Monthly Archives: August 2014

Parents attempting to raise money…

…to rebuild playground burned down at Md. charter school.

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TEMPLE HILLS, Md. –

Who would do such a thing? That is what parents at Imagine Lincoln Public Charter School in Prince George’s County are saying after someone burned down their playground.

Now the younger kids don’t have anywhere to play and the school’s parents are hoping for help to rebuild.

“Immediately I thought maybe there was a storm the night before and hoping it was lightning and not arson,” said principal Danielle Goddard about the time she first saw the charred playground.

But it was arson. Goddard showed us the black pit where the beautiful playground once stood. She ordered the debris removed before the kids return to school later this month.

“I was pretty disappointed that somebody would destroy our children’s equipment,” Goddard said.

It is believed on the night of July 12th, someone or maybe more than one person came here with a liquid accelerant and started the fire at the playground.

“They believe it was in the middle of the night >>> Read more Fox 5 DC.

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Md. agency failed to monitor placement of foster children, audit says.

Evidence of abuse or neglect found in more than a dozen cases
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Department of Human Resources Secretary Ted Dallas (left) and health secretary Dr. Joshua Sharfstein at a legislative briefing.

Some foster children were placed in the care of relatives with a history of alleged abuse or neglect because Maryland’s social services agency did not properly monitor local agencies, according to a new audit.

State auditors found that 16 children, ranging in age from 2 months to nearly 5 years old, were put in the care of relatives despite “credible evidence of abuse or neglect” by them before or during the placements. The Office of Legislative Audits, which released the report this week, reviewed records from July 2010 to January 2013.

“We need to do better. The bottom line is, these placements need to be safe,” said Melissa Rock, child welfare director for Advocates for Children and Youth, a nonprofit advocacy group. “When a child is abused or neglected in a DHR placement — be it a group home, a foster home, a kinship care home — we need accountability and there needs to be more public awareness to help hold everyone accountable.”

This is not the first time auditors have cited the foster care agency, overseen by the state Department of Human Resources, for failing to properly monitor such placements. A 2011 audit found the same problem.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-audit-20140819,0,4132122.story#ixzz3AtbhB23O

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The warthog (Phacochoerus africanus).

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Known for a distinct lack of beauty and its pennant tail, the warthog is unmistakable. They are remarkable for their strength, intelligence, and flexibility! Its name refers to the warts carried by the boar, while the Afrikaans name “vlakvark” refers to the animal’s habit of roaming plains along watercourses and marshlands. The warthog has an exceptionally high breeding rate that allows it to invade marginal and degraded habitats. Unlike many of their African counterparts, they are not endangered because they are so skilled at adapting to new threats. For example, most warthogs like to forage during the light of the morning and early evening. But if they live in an area where they are hunted by people, they switch to foraging at night. It also contributes to the destruction of veld condition and damages fences by burrowing underneath to open escape pathways that are also used by game animals and domestic small stock.

Warthogs are not very picky about their homes, either. Instead of digging their own burrows, they find abandoned aardvark holes or natural burrows for homes to raise their young, sleep, and hide from predators. They usually back into their burrows, so they can use their sharp tusks to scare off any animal that bothers them. The burrows also protect them from temperature extremes. Underground, the temperature is always comfortable, even if aboveground it’s extremely hot at high noon or freezing in the middle of the night.

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Habitat requirement

Warthogs are generally associated with sub-tropical, open, degraded grassland plains, flood plains, marshland areas and, more particularly, the ring-zone surrounding waterholes. They are also found in open savanna woodland and sparse shrubland, the new grass growth in burnt veld being a particular attraction. Shortgrass habitats with grasses of less than 15 cm that are associated with sweetveld habitat are preferred. A sourveld habitat is unsuitable. Warthog are fond of mud baths and prefer to be close to water sources. Thick bush, riverine thickets, forests and arid desert environments are avoided. Sub-arid environments are only suitable for the desert warthog and, even then, only marginally so. Warthog die easily during prolonged droughts due to the decline in the nutrient quality of dietary fodder.

Feeding & Nutrition

Warthogs are omnivorous, feeding on vegetation, insects, maggots, rodents, bird nestlings, eggs and snakes. They also scavenge carcasses and bones. The greatest portion of the diet consists of sweet grasses and forb roots rather than the vegetative material found above-ground. Warthog kneel and dig out roots to a depth of 15 cm with their tusks and muscular snouts. This destructive behaviour results in the warthog being a high-impact species. Other food types include water sedges, dwarf shrubs, fruits, berries, soil and dung from other herbivorous animals. Wetland grasses are highly favoured. Warthog are highly selective feeders of both plant species and parts and require a diversity of grasses and forbs. Feeding exclusively takes place during daylight hours. At night they sleep in old burrows of the aardvark Orycteropus afer, and the porcupine Hystrix africanus.

Social structure

Pairs of warthog are solitary but temporary aggregations occur when 4-5 families meet to feed at the same site. Neighbouring families with overlapping home ranges are not aggressive but at dusk each family returns to its own den. Families consist of an adult boar, an adult sow and her offspring of the current season and sometimes those from the previous season. Piglets may stay with the family until an age of 27 months. Adult boars leave the family groups after the mating season and become solitary, occupying their own den but still sharing the same home range. Old post-mature adults of both sexes become solitary and occupy dens on the perimeter of the family home range.

Disease

Warthog are highly susceptible to swine-fever and mange and cannot tolerate malnutrition during droughts. It is the first game species to suffer high mortalities during these periods.

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The Warthog can be found in a number of locations in Africa

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“Mother Nature is our teacher—reconnecting us with Spirit, waking us up and liberating our hearts. When we can transcend our fear of the creatures of the forest, then we become one with all that is; we enter a unity of existence with our relatives—the animals, the plants and the land that sustains us.”
Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears    

Prince George’s County sees homicide spike in August.

…Residents hold families, communities accountable.

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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.

During the first two weeks of August, Prince George’s County’s homicide rate matched that of June and July combined, which has some residents calling for more investment in families and neighborhoods.

Five incidents — including a double homicide — took place primarily in the southern portion of the county this month, including attacks in the cities of Oxon Hill, Suitland and Landover.

Ron Balfour, 63, of Suitland said he is a former neighborhood watch member and was concerned to hear of the Aug. 10 shooting of a Suitland woman.

“Any incident that happens like that in your community, you always have concerns. [Crime] will go down, then all of a sudden you have a spike,” he said. “They always recommend more policing, more security, but all that costs money.”

Balfour said there is only so much law enforcement officers can do to promote safety if family members and neighbors are not taking responsibility for each other.

“Everything has to start from home. Parents have to pay more attention to their children,” he said. “The police are there to serve and protect, but if it’s not monitored from home, if you don’t have any place for these young men and women to go, that’s another thing that’s not helping.” >>>>Read more the Gazette.

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Prince George’s County parents concerned about lack of transparency…

… with Dr. Maxwell finally showing his true cards at Goddard Montessori fiasco in PGCPS.

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A decision by Prince George’s County School Chief Kevin Maxwell to move Glenarden Woods Elementary School into part of the building where Robert Goddard Montessori students attend classes has drawn criticism from parents of the popular magnet program.

Anita Studgeon, the PTA president at the school, said the school district had not been forthcoming about its plans at the Seabrook school building.

Lynn McCawley, a spokesman for the school system, said a community meeting and follow-up conversations have already been held on the plan, and the district will send letters to parents before the start of school.

For several years, Robert Goddard Montessori, where 502 students were enrolled last year, has shared its building with the Robert Goddard French Immersion School.

The French immersion school, which 545 students attended last year, is scheduled to move into the old Greenbelt Middle School this year. >>> Read more Washington Post

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Segun Eubanks  - Laughing all the way to the Bank.

Segun Eubanks – Laughing all the way to the Bank at the expense of the community.

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Dr. Kevin Maxwell got a hefty $90,000 hand shake on the way out from Anne Arundel County Public Schools and $1 million sign up with guess whose pot cash bonuses?  – PGCPS. What does he promise to do for us? Is this performance based appointment? Even wall street sets performance goals. The last time we checked with our school performances, we cannot surely in this economy blow cash on these willy nilly appointments for sure.  Dr. Maxwell was indirectly a subject of the Maryland legislature in the last session for the $90,000 he took with him. (Read more)

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Former D.C. charter board CFO promoted corruption

… by having private companies that allegedly paid him

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Donna Montgomery, chief executive officer at Options Public Charter School, arrives at the school

As the D.C. Public Charter School Board’s chief financial officer, Jeremy L. Williams was responsible for monitoring charter schools’ business practices and ensuring their compliance with rules meant to prevent financial mismanagement.

Instead, he allegedly received $150,000 to help three former managers of Options Public Charter School evade those rules and take millions of taxpayer dollars for themselves, according to a pending civil lawsuit.

Williams and the other defendants in that lawsuit have denied doing anything illegal.

But e-mail messages The Washington Post obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request show that Williams used his official capacity with the charter board to help the former Options leaders promote two for-profit businesses that allegedly served as vehicles for diverting millions of dollars in taxpayer funds meant for students.

“Thanks for assisting with the presentation yesterday,” David Cranford, one of the Options officials, wrote in March 2013, referring to a meeting Williams hosted for business managers from the city’s charter schools. On the agenda was a chance for the Options managers to pitch their company’s Medicaid-billing services, which they argued could help schools recoup some of their special-education costs.

 “Your involvement definitely opened up a lot of opportunities to work with other charters,” Cranford wrote.

“No problem chief!” Williams replied, according to e-mail records. “More opportunities looming. For certain.” >>> Read more Washington post  >>> Read more ~~> the connection to PGCPS MESS!

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Politicians, Plutocrats and Trust Magnates.

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file photo shows Honorable Governor Rick Perry before indictment for abuse of office.

In light of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s indictment, We must remember that, Politicians, Plutocrats and Trust Magnates are not demigods. They are servants obliged to serve and create an enabling environment for the masses to pursue their God given purposes, talents peacefully, secure and harmoniously. There should never be anarchy at any given time. There should be no discrimination and racism whatsoever! BUT once anyone of us or people start worshiping some of these politicians like what has been happening here in Prince George’s County, we turn them into demigods competing for space in your heart with the Living God and then you or any else will stand accused of IDOLATRY.  Let us stop looking up to men and women as the source of our livelihood or source of supplies! They are NOT!

No one else has better power than God himself to ensure that goodness prevails. Who has the power to ensure that justice is done and that God’s will is done on Planet Earth?

WE HAVE THE POWER AS PEOPLE! Yes we have that power, undiluted.

Institutions or corporations or even local Governments like Prince George’s County,  State of Texas, State of Maryland and others around the world have no life of their own, despite what we typically think about bureaucracies. They are only a group of people. People like you and anyone of us. Making choices, wrong or right choices to enable or disable God’s will being carried out on planet earth. However,  each choice made individually or collectively has moral consequences!

Leadership is consistently identified as a critical factor in effective economic development. Although leadership can come from many places within the community, local elected officials are particularly well-positioned to take on this role in many aspects if it is done the right way.

One way in which we can address these issues is through protections of individual rights whether immigrants, resident, citizen etc.

Human rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent covenants, have provided an internationally agreed set of principles and standards by which to assess and redress inequality. Conversely, a just society is one that understands and values human rights and the dignity of all human beings.

The international human rights system is an important way of advocating for or enforcing fairer distribution of resources in the world. However as Baldry and McCausland note, obtaining “… remedies under the human rights system requires a significant degree of understanding of that system, and the resources and skills to advocate for the rights that are breached. Ironically, it is those most in need of assistance when their human rights are breached that are often least able to access such a system”.

There is, therefore, a need for social justice to facilitate such access. For example, while indigenous people are entitled to the full protection of the individual human rights system that has existed for the past sixty years, their rights have continued to be violated and they often experience poverty and disadvantage to a greater extent than the rest of the population. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognizes the difficulty in realizing human rights for Indigenous people who have been disadvantaged on a systemic level by historical discrimination and dispossession over past centuries.

Some view the human rights approach as being inadequate in ensuring that all members of the community meet mutual responsibilities and obligations, especially obligations to protect disadvantaged members of society, as rights are often stressed in preference to obligations. Others argue that a human rights vision is concerned with delivering the best society possible, as it is not concerned solely with negative rights to do as one pleases. Rather, it is concerned with positive entitlements such as rights to work, leisure, education and cultural participation, which involves a more positive outline of what a good and just society, will look like.

  • Fairness and mutual obligation in society
  •  Responsibility for each other,
  • Equal chances to succeed in life
  • Redistribution of opportunities,
  • Balance between social equality and
    individual freedom.
  • Based on principles of equality and solidarity

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A just society both understands and values human rights, as well as recognizing the dignity of every human being.

Joint responsibility to address systemic/structural poverty, inequality and unfairness (emphasizes responsibility of system or government to provide)

  • Fair redistribution of resources
  • Equal access to opportunities and rights
  • Fair system of law and due process
  • Ability to take up opportunities and exercise rights
  • Protection of vulnerable and disadvantaged people

Individual responsibility

  • Moral responsibility ‐ behavior of those who are poor, excluded or disadvantaged)
  • Workforce participation ‐workforce participation as the only legitimate way for an individual to contribute to society and be socially included)
  • Individual capability ‐ the personal characteristics that enable people to take advantage of opportunities)
  • Recognition of human value and well being emphasizes human value beyond status and economic productivity

Social Justice – Economic Justice

  • Social justice encompasses economic justice. ‐the virtue which guides to create organized human interactions called institutions
  • social institutions, when justly organized, provide access to economic resources.
  • Social justice also imposes on each of us a personal responsibility to work with others to design and continually perfect institutions as tools for personal and social development.

Addressing Democratic Deficit

  • Strengthening/empowering communities
  • Decentralized services
  • Decentralization to local government and town councils
  • Politically neutral local government system
  • Minimizing inefficiencies with overlap of jurisdictions, services, accountability
  • An education system more integrated with community – build interact and incorporate community into schooling;
  • Service/community hours, care for elderly – mentorship and care.
  • Identifying localised resources; promoting entrepreneursip and building self‐sufficiency within communities.
  • Minimizing wastage/streamlining private sector‐community initiatives
  • Self sustainable development
  • Every child has a talent: setting talent at the heart of preparing for life of work – from preschool
  • For example areas  considered underdeveloped in the world should allow children at least one third of their day to attend to a trade/skills or talent ‐ such vocation developed the agri sector, agro tourism sector, cultural industries – art, craft, dance, music, etc – had something to fal back on own initiative if couldn’t find public job placement.
  • Reversing view of culture and arts as hobby/secondary to education and placng it at centre of educational development.

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Map of the State of Texas

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Map of Prince George’s County.

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County Executive Mr. Rushern Baker III for Prince George’s County.

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