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MINORITYREPORTER

from information to understanding

vol. 6 no. 25

www.minorityreporter.net | june 17 - 23 | 2013 www.minorityreporter .net june117 23 2013

GO GET YOUR MONEY!

ALSO INSIDE... School Hours Amusement Park Trips

Officially Cancelled for RCSD ... pg 4

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In This Issue:

CALENDAR

MINORITYREPORTER
from information to understanding

vol. 6 no. 25

www.minorityreporter.net | june 17 - 23 | 2013 www.minorityreporter .net june117 23 2013

june
Experience with vocalist Fatima 9:00 p.m. - Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra 10:00 p.m. - Fireworks Recommended fireworks viewing areas: Main St. Bridge, Broad St. Bridge, Chestnut St. near the Washington Square Garage and streets surrounding those areas. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets for more comfortable viewing of the fireworks show and concert and to refrain from bringing pets for everyones safety. 7 GOING FOR BAROQUE Time: 1:00pm & 3:00pm Location: MAG, Fountain Court Aaron James, a graduate student at the Eastman School of Music, gives a 25-minute presentation and minirecital on the Italian Baroque organ. Included in Gallery admission. 11 MAX AT THE GALLERY TAPAS NIGHT Time: 5:008:00 pm Location: At The MAG, Vanden Brul Pavilion Every Thursday night, youre invited to visit the Gallery (half price admission from 5 to 9 pm), listen to live music, and enjoy wine, beer and tapas plates for purchase. No reservation necessary! 11 MAG HIGHLIGHTS TOUR Time: 6:30pm, Location: At The MAG, meet at Admission Desk This docent-led tour of the collections is included in Gallery admission. 12 Rochester SummerFest Time: 7:30pm-10:00pm Location: Auditorium Theatre Rochester SummerFest features a weekend of City-sponsored musical entertainment paired with a basketball tournament and social events!

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School Hours Amusement Park Trips Officially Cancelled for RCSD ... pg 4

ALSO INSIDE...

21 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival Time: 5:00pm-11:00pm Location: Downtown Rochester Celebrate the 12th edition of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, featuring musicians gathered from around the world to perform in more than 250 concerts! PG 8 21 Rec on the Move at El Camino Trail Anniversary Time: 3:30-pm 6:30pm On board these mobile receation centers, youll find: healthy snacks, homework help, outdoor games and sports, information on health and nutrition, activities and crafts and daily give aways. 26 Food Truck Rodeo Time 5:00pm-9:00pm Location: Rochester Public Market Food Truck Rodeo brings our communitys eclectic array of mobile food stands together at the Rochester Public Market. The 2013 rodeo will run on the final Wednesday of each month. Its fun on four wheels with over 23 vendors serving up their unique cuisine on paper plate.Just about everything and anything that is served from the back of a truck will be featured from food vendors including La Petit Poutine, The Sammich Guy, Cheese & Confused, Potatoes to Go ... and many more! Beer will be provided by Rohrbach Brewing Company, as well! In addition, enjoy some local tunes from local talent each Rodeo night. July 4 July 4th Celebration and Fireworks 7:30pm-10:00pm Celebrate Independence Day with your family and friends at the Citys July 4th Celebration,on the Main St. Bridge. Fabulous fireworks over the downtown skies at 10 p.m.! 7:30 p.m. Jimmie Highsmith

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{COVER
Go Get Your Money!

{LOCAL

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PG 3-7

Local Wheelchair Bound Woman Being Sued NY Marijuana Arrets Show Racial Inequalities Take Back the Land Joins with Local Family to Fight Bank Eviction Order Vargas no Amusement Park Rule not so Well Received by Students Rochester Womens Giving Circle Awards $132,000 in Grants James Madison High School Alumni Planning Red Carpet Celebration

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NY Attorney General Sues HSBC Over Foreclosures

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LOCAL
A Pennsylvania service dog organization has sued an upstate New York woman to reclaim one of its animals, saying she hasnt lived up to an agreement meant to protect the dogs welfare. Claire Wimbush is an Episcopal minister in Rochester who has cerebral palsy and uses a motorized wheelchair. She said she had trouble because of illness in 2007 caring for Willa, a 10-year-old yellow Labrador retriever. She says shes been doing the required training and reporting since then.

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Local Wheel Chair Bound Woman Being Sued by Pennsylvania Dog Organization
The nonprofit Canine Partners for Life says in court papers that Wimbush failed to abide by a contract meant to ensure her well-being and that of Willa. The organization says a dog is paired with a particular person, trained for two years and then monitored for life, an effort it says costs $27,000.

NY Marijuana Arrests Show Racial Inequalities


Black people are almost 10 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and there are similar racial disparities around upstate New Yorks largest cities. The analysis of low-level arrests Thursday from the New York Civil Liberties Union comes two days after the American Civil Liberties Union reported that blacks nationwide face marijuana arrests more than whites even though marijuana use by both races is similar. The New York report was based on government crime data and looked at arrest rates by county. Blacks were more than four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana in each of the five boroughs of New York City and statewide. NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman says police statewide are targeting people of color.

When you text a driver, you take their eyes off the road for as long as it takes to drive the length of a football field at 55 mph; F.Y.I. thats

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Vargas no Amusement Park Rule not so Well Received by Students


By Delani Weaver

LOCAL

Usually the last few days of school are filled with celebrations, light school work and an end of the year field trip to amusement parks such as Darien Lake and Seabreeze. Its the time of the school year students want to relax and prepare for the summer. Well Superintendent Bolgen Vargas wants to make sure that the Rochester City School District (RCSD) uses every day of the school year strictly for educational instruction and not leisure activities by forbidding amusement park field trips that would usually take place on a school day. Vargas sent a letter, last week to parents of RCSD explaining his decision to band amusement park field trips. End-of-year celebrations of hard work by our students and teachers are a great thing, as long as they do not rob us of instructional time. Vargas said that amusement park are great place to have fun and celebrate. However, not during school hours but after school, on the weekends or during summer break. My position against visiting amusement parks during instructional time took effect June 12, 2012. That was the first day of last years Regents exams and I discovered that one day before these critical tests, most of our high-school seniors were enjoying an end-of-year celebration at Darien Lake, instead of getting advice and instruction to help them do their best, the letter said. Its not fair, Ericka Burt, local high

school student said. We work hard all year getting good grades. We deserve to have a fun trip at the end of the year. Its the end of the year, nothings going on. I dont understand what the problem is. Shouldnt we get a reward for being good students? A report from the school district shows that there is a substantial difference between the amount of instructional hours taking place in RCSD compared with those of suburban schools and charter schools. I do understand and agree with Dr. Vargas point of view about the RCSD students receiving the least instructional time of any children in Monroe County but I dont think that by cancelling trips to amusement parks is going to make a difference, local high school student Nathalia Rosado said. My opinion is that if he starts with staff, teachers and all that are involved with the school system to be on the same page and really use the time more productive in the classroom when we are in school and really, I mean really use the time to teach us instead of having some teachers not care about their students and are not there just for a paycheck, for some students like me that work hard all year to get good grades and do what we are supposed to do in school. We look forward going to this kind of trips like Darien Lake at the end of the school year because for some, we look forward to spend this time with our classmates and friend before the end of the school year is over, some of our friends will be graduating, moving and for some this will be the last time

we get to spend some good times together. According to the report, at secondary grade levels, suburban students have 46 more hours in school than district children; charter school students average 245 hours more. At the elementary level, suburban students, get 80 hours more instructional time than Rochester students. Thats the equivalent of nearly three weeks of school. Charter school elementary students receive 762 hours more of instruction, the equivalent of nearly 28 weeks of school. I cannot in good conscience permit these trips. Rochester students receive the least instructional time of any children in Monroe County, but they need and deserve the most, the letter said. Educational field trips however, are still allowed Vargas said. I am a firm believer in exposing students to places and experiences that enhance their understanding and advance instructional goals, the letter said. The letter further explained that though this directive was given last year, Vargas realizes that it failed to be implemented throughout the district and apologizes to the parents, students and teachers who had previous plans for amusement park trips. He offers his support to reschedule trips, as long as theyre not during school hours. We are implementing plans to expand

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas the school day and improve student achievement. But until those plans are a success, we must view instructional time as the precious commodity it is. We must have compelling reasons to use school time for any purpose that does not advance learning, the letter said. Vargas said he understands that some parents, students and teachers may be upset with his decision but he will stand firmly behind it. Trips to amusement parks, however well intended or passionately desired, do not meet that standard. I know that my view is not popular, but I cannot change it. Simply put, I feel passionately that our students have no time to lose.

Take Back the Land Joins with Local Family To Fight Bank Eviction Order
By Delani Weaver

Local resident Renee Madison, Take Back the Land Rochester and other community supporters rallied Monday at Madisons home to demand that Fannie Mae withdraws the eviction of Renee Madison and her family from their bank foreclosed residence. Madison and her family have lived at her home on Brooks Avenue for 17 years and are looking to buy the house back from Federal National Mortgage Association, Fannie Mae, who bought the home at auction. However, the two have not worked out a settlement. Madison said Fannie Mae sent the Rochester City Marshal to her home and delivered a 72 hour eviction notice on June 3. Madison sent a letter to Fannie Mae requesting more time to pay off the home. Madison said she isnt leaving her home. We have no plans to leave our longtime home, Madison said. Fannie Mae doesnt need another home.

In the letter she explains that her mother was the original owner of the home and took out a mortgage with GMAC Mortgage in 2006. Without our knowledge GMAC transferred the mortgage to MERS and then my understanding is that the mortgage was illegally robo-signed over to NationStar. Despite this, NationStar took over the mortgage and fraudulently foreclosed on my family, the letter said. After the passing of her mother in 2007, Madison said the family fell behind on the payments and she subsequently was diagnosed with Graves disease, lupus and episcleritis. Madison said her family is requesting that Fannie Mae immediately stay the eviction and so her family has time to buy the house back. NationStar aggressively foreclosed on my family. In the foreclosure they were represented by the disgraced foreclosure mill Steven J. Baum.

Because Baums unethical foreclosure practices, the firm was shut down. Yet the foreclosure continued even though I never got a notice who the new lawyers for the bank were. The next thing I knew my house was going up for auction in September 2012. When I got that notice I contacted the bank and they said it was too late to negotiate and Fannie Mae bought my house at the auction, the letter said. Steven J. Baum PC was the largest foreclosure law firm in New York State until it was shut down last year by the state, over mishandlings in its legal work. They settled with the state for $4 million. Madison said that Fannie Mae was bailed out of their money troubles by government funds and have not repaid all the funds given. She said she isnt asking to be bailed out, she asking for time. Madison said her 12 year old daughter answered the phone when then marshal delivered the eviction notice

and now her daughter is terrified that she may be kicked out of her home. No child should have to be put through this. There is no need to rush the eviction and displace my family and leave another home vacant in my neighborhood. We have no place to go. Weve seen what youve done to my neighborhood. It never should have gotten this far in the first place.

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LOCAL
Rochester Womens Giving Circle Awards $132,000 in Grants to Support Women and Girls
By Delani Weaver

The Rochester Womens Giving Circle, an advised fund of Rochester Area Community Foundation, is awarding $132,000 in grants to 11 local nonprofit organizations and programs that support women and girls Thursday June 13th at the Staybridge Suite. This event is formal and includes a celebration breakfast. Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $22,000 for a variety of programs that promote economic independence for women. The Giving Circles mission is to help women and girls who may have been through crises, such as substance abuse or domestic violence, but are not presently in crisis. Being able to grant more than $463,352 in six years has been an exciting journey for our members and for the women and girls supported by our grants, said Paula Carter and Shirley King, co-chairs of the Giving Circle and two of its five founders. In addition to awarding grants, the Giving Circle also provides other

benefits to members. A big part of the appeal is that we are a learning community, providing members with opportunities to attend educational sessions with community leaders to learn more about the barriers facing those we seek to help, says Emily Neece, co-chair of the groups Education Committee. We become better stewards of our funds and are able to target organizations that have the greatest impact on removing those obstacles. The Giving Circle was formed in June 2007 by King, Carter, Ellen Bevan, Amy Irish and Alyce Van Patten and now has more than 100 members. Every member makes an annual donation of at least $1,000 and has the opportunity to participate in the grant-making process. The dollar-in/dollar-out philosophy of the Giving Circle means that donations made in any one year are available for distribution that year via grants. The following agencies will receive

Giving Circle grants: $8,500 to the American Association of University Womens Women Helping Girls Envision Experience Program. This mentoring program for high-risk girls beginning in 7th grade, encourages girls to make positive choices, finish high school, and continue education or enter the workforce. $5,000 to the Borinquen Dance Theatre, who helps at-risk young people to complete high school and pursue further education. It helps participants build the desire to succeed through the discipline of dance and after school programs. $10,000 to the Catholic Family Centers Healthy Sisters Soup and Bean Works who provides basic job skills and supportive work experience to women to improve their work readiness through a nonprofit business, which produces, markets and distributes hand packed bean, soup and rice mixes. $15,000 to the Empire Justice Centers Creating Assets, Savings and Hope Program (CASH). This program provides financial literacy training and coaching for 30 low-income working women in Monroe County. The women set their own goals, change day-to-day financial habits, attend financial presentations and peer meetings, and take financial tests. $20,000 to the Judicial Process Commissions Womens Legal Action Project and Support Services program who works with 85 ex-offenders who have stabilized their lives to help them overcome barriers to employment. Clients participate in a weekly support group and are referred to mentoring and vocational training services. $5,000 to the Safe Journeys Survivor Transition Program. It serves victims of domestic violence primarily from the suburbs who are often not eligible for public services and have been financially dependent on their abuser A counselor works with clients to develop and manage a budget, restore and maintain good credit, and set appropriate financial goals. A qualified volunteer mentor works with each participant as they continue on the path to financial independence. $10,000 to the St. Josephs Neighborhood Centers Women on the

Move Program: This program helps up to 15 women improve their economic and personal self-sufficiency through an intense nine-month program of education, individual and group coaching, and weekly group support. Each participant is the head of a household, has a high school diploma or GED, is employed at one or more jobs paying below living wage, or is in school. The program includes weekly workshops and community activities. $5,000 to the Sisters Together Achieving Results. STAR works with high school age girls with biweekly group meetings, mentoring, community service activities and preparation for an annual cotillion. $19,000 to the Society for the Protection and Care of Childrens Teen Age Parents Support Services: TAPSS combines individual case management and counseling for 15 pregnant and/ or parenting young women ages 14 to 21. It focuses on job/employment readiness training, educational advocacy, job mentoring, subsidized work experiences, job coaching, and parenting education. $11,500 to the Sojourner House at PathStone Corporations Henrietta Hammond Institute for Life Skills. It provides women education and training on finances, employment, responsible parenting, healthy practices, and positive peer relationships. $20,000 to the YWCA School Age Parents Programs College Readiness Program: This program will provide dedicated case manager support for 75 pregnant and parenting young mothers to focus on preparing for high school graduation, college entrance, vocational training, or employment. It includes support for 10 mothers on site at Monroe Community College.

James Madison High school Alumni Planning Red Carpet Celebration


By Delani Weaver

LOCAL

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PUZZLES

The alumni of James Madison High School in Rochester has decided its time to remember their high school. There have been smaller reunions for a particular year, but the James Madison High School Family Reunion committee says they plan to bring the reunion to another level. The purpose of this event is to bring together everyone that ever attended or graduated from Madison. We want to show that our school is not forgotten, even though it was torn down. Instead of meeting at a funeral or when something bad happens, we getting together for a good thing, said Anita Swift Meyers, Madison graduate and facilitator for the reunion. The alumni will walk down the red carpet to celebrate their heritage for the James Madison High School Family Reunion celebration on July 5th thru 6th at the downtown Radisson Hotel and the Rochester Convention Center. The committee wants to bring everyone together for one common cause, showing that the success of Madisonians still holds in their hearts a dedication and loyalty to the alma mater that was so successful in producing who they are. From lawyers to social workers, stockbrokers to publishers, professional athletes to movie actors, they are the products of James Madison High School and very proud of it. Generations of families have attended

James Madison high school but the alumni wants to bring everyone together to reminisce on the great times, the difficult times and the times spent determining their lifes course as they prepared to move on to the next phase of their lives. Unfortunately for them, Madison High school was eventually torn down and so the generations who were attending ceased. Consisting of business owners, social workers, corporate managers, political affiliates, and blue collar workers, the committees goal is to have the largest high school family reunion Rochester has ever known. James Madison High School was torn down in 1981. Rochester Early College International High School, also known as Little Wilson, stands in its place now.

James Madison High School

STATE
the papers to trigger a conference while continuing to assess interest, fees and penalties. The suit would require HSBC to waive those later charges. Schneiderman says lenders are brazenly ignoring state law, citing nearly 300 HSBC cases in four counties. He says hell also sue other lenders. HSBC did not initially respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

NY Attorney General Sues HSBC Over Foreclosures


New Yorks attorney general is suing HSBC Bank USA and HSBC Mortgage Corp. claiming theyre failing to set timely foreclosure settlement conferences required by state law. The law says mortgage lenders who sue to foreclose on residential homeowners will request courtsupervised intervention and attend a settlement conference on possible loan modifications within 60 days. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says about 25,000 foreclosure cases statewide have languished for months because lenders have delayed filing

Across 1. Drop 4. Previously 7. Visited 10. French way 11. Black color 14. C.E.O.s degree 15. Dependence 17. Musicians asset 18. 1973 Supreme Court decision name 19. Matinee hero 21. Home ____ 24. Nonstick pan 27. Farm team 28. Greenery 29. Yes, ___! 30. Bake eggs 32. Tear 33. One who leaves prison without permission 35. Sparkling wine 36. Daze 37. Monopoly purchase 38. Formal accessory 39. Hilo garland 40. O.K. 42. In between liquid and solid 47. ___ Maria 48. Decree 49. Protein source 50. Fuse 51. ESPN sportscaster 52. Compass direction

Down 1. Great time 2. Larry __ Melman 3. Growing area 4. Necktie 5. Entry point 6. Kimono sash 7. Be suspicious (3 words) 8. Lawyers org. for short 9. Combat 12. Stand about idly 13. Make lovable 16. Clothes presser 20. Not edible any more 21. Medical quantities 22. Subsist 23. Tapped firmly 25. Pointed arch 26. Kathmandus land 28. Story 30. Partner 31. Crowded 34. Likely 35. Spring 37. Trash bag, brand name 39. Human parasites 40. Pilots problem 41. Apple picker 43. Thanks a ___! 44. Bring to bear 45. Kind of chamber 46. Salon job

ADOPT
Birth Date: April, 1996

*Answers on page 13

www.MINORITYREPORTER.net Facebook: search Minority reporter

, better known as Marv, is a positive, quiet young man. He has been faced with many challenges in his life and is currently working to overcome these obstacles. Marv is a quiet and introverted child, but is very loving and aims to please. He enjoys listening and dancing to music. He is not a big sports fan, but enjoys the arts. In 9th grade, he also likes writing. Marvs dream for the future is to become a productive, contributing citizen. Marvalyon identifies as gay and would prefer a same sex couple. He is open to adoption and needs a family who will make a positive connection with him until he is ready to transition into their home.
If youre interested in learning more about Marvalyon or other waiting children, visit: www.ChildrenAwaitingParents.org or call 585-232-5110.

Marvalyon

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GO GET YOUR MONEY!


Over $41 Million in Unclaimed Funds in Rochester May Be Yours
Have you ever quit a job and never went back to get your last paycheck? Or moved without getting your utility deposit refund? When things like this happen, your money will be turned over to the state. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, is seeking to return $12 billion in unclaimed money to residents across New York State. Reports show that Rochester has over $41 million in unclaimed money in over 108,556 accounts. There is $12 billion in unclaimed funds that needs to be returned to its rightful owners, said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Residents from across the state should check our website to see if they have any unclaimed money waiting for them. Every dollar matters in this economy.

COVER STORY

By Delani Weaver

and other inactive holdings over to the state. Before the money is turned over to the state, these companies must try to notify you by mail and are required to publish newspaper listings of names and addresses. If after a certain amount of time, usually between two and five years, an account is inactive, the money is considered abandoned or unclaimed. New York State holds unclaimed funds with the state comptroller who acts as a guardian for the money until it is claimed by the owner or the beneficiary. New York State never claims ownership of the money. It is held for you until you claim it.

Underage Drinking is not a minor problem


Prom and graduation are important events in the lives of young people.

Hosting parties for teens where alcohol is available can be costly for everyone involved. It is illegal, unsafe, and unhealthy for anyone under age 21 to drink alcohol. Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Dont be a party to teenage drinking.

Unclaimed Funds is lost Based on the researched pulled by the comptrollers office, there are 22 or forgotten money zip codes in Rochester with unclaimed funds ranging from $117,088.98 to that is turned over to over $3.4 million. the state comptroller. The top five area zip codes for unclaimed accounts are: The money can come from old bank accounts, 14609: $3,486,195.63 insurance checks and 14618: $3,145,790.08 more. 14621: $2,863,562.64 Banks, utilities, insurance companies and other businesses are required by 14620: $2,728,566.55 law to turn inactive stock dividends, savings accounts, unclaimed insurance 14610: $2,409,352.39

For more information visit our website at

www.ncadd-ra.org/parentswhohost
or call (585) 719-3489

DEPAUL

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence


Rochester Area

COVER STORY

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The office of unclaimed funds frequently partners with legislators, sends representatives to public events, and works with membership organizations to help spread the word about unclaimed funds. DiNapoli has prioritized reuniting New Yorkers with their lost money and as a result the office returns, on average, $1 million each day. There is no time limit to claim any funds you may be owed. Meaning, you can prove the money is yours at any time and have it returned to you without any fees or charges. However, outside of the state comptroller, some companies can charge you up to 15 percent. New York State returns, on average, $1 million a day. The comptrollers office said their records date back to the 1943. As long as someone can prove ownership, whether direct ownership or through family relations, such as a deceased relative, the money can be returned. Last year, approximately $314 million was returned, almost half were claims from banks. In 2008, over $4 million was returned to one individual. There

is $1.7 million for one person that is still unclaimed. There are different types of requirements for claims based upon the ownership status and the type of account. You can claim online or by mail. To see if you have unclaimed money, you can go to the state comptrollers website. It can take up to 3 months or more before you receive any funds. Currently, there are more than 25 million open accounts for individuals as well as municipalities and nonprofits across the state. The comptrollers office said this money is owed to the rightful owners and should be returned.

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12 www.minorityreporter.net | june 17 - 23| 2013

NATIONAL

Jury selection to begin for Zimmermans trial


George Zimmermans attorney doubts he will be able to find jurors who havent heard about the Trayvon Martin fatal shooting. He just wants to pick people who havent already made up their mind about the case. Jury selection begins Monday in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, Fla., the scene of massive protests by people who were angered that police waited 44 days before charging Zimmerman with second-degree murder. Other demonstrations were held around the country, and the case drew worldwide attention as it fanned a debate about race, equal justice under the law and gun control. There is no dispute Zimmerman shot an unarmed Martin, 17, during a fight on a rainy night in February 2012. Prosecutors will try to show the neighborhood watch volunteer racially profiled the black teenager, while Zimmermans attorney must convince jurors Zimmerman pulled his 9 mm handgun and fired a bullet into the high school students chest because he feared for his life. Zimmerman is charged with seconddegree murder. He says he shot Martin in self-defense. If convicted, Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, could get a life sentence. Under Florida law, Zimmerman, 29, could shoot Martin in self-defense if it was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm. His lead attorney, Mark OMara, has to be careful how he characterizes Martin, said Randy McClean, an Orlando-area defense attorney. Mr. OMaras challenge is to show Trayvon wasnt profiled, that Zimmerman either saw something that looked suspicious or something else that caused him to make contact with Trayvon. McClean and another Orlando defense attorney, David Hill, predicted prosecutors will attack Zimmerman as a frustrated, would-be police officer who had a chip on his shoulder. Zimmerman was employed at a mortgage risk management firm. He had studied criminal justice at a community college and had volunteered to run his communitys neighborhood watch program. The states narrative is going to be ... Zimmerman was a powerful neighborhood watchman, a wannabe officer who liked to use his authority, McClean said. The Feb. 26, 2012, confrontation began when Zimmerman spotted Martin, whom he did not recognize, walking in the Retreat at Twin Lakes, the gated townhome community where Zimmerman lived and the fiancee of Martins father also resided. There had been a rash of recent breakins at the Retreat, and Zimmerman was wary of strangers walking through the complex. He was well-known to police dispatchers for his regular calls reporting suspicious people and events. Martin was walking back from a convenience store after buying ice tea and Skittles. It was raining, and he was wearing a hoodie. Zimmerman called 911, got out of his vehicle and followed Martin behind the townhomes despite being told not to by a police dispatcher. These a-----s, they always get away, Zimmerman said on the call. Zimmerman, who had a concealed weapons permit, was armed. The two then got into a struggle. Zimmerman told police he had lost sight of Martin, and that Martin circled back and attacked him as he walked back to his truck. Prosecutors say he tracked down Martin and started the fight. Zimmerman told police Martin punched him in the nose, knocking him down, and then got on top of him and began banging Zimmermans head on the sidewalk. Photos taken after the fight show Zimmerman with a broken nose, bruises and bloody cuts on the back of his head. He said that when Martin spotted his gun holstered around his waist under his clothes, he said, You are going to die tonight. Zimmerman said he grabbed the gun first and fired. Martin died at the scene. Given the low visibility on the dark, rainy night of the shooting, few residents of the Retreat at Twin Lakes were able to give investigators a good description of what happened, and several offered conflicting accounts of who was on top of whom during the struggle. But 911 calls made by neighbors captured cries for help during the fight and then the gunshot. Martins parents say the cries for help were from their son, while Zimmermans father has testified they were from his son. Voice-recognition experts could play an important role in helping jurors decide who was screaming, provided they are allowed to testify. OMara had raised questions about whether such prosecution experts would mislead jurors and Circuit Judge Debra Nelson has yet to rule. The shooting received little initial attention, but that changed after Martins parents hired Benjamin Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney. He began complaining to the news media, accusing the police and prosecutors of letting the murderer of a black child go free, and contacting other civil rights leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, to get their support.
George Zimmerman, right, and attorney Don West

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Gov. Rick Scott appointed State Attorney Angela B. Corey from the nearby Jacksonville district to reexamine the case. She decided to charge Zimmerman. For the past year, Zimmerman has been free on $1 million bond and living in seclusion. OMara earlier decided not to invoke a stand your ground hearing in which a judge alone would decide whether to dismiss the case or allow it to proceed to trial. Its not clear whether Zimmerman will take the stand, but he has already testified in pretrial hearings. Another crucial witness will be a Miami-area female friend of Martins who was talking to the teen by cellphone as he was walking through the Retreat at Twin Lakes followed by Zimmerman. She says Martin told her during that conversation that someone was following him and that she also heard a brief exchange between him and someone before the phone was cut off. Martin was shot shortly afterward. But OMara already has called into question her credibility, accusing her of lying about missing Martins funeral because she was in the hospital. Prosecutors have refused to comment about the case outside the courtroom. Areas near the courthouse have been designated for expected protests. We want to make sure this trial is tried in a courtroom and not outside a courtroom, lead prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda said.

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NATIONAL
Michelle Obama was in rare form at a Democratic fund-raiser on Tuesday evening. Approximately halfway through her remarks at a home in Northwest Washington, she was interrupted by a woman who was at the front of the crowd shouting for gay rights, was escorted out by party supporters. A crowd of 200 people heard this woman shouting for President Obama to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Usually President Obama waits in place for the protester to stop and perhaps acknowledges the complaint due to him being accustomed to abrupt interruption, Mrs. Obama, chose an alternate route; direct confrontation. One of the things I dont do well is this, she said as she left the lectern and moved toward the heckler. The crowd began a loud applause. She said the protester could listen to me, or you can take the mic, but Im leaving. You all decide. You have one choice. One woman nearby was heard telling

13 www.minorityreporter.net | june 17 - 23 | 2013

First Lady Gets Face to Face With Heckler


the protester, You need to go! as the crowd yelled for Mrs. Obama to stay. Attendees escorted the protester out as she continued her rant and identifying herself as a lesbian looking for federal equality before I die. Ellen Sturtz was identified as the heckler by Heather Cronk, a co-director of GetEqual, a group that advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. So let me make the point that I was making before, Mrs. Obama said after Ms. Sturtz was led out. She continued with remarks in support of government policies beneficial to children, and urged the donors to stay politically engaged even in years without a presidential election. We cannot wait for the next presidential election to get fired up and ready to go, she said. We cannot wait. Right now, today, we have an obligation to stand up for those kids. Mrs. Obama actions at this event made it clear that she will not stand for interruptions or disrespect. First Lady Michelle Obama

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14 www.minorityreporter.net | june 17 - 23| 2013


STRAIGHTno chaser

OPINION/EDITORIAL
The late James Brown may have been the hardest working man in show biz but Ernest Flagler, candidate for Rochester City School District School Board Commissioner, out-works the best of them. learning for those who choose not to go to college, but still recognize the need for employable skills. Track three will focus on preparing students who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs, and those with a desire to start their own businesses and/or work for themselves. In addition, Ernest is concerned with the mentalhealth issues affecting our children and families today. He also recognizes that the mental health of staff needs to be a consideration at times. And that concern, from where I sit, is one that the powers at be like to sweep under the rug and act like it doesnt exist. Ernest does not believe it will take 50 years to fix our broken school system, as others have suggested. He knows our children will not have a future if we dont stand together now and elect people who have a clear vested interest in the office to which they are elected. I doubt any of his children will attend a private school paid for with money he earns as an RCSD commissioner. Ernest Flagler, as I indicated the last time he ran, is a spiritually-grounded, God-fearing man whose time has definitely come. And his wife, Keia Flagler, comes closer to being Michelle Obama than most political wives. She is not only out there pounding the pavement and knocking on doors like her husband, her fish and chicken dinners are a staple for raising much-needed funds. (Lawd, have mercy, that woman can fry some chicken.) It seems that Ernest Flagler and his wife have not only a religious union; they both have a much-needed passion for education. Hes also a visionary and a reformer. As far as Im concerned, I dont know if it is intentional or not; but he is smart to run a campaign free of alignment and slates. His candidacy and agenda stand alone. To me, that is more than a smart move. Who would believe he is a reformer if he is aligned with the mistakes of the past?

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

Ernest Flagler : The Hardest Working Man in Show Biz


Personally, I refuse to support any incumbents this year. I have lots of reasons. Mainly, I see them all as part of the problem, and contributors to the consistent failures in our school district. They all need to be replaced with fresh, new ideas and energy that just might put the RCSD back on track. So, since we have not succeeded in dismantling the school board like it should be, then fresh is what I see; and Im lending my support not only to Ernest but to Donald Hardaway and Candice Lucas as well. I dont know when the RCSD contracts are up, but it is my hope that another contract will not be signed. What the superintendent did last week was more than two-faced to me because he clearly forgot where his support to become supervisor came from when his detractors had him by his throat. How do you spell disloyalty? Bolgen Vargas, thats how!! Hopefully you are paying attention and reading my words with interest, as you contemplate exactly who you are going to vote for this time around. There are three RCSD commissioner seats open. Make sure Ernest Flagler is seated in one of them. If you arent tired and think the current school board commissioners are on task, then you are hardly seeking the answers needed to reform a dire system. But, if you are seriously tired of the status quo and watching people continue to get paid for failing our children, then a vote for Ernest Flagler would be the right thing to do. He is working hard for our support and we need his honest approach to the problems in the RCSD. Ernest Flagler: The hardest working man in show biz deserves your vote. Lets do this!!
---------------------------------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

If he does not win this time out, it wont be because folks dont know who he is. Some people GLORIA WINSTON AL-SARAG believe elections are won with slick T.V. ads and literature, but a few elections are won the old-fashioned way, by knocking on doors and getting in potential voters faces. Ernest Flagler is a mans man, a fathers father. Hes also a loving husband and grandpa. He and his beautiful wife, Keia, are parents to eight children, all of whom are attending or have attended the RCSD. If having eight children doesnt give an indication of the vested interest he has in the RCSD as a parent, then what does? He clearly understands the importance of a good education. As stated in his campaign literature, When an emergency arises and the bell rings, you can be sure that Ernest will be there. With the crisis in our schools and the uncertainty of our educational system, you can trust that he will take swift action to ensure a brighter future for our children. Ernest is also a 15-year-veteran of the Rochester Fire Department, and has major concerns about the nine percent graduation rate among local African American males and the 11 percent graduation rate for Hispanic males. As a result, he plans to introduce a three-track system for our teens. Track one will feature a curriculum that will help ensure our teens are college-bound when they complete their requirements for high school graduation. Track two will focus on skill-based

On Fathers Day: These Super Dads Defy the Statistics


By Hazel Trice Edney (TriceEdneyWire.com) We hear the statistics all too often. Currently, only 28 percent of Black youth have their fathers in the home. In 1920, it was 90 percent and in 1960 it was 80 percent. Those are the stats recently quoted by Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, a foremost expert on the rearing of African-American children; especially boys. He boldly asserts: I believe one of the greatest problems facing the Black community is fatherlessness. Plenty of other national experts back him up, pointing to multiple social ills as evidence of the dire need for fathers in the home. Even President Obama has focused on this issue when speaking to Black audiences. But, thats not what this story is about. On Fathers Day, June 16, 2013, millions of Black fathers, stepfathers, uncles, mentors, big brothers, relatives and father figures will be celebrated and appreciated because of their powerful and positive influence on their children every day. Some will even be given, well, super dad status. Meet Martin Smith, a wealth planner and investment advisor who resides in Bowie, Md. He gives his view on the most important aspect of fatherhood: I think legacy and having the privilege and the honor to raise children and to have them develop into who God has called them uniquely to be, he says. All of them are totally different from one another. And so it really stretches you to see how you have to nurture them. Smith should know. He and his wife, Walida, have seven children - six girls ages 18, 16, 11, 9, 8, and 5 and one boy, 13. In my case seven different personalities, he chuckles, speaking from a cell phone as the entire family enjoys a road trip from Bowie to the San Diego, California area to visit family and tour colleges. Were trying to get them exposed now, start them thinking about it early. Along the way, they had stopped in to visit longtime friends, Marlon and Rosalind Brooks of Houston, Texas. The Brooks also have a large family five children - including four boys ages 14, 10, 8, and 4, and one girl, 12. Marlon Brooks tells his strategy for fatherhood: Its hard to give them equal attention, but you have to give them attention as if you were wanting attention yourself, he says. Youve got to manage the kids, youve got to manage time with your wife; youve got to manage taking care of the house, youve got to manage making sure that youre going to provide for them and sometimes in the midst of all of that you just dont want to be bothered, he chuckled. But, even then, Ive got to make sure that Im a good steward over the emotions of all of the kids. The owners of a 4-year-old food service operation, Brooks Family Barbecue, the Brooks are about to take on yet another venture in Houston. They are opening a full service restaurant in July. Thats coupled with Mrs. Brooks full time job as an ROTC instructor. They say balancing their careers and caring for the children can only be done as a team. Even on a daily basis we pretty much divide everything up, she said, with a special emphasis on their education. He and I spend equal time at the school. They know him just like they know me as far as the teachers and the administrators. When it comes to discipline, the retired U. S. Navy Commander says she is the strict one. Im kind of hard-nosed when it comes to certain things. She recalls how the children think, Mom says we cant do this, but Dad might find a way for us to be able to work it out. I think when God called us together, he just knew these different temperaments we had. And were just a good balance.

OPINION/EDITORIAL
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

15 www.minorityreporter.net | june 17 - 23 | 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.

The Future is Before You


As I write this article this week the ending of another school year is upon us. Young folks are moving from one grade to another, while others are moving from high school to college and others are moving from college to life. This is an exciting time for all involved and as a parent I C. MICHAEL VAUGHN can say that it is enjoyable to see the children completing another year of learning and growing. In our ministry we have been dealing with purpose and that is what I want to share with you this week. It is my belief, from what I read in scripture and what I know about God, that everybody is created with purpose and is full of potential. The sad thing is because of what may have happened in a persons life they may never realize that purpose. God has created you to have impact in your generation and I know that with all of the negative talk that goes on around our country that it seems as though there is no hope. However, that is very far from the truth. There are a lot of possibilities in this country of ours, the United States of America. I am concerned about the moral decay, the fiscal ineptness of our national leaders, the attack on social institutions, such as the family and the church. However, this is still the greatest nation on earth. And I believe that with God on the throne and with at least a remnant of people praying and living according to the principles of the bible, this nation will always have the blessing of God upon it. They should not look to the government to take care of them, they should not be focused on having the cutest boyfriend or girlfriend, they should not be looking to have the latest, most expensive wardrobe, and they do not need to be the best texter or instantmessager on the planet. We need to encourage them to be who God has made them and that if they work hard towards that goal, they will be the better for it and society will benefit. They are not defined by society but by their creator and he says they are wonderful. We can get caught up in the issues of the day and forget that there is so much good going on in this nation. We have to make sure that we show our young folks a brighter future. When they are presented with possibilities, options and challenge, they will arise and achieve what is on the inside of them. We have to deal with the issues of the day but they do not need to consume us to the point where issues and problems are all we talk about. Lets paint a picture of possibility for our young people, point them to it and challenge them to make it a reality. Then root for them to achieve above and beyond our wildest expectations.

In this time of excitement for our young people we need to encourage them to be all that they were intended to be, to discover and walk out their purpose in their lives. They need to realize that the sky is the limit and that they can accomplish anything they are purposed to do and will put their mind to. We should encourage them to surpass our achievements. Give them a high bar to shoot for and lift and support them to reach that bar. We do not want to be selfish and scared and therefore hold them back. Whether or not they are off to pursue their career, start college or just move from one grade to another, they need to know that even in the midst of the ills that our society faces, they can do even better than we have done. We do not want to dim their light or squash their excitement. We need to stir the gift of God on the inside of them and challenge them to become all that they were put in the earths realm to be.

On Fathers Day...from previous page


Walida Smith, a working mother of seven children, says she admires her husbands commitment to their spiritual growth above anything else. Thats like the first and foremost concern, she said. In that regard, Martin Smith says one of his favorite family group activities is Bible Study. He has temporarily set aside his pursuit of a Master of Divinity degree while completing a Masters of Real Estate Finance at Georgetown University, which he says will enhance his services at Wealth Care Financial Group Inc. of which he is owner, president and chief executive officer. Despite their jam-packed schedules, both couples say finding time for each other and nurturing their own relationships are keys to good parenting. You make time, says Mrs. Smith, who works as director of Publications and Resources for the Skinner Leadership Institute based in Tracys Landing, Md. We have teenagers. The older ones are taught how to take care of the younger ones so that [we] are able to do that. And then we live near family and have family available so that makes a difference. The main ingredient is sacrificing for each other even if its a constant struggle, says Marlon Brooks. We date. Thats very important. We spend time as husband and wife, but sometimes we need to spend time together as friends. And when we spend time together as friends we kind of talk about the needs of the kids and each others needs, he says. Every time we do that for each other I feel like the Lord meets our needs.

All for one, and one for all

16 www.minorityreporter.net | june 17 - 23| 2013