You may not recognize the name immediately; but, I know that if you have ever been to a City Council Meeting, needed Notary Services, or visited Chester City Hall, the distinctive, melodic, soothing voice is familiar. Candice Thompson is known for her professional demeanor, understanding nature, and caring spirit. She greets each person who visits City Hall in a most, pleasant manner.
As quiet as a church mouse; but, not to be confused with being meek. Small in stature, with a strong spirit; but, once you meet this woman, you recognize at once that you are in the presence of someone special. Candice Thompson is Special. There is a sincerity that comes through the moment you begin to engage her in conversation. This is something you don’t always get when engaging with many in the public arena.
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, March 30, 2021 page 13
March 16, 2021—President Biden initiated the first leg of his tour to explain to the nation his 1.9 trillion dollar Covid-19 relief plan. He stated, “We found that only 40% of those who were small businesses got in on the deal. You got very, big businesses getting the lion's share of that money.”
Biden made those remarks while visiting Smith Flooring, a Black-owned business that under the American Rescue Plan is eligible for assistance. Smith Flooring, a Chester, Pennsylvania small business, employs 12 people and has a maximum of 25 employees during busy seasons. Owners Kristen and James Smith said, “The money came just in time.”
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, March 23, 2021 page 3
Yes, it’s Women’s History Month and there are those ladies who stand out and are making a difference, making their marks on humanity and the world whom I like many others believe deserve their recognition; but, I’ve another perspective. The past two weeks we have shined a light on our community’s unsung heroes both of whom are among those women I respect and admire; but because my list was so long, I'd like to share my compilation of dynamic, engaging, caring, loving, educated women; who each have compelling life stories and that they embrace and use as their catalyst to enhance our community and its residents.
These ladies meet challenges with tenacity and embrace their successes with gratitude and grace. I’ve always sought out their wisdom, prized their counsel, admired their spirits, cheered on their accomplishments, and trusted them with personal aspects of my life (feeling safe in doing so).
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, March 16, 2021 page 14
Our city’s chock full of folks doing good things and you see a lot of those people and their deeds on various social media platforms. I’ve never been impressed by the look at me or look what I did approach to human kindness. I do admire the quiet folks who just do what is right. Their actions affect many of our citizens… citizens in dire need of a helping hand; in need of that one action that may make the difference between keeping their heads above water or drowning. Tiffany Beauford is one of those guiet heroines that make a difference in the lives of many who through no fault of their own, just need a little help.
Tiffany Beauford is a product of Chester. Born and raised in the city’s Lamokin Village, a middle child with two brothers; she recalls how her mother always made a way for their family. Though her parents divorced when she was seven, both her parents were an integral part of her life. Beauford attributes her drive to her mother, whose standard for herself and her children was “No complaining; just seek solutions.“
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, March 9, 2021 page 14
March marks the beginning of “Women’s History Month,” so, it’s only befitting that I start it off with the journeys, struggles, and successes of the women in American society. Much of the spotlight this month will be on noted American women and the progressive strides they have and are making. This recognition is well deserved; but, in addition, there are those unsung heroes in our communities who get looked over on regional, national and global platforms. These women give selflessly of themselves to make our communities, cities, institutions, and countries a better place; all the while still performing in professions, nurturing children (in some cases the children of others), supporting spouses and caring for aging parents (and other relatives). They do this in addition to all the other life tasks expected of women in America’s patriarchal society.
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, March 2, 2021 page 14
African Americans have long been the targets of nefarious attempts to harm our race in one form or another. There have been allout attempts to exterminate Blacks from existence, to eradicate our culture, to no avail. But the most dangerous and destructive of these practices is colorism.
Colorism is the practice of favoring those of lighter complexions over those with darker complexions. Colorism excludes those with darker hues of skin from opportunities in favor of those who are of a fairer shade, regardless of education, skill, talent or overall ability.
Colorism is another toxic residue of slavery that plagues Black America. One need only trace this legacy back to the plantations in the South to realize this truth. Slave owners raped Black women creating mixed-race children and though they had no problem having been seen with their captives or bearing children with them; they absolutely refused to acknowledge their parentage.
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, February 23, 2021 page 6
No, I’m not referring to the daily lottery number. 111 is a reference to the one hundred and eleven years that the city of Marianna, in the state of Florida, operated the Arthur G. Dozier Boys, a Reform School. Opened in 1900, the school operated with impunity until June 2011. There are those that say the past is the past and this is true in part; but, when the past has a continual effect on the present and future, it’s difficult to leave the past in the past. History appears to be demanding recompense for these transgressions. Though the Florida Legislative body adopted a resolution and formally offered up an apology for the mistreatment of those sent to Dozier; its scars are still a vivid memory for survivors. In the apology, the state, “regrets its treatment of boys sent to Dozier and the Okeechobee School.” Too little, too late. This is another chapter in the shameful history of Florida. https://atlanticblackstar.com/2017/05/09/murder-forced-labor-forgo tten-black-boys-florida-dozier-school-boys/
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, February 15, 2021 page 5
By now most African Americans are or should be familiar with the stories of the “Tuskegee Experiments,” “Henrietta Lacks” and “James Marion Sims (known as the father of modern gynecology).' These stories tell an undisputed truth about the systemic racism, inequality and the egregious nature of America’s duplicity. It wasn’t out of a sense of quiet generosity that many Americans who came in contact with the criminal justice system were exploited through unethical, and unsanctioned medical experiments.
Using people in vulnerable circumstances as lab rats has been habitual in the history of our country; particularly with individuals of African descent. No matter what the rationalizations and/or justifications; from a moral standpoint, it’s wrong and a totally inappropriate and inhumane practice. Nevertheless, this has been a well hidden problem within the medical profession in our society and there’s documented proof of the wrongful actions, along with the harm these actions caused. It shouldn’t be difficult at all for anyone to understand why there’s such hesitation within communities of color as the nation seeks to vaccinate people amid a pandemic.
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, February 9, 2021 page 6
With the recent events of January 6, 2020, I've heard a lot of talk about how it was an unprecedented time in the history of our country. This is partly true. February is 'Black History Month' and to me, it seems an ideal time to not rehash; but to remind all citizens of this nation about an event that has been buried in the annuls of time... a period hidden from Americans. This kind of sweeping under the carpet and reconfiguration of history serves only to push forward a false narrative.
This brings me to the events of November 10, 1898, in Wilmington North Carolina. One of many hidden events in the history of that day was a coup carried out by white supremacists. There have been a lot of violent moments in American history. America is a nation firmly established on violence committed against both humanity and nature. What makes this attack stand out? It's unique because it's the only coup d’état ever on American soil. So, what happened? Why does this stand out? Why was it hidden? What's the likelihood of another such event in our future? How do Americans avoid facing such events in the future?
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, February 2, 2021 page 5
Much has been said and written about the Chester Upland School District (CUSD) and its relationship to the Charter Schools operating in the district. Education is at a crisis point in this country and never more so than in communities of color, such as the Chester Upland School District (CUSD). Complete transparency is of the utmost importance. I dare say it should be at the forefront of the education issue, period; something the district has failed to do.
'Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.' — Maya Angelou
The subliminal pursuits of suppression of educational choices in communities of color are definitely nothing new. However, this appears to breach the trust of every student in this district. In all fairness, had the system not proven unreliable in past years, I doubt the district would be faced with current receivership issues. The most recent issues involving secret court filings are another direct deliberate attempt to disenfranchise our children even further in a system that's already been rigged against them for decades.
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, January 26, 2021 page 12
There isn't an American in this country who doesn't know about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King; how he lived; what he accomplished and how he died. It's all a part of history; written in faded pages of textbooks and seen on the grainy footage of black and white newsreels.
But, what many of us do not know is the true inheritance of MLK's legacy? Yes, we say we know; yet we really don't. Sure, the cornerstone of his legacy was peaceful protest. Through that peaceful protest, he spoke truth to power in a manner that didn't compromise his values nor sway from his mission of equality for all.
King didn't just walk it or talk it; he actually lived it. Although I didn't know him personally, I sense that he believed in 'The Dream;' which essentially made it extremely easy for him to live it and make it a model for the non-violent Civil Rights Movement of the '50s and '60s.
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, January 15, 2021 page 5
As I watched the carnage unfold on my television screen, my mind went totally numb. Silent tears streamed down my cheeks as my heart raced. Like most Americans, I couldn't believe the images unfolding before me. When I finally regained my composure, I found the strains of 'Taps' playing in my head. My next thought was what would my father have thought? He was a man who served his county in the Korean War, was so proud of his service to this country that his final wish was to have a military burial, and went to his rest loving this nation.
Despite the inequities, duplicitous behaviors, and the myriad of atrocities that this nation has heaped on those considered not as good as or less than; the people's love for this country and its democratic values haven't waned. Americans are still as passionate about their country's democracy as were the Founding Fathers at its inception 244 years ago. Americans continue to show up when it really counts...
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, January 12, 2021 page 12
Steven Hutchinson, the man behind Power Taxx, Ltd is truly a study in contrast. A native New Yorker, this gentle gentleman is an enigmatic personality. The 61 year old has explored many positions in his working career and found that what interested him most was money. Though he never accumulated great wealth himself; his passion for finding out how the world of money and wealth works has never waned.
Hutchinson is on a quest to make sure communities immersed in the endless cycle of poverty are educated as to how money really works...budgeting, taxes, credit, mortgage, etcetera. Steven Hutchinson's first career goal was to be a lawyer and he set about trying to do just that. Shortly after some courses at Hunter College, he managed to secure a job as a file clerk in a Park Avenue firm in New York City. The powerful powers that controlled the firm at that time had no interest in teaching Hutchinson; even to perform his duties as a file clerk and instead had him dispatched for coffee runs and other personal errands. In effect his employers had zero tolerance for him or his career ambitions. This of course did not sit well with him and he parted ways with his elite Park Avenue employers.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, January 5, 2021 page 10
I learned from childhood that it wasn't just good manners to say thank you; but, it was also a definite sign of respect...respect for the favor shown to you in any situation. People aren't obligated under any circumstances to show favor and I feel it's grace when favor is shown to you.
On that note, I'd like to take the time to say, 'Thank You'...especially to my Chester community and neighbors.
Thank you to God for his grace, for allowing me to see my 65th birthday as we're smack dab in the middle of a global pandemic, for allowing me to rise every morning and continue to do a job that I love and that serves my community. Thank you for seeing me through my health issues with a positive outcome.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, December 29, 2020 page 10
Kevin Carter is a man with an authoritative presence and the seriousness of his mission is evident when you speak to him about his business. Carter operates Today's Laborer in Marcus Hook, Pa. His company supplies laborers for the construction industry. Yes, there's no doubt that this is a business; but, to Carter it's so much more. His organization provides hope to many a wayward souls, just looking for their livelihood...a way to provide for their families, to integrate back into society. Today's Laborer offers construction cleaning, traffic control, demolition, general labor and COVID cleaning, along with construction skills test and weekly safety meetings. At least 20 of his employees have branched out to start building their own businesses.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, December 22, 2020 page 10
With the FDA's approval, roll-out, and distribution of vaccination comes the all important question of whether or not to be vaccinated. This appears to be a dilemma for all of us, given how the pandemic and subsequent highly touted preventative measure has been politicized from day one. No one knew what to believe in the beginning about the origins of this deadly disease and things progressed at a lightning-fast speed with deadly results. Attempts to get out in front of the pandemic were sidelined due to inaccuracies, delays, and political wrangling, among other things.
Nowhere has Covid-19 been more pervasive, devastating, deadly, or brought about more destruction than in African American, Latino, Indigenous American, and other communities of color.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, December 15, 2020 page 10
Mary Lopez has an audaciousness in her spirit that speaks to the true grit in black women. A spiritual woman whose first allegiance is to God and her family; her aura resonates with deep tranquility. Lopez is the sole proprietor of Anson Construction. She's a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Lopez and her husband, Tyrone have 7 children; 3 boys and 4 girls, which includes a set of twins. They're doting grandparents of 14 and great-grandparents of 2.
In an industry, where both citywide and statewide businesses such as hers are male-dominated; this is a major accomplishment. Having just celebrated the 3rd anniversary of the firm, Lopez believes in treating the young men and women that are in her employ with respect and dignity. In return, she expects them to be responsible and have a sense of accountability. Covid has hit her business hard, but she's managed to hang on, insistent on leaving a legacy for her children and grandchildren. Says Lopez, 'There's growth here in the city of Chester.' The number of her staff varies depending on the available work. All of her employees are from Chester. At this time there are 15. 'There's a lot of talented individuals here in Chester,' she says.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, December 8, 2020 page 11
The pandemic may have had an effect on the celebratory manner of our esteemed firefighters annual Thanksgiving event; it certainly didn't dampen the spirit of the celebration. Guest weren't allowed to break bread with the firefighters and the luncheon was void of the endless table full of homemade dishes and baked goods. The luncheon was catered by Amir's and firefighters unloaded their own food. I'm certain that they were as grateful for that catered cuisine as we are grateful for their service.
Thank you to Chester's firefighters. We look forward to breaking bread with you in 2021.
Mr. Rice is one of few surviving aviators of WWII's famed esteemed Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen were an elite group of aviators tasked with protecting bombers on missions during WWII. Allies called them 'Red Tails' or 'Red Tail Angels' because of the distinctive red paint that embellished the tails of their P-51 fighter planes.
One of the first black aviators in the United States, Rice a flight enthusiast, dreamed of flying since his childhood, in Neither Providence. He enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1942 and was told he had to wait for them to call. The call came in 1943 when he was drafted. This was a life-changing experience for Rice on many levels and provided him with the opportunity that he had dreamed about since his childhood. 'I'd seen planes since I was a child and I'd always told myself if I ever got the chance, I'd fly one. And fly he did! Rice has been honored several times over the years and has been part of a documentary on the Tuskegee Airmen.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, December 1, 2020 page 12
Mid-morning, Saturday, November 14, 2020, brought together a number if notable and accomplished individuals. They gathered at the invitation of noted radio host So’nya Jones. Jones' radio program (The Sony Show) is well-known in the metropolitan area and she's been a long time activist and advocate for social change on many platforms. Following prayer and a rendition of 'Lift Every Voice and Sing,' things got started.
This was the rare occasion when our young citizens and our wiser citizens came together in a sincere and honest effort to gain an understanding of how past indignities and abuses have been hidden, ignored, overlooked and/or swept under the carpet; culminating with the current state of affairs in or nation today. Social unrest is nothing new; but, there appears to be a very different feel to this movement. There seems to be a solidarity between different races and cultures. People from all walks of life are really invested and want to see lasting change and not just on the surface.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, November 24, 2020 page 7
In a collaborative effort, Chester Housing Authority is partnering with Everest Urgent Care to provide Chester residents with Covid testing throughout the month of November. Dr. Xiaobin Li, President of Everest Medical Group says, 'Our goal is to work with community partners like Chester Housing Authority (CHA) to help keep residents safe by preventing the spread of the virus, through efficient, effective and compassionate medical care.'
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, November 17, 2020 page 12
There's a story behind this photograph.
It was taken on the eve of the election. I'd just stepped out of a polling place at Victory Church, on 3rd Street, in Chester, as a group of women were pointing toward the sky. Traffic was light and one young lady was standing in the middle of the street, attempting to perfect her shot. I followed suit and as we both completed our task we commented on the beauty of the fall sunset and the overall pleasant weather that day bestowed on the city.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, November 10, 2020 page 10
The Auto Dealers CARing For Kids Foundation distributed 53928 coats in the region and has distributed a total of 473,628 garments to date, in the 13 years since its inception.
Auto Dealers CARing For Kids Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Auto Show. Established in 2003, the foundation's mission is to enhance and enrich the lives of children in the areas in which dealer members work and live. In addition, the foundation endeavors to support excellence in institutions and programs that serve local children.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, November 6, 2020 page 8
Today I'll go in person to my polling place and cast my vote for our next president, as well as candidates in other political contest. I'm excited, relieved and in an extremely pensive mood. The divisions in our society have widened, as the pandemic and social unrest have laid bare the generations of systematic racism throughout these United States of America. It's made it very clear how out of sync we are as a country. A nation of immigrants; we've managed to discount the myriad of races and cultures that built us into the strong respected and valued nation that the world looked up to. Social unrest leading to riots and looting are tearing apart our communities and causing the denigration of our neighborhoods, which is leading citizens to feel a sense of hopelessness.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, November 3, 2020 page 8
Monday, October 26, 2020—Democratic Presidential Candidate, Joseph Biden paid a visit to the city of Chester to thank the campaign volunteers; as he vies for votes in his home state. He visited the Voter Services Center and spoke with city officials. Vice President Biden was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of about 50 onlookers who cheered him on as he spoke; with, members of the Philadelphia Nazarene Narrative breaking out in chorus, singing hymns. 'He appears to be such a down to earth individual,' said Lisha Long, Chief of Staff for State Representative Brian Kirkland. Representative Kirkland was present at the impromptu visit along with Chester's Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, and Delaware County Councilwoman Christine Reuther.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, October 30, 2020 page 8
Anyone in Chester can tell you about Phatso's iconic glazed donuts. I suspect they've been wreaking havoc with a lot of people's diets; as, the bakery's have most certainly caused me to stray from my diet. Originally Ann's Donuts, the current owner, Richard Wilcox purchased the business and its goodwill in 2000. Following rebranding he opened 'Phatso's,' in 2001.
Wilcox is no stranger to Chester, having been raised in the Bennett Homes and a proud graduate of Chester High, Class of '77.' Married for 41 years, he and his wife, Rose are the parents to four successful adult children; a daughter, Ebony and three sons, Richard 2nd, Brandon and Bevin. Wilcox's children would come into the bakery after school, during summer breaks and on holidays when they were off from school. 'Now they're adults, busy with their own career pursuits,' he said. 'My wife has been my greatest support and has come to the bakery to lend a hand when it's needed; but, she too has her career,' states Wilcox. Rose Wilcox is an Registered Nurse and a Nurse Practitioner.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, October 27, 2020 page 14
Nestled in the space between the Chester Housing Authority Executive Offices, in the Towers and the Avenue Pharmacy on Edgemont Avenue is Chester's newest gem.
Tamara's Esthetics and Artistry offers a full menu of nutrition, fitness and spa services. Tamara Sanders and spouse James Frazier, New York natives have brought that iconic big apple style to the city of Chester; with the opening Tamara's Esthetics and Artistry.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, October 13, 2020 page 14
United Healthcare sponsored COVID -19 Testing at Chester City Hall, which started on September 11, 2020 and continued every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday through October 2, 2020. There were some limited Saturday hours added to the schedule to accommodate those who could not make it during the week.
This initiative was part of United Healthcare's global corporate efforts to reach Chester and other underserved communities. In collaboration with Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, Chester City Council, Chester Bureau of Health; headed by the indomitable Livia Smith and Rosetta Carter, Philabundance, ChesPenn, NAACP, Chester City Fire Department, Delaware County Council, Chester County Health Department, Brownstone Marketing Firm, Q Fraternity Brothers, Local 413, an army of dedicated local nurses, administrative staff and city volunteers; the effort was a tremendous success.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, October 6, 2020 page 14
In the spirit of fun and adhering to wearing masks and physical distancing policies, Chester Township held its 2020 Book Bag Giveaway. On a Saturday afternoon that was filled with surprises and an abundance of eager little people, Chester Township distributed book bags filled with school supplies; coats to stave off the cold of the coming winter; and, large pizzas to give the parents a break from cooking on a beautiful sunny day.
Even though quite a few school districts have moved to virtual classrooms and the dynamics of learning and teaching are different, students still require supplies in addition to computers to complete assignments.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, October 2, 2020 page 8
We've all seen the signs and advertisements, we've all heard the public service announcements; but, have we all been paying attention? It seems that some of us appear to not be paying attention or we're on a different planet. It's a fact that many of us haven't been counted. Those who've not participated should make every effort to do so now! No, don't make every effort, just do it. Fill out the census.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, September 29, 2020 page 11
Yes! Here I go again. I'm on Trash Train again today. As I drive around the city I can't help but see the piles and piles of trash. Most of it is contractor's trash or the result of illegal dumping. The clean outs and renovations of properties are sorely needed and much appreciated; as folks require safe, clean affordable housing. More than that, people need to not be surrounded by trash and debris. I was speaking to one of my neighbors as he was lamenting to state of the situation regarding trash; while he swept the alley behind his home. 'It's become a real problem,' he said. Bravo and thank you to my neighbor and the many citizen volunteers who've come out to assist with cleaning up trash in the city where we live.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, September 25, 2020 page 7
Whenever my parents thought I wasn't paying attention to something they were saying or wasn't grasping a lesson they were attempting to teach me; they'd always repeat this phrase to me. The phrase went like this; 'Pay attention and hang on to those pearls of wisdom; you're going to need them someday.' Often it was followed by some chiding or laughter, depending on the seriousness of the situation; but, there was never any doubt that my parents meant what they said and were trying to tell me something.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, September 22, 2020 page 11
Chester is poised, gearing up and getting prepared for the for upcoming November 3, 2020 Presidential Election. This election is historic on a lot of levels. The country has a woman of color on the Democratic ticket and whether you agree or not, it is a historic event in itself. We're in the middle of a full on global pandemic, social justice protests are everywhere and the country's in the midst of the worse economic downturn since the great depression. Those are the facts. The efforts to get people out to vote are on an upswing in the city of Chester, as they are in many cities throughout our nation. The younger demographic in this nation is coming of voting age and it's important that they participate in the democratic process. This is how we as citizens maintain the democracy that we hold so dear. It's extremely important to the continuity that we vote.
To read more "Lorraine Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, August 21, 2020 page 14
I struggle with sharing this and I really struggled with the title. Let me clarify this from the very beginning. I am an African American woman and proud to be so. Proud of the abundance of melatonin that gives my skin its dark rich coloring, proud of my voluptuousness, proud my deep and storied ancestry and proud of my race.
Growing up there was never much talk in my household about our blackness. Sure we always knew we were black; but, we never really talked about it, beyond Black History Month.
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, August 18, 2020 page 15
I was truly disheartened by the events that took place in Ridley Township last week. This isn't the community that I remember as a young girl, nor the community that I resided in as an adult. I'm in total disbelief and completely disillusioned by the behavior of those individuals involved. Though I now reside in another community, I still visit this community often and I hope this doesn't leave people with a negative impression of this delightful little enclave. This as after all 2020 and we all are citizens of this nation.
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, August 11, 2020 page 12
I heard a person say, 'There was so much water, I thought I was going to see the Ark coming down the street.' Yes, it was a lot of water. Quite frankly this isn't the first weather event that has brought catastrophic wind, rain, hurricanes, tornadoes, damaging property and causing death. It likely won't be the last. What I do know is that these events appear to be closer together and have become far more intense and catastrophic than previous storms.
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, August 7, 2020 page 15
As far back as mankind has been on this earth, humans have felt the necessity to document their existence in some form or fashion. Be it stick drawings in caves, faces carved into mountainsides, signs on buildings, or statues and placards of some kind. With that being said, let's examine America's love affair with monuments and statues, in general. In every state in the union monuments exist; and you'll find these statues in quite a few municipalities, as well. I believe, the first statue in the United States was one of King George, of England.
The erection if a statue of King George in itself, sends a message of subservience. Prior to becoming these United States of America, were we not tied to England. I'm not a historian; but, I did pay close attention in school and took the time to research various aspects of our history.
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, August 4, 2020 page 13
Given the tumultuous climate of our society as of late; I've found it appealing to shine a spotlight on our youth and the positive actions that they're taking to enhance our society. To that end, I take immense pleasure in sharing the profile of 19 year old Senta Johnson. Johnson is a recent graduate of Sun Valley High School in Aston Pennsylvania. Currently, a resident of Media, Pennsylvania, Senta admitted she has moved around quite a bit for the majority of her childhood. She attributes moving nine times over the years to her mother's profession as an educator; who's currently, teaching music to at-risk, under privileged youth. Having resided all around Philadelphia, Bucks and Delaware County, Johnson was familiar with the area's diversity.
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, July 31, 2020 page 15
If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, July 28, 2020 page 14
First ask yourself this question, 'Can I love a stranger?' For most of us the answer is, 'How? I don't know them.' As human beings we automatically start to think, what is their motivation? This is good to some degree, because not everyone's motives are clear or are they always pure. While we should always be cautious, it also pays to be openminded; leaving room for the blessings that strangers bring to our lives. I've always believed that everyone teaches you a lesson, be it positive or negative.
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, July 24, 2020 page 15
With all of turmoil going on in the world and in our nation in particular; it appeared to me that I should reach out to some of our youth to get their perspective the pandemic and social unrest throughout our country. I chose youth from the city of Chester and beyond, starting with my niece, Lisa Lavender. Ages range from 8 to 13 years. Each child had a unique perspective on what's taking place in our country today.
A series of seven (7) questions were posed to each child and here are the responses in their words.
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, July 21, 2020 page 13
Let's say bye celebrities, politicians, national, multinational, global corporations and sports franchises that have been jumping on the bandwagon for social change. Social change has been long overdue for many, many generations and these individuals have long had a platforms to speak out against the wrongdoing, inequality and inequity that has been plaguing this nation since its inception.
Many of these individuals have been doing little if anything at all to promote social change and in many cases they're doing just enough to make it appear that they're instruments for social justice and change. In reality, they're doing what they feel is politically correct, will keep a media spotlight on themselves and/or keep their bottom lines increasing.
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, July 17, 2020 page 9
As a resident of the City of Chester, I'm dismayed, disappointed and livid at sites piled high with trash. The illegal dumping of trash has become a more prevalent issue since the global pandemic. While our city's administration is working diligently to stay on top of garbage collection; a few callous, uncaring and unscrupulous renovation contractors are mucking up our city by dumping illegal trash.
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, June 23, 2020 page 15
by Lorraine Lavender-Sams
Saint Paul CME Church, located at 1009 West 3rd Street is providing bags of groceries to residents in need, in an effort to address some of the food insecurity experienced by the community during the ongoing pandemic. Distribution days are Wednesdays and Fridays.
The church also has a Clothing Ministry and clothes are available for those in need on the same days as groceries.
by Lorraine Lavender-Sams
On Thursday, June 4, 2020, Executive Board President, Lisa Dennis and fellow Police Chaplains, Reverends Ronald Hughes, Hilda Campbell, William 'Rocky' Brown, Brian Pittman, Veronica Stewart, Hayward Hamilton and Judy Gaskins, along with Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, Police Commissioner, Otis Blair, Deputy Commissioner, Stephen Gretsky, Major, Katrina Blackwell met in the front of the Police Administration Building to take a knee in support of George Floyd, who lost his life on Memorial Day, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
For 8 minutes and 46 seconds they took a knee in silent support followed by prayer. It was explained that 8 minutes and 46 seconds was the length of time that George Floyd endured the pressure on his neck that resulted in his de- mise.
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, June 16, 2020 page 14
As fires burned, people protested nationwide, the country erupted in riots and looting in many large cities, saboteur’s infiltrated peaceful protest in attempts to wreak havoc, and police used tear gas on citizens peacefully gathered exercising their 1st Amendment rights, to stand up against the injustices in our society. In the midst of all this, leader of the free world took to Twitter to tout endless baseless solutions (including ingesting bleach), staged photo ops on the hallowed ground of religious institutions (using the Bible as a prop), and most egregious of all threatening to unleash dogs, guns and the military on everyday Americans. As our entire nation appears to be in a perpetual state of upheaval; the nation's screaming out for clear, decisive guidance. On a national level, that level of leadership seems to be lacking.
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, June 9, 2020 page 13
by Lorraine Lavender-Sams
It's usually my policy to focus on uplifting topics... topics that bring awareness, a sense of pride and instill a spirit of hope in my readers. This article is entirely different.
It's difficult to miss the news coverage of the alleged murder of George Floyd, the 46 year old African American man, arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota for allegedly passing a counterfeit twenty dollar bill or check (I've yet to get a definitive answer on which). And, yes I say alleged because in these United States of America, according to our Constitution, a person has the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law. This holds true in the supposed ‘charge’ of passing of counterfeit currency. If you're in doubt of this, read the 6th Amendment to the Constitution.
Everyone is supposed to be afforded due process under the Constitution. In the case of George Floyd, this was definitely not the case. Truth be told, citizens and many of those in public office fail to look to the Constitution when addressing matters such as the Floyd death as well as the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Fernando Castile, Kevin Matthews, Bette Jones and the host of others, throughout this nation who've died at the hands of police officers. The case of Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri spawned the 'Black Lives Matter' movement and drew nationwide attention to the problem; but, there have been only four cases that have resulted in convictions of the offending officers (William Chapman, Eric Harris, Matthew Ajibade and Patterson Brown, Jr.).
To read more "Lorraine-Sams" visit SCOOP USA Media, June 2, 2020 page 3
WPCS’s group of fifth graders beat out students from Stetser Elementary, Main Street Elementary and Chester-Upland School of the Arts (CUSA) during the city’s 7th Annual Heritage Bowl on February 4, 2020. The students were challenged to tally 20 points by correctly answering questions in the jeopardy-styled game, which focuses on facts surrounding African-American and city of Chester history. Coincidentally, the WPCS team successfully answered the opening and final question of the game.
This year marks the 7th consecutive year the city of Chester’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Public Property has hosted the Heritage Bowl. Annually, the event takes place during the first week of February to coincide with Black History Month. “It’s very important that we know what our people have done,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Williams. Williams, who also serves as Director of Parks, Recreation and Public Property is a vocal advocate for educational and recreational youth opportunities in the city. “Education is important and being able to make learning fun is equally as important. This event encourages reading and research of our history. Both of these things can take our young people places.”
To read more "Chester News" visit SCOOP USA Media, March 13, 2020 page 19
The phrase 'United We Stand' holds true in many areas of our lives, especially during this unprecedented time in our nation's history. Individuals, government, civic organizations, churches, corporate entities, and huge national conglomerates have indeed come together in service to humanity. Keystone First is one of those corporate entities that has certainly stepped up in our community, leading the charge in this effort. Diapers and other essential items were distributed in three communities, Thursday and Friday, May 7, 2020 and May 8, 2020.
Joining together the Mitzvah Circle Foundation, Norristown, Keystone First, Philadelphia, Pa, Chester Bureau of Health, Chester Pa, Selby Health Systems, Brookhaven, Pa, Pettaway Pursuit Foundation, Lansdowne, Pa and Macedonia Seventh-day Adventist Church, Chester, Pa were able to provide diapers of all sizes, hand sanitizer and wipes to mothers and fathers.
To read more Chestier News "visit ScoopUSA Media, May 15, 2020" - page 17
Basically, I've been one of those folks who follows the rules; because over the years I've learned that things don't go well on the rare occasions when I've attempted to skirt the rules.
Following instruction and out of an abundance of caution and care, I only leave my residence for essentials such as food and medication. So, imagine my surprise on my last visit to the pharmacy and the supermarket.
I was amazed, saddened and completely taken by surprise in my local ShopRite in Eddystone, Pennsylvania to find hand sanitizer boldly on display in the front of the store at an amount that was clearly over priced. The bottles were 6 ounces sold at the bargain price of $7.99 per bottle. Now, I have an understanding of supply and demand, mark-up, mark-down, first in first out (commonly referred to as FIFO), and other general accounting principles used by retailers and manufacturers; however, this is clearly a case of price gouging.
To read more Chestier News "visit ScoopUSA Media, May 8, 2020" - page 17
For many of us, this is a tumultuous and traumatic time. We are all frightened, apprehensive, stressed and wondering how we're going to move forward. Many in my community are on the front lines being direct care givers, first responders or essential workers and must trust the news to keep them updated.
Many of us are fixated on the news online, cable, blogs regular television stations and social media outlets. I totally get it. Fear of the unknown has always been a motivating factor in psyche of all humankind. It's led people to make decisions and take actions, to our detriment, at times. It is to our advantage to stay informed; but we must also be mindful to be discerning in our consumption of the news. Yes, by all means stay informed. Information is power. Accurate information, that is. Finding ourselves constantly at home by proclamation is different and for many of us this new reality is causing us to be stir crazy. Both children and adults are antsy.
Spring is here and wer are all more than anxious to shed the winter gear and spend some time basking in the sun and enjoying the sights and
sounds of spring. Me too; but I am willing to wait this out, follow directions and sparingly watch the news and be mindful of the source.
To read more Chestier News "visit ScoopUSA Media, May 1, 2020" - page 18
I was pleased and honored to have been invited by the Chester Chaplains to their weekly meeting. This was an opportunity to speak directly to some of the unsung heroes, who are on the front lines daily along with everyone else tasked with protecting the lives, safety, and health of our community.
In accordance with mandates and out of an abundance of caution, this interview was conducted via conference call. On the call along with myself was Lisa Dennis, President and Senior Chaplain, Chaplains, Captain Rosetta Carter, Reverend Ronald Hughes, Brother Shakur Ali, Reverend Hilda Campbell, Captain Ronald Johnson, and Reverend Rocky Brown.
My primary concern was how our Police Chaplains were navigating the landscape throughout this global pandemic. This is a new normal and it's no longer business as usual for most of the world. However, for those on the front lines, the job doesn't stop. People continue to need the assistance and guidance of our chaplains and other first responders as we try to make sense of our new normal.
To read more Chestier News "visit ScoopUSA Media, April 24, 2020" - page 19
The saga continues for all of us and I'm certainly no exception. People all over the country and in some cases the world; have been sheltered in their homes in an effort to stem the tide of this pandemic. Being a person who generally believes in following the rules; I only left the sanctuary of my home to go get groceries. And this is where this story begins. Seems it's always in the market or around some type of food (I'm roasting chicken as I write this).
That brings me to my quick trip to the market. The aroma of fear hung in the air like the fog hovering about on early morning frost. People were hurriedly going about their business and the faces of most appeared to bear that lost, kind of shell shocked expression. You know the kind of expression that says, "I'm scared, I've no idea what's going on and so I'm going to be as unpleasant as I can be." In an effort to adhere to the social distancing mandates (and rightfully so), people's carts were bumping into one another as they sought to pass one another in the supermarket's narrow isles. This in itself wasn't an uncommon event and it's happened to me dozens of times. What was incredible (to me at least) was the lack of decorum. Folks just push pass, jostling old and young alike, without out even so much as an excuse me; let alone even the pretense of an apology.
A dozen of eggs that normally cost $1.29 was now priced at $2.79, a markup of 43%. Adding insult to injury, the market had the gall to put limitations on how many dozens of eggs I could purchase, with my dollars which by the way are going into their coffers. Yes, I understand why prices might have to increase due to the cost of importing, transportation, rising employee payroll, due to the shortage of workers during this turbulent time. I get it. I just thought a 43% rise in cost over a week was a lot in a short period. What if the shopper happens to be shopping for a large family. Limitations are useless. I couldn't help but think, how soon before they start rationing goods? Food for thought. No pun intended. I suffer through the rudeness in the supermarket isles, get my needed items, and safely steer my cart to the checkout; only to come face to face-to-face (not literally) with a cashier with a definite attitude. Now, I'm no Susie Sunshine; but, anyone can tell you, I make every effort to be polite and pleasant in my interactions with people. A laugh, a smile, a pleasant greeting or a simple complement goes a long way.
To read more Chestier News "visit ScoopUSA Media, April 3, 2020"
I had the pleasure of attending a workshop hosted by Career Wardrobe, located at 62 Marshall Road, Lansdowne, Pa 19050. Previously located in the Police Administration Building in Chester, Pa., Career Wardrobe relocated to its current location on September 16, 2019, to better accommodate its growing clientele.
In its 25th year of operation, Career Wardrobe is a non profit independent enterprise that provides clothing and professional development to empower unemployed individuals to work. With locations in Philadelphia, Delaware, Berks, Bucks, Chester and Montgomery Counties, the stores offer up a diverse array of ladies wear, men's attire as well as impressive outerwear.
Sherri Cole, Executive Director, for 20 years is excited about the confidence that's inspired in clients after completing a workshop and/or shopping for a new item of clothing. "Clothing inspires change in people. They gain confidence.", says Cole.
To read more "Chester News" visit SCOOP USA Media, March 27, 2020 page 15
Being an introvert by nature I found it to a blessing not having to run around Chester and surrounding areas covering events for Scoop Media. I've always been a homebody, choosing solitude over social more often than not. I have a special appreciation for my quiet time. It keeps me grounded and I just love my own company.
Don't get me wrong, I love my job in spite of how packed my schedule can be at times. Even more, I absolutely adore my boss. Shout out to Sherri Horsey-Darden, owner and publisher of Scoop, USA, whose been doing a fabulous job of getting out the news that's important to Scoop's readers.
I respect and cherish all of those that I work with and those who've supported me doing my work as your Chester News Columnist. It's my sincere pleasure to cover your events and stories week after week, for almost a year now. The trust that public officials, community leaders, neighbors, friends have placed in my skills continues to be a blessing to me.
To read more "Chester News" visit SCOOP USA Media, March 27, 2020 page 15
In a society where it seems that discarding, discounting and disrespecting our wiser citizens has become the norm; this story is one of those delightful caveats that truely warms our hearts.
Ms. Theresa Trapier Prattis celebrated her 100th Birthday with her family and friends on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Murphy AME Church at 7th and Yarnall. Born on Feb- ruary 28, 1920, in Charleston South Carolina, to Edward Trapier and Ella Polite; the oldest of two siblings. Prattis married Clayton Prattis, Sr. in 1937. The union was blessed with 8 children; Clayton (Took) Prattis, Jr., Helen Curry, Ronald Prattis, Sr., Josephine Hunter, Doreathea Johnson, Arcina Green, Denise Prattis and Jerome Prattis, 16 grand- children and 28 great grandchildren and 14 great great grandchildren.
When Prattis was born Woodrow Wilson was president, the first radio station began broadcasting, the first handheld hair dryer made it to market, gasoline was 25 cents a gallon, milk was 28 cents a gallon, eggs were 55 cents a dozen and the average family's household income was $3,269.00 a year.
To read more "Chester News" visit SCOOP USA Media, March 6, 2020 page 19
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On Saturday, February 22, 2020 the city of Chester held a Community Health Fair on the premises of the Christian Church of Chester located at 308 West 3rd Street, in Chester.
The event was well attended by the community and little ballers were excitedly participating in basketball contest and generally being children, enjoying themselves as only children do. It was a welcome sight to see youngsters running about, playing with one another in their little mock firefighters hats.
To read more "Chester News" visit SCOOP USA Media, February 28, 2020 page 15
The City of Chester, Office of the Community Liaisons is pleased and very proud to announce Amachi Chester. Amachi was founded in September 2000, by organizing Philadelphia into 4 clusters.
The Meaning of Amachi:
- "Who knows but what God has brought us through this child." (Nigerian Bio)
-"To carry more than two children on your back." (Alaskan Yupic)
The Chester Community Violence Prevention Initiative, was established in the Office of the Community Liaisons Department following four years of convening the Civic Advisory and Reentry Committees. Both committees, having been established to create a platform where the community could gather and converse about solving various issues in the city of Chester. Compiling data and with an intentional desire to break the cycle of violence in the community, they saw an opportunity to engage the youth of the city in order to improve outcomes in the future. With the efforts of many community stakeholders, the Department of Community Liaisons, headed by Director Lisa Dennis decided to invest in the evidence based mentoring model, Amachi and thus Amachi Chester was born. The team officially started work the week of November 18, 2019. In addition to Director Lisa Dennis the team includes Program Manager, Jamar Daniels, Case Managers Clayven Geathers and Nasir Leach. All are Chester natives, giving them a special insight into the city and the targeted demographic.
To read more "Chester News" visit SCOOP USA Media, February 21, 2020 page 19
On Tuesday,February 4, 2020 State Representative, Brian Kirkland and his staff hosted a Cancer Survivor's Luncheon, in Eddystone, Pennsylvania. Shannon Kirkland, a Legislative Assistant for the representative welcomed guest followed by a moment of silence, after which everyone dined while quietly sharing with each other about their cancer journeys. Presentations by Faith King, State Representative's Office, Erika Narduccia, LSW, Program Director of Cancer Support Community, Anna F. Katenta, Community Liaison for Merakey Behavior Health and Armenta Washington, Program Manager Outreach at Fox Chase Cancer Center educated attendees on various types of cancer, availability of treatment and the importance of early detection. Mammograms and Colonoscopies are key in the early detection of cancers. Self examinations are also crucial especially with breast and skin cancer.
Those who don't have health insurance, have low to moderate income and are 40 to 64 years of age may be eligible for free mammogram, pap test and treatment. Call 1-800-215-7494
Pictured: (Above left) Ladies Group from Salvation Army Survivors. (Right) Quest at tables decorated to indicate different types of cancer. (Below) Ms. Lisha Long, Representative Kirkland's Chief of Staff, Ms. Shannon Kirkland, Legislative Assistant and Ms. Faith King.
To read more "Chester News" visit SCOOP USA Media, February 14, 2020 page 19
On Friday January 24, 2020 the Chester Democratic Committee hosted a Blue Sweep Gala to formally celebrate the newly sworn-in elected officials from the city of Chester, Chester Township and throughout Delaware County. Several other newly sworn-in officials from Delaware County attended the event.
City of Chester Elected Officials:
Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland (re-elected, 2nd term)
Councilwoman Elizabeth Williams (re-elected, 3rd term)
Councilman William Morgan (re-elected, first full year term)
Controller Edith Blackwell (re-elected, 3rd term)
Chester Township Elected Officials:
Councilwoman Risheena Young-Payne (1st term)
Councilwoman Angela Prattis (re-elected, 2nd term)
More than 400 constituents, local and state dignitaries including a representative from Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon's office, as well as family members of celebrated elected officials were in attendance.
A short program began at approximately 7:15 p.m. and included remarks from Livia Smith, Chairperson for the Chester Democratic Committee, Colleen Guiney, Chairperson for the Delaware County Democratic Committee and several other officials.
Chester County Sheriff Fredda Maddox, served as emcee for the evening. Maddox, a newly sworn-in official herself, took office as Chester County's first Democratic and African American Sheriff on January 6, 2020.
The evening included a formal sit down dinner and music. Words of thanks were given by Jalen Starr, son of Ron Starr, Vice Chairman for Chester's Democratic Committee. This was Jalen's 2nd year giving thanks at a Committee Gala, a duty passed on to him by the elder Starr. "I thought it was a great opportunity to honor my son. To start training him up now for his future in leadership, not necessarily in politics or the party; but, in whatever he decides to do, he'll be a leader." "The Bible says, train up children in the way they should go and when they're older they will not depart from it and I'm raising a leader, says Starr."
Proceeds from the ball benefit the Chester City Democratic Committee.
On Saturday, January 18, 2020, the Fraternal Order of Police, William Penn Lodge #19 held a Retirement/Awards Ceremony to honor more than 50 current and former police officers.
The event, which was held at the Ballrooms at the Phoenix in Chichester was the FOP’s first awards ceremony since 2015. More than 100 people attended the evening ceremony, including Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, Chester Chief Financial Officer Nafis Nicholas, current and former police personnel and their family and friends.
FOP President Jonathan Ross began the event by offering a brief introduction. “It’s been a while since we’ve come together in this way but that does not discredit the years of work that tonight’s honorees have put in, “said Ross. “We are a small lodge. Some of us have made a life’s work serving as an officer. That is why it’s important for us to honor our officers— that is why we are here tonight.”
James Ianni, 84, a former Chester Police Sargent who served with the department from 1967-1987 was the oldest police veteran in attendance. During remarks, Mayor Kirkland joked about accepting all retired officers back to the police force. “I know many of you have been away from the department for multiple years, but it’s never too late to put that uniform back on and help us out, and this includes you Mr. Ianni” stated Mayor Kirkland through laughter. “Whether you’re retired or currently serving this city, I want you all to know that we appreciate you. Often times our men and women who are charged to protect us, do so not knowing what the day ahead may bring,” Mayor Kirkland added. “I thank not only our officers, but your families, for lending your loved ones to this community.”
To read more "Chester News" visit SCOOP USA Media, January 31, 2020 page 19
Thomas White is an imposing figure as he sits behind the desk inside his cluttered office in Chester's City Hall. It would be a grave mistake to assess the man's surroundings or his physical appearance and assume he is the sum total of what you see. First appearances are important; however, not always accurate. Mr. Thomas White is definitely the poster child for that old adage, "never judge a book by its cover."
Profoundly humble with a strong handshake and a voice that immediately calls to mind one of my favorite radio personalities, Garrison Keillor, host of "Prairie Home Companion," from 1974 through 2016, Mr White's Official title with the city is Community Outreach Coordinator. It's a position of which he's profoundly proud and one he takes very serious. He's tasked with building bridges and making connections with the city's residents and the various entities that make up Chester City government.
Prior to his current position, Mr. White was employed by the Chester Education Foundation (CEF). During his tenure at the CEF he directed their mentoring program and held the position of Assistant Director, while performing all the duties of Director. His ease of manner makes bridging the gap and filling in the cracks with Chester's many Civic, Community and Pastoral Organizations has a positive impact on the processes. Often making a potentially harmful and/or hazardous situation much less difficult to manage and easily recoverable. "We must overcome our fears and mistrust and allow people to help us," states White. "Chester City Hall goes above and beyond assisting its constituents, even resolving the occasional neighborly dispute in an amicable manner," he stated.
To read more "Chester News" visit SCOOP USA Media, January 24, 2020 page 16
by Lorraine Lavendar-Sams
From childhood I remember my parents instilling the virtues of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King to my siblings and I. He was revered in our household and his photograph held a place of honor on the wall, right next to Jesus and John Fitzgerald Kennedy. No one had to tell us that these men held a special place in our hearts, homes and communities; we knew.
As a child, I remembered reading the newspaper accounts of the Reverend Dr. King’s fights for freedom and equality for African Americans and for the poor underprivileged across the nation. I remember intently, his model of nonviolence in response to those who mistreat you; as, I was bullied in my early childhood. Turning the other cheek made quite an impression on my adolescent mind and made a great deal of sense to me, in keeping with the teaching of Jesus, which was part of my weekly Sunday School lessons. Like the majority of the African American community, I sat glued to the black and white floor model television as I viewed news coverage of the March on Washington. I was shocked and awe inspired to see so many Black people in one place. As a child, Washington was a mistical, faraway place to me. Up until that time I'd assumed ( wrongly of course) that Washington was for Caucasians.
I rejoiced and celebrated his winning of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and was shocked devastated as the nation mourned his assassination on April 4,1968.
All of these vivid memories of an icon from, I thought that I knew quite a bit about the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I reviewed his life story, the time spent at the Crozier Theological Seminary from September 14, 1948 through May 8, 1951. I looked over the research that I was able to gather about his relationship with his mentor and close confidant, the Reverend J. Prius Barbour, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church. Reverend Dr. King, Jr. served as a Student Pastor at Calvary. It was during this period when he delivered a sermon titled "Facing Life's Inescapables," on March 3, 1949.
View more Chester News and photos at SCOOP USA Media, Friday, January 10, 2020, page 19
State Representative Brian Kirkland hosted the First Annual Children's Expo, in the Community Room of Chester's City Hall, on Monday evening, the 30th of December.
It was a defining event as it was the last event of the year for Representative Kirkland and his staff. There's no doubting the commitment of Kirkland and his staff when it comes to the children and youth of his constituency. He's a single parent and four of the members of his staff are also parents, so they all know intimately the challenges that come with rearing children.
The staff and volunteers created a virtual playground in the room. With a cornucopia of sweet treats and sugary confections, distributed by their very own princess adorned in blue; children enjoyed every moment of the delicious treats. Nasir Leach acted as MC, while DJ Cory spun the records on the turntable. Guest were treated to a delightful performance by 10 year old Chester artist Queen Cancer Viva; who's given name is Shyomoa Mills. She's a gifted and prolific singer, who enjoys entertaining. Children participated with parents and each other in dance contest and the room was filled with the giggles and laughter of the young and the young at heart. The atmosphere was filled with the spirit of community. Each table was decorated in keeping with the fantasy Candy Land theme.
The Expo was supported by Health Partners and vendors from The Girl Scouts of America, State Police, the District Attorney's Office Task Force on Internet Crimes Against Children, Yell/Hidden Treasures Mentoring Program, Boys and Girls Club of Chester, Year -Up Job, Pennsylvania State Police, Harcum College and were on hand to distribute information to parents.
Information on birth certificates and children's health initiatives was available for attendees.
Representative Kirkland is looking forward to making this an annual event and I am certain the community is looking forward to it as well.
On Monday, January 6, 2020 the city of Chester swore-in several city officials during a ceremony that took place inside of City Council Chambers at Chester City Hall.
Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland was sworn into his second-term as mayor. Kirkland, a seasoned politician previously served as State Representative for the 159th Legislative District from 1993-2016. During his first term as mayor, Kirkland was responsible for overseeing the Public Affairs Department, which encompasses the Police Department, the Office of Community Liaisons, the Workforce Development Office, the Office of Re-Entry and Veterans Affairs and the Planning Department. “I am always humbled during events like this,” said Mayor Kirkland. “For nearly 30 years I have committed myself to being a public servant. This community has trusted me to lead and serve. Do we have problems? Yes, but those problems are no different than any other city. However, I have been and will continue to work diligently to move this city to higher heights. We have made progress and will continue to move in a direction that is positive for our residents and our community as a whole.”
Incumbent Councilwoman Elizabeth Williams was sworn in to her third-term as councilperson. Williams, who serves as the Director of the city’s Parks, Recreation and Public Property Department has been a councilperson for the city since 2012. “Everything I do, I do for our city,” stated Councilwoman Williams. “I work for the people and I enjoy every minute of it.”
Councilman William Morgan was sworn in to his first four-year term as councilperson. In 2016, Morgan was appointed to the position of councilmember after former Councilmember Nafis Nichols resigned. In 2017, Morgan successfully ran and was elected to finish out the remainder of Nichols’ term. Since becoming a councilmember, Morgan, who also dually serves as the Director of Finance has helped to balance the city’s budget for three consecutive years. “When I was first appointed to this position, I expected a magic book to appear on my desk that would help to guide me and make things right,” said Councilman Morgan. “While time didn’t reveal a magic book, I have learned a lot in this position that will allow me to help steer this ship in the direction of success. I am honored to be here and will continue to serve the city of Chester to the best of my ability.”
View more Chester News and photos at SCOOP USA Media, Friday, January 10, 2020, page 16
On Friday, January 3, 2020, Delaware County made history, ushering in a new error with the swearing in of the Honorable Judge Nusrat Rashid. Judge Rashid is the first African-American woman to be appointed to the Judiciary in Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. Judge Rashid is also making history in the State of Pennsylvania, being the first woman of Islamic Faith to be appointed to the Judiciary. Witnessing her taking the Oath of Office with the Holy Quran, held by her three (3) children and being robed by her mother, Ms. Ayesha Lateef was a truely awe inspiring moment, where I and many others were visibly moved to tears.
Honorable Judges Linda A. Cartisano, Richard H. Lowe, Stephanie H. Klein and Kelly D. Eckel were inducted to the Judiciary along with Judge Rashid. Congratulations to all of the newly inducted Judiciary.
Two things that were most compelling is that a number of the Judicial Inductees are the children or grandchildren of immigrants and that four of them are women. Diversity provides a wider perspective and more opportunity for equality for future generations.
Rasheena Young-Payne was sworn in and took her seat with her colleagues as the newest Councilwoman in Chester Township, Wednesday evening. Councilwoman Young-Payne was sworn in by Judge Davis, as her son held the Bible.
Councilman Calvin Bernard, now Chairman of Chester Township Council and Councilman Richard Knox, now Co-Chairman of the Chester Township Council. Congratulations to all.
Pastor and Mrs. Ben Grenier accompanied by their children and members of their congregation, supported by the City of Chester, hosted a Christmas Eve Luncheon for the city's firefighters.
Grenier has served as pastor of the Full Gospel Assembly Church in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania for the past five years. He's been a Fire Chaplain for the City of Chester for threee and a half (3.5) years and is also Vice President of the Law Enforcement Chaplains of Delaware County.
He, his wife, Rackell, and the church's congregation (wh have been the hosts of this gathering for our city's firefighters for the past three years) Pastor Grenier states, "Part of my motivation for doing this luncheon is to ensure that our firefighters, who have to work over the holidays get a home cooked meal, as they'll be away from their families."
View more Chester News and photos at SCOOP USA Media, Friday, January 3, 2020, page 15
Chester -As an African-American woman, a self proclaimed history buff and a lover of other cultures; I thought of myself very open to various cultures. It appears I wasn't educated in the nuances of my own culture. On Saturday, November 30, 2019, I was graciously invited to the home of Mr. Juan and Reverend Jacquie Martinez for a cultural event. Needless to say, not having any indication or having ever heard of Umoja Karamu, I was both taken aback and more than pleasantly surprised. The Martinez's invited me in, welcomed me and provided me with a timely and much needed history lesson. I listened excitedly and intently to all the information they generously imparted to me.
Umoja Karamu, pronounced (You-mo-have Care-a-moo) are Kiswahili words. Translated the word mean Unity Feast. This ceremonial celebration has taken off in African American communities in recent years. This unique and dedicated ceremonial celebration was the brainchild of Brother Edward Sims, Jr. and from its initial inception in 1971, has taken root in African American culture throughout the nation. The feast embraces foods and colors that signify our journey through the middle passage; through slavery; through emancipation; through the struggle for equality and our hopes for our future.
The Umoja Karamu is a ceremonial cultural celebration, totally embracing the history of African Americans; much of which has been lost and/or destroyed in a deliberate effort to erase us from history's narrative.
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, Friday, December 27, 2019, page 15
On Tuesday, December 10, 2019 the Chester Stormwater Authority held the ribbon cutting for its newly renovated office; located next door to its current location. The Chester Stormwater Authority has officially opened its new addition with no mortgage. The board proudly announced that the building is debt free.
Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland along with Board members Livia Smith, Chairwoman, Councilwoman Porshe West, Vice Chair, Ms. Joan Neal, Secretary, William Riley, Treasurer, Mr. Joseph Oxman, Solicitor, Mr. John Shelton, Board Member and Reverend Dr. Horace Strand were in attendance and proud to announce that the Stormwater Authority is making substantial strides in their missions in the city of Chester. They've secured a low interest loan from the Pennvest in the amount of $9,946,810.00 to continue their work here in the city. The project in Memorial Park is ongoing and so far has been a rousing success.
They are addressing flooding issues throughout the area and there are distinct differences in the quality of life in areas that were previously prone to severe flooding. Residents no longer need to be fearful of the rain in areas where rubbish and excess water runoff contributed to flooding. The Stormwater Authority is assessing and diligently addressing other issues that concern our waterways.
To view "Ribbon Cutting" photos and additional Chester photos visit SCOOP USA Media, Friday, December 27, 2019, page 15
Delaware County held a Swearing in Ceremony on Thursday, December, 2019 at the Delaware County Courthouse to administer the oath to 20 Chaplains from various municipalities throughout the county.
Ms. Lisa Dennis, Brother Shakur Abdul-Ali, Mr. Melvin Deal, Mr. Kendon Gibson, Mr. Ernest Brown, Mr. John Johnson, Ms. Bernice Dorsey, Mr. Leonard Carroll and Ms. Paula Brown were among the Chaplains sworn in by President Judge Kelly. President Judge Kelly stated that, "It's one of the pleasures of his position and an absolute privilege and honor to perform this swearing in ceremony."
The services of our Police Chaplains are invaluable and their presence in our communities can be witnessed not only in tragedy; but, building and strengthening of them as well. They truly serve a higher purpose.
Congratulations to all the Chaplains and thank you for the dedication.
To view "Chaplains" visit SCOOP USA Media, Friday, December 27, 2019, page 15
Our "Returning Citizens" are extremely important to the community; as they bring a wealth of experience and a myriad of talents, to our city. Their experience and talents will be integral in assisting our community in healing, growing and moving forward. With these thoughts in mind, the City's Office of Community Liaison, under the steadfast leadership of Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland and the fearless innovative actions of Ms. Lisa Dennis, Chester's Office of Community Liaison, held its 3rd Annual Open House.
Participation and contributions from vendors, business owners, civic and government organizations aided in the success of this well attended event.
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, Friday, December 20, 2019, page 15
Chester's elder statesmen and stateswomen were celebrated in classic fashion and all of the ladies and gentlemen came dressed for the occasion.
The event, another elegant affair catered by Amir's Catering; delighted guests with courses of soup, salad, an endless variety of entrees ending with a delicious, delectable array of desserts.
It was fantastic to see such a huge gathering of elders in one place. The room decorated in festive Christmas colors. Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, City Council and many of the city's employees left their offices to serve, greet and mingle with elderly citizens. Friends who hadn't seen one another for some time embraced, smiled,exchanged pleasantries and reminisced about old times.
Music, courtesy of DJ Ricky, was spinning tunes from the jazz of Billy Holiday to some serious old Motown and anything in between. Nate "The Landlord" Carter treated the crowd to some humor that only folks 50 and over could relate to. He was not only spot on; he was absolutely hilarious.
To read more visit SCOOP USA Media, Friday, December 20, 2019, page 15
I was in attendance as the City of Chester's, Office of Community Liaisons shared holiday joy, in the form of baby clothes and other infant supplies with the Pregnancy Center.
Later that evening at a tree lighting ceremony to welcome in the holiday season; the Pregnancy Center graciously shared them with mothers and children, in need. This is another example of our community and the organizations that service and support us working together for the betterment of our residents. Both the City's Community Liaisons Office and the Pregnancy Center do phenomenal work; both individually and collectively.
IThe shameful curse of ambivalence appears to have enveloped the parents of Chester's students. On Wednesday, December 4, 2019 a well publicized court hearing took place at the Media Courthouse. This hearing, a continuation of the saga of the CUSD's Receivership, which has been in that state since 2012; was held to potentially decide the fate of the district; and ultimately the fate of Chester's Children. Our children's futures, their ability and right to have a voice in how future generations are educated are in jeopardy.
In my role as Chester News Columnist for this publication, I have the distinct pleasure if engaging in dialogue with many of our city's residents---many of them neighbors, friends and extended family. The comments I hear most often with regard to the CUSD are, "Chester's not doing anything about our kid's school; they don't care. Why isn't the School Board doing anything? The schools in the city are bad. They don't have enough books for our kids. The teachers aren't up to par." These are just some of the comments that I've been privy too; but, the one comment that annoys me more than any other is, "I'm not sending my child to "The High." Chester High School is affectionately referred to as "The High" by the city's natives and long time residents.
To read more "School Board Participation" visit SCOOP USA Media, December 13, 2019, page 15
Amid and in spite of the prejudices and prevalent hatred of a tumultuous period in our history, Mrs. Thelma Haskins survived. She not only survived, she thrived and created a dynamic dynasty of her own, that at present spans five generations, of which Mrs. Haskins is the matriarch. She feisty and has all her mental faculties intact. Proof of that being, writing this took her only one month. That in itself is an amazing feat for a woman who's 93 years of age and has the spirit and grit of a woman half her age or younger. Ms. Haskins came down with Vertigo a while ago; however, she's not slowed down and shows no signs of doing so.
Her cheerful personality shows no scars from painful past experiences. There's a classy dignified demeanor that is evident as is her warm spirit which makes even a stranger feel like family.
To read more "Amazing Grace" visit SCOOP USA Media, December 6, 2019, page 15
I've known Mr. Jamil Cottman for about 10 years or more. He's always had a generous soul. Born and raised in the city of Chester, Jamil's first encounter with the Criminal Justice System was as youth of 17 years old. He was arrested on a firearms charge and sent to juvenile detention. Having not learned a lesson from his first encounter with the system; Jamil, a young man if 21 now, was again arrested. This time the charges were more serious. Another weapons charge coupled with a drug charge, earned him some substantial County time. Not to mention, this was his second offense. Any more encounters would buy him serious State time. And buy himself serious State time was just what Mr. Cottman did. Finding himself incarcerated upstate at 30 years old. Cottman survived a his period of incarceration; missing his loved ones and above all, coming to the realization that this is not how he wanted to live his life. This convict status was not legacy he wanted to leave his children, nor did he want his mother's memories of her son to be of him behind bars. Cottman made a promise to himself to be a better man, to be an example for those he loved and his community. He's done just that.
To read more "Amazing Grace" visit SCOOP USA Media, December 6, 2019, page 15
On Thursday, November 14, 2019 the Chester Senior Center, located at 7th and Hayes Street in Chester hosted a Veteran's Luncheon.
The room was filled to capacity with Veterans from every branch of our nation's military. A panel of retired veterans spoke to the attendees about the various programs available to them through the Veteran's Administration (VA) and other organizations that cater specifically to veterans. This information is more important than anyone knows, as many of our veterans don't file for the benefits that their entitled to. This is sometimes due to the volume and complexity of all of those forms; but, the Veteran's Administration and other organizations for veterans are there to assist in this process.
Games of any kind have never been a past time of mine; however, I must say that Health Partners Foundation and the City of Chester made it look awfully inviting.
A Bingo Event was held in the community room at Chester City Hall. To the tunes spun on the turntable by, DJ Raymond Harmon of Chester, city residents tapped their feet, swayed in their seats, snapped their fingers and danced the afternoon away; while enjoying Bingo and dining on the scrumptious cuisine provided by the Red Brick Cafe. Vendors were on hand to disperse information on the services they offered. Medical Technicians were on hand to take blood pressure, monitor weight and advise residents on the benefits of staying on top of basic health screenings, as they get older.
Playing the game of Bingo, just drove home the point of having fun as an added benefit to continuing good health. As we enter the holiday season, I hope people will take the opportunity to have a little fun. It can put a smile on your face and add years to a life.
The Bannister Family has deep roots and familial ties to the City of Chester. Three generations of Bannisters have proudly and selflessly served our country.
Angela Bannister, worked as Administrative Assistant to Councilman William "Al" Jacobs until her retirement on August 30th of this year. Upon retiring, Ms. Bannister promptly moved to Texas to be closer to her family. Ms. Bannister, an Honorably Discharged Army Veteran was the first generation to commit to service. She served 4 years as a Medical Supply Clerk in the 1980's.
To read more "Legacy of Service" visit SCOOP USA Media, November 15, 2019, page 15
The Census is mandated by Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution. The data collected by the census determines how billions of dollars in federal funds will be distributed.
The government does not share demographic information obtained in the census with other government agencies. There are only nine (9) questions on the census and you can submit your census data by mail or online should you not be comfortable sitting with a census taker. All data is confidential and used only to calculate how many people there are in a particular area. This determines how many federal dollars will be allocated to that area.
To read more "Census" visit SCOOP USA Media, November 15, 2019, page 15
I was saddened and totally dismayed, to walk into Chester City Hall on Thursday morning and see the remnants of gun violence. The building displayed the callousness of the cowardly actions of an individual or individuals, clearly not in touch with the concept of respecting other's property. I wasn't just saddened and dismayed, I found myself being angry; this building is the formal seat of this city's government! I found this incident of particular significance, as it was following an election.
Someone once said to me "It's not who’s right; it's what's right." And that means what's right for everyone. PERIOD! If you want to be heard there's a forum for that. If have a complaint, there's a formal process in which you can lodge your complaint. If you need services there are people to assist you in meeting your needs. If you're in disagreement with any policy or procedure, there's a way to disagree. The solution is most certainly not in firing a weapon at the seat of our city government. This only serves to make our elected officials more resolute in their mission to continue the journey of making Chester a safer community, a more economically vibrant city and confirms that the Mayor and City Council are doing their jobs. They must be, or our community wouldn't have to confront this type of self-sabotaging behavior. It truly is self sabotaging behavior, because, let's face it; normal, law abiding citizens don't wage war on an institution that's a part of their community, for no apparent reason. Where's the pride in our city?
To read more "Op-Ed" visit SCOOP USA Media, November 15, 2019, page 16
The "Think Pink" Luncheon was a smashing success. It was a fun filled afternoon, packed with helpful, useful information. The community room was transformed into an elegant dining room. The entire room was awash in pink. Each table was fitted with pink tablecloths, made with delicate raised roses. The place setting of gold plates complemented the puff of pink flowers atop the tall vase, with delicately iced cupcakes surrounding the blooms created stunning centerpieces on each table. Attendees commented on the breathtaking decor and classy ambiance in the room.
The informational portion of the event was even more impressive; as women recounted their experiences with breast cancer and providers spoke to the group of mostly seniors, about the importance of monitoring their healthcare issues. The message, to continue caring for yourself as you age was touted over and over by each speaker.
To read more "Think Pink Luncheon, visit SCOOP USA Media, November 8, 2019, page 15
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 on a damp evening in Chester's Memorial Park, the Panthers waited wide-eyed and excited for a special guest. The youngsters weren't disappointed and they erupted into applause and cheers as Eagles, tight end, Zach Ertz took the field. These young fans are important to Mr. Ertz as evidenced by the donation of $250 he makes to “Touchdowns for Kids” for each touchdown he scores during the season.
Mr. Ertz and Dunkin Donuts of greater Philadelphia made a surprise donation of $30,000 in athletic equipment to the Chester Panthers Youth Empowerment and Athletic Association. Made possible through the program "Touchdowns for Kids" Dunkin also donates $250 for each touchdown scored by the Eagles during the season. Since 2013 the program has raised $170,000. The funds donated through this program goes directly to regional youth organizations in the greater Philadelphia area.
For the City of Chester, the only city in Delaware County, Pennsylvania; our history is important. Citizens want to know how the city came to be, from a small parcel of land along the Delaware River. It all starts with a Quaker gentleman, from England. His name was William Penn. He's often overlooked in history; however, Mr. Penn's contributions are numerous and can still be witnessed in every sphere of our society today. Matter of fact, his ideology and ideas are the basis for many of the freedoms we enjoy today. Freedoms we so often take for granted.
Every year in October, William Penn's legacy is celebrated by the Mayor, City Council, Civic, Religious, Political Leaders and citizens from Chester and other municipalities in Delaware County. This year's tribute was informative and memorable. The event was emceed by Mr. Dwayne Lee, Chester City Department of Parks, Public Property and Recreation. Councilperson Elizabeth Williams, an avid supporter of William Penn's legacy, was on hand to speak to the crowd about the importance of the Penn legacy to our democracy. She stated the urgency of passing that legacy on to our children.
Councilperson Williams introduced the attendees to Ms. Debbie Chychota, recounting how they met as she was returning from Sunday Services. She noticed a woman at Penn's Landing Place, at 2nd & Penn. Upon approaching, Ms. Chychota and engaging in conversation; the councilwoman discovered they shared a special kinship. The two women’s shared passion of William Penn's life and legacy in Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania and the United States, keeps them educating others.
To read more "Celebration of History, visit SCOOP USA Media, November 8, 2019, page 15
Like the trunk of a Braided Ficus Tree, the community of Chester came together to honor the legacy of one of their own. The Chester Panthers new scoreboard was dedicated, in honor of former Coach and Mentor Shawn Atkins. Coach Atkins was a dedicated, compassionate, driven individual, a sports enthusiast who always gave his all and expected excellence from his team. The team remembered the lessons taught by their beloved coach and honored him in a manner befitting a Chester hero.
Many Chester City officials including our esteemed Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland were on hand for the dedication. The team showed their gratitude for the community that so graciously supported them, by giving plagues to those who donated.
Tracy Burns, Attorney at Law, one of the recipients of the Panthers thank you said, "25 years ago, Chester embraced me and gave me so much. When the team asked, I didn't hesitate." Other donors included Chester City Council, KC Electric, AJM Electrical, Foster's Funeral Home and Penn Home Health Care.
It takes a village and then some to accomplish these goals. Each person should take a lesson from this. Do whatever you can. Children are our most important resource and believe me, they appreciate any and all efforts.
To read more Domestic Violence Summit visit SCOOP USA Media, November 1, 2019, page 15
Health Partners, Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, Chester City Council and members of the Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., sponsored its Annual Food Giveaway in the Community Room of Chester City Hall. Judging the crowd, the event appeared to have been a grand success.
Residents arrived to the smiling faces and engaging personalities of the Health Partners Volunteer Fleet. Alumnae members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority were on hand to greet the attendees with charm and grace that shows their continued commitment to the City of Chester and Delaware County.
City officials and employees were on hand to assist residents with their bags. As for the residents who attended, you could see the smiles of gratitude on their faces and hear it in their voices, as they thanked the providers for their provisions.
To read more Domestic Violence Summit visit SCOOP USA Media, November 1, 2019, page 15
Speakers opened up and spoke about their experiences with domestic and gun violence. Citing statistics, former Mayor, Reverend John Linder, currently Co-Chair of Delco United for a Sensible Gun Policy, provided evidence that women are two times more likely to be victims of gun violence and more often than not, become fatalities. African American women are 10 times as likely to be victims of gun violence. Reverend Linder said, "An estimated 1.2 million guns are stolen, every year in our country."
Reverend Hilda Campbell, talked about the need to start changing the generational curses of violence, that have followed us since slavery. She spoke of the sadness in counseling youth, touched by violence. Reverend Campbell said, "We need to do better by our children."
Dr. Ted Sutton, PhD., delivered a compelling story of redemption. He offered himself as a primary example of how God, education and forgiveness can change the trajectory of anyone's life.
Latisha Adams now confined to a wheelchair told her story of years of abuse, making excuses and continually returning to her abuser. She's now free from her abuser and she now knows her true worth.
Michael Benson, Veronica's uncle, spoke about the power of forgiveness and it's healing power. "In spite of the pain, it's essential for a person to forgive to heal," said Mr. Benson.
To read more Domestic Violence Summit visit SCOOP USA Media, November 1, 2019, page 15
On Saturday, October 12, 2019, First Pentecostal Holy Church hosted a forum to address what residents should do in the event of a variety of emergencies. Though we all hope we'll never have to face such disastrous circumstances; the realities of our society today demand that we all be prepared for these unexpected events.
The Active Shooter Presentation was given by Officer Jose Alvarez. He outlined the do's and dont's, should citizens find themselves in such a situation. Rosetta Carter, Director of Community Health Education and Elder Michael Walker, Sr., of First Pentecostal Holy Church served as the Event Coordinators along with Pastor, Elder Vernadine Ellis who hosted forum.
Following a Continental Breakfast, Officer Jose Alvarez gave an extensive PowerPoint presentation on being prepared in the event an Active Shooter situation is encountered in a church, school or other public venue. He stressed the importance of being aware of your surroundings. This includes exits, people around you, and anything you can use as a defensive mechanism; should you need to do so. He also stressed, should you find yourself in such a situation; "Run, Hide, Call 911(when it's safe to do so) and Fight (only as a last resort)". The first priority is to SURVIVE. Officer Alvarez says, "Act as if your life depends on your survival; because it does." Always be prepared was the overall message. Don't be in denial, have a security plan. Keep facilities secure and strive for total members awareness. While awareness is key, members should also seek God's power, strength and protection through prayer.
Remarks following the Active Shooter Presentation were made by Chester Police Commissioner, Otis Blair. Commissioner Blair, addressed a full house saying, "please be aware that there will be significant police response with such an event and that officers will be on high alert, so their mannerisms may be somewhat gruff. They're trained to eliminate the threat to our safety."
Read More Chester News, ScoopUSA Media, October 18, 2019, page 17
Ron Starr is the confident young man whose vision and foresight was behind the humongous, lively carnival; enjoyed by Chester's residents at the end of the summer. I covered the event for the paper, and I was so thoroughly impressed by the strong, humble, tenacious, fearless young man I was compelled to find out more about him. I asked him to sit for this interview and he graciously accommodated me. I'd seen him around the city and while my brief interactions with him were always pleasant; his back story left me in awe. His drive, hardworking nature and genuine love and concern for Chester can be seen in all his endeavors.
After spending the better part of an hour conversing with Mr. Starr I found him engaging, attentive, empathetic and it became clear very early in our interview; that he's a problem solver. He thinks outside the box. He's a creative thinker; always open to new ideas and different visions. I got the impression that there's not a problem he considers unsolvable. It's that tenacious work ethic that he brings to his job as Chief of Staff, for Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland. He's been working in city government for eight years, having spent more than four years working in the legislature.
Read More Chester News, ScoopUSA Media, October 11, 2019, page 17
Food Matters is a program of Eastside Ministries, Inc., in collaboration with Crozier-Keystone Health Systems, Immaculata University, Shiloh Baptist Church, Harvin Foods and the City of Chester and is supported in part by donations from individuals and area churches. The program stresses the importance of the direct correlation between food and good health; particularly as people age. The program is a healthy eating initiative, focusing on residents 18 and older, diagnosed with diabetes and/or heart disease.
Read More Lorraine Lavender-Sams newspaper articles, Chester Community News, ScoopUSA Media, October 11, 2019, page 16
October is National Breast Cancer Month and the color pink is everywhere. Pink is the color that signifies support for breast cancer. It was positively bustling early last Saturday morning; as a brisk breeze blew off the calm waters of Chester's waterfront. Members of City Council, the Health Department, various staffers from other city departments and civic organizations gathered in support of eradicating this deadly disease. Dressed in the purple signature shirts of the city's "Let’s Move" initiative; everyone from the Director of the Health Department to Judges and even political candidates came together to walk and/or run in the hope of stomping out cancer. Strides are being made in the diagnostics and treatment of this disease; but, there's more to be accomplished.
This is an important event. The older you are, the higher your risk of breast cancer. Though women in their 20s can get breast cancer; African American and other women of color are more likely to get it at an early age, more likely to have it diagnosed later, rather than sooner, and are more likely to succumb to the disease.
Men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer and 1% of the male population has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Keeping all these facts in mind schedule your mammogram as soon as possible and take a friend along, as well. As they say, "Think Pink."
In spite of the damp blustery evening coupled with a busy day, the Chester City Fire Department opened its doors to the community. This event was held at the culmination of National "Fire Prevention Week."
Parents came out with young children in tow to support our first responders. Our heros didn't disappoint. Fire Prevention Officer, Kevin Postlewait was on hand with his son to talk about the importance of fire safety. Also, doing dual duty; passing out coloring books and crayons and serving up a tasty snack of Philly Soft Pretzels.
The Mentoring Group Generation of Destiny is making strides in assisting the youth of our community navigate pathways to adulthood.
The group meets every other Saturday at Life in Christ Cathedral of Faith Church, at 3012 West 3rd Street in Chester.
I was invited to sit in on one of the group's mentoring sessions, which I found informative, productive and extremely moving. This group provides a safe place for area youth to express their points of view and to talk about the pressures they face growing up in today's society.
The group's facilitators, Deacon Bernadette Morgan, Elder Robert Warring along with Leon and Valerie Hinson guide the discussions. This week the the group was graced with the presence of Officer David McClain of the Chester Police Department.
Read More Chester News, ScoopUSA Media, October 4, 2019, page 17
The Delaware County Pregnancy Center held its Annual Walk For Life Event on Saturday, September 28, 2019 in Chester Park. This event has been taking place in our community for over 45 years; having serviced the community since 1973. The Pregnancy Center was established by three OBGYN physicians, associated with Crozier Chester Medical Center and continues to provide confidential, free of charge services to Chester and surrounding communities. This was the 2nd consecutive year that the event was held in Chester Park.
Read More Chester News, ScoopUSA Media, October 4, 2019, page 17
Chester celebrated its communities on Saturday, September 28, 2019 in Veteran's Memorial Park. Several city, civic, service and community organizations came out to support and inform residents of the myriad of services available to them.
In attendance were Mrs. Jacqueline Martinez of Sound Community Solutions. Their organization provides assistance to returning citizens by providing jobs, clothing, counseling and other services; to help those returning to society to successfully reintegrate. Mrs. Tanya Warren, representing Eastside Ministries spoke about the many services they provide. Two of the key services that they provide are day care and after school programs.
Read More Chester News, ScoopUSA Media, October 4, 2019, page 17
Mr Greg Clemmons, a Contractor and Chester resident says, "My favorite person in Black History is the Reverend Al Sharpton because he addresses the underlying causes for a lot and exposes hidden agendas when confronting most topics
On completion of my examination, my physician informed me that all my yearly health screenings and my general checkup were good. He stood, shook my hand and told me I didn't need to return for a follow-up visit until the spring. My response was "Yay." My doctor smiled and as he departed the exam room he said, "Good to see you. I hope the next time I see you, there's a whole lot less of you."
Actually, I found it absolutely hilarious, because I knew he was right. So, one of my attainable goals for the year 2020 is to shed the pounds I've packed on throughout the past year. Intellectually, I realize I've used food as a coping mechanism during my grief journey; so, I'm prepared to deal with it.
Read more Question of the Week, SCOOP USA Media, January 10, 2020, page 17
With 2020 a new year is ushered in, as another decade passes into history.
In a society where everyone appears to lack humanity; I choose to believe that our society is going to be awash with human kindness. In a society where leaders seem to be increasingly more disingenuous, lacking any sense of decorum, relishing every opportunity to criticize, demonize and ostracize anything and anyone that is in disagreement with their point of view; causing divisions so vast, that many fail to see ways to close the divides. At times, they choose not to even try to negotiate the differences; resulting in violence, chaos and leaving populations feeling disenfranchised.
Read more Question of the Week, SCOOP USA Media, January 3, 2020, page 15
In the 15 month period since I buried my father, all of the traditions that I held dear have changed. I've spent most of that time attempting to develop a new normal, establishing new traditions and just gaining a new perspective, on who I am; now that my father and my bonus mom and the traditions we created together are no longer my reality.
I'm slowly and deliberately creating new traditions and making every effort to embrace the people and opportunities placed in my path. Change is constant and inevitable; so, if there's any tradition I'm looking forward to this Holiday season, it's the tradition of change.
Read more Question of the Week, SCOOP USA Media, December 27, 2019, page 15
Technology is king and the majority of the population has embraced it; however, there are times when technology, regardless of how efficient, is no substitute for face to face interaction.
For example, there are some business exchanges that I feel require the personal touch. I like it when someone greets me with a pleasant good morning. I like having a human being handle my bank transactions. I absolutely find it comforting to look that doctor in the eye when discussing a medical issue as opposed to discussing the issue via email Or video chat. It appears that everything is done on an online platform and as time goes on, I fear society will lose the warmth and personal touch that goes along with face to face-to-face interaction.
Read more Question of the Week, SCOOP USA Media, December 20, 2019, page 15
In an era where many brick and mortar stores are closing and online shopping has become the norm; this writer still prefers to make a trip to a store. Sure there are products that I'll purchase online; however, it's been my experience that the quality of products offered by many online retailers is substandard. Mainly, I stick to retailers whose products I'm familiar with, whose return policies are flexible and from whom I receive quality products. A favorite of mine is Old Navy. I did once order a new remote off eBay and only because I couldn't find it elsewhere.
What I like most about going to the store to shop, is the people I meet. I've engaged in the most interesting conversations and met the nicest folks while shopping. I find it so fun and just utterly rewarding
Read more Question of the Week, SCOOP USA Media, December 13 2019, page 15
I was never one to turn off my phone except for when I was in meetings or places where devices weren't allowed. Lately, I've found that I look forward to unplugging with a particular delight. My father is no longer here and my mother is pretty much self sufficient, so I no longer need to be plugged into my devices 24/7. The silence and sitting alone with my thoughts and emotions allows me to better function. So yes, I unplug from my phone. That's what voice mail is for. There are times, even with Bluetooth that I unplug when driving. It's healthy. We all should try it.
Read more Question of the Week, SCOOP USA Media, December 6, 2019, page 15
I find it difficult to wrap my head around Christmas decorations in October. Thought I'd get that out there first.
When I was in my youth, people kind of built up to the Christmas Holiday. First there was Halloween, you got your bag full of candy and you attempted to stretch it; putting aside little treats to save for later, hoping they'd last until Thanksgiving when you'd share the ultimate feast with your family. After that sumptuous feast, then the preparations for Christmas began in ernest. There wasn't any such thing as leaving The family Thanksgiving dinner to stand in line to catch a sale. The decorations were pulled out the day after Thanksgiving; while we the family gathered together again to devour the leftovers. Wreaths were hung, lights were untangled and all manner of decorations were retrieved from storage, dusted off and the house was transformed into a magical palace. Depending on wether your tree was real or artificial; you went out and got your tree, hauled it home or took it out of its storage area and put it together.
To view more "Question of the Week" View SCOOP USA Media, November 29, 2019, page 14
I had to really do some thinking about what dish I was looking forward to for the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to food and I enjoy cooking. No, I'm mean I enjoy cooking. I get a distinct pleasure from preparing a meal from scratch. From a very young child, the kitchen has been and continues to be my happy place. I was always in the kitchen with my daddy and my grandmothers. Neither my mother nor my bonus mom were outstanding cooks; but, each had other skills that they passed down to me.
To view more "Question of the Week" View SCOOP USA Media, November 22, 2019
Mr. John Kearney says "I enjoy celebrating with the Veterans here in the City of Chester".
Councilman. William Al Jacobs, himself a Veteran, states "He's spent the last 8 years celebrating Veteran's Day at the Thanksgiving Day Veteran's Luncheon at Chester City Hall. "I really enjoy it," he said.
To view more "Question of the Week" View SCOOP USA Media, November 15, 2019
Vote. You can't change anything you don't like or make a difference if you do not vote. Please don't complain if you can't be troubled to cast your ballot.
As a young girl, I remember my parents always working at the polls long into the evening, when it was election time. I remember holding my daddy's hand as he went to play with the knobs and buttons on those huge machines. I was to young then to understand how these machines could make any difference. You see, I was a child of the 60's.
Those experiences along with those remarks my parents made to me regarding voting, stayed with me. I'm proud to say, I don't let an election pass without casting my ballot. I'm aware of those who were subjected to physical violence and worse just because they dared to exercise their right to vote. I wouldn't think about not voting. It would dishonor their legacies if I did not cast my ballot.
To view more "Question of the Week" View SCOOP USA Media, November 8, 2019, page 15
How much does character matter? In today's society it appears to matter very little and is lessening as time goes by. I, however see character as the very core of who you are as a human being. You're not born with it. It's a learned component. I thank God daily for his grace and my parents (both sets) for a set of principles; with which I attempt to navigate through life. I was taught the value of being the best person you can be, by men and women who were the best people they could be always. Character will always be important to me.
To read more Question of the Week view SCOOP USA Media, November 1, 2019, page 15
I believe it's important to know who you're living with and around. It's nothing to do with minding someone else's business; but, more to do with community. The late Gloria Vanderbilt once quoted and she said, "We were put on this earth to look after one another; not to look past one another." This is one of the truer statements that I've heard, in my lifetime.
Does this mean that you have to be in and out of your neighbor's home one a daily basis or that you're a permanent fixture on the sofa, remote in hand (a bit extreme)?
No. It simply means you should know who's living next door, above or below you. I think one should know their neighbors by sight and be able to call them by name. I know my neighbors by sight, can call them by name and no, I'm not a constant visitor in their homes. However, I feel it's my responsibility to know who they are, how they're doing and if I can assist in any way.
Read more Question of the Week, SCOOP USA Media, October 25, 2019, page 17
When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, I'll bet he had no idea of how his invention would change the way we communicated with the world. Yes, I'm sure he believed that we'd be able to speak to our friends and relatives in other cities--maybe even people in other countries. I doubt that he would've envisioned a world in which his invention was continually tweaked to a point where it became the primary mode of communication for nations around the world. But, it's done just that.
Advances in technology allow us to reach out and touch another person with the touch of a button. Youth have the ability to voice or video call, text, direct message, post whatever they want on social media. Telephones, along with the internet and social media sites give us access to information on a level that may have astounded and pleased Mr. Bell (or saddened him).
Read more Question of the Week, SCOOP USA Media, October 18, 2019, page 17
In spectacular fashion, Chester's Health Department has led the charge in informing the city's residents about health risk; and more importantly, about the wide range of benefits available to them. In an effort to bring services and providers to the citizens of Chester, Ms. Rosetta Carter, Director of Community Health Education, has held events at multiple venues throughout Chester.
These events are designed to provide health information to the residents of our community, who have transportation issues and for whom traveling is a hardship. Keeping the venues in the city and close surrounding areas has meant many of Chester's residents received lifesaving health information.
Read More Chester News, ScoopUSA Media, September 20, 2019, page 16
Chester is the only city in Delaware County. It's also the smallest and the first city. These are facts often overlooked. Being small means a few things. The first is that most of our citizens know one another and/or our families. Second, we're a close knit community with strong loyalties and deep connections to one another.
These first two things are a part of what makes this city what it is. Because of our size, the citizens have the good fortune to know our government, civic and business leaders (many on a first name basis). Added good fortune and grace has given us leaders who are approachable, engaging and always willing to help and/or answer our questions. At least that's always been my experience. And guess what? I can be like a bulldog with a bone; particularly when I want answers. Most of all, it means Chester is sort of under the microscope--- in a manner of speaking. Everything done here is examined more closely than it would be in a larger city or municipality.
Read More Chester News, ScoopUSA Media, September 20, 2019, page 16
The Boys and Girls Club of Chester held a workshop on Friday, September 20, 2019 in the Community Room at Chester City Hall. The workshop was open to Pastors, Youth Ministry Leaders, Drug and Alcohol Ministries, Leaders from all faiths and various Civic Organizations.
Angela Da Re, a Certified Substance Abuse Specialist with over 20 years of experience and Jessica Fielding, a Project Director for her local prevention coalition; with 12 years of experience were the workshop's facilitators.
Remarks made by Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland made clear the necessity and importance of the involvement of not only our faith communities; but, also the involvement of ordinary citizens, to assist in the prevention of youth violence.
Read More Chester News, ScoopUSA Media, September 27, 2019, page 16
Thaddeus Kirkland along with his esteem team hosted the second annual State of the City Address, on Friday, May 31, 2019.
Talen Energy Stadium, home to the Philadelphia Union Soccer Team, graciously hosted the event. Mayor Kirkland started his remarks by thanking and acknowledging City Council members, the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, the Police and Fire Commissioners; as well as, the various other organizations and businesses that accounted for the success of the city's endeavors.
The highlights of Mayor Kirkland's speech were the decrease in homicides and violent crimes, made possible by a Police Department almost fully staffed.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, June 7, 2019
Father's Day 2019 is Sunday and I'm faced with the stark reality, that this is my first Father's Day without my dad. I so miss his physical presence in my life though I feel his spiritual presence on a daily basis. Yes, I am beyond any shadow of doubt; a self confessed 'Daddy's Girl.' As any daddy's girl will tell you; my daddy was the best daddy in the entire world. There was no other daddy like mine. I'm no exception in this belief and believe it I do; to the very core of my being. Every child should have that feeling about their father. Father's touch our lives in such pivotal ways. This holds true for all children; but, I think especially so for girls. I can only testify to this from the female point of view. The presence of a father in a daughter's life really does shape her perspective of the world and the people she'll encounter traveling the road of life. It's definitely made my view of the world much broader than it would've been; had I not been my father's daughter.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, June 14, 2019
In this season of proms and graduations as children prepare for summer break; it's a good time to shine a light on the early education of our children. Education is the mitigating factor that shapes the direction and often changes the trajectory of many young lives.
I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Graduation Ceremony of the Kindergarten Class of 2019, at Stetser School. Stetser's Kindergarten 'Move Up' Ceremony was a motivating occasion that left students with a strong sense of their accomplishments and parents full of pride. There was a large parental presence at this stellar event and all of the young graduates were in rare form. Ms. Elaine Gunderway said, 'Both of my sons attended Stetser. The principal and the teachers are excellent. They take the time for the students.' Ms. Gunderway's son Raymond Jackson was among the delightful young graduates and her older son, John Jackson, 3rd is a second grader.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, June 21, 2019
Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, City Council and Ms. Rosetta Carter, Director of Community Health Education for the City of Chester, hosted the 6th Annual Father's Day Brunch at City Hall in the Community Room, on Saturday, June 15, 2019. Sharing hosting duties were Glenn Ellis broadcasting live on WURD Radio 96.1 AM. Mr. Ellis is a well known writer, lecturer, consultant and medical ethicist; who regularly participates in city health events. This important event didn't just just celebrate fathers; it put a serious focus on the health of fathers (and the sons that will one day be fathers). Dr. Christopher Hannum, MD a long time Chester physician; was in attendance. Dr. Hannum discussed the importance of men getting annual checkups and engaging in a dialogue with their physicians; so that medical issues can be diagnosed early and treated. Prostate Cancer remains a major concern and early detection is key. The gentlemen engaged in honest discussion on their experiences with the disease. Councilman Calvin Bernard of Chester Township shared how early detection and honest dialog with his doctor was instrumental in his recovery.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, June 21, 2019
Scoop Media outlet, under the leadership of Ms. Sherri Horsey Darden; is rebranding. In past it was known primarily as a Tavern paper; which catered mostly to bars and taverns. A weekly publication; the paper has always published articles featuring members of the communities it serves and put a spotlight on social and economic issues facing those areas. It's with this in mind that I stress the importance of community involvement. Community based publications are the lifeblood of neighborhoods; and in many cases, the only newspaper that some residents read in any given week. As with Scoop, most community publications are free of charge. This is beneficial to the communities in that the things affecting the people who live in the neighborhoods and surrounding areas are well informed.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, June 28, 2019
Free black community print publications are quickly becoming more difficult to locate. This means that news that matters to communities in dire need of the information these publications disiminate, aren't being made aware of what's happening in the neighborhoods once served by these papers. This is occurring for a variety of reasons.
Media conglomerates are gobbling up smaller news outlets; leaving smaller news outlets struggling for survival. Community Publications that used to focus solely on neighborhoods and neighborhood events find themselves in competition with larger media outlets; covering those stories for major news outlets that used to not cover those minor events. With the competitiveness in news today any story that'll garner a front page headline is fair game.
Over the past few decades print media has taken a backseat to the internet; with all manner of social media platforms supplying 24-hour news. It matters not the validity or source of the news; it appears that all that's important is that it was on the internet, Facebook, Twitter, Google or some other media platform. Citizens don't have to go beyond their computers, smartphones or other devices to have news at their disposal instantaneously. Technology is great and extremely useful; however, what about those citizens who are not able to afford this technology or to whom technology isn't available? What about that segment of the senior population whom aren't technologically savvy? Those who are hardwired to getting their news from newspapers. Even with the popularity of technology; I can tell you of more than a dozen or more people who still read print publications daily. My father read four national newspapers daily as well as all of the community publications that were available. I in turn; follow suit. It's how many marginalized citizens know what's going on in the world where they live and beyond.
The only free print media publications that I'm aware of at this time besides Scoop Media are Chester Matters and Town Talk. That is not to say that there aren't other free community oriented publications out there; but, these are the ones that I've observed being accessible to the Chester community. Chester Matters is due to put out its first print edition since 2018 and has primarily been an online publication. Town Talk is consistent; but, rarely if ever spotlights any news about Chester.
Scoop Media has been a constant weekly publication in the city since 1960. It continues to inform the communities it serves with news affecting those areas. Always mindful to keep the needs of communities in mind and ever conscience of lesser served populations; Scoop Media has served the tri-state area for near 60 years and is free of charge to public.
Yes print publications definitely still have a place in our communities, neighborhoods ----our society and we should do all we can to support such publications.
ScoopUSA Media, July 5, 2019 page 13
Our parents are initially the two most important people in any person's life. They're the reason for our existence. They gave us life and we look to them; for our sustenance and our very survival from birth and as we mature. Things taught to us by our parents become an integral part of us; shaping who we are as children and as adults.
This is an important question; especially if you're a young impressionable child. A child looking for love, self acceptance--a place where you fit in. You're constantly searching for somewhere to belong and someone, anyone to accept you for who you are.
Society tends to label and compartmentalize many of those young people. This only heightens the problem; further exacerbating issues and situations that could very well have far reaching consequences; long into the future. There are times when it's beneficial to look at past family dynamics when determining what's helpful now--in the present. People, all people are products of their environments. A person can change your behavior, your attire, your residence, and your general circumstances overall; but, still what's been taught, learned and experienced in the nurturing years will remain.
I've seen the wreckage that remains when the parents fail their young. I've glimpsed the pain and suffering that emerges when generational curses are passed from one generation to another; allowing for misguided myths to continue guiding future generations down a path of destruction.
I've also witnessed the healing and the healthy future rewards that await those who toss aside those generations of old legacies that bog a person down; restricting their ability to move forward.
Not everyone is gifted with a nurturing spirit and I've always felt that those gifted with nurturing spirits are among the most gifted of humanity. Educators, medical professionals and clergy are just some professions touched with the gift of a nurturing spirit. Mothers and fathers are a child's first exposure to nurturing spirits. How we care for our children is important and has a lasting effect on future development. The basics of their core values are shaped through the intense bond formed with loving parents.
If the parents are loving and kind the child learns empathy. If the parents are hard and cruel the child learns bullying behavior. And so on.
I'd encourage everyone, blessed to be a parent or not, to make every effort not to fail our youth. Uplift them always, because what we pass to them; they will pass to future generations.
Scoop USA Media July 12, 2019 page 13
The Chester Chaplains are extending an open invitation to all Faith Leaders and all members of our community to come out and join together in prayer. This is an opportunity to commune with your neighbors, discuss concerns with community leaders, interact with members of the community you're not familiar with or wouldn't ordinarily see on a daily basis. In speaking with many of the members of this city; I've found that a vast majority (especially milenials) don't know who their neighbors are. Above all it's a time to offer and share prayers with our growing changing community.
I've found that as long as prayer is at the forefront; every other thing falls into place. In my conversations with many of my neighbors, quite a few have questioned the reasoning for praying instead of action. In my opinion we require both prayer and action. I see it as our prayers stirring us to create actions and spur ideas, that propell us to succeed in making our communities strong and viable. This is important in a world where we're becoming increasingly desensitized to the needs of others. "I'm blessed" and "God is good" have become the catch phrases of the day. People regurgitate them with no thought to the true meaning.
Our community appears to be headed in an upward direction. Seems to me a steady stream of prayer and positive action can only be an added dividend.
Actually, I'm really looking forward to meeting some of you at this event. It'll be an opportunity to hear the positive stories and memories from my Chester City neighbors. And above all, I look forward to offering and sharing prayers for a city on the rise.
Community Prayer Vigil will be held every Thursday in August, starting on August 1, 2019 and ending on August 29, 2019 at 6:30 pm. All are welcome. Look for announcement in coming issues. Mark your calendars.
Read More Chester News, ScoopUSA Media, July 26, 2019 page 13
It seems to me that every morning the news broadcast the story of another death; due to someone's use of a gun. Americans have had a long and storied history with firearms. This history dates back to the establishment of this country. History dates the use of the first firearm around the year 1364. It's said Christopher Columbus came to America in the 15th century; making his Farwell to the indigenous inhabitants, by firing a gun from one of the port windows of the Santa Maria. The native populist of America knew nothing about firearms until the arrival of the colonials landed in 1607. As with Columbus, the early settlers and the those who have followed; firearms became their first choice in weapons.
That brings us to the 21st century and the epidemic rates at which people are dying or being maimed by someone using a gun. More often than not today it appears people reach for a gun to settle even the most minuté of disputes. This is becoming more evident as we lose more and more children to gun violence.
Youths are dying at rates unseen in centuries prior and this is especially true of African American and Latino youth. Just this past week I've heard about four shootings; the victims were children in those four killings. How much more of this senseless slaughter of innocents are we to accept? How many more parents will face the grief and the miserable task of burying their young? As a nation and community we have to ask ourselves what responsibility we share in this violence. The sound of our silence is paid for in blood---the blood of of children. And, make no mistake about it a fourteen year old is still just a child; though, society may see them as young women or men. They're still children. The children of mothers and fathers whose grief will never be assuaged. Everywhere there are makeshift memorials of candles and teddy bears marking the spot where some young person--someone's child had their promise snuffed out at the point of a gun.
See Chester News, Scoop USA Media, August 2, 2019, page 13
On Sunday afternoon, I had the absolute and distinct pleasure of being in attendance at a networking event that was not only impressive; but, very awe inspiring. It was an all "White Affair" with all of those who attended fashionably dressed in an array of white ensembles.
Certainly the attire was spectacular; but, all the attendees were much more so.
Unfortunately, due to a prior commitment; I was unable to stay for the panel of speakers. I did however make the rounds and spoke with a number of the young entrepreneurs; each one more impressive than the next. This event was put together by young people from our community, in our community. It's refreshing to observe the dedication that this group of young people brought to their various crafts. I applaud their willingness to openly share their experiences with one another.
I was thoroughly impressed with a budding young entrepreneur named, Cianni Dawkins; who'd made the trip from South Philadelphia, to network with her peers. Ms. Dawkins is eighteen years old and has known since she was fifteen years old that baking was her passion. She's been pursuing that passion since then. She shared with me photos of her creations to date. She's waiting for her website to be completed in the next month and is excited about her prospective success. I've no doubt she'll be a stellar success.
Read More Chester News, Scoop USA Media, August 2, 2019, page 13
I'm literally one month away from the one year anniversary of my father's passing. Yes, this past year has been trying and tumultuous since I lost daddy. In that same span of time; I've lost two others that were very close to me. The losses, grief and search for understanding have been frightening and debilitating at times. I thought the tears would never cease and that emptiness was bound to become a permanent companion.
As the days weeks and months go on (as time does); I am finding my center again. My strength is returning. The roots of my faith are deepening. Though, I've no idea what the future holds for me; I've hope and my faith----well it'll suffice to say it's stronger than ever. Yes, things have changed in my life. There's a new normal.
This brings me to one of the many things that have brought me to this point in my life ---- the encouragement of others. The encouragement and understanding of my sister, my niece and nephews, friends, neighbors, acquaintances and even strangers have helped me to this place in my life.
I can't talk about the encouragement I received without acknowledging how much a part women, members of my civic community and our city's political community have assisted me in my healing.
Thank you to each and every person. It doesn't matter if it's a smile, a hug, a prayer, a gentle touch, a gesture, a kind word or a text, phone call or email. It all helped and was equally appreciated.
In a world where everything is so polarizing and many people lack the ability to empathize with others; I was blessed and honored to have the encouragement of so many in my community. This is a definite indication of what Chester is and who its citizens are.
My grandmother used to say, "If you're not going to say anything nice; don't say anything at all." She was absolutely correct.
Paraphrasing the lyrics to one of my favorite songs; I say, "Human kindness is overflowing and I think it's gonna rain today."
Encouraging one another on a daily basis should be ingrained in our DNA. It should automatically trigger our moral compass to reach out to someone whose hurting---- to build someone up instead of tearing them down.
So, reach out and encourage another person today. Spread some human kindness in the world.
Read More Chester News, ScoopUSA Media, August 30, 2019, page 13