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december 9 - 15, 2013

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LOCAL
Anthony House Announces Annual Birthday Luncheon Speaker
The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House recently announced its keynote speaker for the next Annual Susan B. Anthony Birthday Luncheon will be author, lecturer and historian Louise W. Knight. The luncheon will be held Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Anthony House president and CEO Deborah L. Hughes said the theme of the 2014 luncheon is Up and Doing. She said its a subject Knight knows well, as she is the author of two biographies on Jane Addams, a prominent late 19th-century and early 20th-century activist who worked to change public perception and attitudes about women. A friend of Susan B. Anthony, Addams is perhaps best known as the cofounder of Hull House, the nations first settlement house. Knight said she will focus on Addams and Anthonys ideas about democracy, and how each of them put those ideas into action; up and doing, for the causes they held dear. In addition to her Addams biographies, Knights writing has been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, and on the Womens Media Center website. She is also currently working on a book about 1830s womens rights advocates and abolitionists Angelina and Sarah Grimke. Knight had been a featured lecturer at the Chautauqua Institute last summer. The Susan B. Anthony Birthday Luncheon is held each year in mid-February to celebrate Susan B. Anthonys Feb. 15 birthday, to honor contemporary women who continue her legacy, and to raise awareness around the education and inspiration programs that take place at the National Historic Landmark on Madison St. Susan B. Anthony

Charges Dropped Against Three Teenagers Arrested While Waiting for Bus
Recently, the violence that has been happening in downtown Rochester has caused police officers to begin arresting young adults on a regular basis; in this case, even if they are just waiting to ride the bus. Three African-American teenagers will have charges of two counts of disorderly conduct against them dropped after they said they were only waiting to catch a bus downtown last Friday morning. After reviewing the facts associated with these arrests, I have decided to dismiss the charges in the interest of justice, said District Attorney Sandra Doorley in a statement Tuesday. Seventeen-year-old Deaquon Carelock, and 16-year-olds Raliek Redd and WanTauhjs Weathers, all basketball players, said they were waiting for a bus to take them to a scrimmage when police asked them to leave the area. They told the police officer, who subsequently arrested them; they were simply following directions from their coach. We tried to tell them that we were waiting for the bus, Weathers said. We werent catching a city bus; we were catching a yellow bus. He didnt care. He arrested us anyways. The police department emailed a statement saying the young men were arrested at 8:43 a.m. by a police officer assigned to a post at N. Clinton Ave. and E. Main St. (The officer)observed a group of individuals congregating on the sidewalk in front of store on East Main St., obstructing pedestrian traffic, and the entrance to the store. RPD had received prior complaints from the proprietor of the store about persons loitering in front of the store, making it difficult for persons to enter and exit, and about fights in front of the store. The officer gave several orders to the individuals to disperse, but they did not comply with these orders. As a result, three persons were arrested for disorderly conduct, for obstructing pedestrian traffic, and for congregating with other persons in a public place and refusing to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse. Carelock said he told the police to believe them. When we were all in handcuffs, he looked through our bags and seen all our basketball stuff, so you know were not lying, Carelock stated. Were all not down there with basketball stuff, just chilling. Police Chief Sheppard, who recently announced his plan to retire at the end of the year, said he believes the arrests are justifiable, and there is possibly more information behind the reasoning of the arrests. He said, however, he does respect Doorleys decision not to prosecute the young athletes. Several community residents, leaders and officials have lent their support to the young athletes including Rochester school board members, parents and the boys coach. Im very concerned about a pattern of young people, especially young people of color, being mis abused by police authority, Rochester City School Board Member Mary Adams said to WHEC. Jacob Scott, the athletes coach, said he tried to explain to the police officer that the boys were doing as he had told them, however they were still arrested. Scott also said all young men downtown are not there loitering or starting trouble. Newly-elected Mayor Lovely Warren said she isnt sure what happened, but she wonders why the police officer made no effort to confirm the teenagers story before they were arrested.

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4 www.minorityreporter.net |DECEMBER 9 - 15 | 2013

LOCAL

Mayor Richards Says No to Monroe County 2014 Budget Proposal


Rochesters Republican County Executive Maggie Brooks proposed 2014 budget did not sit well with Democratic Mayor Thomas Richards. Richards sent a letter to Brooks and both the majority and minority members of the Monroe County Legislature Wednesday, expressing his concern and criticism of the budget. He said it would cost taxpayers an extra $2.5 million overall. The 2014 proposed county budget imposes several new or enhanced service charges on the city of Rochester that would negatively impact the citys 2014-15 budget and subsequent budgets by $2.5 million annually, Richards wrote. Richards said the goal of the budget is to keep the county property tax rate below the 2004 rate. However, if Brooks plan is implemented, a 1.5 percent increase in property taxes for city residents would be the result, he stated. Richards said taxpayers cannot afford the increase. By adding and increasing the chargeback amounts for already contracted and agreed-to services being provided to city residents, the countyin effectis raising taxes on city residents and businesses, the Monroe County taxpayers least able to afford this additional tax burden, he stated. Richards said not only will property taxes be raised for residents and business, but they will also be raised for city operations. Under Brooks proposal, the city would be required to pay the Rochester City School District $119.1 million. In addition, adjustments that will need to be made due to Brooks budget plan will also cause a 5.2 percent increase in taxes for city operations. Such unilateral changes cannot be justified in light of the existing agreements, the long-established public policy reflected in those agreements, and the unfair and discriminatory impact on city taxpayers, Richards wrote. Mayor Richards also stated that he believes the city of Rochester is being seen more and more as an entity separate and apart from Monroe County. I want to underscore these city residents and businesses are also county residents and businesses, he stated. Furthermore, city residents and businesses not only pay full county taxes; they also pay the highest percentage of Monroe Countyimposed service charges over and above of their county tax burden. The budget also proposes doubling the citys charges for prisoners waiting to be arraigned at the County Jail from $1 million to $2.1 million annually, even though there is an inter-municipal agreement between the city and the county for this charge.

Thomas Richards planning in the County of Monroe, the city of Rochester, and all of the towns and villages within the county. In addition, The city agreed to this change by Ordinance No. 1971-363 and discontinued its traffic engineering services in reliance on the county action, he stated. The county and the city entered into an agreement dated July 1, 1971 in which the county indemnified the city for such services. This agreement remains in effect. The County Charter, in Section C6-19B (1) and (3), also provides that these services in the county are the responsibility of the County Department of Transportation. Richards said the city and the county have been able to successfully cooperate in other areas and he hopes that it can continue without the new changes. Thursday, the County Legislatures Ways and Means committee will hold a hearing on the budget proposal at 5:30 p.m. in the County Office Building.

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The County Legislature has approved the renewal of this agreement for the amount of $1 million in Resolution No. 262 of 2012, Richards stated. The city clearly has been correct to rely on the continuation of these services at the agreed upon amount for 2014. The county has also proposed an annual charge of almost $1.4 million to the city for traffic signals, sign services and traffic engineering. This again, goes against an agreement between the city and county, he stated. The city provided these services on city streets until 1971, said Richards. At that time, the city and the county agreed that the county would assume these duties. By Resolution No. 269 of 1971, the county created its own Bureau of Traffic Engineering to be responsible for all phases of traffic engineering and transportation

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STATE

Newtown 911 dispatcher urged callers to take cover


JACK GILLUM and MICHAEL MELIA HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Recordings released Wednesday of 911 calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting show town dispatchers urged panicked callers to take cover, mobilized help and asked about the welfare of the children as the boom of gunfire could be heard at times in the background. One caller told police in a trembling, breathless voice that a gunman was shooting inside the building. I caught a glimpse of somebody. Theyre running down the hallway. Oh, theyre still running and still shooting. Sandy Hook school, please, the woman said. In the minutes that followed, staff members inside the school pleaded for help as Newtown police juggled the barrage of calls. The calls were posted on the towns website under a court order after a lengthy effort by The Associated Press to have them released for review. An unidentified teacher called from a classroom to the left of the front entrance to report what sounded like gunshots in the hall. She said she was in the room with all her students and hadnt yet locked the door. Keep everybody calm, keep everybody down, get everybody away from windows, OK, the dispatcher said. Another woman, who was shot in the foot, reported that she was in a classroom with children and two other adults, but that there was no way to safely lock the door. The dispatcher told her to apply pressure to the wound. One of the first calls came from a custodian, Rick Thorne, who said that a window at the front of the school was shattered and that he kept hearing shooting. While on the line with Thorne, the dispatcher told somebody off the call: Get everyone you can going down there. Thorne remained on the phone for several minutes. Theres still shooting going on, please! the custodian pleaded to a Newtown 911 dispatcher as six or seven shots could be heard in the background. Still, its still going on! The gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, shot his way into the school the morning of Dec. 14 and killed 20 children and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle. He also killed his mother in their Newtown home before driving to the school. Newtown police officers arrived at the school within four minutes of the first 911 call, but nearly six minutes passed before they entered the building as they sorted out concerns over a possible second shooter, according to a prosecutors report issued last week. Its not clear whether the delay made a difference because Lanza killed himself one minute after the first officer arrived on the scene, according to the report. In one of the recordings released Wednesday, dispatchers were heard making calls to Connecticut state police that apparently rang unanswered. One of the three unanswered calls rang for at least 50 seconds. State police picked up on a fourth call. But state police had already been dispatched to the school by the time those calls were made, according to a timeline and call log supplied by Newtown officials. In all, seven recordings of landline calls from inside the school to Newtown police were posted Wednesday. Calls that were routed to state police are the subject of a separate, pending freedom of information request by the AP. Prosecutors opposed the tapes release, arguing among other things that the recordings could cause the victims families more anguish. We all understand why some people have strong feelings about the release of these tapes. This was a horrible crime, said Kathleen Carroll, AP executive editor and senior vice president. Its important to remember, though, that 911 tapes, like other police documents, are public records. Reviewing them is a part of normal newsgathering in a responsible news organization. As the town prepared to release the recordings, the superintendent of Newtown schools, John Reed, advised parents to consider limiting their families exposure to the media. On the day of the shooting, the AP requested 911 calls and police reports, as it and other news organizations routinely do in their newsgathering. Newtowns police department effectively ignored the APs request for months until the news cooperative appealed to the states Freedom of Information Commission, which said in September that the recordings should be released. The prosecutor in charge of the Newtown investigation, States Attorney Stephen Sedensky III, had argued that releasing the tapes could cause pain for the victims families, hurt the investigation, subject witnesses to harassment and violate the rights of survivors who deserve special protection as victims of child abuse. A state judge dismissed those arguments last week and ordered the tapes be released Wednesday unless the state appealed. Release of the audio recordings will also allow the public to consider and weigh what improvements, if any, should be made to law enforcements response to such incidents, Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott said. Delaying the release of the audio recordings, particularly where the legal justification to keep them confidential is lacking, only serves to fuel speculation about and undermine confidence in our law enforcement officials.

NY Legislature has the corruption problem


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is defending his corruption commissions focus on the Legislature rather than the executive branch, saying New Yorks long run of corruption cases involved lawmakers. But state Republican Chairman Ed Cox says that since 2008, Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in scandal and Democratic Gov. David Paterson paid a hefty fine for an ethics violation involving World Series tickets from the New York Yankees. In 2006, Democratic Comptroller Alan Hevesi resigned in disgrace amid state investigations. Cuomo referred to the Legislature when he told public radios Capitol Pressroom that we know where we have a problem. The interview Wednesday came a day after a member of the Moreland corruption commission said the panel appointed by Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman never probed those Democrats or their offices.

Universal shuts down Fast & Furious 7 production


JAKE COYLE NEW YORK (AP) - Universal Pictures has shut down production for a period of time on Fast & Furious 7 following the death of its star Paul Walker. The studio announced Wednesday that the film will shut down for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise. The seventh installment of the street racings series had begun shooting in September. When Walker died in a fiery car crash Saturday, the film was on break for the Thanksgiving holiday. Shooting had been planned to resume Monday in Atlanta, but production was put on hold following Walkers death. While much of Fast & Furious 7 has been filmed, it is far from complete. Universal is scheduled to release the film in July.

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6 www.minorityreporter.net |DECEMBER 9 - 15 | 2013

STATE
NY insurers predict spike in health exchange use
MICHAEL VIRTANEN ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Startup insurers in the New York health exchange say customer queries have been rising rapidly and they expect enrollment spikes with the new Dec. 23 deadline looming for coverage next year. The state reported 27,000 more applications completed and approved over the past week, bringing the total to 284,440. About one-third have enrolled in plans, 50,119 with the 16 commercial and nonprofit insurers and 40,984 in Medicaid, the Health Department said. At startup Oscar Health Insurance, co-founder Kevin Nazemi said hundreds of thousands of people have contacted the insurers website since the exchange opened Oct. 1 and that volume increases daily. He said the company expects enrollment spikes later this month and at the end of March. Were not releasing specific numbers quite yet in terms of the enrollment, but I can tell you that we are on track to exceed our year-one goals, Nazemi said. With a network of 35,000 doctors and 72 hospitals, Oscar offers insurance in New York City, Long Island, Rockland and Westchester counties, with monthly premiums ranging from $227 to $603 for an individual depending on coverage levels, deductibles and regions. Its telemedicine feature, using a company called Teladoc, is intended to give subscribers phone or online consults within 30 minutes with New York-based primary care practitioners who can access their medical records. If your babys crying at 10 oclock at night and want someone to talk through the issue with, you utilize it. Its not a replacement for your ongoing primary care relationship, Nazemi said. We modeled it such that you can engage as many times as you want. Its an unlimited feature. At nonprofit New York startup Health Republic Insurance, chief executive Debra Friedman said phone volume rose 27 percent in one week. She predicts rapid enrollment expansion over the next two weeks, approaching the Dec. 23 deadline for coverage starting immediately on Jan. 1, though open enrollments continue through March for 2014 coverage at rates approved by the state Department of Financial Services in July. Health Republic, with a network of 70,000 providers and more than 135 hospitals statewide, offers plans in 32 counties for individuals and small businesses. Like Oscar, it arranged providers through the MagnaCare network that many self-insured companies use. Its premiums range from $150 to $523 monthly for an individual and from $237 to $570 in small group plans. Membership enrollment to date and market share of individuals in the exchange, as well as phone volumes and website traffic, are up dramatically week over week, Friedman said. She declined to disclose total enrollment so far at the Co-Op, or consumer-operated and oriented plan, but said the exchange lets consumers compare prices for comparable products and Health Republics are among the lowest. Were well exceeding our market share, she said. A third startup in the exchange, Northshore-LIJ CareConnect Insurance, covers care through its affiliated system of 16 hospitals in Long Island, Queens, Staten Island

and Manhattan and more than 4,500 physicians and other providers. Its premiums range from $183 to $568 for an individual and from $467 to $747 in its small group plans. President Alan Murray said Thursday the numbers have grown rapidly and he expects that to continue the next few weeks, including small businesses. He declined to disclose enrollment so far except to say its in four digits. Were going to expect a spike in the next few weeks as we get close to the end of the year. I think that will spill over into next year, Murray said. As part of an integrated system that includes hospitals and doctors, he said Northshore-LIJ differs from the other insurers in New York and the market nationally. In the incredibly confusing world of health care, we have the ability to make it very, very simple. ... Its all

inside our company, he said. Many uninsured applicants are expected to qualify for income-based tax credits. Nazemi and Friedman noted significant interest in so-called silver plans, the second-highest coverage levels, where premiums could be offset by those credits. Consumers can also shop the networks for particular doctors or hospitals associated with a plan. The Health Department said it has reviewed each to ensure it meets the same adequacy standards required of health maintenance organizations in New York, while the state also requires covering out-of-network care with the same out-of-pocket cost if a member needs a provider unavailable in the network. That would apply, for example, to breast reconstruction surgery that nobody in the network performs.

NY uses radar to end wrong-way threat on Thruway


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Radar, flashy LED signs, and text alerts to drivers cellphones and local police are part of New Yorks new, high-tech effort to combat wrong-way crashes on the state Thruway. The system linked to Doppler radar and designed by Thruway Authority workers is being installed at the Buffalo exit at the Niagara Expressway, also known as Interstate 190. The second stage will be installed in Nyack, the site of several serious wrong-way crashes. More exits will soon get the systems along the 570-mile interstate highway. New York is the first state in the nation to utilize this sophisticated technology to enhance traffic safety and save lives, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told The Associated Press on Wednesday. State Police Superintendent Joseph A. DAmico said the technology will save lives. Doppler radar will be used to detect vehicles traveling the wrong way onto the Thruway. That will trigger a flashing LED sign to alert the driver and tell them to pull over and turn around when safe to do so. Other Thruway drivers will be alerted by other signs and the Thruways Statewide Operations Center will get an alert that can be shared with local police. The system was developed by Thruway engineer Steve Velicky and made by Fiberdyne Labs in Frankfort and by Herkimer Industries in central New York. Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the new alerts mesh with the existing texting alert system he said has been successful in alerting New Yorkers about traffic hazards. The new system doesnt allow drivers to violate the no-texting laws pushed by Cuomo. There were 17 fatalities in 15 accidents on the Thruway in 2012. Cuomo said last year was the safest year on the Thruway in its 59-year history.

PUZZLES

7 www.minorityreporter.net | DECEMBER 9 - 15 | 2013

ACROSS 1 Mushrooms 5 College degree 8 Floral arrangement 12 Related by blood 13 ESPN sportscaster, Bob 14 Slender instrument 15 Test 16 Fire starter 18 At last 20 Small intestine section 23 They are worked out by analysis 27 Unhappy 28 Acme 31 ___ deck 32 Summer month, abbr. 33 Rate 35 Leave dumbstruck 36 Middle east dweller 38 St. Louis landmark 39 Crime investigator (abbr.) 40 Sign of affection 42 Mideast leaders 44 The Descendants star, George 47 Trifling 50 Spin 54 Egg 55 Student-focused org., for short 56 Stir 57 Harp-family instrument 58 Juicer 59 Attractive guy

DOWN 1 Taxi 2 Barely make, with out 3 Set (against) 4 Screw-up 5 Scheme 6 Zeuss mate 7 Having trouble with words 8 Pay (2 words) 9 Eastern sash 10 Cry for assistance 11 Furthermore 17 Time-tested 19 Shiite leader 20 Stern with a bow 21 Mrs. Bush 22 First name in mystery 24 Ring-tailed animal 25 ___ of strength 26 Guidelines 29 Green appetizers (2 words) 30 Mess up 34 Shall I compare ____... 37 Turned into 41 Underhanded 43 Perfume ingredient 45 Able to see right through 46 Spic and span 47 Government figure, for short 48 Brown, e.g. 49 Unfriendly dog 51 Chit 52 Hullabaloo 53 Yellowstone creature

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 eld at 55 mph; F.Y.I. thats

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8 www.minorityreporter.net |DECEMBER 9 - 15 | 2013

COVER

By Lisa Dumas After fighting a decade-long battle against the Rochester City School District, which ultimately led to the termination of his employment, criminal charges, and a two-year stint in prison, Kerry Coleman may finally have his day in court. A five-judge panel in the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division overturned Colemans 2009 conviction of criminal contempt in the first degree in a unanimous decision on March 15, and since then hes filed a claim against Monroe County citing loss of liberty, pain and suffering, loss of wages and lost property. He is asking for $3.5 million in punitive damages and $4.5 million for pain and suffering in the lawsuit. Colemans original conviction, which was based upon his plea of guilt, stemmed from the alleged violation of an order of protection granted to then-RCSD Chief

of Staff to the Superintendent Kim Dyce-Faucette. Coleman spent from July 2009 to August 2011 in state prison, as a result of the charge. Hes also had an open federal civil rights lawsuit thats been pending against the district since 2007; and, now, a free man, he said he plans to amend the suit to include wrongful imprisonment. I have a claim against the county for illegal confinement, Coleman stated. And the school district, I had a lawsuit filed against them in 07. Im going to amend that lawsuit thats still on the books. Its still in limbo because I went to prison. In addition, he said, at the time of his arrest, the sole reason he pleaded guilty to the felony, was simply to go free. I said, The only reason why Im doing this [pleading guilty], is to get out of jail and find out where my

wife and daughter are, Coleman stated. In the end, the panels decision found, the defendants statements during the plea colloquy cast significant doubt upon his guilt with respect to the crime of criminal contempt in the first degree as charged in the superior court information. Additionally, the decision stated, It is hereby ordered that the judgment so appealed from is unanimously reversed on the law, the plea is vacated and the matter is remitted to Monroe County Court for further proceedings on the superior court information. But, although Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Matthew Dunham said he does believe Coleman committed a crime, when the matter came back to the Monroe County District Attorneys Office; due to the excessive amount of prison time Coleman had already served, he decided to dismiss the charges completely. My thing about it is that its certainly unfortunate that an error occurred, Dunham stated. I think he did commit a crime, but it was a misdemeanor not a felony. Its certainly an unfortunate error that he did spend more time incarcerated than he had to under the law. Unfortunately, we missed a key issue. His attorney missed it; the judge missed it. It was just a fine point in the law. We knew we couldnt proceed as a felony. He had been improperly charged, so we sent it back to the grand jury as a misdemeanor, and the grand jury dismissed it. And, because he served time, we thought the best thing to do was to have the charge dismissed. Coleman, a former paraprofessional in the RCSD, had developed a tumultuous relationship, at best, with Dyce-Faucette, the former principal at Franklin High School, beginning in 2001. She had terminated his employment on campus that school year, following a claim that he had been verbally abusive to a female student. Subsequent to the termination, Coleman said he continued to spar with Dyce-Faucette and the district from that point forward; which included a grueling arbitration process, as well as accusations of criminal trespassing and aggravated harassment, both additional charges filed by Dyce-Faucette. Nonetheless, Coleman said the other charges were successfully dismissed in both cases thanks to his lawyer at the time, Rochester civil rights attorney and present-day school board commissioner Van Henri White. White represented Coleman during his labor dispute with RCSD in the early 2000s, and for the two early charges filed by Dyce-Faucette. He also won a favorable outcome on Colemans behalf regarding his re-employment with the district. The arbitrator rendered a decision stating RCSD should reinstate Coleman to his position.

9 www.minorityreporter.net | DECEMBER 9 - 15 | 2013

COVER
However, RCSD refused, and decided to appeal the decision in New York State Supreme Court. It was this final move by the school district that led to Whites filing of the federal civil rights lawsuit on Colemans behalf. But, according to Coleman, after they filed the lawsuit, in a strange turn of events, White abruptly decided to drop the case. Van said he couldnt represent me because he got elected to the school board, he stated. And, once White became a school board member, Coleman said it seemed as though he had built an allegiance with the district, and may have even begun to work with the RCSD against him. According to Coleman, in the days preceding his arrest in 2009, it was White who advised him to go the school district offices to clear up an issue regarding his daughters enrollment in school; even though he knew Dyce-Faucette had an order of protection against him. Before I brought my child to the district office, I called Van, Coleman stated. He said, I talked to the district and I talked to legal, and they said its all fine. Van was my go-between, because he knew what Kim was doing to me, and I figured he was on my side. But they were trying to do this to me to make me drop this lawsuit. However, on the contrary, White said thats just not the case. He said, although he had experienced a certain amount of success in some of his early cases against the RCSD, in 2007 he simply decided to give notice to Coleman and several of his other clients because he felt he could make a bigger difference inside the district, rather than inside the courtroom. At some point, Im thinking, this isnt really working, White said. Yes, I have won some small amounts of money for people, and Ive had some success, but Im not really changing things systematically. I need to get into the belly of the beast and change things from the inside. So, I gave them all notice and, I said, Im running for the school board. White also said he never advised Coleman to go to the district offices to sign his daughter up for school, and certainly not while Dyce-Faucette had an order of protection in place. My refrain to him was constantly the same, White said. I said talk to your attorney. At the end of the day, White said not only had he represented Coleman on several occasions, but, largely, he had represented him at his own expense. In fact, he said he was the one who paid the filing fee for most of the cases he tried on Colemans behalf. My only response to that is, its so ironic, White stated. Ive probably spent tens of thousands of dollars in billable time, and now he thinks, 10 years later, I would conspire against him? Every time there was a conceivable case a person could have filed, I represented Kerry on it, except family court. The other irony here is that he wouldnt have a suit to amend if I didnt file that civil rights suit. Nothing that I have ever done has been to hurt Kerry. Ive done everything to help Kerry. I vehemently disagree with any charges he has provided. On the whole, Coleman said he is ready to proceed in spite of the fact he presently has no legal representation. And, due to his inability to afford an attorney, Coleman said he has filed the suit against the county on his own behalf. However, Coleman said he has recently been in talks with attorney Michael Cobbs at the law firm of Brown and Hutchinson, and expects to retain the lawyer sometime in the near future. Once I pay the fee to retain Mr. Cobbs, hes going to pick up everything, he said. But I had to fight it like this because its time-sensitive. Dyce-Faucette is currently deputy superintendent for the Tulsa Public School District in Tulsa, Okla. She and a representative from RCSD had not responded to a request for comment by the time this article was printed.

10 www.minorityreporter.net |DECEMBER 9 - 15 | 2013

STATE
Initiative aims to boost US college graduate ranks
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Twenty U.S. communities have been chosen as the first partners in a national initiative aimed at increasing the ranks of college graduates. The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation on Wednesday promised as much as $200,000 to the communities over three years. The foundations goal is to raise the percentage of Americans with college degrees from 38 percent to 60 percent by 2025. In several communities, the Lumina support will boost existing efforts like Louisville, Ky.s 55,000 Degrees program and Say Yes in Syracuse and Buffalo. Also chosen were Albuquerque, N.M.; Boston; Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Columbus and Fort Wayne, Ind.; Greensboro, N.C.; Houston and San Antonio, Texas; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Memphis, Tenn.; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pa.; Providence, R.I.; Quad Cities, Iowa/Ill.; Santa Ana, Calif. and South Seattle, Wash.

WORLD
South Africa begins life without Mandela
CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA JOHANNESBURG (AP) - What next for South Africa? This racially charged country that, on Nelson Mandelas watch, inspired the world by embracing reconciliation in all-race elections in 1994 is again in the global spotlight as South Africans reconcile themselves to the loss of a towering historical figure. It is a time not just for grief and gratitude, but also a clear-eyed assessment of national strengths and shortcomings in a future without a man who was a guide and comfort to so many. Its a new beginning, said Kyle Redford, one of many South Africans who gathered outside the home of the anti-apartheid leader who became the nations first black president. The loss of a legend is going to force us to come together once again. He acknowledged that there is a sense of what next: Where do we go? What do we do? And how do we do it? Mandelas resolve rubbed off on many of his compatriots, though such conviction is tempered by the reality that his vision of a rainbow nation failed, almost inevitably, to meet the heady expectations propelling the country two decades ago. Peaceful elections and relatively harmonious race relations define todays South Africa; so do crime, corruption and economic inequality. Mandela remained a powerful symbol in the hopeful, uncharted period after apartheid, even when he left the presidency, retired from public life and shuttled in and out of hospitals as a protracted illness eroded his once-robust frame. He became a moral anchor, so entwined with the national identity that some jittery South Africans wondered whether the country would slide into chaos after his death. Does it spell doomsday and disaster for us? retired archbishop Desmond Tutu asked rhetorically on Friday before declaring that no, the country will not disintegrate. The sun will rise tomorrow and the next day and the next, said Tutu, who like Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting apartheid and promoting reconciliation. It may not appear as bright as yesterday, but life will carry on. A series of violent events since last year intensified worries over the state of the nation. The August 2012 shooting deaths of 34 striking miners by police at the Marikana platinum mine recalled, for some South Africans, state killings under apartheid. In February, a Mozambican taxi driver was dragged from a South African police vehicle and later died in a police cell. At the same time, tourist arrivals in South Africa surged last year. Despite labor strife and credit rating downgrades, resource-rich South Africa hosted Brazil, Russia, India and China at the BRICS summit in March. It has the biggest economy in Africa, and aspires to continental leadership. Mandelas death will not destabilize race relations in the country, contrary to some fears, according to the South African Institute of Race Relations. For many years now, South Africans have got along with one another largely peacefully without Mr. Mandela having been active in the political sphere, Lerato Moloi, the institutes head of research, said. In fact, Mr. Mandelas passing may be cause for many to reflect on the remarkably peaceful and swift racial integration of many parts of society, including schools, suburbs, universities, and workplaces. Moloi said in a statement: Although some of this had started to occur before 1994, as a symbol of racial reconciliation and forgiveness Mr. Mandela will be viewed by many as having played a pivotal role in creating such a society. Mandelas life epitomized the fight for freedom and equality, said Human Rights Watch. It pointed out that South Africas education and health sectors are inadequate and the country remains divided by racial separation and deep economic inequality. Almost two decades into its democracy, South Africa is not the country that Mandela had said he hoped it would become, the group said. President Jacob Zuma evoked the idea of 95-year-old Mandela as a beacon for the ages when he announced his death on Thursday night. South Africans, Zuma said, must be determined to live as Madiba has lived, to strive as Madiba has strived and to not rest until we have realized his vision of a truly united South Africa, a peaceful and prosperous Africa, and a better world. Mandela, also known by his clan name Madiba, admitted to weakness and failing, yet rose to greatness in a way that no contemporary or successor could match. Zuma, for example, has credentials as an anti-apartheid activist who was imprisoned with Mandela. But he and the ruling African National Congress, once led by Mandela, have been dogged by corruption allegations that have eroded support for the government. In the days before Mandelas death, South African media were filled with reports on allegedly lavish use of state funds for building at Zumas family compound. The scene outside Mandelas house embodied the mixed picture in South Africa, where political sparring between the ruling party and the opposition has sharpened ahead of national elections next year, the 20th anniversary of the pivotal vote in which Mandela became president. Mourners outside the home mingled in an inclusive, celebratory atmosphere that prompted Inigo Alvarez, a Catholic priest to declare: Now we experience what is South Africa, all kinds of people, all kinds of regions. Yet ANC activists in yellow jumpsuits pasted posters on the perimeter walls of the Mandela compound and handed out leaflets presenting the party as the heir to his tradition. In death, Mandela was still drawn into politics.

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11 www.minorityreporter.net | DECEMBER 9 - 15 | 2013

NATIONAL
Obamas fixer-upper website races to catch up
RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR WASHINGTON (AP) - It looks like President Barack Obamas fickle health insurance website is finally starting to put up some respectable sign-up numbers, but its job only seems to have gotten harder. Two months in and out of the repair shop have left significantly less time to fulfill the White House goal of enrolling 7 million people by the end of open enrollment on March 31. Signups were just over 100,000 nationally as of the end of October. The 36 states served by the federal governments website accounted for a paltry one-fourth of that, fewer than 27,000 people. But officials now say an additional 29,000 people enrolled through the revamped HealthCare. gov in just two days at the start of this week, despite heavy volume that not long ago would have caused the system to lock up. HealthCare.gov is the online portal to subsidized private health insurance for people who dont have job-based coverage. Though its too early to say whether the corner is being turned, Obama is inviting consumers to give the website a second chance. Heres a look at the changes you can expect: SPEED AND AVAILABILITY Independent testers question the blazing Internet speeds claimed by techies at the Health and Human Services Department but say theres been noticeable progress. The trend is in the right direction ... but there are still things they can do to make the user experience better, said Michael Smith, a vice president of engineering at Compuware Corp., which helps companies monitor the technical performance of their websites. As of Thursday morning, the number of states where consumers are experiencing unacceptably long wait times had been cut in half, down to 13 from 26 states in late October. Compuware defines unacceptable as more than 8 seconds average response time to load the home page. The government claims a response time of less than 1 second. But Smith says that is likely being measured from computers with fast Internet connections and doesnt account for the experience of consumers with less than ideal access, which is incorporated in his companys testing. HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters acknowledged: As with any website, the response times for individual consumers will vary depending on their computers performance and the speed of their Internet. Compuware says availability - a measure of consumers success accessing the site - is up to 98 percent, close to the standard for commercial websites. WINDOW-SHOPPING Many consumers were puzzled and frustrated when the federal website went live because it would not let them browse health plans without first setting up an account. Thats the opposite of how e-commerce generally works. Most websites ask consumers to open an account after theyre ready to purchase. The flaw drove many people to an accounts creation page that turned out to be riddled with bugs and contributed to the systems early woes. On Monday, HHS announced the deployment of a window-shopping function that lets prospective customers see plans and prices in their area, including previously unavailable details such as deductibles and costsharing, as well as provider networks. RESET BUTTON People who got stuck in the system can now zap away their old applications and start over. To do that, you log into your account, select the application in progress and hit remove. You have to follow that by closing and reopening your web browser. Then you log back in and start a new application. The reset process may not be entirely foolproof because HHS advises

consumers to reach out to the call center at 1-800-318-2596 if they have trouble. ORDERLY LINES To help stave off problems during periods of high user volume, the website now has a queuing system. Consumers can request email notifications of when is a good time to come back. The feature kicked in this week as people flooded back to check out the revamped website. The site can now handle 50,000 simultaneous users. Each visitor spends an average of 20 to 30 minutes on the site. In theory, the site will support more than 800,000 consumer visits a day. The big spikes in traffic are still to come. Expect that to happen after the middle of this month, since Dec. 23 is the last day that people can apply for coverage that will take effect Jan. 1. Even heavier volume is likely toward the end of open enrollment March 31, as procrastinators jump in. Confident that the site is stable, the government is emailing people who got stuck in the system and inviting

them back. Still, reaching the goal of 7 million sign-ups seems like a tall order. The governments initial projections estimated that 1.2 million people would have enrolled by the end of November, and the number is likely to be only a fraction of that. And the March 31 deadline doesnt mean that enrollment comes to a full stop. Thats because under the law, people who experience a significant change in their life circumstances can still get coverage after the open enrollment period is over. Such changes include divorce, the birth of a child, loss of coverage, moving to another state or losing a job. Rick Curtis of the nonprofit Institute for Health Policy Solutions estimates that as many as 20 million people could become eligible for coverage later in 2014, though its not clear how many of those would enroll. About as many people will become eligible over the course of the year as are eligible now, Curtis said.

Obama to travel to South Africa to honor Mandela


WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will travel to South Africa next week to pay respects to Nelson Mandela. White House press secretary Jay Carney says the Obamas will participate in memorial events, but didnt say specifically what day they planned to be in South Africa. The South African government announced that Mandela would be honored with a state burial on Dec. 15. Mandela has been an anti-apartheid icon and his nations first black president. He died Thursday at age 95. In remarks following Mandelas death, Obama counted himself as one of the countless millions who have been inspired by the South African leader.

12 www.minorityreporter.net |DECEMBER 9 - 15 | 2013

NATIONAL

Nelson Mandela dead at 95


(Associated Press) Former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary hero Nelson Mandela has died at his Johannesburg home. He was 95. He had returned home on September 1 in a critical condition after being in a Pretoria hospital for almost three months - the fourth time he had been admitted to hospital since December. He had battled a series of lung infections and respiratory illnesses in the past few years. Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison after being found guilty of being sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow his countrys government before being released in 1990, became South Africas first democratically elected president, holding office from 1994 to 1999. One of the worlds most famous people, he has long been a figurehead for racial unification, following his efforts to heal his own country after centuries of division. News of his death has prompted an outpouring of grief from all corners of the world. Mandela had a history of lung problems, after falling ill with tuberculosis in 1988 toward the tailend of his prison term before his release and subsequent presidency. While doctors said at the time the disease caused no permanent damage to his lungs, medical experts say tuberculosis can cause problems years later for those infected. The Nobel laureate had an acute respiratory infection in January 2011. Following the chaos that surrounded his stay at a public hospital then, the South African military took charge of his care and the government took over control of the information about his health. It released little, mostly saying early in his last hospital stay that he was in a serious but stable condition, but in late June it said he was critical but stable. In July the government denied that he was in a vegetative after a lawyer for some of his family told a court his life support system should be shut off. AN EVERLASTING LEGACY: Mandela was one of the most revered leaders of the 20th century and his legacy will forever be the abolition of apartheid in South Africa. The man endearingly known throughout South Africa as Madiba - his Xhosa clan name, which literally translates to grandfather - cemented his place in history when he became the first democratically elected president - black or white. As a founder of Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), which was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), Mandela was a militant anti-apartheid activist from a young age. He was sentenced to life in prison after being charged and convicted of sabotage in 1962. Left to the mercy of the prison guards in a white supremacist South Africa, his release 27 years later in 1990 set in motion the cogs of an anti-apartheid movement that had the backing of much of the world. His release was all the more astonishing for a total lack of animosity toward his captors. In a speech on the day of his release, Mandela quoted his own words, which he spoke at his trial in 1962: I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. Four years later apartheid in South Africa had ended and in 1995 Mandela became the first elected president ending the irony behind the name the Republic of South Africa. Nelson Mandelaa His presidency was spent building what his inaugural address called a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world. As the ANC party under Mandela began to dismantle the racial divide, his attention turned to the issue of HIV/ AIDS, which according to the World Health Organisation, affects about 6.5 million people in South Africa. But the crusade was more personal for Mandela, who lost his eldest son in 2005 to the disease at the age of 54. After his departure from politics, Mandela also sought to step away from the public eye with appearances in recent years becoming fewer and farther between. His last public appearance was in 2010 when South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup.

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STRAIGHTNO CHASER

OPINION/EDITORIAL
was what it was, relief. Once the crisis was over, folks went to work. I dont have any friend who I know of that grew up on welfare. The reason for that is, I am old enough to remember when people had pride, and were ashamed if their circumstances put them in a position to have to take a hand-out from the government. But, today, it is more of an obvious career move that, in my opinion, leaves people with too much time on their hands. They say an idle mind is the devils workshop, and with free time comes the temptation to sample drugs and commit other wrongdoings, in my opinion. There are many who have survived the atrocity of poverty these days. There are many who came out of abject poverty to excel. But the scars that poverty left on them are noticeable in their actions and words. There is something about bad experiences, in that they become banners and weapons to those who survive it. I often say, we are all victims of our childhoods. However, because mine was filled with love and support, not only at home but from the community, I have found it difficult to comprehend the bitterness and disrespect that has become the norm in todays youth. I cant apologize, and I am thankful that I grew up in Rochester at a time when we had a community filled with elders who reinforced the respect we were taught at home. I have said it before, and will continue to say it again and again, because I know whose shoulders I stand on. In comparison, one of the sadder things missing today is that too many of our young folks dont have a clue about themselves or their history. How can they learn to love themselves, or others, when they have no sense of what brought them this far? When I grew up in Rochester, we were a community. In addition to parents and other family, young folks were blessed with the love, guidance and support of elders like Connie Mitchell, John Mitchell, Minister Franklin Florence Sr., Dr. Anthony Jordan, Dr. Charles Lunsford, Dr. Charles Boddie, Laplois (Lake) Ashford, Stanley and Delores Thomas, Julia Brandon, Mildred Johnson, Lena Gantt, and Dr. Walter Cooper. Somewhere, the spirits of those elders continue to exist, but the difference is the disconnect from far too many young folks. We need to fix that. Another factor I would attribute to our respect of elders was that, as young people, we were not taught to fear the system, or the police. We grew up being taught that the police were our friends. We actually had police officers who lived in our neighborhoods, those we knew by name, who reinforced the positive relationships and communication skills that enabled community members to feel safe. We had strong black police officers like Charles Price, Pat Thompson, Kathryn Hawkins, Spencer Walker, and Jimmy Byrd. We also had a police department that set strong examples and recruited friends of mine like Butch Johnson, Kenny Patterson, Bobby Dinkle and others. We respected law enforcement, and the job they did, in most instances. The bottom line is the relationship was not as adversarial as it is today. There was a time when respect was paramount in our community. I am convinced that we can get back to that point if we begin to get more solutionoriented. We need to go back and undo those things we fixed that were not broken; especially those things that produced values and respect in our community. I think we just need to try harder.

Revisiting the values we used to have


I have heard, and even repeated time and time again, that getting old aint easy. However, truth be told, there are more benefits than drawbacks to getting old. Somewhere, freedom does know they knew your parents, their call would most certainly make it home before you did. Even as teens, if smoking and drinking became a new experiment, it was not something any of us dared to do in front of someone older than us. I think the reason for this had much to do with proper upbringing, which in itself created respect. We not only had respect for our elders, we genuinely had respect for ourselves and our family name. One of the things my parents drilled home to me and my brothers was having family values. My mom or dad would often say, The Winstons dont do this or The Winstons dont do that. And, because my friends and I had respect for our elders, I was under the assumption that the same pride in themselves and their family name was being taught in their homes as well. Maybe being in a home made a difference too, because back in the days, my family, friends and peers all came from homes, not houses. In our homes, we found time for family, celebrated and took care of our grandparents. We didnt shuffle our elderly off to nursing homes. Someone in the family was always there to care for them when the time came. We actually came home to hot meals, and all the comforts of home. We went to church. We took religious instruction in school. We had pets. In lieu of computers, we had magazines, books and encyclopedias. We may have been poor, but we certainly did not know it, because where ever there was a need that arose in a family, the women in the church and/or community came together with the resources to help. Welfare? I did not know anyone on welfare. I used to hear my mom and grandmother whisper about folks who may have had a crisis, and may have had to apply for some relief but that

GLORIA WINSTON AL-SARAG

factor in.

For one, getting older gives you the opportunity to clearly see the mistakes young folks have made. But, as a result, getting old will also make you wonder how you might have been perceived by your elders when you were younger. It makes you reflect on how disrespectful the young have become, and will make you wonder where it all went wrong. We old people, aka the throw-backs, would not have dared address, behave, write or think out loud some of what weve witnessed in todays society. However, getting old and being blessed enough to be retired provides the opportunity to reflect on the way it was, the good memories. Back in the days, the elderly in my neighborhood were respected; not disrespected under any circumstances. I dont know if our relationships with our grandparents had anything to do with the respect we had for the elderly, but I do know, as young people, we would not have dared do anything less than show those who came before us the most ultimate respect. As youngsters, we may have learned a curse word or two, but to express ourselves by using any newfound profanity would have been cause for our teeth to find themselves on the floor. And, if anyone older than you heard you curse or use profanity, not only would they stop you and let you

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

A Reflection
This is the time of the year that we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, and look forward to the New Year ahead. Its also a time of reflection and pondering what will be. For C. MICHAEL VAUGHN my column this week, I wanted to encourage you to reflect on the past year, and begin to look forward to what is ahead. As with each year, there are many hurts that we have to deal with or have dealt with, and people whom we have lost, or things that did not go quite the way we expected. However, that is not the way we want to spend our time reflecting. And, if we do, we should reflect on the positive things our lost loved ones brought to us and not get stuck in our depression. It has been an overused statement, but holds true nonetheless. Being trapped in depression is probably not what our loved ones would want us to do. Instead, they would likely much rather have us focus on the positives their lives brought us. In addition, we may have lost a relationship or a job in 2013, but we should not park there. We should grab the positive from the loss, deposit it in our box of tools, and realize that we still have much ahead! When we look back over the year, one thing to reflect upon is the very fact that there is life in our bodies. We may not think about that often, but it is a blessing that we are yet alive. There are folks who have been millionaires that could not buy their lives, and sickness or disease took them out. You, however, are alive and reading this article! And, regardless of what has happened to you during the year, it is a blessing that there is breath in your body. As long as there is breath in your body, there is time to fix whatever may be broken. The grace of God is awesome, and a phrase I say constantly, based on Jer. 29:11, is that, God has a good plan for your life. Reflect on what you do have, reflect on who is still in your life,

Contd on next page

15 www.minorityreporter.net | DECEMBER 9 - 15 | 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.

OPINION/EDITORIAL
That little man I saw B.S.ing reporters, is the same failure of a man who has never been fit to lead a police force. You see, a true leader has leadership skills. Something Sheppard has never had. A true leader has integrity. Something Sheppard has never had. A true leader has respect. Something Sheppard has never had. A true leader is not a puppet, like Sheppard has been. I believe RPD Police Chief James Sheppard will be remembered as a chief who condoned, and actually encouraged, his disproportionately white police force to racially profile and abuse African-Americans and Latinos. Its what he did when Rochester police officers Anthony Liberatore, Joseph Ferrigno, and Mitchell Stewart II pepper-sprayed and beat Benny Warr, a wheelchair-confined, one-legged amputee who was waiting for the bus at the intersection of Jefferson Ave. and Bartlett St. The officers claimed that Warr disobeyed their order for him to move, even though he was in his motorized wheelchair, on a public sidewalk, waiting for the bus. And, RPD Chief James Sheppard supported his officers actions. Its no surprise really, since the officers were probably enacting Sheppards Operation Zero Tolerance, policy, where innocent citizens, including handicapped ones, are constantly subjected to illegal, unconstitutional stops, searches, seizures, and assaults. RPD chief James Sheppard will also be remembered as a chief who justified the beating of Brenda Hardaway, a pregnant African-American woman who was driven stomach-first into a wooden porch-railing post, punched in the head, and thrown to the ground by white RPD officer Lucas Krull. Finally, as chief, Sheppard will be remembered as a chief who approved, and justified, RPD officer Mario Masic violating Emily Goods First Amendment right, when he arrested her after she videotaped Masic conducting the racially-profiled traffic stop of a black motorist. But, again, for those who know Sheppard; its no surprise, coming from him. Hes a coward who called the modernday firing-squad-style execution of Israel Izzy Andino, a mentally-ill young man shot by seven RPD officers, justified, before the investigation had even begun. And shame on Rochesters lamestream news media for lauding Sheppard as a hero, when he has been nothing more than a failure! Good riddance, chief Sheppard!

Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard Lacked Leadership Skills


On Wednesday afternoon, Rochester Police Department Chief James S h e p p a r d announced his retirement. This time, it was official. Sheppard had previously turned in his retirement papers in October. Then, after changing his mind, withdrew them. I didnt want people to think that my turning in my retirement papers had anything to do with the election, Sheppard stated at a press conference.So, I withdrew my retirement papers. I wanted to do it on my time. I think thats a crock. Sheppard had been referring to the mayoral election, of course. In September, former Rochester City Council President Lovely Warren won the Democratic primary, beating Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards. And, its no secret that Richards had been perhaps Sheppards biggest, if not only, cheerleader. Its also no secret that Warren had not. So, after Warren won the primary, Sheppard knew he did not have a future under a possible Warren administration. Thats probably why he turned in his retirement papers in October.
davy vara

The tensions between Warren and Sheppard have been there all along. But, the final straw seems to have been a request from Warren and Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden asking that Sheppard deploy a Rochester Police Department Mobile Command unit to Chili Ave. and Salina St., after a string of shootings in the area. Recently, an 11-year-old was shot, along with two adults, in front of a Chili Ave. laundromat. But, Sheppard apparently ignored that request. And, on Wednesday morning, just as he had done countless times since being appointed chief in 2010, Sheppard did two things. First, he failed to be a man, and a leader, by refusing to take accountability and tell the truth. Second, he lied to Rochesters corporate-America run mainstream news media by standing at the podium and saying his retirement had nothing to do with the election. Of course it did. I think it had everything to do with the election. Sheppard may have fooled Rochesters lame-stream news media, but those who know how Sheppard operates, like me, saw right through his load of crap. In fact, I wasnt surprised at all.

A Reflection...FROM PREVIOUS PAGE


and reflect on all of the good things that have happened in your life. We are a blessed nation, and the people in it have a lot for which to be thankful. After proper reflection, look forward to the upcoming year. There is no need to make some strange New Years resolution. Just know that a new year is an opportunity to pursue the purpose for which you have been placed in the earths realm to fulfill. You are here on earth for a specific God-given purpose. And, the best thing is the purpose was decided before you came into the world. So, remember, God desires that you accomplish it. Look forward to the New Year with excitement and joy. There are many possibilities that lie ahead; however, you have to make up your mind that you are going to move forward. You have to decide that you are not going to allow the hindrances or blockages from 2013 to block you in 2014. The good thing about obstacles is that you can use them as a stepping stone, instead of a stumbling block. The difference may be in how you perceive what has happened, and whether or not you decide to be the victim or the victor. In a time where some national leaders, the media, Hollywood, etc. want you to be a victim, push back and realize that victory is in your purpose, and you will move full-steam ahead toward the accomplishment of that purpose in 2014! If you would like to contact me, please email me at mvaughn.seniorpastor@ newwineskin.org

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Are you one of the over 90,000 New Yorkers who have chosen a good health plan?
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