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vol. 6 no.

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In This Issue:

CALENDAR

april
18 High Falls Film Festival Time: 12:00pm Location: Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film- 900 East Ave. Films will be shown at The Little Theatre (240 East Ave., 14607, 585258-0400), the Cinema Theater (957 Clinton Ave. S., 14620, 585-271-1785) and the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. The High Falls Film Festival will be presenting 25 of the finest in independent films from around the world. Films will be shown at The Little Theatre, the Cinema Theater and the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. Contact: High Falls Film Festival Office - 585-586-6650 April 25 Cliffords 50th Birthday Party Time: 9:00 AM 3:30 PM Location: ABC Head Start - 1772 Clifford Avenue We are having a Birthday Party for Clifford. Come dance, play games and enjoy cake and ice cream with Clifford; the Big Red Dog. You may enter a drawing to win a fun basket for your child. Also, your child can get his or her picture taken with Clifford and purchase books at the Book Fair. May 12,19,24,27 Flower City Days at the Public Market Join us for Flower City Days at the Rochester Public Markets. Also 6/2 and 6/9

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{COVER {LOCAL

PG 8 - 10

New Allegations on Ongoing Syracuse Sports Saga PG 4 - 5

The Rochester Housing Authority Announces Furloughs Rochester Residents Give Input for New Downtown Skate Park

{STATE

PG 10

Cuomo, Citing New Scandals in Legislature, Vows a Push to Change Laws

14 Awardwinning Vocalist Jessye Norman to Perform Benefit Concert Time: 5:00pm Location: Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre Concert includes the Garth Fagan Dance Company and pianist, Mark Markham Jessye Norman will perform a benefit concert for Action for a Better Community, Inc. (ABC). The concert, entitled The African American Cultural Legacy, features special guests, The Garth Fagan Dance Company and pianist, Mark Markham. All proceeds from the concert benefit ABC, a community action agency that provides programs and services to help lowincome families and individuals achieve greater self-sufficiency. Tickets available at: www.rpo.org and at the Eastman Theatre Box Office on East Avenue. Tickets also can be purchased by phone at (585) 454-2100.

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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.

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LOCAL
The Rochester Housing Authority Announces Furloughs
By Delani Weaver The Rochester Housing Authority (RHA) announced Friday that there will be furloughs for its employees going forward due to sequester cuts. RHA is also losing $2.4 million in rental assistance because of the cuts, affecting families with the hope to be chosen for Section 8 housing. Executive Director of the Rochester Housing Authority Alex Castro said, This is happening with all housing authorities, not just Rochester. Furlough is telling employees that they dont need to work, but they dont get paid for it either. So at the end of the year, they make less money. Castro said the staff has been aware of the possibility of furloughs due to money not being available for several months now. Good and open communication about the changes made the formal announcement go much more smoothly. RHA provides housing assistance to low income families and senior and/ or disabled citizens. There are some 2,500 residents living in public housing. RHA also assists 9,000 residents with Section 8 vouchers. Castro said, There are two sets of revenue; checks for landlords and the money to pay for the Section 8 program. The payments are being cut 6%, equaling 2.4 million dollars and the money to pay for the program is going to be cut 31%. That means approximately 700 families will not be helped through this program. This change will not affect families that are currently Section 8 residents. Previously, the process was once a family left the program and returned their voucher, it would be given to a new family that was on the waiting list. However, now with the cuts, the vouchers will not be given to new families. We have 9,000 vouchers and 12,000 families on the waiting list. That means that the families on the waiting list will have to wait even longer because we just dont have the funding. It can take years for someone to be chosen, Castro said. The cuts have created a domino effect. Cut funding causes less vouchers being distributed, making it harder for landlords who accept Section 8 to rent out their homes and apartments. The cuts will affect public housing residents

differently. I want this to be clear so there isnt any confusion. For public housing, were trying to minimize impact on residents. This means for nonemergency calls, it will take a little longer, Castro said. For the history of public housing, people pay 30% of their income for rent. Rent is not going to be raised for families that have public housing. We do not have the power to do that. And current Section resident will be protected. Were not gonna go after people. Castro said the Department of Housing

and Urban Development (HUD) funds the program. The congress decides how much money HUD has available. All depends on the congress to decide for HUD and HUD will fund the program, Castro said. HUD determines rent for families based on income unless their income changes. Castro said even though there are furloughs, there are no plans currently for layoffs but it is in discussion.

Rochester Residents Give Input for New Downtown Skate Park


There was a public meeting held Thursday evening by the City Bureau of Recreation at the South Avenue Community Center to provide the community a view of design ideas for the proposed urban skate park in downtown Rochester. Attenders learned about potential next steps for the project. The proposed site, which is under the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge, was showcased to help the city and park organizers better understand the possibilities and limitations of that location. The sites 75,000 square feet of available space could mark Rochesters skatepark as the largest skate park in the country and a destination for the regions skateboarding community. The park is expected to be the preeminent skate park in Western New York, making it a suitable venue for special events and national competitions because of its size and scale. The park is envisioned as an urban park space that will also enhance the outdoor recreation experience for walkers, joggers and cyclist. The city is working in partnership with Friends of Roc City Skatepark to develop the project. Friends of Roc City Skatepark is an advocacy group for the development of a skatepark system. The probability study and conceptual designs for the park are being led by local firm Stantec, whose skate park specialists have designed skate parks across the country. Once the projects site is confirmed, park organizers will work to raise money for the project with a goal of breaking ground by the summer of 2015. It is always an exciting time when the possibilities begin to take shape and a project of this magnitude begins making tangible progress after so much hard work by its supporters, Rochester Mayor Thomas S. Richards said.

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COVER STORY

By Lisa Dumas
Its no secret that for the past several years theres been no love lost between Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick and Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler. However, new information has recently come to light regarding the district attorneys long-standing, working relationship with Syracuse University that may shed some light on the tumultuous relationship. An official report obtained by CNY Vision (the sister publication to Minority Reporter)in the wake of the Syracuse basketball teams loss in the NCAA final fourchronologically lays out several instances where SU athletes and coaches have received special treatment by Fitzpatrick and his office dating as far back as 2001. Although the statute of limitations has run out on most of the cases, the reportgiven on terms of anonymityincludes cases where charges were suspected to be either mishandled by the district attorney, or surreptitiously dismissed altogether. The reason for Fitzpatricks alleged bias, according to the report, is based on the fact that the university is his alma mater. The report also labels him as being a fierce basketball fan. Case in point: the first case detailed in the report regards former SU basketball player William Edelin. Edelin was suspended by the university in 2001 based on allegations from two female students of unwanted sexual conduct, including one accusation of rape. However, the district attorneys office decided not to file criminal charges. At the time, even though the schools judicial review board found merit with the victims testimony, Fitzpatrick publicly stated: We took the girls story and didnt find the conduct of Mr. Edelin reached criminal conduct. As a result, Edelin received minor disciplinary action from the school in the form of a suspension from the university for one year, according to the report. However, with no criminal charges lodged against him, he was able to return to the university in 2002, and ultimately helped lead the school to an NCAA championship in 2003. Fitzpatrick also questioned whether Syracuse University officials and members of its judicial boards have the ability to assess the issues of credibility, the report states. The public had no reason to believe that the office may be ethically compromised, and gave full weight to the statements made by DA William Fitzpatrick, who led them to believe that Edelin committed no crime. All information found was to the contrary. In 2004, another case took place where an SU athlete faced substantiated criminal charges that were subsequently dropped by Fitzgeralds office; again, for no apparent reason, according to the report. Diamond Ferri, a former starting strong safety for the Syracuse football team, was arrested after an altercation at a local bar and charged with thirddegree assault and resisting arrest on May 22, 2004. The report stated: Syracuse University announced that disciplinary procedures would be postponed pending the outcome of criminal charges. Ferris court dates were adjourned numerous times through the football season until April 20, 2005, when he received a six-month ACD (adjournment in contemplation of dismissal). If a six-month ACD was an acceptable conclusion, the case appears to have been delayed for almost a year without legitimate purpose. According to the report, Suspiciously, the long delayed conclusion to the case was reached within a day or two of Ferri traveling to New York City and signing as a free agent with the New York Giants. The events in this case are another example of what appears to be unethical communication and possibly even collusion between the district attorneys office and SU athletic departments, their coaches and/or their attorneys, the report said. Eugene Brown, a former junior defensive tackle for the SU football team, was charged with seconddegree felony assault, after resisting arrest and injuring a police officer when officers were called to break up a fight at a local bar in March 2005. Syracuse University announced Brown was suspended, pending a decision within the criminal justice system, the report states. Fitzgerald never prosecuted. Instead, the case was adjourned for six months, then completely dismissed and sealed, according to the report. Two weeks after the incident, it was reported that Brown had been reinstated to the University and was back on the football team without further explanation. All charges were dismissed (six-month ACD). The case was dismissed quietly and without the injured officers notification, the report stated. On top of this, another unusual incident occurred a couple of years later when, in October 2007, three SU basketball players, Antonio Scoop Jardine, Johnny Flynn and Ricky Jackson, were alleged to have sexually abused another student, the report states. The victims only desire was to be heard in front of a judicial affairs board, the report said. As a result, The victim did not supply the Syracuse police with enough details for them to take further action other than to complete a basic incident report. The Syracuse police were neither involved in any investigation nor were they provided information from the district attorneys office or Syracuse University to commence an investigation. The next time the victims name appeared at the Syracuse Police Department was the following: On Dec. 20, 2007, an e-mail was sent out by Syracuse University outlining the details of an informal agreement between the players/their attorneys as well as the university and the victim/ attorney. According to the report, some of the terms of the agreement included the fact that the young men would be placed on probation, required to live in housing away from the victim, and their parents would be notified. In addition, there would be an agreement on confidentiality. However, the victim was not satisfied and never signed the agreement, the report said. Yet, for an unknown reason, she was still not allowed to testify at a judicial affairs board. Then the university, believing the victim was leaving the school, closed the case without her approval. Several months later, the victim told her story to David Potter, dean of student affairs for Syracuse Universitys College of Arts and Sciences. In March 2008, Potter, as well as several other employees, began petitioning

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COVER STORY

judicial affairs and the university to re-open the incident on the victims behalf. After that, according to the report, Fitzpatrick stepped in. District Attorney William Fitzpatrick suddenly involved himself in this incident, the report stated. There was no information found that would explain why the DA was involved legally. She did not want to pursue criminal charges. Judicial affairs at SU is not a public courtroom and their proceedings do not require a district attorney. No information was found as to who notified Fitzpatrick. There wasnt even a criminal investigation going on. If the victim and the police did not call the DA, then who? Of all the parties involved in this case, only Syracuse University was left. Potentially, the university would not want to lose their players nor have their players arrested, so why would they want to notify him? In apparent answer to the question, the district attorney opened a subsequent grand jury investigation into the matter, the report stated. This move allowed SU to delay the judicial affairs hearing again pending the outcome. Eventually, the victim was found not credible enough by the grand jury to warrant criminal charges. However, no request was made to obtain grand jury testimony due to the sensitive nature

of this report, the report said. Following the decision, the victim was finally allowed to testify in front of a judicial affairs board, where the athletes were found to be in violation of student code and placed on probation for one year, while still allowed to play basketball. In the aftermath, Potter and several other employees involved in reopening the case were consequently fired, the report said. But, of all the employees who were let go, Potter was the only one who declined to sign a confidentiality agreement. In an Oct. 2008 article published by Inside Higher Ed, Potter said of his advocacy for the female student, From my perspective, its a straightforward matter of principle. I wanted to resolve it. Im not angry at anyone. I dont want to take anyone out. I believe in daylight and conversation and not shadow and covers. Next, in yet another strange case concerning the district attorney, and an SU basketball player, Eric Devendorf was involved in two incidents that resulted in investigation after the 2007-2008 season. According to the report, the first case was deemed an assault; however the police, unable to acquire a statement

from the victim, were incapable of making an arrest. In the second case, though, of harassment, the victim desired prosecution, the report said. Nonetheless, William Fitzpatrick refused to prosecute Devendorf for harassment in the second-degree. At the time, Fitzpatrick interviewed alleged witnesses, several of which were

basketball players, according to the report, and said he found differences between those and the victims accounts.

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SYRACUSE SAGA...from previous page


But, in the subsequent judicial affairs decision, the testimony obtained by Fitzpatrick was called scripted and biased and disregarded as evidence. Therefore, Devendorf was suspended for one academic term. However, upon winning an appeal, the sentence was reduced to 40 hours of community service, after which he could be reinstated to the school. While reducing his sentence is not inherently illegal for the private institution, it bears witness to the overwhelming pressure asserted to keep Devendorf on the basketball court, the report states. William Fitzpatricks actions, or lack thereof, appear to be part of this pressure. In 2010, the report said an incident involving star tailback for the SU football team Delone Carter offered more interference from Fitzpatrick. According to the report, Carter was accused of striking SU student William Hotaling in his face, rendering Hotaling unconscious while on his feet and unable to break his fall to the ground. And, even though Hotaling faced severe and substantial head injuries, including fractured bones and a permanently dislocated jaw, the charge was eventually plea bargained down to a charge of second-degree harassment by the district attorney, with a one-year conditional discharge, the report states.

COVER STORY
Carter was immediately suspended from the football team and the university for two semesters, those being the remainder of the spring semester and the summer semester, the report said. He was reinstated in time to make the first fall practice on Aug. 9, 2010. According to the report, the conditional discharge meant that the case would remain open for 12 months, and then be closed as long as Carter stayed out of additional trouble. In the end, the report found that the Syracuse Police Department, took the investigations as far as possible without visible support of the district attorneys office. All of this led up to the more recent fallout between Fitzpatrick and the Syracuse Police Department, during an investigation into the largelypublicized case of SU assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, who, in Nov. 2011, was accused of sexually abusing two former ball boys. The report alleges blatant misconduct by the district attorneys office during that time, including one documented telephone conversation between Fines attorney, Donald Martin, and an unknown person. In the conversation Fitzpatrick was mentioned specifically: No, I havent heard anything from Fitz, Martin allegedly stated. None of his people are here. The last I talked with him, he said that as*hole deputy chief called the feds. The call ended shortly afterwards, the report said. Detective Joseph DeCaro allegedly overheard the exchange and included the dialogue in his report after a search of Fines home on Nov. 25, 2011. According to a 2011 article published in Syracuses The Post-Standard, in a rare move, police ultimately turned the case over to federal prosecutors. It appeared to police that the DAs office, in those early days of the investigation, was out to discredit the victims, Deputy Chief of Police Shawn Broton said. And, although Fitzpatrick denied the allegations, Brotons report said theres a history of SU athletes getting preferential treatment from the DAs office, the article stated. Recently, Fine, after having been fired over the matter, has filed a defamation lawsuit against ESPN, according to a March 28 article in USA Today. In addition, questions regarding favoritism for SU athletes by the school have also resurfaced, according to a March 20 article in The Post-Standard titled, Sources: Syracuse basketball program under wide-ranging NCAA investigation. NCAA investigators have conducted face-to-face interviews of SU employees or former employees for at least the past school year in a wideranging investigation that includes the handling of Fab Melos academic eligibility and a 2007 alleged sexual assault case involving three players, two named and two unnamed sources told The Post-Standard, the article states. The transgressions were described as both major and wideranging in nature, CBS reported. The investigation also encompasses football but is believed to primarily involve basketball, according to the report. The article stated one NCAA investigator, Meg Babcock Locker, spent two hours interviewing former associate dean David Potter, who also recommended Locker interview Cathryn Newton an SU professor and former dean. According to The Post, Newton said of the alleged 2007 sexual assault case: An arts and sciences student filed a complaint that was specific and credible, and that complaint did not progress in the usual way. Fitzpatrick began his tenure in the district attorneys office as a law clerk in 1975, and has been district attorney since Jan. 1992.

Cuomo, Citing New Scandals in Legislature, Vows a Push to Change Laws


By THOMAS KAPLAN In the wake of two corruption cases announced last week that led to the arrests of members of the State Legislature, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Monday that he would push for changes to the states election and campaign fund-raising laws, declaring, Never waste a crisis, as they say. The governor, in an interview on a public radio program, said he believed that the arrests would prompt enough of a public outcry that state legislators would finally be motivated to consider reforming a variety of ethics and fundraising laws that they had previously resisted changing. You can make major reforms when you have the peoples attention, and we have the peoples attention, and I think thats a good thing, Mr. Cuomo said on the program, The Capitol Pressroom, adding, Ive been waiting for this moment for many, many years. Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat who ran for governor with the promise of cleaning up the scandal-plagued state capital, also sought to distance himself from the arrests. He said that they reflected more of a problem in the politics of New York City than in Albany, and noted that no new law would prevent bad people from deciding to commit criminal acts. You will always have individuals who break the law, he said. Why? Thats the story of power, and greed, and human nature, and arrogance, and hubris. So if someone says, Well, we need a system where no one does anything wrong, then theyre talking about a utopia that doesnt exist. Mr. Cuomos comments followed the arrests last week of State Senator Malcolm A. Smith, who was accused of a scheme to offer bribes to buy a place on the ballot for mayor of New York City, and Assemblyman Eric A. Stevenson, who was accused of taking bribes. Mr. Cuomo proposed a wide-ranging series of ethics changes when he was running for governor. But after setting up a new state ethics commission in his first year in office whose effectiveness has been questioned Mr. Cuomo has not pursued additional changes, although he had said before last weeks scandals that he would seek an overhaul of the states campaign fund-raising laws in this years legislative session. In the radio interview, Mr. Cuomo provided few specifics about the changes he would seek. But he listed a number of areas he said were ripe for reform, including a state law that requires candidates seeking to run on the ballot line of a political party other than the one in which they are enrolled to obtain the permission of party leaders. (Mr. Smith is a Democrat, but he wanted to run for mayor as a Republican.) Mr. Cuomo suggested ending the cross-endorsement of candidates by

STATE

Governor Andrew Cuomo multiple political parties, lowering financial contribution limits to political campaigns, expanding the jurisdiction of district attorneys to investigate public corruption, and making changes to the State Board of Elections. He also said he was considering whether to appoint a panel with subpoena power, known as a Moreland Commission, to investigate corruption in Albany.

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MAINTENANCE SERVICES FOR VARIOUS SCHOOLS CONTRACT NO. 9A WOOD FLOOR REFINISHING CONTRACT NO. 9B RESILIENT FLOORING CONTRACT NO. 10B LARGE FORMAT COPYING CONTRACT NO. 10D - PRINTING Sealed bids will be received by the Purchasing Agent, Central Administrative Offices, 131 West Broad Street, Rochester, New York, 14614, to 2:30 P.M., April 30, 2013, for the project as listed above, at which time and place said bids will be publicly opened and read. These bids shall be accompanied by security in the amount indicated and subject to the conditions provided in the Instructions to Bidders. Sets of contract documents and official bid forms may be examined at the Department of Educational Facilities, City School District of Rochester, 835 Hudson Avenue, Building #3, Rochester, New York, 14621, and may be obtained upon presentation of a fifteen dollar ($15.00) check deposit for each set, made payable to the Board of Education. Deposit will be refunded to the bidder upon return of specifications in good condition on or before the date set for such return by the Department. For addition information, please contact the Design Group at (585) 336-4010 or e-mail: Pamela.hodom@rcsdk12.org.
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US economy adds 88K jobs, rate drops to 7.6 pct.


By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, the fewest in nine months and a sharp retreat after a period of strong hiring. The slowdown may signal that the economy is heading into a weak spring. The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dipped to 7.6 percent, the lowest in four years, from 7.7 percent. But the rate fell only because more people stopped looking for work. People who are out of work are no longer counted as unemployed once they stop looking for a job. The percentage of Americans working or looking for jobs fell to 63.3 percent in March, the lowest such figure in nearly 34 years. Stock futures sank after the jobs report was released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. Marchs job gains were less than half the average of the previous six months, when the economy added an average of 196,000 jobs a month. The government said hiring was even stronger in January and February than previously estimated. Januarys job growth was revised up from 119,000 to 148,000. Februarys was revised from 236,000 to 268,000. Several industries cut back sharply on hiring in March. Retailers cut 24,000 jobs after averaging 32,000 in the previous three months. Manufacturers cut 3,000 jobs after adding 19,000 the previous month. Financial services shed 2,000. The number of people either working or looking for work fell by nearly 500,000 last month. It was sharpest such drop since December 2010. And the number of Americans who said they were employed dropped nearly 210,000. Average hourly pay rose a penny, the smallest gain in five months. Average pay is just 1.8 percent higher than a year earlier, trailing the pace of inflation, which rose 2 percent in the past 12 months. This is not a good report through and through, Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist at brokerage firm BTIG, said in a note to clients. Economists had hoped that the bigger pay increases in recent months would continue and boost Americans ability to spend. Some economists said they expect a slowdown this spring, though not as severe as in the past three years. We dont anticipate the slowdown becoming too severe, not when the housing recovery is firing on all cylinders, but it is a reminder that the U.S. is still unable to sustain what used to be just average rates of growth, said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics. The decline in the work force reflects several trends, economists say: Many of those out of work become discouraged and give up on their job hunts. And as the population ages, more people are retiring. Most analysts think the economy strengthened from January through March, helped by the pickup in hiring, a sustained recovery in housing and steady consumer spending. Consumers stepped up purchases in February and January, even after Social Security taxes increased this year.

NATIONAL

This Friday, March 29, 2013, photo, shows a help wanted sign in front of a restaurant in Richmond, Va. The U.S. economy has enjoyed a four-month stretch of robust job gains, and on Friday, April 5, 2013, the government will signal whether that trend endured into March (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Still the higher taxes have reduced paychecks. And many economists say steep government spending cuts that began taking effect March 1 will slow growth in the spring and summer. Mark Vitner, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities, thinks the economy expanded at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter. But he forecasts that growth will slow to a 2 percent annual pace in the current second quarter, and then rebound after the impact of the government spending cuts fades. Economists expect the spending reductions will shave half a percentage point off economic growth this year. Many federal workers will experience pay cuts. And government contractors will likely cut jobs. That could also drag down overall monthly hiring.

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OPINION/EDITORIAL
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. possible under a 1994 law sponsored by Dianne Feinstein banning assaultstyle weapons. The bill, signed into law by President Clinton, was allowed to expire under George Bush. Senator Feinstein has introduced a new and stronger gun control bill that passed the Judiciary Committee on a 10-8 vote. It will come up before the House and the Senate later this year, but it is not expected to receive strong enough support to pass. As the number of hate and extremist groups tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center has grown to 1007 in 2012, and the number of conspiracy minded Antigovernment Patriot groups has increased by 813% between 2008 and 2012 to 1360 known organizations, unfettered access to military-style guns heralds an ominous portent. In an analysis conducted by Dan Keating for the Washington Post, there is a difference between gun use in the white and black communities as well as urban and rural communities. A white person is is five times as likely to commit suicide with a gun as to be shot with a gun; for each African American who uses a gun to commit suicide, five are killed by other people with guns. He also notes that urban areas have a far higher rate of homicide, while suicide is the leading form of gun deaths for rural regions. Video gaming is a growing industry and is expected to reach $70.1 billion by 2015. Although no research has identified an immediate link between video game violence and gun-related deaths, analysis by Iowa State University Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson of 130 separate studies showed exposure to violent video games makes more aggressive, less caring kids -- regardless of their age, sex or culture. Across the board, the

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

The Constitutions Second Amendment Reconsidered


studies of violent video gaming showed an increase in aggressive behavior and aggressive thinking and decreases in prosocial behavior. Following Sandy Hook, the Entertainment Software Association, an organization representing video game publishers, announced a campaign intended to inform parents about the tools and information available so they can manage the entertainment choices for their families. According to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, in Rochester, NY there has been an average of 185 shootings and 43 homicides annually since 2002 due to firearms. The New York State average of homicide by firearm is 64% compared to 74% for Rochester. In 2009, Rochesters percentage of homicides by gun reached an all-time high of 82%. In New York State, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has taken a tough stand on the control of guns with the NY SAFE Act, although his stance has softened somewhat as he works to negotiate the state budget. His original position against the sale of ten round magazines has altered to now allow their sale with the stipulation that gun owners may have no more than seven rounds loaded at a time unless they are on a firing range or in a competition. In those cases, ten will be allowed. Worldwide, the U.S. has the highest gun ownership per capita, at 89 guns per 100 people. In a Catch-22 cycle, gun ownership has grown dramatically in the past 60 years in response to increased gun-related violence, and gun violence has grown in relation to gun ownership levels, according to Frank Thomas and John Lawrence for the San Diego Free Press. They site that in 2012, the U.S. had 10.2 gunrelated deaths per 100,000 people. France had 3.0 and Britain, with its stricter gun control environment, had 0.25 per 100,000. In 2012 , there were over 500 murders in Chicago alone, which equals almost half of the murders throughout the entire EU-17 countries. In his weekly address on March 23, Barack Obama asked the Members of Congress to join him in supporting what has been called a more measured, more holistic approach to gun control. The bill he wants passed would make it more difficult for hardened criminals and those with mental illness to obtain guns. It would also strengthen the ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons. (For his address regarding this issue, see http://www. huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/23/ obama-gun-control_n_2935525.html) One cannot dispute that the guns available today are a far different breed than the one-shot, muzzleloaded muskets used by infantrymen and citizens during 1787 when the Constitution was signed. As we experience quiet enjoyment of life and our constitutional right to peaceably assemble in our homes, our schools, our businesses and places of worship, we must consider not just the words of the Second Amendment of the Constitution, but also the meaning behind them and what they were intended to protect. Our first call of order is to protect each citizens right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, as guaranteed by the Constitutions predecessor, the U.S. Declaration of Independence. To keep our children safe, we must reconsider the intent of the Second Amendment. Carvin Eison General Manager, RCTV15

Carvin Eison

The words above come from the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and are part of every U.S. Citizens Bill of Rights. Almost four months ago, a tragedy so dire happened that many question anew how to balance the rights guaranteed by this Amendment against the rights and safety of American citizens. On December 14, 2012, Newtown, NY gunman Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six adults after blasting his way into an elementary school. Using a Bushmaster .223 rifle that fires 30 rounds of bullets without reloading, Lanza took the lives of 26 people in less than five minutes. He had to reload only four times to cause this devastation. In the aftermath of this event, gun laws in the U.S. are under scrutiny, but not everyone agrees that gun control should be stiffened. In considering this volatile issue, lets look at some statistics In the three months following Sandy Hook, The Huffington Post tracked 2244 gun-related murders and deaths in the U.S. where, each year, there are an average of 30,000 gun-related deaths. Between 1994 and 2004, the purchase of the assault-style gun used in at Sandy Hook would not have been

This Thing Called Life


Thoughts make us pause and re-evaluate. C u r i o u s l y, t h o u g htp r o v i n g moments have manifested themselves in my professional, diane watkins personal and socio-political lives. This is called having an epiphany. Professional: The Center for Governmental Research released a report that informed the public that state required reforms to close and reopen failing schools is a gigantic waste of taxpayer cash. According to their analysis, Global Media, Integrated Technology, Schools of Business, etc., were closed in lieu of new and improved schools such and Robert Brown School of Construction, STEM and College Prep but these schools have yielded exactly the same results. This may not be an epiphany to educators. We agree that closing schools might be a solution to a problem, but not to the root problems faced in the Rochester City School District. I find it curious that no former superintendent or state official has been held financially accountable for their decisions to close the old schools; nor have they been held accountable for the money spent to open new schools that are failing. Reform must start with root problems, and I believe that Americans have become too liberal. We are too afraid to say that the concept that every American child deserves a FREE formal K-12 education, whether they want it or not, is flawed. We are willing to imprison children in schools until they are 21. What would happen if a superintendent, who made the decision to close and reopen a school, were forced to forfeit a part of their base salary if the new school failed? Or, what would happen if parents were forced to pay out of pocket for their childs third attempt at a course or grade level? Reform! Personal: This unveiled the death of my 95-year-old father-in-law; a black man, from Louisiana who migrated north in the 1940s with a third- grade education. He had the wherewithal to take any and every job that would pay him honest money so that he could support his family. One can only imagine the crap he took from Northern white folks in the 1940s and 50s who felt that Negroes should stay in our place down south somewhere. Some of those white folks attended his memorial service. Im still trying to understand how they could have treated him and his kids so unfairly and expect that by now they should have all gotten over it. This is the legacy of American slavery that lingers in 2013. It is disrespectful for white Americans to not have taken the time to understand American slavery and say stupid stuff like playing the race card. No slaveholders are still alive but the residue lingers. Individual slaveholders, business-owners, insurance companies, and many other industries were built with slave and

OPINION/EDITORIAL
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

15 www.minorityreporter.net | april 8 -14 | 2013


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

We Need to Stand Against Gay Marriage!


The subject that I am addressing today has a lot of passion on both sides of the debate and I realize that there will be those that deeply disagree with my point of view. C. MICHAEL VAUGHN However, that is one thing that makes America great, we have the right to speak our minds. Thank God for freedom of speech. During the past few weeks the idea of gay marriage has been the top agenda item of national conversation. The reason for this is that the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments on two different cases that had to do with gay marriage. The first case had to do with whether or not to uphold an appeals court decision to overturn Proposition 8. This is a proposition that was voted on by the people of California which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This proposition passed with 52 percent of the vote. The other case was to determine whether the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was constitutional. This law, which was signed by former President Bill Clinton, denies federal benefits to gay couples that have been recognized as being married in their states. From a Christian perspective we need to pray that the justices of the Supreme Court uphold the institution of marriage as defined by God. The biblical definition of marriage is one man and one woman and is the very fabric and foundation of a successful family and community, regardless of what people may say. The church decided to bury its head in the sand during the abortion debate and 51 million dead babies later, this issue is still being talked about with people still coming up with reasons to murder innocent children. With this issue, we must not be silent. We must voice our opinions and pray. Marriage is under attack on all sides and as such so are the family, church and community. Homosexuality is not a behavior that is condoned or sanctioned by the bible. Homosexuals should be loved and encouraged to accept Jesus as their lord and savior and come out of that lifestyle. Their lifestyles should not be forced upon the majority of the population to the extent that we redefine a basic premise, marriage, which was instituted by God, and has been in effect for over 4,000 years! Even if one were to remove the biblical argument, the discussion of Proposition 8 should not even have made it to the Supreme Court. The will of the people in California had been known via referendum and it should stand as the law of the state. This proposition did not violate anyones constitutional right and therefore did not meet the muster of coming to the Supreme Court. What it was is that losers of Proposition 8 did not want to accept the results and therefore decided they had a better chance to overturn the will of millions of people by three judges on the appeals court or nine judges on the Supreme Court. It is an affront to the democratic process and more and more liberal ideas are being forced upon the American people. Something else that is interesting in this debate is why homosexual groups and sympathizers do not settle for the idea of civil unions? In the debate, homosexual couples wanted to receive the same civil benefits for long time partners as heterosexual couples. They got their way by states creating civil unions. However, that was not enough, they want to be married. That is why it is clear that the institution of marriage is what the target truly is. Why alter Gods way? We cannot stand-by and allow this to happen. Here is a strategy. First and foremost we have to pray. We do not want to lead with emotions; we want to lead with direction that comes through prayer. Second, we contact our elected officials and let them know our stance. Third, we make sure that we do not re-elect people that do not hold to our values. We have to make a stand this time. We must not let the institution of marriage be destroyed. Because of our civil society, let them go the way of civil unions but leave Gods design of marriage alone!

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This Thing Called Life


near-slave labor. Americas wealth has been passed down generation-to-generation while blacks inherit debt. No one wants to be held accountable. They want the descendants of slaves to simply understand, thats just the way things were. So we continue to inherit debt while they enjoy the wealth. By keeping his pride in his pocket, my father-in-law ended up owning 26 desirable acres of land with no wealth to develop it. People are still alive who treated us like dogs, hung our men from trees like dogs; burned them to a crisp, and bought pieces of their bodies as souvenirs for their sick little children. Others sought their police dogs on civil rights fighters. Their descendants have reaped the benefits of slave labor and

unjust treatment of Jim Crow, yet, no one has been held accountable. Socio-political: I have experienced a recurring hope. I wish that black politicians realized that we, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., believe that longevity has its place. I dont believe in grand conspiracy theories because they convey a lot of trust in ignorant people who are not organized. Historically, the democrat and republican parties have reserved certain regional political offices for the black vote in order to demonstrate their goodwill toward us. The unscripted pacification plan is that in predominantly white areas, the black voice will never override the desires whites.

In predominantly black areas, the rule of thumb is: It takes a Negro to beat a Negro and which Negro is in charge is irrelevant because whomever they are, they will work hard with the party machines to make sure that they keep the other Negroes in their proper low status places. When I ran for an At-Large City Council seat, all of the blacks on Council supported incumbents. When I ran for a black seat in the SW district every reporter including the black one wanted to know why I would run for a seat that already had a black. Then the epiphany Negroes miscalculated when they agreed that the Honorable William A. Johnson, who threw enough elbows to squeeze out a non-traditional political seat (mayor) for blacks, was not their type.

Johnson understands that AfricanAmericans are not all the same. He is not the shuck and jive politician. He is a man who loves the Lord, his momma, and his community. He didnt play rich against poor, or white against black in his political decisions. He expressed a vision one city united and strong. He took the time to gain an intellectual understanding of politics something perceived as acting white. Some probably wish they could replay saying cheese in that infamous photo. They put all of their political capital behind Richards and now there is a new picture. Their political capital is worth only a fraction of a rich white male. Life is a complicated set of epiphanies.

16 www.minorityreporter.net | april 8 -14 | 2013

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