Angelica

Angelica

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Get the Upper Hand on School Bullies

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hearing about the tragic fate of Gabriel Taye, an 8 year-old black boy who took his own life as a result of being bullied, broke my heart.  

 

Not only is Gabriel among the youngest suicide victims I have heard about, but it points to a serious social problem that has turned deadly over the years.

 

School bullies have been around forever, but what has changed is its reach and intensity.   There are now more ways for bad guys and girls to intimidate their victims thanks to the Internet, social media sites, cell phones and videos.  

 

Gabriel hung himself with a necktie after being knocked unconscious in a school bathroom in January, according to reports. Now his parents, who claim they were never notified by the school until receiving a call from the school nurse who advised them to take Gabriel to the hospital for evaluation after the incident two days before he died.

 

His mother said she knew nothing about previous incidences of her son being bullied until a lawsuit revealed surveillance footage. The school is accused of a massive cover-up. Other parents at Carson Elementary School, where the incident happened, say their children have also been bullied and that the school is not safe.  

 

The lawsuit further states that in a report on bullying released by the Cincinnati Public Schools district, which includes Carson, the assault on Gabriel and its aftermath were never mentioned.  The school district has previously said that school officials didn’t know Gabriel was attacked, that he initially told a nurse that he fell, and that there were no visible abrasions or reports of a fight.

 

With a new school year just around the corner, it’s time for parents to prepare their children for school, and that means emotionally as well as academically. Kids, especially younger ones, are often afraid bullies will beat them up if they tell adults what is going on.  

 

They need the help of adults who will have their backs and work with schools and police whenever bullying occurs.  Other than monitoring your child’s social media activity and paying attention to any changes in behavior (withdrawal, ditching school, physical bruises, etc.), parents need to take advantage of resources which may not have been around when they were in school. 

 

Websites like eyesonbullying.org and stopbullying.gov, and bullying expert James Gavsie’s book,The Renegade’s Guide to Stopping Bullies, offer safe ways to tackle this problem.  Keeping your child safe is the responsibility of parents and schools.  Get off to a good start this school year by helping your child feel safe and protected.

 

 

 

 

By Veronica Mackey

 

A group of proud City of Inglewood employees piled into Council Chambers on Tuesday to be recognized for their years of faithful service.  Names of City workers were announced, who are  celebrating milestone employment anniversaries.  

 

They include 30-year employees Carmen Hayes, Chandra Caldwell, Tonuia Alleyne, and Brenda Davis; 25-year employees Aleathia Mc Cann-Scott, Christopher Beckman, Paulita Richards, and Joseph Watson; and 20-year veterans Javier Alcala, Jack Aranda, Jose Fernandez, Sgt. Felipe Medina, and Jesus Perez. 

 

Special recognition went to Police Chief Mark Fronterotta and Library Support Supervisor Susan Cunningham, for 35 years of service.

 

Folks had nice things to say about last weekend’s Taste of Inglewood and the District 1 Family Day in the Park.  Resident Yolanda Davidson was there, and gave the event high marks.

 

“A taste of Inglewood was a great community effort in terms of the community coming together,” a man told City Council members.  “Thanks for bringing progress to the city.”  

 

A few residents are concerned about new developments throughout Inglewood, and rising home values.  They wanted to know if the council will do anything about rent control.

 

“Fifty-three percent of your neighbors are renters in the city. Many home owners cannot afford to make improvements due to high property taxes.  We want stronger rent control,” a man said. 

 

A woman is concerned that “crime is really going up.”  She said it’s not safe to walk the streets in Inglewood.

 

She was interrupted by Mayor James Butts, who said, “We have had 3 homicides in the past 3 weeks and we are concerned.”  However, he continued, violent crime is down in Inglewood.

 

A man complained that he received 14 letters from an organization warning him that his property might be taken away to make room for a proposed basketball arena for the Los Angeles Clippers.  

 

“Does anyone want some of this?” he joked, holding the letters.

 

 “I already got one of those, thank you,” another man said.

 

Butts said the letters are propaganda from an organization that wants to hurt the City.  

 

A man responded to the woman who complained about crime.   “I’m an active block club member, and I follow crime in Inglewood.  You’ll see where there are active block clubs, the crime is down.  All I can say is start stepping up and attend block club meetings.  Even if you live in an apartment, you can have a block club.”  The man said he’d be happy to help people form clubs in their neighborhoods.

 

Councilman George Dotson thanked everyone who came to his District 1 Family Day in the Park.  “It’s one of the best events I’ve ever been part of,” Dotson said.  

 

Councilman Alex Padilla took his wife to the Family Day picnic and Taste of Inglewood for her birthday.  “My hat’s off to Councilman Dotson and his staff for putting on such a wonderful community event,” Padilla said.  

 

The Second District councilman also reminded everyone about National Night Out, a nationwide celebration between residents and local police, which took place Tuesday night.  “They (police) put their lives on the line every single day.  Tonight the community has an opportunity to come out and say thank you.”

 

Councilman Eloy Morales thanked police for participating in the District 3 bicycle event on Saturday. Taste of Inglewood and Family Day at Edward Vincent Park, he said, was also a big hit on Saturday.  

 

Butts’ closing comments focused on recent attempts to “intimidate” residents with flyers saying the City plans to take away people’s homes away to build the Clippers arena.  He said there is a lot of money behind the propaganda.  

 

“There are people that think we are pretty stupid.  They think (they can intimidate by) manufacturing a grass roots opposition to an agreement (with the Clippers) that might not go anywhere.  I want to tell whoever is financing this, forget it.  This council is not going to be intimidated! 

 

“No one intends to take anyone’s home for a sporting arena.  Whoever thought you’re going to scare us, it’s not going to happen,” Butts said.

 

Two public hearings were held. The first discussed tax assessments on residences with delinquent refuse and sewer accounts.  The second was held to approve the Inglewood annual Local Development Report for 2017.  The report includes “54 new dwelling units, reduction of single family residents (some became multi-family residents) and over 100,000 square feet of commercial space, which is the new senior center,” Public Works Director Louis Atwell said.

 

The Inglewood City Council approved:

 

•The City’s inclusion in the California Statewide Communities Development Authority Open Property Assessed Clean Energy Program to finance renewable energy generation, energy and water efficiency improvements, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure

 

•A three-year agreement with Passport Parking for software and mobile printers to be used in City owned handheld devices utilized by Parking Enforcement Officers 

 

•An agreement with The Baseball Tomorrow Fund for a field maintenance grant for Darby Park

 

 

•Payment of an invoice submitted by Lawrence Doors for the replacement of the exit security roll-up door located at the City Hall management parking structure  

 

•Introduction of an ordinance to amend Inglewood Municipal Code, Chapter 3 (Motor Vehicles and Traffic), Article 2 (Parking Regulations), to increase certain Parking Penalties 

 

•Amending the Inglewood Municipal Code to establish Permit Parking District No. 15, adding to the District: Ivy Avenue (between Beach Avenue and La Brea Avenue); Market Street (between Hazel Street and Beach Avenue); and Edgewood Street (between Beach Avenue and Warren Lane)

 

•Ordinance No. 17-13, amending the Inglewood Municipal Code to create Permit Parking District No. 16, adding to the District: Regent Street between west of Oak Street and the street terminus to the west 

 

•Ordinance No. 17-14, amending the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Salary Ordinance to include the Inglewood Police Management Association negotiated salary increases

 

On Tuesday night, about 200 people gathered behind the Inglewood Police Station, on Grevillea, between Queen and Regent streets, for National Night Out.  The annual community-building campaign promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. 

 

National Night Out brings together civilians and law enforcement under positive circumstances. “It helps people put a name to a face so the community can know the officers better,” said Inglewood Police Sergeant Juan Ferreira.    

 

Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August (Texas celebrates on the first Tuesday in October). Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.

 

The Inglewood event featured appearances by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Inglewood Mayor James Butts and council members, and Police Chief Mark Fronterotta.  There were plenty of fun activities which allowed for positive police-civilian interaction, including police special weapons and canine displays. Kids enjoyed face painting, computer games, popcorn and glow sticks.   

 

“It was a great opportunity for the community and police to come together and make our streets safer, because we’re all in this together,” Ferreira said.  

 

National Night Out sponsors included: Target, Kinecta, Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce, Power 106 FM, Los Angeles Chargers, Inglewood Rotary Club, Inglewood Today, Starbucks, and GNC.

 

 

By Veronica Mackey

 

Last week, Inglewood Today reported that Madison Square Garden (MSG), owner of the Forum, filed a claim for damages against the City of Inglewood.  That claim was followed by a lawsuit, filed July 28 by MSG.

 

MSG says the City’s agreement with the Los Angeles Clippers to negotiate building a new basketball arena is a “clear violation of the City’s Development Agreement” with the Forum. 

 

Inglewood signed a three-year Exclusive Negotiations Agreement (ENA) with the Clippers in June.  It allows the Clippers to negotiate with the City about use of the property, located south of Century Blvd., across the street from the new football stadium, now under construction.  The team agreed to pay Inglewood $1.5 million for city expenses.

 

Marvin Putnam, a partner with the law firm Latham & Watkins, and attorney for MSG, said his client was tricked into giving up their lease on the parcel of City-owned property.  

 

 “The City made it extremely clear that it wanted the land back for a technology park that would serve as a kind of Silicon Beach for Inglewood. We agreed to give back the land based on that understanding,” Putnam said in a statement.  He continued, “We were absolutely stunned when, two months later, the City announced its deal with the Clippers.” 

 

The proposed 20,000-seat arena would be privately funded by Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and would be built less than 2 miles from the Forum.  MSG contends that the proposed venue would  hurt business. Adding to the dispute is the fact that Madison Square Garden owns the New York Nicks basketball team. 

 

Major James Butts defended the City’s right to use its own property, and denied that it pulled any bait-and-switch maneuvers, as MSG has claimed.

 

Butts told sports radio host Fred Roggin last week, “There is no bait-and-switch.  This is City-owned land, and we have every right to develop it, and we aren’t doing anything to harm the Forum.  The Forum is our number one source of tax revenue.” 

 

According to sources, there is no written proof of what was said between MSG and the City.  However, MSG says its approved contract specifies the City would not use the land for anything that would hurt the Forum’s business, according to documents.

 

Butts said the proposed arena would be used for basketball, and the Forum is the number one concert venue in Southern California.  

 

“The reality is there are ways they can work in a reciprocal fashion, where there would be no harm done,” the mayor said.

 

He added, “It’s a false narrative to believe that the Staples Center, which is 20 minutes away, is no threat to them, but a basketball arena a mile and a quarter away is.”

 

The Inglewood City Council, City Successor Agency and the Inglewood Parking Authority voted unanimously again on July 21to keep its existing Exclusive Negotiations Agreement

with the Clippers.  

 

 “We still cherish our relationship. It’s (Forum) still the number one concert venue in Southern California.  We’re having a little disagreement now with regard to the City’s right to self-determination, which we maintain.  We will always have our right to self-determination.”

 

If the Clippers decides to build a new arena in 2020 and is not legally barred from doing so after the 3-year agreement with the City ends, the team will continue to play at Staples Center until its lease is up in 2024.

 

In 2012, Inglewood gave MSG an $18-million commercial rehabilitation loan. The debt was forgivable only if the company spent an initial $50 million on Forum improvements.  The Forum re-opened with a $100 million investment in 2014

 

 

 

 

The new $2.6 billion football stadium, currently under  construction in Inglewood, continues to attract new opportunities, although it won’t officially open for another 3 years.

 

In addition to being the future home for the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, the venue, to be located at Century and Prairie, will also host the NFL’s Super Bowl in 2022, and opening ceremonies for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.  

 

Now, sources say, billionaire stadium and Rams owner Stan Kroenke has approached Pac 12 execs about bringing the college football championship to Inglewood, when the stadium opens in 2020.  The Oakland Raiders organization has also reached out to the Pac 12 about hosting the games in Las Vegas.  A new stadium is being built there for the Raiders when the team relocates.  That stadium is also expected to open in 2020.  

 

Both cities are in the running for the decision after 2019.  For now, the Pac-12 title games will remain at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, where they have been held since 2014.  Levi’s Stadium is the home of the San Francisco 49ers. 

 

Meanwhile, the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament is currently held in Las Vegas. But the tournament was previously played in Los Angeles at Staples Center from 2002 until 2012.

 

The conference announced last week that it had reached an extension for the Northern California stadium to continue hosting the title game through the 2019 season, which includes an option for 2020. 

 

Larry Scott, Pac-12 conference commissioner, said “It’s exciting to be in a part of the country where there’s going to be these big investments in new, state-of-the-art NFL venues …but that’s down the road. We’re in the right place for us now.”

 

The Pac-12 Conference is a collegiate athletic conference that operates in the Western United States, participating in 22 sports at the NCAA Division I level. Its football team’s 12 members are located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.  California teams include UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, and Stanford.

 

 

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