Fighting racial barriers with fire

first_imgAnd that racism is what led to Reynaldo Lopez’s picture appearing on the front page of the now-defunct Daily Mirror newspaper. As the lone African-American firefighter at Station46 on Vernon Avenue, Lopez was the sole target of his company’s racism. “Why didn’t you guys tell me you had put fertilizer on the grass?” a firefighter newly assigned to the station once asked in his presence. “I thought it was the n—– I smelled?” The abuse spurred Lopez to write Chief John H. Alderson a four-page complaint, which he also leaked to the Daily Mirror, along with a photo of Lopez in front of a “White Adults” sign his co-workers placed on the kitchen door to keep him out. Local media were soon buzzing about a “Jim Crow” scandal brewing in liberal Los Angeles. “What the fellows wanted me to do was not fight back – to do our job and keep working and not use violence that the chief could use to show we couldn’t do the job,” said Lopez, who is now 80 and living in California’s Sun City. “I was fighting back by just doing the job, following orders, showing up for work every day.” His vigilance paid off. Though an African-American firefighter wouldn’t join the top ranks of the department for 13 more years – or become chief until last year – Lopez helped jump-start a reformation. Today, about 11percent of the department’s 3,600 uniformed firefighters are African-American, said Armando Hogan, president of the Stentorians, the department’s black firefighters association. Amid the upper ranks, the LAFD has 13 African-American chiefs, including Douglas Barry, the interim chief of the entire department. “In my 20 years, there was not one black chief,” said Arnett Hartsfield, a lawyer and fire historian who retired from LAFD in 1961. “There are 60 captains now. Not one of them is confined to a black crew.” Tensions remain Although the situation has improved dramatically, racial tensions remain. Last year, City Controller Laura Chick released a scathing audit that documented low morale among minorities in the department. In November, the city was split along old racial lines when the City Council authorized a $2.7million settlement to a veteran African-American firefighter who was tricked into eating dog food. Those involved have said the action against Tennie Pierce was a prank among brothers, not a malicious act of racism. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa decided the settlement was too large and vetoed it. The council failed to override his veto, moving the case toward a trial set for Sept.24. Racism status quo But 50 years ago, racism wasn’t alleged or ambiguous. It was status quo. “I’m talking about Los Angeles – not Mississippi or Alabama or Georgia,” said Hartsfield, 88, of Inglewood. “This is Los Angeles.” The Los Angeles Fire Department went into service Feb.1, 1886. Six years later, Sam Haskins became its first black employee. Born a slave in Virginia, Haskins was hired as a part-time “fire callman.” But on Nov. 19, 1895, Haskins was standing on the back of the hook-and-ladder truck barreling down First Street toward Main. The road was bumpy, and Haskins lost his balance. “CRUSHED AND BURNED,” the Los Angeles Times reported with a front-page headline the next day. “HORRIBLE DEATH OF FIREMAN SAM HASKINS – The Colored Callman Fell Between the Wheel and Boiler of His Engine and Was Mangled and Roasted.” And just like that, Haskins vanished into unrecorded history. It wasn’t until a sheriff’s crime analyst stumbled across the old news articles five years ago that the department realized it had been honoring the wrong pioneer. The man everyone thought was the department’s first black was George W. Bright, who joined in 1897, two years after Haskins’ death. Bright is remembered because in 1902 he was promoted to lieutenant, presenting the Fire Department with a problem it wasn’t ready to deal with: how to subordinate white firefighters to a ranking black man. The solution was segregation. African-Americans were assigned to Hose Company4 at 137Belmont Ave. Later, stations14 and 30, both of which were on South Central Avenue, were dedicated as black firehouses. Fire Station No. 30 now is the home of the African American Firefighter Museum. Even after the department began integrating in 1955, African-Americans often grew so tired of being overlooked for promotions that many just retired, Hartsfield said. Take for instance William Hall, a captain at Station 30. “He passed the battalion chief test in 1931,” Hartsfield said. “Only to be told, ‘Hall, it’s a shame you’re not a white man.”‘ (818) 713-3634 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The headline could have referred to last year’s problems in the Los Angeles Fire Department: “Racial Ruckus in Fire Dept.” But the year was 1955. Brown v. Board of Education was barely on the books, and fire stations in Los Angeles were being integrated. No longer would African-American firefighters toil on the lower rungs of the department. No longer would they be confined to two stations on South Central Avenue. In reality, though, rank-and-file whites weren’t ready to consider blacks their equals, poignantly demonstrated when some fliers were circulated around the stations comparing black people to apes. last_img read more

Weekend round-up: Remy injury concern, QPR boss backs Hall, Jokanovic warning

first_imgA recap of the action during a weekend when Chelsea, Brentford and Fulham all recorded wins. QPR, meanwhile, were beaten by Middlesbrough…Grant Hall, below par against Middlesbrough, was backed by his bossQPR 2 Middlesbrough 3Match report  Hasselbaink reaction  Player ratings  Action: In Friday’s game, Jamie Mackie and Tjaronn Chery scored fine goals but QPR’s defensive lapses were punished by Middlesbrough at Loftus Road.Reaction: Rangers manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink bemoaned his team’s poor defending from set-pieces, but insisted the spirit in the camp remained good.He also backed Grant Hall after the defender’s below-par performance, calling him “the future at QPR”.R’s man of the match: Jamie Mackie, scorer of a stunning goal, was back to his battling, hassling best. Click here to see how we think the QPR players fared.Alexandre Pato scored one of Chelsea’s goals at Villa ParkAston Villa 0 Chelsea 4 Match report  Hiddink reaction  Player ratings Action: Pedro scored twice and Alexandre Pato was also on target on his long-awaited Chelsea debut in a convincing win at Villa Park.Reaction: Afterwards, Blues boss Guus Hiddink said Pato had been “suffering” in the weeks leading up to his debut, and was pleased the Brazilian’s hard work had paid off.He also expressed concerns about an injury to Loic Remy, who may miss the rest of the season, and explained why John Terry and Gary Cahill were absent against Villa.Meanwhile, Aston Villa caretaker boss Eric Black said he wouldn’t protect under-performing players and insisted the fans were owed a performance.Blues man of the match: Pedro scored twice in the second half after being Chelsea’s primary threat – click here to see how we rated the players.Moussa Dembele was on target once again for FulhamFulham 2 MK Dons 1Match report  Jokanovic reaction  Action: Moussa Dembele’s goal gave Fulham a crucial victory against the team immediately below them in the Championship relegation battle.Reaction: Head coach Slavisa Jokanovic said Fulham were still far from safe despite the crucial win that gave them a four-point cushion above the drop zone.Dean Smith was all smiles as Brentford won at ForestNottingham Forest 0 Brentford 3 Match report  Action: Brentford ended their miserable run – and virtually ended their relegation fears – with a fabulous victory at the City Ground.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Groundspeak’s Lost & Found Celebration –’s Lost & Found Video

first_imgGeocachers from around the world celebrated ten years of geocaching at Groundspeak Headquarters in Seattle, Washington on July 4th, 2010.  The Lost & Found Celebration brought together thousands of geocachers, dozens of Lackeys, Groundspeak’s mascot Signal the Frog, the Bubbleman, a dunk tank and The Founders of were also able to explore the Fremont neighborhood and earn a trackable HQ tag by completing a scavenger hunt.Groundspeak CEO, President and Co-Founder Jeremy Irish gets dunked.There’s more celebrating to come. Stay tuned for additional plans to commemorate ten years of geocaching.Tell us, how have you celebrated a decade of geocaching?You can see even more geocaching adventures by watching our Lost & Found video series here.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGroundspeak Weekly Newsletter – January 5, 2011January 5, 2011In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – 6/3/2010May 22, 2010In “News”Geocaching Caption Contest 9 – Win a Barely Coveted PrizeJuly 21, 2010In “Community”last_img read more

From Co-Working to Cubicles: Where Are You Working?

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#start#StartUp 101#startups Related Posts One of the fantastic things about being an entrepreneur is that you can define your own working conditions. From Craigslist’s modest Sunset District apartment headquarters to Twitter’s stylish new digs, startups are getting creative with their work spaces. Below are a few options to consider in choosing your space. Virtual: As covered in an earlier post, ReadWriteWeb runs a totally virtual office. Using a combination of Basecamp, Google Docs and Skype, the team manages to coordinate articles and interviews from more than five locations across the globe. Traveling Space: We recently came across iStopOver – a service that allows you to rent space for your team while on the go. If you’re together at a conference, or you’d just like a change of pace, this service allows you to rent furnished office space on a daily basis. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting dana oshiro Co-working: Rather than having your staff work in isolation, you can rent them desk space at one or a number of distributed co-working facilities. Sites like San Francisco’s Citizen Space and The Hat Factory allow nomadic tech workers to share ideas and solutions in a friendly environment. Many co-working spaces offer a daily drop in rate as well as the option for monthly membership. To find a space in your community, check out the co-working map on the Co-working community blog. Lease and Rent: Sites like LoopNet and Rofo specialize in finding commercial space. A number of sites will allow you to take on space for a short-term lease with the idea that you may need to scale up your team in a short period of time. If you’ve got a unique work environment, let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Here’s What Stripe, Stealth Payment Startup Backed by PayPal Founders, Will Do

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#news#web Related Posts A large number of entrepreneurs and investors are betting that the Internet is going to disrupt financial services just like it’s disrupted so many other industries. Stripe is one of those, it’s a stealthy startup aimed to make online payments super simple. It’s being built by three Irishmen in Silicon Valley and has reportedly amassed a few million dollars in funding before it’s even launched, from some of the very top investors in technology including from Paypal founders Peter Thiel and Elon Musk.Michael Arrington got the scoop tonight, posting details on the funding of a company known about by a just few observers; Reuters financial blogger Felix Salmon already followed the company on Twitter, for example, but has said before that he prefers to let other people report scoops first and then try to provide superior analysis later. This is a company we’ll be hearing a whole lot about in the future. According to Arrington, Stripe has raised money from PayPal founders Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, Google and YouTube backers Sequoia Capital, the super-hot Andreesen Horowitz and Ron Conway’s fund SV Angel. (The $2m that TechCrunch reports was invested seems surprisingly small for a crowd like that.) What makes Stripe different? It’s going to focus on data portability.Little is publicly known about Stripe so far, but here’s what we’ve heard from a source deep inside Google.Stripe will enable any developer to add payment and billing functionality to their own application with a JSON API that can be connected to in 5 minutes, with no branding requirements or directing users to the Stripe site. It will strive to be transparent and contemporary.The price? “An all-inclusive commission of 5%, and a per transaction fee of $0.30.” Though none of the founders originated in the US, due to the complexity of an arguably antiquated financial system, they say they will be limited at first to payments between US parties. Founders Patrick Collison, John Collison and Darragh Buckley appear to be focused on providing a nice, clean, developer-centric payment platform that they and their investors think could take on the world.What’s Most Interesting About StripeWhat’s most interesting about the company is its philosophy:The founders of Stripe feel very strongly about data portability. We’ll try to keep you with us by offering a better product than all of our competitors, but we won’t keep you by locking you in. If you want to leave us for somebody else, we’ll help you migrate your credit card data in a secure and PCI-compliant way. We’re programmers at heart, and we strongly believe in open systems and a level playing field.That sounds great. Given the pedigree of this startup’s investors, it will likely join pre-launched developer-centric banking startup Banksimple on a short list of high-profile efforts to shake up the future of finance from the bottom up.center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… marshall kirkpatricklast_img read more

Solving DOE’s Energy Efficiency Puzzle a Piece at a Time

first_imgOne way to grease the path for the Obama administration’s Homestar home-retrofit legislative proposal will be to show that current stimulus programs are yielding their intended results, or are at least about to.Last week, the head of the Department of Energy’s stimulus program, Matt Rogers, told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that the agency had developed a system for aggressively addressing the confusion and procedural issues that had been slowing disbursement of funds and implementation of the expanded Weatherization Assistance Program, the New York Times noted on Friday in a blog post headlined “DOE Says Stimulus Program Past Its Growing Pains.”Coming on the heels of a report by the DOE Inspector General that expressed alarm over the unexpectedly slow rollout of the expanded, $5 billion program, Rogers’ comments to the Senate committee were met with a mix of acceptance and impatience.Trying to convince the skepticsWhen objections focused on labor-intensive DOE reporting requirements, for example, Rogers said the requirements were nonetheless important because they help the department quickly identify grant recipients in need of extra assistance, particularly recipients in the weatherization program, which, as the Times pointed out, has been identified as one of 12 “high risk” areas for poor management. “I guess we will have to feel our way along and see if the requirement can be managed by the states and get everything else done,” said New Mexico Democrat Jeff Bingham, who is chairman of the committee.When considering further stimulus programs, cautioned Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, “we need to be working in a far more coordinated manner.”But the reality, too, is that most lawmakers and bureaucrats seem to have acclimated to a certain amount of improvisation. While no one who needs a job wants to wait for an ambitious WAP expansion to live up to its billing, the program is finally chugging ahead, according to Rogers, who noted that, by the end of March, the agency will be on pace to finish 30,000 efficiency upgrades per month and 250,000 this year.For insight into how the WAP push has been playing out for some of the people who hope to be doing the work in the field, click here for a report, recently prepared by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, that focuses on worker training and energy efficiency auditing services as they prepare – and wait – for job assignments in the Chicago area.last_img read more

Vajpayee Government does minor reshuffle of portfolios

first_imgIN HIGH PLACES: (From left) Adsul, Verma, Geete, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Vajpayee, Shekhawat and L.K. AdvaniThe minor reshuffle of portfolios in the Vajpayee Government was indeed minor. The move to depute two BJP ministers for party work fizzled out.While Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee was forced to replace Shiv Sena’s Suresh,IN HIGH PLACES: (From left) Adsul, Verma, Geete, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Vajpayee, Shekhawat and L.K. AdvaniThe minor reshuffle of portfolios in the Vajpayee Government was indeed minor. The move to depute two BJP ministers for party work fizzled out.While Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee was forced to replace Shiv Sena’s Suresh Prabhu with Anant Geete as power minister following Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s diktat, he stopped short of positive action.While senior Union ministers Arun Jaitley and M. Venkaiah Naidu stepped down from the Cabinet to strengthen the party last month, Vasundhara Raje and Uma Bharati are having second thoughts.The BJP brass has been unable to persuade Minister of State for Personnel Raje to work out a time-table to take over as Rajasthan party chief.After Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat’s move to the Centre, there is a vacuum in Jaipur, but Raje hasn’t yet obliged. Neither did the former sports minister.Bharati’s shift to the Coal Ministry though is rather surprising, coming as it does after her high-profile presence at the Manchester Commonwealth Games. She was supposed to take over from Madhya Pradesh BJP party president Vikram Verma, who has been given the sports portfolio, but didn’t. Former chief minister Kailash Joshi has been named for the post.The BJP’s “generational shift” strategy has come apart within a month. The other addition in the Vajpayee ministry – now 78 strong – is Sena MP Anantrao Adsul. If Adsul and Geete fail to deliver on Thackeray’s demands, there might be another reshuffle.advertisementlast_img read more

November 2 2016Here are a few more photos of this

first_imgNovember 2, 2016Here are a few more photos of this years Halloween costums.[photos by Sue Kirsch]Lana and RobPart of the Foundry crew and ZakDevron and RachelZeb, Ryan, Travis, Melissa, Aimee and DannyDr. SparksEllen and Nadialast_img