Welcome 2014

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Welcome 2014 - general observations and more2013 has ended with a BANG for my family. 2014 holds the blessing of a positive year for our family and for America. On December 11, 2013 my granddaughter was hit by a car who ran the red light causing her 2005 car to turn over onto its left side and then flip back up on its four wheels. Her left rear axle, wheel and tire was left horizontal. She was hurt, but alive. My response was, "Thank you, Jesus."

Last week, we received a letter from the IRS approving my son Jamal's application for a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit status. Again, "Thank you, Jesus." The non-profit corporation is his Institute for Advanced African American Christian Thought (IAAACT). We call it "I Act." We are thankful for those who have sown seeds in the promise of this new voice for Christ.

If you are looking for a place to donate your tax deductible dollars, donate to IAAACT. Send c/o, The Journal, 1541 N. Lake Avenue, Suite A, Pasadena, CA 91104, or contact Dr. Jamal Hopkins at (626) 354-8438. IAAACT's Board members include myself, Dr. Pamela Powell, former superintendent of schools for Oklahoma City and Inglewood, California, and Reverend Ron Porter of Jackson, Mississippi. His experience teaching theology has been at some of the best known schools in the country and beyond America's borders.

While here in California during the Christmas holidays, Dr. Jamal was invited to preach at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Altadena, CA, Rev. Tyrone Skinner, senior pastor, and at West Angeles Church of God In Christ in Los Angeles, CA, Bishop Charles Blake, senior pastor. However, his schedule only allowed him to preach at Metropolitan BC.

Local government holds a promise for vocational education for our children. Their initiative includes educational programs which will result in students from the city's schools being taught a trade. The program was built in the spirit of the old saying, "give a man a fish and he eats for a day, give him a fishing pole and he will eat forever." Thanks to the partnership between PCC and PUSD, crime has a new competitor for our children's attention, and for many is no longer the only option.

I mention the PUSD and PCC program because our children are most important in our lives. What happens to our young will determine whether we are the laughing stock of the world or the leaders of the world. We will be the laughing stock of the world if we, with free or nearly free education, continue to produce more prison graduates than college graduates. We can do better than that!

Take a look at your child and envision what his/her future is about. Help him or her put together a plan for a successful future. It must include education. It must include a health care plan, and it must include a plan to spend his/her earnings on income producing assets. Read Robert Kiyosaki's book, "Rich Dad Poor Dad", to understand this better.

Also, a good choice of a mate is essential; one who is supportive of your career choices, with their goals and choices pulling in the same direction as your goals and choices. That last statement assumes that you have good choices and set positive goals. I suggest that you read Gary D. Chapman's, "The Five Languages of Love", to help you make a life-long choice.

And women, if your choice of a mate has his pants down to his thighs, and his hat is on backward, it is a negative reflection on you. Even the school janitor, the bus driver, the police officer and the jailer has a belt on. Any one of them can be a role model. If he is holding his pants up with his hands, what does he have to hold you up? Enough on that subject.

At Hopkins Village, we will celebrate 25 years of publishing the Pasadena Journal. The law offices of Joe C. Hopkins will celebrate 32 years of law practice. We will continue our emphasis on criminal defense, personal injury, sexual harassment, police abuse and other selected civil matters.

The Village is also home to Brother Yusef's Photography studio. He provides photo packages, CD's and DVD's to maintain a visual record of your family's history and growth to share with the family and friends. Ask about a family record book and develop your own historical roots.

Brother Yusef's blues performances are still alive and kicking. In addition to continuing to perform at Downtown Disney, Brother Yusef is available for private parties and events. He recently performed in Rochester, New York. Locally, he is a one man, mean performing machine for your local events for adults and children's parties. His CD's are available for sale at his offices in The Village. The CD's tell the story of his enormous talent. For a visual example of what you get with his performances and why he is in demand for appearances throughout North America and beyond, see his DVD created while on tour in Europe and in Norway. For photography or entertainment, he may be reached at: 626-353-3505.

We are proud to have a restaurant/coffee shop back in The Village. Courtyard Café is in operation by longtime restaurateur, Deborah Rainey. Hours of operation are: Wednesday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. The atmosphere is perfect for those private meetings or grabbing a sandwich on the run. Call Debbie at (626) 296-1547.

J.D. Communications is there for your personal or commercial telephone and communications systems. With more than twenty years of experience, J. D. Communications can supply all your phone service/communication needs. For more information call (626) 626-831-2126.

Other Village businesses include, Attorney Carol Murdock who conducts her law practice out of Hopkins Village. She is an experienced family law practitioner with more than 30 years' experience. She may be reached at (626) 398-7740. The Line In The Sand Thrift Store is continuing to fill the needs of their clientele. Call them for a schedule of their hours at: (626) 798-5146.

Trade with small businesses in Hopkins Village and support local employment.

General thoughts:

Latinos will become the majority population in Southwest America. Spanish language is becoming an essential tool for local entrepreneurship, either as primary or secondary employment.

Health care must include good eating habits, some regular exercise, and visits to the bathroom scale at least once a week. The extra weight can and will kill or cripple you.

Religion is there to guide you, so participate.

Enjoy music, movies and literature that uplifts you. It makes you laugh and teaches you to love.

Politics is a means to an end. Stay knowledgeable of the events of the day.

Computers are your friend and are here to stay. Learn how to use them.

It's still true that if you lie down with dogs, fleas will come with the package. Literature tells us that there is are new slave masters: jail and drugs. Don't participate in criminal behavior or hang around with criminals so you will never become a modern day slave. Stay positive, do positive, help others, and God will protect and reward you.

These general observations are from a citizen, lawyer and writer who has seen or experienced life in many ways, over the last seventy plus years. Remember that old folks give good advice because they can no longer set bad examples. Find some usable items in this column to use and it can lead to many happy new years to come.

Happy New Year!