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Joe's Editorial

It’s Because We Can’t Forget?

A well known spiritual song starts out with a stanza that says, "I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me."  As a Black man in America close to seventy, I have seen the world change. I believe we should not forget the past and celebrate the milestones we reach as we look toward tomorrow.

Each year Black America celebrates Black History Month by remembering the contributions that Black America has given to America. What we don't take in to account is what has been taken from us that helped make us strong. In fact, we try to forget about it because it is past and it is part of what has made us a strong race. A message I heard once is fitting for this occasion. The message takes a text from Dr. Jeremiah Wright's great book, What Makes You So Strong."  It talks about Samson and Delilah's question to him, "What makes you so strong Samson? The message then asks the question "What makes you so strong Black man?" The message says that Black men have been messed on, messed over, walked on and walked over and yet we still stand. And still the question comes, "What makes you so strong?  We know that like the sparrow we stand because we have been made strong by God's watching over us.



Twentieth Anniversary Celebration at Hand

The Constitution of the United States mentions only one profession. It talks about the Freedom of the Press. Consequently, my wife and I have inadvertently joined the profession of journalism when we answered the call and founded the Pasadena Journal Newspaper.

Over the past twenty years we have taken seriously the duty that comes with owning and operating a newspaper. As with everything in a racially diverse society, we must always moderate being African American in a society that has historically been controlled by White Americans. In that vein, we fight to make sure that Blacks are included in all parts of American life. At the same time we must carry out our duty under the Freedom of the Press, while not being insensitive to the plight of Whites, Latinos, Asians, and others that make up the fabric of diverse American life.

Over the years we have tried to tell the good news of African American life, to balance the many negative stories that dominate the so-called mainstream press. We have tried to tell the stories of positive couples, individuals and events that present good life and positive role models for living Black in America.



Men Need An Educational Health Conference Too!

Congratulations to State Senator Carol Liu on the successful ninth annual Women's Educational Health Conference and Exposition. Liu's event, co-sponsored by the Wellness Community - Foothills, Inc., and others, was dedicated to the enhancement of the quality of life through education for empowerment of women about their health and life choices. The Theme of this year's event was appropriately, "Knowledge is Power".

My wife came home and couldn't stop talking about the wonderful program and the involvement of the many organizations such as The LINKS, Women In Action, City of Hope, The Commission on the Status of Women, Churches, Sororities, Planned Parenthood, local Hospitals, medical service providers, and on and on. She was excited that she was able to talk to a female heart specialist, given her recent health challenges related to her heart. After talking to me about it she got on the phone and called to spread the word to a few of her friends who didn't attend the conference.

My question was, when and where is the men's Educational and Health Conference? And she said, "They won't go", to which I could only reply, "I guess you're right." I remembered that earlier this year when Assemblyman Anthony Portantino held an AIDS testing clinic at Vromans, there were mostly women there to be tested. I was one of only a few men there. Unfortunately, it is not because we don't have health problems and often die sooner than our wives, men do have health problems, but our ego problems seem to outweigh the health problems.



Vote Tuesday, November Third!

In Area 1, Steven Gibson and incumbent Geoffrey Baum are running.  
In Area 3, Berlinda Brown and incumbent Connie Rey Castro are running.

On November 3, 2009, there is an Election for the Pasadena Community College Board of Trustees. For as long as I can remember people gage what and who they support based on what is in their best interest. In the up-coming election, there appears to be three seats up for grabs. What is more important is that the future of our community is up for grabs.

We tell our young people to get an education. Then we presume that these same children will on their own make the right decisions in whether to go to school and where to go to school.  Next, we vote for school trustees to make the right decisions for our children. There are a few problems with making assumptions.  That is, they can be wrong and our children pay the price, meaning also that our community pays the price. There are two seats that we as Black folks get to vote for that affect the Black community in the upcoming race.



Pasadena’s New Police Chief with the Reputation

Police Chief Bernard Melekian is leaving the Pasadena Police Department to take a job with the United States Attorney General's Office in Washington D.C. When the announcement that came down, my phone began ringing with callers asking what can we do to stop Deputy Chief Christopher Vicino from becoming permanent chief?

Last year Melekian moved to the City Manager's office until a permanent manager was found. This short term appointment gave Vicino the responsibility to manage the day-to-day operations of the department until Melekian's return, but instead, Melekian gave him full range. With Vicino in charge, within weeks he transferred numerous employees to other areas, a veteran Black commander was asked to retire, another Black commander immediately announced his retirement, and a Black lieutenant was reduced in rank for Vicino's perception of duty problems. Because of their ranks, none of these employees were union protected and served at the peril of Vicino. Complaints were made to Melekian in his role as City Manager about Vicino, but not wanting it to appear he had no trust in his selection; he took a back seat approach saying that he turned over the department to Vicino.



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