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December 10 -16
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From Information to Understanding
to Provide redesigned school day/year for some rcsd students
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In this Issue:
VOL 6. NO. 5 December 10 -16
1 :: www.Minorityreporter.net - week of december 10 - 16, 2012
From Information to Understanding
to Provide redesigned school day/year for some rcsd students
When you text a driver, you increase their risk of an accident by
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- Class time expansion initiative: to provide redesigned school day/year for some RCSD students LOcAL Pgs 4 - 5
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-Kodak Accepts ‘Improved’ Financing - City of Rochester Public Market to Begin Holiday Schedule - New Appointments at Hope Hall - UofR and Service Workers Reach Agreement, Approve Contract - New Bus Pass System in Effect for RCSD Students -RCSD Names New Communications Chief - City Breaks Ground on New Transit Center - Mayor Richards Announces Appointment of Ann McCormick to Joint Schools Construction Board stAtE Pg 6
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- Federal Prisons Urged to Grant More Money Early Releases for Ailing Inmates Hcr Health - Caring For Your Loved One nAtIOnAL Pgs 7, 12 Pg 10
Gloria winston Al-Sarag c. michael tillman rev. michael Vaughn Vincent felder diane watkins mike dulaney davy Vara Ayesha kreutz
- New Face of America: Democratic Shifting Changing Electorate - Blacks Must Become Number One Employer of Blacks cOLuMns: Pgs 13-15
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- Another Rising Star Crashes and Burns! By Gloria Winston Al-Sarag - Al Sharpton, Ben Jealous, Should no Longer be Invited to the White House By Boyce Watkins - It’s Really Slavery! By E. Faye Williams - The Flawed New York State Court System and How Women are Permitted to Abuse it By Davy Vara
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An Open Letter to Colin Powell from The Frederick Douglass Foundation
In the last two elections, candidate Obama and then President Obama was able to point to your endorsement as an example of a Republican for Obama. That’s a shame. When one looks at your past record, one can only conclude that you’ve been nothing but a Republican of convenience with a poorly hidden disdain for your party and your country. During the First Gulf War, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, you earned great popularity for a successful and quick war on Saddam Hussein. The Republicans watched the war on CNN and thought: “Look at that, we came, we saw, we kicked butt, and then we got out. General Powell’s a pretty smart guy.” This was a result of your “Powell Doctrine,” which, among other aspects, emphasizes an exit strategy after exhaustion of all diplomatic options. It also stressed minimizing US casualties by using decisive force to crush the weaker force into capitulation. Sounds good. In short, we went in, planted our flag, told Saddam to stay out of Kuwait and got home in time to watch our flag get burned by the Iraqi Street. At that point, even the Democrats loved you. They watched the war on CNN and thought: “Look at that. We went in, and now we’re out. Oh hey, and they’re burning our flag. That’s awesome. They still have a right to free expression, and we didn’t even take out their leader Saddam. That’s so thoughtful. His mustache makes him look like Stalin, and that Luigi character from Mario Brothers. I loved Donkey Kong. Hey, let’s play some Nintendo.” With an effort like that- one that pleases everyone- your popularity numbers were sky-high. The liberals loved that this war really didn’t accomplish much, and the Republicans hadn’t yet realized how little it had accomplished. Liberals are notoriously oblivious to the past and love to live in the moment, so their lack of inability to anticipate problems in the future can be forgiven. It’s why they’re liberal. But you cannot be forgiven for that failure to anticipate. By not taking out Saddam Hussein while we were in his neighborhood, we just left him there to plot. And plot he did. In the run up to the second Iraq War, as President George W. Bush’s Secretary of State, you were in charge of informing the global community of why we were going to war. You referred to intelligence sources from numerous different nations concluding that he did have some WMDs and was indeed seeking the development of more. This was also pretty obvious since he’d slaughtered over 100,000 Kurds in 1988, many of which he’d killed with mustard gas and nerve gas, which is a WMD. If he’d had them in 1988, were we really supposed to conclude that there’s no way that he would still have them? You made the argument before the UN well, but then you proceeded to undermine the same war effort you’d made the arguments to embark upon. Consider the fact that the person who supposedly outed Valerie Plame’s CIA identity was your best underling Deputy Secretary of State Dick Armitage. First off, Plame was a desk jockey blowhard at the CIA, and she wasn’t undercover. Second off, the media and your State Department minions were misreporting Plame’s husband Joe Wilson’s report. In his initial report, he wrote that Saddam Hussein was indeed trying to buy yellow cake uranium for nuclear bombs in Niger. However, to discredit the war effort based on the lack of evidence of WMDs, the story became a retelling of Joe Wilson’s actual experience. He was now saying that Hussein wasn’t trying to buy yellow cake, even though he knew that this lie totally contradicted his original report, which actually served to bolster the intelligence reports on WMDs. And thirdly, even though you and Armitage knew that you were the one’s that told Robert Novak of her name, you let Scooter Libby spend time in jail while trying to clear his name. The whole thing was politically destructive nonsense and a distraction that only made it harder for our fine men in combat to perform their duties. It split the country and prolonged the war by creating opposition that wasn’t necessary. The opposition turned to obstruction that has cost our servicemen support and some of their ability to prosecute a war effectively. These lies and distortions also made President Bush extremely unpopular, while you sat by and did nothing but throw red organic vegetables to the anti-war left that runs the Democrat Party. And then what happened? You endorsed President Obama, he won and now we’ve ensured that we fought the Iraq War for absolutely nothing. We have no contingent force allowed to be there, and now Iraq is kicking American oil companies out while allowing the Russians in. So here’s the truth about your 70% approval ratings. 50 of that 70 is the 100% of Democrats that know you’re nothing but one of them who pretends to be a Republican. The other 20 is the 40% of Republicans who aren’t paying attention. You’re a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Do us a favor and take off your mask. Admit you’re really a Democrat. Quit trying to pretend your opinions deserve more clout because you’re a Republican who hates his party and his country’s success on the international stage. And please, don’t ever endorse another Republican ever. If he’s actually worth electing, your endorsement will hinder his cause. Signed,
The Frederick Douglass Foundation of NY
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President Obama Must Stand up to Republicans
To The Editor: It seem as if President Obama will be forced to use his executive powers in order to get things done in the white House all the way through his second term. Republicans are only showing talking signs of doing anything positive to assist the President in the rebuilding of the country and economy. When it comes to solutions the country, economy and people need; Republicans acts as if they are the reasonable ones while democrats are not. When will the President realize, just as the saying goes--”no negotiations with terrorist”--there will be no bipartisanship for him with majority of republicans? The American people elected the President for a second term, which suggests the majority of the country love the vision the President has for the country. It’s time for Obama to refrain letting Republicans acts as if their party won the election. Republicans will never get over the results of the 2012 elections whereas they lied and muddied the political arena so much against the President; but, in the end got the attention of majority of the people’s vote. The President needs to kick the no good Republicans to the curb and do not let them mess up his Presidency with their undercover racist views towards him. Ras Howard Henry
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Rochester’s Eastman Business Park hosting summit
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) -- A former assistant U.S. Secretary of Labor during the administration of President George W. Bush is the keynote speaker at a manufacturing summit being held in Rochester. Wednesday’s gathering at Eastman Business Park is being hosted by the Eastman Kodak Co. and the Innovation Accelerator Initiative of the National Science Foundation. The discussions will focus on the role the business park will play in bringing advanced manufacturing and nextgeneration technological innovation back to Rochester. Former George W. Bush administration official Emily DeRocco is the keynote speaker. DeRocco is former president of The Manufacturing Institute and a senior vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers.
Rochester Among 17 Districts to Receive Virtual Learning Grant
New York high school students in several poor districts will have better access to advanced placement courses under a program featuring virtual classrooms. The state Education Department this week said $17.3 million in federal Race to the Top Funds will be distributed to 17 districts or consortia of districts under the state’s Virtual Advanced Placement Program. Education Commissioner John King says low-income students don’t always get the chance to take AP courses, which give students a leg up in their college applications. The 18-month grants will fund the development of online and blended courses that combine online and traditional classroom instruction. Among districts receiving funding are New York City, Buffalo, Yonkers, Rochester, Niagara Falls, Huntington and South Huntington.
Geva Theatre Center Looking for Local Writers
Submissions Sought for Geva’s 19th Annual Regional Writers Showcase December 7, 2012, Rochester, N.Y. Geva Theatre announce Friday they will be collaborating with Writers & Books to give regional playwrights the opportunity to take their works from page to stage. The theatre is seeking plays and playwrights for its Regional Writers Showcase to be held on April 29 and May 6, 2013 in Geva’s Nextstage. The Showcase gives area playwrights the opportunity to have their works publicly performed by actors in a scriptin-hand, reading format with the help of Geva directors and dramaturgs. Plays must be submitted between January 22 and February 5, 2013. “The purpose of the Regional Writers Showcase is to give promising local writers a chance to hear their work out loud and thereby gain the information they need to rework the script and take it to the next level of development,” explains Dawn Kellog, Communications Manager. “The showcase will feature as many noteworthy new works as time and resources allow, showcasing a range of regional talent.” Entrant Guidelines * The Showcase is open to writers now living or having lived within the six-county area: Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Orleans and Genesee. * Plays for consideration must be submitted between January 22 and February 5, 2013 to Writers & Books, 740 University Ave, Rochester, NY 14607. Manuscripts should be marked to the attention of Jean Ryon, Regional Writers Showcase. * Please include clear contact information: name, address, phone number and email (if available). * Scripts will be returned after the selection process has been completed. Therefore, playwrights should include a self-addressed stamped envelope with each manuscript. * Musicals will not be accepted. * Entrants must submit the play in its entirety. * Writers may submit up to three (3) plays for consideration. * Plays that have been submitted for consideration for previous Showcases may be submitted if there has been significant work done on the script since the last submission. * Let your imagination be your guide: there are no rules regarding length, content or style. * Selected authors will be notified in early April and writers will be expected to attend rehearsal on the day of their play’s appearance in the Showcase. For more information, please call Jean Gordon Ryon, Geva’s New Plays Coordinator, at (585) 232-1366 ext 3034.
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Holidays at the Market 2012 to Continue Sunday
(Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012) - The Rochester Public Market, 280 N. Union St., will be filled with holiday spirit during the 16th-annual Holidays at the Market scheduled to continue the next two Sundays, Dec. 9 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy a day of sleigh rides, Santa and shopping for unique gifts from around the world. Locally grown produce, specialty foods and holiday decorations are also available during this seasonal community tradition. Holidays at the Market boasts a large selection of fresh cut trees, wreaths and garland. Choose from an array of party supplies, fresh bouquets and table settings. Locally-produced wine makes a perfect host or hostess gift. Discover a diverse selection of one-ofa-kind handcrafted gifts ranging from alpaca gloves and hats to wooden toys. Public Market gift tokens - accepted by over 100 Market vendors - are on sale at the Market office and make a great stocking stuffer for the hard-to-please friend or relative. Market-branded items - such as canvas tote bags and the popular Public Market Cookbook will be for sale by the Friends of the Public Market (www.marketfriends. org). Enjoy the flavor of the holidays with homemade baked goods and a variety of ethnic foods, while waiting for a free horse-drawn sleigh ride. Santa will greet children from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free cookie-decorating and other interactive activities will also keep children 12 and under entertained each day. The highly competitive Holiday Cookie Baking Contest returns this year - with amateur and professional categories. Entry information is available at the Market office or online at www. cityofrochester.gov/holidaysatmarket. Bakers should bring two dozen of their best cookies to the Market Office on Saturday, Dec. 15 until 3 p.m. or before noon or Sunday, Dec. 16, when Santa and his elves will take a break from their busy work to decide who is the King or Queen of the Cookie in
Rochester. Contestants need not be present to win. Vending spaces are available for $40 for one Sunday. Call the Market
Office at 428-6907, Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. for more information, or log on to www. cityofrochester.gov/holidaysatmarket.
Two New Photo Enforced Intersections added Friday
(Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012) - Two new camera-equipped intersections went live on Friday, Dec. 7 bringing the total inventory to 31 intersections. The launch is part of the Rochester Police Department’s (RPD) Red Light Photographic Enforcement Program. Cameras went live at the intersections at Alexander Street and University Avenue; and Court Street and Chestnut Streets. RPD officials say they plan to use Photo Enforcement at as many as 50 intersections as part of their ongoing effort to improve public safety by reducing traffic accidents. Intersections are selected based on crash data and video surveys. The red light cameras capture still and video images of vehicles in the act of a red-light violation, which initiates the procedure to deliver a Notice of Liability to the registered owner of the vehicle. The violation is a civil penalty and is not reported to insurance companies and does not generate points on a driver’s license. Evidence captured by the Red Light Cameras is reviewed by the Rochester Police Department before a summons is delivered in the mail. Vehicle owners will have an opportunity to pay a fine or appeal the summons. The penalty carries a $50 fine. The Notice of Liability includes the time and date of the alleged violation, two pictures of the vehicle in the act of the alleged violation and a close-up picture of the vehicle’s license plate. No images of the driver are captured. The citation recipient will be given instructions to view an online video of the alleged violation.
The new intersections join those at: * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * East Main and North Goodman Streets; Monroe Avenue and Alexander Street; North Goodman Street and Clifford Avenue; South Goodman Street and Interstate 490; State Street and Allen Street; West Avenue and Ames Street; West Main Street and Brown/Genesee Streets; 691 St. Paul Street at the pedestrian crossing; North Clinton Avenue and Andrews Street; North Clinton Avenue and Norton Street; North Street at Clifford Avenue; Broadway Street at Alexander Street; State Street at Jay Street; East Avenue and Culver Road; Dewey Avenue and Ridgeway Avenue; St. Paul Street and Upper Falls Boulevard; Brown Street and Broad Street; * * * * * * * * * * * * Lyell Avenue and Murray Street; Maple Street and Saxton Street; West Main Street and Broad/Ford Streets; Ridge Road and Ridgway Avenue; Lake Avenue and Ridge Road; Norton Street and Hudson Avenue; Lake Avenue and Ridgeway Avenue; Lake Avenue and Driving Park Avenue; West Ridge Road and Bonesteel Street; Mt. Read Boulevard and Lyell Avenue. Mt Read Boulevard and Driving Park Avenue Mt. Read Boulevard and Emerson Street.
For more about this program, please go to www.cityofrochester.gov/redlight.
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Rochester Mayor, Police Chief Seeking Solutions to Violence, Will Host Citizen Forums
(Friday, Dec. 7, 2012) – Rochester Mayor Thomas S. Richards and Police Chief James M. Sheppard will host a series of community forums to try and find solutions to violence in the city. Richards and Sheppard announced Friday their plan to host “Voice of the Citizen” forums. The two say they want citizens to play an active role in developing a comprehensive strategy to reduce violence. “Statistics for violent crime are down in our city, but when it happens to you or when you see it in your neighborhood, then statistics mean nothing,” said Mayor Richards. “I want to hear directly from our citizens about their experiences and their ideas to reduce violence. I encourage everyone to take part in these community forums so we can create strategies that will have a lasting effect on decreasing violent behavior.” “With ‘Voice of the Citizen’ we have a tremendous opportunity to engage with the community and receive real, honest feedback on how the Rochester Police Department can address important crime-related issues that affect our community,” said Chief Sheppard. “This initiative will also give us an opportunity to provide citizens updates on current crime-solving strategies and help us on our path to building and sustaining relationships with the people that we serve. I believe events like this will go a long way in solving and deterring crime and keep our community members safe.” One forum will be held in each of the city’s four quadrants and citizens will be asked to discuss the issue of violence under four broad categories: Open-air drug sales and gate houses; Gangs, guns and the culture of violence; Bullying and truancy; and House parties. At the meetings, RPD crime prevention officers will be available at breakout sessions for each of these topics and City staff will act as facilitators. Citizen suggestions will be recorded and used to enhance the Rochester Police Department’s long-term violencereduction strategies. The meeting schedule is as follows (all Mayor Tom Richards meetings are from 6 to 8 p.m.): * Southwest: Tuesday, Dec. 11. Frederick Douglass Resource Center, 36 King St. * Northeast: Tuesday, Jan. 15. Carter Street Community Center, 500 Carter St. Police Chief James Sheppard * Northwest: Tuesday, Jan. 29. Edgerton Community Center, 41 Backus St. * Southeast: Tuesday, Feb. 5. Cobbs Hill Park, Lake Riley Lodge, 100 Norris Drive.
NY bus tour for education ends with Albany rally
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ An Albany-bound bus became a rolling civics classroom for Samantha Heva and other Olean High School students Wednesday when they clambered aboard in support of more state funding for schools. In a scene played out in all corners of the state, Heva, 17, and several classmates took seats among parents, teachers and administrators on chartered buses to Albany, where hundreds met and marched on the state Capitol later in the day. ``What is a public school without the interest of the public,’’ Heva said by phone as the bus rolled east from its Southern Tier starting point. The effort organizers called the Educate NY Now Express tour was a response to financial hardships facing New York’s 700 school districts, following losses of state education aid combined with a new property tax cap that limits what districts can raise through tax hikes. Olean is facing a $1.2 million deficit next year, Superintendent Colleen Taggerty said. District officials are considering cuts to non-mandated programs such as music, art, sports, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. The district closed two elementary schools last year to save money amid declining enrollment and the cash crunch. ``What more can we reduce and still have quality programming for our youth,’’ Taggerty said from aboard the bus. She saw the bus trip and rally as a leadership and learning opportunity for the students whose programs are at risk. ``We understand that New York state is financially strapped just like every school district,’’ she said. ``We’re just asking that they stop reducing the funds, stop cutting, and that they become a little more responsive to how can we help facilitate to continue to keep school districts solvent.’’ Rally organizers said the state has fallen billions of dollars behind on a 2007 agreement to adequately fund schools. The agreement followed a lawsuit by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, which recently wrote to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators saying the state was violating its constitutional obligation to educate its children. Advocates want the state to relax policies tying school aid increases to personal income and capping the property tax. ``We have a school finance system that, by design, is broken because it means the money adds up to more cuts in the classroom every single year from now on,’’ said Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education. Cuomo, who pushed the property tax cap to slow future growth of rates that are among the highest in the nation, said the 4 percent increase in school aid he included in this year’s budget was significant. ``What else in your life has gone up 4 percent? Most peoples’ income hasn’t gone up 4 percent, their home value hasn’t gone up 4 percent, their savings account hasn’t gone up 4 percent,’’ he said in Albany. ``That is a significant increase. At what point can you get water out of a stone? ``If they are saying we need to raise taxes higher in this state to fund more than a 4 percent increase in education, I disagree,’’ he said. Cuomo’s budget increased school aid by $805 million, but districts said it didn’t compensate for a $1.3 billion cut a year ago or a $1.4 billion cut the year before that. Districts have eliminated more than 30,000 teaching and support positions in the past three years, according to the New York State United Teachers union. ``We need to ask our governor and legislators, please give our children the same opportunity we had,’’ parent Kelly Walker said before boarding a bus at Buffalo, where her 9-, 11- and 13-year-old children attend Houghton Academy, School No. 69. Walker said her children lost access to lessons when the instrumental music program was cut this year, and she lost a bargaining chip. Her children have to get good grades to take part in any extras. ``I would like to see our children want to go to school as well as achieve academically,’’ she said
7 :: www.Minorityreporter.net - week of december 10 - 16, 2012
New York Using Lions Share of Tobacco Settlement Money in General Fund, not to Fund Prevention Programs
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An annual report finds that New York and other states are using just a fraction of the massive 1998 court settlement with tobacco companies on programs to end smoking and to keep kids from lighting up. New York ranked 21st among the states in funding programs to help smokers quit and to keep youths from starting, despite having the highest cigarette tax in the nation. The state spends $41.4 million a year on the programs, only a fraction of the $254 million recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, the report shows. New York puts the lion’s share of its settlement money into the state’s general fund. The report by the Cancer Society, American Lung Association and other groups ranked Alaska at the top and Ohio at the bottom, but noted that Alabama, which has been among the lowest ranked in the past, hadn’t submitted its plan in time to be included in the report. More than a decade ago, New York was a national leader. “New York’s slide continues and, sadly, it’s not surprising,” said Blair Horner, vice president for Advocacy, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network of New York and New Jersey. “Over the past few years, funding for the state’s tobacco prevention program has been cut by more than half. That means fewer smokers can get the help they need to quit and more kids are trying their first cigarette.” The nationwide $246 billion settlement by tobacco companies ended lawsuits by smokers and governments for the cost of smoking-related health care and Medicaid costs. The report says New York and other states haven’t kept their promise to use a significant part of the settlement to fight the use of cigarettes and chewing tobacco and that most states have cut funding for these programs. The state Health Department had no immediate comment. New York’s anti-smoking campaigns are credited with pushing the smoking rate to historic lows of 15.5 percent for adults and 12.6 percent for high schoolers. In addition, state officials say inroads have already been made in cutting smoking in half among high school students over the last 10 years, using $500 million in state and federal funds. But Audrey Silk of the smokers’ rights group CLASH, said taxpayers’ money could be better spent. “As a nation we’re going over a ‘fiscal cliff,’ but let’s spend hundreds of millions every year, duplicated by all levels of government, to eliminate the free will of informed
adults to purchase a legal product,” Silk said. The report said New York spends just 1.8 percent of the annual $2.3 billion it receives from the tobacco settlement and from cigarette taxes on tobacco prevention programs. The rest goes to general funds. The report also criticized the state for recent cuts in smoking cessation programs, including a 30 percent cut in 2010. Those cuts were mostly during hard times for New York state when tax revenues dropped during the Great
Recession and in a slow recovery while officials sought to avoid tax increases. State spending in general was cut, although the smoking program’s cut in 2010 was far deeper than most. In 2013, states will use 1.8 percent of the $25.7 billion annual allotment from the tobacco settlement on programs that seek to prevent youths from smoking or helping smokers quit, according to the report, “Broken Promises to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 14 Years Later.”
Sharpton blasts NY Senate power sharing deal
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ The Rev. Al Sharpton says a mostly white coalition of Republicans and independent Democrats have stolen the Senate majority from the traditional Democratic conference, which includes most of the chamber’s black members. Republicans created an unprecedented coalition with five breakaway Democrats to form a bipartisan majority to control the chamber, even though more Democrats won seats in the November elections. The members of the Independent Democratic Conference are partnering with Republicans in an arrangement that will keep most Democrats in the nearly powerless minority. The civil rights leader says he’s contacting state leaders to oppose the Senate coalition. Sharpton also says it would be enormously troubling if a state official allows what he calls a miscarriage of justice. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ready to work with the coalition.
U.S. Economy Adds 146,000 Jobs in November
(AP) - The Labor Department says modest hiring continued in November -- and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly four years. In its monthly report, it said the U-S economy added 146-thousand jobs in November. Economists were predicting about half that amount. The Labor Department also reports the unemployment rate is now at seven-point-seven percent, down from October’s seven-point-nine percent. While that’s the lowest unemployment rate since December 2008, it fell due mainly to workers dropping out of the labor force. The department says Superstorm Sandy, which hit in October, did not have a major impact on the national employment and unemployment estimates
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to Provide redesigned school day/year for some rcsd students
By Staff Reporter “In an effort to radically improve learning for thousands of students”, Rochester City School District (RCSD) representatives say they will be “significantly expanding and redesigning” calendars for several schools starting in 2013. The district expects about 4,000 RCSD students to be affected by the changes which are part of a five-state pilot plan intended to improve student achievement. The initiative is called TIME (Time for Innovation Matters in Education) and was announced Monday by U.S Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Eight Rochester schools, including School No 3, 9, 10, 19, 23, 34, 45, and 46 will add at least 300 hours of class time and enrichment. Proponents described a need to reimagine and redesign the school year, especially in areas of high poverty, to better prepare students for college or jobs. The extra time will allow for improved collaboration and planning among teachers and opportunities to learn the arts and technology. It also will make it easier for schools to meet increasingly rigorous curriculum demands, they said. Schools participating in the TIME Collaborative, beyond simply expanding the learning day and/or year, will have the opportunity to completely re-imagine how time is used by both students and teachers. The collaborative requires schools to participate in a year-long planning process with their district, school, and union leadership, teachers, community partners and parents, to plan for the re-designed and expanded school schedule. Through that process, school planning teams are encouraged to develop an expanded-time schedule that provides a rigorous, well-rounded curriculum for all students; offers individualized help for students who are struggling; uses data and technology to inform and improve instruction; improves collaboration among teachers; provides enrichment opportunities in the arts, music and other areas critical to development; and promotes a culture of high achievement. ``This is common sense,’’ said Rochester Superintendent Bolgen Vargas, who attended Monday’s launch of the Collaborative in Washington. He said 90 percent of the 32,000-student RCSD qualify for free or reduced lunches.
More time will allow us to better meet the academic and socio-emotional needs of students and offer learning experiences in sports, arts, music, and technology; additionally, teachers will have more time for professional collaboration focused on improving the quality of studentcentered teaching -- Dr. Vargas
“More time will allow us to better meet the academic and socio-emotional needs of students and offer learning experiences in sports, arts, music, and technology; additionally, teachers will have more time for professional collaboration focused on improving the quality of student-centered teaching,” Dr. Vargas said. “While there are some successes in the school district, we know that what we are currently doing is not working for the majority of our students”, said Candice Lucas, parent of two students in the District and a member of the RCSD Parent Advisory Council. Lucas attended Monday’s launch of the initiative and says she is cautiously optimistic about the implications. “We need to change the culture of the District and do something drastically different to ensure our children’s success,” she said. “The promise of the extended day will give our children quality time with teachers, counselors, and access to arts, sports, and other programs that will make them well rounded individuals.” The district won the support of the union by allowing the faculty at participating schools to negotiate certain contractual provisions, said Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester Teachers Association and vice president of the American Federation of Teachers. ``We involve teachers directly so that they own it,’’ Urbanski said. ``They have a stake in it. We think that increases the likelihood of success.’’ Along with the Rochester students, about 15,500 students at schools in 10 districts in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Tennessee are in line for the extended learning program, which Duncan hopes to quickly expand. About 1,000 districts nationwide already have adopted longer school days and years, according to the National Center on Time & Learning, which is offering technical support for participating schools. All of the test districts must spend the next year on planning. ``This is not just about adding time and doing more of the same. It’s about creating a learning day that suits the needs of our children, the realities of working parents and the commitment of our teachers,’’ said Luis Ubinas, president of the Ford Foundation, which is giving $3 million in annual funding for three years. ``It’s a total school makeover.’’ Students in high-needs districts stand to benefit most from additional instructional time, but it may be cost-prohibitive and unnecessary to lengthen the school day and school year across the state, particularly in high-achieving districts, a spokesman for the New York State United Teachers union said. ``Additional time for instruction is just one piece of the puzzle,’’ spokesman Carl Korn said. ``If we’re going to end the achievement gap, it’s going to mean providing social services in the school settings for those students who otherwise do without.’’ This past September, through a partnership with Wegmans Corporation, Northeast College Prep school in Rochester embarked upon a similar program. And while it’s too early to determine the success of their program, they may provide a framework as the planning process gets underway. ``If you come to school behind, it only makes sense that if you’re going to close the achievement gap, you’re going to have to give them (students) more time,’’ Vargas said. ``I believe learning is a function of time and effort, and of course quality teachers and good schools as well.’’ Associated Press writer Carolyn Thompson contributed to this report.
9 :: www.Minorityreporter.net - week of december 10 - 16, 2012
“It’s more than a job. It’s my career.”
Don’t miss these Civil Service Examination dates for entry level positions at the 911 Call Center.
911 Dispatcher & 911 Telecommunicator If you thrive under pressure, think fast and clearly when others are prone to panic; and have an ability to extract important details from a rush of information, this is the job for you. Benefits: 13 paid holidays • Vacation time • Life insurance • Uniform allowance • Dental and medical coverage • Pension • Non-traditional work schedule • Competitive pay Salary Range: $27,307 to $47,875
Questions? Visit www.cityofrochester.gov/jobs/
Outside the city call 428-5990
Rochester City School District
Saturday, January 12, 2013 9am-3pm Rochester Riverside Convention Center 123 East Main Street
Explore. Interact. Decide.
• Explore options available for learners of all ages, Pre-K to Adult. • Interact with students and staff at each school’s exhibit to learn more about what they have to offer. • Placement staff will be on hand to assist with the school selection process, and if you decide…early registration will be available!
10 :: www.Minorityreporter.net - week of december 10 - 16, 2012
President Obama is asking for $60.4 billion for Sandy aid
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama asked Congress Friday for $60.4 billion in federal aid for New York, New Jersey and other states hit by Superstorm Sandy in late October. It’s a disaster whose cost is rivaled only by the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the 2005 Hurricane that devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Obama’s request adds a huge new to-do item to a congressional agenda already packed with controversy on how to resolve the nation’s budget woes and avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. “Our Nation has an obligation to assist those who suffered losses and who lack adequate resources to rebuild their lives,” Jeffrey D. Zients, deputy director of the budget office, wrote congressional leaders in a letter accompanying the formal request. “At the same time, we are committed to ensuring Federal resources are used responsibly and that the recovery effort is a shared undertaking.” The measure blends aid for homeowners, businesses, and state and local government walloped by Sandy and comes with just a few weeks to go before Congress adjourns. Whether it passes this month or gets delayed in whole or part until next year is unclear. Most of the money — $47.4 billion — is for immediate help for victims and other recovery and rebuilding efforts. There’s another $13 billion for mitigation efforts to protect against future storms. The massive request comes after protracted discussions into late Friday afternoon with lawmakers and officials from impacted areas. Officials from the affected states had requested significantly more money, but they generally praised the request and urged Congress to enact it as quickly as possible. “This is a powerful first step,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a news conference in New York City. He said the Obama administration is open to more funding if needed in the future. “We’re going to be OK, if we get this funding. This is going to be a significant asset for this state.” Cuomo, a Democrat, and New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie came to Washington this week to press for as large a disaster aid package as possible. Friday’s request was at the top end of what had been expected and came after Obama allies like Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., had criticized the White House following reports it had settled on a $50 billion figure. Christie — who endured some criticism from Republicans for praising Obama at the tail end of the campaign — joined Cuomo in praising the administration. “We thank President Obama for his steadfast commitment of support and look forward to continuing our partnership in the recovery effort,” the two governors said in a joint statement. The aid request could face a turbulent path on Capitol Hill, especially from tea party House Republicans who are likely to press for budget cuts elsewhere to offset some or even all disaster costs. The looming fiscal cliff of expiring Bushera tax cuts and automatic spending cuts to the Pentagon and domestic programs complicates prospects for action in the next few weeks. The measure is likely to advance first in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where supporters hope it can be quickly analyzed and brought the floor as early as next week. “It’s not everything we wanted, but it’s close enough,” Schumer said. “Our goal is to get this done by Dec. 31.” As is traditional in natural disasters, the request was not accompanied by offsetting spending cuts to defray its cost. The aid will help states rebuild public infrastructure like roads and tunnels and help thousands of people displaced from their homes. Sandy was the most costly natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and one of the worst storms ever in the Northeast. The request also comes with little time left in the final days of a congressional session dominated by an impasse in negotiations between the White House and Republican lawmakers over how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, a combination of expiring tax cuts and automatic spending cuts that total
$500 billion for the first nine month of next year alone. The measure contains $11.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s chief disaster relief fund and $17 billion for community development block grants, much of which would help homeowners repair or replace their homes. Another $11.7 billion would help repair New York City’s subways and other mass transit damage and protect them from future storms. Some $9.7 billion would go toward the government’s flood insurance program. Another $ 5.3 billion would go to the Army Corps of Engineers to mitigate flood future risks and rebuild damaged projects. There are dozens of smaller items, too, in an official justification spanning 73 pages. “While more may be needed in the long term, this robust package is a major first step that we will work to pass as quickly as possible in Congress to help devastated communities, families and businesses,” said Reps. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., in a joint statement. The praise was not universal, however. “We should not shortchange nor add strings to the support residents, businesses and communities in my district and across the region desperately need,” said Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo, whose southern New Jersey district includes hardhit Atlantic City. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the federal aid package passed by Congress realistically matches the needs identified by the states on the ground.” A potential complication is that the congressional delegations of the nine states hardest hit by the storm are dominated by Democrats. While that may have helped boost the request from the White House, it will take GOP support to advance the costly measure through the Republican-controlled House and win enough Senate support to clear procedural hurdles.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the speaker had received the request and would review it. The late October storm flooded parts of the East Coast when it roared ashore, creating a storm surge that left parts of New York City underwater and millions of people in several states without heat or electricity for weeks. Superstorm Sandy is blamed for at least 125 deaths, including 60 in New York, 34 in New Jersey and 16 in Pennsylvania. At least seven people died in West Virginia, where the storm dropped heavy snow. Sandy damaged or destroyed more than 72,000 homes and businesses in New Jersey. In New York, 305,000 housing units were damaged or destroyed and more than 265,000 businesses affected. While lawmakers say more money is needed — New York, New Jersey and Connecticut together are seeking about $83 billion in aid — lawmakers praised the administration for listening to suggestions on ways to make sure projects aren’t delayed by bureaucratic rules or a congressional ban on targeted spending. “There is a great deal of flexibility that better allows us to help homeowners, small businesses, hospitals, beach communities, and localities rebuild, repair and protect themselves,” said a joint statement from New York and New Jersey’s senators — Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey. On Tuesday, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Craig Fugate, said the government’s disaster relief fund still has $4.8 billion, enough to pay for recovery efforts into early spring. So far, the government has spent about $2 billion in the 11 states struck by the storm.
To include your event on this calendar email us at
Dunn Tower I Apartments
11 :: www.Minorityreporter.net - week of december 10 - 16, 2012
16 Holidays at the Market and Cookie Contest Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Location: Rochester Public Market, 280 N. Union Street Holidays at the Market features numerous vendors with art, crafts, decorations, holiday food delicacies, gifts, stocking stuffers, and much much more. Take advantage of the largest selection of holiday trees, wreaths and fresh garlands found in Western New York. Bring the children to Holidays at the Market for a visit with Santa and free horse-drawn sleigh rides! 22 SKATE WITH SANTA Time: 5:00 to 6:15 p.m. Location: Genesee Valley Park Ice Rink $2.00 youth, $2.50 college student w/ ID $5.00 for adults, $14.00 family maximum Skate rental, additional $3.00 31 NEW YEAR’S EVE SKATE AT MANHATTAN Time: 6 to 11 p.m. Location: Manhattan Square Park Free admission. $3.00 skate rental. Family skate: 6 to 8 p.m.; Adults only (over 16 years old) skate: 9 to 11 p.m. 31 NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION & FIREWORKS Time: 7 to 9:45 p.m. Location: Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 E. Main St Festivities begin inside the Rochester Riverside Convention Center with activities and entertainment for all ages and
parking in Sister Cities, Court Street, South Avenue and Washington Square Garages. Refreshments will be available for purchase. The entire family will enjoy a dance party hosted by long-time local DJ, Jimmy C Music Machine and funny poses in an old-time photo booth. Kidfriendly attractions will include a giant bounce house, climbing wall, obstacle course and other inflatables. Also featured will be a magician, clowns, stilt walker and caricaturists. From 9:50 to 10:15 p.m. Relocate just outside the Convention Center, overlooking the Main St. Bridge. From this perfect vantage point, view the City’s spectacular fireworks finale — the largest New Year’s Eve fireworks show in Greater Rochester. Events are sponsored by the City of Rochester. For more information, call 311 (outside the city, 428-5990); visit http://www.cityofrochester.gov/ downtownholidays/ or watch City12 Cable TV. January 9 Facing Race, Embracing Equity Time: 8:30 a.m. - Networking Session - 9 a.m. to Noon - Program Location: Asbury First United Methodist Church - 1050 East Avenue From education to politics, poverty to health, race affects all areas of our community. Begin 2013 by joining Rochester’s Facing Race, Embracing Equity initiative to build a framework for creating a racially equitable society. For questions or to RSVP, email Isha Torres at ITorres@RACF.org or call 585.341.4346
100 Dunn Tower Drive 200 Dunn Tower Drive Rochester, NY 14606 Rochester, NY 14606 (585)429-5520 (585)429-6840 www.dunntower.com
Dunn Tower II Apartments
Economy Paving Co, Inc will be preparing quotations for the NYS DOT project D262151 culvert replacement at 2 sites on Route 5 in the Town of Hopewell and NY Route 363 in the Town of Gorham, Ontario County that bids 12/13/12 and the Monroe County project on Paul-Fisher Rd corridor improvements, Town of Chili that bids 12/14/12. Please call our office for plan info at 607-756-2819. Fax quotes to 607-756-4742.
Employment opportunity: Parent liaison E-mail cover letter and resume to jsaia@rochesterdiscovery. com Deadline: December 12, 2012 For more information, visit www.rochesterdiscovery.com Discovery Charter School 125 Kings Highway South Rochester, NY 14617
ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT REQUEST FOR INFORMATION The Rochester City School District is soliciting proposals for: E-LEARNING COURSE MATERIALS Specifications and official proposal forms may be secured from www. govbids.com. Click on the Empire State Purchasing Group link. The Board of Education reserves the right to reject any and all proposals as may be in the best interests of education in the City of Rochester. All proposals must be submitted to the Purchasing Department at the Rochester City School District, 131 West Broad St., First Floor, Rochester, NY 14614, no later than 2:30 p.m., on Thursday, January 10, 2013. Gary B. Smith, Director Procurement and Supply
tHE 150tH yEAr OF tHE sIgnIng OF tHE EMAncIPAtIOn PrOcLAMAtIOn
Birth Date: November, 1995
Joe is an athletic young man with
a passion for sports. Currently a linebacker for his high school team, Joe has high hopes of pursuing a professional career in football. He is an easygoing, respectful young man who would enjoy having a family to cheer for him on and off the field. A family who enjoys year-round sports would be perfect for Joe, as he also loves baseball and track. In addition to being a sports enthusiast, Joe enjoys playing his Playstation 3 and going to the movies. A dedicated family who is willing to guide Joe and support his relationship with his older siblings, is being sought. If you’re interested in learning more about Joe or other waiting children, visit:
On January 1,1863 President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The people who would be the most affected by the Proclamation, the captive people of America knew that President Lincoln was considering signing that important document. So the Black people both captive and free gathered together, where ever they could to discuss hope and pray that the Emancipation Proclamation would be signed. Here in Rochester the people gathered at Old Zion Church( now Memorial AME Zion Church) to have Watch Night Service, to band together and use their great spiritual power to encourage the President to sign. It was our faith and collective prayer that persuaded President Lincoln to sign the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Jubilee Day. Please come join us on December 31, 2012 from 6-9pm at the AME Zion Church at 549 Clarissa St. and help us commemorate and celebrate in knowing freedom once again. For further information please call Delores Radney at 436-6453 Rochester Kwanza Coalition
www.childrenAwaitingParents.org or call 585-232-5110.
12 :: www.Minorityreporter.net - week of december 10 - 16, 2012
Gov’t calls for black boxes in new cars
WASHINGTON — Federal regulators are proposing automakers install event data recorders - better known as “black boxes” - in most new cars and trucks despite privacy concerns. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposal announced Friday would apply to passenger vehicles sold after Sept. 1, 2014, and weighing less than 8,500 pounds. The agency is behind the curve. Automakers have been tucking the devices into cars for years. It automatically records the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop. Many motorists don’t know it, but it’s likely that every time they get behind the wheel, there’s a snitch along for the ride. In the next few days, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to propose longdelayed regulations requiring auto manufacturers to include event data recorders - better known as “black boxes” - in all new cars and light trucks. But the agency is behind the curve. Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years. When a car is involved in a crash or when its airbags deploy, inputs from the vehicle’s sensors during the 5 to 10 seconds before impact are automatically preserved. That’s usually enough to record things like how fast the car was traveling and whether the driver applied the brake, was steering erratically or had a seat belt on. The idea is to gather information that can help investigators determine the cause of accidents and lead to safer vehicles. But privacy advocates say government regulators and automakers are spreading an intrusive technology without first putting in place policies to prevent misuse of the information collected. Data collected by the recorders is increasingly showing up in lawsuits, criminal cases and high-profile accidents. Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray initially said that he wasn’t speeding and that he was wearing his seat belt when he crashed a government-owned car last year. But the Ford Crown Victoria’s data recorder told a different story: It showed the car was traveling more than 100 mph and Murray wasn’t belted in. In 2007, then-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was seriously injured in the crash of an SUV driven by a state trooper. Corzine was a passenger. The SUV’s recorder showed the vehicle was traveling 91 mph on a parkway where the speed limit was 65 mph, and Corzine didn’t have his seat belt on. There’s no opt-out. It’s extremely difficult for car owners to disable the recorders. Although some vehicle models have had recorders since the early 1990s, a federal requirement that automakers disclose their existence in owner’s manuals didn’t go into effect until three months ago. Automakers who voluntarily put recorders in vehicles are also now required to gather a minimum of 15 types of data. Besides the upcoming proposal to put recorders in all new vehicles, the traffic safety administration is also considering expanding the data requirement to include as many as 30 additional types of data such as whether the vehicle’s electronic stability control was engaged, the driver’s seat position or whether the front-seat passenger was belted in. Some manufacturers already are collecting the information. Engineers have identified more than 80 data points that might be useful. Despite privacy complaints, the traffic safety administration so far hasn’t put any limits on how the information can be used. About a dozen states have some law regarding data recorders, but the rest do not. “Right now we’re in an environment where there are no rules, there are no limits, there are no consequences and there is no transparency,” said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy advocacy group. “Most people who are operating a motor vehicle have no idea this technology is integrated into their vehicle.” Part of the concern is that the increasing computerization of cars and the growing transmission of data to and from vehicles could lead to unintended uses of recorder data. “Basically your car is a computer now, so it can record all kinds of information,” said Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers. “It’s a lot of the same issues you have about your computer or your smartphone and whether Google or someone else has access to the data.” The alliance opposes the government requiring recorders in all vehicles. Data recorders “help our engineers understand how cars perform in the real world, and we already have put them on over 90 percent of (new) vehicles without any mandate being necessary,” Bergquist said. Safety advocates, however, say requiring data recorders in all cars is the best way to gather a large enough body of reliable information to enable vehicle designers to make safer automobiles. “The barn door is already open. It’s a question of whether we use the information that’s already out there,” said Henry Jasny, vice president of Advocates for Highway and Automotive Safety. The National Transportation Safety Board has been pushing for recorders in all passenger vehicles since the board’s investigation of a 2003 accident in which an elderly driver plowed through an open-air market in Santa Monica, Calif. Ten people were killed and 63 were injured. The driver refused to be interviewed and his 1992 Buick LeSabre didn’t have a recorder. After ruling out other possibilities, investigators ultimately guessed that he had either mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal or had stepped on the gas and the brake pedals at the same time. When reports of sudden acceleration problems in Toyota vehicles cascaded in 2009 and 2010, recorder data from some of the vehicles contributed to the traffic safety administration’s conclusion that the problem was probably sticky gas pedals and floor mats that could jam them, not defects in electronic throttle control systems. “Black box,” a term for a device whose workings are obscure, is most widely used to refer to flight data recorders, which continually gather information about an aircraft’s operation during flight. Aircraft recorders, by law, are actually bright orange. Some automakers began installing the recorders at a time when there were complaints that air bags might be causing deaths and injuries, partly to protect themselves against liability and partly to improve air bag technology. Most recorders are black boxes about the size of a deck of card with circuit boards inside. After an accident, information is downloaded to a laptop computer using a tool unique to the vehicle’s manufacturer. As electronics in cars have increased, the kinds of data that can be recorded have grown as well. Some more recent recorders are part of the vehicle’s computers rather than a separate device. Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., has repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, introduced legislation to require that automakers design recorders so that they can be disabled by motorists A transportation bill passed by the Senate earlier this year would have required that all new cars and light trucks have recorders and designated a vehicle’s owner as the owner of the data. The provision was removed during House-Senate negotiations on the measure at the behest of House Republican lawmakers who said they were concerned about privacy. “Many of us would see it as a slippery slope toward big government and Big Brother knowing what we’re doing and where we are,” Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., who is slated to take over the chairmanship of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in January, said at the time. “Privacy is a big concern for many across America.”
13 :: www.Minorityreporter.net - week of december 10 - 16, 2012
Pearl Harbor dead remembered on 71st anniversary
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — More than 2,000 people are gathering at Pearl Harbor on Friday to mark the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack that killed thousands of people and launched the United States into World War II. Ceremonies get under way with a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the exact time the bombing began in 1941. The crew of a Navy guided-missile destroyer will stand on deck while the ship passes the USS Arizona, a battleship that still lies in the harbor where it sank. Hawaii Air National Guard aircraft will fly overhead. The Navy and National Park Service are hosting the ceremonies, which are being held in remembrance of the 2,390 service members and 49 civilians killed in the attack. Friday events also will give special recognition to members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, who flew noncombat missions during World War II, and to Ray Emory, a 91-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor who has pushed to identify the remains of unknown servicemen. Admiral Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, is scheduled to give the keynote address. The ceremony will also include a Hawaiian blessing, songs played by the U.S. Pacific Fleet band and a rifle salute from the U.S. Marine Corps. President Barack Obama marked the day on Thursday by issuing a presidential proclamation, calling for flags to fly at half-staff on Friday and asking all Americans to observe the day of remembrance and honor military service members and veterans. “Today, we pay solemn tribute to America’s sons and daughters who
made the ultimate sacrifice at Oahu,” Obama said in a statement. “As we do, let us also reaffirm that their legacy will always burn bright — whether in the memory of those who knew them, the spirit of service that guides our men and women in uniform today,
or the heart of the country they kept strong and free.” The Navy and park service will resume taking visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial, which sits atop the sunken battleship, after the ceremony.
Trade-offs in raising Medicare eligibility age
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are living longer, and Republicans want to raise the Medicare eligibility age as part of any deal to reduce the government’s huge deficits. But what sounds like a prudent sacrifice for an aging society that must watch its budget could have some surprising consequences, including higher premiums for people on Medicare. Unlike tax hikes, which spawn hard partisan divisions, increasing the Medicare age could help ease a budget compromise because President Barack Obama has previously been willing to consider it. A worried AARP, the seniors’ lobby, is already running ads knocking down the idea as a quick fix that would cause long-term problems. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., doesn’t like it either. But for Republicans seeking more than just tweaks to benefit programs, raising the current eligibility age of 65 has become a top priority, a symbol of their drive to rein in government. If Obama and the GOP can’t agree soon on a budget outline, it may trigger tax increases and spending cuts that would threaten a fragile economic recovery. Increasing the eligibility age to 67 would reduce Medicare spending by about 5 percent annually, compounding into hundreds of billions of dollars over time. But things aren’t that simple. “This is a policy change that seems straightforward, but has surprising ripple effects,” said Tricia Neuman, a leading Medicare expert with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. “It’s a simple thing to describe, and the justification is that people are living longer, but I don’t think people have thought through the indirect effects.” Among the cost shifts identified in a Kaiser study: —Higher monthly premiums for seniors on Medicare. Their costs would go up because keeping younger, healthier 65- and 66-year-olds out of Medicare’s insurance pool would raise costs for the rest. The increase would be about 3 percent when the higher eligibility age is fully phased in. —Higher premiums for private coverage under Obama’s health overhaul. That’s because older adults would stick with private insurance for two extra years before moving into Medicare. Compared with younger adults, they are more expensive to insure. —An increase in employer costs because older workers would try to stay on company insurance plans. —Higher out-of-pocket health care costs for two out of three older adults whose entry into Medicare would be delayed. The Congressional Budget Office has also projected an increase in the number of uninsured. That possibility becomes more real with populous states like Texas saying they won’t accept the Medicaid expansion in Obama’s health overhaul, which would provide coverage to low-income adults. Then there’s the impact on people with physically demanding jobs, for whom extending their working years may be difficult. Still, the idea isn’t going away. Polls show that many Americans are willing to consider raising the age at which people become eligible for Medicare benefits as part of a plan to reduce deficits, even if on the whole it’s still unpopular. A new Associated Press-GfK poll found that four in 10 back gradually raising the eligibility age, while 48 percent oppose that plan. Those under age 30 were most supportive, while a clear majority of those between the ages of 30 and 64 were opposed. Seniors were split. Surprisingly, there were no significant differences by political party. Overall, foes of the idea were more adamant, with strong opponents outnumbering strong supporters by 2-1. U.S. life expectancy has risen by about eight years since Medicare was created in 1965. During the 1980s, Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic congressional leaders agreed to gradually increase the age for receiving full Social Security benefits from 65 to 67. But they didn’t touch Medicare eligibility. Since then, some policy experts have advocated aligning the Medicare and Social Security eligibility ages through a gradual phase-in that would spare those close to retirement. The idea gained new life when Republicans won the House in 2010, and Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., embraced it. Obama indicated he was open to it during budget talks with Republicans in 2011. But the
president quickly retreated, and now says he’s not willing to consider cutting Medicare unless Congress agrees to raise taxes on the wealthy. The No. 2 Democrat in the House, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, says raising the eligibility age and other cuts “clearly are on the table,” although he doesn’t see much chance for them if Republicans don’t yield on taxes. For his part, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has relented from pursuing other major changes to Medicare, such as privatization. But when it comes to the eligibility age, he is still pushing. “It’s a structural change but it doesn’t require you to adopt a whole new model,” said Scott Gottlieb, a health policy expert with the businessoriented American Enterprise Institute. “It can be enacted quickly so you get the savings, and it can be phased in so you don’t affect people about to retire.” AARP and other groups representing older adults are mobilizing against it. “We are prepared to oppose this one pretty strongly,” said AARP legislative policy director David Certner. “It’s a pretty big deal.” Raising the eligibility age is not the only Medicare cut in play. Hospitals and other service providers could see reductions in payments, drug companies may owe new rebates to the government and upper-income seniors would face higher monthly premiums. The total package could reach around $400 billion over 10 years.
14 :: www.Minorityreporter.net - week of december 10 - 16, 2012
42-year old man said to me, “You have to be as old as I am to understand how young you are. Just keep going, it’s going to be ok.” As I approach my own 42nd birthday, I reflect on that man’s words and now have the perspective to fully understand what he was talking about. Most serious problems are temporary. If they’re permanent, the human mind has an extraordinary capacity to adjust to new circumstances. No matter how difficult life gets, you should always keep moving forward. 2) If you or someone you know is considering suicide, talk to someone immediately: If you have a friend that appears suicidal, you should speak up. If you have a friend in an abusive relationship, you should speak up. If you have been convinced that your own life isn’t worth living, you should speak up. I hope you get my point…. speak up. 3) Be extremely careful with drugs or alcohol: It is reported that alcohol may have played a role in escalating the argument between Jovan and Kassandra on that fateful night. Alcohol and drugs always made me nervous
The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of Minority Reporter.
FROM THE bOycE BLOG…
5 Things We Can Learn from the Death of NFL Player Jovan Belcher
The murdersuicide involving Jovan Belcher of the Kansas City Chiefs was, without question, a tragedy among tragedies. I feel terrible for this family and as a father myself, I wish that Belcher dr. bOycE and his girlfriend, wAtkIns Kassandra Perkins, had sought the help they needed to survive such a terrible sequence of events. Kassandra is hardly to blame for any of this, but as a victim of domestic violence, I wonder if she ignored signs that her boyfriend might commit such a heinous act. Sometimes, our most valuable lessons come from our most costly experiences, and here are a few things I think we can all learn from this unfortunate incident: 1) No matter how bad it gets, life is never over: When I was 22 years old and going through some difficulties, a because I would hate to do something while under the influence and end up paying the price for the rest of my life. Prisons are full of people who made one bad decision on one night that they never would have made had they not been drinking. It’s OK to avoid alcohol completely, since that gives you one less thing to worry about. 4) Your children are more important than you are: I wish Jovan had thought about his daughter before killing the child’s mother and himself. But then again, he wasn’t thinking clearly. If he had been, the thought of his daughter living the rest of her days without either of her parents might have stopped him from doing the things he did that day. Our kids have to be the lead consideration in most of our decisions, especially if they are young. 5) If you’re having relationship problems, seek counseling: I’m not sure if Jovan and Kassandra’s fates would have changed with additional counseling, but it might have helped. You shouldn’t try to solve problems on your own if you’ve never experienced them before. There are thousands of
Jovan Belcher books written by older people who understand how relationships work and how to make them successful. If you find yourself in a bad relationship, either fix it or get out.
----------------------------Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, “Black American Money.”
What Is Crazy?
Throughout my 17-plus years as an activist against police misconduct and corruption in Rochester, New York, there’s one word I’ve often heard people, especially local government officials, use to life and freedom, someone who takes full advantage of freedom of speech and not taking my constitutional rights for granted, like many Americans do … then, I’m crazy. If crazy is looking at my community of African-Americans and Latinos in Rochester, and being disappointed at their complacent attitude and their refusal to stand up to injustices committed against them daily by the very same people who are supposed to “serve and protect” them … then, I’m crazy. If crazy is me taking that same disappointment and using it as motivation to stand up to the corrupt Rochester Police Department, and be a voice for those too afraid to speak up … then, I’m crazy. If crazy is demanding that Rochester’s elected city and county officials do the job that the taxpayers voted them into office to do … then, I’m crazy. If crazy is not being afraid to call those same officials out the minute they fail to do their jobs, and hold them accountable … then, I’m crazy. If crazy is refusing to remain quiet or simply turn a blind eye to the abuse and corruption in my hometown of the 585 … then, I’m crazy. If crazy is not being a sellout like many of our so-called “community leaders” and City Council members who have sold out their morals and principles, and most importantly their own community for a few dollars and to better themselves … then, I’m crazy. And, if crazy is having a passion, and an unwavering, relentless commitment of dedicating my life to exposing the injustices of those in power would much rather sweep issues under the rug … then, I’m crazy.
dAvy vArA describe me: Crazy.
Usually they will say “Oh! He’s crazy.” So, what exactly is crazy? If crazy is realizing at a young age that “Officer Friendly” was not real, and that real police officers abuse their power, as Rochester police Officer Randall “Rambo” Benjamin did in 1986 when he kicked in the front door to my home on Child Street without a warrant, and abused me and my family, when I was a child … then, I’m crazy. If crazy is, as a Cuban-American whose family left Cuba in search of a better
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The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of Minority Reporter.
God Always Works in Mysterious Ways
Don’t you just love the way God opens up other doors and opportunities as one door slowly closes? The enemy is always on their job, and the dream killers in this community have been written about to the point of exhaustion.
gLOrIA wInstOn AL-sArAg
a lot of what I see in this community, but I can say unequivocally that if most people managed to have a spirit as warm, caring and giving as Tina Chapman DaCosta, Rochester would be a better place. Tina’s husband, Jose DaCosta, promotes Jazz in the area and the documentary she is working on appears to be a timely fit. Stay tuned. _____________________________ The holiday season has a tendency to bring out the warmth in people, thank God. But, on the other hand, this season also shines a spotlight on some of the blemishes we have in our community. We have so-called leadership, or those vying to be leaders, involved in everything from adultery to pedophilia. And we have folks walking around here aware of these flaws but saying nothing because they are so polite. They would see a child in harm’s way and say nothing, just because. This time of year I always feel bad for the children whose fathers are not in their lives to protect them. Having had mine for 53 years, I can’t imagine how it must really feel not to have your dad in the house with you. It has got to be a painful experience, especially when your friends may have their dad living with them and actually married to their mother. Some fathers are not there because they are not available due to incarceration. Some are not there due to bad choices, or being at the wrong place at the wrong time took them out of this dimension. Then there are those who fathered a child (intentionally or accidentally) with the wrong woman not realizing they would soon be a caught up in the kind of drama
often seen on the Jerry Springer Show. There are just too many women who continue to use their children as pawns, attempting to blackmail a man into a relationship. It is the child who eventually suffers because you can’t fool a child. They see, they feel, they hear. Some women are stupid enough to prevent the baby’s daddy from having a relationship with his child because he has moved on to another woman. How sad is that? Who suffers? The child. Someone wiser than me recently said we have to take responsibility in our community for the demise of our families. We have to stop promoting and accepting that having a child out of wedlock is morally acceptable. Yes, I know it is a so-called “new day” but moral fiber is not new. Women just need to close their legs and take the time to get a grip on what a real man, and father looks, walks, and talks like before even considering motherhood. The stakes are high because motherhood is a lifelong commitment, and one that may lead to them raising a child all by themselves. The game is not new. Women have tried for ages to trap men by getting pregnant. It worked much better back in the day because then we saw it as morally wrong to be a pregnant single women or a father who was not married. My God is always on the move and has always worked in mysterious ways. Stay tuned.
---------------------------------Gloria Winston Al-Sarag is a Community Activist, Writer, Communicator, Political Activist. She is a native Rochesterian and has been involved with numerous community orgainzations in Rochester. Contact Gloria at: JazzyG4202@aol.com
Some of y’all are not hearing me, so I am feeling the need to take “Straight No Chaser” on the road and into your living rooms via digital media. When the TV show comes into existence give credit to the vision of local producer, Kenny Jean. Kenny is the CEO of LYFE (Living Your Future Everyday Entertainment) and will produce the show. But, of course I will have my Oprah on and hosting. See, Kenny is not one of the people who has his foot on my neck and is afraid to give me my props like so many others I threaten do. I am truth and light and he sees that as clearly as the rest of my supporters do. Some people just can’t handle the truth because it truly hurts. But, just because it hurts is not a reason to withhold the truth. I suspect the new show and the new year will bring with it lots of surprises, especially for my haters. This show will be an experience. We promise not to bore you with talking heads and pseudo-intellects. If you have any ideas for topics or guests you would like to see please drop me a note. Stay tuned, we are about to turn the ROC upside down with the truth others are too timid to tell! It’s coming soon to a TV near you! _____________________________ Another one of the angels in my life is Diane Sheffield. She is one of the few people who can get away with dropping my name or referring folks to me. Why? Because she knows me. I want to take the time to publicly thank her for her most recent referral and attempt to put me to work, in a good way. (I don’t know why some people think retirement means I am looking for something to do) Because of Diane I received a call from someone I had never had the occasion to personally meet even though we have crossed paths at various times. Her name is Tina Chapman DaCosta. She’s a class act. Tina is creating a documentary as a class project for R.I.T. on the infamous Pythodd Room. Some call it the Pythodd Club, but the official name was the Pythodd Room. I worked as a waitress and bartender at the Pythodd for three years until its untimely closing in 1972; and because I was among the last generation of employees at the Pythodd, Tina expressed an interest in putting my experiences on film. Even though Tina’s documentary is for a class project, I suspect she will find a way to make sure the public gets an opportunity to review her work. There is so much ugliness in Rochester it was more than a pleasure to be interviewed by such a kindred spirit. I can’t claim pride, ownership or support of
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