We can't become numb to stories about family violence

We can't become numb to stories about family violence

Lately, the news has been inundated with gruesome accounts of family members harming or killing their own.

Parents taking the lives of their children. Children murdering their parents.The most horrific acts are reported in the news, and it appears to be more and more common.

We need to stay horrified and sickened by these reports. But more importantly, we need to acknowledge that it isn't just being heard about simply because news is just more accessible.

Sadly, it is happening more often.

The most disheartening news is seeing people lose that reaction to hearing of such criminal acts.

Once we become numb, unfazed or not affected by this type of news, we become a not-so-civil society.

Remain appalled, remain repulsed, and remain interested, because "there but for the grace of God, go us all."

Lynn Reich, Fort Lauderdale

Wilton Manors city leaders try to stop proposed business boycott over Allen West appearance

The Wilton Manors mayor and City Commission spoke out Thursday against a proposed boycott of city businesses over a coming speech to a local business group by Congressman Allen West, R-Plantation.
The city leaders issued a statement late in the afternoon after a day of controversy in the community over the planned Aug. 8 West appearance at the Wilton Manors Business Association.
“Calling for an economic boycott of our business community because you do not happen to agree with … [the] invitation to Congressman West is not only counterproductive, but is irresponsible,” Mayor Gary Resnick said in the statement.
Wilton Manors has a large gay and lesbian population. West opposes many issues important to gay activists, such as gay marriage and the end of the don’t ask, don’t tell ban on gays serving openly in the military.
Michael Rajner, legislative director for the Florida Gay, Lesbian, Bixexual, Transgender Democratic Caucus on Wednesday called for the business association to withdraw the speaking invitation to West. Failure to do so would result in a boycott of business association members by the gay community, Rajner said.
As a member of the GLBT Democratic Caucus, Resnick said “I was taken aback that such action would even be suggested.”

Wilton Manors city leaders try to stop proposed business boycott over Allen West appearance

Congressional Call-in Day to Support HIV/AIDS Programs

Congressional Call-in Day to Support HIV/AIDS Programs

Tell your Senators and Representative that cutting programs vital to people with HIV/AIDS is no way to reduce the deficit - we need a fair and balanced approach now!

  • Congressional negotiations to reduce the federal deficit are still stuck, putting at risk critical services upon which millions of Americans rely, including persons living with HIV/AIDS.
  • The Ryan White Program, Medicaid, Medicare, housing, prevention and other programs that make up the safety net for vulnerable Americans with HIV/AIDS andthe NIH-supported research that holds the keys to ending the pandemic are all on the line.
  • Congress is negotiating now to reduce the deficit and Congress is scheduled to vote on this isssue this week, so we need to exert pressure now!
Please call your Senators and Representative and tell them to prevent harmful cuts and caps to health care and low-income programs, including those that impact persons with HIV/AIDS, in negotiations to reduce the deficit -- we need a fair and balanced approach now! Please make these critical calls today!
To call your Senators and Representative, dial the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121To look up your Members of Congress, use the search box at the bottom of the message.
Please call with this message: I am calling to ask my Senator/Representative to prevent harmful cuts and caps to health care, research, and low-income programs, including those that impact persons living with HIV/AIDS, such as the Ryan White Program, Medicaid, Medicare, housing, and prevention programs! We need a fair and balanced approach now!
  • Balancing the budget on the backs of vulnerable Americans, including those living with HIV, is wrong, will potentially cost lives, and will cut jobs in the health care and human needs sectors.
  • Early and reliable access to HIV care, treatment, and support helps people with HIV live healthy and productive lives and is cost effective. Investing in HIV prevention today translates into greater health and less spending in the future.
  • In my state/district, such programs are greatly needed, because........

Largest Promotions Ceremony In BSO History

Largest Promotions Ceremony In BSO History

10 a.m. Monday, July 25, 2011
Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Amaturo Theater 201 Southwest Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti will promote 62 employees Monday during the agency’s largest promotions ceremony ever. There will be 21 people promoted to the rank of sergeant and 22 promoted to lieutenant in the departments of law enforcement and detention, and there will be 10 new Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue driver engineers. Also in fire rescue, there will be four new captains and one new division chief/fire marshal. In the department of law enforcement, two people will promote to the rank of captain, one to district chief and one to major. In addition, 21 fire rescue reserves will be sworn in during the ceremony. “These well-deserved promotions are a good sign. It means that we have turned a corner and are moving forward as an agency,” Sheriff Al Lamberti said. Among the candidates for promotion is Sgt. Andrea Levine, who is following in the footsteps of her father, a BSO retiree who serves in the agency’s reserve unit, and her brother, a captain at Miramar Police Department. Lt. Rafael Omana and Sgt. Joseph Lungha both proudly serve in the United States Marine Corps. Fire Rescue Capt. Cindie Schooner-Ball was one of the first women hired as a firefighter and EMT in Broward County, and Sgt. Jeremy Hansen works closely with the Police Athletic League to improve children’s physical, social and emotional well-being. .
The entire ceremony can be viewed at http://www.bsolive.org

Kendrick B. Meek, Nominee for Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-sixth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations

Kendrick B. Meek is the President of KBM Solutions LLC, a consulting firm focusing on disaster recovery, humanitarian assistance, emergency medical relief, and Chairman of the Editorial Board of Politic365, an online news source for policy and politics affecting communities of color. From 2002 to 2010, Mr. Meek represented the 17th Congressional District of Florida. During his time in Congress, Mr. Meek served on the House Armed Services and Ways and Means Committees. He also served as co-chairman of the 30-Something Working Group, and was appointed to the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Mr. Meek began his career as a Trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol. He later became a Captain and was assigned to the security detail traveling with Democratic Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay. Mr. Meek served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1995 to 1998 and in the Florida Senate from 1999 to 2002. Mr. Meek graduated from Florida A&M University in 1989 with a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Congressional Progressive Caucus in Miami

July 16th Miami, FL 2p.m.- 4p.m. Miami Dade College, North Campus, Lehman Theater in the Arts Complex, 11380 NW 27th Ave. Miami, FL 33167

Join Representatives Raul Grijalva (AZ-CPC Co-Chair), Keith Ellison (MN-CPC Co-Chair), Frederica Wilson (FL) and Ted Deutch (FL) for your opportunity to share your stories and ideas.

Text MIA to 228466 to get Miami Event Updates and Reminders

Broward Police To Switch Parties

The Broward County Police Benevolent Association union is holding an event to urge its members to leave the Republican Party. The union is upset with Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican controlled state legislature for passing pension reforms and new laws restricting how union dues can be collected. Law enforcement officers have traditionally supported Republicans, but PBA vice president Jeff Marano say they are now urging members to switch their registrations and abandon the Republican Party. The party switch rally is scheduled to take place on July 16 at the PBA Union Hall, located at 2901 SW 26 Terr. in Fort Lauderdale, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Staff from Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes office will attend to assist with the registration change forms.

Sen. Bill Nelson: 4th July Message

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I gave my Fourth of July message in the Senate this past week, and would like to share it with you.

Some 235 years ago this weekend, John Adams proclaimed that July 2 would mark the most memorable epoch in the history of America. It was on that day the Continental Congress declared the 13 colonies free and independent of Great Britain’s crown. It was two days after that when Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence was adopted.

And when did Americans first celebrate their independence?

Philadelphia is said to have thrown a big party on July 8, 1776, including a parade and the firing of guns. George Washington, then camped near New York City, heard the news on July 9 and celebrated then. But in 1781, Massachusetts became the first state to recognize July 4 as a state celebration. Ten years later, the young nation’s celebration was dubbed Independence Day.

This Independence Day, I hope every American will stop and think for just a minute about our freedoms – and just how much we owe those who came here long before us and mutually pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. And let us also remember the young men and women who have died in defense of those freedoms.

We traditionally observe the Fourth with fireworks and fanfare, pomp and parade. But today we remain engaged in far-away struggles to promote and protect the rights of others who, like us, value freedom and independence. Many of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are spending their Fourth in Iraq and Afghanistan and other parts of world.

I recently was reminded of the commitment and selfless sacrifice demonstrated by one of America’s World War II veterans, who lives in my state of Florida.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Rickel, of Boca Raton, served as a waist gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress. Sgt. Rickel survived the daring bombing campaign of Schweinfurt, Germany in October 1943, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism or extraordinary achievement.

Sgt. Rickel and all the military members and all their families knew the risks and sacrifices they were making were worth it. As President Reagan once said, “Some things are worth dying for ... democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.”

Indeed, our democracy is something to celebrate. I wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July.