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Commentary

Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

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Juanita Barnes
Amanda Bradley wrote: EACH LIFE AFFECTS ANOTHER. “Everything we do affects not only our lives, but touches others, too. A simple, happy smile can always brighten up the day.  For anyone who happens to be passing your way. And a little bit of thoughtfulness that shows someone you care. Creates a day of sunshine for both of you to share. Yes, every time you show a friend you care and understand.  Every time you have a kind and gentle word to give. You help someone find beauty in this precious life we give. For happiness brings happiness, and loving ways bring love and giving is treasure that contentment is made of.”

HELLO MORENO VALLEY
“Where Dreams Soar”

The Child and Adult Care Food Program S.T.A.R.S. in Moreno Valley is providing places for after school care programs and services sponsored by (C.A.P.F.P. ) available without charge to all enrolled children at the programs listed locations. The program provides nutritious snacks for children enrolled in the City’s after school sites. For information contact Parks and Rec. Services Department at (951) 413-3280.

On May 31st 2009, Moreno Valley resident Ms. Ethel Mae Gillis the loving mother to Irene Johnson, Maxine Johnson of Neptune, New Jersey and Gay Blair of Moreno Valley passed away. Mother Gillis lived a long and wonderful life. Her homegoing celebration was held June 12, 2009 at the Cathedral Of Praise International Ministry’s Orange Crest Campus.  What a celebration. Ethel loved the Lord and truly was a worshipper. To the wonderful people at the Stratton Center, thank you for your kindness to each and everyone of us. Your kindness was greatly received again thank you so much on behalf of the family, friends and the (COPIM) FAMILY.

“Oh my!” The Cathedral of Praise Young Adults Rags II Riches A Kingdom – Wear Extravaganza Fashion Show, was off the hook. What an elegant show. The youth were in rare form teaching how to be saved and yet have fun in the kingdom of God. There mission is: Empower Young Adults towards Their God – Given Destiny!  Young Adults keep up the God given word that is placed in you by the man of God. Great job B.A.S.I.C. (Brothers and Sisters In Christ). If you would like to reach the young adults ministry, email youngadults@copim.org or (909) 874–8676.

Moreno Valley residents, if you can receive MVTV – 3, the Budget Meeting can be seen on TV. You can listen to audio of the City Council’s study session discussion Tuesday of the proposed 2009 – 10 City budget, at 6:00 p.m. or on their website www.moval.orgwww.moval.org (951) 413–3053.

BE BLESSED
J.B.

Promises ... In Shades of Black

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Briana Boykin
“Hush… someone is calling your name,” Ms. Woodie Rucker-Hughes alerts to graduating students at the 5th Annual African American Student Recognition Celebration and admonishes graduates to rise to the occasion of leadership, scholarship, and professionalism.

On Sunday June 7th, 2009, students of the Renaissance Scholars Program. The Talented Tenth Program, and the Ujima program gathered together to be honored, celebrated, and empowered by RCC Faculty, Staff and Community Members. Those leaders in attendance included RCC counselor Danielle Ramsey, RCC Vice President of Student affairs Dr. Edward Bush, motivational speaker

Pastor John W. Seniguar, the RCCD Gospel singers, Don A j e n e Wilcoxson, James Banks, Jimmie Hill, Monique Hill, Dr. Marilyn Martinez-Florez, RCC President Dr.  Jan Muto, and Janet Green of the RCCD Board of Trustees.

The event was beautiful. Dr. Edward Bush, who set a powerful and inspiring tone for the program, informed students that the community was not gathered to recognize the students, but to celebrate them for all their hard work and academic initiatives despite the many social and economic hardships many of them had to face.

“You are our best,” he cried, cheering on the students for their outstanding efforts – a tone that was echoed throughout the ceremony by Pastor Seniguar, Ms. Hughes, the students, and even within the songs sung by the RCCD gospel singers.

The students left empowered, ready to conquer the next level in life. Many of them will be transferring to prestigious colleges in the fall including:

CSU San Bernardino, Hampton University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and California Baptist University, just to name a few.  As the ceremony came to an end, each student and guest could hear Ms.  Rucker-Hughes lyrical speech ringing in their ears and left knowing that there was no doubt that someone was calling their name.

The National Scene

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During his 2008 campaign, candidate Obama described a speech he would one day present to the Muslim world if he became President. This week, in Cairo, Egypt, President Barack Obama delivered that  speech. From Cairo University, the President used his outstanding communication skills—and his ability to bridge cultural divides—to speak of a ‘new beginning’ between Americans and Muslims.

He addressed the world’s 1.5 billion followers of Islam and received positive responses from Muslims around the globe.

Obama also got tough on the economy this week….instructing his Cabinet to move faster with Recovery Act funds, and signaling the urgency of health care reform legislation to Senate leaders.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Obama Rolls-Up-His-Sleeves for Health Care Reform

On the other hand, maybe we should say—the President is putting on his boxing gloves for what is sure to be a battle to get health care reform passed this year. In a meeting with lawmakers, Obama expressed the importance of health care reform stating, “We can’t afford to put this off, and the dedicated public servants who are gathered here today understand that and they are ready to get going, and this window between now and the August recess I think is going to be the make-or-break period.

This is the time where we’ve got to get this running.”

In a letter addressed to Senators Ted Kennedy and Max Baucus, the Chairmen of the key committees in the Senate handling health care reform, the President made clear that, “in 2009, health care reform is not a luxury.” He went on to describe the urgency of the situation by stating:

“It’s a necessity we cannot defer. Soaring health care costs make our current course unsustainable. It is unsustainable for our families, whose spiraling premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are pushing them into bankruptcy and forcing them to go without the checkups and prescriptions they need. It is unsustainable for businesses, forcing more and more of them to choose between keeping their doors open or covering their workers….In short, the status quo is broken, and pouring money into a broken system only perpetuates its inefficiencies.  Doing nothing would only put our entire health care system at risk. Without meaningful reform, one fifth of our economy is projected to be tied up in our health care system in 10 years; millions more Americans are expected to go without insurance; and outside of what they are receiving for health care, workers are projected to see their take-home pay actually fall over time. We simply cannot afford to postpone health care reform any longer.”

First Lady Speaks to Graduates at DC High School

Stating she wanted to speak at a Washington, D.C. public school to celebrate the achievements of young people in her new hometown, First Lady Michelle Obama gave the commencement address to graduating seniors at the Washington Math and Science Technology Public Charter High School. The well-respected school has a 99% graduation rate and Mrs. Obama told the graduates not to be intimidated when they go to college, reminding them:

“It is natural for graduates to doubt themselves and question their abilities when they first set foot onto their new college campuses. When you set foot on the soil of whatever campus that has admitted you, understand that you are responsible for your own experiences. So what I want you to do is ‘own’ your voice.  Own it. Don’t be intimidated by your new surroundings. Remember, everyone else is in the same position that you’re in. Be an engaged and active participant in all of your classes. Never, ever sit in silence, ever. That first day, raise your hand, use your voice, ask a question. Don’t be afraid to be wrong, don’t be afraid to sound unclear, because understand this is the only way you’ll learn.”

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Obama Speaks to Muslim World from Cairo, Egypt

In a major speech, addressed to Muslims around the world, President Obama signaled a new beginning of relations between the US and Muslim countries.  Starting with the customary Muslim greeting ‘Assalaamu’alaykun’, Obama’s well-received talk was part introduction to his background (“I am a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims.  As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.”); part history lesson (he described the mistrust that has grown over the years between the U.S. and Muslim countries); part religious discourse (he quoted from the Quran, the Talmud and the Bible), and part policy speech (he spoke of the current hot-spots in the middle east and his administration’s approach to the region, and also addressed women’s rights in Islamic nations.) During the speech, President Obama pointed out the commonalities of our cultures and our religion—and cautioned, “Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire. The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known. ... We are shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simple concept: E pluribus unum: ‘Out of many, one.’” Muslims from around the world praised the speech and the respect showed to their culture. The crowd at Cairo University gave the President cheers and a standing ovation at the conclusion of his speech.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Obama Visits Buchenwald Concentration Camp

The President visited German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Dresden Castle in Germany and toured the Church of Our Lady. This was followed by a trip to Buchenwald Concentration Camp, where Bertrand Herz, a survivor of the camp, and Nobel Laureate and fellow holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, joined them. During the emotional visit at the former camp, the President recounted his great uncle, who was part of the 89th Infantry Division, the first Americans to reach a concentration camp. They liberated Ohrdruf, one of Buchenwald’s subcamps.  Obama described the significance of the visit saying, “We are here today because we know this work is not yet finished. To this day, there are those who insist that the Holocaust never happened—a denial of fact and truth that is baseless and ignorant and hateful. This place is the ultimate rebuke to such thoughts; a reminder of our duty to confront those who would tell lies about our history.”

Saturday, June 6, 2009

President Attends D-Day Remembrance

President Barack Obama spoke during a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in Normandy at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville sur Mer in Western France. Addressing the few remaining D-Day veterans who were also present, the President stated, “It came down to the men who landed here—those who now rest in this place for eternity, and those who are with us here today. Perhaps more than any other reason, you, the veterans of that landing, are why we still remember what happened on D-Day. You’re why we keep coming back. For you remind us that in the end, human destiny is not determined by forces beyond our control. You remind us that our future is not shaped by mere chance or circumstance. Our history has always been the sum total of the choices made and the actions taken by each individual man and woman. It has always been up to us.”

The President was joined by the First Lady and foreign leaders, including:

Britain’s Prince Charles, Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy.

President and First Lady Enjoy Dinner in France

While in France, the President and his wife were spotted dining at a cozy French Bistro. The restaurant, not lavish by any means, was filled with diners who were ecstatic to be joined by the new American President and his wife.  The following day the President returned to the U.S., while Mrs. Obama and the First Daughters, Malia and Sasha, toured London and France.

Monday, June 8, 2009

President Accelerates Recovery Act

Citing increasing unemployment numbers, the President summoned his Cabinet and instructed them to move faster in implementing Recovery Act projects across the country.

The President has made it clear—he wants the Stimulus money to help struggling

Americans, and he wants to cut through the bureaucratic red tape that normally slows down federal projects.

President Obama Changing Islam’s Opinion of the U.S.

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By Ron Walters,
NNPA Columnist

President Barack Obama’s recent trip to the Middle East where he gave a speech in Cairo, Egypt was a triumph in his attempt to change the opinions of over 1.2 billion Muslims about the character of the United States.

It was a bold and audacious attempt that was conceived to place America, probably for the first time in the eyes of Muslims, as an honest broker for peace and not so Israeli-centric that negotiations were over before they began.

I agree with Chris Matthews of MSNBC this time, who said that the people we have to worry about that will create terrorism against the United States are now youths, many of whom are aggrieved at the killing and maiming of their parents, the destruction of their homes by Israel or the United States and their lack of life options.

But there is also the potential for a massive well of cooperation with the United States from other youths, based on the power of American popular culture, the pull of higher education, and the engine of economic growth. Which young Muslim will determine the nature of future alliances between the U.S.  and the Middle East?

Barack Obama went to Cairo to answer this question by saying in effect that the U.S. must hold out its hand in peace and if the fist of Muslims is unclenched, there is a chance. But he also had to admit, like Bill Clinton did on his trip to Africa as President, that the U.S. had not always been on the right side of history.

Then, as now, right wing radicals have called the President an apologist.  In fact, here we have a president who has captured the attention of the entire Islamic world, whose speech has been translated into 12 languages, and who is roundly accepted on the Muslim street as a positive force.

But we find the reluctance to accept this triumph of public diplomacy in his own country.

In the U.S., many media analysts, instead of acknowledging an historic feat, have derided his receipt of a medal by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (I have never seen pictures of medals given to American presidents before); he has been criticized by not using the word “terrorism” in his speech; some said the speech did not have one new policy proposal; and he has even been called an “apostate” (someone was a Muslim, but who has backslid).

Most of this has come from neocons, like Daniel Pipes who during the campaign tried to say that

Obama is still a Muslim, or Edward Luttwak who authored the “apostate” charge in an op-ed piece in the New York Times. Why would the Times publish such a piece in the first place?

Obama’s goal was not to announce new policy, but to change the tone of American relations with the Muslim world and he could not do that by using the inference that all Muslims were “terrorist” or that there is “global war on terror.”

The President was clear about the American position with respect to those who would seek to harm us, but without the baggage of the neocon-riddled Bush administration’s ideology. The underlying concept, spelled out by Harvard Professor, Samuel Huntington was that we were experiencing a “Clash of Civilizations” between Islam and the West.

Obama said straightforwardly that America was not and will never be at war with Islam; Bush said that too, to his credit, but it was not believable because he also included Muslim countries in his “Axis of evil.”

Undoubtedly, the President will also be criticized by his view that Iran has a right to the use of peaceful nuclear power, under the scrutiny of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

It is my view that neither America nor Israel will be able to stop the spread of nuclear capability in the Middle East; the view that only our guys can have it is fast losing currency in international affairs, no matter how many resolutions the US is able to wring out of the UN to the contrary. So, the way forward is to cooperate in aggressively helping to manage the spread and not to create a prohibition that is the basis for interminable sanctions or even military actions.

To the extent that Obama has taken the hardest line on the establishment of Israeli settlements in the

West Bank, he has moved much farther into the middle as an honest broker. By doing so, he is also revealing that the key to Middle East peace is not solely located there, but to what extent his position will be supported at home. Barack Obama is the right person at the right time to have made this gesture of reconciliation, let’s hope it is not messed up.

Dr. Ron Walters is the Distinguished Leadership Scholar, Director of the African-American Leadership Center and Professor of Government and Politics. His latest book is: The Price of Racial Reconciliation (U Michigan Press)

Are You Ready for Digital TV June 12?

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Marc H. Morial
On Friday, June 12th, the old fashioned way of watching TV, with rabbit ears and roof-top antennas, will become obsolete.

On that date the federal government has mandated the complete transition from analog to digital TV, ushering in the biggest change in how television is broadcast into consumers’ homes since the advent of color TV half a century ago.

Digital broadcasting provides a clearer picture, more channels and will free up airwaves for use by emergency responders. If you have already purchased and installed a digital TV converter box or if you have cable, satellite or other pay-TV service, you do not have to do a thing.

However, if you are not ready, the only thing you will see when you turn on your TV on June 13th is a blank screen.

While consumers have known of this change for several years, according to Nielsen, the world’s leading marketing and media information company, currently approximately 3.1             million households would lose TV service if analog transmission ceased today. According to an article in Television Broadcast Magazine,

“Among demographics, African Americans represent the highest ratio of unprepared households at 5.4 percent. Hispanics are next at 4.7 percent. Among Asian households, 3.2 percent are unprepared.”

Losing TV service may be a minor inconvenience for most of us, but for many people, especially seniors, residents of nursing homes, low income families and people with disabilities, television is much more than a luxury.

It is a lifeline to the outside world, a primary source of news and information and the place they turn to first in times of public emergency.  That is why it is especially important that these people are not left behind when the transition from analog to digital TV takes effect on June 12th.

If you are one of the unprepared, there is still time to take action.

Your options include:

Keep your existing analog TV and purchase a TV converter box with or without a government coupon. A converter box plugs into your TV and will keep it working after your local stations stop analog broadcasts no later than June 12, 2009, or Connect to cable, satellite or other pay service, or Purchase a television with a digital tuner.

If you decide to purchase a TV converter box, which costs between $40 and $80, the government is providing up to two $40 coupons per household. Converter boxes can be purchased with or without the coupon at retail stores where you would usually buy consumer electronics products including Best Buy, K-Mart, Radio Shack, Sears, Target and Wal Mart.

If you wish to purchase your converter box with a government coupon, you must first apply for your coupon(s) by going online to http://www.dtv2009.gov/, calling 1-888-DTV-2009, or by mailing your application to P.O. Box 2000, Portland, OR, 97208-2000.

It takes approximately nine days to process and mail your coupons and the deadline for accepting coupon applications is July 31, 2009 or while supplies last. June 12th is only days away. If you have not made the switch to digital TV, do it today.

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