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Editor's Note 11/13/2014

DHIREN
Hello Readers,

A month ago, we all were worried about the scare of Ebola. One victim, Dr. Craig Spencer, has been declared free of the disease, and was discharged from Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio and his First Lady hugged Spencer in front of the media and a crowded audience. In another story, the family of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, who died at Dallas Hospital, reached a financial settlement with the hospital as reported. The negligence case has been closed, and business will be as usual.

Another story gives light to the work of New York City's firefighters, who rescued two men when a scaffolding broke at the 69th floor. They were rescued by the NYFD from the window of the 68th floor. One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, at 104 stories and a height of 1,776 feet.

The U.S. and China reached a historic climate control agreement. The media has made many reports about China not cooperating with the rally for climate control. They have been accused of using child labor as well. As reported by CNN World News, "Under the agreement, the United States would cut its 2005 level of carbon emissions by 26-28% before the year 2025. China would peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and will also aim to get 20% of its energy from zero-carbon emission sources by the same year."

This is a very good deal. We all are worried about climate change. However, the deal is not clear and guaranteed. As we all know, the United States is very carefully trying to reduce global warming. Hopefully, the world consumer product leader - China - will follow as they have signed the agreement with President Obama.

Russian President Putin and U.S. President Obama met or passed by each other at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, Nov. 11, 2014 in Beijing. Per the news, Obama were looking at Putin with a cross eye, and both leaders did not have any formal meetings. They did however have three quick meetings.

Day by day, we are losing control of our data and privacy. If you go online and have some knowledge of programs, you can get any information from anyone you wish by paying just a few bucks. It is dangerous, and it is harder to control. The government says it can control this a lot more than now, but the government has been collecting data and personal information themselves! So it is very difficult for the government to protect people, especially U.S. citizens.

So far, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has done quite a number of great things. However, to expect Newark to be changed instantly is too much to ask of anyone. The FBI has released its Uniform Crime Report statistics for 2013. Newark - the largest city in the state at a population of over 278,000 people - had 112 murders, which is three times more than the next city on the list (Trenton, 37). Newark also had 2,894 motor vehicle thefts. The next closest city was Elizabeth at 1,001. Newark also recorded 2,433 robberies - almost three times more the next city (Paterson, 848) - and 8,965 property crimes.

While I believe that Mayor Baraka is the transformative leader the city needs, it will take time, as Newark led New Jersey in every major crime category. One key problem is that no one says anything when a crime is committed. This changes when those who do not say anything become victims themselves. The pressure is also on the police, in which many citizens tell us about incidents where they do not give full effort to the job, and only show up to work to collect a check. In no short terms, Mayor Baraka and his team have quite the task ahead of them.

Have a wonderful week. I'll talk to you next week.

Editor's Note 11/06/2014

DHIREN
Hello Readers,

East Orange General Hospital Kevin Slavin took the helm at the hospital when it had a host of financial problems and the complaints about the lack of quality service was the talk of the neighborhood. Ten years ago, the rumors swirled that EOGH would be closing down any day. Kevin Slavin took charge, and assessed that the community and hospital staff has a huge gap. The administration and the staff were working just for the sake of working.

I met him for the first time at a town hall meeting. He tried to find out the problems through the community. He then made many changes, from the administration to the treatment of the patients. He started working with the community, and learned that what people were looking for was respect, courteous service, and last but not least, the best health care. Slavin slowly and gradually started changing this by interacting with the employees and staff. He did not act like a boss, but acted like a part of them. He has been seen all over EOGH making it better, from the kitchen to any place you can name. He raised the bar for the employees and patient satisfaction. Obviously, East Orange and the surrounding area will miss his capable leadership, and Local Talk wishes him the best of luck when he joins the St. Joseph Hospital group, which is a larger group than East Orange General Hospital.

Local Talk Community Foundation's 5th Annual High School Student Competition has successfully finished its preliminary round. One teacher - Irvington High's Carla Phillips-Persaud - put so much effort into supporting her students, spending time to get them ready, and even buying them pizza. She will now prepare her students who made the Top 15 for the big contest on November 22, 2014. I commend the teacher for caring about her students, and I hope that others learn from her example. Congratulations to all of the contestants. They all are the winners in my opinion, just for participating.

Ras Baraka announced his plan to move forward as promised in his campaign to go into the neighborhood. He and his administration chose two tough neighborhoods, one in the West Ward near 20th street, covering 20 blocks, and in the South Ward, a 38 block grid near Avon and Chadwick Avenues. He picked these neighborhoods and accepted the challenge to transform them. He invited police and fire professionals as well as medical doctors. Baraka stated that the abandoned and dilapidated houses and lots will be given even at a cost of a $1 for those professionals to live in the neighborhood for five years. I commend Mayor Baraka for accepting the challenge to transform these rough neighborhoods. Those two areas are the model areas, and with success, he will expand the concept to other tough areas. It is easy to say, but very hard to do. He wants to open medical clinics in all of the neighborhoods, so the residents do not need to go to emergency rooms. That way, the cost will be down and there won't be long lines at the hospitals.

In the Local Talk area, the Democratic Party kept its hold while winning all of the expected elections by a comfortable margin. As expected, Cory Booker won election for his first six year term. Last time, Booker had won to fill the unexpired term of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg. Joseph DiVincenzo won as Essex County Executive once again. In the 10th Congressional District, Donald Payne Jr. also won comfortably. Albio Sires won in the 8th congressional district. Dana Rone won as register of deeds and mortgages, and came back to the political arena after resigning as Newark Councilperson in April 2010.

At the national level, Democrats lost their hold and majority in the U.S. Senate. Currently, the Democrats have 55 seats. However, on January 1, 2015, the Republicans will have 53 seats, a complete turnaround. Louisiana's U.S. Senate race will be decided in a Dec. 6 runoff. Also, in the House of Representatives, the Republicans will have their biggest majority since 1940. I think that this is a learning point for Democrats to start working for the people. The people who elected you should not be forgotten after the election.

According to the New York Times, "In a reversal from his public statements, Alex Rodriguez told federal agents in January that he had used performance-enhancing drugs supplied by a South Florida clinic, according to a report in The Miami Herald. Rodriguez, a Yankees third baseman who was recently reinstated after serving a season-long doping suspension, offered his admission after federal prosecutors granted him immunity in a wide-ranging investigation of Anthony Bosch and his clinic, Biogenesis of America, The Herald said. The Herald's report was based on a 15-page synopsis of the meeting between Rodriguez and federal agents on Jan. 29."

Known as "A-Rod," Rodriguez has a large fan following. What will be the next step after this news that he was lying about his doping previously? Many records have been recorded by A-Rod, but can they be reversed? The question remains unanswered so far.

Have a wonderful week. I'll talk to you next week.

Editor's Note 10/16/2014

DHIRENHello Readers,

The Newark school system has a lot of faulty procedures, as per many Newark parents. The person in-charge of the system, Superintendent Cami Anderson, has stopped answering the media. I understand that. The main goal is to prepare things for the needs of the students.

However, she did call for a press breakfast on October 14, 2014. The press conference was originally scheduled for October 8th, but due to unforeseen circumstances she changed it to the 14th. To my surprise, there were only eight people from the media, while others were from the staff of the school system. I did not seen big name media like CBS, NBC, ABC or Fox.

She narrated her growth and coming to Newark as a Superintendent, which is remarkable. The conference was to start at 8:30, but she came in about 9:20 and immediately started the program. Due to a prior engagement I had to leave the conference at about 10:00 am. However, our reporter was there and did get some feedback.

Her late arrival to her own press conference did not leave a good impression on the media. Everyone's time is very important. Also, she did not clarify the algorithm, and none of the media asked that question during the breakfast. We emailed some questions to her about the algorithm, as well as whether students can change schools in the middle of the year, if they are unhappy for significant reasons.

She explained in her speech that there are many reasons for the siblings to split up, but not Universal Enrollment. I do not agree with her. Yes, there are some reasons that siblings are split up, like one is in high school and one is in middle school. But when there is a choice, let the students and parents decide. That blame goes to Universal Enrollment in my opinion. If the algorithm is really fair and helping the students and families, why is there secrecy? Transparency is a huge problem. I understand that Anderson is working very hard with the best of her ability, as she explained the whole process. However, that should be done with the confidence of the parents and students.

The Newark Public Schools has started the process in 2012 with many town meetings and the opinion of many experts. However, it was not emphasized correctly, and there was no forums to truly present alternatives. Therefore, they put their plan into place.

Even in a posh area (suburbs), parents and students do not react until it hits when the real time comes. This is why the protests are stronger now than when the town meetings took place. I have seen many around our neighborhood going to jail for parking tickets and sometimes under a hundred dollars. They have not been used to acting way ahead of time, and when license suspended and they have to pay a restoration charge of $100, then it hits them.

The school process is the same thing. Many well educated persons do not file their taxes in time. Do we blame them? Yes; they have to pay the penalty and when they can afford it, they pay it and forget it. In the same way, when the real time came, the parents and children reacted, but for their late reaction, they should not be penalized. Every school is getting enough money per student, and the school administrators are getting paid enough, so they must manage it in the best interest of students.

For not growing Newark School system, Anderson gave a few causes; Newark is below the poverty level, a lack of trust and poor management. She wants to make 100 excellent schools in Newark and make it 40% charter schools, up from 5% charter schools in 2013. I asked a question to myself, are students ready for her huge change? Can the new administrators and teachers of the charter schools improve education? If it does not happen, then does Anderson has an alternative? I am not being negative, but we should prepare ourselves for the worst case scenario.

The way they are trying to force the system and making huge changes, this may succeed also, and maybe Anderson will become a legend for transforming the school system. I wish her and the students the best.

There is a second case of a worker treating Ebola patient Eric Duncan, a Liberian native, who lost his life after traveling to West Africa. The nurse travelled in a commercial plane two days before, when she had a 99.5 temperature. If she has any idea, she would not have traveled. She travelled because she planned that trip. We should not blame her for any reason. We cannot put a quarantine on all good Samaritan doctors and nurses helping an Ebola patient. They are trying their best, risking their lives to try to find out a cure for the disease.

Have a wonderful week. I'll talk to you next week.

Editor's Note 10/09/2014

DHIRENHello Readers,

Michael Phelps was suspended for 6 months from swimming competitions. He was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and violating the USA swimming organization's code of conduct. The suspension was announced a day after he entered a six-week treatment program. He will not be eligible to compete at the April 6, 2015 USA Swimming competition and will not participate in August 2015 in Russia and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

According to the International Business Times, "A fight broke out in a bathroom on the north side of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, before the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The confrontation, which was captured on video, took place shortly before kickoff as fans waited to use a Levi's Stadium bathroom, Santa Clara police told ABC News in San Francisco. Two men, both wearing 49ers jerseys and hats, assaulted two others, knocking one of them unconscious. They were arrested and charged with felony assault."

All four seem like they were 49ers fans. However, the ego and showing off might be the problem here. They have not announced the reason for the bloody brawl.
"During this incident, a fan wearing a Frank Gore shirt punched a man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey, knocking the man to the ground. The fan in the Gore shirt and a fan in an Aldon Smith jersey then landed several punches on a fan in a Navarro Bowman jersey," as reported. That same day, fans in Philadelphia started a fight in the upper deck of the Eagles' home stadium.

Ebola, a deadly virus, has scared everyone. According to Time, "A Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola in Madrid this week told health authorities at least three times she had a fever before she was finally placed in quarantine, it emerged Wednesday, despite having helped treat a patient who later died of the virus. The nurse, named by the media as Teresa Romero Ramos, is the first person to have caught the Ebola virus outside of Africa in the current outbreak." Thomas Eric Duncan, the 42-year-old Liberian man who became the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., died on Wednesday morning.

AT&T will pay $80 million in refunds to consumers, $20 million in penalties to states and a $5 million penalty to the Federal Communications Commission for unauthorized charges for ringtones and text messages containing love tips, horoscopes and other services. Over the last four years, they have been charging typically $9.99 a month for ringtones and text messages. AT&T used to keep at least 35% of their customers. Maybe some readers might think to change their carrier, but all of the carriers are doing the same thing one way or the other.

November 5th brings an important election. The Democrats is trying to tell us to save the majority, and capture the majority of the senate. However, I usually think otherwise. Our vote is not one vote, but the value of two votes. When we don't vote and if we are a democrat, the democratic candidate loses one vote. And if vote for a Republican candidate, the Democratic candidate will be behind by two votes.

For example, in the majority of the country, the gallop poll counts the Democratic voter as one Democratic vote. Then, by the poll they estimate the percentage. When there is a Democratic stronghold, and people tend to vote only for Democrats, the elected officials tend to ignore the voters and take care of only some groups to win the election. This happens with Republicans as well in some places.

Many times unknown but powerful candidates run for election, and he/she wins the election, but due to it being a single incident, the parties do not have fear of voters. However, if you elect a Democrat in a Republican stronghold - or vice versa - then the party rethinks its assumption they will win all the time. If the voters want a huge change, they must elect the other party's candidate to show their feeling as a group. Then, you will see the candidates start working for the people.

Have a wonderful week. I'll talk to you next week.

 

Editor's Note 10/02/2014

DHIRENHello Readers,

Many things have happened from the last editorial to this one. This includes the failure of the Secret Service, letting a man jump the fence of the White House. He then entered the front door near the East Wing, where the President and his family lives. Thank God that this person only had a knife, not a bomb, and was apprehended. Still, he reached near the executive mansion. We spend hundreds of millions on the security of the President, and this is a huge breach of security.

According to the Huffington Post, after the Sept. 19 incident, several other security blunders came to light. Am armed convict was allowed in an elevator with Obama during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month. And, officers fumbled their response to a 2011 incident where a gunman fired at the White House residence. According to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, "The president concluded that new leadership of that agency was required." Finally, on October 1, Julia Pierson, Director of the Secret Service resigned. Immediately, Joseph Clancy was appointed as Interim Acting Director of the Secret Service. We must have a top notch Secret Service to protect our President.

In Hong Kong, protestors picked an unusual spot to protest. They picketed near many name brands stores, like Fendi, Prada, DKNY, and Coach. In the Wall Street protest, they were not so organized, but in Hong Kong they are organized. Outside the Fendi store was their first-aid station, and outside Coach, their supply stand. They will last longer in their protest against the government. "Most of the flagship stores are here and actually we want to affect our stock market price and then to form pressure to push the government to respond to our request," said Kiyo.

Newark Schools still have many problems as I've heard. The Newark One Plan may have been a well thought out plan, but it seems like the committee who made this plan were disconnected with the people. We always says one murder is too many. In the same way, one student's problem is too many, and this time it's many students' problem. It is very easy to adjust the top ranking students, but very tough to allocate the right schools for each and every child. Before anyone is allocated to a school, they should be happy with it. If they are unhappy, it will impact their studies. The majority of students have 5 to 15 minutes travelling to their school, but one student having to travel one hour is a problem. Giving them bus cards does not solve the problem.

Newark School Superintendent Cami Anderson called a press conference on October 14, 2014 (it was originally on October 8th and rescheduled). I would like to listen to Anderson and her points. Governor Christie and Cory Booker, who were a part of this orchestrated One Newark Plan, are not saying anything about it now. If it is about money, than I would have condemned those who are playing with the lives of the students. The governor is sitting in Trenton making decisions of the future of Newark, and he should come out and face the consequences of the people. In a democracy, we take opinions of all, and we should get together before we decide anything.

The Newark School Advisory Board has frozen Anderson's salary, but regarding its legality we don't know. Anderson is getting paid by the State, not the School Board. The School Board is an advisory board which impacts the decisions of the Superintendent, but cannot be forced. So the governor will decide according to the statute.

A man in Texas diagnosed with Ebola had treatment last Friday, and the authorities let him go home without getting all of the clinical facts. He might have been in contact with his family when he went home. In addition, the CDC has been conducting briefings for months to inform hospitals and clinicians about the proper protocol for diagnosing patients suspected of having the virus as well as the ways to manage them If Ebola spreads, who will be at fault for letting the patient go home?

Have a wonderful week. I'll talk to you next week.

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