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Remembering I.E.'s Tuskegee Airmen

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Although the airplanes of the 1920's and 1930's were not nearly as complicated as those we use today, they were still something which required skill to fly. Many people, including those in the United States Army Air Corps, felt African Americans were not capable of obtaining these skills. Bessie Coleman, and African American woman born in Texas in 1892, became interested in flying after reading about the air war in Europe during World War I. She could not find a flying school in the United States which would train an African American woman and earned her license from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in France.

The military still did not want to train African Americans, but President Franklin D. Roosevelt became convinced that America needed an operational African American pilot training program at Tuskegee. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt traveled to Tuskegee in April 1941 and accepted an offer to fly with Charles A. “Chief” Anderson, an African American who later trained many of the pilots in the Tuskegee program. By the end of World War II, nearly 1000 pilots had trained at Tuskegee.

Basic flight training took place at Moton Field and advanced training at the newly constructed Tuskegee Army Air Field. In April, 2008, Moton Field was dedicated as a part of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama.

Bessie was the first woman to earn an International Aviation License and the world's first licensed black aviator.

After her death in an aviation accident, the Bessie Coleman Aero Club was established in Los Angeles, California in 1929 to teach African Americans to fly. Other private African American flying schools also started training pilots. Early in 1939 the US began the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) at facilities near colleges and universities.

Tuskegee Institute in Alabama became a part of this program.

President George W. Bush presented the Congressional Gold Medal to about 300 Tuskegee Airmen on March 29, 2007 at the US Capitol.

However, the Congressional Gold Medal should not be confused with the Medal of Honor (commonly called the Congressional Medal of Honor), which is also awarded by Congress, but only to military members as the highest military decoration of the United States. A Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award, which may be bestowed by the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the United States government.

The decoration is awarded to any individual who performs an outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the United States.

Significant Tuskegee Airmen, interred at the Riverside National Cemetery: Charles William Ledbetter (April 5, 1922–July 23, 2003) was one of the Tuskegee Airmen, retiring from the United States Air Force as a Master Sergeant after 30 years active service.

During his tenure, he participated in World War II, the Korean War (where he flew night missions on B-26 bombers as an engineer and gunner as part of the 3rd Bomb Wing), and in Vietnam. On June 9, 2007, Ledbetter was posthumously honored with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Ledbetter was a columnist for the Black Voice News when Moreno Valley was called Sunnymead. He is interred at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California. Charles F. Jamerson was born in Louisiana, but moved to California at an early age.

After completing high school, he entered San Jose State College and was an engineering student when the war began. He enlisted in the Air Force at March Field on April 1, 1941, and was sent to Tuskegee. On March 25,1943, he was commissioned and assigned to the 332nd.

Jamerson was sent overseas with the 332nd in January 1944, and was assigned to the 99th. He flew 78 missions with the 99th and was credited with damaging a jet plane in a running battle in which he chased the German aircraft within ten minutes of Berlin.

Dr. Hackley E. Woodford, M.D., a Tuskegee Airmen flight surgeon who served during World War II. Howard was appointed chief of staff at the Memorial Hospital, Benton Harbor, Michigan in 1940. After his internship at Provident Hospital Chicago, Dr. Woodford had several years of postgraduate education and served in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army in World War II. He was a general practitioner and a member of the National Medical Association, the Berrien County Medical Society and the American Academy of General Practice.

Pilot Perry Willis Lindsey, who served during World War II and the Korean War. From 1942 through 1946, 994 Black fighter and bomber pilots were trained at the segregated Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. More than 400 served in combat overseas, flying patrol and staffing missions and serving as bomber escorts from bases in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Ground and support crews were trained at Tuskegee and elsewhere, and all were assigned to exclusively Black aviation units that went overseas.

Once in combat, they excelled. However, they were not officially recognized until over sixty years later.

John Allen Pulliams Jr. , served during World War II and went on to serve 30 years in the U.S. Air Force. He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer.

This article was written with help from the Journal of the National Medical Association and UCR The Western Region Tuskegee Airmen Archive, (http://library.ucr.edu/?view=t uskegee/). For more information on the Riverside National Cemetery look for The Riverside National Cemetery Story: A Field of Warriors by Marlowe J. Churchill.

15 Inland Barbershops to Participate in The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program

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The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program was launched in December 2007 by The Diabetic Amputation Prevention Foundation (DAP) founded by Dr. Bill J. Releford, D.P.M. The mission of DAP is to increase public awareness and address the health care needs of the African American community, particularly in Black men who are the highest health risk than any other racial group.

It is a known fact that many men (particularly in the Black community) won’t go get important health screenings.

Through The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program DAP has created an ingenious way to reach this demographic by bringing these lifesaving resources directly to their door through barbershops across the Western and Inland Region. Participating barbershops will host ‘one day only’, diabetes and high blood pressure screenings on Saturday, May 22nd from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Healthy Heritage Movement Inc. has joined forces with DAP to cover 15 barbershops in the Inland Region.

Participating barbershops include:

· Cold Cutz Barbershop, 4029 Market St. in Riverside, Calif.

· Canvas Barbershop, 10569 ½ Magnolia Ave. in Riverside, Calif.

· Time Out Salon, 330 South Mountain Ave. in Upland, Calif.

· Gentlemen’s Headquarters, 9024 Archibald Ave. in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

· M.V.P., 15952 Perris Blvd. #B in Moreno Valley, Calif.

· Xclusive Cutz, 23962 Alessandro Blvd. #H, Moreno Valley, Calif.

· Da Mood Barbershop, 205 E. Mission Blvd. in Pomona, Calif.

· Groom Time Barbershop, 205 E. Mission Blvd. in Pomona, Calif.

· Nu Flava, 2146 Garey Ave. in Pomona, Calif.

· LUV’D Ones, 131 E. Highland in San Bernardino, Calif.

· What’s Happening Now, 349 Highland in San Bernardino, Calif.

· Luv’D Ones Barbershop, 7373 East Ave., Suite E in Fontana, Calif.

· LUV’D Ones, 802 W. Colton Ave. #H in Redlands, Calif.

· Artistically Yours, 1705 E. Washington in Colton, Calif.

· Da Spot Hair Studio, 288 W. Highland Ave. in San Bernardino, Calif.

Through this unique program, DAP’s goal is to get more than 500,000 African American men screened by 2012. The programs have already tested close to 10,000 African American men in 23 cities including New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta and Harlem. For more information visit www.BlackBarbershop.org.

Community Briefs

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Pals Hosts 9th Annual Golf Tournament

The PALS of PAL George Lee Jr. 9th Annual Golf Tournament will be held Thursday May 27th at the Shandin Hills Golf Club in San Bernardino.

Proceeds support the 24 year old PAL Center & Charter Academy which provides high school diplomas, GEDs, youth employment, college-bound programs, and a host of other services. PAL specializes in "at risk" students. Eighty percent of enrollees are "youth of color", and the majority of those are males - the endangered species! Please help "keep their dream alive" Sixtyfive to seventy youth will graduate June 10th at the PAL Education and Employment Complex. Dr. Al Karnig, President of CSUSB, is commencement speaker.

The bargain basement prices for penthouse services are $400 for a foursome and $115 for a single player. COME and WIN A CAR, or A TRIP to anywhere in Continental USA, or $1,000 cash, or many, many other prizes!

Registration and Continental Breakfast at 6:30 am with Shotgun Start at 7:30 am. Please visit their website, www.palsofpalgolf.com for additional information and/or registration. Please call the PAL Center at 909-887-7002 for information and/or delivery of flyers or brochures.

Free Admission to the County Museum

Admission to the San Bernardino County Museum will be free of charge on Sunday, June 6 from 9am to 5pm. Free admission is sponsored by James Ramos, San Bernardino Community Colleges Trustee.

Visitors will enjoy a special exhibit, "Generations of Symbols: the Morongo Band of Mission Indians Basket Collection," in the Fisk and Schuiling galleries. More than 100 baskets will be on display, all from the collection of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. The baskets reflect several southern California basketry traditions, including Cahuilla, Cupeño, Serrano, Luiseño, and Diegueño. In addition, see exhibits of cultural and natural history relating to inland southern California and our southwest, including geology and paleontology, anthropology and archaeology, history, and the natural sciences. The Exploration Station live animal gallery will be open from 1 to 4 pm. Outdoor exhibits include native plant and cactus gardens, a steam locomotive and caboose, mining and lumbering equipment, heritage orange groves, and sculpture.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. Everyone is admitted free on Sunday, June 6. Parking is free.

For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The San Bernardino County Museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services' telephone number is (909) 307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.

Around the Community

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UCR Chamber Music Ensembles May 15th

The Department of Music at the University of California, Riverside, presents the UCR Chamber Music Ensembles in concert on May 15, Saturday, at 8:00 pm in the ARTS Building Performance Lab, ARTS 166. Featured works include the Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D minor and the Shostakovich Piano Trio in E minor performed by faculty members violinist Frances Moore, cellist Manon Robertshaw and pianist Kimberly Amin. The program also includes Three Shanties by Malcolm Arnold performed by the UCR Wind quintet. The UCR Chamber Music Ensembles are directed by Frances Moore.

CSUSB Hosts UPS VP, Noel Massie

California State University, San Bernardino and the College of Business and Public Administration presented Noel L. Massie, UPS VP the Arrowhead Distinguished Executive Officer award on Friday. If front of Family, Friends, Executives and Community Leaders, Mr. Massie was awarded these awards for all his great work over the past 5 years in as the Vice President of UPS developing relationships in the Inland Empire. Massie has been with UPS since 1977 and has served on many boards and most recently, awarded the Black Voice Foundation a grant for The Opportunity of a Lifetime program to develop students.

CHSB 100th Anniversary

Officials cut the cake at the 100th anniversary celebration of Community Hospital of San Bernardino on Saturday, May 8. Anyone who was born at the hospital was invited to the festivities, as well as the community at large. Attendees included Community Hospital of San Bernardino officials, Kimiko Ford, Vice President, Mission and Support Services, Diane E. Nitta, Administrator; John Nolan, Chairman, Board of Directors, and 62nd District Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto),  Dennis Baxter, master of ceremonies, former San Bernardino City Councilman and radio broadcaster, Rev. Bronica Martindale (born at CHSB), Councilman Rikke Van Johnson, Dr. George Smalls (OB/GYN who delivered many babies at CHSB) and San Bernardino NAACP President and Black Voice News Co-Publisher, Cheryl Brown (who delivered at CHSB).

Save Money With This Year's Lawn Mower Exchange Program

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Due to popular demand, AQMD has nearly doubled the number of zero-emission lawn mowers available for its annual “Mow Down Air Pollution” program. For the eighth year, the exchange program will let Southern California residents save money and help reduce air pollution by exchanging a working gasoline-powered lawn mower for a new electric mower at a deeply discounted price. The popularity of the program has increased each year, with last year’s 4,800 registration spots selling out in a record five days. Because of the high demand and additional funding, this year’s program will have 9,380 electric mowers available for only $100 to $165, depending on which of the four models a consumer chooses.

“Individuals can make a healthy choice by trading in their gas-powered lawn mowers for zero-emission electric models,” said William A. Burke, Ed.D. , AQMD’s Governing Board Chairman. “This will help the user and their community. In one year, most conventional lawn mowers spew more pollution into our air than a car driven more than 20,000 miles. This exchange program offers a simple solution to improving air quality.”

When the program ends in July, AQMD will have scrapped more than 37,800 highly polluting gasoline mowers, removing about 80 tons of smog-forming volatile organic compound emissions from the Southland’s air.

This year, residents will have four models to choose from:

· Neuton CE 5.4 (24V, 14- inch cutting width) $100 (retail price: $399)

· Neuton CE 6.4 (36V, 19- inch cutting width) $165 (retail price: $499)

· Black & Decker CMM1200 (24V, 19-inch cutting width) $100 (retail price: $349)

· Black & Decker CM 1936 (36V, 19-inch cutting width) $165 (retail price: $449)

AQMD will host 11 events across the Southland on Saturdays between May 1 and July 24.

Residents living within AQMD’s four-county jurisdiction must show proof of residency and can register for any event regardless of where they reside in the region.

To participate, residents must pre-register for the mower of their choice at www.aqmd.gov or by calling (888) 425-6247.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. on April 21 and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Telephone registration is also available in English and Spanish.

Residents must be at least 18 years old to participate in the program.

Gas-powered mowers must be in working order and only one mower per household can be exchanged. Cash, check or major credit cards are accepted for payment.

Exchanging a mower is easy and convenient and participants never have to leave their car. Upon arrival, workers will remove the old gas mower from the vehicle and drain it of hazardous fluids prior to its destruction at a metal recycling facility. After payment is made, attendants will place the new, boxed mower in the customer’s vehicle. The entire process takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

This year’s program is sponsored by the AQMD and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), in cooperation with Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The program is funded through AQMD’s Air Quality Investment Program (AQIP), which is financed by Southland companies that pay a fee in lieu of offering rideshare incentives as required by AQMD’s Rule 2202.

The lawn mower exchange program will reduce more emissions than would be achieved by an employer rideshare program. Additional funding provided this year comes from CARB through AB 118, a measure to fund clean vehicle and equipment projects.

All events will take place on Saturdays starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. , except the Palm Desert event which will end at noon.

AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

May 1 Palm Desert CSUSB Palm Desert Campus 37500 Cook St.

June 5 Riverside Bourns Inc. 1084 Columbia Ave.

June 12 Rcho. Cucamonga Epicenter Stadium 8408 Rochester Ave.

July 10 Pomona Fairplex 1101 W. McKinley Ave.

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