Tagged Marin

Mayflower Community Chorus Presents “Holiday Magic”

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Mayflower Community Chorus presents “Holiday Magic,” featuring a diverse program that includes the chorus, instrumentalists, soloists, choral ensembles and a special Hawaiian surprise.
The Mayflower Community Chorus is directed by renowned Argentinean maestro Daniel Canosa, with script by Jennifer Sowden and stage direction by Candace Brown.  Assistant director David Manley provides accompaniment.  Program notes for each song are included in the program.  Performances support the activities and programs of the nonprofit Mayflower Choral Society.
The show will be held Friday, Dec. 10 and Saturday, Dec. 11, 8 p.m. at the Marin Center Showcase Theatre, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. The Sunday, Dec. 12, show will be held at 2 p.m. at Church of Saint Isabella, One Trinity Way, Terra Linda. Tickets are  $17, general admission; $12, seniors and students; $5, 8 years and under For information call (415) 491-9110 or go to www.mayflowerchorus.org.

Lee Supports New Nutrition

By Tasion
Kwamilele

On Wednesday, December 1 Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, released a statement regarding CBC’s support of  The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
‘The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids’ Act was introduced earlier this year by Arkansas Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln in hopes of expanding program access to reduce childhood hunger and to improve nutritional quality to promote health and address childhood obesity.  Since being passed, the bipartisan, fiscally responsible bill has become the largest investment in federal child nutrition programs to date. It will provide nearly $4.5 Billion in new children nutrition program funding over the next ten years “With poverty and childhood obesity on the rise, this legislation achieves the twin goals of expanding the pool of needy children who are eligible for school nutrition programs while establishing healthier meal guidelines for American schools,” said Congresswoman Lee. Read more

13th Annual Christmas Holiday Celebration

Performing Stars of Marin in partnership with the Southern Marin Fire and Law Enforcement Agencies presents its 13th Annual Christmas Holiday Celebration – A Free Community Event on Thursday, Dec. 23,  from 12 p.m – 6 p.m. at Manzanita Recreation Center, 630 Drake Avenue, Marin City.
The Annual Holiday Christmas Celebration benefits over 300 youth, ages infants to 14 who live in the low income areas of Southern Marin.  (Marin City,  Shelter Hill in Mill Valley, The Hilarita Apartments in Tiburon, and the Houseboat Communites in Sausalito).
This years sponsors are the Southern Marin Fire and Law Enforcement Agencies, Tiburon Fire Department, City of Mill Valley – Fire and Police Departments, Marin County Fire and Sheriff Departments, California Highway Patrol, The City of Sausalito – Volunteers in Public Service, Lions and Rotary Clubs, Fire and Police Department, Bay Cities Refuse, Senior Sunshine Club,  Marin City Community Services District and Marin Housing Authority. Read more

IRS as Santa?

Agency to Return $164 Million in Undelivered Checks

Jesse Weller

The Internal Revenue Service is looking to return $164.6 million in undelivered refund checks. A total of 111,893 taxpayers are due one or more refund checks that could not be delivered because of mailing address errors. Nearly 2,300 Bay Area taxpayers are due undelivered refunds totaling $2,663,000.
“Our main goal is to help people get the money owed them as quickly as possible,” said IRS spokesman Jesse Weller. “Those who are missing a refund should update their address with the IRS. That’s all that needs to be done in most cases.”
Undelivered refund checks average $1,471 this year, compared to $1,148 last year. Some taxpayers are due more than one check. The average dollar amount for returned refunds rose by just over 28 percent this year, possibly due to recent changes in tax law which introduced new credits or expanded existing credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Read more

AARP Says Social Security Is Barrier to Poverty

A new report released by  the AARP Public Policy Institute finds that under a  “experimental” poverty measure, older Americans have the highest rates of poverty among three key age groups.
The current official poverty measure, based on consumption patterns from the 1950s, does not take into account the higher health care expenditures of older Americans in poverty, which according to the AARP report is one reason the official measure understates the number of people over 65 who are living in poverty.
“Older Americans living at, below or near the poverty line are some of America’s most vulnerable and are faced daily with lots of tough choices in their everyday budgets and lives,” said AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins.
For the past decade, the U.S. Census Bureau has published estimates of an experimental poverty measure that reflects more modern needs and living standards.
The AARP report finds that under this measure, the poverty rate in 2008 for persons aged 65 or older is 18.7 percent, nearly twice that of the official measure. Read more

Californian Will Be Michelle Obama’s Communications Chief

Kristina Schake, a co-founder and board member of the group that filed the successful federal challenge to California’s ban on gay marriage, will be first lady Michelle Obama’s new communications director, the White House announced Monday.
Schake, 40, a strategist for California first lady Maria Shriver, fills a spot that has been vacant since the end of August, when Mrs. Obama’s first communications chief, Camille Johnston, left for a corporate position.
Schake is a co-founder of Griffin Schake, a Los Angeles public affairs and strategic communications firm. Schake has worked in California on obesity issues, Mrs. Obama’s signature policy initiative.
“Kristina has done extensive work throughout her career on child nutrition and community health issues, and that paired with her experience as part of a military family will bring invaluable insight to our work on childhood obesity and our efforts to support military families,” Mrs. Obama said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Kristina on these efforts and more in the months and years ahead.” Read more

Tuskegee Airman, 87, Earns Pilot Wings

By Conway
Jones

Lt. Colonel James Warren, USAF (Retired)

Lt. Colonel James Warren, USAF (Retired), is one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, the Black aviators who were trained as flight officers in the Army Air Corps in World War II.
At age 87, he has just earned his private pilot’s certificate.
Colonel Warren has always been one of the firsts. He was awarded his navigator wings at Hondo Army Air Field, Texas in 1944. He was a part of the 162 Army Air Corp Negro officers who were arrested for demanding lawful entry into the white officer’s club at Freeman Field, Indiana.
He was also on the first C-141 sent to Gia Lam Viet Nam on Feb. 12, 1973, to bring home prisoners of war.  Colonel Warren escorted Colonel Fred Cheery, USAF, a Black fighter pilot who had been held prisoner in Viet Nam for 7 years, five months.
Warren is also the author of  “Tuskegee Airmen Mutiny at Freeman Field,” which details the battle to end segregation and discrimination in the 477th Bombardment Group at Freeman Field, Indiana. Nine years before Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks refused to obey the busing laws in Montgomery, Alabama, the 477th BG was the first group to challenge a major department of the U.S. government on civil rights. Read more

The Haves, the Have Nots and the Have Yachts

“And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.” Luke 12:18

As we continue to see soaring unemployment among the rank and file of America’s working class, it is quite clear that corporate America is content with increasing profit margins at the expense of not hiring people who need to work.
In spite of the government’s efforts to create capital pipelines to help stimulate job growth, like a recent $600 billion dollar bond auction to help boost employment, October’s jobless rate remained at 9.6 percent. The wealth chasm has become gigantic and almost uncrossable.
Data released Nov. 18 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that while layoffs and firings have slowed, hiring hasn’t picked up. Job gains from new or expanding businesses were 6.1 million in the first quarter, the lowest quarterly increase since the recession ended. Read more

Post, El Mundo, Growing

By Barbara Fluhrer
and Maxine Ussery

Post publisher Paul Cobb, center, observes the sixth ownership anniversary during a photo session for an article that will appear in a Chinese newspaper featuring the Post’s Chinese page. Godfrey Lee, left, who edits the Marin County Post, Gregory Taylor, right, is a Post columnist that teaches Chinese and Ronnie Williams, rear, is a writer and Chinese Instructor with the Post. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

When the Post News Group celebrates its sixth anniversary on December 6 and 7,it will be especially memorable for Publisher Paul Cobb.
“Ironically, just one week after the purchase we were hit with a pearl harbor-type Bombshell when Kamala Harris filed criminal charges with a possible fine of $18  million dollars against us for some illegal dumping that occurred under the previous owner, Velda , nearly 2 years before our purchase,” said Cobb as he reflected on the investors that requested their money back. “We lost more than $350,000 in investment capital and incurred more than $250,000 in legal fees.
The national publicity caused many advertising agencies to write us off. Some even predicted that we wouldn’t last 3 months.”
Cobb prevailed over Harris in court and after three years she finally dropped the charges. Cobb then sued Berkley and their law firm for fraud and negligence and misrepresentation. The jury, with no Blacks, agreed with Cobb and awarded him substantial damages from Berkley and her law firm. Read more

James Fowler Pleads Guilty to Killing Jimmie Lee Jackson 45 Years Later

James Bonard Fowler

Forty-five years after he was killed by an Alabama State Trooper Jimmie Lee Jackson, whose death lead to the first civil rights march on Selma, he is finally getting a small measure of justice.
James Bonard Fowler, 77, a former state trooper, pled guilty to shooting Jackson and will serve six months in prison. He also apologized for his actions but still claimed the shooting was in self-defense:
“I was coming over here to save lives,” said Fowler. “I didn’t mean to take lives. I wish I could redo it.”
It is the conclusion of a court case that has lingered since the 1960s, but the conclusion still seems to not value Jackson’s life.
Albert Turner Jr., Perry County commissioner, called the verdict “a slap in the face of the people of this county.”
“I understand District Attorney Michael Jackson’s reasoning as to why he accepted Fowler’s plea of misdemeanor manslaughter,” Turner said. Read more

NAACP Returns to Roots of Activism Daisy Bates Education Summit

The Daisy Bates plan was implemented in 1957, called for the NAACP to register nine black students to attend the previously all-white Little Rock Central High. They were selected on the criteria of excellent grades and attendance. The “Little Rock Nine” consisted of Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford , Jefferson Thomas, Terrence Roberts , Carlotta Walls LaNier, Minnijean Brown, Gloria Ray Karlmark , Thelma Mothershed , and Melba Beals . Daisy Bates, standing econd from left .

The NAACP will be hosting its annual Daisy Bates Education Summit Dec. 2-4 at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel in Raleigh, NC.
The summit will convene grassroots organizers from across the country to train them on how to move the NAACP’s education agenda forward with a combination of traditional and innovative education organizing techniques conducted in concert with local allies.
The late Daisy Bates was president of the Arkansas State Conference of the NAACP and the advisor to the Little Rock Nine.  NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous will deliver the keynote address and call for leaders to emulate the work of Daisy Bates.
The Daisy Bates plan was implemented in 1957, called for the NAACP to register nine black students to attend the previously all-white Little Rock Central High. They were selected on the criteria of excellent grades and attendance.
The “Little Rock Nine” consisted of Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford, Jefferson Thomas, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Minnijean Brown, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Thelma Mothershed and Melba Beals.
“Despite mob threats and intimidation and cross burnings on her property, Daisy Bates persisted because of her strong beliefs of a quality education system for America’s children,” said Jealous.
“This nation needs comprehensive education reform from pre-kindergarten to college, and now is not the time to sit on the sidelines,” he said. “The only way that we can pull this country out of the great recession is to educate the next generation to compete in a global economy, and that starts with access to a quality, equitable and fair education system.
“Throughout this summit the NAACP will address the current problems within our education system, the attempt to re-segregate schools across the country and roll back the clock on the children of this nation.”
The NAACP has over 2200 branches, and units and each has an education committee.

Delta Sigma Theta’s Scholarship Breakfast

Delta Sigma Theta Holds Prayer Breakfast at Allen Temple. From left to right: Reverend Natalya Johnson, Pastor Brondon Reems, Pastor Charley Hames, Jr., Candace Hill Lewis - President San Francisco Alumnae Chapter, Reverend Gwendolyn Boyd - guest speaker, Reverend Sharon Hollie, Reverend Dr. Katherine L. Ward, Father Jay Matthews and Iman Sideeq Islam

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. San Francisco Alumnae Delta Community Foundation held its first Annual Prayer Breakfast fundraiser in Oakland,  “A Day To Be Thankful,” to raise money for student scholarships
The event was held last Saturday at Allen Baptist Temple Church, Family Life Center Auditorium.
The scholarships will support students who are residents of San Francisco and Marin Counties, high school seniors accepted for admission to a four-year college or university. Applicants must be able to demonstrate community volunteerism within their school or community and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5.  In addition, the Chapter awards scholarships to an African-American student accepted in the San Francisco Merola Opera Program. Scholarship awards total about $12,000.
The special guest speaker at last Saturday’s fundraiser was Reverend Gwendolyn E. Boyd, an ordained itinerant elder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She serves as the Executive Minister for Church Operations at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Fort Washington, Maryland. Read more

Howard Ransom, 83, Golfing Pioneer, Entrepreneur

Howard Ransom, Sr.

Howard Ransom, Sr., 83, died Monday in his sleep of natural causes.
He had lived in Oakland for 50 years before moving to his family farms in Oklahoma. He and his daughter Sheila Medina, who lives in Los Angeles, were visiting the Bay Area for their relatives’ Thanksgiving celebrations.
Ransom became the first African American to manage a major metropolitan golf course when he took over the Galbraith Golf Course near the Oakland Airport. He also was the U.S. Army Golf Champion while serving during the Korean War.
He had operated many businesses and franchises in Oakland including Creamcrest Dairy, a Jack in the Box restaurant and a shoe store.
In 1966, he and Johnnie Lacy, Dr. Norvel Smith, Paul Cobb, Beatrice Slider, Booker Emery, Lillian Love and Ralph Williams started the West Oakland Economic Development Corporation, which was the forerunner of the Oakland Model Cities Program.
As a member of OCHI and OCCUR he helped establish and acquire numerous properties for seniors, low-income and homeless populations.
Ransom was born Feb. 27, 1927 in Muskogee, Oklahoma. His mother Isadore Cobb, his brother Stanley Delance Cobb and his late wife, LaRita Cooper Ransom all predeceased him in Oakland. His son Howard Ransom, Jr., died in 2009 in Los Angeles.
He is survived by is daughter Sheila Medina, granddaughter LaRita Medina and his son Phillip Ransom in Okalahoma City.
A memorial service will be held at Evergreen Baptist Church in December.

Jay-Z Says When He Was 12 He Shot His Brother

By Mac Montandon

Jay-Z

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper the rap star and entrepreneur said that when he was 12 years old he shot his brother, Eric.
The brothers were living in the notoriously rough Marcy housing project in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn at the time. Eric was addicted to crack, Jay-Z says, and had stolen one of Jay’s rings to help finance his addiction. So the future multi-millionaire shot him.
“Jay-Z Reveals Secrets to New Book “Decoded”
Ultimately Eric never pressed charges and later apologized for the theft when Jay-Z visited him in the hospital.
“I thought my life was over,” Jay-Z said. “I thought I’d go to jail forever.”
He didn’t, of course, and instead went on to amass a fortune pegged at $450 million from his musical career as a performer and label founder, as well as savvy investments in everything from fashion to the Broadway hit, “Fela!”
In a manner, the mic master has already discussed the chilling event — in his 1997 song “You Must Love Me” Jay-Z raps: “Saw the devil in your eyes, high off more than weed, confused, I just closed my young eyes and squeezed. What a sound,  opened my eyes just in time to see ya stumbling to the groun.”

Kamala KOs Cooley

Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General

Three weeks after the Nov. 2 election, California residents finally learned that San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris will become the state’s next ‘s next attorney general, after her Republican opponent conceded Thursday.
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley had declared victory on election night, but in ensuring days, the race flip-flopped between the two candidates as areas across the state continued the slow process of counting mail-in and provisional ballots. Thursday, Cooley called Harris, who is leading by 50,000 votes, to concede and congratulate her.
She will be California’s first female and first Black/Indian attorney general.
In a prepared statement, Cooley said his campaign believes that “we cannot make up the current gap in the vote count.”
Harris will now join San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom – the state’s lieutenant governor-elect – in Sacramento next year.

Iraq Veteran’s Films Portray Realities of Coming Home

Christopher Loverro

Veterans returning home from the war will be the central theme of a benefit student film screening hosted by the College of Marin Drama Club on Sunday, Dec. 5, 5 p.m., at Only Hall on the college campus in Kentfield.
“The whole idea is to have a dialogue with the community,” said filmmaker Christopher Loverro, 43, who served 12 months in Mosul, Iraq as an Army Reserve Civil Affairs Staff Sergeant attached to the U.S. Army’s first Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Lewis, WA. He returned home at the end of 2004.
Loverro, a former Berkeley police officer, enrolled in the Berkeley Digital Film Institute where he made several short semi-autobiographical films about veterans coming home after service. He has enrolled at College of Marin to study acting. His work draws attention to the issues combat veterans face when they return from battle.
The film screening will feature three short films:
• “Soldier’s Journey,” a semi-autobiographical depiction of a soldier talking about suicide and Post Traumatic Street Disorder with a therapist. (8 minutes)
• “A Journey Home,” a film about a solider serving in Iraq with best friend who gets killed and volunteers to go home and notify the widow. (25 minutes)
• ‘Hidden Casualties,” a wordless depiction about a soldier who commits suicide. (4 minutes)
After the screening, a panel of Bay Area veterans will discuss the issues veterans face and how they can be assisted in returning to their home communities. Representatives from UC Berkeley Veterans’ Club, College of Marin Veterans’ Club, J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Pakistan Flood Relief will be available at the screening to accept direct donations. Read more

Help Support Our Troops

The House of Steel (United States Marine Corps) is collecting items for American troops overseas – Marines, Army, Navy, and Air Force servicemen. They need items such as beef jerky, granola bars, power bars, trail mix, snacks, instant soups, instant oatmeal, instant coffee (packets), tea bags, drink mixes, razors, eye drops, lip ointment, magazines, and crossword puzzles.

Please contact 1st Lt. Greg Allen or Janet Ashby, 33 Mary Street, San Rafael, at (415) 482-9120. Cash or checks will be accepted to help cover shipping costs.


Search Continues for Family of Black GI Killed in Vietnam

On the occasion of the newly established “Day of Reconciliation and Love” in Vietnam on Sept. 9, Nguyen Y Chi expressed his wish to return the two personal souvenirs, the folding knife and the Zodiac watch, to the family of the American pilot that he buried 44 years ago.

He was asking for help from VietnamNet to locate the family of this MIA pilot so that he could personally return these souvenirs to the soldier’s loved ones. He regrets that he did not ask the MIA team for the name and address of the deceased pilot, and now he does not know how to request the information.

After officially accepting the remains of the pilot, the leader of the MIA team asked Nguyen Y Chi whether he had any request. He simply replied that he had no request and only wished that these remains would be soon repatriated to the waiting loved ones. Read more

Marin City Library Presents Holiday Storytelling Dec. 7

Storyteller Phil Sheridan

Friends of Marin City Library is hosting a holiday storyteller Phil Sheridan, who will present “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” Tuesday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m., at the library, 164 Donahue St. in Marin City.

“A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” by Dylan Thomas, is about the Christmases the poet enjoyed as a boy in his hometown of Swansea, Wales on the west coast of England. It is a joyful tale, and beautiful to hear when read aloud.

Sheridan has turned the poem into a play for 10 parts and invites adult members of the audience to join him in telling it aloud. He also invites volunteers to read with him one of Dylan Thomas’ most famous poems, “Fern Hill,” as well as an all-time holiday favorite, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Sheridan is a professional actor and storyteller who tells stories in schools, libraries and at birthday parties.  His specializes in tales about courage, kindness, compassion and respect.

Admission is free, and refreshments will be served.  For information contact the Marin City Library at (415) 332-6157.


Johnnie Ann Lacy, 73, Ably Led the Disabled

By Paul Cobb

Part 1

Johnnie Ann Lacy is shown above top left in her capacity as the Executive Director for Center of Independent Living. She is also pictured above right as a nursing student in San Francisco before she contracted polio. The most recent photo is her with glasses in the middle.

Johnnie Ann Lacy rode into the sunset November 15 in Hayward.

She built bridges and onramps to the freedom of movement for the disabled.

To the disabled of the bay area she was a big wheel. To the powers that she confronted

As an activist and advocate, she was the wheel within the wheels that rolled up victory after victory for equal access to transportation, building entrances and dignified health care.

She was the little wheel that ran by the grace of god.

She had aspired to become a nurse but was struck down by Polio while serving as a student nurse on the polio ward at St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco.

After standing tall against that dreaded disease she contracted polio and was confined to a wheelchair.

Johnnie Ann Lacy was born on January 26, 1937, in Huttig, Arkansas to Mr. Willie McHenry Lacy, Sr. and Mrs. Alice Lorraine Carrington Lacy. She died at the Parkview Skilled Nursing Home in Hayward.

Always a god-fearing woman, her religious training began at her great-grandmother’s knees. Read more

BROADWAY SAN JOSE PRESENTS

By Sandra Varner

“The Church Ladies” From left to right: Nesha Ward, Deaun Parker and Virlinda Stanton.

Broadway San Jose is presenting the South Bay debut of “The Color Purple,” a musical about love, at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Blvd, San Jose, Nov. 23-28, for 8 performances only.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling (415) 792-4111 or visiting the website www.sjtix.com. Readers  of the Post can take advantage of specially priced tickets and select seats during all performances.  When making ticket purchases use the promo code: JOYFUL.

“The Color Purple” is based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and the moving film by Steven Spielberg.

With a joyous, Grammy-nominated score featuring gospel, jazz, pop and the blues, the musical is about hope and the healing power of love. It dramatizes the story of Celie, a woman who triumphs over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. Read more

Vietnamese Soldier Protected Remains of U.S. Pilot Shot Down in War

PAVN Security Officer Nguyen Y Chi.

On the website VietnamNet of the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communication, a reporter, Vu Trung wrote a detailed account on Sept. 14 of his interview with former PAVN security officer, Nguyen Y Chi.
Chi had kept the personal souvenirs of an American pilot shot down in his F105 fighter during a bombing mission over Military Zone 5 in Quang Nam Province in Central Viet in May 1966, about 15 kilometers from the famous Chu Lai Airbase.
Chi was ordered to go to the crash site for an investigation. After three days of road clearing, he reached a small partially burned forest area and located the airplane broken into two halves.  About 20 meters from the downed fighter was the decaying corpse of the pilot in his fire-torn flying suit.
The Vietnamese officer recalled that at that time he was full of hatred for the American pilot, who, in his mind, had been responsible for all the tragic deaths and destruction of his compatriots caused by heavy American bombing and attacks from the air. Read more

“Love Me or Leave Me” on Gospel Music Channel

By Sandra Varner

Carl Anthony Payne II

Clifton Powell

Elise Neal

Shirley Murdock

Terri J. Vaughn

The television World Premiere of the stage production “Love Me or Leave Me” debuts Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. ET on the Gospel Music Channel (GMC) with encores that night at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.
“Love Me or Leave Me” is a musical stage play in the traditional style, a family friendly plot and laugh tracks.  Cynthia Wyatt (Angela Evans) is a troubled teen who abandons her fraternal twin infants, leaving her own mother Annie Wyatt (Shirley Murdock) to raise the children.
Now, 25 years later, one of the twins, Josephine Wyatt (Elise Neal), is an attorney who is engaged to the man of her dreams, Justin Daniels (Christian Keyes). Cynthia returns to the scene to reclaim her place in her children’s lives.
Will she be accepted?  What made her leave in the first place? Read more

Michelle the Maharani: Glamorous First Lady is an Indian Queen at Lavish State Dinner

President Barack Obama and glamourous First Lady Michelle Obama greet India’s President Prathiba Patil and her husband.

A radiant Michelle Obama stole the spotlight from her husband again at a state dinner in India on Monday night.
The First Lady shimmered in a silver, floor-length  “Dune Velvet” skirt by Rachel Roy. She paired the eye-catching number with a “Sable Moroccan Tunic,” also by the same designer, and an embellished belt.
Unusually, she kept her toned arms covered by a pale brown top – perhaps as a gesture of respect to her Indian hosts.

Ship Named After Black Naval Officer

By Conway Jones

The USS Gravely, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, will be commissioned Nov. 20 in Wilmington, NC, becoming first U.S. Navy ship to be named in honor of an African-American commissioned Naval officer.

Vice Admiral Samuel Lee Gravely Jr.   was the first African-American to serve aboard a fighting ship as an officer, the first to command a U.S. Navy ship, the first to serve as a fleet commander and the first to become an admiral. 

Gravely was born in Richmond, VA, on June 4, 1922. He enlisted in the Naval Reserves in1942 and was recalled to active duty in 1949. He served his initial assignment in the Washington, DC area, recruiting African Americans into the Navy.

He went on to a have a successful career that lasted 38 years. His personal motto was: “Education, motivation and perseverance are a formula for success.” Read more