Friday, January 15, 2010

Venezuela 5.6 Earthquake on heels of Haiti Earthquake

Venezuela was struck by a 5.6 Richter Scale Earthquake today, Friday, right on the heels of the 7.0 Haiti Earthquake. According to NPR (National Public Radio), it hit near the coastal town of Carupano, Venezuela, which is just 813 miles from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

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A point six miles below and 10 miles from Port-au-Prince was the epicenter of Tuesday's 7.0 Haiti Earthquake, which left thousands of victims.

The US Geological Survey reports that the quake hit 7.3 miles below the ground in a region called Sucre, Venezuela.

There's no word of damage; just reports of people scared and shaken up.

The last large quake in Venezuela was in September 2008; it was 6.2 on the Richter Scale.

Stay tuned.

Peralta College Chancellor Elihu Harris out - The Black Hour

Photo: Sustainable Peralta

Peralta Colleges Chancellor Elihu Harris will leave the community college district after his contract expires this June.

Trustees opted not to renew Harris’ contract at Tuesday night's Board meeting and announced the search for a new chancellor. Abel Guillen, the Board’s new president, declined to discuss the decision further.

The decision follows a series of damaging reports by the Bay Area News Group (BANG) last summer that led to increased scrutiny of Harris -- and the Peralta Board. The Oakland Tribune later ran a front page article calling for Harris to be fired, but has not criticized the Board since. 

The Board was scheduled to approve its annual budget Tuesday, but pulled the item from the agenda prior to the meeting. At the Peralta Board's December 17 meeting – when the approval of the budget was postponed due to inaccuracies and public complaints – students demanded Trustees wait until the January 26 meeting to vote on the budget. Students' rationale was that the spring semester begins January 21, and approving the budget while students and staff were on winter break would not be transparent. 

In addition to all managers being placed on one-year contracts at Tuesday's Peralta Board meeting, Vice-Chancellor of Finance Tom Smith was placed on administrative leave and escorted off the Peralta premises by Peralta Police Services (Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputies). 

Harris is a former Mayor of Oakland, a state assembly member, and has been the Chancellor of the four-campus Peralta Colleges since 2003.

Read the complete report by The Black Hour Radio Show.

Haiti Earthquake News: Oakland Attorneys return to USA - Aimee Allison

[Aimee Allison, OaklandSeen] Oakland attorneys and activists Walter Riley and Barbara and Selena Rhine are back in the states after a harrowing experience in the aftermath of the quake in Haiti. For three days they dug through rubble and gave emergency medical care in the midst of the crisis. Longtime Haiti activists, their work continues now that they are coming home.

Riley and Rhine had been in the Port-au-Prince area touring service programs and schools as part of their work for the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund. On Tuesday afternoon, they were visiting Cite Soleil, a poor industrial area north of the airport. They joined Jean Van Kernizan, host and producer of Haiti's Radio Soleil, for dinner when the quake hit. At the the end of the shaking, his home was one of the few left standing in the area. Answering the need, Haiti Action set up a makeshift hospital in Van Kernizan's home to do what they can for the masses of injured people in the area. Until last night, Riley and the Rhines dug through rubble, dust and debris looking for survivors and cared for the injured including setting broken bones.

Riley and the Rhine arrived in New Jersey late last night and will arrive in the bay area tonight. They told follow Oakland's Haiti Emergency Relief board member Randall White about their experiences in the last hour. University students were among the survivors that came to the Van Kernizan home - for medical treatment. "We're calling these lawyers 'doctors' now," White said.

Randall White also spoke to the Riley about his observations of United Nation personnel immediately following the crisis. Apparently, they were riding around in their trucks but were not participating in relief efforts. In the critical hours after the quake, Riley said the state department was discouraging relief work because of security concerns, but on the ground Riley didn't witness violence or rioting. The UN headquarters collapsed during the earthquake.

Haiti Emergency Relief Fund workers have experienced losses, even while they as they try to help others. Radio Soleil Reporter Jean Ristil's two children were killed. The losses are still being counted as communication and aid is slow to reach many of the hardest hit areas.

Today, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Senator Leland Yee will honor the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund and other local relief efforts in a press conference later today. Walter Riley and Barbara Rhine will continue raising funds for Haiti relief upon their return to the bay area.

Haiti Relief is receiving about $14,000/hour right now, money Randall White hopes will keep coming to help those facing incredible hardships in Haiti.

Donate at:
Aimee Allison is Executive Producer for Join the facebook group here.

Rush Limbaugh Haiti comments lead to tampon insult to female caller

In blasting Haiti for, well, being Haiti in the wake of the devastating 7.0 Earthquake and many aftershocks,Rush Limbaugh managed to upset people who care about the Haitian problem, but Thursday he added women to that list, when he told a female caller named "April" that she had 'tampons in her ears because April wasn't following his "piercing, penetrating logic." Here's the text:

Rush Limbaugh: No, I’m not evading it at all. If I said it I meant to say it, and I do believe that everything is political to this president. Everything this president sees is a political opportunity, including Haiti, and he will use it to burnish his credentials with minorities in this country and around the world, and to accuse Republicans of having no compassion. [...]

APRIL: [A]re you implying that the Huffington Post as the one and only resource that I [read]? I even watch Fox News once in a while.

Rush Limbaugh: No, no, no, no, no. I’m not implying that. … What I’m illustrating here is that you’re a blockhead. What I’m illustrating here is that you’re a closed-minded bigot who is ill-informed. … And if you had listened to this program for a modicum of time you would know it. But instead you’re a blockhead. You’re mind is totally closed. You have tampons in your ears. Nothing is getting through other than the biased crap that you read.

Here's the entire conversation as recorded by Media Matters:

That comment set off a storm of online coverage and commentary from Think Progress, Yahoo Buzz, and hundreds of bloggers. The Reid Report asked:...… and at what point do rational people simply stop listening?

NewsBusters, a conservative blog, totally ignored Rush's tampon blast, and focused on the Haiti comments as if to maintain their ability to defend Limbaugh.

Rush Limbaugh defended his Haiti comments, but will he defend his tampon insult?

Stay tuned.

Haiti Earthquake news: Rep Barbara Lee leads Moment of Silence

On January 13th, Rep Barbara Lee (D - California, 9th District, Oakland) led the U.S. House of Representatives in a Moment of Silence for the victims in the wake of the devastating 7.0 Haiti Earthquake, and the over the thousands of people killed and injured as a result of the many aftershocks over 4 on the Richter Scale.

Here's Rep. Barbara Lee:

Haiti Earthquake update: Oakland's Walter Riley and Barbara Rhine in USA

In this Haiti Earthquake update: Oakland's Walter Riley and Barbara Rhine are back in the USA. CNN Associate Producer Katie Hawkins-Gaar sent an email reporting that Walter Riley, Barbara Rhine and Selene Rhine are safe and have landed in Ner Jersey on an evacuation plane, according to a family member.

Here's the CNN Ireport:

On January 13th in a blog report by Aimiee Allison of OaklandSeen, KPFA, and, Water Rliey, Barbara Rhine, and their daughter Selena were feared missing. They were last seen in in Port-au-Prince carrying out mission work for Haiti Action ( when the Haiti Earthquake struck.

Water Rliey's family, including hip hop singer Boots Riley and ABC News Reporter Denise James had not received any word from Walter, Barbara or Selena that day.

Walter Riley is a well-known civil rights attorney and progressive activist in Oakland. He is also lawyer for the Oakland Post, and President of Vanguard Foundation. Barbara Rhine is a practicing lawyer in downtown Oakland and lifelong progressive activist. Barbara Rhine has represented the United Farmworkers Union, serves on the board of the Kehilla Community Synagogue, and was a law professor at San Francisco's Golden Gate University.

The State Department has a phone number for Americans seeking information about family members. That number is 1-888-407-4747. you can post a pic and info about missing people at CNN iReport.

Tiger Woods donating $3 million to Wyclef Jean for Haiti support

According to the NY Daily News and Rap Mogul Russell Simmons, Tiger Woods, the World's Greatest Golfer, is establishing a $3 million aid donation consisting of doctors and supplies to Wyclef Jean as part of his Haiti recovery support efforts.

Earlier, Tiger Woods was considering the donation, but in this update, he's done it.

The original Daily News report was that Simmons said "Tiger Woods is working on sending a mobile hospital with 50 EMTs to go set up a triage."

According to Simmons and representatives of Wyclef Jean's Haitian relief organization, Yele Haiti, Tiger Woods Management is "excited" about the idea.

Reportedly, Simmons spokesman Marcus Harris is going to talk to Tiger Woods Friday morning. "I am just asking for his heart and his hand", Harris said. "Just to meet the needs of the people."

Simmons is working to get Wyclef Jean some help, although Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie gave $1 million for his effort, already.

Doctors are badly needed to help with the thousands of Haitians wounded and sick. Moreover, the level of medicine available was primitive at best, according to CNN's Anderson Cooper Thursday night.

Want a dancing job? Oscar needs you now for 2010 Academy Awardss!

Dancers wanted! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is looking for a few good dancers. So if you are a dancer looking for a big-time dancing job or "gig" look no further, check out The Oscars. Here's the info from AMPAS:

Beverly Hills, CA — Open dance auditions for the 82nd Academy Awards® telecast will be held on Friday, January 22, and Saturday, January 23, at CenterStaging in Burbank, California, telecast producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic announced today. Cast dancers will perform live during the Academy Awards show on Sunday, March 7, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®.

The auditions are open to professional-level male and female dancers in the contemporary and hip-hop styles who are between the ages of 18 and 30. Shankman, who began his career as a dancer and once performed on the Oscar show, will be choreographing the audition numbers with associate choreographers Anne Fletcher and Jamal Sims.

CenterStaging is located at 3407 Winona Avenue in Burbank. Interested dancers should note that parking is not available at CenterStaging. Individuals will need to find parking in the vicinity and pay any associated costs. Only qualified dancers will be admitted; there is no access for watching the auditions.

Following is the audition schedule:

Friday, January 22, 2010

9 a.m. – 11 a.m. - Union, Male
10 a.m. – noon - Union, Female
Noon – 2 p.m. - Non-union, Male
1 p.m. – 3 p.m. - Non-union, Female
3 p.m. – 6 p.m. - Trickers and Tumblers

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hip Hop
9 a.m. – 11 a.m. - Union, Male
10 a.m. – noon - Union, Female
Noon – 2 p.m. - Non-union, Male
1 p.m. – 3 p.m. - Non-union, Female
3 p.m. – 6 p.m. - Callback

Adam Shankman has been tweeting about this for a while. You can also visit the Oscar website for more information.

Haitian relief efforts draw Wyclef Jean, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

The Haitian relief efforts are well underway and now are being helped by celebrities like Wyclef Jean, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and George Clooney. In the wake of the Haiti 7.0 Earthquake, the greatest natural disaster in two centuries in the Caribbean has left thousands upon thousands of people injured or dead; people and aid are on the ground there, on the way, and underway in America and the World.

Wyclef Jean

Haitian native Wyclef Jean got his cell-phone based campaign Yele Haiti! going early and he's now on the ground in Haiti. *You can send your donations to Yele Hati or text "Yele" to 501 501 to donate $5 from your cell phone.)

Wyclef was on Fox News from Haiti Thursday to talk about the ground effort with Bill Hammer. "We spent the day picking up dead bodies all day. From kids," Wyclef said. "There's so much bodies in the street that the morgue has filled up. The cemeteries are filled up." Wyclef and his wife said there were so many bodies that they had no choice. He's calling for a State of Emergency.

Brad Pitt and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie are in the United States as per this writing. They have reached out to Haitian relief efforts by donating $1 million to Wyclef Jean's Haiti Fund.

In a statement, Brad and Angelina said "We will work closely with our good friend Wyclef Jean to support the humanitarian efforts on the island and help those who have been injured and left without homes and shelter."

Meanwhile, Up In The Air's George Clooney has organized a telethon to be hosted on the MTV Networks and ABC, NBC, HBO and CNN February 22nd from 8 to 10 PM. The events logistics are still being developed and entertainment identified.

Stay tuned.