Tuesday, April 15, 2014



Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims Notifies Public of Compensation Program Deadline

RALEIGH – April 14, 2014

The victims of North Carolina’s 1933 Eugenics Board (sterilization) Program have until June 30, 2014 to submit a completed claim form to the Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims to be eligible to receive compensation under the Eugenics Compensation Program. As of March 31, 2014, the Office has received 376 claim forms from potential Eugenics Board sterilization victims. 199 of those claim forms have been forwarded to the NC Industrial Commission to determine whether the claimants are eligible for compensation.

“It is heartening that people are coming forward and making claims," Governor McCrory said. “While the physical and emotional effects of forced sterilization are immeasurable, compensation is a small tangible way of showing support for the burdens they were forced to carry.”

Senate Bill 402 established that the Office of Justice for Sterilization Victims, within the Department of Administration, collects documentation and assists potentially qualified claimants with their claims. Then, the Office returns incomplete claim forms to the sender for correction and forwards completed claim forms and documentation to the Industrial Commission which determines eligibility. Both the Commission and the Office are working to ensure that all eligible claimants receive compensation. Governor Pat McCrory signed Senate Bill 402 into law which appropriates $10 million in compensation to be divided equally amongst the total number of certified claimants. 
For more information, including claim forms, please visit the Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims online or call 919-807-4270.

Lawyers’ Committee Releases Comprehensive Report Regarding
Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Sweeping the Nation and Efforts to Fight Back
WASHINGTON, D.C.April 15, 2014, – Today, during Fair Housing Month, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law(Lawyers’ Committee) issued a comprehensive national report, “Foreclosure Rescue, Inc.”, which examines the foreclosure rescue fraud epidemic, scam trends and efforts to combat these fraudulent activities.  The Lawyers' Committee and its coalition partners in theLoan Modification Scam Prevention Network (LMSPN) have been tracking the foreclosure rescue fraud crisis since March 2010. As of early 2014, the national Loan Modification Scam Database, managed by the Lawyers’ Committee, has compiled over 40,000 complaints with total reported losses of over $90 million to homeowners. 
“Homeowners facing difficult financial circumstances are desperate to find help to keep their homes are vulnerable to high-pressure sales pitches and false guarantees of success made by individuals and companies posing as loan modification specialists,” said Yolanda McGill, manager of the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network for the Lawyers’ Committee.  “African-American and Latino homeowners, already victimized by targeted predatory lending, have been victimized by scams at disproportionate rates compared to their percentage of the population. Senior homeowners also are victimized at high rates and their average loss is higher than other groups.  The Lawyers’ Committee and our federal, state and community partners continue to fight back and put these scammers out of business, including through litigation.”
By the summer of 2009, the United States in the midst of its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Home foreclosures were in the millions with no end in sight, and equity lost by families with foreclosed properties was headed into the trillions of dollars. As foreclosures increased, a “second wave” of the foreclosure crisis emerged – fraudulent foreclosure and loan modification rescue schemes. Data collected in a 2013 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit indicate that complaints concerning such schemes rose from about 9,000 in 2009 to more than 18,000 each year in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This report provides an overview of the LMSPN, a coalition created in 2009 by the Lawyers’ Committee, in conjunction with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, NeighborWorks America and the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) to fight these pernicious practices.
As discussed in the report, scam artists making these pitches typically extract large upfront cash payments from homeowners, and then do little or no work to obtain a loan modification. While waiting for the promised relief, homeowners not only lose the money they paid to the scam operation, but they often fall deeper into default and lose valuable time that could have been spent negotiating directly with their mortgage servicer or going to a free U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counseling agency with true expertise in assisting homeowners in trying to save their homes.
Scammers commonly gain access to bank accounts and social security numbers, and tell homeowners to stop paying their mortgage – decimating their credit, and sometimes leading to foreclosure and homelessness.
“While foreclosure rescue fraud comes in various forms, it all boils down to the same result – the widespread pickpocketing of homeowners throughout the United States, when they can least afford it,” said Michael Tanglis, analyst with the Lawyers’ Committee’s Fair Housing and Community Development Project.
 Information/statistics in the report include:
  • The average loss per homeowner is $3,248.
  • Overall, homeowners nationwide reported an out of state scam 64 percent of the time.
  • When homeowner race is taken into account, Hispanic or Latino homeowners buck the national trend—alleging an in state scam operation a stunning 69 percent of the time. This percentage is particularly high when compared to Black or African American and White homeowners.
  • Hispanic/Latino homeowners account for 20 percent of all complaints in the Database, but they account for 34 percent of the complaints that mention radio or television.
  • While White homeowners account for 47 percent of the complaints in the Database, they account for 78 percent of the homeowners nationwide. Hispanic/Latino homeowners account for 8 percent of homeowners nationwide, but account for 20 percent of all the complaints in the Database, while African-Americans account for 8 percent of homeowners nationwide and 24 percent of the complaints in the Database.
  • From July 2012 through December 2013, the majority of complaints received in the Database each month have alleged attorney involvement (59 percent in 2013 alone).
  • From 2009 to 2012, pro bono partner law firms donated legal work to this effort valued at over $12 million ($12,423,847).
The Lawyers’ Committee released two companion reports this month focusing on the domino effect of foreclosure rescue fraud and the targeting of homeowners with limited English proficiency and will soon release one detailing attorney involvement in scams.
Anyone who has fallen prey to these unscrupulous scammers is encouraged to file a complaint online here or by calling 888-995-HOPE to file a complaint and find safe, reliable and free help.


            For years, critics have blasted Wake County Public Schools for having an exceedingly high student suspension rate, especially when it coms to black and Hispanic students. But this week, Wake Schools Supt. Dr. Jim Merrill countered that not only has Wake’s overall long-term and short-term suspension rate gone down within the past five years, but that,”…in 2012-13, a similarly sized North Carolina [school] district had 35,800 suspensions when Wake was at less than half that at 15,000.” Merrill never called the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District by name in that comparison, but observers say it took little imagination to know what “similarly-sized NC district” he was referring to. Over the past five years, there’s been a 28 percent overall decrease in Wake’s student suspensions.

            April 15th was “George Williams and Saint Augustine’s University Track & Field Team Day” in the Capital City, as so proclaimed by Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and the Raleigh City Council. The due honor was in celebration of both St. Aug’s men’s and women’s track teams winning the 2014 CIAA indoor title, in addition to the men’s team wining the NCAA Division II Men’s National Indoor Championship; Coach Williams garnering the 2014 USTFCCCA Division II Men's National Indoor Coach of the Year and the 2014 CaptainU Division II Indoor Track & Field National Winter Coach of the Year. St. Aug boasts 34 NCAA Division II national track championships under Coach Williams, who is also highly respected for coaching the US Olympic Men’s Track Team in previous years.

            North Carolina Central University police officers were justified in fatally shooting a rifle-wielding suspect last September who refused to drop his weapon, and who commenced firing on officers before he was taken down. That is the decision of Durham District Attorney Leon Stanback in the case of Tracy Daquan Bost, the 22 year-old suspect killed by NCCU police last fall. “He ignored the multiple commands by law enforcement to relinquish his weapon and surrender, thus placing the officers in danger of great bodily harm and death. Officers returned fire, which resulted in Mr. Bost's death, “Stanback said in a statement. “"Although this is a tragic tum of events, nothing from the complete investigative report indicates any willful, malicious or criminally negligent conduct by law enforcement or the existence of the use of unreasonable or excessive force." The three officers involved will now not face criminal charges.



            [RALEIGH] Saying that this is the time to ‘…see some positive changes at our dear institution…” alums of St. Augustine’s University are reportedly planning an April 19th “symbolic demonstration for change” on campus in the aftermath of the ouster of President Dianne Boardley-Suber last week. Steven Williams, an alum of the school, sent out a letter this week accusing the SAU Board of Trustees of a “lack [of] transparency and accessibility. Williams added Dr. Frank Godfrey, Sr., an alumnus and former instructor at the school, should be offered the head post. Dr. Suber was terminated after allegations of fiscal and administrative mismanagement.

            [RALEIGH] Should the commuted sentences under the old Racial Justice Act from death to life in prison without parole stand for four convicted murderers stand? And should the RJA applications made by death row inmates still be honored, even though the NC General Assembly overturned the law last year? Those are the questions put before the NC Supreme Court Monday as lawyers for the defendants, and an attorney from the NC Attorney General’s Office went before the High Court. Defense attorneys said evidence of racial bias in state capital murder trials involving black defendants is statistically clear. The state’s attorney, however, said those numbers don’t speak specifically to the cases of defendants who made application to have their sentences commuted from death to life in prison. The justices are expected to render their decision in a few months, but legal experts say whatever it is, expect it to be appealed to the US Supreme Court.

            [KANSAS CITY, KANSAS] The alleged killer of three people last Sunday outside of a Jewish center was also once a leader of the white supremacist movement in North Carolina. The suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, once went by the name of “F. Glenn Miller” when he headed up the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and then later founded the paramilitary White Patriots Party. During the late 1980’s, Miller would regularly spew anti-black and anti-Jewish venom in his racist diatribes about white supremacy. Having run for both NC governor and the US Senate, Miller promised a race war with his heavily armed followers. He fled the state after federal authorities clamped down on his movement. When captured on Missouri in 1987, Miller agreed to testify against others in the Klan movement, and was allowed to enter the federal witness protection program. Years later he moved to Iowa, and then Missouri, when he again ran for public office, and started up his racist pronouncements. Authorities say the three people Miller, aka Cross, allegedly killed Sunday – which included a grandfather and his 14-year-old grandson – were not Jewish. Cross was heard to say “Hail Hitler” while in police custody.


CASH IN THE APPLE  - 4-17-14
By Cash Michaels

            SHARPTON – The media bashing of Rev. Al Sharpton last week with news that he was once an informant for the FBI back in the 1980s was shameless and shameful. With the exception of the blow-by-blow details provided by newly released documents, the story had been well out there for years. Indeed Sharpton had written about it in his latest book, “The Rejected Stone.”
            And yet, last week, you’d think Sharpton had just committed a crime. In fact, he served as a wire man to help bag members of organized crime, and that’s exactly what happened. Critics say Sharpton was “flipped” by the FBI because he was allegedly selling drugs himself. Well if that were true, then the feds still could have charged Sharpton with something, and then tell the judge that because he cooperated, he deserved leniency.
            But that didn’t New York tabloids with blazing headlines calling Sharpton a “snitch” and a “rat.” And it was all timed to coincide with the three-day conference Sharpton’s organization, the National Action Network, sponsored last week featuring President Obama and US Attorney General Eric Holder.
            So yes, folks, there is no question about media bias, especially when it comes to black leadership. It can be vicious, cruel, and certain wrong. We’ve seen it against Pres. Obama. But last week, it was a field day against. Rev. Al Sharpton. Despicable!
            VICTORY – You have to hand it to President Obama. After the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act last October, the failure of which Republicans loudly applauded, the president buckled down, got his team back in gear, and they successfully moved the ball down field to goal with over 7 million ACA applicants by the March 31st deadline. Folks thought the president was politically dead in the water, but he refused to accept that, and pushed on.
            Folks criticized the president for going on comedy shows to promote the ACA, but actually, that says more about us than him. Obama was trying to reach Americans who aren’t paying attention to Fox or CNN or their local newspaper, because they are the ones who need affordable health insurance the most.
            The president did his job, and we’re proud of him for doing so.
            CAP AND THE WINTER SOLDIER – As much as I can, I try to have Daddy/Daughter dates with my youngest, KaLa. She and her mother spend a lot of time together, and well that they should, given that as a young female, many of KaLa’s most important lessons in life will come from her mother.
            But that doesn’t mean I’m there only to feed and protect. I’m extremely proud of KaLa (and her older sister, Tiffany) for the kind of all-around human being that she is. So I try to reward her for that, encourage her to do even better in her studies, and extra curriculum activities.
            Since we both love watching comedies and action movies together, when a good one comes to the theaters, I try to make an event out of it, and just the two of us go.
            So last weekend, KaLa and I went to see “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
            This wasn’t our first superhero movie by any means. Thus far, we’ve seen all of the Marvel movie hits – Iron Man 1, 2 and 3; Thor 1 and 2; Captain America: The First Avenger, and certainly everyone in the world saw “The Avengers.”
            So it went without saying that homegirl and Dad were going to see “Winter Soldier.”
            KaLa liked it. It certainly had all of the action, explosions and colorful characters you’d expect from a Marvel superhero movie. And this one certainly had the stars, especially with legendary actor Robert Redford playing a key role in the plot.
            And I have to give it up to all of the main players as well – Chris Evans IS Captain America, and plays the red, white and blue superhero to the nines. Anthony Mackie as Cap’s new partner, “The Falcon” is really good, and has certainly earned a place in the coming sequels.
            Samuel L. Jackson is given plenty to do as S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury, and as always, does it well. And Scarlett Johansson as “Black Widow” is as lethal and sexy as she can be.
            So, based on all of that, you’re probably expecting me to agree with KaLa that the movie was “AWWWWWESOME.”
            I loved all of the characters, and certainly all of the action…but did NOT like the way the action was pulled off and the characters used. In short, the story was lousy and too convoluted. It wasn’t satisfying. The movie runs 2 hours and 8 minutes, but there’s no real reason for it.
            And the action – which consisted of a lot of close in fight scenes – was badly filmed, in my opinion. Much of those fights were filmed too close in, so following who was getting hit, where and when was difficult for me at best. The film could have taken a lesson or two from how the old Bruce Lee kung fu flicks were always filmed. The action was fast, but the angles were framed in a way that always gave you proper perspective to follow the fights scenes easily, and be able to react accordingly. That was the genius of those films.
            I understand always trying to find different and more unique ways of doing things, and indeed encourage it, but at the end of the day, there are certain rules the filmmaker must adhere to, and one of them is never hurt the audiences’ ability to cleanly an clearly follow the action. It’s hard to react to something you can’t see.
            So on a Cash Apples scale of 10, I give “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” a 7.5 (and the .5 is for having some Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man” in the story). This movie could have been much, much better. By hey, the flick has made over $150 million domestically, so what do I know?
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at www.myWAUG.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html). I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.

No comments:

Post a Comment