August 31, 2011

Lawsuit Filed in the Taser-Killing of Allen Kephart

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed in San Bernardino Superior Court by Alfred and Carol Kephart in the death of their son, Allen, who was killed after an encounter with local deputies in Lake Arrowhead, Calif. The lawsuit alleges Allen Kephart's civil rights were violated after being ordered out of his car at gunpoint, thrown face first to the ground and electrocuted repeatedly in the upper back, neck and head. [SOURCE]

Although the San Bernardino County Sheriff's department maintains that the encounter began when Kephart ran a stop sign, the suit says the encounter began when Kephart honked at Deputy Ismael Diaz after Diaz pulled in front of Kephart at an intersection. According to the suit, Diaz was angered and turned on his police vehicle lights attempting to pull Kephart over.

The suit names the County of San Bernardino, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Deputy Ismael Diaz, Deputy Michael Gardea and Sergeant Bryan Lane as defendants.

August 30, 2011

Taser Death: Michael Evans (Fayetteville, NC)

It happened again. This time three Fayetteville Police officers used a taser gun to control 56-year old Michael Evans as he "acted strangely" in front of a restaurant and tried to jump into the path of passing cars. [SOURCE]

Evans collapsed after being electrocuted by taser gun fire from officers Alexander Leviner, Christopher Crews, and Travis Smith.  He died a short time later. The three officers are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation of this taser-related death.

August 27, 2011

Obama's Weekly Address: Coming Together to Remember

President Obama pays tribute to the first responders, those who have served, and those who lost their lives ten years ago in the September 11th attacks. Visit for ways to commemorate the solemn anniversary in your community.

August 26, 2011

Gates Millennium Scholarship Program

The Gates Millennium Scholarship Program will select 1,000 talented students next year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice.  The deadline for submitting an application is January 11, 2012.

Scholars will also be provided with personal and professional development through their leadership programs, along with academic support throughout their college career.

The program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established to provide outstanding low income minority students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline area of interest. To date, the program has given scholarships to more than 15,000 students.

Continuing scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following discipline areas: education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science.

August 25, 2011

Taser Autopsy of Kevin Campbell Claims Death Caused by 'Cocaine-Related Excited Delirium'

The powers-that-be in Tallahassee claim that the 50,000 volts of electricity shot into the body of Kevin Campbell wasn't the cause of his death back in April. The autopsy report of Kevin Campbell noted the presence of cocaine in Campbell’s blood, urine, and brain, as well as significantly elevated body temperature. The medical examiner ruled the cause of death as “cocaine-related excited delirium.”

I'm not the only one who doubts that excited delirium is a legitimate cause of death in these taser-related deaths.

August 24, 2011

Taser Lawsuit: George Knabe (Corpus Christi, TX)

George Knabe was an unarmed homeless man riding down the streets of Corpus Christi (TX) in November 2009. He was minding his own business. The police decided that he was riding down the street in the wrong direction. In no time at all the police were killing an UNARMED man with their taser guns.

The family is now filing a lawsuit against the Corpus Christi powers-that-be.

The penalty for riding your bike in the wrong direction should never be DEATH. Don't you agree? Methinks that a jury will see it the same way. Look for the Corpus Christi folks to try to settle this case out-of-court!

August 23, 2011

Taser Death: Joseph Lopez (Santa Barbara, CA)

I wonder if police officers think that mentally-ill people have 'cooties'? Sometimes it seems that way because the police are quick to pull out their taser guns to handle mentally-ill people. It happened again in Santa Barbara, CA. [SOURCE]

At 3:45 a.m. on August 12, authorities were notified that Joseph Novoa Lopez, 49, had died at Santa Barbara Psychiatric Health Facility after being forcibly removed from his residence at the New Faulding Hotel for causing a disturbance.

According to a press release from police spokesperson Sergeant Lorenzo Duarte, “An officer was flagged down by an employee of the Faulding Hotel reporting that an individual was destroying his room and throwing items out of the window into City Lot 11.”

The officer recognized Lopez -- an on again, off again homeless man with a history of mental illness -- from prior contacts, said Duarte.

Additional officers showed up to try and calm the 6-foot, 350-pound Lopez and place him on a 72-hour psychiatric hold, but he continued to resist when police moved to restrain him.

One officer pumped Lopez with 50,000 volts of electricity from his taser gun multiple times. Police were eventually able to gain control of Lopez and place him in handcuffs. Lopez was strapped to a gurney and transported to the hospital.

The county coroner’s office is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death, but the results won’t be available for a few weeks.

August 22, 2011

Taser Death: Montalito McKissick (Oklahoma City, OK)

It happened again! This time 37-year old Montalito McKissick was killed by taser-wielding Oklahoma City police officers Sgt. Daniel Godsil and Officer Justin Walters on Sunday, August 21st. The police had been called to the El Dorado Club to break up a fight. It appears that McKissick decided he didn't want to stick around to be questioned by police. Godsil and Walters gave chase and used reached out to McKissick with at least 50,000 volts of electricity from their tasers. [SOURCE]

After they handcuffed him, officers noticed McKissick wasn't breathing. Moments later McKissick was declared dead.

McKissick may be a bad guy with plenty of prior arrests ... but, last I heard, the penalty for resisting arrest was much less severe than the DEATH PENALTY. McKissick did not deserve to die for his stupidity.

As is routine in these taser-killings ... the police immediately reported that drugs may be involved. Police said a paramedic discovered a baggie lodged in the victim's throat.

One thing that I learned from this story ... and especially from the interviews in the video ... is that Oklahoma City is truly a wild west town!  Folks seem pretty upfront about their willingness to use a shotgun to get frontier justice.

Taser Lawsuit: Judge Awards $1 Million to Family of Brett Elder (Bay City, MI)

The powers-that-be in Bay City (MI) realized that the "excited delirium" excuse they had been using for the taser-killing of 15-year old Brett Elder might not survive a trial ... so they decided to settle a wrongful death lawsuit by paying the boy's family $1 million. [SOURCE]

Eugene Elder Sr. filed the lawsuit against the city and Cpl. James Lyman in December 2009, nine months after his 15-year-old son died at a party on South Catherine.

An autopsy showed the teen died of “alcohol-induced excited delirium” coupled with “application of an electromuscular disruption device.” I guess that is the official description of a "taser gun" in Bay City.

Officers were called by party-goers who said the teen attacked a woman, placing her in a headlock.

Bay County Prosecutor Kurt Asbury has said the teen was intoxicated, “highly agitated and combative” and “took a fighting stance” against three officers. The part he doesn't mention is that the boy stood 5'5" tall and weighed less than 150 pounds. Are the Bay City police so ineffective in their training that they can't subdue an UNARMED weakling like Brett Elder without pumping his body with 50,000 volts of electricity?

Lyman deployed his Taser, the probes of which struck Brett Elder in the torso, according to reports. Witnesses claimed the teen had his hands cuffed behind his back when the Taser was fired.

Based on the state police investigation, Asbury declined to authorize criminal charges, saying the evidence did not prove any officers committed criminal acts.

Acting on the recommendation of retired Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Pamela Harwood, who served as mediator, U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington signed an order for the disbursement of $1 million to four of the teen’s family members and the family’s attorneys.

The settlement provides $219,554 for Eugene Elder Sr.; $200,000 for Eugene Elder Jr. and Eric Elder, Brett Elder’s brothers; and $1,000 for Nancy Malucci, Brett Elder’s grandmother, court records show. The rest of the settlement goes to the attorneys who handled the case.

I suspect that Bay City police officers will think twice before using their taser guns in future domestic disturbances with UNARMED teenagers. That is a good thing in my view as our nation's weekly taser-killings need to be slowed down somehow!

August 21, 2011

Taser Death: Roger Chandler (Helena, MT)

Roger Chandler, who was electrocuted by Lewis & Clark County sheriff's deputies late Sunday night, died on August 17th at a Great Falls hospital. [SOURCE]

Police were responding to a complaint on Sunday night about a man acting violently. Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said that Chandler, 41, had burst out of a camper next to the home and was "out of control."

Dutton said that his deputies were left with no choice but to electrocute the man with their tasers. Dutton claims that Chandler had 'excited delirium' which is similar to what chronic drug abusers show. Of course the sheriff is not a medical expert ... he is simply spinning the story to try and place the blame for the taser-related killing on drugs rather than on poor training or inappropriate use of a taser on an UNARMED naked man.

Dutton said officers acted again with blasts from their taser guns when Chandler's erratic behavior and lack of response continued.

Lewis & Clark County Coroner Mickey Nelson doesn't know why Chandler died. Rather than place the blame on the 50,000 volts of electricity that were shot into the man's body on at least two occassions, Nelson said, "At this point there is some medical...why he died, but at the same time until the autopsy has been concluded and toxicology, I'm not going to make a determination at this point."

Chandler worked as a manager at the Quarry Bar & Grille in downtown Helena.

As a key employee he managed over 30 people at the restaurant. Co-workers and others were said to be shocked over hearing the news, even though many knew he was in the process of a divorce. Someone may want to mention that being upset about a divorce is usually not punishable by the DEATH PENALTY!
Neighbor Brian Brewer said, "I met him a couple of times across the street. Helped him put a roof back on his house after the wind blew off. He seemed like a pretty nice guy."
Final results from the corner's inquest and the state investigation will be turned over to the County Attorney's office for further review

The Montana Criminal Investigation Bureau is also investigating the incident.

August 20, 2011

Obama's Weekly Address: Putting Country Ahead of Party

From a farm in the Midwest, President Obama talks about the determination and integrity of the American people and calls on Congress to put aside their differences to grow the economy.

I wish that President Obama would make a similiar tour through Black neighborhoods in America.

August 18, 2011

Tea Party Activist Christine O'Donnell Runs Away From CNN Interview with Piers Morgan

Christine O'Donnell is a good example of what we can expect from Tea Party politicians. I suspect that Gov. Rick Perry may have a similiar moment at some point in his fledgeling presidential campaign. Tea Party folks don't much care for it when they are asked about 'uncomfortable truths'.

Here is video of the O'Donnell retreat from her CNN interview. Evidently, she didn't want to talk about some of the more radical policy views of O'Donnell on issues like gay rights.

Christine O'Donnell wanted the focus on the interview to be on her book, 'Troublemaker'.

August 17, 2011

Why Do The Kochs Want to End Public Education?

Our nation continues to struggle with race relations. There are many forces that are trying to take our nation back to the Jim Crow era of our segregated past. David and Charles Koch are some rich white guys who are working hard to dismantle the public school system.

Their efforts began in North Carolina where they funded an effort to resegregate schools in an award winning school district. Using the same language as Gov. George Wallace in the 60s, Koch-supported school board members attempted to make “segregation always” a policy for tens of thousands of families.

While David and Charles Koch drink down the high life, they are causing tens of thousands of families in North Carolina to lose their opportunity at enjoying educational equality and a free and fair shot at success. It’s part and parcel of the Kochs’ ideology to dismantle public service generally.

This film and investigation connects the dots and reveals why the Koch brothers are trying to end public education and how their wealth winds up in the hands of Jim Crow.

Watch the video, then call David Koch and tell him to stop funding school re-segregation now. His number is 212.319-1100.

Discuss at:
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August 16, 2011

Taser Death: Pierre Abernathy (San Antonio, TX)

It happened again! This time a 30-year old man in San Antonio, TX was killed by taser-happy cops who couldn't figure out another way to deal with a person showing disrespect for getting a traffic ticket. The taser-killing happened in front of the man's family.

The initial call was for a wrong way driver. Police followed Pierre Abernathy, the driver, all the way to his mother's house.
Once the driver was out of the car officers attempted to handcuff him. They got one handcuff on and then he started to resist. Then he broke free,” according Police Chief Bill McManus.
I'm fairly certain that the maximum penalty for 'resisting arrest' is NOT death!

Four officers tried to make the arrest. But Chief McManus says, at about 6’2 and weighing more than 200 pounds, Abernathy was too much for them. McManus explained a taser was used to try and subdue the man; but that didn't work. That’s when police tried to use a K-9 dog to take Abernathy down.

Abernathy's family watched all of this go down from just feet away. Lee Griffin, Pierre’s brother, says his entire family was screaming at the officers that Pierre was a paranoid schizophrenic and was begging them to stop.
"He was already on the ground and they continually tased him while he was already on the ground, laying motionless,” Griffin remembers. “He wasn't saying anything. He wasn't responding and they killed my brother right in front of me."
While the department investigates, the four officers involved are on administrative duty.

The Abernathy family know Pierre wasn't perfect, but he was human and didn't deserve to die like this.
That was over, over, overly excessive. How many tasers does it take,” Tiffany Allen, Pierre’s sister, questioned. “That's what I have to ask the police department. One? Two? Cause this was about eight to ten.”
The police appear to have difficulty dealing with people who have mental illness. This isn't the first time that a mentally-ill person has been killed by taser-happy police officers. When will they learn?

August 15, 2011

Taser Death: Gregory Kralovetz (Kaukauna, WI)

It happened again! This time a 50-year old man was electrocuted-to-death by Kaukauna (WI) police officers. The man, Gregory Kralovetz, was reported to police for allegedly "yelling for help". I'm unsure when "yelling for help" became punishable by the death penalty ... but, then again, the police in Wisconsin may be operating under a different set of laws than the rest of us.

Kaukauna police said Kralovetz behaved strangely when officers approached him, possibly exhibiting signs of a drug overdose. Have you noticed that it never takes long for the police to mention 'drugs' whenever there is a taser-related killing?

On the way to the scene, officers spotted Kralovetz running nude down the street. Police called for an ambulance to provide Kralovetz immediate medical attention, but he became agitated when the ambulance arrived and ran away.

Officers were initially unable to physically restrain Kralovetz and used a Taser to subdue him while medical personnel treated him. Am I the only one who thinks that the police simply didn't want to put their hands on a nude 50-year old man? Instead of showing compassion and finding a way to help this unarmed citizen ... the police pulled out their taser guns and electrocuted Kralovetz with 50,000 volts of electricity.

He was knocked down and out. The paramedics were able to take him to the local hospital at 5:15 am on Saturday, August 6. He was declared dead within the hour.

The police then went to Kralovitz's apartment. Of course, the police were giddy to tell reporters that they found evidence of recent drug use at the apartment. The type of drug and quantity will be confirmed through testing.

It could just be me ... but, I think that the police are simply to trigger-happy with their taser guns. This was the 3rd person to be killed on Saturday, August 6th in America from taser-happy police officers. When will we figure out that something is wrong when tasers are killing unarmed people on a weekly basis in America?

August 14, 2011

Taser Death: Kelly Thomas (Fullerton, CA)

This time the police electrocuted a 37-year old homeless white man to death. It happened back on July 5, 2011 in Fullerton, CA. The taser-killing of Kelly Thomas was witnessed by a number of passengers on an Orange County transit bus. [SOURCE]
"The cops are kicking this poor guy over there, all these cops," one woman told the bus driver in a conversation captured on a grainy bus surveillance tape.

"He's almost halfway dead," another passenger told the driver. "They killed him."
Officers responding to reports of an attempted car break-in near the station confronted Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old schizophrenic homeless man who had become a fixture in downtown Fullerton. I'm fairly certain that the penalty for breaking into a car is not supposed to be DEATH!

Six officers fought with Thomas and they used their taser guns to pump his limp body with 50,000 volts of electricity several times. He emerged severely beaten and in a coma. A photo taken of him at the hospital shows his face grotesquely swollen and covered with bruises and cuts. He died five days later after being removed from life support. [SOURCE]

Suspicions about the incident have been heightened by two videos on which witnesses reacted to the police action. In one video taken by a bystander, Thomas can be heard screaming "Dad! Dad! Dad!" over the clicking sounds of the Taser.    Here is video with reaction by his Dad a few days later.
"They've Tased him five times already," a woman can be heard saying on the video. "That's enough!"
One eyewitness, Mark Turgeon, 42, who is also homeless, said he arrived at the scene to see Thomas face down on the sidewalk with one officer on top of him and another hitting him on the back of the head with a flashlight. More officers arrived and Tasered him multiple times, then hogtied him, he said. Turgeon also described seeing officers slamming Thomas' face into the concrete after he was tied.
"They just beat and Tasered him until he stopped moving," Turgeon said.
An initial autopsy did not determine cause of death, and coroner's officials are waiting for additional test results.

August 13, 2011

Million Father March Endorsed by Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory

I am pleased to learn that Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory is calling on fathers to drop their children off at school on the first day as part of a nationwide initiative: the Million Father March. He has also asked elected officials to visit a local school on the morning of August 16th, which is the first day of classes for Cincinnati Public Schools. Mayor Mallory will be attending his alma mater, Woodward Career and Technical High School.
"This is a great way to get fathers involved in their child's education. There is a strong connection between attending school on the first day, active involvement by a father, and high student achievement. That is why I am asking all local fathers to participate by dropping their children off at school on the first day," Mayor Mark Mallory said.
The Million Father March was founded by the Black Star Project, a Chicago nonprofit organization. Ten Chicago fathers organized the first March in 1996, and it has grown to a nationwide initiative. Last year, 800,000 men in 500 cities nationwide participated in the Million Father March by dropping their children off at school on the first day. This year the Million Father March predicts that 1,000,000 fathers will participate.

Mayor Mallory hopes that Cincinnati will help The Million Father March reach their national 1,000,000 father goal. All local fathers, mentors, brothers, uncles, and any important figures in a child's life are encouraged to be a part of this initiative by dropping their children off at school on the first day.

I hope that all villagers with children still in public schools will participate in this effort regardless of where you might live. What say u?

Taser Death: Everette Howard (Cincinnati, OH)

It happened again. This time a 18-year old Black man with a promising future was put to death by a taser-happy cop on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Everette Howard was captain of his wrestling and football teams during his senior year at North College Hill High School. He was also a standout academically ... finishing in the top 10% of his senior class.

He was attending the University of Cincinnati for a college preparatory class. He was scheduled to make the move to Williamsburg (KY) in a few weeks to begin his freshman year at the University of Cumberlands.

He didn't deserve to die.

University of Cincinnati assistant police chief, Jeff Corcoran, said campus police were called to a the Turner Hall dorm room in the early hours of the morning over a report on an assault.   Click here to see the complete UC Police Department (UCPD) report.

When they arrived they saw Everette who police said appeared angry and agitated.

Corcoran says officers ordered the teen to back off, but he refused. He was then killed by UCPD officer Rick Haas ... who may have been too eager to use his taser gun.

The young teenager was unarmed. He was not a threat to the university cop who pumped 50,000 volts of electricity from his taser gun into the young man's body.

When he collapsed to the ground Officer Haas checked his condition, and in his report said he appeared incoherent and seemed to have an 'altered mental status'.   The police are always quick to insinuate that drugs are involved after any taser-related killing.  That seems to be in their procedural playbook for these incidents.   No evidence of drugs ... just call it an 'altered mental status'.

Paramedics attended the stricken student and while they were with him he went into cardiac arrest. He was later pronounced dead at hospital.

Two investigations have been launched because of the incident.
  1. An internal investigation will look into the use of force by Officer Haas, who was immediately placed on mandatory administrative leave.  Here are details from the initial report.
  2. The second investigation is trying to determine what initiated the original 911 call and whether an assault has taken place.
University chiefs have also suspended the use of Tasers until it can determine what caused the teen's death.  An autopsy has been ordered.
'I want to emphasize we don't know what the cause of the death is at this point,' Corcoran said.
There have been no arrests or criminal charges filed. The only one who needs to be arrested in this case is UCPD Officer Rick Haas -- the UC campus cop with the trigger-happy taser gun.
'We are extremely unhappy and upset at the outcome of this call,' Corcoran said. 'No one wants to see the death of an 18-year-old. It was not anyone's intention. The officer is very distraught.'
Ironically, this was not the first time that Mr. Howard had been tased by law enforcement officers. North College Hill Police electrocuted him back in 2009. Click here to see the North College Hill police reports on the incident.

August 12, 2011

Taser Death: Debro Wilkerson (Prince William County, MD)

It happened again. This time an unarmed 29-year old Black man was electrocuted to death by Prince William County police. He hadn't committed a crime. In fact, his family called 911 to have an ambulance take him to the hospital because of his asthma condition. 29-year old Debro Lamonte Wilkerson decided that he didn't want to go to the hospital. [SOURCE]

The Prince William County police officers who came on the scene decided that Wilkerson's decision was made in a "combative" manner. As such, the police officers thought it was good to taser the man multiple times at 50,000 volts on each taser shock ... until the young man simply stopped breathing and died.

He was unarmed. He had committed no crime. He didn't deserve to die. The only reason that he's dead is because some taser-happy cops were too lazy to calmly assess the situation ... rather they felt a need to pull their taser guns on Mr. Wilkerson and kill him.

Police say Wilkerson lunged at a police officer. In self defense the officer deployed a taser. I imagine that the police will eventually claim that the young man was on drugs. That is usually what they do in these post-taser-death moments.

Officers were able to put one handcuff on Wilkerson when he suddenly jumped up and ran out the side door of the ambulance. Why? Why would the police try to put handcuffs on a man who simply didn't want to go to the hospital. Is there some law that says you have to jump into the ambulance when you haven't called it yourself?

Police are spinning the story to say that he assaulted a relative while yelling at police and continuing to be disorderly. Police told him to let her go or they would deploy pepper spray. Wilkerson let her go and was placed in handcuffs.

Police say while walking him back to the ambulance he told them he had been using heroin and PCP. Of course, we can't verify this statement with Mr. Wilkerson BECAUSE HE'S DEAD!

Once back in the ambulance Police said Wilkerson lunged at them and ran out the back door of the ambulance.

Police caught up to him and deployed a taser to stop him. Wilkerson continued to resist as he fell to the ground. Police said they continued to struggle with him as he continued to resist.

They started to lose his vital signs once they got him back to the ambulance. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The officer who killed Mr. Wilkerson hasn't been identified. I guess we will learn more as the investigation goes forward.

Dr. Ethelene Jones Crockett Distinguished Alumni Award Winner: Bill Maher (1920-2011)

My maternal grandmother, Ethelene Jones Crockett, was born in 1914 in St. Joseph, Michigan and grew up in Jackson, Michigan. She attended Jackson Junior College and graduated from University of Michigan. She married George Crockett, Jr. who was an accomplished lawyer, judge and congressman in his own right, and they had three children (including my Mom!) before she decided to attend medical school at Howard University in 1942.

Grandmother Crockett served her medical internship at Detroit Receiving Hospital but completed her residency in a New York City hospital because no Detroit hospital would accept an African American woman. She became the first Black female Ob/Gyn in the state of Michigan in 1952.

She retired from active practice in 1972. In 1978 she became the first woman president of the American Lung Association. Unfortunately, she died later that same year.

My grandmother was larger than life. I loved her very much. It would tickle her to know that her junior college created an alumni award in her name. The Dr. Ethelene Jones Crockett Distinguished Alumni Award is awarded annually by Jackson Community College.  William Maher won the award earlier this year.   This blog was sad to learn that Mr. Maher died earlier this month. [SOURCE]

Many of those who met him might agree that a conversation with William Maher was an unforgettable experience.

With a passion for his community that spurred him to support a number of local efforts, Maher had a big voice and a personality that left an even bigger impression.

Maher, an avid community activist and fundraiser, died suddenly Friday while walking on Vicary Road near his home in Liberty Township. He was 91.

Maher’s daughter, Linda Hath, said his passion to improve the community was rooted in his love for its people.

He loved being around people,” said Hath, 57, of Liberty Township. “He knew everybody.”

Maher “could never sit still,” Hath said, and he served on a number of local boards and committees, including the YMCA Board of Directors, Jackson County Airport Advisory Board and the Jackson Community College Foundation Board.

He was behind a push to institute later start times for high school students and cited studies that show teens learn better later in the morning.

His love of flying made him a regular fixture at the Jackson County Airport and he helped develop a flight training program at Jackson Community College. He chaired committees that raised money for planes and equipment for the college, led an advisory committee for the flight training program and founded the William and Mary Lee Maher Aviation Scholarship.

He had been working in recent years to install a monument at the county airport’s Aviation Heritage Park that would be dedicated to World War II pilots and what was then Jackson Junior College’s role in training them.

It was an important project to Maher, who was honored in 1994 with the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for his service in China during World War II, when he worked as a supplier for the AVG Flying Tigers and Chinese Army.

Maher had a great mind for business and a skill for convincing people to get behind projects he was pursuing, said JCC spokeswoman Cindy Allen, who often talked with Maher.

He had visited her office the day before he died, she said.

He always left you with a handshake or a hug and vowed to get back to you in a few days, and he would do that,” Allen said. “He might have a strong, boisterous voice, but he has a very soft heart.”

Maher was driven to promote the importance of education and hard work and to support students, Allen said.

August 11, 2011

Help Launch a Student’s Future. Become a Making It Count Speaker.

Do you enjoy public speaking? Are you interested in helping students succeed in high school, college and beyond? Do you think you have what it takes to empower and entertain? If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then becoming a speaker for Making It Count might be perfect for you!

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Making It Count speakers are provided with comprehensive, professional speaker training in order to be certified to deliver its programs. Once certified, speakers are hired as independent contractors and, on average, deliver approximately 10-15 presentations per semester, based on speaker ability and the needs of Making It Count’s clients.

Because many of these presentations are delivered during specific parts of the academic year, their speaker needs will vary. currently is currently speakers to deliver its programs for high school juniors and seniors, Making Your College Search Count and Making College & Career Count. These presentations provide students with information on how to make the most of the college search process and how to make a successful transition from high school to college or career.

Here is a video with more information:

If this sounds like an opportunity you’d like to explore, click here to find out more information, as well as sample videos of Making It Count speakers in action and details on how to apply.  Please use "Source Code: BDPA11" when you apply!

August 1, 2011

President Obama's Message on the Debt Agreement

President Obama lays out the agreement he reached with congressional leaders to meet our financial obligations and reduce our debt in a video to supporters.

Personally, I think that the President and the Democrats got rolled by the Republicans in this debt deal. However, that is a consequence of losing the midterm elections so badly in November 2010. The best way to ensure that Democrats don't get rolled in the future is to elect some Democrats to Congress ... and of course, to re-elect President Obama to the White House.

What say u?