The Miami times.


Material Information

The Miami times.
Uniform Title:
Miami times
Physical Description:
Miami times
The Magic Printery,
The Magic Printery
Creation Date:
December 19, 2012


Subjects / Keywords:
African Americans -- Newspapers. -- Florida
Newspapers. -- Miami (Fla.)
Newspapers. -- Miami-Dade County (Fla.)
Newspapers -- Florida   ( lcsh )
newspaper   ( sobekcm )
newspaper   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Dade -- Miami
25.787676 x -80.224145 ( Place of Publication )


General Note:
"Florida's favorite Colored weekly."
General Note:
"Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis."
General Note:
Editor: H.F. Sigismund Reeves, <Jan. 6, 1967-Dec. 27, 1968>.
General Note:
Description based on: Vol. 25, no. 8 (Oct. 23, 1948).
General Note:
Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida.
General Note:
Also available by subscription via the World Wide Web.
Funded in part by the University of Florida, the Library Services and Technology Assistance granting program of Florida, the State Library and Archives of Florida, and other institutions and individuals.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 000358015
notis - ABZ6315
oclc - 02264129
isbn - 0739-0319
System ID:

Full Text

South Carolina names first Black S




By Catalina Camia
Rep. Tim Scott was named
Monday to replace outgo-
ing GOP Sen. Jim DeMint,
becoming the first African-
American senator from the

South since Reconstruction.
In making the appoint-
ment, South Carolina Gov.
Nikki Haley herself a trail-
blazer as the state's first fe-
male governor heralded
Scott and his conservative

record in Congress and the
state Legislature. She cited
his votes to hold down feder-
al spending and create more
jobs in the state, as well as
his efforts pushing back on
the federal government and

unions against Boeing Co.'s
labor practices.
"It is very important to me
as a minority female that
Congressman Scott earned
his seat," said Haley, who is
of Indian descent. "He earned

this seat for the person he is,
for the results he's shown.
He earned this seat for what
I know he's going to do in
making South Carolina and
our country proud."
Please turn to SCOTT 11A

*********************3-DIGIT 326
516 P1
PO BOX 117007

$ tantm
Tempora Mutantur Et Nos Mutamur In Illis

VOLUME 90 NUMBER 16 MIAMI, FLORIDA, DECEMBER 19-25, 2012 50 cents

Clergy, police

launch plan

for Liberty

City's crime

Say changes must be made in
public housing policies
By D. Kevin McNeir
knc/leir@'iniamiiiimi i flesoliet .coti
Ministers whose churches are located in Liberty City
recently met with City of Miami Police officers who
are charged with keeping the peace in a community
where guns are routinely becoming the means of con-
flict resolution. According to the officers, crime in the
infamous "Pork & Beans" Iformally known as Liberty'
Squarely has escalated to deadly proportions with drug
dealing, gang warfare and other illegal activities be-
coming the norm. And while the 753-unit Miami-Dade
County public housing apartment complex can claim
to be the first project for Blacks in the South, it also
has become one of the most dangerous.
SThe police and ministers fear that cit'fzvms hpv
grown accustomed to the frequent shoot-outs and
gunfire and say that if Blacks want safer neighbor-
hoods, we must do something about it. With that in
mind, they have launched a new initiative, spear-
headed by the Rev. Billy W.L. Strange. Jr., pastor of
Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, entitled Call
Please turn to PLAN 11A

-Courtesy of Spike Wilner via Facebook

Gone Too Soon
Six-year-old Ana Grace Marquez-Greene (r) stands with her brother Isa-
iah (1-r), father and jazz musician Jimmy Greene and mother Nelba, during
happier times for the family. Ana Grace lost her young life on Dec. 14th
in the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

Gun debate at tipping point

--M. ;rD,, -mti rirjI. D ''" Mi, ei
CRIME STOPPERS: Partnering in a new anti-crime pro-
gram in Liberty City are: Rev. Douglas Cook (I-r, bottom), Rev.
Billy Strange, Sr., Rev. Carl Johnson (1-r, top), Senior Execu-

tive Assisi

By Chuck Raasch & Richard Wolf
Before Friday, Newtown,
Conn., was known as the
headquarters of the National
Shooting Sports Foundation. .
Now it is known as the site of

an unthinkable massacre of 20
young schoolchildren at Sandy
Hook Elementary School and
the adults who tried heroically
to protect them. It is also the
latest, and perhaps the most
Please turn to DEBATE 11A

:ant Officer Dennis Jackson, Major Craig McQueen, ', N --'-I Y`r For more coverage on the i 1 J
er Dana Carr and Leven Wilson. ".. .. N -.Conn" shooting turn to page 4A
h.K ryf-,.e..-... o- ,,f

Shn Kerry for Secretary of State, a win for G04

"election of Massachusetts senator would open his seat
c Republican Scott Brown

DeWayne Wickham
*The GOP witch hunt that
phased Susan Rice from the
k.*ld of candidates to replace
, iaiy Clinton as secretary
,State should also eliminate
4ihrI'Kerry from contention.
ce, who appeared to be
residentt Obama's first choice

to become this nation's next
top diplomat, was harangued
from consideration by Sen.
John McCain, R-Ariz., and
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,
who threatened a filibuster if
the president nominated Rice
for the post. Her announce-
ment last week that she no
longer wanted to be consid-

ered for the State Department
job has cleared the way for
the selection of Sen. Kerr.
A liberal Massachusetts
Democrat, Kerry chairs the
Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations and in normal times
would be a logical choice to
succeed Clinton. But these
are not normal times. Ker-

~ry's selection
would give

WICKHAM Scott Brown to
MregCain a Mas-nd

sachusetts Senate seat.
In 2010, Brown won a spe-
Graham the

vcial election to fill the sat ofhey
Democrat Edward Kene. It would,
open the way
for Republican
WICKHAM Scott Brown to
regain a Mas-
sachusetts Senate seat.
In 2010, Brownm won a spe-
cial election to fill the seat of
Democrat Edward Ken~nedy,,

who died of brain cancer in
August 2009. Last month,
Brown was soundly defeated
by Elizabeth Warren, a Demo-
crat who describes herself as
the godmother of the "Occupy
Wall Street" movement. If Ker-
ry becomes secretary of State,
Massachusetts will hold a
special election next year to
fill the remainder of Senate
That would give McCain and
Please turn to GOP 11A

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In the Rilya Wilson

tragedy, sorry isn't

good enough

Here are times when it's fitting to say, "I'm sorry." Here
are a few examples when proper decorum would sug-
gest an apology: you've entered a crowded elevator and
bump into an elderly woman; you dial your best friend on your
cell phone but get the wrong number; you forget to pick up |
hamburger buns at the grocery for the family cookout and have
to make a quick return trip; your wife has on a brand new dress I
and you fail to acknowledge how lovely she looks this one
may take more than just "I'm sorry" but we're sure you get the
However, sometimes even the most heartfelt apology acknowl-
edging one's error just ain't good enough. So, when the former
child welfare caseworker for young Rilya Wilson, Deborah Mus-
kelly, testified recently in court and said, "I'm not proud of what c
I did; I am very sorry," we just weren't convinced. Nor could we
care whether she's sorry or not. n
It has been confirmed that little Rilya suffered physical and
emotional abuse prior to her disappearance and probable mur-
der. She probably suffered more than we will ever know. And (
she was let down by adults whose job it was to protect her to c
keep her safe to make sure she had the chance to grow into A
a lovely young woman. And more than just Muskelly knew what \
was going on or at least they should have. Ever since the
case gained national attention, we saw politicians, educators, t
state employees and even private citizens show how effectively a
they can play the blame game. The sad thing is some are still t
attempting to point fingers at others so as to remove the spot-
light from themselves. As the question goes, where does the c
buck stop? r
Muskelly was just a low-level caseworker. What about Kath-
leen Kearney who was tagged by then-Governor Jeb Bush to u
overhaul the dysfunctional Department of Children and Fami- E
lies and make it better in her stead as DCF secretary? What h
about the then-Blue Ribbon Panel that pointed the finger at g
those at the bottom of the totem pole but found nothing wrong t
with those who were making the big bucks at DCF and therefore t
should have been making the equally tough decisions. What
about those in our community who knew something was awry |
in the house where Rilya spent her final days but remained
silent? I
Sorry will not bring Rilya Wilson or other children who have
suffered similar fates back. Sorry will never be enough to ease
the pain that Rilya endured during her all-too-short life on
Earth. In the last moments of her life, she had to have won-
dered why, despite her many cries, no one bothered to answer. e

Are Black youth the !

latest targets of genocide? a
enocide is defined as the policy of deliberately kill- s
ing a nationality or ethnic group. And it's happened b
time and time again on different parts of planet Earth. s
It is intentional, it is mean-spirited and it is evil. More often ,J
than not the murders and that's what goes on in the act of (
genocide are predicated on the hatred or fear of 'the other.' i
Those who are the most powerful due to size, strength or mili- t
tary might are able to successfully kill their opponents well, $
because they can. c
There are probably millions of undocumented examples of
genocidal acts that is, man's inhumanity to man. However,
we need only look to recent history to cite instances where mil-
lions were killed because of their differences: Bosnia-Herzegov-
ina [1992-1995, 200K deaths]; Rwanda [1994, 800K deaths];
Pol Pot in Cambodia [1975-1979, 2M deaths]; the Nazi Holo- t
caust [1938-1945, 6M deaths]; Stalin's forced famine [1932-
1933,7M deaths]; or Armenians in Turkey [1915-1918, 1.5M e
deaths]. And the beat goes on. I
Today in urban cities like Miami, there's a new kind of 'sheriff I
in town that has targeted young Black men boys who are not I
quite adults that may like rap music more than R&B, probably I
wear their pants a bit too far off their wastes and are natu-0
rally rebellious as all teens tend to be no matter what their
ethnic persuasion. But in careful attempts to demonize these
boys, we are now seeing trigger-happy, NRA card-carrying, self-
appointed community watchmen, Anglo-Saxon wanna-be-cops
like George Zimmerman [the murderer of Trayvon Martin] and
Michael David Dunn [the murderer of Jordan Russell Davis] I
taking a stand and committing murder.
That's what genocide is murder. And because of laws like
Stand Your Ground, we are seeing more and more Black youth
shot down senseless. Murdered because they decided to walk to
the store for a Snapple Iced Tea and a bag of Skittles. Murdered 1
because they were listening to music at decibels that were un-
acceptable to others. Maybe we miss the past so much that
we are attempting to resurrect America's good old days you
know, the Wild, Wild West.
We just wonder when someone will have the guts to change
these laws and make murderers accountable for their crimes.
Maybe our lawmakers don't care since those being killed are
just Black boys!

(ISSN 0739-0319)
Published Weekly at 900 NW 54th Street
Miami. Florida 33127-1818
Post Office Box 270200
Buena Vista Station. Miami. Florida 33127
Phone 305-694-6210
H.E. SIGISMUND REEVES, Founder. 1923-1968
GARTH C. REEVES, JR., Editor, 1972-1982
GARTH C. REEVES, SR., Publisher Emeritus
RACHEL J. REEVES, Publisher and Chairman

Member of National Newspaper Publisher Association
Member ol the Newspaper Association of America
Subscrinpltion Rates One Year $45.00 Six Months $30 00 Foreign $60.00
7 percent sales tax for Florida residents
Periodicals Postage Paid at Miami, Florida
Postmaster- Send address changes" to The Miami Times, PO Box 270200
Buena Vista Station, Miami, FL 33127-0200 305-694-6210

The Black Press believes that America can best lead the
world Irom racial and national antagonism when it accords to
every person, regardless ol race. creed or colotrhis or her
human and legal rights Hating no person, fearing no person,
the Black Press strives to help every person in the firm belief
that all persons are hurt as long as anyone is held back.

A Up Bur,au of r-rculanons

OlN, MA r.
Sa~ja.^'^l I^ H 01As.,o.c

,GN .as;u-in,,.uo ns

Jovan, Jason and jumping to conclusions

Jason Whitlock started it, and
Jason Whitlock can end it.
On December 1, the Fox Sports
columnistt penned a column
about what happened earlier that
morning when Jovan Belcher -
he starting linebacker for the
Cansas City Chiefs murdered
his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins-
the mother of his three-month-
old daughter), and then drove to
Arrowhead Stadium and killed
In his piece, Whitlock ques-
ioned and lamented how the NFL
and the Chiefs decided to play
heir scheduled game against the
Carolina Panthers on Sunday. He
argued the appropriate thing to
to was cancel the game. So far,
o10 harm no foul.
But, instead of questioning the
unjustified reasons why Jovan
Belcher would kill the mother of
his daughter and then turn the
gun on himself (or sticking just to
he sporting angle), Whitlock took
he opportunity to lament gun


violence as if the gun was used
independently and without coop-
eration of Jovan Belcher's hands
and mind.
SWhitlock also lamented Ameri-
ca's "gun culture" a culture he
never thoroughly explained yet
passively blamed them for "more
and more domestic disputes [end-
ing] in the ultimate tragedy and
that more convenience store con-
frontations over loud music com-
ing from a car will leave more
teenage boys bloodied and dead."
Again, Whitlock acted as if guns
kill people independently of their
Later, Whitlock doubled-down
on his politically correct, logical-
ly-deficient and morally-deficient
position and further exposed his
lack of intellectual credibility for
all to see. During CNN-contrib-
utor Roland Martin's podcast,
Whitlock likened the National
Rifle Association to ... the KKK.
That's right, the Ku Klux Klan.
Telling Martin "I did not as far

N'NPAilolumini.t. .: ..

as I'd like to go" with his column,
Whitlock unloaded implying
the NRA is responsible for arming
Black youths with guns used to
kill other Black youths. He also
seemed to blame the NRA for hot
only gifting Black kids with guns,
but also supplying them with
drugs. Aside from the embarrass-
ing and unadulterated stupid-
ity of Whitlock's comments, he
proceeded to take illogical leaps
with absolutely no connected
dots to verify his recklessness.
He unjustly made racist and con-
spiratorial accusations about an
organization that advocates gun
safety and responsible use as well
as protects gun rights. I'm will-
ing to bet that the Black youths
on Chicago's South Side, who are
doing their best at contributing to
the city's sky-high Black murder
rate, aren't card-carrying mem-
bers of the NRA. How can they
be? They're Black!
Furthermore, as he did in his
original piece, Whitlock turns

those who would use guns to
settle disputes into victims as op-
posed to willing participants who
chose guns over knives, clubs
or bare hands in their acts of
violence, terror and destruction.
Guns don't kill people without hu-
man participation. Belcher wasn't
a victim. He intentionally used his
gun to kill his girlfriend and him-
self. And, as much as Whitlock
would try and paint the picture,
the drug-addled and armed Black
youths he laments aren't victims
of racist white gun-club members
bent on destroying Black commu-
Criminals consciously make de-
cisions to use guns illegally, and
- as a result are responsible
for their own actions. The conse-
quence of Whitlock's thinking in-
evitably disarms law-abiding citi-
zens, ensuring more gun violence.
This is the exact opposite of what
Whitlock claims he wants, and
would ensure there will be more
victims like Kasandra Perkins.

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Number games being played in fiscal cliff
It should be embarrassing tion that holds public officials Afghanistan." they favor reducir
enough that President Obama accountable, also notes that President Obama and Secre- budget deficit with
mnd House Republicans post- Republican are running a num- tary, of Treasury Geithner over- ance of tax increase
poned making tough fiscal deci- bers game. However, they are state and exaggerate the amount ing cuts, up front
sions by kicking the can down not alone both Democrats and of spending cuts in the presi- last year. At the sE
he road to New Year's Day Republicans are playing being dent's plan, says percentage favorin
vhen certain automatic budget selective in their choice of words. "It's true that there's nearly sis on spending cu
:uts will go into effect unless they "In part, the discrepancy is a $600 billion in estimated savings percent, down froi
ict to avoid what is called a fiscal matter of language. Republicans from mandatory programs: $326 last year, while the
:liff. Instead of moving quickly to are saying 'spending cuts' while billion in health programs, in- favor of reducing t
solve their self-created problems, Democrats are saying 'savings,' cluding Medicare and Medicaid marily through tax

)oth sides continue to misrepre-
sent basic facts. House Speaker
John Boehner has criticized the
)bama administration for refus-
ng to give list of specific cuts.
He says the administration "put
$400 billion worth of unspecified
:uts that they'd be willing to talk
boutt" But says,
Boehner is wrong." It explains,
The president's deficit-reduction
)lan, as proposed to Congress in
September 2011, itemizes 'nearly
$580 billion in cuts and reforms
to mandatory programs, of which
$320 billion is savings from Fed-
eral health programs such as
Medicare and Medicaid.' Those
proposals are also listed in the
resident's fiscal 2013 budget
proposal in a section, beginning
on page 23, titled 'Cutting Waste,
Reducing the Deficit.', an organiza-

SWashington Post-Pew Research Center poll conducted
in late November found that a majority of Americans
53 percent would blame Republicans in Con-
gress if Washington fails to reach a deal in deficit talks to avoid
the fiscal cliff.

'reforms' and 'spending cuts.'
But the more substantial dif-
ference between the Democrats'
and Republicans' spending cuts-
to-tax hike ratios is that Republi-
cans do not count the one trillion
dollars in discretionary spend-
ing cuts agreed to in the Budget
Control Act of 2011," FactCheck.
org states. "The White House
argues those are part of the on-
going negotiations to resolve a
deficit crisis. Nor does the GOP
include the $800 billion 'saved'
from ending the wars in Iraq and

and $254 billion in other pro-
grams, such as farm subsidies,"
says "But not all
of these are 'spending cuts,' and
the administration's own defi-
cit-reduction plan doesn't label
them as such instead calling
them a combination of 'cuts and
Amid. the word and numbers
games., the public is clear about
what should' be done, even if
Washington isn't. A Gallup poll
in November found, "Forty-five
percent of Americans now say

ig the federal
an equal bal-
es and spend-
a 32 percent
ame time, the
.g an empha-
its is now 40
m 50 percent
percentage in
he deficit pri-
x increases is

unchanged at 11 percent."
A Washington Post-Pew Re-
search Center poll conducted
in late November found that a
majority of Americans 53
percent would blame Repub-
licans in Congress if Washing-
ton fails to reach a deal in, defit
'it"-alks to avoid the fiscal cliff'
Only 27 percent would fault
Obama if negotiations between
the two branches of government
fail, 12 percent would split the
blame equally between the two
sides and two percent have no
Like Ronald Regan, this could
be Obama's "make my day" mo-
George E,. Curry, former editor-
in-chief of',Emerge magazine, is
editor-in-chief of the National
Newspaper Publishers Associa-
tion News Service [NNPA].

U^ BY ROGER CALDWELL, Miami Times contributor jet38@belsouth,ne,',.,'" .

Will Scott discuss the stand your ground law?

On December 2, 2012, a griev-
ng family and friends came to-
gether at Trinity Chapel in Pow-
ler Springs, Georgia, for a home
going service for 17-year-old
Jordan Davis. The circumstanc-
es surrounding his death start
with Michael Dunn, a white
nan, who went over to an SUV
n which Davis and his friends
were playing their music. Dunn
decided to tell the young men
to turn their music down. It is
obviouss that a heated exchange
escalated into an argument and
that Dunn decided to shoot in-
side the SUV numerous times.
Davis was hit twice. The teen-
agers were Black and unarmed
it a gas station in Jacksonville,
Florida on November 23, and
after the shooting Dunn drove
away leaving Davis to die in a

friend's arms. '
Dunn claims that he saw a
gun barrel after hearing a string
of threats and felt threatened -
so he opened fire on the vehicle.
He says he fled the scene of the
shooting because he feared that
he had encountered gang mem-
bers was afraid for his life. His
attorney contends that any re-
sponsible firearm-owner would
have reacted the same under
the circumstances and that her
client is therefore not guilty.
The police have charged Dunn
with murder and attempted
murder and it is expected that
Dunn's attorney will probably
use Florida's controversy Stand
Your Ground Law for his de-
fense. George Zimmerman is us-
ing the same law as a defense in
his murdering of Trayvon Mar-

tin. There appears to be a fun-
damental problem with the law
when it allows white men to feel
empowered to shoot first and
ask questions later.
In Florida justifiable homi-
cides have grown by nearly 195
percent since the law took effect
in 2005. There is no data that
the incidences have been race
related, but the two most fa-
mous in Florida have been race
Ten days' after Governor
Scott's 19-member task force
issued .:its report affirming the
law, the Staild Your Ground
Law reared Its ugly head again.
Davis's Story is similar to Mar-
tin's white men took shooting
practice with young Black men
as their targets. In both cases,
the young Blacks were unarmed

with their mere existence mak-
ing them a perceived threat to
the older white men.
While :Davis died and has
since been .buried, our governor,
has refused to make a public
statement on'the incident. There
is no way that the community
should let this incident be swept
under the rug without a state-
wide and national discussion
and protest. Stand Your Ground
is a barbaric law that empowers
firearms "owners to shoot first,
ask questions later and return
to the ways,'of the Wild, Wild
West. The lai needs to be re-
pealed anrd the Davis family and
the community deserve a state-
ment of apology from Rick Scott.
Roger Caldwell is the CEO of
On Point Media Group in Orlan-

Clbe .fUtiami Iutmt%
The Miami Times welcomes and encourages letters on its editorial commentaries
as well as all other material in the newspaper. Such feedback makes for a healthy
dialogue among our readership and the community. Letters must, however, be
150 words or less, brief and to the point, and may be edited for grammar, style
and clarity All letters must be signed and must include the name, address and
telephone number of the writer for purposes of confirming authorship. Send let-
ters to: Letters to the Editor, The Miami Times, 900 N.W. 54th Street, Miami, FL
33127. or fax them to 305-757-5770" Email kmcneir@miomit;mesonline com.








1idiTriI'1imes columrnist, rjc@cIynelegtkcorm
iB iT'. _', : '. .... .:. ... f '

Should taxpayers pay for

defense expenses?

Commissioner Spence-Jones
has sued the State Attorney
Katherine Fernandez-Rundle,
Prosecutor Scruggs, Investiga-
tor Fiedler and Mayor Regalado
for conspiring together to false-
ly prosecute her and to keep
her out office. This is a mas-
sive lawsuit that will cost over
a million dollars to defend. If
Spence-Jones proves her case,
then there has been a serious
breach of trust by two elected
officials and two hired public
servants. Falsely prosecuting
someone is not in keeping with
any of their job duties. When
Commissioner Spence-Jones
was prosecuted, she had to pay
for her lawyers out of her own
pocket. The City of Miarmi reim-
'bursed her after she proved her
The State Attorney's Office
has a very tight budget as do
most public entities. The City
of Miami declared a fiscal cri-
sis; which the. Mayor used to
beat' down the unions for the
last three years. Miraculously,
the City "found" $29 million
dollars recently. How does one
lose that much money and then
find it? Do you misplace it in
the sock drawer?
My question; which I cannot
answer, is do the taxpayers foot
the legal bill for four people at
the expense of other programs?
Like)vise, should the City of Mi-
ami pay for Mayor Regalado's
legal expenses used to conspire
to keep a' duly elected Commis-
sioner from obtaining office,
because he wanted three out
of, five votes on the commission
to get his agenda? On the other
hand, if. the four defendants
were working in the scope of
their official duties, shouldn't
their employers pay for the cost
of defending them?

The precedent set by City
of Miami in Michelle Spence-
Jones' case was that the" City
did not pay her legal expenses
until she proved her innocence,
at which point she was reim-
bursed. This puts a huge bur-
den on public servant, who in
the case of Michelle Spence-
Jones had to pay over $150,000
to her attorney. However, if she
did not hire a superb attorney,
she might now be resting in jail.
In my opinion, as a civil rights
lawyer, who has pursued Sec-
tion 1983 claims if Michelle
Spence-Jones proves her case
and wins before a jury, the jury
award to compensate for her
loss of reputation is going to
be several million dollars. Who
pays for that? Is it the taxpay-
ers? Is it the individual defen-
dants? Do Scruggs and Fiedler
pay if they were just taking
orders? Why should taxpayers
pay for misdeeds and abuse of
power? At the same time, the
* defendants used their positions
of public trust and. the power
of their office to basically cru-
cify another public official. It
could be argued that the enti-
ties should pay.
I obviously have a lot of time
on my hand and this situation
is intellectually stimulating and
challenging. If Michelle Spence
Jones is correct and Fernan-
dez-Rundle and Regalado con-
spired to create false charges
her to keep her out office, then
who should pay for the extra
elections that their misfea-
sance caused? We as taxpayers
bore that expense, but should
it be shifted to the individuals
who actually caused the need-
less elections?
Reginald J. Clyne is a partner
at Clyne and Associates, P.A. of
Miami/Fort Lauderdale.

a a o

Are Black politicians judged by the
same standards as whites?

Miami, Equipment tech

Miami, Cook
"No. It's the same thing they
did to Michelle
n other poli-
ticians take
money illegally
and it's hid-
den but when
Blacks do it,
it's a huge "a
thing. I don't think it's fair."

Miami, Self-employed

"No .they're ti th

like we're
back in the n
19th' century ,
or something. i fi
The nationhey'
treats us as if
.we're renot good
enough to be in the same seats
and positions as whites."

Miami, Warehouse worker

"No they're not. Whites don't
think we're
up to their
standards; 'we
have to work
harder just
to get in the
'same place as

Liberty City, Head custodian

"No. We should all be treated
equal, even in
politics. God
created us the
same, with the
same insides
and the same

Miami, Retired

"No, they're treated differ-
ently. Take
Susan Rice
for example.
They were un-
justly harsh
to her and she
'stepped down
it isn't fair.
They have no
respect for the president either,
they overlooked him with the
Rice situation."

Keep your
The billion dollar national
campaign to cut Social Secu-
rity, Medicare and Medicaid. to
reduce the deficit is an example
of the old political saying: "Nev-
er let a good crisis go to waste."
America doesn't face an entitle-
ment crisis. However, cutting
benefits for middle-class and
poor Americans remains the
go-to solution for fiscal conser-
vatives who see the congres-
sionally created "fiscal cliff" as
.their golden opportunity to tar-
get these vital programs.
The trade challenges facing
our nation include growing our
economy, creating jobs and re-
ducing health care costs sys-
temrnwide (not just in Medicare
and Medicaid). This is where
the American people want

hands off all of our benefits

Washington to focus its atten-
tion. They made that clear on
Election Day.
However, many politicians
continue to push for cutting So-
cial Security's earned benefits
by raising the retirement age,
reducing the cost of living al-
lowance, or changing the ben-
efit formula. That doesn't cre-
ate jobs. It doesn't grow our
economy (just the opposite),
and it makes it harder for se-
niors to afford their Medicare
coverage. Social Security is
prohibited by law from con-
tributing to the deficit and
simply does not belong in this
debate. Voters of all ages and
political stripes understand
this and oppose cutting ben-

a. A4' U- HART,' .... "1.'/',w .
,BYALK NEUHARTH .. ":,': ', **-..,7 -':
. ', :, : ; ..' ," ,' ", '. ..' ', .. .. '. ,

The challenges facing Medi-
care and Medicaid are differ-
ent. The health care reform
law has proved that Medicare
can be reformed without hurt-
ing beneficiaries. Thanks to
health care reform, seniors
have saved billions in pre-
scription drug costs and re-
ceived extra benefits, and
Medicare gained eight years of
solvency. Ironically, many of
Washington's most vocal fis-
cal hawks have voted to repeal
these reforms, which would
have severely worsened our
deficit and Medicare's fiscal
health. To control the cost of
federal health programs, we
must control spending in the
entire health care sector.
Congress and the president
.. .
r,,. ,. ., ,,, % ., "

should listen to the vast ma-
jority of Americans who sup-
port reforms such as allowing
Medicare to negotiate for lower
prescription drug costs, which
would save billions, and lift-
ing the Social Security payroll
tax cap, which would solve
most of Social Security's long-
term problem. Not surprisingly
these proposals, which impact
large corporations and wealth-
ier 'Americans rather than
the middle class, are seldom
mentioned by the deficit-crisis
So much for "shared sacri-
Max Richtman is president
and CEO of the National Com-
mittee to Preserve Social Secu-
rity and Medicare.

*;., l 'fl

Hillary the best bet four years from now
She plans to leave her job as If you agree with me that it's campaign. Party infighting. Rubio, Jindal -
secretary of State. She's 65 and about time we had, a female needs a break. now."
can collect Social Security. But president, Hillary is clearly the We Independents don't have to Fred Barnes,
don't make the mistake of ex- one. worry about that. So that's why The Weekly Stai
pecting her to stay "retired." So how can we help make that it's OK for us to start Hillary "The Clinton
Hillarv Clinton is bv far the hapDen? Start the talk now. talkathons now. grown in popu:

best bet as of now to run for and
win the presidency in 2016.
She and her husband- for-
mer president Bill Clinton are
the most politically astute cou-
ple in this country.
Expect her to lie low pub-
licly for a little while. But both
she and Bill will be working the
backrooms to get ready for the
next presidential election.
She'll be 69 when she runs for
the top job four years from now.
Sen. John McCain was 72 when
he was the Republican nominee
in 2008. His age didn't hurt him.
His smugness did.

With' President Obama just re-
elected for a second four-year
term, some of us think it's too
early to speculate about 2016.
Nonsense. The most important
public job on earth deserves the
Longest attention we can.give it.
Barack Obama made history.
partly by becoming the first non-
white to win the presidency.
Hillary will be an even more
significant story by becoming
the first female to do so.
Most Democrats and Republi-
cans tend to take a deep breath
after an election and pause be-
fore maneuvering for the next

"If she runs and I hope she'
does Hillary Clinton's remark-
able record as an advocate, first
lady, U.S. senator and secretary
of State will make her one of the
most qualified candidates in our
nation's history."
Dee Dee Myers, former press
secretary to President Clinton
and author of "Why Women
Should Rule the World"
"She was the best bet four
years ago and failed. Older and
wearier,' she's not likely to beat a
young Republican star Ryan,
. .. ., -. 't -** :< .-. "
." '-'- ,
',.. '.' 1-:''"

A-7LOS :
B Y=B E I IM O .t ^ E A U S ', ;^ .., *
,': .* .. *." ^ a:. r',i' ;',:-:".-' ':;: *^ *'- ^ ''" ," ,' 1 *.

- four ,ears from

executive editor,
brand has only
larity and influ-

ence, and Hillary has earned in-
ternational acclaim. She would
sweep the Democratic' field to
finally win the well-deserved
party nomination."
Dena Levy, co-author of "Hill-
ary Clinton: A Biography"
"A Hillary Clinton candidacy
would be generationally intrigu-
ing. Most likely the GOP will
have a forty-something fresh
face and the Democrats going
with a legacy pick. That turns
2016 on its head from what we
traditionally see."
Erick Erickson, editor Red-
State. comrn
-, .**^ '..- c j ^
"* '.- 1 1
n i-.' .-*

Opportunity and diversity one industry

There is a missing component
to the national discussion con-
cerning how to strengthen and
rebuild the American economy.
It is true that high unemploy-
ment, a weak national infra-
structure, the need for stronger
public education, the concen-
tration of wealth and the deficit
are all challenges to the nation's
economy but being left out of the
discussion is the continued eco-
nomic marginalization of racial
and ethnic minorities.
The American economy has
always been strongest when it's
kept the middle class within
reach for most Americans. But
with white households holding
nearly 20 times the wealth 'of
Black or Latino households, and
with rising disparities in unem-
ployment, poverty, and income,
the future of the middle class has
never looked more uncertain.
As the country rapidly becomes
majority-minority the nation's
economic well-being is increas-
ingly tied to overcoming racial
economic inequality.
The economic challenges that
people of color face is reflected in

the recently released NAACP Op-
portunity and Diversity Report
Card which analyzes the hotel
and lodging industry. Mediocre
grades among the five leading
hotels we examined Hyatt,
Starwood, Wyndham, Marriott
and Hilton reveal the wide-
spread lack of investment in
minority suppliers, the over rep-
resentation of people of color in
the lowest paying entry level po-
sitions, the under representation
in the more highly paid career
track positions and finally a lack
of commitment to collecting basic
diversity data that could be used
to strengthen inclusion efforts.
Our report shows that Black-
owned businesses, which com-
prise seven percent of-all busi-
nesses in the U.S., make up
only 0.9 percent', of all vendors
receipts a troubling red flag
that signals how far corporate
America has to go in their suppli-
er diversity outreach. And while
people of color are 36 percent of
the population, only 13 percent
of the governing bodies in the ho-
tel and lodging industry consists
ofpeople of color.

One of the most disconcerting
findings of our report card is that
all of the top 5 hotel and lodging
corporations do not collect di-
versity data from their franchise
properties. This means for four
out of five of these leading cor-
porations no data is collected for
the majority of their 'individual
hotels. This is unacceptable
The NAACP is calling for these
corporations to collect the diver-
sity data already mandated by
the government through EE01
reports. We are also asking for
planners of major events to re-
quest EEO01 reports from any
individual hotel they are con-
sidering for their 'event so they
can make diversity and inclu-
sion part of their assessment as
to which hotel is worthy of their
business. The National Coalition
of Black Meeting Planners'has al-
ready voiced support for this ac-
tion and we will be working with
our community and civil rights
partners as well as local bureaus
of tourism to make widespread
the use of EEO 1 data as an im-
portant and widely used factor
for determining which hotels

School shooting could happen here

The topic of my dissertation
focused on the incidences of vi-
olence in school environments.
The results suggested rural
school environments lacked
the security measures that ex-
isted in urban school environ-
ments. I theorized that in many
rural and homogeneous areas
there is a mindset that I refer
to as suburban cognitive dis-
sonance. Case and point: The
recent horrific school shooting

that involved the death of small
children and adults in a Con-
necticut suburb. The majority
of people from that community
had problems reconciling no-
tions of an idealized suburban
"safe" setting with the reality of
the bloody carnage caused by a
cowardly monster. "How could
this happen here?" many ex-
claimed. The question is clearly
reflective of a belief in fictitious
white picket fence Andy Griffin-

type communities with great
schools and few criminals. As a
Miami urbanite I have come to
grips with the idea that schools
are not safe from violence giv-
en the recent events in Miami-
Dade and Broward County
school districts. In fact, I think
schools in the urban core are
ripe for an incident far worse
than that which occurred in
Connecticut. It's sad to say but
in Liberty City, Overtown, Little

The Miami Times is the best
The article you wrote http:// amazing. When I went to buy a major highlight of the year for the paper, I was blown away by me. My family, all regular Miami
artist-to-be-featured-at-art- the layout. I know you were giv- Times. readers, continuously
africa-exhibit/" was absolutely en short notice, but it was truly alerted me of their pride upon

qualify to hold major events."
The EEO 1 survey is a primary
means that the Equal Employ-
ment Opportunity Commission
uses to advance its mission de-
rived from the 1964 Civil Rights
Act. Title VII of the 1964 Civil
Rights Act focused on prohibit-
ing racial discrimination in em-
ployment. and almost 60 years
later we still find great racial and
ethnic disparities in business
and its workforce. The Opportu-
nity and Diversity Report Card
and our call to action for greater
use of EEO 1 data should not be
seen as just a "civil rights" mat-
ter but should be understood as
a means of dealing with one of
the greatest threats facing the
American economy over the next
thirty years, racial economic in-
equality. We at the NAACP have
always seen racial inequality as a
grave threat to the country.
Benjamin Todd Jealous is the
current president and chief ex-
ecutive officer of the National As-
sociation for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP). He is the
youngest ever national leader of
the organization.

Haiti and Miami Gardens hand
guns and assault weapons are
easily obtained by anyone es-
pecially our youth. Therefore,
the community has to be vigi-
lant in confronting all levels of
leadership in the school system
because the life of our children
may literally hang in the bal-

Dr. Robert Malone

reading the article. Thanks

T. Eliott Mansa

L A A'A 9mU t -A

President Obama says town is. not alone',___

By William M. Welch

President Obama met Sun-
day in Newtown, Conn., with
families of those killed in the
massacre at Sandy Hook El-
ementary School, then told a
memorial ceremony "I come to
offer the love and prayers of
the nation."
"Newtown, you are not
alone," Obama said solemnly.
Noting that "Scripture tells
us do not lose.heart," Obama
praised the heroism of teach-
ers who protected their stu-
dents when a gunman entered

their elementary school here
and massacred 26 people.
"We gather here in memory
of 20 beautiful children and
six remarkable adults. They
lost their lives in a school that
could have been any school,"
Obama said. "I am very mind-
ful that mere words cannot
match the depths of your sor-
row nor can they heal your
wounded heart. ... You are not
alone in your grief."
He said Newtown has in-
spired the nation by facing
and handling the unspeakable

The president read each
slain child's first name, then
said: "God has called them all
home. To those of us who re-
main, let us find the strength
to carry on and make our
country worthy of their mem-
SEarlier, Connecticut State
Police Lt. Paul Vance said
the gunman brought multi-
ple high-capacity magazines,
holding 30 bullets each, to the
school, and used a .223. Bush-
master assault rifle for most
of the killings. Vance said the
gunman had two handguns, a

Glock 10mm and a Sig Sauer
Vance said the gunman used
the assault rifle on his victims
at the school before killing
himself with one of the hand-
guns. Police also found a shot-
gun in his car.
. Connecticut Gov. Dannel
Malloy said the shooter de-
cided to kill himself when he
heard police closing in about
10 minutes into the attack.
"We surmise that it was dur-
ing the second classroom epi-
sode that he heard, respond-
ers coming and apparently at

that, decided to take his own
life," Malloy said on ABC's
This Week.
Authorities said they found
hundreds of unused bullets at
the school
"There was a lot of ammo, a
lot of clips," Vance said.' "Cer-
tainly a lot of lives were poten-
tially saved."
Adam Lanza, 20, was iden-
tified by Vance as the alleged
gunman. His mother Nancy,
52, was also killed at the home.
she shared with her son.
Vance said investigators are
trying to determine a motive.

"This is a very long, tedious
process,",he said of the inves-

Keep Conn. shooting in context

Some in press asked if it was a record.

But is any spree any less tragic?

By James Alan

As a criminologist who has
studied mass shootings for de-
cades, I have grown accustomed
to the massive, non-stop media
attention devoted to mass kill-
ings when they occur, as well as
to the chaotic competition among
reporters to uncover breaking
news developments. However,
the seemingly insatiable need.
among some journalists and on-
air reporters to create a dramatic
context for tragedy has grown in-
creasingly mystifying to me.
Barely two .,hours after Tues-
day's shooting at a Portland,
Ore., shopping mall, I received
several calls from the Far West
inquiring whether mass shoot-
ings were on the rise. Following
high-profile massacres in Aurora,
Colo. and Seattle earlier this year,
reporters wanted to confirm their
perceptions with reality. They
also wanted to know whether the
Oregon gunman, who killed two
people before committing suicide
at the Clackamas Town Center
Mall, may have been modeling
his attack on the Aurora, Colo.
theater massacre.
I assured these reporters that
the latest shooting was not re-
flective of an upward trajectory.
Rather, our collective memories
apparently lose sight of other vio-
lent moments in recent history

when mass shootings have been
clustered closely in time, for the
most part out of sheer coinci-
dence. Although there have been
cases in which mass gunmen
have drawn inspiration from oth-
ers who preceded them, and per-
haps have wanted a share of the
notoriety that follows, the impact
of copycatting is often overstated.
Then, of course, came Friday's

massive shooting at the Sandy
Hook Elementary School in New-'
town, Conn., that claimed that
lives of more than two dozen vie-
tims, mostly young children. As
the horror was unfolding and
before axy perpetrator or motive
was identified, scores of journal-
ists from here and abroad, were
phoning to ask whether this was
perhaps the worst school shoot-
ing in history. It didn't matter
that deadlier episodes had hap-
pened overseas (the 2004 school
siege by armed Muslim guerrillas
in Beslan, Russia, in which the
death toll topped 350, including

scores of children); at a college
setting (Virginia Tech in 2007 in
which 33, including the gunman,
died); or involving means other
than gunfire (the 1927 bomb-
ing of a school in Bath, Mich., in
which 45 were killed). Reporters
were eager to declare the Sandy
Hook massacre as some type a
new record.
There isn't a Hall of Fame for
criminals, even though some
people are intensely fascinated
with their biographies. There is
no purpose in looking for record-
setting. Does the pain and suf-

fearing associated with the Sandy
Hook, school shooting change
in any way if it is the largest in
history? Would that make this
episode any more significant or
Even though the nature and
number of incidents today are
not very different from years ago,
one thing definitely has changed
- the extent and style of news
coverage: In an earlier era, the
major networks did not have the
capability to be on the scene re-
porting live and with video within
minutes of a shooting spree. And
cable news channels weren't

around to provide marathon cov-
erage of these events.
Back in 1966, when Charles
Whitman opened fire from a
tower on the University of Texas
campus, and killed 16 people
and wounded 31 others, there
wasn't a line of satellite trucks
parked at the shooting site. And
in 1989 -- when Patrick Purdy
turned the Cleveland Elemen-
tary School in Stockton, Calif.,
into his personal war zone with
an AK-47 which he used to kill
five children and wound 29 other
students and one teacher -news
outlets did not as yet have. the
means to transmit satellite imag-
es of frightened children running
for their lives for instantaneous
display on our television screens.
It wasn't commonplace years
ago to have a swarm of reporters
on the scene with microphones
and cameras just in time to in-
terview surviving children with
fresh tears in their eyes. We also
didn't hear an array of eye wit-
nesses and emergency respond-
ers talk about a "parent's worst
nightmare" or describe the scene
as the worst they've encounter in
their careers. And we certainly
did not have folks tweeting up-
dates from location.
So, if it seems like these dread-
ful crimes are occurring more
frequently, it is really the im-
mediacy- and pervasiveness of
media coverage that creates the
impression. And thanks to state-
of-the-art technology, it can feel
as though the tragedy happened
in your own backyard.

Former school prepped for displaced pupils

By Thomas Frank

NEWTOWN, Conn. Pupils
from Sandy Hook Elementary
School will return to classes at
a former school building about
15 minutes away and may never
go back to the school where a
gunman killed 20 first-graders
and six teachers and adminis-
Work crews descended on the
former Chalk Hill Middle School
in Monroe on Sunday morning
to make it ready for pupils by
Wednesday, although no date
has been set for the children to
resume classes, Monroe Police
Lt. Brian McCauley said.
The two-story building sits
along a winding, wooded road
next to a new middle school and
an elementary school.
Police will be stationed at

Chalk Hill when it reopens, and
news media will be barred ex-
cept for a single camera crew
that will be allowed to shoot vid-
eo but will be asked not to con-
duct interviews, McCauley said.
"We don't want to disrupt the
students any more than they
have been," he said.
State police Lt. Paul Vance
said Monday that it could be
months before police turn the
Sandy Hook school back over to
the district.
Newtown police Lt. George
Sinko went further, adding that
he "would find it very difficult"
for students to return to the
same school. But, he added,
"We want to keep these kids
together. They need to support
each other."
Officials from Newtown and
Monroe reached an agreement

Sunday morning to use Chalk
Hill for an indefinite period.
The building is "in very good
condition" and will handle the
entire Sandy Hill program, New-
town officials said in a state-
ment on the town's website.
James Agostine, the schools
superintendent in Monroe, is-
sued a statement saying: "It is
important that the Sandy Hook
students get back to school
quickly in an environment that
is familiar and safe."
At a news conference Sunday,
Newtown Police Lt. George Sinko
said he doubted pupils would
attend Sandy Hook again.
About 450 pupils from kin-
'dergarten through fourth grade
attended Sandy Hook before
the shooting Friday. The school
building remains a crime scene
under investigation.

Newtown's six other public
schools, with about 4,700 stu-
dents, are scheduled to reopen
Tuesday. Newtown teachers and
administrators will spend today
in meetings.
Since students vacated Chalk
Hill in 2011, the building has
housed some town offices and a
day care center while town of-
ficials debated a long-term plan.
Monroe police were bom-
barded with phone calls Sunday
from people offering to help fix
up Chalk Hill, McCauley said.
"We're a small community. We
help each other," he said.
Agostine urged patience in his
statement: "We recognize that
everyone Would like to lend a
helping hand, but we have been
asked to hold back until the
Newtown staff is settled in and
they can direct our efforts."

Newtown puts

mental health

care in spotlight

Care has been cut back, and 'we're

paying a price' experts say

By Liz Szabo

Families and doctors who
treat the mentally ill say they
hope that Friday's tragedy in
Newtown,, Conn.', will refocus
the nation's attention on im-
proving mental health services.
Police have not released de-
tails about the motives or men-.
tal state of shooter Adam Lan-
za. But perpetrators of similar
mass shootings at Virginia
Tech, Northern Illinois Univer-
sity and a Tucson, Ariz., event
for Rep. Gabi Giffords all had
serious mental, health condi-
"We wait for things like this
to happen and then everyone
*talks, about mental health,"
says Priscilla Dass-Brailsford,
an associate professor of psy-
chology at Georgetown Univer-
sity Medical Center. "But they
quickly forget."

There are hundreds of milti-
ple-casualty shootings a year,
says forensic psychologist
Dewey Cornell, director of the
Virginia Youth Violence Project.
People have become so desen-
sitized that they pay no atten-
tion. 4 .
Yet mental illness contrib-
utes to domestic violence, child
abuse, drug addiction, home-
lessness and incarceration. In-
vesting in mental health care
could help prevent future trag-
edies, he says.
"Mental health has shrunk
down to the level of short-term
crisis management," Cornell
says. "'We can't think about the
gunman in the parking lot and
what to do with him. We have to
get involved a lot earlier."
Schools and communities
"have cut their mental health
services to the bone. We're pay-
ing a price for it as a society."

Adam Lanza and mother

both visited gun ranges

By Pierre Thomas

Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old
who killed 20 children and six
adults in a rampage at a Con-
necticut elementary school,
and his mother both spent
time at an area gun range, ABC
News has learned.
A Bureau of Alcohol Tobac-
co, Firearms and Explosives

20-year-old shooter

spokesperson told ABC News
investigators have determined
Lanza did visit a gun range,
but they have not determined
whether he shot there.
Investigators have also
learned his mother, Nancy
Lanza, visited a gun range on
multiple occasions, but they
have not determined whether
her son was with her during
those visits, the spokesperson
ATF agents have been can-
vassing area gun ranges and
gun dealers to learn whether
Adam Lanza had been a cus-
tomer or a visitor.
Law enforcement sources tell
ABC News that reports that the
shooter recently attempted to
purchase a gun at a local sport-

ing goods store have not been
substantiated at this time.
Adam Lanza used a Bush-,
master .223 semi-automatic
rifle at close range to kill chil-
dren and adults at Sandy Hook
Elementary School in New-
town, Connecticut on Friday.
Two handguns were also
found at the scene, but law en-
forcement officials' described
the Bushmaster as the primary
weapon. A fourth weapon was
found nearby. The weapons
discovered at the school ap-
parently belonged to a family
member, possibly his mother,
according to authorities.
Lanza, 20, forced his way into
Sandy Hook on Friday morning
and killed 20 children and six
adults before committing sui-
cide. He drove to the school af-
ter shooting his mother in the
face at 'their home.
The weapons that police re-
covered from the scene includ-
ed a Glock 9-mm handgun, a
Sig Sauer 9-mm handgun and
a Bushmaster rifle. Police also
found .223 shell casings. Lanza
was wearing a bullet-proof vest.
The shooter's mother,
52-year-old Nancy Lanza, had
five weapons registered to her,
including a Glock, a Sig Sauer,
and a Bushmaster rifle.
Police said the Glock, the Sig
Sauer and the Bushmaster at
the school appeared to be reg-
istered to a family member. Au-
thorities are currently complet-
ing their checks to see which
weapons were used in the slay-
ings, to whom they were reg-
istered and how they were ob-
Lanza, who was described by
neighbors and former class-
mates as being very bright,
took six classes at Western
Connecticut State University
in 2008 and 2009, beginning
when he was just 16, and had
a grade point average of 3.26.



Swan: GOP tried hard to suppress my vote

By Rhonda Swan

SI'waited three and a half hours
- an houri longer than in 2008
but hours less than many Flo-
ridians to cast my ballot on
the first day of early voting for
this year's general election.
.There were several reasons for
the long wait but I want :Gov.
Rick Scott, Secretary of 'State
Ken Detzner and Florida's law-
makers to admit to just one: The
voter suppression law Republi-
cans passed last year.
SAs Detzner and his appointed
audit team undertook a fact-find-
ing mission to "'underperform-
ing" counties like Palm Beach
and Miami-Dade to determine
why Florida was once again the
object of ridicule for its handling
of this year's national election, it
appears they already have ruled
out HB 1355 as a possible factor.
Any investigation into why vot-
ers waited as long as eight hours
to cast ballots that doesn't con-
sider the law that reduced early
voting from eight days to 14 can-

not and should not be taken se-
The last time Scott asked a
member of his administration to
lead a probe into a controversy
of national significance was af-
ter George Zimmerman shot and
killed unarmed Trayvon Martin
and claimed immunity under*
Florida's Stand Your Ground
law. Scott named Lt. Gov. Jen-
nifer Carroll to head a task force
charged with looking into pos-
sible changes to the law written
and backed by the National Rifle
Association. Carroll voted in fa-
vor of Stand Your Ground as a
state legislator and is a lifetime
member of the NRA. The task
force made no recommendations
for significant changes to the
No changes are likely for HB
1355, either, if the powers that
be won't even consider its impact
on the 2012 elections.
Detzner claimed the measure
would offer "more flexibility to
vote, more accountability and
faster reporting times on Elec-

tion Day." We know how that
worked out. Still, Detzner and
lawmakers responsible for HB
1355 are blaming everything and
everyone except the law.
Senate Ethics and Elections
Committee Chairman Jack Lat-
vala, R-St. Petersburg, pointed
to perennially flawed elections
in Palm Beach County, where
incorrectly printed absentee
ballots had to be hand copied.

"When a county every single
election has problems, then you
can't blame a new law," he said.
You can't blame Palm Beach
County, though, for long lines in
Monroe County. Monroe County
Supervisor of Elections Harry
Sawyer, a Republican, asked
Gov. Scott to extend early voting
through the Sunday before Elec-
tion Day to accommodate, more
voters. HB 1355 eliminated that

Sunday when, coincidentally,
Black churches usually sponsor
Souls to the Polls events.
You don't have to be a political
scientist to figure this out. The
majority of early voters are black
and most black voters choose
Democrats. Limit their opportu-
nity to vote early and they are
more likely to stay home. Or
so the GOP-dominated Legisla-
ture thought when they passed

I I ii..)1J..J.J)tinfi p nr LJ.Id.fl inti

n7it 13bbJ on thei pretense trIatL it
would curb voter fraud.
Again, the opposite happened.
Incensed by the effort to disen-
franchise them, people of color
turned out to vote in bigger num-
bers than in the historic election
of 2008.
The fact their plan backfired,
though, doesn't absolve Gov.
S Scott and legislators like state
'Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Braden-
Ston, who admitted he wanted to
make voting more difficult.
Those who died for the right
of people who look like me to
| vote did so to make it easier, not
harder. Sen. Bennett, Gov. Scott

and every lawmaker who voted
in favor of HB 1355 dishonored
their sacrifice.
Incoming Senate President
Don Gaetz and House Speaker
Will Weatherford have commit-.
ted to election reform. "Florid-
ians," Gaetz said, "should never
again have to stand in lines for
six and seven hours to vote."
So true. Reform means repeal-
ing HB 1355.

. ..........*.*.*.*.*.*..*.*... .*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*. ...... ..*.......................... ..... ......................................................................

Why no


warnigs fo


Emrin a swr uys oenci

foeatr 7-st 7etsIn uye h te

So would hurricane warn-
ings have made a difference?
Perhaps. Hurricane warn-
ings carry an aura that others
do not. "Because of the lack
of hurricane warnings, there
may have been folks that did
not take Sandy as seriously as
it deserved," Landsea
New York Mayor
Michael Bloomberg
might have been
one of those people.
Twb days before the
storm ravaged his *.
city, Bloomberg said
at a news conference
that Sandy wasn't
"expected to be a
tropical storm or BLOC
hurricane-type surge"
and "so it will be less dan-
gerous" than Tropical Storm
Irene was in 2011. Bloomberg
later changed his tune, but
precious preparation time was
In addition, the city's health
commissioner told The New
York Times that when the



could attract

millions to


initial decision was made not
to evacuate low-lWing nursing
and adult,homes,.he believed
Sandy was weakdriing and,.
Would be n6'worse than Irene.
The failure to issue hur-
ricane warnings might also
prove to be bad science.
Norcross puts the
.odds at 50-50 that
S post-storm analysis
will show Sandy was
indeed still a hur-
ricane when it made

4? .~dy's af-
termath, a federal
team-is conducting a
review and consider-
ing changes in time`
>MBERG for the next hurricane
season. Here's a sim-
ple one: Once a tropical system
is named, let the Hurricane
Center issue warnings until it
no longer poses a threat.
And here's another: In an
extraordinary situation, be
prepared to bend the rules and
leave the meteorological minu-
tiae to the weather geeks.

By Susan Page

Americans who didn't vote
in last month's presidential
election have some ideas about
what could encourage them to
cast a ballot next time: Make it
In a USA TODAY/Ipsos PoUll
of non-voters, 28 percent say
being able to vote on the In-

. e : ,1 ." -. '.,... .-.-'* .,- y ".. '.-,


ord flooding .. uri-,
*-,usta reached 90Q mph Jm't!l
J & A, .ew'..r.i ph .tn Rhode' Island,-.
otn, Ld iu ztph 'in Massachusetts'.ai

LWatcbs wanings'- -

Ai :o-6ert V,. tha t
.. ... ,su ,'. S t S a n d .. & .'-';
New Jeaseiy. generation w, foreteals p g.t.h,. I=a offices
dises4'cWh i.ath as improbable tf wit h .tie" % .t i:; nbgsidastalflood warn- :.
'.pof .tuyJ. de1. a omnp..amputernrs-l s.Ilitedata,. .l.9g'-, &r' big, bad Frariken-
'they riled h rackand.undoubtedy sav'd s. 'P9. s rm W ".c -:.. ;. -. ""

FAR LEFT: A truck drives through water
... pushed over a road by Hurricane Sandy in
. .. ..* ... ,*.. Southampton, New York, October 29.
<" **,.. ;
--RELI!Ek:, Lu'.i; .13-.'lvin
^.tw:-,, .

SAerial views shows the damage caused by
Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey cast
taken during a search and rescue mission
by 1-150 Assault Helicopter Battalion,
,New Jersey Army National Guard on
October 30.
-P.EIJTERSiMark C. OlIenwU S Air Force'Hardaul

BOTTOM: Yellow cabs line a flooded
street in Queens, New York in hurricane
Sandy's wake.
Pn,:,o by V' j,, tuSA ZurA A ,R ,r-'ur-

ternet would encourage people
like them to participate in the
election, the top item cited. By
double digits, they endorse the
idea of making voter registration
easier, allowing same-day reg-
istration and permitting voting
by mail.
"I'm interested if I have th4e
time," says Lauryn Pyke, 25,
of Pocatello, Idaho, a graduate

student at Idaho State Univer-
sity and mother of two young
children who was among those
called in the poll. But "it doesn't
take precedence over everything
Some of those surveyed say
they'd be more likely to vote if
better candidates ran and the
government was cleaned up.
Still, many are convinced their

vote doesn't really matter.
"I did not see that the system
was being changed, whether the
person I voted for got elected or
not," says Roy Freer, 67, a cattle
rancher from Leesburg, Texas,
who has voted in past elections
but not this time.
In the 2012 presidential elec-
tion, voter turnout dropped to
an estimated 57.5 percent of

eligible citizens, according to a
report last month by the Center
for the Study of the American
Electorate lower than turn-
out in 2008 and 2004. Despite
record campaign spending and
sophisticated microtargeting,
about 93 million Americans who
could have voted in the battle
between President Obama and
Republican Mitt Romrnney didn't.






Life is navigated by difficult decisions

By Arthur Lee Hall, Jr.

One small decision can
turn out to be the most im-
portant decision that you've
ever made in your whole en-
tire life. It could either make
you or break you, and deter-'
mine whether you advance
further towards a successful
future or cause you to watch
all of your dreams go down
the drain.
So many times have I
thought to myself: If I would
have done this or that, I cer-
tainly would not be in the
position that I'm currently
in. Or, if I would have simply
thought twice before acting
upon a matter, disaster could
have been surely avoided. Af-
ter a very poor decision has
been made and all that we

have are consequenc-
es to deal with, we
always seem to look
back at what could
have, would have or
should have done dif-
ferently. But no mat-
ter how much time we
spend on reflecting on Hi
our decision-making process,
like the death of yesterday,
the decisions that have made
in the past are, a done deal
and now we can only aspire
for the ability to make better
decisions as life continues to
move on.
At times,, it is extremely
difficult for us to make the
right, decisions, particularly
when we are angry, hasty or
under the influence of drugs
and alcohol. A terrible deci-
sion can also be motivated

by a previous thought
of tremendous power-
here on Earth. In our
diabolical decisiveness,
we tend to focus more
on what we can lose -
it's sort of like a scene
in a the movies when
ALL the desperate character
makes a deal with devil that
would allow him to gain the
world, only to realize much
later that his soul has been
forever forfeited. At the end
of the film, the devil is always
shown laughing wickedly in
the midst of hell fire, while
the character desperately
tries to back paddle out of his
torment to no avail.
This type of Hollywood sce-
nario is similar to real life
experiences. It could happen
in a young man's life who de-

cides to take part in a rob-
bery that goes bad and the
victim ends up dead.. Deep
down in his heart, he may
have intended to take the
dead person's money but now
he could spend the rest of his
life-locked behind bars or per-
haps sitting on death row. It
could happen when two peo-
ple are inflamed with lust and
without thing they decide to
haave unprotected sex, sadly
transmitting an incurable
disease inthe process.
When a body of water is too
deep and broad for us to swim
across, let's hope that we are
able to stay on dry land where
it is safe or, will we plunge in
and eventually find ourselves
drowning in a sea of regret,
helplessly gasping .for air?
What -will our decision be?

South Florida cops leave the job early

SunPass and GPS records expose officers

By Sally Kestin

South Florida police officers
used to return to the station
at the end of a shift to turn
in their paperwork and patrol
cars. But technology has revo-
lutionized a cop's workday, and
those laptops, radios and take-
home cruisers make it possible
to go AWOL or duck out of work
"The truth is, it's easy," said
Miami police Maj. Jorge Colina,
who oversees internal affairs
for the area's biggest municipal
police force. "You're hoping you
don't get dispatched to a call..
. But you could get a head start
and be up on the expressway
out of the city when they tell
you, 'OK,_have a good night."
SunPass toll records ana-
lyzed by the Sun Sentinel found
cops from Plantation to Miami
cutting out before their shifts
ended, sometimes signing off
via the radio from locales no-
where near their jurisdiction.
But modern technology can
be a double-edged sword, and

police departments are now
using it to slip a tighter virtual
leash onto their workforces.
This year, a GPS tracker in a
squad car, plus a close look at
cellphone and SunPass toll re-
cords, ended the career of Bro-
ward Sheriffs Lt.-Eric Wright.
Internal affairs investigators
Found Wright moonlighting dur-
ing the hours he was supposed
to be supervising patrol squads
in Weston, leaving early on
some days, or not bothering to
show up at all.
Broward Sheriffs Deputy
Erik Knutsen got into trouble
when investigators checked
police radio records and found
he was claiming to respond
to service calls while he was
actually at the Booby Trap, a
Pompano Beach strip joint, an
internal investigation found.
Knutsen was fired after a GPS
tracker secretly planted in
his cruiser revealed he was
spending up to one-quarter of
his work time at nude clubs
outside his patrol zone.
Restoring accountability

Long-time South Florida
cops remember starting and '
ending their days at police
headquarters, the way they
did on the popular '80s TV-
show "Hill Street Blues."
"We didn't .have take-home
cars, so I needed to bring my
car back to the station, and
turn that car in so the next
guy can jump in and go out
on the street," Colina recalled.
"That alone was already a
mechanism, not intended for
that, but nonetheless it was a
mechanism for you to see that
Computers and electronic
report-writing also have
helped eliminate face-to-face
"Before you had to come in.
A sergeant would look at the
report and if a correction had
to be made, he would give you
back that copy," Colina said.
Even the radios once used
by police had less powerful
signals, veteran cops recalled,
making it more difficult to
pretend you were somewhere

you weren't.
"You could tell if someone
wasn't in the city because you -
could barely hear him," Colina
said. "We've lost a lot of those
checks and balances that
existed just because of how
things ran."
On late shifts and during
slow periods, some officers
may cut out early knowing
they can keep abreast of any
breaking crimes or emergen-
cies on the radio, said Mark
Overton, Miami Beach's
deputy police chief
"If something big happens,
they can turn around and
come back," he said.
Department brass decided
against the roll call because it
would take cops'off the street.
Officers there still sign off over
the radio, but now must give
their location. It's an honor
system, "but you never know
who's watching," Overton
One recent morning, .the
deputy chief was. Overton
camped out on a causeway
to see if any Miami Beach of-
ficers left the island city early
- he said none did.

Central Rockets learn from past mistakes

continued from 1A

coach. WWe knew it'd be rough
early on [but] we did some great
things this year."
In a community formerly
known as Bull Country, the.
Rockets have. managed to oust
all competitors, including the
historically-competitive North-
western Bulls, whom the Rock-
ets have beaten five times in the
last three seasons. In fact, Cen-
tral has not loss to a Miami-Dade
County team in three years. And
they may not be finished yet.

"We're starting to get a pro-
gram oqn 95th street," Lockette
said. "Every year the kids get bet-
ter and better and they're getting
younger and younger too."
The Rockets have a great shot
at a repeat title next season

bringing back more than 70 per-
cent of their starters, including
the dynamic duo running backs
Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook
who rushed for more than 200
yards in the championship game
and scored two touchdowns
"It's in the bag," said Cook,
who has committed to Clemson
University, about next year's
championship. "I'm very excited
[about having so many returning
players] but we still have to work
"I, want to cry right now, but
I can't in front of the cameras,"
said Yearby, sharing his second
championship with several other
teammates. "It feels very good,
but we have to come back and
work harder."
A celebratory day also marked
the finale of one of Central's
key advantages in senior kicker
Emilio Nadelman, who will attend,
the University. of South Florida
next season.

"I'm just blessed to have had
him as a player," Lockette said,
shaking his head in disbelief after
realizing that it was Nadelman's
final game. "But we will just have
to develop some other kickers."
Nadelman, who made three-.of-
four field goals, including a 45-
yard kick, has limited the number
of kick returns for the opponent's
special teams throughout the
season and disallowed any for the
"I started as a champion and
'finished as a champion [at Cen-
tral]," Nadelman said. "It was a
long journey, but I've learned
how to be confident here."

The Rockets were determined
to make up for last season's dis-
appointing loss against Armwood
and made sure that they covered
all aspects of the game. Defen-
sively, the Rockets earned three
sacks and held Gainesville to 70
passing yards.

-Photo courtesy of Chuck Bethel

The mighty men of Central

The Hurricanes tried to trudge
back into the game after an 80-
yard touchdown run the lon-
gest of the game by senior.
halfback Ralpheal Webb. But it
would not be enough to shake
the Rockets' onslaught. Webb
finished with 155 rushing yards
and scored both of Gainesville's
The Rockets, who have closed
out another championship sea-
son, say that the season left an-
other message to the opposition.
"Don't count us out early,"
Lockette said.

Woman convicted of arranging the killings
of her millionaire husband and mother-in-law
Narcy Novack and her brother, Cristobal Veliz, were convicted of hiring hit men to carry
out the 2009 beating deaths of Ben Novack Jr. in a suburban New York hotel room and
Bernice Novack at her Fort Lauderdale home. Ben Novack was the son of the man who
built the Fontaminebieau hotel in Miami Beach, which appeared in the movies "Scarface"
and "Goidlinger." Novack, 56, an Ecuador native, would likely die in prison even under the
27-year scenario. Narcy Novack did not testify. But before her arrest she gave police a
striking account of her marriage, including that her husband had a fetish foramputees.
She also said she once went into a hospital to have a broken nose repaired and awoke with
breast implants she hadn't requested. In addition to the murder charge, the defendants
were convicted of domestic violence, stalking, money laundering and witness tampering.

Key Largo man shot in argument over open relationship, police say
Candice Lee, 37, allegedly shot her former lover, Shakir Muilam, 45, with a .22-caliber
rifle after the two argued over her relationship-with a new boyfriend. Lee and her hus-
band, are in an open relationship, which allow them to have-other sexual partners. Lee
and Muilam were in a relationship but broke up recently. Muilam found Lee and her boy-
friend talking early lastThursday outsideoif their home and became angry. Lee reportedly
told Muilam that if he didn't approve other, new relationship, he could move out Sometime
during the argument, Lee reportedly fell and hit he1 head. She went inside the house and
came back outside with the rifle arid pointed it at Muilam. Lee told investigators that as
she and Muilam argued, he reacd-behiid himself and she shot him in the thigh Lee said
she ran to her next-door neighbdfs home to call the police. She then ran back to her home
and applied pressure to Muiaib's wound. LWhen deputies arrived, Lee pointed to where the
gun was leaning up against bookshelf. Deputies booked Lee into jail, where she is being
held on no bond facing a charge of aggravatedbattery with a deadly weapon.

60 year qld' pedestrian killed in-hit-and-run
A 60-year-old man was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the street
in Hollywood early Saturday. The accident occurred at State Road 7 and Lincoln Street
about 2:25-a.m.,,as the pedestrian crossed the road, Hollywood police spokesman Sg.
Pablo Vanegas-saidc.It is unclear whetherthe victim crossed attcrpsswalKhe said,.'.
A$6-year-old Dania maif.tlVnng.the blue;Jeep Cherokedtiat striiclcthnan fled the
scele, Vanegas said: A witness fohowed the driver and callddpolike.drInvestlgators de-
tained the dnver, Marc Smart, for questioning, Vanegas'e 4edestrfan was taken Memorial Regional Hospital where he was pronounced.tte. HAis identIty was not re-
leased pending no ification of npxt of kin. The investigo :.atiorc nues. ;.
'' ..' '" '. '* ..
Ag 18-year-old man fatally stalib a.anid beat. :-
another manwith a bat inliy. d ': d .
Joseph B. Valcarcel was accused:of slaying Robert h1-Ji,57, and was ordered held
without bail during his firstappearance court hearing laStfiday. Acc6rdingto a witness,
an altercation between Valcarcel and ,Cahill started b W the Vpartment, where she
saw the youhge'man strike Cahill in the he4d,r4he ,si4 Cahllt trid to protect
himself by using a plastic chair:as shield,-tfe lDe dpllie. She.alled police after
seeing the fight. Meanwhile, another.r.wiitneticp .lcarcel outside his apartment,
armed with a bat Cahill calMe .outof -t aprta i d Valcarcel struck him with the
bat, police said, -.
SHe'then allegedly drajflai,l'i e ptmnt, the witness told police. Valcar-
cel noticed thevwltness-aki.ft& ldi4- ,r. go.badk inside her apartment, according to the
report. The woman'hdar!t'Oiing .a ip-breaidng Inside Unit 6 before everything
went quiet. While leing' i I1, Vbicarcel reportedly sid, he had argued
with Cahill over-his ha v tir4thi~te m dutiiqan ea'iier:conversatfon W fih another
friend. During thatdi.pute, CahEalatted Valcarcel a coward, police saidAccording to the
police report, Vaicarietadmitted to police that he used an alurfmiinum bat to beat Cahill and
Then knifzto'stabhim inthenecl2 -:' : '

Oparlocka resumes hearings

for saggyy pants' violators
Saggy pants violators in Opa-locka will have their day before a
judge soon. The City's code enforcement department resumes its
special master's hearings in December addressing a backlog
of cases from January this year. The hearings are scheduled for
Wed., Dec. 19 at 10:30 am and Thurs., Dec. 20 at 10:30 a.m.
and at 1:30 pm. The special master's hearings will take place in
the city Attorney's conference room, 4th floor of the Town Center
Municipal Complex, 780 Fisherman Street; The twoq days of hear-
ings will address the 96 cases that ban saggy, baggy pants as a
fashion. Violators are issued a $250 citation for each incident.
The magistrate judge could impose the fine or give community
service. Repeat fashion offenders or no-shows could face a judg-,
ment lien.
The remaining 240 pending cases with issues ranging from
trash violations, landlord permit issues, selling liquor too early
on Sunday and businesses operating without an occupational li-
cense will be heard in the new year. For January and February
2013, the City will hold special master's hearings every Thursday
at 10:30 am.
This year the city handed out 1,155 code enforcement citations.
For info on pending cases or to request a special hearing, visit or call code enforcement at 305-953-2868.

Facts on guns and mass shootings

By Ezra Klein

When we first collected much of this data, it was
after the Aurora, Colo., shootings in July, and the
air was thick with calls to avoid "politicizing" the
tragedy. That is code, essentially, for "don't talk
about reforming our gun control laws."
Let's be clear: That is a form of politicization.
When political actors construct a political argu-
ment that threatens political consequences if other
political actors pursue a certain political oAtcome,
that is, almost by definition, a politicization of
the issue. It's just a form of politicization favor-
ing those who prefer the status quo to stricter gun
control laws.
Since then, there have been more horrible, high-
profile shootings. Jovan Belcher, a linebacker for
the Kansas City Chiefs, took his girlfriend's life
and then his own. In Oregon, Jacob Tyler Roberts
entered a mall holding a semi-automatic rifle and
yelling "I am the shooter." And, in Connecticut, 28
are dead including 20 children after a man
opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
If roads were collapsing all across the United
States, killing dozens of drivers, we would surely
see that as a moment to talk about what we could
do to keep roads from collapsing. If terrorists were
detonating bombs in port after port, you can be
sure Congress would'be working to upgrade the
nation's security measures. If a plague was ripping
through communities, public-health officials would
be working feverishly to contain it.

Only with gun violence do we respond to repeat-
ed tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable
but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is
not. But that's unacceptable. As others have ob-
served, talking about how to stop mass shootings
in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn't
"too soon." It's much too late.
What follows here isn't a policy agenda. It's
simply a set of facts many of which complicate a
search for easy answers that should inform the
discussion that we desperately need to have.
Shooting sprees are not rare in the United
Mother Jones has tracked and mapped every
shooting spree in the past three decades. "Since
1982, there have been at least 61 mass murders
carried out with firearms across the country, with
the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachu-
setts to Hawaii," they found. And in most cases,
the killers had obtained their weapons legally.
Eleven of the 20 worst mass shootings in the
past 50 years took place in the United States. In
second place is Finland, with two entries.
Lots of guns don't necessarily mean lots of
shootings, as you can see in Israel and Switzer-
As David Lamp writes at Cato, "In Israel and
Switzerland, for example, a license to'possess guns
is available on demand to every law-abiding adult,
and guns are easily obtainable in both nations.
Both countries also allow.widespread carrying of
concealed firearms, and yet, admits Dr. Arthur

Kellerman, one of the foremost medical advocates
of gun control, Switzerland and Israel 'have rates of
homicide that are low despite rates of home firearm
ownership that are at least as high as those in the
United States."
Of the 11 deadliest shootings in the United
States, five have happened from 2007 onward.
That doesn't include the Newtown, Conn.-, shoot-
ing. The Associated Press put the death toll at 28
(including the gunman), which would make it the,
second-deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
America is an unusually violent country. But
we're not as violent as we used to be.
Kieran Healy, a sociologist at Duke University,
in July made a graph of "deaths due to assault" in
the United States and other developed'countries.
The United States is a clear outlier, with rates well
above other countries.
As Healy writes, "The most striking features of
the data are (1) how much more violent the U.S. is
than other OECD countries (except possibly Esto-
nia and Mexico, not shown here), and (2) the de-
gree of change and recently, decline there has
been in the U.S. time series considered by itself."
The South is the most violent region in the
United States.
In a subsequent post, Healy drilled further into
the numbers and looked at deaths due to assault
in different regions of the country. Just as the'
United States is a clear outlier in the international
context, the South is a clear outlier in the national

Gun ownership in the United States is declin-
ing overall.
"For all the attention given to America's culture
of guns, ownership .of firearms is at or near all-time
lows," political scientist Patrick Egan, of New York
University, wrote in July. The decline is most evi-
dent on the General Social Survey, though it also
shows up on polling from Gallup.
The bottom line, Egan writes, is that "long-term
trends suggest that we are in fact currently experi-
encing a waning culture of guns and violence in the
United States."
More guns tend to mean more homicide.
The Harvard Injury Control Research Center
assessed the literature on guns and homicide and
found that there's substantial evidence that indi-
cates more guns means more murders. This holds
true whether you're lWoking at different countries
or different states.
States with stricter gun control laws have fewer
deaths from gun-related violence.
Last year, economist Richard Florida dove deep
into the correlations between gun deaths and other
kinds of social indicators. Some of what he fotLind
was, perhaps, unexpected: Higher populations,
more stress, more immigrants, and more mental
illness were not correlated with more deaths from
gun violence. But one thing he found was, perhaps,
perfectly predictable: States with tighter gun con-
Strol laws appear to have fewer gun-related deaths.
The disclaimer here is that correlation is not cau-
sation. But correlations can be suggestive.

Retiree checks could face a major squeeze

By William E. Gibson

in Congress and.many of their
constituents from the retire-
ment haven of Florida are. try-
ing to fend off Republican pro-
posals to trim future Medicare
and Social Security benefits as
part of a budget' deal to .avert
the fiscal cliff.
Though not participants in
the high-level budget talks,
the Florida members are doL
ing what they can from ring-

side, seats to counter widely
discussed proposals that would
raise Medicare's' eligibility age
from 65 to 67 and reduce year-
ly cost-of-living raises for Social
Republican leaders have
made clear that their price for
swallowing higher tax rates
for wealthy Americans is an
agreement by President Barack
Obama and fellow Democrats
to scale back 'the growth of
Medicare and Social Security,
which serve more than 3.5 mil-

By Brad Heath

ATLANTA The prisoners in Atlanta's hulking downtown jail
had a problem. They wanted to snitch for federal agents, but they
didn't know anything worth telling.
Fellow prisoner Marcus Watkins, an armed robber, had the an-
For a fee, Watkins and his associates on the outside sold'them
information about other criminals that they could turn around and
offer up to federal agents in hopes of shaving, years off their prison
sentences. They were paying for information, but what they were
really trying to buy was freedom.
"I didn't feel as though any laws;were being broken," Watkins
wrote in a 2008 letter to prosecutors. "I really thought I was help-'
ing out law enforcement."
That pay-to-snitch enterprise, documented in thousands of
pages of court records, interviews and a stack of Watkins' own let- '
ters remains almost entirely unknown outside Atlanta's towering
federal courthouse, where investigators are still trying to determine
whether any criminal cases were compromised. It offers a rare
glimpse inside a vast and almost always secret part of the federal
criminal justice system in which prosecutors routinely use the
promise of reduced -prison time to reward prisoners who help fed-
eral agents build cases against other criminals.
Snitching has'become so commonplace that in the past five years
at least 48,895 federal convicts one of every eight had their
prison sentences reduced in exchange for helping government in-
vestigators, a USA TODAY examination of hundreds of thousands
of court cases found. The deals can chop a decade or more off of
their sentences.

How often informants pay to acquire information from brokers
such as Watkins is impossible to know, in part because judges
routinely seal court records that could identify them. It almost
certainly represents an extreme result of a system that puts
strong pressure on defendants to cooperate. Still, Watkins' case is
at'least the fourth such scheme to be uncovered in Atlanta
alone over the past 20 years.
Those schemes are generally illegal because the
people who buy information usually lie to federal
agents about where they got it. They also show
how staggeringly valuable good information
has become prices ran into tens of thou-
sands of dollars, or up to $250,000 in one,
case, court records show,
John Horn, the second in command of
Atlanta's U.S. attorney's office, said the
"investigation. on some of these matters is
continuing" but would not elaborate.
Prosecutors have said they were troubled
that informants were paying for some
of the secrets they passed on to federal
agents. Judges are outraged. But the
inmates who operated the schemes have
repeatedly alleged that agents knew all
along what they were up to, and some-
times even gave them the information
they sold. Prosecutors told a judge in
October that an investigation found those
accusations were false'. Still, court
records show, agents kept interviewing
at least one of Watkins' customers even
after the FBI learned of the scheme.

lion recipients in Florida.
As a result, both programs
are caught up in the maneu-
vering between House Speaker
John Boehner and Obama in
their attempt to avert automat-
ic spending cuts and tax hikes
totaling more than $500 billion
that take effect Jan. 2, the so-
called "fiscal cliff."
That has raised alarms about
the potential consequences for
future retirees in Florida and
other states.
A new study by the Center for

Economic and Policy Research
shows that the proposed change
to Social Security COLAs would
cost the average 65-year-old re-
tiree about $650 a year by age
75. Opponents would prefer to
raise the Social Security tax for
higher-income workers.
A study 'by the Kaiser Family
Foundation warns that raising
the Medicare age would lead to
higher insurance premiums,
not just'for 65- and 66-year-
olds but also for employers and
younger patients.


The risks are obvious. If the government rewards paid-for infor-
mation, wealthy defendants could potentially buy early freedom.
Because such a system further muddies the question of how
informants already widely viewed as untrustworthy know what
they claim to know, "individual cases can be undermined and the
system itself is compromised," U.S. Justice Department lawyers
said in a 2010 court filing.
Before Watkins became an informant, he was a prolific armed
In 1995, he held up a string of shops and restaurants, sometimes
robbing the same place movie than once, and sometimes pull-
ing more than one robbery a day, according to court records. The
last time he was arrested, in 2006, Atlanta police said he asked a
supermarket clerk for a pack of cigarettes, stepped back, pulled
a handgun and yelled "robbery." Hefled before he got any money,
employees caught him, and federal prosecutors hit him with a gun
charge that could have put him in prison for the rest of his life.
By then, Watkins had been a federal informant for a decade, he
said in a letter to USA TODAY. He claimed he once wore a wire
inside a prison to help catch another man who was selling infor-
mation to would-be witnesses. That man, Gregory Harris, later
,confessed, but, in an unusual move, the
government agreed to halve the 20-year
prisonsentence Harris was already
serving in exchange for his coopera-
tion in other cases.

Health-care activists fear that
a higher eligibility .age would
increase the number of unin-
sured patients, who already
comprise 1 in 5 Floridians.
"It wouldn't affect me any
more, but I think it's stealing
from people who pay into the
system [through taxes] and who
will just find it more difficult to
pay for their medical care as
they get older," said Eugene
Kaufman, 76, a retired fashion
designer in Boca Raton. "I don't

know why an insurance com-
pany is going to want to cover
a 66-year-old person and not
charge them more for it."
Republicans have not spelled
out their plan, but it is modeled
on past proposals to gradually
raise the eligibility age to 67 for
those now under 55 so that cur-
rent retirees and those nearing
retirement would not be affect-
ed. The Social Security eligibil-
ity age for full benefits already
is rising gradually to 67.

City of Opa-locka

commissioner to

distribute- 10oo bikes

Annual bicycle giveaway among,

gifts from Santa to community

Hopeful parents wijl receive locka resident'
raffle tickets for a chance to ity bill or phc
win one of over 100 bicycles be accompan'
being distributed by Corn- and wait wil
missioner Timothy ticket
Holmes, host of the Ll ,'-.- if the:
Annual Bicycle Give- ... sen.
away sponsored b% l l As
the City of Opa-locka have
Mayor, Commission been
and Business Corn- says

munity on Saturday, ,
Dec. 22 at noon. The
event will be held in


the Court Yard of His-
toric City Hall, 777 Sharazad
Boulevard in Opa-locka.-
An opportunity for one child
per household, between ages 3
and 17, to ride away with'the
most sought-after Christmas
present, is one of the most an-
ticipated events of the holiday
season in the City of Opa-loc-
ka. To qualify, parents must
produce proof of their Opa-



Want to avoid costly repairs from clogged pipes?
,Then avoid dumping cooking grease or oil down
- your kitchen drain. When grease is poured down
the drain, it can cause sewer pipes to clog.., and
that's a recipe for disaster. To dispose of it properly.
follow these steps:
Pour the oil or grease into a metal can
Let it cool ,,
Throw the can away with your regular trash .

By following these tips, you can focus on what's
most important in the kitchen: the food, not the B
pipes! So remember to can the grease.

Call 3-1-i or visit '
for more information.,

rSSm 1l

cy through a util-
oto identification;
ied by their child;
:h other hopeful
t holders to hear
ir number is cho-

more donations
made, Holmes
that he should

"- have cash cards and
MIES other gifts for those
who don't get a bi-
cycle. Holmes, who is
expected to attend in the red
and white suit of Santa Claus;
says he won't be giving any
tickets to those who wear 'sag-
gy pants.'
"'Santa Holmes' does not
give away new bikes to anyone
in Opa-locka with their pants
pulled down!" he said, adding
that they fall under the catego-
ry of 'naughty' not 'nice.'













Phillippe Diederich forThe New Yorkfimes '-Eddie Adams/Associated Press
Sharon Preston-Folta of.Sarasota, Fla., is auctioning off letters that Louis. Louis Armstrong in 1971.,
Armstrong wrote to her mother.

Sharon Preston-Folta contends

Louis Armstrong was her father
Louis Amtogwsher father

By James C. Mckinley Jr.

On Saturday a batch of I1
that Louis Armstrong wrote
a girlfriend will go on sale a
auction house in Los Angel
That in itself is not surprise
Armstrong wrote thousand
letters in his lifetime, and b
known to be a lothario.
"He died thinking in the 1
his mind that he had a dau
ter out there," said Ricky R
cardi, the archivist at the I
Armstrong House Museum
The woman, Sharon Pres
Folta, 57, ofSarasota, Fla.,
she decided to break her lo
silence about what she call
parents' secret" because sh
upset that Armstrong's estE
never recognized her existe
His will left her family noth
and his last wife, .the former
Lucille Wilson, signed an a
to the court stating that he
no children. Besides selling
letters, estimated to be wor
much as $80,000, she is re
ing a short memoir on Kind
written with Denene Millne
"I chose to tell my story
because it's about my legacy
Ms. Preston-Folta said. "I r
ter. My story is important.
every right to say who I am
proud of it."
Ms. Preston-Folta, a med
planner for a department-s
chain who is married and I
a grown son, bears a strike
resemblance to Armstrong,

has no medical evidence to sup-
port her'claims just the letters
letters and a sworn affidavit from her
e to mother, who is 91 and declined
it an to be interviewed.
les. Scholars have known for more
ing: than a decadethat Armstrong
s of had claimed to have fathered a
lie was child in the mid-1950s with Lu-
cille Preston (who was known as
back of Sweets), a dancer he was seeing
igh- romantically. Shortly after Ms.
ic- Preston-Folta's birth in 1955,
.ouis Armstrong wrote to his manager,
iin Joe Glaser, directing him to pay
her mother's bills and describ-
3ton- ing, in graphic detail, the mo-
said ment he believed "that cute little
ng baby girl was made." That letter
ls "my was first made public in ,1999 in
ie was Thomas Brothers's book "Louis
ate Armstrong, in His Own Words."
nce. Armstrong's clarinetist Barney
ling, Bigard mentioned' the child in
er his 1983 autobiography, relat-
ffidavit ing an argument he overheard
Shad between Armstrong and his wife.
g the He recalled that Armstrong had
rth as insisted the girl was his, and his
eleas- wife retorted that he could not be
ile, the father because he was sterile.
,r. Many Armstrong biographers
now thought she might have been
cy," right. He was married four times
nat- and had hundreds of affairs, yet
I have none of those unions produced
, to be children. And after 1957 men-,
tions of Ms. Preston and her
lia baby seemed to drop out of Armn-
store strong's correspondence. '
has But Ms. Preston-Folta's mem-
ng oir and the letters for sale (there
, but are nine in all), along with a tele-

gram, four postcards, a signed
photo and an audiotape, offer a
fuller picture of Armstrong as a
man who kept a second family
for more than a decade.
In two letters from Noyember
1954 Armstrong professes his
love for Ms. Preston and tells
her how excited he is that she is
pregnant with his child, whom
he calls his "little Satchmo." In
one he says he is on the verge of
divorce and promises to marry ,
Ms. Preston,, signing off "your .
futu-e husband."
Ms. Preston-Folta said Arm-
strong visited her and her
mother regularly until 1967,
when they had a bitter falling
out after he refused to leave his
wife. When she was a young girl,
Ms. Preston-Folta said, she and
her mother joined Armstrong
as he toured with his All Stars
ever. summer. "It w'as never a
secret to me who my father was,"

she said.
A letter from 1959 supports
her story: Armstrong writes of.'
how much he misses Ms. Pres-
ton and sends the route for-his
tour, urging her to join him.
In 1962 Armstrong bought a
three-bedroom house for them
at 413 South Columbus Street
in Mount Vernon and continued
to visit them there several times
a year, Ms. Preston-Folta said.
She has few happy memories
,of him .1.eyond the coacegcs h4e .
saw: him listening to the nei\s
on the radio at their house in
-Mount Vernon and one fatherly
talk he gave to her after a con-
cert at Jones Beach. She said
that at. 10 she learned Arm-
strong had a wife and a home
in Queens when she saw him
give an interview on Johnny
Carson's show. "I just felt so
betrayed," she said.
By the mid- 1960s Armstrong

was spending less time with her
mother. In two letters from 1965
he offers apologies for travel-
ing so much. "Give Sharon a
big kiss," he wrote. "Tell her if
she's forgotten ol' Satchmo, I
don't blame her. I feel she is too
young to understand."
The love affair ended the sum-
mer of 1967, when she and her
mother accompanied Armstrong
to Atlantic Cir, where he was Seel. Pier. Late one
.aigf, ,oin 4.wp
to hear Armstrong and her
mother screaming at each other.
Her mother' demanded to know
when Armstrong would marry
her. "Hearing him say 'Neveri'
was devastating," she said. A
letter from Aug. 31, 1967, refers
to that fight. Armstrong begins
"If you're ready to bury the
hatchet, I am," then tells Ms.
Preston to "give my little daugh-
ter a big lkiss from her daddy."

In response to criticism, officials to

remove quote from King Memorial

By Emmarie Huetteman

WASHINGTON An inscrip-
tion on the memorial honoring
the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr. that set off a controversy will
be removed.
Since the memorial opened in
August 2011, critics have 'con-
tended that the paraphrased
quote "I was a drum ma-
jor for justice, peace and righ-
teousness" chiseled on the
monument near the statue's
left shoulder misrepresents Dr.
King's words.
The proposal, announced by
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
on Tuesday, involves removing
the quote entirely by carving
scratch marks over it to blend
in with the rest of the structure.
The plan has been submitted
for review to the Commission of
Fine Arts and the National Capi-
tal Planning Commission.
"While our family would have
of course preferred to have the
entire 'Drum Major' quote used,

Swe fully endorse and support
the Secretary's proposal," Chris-
tine King Farris, Dr. King's sis-
ter, said in a news release from.
the Interior Department.
Jon Jarvis, the director of the
National Park Service, and Mr.
Salazar announced a plan in
February to replace the trun-
cated quote with the full, exact
version. But the monument's
sculptor, Lei Yixin, said remov-
ing it entirely was best to pre- "
serve the work's structural in-
tegrity, and all of the parties
involved agreed, the Interior De-
partment said.
The estimated cost of the proj-
ect is $700,000 to $900,000,
said Blake Androff, an Interior
Department spokesman. That
money will come out of a main-
tenance fund established by the
Memorial Foundation, he said.
The quote is a paraphrased
segment of a sermon Dr. King
delivered in February 1968.
Examining what he called, the
"drum major instinct" to distin-

-Philip Scott Andrews/The New York limes
SWork next year will remove a paraphrased quote "I was a drum
major for justice, peace and righteousness" from the memorial to the
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in Washington.

guish oneself, Dr. King asked
that he be remembered for his
commitment not to "shallow
things" but to certain principles.
"Yes, if you want to say that
I was a drum major, say that I
was a drum major for justice;
say that I was a drum major for
peace; I was a drum major for
righteousness," he said.
The poet Maya Angelou, who
consulted on the memorial, has
been one of the strongest critics
of the paraphrased quote, say-
ing it made Dr. King sound like
"an arrogant twit."
"He had no arrogance at all,"
she told The Washington Post
last year. "He had a humility
that comes from deep inside.
The 'if' clause that is left out is
salient. Leaving it out changes
the meaning completely."
The memorial will stay open
while work is completed. The
Interior Department said work
would begin in February or
March and be finished in the

.. .. ...

.*I .






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USF anthropologists prove their

worth to Florida governor

By Mary Jo Melone

When it comes to bad news,
the truth is always incon-
venient. And so it was this
week, when forensic anthro-
pologists from the University
of South Florida reported on
the expanding horrors at the
now-shuttered Dozier School
for Boys in Marianna, where,
in the state's name, boys in
trouble .were sent for over a
The anthropologists found
that 96 children and two
adults died, including two
6-year-olds. Fifty graves have
been found on the property,
not the 31 as the Florida De-
partment of Law Enforcement
reported two years ago. Noth-
ing remarkable about its num-
ber, FDLE said then. Hooey,
said the men who still bear the
scars of being there.
Agriculture Secretary .Adam
Putnam has asked the FDLE
to review the anthropologists'
claims and report to the gover-
nor and the Cabinet.
Although the Juvenile Jus-
tice Department has said it
will cooperate, further with the
University of South Florida re-
searchers who suspect the
existence of a second burial
ground at Dozier -the cur-
rent occupant of the governor's
mansion has been silent as '
stone on the subject.
It maybe that Gov. Rick Scott
still doesn't understand that

FORENSIC anthropologists from the University of South Florida found
additional graves at Dozier School for Boys.

much of a governor's most im-
portant work is symbolic, and
that'it is vital that the man who
represents the state represent
its highest moral standards in
both action'and speech.
Or it could be that Gov. Scott
knows that if he speaks about
the University of South Florida
investigators' findings about
Dozier, hell get tongue-tied
when it's time to utter the word
L. Last year, the governor com-
plained about how useless
the subject was. He was talk-
ing. about his desire to shift
state university spending away
from the liberal arts and put
the money into science, tech-
nology, engineering and math

- the so-called STEM fields
- because that's where he be-
lieves all the jobs are.
S"Is it a vital interest of the
state to have more anthropolo-
gists?", Scott asked. "I don't
think so."
There'has been much specu-
lation that the governor singled
out anthropology because his
daughter holds an undergradu-
ate degree in the field. Perhaps
he disapproved and extended
his ideas of being a dad and of
pleasing a dad to state policy.
Whatever it. was, Scott
earned the wrath of the Ameri-
can Anthropological Associa-
tion and arfthropology faculty
across the state. Moreover,
what came off as his disdain

for the liberal arts in general
created fear over the future of
liberal arts.
Those are the so-called
mushy fields, like -history,
English and psychology, in
which people reflect on who we
are and what and where we've
been in other words, on the
human condition. It's a subject
that also affects the governor,
who sometimes needs to be re-
minded of his own humanity.
(Remember testing welfare re-
cipients for drugs?)
Now the University of South
Florida department website
includes a video response to
,the governor, in which numer-
ous graduate students detail
the kind of work they do in
all kinds of fields: health care
for veterans and farm work-
ers, attendance at state parks,
homicide investigations, con-
sumer use of technology, and,
the grad students said, the de-
velopment of statistics he has
used to support his argument
on behalf of STEM education.
With the Dozier investiga-
tion, you could also argue that
anthropologists peer into the
darkest corners of the human
experience and Florida history.
Gov. Scott probably won't
send anthropologists any more
money. However, given the
work the anthropologists did
at Dozier, at least he should
send the researchers at the
University of South Florida a
thank-you note.

Obama prepares for immigration bill push

By David Jackson

%Oce the White House gets
past the fiscal cliff if it gets
past the fiscal cliff-- aides will
focus on their next big political
project: Immigration..
President Obama and aides
believe 2013 is the year for
What they call "comprehensive
immigration reform," a bill that
combines tighter border security
with a pathway to citizenship
for illegal immigrants who are
-already in the United States.
The White House confidence
Systems from the election of 2012,
when Republican presidential
nominee Mitt Romney received
a little less than 309. of the
.Hispanic vote...
First things first, however:
The White House and Congres-
sional Republicans are still try-
ing to develop a debt reduction
deal to'avoid the so-called "fiscal

cliff," a series of automatic tax
hikes and budget cuts set to
kick in next year.
Some members of Congress,
including Republicans looking
to improve the party's standing
with Hispanic voters, are also
talking about putting together
immigration legislation for
"As the White House pre-
pares to. dial in on the issue,
congressional lawmakers of
the so-called Gang of Eight on
immigration have also begun
"The group, which includes
key players on immigration
reform -- Sens. Chuck Schumer
(D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham
(R-S.C.) -- is hoping to put
forward principles on immigra-
tion early next year and put out
legislation by March with the
hope of final passage by June,
according to several sources."

-AP Photo/Evan Vucci
President Baraqk Obama gestures during a naturalization cer-
emony for active duty service members in the East Room of the
White House, Wednesday, July 4, 2012, in Washington.

Same judge gets two Zimmerman cases

' By Rene Stutzman

SANFORD In three weeks,
Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson,
vwho's overseeing the George
Zimmerman murder case,
will inherit a new one: George
Zimmerman's. defamation suit
against NBC Universal Media
Rarely is a judge asked to
preside over a man's murder
case and, at the same time, his
suit demanding a big payout
from a major media company
that he accuses of defamation.
Mark O'Mara represents Zim-
merman in both cases. In an
email exchange Thursday, he
wrote that he sees no conflict
with Nelson handling both '
cases and has no current plans

to ask her to give the defama-
tion suit to another judge.
Nelson, 59, is taking over the

NBC case, because she's swap-
ping jobs with another Sanford
judge, Marlene Alva, a 13-year
court veteran. In January, Nel-
son will hear civil cases, those
involving disputes over money
and property not crimes.
Shell hang onto the Zimmer-'
man second-degree murder
case, which she has set for
trial in June, but will hand
off her other pending criminal
cases, including the perjury
case against Zimmerman's
wife, Shellie Zimmerman.
It will now be handled by
Alva, 60.
George Zimmerman is the
29-year-old Neighborhood
Watch volunteer charged with
second-degree murder in the
shooting.Trayvon Martin, an

unarmed black 17-year-old, in
Sanford Feb. 26.
He filed suit against NBC and
three of its reporters last week,
accusing them of editing a re-
cording of his call to police that
night in a way that suggests
he's a racist. His suit also al-
leges that NBC falsely reported
that he used a racial epithet'
during the call.
Two of the three named re-
porters were fired months ago,
and NBC News President Steve
Capus apologized, saying the'
edited audio was a mistake -
not a deliberate act.
The media company issued
a statement after the suit was
filed, saying it did not intend
to unfairly portray Zimmerman
and will defend itself in court.

American troop deaths continue decline

Reflects drawdown of U.S. forces,

and increased Afghan army role

By Jim Michaels

AFGHANISTAN-- The number
of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan is
on track to decline sharply this
year, reflecting the drawdown in
U.S. forces and an expanded Af-
ghan-army that is playing a larg-
er role in fighting the Taliban.
This year, 301 Americans have
died in Afghanistan, down from
a peak of 500 American deaths
in 2010, a USA TODAYdatabase
shows. It is the second consecu-

tive yearly drop.
"A year ago we were taking
larger amounts of casualties
than they were," said Marine
Maj. Gen. Charles "Mark" Gur-
ganus, referring to Afghan secu-
rity forces in the former Taliban
stronghold of Helmand region-in
southern Afghanistan. "It is ab-
solutely 180 (degrees) out now,"
said Gurganus, head of Regional
Command Southwest.
The Afghan Defense Ministry
estimates that the Afghan mili-

tary and police have more than
300 deaths per month. About 80
percent of the operations are led
and planned by Afghan forces,
the coalition command says.
The Afghan security force has
'grown to about 350,000. The
number of U.S.' forces has de-
clined to about 68,000 from a
peak of nearly 100,000. "They
are really taking the fight now,
and we are stepping back," said
German Air Force Brig. Gen.
Gfinter Katz, the top coalition
The U.S. and its allies are still
in combat zones, providing criti-
cal support functions even as
coalition forces are playing less

of a role in direct combat. The
U.S. supplies air support for
medical evacuation, equipment
to counter roadside bombs and
intelligence and surveillance ca--
President Obama has said
that most U.S. combat forces
are to stay through 2014 only.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
said a U.S. mission after that
would likely include counter-
terrorism forces, advisers and
support functions. "Without a
U.S. military presence, the Af-
ghan government would be in
deep trouble," says Seth Jones
of RAND Corp., a research and
analysis group.

new site choice
By Miriam Valverde

Members of the U.S.: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
quizzed Florida Power & Light Company officials Friday about
sites the company had considered as possible locations for two
new nuclear reactors but bypassed in favor of expanding its
Turkey Point location.
Staff members for the commission believe three other sites
- in Glades, Martin and' Okeechoblee should be on "equal
footing," said Alicia Williamson, NRC environmental project
"It's very important for FPL to be" able to explain our posi-
tion," said Bill Maher, FPL's senior licensing director of new
nuclear projects. The goal of Friday's meeting in Miami from
FPL's perspective, he said, was to "come to know exactly what
we need to provide in final form."
The NRC is reviewing an application Juno-based FPL submit-
ted in 2009 seeking approval to build and operate two-pressur-
ized-water reactors at Turkey Point.
Peter Robbins, FPL spokesman, said Turkey Point was the
company's preferred site for the new reactors for many reasons,
including water availability. The other three sites.are inland.
"The plan we have for the existing site would involve us tak-
ing reclaimed water, treated waste water,' and using that for
cooling," Robbins said. FPL would use'up to 90 million gallons
of reclaimed water a day from Miami-Dade County, he said.
The new reactors are projected to save customers $58 billion
in fuel costs for 40 years, the life of the initial reactor, Robbins
said. FPL has 2,565,000 customers in South Florida.
Still, nuclear-project costs have been controversial in recent
years, at least in part because FPL is collecting money from
customers for new reactors that likely will not start generating
electricity for another decade. A zoning hearing fok the proj-
ect is set for Dec. 13 before the Miami-Dade Board of County
Other FPL developments: .
Also on Dec. 13 the Florida Public Service Commission is
expected to vote on a-controversial proposed settlement that
would allow FPL to raise base electric rates by $378 million
in January. FPL reached the settlement with large electricity
customers, but the state Office of Public Counsel opposes the
proposal. -
FPL this month expects to ask for proposals from companies
interested in building a major new pipeline that-would stretch
across the state. It would be slated to begin operating in 2017.
"Florida needs to continue to grow," Mike Sole', an FPL vice
president, said Friday. "We need to continue to provide reliable
electricity for that growth.,This is one component of that."
The exact route' remains unclear, but the project would '
involve two segments. A northern segment -would stretch from
a natural-gas supply hub in western Alabama across part of
north' Florida and then southeast into the Orlando area, where
it would connect with other pipelines. A southern segment
would go from the Orlando area to an FPL power plant in Mar-
tin County.


for the

2012 Class 4A

State Championship

Much success to the seniors, Coach Harris

and his staff, Principal Aristide and the entire

Booker T. Washington Senior High

School body.


FPL explains





Will new initiative impact crime in Liberty City projects?

continued from IA

A Pastor ICAP], that they believe
will put some 'teeth' in current
crime reduction efforts. The ini-
tiative will link Liberty City con-
gregations with social services
provided by a team of certified
social workers, led by Leven
"Chuck" Wilson, MSW, president
and CEO of the Sarasota-based
Corporate Professionals Achiev-
ing Goals [CPAGj.
"We tend to hold a lot "of press
conferences after shootings but
then there's no real follow up,"
Strange said. "The idea is to take
some of the benefits from the old
community alternative policing
program and then to include pas-
tors into the mix. Beliee it or not,
when we conduct funerals for
those killed in many of our shoot-
outs, the perpetrators are often
sitting in the audience. Some-
times the shooters call us and say
they felt like they had no other al-
ternative. We need to put services
in place to help people deal with
life though healthier means. We

have to show them that there is
another way."

Major Craig E. McQueen, com-
mander for the North District for
the City of Miami Police
Department, grew up in
Liberty City. He's been
patrolling the streets of
the same community for '
most of his career.
"The Pork and Beans is
one of the most danger-
ous places in Miami," he
said. '"We already have
one park named after an DUJ
innocent child killed by
stray bullets [Sherdavia Jenkins].
If we don't do something soon,
we're going to find ourselves nam-
ing a lot more parks for kids. We
need HUD to come in and insti-
tute some tougher rules for resi-
dents. They have to put teeth in
the laws. We may need to fence in
Liberty Square so that criminals
don't have such easy access. Of-
ten times we find that those who
are causing the mayhem don't

even live in the projects they're
coming from other places, com-
mitting crimes and then going
back home. Teaming up with min-
isters is something we've- done in
the past but with services put in
place for citizens, I think we can
really reduce the crime.
People often see the po-
lice as their adversary
but they view preachers
as agents of change and
symbols of hope."
One of the ideas pro-
posed by the group is to
periodically hold reviv-
als or to shut down the
MN streets around the proj-
ects for rallies and other
positive, public events. But more
will be needed says Strange. He
and his colleagues are now call-
ing on other ministers to join
them and to take heir message
into the Liberty City streets.
"We know that moving from the
safety of our pulpits to the streets
can be dangerous but that's our
job," said Rev. Richard Dunn,
pastor of Faith Community Bap-
tist Church, located just outside

of Liberty City. "Back in the day
when gangs like the John Does
causing so many problems for
our community, it was the Bap-
tist Ministers Council and oth-
ers who left the .safe wails of
their churches to confront gang-
sters with godliness. The church
has be prepared to meet
the needs of our people.
Many of my members live
in Liberty City so does
my family We all should
have the right to sleep
without fear at night."
Commander Dana
Carr, Model City N.E T
for'the City of Miami Po-
lice, says the idea pro- RI|
posed by the ministers
is one of the best she's
heard in quite some time.
"Good people should not have to
sleep on the floor because they're
afraid of being shot in their own
beds," she said.

The three-fold list of services

that Wilson has brought to Mt.
Calvary over the past year and
those that the new CAP program
hopes to employ include: diver-
gent services; family strengthen-
ing; and restorative living. Ac-
cording to Strange, about 100
members from his congregation
have taken advantaged of theJ
counseling services from
Wilson and his team of
psychologists. At this
point the cost has been
defrayed by the church
.or by members them-
selves. But min the future, ,
the goal will be to secure
Grants that %ill pay for
I the services.
:RA "We are setting the
groundwork and revis-
ing the infrastructures of
our member churches so that we
can begin to demonstrate the out-
reach efforts," Wilson said. "Many
churches have already been do-
ing the work but it's often based
on their words rather than being
evidence based. There are many
grants that would allow us to link
citizens with social services but

being a non-profit isn't enough.
You have to have physical evi-
dence that illustrates your mis-
sion work. It's all about account-
ability like the United Way or
the Red Cross. We're committed
to doing things the right way so
that we can get the proper atten-
tion, secure more funding, bring
more services to the community
and effectively deal with this vio-
lence epidemic."
"It hurts me to bury so many
young people I just want to
find a way to show them there is
another way," said Rev. Douglas
Cook, who has pastored Jordan
Grove for close to 50 years. "I
just buried a 17-year-old boy and
last week I did the funeral for a
21-year-old. One of the boys had
the top of his head blown off and
had to be buried with a skullcap.
Imagine how his family is trying to
cope. If we can slow things down,
maybe then we can put brakes on
this violence and it won't be able
to roll quite as easy."
For more on the CAP program,
call 305-677-3411 or go to www.

Collaborative approach brings more

affordable housing to Liberty City

continued from 1A

become places for drug use and
drug sales. We put our heads to-
gether and said 'why not rehab
some of these dangerous eye-
sores?' We don't have to build
brand new apartments. We have
property like this that can be re-
paired in a much shorter amount
of time. The City recently re-
habbed another building in the
community that is now serving
as a foster care home for kids,
aging out of the system. Next on
my list is a place for veterans.
The point is thatwe can use fore-
* closed buildings and rehab them
so that we can meet the needs of
various groups of people."
According to Vanessa Mills, ex-
ecutive dire-ctorfor .Emrnpower "U,"
Inc., seeing the ribbon cut and
knowing that the apartments
now have tenants is especially
meaningful for her.
"I remember when Petera and I
first started talking about found-
ing Empower "U" and how driven
we were to do something about
the lack of services for Blacks
living with, HIV/AIDS," she said.
"That was a real labor of live for
us. This building was another la-
bor of live and it hasn't been easy
getting an elevator installed for
the handicapped, putting in air
conditioning and finding a way
to secure the system after folks

-Mar T,,mErr,. ohrlO I Cr,3a, UulrjrOw
RIBBON CUTTERS: Patera Robinson cuts the ribbon along with George
Mensah and Vanessa Mills.

keep stealing it-- we refused to
give up. That was Petera's way
The mixed-use, low-income
housing will include services
that will aid its residents in living
healthier, more productive lives.
Thea Johnson, one of the new
tenants, says because of Mills
and others, she finally has a

home she can call her own.
"I'm a dual-diagnosed person
and am a former addict that was
homeless," she said. "But I got
help from so many people and
learned how to become a stronger
person. To have my own home
has been my dream. There's
nothing you can't do when you
trust in God."

Conservative Black becomes S.C. senator

continued from 1A

Scott will replace outgoing
GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, an in-
fluential conservative and Tea
Party favorite, who is resign-
ing to ,become president of the
Heritage Foundation, a conser-
vative think tank. Scott said he
intends to run for the remainder
0of DeMint's term during a spe-
cial election in 2014.
-I am thankful to the good
Lord and a strong mom who
believes love has to come at the
e(d oj .a.swych,.3,svad Scott, 47,
as he praised hi's tingle mother's
work ethic and the guidance of
businessman John Moniz. the
owiYer of a Chick-fil-A franchise
w'ho became his mentor.
SScott v'oowed to tackle the na-
tion's debt and budget issues,
with an eye toward cutting
"Our nation finds itself in a
situation we need backbone,"
Scott said at a news conference
at the Statehouse in Columbia,
surrounded by Haley, DeMint
and the state's congressional
delegation. "If you have a prob-
lem with spending there's not
enough revenue to make up for
David Woodard, a political
scientist at Clemson Univer-
sity, said Scott's appointment
is "historic for all of the South."
While Scott is the first African
American from the Deep South
to serve in the U.S. Senate, he is
also the first black senator from
the Palmetto State.
"What African Americans
need are capitalism and conser-
vative values, and Tim Scott is a

great vehicle for that," Woodard
said. "He represents a genera-
tion that is interested in entre-
preneurship, conservative prin-
ciples and volunteerism."
Scott, 47, was elected in 2010
to represent a U.S. House dis-
trict in the Charleston area A
former member of the South
Carolina state Legislature.
Scott quickly became a favorite
of House Speaker John Boehner
and GOP officials in Washing-
ton and served in a leadership
position for the 2010 freshman
class. '
,He has a compelling life story.
according to his biography in
the Almanac of American Poli-
tics. Scott arid his siblings were
raised by a single mother who
worked as a nurse's assistant.
By his own account, Scott was
on the brink of flunking out of
high school when Moniz took
him under his wing. Scott later
earned a partial football schol-
arship to college, and ran an
insurance company and owned
part of a real-estate agency be-
fore entering politics.
Scott's appointment was im-
mediately hailed by the con-
servative Club for Growth and
FreedomWorks, which has
strong ties to the Tea Party
State law gave Haley sole
authority to appoint a replace-
ment for DeMint, who was first
elected in 2004 and is leaving
before his second term ends
January 2017. The appoint-
ment holds major political
weight for Haley, who has low
approval ratings and is up for
re-election in 2014.
Scott said he expects to take

office on Jan. 3, when the 113th
Congress convenes for the first
time and new lawmakers are
sworn in to office.
Haley reportedly had been
considering five candidates:
Congressmen Scott and Trey
Gowdy, both elected in the Tea
Party wave of 2010; former state
first lady Jenny Sanford; former
attorney general Henry McMas-
ter; and Catherine Templeton,
head of the state Department of
Health Environmental Control.
The appointment sets in mo-
tion a series of events, which
Swill make 2014 a busy year for
Palmetto State politics. Both
Haley and Graham, the state's
senior U.S. senator, are on
the ballot in 2014. There will
also be a special election next
year for Scott's seat in the U.S.
There have only been six
Blacks who have served in the
U.S. Senate, according to the
Senate website. They are Hi-
ram Revels of Mississippi, who
served in 1870; Blanche Bruce
of Mississippi from 1875 to
1881; Edward Brooke of Mas-
sachusetts from 1967 to 1979;
Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois
from 1993 to 1999; Barack
Obama of Illinois from 2005 un-
til he resigned in 2008 after his
presidential election; and Ro-
land Burris, who was appointed
to replace Obama and served
until November 2010.

Will debate change gun control laws?

continued from 1A

significant, flash point in the na-
tion's long-running debate over
fiercely defended gun rights and
the need for limits to curb the
wanton violence their misuse
can wreak.
Before Friday, Newtown,
Conn., was known as the head-
quarters of the National Shooting
Sports Foundation.
Now it is known as the site of
an unthinkable massacre of 20
young schoolchildren at Sandy
Hook Elementary School and
the adults who tried heroically to
protect them. It is also the latest,
and perhaps the most signifi-
cant, flash point in the nation's
long-running debate over fiercely
defended gun rights and the need
for limits to curb the wanton vio-
lence their misuse can wreak.

Unlike shootings at Columbine
or Virginia Tech or the theater in
Aurora, Colo., what happened
in Newtown may well represent
a turning point for action be-
cause most of the victims were
so young: 6 and 7 years old.

"Can we honestly say we are
doing enough to keep our chil-
dren safe?" President Obama
said to mourners in Newtown on
Sunday night. "We can't accept
events like this as routine. ... Are
we prepared to say such violence
visited on bur children year after
year after year is somehow the
price of our freedom?"
Even before Obama spoke,
a consensus appeared to be
growing that a new look at gun
controls, even in the face of po-
litical and social opposition, was
forming in a nation shocked by

senseless violence.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.,
said on CBS' Face the Nation
that the shooting is a "tipping
point ... where we might actually
get something done" because the
victims were innocent children.
He favors reinstating the assault
weapons ban, limiting the size of
ammunition clips and restrict-
ing those with mental illness
from getting guns.
It created "such a sense of
sadness and loss, shock and
horror," said Sanjay Nath, direc-
tor of the Institute for Graduate
Clinical Psychology at Widener
The actions being talked about
are not new: fresh attempts to
ban assault weapons; changes
to the mental health system to
help identify and prevent those
with violent inclinations from

Obamna should have fought for Rice

continued from 1A

Both men argued that their ob-
jection to Rice had to do with what
she said on some .Sunday morning
talk shows about the attack on the
U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
She stuck to the speaking points
that were given to her by the intel-
ligence community, !Which did label
the attackers, who took the life of
the U.S. ambassador and three oth-

er Americans, as extremists. But
it's a good bet they were motivated
by something far more petty.
McCain, a Vietnam War hero,
has become an increasingly bitter
and craven politician since his loss
to Obama in the 2008 presiden-
tial election. For him and Graham
- who fears a Tea Party challenge
to his re-election in 2014 beat-
ing up on Rice offered multiple re-
wards. If Brown wins the election to
replace Kerry, Graham and McCain

can claim credit for the victory,
which would reduce to just four
seats the Democrats' slim majority
in the Senate.
Obama shouldn't let this happen.
By allowing Rice to withdraw, he
has already given McCain and Gra-
ham a victory that makes him look
more like a lame duck than a presi-
dent who begins his second term
on the heels of an Electoral College
landslide. It is a victory that con-
jures up memories of Lani Guinier.



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