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Dr. Ben Carson, Brilliant Idiot

Thursday, March 09, 2017

By Veronica Mackey


“He was the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland from 1984 until his retirement in 2013. As a pioneer in neurosurgery, Carson's achievements include performing the only successful separation of conjoined twins joined at the back of the head, pioneering the first successful neurosurgical procedure on a fetus inside the womb, performing the first completely successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins…”--Wikipedia


This abbreviated biography of Dr. Ben Carson is more than impressive. In fact, anyone with these accolades is in a special category reserved for geniuses.  Unfortunately, for Dr. Carson, these high level achievements seem misplaced as soon as he opens his mouth.  Since he came on the political scene in 2014, Carson has made a number of eyebrow-raising remarks that make me wonder how he ever became the head of pediatric neurosurgery or any other lofty thing.


As a follower of Dr. Carson, I have always admired his work.  I mean, separating conjoined twins and having them leave the hospital alive—who does that?  And when you’re black, pulling something off like this is even more amazing because of what he most likely had to go through just to get through medical school.


Carson was not born privileged, but his ties to the black experience in America have clearly unraveled.  “I often question the blackness of people like Ben Carson—black folks who’ve reached high levels of achievement,” Inglewood businessman James Woods said.  “They tend to take on white sensibilities and distance themselves from the black experience.  There’s a lot you cannot tell just by looking at us and our black skin.”


As much as I admired Dr. Carson as a surgeon, that admiration quickly turned to contempt when he decided to run for president.  A whole new man emerged, one I did not recognize or even like.  He got on my bad side when he began dogging my president (Obama). He made some pretty outlandish remarks, such as:


“Anyone caught involved in voter fraud should be immediately deported and have his citizenship revoked.”  He actually advocated for stripping non-citizens of their non-existent American citizenship if they are caught voting.  


“Obamacare is the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. In a way, it is slavery, because it is making all of us subservient to the government.” How could a doctor—a black doctor—say such a thing?  When poor and low income families have access to affordable care, they get better.  Who cares if they were helped by government funds?


When Donald Trump asked Carson to head the Department of Health and Human Services after dropping out of the presidential race months earlier, that job seemed like a good fit. But he turned it down.


Carson confidant Armstrong Williams told CNN, “He's never run an agency and it's a lot to ask.” Yet, Carson wanted to be our next president. As soon as things started to make sense, he accepted another cabinet post—heading the Department of Housing and Urban Development—a job he knows nothing about.


The good doctor apparently knows even less about American history.  He told his new HUD employees on Monday: “There were other immigrants who came in the bottom of slave ships, who worked even longer, even harder, for less, but they too had a dream…" 


Somebody give Carson a history book and a dictionary quick!  Slaves are not immigrants and immigrants are not slaves.  As far as slaves working harder, they had the most powerful of incentives—beatings, rapes, the threat of death.  Slaves did work harder for less, but for less than what?  Free?


And if Carson thinks slaves came here to pursue their dreams, he’s the only one who’s dreamin’.


With a successful medical career behind him, fame and fortune, Ben Carson is in good shape. He should do all of us a favor and resign as the HUD head before any serious damage is done.  He should travel the world and enjoy his golden years as Dr. Ben Carson, Brilliant Idiot.






By Angel Johnson


The Los Angeles Promise Fund announced it will open a new film and television academy. LA Charter High School #1 is set to open in South Los Angeles for the 2017-2018 school year.


“The LA Promise Charter High School hopes to become a place of high quality education with strong community partnerships,” Qiana O’Leary, principal of the school said.


Founders were inspired to create a film based school to help get Millennials engaged in learning. When students are engaged, attendance rates and test scores increase, O’Leary said.


She has worked in education for 15 years. She’s served as a teacher and has taken on administrative roles.


The Los Angeles Charter School #1 will enroll 440 students. They have partnerships with independent production companies to help teach the students the elements of film and television. They will learn how to edit, write scripts and work with audio.


Students who attend The LA Charter High School #1 will also be able to obtain college credits. By the time they graduate from high school they can leave with an Associate's Degree.


“Even if they don’t pursue a career in film, they will still obtain skills that will help them in the workforce,” O’Leary said.


Not only will the school serve the students, but they will also provide resources for their families and the community.


Though the school is dedicated to helping students in South LA, enrollment is open to students throughout the LA area. To learn more go to






By Veronica Mackey


Family and supporters of Kisha Michaels and Marquintan Sandlin, slain by Inglewood police a year ago, showed up again at the Inglewood Council meeting to keep the shooting incident in the public’s eye.  


A couple of residents called for an expedient end to the investigation, which has so far offered few answers about what actually happened to the couple in the early morning of February 21, 2016.  A woman spoke on behalf of Black Lives Matter and wanted more accountability from the police department


A priest at Holy Faith Episcopal Church came to offer his support and prayers to the family and friends of Michaels and Sandlin. “I want to call on the city council to do everything in your power to make sure there is justice, and there is communication with the family, and that you work to reform the Citizen Police Oversight Commission to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”


Willie Agee responded to a comment that the council is insensitive to the families of Michaels and Sandlin. “I don’t think there is a person in here who has not lost a loved one.  These are race baiters that come in here. I don’t appreciate that,” he said.


This comment was met by shouts from the audience and calls for justice.


At the same time, the council and audience recognized Inglewood Police Captain David Saucedo with public remarks, a standing ovation and an appreciative round of applause.  Captain Saucedo is leaving the department to serve as Chief of the Baldwin Park Police Department. 


“I work for you,” Saucedo said.  “I am working for the people…That’s how we’re going to progress.”


Councilman George Dotson thanked his assistant, Alicia Smith, for “putting on one of the best town hall meetings since I’ve been on the city council.”  He added, “Those of you who missed the meeting, don’t miss the next one.”  Dotson congratulated Saucedo on his promotion.


Councilman Alex Padilla added his well wishes for Saucedo:  “To see a friend move on to Baldwin Park is very exciting, and I wish you nothing but the very best,” he said. 


Councilman Ralph Franklin echoed Padilla’s remarks, then addressed those who came to support Michaels and Sandlin.  “To that point, I too, am waiting for the result.  The council is not allowed to interfere with the investigation.  We want to make sure the police do their due diligence…We hope in the next 30 days—now 3 weeks—that this will be solved.”


“Both the police association and myself contributed to their services. I attended the services…We are not allowed to contact the families directly. They are represented by attorneys.  With that said, we give our condolences to the families,” Mayor James Butts said.


The mayor told Captain Saucedo:  “Two of the last police chiefs came from Inglewood, the Santa Monica police chief and (you). We’re really gonna miss you. We’re definitely not saying goodbye, we’re saying farewell because we’re going to see you again.”


The council approved a Memorandum of Understanding Agreement with the County of Los Angeles to release the Voter Information Management System files; payment of invoices for automation professional services; rejection of all bids submitted for the New Well No. 7 Construction Project and authorization to revise and rebid the project; and payment of an invoice for emergency flood mitigation response services.  


Council members also voted to amend the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget in the amount of $190,572 to reimburse the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for ineligible personnel costs with General Funds. Housing, Section 8, And CDBG Department staff got the green light to use $10,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for program incidentals related to essential services of the Homeless Tenant Based Rental Assistance program. 


A public hearing was set for March 21, 2017 at 2:00pm to consider an appeal of the Planning Commission’s denial of Special Use Permit No. 2016-013 to allow a beauty salon within 300 feet of a similar use at 10800 S. Prairie Avenue. 


Johnson Wins Gardena Mayor’s Race

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Replaces Former Mayor Paul Tanaka, Now in Prison


Municipal Elections were held on Tuesday in Los Angeles and in a few South Bay cities.  Here is how our neighbors voted on some of the races and measures:


City of Los Angeles:


It was an easy night for L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, winning 80 percent of the votes over his nearest rival Mitchell Schwartz, a distant second with 8.22 percent.  Garcetti raked in more than $3.8 million for his campaign.


In L.A.’s sprawling Ninth Council District, incumbent and former Inglewood Councilman Curren Price won re-election with 62.71 percent of the vote over his closest competitor, Jorge Nunoz with 22.93 percent.


City of Gardena:


Dr. Rachel C. Johnson is Gardena’s new mayor-elect.  She narrowly won the race, beating Councilwoman Tasha Cerda by just 12 points. Johnson finished with 21.73 percent to Cerda’s 21.45 percent.  Dr. Johnson is a retired educator and former Gardena councilwoman.


The seat was made vacant when former Mayor Paul Tanaka resigned after being   convicted of blocking an FBI investigation into Los Angeles County jails when he was undersheriff of the Sheriff’s Department.   He is serving a five-year prison sentence.


Rodney Tanaka (not related to Paul Tanaka) and Harout “Art” Kaskanian will fill the two vacant council seats. Tanaka won 27.26 percent of votes while Kaskanian won 17.52 percent.


Ballot Measures


Measure H


Voters said yes to Measure H, the ballot initiative that calls for a quarter-cent sales tax to help the homeless in L.A. County.  The goal is to raise funds to build 10,000 affordable-housing units for the homeless.


An estimated 47,000 people are considered homeless in Los Angeles County on any given night, according to the 2016 results of a count overseen by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.


Measure M


Cannabis dispensaries must obtain state and local licenses starting next year, based on legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.  Although pot shops were outlawed in L.A. under voter-approved Proposition D in 2013, the measure established a look-the-other-way system under which about 135 shops were granted limited legal immunity.


Measure S 


This measure was defeated with 68.85 percent of the vote.  Placed on the ballot by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Measure S would have limited large-scale development by placing a two-year moratorium on all projects seeking exemptions from the city's planning laws.


On April 4, 2017, Inglewood voters will elect or re-elect council representatives for the 1st and 2nd Districts.  Seats 1, 2, and 3 also need to be filled in the school advisory board race. 


Here’s a sneak peek at the ballot:


In Council District 1, incumbent George W. Dotson is running against retired graphic artist Leroy N. Fisher and community advocate Maxine Toler.  Information could not be found on Hugo Ramirez, also in the District 1 council race.  


Councilman Alex Padilla is running in District 2 unopposed.  


Three seats on the Inglewood Unified School District Advisory Board of Education are up for election.  Seat 1 incumbent Margaret Richards-Bowers did not file to run for re-election, leaving the seat open for a newcomer. Dionne Young Faulk and Odest Riley Jr. are running for that seat.  Faulk is a community activist.  Riley is a real estate and financial specialist.  In their bids for re-election, Seat 2 incumbent Carliss McGhee and Seat 3 incumbent Melody O. Ngaue-Tuuholoaki are running unopposed. 


In addition to choosing school board members, voters will decide on Measure DE, which seeks permission to change the district's method of conducting elections. 


 Voters are encouraged to become familiar with the candidates.  Early voting begins on March 6.  If you have recently moved or have never voted, you will need to register by March 20, 2017 either online at or in the City Clerk’s office in Inglewood City Hall.



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