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Over 10,000 candles for Health care Reform

Posted on 16 December 2009 by The Florida Star Online

FStar-121209-a-01fOn Tuesday night, candle light vigils were in 48 states and Washington, D. C. with more than 10,000 participating.

In Nevada, MoveOn members delivered over 170,000 petition signatures to Senator Harry Reid’s staff and in Washington, D.C., over 200 people joined public option champions Senators Bernie Sanders and Roland Burris, and Reps. Raul Grijalva, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, and Donna  Christensen just outside the Senate to demand real reform with a public option. The vigils were held throughout the states of Florida and Georgia.

In Jacksonville, the vigil was led by MoveOn workers, led by Judy at the corner of Main, State and Union. Clara McLaughlin, host of Impact Radio show, and publisher of The Florida Star newspaper did her normal radio show live at the event on progressive radio station, FM105.3, allowing many of those in attendance to voice why they were there and to tell of some of their experiences without health care after losing their jobs.

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Stolen Car Ring Caught

Posted on 16 December 2009 by The Florida Star Online

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Apparently the law changed, and the six men above and three others, were not aware of the change as they performed their operation buying or transporting stolen cars. After receiving the vehicles, the operators would salvage them for parts and crush them into scrap metal. The method of stealing the vehicles was so fast, it was difficult to keep up, according to Sheriff Rutherford. A person would leave their cars for just a short moment and return to an empty space. The vehicle would be destroyed before the police could follow up with a report. However, a law went to affect last year that required all cars to come with a title of ownership before the car could be crushed.

The report said the thefts occurred at ABC Automotive and Salvage and at R&R Used Parts. There are ten salvage businesses in this city. Arrested: Donald Taylor, Johnathan Bradley, Jerry Gadsden, Paul George, Todd Robinson and Robert Sands. Three more are wanted.

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Man Left for Dead on Lawn

Posted on 16 December 2009 by The Florida Star Online

FStar-121209-a-01The neighbors and persons passing by heard gun shots at the Roosevelt Gardens apartments located in the 700 block of Lincoln Court and immediately called JSO. They found the victim lying on the lawn and also found bullet damage to one of the buildings.

People in the area told a Florida Star person that it is rumored that the victim, though they would not give a name, is the person who shot a taxi driver. They also stated that the cab driver was killed just a few feetaway from where the victim of this shooting was found. Their statement: “God does not like ugly.”

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the shooting and had not released any information as of this writing.

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President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Posted on 10 October 2009 by The Florida Star Online

obama-10-10-09The Norwegian Nobel Committee said U. S. President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Nobel Statement:

norwaynobelThe Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”

Oslo, October 9, 2009

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Mob Kills Honor Student in Chicago

Posted on 03 October 2009 by The Florida Star Online

derrion_albertDerrion Albert, 16, was fatally beaten last Thursday in an after school mob melee in Chicago. He was an honor student, waiting for the bus, and just happened to be in the area of a gang war. Four were arrested.

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Black Leaders Launch Grassroots Campaign for Health Care

Posted on 26 September 2009 by The Florida Star Online

NNPA National Correspondent and Editor-in-Chief

The line is drawn. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has pledged to kill any House health care bill that does not include a robust public option and organization members of the Black Leadership Forum (BLF) are rolling out an array of grassroots campaigns in support of passing health care reform overall. Continue Reading

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Child Health as a Critical National Security Issue

Posted on 26 September 2009 by The Florida Star Online

by Marian Wright Edelman
President, Children’s Defense Fund

In April 2005, a group of scholars at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services published a policy brief on “National Security and U.S. Child Health Policy: The Origins and Continuing Role of Medicaid and EPSDT.” (.pdf)

The Department of Health Policy chair, Dr. Sara Rosenbaum, and her colleagues studied how Medicaid and its comprehensive benefit package for children, the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program, were seen from the beginning as a key way to help ensure that we would have enough healthy young Americans prepared to serve and defend the country. As Congress and the nation focus more on health care reform now, it’s well worth reexamining the history of how this vital connection was made between child health and national security. As Dr. Rosenbaum and her colleagues looked at the roots of this link, they focused on an important 1964 government report titled, One Third of a Nation: A Report on Young Men Found Unqualified for Military Service. This study was commissioned as a response to the 50 percent rejection rate among young men drafted into the military in 1962, a rate so high it raised red flags about the nation’s ability to develop a well-prepared military. The rate among men who had stepped forward as volunteers was slightly better, but overall, approximately one-third of prospective recruits were being turned away in the early 1960s. In September 1963, President Kennedy asked the Secretaries of Defense, Labor, and Health, Education, and Welfare to lead a Task Force on Manpower Conservation to study why this was so and determine what could be done to fix it.

What they learned was that far too many prospective recruits just weren’t healthy enough for service. The Task Force’s final report, Dr. Rosenbaum and her colleagues found, “concluded that the military draft failure rate provided powerful evidence of ‘the unfinished business of the Nation.’” They note, “Among [the report's] most significant findings: the majority of young men rejected for compulsory military service in the early 1960s failed as a result of physical and mental health conditions, many of which could have been diagnosed and successfully treated in childhood and adolescence. These young adults typically came from impoverished families and had experienced unrelenting deprivation in health care, education, and employment. The report’s findings provided compelling evidence for an underlying tenet of President Johnson’s conclusion that improving the health and well being of the nation’s poor required strategies aimed at ameliorating the effects of social, economic, and health disparities.”

President Johnson said after the report was released in January 1964 that “The findings of this Task Force are dramatic evidence that poverty is still with us, still exacting its price in spoiled lives and failed expectations. For entirely too many Americans the promise of American life is not being kept.” Ultimately the Task Force, and the politicians who shaped its initial findings into policy, concluded that one answer was for the government to take a more active role in safeguarding the health of the nation’s children, especially the poorest children who needed the most help. They realized that fighting the inequalities that existed and keeping all children as healthy as possible was necessary for them to grow up to be productive citizens—including members of the military.

Forty years later, evidence still overwhelmingly shows that early intervention and prevention make a critical difference in children’s health. Meanwhile, our national security needs—as well as our nation’s overall needs for healthy, educated citizens prepared to compete in a globalized economy—are more serious than ever. Dr. Rosenbaum and her colleagues say in their conclusion, “The importance of a continuing commitment to broad child health policy endures, even as the health system itself is transformed. National security depends on the growth and development of children; in view of the demographics of those who serve, this dependence is particularly striking in the case of the low-income children who are at greatest risk for poor health outcomes.”

Health disparities still exist for poor children and children of color. But Congress has the opportunity and responsibility this year to make certain that the promise of American life is being kept for all children by committing to real child health system reform. They can include amendments by Representative Bobby Scott that provide comprehensive child-appropriate EPSDT benefits for all children and they can enact amendments offered by Representative Bobby Rush to simplify the health bureaucracy and to make sure that millions of children are better off, and not worse off, than they are today. We must ensure that health coverage in any final health care reform bill will guarantee all children the comprehensive health and mental health care they need and be affordable and simple to get and keep. Our children’s and our nation’s security still depend on making sure that our children really get the health care they need now.

Marian Wright Edelman, whose new book is The Sea Is So Wide And My Boat Is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation, is president of the Children’s Defense Fund. For more information about the Children’s Defense Fund, go to http://www.childrensdefense.org/.

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Mayor's Book Club Begins Sixth Year

Posted on 12 September 2009 by The Florida Star Online

Mayor_Peyton_readingprogram_092009Mayor John Peyton helped hand out new RALLY Jacksonville! book bags to excited four-year olds to kick off the sixth year of the Mayor’s Book Club. He and other city officials thanked new and renewing sponsors who provided funding for nine books, flash cards, bookmarks and other reading-related items distributed with the new bags. The sponsorships, valued at more than $92,000, will make it possible for up to 12,000 children to join the club this year. The March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech occurred 46 years ago – August 28, 1963.

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