Honor loved ones while they’re alive

As people grapple with issues related to health, emotional health, employment and survival, it's important to keep the bonds of love, family and friendship strong.

As people grapple with issues related to health, emotions, employment and survival, it’s important to keep the bonds of love, family and friendship strong.

By Carmen Glover

Prince, Maurice White, David Bowie, Denise ‘Vanity’ Matthews and Glenn Frey are among notables that have passed on from the world of entertainment in 2016 and we are only in the month of April. One striking feature of this year so far is the many deaths that have occurred both in the lives of ordinary citizens and among the ranks of entertainers.

Maintaining bonds of friendship and family helps to keep us connected with loved ones.

Maintaining bonds of friendship and family helps to keep us connected with loved ones.

There have been numerous incidents of mass killings, gang warfare in the inner cities, natural disasters, road rage and disagreements between friends, families and co-workers that have resulted in deaths. Also, data released last week indicated that the suicide rates have increased by 24 percent over the past two decades, which is another area of societal concern. With each death comes an awareness of our own mortality. With each death comes the realization that it is important for us to honor our loved ones while they are alive.

The bonds of friendship are integral to a fulfilled life.

The bonds of friendship are integral to a fulfilled life.

If there is a family member, friend, or member of your close circle that you have neglected, reach out and reconnect. Your action might be as simple as a telephone call, but make the effort to engage that person in conversation just to gauge how they are doing. Express interest in their well-being, and if your schedules allow for you to meet and catch up, do so. Let the trend that has developed so far in 2016 be a guide illustrating  the importance of honoring your loved ones while they are alive.

Friends and family add texture and balance to our lives and should be consciously nurtured.

Friends and family add texture and balance to our lives and should be consciously nurtured.

Sometimes, closure is difficult when things are left unsaid or potential moments to connect with loved ones are routinely ignored due to the hustle and bustle associated with working, raising families, maintaining our health and enjoying our lifestyles. Yet, with hindsight often comes the realization that we had the power to engage more with our loved ones but we chose not to do so.

Taking time to nurture friendships enhance our lives by providing us with a circle of support and love.

Taking time to nurture friendships enhance our lives by providing us with a circle of support and love.

Is there someone who you have been meaning to call but you haven’t followed up with that small act so far this year? Has your mind been flooded with thoughts of a loved one but you pushed the thoughts away? Has someone been reaching out to you repeatedly to meet but you offer a myriad of excuses instead? Life is fleeting. Death is final. Take the time today to prioritize family and friendship. Make an effort to keep the bonds of connection strong, durable and lasting.–OnPointPress.net-

 

BREAKING: Musical icon Prince, 57, has died

Prince rocked Saturday Night Live (SNL) to usher in the month of November and Daylight Savings Time.

Prince, who has thrilled fans for decades with his electric style, died this morning at his Paisely Park estate in Minnesota.

By Carmen Glover

Musical icon Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson, died at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota on Thursday, April 21, 2016, AP has reported. He was 57 years old.

On April 15, after an intimate performance in Atlanta, Prince’s plane made an emergency landing and he was rushed to the hospital after he complained of not feeling well, according to multiple reports.

price purple rain

Prince and his famous purple guitar.

Known for his sultry voice, sensuous moves on stage, impressive guitar riffs and his purple persona, Prince has dazzled fans for decades. His death comes on the heels of his protegé, Denise ‘Vanity’ Matthews, who died earlier this year.

Prince has a monumental repertoire of music including “Purple Rain” which is also the name of a film based on his life, “When Doves Cry,” “Adore,” “1999,”  “Kiss,” “I Wanna Be Your Lover,”  “Nothing Compares to You,” and “Little Red Corvette.”

“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57. There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time,” Yvette Noel-Schure, the entertainer’s publicist, said In a statement.

Prince

Prince was enigmatic, talented and beloved.

Prince was nominated for Grammy Awards 32 times, walking away a winner seven times. In a statement, Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of the Recording Academy said:
“Our GRAMMY family is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of seven-time GRAMMY Award winner Prince. Today, we remember and celebrate him as one of the most uniquely gifted artists of all time. Never one to conform, he redefined and forever changed our musical landscape. Prince was an original who influenced so many, and his legacy will live on forever. We have lost a true innovator and our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, collaborators, and all who have been impacted by his incredible work.”

Prince and his Third Eye Girl Productions have released new music.

Prince and his Third Eye Girl Productions have released new music.

Fiercely independent, Prince had a protracted period of disagreement with his former label Warner Brothers, when he wanted to be released from his contract. He wrote the word “Slave” on his forehead in protest and changed his name to a symbol until the contract expired. He re-emerged on his own terms, shielding his music from social media and maintaining total control of his writing, producing and marketing. He stirred excitement wherever he appeared and leaves behind a legion of passionate fans, myself included, to mourn his passing. Rest in peace, Prince. You will be missed and I feel blessed that I saw you and Sheila E at Madison Square Garden in 2004 –OnPointPress,net.—

BREAKING: Chaos fuels audit of NY election board

New York City Controller Scott Stringer has announced an audit of the NY Board of Elections after widespread complaints on primary day.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has announced an audit of the NY Board of Elections after widespread complaints on primary day.

By Carmen Glover

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced on primary day, April 19, that he will launch an audit of the Board of Elections and rid the agency of the dysfunction that has plagued the entity for decades. The audit, which Mayor Bill de Blasio said he supports, resulted from mounting tales of anger from numerous residents who were not allowed to vote in the hotly contested primary.

“These allegations are very serious and unfortunately in New York City this is nothing new. We have long accepted the Board of Elections’ incompetence and  over politicization of this process,” Stringer said. For his part, Board of Elections spokesman Michael Ryan said he would “cooperate with the audit.”

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio launched a comprehensive mental health initiative today.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio supports Comptroller Scott Stringer’s audit of the Board of Elections. More than 126,000 residents of the mayor’s home borough of Brooklyn, were inexplicably struck from the voting rolls.

In Brooklyn, for instance, more than 126, 000 residents’ names were purged from the electoral rolls. Disenfranchised voters showed up at their voting sites only to be turned away. Some people complained that their names were stricken from the rolls without their permission. Still others complained that their party affiliation was switched from Democrat to “unaffiliated.”

To add insult to injury, many people showed up at voting sites only to be greeted with a comedy of chaos ranging from no ballots, to no workers, to broken machines, and of course their names being missing from the roster. Some people gave up on their quest to vote after waiting in line for hours while election staffers struggled to sort things out.

New York residents wait in long lines to vote.

New York residents wait in long lines to vote.

“The voting rolls in Brooklyn contain numerous errors, including the purging of  entire buildings and blocks of voters from the voting lists.These errors today indicate that additional major reforms will be needed to the Board of Election and in the state law governing it.”

For the mayor, a Brooklyn native, the primary day problems are personal since he lived there with his family before moving into Gracie Mansion, the office mayoral residence. The mayor has rented out the family home in Brooklyn. The borough is also the childhood home of Senator Bernie Sanders, who is challenging Former Secretary of State and Former Senator of New York Hillary Clinton for the chance to represent the Democratic Party in the November presidential election.

Many determined and scrappy New York voters trekked to their local Board of Elections office where they obtained court orders to take to their designated polling site in order to vote–OnPointPress.net-

 

 

Exercise your franchise, Vote!

vote

I voted in the New York Presidential Primary on Tuesday, April 19, arriving at my voting site promptly at 7:00 a.m. I then continued on my way to the gym, in my effort to prioritize my health. I cast my vote with confidence that my action will be instrumental in ensuring change.

The presidential race has been hijacked by boorish, vulgar, irresponsible and uninspired  chatter by Republican contenders businessman and reality star Donald Trump and  Senator Ted Cruz while Ohio Governor John Kasich’s subdued, rational discourse has been largely ignored. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have sparred like mature adults who have substantive issues that they intend to discuss.

vote1

Regardless of the party you choose to support, know this: unless you vote you do not have a voice. In the African-American community, it is especially common to hear the admonition “Our people bled and died to give us the right to vote.” That is a start yet accurate assessment. It is impossible for you to influence the direction of the country, your state, city and judiciary if you sit on the sidelines complaining about what is dysfunctional, while choosing to refrain from participating.

Whether your issue of interest is immigration, or education, police brutality, the impasse generated by a ‘do nothing Congress’ make your voice heard, exercise your franchise and vote. The quality of life of the nation, which President Barack Obama has championed during his time in office, is at stake. The polls are open today from 6:00 a..m. until 9:00 p.m.–OnPointPress.net–

Warriors aim to repeat as NBA Champions

After a close MVP race this NBA season, James Harden (l) and Stephen Curry (r) are the clear frontrunners to win the award.

James Harden (l) and Stephen Curry (r) will continue their rivalry during the post season with game two tonight.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The Golden State Warriors, toast of the NBA during the regular season, entered the post-season on a good note. The Warriors beat last season’s Western Conference opponents, the Houston Rockets, in their game opener with their star, Steph Curry, scoring 24 points before leaving the game due to a recurring ankle injury.

The Warriors started the regular season with 24 straight wins, a record in the NBA. They capped their historic season with 73 wins, setting a new record for wins in the regular season by winning one more than the Chicago Bulls in their 1990s heyday.  Anything short of an NBA title will be a major disappointment for the Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors celebrate their trip to the NBA Finals.

The Golden State Warriors celebrate their trip to the NBA Finals in 2015.

Curry, last season’s regular season MVP, was better this year despite head coach Steve Kerr missing the first half of the season recovering from back surgery. Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and others are performing well. Overall, the team played all season with a heightened level of confidence earned by winning it all last season.

This year the Warriors lost only once to a team (San Antonio Spurs) that finished in the top four in their conference. They finished second to the Spurs for the best home record in the NBA with 39 wins and just 2 losses. There is no question they are the overwhelming favorite to win the title this year.

Stephen Curry and the top seeded Golden State Warriors now know their opponent in the Western Conference Finals. Now the MVP must play at a high level to get his team to the NBA Finals.

Stephen Curry and the top seeded Golden State Warriors  are focused on repeating as NBA champions this year.

Essentially, there are no excuses for the Warriors to lose in the playoffs. Curry proved on Saturday that he could deliver results despite his ankle Injury and the same dedication is expected of his team mates. Last season, LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals minus two of his best teammates for a significant portion of the playoffs as Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving both endured serious injury during the playoffs.

Fatigue cannot be used as an excuse as the bulk of the Warriors team is in their physical prime. The Warriors they have rested players at various junctions throughout the season. They have defeated all competitors this season and there is no reason not to expect a dominant post-season performance from the defending champions. That is what an all-time great team is expected to do.–OnPointPress.net–

 

Kobe Bryant, the ultimate perimeter player, signs off

Bryant ended his career on a high note scoring 60 points in the season finale.

Bryant ended his career on a high note scoring 60 points in the season finale.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Kobe Bryant played the last game of his 20-year career for the Los Angeles Lakers amid much fanfare on Wednesday, April 13. Bryant dazzled fans, scoring 60 points as the Lakers defeated the Utah Jazz in the season finale, capping a farewell tour for Bryant that started once he made it clear he was retiring at the end of this season.

"Penny" Hardaway (left) and Grant Hill (right) were two players primed to fill the void of Jordan's departure until injuries severely altered their careers.

“Penny” Hardaway (left) and Grant Hill (right) were two players primed to fill the void of Jordan’s departure until injuries severely altered their careers.

While not accurate, it is often said that Michael Jordan passed the proverbial torch to Bryant.

The similarities between Bryant and Jordan are easy to see. Both are similar in height, position played, disposition on the court, and team success.

However, many forget that there were two superstars who were poised to follow in Jordan’s footsteps but suffered career altering injuries: Anfernee (Penny) Hardaway, and Grant Hill. Both superstars were similar to Bryant early in their careers because they had charisma, exciting talent and marketing appeal.

On the strength of two championships at Duke university, Hill emerged quickly as a superstar leading all NBA All-Star Game players in fan voting in his rookie season and soon afterwards leading the Detroit Pistons to multiple playoff appearances. Hill was a dynamic player with excellent scoring and play-making ability.

While Bryant was carving his niche early in his career, other players like Tracy McGrady (left) and Vince Carter (right) were among the guards that Bryant battled with.

While Bryant was carving his niche early in his career, other players like Tracy McGrady (left) and Vince Carter (right) were among the guards that Bryant battled with.

Hardaway also had quick success, helping to lead the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 1995 with Shaquille O’neal. Hardaway and Hill had huge endorsement deals and were well positioned to be pre-eminent perimeter players in the NBA upon Jordan’s second retirement in 1999.

Other perimeter player contemporaries of Bryant who entered the NBA during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s include Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, and Ray Allen.

All of these players helped lead their teams in different ways, while displaying entertaining and captivating styles of play. All of these players were also major faces in advertising, which assisted in bringing extra attention to the NBA internationally.

(I - r) Allen Iverson, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, are among the list of players Bryant had brief rivalries with during his career.

(I – r) Allen Iverson, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, are among the list of players Bryant had brief rivalries with during his career.

Bryant might have the highest international profile of all of the previous mentioned players, except Jordan, and his battles with those players helped pave the way for the current wave of perimeter All Stars. Bryant’s 20 year career has allowed him to compete with players already in the basketball Hall of Fame as well as number of players likely to land there as well.

Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, James Harden, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James headline a long list of perimeter players that have carried the torch of exciting the fans and helping fans fill the impending the void created upon Bryant’s retirement.

Bryant had a fond farewell and received respect and admiration from fans and peers throughout the night.

Bryant had a fond farewell and received respect and admiration from fans and peers throughout the night.

As Bryant retires, perimeter play is on the uptick in the NBA. The last several regular season and NBA Finals MVP have been perimeter players. Bryant reminded all spectators that current NBA fans enjoy seeing their perimeter stars score in bundles as he scored the most points by a player this season in his final game. A great ending to an even greater career.–OnPointPress.net–

 

Children’s safety is a global priority

When children are raised in safe environments they develop into more well-adjusted adults.

When children are raised in safe environments they develop into more well-adjusted adults.

Child abuse appears to be a widespread, global evil that lacks urgent solutions. Somehow, it seems as if children are unsafe at home, at play, at church, at school, among family members and the wider society. Countless incidents are reported on a global scale about varying degrees of child abuse, whether it’s in the form of incest, mutilation, trafficking or routine beatings, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse.

stay safe

A baby is born innocent and defenseless. That baby grows and thrives based on the love, care, protection and nurturing that he or she experiences. That baby enters childhood and all the other phases of growth, shaped by the environment that he or she sees as the norm. When a parent abuses a child, trust is eroded and the child’s ability to feel safe is damaged. This feeling is amplified when the child experiences abuse in other settings that is perceived as being safe such as church, daycare center, school and social settings.

The safety of every child should be the priority of every individual.

The safety of every child should be the priority of every individual.

Protecting our children in every setting needs to be treated as a global, community effort. For too long children have suffered with very little recourse. They have been failed by; the parents, family, social service institutions and society as a whole. We are all complicit if we fail to act urgently to ensure that every child we encounter is safe–OnPointPress.net–