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The National Scene

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Linnie Frank Bailey
Barack Hussein Obama – President of the United States, stood at the “Door of No Return” in Ghana this past week. The infamous “door” was where millions of captured Africans last saw their homeland before they were sent into slavery. Although the President himself is not descended from slaves, his wife and daughters are, and as an American of African descent he surely understood the symbolism of his visit.
Through Obama’s visit, African-Americans struggling with the ravages of this country’s economic downturn, were reminded of the fortitude of both those who survived the journey from Africa, and their descendants.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Where is the Stimulus Money?

Various members of the Administration, including Vice President Joe Biden, are meeting with citizens in person and
online to identify the use of Recovery Act stimulus funds.
The White House maintains a website with Recovery Act information: www.recovery.gov. For the state of California, stimulus fund spending information can be found at: www.recovery.ca.gov.
Aome local highlights of recently announced Recovery Act projects include: In Riverside, stimulus funds are being used to provide summer jobs to over 4000 disadvantaged young people ages 14 through 24.
In Corona, funds are being used to save 300 employee jobs, including school counselors and high school librarians.
Temecula was able to drop planned furlough days for over 2800 school employees because of stimulus funds.
Stimulus money is funding meals for elderly Inland residents.
Transportation and water reclamation projects are being funded in the Inland area.
Critics of the Administration, including most Inland Republicans, continue to denounce the stimulus bill as not helping economic conditions.

Thursday, July 9, 2009
President Attends G-8 in Italy

President Barack Obama arrived in Italy for a summit of the Group of Eight (G-8) industrial nations. The meeting took place in L’Aquila, a region of Italy struck by an earthquake in April.
Leaders, including Obama, toured the damaged area. The G-8 representatives continued their discussion on ways to combat the global recession and stop Iran’s nuclear proliferation.
Obama presided over a side meeting of the major economies with a focus on global climate issues.

Friday, July 10, 2009
Obama Has Audience With Pope

President Barack Obama, his family, and some senior members of the Administration met with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. The President met privately with Pope Benedict and was then joined by the first lady. L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s daily newspaper, has given Obama favorable reviews despite disagreements on abortion and stem-cell research. In a break from tradition, Pope Benedict had sent Obama a personal note of congratulations the day after his election and rearranged his schedule to meet with the President following the current G-8 Summit.

U.S. President Online in Africa

In preparation for his first trip as President to sub-Saharan Africa, the Administration collected
questions and comments from over 75 African countries via text messaging, Twitter, Facebook, and newspapers. Similar to the way online town halls are conducted in America, the Administration selected journalists in Africa to field questions for the President from the many that were received. The African journalists included: Ms. Angela Quintal of Independent Newspapers in South Africa,
Mr. Mamadou Thior of Radio Television Senegal (RTS), and Mr. Peter Kimani of The Standard in Kenya.
President Obama was also interviewed by AllAfrica.com prior to his trip.

Saturday, July 11, 2009
Obama Reminds Ghana “Yes We Can!”

Stating, “I have the blood of Africa within me,” President Obama addressed the Ghanaian parliament and President John Atta Mills in Accra, Ghana. Obama, who was warmly greeted by masses of people in Ghana, stated that “despite the progress across Africa that has been made in the latter half of the 20th century and the early 21st, much of Africa’s promise has not been fulfilled.”
In his trademark approach, Obama gave a speech that was part tough love (“Good governance is the key to development…that’s the change that can unlock Africa’s potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans.”) part history lesson, (“Disease and conflict have ravaged parts of the African continent. In many places, the hope of my father’s generation
gave way to cynicism, even despair.”) and, part inspiration (“For just as it is important to emerge from the control of other nations, it is even more important to build one’s own nation.”)
The President concluded his speech at the Accra International Conference Center by reminding Ghanaians:
“Here is what you must know: The world will be what you make of it. You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people. You can serve in your communities and harness your energy and education to create new wealth and build new connections to the world. You can conquer disease and end conflicts and make change from the bottom up. You can do that. Yes you can.”

Full Circle -- Obama Stands at “Door of No Return”
Following his speech in Accra, the President and first family traveled to Ghana’s Atlantic coast to visit the fort in which men, women, and children were housed in barbaric conditions before being sent on a treacherous journey into slavery. Built in the 1600s, Cape Coast Castle served as Britain’s West Africa headquarters for the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which saw millions of shackled Africans exported to Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas.
The Obama’s toured the castle including the infamous “Door of No Return” which was the last stop for Africans as they left their home continent. In brief comments the President noted that a church was housed above the dungeons that held the prisoners. He also implied the fort should be a source of hope as well as repository of painful memories saying, “It reminds us that as bad as history can be, it’s always possible to overcome.”

Monday, July 13, 2009
Alabama Physician Nominated for U.S. Surgeon General

President Obama announced his nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin. Dr. Benjamin is an Alabama family physician, who runs the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic, which provides care to people regardless of their financial situation. The clinic was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, however Benjamin, who founded the clinic in 1990, fought to rebuild it.
In 2002, Dr. Benjamin became president of the Alabama State Medical Association, making her the first African American woman to head a state medical society. Among her other honors: she served as Chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, and as the Associate Dean for Rural Health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. She
was also the first African-American woman and physician under 40 to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. She received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights in 1998.
Benjamin, 52, attended Xavier University in New Orleans and was in the second class of Morehouse School of Medicine. She received her MD degree from the University of Alabama Birmingham, and an MBA from Tulane University. In announcing the nomination, the President highlighted Dr. Benjamin’s dedication to the community, saying “Even though she
could have left the state to make more money as a specialist or as a doctor in a wealthier community, Regina Benjamin returned to Alabama and opened a small clinic in Bayou La Batre.”

Rebuilding Urban Communities
In a day-long discussion hosted by The White House Office of Urban Affairs and the Domestic Policy Council policy experts were joined by the President and members of the Administration to discuss the changing landscape in urban communities across the country. The roundtable discussions included what currently works in these environments, as well as how the federal government
can be a more effective partner with community leaders.
The President, drawing on his own experience as a community organizer, spoke on some of the challenges facing urban communities today, saying: “What is clear is we’re going to need to do more than just help our cities weather the current economic storm. We’ve got to figure out ways to rebuild them on a newer, firmer, stronger foundation for our future. And that requires
new strategies for our cities and metropolitan areas that focus on advancing opportunity through competitive, sustainable, and inclusive growth.”
Obama didn’t just look at the nation’s inner cities, but added, “Even as we’ve seen many of our central cities continuing to grow in recent years, we’ve seen their suburbs and exurbs grow roughly twice as fast -- that spreads homes and jobs and businesses to a broader geographic area. And this transformation is creating new pressures and problems, of course, but it’s also opening up new opportunities, because it’s not just our cities that are hotbeds of innovation anymore, it’s our growing metropolitan areas.”
The President outlined some specific goals, including:
Taking a hard look at how Washington helps or hinders our cities and metro areas -- from infrastructure to transportation; from housing to energy; from sustainable development to education.
And we’re going to make sure federal policies aren’t hostile to good ideas or best practices on the local levels. We’re going to put an end to throwing money at what doesn’t work -- and we’re going to start investing in what does work and make sure that we’re encouraging that.
Investments in innovative and proven strategies. The first, Promise Neighborhoods, is modeled on Geoffrey Canada’s successful Harlem Children’s Zone. It’s an all-encompassing, all-handson- deck effort that’s turning around the lives of New York City’s children, block by block. And what we want to do is to make grants available for communities in other cities to jumpstart their
own neighborhood-level interventions that change the odds for our kids.
The second proposal we call Choice Neighborhoods -- focuses on new ideas for housing in our cities by recognizing that different communities need different solutions. So instead of isolated and monolithic public housing projects that too often trap residents in a cycle of poverty and isolate them further, we want to invest in proven strategies that actually transform communities and enhance opportunity for residents and businesses alike.”

Letters to the Editor

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By Aubry Stone,
President of the California Black Chamber of Commerce


Right now, the California legislature is considering legislation that would dramatically weaken our current fire safety standards. Senate Bill 772 proposes to eliminate critical fire safety standards from children’s products. Children are the one of the most vulnerable populations to fire and removing children from the umbrella of California’s strict fire safety standards is dangerous and unwise.

Our current standard requires an open-flame test and applies to most furniture sold in our state. SB 772 proposes to remove children’s products from this standard, leaving the most vulnerable at the most risk.

The statistics speak for themselves:

According to a recent UC Davis study, some 2 million fires occur each year in the United States alone.  These fires result in about 5,000 deaths, 54,000 hospitalizations and 1.4 million injuries.

Of these U.S. fires, children under the age of 10 cause about 100,000 fires, 300 to 400 child deaths, and 11% of all injuries in reported fires each year. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of all fatal victims of fires are children 5 years old and younger, and half of all fatal home fires started by children playing involve initial ignition of household items like bedding, mattresses, or furniture.

In addition, the disproportionate effect of this bill to the minority community cannot be overstated.  Low income and minority communities already bear a disproportionate share of fire-related deaths and injuries, in part because they lack the financial resources to invest in fire safety. SB 772 would make a bad situation worse by placing adequately flame-retarded furniture and bedding products further out of reach of these consumers. Too often, it is low-income, minority communities that bear the brunt of ill-conceived and unsafe legislation.

In a state where the threat of fire is a constant, any legislation to remove life-saving fire standards must be seriously and thoroughly examined. While it is important to be vigilant about public health and the environment, we must never be reckless concerning something as vital as fire safety for our children. 

Aubry Stone is president of the California Black Chamber of Commerce.

Letter from President Barack Obama

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Black Voice News Readers

Yesterday, Judge Sonia Sotomayor made her opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee and moved another step closer to taking a seat on the United States Supreme Court.

As President, there are few responsibilities more serious or consequential than the naming of a Supreme Court Justice, so I want to take this opportunity to tell you about the qualifications and character that informed my decision to nominate Judge Sotomayor.

Judge Sotomayor’s brilliant legal mind is complemented by the practical lessons that can only be learned by applying the law to real world situations.

In the coming days, the hearings will cover an incredible body of work from a judge who has more experience on the federal bench than any incoming Supreme Court Justice in the last 100 years. Judge Sotomayor’s professional background spans our judicial system —from her time as a big-city prosecutor and a corporate litigator, to her work as a federal trial judge on the U.S. District Court, and an appellate judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

And then there is Judge Sotomayor’s incredible personal story. She grew up in a housing project in the South Bronx — her parents coming to New York from Puerto Rico during the Second World War. At the age of nine, she lost her father, and her mother worked six days a week just to put food on the table. It takes a certain resilience and determination to rise up out of such circumstances, focus, work hard and achieve the American dream.

In Judge Sotomayor, our nation will have a Justice who will never forget her humble beginnings, will always apply the rule of law, and will be a protector of the Constitution that made her American dream and the dreams of millions of others possible. As she said so clearly yesterday, Judge Sotomayor’s decisions on the bench “have been made not to serve the interests of any one litigant, but always to serve the larger interest of impartial justice.”

It’s important for these hearings to be about Judge Sotomayor’s own record and her capacity for the job — not any political back and forth that some in Washington may use to distract you. What members of the Judiciary Committee, and the American people, will see today is a sharp and fearless jurist who does not let powerful interests bully her into breaking from the rule of law.

Thank you,

Barack Obama

Strategy for Finding Romance after Fifty -- 1 of 3 parts

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Richard O. Jones
In January 2009, my wife of ten years filed for divorce, which gradually, after the initial sting, and sprint of emotionalism, sent me grazing into the green pasture of the senior dating scene. The field of single seniors is not barren.  The vastness of Black single females over fifty is astounding.  Nevertheless, my thought became where or how in the world was I going to meet somebody’s grandmother or great grandmother especially one that was walking and breathing under her own power. To my delight, I discovered Internet Senior Dating and browsed several of the senior websites, ultimately joining one.

Recent statistics indicate that 49% of people over 50 are single.  Makes sense then that this is a growing group of dating enthusiasts.

It is now recognized as one of the fastest growing niches across the planet. Single seniors the world over are now opting to look for new companions, friends, lovers, and spouses in cyberspace as opposed to the more traditional venues of cruise ships, bowling clubs, and church socials. Why leave the comfort of your own home to find a new friend if you don’t have to? This can be especially advantageous for those who do not have access to cars, transport, or don’t feel comfortable meeting strangers in public. Seniors dating online can be an excellent opportunity to meet exciting new friends. You need never go anywhere on your own ever again. Find a chess mate, a local dramatic fan, an art lover, a traveling companion, or a new spouse.

However, several of the females that I have become acquaintanted with have confided in me that even in cyberspace their search for a good man bears little fruit. On close observation, I noticed that in most of their written profiles, and I’ve read hundreds, the women inadvertently write things about themselves and/or their preferences in men that are more of a turn-off than an attraction. First off too many women find it necessary to put their foot down before they even met the man. For example they subtlely or blatantly let it be known that they are aggressive and argument prone. Well, the problem with that logic is that very few men will knowingly sign-up for relationship combat.  This deters men because they see this particular woman with her sleeves rolled up and a rolling pin clinched in her hand.

Another drawback is being overzealous about religion. Over ninety percent of the Black senior divorced women on Internet dating websites not only proclaim their Christianity but also state that their new friend has to be a Christian. This greatly narrows the field. A man does not have to call himself a Christian to be a good, honest, monogamous man.

Plus the fact that an every man or woman that is a Christian does not imply that he or she is a good mate or even rational on a personal level.

richardojones1@verizon.net

Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

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Juanita Barnes
“GOOD MORNING GOD!” You are ushering another day. Untouched and freshly new; So here I am, asking you, God, If you’ll renew me too. Forgive the many errors that I made yesterday, and let me try again dear God to walk closer in thy way. But Father, I am well aware I can’t make it on my own. So, take my hand and hold it tight for I can’t walk alone. Author Unknown!

HELLO MORENO VALLEY
“Where Dreams Soar”

Moreno Valley almost a year ago I met this young man named Lamont Moore. Lamont is a very soft spoken young man. He works in many capacities at (COPIM). I often wondered what his job was. I was soon to learn more about Lamont and why he is who he is.  He works with people. Lamont says “The important things in your life should not be left to chance.” He also said, “Protecting your today preparing your tomorrow, planning for retirement, and preserving your legacy.

Lamont is a Licensed Insurance Life Specialist. He is very skilled in the following: Mortgage Life and Disability Insurance, Retirement Protection, Universal and Whole Life Insurance, Critical Illness Protection, Children’s “headstart” programs, Final Expense Plans and Simplified Issue, (no health exam) Life Insurance. You can trust him to give your family the best. You may reach Lamont Moore at (877) 677–0797 or MooreLamont@Gmail.com. Give him a chance to help you and your family.  Moreno Valley The City offices begin Friday closures, July 10, 2009.  City offices will be closed to the public Friday’s due to budget cuts and reflects a reduction in work hours for the City employees as well as a 10% pay reduction. For updated hours of operation call: (951) 413–3000.  The Moreno Valley Edison Utility Office at the City Annex 14325 Frederick Street, Suite 9 will have a cashier available on Fridays.

The Friday closure of the Moreno Valley Animal Shelter will not impact the animal shelter clinic located next to the shelter at 14041 Elsworth Street. The clinic offers veterinary services by Dr. Marshall E. Scott DVM. Call (951) 413–3000.

The Moreno Valley Black Chamber of Commerce at 22445 Alessandro Blvd., Suite 16, will be the place where July’s Women’s Business Forum will be hosted, Saturday, July 18th 2009 at 8:00 a.m. contact number is (951) 697–7772. The day will start with laughter, sisterhood and nourishment.  You really do not want to miss this opportirnity. Thr guest speaker will be Samantha McCov, Avon District Sales Manager for District 7254.

BE BLESSED
J.B.

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