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AQMD Awards Nearly $5 Million To Replace Dirty Diesel Trucks Servicing Area Ports

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The South Coast Air Quality Management District has awarded $4.8 million to replace 163 older heavy-duty diesel trucks operating at the ports and in other goods movement activities across the Southland with new lower-emission models.

“Heavy-duty trucks are one of the largest sources of smog-forming pollution in Southern California,” said William A. Burke, Ed.D., AQMD’s Governing Board Chairman. “Cleaning up the Southland’s truck fleet is one of the most important steps we can take to protect the health of those living in areas where these vehicles travel.”

The funding will provide truckers up to $30,000 per truck in incentive funding. The trucks will operate at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and in other goods movement activities. The new diesel trucks are about 96 percent cleaner than the ones they replace and are certified to meet or exceed the state’s strict 2010 emissions standards for heavy-duty diesel trucks. AQMD’s Board approved the funding on April 6.

Since 2009, AQMD has awarded $122 million in state Proposition 1B funds to help replace more than 2,400 older diesel trucks, including about 1,500 trucks that operate as “drayage” trucks hauling containers from ports to nearby rail yards and warehouses. Of the 1,500 drayage trucks replaced, 559 were replaced with liquefied natural gas trucks funded by an additional $27 million in local and federal funds.

On April 6 the AQMD Board also awarded $580,000 to Black and Decker, Inc. and The Greenstation to conduct the 2012 Mow Down Air Pollution program and exchange 4,000 gasoline-powered lawn mowers for new, cordless electric models. Registration for the 2012 lawn mower exchange events opens on May 2. AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

A Tribute to Woman’s History Month My Grandmother’s Legacy of Courage

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By Lea Michelle Cash

Nonetheless, after the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot is when my grandmother’s dream begins to become deferred. Her dream went up in smoke and her life was never the same. She was pregnant at the time with my uncle Julius. After the riot, my grandfather also became a different man. Historians have stated, something snapped in the hearts of many Black men directly after the riot. Many Black families lost loved ones and their minds due to the hardship that was precipitated on the Black community after the riot. My grandfather had saved over $45,000 from his boxing earnings, and now it was gone. In 1919, my grandmother was featured on the front page of The Tulsa Star, recognizing colored women. The cutline mentioned her as one of our popular ladies who recently fell heir to an estate of valuable property worth $10,000 from her Aunt Josephine Hurst who recently died in Little Rock. The cutline also mentioned my grandmother was an expert Milliner and Seamstress, having a large trade that she built in Tulsa among her people.

Making injustice even worse after the riot claims filed by Blacks for damages and losses were never honored. Lives were further destroyed as Black families scattered to points South, North, East and West. For almost two years, the Black families who stayed in Tulsa living in tents and campgrounds started slowly to rebuild their lives. My grandparents remained in Tulsa. Daisy’s political cartoons on the front page of The Tulsa Star had played a huge part in making angry the White folks from 1918-1921. With Smitherman gone, the newspaper gone, and now living with a dominating angry husband, she was forced to become a homemaker, sewing, cooking, cleaning, and giving birth to a child every year. Her dream deferred begins to fester like a sore and my grandfather begins to beat the dream out of her. They are the parents of twelve children—one died as an infant leaving eleven all born and raised in Tulsa. My mother Altamese Marion Scott, the historian of her family is their ninth child. It is unimaginable at times for me to understand what it was like to live under those circumstances with a dream so bright in your heart. As they rebuilt their lives, purchasing land minutes away from what is known now, as the historic “Greenwood District” (Little Black Wall Street), my grandfather built three small framed houses and a small general store. The family lived in one and the other two houses were rented to others. He placed a boxing ring in the yard where he openly trained young boxers.

Many years later, Daisy grabbed the kids and fled from her husband several times. One time, she made it to St Louis, where her mother (Julia Miller) now lived with her second husband, William Young and their daughter Jettie. My grandfather followed her—bringing her back home to Tulsa with the promises of becoming a better man. He never did. To Daisy’s dream, he provided the crust and sugar over- like a syrupy sweet. In time, his children grew up to hate him as they watched their mother suffer in silence at the domination of an angry man. A man larger than life in their world, who had cigars shipped to him from Cuba, idolized heavy weight boxer, Jack Johnson, was always well dressed, top hat, and spoke like a self-taught professor, since he had seen the world in all his boxing glory, and was highly respected in Black circles as a businessman. Some census reports listed his occupation as laborer and/or janitor.

In 1934, my grandmother saw an advertisement in the White daily newspaper from Federal Schools Inc. The Ad encouraged artists to send in their artwork and take the road to bigger things, describing how success may be won through illustrating & cartooning as taught by a master course. This instruction was being taught by over one hundred of the world’s greatest illustrators and cartoonists conducted at Federal Schools, Inc. Daisy sent in her artwork. She received a long beautiful letter filled with encouragement, praise and confidence that she possess enough talent to justify following a course of technical training and enjoying a high salary paid in this most agreeable profession. The letter mentions that only those having the talent like hers, ambition, energy, persistence and determination to succeed can ever acquire the proficiency necessary to enter this profession. This is verified because, I have the letter and through historical searches and EBay, I stumbled on an antique dealer selling a 1934 Federal Schools Inc. legendary “A Road to Bigger Things” literature booklet. I purchased the treasured booklet.

My grandmother was sent that booklet which featured numerous stories about White illustrators and cartoonists. She had also received a certificate for the presence of artistic ability and a good understanding of the elements of drawing, signed by the president of the school. On the first page of the booklet was titled: The Realization of a Dream. My grandmother was dreaming bigger than big. She could do this because the classes were mail order and the school was in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They did not know the color of her skin and Jim Crow Laws had no hold on her through mail order. She had only one enemy—a husband who continued to beat the dream out of her—time and again. To him she would surrender. Most women did in that era of women’s suffrage. Their voices were marginalized and silenced. For this reason, historically, a Black woman’s life has been one of long-suffering and severe oppression as a member of two powerless and exploited classes making her a double victim.

On Sunday evening, August 4, 1946, the five children living at home returned home from 7:00 PM Benediction. They went into the kitchen, and ate most of the rice pudding and the lemon sauce to go over it. Their father asked Daisy, “Where is my dessert? Has everyone eaten it all from me?” She replied, “No Jack, there is some left for you.” She did not know the kids had eaten it. My grandfather gave the kids a beating that night with the razor strap—it was the strap he used to sharpen his razor for shaving. He would hold their heads between his knees and strike the strap at their backsides.

The following morning, Monday, he was still fussing, but this time it was about his breakfast oatmeal. He headed off to work. My grandmother stayed seated in her favorite yellow and brown sewing chair. My mother says that her mother was very quiet. She was fully dressed and sitting in the chair straight up like a lady, with her hands folded in a prayerful position. The kids began their day without disturbing her. It was Monday, washday. They knew what their mother’s routine would be, while they played outside all day. In their frontyard, was a playground with a sandbox and see saw. There was an open area large enough to play baseball, and ride their bikes. There were four big trees and one had a tire swing. They played hide and seek, and red light green light. In the back yard, was a lot of land. They had three out houses, two vegetable gardens, chickens and a rooster running around. Three peach trees, grape vines and two round brick kennels to burn rubbish and garbage. There were two blessings to the landscape, a hill to slide down on a cardboard boxes and a neighbor with a farm nearby who had plenty of horses to ride.

By late afternoon, sunset, my grandmother had not moved from her chair. My Aunt Jonetta, their tenth child, age 13, begins to get scared. She finds my mother outside playing. The sisters checked on their mother. The two conclude that it was odd that mom had not prepared the supper for them and their dad. Daisy did not respond to their voices. The girls were frightened. They decided to call their parish priest Father Lyndon, the assistant pastor to Father Daniel Bradley, a catholic priest that the entire Black community of Greenwood’s Catholics dearly loved from St Monica Church in Tulsa. St Monica Catholic Church was built in 1930 off Greenwood Ave to serve the Black Catholic community. My mother and her siblings attended school there. Father Lyndon came promptly in his automobile. He put his ear to Daisy’s mouth and said that she was praying. He told the girls to pull back the covers on the bed in the living room and he carried her there, and placed her in the bed. Father Lyndon instructed the girls to make sure their mother did not move, while he went to get Father Bradley. Shortly after Father Bradley arrived, he was going to take, Daisy to St John’s Hospital. He asks, “Where is your father?” At that moment, my grandfather walks in the door. My grandfather asked, “What’s going on? What are you doing here?” Jack replies, “We don’t need any charity. I can take care of things here.” He orders, Father Bradley and Father Lyndon out of his house. Father Bradley states, “Daisy is sick and needs to go to the hospital.” The priests leave. My aunt Jo starts crying and just before my mother places a cloth, soaked in icebox water on their mother’s forehead, my grandfather begins hitting her, about why she called Father Bradley.

The frightened children tended to their mother overnight. It’s Tuesday, early dawn, my grandfather takes his wife to Moton Memorial Hospital. Moton is the first African American hospital in Tulsa. The hospital operated as a segregated medical facility until 1956. Today it is known as the Morton Health Center. The children wanted their mother to go to St John’s, the White people’s hospital — not Moton where people always died there. On Thursday, the kids visited their mother. She was awake and told them to be good and listen to their father. That night she slipped back into a coma. Two days later, on Saturday, August 10, 1946, at 2:40 pm, the day before my mother’s 14th birthday, (the eldest girl living at home), while outside washing clothes, her father told her that their mother had passed. The lives of Daisy’s remaining five children, Guy age 15, Altamese age 14, Jonetta age 13, Benjamin age 11 and Toussaint age 8, had forever changed. The older siblings, grown had left or run away from home always with the hope of rescuing their Mom and younger siblings. They were Juanita, Julius, Eloise, Panchita, Sidney and Pauline. The cause of death listed as a cerebral hemorrhage and heat exhaustion. My grandmother died at age, 48. Although, many people came to the funeral and my grandmother’s obituary and picture was published in the Black newspaper, The Oklahoma Eagle, no one rescued the five younger children. They remained with their father who at times showed compassion but yet continued to beat them.

Overtime my grandfather’s anger turned into depression and sadness, then bitterness. He began to withdraw, and dry up like a raisin in the sun. Although he had women, he never remarried or brought another woman near his children. Instead, he would tell people, “My wife was a pearl.” Today, at the Greenwood District Cultural Center lie a Black Wall Street Memorial. My grandfather’s name is inscribed on the granite cenotaph and his losses in the 1921 race riot’s destruction. My grandmother’s dream was deferred but it lives on in her legacy of courage, in artifacts found in libraries featuring early Black newspaper publications.

Managing Personal Grief Problems

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There is no correct way to get accustomed to grief or to completely prepare for it or to completely dismiss its presence. But when uncomplicated grief is excessive and chronic a generic process can be tried to bring it into a normal state. Not to do so can cause a relatively small problem to get bigger and bigger until it adversely alters the course of ones life. Once on a problematic course one is likely to encounter needless difficulties in all sorts of seemingly unrelated situations. Self-honesty is crucial to getting on the path of truth. Again, the foundational first step in management is Self-Love because it does not allow "giving up" on a worthwhile goal or permit doing harm to oneself or to others. Second, accept your Grief as it is without shame or blame. This puts you on solid ground and by embracing the natural part of your Grief. Third, where applicable, forgive others and yourself because both are fundamental to getting on the path to a free mind. Fourth, use your Spiritual Immune System and its truths to face and shed what is unnatural. With respect to diagnosing your problem, your friends and enemies might help and if they are willing accepted as teachers they could be of benefit in getting you to "know thyself." Otherwise, if mental specialist help is not available, my favorite method is to engage in the "What's Behind That? self-questioning process. This process is effective in identifying and getting to the root of the problem. The way this goes is that for every significant thought related to grief is to ask: "What's Behind That? Once those answers are written out, I look for a possible cause. In further exploring the possible cause I ask: "What's Behind That?--and so on for each thought and cause. Chances are I will get to the problem's root. Sometimes the seed is a long forgotten cause. If a seed is not detected, I search for something apart from the grief.

A common cause of excessive grief is being emotionally out of control. One of the problems is that although the normal mourning period has run its course certain emotional hangovers persist. As bad as a Grief Emotional Complex is in draining ones energy, it becomes much worse when emotions go wild and remain so in a prolonged state. Not only is getting angry and/or being fearful of no benefit, both serve as barriers to proper organizational handling of ongoing and new problems. Besides, both generate unnecessary additional problems. What I look for as a cause of lack of emotional control is immature Keystone irrational or illogical thoughts. Both are disharmonious as well as stir up mental chaos and contradictory beliefs—beliefs which cannot be justified—beliefs which are contrary to the evidence—and beliefs which produce self-defeating behaviors. In this regard, Self-Love does not permit self-destructive emotions (e.g. revenge, rage) or self-defeating behaviors. A second problem is the bad habit of indulging oneself in ongoing melancholy or sorrow. An effective corrective technique is to constantly remember the happy times and use that as strength to self-improve and help others. A third problem is the situation of lingering memories. Here, certain signs, smells, and practices continue to provoke Grief. Desensitization can be done by using humor each time. For example, Titan liked the cartilage ends of a chicken bone and I would bite them off for him. Whenever I still do this, I have to laugh at myself and say: "Hello, Boy." This is a comfortable way of working out the enhancement of our spiritual connection.

A point to consider is that whatever flawed habits are removed must be replaced simultaneously with something constructive. Another point is that just because the seed problem--like thoughts of dread--have been eliminated as the cause of grief, this does not mean all of the ramifications caused by that seed have been eliminated. Management involves supplying oneself with essentials leading to a cure. One of my all-time favorites in starting to climb out of the depths of grief is swinging in a swing and going as high as I can. Another is attending children's parties.

Bassett Foundation 1st Annual Golf Tounament Fundraiser for Students

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The Bassett Education Foundation (BEF) will host its First Annual Golf Tournament 7am Friday May 11am at California Country Club in Whittier.

BEF, a non-profit corporation, was organized to support Bassett Unified School District in today’s economy that is devastating public education. Executive Director Ramon Miramontes explains, “We are proud that BEF board of directors includes representatives from Kaiser Permanente, Athens Services, Cordoba Corporation, and Custom Alloy Light Metals.”

The honorary chair of the golf tournament is State Senator Ed Hernandez. It will include a breakfast refreshments, lunch, a raffle, and prizes. Players have the option of registering online at www.busdfoundation.org. There is a reduced fee for those that register by April 14. See the website for more information or call (626) 931-3045.

Trayvon Martin was Standing His Ground

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By George E. Curry

NNPA Columnist Most people are asking whether Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law should apply to George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watch captain who killed an unarmed Trayvon Martin. That’s the wrong question. A better one is, given the circumstances, did the law protect Trayvon when he physically confronted Zimmerman? In a word, yes.

Looking at the 2005 law from a different perspective – through the eyes of 17-year-old Trayvon instead of Zimmerman – is critical because the debate over what happened on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. is being misframed. Some facts are undisputed: Trayvon was walking home from a nearby 7-Eleven store, where he had purchased a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea, when he was spotted by Zimmerman, who was driving a SUV. Zimmerman dialed 911 and reported seeing a suspicious Black male in the gated townhouse community.

Though he had no proof, Zimmerman claimed that Trayvon appeared to be high on drugs. When Zimmerman confirmed that he was following Trayvon, the 911 operator specifically told him to stop following Trayvon and that police officers were on their way to the scene. Instead of following instructions, Zimmerman continued to follow Trayvon.

What happened next is unclear because we are left only with Zimmerman’s version of events. We do know that shortly before he was shot to death, Trayvon had been talking on his cell phone with his girlfriend. She later told Trayvon’s family lawyer that he told her he was being followed by a strange White man. She urged him to run away from him.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Zimmerman told police he lost sight of Trayvon and got out of his SUV to follow him on foot. Zimmerman said he was returning to his vehicle when Trayvon allegedly approached him from the rear. The two exchanged words and began fighting. The neighborhood watch captain claimed Trayvon knocked him to the ground with a punch in the nose. Zimmerman said Trayvon climbed on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk. Zimmerman told police that he began yelling for help, but two voice experts hired by the Sentinel concluded that the voice heard screaming for help on the 911 tapes was not that of the neighborhood watch captain. During the scuffle, Zimmerman pulled his 9 millimeter semi-automatic handgun and fatally shot Trayvon once in the chest. Police said that when they arrived, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had cuts on the back of his head.

Those details were leaked by police to the Orlando newspaper in hopes of bolstering Zimmerman’s case. However, even if everything Zimmerman said is true – which is doubtful – he was clearly the aggressor, not the victim. He was the one who pursued Trayvon against the advice of the 911 dispatcher. And with police officers en route, he decided to leave his SUV and hunt for Trayvon. Even supporters of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law don’t believe Zimmerman should be allowed to hide behind the controversial legislation. State Rep. Dennis Baxley, the Ocala Republican who sponsored the bill in the House, told the Tampa Bay Times, “They got the goods on him [Zimmerman]. They need to prosecute whoever shot the kid. He has no protection under my law.”

Jeb Bush, who signed the bill into law when he was governor of Florida, agrees. “This law does not apply to this particular circumstance,” he said. “Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back.” Florida statute 776.013(3), known as the Stand Your Ground law, says, in part: (a) person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

Trayvon was clearly operating within those boundaries when he faced-off against Zimmerman. He was a guest in one of the townhouses and therefore had an undeniable reason to be in the neighborhood. He had no duty to retreat simply because Zimmerman was the aggressor. And Trayvon had every right to believe that the person who had been stalking him was intent on inflicting great bodily harm.

Regardless of how Zimmernan’s family tries to spin the facts, it was Trayvon Martin who had the clear right to stand his ground. Whatever he did to Zimmerman was totally justified. And Zimmerman had no right to kill a 17-old-old youth carrying only a bag of candy and iced tea.

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service and editorial director of Heart & Soul magazine. He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge.

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