Vol. 27 No. 40 (2151 Edition)
Oct. 2 - 8, 2013
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U.S. government shuts down as House misses deadline
From wire and staff reports The U.S. government began a partial shutdown on Tuesday for the first time in 17 years, potentially putting up to one million workers on unpaid leave and stalling medical research projects. Federal agencies were directed to cut back services after lawmakers could not break a political stalemate that sparked new questions about the ability of a deeply divided Congress to perform its most basic functions. After House Republicans floated a late offer to break the logjam, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected the idea, saying Democrats would not enter into formal negotiations on spending “with a gun to our head” in the form of government shutdowns. After missing the midnight deadline to avert the shutdown, Republicans and Democrats in the House continued a bitter blame game, each side shifting responsibility to the other in efforts to redirect a possible public backlash. “The federal government should stay open, and it must be made clear to tea party Republicans that we will not respond to temper tantrums in which they threaten to shut down the government if they don’t get what they want” said Rep Bobby Scott (D-Richmond and Newport News) when it became apparent that a deal was not in sight. “Should we legitimize tea party Republican's tactics by passing unrelated legislation, Congress is at risk of allowing tea party Republicans to continue to hold the economy as ransom in future debates.” If Congress can agree to a new funding bill soon, the shutdown could last days rather than weeks. But no signs emerged of a strategy to bring the parties together. The political dysfunction at the Capitol also raised fresh concerns about whether Congress can meet a crucial mid-October deadline to raise the government’s $16.7
trillion debt ceiling. With an eye on the 2014 congressional elections, both parties tried to deflect responsibility for the shutdown. President Barack Obama accused Republicans of being too beholden to tea party conservatives in the House of Representatives and said the shutdown could threaten the economic recovery. The political stakes are particularly high for Republicans, who are trying to regain control of the Senate next year. Polls show they are more likely to be blamed for the shutdown, as they were during the last shutdown in 1996. “Somebody is going to win and somebody is going to lose,-” said pollster Peter Brown of the Quinnipiac University poll. “Going in, Obama and the Democrats have a little edge.” The dollar held steady on Tuesday even though much of the U.S. government was due to start shutting down. S&P stock futures inched up 0.2 percent, unchanged
from earlier price action after the cash index fell 0.6 percent on Monday, while U.S. Treasury futures slipped 5 ticks. Most Asian markets were trading higher on Tuesday. The shutdown, the culmination of three years of divided government and growing political polarization, was spearheaded by tea party conservatives united in their opposition to Obama, their distaste for Obama’s health care law and their campaign pledges to rein in government spending. Obama refused to negotiate over the demands and warned a shutdown could “throw a wrench into the gears of our economy.” Some government offices will be shuttered with employees ordered to not do any work, but spending for essential functions related to national security and public safety will continue, including pay for U.S. military troops. Additionally, citizens will find that
national parks are closed, job training for veterans will stop, and nearly half of the civilians at the Department of Defense will be told to stay at home. Some good news in the midst of the shutdown is that Social Security checks will still get mailed, and veterans’ hospitals will stay open “It’s not shocking there is a shutdown, the shock is that it hasn’t happened before this,” said Republican strategist John Feehery, a former Capitol Hill aide. “We have a divided government with such diametrically opposed views, we need a crisis to get any kind of results.” In the hours leading up to the deadline, the Democratic-controlled Senate repeatedly stripped measures passed by the House that tied temporary funding for government operations to delaying or scaling back the health care overhaul known as Obamacare. The Senate instead insisted on funding the government through Nov. 15 without special conditions. PHOTOS: Reggie Howell/WCLM Whether the shutdown represents PHOTOS: Reggie another bump in the road forHowell/WCLM a Congress increasingly plagued by dysfunction or is a sign of a more alarming breakdown in the political process could be determined by the reaction among voters and on Wall Street. “The key to this is not what happens in Washington. The key is what happens out in the real world,” said Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis. “When Joe Public starts rebelling, and the financial markets start melting down, then we’ll see what these guys do.” A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed about one-quarter of Americans would blame Republicans for a shutdown, 14 percent would blame Obama and 5 percent would blame Democrats in Congress, while 44 percent said everyone would be to blame. An anticipated revolt by moderate House See “Shutdown
showdownˮ on pg. 2
The Richmond Voice
2 • Oct. 2 - 8, 2013
Could the federal government shutdown affect Virginia race? The federal government shutdown could be the October surprise of the Virginia governor’s race. Democrat Terry McAuliffe injected the looming possibility into the campaign, appearing at an afternoon press conference in Arlington with two Democratic congressmen, Jim Moran and Gerry Connolly, to call on Republican Ken Cuccinelli “to condemn tea party Republicans for holding the federal budget hostage.” But Cuccinelli already distanced himself from congressional Republicans in a debate last week, stressing that he does not want a shutdown. The McAuliffe campaign believes it can, nonetheless, score points in vote-rich Northern Virginia, chock full of federal workers who are directly affected by the
Shutdown showdown from pg. 1
Republicans fizzled earlier on Monday after House Speaker John Boehner made personal appeals to many of them to back him on a key procedural vote, said Republican Representative Peter King of New York. After Boehner made his appeal, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer called on him to permit a vote on a simple extension of federal funding of the government without any Obamacare add-on. “I dare you to do that,” Hoyer roared. The potential fallout has some Republican Party leaders worried ahead of the 2014 mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race, particularly given the Republican divisions over the shutdown. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who commandeered the Senate floor for 21 hours last week to stoke the confrontation and urge House colleagues to join him, sparked a feud with fellow Republicans who disagreed with the shutdown and accused the potential 2016 presidential candidate of grandstanding. “Whether or not we’re responsible for it, we’re going to get blamed for it,” King told reporters on Monday. “They”ve locked themselves into a situation, a dead-end that Ted Cruz created.” It was unclear how long the shutdown would last and there was no clear plan to break the impasse at this newspaper’s deadline on early Tuesday. The Senate on Tuesday planned to recess until 9:30 a.m., at which time Democrats
Cuccinelli (left) with McAuliffe
shutdown. They note that the Cuccinelli campaign
expected to formally reject the House of Representatives’ latest offer for funding the government. The shutdown will continue until Congress resolves its differences, which could be days or months. But the conflict could spill over into the more crucial dispute over raising the federal government’s borrowing authority. A failure to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling would force the country to default on its obligations, dealing a potentially painful blow to the economy and sending shockwaves around global markets. Some analysts said a brief government shutdown - and a resulting backlash against lawmakers - could cool Republican demands for a showdown over the debt limit. “A lot of this is political theater. It’s not about real policy. Part of this is taking a stand for their constituents,” said Julian Zelizer, a historian at Princeton University. “If there is fallout from a shutdown and there is a big enough shock, maybe they will be willing to move on to other issues,” he said. Obama said negotiating over the demands would only encourage future confrontations, and Democrats are wary of passing a short-term funding bill that would push the confrontation too close to the deadline for raising the debt ceiling. “The bottom line is very simple - you negotiate on this, they will up the ante for the debt ceiling,” said Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.
has been in touch with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the symbol of brinkmanship
over Obamacare, about appearing at a joint rally in October. And Cuccinelli is closely identified with the tea party wave that has propelled the showdown. Meanwhile, the Republican’s campaign suggested in a Web video posted Sunday that McAuliffe might shut down state government if he gets elected and the GOP-controlled state Legislature were to refuse to expand Medicaid. McAuliffe said in last week’s debate he would not shut down the state government to force a Medicaid expansion. Many involved in the race have believed the likeliest October surprise in the marquee contest of 2013 could relate to public developments in the ongoing federal investigation into gifts Gov. Bob McDonnell accepted from the CEO of a dietary supplements maker.
Janette Dunder of Alexandria protested outside the Capitol building as Congress continued the budget battle, Sept. 30, 2013, in Washington. PHOTO: Evan Vucci
Government workers across the country protested a federal shutdown with signs in opposition to impending furloughs that will affect their household budgets negatively.
Oct. 2 - 8, 2013 • 3
The Richmond Voice
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The Richmond Voice
4 • Oct. 2 - 8, 2013
Action unlikely before November election in McDonnell probe
Federal prosecutors investigating Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s ties to a wealthy donor are unlikely to file charges or resolve the case before the state’s November election, as they conduct new witness interviews and continue to review evidence, people familiar with the investigation said. The prosecutors are looking into gifts and money from Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie Williams Sr. to McDonnell (R) and his family. Authorities recently have obtained new documents through a closed courtroom battle with McDonnell’s legal team, and those papers prompted new leads, the people said. Also, a meeting with the governor’s attorneys in August spurred prosecutors to seek more interviews, they said. And prosecutors have not yet scheduled a key follow-up session with attorneys for McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, at which they are expected to outline evidence they have gathered about the couple’s relationship with Williams, who has provided more than $145,000 to Gov. McDonnell’s family and a real estate company he owns with his sister. For McDonnell, the timeline is likely to extend the uncertainty over his fate at a time that he had hoped would be the victory lap of a productive four-year term. Limited by the Virginia Constitution to a single term, McDonnell will leave office in January. But the timing of the investigation could provide a critical boost for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli II, whose campaign has feared that a McDonnell indictment in the final weeks before the Nov. 5 election could tar the GOP brand and focus attention on Cuccinelli’s own ties with Williams. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment for this article, as did Jason Miyares, a spokesman for McDonnell’s legal team. But four people familiar with the investigation said the process has slowed in recent weeks. They indicated that prosecutors had a window to bring charges in late August. But in a confrontational meeting, the governor’s attorneys displayed little appetite for possible plea negotiations and instead appeared prepared to fight any possible charges. In separate meetings, attorneys for the governor and his wife also mapped out
a defense strategy in which they argued that McDonnell was not aware of all the gifts his wife had accepted from Williams. Therefore, the governor could not be accused of improperly taking steps to help Williams’s company in exchange for those items, they said. Those assertions prompted prosecutors to take a step back and review their evidence again, the people said. Since then, government investigators have been described by one person familiar with their work as “dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s” in preparation for a possible trial if charges are filed. One indication of the slowing process is a delay in setting up a new meeting with the governor’s attorneys, said a person familiar with the interaction. Unlike the August meeting, at which attorneys for the McDonnells tried to convince prosecutors that the couple have committed no illegal acts, this meeting would be intended for prosecutors to lay out what they have found during months of investigating. But prosecutors have not pressed to set a date for those meetings. And while the sessions will be an important milestone in the case, people familiar with the probe indicate that prosecutors are unlikely to take immediate action afterward. For one thing, if prosecutors in Richmond indicate to the McDonnells’ attorneys that they have decided to seek an indictment, attorneys for the governor will almost certainly ask for the opportunity to appeal the decision directly to Justice Department officials in Washington, a time-consuming request that would probably be granted in deference to McDonnell’s position, the people said. The looming election is also playing a role in the timeline. There are no Justice Department rules that would prohibit prosecutors from pressing ahead with a case if they believe the governor has violated the law, particularly since McDonnell is not on the ballot. A standing memo from U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. merely prohibits pursuing action with the intention of affecting an election. Even so, prosecutors tend to be especially cautious about avoiding the possibility that their work will unintentionally affect a vote, said Justin Shur, former deputy chief of the Justice Department’s public-integrity
Jonnie Williams, CEO of Star Scientific, and Maureen McDonnell at the governor’s mansion.
unit. “I don’t know that there are any hard and fast rules,” he said. “But as a prosecutor, you are very sensitive to elections when you’re investigating public corruption cases. You do not want an investigative step or the timing of an indictment to have an impact on the election or to result in the case being viewed as having been politically influenced.” Prosecutors appear to be proceeding particularly gingerly in McDonnell’s case because of Cuccinelli’s indirect connection. The Virginia attorney general, who will face Democrat Terry McAuliffe in November, accepted $18,000 in gifts from Williams, the vitamin supplement company executive who gave gifts and loans to McDonnell and his family, a pattern of largesse at the heart of the federal case against McDonnell. Cuccinelli announced two weeks ago that he would donate the full value of those gifts to a Virginia charity, and he has been cleared of wrongdoing by a state prosecutor who is also investigating McDonnell. Williams has been cooperating with prosecutors as they explore whether McDonnell agreed to take state action in exchange for the gifts to the first family. Gifts and loans from Williams came as the governor and first lady took steps to promote the vitamin supplement company,
including holding a luncheon at the governor’s mansion to mark the launch of a new product. McDonnell has said he did nothing for Star Scientific that he would not do for any Virginia-based company. The company received no state economic incentives, contracts or board appointments, he has repeatedly noted. Williams’s gifts included $120,000 he provided to Maureen McDonnell and to a small real estate company owned by the governor and his sister. The governor has characterized the money as loans and says they have now been repaid. McDonnell has apologized for his dealings with Williams and returned other “tangible” gifts the wealthy executive gave the family. Those include $15,000 worth of clothes Williams purchased for Maureen McDonnell during a New York shopping trip and a $6,500 Rolex watch he bought at the first lady’s request for the governor. One of the governor’s daughters has returned $15,000 Williams paid for the catering at her 2011 wedding, and another daughter returned $10,000 he gave her as an engagement gift last year. McDonnell did not disclose those gifts. While Virginia law requires elected officials to disclose all gifts they receive worth more than $50, it does not require that gifts to immediate family members be disclosed. © WaPo
Oct. 2 - 8, 2013 • 5
The Richmond Voice
Voting registration deadline nears The deadline to apply to register to vote in Virginia for the Nov. 5 election is quickly approaching. The State Board of Election (SBE) has set the date as Oct. 15, and is encouraging Virginia residents to check their registration status and polling place on the SBE website or by calling their local registrar’s office.Voter registration applications returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Oct 15 and voter registration applications completed in person at the office of a local general registrar must be submitted by 5 p.m. As in past years, applications are available at the local general registrar’s office, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Virginia State Board of Elections’ website. Recently approved law allows eligible citizens to now submit a voter registration application or update their registration information online. “The State Board of Elections encourages Virginians to participate in the electoral process by going to the new online citizens’ portal to register for the first time or to update their address or
Save the Date
information,” said SBE Secretary Don Palmer. “Citizens can utilize this paperless process by providing their Virginia DMV customer identifier found on their DMV issued license or identification card.” SBE notes that those who who do not have a Virginia DMV customer identifier may still fill out the registration application online, but will be required to print and return the completed application to the appropriate local voter registration office. Still, all voter registration application submissions are subject to review and approval by local general registrars.
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6 • Oct. 2 - 8, 2013
The Richmond Voice
What needs to be done about NSA
Washington is beginning to debate the proper extent of government eavesdropping powers in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA. It’s hardly as robust a discussion as it should be, but it’s a desperately needed start. The colossal effort to monitor Americans’ communications has been going on for at least seven years, under two presidents. It constitutes an expansion of government power without precedent in By Lee Hamilton Guest commentator the modern era. Yet while some members of Congress were informed about it — and all had the opportunity to learn — none saw an urgent need for public discussion. This is astounding. It took the actions of a leaker to spur any real airing of the matter on Capitol Hill. Even now, it seems unlikely that Congress will make significant policy changes. That’s because all the nation’s key actors and institutions appear to approve of the surveillance programs. By its silence, Congress clearly supported them. Presidents Bush and Obama backed them. The intelligence community, a powerful voice on national security issues, has resolutely defended them. The courts that are supposed to keep them in line with the Constitution have been deferential to national security authorities, raising a few questions from time to time, but in the end approving all but a handful of tens of thousands of data-gathering requests. And the American people, by their lack of widespread outrage, have signaled that in this one case, at least, they believe the government can be trusted to keep us safe. In short, Congress — the forum where issues of such national importance should be hashed out — missed its chance to lead a reasoned national debate over
how extensive we want surveillance over Americans’ communications to be. It’s unlikely that genie can ever again be forced back into its bottle. Yet even the director of national intelligence, James Clapper — who once denied point-blank to Congress that the government collects data on millions of Americans — now sees the need for some sort of change. “We can do with more oversight and give people more confidence in what we do,” he said in a mid-September speech. Yes, indeed. Here’s the problem: once given power, the government rarely yields it. So you have to think not only about its present use, but how it will be used a decade or even more from now. Even if you concede that the current administration and its intelligence leadership have been responsible stewards of the powers they’ve been given — and I don’t — that is no guarantee that the people who follow them, or the people who come after that, will be equally trustworthy. This means that Congress has some challenging work ahead. It needs to restore the proper balance between effective intelligence-gathering and intrusion into Americans’ privacy. It needs to demand more thoroughgoing accountability from the intelligence community. It needs to exercise greater oversight and insist on more transparency, more information, and more constraint on surveillance programs — defining what is truly relevant to an investigation, creating more stringent definitions of which communications are fair game, and finding ways to assure Americans that protecting their privacy and civil liberties need not mean the wholesale vacuuming-up of every domestic phone and email record in existence.
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The VOICE Unleashed
Congress has a big mess on its hands to address and to clean up. Reports from Washington, D.C. are suggesting that our country will reach its debt limit this month. Our nation is but a few days away from defaulting on bills. There has been pressure to raise the debt celining again. As citizens, we do not have the luxury of increasing our credit card limits each time we reach them. Our credit cards can be rejected when we run out of credit limits, and our debit cards will be rejected when our bank accounts run out of money. Most of us have learned how to budget. However, many of our congressional leaders who had successful careers prior to service in office, cannot come together to figure this out. Some even worked in the financial industry. It has only been two years since the debt ceiling was first raised. Clearly, the problems have not been addressed. Budgeting should be simple. One only has to determine how much income is coming in and spend less than that number. Most of us have to do that in our homes. If spending is too high, one should find areas to cut back on. Instead of buying a T-bone steak, settle for a pot roast. It is time to eliminate waste. Let us encourage our congressional representatives to do their part to resolve this issue. No more band-aids should be used as a fix.! Production Denise Smith Administrative Specialist Tina Riddick-Harris Distribution Hakeen Ross Scott McCormick Kamau Islam
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Oct. 2 - 8, 2013 • 7
P.T. Hoffsteader, Esq.
The Richmond Voice
Stop watching us
Have you been concerned about how you and your community can stand up to egregious invasions of our privacy -- on our cell phones, internet services, and other vital tools we use to communicate? Recent reports revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been acquiring and tracking the communications of everyone in the United States, this includes cell phone records, emails, and text messages. The NSA’s overreaching surveillance is undermining the fabric of the internet, eroding any right to privacy-and it’s doing so with no meaningful oversight. Historically in times of overzealous government surveillance it is the dissenting voices - the labor organizers, civil rights leaders, immigrant rights groups, peace activists that have been the targets of surveillance aimed at disrupting and destabilizing movements for justice. That’s why we need to be a part of the efforts to change it. Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) groups from across the Northeast are participating in many ways, for reasons that hit very close to home. When running big stimulusfunding technology training programs, Philadelphia’s Media Mobilizing Project saw hundreds of poor and working people „— many of them touching a computer for the first time -- express big fears about their data might be collected and used against them. May First/People Link believes the Internet's purpose is to foster open communication and information sharing among all the world's people. Using the Internet for surveillance and other divisive and subversive goals is an obscene contradiction to its essence and purpose. May First works with organizers and
activists to think politically about how we engage with technology, how we think about the software we use and how we protect and preserve our ability to communicate openly and freely without intrusive and repressive surveillance. At a time when poor people need online access to apply to work a fast food counter, and when public benefits are mostly available online, access and privacy matter in huge ways to the communities where we live and work. On Saturday Oct. 26, on the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Patriot Act, thousands of people from across the country and political spectrum are coming together in Washington D.C. to deliver a message to Congress: “Stop watching us.” Bryan Mercer and Rebekah Phillips Philadelphia
Slap in the face
Ken Cuccinelli’s claim during last week’s debate that he has worked to protect women was a slap in the face to the women of Virginia who have to live with the consequences of his real record. Let’s be clear: Cuccinelli is the only candidate in this race who has actively worked to take money away from family-planning programs. He has supported bills that would ban common forms of birth control, mandate forced ultrasounds, and ban abortion care for women in cases of rape or incest. It’s no wonder that Cuccinelli championed a bill to funnel state money to the crisis pregnancy centers that lie to women when seeking medical care, given the way he misled voters tonight. The stakes in this race are too high for women and families in Virginia to take a chance on Ken Cuccinelli. Terry McAuliffe is the only candidate in this race that women can trust. Tonight McAuliffe said, ‘I think women in Virginia have had
enough of Ken Cuccinelli’s experience.’ I couldn’t agree with him more. Ilyse Hogue Washington, D.C.
Kudos to the Petersburg School Board chair and its members for adopting a resolution supporting the filing of a lawsuit by VASBA and Norfolk school board challenging the new OEI law created by the General Assembly and not the state board of education. You can presume there is a problem with OEI and its “take over” mission when the Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, do not support or will not defend the law! School boards are elected to fight for their neighborhood public schools and to provide for a safe and secure place for teaching and learning. Also to ensure that teachers are well-prepared to meet the individual needs of all students through the hiring of the appropriate school superintendent. Again kudos to our own. Walt Hill Petersburg
On I-95 Confederate flag
My great grandpa was killed fighting for Germany in 1943. He represents my people. So, hey, how about a Nazi flag off the deck on Fritz’s birthday? No? Can I fly a Soviet flag for my cousin who was killed in the 1960s while in the Soviet army. No? Then, I’m going to have to pass on your vile mega cloth in support of one of the most evil, wretched and cruel regimes the world has ever known. It’s not heritage, it’s hate. It’s not hate, it’s torture. It’s not torture, it’s tearing a hole in the soul of this nation that still has not been repaired. Joseph Kennedy Fairfax
About NSA from page 6 There is no place for the timidity Congress has shown so far on these issues. Our system depends on a vigorous Congress. The administration argues that it can provide rigorous intelligencegathering oversight, but it has yet to prove it can do so — and in our system of checks and balances, it’s not enough to have one branch of government overseeing itself. Congress, the courts, and the presidentially appointed Privacy and Civil Liberties Board all have to step up to their responsibilities. Americans should demand action to strike a better balance between privacy and security. In the past, the congressional overseers of the intelligence community have been captivated, if not captured, by the people they’re supposed to be supervising. Same with the courts. And the administration has hardly been forthcoming. That means it’s up to the American people to insist that our leaders do their jobs. It’s no less true today than it was at our founding: the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
Hamilton is director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.
8 • Oct. 2 - 8, 2013
The Richmond Voice
Clifford Jones will seek to lead the National Baptist Convention The Rev. Clifford A. Jones Sr., pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, has said he will run to be the next president of the National Baptist Convention USA, the nation’s largest and oldest association of Black Baptists. Jones’ candidacy became apparent almost immediately after the group’s current president, the Rev. Julius Scruggs, recently announced that he would not seek a second, five-year term. The election will be held in September 2014 when the convention meets in New Orleans. At the Charlotte Convention Center, where the 2013 annual meeting was underway, volunteers from Jones’ west Charlotte host church fanned out to distribute campaign literature as convention-goers were leaving Scruggs’ annual address, where he announced that he would not seek re-election. Jones later told reporters that the decision to run was long in coming. “It wasn’t so much deciding; it’s been several years of praying and watching our
president, and he decided that he was not going to run,” Jones said. “I felt a calling to run and offer some service as we go forward together.” In addition to Jones, at least three other pastors — the Rev. Randy Vaughn of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist in Port Arthur, Texas; the Rev. Boise Kimber of First Calvary Baptist in New Haven and Hartford, Conn.; and the Rev. Jerry Young of New Hope Baptist in Jackson, Miss. — announced their intentions to run. The election will come at a time when the National Baptist Convention has seen years of declining attendance and membership. Many of the nation’s fastest-growing Black churches are non-denominational or are led by preachers loosely rooted in the convention, which traces its roots to 1880. The Convention was dealt its most severe blow, perhaps, in the 1990s, when its former president, the Rev. Henry Lyons of St. Petersburg, Fla., was sent to prison after being convicted of racketeering and grand theft. He was accused of using church
Rev. Clifford A. Jones Sr.
Evangelicals ‘worse’ than Catholics
(RNS) — The Christian mission field is a “magnet” for sexual abusers, Boz Tchividjian, a Liberty University law professor who investigates abuse said last week to a room of journalists. While comparing evangelicals to Catholics on abuse response, ”I think we are worse,” he said at the Religion Newswriters Association conference, saying too many evangelicals had “sacrificed the souls” of young victims. “Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics,” said Tchividjian, a grandson of evangelist Billy Graham and executive director of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), which has investigated sex abuse allegations. Earlier this summer, GRACE spearheaded an online petition decrying the “silence” and “inattention” of evangelical leaders to sexual abuse in their churches. Mission agencies, “where abuse is most prevalent,” often don’t report abuse because they fear being barred from working in foreign countries, he said. Abusers will get sent home and might join another agency. Of known data from abuse cases, 25
percent are repeat cases, he said. Still, he said, he sees some positive movements among some Protestants. Bob Jones University has hired GRACE to investigate abuse allegations, a move that encourages Tchividjian, a former Florida prosecutor. ”That’s like the mothership of fundamentalism,” he said. His grandfather split with Bob Jones in a fundamentalist and evangelical division. “The Protestant culture is defined by independence,” Tchividjian said. Evangelicals often frown upon transparency and accountability, he said, as many Protestants rely on Scripture more than religious leaders, compared to Catholics. Abusers discourage whistle-blowing by condemning gossip to try to keep people from reporting abuse, he said. Victims are also told to protect the reputation of Jesus. Too many Protestant institutions have sacrificed souls in order to protect their institutions, he said. ”We’ve got the Gospels backwards,” he said. Tchividjian said he is speaking with Pepperdine University, a Church of Christaffiliated school in California, about creating a national GRACE center.
Rev. Julius Scruggs
money to buy a $135,000 Mercedes and to make a deposit on a $925,000 estate in Charlotte. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Scruggs said the convention has struggled to move past the Lyons scandal. “We are still recovering our image,” said Scruggs, 71, who pastors First Missionary Baptist in Huntsville, Ala. “It damaged the giving level of our convention and even split some of the churches who were
giving. We’re in the rebuilding stage at this point.” If elected, Jones said he would focus on re-building attendance; strengthening programs, including Christian education; strengthening local churches and church financing and addressing “doctrinal issues.” “It’s (the campaign) going to be a lot of work,” he said, “and we’re looking forward to God blessing us.”
Oct. 2 - 8, 2013 • 9
The Richmond Voice
Keeping the Faith Layer upon layer Years ago my sister traveled to the Ukraine on a mission trip. She worked among the indigenous Christians on a number of worthy projects, and when her time ran up, she returned home with a By Ronnie McBrayer heart full of joy, a head full of memories, and bags full of strange and wonderful souvenirs. Since I’m the only twin brother my sister has, she brought me a unique gift: A set of Matryoshka Dolls; traditional Russian nesting dolls. When you open the first doll it has a smaller doll on the inside, so on and so forth, until you reach a tiny Weeble Wobble deep within. My sister traveled well after Russian Perestroika, Polish Solidarity, and the other movements that unhinged communism in Eastern Europe. The outer doll of my Matryoshka set was, entertainingly, Boris Yeltsin. His likeness had a dopey little smile and rumpled hair as if he had been drinking too much vodka, accurately portrayed I fear. When Yeltsin was opened, there was Gorbachev with the familiar birthmark on his forehead. Inside Gorbachev was Khrushchev, then Josef Stalin, and finally Vladimir Lenin himself. I now keep all these little Communists boxed in the attic. They are much too dangerous to be let loose in the world again. The deeper you went within the dolls, the closer you got to the essence of Soviet power, its source and beginning. As layer after layer fell away, and finally you held a tiny characterization of Lenin in your hand, you could truthfully say, “Ah, now I’ve gotten to the bottom of it all. This is the seed, the kernel from which all the others grew.” I, and many others, have tried this same thing with Jesus. We have struggled to unravel him, to break open his shell, and then the next, and the next, and the next. Then, we think we can get to the bottom of who he is and his story. We reconstruct his historical setting. We dissect his words. We set out to determine who he “really was” and is. But there is a problem. When dealing with this Jesus, we do not find ourselves moving
to something smaller and more manageable. No, the deeper we go, and as the layers fall away, we move to something greater. He gets larger, more uncontrollable, more inconceivable, and more wonderful than our minds can imagine. We are the ones left to weeble and wobble. Yet, there is a seed, a core to the historical Jesus as well as the exalted Christ of our faith. It is the element of sacrifice. There at the end of it all, when the onion is peeled, is a cross. Jesus, for two millennia, has been marked by this instrument of death. More accurately, he has been marked by the cross since before the threads of time were ever spun. He was “slain before the foundations of the world,” John the Revelator said. There is a cross hanging above my desk where these words are being typed. I sometimes wear a crucifix around my neck. I even have a Celtic version of the symbol inked into my skin. And while I behold the cross every day, I cannot take hold of all its implications. C. S. Lewis challenged us to look at the cross, not as a display of godly anger toward Jesus or the world, but as a Lover absorbing the shame and humiliation of betrayal and unfaithfulness. Lewis said, “Jesus shows on the cross that God’s love is not about violence and retaliation. The cross is the only true language of forgiveness.” That stick of wood is a display of agonizing love shown to a world lost in self-centeredness and self-delusion, a world that has done nothing but be disloyal to and reject its Maker. That cross shows us how far Love will go: God, humiliated and bleeding in a suffering mess, bearing up underneath the betrayal of His own creation. If you can get to the bottom of that, please let me know. You’re a smarter person than most.
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Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.
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10 • Oct. 2 - 8, 2013
The Richmond Voice
Kunjufu: Love is the recipe for high student achievement
“We hear so much about the plight of African American children and their low test scores,” said Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, a nationally noted education advocate. “We have not heard that African American children who are homeschooled are scoring at the 82 percent in reading and 77 percent in math. This is 30-40 percent above their counterparts being taught in school. There is a 30 percent racial gap in schools, but there is no racial gap in reading if taught in the home and only a 5 percent gap in math.” Kunjufu recently penned a piece noting that what explains the success of home schooled African American students is as simple as love and high expectations. “I am reminded of Booker T. Washington High School,” said Kunjufu. “They were
Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu
honored several years ago for producing the greatest turnaround as a ‘recovery
Reform plan misplaced for HBCUs By Freddie Allen WASHINGTON (NNPA) – President Barack Obama’s proposal to make colleges more affordable has some good points, but could disproportionately harm Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), many of whom are already reeling from changes in the college student loan program that is causing fewer students to remain enrolled in HBCUs, according to education experts. President Obama recently outlined his college affordability plan during a two-day tour of Buffalo, Syracuse, and Binghamton, N.Y. The president wants to send more student financial aid to colleges that make efforts to lower costs while raising graduation rates. The college ratings system will track a number of metrics, including tuition costs, graduation rates, student debt and earnings of recent graduates. The information will be readily available for parents and students online. According to the White House, the average tuition at a public four-year college has recently increased by 250 percent, eclipsing the rise in median family income that only increased 16 percent. “The average student who borrows for college now graduates owing more than $26,000,” Obama said in Buffalo. “Some owe a lot more than that.” Lezli Baskerville, president of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher education, a non-profit umbrella organization of the
nation’s HBCUs and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), said: “Measuring dollars as some indication of success of a college or university would be terribly misplaced.” Julianne Malveaux, an economist and immediate past president of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C., agrees, saying because HBCUs service a different population than predominately White institutions (PWIs), it would be difficult to design a national ratings system that would be fair and equitable to those distinct bodies. “We have a culture of service in the community,” said Malveaux. “What if you want to go work as a social worker, but you would make more money as a corporate lawyer? Some of those metrics are countercultural.” Higher education groups agree that providing families with transparent and accurate information that will assist them in making critical decisions about which college to choose, while pushing colleges to control costs and admit more lowincome students are crucial steps in the right direction. “The obvious goal of the program is something you can’t argue with,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “Objective good solid information can only be good for the community.” But for Taylor and many other higher See “HBCUs” on pg. 21
school.’” The principal, who had the opportunity to pick and choose her staff, emphatically stated that those who want to teach in the school must love the students. “Researchers love promoting that the racial gap is based on income, marital status, and the educational background of the parents,” said Kunjufu. “Seldom, if ever, do they research the impact of love and high expectations.” Since the landmark desegregation decision, Brown vs. Topeka in 1954, there has been a 66 percent decline in African American teachers, according to national education statistics. “Many African American students are in classrooms where they are not loved, liked, or respected,” said Kunjufu. “Their culture is not honored and bonding is not considered. They are given low expectations - which helps to explain how students can be promoted from one grade to another without mastery of the content.” Kunjufu is advocating homeschooling, which more than 100,000 African Americans have turned to.
“There are so many benefits to homeschooling beyond academics,” said Kunjufu. “Most schools spend more than 33 percent of the day disciplining students. One of every six African American males is suspended and large numbers are given Ritalin and placed in special education. These problems seldom, if ever, exist in the homeschool environment.” He adds that bullying has also become a significant issue. Another homeschool benefit that Kunjufu touts happens during the summer months. “Research shows that there is a three-year gap between white and African American students,” he said. “Some students do not read or are involved in any academic endeavor during the summer. Those students lose 36 months from grades first to 12. Homeschool parents do not allow academics to be forsaken for three months.” Another benefit, he said, is that in the homeschool environment, parents are allowed to teach their children values, including faith based morals and principals, that help mold them well.
Young football players The Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities was the first local agency to benefit from the construction of the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center, when over the weekend, it hosted about 270 young children playing youth football. Many of these kids played in the footsteps of their heroes, said Dr. Norman C. Merrifield, director of the city department. The department offers football and cheerleading for youth age five to 14 and each team represents one of the department’s community centers throughout the city.
The Richmond Voice
Oct. 2 - 8, 2013 • 11
12 • Oct. 2 - 8, 2013
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLES
The Richmond Voice
Jennifer Hudson portrays infamous political icon
Winnie Mandela is a controversial figure in the annals of South African history. For not only was she the first wife of freedom fighter-turned-President Nelson Mandela, but she was also convicted of ordering numerous human rights violations. At the height of the anti-apartheid movement, she headed a goon squad which doled out street justice to blacks suspected of collaborating with the white establishment. With Winnie’s blessing, snitches would be sentenced to death by necklace, meaning by having a gasolinesoaked tire placed on their shoulders and set on fire. And after the fall of Apartheid, she confessed before the country Truth and Reconciliation commission to “the murder, torture, abduction and assault of numerous men, women and children.” So, it’s understandably hard to put a sympathetic spin on such an infamous political figure. That is the challenge tackled by director
Darrell Roodt in Winnie Mandela, a warts-and-all biopic which focuses on its subject’s childhood, college days and marriage while making short shrift of her transition into a war criminal. Along the way, we learn that she was a headstrong tomboy who blossomed into the irresistible beauty that Nelson fell in love with at first sight. Sadly, the two were separated for 27 years while he was imprisoned on Robben Island for treason because of his call for an end to Apartheid. And perhaps that was what led Winnie to rationalize resorting to fighting the government and stool pigeons by any means necessary. As for the acting, Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard do their best to adopt appropriate accents, but they both sound fake since they’re surrounded by a cast comprised of actual South Africans. The production’s most glaring flaw, nevertheless, is that the poorly-scripted
Terrence Howard as Nelson Mandela and Jennifer Hudson as Winnie Mandela.
screenplay simply fails to give the audience much of a reason to invest in unlikable Winnie’s life story.
Worthy new shows It’s fall, schools are back in session, pumpkin spice latte is back and the fall television season is in full swing. It is also the time of year when over 100 shows have returned from summer vacation. There are also several new shows which have already debuted and are DVR worthy. Here are four of them. “Sleepy Hollow” on Fox which brings the characters of Icabod Crane and the Headless Horseman into modern day New England. The show has very little to do with the Washington Irving Story except for the two main characters. Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” deals with a conspiracy theory which starts during the Revolutionary War, where the British troops are working for the devil trying to not only topple the colonies but bring about armageddon. General George Washington, enlists Icabod Crane to help him try and thwart the coming apocalypse while at the same time winning the American Revolution. Flash forward to the 21st century where Icabod Crane and the Headless Horseman both awake to find the world a much changed place but the age old battles continues. Icabod enlists the aide of Abbie Mills to help him stop the headless
Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison).
horseman who is one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse whose mission is to end the world. The plot line of the show sounds a little ridiculous but fans of conspiracy theories and “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer” will find this tale a lot of fun to watch.
“Mom”, is a new show on CBS which stars Anna Faris as Christy, a down and out mother and recovering alcoholic who is a trying to get her life back together. Christy also has past relationship issues with her estranged mother current issues with her daughter. The show is sometimes serious
Winnie Mandela, less an honorable “Mother of the Nation,” than a disgraceful, “bad mother-[shut your mouth]!” but is actually a well crafted comedy. Faris is great in her role as Christy where she is able to milk each scene for the most laughs. If the rest of the season can live up to the laugh filled pilot this show will a DVR must have. “The Crazy Ones”, on CBS, features Robin Williams on his return to television as Simon Roberts, who along with his daughter, Sydney, run an ad agency. The show is full of Williams’ usual comedy, which at times may seem a little forced but overall the show has a lot of laughs and is worth a second watch. Williams also seems to have a true chemistry with Sara Michelle Gellar as his daughter. The show also features James Wolk, Amanda Setton and Hamish Linklater. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” is the highly anticipated ABC show which features Agent Coulson from the Avengers movie. While the premiere episode did not live up to the hype, the show is still fun to watch. The special effects as well as all the comedic interaction between the agents provides enough of a punch to carry the pilot episode along. It will be interesting to see if upcoming episodes are as fun to watch as the first. The show also boasts a surprise at the end of each episode. All four of these shows seem like they will last, however in the world of television ratings, anything can happens.
Oct. 2 - 8, 2013 • 13
The Richmond Voice
New report touts increase in Ask Gwendolyn Baines Va. film industry employment Should I be afraid
There has been a 15.7 percent increase in employment in the Virginia film industry, according to data from a new report. The Economic Impact of Major Film and Television Productions Shot in Virginia Between 2011 and 2013 report by Magnum Economics details the impact of the state’s film incentive program, enhanced in 2010 to attract film and television productions to Virginia. According to the Virginia Film Office (VFO), Virginia’s program combines a commonly used film tax credit with the Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund. By combining these tools, the state effort has created jobs, added revenue and delivered international advertising. The report concludes that 11 projects received $11.8 million in incentives and spent $66.4 million in the state – generating a total economic impact of $139.1 million. The projects included Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln”, the documentary dramas “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy” for the National Geographic Channel, “Captain Phillips” starring Tom Hanks for Sony Pictures and television pilots “Company Town” for CBS and “Turn” for AMC, among others. The report concludes that the benefit to cost ratio of the incentive investment was 11.8 - 1; meaning that for every incentive dollar provided, $11.80 was returned to Virginia’s economy. “11.8 to 1 is a superb value for Virginians, but that does not even tell the whole story,” said VFO Director Andy Edmunds. “Added-value we have uniquely incorporated into our incentive program
is buying advertising for Virginia as a tourism destination. ‘Killing Lincoln’ for example produced and broadcast a commercial promoting the commonwealth that was seen in over 170 countries.” The study further reports significant collateral contributions made by the film industry in Virginia. The industry significantly benefits small businesses having an average of seven employees. Film jobs, noted VFO, provide some of the highest wages in the state with an average weekly salary of $1,277.00, which is 23 percent above the average weekly wage for all other industries. There are currently 32 public and private colleges and universities in Virginia providing film-related education. The growth in the state’s film industry provides graduates from these programs with the opportunity to stay in the state and work, rather than relocating to other more active areas. Additionally, VFO notes that a healthy and thriving film industry has a strong positive impact on travel and tourism, as has been demonstrated in Virginia with such popular film and television projects as “Lincoln”, “Killing Lincoln” and HBO’s “John Adams”. Accirding to VFO, the film industry in Virginia plays a significant role in the state’s economy. In 2011, total economic impact of the film and television industry in Virginia was $394.4 million, a 14.5 percent increase over 2010. In addition, 3,817 jobs were attributed to the film industry in 2011, up from 2,651 jobs in 2010.
of my fiancee? Dear Gwendolyn:
I am planning to marry my fiancee next May. We have dated for 14 years and have lived together for the past five of those years. This is my problem: About six months ago my fiancee started acting strangely. I would wake up at night and she would have the light on and would be sitting in a chair next to the bed looking at me. I would be startled, but would smile and ask, “What is the problem?” She would not answer but would give a frown and then get back into the bed. gwendolynbox Last week when she came home from work, she sat in the car for an hour. There came up a storm and she opened the sunroof to her car. The car became soaked. I yelled for her to come in and she did. However, she got out of the car, did not close the sunroof and left all the doors open. I tell you Gwendolyn, something is wrong with her. (1) Should I marry her? (2) Should I be afraid? (3) Should I seek psychiatric help for her? Darby Dear Darby: To the first question: Postpone the marriage. To your second question: Yes. To your third question: Yes. I agree.
Something is seriously wrong with your friend. A marriage does not need to take place until her reactions can appear to be sane. Seek psychological help for your fiancee and give her time to recover before walking away. I say this because you may have been the problem. Think about it. Many thoughts pass through a woman’s mind. Men, like yourself, think a woman can be courted for years not realizing that in any relationship, depression can easily enter—especially when one feels not loved. A marriage at this time would be disastrous. Be realistic. The joys the two of you would have experienced 14 years ago... As B.B. King sings, “The Thrill is Gone.” ***Write to Gwendolyn Baines at: P. O. Box 10066, Raleigh, NC 276050066. To receive a reply, send a selfaddressed stamped envelope or e-mail her at: email@example.com
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14 • Oct. 2 - 8, 2013
The Richmond Voice
Breast cancer event will discuss screenings, role of MRIs
From staff and wire reports Breast cancer: To screen or not to screen? will be the topic of discussion at a free Virginia Commonwealth University free health seminar on Oct. 8. The event, set to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, will also feature discussion on MRIs, breast imaging. Dr. Gilda Cardeñosa, from VCU Breast Imaging, will discuss the importance of screening mammography and the evolving role of MRI or Magnetic resonance imaging. When do you begin? Is mammography right for you? What about your family history? What about MRI? These are some of the questions that will be discussed on the confusing topic of breast cancer screening. Health experts note that decisions about screening tests such as MRIs and mamographs can be difficult, especially since not all screening tests are helpful and most have risks. Before having any screening test, you urged to discuss the test with your doctor in a bid to know the risks of the test and whether it has been proven to reduce the risk of dying from cancer. Those at the Mayo Cinic note that breast MRI is most often used to screen for breast cancer in women thought to have a high risk of the disease. Breast MRI also may be used to assess the extent of breast cancer. MRI is a procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI). MRI does not use any x-rays. Doctors recommend a breast MRI if: • You have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and your doctor wants to determine the extent of the cancer; • You have a suspected leak or rupture of a breast implant; • You’re at high risk of breast cancer, defined as a lifetime risk of 20 to 25 percent or greater, as calculated by risk tools that take your family history and other factors into consideration. • You have a strong family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer; • You have very dense breast tissue, and mammogram didn’t detect a prior breast cancer; or • You have a history of precancerous breast changes — such as atypical
hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ — a strong family history of breast cancer and dense breast tissue. Mammography is the most common screening test for breast cancer. Experts at the National Cancer Institutes (NCI) describe mammogram as an x-ray of the breast. Mammographs may find tumors that are too small to feel. A mammogram may also find ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). In DCIS, there are abnormal cells in the lining of a breast duct, which may become invasive cancer in some women. NCI notes that mammograms are less likely to find breast tumors in women younger than 50 years than in older women. This may be because younger women have denser breast tissue that appears white on a mammogram. Because tumors also appear white on a mammogram, they can be harder to find when there is dense breast tissue. Women aged 40 to 74 years who have screening mammograms and are diagnosed with breast cancer have a lower chance of dying from breast cancer than women who do not have screening mammograms. As the national Breast Cancer Awareness Month gets underway, women are urged to be aware that breast selfexams may a woman’s first defense against the deadly disease. Breast self exams may be done by women, and even men, to check their breasts for lumps or other changes. Health experts note that it is important to know how your breasts usually look and feel. If you feel any lumps or notice any other changes, talk to your doctor. Doing breast self-exams has not been shown to decrease the chance of dying from breast cancer but can still be useful. MRIs find breast cancer more often than mammograms do, but it is common for MRI results to appear abnormal even when there isn’t any cancer. Still, many women at elevated breast cancer risk may refuse MRI as part of their screening program, largely because of fear and inconvenience, researchers have found. If you’re seeking more information on mammography and MRIs, the VCU event may be a great place to start. Registration is recommended. For more information or to register, call 804-828-0123 or send and e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In mammography, the breast is pressed between two plates. X-rays are used to take pictures of breast tissue. ILLUSTRATION: National Cancer Institutes
Domestic violence & abuse survivor to share story of survival and healing Every family has secrets and they come to surface in a series of novellas based on secrets, lies and abuse entitled the “Family Secrets Series” authored by Aynoit Ashor. Ashor, an abuse victim-turned-advocate, will share her story of survival, secrets and offer advice on how others can move forward after suffering from domestic and sexual abuse at the “Healing the Hurt Conference” on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Hopewell High School. Designed to raise awareness about sexual assault and domestic abuse, the free event will take place from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. “I’ll be sharing the story of my journey after suffering from abuse and how I moved on, after a life of molestation, rape, and abandonment,” said Ashor. “I am a survivor. I experienced it first-hand, so I know what others are going through.” The theme of the conference is “Stand With Me: Taking a Stand Against Domestic & Sexual Assault” and will include resources to obtain help, workshops on healthy relationships, dating violence, and same-sex partner abuse. Special workshops will also be held for teenagers, boys and men. Aynoit Ashor will present a workshop on “Life After Abuse” presented by Fountain of Life Outreach Church and partnering organizations: LAOS, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Yeshua House and
others. Ashor had that her mission is to expose the horrors of abus. She strives to educate and empower all targets and survivors of abuse. Her books are not for the faint of heart. She uses a frank and candid approach to shed light on why women stay in abusive relationships and what survivors can do to regain their power while moving forward. “Domestic abuse is still considered to be a taboo topic. The dialogue we will be engaged in is not for those who wear rose colored glasses,” said Ashor. “I have walked in the same victim shoes, survived the unimaginable and so I want to empower women to find a way to go on with life.”
Oct. 2 - 8, 2013 • 15
The Richmond Voice
Report: Significant choice and lower than expected premiums available in new marketplace
A new report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notes that in state after state, consumers will see increased competition in the Health Insurance Marketplace, leading to new and affordable choices for consumers. According to the report, consumers will be able to choose from an average of 53 health plans in the Marketplace, and the vast majority of consumers will have a choice of at least two different health insurance companies - usually more. Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected – with about 95 percent of eligible uninsured live in states with lower than expected premiums – before taking into account financial assistance. “We are excited to see that rates in the Marketplace are even lower than originally projected,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “In the past, consumers were too often denied or priced-out of quality health insurance options, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act consumers will be able to choose from a number of new coverage options at a price that is affordable.” The new marketplace for business where millions of Americans can shop for and purchase health insurance coverage in one place is now open. Consumers will be able to find out whether they qualify for
premium assistance and compare plans side-by-side based on pricing, quality and benefits. According to HHS, no one can be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. Oct. 1 marked the beginning of a six-month long open enrollment period that runs through March 2014. Coverage begins as early as Jan. 1, or in as little as 100 days. The HHS report finds that individuals in the 36 states where HHS will fully or partly run the marketplace will have an average of 53 qualified health plan choices. Plans in the marketplace will be categorized as either “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze,” depending on the share of costs covered. Young adults will also have the option of purchasing a “catastrophic” plan, increasing their number of choices to 57 on average. About 95 percent of consumers will have a choice of two or more health insurance issuers, often many more. About one in four of these insurance companies is offering health plans in the individual market for the first time in 2014, a sign of healthy competition. The report also gives an overview of pricing and the number of coverage options across the nation. It finds that the average premium nationally for the second lowest cost silver plan will be $328 before tax credits.
Genito Road (Route 604) Bridge Replacement Chesterfield County Design Public Hearing
Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 5-7 p.m. Woolridge Elementary School 5401 Timber Bluff Parkway, Midlothian, VA 23112 Come see plans to replace the bridge and approaches on Genito Road (Route 604) over Tomahawk Creek in Chesterfield County. The proposed design will shift the roadway slightly to the south to avoid the water line on the north side of the bridge. To prevent the need for a temporary traffic signal and to accelerate construction, the bridge will be closed for approximately one week. Flaggers will direct traffic over the bridge for the remainder of the construction. Review the proposed project plans depicting the major design features and the National Environmental Policy Act documentation at the public hearing or at VDOT’s Richmond District Office located at 2430 Pine Forest Drive in Colonial Heights, (800) 367-7623 or TTY/TDD 711. Please call ahead to assure the appropriate personnel are available to answer your questions. Property impact information, relocation assistance policies and tentative construction schedules are available for your review at the above address and will be available at the public hearing. Give your written or oral comments at the hearing or submit them by October 26, 2013 to Janet Hedrick, Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 2430 Pine Forest Drive, Colonial Heights, VA 23834-9002. You may also e-mail your comments to Janet.Hedrick@VDOT.Virginia.gov. Please reference “Genito Road bridge replacement” in the subject line. In compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106 and 36 CFR Part 800, information concerning the potential effects of the proposed project on properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places is provided in the environmental documentation. VDOT ensures nondiscrimination and equal employment in all programs and activities in accordance with Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If you need more information or special assistance for persons with disabilities or limited English proficiency, contact VDOT’s Civil Rights Division (800) 367-7623 or TDD/TTY 711. * In the event of inclement weather on October 16, this meeting will be held October 23 at the same time and location above. State Project: 0604-020-640, P101, R201, C501, B693 Federal Project: BR-5A27 (115)
Prevent suicide: 1-800 273 -TALK (8255)
ACTIVITIES & MEETINGS
16 • Oct. 2 - 8, 2013
“The Impersonator” event
The Library of Virginia and the Art Deco Society of Virginia are sponsoring a “Roaring Twenties” party to launch “The Impersonator”, Mary Miley’s debut novel on Friday, Oct. 4, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the library Conference Rooms. Set against a Prohibition-era backdrop of speakeasies and vaudeville houses, the novel won the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition. The event will feature dancing to music played on an antique Victrola, a champagne reception, and Miley’s talk on “Why the Roaring Twenties Is the Most Fascinating Decade in American History.” You are invited to wear your best ’20s or ’30s clothing for the fun evening. An author book signing and reception with more music and dancing will follow the talk.
Toward Freedom: Hampton and the Contraband
The premiere of a ground-breaking exhibition exploring the heroic journey and lives of enslaved men, women and children whose actions changed America will take place on Friday, Oct. 4 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Hampton History Museum, 120 Old Hampton Ln., in Hampton. Trace the steps of escaped slaves en route to “Freedom’s Fortress” in the early days of the Civil War. One of the period’s most compelling, and little-known tales of intrigue, the heroic story of the “Contrabands” is a must see. RSVP to email@example.com.
A story of survival and healing
Every family has secrets and they come to surface in a series of novellas based on secrets, lies and abuse entitled the “Family Secrets Series” written by author Aynoit Ashor. Ashor, an abuse victim-turned-advocate, will share her story of survival, secrets and offer advice on how others can move forward after suffering from domestic and sexual abuse at the “Healing the Hurt Conference” on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Hopewell High School in Hopewell. Designed to raise awareness about sexual assault and domestic abuse, the free event will take place from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. The theme of the conference is “Stand With Me: Taking a Stand Against Domestic & Sexual Assault” and will include resources to obtain help, workshops on healthy relationships, dating violence, and same-sex partner abuse. Special workshops will also be held for teenagers, boys and men. Ashor will present a workshop on “Life After Abuse.” It is presented by Fountain of Life Outreach Church and partnering organizations: LAOS, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Yeshua House and others.
RVA Business Expo
The Richmond Voice
RVA Networking launches its first annual RVA Business Expo to celebrate local entrepreneurs small to medium business ventures as well as the professional leaders in the metropolitan area. Best-selling company cartoonist, Duane Abel shares his journey of the creation of his character Zed with Richmond business owners at the expo. Connecting with hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs and over two dozen vendors, residents will be able to learn, buy and sell products from local shops. With the unemployment rate between six and seven percent, the co-founders are hopeful of the new opportunities available for recent college graduates and established professionals. The RVA Expo will be held at The Greater Richmond Convention Center located at 403 N. Third St. Richmond, on Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at www.rvaexpo.com.
Do you have a child who loves to dance? If so, now is the time to channel that young energy into a professional dance class with City Dance. The city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities’ City Dance program is now accepting new students through Oct. 12. The program offers affordable classes in ballet, tap, jazz and a variety of other dance styles for children age three and older. For more information on classes and registration, call 804-646-3673, or download the department’s program guide from www.richmondgov.com/parks.
VCU Presidential Symposium on Cancer
VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., and VCU Massey Cancer Center present the VCU Presidential Symposium on Cancer, Cancer Care across the Continuum, on Oct. 12 at 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the McGlothlin Medical Education Center. This event will bring together health care providers, cancer researchers, patients, survivors and community members to engage in dialogue about the latest in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, supportive care, survivorship and research. General attendance is free, and continuing education credits are available for physicians and dentists. Visit www.cancersymposium.vcu.edu to learn more or to register.
Tech Center car show
The Chesterfield Technical Center’s 16th annual car show will take place Oct. 12 at Tractor Supply Co., 6801 Lake Harbour Drive, off Hull Street Road. Car clubs and individuals from across Virginia will display classic cars, street rods, muscle cars, 4x4s and motorcycles. The show will be open to the public 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free. Students in the culinary arts and the baking and pastry arts programs at the Chesterfield Technical Center will sell baked goods. In case of rain, the car show will take place Oct. 13. All proceeds will go to the Chesterfield Technical Center’s SkillsUSA chapter, which provides opportunities for student leadership, community service and skills competition on district, state and national levels. Emphasizing hands-on technical training, the Chesterfield Technical Center offers 13 one-year and 15 two-year courses in such areas as automotive technology, culinary arts, veterinary science, medical assisting, landscaping and A+/Cisco networking. Many courses offer dual enrollment college credit and opportunities for students to earn industry certification. About 1,400 students are enrolled at the Chesterfield Technical Center.
Are you suffering domestic or sexual violence? There are resource centers locally that can help you get to safety.
804-287-7877 for help
Make a difference in your life. We reserve the right to edit all submissions for space, clarity, style and grammar. Flyers will not be accepted. E-mail events to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Richmond Voice
Oct. 2 - 8, 2013 • 17
For D.C. mayor, all city services are essential during federal shutdown impact By Zenitha Price NNPA — In the face of a possible federal government shutdown, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray made a bold move, declaring all local government services essential in order to keep their doors open. He did this when the clock was ticking down for Capitol Hill lawmakers to pass an appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2014, which began Oct. 1. But partisan wrangling over the insertion of language that would repeal the Affordable Care Act was headed to a shutdown even on Sept. 30. Since the District’s budget has to be approved by Congress as part of that appropriations process, a federal shutdown would also mean a D.C. shutdown. And most services, except for those defined as “essential” would be curtailed. But Gray and other D.C. leaders said it was an outrage that the city would have to pay for Congress’ ineffectiveness. “I have determined that everything the District government does – protecting the health, safety and welfare of our residents and visitors – is essential,” said Gray in
a statement explaining his decision. “It is ridiculous that a city of 632,000 people – a city where we have balanced our budget for 18 consecutive years and have a rainy-day fund of well over a billion dollars – cannot spend its residents’ own local tax dollars to provide them the services they’ve paid for without Congressional approval.” He added, “Congress can’t even get its own fiscal house in order; they should be taking lessons from us rather than imposing needless suffering on us. I will not allow the safety and well-being of District residents to be compromised by Congress’s dysfunction.” Gray announced his decision in a letter sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget informing them that the District’s government would remain open during any lapse in appropriations. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), the city’s delegate on Capitol Hill, said she supported Gray’s decision. But she also decried the need to take such measures at all, saying this symbolizes why Congress should cut the District’s leading strings.
Gray and Holmes
“As I have repeatedly told my colleagues throughout my service in Congress, no member of Congress, myself included, should ever tell the District of Columbia what to do or how to spend its locally raised funds,” she said in a statement. “… The city is well aware of the legal and political risks of its actions. The fact that the city has felt driven to circumvent the congressional process highlights the need for D.C. to be freed from being embroiled in federal matters and be granted autonomy over its own budget, as is the case of every other state, and other locality and territory in the country.” Last spring, D.C. voters overwhelmingly supported a budget autonomy referendum
unlinking the local budget from congressional oversight. And D.C. residents, who pay taxes just like other American citizens, should have more control over where that money is spent and should be able to benefit from those funds, leaders said. “The money that the District would spend during the federal shutdown is local tax dollars, and not federal taxes,” said Councilwoman Anita Bonds, D-At Large, in a statement. “Our residents expect to see local tax dollars spent on the services that make the local government work every day, and which include vital services to Capitol Hill neighborhoods, families and workers.”
the agency he had a “boy cut” but over the years allowed his hair to grow longer. By 2005, Williams said, his hair was shoulderlength and it has grown considerably down his back since then. “What I love about my hair is that it is a part of me and of who I am,” said Williams “I had been growing my hair for 10 years, and it had never been an issue.” In his complaint, Williams said that in June 2010 a superior instructed him to consider cutting his hair. After being asked again a month later, Williams said he informed the superior that he was not going to trim his hair because of his “rights, religious beliefs and spiritual faith.” The complaint said the agency instituted a “retaliatory” policy in January 2012 forbidding men from wearing dreadlocks below the collar. In part the policy said: “Males will not adorn dreadlocks or braids and hair shall not extend over the top of a
shirt collar.” Hogan, the department spokeswoman, said that the policy is still in effect. Williams called the policy discriminatory because it specifically mentioned males but not females, who were allowed to wear their dreadlocks below the collar. The same month, January 2012, Williams said he was instructed to leave work, get a trim and return “within two hours.” He received a letter of reprimand later that month after once again refusing to cut his hair, and in February he was ordered to turn in his probation officer’s badge, weapon and uniform. He also said he received a 5 percent pay cut before eventually being fired. Williams said several other co-workers with dreadlocks trimmed their hair after the new policy was put in place. He said he is seeking unspecified damages in his lawsuit.
Former Ga. ex-probation officer sues state over dreadlocks policy
By Christopher Seward ATLANTA (NNPA) — A former probation officer in the Georgia Department of Corrections is suing the agency, claiming his pay was docked and he was subsequently fired for insubordination because he refused to trim his dreadlocks, even though female staffers were not given the same directive. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in June ruled Richard Williams of Stone Mountain had the right to institute a civil action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. He filed the suit this week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gwendolyn Hogan said the agency does not comment on active lawsuits. Williams said he was employed by the agency from 2001 until May 2012 and was working in its Central DeKalb Probation Office when he was fired. The 43-year-old said that when he joined
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The Richmond Voice
Former CBC chair, Rep. Lee, joins world leaders at U.N By Zenitha Price TEWire — Former Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) chair Rep. Barbara Lee is among the dozens of international leaders who convened at the United Nation’s 68th General Assembly Session in New York last week. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama nominated the California Democrat to represent the United States at the annual gathering, where the 193 member states deliberate on issues and make policies. Lee’s nomination made her the first African American woman to serve in this capacity. Lee said she was “deeply honored” by the nomination, which was made by the recommendation of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D-Calif.), and said she looked forward to representing Congress and the nation. “The United Nations is a critical body in our global community, and is essential to our shared future. This nomination comes at a time when tensions in our world are at a fever-pitch, and I believe now more than ever that the United States must fully engage the United Nations and the international community to ensure a safer and more peaceful world,” Lee said in a statement. She added, “It will be my goal as a
Rep. Barbara Lee
Representative to the U.N. to help foster stronger ties, deeper bonds, and increase our commitment to the vision of the United Nations: a better world for all.” The assembly began on Sept. 17 during a critical time as the world grapples with, the civil conflict in Syria, ongoing threats of nuclear war, pervasive poverty and the need for sustainable development, among other concerns. “The upcoming year will be pivotal for this Assembly as we seek to identify the parameters of the post-2015 development agenda,” 68th General Assembly President
John W. Ashe, of Antigua and Barbuda, said in his opening address to the 193-Member State body. “The magnitude of the task before us will require decisive action and the highest levels of collaboration and we must prove ourselves and our efforts to be equal to the enormity of the task.” Leaders have set 2015 as the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that consist of the eight anti-poverty targets set by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000. The specific goals are meant to address poverty
alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a global partnership for development. At this assembly, leaders will look forward with the theme of this year’s session: “The Post 2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage.” CBC Chair Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), said her colleague’s longtime advocacy on many of these issues makes her a perfect voice to add to the throng of world notables gathered in New York. “Rep. Barbara Lee is one of the most outspoken advocates and leaders on developing solutions to the many challenges facing our world. During her tenure in Congress, she has diligently worked to unite Members of Congress across party lines to end poverty, to raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and to advance diplomatic efforts that will achieve international peace,” Fudge said in a statement. Fudge added, “She has used her voice to speak against war and genocide and to speak up for those whose voices have been silenced and ignored. Through her work, Rep. Lee makes it clear that she stands for improving the lives of people in California’s 13th District, across the nation and for millions of people around the world.”
Evelyn Lowery leaves a legacy of civil rights and public service NNPA — Evelyn Lowery, the wife of civil rights leader the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, died last week in her Atlanta home. She was 88. “My beloved Evelyn was a special woman, whose life was committed to service, especially around the issues of empowering women,” said Joseph E. Lowery said in a statement last Wednesday. “She was a wonderful mother and wife and I thank God that she didn’t suffer any pain and that I was blessed having her as my partner, my confidant and my best friend for close to 70 years. “I will miss her each and every day, but as a man of faith, I know that she is with her God.” Prior to her death, doctors said they had
done all they could for Evelyn Lowery. She was in critical condition for days following a stroke she suffered that was said to have caused “irreversible damage.” “My entire family has been overwhelmed by the continuous outpourings of love, support and prayers that have come from across the country, and we ask for your continued prayers,” said Lowery. Evelyn Lowery was founder of SCLC/ W.O.M.E.N. (Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now). As the founder of SCLC/W.O.M.E.N., an organization created to advocate on behalf of the rights of women, children and families, Lowery spearheaded education and mentoring programs, HIV/AIDS awareness initiatives and raised more than
$350,000 for scholarships for high school seniors. She was a member of the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame and a winner of the Rosa Parks Award. She also created the Drum Major For Justice Award, given annually near the April 4 anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The daughter of a Methodist preacher, Evelyn Lowery had become accustomed to a life of activism long before she met Lowery, who would not only become her husband, but a preacher and civil rights activist, too. Funeral arrangements are pending. Survivors include her husband, three daughters, a sister and grandchildren.
Oct. 2 - 8, 2013 • 19
The Richmond Voice
Marissa Alexander, Fla. woman sentenced to 20 years for firing warning shot, gets new trial From wire reports TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appeals court is ordering a new trial for a woman sentenced to 20 years to prison after she fired a warning shot in a wall during a dispute with her husband. The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that a judge did not properly instruct the jury handling the case of Marissa Alexander. But the appeals court also said the judge
mandatory 20-year sentence under state law. Following news of the appeals court decision, leaders of the national and Florida NAACP chapters praised the decision. “This is a great day for Marissa and her family,”. In working with her, we have always believed in the judicial system,” said Isaiah Rumlin, president of the Jacksonville NAACP. “There were some mistakes made in the original trial, and the appellate court was able to correct those mistakes and grant a new trial. “We are very pleased that the appellate court did that. We will continue to work with her lawyers to see it through.”
was right to block Alexander from using the state’s “stand your ground” law as a way to defend her actions. Alexander had never been arrested before she fired a bullet at a wall one day in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her. But the judge at her trial said her conviction on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon carried a Marissa Alexander (right)
Family donates glass shard from firebombed Ala. church NNPA — The nation recently marked the 50th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church firebombing. The attack on the Birmingham, Ala., church, the site of mass meetings and civil rights rallies, killed four girls inside. The incident was considered an “answer” from racists to the Aug. 28, 1963 March on Washington. Distraught over the firebombing, the Jimersons, a white Birmingham family, kept a shard of glass from the church’s shattered windows as a symbol of the era’s virulent racism. They have now donated it to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. “Dad [The Rev. Norman C. ‘Jim’ Jimerson] moved us from Petersburg, Va., where he was a chaplain in the federal reformatory, to Birmingham, in 1961,” said Ann Jimerson, 62, of Tenleytown in Northwest Washington, D.C. Jimerson was hired as the executive director of the Alabama Council on Human Relations. Birmingham was nicknamed “Bombingham” due to frequent firebomb attacks on civil rights activists’ homes, and was called “the Johannesburg [South Africa] of the South” and “the most segregated city in America” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but Ann Jimerson said, “Dad felt called to go, to become part of the solution.” “He worked to establish communications between Alabama’s African Americans and its white moderates and liberals,” said Ann’s brother Rand Jimerson, 64, a history professor and director of the Archives and Records Management Masters Program at Western Washington University in
The twisted fragment of an approximately 8-inch shard of stained glass from the historic 16th Street Baptist Church window reminded Ann Jimerson's mother of the “twisted minds” of those who attacked the Birmingham, Ala., church 50 years ago.
Bellingham, Wash. “He spoke to people about improving race relations, and communicated with local councils around the state, including the Montgomery council where Dr. King was active.” “We joined Shades Valley Presbyterian church in Homewood, Ala., where we lived,” said Ann Jimerson. “Before that, several churches asked us to leave because of Dad’s position.” After church on Sunday, Sept. 15, 1963, The Rev. Jimerson was getting the barbecue ready to prepare lunch. “He turned on the radio and heard the announcement about the firebombing,”
said Ann Jimerson. “Our mother, a member of our church’s choir, was in church when the minister apparently announced the bombing, but didn’t stop the service.” “Dad waited until after lunchtime, then he telephoned many of the white Birmingham pastors he knew, urging them to go to the African American community with him to show support. No one would go,” Ann Jimerson recounted. Leaving their oldest son to babysit his four younger siblings, the Jimersons met with and comforted shocked and saddened African Americans in Birmingham. “At some point, Dad drove by himself
to the 16th Street Baptist Church,” Ann Jimerson said. “He just needed to be in the presence of what happened. He bent down and picked up shards of glass that had been blasted out of a window.” The family donated some of the shards to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, but kept one treasured piece. “My mother said the twisted glass and lead was like the twisted minds of the people who firebombed the church,” Ann Jimerson said. In February 2012, Rand Jimerson watched President Barack Obama on television at the groundbreaking ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. “President Obama said he hoped the museum would exhibit some shards of glass from the 16th Street Baptist Church windows, which he wanted his daughters to see,” said Ann Jimerson. “My brother got us siblings together on a conference phone call. I was to find out if the museum already had some glass. I contacted Bill Pretzer, a curator. I showed him a photo of the glass we had, and he said he wanted it for the museum.” Ann Jimerson said it took her family a year to decide to donate. “I know how powerful it is to be in the presence of the glass. But a friend told me, ‘That glass doesn’t belong to the Jimerson family, it belongs to the world.’ We feel really honored to have held the glass for that long and very pleased to share it with visitors who will now have access to it.” The Rev. Jimerson died in 1995. His widow Melva is ill and lives in Washington, D.C.
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The Richmond Voice
Health insurance exchanges will extend coverage to millions
By Freddie Allen WASHINGNTON (NNPA) – Health insurance market exchanges are opening across the nation and more than 40 million Americans, including more than seven million uninsured minorities, who were previously shut out of the health care system, will finally get access to the care they need. Blacks account for about 15 percent of the total nonelderly uninsured population, including one million children. “When it comes to health care access, communities of color across this nation are at a critical historical junction,” said Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, director of Health Equity at Families USA, a national non-profit group that advocates for highquality, affordable health care. Hernández-Cancio said that for as long as this issue has been studied, minority communities have struggled with a greater burden of chronic diseases, both in terms of prevalence and the severity of negative outcomes. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African American infants die from complications related to low birthweight at a rate that is four times higher than ehite infants. Black infants also die from sudden infant death syndrome at a rate that is twice as high as white infants. The Office of Minority Health found that African American men were diagnosed with prostate cancer at a rate that was 1.6 times higher than white men and that African American women diagnosed with breast cancer “were almost 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer” than white women. Even though, African American adults are 40 percent more likely to have hypertension than their white counterparts, they are 10 percent less likely to have their blood pressure in check. The average life span for African American men is five years shorter than the average life span for white men. Black women have an average life span that is three years shorter than the average life span for white women. “Not only are we more likely to get sick and get sicker from a slew of chronic diseases we face multiple obstacles to getting the care we need, not the least of which is lower rates of insurance than
Marketplace,” said Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a press release. “A network of volunteers on the ground in every state – health care providers, business leaders, faith leaders, community groups, advocates, and local elected officials – can help spread the word and encourage their neighbors to get enrolled.” Dizzy Warren, community outreach
manager for Michigan Consumers for Health Care said that her organization, a coalition of 200 health care groups that serve the entire state, began working two and half years ago to make sure that consumers had voice in the implementation process in her state. See “Health
exchanges” on pg. 21
Seniors’ complex reopens after fire
non-Hispanic white Americans,” said Hernández-Cancio. According to a recent report by Families USA, “nearly one-quarter (23.4 percent) of African Americans have been diagnosed with a condition that, without health reform, could lead to a denial of coverage.” Hernández-Cancio called the Affordable Care Act a game changer. “Now, more transparent reliable and affordable coverage options are going to be available for millions of people along with financial assistance for hard working families to pay for the coverage that they choose,” said Hernández-Cancio. Etoy Ridgnal, the national director for African American Engagement for Enroll America, a non-profit group that collaborates with health care stakeholders to maximize the number of people that enroll in health insurance programs, said that the Affordable Care Act will allow citizens to gain access to affordable health care plans that will fit the particular needs of their families. In an effort to increase awareness about the Affordable Care Act and to assist individuals and families in the enrollment process, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $67 million in grants to community organizations and state and local health care groups. “Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their coverage options in the
NNPA — Residents displaced four years ago by a fire at a senior living apartment complex in Northwest D.C. have finally been allowed to return home after a $2.6 million rebuilding effort was completed earlier this summer. Though renovations at Colorado Apartments were finished in June, the building was officially reopened late last month during a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by city and housing authority officials. “We’re happy to welcome returning residents home,” D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) said during a recent ceremony. “This building is the only D.C. Housing Authority property located in Ward 4, and it provides services to accommodate our seniors and residents who have physical challenges. We want to keep diversity in our ward and in the District, and Colorado Apartments helps us to do this.” No one was injured in the two-alarm fire on July 17, 2009, which began in the loft of the three-story building. Housing authority spokesman Mike White said the quick response by the
fire department helped save the 21-unit complex and that the agency was able to find temporary placement for all of the building’s residents. “For a city as vibrant as D.C., it’s important to have as many affordable housing units as possible for moderateand low-income residents, as well as for those seniors in our community who've given so much to the city,” said White. The revamped building, which offers one-bedroom units, also includes energyefficient windows and doors, water-saving toilets and low-maintenance hard surface flooring throughout the apartments. Adrianne Todman, the housing authority’s executive director, praised her staff’s efforts in getting the building reopened. “It’s painful for anyone to lose their home to a fire, and particularly if one is elderly or physically challenged,” she said. “We applaud our team for the good work they did ensuring that our residents were taken care of aand [enabling them] to return to a well-designed, energy efficient and safe facility.”
Oct. 2 - 8, 2013 • 21
The Richmond Voice HBCUs from page 10 education advocates, the devil is in the details. He argues that the higher education landscape is too complicated for a solution that doesn’t take into account the diversity of the student population that it serves. Taylor also said that in order to be effective, the ratings system must recognize the heavy-lifting that HBCUs undertake in educating many students who are illprepared for the rigors of college courses. “Schools that take students with an 8th, 9th or 10th grade reading level and get those kids to and through college should be rewarded more than a school that brings in a student that has a good chance of making it through college,” Taylor explained. A study conducted by the Center on Education and the Workforce at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, in Washington, D.C., found that, “Many African Americans and Hispanics are unprepared for college, but whites who are equally unprepared still get more postsecondary opportunities.” The study also reported that minorities who are college-ready are steered into “crowded and underfunded two-year colleges and open-access four-year colleges” at higher rates than their white peers. “To say schools that graduate 70 percent of their students should get a higher [ratings] number than schools that have a lower graduation rate is going to hurt schools that have a less prepared population of entering students,” said Taylor. “It’s no surprise to me that Harvard
Health exchanges from page 20 Warren said that health care advocates that work in minority communities recognized the importance of forming partnerships with trusted community stakeholders who were already active in the neighborhoods that they wanted to reach. “In some cases those people have volunteered and in a lot of instances we have recognized that if we are going to get the vulnerable populations insured, we had to proactively go out and locate the organizations that serve those populations,” said Warren. Warren said that the Michigan Consumers for Health Care sought out churches, local branches of civil rights groups and gay rights groups in a very deliberate way. Warren said that working at the grassroots level wasn’t enough and they also had to work from a “grasstop perspective.” That meant reaching out to national organizations such as Enroll America,
University is going to have a higher graduation rate than [Florida A & M University].” If the graduation rate is coupled with a factor that accounts for the effort that is required to graduate a certain type of student, that measurement could actually help HBCUs and community colleges, Taylor believes. Of particular concern to Taylor was a system that might compare graduate earnings for a school that does a phenomenal job graduating K-12 classroom teachers versus a school that does a phenomenal job graduating engineers. “Well, guess which graduates are going to have higher salaries and better jobs?” he said. “I want to make sure that the Department of Education looks at the impact that different majors and careers have on society and a broad classification of people. If they do that, we’ll be okay.”
Measuring the earnings of graduates in a labor market with lingering issues of race and gender discrimination offers yet another challenge. “It can’t just be about how fast you can grow a dollar,” said Baskerville. “Many HBCUs are founded on ecumenical principles. We encourage students to go into public service, we encourage students to volunteer and to give their time, and if they’re entrepreneurs, we encourage them to be good entrepreneurs. We encourage our male college graduates to be mentors to young boys. How do you quantify those things?” Malveaux said that the Department of Education needs to acknowledge that minority graduates experience unique challenges in the labor market. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C. based think tank that studies low- and middle-income families, “The unemployment rate of young black college graduates was 8.5 percent in 2007, rose to 21.9 percent by 2010, and improved to 11.9 percent over the last year (March 2012–February 2013).” The unemployment rate for young, white college graduates was 8 percent during the same time period. Even as the president moves to pressure colleges and universities to curb runaway tuition costs, the Department of Education ignored pleas from education groups that represent HBCUs to reverse measures that sidelined thousands of minority students that were eligible for Parent PLUS Loans a few semesters ago. Dr. William R. Harvey, president of
Hampton University and the chair of President Obama’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs, said that the changes in the Parent PLUS program resulted in a loss of 28,000 HBCU students and $154 million in revenue to HBCUs. Harvey said that the president’s goal to have the highest college graduation rates in the world coupled with changes to the PLUS program were “irreconcilable.” Harvey added that the Department of Education should immediately return to the pre-2011 interpretation of “adverse credit history. This could be done by the Department of Education issuing a guidance document which states that ‘adverse credit history’ is to be interpreted and defined just as it was prior to 2011,” said Harvey. Malveaux called for an effective HBCU lobbying group, comprised of parents, students and policy people that could work to mitigate any potential damage caused by the president’s college affordability plan. Taylor remains optimistic about the president’s goals and recent proposal for a college ratings system. He said that the ratings system needs to compare schools that have similar missions and similar student populations and look at which schools have the greatest impact on the largest number of students. “If they do that, I think HBCU’s are going to be fine, other minority-serving institutions are going to be fine,” said Taylor. “But if they take an overlysimplified kind of approach to a very complex problem, then this is going to be a disaster.”
Planned Parenthood and the United Way, said Warren. The partnerships have enabled group Enroll America and similar groups to have a an impact in 10 states, going door to door and reaching out to people in barbershops, beauty salons and churches. Ridgnal added: “We would not be able to do any significant effort of this scale without significant outreach in the African American community.” Ridgnal said that Enroll America is also reaching out to churches at the national level as well as local and statebased conferences. The group rolled out a program called “Health care in the Pulpit” to encourage pastors and churches to get involved in spreading awareness about the health insurance market exchanges and they planned day of action planned for Oct. 27 to augment their efforts. “The process involves a lot of trust. It is not accomplished solely by having talking heads on the news and flashy ads with famous people and catchy jingles on the radio, although all of these things are
very important to raise awareness.” said Hernández-Cancio. Some may be wary of sharing personal information with strangers for fear of getting ripped off, said Hernández-Cancio. On a recent call with reporters, senior White House officials said that the attorney general’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, insurance commissioners and the Department of Health and Human Services are working together to prevent fraud and to protect consumers and instill confidence in the new health marketplace. Senior White House officials cited a track record that the agencies had in working on consumer protection issues, from exposing and prosecuting home mortgage and refinancing schemes during the height of the financial crisis to warning survivors of natural disasters about potential fraud perpetrated by scam artists. According to officials, FTC’s Consumer Sentinel database will be one of the key tools that the agencies will use to keep people safe on the health insurance exchanges. The Consumer Sentinel will be
used to track consumer complaints and to identify emerging trends. The senior White House officials said that they are not seeing fraud on a large scale now, but their ongoing efforts to protect this newest group of health care consumers was more about getting ahead of the curve. “We know that this isn’t a sprint, it’s more of a marathon. We see October 1 as a key date, but we know this is a six-month process enrollment goes through March,” said Ridgnal. “Our focus is on doing everything we can to reach out to partners across the country to ensure that we are hitting every possible venue in outreach efforts to our community and really doing everything we can to ensure that folks understand the options that are available to them.” Ridgnal, the national director for African American Engagement added: “This is a new day and a new opportunity and we have seize this as a community and really work to ensure that our folks are participating.”
Dr. William R. Harvey
22 • Oct. 2 - 8, 2013
CLASSIFIED & LEGAL ADS
The Richmond Voice
The Richmond Voice AUCTIONS ATTENTION AUCTIONEERS: Advertise Your upcoming auctions in Virginia Newspapers for one low cost of $300. Your 25-word classified ad reaches over ONE MILLION Virginians! Call this paper or Adriane Long at 804-521-7585 (Virginia Press Services). AUCTION OCTOBER 11th12NOON Western Amherst County, Virginia 150 acres+/-, offered in 2-tracts 84+/- & 64+/- Timber, streams, open bottoms, Lakesites, never offered before. www. atlanticcoastauctions.com 434-929-1623 Updated farmhouse, 25+ Acres, lake rights, guns, antiques, glassware, October 18, 10 a.m. Prince Edward County. Francisco Auction CVA000355, (434)983-2578. Photos www. farmvilleherald.com click Francisco block. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY MINNEAPOLIS – BASED company expanding across the nation. Sales Reps needed. Excellent opportunity to move into sales management. Excellent commissions- we train! Resumes to: PO Box 513, Broadway, VA 22815 Log Home Sales territories available. Alta Log Homes -42+ years of excellence. 800-926-2582 or alta.info@ altaloghomes.com EDUCATION Medical Billing Trainees Needed! Train to become a Medical Office Assistant. No Experience Needed! Training & Job Placement available at CTI! HS Diploma/GED & computer needed. 1-888-4249419. UNEMPLOYED? VETERANS? A SPECIAL TRAINING
GRANT is now available in your area. Grant covers Computer, Medical or Microsoft training. Call CTI for programs details. 1-888-5285546. VETERANS Have you taken advantage of your Education & Training Benefits? Many Veterans have available benefits for career training in: COMPUTER & IT, MEDICAL & HEALTHCARE, MICROSOFT OFFICE. We can help you find out if you are qualified! Call CTI for details! 1-888528-5546 HELP WANTED / TRUCK DRIVERS DRIVERS-CDL TRAINING now offered in Roanoke 540857-6188 or Spotsylvania 540582-8200! Attend 4 Weeks or 10 Weekends. Guaranteed Financing and Job Placement Assistance Available. 1-800646-2374. CDL Drivers Needed! Class-A drivers to work from Prince George location. All equipment provided. Once a week, Overnight trip required. Good driving record required. 2-years experience. Salary/ Commission (based on load). Health insurance. Please call 804-451-2241 ATTENTION REGIONAL & DEDICATED DRIVERS! Averitt Offers Excellent Benefits & Hometime. CDL-A req. 888-362-8608. Recent Grads w/a CDL-A, 1-5 wks Paid Training. Apply online at AverittCareers.com Equal Opportunity Employer Drivers – HOME WEEKLY & BI-WEEKLY Earn $900$1200 wk BC/BS Med. & Major Benefits. No Canada, HAZMAT or NYC! SMITH TRANSPORT 877-705-9261.
Oct. 2 - 8, 2013 • 23
THIS AD FOR SALE!
Reach across Virginia with this ad!
No other media offers the audience of loyal, local, repeat readers you’ll reach through community newspapers!
71% of American adults have used a newspaper, a newspaper website and/or a newspaper mobile source in the past 30 days. (Scarborough Research 2012)
Virginia Press Services will run this business card-size display ad across Virginia for one low discounted price.
For more details, call Adriane at 804-521-7585.
HISTORIC MANOR AUCTION 6BR, 7BA Manor Home on 70± Acres Deeded Access to James River in Amherst County
1380 Edgehill Plantation Rd Gladstone, VA
7,730± Restored Home Circa 1790 • Overlooking river, mountains, countryside Barns, shop, and outbuildings, including summer kitchen Former company retreat with chef-designed kitchen would make an inviting B&B
Saturday, October 19 at 10am On-Site th
Open Houses: Sundays, September 29th & October 6th (1-3pm) Terms: 5% buyers premium. Closing to occur in 30 days. Full terms online. VAAF93
The Counts Realty & Auction Group www.countsauction.com
65 Driver Trainees needed! No experience needed! Learn to drive a truck at Shippers Choice! Job ready in 4 weeks! Good pay & benefits! 1-800874-7131 ADVERTISE YOUR TRUCK DRIVER JOBS in Virginia Newspapers for one low cost of $300. Your 25 word classified ad reaches almost ONE MILLION Virginians! Call this paper or Adriane Long at 804-521-7585 (Virginia Press Services). MISCELLANEOUS AIRLINE CAREERS begin here – Become an Aviation Maintenance Tech. FAA approved training. Financial aid if qualified – Housing available. Job placement assistance. SCHEV certified. Call AIM 888-245-9553. SERVICES DIVORCE – Uncontested, $350 + $88 court cost. No court appearance required. Estimated completion time twenty-one days. All telephone inquiries welcome with no obligation. Hilton Oliver,
DIGITAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE The VOICE is looking to hire a Digital Account Executive to sell, create and manage digital advertisements for our website. The successful candidate will be an independent self-starter who can adhere to strict deadlines and a team player who is not afraid of critique that helps them improve. Position requirements include: • Monitoring and managing client accounts; • Having a complete understanding of the basics of digital marketing, including social media; • Possessing strong communication skills; • The ability to multi-task; and • Be available to clients as needed. Candidates should hold, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in business or web design but candidates with tangible and measurable experience will be considered. Candidates must also have their own reliable transportation. E-mail your resume with professional backgrounds and references to: email@example.com.
69 ACRE FARM
Friday, Oct.11 at 12:30PM 820 Strader Rd, Chatham, VA
Attorney. 757-490-0126. STEEL BULDINGS CLEARANCED STEEL BUILDINGS Perfect for Homes, Garages & Workshops. Lowest Prices and LOW Monthly Payment on remaining cancelled orders. Various Sizes Available CALL 1-757-301-8885 Heather WORK FROM HOME OPPORTUNITIES WANTED: 29 SERIOUS PEOPLE to Work From Anywhere Using a Computer up to $1500-$5000 PT/FT www. amazinglifestylefromhome. com
Torrence, Read, & Forehand VAAF501
Scenic farm - great location. 36ac pasture, 33ac timber, 7BR home, shop, barn, pool, hot tub, stream. Sells w/ min. bid of $395,000! Offered in 2 tracts & as a whole.
434.847.7741 | TRFAuctions.com
Daylong roundtrips from Romney, WV to Petersburg, WV Nov. 2 & Nov. 3
TRAINS RUN SATURDAYS NOW AND DAILY IN OCTOBER
Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad
Eagle sightings occur on over 90% of all excursions. Step aboard the Potomac Eagle for a rail experience that you will remember for years to come.
Information & Tickets (304) 424-0736
Retrieve knowledge by reading newspapers!
To advertise in this space, call 804-644-9060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
resilient, receptive And relevAnt The AfricAn-AmericAn consumer
2013 reporT Nielsen and the National Newspaper Publishers Association have strategically collaborated for three years to present an annual in-depth analytical report on the African-American consumer. The reports have become widely respected throughout the industry, and have created more conscious consumers. The following four pages are excerpts from the full 32-page report, which is available for download at www.nielsen.com.
Overview Black buying power continues to increase, rising from its current $1 trillion level to a forecasted $1.3 trillion by 2017.1 African-Americans have unique preferences from the total U.S. population that makes them an important group to watch. Of the $75 billion spent on television, radio, internet, and magazine advertising only $2.24 billion was spent with media focused on Black audiences. Black businesses, agencies, and media continue to wrestle with this disparity as it is not reflective of the overall high consumption patterns and behavioral trends of the Black consumer.
43 million blaCks live in the u.s.
CiTies wiTh high aFriCan-aMeriCan populaTions
of adult blaCk population is female
Philadelphia, PA Baltimore, MD Washington, DC
Selig Center of Economic Growth, 2012 U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey
New York, NY
Major Metropolitan Areas
Raleigh, NC Columbia, SC Atlanta, GA
Black women continue to grow their importance to the Black community. Black women Head of Households represent 29% of all Black households, compared to 20% for the overall population.2 Women control 43% of the annual spending power for the Black population, and own the majority of Black businesses. 1
of blaCks live in the south
of blaCk population is under the age of 35
The Black population, on average, is three years younger than their peers, with an average age of 35 compared to 38. More than half of the population, 53%, is under the age of 35, compared to 47% of the Total Market population.
Surprisingly, the southern migration is not limited solely to older retirees. Young, educated, and forward-thinking Black professionals are deciding to call the South home as well.
All demographic information derived from Nielsen Pop-Facts Premier, 2013 update