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March 2008

What does HUD chief’s resignation mean for Miami-Dade County’s public housing woes?

Posted on Mon, Mar. 31, 2008


AP Business Writer

J. Scott Applewhite, File / AP Photo


The Bush administration's top housing official, under criminal investigation and intense pressure from Democratic critics, announced Monday he is quitting.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson said his resignation will take effect on April 18. The move comes at a shaky time for the economy and the Bush administration, as the housing industry's crisis has imperiled the nation's credit markets and led to a major economic slowdown.

Jackson, 62, has been fending off allegations of cronyism and favoritism involving HUD contractors for the past two years. The FBI has been examining the ties between Jackson and a friend who was paid $392,000 by Jackson's department as a construction manager in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

The HUD chief made no direct mention of that in his resignation statement. Explaining his move, he said: "There comes a time when one must attend more diligently to personal and family matters. Now is such a time for me."

He did not take questions or elaborate on the family reasons he cited for the decision. The group in the room applauded and Jackson left the room.

Jackson has a friendship with President Bush that dates to the late 1980s, when they lived in the same Dallas neighborhood. He was the first black leader of the housing authority in Dallas and president of American Electric Power-TEXAS in Austin.

On Monday, Jackson said he has spent more than 30 years of his life improving housing opportunities for all Americans regardless of income or race.

"My life's work has been to build better communities that families are proud to call home," the embattled housing director said.

Jackson said he is staying on three more weeks to ensure an orderly transition of the leadership of HUD.

His statement offered an upbeat review of his own record.

He said he and his team at the housing agency had helped families keep their homes, reduced chronic homelessness and "transformed public housing."

On Hillary Clinton and Bosnia: ‘Misspeak’ or Outright Lie?

From Vanessa: Unplugged!:

Hillary082 Oh, my God! How much more of the Hillary Clinton lies must American voters endure? Her outright lies about her experience in Bosnia that she characterized as misspeaking is just so ridiculous. Were it not for the videotape she would have continued the lie and any prudent person knows that. What more does the public need to recognize that this woman is not fit to be the leader of this country? How could we believe anything she says?

This pattern of lying...misspeaking...exaggerating...overstating or whatever you choose to call it is just wrong. HRC lied and then she had the audacity to snipe Barack Obama about Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Give me a break. The media who say that she simply 'made a mistake' should have their credentials revoked. Shame on them! If HRC doesn't know the difference between sniper fire and being greeted by a little girl then she has an even bigger problem.

Hillary and her supporters need to try something else; the Rev. Wright piece has already proven to be spin and Wright is not a presidential candidate; Hillary Rodham Clinton is. She lied just like her husband did about Monica Lewinsky. No attempts to deflect and conflate her lies will change that. For the sake of the Democratic Party and the little credibility she has left, Hillary should concede now. She has relapsed to her whiny, offensive tactics and that's not at all presidential.

I'd like to dedicate this classic to Senator Clinton and her campaign team.

Another thing, the laughter you hear in the background is Sinbad. Last year a rumor sped through the internet about his death and now HRC tried to diss his recall of their trip to Bosnia. Ha! Shame on Hillary! Who's laughing now?

Jamaican prime minister stresses ties on South Florida visit


Jamaica's prime minister stressed ties to South Florida's Jamaican community and encouraged more sharing of information on a weekend tour.

Posted on Sun, Mar. 30, 2008


Related Content

At a worship service Saturday, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding reminded Jamaican Americans about the importance of their cultural heritage and stressed the need for strong family values.

''We have to go back to some basics . . . where children were taught manners,'' Golding said in his 15-minute talk with congregants at Maranatha Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

The Miami Gardens church, with a large Jamaican congregation, was the second of three stops on Golding's first official visit with South Florida's burgeoning Jamaican-American community since he was elected in September. [More]

Shaq-Riley Feud Stinking up the Joint

Here's one fan's take on the ongoing saga of the war of words between former HEAT center Shaquille O'Neal and HEAT coach Pat Riley.

Pat Riley and Shaquille O'Neal in happier days


From broblog's Blog on FOX Sports:


Mar 27, 2008 | 1:10AM | report this

I am a big fan of Shaquille O'Neal and I can't stand Pat Riley, but Shaq is wrong for the criticism he fired at his former team the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

Shaq told a Boston Globe reporter, quote, "I love playing for this coach and I love playing with these guys," O'Neal told the Boston Globe. "We have professionals who know what to do. No one is asking me to play with Chris Quinn or Ricky Davis. I'm actually on a team again." I don't understand why Shaq felt the need to stoop to what I like to call sports adolescences. Obviously he harbors some ill-feelings about the Heat - but why now? Why utter these sentiments if they have no bearing on anything?

The Miami organization did not criticized or berate O'Neal after sending him to Phoenix for forward Shawn Marion back in February - in fact, they praised him for his contributions to the team and his help in winning the team's only NBA title in 2006.

Again, I am not a Pat Riley fan! I still believe he's a weasel for kicking Stan Van Gundy to the curb when it was he who built a winning system in Miami only to have Riley come in and swipe the team out from under his control to claim a title after Van Gundy had done all the hard work. Yet, I must say, in Riley's defense, he handled what Shaq said to the Globe with class.

Shaq claimed he did not get enough touches this year before the trade and complained about how he was not getting sustained minutes. But Shaq was injured for most of the first half of the season and I don't know how one gets substantial minutes while injured. I believe, however, he is right about not being a focal point in the offense, but he was not playing Shaq like basketball either and the club made a conscious decision to not make him an integral part of their offensive scheme.

Bottom line, there is really no reason, I believe to slam these guys! Maybe this is karma coming back in a negative way to Pat after dissing Stan. But Shaq is with a better team headed for the playoffs and the Heat are not. So this is all an unnecessary one sided war of words all belonging to the Big Cactus who should just focus on playing basketball! Come on, Shaq, you can do better, bro!

Just my thought. What about you?


I agree with broblog. If you have comments, click here to post.

Dunbar Village Rape Case puts civil rights blocs at odds

Web-based activists, old-guard leadership not seeing eye to eye on Florida assaults

By Howard Witt

Tribune correspondent

March 30, 2008

HOUSTON - The crime was unspeakably horrific.

A 35-year-old Haitian immigrant and her 12-year-old son were forced into their home at gunpoint in the bleak Dunbar Village housing project in West Palm Beach, Fla. The woman was beaten, raped and sodomized for hours, allegedly by a gang of African-American teenagers, then forced to abuse her son. Finally the attackers doused the victims with household chemicals-pouring them directly into the boy's eyes-and attempted to set the two on fire before fleeing.

Yet outside South Florida, the attack last June largely escaped notice, and it scarcely registered on the radar of national civil rights leaders because it involved the awkward topic of black-on-black crime.

Three weeks ago, however, Al Sharpton and local representatives of the NAACP held a news conference in West Palm Beach where they declared that four black teenagers arrested for the Dunbar Village attack are being treated unfairly because they remain incarcerated without bond, while five white teenagers recently accused of sexually assaulting two white girls in nearby Boca Raton were freed on bail.

Triggering dual outrage

"You cannot have one set of rules for acts that are wrong and horrific in Boca and another set in Dunbar Village," Sharpton said, as parents of some of the Dunbar defendants nodded behind him. "You must have equal protection under the law."

It was, for Sharpton and the NAACP, a familiar situation and a routine news conference: Contrasting the treatment of blacks and whites in the criminal justice system and calling for fairness.

But Sharpton's remarks-and his apparent call for the Dunbar Village suspects to be released on bail-triggered outrage on dozens of blogs devoted to civil rights, feminism and the interests of African-American crime victims. Now the Dunbar Village case is deepening a growing schism between traditional civil rights organizations and a new, Internet-driven generation of younger activists who take a more nuanced view of many issues.

"For Sharpton and the NAACP to come out and recklessly say we need to free these guys because some white guys over in Boca Raton are out on bail is just unconscionable," said Gina McCauley, an Austin, Texas, attorney and author of an influential African-American civil rights blog called What About Our Daughters?

"We've lost our way in the civil rights movement," McCauley added, "when in every case, no matter what an African-American is in custody for, we automatically start screaming about unfairness-even when they are in custody to protect the black community from them."

Color of Change, a Web-based civil rights group that counts nearly 400,000 members, criticized Sharpton for choosing the accused Dunbar Village assailants to champion.

"I question whether this is the case we want to be standing up for," said Mervyn Marcano, the group's spokesman. "At the end of the day, when we choose to fight for equal justice, we have to be aware of who's being affected. A lot of people think no one was speaking for the victims of this terrible crime."

For his part, Sharpton strongly denied in an interview with the Tribune last week that he was ignoring the plight of the Dunbar Village victims or insisting that their accused attackers should be freed on bond. He said his comments at the March 11 news conference had been misunderstood, and that he had visited Dunbar Village several times this year to show support for the residents and denounce the "hideous, deplorable" crime.

"My position is there ought to be one standard," Sharpton said. "The white kids in Boca Raton ought to be held just like the black kids in Dunbar Village. Why are they not doing the same with the white kids?"

Yet freedom for the four Dunbar Village defendants was the clear demand of the other participants at the news conference, where fliers were distributed proclaiming the teenagers to be "voiceless, vulnerable victims."

"We don't like what's going on. It's not right," said Ruby Walker, the mother of defendant Nathan Walker. "I don't think we should have to suffer."

Maude Ford Lee, president of the local West Palm Beach NAACP chapter who joined Sharpton at the news conference, said she hoped Sharpton's presence would help expose the "injustice" of the case.

"Our kids are incarcerated, they can't even get a bond, and it's unconscionable what is happening," Lee told reporters.

Lee declined to return several phone calls seeking further explanation of her comments. But NAACP officials at both the state and national level said their organizations had taken no position on whether the Dunbar suspects should be released on bond.

Comparison issues

Sharpton's critics say it was wrong to equate the Dunbar Village and Boca Raton rape cases in the first place because the Dunbar assault was far more vicious. Among the awful details: The attackers forced the mother to perform oral sex on her 12-year-old son.

In the Boca Raton case, the five white teenagers are accused of sexually assaulting two middle-school students after the group of seven engaged in a night of drinking on Jan. 1. The Dunbar defendants, by contrast, face multiple felony counts for the torture and gang-rape that could send them to prison for life if convicted.

Prosecutors say they have DNA evidence implicating three of the suspects: Walker, 17; Avion Lawson, 14; and Tommy Poindexter, 18. A fourth suspect, Jakaris Taylor, 16, pleaded guilty in November to charges of burglary and armed sexual battery in exchange for a 20-year sentence and a requirement that he testify against the others.

The rift between the new generation of civil rights activists, organized via blogs, Web sites and e-mail lists, and their old-guard forebears such as Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the NAACP, opened last September over the civil rights march through Jena, La., that drew more than 20,000 demonstrators.

Even though many of the marchers traveled to Jena in response to e-mail appeals and postings on scores of African-American blogs, Sharpton, Jackson and mainstream civil rights groups claimed credit for orchestrating the huge turnout.

Two months later, black civil rights bloggers were perplexed when Sharpton organized a march for justice in Washington without tapping their organizing abilities.

"I've concluded that we can expect no leadership on the issues that are of concern to African-Americans today from these traditional civil rights groups," McCauley said. "It's at least equally important to address black-on-black violence, and it's not being addressed at all."

BCC to offer 4-year degrees


BCC president faces multiple challenges

J. David Armstrong, experienced in education policy, has the tough task of leading Broward Community College when the state is cutting funds.

Posted on Sun, Mar. 30, 2008


Growing up as a young boy in small-town Alabama, J. David Armstrong knew the value of an education. His grandmother, who worked as an assistant in the school system, constantly implored him to go to college.

Armstrong was the first person in his immediate family to attend college. He's still there -- now as Broward Community College's president.

''My grandmother was very influential in my life,'' said Armstrong, 51.

Since Armstrong took over the position from interim president Willis Holcombe in 2007, the school has made changes.

For instance, BCC has received initial approval to offer bachelor's degrees in education in a county that has a shortage of special needs teachers and math teachers. Last August, Broward County Public Schools had 190 openings for exceptional student education instructors, 169 openings in mathematics and 148 vacancies in science.

The school is lobbying the Legislature to change its name to Broward College, reflecting the bachelor's degrees it plans to offer. [Read more…]

State's population declining


Florida's population slowing to 30-year low, study shows

A University of Florida economics professor finds Florida's population's is dipping to 30-year low.

Posted on Sat, Mar. 29, 2008


A new study has reaffirmed a growing demographic trend in Florida: The state is seeing its population growth slow to its lowest level in three decades.

So says a University of Florida professor who reviewed building permits and residential electric customer data to draw projections on the state's population growth.

''The state has not experienced a decline of this magnitude since the mid-1970s, when we were in a national recession,'' said Stan Smith, an economist and director of UF's Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

The Census Bureau has made similar findings in its tracking of population growth in Florida. In a report released earlier this month, Census officials reported a net gain in the state's population of just 35,301 between 2006 and 2007. The figure was much lower than the 170,099 gain tabulated from 2005 to 2006.

The lower rate of growth is caused largely by people leaving South Florida, where the cost of living is driving them away from the region. [Read more…]

Mayor Alvarez and County Team Meet with Black Residents

One of the major bridge-building/community-building/political moves that somewhat quietly occurred last week was County Mayor Carlos Alvarez’s and other county administrators meeting with black residents on Monday night at New Birth Cathedral of Faith.

Greater Miami NAACP Branch president Rev. Victor Curry set stage for open dialogue with the mayor while also demanding accountability regarding community matters such as transportation, contracts awarded to black businesses and disparate treatment of black employees.

Since Curry had attempted to have such a meeting more than a year ago; many wondered if the Mayor acquiesced because of his upcoming re-election campaign.

Related Link:      Black residents finally meet with Dade mayor

Manager of Walgreens in Miami Shores Held Hostage in Early Morning Robbery

The lowers 80s stretch of Biscayne Boulevard that's home to many businesses erupted in gunfire this morning as a robber interrupted an early morning meeting of Walgreens' employees and took the manager hostage. Check the raw video footage and coverage on the Channel 10 website.

The manager sustained minor injuries in a scuffle with the robber who attempted to force him to drive away from the store. It's much more dangerous to be removed from the scene if one is taken hostage. The manager was brave and a little crazy but he's still alive. The robber was shot and is in Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Get Your Groove On

Reward yourself with an awesome night in a romantic ambiance at THE GROOVE. If you were at the "Grand Opening Special", you know what we mean. Join all of the Groovers for another memorable fiesta! Experience the delight of THE GROOVE'S delectable menu.


This month's theme is "Taste of the Islands." Enjoy the unbelievable talents of the "Laissez Faire Dance Group" and move to the rhythm of international music animated by the multi-talented saxophonist and DJ: "ONE MAN BAND".


Saturday – March 29, 2008

American Legion Hall

6445 Northeast 7th Avenue



8 PM – 1 AM

For more information call 786-262-7384.


Cost: $25.00

Cash Bar