Commentary (135)

Veteran Homelessness is Showing Progress

Written by Thursday, November 05, 2015
The huge scandal which rocked the U.S. Veterans Health Administration last year shined a light on conditions which no one who has served in the military should ever face. CNN reported on April 30, 2014 that at least 40 United States Armed Forces veterans died while waiting for care at the Phoenix, Arizona, Veterans Health Administration facilities. By June 5, 2014, Veterans Affairs internal investigations had identified 35 veterans who had died while waiting for care in the Phoenix VHA system. The House passed legislation to fund a $1 million criminal investigation by the Justice Department. Top health official, Dr.…
When Republicans meet in Colorado Wednesday night it will be the first time in more than 100 days that someone other than Donald Trump was on top. Polls indicate that Dr. Ben Carson is leading “The Donald” 26% to 22%. With a black man leading the race to the White House, and the media still buzzing about Monday’s video of white sheriff’s deputy Ben Fields slamming and throwing a black teenage girl across the classroom, now might be a good time to talk about what’s on everyone’s mind—racism and excessive force by police against African Americans. Now would be a…

How to Fight Medical Stereotypes

Written by Thursday, October 22, 2015
In the last year, we have seen the devastating effects of racial stereotyping. The number of unarmed black men who have been killed by police officers is astonishing. And regardless of the reasons offered by police, the victims all had one thing in common. Not only were they black but because of their race, they were racially profiled. While it is bad enough being wrongly singled out as a violent criminal by those sworn to protect you, it is equally dangerous being stereotyped by a highly respectable professional whose job is to help save your life—your very own doctor. Recently,…
The people of Inglewood received a close-up look at the ugly side of the sports business this past week, when Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG)raised phony safety warnings about the plan to build a new professional sports stadium at Hollywood Park. Before the City of Champions Revitalization Plan had even been announced, AEG had hired former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to criticize the idea because LAX is located a few miles away. The truth is that sports venues all over the United States are located near airports – many of them even closer than Hollywood Park is to LAX –…

Debunking the Stereotype of “Free Stuff”

Written by Thursday, October 01, 2015
When GOP candidate Jeb Bush discussed how he'd win over the black electorate, he could not help putting his foot in his mouth. Trying to distinguish his party from Democrats, he alluded to black voters as people who only want a hand out. “Our message is one of hope and aspiration," he said. "It isn't one of division and, 'Get in line, and we'll take care of you with free stuff.’” The stuff he refers to is presumably public assistance, food stamps, etc. Although not as damaging as Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment, the way Bush views African Americans is…

City Budget An Example of Solid Financial Planning

Written by Thursday, September 24, 2015
Four years ago, the City of Inglewood had $11 million in the bank. Now it has around $43 million—nearly 4 times as much! It took a lot of creativity and heart-wrenching decision making to turn things around. But actually improving the City’s finances is not that different from what most families deal with every day. The dynamics are the same, and it got me to thinking what families could do to improve their own financial situations. A significant part of Inglewood’s budget deficit was caused by unfunded liabilities, particularly retiree lifetime medical benefits. These benefits were extended to all Inglewood…

Hispanic Heritage Month Offers Learning Moments

Written by Thursday, September 17, 2015
During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) we recognize and celebrate the important contributions and presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States. Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is October 12. The terms Hispanic or Latino incorporates everyone of Spanish culture or origin, regardless of nationality. This includes, but…

Remembering Cynthia

Written by Thursday, September 10, 2015
My heart has skipped a couple of beats since I got the news moments ago that Cynthia Manker, former Associate Editor of Inglewood Today, has passed. While I am still trying to wrap my head around what has happened, I am certain she is in a better place. Cynthia was forced to quit working in 2011 when she had a stroke. She never made a full recovery, although she continued to receive treatment and rehabilitation. Prior to this, she was plagued by other health challenges. But regardless, there are not many people I have met with more energy. Even when…

Strategic Laziness is a Good Thing

Written by Thursday, September 03, 2015
Labor Day Weekend is upon us—another opportunity to lay in the shade, kick back and enjoy barbecue. After all, that is what holidays are for, right? For many of us this, Labor Day is the “last hoorah,” the transition day that signals the end of summer and beginning of back to school or work. There is a mental attachment to this holiday which carries the message that fun time is over. It’s time to sharpen our pencils and settle down. Summer is such fun, and it’s sad to see it go. But it got me thinking of ways to extend…

The Heart of a Servant

Written by Thursday, August 27, 2015
On August 23, I attended the annual Gardena Jazz Festival. Former Assemblymember Steven Bradford (whose district included Inglewood) has been organizing the event for years, bringing top jazz entertainers to the South Bay. As usual, the music was phenomenal. However, what made this festival even extra special was the addition of youth volunteers assigned to welcome and seat the guests. There were young high school students catering to people. They were so nice, professional and respectful that I just have to acknowledge them. In this age where young people are doing many negative things to get attention, it’s so nice…
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