A candidates forum held at Broward County’s public African-American Research Library and Cultural Center only allowed black candidates to participate. The event was held by The Westside Gazette newspaper and was moderated by the paper’s publisher, Bobby R. Henry. This regrettable act is drawing criticism from all sides, including candidates who participated, such as Rubin Young, who is running for the state Legislature. I do not, however, think it was so much a racist incident as much as yet another boneheaded example of the dire need for a new generation to assume leadership in the black community. Henry’s wife, Bertha, is the interim Broward county administrator, and she needs to move quickly to condemn what occurred. Nevertheless, this incident should not be used to stymie her efforts to get that job on a permanent basis. Her fitness should be based on her entire job performance, and the results of an impartial interview and recruitment process. Be that as it may, Bertha Henry would demonstrate a commitment to serve all segments of the public by implementing new guidelines on the use of county facilities, making personal apologies to those turned away from them, and public reassurances that it will not happen again. Then, the county should charge the newspaper for the use of the facility that evening, and move on.
The Palm Beach County School District is gushing over the success of African-based studies at some locations, like West Riviera Elementary School in Riviera Beach. Afro-centric education is increasing nationwide, and the district deserves credit for bringing it to public schools in South Florida. However, district officials should also acknowledge where they got the idea in the first place. The principal and teachers who implemented the programs at West Riviera both either trained under, or worked at, the Joseph Littles-NGUZO SABA Charter School in West Palm Beach. Educator Amefika D. Geuka headed the school for years, and he should be recognized for his role.
Stanford Paisley, 65, is a retired family man who lives with his wife in their Lauderdale Lakes home, trying to make ends meet. This is one reason he continues to operate a mobile detailing business to keep food on the family’s table. His industrious initiative is now hurting his pocketbook, and could eventually land him in jail. Lauderdale Lakes has an ordinance that prohibits mobile car washing operations, and Broward Sheriff’s Office code enforcement officers who patrol the city have begun aggressively enforcing it. It is unclear when the ordinance went into effect, but this is a shame. Paisley and others have been issued citations that carry $40 fines for the first offense, $250 for a second ticket and up to $500 per day each time thereafter, and possible jail time. Lauderdale Lakes continues to push this twisted rule, and it has an anti-business odor about it. Mobile detailing is a legitimate business, but this city is treating it like selling crack cocaine instead of as a legal enterprise.
Sen. Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are behaving as if they would rather see Sen. John McCain become president instead of conceding the Democratic nomination to Sen. Barack Obama. The Clintons are growing increasingly nasty, and insulting. Black leaders (not the cowardly lawn jockeys) must speak out. Obama has won more primaries, caucuses and delegates than Clinton has. Mathematically, it is nearly impossible for her to overtake his lead, but the Clintons see McCain as the weakest Republican presidential nominee since President Gerald Ford, and they will not give it up. If the situation were opposite, you would have a chorus of party leaders demanding that Obama drop out in the name of Democratic Party unity. In short, Clinton is all too willing to see the party destroyed, instead of facing the reality that the voters have spoken, and they don’t want her. She should get out of the race because it’s over. If she does not, there will be an awakening that will change the Democratic Party for decades. So, get to stepping!
James O. “Jim” Hill Sr., a retired public administrator and Broward County resident, has published a book about his family’s remarkable history. Titled The Emancipation of Eight Generations, it chronicles the trials, tribulations and accomplishments of the Texas-based Chambers family, dating back to slavery. It is accompanied by a work booklet, and is being reviewed for consideration to become part of the Broward County School District’s regular curriculum.
After fighting with her husband, authorities say, Leslie Brown, 34, of Port St. Lucie, loaded her child and some personal belongings into the family’s van to leave. But instead of leaving the area, she drove around the yard, trying to run over her husband, investigators say. She was booked into the St. Lucie County jail on charges of child abuse and assault with a deadly weapon, authorities say. Maybe they need to get her some counseling, too.
Sunrise Middle School is the focus of an ongoing investigation by the Broward School District’s Special Investigations Unit, which is the district’s police agency. Sunrise Middle Principal Rebecca Dahl said she was not aware of the investigation, and therefore would not comment on it. Nevertheless, district spokesman Keith Bromery confirmed that there is an open investigation. Without elaborating, Bromery acknowledged that the investigation centers on “allegations of improprieties.” When asked if those improprieties were financial in nature, or if they had anything to do with the numerous programs offered at the school, Bromery would neither confirm nor deny.
Curtis and Elease Ross, a retired and disabled Lauderhill couple whose daughter, also disabled, lives in a Miami-area assisted living facility, found themselves being investigated after reporting to the facility’s managers that their daughter alleged she was raped at the home. Someone from the facility contacted Lauderhill police and told them the rape occurred at the Ross’ home while their daughter visited them there. The couple has been cleared by Lauderhill police, but their reputations are ruined and they are barred from visiting their daughter or even speaking to her on the phone. They have also been required to undergo counseling, but no one is telling them why, and it is just not right. Now, everyone at the facility has clammed up, and Miami-Dade prosecutors are not saying if they are probing the allegation of the rape at the Miami facility, but we intend to get to the bottom of it.
Jason Ozmon, 29, of Chatham, N.Y. was arrested this past Easter at a beach in St. Lucie County, after he stood in the surf and repeatedly proclaimed he was the “son of Christ.’’ The problem is that he was naked, and he approached several families and their children while doing so. He was booked and taken to the St. Lucie County jail on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, and indecent exposure.