Atlanta male, missing since 8/15, inspires funding page

@3-year-old African-American male, Elijah Shuler, has been missing since 8/15/2015 when he left for work at a local pizza store in Lithonia, Georgia.

@3-year-old African-American male, Elijah Shuler, has been missing since 8/15/2015 when he left for work at a local pizza store in Lithonia, Georgia.

By Carmen Glover

On Tuesday, August 25, respected journalist Roland Martin, who hosts News One Now on TVOne, briefly interviewed T.W. Addison, the Dallas, Texas, based older brother of Elijah Shuler, 23, who has been missing since August 15, when he left for work in Lithonia, which is near to Atlanta, Georgia.

“The last time we physically saw him was August 15. He went to work and then went to get a hair cut,” said Addison, saying he believes his brother was last seen wearing his Pizza Hut uniform from his job.

“He showed up for work and went to the barber shop and he was last seen dropping off a co-worker,” said Addison, expressing hope that tips will come in about the whereabouts of his missing brother. “He’s not answering his telephone and his GPS on his car is off. It’s sad and it’s different when it hits home,” Addison said.

A GoFundme page has been set up with the hashtag #HelpFindElijah to raise money for the effort. If anyone has seen Shuler and has information about his whereabouts, call the DeKalb County Police Department at 770-224-7600 or 678-406-7929.–OnPointPress.net.

SPISE, Caribbean STEM program, hosted successful session

Students participated in another session of SPISE in the Caribbean, learning about STEM careers.

Students participated in another session of SPISE in the Caribbean, learning about STEM careers.

Bridgetown, Barbados, 8/24/2015: Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering, SPISE, a division of the Caribbean Science Foundation, hosted another successful four-week session at the University of the West Indies’ Barbados, campus. The session ended on August 14.

This year, 18 students from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago were selected from 66 applicants. The SPISE students were challenged with classes that included university-level calculus, physics, biochemistry, entrepreneurship and Mandarin, and hands-on projects in under-water robotics and renewable energy/electronics.

SPISE is intended to nurture and groom the next generation of technology entrepreneurs in the Caribbean, in an effort to assist with the economic developmental issues facing the region. SPISE not only achieves this through the subjects offered, but also through career seminars which give the students more awareness of the tremendous diversity of science-related jobs and careers.

In addition, SPISE offers workshops which coach the students on how to optimize their chances of admission with financial aid to the world’s top universities. As a consequence, students from previous SPISE classes are now studying at top universities, including Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Columbia, University College London, University of North Carolina, Florida Institute of Technology, Trent University and UWI.

SPISE concluded with final project presentations by the students and the event was open to the public. The audience included: Dr. DeLisle Worrell, governor of the Central Bank of Barbados; Barbados’ Minister of Labor, Social Security and Human Resources Development, Dr. Esther Byer; Ms. Jacqui Cuke of the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust; Dr. Tony Rossomando of Alexion Pharmaceuticals; Roger Beckles of Emera Caribbean; Jeff Barrus of the United States Embassy for Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS; other business professionals and several parents of the students.

During the event, the robotics, renewable energy, and entrepreneurship projects were showcased, and for the Mandarin presentation, the students sang “Jasmin Flower” in Mandarin (one of the most popular and mainstream traditional Chinese folk songs) which speaks out against corruption by praising the fair and pure Jasmin. The robotics projects required the SPISE scholars to build a basic model of an under-water robot, and then to use innovation and creativity to endow it with movable arms that could collect balls in a water-filled tank.

For the renewable energy presentation, wind turbines were built by student teams, each with its own unique blade design. The designs competed against each other as the audience got excited and involved in how different blade designs affected the effectiveness of wind turbines in producing electricity. The entrepreneurship class concluded with a business plan competition in which groups of students pitched their unique and personalized product and business plan to the audience.

Several members of the audience were given CSF money to invest in the team of their choice, and the winner was decided by the amount of money invested. The products conceived by the students include a portable handheld printer; Haztag, a GPS device to locate any household or miscellaneous object; a wrist band to replace intrusive diabetes monitors; malleable shoes that harden as they are put on but soften when off for easy storage; a component for portable computer and communications devices to allow for built-in projection; and a mobile app to write essays for you on-the-go.

Please visit the SPISE page for more information about the program, or contact Prof. Cardinal Warde at warde.csf@gmail.com or 1-617-699-1281. The CSF is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization with headquarters in Barbados and representatives in several other Caribbean countries. Key partners in the SPISE are the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus, the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and Sagicor. Donations to SPISE can be made here. The cost of sponsorship for each student is US$ 6,000 per student plus airfare.–OnPointPress.net

States invest in lavish sports arenas but cut education budget

The owners of the Cleveland sports teams, (l - r) Indians owner Paul Dolan, Browns owner Jimmy Haslem, and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, were successful in securing state taxpayer funds to bolster profits.

The owners of the Cleveland sports teams, (l – r) Indians owner Paul Dolan, Browns owner Jimmy Haslem, and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, were successful in securing state taxpayer funds to bolster profits.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

According to a longstanding trend, sports ranks higher on states’ priority list than education in many places throughout this country, with Georgia, Ohio and Minnesota becoming the latest additions. While owners of sports teams are making record profits, citizens continue to complain about the inferior quality and rising costs associated with education. But, oddly, the issue has not been given much attention as politicians take their dog and pony show around the country, currying favor for more donations in their  presidential bids.

The cycle of low-income students and inferior education on students' future earning potential.

The cycle of low-income students and inferior education on students’ future earning potential.

Cleveland, for instance, in deciding to fund a new stadium at huge costs to the residents, is a microcosm of the juxtaposition of the values between the highest and lowest class citizens of a city. With unemployment and wages as the backdrop this July, Cleveland officials  decided taxpayers should absorb the cost of building the new, extravagant stadium. City officials argued that the construction project would help generate more jobs.

New York Times writer Michael Powell explained the situation pointing out, “[Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan] Gilbert and his fellow sports billionaires — Larry Dolan, who owns the Indians, and Jimmy Haslam, who owns the Browns — worked together to push through a referendum that extended a countywide “sin tax” on cigarettes, beer and liquor.” The outcome of this decision means that for the next 20 years, taxpayers in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County will contribute roughly $260 million into improvements for the city’s sports arenas and stadiums.

(l-r) Dolan, Haslem, and Gilbert find nothing wrong with asking taxpayers to help them make more money.

(l-r) Dolan, Haslem, and Gilbert find nothing wrong with asking taxpayers to help them make more money.

Meanwhile, this past March, the Cleveland school district proposed a budget that would cut costs by $3.4 million, much to the dismay of the Cleveland Teachers Union and parents in the city. Cleveland Teachers Union President David Quolke asked some searing questions in his consternation over the budget including, “Why are all of these struggling students being denied the resources and teachers they need to become successful? and, How are their academic needs being met?”

The answers to those questions remain unclear, but Cleveland Plain Dealer’s reporter Patrick O’Donnell discerns, “District officials said the cuts are just a prudent way to manage the district’s budget while they keep losing students. Though enrollment declines are still far less than in previous years, the district predicts it will lose 375 students for next school year.”

Cleveland Teachers Union members protest budget cuts for schools with red signs at the school board meeting while staff from the district's central office counter with their own green ones. (Photo courtesy of Patrick O'Donnell/The Plain Dealer)

Cleveland Teachers Union members protest budget cuts for schools with red signs at the school board meeting while staff from the district’s central office counter with their own green ones. (Photo courtesy of Patrick O’Donnell/The Plain Dealer)

The issue of state funds being misappropriated to benefit billionaires at the expense of poor, largely minority, inner-city children has raised alarm in some quarters but so far has not become the major issue that it should in the presidential campaign.

Numerous cities are facing a similar dynamic— inadequate funding for education and other public services but obscene amounts allocated to invest in lavish arenas and stadiums. As Deadspin’s Kevin Draper reports this July, “The Wisconsin Senate voted 21-10 to approve $250 million in public financing for a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.” While just a few days earlier in July, “Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a state budget that includes cuts of $250 million to the University of Wisconsin system, among other cuts to public education funding.”

Other reports have stated that one of the owners of the Bucks has bought up property near to the projected site of the new stadium in anticipation of making a windfall on that prime real estate once the stadium is built. Meanwhile, classrooms are over-crowded and children in Wisconsin lack the educational investment that they need to succeed.

Madison District Public Schools will be among those affected by Gov. Walker's budget proposal of $250 million in cuts.

Madison District Public Schools will be among those affected by Gov. Walker’s budget proposal of $250 million in cuts.

These recent examples are following a pattern seen in other cities like Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Cincinnati and countless other towns which have professional teams that see the owners receive money that would be better served supporting the local citizens. The theory behind the support for these arenas and stadiums is they will help grow the economy by providing jobs and tourist attractions.

However, economist George Zeller cites studies that show that “The theory that all of these sports teams are producing a gigantic boom is completely false.” The school year has already started in some parts of this country and will resume shortly in other areas. The NFL regular season will also start in a few weeks. Which is a priority for you?.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer and a licensed insurance professional partnered with HealthMarkets. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com. Check out www.HealthMarkets.com/cglover for your free health insurance and life insurance quotes.

Breaking: Julian Bond, civil rights icon, has died at age 75

Julian Bond, civil rights icon, has died at age 75.

Julian Bond, civil rights icon, died at age 75 on Saturday, August 15 in Florida.

By Carmen Glover

Civil rights icon Julian Bond, an-11-year-chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), who tirelessly advocated for civil and equal rights throughout his life, died in Florida, at age 75, after a brief illness, according to a statement released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, (SPLC). In the statement, Morris Dees, who co-founded the SPLC with Bond, said:

“We’ve lost a champion. It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of legendary civil rights activist Julian Bond, SPLC’s first president. He was 75 years old and died last evening, August 15, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

“From his days as the co-founder and communication director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s, to his chairmanship of the NAACP in the 21st century, Julian was a visionary and tireless champion for civil and human rights. He served as the SPLC’s president from our founding in 1971 to 1979, and later as a member of its board of directors.

Julian Bond was an active member of SNCC and co-founded the SPLC.

Julian Bond was an active member of SNCC, SPLC and the NAACP.

“With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for cause of justice. He advocated not just for African-Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all.

“Julian is survived by his wife, Pamela Horowitz, a former SPLC staff attorney, and his five children. Not only has the country lost a hero today, we’ve lost a great friend.”

In a statement via Twitter, the NAACP said: “The NAACP mourns the passing of Chairman Julian Bond, civil rights titan and our brother. May he rest in eternal peace.’

In a statement President Barack Obama said: “Julian Bond was a hero and, I’m privileged to say, a friend; Justice and equality was the mission that spanned his life–from his leadership at the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to his founding role with the Southern Poverty Law Center, to his pioneering service in the Georgia legislature and his steady hand at the helm of the NAACP. Michelle and I have benefited from his example, his counsel, and his friendship–and we offer our prayers and sympathies to his wife, Pamela, and his children.”

Bond , who was born Horace Julian Bond on January 4, 1940, attended Morehouse College and served in the two houses of Georgia’s Legislature for 20 years. During that time, Bond sponsored bills to ensure low-income housing and establish a majority African-American congressional district in Atlanta. Bond taught at Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel College and served as a prominent commentator and writer.–OnPointPress.net.

Sarah Glover, social media maven, elected NABJ’s 21st president

Sarah Glover, NABJ's 21st president.

Sarah Glover, NABJ’s 21st president.

Minneapolis, MN (August 9, 2015)- Sarah Glover was elected as the 21st President of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) on August 7.

According to the NABJ Elections Committee, Glover defeated her opponent, Mira Lowe by receiving 347 votes, Lowe earned 167 votes. Glover is the social media editor for NBC Owned Television Stations. Prior to joining NBC OTS, she worked at NBC10 Philadelphia (2012-2014), Philadelphia Daily News (2008-2012) and The Philadelphia Inquirer (1999-2008).

For two decades, Glover has also been a freelance photographer for outlets including Jet Magazine, The Washington Post, Liberty City Press and Black Enterprise. She founded the Diverse Social Media Editors & Digital Journalists Facebook Group, a platform for education, advocacy and training for journalists of color. Sarah successfully managed nearly $100,000 in chapter funds during her tenure as chapter president, and ensured the chapter stayed in the black. Glover has been awarded fellowships from the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism and Knight Digital Media Center.

In the vice president of broadcast race Dorothy Tucker defeated Dedrick Russell and Galen Gordon with a total of 230 votes. Russell received 157 votes, and Gordon received 126 votes. In the media-related representative race Tanzi West-Barbour defeated Terry Allen and Marc Willis with a total of 40 votes. Allen received 32 votes, and Willis received 31 votes.

Candidates running unopposed, who will have seat on the 2015-2017 board of directors, include Benet Wilson, vice president of digital, Marlon Walker, vice president of print, Sherlon Christie, secretary, Greg Morrison, treasurer, Dave Jordan, parliamentarian, Johann Calhoun, region I director, Vickie Thomas, region II director
Gayle Hurd, region III director, Marcus Vanderberg, region IV director and Michelle Johnson, academic representative. The student representative slot is vacant.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.–OnPointPress.net.

CDC called in as 10 die in Bronx Legionnaires’ disease outbreak

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, speaks about the outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease in the South Bronx, which has claimed 10 lives so far.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to request help from the CDC, as Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak  spreads in the South Bronx, killing 10 and infecting 100 residents.

By Carmen Glover

As the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease widened in the South Bronx, New York, claiming ten lives and sickening 100 residents, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr appealed to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to call in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday, August 6, to investigate and provide specialized assistance.

Stating that the level of anxiety “is very high,” Diaz solicited intervention from the governor, as Mayor Bill de Blasio downplayed the seriousness of the outbreak, while City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett insisted that the city was taking the issue “very seriously.”

“During the course of our actions fighting the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in the Bronx, it has been revealed that there is no inspection mechanism for coolant systems, rooftop water tanks and other standing water infrastructure that could be a breeding ground for this disease and others,” Diaz said in a statement, “The city must create a new inspection system for these systems just as we inspect other critical systems such as elevators.”

legionnaires outbreak

Legionnaires’ disease has infected and killed more people in the Bronx than the three people who died from Ebola disease in the entire United States in 2014 when a national effort was coordinated to keep the nation safe.

The disease was traced to cooling towers in five area buildings, including Lincoln Hospital, which treats hundreds of patients daily for ailments ranging from mental health disease, drug addiction to respiratory disease. The South Bronx is considered an epicenter for asthma in the city. Governor Cuomo has indicated that business owners in the city and state can request for their cooling towers to be tested for contamination, at no cost to them.

Lincoln Hospital was the site of confirmed cases of Legionnaire's Disease and the hospital's cooling towers were subsequently disinfected and cleaned.

Lincoln Hospital was the site of confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s Disease and the hospital’s cooling towers were subsequently disinfected and cleaned.

On Monday, August 3, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, hosted members from the New York City Health Department in an informational session at the Bronx Museum of the Arts on the Grand Concourse, where worried residents sought answers and reassurance that they would be safe.

In the meantime, de Blasio has instructed a response team to make emergency calls to building owners and property managers in the Bronx to make sure that wherever cooling towers are located, they are cleaned within 14 days.

Residents of the South Bronx, New York City, line up to ask questions about Legionnaire's Disease at a public forum this week.

Residents of the South Bronx, New York City, line up to ask questions about Legionnaire’s Disease at a public forum this week.

This new outbreak comes on the heels of a similar Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak in Co-op City in the North East Bronx, last year, which left residents violently ill. So far, the residents who have died from the disease in the South Bronx have been elderly and had pre-existing health conditions which weakened their immune systems.

However, because the disease is spread from mists in the air, every person who walks in the South Bronx can potentially inhale the deadly mist and contract the disease, which made the mayor’s refusal to seek assistance from the CDC a head-scratcher for nervous residents.

Legionnaires

29-year-old Co-op city resident Ron Hines, is embraced by his father. Hines was sickened with Legionnaires’ disease in November 2014 and has still not fully recovered. He filed a lawsuit early this year. Residents sickened in the latest outbreak in the South Bronx have also begun the process of filing lawsuits.

Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s Disease travels in the air and is often concentrated in cooling towers from which the infected mist sprays into the atmosphere. The disease triggers a severe form of pneumonia that is especially brutal for residents who have pre-existing health conditions such as respiratory disease, those who are very young or elderly.

As the new round of the outbreak spreads in the South Bronx, the first lawsuit was filed against the city. Residents who were sickened in Co-op City filed lawsuits early this year.–OnPointPress.net.

 

“Quilt of Souls” describes love’s triumph over trauma

Author Phyllis Lawson describes the integral role that a quilt made in her life.

In her poignant memoir, “Quilt of Souls,” Author Phyllis Lawson describes the integral role that a quilt had in her life and how the love she received from her maternal grandmother sustained her.

By Carmen Glover

Phyllis Lawson’s poignant memoir, “Quilt of Souls,” is a story of childhood trauma, teenaged angst and redemption that captures the imagination, tugs at the heart-strings and elicits emotions that surge to the surface from the recesses of the soul.

In her self-published,176-page memoir, Lawson graphically describes the confusion and despair she felt when as a little girl, she was sent away by her parents in Detroit, Michigan, to live with her maternal grandparents in rural Alabama, without being given any explanation and without any preparation. In vivid imagery she recounts the sense of loneliness that engulfed her as she was separated from her siblings, the fear of the unknown and the sadness she felt as her young heart was broken.

Phyllis Lawson, author of the memoir "Quilt of Souls."

Phyllis Lawson, author of the memoir “Quilt of Souls.”

Yet in a nod to the resilience of the young, Lawson describes how her grandmother, Ms. Lulu, enveloped her into a cocoon of love, reinforced values and more importantly, gave her a sense of identity and belonging. Ms. Lulu regaled Lawson with tales of her ancestors as the perceptive grandmother put together quilts, made from the garments of the deceased, so that their souls could live on. That act of artistry, sandwiched between an admixture of love and punishment, cemented  a bond between Lawson and her grandmother that was her internal compass during the darkest days of  her life.

Females seldom reach adulthood without at least one major fight with their mothers but Lawson describes a childhood of unimaginable anguish and rejection by her mother that causes the heart to ache for a lost childhood which, were it not for her grandparents, could have adversely affected the trajectory of Lawson’s life. Still, the quilt provided her with solace and her grandparents’ love allowed her to flourish, overcome her demons and experience joy. “Quilt of Souls” is a powerful, tear-jerking testimony of the capacity of the human spirit to rise from darkness, face adversity and emerge victorious. —OnPointPress.net.