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vol. 6 no.

10

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MinorityReporter
From Information to Understanding

TWO MISSIONS

TWO PROGRAMS

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> transformation <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
City Council Struggling Young Males President Launches Program to Help ESL PARTNERS WITH RCSD TO DIVERSIFY ITS STAFF

operation

also inside...

An Open Letter on MCCs Proposed Downtown Campus at Kodak page 3

2 www.minorityreporter.net | feb 11 - 17 | 2013


In This Issue:
vol. 6 no. 10
1 www.minorityreporter.net | feb 11 - 17 | 2013 rochester ny february 11 - 17 2013
www.MinorityReporter.net

CALENDAR

MinorityReporter
From Information to Understanding

TWO MISSIONS

TWO PROGRAMS

february
Floor Hockey at the Riverside Convention Center, Figure Skating and Speed Skating at Genesee Valley Ice Rink, Nordic Skiing at Bristol Mountain, Snowshoeing and Alpine Skiing at Swain Mountain. Join us for the 2013 State Winter Games! All events are free and open to the public. Winter Games is one of three annual state games and more than 3,500 total competitions held each year throughout New York. Nearly 850 athletes and coaches will be joining us from around the state. Recurring daily. For more information on volunteering email volunteer@nyso.org or call 1-800-836-6976. Register via Online http://sonewyork.vsyshost.com/ 22 Black Heritage Conference 150 Years Since the Emancipation Proclamation: How far have we come. Time: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m Location: 1 Lomb Memorial Drive Keynote speaker: Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle, President, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School Tickets: $75 general; $50 students. Can be purchased from the City Bureau of Youth Services, 2nd floor of Sibley Bldg., 25 Franklin St., or City Hall Room 202A. 23 11th Annual Black Heritage Gala Time: 6:00 p.m. Location: Rochester Plaza - 70 State St. Tickets: $50 per person, can be purchased from the City Bureau of Youth Services, 2nd floor of Sibley Bldg., 25 Franklin St., or City Hall Room 202A. For more information about the Heritage Gala, call 428-9857 or visit www.blackheritagerochester.org.

Minority Reporter
Office Address:
282 Hollenbeck Street, Rochester, NY 14621 P.O. Box 26352, Rochester, NY 14626

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> transformation <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
City Council Struggling Young Males President Launches Program to Help ESL PARTNERS WITH RCSD TO DIVERSIFY ITS STAFF

operation

to include your event on this calendar email us at

Events@MinorityReporter.net

Mailing Address:

PH: 585-301-4199 Toll-free: 1-888-792-9303 FX: 1-888-796-6292 EMAIL:info@minorityreporter.net

also inside...

An Open Letter on MCCs Proposed Downtown Campus at Kodak page 3

{COVER {LOCAL

Pg 8 - 9

ESL partners with RCSD to diversify its staff Pg 4 RCSD Superintendent testimony regarding Governors proposed budget Rochester gets high ratings from bond rating agencies Growing community support for terminated East High Assistant Principal Former pro-football player looking to open charter school in Rochester Police taser guidelines vary

8,15,22 Gospel Fridays Time: 12:30pm - 1:00 p.m Location: City Hall Atrium - 30 Church St. Visit our Gospel Fridays page to view video samples from previous years Schedule: Feb. 1: Tina Jackson; Immaculate Conception Choir. Feb. 8: Mt. Olivet Baptist Church Choir . Feb. 15: School of the Arts Choir. Feb. 22: Charlie Wells and the Original Voices of Clouds 10 Rochester Polar Plunge 2013 Times: 9:00am to 1:00PM Location: Charlotte Beach Its wild, crazy and FUN! So grab your friends, neighbors and co-workers and form a team! Raise $60 to take the Plunge and receive an official Polar Plunge Sweatshirt! Registration begins at 9:00 a.m., Plunge is at Noon. Contact: Tysha Martin Phone: 585586-7400 x109.Admission: $60 16 Heritage Gospel Concert Time: 6:00 p.m. Location: Immaculate Conception Church - 445 Frederick Douglass St. 19 Black Heritage Story Telling Time: 1:00 p.m. Location: Ryan Community Center 530 Webster Ave. Featuring local storytellers 22 - 24 Special Olympics New York State Winter Games Time: 8:00pm Location: Riverside Convention Center Over 650 athletes and coaches from across the state will participate in the 2013 State Winter Games, featuring

PubLIsHEr

Dave McCleary davemc@minorityreporter.net Pauline McCleary pmccleary@minorityreporter.net Gary McLendon Editor@minorityreporter.net Catie Fiscus ArtDirector@minorityreporter.net Lisa Dumas Delani Weaver Sharese Hardaway SHardaway@minorityreporter.net

busInEss MAnAgEr cOPy EdItOr

Art dIrEctOr

EdItOrIAL stAFF

EdItOrIAL AssIstAnt
Claribel Oliveras

AdvErtIsIng

{STATE

Dave McCleary Lucy Smith-Fulmore advertising@minorityreporter.net Temple Boggs, Jr. Todd Elliott

Pg 6

PHOtOgrAPHy cOLuMnIsts

NY car dealer admits keeping $92K in sales tax Suspected NYC-to-Buffalo drug kingpin arrested NYPD releases 2011 stop-frisk figures NY GOP lawmakers push to limit quick bill passage

Gloria Winston Al-Sarag C. Michael Tillman Rev. Michael Vaughn Vincent Felder Diane Watkins Mike Dulaney Davy Vara Ayesha Kreutz

{NATIONAL

Pg 12 - 13

Senate tries again to move antiviolence bill Ravens hold off Niners in Super Bowl Thriller Postal service issues special Rosa Parks stamp

{POLITICS
Obama to campaign for gun proposals in Minnesota

Pg 13

Minority Reporter, Inc. is a family of publications and other media formats committed to fostering self awareness, building community and empowering people of color to reach their greatest potential. Further, Minority Reporter, Inc. seeks to present a balanced view of relevant issues, utilizing its resources to build bridges among diverse populations; taking them from information to understanding. Minority Reporter reserves the right to edit or reject content submitted. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Minority Reporter does not assume responsibility concerning advertisers, their positions, practices, services or products; nor does the publication of advertisements constitute or imply endorsement. Minority Reporter invites news and story suggestions from readers. Deadline for all copy is Tuesday at noon. Call 585-301-4199 or email info@minorityreporter.net.

{WORLD
Pakistani girl shot by Taliban appears on video

Pg 13

{COLUMNS:

Pg 14-15

Dr. Molefi Kete Asante: The Truth by Gloria Winston al-saraG Rochester Police Shoot Man Being Evicted From His Apartment by davy vara Arent There Enough Laws? by c. michael vauGhn

780 JOSEPH AVENUE


ROCHESTER, NY

3 www.minorityreporter.net | feb 11 - 17 | 2013

EDITORIAL

An Open Letter on MCCs Proposed Downtown Campus at Kodak


was a full year of discussions with stakeholder groups; extensive due diligence with the County, SUNY, and state agencies around the suitability of the site and environmental reviews; and tours of the Kodak site for hundreds of community members. Then, in December 2012, the Monroe County Legislature unanimously approved the bonding of $28 million for the first phase of our new downtown campus. The budget for the project is $72 million. As with all capital projects, the borrowing will occur over time at both the state and county levels as the funds are needed, so as not to incur unnecessary interest costs. While the County bonds the full cost of the project, SUNY will reimburse up to 50 percent. In fact, 25 million in state dollars has already been set aside for this project, waiting for MCC for years. We are asking the Monroe County Legislature to approve the purchase of 561,951 gross square feet of property for $2.999 million. The size of the property will meet our needs today and in the future?just as 300 acres were purchased for the Brighton Campus in the mid-1960s with an eye toward the Colleges current and future needs. The Damon City Campus has grown 30 percent in the last decade and, in terms of undergraduate student enrollment, is already larger than several Rochester area colleges and many SUNY community colleges. In our future home, we look to expand programming critical to our community needs: growing workforce development, adding a small business incubator, increasing university transfer curriculum options, and adding both pre-collegiate programs and a university center for students seeking four-year degrees. In addition, the Kodak site offers room to provide a full college experiencestudent life and leadership development space, dining options, and study roomsfor our deserving Damon City students. We seek to expand opportunities for nontraditional students looking for new pathways to prosperity in a changed economy. For this vision to be realized and for our community to benefit, the reality is simple: our current downtown campus is incompatible with our vision and the Kodak property presents the best opportunity to meet student needs, today and tomorrow, in a fiscally responsible way. MCCs journey to realize this comprehensive and impactful vision for downtown Rochester has not been smooth. In fact, last week, fully 13 months after our selection of the Kodak property, Winn Companies once again proposed that the County purchase space for the College in the Sibley Building: space that is less than half the size of the Kodak property for 2.5 times the purchase price. The project budget also raises significant questions regarding its compliance with requirements for public institutions. In addition, this truly last hour proposal circumvents the wellpublicized, comprehensive, deliberate, and extensive review process engaged in by MCC, the County, and SUNY. MCC would not move to acquire any site if we were not confident that we have already completed a thorough due diligence processone that included outreach to all of our stakeholders. And, it is fair to say that neither the County nor SUNY would sign on to the acquisition if they were not confident in the process as well. MCC is a public institution, and we take this responsibility seriously, so we had an independent, third party (one familiar with the legal requirements of public projects) analyze our options. It is abundantly clear that purchasing and developing the Kodak property is in the best interest of our students and of taxpayers. As our students say, Its Time to Move. We are ready to move forward to establish a permanent, affordable downtown campus that will inspire students and strengthen our community. I invite you to join us in this exciting new endeavor. If you would like to know more about MCCs downtown campus at Kodak, please visit www.monroecc.edu/ downtown. Sincerely, Anne M. Kress, President

Anne Kress Our 20+-year search for a permanent location for our downtown campus culminates next week as the Monroe County Legislature votes on the proposed purchase of property currently owned by Kodak. As we near the conclusion of this phase of our effort to give our students a campus that meets their needs and supports their dreams and aspirations, I would like to take one more opportunity to share with you our vision and how the Kodak property supports that vision. In the fall of 2009, we renewed our search for a downtown campus location after Renaissance Square dissolved. We revisited our needs and updated our site criteria, using them as our guide during a lengthy process that entailed looking at dozens of properties. Our criteria were made widely known throughout the process (and are posted on our website http:// www.monroecc.edu/downtown): A visible and prominent presence An appropriately sized and oriented site Accessible parking and public transportation Availability/ease of purchase and development A college green (or gathering space) and a complete college concept Compatible adjacent land usage Access to utilities Because it best met our criteria, the Kodak property at State Street and Morrie Silver Way earned the unanimous support of our Board of Trustees in December 2011, and the support of our student governments and our Faculty Senate. This was clear to all: the Kodak property provides the best opportunity to meet the needs of our students and is the most fiscally responsible to taxpayers. What followed the recommendation

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4 www.minorityreporter.net | feb 11 - 17 | 2013

FEATURE STORY
but had never been able to bring to fruition on his own. Through that discussion we were able to recognize that we had the resources and the capability to get it done together, she said. It was all about working together. According to Warren, the program is focused on giving people, namely black males between the ages of 18 to 30, the tools to do something different once they have already made the decision to drop out of high school. This is for people that want to do something different and they dont know how, she said. Im trying to look at what we can do to give hope to the hopeless. The first part of the program will include G.E.D. test preparation. Then, once the Operation Transformation participant has passed his G.E.D. exam, he will be able to explore a vocational training program for careers in barbering, security guard, culinary arts, pharmacy technology, surgical technology, nursing, and various other certification fields.

City Council President Lovely Warren Launches Program to Help Struggling Young Males
By Lisa Dumas The City of Rochester has launched a tuition-free GED prep and vocational training program for AfricanAmerican males who have dropped out of high school called Operation Transformation. The program was created by City Council President Lovely Warren and Monroe County Legislator Willie Joe Lightfoot, after being motivated by a response to the Schott Foundation for Public Education report which stated that black males in the city of Rochester were graduating at a rate of just nine percent. I put a message on Facebook about the report that only nine percent of African-American males graduate from City of Rochester high schools, and a young woman said So what? What are you going do about it? Warren said. That was a personal challenge to me. As a result, Warren spoke with Lightfoot about what could be done to improve matters with this population, and he brought up a program that he had previously attempted to get done In addition to the academic components, Operation Transformation will also include free legal assistance, and a mentoring component to provide encouragement and support throughout the program. Warren has also brought on a number of local partners who have prior experience with this demographic including Threshold, Rochester Mentors, and gang intervention specialist Paul McFadden, to name a few. Particularly, the Childrens Institute has also come on board to measure the success of the program, she said. We wanted to start out small. We wanted to do this program and get a significant number of those men through the program, then move to the Latino community, which has the same problems as us, then young women, Warren said. We want to make this sustainable and long-lasting. Orientation and enrollment for Operation Transformation has started, and the next enrollment session will be held Feb. 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at REOC downtown. Lovely Warren Enrollment has begun. We started intake last Saturday, Warren said. We had 86 men show up and the goal was to have 100. We have another intake this Saturday, and hopefully we will meet that goal. For additional information regarding the program and enrollment, visit their website, www. OperationTransformationRochester. com, or the Operation Transformation Rochester Facebook page.

LOCAL
RCSD Superintendent Testimony Regarding Governors Proposed Budget
Rochester City School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas gave testimony in Albany Tuesday regarding the needs of the district relative to the Governors proposed budget. Two of the issues ht touched upon were the citys pledge to get 90 percent of Rochester third graders reading at grade level next school year, and the Governors proposal to help Districts stabilize pension contributions. In the near term, adopting the new system will save our District more than $16 million in pension costs next year, Vargas stated. He made funding requests for full-day Kindergarten instead of the half days for which the state has previously paid, and expanded learning to help students meet higher standards. In addition, Vargas made a revenue neutral request for a more flexible policy on transportation aid, stating that the state pays for students who travel more than 1.5 miles to school. If Rochester had the flexibility to bus students less than 1.5 miles, more families will choose neighborhood schools, without increasing our transportation budget. The proposed budget raises the state aid to Rochesters schools by 5.2 percent.

Rochester Gets High Ratings from Bond Rating Agencies


(Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013) -Three national rating agencies-Moodys Investors Service, Standard & Poors Rating Services and Fitch Ratings-all affirmed the Citys credit rating of Aa3 (Moodys) and A+ long term rating with a Stable Outlook (S&P and Fitch). These excellent ratings are votes of confidence in our city and they are very important because they tell investors and businesses that Rochester, New York is a good and safe place to invest, said Mayor Thomas S. Richards. Our City has traditionally behaved in a fiscally responsible manner even in the face of recurring financial difficulties. We have avoided over-borrowing and other tempting, financial quick fixes. Instead, we have focused our efforts on building the tax base, creating economic development, saving and finding efficiencies. The City will issue $96.6 million in general obligation bonds, which includes converting $43.8 million in previously outstanding bond anticipation notes to bonds. The bonds will provide financing for the reconstruction of school buildings, water supply facilities, parking facilities, sidewalks and various other general City projects. All three rating agencies cited the Citys strong fiscal management as one of its strengths, according to a city press release.

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LOCAL

Growing Community Support for Terminated East High Assistant Principal


An East High School Assistant Principal who was fired recently is getting increasing community backing. A "Support Bryant Cromartie" Facebook page established on February 1 had already acquired over 500 likes by February 6. Cromartie, a 15-year City School District employee was denied permanent tenure and terminated last week. He was told his tenure was denied because of poor test performance of students at the school and misuse of district e-mail. Tenure is required for him to keep his position. If test scores are the indicator, then no one should have tenure, said City Councilmember Adam McFadden. Not the school principal or the superintendent of schools. McFadden says he plans to petition the school board to allow Cromartie to stay in his position. Cromartie says the misuse of district email charge comes from a message he sent to East High staff last year expressing outrage at the Rochester Police Department for the way they were handling the disappearance of East High Student Larie Butler. In the email Cromartie had called for protests at Chief Jim Sheppards house. Cromartie said he was officially reprimanded for sending the emails and he regrets some of its content; but, he has an otherwise exemplary disciplinary record. I have known Bryant Cromartie for over twenty years. I am thoroughly, unequivocally convinced that, in his role as a Rochester City School District Administrator he is totally committed to working in the best interests of our students and families, expressed community advocate Howard Eagle in a Facebook post. He frequently goes way above and beyond the call of duty --- in the process of advocating for students, which is exactly what happened in the situation that lead up to his termination. What a wonderful man, notes a posting by Lucretia Hall. (He) showed guidance and support to our children over at East High School. We could not ask or have a better person in that position. No one else will ever do any better than he did. Supporters plan to show up to the February 14 RCSD board meeting. But the board does not plan to address the

Bryant Cromartie issue until sometime in March. According to state law, superintendents make decisions. school tenure

Former Pro-Football Player Looking to Open Charter School in Rochester


A former linebacker for the Oakland Raiders is seeking to open a charter school in Rochester. Marvin Smith, CEO of Micro-Enterprise Public Schools (MEPS), was in Rochester this week for a community meeting to seek feedback from the public regarding his SUNY charter school application. My goal is to address the concerns of parents and be open to address those issues, Smith said. I want to make sure parents have a choice for alternative types of education for their kids. According to Smith, he launched a similar school in California that has considerably improved state test scores for students and, after seeing the state of education in Rochester, he hopes to achieve the same success here. I have a school in Long Beach that serves some of the most hard-pressed students in the area, he said. A lot of the students were two or three grade levels behind when we started, but now were growing by leaps and bounds and those students are 25 30 points ahead by states tests each year. Smith said his approach will be to use elements common to high performance schools, including smaller class sizes, more time for learning, and a curriculum best suited to the way each student learns. The cost per student for the Rochester City School District would be the regular base rate of $12,090 per year for each student enrolled in general education classes and an additional $7,021 to $16,772 for students in special education classes. The earliest SUN Y trustees will vote on the proposal is October 2013. Marvin Smith

Police Taser guidelines vary widely


An investigation finds wide variation among suburban police departments in the use of Taser electroshock weapons to subdue belligerent subjects. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports Sunday that it found 119 instances of Taser use from 2007 to 2012 in Monroe County suburbs. Use varied widely, with Gates not using Tasers at all, Webster using them 10 times and Brockport 15 times. Rochester police used Tasers 66 times from 2005 to 2009, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. Police in the town of Greece used Tasers 40 times in the three years before Todd Baxter became chief in 2010. Since he put the department through retraining, there have been just three usages. Dozens of deaths have been linked to the devices and civil rights groups have questioned some aspects of their use.

ADOPT
yusannah

Birth Date: February, 1996 is hopeful she will find an active adoptive family who will love being involved in her busy life! As a member of the school choir, Yusannah particularly enjoyed the choirs occasional concert performances. Building on these experiences, Yusannah seized the opportunity to attend a performing arts summer camp where she excelled in singing and dancing in the camp show. Yusannah also likes to make jewelry, go for a swim, or out for a shopping trip. Currently requiring supportive services educationally, Yusannahs long-term goals include either cosmetology or early childhood education. She would benefit from a family who is able to provide supervision and guidance, while enabling her to move toward independence. If youre interested in learning more about Ysannah or other waiting children, visit: www.childrenAwaitingParents.org or call 585-232-5110.

6 www.minorityreporter.net | feb 11 - 17 | 2013

ARE YOU FACING POSSIBLE

HOME?
585.546.3700
*USE REFERENCE CODE: LH/COP

STATE
Prosecutors say Freeland admitted that he stole the sales tax he collected on vehicle sales from September 2008 through August 2012 and that he didnt report the earnings on his income tax returns. He faces up to 15 years in prison when hes sentenced July 1.

www.TheHousingCouncil.org
AvoidForeclosure@ThehousingCouncil.org

NY car dealer admits keeping $92K in sales tax


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- A Buffalo used car dealer has admitted withholding nearly $92,000 in sales tax from New York state. Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III says 41-year-old Shlaine Freeland pleaded guilty Monday to grand larceny.

WE CAN HELP AT NO COST

Suspected NYC-to-Buffalo drug kingpin arrested


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- State police say theyve arrested a New York City man who spent two years on the lam after being identified by authorities as the kingpin in a multimillion-dollar heroin ring. Authorities announced Monday that 33-year-old Eury Rodriguez of Queens was tracked down by the state police Special Investigations Unit in White Plains and taken into custody last Thursday. Hes scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in state Supreme Court in Buffalo on various drug charges, including operating as a major trafficker. Officials say Rodriguez ran an operation that moved more than seven kilos of heroin with an estimated street value of $3.5 million from the Bronx to Buffalo. In March 2011, he was one of 15 people named in a 51-count drug indictment, but he managed to avoid arrest until last week.

NYPD releases 2011 stop-frisk figures


NEW YORK (AP) -- The NYPD has released a report that breaks down its controversial stop and frisk policy by precinct and race. The 2011 figures show nearly 90 percent of those stopped for reasonable suspicion were black or Hispanic. Together, the two groups comprise less than 53 percent of the citys population. Brooklyns 75th precinct, covering East New York and Cypress Hills, had the most stops. Ninety-seven of the more than 31,000 people stopped were black or Hispanic. The figures show a total of 685,724 people were detained in 2011. The New York Civil Liberties Union fought for the release of the figures last year. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne tells the Daily News charges of racial profiling were unfair. He says there are more stops in some precincts because they have more crime.

Test again at
Lead paint poisons more than 300 kids in Monroe County every year. The damage to their brains and bones is permanent. Make sure your children are tested at one and again at two years old. Have your home tested today. You can get the information you need to protect your children. Call 585-224-3125. Or visit www.letsmakeleadhistory.org.

NY GOP lawmakers push to limit quick bill passage


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Several Republican state lawmakers, criticizing the quick passage last month of gun restrictions, say theyve introduced legislation that would limit Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomos use of so-called messages of necessity that permit quick voting on important bills. Sen. Greg Ball and Assemblymen Jim Tedisco, Steve McLaughlin and Tony Jordan say several colleagues will join their attempt to prevent government from keeping many legislators, the public and press in the dark on serious policy initiatives. The gun control bill, drafted by Cuomo administration officials in consultation with key legislators and staff, was passed by the Senate the night it was introduced and by the Assembly the next day. In his message, Cuomo said some weapons are so dangerous that the state needed to act without delay to ban them.

Space donated to the Ad Council as a public service of this publication.

COME EXPERIENCE THE

7 www.minorityreporter.net | feb 11 - 17 | 2013

GENESEE CORRIDOR

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8 www.minorityreporter.net | feb 11 - 17 | 2013

COVER STORY

ESL

Partners with RCSD to Diversify its Staff


By Delani Weaver
Mr. Mayo, but once I transferred it became Mrs. Anderson. She sent my resume out to I guess different employers one, I guess, was ESL. I didnt know. But, she called me and told me I had an interview. I came to the interview. It was in December 2010. I got the job on January 5, 2011. Thats basically how I got here. I was first interviewed by Lisa Owens and then by Kate Marcello, who eventually became my boss for the first six months that I was here. I worked as an administrative assistant clerical intern. After I graduated, I switched over to member service support. Ive been working there ever since. For school breaks, and when I come back for the summer or for winter breaks, I come back and work. before going to working for ESL? major.

esl federal credit union has partnered With the rochester city school district, the national academy foundation and hillside Work scholarship connection to train and develop local hiGh school students in bankinG and the financial World. The partnership seeks to provide future employment of these students with ESL and other banking institution opportunities. Part of this is our inclusiveness; were trying to become a more inclusive organization, more diverse organization, said Francine PatellaRyan, public affair manager of ESL. Because we believe people from all backgrounds of life enhance our business and enhance the customer experience. We want to make sure that (with) the customers we serve, that we have staff who mirror our customer base. NAF was an outreach program for us to bring in people of diverse backgrounds through the city school district. One of the people ESL brought in is Miracalle Taylor, a Rochester resident and currently a sophomore majoring in sports management at Alfred State. She entered the ESL program through the Hillside Work Scholarship Connection.

MIRACALLE: Im a sports management National Academy Foundation. MR: How does your major coincide about it?
with you working for ESL?

entered the program through the

MR: How did you become interested

in the program? How did you learn

lot here. Every day is something different. So, I guess that prepares me for my major because when I do go into sports management someday, itll be like that.

CORTEz JONES: I found out the MIRACALLE: I just feel like I do a program through school counselors
really. What the NAF program focuses on is providing curricula in the school that may mirror somebodys career focus.

Every day is not the same so I guess just getting that mindset has helped me to think about the future and where Im going to be in the sports industry.

MR: What has been the most

challenging thing for you since youve been with ESL?

So, basically your school counselor, your freshman year, your sophomore year will look over the classes that youve taken and look at your electives and say what do you like about these electives that you took. For me, it was keyboarding and like an intro to computers. I like it because Im very operational. Im very good with math and stuff like that. So, they said: Lets put you in a few of these accounting classes, and these business classes and then: Why dont we set you up with a business teacher to look at the Academy of Finance? I did and I did well in those courses. If I fulfilled that curricula along with a few other things like a certificate of employability they would offer you a chance to interview with local businesses and financial institutions for summer internships, your junior going into senior year of high school. Thats how I became acclimated with the National Academy Foundation.

MR: Were you interested in banking MIRACALLE: I havent really had any MIRACALLE: I never actually thought about it. My mom was a teller before for many years. But no, Ive never thought about it before. MR: Whats been the most rewarding
thing for you being in this program? Miracalle Taylor: The most beneficial or rewarding thing has been the support system here. Ive definitely had a lot of support from basically everyone here that knows me. Ive had the opportunity to work with various different departments. Human resources Ive worked with, Ive also worked with the audit department. Ive worked as an assistant when I first got here. So, a lot of different departments Ive worked with. Ive gotten the chance to really interact with a lot of the people here. Basically, its just the support here; its just like a family.

challenges. I guess the hardest part is leaving. I cry every time. Thats the hardest part. For a lot of people it takes time, I feel like I picked it up quickly. So, that again helps me for my future as far as being able to pick up things quickly and just move on to the next task after ones finished just keeping pace.

MR: So how long do you plan on


remaining with ESL?

MR: How did you get involved with


this program?

MIRACALLE: Hopefully until I graduate. You know, keep coming back during breaks from school. MR: What high school did you go to? MIRACALLE: I went to Wilson. MR: If you were not in this program,
where would your life be right now?

MIRACALLE TAYLOR: I got involved

through the Hillside Work Scholarship Connection Program. Ive been in the program since the eighth grade up until my senior year. Basically, I went through Youth Employment Training Academy, also called YETA at Mustard Street, at the Hillside headquarters. I went through that program. There they help you create resumes, reference letters, and different things like that. From there, they just send out your resume to different companies. I know Hillside also has a partnership with one of the hospitals. I think its Strong Memorial Hospital. So, that was an option. So, I went through YETA. My youth advocate, at the time was

MR: What high school did you go to? CORTEz: East High School MR: What college did you attend? CORTEz: SUNY Geneseo MR: With what major? CORTEz: In college, I was an AfricanAmerican History Major. MR: But you were still with ESL
during this time?

MR: You said support a lot. When


you say support, did you mean emotionally? Did something happen? Or was it just a general statement?

MIRACALLE: No, it was general. I meant just working. MR: What is your major in college?

MIRACALLE: The whole finding a job thing wasnt working prior to me getting hired here. Like I said, Ive been in the program since the eighth grade. Ive always had good grades and I just felt like people even with lower GPAs got jobs before me so it was kind of like stressful. So, if this wouldnt have come along, I wouldve just been waiting another year or so.
Another Rochester resident Cortez Jones, currently working for ESL

CORTEz: Correct, because the internship, when I say junior to senior year, thats high school. So, we start the internships in high

9 www.minorityreporter.net | feb 11 - 17 | 2013


school. this program? the benefits of doing this and that. does ESL coincide with your degree? program, where would you be right now? But, if youve got a great employer whos willing to stand with you the whole time and a great support group, you can certainly make it through. It was not an easy task. I had doctors that thought I should take time off from work and time off from school none of which I never did. I stayed at work and stayed at school. It was rocky at times, but thats part of the process.

MR: How have you benefited from MR: You graduated from college, how CORTEz: Well, in a number of ways. Number one, when you start this internship your junior year and you work at these places, youll find that a lot of the people youre working with, your co-workers, your peers, are folks who may be old enough to be your mother and father.
That forces you to communicate on a level thats much higher than you would be communicating with your peers in school. So, effective communication is definitely number one. Number two, (I developed) a sense of responsibility. I came from not dealing with cash money ever, to deal with tens of thousands of cash a day. So, having that responsibility and knowing that you had to do everything right, you have to balance right. All the skills they had taught me in accounting and stuff like that certainly permeated into my early tenure in banking. And then number three, just looking at things from a long term perspective, Im 26 now, so Im going into my tenth year in banking. Not only does it set you up for a pretty stable financial future, but it gives you a different view of financial fitness overall. I often counsel a lot of my friends my age on what they should be doing with their money; how they should be saving their money; or what are

CORTEz: I entered into college as an accounting major at Geneseo. But, in the business department at Geneseo, you cannot declare a major until your junior year. So, I spent my freshman to junior year taking all the business courses to prepare for a business degree.
I had a few things go on with my health and stuff like that, so I had to scale back my courses at one point. At that point, I pretty much wanted to be done, so I looked at where most of my electives courses were to see where that might mirror as far as finishing on time. That was kind of where the direction pointed me. Now, I dont want to discredit that because Im a big proponent of folks in the banking world coming from many different places. Me, personally, I think that a liberal arts degree really has prepared me more than a lot of the business courses that I took. The things that I deal with on a day-to-day basis such as communicating with people who are dealing with problems; and dealing with several behaviors with certain staff and learning how to communicate with those folks, and effectively communicating through your writing because youre always communicating with people through email, through instant message because you cant necessarily hit folks face to face all the time. Those things that some folks might consider not necessary I consider invaluable.

CORTEz: I have no idea. I know that may be clich, but that is certainly the case for me.
Because there are some committed people to this program who not only want to see the program succeed but the people succeed. When they invest their time and money into this program, those people are counting on you to succeed. Whats kept me grounded in all this is thinking that: Gee, if I dont have a better plan to escape the path that has been laid out for me, then I better not get out of it. So, I kind of stayed the course because there really was not an alternative at the point. My career in banking in the financial field just kind of evolved over time and something I could not leave because I loved it so much.

MR: With you being with ESL for 10

years now, what is your ultimate goal career wise? Where do you want to end up?

CORTEz: Id like to end up in the financial consulting area; dealing with folks with higher amounts of money, per say, and providing solutions for some of their needs and dealing with your investments.
The road barrier there would be to pass the financial (exam); theres a license you have get to be able to sell these types of products to members. That will be my next step.

MR: Whats been the biggest challenge

for you going through this program and your career with ESL?

CORTEz: The biggest challenge was certainly balancing school and work and then when I had some health issues, you know battling those as well.

MR: If you were not a part of this

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NATIONAL
Senate tries again to move anti-violence bill
WASHINGTON (AP) The Senate took up the Violence Against Women Act Monday, seeking to remedy Congress failure last year to extend and expand a law protecting women from domestic abuse while broadening its coverage to include Native Americans, gays and lesbians. Both the Democratic-led Senate and the GOP House attempted last year to upgrade the 1994 law which expired in 2011. But leaders of the two chambers were unable to span the partisan divide and reach a compromise. With Republican losses among women voters in the November election still a fresh memory, Senate advocates are hoping that it will be easier to find common ground with House Republicans. The Senate bill, while making minor concessions to meet GOP concerns, is essentially the same as the measure that passed that chamber last April on a 6831 vote. It focuses on ensuring that college students, immigrants, Native Americans and gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people have access to anti-abuse programs. In contrast to the House version of the update of the legislation, the Senate bill has bipartisan backing and is expected to have little difficulty in garnering the necessary 60 votes to be moved to the floor. A final vote could come by the end of the week. The Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, has been extraordinarily effective in combating domestic violence, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in a letter urging the support of his colleagues. He said that since VAWA was first passed the annual incidence of domestic violence has fallen by more than 50 percent. During election campaigns last year Democrats seized on the congressional stalemate over VAWA in claiming that Republicans did not represent the best interests of women. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., a key sponsor, said she was encouraging moderate Republicans in the House to sign onto the Senate bill. House Democrats have introduced a bill that is identical to the Senate measure. House Republicans also support the act, but last year they objected to language in the Senate bill on gays and lesbians. We continue to work with VAWA advocates on the best path forward to ensure we protect women and prosecute offenders, said Doug Heye, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. Last year Cantor unsuccessfully tried to work out a deal with Vice President Joe Biden, who as a senator was instrumental in passing the 1994 act. This year the top woman in the House GOP leadership, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, is expected to spearhead the Republican effort. House Republicans also opposed a Senate provision that would have given limited powers to tribal authorities to prosecute non-Indians accused of assaulting their Indian partners on tribal lands. Currently, non-Indians who batter their spouses often go unpunished because federal authorities dont have the resources to pursue misdemeanors committed on reservations. The National Congress of American Indians says violence against Native American women has reached epidemic proportions, citing findings that 39 percent of American Indian and Alaska native women will be subjected to violence by a partner in their lifetimes. It cited a 2010 government report finding that U.S. attorneys declined to prosecute half of violent crimes occurring in Indian country, and two-thirds of the declined cases involved sexual abuse. The GOPs desire to improve its standing among women voters has given Republicans another incentive to find common ground on VAWA, and Debby Tucker, executive director of the Austin-based National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, said she was cautiously optimistic that politicians could put aside their differences. I just hope that they realize that peoples basic health and safety have to be elevated above political considerations, she said. The Violence Against Women Act provides grants to state and local offices for legal assistance, transitional housing, law enforcement training, stalker databases and domestic violence hotlines. It also established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Justice Department. The programs authorized under the act are still in place. But without reauthorization of the law, they cannot be expanded or improved. The Senate bill would consolidate 13 existing programs into four and set aside some $659 million over five years for the programs, down 17 percent from the last reauthorization in 2005. The bill would also give more emphasis to sexual assault prevention and take steps to reduce the rape kit backlog. In a concession to Republicans, it removes a provision in last years bill that would have increased visas for immigrant victims of domestic violence.

Ravens Hold Off Niners In Super Bowl Thriller


New Orleans (AP) - The Baltimore Ravens have won their second Super Bowl in 12 years by holding off the favored San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl 47 at the New Orleans Superdome. Joe Flacco tossed three touchdown passes in the first half as the Ravens opened a 21-6 halftime edge, including a 56-yarder to Jacoby Jones just before halftime. Jones opened the second half with an electrifying 108-yard touchdown record, the longest kickoff return in Super Bowl history. Then a power outage delayed play for 35 minutes, which seemed to breathe life into the Niners. Trailing 28-6 when the power went out, San Francisco came to life with 17 points over a 4:14 stretch of the third quarter to make it 28-23. After Baltimore took a 31-23 lead, the Niners scored a touchdown to cut it to 31-29. San Franciscos twopoint conversion failed. Baltimore added a late field goal and then in the final seconds took an intentional safety to make the final margin 34-31. Flacco was named the Super Bowl MVP. He went 22 of 33 for 287 yards and the three scores. Hes the sixth QB in 47 Super Bowls to throw for that many TDs in a half. Baltimore also won the Super Bowl in 2001.

THE GOOD HUMOR MAN

13 www.minorityreporter.net | feb 11 - 17 | 2013

NATIONAL
Postal service issues special Rosa Parks stamp
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) The U.S. Postal Service has issued a special Rosa Parks stamp on what would have been the late civil rights icons 100th birthday. The Rosa Parks Forever Stamp went on sale Monday and its issue is one of several events scheduled throughout the day to honor Parks. The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn is hosting a 12-hour celebration featuring speeches, music and presentations. Event-goers also are being given the opportunity to take a seat on the Rosa Parks bus, which is on permanent display inside the museum. Parks was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus to a white man, an act that helped bring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to prominence. Parks later moved to Detroit. She died in 2005.

POLITICS
Obama to Campaign for Gun Proposals in Minnesota
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON (AP) The fate of his gun proposals on Capitol Hill uncertain, President Barack Obama is seeking to rally support from the public and law enforcement community for his calls to ban assault weapons and install universal background checks for gun buyers. Obama will pitch his proposals to stem gun violence Monday in Minnesota, a Democratic-leaning state where officials have been studying ways to reduce gun-related attacks and accidents for several years. His visit to the Minneapolis Police Departments Special Operations Center will mark the first time Obama has campaigned on his controversial proposals outside of Washington. Ahead of the trip, the White House released a photo of the president skeet shooting at Camp David, the presidential retreat. Obama cited skeet shooting when asked in a recent interview whether he had ever shot a gun. The president unveiled his sweeping package of proposals for curbing gun violence last month in response to the horrific mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. He vowed to use the full weight of his office to fight for the proposals, many of which face tough opposition from congressional lawmakers and the powerful National Rifle Association. The reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, is expected to be the steepest climb for Obama. Universal background checks for gun purchasers may have an easier time passing Congress, though the NRA also opposes that measure. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has said he hopes his panel can write gun legislation this month, though its unclear what it will contain. The White House picked Minneapolis as the backdrop for Obamas remarks in part because of recent steps the city has taken to tackle gun violence, including a push for stricter background checks. After a spike in violent crimes, the city launched a program in 2008 aimed at providing more resources for at-risk youth and helping rehabilitate young people who have already perpetrated crimes. In January, Minneapolis also hosted a regional summit on gun violence for elected officials from around the Midwest. Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau and Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek are also among the officials Obama has consulted as he pursues his anti-gun violence measures. Stanek has also been leading a group of Minnesota sheriffs pushing for stronger background checks for people trying to buy guns. Obama is expected to make more trips around the country to build support for his anti-gun violence measures. The outside group Organizing For Action, an offshoot of Obamas presidential campaign, is also promoting the proposals. White House officials say quick action on the presidents gun measures gives them the best prospects for passing legislation in Congress. They fear that as time passes lawmakers will have less incentive to back the measures as the shock of the Newtown massacre fades. In addition to the gun control measures, Obamas anti-violence proposals also included increasing mental health resources, boosting funding for school security, and lifting restrictions that prevent the government from studying the causes of gun violence.

WORLD
Pakistani girl shot by Taliban appears on video
LONDON (AP) In her first video statement since she was nearly killed, a Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban remained defiant in arguing for girls education, saying Monday she would keep up the same campaign that led to her attack. Speaking clearly but with the left side of her face appearing rigid, 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai said she is getting better, day by day after undergoing weeks of treatment at a British hospital. I want to serve. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated. For that reason, we have organized the Malala Fund, she said in the video, made available by a public relations firm. Malala drew the worlds attention when she was shot in the head by Taliban militants on Oct. 9 while on her way home from school in northwestern Pakistan. The Islamist group said it targeted her because she promoted girls education and Western thinking and criticized the militant groups behavior when it took over the scenic Swat Valley where she lived. The shooting sparked outrage in Pakistan and many other countries, and her story has captured global attention for the struggle for womens rights in her homeland. In a sign of her impact, the teen made the shortlist for Time magazines Person of the Year for 2012. Today you can see that I am alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone, Malala said. Its just because of the prayers of people. Because all people men, women, children all of them have prayed for me. And because of all these prayers God has given me this new life . a second life. Malala was airlifted to Britain from Pakistan in October to receive specialized medical care and protection against further Taliban threats. She is expected to remain in the U.K. for some time as her father, Ziauddin, has secured a post with the Pakistani consulate in the English city of Birmingham. Birminghams Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which has been treating the teen, said it successfully operated to reconstruct her skull. Doctors said Malala also had a cochlear implant to restore the hearing in her left ear, which became deaf as a result of the shooting. Both of those operations were completed Saturday. The public relations firm Edelman said Malalas video statement was shot earlier, on Jan. 22. Dr. Anwen White, a neurosurgeon who led the operations, said the teen did not suffer any long-lasting cognitive damage. She does not require any further operations and can hopefully return to school soon, White said. The Malala Fund is a girls education charity set up in late 2012. It was launched with a $10 million donation from Pakistan.

14 www.minorityreporter.net | feb 11 - 17 | 2013

OPINION/EDITORIAL
strAIgHtNO CHASER

The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of Minority Reporter.

Dr. Molefi Kete Asante: The Truth


The truth, and nothing but the truth, made an appearance at Nazareth College Arts Center, in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.s Holiday. Dr. Molefi Kete GLORIA WINSTON AL-SARAG Asantes name was added to a list of past distinguished speakers who have visited Nazareth, dating back to 1992. His wisdom-laden lecture came from an invitation he accepted from the Director of Multicultural Affairs, Gaynelle Wethers. Dr. Molefi Kete Asante is a professor of African-American Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. Dr. Asante was introduced by Dr. Sara Varhus, vice president of Academic Affairs. The following snapshot of his life was borrowed from the program: Dr. Asante is considered by his peers to be one of the most distinguished contemporary scholars, having published 74 books. Among the most recent are As I Run Toward Africa; The African American People; Maulana Karenga: An Intellectual Portrait; An Afrocentric Manifesto; and Encyclopedia of African Religion. Asante has been recognized as one of the ten most widely cited African-American scholars. In the 1990s, Black Issues in Higher Education recognized him as one of the most influential leaders of the decade. Molefi Kete Asante graduated from Oklahoma Christian College in 1964. He entered Pepperdine soon afterward and completed his M.A. there in 1965. He received his Ph. D from UCLA at age 26, in 1968, and was appointed a full professor at the age of 30 at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Asante was born in Valdosta, Ga., and is one of 16 children. He is a poet, dramatist and a painter. Dr. Asante did not disappoint anyone in attendance, especially me. They truth is not something that is readily found within the confines of Rochester, so I always welcome it with open arms. Dr. Asante shares his wisdom in such a unique fashion. His delivery is smooth and eloquent. He hardly has to speak above normal tones to get a point across. Whether he is assessing the potential benefit to blacks who see President Obama as a savior or delivering the reality of the stats that got him elected, he brings reality home. Dr. Asante surmises that Obama may have received 70 percent of the Asian vote, 70 percent of the Latino vote, and 97 percent of the black vote, but the truth about racism exists in the 39 percent of the white vote he received. He made an excellent point when he stated that until any black elected to the highest office in the land receives 50 percent of the white vote or better, we have miles to go to eradicate racism. He spoke to the disrespect our president has been subjected to and how the silence and lack of outrage particularly with whites also speaks volumes. He made mention of the respect he personally has for Rev. Jeremiah Wright and how politically Obama seemingly felt compelled to roll him under the bus. He spoke to his experiences with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and cited many instances and events he participated in during what we now call the Civil Rights Era. Dr. Asante spoke to how in Georgia, and exposure racism, helped define him into the man he is today his upbringing to hatred and and make him and why he seeks fairness and justice for all. One of the more remarkable things he said in answer to a question about what we can do to make things better in society was (and I paraphrase) If you see an injustice, challenge it. Dont act like you dont see someone being mistreated. Confront the situation. Dr. Asante also called attention to the fact that there are only five statues total that exist in the U.S. in honor of Black women. He failed to name names, and much like a good professor challenging his students would do, so I came home and conducted some research to discover who the five were. I was more than annoyed but not shocked with all that black women hive contributed that to date only five had statues in their honor in this country. I found Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Mary McLeod Bethune, Harriet Tubman, Fannie Lou Hamer and Barbara Jordan. After further investigation I also found that Althea Gibson, (the first African-American to win a Wimbledon Title) has a statue in her honor in Newark. On the drawing board in Oakland, Ca., are statues of Maya Angelou, and Ruby Bridges. If any of these names are unfamiliar to you, do you and your children a favor and discover who these women are and what contributions they made in their lifetime. Of course, those unfamiliar with and not interested in truth more than likely stopped reading around the second paragraph. Discussions around afrocentricity, slave mentality, or what we need to do about it are usually met with the same kind of opposition the Black Panther Party met with in trying to visit black churches back in the day. Electing a Black President has done little to awaken the sleeping giants who continue to exist within the confines of our community. All we have really done is become more sophisticated and expert at turning a blind eye to the ills in our community. We do little to address the incarceration rates of young black men. We have done even less to make sure we are educating young black minds. We continue to send our children into buildings with classrooms hosting everything but a days lesson. Too many educators are attempting to educate a culture they themselves know nothing about. We applaud schools in Philadelphia who refuse to graduate any student who has not studied African- American history. But, yet we fail to emulate the success of such a move. We continue to allow our children to support budgets with resources spent on everything but what is needed to educate our children. We continue to pay school board commissioners to do nothing. When we should be about the business of dismantling the fraud they perpetrate. We have four school board commissioner seats becoming available this year. The field already has fools throwing in their hats and asking for support. My readers already know I will shine a spotlight on those with impeccable character and most deserving of consideration. The fakers and the phonies need to stay home. Much like Dr. Asante, I too tell the truth. And yes it does hurt sometimes but the truth does at the end of the day gets one the respect they deserve. One does not become as influential as a Dr. Molefi Kete Asante by telling lies. It is only the truth that will set us free. But, in order to be free one must first recognize what truth looks, tastes, and smells like. Negroes are still trying to find out.
---------------------------------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

SOMETHING TO tHInK ABOUT

Arent There Enough Laws!


One of the major debates going on in this country is the debate over the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and the right to bear arms. This debate has C. MICHAEL VAUGHN been going on in the country for a long time. But it has gotten much, much more attention with the tragedy that occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School last December. The incident at Sandy Hook has very many elements to it but suffice it to say that a horrific tragedy went on that day that and I pray that it is never repeated as long as there is an earth! However, there has arisen a cry for changes or additions to gun control laws that I will weigh in on during this weeks article. Without getting emotional about this topic I have a fundamental question: Arent there enough laws on the books to deal with the problems of guns getting into the hands of criminals? If we were to do due diligence and enforce those laws, most likely we would not have emotional reactions to horrific events and create more laws that may not be enforced. If one takes a look at a tragedy closer to the Rochester community, the events of Christmas Eve where two West Webster firemen were shot and killed; we can see that following current laws would have prevented that tragedy from occurring. From what we know of the person that was said to ambush these firefighters, he had been in jail for killing his grandmother by hitting her in the head 38 times, with a hammer! It would appear to me (and I believe to most reasonable people) that someone that was capable of doing a crime like that, should never have seen the outside of a jail. However, through some manner he was able to be paroled after serving less than 20 years for such a horrible crime. I know

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OPINION/EDITORIAL
When theyre not busy racially profiling AfricanAmerican and Latino motorists, or executing innocent family pets, Rochester, police officers can be found shooting tenants being evicted for not paying their The next thing that happened was a call for an officer involved shooting made by at least one of the officers there, Gonzalez and Ott. Both officers had opened fire on Powell. Standing across the street from the scene of the shooting, Rochester Police Department public information officer, Sgt. Justin Collins, told media that officers shot Powell and that he was armed with a bottle of bleach, and he allegedly threw bleach at the officers. That was all. Then, hours later, Sgt. Collins contacted media to tell them that Powell was also armed with a knife. The story had now changed. Not surprising that Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard, after looking at the situation and realizing his officers screwed up, knew he had to do something in order to justify shooting a man holding a bottle of bleach especially given the history of officers Gonzalez and Ott. On June 21, 2012, Police Officer Antonio Gonzalez, was one of 7 officers who opened fire on Israel Izzy Andino, a mentally ill young man, on his 20th birthday.

The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of Minority Reporter.

Rochester Police Shoot Man Being Evicted from his Apartment


Andino was holding a BB rifle and despite RPD officers having several opportunities to subdue him without using deadly force, Gonzalez and six officers all shot Andino in unison, in what was described by neighbors as a firing squad execution. Andino was hit at least 11 times. Bullets also hit several houses where young children were sleeping. Other bullets penetrated vehicles parked in a driveway. Andinos body was left uncovered on the sidewalk for hours, while several RPD officers joked about the shooting. In October, I discovered a video which RPD officer Antonio Gonzalez made, then posted on the internet titled Name that Crackhead! in which Gonzalez along with other RPD officers make fun of a mentallyill African-American man dressed in a martial arts uniform. At one point in the video, RPD officers are heard singing lyrics a popular song: Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting, as the man performs some martial arts moves. Later, after Gonzalez posted the Name that Crackhead! video on the internet, Rochester, police officers Jose Traverzo, and Luis Hernandez, posted comments as to the mans whereabouts. One comment, by officer Jose Traverzo reads: Hint, can find him at 580 Jeff, referring to Jefferson Ave., on Rochesters west side. The way I look at it, if Timothy Powell really had a knife, and attacked Rochester police officers with it, he wouldnt be in the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound to his hip. If Timothy Powell really had a knife, and if he had attacked Rochester police officers with it, his family would be planning a funeral. No African-American or Latino man, or woman, who has ever brandished a knife at a Rochester police officer has ever lived to tell about it, much less be shot in the hip. They have been executed right on the spot. Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard is lying to protect his gang members.

DAVY VARA rent.

On Tuesday afternoon Rochester, Police Officers Antonio Gonzalez and James Ott accompanied a court marshal to evict Timothy Powell from his apartment in the Cooper Union building, located at 119 State St., across the street from the Federal Building. The Cooper Union building, houses 44 apartments, is run by Volunteers of America, and is supposed to offer transitional help to former homeless people. Once there, police say Powell, who has no criminal history, except a citation for having an open alcohol container, for which he paid a $25 fine, allowed officers to enter his apartment and according to police, cooperated.

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LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

arent there enough laws!...from previous paGe


of African-Americans who have gotten 25 years for just being at the scene of a crime. They did not even do it but got a serious punishment. I am not saying that these folks should have gotten off, what I am saying is that if you are going to be tough on folks for being at the scene of the crime, the sentences should be much tougher for the one that actually did the crime. If the man that shot these firefighters was given life without the possibility of parole for the heinous crime he committed against his grandmother, the events of Christmas Eve 2012 would not have occurred. However, in our country we tend to want to give leniency to the perpetrators of crime instead of law abiding citizens. This same philosophy holds for how we treat illegal immigrants. Illinois now will allow illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. That just does not make sense, the fact they are illegal immigrants means that should not be granted rights here in America because one of their first acts here is to break the law by entering the country illegally! The point that I am making is that I do not believe that we need to have more laws on the books to try and prevent the mass killings that we have seen. There are a host of things that we can do instead of trampling on the rights of law abiding Americans. What can happen is that we can enforce the laws already on the books, we can ensure that people sentenced for crimes (especially murder) need to serve their entire sentence (no getting out for good behavior); we can close loop holes where people may be getting through in order to obtain guns, etc. We must not continue to run to the creation of new laws when such things that break our hearts occur. What needs to occur is that we need to really think hard about what the cause of the events were and not how to get as many people emotionally involved so that politicians can get their agendas across. We are a nation of laws; we just have enough of them to deal with the vast majority of what ails us. We need to enforce them not create more!
------------------------If you would like to contact me, please email me at mvaughn.seniorpastor@newwineskin.org

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