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FreePress 3-8-13

FreePress 3-8-13

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Published by hudgons
DeKalb County, GA Newspaper Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
DeKalb County, GA Newspaper Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.

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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY,
MARCH 8
, 2013 • VOL. 15, NO. 50 FREE
REE 
RESS 
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
Latino students visit Frida and Diego exhibit at High Museum
 by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.comA group of 85 SequoyahMiddle School students en-rolled in the Latin AmericanAssociation’s (LAA) after-school program visited theHigh Museum’s bilingualFrida and Diego exhibitMarch 1.
Isabel Perez
, the man-aging director of academicachievement for LAA, said itis important students are ex- posed to work such as that of Mexican artists
Frida
 
Kahlo
 and
Diego
 
Rivera
becauseit embraces Latin Americanculture.“It’s the first bilingual artexhibit for our students and itembraces our culture—this isfabulous and we can identifyso it’s really important for us,” Perez said.The exhibit, which runsthrough May 12, featuresmore than 120 paintings anddrawings by Kahlo and Ri-vera, two of Mexico’s mostfamous painters.Sequoyah Middle is lo-cated in an area of DeKalbCounty with a large LatinAmerican population. Perezsaid approximately 70 per-cent of Sequoyah’s studentsare Latin American; neigh- boring Cross Keys HighSchool has 80 percent.Perez said the LAAdecided to begin the after-school program to close theachievement gap and helpchildren struggling in school.The program now meetsthree times a week and stu-dents receive tutoring, men-toring and cultural enrich-ment. There is also a summer  program.Recently, LAA hired ahigh school program man-ager who will help the stu-dents in the eight grade atSequoyah transition to CrossKeys.Teacher 
Oscar Gonzalez
said he has been preparinghis students for their visit tothe High by discussing withthem the cultural and historiccontext that both artists wereworking in at the time. Theexhibit, titled “Frida andDiego: Passion, Politics andPainting” focuses on a rangeof periods in the revolution-ary artists’ lives.“I told them what theycould expect and what wasgoing on historically, suchas the Mexican Revolution,”Gonzalez said.Gonzalez said he alsodiscussed the meaning iden-tity with his students andasked them to think aboutwhat it means to be LatinAmerican. Kahlo’s father was a German who traveledto Mexico in the late 1800s,and her mother was of Amer-ican Indian descent. Rivera’smother was a “converso,”a Jew whose ancestors had been forced to convert to Ca-tholicism.Although both artistswere born in Mexico, theycame from diverse back-grounds and Gonzalez saidhe discussed with his stu-dents why their backgroundis important, and why it isimportant to not focus toomuch on race but more onidentity.Sequoyah student
AshleyGarcia
said she had beenlooking forward to seeing theexhibit because she thoughtit would help her becomemore immersed in the arts.“It’s about politics and passion and it’s important because of how we expressourselves and we’re proud of who we are. I want to showhow I think and how I seethe world,” Garcia said.
Approximately 90 student from the Latin American Association’safter-school program at Sequoyah Middle School attended the ex-hibit at the High featuring the work of Mexican artists Frida Kahloand Diego Rivera. Photos by Daniel BeauregardStudents from Sequoyah Middle School stand in front of Atlanta’s High Museum of Art.
See Judge on Page 13A
 Judge rules against DeKalb school board
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comA federal judge has decided thefate of six DeKalb school boardmembers who sued to keep their  jobs.Federal Judge
Richard
 
Story
 decided March 4 to lift a temporaryrestraining order and deny an in- junction against Gov.
Nathan Deal
.The decision allows the governor toremove the board members.“The harm from the loss of ac-creditation to the school district andthe resulting harm to the studentsin the district are profound,” Storystated in a court document. “To per-mit the board members to continueto serve…risks substantial conse-quences for the school district andits students.”The board members— 
SarahCopelin-Wood
,
Jesse “Jay” Cun-ningham
,
Donna Elder
,
Nancy
 
Jester
,
Pamela A. Speaks
and
Eugene P. Walker
 —were removedFeb. 25 by Deal on the unanimousrecommendation of the GeorgiaBoard of Education (GBOE).In December, the DeKalbCounty Board of Education was placed on accreditation probation bySouthern Association of Collegesand Schools (SACS), the agencythat accredits the school districtthrough its parent company, Ad-vancED.The probation triggered enforce-ment of a state law that allows thegovernor to remove school boardsthreatened with loss of accreditationdue to “school board governancerelated reasons.”“The interest of the public in ahealthy system outweighs the inter-ests of board members in serving intheir positions,” Story stated.The judge acknowledged the
www.facebook.com/ championnewspaper 
 
www.twitter.com/ championnews 
Like Us OnFollow Us On
 
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013 Page 2A
Local News
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comRep.
Dar’shunKendrick 
(D-93), a self- proclaimed champion of foreclosure reform, wantsthe state government tostudy the problem.“Foreclosures are highin this state,” Kendrick said Feb. 28 during ahearing in front of theBanks and Banking SubCommittee of the state’sHouse of Representatives.“We keep teetering
 between rst and sixth
[place]. DeKalb County,which I represent is secondhighest in the state. For us to not recognize it as a problem is a big issue for Georgia.”Kendrick has introduceda resolution callingfor the creation of astudy committee on theforeclosure crisis “to studythe state foreclosure lawsand processes so that we can provide recommendationsto the Georgia GeneralAssembly aboutlegislatively [preventing]foreclosures.”The state representativesaid she hopes the proposedcommittee would, “whether little or big, [make]recommendations abouthow we improve the process. There is no harm inimproving our process for foreclosure.“I don’t think there is anyharm in making sure peopleget due process when you’retaking their biggest asset,”Kendrick said. “We need tostreamline the process…tomake sure the homeowner is very clear about the process.”Some attendees at thehearing were concernedthat the committee wouldrecommend required judicial foreclosures, inwhich all foreclosureswould be brought before a judge.“The reason…we go toa nonjudicial foreclosureis that the home has beenabandoned,” said
MikeCulbertson
, a lobbyistrepresenting credit unions.“The longer that [home]stays abandoned, the more property damage and theless the value is. That’sone of the reasons whywe really defend the rightto go through nonjudicialforeclosures because mostof the time when we get intothat position, the house has been abandoned.”Banks and credit unionsneed to be able to get in thehouse, repair and sell it,Culbertson said.The normal foreclosure process in Georgia takes
approximately 21 months,
he said.In a judicial foreclosure,it could take 37 months“because the dockets andthe courts themselves are sofull,” Culberton said.“The last thing the creditunion wants to do is to bein possession of the houseitself,” Culbertson said.“That’s not the businesswe’re in.“We’ll try to work along
with the consumer to gure
out a way, if in fact theyhave the capacity to bringthe account into some kindof a current status and keepthe family in the home,”Culbertson said. “Theforeclosure process itself isone of last resorts.”
Steve Bridges
, alobbyist for community banks and a former bankingcommissioner, agreed.“We usuallywait quite sometime before wewould go throughthat process because we aretrying to work withthe borrower,”Bridges said. “Wedon’t want that property. We don’twant it back.”Mortgage banking industry lobbyist
Mo Thrash
said theforeclosure problem has been “traumatic.”“We have had a terrible,terrible time in real estatein this state, probably since2007,” Thrash said. “Everylending institution, every bank, community bank,credit union—everybody’s been affected by this.”Kendrick said her resolution does not advocatefor judicial foreclosures.“Doing nothing is notan option,” she said. “Atthe end of the day, it’s upto the committee to providerecommendations or not provide recommendations.There might be somethingwe’re missing.”
 
Legislator proposes foreclosure study committee
‘Foreclosures are high in thisstate. DeKalb County, whichI represent is second highestin the state.’
- Dar’shun Kendrick 
 
Page 3A The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
Georgia Piedmont Techpresident inaugurated
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comThere was much pompand circumstance as a Dr.
Jabari
 
Simama
ofcially
took the helm of GeorgiaPiedmont Technical College(GPTC) Feb. 27.In introducing his “goodfriend,” DeKalb CEO
Burrell
 
Ellis
said, “It’s a beautiful day to celebratethe dawning of a new era atGeorgia Piedmont TechnicalCollege.“The vision, passionand leadership of Dr. JabariSimama, which I have per-
sonally beneted from and
witnessed on countless oc-
casions, reafrm my belief 
that the future of this schooland the overall region isin good hands,” Ellis said.Simama was Ellis’ chief of staff before leaving countygovernment to run GPTC.“Georgia Piedmont Tech-nical College, or as I liketo remember it—DeKalbTech, has always served…students who are not afraidto live their dreams,” Ellissaid. “At this unique mo-ment in time, I can think of no person better to lead this prestigious institution thanDr. Jabari Simama.”Simama was named president of GPTC after theretirement of former presi-dent
Robin Hoffman
leftthe position vacant. Simamais the third president and
rst Black president in the
college’s history.Simama worked for El-lis from 20
09-12, serving
as chief policy adviser and
deputy chief operating of-
cer of development.Additionally, Simamawas the vice president for community development and
external relations at
Benedict Collegein Columbia, S.C.,from 2005-2009.Before that, he was
the executive direc-
tor of communitytechnology for thecity of Atlanta,2000-2005, andserved as Atlanta’s
chief of the ofce of 
marketing and com-munications from
1998 to 2000.
His career inhigher educationincludes teaching positions at theGeorgia Institute of Technology, Clark Atlanta University,Morgan State Uni-versity, Universityof Cincinnati, andAtlanta Junior Col-lege (now AtlantaMetropolitan College).Simama held elected
ofce as a member of the
Atlanta City Council from
1987-93. He also served as
an appointed member of theMetropolitan Atlanta Olym- pic Games Authority, which
 provided nancial oversight
for the Atlanta OlympicGames Committee’s $2 bil-lion budget.“I’m ready to move this
college to the next level,”
Simama said during his ad-dress.“Were it not for this col-lege and others like it inour system and elsewhere,many of our children, our  parents, our sisters and brothers would not be ableto attend college,” Simamasaid. “We’re not just educat-ing students and preparing a
highly qualied workforce,
we’re redeeming the soulsof our students. We’re pro-viding a bridge for manyof them to cross over to themiddle class.”Simama encouraged at-tendees to join him in “help-ing this college and other colleges bring the blessingof higher education to thosewho need it.”
 PUBLIC NOTICENOTICE OF AVAILABILITYDeKalb County Human and Community Development Department2012 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER)
The DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department is preparing to submit itsConsolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) to the United StatesDepartment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The report covers the status of activitiesand programs carried out through the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG),HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), and Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) fundsduring the most recently completed program year that ended December 31, 2012.The Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report is available for citizens’ reviewand comments from March 7, 2013 through March 21, 2012 at the following address:
DeKalb County Community Development Department150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330Decatur, GA 30030
Telephone: 404-286-3308 Hearing Impaired (TDD) (404) 286-3336
The office hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The document may also be reviewed at the DeKalb County libraries listed below.Please contact the libraries for hours of operation.Chamblee Branch
4115 Clairmont Road, Chamblee(770-936-1380)
 Decatur Branch
215 Sycamore Street, Decatur (404-370-3070)
Redan-Trotti Branch
1569 Wellborn Road, Lithonia(770-482-3821)
Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown Branch
2861 Wesley Chapel Road, Decatur (404-286-6980)
 
(Written comments should be submitted to the 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue address.)
All locations are accessible to persons with disabilities.
“All fellow Georgianswho don’t have the skills tomeet the workforce needs
of the 21st century are like
family members being left behind,” he said. “We mu
stalways look back and help bring those behind us withus as we move forward.”
    “
We’re not just educating studentsand preparing
highly qualified
workforce, we’reredeeming the souls ofour students.
–Jabari Simama 
Jabari Simama gives his inaugural speech as president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College as hisformer boss, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, looks on. Photo by Kerry King

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