Motown Turns 50, but the Party’s Far from Over BY MIKE HOUSEHOLDER AND JEFF KAROUB AP WRITERS
DETROIT (AP) — On Jan. 12, 1959, Elvis Presley was in the Army. The Beatles were a littleknown group called The Quarrymen casting about for gigs in Liverpool. The nascent rock ‘n’ roll world was a few weeks away from the day when a single-engine plane crash claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens.
It’s also the day a boxer, assembly line worker and songwriter named Berry Gordy Jr. used an $800 family loan to start a record company in Detroit. Fifty years later, Motown Records Corp. and its core of largely African American artists have become synonymous with the musical, social and cultural fabric of America. The company spawned household names, signature grooves and anthems for the See MOTOWN, page 16
AP Photo by PAUL SANCYA
‘HITSVILLE, USA’ — This Jan. 20, 2006, photo shows 45s and photographs on display at the Motown Museum gallery in Detroit. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the record label. Above: “Little” Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.
About 9 of 10 Students Pass Calif. High School Exit Exam BY TERENCE CHEA AP WRITER
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — About nine of 10 seniors in the class of 2009 passed the high school exit exam that became a graduation requirement in California three years ago, the state Department of Education said Sept. 2. About 90.6 percent of the class — 433,000 students — had passed by the end of their senior year, up slightly from the 90.4 percent pass rate from 2008 but below the 93.3 percent rate for 2007, according to state data. The exam, which tests 10th-grade English and ninth-grade math skills, became a requirement for students to earn their diplomas in 2006. Students first take the exam in 10th grade and can take it up to seven more times to pass the math and English sections. The new data showed increases in the percentage of high school sophomores who had passed the exam on their first attempt in 2009. The pass rate for first-time test takers rose two points to 79 percent for English. It rose four points to 80 percent for math. “California’s high school students are continuing to meet the challenge of higher expectations,” said Jack O’Connell, the state superintendent of public instruction, who wrote the legislation creating the exit exam when he was a state senator. O’Connell said he was worried that deep budget cuts to education could undermine recent academic
Old Ala. Civil Rights Slaying Slow to Get to Trial BY PHILLIP RAWLS AP WRITER
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — It took more than four decades to indict a former Alabama state trooper in a landmark civil rights slaying, and getting the elderly defendant to trial is taking years, too. More than two years have passed since James Bonard Fowler was indicted in the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, who was shot to death during a 1965 civil rights protest in west Alabama. Fowler’s trial is nowhere near taking place, due to feuding between the prosecutor and judge, who has taken the unusual step of hiring his own lawyer. Civil rights advocates worry that delays could jeopardize the case because elderly witnesses could die before they get a chance to testify.
Jimmie Lee Jackson
September 10, 2009
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District Attorney Michael Jackson, who isn’t related to the victim, said the case definitely won’t be tried this year, but he’s hopeful for next year. He has no anticipated date. Neither does defense attorney George Beck. But Beck points out that it’s the prosecution, not the defense, that is causing the delay. Fowler, who is free on bond, was 73 when he was indicted. He turns 76 on Sept. 10. He is biding his time at his home in the black community in southeast Alabama. He said legal costs are draining his money and he can’t get a job because of the highprofile charge. “It’s an anchor on me. I can’t go anywhere or do anything. I’m tired of the whole thing. I never could see any reason for it anyway,” Fowler said Sept. 2. A former U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted an old civil rights-era case said time is critical because most potential witnesses are elderly. “Every day that goes by is a day you risk losing a witness,” Doug Jones said. Jones got convictions against two former Klansmen in 2001 and 2002 for a Birmingham church bombing that killed four black girls
in 1963. Jones said five of his witnesses died within a year after the trials ended. Fowler said he has developed shoulder problems in the last two years and needs surgery, but he’s doing pretty well. Despite the effects of time, one thing has never changed about Fowler: his insistence that he shot Jackson in self-defense. On Feb. 18, 1965, Fowler was one of several state troopers patrolling a night march by voting-rights activists in the town of Marion. They were marching to the Perry County Jail to protest the arrest of one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s lieutenants, the Rev. James Orange, for organizing blacks to try to vote. Street lights went out and a melee started, with officers beating marchers. Fowler maintains he fired because Jackson hit him in the head with a soft drink bottle and tried to wrestle away his gun. History has recorded it differently. Civil rights museums in Alabama and the National Voting Rights Trail credit Jackson with trying to protect his mother and grandfather from getting beaten by troopers. They say his death prompted See CIVIL RIGHTS, page 4
AP Photo by PAUL SAKUMA
PASSING THE TEST — California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell points to a graph during a news conference in San Jose on Sept. 2. The graph shows the results of the Class of 2009 California High School Exit Exam; just over 90 percent of California’s high school seniors passed the exam by the end of their senior year.
progress. To close a massive budget deficit, the state has cut $18 billion in funding for K-12 schools and community colleges. The new data showed the performance of Hispanic and black students continued to lag that of white and Asian students, but the achievement gap narrowed slightly. The exit exam pass rate was 81 percent for blacks, 87 percent for Hispanics, 95 percent for Asians and 96 percent for whites. As part of July’s budget agreement, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger suspended the exam requirement for
special education students, who make up about 11 percent of California high school students. Backers say it is unfair to expect students with disabilities to pass the exit exam when the state is slashing education funding, but O’Connell said the move will lower expectations for special education students and devalue the diplomas they earn. “This action represents an irresponsible and shortsighted shift in education policy,” he said. About 57 percent of special education students passed the exit exam in 2009, up 2 percent from 2008.
NEWS IN BRIEF THE SOUTHLAND Mayor Villaraigosa Names New Gang Czar (Mayor’s office) — Antonio Villaraigosa on Sept. 8 named Guillermo Cespedes as the city’s new gang reduction and youth development director. Cespedes replaces the Rev. Jeff Carr, who on Sept. 18 will become the mayor’s new chief of staff. As the city’s new gang reduction director, Cespedes will oversee and advance all aspects of the city’s efforts to reduce gang violence through enhanced opportunities for youth, as well as oversee all of the city’s gang prevention, intervention and re-entry programs in the mayor’s gang reduction strategy.
Cespedes has more than 25 years of experience in the design, implementation and supervision of the delivery of services to disadvantaged and at-risk youth. He is also the architect of the city’s successful gang reduction program “Summer Night Lights,” playing a key role in the expansion of the program to 16 sites in its second year. In this capacity, Cespedes was responsible for the overall implementation of the summerlong gang reduction program.
Local Women Plead No Contest for Boy’s Torture (AP) — Two Los Angeles women accused of burning, starving and beating the 5-year-old son of one of the women have pleaded no contest to causing corporal injury to a child. The boy’s mother, Starkeisha Brown, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after entering the plea on Sept. 4. Her live-in girlfriend Krystal Matthews received a 14year term. The two would have faced 25 years to life in prison if convicted. They avoided trial by pleading no contest, and prosecutors said the boy won’t have to testify. The boy was found ill and in the care of a homeless stranger outside a county child services office in Compton in 2008. See BRIEFS, page 8
L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 10, 2009
OPINION EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON
Devaluing Black Lives: The Killing of Danica Denton and Child A young expectant mother observes all the pedestrian safety rules while crossing the street. She’s in a designated crosswalk. There appears to be no oncoming traffic. And if there is traffic, the cars are required to stop. For thousands of pedestrians crossing streets, this is a routine, uneventful occurrence every hour, every day, in every city. It should have been the same for 18-year-old Danica Denton. But on Feb. 11, 2009, Gina Garcia changed that. The 34-year-old driver barreled through the crosswalk and bowled over Denton in the desert city of Cathedral City near Palm Springs. Denton and her baby died later at a local hospital. Denton was an African American. Garcia is white. The all-too-familiar tangle of legal, judicial and law-enforcement dodges, delays and blame-shifting instantly began. The tangle ultimately called into question how seriously the local district attorney, law enforcement, and even state officials take the deaths of African Americans; especially when the alleged killer is white, female and well-connected. The tangle of legal and racetinged foot dragging in the case began immediately after Denton was struck. Garcia fled the scene and this made the killing a serious hit-andrun felony. Also, Garcia earlier had been charged with a DUI offense.
Though Cathedral City police were informed that she had checked into a local hospital, it took a full day before they arrested her. Despite the seriousness of the charges, Garcia was immediately released on $25,000 bail. The bail for felony hit-and-run offenses that result in death is generally 10 times greater than Garcia’s was. Garcia’s husband is a special investigator with the Riverside District Attorney’s Office, and this drew an outcry that Garcia was getting kid-glove treatment. A month after Denton’s killing, Cathedral City police officials claimed that they were still investigating the deaths. This drew another outcry that Garcia was continuing to get special treatment. The district attorney claimed possible conflict of interest and turned prosecution over to the California attorney general. In June, Garcia agreed to a plea bargain and a 15-year sentence. But this didn’t end the Denton family’s nightmare. Garcia was given two more months to surrender and begin serving her sentence. This didn’t and hasn’t happened. On Aug. 14, Garcia, armed with backing from doctors and a hospital, was a no-show in court. Her excuse was that she underwent major surgery at an undisclosed hospital for an undisclosed ailment, and that she was too sick to be moved.
The judge and prosecutors bought it and gave her more weeks in which to surrender. The judge added further insult with a handwringing sympathy plea that he didn’t want to turn her alleged surgery into a death sentence. He added even more insult by tossing Denton’s father out of court for denouncing the judicial farce. The charge by Denton’s family and local civil rights leaders that the police, district attorney, state attorney general and the judge are insensitive to the murder of African Americans such as Denton and her child is not new. Countless groups have marched, picketed and screamed loudly that law enforcement and judges impose a hard racial double standard when the victim is a young African American and the killer is white. The implicit message is that black lives are expendable. Many studies still confirm that the punishment whites receive when the victim is black is far less severe than when the victim is white; punishment is far more severe when the killer is black and the victim is white. Police officials and judges vehemently deny that they are any less diligent in prosecuting whiteon-black killings than the reverse. Yet the studies and reports on racial disparity in sentencing and the See HUTCHINSON, page 6
Hurricane Katrina’s Children — Still Struggling BY MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN
“Dear President Obama: My name is Jade Windon, 7th grade student at McDonogh 42 Charter School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mr. President, I write to you expressing how many of our lives continue to be affected today by the storm that happened almost four years ago. Hurricane Katrina devastated the lives of everyone here and in the Gulf Coast region. Here in New Orleans, we are making very little progress. Our communities are still feeling the effects of Katrina. “I ask you Mr. President to please help us rebuild our lives and city. Our school, jobs and health care are just a few of the things that I would like to see fixed. Thank you Mr. President and may God Bless America, especially New Orleans. Sincerely, Jade Windon.” Jade is one of thousands of children from New Orleans and the surrounding areas for whom life is still not back to normal four years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005. Even though significant strides toward recovery have been made, for many residents there is still a long way to go. A new report commissioned by the Children’s Defense Fund’s Southern Regional and Louisiana offices outlines many of the ongoing needs and the lessons for our nation. Three of the most serious problems still facing children and
families are housing, health care and education. Hurricane Katrina displaced about 1 million people. Many families are still struggling to find and afford housing. Many more are worried about possible foreclosure on their homes or the expiration of rental assistance provided by the government, especially in areas where rents have skyrocketed since the storm. Some families are still contesting the decisions of insurance companies and government relief programs to deny housing assistance or aid to rebuild their properties. Others who are still living in Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers while waiting for their homes to be rebuilt are facing local community ordinances demanding they move out because the trailers are seen as eyesores and magnets for crime. The rebuilding of demolished public housing units also lags far behind the demand for housing and is contributing to a rise in homelessness. It’s estimated that more than 250,000 housing units are still unfit for human habitation. Many hospitals and clinics in the region remain closed including New Orleans’ only public hospital. Louisiana ranked 49th in a recent state-by-state study on child wellbeing and 50th in the percentage of its population lacking access to quality health and mental health care.
Without serious intervention and a forwardthinking s t r a t e g y f o r health and mental health services for children a n d their Marian Wright Edelman families, we can anticipate a worsening of health problems — including conditions like substance abuse, alcoholism and domestic violence that are all linked to the untreated post-traumatic stress that many storm survivors still face. In the aftermath of Katrina, about 118,000 school-age children in Louisiana and 20,000 schoolage children in Mississippi were displaced. It’s estimated that more than 50,000 children did not attend school in 2005-06, and roughly 15,000 did not attend in 2006-07. Although the consequences of missed school days and other setbacks in education and child care services haven’t been fully assessed, it’s clear that the postKatrina government response has not adequately ensured access to schools and child care centers. Despite the unmet needs, FEMA denied government applications for assistance to rebuild heavily damaged or destroyed child care centers because it does not consider child care an essential See EDELMAN, page 4
We Can’t Afford Not to Invest in Early Childhood Education BY GARY MANGIOFICO
There is no doubt that the stagnant economic conditions felt across Los Angeles, California and the nation as a whole are putting a strain on many families. With double-digit unemployment, one wonders if this recession will ever end. Precedent tells us it will. The question is: Will we be able to embrace and take full advantage of a sound economy when the need for a skilled and educated work force will be acute as Los Angeles and California position themselves to compete in the global economy? The answer may surprise you, and that is: We need to invest in early childhood education. If L.A. and California are to become effective players in the global arena, then we must consider the dire need for high-quality preschool for our youngest learners. It is very clear that in coming years, the Los Angeles region, more than ever, will need an educated and skilled local work force to meet the intense demands of a world economy, which will show little forgiveness for the unprepared. Today, we are seeing early warning signs that are causing distress in the business community. In the 2006-07 school year, the city’s high schools graduated 13,174 students, which amounted to one graduate for every dropout, according to the California Dropout Research Project. And one in four students in L.A. dropped out of high school in the 2007-08 school year. It is clear this is not a trend that will bring prosperity to the residents of Los Angeles. Because studies show that children who attend preschool are more likely to graduate from high school and seek higher education, it makes
sense to invest more in early childhood education programs. The lack of affordability and accessibility to Gary quality preMangiofico schools is today a major concern in L.A. County, where less than half of more than 150,000 4-year-olds are currently enrolled. That rate is even lower among children in the lower socioeconomic strata. Unfortunately, the children who need preschool the most are left out and are ill prepared for kindergarten and beyond. According to studies, early childhood education is a sound investment. In fact, a RAND Corp. study showed that for every $1 invested in a high-quality preschool education, society receives a $2.62 return. Other studies show an even higher rate of return. Furthermore, the early care and education industry is vital to L.A. County’s economy. It generates about $1.9 billion annually and provides more than 65,000 full-time equivalent jobs. It is also projected to generate the sixthhighest number of jobs by 2016 of all industries in L.A. County, according to a RAND Corp. study. See MANGIOFICO, page 3
Facts Sept. 10, 1962 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black vacates an order of a lower court, and rules that the University of Mississippi has to admit James H. Meredith, a black Air Force veteran, whose application for admission had been on file and in the courts for 14 months. Source: blackfacts.com
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September 10, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
BUSINESS BIZSHORTS Certified Financial Planner Presents ‘Social Security Planning for Boomers’
cover a career opportunity just right for you. Information: www.psijobfair.com.
Certified Financial Planner Percy E. Bolton will present “Social Security Planning for Boomers: What Everyone Needs to Know!” Sept. 12, 10 to 11 a.m., at 1127 E. Green St., Pasadena. Bolton says that Social Security is a lot more valuable than most people realize. Consider this example: In 2009, the maximum benefit for a person turning full retirement age is $2,323 per month. If that person lives for 30 more years, assuming an annual cost-of-living adjustment of 2.8 percent, he or she will collect more than $1.3 million in benefits, according to Bolton. Given the great potential of Social Security benefits over a person’s lifetime, it makes sense to treat this resource as a significant asset and to make decisions that will maximize it to the greatest possible extent, he asserts. The workshop is free. Registration information: (626) 737-7140.
ACG Business Conference to Take Place
Weekend Employment Resource Fair Slated The Rita Walters Learning Complex will offer a free Employment Resource Fair Sept. 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., for those who are struggling to find employment. Bring copies of your resume and dress for success. The Rita Walters Learning Complex is at 915 W. Manchester Ave., Los Angeles. Information: (323) 789-4717.
Diversity Job Fair to Be Held (Psijobfair.com) — The Los Angeles Professional & Executive Diversity Job Fair will take place Sept. 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Embassy Suites Hotel LAX, 9801 Airport Blvd., Los Angeles. The Professional & Executive Diversity Job Fair is free and open to anyone with a four-year degree or above, regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, etc. Meet face-to-face with recruiters and hiring managers from local and national employers, and speak candidly with industry leaders about opportunities in your field. Whether you’re an active job seeker or just curious, you may dis-
MANGIOFICO Continued from page 2 The study concluded early care and education “lays the groundwork for Los Angeles County’s future economic success by preparing the next generation for effective participation in the economy and attracting business to Los Angeles County.” A quality preschool education has also been shown to help bridge the achievement gap in school by ensuring that all children start kindergarten well prepared to learn. That is important because children who start kindergarten behind often stay behind throughout the K-12 educational system. And that has costly repercussions. California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said it right when he recently stated:
The 2009 Association for Corporate Growth Los Angeles Business Conference will take place Sept. 15 to 16 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. This year’s keynote speakers are Paul Volcker, chairman of President Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and former chairman of the Federal Reserve; Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state and national security adviser; and Christopher Cox, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The event begins Sept. 15 with “Capital Connection,” 3:30 to 7 p.m.; a gala reception, 7 to 9 p.m.; and Sept. 16, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Special ACG room rates are available by calling the Beverly Hilton Hotel at (800) 445-8667. Information: Scott Regberg, (310) 475-5735 or http://acglaconference.com.
RoadShow Live Being Held for Marketing Community RoadShow Live will take place Sept. 15 to 16 in Hollywood. RoadShow Live introduces the marketing community to new film and home entertainment properties while providing networking opportunities for the entertainment marketing community. The event is aimed at reinforcing how (and why) entertainment can bring more power to marketing campaigns. RoadShow presentations will take place the second day of the conference and will highlight marketing opportunities in film and home entertainment from the local studios. RoadShow Live will also bring together its presenters for a twohour, meet-and-greet. Additional presentations will take place after lunch followed by the RoadShow Wrap Party. Information: Elizabeth Bogumil, (310) 275-2088, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.laofficelounge.com/ RoadShow.
“Closing California’s achievement gap begins with ensuring all of our children start kindergarten well prepared to learn. High-quality preschool provides the foundation for children to succeed in school and in our increasingly competitive global economy.” The economic challenges we are facing are clear. But so are the steps we need to take to ensure our future economic prosperity. If L.A. and California want to remain economically competitive, the call for a home-grown educated and skilled work force must be heeded. That means investing in early childhood education for our future generation is one solution we can’t afford not to pursue. Gary Mangiofico, Ph.D., is chief executive officer of Los Angeles Universal Preschool.
‘TAKING CARE OF …’ — Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) was the keynote speaker at the Black Business Association’s Economic Summit Luncheon Sept. 3 at the downtown Los Angeles City Club. Waters addressed concerns that banks and credit card companies have been reducing credit availability to longPhoto by IAN FOXX time customers who hold accounts in good standing. Pictured (left to right): Alberto Alvarado, district director of U.S. Small Business Administration; Byron K. Reed, senior vice president of Wells Fargo; Waters; Earl “Skip” Cooper II, president and chief executive officer of Black Business Association; Michael Banner, president and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Local Development Corp.; and Marty Keller, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s small business advocate.
Rent or Buy? What Should You Do? At one time, owning a home was the American Dream. Now, however, that dream is changing. Yes, more than nine in 10 Americans do believe that owning a home is still a good investment, according to a recent survey. However, the Obama administration now plans to use $4.25 billion of stimulus funds to spur the rental market for lower-income families, according to published reports. And that — combined with recent changes in the housing market — could beg some to ask: Should you rent or buy a home? What should you examine when thinking about that question? “This is always a difficult decision, and it is no surprise that families take a long look at which option is best for them,” said Michael A. Branham, a financial planner with Cornerstone Wealth Advisors. Here’s what he said you should consider: • Don’t forget to look at the actual costs of either decision. While it may seem easy to compare your monthly rent payment to your potential mortgage payment, be sure it is an apples-to-apples comparison. For example, make sure the “buy” costs include property taxes, insurance, and, if you’re buying a town-
home or condo, any homeowners’ association dues that may result.
Many mortgage payments will See RENT OR BUY, page 9
IT’S FREE BUSINESS ADVICE. HOW GOOD COULD IT BE? The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted by El Camino College offers an entire network of Business Advisors who can provide you with free one-on-one business advising and affordable training. Whether you’re starting a business or want to take your business to the next level, we can help you. The SBDC hosted by El Camino College is part of the Los Angeles Regional SBDC Network, a nationwide program. More than 1.3 million businesses take advantage of the SBDC services nationally, and there’s an SBDC Service Center near you. Appointments are also available at our satellite office in the City of Carson. Visit www.southbaysbdc.org or call (310) 973-3177 to make an appointment today. w w w.southbaysbdc.org
(310) 973-3177 The Lead Center for the Los Angeles Regional SBDC Network is operated by Long Beach Community College District. The Small Business Development Centers are funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the California Community Colleges Economic & Workforce Development Program, and center host institutions. Funding is not an endorsement of any product, opinion, or service. All Federal and State funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Special arrangements for individuals with disability will be made if requested in advance.
JOIN TODAY! Stop by Inglewood COSTCO! 3560 Century Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90303
L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 10, 2009
COMMUNITY COMMUNITY MEETINGS, FORUMS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS Prison Legislation Passes Assembly The California Assembly has passed a comprehensive legislative package that Speaker Karen Bass says will result in “very, very significant reform” to the California prison system.
45. A matrix would be established to determine which individuals leaving prison would come under supervision. • Establishing funding for counties to receive a portion of the correction budget so that felony probationers who would otherwise be sent to prison would come under the jurisdiction of the counties. • Updating the property crimes thresholds. At presstime, the measure was expected to go to the Senate and, if passed, to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk.
Brawl at Detention Camp Leaves Juveniles Hurt
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass
The state is also under a federal order to provide a plan to reduce the prison population by 46,000 over the next two years. In a teleconference held Sept. 1, Bass outlined the package that she said “will have a very positive impact in our community.” Highlights of the package: • Establishing a Parole Reentry Accountability Program that would reduce the caseload of parole officers from 70 parolees to
(AP) — Authorities say an hour-long, racially charged brawl between juvenile inmates at a detention camp in Malibu left several boys and two staff members with minor injuries. Los Angeles County Chief Probation Officer Robert Taylor said Sept. 6 that officers used pepper spray to break up the fight, and 23 inmates were removed from the camp and housed elsewhere. Taylor says the fight began the night of Sept. 5 at Camp Kilpatrick with name-calling between a black and a Hispanic boy and escalated along the same racial lines. Taylor says his department is discussing the causes of the brawl
and looking more closely at how minors are housed.
Man Charged With Killing 13-Year-Old in South L.A. (AP) — A man accused of killing a 13-year-old boy in Los Angeles has been arrested and charged with murder. Police on Sept. 2 credited the arrest of 21-year-old Christopher Thomas to a new task force created to combat gang activity in South Los Angeles. Thomas was arrested Aug. 28 for the street shooting of 13-yearold Duquan Allen on Aug. 16. Police Cmdr. Kyle Jackson says the task force consists of local, state and federal authorities and was formed only three days before Thomas’ arrest. Jackson says the task force also helped track down 41-year-old Edward Olden, who is accused of fatally shooting a man and injuring two others. He is charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
L.A. Councilman Wants to Implement ATM ‘Duress Code’ (AP) — A Los Angeles city councilman wants the city to consider adding a security feature that would let customers type a “duress code” into ATM machines when they’re being forced to withdraw cash.
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Councilman Greig Smith made the proposal Sept. 1 in response to the killing of 17-year-old Lily Burk, who was kidnapped while running an errand for her mother. Police said a parolee slashed the teenager’s throat after she made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw cash with her credit card.
Smith says technology is available to let bank customers type their personal ID number in reverse order to secretly alert police that they’re being robbed. He introduced a motion asking police and the city lawyers to assess the feasibility of implementing the system.
CIVIL RIGHTS Continued from page 1 organizers to plan a march from Selma to the state capital. State troopers beat those marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma — an infamous event known as “Bloody Sunday.” The 50-mile march soon resumed under federal protection with King leading it. The events helped to push Congress to pass the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which allowed many African Americans in the South to vote for the first time. Today, a National Park Service museum in west Alabama labels Jackson “a martyr of the movement” and calls his death “murder.” So does Michael Jackson, who in 2005 became the first black district attorney for Perry County. He reopened the investigation into Jimmie Lee Jackson’s death and got a racially diverse grand jury to issue a murder indictment against Fowler in May 2007. The presiding circuit judge, Thomas Jones, says in court papers that he has questions about the case because federal and state grand juries reviewed the shooting shortly after it occurred and brought no charges. He ordered the prosecutor to furnish a list of potential trial witnesses and summaries of their expected testimony to the defense. The district attorney appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court, which ruled Sept. 4 that disclosing the names would violate Alabama’s rules for criminal cases. The district attorney had
argued that if the names were revealed before trial, some elderly African Americans might be reluctant to testify because they “still fear – with or without basis – intimidation tactics used in the segregation era.” The prosecutor has also asked the judge to step aside, claiming he “has lost all objectivity in this matter.” The judge has not responded to the request, but he has retained an attorney. The judge’s lawyer, Susan Copeland, had argued before the Supreme Court that the judge acted within his discretion. Jackson said he will appeal if the judge doesn’t recuse himself. That would cause more delays in scheduling a trial. The district attorney has acknowledged he has no gun, bullet or other physical evidence from 1965. A partial list of possible witnesses he included in court records did not include anyone who saw the shooting. Despite that, Jackson insists he has a strong case. “We are ready for justice to be served. There has been too long a delay,” he said. Beck, the defense attorney, wants the case thrown out because of the passage of time. He said several law enforcement officers who were in Marion the night of the shooting have died, and a fair trial is impossible. Orange, the King aide whose arrest prompted the march, died last year in Atlanta. He was 65.
EDELMAN Continued from page 2 public service. At the same time, FEMA identified zoos and museums as examples of essential public services eligible for rebuilding assistance, a decision and rationale that defies logic. Even before Katrina, the New Orleans school system was in a state of serious decline. The storm’s damage to roughly 100 public school buildings facilitated the takeover of failing schools and the drive to make New Orleans the first majority charter school district in the nation. But the introduction of charter schools hasn’t remedied the educational inequalities, the increased need for counseling services, or the unstable living conditions many students face. What exists now is a system of schools — not a school system worthy of its children. Despite a litany of seemingly insurmountable human conditions and problems, there are some glimmers of hope. There is a tremendous activism led by Gulf Region
residents to address many of the issues that plagued their communities before Katrina. This activism is supported by people and organizations from across the United States and abroad, all of whom have stepped into the void of governmental leadership and the continuing failure of government to have a prescribed standard of care for recovery for all of its citizens. But there shouldn’t be a void. Four years after our nation expressed shock and horror that so many poor and black citizens had been left behind during the storm, many Americans probably assume the crisis has been solved. Instead, the slow recovery continues and is still leaving many of the same children and adults behind. Our nation can and must do better. Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children’s Defense Fund. For information about the organization, visit www.childrensdefense.org.
September 10, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
COMMUNITY Study: Two out of Five Working-Age Californians Jobless SACRAMENTO (AP) â€” On this Labor Day weekend, many Californians found themselves more in need of work than a holiday. A report that was released publicly on Sept. 6 found that two of five working-age Californians do not have a job, underscoring the challenges in one of the toughest job markets in decades. The last time employment levels among this group were this low was February 1977, according to a study by the California Budget Project, a Sacramento-based nonprofit research group that advocates for lower- and middle-income families. â€œThe recession has been so severe that California now has approximately the same number of jobs as it did nine years ago, when the state was home to 3.3 million fewer working-age individuals,â€? the report said. In just two years, the recession has wiped out job gains from the previous four years, the report said. State employment data from July shows California had 952,800 fewer nonfarm jobs than in July 2007. Thatâ€™s more than the 854,600 nonfarm jobs gained between July 2003 and July 2007. Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, recommended Congress adopt a second extension of unemployment insurance benefits. Those checks, which pay between $200 and $1,800 a month depending on a workerâ€™s previous earnings, are â€œthe best way to keep dollars flowing to the local community,â€? she said. â€œThe unemployment checks â€” you spend it at the grocery store, you pay your rent, you buy a pair of shoes,â€? Ross said. â€œIt keeps roofs over their heads, food on their tables and small businesses going.â€? On Sept. 4, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the nationâ€™s jobless rate had climbed to 9.7 percent, the highest since 1983. The Obama administrationâ€™s $787 billion economic stimulus program extended unemployment benefits for up to 79 weeks, but more than 1.3 million Americans are expected to run out of those benefits by the end of the year. Congress could provide a second extension in September. Legislation has been introduced to provide an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits in states with high jobless rates. Ross also urged California lawmakers not to make deeper budget cuts that could exacerbate the recession. Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggerâ€™s administration has projected the state will face a $7 billion to $8 billion deficit for the 2010-11 budget, but analysts have projected that it could be double that amount. Asked to explain the difference between her unemployment figure and the governmentâ€™s, Ross said the governmentâ€™s official jobless rate does not factor in working-age Californians who stay out of the work force by choice, such as stay-at-home parents, or those who have simply given up searching for work. Taking those people into account, she said, translates to a 57.5 percent employment rate for the state, which is slightly less than the 57.6 percent recorded in 1977. The
California Budget Project used figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stephen Levy, director and senior economist for the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, said what was different this Labor Day was that itâ€™s not just the
unemployed who were worried. There also is widespread fear and unease among those who still have jobs. â€œItâ€™s a very disappointing Labor Day weekend,â€? said Levy, who is not connected to the report by the California Budget Project. â€œWe have record unemployment. But more than
that, people who still have a job have seen their home values and retirement savings decrease.â€? Lobbyists for the business community have been urging California lawmakers to make job creation a top priority by removing what they consider to be tax barriers for businesses.
â€œRestoring Californiaâ€™s economic health and creating high-wage jobs should be priorities 1, 2 and 3 of this Legislature,â€? California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg said in a statement. Under a two-year budget package passed in February, Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers See JOBLESS, page 6
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L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 10, 2009
WHAT’S GOING ON? Deadline for receipt of What’s Going On listings is Friday, 12 p.m., at least two weeks prior to activity. Fax to: (213) 251-5720, e-mail us at email@example.com or mail to: L.A. Watts Times, 3540 Wilshire Blvd., PH3, Los Angeles, CA 90010. COASTAL CLEANUP — The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium will participate in the 25th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 19, 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will clean up the Point Fermin State Marine Park and the Cabrillo inner and outer beaches. Aquarium staff will provide bags, directions, and refreshments. The cleanup takes place during Coast Weeks (Sept. 19 to Oct. 11), an annual three-week celebration of coastal resources sponsored by the Coastal Commission. Individuals are welcome to participate and interested groups are asked
to call the aquarium to reserve parking at Cabrillo Beach. The aquarium is at 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro. Information: (310) 5487562. COMMUNITY CLASSES — Dr. Kwaku Person-Lynn, a historian, musicologist, author and producer, will teach Afrikan world history, the “missing pages of history,” for 11 weeks beginning Sept. 18, 7 to 9 p.m., at the Yvonne Brathwaite Burke Ladera Park Community Center, 4750 62nd St., Los Angeles. This will be a multimedia class and the first one is free. Registration for the class will begin at 6:15 p.m. on Sept. 18. Information: www.drkwaku.com. BLACK LIFE IN L.A. — Photographs of African American life in Los Angeles are needed for an upcoming book project. Quality pho-
tos of lifestyles in Los Angeles from 1900 to present are needed. Photos must be 300 dpi resolution or better. Selected photos will receive a release form allowing them to be published. Information: Dr. Stanford at firstname.lastname@example.org. BOOK SALE — The Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research will have a giant book sale Sept. 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thousands of books and pamphlets will be on sale at low prices, including hundreds of children’s books. A special review will be held Sept. 18, where library members will be able to purchase up to 20 books. The library is at 6120 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. Information: (323) 7596063, www.socallib.org. STOPPING THE VIOLENCE — The Southern California Cease Fire Committee, organized to inter-
vene and bring peace to the communities that are most affected by violence, meets every Wednesday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Bethel AME Church, 7900 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles. Information: (310) 864-0165, projectcryno email@example.com. “FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE STREET” — Maximum Force Enterprises will conduct its third class of the newly formed Professional Community Intervention Training Institute. A newly added component of the institute is a firstever, four-week, on-the-street internship as part of the 16-week course. This internship will put the interventionists on the street to practice the skill sets and implement strategies learned in the classroom. The class is already at capacity but an additional 15 spots have been opened. Information: (323) 295-1904, firstname.lastname@example.org. RUNNING DOWN THE WALLS — The Los Angeles Anarchist Black Cross will hold its eighth annual 5k run Sept. 12, 10 a.m.
to 2 p.m., to raise awareness and funds for political prisoners held in the United States. The run will be at the Whittier Narrows Regional Park Grounds, 750 Santa Anita Ave., South El Monte. Information: email@example.com.
HUTCHINSON Continued from page 2 history of prosecuting crimes involving interracial violence show otherwise. In Denton’s case, the low bail, endless delays, district attorney conflict of interest, a questionable plea bargain, the killer’s alleged mysterious prison-dodging illness, and the court’s willingness to go along with it, paint a terrible picture of legal indifference and conciliation toward the killing of two blacks. Seven months after Denton and her child were flattened on a Cathedral City street, the record stands that her killer and her baby’s killer did not serve one full day of jail time. This is a record of shame, disgrace and an indictment of a criminal justice system that badly failed a young black mother and her child. Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, “The Hutchinson Report,” can be heard in Los Angeles, Fridays on KTYM Radio 1460 AM and streamed live nationally on ktym.com.
JOBLESS Continued from page 5
VFW 4th District (23) Posts VFW Post 5394
South Bay Veterans Employment Committee (SBVEC)
included a long list of corporate tax breaks and credits that are expected to cost California’s treasury an estimated $2.5 billion over five years. The tax breaks were included so the Legislature could get enough Republican support for a budget deal that also included temporary increases in the sales, personal income and vehicle taxes. The report by the California Budget Project also found that many California workers are making less money and have lost purchasing power. The inflation-adjusted hourly wage of the typical California worker fell by 0.5 percent between the first half of 2008 and the same time this year, the report said. In addition to the high level of joblessness, the Budget Project report says about 20 percent of working-age Californians were “underutilized” during the 12 months ending in July. That includes those who were not working but wanted jobs or were working part-time but wanted to work full-time, according to the report. A separate report issued Sept. 4 by the state Employment Development Department contained a sliver of positive news. It noted that the pace at which unemployment has been rising is slowing and that the state’s housing market showed “signs of revival.” The state report noted that education and health services are growing industries and that new jobs are likely to emerge in fields related to alternative energy and conservation, such as workers employed in weatherization projects. “As of Labor Day 2009, there was a growing consensus among economists that the worst economic recession of the last six decades was nearing a conclusion,” the state said in its brief report.
September 10, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
Obama’s Back-to-School Speech Inspires Some Kids BY KATHY MATHESON AND MONICA RHOR AP WRITERS
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — On the very first day of the school year, 12-year-old Mileena Rodriguez was reminded by President Barack Obama himself that hard work can take you places. Mileena listened to Obama’s plea to study hard and stay in school Sept. 8, watching along with several of her classmates at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School and students across the country. For all the hubbub among adults over the back-to-school speech, many youngsters took the president’s message to heart. “He said that we’re the future, and he’s right,” said Mileena, who wants to be a forensic scientist. “That’s a president telling you, ‘I care about you getting your education.’ Just imagine what kids like us can do if we actually listen.” Schoolchildren from coast to coast watched on classroom TVs and computer screens. Others did not hear the message at all, either because their parents pulled them from class or their schools refused to carry the speech over complaints from conservative groups and others that it smacked of political indoctrination. In his speech, which aired on C-SPAN and the White House Web site, Obama used examples from his own life to urge students to study hard. He told them to stop chasing dreams of being athletes or reality TV stars. “The truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won't necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try,” Obama said. Other presidents, including Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, delivered similar speeches to students, but some conservatives accused Obama of trying to promote his policies, and they urged schools and parents to boycott the address. Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer initially called the speech an attempt to “spread President Obama’s socialist ideology.” The Department of Education was also criticized for proposed lesson plans distributed to accompany the speech, including a section — later changed — that asked students to write about how they could help the president.
Facts Sept. 9, 1913 The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History is organized at a Chicago meeting. The group would be incorporated in the District of Columbia as a nonprofit organization by Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland. The major organizing center for the dissemination of information on black history in the United States, its name was changed in the ’60s to the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. Source: blackfacts.com
Schools were not required to show the speech, and the White House posted an advance transcript on its Web site on Sept. 7. After they got a look at the text, many critics, including Greer, backed off, and some schools agreed to show the speech after all. Still, others were glad they kept their kids out of class. “They don’t need to be told by the president what their responsibilities are. It’s the parents’ responsibility to teach them that, not the government,” said Ryan Christensen, a carpet cleaner who asked that his 10-year-old daughter be pulled from a fifth-grade class watching the speech in Caldwell, Idaho. In Marietta, Ga., the elementary school that Mollie Cushing’s two daughters attend chose not to air the president’s address. And that was just fine with Cushing.
President Barack Obama
“We’re not really happy with the way the country is right now, so I don’t have real warm fuzzies about the whole thing,” said Cushing, a stay-at-home mom and Republican. “I don’t think there’s
going to be anything he will touch on that will be important.” The uproar followed Obama to Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., where he delivered the speech. A small band of protesters greeted his motorcade when it arrived at the school outside the nation’s capital. One carried a sign reading: “Mr. President, stay away from our kids.” Karen Miller, a former PTA official and a longtime education activist in the Houston area, said she initially had concerns about the speech and accompanying lesson plans. “Whenever a political figure goes to a public school, one has to be very cautious,” she said. After hearing the speech, however, Miller said she found it inspiring. “The message he gave to children was so appropriate, that you
shape your destiny no matter the hand you’re dealt,” she said. “The message was absolutely on target. I had chills.” All schools in the 163,000-student Philadelphia district were encouraged to show the speech, which coincided with the first day of school. Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, a Republican, had originally criticized the speech and its suggested lesson plans as “steps never before seen by any presidency in the realm of government intervention.” But he said his concerns eased after some of the lesson plans were changed. “It was perfectly innocuous and a praiseworthy message,” he said. Associated Press writers Dorie Turner, Donna Blankinship, Jessie L. Bonner, Terence Chea and Alan Zagier contributed to this report.
L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 10, 2009
COMMUNITY BRIEFS Continued from page 1
THE STATE Chargers Linebacker Arrested in Domestic Call SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego Chargers star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman was arrested Sept. 6 and accused of choking and restraining his girlfriend, reality television star Tila Tequila, as she tried to leave his suburban home.
Department spokesman Jan Caldwell said at a news conference. Merriman, 25, was taken into custody and booked into the central jail at about 8:30 a.m. He was released shortly after 11 a.m. Caldwell said she didn’t know if he posted bail or was released on his own recognizance. Tequila was taken to a hospital. Her condition was not immediately available. Caldwell said deputies determined Tequila had been drinking. She said she wasn’t sure about Merriman. Merriman didn’t return two emails seeking comment. His agent, Tom Condon, said he hadn’t heard about the arrest when contacted by The Associated Press.
allowed the attacks to occur. “On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones said in his resignation statement. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.” Van Jones
House in a dead-of-the-night e-mail on a holiday weekend. It came as Obama is working to regain his footing in the contentious health care debate. Jones, who specialized in environmentally friendly “green jobs” with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, was linked to efforts suggesting a government role in the Sept. 11 attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans. Gibbs said Obama did not endorse Van Jones’ comments but thanked him for his service. “What Van Jones decided was that the agenda of this president was bigger than any one individual,” Gibbs said on ABC’s “This Week.” Recent news reports cited a derogatory comment Jones made in the past about Republicans, and separately, of Jones’ name appearing on a petition connected to the events surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks. That 2004 petition had asked for congressional hearings and other investigations into whether highlevel government officials had
THE NATION Controversy Over Fiery Remarks Fells Obama Adviser Shawne Merriman
Tequila, 27, signed a citizen’s arrest warrant, charging Merriman with battery and false imprisonment, San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Gary Steadman said. Deputies responded about 3:45 a.m. to Merriman’s house in Poway, north of San Diego, after a woman called to say she was choked by the player and thrown to the ground when she tried to leave, Sheriff’s
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House environmental adviser under fire for inflammatory statements made before he joined the administration resigned after what he called a “vicious smear campaign against me.” Van Jones “understood that he was going to get in the way” of President Barack Obama’s agenda, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Sept. 6. The resignation was disclosed without advance notice by the White
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Rapper Ludacris Gives Away Cars to Contest Winners MORROW, Ga. (AP) — Talk about a one-man stimulus package: Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris has given away 20 cars to people who wrote about their struggles to keep their jobs for a lack of wheels of their own. Ludacris said he was taken aback after reading thousands of essays by people struggling or unable to buy cars needed to get to and from work or find jobs. The 31year-old rapper felt he could step in and move them ahead, partnering with a suburban Atlanta dealership for the Sept. 6 giveaway. “People are getting laid off, and now are looking for jobs,” Ludacris said. “To be efficient, you need some transportation of your own to get there. That’s why I wanted to give back to those who need it.” Each of the used vehicles included free gas for 30 days. Winning contestants were responsible for tags, registration, tax and insurance. About 4,000 contestants submitted a 300-word essay to the rapper’s foundation, explaining why
they deserved a car. One of the most touching stories Ludacris read was by Mading Duor. Duor described how he moved to the United States six years ago after his mother, father, and five brothers and sisters were killed in Sudan. The man, who won a Nissan Maxima, also wrote that a son was killed by a drunken driver in Atlanta a few years back. “His story touched my heart,” Ludacris said. “He’s endured so much in his life and he’s still here standing. I’m very proud to have helped him.” On the Net: www.theludacris foundation.org/.
Black Woman Sues Billy Graham Group Over Race RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A black woman is suing the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, saying she was abruptly fired after complaining that the organization was not reaching out to African American churches. A spokesman for the organization didn’t comment on the firing, but said the association does extensive outreach and works extensively with African American and other diverse churches. Kimberly McCallum said in the lawsuit that was moved into a federal court Sept. 2 that she was the only black employee working in the See BRIEFS, page 9
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September 10, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
COMMUNITY RENT OR BUY Continued from page 3 include what’s called PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance). But that may not be apparent in an initial comparison if only the principal and interest numbers are used. There could also be annual maintenance or upkeep costs associated with owning a home that you would not be responsible for if you were renting. While these costs are not, in and of themselves, a reason not to buy, understanding them is essential in any fair comparison. • Once the actual costs are known for each decision, take a hard look at your personal finances. How do your other debt obligations fit into the picture? Can you comfortably expect to meet the monthly obligations of owning? • Take your long-term plans into account. If you are starting a family, or plan to put down some roots, you may find yourself favoring ownership. If you are unsure of how long you will be staying in an area, or are prone to relocation with your job, renting may be more suitable to your situation. • Consider the economic climate. Where are interest rates when compared to long-term averages? If you are in a lower-rate environment (like we are in currently), should you accelerate your desire to own a home one day? If rates are higher than normal, does it make sense to be patient and wait for better timing? Again,
how does your decision play into your long-term goals and plans? • While the tax benefits alone will not likely justify buying versus renting, they do play into the larger picture. What tax benefits do you stand to gain by creating a deductible interest expense? Does that mitigate some of the cost differences that may exist between the two options? Harry K. Foote, of Smart College Solutions, has this point of view: “I am a fan of home ownership and would recommend that when they find a home they like and can afford the payments, including the down payment, they should buy. Renting is only purchasing a house or building for someone else. You will acquire wealth with long-term ownership, and it’s an investment that you live in.” Home prices are much lower than they were a year ago. “In today’s housing market, I can understand the concerns of buyers and homeowners that paid too much for their properties, but this is a passing situation that will be resolved,” Foote said. In addition, Foote suggested that first-time homebuyers should consider the $8,000 tax credit that is presently available. A tax credit of up to $8,000 is available for qualified firsttime homebuyers purchasing a principal residence on or after Jan. 1, 2009, and before Dec. 1, 2009. “It is just too good to pass up without serious consideration,” he said. Learn more about the $8,000 credit for first-time homebuyers at
BRIEFS Continued from page 8 executive offices in Charlotte when she started in February 2007. She complained to her superiors later that year when she was asked to recruit congregations to a camp program but found that a list of 635 prospective churches had only three memberships that were primarily black. McCallum said it was apparent that black churches were excluded. A week after raising her concerns, McCallum said she was told her job with global offices was cut because of downsizing. Her boss never raised concerns about the quality of her work, according to the lawsuit filed in June in a local court. McCallum said she tried to get other jobs at the association, based in Minneapolis, but that she was blocked from other positions and had a later job offer revoked. She wants a job reinstated, back pay and damages for what she describes as discrimination because of her race. McCallum declined further comment Sept. 3. IRS.gov and HUD.gov. There are several Web sites that offer calculators that you can use to evaluate the rent-versus-buy decision including Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae and AARP. This column is produced by the Financial Planning Association, a membership organization for the financial planning community.
Meeting to Explore Why Different Treatment of Races by Police CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A panel meeting this month will explore the question of whether whites and minorities are treated differently by the police. Panelists, including Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster, state NAACP President Kenneth Hale, and Ronald Hampton of the National Black Police Association were expected to meet Sept. 10 at West Virginia State University to discuss the issue. The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is one of the sponsors of the forum, has made racial profiling a focus. A Legislature-commissioned report this year showed that minority motorists were 1.5 times more likely to be stopped and twice as likely to be searched than white motorists. The study also found that whites were more likely to have drugs and other contraband than either blacks or Latinos. Information from: The Charleston Gazette, www.wvgazette.com.
THE WORLD Canada Appealing Controversial Refugee Case TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s
federal government said Sept. 3 it was challenging a contentious Canadian immigration board panel ruling that granted refugee status to a white man from South Africa who claimed persecution from blacks in his home country. Danielle Norris, spokeswoman for the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, said the government will challenge the decision before the Federal Court. She earlier said department lawyers were studying the panel’s decision. A Canadian immigration board panel issued its ruling in late August in the case involving Brandon Huntley. Huntley argued that whites are targeted by black criminals in South Africa and that the South African government does nothing to protect them. He claimed he was attacked seven times during attempted robberies and muggings. Tribunal panel chair William Davis ruled that Huntley would stand out like a “sore thumb” due to his color in any part of South Africa and ruled that Huntley’s fears of persecution are justified based on the evidence he submitted. Abraham Nkomo, South Africa’s High Commissioner to Canada, said the refugee board was taken for a ride in the matter and said that it’s a crime issue, not a race issue.
L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 10, 2009
ARTS & CULTURE
LEIMERT’S LABORS — The Leimert Park Village Merchants held an African Art and Music Festival Sept. 5 to 7, which featured food, crafts, vendors, arts and music. Pictured (clockwise from left): The High Life Band; Richard Grant Jr. of the World Stage All Stars Band; The Michael Session Band; Mychal Andrews, pianist, performs as part of the Wali Ali Quartet; Barbara Roper, owner of Body Art – I – Facts, discussing her products with attendees; Afrikan dance troupe “Afrikasineras”; R & B group LTD closes out the festival.
Photos by MARTY COTWRIGHT
Mary Mary Still Going Strong 9 Years Later BY MESFIN FEKADU AP WRITER
NEW YORK (AP) — Many female groups have topped the charts, but at the same time, many have not lasted. Gospel duo Mary Mary almost fell in the category of casualties. “I have definitely quit this group 100 times, probably last week,” says Tina Campbell, 37, the older sister of the pair. “Being sisters is the best and the worst.”
Facts Sept. 11, 2001 Beginning at 8:45 a.m., four United States domestic airplanes are hijacked in a terrorist attack. Two planes crash into the World Trade Center in New York City and one plane crashes into the Pentagon. The destination of the fourth plane, bound for California from New Jersey, is not known, but the passengers and flight attendants aboard fight the four hijackers aboard. The plane crashes in a rural field in western Pennsylvania, killing all on board. It is the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil in history. Source: history.com
Erica, 35, acknowledges she has thoughts of a career as a solo star. “See, I don’t think about quitting; I think about me by myself,” Erica says, adding with a laugh: “I’m not going to deal with this foolishness for the rest of my life.” They admit being around each other 24/7 is annoying at times, but that sisterly bond is also the very reason why they’ve stayed intact. “I mean, if you cannot be completely frank and blatant and who you are with your sister, then I mean, Jesus Christ, where can you be yourself?” asks Tina. Since their debut in 2000, Mary Mary has consistently been on top of the gospel world. The group has also had strong success on the R&B and pop charts. The duo’s newest single, the AutoTune-tinged “God In Me,” continues to climb the charts and gain radio airplay. To boost the song, the group enlisted hit singer-songwriter Ne-Yo for a remix. “God In Me” is a non-typical gospel song, with its references to flashy cars and designer clothes. That kind of talk almost made them bypass the song. Then they connected with the
song’s deeper meaning. “But when I started paying
attention to what it was saying ... this is how, this is why, this is what has
enabled me, I was like, ‘You got me!’ ” Erica says. “We try to make sure everything we put out there represents what we represent, that is true to us first — lyrically, creatively, sonically. We want it to be banging, on point. We want it to be respected across the board,” Tina adds. The duo says they’re hoping to create a brand for Mary Mary. They have a list of upcoming projects including a book; a bath and body line; a line of jeans; and a TV show. They’re also featured judges on the BET series “Sunday Best,” a gospel singing competition. They also say they’ll continue to push boundaries as gospel musicians. “We don’t limit ourselves to that market. (We’re) faith-filled, love the Lord, always going to talk about Jesus because that’s what we do and how we live ... but we want to remove the limits and just shoot for the stars,” Tina says. “The mission and purpose is to spread the message of the love of God,” Erica adds. “Now, under that you have the music business, and so we all have our aspirations, and some of us want more than others.” On the Net: www.mary-mary. com.
September 10, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
ARTS & CULTURE
Moms Grieve in ‘Motherland’ BY DARLENE DONLOE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Mothers never expect to bury their children. But, it happens. And when it does, there is a hole in their hearts, sometimes as big as the Grand Canyon. Moving past the pain is a daunting prospect, to say the least. After the death of a child, how does one find consolation? That issue is addressed in the documentary “Motherland,” which follows six American mothers as they travel on a 17-day humanitarian mission to help AIDS orphans in Oudtshoorn, South Africa, in an attempt to find comfort and understanding in their own grief. “Motherland” is an honest and emotionally draining trek through a mother’s pain as she goes through the grieving process. Director Jennifer Steinman, in her debut feature, gives each mother a spotlight to talk about her son or daughter, how they died and its reverberating impact. One by one, the women (Mary Helena, Kathy Jimenez, Anne Magill, Barbara Crandall, Lauren Warner (who went in place of her mother) and Debbi Berto) spill their guts before a camera, reliving their darkest moments. One woman finds solace in not having to mask her true feelings around women who “understand”
what she’s going through. Another (Magill) bemoans her 15-year-old daughter’s suicide. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life,” said Magill, who co-produced the documentary. “I’m so lost.” Helena’s 23-year-old son, Aaron, was shot in a parking lot. Seemingly the most introverted of the bunch, Helena took her son’s ashes to South Africa to be strewn. “You finally made it to South Africa,” she says standing on a hill overlooking a township. Whatever the cause of death (one committed suicide, three died in traffic accidents, two were murdered), the women mourn candidly and unabashedly about a pain they have accepted that will accompany them through their life’s journey. For some, it’s brought their lives to a halt. “It’s indescribable,” Magill
said about losing a child. “I’m not the person I was.” Witnessing these women’s agony is not easy, but it’s a stark reminder of how fragile life and death are. None of the women featured are of the mind that the trip will somehow heal them from their grief. In fact, one woman readily admitted she didn’t feel any better than she did before she came on the trip. However, she was also not ready to go home. Working in a teeming day-care center with orphans whose villages and families have been affected by HIV, poverty, and famine had at least kept her mind from totally focusing on her own sadness. So did volunteering at a home for special-needs children. Steinman’s affecting, no-frills documentary is well done. The women’s individual stories, accompanied by photos of their deceased loved ones, are heartwrenching. The footage of the women mingling, hugging, teaching, rocking, feeding and dancing with the children is just as emotional as the footage of their pain. Watching the children wait in line to be held says it all. The looks of happiness on the faces of the orphans who just want to be loved are priceless. “Motherland” is currently
A MOTHER’S SORROWS — “Motherland” tells the story of six women from the United States — all of whom have lost a child. The mothers made a 17day humanitarian trip to assist AIDS orphans in South Africa. Pictured (left to right): Hazel Jonker, who hosted the women; Lauren Warner; Kathy Jimenez; Anne Magill; Barbara Crandall; Debbi Berto; and Mary Helena, as they stand at the gravesite of Jonker’s 24-year-old daughter, Dolene Suzette.
available via the Gigantic Digital Streaming Service (www.giganticdigital.com). Running time: 80 minutes. Steinman also co-produced and co-edited the project.
On the Donloe Scale, D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likable), O (Outstanding) and E (exquisite), “Motherland” gets an O (Outstanding).
Play About Grieving Mother More than it Appears to Be BY NADRA KAREEM CONTRIBUTING WRITER
A middle-aged woman takes a trip to Brazil to sort out her feelings about her son’s tragic demise. In a nutshell, this is the plot to Charles Randolph Wright’s new play, “The Night Is a Child,” which will run at the Pasadena Playhouse through Oct. 4. In actuality, however, the drama is much more complex than that storyline makes it seem. Magical realism, ghosts and the Afro-Brazilian religious tradition of candomblé play central roles in the drama set in both Brazil and Massachusetts via images projected on moving panels. Complicating the story further are flashbacks to periods in grieving mother Harriet Easton’s life when her son was still living and ominous news clips that hint that he died in a most sensational way. About half-way through the play, we find out just how he died and how his death has ripped the Easton family of Brookline, Mass., apart. Although the subject matter is grim, humorous moments fill the “Night Is a Child.” Harriet Easton, played by JoBeth Williams of “Poltergeist” fame, comes across as likeable in a role where she just as easily could have appeared to be self-pitying. The supporting cast includes Monette Magrath as Harriet’s daughter, Jane EastonWhitcomb; and Tyler Pierce as Harriet’s only surviving son, Brian Easton; as well as Armando McClain as Henrique, Maceo Oliver as Joel and Sybyl Walker as Bia. Sheldon Epps directs. Walker, one of three cast members to play Brazilians, does a stand out job as the friendly woman who befriends Harriet in South America. She comforts Harriet when the mother is overcome by grief, encourages her to let her feelings out in dance and questions her assumptions about Brazilians. The conversation between the two women grows tense when Harriet expresses shock upon finding out that Bia is a Harvard-educated physician rather than a nurse, receptionist or hotel worker. Despite the liveliness of their conversations, Harriet wonders why this young Afro-Brazilian woman would take such an interest in her
‘NIGHT IS A CHILD’ — Maceo Oliver and Sybyl Walker, in Charles Randolph Wright’s new play, “The Night Is a Child,” at the Pasadena Playhouse through Oct. 4.
life. In the play’s conclusion, though, we learn that Bia isn’t just a friendly native cozying up to a white American woman in a foreign land. Rather, Bia has a history of her own, one that correlates to Harriet’s story and Joel’s, the owner of the hotel where Harriet lodges in Brazil. “The Night Is a Child” also questions Americans’ views that foreign lands are somehow inherently more dangerous than the United States is. Joel the hotelier is a case in point. “There is so much tragedy in the United States,” he says, inverting the American perception that developing nations are the ones which are tragic. In the play, not only are American perceptions questioned but also the notion of what constitutes America. Bia, for example, tells a story about the time a Harvard professor questioned that she was really an American. “Where are you really from?” the professor asks. “I said American,” Bia tells him. See GRIEVING MOTHER, page 14
L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 10, 2009
ARTS & CULTURE SHORT TAKES THEATRE “Influences of the Spirit,” a play in two one-acts, will conclude its run at Leimert Park’s Village Theater in Lucy Florence, 3351 W. 43rd St., Los Angeles. The play will take place Sept. 11 to 12, and Sept. 18 to 20. Produced and directed by Al Cowart Jr. and Fatima Cortez-Todd, both pieces are filled with pathos and humor revealing conflicting emotions in the everyday struggles of people simply looking for a better life and harmony. Tickets are $15 for Friday and Saturday performances, which begin at 8 p.m., and $20 for Sunday performances with brunch. The brunch begins at 3 p.m. and showtime is 4 p.m. Information: (323) 747-5364, www.lucyflorence.org.
Beach. Los Angeles native and Strong Arm Steady member Phil Da Agony, who has worked with Talib Kweli, Outkast, Xzibit, will headline the evening. Also performing will be local up-and-coming hip-hop groups Rebels to the Grain, Destruct, Glassbottom Boat, and the female Reggae group Universal Speakers. Information: (626) 488-0855, e-mail rebelstothegrain@yahoo. com, www. stuckinthetrees.com.
BOOKSIGNING NeNe Leakes, one of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” will sign her newly released book, “Never Make the Same Mistake Twice: Lessons on Love and Life
CONCERT A night of hip-hop and reggae will be presented Sept. 17, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., at the Rhythm Lounge, 245 Pine Ave., second level, Long
Phil Da Agony
hard-cover book, released Aug. 11, retails for $24.99. Information: (323) 290-1048.
Park, 807 Paseo del Mar, San Pedro. Rex Navarrate, Geo of the Blue Scholars, Supreme Soul and AJ Rafael are scheduled to headline this event of more than 1,200 artists in nine disciplines. Information: (213) 380-3722, www.filam arts.org.
NETWORKING The Inglewood-Airport Area Chamber of Commerce will hold an after-hours networking event Sept. 24, 5:30 to 7: 30 p.m., at the Radisson Hotel Westside in the Culver Club, 6161 W. Centinela Ave., Culver City. There will be a no-host bar, hors d’oeuvres along with wine tasting and a silent auction. The cost is $30 per person and must be prepaid. Information: (310) 677-1121.
LECTURE Author, lecturer and people’s advocate Sadiki Bakari will present a lecture entitled “Removing the Veil of ILLusion: The Cooptation of Change,” on Sept. 11, 7 p.m., at the Afiba Center, 5730 S.
Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles. This “Special 9-11 Edition” will touch on issues such as “Mind Control and the psychosis of exoteric belief systems,” “Distraction and the 3rd dimension,” and more. DVDs will be available for purchase. Information: www.sadikibakari.com.
FESTIVAL The 18th Annual Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture will take place Sept. 12 to 13, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, at Point Fermin
Learned the Hard Way,” Sept. 11, 7 p.m., at Leimert Park’s Eso Won book store, 4331 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles. The 240-page,
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September 10, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
California STAR Results Show Achievement Gap Persists RUPA DEV NEW AMERICA MEDIA
Editor’s note: While California’s standardized testing indicates there has been some improvement in student achievement this year, it still hasn’t closed the performance gap between low-income students and their more economically advantaged counterparts. Student achievement in California public schools improved this year, according to the results of this year’s Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program, and high-level educators are applauding the good news. “California is known nationally for the rigor of our academic standards, and this level of student achievement on our California
Standards Tests should be celebrated,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. The STAR Program is designed to help measure student achievement and school performance. In 2009, half of California students scored at least at the proficient level in English language arts, and 46 percent of students scored at this level or above in math. Over the years, California students have slowly but steadily improved performance on California Standardized Tests. “There has been some improvement in student achievement,” said John Rogers, a professor of education at the University at California at Los Angeles. “However, it was fairy marginal and spoke to the fact that more effort has been
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put into preparing students for standardized assessments.” What about the other half of California students who scored below proficient? Only 37 percent of African American and Latino students scored at the proficient or advanced level in English-language arts, in comparison to 73 percent of Asian students and 68 percent of white students. In math, scores were even lower. Only 30 percent of African American students scored at the proficient level or higher. On both English-arts and math — across all racial and ethnic groups — there was at least a 10-percentage-point difference or higher between the scores of low-income students and those of students who aren’t economically disadvantaged. What is clear is the racial and socio-economic achievement gap hasn’t shrunk substantially. “The gap is getting bigger and bigger,” said Linda Murray, acting executive director of Ed Trust West and former superintendent of San Jose Unified School District from See STAR, page 16
NOTEBOOK Council of African American Parents to Hold Symposium (CAAP) — The Council of African American Parents’ 13th annual Parent and Student Symposium will take place Sept. 13, 11 a.m., at California State University’s Fullerton campus, in the Steven G. Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. The symposium features educational services for families looking to prepare their children for college. Admissions advisers from numerous colleges and universities will be on hand for questions and one-on-one meetings with parents and students. Students are encouraged to have transcripts in hand for analysis. Workshops will be offered on matters ranging from financing a college education to developing an effective strategy to gain acceptance to highly competitive universities. Information: Ingrid Johnson at (909) 263-2354, e-mail Ingrid4KIP@ verizon.net, www.councilofafrican amerianparents.org.
U.S. Education Chief Urges Calif. to Enact Reforms SACRAMENTO (AP) — U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Sept. 3 urged California lawmakers to make education
reforms or risk losing out on a slice of $4.3 billion in federal stimulus money. Duncan met with lawmakers from both parties at the state Capitol. If enacted, some of the reforms would allow the state to compete for federal money under the Obama administration’s $787 billion economic recovery plan. The Race to the Top competition will reward states that are focused on education reforms. States that agree to expand public charter schools will be first in line for the money, along with those that allow performance pay for teachers based on student achievement, which is currently prohibited in California. Democratic lawmakers and the state’s two teachers unions have typically opposed such changes. School officials say they need the money after $18 billion in funding cuts to K-12 schools and community colleges over the past two fiscal years. After meeting with Duncan, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (DLos Angeles) said she was optimistic that Democrats could agree to some reforms. “What was most important to hear is that the secretary and the Obama administration is not trying to force a rigid formula down our See NOTEBOOK, page 14
L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 10, 2009
White House: Public Health Care Option is Negotiable BY RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR AP WRITER
WASHINGTON (AP) — White House officials said Sept. 6 a government health insurance option is negotiable, signaling a potential compromise on an issue that President Barack Obama’s liberal supporters consider do-or-die. As Obama prepared for a Sept. 9 speech to Congress in a risky bid to salvage his top domestic priority, political adviser David Axelrod said a public plan is not the core issue in the health care debate. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs avoided answering a question about whether Obama would veto a bill without the public option. The president “believes the public option is a good tool,” said Axelrod, who joined with Gibbs in a one-two punch on the Sunday talk shows. “It shouldn’t define the whole health care debate, however.” Their appearances came ahead of Congress’ return from a summer break that saw eroding public support for an overhaul and contentious town hall meetings in lawmakers’ districts. Unlike all other wealthy nations, the United States lacks universal health care. Most health insurance is obtained through
employers, and almost 50 million of the 300 million Americans are without it. Obama came to the presidency in January with almost unprecedented bipartisan popularity and strong backing for plan to make health care accessible to all Americans. But opposition has grown because of conservative attacks and liberal inability to counter them effectively. Gibbs called the government plan a valuable tool. But asked if Obama would reject legislation that didn’t include it, he responded: “We are not going to prejudge where the process will be.” “I doubt we are going to get into heavy veto threats” in the president’s speech, Gibbs added. Their comments on the public plan echoed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ remarks last month that a government alternative to private insurance is “not the essential element” in revamping the system to guarantee coverage for all and try to curb unsustainable costs. Liberals — many of whom want to do away with the private health insurance industry and replace it with Medicare for all — were furious. At the time, White House officials said Sebelius’ remarks were being misinterpreted.
Left unclear was Obama’s bottom line. Now it seems that Obama and his top aides are coming around to the view that a public plan is not essential. On a call with prominent liberal House members on Sept. 4, Obama refused to be pinned down on the issue, a participant told The Associated Press. Independents who helped propel Obama to the presidency are increasingly skeptical. Unsubstantiated allegations that the legislation would promote euthanasia grabbed headlines. But beneath such controversies, voters appear most concerned about the scope and costs of the bill — around $1 trillion over 10 years. Gibbs said Obama will refocus the debate on the benefits of overhauling the system: more security and lower costs for the majority of people who have health insurance, and new ways to help selfemployed people and small businesses get coverage. “People will leave that speech knowing where he stands,” said Gibbs. He said Obama is considering offering his own health care legislation, instead of letting Congress sort out all the details. Axelrod appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” while Gibbs was on ABC’s “This Week.”
Lynn was a sophomore at Spelman College, one of four adjoining campuses comprising Atlanta University Center along with Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Morehouse College of Medicine. Her mother, Constance Franklin, told Kansas City television station KCTV5 Sept. 3 that her daughter was a “comical, loving and nurturing” young woman who was “the life of the party.” She said Lynn, who was a straight-‘A’ student in high school and had a 3.8 GPA at Spelman, was the first in her family to go to college. “For me to be a low-income, single mother, that was an honor,” Franklin said.
Jerome Jones, a Clark Atlanta student who was with Lynn, was hit by a bullet in the wrist, treated at a hospital and released, police said.
NOTEBOOK Continued from page 13 throats,” Bass said. “And so given that, I think there’s room (to negotiate).”
Stray Bullet Kills Student at College in Atlanta ATLANTA (AP) — One of the nation’s largest historically black academic centers mourned Sept. 3 for a 19-year old student killed by a stray bullet as she walked on campus with friends. Police said Jasmine Lynn of Kansas City, Mo., was struck in the chest just after midnight Sept. 2 when at least six shots were fired during a fight at Clark Atlanta University.
This is personal.
Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cancer killer in the U.S., but screening helps prevent this disease. Terrence Howard, actor/musician
If you’re 50 or older, please get screened. Screening saves lives. 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) s www.cdc.gov/screenforlife
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Photo: Andrew Macpherson
She was the cornerstone of our family. But my mother died of colon cancer when she was only 56. Let my heartbreak be your wake-up call.
GRIEVING MOTHER Continued from page 11 “That’s not an American accent,” the professor points out. “It is an American accent,” Bia insists, “South American. Scenes such as this moved the audience to laughter while breaking down entrenched Western social attitudes. Characters such as Jane and Brian Easton offer some commentary about the sensationalistic news media as well as a mixture of comic relief and tragedy. Brian is an alcoholic, and Jane is an uptight controlfreak. Both feel alienated from Harriet since their brother’s death, with Brian remarking that Harriet can hardly stand to look at him, as he is his dead brother’s identical twin. At the play’s end, however, the surviving Eastons grow closer as they mutually work through the pain their deceased loved one has caused. Harriet, in particular, emerges from Brazil a new woman with a new perspective. “I want to find out how to forgive the unforgiveable,” she says, “how to forgive myself.” The Pasadena Playhouse is at 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Tickets for “The Night Is a Child” range from $32 to $67. For information, contact the playhouse at (626) 356-7529.
THE PULSE Calif. Attorney General to Probe Rejection of Medical Claims (AP) — California Attorney General Jerry Brown is looking into claims that the state’s top health insurers reject about 20 percent of medical claims. In a statement, Brown says deputies in his office are launching an independent inquiry because a high denial rate suggests the system itself is dysfunctional. AG spokesman Scott Gerber says the inquiry comes on the heels of a Los Angeles Times report that the state’s largest health insurers reject up to 39.6 percent of claims. California Association of Health Plans spokeswoman Nicole Kasabian Evans told the Times that health plans abide by contracts and there are legitimate reasons to deny claims.
Church Places Abstinence and Safe Sex Billboards MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — St. Andrew A.M.E. church, in Memphis, is using state grants for a billboard campaign designed at preventing teen pregnancy. The Rev. Kenneth Robinson told WMC-TV he anticipated a mixed reaction to the advertisements. Most promote abstinence, but one reads, “Don’t make love without a glove.” Apart from being a pastor, Robinson serves as Chief Health Officer for the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department and is a former Tennessee Commissioner of Health. His church has a long-standing program aimed at educating young women, but he says some members have been skeptical of the billboard campaign. However, he said, teen pregnancy is a problem that must be addressed.
CDC Chief Says Swine Vaccine for His Kids, Too WASHINGTON (AP) — The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said his kids are going to get the swine flu vaccine when it’s available. Dr. Thomas Frieden said health officials have “very high
confidence” in the safety of the vaccine. He said it’s a vaccine that’s being made in the same way that the flu vaccine is made each year — except that it’s a new strain. Vaccine development is continuing and the vaccine is likely to be available by October. Frieden also said that with schools and colleges back in session, officials are seeing a fair amount of the flu already — and he said it’s unusual that it has continued to occur over the summer. The CDC chief spoke in an interview broadcast Sept. 6 on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Lobbyists of Health Overhaul Fight Aim Ads at Congress WASHINGTON (AP) — Interest groups are unleashing a torrent of modern and old-fashioned lobbying tactics at members of Congress returning for the autumn battle over health care, from spending sky-high amounts on TV ads to staging rallies in the capital and perhaps outside insurance company offices. Plans include a massive, 8 million-piece direct mail campaign by AARP, the lobby for older Americans that has generally supported the health overhaul drive. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is sending lawmakers a letter signed by 2,800 companies and business groups opposing the effort, and is working with local chambers of commerce to bring business people to Washington to lobby legislators later this month. The nation’s television stations, which last month hosted more than $28 million in ads on the health overhaul, may see even heavier spending in September, according to Evan Tracey, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group in Arlington, Va. Should the health battle spill into December, this year’s total might hit $200 million. The high-intensity lobbying underscores the pivotal moment that business, consumer, political and ideological groups believe is arriving in the health care fight.
Testosterone Dose Response in Surgically Menopausal Women Principal Investigator: Matthew H. Ho, Ph.D., M.D. “Thank you for your interest in our research program. The purpose of this particular study is to find out the effects of testosterone, in women. Women who are post-menopause often have low testosterone levels in their blood. Some doctors recommend giving testosterone to women after menopause, but it is not clear whether this helps women health. This study may find out whether it is beneficial to replace testosterone in women who are post-menopause and therefore have low testosterone in their blood. This research study may also find out the most appropriate dose of testosterone that shows beneficial effects on women’s sex life, muscle and fat mass, physical function, and ability to solve some types of problems with the least amount of side effects. “We will measure the effects of testosterone on fat and muscle size, muscle strength, sexual desire and activity, and higher functions of the brain. Approximately 140 women will take part in this study that is approved and funded by the National Institutes of Health. The protocol of this study has also been reviewed and approved by our Institutional Review Board. “For this study, we are looking for women between the ages of 21 to 60, who are post-menopausal (either menopause occurred naturally with their ovaries intact or occurred surgically with their ovaries removed) and have had their uterus removed by surgery, and who do not have breast or uterine cancer. Do you meet these criteria?”
For information call (323) 357-3697 “If you are interested in obtaining more information about this study or taking part in this study, I can set up an appointment for you to come to our Clinical Study Center at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. During this visit, I will explain all the procedures in great detail, describe the risks and benefits involved, and answer any questions that you might have about this research study.”
September 10, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
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Vol. XXX, No.
G AREAS SURROUNDIN
te, n, a Confidan Xernona Clayto Legacy g’s Reflects on Kin
System Inc. She Broadcasting of the oneis also the originatorin History” s minute “Moment is a ball of broadcasts televised annually Xernona Clayton History Month. during Black schedule is a minute, the Although her Moving a mile and former found Clayton recently a man veteran is full, civil rights King, to talk about King Jr. confidante for severMartin Luther calls, time knew , fielding respected Atlanta the she with durin her office in , and putting years, and worked the Civil doing interviews Trumpet Awards, al of the ing the height With a venfinal touches on accomMovement. highlights the e, of Rights an affair that of knowledg contributions erable wealth at “never plishments and y admittedl s. African American founder and CEO Clayton, words,” has a million for Clayton is the n a loss to tell. Awards Foundatio Times pro- stories of the Trumpet and executive The L.A. Watts get her to Inc., and creator Awards, which with Clayton ducer of the Trumpetand will air on spoke the nation’s upcoming year take on is in its 17th One. Atlanta on TV tribute to King. best the but is April 12 from vast, ents are LAWT: What ty activist, Her achievem horn. dge King’s preacher, communi one to toot her the way to acknowle husband, and Clayton isn’t KING — Baptist son, brother, woman in who HONORING birthday? wouldn’t Nobel Prize winner, The first black Luther King Jr., televiXC: He definitely like all a prime-time intellectual, author, and more, describe Martin were it not for an South to host a vice He didn’t 15, words, Clayton was Tenn., father. These old today, Jan. want the hoopla. in Memphis, sion talk show, been 80 years at Turner April 4, 1968, would have urban affairs sanitation workers He was killed president of assassin’s bullet. in support of the city’s black rest of the counthe gone where he had Watts Times joins our Special Edition. strike. The L.A. this man with who were on — in honoring try — and world
PRESIDENT OB AMA INAUGU RATION EDIT IO N
E DONLOE BY DARLEN WRITER CONTRIBUTING
Giant Steps: Ba rack
him as that pinpointed the activities go into of our time. I the great savior N, page 22 See CLAYTO
ANGELES AND SURR
Obama America ’s 44th Presid ent January 22,
BY TERENCE HUNT AP WRITER
Civil Rights ‘Little Rock 9’ Inauguration Icon to Attend
of violence from taunts and threats adults opposed MN and FIRST COLU white students BRISCOE BY ANDRE of Central High. WRITER the integration CONTRIBUTING Roberts has lecObama is sworn Over the years, When Barack college stuUnited high school and president of the in as the 44th s may tured at seminars, and has been 20, American ly about what States on Jan. finally dents the nation has interviewed extensive turbulent year conclude that like during the racist past. was it its He uses his Roberts overcome Dr. Terrence psychology pro- he spent in high school. teach But for retired 67, one a platform to e in as many and experiences as Dr. Terrence Roberts, intefessor e of education ips at events, and participat .” teenagers who the importanc as possible, Roberts relationsh Today and Tomorrow of nine black inaugural balls ld great grandD Little Rock Central how to best improve to speak to “My 11-year-o C. NORWOO , grated Arkansas’ He also plans color. ceremony of Williams BY CHICO the Sidwell people to said. in 1957, Neeko Anthony faculty at the in among this leading up High School STAFF WRITER Speak- son, students and 7 cleared hurdle the theme for In the days ROCK 9, page “Little Rock California Assembly as the came up with will be just another for equal rights. Larry E. See LITTLE ion Day, the serve organizer battle g will Inaugurat said , speak the continuin J. year,” er Karen Bass validates behind the will attend luncheons and Norris the driving force Obama’s election to Nine” grand marshal grand Grant, Rock Nine” tried the celebrity “Little the Jr. Los Angeles parade. the what former Bishton and Bishton Roberts, a Association and In his the 25th annual Joining Bass NEWS IN BRIEF accomplish, said Commerce. P. Valin Psy19 marshal for as Chamber of Gen. David the Master’s Parade on Jan. service role will be Lt. Unico-chair of offiKingdom Day public AND Antioch reviewing at previous year’s THE SOUTHL for Real Estate chology program has been in Los Angeles. celebration of court, this Kingdom Day deputy director Angeles who state of cer, and 2009 The largest versity in Los cereent for the ld to Serve as the inaugural Wyvetta Taylor. King Jr. holiDevelopm Rosenfe attend credited Queen Luther to is in Parade invited the Martin a, Rosenfeld s and offiCalifornia, the first black president Other celebritie Planning Deputy Supervisor Californi to create about mony for the 11 day in Southern to attend include with helping will begin at ctor jobs, Second District cials slated U.S. history. 2.5-mile parade Stanis of to what we homas has chosen 72,000 new private-se Avenue and urban Bern Nadette “It adds substance Mark Ridley-T “When a.m. at Western Boulevard. It actress to serve as which revitalized struggling fame; jazz legend Roberts said. King Daniel A. Rosenfeld “Good Times” tried to do,” history, a State Martin Luther areas. this country’s west to Crenshaw Herby Hancock; Californi to a Senior Deputy you look at Instrucon will proceed Disat the opposition at ds of L.A. turn south ndent of Public for the Second and you look in Superinte Boulevard and District: Thousan ll; members of then you look Vernon Avenue Lose Jobs trict team. Rosention Jack O’Conne integration, and Crenshaw onto Council; with Obama’s Teachers Could where a festival the Los Angeles City ds of Los feld will be responwhat has happenedapparent that the Leimert Park, (AP) — Thousan other emit is quite for planning, more. sible 14 and and election, will follow. include enKABC Telecrumbling. Angeles teachers laid off this The parade will in transportation, Set to air on old system is be teams to what we did fits and ployees could secbands, 20 drill 7 from 11 a.m. “In retrospect, vironmen t to chip Daniel A. vision-Channel as the nation’s , page 4 theme marching able year were parade PARADE school grapSee MLK economic developRosenfeld that pattern. We system — weak1 p.m., this year’sLives On For st school district old of ond-large a $250 million deficit, ment. now away a bit at the is “The Dream than 35 years with — to the point He has more and ples officials recently said. en it if you will faster than ever.” assessment Ramon Corprivate sector co- school where it’s crumbling the election and is the Superintendent Legislature Roberts said developm ent Partners LLC, blamed the state anything, because founder of Urban entrepreneurial tines potential cutbacks, saying doesn’t change elements that the for the an award-winning there are “systemic fabric of this on develrs need to solve lawmake focusing the that Los real estate firm are woven into crisis if the investment opportu- state’s budget District is opment and society.” ds the harm western United Angeles Unified School If anyone understan Roberts. In nities in the force intact. it is to keep its work , page 6 States. segregation causes,age 15, he and the as a board See BRIEFS at He has served City who the fall of 1957, the Central black teenagers the member of eight other as to be known would come braved insults, Nine” “Little Rock Grant
s on in The Dream Live of Year This Historic Parade Day m gdo Kin
Vol. XXX, No.
‘HOPE OVER FEAR’ — Barack John Roberts Obama, joined to become the by his wife Michell 44th presiden e and t of the United States at the U.S. daughters Malia, third from Capitol in Washing left, and Sasha, takes the oath ton Jan. 20. of
FIRST COLU MN
Not Just a Dre am: Obama Sparks Black Men to Action
BY LUCAS L. JOHNSON II AP WRITER
The Son of Our Soil
office from Chief
WASHINGTO into history, Barack N — Stepping Hussein Obama grasped the reins of power as America’s first black presiden t on Jan. 20, declarin g the nation must choose “hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord” to overcome the worst econom crisis since the ic Great Depress ion. In frigid temper atures, an exuberant crowd of more than million packed a the National Mall and parade route Obama’s inaugur to celebrate ation in a highnoon ceremony. With 11 million Americans out of work and trillions of dollars lost in the stock market’s tumble, Obama emphas ized that his biggest challen ge is to repair the tattered econom y outgoing Preside left behind by nt George W. Bush. “Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and See OBAMA, page 6
they say they BY REMA REYNO might not have LDS SPECIAL TO NASHVILLE taken without L.A. WATTS , Tenn. (AP) his example. TIMES — An actor NAIROBI, Kenya Van Jones, turns 40, founde d — I sent one inner-city mosque a dilapidated, Green For last e-mail to my All, a into a theater Kenyan friend in just a few asking her what I gram that seeks national prodays. A 20-year should expect. to create -old energy buckles down I would be teaching jobs. His Oaklan clean on in Nairobi d-based historically black his studies at a program during the time , which employ college after his of Preside nt Barack s 25 peomother dies of Obama’s inaugur ple and has an cancer. A commu ation. I wonder nity organizer - of $4.5 million operating budget ed Kenyans were decides his plan excited as I was, if , was instrum create thousan to in passing ental excited as the as ds of green jobs a portion of a majority of Amerinational too modest and is energy bill cans, as excited as enlarges it twencalled the Green ty-fold. Jobs cans particularly. African AmeriAct. It will use up Barack Obama to train 30,000 to $125 million My BlackBerry people in jobs flashed her the White House ’s election to such as reply just as HOME PRIDE installing solar is I boarded the — Kenyans react ization of what the very real- and retrofit panels plane: a large screen, “Kenya is full AP Photo/SAY as U.S. Presiden ting buildings so many black as thousands of Obama mania t Barack Obama YID AZIM to make of people fathers have don’t be surprise them more so guration ceremony appears on told their sons — from Nairobi, gather to watch the U.S. presiden enviro nment d if Jan 20th aspire to for to friendly. ally another nationa Kenya — that is D.C., Jan. 20. Across the tial inauyears, even l holiday. Kenyan took place country, if it often was just are extremely s year ago came together to celebrat neighbors divided by political in Washington, With Obama’s proud of this election, Jones e the inaugura violence only booster not meant a confidence- decided son of our soil!” tion of its favorite a to shop a $33 to be taken litson, Obama. billion erally. And proposal before Congre Another nationa long before NEWS IN BRIE l holiday? Yes, ss that would he wrapped up the another. F contest, his can- hire about 600,000 people didacy had over the next two When Obama driven these THE SOUTHLAND years for similar three Top police official black men and ident of the United was elected presothers to actions work. s acknow States, Kenyan edged that minorit lwere granted See BLACK Los Angeles Police a day off, a holiday s frequently subject ies are more MEN, page 3 commemorate to Reject ed to searche the occasion. Study on Racial but they told As I turned off my the commission s, Bias phone the statistics do not (AP) — A commi the flight attendan in obedience to prove racial prossion that filing oversees the is rampant in me, in my jealousy t hovering over Los the departI thought, “Now Department told Angeles Police ment. why didn’t we police on Jan. get a day off?” to investigate 13 Information whether data While waiting from Times, http://w from: Los Angeles in London to a recent study board the last ww.latimes.com. can be used plane of the identify officers to trip, Kenyans spoke who discriminate L.A. Gang has with against minorit $5 Million asm and animate great enthusiies. d gestures Tab to Pay The commission’s Americans as to they decision came after hearing (AP) — City symbol of hope pontificated the hours of testiofficials said Obama embodi mony about the they secured with proud, boomin es a $5 million study, which was judgment g voices. They conducted by civil couldn’t have against a Los a Yale Univer cared Angele sity street gang professor, and flight was delayed less that our whose 11 membe s published in Oct- control the five hours — ober by the Americ rs more time to brag heroin an Civil Liber- downto trade in the about Obama ties Union of wn area. their relative. Southern Califor nia. The City study Attorne When we finally found that Los y Rocky DelgaAngeles police HE’S GOT dillo and other arrived at Jomo Kenyatt MOVES — officers are more law enforcement a International A parade participa the many perform Photo by HGSTAR1 likely official to Airport stop and search s announced in Kenya, everyon nt nearly does /UNW ances that took the judgment black and against 19. Go to page the splits as part e Latino residen 17 to view more place at the 2009 Kingdom the 5th and Hill of ly Kenyan passeng— even the livets than they Day Parade on parade photos. gang ers are week. Officia whites, even last — seemed Jan. subdued, exhaust though whites ls ed from the journey are obtained againstsaid it is the first more often found . a gang in Calicarrying guns See KENYAN and contraband. fornia. SON, page 6 See BRIEFS, page 7
L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 10, 2009
SPORTS BRAD PYE JR.
SPORTS BEAT Notes, quotes and things picked up on the run from coast-to-coast and all the stops in between and beyond. The game of the week, as far as West Coast fans are concerned, will feature the University of Southern Californiaâ€™s running backs â€” Joe McKnight, Stafon Johnson, Allen
Bradford, Marc Tyler and C.J. Gable â€” against Ohio Stateâ€™s celebrated sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The game takes place Sept. 12. Pryor passed for one and ran for another one in that close 31-27 victory Sept. 5 against Navy. All of Troyâ€™s gang-of-speed merchants found the end zone. Johnson, the Dorsey High dandy crossed the goal line twice and McKnight zipped into the Promised Land two times in that 56-3 win over
San Jose State Sept. 5 at the L.A. Coliseum. No. 3 Oklahomaâ€™s 14-13 loss to BYU should move USC into the No.3 slot or higher. McKnight was the top rusher on the day with 145 yards, two touchdowns and a 10.4 average per carry. Tyler dashed 61 yards to the one yard line on the longest run of the game. USC won it with Matt Barkley, the first freshman quarterback starter in school history. The University of California at Los Angeles put up some impressive numbers in its 33-14 victory over San Diego State and should have a chance to make its record 2-0 against Tennessee in Knoxville Sept. 12. The quarterbacking of freshman Kevin Prince, the running of those TD twins Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman, plus the receiving of wide receiver Nelson Rosario, sent Bruin fans home happy. And the beat continuesâ€Ś Black head coaches and black starting quarterbacks in the NFLâ€™s 90th season will be in vogue in 2009. Black coaches in the NFL include three first-year men and a total of six on the season. The three first-year coaches are Mike Singletary (he served as interim San Francisco 49ers head coach in 2008), Jim Caldwell (Indianapolis Colts) and Raheem Morris (Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
The other black NFL head coaches are Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals), Lovie Smith (Chicago Bears) and Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl champion). Opening as starting black NFL QBs are four men: Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia Eagles, with Michael Vick expected to be his backup) JaMarcus Russell (Oakland Raiders), Byron Leftwich (Jacksonville Jaguars) and
Continued from page 13
Jason Campbell (Washington Redskins). If Brett Favre should falter as the Minnesota Vikingsâ€™ starter, Alabama Stateâ€™s Tarvaris Jackson could step in. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ruled Sept. 3 Michael Vick has been granted full reinstatement and Vick can play in the Philadelphia Eagles home game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 27. And the beat continuesâ€Ś Will Serena Williams, an 11time major victor, get her second
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