05-22-2018  5:08 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

3 killed in Vancouver vehicle crash identified

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County Medical's Examiner's Office has identified three men killed in a vehicle crash in Vancouver.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 24-year-old Tabo Naveta, 27-year-old Akiki Kintin and 27-year-old Kenson Cheipot, all from Vancouver, died from injuries...

Springfield settles lawsuit with fired dispatcher for K

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The city of Springfield has agreed to pay ,000 to settle a 2014 lawsuit by a dispatcher who said she was wrongly fired after accusing officers of inappropriate conduct.The Register-Guard reported Sunday that a joint statement from the city and the former dispatcher,...

3 killed in Vancouver vehicle crash identified

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County Medical's Examiner's Office has identified three men killed in a vehicle crash in Vancouver.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 24-year-old Tabo Naveta, 27-year-old Akiki Kintin and 27-year-old Kenson Cheipot, all from Vancouver, died from injuries...

Seattle, family reach M settlement for deadly crash

SEATTLE (AP) — The family of a couple killed in 2013 by a drunk driver has settled with the city of Seattle for million.KOMO-TV reported Monday that the family of Dennis and Judy Schulte settled with the city last month.Prosecutors say Mark Mullan was drunk when his pickup hit the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Black man ordered to pay [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 for racist campus graffiti

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A former Eastern Michigan University student who admitted to painting racist graffiti on campus has been ordered to pay more than [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 in restitution.The Ann Arbor News reports 29-year-old Eddie Curlin learned his punishment Monday after earlier pleading guilty to...

China sentences Tibetan activist to 5 years for separatism

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese judge sentenced a Tibetan shopkeeper to five years in prison on Tuesday for inciting separatism, based on his comments in a New York Times documentary in which the man talked about the erosion of his culture and language in the tightly secured region.Tashi Wangchuk's...

Voters choose nominees in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Texas

ATLANTA (AP) — Four states will cast ballots Tuesday as the 2018 midterm elections take shape. Voters in Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky hold primaries, while Texans settle several primary runoffs after their first round of voting in March. Some noteworthy story lines:IN THIS #METOO MIDTERM,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Sony buys most of EMI Music, to spend B on image sensors

TOKYO (AP) — Electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. said Tuesday it plans to spend [scripts/homepage/home.php].3 billion acquiring an additional 60 percent stake in EMI Music Publishing, home to the Motown catalog and contemporary artists like Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams.Sony already owns...

At Cannes, a #MeToo upheaval up and down the Croisette

CANNES, France (AP) — Fifty years after filmmakers shut down the Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious Cote d'Azur extravaganza was again shook by upheaval.From the start to the finish, the 71st Cannes was dominated by protest and petition for gender equality, culminating in the...

Despite Spotify change, R. Kelly's streams still intact

NEW YORK (AP) — Streaming numbers for R. Kelly have remained intact a week after Spotify announced it had removed the R&B singer's music from its playlists, citing its new policy on hate content and hateful conduct.Spotify made the bold declaration on May 10, but R. Kelly's streaming...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

All tied up: LeBron's 44 helps Cavs even series with Celtics

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James knows the path to the NBA Finals better than anyone in today's game.And...

Experts disclose new details about 300-year-old shipwreck

BOSTON (AP) — A Spanish galleon laden with gold that sank to the bottom of the Caribbean off the coast of...

Palestinians ask ICC for 'immediate' probe against Israel

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Calling it a "historic step" toward justice, the Palestinian foreign minister...

Economists see potential nightmare in new Italian government

MILAN (AP) — The prospect of a populist government in Italy, the eurozone's third-largest economy, has...

The Latest: Explosion kills 16 in Afghan city of Kandahar

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on developments in Afghanistan (all times local):4 p.m.An Afghan...

Syrian army, police celebrate recapturing all of Damascus

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces raised their flag over the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus on...

Saeed Shabazz the Final Call

(Special to the NNPA from The Final Call) – A handful of free Black men and women led by an ex-slave named Jack Moss settled along the rich bio-diverse region of Southwest Louisiana in the late 1800s, and created the town of Mossville, covering 5.4 square miles. In its heyday, Mossville boasted of being home to over 3,000 families; today there are a mere 310 families left.

Mossville has been destroyed by petro-chemical industries such as polyvinyl chloride factories, coal-fired power plants and large oil refineries, according to residents.

"We were happy in Mossville, where we could escape the hostilities of racism," explained Dorothy Felix, 74. "This was our little town—it was the place to be—the way life should be; families were families, and we all shared with everyone," Ms. Felix told The Final Call.

We were proud of what our forefathers did for us, she said.

"In Lake Charles and the surrounding areas, you had plenty of wild game, fishing, wild fruits and berries; you could live off the land," stated Delma Bennett, 69, who moved to Mossville 40 years ago. However, he told The Final Call that the last 35-years have been a living hell, because of the petro-chemical plants.

We are now surrounded by 14 of those plants and refineries, and their dioxins have a bad effect on human beings, Mr. Bennett said. "The dioxins, a lot of which goes into the water; we would eat the fish—people started coming up with respiratory problems—children had birth defects," he explained.

 "After a while we noticed that the dioxins had entered our food supply, because they would seem to mix in the air; and every so often there would be explosions that made the dioxin levels worse," Mr. Bennett explained.

He said that his wife became ill three years ago. "I almost lost her, and they still can't tell me what's wrong with her," he laments.

Ms. Felix and Mr. Bennett belong to MEAN (Mossville En­viron­mental Action Now); Ms. Felix is the organization's president. "It was devastating to see our friends and neighbors dying—people in their 30s—the government agencies were telling us that it wasn't the plants killing our people; it was social issues," Ms. Felix noted.

"The corporations govern us and most of the local politicians work at the plants; so we organized ourselves and started fighting back," Mr. Bennett said.

"Go there and you can see for yourself the demise of this once thriving, self-sustaining Black community," states Michele Roberts, organizer for the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Justice and Health Alliance. I have been working with the people of Mossville since 2007, and they are clearly on the frontline of the 'Environmental Injustice' that permeates working poor communities and communities of color across the U.S., she explained to The Final Call.

"Did you know that the federal Environmental Protection Agency has recently de-regulated trash burning to allow tons of plastics and other toxic waste to be burned in coal plants and cement kilns?" Ms. Roberts asked. She argues that this will further exacerbate the air quality problems in Mossville.

"Mossville is the poster child for 'Environmental Racism' and Environmental Injustice' that's what makes it so unique," argues Dr. Robert Bullard, Ph.D., Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland school of Public Affairs at Texas Southern Univ. in Houston, Texas.

What is happening in Mossville is so egregious; we had to take the issue before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Bullard who is a world renowned advocate for communities affected by environmental injustice issues told The Final Call.

Attorney Monique Harden, co-director for the New Orleans-based Advocates for Environmental Human Rights explained to The Final Call that MEAN filed in March 2005 a petition before the Washington, D.C.-based Interim American Commission of Human Rights at the Organization of American States to have the U.S. brought up on charges of violating the human rights of the people of Mossville.

"I have been working in Mossville since 1996. In 1998-1999 the Centers for Disease Control tested the air and said the dioxin level was three times higher in Mossville than the rest of the nation," she said, adding, "We found out that this level of pollution was legal according to the EPA."

In 2009, the EPA concluded that the drinking water from the Mossville community "did not pose a health risk to the residents." However, the government agency confirmed the public drinking water system in Mossville "needed quality improvements."

In 2010, the EPA conducted a comprehensive sampling in and around Mossville to determine if the area would be eligible for the National Priority List, which is a 'Super Fund' cleanup program.

The agency reported in Jan. 2011 that it did not find elevated levels of chemicals; therefore, Mossville did not qualify for the program.

Ms. Harden said in March 2010, the OAS commission agreed that it was the correct jurisdiction by which to file their petition, and they would hear the Mossville case. "No date for the hearing has been established," she noted.

The petition asks that the polluters be named in the request for remedies and relief; a relocation program; better health care facilities; a cleanup of polluted areas; a reduction in the pollution; and to change the current system by raising the standards.

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