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Items filtered by date: March 2017 - The San Bernardino American News

Edison International Announces 30 High School Seniors Awarded $1.2 Million in Scholarships

ROSEMEAD, Calif., April 13, 2017 — Thirty high school seniors have learned their passion for science, technology, engineering or math — known as STEM — has paid off with each receiving a $40,000 scholarship through Edison International’s $1.2 million Edison Scholars Program.  

This year’s scholars are: Jose A La Torre, Newport Harbor H.S., Newport Beach; Collin Adelseck, Arnold O. Beckman H.S., Irvine; Chidinma “Promise” Agbo, Norwalk H.S.; Armani Aguiar, Garfield H.S., Los Angeles; Ana Alba, Da Vinci Science School, Hawthorne; Arlene Aleman, Paramount H.S.; Mike Bao, Troy H.S., Fullerton; Lisa Bi, Hillcrest H.S., Riverside; Juan Carrillo, Channel Islands H.S., Oxnard; Chun Feng Chen, Arroyo H.S., El Monte; Jesus Contreras Magana, Santa Paula H.S.; Evan Corriere,Marina H.S., Huntington Beach; Dylan Dickerson, Elsinore H.S., Wildomar; Ashley Eckert, Desert Hot Springs H.S.; Mustafa Elmahdi, Quartz Hill H.S.; Keslee Green, Hanford H.S.; Yiwen Jiang, Eleanor Roosevelt H.S., Eastvale; Paiam Moghaddam, Woodbridge H.S., Irvine; Alfred Molina, St. John Bosco H.S., Bellflower; Michael Morrissey Hanson, Ventura H.S.; Alex Nguyen, Bolsa Grande H.S., Garden Grove;Christine Nguyen, El Toro H.S., Lake Forest; Yuanzhi Qin, Ayala H.S., Chino Hills; Ashley Quintana, Rancho Cucamonga H.S.; William Ramos, Don Bosco Technical Institute, Rosemead; Maria Rodelo-Sandoval, Granite Hills H.S., Porterville; Mireille Vargas, Santa Paula H.S.; Gissele Vazquez, Oxnard H.S.; Katherine Woo, Tesoro H.S., Rancho Santa Margarita; and Esol Yoon, Whitney H.S., Cerritos.

“Edison International congratulates this year’s outstanding scholars,” said Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International. “Through their pursuit of science, technology, engineering and math, we believe these students will make important contributions to our communities and society. We are proud to support them.”

The $40,000 scholarships are paid over four years to scholar recipients who plan to pursue studies in STEM fields at an accredited four-year college or university. Eligible students must live in or attend a public or private high school in Southern California Edison’s service territory or attend an eligible high school surrounding SCE’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Edison International’s support of charitable causes such as the Edison Scholars Program is funded entirely by Edison International shareholders. SCE customers’ utility bill payments do not fund company donations. In addition, dependents of Edison International and SCE employees are not eligible for the Edison Scholars Program. For more information on this year’s Edison Scholars, visit on.edison.com/2017EdisonScholars

About Edison International
Edison International (NYSE:EIX), through its subsidiaries, is a generator and distributor of electric power, as well as a provider of energy services and technologies, including renewable energy. Headquartered in Rosemead, Calif., Edison International is the parent company of Southern California Edison, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities.

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Federal judge slaps down Jeff Sessions’ attempt to block Department of Justice consent decree for Baltimore police

A federal judge ignored Sessions' bid to delay the implementation of the Obama-era agreement for police reform

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions requested a review of all 114 reform agreements the Justice Department had secured with cities across the country during the Obama administration. On Friday, a federal judge ignored Sessions’ bid to delay the implementation of the Obama-era agreement with the Baltimore Police Department and approved the consent decree struck by the Department of Justice.

U.S. District Judge James Bredar denied a U.S. attorney’s request to postpone the signing of the consent decree, which was only agreed to this January, The Justice Department wanted to reassess the deal under the leadership of Sessions. Instead, Bredar rendered the police reform hashed out under the leadership of former attorney general Loretta Lynch an official order of the court.

“The case is no longer in a phase where any party is unilaterally entitled to reconsider the terms of the settlement; the parties are bound to each other by their prior agreement,” Bredar wrote in his order. “The time for negotiating the agreement is over. The only question now is whether the Court needs more time to consider the proposed decree. It does not.”

The order is effective immediately, Bredar wrote.

The DOJ had hoped to modify the agreement negotiated under Sessions’ predecessor. In a statement Friday, President Donald Trump’s attorney general said that the consent decree shows “clear departures from many proven principles of good policing that we fear will result in more crime.”

“The decree was negotiated during a rushed process by the previous administration and signed only days before they left office,” Sessions said. “While the Department of Justice continues to fully support police reform in Baltimore, I have grave concerns that some provisions of this decree will reduce the lawful powers of the police department and result in a less safe city.”

In January, the city of Baltimore and the Justice Department announced an agreement on a court-enforceable consent decree, which would institute reforms in the Baltimore Police Department. The 227-page agreement demanded an independent federal monitor to observe department, in addition to a community oversight task force; de-escalation tactics were always stressed in the decree

Taylor Link is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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2 Adults and 1 Child Dead, 1 Student Critically Injured in Shooting at San Bernardino Elementary School

A teacher and a student were shot dead and another child was critically wounded Monday in a murder-suicide inside an elementary school special needs classroom in San Bernardino, California. The suspected shooter was also killed.

The 8-year-old child was identified as Jonathan Martinez by San Bernardino police. He was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center via helicopter where he later died.

Karen Elaine Smith, 53, was killed after her husband opened fire in her San Bernardino classroom as she taught April 10, 2017.
Photo credit: San Bernardino Police Department

Karen Elaine Smith, 53, deceased
Cedric Charles Anderson, 53, deceased

The teacher was identified by law enforcement officials as Karen Elaine Smith, 53, Monday afternoon. The suspected shooter was identified as Smith’s husband, Cedric Charles Anderson, a 53-year-old resident of the City of Riverside, multiple law enforcement agencies confirmed to NBC4.

Cedric Charles Anderson, a 53-year-old resident of the City of Riverside, killed his wife, a teacher, and a student while wounding another in a special needs classroom April 10, 2017, police said.
Photo credit: San Bernardino Police Department

Two children, including Martinez, were struck by gunfire behind Smith in the apparent murder-suicide shooting, according to police.

Police do not believe the children were targeted.

Police said Anderson came to the special needs classroom, comprised of first and fourth graders, armed with a .357 revolver and opened fire on Smith. He reloaded his handgun at least one time, and used the last round to take his own life, police said.

Watch: Students Evacuated Due to Shooting

Students were evacuated Monday April 10, 2017 as police responded to a shooting at a San Bernardino elementary school.

(Published 6 hours ago)

The children were inadvertently hit as they stood behind Smith, police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a news conference. They were airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center. Jonathan did not make it to the operating room before dying, hospital officials said.

Monica Garcia, of the San Bernardino Unified School District, said the shooting appeared to stem from a domestic violence dispute involving Anderson and Smith, both of whom were found dead in the classroom. The marriage between the two was relatively short — less than two months long — prior to Monday’s shooting, Burguan said.

Students Evacuated, Reunited With Parents After Shooting

The second student, a 9-year-old whose identity has not been made public, was in stable condition at the hospital.

“Our hearts are broken,” said San Bernardino School District Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden. “This is truly tragic.”


Source: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/San-Bernardino-North-Park-Elementary-School-Shooting419054974.html#ixzz4dtgbkClC

Follow us: @NBCLA on Twitter | NBCLA on Facebook

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Publishers Corner: Fox News Scandal: Ads Pulled from ‘O’Reilly Factor,’ New Lawsuit Against Ailes

Publishers Corner

Clifton Harris

Publisher of The San Bernardino AMERICAN News

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As Fox News is reeling from the release of a staggering report revealing numerous sexual harassment lawsuits filed against its star, Bill O’Reilly, two advertisers have pulled ad placements during “The O’Reilly Factor.” Meanwhile, women continue to come forward with claims of a misogynistic culture at the company.

Julie Roginsky, a Democratic political consultant and Fox News contributor, filed a lawsuit in New York state court on Monday against the network; its former chairman, Roger Ailes; and Bill Shine, the network’s co-president. Roginsky accuses them of denying her a permanent hosting job after she refused Ailes’ sexual advances.

“During these meetings, Ailes additionally (and without irony) volunteered the advice that Roginsky should engage in sexual relationships with ‘older, married, conservative men’ because ‘they may stray but they always come back because they’re loyal,’” the claim states.

“Ailes also remarked that he was loyal but that loyalty was a two-way street. These comments and their delivery made it clear that Ailes wanted a sexual relationship with Roginsky.”

Roginsky also claimed in filings that at her meetings with Ailes, he “usually sat in a low armchair.”

“He repeatedly insisted on a kiss ‘hello’ requiring Roginsky to bend down to kiss him. Ailes would consistently position himself in such a way as to look down Roginsky’s dress.”

There are at least two separate lawsuits, against Fox News and Ailes, by women claiming they were sexually harassed. Last year, on behalf of Ailes, Fox News agreed to pay $20 million to settle a harassment suit by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. He denied any wrongdoing but resigned in July.

Also in 2016, former Fox News anchor Andrea Tantaros filed a separate sexual harassment lawsuit that was sent to private arbitration.

“Bill, you’re my boss!” a former Fox News producer said in a lawsuit she told Bill O’Reilly when he propositioned her for sex.

Roginsky, 43, claims in the lawsuit that Ailes, 76, in early 2015 told her he was considering her for a full-time slot on highly rated talk show “The Five.” But after she declined his advances, the job never materialized and she lost her spot as a contributor on the show, she said.

She also sued Shine, Fox News co-president, asserting that he failed to investigate her claims. Roginsky also said in her lawsuit that a misogynistic culture at Fox had not changed since Ailes resigned last year.

“They need to sweep that place out with a shovel,” Jeff Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for executive programs at the Yale School of Management, said in an interview.

Sonnenfeld thinks that amid the continued revelations, 21st Century Fox should consider more changes to the executive team that worked with Ailes.

Roginsky, who has appeared on Fox News programs since 2011 and writes a column for the network’s website, is seeking unspecified damages under a New York City law that prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

According to CNN, more women employees at Fox want to speak out against Ailes but do not come forward in fear of losing their jobs.

Susan Estrich, a lawyer for Ailes, refuted Roginsky’s sexual harassment claims, calling them “total hogwash.”

“This is about someone who wants to pile-on in a massive character assassination in order to achieve what she did not accomplish on the merits,” Estrich said in a statement.

Then it would be “a massive character assassination” taking place for more than a decade. That’s how long women employees at Fox have claimed that Ailes and O’Reilly have sexually harassed them, according to reports from The New York Times this past weekend.

In addition to the millions paid in support of Ailes, Fox, its parent company 21st Century Fox and O’Reilly have paid approximately $13 million in five settlements. There is an ongoing federal investigation centered on whether 21st Century Fox misled investors by hiding payments to Ailes’ and O’Reilly’s accusers.

But the more than $30 million paid out is just a portion of the nearly half a billion dollars in advertising revenues between 2014 and 2016 that O’Reilly created for the news channel during “The O’Reilly Factor.”

The network will no longer be receiving an estimated $1.9 million in ads from Mercedes-Benz during O’Reilly’s timeslot.

“The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now,” Donna Boland, the manager of corporate communications at Mercedes-Benz, said in a statement.

The company’s ads during O’Reilly’s program “[have] been reassigned in the midst of this controversy.”

Hyundai said it would reallocate upcoming ads due to “the recent and disturbing allegations.”

“We had upcoming advertising spots on the show, but are reallocating them,” Hyundai said in an emailed statement to The Times.

“As a company, we seek to partner with companies and programming that share our values of inclusion and diversity,” the statement said. “We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as we plan future advertising decisions.”

Will other companies follow their lead?

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Justice Department to Halt Police Reform

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a review of previous police reform agreements to ensure they align with the new administration’s principles, according to a memo published Monday.

“It is not the responsibility of the federal government to manage non-federal law enforcement agencies,” Sessions wrote. “The misdeeds of individual bad actors should not impugn or undermine the legitimate and honorable work that law enforcement officers and agencies perform in keeping American communities safe.”

Reform agreements had been reached during the Obama administration with cities including Baltimore and Chicago. Investigations into these cities found practices of systemic racism that were not limited to “individual bad actors.”

A Justice Department report released last summer found that Blacks in Baltimore were subjected to traffic stops, arrests and excessive force more frequently than their white counterparts.

“This pattern or practice is driven by systemic deficiencies in BPD’s policies, training, supervision and accountability structures that fail to equip officers with the tools they need to police effectively and within the bounds of the federal law,” the report stated.

Further, the department “uses overly aggressive tactics that unnecessarily escalate encounters, increase tensions, and lead to unnecessary force, and fails to de-escalate encounters when it would be reasonable to do so.”

“BPD’s targeted policing of certain Baltimore neighborhoods with minimal oversight or accountability disproportionately harms African-American residents,” the report added.

But also on Monday, Justice Department officials asked a Maryland judge to delay for 90 days a hearing regarding the consent decree that is scheduled for Thursday.

“The Department must ensure that such contemplated consent decrees advance the safety and protection of the public, promote officer safety and morale, protect and respect the civil rights of all members of the public, respect local control of law enforcement, are rooted in timely and reliable statistics on crime and criminals, and do not impede recruitment and training of officers,” officials said in their filing.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh released a statement against Sessions’ memo on Monday.

“We strongly oppose any delay in moving forward,” Pugh said, adding “Any interruption in moving forward may have the effect of eroding the trust that we are working hard to establish.”

The Baltimore report found that the department “fails to provide officers with sufficient policy guidance and training.” And while the report does include and cite a significant amount of data, the Justice Department believes that the reality may even be worse than the report suggests because the BPD also “fails to collect and analyze data regarding officers’ activities.”

For instance, according to the report, an analysis of 300,000 pedestrian stops (the number is probably even greater, the report notes, due to underreporting) over a five-year period found an embedded practice of racism.

“BPD made roughly 44 percent of its stops in two small, predominantly African-American districts that contain only 11 percent of the City’s population,” the report states.

And Black residents were more likely to be searched during pedestrian and traffic stops (they were also more likely to be stopped in the first place) — yet they were less likely to have contraband: “BPD officers found contraband twice as often when searching white individuals compared to African Americans during vehicle stops and 50 percent more often during pedestrian stops.”

In a statement the NAACP Legal Defense Fund criticized the Department’s request to delay action in Baltimore, calling the legal filing “a blatant attempt” for the DOJ “to abandon its obligations” of fair, “nondiscriminatory and constitutional” policing.

“Long-serving DOJ attorneys, including some who have served under multiple administrations, conducted a fair and thorough investigation and found countless civil rights violations in Baltimore,” said President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill.

In a joint statement on Monday Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson reiterated their own city’s commitment to its police reforms, which “are built on the principles of partnership and trust between our residents and our officers.”

“Through these ongoing reforms we will ensure our officers have the training and support they need to do a tough job well, we will strengthen the relationship with our residents, and we will make our city a stronger, safer place,” the men said.

Like Baltimore, in Chicago the Justice Department found “a pattern or practice of unreasonable force” as a result of “deficiencies in CPD’s training, supervision, accountability, and other systems.” The investigation raised “serious concerns about the prevalence of racially discriminatory conduct by some CPD officers and the degree to which that conduct is tolerated and in some respects caused by deficiencies in CPD’s systems of training, supervision and accountability.”

The investigation also found problems with Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), the board that investigates officer misconduct, including police shootings. The IPRA was heavily criticized because it was primarily made up of former law enforcement agents.

According to the Justice Department report, Chicago police used force against Blacks ten times more often than against whites. Despite Blacks, whites and Latinos all making up roughly one-third of the city’s population (Blacks, 32.9 percent; whites, 31.7 percent; and Latinos, 28.9 percent), “between January 2011 and April 18, 2016, black individuals were subject to approximately 76% (19,374) of the uses of force, as compared to whites, who represented only 8% (2,007) of the force incidents.” Further, “black individuals were the subject of 80% of all CPD firearm uses and 81% of all Taser contact-stun uses during that time period. CPD’s data on force incidents involving youth also showed stark disparities: 83% (3,335) of the incidents involved black children and 14% (552) involved Latino children.”

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Trump’s wiretapping claims, other lies, have autocratic twist

First there was the birther theory, which Trump continued to champion in 2011 even after President Obama’s long-form birth certificate was shown to the world. Then we heard statements like “Nobody really knows if climate change is real;” and, more recently, “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

These are, of course, but a few of the countless lies Trump has uttered over the years, over the course of this past election cycle and since entering the White House.

To these we can now add the claim that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign - one that smacks all the more clearly of dishonesty now that House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes has stated that he will not disclose his sources.

Our President’s unprecedented lying has many utterly baffled, as does the fact that Trump supporters often accept these lies. For example, 74% of Republican voters think it’s at least “somewhat likely” that Donald Trump’s offices were wiretapped during the campaign. Both the dishonesty and the continued belief by Trump supporters in “alternative facts” can be understood in the context of changes within the conservative movement that have come to the fore over the past fifteen years.

Under normal conditions, a politician fibs to exaggerate the appeal of a program they support or to undermine an opponent’s position. But they generally try to avoid obvious falsehoods.

Some of Trump’s lies follow this pattern, but most of his lies are different. They are intentionally brazen. In this way, they are a show of power, demonstrating the acquiescence of others to his will and the comparative impotence of those who stand by facts and against his word.

In short, Trump’s lies have an autocratic twist. Matt Steinglass, the current European editor for the Economist Magazine, captured this dynamic well in a 2009 piece on why Iran’s Ahmadinejad insisted on showing an implausibly large vote margin for his election victory. This piece is dismayingly relevant now and worth quoting at length:
“[B]ullies often find it more effective to force people to acquiesce in an obvious lie than in a plausible fiction. Check out the ludicrous charges in the Stalin show trials: children’s book writers in Leningrad confessing to being Japanese spies, and so forth. When you make people accept a plausible fiction, you’re just winning that one issue. But when you make them accept a lie which everyone knows is a lie, you’re destroying their integrity, destroying their will to describe the world as they see it, rather than as you tell them it is. It’s the bully on the playground holding the weaker kid’s arm and slapping his cheek with it, saying “Why are you hitting yourself?” Like Vaclav Havel’s grocer hanging “Workers of the world, unite!” in his shop window, once a person has acquiesced to something they do not believe, and which everyone knows they do not believe, they become complicit in their own oppression.”

In essence, Trump is making Republican leaders - who know he is lying - complicit in their own oppression. To be clear, we’ve seen some independence on the part of Republicans like John McCain. But not a lot. And, most recently, it appears that Devin Nunes is simply bending to Trump’s will.

This fealty to authority over facts runs directly against the beating heart of liberal democracy. Why, then, does Trump get away with it?

The brief answer is that the American Right has been moving in this direction for more than a decade. The movement has coalesced around an older, “monarchical” conservatism. This movement is best understood as a temperament and a set of tendencies opposing change rather than a set of principles. It runs counter to the enlightenment liberalism that forms the basis of our Constitution.

In my book, The Right’s Road to Serfdom: The Danger of Conservatism Unbound From Hayek to Trump, I map out characteristics of this “conservative temperament” including:

* Viewing a leader’s personality and its force above process, institutions and the rule of law.

* An ease with diminishing the value of facts to support the right leader.

* A preference for absolute certainty regarding both policy and a leader’s style. This requires black and white simplicity in the way both are presented.


Understanding conservatism as such explains the appeal of Trump on the Right and the embrace of blatant falsehoods. So far, the firing of Michael Flynn was an exception. On the Right, there have been no real consequences to Trump’s blatant - and disgraceful - lying or that of his inner circle. Which brings us back to autocracy, defined by Merriam Webster as “government in which one person possesses unlimited power.”

About the Author

Christopher Arndt is author of The Right’s Road to Serfdom: The Danger of Conservatism Unbound From Hayek to Trump. A former partner at Select Equity Group, Inc., Arndt turned his attention in 2010 to public policy issues, focusing in particular on accelerating the adoption of clean energy. He has served as Director of the New York Chapter of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and currently serves on the board of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Action Fund.

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Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Rejects Governor’s Cuts to Child Care and Early Education Programs

SACRAMENTO, CA) – Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D - Sacramento), Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance led a bipartisan effort today to reject Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to reduce support for state child care and preschool programs and voted to restore $527 million in critical child care and preschool funding.

California families are typically eligible for subsidized child care if their household income is below 70 percent of the 2007-08 State Median Income (about $42,000 for a family of three), if the parents have a need for care related to work, training, or education, and if the children are under 13 years-old. The 2016-17 budget agreement included a multi-year investment in early childhood education programs, including increased provider reimbursement rates and additional slots for the California State Preschool Program. Governor Brown’s 2017-18 proposed budget would cut over half a billion dollars from that multi-year commitment.

“California’s successful child care and preschool programs help parents get to work, reduces poverty, closes the K-12 achievement gap and fights crime in our communities,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. “I am proud of today’s bipartisan work by the Assembly Budget Subcommittee to reject the Governor’s cuts to critical child care and preschool programs and reaffirm our commitment to make early childhood education a priority in California.”

The California Constitution requires the Legislature to approve the Budget Act by June 15th.

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Blacks Have A Lot To Lose With Trump’s New Budget

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” targets a number of programs for severe cuts or outright elimination—programs that often help poor, working-class and Black families.

The budget plans to cut almost $4 billion in Pell Grants. More then half of African American college students receive Pell Grant awards each year. Trump’s budget also eliminates Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers roughly 218 million meals to the poor and elderly each year, according to a Meals on Wheels fact sheet. Minorities account for nearly 30 percent of seniors that receive home-delivered meals.

Trump’s budget includes $1.5 billion to build a wall along the southern border of the United States. Despite Trump’s “America First” rhetoric, there’s no specific allocation to solve the lead water crisis in Flint, Michigan, a $150 million fix, based on some estimates.

“We can’t spend money on programs just, because they sound good. Meals on Wheels sounds great,” said Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, during a press briefing at the White House in March. Mulvaney suggested that Meals on Wheels, and other programs that offer free meals to students at school, were ineffective.

Trump’s budget also purges the Legal Services Corporation, which assists poor Americans with legal services, at a cost of $502 million per year. Two-thirds of Legal Services Corporation’s clients are African-American. Trump’s budget also abandons Community Development Block Grants and slashes the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget by $6.2 billion.

Trump’s budget also eliminates the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which costs $3.6 million a year, and helps more than 500,000 homeless people in the U.S. and over 42 million living in poverty in America overall.

Trump’s budget adds $54 billion for defense, a benefit to defense contractors in a Department of Defense that several reports indicate has a massive problem with waste and fraud.

The irony of Trump’s severe budget cuts against the backdrop of the costs to protect the new First Family as they vacation and conduct business for Trump’s empire, hasn’t been lost on the media.

Reuters news agency reported in February that $309,000 a day is being spent to protect Trump Tower in New York City, because First Lady Melania Trump hasn’t moved into the White House. If she only stays at Trump Tower for 200 days, her decision will cost American taxpayers at least $61.8 million, this year. So far, she has spent very few days at the White House.

Trump’s weekend trips to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida cost American taxpayers about $2 million per trip, according to “The Washington Post.” “The Sun-Sentinel” reported that Trump vacationed at Mar-a-Lago five weekends between January 20 and March 23.

“Judicial Watch, a conservative group that tracked the cost of Obama’s travel expenses, estimated that $97 million was spent during his eight years in office,” “Business Insider” reported.

Trump’s budget calls for $9.2 billion in cuts at the Department of Education. Trump plans to shift at least $1.4 billion to bolster charter schools and private school vouchers. That shift, much, like $54 billion for defense, would benefit for-profit and non-profit groups seeking lucrative contracts in those areas from the federal government.

“With a 13 percent cut to federal education funding amounting to a nearly $4 billion reduction in Pell Grants, and almost $200 million cut from TRIO [a federal outreach program for low-income students] and Gear Up, and no increase to specific funding [for Black colleges and universities], this budget guts the support programs that build a pipeline of deserving students to these colleges and universities,” stated Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) “It also lacks much needed resources for infrastructure improvements on HBCU campuses and measures to increase college affordability.”

Adams is the co-chair of the HBCU Caucus in Congress.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) agreed with Adams.

“Although President Trump promised a ‘New Deal for Black America,’ his budget slashes the federal workforce and cripples domestic programs such as federal student services TRIO programs, LIHEAP, grants for after school programs, Community Development Block Grants, and Community Services Block Grants,” wrote Richmond (D-La.) in response to Trump’s budget. “All of this hurts the African-American community. In addition, despite his promise to support and strengthen HBCUs, President Trump proposes to give these schools the same amount of funding they received last year.

Richmond continued: “This budget proposal is not a new deal for African Americans. It’s a raw deal that robs the poor and the middle-class to pay the richest of the rich.”

Lauren Victoria Burke is a political analyst who speaks on politics and African American leadership. She is also a frequent contributor to the NNPA Newswire and BlackPressUSA.com. Connect with Lauren by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and on Twitter at @LVBurke.

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Youth and Law Enforcement Listening Sessions in San Bernardino April 25 & 26

Participants will receive a $50.00 Gift Card

Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy in collaboration with Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Police Training Institute (PTI) has launched an exciting new endeavor to help police and the communities they serve work together to build trust and make communities safer places to work and live

This opportunity is for high school and college students (ages 15-22) from Inland Empire who would like to actively participate in this groundbreaking event.

We have 10-15 slots available each day for this learning opportunity, "Connecting Youth, Communities and Law Enforcement (CYCLE)" which is purposed with educating communities and law enforcement officers on how to better interact with each other. The work done on both sides will improve relationships between law enforcement and community members, and build trust thus making communities safer places to live, play and work.

In recent years, Ferguson, Baton Rouge, Dallas, and other police-related incidents have sparked a national dialogue on how police officers interact with youth-especially youth of color. In an effort to improve interactions between young people and police, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids' Police Training Institute aims to teach police officers how to deescalate conflict effectively and have safe, positive interactions with at-risk young people. By coaching police officers and academy recruits, the Police Training Institute will improve public safety, cut violence, and decrease negative experiences for youth that can contribute to long-term health problems.

There is no cost for registration and meals will be provided.

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The Diamond Monologues Tour Sparks Discussions on Women Empowerment, Community Building

LOS ANGELES, CA---(March 31, 2017)--- As a creative, our passion is to create. But as a creative who is meant to inspire, the work that is put out will take time to perfect. This is how the process went for San Bernardino native author and playwright T’ana Phelice when she had the idea to bring her books to the stage two years ago. She would audition girl after girl only to find out that they weren’t as serious and that they just didn’t have that “it” factor.

It’s been a long process, but Phelice has finally found her DREAM TEAM of six amazing women who are not just passionate about their craft, but believe in Phelice’s production, The Diamond Monologues. Each dynamic, millennial woman that is in the play has been touched and inspired by the character that they play which makes it easier for them to bring her to life.

"There’s so many women including myself, that go through similar things that are acted out within the play and it’s not talked about or it’s ignored unless of course we’re talking amongst each other,” Asia Smith, who plays Tia, explains.

To give those a brief of what to except from the play without giving too much away, the audience will definitely walk away feeling changed! You will cry, laugh, and nod your head in agreement as you listen to the story of each girl. The stories are our real life testimonies that we go through as women. From relationships, careers, family life, and friendships—I can guarantee you that you will hear your story in The Diamond Monologues.

The Diamond Monologues finished two successful and sold out shows in Ontario, California and now they are headed to Los Angeles, California on Saturday, April 22 where they will debut their play and change lives at the Little Casa Theater located at 2101 E. 1st Street in Los Angeles at 6 p.m. Beverages will be served and Lady Adrienne Braxton from "Braxtons Back" on StudioW Buzz will be opening up the stage play with some words of encouragement and her personally testimony how she overcame great barriers that made her the strong woman that she is today.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.tanaphelice.com. Space is limited.

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