs at least 250,000 Army-quality tents, fully equipped with toilet and cooking facilities, Waters said. Waters said she is depending on black media to spread awareness about the needs for tents. She is also urging the Congressional Black Caucus to push the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help get the tents to Haiti before the rainy season, which
CCH Pounder Set to Host 18th Annual PAFF BY DARLENE DONLOE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Don’t let her reserved, dramatic-actress persona fool you. CCH Pounder is a mile-aminute spitfire with a hearty laugh and a great sense of humor. She can have you in stitches with her witty banter one minute and have you in tears with her sensitive, affecting acting skills the next. During an exclusive interview with Pounder, it was obvious why she was chosen as the celebrity host for this year’s upcoming Pan African Film Festival: Pounder knows films. Pounder loves films. Her support of the annual event is evident, consistent and sound. It’s either her third or fourth time up at bat as the celebrity host. She’s not quite sure which. But, what she is sure about is the importance of the annual affair and how it provides an audience and gives voice to filmmakers from around the world who otherwise would have neither. “We’re a film culture worldwide,” said Pounder, who currently stars in the megahit film, “Avatar,” the Fox television comedy,
Photo by GENEVA
“Brothers,” and has a recurring role on the Science Fiction series, “Warehouse 13.” “We might as well get to see what the rest of the world has to offer. It’s good to see what other people are thinking.” This year marks the 18th Annual Pan African Film Festival (Feb. 10 to 17), considered one of America’s largest and most prestigious black film and arts festivals. Best known for showcasing a wide variety of films with varied subject matters, the PAFF will, once again, showcase films from the African Diaspora, including the United States, Canada, Europe and South America.
February 4, 2010
All films in the festival are made by or about people of African descent. The PAFF will also include an art show (Feb. 12 to 15), featuring more than 100 artists and craftspeople from around the world showcasing handmade crafts, fine art, designer jewelry and much more. This year, the civil rights film, “Blood Done Sign My Name,” starring Nate Parker and Lela Rochon, will open the festival with a star-studded, red-carpet event at the Directors Guild of America on Feb. 10. “I’ll be there,” Pounder said. “Whatever it takes to get the job done, I’ll do it. The festival always has a number of interesting films. It’s wonderful because we all get to see a variety of films we wouldn’t normally see.” Pounder, who sternly ruled for seven years on the FX channel’s drama series, “The Shield,” and received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a drama series for HBO’s “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” said it’s no secret that she’s doing exactly what she was put on Earth to do. “I think some people are meant See PAFF, page 12
Photo Courtesy of AGÊNCIA BRASIL
MORE HELP URGED — Someone carries bottles of water on their head in Cité Soleil, Haiti. The makeshift tents nearby are among many in the Caribbean nation, which was hit by a 7.0 earthquake on Jan. 12. Congresswoman Maxine Waters said quality tents need to be placed in the country before the rainy season arrives.
could start in April or May. “We’re up against some very, very serious situations,” Waters said. “For example, the rains are coming and the people are sleeping outdoors. Everybody’s homeless. “One million people are in the parks and on the streets, with nothing but little tarps, makeshifts, little sheets ... women are birthing their babies in the park!” She also told people to phone, fax, e-mail and write letters to their Congress members, and let them know they want an end to all unvetted adoptions of Haitian children. Waters’ concerns were heightened by the recent arrest of 10
Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Americans, who attempted to bus 33 children out of the country. See HAITI, page 10
NEWS IN BRIEF THE SOUTHLAND Historic Pasadena Playhouse to Close in February (AP) — The head of the Pasadena Playhouse says the landmark is deep in debt and will close on Feb. 7. Stephen Eich told the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 29 that company leaders are trying to salvage the theater that opened in 1917. He says they are considering filing for bankruptcy. A Pasadena Playhouse representative said 37 employees will be out of work. Eich doesn’t know how the playhouse’s 8,000 subscribers will be reimbursed. The playhouse has given actors such as Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Raymond Burr and David Niven a place to hone their skills. It has gone dark and filed for bankruptcy several times through the years.
50 Arrested in What Police Call Race War in Calif. RIVERSIDE (AP) — Fifty people have been arrested in a
crackdown of two Southern California gangs that were engaged in what authorities call a deadly race war. The multi-agency bust culminated Jan. 27 with 20 people being charged who were either alleged associates or members of a Hispanic gang in Riverside controlled by the Mexican Mafia. Thirty other suspects were connected to a gang with primarily black members. Authorities say both gangs were involved in violent crimes and targeted one another. They say the Hispanic gang ordered members to attack and kill rivals.
THE STATE Few Minorities Applying for Redistricting Panel (AP) — An important effort to redraw legislative districts in California and shake up the political landscape seems to be missing one important element — minorities. State officials are weeks away from beginning to select members See BRIEFS, page 12
FEBRUARY IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH
L.A. WATTS TIMES
February 4, 2010
OPINION EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON
The Sit-Ins Sparked a Fight Still Unfinished The nostalgia, accolades, tributes and fond remembrances at the opening of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, N.C., were heartfelt and much deserved. The museum occupies that building that 50 years ago was a Woolworth’s department store. It was there that the four black college students sat in at the store’s “whitesonly” lunch counter. Their in-your-face defiant act pushed, prodded and shoved the mainstream civil rights organizations — and that included Martin Luther King Jr.’s — out of their safe, accepted, play-by-the-system’s rules in the war against Jim Crow segregation. It also indelibly changed the course of the Civil Rights Movement in America. The student sit-ins worked largely because the protestors were the frontline fighters of the Civil Rights Movement. The movement then stood on virtually hallowed moral ground in America. It was classic good versus evil. Many white Americans then were sickened by gory news scenes of baton-wielding racist Southern sheriffs, fire hoses, police dogs and Ku Klux Klan violence unleashed against peaceful black protesters. Racial segregation was considered by most Americans to be immoral and indefensible, and civil rights activists were hailed as martyrs and heroes in the fight for justice. In the next few years, the torrent of demonstrations, sit-ins, marches and civil rights legislation obliterated the legal barriers of segregation. But as America unraveled in the 1960s in the anarchy of urban riots, campus takeovers and antiwar street
battles, the Civil Rights Movement came apart. It fell victim to its own success and failure. When the civil rights leaders broke down the racially restricted doors of corporations, government agencies and universities, middleclass blacks, not the poor, rushed headlong through them. Five decades later, there are now two black Americas. There’s the celebrated, well-todo and comfortable black America of Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Johnson, Bill Cosby, Denzel Washington and the legions of millionaire black athletes and entertainers, businesspeople and professionals. They have grabbed a big slice of America’s pie. Meanwhile, the black America of the poor is fragmented and politically rudderless. Lacking competitive technical skills and professional training, and shunned by many middle-class black leaders, they have been shoved even further to the outer margins of American society. The chronic problems of gang and drug violence, family breakdown, police abuse, the soaring incarceration rate of young black males, the mounting devastation of HIV and AIDS in black communities, and abysmally failing inner-city public schools have made things even worse for them. The murder of King was a major turning point for race relations in America. It marked the end of the era when the fight for civil rights was hailed as an honored American tradition, and civil rights leaders were put on a high pedestal. The self-destruction from within black organizations and political sabotage from without left the old
Civil Rights Movement organizationally fragmented and politically adrift. The black poor, lacking competitive technical skills and professional training, became expendable jail and street fodder and were pushed even further to the outer frontier of society. Many turned to gangs, guns and drugs to survive. At the same time, many whites, appalled at the urban riots, black militancy and other factors, no longer cheered for civil rights. The seeds of the conservative revolt that budded during the Ronald Reagan years exploded full-blown in the 1990s with the assault on affirmative action and social programs, and the demand for more prisons, police and tougher laws. The heroic Greensboro students would never dream that the checklist of problems that screamed for civil rights activism and protest by them would be just as lengthy today as they were when they sat in at the whites-only Woolworth counter about a half-century ago. But they are. There’s the astronomically high unemployment among young blacks; gaping racial disparities in the criminal justice system; resegregation of neighborhoods and schools; rampant housing discrimination; racial glass ceilings in corporate hiring and promotions; black family instability among the black poor; police abuse; racial profiling; and racially motivated hate crimes. The historic election of President Obama owes much to the brave action of the four students that sat in at Woolworth’s about a half-century ago, and Obama has on more than one occasion paid tribute and See HUTCHINSON, page 11
The Only Way to Get Money Out of Politics BY SHELDON RICHMAN
The Supreme Court’s Jan. 21 ruling striking down the ban on corporate and union spending at election time is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, removing a legal barrier to free speech is always a good thing in itself. Government shouldn’t dictate who can speak or from where people may get their information. This is more than a matter of abstract freedom; it’s also a practical matter. More contentiousness in politics is better than less. Free-wheeling debate is more likely to produce good outcomes than a controlled flow of information. But there is a downside to the ruling that we should freely acknowledge. If history and recent times are any indication, big corporations and unions will use their new freedom of political speech to promote bad ideas. By “bad ideas,” I mean proposals for more government interference with our lives and liberty, (not that the spending ban kept them from doing that in other ways.) It’s a great myth that businesses, especially big prominent corporations, want less government intervention in the economy. On the contrary, they love government power because it provides things they can’t achieve in a freely competitive marketplace where force and fraud are barred. Corporations support and lobby for interventions that benefit them by hampering their competitors, both foreign and domestic. You often find companies asking for tariffs and other restrictions on imports
that compete too effectively with their products. Agribusinesses welcome government (taxpayer) help in selling their products abroad; they also love subsidies, price supports and acreage allotments. Businesses, despite public impression, routinely support regulations imposing product standards and other requirements. Why? Burdens from government rules don’t fall uniformly on all firms. Major corporations with big legal and accounting departments can handle regulations far more easily than small firms can — or one that is still only a gleam in the eye of an aspiring entrepreneur. Moreover, when government dictates product standards, say in the name of safety, it removes that factor from the competitive arena, giving companies less incentive to out-do their competitors along that dimension. This means fewer threats to the market share of incumbent firms and less chance for new challengers to make headway. It also means inferior and more expensive goods for consumers. In American history, big companies were behind virtually every advancement of the regulatory state. Things are no different today — even under Barack Obama. It’s easy to be fooled by appearances. Banks may balk at a new regulation, but only because they prefer their government privileges with as few restrictions as possible. Major corporations lobby for new controls on and subsidies to energy production, not out of concern for the environment, but because See RICHMAN, page 8
FOR THE RECORD A caption in the Jan. 28 edition of the L.A. Watts Times said that Assemblywoman Karen Bass will vacate her seat March 1. While Bass steps down as speaker of the Assembly March 1, she terms out in November.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, 50 Years Later BY MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN
Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday every January becomes an occasion for looking back at the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. As the celebration of the King holiday leads into February and Black History Month, it’s a time to consider not only how far we’ve come, but how far we still have to go, and to reflect on some of the milestones in movement’s history. This year, one of those national and personal milestones is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). On Feb. 1, 1960, when I was a senior at Spelman College in Atlanta, four black freshmen from North Carolina A&T State University sat in at the whites-only lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, N.C. It was just the spark that I and so many black youth were waiting for to stand up against the segregation that daily assaulted our dignity and lives. I and thousands of other students were galvanized to strike our blow for freedom, giving birth to the sit-in movement, the formation of SNCC, and a new era of student
activism that energized the larger Civil Rights Movement. People often forget that children and youth were major frontline soldiers in the Civil Rights Movement. Little Ruby Bridges in New Orleans and the Little Rock Nine and other young black children desegregated schools across the South, often standing up to howling mobs. They were instrumental in Brown v. Board of Education. Young people coordinated voter registration drives, participated in Freedom Rides testing segregation laws on interstate buses, and conducted voter education and other activities during 1964’s Freedom Summer in Mississippi. My generation was blessed beyond measure to be in the right places at the right times to experience and help bring transforming change to the South and the rest of America. One key point about the student leaders from that time is that many of us continued to build on the passion and commitment unleashed as teenagers and 20-year-olds and dedicated our entire adult lives to advocacy and service. While SNCC lasted only six years, SNCC alumni have carried on.
Rep. John Lewis has been a member of Congress since 1986 and continues to be one of our country’s strongest advocates for equality and jus- Marian Wright Edelman tice, fighting his battles nationally as he did earlier in the streets of Selma. Julian Bond served in the Georgia General Assembly more than 20 years before becoming chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The quiet and brilliant Bob Moses — who we all looked up to although he was just a few years older — returned to his calling as a teacher, later founding the Algebra Project to improve math education for children of color. They and so many others followed up on the ideals we believed in and continued doing our part to make a better world for the next generations. The adults who became advisers and colleagues to SNCC students and nurtured us were some of the most extraordinary people in the Civil Rights Movement. See EDELMAN, page 8
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February 4, 2010
L.A. WATTS TIMES
BUSINESS 6 Ways to Improve Your Marketshare Without Spending a Penny BY JOHN HASKELL, AKA DR. REVENUE
A local party and event rental company asked its team what they could do to create an adequate amount of revenue to survive the recession. The group had the benefit of being together for a number of years. The group members wrote up a marketing and sales plan every year for the last three years. They also recognized planning is the launching pad for success. Without a plan, they would not have any chance to survive. Together, they came up with a strategy to attack new markets and meet new people. The CEO increased his involvement with the sales team and customers. The results were immediate. After making a three-hour trip to a military base, the CEO closed a big deal because the sergeant in charge of the event was so impressed that the owner came to see him. As your organization braces itself for tough times, how can it can it boost revenue without breaking the budget? Here are some steps to building your own no-money-down marketing plan. 1. Write a revised marketing plan and execute it. Assuming you have a plan in the first place, go back and review every element to see how it fits into the current environment. If you don’t have a plan in place, move fast to create one. 2. Uncover your opportunities. Do you have certain products that stand out? Do you have a particular financial strength so you can help your customers through hard times? Do you have other services you can offer? What other competitive strengths do you have? The starting point for all business planning is “opportunities.” What opportunities still exist in the market for your company? Check out your key competitors who are weak and whose customers may be feeling uncertainty or doubt. The word gets out during bad times. You don’t want to badmouth anyone, but you can certainly point to the solidity of your company, your long history, your repeat customers, etc. Sowing the seeds of doubt about the competition’s ability to deliver, to service, to respond, is part of the competitive world. 3. Develop new terms and conditions for doing business. Now is the time to look at ways to exploit your opportunities with new thinking. For example, your customer may not have the money for inventory, but you know they can sell much more if they have goods in their stores. What can you do? One answer that may work to your advantage is consignment. By putting goods in your customer’s stores without asking for payment, you make it possible for them to sell more of your product. You may be able to force the customer to drop competitive merchandise in return for this major support. Work out terms and conditions to protect your investment and make it profitable for you. 4. Don’t accept “no,” “we never did that before,” or the big one, “our systems won’t allow it.” If you let the finance people or
John Haskell, aka Dr. Revenue
the naysayers stand in your way, you will not succeed. Just because you have never done it before doesn’t mean it won’t work. Systems are there to serve the company — not prevent progress. There is always someone who can figure out how to make a program work within the confines of IT or other systems. As a leader, you cannot allow “no” or other objections to stand in the way of a program that has great upside potential. These are times when leaders must be bold. 5. Promote your company’s major skills. Your company does certain things very well. Is your technology particularly good? Are you great promoters? Do your people relate to customers especially well? Look at your company very honestly and figure out the one or two things you do best. Then promote these to your customers and to your own people constantly. You may not be perfect, but if you are better than competition, promote it! If you have skills that make a difference for customers, promote it! If you are universally loved by customers, promote it! 6. Go back to lost customers. When business was good, losing a customer may not have seemed important. Now that the market is significantly smaller, the customers who have survived are much more important. All it may take is a simple “we are sorry” … sometimes it may take much more. You must do whatever it takes to see those past customers who are not buying, and find ways to win them back. Price will be important, but it is not the only thing. There are other valuable tools you can bring to the table. Start by asking every salesperson to name the one potentially significant customer who used to buy, but now isn’t. Then work with the salesperson to figure out a tactical plan to get business back from that customer. If you do get some business from them, be sure your company handles it perfectly. Then go back and get more. This No-Money-Down Marketing Plan is the starting point for survival in these difficult times. Get going now so you can put these tactics to work to help your company increase its marketshare now. John Haskell, aka Dr. Revenue, is a professional speaker, seminar leader, marketing and sales consultant, and author of “Profit Rx.” He teaches the Fast Trac Entrepreneurial Business Planning course at USC’s Business Expansion Network. For more information, contact (213) 368-1450, or visit www.drrevenue.com.
BIZSHORTS Legal Support Institute Offering Classes (Raft) — Raft Inc. and its vocational training school, the Legal Support Institute (LSI), will start their 2010 series of classes focusing on developing the skill sets needed for entrylevel legal support staff positions in law firms for low-income single mothers and emancipated youth. Orientation classes will start Feb. 4, 8 and 9. Classes are from 6 to 7:30 p.m. LSI is at 1601 Centinela Ave., suite 207, Inglewood. Appointments are necessary for orientation. Information: (310) 670-4617.
L.A. Fourth Quarter 2008 Taxable Sales Declined by 11.6 Percent (BOE) — Jerome E. Horton, vice chairman of the Board of Equalization (BOE), recently announced that taxable sales in California decreased 12 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, reflecting impacts of the national recession. California’s taxable sales totaled $127.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, down $17.4 billion from the fourth quarter of 2007. This is the sixth
straight quarter of declines in taxable sales. Fourth quarter taxable sales in Los Angeles declined by 11.6 percent from the previous year, a slower decline than the state average. Long Beach turned in the best performance of the 10 largest cities, dropping only 2.9 percent from the previous year. Data about taxable sales in California from the first quarter of 2000 through the fourth quarter of 2008 can be viewed at: www.boe.ca.gov/news/tsalescont.htm. In related news, Horton will speak at the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce Feb. 17, 8:30 to 10 a.m., in room 10AG, 5120 W. Goldleaf Circle, Los Angeles. Information: (323) 292-1297.
AJU to Host MBA Open House and Information Session (AJU) — The MBA School of Nonprofit Management at American Jewish University will have an open house and informational session Feb. 10, 5 to 7 p.m., in the Small Berg Dinning Room of the university, at 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of the California Endowment, will be the special guest speaker. Ross will discuss
“Transforming Disinvested Communities.” Prospective students will learn how long it takes to earn the MBA degree, course requirements, program prerequisites, program cost, the scholarships and discounts available for the program, and what to expect from the admissions process, among other information. Dinner will be served. Information: (310) 440-1260, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ajula.edu/ mba.
Obama Follows State of the Union With High-Speed Rail Funding Billed as Jobs Creator WASHINGTON (AP) — A day after delivering a State of the Union address aimed at showing recession-weary Americans he understands their struggles, President Barack Obama intends to award $8 billion in stimulus funds to develop high-speed rail corridors and sell the program as a jobs creator. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announced grants for 13 major corridors during a town hall meeting in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 28, the president’s first public appearance following his speech to the nation. It’s an attempt by the White House to show that See BIZSHORTS, page 8
L.A. WATTS TIMES
February 4, 2010
COMMUNITY BLACK HISTORY MONTH FEATURE
Reflections in Black and White BOXING LEGENDS — This picture is part of an ongoing photo series, titled “Reflections in Black and White,” that will be published regularly in the L.A. Watts Times, courtesy of the Institute for Arts and Media at California State University, Northridge. The institute has about 1.5 million images, including many from legendary black photographers who recorded the social scene in Southern California, including Los Angeles, for many years. The photographer Photo by HARRY ADAMS who took the picture above, Harry Adams (1918-1988), shot many photos of community life from 1955 to 1988, according to the institute. Pictured: Sugar Ray Robinson (left) and “Golden Boy” Art Aragon in Ojai, Calif., in May 1956, said Kent Kirkton, curator and director of the institute. Robinson was born on May 3, 1921. His birth name was Walker Smith Jr. Robinson is considered by many to be the greatest boxer, or one of the greatest, of all time. He was even reportedly called “the king, the master, my idol” by boxing great Muhammad Ali. He fought about 200 times. Robinson won 173 fights, lost 19 and had six draws. Robinson died April 12, 1989, in Los Angeles. Arthur Anthony Aragon was born Nov. 13, 1927, and died March 25, 2008, in Northridge. Nicknamed the “Golden Boy,” he was a top-ranked boxer in the 1940s and ’50s. His record was 90-20-6. He gained fame partly because of his colorful character.
WHAT’S GOING ON? Deadline for receipt of What’s Going On listings is Friday, noon, at least two weeks prior to activity. Fax to: (213) 2515720, e-mail us at lawattsnus@ aol.com or mail to: L.A. Watts Times, 3540 Wilshire Blvd., PH3, Los Angeles, CA 90010. ANIMALS FORUM — Found Animals Foundation has announced its first Found Animals Forum, titled “Leading Perspectives in Animal Welfare.” This event will take place Feb. 6, 2 to 6 p.m., at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, where several leaders in animal welfare will discuss their perspectives on various topics, including shelter and rescue adoption, the four principles of responsible pet ownership, desirable outcomes of low kill rates, and bringing animal welfare into the new century. A networking reception will take place following the con-
tent portion of the program. Admission is $25. Information: www. foundanimals. org. BLACK HISTORY MONTH — The Inglewood Public Library will commemorate Black History Month with programs, books and activities. Kicking off the celebration is “Remembering Rosa L. Parks” Feb. 6, 1 to 3:30 p.m., in the Gladys Waddingham Lecture Hall at the Main Library, 101 W. Manchester Blvd. The Parks family will present a program, which will cover the life of Rosa Parks, and a review of some of the most significant events in black history. The event will also include a musical performance. Information: (310) 412-5380. KING CELEBRATION — Dwight N. Hopkins, theologian, author, and professor of theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School, is the 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. lecturer at Claremont School
of Theology. The annual event is scheduled for Feb. 10, 7 p.m., in Mudd Theater on the school’s campus. Hopkins is an ordained American Baptist minister and graduate of Harvard, Union Theological Seminary, and the University of Cape Town. Prior to the lecture, the annual MLK dinner will be held at 5 p.m. in the Haddon Conference Center. Information and dinner reservations: (909) 447-6335, PASA@cst.edu. CAAM — The California African American Museum will kick off its Black History Month celebration Feb. 7 by spotlighting blacks’ diverse influences and achievements in art, history and culture through a wide range of performances. Throughout the day, CAAM will screen a special version of the new PBS documentary, “For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots.” Information: (213) 744-7432, www. caamuseum.org.
COMMUNITY MEETINGS, FORUMS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS Bass Announces Effort to Help Californians Donating to Haiti SACRAMENTO (asmdc.org) — Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) announced Jan. 26 that she plans to introduce Assembly legislation that will provide tax re-
America’s Jazz and Blues Station www.jazzandblues.org
lief to Californians donating money to Haiti earthquake relief efforts in January. The Assembly legislation conforms to federal law by allowing individuals and corporate taxpayers that made certain qualified charitable contributions in January 2010 to deduct these contributions in the 2009 tax year. Specifically, this bill allows this election only to taxpayers (individuals and corporations) for cash contributions made in January 2010 to eligible charitable organizations for the relief of victims of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Information: www.asm.ca.gov/ speaker.
Community Workshop on Neighborhood Beautification Planning Scheduled A workshop on how to develop beautification plans for neighborhoods will take place Feb. 13, 10 a.m. to noon, at Ronald McNair
Elementary School Cafeteria, 1450 W. El Segundo Blvd., Compton. The public is urged to participate in the final community workshop to view the conceptual station design to improve pedestrian access and safety at the Wilmington/ Imperial/Rosa Parks Blue Line station. Refreshments will be available. Information: (323) 669-7654, email@example.com.
Newsong LA Holds Shoe Drive Newsong LA’s Children’s Ministry says it cares about individuals and families living in poverty in the community. That’s why the ministry has partnered with “A Trashcan Can Make a Difference” (TCMD). The ministry believes that it can help relieve the fiscal weight for those who struggle under the poverty line. Each month is dedicated to collecting specific items for a specific organization. In the month of February, the ministry will be collecting See BRIEFS, page 7
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February 4, 2010
L.A. WATTS TIMES
QUESTIONS MAKE BETTER SCHOOLS?
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L.A. WATTS TIMES
February 4, 2010
ARTS & CULTURE
TV One Looks at Shows ‘Way Black When’ BY DARLENE DONLOE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
As part of its Black History Month programming, TV One will look at African American life in films, television shows and music from the 1970s through the ’90s in a series of retrospectives called “Way Black When.” Each week during February, one of four genres will be highlighted, including “Lords of Comedy,” hosted by Tommy Davidson (Feb. 1 to 5). “Lords of Comedy” takes a look at classic sitcoms like “The Flip Wilson Show” and “The Richard Pryor Show.” “Soul Soundtracks,” hosted by Chris “Kid” Reid (Feb. 8 to 12), honors music-based films like “Cooley High” and “Krush Groove” that underscored the black experience. “Color TV,” hosted by “A Different World’s” Darryl Bell (Feb. 15 to 19), focuses on classic sitcoms like “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times” and “What’s Happening.” “Black Power Cinema,” hosted by Mario Van Peebles (Feb. 22 to 26), showcases so-called “blaxploitation” films of the 1970s like “The Mack,” “Cleopatra Jones,” “Foxy Brown” “Three the Hard Way” and “Sweet Jesus Preacher Man.” Set to air during primetime on weeknights, “Way Black When”
Photo by GERARD BURKHART
Melvin Van Peebles and son Mario
Photo by GERARD BURKHART
Chris “Kid” Reid
will showcase classic films and television shows, interspersed with indepth discussions with actors, musicians, producers, directors and others who either helped create, were a part of, or were influenced by the various genres. “The manner in which our cul-
ture has been portrayed in film and television provides an interesting and provocative lens through which to view our history over the past 40 years,” TV One senior vice president of Original Programming Toni Judkins said in a statement. “With the help of a number of the actors,
comedians, producers and directors involved, we not only want to spotlight that programming, but tell a story about how it relates to where our culture and society are today.” Some artists involved in the specials include Anne-Marie Johnson, Glynn Turman, Warrington Hudlin, Doug Williams, Brian McKnight, El DeBarge, Marla Gibbs, Kurtis Blow, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and many more. I caught up Mario Van Peebles on the set of “Way Black When” to discuss the significance of the show and why he wanted to host the “blaxploitation” segment of the series. “Honestly, it was a chance to sit with brothas like Fred (Williamson) and Roger (Mosley) and my dad (Melvin Van Peebles) and just be around this history and learn from these cats,” said actor and director Van Peebles, who starred in “New Jack City,” “Heartbreak Ridge” and “Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power.” “I like learning. These were the first movies that showed us not just being beautiful, but bad, classy and (butt)kicking and name-taking, too. These are the first movies where we won.” One actor who was known for being tough was former NFL playerturned-actor Fred “The Hammer” Williamson.
Williamson starred in several “blaxploitation” films, including “Black Caesar,” “Hell Up in Harlem” and “Three the Hard Way.” Although he was part of that mix, Williamson said he never understood the “blaxploitation” label. “I have no idea what it means,” Williamson said. “I’ve been black all my life. Blaxploitation — I don’t know what that means. I wasn’t being exploited. I was happy with the pay. The fans were happy with the outcome. So I don’t know who was being exploited.” And, although he is a part of the retrospective, Williamson is ambivalent about the importance of looking back. “It’s not really important unless you assume there are going to be changes,” he said. “This is show number 2,995 that I’ve made talking about the good old days. And nothing has changed. There’s no growth from the time we made our movies in the ’70s to today.” Roger Mosley, who starred in “Leadbelly,” “The Mack” and on television’s “Magnum PI,” disagrees. He is encouraged by the movement African Americans have made in the industry. “I’ve seen us become more knowledgeable and aware of our position in entertainment,” Mosley See TV ONE, page 7
February 4, 2010
L.A. WATTS TIMES
ARTS & CULTURE The 60th birthday celebration of Bishop Noel Jones took place Jan. 31 at his church, the City of Refuge, in Gardena.
The Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable held its annual fundraiser Jan. 30 at the Lucy Florence Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
Noel Jones, second from right, celebrated with his son Oliver Jones, holding grandson Noel Jones II; granddaughter Lena Jones (bottom); daughter Tifani Jones; son Ian; and grandson Eric Jones (bottom).
Roundtable head Earl Ofari Hutchinson (right) with his granddaughter and Howard Bingham.
SHORT TAKES THEATER • “The Color Purple,” a musical about love, will play from Feb. 10 through 28 at the
Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. Fantasia Barrino stars in the musical. Information: (800) 982-2787. • Opera Noir will present “Soul Sistahs” Feb.19, 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 20, 7 p.m., at El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. The stage show celebrates African American female performers throughout history as well as today’s leading artists. Tickets will help support underserved and special-needs children with opportunities to be exposed to the arts. General admission is $35. Opening night/ gala VIP tickets are $75. Information: (323) 936-9892, www.operanoir.org.
MUSIC • Rapper and activist Chuck D and the artists on his SLAMjamz digital record label have created a benefit album of new songs to raise money for Haiti’s recovery efforts. “KOMBIT pou HAITI” (which loosely translates to “coming together for the good
TV ONE Continued from page 6 said. But the opportunities are becoming less and less. I’m looking at the last couple of movies to acquire blockbuster status. In ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ we weren’t there. ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Avatar’ don’t have to deal with us. “If you look at recent movies, there’s no
MEETINGS Continued from page 4 shoes for families on Skid Row. The public may drop items off Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., throughout February at Animo Leadership Charter High School, 1155 W. Arbor Vitae St., Inglewood. Information: Sheréa VéJauan Riley, firstname.lastname@example.org, (310) 807-5795.
of Haiti”) was released via iTunes and TuneCore Jan. 26. The collection includes a track by MC Hi-Coup, a solo song from Chuck D (featuring Kyle Jason and Public Enemy DJ Johnny Juice Rosado), and Dominican roots band Pa’lo Monte. Every song on the album, with the exception of “Candelo,” is a completely new track that was recorded specifically for KOMBIT. Proceeds from the album will directly benefit the Lambi Fund of Haiti (www.lambifund.org), an organization that aims to help Haitian communities rebuild and recover through building economic community enterprises such as sugar mills, grain mills and small businesses and planting crops to sustain local communities. Information: www.slamjamz.com/music/ viewdlsingle/465.
DANCE • “Everybody Loves Saturday Night: The Ballet Before Goree Island to Obama” will take place Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m., at the World Stage, 4344 Degnan Blvd., in Leimert Park. During the performance, the audience will “travel” to Africa, then across the Atlantic to Haiti, Cuba, Trinidad and the United States. Information: (323) 293-2451, (323) 455-8950. A second performance will take place Feb. 27, 7 p.m., at Motherland Music, 2921 La Cienega Blvd., Culver City. Information: (310) 838-5008, (323) 4558950.
will be held in July. The 2010 Hollywood Book Festival will consider published, selfpublished and independent publisher nonfiction; fiction; children’s books; teenage; how-to, audio/spoken-word; ’zines; comics; e-books; fan fiction; wild card (anything goes!); unpublished stories; screenplays; genre-based works; and biographical/autobiographical works. This is a story-oriented competition and there is no date of publication restriction. A panel of entertainment and publishing industry judges
Singer Ali Woodson
will determine the winners based on criteria, including story-telling ability of the author and the potential of the work to be translated into other forms of media. All entries must be in English. The grand prize is $1,500 and a trip to Hollywood for the gala awards ceremony. Submissions must be postmarked no later than June 25. Entry forms are available at www.hollywoodbookfestival.com or may b e faxed/e-mailed to you by e-mailing HollywoodBKFest@aol.com.
Now at the Skirball
road to freedom PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, 1956–1968
BOOKS • The 2010 Hollywood Book Festival seeks entries for its annual program celebrating books that deserve greater recognition from the film, television, game and multimedia communities. The fifth annual event
place for us in ‘It’s Complicated,’ ‘Did You Hear about the Morgans?’ There’s a place for us in ‘The Blindside,’ but we need white folks to help us. They don’t have to deal with us with ‘Lord of the Rings.’ As far as African Americans, the industry has decided, let’s eliminate us all together. Still, I’m encouraged.” Melvin Van Peebles, who wrote, produced, directed, scored and starred in “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song,” is delighted a retrospective is being done highlighting African American accomplishments. “If you don’t know your mistakes, you’re doomed to repeat them,” Melvin Van Peebles said. “It can also help you with strategy for the future. If you don’t know there is a hole there, then you don’t know to avoid the hole. Then there’s the other side. There’s a lot to be proud of.”
SPECIAL OFFER FOR L.A. WATTS TIMES READERS: Bring this ad to the Admissions Desk at the Skirball and receive 50% off Museum admission for up to two people. Promo code 99628. Valid through March 7, 2010.
ROAD TO FREEDOM: PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, 1956–1968 On view now through March 7, 2010 “It’s mesmerizing. It’s gut-wrenching. It’s real.”—L.A. Watts Times AN IDEA CALLED TOMORROW–2 On view now through March 7, 2010 BREACH OF PEACE: PHOTOGRAPHS OF FREEDOM RIDERS BY ERIC ETHERIDGE On view now through April 11, 2010 R E L AT E D P R O G R A M :
GIN HAMMOND in RETURNING THE BONES Thursday, March 4, 8:00 p.m. See acclaimed Seattle-based theater artist Gin Hammond perform 26 roles in this provocative one-woman play about a young African American medical student at a crossroads in her life. JAMES KARALES, MARCHERS, SELMA TO MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, (DETAIL) 1965.
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90049 www.skirball.org • (310) 440-4500 Exit 405 Freeway at Skirball Ctr Dr Free on-site parking; street parking strictly prohibited Or take Metro Rapid Bus 761
L.A. WATTS TIMES
February 4, 2010
EDUCATION PROTEST — Los Angeles Unified School District students from the Community Rights Campaign demonstrated Jan. 26 for more accountability for Los Angeles school police. The campaign recently completed a report indicating that school police have used excessive force on students. Its report calls for greater transparency, accountability and the creation of new policies and procedures that restrict the use of force and role of police in schools. Rallies took place at Manuel Arts, Westchester and Cleveland high schools.
NOTEBOOK Board of Equalization Launches Online Educational Classes (BOE) — A new package of online educational products to assist taxpayers as an alternative or enhancement to in-person seminars is being offered by Board of Equalization. These educational products include a complete online seminar package that enables taxpayers to get answers to commonly asked questions. The videos and PowerPoint presentations in the online seminars are designed to offer the same information as an in-person class, but with the benefit of being available 24 hours a day. Seminar topics include how to start your business, how to grow your business, how to e-file, cigarette and tobacco retailer information, and information for nonprofit, exempt, and faith-based organizations. Information: www.boe.ca.gov/ info/VirtualSeminars/seminars_onli ne.htm.
Deadline for White House Intern Program Approaching (White House) — The deadline for the White House’s 2010 Summer Internship is Feb. 7. If you know someone who would like to apply, direct that person to www.white house.gov/about/internships/apply. Questions about the internship program may be answered at whitehouse.gov/internships. The application includes two
BIZSHORTS Continued from page 3 getting Americans back to work is the president’s top priority and that he has a plan for how to do it. The president’s visit to the region means Florida’s proposal for a high-speed line connecting Orlando and Tampa is likely to receive funding. California’s proposal for an 800mile-long rail line from Sacramento to San Diego and a nine-state proposal in the Midwest are also considered strong contenders. The $8 billion in funding for high-speed trains and other passenger rail projects is part of the $787 billion recovery act.
Maker of Toyota Recall Part Says Incidents Are Few ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — The supplier of gas pedals used in Toyota’s eight recalled car and trucks says it knows of only a few
RICHMAN Continued from page 2 they stand to gain profits. The government is literally seen as a tool for enhancing their investments. Instead of decisions being made by entrepreneurs trying to anticipate what consumers will want, they are made on the basis of cronyism and other political considerations. Often big companies and unions are on the same side of regulatory issues, as when the heads of Wal-Mart and the Service Employees International Union stood shoulder to shoulder to support Obamacare. But even when they dis-
essays, three letters of recommendation and a resume. Each applicant will be evaluated on three qualities: a commitment to public service, demonstration of leadership in the community, and dedication to the mission of the Obama administration. The applicant’s communication, writing and office skills will also be reviewed and considered. An applicant’s GPA is not figured into the final score and each application is reviewed on a semiblind basis.
Cal State Aims to Improve College Graduation Rates (AP) — California State University is launching a systemwide campaign to improve its college graduation rates. The initiative announced Jan. 27 at the CSU Trustees meeting in Long Beach calls for increasing the six-year undergraduate graduation rate from 46 percent to 54 percent by 2016. The 23-campus system also wants to close the gap in completion rates between underrepresented minorities and other students. Each campus will use a variety of strategies to help more students finish their degrees, such as requiring them to meet with academic counselors, declare majors earlier, or attend summer remedial classes before freshman year. But skeptics question whether the university can boost degree completion rates when budget cuts have led to big fee increases, fewer instructors and more difficulty getting classes. cases of drivers having problems with accelerators. CTS Corp. says Toyota told it about fewer than a dozen cases in which drivers struggled with pedals. The supplier also says it was not aware of any cases where the pedal became stuck after drivers pushed it down, potentially causing unwanted acceleration. Toyota has decided to shut down production of recent models, like Camry and Corolla sedans, while it fixes the faulty gas pedals. It says it’s rare for pedals to get stuck, but it could happen. CTS says it is working with Toyota to design a new pedal. In the meantime, Toyota had said that it would halt some production at six assembly plants beginning the week of Feb. 1 “to assess and coordinate activities.” Some dealers suggested taking vehicles to dealerships for inspections if people have safety concerns.
agree, it is usually over how government should manipulate the economic system. The debate is never between regulation and hands-off. Admittedly this is not the way the story is usually told. Business is thought to favor deregulation, while progressive forces favor enlightened government guidance. But in fact, big business (and a lot of small business, too) would panic at the thought of thorough laissez faire — the end to all guarantees. The books of conservative writer Timothy Carney document this. Others have an interest in portraying business as pro-free markets, because without the cha-
EDELMAN Continued from page 2 When the first sit-ins began, there was no mechanism in place to connect us all, but Ella Baker, who worked with King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), reached out and organized the April 1960 meeting at Shaw University, which brought student sit-in activists together. I took my first plane ride traveling from Spelman to Shaw on a plane chartered by SCLC to join King with about 200 other college students that Easter weekend, which led to SNCC’s creation. Baker insisted that we find our own voice and form our own organization and not become the youth arm of SCLC or an established civil rights group. She became a trusted SNCC adviser and mentor who demanded the best of me and all the young and older adults around her. When SNCC activists began the Mississippi voter registration effort in Sunflower County, Miss., and appealed for supporters, Fannie Lou Hamer was the first to raise her hand. She became a SNCC field secretary; helped organize voter registration drives at great risk to life and limb during the 1964 Freedom
Summer; and was the most prominent member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that famously challenged Mississippi’s all-white official delegation to the 1964 Democratic National Convention, leading to a new Democratic Party. She remains a mighty lantern for all of us who knew, looked up to and learned from her great spirit and courage. Every time my courage wanes, I think of her. The feisty and empowered children and youth of the 1950s and ’60s are examples for today’s teenagers and college-aged young people. They need to hear that you are never too young to fight for what you believe in, and they need to be empowered to stand up for themselves and their communities. They need to know their proud legacy of struggle and how SNCC and many younger children challenged the entrenched white power structure and faced daily risk of arrest, injury or death. When King was in jail in Birmingham, Ala., trying to stop “Bull” Connor’s brutal rule, it was the children of Birmingham who responded with the marches and withstood fire hoses and police dogs to topple segregation in that city. Nothing was more important to
us than our freedom and justice. I wrote in my college diary the day after being arrested in a sit-in at Atlanta’s city hall cafeteria, “Something worth living and dying for!” Several weeks later I wrote: “These are the most exciting, rewarding and gratifying days of my life. Change is pervading—change I’m helping bring in. I’m useful, and I’m serving, and I’m so grateful.” How do we give our young people today a similar sense of purpose and a cause worth dying for as they face the war zones in their cities and a cradle-to-prison pipeline that threatens the last 50 years of social and racial progress? How do we catalyze the next Civil Rights Movement to end the pervasive poverty, illiteracy and racial disparities that staunch the hopes and dreams of millions of our children? It’s time. Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a healthy start, a head start, a fair start, a safe start and a moral start in life, and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information, visit www.childrensdefense.org.
fight and place a historical marker there. “It was a litmus test in race relations. It focused this country and a lot of the world on this whole issue. “And it happened in Reno. The whole world was watching. On that day, there was no bigger story in the world than who is going to win that fight.” The fight was not intended to be in Reno. It had been scheduled for San Francisco, but a few weeks before it was to happen, California Gov. James Gillett said he would not allow it. Promoter Tex Rickard scrambled to find a new location and quickly settled on Reno because of its railroad service. Training camps were moved hastily to Reno with Jeffries setting up camp at Moana Springs in south Reno and Johnson at Rick’s Resort off present-day Mayberry Drive. A 20,000-seat stadium was constructed off East Fourth Street. Reno more than doubled in population as fans from around the country and as far away as Australia descended upon the town. Rickard, a former Goldfield saloon owner, acted as the referee in the bout. Johnson, the brash champion,
won the fight easily over the former champion Jeffries, who had been lured out of retirement by people eager to return the heavyweight title to the white race. Johnson’s victory sparked race riots around the country. In 1913, Johnson was convicted of violating the Mann Act, a law that made it a crime to transport women across state lines for “immoral purposes.” Johnson often traveled in the company of white women. After initially fleeing the country, he was confined in the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., where the warden was former Nevada Gov. Denver Dickerson, who had permitted the 1910 fight to take place in Reno. Efforts have been under way for years for Johnson to receive a presidential pardon. Rocha said he would love to see the pardon happen in Reno during the 100th anniversary celebration for the fight. “What can happen here next year is to right a wrong, a great injustice, a black mark in American history,” he said. “That event was Reno’s event. Hopefully, after this celebration, a lot of people in the country will know what happened in Reno.”
HISTORIC FIGHT Continued from page 1 and racial persecution,” King said when the resolution passed the House last June. “I urge the president to do the right thing and take the final step and grant his pardon.” Guy Rocha, the retired Nevada state archivist, called the JohnsonJeffries fight one of the most important events in Nevada history and in the nation’s history in terms of race relations. “It was bigger than a sporting event,” said Rocha, who led the effort to find the exact site of the
rade the public might catch on to the scam. So here’s the dilemma: Limits on free political speech for corporations and unions offend our sense of justice, but they will use free speech to pursue unjust ends. What shall we do? There is only one answer: We must strip government of the power to dispense privileges to anyone. If we can pull that off, the problem of money in politics will evaporate. Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation (www.fff.org) and editor of The Freeman magazine.
February 4, 2010
L.A. WATTS TIMES
HEALTH THE PULSE Ex-Hospital Execs to Pay $10M to Settle Suit (AP) — The former owners of a Los Angeles hospital agreed to pay $10 million to settle a civil lawsuit over paying recruiters to bring in homeless people for unnecessary medical treatment, prosecutors said Jan. 25. The U.S. Attorney’s office settled its case against Robert Bourseau and Dr. Rudra Sabaratnam, former owners of the City of Angels Medical Center, who both previously pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicare and MediCal out of millions of dollars. Prosecutors for the state of California also joined in the suit. The men paid recruiter, Estill Mitts, a total of $500,000 between 2004 and 2007 to find homeless people who were paid $100 or less. The hospital then charged Medicare and Medi-Cal for the services. Both Bourseau and Sabaratnam pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay $4.1 million in restitution. Three others were charged in the scheme. Dante Nicholson, the hospital’s former senior vice president, faces up to 10 years in prison. Mitts, who ran an assessment center in downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row, said he earned about $20,000 a month in kickbacks and
Experts: Sitting Too Much Could be Deadly was delivering between 30 and 50 patients a month. Mitts pleaded guilty in September 2008 to conspiracy to commit health care fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. Bourseau will be sentenced on Feb. 22, and Sabaratnam on April 5.
EPA to Investigate Birth Defects Near Calif. Dump KETTLEMAN CITY, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will investigate a cluster of birth defects in a central California town near the largest toxic-waste dump in the West. Jared Blumenfeld of the EPA says Kettleman City is vulnerable because of the dump and the pesticides used in nearby farming fields. He says his agency wants to investigate whether the town’s birth defects can be linked to those factors. The Kings County Board of Supervisors recently approved expanding the 1,600-acre waste site in the San Joaquin Valley. The proposal still needs state and federal approval. Residents filed a lawsuit against the board and say they want an investigation into the birth defects and infant deaths.
BY MARIA CHENG AP MEDICAL WRITER
LONDON (AP) — Here’s a recent warning from health experts: Sitting is deadly. Scientists are increasingly warning that sitting for prolonged periods — even if you also exercise regularly — could be bad for your health. And it doesn’t matter where the sitting takes place — at the office, at school, in the car or before a computer or TV — just the overall number of hours it occurs. Research is preliminary, but several studies suggest people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to be fat, have a heart attack or even die. In an editorial published recently in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Elin Ekblom-Bak of the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences suggested that authorities rethink how they define physical activity to highlight the dangers of sitting. While health officials have issued guidelines recommending minimum amounts of physical activity, they haven’t suggested people try to limit how much time they spend in a seated position. “After four hours of sitting, the body starts to send harmful signals,” Ekblom-Bak said. She explained that genes regulating the amount of
glucose and fat in the body start to shut down. Even for people who exercise, spending long stretches of time sitting at a desk is still harmful. Tim Armstrong, a physical activity expert at the World Health Organization, said people who exercise every day — but still spend a lot of time sitting — might get more benefit if that exercise were spread across the day, rather than in a single bout. That wasn’t welcome news for Aytekin Can, 31, who works at a London financial company, and spends most of his days sitting in front of a computer. Several evenings a week, Can also teaches jiu jitsu, a Japanese martial art involving wrestling, and also does Thai boxing. “I’m sure there are some detrimental effects of staying still for too long, but I hope that being active when I can helps,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to think the sitting could be that dangerous.” Still, in a study published last year that tracked more than 17,000 Canadians for about a dozen years, researchers found people who sat more had a higher death risk, independent of whether or not they exercised. “We don’t have enough evidence yet to say how much sitting is bad,” said Peter Katzmarzyk of the
Facts Feb. 4, 1794 France abolishes slavery. The nation will have a lukewarm commitment to abolition and will, under Napoleon, re-establish slavery in 1802 along with the reinstitution of the “Code noir,” prohibiting blacks, mulattoes and other people of color from entering French colonial territory or intermarrying with whites. Source: blackfacts.com
Learn the Facts!
You Have a Legacy to Leave
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 443,000 deaths each year. More deaths are caused by tobacco use each year than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined. ✔ On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers ✔ African American men are 37 percent more likely than White men to develop lung cancer. ✔ Each year in the U.S., 47,000 African Americans die from tobacco-related illnesses. ✔ Half of all deaths in African Americans are from diseases caused by smoking. ✔ African Americans are more likely to suffer from chronic and preventable diseases associated with smoking. ✔ Out of the 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, there are about 50 chemicals that cause cancer! ✔ Nicotine, in cigarettes, is as addictive as heroin and cocaine. ✔ Second-hand smoke causes lung cancer, aggravation of asthma, headaches, allergies and eye irritations. ✔ Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide which decreases oxygen to the brain. You are smoking the same stuff that comes out of the back of a BUS!
Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, who led the Canadian study. “But it seems the more you can get up and interrupt this sedentary behavior, the better.” Figures from a U.S. survey in 2003-04 found Americans spend more than half their time sitting, from working at their desks to sitting in cars. Experts said more research is needed to figure out just how much sitting is dangerous, and what might be possible to offset those effects. “People should keep exercising because that has a lot of benefits,” Ekblom-Bak said. “But when they’re in the office, they should try to interrupt sitting as often as possible,” she said. “Don’t just send your colleague an e-mail. Walk over and talk to him. Standing up.” On the Net: www.bjsm.bmj.com.
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DON’T’ WORRY *** 1-800-NO-BUTTS *** CAN HELP! The California Smokers’ Helpline is a free telephone program that can help you quit smoking. When you’re ready, a counselor can help you with: • Programs, groups and classes in your area. • Available in 5 languages (English, Spanish, Korean,Vietnamese, and Chinese) • Mon. - Fri. 7a.m.-9p.m. • Sat. 9a.m.-1p.m. • Confidential, one on one phone counseling Join us every Tuesday at 10am at Watts Healthcare Corporation Free! Stop Smoking Class 10300 Compton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 If you smoke and want help to kick the habit, call: (323) 563-5710 or (323) 563-5711 This material was made possible with funds from Proposition 99 The Tax Initiative from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
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L.A. WATTS TIMES
February 4, 2010
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 Virtually the entire world knows now that the Jim Caldwellcoached Indianapolis Colts and the Sean Payton-led New Orleans Saints will battle in Super Bowl XLIV Feb. 7 in South Florida. Caldwell is the fifth coach to make it to the Super Bowl in his rookie season. For the second year in a row, a black man has led his team to the Super Bowl. And in two of the last three Super Bowls, black coaches were winners â€” Tony Dungy (Colts) and Mike Tomlin (Steelers). Other blacks on the Colts staff also include special assistant Rod Perry, who was once a Los Angeles Rams defensive back, as well as coaches Richard Howell, Gene Huey, Ricky Thomas and Alan Williams. Additionally, Clyde Powers serves as the Coltsâ€™ director of Pro Player Personnel. The Saintsâ€™ black coaches include Curtis Johnson, Travis Jones, Tony Oden and Carter Sheridan. The Colts are favored to march over the Saints.
Did you notice that several black quarterbacks were selected for the NFC-AFC Pro Bowl? Included were the Eaglesâ€™ Donovan McNabb, the Jaguarsâ€™ David Garrard and the Titansâ€™ Vince Young. And the beat continuesâ€Ś For the first time in its history, the L.A. Kings won a five-game road trip Jan. 31 as Wayne Simmonds and Drew Doughty scored on Martin Brodeur to beat the New Jersey Devils in a 3-2 victory. The Kings will have a bobblehead doll night in honor of Simmonds Feb. 11 at Staples Center. In addition to Simmonds, the Kings have had three other men of color in its history. Mike Marson skated for the Kings in 1979 and 1980. Grant Fuhr, one of the NHLâ€™s all-time greats, played for the Kings in the 1994-95 season. Anson Carter had a one-season fling with the Kings during the 2003-04 year. And the beat continuesâ€Ś Sprinter Allyson Felix will receive the 2009 Sportswoman of the Year award Feb. 19 at the JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE. The event will be part of the fifth annual L.A. Sports Awards. Felix is a world champion.
HAITI Continued from page 1 â€œThe children must be protected!â€? she said. â€œThey must not be given to people simply because
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