W E E K E N D E R
L.A. Watts Times Vol. XXX, No. 1236
Thursday, June 16, 2011
| PAGES 8-9
Thursday, June 16, 2011
JUNE 16 - 22
RIES ~ You’ll want to spend some time with a special friend this week just being together. If you’ve been neglecting a relationship because of work demands, this week is a wonderful week to set things to rights. AURUS ~ Lots of spirituality discussions are going on around you this week. This energy will probably last throughout the week, so expect to enjoy yourself, or pass on all social company and spend the week enjoying yourself. EMINI ~ You will get so much done this week that your friends and coworkers will be amazed! Accomplish this small happy miracle by focusing on serenity instead of perfection. You’ll be very surprised at the results! ANCER ~ It’s best to keep your opinions to yourself this week, as many will be experiencing minor irritations and general grumpiness. Let others be who they are. You are a beacon of serenity. Others will notice. EO ~ It’s a great week to tell somebody you are close to that you love them. Saying it aloud gives you energy, and of course your designated adoree will be delighted! Keep the big picture in mind this week and you’ll feel completely buoyant! IRGO ~ Hello, home life. After a busy week, all you want to do is savor the feelings of domesticity at home. Or perhaps go shopping to spruce up your living space. Whatever you decide, do it with a close friend. You’ll both enjoy the week more if you are together.
IBRA ~ Hardly anyone alive learns new skills in an instant, so cut yourself some slack if you feel you’ve made a beginner’s mistake somewhere. Mistakes are part of the learning process that is called Life, so self-correct and proceed with happiness. CORPIO ~ A happy week is in store for sociable you. Lots of friends and a party or two or three will keep your energy bright. Use caution while driving and watch for a pleasant surprise or two this week. AGITTARIUS ~ You’ll have a busy week, as the energy around you seems super-charged. With everyone rushing about, you’ll wonder how you’ll get anything done, much less the things you feel you must get done. Not to worry. Stay calm and flexible and a way will be found. APRICORN ~ You may feel a bit crabby about your health early this week. If you feel you need a physical checkup, make the appointment this week. If you want to feel and look better this week, skip lunch and take a walk instead. QUARIUS ~ All vibes are positive this week, and your vibration may be the most positive of all. Many friends and family members may call, and all will want to see you. You’ve got a way with words this week, so use them to spread the sunshine around. ISCES ~ Get out and enjoy the sunshine this week. Remember that the sun is always shining somewhere in our big island home, so use your imagination if the weather isn’t perfect where you are. You can still enjoy your week and the sun that is shining whether you see it or not!
L.A. Watts Times WEEKENDER Published Weekly – Updates 3800 S. Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90008 Administration – Sales – Graphics – Editorial 323.299.3800 - office 323.291.6804 - fax Beverly Cook – Publisher, Managing Editor 1976 – 1993 Charles Cook – Publisher, 1976 – 1998 Melanie Polk – Publisher 1998 – 2010
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Who is the greatest comedian of all time?
Jamie Foxx Whoopi Goldberg Visit www.lasentinel.net to vote for Weekender polls.
Black Facts June 16, 1969 U.S. Supreme Court rules that the suspension of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. from the House of Representatives is unconstitutional. June 17, 1972 Frank Wills, Washington security guard, foils break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee in what is the first major event of the Watergate scandal. June 18, 1991 City Auditor Wellington Webb is elected mayor of Denver, Colo. He is the first African American to hold the post. June 19, 1969 State troopers are ordered to Cairo, Ill., to quell racial disturbances. June 20, 1967 Muhammad Ali is convicted in Houston, TX, in federal court for violating the Selective Service Act by refusing induction into the armed services. He is fined $10,000 and sentenced to five years in prison. Ali, an opponent of the Vietnam War, had refused to report for service on grounds that he was a Muslim minister. Source: blackfacts.com
Thursday, June 16, 2011
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Thursday, June 16, 2011
Report finds aging homeless population, but overall rate is down (CNS) â€” More than 51,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles County, a 3 percent drop from 2009,
according to a report released today. The report, by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which
counts the homeless once every two years, found that social service agencies and homeless prevention pro-
If You are African American and Suffered Farm Loan Discrimination by the USDA between 1981 and 1996, You may be eligible for money from a $1.25 billion class action Settlement Fund (Heirs/Kin may be included) There is a proposed class action Settlement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) involving racial discrimination against African American farmers between 1981 and 1996. This Settlement is only for certain people who tried to ďŹ le a late claim in the original Pigford case, or their heirs (kin) and legal representatives. The current Settlement (sometimes called Pigford II) provides beneďŹ ts to some of those late ďŹ lers. Am I included? You may be included if you: s "ETWEEN AND WERE discouraged or prevented from applying for or were denied a USDA farm loan OR OTHER BENElT OR YOU WERE GIVEN A loan with unfair terms because of racial DISCRIMINATION
s 7ERE ELIGIBLE FOR A PAYMENT IN THE original Pigford CASE and s 3UBMITTED A LATE lLING REQUEST THAT WAS denied or never considered because it was late. If you are the heir or kin of someone who DIED WHO lTS THIS DESCRIPTION YOU MAY lLE a claim for a payment that would become part of the deceased personâ€™s estate. If you are not sure if you (or someone for whom you are the legal representative) ARE INCLUDED PLEASE CALL
You are not included if you received a payment in the original Pigford case. What does the Settlement provide? You may be eligible for a substantial cash payment and USDA loan forgiveness from the Settlement. You will need to ďŹ le a claim to be eligible for these beneďŹ ts. The claims deadline may be as early as February 28, 2012. The Court has appointed lawyers to help you ďŹ le a claim under the Settlement. You do not have to pay them or anyone else to help you with the claims process. These attorneys will ask the Court for fees and expenses of BETWEEN AND OF THE 3ETTLEMENT &UND AND THE #OURT WILL DECIDE HOW much they are paid. You may hire your OWN LAWYER IF YOU WISH AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE )F YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR NEED MORE INFORMATION CALL What else should I know? The Court will hold a hearing on September 1, 2011 to consider whether TO APPROVE THE 3ETTLEMENT AND A REQUEST for attorneysâ€™ fees and expenses. If you want to object to or comment on the 3ETTLEMENT OR APPEAR AT THE HEARING YOU need to ďŹ le a letter with the Court by August 12, 2011. If the Court approves THE 3ETTLEMENT YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE to sue the USDA about your farm loan discrimination claims in the future.
For more information or to begin the claims ďŹ ling process:
AP Photo/Reed Saxon
Dadisi Komolafe, who believes the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angelesâ€™ Skid Row should not be charging a fee for room and board, stands outside the mission May 16, 2011. For decades, four missions have given three hot meals and a cot for free in downtown Los Angelesâ€™ Skid Row, where 4,000 down-ontheir-luck people cram a 50-block area to form the nationâ€™s densest concentration of homeless. Two months ago, the Union Rescue started charging $7 for an overnight stay and also cut its three free meals a day to one. grams have helped keep the numbers level despite the economic downturn. â€œGiven the high unemployment and foreclosure levels over the past two years, as well as the increase in national poverty, there was concern that homelessness would rise, but fortunately that hasnâ€™t happened yet,â€? according to Michael Arnold, executive director of LAHSA. â€œThis is largely because social service agencies, housing departments and federally funded programs like the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program have effectively helped those who are homeless move into housing and get back on their feet.â€? Within the city of Los Angeles, the report showed a 9 percent decline, which officials attributed to dedicated resources, such as setting aside housing vouchers for the homeless, committing to build 2,200 supportive housing units and community development block grants. â€œTo see such a significant drop in our cityâ€™s homelessness rate as we emerge from a devastating recession is encouraging,â€? Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. â€œHowever, thereâ€™s still a lot more work to be done and it will take an enormous commitment from all of us.â€? Some officials expressed concern that future counts would show increases because many low-income families and individuals are barely hanging on to their homes, can't make rent payments or are precariously â€œcouch surfingâ€? with friends or relatives. â€œLocal service providers have done an excellent job in supporting the homeless and finding them housing, but this mission is not complete,â€? Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich said. â€œWeâ€™ve still got tens of thousand of people living on our countyâ€™s streets and that number could rise if we see new government cuts.â€? According to the Los Angeles Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness, the results point to a need for more permanent housing to help veterans and the chronically homeless. â€œThe current census ... demon-
strates emphatically that it is time to shift our resources and our resolve to a system which does not tolerate 51,000 homeless year in and year out,â€? according to a statement from the task force. â€œSome 12,000 chronic homeless individuals and 6,600 newly homeless veterans continue to try to exist on our streets; tens of thousands of others are without a permanent home as well.â€? The task force â€” an alliance between the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce â€” has advocated for permanent housing as a first step to end chronic and veteran homelessness in Los Angeles by 2016, a policy it calls â€œHome for Good.â€? The group contends that while supportive services are critical to keeping the homeless off the street, easy access to permanent housing must come first. â€œThe combination of ongoing economic pressures and a rise in the number of veterans returning from service in the near future might well lead to an increase in homelessness unless the policies and procedures contained in Home for Good are implemented as rapidly as possible,â€? according to the statement. The report also found that: â€˘ 18 percent of the 51,340 homeless are veterans, who have a higher rate of chronic homelessness than the general population; â€˘ there has been a 51 percent increase in the number of female veterans on the streets; â€˘ the homeless population is aging, with nearly 34 percent of the chronically homeless aged 55 or older, which will increase the public cost of homelessness; â€˘ of the homeless, 33 percent suffer from mental illness, 22 percent have a physical disability and 34 percent struggle with substance abuse; and â€˘ 44 of those on the streets are black and 28 percent are Latino. The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count is billed as the nationâ€™s largest count of homeless individuals and families, covering about 4,000 square miles. The count was taken Jan. 25-27. LAHSA is a joint city-county authority created in 1993.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
School layoffs (CNS) — The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education approved labor pacts with its employee unions today and rescinded thousands of layoff notices sent to teachers, counselors and other workers. Six LAUSD employee unions agreed to take four furlough days in the coming school year, which will be shortened by three days. The move saved enough money to allow the district to rescind 3,433 layoffwarning notices that had been sent to teachers and counselors. The district also canceled the planned layoffs of 1,600 bus drivers, cafeteria workers and special education assistants. “Once again, our LAUSD family has stepped up to preserve our classrooms and services for our students,” LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said. “We are grateful for their commitment to help us keep our district as stable as possible during this continued financial crisis.” Layoff notices remain in effect for more than 2,000 teachers, coun-
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Teachers chant their slogans during a protest against education budget cuts in Los Angeles. selors and other support personnel. District officials said they were continuing to monitor the LAUSD’s financial situation to determine if
other layoff notices can be rescinded. The union agreements will ensure that class sizes will remain at
24 students for kindergarten through third grades; 31 students in fourth and fifth grades; and 35 students in grades six through eight.
Some layoffs could be reinstated and other cuts could be imposed if the state’s financial situation deteriorates further, Deasy said.
Southern California Edison: Helping you manage rising energy costs.
HAVE A VOICE IN YOUR WATER & POWER RATES!
2011 COMMUNITY COLLABORATION SESSIONS East San F Fernando Valley Wednesday, June 15 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Marvin Braude Constituent Center (Van Nuys City Hall) 14410 Sylvan Street Van Nuys, 91402
South Los Angeles Tuesday, June 21 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. California African American Museum -Exposition Park 600 State Drive Los Angeles 90037
West San F Fernando Valley Thursday, June 16 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Holiday Inn – Warner Center 21101 Ventura Blvd Woodland Hills 91364
West Los Angeles Wednesday, June 22 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Stephen S. Wise Temple 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive Los Angeles 90077
North San F Fernando Valley Saturday, June 18 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Los Angeles Mission College 13356 Eldridge Ave Sylmar 91342
Harbor Monday, June 27 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor 601 S. Palos Verdes St San Pedro 90731
East Los Angeles Monday, June 20, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center 1600 E. 4th Street Los Angeles, 90033
Summary Session – Downtown L.A. Wednesday, July 20 6:30 – 9 p.m. LADWP Headquarters Level A Auditorium 111 N. Hope St, Los Angeles 90012
Visit www.ladwp.com/LAForward F to learn more about the 2011 Rates Process and to RSVP. As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, service and activities. To ensure availability, such requests should be made 72 hours in advance by calling (213) 367-1361, TDD: 1 (800) 432-7397.
Our region’s electrical grid needs investments to enhance its reliability and security for the long-term. Our “general rate case” is a formal request SCE makes to the California Public Utilities Commission every three years. The rate case determines about half of what makes up customer rates and allows us to perform our core work – making sure you have access to safe and reliable electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the process, we will also be creating over 10,000 jobs in the California economy. Below are common questions we get, to help you better understand the cost of electricity and what you can do to lower your bills. For more information about our rate case and how our plan benefits the California economy, visit www.sce.com/2012plan. Q: I heard about an upcoming rate increase, what should I expect and when? A: Our proposal would add between $2.50 and $9.50 to the average monthly residential bill. We currently expect a final decision at the end of the year, with new rates taking effect in 2012. Q: What programs are available to help customers lower their bills? A: We encourage a smart energy lifestyle and offer a variety of business and residential programs aimed at helping customers save electricity and money: • SCE offers mail-in and online home energy surveys that help customers understand how to save energy and money. www.sce.com/survey • SCE’s rebate programs help customers invest in more efficient ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances. www.sce.com/rebatesandsavings • SCE will pay customers $50 to allow the utility to pick up old, inefficient working refrigerators and freezers and recycle them in an environmentally responsible manner. www.sce.com/appliance • SCE offers incentives of up to $4,000 to customers who complete qualifying energy-saving home upgrade projects. www.energyupgradecalifornia.com • SCE offers free tips for saving energy and money, such as the best settings for thermostats, turning off electrical devices when not in use, and washing full loads of clothes and dishes. www.sce.com/tips For income-qualified customers, SCE offers services like: • Energy education • Energy-efficient lighting • Energy-efficient appliances • Discounts, such as the California Alternate Rates for Energy program which offers income-qualified customers a discount of 20 percent or more off their monthly electric bill or the Family Electric Rate Assistance program, which provides a discount to qualified households of three or more that exceed their baseline electricity usage by more than 30 percent. • An Energy Assistance Fund that offers qualified residential customers up to $100, once per year, to help reduce their bills. We understand that we’re in a tough economy. We’re committed to partnering with you to live a smart energy lifestyle and take advantage of programs and services that can help you save money and the environment. For more information, visit www.sce.com.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
First Black graduate of U.C. Riverside speaks at Black graduation ‘Fear Not’ – UCR’s first Black graduate tells grads Black Graduation Ceremony celebrates tradition, legacy and achievement BY CHRIS LEVISTER SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM BLACKVOICENEWS.COM Amid thunderous applause and
flashing cameras, 100 AfricanAmerican graduates wearing traditional Kente stoles adjusted their gowns and mortarboards and marched proudly into the ninth
MetroBriefs I-405: Countdown To The Closure – July 16-17 “Plan ahead, avoid the area, or stay home” is the message from public safety o;cials for the weekend closure of the I-405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass. The closure – between the I-10 and US-101 – is scheduled for July 16-17 for planned demolition of the Mulholland Bridge, part of the freeway improvements project. For latest updates visit metro.net/405.
New Metro Bus Schedules June 26 Starting June 26, Metro is making changes in its bus service to improve e;ciency and e=ectiveness through better use of resources. For complete details on the service changes, visit metro.net. Revised timetables will be available online or on buses starting in June.
Call 323.GO.METRO; 1.800.COMMUTE Ends June 30 Metro customers should now call 323.GO.METRO (323.466.3876) for transit assistance, or 511 for automated tra;c, rideshare and other travel information. The 1.800. COMMUTE telephone number, provided by Caltrans since 1994 for reaching Metro’s Customer Information agents, will be discontinued June 30.
Now Metro O=ers Stored Value On TAP Cards Here’s another TAP advantage. With “stored value” – cash stored on your TAP card – it’s even easier to ride any transit system in the region where TAP is accepted. Load $5 or more, and when you tap your card upon boarding, the correct fare will automatically be deducted for any system you ride. Learn more at taptogo.net.
El Pasajero Covers Metro In Spanish
If you’d like to know more, visit metro.net.
11-1543TH_GEN-CE-11-013 ©2011 LACMTA
The nation’s ﬁrst Spanish language transit agency blog, El Pasajero, presents updated items daily. For Spanish speakers interested in the latest transportation news of importance in LA County, just log on to elpasajero.metro.net for breaking news, features, service advisories and project updates.
annual Black Graduation Ceremony at UC Riverside. During the processional, graduates sang, danced, and strutted their stuff to the strains of the 1979 disco hit “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now.” The families and friends that filled the gymnasium of UCR’s Student Recreation Center broke out into song, dance, and celebration. “No fear. No fear baby,” shouted a graduate clutching a small Bible. “We are here to celebrate a momentous achievement in your life,” Chancellor Timothy White told the cheering crowd. Last week’s event, presented by African Student Programs, was an infectious mix of honor and party, billed as a rite of passage for African and African-American graduates and their families and friends to celebrate tradition, heritage, culture, legacy, and achievement. White told the graduates African Americans at the school graduate at a rate of nearly 72 percent, up four percent from the campus-wide rate of around 68 percent and up over 30 percent from the national Black average. He said the university has gained national prominence for attracting and graduating Black students in large numbers. “Nationally, only about 40 percent of Black college students graduate within six years.” That was music to the ears of Roy Overstreet, 76, who 53 years ago became the first AfricanAmerican to graduate from the university. It was frankly a “very lonely, very isolated experience,” said Overstreet, who was introduced as a “pioneering leader.” “Back then, I was the only Black student on campus. I didn’t feel welcome. I spent a lot of time alone, studying in my dorm room way up there on the hill,” he said. “A lot has changed. Looking out there, I see a diverse village of many cultures and ethnicities. I see hope, perseverance and achievement under those mortarboards.” Overstreet urged the graduates not to fear the future. “When I received my degree in 1958, the unemployment rate was 6 percent. Today it’s more than double for African Americans. At a time when many workplaces are filled not just with glass ceilings, but brick walls, you can’t allow fear to eat away at the confidence it takes to take on new challenges. You’ve got to be fearless.” Overstreet is a retired oceanographer who traveled from Oklahoma to speak at the event. After receiving an undergraduate degree in physics from UCR, he
Roy Overstreet, ’58, a retired oceanographer and first African American to graduate from UC Riverside joins Chancellor Timothy White (m) and Zelma Ballard, ’59, the university’s second Black graduate during the 2011 Black Graduation Ceremony.
At the Ninth Annual UCR Black Graduation Ceremony graduates sang, danced, and strutted their stuff to the strains of the 1979 disco hit ‘Ain’t No Stopping Us Now.’ earned a master’s degree in the 1960s. He became the country’s first Black oceanographer, working for nearly 30 years tracking oil spills and nuclear material in oceans. He was joined by Zelma Ballard, 75, who in 1959 became the second African-American UCR graduate. Overstreet and Ballard were the only African-American students at UCR for a while. “This ceremony honors those who are poised to shape our future and those who have paved the way,” said Ken Simons, director of African Student Programs. Keynote speaker Judge Richard T. Fields (Riverside Superior Court) charged the graduates to pay it forward as they change the world. “Know no fear. If you want to become a doctor, become a doctor. If you want to become a judge, the time is now,” he said. “As you climb those career ladders, just remember to reach down and pull others up behind you. Find folk who have so much potential, and so little opportunity — and do for them what UCR has done for you.” In her senior address, graduate Lynisha Nash urged her classmates to persevere. “Act with determination not to be turned aside by thoughts of the past and fear of the future.” “Simply being able to see the arc of a career and being willing to follow that path to different, unfamiliar and sometimes faraway places can be tough, especially for
African-American graduates,” added anthropology major Shirfaye Morgan. Ninety-three-year-old Sofia Jamison graduated from the University of Mississippi 11 years after James H. Meredith became the first Black student at the university. Meredith was barred from entering on Sept. 20, 1962. Jamison travelled to Riverside to attend the Black Graduation Ceremony in honor of her nephew. “He that have fruit must climb the tree,” said Jamison. All Americans have a responsibility “to offer every single child in this country an education that will make them competitive in our global world.” “The right education will allow us to overcome the barriers that keep many Africans and African Americans from realizing our Godgiven potential,” she said. “We’ve all worked hard to get to this point,” said Gigi Girma, whose degree is in sociology/administrative studies. “But we couldn’t have done it without the sacrifices, support, and encouragement from our families. We owe them a debt of gratitude.” Neuroscience major, Ayodeji Okusanya, beamed and flashed a ‘thumbs up’ as he walked across the ceremonial stage festooned in traditional Pan African colors: red, black, yellow, and green balloons. “It’s a very, very good day in the village,” he said. “Persistence is what makes the impossible possible.”
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Federal bankruptcy court in Los Angeles declares Defense of Marriage Act invalid (CNS) — A federal bankruptcy court in Los Angeles ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional as it applies to a gay couple who filed for bankruptcy, according to court papers obtained today. The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act bans federal agencies from rec-
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes
Brando Abelard, 26, from Los Angeles protests for equal rights and same sex marriage outside the Beverly Hills hotel, where U.S. President Barack Obama attended a Democratic Party fundraiser in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Wednesday, May 27, 2009. ognizing same-sex marriages. The case involves Gene Balas and Carlos Morales, who were married legally in Southern California during the six months prior to the 2008 passage of Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriages. The couple filed for joint bank-
ruptcy protection as a married couple in February, according to court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in downtown Los Angeles. The U.S. Trustee’s Office, an arm of the Justice Department that oversees bankruptcy cases, asked the court to dismiss the case based
on the marriage act. But in the 24-page ruling issued Monday, the bankruptcy court refused to dismiss the case, finding that DOMA violates the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment.
“This case is about equality, regardless of gender or sexual orientation,” according to the decision signed by 20 bankruptcy judges. “In this court’s judgment, no legally married couple should be entitled to fewer bankruptcy rights than any other legally married couple.”
Celebrating the strength of our rich heritage Juneteenth isn’t just about freedom – but the strength of our heritage. The courage to pursue any path. The determination to create ﬁnancial independence. The ability to embrace our proud history as we embark on a future full of promise. At Wells Fargo, we have a solid team of people, products and services working together to help you succeed ﬁnancially. We offer ﬁnancial education programs to help you plan for such things as college, homeownership, owning a business and achieving ﬁnancial control. Our heritage is founded on helping you achieve ﬁnancial freedom – so you can truly embrace your American dream. On June 19th, we join you in honoring the 146th anniversary of Juneteenth.
© 2011 Wells Fargo Bank, N. A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Toyota refuses to thank Black consumers Black consumers spend $2.2 billion with Toyota. Yet Toyota refuses to thank Black consumers for their support. Black publishers and national leaders unite behind NNPA Chairman Bakewell to hold Toyota accountable. BY JASMYNE A. CANNICK NNPA NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT WASHINGTON D.C. — Toyota Motor Sales USA executives have angered National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Chairman Danny Bakewell Sr. and America’s preeminent Black newspaper publishers after the troubled carmaker backed out of a multimillion dollar advertising campaign targeting Black consumers. In a letter to Mr. Bakewell and the NNPA, Toyota executives said that Black consumers of Toyota products receive their advertising message from a number of media channels that include mainstream media (white media), thus implying that advertising in the Black newspapers was unnecessary. This decision comes after months of meetings between Toyota executives and the NNPA, a network of 200 Black publishers that represents over 19.8 million weekly readers, approximately half of America’s Black population. “This is disappointing and intolerable behavior from a company who earned $2.2 billion from Black consumers last year and who was all too eager to send us their press releases asking us to write stories and editorials to influence Blacks to remain loyal in their time of trouble,” said Chairman Bakewell. “But now
that Toyota’s pain has been eased by a Federal Transportation Department and NASA report, once again the Black consumer and the Black press have been forgotten.” Earlier this year, Toyota’s president and CEO, Akio Toyoda, said, “Everyone at Toyota will continuously maintain a sense of gratitude to customers…” Mr. Bakewell said, “Based on Toyota’s actions, it appears that Mr. Toyota’s statement applies to everyone but the Black consumer.” The issue first surfaced with Toyota’s unwillingness to run “Thank you” ads in Black newspapers. This was after Toyota spent millions advertising in white newspapers after last year’s safety recall. “Black people stood by Toyota during their time of crisis to the tune of $2.2 billion,” said Mr. Bakewell. “Where is the thank you to Black consumers for their support and loyalty to Toyota? We just can’t stand by and let Toyota disrespect our people that way.” NNPA publishers plan to run full page ads in their newspapers beginning next week in response to what they feel is another example of Toyota sending a clear and direct message that Toyota disrespects, undervalues and takes the Black consumer for granted. The ads will ask See TOYOTA, page 19
Akio Toyoda faces sharp criticism for his failure to express the company’s gratitude to loyal Black customers who stood by Toyota during their time of crisis. NNPA publishers stand ready to respond to what it sees as disrespect and taking these consumers for granted.
Oscar Grant’s killer released from prison
John Burris, Grant’s family attorney. (CNS) — A former Bay Area transit officer convicted in Los Angeles of fatally shooting an unarmed black man on an Oakland train station was released today, prompting protests from the victim's family and supporters. Johannes Mehserle, 29, was sentenced in November to two years in prison for shooting 22-year-old Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day 2009 at the Fruitvale BART station. He had been in custody since his conviction July 8, 2010. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry ruled Friday that with time served and good conduct credits, Mehserle would have to be released today. Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore declined to provide details of Mehserle’s release, other than to say that “everything went smoothly.” Mehserle was released shortly after midnight. Over the weekend, protests were held in Los Angeles and in Northern California, with members of Grant's family and their supporters expressing outrage about Mehserle's release. In downtown Los Angeles, several dozen protesters rallied in front of the Criminal See OSCAR GRANT, page 18
Photo courtesy of Johnson family
Oscar Grant, murdered victim.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Trauma, PTSD rates especially high for Black vets BY DWIGHT OTT SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM THE PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE The flashbacks to Vietnam for Lorenzo “Jamaica” Banks were coming fast. They were mixing with the horrors of the reality of being back home. So Banks decided to do something about it. He stepped off the Ben Franklin Bridge. His near death turned into a resurrection. He ended up getting physical treatment in a nice warm hospital bed along with mental health treatment. He went on to become a leader of the homeless in Camden, rescuing others like him. The trials of Lorenzo Banks mirror the troubles of many veterans of Vietnam. Now officials are concerned that similar problems are hitting Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. They say suicide rates for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are rising at rates rivaling Vietnam. Vietnam Silver and Bronze medal winner Sidney A. Lee, an African-American veteran activist, said that the jarring horrors of the two recent wars are bringing on increased suicides. He said smalltown high school students and compassionate idealists are never ready for the horrors, which are nothing like playing video games. “Any moment you could die or be blown up or maimed. You have your friend or buddy in the unit and you have to bring back that person, bring them back in pieces of the individual,” observed Lee, whose personal story is written about in the book “A Soldier’s Story.” Lee said that these are “invisible casualties” returning to the shores of America. Vietnam veterans have estimated that since that war suicide has killed more of the soldiers who fought in that conflict than in the actual war itself. More than 58,000 U.S. troops died in combat in Vietnam. And, now experts see the same trend rising among Afghanistan and Iraq veterans. According to the Congressional Quarterly Weekly, more U.S. servicemen committed suicide than were killed in combat last year in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some 468 servicemen took their own lives and 462 were killed in action. According to experts, this testifies to the stress on the country’s military personnel after 10 years of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. As many as 18 veterans of all recent wars take their own lives in the U.S. every day — more than 6,500 per year. African Americans have participated in every war fought by or with the United States and have suffered discrimination both during the war and on their return home. Lee said Blacks especially are vulnerable to Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) since they are
more frequently assigned to combat units. He said this happens because Blacks usually have poor education, and suicides are often the result of stress diseases like PTSD (often involving flashbacks) as well as brain injuries from explosions. “They often have difficulty taking tests that would put them out of range of the front lines,” Lee said. “Assignments are based on test scores.” He said that Blacks and Hispanics make up a large percentage of the recruits. Blacks were over 11 percent of population in the U.S. from 1965–69 but 12.6 percent of the troops in Vietnam were AfricanAmerican. During that period Blacks had a staggering fatality rate of 14.9 percent. Black veterans have long had a history of being neglected by the Veterans Administration and other military support groups. A recent lawsuit specifically singled out poor care for Blacks soldiers. In the suit, plaintiff, Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth, warned that unless the U.S. institutes systematic and drastic measures to care for injured soldiers, the number of broken families, unemployed and homeless veterans, cases of drug abuse and alcoholism and the burden of the health care and social services systems will be incalculable. Lee, president of the African American Post Traumatic Stress Disorders Association, said that many of these African-American veterans will suffer from PTSD for the rest of their lives. But, he said doctors often refused to diagnose the disease in Blacks. The neglect of Black PTSD victims was so acute that Lee said the PTSD History Museum in Hawaii has documented that all of the PTSD studies were done, with the exception of African Americans for decades. He said African Americans weren’t studied until the 1990s. He said one reason they did not perform such studies on Blacks was because they were afraid of political accusations of legal genocide that might result from whatever findings came about. Lee told The Final Call newspaper that even the Pentagon Papers made note of this. According to Lee, those documents indicated that more African Americans in Vietnam were placed in combat positions because officials argued that Blacks were more suitable for frontline combat “because of their surroundings and the environment they grew up in.” The government reasoned, he said, that Blacks were more accustomed to fighting and shooting and stabbing in the ghettoes and more suitable to send into the jungle. Lee charges the lack of proper treatment of Black vets continues. Black doctors have long complained about PTSD disorders
among Black veterans. Sidney Lee told The Final Call that they were ignored until the 1990s, because prior to then Blacks were leading the way in combat service along with other minorities while whites went into the National Guard and Army Reserve for extra money for college. Now, according to Lee, reservists are going through six- to eight-week courses and are put in harm’s way far AP Photo/Eric Risberg more often than June Moss poses for a portrait in the chapel at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System facility they were in Viet- in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008. Moss, who was in the U.S. Army for 12 years nam. and served in Iraq in 2003, continues her battle with PTSD. The change in demography of those on the front- what they went through, few with cial difficulties. In some cases they lines has resulted in more attention whom they can discuss it. He added may have applied for benefits they to the PTSD problem, some have that sometimes it can be a stigma to are not receiving. Black women in combat zones talk about such problems and that argued. He said when White and Black complaints of PTSD often go on have higher rates of PTSD, he said. soldiers return home, they have dif- military records and that can dam- He said sometimes they have been victims of assaults that are never ficulty adjusting to the society they age careers. In some cases they may return reported. knew so well before. They find that there are few that can understand home to marital infidelity and finanSee BLACK VETS, page 19
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Thursday, June 16, 2011
“My daughter wrote me a letter one day from college,” recalled Captain Brent Burton, who is, among other things, founder and CEO of the Jr. Fire Cadet Program in Los Angeles. “She said, ‘Dad, I just want to thank you for teaching me common sense. So many of my friends here don’t have any of it. I’m so glad that you taught me these things because some of my friends make really bad decisions and I’m glad I’m not in their shoes. So, thank you…’” Burton believes wholeheartedly in being involved in his children’s lives, instilling values in them and making sure they know that he loves them. For his efforts so far, he has a 23-year-old son who is a police oƥcer, a 19-year-old daughter in college and a 16-yearold who is doing well in school and most likely on his way to great things. The 22-year ﬁre department veteran has his own father to thank for his parenting and career successes, he said. “I used my dad as a measurement of how I was going to respond to diơerent things involving my kids,” said Burton. “I learned a lot by watching his examples. My father never taught me how to shave [for instance], but I learned how by watching him long enough. [Like him,] I made sure my children knew there were rules in the house and I made sure to teach them to treat their parents with respect.” Always be on time, keep your word and never gamble were some of the other values Burton learned from his dad, who worked for the late Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn in the 1960s and ’70s. His career began with those values. He became a ﬁreﬁghter at the tender age of 19, a paramedic at 21 and, by age 28, Burton had become the youngest captain in the L.A. County Fire Department. Burton is currently the president of the African American Fireﬁghter Museum. He is also the president of the Stentorians, an association of African American ﬁre service professionals. Perhaps his most
F E AT U R E
meaningful work, however, is with the Jr. Fire Cadet Program, where he passes on his knowledge of life skills, like self- respect and responsibility, to school-aged children. “There’s a saying, ‘It’s better to raise strong children than to repair broken men,’” Burton said. “I believe in that,” he added, citing it as the reason for the program … Young men and young ladies need positive adult male role models in their lives.” Not just Burton’s words, the evidence for the importance of a physically and emotionally available dad is continuously shown via studies conducted across the nation. According to data compiled by members of the National Fatherhood Initiative: • Children in father-absent homes are ﬁve times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4 percent of children in female-household families. • A child with a nonresident father is 54 percent more likely to be poorer than his or her father. • When compared by family structure, 45.9% of poor single-parent families reported material hardship compared to 38.6% of poor
L.A. Watts Times WEEKENDER
two-parent families. For nonpoor families who did not experience material hardship, 23.3% were single-parent families compared to 41.2% of two-parent families. And: • Adolescents, particularly boys, in single-parent families were at higher risk of status, property and person delinquencies. Moreover, students attending schools with a high proportion of children of single parents are also at risk. • A study of 13,986 women in prison showed that more than half grew up without their father. Forty-two percent grew up in a single-mother household and sixteen percent lived with neither parent. • Youths are more at risk of ﬁrst substance use without a highly involved father. Each unit increase in father involvement is associated with 1% reduction in substance use. Living in an intact family also decreases the risk of ﬁrst substance use. • Of the 228 students studied, those from singleparent families reported higher rates of drinking and smoking as well as higher scores on delinquency and aggression tests when compared to boys from two-parent PHOTO CAPTIONS (BRENT BURTON’S CHILDREN) from top (above) Adam Burton, youngest of Brent’s children, Brent Burton, and Andre Burton Brent and daughter, Shani “Baby Girl” at dad’s Fire station in Inglewood Andre Burton (Police Oƥcer), oldest of Brent’s children, with Brent << Captain Brent Burton
Thursday, June 16, 2011
households. • Being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree. • Researchers using a pool from both
the U.S. and New Zealand found strong evidence that father-absence has an eơect on early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy. Teens without fathers were twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent. Unfortunately, about 66% of Black children live without their dad compared to 27% white children and 35% Hispanic children. “We have to take a look at what’s going on with parents who are not engaged, who are not watching after their kids, particularly our young boys,” Burton said. “What’s going on is our measuring point. And what’s going on is that more and more we see our young boys being disrespectful toward adults, not doing well in school because they could care less about school. They’re not focused. These things are very detrimental. Then, when our boys [become adults] and realize, ‘I have to get a job, I’m on my own,’ they can’t survive because they’re not prepared …” The challenges that girls with absentee fathers face are diơerent but no less signiﬁcant, wrote Dr. Bernard Franklin in his article “Building your Child’s Self Esteem” for the National Center for Fathering. “Dads, we can build healthy self-esteem in our children. It’s vital for both sons and daughters, but I want to especially focus on daughters because too many fathers try to avoid or deny the importance of that relationship,” said Franklin. “Actress Halle Berry came to grips with the anger and pain of her fatherlessness following her divorce from baseball player David Justice. As she described in Essence magazine, her father failed to provide her with the kind of healthy, nurturing relationship that would have served as a foundation for her adult relationships with men. Her father left an innocent child feeling betrayed, unworthy and vulnerable. Years later, she carried that yearning for a daddy into her marriage, expecting her husband to ﬁll the void …”
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Who killed M-Bone? Family of slain Cali Swag District member M-Bone questions group member’s actions after murder BY JASMYNE A. CANNICK SPECIAL TO THE SENTINEL LOS ANGELES — It’s been one month since the brutal drive-by murder of Montae Talbert, better known as M-Bone, one-fourth of the rap group Cali Swag District, and today his family is speaking out and seeking answers as to why the popular 22year-old dancer was shot and killed on May 15 in front of an Inglewood liquor store. It’s a homicide that is still under investigation by the Inglewood Police Department and unsolved.
officially pronounced dead. In a sign of the times, news of MBone’s death reached his family first via Twitter, in particular his cousin Qurshia Ford, who said she couldn’t believe it. “No one ever called us or notified about Montae — as far as the police and the group members are concerned,” said Mary Alice Thorpes, M-Bone’s grandmother. “And when we arrived on the scene, they had already taken him to UCLA Medical Center.” Eyewitness accounts confirm
Bone, has told authorities that it was a white car that pulled up alongside and fired the shots. Witnesses say the suspect then drove off and then returned to the scene, almost as if to make sure M-Bone was dead. When the shooter returned to MBone’s car, witnesses say the driver yelled the f-word and drove off. Seated in the car’s backseat behind M-Bone was Black Jack, a longtime friend of M-Bone’s, who also told police that it was a white car. Black Jack was unharmed during the shooting.
Cali Swag District: from left to right: M-Bone, JayAre, Yung, and C-Smoove Reports confirm that about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, police were called to the 400 block of North La Brea in Inglewood where they found Talbert seated in the driver’s seat of a black unspecified vehicle, later identified as his girlfriend’s car, with two gunshot wounds to the head. He was later transported to UCLA-Harbor Medical Center where Talbert was
that M-Bone was seated in his car when the gunmen pulled alongside him in a separate vehicle and let off at least two rounds before fleeing northbound on La Brea. But at question is the color of the vehicle involved in the shooting. Bubba, a dancer best known for his rendition of the Dougie in the Cali Swag District video, who was with M-
Photo courtesy of the Talbert family.
M-Bone the junior high school graduate.
But witness accounts also place M-Bone’s friend and fellow CSD member C-Smoove at the scene of the murder. Smoove was seen driving his red Mustang on La Brea around the same time of the shooting, prompting several witnesses to tell authorities that it was a red car and not a white car that fired the fatal shots into M-Bone’s car. Family members say that these conflicting eyewitness reports on the color of the suspect’s car have raised questions, questions they say aren’t getting answered. “They can say it was (a) white car all day long,” said Tony Talbert, M-Bone’s uncle. “The people outside the shooting said that it was a red car. Loud music, ride up, pop, pop, turn around, come back, have words, take off. Maybe — can’t implicate anybody but one and one isn’t adding up to two.” Calls to Inglewood Police Department’s lead Detective Will Salmon were not returned by press time, but to date, the family says that the police have yet to reach out to them with news regarding M-Bone’s homicide. “They haven’t questioned us or asked us anything about Montae,” says Mrs. Thorpes, M-Bone’s grandmother. “They never even notified us that he was killed; we learned that news from Twitter.” Raising a lot of questions for family members is CSD member’s decision to continue with business as
Montae Talbert better known as M-Bone. usual after M-Bone’s murder, including going out to eat dinner the same night of the murder. “After he got killed, Cali Swag didn’t stay around to see what was going on,” Tony Talbert explains. “They went and had dinner. They didn’t stay around and say ‘Oh my boy just got popped, oh my God’ — no remorse. They went and ate.” Calls and emails to Cali Swag District creator Big Wy and 319 Music were not returned by press time. He continues, “There isn’t a whole lot of remorse.” “I want C-Smoove, JayAre, and Yung to think if the shoe was on the other foot, Montae would have done everything he could have possibly done. He would not have left that scene, trust me. He would have not have seen one of the other members get shot — or been shot and leave.” Also at question is whether or not M-Bone, who was known to wear a lot of red, was a member of a Blood gang in Inglewood.
“That just doesn’t make sense to me because M-Bone and his father had a huge fight because he thought his son was banging,” said Tony Talbert, M-Bone’s uncle. “He got involved in Cali Swag District to get out of that environment. I’m not saying it’s not true, but that it’s hard to believe given Montae’s history.” Cali Swag District rose to fame with their 2010 single “Teach Me How to Dougie.” The group plans to release a full-length album entitled “The Kickback” July 12 on the independent Sphinx Music Group/319 Music label with distribution through Sony Music. Anyone who was in the area and has information concerning the murder is asked to call the Inglewood Police Homicide Section at (310) 412-5246, or the 24-hour anonymous hotline number 888-41-CRIME (888412-7463). VIDEO: Log online to www.lasentinel.net to see the family’s interview.
Samuel L. Jackson reads ‘Go the (Bleep) to Sleep’ NEW YORK — Samuel L. Jackson is narrating the audio book for the profane hit nursery rhyme “Go the (Bleep) to Sleep.” The star of such films as “Pulp Fiction” and “Snakes on a Plane” is known for his way with a four-letter word. “Go the (Bleep) to Sleep” is this summer’s surprise hit by tired dad Adam Mansbach. The hardcover book and audio version went on sale Tuesday. Preorders have kept the book high on the Amazon.com bestseller list for weeks. Film rights have already been sold. A free download of the book is available through audible.com. The 62-yearold Jackson was a presenter at Sunday’s Tony Awards. He’s set to make his Broadway debut this fall as the AP Photo/Charles Sykes Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in “The Samuel L. Jackson arrives at the 65th annual Tony Awards in New York. Mountaintop.”
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Playboy Jazz Fest: All that is music
Photo by Malcolm Ali
Even though this year’s festival wasn’t on its usual Father’s Day weekend, fans still flock to the 17,000-seat Hollywood Bowl in droves. TV dad Bill Cosby once again played host. BY CRAIG BAYLIS AND DR. TIFFANY WRIGHT CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Although it is celebrated off the radar, June is Black Music Month. The Playboy Jazz Festival continues to serve as a platform that celebrates music’s most gifted and revered contributors, most of whom are African-American icons. Yet, the Playboy Jazz Festival, in its 33rd year, is an experience that is enjoyed by an ageless, colorless, spirit-filled crowd of friends and family. Playboy founder and publisher, Hugh Hefner has created this platform and has surely contributed to music history. Day 1 of the Playboy Jazz Festival was indeed all about contribution. Revelers converged on the historic Hollywood Bowl, pulling their wheeled coolers filled with spirits under the cloudy skies — and then the sun came. Mother nature abruptly made her muchappreciated contribution of clear, blue skies and a blissfully sunny day. Playboy Jazz Festival, a fete of many sorts, featured a lineup of music’s most respected benefactors and a kaleidoscope of the genre, including the legendary Rebirth Brass Band, introduced by actor Wendell Pierce. One by one, each performance told a story that explained that there is something bigger than a song, bigger than a sousaphone
or bass drum. This was a day of celebration that required the contribution of all, either as spectators, handkerchief wavers or umbrella toters, by joining the second line or all of the above. Jazz’s youngest most revered newcomers, the LAUSD All City High School Big Band included trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusrie. There were highlights from American jazz icon Dianne Reeves, who wowed the crowd of 18,000 with her unforgettable song “Better Days” and an engaging cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” The San Francisco Jazz Collective’s celebration of Stevie Wonder’s music featured music from classic Stevie, like “Songs in the Key of Life.” Eddie Palmieri and his orchestra summoned the standing crowd into a salsa frenzy throughout the venue and into the aisles. As the sun began to set, Bob James, Nathan East, Chuck Loeb and Harvey Mason delivered the sounds of contemporary Jazz’s most formidable band, Fourplay. Headliners, The Roots closed the night out with an at times perplexing gumbo of hip hop, rock, blues and jazz — and an appropriate appearance by Terrance Blanchard. Together, all the pieces of the evening contributed to the story of all that is music. Follow Craig Baylis on Twitter @brandbaylis | Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot fun in the summertime for music lovers of all genres makes the festival an annual must-go.
Photo by Malcolm Ali
New Orleans native Terence Blanchard, doing one of his favorite things: inspiring the crowd to their feet for a “second line.”
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Southland gasoline prices drop for 39th consecutive day (CNS) — The streak of declines for the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County extended today to a 39th day, but barely, with a decrease of one-tenth of a cent to $3.958, the lowest since March 13. The average price is 4.5 cents less than one week ago and 28.8 cents lower than one month ago, but 89.9 cents higher than one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. The average price has fallen 33.3 cents since the streak began May 7, including four-tenths of a cent on Monday. It rose 43 times in 45 days before the streak of decreases began. The Orange County average price also fell today for the 39th consecutive day, decreasing three-tenths of a cent to $3.926, the lowest since March 10.
The average price is 4.6 cents less than one week ago and 29.6 cents lower than one month ago but 87.4 cents higher than one year ago. It has fallen 33.5 cents during the streak, including three-tenths of a cent on Monday. Analysts credit the decreases to the declining cost of crude oil. The price of a barrel of benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange has fallen 16.6 percent to $97.30 since reaching a two-year high of $113.93 on April 29. Crude oil costs account for two-thirds to threequarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline, according to Tupper Hull of the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing oil companies in six western states.
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School milk will never be the same
(CNS) — Chocolate and strawberry milk will become a thing of the past on Los Angeles Unified School District campuses beginning July 1. The LAUSD Board of Education today voted to eliminate flavored milk from school cafeterias as part of a move to provide more nutritious food and beverage options. The board approved the elimination despite some opponents claiming that flavored milk has less sugar that some juices and is often the only way students get milk at all. Superintendent John Deasy had vowed during an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to eliminate the flavored milk. Appearing with Deasy on the show was television chef Jamie Oliver, who had taken the district to task on his “Food Revolution” program for not providing healthy enough meals for students. “This is a giant step forward for the health and future of 680,000 kids in Los Angeles and leads the
way for more school districts around the country to follow,” Oliver said in a statement this morning. “With flavored milk, kids are getting loads of sugar and other food additives they simply don’t
need to grow and learn,” he said. “In the ‘Food Revolution’ the little battles set us up for the next win. All these little battles count. They matter. It’s not just milk. It’s caring about what we feed kids 180 days a year.”
Sen. Price honors businessman Frank Denkins and wife Sacramento — Sen. Curren D. Price Jr. selected Los Angeles businessman Frank Denkins and his wife
Rosemary as Honorees for California Small Business Day on June 6 at the Capitol.
Let me assist you. There is NO Fee until we win. Jacquelyn Brown, Disability Appeals Rep.
(l to r) Sen. Curren Price, Frank Denkins and Rosemary Denkins.
The annual event recognizes the value and contributions of significant small business owners throughout the state. “The Denkins are impressive community activists who have operated a diverse line of businesses in the Los Angeles area since 1956,” said Price. Those businesses include ownership of a service station in Leimert Park and an Office Furniture store that have employed more than 300 community workers over the past 22 years. The Denkins also own a chain of 12 renowned dry cleaning stores in South Central L.A., known as Holiday Village Cleaners, which became the official dry cleaners of the 1984 Olympics and provided service to 6,800 athletes from 140 nations. In addition to his business accomplishments, Mr. Denkins served as a member of the Inglewood Chamber of Commerce, and currently serves on the board of the Crenshaw Chamber — as well as assists several other community organizations.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
SPORTS BEAT BY BRAD PYE JR.
AP Photo/Mike Groll
Boxer Mike Tyson delivers his induction speech at the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y., on Sunday, June 12.
Tyson makes it alive and well to the Hall of Fame BY TIM DAHLBERG AP SPORTS COLUMNIST The road isnâ€™t very far, about 140 mostly freeway miles from Catskill to Canastota in New York. It took Mike Tyson a lot of years and more than just a few lives to get there. A betting person might have gotten good odds a few years back that any induction of Tyson into the International Boxing Hall of Fame would be of the posthumous variety. But Tyson was very much alive on Sunday, his daughter on his lap as he smiled and waved at fans gathered for the boxingâ€™s hall annual parade. The out-of-control character he once was is the only thing dead now, and Tyson tries to bury his former persona even deeper every time he opens his mouth. The crooked smile and bizarre tattoo on his face are the only reminders of the day when the now slimmed down vegetarian and budding movie star was indeed the baddest man on the planet. He doesnâ€™t even look like a heavyweight anymore, much less one who would terrify opponents long before they entered the ring. But they donâ€™t induct bit players in Hollywood comedies into the Hall of Fame, no matter how good the â€œHangoverâ€? movies are. You have to at least play a fighter to get in the boxing hall, which was how Sylvester Stallone also found his way there on this day. The best fighter among the inductees wasnâ€™t even Tyson. Julio Cesar Chavez, the Mexican idol who relentlessly beat down almost everybody put into the ring against him, was a much more accomplished boxer than Tyson and was as feared by smaller fighters as Tyson was by the heavyweights. The best speaker was Stallone, who closed his talk with a famous line from the â€œRockyâ€? movies, telling the crowd in Canastota that â€œYo, Adrian, I did it.â€? Tyson, meanwhile, was so overcome by emotion that he couldnâ€™t even finish remarks that were meandering at best to begin with. Yes, Iron Mike was crying. Crying unabashedly, as he tried to honor the memory of the late Cus Dâ€™Amato, who became a surrogate
father to him growing up in nearby Catskill. But if this was a way to finally close a career that no longer needs closure, consider it done. The Mike Tyson who was honored for his work in the ring is still a fan of the sport that made him rich and famous at an age where he had no idea how to handle either money or fame. He still appears at big fights in Las Vegas, where he is always greeted by fans with the biggest applause of anyone sitting ringside. They remember the fighter who wore black trunks, no socks, and threw left hooks so powerful they knocked guys down even when they missed. The fighter who instead of celebrating was more likely to walk over to his vanquished opponent to make sure he was all right. The fighter who was so fascinating they couldn't take their eyes off of him even as his life spun out of control. What they donâ€™t remember is that Tyson was a one-trick pony, a fighter who relied on intimidation and brute power to make up for what he lacked in boxing skills. His cornermen would call out numbers for punch combinations they wanted Tyson to throw, but by the time he became the youngest heavyweight champion ever at the age of 20 he was pretty much done listening to anybody about anything. His career peaked with a string of knockouts in the late â€™80s, including a 91-second one of a petrified Michael Spinks in Atlantic City. But Buster Douglas stopped him in one of the biggest upsets ever in 1990 and things pretty much went downhill from there. While he looked ferocious again briefly after serving prison term for rape, he was unmasked by Evander Holyfield for good in 1996 and from there it was just a matter of chasing paydays. Look at his record objectively, and thereâ€™s no way he goes down as one of the great heavyweights ever. But no one â€” especially those among us who were along for the ride in his brief prime â€” ever looked at Tyson objectively. Heâ€™s Hall of Fame material just See MIKE TYSON, page 19
Notes, quotes and things picked up on the run from coast-to-coast and all the stops in between and beyond. The Big 3 (James, Wade & Bosh) were an epic failure in the NBA Finals in losing to Dirk Nowitzki and his World Champion Dallas Mavericks, 4 games to 2. In game six, the title clincher, the Mavericks blew down the Big 3â€™s chimney, 105-95. Who would have thought the Miami Heatâ€™s Lebron James would score only eight points in Game 4 in the NBA Finals against Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler (Dominquez High in Compton) and their little Dallas Mavericks helpers, 86-83. Even though LeBron posted a triple double (17 points, 10 rebounds and an equal number of assists) in Game 5, the Heat still lost, 112-103. And the Heat was beaten, 10595, as the Mavericks punched the Heatâ€™s tickets home for the summer, empty handed â€” tired and with their title dreams turned into a nightmare of epic proportions. Nowitzki was the big scorer in virtually the first five games, but his teammate Jason Terry was the No. 1 scorer in the championship decider with 27 points to Nowitzkiâ€™s 21. James didnâ€™t demonstrate heâ€™s the best player in the NBA Finals. He was more like a man missing in action, especially in the fourth quarter in virtually all six games. In the fourth quarter James was 4 for 16 for a paltry 11 points. And also in his first trip to the playoffs with Cleveland. James says the series loss to the Mavericks was a personal failure. And the beat continuesâ€Ś The world will have to wait for Tiger Woodsâ€™ return. Heâ€™s skipping this weekâ€™s U.S. Open. Reason: His knee surgery and ankle repair jobs havenâ€™t healed enough. Tiger, 35, and tennis great Serena Williams, 29, who returns June 20 to defend her Wimbledon title, and Tiger, have something in common as they go for their 15th and 14th Grand Slam crowns in their next outings. Question? Will either one of them reach that magic 18th Grand Slam win before they retire? Incidentally, the USAâ€™s James Blake is a late entry at Wimbledon. World triple gold medal winner Usain Bolt and former world record owner Tyson Gay had better watch out for Florida Stateâ€™s NCAA 100-yard dash champion Ngonidzashe Makush (9.89). He set this record on June 10 in Des Moines, Iowa. Bolt bolted to the fastest record in the 200-meters over the weekend. Makush joins Michiganâ€™s DeHart Hubbard (1925), Ohio Stateâ€™s Jesse Owens (1935-36) and Houstonâ€™s Carl Lewis (1981) as the only athletes to sweep the 100 and long jump at an NCAA meet. Makushâ€™s 27-feet 61/2 inches â€” is the best mark at the NCAA meet in 18-years. Tyson Gay, finished inches behind Jamaicaâ€™s Steve Mullins (10.26) in the Adidas Grand Prix in New York. Both men were given the same time (10.26) in the 100-meters. USC scholar Allyson Felix, who never competed for the Trojans, won the 200-meters in 22.92, more than a half second slower than her seasonâ€™s best. When the L.A. Dodgers Matt Kemp blasted a pinch-hit homerun in the ninth against the Colorado Rockets, he kept his consecutive games streak alive at 269. However, the Dodgers were still defeated, 6-5. Kemp had hit seven home runs in his last nine games to up his batting average to .332. Kemp smacked his 20th homer of the season Sunday in the
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
Dallas Mavericksâ€™ Jason Terry answers a question during a news conference after Game 6 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the Miami Heat Sunday, June 12, 2011, in Miami. The Mavericks won 105-95 to win the series. Dodgers fifth. Earlier in the third inning James Loney rapped his second grand slam of his career against Colorado. Loney, who smacked his first grand slam against Colorado on Sept. 28, 2006, tied a franchise record for his former team by driving in nine runs. In his career against Colorado, Loney has hit eight home runs and driven in 49 runs. Who is the No. 1 center in the history of the L.A. Lakers? According to a poll of 2,116 voters, Kareem Abdul Jabber is No. 1 with 71 percent of the total poll. Wilt Chamberlain is No. 2 with 16 percent of the total vote. Shaquille Oâ€™Neal was third with 9.45 percent of the votes. In another L.A. Times poll of 2,030, Kareem should be the next recipient to have a statue at Staples Center. Second place Shaquille Oâ€™Neal got 10.5 percent of the votes for second place. And the beat continuesâ€Ś Former TV analyst and NBA star Mark Jackson is the new head coach of the Golden State Warriors. This is Jacksonâ€™s first term as an NBA head coach. Other NBA head coaches of color at the moment are the Lakers Mike Brown, Bostonâ€™s Doc Rivers, Clevelandâ€™s Byron Scott (ex-Lakers star), Portlandâ€™s Nate McMillan, Atlantaâ€™s Larry Drew (former Laker), Memphisâ€™ Lionel Hollis, New Jerseyâ€™s Avery Johnson, Phoenixâ€™s Alvin Gentry and New Orleansâ€™ Monty Williams. World welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0-25 KOs) is no dummy. Mayweather will not have fought in 16 months when he takes on world welterweight champion Victor Ortiz (22-2-2) on Sept. 17. Mayweatherâ€™s last fight was May 1, a unanimous decision over Sugar Shane Mosley. Mail Bag: Hereâ€™s a note from Bill Cosby, the worldâ€™s greatest humorist and my alleged friend: â€œDear Tiny Little Green Ones: I shook and shook the envelope that contained your letter to me. Obviously somebody stole the money out of it. But I will collect it from you when I see you! Love Bill. P.S. Be thankful! It probably was somebody from Tommy Tuckerâ€™s Joint!â€? The New York Yankeeâ€™s Hall of Fame bound shortstop Derek Jeter wants to pick up seven more hits so he can join the 3,000 Hit Club. And Jeter wants to do it at home. Jeter told the media this week: â€œIâ€™d be lying to you if I told you I havenâ€™t been thinking about it.â€? As of Sunday, Jeter had 2,993 hits. The Yankees beat Cleveland Sunday 9-1. Jeter added: â€œYeah, Iâ€™d love to do it at home.â€?
Is Vernon Wells finally beginning to pay dividends for the L.A. Angels? Wells smacked a pair of homeruns Monday night to lead the Angels to a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Even so, after this explosion Wells was batting only.198 on the season. Wells is the man GM Tony Reagins made the trade that brought Wells and his $81-million contract to Anaheim from Toronto. And the beat ends. Brad Pye Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.
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