November 22, 2012
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.
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.
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.
By TAMARA LUSH
Over the past several months, dolphins have washed ashore along the northern Gulf Coast with bullet wounds, missing jaws and hacked off fins, and federal officials said they are looking into the mysterious deaths.
The most recent case was of a dolphin found dead off the coast of Mississippi, its lower jaw missing.
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday they’re asking everyone from beachgoers to fishermen to wildlife agents to be on the lookout for injured or dead dolphins — and any unusual interaction between the mammals and people.
“It’s very sad to think that anyone could do that to any animal,” said Erin Fougeres, a marine mammal scientist for NOAA’s southeast office in St. Petersburg, Fla. “There have been some obviously intentional cases.”
Fougeres said five dolphins have been found shot. In Louisiana, two were shot in 2011 and one in 2012. And in Mississippi, three were found shot this year, the most recent one earlier this month, which was first reported by the Sun-Herald newspaper.
Besides the shootings, a dolphin in Alabama was found with a screwdriver stuck in its head over the summer. Another in Alabama had its tail cut off, and that animal survived. Still others were missing fins or had cuts to their bodies.
“I think it is outrageous,” said Moby Solangi, the executive director of Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss. “These animals are very docile, very friendly and they’re very curious. They come close to the boats, so if you’re out there, you'll see them riding the bows. And their curiosity and friendship brings them so close that they become targets and that’s the unfortunate thing.”
Dolphins are among the species protected by the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act. Violators can be fined up to $10,000 per violation and sent to prison for a year.
The California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund said it is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whomever harmed the dolphins.
The gruesome discoveries are heartbreaking for Gulf Coast scientists, who follow the population. Fougeres said that two months before the 2010 oil spill disaster off the coast of Louisiana, dolphins began stranding themselves and that there were unusually high mortality rates — possibly due to a cold winter that year.
Since then, the spill and another cold winter in 2011 have contributed to several deaths within the Gulf's dolphin population, experts say. Investigators have also found discolored teeth and lung infections within some of the dead dolphins.
Since Feb. 2010, experts have tallied more than 700 recorded dolphin deaths.
Experts have also found increased “human interaction” cases, which include dolphins tangled in fishing lines — and the more violent incidents.
Fougeres cautions that some of the dolphin mutilations might have happened after the animal died from natural causes and washed ashore. She said that in the case of the dolphin with the lower jaw missing, someone could have cut off the jaw for a souvenir after the animal died.
“We have to do a necropsy on the animal and collect tissue samples to try to determine whether or not the injury was pre-or post-mortem,” she said.
She also said that the increase in cases might be due to NOAA’s dolphin stranding network becoming better trained to notice cruelty cases or unusual deaths.
Some have suggested that the deaths are the work of a few angry fishermen who are upset about bait-stealing dolphins. Yet the majority of fishermen say that while dolphins can be annoying, they wouldn’t harm the creatures.
“I don’t know who to suspect ... I was really sickened when I read about it,” said Tom Becker, of T&D Charters out of Biloxi, Miss., and head of the Mississippi Charter Boat Captains Association, said he’s never had a problem with dolphins.
The mammals tend to swim behind his boat until a fish too small to keep is tossed over the side.
“You’ll see him under your boat,” Becker said, about the dolphin. “He’ll get it before it can reach the bottom. I usually leave the area if they’re doing that.”
Fougeres said she doesn’t think the dolphins are being targeted by a gang of people or even by a lone, sick individual.
“The cases are fairly spread apart,” she said. “I don’t think there is one dolphin murderer out there.”
She added that anyone who sees a dead or stranded dolphin, or spots people harassing a marine animal can call the NOAA Enforcement hotline at 800-853-1964.