September 3, 2009
SERVING LOS ANGELES COUNTY WITH NEWS YOU CAN USE
Vol. XXX, No. 1143 FIRST COLUMN
Civil Rights Heroes Mourn Kennedy as One of Theirs BY ERRIN HAINES AP WRITER
ATLANTA (AP) — In the early hours before President Barack Obama’s historic inauguration, U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ phone rang. It was Edward Kennedy on the line. “I’m thinking about you, of how proud you must be and how happy you must be,” Lewis, a lion of the Civil Rights Movement, recalled hearing the liberal lion of the Senate say on the other end. “I wish that my brothers, Jack and
Bobby, and Dr. King were here to observe what we are about to observe.” For all the causes championed by Kennedy, who died Aug. 25 at 77 after nearly half a century in the Senate, he will be remembered in the South almost exclusively as the man who, in the face of resentment from many whites, delivered on the promises his brothers made to help end segregation. “Of the white Americans who did the most to help the advanceSee KENNEDY, page 11
NEXT UP? — Battalion Chief Millage Peaks, a 33-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department, was named interim chief on Aug. 29. Peaks, who was nominated by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has to be confirmed by the City Council to stay in the position permanently. He would replace Douglas Barry, the first African American in the position.
Photo Courtesy of ADAM COOPER/L.A. MAYOR’S OFFICE
Bradford Wins in 51st District Assembly Race BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Photo by ALEX BRANDON
REMEMBERING KENNEDY — President Barack Obama greets Victoria Kennedy, widow of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Boston on Aug. 29. Kennedy, who died Aug. 25 from brain cancer, was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Democrat Steven Bradford beat five other candidates in a Sept. 1 special election to fill a vacant Los Angeles-area state Assembly seat. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Bradford, a Gardena city councilman, received nearly 53 percent of votes. “The voters of the district supported me and rejected my opponents due, in part, to my pledge to move aggressively on those specific issues, but also based on my 12-year track record of leadership on the Gardena City Council and my achievements as Gardena’s Mayor Pro Tem,” Assemblymember-elect Bradford was quoted as saying in a press statement. “I am deeply honored by the strong support I received
These Doughnuts the Los Angeles Police Don’t Like BY THANDISIZWE CHIMURENGA ASSISTANT EDITOR
As of late, many residents of the Crenshaw-Leimert Park area have been able to sleep a little more soundly on Saturday nights. Their sleep aid: the increased presence of the Los Angeles Police Department and the California Highway Patrol. Earlier this year, cruising and street racing on Crenshaw Boulevard not only awakened many residents with the sounds of screeching tires, racing engines and loud music, but it kept late-night commuters confined at various points on the thoroughfare. In the Bay Area of Northern
California, the phenomenon of young people engaging in this activity is known as “side shows” and “yokin’”. Officials and residents in the Crenshaw-Leimert area have their own names for it: nuisance and illegal. Resources to combat the problem were increased in July, according to Renee Bevel, a crime intelligence analyst with LAPD’s South Bureau. The plan included officers from the CHP, LAPD senior lead officers, motorcycle officers and regular patrol units. Residents say they were able to set their clocks by when the nuisances would occur: usually late
Photo Courtesy of CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL AVIATION UNIT
THE ‘STRIP’ — An aerial view of Crenshaw Boulevard, between Coliseum and West 39th streets, taken in May that shows tire marks. Street racers and cruisers would do “donuts” — spin their cars around in circles — or “burn rubber” on the boulevard, primarily late Saturday nights/early Sunday mornings, creating a nuisance.
Saturday nights/early Sunday mornings, mostly between 2 and 4 a.m. Signs of the previous night’s activities would be visible by dawn: several fresh, black tire marks along the boulevard from where street racers would do “donuts” — spin their cars around in circles — or burn rubber from a stationary position, usually at an intersection. Stuart H., a resident who lives about two blocks from Crenshaw Boulevard and 54th Street, says he remembers being awakened routinely between 1:30 and 3:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings to the sound of screeching tires. “We could actually smell the rubber burning,” said Stuart, whose last name was withheld for safety reasons. “From where I live, I could hear the voices of people on the street yelling and screaming on Crenshaw. It was crazy.” Additional resources were made available to the LAPD to free up officers for this issue prior to meetings with concerned residents, according to LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese. Since the suppression detail went into effect, Stuart says that his “nights are very quiet. I think that just their (the LAPD’s) presence has stopped the (activity.) We’ve been See DOUGHNUTS, page 10
from the voters of the 51st Assembly District in this special election primary. To win the 51st District seat outright is a tremendous accom- Steven Bradford plishment and a humbling achievement.” Candidates were competing to replace Curren Price Jr., who resigned earlier this year after he was elected to the state Senate. The 51st Assembly District runs through part of Los Angeles and the
suburbs of Culver City, Gardena, Hawthorne and Inglewood. If Bradford had not received 50 percent of the vote, he would have had to participate in a runoff vote on Nov. 3. But the Democrat seemed to be the all-but-certain winner, since two of three voters in the district are Democrats. Bradford held a commanding edge in fundraising and has won most of the key endorsements, including from the state Democratic Party and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. In addition to Bradford, four See 51ST DISTRICT, page 14
NEWS IN BRIEF THE STATE Assembly Approves Scaled-Down Prison Plan SACRAMENTO (AP) — The California Assembly has approved a bill seeking to reduce the state corrections budget, as Republican lawmakers assailed it as a threat to public safety. The revised measure passed on a 41-35 vote Aug. 31, the bare majority needed in the 80-member house. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass removed the most controversial provisions from a bill that was passed previously in the Senate. Law enforcement organizations had objected to the early release of ill inmates or some of those age 60 or older, as well as a proposal to reduce certain property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says he will not allow a vote on the latest Assembly bill unless it includes some of the provisions from the earlier bill.
THE NATION Miss. to Honor Slain Civil Rights Workers PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (AP) — A historical marker was slated to be dedicated Sept. 1 in Mississippi at the site where civil-rights workers James Chaney, Andrew
Goodman and M i c h a e l Schwerner were abducted by Ku Klux Klansmen and killed in 1964. The state James Chaney worked with the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi at the request of the Philadelphia Coalition, a multiracial group of local citizens, to create the marker. Winter Institute executive director Susan Glisson says the marker will be placed on Mississippi Highway 19 South, near County Road 515, the site of the 1964 murders. Glisson says James A. Young, elected earlier this year as Philadelphia’s first black mayor, and Rita Schwerner Bender, widow of Michael Schwerner, have been invited to attend.
Casket of Rights Case Icon to Go to Smithsonian CHICAGO (AP) — A casket that helped trigger the Civil Rights Movement and decades later was discarded like trash is now heading to the Smithsonian Institution. On the very spot where in 1955 the brutalized remains of 14year-old Emmett Till were put on display in Chicago, his family on Aug. 28 announced plans to give See BRIEFS, page 8
LABOR DAY IS SEPTEMBER 7
L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 3, 2009
OPINION EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON
Afghanistan is Obama’s Vietnam In August 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama, fresh on the presidential campaign trail, made an impassioned promise at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to wage what he dubbed the war that has to be won. That war is the war in Afghanistan. He promised to quickly get out of Iraq, corral America’s allies in a partnership to wipe out the terrorists and their mass destructive weapons, end corruption, hold free elections and ensure a stable government in Afghanistan. Two years and a shelling out of $230 billion later, and more than 700 U.S. dead, not one of these goals have been met. There’s absolutely no guarantee that the request of $65 billion more, which is an amount bigger than the amount budgeted for Iraq, will bring Obama any closer to attaining the goal of zapping Al Qaeda and installing a corruption-free, democratic government there. And there’s also no assurance that asking for 17,000 more troops, which will
bring troop deployment in Afghanistan close to the number in Iraq, will do that either. Military analysts, Pentagon insiders and the Joint Chiefs agree that to attain anything faintly close to Obama’s goals in Afghanistan will take a long, hard slog that will cost billions more and take thousands of more American troops (with increased casualties). From his early speeches, and now administration war policy set in stone, Obama is doggedly convinced that the Afghan war can be won, no matter the cost. And he’s willing to stake the credibility of his administration on that, no matter the price. The price is high. A mid-August Washington Post-ABC News poll found that more Americans than ever say the war is pure folly. A majority of Obama’s most fervent backers say the same. These are the supporters who Obama will need to beat back the mounting GOP counterinsurgency against him, make gains or at least
cut potential Democratic losses in the mid-term elections in 2010, and to vigorously pump his shaky health care reform package. With the grumbles from liberal Democrats and progressives getting louder about Obama’s betrayal and backsliding on his campaign promises, Afghanistan looms even larger as the Democratic Party and Obama’s Vietnam. Vietnam is the dreaded word that presidents Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush heard about Vietnam, Somalia, and Iraq, respectively. It’s still the poster war for a failed, flawed and hopelessly unwinnable war. The word has been a political tipping point for presidents. It soured public opinion, drained the economy, fueled public dismay and anger, hampered passage of presidents’ domestic programs, fractured their party and stirred big losses in Congress. Public shell shock over unpopular wars always redounds to the advantage of a candidate challenging a president whose name is linked
The Hero Dies in This One MAYA RUPERT CONTRIBUTING WRITER
We don’t have to search for the words to describe the metaphors of Ted Kennedy’s passing in the middle of the health care battle that seems poised to actually bring universal health care, because he gave them to us when he conceded to Jimmy Carter at the 1980 Democratic National Convention: The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die. Though he died, the fight to which he dedicated much of his professional life — the fight for universal health care — goes on. And it looks increasingly likely that a bill that will insure millions of uninsured Americans (perhaps not all of them, but approaching it) will be enacted. That metaphor — much like the man — should amaze you. It’s sad to think that Kennedy came so close, but will not see the fruits of his tireless efforts blossom into a health care reform bill that he would be proud of. But it’s sadder to think the fruits of his tireless efforts will be squandered on a health care reform bill that doesn’t do a lot to actually reform health care. The bill that passes won’t bear his name, but the party that he dedicated his life to serving has a responsibility to draft a law that bears Kennedy’s legacy. A fierce advocate on behalf of underserved communities, Kennedy was a champion, the voice of the people. He spoke for those who could not speak for themselves, or rather, whose voices were lost in the din of a system where money not only talks but bellows. Kennedy, despite his privileged upbringing, under-
stood more than most legislators the needs of lower-income communities and worked hard to make sure their concerns were addressed in legislation. While it is necessary to create a system in which no one will be uninsured, it is equally important that insurance be affordable, an imperative that Kennedy understood well. This can only happen with a bill that includes a public health care option. Without a public option, health care reform cannot achieve an important part of its goal, namely providing quality health care to Americans that is affordable. The public option will provide an essential component: A competitor with private insurance companies that will control insurance costs. With no such mechanism in place to keep costs down, the costs of health care will continue to rise to unmanageably high levels, and the dream of affordable health care will die with its champion. But with the voice of the people having been muted for much of this debate, attention to politics has replaced attention to policy and left the future of health care reform, excuse me, health insurance reform (from what I hear, that polls better) in a state of uncertainty. Democrats need a win on health care, but they need a win that actually wins something. Compromise is inevitable and even important, but they can’t trade away the essentials. Kennedy was a master at the type of bipartisan finesse that is required of Democrats now. During their recess, Democrats need to ask themselves an important question: What would Teddy do?
While Kennedy was known for bipartisanship, he was inarguably one of the most liberal members of the Senate. He understood there was a distinction Maya Rupert between reaching across the aisle and walking across the aisle, and that allowed him to retain his convictions while winning broad coalitions of support. And being able to win Republican support would dilute the power that could be exercised by the Blue Dog coalition (which I always thought was pronounced “Republican” anyway) to hold the legislation hostage. I actually wish Kennedy had been involved in the debate when the Blue Dogs took the unsupported position that a public option would result in health care costs rising for individuals and families. It would have quite frankly been like watching dogs barking at a Lion. Kennedy was a giant, and his absence will be felt across the world — but it doesn’t have to be felt in the health care reform bill that he has championed for decades. A public option is necessary in order to keep health care affordable. Kennedy knew that, and so do Democrats. They need to speak up — the people can’t afford to lose their voice. Maya Rupert is an attorney in downtown Los Angeles. She has previously contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as other publications. Her column explores issues of race, gender and politics and appears in the L.A. Watts Times regularly. She can be reached at email@example.com.
to the war. In 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower ran on the pledge to visit Korea if elected. Though Ike never directly promised to bring the troops home if elected, the implicit commitment was that if elected he’d do that. He really didn’t have to make that promise; public weariness over the war was so great that Ike’s generic oath to visit the troops was enough to help sink Harry Truman. In the public’s mind, the Korean War had become Truman’s war, or more accurately, Truman’s failure to win the war. Similarly, Nixon learned from Ike. During the presidential campaign against Democratic Vice President Hubert Humphrey in 1968, Nixon dropped careful, politically calculated hints of a “secret plan” to end the Vietnam War if elected. Like Ike, he didn’t spell out in any real detail just what his secret plan was. And like Ike, he didn’t really have to. Public revulsion over Vietnam, as in Korea, was so great that even the scintilla of a suggestion that Nixon could end the war aroused voter optimism for him and even greater fury against Humphrey, who was widely seen as the caretaker of Johnson’s war (Johnson saw the handwriting on the wall and declined to run). These two unpopular wars did in Truman and the Democrats in 1952, and Johnson and the Democrats in 1968. They also had a tsunami effect
on Democratic elected officials. In both election years, the Democrats had a decisive edge over the Republicans in Congress, a wide body of public support, and political prestige. Eisenhower, and later Nixon, painted Korea and Vietnam as a hopeless muddle that Truman and Humphrey (in tandem with Johnson) made a mess of. The two Democratic presidents paid dearly for it, and Bush and the Republicans paid just as dearly for the Iraq quagmire. Obama knows this history well. He embedded that history into his presidential campaign and continually reminded voters of the history of the Iraq war failure. Financially draining wars take a huge toll on the economy, drag down public morale, and cause a steep plunge in American prestige internationally. It also whips up greater anti-American sentiment. Three failed and flawed wars and the public’s distaste for those wars helped topple two sitting Democratic presidents, and hopelessly discredited a Republican president. The same public distaste for the Afghanistan war can easily make it Obama’s Vietnam. History has served notice on Obama of this peril. 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.
Facts Sept. 5, 1859 “Our Nig” by Harriet Wilson is the first novel published in the United States by an African American woman. It was lost for years until reprinted with a critical essay by African American scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. in 1983. Sept. 3, 1868 A lower house of Georgia Legislature, ruling that African Americans are ineligible to hold office, expels 28 representatives. Ten days later, the Senate expels three African Americans. The U.S. Congress refuses to admit Georgia into the Union until the Legislature seats the black representatives. Source: blackfacts.com
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BUSINESS BIZSHORTS Microsoft Apologizes for Changing Race in Photo (AP) — Software giant Microsoft Corp. is apologizing for altering a photo on its Web site to change the race of one of the people shown in the picture. A photo on the Seattle-based company’s U.S. Web site shows two men, one Asian and one black, and a white woman seated at a conference room table. But on the Web site of Microsoft’s Polish business unit, the black man’s head has been replaced with that of a white man. The color of his hand remains unchanged. The photo editing sparked criticism online. Some bloggers said Poland’s ethnic homogeneity may have played a role in changing the photo. “We are looking into the details of this situation,” Microsoft spokesperson Lou Gellos said in a statement. “We apologize and are in the process of pulling down the image.”
Group Hits Snag Pursuing Upscale Bar in Skid Row (AP) — An investment group’s attempt to open an upscale bar in Skid Row over the objection of an advocacy group was recently set back by a zoning official’s order to restart the permit application. Zoning administrator Sue Chang said at a hearing the partnership led
by attorney Charles Lew must apply for a permit to operate a new bar. The group previously sought a permit to continue operating a bar where one previously existed. Chang said the new permit was necessary because the site’s previous occupant, a dive called Craby Joe’s, had been closed for more than a year. United Coalition East Prevention Project, which opposes the proposed bar, said Chang’s decision was based on documents her group provided showing that Craby Joe’s had been closed since late 2007. The group has argued that area residents, many with addiction problems, don’t need a new bar in their midst. Kate Bartolo, a consultant hired by Lew, said a city planning staffer had said her clients could apply for the permit to continue operating a bar, which requires less public scrutiny than the permit they must now pursue. Bartolo did not know if the setback would scuttle the plan to open the cocktail bar, called Haven Lounge, by next March.
Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Fights Foreclosures ATLANTA (AP) — The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is joining the fight against foreclosures. Jackson is the founder and pres-
Clunkers program helped lift consumer spending last month and is expected to provide an even bigger boost for the month of August. But any rebound could falter if shoppers don’t boost their buying, which makes up about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. “Consumers just don’t have the financial firepower to go out and spend more,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com.
“Unless businesses curtail their job cuts, the recovery could very well peter out.” Stronger consumer spending is the key to a sustained recovery. For spending to rise, analysts said, income growth has to resume. The Commerce Department reported that personal incomes were flat in July, the eighth month out of 10 in which incomes have either fallen or failed to grow.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.
GLAAACC Business Evolution Program ident of Rainbow PUSH Coalition. The group recently held a prayer vigil to protest foreclosures at the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta. Jackson’s group says Atlanta homeowners should not have to bear the brunt of the mortgage crisis. Rainbow PUSH demands that banks restructure loans and don’t foreclose on homes. Listings from RealtyTrac Inc. recently ranked Georgia among the top 10 in the nation for its number of foreclosures.
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Flat Incomes Raise Doubts About Economic Recovery WASHINGTON (AP) — Household income in the United States is essentially stagnant, raising doubts about whether consumers already hurt by job losses can sustain an economic recovery. The now-ended Cash for
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L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 3, 2009
LABOR DAY SALUTE Labor Day Feature
Security Officer Union Gets New Leader BY CHICO C. NORWOOD STAFF WRITER
The Service Employees International Union Local 2006 Security Officers United in Los Angeles (SOULA) has a new executive director. Anton Farmby has taken the reins from previous President Faith Culbreath, who has moved over to United Health Care Workers. SOULA was born just three years ago out of a grassroots, sixyear campaign to organize security officers. Last year, SOULA signed its first union contract, a five-year agreement with several high-profile security companies including Universal Protection Services, ABM Security Service, Allied Barton, Securitas and Guard systems. Through the pact, officers made gains in wages going from $8.50 an hour to $11 an hour and were provided with family health care, guaranteed annual wage increases, paid sick leave, holidays and vacation and training, and a career ladder to professionalize the industry. A seasoned union professional, Farmby is charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the union, including overseeing training, membership and staff
development, and community relations. He brings a wealth of experience to the post. Prior to joining SOULA, Farmby served as city director for SEIU Local 3, a newly established property service union representing 10,000 members in several cities, including Detroit and Cleveland. In 2005, he was elected vice president of SEIU Local 3 and served on its executive board until it merged with SEIU Local 1 in 2009. Culbreath said when it came to choosing someone to replace her, Farmby was “the only choice for me.” The two came from the same local and had worked together over the years. “We came out of the same struggle,” Culbreath said. “He is the one person that I knew would continue on the work that the members had started and take them to the next level they need to go to, which would be to grow.” Farmby said he’s excited about his newest position and that his vision for SOULA is simple: to create a “strong dynamic, aggressive, organizing union, that establishes industry power for security officers.” “Our goal is to organize 10,000 officers over the next two to three years. Right now, we repre-
sent about 4,300 security officers,” said Farmby, who has been in his new post since May. “That’s my vision, to establish real industry power for security officers, not only in Los Angeles but to create a movement that will hopefully pick up in other parts of the country.” In order to reach that goal, Farmby said the bargaining unit is continuing to organize the larger nonunion commercial office real estate security companies that were not a part of the original agreement. “If we’re going to rely on our history and rely on one victory won, that’s no way to grow,” Farmby said. “That’s the problem with the labor movement and that’s why union membership has been on the decline over the last couple of decades. In order for us to really be effective and to be relevant and to be a speaking voice for workers, we have to continue to organize nonunion workers to strengthen the union.” Since taking the helm of the organization, Farmby has established a steward’s council, which oversees the requirements of what it means and is needed to be a workplace leader. He has also established an organizing committee of members
Celebrating Labor Day 2009, we are
who are charged with organizing nonunion security officers into the union. Farmby has also created the Rosa Parks SOULA Committee for members to become involved with politics and political campaigns. Farmby is also in the beginning stages of putting together the training program which was a part of the original contract. SEIU and Robert F. Maguire, CEO of Maguire Properties, each pledged $500,000 toward establishing a training center for private security officers in South Los Angeles. “A lot of times when these officers are hired by these companies, they don’t get, in their opinion, the proper training,” Farmby said. “So what the union is doing is putting … a training curriculum together along with a couple of community partners which includes the Career Community Development, a nonprofit organization that specializes in workforce development. We’re partnering with them to create a program for security officers to give them adequate training that they need to develop their skills in the workplace.” According to the SOULA Web site, the private security industry is composed of mainly African Americans and is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. Almost 70 percent of the security officers in Los Angeles are black. The “Stand for Security” campaign is reportedly the largest
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Sept. 3, 1919 The Lincoln Motion Picture Co., owned by Noble Johnson and Clarence Brooks, releases its first feature-length film, “A Man’s Duty.” Source: blackfacts.com
organizing effort of mostly African American workers in history, second only to the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters effort of the 1920s and ’30s. Farmby likens the labor movement to the Civil Rights Movement, and added that over the last few decades African Americans have not really been involved in the labor movement. “We were involved in the labor movement at the peak of the Civil Rights Movement, because back then they were almost one in the same,” he said. “Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis when he was going on a march for sanitation workers. I think (a) lot of people lose sight of that. I don’t think people really connect the fact that he was their supporting workers to join a union. That’s when African Americans were really involved at its height. Since then we have not been as involved.” He said there are a lot of African Americans who are capable, willing and ready that can be involved in unions and have something to offer to take the movement to the next level. “We have a lot of African American leaders but none in a leadership capacity, and what I mean by that is presidents of unions and international unions,” he said. “That’s not reflected so much in not only in SEIU but in the labor movement in general.”
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September 3, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
LABOR DAY SALUTE Labor Day Feature
Entertainment Gigs Behind the Scenes BY DARLENE DONLOE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Will Smith. Oprah Winfrey. Halle Berry. They’re all successful, wellknown, front-and-center stars in the entertainment industry. However, being successful in the entertainment industry doesn’t require one to be in front of the cameras. There are many behind-thescenes gigs in entertainment that aren’t highly visible, but are important, interesting, satisfying and lucrative nonetheless. There are producers, directors, screenwriters, sound technicians, photographers, lawyers, agents, publicists, stylists, managers, set designers, editors, choreographers, stunt people, hairstylists, sound designers, costume designers and more — all keeping the well-oiled entertainment machine running. Jackie Burke, Dion Peronneau, Kevin Michael Richardson and Shondalia White. These aren’t household names. They aren’t as widely known by name or face as some high-profile celebrities, but each has an entertainment-related position behind the scenes that brings them both joy and satisfaction.
Burke has worked in the entertainment industry for 27 years. A line producer at E! News, Burke, an admitted television junkie since the age of 5, admits to having her “dream job.” “I’m doing exactly what I want to do,” said Burke, who grew up in Westlake Village and graduated from the University of Southern California. “I love everything about television.” At E! News, a celebrity-fueled cable news program that covers virtually everything entertainment, Burke gets her fill. Not only must she watch various television programs on a daily basis to keep abreast of what’s happening in entertainment, she also gets to attend Hollywood soirees and rub elbows with industry insiders. “My job is to know what’s going on in the business,” Burke said. “I need to know what’s going on in TV, film and music. Luckily for me, I enjoy the pop culture.” As a line producer, Burke helms “the look of the show.” “I shape and oversee the assembly of the show,” said Burke, who is occasionally the backup supervising producer. “I make sure there are no editorial mistakes. I want to make sure everything is factual and legal.” Before E! News, Burke’s entertainment gigs included a stint as an intern and then a public relations assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers — where one of her duties included being in charge of the Laker Girls (including Paula Abdul) — “Entertainment Tonight,” “Holly-
Kevin Michael Richardson
wood Close-Up,” CNN, the KTLA Morning News, where she earned an Emmy and more. Her advice to anyone interested in stepping into the role of a line producer is to get a good education. “A journalism background is crucial,” said Burke, who typically puts in 10-hour days. “Learn how to write and how to work in a television environment. Get some internships. Learn the basics. It’s hard to get in this business without a college degree. Get some on-the-job training.” Burke, who doesn’t like seeing herself on camera and doesn’t like hearing her recorded voice, is “just fine” being behind the scenes. Said Burke: “I always knew the real power was behind the scenes.”
ate a business and met a number of entertainment professionals. From there, she became a master at networking. By 1990 she was ready to open her own agency. Success was quick, and soon her $30,000 investment grew to six figures. She was well on her way, representing some of the busiest and most popular stylists in the industry and getting enough business to put her agency on top. Her company has worked with top directors, entertainers and photographers, and the fruits of the company’s labor can be seen in ad campaigns and editorials worldwide. “When I began there were nine agencies,” Peronneau said. “Now there are 55.” “My advice for anyone wanting to own an agency is to work for an agency first,” she said. “Create your own relationships. Make sure you know everything there is to know. After five years of successful profits, think about selling (or partnering) the business with a bigger competitor. Remember, the sky’s the limit.” Kevin Michael Richardson hears voices in his head. He hasn’t lost his mind, those are just a cast of characters he’s created over his decades-long career as a voice-over actor. Since 1989, he has worked on promos and documentaries and created voices for cartoons and commercials. This year, the naturally baritone Richardson voiced Rampage in the megahit “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” His voice can also be heard in “Madagascar” as Maurice (the penguin) and as Jabba the Hutt and K’Kruhk in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” In addition, he voiced The Joker on the WB series “The Batman.” The native New Yorker’s love for voices and acting is the result of watching “The Flip Wilson Show.” “He was a big influence,” said
Richardson, who has created too many voices to remember. “I saw ‘Geraldine’ and ‘Killer’ and thought, ‘This guy is having fun.’ ” This fall, Richardson will voice the characters Cleveland Jr. and Lester in the animated comedy “The Cleveland Show,” which also stars
mation supervisors, FX supervisor, lighting supervisor and several others. “To become an animator, a lot of it is natural talent,” said White, who became interested in the field watching cartoons as a child. “It’s natural talent meets education.”
Sanaa Lathan and Reagan GomezPreston. The show will air Sundays at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on FOX. For those seeking a career in voice-overs, Richardson offers the following advice. “Start playing with your voice,” said Richardson, who studied diction and dialects. “Study, take lessons; then you’ll know how good you are. Get involved in plays and start auditioning as much as possible. Get a good idea of what the business is about.” Richardson said he owes his success to three things: faith, persistence and patience. Said Richardson: “It doesn’t have to be in that order.” Shondalia White is a spunky 25year-old originally from Flint, Mich., who after only three months in Los Angeles, landed a job many told her was out of her reach. That was two years ago. Today, White is a CG (computer graphics) animation production assistant at Nickelodeon, a position that has her actively involved in the total production process from script to animation. Her duties include working on 2D (dimensional) animatics, character concepts, drawings and development. She also works on the 3D side, re-creating the designs in a 3D program, which is similar, said White, to the movie “Madagascar.” Her credits include “Tak and the Power of Juju,” “The Penguins of Madagascar” and “Fanboy & ChumChum.” Although she doesn’t get to actually draw any of the animated characters, White works directly with the creator, supervising producer, ani-
White, who one day hopes to work for Nickelodeon as an animator, said she chose the production angle first to get a complete understanding of animation. “This allows me to deal with everything from start to finish, like texturing, writing, lighting and everything,” said White, who studied at Mott Community College in Flint, Flint Institute of Art and a weeklong program at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. White said there aren’t a lot of African American women in animation. “It’s unfortunate, but it won’t stop me,” said White, who is learning to be a producer. “I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal in production. I learned how an animated show is created and how to run my own show. I’m on my way.” In the meantime, to quench her creative thirst, White creates her own short films. She also writes books such as “Leon the Talking Shoe,” which she completed in 2006 and “Polka Dot,” published in 2007, a book about a little girl going through the first stages of getting her menstrual cycle. Every other Sunday you can find White performing a 25-minute standup routine at Improv Olympic West Theater (IO West). She was given access to free comedy training workshops after receiving the First Annual Chris Farley Scholarship. “My goals are to continue doing my films, work as an artist in the industry, and become an established voice-over actor,” White said. “With hard work, persistence and faith you can do anything. I want to do it all.”
Once Dion Peronneau began her career, she never looked back. She’s the owner of the Dion Peronneau Agency, a company that represents hair, makeup and wardrobe stylists. Soon after opening her business 19 years ago, Peronneau found herself working with top music artists such as Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, Destiny’s Child, Chaka Khan and others. A one-time emergency room medical technician at St. John’s Hospital and former artist who hand painted original designs onto cruise wear, Peronneau’s life took a different course when she quit medicine and began working as an assistant to the owner of Lily et Cie, an antique wardrobe house in Los Angeles. Peronneau learned how to oper-
L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 3, 2009
We Proudly Join Hands With the Community in Celebration of Labor Day
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YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
September 3, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
CITY WORKS BY COMMISSIONER VALERIE LYNN SHAW CITY OF L.A. BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS
Last year, administrators and students at Marlton School in the Crenshaw District collaborated on a mural project to beautify their school and neighborhood and instill new pride in that community. And I am pleased that our Community Beautification Grant helped pay for the Marlton School Deaf Pride Mural Project. The Marlton School mural is more than simply a project, however. It is a tribute to cooperation and creativity. Marlton is the only public school in the Los Angeles Unified School District for deaf and hard of hearing students. So, while the mural was painted by a professional muralist, the concept and design was inspired by students who many consider limited because of their disability. Prior to its creation, using interpreters, the muralist and project managers asked the overwhelmingly enthusiastic students for design and content opinions. Their input resulted in a unique, moving and picturesque mural that includes the image of a student and various messages in sign language. As I see it, the Marlton School Deaf Pride Mural Project is a wonderful example of how community leadership can take full advantage of our Community Beautification Grant (CB Grant) program. Hundreds of neighborhood groups in Los Angeles already have. In fact, the program has completed more than 925 communitybased projects to date, since its inception, and helped spark many of the revitalization efforts happening citywide. The program was created in 1998 as the Neighborhood Matching Fund, and as a way for community members to shape their neighborhoods. We changed the name to CB Grant in 2005. It remains a competitive annual matching grant awarded to community groups to fund neighborhood beautification projects. Now, of the more than 925 projects funded, a significant number has been completed in South Los Angeles, many like the Marlton School Deaf Pride Mural Project. This year, I strongly encourage leaders of South L.A., and the Watts community in particular, (the boundaries of which are: 92nd Street on the north, Imperial Highway, south; Alameda Boulevard, east; and Figueroa Street, west) to identify projects and apply this year. With dedication, a spirit of cooperation, and a little creativity, the possibilities for community improvement are unlimited. CB Grant is funded through the city’s budget. On average, the grant program is allocated $845,000 to award about 90 grants each year of up to $10,000. Our Office of Community Beautification (OCB) receives roughly 200 grant applications per year. Generally speaking, applicants have a 45 percent overall chance of receiving a grant. The 2009-10 Application and Guidelines Packet is currently. Call
(213) 978-0226 or visit www.lacity.org/BPW/OCB/CBGrant/index.h tml to obtain a hard copy. The 200910 application due date is Oct. 20. Projects must meet the following eligibility standards: • Be contained within City of L.A. boundaries. • Have public access. • Be sponsored by a community-based organization. • Include a timeline to be completed in nine months or less. • Include a match that equals or exceeds the amount requested. Proposals are accepted from community-based organizations. Homeowners associations, beautification committees and neighborhood councils are among several that have applied in the past. However, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status is not needed to apply for a grant. Only projects in public places are funded. These include projects on-street islands (medians), sidewalks, parkways, walls visible to the public, park property, library property, and public school campuses.
A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT — The Marlton School, in the Baldwin Hills section of Los Angeles, is the only public school in the L.A. Unified School District for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The mural project was a collaboration between students and administrators to beautify their school and neighborhood and instill new pride in that community.
Proposals should incorporate physical improvements such as landscaping projects, neighborhood markers, tree plantings, murals and benches, among other things. People interested in learning more about these requirements, as well as how to apply for a Community Beautification Grant, can attend a free workshop. The 90minute session covers the grant process in detail, explains how to fill out the application, and offers tips on submitting a competitive proposal.
The next two in the Los Angeles area are scheduled for Sept. 15 at Venice Library, 501 S. Venice Bl., Venice; and Sept. 17 at Harbor Gateway Library, 24000 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles. Both begin at 6 p.m. No reservations are required. My sincere hope is that each resident, in each neighborhood, continues to create meaningful projects and apply for funding through the CB grant program. Not only does it enable us to beautify our communities, but it helps foster strong leader-
ship, partnership and an improved quality of life in Los Angeles. As I often say, “where the people lead, the leaders follow.” In our beloved city, this concept is more important now than ever before. Follow the lead of the Marlton School Deaf Pride Mural Project, which I’ll say again is a wonderful example of leadership and participation. Let’s repeat this spirit of neighborhood pride and improvement in even greater numbers this year throughout the City of Angels.
Revival Planned for Notorious Los Angeles Community BY JACOB ADELMAN AP WRITER
(AP) — Juanita Sims has lived in the notorious Jordan Downs project in Watts for nearly four decades, raising eight children behind the barred windows of the cramped barracks-like apartments. She moved in shortly after the Watts Rebellion in the 1960s left nearly three dozen people dead and made the South Los Angeles community a national symbol of urban decay. Now Sims fears she’ll have to leave, just as Watts emerges from years of neglect with a proposed urban village of shops, homes and businesses that would force the demolition of Jordan Downs. “I’m not afraid to move, but what my fear really is is: Where?” said Sims, 73, who sat at a kitchen table against a wall covered in peeling white paint. “That’s what I’m concerned about: Where are we going?” The proposed demolition of the sprawling complex of two-story cinder-block buildings is part of an audacious but as of yet unfunded $1 billion effort by city housing officials to remake a large swath of the hard-luck neighborhood into a national symbol of rebirth. The Los Angeles Housing Authority has pledged to relocate residents within the community, but some of Jordan Downs’ 2,300 tenants are skeptical, noting local agencies’ broken promises of providing job training and wireless Internet service. “The plan is to put everybody out,” said resident Arthur Jenkins, gesturing toward the homes with both arms as he stood on a sidewalk. “The plan is to build condos.” Jordan Downs, which dominates a parcel of blight the size of 40 square blocks that includes a school and an abandoned factory, was originally built as temporary housing for factory workers during World War II.
The project and the surrounding neighborhoods became engulfed in poverty in the following decades. In August 1965, rising tensions between residents and law enforcement culminated with riots that raged across 50 square miles for six days. Thirtyfour people were killed, more than 1,000 injured, and 600 buildings were damaged or destroyed. Since then, Jordan Downs and the rest of Watts has remained a hot spot for crime and poverty. Just a third of the project’s residents between 18 and 60 years old are employed, and households average less than $16,000 annually. Jordan Downs’ robbery rate this year is five times the city’s rate based on population. The statistics portray a situation of desperation for many residents at the project, where a tall black metal gate separates the apartments covered in splotchy salmon-colored paint from the surrounding neighborhood of faded stucco houses. Clothes lines cut across the project’s patchy lawns where, on a recent afternoon, a circle of blearyeyed men sat on tattered furniture while a few children entertained themselves by dragging a discarded VCR down the sidewalk by its cord. Jordan Downs is much safer, however, than it was in the last several years, when members of the notorious Grape Street Crips gang used empty homes as drug dens, bordellos and dog-fighting venues. Police boosted patrols in the area and in 2006 installed a network of video surveillance cameras. The result: a 41 percent drop in robbery the first half of this year compared to the same period of 2004. Still, Jordan Downs remains a trouble spot for police, and residents said they remain careful to avoid the project’s many blind corners. The city’s public housing officials hope their redevelopment project will help tenants feel safer by drawing middle-class residents into
Photo by JAE C. HONG
A REVIVAL? — Three year old Jamila Williams runs down a walkway at the Jordan Downs housing projects in Watts, June 11, wearing a fairy tale costume and holding a magic wand. The Los Angeles Housing Authority plans to work magic also, by tearing down the projects and replacing it with a mixed-income community of shops, offices and schools.
the area. They say living among people outside the poverty cycle — along with a planned new corps of case workers to help impoverished residents find good-paying jobs — will raise living standards. “I see this as a way to invest in the people in such a way as hasn’t been done in Watts in forever,” said John King, a Housing Authority director. Plans for the new complex are being drawn up, but officials say it will likely include a mix of townhouses and apartment buildings, peppered with shops and interspersed with small parks and athletic fields. Other cities, such as Atlanta, St. Louis and Washington, boosted family incomes and reduced crime by replacing traditional public housing with mixed-income development, but most had to displace some low-income residents. King said his agency won’t move any Jordan Downs residents from their neighborhood and has taken pains to get the tenants’ support. The agency spent $160,000 to fly a committee of community members to visit successful housing
projects in other cities. Richard Alford, one of eight Jordan Downs residents on the 30person committee, said he tries to reassure his neighbors about the project, but the Housing Authority needs to take tangible steps to improve residents’ lives, such as offering job counseling. “You’ve just got to start showing stuff to the residents, and then they’ll say, ‘They’re serious,’ ” he said. “You have to give people something they can touch.” Past disappointments make some residents question whether they’re included in the Housing Authority’s plans. A federal audit released in 2005, for instance, found that a $13 million program that began in the 1990s to provide work experience for residents of Jordan Downs and other projects helped few tenants and was plagued by mismanagement and conflicts of interest. Police, meanwhile, failed to deliver the wireless Internet service that residents were promised as part of the network of surveillance cameras installed in 2006. Deputy police See REVIVAL, page 23
L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 3, 2009
COMMUNITY BRIEFS Continued from page 1 the casket to the Washington, D.C., museum complex. The news conference at the church on Chicago’s South Side follows a discovery in July of the tattered, dented and rusty casket in a garbage-strewn storage shed at a suburban cemetery where former workers are charged with digging up corpses and reselling burial plots. The former workers are not accused of disturbing Till’s grave. However, while detectives were investigating the cemetery desecration, they found Till’s casket that had been pulled from the ground when his body was exhumed in 2005 as part of an investigation into his death. Till’s body was then buried in another casket and the family was told the original casket would be kept for a memorial. Aug. 28 marks 54 years since Till, who was black, was beaten and killed in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman. His casket was put on display and photographed at the funeral. Photographs of his battered body in the coffin were shown around the world and became powerful images of the Civil Rights Movement.
After 35 Years, Next Atlanta Mayor Could be White ATLANTA (AP) — The city that became a post-Civil Rights Movement emblem of the political power held by African Americans
could have a white mayor for the first time in a generation — a possibility that has some in the black community scrambling to hold on to City Hall. Atlanta Councilwoman Mary Norwood, who is white, is one of the front-runners for the Nov. 3 election, along with City Council President Lisa Borders and state Sen. Kasim Reed, both of whom are black. All three have bristled at a racially charged e-mail circulated by a black leadership group calling for Norwood’s defeat before a possible runoff. If the black candidates split the African American vote, Norwood may find herself in a runoff. Atlanta, which has billed itself as “the city too busy to hate,” elected Maynard Jackson as its first black mayor in 1973. Blacks who had won the right to vote less than a decade earlier rallied behind Jackson, who forced the city’s white business elite to open their doors to minorities and adopted strict affirmative action policies. His election solidified the voting power of urban blacks, and the city has elected black mayors since. And while blacks have been the majority population and voting bloc in the city for decades, the demographics have changed in recent years. A large voting bloc — residents in the city’s public housing — was erased as Atlanta’s crumbling projects were demolished over the past decade. And young professionals,
COMMUNITY MEETINGS, FORUMS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS Metrolink to Begin Contract Negotiations with Amtrak (AP) — The Southern California Regional Rail Authority will begin negotiations with Amtrak to provide crews to run its Metrolink commuter trains starting next summer. Metrolink spokesman Francisco Oaxaca said board members directed agency staff on Aug. 28 to begin negotiations with Amtrak to determine if a contract agreement could be reached by Sept. 30. The rail service is under deadline pressure to find train engineers and conductors to operate its trains because its current contract with Connex Railroad will expire next June. Metrolink picked Connex over Amtrak to provide operating services during a bid in 2004. However, its relationship with the private firm soured after a deadly collision black and white, have flocked to opportunity in the city. In 2000, Atlanta was 33 percent white and 61 percent black. In 2007, the numbers were 38 percent white and 57 percent black, according to the U.S. Census.
NJ City’s Leaders Mull (Anti)fashion Statement PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — Two city officials in northern New Jersey
How have we helped 5.8 million Americans in need?
(AP) — A rise in gang-related killings is prompting a broad response by a task force of local, state and federal authorities to stem the bloodshed, which follows years of progress in curtailing crime in the nation’s second-largest city. The FBI, California Highway Patrol, U.S. Marshals Service and other agencies will band together to respond to the increased violence before it becomes a trend. The police department’s Criminal Gang Homicide Group, which investigates gang-related killings in the 77th Street, Southwest and
Southeast areas, has handled 18 homicides this month — six more than for all of July, police said. The increase in killings does not appear to be linked to any specific gang feud, police said. The spike contrasts to the city’s overall crime rate, which is down for the eighth year in a row. Meanwhile, a preliminary injunction bars members of four street gangs from assembling with other members in a 1.4-square-mile area around Fremont High School, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said. “Fremont High students are terrorized by wanton gang violence on a daily basis, as they head back and forth from school,” stated California Attorney General Jerry Brown. Los Angeles already has more than 40 other injunctions that bar members of 71 gangs from associating.
want to make a fashion statement. Or maybe an anti-fashion statement. Paterson Councilmen Ken Morris Jr. and Anthony Davis believe the saggy pants fad is sinking young people to new lows in decorum and decency. They’re proposing a public information campaign using posters and billboards with images of young men wearing saggy pants and slogans discouraging it.
One “Reality Check” picture would be paired with the slogan, “What the unemployable are wearing today.” The councilmen introduced their plan at a workshop meeting two weeks ago. It’s not clear yet if the full council will approve it or how it would be paid for. City residents informally polled by The Record of Hackensack had mixed views.
between a Metrolink train and freight train. Investigators found the Metrolink engineer, who worked for Connex, was text messaging seconds before the crash.
Rise in L.A. Gang Killings Prompts New Crackdown
50 states. 2,500 cities. 300,000 miles. The PPA bus is traveling throughout the country with one clear message: no
should go without. And in just over 4 years, we’ve helped nearly 6 million people who are uninsured and struggling. Since the program began, the PPA bus—sponsored by America’s pharmaceutical research companies—has spent more time in California than any other state. We’ve been from Redding to Riverside and Salinas to Santa Ana helping more than 345,000 Californians in need. If you or someone you know needs help paying for medicine, call 1-888-4PPANOW or visit www.pparx.org.
By never stopping.
September 3, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
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. “PRESERVING YOUR LEGACY” — Holman United Methodist Church’s Permanent Endowment Committee will present this free estate planning seminar Sept. 12, 9 a.m. to noon, at 3320 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles. Attorney Caprice L. Collins of the Collins Law Group will use a variety of case studies and real-life scenarios to outline the necessary components of an effective estate plan. This seminar is free and open to the public. Information: (310) 6779787, www.collinslawgroup.com. PLAYWRIGHT PROGRAM — The Robey Theatre Co.’s 10-week playwright’s workshop begins Sept. 19, and will meet every Saturday through Nov. 21 for two sessions: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2 to 5 p.m. Aaron Henne and Dylan Southard will be the instructors. Interested writers must submit a statement of interest and other materials postmarked by Sept. 9 to be considered. Once accepted, a $250 fee is due Sept. 15 to secure a seat in this program. The program will only accept a maximum of 12 writers. Information: (213) 489-7402, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
LUNCH AND LEARN — The Jenesse Center invites the community to learn about opportunities to partner with it in moving families from crisis to self-sufficiency. Some opportunities include beautifying the facilities where families live; raising money for family-oriented programs and services, and spreading the word about ending domestic violence in homes and communities. A lunch will be held Sept. 4, noon, at 3761 Stocker St., suite 100, Los Angeles. RSVP information: (323) 299-9496, ext. 103, or e-mail email@example.com. FROM FELA TO DE LA — Brotherhood Sound will present “A Journey into Sound” on Sept. 6, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., at Catch One, 4067 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. There is a $5 cover charge and DJs Kaleem, Ade and Son Zoo will be spinning. Information: (323) 8635434, fela2dela@ gmail.com. PET FOSTERING — The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s fostering program is in need of volunteers to assist with the care of pets of all ages. The next foster parent class will be held Sept. 13, 10 a.m. to noon, at South Bay Pet Adoption Center, 12910 Yukon Ave., Hawthorne. Information: (310) 6761149, ext. 222, www.spcala.com. COME OUT AND PLEI — Plei is an alternative to the everyday club scene. There will be 70-plus
games spread throughout the venue, such as spades, dominos, Uno, Boggle, Twister and Rock’em Sock’em Robots, as well as music and a full bar. This event will be held Sept. 4, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., at the Orchid Lounge, 607 S. Oxford Ave., Los Angeles. Admission is $10 and valet parking is available for $6, or people can self-park at the Wiltern Theatre. Information: (323) 633-0323, www. mingleandplei.com. OPERATION SPLASH — Seven seasonal pools operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks will remain open for an extra six days beyond their traditional Labor Day closing. The extended seasonal pools will be available for daily use from 3:30 to 7 p.m., Sept. 8 to 11; and noon to 5 p.m., Sept. 12 to 13. Year-round pools will begin their off-season hours following the holiday. Information: www. laparks.org, 311, (213) 202-2700. FIGHTING FASCISM — The “Summer Study Series” continues with this week’s topic, “Hard-won lessons from previous anti-Nazi efforts.” This event will be on Sept. 14, 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Solidarity Hall, 2170 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles. The cost is $2 per session. Light snacks will be served at 6:30 p.m. for a $5 donation. Information: (323) 732-6416, fsplos firstname.lastname@example.org, www.socialism. com. CELEBRITY BOWLING CHALLENGE — Kiki Shepard’s
Photo Courtesy of JIMMIE JAMES
THE NEW DRUM — The “2Drum” is a new percussion instrument created by local inventor Jimmie James. James has been an inventor “since the age of 10,” and had the “2Drum” made from a drawing. James says the “2Drum” appeared to him in a dream in 2008 and he quickly jotted the image down.
sixth annual celebrity event to raise awareness of Sickle Cell disease will take place Sept. 18, 8 p.m. to midnight. It will be held at the Pinz Entertainment Center, 12655 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. There will be a three-game tournament, live and silent auctions, an awards ceremony, raffles and more. Invited celebrity guests include Vivica A. Fox, Glynn Turman, Loretta Devine and others. There are fees for teams, individual bowlers and non-bowlers and sponsorship opportunities available. In-
formation: (818) 981-7819, www. thekisfoundation.org. LABOR DAY EVENT — The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Southern California District Council, will sponsor the 30th Annual Labor Day Solidarity March and Rally Sept. 7, with the march beginning at 11 a.m., at Broad and E streets, Wilmington. The rally will begin at 1 p.m. at Banning Park, 1331 Eubank Ave., Wilmington. Information: (310) 5218796, email@example.com. See WGO, page 10
L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 3, 2009
EDUCATION NOTEBOOK LEADING THE WAY â€” Second District Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas speaks with young people during the reopening ceremony of the Woodcrest Library. The library, at 1340 W. 106th St., Los Angeles, reopened to the public Aug. 31 after an extensive renovation. The renovation included new-and-improved computer furniture, self-check machines for quicker checkout and renovated public restrooms.
DOUGHNUTS Continued from page 1 able to sleep through the night.â€? The LAPDâ€™s strategy for addressing the issue has been focused mainly on visibility, enforcement and education. At a meeting with residents at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in August, Albanese stressed that the police department has to be very careful in its response to the cruisers and street racers. Albanese admitted that, prior to the suppression plan, police officers had been â€œpart of the problem by not engaging in simple traffic stops.â€? While cruising is not illegal, there have been times when traffic has been impacted. â€œWe have to be mindful of the crime being committed,â€? Albanese said. â€œThe Constitution gives people the right to gather, to assemble.â€? Residents of the corridor say that the issue is not the gathering that is the problem but everything that comes along with it: loud noise, the holding up of traffic, cruising at dangerous speed levels, driving the
wrong way on the thoroughfare, and the donuts in the middle of the street. The enforcement aspect of the LAPDâ€™s suppression plan has resulted in some significant crime numbers, according to the city attorneyâ€™s office. Sharee L. Sanders is the deputy city attorney assigned to the Crenshaw Area Project, which encompasses the area where gatherings took place. Sanders said that during the time period between March through Aug. 8, 823 vehicle citations have been issued and 96 cars were impounded; six stolen vehicles have been recovered and 47 arrests have been made for outstanding warrants. There also were 28 DUI (Driving Under the Influence) arrests; six felony arrests have been made; one gun has been removed; and five juveniles under 18 have been arrested for being in violation of the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. During the last two weekends of August, there were 232 citations issued; three felony and 32 misdemeanor arrests made; 17 people were arrested for DUI, and 20 cars were
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â€“ Jonathan Dean, Organizational Leadership Major
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WASHINGTON (AP) â€” The Obama administration is making good on a promise to use federal dollars to prod local officials to turn around failing schools. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Sept. 1 told states how he wants them to spend $3.5 billion in money from the federal School Improvement Fund. The fund is for struggling schools, but states have had wide discretion in how they spend it. The $3.5 billion is from the economic stimulus and the regular budget. Under the new rules, states are to award the money to districts that take one of these approaches: â€˘ Close and reopen failing schools with new teachers and principals. â€˘ Close and reopen failing schools under management of a charter school company or similar group. â€˘ Close failing schools and send students to high-achieving schools in the same district. â€˘ Replace a failing schoolâ€™s principal and overhaul its operations.
Colin Powell to Speak at University of Delaware NEWARK, Del. (AP) â€” Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is among those scheduled to appear during a speaking series at the University of Delaware. The first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is scheduled to speak Nov. 3 at the Bob Carpenter Center. Tickets for the event go on sale Sept. 15. Last spring, the university started the series to bring world leaders and well-known individuals to campus. CNN journalist Anderson Cooper was the first speaker.
Continued from page 9
Meet our friendly admissions counselors who will answer your questions about BOLDâ€™s biblically centered degree completion program. Family and friends are welcome. Please R.S.V.P. by calling 310.419.5870.
WASHINGTON (AP) â€” The people who multitask the most are the ones who are worst at it. That is the conclusion of researchers at Stanford University. The researchers studied 262 college undergraduates, giving them a form listing a variety of media such as print, television, computer-based video, music, computer games, telephone voice or text, etc. The students were asked for each form of media, which other forms they used at the same time always, often, sometimes or never. The result ranged from an average of about 1.5 media items at the low end to more than four among heavy multitaskers. Then they tested the abilities of students in the various groups. For example, ability to ignore irrelevant information was tested by showing them a group of red and blue rectangles, blanking them out, and then showing them again and asking if any of the red ones had moved. The test required ignoring the blue rectangles. The researchers thought people who do a lot of multitasking would be better at it, but they were not. Finally, the researchers tested ability to switch from one task to another by classifying a letter as a vowel or consonant, or a number as even or odd. The high multitaskers took longer to make the switch from one task to the other. â€œHigh multitaskers just love more and more information,â€? lead author Eyal Ophir said. â€œTheir greatest thrill is to get more,â€? he said.
Chicago State Gets $40M Surprise from Lawmakers CHICAGO (AP) â€” Illinois lawmakers allocated $40 million to build a second Chicago State University campus, but that was news to university President Frank Pogue. Pogue says he learned that his school would be getting money to build an extension campus on the cityâ€™s West Side by reading a newspaper. Lawmakers proposed the new campus, and that plan was championed by state Sen. Rickey Hendon, who says the cityâ€™s West Side needs more education and economic opportunities. Pogue was serving as interim president when he learned about the funding. Chicago State officials are referring questions about the new campus to incoming President Wayne Watson, who doesnâ€™t officially start work until Oct. 1. Chicago State currently has about 7,000 students on its existing campus on Chicagoâ€™s South Side.
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impounded, Sanders said. The plan is also part of the crime abatement strategy of the Urban Leagueâ€™s Neighborhoods At Work initiative. The initiative is a five-year project to increase the quality of life in the 70-block perimeter that borders Vernon Avenue on the north; Arlington Avenue on the east; Slauson Avenue to the south; and Crenshaw Boulevard on the west, extending to Hillcrest Boulevard to an extent. As part of the crime abatement strategy, the Urban League requested resources for this area from the LAPD, the city attorneyâ€™s office and the CHP. CHP, working in conjunction with LAPD, patrols the area from about 8 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday, said to Sgt. Lee Martin of CHP. The city attorneyâ€™s office handles all of the misdemeanor vehicular charges that occur such as unsafe driving, speeding, hanging out of doors, on top of cars and racing. Sanders, who says she grew up in the area and remembers the phenomenon of cruising from her younger days, says the foremost concern is for safety. â€œA lot of students and young people are involved in the cruising,â€? she says. â€œAlthough a lot of what happens in the neighborhood is not done necessarily by â€Ś youth who live in this neighborhood, it is still young people.â€? The suppression plan along Crenshaw Boulevard is scheduled to continue until at least Oct. 5, which is when an overall assessment of the planâ€™s success will be made.
Pay Attention, Multitaskers, if You Can
333 W. Florence Avenue Inglewood, CA 90301 Located in the Trinity Building, Faiithful Central Bible Church Level C, suite 325
ROUNDTABLE â€” The Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable meets Saturdays, 10 to 11:30 a.m., in Leimert Park at the Lucy Florence Coffeehouse, 3351 W. 43rd St., Los Angeles. The roundtable features expert speakers on hot-button local and national issues followed by an open discussion. It is free and open to the public. Information: (323) 3836145. â€œLOVE YOUR PEOPLEâ€? DAY â€” This day was created by a 10year-old as a day to gather with family and friends to celebrate and honor one another in love. This Second Annual event will take place Sept. 5, noon to 6 p.m., at Ted Watkins Park, 1335 E. 103rd St., Los Angeles. There
will be free games, food and music. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org. CELEBRATION â€” The community is invited to celebrate the dropping of murder charges against the majority of members of the San Francisco 8 â€” former members/supporters of the Black Panther Party â€” and join the campaign to get the charges against Francisco Torres dropped and win the parole of Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqin. This event will take place Sept. 12, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Southern California Library, 6120 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. There will be spoken word, cultural activities, and Soffiyah Elijah, noted human rights attorney and law professor, will speak. Information: (213) 924-6031, (213) 637-0313.
September 3, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
HEALTH THE PULSE Villaraigosa Announces Prescription Savings Card for Angelenos (L.A. Mayor’s Office) — Mayor Villaraigosa recently launched the LA Rx Prescriptions Savings Card Program, a citywide card program that provides discounts on all pharmaceutical medications open to all interested individuals with no age, income or other eligibility restrictions. Through the LA Rx program, cardholders’ savings will vary by the type of prescription. The savings from the average wholesale price for both brand name and generic prescription drugs will range from 5 to 40 percent. The uninsured and those who have the most basic health insurance with few or no prescription benefits will be able to receive the most savings on their prescriptions. LA Rx cards will be available through Envision Pharmaceutical Services network of more than 1,500 participating retail pharmacies and at the Web site: http://forlarx.com. Also, the mayor’s office
KENNEDY Continued from page 1 ment of civil rights, Ted Kennedy would be on the short list. He may even be at the top of it,” said Douglas Brinkley, a history professor at Rice University. “He wasn’t just for civil rights in the sense of the movement, but for dignity rights for all people.” And while John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy had a tenuous relationship with civil rights leaders — particularly the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — Ted Kennedy was embraced by the civil rights community, Brinkley said. “He was our shepherd,” Lewis said. “He was our fighter for social justice, and not just in the traditional sense or for people of color. He was a champion for those who were left out and left behind.” As Kennedy lay in repose on Aug. 28 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Lewis and the Rev. Jesse Jackson were among those who came to pay their respects. Jackson said Kennedy was relentless in his push for civil rights after he took up the cause. “Ted, with his consistency, lived long enough to see the seeds he planted bear fruit. We are a better and a different nation today because he changed the course,” Jackson said. Barely four months after his oldest brother was assassinated, Edward Kennedy, then a 32-year-old serving his first term, gave his first major speech on the Senate floor. Until then, Kennedy had largely been deferential to his senior colleagues. But after four weeks of listening to them debate the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he could be silent no more. “My brother was the first president of the United States to state publicly that segregation was wrong,” Kennedy said. “His heart and soul are in this bill. If his life and death had a meaning, it was that we should not hate but love one another; we should use our powers not to create
is making the cards available at key public locations such as library branches, recreation and park facilities and multipurpose senior centers.
School District sent a memo recently telling schools in smoky areas to suspend physical education and after-school sports until further notice.
Health Warnings Issued Due to Wildfire Smoke
Two-Thirds Get Medical Tests with Radiation Dose
(AP) — Los Angeles County health authorities are telling residents to stay inside to avoid air polluted with wildfire smoke and has advised schools to suspend outdoor athletic activities. The health department recommended on Aug. 28 that people put their air conditioners to the “recirculate” mode to avoid bringing in smoky air. Smoke consists of gases and tiny particulate matter that can lodge in the lungs and aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma. Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, the county’s director of public health, says masks will not filter out those fine particles. The biggest concern is for children, the elderly, and people with chronic health conditions. Spokeswoman Monca Carazo says the Los Angeles Unified
(AP) — As many as twothirds of adults underwent a medical test in the last few years that exposed them to radiation and, in some cases, a potentially higher risk of cancer, an Emory University study suggests. Though the annual average radiation exposure from X-rays, CT scans and other tests was low, researchers found about 20 percent were exposed to moderate radiation doses and 2 percent were exposed to high levels. Some doctors are concerned that advanced tests like CT scans are being over-prescribed, and that evidence of their value in certain situations is lacking. In some cases, tests like MRI scans, which do not involve radiation, could be used instead. The annual average radiation exposure was small — less than 3
conditions of oppression that lead to violence, but conditions of freedom that lead to peace. It is in that spirit that I hope the Senate will pass this bill.” It was the opening salvo of the youngest Kennedy son’s career-long efforts on behalf of blacks, which decades later would see him deliver an endorsement that helped put the first black man in the Oval Office. Many Southern whites recoiled at the Yankee senator, whom they saw as an ultra-leftist threat to their way of life, Brinkley said. “Ted Kennedy found the Jim Crow system abhorrent,” he said. “He almost became an ugly parlor joke with the mere mention of his name.” For Kennedy, the movement became personal. After King’s assassination in April 1968 and Robert Kennedy’s slaying two months later, Edward Kennedy remained close to King’s widow, Coretta Scott King. “He’d call her whenever he passed through town,” said Andrew Young, the former mayor of Atlanta and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who worked alongside King and other civil rights leaders and knew Kennedy for decades. “And she didn’t hesitate to call him when there was anything that the government or that he, personally, could do. I think he became a family friend.” Young said Kennedy saw his mission as continuing the legacy not only of his brothers, but of King. Long after the marches and freedom rides stopped, Kennedy continued to work on issues of equality for minorities and the poor, pushing for economic opportunity and a national teachers’ corps. When Young needed support to create the Morehouse School of Medicine, an institution dedicated to educating primary care physicians who work in underserved communities, he turned to then-Sen. Herman Talmadge of Georgia and Kennedy, who considered health care part of
the civil rights agenda. “I knew if the two of them could agree on it, it would happen,” Young said. “It didn’t take a half hour for them to say, ‘OK, we can get that done.’ ” Kennedy also worked with Coretta Scott King to get a federal holiday established in her husband’s honor. Martin Luther King III called Kennedy, who died after battling brain cancer for more than a year, the country’s “greatest statesman in modern times.” “Ted Kennedy was the epitome of a visionary, compassionate and dedicated public servant who spoke up for those without a voice and little hope,” said King, whose organization, Realizing the Dream Inc., honored Kennedy earlier this year. “His life should serve as an example to each of us to reach beyond our own selfish interests to serve the greater needs of all people,” King said. On Aug. 31, President Barack Obama expressed similar sentiments. “Ted Kennedy’s life’s work was not to champion those with wealth or power or special connections,” Obama said, as he joined the nation in remembering and mourning Ted Kennedy at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica. “It was to give a voice to those who were not heard, to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity, to make real the dream of our founding.” Charles Evers, who served as the NAACP’s field secretary in Mississippi and whose brother Medgar was killed by a white supremacist in a slaying that galvanized the movement, said he stayed in touch with Kennedy through the years. Evers, now 86, said he took the senator on a tour of some of the poorest areas of the state in the 1970s and ’80s, including the Delta region and parts of Jackson. “He just really wanted to see the See KENNEDY, page 14
millisieverts, a measure of dose. However, about 20 percent of the 952,420 people in the study had moderate exposure (3 to 20 millisieverts), and 2 percent had high exposure (20 to 50 millisieverts). Given these findings, the researchers estimated that medical imaging exposes 4 million nonelderly adults to radiation doses greater than 20 millisieverts a year. The annual safe limit is 50 millisieverts. High radiation exposure is a known risk factor for cancer. Many years usually pass between radiation exposure and the appearance of cancer.
Univ.’s Pollution Study Targets Cigarette Waste CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Some researchers are putting cigarettes under the microscope in a study that could make smokers think twice about tossing their butts. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga study, intended to uncover the effects of discarded cigarette butts on the environment,
shows that the metals and organic chemicals found in used cigarettes can leak out, contaminating water and killing microorganisms. “We certainly have no trouble getting samples,” said Gretchen Potts, an associate professor of chemistry at UTC who started the research. “It’s pretty sad.” More than 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are tossed in the United States every year, Potts said. One cigarette won’t contaminate the environment, but over time, trillions of discarded cigarettes could cause problems for microorganisms, she said. According to tobacco companies, the remnants of used cigarettes, leftover tobacco and the filter are biodegradable. However, they can last up to 18 months in the environment, giving plenty of time for chemicals to leak out, Potts said. In the study, lead and cadmium — toxic chemicals found in batteries — leaked into the water. The water in the study exceeded Environmental Protection Agency-approved levels of lead in drinking water.
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.”
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L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 3, 2009
ARTS & CULTURE
Trailblazer Award winner Audra McDonald
The Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held its 19th Annual Theatre Awards Aug. 31 at the Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood.
Lifetime Achievement Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Tasia Sherel, Lauren Velez, Mari Morrow
Spirit Award winner Tichina Arnold
A Michael Jackson impersonator, Norwood Young, and attendee.
R & B artist Norwood Young, former lead singer of “Pieces of a Dream” and the current “King of Hancock Park,” opened his home for a birthday party for the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, on Aug. 28.
Theatre Award hosts Loretta Devine and Terry Crews
Plastic grocery bags
All clean film plastic
City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works
Bureau of Sanitation
information? call (800) 773-2489
THE BIG BLUE BIN! Some things are just better in blue Now you can put all clean plastic and styrofoam items marked 1 through 7 into the Blue Container along with the usual items such as brown paper bags, cans/metal, aluminum, steel and tin, carboard, unwanted mail, mixed and colored paper, glass bottles and containers, magazines, metal coat hangers, newspapers and office paper.
Recycle the New Blues
As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure access to its programs, services and activities.
September 3, 2009
L.A. WATTS TIMES
ARTS & CULTURE SHORT TAKES CONCERTS • Legendary performer Carol Channing will “Raise The Roof” as a benefit concert for Altadena Community Church’s Roof Repair
Fund. The evening will follow a simple format as Channing offers memories, storytelling, and an advance preview of her new gospel compact disc entitled “For Heaven Sake” and several of her signature tunes, including “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” and “Hello, Dolly!” This event will take place Sept. 6, 7 p.m., at Altadena Community Church, 943 E. Altadena Drive, Altadena. Balcony tickets are $35 for adults and $10 for children 13 and under. Main floor seats are $75 per ticket, and VIP seating,
which includes a reception with Channing, is priced at $125 per ticket. Information: (626) 3959923, www.altadenaucc.org, www. channingarts.org. • The City of Compton’s Annual Gospel Concert will take place Sept. 12, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Compton Par 3 Golf Course, 640 E. Compton Blvd., Compton. The event will feature the music of Shirley Caesar, Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir, and many others. Aundrae Russell of Radio Free KJLH 102.3 FM will be the mc for this event. Tickets can be purchased from the city clerk’s office in Compton City Hall or from the following locations: VIP Music at 1606 W. Rosecrans Blvd., Compton; 1014 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach; and 3284 W. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles. Tickets are also available at Word of Life Book Stores, 6321 West Blvd., or 7223 S. Main St., Los Angeles. Lawn seats are $10; general admission is $20 and VIP seating is $40. Please be advised that no food, beverages, camera or video equipment can be brought into the park. Information: (310) 605-5591.
BOOKS • Canadian-based writer Austin Clarke’s new novel “MORE” is scheduled to be released from Amistad on Sept. 15. The 320-page hardcover work, which retails for $25.99, “is a … novel that takes
readers under the skin and into the heart of a strong-willed immigrant woman as she struggles to make sense of the direction of her life,” a press statement says. A professor of literature who has taught at Yale, Brandeis, Williams, Duke, and the Universities of Texas and Indiana, Clarke assisted in setting up a Black Studies program at Yale in 1968, after which he became the cultural attaché of the Embassy of Barbados in Washington, D.C. He is a winner of the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and the Trillium Prize. Information: www.harpercollins.com. • “On The Line,” by Serena Williams with Daniel Paisner, was released Sept. 1. The 272-page hardcover book, which retails for $26.99, is Williams’ story of her life both on and off the tennis court.
a decisive difference in the development of American cinema: Herb Jeffries (appearing in person on Sept. 27), Oscar Micheaux and Spencer Williams. “African American Film Pioneers” will screen Sept. 11 through 27 at UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Films include 1925’s “Body and Soul” starring Paul Robeson and 1939’s “Bronze Buckaroo” starring Herb Jeffries. Tickets are available for $10 at www.cinema.ucla.edu and can also be purchased at the box office one hour before showtime for $9 general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Parking is Information: www.hachettebookgroup.com.
FILMS • “Warner on Wednesdays” is a summer film series every Wednesday at 6 and 9 p.m., hosted by the Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro. The cost per film is $3 per person. Families and couples can save by purchasing a $10 “date night” ticket that includes two admissions, two bags of popcorn and two drinks for one low price which can save $8. On Sept. 9, the featured film will be the animated “Coraline,” which is rated PG. Information: (310) 9298129, www.warnergrand.org. • The UCLA Film & Television Archive will present a program celebrating three African American film pioneers who made
See SHORT TAKES page 14
L.A. WATTS TIMES
September 3, 2009
SPORTS BRAD PYE JR.
SPORTS BEAT Notes, quotes and things picked up on the run from coast-to-coast and all the stops in between and beyond. The U.S. Open starts this week in New York City, and Sports Illustrated has picked Serena Williams to win her third tournament of the year to go along with her
Australian and Wimbledon crowns. Her sister, Venus, isnâ€™t in the running for the United States. The sisters could face each other in a semi-finals match. Theyâ€™re in same bracket. And the beat continuesâ€Ś The Dodgers had the best record in the majors for most of the season. As of presstime, that distinction is owned by the New York Yankees (81-48). Since June 21, the Dodgers have been a .500 club and were 8-1 in one run games in August. These are not numbers of playoff or World Series contenders.
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