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Witness For Justice #845 - 21st Century Race Matters

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Items filtered by date: April 2016

High-tech mosquitoes could combat Zika virus

Genetically modified mosquitoes could mean curtains for the Zika virus.

New U.S. cases of Zika virus infections are continually being discovered as the Food and Drug Administration looks to these high-tech mosquitos as a possible solution.

Zika’s potential to spring from mosquito “nurseries” in the American South could hammer poor minority communities as summer heats up. Atlanta has the nation’s worst mosquito problem, according to Orkin, the pest control company. Mosquitoes only need standing water to spawn.

Scientists believe Zika spreads when a female mosquito feeds off of an infected person and later bites a new victim. Harmless male mosquitoes feed on flower nectar.

Zika also can be transmitted through sexual intercourse with an infected partner. Symptoms, while rare, can last for a week and range from a mild fever to muscle and joint pain.

Concerns rocketed after last year’s discovery that Brazilian babies with unusually small skulls and brains were born to mothers who contracted the virus while pregnant. Brazil’s Zika woes continue as athletes, fans, journalistsand others from around the globe prepare to converge on Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, is battling potential local Zika infections.

TheAedes aegypti, which lives in the Deep South, is one of several mosquitoes that scientists believe spread the virus.

Specialists with Fulton County’s Department of Health and Wellness, according to the agency, are working with Georgia’s Department of Public Health and the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor outbreaks and educate the community.

“The mosquitoes that spread Zika virus will bite four or five people before they are satisfied,” said Nancy Nydam, spokeswoman for Georgia’s health department. She said people should use insect repellent, eliminate standing water around their homes and stay indoors during dawn and dusk, when mosquitos are most active.

An $85-million fund is available to states, cities and territories at risk of Zika outbreaks, the CDC announced on May 13. The money would finance Zika-prevention efforts only temporarily, said Dr. Stephen C. Redd, a director at the agency. More money from Congress is needed, he said.

The CDC reported that between January 1, 2015 and May 18, all of the 544 U.S. Zika cases are travel-associated, meaning the virus was originally contracted abroad. To date, 157 pregnant women in the U.S. have reported symptoms.

New York logged 114 travel-related cases, the highest number in America. Florida was second with 109, and California’s 44 cases put it in third. Texas was fourth, with 35 reported infections. These states all have high black and Hispanic populations, foreshadowing what this disease could do to these communities.

Among 836 Zika cases in U.S. territories, 832 were contracted locally. These include 803 infected people in Puerto Rico, 15 in the Virgin Islands, and 14 in American Samoa.

Oxitec, a British biotechnology company, is testing its genetically modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Key Haven, Florida.

Oxitec’s male mosquitoes mate with wild female Aedes aegypti, producing offspring that “have a very high probability of dying before they reach adulthood,” according to its website.

Mosquitoes generally live about two weeks.

The company’s experiments “have resulted in reduction of the wild population by more than 90 percent,” said Oxitec spokesman Matthew Warren. “Existing methods to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito, such as insecticides, are only 30 to 50 percent effective, at best.”

More than 150 million Oxitec mosquitos have been released, Warren said, with no reported adverse effects.

Oxitec’s mosquitos were one possible approach within a larger program, said FDA spokeswoman Theresa Eisenman. “However, it is too early to say with any certainty whether such an approach would be successful.” The agency approves and regulates biotechnology treatments, including vaccines.

“The FDA is acting responsibly with its mosquito pilot approach, and we’re glad to see that the CDC has activated the resources to respond,” said Adolph Falcon, executive vice president for the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.

Oxitec’s solution, however, only targets one mosquito species. Also, pesticides no longer could be used against the insects, since they would kill both the dangerous female mosquitoes and the modified males.

Mosquito breeding habits show Zika disproportionately could affect poor countries and communities with inadequate sanitation.

A still-undiscovered Zika vaccine and improved sanitation would be more effective solutions, said Jaydee Hanson, senior policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety.

“People like magic,” said Hanson. “We want easy answers and we like technology. I’m a big fan of technology, but it needs to be assessed for it what it can do.”

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Hillary Clinton Talks Gun Control At Circle Of Mothers Gala

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton attended the Circle of Mothers Gala in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, hosted by the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

The group was created by Trayvon’s mother Sybrina Fulton, who along with other mothers of children killed by gun violence, have frequently joined Clinton on the campaign trail and at times have voiced their support for her to become the next president of the United States.

A $1,500 minimum donation to the foundation is required to attend the dinner. Proceeds from the 3-day conference will go to support mothers who’ve lost a child to gun violence.

During Clinton’s address at the gala, she took a moment to target presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his “unsafe” comments on gun control.

On Monday’s Edition of NewsOne Now, Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, spoke with Roland Martin about the Circle of Mothers Gala and Clinton’s remarks.

McBath told Martin, “If the legislators in our country are not beholden to the constituents in the communities that they serve, then the mothers that are actually losing our children in the streets, we have decided that enough is enough. We’re not going to put up with this anymore, and we’re going to create and stimulate this movement, and we’re going to make our legislators accountable to us.”

“Secretary Clinton is the only viable candidate who has even a remote social justice platform as it relates to gun violence,” she continued.

When asked if she and others would request a meeting with GOP front-runner Donald Trump, McBath said, “No, probably not.”

“We don’t need to talk with him. His rhetoric and policies are very divisive and very dangerous. We don’t want to spend any time or energy on individuals like him. We have decided to stay focused and we have decided to do what we know is right, and we support Secretary Clinton 100 percent.”

Watch Roland Martin and Lucia McBath discuss Hillary Clinton’s address at the Circle of Mothers Gala, as well as supporting Clinton for president in the video clip above.

TV One’s NewsOne Now has moved to 7 A.M. ET, be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

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Young Men Excel In Local Oratorical Contest

On Sunday, SHAD Club #62 presented its Annual Oratorical/Essay Contest at the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in San Bernardino, CA. The contest is held each year and allows young men in our area to showcase their talents in research, writing and oral presentation. Contestants have to write and deliver an essay on the theme chosen by SHAD Club #62. Each year the club’s theme tries to stress the importance of education to our young men. The contest is open to all young men in our area between the ages of 14 – 18 and attending a school in our area. This year’s theme was “Knowledge is Key to Our Future.” The contestants this year were Mr. Jayon Dumas and Mr. Moses Carter. The young men competed for a top prize of $500.00.

During the rehearsals, contestants are trained on tips for effective public speaking. Contestants are taught voice diction, clarity and the use of words and phrases to emphasize their critical points.

Anthony Bell the President of SHAD Club #62 stated that “given the crime and unemployment rates in our area, it is essential that we provide platforms for our young men to development their minds.” The SHAD CLUB motto is “to be positive role models to young men in our area.” That’s why SHAD CLUB #62 is committed to sponsoring this contest each year.

The winner of this year’s contest was Mr. Jayon Dumas. Jayon is a student at Cajon High School and recently received a reward from the governor for his academic achievements. Mr. Moses Carter won $250.00 as the runner-up. Moses is a student at Kaiser High School and is a gifted violin player. Moses has played his violin in many concerts and events in our area. Mr. Zachery Williams was program M.C. All are outstanding young men and members of New Hope Baptist Church in San Bernardino, CA.

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PUBLISHER’S STATEMENT ON KILLING OF NATHANIEL H. PICKETT II BY SB COUNTY SHERIFF DEPUTY

PUBLISHER’S STATEMENT ON KILLING OF NATHANIEL H. PICKETT II BY SB COUNTY SHERIFF DEPUTY :

Leadership in a law enforcement organization is the process of influencing human behavior to achieve organizational goals that serve the public, while developing individuals, teams and the organization for future service.

After seeing the video shooting and beating death of an unarmed Nathaniel H. Pickett II by an out of control 23 year old rookie San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputy and his citizen ride along, many questions need to be answered by the leadership within the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

The citizens of San Bernardino County should not rest until questions are answered about the killing of Nathaniel H. Pickett by the Deputy.

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Finding a Nursing Home

Are you looking for a nursing home for yourself or a loved one?

People go to nursing homes for different reasons. They may be sick or hurt and require ongoing nursing care. They may have had surgery and need time to recuperate. Or they may have chronic care needs or disabilities that make long-term nursing care a necessity.

Many communities have nursing homes. But how do you pick one that’s best for you or your family member in need?

The first step is to learn about the available facilities in your area. You can do that in a number of ways.

¦ Ask people you trust, like your family, friends, or neighbors if they’ve had personal experience with nursing homes. They may be able to recommend one to you.

¦ Ask your doctor if he or she provides care at any local nursing homes. If so, ask your doctor which nursing homes he or she visits so you may continue to see him or her while you’re in the nursing home.

¦ If you’re in the hospital, ask your social worker about discharge planning as early in your hospital stay as possible. The hospital’s staff should be able to help you find a nursing home that meets your needs and help with your transfer when you’re ready to be discharged.

Medicare provides a handy way to check out local nursing homes, using our Nursing Home Compare website: www.Medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare.

Nursing Home Compare provides a wealth of information on quality of care and staffing levels at more than 15,000 nursing homes certified for Medicare and Medicaid patients throughout the United States. One excellent feature is the star rating system. Facilities can receive from one to five stars, with five stars being the highest rating. These star ratings give you a quick snapshot of the facility.

Keep in mind that Medicare covers short-term nursing home stays following hospitalization, but generally doesn’t cover long-term care stays in a nursing home. Medicare coverage of home and community-based long-term care services is very limited.

Medicaid covers long-term nursing home stays, and may include coverage of home- and community-based services (HCBS). HCBS provide opportunities for people with Medicaid to get services in their own home or community. These programs serve a variety of groups, including people with mental illnesses, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and/or physical disabilities.

But a nursing home may not be the best option. A variety of community services may help with your personal care and activities, as well as with home modification and equipment to support you staying at home.

Some services, like volunteer groups that help with things like shopping or transportation, may be low cost or may ask for a voluntary donation. Some services may be available at varied costs depending on where you live and the services you need.

These home services and programs may be available in your community:

¦ Adult day care;

¦ Adult day health care, which offers nursing and therapy;

¦ Meal programs;

¦ Senior centers;

¦ Friendly visitor programs;

¦ Help with shopping and transportation;

¦ Help with legal questions, paying bills, and other financial matters.

How do you find such local services? Try the Eldercare Locator, a guide to help older adults and their caregivers connect to services, including long-term care services and supports.

Visit www.eldercare.gov, or call 1-800-677-1116.

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Minority Business Development Agency awards $31.5 million in grants - Federal funding will support MBDA Business Centers across the Nation

WASHINGTON (May 16, 2016) — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is awarding $31.5 million in federal funding to 21 grant recipients as part of its MBDA Business Center Program (29). The program is designed to help minority-owned firms create jobs, compete in the global economy and grow their businesses.

“For more than 40 years, MBDA has led efforts to support minority firms and provide them with the tools and technical expertise they need to excel. This is the very foundation on which this Agency was founded back in 1969. It’s the core of who we are and what we represent,” said MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This funding goes far beyond just the monetary aspect. This is a long-term investment in our community and in our nation.”

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, minority-owned firms in the U.S. increased from 5.8 million in 2007 to 8 million in 2012, and employed 7.2 million people in 2012.

Since 2009, MBDA Business Centers have assisted minority firms with gaining access to more than $31 billion in capital and contracts, while creating and retaining nearly 142,000 jobs.

The grant recipients will join an established network of MBDA Business Centers across the United States and Puerto Rico.

The recipients of the grants include:

Georgia Tech Research Corporation ($298,255) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Atlanta.

Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. ($312,750) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Chicago.

Dallas Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council ($301,675) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Dallas.

Rocky Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. ($306,300) to operate the MBDA Business Centre in Denver.

Michigan Minority Purchasing Council ($310,225) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Detroit.

El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce ($285,400), to operate the MBDA Business Center in El Paso, Texas.

University of Hawaii ($291,275) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Honolulu.

Houston Community College ($321,775) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Houston.

University of Southern California ($317, 900) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Los Angeles.

Mid-South Minority Council TADP, Inc. ($285,400) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Memphis, Tenn.

Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council ($301,975) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Miami.

Metropolitan Economic Development Council ($302,400) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Minneapolis.

South Bronx Overall Economic Development Association ($321, 800) to operate the MBDA Business Center in New York or northern New Jersey.

The Enterprise Center ($304,475) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Philadelphia.

Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce ($291,900) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Phoenix.

North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development ($294,100) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Raleigh, Charlotte, or Durham, N.C.

The University of Texas at San Antonio ($285,400) to operate the MBDA Business Center in San Antonio.

ASIAN, Inc. ($377,875) to operate the MBDA Business Center in San Jose, Calif.

Asociación Productos De Puerto Rico, Inc. ($285,400) to operate the MBDA Business Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

City of Tacoma ($304,525) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Seattle.

Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. ($310,550) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Washington, D.C., or Northern Virginia.

The recipients will receive the federal funds during a five-year period with a start date of April 1, 2016. MBDA will make additional announcements regarding grant winners and future grant opportunities. For the latest information visit www.mbda.gov .

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Donald Trump's Hometown Tax Collector: Release Your Tax Returns and Stop Hiding the Truth from Floridians

Tampa, FL -- Today, Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon, the chief tax official overseeing the collection of $3.3 billion dollars in Palm Beach County tax revenues, including property taxes from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Estate, released the following statement calling on Trump to release his tax returns to the public:

"Since 1976, all major party presidential nominees have released their tax returns to the public in a sign of transparency and honesty. Florida voters deserve to know whether a candidate for president is paying a lower tax rate than a middle class family - and tax returns help confirm whether someone is telling the truth and playing by the same set of rules as everyone else.

"As the presumptive GOP nominee, Mr. Trump should immediately release his tax returns to the public and show he has nothing to hide. Floridians deserve to know how much money Mr. Trump makes, what he does with it, and whether his tax rate is lower than that of a typical working family."

Recently, when asked last week on 'Good Morning America' what tax rate he pays, Donald Trump responded "it's none of your business." Trump has also repeatedly refused to release his tax returns because he claims he's under audit. Unfortunately for Trump, the IRS has explicitly said that excuse is bogus.

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SCE Launches Charge Ready Electric Vehicle Charging Pilot Program - Hundreds of stations to be added for area workers, customers, residents and students

  • Published in SCE

ROSEMEAD, Calif., May 16, 2016 — Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready program will bring representatives of local businesses and other organizations together on Wednesday in Irwindale to learn how they can take part in the pilot program that will add as many as 1,500 electric vehicle charging stations to SCE’s service area.

The $22-million Charge Ready pilot aims to get more electric vehicle charging stations installed at locations where cars are parked for extended periods — for example, at workplaces, apartment and condo complexes, fleet vehicle parking lots, campuses and recreational areas.

“We are excited to partner with employers, landlords, universities and other organizations to make it more convenient to charge electric vehicles in Southern California,” said Caroline Choi, SCE’s vice president for Energy and Environmental Policy. Under the Charge Ready program, participants, or site hosts, will own, operate and maintain electric vehicle charging stations, and SCE will install and maintain the supporting electrical infrastructure at no cost to participants.

As an additional incentive to participate, SCE will offer rebates to offset some or all of the cost of the charging stations and their installation, depending on the location and type of establishment. The program also calls for at least 10 percent of the charging stations to be installed in disadvantaged communities.

“What separates Charge Ready from other electric vehicle charging programs is that it encourages broad market participation, customer choice and technology innovation,” Choi said. “Participants will have the ability to select equipment suppliers and charging services based on their site’s needs.”

Charge Ready will also help support state environmental improvement goals and make better use of the power grid, she said. Additionally, the program provides funding for education and outreach to develop awareness about the benefits of driving electric vehicles and charging from the power grid.

At the pilot’s conclusion, SCE plans to seek authority from the California Public Utilities Commission to expand the program to about 30,000 charging stations.

The event will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday at SCE’s Energy Education Center, 6090 North Irwindale Ave., Irwindale. Parking is available in the center’s lot, which has eight EV chargers available for public use.

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California Progressive Group Calls on Clinton, Sanders to address Critical Local Issues Ahead of California Democratic Primary

CALIFORNIA -- As the Democratic Presidential primary race heads to California, the California-based Courage Campaign is inviting Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton to address critical state and local issues impacting California voters. In a letter sent to the campaign’s this week, read in part:

California is the eighth largest economy in the world, yet due to the perceived political leanings of the state and our traditionally late primary, we are often ignored when it comes to national campaigns.

Regardless of whether Californians #FeelTheBern, say #ImWithHer, or are undecided, we expect those seeking to lead our country to pay attention to the critical issues impacting the daily lives of the people who live in the largest and most diverse state in the nation.

READ THE FULL LETTER HERE: https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.couragecampaign.org/images/Dear_Sec_Clint on_and_Sen_Sanders.pdf

Specifically, Courage Campaign is asking the Democratic Presidential candidates to:

Visit families forced to evacuate from Porter Ranch, the site of the massive Aliso Canyon gas leak. Lax regulations and oversight at Porter Ranch gas facilities led to California's own Deep Water Horizon-style leak, except the main pollutant here was invisible methane.

Visit families in Southeast Los Angeles near Vernon, impacted by the Exide battery plant. For years, the Exide battery plant flaunted regulations, ignoring desperate protest from the poor, mostly black and latino residents that lived nearby. Now, there are horrific levels of lead in the soil of their homes and their children’s playgrounds, and the government is only now beginning to take adequate action.

Offer support to curb the epidemic of gun violence that continues to plague California. California was the site of two of the country’s more recent high-profile mass shootings: Santa Barbara in 2014 and San Bernardino in 2015. In November, California voters will consider an ambitious new ballot measure to begin regulating ammunition on a similar level to firearms, and the State Legislature is again considering a new, loophole-free assault weapons ban, which Governor Brown vetoed in 2014.

Highlight the devastating impacts of climate change on California’s drought, which continues to impact Californians after four straight years - despite recent mild relief from El Niño weather patterns. Courage Campaign also is calling on the candidates to call out corporate profiteers like Nestlé that continue to exploit the State’s water resources, while children in poor communities like East Porterville are literally drinking from polluted duck ponds.

Meet with housing advocates from the Bay Area and Southern California to understand the catastrophic depths of California’s housing crisis. Despite California’s progressive reputation, wealth and income disparities are amongst the highest in the nation, with many low and middle-income Californians spending more than half of their income on rent. More Californians were subject to foreclosures from the big banks during the housing crisis than in any other state, particularly impacting communities of color.

“Addressing these issues in a deep and substantive way will demonstrate to the people of California that the Democratic candidates for President understand the local and statewide issues that affect our lives every day” explained Eddie Kurtz, executive director of Courage Campaign. “What happens in California has a wide ranging impact on the nation as a whole. We hope Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton will take the next month to truly understand our state, our people, and the issues that impact our daily lives to join us in building a better, more progressive California and country.”

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Executive Director Of State Commission On Teacher Credentialing To Speak At CSUSB On May 20

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — , the executive director of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, is the fourth and final speaker for the College of Education’s 50th Anniversary Speaker Series at Cal State San Bernardino on Friday, May 20.

Sandy’s presentation, “Retooling the Future,” will take place at 3:30 p.m. at CSUSB’s Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center, and will be streamed live to CSUSB’s Palm Desert Campus.

The lecture, sponsored by SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and part of CSUSB’s 50th Anniversary celebration, is open to the public and admission is free at both campuses; complimentary parking at CSUSB will be offered at Parking Structure East and Lot D, while parking at the Palm Desert Campus is $6. Online registration is requested to help with planning and can be done at the “Speaker Series Online Registration” website.

Sandy leads the nation’s oldest independent standards board for teachers, and oversees public policy related to teacher preparation and licensing, awarding over 200,000 credentials per year, and accrediting more than 250 institutions and local education agencies offering educator preparation programs in California.

She began her career in education as a consultant with the California Department of Education, where she worked on implementation of the state’s Model Curriculum Standards. She then joined the professional staff of the California Postsecondary Education Commission, where she worked on a landmark study of teacher professional development, assisted with the administration of the Eisenhower Mathematics and Science State Grant Program, conducted policy research, and engaged in legislative analysis and advocacy.

In 1992, Sandy joined the professional staff of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. While at the commission she served as a grant manager, policy analyst and program evaluator. As a senior manager in policy and program development for the commission, she directed implementation of substantive reforms in teacher credentialing.

In 2004, Sandy joined the management team of the California State University system. As the associate director of Teacher Education and Public School Programs for the CSU Chancellor’s Office, she continued to work on policy issues in the realm of teacher development from the vantage point of postsecondary education, working with faculty, education deans and other administrators on program development and policy implementation.

From 2007 to 2011, Sandy served as thallae executive director of the UC Davis Cooperative Research and Extension Services for Schools Center. The CRESS Center provides professional development, research, and evaluation services for teachers, schools and community based organizations, and fosters collaboration between university faculty and K-12 educators designed to support teacher development and student success.

Sandy holds a doctorate in education from UC Berkeley, a master’s degree in education from UC Davis, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Sonoma State University. Her professional focus is on building the capacity of teachers, leaders, public schools and communities to meet the needs of California’s diverse student body.

For more information on the CSUSB College of Education 50th Anniversary Speaker Series, contact Mick Verdi, associate dean, at (909) 537-7530 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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