November 29, 2012

By JULIE PACE and

STEVE PEOPLES

Associated Press

 

President Barack Obama will host his former political rival Mitt Romney for a private lunch at the White House Thursday, their first meeting since the election.

Obama promised in his victory speech earlier this month to engage with Romney following their bitter campaign and consider the Re­publican’s ideas.

“In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward,” Obama said at the time.

Obama aides said they reached out to Romney’s team shortly before Thanksgiving to start working on a date for the meeting. The two men will meet in the White House’s private dining room, with no press coverage expected.

In the days after his loss, Romney told top donors that the president was re-elected because of the “gifts” Obama provided to blacks, Hispanics and young voters, all of which are core Obama constituencies.

“The president’s campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift,” Romney said.

Many Republican officials, eager to move on quickly after the loss, disputed Romney’s comments and urged the party to focus on being more inclusive.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama was looking forward to having a “useful ­discussion” with his former competitor. But he said there was no formal agenda for the lunch.

While in Washington, Romney will also meet with his former running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, according to a Romney campaign aide. Ryan is back on Capitol Hill, where he’s involved in negotiations to avert a series of automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts that have come to be known as the “fiscal cliff.”

Much of that debate centers on expiring tax cuts first passed by George W. Bush. Obama and Romney differed sharply during the campaign over what to do with the cuts, with the Republican pushing for them to be extended for all income earners and the president running on a pledge to let the cuts expire for families making more than $250,000 a year.

The White House sees Obama’s victory as a signal that Americans support his tax proposals.

Obama and Romney’s sit-down Thursday will likely be their most extensive private meeting ever. The two men had only a handful of brief exchanges before the 2012 election.

Even after their political fates became intertwined, their interactions were largely confined to the three presidential debates.

Romney has virtually disappeared from politics following his loss in the Nov. 6 election. He's spent the last three weeks largely in seclusion at his family's southern California home. He has made no public appearances, drawing media attention only after being photographed at Disneyland in addition to stops at the movies and the gym with his wife, Ann.

Former aides confirm that Romney is expected to move into an office at the Boston-area venture capital firm Solamere Capital. The firm was founded by his oldest son, Tagg Romney, and Spencer Zwick, who served as his presidential campaign’s national finance chairman.

It’s unclear what role, if any, Romney will play at the firm. Former aides said Romney was subletting office space from Solamere.

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

November 29, 2012

By MIKE SCHNEIDER Associated Press

 

George Zimmerman plans to step up fundraising to pay for his expenses while he awaits trial for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The former neighborhood watch leader’s attorney said Wednesday that Zimmerman plans to launch the New George Zimmerman Defense Fund next month.

Donors will receive “thank you” cards individually signed by Zimmer­man.

Attorney Mark O’Mara said an existing fund has raised $140,000 since last May, but the money it is running a bit low.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and claims the shooting was self-defense under the state’s “stand your ground” law.

A trial is set for June, but a “stand your ground hearing” could be held by April.

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

November 22, 2012

Associated Press

 

A spokesman for a rebel group in Congo believed to be backed by neighboring Rwanda confirmed that his fighters have entered Goma and have taken the city's international airport. The assault was punctuated by heavy gunfire.

Col. Vianney Kazarama, spokesman for the M23 rebel movement, told The Associated Press by telephone that the rebels are now fighting for control of the rest of Goma. “We already took the airport,” Kazarama said Tuesday. “We are now inside the city of Goma.”

Goma was last threatened by rebels in 2008 when fighters stopped just short of the provincial capital. The United Nations has said that if Goma were to fall a humanitarian catastrophe would result. The rebels are opposed by Congolese government forces backed by U.N. peacekeeping troops and their attack helicopters.

 

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

November 22, 2012

Grand Polemarch Randall C. Bacon Laurel Wreath Laureate devoted member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Los Angeles Alumni, Western Region has died.  He served over 55 years in numerous leadership positions in the fraternal organization while simultaneously extending his exemplary visionary leadership in the field of Public Administration with the County of Los Angeles, County of San Diego and the City of Los Angeles.

“Randall Bacon was an outstanding public servant in the city of Los Angeles where he served as general manager of the Department of General Services,” recalls Assem­blyman Mike Davis, vice chair, California Legislative Black Caucus. 

He was also a leader in the American Society for Public Administration in the city of Los Angeles and was national president of the Forum of Black Administrators and various organizations throughout the nation,” remarked Assemblyman Davis.

The Celebration of Life is scheduled for Friday, November 23 at Angelus Funeral Home, 3875 South Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. 90008. The public viewing is between 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Omega Ceremony (Closed to the Public) 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Family Tribute 8:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. 

On Saturday, November 24 the Funeral Church Service is at 11:00 a.m. at First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME) of Los Angeles, 2270 South Harvard Blvd., Los Angeles, CA  90018.   Interment is at Inglewood Park Cemetery, 720 E. Florence Ave., Inglewood, CA 90301.  Immediately after services there will be a repast celebration at the Los Angeles Kappa Kastle, 1846 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA  90019.

The Bacon family asks that in lieu of cards, flowers and gifts, please consider making a donation in his name to help further champion the causes and organizations that he so passionately cared about – health and education.  The memorial fund is being administered by the General Manager of the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation Inc.

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

November 22, 2012

By LAWT News Service

 

A military veteran and three at-risk individuals were recently recognized for their exceptional job performances at the Transforming Lives and Communities awards event. The event was organized by PVJOBS, a nonprofit program that provides construction job opportunities to the at-risk community. Nearly 300 business, labor and community service representatives attended the event, which was held at the Center at Cathedral Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.

Hensel Phelps Construction was also honored as the Contractor of the Year for the company’s work in implementing a successful local hiring program while redeveloping the Martin Luther King Jr. Inpatient Tower in Watts. A final award was presented to John Reamer, city of L.A. director of the Bureau of Contract Administration, for advocating hiring programs that benefit at-risk residents.

“We’ve all been given second, third, fourth and even more chances in life, including myself,” said Reamer, who served as the event’s keynote speaker.

“We’re helping people get new chances in life so they can reach their highest potential.”

The award recipients who were recognized for their job performances received perfect scores rated by their construction employers. What makes their awards particularly special, said a PVJOBS spokesperson, is that the positions are the first construction jobs that these workers have ever held. The award recipients were: Shawn Fuller, Veteran of the Year; Christopher Washington, Core Worker of the Year; Da’Quan Thomas-Giles, Positive Pathways Program Worker of the Year; and Anabel Soriano, Intern of the Year.

Fuller, a military veteran who holds a degree in kinesiology and adaptive physical education, sidetracked his life several years ago and was sentenced to serve time in the penal system. After working with the PVJOBS staff, he discovered his interest in drywall, which led to his current drywall union apprentice position with Los Angeles Engineering. Washington is an ex-convict who completed a drug and alcohol program before visiting PVJOBS. Washington, who now works as a laborer for Los Angeles Engineering, was one of only three people who graduated from a laborers union boot camp class of 15 earlier this year.

Thomas-Giles was considered an at-risk youth before visiting PVJOBS, and enrolling in their Positive Pathways Program that provides career guidance for juvenile offenders. Although he performed well in his first job at a shoe company, he was eventually fired after he was caught stealing merchandise. Despite his offense, he expressed full remorse for his actions and was ultimately given another job opportunity. He also enrolled in El Camino College to work on earning an associates degree.

Soriano once associated with neighborhood gangs before deciding to make something of her life by pursuing a college degree. As a promising architectural technology student at Los Angeles Harbor College today, Soriano works as a paid intern at the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) e7 Architecture Studio. The LACCD Interns Program, which PVJOBS operates, offers paid internships to students while giving them on-the-job experience.

PVJOBS is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that works with major construction projects, unions and more than 100 community-based organizations to provide job opportunities to local at-risk youth and adults. These at-risk residents have either come from single-parent homes, have been welfare recipients, did not complete high school, have former gang affiliations, endured homelessness or have been incarcerated. PVJOBS has more than 14,000 active, job-ready candidates in its database. Since its formation in 1998, PVJOBS has filled more than 4,500 positions, maintaining a retention rate of nearly 90%, said the organization’s officials.  For more information, visit www.pvjobs.org.

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

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