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Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper, January 22, 2011

Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper, January 22, 2011

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Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper, January 22, 2011
Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper, January 22, 2011

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Published by: The AFRO-American Newspapers on Jan 20, 2011
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January 22, 2011 - January 22, 2011, The Afro-American
By Shernay Williams
 AFRO Staf Writer 
Tessa Hill-Aston, the fth female president of the Baltimore City branchof the NAACP, was sworn in Jan.13 at the New Fellowship ChristianCommunity Church in Park Heights,Baltimore.Hill-Aston, 60, also serves as thecity housing administrator and is thechapter’s rst female leader since thelegendary Enolia P. McMillian reignedmore than 20 years ago.Hill-Aston took the oath of ofcesurrounded by family, close friends,supporters and dignitaries. Well-wisherscrowded the medium-sized church,forcing ushers to set out folding chairs behind pews to accommodate the largecrowd. The spiritual event included prayers and musical selections from thechurch choir.
By Shernay Williams
 AFRO Staf Writer 
Baltimore nance ofcialssay they project an $80million city budget shortfallin 2012 and “virtually at”revenues for the next threeyears.When Mayor StephanieRawlings-Blake took the helmas Baltimore’s top ofciallast February, one of her mostdaunting tasks was closingthe $121 million budget gap.She and the City Councilenforced contentious taxhikes and pension overhauls, but according to the FinanceDepartment, they may nothave done enough.In a recent public hearingabout the city’s economicoutlook, two nance and budget ofcials contendedthat the city must enact“structural changes in pension, medical coverageand other areas to ensurelong-term sustainability.”They also citedunemployment, the housingmarket and deation as causesfor the spiraling decit.Roughly 26,000 fewer city residents have jobs thanin 2007, but employmentgrowth is not expected toreturn to pre-recession levelsuntil 2014, budget analystWilliam Voorhess reportedat the hearing. The highunemployment precludesincome tax levels, which are based on residential incomeassessments, the real estatemarket and stocks.Unstable housing
 priceswon’t return to pre-recessionlevels for another four years,he said, adding that thefederal housing stimulus “didlittle” to stabilize Baltimore’shousing market and thecity saw low housing salesall last year. He says if thecity sees “strong and steadygrowth,” this year, propertytax revenues might level off in eight years.“We are experiencingthe tail end of the benet of the housing bubble boom,”noted Andrew Kleine, chief of Budget and ManagementResearch. According to histhree-year budget projections,city revenue streams willremain at and wages will bestagnant.By far, Kleinesaid, pension costs areoverwhelming the city budgetmost, having tripled since2003. Fixed costs – includingretirees’ healthcare andworkers compensation – drive 70 percent of the city’sincreased costs. The spikemay be credited to aging baby boomers.The city lost an historic$100 million in highway user revenue due to cutbacks tothe state gas tax and fewer car purchases. What’s more,city ofcials raided the fundto balance the general budgetand Kleine said they mighthave to again for scal year 2011.On the upside, the
By Shernay Williams
 AFRO Staf Writer 
While Republicansstrove to repeal federalhealth care reformthis week, BaltimoreCity’s health groupsand politicos promotedawareness of the bill ata Jan. 15 communityhealth fair. About 30city vendors providedon-site health coverageenrollment, free u-shotsand health screeningsincluding diabetes, bloodpressure and depressiontests, while healthexperts in consumerforums appraised federalhealth reform’s impact onthe city.“It’s important to make sure weare getting the facts to Baltimoreresidents about healthcarereform because there is so muchmisinformation out there,” saidMayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake,one of many public ofcials at theevent.A few hundred residentstrickled in and out of the ve-hourfair held at the Harry and JeanetteWeinberg YMCA on East 33rdStreet. Baltimore HealthCareAccess organized the event, therst in a quarterly series this year,to educate the public on health careopportunities.Children watched educationalhealth theatre shows sponsoredby Kaiser Permanente and mostparents took advantage of healthscreenings or spoke with healthproviders. Vendors included BlackMental Health Alliance, a healthreferral group; Baltimore HealthyHomes and Communities andBaltimore City Department of Social Services.Yet, overall attendance waslow, possibly because the eventwas convened during the Ravensgame, said a Baltimore HealthCareAccess ofcial.Only a handful of residentsparticipated in the health reformdiscussions, which detailed thefederal measure’s benets forseniors, small businesses ownersand the uninsured.When fully implemented in2014, the
 Affordable Care Act 
 will give 90 percent of the 96,000uninsured Baltimore City residentsaccess to affordable coverage,ofcials said.Forum presenters also notedthat a federal health exchange willprovide an inexpensive alternativeto other insurance options,while allowing currently insuredresidents to keep their doctors.Under the measure, federalgovernment will invest $15 billionover 10 years on preventiveservices and community healthprograms to address healthdisparities and reduce chronicdisease rates. City HealthCommissioner Oxiris Barbotpraised this aspect of the bill,saying it will help thwart “chronic
www.afro.comVolume 119 No. 24JANUARY 22, 2011 - JANUARY 28, 2011
    a    f    r    o .    c    o    m
    Y    o    u    r    H    i    s    t    o    r    y   •    Y    o    u    r    C    o    m    m    u    n    i    t    y   •    Y    o    u    r    N    e    w    s
Listen to “First Edition”
 Join Host Sean YoesSunday @ 8 p.m. on88.9 WEAA FM, theVoice of the Community.
Copyright © 2011 by the Afro-American Company
Join the
onTwitter and Facebook 
It’s About What Kind ofCountry We Want to Be
 A2 A7
Continued on A3Continued on A3
The Mysterious Return
of ‘Baby Doc’Janet Jackson Setto Rock DMV 
Continued on A3
By Dorothy Rowley
 AFRO Staf Writer 
 For many businesses, the ever increasing pressures of keeping pace with the latest advances in technology oftenmakes them feel like they’re falling behind. But ofcialsat the AFRO American Newspapers, which has bureausin Washington and Baltimore, are keenly aware they mustkeep up in order to remain competitive in a rapidly changingnewspaper environment.With that in mind, publisher Jake Oliver recentlyannounced the paper’s launch of a new application nowavailable for free downloading at the online Apple App Storethat gives readers access to breaking news from their iPhone.Also known as a smartphone, the sleek rectangular deviceworks more like a palmtop computer than a cell phone, andas with many smartphones, it provides owners the choice of watching movies, listening to music, browsing the web
AFRO Premieres OnlineEmployment Center
AFRO’s Leading into the Digital Age
‘AFRO’ LaunchesiPhone Application
New Rollout Provides Easy News Access
By Shernay Williams
 AFRO Staf Writer 
The AFRO American Newspapers has recently launcheda job search engine on its website. As a supplement to thenewspaper’s weekly print “Career Corner” employmentsection, the online employment center will connect readerswith national and local jobs. The venue also allows jobseekers to post resumes and search extensive jobs listings.During a time when African-American unemploymentlooms at 16 percent nationwide, the AFRO hopes topromote business and career opportunities for its readers.As the newspaper builds its jobs database, employers – searching for new hires within the minority community – are offered competitive introductory pricing. The quick,efcient self-posting process allows businesses to add theirlisting to the AFRO’s virtual job catalog and convenientlypay online. Companies will have the option of having theirposted jobs appear exclusively on the AFRO site or haveextended exposure on a nationwide network of afliate
Continued on A3
State and Local Ofcials Explain Health Care Reorm
Baltimore Finance Ofcials Project Shortall
Courtesy Photo
Tessa Hill-Aston was sworn-in as the Baltimore CityNAACP’s new president Jan. 13 at New FellowshipChristian Community Churchin Park Heights.
Baltimore NAACP ChapterSwears In New President
Courtesy Photo/Mark Dennis, City of Baltimore
City residents turned out to hear details about health care reform and to takepart in a variety of health-related activities.
illnesses that contribute to spiralinghealth care costs.”Seniors will benet the most, saidRep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger,D-Md., another fair attendee. Theywill be entitled to free “wellness”visits and discounts on prescriptiondrugs as the government closes the“donut hole” or coverage gap forseniors. Further, health care reformpromises an overhaul of MedicareAdvantage, the privatized medicalplan many consider poorly managed.And small businesses will receivetax credits, ofcials added.The presenters also handed outinformation about some of the morecontroversial aspects of the bill,including the requirement that allpersons obtain health coverage by2016 or pay $695 nes or 2.5 percent
The Afro-American, January 22, 2011 - January 28, 2011
Mystery Surrounds Re-emergence o “Baby Doc” in Haiti
World awaits judge’s ruling on alleged past crimes
By Shernay Williams
 AFRO Staf Writer 
Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, former Haitian dictator,was escorted tocourt Jan. 18,two days after hisshocking return tothe beleagueredcountry. Hourslater, Haitianprosecutors chargedthe ousted leaderwith corruption,theft andmisappropriationof funds during his15-year regime.Accordingto a statementfrom his defenseattorney GervaisCharles reportedby
The Associated Press
, a judge hasthree months todetermine whether a criminal case should take place.Internet tweets from Mac McClelland, a reporter stationedin Haiti by the investigative magazine
 Mother Jones
, indicatedthat while Duvalier was at the courthouse his supporters wereon the street calling for his release, saying, “Time is up!” Afterwhat was described by
 Associated Press
reporter Jonathan M.Katz as an “hours long closed-court meeting,” Duvalier left thecourthouse around 6 p.m. EST, McClelland tweeted.There is much speculation regarding why Duvalier hasreturned to Haiti now. Many outside the country are wonderingif the absence of power left by the devastating earthquake ayear ago and the contentious, unresolved presidential electionis the reason. Still others postulate, at least according to tweetsfrom McClelland, that he has returned to the country to die.Duvalier mysteriously arrived in Haiti Jan. 16, accompaniedby his companion Veronica Roy, after 25 years of exile inFrance. He ruled over the island nation beginning in 1971,following the death of his father Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalierand maintained power until his ouster during an uprising in1986.Human Rights Watch and other international groups havecalled for the controversial leader’s arrest, saying he and hisfather created a vicious dynasty that ordered the death andtorture of 20,000 to 30,000 Haitians.“Duvalier’s return to Haiti should be for one purpose only:to face justice,” José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director of Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “His time to be heldaccountable is long overdue.”He has never been prosecuted for any crimes. According
to Human Rights Watch, four Haitians recently led torture
complaints against the former leader in France but chargeswere overturned because the country’s statue on crimes againsthumanity was not retroactive.Some civil leaders are urging media to focus on thedevastation in Haiti – caused by a cholera outbreak, extremepoverty and slow earthquake recovery – not on Duvalier’sreturn. “To the extent that Baby Doc is a citizen of Haiti, manysay he has the right to visit the county,” said Eric Walcott,executive director of the D.C.-based National Organization forthe Advancement of Haitians. “I know there are outstandingwarrants for his arrest because of crimes against humanity andit is their obligation to take a stance on that.”But the country is in dire straits, he said. “That should be thefocus, not the diversion created by Baby Doc.”
 AFRO Executive Editor Talibah Chikwendu contributed tothis article.
Astronomer Unveils Revised Astrology Chart
After all those years of checking your daily horoscope,you may have been following the wrong astrological sign,according to an astronomer at the Minnesota PlanetariumSociety.Parke Kunkle, a board member with the organization,claimed that, in the thousands of years since zodiac signs were
rst congured, a “wobble” in the Earth’s rotation shifted our
view of the stars, making the dates of the current astrologicalsigns inaccurate.Depending on an individual’s birthday, his or her, their truezodiac sign may in fact be the preceding one. For example, aperson born on Sept. 12, who astrologists call a Virgo, mayreally be a Leo.Kunkle says the star’s realignment also created a 13th signcalled Ophiuchus, representing those whose birthday fallsbetween Nov. 29 and Dec. 17.“Historically, people looked at the sky to understand theworld around us,” he told
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
. “Buttoday I don’t think people who are into astrology look at thesky very much.”
Kunkle’s theory has prompted a urry of attention and
confusion, and fueled the centuries-old “beef” betweenastronomers and astrologers.East Coast astrologer Adam Gainsburg told the
,“Western Civilization has known about this [the Earth’swobble] since 200 A.D. He said while the Earth does“wobble,” it does not change the current zodiac calendar. Andthe Ophiuchus, Gainsburg said, is not a zodiac sign, just acollection of stars. He said most astronomers have “no conceptof astrology.” “Astronomers have no interest in informingthemselves in astrology but we always take interest in learningabout astronomy.”Devine said the newastrological calendar wouldnot even give an accurate
reection of personalities. “If 
you have been studying thesigns like I have for 40 years,you will see the character traits(associated with the signs)won’t line-up.”
Visit www.afro.com for a full list of the new astrological calendar.
Your History • Your Community • Your News
The Afro-American Newspapers
Baltimore Ofce • Corporate Headquarters2519 N. Charles StreetBaltimore, Maryland 21218-4602410-554-8200 • Fax: 1-877-570-9297www.afro.com
Founded by John Henry Murphy Sr., August 13, 1892Washington Publisher Emerita -
 Frances L. Murphy II 
Chairman of the Board/Publisher -
 John J. Oliver, Jr.
Executive Assistant -
Takiea Hinton
- 410-554-8222Receptionist -
Wanda Pearson
- 410-554-8200Director of Advertising/Sponsorship Development & Sales
Susan Gould -
Advertising Manager -
Robert Blount -
410-554-8246Sr. Advertising Account Executive -
Annie Russ -
410-554-8235Advertising Account Executive
Marquise Goodwin -
410-554-8274Director of Finance
- Jack Leister -
- John Gartrell -
410-554-8265Director, Community & Public Relations
Diane W. Hocker -
410-554-8243EditorialExecutive Editor -
Talibah Chikwendu -
E-mail: editor@afro.com
Baltimore Bureau Chief 
- Tiffany Ginyard -
410-554-8269Managing Editor
- Kristin Gray -
Washington Bureau Chief -
Zenitha Prince -
202-332-0080, ext. 119
Global MarketsDirector -
Benjamin M. Phillips IV
- 410-554-8220
Washington Circulation/Distribution Manager
Edgar Brookins -
202-332-0080, ext. 116Baltimore Circulation/Distribution Manager
Sammy Graham -
410-554-8266Production Department
- 410-554-8288
Washington Ofce
1917 Benning Road, N.E. • Washington, D.C. 20002-4723202-332-0080 Fax: 1-877-570-9297
General Manager
Edgar Brookins -
ext. 116Ofce Administrator
- Mia Hayes-Hawkins -
ext. 112
Customer Service, Home Delivery and Subscriptions:
410-554-8234Customer Service@afro.comBilling Inquiries: 410-554-8226Nights and Weekends: 410-554-8282
AFRO National Briefs
Courtesy Image AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery 
Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude"Baby Doc" Duvalier, center, waves tosupporters rom a hotel balcony aterhis arrival in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 16. Duvalier returned Sunday toHaiti ater nearly 25 years in exile, asurprising and perplexing move thatcomes as his country struggles with apolitical crisis and the stalled efort torecover rom last year's devastatingearthquake.
The Afro-American, January 22, 2011 - January 22, 2011
of fundraising success forthe party, many Republicaninsiders saw the need forchange.“Everyone is basicallyworking around him,” formerGOP Rep. Vin Weber of Minnesota told
The Associated Press
six months beforeSteele bowed out of the race.“Republicans have sort of puttogether a mode of operationfor this election cycle that doesnot put the RNC chairmanin a central role. That’s notthe optimal way of handlingthings. But in a very strangeway that gives him someprotection because there’s nourgency to replace him—nomatter how grave of a misstephe made.”Republican strategistRaynard Jackson said Priebus’victory is evidence that theparty is looking to re-evaluatethe duties of the chairman.“His election tells me thatno one will know what he’sdoing,” Jackson said. “Theparty wants a technocrat -somebody who won’t be inthe media.“Furthermore, he [Priebus]will be horrible in the media,”Jackson continued. “He’s nota great public speaker.”Jackson agreed that Steelemade great contributions,but in the end, wasn’t able toovercome his mistakes.“He’ll be rememberedfor all the controversy fromthe verbal gaffes to themoney mismanagement,”Jackson said. “You willnot hear people talk aboutthe races we won underhis chairmanship. All thenegative media coverage willovershadow what he was ableto accomplish.”Steele said he had otherthings up his sleeve in case hedidn’t win. He said “there’salways something to do.“I always have a plan B, Cand D ... I’m not going away.”
By AFRO Staf 
Republican NationalCommittee Chairman MichaelSteele gave up his re-electionbid on Jan. 14 after it becameapparent he did not haveenough votes to win anotherstint at the forefront of theGOP.Wisconsin GOP ChairmanReince Priebus won with97 votes over second-placenisher Saul Anuzis.After a fourth round of voting, Steele watched hisnumbers decline for a thirdconsecutive time and decidedto throw his support behindMaria Cino. Steele gave ashort speech when he steppedaside, saying that now was thetime for a new direction.“Two years, we’ve had agood time. We’ve done a lotof good things,” Steele toldRNC members according toABC News. “The party wantsto do something a little bitdifferent and hopefully a littlebit better.”His comments come instark contrast to what he toldthe
earlier last week, asSteele touted the progress theRepublican Party made underhis leadership.“I feel good. What’s notto feel good about?” Steelesaid. “We took a moribund,demoralized party that wastouted around the country asan endangered species just twoyears ago and through a lot of effort and by taking a lot of risks we turned it around.”Steele found himself inplenty of hot water duringhis tenure, however, forblunders in the media suchas going against party linesand maligning ArizonaGov. Jan Brewer for thatstate’s Immigration law.Alongside his perceived lack
January 22, 2011 - January 28, 2011, The Afro-American
. . , . .
Identification Statements
 Baltimore Afro-American
(USPS 040-800)is published weekly by The
 Afro-American Newspapers
,2519 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4602.
Subscription Rate:
Baltimore - 1 Year - $30.00 (Price includes tax.) Checks for subscriptions should be madepayable to: The
 Afro-American Newspaper Company,
2519 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD21218-4602. Periodicals postage paid at Baltimore, MD.POSTMASTER:
Send addresses changes to
 Afro-American Newspaper Company,
2519N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4602.
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(0276-6523)is publishedweekly by the
 Afro-American Newspapers at 1917 Benning Road, N.E., Washington, D.C.20002-4723.
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city avoided a double-diprecession and the GrossDomestic Product, or themarket value of goods andservices within the city, isgaining momentum. “Thereis going to be growth, butit’s going to be slow,” Kleinesaid, but even its slow growthwill create jobs.Still, the city has $786.7million set aside for serviceoperations this year and anexpected gap of $154 million by 2014.“This gives you a senseof the challenge that liesahead, but of course that can’thappen,” Kleine said.By law, city ofcialsmust have a balanced budget by June 30, the end of thescal year. Kleine said hemust present a balancedcity account to the Board of Estimates by March.“I think we have a tougher  budget than last year,” hesaid.In a slide presentation,Kleine said the looming$80 million decit equatesto 1,066 police ofcer  positions, 1,200 reghtersand 30 percent of the currentworkforce, excluding reand police, comparisons thatincensed Councilman JamesKraft, D-1.“This creates anatmosphere of fear,” he said,glaring at Kleine. “Everyoneknows we aren’t going to cut1,000 police ofcers.”Councilwoman Mary PatClarke, D-14, concurred,“This is the year when wehave to tighten our belts…We don’t want residentsto think we balance theseshortcomings on the backsof public safety and we don’twant our nancial processequated to re and police.”She said she was not awarethe city would face another year of a “sizable” decit.“There is nothing more toraise [in taxes] that I foresee,”she said. “We gave our besteffort last year; I don’t knowwhat is left to do…We needto look at projections again tomake sure we aren’t being too pessimistic.”Calls to the Mayor’sOfce for comment werenot immediately returned by
deadline.Gov. Martin O’Malleyreveals the state budget thisweek, which has a gloomy$1.6 billion projecteddecit. Kleine said althoughO’Malley promised notto shift teacher pensioncosts to localities, the stateLegislature is sure to cut other municipality aid.“It’s just a matter of themagnitude,” he said, addinghe expects a $22 millionreduction in state aid over thenext three years. That would push Baltimore’s shortfallwell over $100 million.“The impact of thisrecession is going to livewith us for a very long time,”Kleine said.
and sending e-mails and textmessages.“[The iPhone application]is an important rst step forus in our quest to make the
far more availableto people who need to havequick access to their news,”Oliver said.AFRO Web managerWilliam Parschalk addedthat the new application willenable readers full accessto news from District of Columbia, Prince George’sCounty and Baltimore, aswell as sports and nationalissues. “This is a great wayfor us to connect with readerson the go,” Parschalk said.“We’d like readers to have asmany options as possible toaccess their
news...asnew technology and mediumsof communication continue toopen up.”Oscar Robinson, a RadioShack manager in NortheastWashington, said smartphonesare becoming the latest trendamong cellular customers.“All phones are essentiallybecoming smartphonesbecause they can do somuch,” said Robinson. “Theyhave operating systemsthat are usually going to beAndroid, Windows or Safari- which means that they runon their own networks to giveowners better access to manyof the latest applications.”While readers’ access tothe new application wouldnot necessarily put the
 ahead of the times, beingthe rst Black newspaper toshowcase this technologicalinnovation neverthelessmakes this a signicant event.“It’s not too manyweeklies that we’re aware of that have iPhone applicationsat all, and as far as I cantell, we’re the rst African-American newspaper to havesuch,” Oliver said. “Butwe’ve always recognizednew technology as being animportant tool to better servethe ever changing needs of our readership.”Oliver assured thatimplementation of theapplication will have nobearing on readers who preferhard copies of the
.“People will still be able tobuy the
where theynormally pick it up.” Oliversaid. “But additionally, thisnew iPhone applicationwill facilitate greater accessto the growing volume of current late breaking newswe continue to post on ourwebsite.“Among the manyprograms we currently haveon the drawing board is theultimate expansion of thisnew iPhone application toother smartphone platformsand eventually to the iPad andother tablet formats as well.Our objective continues tobe to expansively deliver theinformation news to the ourcommunity “news sites.“[This is] just anotherway of using the digitalenvironment to focuson some of the pressingneeds of the businessesand the unemployed in ourcommunity,” said
 Publisher Jake Oliver.“We believe this is a greatopportunity for making theseinteractions easy and almostinstantaneous.”
To learn more about thenew online employment center, please go to afro.com or call the Advertising Department at 410-554-8289.
Employment Center
Continued from A1
iPhone Application
Continued from A1Continued from A1Continued from A1
Health Care Reorm
of their income. Also, mid-sized companieswill be charged $2,000 per worker if theydon’t provide federal health care subsidies forall employees.But the federal measure’s benets faroutweigh any negatives, said Ruppersberger.“The average family pays over $13,000for annual premiums,” he said. “If we didnothing, the premiums would be $25,000in 10 years. We could not afford that as acountry.”Ruppersberger told health fair attendees“not to worry” about a possible repeal of health care reform in the House becauseit would not survive a Senate vote orpresidential veto.“I feel strongly that this health care billwill move forward,” he said.
Finance Ofcials
Steele Drops Out o RNC Race
Wisconsin’s Priebus Is New Chairman
Wisconsin’s Reince Priebuswill replace Michael Steele(pictured) as GOP chairman.
“The party wants a technocrat - somebody who won’t be in the media.” 
 AP Photo

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