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Baltimore AFRO-American Newspaper, February 5, 2011

Baltimore AFRO-American Newspaper, February 5, 2011

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February 5, 2011 - February 5, 2011, The Afro-American
www.afro.comVolume 119 No. 26FEBRUARY 5, 2011 - FEBRUARY 11, 2011
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Listen to “First Edition”
 Join Host Sean YoesSunday @ 8 p.m. on88.9 WEAA FM, theVoice of the Community.
Join the
onTwitter and Facebook 
Continued on A5
Queen of Comedy Serves
Up ‘Sommore’ Laughs
• Character Education
Copyright © 2011 by the Afro-American Company
Michael Williams OutFront for Tea Party
Character EducationSpecial Section Insert
Continued on A5
By Andrea L. “Aunni” Young
Special to the AFRO
The 112
Congress hasconvened with a new chairman forthe Congressional Black Caucus,Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II. Comingto the House of Representativesfor his third term from Missouri’sFifth District, he serves on theFinancial Services Committee,Homeland Security Committee andthe Speaker’s Select Committee onEnergy Independence and GlobalWarming.The Congressional BlackCaucus was formed in 1971 tohelp improve the ability of Blackelected ofcials to support theirconstituencies. It is also “at theforefront of legislative campaignsfor human and civil rights forall citizens,” according to theorganization’s website.Shortly after taking the ofce of chair, Rep. Cleaver answered a fewquestions for the
What are some of the coreissues you would like to see theCBC focus on during your term?
Chairman Cleaver:
We aregoing to help the president in hisgoal of creating jobs. One of themajor problems with the last twoyears is our inability to demonstrateto the American public ... thatwe were pushing for jobs. Theydidn’t see it. We’ve got to supportthe president on any plan that hebrings forth to create jobs. We willbegin this [immediately], sendingcommunications to the White
CBC Chair Shares Insightor Session
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, shown with Missouri elementary school children in this March 4, 2005fle photo, is the new chairman o the Congressional Black Caucus.
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By Shernay Williams
 AFRO Staf Writer 
Three weeks after their contentiousappointment of William “Pete”Welch to his mother’s vacated ninthdistrict seat, City Council membersare proposing changes to the vacancylling process.Council President Bernard C.“Jack” Young and CouncilmanWilliam H. Cole have introduceda rule change that would require11 residents of the vacated districtto serve on the council’s vacancynominating committee.Of those non-elected ofcials,seven would be representatives fromthe area’s community associations, twofrom faith-based organizations and twomore from business establishments.Two city council persons from abuttingdistricts would also serve on the panel.During his introduction of theproposal this week, Young said, “Wewant to change the way we do businessand show we are transparent.”“After the experience lling AgnesWelch’s vacant seat, we heard fromconstituents who felt they weren’t apart of the process,” he told the
 after the introduction, “and we feltthe community should have a greaterrole.”In a 10-3 vote, council membersselected Welch to complete theremainder of his mother’s city councilterm after her abrupt retirement latelast year. The decision and entireprocess, which placed the appointmententirely in the hands of the council,stirred a public outcry.Under the proposed rule changes,the standing city council presidentwould choose residents for thenomination panel within one week of the vacancy. Representatives wouldbe selected from city planning’s list of active community and improvement
City Council ConsidersChanging Vacancy Process
By Shernay Williams
 AFRO Staf Writer 
As video game casinos continue topop up around Maryland – the mostrecent opening just miles outside OceanCity earlier this month – the status of Baltimore slots remains in limbo.City ofcials say they aren’taccepting bids for a Baltimore venueuntil a string of legal issues stemmingfrom the last, and only, licensee arecleared. That bidder, the BaltimoreEntertainment Group, has beeninvolved in two separate legal quarrelswith the slots commission and the city.The commission terminated the group’scontract for failing to meetfee deadlines, promptingthe group to le an appealwith the state and sue thecity.Donald Fry, chairmanof the Video LotteryFacility LocationCommission, said the stateshould make a decisionin the case against thecommission within thenext few months. He iscondent they will rule inhis favor. “We hope to bein a position to rebid assoon as possible and weare waiting to have just alittle more legal certaintybefore we issue a newrequest for proposal,” hesaid.A spokesman forMayor StephanieRawlings-Blake saidthe city’s suit should besettled within a matter of weeks.Marylanders green-lighted ve slotparlors to open throughout the stateduring a 2008 voter referendum. Yet,only two have opened, the HollywoodCasino in Perryville and the Casino atOcean Downs, ve miles outside OceanCity.The Baltimore casino, with amaximum of 3,750 slot terminals,will open on a city-owned lot south of M&T Bank Stadium on Russell Street.Baltimore is the only jurisdiction torequire a slots parlor on city grounds.Mayoral spokesman Ryan O’Dohertysaid the requirement allows the cityto generate funds by leasing the land,
City Ofcials: BaltimoreSlots on Hold
The process or opening a video gaming acilityin Baltimore is on hold, awaiting a rulingrom the state on the appeal o the previousbidder. Once that is decided, a new request orproposals will be issued to restart the process.
Continued on A3
By Shernay Williams
 AFRO Staf Writer 
The city health commissionersays the recent expansion of ahealthy foods program providinglow-income Baltimore residentswith easier access to produce andquality fare is one of the city’s bestattempts to address grave healthdisparities reported among cityneighborhoods.On Jan. 31, Baltimoreofcials announced that the city’svirtual supermarket programcalled Baltimarket, will expandoperations to its rst school andthird library. The unique program,which launched last March, allowsresidents in “food deserts,” orneighborhoods miles away fromsupermarkets, to order and pick upgroceries at their local library.Residents can now place foodorders at the George WashingtonElementary School and laterthis month at the Enoch PrattCherry Hill library. Originally, thevirtual market was exclusivelyfor residents in the Jonestown,Oldtown, Perkins, Middle East andWashington Village communitiesthrough the Enoch Pratt’s Orleansand Washington Village libraries.The food delivery model isoffered in neighborhoods whereresidents have proven poor diethabits, low income and limitedvehicle ownership. In these areas,corner stores, which often sell pre-packaged or frozen goods, are theonly feasible food outlets.Neighborhoods surrounding theOrleans library have a whopping15 corner stories, 40 carryouts,six fast-food restaurants, but nogrocery stores, according to thecity Health Department. Likewise,Washington Village has sevencorner stores, 11 carry-outs, twofast food restaurants and not onesupermarket.With such limited food options,residents are more likely to facehealth disparities. As an example,Washington Village has the city’ssixth highest mortality rate forhealth-related complicationsincluding heart disease, stroke anddiabetes.Cherry Hill has the thirdhighest heart disease mortalityrate. Ninety-seven percent of their residents are Black and over60 percent don’t have access toa vehicle, which means they areless likely to travel outside theneighborhood for quality food.Yet, the closest grocery store isover two miles away.In all the program target areasexcept Washington Village, thepopulations are over 80 percent
City Food Delivery ProgramExtends Services, AddressesHealth Disparities
Continued on A4
 AFRO fle photo
Baltimore City Council PresidentBernard Young is joined byCouncilman William H. Cole inintroducing a rule change or theflling o council seat vacancies.
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The Afro-American, February 5, 2011 - February 11, 2011
Bow-Tied Cowboy CarriesTea Party Backing in Runfor Senate
Retiring Texas RailroadCommissioner and tea partyfavorite Michael Williamshas decided to run forthe U.S. Senate. The bowtie-clad, boot-shod BlackTexan said Jan. 25 that hewants to bring his starklyconservative views—including no preferentialtreatment for Blacks in highereducation, acceleration of oilexploration in coastal areasand a reduced role for thefederal government in publicpolicy—to the Senate.If successful, he would bethe rst African-AmericanRepublican senator inover 30 years. The lastBlack Republican senatorwas Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, who lost a re-election bid in 1978.Williams announced hisretirement from the railroadcommission Jan. 24, after 11years in the post.Williams adopted thebow-ties and boots as a prankwhile serving as assistantsecretary of education in the1990s for President GeorgeH.W. Bush as a way of easingtension when he appearedbefore a Senate committeehearing in front of hostileDemocrats.“I wanted to bring alight moment to the hearing,be humorous,” he told thewebsite The Daily Beast. “Wehad a very confrontationalhearing anyway. But I hadbought all these bow ties….”But the buzz aboutWilliams goes beyondconservative neckwareand cowboy boots. He hasdismissed global warning as aproblem and wants a limitedrole for the EnvironmentalProtection Agency, endorsesoil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and along both theEast and West coasts andfavors strict controls onimmigration.“We’ve got to go and drillfor American energy whereverwe have American energy.We’ve got to drill for it onthe west coast, the east coast,the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico, the Rocky Mountainsand oh by the way, drill in[Alaska],” Williams said at aConservative Political ActionConference, according to
The Dallas Morning News
.“We’ve got to bring thenukes back. We haven’t builta nuclear power plant since1979.”
Ugandan Gay RightsActivist Beaten to Death
Violence erupted inMukono, Uganda at thefuneral of gay rights advocateDavid Kato, two daysafter the Ugandan activistwas beaten to death with ahammer Jan. 26.The religious rite waspunctuated by a denunciationof homosexuality from thepulpit by the pastor, and therefusal of congregants in thevillage to bury Kato.“The world has gonecrazy,” the pastor said,according to Reuters. “Peopleare turning away from thescriptures. They should turnback, they should abandonwhat they are doing. Youcannot start admiring a fellowman.”Those statements drew asharp reaction from a crowdof 300 people that includedabout 100 gay supporters.Gay activists, some wearingT-shirts with Kato’s pictureon them, stormed the podium,grabbing the microphone.Condemnation of Kato’sdeath is strong in Uganda’sgay community, with manyblaming it on hatred, whilethe authorities called the deaththe result of a robbery.“David’s death is a resultof the hatred planted inUganda by U.S. evangelicalsin 2009,” Val Kalende,the chairwoman of one of Uganda’s gay rights groups,said in a statement to the
 NewYork Times
. “The Ugandangovernment and the so-calledU.S. evangelicals must takeresponsibility for David’sblood.”Kalende believes Kato’spicture in a Ugandannewspaper in October withthe words “Hang Them”printed next to it led toKato’s death. The Ugandanparliament is consideringmaking homosexuality acrime punishable by death.
‘Golden Voice’ Ted WilliamsChecks Out of Rehab
Ted Williams, thehomeless man who rose tofame in early January for his“golden voice,” reportedly leftsubstance abuse rehab afterreceiving less than two weeksof treatment. According to areport by TMZ, Williams wasbeing treated for drug andalcohol dependency and leftthe Origins Recovery Centerin Texas against the advice of his doctors. His treatment atthe facility was funded by the“Dr. Phil” TV show, whichreleased a statement followinghis leave, according to CBSNews.“Ted was given the chanceto voluntarily enter a drugrehabilitation facility in orderto help him deal with hisdependency on drugs andalcohol. In that it is voluntary,the decision to remain intreatment is Ted’s to make,”the statement read in part.“We certainly hope that hecontinues his commitment tosobriety, and we will continueto help and support him inany way that we can. We wishhim well.”Sources told TMZ thatWilliams left the rehabcenter and was on his way tothe airport. The report alsorevealed that his girlfriend iscurrently receiving treatmentat a rehab center in CostaMesa, Calif.Williams, 53, becamean Internet sensation after aColumbus Dispatch reporterlmed him panhandling onthe side of the road, accordingto CNN. After the video wasposted on the popular videosite YouTube, the homelessWilliams became the subjectof several news stories aspeople across the nationbecame fascinated with hisdeep baritone voice and hisintriguing story.
Everyone hasthe power tomake history.
Learn more at www.comcast.com/diversity
We honor Black History Month by encouragingthe dreams of our communities.
AFRO National Briefs
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 -
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Michael Williams
Courtesy PhotoCourtesy Photo
David Kato
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Ted Williams
The Afro-American, February 5, 2011 - February 5, 2011
By Shernay Williams
 AFRO Staf Writer 
Instead of roamingBaltimore City’s streets lastHalloween, Kenneth Franklin,a 17-year-old Upland resident,spent his holiday eveningplaying basketball and liftingweights in his neighborhoodDruid Hill Y Center.The decision may havesaved his young life.Days later, Franklindiscovered that one of hisfellow Y friends had beenshot and killed Halloweennight. “That could’ve beenme, if I hadn’t come here,”the young man said of hisafter-school hub for the lastthree years.Yet Franklin’s safe havenand the recreational mecca formany area youth is housed ina dated building that, thoughhistoric, is in dire need of renovations. Realizing thenecessity to preserve theDruid Hill Y – one of theoldest in the country and in1918 the only venue witha colored-only swimmingpool – its parent organization,the Y of Central Maryland,is dedicating proceeds fromtheir annual fundraiser tobegin the nal phase of restoration for the familycenter.“It’s a very old buildingbut we’ve done a good job of maintaining it,” said GreggPhillips, the Druid Hill YCenter’s executive director.The center needs refurbishedrestrooms, plumbing upgradesand a modernized familygame room – constructionsthat will begin next month assoon as they raise funds, hesaid.Y leaders are also hopingto garner additional fundingto create a youth-operatedradio station at the behest of residents in the surroundingcommunity who suggested thestation when the Druid HillCenter sent out input surveysthree years ago.Dr. Mel Brennan,district executive director of Baltimore City Y Centers,said Druid Hill’s neighborsare stakeholders in itsdevelopment. The center’srevitalization projects beganlast year, when city volunteershelped renovate thegymnasium, tness center andseveral other rooms. Throughthe Central Y’s fundraiserand in-kind donations, theyraised $300,000 for therenewal projects and severalBaltimore-area contractorsdonated services.Upon completion of thenal phase of the Druid Hillrevitalization, the center willspill growth and enrichmentefforts into the surroundingcommunity, commencingcommunity projects sixblocks in every direction –planting trees and pickingup trash during a weeklongcelebratory event in April.The parent Y’s majorfunding source is a yearlybreakfast in Martin LutherKing Jr.’s name hostedat rotating family centersand featuring a prominentspeaker. This year’s event,held Jan. 29 in the newlyrenovated gymnasium at theDruid Hill Y, featured Dr.Carnell Cooper, a surgeryprofessor and the founder of the Baltimore City ViolenceProtection Program.Cooper said too manyyoung people repeatedlycome into his hospital bearingbullet or stab wounds.“Maybe with the right supportservices (like the Druid HillY) we can intervene andmaybe save their life,” he saidat the breakfast.As part of theredevelopment projectand celebration of MLK’sbirthday, active youth of the Druid Hill Y created artprojects, including papercranes and a quilt that arereadily displayed throughoutthe center. The largecolorful quilt, embellishedwith jewels, glitter andempowering words including“Beautiful” and “Dignity,”hangs on a side wall in thegymnasium. Several Chinesepaper cranes with wishesinterpreting MLK’s legacyetched inside, hang from thecenter’s lobby ceiling.Y ofcials say the DruidHill Center will continue tobe a beacon of hope for its2,000 members. “If you lookat King’s legacy, there arewords that come to mind – justice, love and service,”Brennan said. “This is a callto service.”He said the center isexpounding the “meatand potatoes of youthdevelopment,” with its careertraining programs for high-achieving young people,summer camps for homelessteens and mentorship andhealth and wellness services.“But with this revitalization,we are getting the buildingready to meet the expectationsand set the cultural tone forservice,” he concluded.Meanwhile, Franklinsays the center remainshis anchor and venue of choice. He’s a member of theSuccess Academy Programfor troubled youth who arechronically suspended fromschool and participates inleadership and characterdevelopment training. He stillvisits the center outside of program hours.“I come because I knowthis is the next safest place tobe besides home,” he said.
February 5, 2011 - February 11, 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.
The Washington Afro-American & Washington Tribune
(0276-6523)is publishedweekly by the
 Afro-American Newspapers at 1917 Benning Road, N.E., Washington, D.C.20002-4723.
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Send addresses changes to
The WashingtonAfro-American&Washington Tribune,
2519 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4602.
…with this revitalization, we are getting the building ready tomeet the expectations and set the cultural tone for service.” 
 Y of Central MD to Renovate Druid Hill Center, Honor King
creating a “real potential forproperty tax relief.”The BaltimoreDevelopment Corporationhas hired an independentconsultant to evaluate revenueprojections and determinea competitive lease askingprice, O’Doherty said. Therequirements may mirror theprevious proposal, he added,but it was important to crafta competitive new contract toattract bidders.Projected revenue forthe Baltimore casino iscontingent upon the detailsof the winning contract, butSen. Catherine Pugh, D-40,says the city will collect about$12 to $20 million in state taxrevenue. Maryland casinosmust give the state 67 percentof their prot.Maryland’s rst casino,the Hollywood Casino inPerryville, has generated$27.5 million in revenue sinceit opened in September. Whenthe ve slot parlors are intact,they are expected to bring thestate $600 million a year.Once the slots commissionreleases a request forBaltimore proposals, potentiallicensees have roughly 13weeks to respond and submita $3 million initial licensingfee and $25 million inconstruction costs for every500 machines.Fry, whose ofce choosesthe operator, said the selectionprocess could take 6-8 monthsas the slots commissionconducts an extensivereviewing process, includingcriminal background checks.He said he hopes to expeditethe process.Commission ofcials saythey are constantly receivinginquiries from potentialinvestors curious when thebidding process will begin.“There does seem to bea renewed and increasedinterest in the Baltimore Citylocation and we are veryhopeful that when we are in aposition to rebid that we willhave a number of bids thatqualify,” Fry said.O’Doherty said he expectsmore bidder interest becauseof the improving economyand the city’s streamlinedproposal process. Duringthe rst bidding, potentialinvestors criticized the city’slack of transparency aboutwhich parcels of land wouldbe available. “It was a lessonlearned,” he said.Mike Cryor, a Baltimorebusinessman and communityactivist, said he has beenfollowing the Baltimorecasino developments andis considering a bid. Heis waiting for the state’sproposal before he makes anal decision, he said.And new potential biddershave emerged, includingBaltimore attorney HassanMurphy. Media outlets havereported that Murphy, thegreat-great grandson of the
’s founder, has hired aGeneral Assembly lobbyistand created a group calledCharm City Development andGaming last November inpreparation for the Baltimorebidding. “In the interim, weare gathering informationand trying to gure out if it’sgoing to be worth the time,effort and money,” Murphytold the
.Meanwhile, the StateLegislature is consideringrevising bidding laws to allowdevelopers to own more thanone casino.The state is also lookingfor acceptable bids in WesternMaryland’s Rocky Gap, whileinvestors are pushing for slotsin other locations includingPrince George’s County andEllicott City. Maryland lawwould require a nod fromvoters for slots to open inthese new locals. A thirdcasino is expected to premierenear Arundel Mills Mall inAnne Arundel County laterthis year.
Continued from A1
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