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MINORITYREPORTER

from information to understanding

august 12 - 18 2013

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In This Issue:

CALENDAR

MINORITYREPORTER
from information to understanding

august 12 - 18 2013

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august
Time: 6:00pm-10:00pm Location: Rochester Public Market, 280 North Union St Its Latin Night co-presented with the Puerto Rican Festival One of Rochesters most popular concert series, Bands on the Bricks brings the Rochester Public Market to the evening set with live music through the summer months! .Gates open at 5:30p.m. and the music runs 6 - 10p.m. 9-11 Puerto Rican Festival Time: 12:00pm-11:00pm Location: Frontier Field VIP Parking Lot Join in the 44th annual Puerto Rican Festival for three days of live salsa, comida criolla, cultural events, celebrity guests and much more! There will be local bands, dance groups, youth boxing, domino tournament, youth performances, childrens activities, agency fair and amazing food! NOTE: All persons 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult. 17 Clarissa Street Reunion Time: 10:00am-10:00pm Location: Troup St. & Clarissa St. The festival features live music including a jazz stage, gospel stage, and R&B stage, as well as food, and fun for the entire family!The Clarissa Street Reunion is an annual festival that takes place in one of the most culturally rich neighborhoods in Rochester.

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7 Noontime Concert Series Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm Location: Aqueduct Park, Main St. at the Genesse River, 23 E. Main A FREE noontime concert. 9 Bands on the Bricks Featuring The Sound Remains the Same
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Local Efforts Support At-Risk Male Students in the Rochester Community Wright Preps Board of Trustees Looking for Rochester Community Voices Friends of the GardenAerial and Elected Officials Announce Greentopia Festivals 2013 Mayor Thomas S. Richards On Bausch + Lomb Leaving Rural Metro Files Bankruptcy to Cut Debt in Half Monroe County Finances Continue to Deteriorate Upstate NY Leaders and Community Members Hold Rally at Federal Detention Center Project Homeless Connect Returns to Rochester

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Minority Reporter, Inc. is a family of publications and other media formats committed to fostering self awareness, building community and empowering people of color to reach their greatest potential. Further, Minority Reporter, Inc. seeks to present a balanced view of relevant issues, utilizing its resources to build bridges among diverse populations; taking them from information to understanding. Minority Reporter reserves the right to edit or reject content submitted. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Minority Reporter does not assume responsibility concerning advertisers, their positions, practices, services or products; nor does the publication of advertisements constitute or imply endorsement. Minority Reporter invites news and story suggestions from readers. Deadline for all copy is Tuesday at noon. Call 585-301-4199 or email info@minorityreporter.net.

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Remembering Rochesters Oscar Grants xxxxxx By gloria winston al-sarag By davy vara

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Birth Date: September, 1995

Ahmir is intelligent, resourceful and persistent. He is

willing to work hard to make things happen in his life. Ahmir participates in police explorers and hopes to attend law school in the future. He looks forward to attending college and longs for a family who will be more like mentors than parents. Ahmir lives independently and has a job. His favorite food is chicken and he loves learning about new foods. He still hopes for a fam- Photograph by Andrea Graeve ily to provide him with guidance, love, and the opportunity to be part of a forever family.

If youre interested in learning more about Nazon or other waiting children, visit: www.ChildrenAwaitingParents.org or call 585-232-5110.

3 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013

ROC Rhythms Presents - M.A.R.S Music is everything. Its how I vent, its how I get things off of my chest, its how I free my mind. Its that feeling you get that makes you sing and dance to your favorite song, that feeling when you hear it come on in the club, that passion thats expressed and how you feel when you hear it. When I create music, I dont worry how other people will view or judge it, because at the end of the day my music is like a big diary. When Im done writing my mind is clear, I feel relieved and I can go on with my life. I also get to sing and dance to it when I hear it too. Theres no better feeling than sitting in the studio and hearing a banger that you just created. This is what music means to local rapper and songwriter Marsellis McGowan aka M.A.R.S who is making connections all around the city and beyond with his melodic beats and clever rap style that reminds me of a combination of rappers Common and Kanye West. Born and raised on Rochesters west side, by a single mother and grandmother, M.A.R.S got his first introduction to music in the third grade where he played the trombone. He put down his instrument and picked up a pen and began songwriting at the tender age of 12 where he developed his skills as a songwriter. I started writing and free styling music so those poems and stanzas slowly turned into hooks and 16s. The lack of a true father figure in his life led him to the street life of the city. M.A.R.S said his music saved him and he can reflect on his past through his music. I learned a lot of things the hard way, being in the streets and dealing drugs, seeing people killed in front of me, losing people close to me. My music is a representation of the struggle that I have been through. There are several different types of rappers in the music industry. Conscious rappers, mixtape rappers, commercial rappers and gangster rappers are just a few on the list. M.A.R.S said he can be all types based on the song. But he tries to keep it as positive. My style does not have a type, I try to cover every topic that I have lived or experienced. I can be hood, political, and religious at times, record a song with 100 bars like a mix tape rapper, and still make songs for the ladies all in one album and be successful at it. I try to make sure there is something for everybody on the material that I put out. Most of my music is positive, about striving forward when times get tough and about bettering yourself. I make that feel good music. Like new old school. I try to separate myself with my music by having a broad genre of topics, using samples and melodies from different genres such as pop and rock, and by thoroughly thinking out

the concepts and ideas that I use to make music. M.A.R.S attributes his inspiration to multi-platinum rap artists T.I., Jadakiss and rap icon Jay-Z. I believe every rapper has been influenced by Jay Z whether they tell you that they have been or not. His lyrics, his stories, and the way he always stays on top of the game. Hes a great rapper and even better businessman. I always wanted to be Jay Z growing up. I would love to work with Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Fabolous, 2 Chainz, Andre 3000. I would love to work with singers like Frank Ocean or Jeremih. M.A.R.S has performed locally at the Auditorium Center and Water Street Music Hall. Hes also graced stages in New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia. He says his greatest accomplishment has been the outlets to which his music has been spread. I may not have a deal now, but once my material is complete I have the connects established to get my music heard by the masses. I have had my music on some of the biggest and upcoming sites such as Brobible. com and thatnewjam.com and I have music on MTVs web site as we speak. I have been contacted by college radio throughout the country asking for permission. I just recently ended internship at BMG. Because of these sites, my audience has been growing and people want to hear more from me. M.A.R.S is currently recording music and getting prepped for his album release The Double Bind, as well as getting ready to go back to grad school. He said he will always be connected to his Rochester roots and will stay true to the man that he is. Rochester has made me who I am today. The way that I think, the way that I adapt, and the way that I handle things all derive from the town I was raised in and our ties will never change. We are on the map once I get a deal. I never speak on anything that I have not or will not ever do. I will not lie about who I am, what I have done and where I came from. Anybody who knows me knows that there is no difference between Marsellis McGowan the person and M.A.R.S the rapper. I love to have fun, love to live life.

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4 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013

LOCAL
Local Efforts Support At-Risk Male Students in the Rochester Community
By Delani Weaver Black and Latino men are more at risk for dropping out of school than any other race. Statistics show that Rochester has the lowest Black and Latino male graduation rates than anywhere else in the country. In 2010 alone, a disturbing 9 percent of Black males and 10 percent of Latino males graduated from high school. In efforts to curve this number and keep more Black and Latino male students in school and ensure they graduate, a new partnership between North East Area Development, Inc. (NEAD), John James Audubon School 33 and the University of Rochesters Warner School of Education will put forth time and thousands of dollars to implement community based strategies to reach that goal. We are pleased to be given the opportunity to partner with NEAD and School 33 in this capacity, says Dean Raffaella Borasi of the Warner School. We look forward to working with our partners in achieving our mutual goal, which is to provide students and their families in the Rochester community with a solid structure and support system as they move through school. The New York State Department of Education awarded NEAD, School 33 and the Warner School funds to construct and manage a 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) in Rochester. The $945,000 award will be spread over 3 years to provide several different services aimed at keeping Black and Latino males in the Beechwood neighborhood enrolled in school and inspired to graduate. This program is called Literacy Engagement and Achievement Program, also known as Project LEAP. NEAD was the only community organization locally to receive a 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant. George Moses, executive director of NEAD, the active neighborhood association where School 33 is located, says that this neighborhood placebased strategy is a much targeted approach to reach a very vulnerable population.

As we talk about the holistic child, there is an academic piece in school and an academic piece out of school, says Moses, who will lead this effort. Few actually take into account informal learning outside of the classroom, but Project LEAP does. Its an authentic partnership, with a very balanced approach, that will maximize what each partner does well. An afterschool program meeting twice a week, individual literacy instruction program for kindergarten through third-grade students who need it most, monthly STEM Family Saturdays to include family members in math, science, and technology learning activities, mentoring and outreach activities for youth and family members, and two summer programs are all included in the programs activities. School 33 Principal Larry Ellison says that the staff at School 33 is working hard to change the course of its students. We recognize that to change this nationwide trend, we need additional support for our students, Ellison says.

The mission of the staff at School 33 is to educate all students to their highest levels of performance, in effectively managed learning environments that are safe, productive, inclusive and student-centered and in collaboration with families and community partners. Under NEADs leadership, Project LEAP will design, deliver, and evaluate about 200 hours of high-quality, expanded learning opportunities outside of the traditional school day each year to 210 students in School 33 who face challenges in achieving academic standards. Additionally, more than half of these students will also attend the Horizons at Warner, a six week summer enrichment program and Freedom School summer enrichment programs for an additional 180 hours of summer programming. Our partnership between NEAD and the Warner School is expected to provide the support that we are seeking in improving the academic successes of our students, and we are very excited about the forthcoming opportunities that Project LEAP will bring to our at-risk male population, Ellison said.

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Residents of Rochester are being welcomed by Wright Preps board of trustees to attend an informational meeting about Mary L. Wright School, a health and legal career school that has been proposed. The board is looking for community members to share their thoughts and ideas about the proposed school and its curriculum that is designed to prepare 7 thru 12 grade students to go into the fields of health care or law

once graduated. The first meeting was July 31st on Chili Avenue. There will be a second meeting Wednesday, August 21 at 7pm at 48 Clifton Street where the board is asking that residents that live in the area of zip codes 14608, 14611 and 14619 are specifically asked to attend.

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LOCAL

5 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013

PUZZLES

Friends of the GardenAerial and Elected Officials Announce Greentopia Festivals 2013
Friends of the GardenAerial held a press conference to discuss the upcoming Greentopia festivals. Founder of Greentopia Michael Philipson, Mayor Tom Richards and County Executive Maggie Brooks all spoke at the press conference on July 29 at The Center for High Falls on Browns Race. The weeklong event, Greentopia was a series of five festivals within a larger, curated and designed event inclusive of ecofest, music, film and futures Summit and DESIGN. Now in its third year, it includes: interactive experiences; eco-friendly vendors and exhibitors; thought leaders; speakers; performers and artists who showcase new ideas, creations and who present cutting-edge technologies. Greentopia is a project of Friends of the GardenAerial, which will be celebrating all things sustainable in the Rochester and Finger Lakes area and making sure that the community is educated on practicing a holistic and sustainable or green life. Greentopia wants the community to know how to live healthier lives and promote positive change in the community. The event was full of entertainment for adults and children including guest speakers, summits, specials films, and music, dance, food and craft vendors. There was also be a fashion show and art from graduates of local high school, School of the Arts.

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Upstate is hiring experienced RNs for our ICUs: Medical, Surgical/Trauma, Burn and Cardiopulmonary. Also hiring in our Emergency Department: Adult and Peds, and our Inpatient Psychiatry Unit. We oer excellent state salary and benefits. To learn more about career opportunities at Upstate and apply on-line www.upstate.edu/jobs

Across 1. Victoria Secret offering 4. Mint 8. Pronoun 11. Tiny particle 12. Not sawn 14. Your and my 15. Kicks 16. Honey farmer 18. Lawyers charges 20. Green vegetable 21. In the lead 24. ___ lost! 27. Putting on 30. 60s songwriter 32. Crumbled 33. Actor Robert 34. Fundamental principle 35. Temporary 36. Southern general in the Civil War 37. Dish 38. Good shot 40. Stir up 44. Timely 49. High card 50. Magical 51. Ruhr River city 52. Help! 53. Kind of number 54. Evergreens with red berries 55. Cable station

Down 1. Punch 2. Gigolo 3. Green Gables girl 4. Chicago bear? 5. Together 6. First-aid item 7. Microwave 8. Uncooked french toast 9. Shade 10. Do wrong 13. Ice ___ 17. Mechanical and design expert 19. West coast city 22. Goes quickly 23. Close 25. Islamic potentate 26. Actress, Spelling 27. Girl coming into womanhood 28. Examination type 29. Barely beat, with out 30. Badgers tunnel 31. __ de plume (pen name) 33. Evidence piece 35. Treat unjustly (2 words) 37. Fall guy 39. Exploration target 41. Hop dryer 42. Desktop object 43. For fear 44. Out of sync 45. Green color 46. Eucharist vessel 47. Novel 48. Coast Guard officer, abbr.

Syracuse, New York I www.upstate.edu

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Pre-K Every day! And its FREE!

Every minute your child spends learning is an important one. In the City School Districts Universal Pre-K program, kids have fun. They also become ready for school, develop creativity, build confidence, and gain skills for lifelong learning. With more than 50 programs at schools and community centers citywide, UPK provides the choice of a convenient location for you and your child.

Register today!
For more information, call 262-8140 or visit: www.rcsdk12.org/prek

7 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013

LOCAL
Mayor Thomas S. Richards On Bausch + Lomb Leaving
By Delani Weaver Baush + Lomb recently announced that it will be moving its headquarters from Rochester to New Jersey to cut costs and save millions. However, with the millions of dollars that will be saved for the company, 1700 of the companys Rochester employees are at risk of losing their job. Mayor Thomas Richards is urging the company to remain in Rochester and keep the over 1,000 Rochester residents employed. I have had contact with the Valeants management and urged them to continue their presence and investment in Rochester, Richards said. While it is encouraging that the company is making a commitment to keeping the R&D (research and development) and manufacturing facilities in Rochester, the company is signaling they will move the company headquarters out of the City. This leaves a great many jobs and the future of the tower in question. How much of a reduction in employees worldwide the company will administer, is unknown as is the amount of Rochester employees that will be let go. Richards said that unknown answers are sure to cause uneasiness amongst employees, but he hopes that whatever the amount of reductions, the affected employees will soon be recruited by other local businesses. Our thoughts are with the employees and their families who will be affected. However, Rochester has been through this before. We are a resilient community and hopefully, whatever the job losses will total, we hope those people will be absorbed by other area businesses and by new entrepreneurs. Bausch + Lomb, founded in Rochester in 1853, is one of the citys landmark companies along with Kodak and Xerox. Valeant Pharmaceuticals bought the eye care company last year. Kodak filed for bankruptcy last year and has since sold several of its patents to different companies including Facebook, Google, Samsung and Microsoft for over $500,000,000. The downtown Kodak site has recently been bought by Monroe Community College. While we work to maintain a future presence of our citys hallmark employers, we understand that our communitys relationship with our once-large employers is forever changed. This is true for Rochester and for so many other cities across the nation. As a result, I consider our work to leverage public funds to spur private investment and job creation will continue to be one of the most important functions of City government. Richards said he understands that the Rochester area is changing but will make sure that jobs continue to come and stay in the area. Our area is transforming; that we cannot change. But we do have a say in what we transform into. I will ensure that City Hall remains dedicated to growing our local economy and seeing that Mayor Thomas Richards all of Rochesters residents have an opportunity for a job and a place in our future.

Rural Metro Files Bankruptcy to Cut Debt in Half


Rural Metro reached an agreement for an all-inclusive financial restructuring plan with the hopes that it will balance out the companys debt and interest expenses by as much as 50 percent by transforming specific debt into equity. The company has been having issues with debt and declining income. Last month, they failed to make an interest payment. The provider of private ambulance and fire protection services will carry on business as usual and ensuring that the needs of the patients, communities and customers are met while the company restructures its financials. Rural Metro will file Chapter 11 petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to shrink its debt, renegotiate contracts that have made no profit and open capital for investments to improve patient care and reinforce the business. Mayor Thomas Richards said. We are aware of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of Rural Metro and continue to monitor the situation closely, including meeting with senior managers of the company this week. The filing will reduce the immediate financial pressure on operations. However, we will continue to make our own judgment on the operation and capacity of the company and to be prepared to take any action necessary to insure a high level of service.

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8 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013

COVER STORY

Beginning in September, students in 40 schools in five states will embark on a school year that will be 300 hours longer than last year, the equivalent of about 50 extra days. The schools, with nearly 11,000 students, are part of a three-year pilot initiative whose goal is to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level. The other schools involved are Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee. Officials hope the schools will become models for more widespread expansion of extended learning time throughout the country. Individual districts have leeway in how to build the extra hours into the school day or year. To understand what it will look like in New York, here are answers provided by the Rochester

Central School District, the states only participating district in the Time for Innovation Matters in Education (TIME) initiative. Q: Whose idea was this initiative? A: The TIME idea is a partnership between the nonprofit Ford Foundation, which has committed $3 million a year over the next three years, and the Boston-based National Center on Time & Learning. The center, whose focus is expanding learning time to improve student achievement, is providing technical assistance to the states. Q: How many Rochester schools will participate and how and why were they chosen? A: Superintendent Bolgen Vargas has made expanding learning time a priority in his troubled western New

York district, where the four-year high school graduation rate is what he calls a painfully unacceptable 43 percent. Administrators believe part of the reason is that Rochester students spend less time in school than suburban and charter school peers. Five elementary schools were selected from among 18 invited by the district to submit proposals for the TIME initiative last September. The plans had to include a mix of academic, enrichment and social programming. Q: How will they add 300 hours into the year? A: Generally, the schools are adding 90 minutes to the school day, so instead of spending a little less than 6 hours in school, students will spend about eight, with the day starting at 8 or 8:15 a.m. and dismissal set for 4 or 4:15 p.m. Q: How will schools use that time? A: Schools cant just tack the time onto the end of the day for, for example, tutoring. They were told to reimagine the school day in a way that incorporates not only academics and extra help in subjects such as reading but also the arts and other enrichment they might not have time for now, along with things like counseling sessions or school and community projects. Each school developed its own plan with a specific theme. One is focused on STEM, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning, so students there might get involved in a computer animation club or use a 3-D rover to chart a track through the building. Another schools focus is arts, health and wellness, while yet another, located in the heart of the city, will visit cultural institutions with an aim toward college and career readiness. Q: How much will this cost, and how will it be paid for? A: The district has budgeted $1,200 to $1,300 for each of the 2,300 participating students, which will cover such things as extra utility costs, nursing services and paper supplies as well as the additional programming. The districts expanded learning director, Caterina Leone-Mannino, cites a dizzying array of funding that includes the initial investment from the Ford Foundation and various state and federal grants. Q: Are teachers on board with this? A: Yes. The teachers in each school had to approve their schools participation by an 80 percent majority vote.

Teachers wont necessarily work additional hours, though those who do will be paid for them. In many cases, schools will use flexible scheduling, staggering start times to cover more of the day without requiring additional staff time. Q: What about students? A: School No. 46 Principal THani Pantoja said in-school surveys have shown students are excited about the idea, especially the addition of dance, music and theater, which will offer benefits beyond fun. Said LeoneMannino: A struggling reader might have an additional period for readers theater, where theyre practicing scripts and acting out and learning drama. Thats actually helping them as a support for their reading. Q: What do parents think? A: Pantoja said parents have been surveyed at length and have had many questions. Once theyve gotten answers, most support extended learning. Many worried whether transportation will be provided (it will), whether buses will still drop off children at after-school day care (they will) and what services students will receive (varying, based on need). Parents of kindergartners are being assured the youngsters will get brain breaks and plenty of time to move during the longer days. Q: How will we know if its working? A: Since the main goal is getting students to learn, local and New York state assessments should show signs of progress. To a lesser extent, the district will also measure success based on student engagement, looking at things like attendance rates, participation and the number of times students get sent to the principals office. Q: Was this a tough sell for the community? A: No. Few, if any, city residents are satisfied with the districts performance and want it to improve. Administrators say not only have parents and teachers supported lengthening the school day, but community institutions have also stepped up, offering resources. Q: Will other Rochester schools eventually expand their days? A: Rochester wants to work with a second group of schools during the upcoming school year to get them ready to launch extended learning in the 2014-15 school year.

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9 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013

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10 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013

Monroe County Finances Continue to Deteriorate


Monroe County is facing serious money problems according to the 2012 Monroe County Consolidated Annual Financial Report (CAFR) that was recently released. The State Comptroller has labeled Monroe County as being under significant fiscal stress and Democrats in the County Legislature are weighing in on the information from the report. Democratic Leader Carrie Andrews says that County Executive Maggie Brooks and her administration knows what is going on but have been ignoring the issues. As in years past, the Brooks Administration continues to stick its head in the sand and ignore the problems facing our County, Andrews said. By continuing to utilize oneshot revenue sources instead of transparently balancing the Countys revenues and expenditures, this administration has decimated the Countys financial well-being. The Countys total net assets from all activities have declined by more than 50% in the past eleven years and the trend line is steadily deteriorating. It does not require financial genius to see that this County is headed toward a financial disaster. 2012 ended with a balance in the General Fund where the property tax rate is determined of $1,708,000, according to the County report. However, Democrats have done further investigations and have found that the reason there is a balance in the fund is because deferred pension costs to the State Retirement System were not reported in the General Fund. The County has deferred $31,411,000 of pension costs for 2010, 2011 and 2012. If the County had reported its unpaid pension bills, the General Fund would have had a deficit of $28,028,000 at the end of 2012. These unpaid pension costs must be paid over the next ten years and must be paid with interest to the State comptroller. Democratic Legislator Paul Haney (D-Rochester) said that this situation has been a long time coming and Monroe County isnt the only county that is facing the same crisis. We have been warning about this rapidly approaching fiscal crisis for many years, Haney said. We are not alone. Erie and Nassau counties have Fiscal Control Boards. Other counties are in serious trouble. The first step to solving this critical problem is to stop deflecting blame and hiding from our problems and admit that we have a serious problem on our hands. The second step is to begin a meaningful dialogue across the aisle and with the community about the problem and possible solutions. We must find some way to work together to stop this County from following in the footsteps of other failed municipalities.

LOCAL

Upstate NY Leaders and Community Members Hold Rally at Federal Detention Center
By Delani Weaver People are demanding justice for immigrants and a fair immigration system. Upstate NY residents are unsatisfied with the recent bill introduced in the Senate and are raising their voices for change. The Greater Rochester Coalition for Immigration Justice (GRCIJ) along with community members, 36 various organizations, religious leaders and lawyers rallied together last Tuesday evening at the Batavia Federal Detention Center demanding immigration reform, equal protection, equal treatment under the law and a fair pathway to citizenship for immigrants. Dr. John Lory Ghertner of Migrant Support Services of Wayne County said, We are speaking out to our concern that the present reform package as produced in the Senate and the discussion in the House is harmful to the farmworker community in Western NY and, if enacted, would have negative effects on the economy of this area. GRCIJ says that they are pleased that the need for substantial reform is being recognized, however the coalition is not in support of doubling the amount of Border Patrol agents, additional border fencing, helicopters, and costing American taxpayers another $30 billion. Currently there are 2200 agents are the border and this new plan will have 3400 agents by 2014. Of the 42 U.S border patrol stations, Rochesters station detains the most people, according to the coalition. Coalition member Phyllis Tierney said, We are very concerned that this immigration bill pass congress and we are concerned about the position that some people in the house have taken which is trying to take away or to postpone the ability of people who have worked here for a number of years to earn citizenship. We depend on them for our food supplies and many areas whether its construction or landscaping. So where would we be without them because they take jobs that no one else will apply for and we build on what they do. Imagine what it would be like.

Project Homeless Connect Returns to Rochester


By Delani Weaver Every day, while driving around the city we see men and women holding signs saying will work for food or homeless, please help. We see them laying on the ground around grocery stores, bus stops and parks. Approximately, 650 homeless people currently live in the Rochester area. Food stamps, SSI, veterans benefits, subsidized housing and daycare, Medicaid, job training and several other programs and services are available to the community, however because applying is a long and sometimes frustrating process, it usually becomes the determining factor between a life of homeless and a secure, stable life. If a person has lost important paperwork, social security card or identification card, they dont get any help. Project Homeless Connect will returning to Rochester for a third year to host a conference for the homeless population, sponsored by the City of Rochester at the Blue Cross Arena September 20. This event will brings all resources available to a person or family in need of help to one place and eliminating the worry of having to go from place to place around the city. The Blue Cross Arena will be donated for the event free of charge by the city along with the employees needed to set up and clean up after the event. The conference will be providing hot showers, foot care, haircuts, coats and hot meals to the homeless and provide them with access to services and programs that have long term benefits such as medical and dental services, housing, employment and training and legal services. Local non-profit organization, PathStone Corporation has donated over $20,000 for the event as well as provided staff to organize the mechanics of setting up the event including booths, computer and power hookups and provider coordination. PathStone will also act as the fiscal agent for the conference this year. 400 people are urged to volunteer for the day of the event. Foodlink and Nazareth College will be recruiting and training the volunteers and providing T-shirts so volunteers can be identified. Efforts are being made to obtain inkind donations such as coats, food, and other clothing for the day. For more information about Project Homeless contact PathStone Corp: 585-340-3345

11 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013


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12 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013

STATE

NY apple growers announce names of 2 new varieties; at farm stands this fall, stores in 15
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ALBANY, New York New Yorks apple growers are releasing the names of two newapples that will soon hit selected farm stands after more than a decade of development by Cornell University. The varieties are now known simply as New York 1 and New York 2. The first isdescribed as crisp and juicy like its parent, the popular Honeycrisp. Cornell says the secondis suited for baking and fresh use and is high in vitamin C. Cornells apple-breeding program has taken a new approach to commercializing the newvarieties. Instead of publicly releasing them to all growers, Cornell has forged a licensing agreement with a new industry group, New York Apple Growers. The names will be released Thursday at Cornells annual fruit grower field days in Geneva

NY attorney general posts applications for land banks to turn vacant properties
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ALBANY, New York The New York Attorney Generals Office has posted applications for $20 million to help Land Banks restore abandoned properties. The deadline is Sept. 15 with initial selections among competitive applications expected by mid-October. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is dedicating money from the 2012 national settlement with five major mortgage lenders over foreclosure practices. New Yorks Legislature passed a bill in 2011 establishing land banks that could acquirevacant, abandoned, or foreclosed properties, and choose to rebuild, demolish, or redesign them. Schneiderman says no state or federal funds have been dedicated to any of New Yorks eight designated land banks located in at least parts of Schenectady, Onondaga, Erie, Niagara, Suffolk, Broome, Monroe, Orange, Montgomery and Chautauqua (shuhTAH-kwah) counties.

13 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013

NATIONAL

US careful not to let Snowden destroy Russia ties


BRADLEY KLAPPER WASHINGTON (AP) - Russias decision to grant asylum to Edward Snowden has upset the Obama administration and enraged Congress. But if the United States wasnt prepared to scrap its maddeningly difficult relationship with Russia because of missile defense, human rights or Syrias civil war, its unlikely the 30-year-old National Security Agency leaker alone will sour ties irrevocably between two powers that both have moved past their half-century Cold War for global supremacy. After Snowden left the transit zone of Moscows airport and officially entered Russia on Thursday, the White House declared itself extremely disappointed and suggested President Barack Obama would reconsider his autumn summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. American lawmakers threatened worse, from demanding Russia forfeit its right to host a summit of the worlds biggest economies to questioning whether Washington and Moscow can now cooperate at all. Some in Congress have spoken of boycotting next years Winter Olympics in the southern Russian city of Sochi. Russias action today is a disgrace and a deliberate effort to embarrass the United States. It is a slap in the face of all Americans, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said. Now is the time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putins Russia. Retaliation against Russia comes at a cost, however. Putin has proved over more than a decade in power that hell respond to perceived offenses from the United States, whether in the form of a missile defense network in Europe or U.S. support for pro-democracy demonstrations in Ukraine, Georgia and other neighboring nations. And for all the tough talk in Washington, the U.S. knows it needs Putin to promote a range of American national security interests and has tried to temper its reaction to Putins provocations. Without the Kremlins help, the U.S. would have a harder time containing terrorist groups in the South Caucasus, ensuring supply routes to U.S. troops in Afghanistan and preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. And it would have zero chance of persuading Syrian President Bashar Assad to join rebels in peace talks to end a war that has killed 100,000 people, includes competing claims of massacres and chemical weapons use, and has pulled Washington and Moscow onto opposing sides. The administrations first reaction to Snowdens asylum was condemnatory but cautious. We are extremely disappointed that the Russian government would take this step despite our very clear and lawful requests in public and private that Mr. Snowden be expelled and returned to the United States, White House press secretary Jay Carney said. The U.S. has demanded that Russia send Snowden home to face prosecution for espionage over his leaks that revealed widespread U.S. telephone and Internet surveillance. For more than a month, Russian authorities left him stranded at the airport after he flew there from Hong Kong, unwilling to grant him temporary residence or travel documents that he could use without a valid U.S. passport to travel on to Latin America. The saga ended Thursday, when Snowden was granted a one-year stay. However, even Putin has seemed intent on limiting the fallout. Before the decision, he said asylum would be contingent on Snowden refraining from leaking any more materials suggesting that even as the Russian leader considered knowingly provoking the United States, he didnt want to harbor a fugitive who would seek to flaunt his safe status beyond the reach of American law enforcement. Paul Saunders, executive director of the conservative Center for National Interest think tank, said the administration erred in exerting worldwide pressure to prevent Snowden from finding a new home. The administration backed Moscow into a corner, thinking that would press them to give in, he said. In fact, it just made them harden their position. Speaking to reporters, Carney declined to outline what consequences Russia might face. He suggested only that Obama was reconsidering his upcoming tete-atete with Putin, which was supposed to focus on the Syrian civil war and righting a relationship with Russia that the U.S. president already tried to reset once after taking office in 2009. Canceling the meeting would be a surprise, however, considering that Obama was willing to meet despite Russias ban on U.S. adoptions, its crackdown on pro-democracy groups and gay rights organizations, and its continued military and diplomatic support for the Assad regime. Carney said Moscows decision

Edward Snowden undermined U.S.-Russian law enforcement cooperation that had improved since two ethnic Chechens were blamed for the Boston Marathon bombings. American officials will reach out to their Russian counterparts, Carney said, but he pointedly refused to detail any diplomatic repercussions for Moscow. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., spelled out one, calling on Obama to recommend moving the G-20 summit of world leaders in St. Petersburg on Sept. 5-6. Russia has stabbed us in the back, and each day that Mr. Snowden is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife, Schumer said. The Senate already had been working on sanctions against any country prepared to help Snowden avoid extradition to the United States. The measure introduced last week by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., demands that the State Department coordinate with lawmakers on setting penalties against nations offering Snowden asylum. The Senate panel backed Grahams proposal, without objections.

Finding fresh food at a fair price shouldnt be so difficult. All summer long, Foodlink will be at various locations throughout the city of Rochester offering fresh produce at affordable prices. Cash, EBT, WIC, and Debit are accepted at all Farm Stands and Curbside Market locations. Spend $5 in SNAP benefits and receive an additional $2 towards your purchase. To find a list of all times and locations visit foodlinkny.org

Fresh, affordable food has arrived.

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14 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013

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15 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013

OPINION/EDITORIAL
Remembering Rochesters Oscar Grants
Oscar Grant as shot and killed by Bay Area Rapid Transit police Officer Johannes M e h s e r l e in Oakland, California on January 1, 2009.
davy vara

The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of Minority Reporter.

Denise Hawkins was shot and killed by Rochester Police officer Michael Leach, as she ran from her abusive boyfriend; Alicia McCuller was shot and killed by Rochester Police Officer Thomas L. Whitmore, and according to neighbors stood over her, and fired a second shot into her as she lay dying; Calvin Greene was unarmed when Rochester Police Officer Gary E. Smith shot him three times at close range killing him instantly; Vandy Davis, a 21-year old father of three, shot and killed by Rochester Police officer David Gebhardt, who

claimed he accidentally tripped over an extension cord, causing his shotgun to go off, striking Davis in the chest; Craig Heard, a 14-year-old shot twice in the head by Rochester Police officers Serge Savitcheff, and Hector Padgham; Israel Izzy Andino, a mentallyill young man, was shot by seven Rochester police officers in what neighbors described as a modern-day firing squad. I went to see Fruitvale Station, for the same reason the films director, Ryan Coogler, made the movie: Because I wanted to know Oscar Grant. I wanted to know him as more than

just a name. I wanted to know him as more than just another innocent African-American, or Latino young man shot and killed by a white cop. Coogler helped me do that. I laughed. I cried. But throughout the movie I also did something else: I thought of all the innocent victims, killed by Rochester police officers. I thought of their stories, their struggles, their dreams, their families, and of the children some of them left behind. Throughout the film, I just couldnt keep from thinking of Rochesters own Oscar Grants.

As I sat in Theater 16 waiting to watch Fruitvale Station, the film about Oscar Grants last day on earth, I couldnt help but wonder if the other four people in the theater realized that less than 10 miles from the big movie screen in front of us, the Rochester Police Department has its own Oscar Grants.

STRAIGHTno chaser

The Work He Did Spoke For Him


John Calvin M i t c h e l l , h u s b a n d of Connie Mitchell, father of Constance M i tc h e l l Jefferson, my Pop #2, familyman personified, and friend to mankind arrived in this dimension every good man is a good woman, but in this case, just the opposite rang true. Those who knew John Mitchell knew he was, in his own right, a mighty force in this community. He was the epitome of a quiet storm. Those who were asked to speak at his goinghome service reflected, from their hearts, their personal experiences and memories of such a great man. John Mitchells living was certainly not in vain. Three years after arriving in Rochester, John was hired as a machinist at the Rochester division of General Motors. He worked for General Motors and retired after 30 years. John went from machinist to becoming a coordinator in personnel, before retirement. He also became the first loaned executive at GM from 1967 to 1973. During this time period he became director of Project Uplift for the Urban League of Rochester; community action coordinator at Action for a Better Community; and director of the Housing Council for the United Way of Rochester. Upon returning to GM John held the position of EEO director, coordinator of salaried personnel, coordinator of hourly personnel, assistant manager of hourly personnel, and coordinator of attendance control. Retirement did not prevent John from continuing his work in the community. He remained active as a volunteer with many community organizations, both professional and civic. His involvement in the community included, but was not limited to, organizations such as The Mens Service Center (now Pathway House), Manhattan Golf Club, Rochester Rotary Club, the Boys and Girls Club advisory board, Red Wings board, Monicas Church, Baden Street Settlement, Genesee Settlement, Salvation Armys board, Bishop Sheen Foundations board, Council on Social Agencies board, Action For a Better Community, the F.I.G.H.T. Organization and co-founding the Urban League of Rochester. Readings were given by Karen McClearn and Gloria Winston AlSarag. The extraordinary vocals of Deborah Cox, Rose Stokes and Senitra Castelberry contributed greatly to the occasion. Among the first set of speakers at this home-going service, were Matthew Augustine, who shared personal reflections regarding his relationship with John Mitchell. Minister Franklin Florence Sr. shared community reflections. He spoke about when and how he first met the Mitchells, highlighting a variety of community initiatives they worked on together. Scheduled to speak, but not in town, was former Mayor William A. Johnson. His written remarks were shared by Precious Fontenette, revealing to some and reminding others that John was his campaign manager when he first ran for mayor and won. Rotary Club President Peter Kelderhouse shared his personal reflections and experiences with John in the civic arena. Family tributes were given by George Fontenette Jr., representing the cousins, and George W. Mitchell Jr., representing the nieces and nephews. Matthew Stevens, also known as Chuckie, represented those who saw John Mitchell as a friend and father figure. Johns grandson Gregory C. Jefferson was unable to attend but sent words that were read by Andre Fontenette. Constance Mitchell-Jefferson somehow found the strength to offer reflections on her father, highlighting what an extraordinary husband and family man he was. One of the more prized possessions John Mitchell left GM with upon retirement was his GM discount. I used to listen intently on how he loved to negotiate with car salesmen and then would drop the fact that he had a GM discount on them. John also loved games of chance. I am not sure if he liked playing the lottery or poker best. He also belonged to a group of men who called themselves the ROMEO. I believe ROMEO meant Retired Old Men Eating Out. They would meet monthly for lunch. Not only did I love John Calvin Mitchell, and look up to him as so many others did, I felt it was important to share this snapshot of his life, in my column especially. Im hoping that my younger readers will take the time to consider what a meaningful life looks like. We have so many hidden treasures and so much history in our community, much of it goes missing because the local history offered in our schools does not reflect the lives of community icons like John Mitchell. John Calvin Mitchells contributions to this community are more than noteworthy. The lives he touched and the work he did clearly, and loudly, speaks for him.

GLORIA WINSTON AL-SARAG

April 21, 1930.

John was born in Segura, (New Iberia) Louisiana. At age 83, in Rochester, N.Y., he left us on July 3, 2013, two days before he was to celebrate his 63rd wedding anniversary. His funeral (home going) was celebrated at St. Monicas Catholic Church, and was officiated by Father Ray Fleming, as well as Pastor and Father Robert Werth. John and Connie Mitchell moved to Rochester in 1950, and were living on Greig Street in the Cornhill area when I first met them, as a child. I am certain I have known them since elementary school. I know I have spent so much time with the family, many in this community believed I was a relative by way of Louisiana. I am not sure if it was the golf course or poker table that caused them to make friends with my parents James and Wilma Winston. I do recall my first involvement in the political arena had something to do with going door to door passing out literature for Connie Mitchell, who historically became the first black woman in Rochester elected to political office. Connies campaign manager was her husband, John Mitchell. It is often said that behind

16 www.minorityreporter.net | august 12 - 18 | 2013