Archive for the ‘Tagged with 2015UncategorizedAdverb’ Tag


Posted January 4, 2018 by Teacher Alvin in LEARNING ENGLISH

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Posted September 15, 2017 by Teacher Alvin in LEARNING ENGLISH

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THIS IS THE NEW H.U.D STORY!!!   Leave a comment


In mid-May, Steve Preston, who served as the secretary of housing and urban development in the final two years of the George W. Bush administration, organized a dinner at the Metropolitan Club in Washington, D.C., for the new chief of that department, Ben Carson, and five other former secretaries whose joint tenure stretched all the way back to Gerald Ford. It was an event with no recent precedent within the department, and it had the distinct feel of an intervention.
HUD has long been something of an overlooked stepchild within the federal government. Founded in 1965 in a burst of Great Society resolve to confront the “urban crisis,” it has seen its manpower slide by more than half since the Reagan Revolution. (The HUD headquarters is now so eerily underpopulated that it can’t even support a cafeteria; it sits vacant on the first floor.) But HUD still serves a function that millions of low-income Americans depend on — it funds 3,300 public-housing authorities with 1.2 million units and also the Section 8 rental-voucher program, which serves more than 2 million families; it has subsidized tens of millions of mortgages via the Federal Housing Administration; and, through various block grants, it funds an array of community uplift initiatives. It is the Ur-government agency, quietly seeking to address social problems in struggling areas that the private sector can’t or won’t solve, a mission that has become especially pressing amid a growing housing affordability crisis in many major cities.
Despite its Democratic roots, Republican administrations have historically assumed stewardship over HUD with varying degrees of enthusiasm — among the department’s more notable secretaries were Republicans George Romney and Jack Kemp, the idiosyncratic champion of supply-side economics and inner-city renewal.
Now, however, HUD faced an existential crisis. The new president’s then-chief strategist, Steve Bannon, had called in February for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” It was not hard to guess that, for a White House that swept to power on a wave of racially tinged rural resentment and anti-welfare sentiment, high on the demolition list might be a department with “urban” in its name. The administration’s preliminary budget outline had already signaled deep cuts for HUD. And Donald Trump had chosen to lead the department someone with zero experience in government or social policy — the nominee whose unsuitability most mirrored Trump’s lack of preparation to run the country.
This prospect was causing alarm even among HUD’s former Republican leaders. At the Metropolitan Club, George W. Bush’s second secretary, Alphonso Jackson, warned Carson against cutting further into HUD’s manpower. (Many regional offices have shuttered in recent years.) Carla Hills, who ran the department under President Ford, put in a plug for the Community Development Block Grant program, noting that Ford had created it in 1974 precisely in order to give local governments more leeway over how to spend federal assistance.
The tone was collegial, built on the hopeful assumption that Carson wanted to do right by the department. “We were trying to be supportive,” Henry Cisneros, from the Clinton administration, told me. But it was hard for the ex-secretaries to get a read on Carson’s plans, not least because the whisper-voiced retired pediatric neurosurgeon was being overshadowed by an eighth person at the table: his wife, Candy. An energetic former real-estate agent who is an accomplished violinist and has co-authored four books with her husband, she had been spending far more time inside the department’s headquarters at L’Enfant Plaza than anyone could recall a secretary’s spouse doing in the past, only one of many oddities that HUD employees were encountering in the Trump era. She’d even taken the mic before Carson made his introductory speech to the department. “We’re really excited about working with — ” She broke off, as if detecting the puzzlement of the audience. “Well, he’s really.”
The story of the Trump administration has been dominated by the Russia investigations, the Obamacare repeal morass, and cataclysmic internecine warfare. But there is a whole other side to Trump’s takeover of Washington: What happens to the government itself, and all it is tasked with doing, when it is placed under the command of the Chaos President? HUD has emerged as the perfect distillation of the right’s antipathy to governing. If the great radical conservative dream was, in Grover Norquist’s famous words, to “drown government in a bathtub,” then this was what the final gasps of one department might look like.
Nov. 9 brought open weeping in the halls of HUD headquarters, a Brutalist arc at L’Enfant Plaza that resembles a giant concrete honeycomb. Washington was Hillary country, but HUD employees had particular cause for agita. For years, the department had suffered low morale, and there was the perception, not entirely unjustified, that it was prone to episodes of self-dealing and corruption — most recently under Jackson, who was scrutinized for awarding HUD projects to companies run by his friends. But the department had experienced a rejuvenation in the Obama era, with morale rebounding under the leadership of his first secretary, Shaun Donovan, an ambitious, politically savvy housing administrator from New York. While it faced postrecession budget austerity — with its ranks dropping well below 8,000, from more than 16,000 decades earlier — the department made homelessness reduction a priority. Under Donovan’s successor, Julián Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, HUD embarked on a major initiative to address residential segregation by requiring cities and suburbs to do more to live up to the edicts of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Before the election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign sent over a large team of policy experts to study up on HUD and prepare to take the baton on these efforts. The Trump campaign sent one person. “And everyone was joking, ‘Well, he’ll be gone on November 9,’” one staffer told me.
So the stricken employees were slightly relieved when Trump’s operation announced a five-person “landing team” for HUD that included Jimmy Kemp, son of Jack. “There may be hope for us after all,” a veteran staffer in one local HUD office told his colleagues. The semblance of normalcy was short-lived. In late November, word got out that Trump’s choice to run HUD was Carson. To Twitter wags, the selection was comical in its stereotyping: Of course Trump would assign the only African American in his Cabinet to the “urban” department. But to many HUD employees, the selection of so ill-qualified a leader felt like an insult. “People feel disrespected. They see Carson and think, I’ve been in housing policy for 20 or 30 years, and if I walked away, I would never expect to get hired as a nurse,” said one staffer at a branch office, who, like most employees I spoke with, requested anonymity to guard against retribution.
Carson himself had some qualms about running HUD. His close friend Armstrong Williams, a conservative commentator who was exposed for receiving payments from George W. Bush’s administration to tout Bush’s education policies on air, told The Hill in November that Carson had reservations about such a job. “Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience; he’s never run a federal agency,” Williams said. “The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.” Williams later said his remark had been misconstrued, but Shermichael Singleton, a young political operative who worked for Williams and became a top aide on Carson’s campaign, told me that Carson’s ambivalence was real. Trump’s offer, Singleton said, had provoked deep questions for Carson about his life’s purpose. “It was, ‘Should I do this? What does it all mean?’”
In the end, Singleton said, Carson accepted out of a sense of duty that came from having risen to success from humble origins: raised by a single mother, a housekeeper, in Detroit. “He’s someone born in an environment where the odds were clearly stacked against him, and he believes by personal experience that he could do a lot of good for others.” Kemp agreed. Carson accepted, he said, “because he wanted to do something about poverty.” If anything, Kemp said, Carson felt more suited to the HUD job than he would to a health policy one. “Being surgeon general or secretary of [health and human services], I don’t think he was fully equipped to do that, having been a neurosurgeon,” Kemp said. In other words, Carson knew how little he knew about health policy, an awareness he lacked when it came to social policy. “He thought with HUD, ‘It’s so clear that our approach to poverty has not been completely successful and we can do better, and I think I have some ideas that can be applied,’” Kemp said.
Underlying this rationale were two related convictions. One was the standard conservative bias against expertise and bureaucracy, according to which experts lacked the “common sense” that an outsider from the private sector could provide — a conviction shared, of course, by the man who nominated Carson for the job. The other was a more particular conviction that he, Carson, possessed extra doses of such common sense by virtue of his biography.
First, though, Carson had to survive his confirmation hearing. The prepping was intense. His top handler was Scott Keller, a longtime lobbyist who had served as chief of staff under Jackson and, in that role, become embroiled in the contracting scandals. Keller’s pupil was attentive, and his performance at the January hearing before the Senate Banking Committee was judged a relative success by the press, punctuated by Carson’s disarming remark that the panel’s top Democrat, Sherrod Brown, reminded him of Columbo. Carson’s family and closest aides took him to the Monocle, the lobbyist hangout on the Hill, to celebrate.
As Carson awaited confirmation, though, a leadership cadre was already entrenching itself in the administrative offices on the 10th floor of HUD. The five-person landing team had given way in January to a larger “beachhead” team. This was a more eyebrow-raising group. Its few alums from past GOP administrations were outnumbered by Trump loyalists such as Barbara Gruson, a Manhattan real-estate broker who’d worked for the campaign; Victoria Barton, the campaign’s “student and millennial outreach coordinator”; and Lynne Patton, who had worked for the Trumps as an event planner.
The most influential of the new bunch, it would quickly emerge, was Maren Kasper. Little-known in housing policy circles, and in her mid-30s, Kasper arrived from the Bay Area startup Roofstock, which linked investors with rental properties available for purchase. It partnered with lenders including Colony American Finance, a company founded by Tom Barrack, the close Trump associate. This link to Trump, combined with Kasper’s background in one sliver of the housing realm, was enough to win her a place as one of the minders appointed by the White House to keep an eye on each government department, a powerful role without precedent in prior administrations.
Kasper, the holder of an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business, took her new management role seriously, asserting herself as the final arbiter in the absence of a confirmed secretary. This led to friction both with career housing policy experts and with Carson loyalists, notably Singleton, who had also been hired on. At meetings, Singleton said, Kasper was often “misrepresenting” herself as standing in for Carson. “I made it clear, ‘You don’t speak for Dr. Carson.’ She said, ‘Well, the White House …’” To which Singleton said he responded, “I get what the White House has selected, and I respect that, but he’s the secretary and you need to make sure you understand that.”
That friction lasted only so long. In mid-February, an administration “background check” on beachhead team hires turned up an op-ed critical of Trump that Singleton had written for The Hill before the election. Security personnel came to notify him that it was time to go.
On March 6, Carson arrived for his first day of work at headquarters. In introductory remarks to assembled employees, after he’d gotten the mic back from his wife, he surprised many by asking them to raise their hands and “take the niceness pledge.”
He also went on a riff about immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, capped by this: “That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder, for less. But they, too, had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters, might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”
The assembled employees stifled their reaction to this jarringly upbeat characterization of chattel slavery. But in HUD’s Baltimore satellite, where many in the heavily African-American office were watching the speech on an online feed at their desks, the gasps were audible.
Carson’s arrival brought with it a reckoning for career employees: Yes, this person was really in charge. They responded in strikingly different ways. The most progressive-minded were thrown into a sense of crisis: whether to hightail it to avoid whatever radical shifts or indignities were in the offing, or to stay out for the sake of the department’s programs and the millions of people they served.
Then there were the opportunists, those who saw in the vacuum in the upper ranks, where it was taking unusually long to appoint political deputies, the chance to claim higher stations than career employees would typically be able to attain. “There were a couple people in some meetings who were bending over to ingratiate themselves” with the transition team, said Harriet Tregoning, a top Obama appointee in HUD’s Community Planning and Development division, who left in January. “For some, it might be their political leaning. For some, it might be an attempt to gain influence. I saw it happening even while the Obama people were still in the building.”
Finally, there were the clock-punching lifers, the “Weebies” (“We be here before you got here, and we be here after you’re gone”), who recognized a chance to start mailing it in. “It’s ‘I can now meet people for a drink at five,’” said Tregoning. Or, as a supervisor in one branch office put it: “As a bureaucrat, HUD’s an easier place to work if Republicans are in charge. They don’t think it’s an important department, they don’t have ideas, they don’t put in changes.” Left unsaid: that such complacency was an unwitting affirmation of the conservative critique of time-serving bureaucrats.
To the extent that the new leadership was providing any guidance at all, it was often actively discouraging initiative on the part of employees. Shortly after the inauguration, a directive came down requiring employees to get 10th-floor approval for any contacts outside the building — professional conferences, or even just meetings with other departments. Ann Marie Oliva, a highly regarded HUD veteran who’d been hired during the George W. Bush administration and was in charge of homeless and HIV programs, was barred from attending a big annual conference on housing and homelessness in Ohio because, she inferred, some of the other speakers there leaned left.
The department leadership was also actively slowing down new initiatives simply by taking a very long time to give the necessary supervisory approvals for the development of surveys or program guidance. In some cases, this appeared to be the result of mere negligence and delay. In other cases, it appeared more willful. For one thing, there was the leadership’s strong hang-up about all matters transgender-related. The 10th floor ordered the removal of online training materials meant, in part, to help homeless shelters make sure they were providing equal access to transgender people. It also pulled back a survey regarding projects in Cincinnati and Houston to reduce LGBT homelessness. And it forced its Policy Development and Research division to dissociate itself from a major study it had funded on housing discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender people — the study ended up being released in late June under the aegis of the Urban Institute instead.
More upsetting for many ambitious civil servants than the scattered nays coming from the 10th floor, though, was the lack of direction, period. Virtually all the top political jobs below Carson remained vacant. Carson himself was barely to be seen — he never made the walk-through of the building customary of past new secretaries. “It was just nothing,” said one career employee. “I’ve never been so bored in my life. No agenda, nothing to move forward or push back against. Just nothing.”
On May 2, I went to the Watergate to see Carson address an assemblage of the American Land Title Association, title attorneys in town for a regular lobbying visit to buttress the crucial support that HUD and others in Washington provide to the American home-buying machine. I was hoping the speech would give me a better sense of what Carson had in mind for the department, which had been hard to elucidate in his few public appearances. Up to that point, he’d made only a few headlines — for getting caught in a broken elevator at a housing project in Miami; for declaring, on a later visit to Ohio, that public housing should not be too luxurious, a concern that the elevator snafu had apparently not allayed. This comment had drawn mockery but genuinely reflected his long-standing outlook on the safety net: grudging acceptance of its necessity only for those at their most desperate moments, a phase of dependency that must be as brief as absolutely possible. This philosophy was frequently intertwined with allusions to the Creator — so frequently that supervisors at one HUD division sent down word to employees that, yes, their new boss was going to talk a lot about God and they’d probably better just get used to it.
But Carson’s address to the lawyers offered little further clarity on his agenda. He opened with a neurosurgery joke. He touched on his vague proposal for “vision centers” where inner-city kids could come to learn about careers. He repeated one of his favorite mantras, that the government needs to make sure people don’t get unduly reliant on federal assistance, because “everybody is either going to be part of the engine or part of the load.” And then, in the heart of the speech, where a Cabinet secretary would normally get down to programmatic brass tacks, came this meandering riff:
“You know, governments that look out for property rights also tend to look out for other rights. You know, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of all the things that make America America. So it is absolutely foundational to our success … On Sunday, I was talking to a large group of children about what’s happening with rights in our country. These are kids who had all won a Carson Scholar [an award of $1,000 that Carson has sponsored since 1994], which you have to have at least a 3.75 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and show that you care about other people, and I said you’re going to be the leaders of our nation and will help to determine which pathway we go down, a pathway where we actually care about those around us and we use our intellect to improve the quality of life for everyone, or the pathway where we say, “I don’t want to hear you if you don’t believe what I believe, I want to shut you down, you don’t have any rights.” This is a serious business right now where we are, that juncture in our country that will determine what happens to all of us as time goes on. But the whole housing concern is something that concerns us all.”
A few weeks later, it became clear that the “housing concern” perhaps did not concern everyone when the White House released its budget proposal for HUD. After word emerged in early March that the White House was considering cutting as much as $6 billion from the department, Carson had sent a rare email to HUD employees assuring them that this was just a preliminary figure. But as it turned out, Carson, as a relative political outsider lacking strong connections to the administration, was out of the loop: The final proposal crafted by Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney called for cutting closer to $7 billion, 15 percent of its total budget. Participants in the Section 8 voucher program would need to pay at least 17 percent more of their income toward rent, and there’d likely be a couple hundred thousand fewer vouchers nationwide (and 13,000 fewer in New York City). Capital funding for public housing would be slashed by a whopping 68 percent — this, after years of cuts that, in New York alone, had left public-housing projects with rampant mold, broken elevators and faulty boilers.
“By the time I left, almost 90 percent of our budget was to help people stay in their homes,” Shaun Donovan told me. “So when you have a 15 percent cut to that budget, by definition you’re going to be throwing people out of their homes. You’re literally taking vouchers away from families, you’re literally shutting down public housing, because it can’t be maintained anymore.”
The Trump cuts would mean that several programs would be eliminated entirely, including the home program, which offers seed money for affordable housing initiatives, and the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program that Carla Hills, Ford’s HUD secretary, had praised to Carson at the dinner. In New York, CDBG helped pay for, among many things, housing-code enforcement, the 311 system and homeless shelters for veterans. But the grants were also relied on in struggling small towns, where they paid for sidewalks, sewer upgrades and community centers. In Glouster, Ohio, a tiny coal town that went for Trump by a single vote after going for Obama two to one in 2012, officials were counting on the grants to replace a bridge so weak that the school bus couldn’t cross it, forcing kids from one part of town to cluster along a busy road for pickup.
“Without those funds, it would just cripple this area,” said Nathan Simons, who administers the grants for the surrounding region. HUD, for all its shrinking stature and insecurity complex, has over time worked its way into the fabric of ailing communities throughout the country, a role that has grown only larger as so much of Middle America has suffered decline, and as the capacity of so many state and local governments has withered amid dwindling tax bases and civic disengagement. On my travels through the Midwest I’ve seen how many federally subsidized housing complexes there are on the edges of small towns and cities, places very far from the Bronx or the South Side of Chicago. People living in these places rely on a functioning, minimally competent HUD no less than do the Section 8 voucher recipients in Jared Kushner’s low-income complexes in Baltimore. In an age of ever-widening income inequality, the Great Society department actually plays an even more vital role than when it was conceived.
But if Carson was troubled by the disembowelment of his department, he showed no sign of it. Even before the final numbers were out, he had assured housing advocates that cuts would be made up for by money dedicated to housing in the big infrastructure bill Trump was promising — a notion that his fellow Republican Kemp, among others, found far-fetched. “I’m not sure he understood how that would work,” Kemp told me. “He was probably repeating what had been told to him.” Then, a day after the budget was released, Carson downplayed the importance of programs for the poor in a radio interview with Armstrong Williams, saying that poverty was largely a “state of mind.” This, more than anything, seemed to be a crystallization of the Carson philosophy of HUD: that privation would be solved by the power of positive thinking, that his own extraordinary rise was scalable and could be replicated millions of times over.
Two weeks later, Carson went to Capitol Hill to testify on the budget proposal before congressional panels that would have the final say on the numbers. With Kasper perched over his shoulder, he told both the Senate and House committees that they shouldn’t get overly hung up on the cuts. “We must look for human solutions, not just policies and programs,” he said. “Our programs must reach out and so must our hearts.” The budget, he added, would “help more eligible Americans achieve freedom from regulations and bureaucracy and the ability to govern themselves.”
Members of both parties on the panels seemed dubious. Even conservative Republicans challenged the elimination of CDBG and dismissed Carson’s repeated claim that those and other cuts would be made up for with “public-private partnerships,” noting that such partnerships depended on exactly the public seed money that the budget was jettisoning.
Carson remained unruffled. The cuts were made necessary by the “atmosphere of constraint” created by a “new paradigm that’s been forced on us,” he said, presumably referring to the desire for tax cuts for the wealthy and an even larger military. “The problem that faces us now as a nation will only be exacerbated if we don’t deal with them in what appears to be a harsh manner,” he told the Senate panel. “We have to stop the bleeding to get the healing.”
As I watched the hearings, it occurred to me that Carson was the perfect HUD secretary for Donald Trump, the real-estate-developer president who appears to care little for public housing. He offered a gently smiling refutation to accusations from any corner that the department’s evisceration would have grave consequences. After all, Ben Carson had made it from Detroit to Johns Hopkins without housing assistance, a point of pride in his family. Not to mention that Carson’s very identity — theoretically — helped inoculate the administration against charges of prejudice. (Just last week, Carson said, in the wake of racially tinged violence in Charlottesville, that the controversy over Trump’s support of white supremacists there was “blown out of proportion” and echoed the president’s “both sides” language when referring to “hatred and bigotry.”)
Even better, Carson could be trusted not to resist Mick Mulvaney’s budget designs. At one moment in the Senate hearing, Carson noted that Congress’s recent spending package for the current year had given the department more than it had been expecting. “I’m always happy to take money,” he said, smiling. Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the committee’s top Democrat, was unamused. “You have to ask for it first,” he said.
Over at headquarters, the department remained rudderless. By June, there was still no one nominated to run the major parts of HUD, including the Federal Housing Administration and core divisions such as Housing, Policy Development and Research, Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, and Public and Indian Housing, not to mention a swath of jobs just below that level. (Across the administration, Trump had by the end of June sent barely more than 100 names to the Senate for confirmation, fewer than half as many as Obama had by that point in 2009.) Even the stern hand of Kasper was gone — she had been moved to a perch at Ginnie Mae, the arm of HUD that provides liquidity to federal home ownership programs.
The rank and file (whose department book club reading for the summer was “The Employee’s Survival Guide to Change”) took comfort that the two senior nominations that had been announced, for deputy secretary and the head of the Community Planning and Development division, were conventionally qualified. But appointments further down the ranks were alarming.

There was the administrator for the Southwest region: the mayor of Irving, Texas, Beth Van Duyne, who had gained notoriety by warning against the gathering threat of Sharia. She had asked the Texas Homeland Security Forum to help investigate the legality of an Islamic tribunal in North Texas and had taken to Glenn Beck’s talk show to defend the arrest of the Muslim boy who’d brought a homemade clock to school. There was the conservative commentator John Gibbs, who was hired as a “special assistant” in Community Planning and Development. Sample headlines from his columns in The Federalist: “Voter Fraud Is Real. Here’s the Proof”; “If He Really Wants to Help Blacks, Colin Kaepernick Needs to Put Up or Shut Up.”
Then there was Christopher Bourne, the retired Marine Corps colonel who’d served as the policy director of Carson’s presidential campaign. He suddenly showed up as a “senior policy adviser” in Policy Development and Research. “We don’t know what his job is, and as far as I know, he doesn’t know what his job is,” said one of his new colleagues.
In the context of such hires, it did not stun many HUD employees as much as it did the broader public when news broke of the selection of Lynne Patton, the Trumps’ event planner (whom tabloids gleefully referred to as a wedding planner, for her unofficial advisory role on Eric Trump’s nuptials), as regional administrator for New York and New Jersey. It had been plain to see that Patton had been striving to prove that she was no mere hanger-on. She had been visiting senior career staff for a crash course on housing policy. She had helped organize Carson’s listening tour trips, for which her event planning background had prepared her well. And she eagerly tweeted out defenses of him — “Let’s be clear: You can make life too comfortable for anyone — rich or poor — when you do, it’s a disservice,” she declared after his comments on cushy public housing.
Yes, she would now be the chief liaison from HUD headquarters to a region with the largest concentration of subsidized housing in the country — including the huge Starrett City complex in Brooklyn co-owned by Trump — a job once held by Bill de Blasio. (“Normally, these positions go to people who know what they’re doing,” said one longtime staffer at headquarters.) And yes, she would, just a few weeks later, respond to liberal criticism of the department’s decision to approve Westchester County’s long-litigated desegregation plan with a tweet that ended with the words “P.S. I’m black.”
But there were many other things for career employees to worry about that weren’t getting as much attention. Such as what Carson had in mind with the vague “incentivized family formation” push (which falls under the community building part of HUD’s antipoverty mission) that his team had included in a briefing for Hill staffers.
Also worrisome was what the new leadership might do with major Obama-era initiatives, like its desegregation initiative, which, in a 2015 rule called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, required local jurisdictions to come up with ways to reduce segregation or risk losing HUD funding. Carson had written an op-ed against this during the campaign, calling it a “mandated social engineering scheme” and comparing it to a “failed socialist experiment,” and Republicans in Congress were dying to kill it, but so far, the department was still going through the motions with it.
Then there was the mystery of why Carson’s family was taking such a visible role in the department. There was the omnipresent Mrs. Carson. Even more striking, however, had been the active role of the secretary’s second-oldest son. Ben Carson Jr., who goes by B.J. and co-founded an investment firm in Columbia, Maryland, that specializes in infrastructure, health care and workforce development, was showing up on email chains within the department and appearing often at headquarters. One day, he was seen leaving the 10th-floor office of David Eagles, the new COO, who was crafting a HUD reorganization to accompany the cuts.
And finally, there was the beginning of what appeared likely to be a stream of committed career employees quitting. Ann Marie Oliva, the anti-homelessness director, had met with mistrust from the 10th floor, and she was startled when she wasn’t asked to offer input for a speech Carson was giving on homeless veterans. She gave notice in late May, prompting calls from both parties on the Hill saying how sorry they were to see her go. “It is sad,” she told me, “because it’s not partisan and it could’ve been different from the beginning.”
In early July, Ben Carson went on the next leg of his listening tour: Baltimore. I was expecting the department to make a big deal of his return to his longtime home city. But instead, after the poor press coverage from the previous rounds of community outreach, the itinerary for the first day was kept private.
I managed to get my hands on the schedule and tagged along with a photographer. This did not please Carson’s entourage, which included, among others, a high-strung advance man in a bow tie, several security officers, Candy Carson, Ben Jr. and even his wife. When we arrived at the café where Carson and his family were having lunch with the mayor of Baltimore, Bow Tie arranged to have the Carsons rush out through the kitchen area to a back alley to avoid us. When, at the next stop, I was accidentally allowed into a meeting that Carson was holding at the city’s housing authority, Bow Tie leaped across the room to eject me. By the next stop, at a tour of the redevelopment near Johns Hopkins Hospital, one of the federal agents guarding Carson took my picture as I stood on the sidewalk chatting with a neighbor. By the last stop, dinner with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan at a deluxe waterfront restaurant opened by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, I was unsurprised when a Carson aide went to the maître d’ to report my presence at the bar. This was Trumpian anti-press spirit taken to a new level: protectiveness of a government executive to the point of seeking invisibility.
The day had had its awkward moments. In his visit to the Baltimore HUD office, Carson caused friction with his suggestion that staff needed to work harder, comparing the federal work ethic unfavorably with the long hours he put in as a surgeon. Employees were also struck by how he kept seeming to look to his wife for cues as he spoke. At a later meeting with public health officials and researchers, which his wife, son and daughter-in-law also attended, he kicked things off 15 minutes early and referred to those who arrived on time as being late. He demurred when asked by the city’s former Health Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein if he’d commit the department to an ambitious reduction in child lead poisoning, saying something to the effect that he needed to be careful about setting big goals because he “worked for a guy who, if you don’t meet your goals, he’ll so skewer you.”
The next morning, Carson held photo ops at two homes that had undergone HUD-funded lead abatement. At the first home, he looked confused when workers explained that one of their first steps had been to make sure the home’s doors closed properly in the door jambs. “What does that have to do with lead?” asked the nation’s secretary of housing. The workers explained that a key to reducing lead paint flaking was to reduce the friction involved in opening and closing windows and doors. A moment later, a deputy housing commissioner noted that the work had been made possible in part by Community Development Block Grants, which Trump’s HUD budget eliminated.
Ben Carson Jr. resurfaced at the second day’s other open event, a visit to a health fair in East Baltimore. I watched with some amazement as the younger Carson, clad in tinted aviator shades, circulated among those seeking his father’s attention. At one point, Carson Jr. was approached by two entrepreneurs he knew who were hoping to pitch HUD on a proposal to use public housing as the site to pilot their for-profit venture replacing cash bail with the relinquishing of guns. Carson Jr. heard them out and then said, “Have you talked to Dad?” He then led them over to a clutch of Carson’s HUD aides to make introductions.
A moment later, I asked Carson Jr. why he was taking such an active role on the Baltimore trip. “With anything where we can be helpful, if Dad asks us to come along and help out, we’ll always do that. We’re here to offer support, whatever we can do,” he said. I asked about all the time he was spending at HUD headquarters. “If you’re a concerned citizen and you’re not spending time in D.C. trying to actually make sure the right things are happening, then you probably could do more,” he said. “You should have access to your public officials, and if that’s not allowed, then there’s a big problem with how the representatives are handling their relationship with citizens.” (Never mind that in this case, the “public official” was his own father.)
Later, I asked Ben Carson for a comment on his son’s role. “Ben Carson Jr. has visited me, but he has no role at the department,” he said through a spokesman. It was hard to know what to make of it all. On the one hand, it bore obvious similarities to the proliferation of Trumps and Kushners inside the White House, with all their attendant business conflicts.
But it was also possible that Ben Jr., and his mom, were so often at his father’s side for just the reason Ben Jr. claimed, to provide support. Because it was not hard to see why Carson would feel insecurity. He had been chosen for a job he had few qualifications for by a man who had few obvious qualifications for his own job, and he was now being left to his own devices to defend the dismantling of the department he was supposed to run, with an underpopulated corps of deputies at his side. (Even by mid-August, the Office of Public and Indian Housing, which spends tens of billions per year, did not have any senior political leadership whatsoever.) It was as if the White House were ensuring that whatever mere starvation failed to accomplish at HUD, indifference and mismanagement would finish.
The day before, as I waited outside the school building where Carson was meeting with the public health experts, a young mother, Danielle Jackson, had come along with her three young daughters. She asked me what was going on inside, and I told her. She said she herself had been on the waiting list for a Section 8 voucher for three years, and she seemed to take the fact that the famous Baltimore doctor was now running HUD as an omen. “I hope something good happens,” she said brightly.
Her optimism was shared by Carson himself. When I asked him at a brief press conference behind one of the lead-abated homes the next morning how things were going so far for him at HUD, running a big federal department with no prior experience in government, he shrugged. “It’s actually a challenge to inject common sense and logic into bureaucracy, there’s no question about that,” he said. “But it’s coming along quite nicely.”
Do you have access to information about the federal government that should be public? Email, or here’s how to send tips and documents to ProPublica securely.

Posted August 27, 2017 by Teacher Alvin in LEARNING ENGLISH

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


National Vital Statistics Report

February 16, 2016
Deaths: Final Data for 2013

Objectives—This report presents final 2013 data on U.S. deaths, death rates, life expectancy, infant mortality, and trends, by selected characteristics such as age, sex, Hispanic origin, race, state of residence, and cause of death. Methods—Information reported on death certificates, which are completed by funeral directors, attending physicians, medical examiners, and coroners, is presented in descriptive tabulations. The original records are filed in state registration offices. Statistical information is compiled in a national database through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Causes of death are processed in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision. Results—In 2013, a total of 2,596,993 deaths were reported in the United States. The age-adjusted death rate was 731.9 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population, a record low figure, but the decrease in 2013 from 2012 was not statistically significant. Life expectancy at birth was 78.8 years, the same as in 2012. Age-specific death rates decreased in 2013 from 2012 for age groups 15–24 and 75–84. Age-specific death rates increased only for age group 55–64. The 15 leading causes of death in 2013 remained the same as in 2012, although Accidents (unintentional injuries), the 5th leading cause of death in 2012, became the 4th leading cause in 2013, while Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke), the 4th leading cause in 2012, became the 5th leading cause of death in 2013. The infant mortality rate of 5.96 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013 was a historically low value, but it was not significantly different from the 2012 rate. Conclusions—Although statistically unchanged from 2012, the decline in the age-adjusted death rate is consistent with long-term trends in mortality. Life expectancy in 2013 remained the same as in 2012. Keywords: mortality • cause of death • life expectancy • vital

Mortality experience in 2013
• In 2013, a total of 2,596,993 resident deaths were registered in the United States. • The age-adjusted death rate, which accounts for the aging of the population, was 731.9 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population. • Life expectancy at birth was 78.8 years. • The 15 leading causes of death in 2013 were: 1. Diseases of heart (heart disease) 2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases 4. Accidents (unintentional injuries) 5. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke) 6. Alzheimer’s disease 7. Diabetes mellitus (diabetes) 8. Influenza and pneumonia 9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease) 10. Intentional self-harm (suicide) 11. Septicemia 12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis 13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (hypertension) 14. Parkinson’s disease 15. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids • In 2013, the infant mortality rate was 5.96 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. • The 10 leading causes of infant death were: 1. Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities (congenital malformations) 2. Disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight, not elsewhere classified (low birth weight)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Health Statistics
National Vital Statistics System

2 National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 64 No. 2, February 16, 2016
3. Newborn affected by maternal complications of pregnancy (maternal complications) 4. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) 5. Accidents (unintentional injuries) 6. Newborn affected by complications of placenta, cord and membranes (cord and placental complications) 7. Bacterial sepsis of newborn 8. Respiratory distress of newborn 9. Diseases of the circulatory system 10. Neonatal hemorrhage
Trends • The age-adjusted death rate declined to a record low in 2013, although the decrease from 2012 to 2013 was not significant. • Life expectancy for the total population was 78.8 years in 2013, the same as in 2012. • Life expectancy did not change for any of the major race and ethnicity populations from 2012 to 2013. • Life expectancy for females was 4.8 years higher than for males. The difference in life expectancy between the sexes has narrowed since 1979, when it was 7.8 years, but it has remained at 4.8 years since 2010. • The 15 leading causes of death were the same in 2013 as they were in 2012, although unintentional injuries and stroke exchanged positions in the ranking. • Age-adjusted death rates decreased significantly in 2013 from 2012 for 4 of the 15 leading causes of death and increased for 6 of the 15 leading causes. • Rates for the two leading causes—heart disease and cancer— continued their long-term decreasing trends. Significant decreases also occurred for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Significant increases occurred in 2013 from 2012 for Chronic lower respiratory diseases, Influenza and pneumonia, Septicemia, Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, hypertension, and Parkinson’s disease. • Within external causes of injury death, unintentional poisoning was the leading mechanism of injury mortality in 2013, followed by unintentional motor vehicle traffic-related injuries. During 2002–2010, unintentional motor vehicle traffic-related injuries was the leading mechanism of injury mortality, followed by unintentional poisoning, but beginning in 2011, the number of deaths from unintentional poisoning was higher than the number from unintentional motor vehicle traffic-related injuries; see CDC’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) at • Differences in mortality between the non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white populations persisted. The age-adjusted death rate was 1.2 times greater for the non-Hispanic black population than for the non-Hispanic white population. • The differences in life expectancy among the Hispanic, nonHispanic white, and non-Hispanic black populations in 2013 were the same as in 2012. The difference in life expectancy between the non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white populations was 3.8 years, between the non-Hispanic black and Hispanic populations was 6.5 years, and between the non-Hispanic white and Hispanic populations was 2.7 years.
• The infant mortality rate declined 0.3% in 2013 from 2012, to a record low of 5.96 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, but the decline was not statistically significant. Introduction This report presents detailed 2013 data on deaths and death rates according to a number of demographic and medical characteristics. These data provide information on mortality patterns among residents of the United States by such variables as age, sex, Hispanic origin, race, state of residence, and cause of death. Information on these mortality patterns is key to understanding changes in the health and wellbeing of the U.S. population (1). Separate companion reports present additional details on leading causes of death and life expectancy in the United States (2,3). Mortality data in this report can be used to monitor and evaluate the health status of the United States in terms of current mortality levels and long-term mortality trends, as well as to identify segments of the U.S. population at greater risk of death from specific diseases and injuries. Differences in death rates among various demographic subpopulations, including race and ethnicity groups, may reflect subpopulation differences in factors such as socioeconomic status, access to medical care, and the prevalence of specific risk factors in a particular subpopulation. Methods Data in this report are based on information from all resident death certificates filed in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 99% of deaths occurring in this country are believed to be registered (4). Tables showing data by state also provide information for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Northern Marianas). Cause-of-death statistics presented in this report are classified in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD–10) (5). A discussion of the cause-of-death classification is provided in Technical Notes at the end of the report. Mortality data on specific demographic and medical characteristics cover all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Measures of mortality in this report include the number of deaths; crude, agespecific, and age-adjusted death rates; infant, neonatal, and postneonatal mortality rates; life expectancy; and rate ratios. Changes in death rates in 2013 compared with 2012, and differences in death rates across demographic groups in 2013, are tested for statistical significance. Unless otherwise specified, reported differences are statistically significant. Additional information on these statistical methods, random variation and relative standard error, the computation of derived statistics and rates, population denominators, and the definition of terms is presented in Technical Notes. The populations used to calculate death rates shown in this report for 1991–2013 were produced under a collaborative arrangement with the U.S. Census Bureau. Populations for 2010–2013 and the intercensal period 2001–2009 are consistent with the 2010 census (6–10). Reflecting the latest guidelines issued in 1997 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the 2000 and 2010 censuses included an option for persons to report more than one race as appropriate for themselves and household members (11); see Technical Notes for
3 National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 64 No. 2, February 16, 2016
detailed information on the 2013 multiple-race reporting area and methods used to bridge responses for those who report more than one race. Beginning with deaths occurring in 2003, some states allowed for multiple-race reporting on the death certificate. Multiple-race data for these states are bridged to single-race categories; see Technical Notes. Once all states are collecting data on race according to the 1997 OMB guidelines, use of the bridged-race algorithm is expected to be discontinued. The population data used to compile death rates by race in this report are based on special estimation procedures and are not true counts (see Technical Notes, ‘‘Race and Hispanic origin’’). This is the case even for the 2000 and 2010 populations. The estimation procedures used to develop these populations contain some error. Smaller population groups are affected much more than larger population groups (12). Data presented in this report and other mortality tabulations are available from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) website, Availability of mortality microdata is described in Technical Notes.
Results and Discussion
Deaths and death rates In 2013, a total of 2,596,993 resident deaths were registered in the United States—53,714 more deaths than in 2012. The crude death rate for 2013 (821.5 deaths per 100,000 population) was 1.4% higher than the 2012 rate (810.2) (Tables A, 1, 3, 4, 14, and 15). The age-adjusted death rate in 2013 was 731.9 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population—a record low value, although it was notsignificantlydifferentfrom2012(Table 1).Age-adjusteddeathrates are constructs that show what the level of mortality would be if no changes occurred in the age composition of the population from year to year. (For a discussion of age-adjusted death rates, see Technical Notes.) Thus, age-adjusted death rates are better indicators than unadjusted (crude) death rates for examining changes in the risk of death over a period of time when the age distribution of the population is changing. Age-adjusted death rates also are better indicators of relative risk when comparing mortality across geographic areas or between sex or race subgroups of the population that have different age distributions; see Technical Notes. Since 1980, the age-adjusted death rate has decreased significantly every year except 1983, 1985, 1988, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2008, and 2013 (Figure 1 and Table 1). Race—In 2013, age-adjusted death rates for the major race groups (Table 1) were: • White population: 731.0 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population • Black population: 860.8 In 2013, the age-adjusted death rate for the black population was 1.2 times that for the white population (Table B). The average risk of death for the black population was 17.8% higher than for the white population (Table 1). From 1960 through 1982, rates for the black and white populations declined by similar percentages (22.6% and 26.5%, respectively). From 1983 through 1988, rates diverged,
increasing 3.5% for the black population and decreasing 2.0% for the white population. The disparity in age-adjusted death rates between the black and white populations was greatest from 1988 through 1996 (1.4 times greater for the black population). Since 1996, the disparity between the two populations has narrowed, as the age-adjusted rate for the black population declined 27.0% while the rate for the white population declined 15.9% (Table 1 and Figure 2). In 2013, age-adjusted death rates did not change significantly for major race and sex groups compared with 2012 (Tables A and 1). In general, age-adjusted death rates declined from 1980 through 2013 for white males and females and for black males and females. The rate decreased an average of 1.3% per year for white males, 0.7% for white females, 1.4% for black males, and 1.1% for black females during 1980–2013 (Table 1). Rates for the American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) and Asian or Pacific Islander (API) populations should be interpreted with caution because of reporting problems regarding correct identification of race on both the death certificate and in population censuses and surveys (13). Counts of deaths for the AIAN population are substantially underreported (by about 30%) on the death certificate relative to selfreporting while alive (13). Thus, the age-adjusted death rates that are shown for the AIAN population (e.g., Tables 1 and 16) do not lend themselves to valid comparisons against other races. Year-to-year trends for the AIAN population present valid insight into changes in mortality affecting this group, if it is reasonable to assume that the level of underreporting of AIAN deaths has remained more or less constant over past years (13). The age-adjusted death rate for the AIAN population fluctuated from 1980 through 1999, peaking in 1993 at 796.4 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population (Table 1). Since 1999, the rate has trended downward, declining 24.2% from 1999 to 2013. The rate for the AIAN population decreased 0.6% from 2012 (595.3) to 2013 (591.7), although the change was not significant (Table A). In 2013, the age-adjusted death rate for the API population was 405.4 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population. The level of underreporting of deaths for the API population (about 7%) is not as high as for the AIAN population (13), but this underreporting still creates enough of a challenge that any comparisons of this population with other races must be interpreted with caution. The age-adjusted death rate for the API population peaked at 586.5 in 1985. The rate fluctuated from 1985 through 1993 before starting a persistent downward trend, decreasing 28.3% from 1993 to 2013 (Table 1). Hispanic origin—Problems of race and Hispanic-origin reporting affect Hispanic death rates and the comparison of rates for the Hispanic and non-Hispanic populations; see Technical Notes. Mortality for Hispanics is somewhat understated because of net underreporting of Hispanic origin on the death certificate (by an estimated 5%), while the non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black populations are not affected by problems of underreporting (13,14); see Technical Notes. Underreporting of Hispanic origin on the death certificate is relatively stable across age groups (13). The age-adjusted death rate in 2013 was 535.4 for the Hispanic population, 747.1 for the non-Hispanic white population, and 885.2 for
4 National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 64 No. 2, February 16, 2016
Table A. Percentage change in death rates and age-adjusted death rates in 2013 from 2012, by age, race, and sex: United States [

Posted August 9, 2017 by Teacher Alvin in LEARNING ENGLISH

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



make it a very special place for students, faculty and staff.

Berkeley is committed to hiring and developing staff who want to work in a high performing culture that supports the outstanding work of our faculty and students. In deciding whether to apply for a staff position at Berkeley, candidates are strongly encouraged to consider the alignment of the Berkeley Workplace Culture with their potential for success at

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: August 3, 2017.

Departmental Overview

Residential and Student Service Programs (RSSP) is part of the Division of Student Affairs under the direction of the Associate Vice Chancellor of RSSP. RSSP provides student housing, residential life programs, self-operated dining services for undergraduate and graduate students and their families, and child care services for students, faculty, and staff; it also conducts a year-round conference business, operates eleven campus restaurants, and manages twenty-six faculty apartments. The Central Maintenance, Design, and Minor Capital Projects units provide a comprehensive group of services to all units within RSSP. These services include performing or managing all building trades and related maintenance services, performing interior design services, space planning, renovation project planning and management services, major maintenance, minor capital planning and project management for RSSP.


Working as part of the skilled trades group and within the Stationary Engineer job scope, the incumbent provides primary building systems and equipment maintenance services for all RSSP facilities operations. The incumbent also, secondarily, performs dining and commercial food service equipment maintenance and repair services for RSSP dining facilities and Campus Restaurants.

Working independently, operate, diagnose, troubleshoot, and maintain large chillers, cooling towers, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, high pressure steam plant, gas and oil fired hot water and steam boilers, humidifiers, gas turbines, electric generators, generator controls and switch gear and similar equipment.
Operate, diagnose, troubleshoot and maintain, pumps, compressors, heat exchangers, pressure reducing valves, and temperature change control systems, and similar equipment.
Operate, diagnose, and troubleshoot and repair computerized HVAC control systems and energy management systems.
Trouble shooting, diagnosing, maintaining, and repairing all types of specialized commercial food service and kitchen equipment including ovens, steamers, ranges, hoods, dish washing and handling equipment, and similar commercial food service equipment.
Performs maintenance, cleans, chemically treats, cooling towers, various types of chillers and boilers.
Troubleshoot, diagnose, repair refrigeration equipment control systems; troubleshoot, diagnose refrigeration equipment.
Repair pneumatic controls including thermostats and controllers.
Participates in the design or specification of assemblies, systems, equipment, and controls.
Works from drawings or prepares project drawings in detail showing measurements, materials, other required information using information from building blueprints, verbal instructions, and other information.
Perform planned and emergency maintenance, inspections, test operations, troubleshooting and documentation of work performed.
Responds to emergencies, work-on-call, rotating swing shift and holidays.
Executes all job assignments in a timely manner.
Acknowledges that all work is subject to inspection while in progress and upon completion.
Accountable for his or her own actions within work spaces of the University and Campus facilities.
As required, coordinates the work of other crafts.
As required, handles hazardous waste and will be responsible to safely handle, properly contain and label, and follow appropriate emergency procedures as they relate to hazardous waste materials.
Performs basic mathematical calculations related to performing projects.
Performs other duties as assigned.


Coordinates with project managers and building inspectors.
Keep up-to-date, accurate, comprehensive project records including plans, specifications, submittals, schedules, requests, changes, approvals, and costs.
Consults lead/supervisor/or project managers and superintendents who administer requirements and standards for projects and/or modification of projects.
Supports maintenance projects and programmatic work assignments.
Uses information to track job status, job completion. Has the ability to prioritize requirements to optimize customer service.
Completes paperwork in a neat, accurate and timely manner.
Defines and describes materials, tools and/or equipment, work methods and task sequences.
Serves as liaison with clients, relaying their needs and requirements to the appropriate department or superintendent.
Works and supports shutdowns and project schedules to minimize interference with others.
Orders, procures materials and equipment; maintains records.
Understand and applies knowledge of relevant building codes and regulations.
Communicates clearly over the telephone and two-way radio.
Attends safety, technical and general meetings.

Safety And Health Awareness/Responsibilities

Performs all work in conformance with EH&S health and safety policies, OSHA and other applicable federal, state and local fire, health, safety, emergency-preparedness, pollution-prevention policies, RSSP policies and procedures and University of California’s policies and procedures, including IIPP (Safety and Health Procedures), Hazardous Materials Communications Program, Health and Safety Manual, as well as any other document authorized by the RSSP management to have bearing on employee safety and conduct.
Aware of potential hazardous operations, and takes appropriate precautions.
Immediately stops work in the event of danger to people or property.
Proceeds with work only after ensuring that appropriate safety procedures have been implemented.
Reports all accidents and/or incidents immediately to supervisor for record keeping.

Interpersonal Relations

Utilizes good judgment in interpersonal communications in situations requiring sensitivity and tact. Treats customers, co-workers, supervisors and managers with respect and courtesy.
Works in a cooperative manner with co-workers and promotes a cooperative team environment.
Has a good working relationship with a complete understanding of the roles of students, faculty, staff and other RSSP employees as clients.
Demonstrates at all times good communication skills with campus community, including students, building managers, faculty, and craft personnel.
Interacts directly with all levels of clients throughout the division in defining project requirements.
Responds to requests for service in a timely manner.
Supports and achieves organizational goals established to maintain and enhance customer satisfaction.
Reports progress or delays and refers major problems to lead or superintendent for resolution and informs customers as needed.

Required Qualifications

Successful completion of four year apprenticeship or equivalent work experience and demonstrated six years journey-level experience in the trade. Three years experience in the Stationary Engineer’s field and working knowledge of local, state, national, fire, mechanical, steamfitter codes and standards.
Experience in working independently performing troubleshooting, maintenance and operation of large chillers, heating systems, and boilers.
Thorough understanding of the operation, maintenance, troubleshooting and repair of pumps, compressors, heat exchangers, pressure reducing valves, control systems, thermostats, controllers and the ability to perform repairs within industry standard labor times for these operations.
Demonstrated experience in reading and interpreting blueprints, drawings.
Demonstrated experience in preparing drawings in detail showing measurements and materials with information obtained from blueprints and verbal instructions.
Thorough understanding of materials, equipment, their characteristics and applications as used in performing stationary engineer’s work.
Thorough knowledge of all hand and power tools used in stationary engineer’s work, their proper application and operation.
Experience in using computerized energy management systems or similar computer control systems.
Fitted with a respirator and perform work properly using a respirator as required.
As required, provide direction to semi-skilled or unskilled assistants
Performs accurate material take-offs for projects, plans projects including material and equipment requirements, staffing needs, and estimate time required for completion.
Able to work safely at heights; able to gain access to work in small/tight areas and be able to gain access to work or maneuver around obstacles that requires stairs and ladders, able to safely maneuver supplies and objects up to 75 lbs; sets up and uses scaffolding and/or ladders to perform tasks above ground level.
Available for holidays, weekends, weekend on call-procedures, emergencies and shift work.
Reads information from equipment manufacturers’ manuals, service request, layout sketches, blueprints, appropriate state and local government codes, trade-specific manuals and practices, and to determine how the material or equipment should perform.
Understands preventive maintenance and its role in a comprehensive maintenance program. Assists with the development of and performs preventive maintenance work as directed.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience in performing building systems and equipment maintenance and repair in a large, institutional environment.

Salary & Benefits

Hourly Salary: $34.36

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying.

Driving Required

A valid driver’s license and DMV check for driving record is required.

Physical Exam

Employment is contingent upon passing a physical exam.

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Posted July 23, 2017 by Teacher Alvin in LEARNING ENGLISH

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DO YOU HAVE THE Mineral RIGHT’S?? YOU BETTER CHECK!!!   Leave a comment


As a property owner, if someone told you they were going to start drilling for oil on your land, you’d probably try to kick them off as a trespasser. But wait! Unless you also own the minerals under your land, that someone might have every right to start drilling.

In the United States, mineral rights can be sold or conveyed separately from property rights. As a result, owning a piece of land does not necessarily mean you also own the rights to the minerals beneath it. If you didn’t know this, you’re not alone. Many property owners do not understand mineral rights.
This article will discuss what mineral rights are, how they can be conveyed separately from the land they lie beneath, and whether you should worry about someone else owning the mineral rights under your property.



A mineral owner has the right to extract and use minerals found beneath the surface of a particular piece of land. What minerals are included depends on the terms of the specific conveyance (the document within which someone bought or sold the rights). The conveyance might include all the minerals under the land, or be limited to specified minerals.
The most commonly extracted minerals these days are natural gas, oil, and coal (although a mineral owner might also own and extract gold, silver, or other minerals). Occasionally, a mineral rights transfer also includes surface rights. If so, the mineral owner also has the right to extract minerals on the surface of the land, such as clay or gravel.

Mineral rights are automatically included as a part of the land in a property conveyance, unless and until the ownership gets separated at some point by an owner/seller. An owner can separate the mineral rights from his or her land by:
Conveying (selling or otherwise transferring) the land but retaining the mineral rights. (This is accomplished by including a statement in the deed conveying the land that reserves all rights to the minerals to the seller.)
Conveying the mineral rights and retaining the land. (In this case, the seller will issue a separate mineral deed to the purchaser of the mineral rights.)
Conveying the land to one person and the mineral rights to another.

Since a seller can convey only property that he or she owns, each sale of the land after the minerals are separated automatically includes only the land. Deeds to the land made after the first separation of the minerals will not refer to the fact that the mineral rights are not included.
This means that in most cases, you cannot determine whether you own the rights to the minerals under your land just by looking at your deed. Owners are sometimes surprised to find out someone else owns the rights to the minerals under their land.

It is typically a costly process to find out whether someone other than the landowner owns the mineral rights. And perhaps you don’t really need to find out. After all, removing underground minerals tends to involve great expense, so a mineral owner probably won’t find it worthwhile to remove the minerals unless they are valuable and abundant.
For example, if you live in an area that has not historically seen any oil or natural gas drilling, coal mining, or other mineral extractions, it’s not likely that there are many valuable minerals under your land that a mineral owner would bother to remove. It’s even likely that the mineral ownership on your land has not been separated, and that if you own the land, you own the minerals.
Additionally, U.S. laws regulating mining and mineral rights typically prohibit the mineral owner from damaging, or interfering with the use of any homes or other improvements on the land when extracting minerals. As a result, mineral owners do not typically attempt mineral extraction in highly populated areas. This means that if you live in a city, or an area with many houses on small plots of land, you probably won’t need to worry about whether or not you own the minerals under you.


In areas where mineral exploitation is common, whether or not you own the minerals  under your land might be a real concern. For example, if your property is in an area where oil rigs are an everyday sight, where natural gas drilling is prevalent, or where coal mining operations exist, if you don’t own the minerals under your land, the mineral owner might come calling.

A mineral owner’s rights typically include the right to use the surface of the land to access and mine the minerals owned. This might mean the mineral owner has the right to drill an oil or natural gas well, or excavate a mine on your property. The mineral owner is also commonly allowed to build roadways or other improvements necessary to facilitate the mineral extraction.
Sometimes the terms of the conveyance of the mineral rights restrict the mineral owner’s rights. For example, a mineral deed might put a time limit on how long drilling can continue, or restrict excavation to a certain depth. Additionally, to protect the land owner and the environment, state and local laws regulating mining and drilling typically contain restrictions on mineral extraction activities.

DO THIS!! The First Day!!

If a mineral owner contacts you about removing the minerals under your land, your first step should be to contact a lawyer in your area experienced in mineral law. The attorney can help you wade through this complex area of law and determine who really owns the minerals under your land (an arduous process of tracing deeds back to the original mineral reservation or conveyance). A number of owners might even own the rights to different minerals. Additionally, sometimes mineral royalties (the right to profit from the minerals) are conveyed separately from the mineral ownership rights.
If the person claiming mineral ownership has a valid ownership right, you might not be able to prevent him or her from removing the minerals. You can, however, talk with the attorney about how to minimize the removal operations’ impact on you and your land. At a minimum, the attorney can take steps to ensure that the mineral owner complies with any and all restrictions and regulations governing the mineral extraction and clean-up process.


Posted July 23, 2017 by Teacher Alvin in LEARNING ENGLISH

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Property Taxes: Legally being applied, or not? “NO”   Leave a comment


Property Taxes: Legally being applied, or not?
The issue of real and personal property taxation is long overdue to be challenged. The premise is that for a personal property tax on a free sovereign, private individual to be legal, it must be Constitutional, and applied as the Constitution regulates it. Any other means makes the tax void in law.
All citizens have the right to know why they are being taxed, and to know that it is a legal taxation which represents their interests. Paying taxes without knowing the law and your rights makes you nothing more than a slave.
How many people do you know of or have heard about that have lost their property… home or land, because of not paying property taxes? It occurs across the country on a daily basis. This is not only immoral and unethical, it is criminal and a violation of a person’s civil rights. WHY?
Most every sale of property occurs without ANY Due Process… that is, there has been no court hearing, no judgment, no adjudication of all facts, and no consideration given for the actual laws regarding the tax in the first place. That is where this information come in. You now have a means to not only challenge your property taxes, but to have any lost property returned to you via the courts for violation of your rights and the law, to include damages.
It is a crime for any government office or any official to auction or otherwise sell in any way, private or business property of any individual WITHOUT FIRST HAVING DUE PROCESS OF LAW, to determine the cause of action and the recourse in law. The sale of any property outside this means is illegal, and all those involved with such a sale, including those purchasing said property, are personally liable for damages, and subject to criminal charges under Racketeering (RICO) laws, and for violation of civil and Due Process rights. All government officials have the “Greater Duty” to know the law and comply with it, and if you are involved with such an auction without Due Process for the owner, you are in breach of your fiduciary duty and you can be held personally liable by those harmed by this fraud. Any challenge to property taxation or property sale made by any citizen requires you to respond, point by point, and to “prove up” your position in law.
For you to understand WHY property taxes as applied are unconstitutional, you need the facts of law. The following Property Tax Challenge Document provides you the laws you need to understand and use to make your case. Be sure to read it through completely. Use it to request from your assessor, the actual authority they have to tax your personal property as they are. Customize it to your personal and state situation, have it Notarized, and send it certified mail, return receipt requested. If they refuse to answer it within 30 days, stop paying your property taxes and use the document as your evidence of good faith efforts to receive proof of the laws. It is also good to CC your State Attorney General, and your Senator and Congressmen, your County Commissioners and perhaps the sheriff. This places them on NOTICE as well, and can be used as more proof of your “good faith” efforts to determine your true liability for property taxes. Keep in mind that you will most likely have to defend yourself against their likely criminal response, but you can do it with this material. If you must, pay the taxes, but be sure to do so with a statement on the check or certified money order to the affect: “Paid under duress and coercion.”
You can also use a form of this to challenge taxes paid on an old piece of property since fraud has no statute of limitations, and damages can be recouped for this fraud. Simply change the verbiage to be asking about past taxes you paid… DON’T TAKE THIS FRAUD LYING DOWN!!!
If you are unsure about this, have your attorney review this document and the laws it references. If he cannot refute the premise, showing the laws and facts that support their position, how can a city government do so? If the attorney tries to refute it, please forward the response to us and we will provide rebuttal and further proof for you and them.
Business Property Taxes:
If you have a business that is “incorporated,” you fall under possible tax liability because to incorporate is to seek a “privilege” from the government and that privilege CAN be taxed… BUT IT MUST BE TAXED ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL FORMS OF TAXATION, WHICH IT NEVER IS. You can use a form of the above document to challenge these taxes as well because they do not fall under legal forms of taxes.
If you have a private business, sole proprietor or other form of private business, you are NOT subject to personal property taxes as the Constitution and laws declare. Challenging these taxes is the first step in freeing yourself from the tyranny and corruption of lawless government and officials, however well-meaning they may be. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. By requesting this information from your city officials, you are not only making sure that you are paying what you legally owe, but you are placing your government officials “ON NOTICE” that this activity could well be illegal and this requires that they personally respond, and investigate or bring to the attention of their superiors, the issue. They have the “Greater Duty” to know the law and comply with it, or they are in breach of their fiduciary duty and can be held personally liable.
This is the first step to take to challenge your property taxes. If the assessor does NOT respond, we will have the next step to take which will be a lawsuit, which is easy to file and you do NOT need an attorney for. In fact, as you begin to learn more about the actual laws and Constitution, you can easily represent yourself in most any case you have to deal with, whether bringing suit, or defending yourself. Seminars will be available in the near future to teach this.
By the way, the same legal argument exists for Income Taxes. Research this as well. You will be amazed and angered at how we have been, and are being, deceived and defrauded by government.
Legal Disclaimer

Posted July 23, 2017 by Teacher Alvin in LEARNING ENGLISH

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Below you will see two group’s, one is CEO stealing money from there employee’s and the other CEO making 500,000 to 1 million dollar a year to

do service for the poor and homeless.  Some get caught, most don’t, it is a shame in America, where we are strong and can find work and support

our family’s that we have poor, and homeless, in the past 8yr homeless has tripled to a new high, and there are 33% of American’s on food stamp’s

this is higher the 1929 Depression  (DEARB GOD) “HOW CAN WE DO THIS?”





Top 10 CEOs in Prison: Why’d They Do It?
Comment Share Tweet Stumble Email
Last Updated Jun 15, 2010 1:31 PM EDT
What do Jeff Skilling, Bernie Ebbers, Dennis Kozlowski, John Rigas, Sanjay Kumar, Walter Forbes, Joe Nacchio, Richard Scrushy, Sam Waksal, and Martin Grass all have in common? They were all CEOs of prominent public companies, convicted of big-time corporate fraud and sentenced to lengthy prison terms.
They were all also fabulously wealthy when they committed their crimes. Nevertheless, they risked their careers, families, reputation, wealth, power, everything. And for what? You’ve got to wonder, what motivates rich, high-powered CEOs to unnecessarily risk it all against all logic and ethical principals?
Perhaps their brain circuitry is somehow hard-wired for exceptional success followed by devastating disaster. Or maybe it’s just probability? Maybe x percent of highly successful, super-wealthy CEOs of big companies will turn out to be dysfunctional crooks. Not buying those explanations? Me neither. Let’s see if we can figure out …
What Motivates Rich, Powerful CEOs to Commit Fraud?
Greed. Corporate America is often characterized as the land of greed; why shouldn’t the folks at the top be the greediest of all? Actually, these CEOs risked way more wealth than they stood to gain by their fraudulent actions. I don’t think any amount of money or power would have fulfilled the needs that made them commit these acts.
Arrogance. Sam Waksal of ImClone described himself as arrogant in an interview after his conviction. Perhaps all that power and money makes CEOs feel invincible, untouchable, above the law. And maybe they got caught because, on some level, they knew what they were doing was wrong and wanted to be punished for it. Hmm.
Evil. Well, evil is sort of a philosophical concept. In this context, perhaps it describes the effect the CEO’s actions had on shareholders and employees, but I don’t think it actually describes their behavior. I mean, they didn’t torture little puppies or murder anybody.
Stupidity. Maybe they’re just plain stupid. No, I don’t think so. Most of these people didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. Look at Computer Associates, Enron, ImClone, Qwest, Tyco, WorldCom. These CEOs built huge, successful companies. I don’t buy that any of them were anything but brilliant businessmen.
Personality Disorder. Delusional, narcissistic psychopaths, call them what you want, it sounds like a no-brainer to me. I mean, most of these folks maintained their innocence to the end. That implies compartmentalization so they didn’t actually feel empathy for those affected by their actions. Denial is a powerful thing. Sure sounds like a behavioral disorder to me. Anyway, there’s no denying that each of these men functioned, and functioned exceptionally, until their issues caught up with them.
So, if it’s a behavioral disorder, that sort of begs the biggest question of all: Can you somehow identify these people before they actually commit the crime? Any thoughts on that?
In any case, here are my Top 10 CEOs in Prison:
Jeff Skilling, former CEO of Enron
Serving 24 years for fraud, insider trading, and other crimes related to the collapse of Enron
Bernie Ebbers, former CEO of WorldCom
Serving 25 years for accounting fraud that cost investors over $100 billion
Dennis Kozlowski, former CEO of Tyco Serving 8 to 25 years for stealing $134 million from Tyco
John Rigas, former CEO of Adelphia Communications Serving 25 years for bank, wire, and securities fraud related to the demise of Adelphia
Sanjay Kumar, former CEO of Computer Associates Serving 12 years for obstruction of justice and securities fraud
Walter Forbes, former CEO of Cendant Serving 12 years for fraud
Richard Scrushy, former CEO of HealthSouth Serving 7 years for bribery and mail fraud
Joseph Nacchio, former CEO of Qwest Communications
Serving 6 years for insider trading
Sam Waksal, former CEO of ImClone Served 7 years for securities fraud (released last year)
Martin Grass, former CEO of Rite Aid Served 6 years for fraud and obstruction (just released this year)

Former United Way Chief Guilty In Theft of More Than $600,000
ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 3— A Federal jury today found William Aramony, the former president of United Way of America, guilty of stealing more than $600,000 from the charity and using the money to pay for vacations, luxury apartments and other benefits for himself and his teen-age girlfriend.
The case has been an embarrassment both to the independent United Way organizations and to the charitable sector generally. United Way is one of the country’s biggest charities, raising more than $3 billion through payroll checkoff plans. United Way of America, which Mr. Aramony headed for 22 years, provided the local, independent fund-raising drives with marketing, training and other services.
Elaine Chao, who replaced Mr. Aramony as the president of United Way of America in 1992, said she and her board were gratified by the conviction. “We are glad to have this chapter behind us,” she said. “We’re focused on the future.”
Mr. Aramony faces the possibility of hundreds of thousands of dollars of fines, and a prison term. His lawyer, William Moffitt, said he would appeal the verdict.
Randy I. Bellows, the Assistant United States Attorney who prosecuted the case, said the guilty verdict demonstrated that “when an individual abuses the trust placed in him, society won’t tolerate it.”
“This verdict sends a message to anybody charged with the responsibility for protecting a charity that they will be held accountable,” he said.
The jury’s decision, in the Federal District Court for Eastern Virginia, came in the fifth week of the trial after an unexpectedly long seven days of deliberation. One juror, Alan Hannen, a driver for United Parcel Service, said the jurors had been shocked that no defense witnesses had been presented and felt “even more obligated to go through the paperwork,” as a result.
Mr. Hannen said a good deal of the jury’s time was spent figuring out how to go through the voluminous documents. The prosecution presented nearly 1,000 pieces of evidence, and the defense added several hundred more.
To speed the trial along in a court known as a “rocket docket” the judge was liberal in allowing evidence to be entered but did not allow time to be spent in describing the documents. They should speak for themselves, he said.
Mr. Hannen said the jurors had largely ignored Mr. Aramony’s history of womanizing, but he said the biggest thing on his mind as the jury deliberated was “all the money that went to Lori Villasor,” Mr. Aramony’s young girlfriend, although she did little or no work.
Mr. Moffitt asserted that no one had won a complete victory in the case. He noted that the judge had cut the charges to 46 from 71 before sending the case to the jury.
“We got scarred a little bit, but the Government got scarred a little bit, too,” Mr. Moffitt said.
Mr. Aramony, 67, appeared relaxed and chipper through the trial. He was convicted of 25 of 27 counts of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, the filing of false income tax returns and transactions involving criminally derived property. He declined to comment.
The jury also found two of Mr. Aramony’s former aides, Thomas J. Merlo, 64, and Stephen J. Paulachak, 49, who had both served as chief financial officer of United Way of America, guilty of diverting charitable funds. It found Mr. Merlo guilty of 17 of 18 counts of conspiracy, fraud and filing of false tax returns, and Mr. Paulachak of 8 of 12 counts.
But the jury said a for-profit spinoff from United Way of America, Partnership Umbrella Inc., which the Government said the men had used as a vehicle for diverting charitable funds, was not guilty of conspiracy to commit tax fraud.
Judge Claude M. Hilton set sentencing for June 14. The maximum possible term for any single count in the case is 10 years.
While the scandal left the people who head charities uneasy, most suggested that Mr. Aramony’s case was an aberration. Many also believe that the oversight of the nonprofit sector could be strengthened. There has been growing attention to the performance of directors and whether they have the skills and time to oversee the nonprofits they are responsible for.
“This case is a lesson to all boards that no matter how much they trust the executive director and have confidence in him or her, they really must perform the oversight function and exercise due diligence,” said Eleanor Brilliant, a professor at the Rutgers University School of Social Work and author of a book about United Way. “The issue of the board’s role has been raised but not fully addressed.”
The governors of United Way of America, who included chief executives of blue chip companies like I.B.M., AT&T and Sears, were portrayed by the Government as victims in this case. The defense, however, suggested that it was they who had slipped up.
They knew exactly what Mr. Aramony was doing, but knew they would have trouble finding another leader as dynamic as he was, Mr. Moffitt said. He noted that Mr. Aramony and Ms. Villasor had stayed together in the home of one of Mr. Aramony’s directors.
As president of United Way of America from 1970 to 1992, when he resigned under pressure, Mr. Aramony had been widely considered a dynamic leader who helped to build the operation by standardizing the name and the approach and bringing valuable advertising strategies and professionalism.
At the time of his departure, United Way of America collected about $29 million in dues from the local campaigns and paid Mr. Aramony about $463,000 in salary and benefits.
When reports surfaced in 1992 that Mr. Aramony had spent money from United Way of America on vacations to London, Paris, Egypt, Las Vegas and elsewhere for himself and his young girlfriend and on apartments for their personal use in Coral Gables, Fla., and on the East Side of Manhattan, donors and volunteers expressed outrage and contributions fell.
The organization brought in Ms. Chao, pared itself down to a leaner entity and introduced stringent financial controls and ethical standards. Local United Way officials say donations are rising.
Mr. Moffitt argued that Mr. Aramony had to maintain a lavish standard of living to persuade chief executives of America’s top companies to work for United Way. He also hammered at the theme that the directors were aware of Mr. Aramony’s behavior and seemed to find it acceptable, until reports started becoming public.
Mr. Moffitt repeatedly admitted that Mr. Aramony had made mistakes in having affairs with women he employed and in “sexually harassing” them, but he said his client was not guilty of taking money meant for charity.
The jury felt otherwise.
Others outside of the courtroom found the verdict appropriate.
“Anyone who abuses the public trust and misuses contributors’ money deserves to pay a harsh penalty,” said James J. Bausch, president of the National Charities Information Bureau.

Out of 3,929 charities reviewed in Charity Navigator’s 2013 CEO Compensation Study, a whopping 78 of the CEOs mentioned reportedly earned salaries between $500,000 and $1 million. The study revealed many donors simply assume these leaders work for free or minimal pay. It’s easy to forget that these large charities are multi-million dollar operations.
Are these high-earning execs pulling a fair salary for their good works, or are their impressive salaries questionable considering the nature of their work?
Several states, including New York, New Jersey, Florida and Massachusetts, have pushed legislation to limit the salary of nonprofit CEOs who accept public funding. Florida pushed for a limit of $129,972, while Massachusetts suggested $500,000 (Forbes). New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told Forbes, “These regulations will allow the state government to identify and stop the few providers that pocket taxpayer dollars rather than use them to serve the public.”
When qualified talent is already earning less than what would be offered by a for-profit company, the issue comes down to a question of whether or not a strong corporate culture is crucial to the success of these charities. In the corporate world, a higher salary results in a greater value. While looking at CEO compensation for these charities is only one number, if their talent results in greater revenue for the organization, the level of income may be justifiable. Take a look at this list of 12 nonprofit CEOs raking in a staggering annual salary, and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Laurance Hoagland Jr., Chief Investment Officer of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation earns a hefty salary of $2.5 million. The Hewlett Foundation has a wide range of goals—reducing global poverty, limiting the risk of climate change, advancing education, improving reproductive health rights and supporting local performing arts. (Huffington Post)
American Cancer Society
John Seffrin, CEO of American Cancer Society, earns $2.1 million, while also serving at the White House on the public health advisory group. The American Cancer Society is the world’s largest voluntary health organization fighting cancer. (Huffington Post)
Boys & Girls Club of America
Roxanne Spillett, President of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, earns $1.8 million at an organization with expenses exceeding $130 million (CNN Money). The Boys & Girls Club provides educational after-school programs for more than 4,000 chapters, serving around 4 million children. (Huffington Post)
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Emily K. Rafferty, President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, earns nearly $1.5 million. The Met was founded in 1870 to encourage the study and application of fine arts. The Met’s yearly expenses have reached $386 million (CNN Money). (Charity Navigator)
Los Angeles Opera
Placido Domingo, General Director of the Los Angeles Opera earns $1.35 million. Domingo is an opera singer and conductor as well, performing in more than 3,600 shows. Domingo has won twelve Grammy’s and has played a role in three opera films. This charitable CEO played a voice role in Disney’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua. (Huffington Post)
The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts
Michael Kaiser, President of the JFK Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C., earns $1.348 million. Kaiser previously worked for the Royal Opera House and was a corporate advisor before focusing on the arts, working for clients like GM and IBM. The Kennedy Center seeks the best performers from around the world, while striving to be a leader in arts education. (Huffington Post)
Metropolitan Opera Association
Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera Association in New York, earns $1.3 million. The Met Opera hosts more than 200 performances every year with some of the world’s most creative and talented artists worldwide. Gelb has had a lifelong love of the opera. He began working at the Met Opera at 17 years old as an usher. Now, as General Manager, Gelb earns $78K in benefits. The Met Opera is currently undergoing a drop in attendance and severe labor negotiations, discussing cuts of 17 percent their annual compensation (New York Observer). (Huffington Post)
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Glenn Lowry, Chief Executive of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, earns $1.2 million. Notably, the museum raised admission costs in 2012, while the CEO still receives $318K in housing to live free of charge in a $6 million apartment in MoMA’s residential tower. (Huffington Post)
United Way Worldwide
Brian A. Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide, earns $1.2 million. United Way was founded in 1887 to transport leaders and support to 41 countries and territories around the world. Groups promote educational and health initiatives to suffering communities. (Charity Navigator)
J. Paul Getty Trust
James Williams, Chief Investment Officer of the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles, earns $1.2 million. The Getty, one of the world’s wealthiest art institutions, is dedicated to carefully presenting and conserving the world’s artistic legacy. After cutting back on several programs and employees and raising parking costs during the recession, Williams was able to maintain his more-than-agreeable salary. (Huffington Post)
National Jewish Health
Michael Salem, President and CEO of National Jewish Health, earns a salary of just over $1 million. National Jewish Health is the leading hospital for respiratory care in the United States. (Charity Navigator)
Michael Miller, CEO of Goodwill, earns $856,043. Goodwill uses donations to train people for jobs who are currently unemployed. After being ridiculed by the Oregon Department of Justice for an “unreasonable” salary, Miller continues with compensation surpassing $850,000. During Miller’s time at Goodwill, he has increased revenue up to 107 percent to a record $135.5 million, while adding 1,000 jobs since 2004. The number of people served through Goodwill has increased from 11,694 to 52,170 during Miller’s leadership, perhaps proving the benefit of well-paid charity CEOs (Portland Business Journal).

Posted July 17, 2017 by Teacher Alvin in LEARNING ENGLISH

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Walking DEAD (HOMELESS PEOPLE) PART 2   Leave a comment


I THINK NOT, because you would have to STOP and look, most people of today want thing’s fast, quick, done over with, that you just don’t see a homeless person.

On a bus around Fayetteville I listen to people when they talk, and many time’s if these normal people see a homeless person on the side of the highway, it is normal for me to hear this. (OH THERE THEY ARE AGAIN BEGGING FOR MONEY FOR THERE DRUG’S) YES some do, but the ones that sit next to a building or out of the way, there more ashamed of what has happen to them, and they are trying to find away out of there problem.

There are so many that will not ask for anything, not even food.  Homeless is new to many of the homeless, and they have no idea what to do, where to go.  I had to go and ask many people where is this, what can be done, how do I do this? it is crazy, most information that I got was from homeless people, sometimes wrong, but at least they tried, most of the food bank’s think you ALREADY KNOW what to do and what there program is all about?

Some of the places, see so many homeless, that they see them all the same, not different in anyway, but I tell you there so different in so many way’s that it would make you cry, some are running away from home, some are looking for a home or family to understand them, some have a family that get’s there SSI money and throw the person that need’s the care out the door.  Some are not smart enough to get SSI, and they live on the street’s, so have a drinking problem and the family can’t deal with them, some have a drug problem and the family can’t deal with them.  Some have mental issues, that a doctor has not given the right drug to help them, some have family that don’t care one way or another.

If you see a person with a backpack walking around 90% chance there homeless, they go to the library, they go to each place that give a hot meal during the day, or walking to the shelter or day center if your town has one.

I had the chance to show some student’s what they will find when they go to a homeless person….”SHOCK” “SCARED” they will try to get out of your way..

When the “POLICE” went to the homeless camp’s, they were loaded to the hilt!!! OMG you would have thought they were going to raid a drug house!!!

These Homeless people, are just people that maybe sleep 2 to 4 hours at night, there scared and these big COP’s run up in the camp early in the morning, I “prayed’ no one will die today!!

When you see a homeless, ask “HA WHAT IS YOUR STORY”




Posted July 15, 2017 by Teacher Alvin in LEARNING ENGLISH

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Walking DEAD (HOMELESS PEOPLE IN AMERICA)   Leave a comment

As the title say’s the Walking Dead, I think of the last year’s were I walked with the homeless people around Arkansas, and when I went to New York, and Georgia, South Carolina, and Denver.   I want people to see through my eyes, and maybe you will see something you never thought of or ever heard before.  This is away of saying good-by to a friend, he loved his vodka, but not always, he hated it sometimes, and could not be around people that was drinking anything, I find that to be true about homeless people, they hate where they are, but to get that next leg up, is almost impossible,  you feel a rush to find something fast, but a system that moves as slow as a snail going up hill in the winter time.  When what your fighting for does not come, you go back to what you know, and that being drug’s or drinking.  It is easier to drink or do drug’s then to live in the real time, I don’t understand this, but for the time, I listen, and hope I learn with out jumping into those thing’s.  I have heard it all, to “WELL Marijuana is not additive to it CURE’s.  Anything that makes you not know what is going on around you is not good.  We are HUMAN, and that is a hard thing to begin with, the stress of life that we have made for ourselves is overwhelming, so it easy to over look the hazard of drinking and drug’s, But as HUMAN’s we must look at what CAN. that word is a strange word, but it is so TRUE (CAN) we can be more then what we think of ourselves, build thing’s, use part’s of our mind’s that no other creature on EARTH does. When most people see homeless people they only see the outer shell, some ask WHY? I have asked the same question why? over time I found over time most were mom’s and dad’s, they were very smart, they had goal’s, they had real lives.  So to tell you, what changed! many thing’s that fast pace life will catch you, the drug’s slow everything down, the drinking will slow thing’s down and put you in a lot of trouble, Our law’s is another problem, if you have a felony of any kind, then it is hard to find work, you lose creditability.

CO-DEPENDENCY: A big word when you think about it, the origination’s that were made to help people out of a problem, has become a business, where ever a homeless person go’s there is a sign-in sheet, to prove that they have helped people. Most of them turn this in for “GRANT MONEY”” I call them Money Hawk’s” they can only give enough to keep the poor and homeless enough to stay alive today.  Some is a small bag every two week’s some are one time a month. some is just a hot meal for the day.

HOMELESS CENSES:  a BIG JOKE, they ask question so not to show light on the real problem, the question’s are made to see where some group’s can pull more money (Money Hawk’s) again.  The number’s are so wrong, if it was not so serious I would laugh, there are three times what they think there is, many find shelter at a friends home, or a barn, or a abandon building, never see a censes taker, The group that made the CENSES what’s the problem to be small.   When in fact it is to big for them to understand.

PAN-HANDLING:  IT IS TRUE THERE ARE SOME THAT PAN-HANDLE THAT ARE VERY RICH.  But there are many that are not, they don’t even have two penny’s to rub together, If you see a homeless not waving a sign, he most likely is homeless and has nothing, the ones that show off, most are just trying to make money with out working for it, the ones with a sign, I will give money to, the one with sign I will give food.

Posted July 15, 2017 by Teacher Alvin in LEARNING ENGLISH

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The new unwanted Jews in America “HOMELESS”   Leave a comment


The new unwanted Jews in America “HOMELESS”




1 Sarasota, FL

In February 2005, the City Commission unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting “lodging out of doors.”  The previous “no-camping” rule was ruled unconstitutional by a state court last year because it was too vague and punished innocent conduct.  The new rule prohibited using any public or private property for “lodging” outdoors without permission from the property owner.  While not completely mitigating the negative impact of the law, the city took a more positive approach to the issue in this law by including a requirement that police officers, once a year, offer people who violate the law a ride to the shelter, instead of jail.  The commissioners said that the ordinance would protect public safety and property while helping homeless people find shelter.  Although the city was confident that this ordinance would stand up in court, critics said that it was still too vague.  It was not clear how many “lodging” activities, such as making a fire, laying down blankets or a sleeping bag, and putting up a tent, would have to be happening in order for a person to be arrested.  Moreover, the police were not required to give a person a ride to the shelter if the person was intoxicated, using drugs, or did not have proper identification.

Like its predecessor, this ordinance was short-lived.  In June 2005, a state court found the “no lodging law” unconstitutional.  County Judge David L. Denkin said the ordinance gave police officers too much discretion in deciding who is a threat to public health and safety, and who is just taking a nap on the beach.  The judge, however, recognized the “good intention” of the city commissioners.  The city claims it is important to the city’s residents. City commissioners have long insisted that the ordinances are about protecting people, but the ordinance has been used toarresthomeless persons.  Assistant Public Defender Chris Cosden believes the city should give up: “The city has tried twice, and failed twice [with its ordinances]. The city has to step back and realize there are some things you just can’t do.”  On a positive note, Fredd Atkins, a Sarasota City Commissioner, agreed that the city has “spent enough money trying to do the wrong thing right,” suggesting the money be committed to solving the root causes of homelessness.

Nonetheless, in August 2005, the city commissioners passed yet another ordinance, strangely similar to the previous two that were ruled unconstitutional.  The new ordinance makes it a crime to sleep without permission on city or private property, either in a tent or makeshift shelter, or while “atop or covered by materials.”  The city commissioners invented a list of criteria to determine if a person violates the new law.  One or more of the following five features must be observed in order to make an arrest: “numerous items of personal belongings are present; the person is engaged in cooking activities, the person has built or is maintaining a fire, the person has engaged in digging or earth-breaking activities, or the person is asleep and when awakened states that he or she has no other place to live.”

Advocates are shocked that the ordinance actually includes being homeless, or having “no other place to live” as itself a criterion for arrest.  Advocates argue that this ordinance, like its predecessors, targets homeless people.

The new law has been challenged in state court by defendants who were charged under the law.  The court upheld the law, finding it constitutional.

#2 Lawrence, KS

Downtown street merchants complained to city officials in December 2004 that homeless people were intimidating customers with “aggressive panhandling,” and that groups of people regularly spent the night camping on the rooftops of their businesses.  Downtown Lawrence, Inc. members gave city officials copies of many ordinances used in other communities against homeless people to encourage similar measures in Lawrence.  Some of the proposed ordinances make sitting on the sidewalk from 7 A.M. to 9 P.M., and closely following someone to solicit money illegal.  In addition to these suggested ordinances, a few businesses proposed cutting social services, arguing “We didn’t have this problem until we had a handout on every corner.”  Shelters were viewed as hurting downtown Lawrence’s image rather than providing invaluable and scarce services to homeless people.  Loring Henderson, Open Shelter’s director, disagrees, stating that “it doesn’t seem logical to me that when you have a place where there are 21 people who have a place to stay for the night, rather than being on the streets, that you’re contributing to the problem.”

According to Phil Hemphill, a downtown business owner who addressed a meeting of the City Task Force on Homeless Services, efforts to help homeless people are useless without sanctions imposed on the ill-behaved individuals among them.  He described how he regularly saw homeless men and women urinate, defecate, and fornicate in public.  Hemphill said it was wrong to expect the public and private sectors to finance services for homeless people when such behavior is tolerated.  Hemphill later complained that the Task Force balked at imposing sanctions on trespassing, panhandling, and public drunkenness.  Several Task Force members replied that Hemphill was misinterpreting their deliberations.

At a January 2005 meeting of the Task Force on Homeless Services, downtown business owners proposed that homeless service providers require people who want to use shelters, soup kitchens, and other services to obtain an official identification badge.  The badges would require people to go through an application process and a policebackground check.  This would give police and service providers a way to punish people by denying certain services over a specific period of time. Moreover, business owners argued, the badges would help ensure that homeless services are not enabling people to remain homeless.

In July 2005, city commissioners approved three “civility” ordinances, responding to concerns from downtown patrons about aggressive panhandlers.  However, in a more positive step, they rejected an anti-camping law in spite of neighbors’ concerns about homeless camps along the Kansas River.  Commissioners approved ordinances that would prohibit panhandlers from asking for money in an aggressive way, make it illegal for people to trespass on rooftops, and limit how people could sleep or sit on city sidewalks.  Yet, Kalila Dalton, a member of Kansas Mutual Aid, views panhandling as a logical response to a basic need: “If it is cold outside and if you have no warm place, it seems reasonable to build a fire. If you have no money, it seems reasonable to ask someone who appears well off for money.”

The anti-panhandling ordinance will ban aggressive panhandling by prohibiting repeated attempts to solicit money from the same individual, blocking someone’s path or touching them, or soliciting within 20 feet of an automatic teller machine or a bus stop or from anyone in a vehicle.  Another of the newly-passed ordinances makes it illegal to lay or sit on a sidewalk in a way that blocks the path of a pedestrian or requires pedestrians to reroute their course, with the exception of protests or other activities protected under the First Amendment.  This ordinance was approved on a 3-2 vote, with Commissioner Mike Rundle and Councilman Highberger opposing.  Highberger said he thought the ordinance simply addressed “things that people didn’t want to look at,” rather than genuine public safety concerns.  Lastly, the council approved an ordinance that prohibits going onto the rooftop of a building without the permission of the building owner.  The passage of this ordinance was motivated by complaints from several downtown merchants that homeless persons camp on their rooftops.

Fortunately, the Commissioners unanimously rejected the bulk of the proposed anti-camping ordinances because they said the city’s current criminal trespass ordinance allowed them to address the issues when problems arose.  The main difference between the trespass ordinance and the proposed anti-camping ordinance was that under the trespass ordinance, campers have to first be given a warning to leave before they could be ticketed.  However, the Commissioners did agree to approve a portion of the ordinance that would make it illegal for people to camp on private property without the express permission of the property owner.

#3 Little Rock, AR
In March 2005, Saint Francis House, a daytime homeless center, was forced to reduce its hours for the second time in one month due to decreased funding. The cutback in hours came as police began cracking down on “professional” panhandling in the downtown area.  An undercover task force arrested 41 people.

The city’s agenda with regard to homeless people has become more aggressive and blatant in the following incidents.  The only day shelter, and only place where homeless people could wash their clothes, Saint Francis House, closed in 2005 after a long history of police harassment of homeless people using that facility, as well as a withdrawal of funds for its operation.  When asked to comment upon the closing of Saint Francis House, Sharon Priest, a spokesperson for the Downtown Partnership, said that she was “glad” it was gone, but was still not satisfied, because of “thatsoupkitchen [Stewpot] which is right there.”

Other reports compiled by Hunger-Free Arkansas indicate the criminalization of homeless men and women throughout the city.  In a case of illegal search and seizure, a state trooper illegally searched and detained a homeless man, by claiming he suspected the homeless man was dealing drugs.  The state trooper arrested the individual, who spent the night in jail and missed work the next day.  The homeless man had no record of any drug-related offenses.  Upon release from prison, only his driver’s license was returned. He did not receive his wallet or other property before he was told to leave.  Due to the arrest, the homeless man was suspended from work for 30 days and taunted by employees for having to spend the night in jail.

In another incident, two homeless men reported officers of the Little Rock Police Department, in separate incidents, had kicked them out of the Little Rock Bus Station. Both men were holding valid tickets and transfers.  Despite showing the police their tickets, both men were told that although the buses they were awaiting would arrive within 30 minutes, they could not wait on the premises because they were loitering.  The police subsequently evicted the men.  In some instances, others have been told that they could not wait at the bus station “because you are homeless.”

Over the summer in 2005, a free public event was held at Riverfront Park in Little Rock, at which various businesses and manufacturers of goods (including the Tyson Chicken Company) set up booths and tents to give away free samples of their merchandise to the public.  Vendors encouraged homeless persons at the event to take free samples, which many homeless people gratefully did.  However, officers of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department told the homeless individuals, including a handicapped man at a picnic table, that they had to leave the event immediately or be subject to arrest for loitering in a park.  Another homeless man was denied entrance by tour operators to the free and public tour of the Old Statehouse Museum.

#4 Atlanta, GA

Amid waves of public protest and testimony opposing the Atlanta City Council’s proposed comprehensive ban on panhandling, the city and mayor passed a bill in August 2005.  The ban made panhandling illegal within the “tourist triangle” and anywhere after dark.  The ordinance also prohibits panhandling within 15 feet of an ATM, bus stop, taxi stand, pay phone, public toilet, or train station anywhere in the city.  Many opponents believe the ban outlaws panhandling virtually everywhere, rendering it unconstitutional.  The new ordinance also states that anyone who asks for help, both monetary and non-monetary, can be detained until an outreach worker either evaluates the detainee or refers him/her to social services.  State Senator Vincent Fort, said the 12-3 vote “was an unabashed rush for campaign support.”

Two days after the signing, the Atlanta Police Department announced in The Atlanta Journal Constitution that homeless people would be rounded up and identified for entry into the City’s new facility called The Gateway, which provides 250 shelter beds and supportive housing.  The Gateway, the recipient of $10 million in private and public funds, was developed to provide a constructive solution to coincide with the panhandling ban.  Unfortunately, although The Gateway houses homeless people, there is an overall net loss of places to sleep in Atlanta; 125 emergency beds for women and children were closed by the Mayor at the end of May 2005.  Up to eighty of those women and children now sit up all night, waiting for shelter at the Task Force for the Homeless.

The business community and the city administration claim that many homeless people are “service-resistant” and should be forced to receive the services they need.  However, more than half the current requests for shelter and services in Atlanta go unmet because of insufficient resources.  Most shelters and support service agencies report turning away dozens of desperate people daily.  In addition, the Mayor’s Commission is persuading service agencies to relocate into the Gateway, making formerly independent, voluntary services available only there.
“This ordinance affects a huge population of the poor and homeless who just ask for help to eat everyday. We do not need a blanket law for one person asking another person for help,” said Murphy Davis of the Open Door Community.  According to Anita Beaty of the Task Force for the Homeless, “Atlanta planners seem to believe that if you remove people’s housing, eliminate emergency shelter that they will then need, and then make asking for help illegal, their necessary support services available only through an incarceration program, the poor people will go someplace else.”

Jason Gibbes, a resident of the Peachtree-Pine facility, testified before City Council, stating, “I work every day.  In two weeks, I will have enough to rent my own apartment, and I have it all picked out.  I’m sure not proud of it, but when I first got my job, I begged for MARTA fare to get to work — a couple of times.  If I hadn’t been able to ask for help, I wouldn’t be working today.”  He also reported that the police stopped him and forced him to produce identification while merely walking down the street.

In the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Atlanta has stood firm in its resolve to criminalize panhandlers.  James Scott was sleeping in his car with his brother, his sister, and her two young children after seeking refuge in Atlanta.  After living in their car for several days, the family panhandled at a mall in the affluent Buckhead neighborhood.

Police arrested Scott for solicitation about a half hour later, even after he showed them his Louisiana driver’s license, car tag, and registration as proof that he was a Katrina evacuee.  “It’s the most expensive mall in Atlanta, I thought I could get some help,” Scott said.  According to Atlanta Police Department spokesman John Quigley, while soliciting on a public sidewalk is allowed, soliciting in traffic is prohibited.  According to Kevin, a homeless man interviewed by the Task Force for the Homeless, “nobody has the right to expect people to help.  It’s their money to decide what they want to do with it.  I just think I have a right to tell somebody what I need, and let them decide.”

A homeless woman with children was arrested in Atlanta for “impersonating” a Katrina survivor in order to get help for her children.  There was an outpouring of emergency assistance from churches that only offered help to hurricne evacuees, thereby creating a desperate competition for much needed shelter.

In addition, the American Civil Liberties Union plans to file a lawsuit against Atlanta once it finds a suitable plaintiff because of the ban’s potential violations of the First Amendment.  Gerald Weber, the legal director of the ACLU’s Georgia branch, calls Atlanta’s ordinance “too broad,” likening it to a similar ban in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was ruled unconstitutional in 1999.  City Councilman C.T. Martin believes the threat of a potential lawsuit has caused the city to withhold aggressive enforcement of the panhandling ban.

#5 Las Vegas, NV

Although homeless advocates in Las Vegas stated that shelters are overcrowded, city officials have done little to increase resources for individuals experiencing homelessness. Due to a lack of funding, the city’s Crisis Intervention Center was recently closed. Similarly, charitable organizations scrambled – albeit unsuccessfully – to replace the services the Crisis Intervention Center provided.

The police conduct habitual sweeps of encampments, which lead to extended jail time for repeat misdemeanor offenders.  Homeless inhabitants of a campsite on Owens Avenue were forced to vacate the area just before Christmas 2004.  Las Vegas’s Department of Neighborhood Services gave the order to clear the lot, because the property owner was “in violation of Las Vegas Municipal Code…dealing with nuisances.”  Many social service providers were caught off guard by the notice, wishing the city had informed them before the sweep to ensure they could find places for homeless men and women to stay.  Former residents of the campsite worried about finding a bed in one of the shelters because most of them are reserved for older men and women.

Despite reports that city, county, and state agencies were working together to provide homeless persons displaced by a January 2005 sweep of a downtown bridge, only 45 people out of 150 residents of the camp were placed in temporary housing.  The site was declared a health hazard in August 2005 because people were urinating and defecating in the area around the camp.  Bob McKenzie, spokesman for the Department of Transportation, commented, “we need to do whatever we can to help the homeless, but we need to take care of public safety first.”  Transportation crews threw away inhabitants’ possessions, including tents, blankets, and family photos.

City officials’ attempt to break up another homeless camp in February 2005 was met with criticism by local homeless advocates, who argued that breaking up the camp would only create another camp elsewhere.  They also noted that homeless people need treatment, supportive services, and permanent housing, all of which are not available.  Several homeless people were unable to receive help from local agencies, because they were already receiving money from the federal government.

An analysis of Las Vegas police records revealed that arrests for charges such as trespassing, jaywalking, and pedestrians failing to obey traffic signals increased after a recent cleanup of a homeless camp.  When homeless people are ejected from the camps, they move to other public places where they interact more with members of the community.  The ACLU of Nevada suggested that Las Vegas police went out of their way to cite and arrest homeless people as a part of the sweep.  According to Gary Peck, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, “It will take political will to dedicate the resources needed to move this situation in a positive direction. I haven’t seen anything from any jurisdiction to indicate that exists.”

In April 2005, plans to clean up a homeless encampment that had previously been swept at Owens Avenue were postponed due to lack of organization.  Officials attempted to avoid criticism by posting signs at the site in both English and Spanish, warning people that the authorities were going to clean the area.  The Southern Nevada Homeless Coalition was not informed of the sweep.  Linda Lera-Randle El, director of Straight from the Streets, believes the sweep was “like penalizing the homeless for the shortcomings of the city, county, and state.”

Frank Wright Plaza, a small park across from City Hall, was a favorite daytime spot for homeless people seeking a place to nap.  Regular visitors to the park said that it is a safe and comfortable place to recover from a tough night on the streets.  However, city officials saw the park as a public nuisance, and have assigned marshals to patrol the area several times daily.  In order to keep homeless individuals out of future parks, the city considered privatizing the parks, enabling owners to kick out unwanted people.  Mayor Oscar Goodman fervently supported the idea, saying, “I don’t want them there.  They’re not going to be there.  I’m not going to let it happen.  They think I’m mean now; wait until the homeless try to go over there.”

In a more positive step, Metro Police are expected to begin seeking a liaison for homeless people, raising its level of commitment after being criticized for its handling of the homeless situation.  The Metro Police have been at the center of the homelessness controversy on many occasions in recent years.  In addition to their role in homeless camp sweeps, the Metro Police have faced allegations that officers were targeting homeless people for misdemeanor crimes, such as urinating in public.  The new liaison would work with both public and private agencies to help homeless people, and will hopefully prevent future arrests and sweeps.

#6 Dallas, TX

Officials attempted to address the growing homeless population by making it illegal to take a shopping cart off store property.  Instead of acknowledging the root causes of homelessness, the new law only spurred homeless people to become more creative.  Fleets of damaged baby strollers and shopping carts are now common in the area.

The Dallas Homeless Neighborhood Association investigated sweeps that occurred in December 2004.  A positive result of its investigation was that the Interim City Manager, Mary Suhm, vowed to replace the personal property, including blankets, identification, and medication, that the city officials confiscated during those sweeps.  Suhm also promised to provide oral or written notices at least 24 hours in advance of sweeps, giving homeless people time to relocate.

In an attempt to gain more federal aid for homeless services, volunteer canvassers surveyed and counted homeless people in the Dallas area.  Volunteers accompanied by the police walked the streets to gain knowledge and “humanize the condition of homelessness.”  The count itself was not an attempt to chase people from their shelters, but the police and transportation crews later evicted dozens of homeless people from their encampments.

One of Dallas’ most elaborate homeless camps, with cardboard shacks, tents, porta-potties and a microwave powered by electricity tapped from a billboard was raided in May 2005.  The city bulldozed the camp several times before, but the inhabitants kept rebuilding their homes.  City officials hoped that demolition would give the residents an incentive to seek help for their drug and alcohol addictions, as well as mental illnesses. James Waghorne, a formerly homeless social worker, disagrees with the city’s logic, saying “more residents may seek help if the city offered a higher level of services instead of driving people from the only homes they know.”

Starting in September of 2005, a new ordinance will penalize charities, churches and other organizations that serve food to the needy outside of city designated areas.  Anyone who violates this ordinance can be fined up to $2000.  Romano’s Hunger Busters pledges to feed homeless people “wherever they are,” and will violate the new ordinance. Romano worries that many people experiencing homelessness will be unable or scared to go to the new feeding locations, falling “through the cracks.”  The city claims portable feedings both enable homeless camps to exist and generate litter.

Currently, the city is considering Mayor Laura Miller’s suggestion to ticket people who donate to panhandlers, because a blanket ban on panhandling has proved largely ineffective since its inception two years ago.

#7 Houston, TX

A coalition of businesses and residents, called the Avondale Association, is petitioning city officials to protect the near-downtown neighborhood from homeless persons by using a so-called “civility ordinance” passed by the Houston City Council in late 2004.  The Avondale Association has gathered enough signatures to require a public hearing on whether the ordinance should be expanded beyond the Central Business District.  The ordinance, which is currently confined to downtown, prohibits people from sitting or lying on sidewalks between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., as well as placing items of bedding or personal possessions on the sidewalk.

Paul Luccia, owner of Keystar Events Complex, says the conduct of homeless people at nearby Interfaith Ministries hurts his business, which provides a venue for business meetings and weddings.  Luccia also claims many of his customers are intimidated by the daily overflow of sidewalk trash and illegal activity around Interfaith Ministries’ site. Luccia sees the ordinance as the city’s main line of defense against the growing encroachment of homeless people on struggling business.  Others contend that if local business paid a living wage people could work to get themselves off the streets.

The Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County believes the civility ordinance is ineffective, as well mean-spirited.  “This is just more or less shuffling people around [and we] do not support any laws that somewhat outlaw or consider homelessness a crime,” said Anthony Love of the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County. Love also argues “blaming service providers for an increase in homelessness is like blaming hospitals for an increase of sick people. If service providers weren’t there, the problem would be worse.”

Citing a need to “reflect changes in society,” the Houston City Council also passed new regulations under which patrons with offensive bodily hygiene that constitutes a nuisance to others will not be allowed inside the library.  In addition, these laws prohibit people from sleeping or putting their head, feet or legs on tables, using library restrooms to change their clothes, bathe, or shave, as well as outlawing large backpacks and blankets in the building.

In opposition to the new laws, City Councilwoman Addie Wiseman noted, “When we have heat waves, they encourage people, including homeless [people], to go into public buildings, including our libraries.  What is the plan now?”  She also said, “I understand what they’re trying to do but when you start targeting a community like the homeless [population], I think that’s a poor policy.”

#8 San Juan, PR

Cieni Rodriguez, Executive Director of La Fondita de Jesus, expressed that “no significant positive advances have been made during the calendar year of 2004.”  She further states, “it is ironic how frequently city officials publicly say how they are working on behalf of the homeless population, while at the same time they are supporting the passage of new legislation that further countermands civil liberties.  Anti-constitutional laws that, if passed, would permit the governments [central and municipal] to intervene with a person’s liberty by transporting them somewhere else against their will.”

Osvaldo Burgos, attorney and Executive Director of the Commission for Civil Rights stated, “There has been an alarming increase in city ordinances and city codes designed at targeting […] homeless [people].”  A recent study by the commission revealed that over half of Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities have passed anti-homeless ordinances into laws. Sweeps of homeless people are also becoming commonplace in Puerto Rico.  Sweeps have taken place in Sicardo, Old San Juan, Caguas, Yabucoa,  and Vega Baja, during which 17 homeless people were arrested for violating “quality of life” ordinances.  At least five homeless deaths have been attributed to these sweeps.

People experiencing homelessness have also reported being victims of police violence and intimidation.  One man reported that he has frequently been a victim of police violence including being assaulted with nightsticks and pepper sprayed for the fun of it and having his bicycle tires slashed while being mocked by police.  Another man also reported verbal abuse by the police while they trashed the place where he slept.

#9 Santa Monica, CA

Under a new proposal soon to be floated by City Council Member Bob Holbrook, city groups that provide meals to homeless people in parks may be fined for clean up costs.  Food providers may be required to pick up the yearly-estimated tab of $40,000 that Santa Monica spends annually providing park rangers and a cleaning service after meals.  The free meals are currently being handed out in Reed Park, Palisades Park, and on the City Hall lawn.  Holbrook contends that the new “clean up law” would be enforced equally so that it doesn’t target one person or group.  Moira LaMountian, co-founder of Helping Other People Eat (HOPE), has been feeding homeless people in Palisades Park for over 13 years.  She fears that going after the food providers’ pocketbooks could cause nonprofit groups to stop providing food to those who need it.  She also contends that they leave the park cleaner than when they arrive each day, and that there is no need for park ranger supervision.

The city of Santa Monica would also like to move meal dispersion indoors to connect the food programs with other services offered to the homeless people.  City officials who work on the issues surrounding homelessness admitted that there is no such indoor location available at this time.  An ordinance, enacted in 2002, reduced outdoor feeding locations from 26 to 4, and bans feeding more than 150 homeless persons without a permit, because some official believed food providers were only exacerbating the homeless problem by handing out free meals.  Human Services Manager, Julie Rusk, said that moving handouts indoors was essential in stopping what she called the “revolving door” of homelessness.  Nonetheless, only one of the feeding sites in the city is linked to established homeless services.

Recently, with the election of Bobby Shriver to the city council, homeless people in Santa Monica are facing what may be the single biggest push in the nation to pass a massive wave of new anti-homeless laws.  The new collection of proposed city laws would
make it illegal for any homeless person to set down a backpack for more than ten minutes on any sidewalk, lie, or sit, on any sidewalk in the city, shave, bathe, wash clothing items in any public restrooms, and sleep anywhere in a vehicle.  The laws would also sweep homeless individuals from all freeway sides and ramps.

In addition to the new local laws, anti-homeless forces are proposing to close all showers that open before six a.m., many of which serve homeless men and women who work. Santa Monica Memorial Park Gym Director, John Hines, estimates that nearly fifty homeless people shower at the park, many before work.  The city cites complaints and growth of sports activities at the park as their reasons to close the facilities.  The displaced bathers may seek refuge at St. Joseph’s Center, where shower-seekers must sign up a day in advance.  Furthermore, they propose that the Santa Monica city police now transport anyone found intoxicated in the city to a new “sobriety center” five miles out of town in Culver City.

Laws in the city already attempt to ban all outdoor meals from groups, like Food Not Bombs, which serve up to half of the city’s 1,000 homeless people.  Another notorious law literally bans even the giving of a cookie to any member of the “public” without a city permit.  According to the manager for the City’s Human Services Division, “[…] groups [that] continue to sponsor these [feeding] programs [run] counter to the policy that the City has been trying to promote.”

#10 Flagstaff, AZ

Soon anyone camping or sleeping in a car or in public within the Flagstaff city limits may be subject to trespassing and camping violations, totaling up to $2,500 in fines and six months in jail time.  The current ordinance’s wording only allows prosecution of people arrested in city parks.  City Attorney Patricia Boomsma supports the new, stricter ordinance, because “[…] prosecutors need to prosecute the person actually doing the camping.”  The proposed ordinance aims to eliminate litter, human waste, and illicit campfires.  According to Flagstaff chief of police, J.T. McCann, the ordinance is intended to promote public safety.  However, local service providers, such as Stephanie Boardman of Hope Cottage, believe these ordinances are counter-productive, especially to the domestic violence victims that Hope Cottage takes in.  Boardman said, “A lot of them are embarrassed to go to shelters. They just want their freedom. You penalize the people in crisis because 10, 15, 20 people are really causing an upheaval.”  While Flagstaff law enforcement officials have written 162 citations for camping, all charges were dropped because camping is not yet illegal in the city.

#11 San Francisco, CA

After responding to complaints of homeless people loitering outside the San Francisco Public Library, the police decided to provide homeless individuals, unhappy living in the city, with one-way bus tickets.  The plan would “reunite them with loved ones for the holidays.”  The Police Department recommended coordination with the bus companies and local businesses to fund tickets, along with boxed lunches.

L.S. Wilson, coordinator for the Coalition on Homelessness, believed that such a plan would only give the police an opportunity to harass homeless people.  “If they need a one-way ticket out of here and they can get it, good, but it’s saying they can’t come back. It’s another PR thing…Just try to hide or get rid of our homeless problem.”  The Department of Human Services offers bus tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. if the recipient has housing or a job to go to.  While some 10 to 30 people use the program each year, the Director of Human Services pointed out that it was difficult for homeless individuals to start a new life just by moving to another city.

Under Mayor Newsom’s “Care not Cash” ballot initiative, panhandlers who are supposed to be getting services are sometimes going to jail instead.  Instead of Care not Cash, San Francisco panhandlers are receiving citations, which, are translating into jail time.  In his argument for Proposition M in August 2003, Gavin Newsom wrote, “Prop. M seeks to divert people who aggressively panhandle because of addiction or illness away from the jail system and into the public health system.”  However, this is not the case as arrested panhandlers spend the time before their court date in jail instead of in service programs.

Under Proposition M, panhandling and solicitation is prohibited in five locations: near ATM machines, in parking lots, on public transit, on median strips, and on freeway on-ramps. Section F of Prop. M gives the Department of Public Health the mandate to “establish, administer and/or certify diversion programs appropriate for treatment of violators.”  Nonetheless, “people are going to jail because there aren’t enough services for everyone that needs them.”  Panhandling is an infraction that does not bring jail time; after three infractions, future cases are handled as misdemeanors, making the defendant eligible for incarceration.  Critics contend that this process of racking up citation convictions does not help homeless people get services.  Since Mayor Gavin Newsom took office in 2003, the number of camping citations among the homeless population nearly tripled.

Just the presence of homeless men and women is stirring up negative reactions in the city. In the heart of San Francisco’s downtown shopping district there have been complaints of people loitering outside of a charity organization, St. Vincent DePaul Society, that serves free lunch daily to those in need.  The meal service provides for over 100 people a day, most of whom are experiencing homelessness, but many are disabled or elderly.  The city has been trying to relocate the charity for over 15 years, nearly as long as it has been in existence.  There is heavy criticism from business owners that the sight of homeless people lined up on the street is not conducive to attracting new businesses and customers to the district.  The city manager of San Francisco, Barry Nagel, commented, “We know the need to serve [homeless people] is there, we just don’t need them in the downtown area.”

Court records show that the police are writing more tickets for illegal camping in city parks outside the downtown area, and homeless advocates point to the trend as proof that the city’s February homeless count was wrong when it showed that the population dropped by more than 2,000.

#12 Chicago, IL

In September 2004, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that prohibits panhandling within 10 feet of a bus stop, ATM, or bank entrance, at sidewalk cafes and restaurants, and fines panhandlers $50 for first and second offenses and $100 for each additional offense in the same year.  Chicago modified its criteria after a 2002 ordinance banning all panhandling was challenged in a class-action lawsuit, which resulted in a $474,000 settlement for the plaintiffs, as well as a repeal of the law.  According to Deputy Police Chief Ralph Chiczewski, Chicago police fine about 50 panhandlers a month, although collect far few fines.

However, many advocates, including Julie Dworkin of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, believe this ordinance does not provide a solution either.  She argues, “If you ticket them, they are not going to have money to pay the ticket.  So, you haven’t solved the problem.  People are panhandling out of great need […]  To get rid of panhandling, you must deal with the issue of homelessness.”  Amy Bishop, a downtown worker, believes that “[you] can’t legislate away all the things you don’t want in a city,” demonstrating that even some business owners are skeptical of Chicago’s second attempt in two years to curb panhandling.  The city’s initial attempt was repealed after a class-action lawsuit was filed on the grounds that the ordinance violated panhandlers’ civil rights.  Even the police chief, that suggested the strict ordinances, recognizes that they will not completely dispel panhandling.  Homeless activist, John Maki commented that, “Once people believe that panhandlers represent all homeless [people], it is very difficult to engage them in productive conversation about the reality and causes of homelessness. Too often, such encounters devolve into debates for and against panhandling, which then easily play into the stereotypes and fears many people have.”

#13 San Antonio, TX

After the city passed new ordinances targeting aggressive panhandling, sleeping in public, urinating in public, and camping without a license (including sleeping in vehicles), many local homeless people complained that the City Council was persecuting them.  These violations are class C misdemeanors and carry up to $500 fines.  However, District 1 Councilman Roger Perez said that these laws would be applied to everyone equally because they target behaviors rather than people.  According to West side Councilwoman, Patti Radle, 400 people have been cited for illegally sleeping on sidewalks or “urban camping” and 82 people have been cited for urination on sidewalks since these activities were criminalized earlier this year.

Reverend John Flowers of Travis Park United Methodist Church said that the ordinance presents a justice issue because of the lack of public restrooms and shelter space downtown, stating “If we’re going to tell people you can’t do this in public, then we need to provide them options.”  Instead of spending money on enforcement, the city could use it to strike at the root causes of homelessness.  Flowers and other advocates argued that the city has an obligation to provide better facilities for homeless people before cracking down on their activities.  Texas Homeless advocate Richard Troxell noted, “As long as people are forced to live on the streets of America due to the lack of affordable housing, adequate health care and livable incomes, we cannot allow their condition to be criminalized.  The same things that these people are being targeted, fined, and arrested for in public, are found to be acceptable and considered to be the norm when conducted in the privacy of our own homes.”

#14 New York, NY

In response to a New York Times article attributing a January 2005 fire in the subway to the extensive use of the subway tunnels as shelters for homeless men and women, Mayor Bloomberg’s Administration argued that police routinely patrol the tunnels and rarely find any homeless people.  When officials do find anyone, they are transported to shelters or arrested.  Arrests of homeless individuals “have skyrocketed in the past few years,” totaling 3,086 last year compared with 737 in 2000.

The New York City Police Department took aim at minor crimes like unlicensed street peddling and fare-beating on buses in an attempt to deter more serious crimes. Undercover police officers began riding the M35 bus at night to arrest those who do not pay the $2 fare.  Many of the arrested bus riders were on their way to homeless shelters. They could not walk to these shelters, because the only footbridge from Manhattan is closed in the late fall and winter.  Five criminal court judges, including Kathryn Freed, questioned the wisdom of the arrests, because they interfered with the services the homeless persons were seeking: “I consistently put on the record how outraged I am by the whole thing.  It’s a complete waste of the court’s time [to prosecute the illegal bus riders].  It takes a lot of person-power to process them, house them, and feed them. Meanwhile, the shelter, where they’re heading, is set up to do just that.”  Shaver, one of the men arrested on a M35 bus, told police “You’re setting me up. They’re the easiest victims, the homeless. It’s entrapment. Why don’t you [the police] go fight some real crime?”

In June 2005, an individual who panhandles filed a suit on behalf of a class of individual panhandlers who had been charged with violations of a New York state law that prohibits begging.  The Second Circuit had found the law unconstitutional in the Loper case in 1993.  The plaintiffs allege that arrests and prosecutions under the unconstitutional law violate their First Amendment rights.  On June 11, 2005, the day after the suit was filed, the Bronx District Attorney’s office admitted that they should not have prosecuted any arrests made under the unconstitutional part of the state penal code and issued a written agreement with the City and the police to stop arresting and prosecuting people under this statute.  According to the agreement, police officers received notice that the statute is void.  As of November 2005, the lawsuit is ongoing.

#15 Austin, TX

In late 2004, the city was considering four proposed changes to ordinances concerning public sleeping, panhandling, and loitering.  The proposals are a response to increased pressure from downtown business owners for the city to address the “transient problem.” Highlighted by new restrictions on panhandling, the proposed ordinance would criminalize all door-to-door and roadside solicitation throughout town, sleeping in public, blocking sidewalks, and panhandling near schools, childcare facilities, and outdoor restaurants. On December 14, 2005, council members will vote to fine anyone found lying, sleeping, or sitting anyway in the Downtown area $500.

Richard Troxell, president of House the Homeless, worries about the potential impact of this ordinance on the Austin Advocate, the local newspaper produced by homeless people and sold on the street for donations.  He also comments that, “another ordinance they wish to address is the sidewalk ordinance; what they intend to do is outlaw [all] sleeping or resting on the sidewalk whatsoever.”  On November 19, 2004, the Austin Area Homeless Task Force voted to adopt a Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, saying, “strategies to solve the problem lie in affordable housing, access to health care including mental health and substance abuse treatment, and livable wages.”  On the other hand, downtown business owners are complaining of increased problems with loiterers and panhandlers in the area.

In July 2005, an Austin municipal court found the city’s roadside anti-begging statute unconstitutional, in which panhandling in select roadside locales was illegal.  While defending a homeless Austin citizen, who was arrested for carrying a sign that read “Donations of any kind will help,” the Texas Civil Rights Project argued the panhandling ordinance violated the First Amendment rights of people experiencing homelessness. Under the panhandling ordinances, anyone “[…] who is in or next to a street, on a sidewalk, or in a private parking area commits an offense if the person solicits, or attempts to solicit, services, employment business, or contributions from an occupant of a motor vehicle.”  According to Wayne Krause, the goal of these ordinances is to decrease visibility of the homeless.  He says, “Officials at the city are very anxious to promote 6th Street and their perception of Austin’s tourist image, and they’ll sweep the undesirable urban realities out of sight to do it.”  Other advocates say we need to work toward solutions that combat the problem of homelessness rather than targeting homeless people.

In December of 2005, the Austin City Council passed ordinances that ban panhandling after 7 p.m. in the downtown area, ban panhandling totally near schools, child-care facilities, and outdoor food and drink establishments and prohibit sleeping, sitting, and lying down in public areas downtown.  People violating the no sleeping/sitting ordinance face a $500 fine.  Only one Council Member, Mayor Pro Tem Danny Thomas, voted against these ordinances.  The new ordinances went into effect on December 25.

#16 Anchorage, AK

In April 2005, Ed O’Neill, an advocate who helps maintain homeless camps, wanted to establish a corporate-sponsored legal homeless camp.  The camp would include toilets and garbage facilities, as well as require a small fee for residents to live there.  After consulting with homeless people, O’Neill concluded that some could benefit from being allowed to camp—safely, legally and securely—at an established place.  People would not be allowed to drink in a legal, organized camp.  However, Fairview Community Council president, Darrell Hess, does not share O’Neill’s enthusiasm, citing the adverse effects a camp would have on the neighborhood, such as the difficulty of monitoring inhabitants.

In Anchorage, camping anywhere, including both government and private property, is considered trespassing.  Police have trouble dealing with camp inhabitants; if they move them on, homeless campers will turn up somewhere else.  O’Neill continues to work closely with campers, advising them where to move and how to address the police.  For him, having people camp in the woods is perfectly fine, as long as they do it right: haul out trash, use proper toilet facilities, do not drink, and do not disturb others.  Even if the legal camp never wins local approval, O’Neill thinks he and like-minded supporters are improving the living conditions in the city woods.

The city and the Anchorage Downtown Partnership are trying to discourage motorists from giving to panhandlers.  The citywide program is titled “Change for the Better” and uses slogans such as “give change in ways that make change.”  Local businesses and buses sport the signs.  The Partnership is urging motorists to give donations to social service agencies rather than panhandlers, because public officials believe voluntary donations to homeless people pay for alcohol or drug addictions.  A 2004 law makes panhandling or giving to panhandlers from a motor vehicle stopped on a public street, as well as aggressive panhandling, illegal.  According to Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, “The idea [of the program] is to dry up the source of funding so street people will seek help that might let them to improve their lives.”

While Anchorage considers alternatives to proposed homeless camps, Anchorage’s SAFE City Program used funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement the Pathways to Sobriety project.  According to a 2005 evaluation of the project by the University of Anchorage, “the primary components of this project include involuntary engagement by chronic public inebriates from the target population into detoxification and substance abuse treatment services via individualized intensive care management services; increased access to therapeutic court for the target population involved in criminal act; and invigoration of the alcohol involuntary commitment program.”  In this way, Anchorage’s “sleep-off” center not only shelters public inebriates from potential health risks of cold weather, such as hypothermia, but also the potential risk of being targeted for a quality of life violation.

#17 Phoenix, AZ

The Phoenix City Council voted to ban camping in all city parks in order to preserve the parks as “family places” in December 2004.  The measure was aimed at keeping homeless people from areas where children and others gather.  Even though few of the homeless people caused trouble, “many people are intimidated by the homeless and won’t use the park.”  Homeless advocates argued that the ordinance would not solve the problem.  According to Jeff Taylor of the Phoenix Rescue Mission, “If you close the parks, homeless individuals will gravitate to another area.  This will squeeze individuals into other areas where they may be more invisible.”  The Executive Director of the Phoenix Rescue Mission, Jerry Sandvig, doesn’t see any alternative with such an overwhelming homeless population in Phoenix, saying, “There really isn’t any place for them to go.”

#18 Los Angeles, CA

In February 2005, the L.A. City Council unanimously passed a law that prohibits loitering outside of public facilities, such as libraries, between 9 P.M. and 9 A.M.

Six homeless individuals also filed suit to prevent the Los Angeles Police Department from ticketing and arresting people who sit, sleep or lie on public sidewalks pursuant to city codes.  They argued the codes were in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, as applied to homeless persons.  The plaintiffs argued that homelessness in an involuntary condition, as long as homeless people outnumber the number of available shelter beds.  The court rejected the plaintiffs’ arguments and granted summary judgment for the city.

In September 2005, the mayor of Los Angeles ordered an investigation into allegations that other jurisdictions were “dumping” homeless people, mentally ill persons, and criminals onto the streets of Los Angeles’ Skid Row.  Skid Row is a 50-block area of downtown Los Angeles containing between 8,000-11,000 homeless people.   A week later Police Chief William Bratton vowed to get tough and clean up the area he refers to as “Dante’s Inferno.”  His department has conducted sweeps of the area looking for parole violators and strictly enforces “quality of life” statutes such as public urination and sleeping on public sidewalks.

Many believe that the outrage over the “dumping” of homeless people and the increased enforcement are a result of gentrification in the area.  “That’s why there’s a big brouhaha about the ‘dumping’ now.  Five, six, seven years ago there weren’t any plans to gentrify Skid Row with condos and lofts that sell for $700,000 or more and a Grand Hotel a few blocks away.  The rich simply don’t want the homeless to be part of the landscape anymore,” commented a local social worker.

Police Chief Bratton insists that his department does not target homeless people.  “What we focus on is behavior, he said.  “If the behavior is aberrant, in the sense that it breaks the law, then there are city ordinances…. You arrest them, prosecute them.  Put them in jail. And if they do it again, you arrest them, prosecute them, and put them in jail.  It’s that simple.”

#19 St. Louis, MO

In October 2005, the City of St. Louis settled a lawsuit filed against it by twenty-five homeless and impoverished people, claiming they were illegally “swept” from the downtown area before the city’s Fourth of July festivities.  The city paid $80,000 in damages to the plaintiffs.  The payment of damages will be shared by the city, the police department and the Downtown Partnership, all of whom were defendants in the case.  The plaintiffs claimed that homeless people and those who appeared to be homeless were abused, harassed, and illegally detained in order to clear the city streets before the holiday festivities, and alleged that the defendants have a policy “of intimidating and driving homeless people and homeless-appearing people from downtown St. Louis.”  Plaintiffs also alleged that some of them were told they would be released if they performed free community service – cleaning up after the festivities – even before they saw a judge.  City Counselor Patricia Hageman admitted these accounts were accurate.  Attorney for the plaintiffs, Steven Gunn, stated, “This agreement makes it clear that sweeps violate the law and human dignity.”  Although the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in granting a preliminary injunction and the city agreed to the settlement, the city has not admitted any wrong-doing.

As a result of the settlement, the police department has agreed to do the following: avoid arresting homeless people or removing them from downtown areas without probable cause that a crime was committed; institute a policy, where under most circumstances, a summons to court will be issued for “quality of life” violations rather than arrest; re-affirm to its officers that an “individual’s status (homeless or non-homeless) will not be considered in any of [their] decisions;” and acknowledge begging is not a crime, if it is not “aggressive.”

In early November 2005, police officers swept a downtown park, instructing homeless people to leave.  No arrests were made but park workers removed belongings for temporary storage.  The sweeps sparked a protest march from the park to City Hall.  The marchers demanded an end to sweeps and more services for homeless people.

#20 Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh city leaders recently amended its panhandling ordinance.  The new law expands on the existing panhandling ordinance by restricting solicitation for charity to daylight hours.  The bill also bans panhandling within 25 feet of an outdoor eating establishment, 25 feet of an admission line, 25 feet of the entrance to a place of religious assembly, within 25 feet of money dispensing areas, and 10 feet of a food vendor or bus stop.  The bill also outlaws “aggressive panhandling” and solicitation of money that hinders traffic.  Activist groups, such as the ACLU, believe such a comprehensive ban infringes on free speech rights.

The ordinance classifies solicitations from religious groups and other charities as panhandling.  According to Major Deborah Sedlar, “If we [the Salvation Army] raise less, that could mean we have less resources to support the services we provide.”  Dr. James Withers, a medical doctor and founder of Operation Safety Net, believes that services, rather than laws, are what Pittsburgh’s homeless population needs.  Dr. Withers said, “The needs of street people are so much more intense than current agencies can grapple with.  A lot of people have such complex psychological issues, it’s very difficult to get them off the street.”

The ordinance stems from complaints from downtown business owners.  “Our stakeholders feel that panhandling is becoming a bit more of a problem than it used to be,” said Regina Casey, an employee of Jenny Lee Bakery, which is a member of the Downtown Partnership.  Police Chief Robert W. McNeilly, Jr. added that crimes, including robbery, retail theft, defiant trespass, simple assault, and disorderly conduct, are “typical” of panhandlers.  However, Officer Charles Bosetti, who patrols the Market Square area, sees it differently.  Bosetti maintains that businesses were demanding that police drive “grubby looking” people from the area.  Bosetti feels that this is outside of law enforcement’s role and should be left to social agencies.  “Are you using aggressive police tactics where social solutions are more appropriate?” he asked. Bosetti also believes that writing more citations would take officers off the streets for hearings and would require the city to pay more overtime.  District Attorney Stephen Zappala, Jr. contends the successful panhandling ban would fine or jail aggressive panhandlers, while directing homeless persons to social services.

HOME | FULL REPORT (pdf) | Acknowledgements | Executive Summary | I. Trends in the Criminalization of Homelessness | II. Criminalization Measures Violate Constitutional Rights | III. Criminalization Measures Violate Human Rights Norms | IV. Constructive Alternatives to Criminalization | V. T op 20 Meanest Cities | VI. Meanest Cities’ Narratives | VII. Other Cities’ Narratives | VIII. CASES: Challenges to Restrictions on Sleeping, Camping, Sitting or Storing Property in Public Place [FEDERAL] [STATE] | Challenges to Anti-Begging, Anti-Soliciting and Anti-Peddling Laws | Challenges to Vagrancy, Loitering and Curfew Laws | Challenges to Restrictions on Feedings|Miscellaneous | IX. Prohibited Conduct Chart | X. APPENDIX:Survey Questions | Sample Know Your Rights Card |Sources for City Narratives |

Posted October 31, 2015 by Teacher Alvin in LEARNING ENGLISH

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“This program was recently reauthorized by Congress after extensive hearings and debate.   Leave a comment


“SO” Congress said it was “OK” to read your “EMAILS” How sick is “AMERICA?” “VERY” “SICK” I think, please people wake-up and scream at congress and the companys allowing this to happen.


A slide depicting the top-secret PRISM program.

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims “collection directly from the servers” of…

View original post 1,553 more words

Posted April 5, 2015 by Teacher Alvin in LEARNING ENGLISH

Tagged with , , ,