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The San Diego Monitor

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Local group gives Barbie a ‘natural hair’ makeover

Sanders in talks on mayors’ role in schools

By Maureen Magee Union-Tribune tarting what he called “an uncomfortable discussion,” Mayor Jerry Sanders helped launch a statewide conversation on mayoral involvement in schools Wednesday during the first in a series of California forums hosted by former Washington, D.C. education Chief Michelle Rhee. Rhee brought her controversial brand of reform to a packed house at the University of San Diego, where she advocated for parent empowerment and the need to abolish “last in, first out” seniority-based union hiring rules — issues she said local parents and educators have contacted her about since she started her nonprofit organization, StudentsFirst, a year ago. Mostly Rhee recounted some of the struggles she had running the then-abysmal Washington, D.C. schools and the resistance she met with unions and others who dubbed her “dragon lady,” or “teacher terminator.” She also shared stories of poor performing schools that made dramatic improvements. “The first thing we have to do is make schools have a more welcoming environment,” she told the crowd that was heavy with StudentsFirst members. By SARA PAUFF - daughter, Imani, Rhee was made famous after she was featured in “Waiting Candace McBride remembers wanting a isn’t into Barbie For Superman,” the 2010 documentary that painted grimshe does Barbie doll as a girl. “It’s kind of an iconic yet,a but picture of American schools and showcased inovative charter“She’s doll. Every girl wants a Barbie. I wanted a like dolls. schools. Barbie when I was a girl,” she said. This into baby dolls. She wants nudge to more mayors gettingI’ll involved Christmas, she’stohoping give a fewinto girls brush her hair with schools even—though assigns their own Barbies ones California’s that look a constitution little and she’ll brush power more like over them.local education to elected school boards. her doll’s hair,” McBride is is part of anitsAfrican-American The issue making way into the San Diego shemayor’s said. “She natural that meets regularly at the offering wantsvague to do what race, hair with group candidates and other city officials Columbus decided give sees me promisespublic to takelibrary on thethat issue. Earliertothis year, a she well-funded Barbie to girlstheatfive-member Booker T. Washington d o to i n ginclude .”Gladys effortdolls to expand city school board apartments for Christmas. Though Barbie Griffin, the owner four appointed members failed to make the ballot. comes“This in 50 is different nationalities,discussion...because most of the of the an uncomfortable weMain all Street dolls, even the African-Americans ones have Toy Shop, said have different ideas about this,” said Sanders, who will straight hair. “When you look for dolls, they all her shop doesn’t leave office at the end of next year due to term limits. “I have straight hair,” she said, adding that she’s carry Barbie dolls,a review but thatofdolls stillcharter, remainwhich dictates the elections rules the city don’t think any of us think education is working perfectly noticed that many of the dolls also have blue or popular, even withfor thethe advent highschool tech toys. San of Diego board. Mayoral candidate and righteyes. now.“It’s Either there is not enough it’s in the green tricky even to find ones money with or“Grandmothers have been buying dollsFletcher (for plans to announce his educaAssemblyman Nathan wrong place...” brown eyes,” she said.She found an online their grandchildren) Griffin said. tionfor planyears,” by February. Sacramento Kevin Johnson, Rhee’s husband, modtutorial that uses Mayor pipe cleaners and boiling “They definitely handThe them down.” McBrideSchool District has partnered with San Diego Unified erated the event. panel included curls. two well-regarded teachwater to give BarbieAnatural-looking said they chose Barbie to give as a gift because the city on some issues, such as the downtown library project ers, who both received layoff—notices last year After they collect the dolls they want to and of were her iconic status and the number of accesthat will house a district charter school. However, city offieventually parent advocate Smith.she comes with. gather about hired 40 —back; groupand members will giveSallysories cials have largely steered clear of getting involved in the polithem “I’m a natural hairpanelist makeover before givingan English in,” said Jessica Graham, teacher Barbie can be anything, she said. According cies and management of the state’s second-largest district. them to the girls. wanted to show the girls to the her Barbie website, the doll has had more at Kearny High“We School, whose students rallied around Should that change?1 bilthatwhen basically, it’s okay thenotice way last Godyear. made than 108 and worn approximately she received layoff “Something hascareers to San Diego Unified Superintendent Bill Kowba, who you,” said Teacher Jennifereffectivness Henderson,and a member of to count.” lion fashions since her premiere in 1959. change. merrit has wasand in the audience Wednesday with others from the disthe group. Henderson said her 2-year-old “They can diversify change accessories,” StudentsFirst is on tour along with the California Mayors trict, said he welcomes any new interest in helping schools Education Roundtable, with stops planned in Los Angeles, from City Hall. Fresno, San Jose and Sacramento. “I don’t look at this as a threat, I look at it as new discus“At the end of the listening session, we will be making a sions to be had,” Kowba said. “I’m curious.” determiniation of what our next step is (and) make the deterMore mayors are assuming new influence of their school mination of entering California or not.” systems, mostly in cities with underperforming districts in the A year old, StudentsFirst claims nearly 900,000 members Midwest and on the East Coast. In 2006, Los Angeles was — 130,000 in California and roughly 12,000 in San Diego the fist city west of Chicago to get authority over schools County — and has worked in several states on education after state legislation was passed. After the law was chalreform laws. lenged and ruled unconstitutional, the mayor scaled back his Even so, the issue is making its way into the San Diego role in education. mayor’s race, with candidates and other city officials offering Joseph P. Viteritti, a public policy professor at Hunter vague promises to take on the issue. Earlier this year, a wellCollege in New York who studies shifts in school governance funded effort to expand the five-member city school board to nationwide, said mayoral control of schools does not always include four appointed members failed to make the ballot. lead to improved student performance. He said the change in City Council President Tony Young has vowed to call for oversight is usually driven by frustration over failing schools


— something he said San Diego is not known for. However, he said mayors who have the ability to appoint someone to run a district, as Rhee was in 2007, tend to break through the sludge of red tape and burecracy that can slow the pace of changes in big districts. “The record has been rather mixed,” Viteritti said in a recent interview. “And people don’t feel like they have the access to city hall that they do to the school district.” More mayors are assuming new influence of their school systems, mostly in cities with underperforming districts in the Midwest and on the East Coast. In 2006, Los Angeles was the fist city west of Chicago to get authority over schools after state legislation was passed. After the law was challenged and ruled unconstitutional, the mayor scaled back his role in education. Joseph P. Viteritti, a public policy professor at Hunter College in New York who studies shifts in school governance nationwide, said mayoral control of schools does not always lead to improved student performance. He said the change in oversight is usually driven by frustration over failing schools — something he said San Diego is not known for. However, he said mayors who have the ability to appoint someone to run a district, as Rhee was in 2007, tend to break through the sludge of red tape and burecracy that can slow the pace of changes in big districts. “The record has been rather mixed,” Viteritti said in a recent interview. “And people don’t feel like they have the access to city hall that they do to the school district.”

Downtown vs. Our Communities, (Balance?) Brian Pollard For years our community/District has been trying to get some traction within the City to improve our quality of life to no avail. Every community south of 8 seems to have the same problem, all of the financial, political, support services and attention has been directed to the downtown areas and areas north of 8. There has even been a book written on this topic, “Paradise Plundered Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego” (whose authors will be guest at the Catfish Club Friday January 6, 2012 Program 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM). Numerous articles about how a new stadium, enlarged Convention Center, new library, etc. Will “…financially help the entire city…” Well I have been here all of my life and I have yet to

see tangible data that supports this. I have asked for this data numerous times and I have done some searching myself and have yet to see hard, raw data which would support this contention, or theory. Isn’t this called “trickle down economics”? I wonder if the “downtown folks” ever heard of the word “balance”. Look I understand how important Tourism is to our City, I also understand the emotional importance of having a pro football team in our city, and I also understand the importance of our downtown area being a major business entity. I believe pothole free roads, building improvements; safety issues in our community are just as important. In my recent memory, almost all of the growth has been in the downtown area and we

in the other communities are struggling to have our streets potholes free, our capital improvement projects are still dismal, and our re-development projects are almost non-existent. We have re-defined the word “blighted” to apply to our downtown area, we have expanded the Enterprise Tax Zone, (a tax incentive program designed to encourage business activity in low income areas) to include the downtown area, the tip in the scales go on and on…. It is time for the pendulum to begin swinging in the opposite direction. It is time for attention to be better balanced towards our communities rather than to the downtown area. David Alvarez the Councilperson for the 8th District was interviewed by the Voice of San Diego recently and apparently he is the “lone wolf” bringing these topics up within City Hall. He actually is “pushing back” against the traditional downtown thinking and is sticking up for his community. Very refreshing and courageous. I hope he stays strong and

doesn’t get ‘punished” for speaking the truth. I like David, and I also like the type of Councilperson he is becoming. God bless him. I believe in collaboration, balance and data and I have seen very little in this debate on the importance of improving downtown versus the lower income areas south of 8. I believe we at least deserve an explanation and perhaps a plan on how, when downtown is fully developed, and when CCDC no longer exits, the tax increment dollars are divided among us “peons”, so we can start seeing some real development in our communities. Again I understand the importance of downtown but come on folks, you’re killing me! Keep in mind issues that have been outlined here when our next election comes around. Is there talk about “spreading the money and influence around to other parts of the City?” Or just downtown? For me that is going to be a major factor in my voting! The last I checked we still have a voice in our own future…….don’t we?

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Positive editorial:

What We Can Do to Help Our Friends, Neighbors, and Business Associates I solemnly promised that I would write positive editorials this coming year. I want to be clear that this does not mean that I will not continue to discuss the topics that affect our community, be they negative or positive. In my opinion, the Turko Files represent a positive message for San Diego, even though many of Turko’s clients may see it as just the opposite. But the fact remains that the investigations return positive results, and that’s what I hope will happen with my editorials as well. One thing I would like to talk about is the upcoming mayoral race. For those that wish to know, I was a campaigner for Jerry Sanders, our present mayor. I think he could have done a better job for our city, but like our president, he inherited a city that had a great many problems. The pension plan, for example, is a problem I am not sure will ever be truly solved. I was disappointed to hear on the news that the state of California is bringing many of the redeveloping agencies to a halt. My Black brothers and sisters, when we sit around and do nothing for years and don’t complete any redevelopment projects in our own community, it’s a bad omen for the future. When White Americans begin to second guess where they will get money for their projects, Black entrepreneurs need not apply. Now that the state has canceled that redevelopment money and sent it elsewhere, we Black Americans can put our little redeveloping ideas back in the drawer and out of the way. One must also ask what are we going to do with all of the military men and women coming back from war? The economy is already on a downward spiral, I am receiving bad news around the nation each day with businesses and manufacturing units either closing or cutting back on employees and production. Are we really hearing the truth about this economy? Are we really hearing the truth about this recession? I think that we African Americans have been the last to really notice the extent of this recession, since for us times are tough all of the time. We are probably experiencing up to 30 – 40% unemployment. Blacks represent the unemployed as well as the unemployable. And this year we will be faced with electing a new mayor. Whoever is elected to that office is going to inherit a new mayoral-based government where

EDITORIAL he or she is separated from the city council. I don’t see us receiving very much from this new structure, especially now that the redevelopment agencies are dying. When we fail to use our opportunities to put Blacks in business when times are good, we can further see how devastating it is now that times are hard. The directors of these programs are no longer able to further the development of Black businesses. So what possibly can the new mayor do? It is our hope that the new mayor will be sensitive to the needs of the Black community. With the redevelopment dollars being canceled, it will be very tough on whoever becomes the new leader of this beautiful city. I am suggesting that the Black leaders reassess their support, their need, and their responsibility to aid the businesses of this community. We have lost over 75% of Black minority businesses in the last 15-20 years. There is something terribly wrong of even under the redevelopment agencies, these businesses still failed. This community has been going through a recession for many years; it didn’t just start for us. I am sure you will see a step up in marketing for the mayoral race in the coming weeks. Now, we are going to have to make the choice in favor of what is best for our community. Until Next Week, Willie Morrow

Martin Luther King Jr. Drama “The Mountaintop”, Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, Opens on Broadway The Mountaintop, Katori Hall's Olivierwinning play examining the final hours of of the life of Martin Luther King Jr., opens at Broadway's Jacobs Theatre on October 13. Directed by Kenny Leon and starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, the limited engagement runs through January 15, 2012. A slew of celebrities and politicians are expected among the first-night crowd including Alicia Keys, Spike Lee, Liev Schreiber, Gayle King, Magic Johnson, Gabourey Sidibe, Mayor Cory Booker, Anthony Mackie, Al Roker, Christina Ricci, Phylicia Rashad, Cicely Tyson, Ruby Dee, Congressman Charles Rangel, Courtney B. Vance, Star Jones, S. Epatha Merkerson, Rev. Al

Sharpton, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Pauletta Washington, Debbie Allen, Ben Vereen, Joel Grey, Lily Rabe, Julian Bond, Nelsan Ellis, Tracy Reese, Harry Belafonte and more. Taking place on April 3, 1968, The Mountaintop is a reimagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (Jackson). After delivering his legendary “I've Been to the Mountaintop” speech, an exhausted Dr. King retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis while a storm rages outside. When a mysterious maid (Bassett) delivers room service, King is forced to confront his past, as well as his legacy to his people.

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6 years later, Katrina victims fight FEMA debts NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- When the Federal Emergency Management Agency mailed out 83,000 debt notices this year to victims of Hurricane Katrina and other 2005 storms, one of the letters showed up in David Bellinger's mailbox. Bellinger, who is blind, needed a friend to read it and break the news that FEMA wants him to pay back more than $3,200 in federal aid he received after Katrina. "I nearly had a stroke," recalls the 63-yearold, who moved to Atlanta after the storm wrecked his New Orleans home. "I'm totally blind. I subsist entirely on a Social Security disability check. If I have to pay this money back, it would pretty much wipe out all the savings I have." Many other Gulf Coast hurricane victims are in the same position, angry and frustrated at the prospect of repaying money they spent years ago as they tried to rebuild their lives. FEMA is seeking to recover more than $385 million it says was improperly paid to victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. The debts, which average about $4,622 per recipient, represent slightly less than 5 percent of the roughly $8 billion that FEMA distributed after the storms. At least some of the overpayments were due to FEMA employees' own mistakes, ranging from clerical errors to failing to interview applicants, according to congressional testimony. But the agency says it is required by law to make an effort to recover improper payments, even if the recipient wasn't at fault. Last week, however, Congress approved legislation that would allow FEMA to waive many of the debts. President Barack Obama signed the measure -part of a $1 trillion spending package -- into law last Friday. FEMA spokeswoman Rachel Racusen said the agency is reviewing the law's provisions and developing a plan to implement them. It remains to be seen how many recipients of FEMA money could benefit from the change. Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat who sponsored the provision, said disaster victims shouldn't be punished because FEMA was "dysfunctional."

"They have significantly improved the process," Landrieu said. "This is very unlikely to happen again." Racusen said the agency has implemented "strong protections" to avoid making improper payments, reducing its error rate from about 14 percent after Katrina to less than 1 percent for more recent disasters. "We have also worked to significantly improve the recoupment process so that it is more understandable and provides due process for both disaster survivors and taxpayers," she said in a statement. FEMA's collection efforts aren't limited to the 2005 storms. The agency has mailed out more than 6,000 debt letters to survivors of other recent disasters, including floods. Approximately 2,500 recipients, including 930 victims of the 2005 hurricanes, have appealed their debt notices. FEMA says about 30 percent of those appeals successfully erased at least some of the debt. Recipients also can ask for a waiver due to economic hardship. "It is important for any individual who has received a recoupment notice to know that these letters are the start of a conversation with FEMA, not the end," Racusen said. This isn't the first time Bellinger has tangled with FEMA over funds he received to pay for renting an apartment in Atlanta. He was a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit over the agency's decision to end housing subsidies for storm victims and its efforts to recover alleged overpayments. FEMA later paid more than $2.6 million to settle the claims. That case had also delayed the debt collection process that Bellinger and other storm victims are now facing. Before the settlement, a federal judge in New Orleans ordered FEMA to suspend the effort in 2007 while it drew up new guidelines for the recoupment process. FEMA reinstituted the process earlier this year. "What a way to celebrate Christmas, knowing I've got another FEMA battle on my hands," Bellinger said last week. After Bellinger moved to Atlanta, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development covered some but not all of his

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rent. He says he relied on FEMA's aid to make up the difference. FEMA claims he received a duplication of benefits, but Bellinger said the agency is mistaken. "The fault is theirs, not mine, and they have to suffer the consequences," he said. "I submitted everything they required. As far as I know, I did nothing wrong." Lubertha Haskin, a Gulfport, Miss., resident who turned 80 on Dec. 27, received about $8,000 from FEMA to repair some of Katrina's damage to her home and replace belongings. In October, FEMA sent her a debt letter that said her insurer had covered the same costs, a claim Haskin denies. Haskin said she hadn't heard from the agency in five years and never suspected she could have to pay back the money. "I was knocked for a loop," she said. "I don't have that kind of money. I have a lot of doctor's bills and other bills to pay." Law firms and legal aid groups have volun-

teered to help Haskin, Bellinger and many others challenge FEMA's recoupment efforts. "It's really unfair that the government waited this long to come after this lady," said Haskin's lawyer, Beau Cole. "They didn't deliberately do it, but the effect is the same." The New Orleans office of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, which offers free legal aid, has fielded more than 100 calls since September from people who want to challenge their FEMA recoupment letter. Rowena Jones, a lawyer for the group, said she hasn't seen the appeals process yield any "actual results." "Our clients just don't seem to be getting a fair opportunity to contest the notices and get a hearing on it," she said. The provision signed into law last week allows FEMA to completely waive the debt for somebody who earns less than $90,000 a year if the money was mistakenly awarded due to an error by FEMA. A debt involving fraud cannot be waived. Racusen said FEMA is "committed to applying the law to the fullest extent possible." U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the recoupment process is flawed. Many debt letters have been returned as "undeliverable," meaning some people moved and don't even know they owe money, he said. "Most of these individuals went through a lot of trauma," Thompson said. "For our government to all of a sudden say, 'We made a mistake, you owe us money,' that's not how it should be done."

Ida B. Wells to be honored with sculpture in Chicago CHICAGO (AP) -- For six decades, civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells was woven into the fabric of Chicago's South Side as the namesake of a public housing project. A Rosa Parks-like figure during her era, the journalist and suffragist was so revered that 1930s leaders put her name on a project that promised good, affordable housing for working class families. Within a few decades, however, the homes deteriorated, growing more violent and becoming riddled with gangs and drugs -- not as notorious as the city's Cabrini-Green public housing high rises or Robert Taylor Homes, but certainly not a monument to Wells' legacy. Then, nearly a decade ago, the city tore the Wells housing project down, leaving the activist's greatgranddaughter Michelle Duster and her family worried Wells wouldn't be remembered at all. Now, to mark the 150th anniversary of Wells' birth in 2012, an effort is under way to build a sculpture to honor her legacy at the site of the housing development and renew her relevance for future generations. "When the housing project was coming down we were like 'Her name is going to be gone,'" Duster said, sitting in her South Side home, a portrait of her greatgrandmother hanging on the wall. "Her name and what she did can't be lost with the housing project." The Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee is seeking $300,000 in donations after commissioning noted Chicago artist Richard Hunt to create the sculpture, which is expected to combine images of Wells with inscriptions of her writings. While Wells' name endures on a grade school and a professorship in the city, the monument will aim to reflect the full legacy of a woman who was born into slavery in Mississippi and went on to become a wellrespected crusader against injustice and outspoken anti-lynching activist. Orphaned at age 16, Wells was left to support her five siblings. She became a teacher and moved to Memphis, where she sued a railroad because she wasn't allowed to sit in the ladies coach. When she later became a journalist, Wells wrote about that incident and the lynchings of three of her male friends. Her writings enraged others and led to Wells being forced to leave the South. She kept writing and speaking about lynching across the U.S. and England. She died in 1931 and is buried in Chicago. Planning for the Ida B. Wells Homes started three years after her death, as a project of the Public Works Administration. The homes opened in 1941 and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the complex, with its 1,662 units -- more than 860 apartments and nearly 800 row houses and garden apartments. By the 1990s, the housing complex had fallen to drugs and violence. In an infamous 1994 case, two boys, ages 10 and 11, dropped a 5-year-old boy to his death from a vacant 14-floor apartment. The boys were convicted on juvenile murder charges. The same year two neighborhood teenagers produced an awardwinning radio documentary "Ghetto Life 101," which aired on National Public Radio.

A year later, prosecutors charged seven people with running a cocaine ring out of the Ida B. Wells Homes that authorities say did such booming business drug buyers lined up 50 at a time. By 2002, the last buildings were torn down in a nationally watched urban renewal plan initiated by then-Mayor Richard Daley that also targeted other housing projects -- including Cabrini-Green, which saw the last of its high-rises crumble under wrecking balls earlier this year. As Wells Homes residents focused on finding new places to live, some also requested something be done in tribute to the activist. "I want people to remember Ida B. Wells the woman, not Ida B. Wells the housing community," her great-granddaughter, Duster, said. "Something should be done to remember who she was. I think who she was as a woman got lost when it was attached to the housing projects." When the money is raised, that something will be a sculpture in the middle of a large grassy median on 37th Street and Langley Avenue in the historically African-American neighborhood of Bronzeville on the city's South Side. The site, across the street from a large park, isn't far from the 19th-century stone house where Wells lived from 1919 to 1929. The Ida B. Wells-Barnett House is now a National Historic Landmark. Hunt envisions a sculpture in his metallic, freeform style that will incorporate images and writings of Wells. He said he hopes to convey "what a courageous and intelligent and committed person that she was." Carol Adams, president of Chicago's DuSable Museum of African-American History, said the sculpture will be a lasting monument to Wells and a place where people can learn about her influence. The neighborhood is already home to the Ida B. Wells Preparatory Elementary Academy, and Chicago's DePaul University has a professorship named for Wells. "Her name itself just reverberates through the community," said Adams, who once worked in the Ida B. Wells Homes. "It was her voice, her stance that she took regarding lynching and how she used the media to wage that fight, what that fight meant to us. This was very significant for black people all over the country." Duster said the sculpture will "have a lot of meaning" for those who lived in the homes named after her.

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NY neighbors plan vigil in memory of torched woman NEW YORK (AP) -- Deloris Gillespie was a fun-loving, fast-talking mother of four who helped anyone she could in her Brooklyn neighborhood and at the post office where she worked for years. "She was a funny person, and she made people happy," said Violet Young, a former coworker. Neighbors planned a vigil Tuesday to remember Gillespie, who died Saturday when an attacker sprayed gasoline on her and set her ablaze in the elevator of her apartment building. Her funeral is planned for after Christmas, according to City Council member Letitia James, speaking on behalf of the family. Flower bouquets and candles graced the entrance to the six-story apartment building where the 73-year-old woman lived, on a quiet street lined with brownstones in Brooklyn's Prospect Heights neighborhood. Young said Gillespie worked nights sorting mail at a postal facility in Brooklyn's East New York neighborhood. She worshipped at the Brotherhood Baptist Church a few blocks from her home. She was also active in community affairs, helping organize celebrations including those for Martin Luther King Day. And she would attend community council meetings to try to keep crime out of a neighborhood that is becoming highly gentrified, with younger professionals moving into buildings like the one on Underhill Avenue where Gillespie lived since the 1960s, neighbors said. The Postal Service did not immediately return calls inquiring about Gillespie's employment, nor did the American Postal Workers Union. The man accused of killing Gillespie, Jerome Isaac, was often seen at her apartment last year doing odd jobs, coming and going at various hours, said Jaime Holguin, who lives on the same floor as Gillespie. Holguin, the manager of news development for The Associated Press, said he saw surveillance pictures of the attacker and was certain

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3rd Day Of Kwanzaa Is Ujima; Collective Work And Responsibility In Swahili Ujima Was The Theme On December Thursday 29th 2011 Hosted By The Buthcer Family Guest Speaker Louticia Grier Gave Her Key To Cooperative Economics As She Saw It. Louticia Grier Is One Of The Most Successful Beauty Entrepreneur's In San Diego.

Jerome Isaac Isaac was the man who had worked for Gillespie. Early this year, he stopped coming to the building, Holguin said. Isaac told police he set her on fire because she owed him $2,000, authorities have said. She reportedly believed he was stealing items from her home. According to the criminal complaint, Isaac doused her with gasoline as the elevator opened to the fifth floor. She crouched and cowered, with the grocery bags draped off her arms. Isaac then pulled out a barbecue-style lighter, authorities said, and used it to ignite a rag in a bottle. He waited a few seconds as Gillespie huddled on the floor. Then he backed out of the elevator and tossed the flaming bottle in, authorities said. Gillespie died of burns and smoke inhalation. She is survived by one daughter and three sons, James said. Isaac was arraigned Monday in Brooklyn criminal court, charged with murder and arson. He appeared in court with the left side of his face blistered and burned, his upper lip swollen. He is being held without bail in Gillespie's death. His lawyer requested solitary confinement and medical attention but did not speak outside court.

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A NEW DAY, A NEW YEAR, AND A NEW DAWN OF WHAT COULD BE THE END OF GOP POLITICS After a full long week, of what could have been a $1,000 disaster in our taxes this new year, today 160 million Americans are quietly celebrating the fall of GOP politics. With strategic political messaging done by the Democrats and unwavering leadership by our President, they put an end to the dictatorship of the GOP in the House and saved Christmas for us all. But now Republicans are faced with a new problem: Who will be the new GOP face in the presidential primaries? One day away from the Iowa caucuses and the GOP is falling apart—Iowans are still dumbfounded on who will serve the GOP, justifiably, and defeat our President. Iowa, like Florida during the 2000 elections, could really determine the fate of the GOP and its politics everywhere, but after what’s been happening in the last few months—sex accusations, super PAC controversies, political back stabbing, dirty laundry and “baggage”—I really do not blame them. I too would like to know who is fake, and who is not? What began as a promising year for the GOP is now turning out to be a promising failure. Mitt Romney, who pledges himself to be a conservative, is still behind in the polls because of his indecisive past on conservative issues. Newt Gingrich, who once surged in the polls, is now losing dramatically from the public outrage of his political “baggage” he left in Congress—siding with Nancy Pelosi on Global Warming, blackmailing members of Congress, and his affairs with multiple women. Ron Paul, who seems to be a likely candidate to win Iowa, is now becoming too radical for the GOP. Michelle Bachman, who is still behind the polls, may now have to reconsider her affiliation with the Tea Party, because they did not help her at all—she is

the chairman of the Tea Party caucus in Congress and she hasn’t won any state. Herman Cain, who once captivated the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere with his business savvy talk, has now dropped out because he can’t keep his ego inside his pants; and Rick Perry, who once held the record of the highest job creation in his state of Texas, now holds the highest “political flubs” on national television. So now we are left with John Huntsman and Rick Santorum and neither of them have a good standing in the polls. Truly, what we are seeing here is the implosion of the GOP, and the agents of its destruction are none other than themselves. When Elephants get in the mud, they really know how to get themselves dirty. But again what ever happens in Iowa, will change GOP politics forever and may even destroy it as well. For the first time the GOP may have to overlook religion in order to achieve fiscal conservatism or vice versa.

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Just Keeping It Real With Angela Harris Relationship Coversations OMNILOGUE© - “All of us communicating with each other, so that we all come to a collective understanding, so that we all work toward the same goal.” ©

The Upside of Being Black “What is RIGHT with Black people, and how do we use this wedge of success to build ourselves up?” Black people may well be the most powerful people on the face of the earth. I haven’t been everywhere, but I read a lot and talk to people from all over the place. There are a lot of stories and a lot of history of humans on this planet. Many of us have suffered a great deal at the hands of others of us. Few, however, have suffered the level, length and breadth of atrocities that Africans have in the western hemisphere. What is amazing is that we Africans have not only survived these atrocities – for centuries – but that we have consistently and persistently reasserted our humanity and our power as a people. As Maya Angelou so perfectly put it, no matter what they do to us, “Like dust, [we] rise.” Whether heinous imperialism of colonization by Europeans and others on the African continent, or the effects of mass kidnapping and slavery in the Americas at the hands of Europeans/Americans – WE ARE STILL HERE! The 21st Century poses some serious problems for Africans, whether on the African continent, or in the Diaspora like those of us here in the United States. Neo(new)-colonialism takes on the form of low wage jobs at businesses owned by people who do not have our interests at heart. It also is found in the economic enslavement of Africans on the continent of Africa by foreign powers who “buy” great swaths of land from post-colonial governments, and set up foreign corporations who employ some Africans at low wage jobs and keep the management and the profits to themselves. The question I want to raise for you is this: How will we rise above these conditions this time? Previous generations have fought so that there would be some of us left to continue the fight. NOW IT’S OUR TURN! My greatest concern is that African people have been so integrated into the powerfully destructive “Western”, “European/American”, or “White” culture, that we may not see the critical role Africans must play in the restoration of the balance and harmony to humanity and the Earth. The upside of being Black is that you and I have the legacy and responsibility that has been passed on to us by our Ancestors – indeed, the ancestors of all humanity. The upside of being Black is that you have been given the power and the incredible ability to change the world and make it better. Let’s continue this discussion at my Wordpress blogsite: Love Your Neighbor. CMH [Get Up Stand Up – Bob Marley]

Sisters stop limiting yourself to black men Okay here we go I know some of you right now are ready to lynch me. How dare I make such a statement? And the better question is, how dare I not? This is not an article that condemns or shuns black men. As a matter of record black women have been more loyal, when it comes to relationships, for preferring, dating, and marrying black men than black men have. I spend quite a bit of time with black women who are looking for, praying for, and waiting for the right black man to enter her life, while all the while possibly missing out on a good man from another ethnicity. Ladies I just want to say that I give you’re the right to be happy, I give you the right to pursue longevity, I demand that you look out for yourself and realize that love and relationships If you have questions you would are not limited to one ethnic group but that like your coun- like answered or topics discussed, terparts can be found in many hues, sizes, shapes, and geo- please send all questions to locations (not meaning the prison system). If we just look at the competing elements sisters are up ris or email: against today, for those who want to remain loyal to black or men, it is staggering. Ladies you are competing with other twitter@KeepingitealAH. For more articles women of other ethnicities, homosexuality, incarceration, www.keepingitrealwithangela and the fact that more women are born than men which, says already that there isn’t an equal ratio for a man for every woman of their particular ethnic group and this is across the board, maybe more so for black women. In 2012 as women pursue happiness sisters you ought to do the same. You should set your standards and stick to them. Stop lowering them just to obtain a black man to say you have a black man. The reality is a piece of a black man is not better than having no man at all. Yes ladies encourage our black men, love our black men, speak well of our black men, and applaud them every chance you get while all the while refusing to be ignored, disrespected, mistreated, and cast aside. Say to yourselves you desire the best that is out there and accept that the best right now might be someone of another ethnic group. You are a beautiful creature, a gift from God, an individual to be loved, adored, pampered, and yes even taken care of and if a black man is not willing or available to honor those attributes then MOVE ON. In 2012 ladies the best is yet to come in your life. The best is yet to come in your careers. The best is yet to come by way of friends and opportunities. Don’t be afraid to embrace 2012 with excitement and expectation. Open yourselves up to new adventures, new acquaintances, and new possibilities. Let me let you in on a little secret men of other ethnic groups find you wonderful, beautiful women desirable women and are really amazed that your counterparts are snapping you up like the precious jewel you are. So I say to you as you head into 2012 celebrate you, toast yourselves tonight ladies and prepare yourself because the best in your life is yet to come!! Happy New Year.

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After contentious summer, Black Caucus finds harmony with Obama After a contentious summer, it seems the Congressional Black Caucus has found harmony with President Barack Obama. In August, CBC members like Rep. Maxine Waters of California and John Conyers of Michigan were declaring that the White House needed to do more to address high unemployment in the black community. Waters specifically called for "targeted" programs that would directly help struggling black families. There was an air of combativeness in the tone of comments coming out of the CBC's multi-city "for the people" jobs tour. Now, the tone has changed. Last Thursday, the Congressional Black Caucus sent out an email blasting Senate Republicans for blocking the confirmation of President Barack Obama's choice to head the new consumer protection agency created under the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. It was among several recent emails from the CBC, most signed by its chairman, Emanuel Cleaver (D-Ohio), attacking congressional Republicans for blocking the president's priorities. The email came within days of a White House press call in which senior administration officials pitched a report by the National Economic Council that outlining how a failure to confirm Richard Cordray would tie the hands of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); and a Wednesday conference call with reporters in which Cleaver and Richmond, Virginia mayor Dwight Jones rallied behind Cordray's nomination and pitched the "importance of Cordray's confirmation to protect African American consumers." The symmetry of messaging between the White House and the CBC is just one sign of a warmer relationship. Early in the Obama administration, some black caucus members grumbled about a lack of access to the White House; ironic in the wake of the election of the country's first black president. The White House downplays any talk of difficult relations with the CBC. "We have always had a good working relationship with members of the CBC," Senior Adviser to the President Valerie Jarrett told

theGrio. "We had a terrific relationship with [Rep.] Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) when she was the chair, and we have a terrific relationship with Chairman Cleaver." But Jarrett acknowledged that there have been tense moments between the White House and some members of the CBC in the past. "I think that's fair to say," Jarrett said. But she said those tensions grew out of the frustrations the members were hearing from their constituents about the economy. "They were hearing questions in the community about what is the administration was doing" with regard to jobs, Jarrett said. "We needed to give them a more robust briefing, and that has happened now." "I think that there are several of the members who were feeling like they weren't completely up to speed on everything the president is doing to help the African-American community," Jarrett said. "But I think their comfort level has increased." Cleaver called the stories of tension "both perception and reality," but agreed that the cause was the economy. "There was no personal animosity between anyone in the CBC and the president,"

Cleaver said. "What you heard and saw [this summer] was some members in the CBC pressing the frustration of their constituents," Cleaver said. "People point to the tumultuous meeting we had in [at a CBC town hall in] Detroit, during which Congressman Conyers and Congresswoman Waters were very very clear about their desire to have the president give attention to black unemployment, because of its high intolerable level. And we were in Detroit, where unemployment is at 40 percent. So it was required that people speak in emotional tones because the people were angry, and probably still are." Cleaver said he believes the White House "heard the message" from Detroit. And he pointed to what he calls a shift in policy after the summer as indication that, "I think they understand." "We didn't do the jobs initiative to put the president in a bad light," said a CBC official who spoke to theGrio on condition of anonymity. "We were shining a light on an issue that was being ignored by everybody, from the congress on. There was no strategy to

be harsh or confrontational, but unfortunately, when you're dealing with double-digit unemployment since the recession, the members felt the pain and the passion from the community, and that sparked a couple of moments that will go down in history." The official said the outcome of the jobs tour drama has been good, in that it produced a national conversation on jobs, and that while the American Jobs Act being debated in Congress lacks the direct targeting of AfricanAmericans that Waters and other CBC members wanted, members' ideas made it into the proposal. "A lot of the policies that would be put in place if congress would consider [the Jobs Act] would greatly affect the African-American community and low income Americans," the official said. "So the tour accomplished what it set out to do, which is shine a light on these issues and bring them to a table." Cleaver agreed, saying that by summer's end, the dynamics between the White House and the CBC changed. "After the summer, the president focused like a laser on jobs and I think that excited the CBC, the [House Hispanic caucus], organized labor and other components of the Democratic base." Referring to the American Jobs Act, Cleaver said, "this is what we want, this is what we need." "I don't want to say that the CBC pushed the White House into doing that, but the CBC certainly made it a national discussion piece." Cleaver acknowledged that election year politics, and Republican intransigence, also played a role. "Make no mistake, when we moved into the fall, and began to listen to the tone of things [from the GOP,] we clearly made it known that we were going to be with the president. In fact, I went to a meeting and said to the president, 'Mr. President, 42 of the 43 members of the CBC are irreversibly committed to your reelection," the 43rd being Republican Congressman Allen West of Florida. Jarrett dismissed politics as a consideration Continued on page 16


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CAUCUS Continued on page 15 in the White House's stepped up outreach to the CBC and to black media and activists -- including a releasing a report on how its policies have benefited black communities, and a conference at the White House to brief black community leaders last month. Instead, Jarrett said the administration is simply making a third-year shift, from problem solving and focusing on the immediate crises that faced the president upon taking office, to touting the administration's policy successes. "The president is stepping up telling the story of our accomplishments," Jarrett said. "In that sense you see a shift just by nature of the fact that we have three years under our belt. In the beginning, we were developing our story by rolling up our sleeves," on such things as accelerated payments to small businesses doing business with the federal government, education reform, the Pigford settlement with black farmers, and healthcare reform, which Jarrett said would result in 8 million more AfricanAmericans having access to health insurance. Jarrett called the White House report "a good opportunity for us to do what the CBC had been telling us to do; which was tell our story, so they could go home and tell our story as well. I think in first two years we didn't do as good a job as we could have at that, since we were busy doing the work. But it's a good story of progress." Jarrett pointed to increased contact between the two sides, saying Cleaver will bring a group of black business leaders to the White House this week to meet with the president and "talk about what we can do to grow the economy," and touted past and future meetings between caucus members and herself, Attorney General Eric holder, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan as further evidence that the two sides enjoy an open line of communication. Cleaver, too, touted meetings he has held with Jarrett, and with Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Executive Directorr Patrick Gaspard, the former White House political director, and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley. "Those discussions were aimed at making

“I think that there are several of the members who were feeling like they weren't completely up to speed on everything the president is doing to help the African-American community," Jarrett said. "But I think their comfort level has increased.� sure there is no light between the president and the CBC because our issues surrounding jobs have nothing do to with whether we support the president. We do." "I do think there were members of the CBC who were looking to have a closer working relationship with the White House and I think that's something that we welcome, and have reached out accordingly," Jarrett said. "We've come a long way," the CBC official said. "We've seen lots of things now. We've seen action. I think the members feel more included. We [and the White House are] on the same page. And at the end of the day, we're headed into 2012, and we all know who would be the best person for the job." Jarrett, however, insisted the president is focused on the economy and jobs, not the 2012 election. "What the president thinks about every morning is what are we gonna do to improve the economy and make sure when families sit around the dinner table, they can benefit from an economy that works for them. That's why we're focused on extending the payroll tax cut. We're not thinking 12 months down the road, we're thinking about the vantage point of right now, when people are struggling. Jobs are the single most important issue for AfricanAmericans and throughout the country." "The African-American population is vitally important to the overall economy and the president often talks about American dream needs to be possible for everybody. That's what the president is here fighting."

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NATURAL SKIN CARE: HOW TO HAVE CLEAR AND HEALTHY SKIN By Lady Topaz Before we take a close look at how to use principles of natural skin care to promote clear and healthy skin, please consider the following facts about your skin: You lose millions of dead skin cells every day - about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells are sloughed off of your body every minute. Over the course of your life, you will shed about 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of dead skin. Your body is constantly generating new skin cells to replace the ones that you shed off. In fact, the top layer of your skin, called your epidermis - is fully replaced about once every 30 days. Your skin accounts for as much as 15 percent of your entire body weight. Every day, about 2.5 million sweat glands in your skin secrete about 2 cups of sweat. ANATOMY OF YOUR SKIN Make no mistake about it: your skin is a complex organ, one that consists of three layers that are optimally organized to protect you against disease and injury. These layers are called your epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis, and they are described below. Epidermis The uppermost layer of your skin - the one that is in contact with the air - is called your epidermis. Your epidermis is actually composed of five different layers. The bottommost layer of your epidermis is called the basal layer, and as your basal layer produces new skin cells, they move up toward the surface, where they are eventually sloughed off as dead skin. Your epidermis houses cells called melanocytes that produce melanin, which provides some protection against ultraviolet rays, and also partly determines the color of your skin. Dermis Below your epidermis lies a thicker layer called your dermis. In contrast to your epider-

mis, which is constantly replacing itself, your dermis remains pretty much the same throughout your life. Your dermis houses a number of structures, the most prominent ones being: Blood vessels, which allow delivery of nutrients to your skin cells, removal of waste products, and transportation of specialized cells of your immune system whenever they are needed to combat an infection. Lymphatic vessels, which provide a transportation network for immune-related cells, and also balance the distribution of fluids throughout your body. Nerve endings, which allow you to sense pain, temperature changes, and different pressures and textures through your skin. Hair follicles, which are the roots of the hairs that exist throughout your scalp and skin, except on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. Sebaceous glands, which produce and secrete sebum, an oily substance that helps to protect you against infection and helps to make your skin water resistant. Sweat glands, which produce and secrete sweat. Collagen, which is a protein that gives your skin strength and flexibility. Elastin, which is a protein that gives your skin the ability to return to its original shape whenever it is manipulated. Hypodermis (Subcutaneous tissues) Below your dermis is a layer that consists mainly of fat, and is called your hypodermis or subcutaneous layer. Your hypodermis is not technically a part of your skin, but it is essential to anchoring your skin to the tissues that lie below your epidermis and dermis - these deeper tissues are usually your muscles, and sometimes your bones. Together, the three layers described above form skin that varies in thickness throughout your body. Your skin is thinnest above your eyelids, and is thickest on the heels of your feet and palms of your hands. How Your Skin Keeps You Healthy Continued on page 18


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Preparing for the New Year We are facing another year and as we approach, I hope we (you and I) take the time out to reflect on the past and make the necessary changes to move forward in the next year. Many of times I have made countless New Year’s resolutions that I had no intentions in keeping because I didn’t even PLAN to keep them. Of course in the middle of the year I blamed others for the tragedy that was happening in my life. You know you did too, just think about it. The politicians did it, the rich did it, my mommy and poppy did it or didn’t do it for that matter. To be honest I never sat down and planned where I wanted to be. Aimlessly, I thought I would just loose the weight, make the million dollars; create the next had to have invention but never really sat down to count the cost. Everything cost, there is nothing FREE in the world. You can put the spin on it any way you look at it but at the end of the day you have to do something, make some sacrifice to get the very thing that is desired in your heart. Even as we reflect on the Holidays everything that was given or received had a sacrificed to it. I am saying this to say that this time, go into 2012 with the mindset that you must Sacrifice something to get what you want. It may have to be the club, your friends, your money, your time, the alcohol, or even yourself. I have found that as I make the necessary changes to get to my goals that I have to let some people go that are very dear to my heart. I cry about it but I know if I want something different, I Have to do Something Different. My suggestion is to take the last few remaining days of 2011 and reflect, write out your plan, research how to attain your goals, make a mental note of the mentors that you are going to need to help you attain your goals, count the cost i.e. how much time, money, is it going to cost you. Note that some mentors may be unavailable to you but you can always read their books, Google them, gather information off their websites. Nothing is far fetched in these days. My high school teacher use to tell me, “Nothing Is Hard, Just Time Consuming”. Once you have made the necessary steps to ensure your success in 2012, Go party like a Rock Star! There is nothing wrong with celebrating yourself; I do it all the time. If I don’t celebrate and Love ME then how can someone else celebrate and Love me? They wouldn’t know where to start because I wouldn’t be able to show/tell them that I’m valuable and appreciate myself. Let us work on our Core this year. The core balances the body, if you have an out of balance core your life becomes out of balance. So let’s focus and get the desired results in this upcoming year. You may contact me for all your vacation needs at (619) 757-0175 or visit my website at • Your Chief Vacation Specialist: Ebony Hope Taylor

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continued from page 16 Being the largest organ in your body, your skin plays a number of critical roles in keeping you healthy, the most important ones being: Physical barrier for protection - the most important function of your skin is to prevent harmful microorganisms from entering your blood. Your skin accomplishes this through three main features: The way in which its cells are tightly organized. Regular production of sebum. The presence of large colonies of friendly bacteria that produce a number of substances that destroy unfriendly organisms - this is why using anti-bacterial soap is a bad idea. Regulator of body fluids and temperature your skin helps to regulate body fluid balance, pH balance, and your core temperature by manipulating its blood supply and sweat production. Channel for elimination of waste products through your sweat glands, your skin eliminates waste materials like urea, toxic metals, and excess lactic acid that is created by overworked muscles. Physical protection and detection of dangerous stimuli - your skin provides a layer of cushion for the rest of your body, protecting it against injury. Your skin also allows you to sense danger (hot temperatures, sharp objects, too much pressure, etc.) through sensory receptors that are located throughout your body mainly in your hands, feet, and lips. NATURAL SKIN CARE TIPS - HOW TO KEEP YOUR SKIN CLEAR AND HEALTHY Be Gentle When You Wash and Scrub Your Skin Many people are led to believe that aggressive scrubbing of their skin with a rough towel can help remove waste material and toxins from their skin. Abrasive scrubbing does not promote healthy skin; in the vast majority of cases, it actually worsens skin tone and health because it leads to damage of one or more structures in the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Your skin is well designed to cleanse itself from the inside out if your diet and lifestyle are health-promoting. Be gentle when you wash your skin, and pat-dry with a soft towel. Do Not Use Anti-Bacterial Soap Millions of friendly bacteria live on your skin; these bacteria take up room and resources, making it difficult for unfriendly bacteria to establish colonies on your skin. Friendly bacteria in your skin also produce various substances, including fatty acids, peroxides, and bacteriocins that protect you against unfriendly bacteria. Regular use of anti-bacterial soap can diminish the strength and quantity of friendly colonies of bacteria in your skin, increasing your risk of experiencing infections, including acne. Minimize Use of Soap and Hot Water Regular use of hot water and almost all types of soap can dry out your sebaceous glands, causing your skin to become dry and unhealthy. Healthy skin requires regular sebum production to promote resistance against water and microbes. A natural soap and water should be used only when necessary to remove any chemicals,

grease, gas, and oil that you are exposed to. On days when your skin has not been exposed to any of the substances mentioned above, consider washing your skin with lukewarm or cool water only; this is, after all, the way that people washed themselves for most of human history. In the winter, it is best to minimize the length of your showers and baths, and to use lukewarm water rather than hot water. Repeated use of hot water showers and baths can cause your skin to become dry and unhealthy. Minimize Exposure to Furnace Heat When you are living in dry furnace heat during colder months, your skin regularly loses water content, which can cause chronic dryness and itchiness. To combat this type of skin dryness, consider taking the following steps: Turn down the heat. Wear warm clothes and slippers to stay warm. Less exposure to dry furnace heat results in less water loss from your skin, which results in healthier skin. Hydrate your skin by taking lukewarm baths, and moisturizing as soon as you get out of the tub while your skin is in a hydrated state. Use the most natural moisturizer that you have access to - virgin coconut oil works well for most people. Take a lukewarm bath or shower only when necessary for cleansing. If you don not need to bath or shower every day, then don’t; your skin will be healthier for it. MINIMIZE USE OF MAKEUP, PERFUMES, COLOGNES, SHAVING CREAM, AND OTHER PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS AND COSMETICS THAT CONTAIN TOXIC CHEMICALS When your skin is bare, just as it is intended to be, it stands its best chance of receiving nourishment, getting cleared of waste products, breathing with your environment, and cleansing from the inside out. This is why children tend to have clear and healthy skin - they don not regularly burden their skin cells with personal care products and cosmetics that many adults are conditioned to use daily. Ironically, people who regularly burden their skin cells with a number of unnecessary personal care and cosmetic products to look “better” for society tend to look “worse” for society at a much earlier age than those who do not bother with such products. And using such products year after year further increases dependence on them to maintain a public outer shell that is emotionally acceptable to the user. The truth - and let it be heard LOUD and CLEAR: THE LESS STUFF YOU PUT ON YOUR SKIN, THE HEALTHIER AND MORE BEAUTIFUL IT WILL BE IN THE SHORT AND LONG TERM. EAT PLENTY OF WATER-RICH FOODS Healthy skin requires strong and steady blood flow, as your blood circulation brings your skin cells nourishment, and clears away waste products that your skin cells are constantly generating. Eating water-rich foods - mainly fresh vegetables and fruits - is essential to experiencing strong and steady blood flow, as the naturally occuring water, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients found in these foods all promote optimal blood circulation to your skin and throughout your body. Dark green vegetables are arguably the single best food group for promoting healthy skin via healthy blood flow, as no other food group can match the water content and pound-for-pound nutrient density of dark Continued on page 19

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TOPAZ continued from page 18 green vegetables. This is why I regularly recommend shooting for one head of romaine lettuce every day. And, if you cannot hit this target, then consider including a pure green food powder mixed with healthy liquids in your diet. E AT F OODS R ICH IN O MEGA -3 FATTY ACIDS AND FLAVONOIDS Both groups of nutrients are strongly associated with healthy blood vessels, which are essential to experiencing optimal blood flow to and from your skin cells. Healthy foods that are naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids include: Dark green leafy vegetables Raw walnuts Wild salmon Fresh or dried seaweed Freshly ground flax seeds Freshly ground hemp seeds Free-range eggs Healthy foods that are naturally rich in flavonoids include: Lettuce Acerola cherries Citrus fruits Cabbage Kale Spinach Goji beries Asparagus Lima beans Kidney beans Raw cacao ENSURE ADEQUATE INTAKE OF FOODS THAT ARE RICH IN VITAMIN A, CAROTENOIDS, AND HEALTHY FATS Vitamin A is arguably the single most important micronutrient for healthy skin, as it is needed to maintain the integrity and function of your skin cells. If your overall health is good and you regularly eat foods that are abundant in

healthy fats, then chances are good that your body is effectively synthesizing vitamin A from carotenoids found in dark green, yellow, and orange vegetables like spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes. If you have any doubt about your body’s ability to synthesize vitamin A from carotenoids, you can eat foods that contain actual vitamin A, such as organic eggs. If You Have an Autoimmune-Related Skin Challenge, Decrease or Eliminate Your Intake of Dairy and Flesh Meats Autoimmune-related skin conditions like psoriasis and vitiligo can be triggered and fueled by a number of different factors, but in almost all cases, these progressive conditions can be improved or at least halted by eating a vegetable-centered diet. It is impossible to know with certainty why this is, but it is likely that in people who are genetically predisposed to developing autoimmune illness, regular consumption of animal protein is a trigger for antigen-antibody-complex-induced inflammation. There you have it … foundation for a NEW YOU IN THE NEW YEAR! God bless each and every one of you and thank you SOOOOOOO much for your support! Have a Happy, Safe, and Healthy NEW YEAR …. Read YOU in 2012! ;-) ********************** For additional information on healthy, holistic, nutritional supplements that will assist you with your healthy lifestyle Topaz with your thoughts and/or inquiries at Topaz began practicing holistic living in 2005, first in an effort to become a better bride and gain back balance in her life. Eager to stay off of conventional medicine to ward off the effects of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis she has stayed par for the course by studying nutrition and alternative homeopathic medicine through Dr. Kevin D. Holder, and locally, Southwestern College in San Diego, California. **********************

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SEGA Brings It’s A-Game With Sonic Generations

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By Jonathan Harris, Columnist December 31, 2011 - The last time our little speedy blue friend celebrated a milestone anniversary, was his 10th for the release of Sonic Adventure 2 on SEGA’s Dreamcast. A lot has changed in the ten years since that anniversary was celebrated, the most poignant of which has been seeing SEGA get out of the hardware business and seeing Sonic do what was once unthinkable: appear on consoles made by SEGA’s former hardware competitors Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. Those appearances though, have not been anything for SEGA to boast about. Sonic release after Sonic release has been panned by both critics and gamers alike for issues like choppy gameplay, poor camera and awful controls. Games that had the little blue blur wield-

ing a sword like the Wii exclusive Sonic and the Secret Rings or the PS3 and Xbox 360 title Sonic The Hedgehog which had Sonic develop a very odd animal-human relationship, kept leaving longtime fans of the series disappointed and wondering if there was any hope for the little speed-demon to headline a decent game again. Sonic Unleashed, which was released for the Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3, saw Sonic playable as both a himself and a werehog (seriously) did a bit better with gamers and critics but largely because the bar had been set so low by previous releases. This time around, Sonic Generations attempts to remind gamers what it was that made them fall in love with Sonic in the first place, and it succeeds. That is what makes Sonic Generations somewhat bittersweet. There was an ironic solace for longtime SEGA fans in being able to say the last time SEGA made a decent Sonic title, it was for their own hardware. It seems somewhat fitting though that precisely 10 years later SEGA finally gets it right with Sonic Generations, a game designed to be a not to Sonic’s high points.

SEGA has done everything anyone could expect with Sonic Generations. They please both younger and older Sonic fans with a current spin on early 90s SEGA Genesis 2D gameplay and a newer 3D gameplay experiences that not only offers a 3D take on the 2D worlds like the classic Green Hill Zone, but also a fun 2D take on the 3D worlds like the SEGA Dreamcast classic 3D level City Escape. Sonic Generations also has some humor along the way. There are moments where newer characters attempt to talk to classic Sonic and he doesn’t answer, staying true to the fact that sonic didn’t begin to talk due to technological constraints, until recent years. There is also a moment where the character Cream comments on the length of classic Sonic’s hair, asking if he cut it, noting that classic Sonic’s spikes have also grown as he’s gotten older. Sonic Generations is an excellent title and is a much needed U-turn for SEGA’s Sonic series, because it was unquestionably headed for trouble. The only thing that would make playing this instant classic more fun, would be playing it on a SEGA console, as was the only option for the first half of the hedgehog’s 20 years.

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December 17, 2011 -Page 21

Page 22 - December 31, 2011


The San Diego Monitor

CALL For the Best legal Rates in Town 619.668.1007



6126 Benson Avenue, San Diego, CA 92114 619-262-8384 •

MINISTER DONALD R. WARNER SR. Dr.William A. Benson and First Lady Rachelle Y. Benson

Total Deliverance Worship Center Sunday 8:00 am • Sunday 10:45 am • Wednesday 7:00 pm

2774 Sweetwater Spring Blvd. Spring Valley 91977 (619) 670-6208

CALL For the Best legal Rates in Town 619.668.1007

Linda Vista Second Baptist Church 2706 Korink Avenue, San Diego, CA 92111 Tel. (858) 277-4008 / Fax (858) 277-8441 Email: “Welcome to Praise City” Weekly Order of Service Sunday: Early Morning Worship Power Hour Mid-day Worship

7:45 a.m. 9:45 a.m. 11:00 a.m.

Wednesday: Noon-Day Bible Study Evening Prayer Bible Study

12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

Dr. David C. Greene Sr. Pastor

The San Diego Monitor


December 31, 2011 - Page 23

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT #2011-035273 Fictitious Business Name SD Mobile APPS Located at: 4621 3rd St. La Mesa, CA 91941 THIS BUSINESS IS CONDUCTED BY: AN INDIVIDUAL FIRST DAY OF BUSINESS WAS: NOT YET STARTED THIS BUSINESS IS HEREBY REGISTERED BY THE FOLLOWING: DANIEL AGUSTIN 4621 3rd St. La Mesa, CA 91941 THIS STATEMENT WAS FILED WITH Ernest J. Dronenberg, Jr. Recorder/Clerk of San Diego County DEC-28-2011 This Fictitious Business Name Statement Expires DEC-28-2016 12/31/11, 1/7/12, 1/14/12, 1/21/12


CALL For the Best legal Rates in Town 619.668.1007

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