Monday, April 30, 2012

Human Chess Program Prevents Harlem Kids From Becoming Gang Pawns


Human Chess Program Prevents Harlem Kids From Becoming Gang Pawns

The Chess Lords program improves critical thinking, mathematics and tamps down...

Nice Hair or Orgasm? With Propecia, Some Women Have to Choose…

Nice Hair or Orgasm? With Propecia, Some Women Have to Choose…

Voting Rights Uprising: Activists in Three States Help GOP's Targets Get Voter ID

Voting Rights Uprising: Activists in Three States Help GOP's Targets Get Voter ID

Grassroots groups in Wisconsin, Tennessee and Colorado help GOP targets obtain credentials to vote in 2012.
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The GOP-led effort to disenfranchise likely Democratic voting blocks by enacting tougher state voter ID laws has run into a new obstacle: targeted populations are fighting back as voting rights advocates are helping people obtain the necessary ID. 
Grassroots efforts in Tennessee, Wisconsin and Colorado are profiled in a newreport, "Got ID? Helping Americans Get Voter Identification," fromCommon Cause,Demos, Fair Elections Legal Network, and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The report is an important counterpoint to persistent progressive messaging about the GOP's attack on voting rights that typically has not informed people how to overcome the barriers.
"This report gives Americans the tools they need to fight back and make their voices heard," said Jenny Rose Flanagan, director of voting and elections at Common Cause. 
The battle over tougher ballot access is a years-long fight where proponent'sarguments are not supported by facts on the ground and mask their partisan goals—shaping the electorate to achieve or maintain political power. There isnothing new about enacting laws (or running campaign ads) to discourage voting.
In 2003, states began enacting photo ID laws. Pushed by Republicans and a few conservative Southern Democrats, the goal was to restrict voting by slices of society the power-brokers considered undesirable: minorities, low-income people, students, the disabled and elderly—the very people likely to vote against them. Proponents proclaimed photo ID laws would protect election integrity of the process by prevent unregistered voters from casting ballots, and preclude miscreants from voting more than once. They said people could not board a flight without a photo ID, so why not require the same for voting, which is far more important than merely taking a trip. 
The problem is that not everyone has a state-issued photo ID—particularly people who do not drive, such as many inner city residents, students and older people. Moreover, voting fraud—or posing as another person and casting a ballot—is rare. If it does happen, it usually is singular instances that are typically caught by election officials and prosecuted. Even right-wing provocateur James O'Keefe's recent gambits to try to fraudulently vote (such as in the 2012 New Hampshire Primary) saw him flee—for fear of being arrested. Nonetheless, GOP majorities have passed tougher state ID laws, affecting millions, knowing that elections can turn on very slim margins. 
To date, 30 states require voters to show ID to get a ballot. The toughest version of this law, requiring residents present a specific state-issued photo ID, are in place in five states: Indiana, Georgia, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Other states have passed photo ID laws, but those changes have either been rejected by the U.S. Department of Justice in South Carolina and Texas, which has jurisdiction under the Voting Rights Act, or face a pending DOJ decision (Alabama), or have been suspended by a federal court (Wisconsin, although an appeal is pending). Several other states are considering similar legislation. A Virginia bill is back before its legislature. Minnesota will vote on it in November. 
Unlike 2008, grassroots groups in key states are working to empower voters to obtain the needed ID to vote this fall. Three states are setting an example for others to follow.
In typical Badger State style, local groups have galvanized around the voting rights challenge imposed by the state's photo ID law—which was adopted by the Republican majority in 2011 but was recently found unconstitutional by a federal court. The state's GOP leaders have appealed. Meanwhile, activists are not taking any chances—not with a gubernatorial recall election and presidential election this year. 
"A lot of organizations are running on limited resources, using a lot of volunteers to try to help people get IDs if that's possible," said Tova Wang of Demos.
That's exactly what's happening. "Milwaukee provides free birth certificates for those who don't have them, and activists are providing free transportation to the Department of Motor Vehicles so voters can get IDs," she said.
Another key program, Wisconsin Voices, developed a relationship with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Advocates filed a public records request and got more than 2 million names of residents with drivers' licenses. That was cross-referenced with a voter contact and management system. As a result, 1.3 million individuals were identified who may need photo IDs to vote. 
To help college students, meanwhile, organizers set up the "Be a Voter!" program to get thousands of them registered before upcoming elections. Milwaukee churches also were mobilized to assist inner-city residents take the steps necessary to get proper identification. And a group called "9to5" focuses its outreach on low-income women and young people so they can get proper credentials. Elderly advocates are also assessing how many eligible voters lack birth certificates in senior centers.
In Tennessee, the Voter Assistance Coalition has been reaching out to communities though a network of grassroots partners—unions, churches and students and teachers at colleges and universities, according to Ben Hovland, an attorney with the Fair Elections Legal Network. The coalition has been identifying those who lack credentials, primarily people without driver's licenses, which is about 10 percent of prospective voters.
"Now, to get a driver's license, you need a birth certificate," Hovland explained. "Some people don't have one, have lost it, and some are born outside a hospital and never got one." The Coalition walks people through the arduous task of getting a birth certificate, and then a driver's license. Once it helps people to secure birth certificates, local churches provide rides to DMV offices so people can get photo required IDs.
For older Tennessee residents there's an added problem. The state does not require older drivers to have photographs on their licenses and Holvand says many folks don't have them. The Coalition has been assisting seniors to get new licenses with photos.
What Tennessee is doing can be done anywhere, he said. "Our hope is that in places where there are these bad laws that citizens and community groups can help their fellow residents so that fewer people will be disenfranchised."
Colorado does not have a photo ID law for voting. But low-income state residents have had to deal with a similar intrusion, said Common Cause's Flanagan. In 2006, its legislature required picture ID for people who receive public benefits. That spawned the Collaborative ID project, which is now working to ensure eligible voters will not face obstacles at the polls. 
Linda Olson, senior attorney for Colorado Legal Services, said during a special session that year, lawmakers passed several immigration bills. One of them was H.B. 1023 on public benefits. "The thinking was there were undocumented people receiving public benefits and this was a way to weed them out by requiring everyone to have a state ID," Olson said. "The reality is they didn't find hardly any undocumented people getting public benefits."
For the past six years, the Collaborative ID project has helped people get birth certificates and IDs. "Some are lawfully present immigrants but most of our clients are U.S. citizens," Olson said.
The project has already helped 10,000 people obtain proper IDs, Flanagan said, but it's a costly undertaking. The need has outstripped what the group can do, Olson said. Foundation funding provides money so the poor can get birth certificates or other ID. "We have $5,000 a month for that and we're usually turning people away by the fifth of each month," she said.
National Model
While other state legislatures across the country consider voter ID legislation, "We're hopeful we won't continue to see these laws passed," said Common Cause's Flanagan. "Once these laws pass, the impact is so great." The Fair Election Legal Network's Hovland agreed. "These laws are unnecessary and they certainly are going to have an impact on certain segments of the population." 
Whether the number of states increases, the Got ID? report suggests more groups must step forward to help eligible voters. 
"It is vitally important that community leaders, particularly those who work with communities of color, young people, seniors, and people with disabilities take an active role in helping voters acquire the requisite photo ID," said Chris Melody Fields, of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
"Many local organizations are just beginning to get started," Wang noted, "and hopefully there will be more funding."
The report is a wake-up call to voting rights advocates: get moving to ensure everyone can vote. And time is running out. The presidential election is just 28 weeks away. 

George Bauer is a print and broadcast journalist living in Atlanta, Georgia.



* The New York Racing Association knowingly withheld millions of dollars owed to bettors at three racetracks despite its claim that the failure to increase payouts was inadvertent, the New York Times reports:

* Gov. Andrew Cuomo could endorse Ray Kelly if he runs for New York City mayor but plans to stay mum during the Democratic primary and then consider the winner's positions, says the Post's Fred Dicker:

* Hundreds of staffers in the state Senate and Assembly only work part time but still get full-time pay and benefits, including several six-figure staffers to Sen. Dean Skelos and the Senate Republicans, the Daily News' Ken Lovett notes:

* The NYPD and targeted companies are bracing for Occupy Wall Street's May Day protests, an effort to shut down the city that is also a test of the movement's strength, the Wall Street Journal reports:

* Two schools just blocks apart in the South Bronx were similar on many measures but one earned an F and the other an A in the city's report cards, an example of how the grading system is "imprecise and arbitrary," the Times writes:

* Twenty-two people who were arrested while demonstrating against the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy last October plan to repeat their complaints when they go on trial today, the Associated Press reports:

* The new 1 World Trade Center skyscraper is expected to become New York City's tallest building today, surpassing the Empire State Building with the installation of a steel column on its 100th floor, the Times reports:


Air Quality Awareness Week

Air Quality Awareness Week (April 30 - May 4) is a great opportunity to learn more about how your local air quality may affect your health.

You may have heard references to "Code Orange" or "Code Red" air quality days during local weather reports. Air quality assessments are taken from the Air Quality Index (AQI), which indicates how clean or polluted your air is.

Poor air quality can pose health concerns to children, older adults, and those with certain kinds of health issues; but even healthy young adults can be adversely affected by polluted air. Depending on the air quality and your level of sensitivity, staying indoors may sometimes help to alleviate symptoms.

Other resources:

  • AirCompare -- Compare the air quality in different U.S. Counties.
  • Sign Up for Air Quality Notifications -- If you'd like to be advised when the air quality gets into unhealthy ranges, sign up for notifications via email or cell phone.
  • Keep the Air Cleaner -- Find out how you can promote cleaner air through transportation, household, and lawn and garden actions.



Bloomberg Refuses Comment On NYPD's May Day Training

Bloomberg Refuses Comment On NYPD's May Day Training

Bloomberg Refuses Comment On NYPD's May Day Training On Friday a tipster sent us an email noting that several hundred NYPD officers had been conducting training exercises on Randall's Island in preparation for May Day's protests. While the sources of other journalists confirmed that information, Mayor Bloomberg declined to go into specifics today when asked about the training by the Voice. "We are prepared for everything we can think of all the time. Our tactics are something that we don't talk about in advance for obvious reasons." Occupy's wide range of scheduled events, both "official" and covert, promise to spread the department's resources from Lower Manhattan to Midtown. [ more › ]
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Bloomberg Refuses Comment On NYPD's May Day Training
Christopher Robbins
Sun, 29 Apr 2012 23:30:38 GMT

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fw: Notify NYC - Silver Alert

Silver Alert issued on 04/29/12 at 4:55 AM. The NYPD has issued a Silver Alert for Isabel Pasqual, 86. Ms. Pasqual was last seen at 69 Pinehurst Avenue in Manhattan on April 28th at 10:30 AM. Isabel is a Hispanic woman, with dark skin, auburn hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing, a green head scarf, and utilizing a cane. Isabel suffers from Alzheimer's. If you see this person please contact 1-800-577-TIPS(8477). You can also submit tips at
The sender included the following attachment:
The sender provided the following contact information.
   Sender's Name: Notify NYC
   Sender's Email:
   Sender's Contact Phone: 2126399675

At This Atlanta Barbershop, the Conversation Goes on 24/7

Anytime Cutz in Atlanta is one of several 24-hour barbershops that have opened in cities across the country.

Race relations, in another time and in two very different places.

Toni Morrison to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Toni Morrison to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Award-winning novelist Toni Morrison is among 13 people slated to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, at a White House ceremony in late spring, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:

Other recipients will include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, songwriter and musician Bob Dylan, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the late Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low and NCAA women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.

"These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our nation," Obama's announcement said…

Read full article...

Toni Morrison to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom
Lynette Holloway
Sat, 28 Apr 2012 19:48:42 GMT

Annual Survey Shows Increase in City's Homeless Population

Annual Survey Shows Increase in City's Homeless Population

Annual Survey Shows Increase in City's Homeless Population More New Yorkers are living on the streets this year than last, according to an annual survey of homelessness in the city. The Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) survey, which was conducted by the Department of Homeless Services on January 30, found the number of homeless people increased from 2,648 in 2011 to 3,262, marking an overall increase of 23 percent. Which means it's the perfect time to cut off funding to one of the city's major homeless advocacy groups! [ more › ]
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Annual Survey Shows Increase in City's Homeless Population
Rebecca Fishbein
Sat, 28 Apr 2012 20:40:17 GMT

African-American - News

African-American - News April 29, 2012


Rally held to promote naming of Division Street for Martin Luther King Jr.
Rally held to promote naming of Division Street for Martin Luther King Jr. (Star-Telegram)
Carrying signs and chanting slogans including "Let's Pave the Way for MLK" on Saturday, about 100 people kicked off the Arlington branch of the NAACP's campaign to rename Division Street after Martin Luther King Jr.

NCNW Celebrates Community Youth (TheDay.Com)
On Sunday, April 22, 2012, the New London County Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., honored 6 young scholars during its annual Founder's Day Luncheon at Ocean Beach, Port 'N Starboard.

Detroit Sistas Unite And Embrace Natural Hair Like Family (NewsOne)
There is nothing new about black women's desire to return to their natural roots by rejecting the modern norm of frying their hair with relaxers and other chemical-laced hairstyles.

April is the designated month to focus on health, especially for the ethnic communities (Milwaukee Courier Online)
You would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't heard that smoking and tobacco use can cause cancer and aggravate other health issues and diseases.

North Greenwood Recreation Complex Could be Renamed After Rev. Walter C. Campbell (Patch)
Jeff Kronschnabl, who started working with the city as a police officer in 1972, came to the North Greenwood Recreation and Aquatic Center Tuesday with a wheeled cart holding four boxes filled with paperwork.

Recent Alumna Returns To Rahway High School To Share Her Success With Her Former Teachers (Clarks Hometown News Patriot)
Recently, T-Kea Blackman, a 2008 graduate of Rahway High School, visited her teachers to thank them for encouraging her and to share her college/career successes.

Summer on the Hudson: Shape Up in West Harlem Piers Park ZUMBA

Summer on the Hudson: Shape Up in West Harlem Piers Park ZUMBA

Date: May 5, 2012

Shape Up NYC (partnered with the Department of Parks and Recreation, Equinox, NYC Service, and Empire BlueCross Blue Shield) offers more than 175 free fitness classes every week at locations across the five boroughs to helpNew Yorkers shape up.

Mercy Irizarry teaches Zumba class on Saturdays in West Harlem Piers Park – Enter at 125th St.

Start time: 11:00 am

End time: 12:00 pm

Contact phone: 311

Location: West Harlem Piers Park

Summer on the Hudson: Shape Up in West Harlem Piers Park ZUMBA
Sun, 29 Apr 2012 04:00:08 GMT

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Bloomberg Names Winners of Inaugural NYC Literary Awards (The New York Observer)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced today the winners of the inaugural NYC Literary Honors award for "scholars who have demonstrated a lifetime of achievement and for whom New York has been a central inspiration." The award is means to honor the role the publishing industry plays in the city's economy and celebrate the role that literature plays in the ... (more)

Can Old Harlem Be a Part of the Changes Sweeping the Neighborhood?
Can Old Harlem Be a Part of the Changes Sweeping the Neighborhood? (The New York Observer)
Martha Brown has worked in Harlem for more than three decades and has lived in the neighborhood for even longer.

Hues of History (Express)
The Smithsonian American Art Museum's new "African-American Art: The Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era and Beyond" exhibit features works from a relatively narrow span of years - 100 pieces by 43 artists, made between 1922 and 1994.

City Council To Begin Carrying Hearings Live On TV, Web

City Council To Begin Carrying Hearings Live On TV, Web

Starting next week, City Council hearings will be carried live on NYC Gov, the city government's official TV channel.

City Council To Begin Carrying Hearings Live On TV, Web
Sat, 28 Apr 2012 15:41:11 GMT

Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson

Motown's greatest songwriter, Smokey Robinson, returns to sing the songs that defined entire decades.
Event Date & Time: 04/28/2012 08:00 PM
Location: Lehman Performing Arts Center, 250 Bedford Park Blvd., Bronx, New York, 10468

Smokey Robinson
Sat, 28 Apr 2012 07:49:09 GMT

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fw: Notify NYC - Notification

Notification issued 4/26/12 at 4:20 PM. Weather permitting, on 4/27/12 between 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM, NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier with space shuttle Enterprise mounted on top, will fly at low altitudes around the Statue of Liberty and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum before landing at JFK Airport. It will also be accompanied by two T-38 aircraft serving as photo support.
The sender included the following attachments:
The sender provided the following contact information.
   Sender's Name: Notify NYC
   Sender's Email:
   Sender's Contact Phone: 212-639-9675

Hatewatch Headlines for April 26, 2012


Hatewatch is a weekly summary of the latest news about hate and extremism compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Week of April 26, 2012

Hatewatch Blog

Antigovernment 'Patriot' Movement Takes Up Delaware Sheriff's Crusade

Suspect in Mobile, Ala., Beating Had Ongoing Feud with Victim

Two Charged in New Cases of Alleged 'Sovereign' House Theft in Georgia

Oklahoma Oath Keeper Convicted of 6-Year-Old Daughter's Rape

Coulter: GOP Supports Arming Blacks to Defend Against Dems

Hatewatch Headlines

KY Neo-Nazis Hold Rally: Verbal Sparring But No Frankfort Arrests
Courier-Journal | April 21, 2012

GERMANY 3 Arrested as Germany Cracks Down on Neo-Nazi Extremists
MSNBC | April 25, 2012




* Former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson is the only mayoral candidate who refused to release his tax return to the New York Post, the paper writes:

* A special prosecutor appointed by the Staten Island D.A.'s office is investigating allegations the Working Families Party broke campaign finance laws in 2009 by giving campaign services to candidates through its for-profit Data and Field Services, Crain's Insider reports:

*  Two prominent police union officials are pleading guilty to ticket fixing in the Bronx, the Daily News reports:

* After being sued by an out of state beer distributor, New York is ending tax and fee exemptions for in-state breweries, a move that could hamper the state's growing craft-beer industry, the Wall Street Journal writes:

* The Cuomo administration surprised Department of Environmental Conservation employees when it moved around their office furniture without warning, the Times Union writes:

* Mayor Michael Bloomberg takes his fifth annual crack at poetry writing in honor of National Poetry month, with a composition that weaves in both Lady Gaga and the New York Aquarium, the Journal reports:



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Survey: Majority of Black TV viewers dissatisfied with programming options

Survey: Majority of Black TV viewers dissatisfied with programming options

Target Market News - At a time when several new channels and programs are targeting the African-American audience, a new survey reveals that the overwhelming majority of these viewers are dissatisfied with their current programming options. When asked, “Are you satisfied with the variety of Black TV programs now on the air,” 97% of the [...]

Survey: Majority of Black TV viewers dissatisfied with programming options
Wed, 25 Apr 2012 12:48:25 GMT



* City Councilman Jumaane Williams argues in a letter to the Times for increased funding of youth public safety programs as an alternative to the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy:

* Times columnist Jim Dwyer argues the illogicality of New York City's policy of giving out free condoms while allowing them as evidence of prostitution for sex workers:

* Nicole Gelinas contends in the Post that Cuomo's nomination of former Gov. David Paterson to the MTA board is ominous, given Paterson's history of concessions to the Transit Workers Union:

* The Daily News argues New York City needs more substantive proof of the link between free breakfasts and childhood obesity before it considers scaling back the program:

* The Times Union argues the Cuomo administration undermined its commitment to reforming the state's developmental disabilities programs when it disinvited a whistleblower from a panel on the issue:




* Prosecutors delivered closing arguments in the fraud trial of former state Sen. Pedro Espada, who they argued had used his government-funded health clinic as a personal ATM, the New York Times writes:

* Paul Rivera, an aide to Democratic Sen. John Sampson, is getting a $50,000 raise despite cuts for other Senate employees in the past year, the Daily News reports:

* Despite its 110-year history of free tuition, Cooper Union will begin charging tuition for graduate students next year, the Times reports:

*  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's bill to use public financing for campaigns would be funded in part by money from Wall Street fraud settlements, the Associated Press reports:

* City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is trying to avoid politicizing her May 19th marriage to partner Kim Catullo despite the advantages of doing so, the Times reports:

* East River Ferry ridership numbers have far exceeded expectations since the program's launch last year, feeding speculation the City Council will try to make the program permanent, the Wall Street Journal says:

* The power of the Orthodox Jewish vote in New York has increased, a trend noticeable in the recent special elections for former Rep. Anthony Weiner and former Sen. Carl Kruger's seats, the Observer reports:


LeRoy T. Walker, U.S. Olympic Committee’s First Black President, Is Dead at 93

In 1992, the acquittal of white police officers in the Rodney King beating inflamed racial tensions in South Los Angeles, a center of black culture. Today, Latinos are the majority.

As the track and field coach at North Carolina Central in Durham, Mr. Walker developed Olympic medalists and numerous national champions.

David Paterson On Going The MTA's Way

David Paterson On Going The MTA's Way

ICYMI, here's ex-Gov. David Paterson on Fox's "Good Day New York" this morning, speaking on -- as you first heard from our own Ken Lovett -- his new role on the board of the MTA. ON WHETHER HE MISSES BEING GOVERNOR: “Sometimes. Well, I mean it was a tremendous opportunity. It was ...

David Paterson On Going The MTA's Way
Tue, 24 Apr 2012 19:33:44 GMT