A civil lawsuit filed by Dr. Ruth Johnson to start on August 5th, 2014.

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United States Federal court house in Greenbelt Maryland.

A civil lawsuit filed by Dr. Ruth Johnson against the Prince George’s county public schools (Pgcps) will go to trial starting on August 5th, 2014 at 10:00 am until Friday August 8th, 2014 in GreenBelt Federal court.

Jury selection will be held in the morning of August 5th, 2014 and the trial will commence that afternoon continuing until August 8th, 2014. Dr. Ruth Johnson claims she was retaliated against when she reported what she believed were inappropriate acts by the administration of former Superintendent Dr. William Hite jr. The Board of Education created a hostile work environment when Dr. Johnson mobilized her colleagues at Largo High school to oppose the illegal acts which were taking place. (Mr. James Small-Wood and Dr. William Hite Jr who covered up the crimes have since fled in different directions after exposure in this blog).

Dr. Ruth Johnson, who is an African American was a guidance counselor at Largo High school. She alleges that she was racially harassed by Principal Angelique Simpson-Marcus (pictured below). On February 28, 2014, a federal jury, at the Greenbelt, MD federal courthouse, issued a verdict that means Prince George’s County Public Schools can be found liable under Title VI for race discrimination and retaliation. Specifically, the jury decided that Prince George’s County Public School received federal assistance, starting in 2009, which had the primary objective of providing employment. In 2009, PGCPS, which has a annual budget of approximately $1.7 billion, received $140 million in federal stimulus funds which it used to avert laying off hundreds of teachers and other school workers.

The standard of prove under Title VI is the same as under Title VII, except Title VII has a cap on damages of $300,000 while Title VI has no cap on damages.

Dr. Johnson was hired by PGCPS and assigned to Largo High School in 2003. In August 2009, Principal Simpson-Marcus transferred Dr. Johnson to another school against her will. Principal Simpson-Marcus bragged to her staff about transferring Dr. Johnson to another school. While at the new school, Dr. Johnson’s office was not close to a bathroom.

Prince George’s County Public Schools has resisted Dr. Johnson’s effort to be transferred back to Largo High School.

PGCEA Breached Its Duty of Fair Representation

Following her transfer, Dr. Johnson filed a grievance with PGCEA against Principal Simpson-Marcus.  Jimelatice Gilbert-Thomas, a PGCEA Uniserv director, informed Dr. Johnson that the involuntary transfer violated the Negotiated Agreement.  However, the PGCEA refused to take Dr. Johnson’s grievance to arbitration, the next step called for in the Negotiated Agreement. On several occasions, Dr. Johnson heard Principal Simpson-Marcus brag about her good relationship with Ms. Gilbert-Thomas and challenge teachers and staff to file complaints against her with PGCEA.

If Dr. Ruth Johnson wins her case, it could mean a return to Largo High school. Read more >>>> Ruth Johnson

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When: On August 5th, 2014 to August 8th, 2014

Time: 10:00 AM Jury Trial
Parties: Johnson v. Prince George’s Board of Education
Federal Case #: PJM 11-1195
Venue: Courtroom: 4C

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Dr. Angelique Simpson-Marcus, Ed.D. (Violated civil rights of employees willfully)
angel.simpsonmarcus@pgcps.org
Principal

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Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco).

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Measuring 63.5 cm (25 in.) in length, the toco toucan is the largest of all toucans. Its black body and white/yellow throat are overshadowed by its most recognizable trait: a large colorful beak.

The bright orange beak is about 19 cm (8 in.) long – one third of the bird’s total length. But despite its substantial size, the beak weighs less than you may think. Composed of the protein keratin, the structure of beak incorporates many air pockets allowing for a very low mass.

Furthermore, recent research has concluded that toucans regulate body temperature by adjusting the flow of blood to their beak. More blood flow means more heat is released. When toucans sleep, they tuck their beak under their feathers to keep them warm.

Toco toucans also use their beaks to pluck and peel fruit, their main source of food. In addition, the beak houses a flat tongue of the same length, which helps the toucan catch insects, frogs, and reptiles. Toco toucans also occasionally eat the eggs of other birds.

Although they spend a lot of time in trees, they are not very good at flying. Toucans mainly travel among trees by hopping. When they do take flight, they flap their wings vigorously and glide, traveling only short distances.

Toucans nest in the hollows of trees. They often move into cavities created and abandoned by woodpeckers.

Several toucans live together in a single hollow. It is in these hollows that they lay their eggs, generally two to four a year. Both parents incubate the eggs for 16-20 days. Once the chicks hatch, both parents continue to care for the young. Baby toucans are not born with an excessively large beak; the beak grows as the birds develop.

Native to South America, toco toucans inhabit a range of habitats including tropical forests, savannas, and shrubland.

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Conservation Status
Because toco toucans can live in a variety of habitats, they are not as susceptible to rainforest destruction as other species. Their population has not been determined, but it is thought to be large due to the frequency of sightings within their range. As such, the toco toucan is listed by the IUCN as being of least concern, and there are no specific efforts to protect the species.

What You Can Do to Help
Although toco toucans are not considered threatened, you can still help protect their habitat. Avoid buying products made from rainforest wood and help raise funds to help protect the rainforests of South America.

Toco Toucan Distribution

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Native to South America, toco toucans inhabit a range of habitats including tropical forests, savannas, and shrubland.
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A federal jury awards $350,000…

…in compensatory damages to Jon Everhart plus attorney’s fees, back pay and retirement benefits.

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United States Court House in Greenbelt Maryland

On July 25, 2014, a federal jury, at the Greenbelt, MD federal courthouse, awarded a staggering $350,000 judgment late Friday against the county’s school system and the Board of Education.

Jon Everhart  who was maliciously terminated by Principal Dr. Angelique Simpson-Marcus, Ed.D. (pictured below) will receive $350,000 in compensatory damages against the Board of Education of Prince George’s County under Title VI for retaliation. Above all, the court awarded attorney’s fees, back pay and retirement benefits to the plaintiff. (Read more~~>>> jury verdict, Order of the Court)

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Dr. Angelique Simpson-Marcus, Ed.D. 
 
angel.simpsonmarcus@pgcps.org
 Principal

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Rushern Baker should pass torch to a new leader to reinvigorate Prince George’s county.

In Summary
The brand is very strong, but the message is tired political cliché.
The Prince George’s County leadership’s second biggest weakness is lack of depth in agenda.
The third weakness of the Prince George’s County leadership is its refusal to appreciate Prince George’s County ’s political realities. The political fundamentals have not shifted. In fact, it is correct to state that the majority of the county leans towards a new administration and are too willing to give it more time to deliver.
Putting its fate in Mr. Rushern Baker to finally deliver the prize is unwise. An objective analysis of the political matrix in Prince George’s County shows that Mr. Rushern Baker’s brightest political days are behind him and he is in his sunset days! By passing the torch to a younger leader, Mr. Rushern Baker will give the Prince George’s County leadership enough time to build the components of a new political machine around a new leader with no corrupt links.

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 Mr. Rushern Baker III

The biggest problem in Prince George’s county is our refusal to face the facts. We are forever pointing fingers, chasing shadows, creating scapegoats, burying our heads in the sand like an Ostrich and sweeping everything under the carpet.

As long as we refuse to acknowledge the real issues that confront us, we will never find the solutions especially in our schools (Prince George’s county public schools). It’s one thing to appoint leaders  at Sasscer Administration Building for the sake of it. But if there is no real meaning but cover up. It’s going to be a waste of time as we have pointed out in the past.

The two momentous events of the past two months — Primary election and the one year take over of our schools led by one County Executive Rushern Baker III  — show the promise and perils of Prince George’s county leadership. Both events portrayed the Prince George’s county leadership in flattering and deprecating circumstances.

On the one hand, the Prince George’s County leadership can huff and puff, make all kinds of change threatening those who speak out by making all kinds of noises, hold huge rallies and even create a sense of siege within government.

However, everything the Baker administration tries to do completely fizzles out in a matter of days. The roar becomes a whimper and the Prince George’s County new Board of Education becomes an irrelevant irritant. The political threat it poses and the promises of the coalition are checkmated by harsh internal and external realities that reduce it to a smouldering rubble of unfulfilled potential and promise.

Prince George’s County new Board of Education’s potential for growth is undermined by the shackling grip of these internal and external challenges. As such, it is most unlikely that it will ever realize its potential unless radically changed and a rethink in strategy undertaken. The risks of confronting the internal challenges are enormous but it is worth taking them.

The biggest asset and biggest liability of the Prince George’s County leadership is its leader, the enigmatic, irreplaceable and evergreen Rushern Baker III. Rushern Baker III is Prince George’s County ’s Yasser Arafat. Like Arafat was to the Palestine Liberation Organization, Rushern Baker III defines the coalition by promoting nepotism at every turn, shapes its looks, pulls the masses to it, personifies the threat it poses to the powers that be, but monopolizes power in a manner that cripples its full potential by promoting corruption directly and indirectly.

When the leading light of  county leadership polarizes the population, he arrests the growth of the body politik. He makes it a force to be reckoned with but fails to build it into a machine that can ultimately maintain power and move the county forward. Prince George’s County leadership must rethink the Rushern Baker III riddle in November 2014. It can’t do without him, but the Prince George’s County citizenry knows that he cannot lead it to the Promised Land. This is one reason why change in leadership this fall is an important step in helping fix the county.

Prince George’s County’s potential is further compromised by the fact that it is headed by a leader who has failed to deliver the ultimate prize on several occasions. The brand is very strong, but the message is tired political cliché. The solution is a gamble, worth all the risk in the world. It is the right time for Rushern Baker III to pass the torch to Angela D. Alsobrooks, Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk,  venerable Senator C. Anthony Muse, Timothy Wilson, Ms. Aliya Mullins or Mr. Roussan Etienne Jr.

Putting the county’s fate in Rushern Baker III to finally deliver the prize is unwise. An objective analysis of the political matrix in Prince George’s County shows that Rushern Baker III ’s brightest political days are behind him and he is in his sunset days! By passing the torch to Angela D. Alsobrooks, Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk, venerable Senator C. Anthony Muse, Timothy Wilson, Ms. Aliya Mullins or Mr. Roussan Etienne Jr. Rushern Baker III will give the Prince George’s County leadership  enough time to build the components of a new political machine around the new leader.

Lack of depth in agenda

The Prince George’s County’s ’s second biggest weakness is lack of depth in agenda. Prince George’s County leadership has miserably failed to convince Prince George’s County citizenry that it has a plausible agenda for the county. One will be forgiven to think that the current point agenda touted as the blueprint by the Prince George’s County leadership was drafted right at the podium during the political rally at Largo or some other place.

The song and dance acts by various Senators can win them the November 2014 election, but Prince George’s County citizenry expect the opposition in Prince George’s County to churn out solid programmes and well thought-out ideas to show that they have better policies than the current regime led by Mr. Rushern Baker’s government.

The third weakness of the Prince George’s County leadership is its refusal to appreciate the Prince George’s County ’s political realities. The political fundamentals have not shifted and the corruption continues as usual within the county. In fact, it is correct to state that the majority of the county leans towards a new administration and are too willing to give it more time to deliver.

Prince George’s County citizenry are political realists and appreciate that days of political miracles are long gone. The Rushern Baker III administration is facing huge challenges, but it is utter nonsense to think that the Prince George’s County leadership is in a position to fix the issues with corruption running the show behind the scenes.

Fourth, Prince George’s County leadership is a poor reader of the national mood. By engaging in a new round of politicking, picketing and covert corruption including manipulation of the court system, the Prince George’s County leadership is swimming against a strong national and international current that wants stability, peace and economic growth for everyone.

Prince George’s County leadership is pushing the politics and the interests of the “self” and going against the wishes of the public. Prince George’s County leadership wants power for its leaders and not bread for its followers. This must be checked.

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County executive candidates looking to challenge Baker.

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(From left to right Ms. Aliya Mullins; Mr. Roussan Etienne Jr and  Dr. Timothy Wilson)

UPPER MARLBORO – County Executive Rushern L. Baker III seeks reelection the fall election, but he faces three candidates who say the county is in dire need for a change in leadership. As shown above, the three candidates currently running against Baker are;

  1. Timothy Wilson, a U.S. military veteran.
  2. Ms. Aliya Mullins
  3. Mr. Roussan Etienne Jr

Baker said he is proud of his accomplishments regarding public safety, economic development and education.
According to the county police, since Baker took office the county has seen a 38 percent reduction in homicides, a 30 percent reduction in violent crimes and a 27 percent reduction in total crimes.
“That is because of things like the Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative,” Baker said. “It is not just about the number of police but it is about also looking at quality of life.” >>> Read more Prince George’s County Sentinel

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Mr. Rushern Baker –The all powerful current County Executive for Prince George’s County is known not to be a man of his word according to Prince George’s County NAACP Chapter. He makes promises he cannot keep and is deeply involved in the scandal comprising Dr. kevin Maxwell. (Read more Major scandal Developing in Upper Marlboro). On this note, Mr. Baker needs to take responsibility and resign! It’s time for a change.

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The Tiger (Panthera tigris).

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The largest of all the Asian big cats, tigers rely primarily on sight and sound rather than smell. They typically hunt alone and stalk prey. A tiger can consume up to 88 pounds of meat at one time. On average, tigers give birth to 2-3 cubs every 2-2.5 years. If all the cubs in one litter die, a second litter may be produced within 5 months.

Tigers generally gain independence at two years of age and attain sexual maturity at 3-4 years for females and at 4-5 years for males. Juvenile mortality is high however—about half of all cubs do not survive more than two years. Tigers have been known to reach the age of 26 years in the wild.

Males of the largest subspecies, the Amur (Siberian) tiger, may weigh up to 660 pounds. For males of the smallest subspecies—the Sumatran tiger—upper range is at around 310 pounds. Within each subspecies, males are heavier than females. Tigers are mostly solitary, apart from associations between mother and offspring. Individual tigers have a large territory and the size is determined mostly by the availability of prey. Although individuals do not patrol their territories, they visit over a period of days or weeks and mark their territory with urine and feces.

Across their range, tigers face unrelenting pressure from poaching, retaliatory killings and habitat loss. They are forced to compete for space with dense and often growing human populations.

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DISTRIBUTION
Less than a century ago, tigers occupied a range extending from eastern Turkey and the southern fringes of the Caspian Sea eastward across Central Asia as far as the Sea of Okhotsk, south through eastern China to the Indian sub-continent, and the whole of Southeast Asia as far as the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java and Bali. This former range has contracted and been fragmented dramatically in recent decades. Tigers now occur only in scattered populations in parts of the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Sumatra, and the Russian Far East, with a small number still surviving in China.
Range States: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Russian Federation, Thailand and Vietnam.

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The Tiger can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, China, Himalayas, Indian subcontinent.

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Steep Rise in Ivory Sales and Availability in Thailand

New undercover report from TRAFFIC finds disturbing growth in the world’s largest unregulated ivory market

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Though Thailand reveres elephants and holds the animals as an important part of national identity, the country remains one of the most problematic worldwide when it comes to the illegal ivory trade.

A new undercover survey of markets in Thailand’s capital Bangkok from January 2013 until May 2014 by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, revealed:

  • A significant increase in the availability of ivory products, from 5,865 items to 14,512 items in the past 18 months
  • A steep rise in the number of outlets selling ivory in Thailand’s capital city, from 61 to 120

The report Polishing off the ivory: Surveys of Thailand’s ivory market concludes the vast majority of ivory being sold in Thailand is illegal under international commitments the country made under the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The publication comes just days before a crucial CITES meeting where Thailand will be asked to outline how it has implemented a national plan to end the illegal ivory trade, which was submitted to the Convention last year.

“As the poaching crisis continues to decimate elephant populations across Africa, we cannot afford to turn a blind eye on Thailand’s failure to revise outdated ivory legislation and live up to its international commitments,” said Crawford Allan, senior director at TRAFFIC. “Thailand has had over two decades to do the right thing and it’s past time for them to close legal loopholes that and shut down the illegal ivory trade.”

Halted progress

Last year, WWF delivered a global petition with nearly 1.6 million signatures to the Thai government urging leaders to shut down the ivory market. But despite a public commitment to action, little progress has been made.

A 75-year-old law permits the legal trade of ivory from domesticated Asian elephants in Thailand, often from the ivory left after captive elephants’ tusks are trimmed. But with no registration system in place, the government cannot trace the ivory. This makes it easier for ivory from illegal sources to enter the market place. The report shows the amount of ivory for sale in Thailand far exceeds the amount that could possibly come from domestic elephants. And since 2008, more than 13 tons of African elephant ivory have been seized in Thailand.

Tens of thousands of African elephants are slaughtered each year for their ivory to meet the heavy demand from Asia. Transnational organized criminal gangs are believed to be behind much of the trafficking.

TRAFFIC and WWF are working closely together to stop wildlife crime. We are applying the strength of our worldwide networks, our influence with partners and governments, and the passion of our supporters to end a crisis that is threatening to undo years of conservation progress.

You can help. Sign on to stop wildlife crime. 

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A Kenyan wildlife ranger inscribes markings on the 775 elephant tusks that was seized by the port police at the container terminal destined for Malaysia in the coastal town of Mombasa

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Boycott ivory products such as these ones pictured here and help save the Elephant and the Rhino.

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 A car covered with carved ivory. How many elephants died for this?

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