evvnt partners with London Technology Week #LTW

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, October 6, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — London-based marketing specialist evvnt today announced its strategic partnership with London Tech Week, managed by Informa. evvnt are opening up their event marketing toolkit to all 300+ hosts of LTW holding events across London between 12 – 16th June 2017.

evvnt.com’s ‘single submission’ event marketing technology offers a simple and effective solution for event exposure, syndicating content out to an aggregated network of listing sites. Using an intelligent event algorithm publisher sites are targeted based on an event’s location and category. The partnership with LTW is offering an account to all hosts over the week to reach a bigger audience on what is set to be an exciting week for London’s vibrant tech scene.

Caroline Shirley, Marketing Director at KNect365, Informa stated “We wanted to incorporate London-based technology companies and evvnt’s offering to publish and distribute our host events on to 45+ event listing sites to ensure each event had it’s very own marketing campaign was ideal.”

evvnt CEO & Founder Richard Green went on to say, “we wanted to give each host of LTW events a real boost this year with a unique event marketing campaign. With our tech submitting 300+ LTW events to 45+ listing sites, we’re generating 13,500 pieces of content on the web practically overnight, making it easy for LTW attendees to quickly find the events they want to attend indexed in natural search, and across their favourite listing sites”.

The evvnt ‘Submit Once, Promote Everywhere’ technology is widely used across the global event industry and an example of an event report can be seen below – How It works .

Testimonial from Edward Wall

evvnt has been exceptional in boosting our listing presence for our London events. It’s been extremely powerful and the service has been amazing.

Edward Ward – London Manager @ Le Wagon

Notes to editors:

About evvnt – evvnt enables people all over the world to fill their events utilising the most effective event listing sites on the web. Every minute, with little more than a click, more local events appear in listings, in search engines and on mobile – discoverable by both category and location. With next to no effort customers of evvnt get better attendance, while consumers find events they previously had no idea existed. To date customers in 130 countries worldwide have seen their events published on 4,000+ event listing sites, and generated 2+ million clicks to ticketing and registration pages.

Find out more: https://www.evvnt.com/
Twiiter – https://twitter.com/evvnt

About London Tech Week – London Tech Week is a festival of live events across the city, showcasing and celebrating the best of tech whilst providing networking, social, learning and business opportunities. New for 2017, KNect365 joins forces with London & Partners and Tech London Advocates to bring you a mega-tech festival; connecting science and creative minds, corporates and grass roots, startups and scale ups. London Tech Week fuels innovation and strengthens London’s status as a global powerhouse of tech.

Find out more – https://londontechweek.com/
Host Sign Up – https://londontechweek.com/host-an-event/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ldntechweek

Additional Resources
Media Relations
T: +44 20 7323 0450
E: marketing@evvnt.com
W : www.evvnt.com

Brand Guidelines – We have created a brand guidelines page with logos, photos and information to ensure the brand is correctly represented – please take a look – http://evvnt.com/brand-guidelines

evvnt Ltd
17A Newman Street
London, W1T 1PD
United Kingdom

Richard Green
email us here

Gold and Gems Fine Jewelry Launches a New Brand of Diamond Alternative

Oregon jeweler introduces TRU-Hybrid – an exclusive brand of simulated diamonds for price sensitive, eco-conscious consumers.

We’re excited about our new brand of simulated diamonds representing the best of all worlds to consumers – a beautiful jewel with diamond-like qualities that is highly affordable and warranty-backed.”

— Ron Hansen

ASHLAND, OR, UNITED STATES, October 5, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — Ron Hansen, Vice President of Operations for Gold and Gems Fine Jewelry, announced today the launch of TRU-Hybrid, an exclusive brand of simulated diamonds with unparalleled likeness to high-quality mined diamonds, sold at prices representing a small fraction of mined diamond prices.

In the jewelry business for over 30 years, Gold and Gems has become known as an authority on diamonds and a pioneer in the high-growth industry of diamond alternatives. TRU-Hybrid represents its latest venture, which was preceded by DIAMELIA™ launched last year, each brand with unique distinctions in the world of diamond alternatives.

After spending a few successful years in lab grown diamonds (genuine diamonds made in a laboratory), the company embarked in diamond alternatives through its DIAMELIA™ gem, which is comprised of carbon, the same element of the mined diamond, plus silicon carbide. These two combined substances form the gem known as moissanite, and DIAMELIA™ represents the highest end of moissanite quality in the jewelry market today.

The DIAMELIA™ brand then led to the creation of TRU-Hybrid – a diamond simulant with its own unique properties and even lower price points. Unlike moissanite, the TRU-Hybrid jewel combines hardened man-made crystals with actual diamond (carbon) through a process known as IDI – Ionic Diamond Infusion. The result is a non-porous, extremely hard jewel with excellent luster and color like that of the finest mined diamond.

Because the TRU-Hybrid jewel is made in a clean, high-tech lab, it is eco-friendly, unlike mined diamonds that are extracted from the earth often at the expense of disrupting land and water resources and exploiting human labor in remote, economically challenged areas of Africa. In addition, TRU-Hybrid invests portions from each purchase to the citizens of Rwanda through Food for the Hungry.

And most notably, TRU-Hybrid jewels are priced 98% lower than comparable mined diamonds, making them very affordable to most consumers, and they are backed with a lifetime warranty.

About Gold & Gems Fine Jewelry
In the jewelry business for 34 years, the Hansen family has succeeded in retail jewelry on one basic principle – focus on the customer as much as the product. This Oregon-based jeweler has satisfied thousands of customers by providing high quality jewelry at competitive prices with extraordinary customer service. Whether you visit their physical store front in beautiful Ashland, Oregon or shop online at www.goldandgems.com, www.diamondalternatives.com or www.tru-hybrid.com, they are committed to providing an exceptional customer experience. Providing internationally recognized brand name designs, as well as custom designs made in the USA, the Hansen family and their personable staff understand that jewelry is truly a people business and therefore strive to make buying jewelry from them an experience that is both gratifying and memorable.

Ronald W. Hansen
Gold & Gems Fine Jewelry
(888) 389-0889
email us here

Tru-Hybrid – Tru-Love

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Last-Minute Plans: 70 Free, Cheap & Easy Things To Do In Seattle This Weekend: Oct 6-8, 2017

Celebrate fall foliage at the Seattle Japanese Garden’s Maple Viewing Festival, which starts this weekend. Courtesy of the Seattle Japanese Garden

Panicking because you haven’t yet made plans for the weekend and you’re short on cash? Don’t worry—below, find all of your options for last-minute entertainment that won’t cost more than $10, ranging from the closing weekend of Daniel Minter: Carvings and a Maple Viewing Festival to the Depressed Cake Shop and a Tom Petty tribute show. For even more options, check out our complete Things To Do calendar.

Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play.

Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday



1. Meaningful Movies: Tickling Giants
Meaningful Movies presents a documentary on the brave, very funny, and staggeringly popular Egyptian satirist Dr. Bassem Youssef, whom you may have seen as a guest on the Jon Stewart-era Daily Show. Youssef’s TV show, Al-Bernameg, poked cheeky fun at President Mohammed Morsi, leading to the comedian’s arrest warrant for allegedly “insulting Islam” and the politician.
(University District, free)

2. October Movie Series
Spend your Fridays leading up to Halloween watching Shelley Duvall, Sandra Bullock, Bette Midler, and others in classic spooky flicks. Tonight, it’s Practical Magic.
(Pioneer Square, $8)


3. C Average, the Grindylow, Scorpiknox, Skullbot
Dig this primo lineup of headbangery for this eve’s hesh sesh! Okay, it’s not enough that Oly faves C Average are bringing Frelard their crushing, metallic-ized math rock, but there is a PILE of heavy locals set to blow the actual substation into bits! Right, the Grindylow—who consist of Blöödhag longhairs—play heavy rock and roll, Scorpiknox are proper Seattle metalheads, and Skullbot offer cool rock rave-ups. I can only imagine the sweat, beer, and weed stank level in the air at tonight’s end… oh, and the sore necks tomorrow.  MIKE NIPPER
(Ballard, $8)

4. Chip Parker, Bill Anschell Trio
Spend an evening listening to jazz, ballads, and blues from the Great American Songbook with Chip Parker and the Bill Anschell Trio.
(Ballard, $10)

5. Dinner, Soultanz
Dinner (aka LA-based Danish producer and singer Anders Rhedin) will be joined by Seattle’s Soultanz.
(Downtown, free admission)

6. FCON, Rat City Ruckus, Generation Decline, Ol’ Doris
Southside hardcore punks FCON will bring their heat, with Rat City Ruckus, Generation Decline, and Ol’ Doris.
(University District, $8)

7. Kinski, Low Hums, Galaxy Research
After nearly 20 years as a band, Seattle’s Kinski continue to deliver groovy, kraut-tinged grunge riffs. Their vast psychedelic sprawl recalls early/mid-1990s Sonic Youth’s noise-rock dirges, sometimes peppered with prog flourishes or what I like to call “long-form flute breakdowns.” BRITTNIE FULLER
(University District, $10)

8. Las Vegas Victim Benefit
Show your support for the victims of the recent shooting in Las Vegas with this live set, featuring Anime Creek, William Bird, Bigger Than Mountains, and Cam Bradford. All proceeds from the evening will go straight to the fund set up by Clark County Commissioner Chair Steve Sisolak. This show is all ages and substance free.
(Central District, $7)

9. Noel Brass Jr.
Join Seattle composer/keyboardist Noel Brass Jr. (the founding member of psychedelic trio Afro Cop) to celebrate the limited vinyl release of his first solo record, Broken Cloud Orchestra, and to hear him perform.
(Fremont, free entry)

10. Vaudeville Etiquette
Eclectic and eccentric indie folk troupe Vaudeville Etiquette will headline the Sunset with a live set of their own brand of psych-cabaret Americana.
(Ballard, $10)

11. Work! with Eyes Everywhere and Guests
Presented by WORK!, local DJ talents from around the Sound gather at the Kremwerk complex for a night of steady crankage in support of Eyes Everywhere as they perform for three straight hours.
(Downtown, $10)


12. Theater Queen
Join SHE for an evening of exploring “musical theater ins and outs” with drag, singing, and other performances. Featuring Alicia Rodenko, Irene DuBois, Sam Harrison, Strawberry Shartcake, Brandy Snow, Miss Opal Essence, and Cannoli.
(Sodo, $10)


13. Caitlin Doughty: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death
Caitlin Doughty is an incredibly popular expert on death. She’s a mortician, host of the YouTube series “Ask a Mortician,” founder of the natural burial advocacy organization Order of the Good Death, and author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory. Brendan Kiley interviewed Doughty in 2014 and wrote that the book “loosely strings together fascinating anecdotes from an industry people don’t tend to discuss around the dinner table.” Hopefully Doughty will be excited to return to Seattle—she said we’re “probably the best place for alternative death care in America right now.” She’s visiting with a brand-new book, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, in which she offers a firsthand account of death rituals and practices around the globe.
(Capitol Hill, $5)

14. Diana Morita Cole: Sideways: Memoirs of a Misfit
Diana Morita Cole will share parts of her life story in Sideways: Memoir of a Misfit, which relates her birth in the Minidoka internment camp for Japanese Americans in Idaho, her childhood in a Chicago ghetto, and her meetings with William Minoru Hohri and Iva Toguri (who was wrongfully imprisoned when misidentified as “Tokyo Rose”).
(Chinatown-International District, free)

15. Jessica Bruder: Nomadland
Journalist Jessica Bruder will discuss her debut book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-first Century, which explores a new class of nomadic workers who travel in their RVs from one short-term job to another.
(Capitol Hill, free)

16. Lindsay Hill and Nathaniel Tarn
San Francisco-born Lindsay Hill has published six books of poetry since 1974, including Contango and The Empty Quarter. Hear him read with poet, essayist, anthropologist, and translator Nathaniel Tarn.
(Wallingford, free)

17. Made at Hugo House Final Reading
Bid farewell to the very talented 2016-2017 Hugo House Fellows Gabrielle Bates, Ray Stoeve, Katie Lee Ellison, Shankar Narayan, Willie Fitzgerald, and Beryl Clark at their final reading.
(First Hill, free)



18. DRY SODA³ Opening Weekend
See an experiment in form—dry soda atmospheric firing—at this exhibit featuring innovative works by Len Hudson, Sandra Mander, and Meg Murch.
(Seattle Center, free)



19. Daniel Minter: Carvings Closing Weekend
About his residency at the Washington Foundation, named after the beloved local painter and sculptor James W. Washington Jr. (1909-2000), Daniel Minter said, “Like Mr. Washington, I consider myself to be self-taught. We are African American men who grew up in the rural South at a time when there was not a formal way of discussing and learning the things that we were charged with looking for. The cultural and spiritual inspirations that made up our community, the beauty, the trials and passages of our mothers and the continuum of nature. Here in the house of Mr. Washington live echoes of conversations never held. I would listen to those echoes in hope of learning from Mr. Washington and seeing myself in the light in the stone.” Minter’s whole body of work deals with history, prioritizing cultural iconography whether depicting Blackness in the American South or portraying the African Diaspora across the world. At this exhibit, see Minter’s painted woodcarvings and linoleum block prints, created originally for use in children’s books. These are the memories and symbols he’s passing on to a new generation.
(Central District, $7)

20. Forced from Home
The worldwide humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders has seen firsthand the terrible effects of the refugee crisis—the 65 million people in flight from their homes around the world because of violence and persecution. A DWB aid worker will guide you around this exhibit, which reveals the agony of the refugee experience through photos, stories, and artifacts.
(South Lake Union, free)

21. Viewpoints: Brian Jungen Closing Weekend
Brian Jungen is a Canadian artist of Swiss and Dane-zaa Nation ancestry. He is best known for works that combine consumer aesthetics with pop-culture representations of indigenous people, like faux Native masks crafted from Nike Air Jordans or a whale skeleton constructed from plastic patio chairs. For this iteration of Viewpoints—a rotating series highlighting works from the Henry’s collection—four related drawings by Jungen are on view. Dating from the late 1990s, shortly after the artist’s graduation from Emily Carr University, these early drawings use the visual ambiguity of silhouettes to create unexpected composite images of identity in relation to global consumerism. EMILY POTHAST
(University District, $10)


22. Open Warehouse Sale
Kyoto Art and Antiques only opens for a few days twice a year, selling Japanese goods from their headquarters in Kyoto. Check out their new stock in this fall warehouse sale.
(Georgetown, free admission)


23. Maple Viewing Festival 2017
The Seattle Japanese Garden is meant to be enjoyed in all seasons and weather, so, regardless of what it looks like outside, it’ll be a great time to check out the beautiful fall foliage. The festival promises crafts, taiko performances, scavenger hunts, tours, and a photography exhibit.
(Capitol Hill, $6)

24 .Salmon Days Festival
Issaquah’s salmon spawning fest goes heavy on the fish puns: its “ohfishal” “spawnsors” must be “reel” proud to support the fish parade, music, and carnival.
(Issaquah, free admission)



25. Beyond BorderLands: Community Response Center
Artist Pedro-Lasch will host this afternoon of workshops, discussions about immigration policy, as well as art-making and healing, as an extension of BorderLands. Other local artists and community organizations will also be around, including 21 Progress, Black Prisoners Caucus, Marita Dingus (who will teach healing through doll-making), Art of Henry Luke (who will lead a protest sign-making workshop), Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and Red Eagle Soaring.
(Pioneer Square, free)

26. unstable objects Closing Weekend
This group show about instability will examine “sculptural forms that undertake peculiar affiliations between structure and ambiguity, transforming (dis)figured objects into questionable bodies of inquiry,” highlighting work by artists including Amina Ross, Steffani Jemison, Diedrick Brackens, Martinez E-B, and Lisa Jarrett.
(Georgetown, free)


27. Ecotober
Enjoy a live musical performance by Million Dollar Nile, a bike rodeo, arts and crafts, a “toilet demo,” a Halloween costume showcase, and more at this eco-friendly Halloween celebration.
(Bothell, free)

28. Fall Native Plant Sale and Environmental Fair
Ask questions and get gardening advice from native plant experts and find a selection of native trees, shrubs, perennials, ground covers, bulbs, and seeds that benefit birds and pollinators. Proceeds benefit the Washington Native Plant Society and the Central Puget Sound Chapter Nursery.
(North Seattle, free admission)

29. KVRU Celebration at the Station
Visit Rainier Valley’s new radio station, KVRU, and celebrate its launch by taking a tour. The station says: “Our mission is to inform, educate, and entertain through locally created and community-supported programming.”
(Mount Baker, free)

30. The Secret Sauce of Communication
What makes certain content cool and other content drool? Unpack the basic components of compelling communication with UW Communication Leadership director Hanson Hosein and Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic.
(Fremont, $10)

31. The Fake News Survival Guide: Resources and Tips for Staying Informed
Learn how to do your research at this very relevant community workshop.
(Downtown, free)


32. Meaningful Movies: What the Health
What the Health, from the creators of the documentary Cowspiracy, “exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick.”
(West Seattle, free)


33. Depressed Cake Shop
NAMI Seattle is back for its fifth year hosting the Depressed Cake Shop, a one-day pop-up bakery that strives to encourage dialogue about mental health issues. The goal is simple—to sell gray-colored cakes, cookies, and other goods (all donated by local bakers) to raise awareness about mental health. The goodies, though dismal on the outside, are bright and colorful on the inside to symbolize hope. The event pops up in cities around the world, but proceeds from this event go to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Seattle. Last year, they sold out in just a few hours, so make sure to get there early!
(Capitol Hill, free entry)


34. Chris King & The Gutterballs with Science Fiction
Californian Chris King and his band the Gutterballs imbue their indie rock brand with some smokey soul from the central coast and a high-energy vintage sensibility.
(University District, $7)

35. Enola Fall, Tangles, Nails Hide Metal, The Ground
Hear “indie pop played by punks” from Enola Fall, atmospheric rock from Nails Hide Metal, loud, guitar-less rock from Tangles, and high-energy rock from The Ground.
(Greenwood, $7)

36. Guns of Nevada, The Cheap Cassettes, The Heels
Fill your nightlife with honky tonk at this country and rock joint show featuring Guns of Nevada, The Cheap Cassettes, and The Heels.
(Ballard, $10)

37. Jupe Jupe, The Gods Themselves, Dirty Sidewalks
Minor-key New Wave rockers Jupe Jupe will be backed up by The Gods Themselves and Dirty Sidewalks at their album release show.
(Fremont, $8/$10)

38. Lavoy, Caargo, Vervex
Hear synth-laden alt-pop and ’80s nostalgia tunes from five-piece band Lavoy, with support from Caargo and Vervex
(Pioneer Square, $5/$10)

39. The Midnight Ghost Train
Kansas’ Midnight Ghost Train describe their music as a mix of “gospel hymns of the sermon, down-tuned rock and roll riffs of Southern rock, and dark delta blues.”
(Eastlake, $8/$10)

40. Midnight Idols, Late Night Shiner, Atomic Rust
Seattle metal group Midnight Idols, who refer to themselves as “quality purveyors of true heavy metal since 2002,” will be joined by Late Night Shiner and Atomic Rust.
(Georgetown, $5)

41. Modular on the Spot
Bask in the soft escaping sun and gnat swarms of a twilight spent in the park, with blessedly present modular synthesizer works from featured artists Chloe Harris, Donald Crunk, Infideltek, John L Rice, Dark Side of the Tune, Cindy Reichel, Four Dimensional Nightmare, Noisepoetnobody, Cathartech, Endless Sample, and Swift-Tuttle, and visuals by Nick Bartoletti.
(Rainier Valley, free)

42. Po’ Brothers, Fever Feel, Cloud Person
Enjoy some good ole smokey alt garage rock from Po’ Brothers, with support from local groups Fever Feel and Cloud Person.
(Capitol Hill, $8/$10)

43. Sundodger, Echo Texture, Bradley Palermo, Andrew Norsworthy
Sundodger are influenced by ’70s rock, ’90s, and 2000s rock. Dance to that, with additional sets from Echo Texture, Bradley Palermo, and Andrew Norsworthy.
(Ballard, $8)


44. Art Haus 4.0: Ms. Jenna’s Haute Mess!
This season of off-the-rail Arthaus drag continues with a “Haute Mess”-themed battle, featuring host Jenna St. Croix and performers Miss Texas 1988 and Bubba, plus special guest Princezz Monochokeme from Portland. Pro tip: This drag night is not all sequins and pop songs. The artists draw their inspirations from such diverse cultural artifacts as Teletubbies, horror movies, and, um, surgery. Full disclosure: House of Urchin, last year’s winning House, stars our own social media manager Chase Burns.
(Downtown, $7/$9)


45. Blaine Harden
New York Times and Washington Post journalist Blaine Harden, author of Escape from Camp 14, will reveal the horrible and fascinating tale of Donald Nichols, a spymaster in postwar Korea’s puppet regime who was implicated in torture and execution. From Elliott Bay’s publicity blurb: “King of Spies is not just the story of one American spy: with napalmed villages and severed heads, high-level lies and long-running cover-ups, it reminds us that the darkest sins of the Vietnam War—and many other conflicts that followed—were first committed in Korea.”
(Capitol Hill, free)

46. Eli Sanders: While the City Slept
While the City Slept is not a 300-page version of “The Bravest Woman in Seattle,” rather, it’s the product of years and years of research about the three people whose lives intersected in that little red house on South Rose Street in South Park. In powerful and absorbing prose, Sanders tells the story of how Jennifer Hopper and Teresa Butz found each other and became partners. He tells the story of how Isaiah Kalebu repeatedly slipped through the cracks in the criminal justice and mental health care systems. He shows you how our failure to patch those cracks contributed to Kalebu’s crimes against these two women. And he tells the story of how Hopper found the strength to forgive Kalebu. He does the thing that every writer is supposed to do—he looks and he looks and he doesn’t turn away. RICH SMITH
(Everett, free)

47. Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want
Diet for a Small Planet author Frances Moore Lappé and organizer-scholar Adam Eichen will discuss their book Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want. They add: “With riveting stories and little-known evidence, they demystify how we got here and expose the well-orchestrated effort that has robbed Americans of their rightful power.”
(Rainier Valley, $5)

48. October “Write-In”
Writers of all kinds will gather for this quarterly Hugo House/Write Our Democracy event focusing the power of the word to fight against cynicism and for liberty and justice. Specifically, this write-in promises readings, prompts, and time to write with fellow community members.
(First Hill, free)


49. Resistance Postcard Writing Party
Spend the afternoon with the Postcard Project and write about issues you care about to send to local representatives. Stamps, pens, writing ideas, and addresses of representatives will be provided, but materials from home are more than welcome.
(Central District, free)

50. Your Vote, Your Voice!
Join a community forum to talk about local campaigns, hear from community leaders, participate in a round table discussion, and contribute to action items in preparation of the November elections.
(Central District, free)


51. Monster Mash Dash
Walk or run a 5K in your costume at the annual Monster Mash Dash. Win prizes and have a graveyard smash.
(Shoreline, $10)



52. BrickCon
LEGOs have survived the invention of video games, the internet, and virtual reality. They’re unstoppable. This is a festival honoring the mighty LEGO, featuring thousands of models created by adult hobbyists.
(Seattle Center, $8-$12)

53. Sogetsu School Annual Ikebana Exhibition
The Sogetsu School of Ikebana will introduce you to the elegant, structured art of Japanese flower arranging, one of the classical arts of refinement. See demos each afternoon as the Seattle branch celebrates 90 years of the original Sogetsu School’s existence.
(Belltown, free)



54. Beyond BorderLands: Artist Talk with Pedro Lasch
As an extension of BorderLands, hear local artist Pedro Lasch, who was born and raised in Mexico City, discuss immigrant rights and the notion of “nationalist and belonging.” Afterward, see presentations from other local artists Humaira Abid, Anida Yoeu Ali, C. Davida Ingram, Deborah Lawrence, and several others.
(Pioneer Square, free)

55. Fall Art Show
Shop for jewelry, pottery, prints, and more by Seattle artists, and stick around for a tour focused on Tibetan Buddhist art.
(Greenwood, free)


56. Sandwich: A Storytelling Show
It’s a night for “three-way storytelling creation,” with live performers sharing tales in tandem. You might get to give your own short story reading.
(Downtown, $10)


57. Red May’s October Revolution
Drink, dance (dance revolution), and conspire in celebration of the Great October Socialist Revolution, with a reenactment of sorts by local talent, including cellist Lori Goldston, Seattle writer Doug Nufer, Red May Tone Deaf Chorus (who will perform The Internationale), and others.
(Capitol Hill, free admission)

58. Thriller Dance Flash Mob
Freak people out while they’re buying fresh produce by participating in a Thriller dance flash mob. The Seattle Thrillers will guide you through the dance moves at 11 am, and the action starts at noon. Costumes are very much encouraged.
(Fremont, free)

59. Keep Fremont Freaky Pop-Up
Pick up some Halloween makeup tips, get your face painted, enter a costume contest, go on (another) scavenger hunt, browse local vendor booths, and more at this freaky pop-up.
(Fremont, free admission)


60. Seattle Children’s Festival
Children of many cultures will gather to celebrate folk diversity “from traditional Chinese dance to beat boxing.” There’ll be dance shows, workshops, crafts, and music for and by little ones.
(Seattle Center, free)


61. SHRIEK: We Are What We Are + Happy Hour
In We Are What We Are, the American remake of the Mexican film Somos Lo Que Hay, a family loses their mother to a mysterious disease, raising the household tension. This spooky flick was chosen for this year’s SHRIEK theme of “Revenge of the Girl Monsters.”
(Greenwood, $10)


62. Catch a Rising Star: Nathan Lee, Piano
Fifteen-year-old prodigy Nathan Lee will play a free, all-ages program on the piano as a part of this quarterly series for promising young pianists hosted by the UW Keyboard Program.
(University District, free)

63. Heartbroken: A Tribute to the Life of Tom Petty
Give your grief room to breathe with this tribute night to the life and work of Tom Petty, with a performance by Tom Petty cover band Petty Thief, and Tom Petty documentary film footage. Proceeds from the evening will go to benefit the MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund.
(Fremont, $10)

64. L.A. Witch, Sugar Candy Mountain, Dopey’s Robe
Just as there are too many bands with “Witch” in their name, there are also too many bands from LA. So when presented with a group called L.A. Witch, one must fight mental fatigue in order to give them a fair hearing. Thankfully, their just-released self-titled debut album on Suicide Squeeze proves L.A. Witch’s brooding, reverberant garage rock should overcome your biases. The songs’ dark, sexy, and mysterious vibes make them ideal for placement in a David Lynch disciple’s film or TV show—or for an opening slot on a Jesus and Mary Chain world tour.  DAVE SEGAL
(Capitol Hill, $10/$12)

65. Professor Sweater, Niagara Moon, Jordan Lowe
Hear soulful indie rock from Professor Sweater, with support from Niagara Moon and Jordan Lowe.
(Fremont, $6/$8)

66. Swamp Witch, Shrine of the Serpent, Fetid
Join Oakland Swamp Witch, Portland’s Shrine of the Serpent, and Seattle’s Fetid for a night of metal.
(Capitol Hill, $10)


67. Cara Drinan
Cara Drinan, who is on her way to becoming a professor of law, will discuss her book The War on Kids: How American Juvenile Justice Lost Its Way, in which she chronicles how the United States went from “being a pioneer to an international pariah” in its juvenile sentencing practices.
(Rainier Valley, $5)

68. Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Release
Join the launch for Floating Bridge Press’s latest chapbooks, with poetry by Benjamin Cartwright (The Meanest Things Pick Clean), Katy E. Ellis (Night Watch, winner of the 2017 Floating Bridge Press chapbook award), and Alex Vigue (The Myth of Man).
(Capitol Hill, free)

69. Julie Carr and Lisa Olstein
Julie Carr will read from her most recent book of poems, 100 Notes on Violence, along with local poet Lisa Olstein, whose work has been consistently featured in Port Townsend’s Copper Canyon Press.
(Wallingford, free)

70. Masha Gessen: The Future Is History
Masha Gessen has spent her career reporting on the character and behavior of her native country and the man who has ruled it by hook or by crook for 18 years, Vladimir Putin. Her reportage is fearless, her writing is deeply compelling, and her command of the larger truths revealed by the seemingly infinite deceptions of Putin—and certain of his American cronies—are utterly essential to a meaningful understanding of how fucked we all are. She comes to town to discuss her latest book, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia. SEAN NELSON
(Capitol Hill, $5)

Jack Good, Who Put Rock ’n’ Roll on TV in the ’60s, Dies at 86

The premiere of “Shindig” ended a relatively short professional journey for Mr. Good that began in 1956 when he became transfixed by an audience’s response to the movie “Rock Around the Clock,” with Bill Haley and the Comets. In rock ’n’ roll’s energy and excitement, he recognized music’s future, especially as a fuel for adolescent rebellion.

“It’s easy to call rock ’n’ roll vulgar, but to adolescents it is a release,” he told The New York Times in 1965. “Rock ’n’ roll, if it is anything, is pure joy in sound.

“I willingly embrace vulgarity,” he continued. “I prefer vulgarity, that is, to the excessive refinement that has long stifled British society. Like St. Paul, I’m a convert, but my conversion was to rock ’n’ roll.”

A job as a trainee producer at the BBC led to his first experiment in transforming what he had seen onscreen into a live show. On “Six-Five Special,” which had its premiere in 1957 (it was named for its 6:05 p.m. start-time), he filled the studio floor with young fans bopping to the music. The formula worked: Millions watched. But he chafed at the BBC’s demands that he add sports and comedy segments.

Forced out by the network, Mr. Good resurfaced at its commercial rival, ITV, where he produced “Oh Boy!” with much greater freedom. Performers followed one another quickly, giving the show a breakneck pace. British rock stars like Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde and Billy Fury were said to have received their first national exposure there.

“The aim was hypnosis and excitement — blitzkrieg time!” Mr. Good said in “A Good Man … Is Hard to Find,” a 2005 documentary about his life made by Greg Wise. “Jumping up and down, the adrenaline, the wildness. Yes, the danger of it all!”

Nik Cohn, the British rock journalist, wrote that Mr. Good had an understanding of rock music’s importance that was rare at the time.

“Everyone else saw pop as a one-shot craze and rushed to cash in on it fast before sanity returned and everything returned to normal,” Mr. Cohn wrote in “Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock” (1969). “By contrast, Good realized it clearly as a major phenomenon. I suppose he was the first pop intellectual.”

Mr. Good was born in West London on Aug. 7, 1931. His father, Bob, sold pianos at Harrods, where his mother, Amy, was a secretary. After serving in the Royal Air Force, Mr. Good graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied philology and was president of the drama society.

“Six-Five Special,” “Oh Boy!” and two other music shows in Britain did not end Mr. Good’s dreams of acting. He left for the United States, hoping to succeed in Hollywood. But he landed only a few parts, including one in “Father Goose” (1964), with Cary Grant, and another in “Clambake” (1967), with Elvis Presley.


Jack Good, television producer best known for “Shindig,” in an undated photograph. Credit Courtesy of Ron Furmanek

One day in 1962, soon after moving to the United States, while lazing around in his pajamas, he had an epiphany.

“I saw this so-called special done by a bloke, Dick Clark, and I’d already come to the conclusion that Dick Clark’s shows were hopeless and I could do better,” he said in the documentary. Mr. Clark was, at the time, the host of the long-running “American Bandstand.”

“I said to myself, like the prodigal son in the pigpen, that I’d go back to my father’s house” — referring to Mr. Haley, whom he saw as his muse — “and I devised a show, filmed it, taped it and sent it around to the networks,” he said.

That was the pilot for “Shindig,” which was picked up by ABC, but not until 1964.

“Shindig” was unlike “Bandstand” or “The Ed Sullivan Show.” It had a fast rhythm, like “Oh Boy!,” with rapid cutting and extreme close-ups. The dancers frugged, swam and twisted furiously. The house band featured Glen Campbell, Billy Preston and Leon Russell. And the guests — among them Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, the Righteous Brothers, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Bobby Sherman, the Isley Brothers, Sam Cooke and the Everly Brothers — covered a broad musical range.

The Beatles, taped in Britain, were guests on the show several months after Mr. Good produced a special with them there. The Stones appeared several times, once with the bluesman Howlin’ Wolf, one of their idols.

NBC countered with its own pop music show, “Hullabaloo,” which made its debut a few months after “Shindig.”

Donna Loren, a featured singer on “Shindig,” described Mr. Good as “the Norman Lear of rock ’n’ roll” for his insistence on booking African-American artists, against the objections of at least one executive at ABC. She said Mr. Good had resisted efforts by the network to limit the number of black performers on the pilot.

Mr. Mallet, his former assistant producer, agreed. “He was insulted by it,” he said in a telephone interview, “because at least 50 percent of his favorite people were people like Little Richard.”

Mr. Good said in the documentary that he told ABC that he would limit the number of black artists on the show if the network sent him a memo outlining its rules. (He also threatened to send it if he got it to Robert F. Kennedy, the attorney general.) He never got the memo.

He left “Shindig” after a year, exhausted by the demands of producing it but with something else in mind: a rock musical based on “Othello.” It became “Catch My Soul,” with William Marshall in the title role and Jerry Lee Lewis playing an unlikely Iago. When it played at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, Martin Bernheimer of The Los Angeles Times wrote that it was “an utterly brilliant and utterly maddening experience.”

Mr. Good also wrote the screenplay for the 1974 movie version.

In the early 1970s, Mr. Good moved to New Mexico with his family and continued to produce television programming for a few more years. But he had already begun to alter his life dramatically — mostly in service to his Roman Catholic faith.

Inspired by Rubens’s “The Descent From the Cross,” he learned to paint. And, after his divorce from the former Margit Tischer, he built a chapel beside his home in Cordova, N.M., where he lived alone and painted religious murals and icons.

One mural shows a wild-eyed, fanged devil — his head in the shape of a television set — playing an electric guitar.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Good, who lived in Oxfordshire, is survived by another daughter, Andrea; a son, Alexander; 10 grandchildren; and a brother, Robert.

Mr. Good expressed regrets about the direction rock took in the post-“Shindig” years. He wrote in The Los Angeles Times in 1967 that the music had been “ironed into one vast, hairy, paisley-patterned uniformity.”

But Mr. Mallet said that his cheeky former boss remained dedicated to the era he helped to influence.

“His idea of heaven,” he said, “was Jerry Lee or Cliff Richard or Elvis giving it 100 percent.”

Continue reading the main story RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Trump Takes Away Fundamental Health Care for Women

It’s ridiculous that it’s even a question as to whether a woman should have access to birth control. Birth control is not controversial: It’s health care that the vast majority of women will use. And they don’t use it just for family planning. According to the Guttmacher Institute, fifty-eight percent of all women who use the pill rely on it, at least in part, for something other than pregnancy prevention, like endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids (which are prevalent among women of color) and managing painful periods.


Women rallying for birth control access outside the Supreme Court in 2016. Credit Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

The birth control provision of the Affordable Care Act improved women’s lives. Before the law passed, more than 20 percent had to pay out of pocket for oral birth control. The predicament of women ages 18 to 34 was even worse, according to a survey commissioned by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund: 55 percent of them had difficulty paying for birth control. By 2014, after the law took effect, fewer than 4 percent of American women had to open their wallets.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more women have been able to get the birth control method of their choice, including long-lasting and more effective forms like the intrauterine device. Because of this, the United States is experiencing the lowest rate of unintended pregnancy in 30 years, the lowest rate of pregnancy among teenagers ever and the lowest rate of abortion since Roe v. Wade was decided.

I’ve seen firsthand how increased access to birth control makes a significant difference in the lives of my patients every day.

A few years ago, I had a patient who was a nurse practitioner at a Catholic hospital in Baltimore. She needed an IUD, but her insurance didn’t cover it because her employer objected to contraception. That meant she would have to pay almost $1,000 for the device herself, and with her modest income, that was impossible for her.

Fortunately, Planned Parenthood was able to help her get the basic health care she needed. I remember how grateful she was, and I think of her every time I read about employers refusing to cover birth control. Under the Affordable Care Act provision, she would have still been able to get birth control through her insurer, even though her employer had opted out. Today, she would again be left with no other options.

I also think of the college students who are working hard to build their futures, where the cost of birth control can put textbooks or groceries out of reach. Or moms who are forced to decide between school clothes for their kids or birth control.

And those hardest hit by this policy will be poor women and women of color. According to a survey, 51 percent of African-American women ages 18 to 34 said they have had trouble purchasing birth control, and cost can be one of the most significant barriers for women of color in getting health care. In addition, these women too often suffer higher rates of chronic conditions because of systemic barriers to care. Not all of these diseases are pregnancy-related, but many can be managed by contraception.

Let’s be clear: This change on birth control coverage is not about religious freedom. We know this because, under the Affordable Care Act, organizations that had religious-based objections to providing coverage already had an accommodation that also ensured that their employees could get coverage through other means.

Instead, it’s about taking away women’s right to make basic decisions about their health and their futures. It’s about the Trump administration giving bosses power over their employees’ most personal decisions.

If these politicians truly want to reduce the need for abortion, as they claim they do, they should invest in women’s health and preventive care.

Being able to decide whether and when you have children is a fundamental right, and one that no woman should have made for her by her boss or a politician.

Continue reading the main story

Knight Foundation funds 29 Arts Challenge ideas

Asian Economic Development Association was awarded $50,000 for its Little Mekong Artist Residency Project. (Contributed photo)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Oct. 5, 2017) — The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today named 29 winning ideas in the 2017 St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge, a community wide initiative funding projects that engage and enrich St. Paul through the arts.

The winning projects, sharing $1.29 million, will tell the stories of the people of St. Paul through the arts – from the early settlers of Swede Hollow to Hmong-American millennials, from people living with dementia to Lao refugees and children who survived the Somali civil war.

Winning projects also will shape and energize spaces and places, whether through an immersive drive-thru theater performance, a way-finding mural to bring attention to the Creative Enterprise Zone, a movable feast of virtual reality and poetry on the Green Line, or a project matching lawn owners with artists to create public sculptures for all to see.

“The arts bring our community together and provide a place for us to tell our stories,” said Victoria Rogers, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation. “Knight Arts Challenge winners will bring those stories to life and inspire us to think differently and more deeply about the people and places of St. Paul.”

The winners were announced at a celebration event at the James J. Hill Library.

This is the fourth year of the Knight Arts Challenge St. Paul, which has provided $3.5 million to date for projects that answered one question: “What’s your best idea for the arts in St. Paul?” This year’s winners will share $1.29 million, bringing Knight Foundation’s investment through the challenge to nearly $4.8 million.

Ragamala Dance Company was awarded $45,000 to present the company’s large-scale multimedia dance work “Written in Water” with the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, in conjunction with an extended series of hands-on and digital community engagement programming. (Archive photo)

The challenge is part of a two-pronged strategy that supports established arts institutions to help them better engage the public and funds grassroots initiatives of individual artists and organizations so that everyone has a chance to make their idea a reality.

“Knight Foundation funds the arts because of their ability to inspire communities and connect people to each other and to their city,” said Jai Winston, St. Paul program director for Knight Foundation. “This year’s winners are a testament to the bold inspiration and creativity that make our city a vibrant place.”

A complete list of the 2017 winners is below and at knightarts.org.

The Knight Arts Challenge St. Paul is open to anyone and applicants follow just three rules: 1) The idea must be about the arts; 2) The project must take place in or benefit St. Paul; 3) The grant recipient must find funds to match Knight’s commitment within one year. Applicants propose their idea in a user-friendly 150-word application.

For Knight Arts Challenge updates, follow #knightarts and @knightfdn on Twitter and Instagram, and Knight Foundation on Facebook.

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

Knight Arts Challenge St. Paul winners 2017

CommUNITY: An Urban Dance Movement

Recipient: Annie Moua

Award: $10,000
To give all dancers the opportunity to explore urban dance with free, professionally taught monthly workshops

Little Mekong Artist Residency Project

Recipient: Asian Economic Development Association

Award: $50,000

To establish Little Mekong Business and Cultural District as the center of the vibrant and rapidly growing Asian-American arts and culture community with artist residencies, exhibitions, forums and workshops

El Mesías at Our Lady of Guadalupe

Recipient: Border CrosSING

Award: $5,000

To demonstrate the relevance of choral masterworks through an integration of rarely performed music from 18th-century Mexico and a bilingual version of Handel’s “Messiah”

East Side Stories: Using the Art of Storytelling to Build Bridges Across Generations and Communities

Recipient: East Side Freedom Library

Award: $16,000

To build bridges among neighbors by collecting the stories of East Siders and transforming them into videos which will be shared at a community festival

Way-finding Mural in the Creative Enterprise Zone

Recipient: Erik Pearson

Award: $25,000

To call attention to the thriving Creative Enterprise Zone through a wayfinding mural that will span the east wall of the West Rock paper recycling plant

Rondo Library Renaissance

Recipient: Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

Award: $60,000

To transform the exterior of the Rondo Library with public art and greenscape that captures the creativity and knowledge inside the building and throughout the neighborhood

Amazing Grace Chorus

Recipient: Giving Voice Initiative

Award: $20,000

To celebrate the creative potential of African-Americans living with Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases through artistically meaningful choral participation

Minnesota Poetry Unbound

Recipient: Greg Watson

Award: $6,000

To bring poetry into people’s lives by printing poems on paper fans at the Minnesota State Fair

How to Have Fun in a Civil War

Recipient: Ifrah Mansour

Award: $20,000

To tell a captivating story of the resilience of Somalis who lived through Somalia’s 1991 civil war from a child’s perspective

55+ Film School

Recipient: FilmNorth

Award: $18,000
To invite adults 55 years and older to share their stories and wisdom through films created in a series of classes at FilmNorth and senior centers

Lemon Shark

Recipient: Kate Nowlin

Award: $70,000

To explore the primal instinct to return home through a musically driven episodic series that follows three middle-aged St.Paul women who resurrect their teenage cover band after the untimely death of their friend and former bandmate in a polar vortex

The Gathering

Recipient: Kathy Mouacheupao

Award: $7,500

To bring together the diverse community of Rondo with The Gathering, a series of art and food events in community gardens

Saint Paul Lawn Art Fund

Recipient: Lucas Koski

Award: $36,000

To increase the accessibility to and prevalence of neighborhood art by establishing a 1-to-1 matching fund that will help residents commission artists for the creation of public art in their front lawns

Memoirs and Tattoos

Recipient: Maysa Vang

Award: $5,000

To explore the identities of Hmong-American millennials through a documentary film that explores their experiences navigating a clash of culture, language and sexuality

Drive Through Theatre

Recipient: Mixed Blood Theatre Company

Award: $85,000

To immerse audiences in a 12-scene play experienced from their own cars in a drive-thru theater

Art and Arab America: The New Millennium

Recipient: Mizna

Award: $50,000

To showcase Mizna’s 20 years of contributions to Arab culture in Minnesota through a retrospective exhibition, discussions and guided tours at the Minnesota Museum of American Art

Chaos on the Green Line

Recipient: Motionpoems

Award: $125,000

To turn the Green Line into a virtual reality experience that is freely accessed via smartphone app and triggered by the train’s movements

NO PARKING: The Gift of Letting Go

Recipient: Nautilus Music-Theater

Award: $53,000

To present a new electro-acoustic opera that explores how caregivers might guide loved ones through the journey of dementia and memory loss

Transgender Voices Festival

Recipient: One Voice Mixed Chorus

Award: $40,000

To give voice to transgender singers across the state by hosting a two-day Transgender Voices Festival

Let’s Talk: My America

Recipient: Penumbra Theatre

Award: $35,000

To inspire a more loving, inclusive America through the true tales of dignity and strife from Minnesota’s global citizens, performed live on stage and broadcast on the radio

Aardvark in the Park

Recipient: Public Art Saint Paul

Award: $55,000

To bring several neighborhoods together around the Western Sculpture Park with a series of programming and festivals, and a playful new abstract aardvark sculpture designed and built by Cambodian-American architect Souliyahn Keobounpheng

Written in Water

Recipient: Ragamala Dance Company

Award: $45,000

To present the company’s large-scale multimedia dance work “Written in Water” with the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, in conjunction with an extended series of hands-on and digital community engagement programming

Poetry in the Dark in the Park

Recipient: Saint Paul Almanac

Award: $50,000

To bring art into people’s lives by creating a touring installation that consists of a book of poetry and art inside large, custom-designed rocks that will instantly light up when a person approaches

Saymoukda Vongsay was awarded $30,000 to tell the story of the Lao people who resettled in St. Paul through a musical with traditional folktales and songs informed by 1970-1980s Thai and American pop.

In the Camps: A Refugee Musical

Recipient: Saymoukda Vongsay

Award: $30,000

To tell the story of the Lao people who resettled in St. Paul through a musical with traditional folktales and songs informed by 1970-1980s Thai and American pop

The Ghost Sonata at Swede Hollow

Recipient: Sod House Theater

Award: $60,000

To deepen the understanding of the history of early immigration through a site-specific, immersive production that transforms Swede Hollow Park into a historic hamlet of shanties

WEAVE: Blanketing St Paul in Native Feminism

Recipient: The O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University and Rosy Simas Dance

Award: $145,000

To envelop audiences in an immersive experience of story, dance and quadraphonic sound that weaves together indigenous, trans/queer and feminist/womanist artists of color and audiences at the Ordway Center

Black Market MN

Recipient: Tana Hargest

Award: $75,000

To convene a think tank of black artists to identify and propose solutions to challenges facing St. Paul and share the work via community conversations, podcasts, artist residencies and more

Live Music and Dance Collaboration at St. Paul’s Historic Palace Theater

Recipient: TU Dance and Bon Iver

Award; $75,000

To disrupt traditional barriers in life and art by bringing together TU Dance, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series and Grammy Award-winning Justin Vernon of the indie folk group Bon Iver for an evening of live music and dance at the historic Palace Theatre

River Music in St. Paul

Recipient: Warming House

Award: $20,000

To connect St. Paul residents more deeply with the Mississippi River through free performances that highlight the music of the region and are staged in river-connected parks and sites

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Arts Festival Fetes Black Women’s Artistic Expression

The multidimensional facets of Black womanhood and the artistic mediums that represent it are the crux of an upcoming festival hosted by the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center (PGAAMCC). The Prince George’s County Black Arts Festival is scheduled to take place on Oct. 7 at the museum and explores the intricacies of Black women’s identity, beauty standards, and notions of sisterhood. The festival goes beyond traditional concepts of Black women’s physical and artistic expression, as it actively includes gender non-conforming and transgendered women.

Maleke Glee, the interim executive director of PGAAMCC and a Prince George’s County native, said the festival is the brainchild of former Executive Director Chanel Compton. He also said event organizers wanted to include women whose expression of womanhood defied traditional standards.

“We see that by far and large while Black women have been celebrated, those women are excluded. Not only are they excluded from the celebration, they are excluded from the discussion, as far as violence and harm and a lot of the ways Black women are disenfranchised in our community,” Glee told the AFRO. “The numbers are really disgusting; the rate Black trans women are dying in our country. So, our museum can be a safe place for them to feel included in the community . . . How it’s most intimately tied to the exhibition is through one of the exhibiting artists, Kokumo Kinetic. She’s a trans woman and her art work will be in the exhibition. Many of the women are queer and of masculine presentation, so they’re not necessarily gender conforming.”

In addition to the exhibition, the performance lineup features 12 musicians who are mostly from the Washington D.C. area. Singers, rappers, and poets include Ace Ono, Odd Mojo, Jennifer Falu, Joy Postell, Mo Browne, Latraia Price and event dee jay Tomi Yeyo. The festival, titled “Rated PG” will also entertain and educate attendees with a pop-up beauty shop, Black-owned vendors, food trucks, guest speakers and an appearance by Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks.

Performer Odd Mojo, who describes herself as an “emcee from Maryland” on her Instagram page, said festivals like “Rated PG” are essential to women’s empowerment and advancing visibility for Black artists. “I’m so hype for this festival. This event is very unique compared to other venues I’ve performed at because of the lineup. Female is the future,” Odd Mojo said. “I love being around talented and positive energy with my sisters. I think there will be a good turnout.”

Glee said the festival will highlight Prince George’s County’s unique culture and thriving arts scene, which is sometimes eclipsed by larger Baltimore and Washington, D.C. communities.

“I think the festival and museum are great cultural landmarks in the county. The county has produced great artists, scholars, and historians that represent Prince George’s County well and sometimes our narrative and story gets lost in the larger cities Baltimore and D.C. But I would argue there would be no Baltimore and D.C. without the richness that is Prince George’s County. So, I think the visibility of this festival is knowing we have artists who are from Baltimore, D.C. and New York and with them they have a fan base that will travel to our region and also get an opportunity to see native Prince Georgian’s displaying their art on stage and in the gallery space.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment


All illustrations by Anson

The missing stories—and exposing patterns of what’s missed

In America, we commonly think of press freedom and censorship in terms of the First Amendment, which focuses attention on the press itself and limits on the power of government to restrict it. But the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted in the aftermath of World War II, presents a broader framework. Article 19 reads:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

By highlighting the right to receive information and ideas, Article 19 makes it clear that press freedom is about everyone in society, not just the press, and that government censorship is only one potential way of thwarting that right. That’s the perspective that has informed Project Censored from the beginning, more than 40 years ago.

Even though Project Censored’s annual list focuses on specific censored stories, the underlying issue has never been isolated examples. They serve to highlight how far short we fall from the fully-informed public that a healthy democracy requires—and that we all require in order to live healthy, safe, productive, satisfying lives. It’s the larger patterns of missing information, hidden problems and threats that should really concern us. Each Project Censored story provides some of that information, but the annual list helps shed light on these broader patterns of what’s missing, as well as on the specifics of the stories themselves.

During the 1972 election, Woodward and Bernstein were reporting on the earliest developments in the Watergate Scandal, but their work was largely isolated, despite running in the Washington Post. They were covering it as a developing criminal case; it never crossed over into a political story until after the election. That’s a striking example of a missing pattern. It helped contribute to the founding of Project Censored by Carl Jensen, who defined censorship as “the suppression of information, whether purposeful or not, by any method—including bias, omission, underreporting or self-censorship—that prevents the public from fully knowing what is happening in its society.”

In the current edition’s introduction to the list of stories, Andy Lee Roth writes, “Finding common themes across news stories helps to contextualize each item as a part of the larger narratives shaping our times.” He goes on to cite several examples spanning the top 25 list: four stories on climate change, six involving racial inequalities, four on issues involving courts, three on health issues, “at least two stories” involving the Pentagon, three on government surveillance and two involving documentary films produced by the Shell Oil Co.

Roth goes on to say, “There are more connections to be identified. As we have noted in previous Censored volumes, the task of identifying common topical themes, within each year’s story list and across multiple years transforms the reader from a passive recipient of information into an active, engaged interpreter. We invite you to engage with this year’s story list in this way.”

It’s excellent advice. But to get things started on the more limited scope of the top 10 stories, three main themes clearly seem evident: first, threats to public health; second, threats to democracy, both at home and abroad; and third, an out-of-control military.

But don’t let this overview pattern blind you to other patterns you may see for yourself. Even individual stories often involve different overlapping patterns—environmental destruction and an out-of-control military in No. 7, for example, or public health and infrastructure concerns in No. 1. These patterns don’t just connect problems and issues, they connect people, communities and potential solutions as well. A shared understanding of the patterns that hold us down and divide us is the key to developing better patterns to live by together. With that thought in mind, here is Project Censored’s Top 10 List for 2016-17:

1––Widespread Lead Contamination Threatens Children’s Health and Could Triple Household Water Bills

After President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Flint, Mich based on lead contamination of the city’s water supply in January 2016, Reuters reporters M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer began an investigation of lead contamination nationwide with shocking results. In June 2016, they reported that although many states and Medicaid rules require blood lead tests for young children, millions of children were not being tested. In December 2016, they reported on the highly decentralized data they had been able to assemble from 21 states, showing that 2,606 census tracts and 278 zip codes across the United States had levels of lead poisoning more than double the rates found in Flint at the peak of its contamination crisis. Of those, 1,100 communities had lead contamination rates “at least four times higher” than Flint.

In Flint, 5 percent of the children screened high blood lead levels. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 2.5 percent of all US children younger than six—about 500,000 children—have elevated blood lead levels.

But Pell and Schneyer’s neighborhood focus allowed them to identify local hotspots “whose lead poisoning problems may be obscured in broader surveys,” such as those focused on statewide or countywide rates. They found them in communities that “stretch from Warren, Pennsylvania … where 36 percent of children tested had high lead levels, to … Goat Island, Texas, where a quarter of tests showed poisoning.” What’s more, “In some pockets of Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia, where lead poisoning has spanned generations, the rate of elevated tests over the last decade was 40 to 50 percent.”

In January 2017, Schneyer and Pell reported that, based on their previous investigation, “From California to Pennsylvania, local leaders, health officials and researchers are advancing measures to protect children from the toxic threat. They include more blood-lead screening, property inspections, hazard abatement and community outreach programs.”

But there’s a deeper infrastructure problem involved, as Farron Cousins reported for DeSmogBlog in January 2017. “Lead pipes are time bombs” and water contamination is to be expected, Cousins wrote. The US relies on an estimated 1.2 million miles of lead pipes for municipal delivery of drinking water, and much of this aging infrastructure is reaching or has exceeded its lifespan.

In 2012 the American Water Works Association estimated that a complete overhaul of the nation’s aging water systems would require an investment of $1 trillion over the next 25 years, which could triple household water bills. As Cousins reported, a January 2017 Michigan State University study found that, “while water rates are currently unaffordable for an estimated 11.9% of households, the conservative estimates of rising rates used in this study highlight that this number could grow to 35.6% in the next five years.”

As Cousins concluded, “While the water contamination crisis will occasionally steal a headline or two, virtually no attention has been paid to the fact that we’re pricing a third of United States citizens out of the water market.”

2––Over Six Trillion Dollars in Unaccountable Army Spending

In 1996, Congress passed legislation requiring all government agencies to undergo annual audits, but a July 2016 report by the Defense Department’s inspector general found that the Army alone has accumulated $6.5 trillion in expenditures that can’t be accounted for over the past two decades.

As Dave Lindorff reported for This Can’t Be Happening!, the DoD “has not been tracking or recording or auditing all of the taxpayer money allocated by Congress—what it was spent on, how well it was spent, or where the money actually ended up.” But the Army wasn’t alone. “Things aren’t any better at the Navy, Air Force and Marines,” he added.

The report appeared at a time when, “politicians of both major political parties are demanding accountability for every penny spent on welfare…. Ditto for people receiving unemployment compensation,” Lindorff wrote. Politicians have also engaged in pervasive efforts “to make teachers accountable for student ‘performance,’” he added. Yet, he observed, “the military doesn’t have to account for any of its trillions of dollars of spending … even though Congress fully a generation ago passed a law requiring such accountability.”

In March 2017, after Trump proposed a $52 billion increase in military spending, Thomas Hedges reported for The Guardian that, “the Pentagon has exempted itself without consequence for 20 years now, telling the Government Accountability Office that collecting and organizing the required information for a full audit is too costly and time-consuming.”

The most recent DoD audit deadline was September 2017, yet neither the Pentagon, Congress, nor the media seem to have paid any attention.

3––Pentagon Paid PR Firm the United Kingdom for Fake Al-Qaeda Videos

Concern over Russian involvement in promoting fake news during the 2016 election is a justified hot topic in the news. But what about our own involvement in similar operations? In October 2016, Crofton Black and Abigail Fielding-Smith reported for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism on one such very expensive—and questionable—operation. The Pentagon paid a British PR firm, Bell Pottinger, more than $660 million to run a top-secret propaganda program in Iraq from at least 2006 to December 2011. The work consisted of three types of products: TV commercials portraying al-Qaeda in a negative light, news items intended to look like Arabic TV, and—most disturbing—fake al-Qaeda propaganda films.

A former Bell Pottinger video editor, Martin Wells, told the Bureau that he was given precise instructions for production of fake al-Qaeda films, and that the firm’s output was approved by former General David Petraeus—the commander of the coalition forces in Iraq—and on occasion by the White House. They reported that the United States used contractors because “the military didn’t have the in-house expertise and was operating in a legal ‘grey area.’”

The reporters “traced the firm’s Iraq work through US army contracting censuses, federal procurement transaction records and reports by the Defense Department’s inspector general, as well as Bell Pottinger’s corporate filings and specialist publications on military propaganda.” Black and Fielding-Smith also interviewed former officials and contractors involved in information operations in Iraq.

Documents show that Bell Pottinger employed as many as three hundred British and Iraqi staff at one point; and its media operations in Iraq cost more than $100 million per year on average. It’s remarkable that an operation on this scale has been totally ignored in midst of so much focus on “fake news” here in the United States.

4––Voter Suppression in the 2016 Presidential Election

The 2016 election was the first election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act, first passed in 1965. In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), a 5-4 conservative majority in the Supreme Court struck down a key provision requiring jurisdictions with a history of violations to “pre-clear” changes. As a result, changes to voting laws in nine states and parts of six others with long histories of racial discrimination in voting were no longer subject to federal government approval in advance.

Since Shelby, 14 states, including many southern states and key swing states, implemented new voting restrictions, in many cases just in time for the election. These included restrictive voter-identification laws in Texas and North Carolina, English-only elections in many Florida counties, as well as last-minute changes of poll locations, and changes in Arizona voting laws that had previously been rejected by the Department of Justice before the Shelby decision.

Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, was foremost among a small number of non-mainstream journalists to cover the suppression efforts and their results. In May 2017, he reported on an analysis of the effects of voter suppression by Priorities USA, which showed that strict voter-ID laws in Wisconsin and other states resulted in a “significant reduction” in voter turnout in 2016 with “a disproportionate impact on African-American and Democratic-leaning voters.” Berman noted that turnout was reduced by 200,000 votes in Wisconsin, while Donald Trump won the state by just over 22,000 votes.

Nationwide, the study found that the change in voter turnout from 2012 to 2016 was significantly impacted by new voter-ID laws. In counties that were more than 40 percent African-American, turnout dropped 5 percent with new voter-ID laws, compared to 2.2 percent without. In counties that were less than 10 percent African-American, turnout decreased 0.7 percent with new voter-ID laws, compared to a 1.9 percent increase without. As Berman concluded, “This study provides more evidence for the claim that voter-ID laws are designed not to stop voter impersonation fraud, which is virtually nonexistent, but to make it harder for certain communities to vote.”

As Berman noted in an article published by Moyers & Co. in December 2016, the topic of “gutting” the Voting Rights Act did not arise once during the 26 presidential debates prior to the election, and “[c]able news devoted hours and hours to Trump’s absurd claim that the election was rigged against him while spending precious little time on the real threat that voters faced.”

5––Big Data and Dark Money behind the 2016 Election

When Richard Nixon first ran for Congress in 1946, he and his supporters used a wide range of dirty tricks aimed at smearing his opponent as pro-Communist, including a boiler-room operation generating phone calls to registered Democrats, which simply said, “This is a friend of yours, but I can’t tell you who I am. Did you know that Jerry Voorhis is a Communist?” Then the caller would hang up.

In 2016, the same basic strategy was employed but with decades of refinement, technological advances, and massively more money behind it. A key player in this was right-wing computer scientist and hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who contributed $13.5 million to Trump’s campaign and also funded Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics company that specializes in “election management strategies” and using “psychographic” microtargeting—based on thousands of pieces of data for some 220 million American voters—as Carole Cadwalladr reported for the Guardian in February 2017. After Trump’s victory, Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix said, “We are thrilled that our revolutionary approach to data-driven communication has played such an integral part in President-elect Trump’s extraordinary win.”

Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories, was more old-school until recently in elections across Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. In Trinidad, it paid for the painting of graffiti slogans purporting to be from grassroots youth. In Nigeria, it advised its client party to suppress the vote of their opposition “by organizing anti-poll rallies on the day of the election.”

But now they’re able to micro-target their deceptive, disruptive messaging. “Pretty much every message that Trump put out was data-driven” after they joined the campaign, Nix said in September 2016. On the day of the third presidential debate, Trump’s team “tested 175,000 different ad variations for his arguments” via Facebook.

This messaging had everything to do with how those targeted would respond, not with Trump’s or Mercer’s views. In a New Yorker profile, Jane Mayer noted that Mercer argued that the 1964 Civil Rights Act was a major mistake, a subject not remotely hinted at during the campaign.

“Suddenly, a random billionaire can change politics and public policy—to sweep everything else off the table—even if they don’t speak publicly, and even if there’s almost no public awareness of his or her views,” Trevor Potter, former chair of the Federal Election Commission, told Mayer.

With the real patterns of influence, ideology, money, power and belief hidden from view, the very concept of democratic self-governance is now fundamentally at risk.

6––Antibiotic Resistant “Superbugs” Threaten Health and Foundations of Modern Medicine

The problem of antibiotics giving rise to more dangerous drug-resistant germs (“superbugs”) has been present since the early days of penicillin, but has now reached a crisis, with companies creating dangerous superbugs when their factories leak industrial waste, as reported by Madlen Davies of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in September 2016. Factories in China and India—where the majority of worldwide antibiotics are manufactured—have released “untreated waste fluid” into local soils and waters, leading to increases in antimicrobial resistance that diminish the effectiveness of antibiotics and threaten the foundations of modern medicine.

“After bacteria in the environment become resistant, they can exchange genetic material with other germs, spreading antibiotic resistance around the world, according to an assessment issued by the European Public Health Alliance, which served as the basis for Davies’s news report,” Projected Censored explained. One strain of drug-resistant bacterium that originated in India in 2014 has since spread to 70 other countries.

Superbugs have already killed an estimated 25,000 people across Europe—thus globally posing “as big a threat as terrorism,” according to a UK National Health Service Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies.

“At the heart of the issue is how to motivate pharmaceutical companies to improve their production practices. With strong demand for antibiotics, the companies continue to profit despite the negative consequences of their actions,” Project Censored noted. “The EPHA assessment recommended five responses that major purchasers of medicines could implement to help stop antibiotic pollution. Among these recommendations are blacklisting pharmaceutical companies that contribute to the spread of superbugs through irresponsible practices, and promoting legislation to incorporate environmental criteria into the industry’s good manufacturing practices.”

Superbugs are especially threatening modern medicine, in which a wide range of sophisticated practices—organ transplants, joint replacements, cancer chemotherapy and care of pre-term infants—“will become more difficult or even too dangerous to undertake,” according to Margaret Chan, head of the World Health Organization.

“Although the threat of antibiotic-resistant microbes is well documented in scientific publications, there is little to no coverage on superbugs in the corporate press,” Project Censored noted. “What corporate news coverage there is tends to exaggerate the risks and consequences of natural outbreaks—as seen during the Ebola scare in the US in 2014—rather than reporting on the preventable spread of superbugs by irresponsible pharmaceutical companies.”

Once again, it’s not just a problem of suppressing a single story, but two overlapping patterns—the biological problem of superbugs and political economy problem of the corporate practices that produce them so wantonly.

7––The Toll of US Navy Training on Wildlife in the North Pacific

The US Navy has killed, injured, or harassed marine mammals in the North Pacific almost twelve million times over a five-year period, according to research conducted by The West Coast Action Alliance and reported by Dahr Jamail for Truthout. This includes whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, and other marine wildlife such as endangered species like humpback whales, blue whales, gray whales, sperm whales, Steller sea lions and sea otters. The number was tabulated from the Navy’s Northwest Training and Testing environmental impact statement and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Letter of Authorization for the number of “takes” of marine mammals caused by Navy exercises.

“A ‘take’ is a form of harm to an animal that ranges from harassment, to injury, and sometimes to death,” Jamail wrote. “Many wildlife conservationists see even ‘takes’ that only cause behavior changes as injurious, because chronic harassment of animals that are feeding or breeding can end up harming, or even contributing to their deaths if they are driven out of habitats critical to their survival.”

As the Alliance noted, this does not include impacts on “endangered and threatened seabirds, fish, sea turtles or terrestrial species” due to Navy activities, which have expanded dramatically, according to the Navy’s October 2015 environmental impact statement, including:

  • A 778 percent increase in number of torpedoes
  • A 400 percent increase in air-to-surface missile exercises (including Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary)
  • A 1,150 percent increase in drone aircraft
  • An increase from none to 284 sonar testing events in inland waters

“It is, and has been for quite some time now, well known in the scientific community that the Navy’s use of sonar can damage and kill marine life,” Jamail reported.

“With little oversight on Navy training activities, the public is left in the dark regarding their environmental impacts, including especially how Navy operations impact fish in the North Pacific and marine life at the bottom of the food chain,” Project Censored noted. “There has been almost no coverage of these impacts in the corporate press.”

8––Maternal Mortality a Growing Threat in the US

The US maternal mortality rate is rising, while it’s falling elsewhere across the developed world. Serious injuries and complications are needlessly even more widespread with shockingly little attention being paid.

“Each year over 600 women in the US die from pregnancy-related causes and over 65,000 experience life-threatening complications or severe maternal morbidity,” Elizabeth Dawes Gay reported, covering an April 2016 congressional briefing organized by Women’s Policy Inc. “The average national rate of maternal mortality has increased from 12 per 100,000 live births in 1998 to 15.9 in 2012, after peaking at 17.8 in 2011.”

“The US is the only nation in the developed world with a rising maternal mortality rate,” Rep. Lois Capps stated at the meeting.

“Inadequate health care in rural areas and racial disparities are drivers of this maternal health crisis,” Project Censored summarized. “Nationally, African American women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes, with rates even higher in parts of the US that Gay characterized as ‘pockets of neglect,’ such as Georgia, where the 2011 maternal mortality rate of 28.7 per 100,000 live births was nearly double the national average.”

The Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health has developed safety bundles of ‘best practices, guidelines, and protocols to improve maternal health care quality and safety,’” Gay wrote. “These ‘bundles’ include equipping hospital labor units with a fully stocked cart for immediate hemorrhage treatment, establishing a hospital-level emergency management protocol, conducting regular staff drills and reviewing all cases to learn from past mistakes, among other things.”

More broadly, Kiera Butler reported for Mother Jones that doctors rarely warn patients of the potential for serious injuries and complications that can occur following birth.

“Women have a right to make informed decisions about their bodies and serious medical situations; however, when it comes to birth and its aftereffects, Butler found that doctors simply are not providing vital information,” Project Censored summarized. Many state laws require doctors to inform women of the potential complications and dangers associated with delivery, but none require them to discuss potential long-term problems, including the fact that some complications are more prevalent in women who give birth vaginally, rather than by C-section.

“All told, according to a 2008 study by researchers at the California HMO Kaiser Permanente, about one in three women suffer from a pelvic floor disorder (a category that includes urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and prolapse), and roughly 80 percent of those women are mothers,” Butler reported. “Women who deliver vaginally are twice as likely to experience these injuries as women who have a cesarean or who have not given birth. For one in 10 women, the problem is severe enough to warrant surgery.”

“The corporate news media have paid limited attention to maternal mortality and morbidity in the US,” Project Censored notes. There have been scattered stories, but nothing remotely close to the sort of sustained coverage that is warranted.

9––DNC Claims Right to Select Presidential Candidate

A key story about 2016 election has mostly been ignored by the media—a class-action lawsuit alleging that the Democratic National Committee broke legally-binding neutrality agreements in the Democratic primaries by strategizing to make Hillary Clinton the nominee before a single vote was cast. The lawsuit was filed against the DNC and its former chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in June 2016 by Beck & Lee, a Miami law firm, on behalf of supporters of Bernie Sanders. A hearing was held on suit in April 2017, in which DNC lawyers argued that neutrality was not actually required and that the court had no jurisdiction to assess neutral treatment.

As Michael Sainato reported for the Observer, DNC attorneys claimed that Article V, Section 4 of the DNC Charter—which instructs the DNC chair and staff to ensure neutrality in the Democratic presidential primaries—is actually “a discretionary rule” that the DNC “didn’t need to adopt to begin with.” In addition, DNC attorney Bruce Spiva later said it was within the DNC’s rights to “go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way.” Sainato also reported that DNC attorneys argued that specific terms used in the DNC charter—including “impartial” and “evenhanded”—couldn’t be interpreted in a court of law, because it would “drag the Court … into a political question and a question of how the party runs its own affairs.”

Jared Beck, representing the Sanders’s supporters, responded, “Your Honor, I’m shocked to hear that we can’t define what it means to be evenhanded and impartial. If that were the case, we couldn’t have courts. I mean, that’s what courts do every day, is decide disputes in an evenhanded and impartial manner.” Not only was running elections in a fair and impartial manner a “bedrock assumption” of democracy, Beck argued earlier, it was also a binding commitment for the DNC: “That’s what the Democratic National Committee’s own charter says,” he said. “It says it in black and white.”

Much of the reporting and commentary on the broader subject of the DNC’s collusion with the Clinton campaign has been speculative and misdirected, focused on questions about voter fraud and countered by claims of indulging in “conspiracy theory.” But this trial focuses on documentary evidence and questions of law—all publicly visible yet still treated as suspect, when not simply ignored out of hand.

As Project Censored notes, “[E]ven Michael Sainato’s reporting—which has consistently used official documents, including the leaked DNC emails and courtroom transcripts, as primary sources—has been repeatedly labeled “opinion”—rather than straight news reporting—by his publisher, the Observer.”

10––A Record Year for Global Internet Shutdowns

In 2016, governments around the world shut down internet access more than 50 times, according to the digital rights organization Access Now, “suppressing elections, slowing economies and limiting free speech,” as Lyndal Rowlands reported for the Inter Press Service.

“In the worst cases internet shutdowns have been associated with human rights violations,” Rowlands was told by Deji Olukotun, of Access Now. “What we have found is that Internet shutdowns go hand in hand with atrocities.” Olukotun said.

Kevin Collier also covered the report for Vocativ, noting that Access Now uses a “conservative metric,” counting “repeated, similar outages”—like those which occurred during Gabon’s widely criticized Internet “curfew”—as a single instance. The Vocativ report included a dynamic map chart, designed by Kaitlyn Kelly, that vividly depicts Internet shutdowns around the world, month by month for all of 2016, as documented by Access Now.

“Many countries intentionally blacked out Internet access during elections and to quell protest. Not only do these shutdowns restrict freedom of speech, they also hurt economies around the world,” Project Censored notes. “TechCrunch, IPS, and other independent news organizations reported that a Brookings Institution study found that Internet shutdowns cost countries $2.4 billion between July 2015 and June 2016”—a conservative estimate according to the study’s author, Darrell West.

As Olukotun told IPS, one way to stop government shutdowns is for Internet providers to resist government demands. “Telecommunications companies can push back on government orders, or at least document them to show what’s been happening, to at least have a paper trail,” Olukotun observed.

In a resolution passed in July 2016, the UN Human Rights Council described the Internet as having “great potential to accelerate human progress.” It also condemned “measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online.”

On July 1, 2016, the UN Human Rights Council passed a nonbinding resolution signed by more than 70 countries lauding the Internet’s “great potential to accelerate human progress,” and condemning “measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online.” It noted that, “the exercise of human rights, in particular the right to freedom of expression, on the Internet is an issue of increasing interest and importance.”

Yet, “understanding what this means for Internet users can be difficult,” Azad Essa reported for Al Jazeera in May 2017. Advocates of online rights “need to be constantly pushing for laws that protect this space and demand that governments meet their obligations in digital spaces just as in non-digital spaces,” he was told by the UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye.

Paul Rosenberg is the senior editor at Random Lengths News




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News24.com | In defence of Patricia de Lille

2017-10-05 13:12

Simon Grindrod

Over thirteen years ago, in a previous life, Patricia de Lille and I went canvassing for votes in a shopping center in Milnerton on a busy Saturday morning. Patricia, by then known for exposing the corrupt arms-deal, was generating interest in the ID, her new social democratic alternative to the DA and ANC. To be fair, we did not anticipate an avalanche of votes in this constituency. However, as we walked through the mall handing out flyers, Patricia was greeted warmly by a wide range of people, including an elderly lady in a twin-set and pearls. 

‘Patricia, I wanted to say how much I respect your strength and wish you luck in the elections’, and as she held Pat’s hand added, ‘and I will definitely be asking my char to vote for you’.

The lady obviously thought SA politics needed an outspoken voice and was happy for Patricia to do so, as long as it didn’t upset the status quo too much. It was an example of the fact that Patricia was valued, but would never truly be accepted by the conventional political establishment. I don’t think she ever wanted to be. It remains her greatest appeal.

Since the formation of the Cape Town uni-city 17 years ago, we have witnessed a revolving door of mayors to an almost comical degree. For example, the Morkel and Marais show was memorably damaging, if not entertaining. Indeed, until recently, the average ‘life expectancy’ of a Cape Town mayor had been only slightly higher than that of a rookie U.S Marine in the Vietnam war. Many a political career has fallen flat on the steps of the civic center. 

Ever since the very first uni-city mayor resigned over allegations of surfing porn in his office, power-plays and dirty tricks are now expected and even accepted. Spying, subterfuge, character assassination, factions and scandals are the hallmark of our City politics. Not even the adoption of the executive mayoralty system could stop the infighting, nor protect the office holder. 

Amazingly, it has not been the opposition claiming these scalps, the blood has mainly been drawn through Blue-on-Blue factional warfare. The old Nats, the old DP, the new DA, the old ID and several others. It has never been dealt with if they are honest about it. 

The DA don’t publicly throw chairs at each other, but they are certainly skilled in the tactics of undermining their very own colleagues. Innuendo, whispering campaigns and carefully leaked untruths are far more effective than a full frontal assault. I would rather get a chair on my head from someone I can see, than an endless drip of poison from faceless people in the shadows of my own party.

Patricia De Lille is the first mayor to serve a full-term, and be re-elected to office, since the formation of the uni-city 17 years ago. It is quite an achievement given the turbulence of prior years.

We would therefore think this is a welcome development, a period of continuity and stability for citizens. However, it seems the DA cannot help themselves when it comes to the black arts of taking out their own. Having almost prematurely removed a successful sitting premier earlier this year, they now seem hellbent on removing a sitting executive mayor too. What is wrong with these people? 

The manic attempts by national leadership to exert total control from the center continues to result in overreaction instead of mature dialogue. Helen Zille, to her credit, was seasoned enough to realise that provinces should be allowed, within reason, to resolve their own internal differences without politburo style directives from national office. Obviously, having two centers of power adds to the mix.

How has it come to the sorry state of affairs where citizens have to see their mayor and a senior member of her administration put on ‘special leave’ a week before a critical provincial party election?

I am not sure what ‘special leave’ means when it comes to a mayor but they seem to be making it up as they go along.

It will be interesting to see if the special committee established by the DA, under chairmanship of John Steenhuisen MP, will report its findings before the provincial elective congress this weekend.

The allegations made against De Lille by Alderman JP Smith are both murky and vague. He had apparently authored a memo behind his mayor’s back (leaked to the media) suggesting some individuals in the City may, or may not, have a gripe with the her about possible security upgrades at her house, although he is not sure about it, and had not heard anything about it previously. He admits he has seen no proof of anything untoward. It is as clear as mud.

That is the extent of the matter, the smoking gun, for which the mayor and himself are on now put on gardening leave like naughty kids while the ANC squeal with delight and the DA caucus implodes.

Make no mistake, JP Smith is a very hard working, committed and passionate politician. He represents his constituents extremely well. It is no coincidence that Alderman Smith has declared himself a candidate for the position of deputy provincial leader in the imminent elections, having secured the position of deputy metro chair only a short time ago. It is also no secret he is vehemently anti-De Lille. There is a lot of resentment remaining from the days of the ID and DA merger. Scores are being settled. The question is, at what cost?

So what, exactly, are the offenses for which the DA have suspended their mayor (and Alderman Smith)?

The issue of unspecified and mysterious renovations at her Pinelands home were this week categorically clarified by an official statement from the City of Cape Town. The security equipment was provided within the legislative framework and declared completely above board. I would not be surprised if such routine security apparatus was also installed at the private homes of previous executive mayors – without any fuss.

The ‘shutting down’ of the City’s SUI never happened. It is still in operation, as even a cursory review of statements put out by the Safety and Security Directorate reveal. It is, however, now operating within a clearly defined, legal framework. Was the mayor expected not to act when it was brought to light that the Unit was exceeding its legal mandate? She would certainly have been accused of negligence in not doing so had the situation resulted in negative consequences.

Understandably, Alderman Smith did not take kindly to any curtailment of his powers. Nobody would. Yet, councillors need to be very wary of overstepping the line between ‘hands-on’ involvement and willful political interference in the workings of the civil service. 

It is far too lazy, yet politically irresistable, to now equate the two issues and insinuate that De Lille unilaterally ‘shut down’ the special unit to prevent exposure of her very own corrupt Nkandla estate.

By the way, with 23 years of elected office behind her, I doubt Patricia needs to fleece the taxpayer for a few new bathroom tiles. She is not prone to conventional political spin, but she is definitely very aware not to give her opponents any stick with which to beat her. It just doesn’t add up. It’s nonsense.

The other ‘charges’ presumably are that she is too brash, outspoken and ”rubs people up the wrong way”. The electorate supported her entirely because she was not afraid to speak her mind. She has never been a conventional politician. In this respect, she faces the same problem as Helen Zille – confident and strong women are seen as ‘problematic’, yet confident and strong men are ‘decisive’.

Mayor De Lille is also now being held personally responsible for inflicting upon the Western Cape the severest drought in decades, a drought that was foreseen over 20 years ago by experts who warned previous administrations that action needed to be taken. It is right that any incumbent be held accountable for current actions taken to mitigate the crisis, but entirely unfair to blame one individual for the negligence of previous administrations, at every level, in taking pro-active steps to prevent it.

Yet, the DA wolves continue to circle, awaiting their opportunity to deliver the fatal blow to the lady whose face they once happily plastered on glossy posters as evidence of DA diversity. They proudly boasted of her re-election and her increased majority in 2016.

Patricia was good enough for that purpose back then, yet seemingly not good enough to merit the support of her party leaders now. How difficult could it have been to determine the facts of this case weeks ago? If the mayor is guilty of corruption, she should go. If not, her detractors should either put up, or shut up.

The DA should either back her, or sack her. This ongoing chaos is totally unnecessary.

In 2010, when the ID merged with the DA, a veteran ANC politician commented that Patricia was now ‘riding on the back of a tiger that would finish her’. Other smaller parties are also beginning to discover what the DA actually means by ‘coalition’ government. 

Whatever we may think of Aunty Pat, the lady surely deserves better than this shoddy treatment on the basis of some spurious allegations raised by a rival faction ahead of a bitterly fought elective congress. 

The local politicians in Cape Town may not know any better, but the national leadership of the DA certainly should.

I have known Patricia de Lille, both in and out of formal politics, for many years. Having been out of active politics for a decade, I write this in my personal capacity.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

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The Black Community is Bracing For the Worst Times Under President Trump

This Post is From Eugene Scott at The Root

President Trump won only 8 percent of the black vote in 2016 after pleading his case this way throughout the campaign:

“And I ask you this, I ask you this — crime, all of the problems — to the African Americans, who I employ so many, so many people, to the Hispanics, tremendous people: What the hell do you have to lose?” he asked in August 2016. “Give me a chance. I’ll straighten it out. I’ll straighten it out.”

Nearly a year after being elected, black Americans do not appear to have much confidence that Trump can straighten things out. Recent concerns about the president’s attacks on the NFL players protesting racism and his equating activists with white supremacists in Charlottesville have further fueled concerns among black Americans.

A report titled “The Lives and Voices of Black America,” from Perry Undem, a D.C.-based nonpartisan public opinion research firm, revealed a demographic concerned about their civil rights under Trump’s presidency.

The overwhelming majority — 84 percent — of African  Americans fear that the country is on the wrong track since Trump entered the White House, and two-thirds feel worried, with sizable percentages feeling a host of other negative emotions. Just 12 percent said they are hopeful, happy or relieved about Trump.

There’s significant concern that Trump’s plan to “Make America Great Again” will not translate to an improved quality of life for black Americans. Those surveyed think his policies will negatively impact the black community’s access to quality public schools, job opportunities that pay a livable wage and affordable health care, child care and housing.
They also fear that Trump’s policies will have a negative impact on the ability to keep black children from mass incarceration and over-policing.

They also expressed concerns about access to drug treatment programs and feeling safe in neighborhoods.

Due to these concerns, some black Americans have even expressed concern about raising children or making plans about when to have children under the Trump administration.

Fewer than 1 in 5 think it is a good time to be a black person in America. Only 12 percent of those surveyed think it’s a good time to be a black man in America — the number is 18 percent for black women.

And when it comes to the most trusted voices on policy issues, black Americans look to a couple no longer in politics: the Obamas, with 92 percent of black Americans naming the former president and his wife among the people and organizations they are most likely to trust on issues that matter the most to them.

Sources: Eugene Scott (The Washington Post)