Angelica

Angelica

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mayor James Butts has responded to an eye-opening investigation that revealed some Inglewood schools are operating under unsafe and unsanitary conditions.  In a statement dated Nov. 11, 2014, the mayor said:

 

“When I read the November 6, 2014  KPCC article, I contacted the newly re-elected State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson that same day and forwarded to him by email a copy of the article. . .I explained my concerns regarding the multitude of operational, fiscal and sanitation issues that must be addressed immediately.”

 

The scathing article interviewed staff and volunteers at Inglewood High School, Monroe Middle School and Highland Elementary School.  The investigation revealed the presence of:

 

  •  Mice and rats
  • Water damage

  • Holes in the ceiling

  • An unstable basketball backboard

  • Nonworking toilets

  • Unclean bathrooms

  • Damaged floors

  • Nonworking fire alarms

  • Incidents and threats of violence with no campus security

 

In 2012, the Inglewood school district was taken over by the state due to financial problems.  Former State Sen. Rod Wright authored legislation at the IUSD School Board's request to have the State of California loan the District up to $55 million, to be drawn down as needed.  So far, approximately $29 million has been used.

 

The move stripped the school board of power and put the decision making authority into the hands of a State appointed trustee.  Inglewood has had three trustees within two years.  Current trustee, Don Brann, has been with the district since July 2013, and his authority is subject to review only by the Office of the State Superintendent of Schools

 

 “Unfortunately, 2 years later, and 15 months into the tenure of Dr. Brann, although some progress has been made, a report issued in August by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Team (FCMAT) documents a number of fiscal, operational, and managerial shortcomings, the majority of which are incompatible with a healthy learning environment and are unacceptable for our children,” Mayor Butts said. 

 

He continued:  “Equally unacceptable, neither I nor the Council were briefed contemporaneously by the State Trustee regarding the breadth of the issues chronicled in the FCMAT report.” 

 

According to KPCC, notes were written by independent consultants Brian Hawkins and Dean Bubar for a report issued in August by the FCMAT. 

 

Brann laid off close to 150 employees earlier this year to help cut the deficit.  Those let go included mostly cleaning staff and all 23 campus security guards. Most Inglewood schools have been without security since this school year began.

 

Last week, Brann announced to Inglewood Unified faculty and staff in a memo that the district "has selected 17 individuals to fill safety positions at our school sites as soon as possible," according to KPCC.  In addition to campus security, the new guards will provide other services, including CPR, truancy and drug prevention, and conflict resolution.  Brann said the district expects to hire more school police in the near future.

 

Major improvements to Inglewood schools are planned to begin in 2015, including construction of a brand new Inglewood High School.  The project is estimated to cost $148 million.   

 

Butts said he told Torlakson, “the safety, health and sanitation issues must receive priority.  He (Torlakson) committed to having maintenance crews at Inglewood High this past weekend and on into the week to remediate this situation immediately.”

 

Brann has been criticized for his $300,000 personal security detail contract. In an interview last month with KPCC, Brann said “I don’t want to get hurt here. I don’t know enough about present-day Inglewood to know how good the chances are for that so I’m just erring on the side of safety.”  He later apologized to Butts and the Inglewood City Council for his “insensitive” remarks. Brann admitted he has not received any threats since coming to Inglewood. 

 

"That's a lot of money, that's at least, probably six or seven ... security people," says Chris Graeber, a union official representing non-teaching staff, about Brann’s security cost.    "We say this line, 'the students come first.' Well no, in this case it's the state trustee comes first."

 

Butts, who was re-elected last week, said, “During this term as your Mayor, I will more closely monitor the progress of the State in improving the IUSD and will vociferously advocate for our childrens', parents' and Inglewood taxpayers' interests.  I will periodically advise you as to the status of the State's effort to stabilize and improve the IUSD. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Picks Attorney General Nominee

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Republicans in Congress are expected to push back President Barack Obama’s new Attorney General nominee until at least January 2015.  The cramped post-election schedule, stubborn opponents, and the impending holiday season makes it unlikely anything will be decided in December.

 

Too bad.  “(U.S. Attorney) Loretta Lynch stands out from the crowd, and not just because she’s often the only Black, female face in a sea of white men. The current US District Attorney for the Eastern District of New York has been a fierce advocate for those under her care, including some of the most marginalized groups, and she’s equally unafraid to go up against some big names, including members of Congress,” wrote a blogger on Care2.com.

 

As current U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s first choice, Lynch comes highly recommended for the top spot in the Dept. of Justice.  Holder is resigning. 

 

Lynch has been involved in several key civil rights events, and did pro bono work to bring justice to the genocide situation in Rwanda. She is a Harvard graduate, and has spent a large chunk of her professional career working in the offices of US attorneys and serving as one herself.  She was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the Eastern District of New York in 1999 and she served there until 2001.  Lynch then moved to private litigation and served as a member of the board for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where she prosecuted both Republican and Democratic representatives for fraud and other crimes, and hauled both Citibank and HSBC to court.

President Barack Obama, called her back to the federal sector in 2010, where she has remained as US District Attorney for the Eastern District ever since.

 

The president announced Lynch’s nomination on Nov. 8, but critics say he has moved too slowly.  Some speculate he did not want to rock the boat by publicly choosing her before the election. The shift to a Republican-controlled Senate, which will take shape in January, is expected to give conservatives more momentum to block any of the president’s nominations. 

 

Despite Secretary of State John Kerry’s assessment that there are some nominees who have been waiting more than six months for Senate confirmations, and the high-profile nature of the position, a hearing are not expected to move quickly. 

 

In fact, according to Care2.com, “Members of the conservative community are already out to smear her, and Breitbart (www.Breitbart.com) already made a pretty embarrassing misstep when he confused her with an attorney involved in the Whitewater scandal. Wrong Loretta Lynch, but nice try!”

 

You know you are living in a world of lower standards when retailers are being applauded for not forcing employees to work on a national holiday.  Twenty years ago, the very thought would have been unthinkable.  But that is exactly what is happening this Thanksgiving season. 

 

Stores like Costco, Nordstrom, and Best Buy have announced they will be closed the entire day on Thanksgiving, Nov. 27. Consumers interviewed about this year’s biggest shopping day said they will support stores that honor the holiday by giving their employees the day off.

 

It may not be all about family, however. Best Buy said it’s closing on Turkey Day because there just isn’t enough profit to keep the doors open.  Regardless, closing for Thanksgiving is great P.R.  Retailers may actually save money and employees get to be with their families, so it’s a “win-win.” 

 

Until a few years ago, being open on Thanksgiving Day was only acceptable at restaurants, hospitals and your local 7-Eleven. But when the economy went south, things changed.  Black Friday became Black Thursday.  It fueled an advertising frenzy, filled with all sorts of hype to get shoppers to come out.  The lure of unbelievable deals began pulling people away from the family table in pursuit of the hottest toys or wide screen TVs.

 

This is why so many protest the commercialism of Christmas.  It’s time to stop the madness.

 

Retailers who experimented with the Thanksgiving Day opening argued that it could alleviate some of the craziness of Black Friday.  In recent years, there have been some unfortunate incidents of shoppers being injured—pushed or trampled by fellow customers.

 

In this age of viral social media, negative publicity can be the death knell of a business—especially a big one.  Almost 50,000 people have joined the Facebook group, “Boycott Black Thursday ” to demonstrate against any store that opens on Thanksgiving this year.

 

To those companies who have not yet made the conscious choice to shut down on Thanksgiving, you still have two weeks to make up your mind. Please get this memo:  “Thanksgiving is for watching football and being with family!”  Consumers have a voice now thanks to the Internet, and they won’t be silenced.  We hope you’re listening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is 18-34 Still The Way To Go?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It’s been a general consensus for retailers, businesses, and especially marketers over the years to target the “Ark of The Demographic” 18-34 age group. With the shift in the economy, record high $1 trillion dollar student loan debt, and inflated unemployment rates among this group, the sacred youth demo just may be more secular.

 

Youth runs the world, we get that. In Hollywood, it’s called ageism, a term used to describe the discrimination against older women and how they are pushed aside for young starlets to keep the testosterone levels in the theaters high. Sex is youthful, and Lord knows America sells a ton of that to our audiences. That being said, targeting the young impressionable minds has always proved to be the wise thing to do. However, research is showing that the Great Recession has left a lot of our young people without jobs and disposable income, turning us into frugal old kids.

 

With 54% of Americans between 18 and 24 employed, young adults are more prone to live at home with mom and dad, which translates to a lack of motivation, a lack of professional skill, and a lack of interest in the country’s economy. So, it makes perfect sense why American businesses would slowly begin to shy away from this demographic—they simply wouldn’t care to buy.

 

There have been several articles in relation to this topic, such as “Move Out of Your Parents’ House” and “Save The Economy.”  The articles give a critique on youth culture in America since the 1980’s, and shows how, since the dawn of the Internet Age, Generation Y has become “Generation Why Bother?”

 

I beg to differ. The Internet has created a booming industrial revolution that is still being discovered as we speak. There are more young millionaires and billionaires than there have ever been, thanks to the Internet. We are in an age of innovation and technological advancement so high, that 10-year olds from India are becoming computer programmers and developing sites that help their country’s economic infrastructures. So the Internet is not why Gen Y’ers are having such a hard time.

 

Capitalism has become a practically deregulated economic system. More and more companies spend more and more money on lobbyists and lawyers that exploit loopholes and play backdoor politics with promises of campaign contributions.  This allows the CEOs to outsource industrial jobs to foreign countries to operate at substantially less overhead. The Internet has led to the discovery of these truths, and young people are choosing not to participate and create their own jobs, as research supports that more than 50% of people claim that they know an entrepreneur.

 

I still believe that the sacred demographic is18-34 year-olds because this is a period of great self-discovery for us. We are coming out of our naiveté and into the actualization of our self-knowledge. During this time we explore and experiment, which leads to breakthroughs, and critical masses. Look at Silicon Valley, look at what young people are doing in New York. Los Angeles has had a multitude of youthful culture swells in the past decade.

 

In efforts to shorten the generation gap I won’t make the obvious distinctions between the elders and the youth, but I will say that we see the game, and we don’t like it. Therefore, we aren’t as willing to play the spend, spend, spend game, especially when companies are offering less and less in return yet expecting more production.

 

This method of behavior is a dangerous one, because studies show that learned behaviors early on become hard-to-break habits later.  If we continue with frugality, we won’t have an economy in the next 30-40 years, and our children face a very grim development.

 

On the positive side of things, our country is a forgiving one, and I’m sure that there is a grand plan to forgive the $1 trilllion debt accrued by the millions of Americans who followed the tradition of “Get your education, and get a good job.” After all, we’ve bailed out much worse individuals under the threat of economic collapse, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Washington –The National Trust for Historic Preservation will present its Preservation Honor Award for the restoration of The Forum in Inglewood, CA.  The project is one of 17 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2014 Past Forward National Preservation Conference in Savannah, Ga.

 

The Forum shows that post-World War II sports arenas can find new life. Designed by Charles Luckman, the stadium opened with great fanfare in 1967 as the home of both the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings. It immediately became a Southern California landmark. When the teams later relocated, the Forum was sold to a local church. Underutilized and in disrepair, the building was facing demolition until the Madison Square Garden Company purchased it in 2012.

 

Committed to historic preservation, the company maintained the site’s original character while updating it for modern-day use as a concert venue. The rehabilitation also helped revitalize the surrounding community, bringing hundreds of new jobs and redevelopment to the area.

 

“While each is unique, this year’s outstanding Honor Award winners all reflect the importance of protecting our nation’s cultural heritage,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “Whether it’s the restoration of a center for African American studies in Savannah, or the preservation of the iconic Green Mountain Lookout in Washington state, this year’s Honor Award winners demonstrate how saving places is bolstering local economies and helping preserve the unique fabric of communities throughout the country.” 

 

The award will be presented to The Forum/The Madison Square Garden Company at the Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards ceremony in Savannah, Ga. on November 13, 2014.

 

 

Co-recipients are: Brisbin Brook Beynon, Architects; Clark Construction Group; Severud & Associates; and, Historic Resources Group.

 

 The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. These efforts include citizens’ attempts to save and maintain important landmarks; companies and craftsmen whose work restores the richness of the past; the vision of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation in their communities; and educators and journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation. The winners of the National Preservation Awards will appear online at www.PreservationNation.org/awards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signup For Our Newsletter!

Sign up here to recieve our e-newsletter!