SAVE A GENERATION
Dr. Willie Myles, founder and CEO of Friends of Children, Youth & Families, Inc., has begun an effort to rescue youth from the path of destruction. Myles has begun sending out email blasts with news reports and study results, chronicling the deterioration of black youth. He hopes to bring more attention to the crisis that black youth are facing. Friends of Children is a social services agency that has operated for more than 15 years. It assists the underserved in several Florida counties. The group is currently organizing an emergency summit on sexually transmitted diseases among teens. Myles is on the right track, and this is yet another example of the good that can be done in our communities. If you would like to join this effort, call 954-578-8399.
Donald James Amchir, 43, the former manager the Comfort Inn Oceanside at 50 SE 20th Ave. in Deerfield Beach, has been arrested on grand theft charges. Police allege Amchir stole cash deposits and altered deposit slips to steal $47,999 after he was hired in January 2007.
Deeceenda Hill, a 26-year-old Fort Lauderdale woman whose car crashed into an electric pole at the intersection of Northwest 19th Street and Northwest 31st Avenue in the wee morning hours of May 2, died this week. Police are seeking the public’s help to determine what led to the single-car crash and why she lost control of the red Camaro she was driving. Anyone who may have witnessed the accident is asked to call 954-828-5753.
LOST & UNFOUND
State Sen. Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami, shed a few tears, but she did tell senate President Ken Pruitt about his indifference toward her during this past legislative session. Bullard accused Pruitt of ignoring her and refusing to recognize her to speak on matters before the legislative body. Pruitt apologized, and then abruptly recessed the chamber, which is childish. Other legislators consoled Bullard, but none had the backbone to publicly call Pruitt on the carpet over his insulting and disrespectful conduct. Speaking of the Legislature, where is state Sen. Mandy Dawson? She is leaving her seat due to term limits, but did she show up during the last session, and what will she do next?
While the pockets of residents are being picked in the form of higher taxes and costs for services, top administrators in the city of Dania Beach have enjoyed staggering salary increases over the past few years. I have asked for a detailed list of exactly how much City Manager Ivan Pato and others have taken in over the past few years, and I hear they are not too happy about the request in city hall, but oh well.
Janea Randolph, 18, has been charged with falsely claiming last week that she was kidnapped and raped by a man at a gas station at 3 a.m. Miami-Dade Police investigators say she admitted to making up the story during questioning, but have not said why she did so.
WAKE UP, PEOPLE
While our attention was being diverted on fringe issues, the quiet move to implement a common currency between the U.S., Mexico and Canada may have gotten an unwanted boost. The Iranian government announced it will now only accept Euros for its oil instead of U.S. dollars. The euro is the common currency of several European countries. At this same time, there are reports of cab drivers, drug dealers and prostitutes in the Caribbean requiring payments in Euros as well. This is rekindling discussions about the Amero, which is the first unofficial rendering of a common North American currency. In theory, it would function like the euro, and would replace the U.S. and Canadian dollars, as well as the Mexican peso. The Amero is a bad idea, and everyone should learn as much as they can about it.
Beverley D. Ingram purchased a swath of prime property across the street from Osswald Park in Fort Lauderdale in 1993. At the time, several county programs, including a polling place, occupied two buildings on the land with no lease or rental agreement. Broward County officials behaved like deadbeat squatters, and arrogantly used her facilities for nearly 24 years, rent free, and refused to pay her a dime. She was finally able to evict them last month. Now, they are in court trying to steal her land by claiming they have some type of ownership interest in the property. This is a disgrace. The county just wants her land, and it’s not right. I’ll bet you won’t hear a peep out of the cowardly NAACP, or the hapless, poor-hustling Broward Black Elected Officials organizations on this one.
There has been a shakeup in the Mount Olive Development Corporation (MODCO), and it could get messy. MODCO is the community development organization headed by CEO Dr. Rosalind Osgood, which, among other things, provides low-income housing for the poor. I exposed this group in a 2006 investigative report that revealed how members of the organization were sneaking around, trying to sell off their low-income housing complexes to developers, who would convert them into condominiums. Osgood has terminated one top-level administrator, and the rumors are flying; but wait until you see the reasons behind the firing.
Jacqueline Nelson, a staffer in the office of Lauderdale Lakes City Manager Anita Fain-Taylor, used city funds in January 2007 to emboss, mount, and frame a 1971 newspaper article about Leroy Williams, a Pensacola man. The city’s FedEx account was also used to have the items shipped to Winter Hawk Graphics, now located in North Carolina, overnight. A check of records shows no city-related business or other connection to the man. The total amount spent is less than $200, but Fain-Taylor refuses to explain the use of taxpayers’ resources on it. This is just one example of questionable expenditures by Fain-Taylor’s staff. It is time for commissioners to get answers, or seek her resignation or firing. It’s the public’s money and they have a right to know.
Businessman, author, and motivational speaker James Amps III will be the keynote speaker at The Charmettes’ annual “Spring Expressions” program on May 18. The event will honor teens and other individuals for their service to the community. Students from the Dillard High School Center for the Arts will provide entertainment. The Charmettes is a community, civic, and social women’s organization that first began recruiting members in Broward County in 1957. The May 18 event will take place at 2:30 p.m. at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd. near Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-625-2800 for additional information.
HELP HIM, HOWARD
Broward Public Defender “Help Me” Howard Finkelstein will face Davie attorney Alex Arreaza in the Aug. 26 Democratic primary to hold onto his seat. Arreaza holds the view that the office represents too many people who can afford to pay for their own attorneys. This is a ridiculous notion. Courtrooms are full of people who are railroaded every day, simply because they cannot afford to hire private lawyers, and the Public Defender’s Office does not have enough attorneys to represent them. Howard needs help, Arreaza.
Patrick Lynch has left employment with the city of Fort Lauderdale, where he worked in the finance department. He was hired in 2005, even though he admitted, during a pre-polygraph test interview, to using illegal drugs. Lynch was hired anyway, which is outrageous, not to mention unfair. Fort Lauderdale routinely fires employees who test positive for any drug use, and refuses to hire those who have evidence of drug use in their past, but Lynch was given special treatment, and it is not right.
ELGIN JONES. EJones@SFLTimes.com