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Commentary

Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

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Juanita Barnes
Bishop Jim Swilley wrote about: “Wisdom’s Seven Pillars.“ Wisdom has built her house on seven pillars, and well – rounded life in Christ comes from embracing each of them. (1) Walk in the knowledge of God. (2 Peter 1:2 Phil. 3:3 –10) (2) Walk in the knowledge of His plans and purposes. (Psalm 103:7 (3) Walk in the knowledge of the Scriptures. (2Timothy 2:15) (4) Walk in the knowledge of life (heb. 5:8 Phil. 4:11) (5) Seek to grasp a knowledge of people. (John 2:24 25 Amp) (6) Embrace the knowledge of self. (psalm 51:6 (7) Love practical knowledge. (Acts 7:22) Remember that knowledge is power)!

HELLO MORENO VALLEY
“Where Dreams Soar”

The Moreno Valley Housing Assistance Program has been approved. This is a new city program that will provide short-term housing assistance to residents in danger of becoming homeless. The program is expected to start this summer. For more information call (951) 413–3000.

Moreno Valley, I cannot express enough how important it is for us to have the “LORD’S GYM” in our community. We need this for our children, grandchildren and youth of this community. It is a must that we have this gym. Talk to your pastors, teachers, friends, and business people of Moreno Valley. Let us make our community the best by going into partnership with Renewed Life Fellowship, Inc. , a public charity. This is a tax exempt entity and you can make your check payable to: Renewed Life Fellowship, Inc. , 12625 Frederick Street. , 1-5, 415, Moreno Valley, Ca. 92553, or online at renewedlifefellowship@.org or contact Pastor Ted Collins, Sr. at (760) 900–6432. Moreno Valley let us come together and make it happen for our future.

Moreno Valley we now have a community garden here in the City for those of you that need this.

Please call the City and get the address at 951-413–3000. I would love to hear from those of you that grow your own gardens and have fruit trees.

In a few weeks it will be Father’s Day. If you start now, you can really bless your father.

May I leave you with this: give a smile and say I love you or how are you today? That means so much to people.

BE BLESSED
J.B.

The Streets: Bad Educational Tool -- 3 of 6 parts

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Richard O. Jones
After reading the enormous piles of statistics on the racial disparity in the American prison population,

I have come to the conclusion that nothing has done so much to destroy the future of the Black youth than the striving after the mirage glorified in popular culture.  This is a generation of crack cocaine and degenerate music. Even the Black women are now in prison in record numbers. Prior to 1987 there was only one women’s prison in California, California Institute for Women (CIW). Today there’s at least four. It’s ironic, during slavery less than 2% of Blacks were in prisons. Slavery was their prison; in fact, we came to this country as prisoners.

Within five years after the Civil War, the percentages of the Black prison population went from close to zero to 33 percent…Overnight prisons became the new slave quarters.

The national average of Blacks in prison increased from approximately 33% immediately following slavery to 39% 100 years later. That was only 6% in over a century. However, after 1980 to present, in less than twenty-five years, since the music, movie, and media glamorization of Blacks involved in drugs and crime, the prison population for Blacks has skyrocketed to nearly 50 percent nationally. In some Southern states, South Carolina for instance the Black prison population is 68 percent, according to U.S. Bureau of Prisons. That’s more than twice the figure in the year 1870.

Currently we have more brothers in prison than enrolled in college.

It’s oblivious where our young males’ priorities are. Who are their role models? In 1999, there were 757,000 Black men in federal, state and local prisons, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. There were 604,200 African-American men enrolled in higher education in America, according to the autumn 2003 issue of the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. Do the math.  Voluntary ignorance is a true sellout.

What are the streets producing?  The streets as our youth know it are fattening them for an insatiable snake called prison. We can’t wait on another government program.  We can’t expect the greedy sellout entertainers to start behaving responsibly.

I once heard a story about a little boy who was walking on the beach.

He saw a crawdad struggling to make it to the ocean. The boy picked up the small sea critter and tossed it farther towards the ocean.  Then he picked up another and did the same thing. A man standing nearby walked over and said with compassion for the lads’ efforts, “Little boy, look around. There are thousands of crawdads on the beach struggling to get in the ocean. You can’t possibly make a difference.”

The boy stopped for a moment and looked. He then realized that there were crawdads as far as he could see and he couldn’t possibly help very many of them. However, he picked up another and tossed it towards the ocean, saying, “I make a difference to that one. Then he picked up another and said, “And I make a difference to that one.” Soon the man began to pick up crawdads and toss them even farther into the ocean, also saying, “I make a difference to that one.” Shortly thereafter, other people on the beach became tossing crawdads into the ocean. It is incumbent on every concerned citizen try to make a difference.

richardojones1@verizon.net

The National Scene

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By Linnie Frank Bailey

A busy week for the President as he signed into law major bills designed to, make home refinancing easier; end mortgage fraud; reform credit card policies; and monitor defense procurement.  He also met with his economic advisory board to gauge progress, and took on former Vice-President Dick Cheney on national security. Obama created a couple of “firsts” this week by naming an African-American as his choice to lead NASA, and in a move applauded by Latino activists across the country—nominated a Hispanic woman for the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

African-American Business Leaders Attend White

House Briefing

Senior Obama Advisor Valerie Jarrett hosted a meeting at the White House for over 150 African-American business leaders.

The purpose of the meeting was to lay out the administration’s agenda for the year, and to encourage the leaders to implement the policies in their home areas. The meeting was well attended by MBA’s, with the Harvard Business School’s African-American Alumni Association serving as the lead organizer, and members of the National Black MBA Association in attendance. The group participated in a question-and-answer session with Ms. Jarrett and members of her staff. She stressed that the White House will “always be open” to hearing new ideas.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Obama Meets With Economic Recovery Advisory Board

The President held his first official quarterly meeting with members of his economic advisory board to discuss policy, and the status of the recovery. Members of the board* include (in alphabetical order):

·         Anna Burger, Secretary-Treasurer, SEIU

·         John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers

·         William H. Donaldson, Former Chairman, SEC

·         Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President & CEO, TIAA-CREF

·         Mark T. Gallogly, Founder & Managing Partner, Centerbridge Partners L.P.

·         Austan Goolsbee, Staff Director and Chief Economist

·         Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE

·         Monica C. Lozano, Publisher & Chief Executive Officer, La Opinion

·         James W. Owens, Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar Inc.

·         Charles E. Phillips, Jr., President, Oracle Corporation

·         Penny Pritzker, Chairman & Founder, Pritzker Realty Group

·         David F. Swensen, Chief Investment Officer, Yale University

·         Richard L. Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO

·         Laura D’Andrea Tyson, Dean, Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley

·         Paul Volcker, Chairman

·         Robert Wolf, Chairman & CEO, UBS Group Americas *as listed on whitehouse.gov President Signs Laws to Help Families

The President signed two pieces of legislation to help cash-strapped families across America. Obama described the “The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act,” as “advancing the goals of our existing housing plan by providing assistance to responsible homeowners and preventing avoidable foreclosures….to help families who found themselves “underwater” as a result of declining home values—families who owed more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.” The bill is designed to remove the bureaucratic hurdles that keep eligible families from applying for much needed assistance, including providing homeowners with FHA mortgages the opportunity to refinance to more affordable rates. Stating, “Any plan is only as effective as the number of people who take advantage of it,” the President encouraged all concerned homeowners to visit the website:

MakingHomeAffordable.gov to determine eligibility for new federal programs.  The President also signed the “Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act” into law, which gives the government the tools to crack down on consumer scams, mortgage fraud, and questionable lender policies at all levels. Addressing communities hard hit by consumer and mortgage fraud, the President stressed, “This bill nearly doubles the FBI’s mortgage and financial fraud program, allowing it to better target fraud in hardhit areas.”

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Obama versus Cheney

After being rebuffed by the Senate, which voted against funding to close the controversial base—Guantanamo, the President gave a major foreign policy speech while standing alongside the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. While stating that the protection of the American people will always come first, Obama went on to describe the post 9-11 “season of fear” that caused the country to sway from the values it was founded on. He addressed past policies by saying, “Too many of us—Democrats and Republicans, politicians, journalists, and citizens -- fell silent. In other words, we went off course. And this is not my assessment alone.  It was an assessment that was shared by the American people who nominated candidates for President from both major parties who, despite our many differences, called for a new approach—one that rejected torture and one that recognized the imperative of closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.”

Following Obama’s speech, former Vice-President Dick Cheney gave an address to the conservative think-tank The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Cheney’s policy speech revisited much of the “neo-conservatism” which gained ground post 9-11, during the first term of the Bush administration. Following the talk, it was noted by many pundits that although Cheney addressed his national security disagreement to the Obama administration, much of what he argued against had taken place during the second term of the Bush administration—of which he served.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Obama Signs McCain-Supported Law

The President signed the “Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act” to implement defense procurement reform. Designed to review defense project spending, the bill had bi-partisan support, and has been championed as needed legislation for years by former Presidential candidate John McCain. The President acknowledged his former rival by saying, “Defense procurement reform was one of the issues that John McCain and I discussed in our first meeting after the election. We pledged to work together to get it done, and today I’m extraordinarily proud to stand here and sign a bill that passed with unanimous support from both parties at every step of the way.”

Obama Greets McCain’s Son at Graduation

Following his signing of the McCain supported defense procurement law; the President joined the McCain family in Annapolis, Maryland where the President spoke at the US Naval Academy Commencement. Senator McCain’s son—John Sidney McCain IV, commonly known as Jack, became the fourth McCain to graduate from the Naval Academy, and the fourth with the same name.

President Signs Credit-Card Legislation

Describing the need for “common-sense” reforms in the credit-card industry, the President signed a sweeping bill—the “Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009” that he says will:

·         Ban unfair rate increases;

·         Prevent unfair fee traps;

·         Require plain language in plain sight for disclosures;

·         Increase accountability all around;

·         And institute protections for students and young people.

Furthermore, the President stated, “Because of this new law:

·         Statements will be required to tell credit card holders how long it will take to pay off a balance and what it will cost in interest if they only make the minimum monthly payments.

·         We will put a stop to retroactive rate hikes that appear on a bill suddenly with no rhyme or reason.

·         Every card company will have to post its credit card agreements online, and we’ll monitor those agreements to see if new protections are needed.

·         Consumers will have more time to understand their statements as well:

Companies will have to mail them 21 days before payment is due, not 14.

·         And, this law ends the practice of shifting payment dates.”

He continued: “Lastly, among many other provisions, there will be no more sudden charges—changes to terms and conditions. We require at least 45 days notice if the credit card company is going to change terms and conditions. So we’re not going to give people a free pass; we expect consumers to live within their means and pay what they owe. But we also expect financial institutions to act with the same sense of responsibility that the American people aspire to in their own lives.”

Monday, May 25, 2009

Obama and Memorial Day

After spending family time at Camp David, the President honored all who have served our country in the military. Obama participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and spoke at the cemetery’s amphitheater, saying: “Here lies Presidents and privates; Supreme Court justices and slaves; generals familiar to history, and unknown soldiers known only to God…I laid a wreath at their tomb to pay tribute to all who have given their lives for this country.”

African-American Nominated to Lead NASA

Former Astronaut, and retired Marine Corps Major General, Charles Bolden Jr., was chosen by President Obama to head the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Bolden, has flown on four Shuttle missions and previously served as NASA’s assistant deputy administrator. Once he wins the expected approval of the Senate, Bolden will be the first African-American to lead the agency.

Promises ... In Shades of Black

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Briana Boykin
The Inland Empire has been home to me for the majority of my life. It’s where I have spent the greater half of my life trying to tackle or work out the thing we commonly call “growing up” – a process that, in my book, has not always been easy.

Nevertheless, despite all the hardships of transitioning into adulthood, getting older has also been quite rewarding; and, I look forward to the years – the promises that lie ahead of me.

for this reason, I have decided to highlight the community that has fostered my development into young adulthood by telling its story through the accomplishments of its young people: young adults in the Black community under the age of thirty who also have been cultivated by the Inland Empire community and who give us great hope for the future.

I call these young people promises. I have always believed in the power of community and understand that my achievements as a young adult would not be possible without the nurturing village of individuals who have invested within me confidence, wisdom, and divine knowledge.

I am completely humbled by what these tools have enabled me to accomplish in less than twenty-five years of life, and I am so thankful for the community who is within me – the ancestors, mothers, and fathers, cousins, sisters, sons, and daughters of the village that nurtures me. The wise men and women – teachers, pastors, deacons, ushers, husbands, wives, mentors, and friends – who have sewn into me a unique quality of life through a genuine and sincere love.

Together, they are my promise quilt.

It is this same village that has inspired me to write about a unique thing that is happening everyday in these parts of the Inland Empire.

My hope is that I will be able to illuminate that village who is in me and use the stories of her young people to continue inspiring those who do and do not yet know their place or shade in the promise quilt.  Every day I meet new “promises,” and I am often surprised by their modesty and quietness. Thus, I have taken responsibility to amplify those great future leaders in our community who are being cultured everyday in our own backyard.  By sharing their stories in a weekly editorial sequence, I will use young people as the means in which to write about the village, as the lens into a world of elders who are committed to investing in their young people, and as a way inspire the youth of this generation through the works and achievements of their peers.

I hope to take the stories of “promise” and capture an entire picture of the village surrounding them. Each story will add a new piece to the quilt. Please join me next week as we sew our first promise back in to the fabric of the village.

Limiting Offsets Will Lead To Cleaner Air, More Jobs

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OP-ED
By Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter, District 62


The California state legislature is now facing a measure that will have significant and positive impact on creating a clean energy economy, local green jobs and cleaner air in the Inland Empire and throughout our state. It will also dramatically cut global warming pollution.

Assembly Bill 1404, which I coauthored, will limit the use of offsets as an option to comply with California’s global warming law. A global warming offset is a credit that a company can buy as a substitute for making some cuts in their own air pollution. An electric utility in California, for example, might pay a business in Mexico to capture methane from a pig farm rather than reduce its own pollution by building a wind or solar plant in California or cleaning up one of its fossil-fuel plants.

Without this bill, which is now going before the State Assembly, polluters may be allowed to outsource up to half of the global warming pollution cuts that they otherwise would have been required to make. This would be a shame, because we know that local efforts to cut global warming pollution can have countless side-benefits.

Analysis done by the state shows that implementing California’s global warming policies without offsets would create an estimated 500,000 new jobs. Those jobs would come from building wind turbines and solar panels, but they also come from more money being pumped into the economy by people having to spend less of their paycheck on the electricity bill and gas for the car due to greater energy and fuel efficiency.  The energy efficiency laws that California passed in the 1970s are a good example of how this could work. State energy efficiency measures have enabled Californians to save $56 billion on their energy bills over the last several decades.  These measures decreased monthly electricity bills, so instead of sending our money to coal companies in other states for expensive imported electricity, we spent that money here at home.

That extra spending created about 1.5 million jobs. Offsets would decrease the incentive to invest in energy efficiency and new renewable energy because it’s much easier to pay someone else to make a change instead of doing it yourself.

When our state’s biggest global warming polluters—fossil-fuel-based electricity generators, gasoline and diesel fuel providers, oil refineries, and heavily-polluting industries— reduce their global warming emissions, they often simultaneously reduce smog-forming and toxic air pollutants as well. But if polluters pay someone else to reduce emissions, the lungs of the people living around those polluting facilities will pay the price.

San Bernardino and Riverside counties top the list in California of the region most polluted year round by lung-damaging particle matter.  This means that every year, tens of thousands of Californians are dying prematurely due to chronic exposure to fine particle air pollution. The clean air benefits of reducing global warming pollution are not something we can afford to lose through offsets.

A recent University of California Berkeley study found that by implementing our global warming law without offsets, California could simultaneously reduce thousands of additional tons of harmful air pollutants.  The study showed that the more out-of-state offsets allowed into the program, the fewer air quality benefits we can expect to experience.  More than 60 scientific, health, labor, environmental, faith, social justice, and civic organizations stand behind the bill to limit offsets because they realize it will mean less pollution and more business for California and they know that local communities will benefit from green jobs and cleaner air.

Consumers and ratepayers will eventually end up paying for offsets, or for emission reductions here in the state.

As someone who represents the consumers in my district, I want to make sure that we get our money’s worth for our global warming policies.

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