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WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2016 • VOL. 43, NO. 9 • WWW.HCCEGALITARIAN.COM • @HCC_EGALITARIAN
HCC to revamp advising see On Campus, Page 2
Texas AG Paxton not asked to resign see Community, Page 4
The Force is strong in Houston see Culture, page 9
HCC graduates over 2,500
Alyssa Foley/The Egalitarian Houston Community College-Southwest President Madeline Burillo had the interim tag taken off her position in late April. Burillo is overseeing the construction of a center of excellence focusing on manufacturing at the Stafford campus.
THE EGALITARIAN More than 2,500 Houston Community College students walked across the stage at NRG Stadium at commencement Saturday. According to college officials, HCC graduated 2,640 students and an estimated 19,000 attended the college’s graduation. The class of 2016 graduated
with associate degrees in science, arts, teaching or applied science, as well as with certificates in various workforce fields from cosmetology, welding, paralegal to public safety. “What you are accomplishing today is to be admired, it shows that you are committed and you’re up for any challenge,” said HCC Board of Trustee Chair Adriana Tamez. “This is what you deserve. Through sleepless nights,
you have gotten to this very moment,” said United Student Council President Josue Rodriguez. The speeches at commencement both recognized student’s achievements and inspired them. “You walk in a pathway of your ancestors—whatever your walk of life. You walk with a heightened dignity, you walk against all obstacles,” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson
Lee, “I don’t know the trials and tribulations that you have overcome but I know that you have gone across the bridge. No one can turn you around.” Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes was the keynote speaker at commencement. He reminded students that, “It’s not the will to win that matters, everybody has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that makes all the difference. All of you have demonstrated that you
have the will to prepare to win in the most important game of all—your life.” “After today, all of you have to redefine what winning means to you,” Rootes encouraged students to think about what their next goal will be now that they’ve graduated from HCC. Rootes told graduates to ask themselves what they love to do, “Whatever it is, pursue SEE
HCC GRADUATION, PAGE 2
Rough Ride College takes estimated $37K loss in Rodeo parking AlyssA Foley
THE EGALITARIAN Houston Community College managed to lose over $37,000 by offering rodeo parking, according to financial records obtained by The Egalitarian. HCC opened up its parking garage at the administration building at 3100 Main St., as well as parking at the Northline campus. Both locations are close to Metro Light Rail stations, which in theory would make them ideal places for to park and ride the rail to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Expenses included lot attendants and security, which were about $10.5 thousand and $11.5 thousand respectively over the 22-day period of the event which included the two rodeo cookoff days.
To park at 3100 Main cost $5, but did not include Metro fare tickets. To park at Northline cost $10 and included Metro fare tickets for everyone in the family. Even though it’s farther, Northline was the more popular location, with anywhere from 22-377 cars parking there a day. The garage at 3100 Main at most saw 21 cars, and on one day it held only one vehicle. To put that in perspective, HCC took in $5 at the midtown garage on March 14 for the one car that parked there, but security alone on that day was about $500. In all, the midtown garage took in $1,140 but expenses for that location totaled $28,613. Northline did better and took in $13,972, but expenses totaled $29,347.
WEDNESDAY MAY 18, 2016
HCC to revamp advising AlyssA Foley
THE EGALITARIAN Houston Community College is aiming to revamp its advising and career clusters by fall 2017 in order to help students graduate sooner and not waste time and money by taking unnecessary courses. The new Meta Majors model guides students into a particular degree path by clustering related degrees together. Vice Chancellor of Instructional Services Kimberly Beatty, explains that with Meta Majors, “The highway is health sciences, the lane is nursing.” With this new degree mapping, if a student switches from nursing to another health career, “you wouldn’t lose credits if you made that kind of lane change” says Project Manager Susan Goll, an HCC instructor. “Students would choose their actual degree and degree path as close to [college] entrance as possible so that they know what’s required,” says Goll, “so that their choices are clear to students from the moment they enter the institution.” The new curriculum mapping will help students to make “informed choices.” For example, what social science course should a science major, and what social science should a business major take? When a student enrolls in HCC, they would meet with an advisor and be placed in a meta major. If the degrees within that meta major only have 15 credits in common, the student would have to meet with the advisor again after they have completed their first 15 courses to “choose a lane.” In the future, more HCC students may have similar experiences taking core classes that fit whatever meta major they choose. Their second year experience would be when students choose their specific program. Beatty called it her “dream of dreams” that when students get into their specific degree path, they are assigned a faculty member or career advisor from within their discipline
“Students would choose their actual degree and degree path as close to [college] entrance as possible so that they know what’s required ... so that their choices are clear to students from the moment they enter the institution.” Susan Goll Instructor
to coach students through their career and academic goals. “There is a lot that still has to happen in student services for us to get there,” Beatty admits. However, the meta majors system should be officially announced by spring 2017 and in place by fall 2017. This new advising model is to help “make sure that students are making informed choices, it’s not to take away their choice,” says Goll, “it’s our responsibility to help guide the students.” Advising will also be restructured to include holistic advising, which means “looking at every aspect of a student’s life, so that you can guide them into making an informed decision,” says Beatty. If a student has a job or is a caregiver, with holistic advising they will be guided into planning their academic career choices to suit their life. “We have to make these interventions and these things we want to help students inescapable, so that you can’t get around it,” says Beatty. HCC is also working on creating more structured schedules to help students with responsibilities outside of school complete their degree on a timely schedule. Structured schedules are, “Regular times when courses will be offered so that students who are going part-time can have some of the opportunities that have only been available to full-time students in terms of predictions of
schedules,” says Goll. One example of a structured schedule is the weekend college at HCC Central, where students take two eight-week, hybrid courses at a time and only attend classes on Saturdays. By taking two first and two second start eight week courses, they can take a full-time course load of four classes in a semester. HCC recently created a certificate showing that a student is core complete. This is an option for students who are short of the 60 credits needed for an associate’s degree and would simply transfer to a four-year institution without earning any diploma for their time at HCC. About 42 credits are required for this certificate. “The core certificate is an opportunity for students to have an accomplishment—a milestone—but it also is a credential for them,” says Beatty, “it means something than just completing all my basics, it’s that I have something to show for it.” One curriculum change that has recently been instituted at HCC is removing college algebra as a prerequisite for finite math and statistics. A college algebra course is designed to prepare students for calculus. Goll explained that, “it’s not that you shouldn’t take algebra because it’s hard and some students might not pass it, it’s that it doesn’t give the best preparation for every type of degree path...it’s more about having the math that’s appropriate to the particular meta major.”
HCC GRADUATION, FROM PAGE 1 it aggressively. If you are passionate about your daily work, you will have the energy, courage and the perseverance needed to be great. And if you are great at what you do, you will build the confidence and respect from others that are around you.” Rootes also asked that graduates think about what makes them special. “Find a way to do it every day in your work, not just something...the real key to victory is not found in overcoming your weaknesses, you must find your strengths and you must differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace.” “It is your responsibility to find a role that will allow you to do what you do best every day,” said Rootes. Congratulations to all the HCC graduates in the class of 2016. Rootes also encouraged graduates to “creating raving fans,” not just friends or associates, but “loyal advocates who would gladly, spontaneously help you to get where you want to go in life.” The ceremony was supposed to end at noon, but it ran nearly an hour over. Before the event was in overtime, graduates were leaving after they walked the stage. By the time the last rows of students had their chance to walk, most graduates who had walked in before them had left—leaving endless rows of empty seats around the stage. The audience depleted before everyone had walked as well. Few students stayed till the end to turn their tassels in the degree conferment.
Over 200 earn GEDs at HCC ceremony EGALITARIAN STAFF REPORT Over 200 GED graduates celebrated their accomplishment with family and friends at Houston Community College General Education Development Program commencement Wednesday, May 11, at the auditorium at HCC Central. “It was really nerve wracking,” says Monica Hernandez referring to the course of study. She left school more than a decade ago due to illness. “A lot of stuff I had forgotten since high school so I needed to re-teach myself how to keep up with my peers. It was like regular high school but with the difference that my teachers were more understanding.” “This is a celebration for the students achieving this milestone
and for them going on to the next phase of their education and their career,” said HCC Chancellor, Dr. Cesar Maldonado. “This is part of building that pipeline of success. By talking to students tonight I see that commitment in them. Some already have signed up for the next step of their education.” One of those students is Angel Morris. “The program at HCC helped me a lot. I want to continue at HCC to get an associate degree in business management and I want to open my own business,” said Norris. “Don’t be ashamed. As long as you have your education you can keep going after your goals.” In one of the most moving moments of the ceremony, keynote speaker HCC Chief of Staff Melissa
Image courtesy of HCC Students line up to march at Houston Community College’s GED Graduation ceremony at HCC’s Central Campus. Over 200 students participated in the ceremony and were awarded their GEDs. Gonzalez shared her memories of how the GED program impacted her future and that of her family. She remembered the flyer for GED classes she brought home from elementary school. After seeing it, both her parents, who were migrant farm workers, registered for classes.
“That one decision was my special day. It changed our lives. Despite not having more than a sixth-grade education, despite the challenges, my parents’ motivation to break the cycle of us not becoming migrant workers was strong. I truly appreciate the support they gave each other.”
said Gonzalez as her voice nearly broke. At the ceremony, the HCC Foundation awarded three $1,000 scholarships to three GED graduates so they could continue their education at HCC. Recipients were: Reza Khavari, Ariel Velosa and Brenda Carolina Sanchez.
WEDNESDAY MAY 18, 2016
Health officials say local spread of Zika ‘likely’ in Texas will weissert ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ricardo Mazalan/AP File Photo In this Feb. 11, 2016 file photo of aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen in a mosquito cage at a laboratory in Cucuta, Colombia. Congress is ready to act on President Barack Obama’s long-stalled request for emergency funds to combat the Zika virus, which has been linked to serious birth defects and other major health problems. Obama requested $1.9 billion three months ago for several purposes, including creating a vaccine for the disease, taking steps to control the mosquitoes that spread Zika and helping other countries battle the virus.
Senate likely to advance $1.1B in Zika funding Andrew tAylor ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — After a three-month delay, the Senate is acting on President Barack Obama’s request for money to combat the Zika virus. The Senate is slated to vote Tuesday on three competing plans to battle the virus, with a bipartisan plan that cuts Obama’s $1.9 billion request to $1.1 billion having the greatest chance to advance. The procedural vote would pave the way to add funds for the government’s response to Zika to an unrelated spending bill. For pregnant women, Zika can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other
severe fetal brain defects, as well as eye problems, hearing deficits and impaired growth. Zika is commonly spread by mosquitoes and can also be contracted through sexual contact. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that pregnant women not travel to areas with Zika and that if they live in a Zika area to strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and to prevent sexual transmission. Zika is expected to spread more widely during the summer mosquito season, but officials say outbreaks in the U.S. are likely to be limited. To date, there have been more than 500 cases of Zika in the continental U.S., all of which so far have
been associated with overseas travel. Obama requested the funding in February and has been forced to tap unspent 2015 funds from the successful battle against Ebola to finance almost $600 million in anti-Zika efforts. They include research on the virus and Zika-related birth defects, response teams to limit Zika’s spread, and helping other countries fight the virus. “We see the people of this country facing a public health threat,” said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who supports the full $1.9 billion Obama request. “Our response should be ‘Let’s deal with it the way that medical experts are saying we need to deal with it.’”
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas has identified 33 cases of the Zika virus that all have been associated with overseas travel, but the virus is expected to begin spreading locally within the state during the sweaty upcoming summer months, top health officials said Tuesday. Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt told a Texas Senate health panel that potential hot zones include Dallas, Houston, the Gulf Coast and the Rio Grande Valley. Poor areas are likely to be hardest hit since they tend to be rife with standing water and bits of old tires that are breeding havens for mosquitoes, which carry the virus. “We do believe that Texas will, at some point, likely experience mosquito vector transmission,” Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt told a state Senate health committee meeting. “We don’t know when and we don’t really know at what level that will occur.” There have been 500-plus cases of Zika in the continental U.S., but so far all involved travel to foreign locales. Hellerstedt said the virus had now been detected in nearly all of Latin America and that some cases of local transmission had been reported in Mexico, though not along the U.S. border. “One of the big advantages that we have over other parts of the world in terms of Zika is our ability to see it coming and prepare for it,” he said. Testing for the virus can be
complicated since one method involves drawing blood that will only come up positive in people infected for a window of up to seven days after exposure. Also, Texas only has the capacity to conduct a few dozen such tests a week, meaning an outbreak could overwhelm the system. Gov. Greg Abbott has created an infectious disease task force, and academics and scientists around the state are also working on a vaccine — but don’t expect it to be ready by Memorial Day, when peak mosquito season begins. The key to containing the virus is mosquito eradication, most of which is funded locally. Dallas County and other areas have recent experience with spraying from the air to curb the mosquitoborne spread of the West Nile virus — but such efforts aren’t likely to be successful since Zika is spread by the Aedes species mosquito, which is harder to fight from afar than other species. Texas officials already are recalling the lessons of Ebola, when a Liberian man died in Dallas and two nurses became infected while treating him — sparking widespread fear. Sen. Donna Campbell, a New Braunfels Republican, opened Tuesday’s hearing by saying officials have “seen what happens when we kind of get behind the 8 ball” like the state did with Ebola. But Zika is easier to spread than Ebola and can be contracted via mosquitoes or through sexual contact. Campbell pressed officials on why Texas can’t simply exterminate all mosquitoes, saying “I’m just interested in killing them all.”
Taking the right steps to plan college success KAtherine KwAK CONTRIBUTOR
While every student wants to be successful in college, not all excel. This is my first semester at HCC, and I was a 2016 Houston Community College Northwest academic award nominee. I have seen so many students who do not prepare themselves to excel in college. They do not know what classes they have to take, and they are barely knowledgeable about college life. Students must be resourceful to successfully survive college. One needs to know about what is happening in college. There are so many students who have not looked at HCCS.edu where the information they are looking for is posted. Everything related to HCC is posted on HCC’s website, but students fail to find this information. I was able to plan my future by gaining
information from HCC’s website. Before entering HCC, I did my research to find more detailed information and to be prepared for college. As a result, I found some important information. I found out my degree plan and planned what courses I will take before entering HCC. I had to make sure that the University of Houston accepted all of the courses I will take; therefore, I checked the UH degree plan as well (HCCS.edu/ programs/transfers). I will transfer to the University of Houston with 66 credits, majoring in Spanish. I learned that HCC accepts test scores for credit such as the College Level Examination Program scores. I took CLEP College Mathematics, CLEP College Algebra, and CLEP Biology and passed all of them, which allowed me to earn 12 college credits while I was still in high school. It means that I can graduate college early by taking a few
exams. It took me only a couple hours to take these exams. If I had not known this information, I would have to take classes in subjects that I already knew well. I will graduate HCC in one and a half years since I already got 12 credits while in high school. I discovered HCC’s student organizations. Right after entering HCC, I contacted a few professors who are in charge of the clubs that I’m interested in. I will join a reading club and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society because I’m interested in these two. Phi Theta Kappa membership will even be on my transcript. (HCC Student Life: http://bit. ly/1skhQRc) I found out that international students can work legally in the United States through a program called Optional Practical Training (http:// bit.ly/1X7hGHY). An F-1 student may work on campus up to 19.5 hours a week
during the fall and spring semesters and full-time during vacation periods if they are considered to be in good F-1 standing. Thanks to OPT, international students can be employed. After graduating from HCC, I will get a job that is related to my major. Through OPT, I will get a bilingual tutor job so that I can pay for my college education. I am planning to become a HCC Spanish tutor so that I can develop my communication and teaching skills. I suggest every college student plan their college years thoroughly by getting useful information. Look at every single page of HCC’s website. Find out exactly what classes you need to take. Set your academic goals. Participate in college organizations. If you are thinking of transferring to another university, make sure it accepts every course you have taken in HCC. Being resourceful is important because it allows you to plan your future.
WEDNESDAY MAY 18, 2016
Paxton not asked to resign
Quakes linked to oil activity THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who faces felony charges of defrauding investors unrelated to his office, has the support of Gov. Greg Abbott and other state leaders and hasn’t been asked to resign, a Paxton spokesman said Tuesday. The state’s top prosecutor, a Republican, has faced months of speculation that the state’s dominant party would pressure him to step aside as his legal troubles mounted. Abbott, Paxton’s predecessor as attorney general, served 12 years in the office before he was elected governor in 2014. But just a few days after Republicans rallied in Fort Worth at their state convention, Paxton spokesman Marc Rylander said the attorney general has not been asked to resign and enjoys strong support from state leaders. Republicans have won every
Rosa Baca/The Dallas Morning News via AP Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, second from left, and his wife Angela Paxton, right, enter the Merrill Hartman Courtroom in the Fifth Court of Appeals at the George Allen Courts Building in Dallas, Thursday May 12, 2016. Paxton’s legal team is asking an appeals court to toss criminal charges he defrauded investors. Paxton also faces separate civil fraud charges filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. statewide election since 1998. “There has been no such request. We are encouraged by the support that we have received from the governor, the lieutenant governor and many across state offices, state leaders and our state Legislature,” Rylander said. “We continue every day to do the job that Texans elected us to do.” Rylander declined to detail the support. Abbott spokesman John Wittman said the governor’s office will continue to work “productively” with Paxton, and
noted former Gov. Rick Perry successfully fought to have felony abuse of power charges against him dropped earlier this year. “The governor has repeatedly said that a person is innocent until proven guilty, and the legal process must run its course as we saw in Gov. Perry’s case,” Wittman said. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s office declined to comment. The charges against Paxton relate to a tech startup company before he became attorney general. He also is being sued
by federal financial regulators. Paxton released a video last week saying is “not going anywhere” and would fight the charges. In the video, Paxton said he believes the legal cases against him are politically motivated. At a news conference Tuesday about the attorney general’s Sex Offender Apprehension Unit, Paxton initially declined to take questions about other topics but said he’d be available to reporters after the event. Paxton instead had Rylander field questions and left the room.
Exit of Uber, Lyft from Austin makes travel more challenging elizAbeth Findell
AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN AUSTIN, Texas — After a car wreck last year put Akhila Sivakumar in the hospital for more than a month and left her with burns and bruises across her body, she was hesitant to drive again. So when the 22-year-old began to look for jobs from College Station, she looked in cities where Uber and Lyft were popular. “I specifically chose Austin because with the ride sharing. I figured it would be easy to get around without a car,” she said. It was. Until last week. The Austin American-Statesman reports Sivakumar was one of many regular customers of ride-hailing apps who have recently turned to Craigslist or Facebook groups to find former Lyft and Uber drivers. The companies left town abruptly after a May 7 election upheld new city requirements for fingerprint-based background checks for drivers with the ride-hailing apps. Uber and Lyft had sought passage of Proposition 1 to overturn the rules. Officer Destiny Winston, an Austin police spokeswoman, said residents should do background research when answering any online ad. In particular, she said, getting into a car with a stranger is a risk. And such transactions could be illegal for the drivers: The city has sent warning emails telling drivers offering their services online that
they could face a $500 fine if they don’t have the proper permits. Sara LeVine, executive director of ATX Safer Streets, which campaigned in favor of Proposition 1, said this rider-driver free-for-all shows the City Council’s rules have backfired. “Before, you knew who your driver was; you could track your route. Now it’s straightup gypsy cabs,” she said. “If the city’s whole mission with fingerprinting was to make us safer, how have their actions made it safer?” The city is offering events this week to help drivers sign up with other transportation services, and the council will consider a resolution Thursday directing staffers to help other companies fill the void left by the two ride-hailing giants. But those efforts will take time, and people like Sivakumar are looking for rides now. Sivakumar placed a Craigslist post online offering to pay $20 each way for someone to take her 15 miles to and from work every day. She received responses from what she called Craigslist “creepers,” and from outof-work drivers. She reached an agreement with one, only to have him cancel after he received the warning email from the city. Sivakumar doesn’t know what to do now. Zuli Hinojosa, 23, relied on Lyft for all of her transportation, including getting to classes at the University of Texas every day. She was left without a good way to go grocery shopping, had to cancel weekend plans and was facing a 1½-hour bus ride for
a hair appointment. She’s saddened by the flood of responses she’s gotten from drivers to her Craigslist post, begging her to give their phone numbers to friends. Because she feels less safe finding drivers that way, she picked the only woman to respond. Scores of Austin residents took to social media during the weekend and Monday to complain about difficulties getting a ride with smaller services or cabbies. Some reported searching for an hour or more for a car after public transportation stopped running. A couple of people said they had been denied rides by cabbies who didn’t want to take them a short distance. The city has not received any formal complaints this week. A nonscientific survey of 2,090 AmericanStatesman readers Monday found that 63 percent said they didn’t go out last weekend because of difficulty finding a ride. One resident who’s staying home more is Boone Blocker, who used Uber regularly. Blocker, an advocate for people with disabilities and a transportation activist who campaigned in favor of Proposition 1, could get rides in his wheelchair via a special service for people with physical disabilities. Blocker still gets to work via bus, as he always did. But it’s more difficult for him to go out at night or in bad weather, so he passed on a concert and evening activities with friends last week.
DALLAS — A new study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin concludes that human activity, particularly oil and gas production, has been a factor in earthquakes throughout the state for nearly 100 years. The study’s conclusions are in a paper to be published Wednesday in the journal Seismological Research Letters. The Dallas Morning News reported the study concludes that man-made earthquakes in Texas began in 1925 and that activity associated with oil and gas production “almost certainly” or “probably” triggered 59 percent of the earthquakes detected across the state in 1975-2015, including recent seismic activity in North Texas. Another 28 percent of the quakes were “possibly” triggered by oil and gas exploration and production, and just 13 percent were caused naturally. “The public thinks these started in 2008, but nothing could be further from the truth,” Cliff Frohlich, senior research scientist at UT and the study’s lead author, told The News. The study offers important new information that could affect future seismic threat assessments for Texas, said Robert Williams, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado. The seismic activity has not occurred just in North Texas, but in the Permian Basin of West Texas and in the Texas Panhandle, he said. “Those sites are new and may need to be considered by USGS in future induced seismic hazard maps,” Williams said. Frolich and other researchers at UT and Southern Methodist University contend in the paper to be published Wednesday that state regulators have been reluctant to acknowledge any link between seismicity and industry. Indeed, such arguments have not impressed the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry and is dismissing the new study’s conclusions. “The commission will continue to use objective, credible scientific study as the basis for our regulatory and rulemaking functions. However, this new study acknowledges the basis for its conclusions are purely subjective in nature and in fact, admits its categorization of seismic events to be arbitrary,” commission spokeswoman Ramona Nye said in an email to the newspaper.
WEDNESDAY MAY 18, 2016
Complaint: Officers abusing residents russell ContrerAs ASSOCIATED PRESS
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Residents along the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso and New Mexico face repeated verbal and physical abuse from U.S. Customs and Border Protection Customs officers, including accusations of being prostitutes and the seizure of their legal documents without cause, according to a complaint filed Tuesday by a coalition of advocacy groups. In a complaint submitted to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, advocates say officers used excessive force, verbal abuse, humiliating searches and intimidation to coerce individuals into surrendering their legal rights. The complaint, filed on behalf of 13 people, also said the officers have harassed border crossers with legal documents and threatened retaliation when the residents promised to report the violations. In one case, officers last year falsely accused Amanda Rodríguez Varela, 51, a women’s right advocate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, of being a sex worker and suggested she has a sexually
transmitted disease before detaining her at the Paso del Norte Port of Entry in El Paso, the complaint said. “The CBP officers threatened her with criminal charges for prostitution and belittled her work for gender equality. One said that her work was a ‘waste of time’,” documents said. The complaint said Varela was forced to sign an English-language document that officers later revised to say she admitted she was a prostitute — a claim she strongly denies. In a 2014 case, the complaint said officers forced an eightmonth pregnant Michelle Fierro, 25, to wait in car for six hours at the Santa Teresa, New Mexico, Port of Entry while her brother-inlaw was interrogated. The brotherin-law had a valid visa but Fierro, a U.S. citizen, was denied water, food or the use of her cellphone, the complaint said. “Fierro suffered from gestational diabetes and was later diagnosed by her doctor as being dehydrated as a result of the prolonged detention,” the complaint said. A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General did not immediately
Rudy Gutierrez/El Paso Times via AP This Jan. 17, 2008 file photo, South bound vehicles leave El Paso, Texas and enter Juarez, Mexico at the Bridge of the Americas international port of entry. Immigrant advocates are complaining about U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers’ actions toward residents along the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso and New Mexico. A coalition of advocacy groups said Tuesday that they filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security alleging at least 13 residents have experienced abuse, including being falsely accused of being prostitutes to having legal document seized for no reason. respond to an email from The Associated Press. According a statement on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s website, Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske is leading the agency toward a more transparent and accountable approach to enforcement and workforce integrity. “At the direction of
the Commissioner, CBP commissioned independent review of CBP complaints and discipline systems in September 2014 to improve the agency’s accountability and transparency in these areas,” the statement said. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights and other groups in New Mexico and Texas
want the allegations investigated. “When unprofessional or downright cruel CBP officers humiliate, discriminate and physical or verbally abuse them, their mistreatment and lack of accountability offends American values of equality and justice,” Cynthia Pompa, field organizer at the Regional Center for Border Rights, said.
Report finds segregation in education on the rise JenniFer C. Kerr ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — Six decades after the Supreme Court outlawed separating students by race, stubborn disparities persist in how the country educates its poor and minority children. A report Tuesday by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found deepening segregation of black and Hispanic students at high-poverty K-12 public schools. These schools often offered fewer math, science and college prep classes, while having disproportionally higher rates of students who were held back in ninth grade, suspended or expelled. “Segregation in public K-12 schools isn’t getting better. It’s getting worse, and getting worse quickly,” Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia said. The analysis, he said, confirmed that America’s schools are largely segregated by race and class, leaving “more than 20 million students of color now attending racially and socioeconomically isolated public schools.” “This report is a national call to action,” said Scott, the House education committee’s top Democrat and among the lawmakers who requested the study. Its release coincided with the 62nd anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which declared segregated schools unconstitutional. “While much has changed in public education in the decades following this landmark decision and subsequent legislative action, research has shown that some of the most vexing issues affecting children and their access to educational excellence and opportunity today are inextricably linked to race and poverty,” the
Evan Vucci/AP Photo Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., center, flanked by House Education and the Workforce ranking member, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., left, and Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., speaking during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday. Six decades after the Supreme Court outlawed separating students by race, stubborn disparities persist in how the country educates its poor and minority children. A report Tuesday by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found deepening segregation of black and Hispanic students nationwide, with a large increase among K-12 public schools. report said. GAO studied three school districts in the South, Northeast and West. Each took steps to increase racial and economic diversity in the schools but were hampered by transportation issues and getting support from the parents and the community. In a separate paper, the Civil Rights Project at UCLA said New York and Illinois have been “at or very near the top of the list” of states where African-American and Latino students have been most severely segregated. It found that “residential resegregation” in some parts of Maryland
spilled over into the schools and that in California, the percentage of Hispanics was increasing as the overall school population declined. “We need to create schools that build a society where the talent of all is developed and students of all races-ethnicities are prepared to understand and live successfully in a society that moves beyond separation toward mutual respect and integration,” the group said. The GAO report found that in the 20132014 school year, 16 percent of the nation’s public schools had high concentrations
of poor and black or Hispanic students, up from 9 percent at the start of the millennium. The student body at these schools were at least 75 percent black or Hispanic and poor — and in some cases 100 percent. The findings were based on an analysis of Education Department data. These schools tended to provide fewer math courses, with calculus and seventh and eighth grade algebra seen as particularly lacking. In science, they had less biology, chemistry and physics courses than their more affluent counterparts with fewer minority students. Less than half of the mostly poor, mostly minority schools offered AP math courses. Looking at all public schools, low-income and minority students were far less likely to enroll in these more rigorous courses. Hispanic students at these schools tended to be “triple segregated by race, income and language,” according to specialists and educators who were interviewed by the GAO. Education Secretary John B. King, Jr., said one big reason for the disparities is money. Inequitable resource distributions “are shaping inequitable opportunities for students,” King said after the report was released. He said President Barack Obama has asked for more education dollars, including money for grant programs to support districts with communitydeveloped plans that increase socioeconomic diversity in schools. Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president and director of policy at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights said, “We must focus on fixing resource disparities that have plagued students of color and low-income students for generations.”
WEDNESDAY MAY 18, 2016
An estimated 19,000 guests cheered, whistled and hollered at NRG Stadium Saturday as 2,640 Houston Community College students walked across the stage during the college’s annual graduation ceremony. Graduates beamed with pride and decorated hats as they listened to Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes give the commencement address and U.S. Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee provide words of encouragement to the 2016 class. —Photos by Gilbert Bernal/The Egalitarian and 2016 Houston Community College graduate
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WEDNESDAY MAY 18, 2016
Houston QB Ward learning new team role rAlP
AP COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRITER Greg Ward Jr. gave Houston one of the best seasons for a quarterback at the school. No small accomplishment considering the Cougars’ history of record-breaking passers. Now coach Tom Herman needs more from Ward. Not necessarily more touchdowns or yards. If the Cougars are going to reach the lofty expectations this season that follow last year’s 13-1 breakthrough, Herman needs a few forceful leaders to emerge — with Ward among them. “Greg is, he’s a really, really hard worker. He’s a tremendous talent. But credit to his family, he was raised extremely humble. Extremely soft spoken, kind of one of those be-seen-and-not-heard deals,” Herman said. “Unfortunately, at a certain point humility’s great, but dude you’ve got to take charge of this team. You’re the quarterback, man. He’s getting there. Much better this spring than ever before.” Ward is doing his best to answer the call. This offseason when he studied the best quarterbacks, he wasn’t just analyzing arm angles and footwork. The senior from Tyler, Texas, was trying to find ways to inspire his teammates. “It’s becoming natural,” Ward said. “I’m taking my job seriously, being more vocal and helping the team.” In Herman’s first season, he inherited not only some impressive talent but a group of seniors, such as linebacker Elandon Roberts and running back Kenneth Farrow,
who embraced the new staff’s message and made sure teammates fell in line. Ward? He was just trying to win a starting job. “Last year, it was just ‘I’ve got to worry about myself because I’m trying to learn this new offense, trying to figure out my lot in life and try not to screw this damn thing up,’” Herman said of Ward. “Now he’s got a better understanding of the offense which allows him to play a lot more confidently and be that leader that we need him to be because he’s got his house in much better order.” Like any good quarterback, Ward went to work studying film of the stars, how they interact with teammates, coaches and handle postgame interviews. “Cam Newton, Tom Brady and Russell Wilson,” Ward said. “How they motivated their team whenever adversity strikes or motivated their team whenever they were winning.” Ward came to Houston as an undersized (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) dual-threat quarterback. As another freshman quarterback, John O’Korn, went on to have a huge season in 2013, Ward was used as a receiver. That was the plan in 2014, but when O’Korn struggled, Ward got his chance. He passed for 2,010 yards, 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions, and ran for 573 yards and six scores. In 2015, in came Herman, the quarterback whisperer who helped Ohio State win a national title with a third-
David Goldman/AP File Photo Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr. (1) celebrates his touchdown against Florida State during the first half of the Peach Bowl NCAA college football game, in Atlanta. Cougars coach Tom Herman says Ward must become a more vocal and assertive leader for Houston to match last year’s success. stringer, and out went O’Korn, who transferred to Michigan. Ward’s skills and Herman’s offense were a perfect match. Ward passed for 2,828 yards and 21 touchdowns, with only six interceptions. He ran for 1,108 yards and a school-record 21 touchdowns, including 147 yards and two scores in a 24-13 victory against Temple in the American Athletic Conference championship. “He was the difference for them,” Owls coach Matt Rhule said. “In that game, he made two or three runs where we had a defender right there in a position to tackle him and he just made a guy miss and made a big play.” In 2014, Ward used his arm to cut up Temple’s defense, going 29-for-33 for 268
yards in a 31-10 victory. “If you try to overload and take away the run he can certainly make all the throws and they have a well-put-together passing game for him,” Rhule said. Houston topped off last season with a 3824 victory in the Peach Bowl against Florida State and a No. 8 finish in the AP Top 25. Houston has a long and illustrious history of star quarterbacks, lighting up scoreboards and rewriting record books. Andre Ware won the Heisman Trophy directing the Run-and-Shoot in 1989. David Klingler followed Ware and also became a first-round NFL draft pick. Case Keenum left Houston in 2011 as the NCAA’s career leader in passing yards and touchdown passes.
MLB players police unwritten rules for acceptable conduct ronAld blum
AP BASEBALL WRITER NEW YORK — Hall of Famer Joe Morgan knows that for more than a century, baseball players have policed themselves. Like it or not. Seven months after Jose Bautista’s famous bat flip against Texas in the AL playoffs, he got hit by the Rangers and responded with a hard takeout slide that led to a brawl Sunday. “If you were willing to show the other team up and to do that, then you’ve got to be willing to take what goes with it,” Morgan said Monday. Baseball is likely to issue discipline on Tuesday for the weekend fight, which led to six of the eight ejections in Toronto’s 7-6 loss. It was the last meeting of the regular season between the teams, and Bautista was facing the Rangers for the final time when rookie Matt Bush opened the eighth inning with a 96 mph fastball that hit the slugger on the left arm and ricocheted off a thigh.
Plate umpire Dan Iassogna warned both benches, and Justin Smoak bounced to third with one out. Bautista slid hard and late into the right leg of second baseman Rougned Odor and 8 feet past second base. Odor shoved Bautista with both hands, then threw a punch to his jaw that made Bautista’s head snap back, causing his sunglasses and helmet to fly off. Dugouts and bullpens emptied. Fans chanted “U-S-A! U-S-A!” and “Let’s Go Rangers!” while also maligning the Blue Jays. By the time the game resumed nine minutes later, Smoak was called out for an inning-ending double play, Bautista, Odor, Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson and Texas bench coach Steve Buechele were ejected. Jesse Chavez hit Prince Fielder on the right thigh with the next pitch, causing the ejections of the reliever and another coach. Tension stemmed from Oct. 14, when Bautista hit a tiebreaking three-run homer against Sam Dyson in the seventh inning of Game 5 of the AL Division Series,
admired the ball for a couple seconds until it glanced off the front of the second deck in left and then flipped his bat dramatically. After the home run trot, Edwin Encarnacion raised both arms — one holding a bat — in an effort to calm people in the crowd who were throwing objects on the field. Dyson took the gestures the wrong way, and dugouts and bullpens emptied as players gathers and shoved one another. “The players set the tempo for that kind of stuff,” former big league manager Jim Leyland said. “So where do the players draw the line? Did Bautista go over the line? I don’t know.” Leyland thought back to a different era. “I’ve seen black-and-white films, and I saw Babe Ruth rounding second base, taking his hat off, waving his hat to the crowd and everything. Well, was that offensive?” Leyland said. “So it’s not like this stuff just started.” Texas did not retaliate until the seventh meeting between the teams this season.
Richard W. Rodriguez/Star-Telegram via AP Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista (19) gets hit by Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor (12) after Bautista slid into second in the eighth inning of a baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, Sunday. “I thought it was pretty cowardly of them too to wait until my last at-bat to do that in the whole series,” Bautista said. “They could have come out and done it, if they wanted to send a message. Again, it shows a little bit more of their colors.” The brawl triggered debate throughout baseball,
“Odor also dropped his arm on that play to possible hit @ JoeyBats19 in the face,” retired All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter tweeted. “You know you’re taught to throw low to prevent a guy from coming in high,” Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander responded on Twitter.
WEDNESDAY MAY 18, 2016
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The Force is strong in Houston FAbiAn brims THE EGALITARIAN
The Star Wars Art Festival returned to Houston May 6-8. Dandee Warhol and his crew from the War’Hous Visual Studios worked for months to bring back the popular show, and once again it was an overwhelming success for Houston’s art scene. An old, graffiti-covered warehouse in the East End became a focal point for artists, fans, cosplayers, and vendors to celebrate one of the most popular movie series of all time: Star Wars. In 2012, Warhol curated the first Star Wars art show, and since then it constantly grew in size and public appreciation, and this year in 2016 almost 8,000 people followed the event on Facebook. Hundreds of art pieces from local artists were shown and sold - from classic paintings to sculptures to body painting and even a whole Star Wars “altar,”
Tejano star Emilio dies diAnA heidG
DALLAS — Grammy-winning musician Emilio Navaira, known for his mix of traditional Mexican music and accordion-based polka known as Tejano, has died at his home in Texas. He was 53. Navaira, whose fans knew him simply as Emilio, was found unresponsive by his family Monday night at his home in New Braunfels, a city just northeast of his native San Antonio. Authorities believe he died of natural causes, according to New Braunfels police spokesman David Ferguson. Navaira released nearly a dozen albums in Spanish and English during his career. Although he was best known for his Tejano music — he won a Grammy for best Tejano album in 2002, for his record “Acuerdate”
crafted by Houston-based artist Alex Ramos. Like all the years before, there were also plenty vendors on board to sell all kinds of merchandise such as t-shirts, prints, action figures and jewelry. Some of Houston’s best DJ’s played music, and food trucks made sure no one had to go home hungry. The fans, many of them in costumes as Stormtroopers, Han Solo, or Darth Vader had plenty to look at and some of them took the opportunity to bring their families since the show was open to all ages. The secret behind the success is the diversity of the festival. Warhol’s curating doesn’t overlook new young artists, and for a handful of them it was the first time ever showing art publicly. Others have exhibited at the festival since the very first year. While other galleries focus more on established artists, War’Hous always pushed for new and fresh art, and the success
Image courtesy of David Miyauchi A ‘rebel’ takes aim at a Storm Trooper during the Star Wars Art Festival. Dandee Warhol and War’Hous Visual Studios put on the festival to celebrate the legacy of the Star Wars movie franchise. proves them right. Since the movie series returned to the big screen this year with The Force Awakens, there were plenty new characters, robots and spaceships to be used as new content. The new fan-favorite BB-8 especially created a lot of buzz among the artists. There was a whole wall reserved just for interpretations of this little ball-shaped android. R2D2 was hopefully not overly jealous. By now, seven movies and many
spin-offs in the form of books, comics, and TV-shows, there’s an unlimited supply of inspiration. That’s what makes George Lucas’s universe so attractive for artists all over the planet. More and more art shows pop up, but Warhol is one of the few curators who is allowed by Disney, the owners of the franchise, to use it officially. One of the novelty of this year’s festival was a VIP opening night and a professional parking system, even though
the organizers suggested to use the new built Metro line to the East End. The new location also turned out to be better equipped to hold a large number of people while fire inspectors and police officers ensured the safety of all visitors. It was so far the most professional event of the series organized by Warhol and his crew and it is likely that the show will grow even bigger by 2017. See you next year for the return of the sixth!
Rowling honored by PEN for literary and humanitarian work hillel itAlie
AP NATIONAL WRITER
EMILIO NAVAIRA — his work also included country music. He had “one of the great voices in the history of Tejano music,” said Juan Tejeda, Navaira’s longtime friend and a MexicanAmerican studies and music instructor at Palo Alto College in San Antonio. “He was a very humble guy from the south side of San Antonio,” Tejeda said, noting that Navaira had been wellknown in the area since he was a teenager as being an outstanding performer. “He always had a great voice.” Navaira was critically injured in a tour bus accident near Houston in March 2008. He suffered head trauma and other injuries after being thrown through the windshield. The injuries required several surgeries, and he wore a helmet for months to protect his skull. He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.
NEW YORK — J.K. Rowling’s passion for free expression is so strong it extends to someone she’d otherwise not care to discuss: Donald Trump. Speaking Monday night before hundreds gathered for PEN America’s annual gala at the American Museum of Natural History, the “Harry Potter” creator noted that she opposed a recent petition calling for banning the presumptive Republican presidential nominee from entering the United Kingdom, saying such actions endanger everyone’s rights. “I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted,” said the British author, who received PEN’s Literary Service Award for her “extraordinary creativity” and for her efforts on behalf of institutionalized children and other humanitarian causes. “But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there.” PEN, the literary and human rights organization, honored advocates for speech
and prisoners of censorship worldwide, from Egypt to Flint, Michigan. Thanks in part to Rowling’s star power, PEN raised more than $1.75 million, the highest total in memory for its fundraising ceremony. Monday’s gala also was far calmer than last year’s, when an award to the French publication Charlie Hebdo, subjected to a deadly attack in Paris, led to heightened security. “It’s very nice to have an event without metal detectors,” noted PEN president Andrew Solomon. Two prominent Flint activists, LeeAnne Walters and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, received the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award for their efforts in exposing the deadly levels of lead in the water. Walters is a mother of four who became alarmed when her kids fell ill and Dr. Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician and educator who conducted studies of blood lead levels in Flint’s children. Both discussed the meaning of courage. Dr. Hanna-Attisha recalled being ridiculed for her initial findings and being afraid, but realized that “You can’t have courage without fear.” Added Walters: “Some say it’s courage,
some say it’s heroism. But I’m honestly just a mom doing what moms do — protecting their children.” Ahmed Naji, imprisoned in Egypt for the sexual content of his novel “The Use of Life,” was the winner of the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award. The author’s brother, Mohamed, accepted for him and said Naji was working on another novel even though his jailers forbid him to write. “He is imagining it, like he always has,” Mohamed Naji said of his brother, whose sentencing had been protested by historian Robert Caro, filmmaker Woody Allen and more than 100 other writers and artists. PEN’s annual publishing award was given to Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch, presented his prize by “The Goldfinch” author Donna Tartt. Pietsch, whose battles have included censorship in China and a standoff in the U.S. with Amazon.com over e-book revenues, urged his peers to “remember to publish wild voices, diverse voices, voices that make us uncomfortable, voices that can open eyes, change minds and last.”
10 Amazon Studios show off at Cannes WEDNESDAY MAY 18, 2016
Divers find Roman-era treasure dAnielA berrettA & Ami bentoV ASSOCIATED PRESS
AP FILM WRITER CANNES, France — The party, stocked with pretty people and schmoozing filmmakers, looked like any other at the Cannes Film Festival except for the neon lights on the wall that glowed “Amazon Studios.” Cannes has been a coming-out party for the upstart digital distributor, which feted its big year at a soiree Sunday night. Amazon Studios has five films at the festival, including the opener Woody Allen’s 1930s Hollywood romance “Cafe Society” and three films in competition for the Palme d’Or: Jim Jarmusch’s well-received bluecollar poet drama “Paterson,” Park Chanwook’s sumptuous gothic thriller “The Handmaiden” and Nicolas Winding Refn’s fashion-world horror film “The Neon Demon,” which premieres Friday. Though the increasingly ubiquitous Amazon has been a growing player at other film festivals, it’s robust presence at Cannes — the most hallowed celebration of cinema — has the feel of a baptism. It hasn’t been without hiccups, though. The premiere of “Cafe Society” might have been a crowning moment for Amazon, which paid $15 million for the film’s rights. But opening day headlines were largely overshadowed by Ronan Farrow’s renewal of accusations against his father for sexually abusing his sister, Dylan, when she was 7. Allen has maintained his innocence. But the resurrected uproar poses potential problems for Amazon, which has warmly embraced the 80-year-old filmmaker. Later this year it will debut a six-episode series from Allen. Farrow’s recent column caused many film reporters to declare that they wouldn’t see or write about any more projects from Allen. In Cannes, the actress Susan Sarandon said frankly Sunday in Cannes: “I think he
Thibault Camus/AP Photo Director Jim Jarmusch, actress Golshifteh Farahani and actor Adam Driver, from left, pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Paterson at the 69th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday. sexually assaulted a child and I don’t think that’s right.” Amazon Studios declined to comment. Last year in Cannes, the new digital heavyweight on the Croisette was Netflix. It found turbulence of a different kind on its touchdown in Cannes. At a talk by Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content office, a French reporter cried out that Netflix will “destroy the film ecosystem in Europe.” But whereas Netflix has sought to disrupt the traditional theatrical window with dayand-date releases like Cary Fukunaga’s “Beasts of No Nation” and Adam Sandler comedies, Amazon has charted a different course that hasn’t roused the same anxieties for cinephiles in France and elsewhere. Amazon has instead sought to pair with independent theatrical distributors, content to have movies hit its streaming service three months later — the traditional rollout, just with Amazon taking the first window in home release. Such an approach not only has benefit for Amazon (theatrical release is still easily the biggest marketing splash for a movie) but it appeals to the kinds of filmmakers Amazon has pursued and landed: directors who want their films on the big screen, too. Amazon’s top executives — chief Roy Price, a former Walt Disney Co. executive; production head Ted Hope, a veteran producer; and distribution head Bob Berney, former chief of Picturehouse — are all well-known and respected names in the business. They have thus far targeted auteur
directors and films without huge commercial upside, including Spike Lee’s “Chi-raq” (which debuted in December as the studio’s first release), Todd Solondz’s upcoming “Wiener Dog” and Whit Stillmans’ “Love & Friendship,” a movie acquired in Cannes last year. The Jane Austen adaptation opened on four screens in New York and Los Angeles last weekend, grossing $132,750. By pairing with such filmmakers, Amazon Studios is signaling — to moviegoers as well as to other filmmaking talent — that they’re serious about cinema. The studio plans somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-15 films annually that will bolster Amazon’s subscription service. Amazon Prime, also home to a growing stable of TV series including Jill Soloway’s “Transparent,” was recently made available as a stand-alone service. And Amazon’s pockets are deep. It plunked down $10 million for Kenneth Lonergan’s Sundance hit “Manchester by the Sea,” which has been slated for this fall. In Cannes, it’s been a busy buyer, acquired Lynne Ramsay’s Joaquin Phoenix thriller “You Were Never Really Here” and Mike Leigh’s period drama “Peterloo.” Other young distributors like STX Entertainment and A24 have also been active in the market at Cannes. But several directors who have signed up with Amazon have praised Amazon as a savior to independent film. Refn has said theirs was the best offer he’s ever received. Jarmusch reminded reporters of the wider climate for indie filmmakers.
Police say Sinead O’Connor found safe CAryn rousseAu ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHICAGO — Police in suburban Chicago said Irish singersongwriter Sinead O’Connor was found safe Monday after officers received a report that she never returned from a Sunday bike ride in the area. Wilmette police spokesman Eric Peterson said O’Connor had been located, “is safe and no longer considered a missing or endangered person,” though he wouldn’t say where she was found or release details about her condition. Local police issued a wellbeing check for O’Connor earlier Monday, saying someone called
to report that she hadn’t been seen since leaving for a bicycle ride early Sunday morning. It’s unclear why O’Connor was in Wilmette, an upper-class suburb about 15 miles north of Chicago along Lake Michigan. O’Connor, who has performed at least twice in Chicago this year, scored an international hit in 1990 with her rendition of Prince’s ballad “Nothing Compares 2 U.” The gifted but troubled singer-songwriter is known as much for her fierce and expressive voice as her shaved head and blunt criticism of the Catholic Church and other institutions. Police said she reportedly left for her bike ride at 6 a.m.
Sunday. About two hours later, a rambling message was posted on her official Facebook page that cited an upcoming court hearing and a child custody dispute. On Friday, a long message posted as an “open letter to my son Shane” encouraged the 12-year-old to bring his own case against Tusla, a child welfare agency in Ireland. Paradigm Talent Agency, which represents O’Connor, declined comment when reached by The Associated Press earlier Monday. Her publicist didn’t return a message. O’Connor was sued this month by comedian Arsenio Hall over a Facebook post that stated investigators looking into the supplier of drugs used by Prince
should question Hall. She also accused him of drugging her. The lawsuit seeks $5 million. And in November, she posted a message on Facebook saying she had taken an overdose at a hotel somewhere in Ireland. Irish police later said she had been found safe. The next month, O’Connor posted on Facebook that she had been detained in a hospital for mental health evaluation. Her rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U” topped charts from Europe to Australia, and earned O’Connor multiple Grammy Award nominations. In 1991, O’Connor was named Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone.
CAESAREA, Israel — A chance discovery by two divers uncovered Israel’s biggest find of underwater Roman-era artifacts in three decades, archaeologists said Monday as the priceless objects were showcased for the first time. The treasures were found last month by divers Ran Feinstein and Ofer Raanan when they came across an ancient shipwreck near the port of Caesarea. Standing next to his diving buddy, Raanan recounted the moment the pair realized they had discovered something special. “It took us a couple of seconds to understand what was going on,” Raanan recalled. He said they left the first sculpture on the seabed when they found it, but then when they discovered a second, they realized it was something special and brought it to the surface. They later searched the area and uncovered more ancient artifacts. “It was amazing. I dive here every other weekend and I never found anything like that ever,” he said. The Israel Antiquities Authority sent its divers to investigate and recover the precious Roman-era cargo, which includes bronze statues, lamps, jars, animalshaped objects, anchors and thousands of coins with images of Roman emperors Constantine and Licinius. Some of the objects date to the fourth century, while others are from the first and second centuries, said Jacob Sharvit, director of marine archaeology at the IAA. After possibly encountering a storm, sailors dropped the anchors to try to save the ship, Sharvit said, but all their attempts failed; the ship drifted and all its cargo plunged into the water at Caesarea and remained there for 1,700 years. The port at Caesarea was commissioned by Herod the Great in the first century BC and became an important economic artery in the Mediterranean Sea until it sank for unknown reasons soon after its completion. Some scientists believe it is located on a geological fault line; other theories point to a tsunami. Starting in the 1960s, Israeli archaeologists brought the sunken port back to life, along with Caesarea’s above-ground wonders, including a crusader church and Roman theater. These archaeological treasures are open to visitors as part of the Caesarea National Park. Last year, Israeli divers found 2,000 gold coins in Caesarea dating to the 10th century.
WEDNESDAY MAY 18, 2016
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Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News via AP In this photo taken Tuesday, May 10, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, standing in front of the Fort Worth ISD Legacy of Excellence wall, addresses the media on Fort Worth Superintendent Kent Scribner’s policy to allow transgender students comfortable access to bathrooms at the FWISD Board of Education complex in Fort Worth, Texas. Scribner announced rules last month allowing transgender students access to single-stall restrooms. Patrick called for the Scribner’s resignation.
Texas doesn’t need bathroom law or Patrick THE CORPUS CHRISTI CALLER-TIMES On the matter of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick inviting lawmakers to file a transgender-discriminatory bathroom bill, declaring a boycott of Target for its transgender-friendly bathroom policy, and calling for the Fort Worth school superintendent to resign because he established a compassionate bathroom policy to protect students — where do we start? At the beginning? On the moral high ground that bathroom laws like the one approved in North Carolina and encouraged here by Patrick, requiring people to use the bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates, are a mean-spirited outrage against justice? This is not the safety or religion-based moral issue that Patrick seeks to frame. It’s just an ugly excuse to discriminate against transgender people. We shouldn’t have to point out that discrimination is wrong. Did we all learn nothing from Dr. King? Should we start with a lieutenant governor’s real priorities? He is the presiding officer of the upper house of the Texas Legislature, whose top priority in the next session should be school finance. The cyclical declaration that the state’s school finance system is unconstitutional is pending. Whether the Legislature overhauls the system or not, it still will have to grapple with school finance and balancing a budget with state revenue down because of the oil crash. Should we begin instead with the doctrine of home rule? Patrick and his ilk are all for local control and less government unless somebody somewhere, like Fort Worth Superintendent Kent Scribner, isn’t doing something their way. Not being a Fort Worth resident — Patrick is from Houston — amplifies the insult to Scribner and Fort Worth. Applause, by the way, for Scribner for declining to resign and for expressing pride in his school district’s bathroom guidelines. He should be proud.
Regarding the safety issue, generally, bad things that happen in bathrooms aren’t perpetrated by transgender women in women’s bathrooms. Usually they’re perpetrated in men’s rooms by men against men or boys. And it’s weird, fanciful thinking that gender identity-friendly bathroom policies by Target, the Fort Worth ISD or any other entity create an opportunity for predatory males to declare themselves in touch with their feminine side on a given day so they can enter a women’s room and attack women and girls. A bathroom law like the one passed by North Carolina and encouraged in Texas by Patrick creates a safety issue that didn’t exist previously, by forcing transgender women into men’s rooms where the reception isn’t likely to be friendly. But maybe it’s just a theoretical danger because a law like North Carolina’s is easily ignored and tricky to enforce. A bathroom bill in Texas’ next legislative session would be like the open-carry law of the 2015 session — a time-draining distraction from real issues. We don’t mean to demean the issue’s importance to transgender people and to anyone with a sense of justice. It’s a significant issue, but only if it is raised. It should be left alone. This is another example of blatant political opportunism by Patrick, who made a big show of opposing same-sex marriage and exhibits a pattern of the kind of judgmental piety Jesus opposed. He is a polarizer, not a uniter. So where do we end? Where we usually do with Patrick — reminding our readers that we recommended strongly against his election in 2014. It’s telling that the first comment on the Texas Tribune story about his seeking the Fort Worth superintendent’s resignation addressed Patrick by the surname on his birth certificate — Goeb. Patrick had his name changed legally to his broadcast stage name. Leave it to a phony to drum up a phony issue.
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