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Monday, September 26, 2011

you failed the health inspection really? really?

Prickly Pear Taqueria, Thumbs Up Diner and others that failed health inspections last month

Lots of dirty dishes ~ what now atlanta

Fulton County restaurants that failed their health inspection in August

What’s considered failing?
Failing scores change from one health inspector to the next but the industry standard is that anything below a 70 (out of 100) is failing, according to April Majors, public information officer for the Fulton County Environmental Health Services Department.
With out further ado, here’s a list of Fulton County restaurants that failed their health inspection in August– Bon app├ętit!

Prickly Pear Taqueria

Failed inspection: August 19, 2011 Score: 29, Grade: U (Full report and violations)
(950 West Peachtree Street Suite 220 Atlanta, GA 30309)
Prickly Pear Taqueria | Failed restaurant health inspection, August 2011 ~ what now atlanta

Thumbs Up Diner

Failed inspection: August 17, 2011 Score: 60, Grade: U (Full report and violations)
(1140 Alpharetta Street Suite 100 Roswell, GA 30075)
Thumbs Up Diner | Failed Restaurant Health Inspections, August 2011 ~ what now atlanta

Annie Thai Castle

Failed inspection: August 30, 2011 Score: 63, Grade: U (Full report and violations)
(3195 Roswell Road Atlanta, GA 30305)
Annie Thai Castle | Failed Restaurant Health Inspections, August 2011 ~ what now atlanta

Il Mio Il Tuo Inc.

Failed inspection: August 29, 2011 Score: 55, Grade: U (Full report and violations)
(800 Peachtree Street Suite F1 Atlanta, GA 30308)
Il Mio Il Tuo Inc. | Failed Restaurant Health Inspections ~ what now atlanta


Failed inspection: August 4, 2011 Score: 68, Grade: U (Full report and violations)
(7820 Senoia Road Fairburn, GA 30213)
McDonald's | Failed Restaurant Health Inspections ~ what now atlanta

Jersey Mike’s Subs

Failed inspection: August 30, 2011 Score: 65, Grade: U (Full report and violations)
(227 Sandy Springs Plaza Suite 102C Atlanta, GA 30028)
Jersey Mike's Subs | Failed Restaurant Health Inspections ~ what now atlanta

Rice Bowl Thai and Sushi

Failed inspection: August 17, 2011 Score: 69, Grade: U (Full report and violations)
(2900 Peachtree Road Suite 115 Atlanta, GA 30305)
Rice Bowl Thai and Sushi | Failed Restaurant Health Inspections ~ what now atlanta

Mama Mia’s Pizzeria

Failed inspection: August 31, 2011 Score: 55, Grade: U (Full report and violations)
(225 Central Avenue Suite D Atlanta, GA 30303)
Mama Mia's Pizzeria | Failed Restaurant Health Inspections ~ what now atlanta
[Editor's note: The health inspection reports listed might not reflect the most recent scores for these restaurants. Follow-up scores will only be posted for restaurants that pass their next routine (random) inspection. Wondering why we don’t publish re-inspections and passing scores? Click here.]

whats new in atlanta and whats getting old

Modern restaurant to replace Copeland’s of Buckhead

Modern Buckhead ~ what now atlanta

Connecticut-based restaurant group to open tasting room, market and restaurant on Piedmont Road.

Buckhead is getting Atlanta’s newest “new American cuisine” restaurant.
It’s called Modern Buckhead, has three concepts built in one and is opening at 3356 Piedmont Road.
It will offer a restaurant, tasting room and market, according to Modern’s website and will replace the now shuttered Copeland’s of Buckhead. Copeland’s closed mid-August.
The space is being redesigned by architect Jay George of Evolution Design. Kane Xu, a restauranteur from Connecticut and owner of the Eastwood Restaurant Group, will open Modern in Buckhead.
The restaurant portion of the concept, as defined by its website:
The MODERN main dining room features cuisine described as “casual elegant dining” for lunch and dinner. The same menu will be available in the newly renovated bar that opens onto Piedmont Road with outdoor seating. The MODERN bar and main dining room promises to feature the most exciting New American cuisine in Atlanta with a focus on seafood along with prime meats. Offerings will range from butter poached Maine lobster with asparagus & mushroom risotto to a lamb shank slow roasted with fall glazed root vegetables served with stone ground grits and lamb jus, as well as a Wagyu burger.
The tasting room portion of the concept, as defined by its website:
The MODERN Tasting Room will be open nightly featuring five to seven courses from the Chef’s tasting menu. The Tasting Room will seat around 45 guests in addition to a chef’s table that seats 12 to 16 and is separated from the kitchen by a glass wall. MODERN Tasting Room is available by reservation, but every attempt will be made to accommodate those who walk in seeking a unique and more specialized dining experience.
The market portion of the concept, as defined by its website:
MODERN Market will be a reinvention of a “coffee shop” offering homemade bread, ice cream, a variety of desserts, coffee, tea, cappuccino and other beverages. In addition, the MODERN Market will feature signature sauces, dressings and prepared food for MODERN enthusiasts who want to enjoy the flavors in the comfort of their home. The MODERN Market will be open from early morning until midnight.
Modern is scheduled to open in the Atlanta Marketplace in early fall, 2011.

Sweet Ga Brown: whats new in atlanta and whats getting old

Sweet Ga Brown: whats new in atlanta and whats getting old: Burrito joint puts Johnny Rockets’ Buckhead location out of business by caleb j. spivak on September 16, 2011 in restaurants...

whats new in atlanta and whats getting old

Burrito joint puts Johnny Rockets’ Buckhead location out of business

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill ~ what now atlanta
Photo courtesy of Lime Fresh on Facebook

20-year-old burger joint gets chopped into guacamole.

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, a Miami-based Tex-Mex concept, is expanding to Atlanta forcing another restaurant out on the streets.
Opening in Buckhead at 5 West Paces Ferry Road, Lime Fresh will replace Johnny Rockets, which is still open for business.
Johnny Rockets, which opened its Buckhead location in 1991, will celebrate both its 20 year anniversary and its closing, this November when its lease comes up.
Steven Snyder Jr., area manager for several Metro Atlanta Johnny Rockets locations including the West Paces Ferry one, told What Now Atlanta there’s a chance it might not close.
“Our landlord’s been telling us [Lime Fresh] is coming in,” Snyder Jr. said. “But it’s not a done deal.”
The Tex-Mex chain posted an AD on Career Builder Friday seeking applicants for the Buckhead location.
Sorry to say Snyder, but that sounds like a done deal to us.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

QUOTE:"I RAN THAT NIGGER OVER"!!!!! This is a 19 yr old child yall that allegedly said this to his other friends, Its 2011 and this child has so much hate in him based on what he has been taught by others. He has not seen a day of the jim crow laws or segregation yet he has the same hate in him as if he was right there!!! parents, teachers and whoever else please be aware of what you are saying to these kids now because they take it all as face value. Now this child (and i say child cause thats what he is to me a child who is so hateful that he decides to help kill someone else because of his skin color and what he thinks that means) has been charged with CAPITAL MURDER! All because of what he was taught by someone else!! Racism still exist people and it is far worse now than before because now they are infecting children who think that they are justified automatically for killing someone. smh... damn

Mississippi teen charged with capital murder in alleged hate killing

By Michael Martinez, CNN
updated 9:55 PM EST, Tue September 20, 2011
Deryl Paul Dedmon's lawyer has told the court there is nothing to back up the
Deryl Paul Dedmon's lawyer has told the court there is nothing to back up the "racial allegations."
  • Deryl Paul Dedmon, 19, is also charged with a hate-crime enhancement
  • James Craig Anderson, 48, who is black, was beaten by a group of white teens
  • Anderson, a factory worker who sang in a church choir, was also run over by a truck
  • Prosecutor plans to seek indictments against other teens allegedly involved
(CNN) -- A 19-year-old Mississippi man was charged with capital murder Tuesday in the death of an African-American man who died after allegedly being beaten by a group of white teens and run over by a truck, authorities said.
Deryl Paul Dedmon, 19, of Brandon, Mississippi was also charged by a grand jury with hate-crime enhancement in the murder of James Craig Anderson, said Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.
The indictment alleges that Dedmon killed Anderson while in the commission of committing felony robbery, Smith said in a statement.
Anderson's family, however, is asking state and federal officials not to seek the death penalty in the case.
Relatives of Anderson, who died shortly after receiving his injuries on June 26, sent a letter with their request to Smith, saying the family is opposed to the death penalty partly for religious reasons.
The indictment against Dedmon alleged Anderson was targeted because of his race.
Dedmon's arraignment has yet to be scheduled, Smith said.
Federal authorities have joined the local investigation, and both authorities are determining "the appropriate venue for the prosecution of any remaining suspects," Smith's statement said.
"All options are being considered and with each passing day, more evidence is being gathered," Smith said.
The death of Anderson, 48, occurred early June 26 in Jackson, allegedly at the hands of white teens who, after a night of partying and drinking, decided to go looking for black people to assault, law enforcement officials have said, quoting one of the suspects in the case.
Watch: Incident caught on video
Anderson's death drew national attention after CNN first reported it and aired exclusive surveillance video of the killing, captured by a parking lot security camera in a Jackson suburb.
Smith, the district attorney, has called it "vicious" and a "premeditated hate crime."
The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the death as a possible federal hate crime and assisting local prosecutors. The killing has also prompted several large marches and prayer vigils in Jackson, a city of about 175,000 people.
A second teen, John Aaron Rice, 18, was initially charged with murder, but a judge reduced the charge to simple assault because Rice was not believed to be driving the vehicle used to kill Anderson.
However, Hinds County prosecutors have said they plan to seek indictments against Rice for murder and a hate crime, and will seek indictments against other teens who were at the scene.
The district attorney's office has not officially commented on the family's request for no death penalty in the case.
Last week, the Anderson family filed a wrongful death suit against all seven of the white teens alleged to have been present at the beating of Anderson that immediately preceded him being run over by the truck. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nationally recognized organization based in Montgomery, Alabama, that opposes racism and intolerance, joined the lawsuit.
In addition to Dedmon and Rice, the lawsuit names five other teens as taking part in the incident: Sarah Graves of Crystal Springs; Shelbie Richards of Pearl; and William Kirk Montgomery, John Blaylock and Dylan Butler, all of Brandon. None of the five has been arrested or charged.
Anderson, a line worker at a Nissan plant, sang in his church choir, according to the family's attorney, Winston J. Thompson III. He leaves behind his partner of 17 years.
Attorneys for Dedmon and Rice have not responded to requests for comment from CNN.
During a recent bond hearing, Dedmon's attorney told the court he saw nothing to back up the "racial allegations."
A civil trial can proceed at the same time as a criminal case, but often the civil case is delayed pending the resolution of a criminal trial. While a criminal case is pending, a defendant in a civil case may need to invoke the Fifth Amendment.
Authorities believe Dedmon led and instigated the attack, which took place after a night of drinking in largely white Rankin County, outside Jackson.
The gang of teens climbed into Dedmon's green truck and a white SUV and drove 16 miles to the western edge of Jackson. They would have seen Anderson immediately as they exited the highway, officials said. He was standing in a hotel parking lot just beyond the exit ramp.
On the videotape obtained exclusively by CNN, the group of teens is seen pulling into the parking lot and stopping where Anderson is standing, although he is just off camera and not visible.
The teens can then be seen going back and forth between their cars and Anderson.
Witnesses told authorities this is when Anderson's beating took place, as the teens yelled racial epithets, including "white power."
Authorities allege Dedmon and many of the other teens pummeled Anderson repeatedly as he crumpled to the ground, although this is not visible on the tape. After the beating, some of the teens left and others got into the green Ford truck.
At this moment, Anderson becomes visible on the tape as he staggers into view and walks toward the truck.
"Defendant Dedmon drove the F-250 out of the parking lot and turned right onto Ellis Avenue," the lawsuit says. "Just as Dedmon turned right, his headlights shone directly on Anderson, who, having been severely beaten, was stumbling in a grassy area near the motel's entrance. Dedmon accelerated, drove onto and over the street curb, and struck Anderson with the front of the F-250."
Shortly afterward, Dedmon allegedly boasted and laughed about the killing, according to statements some of the teens made to detectives. "I ran that n----- over," he allegedly said in a phone conversation to the teens in the other car.
The proceedings of the case are taking place in the Hinds County courthouse, where in 1994 Byron de la Beckwith was convicted in the notorious killing of civil rights leader Medgar Evers in 1963.
CNN Special Investigation Unit's Drew Griffin and Scott Bronstein contributed to this report.

well damn!!! There are some really really insane people in this world to put a bomb in your turbin just to stop peace talks with the taliban!

Turban bomb kills key Afghan political leader

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed September 21, 2011
Afghan official killed by bomber
  • NEW: ISAF commander says the face of the peace initiative has been attacked
  • NATO says 2 suicide bombers carried out the attack; Afghan authorities described one
  • Four people were wounded in the attack, a police spokesman says
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- An Afghan political figure considered vital to peace efforts in the country was assassinated Tuesday, officials said.
Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former Afghan president who had been leading the Afghan peace council, was killed in an attack at his home.
NATO's International Security Assistance Force said two suicide bombers, "feigning a desire to conduct reconciliation talks, detonated themselves."
Afghan officials earlier said there was one bomber.
Afghan politician mourns Rabbani
Killing exposes fragility in Afghanistan
Afghan peace council leader killed
The attacker hid the explosive device inside his turban, said Hasmat Stanikzai, spokesman for Kabul police.
An Afghan intelligence source told CNN that the bomber arrived at the house at the same time a meeting was due to take place between Rabbani and a delegation representing the Taliban insurgency.
Stanikzai said the bomber claimed to be a Taliban member who had come for the talks about peace and reconciliation, and detonated the explosives as he entered the home.
Four other people were wounded, including Masoom Stanikzai, a key adviser to Rabbani, the police spokesman said.
A doctor at a 400-bed hospital in Kabul said, "We have received three people from the blast at Rabbani's house. Among the injured are Masoom Stanikzai, one bodyguard and an assistant" to Rabbani.
Rabbani was long considered crucial to Afghan and coalition efforts to bring Taliban leaders into the reconciliation process.
He was also heading the United National Front Party, the largest political party that stands in opposition to President Hamid Karzai.
Karzai called Rabbani's killing a "very tragic loss" for his country.
Speaking at the United Nations in New York, Karzai described Rabbani as "an Afghan patriot" who "has sacrificed his life for the sake of Afghanistan and for the peace of our country."
"We will miss him very much," Karzai said.
Karzai cut short his time at the United Nations. His office said he would return to Afghanistan in the wake of the killing.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of the violence in Afghanistan, including Rabbani's assassination, "We know that is the campaign the insurgents are on. We've got to adjust to that and protect the leaders.
"Someone is going to have to step in very quickly because that is a critical part of the peace process," Mullen said of Rabbani's role. The killing represents the strategy of the Taliban to assassinate as many leaders as possible, Mullen said.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called the assassination "an attack on the Afghan people as they begin to take their country's security in their own hands."
"To those who offer only death and destruction to the Afghan people, our message is clear: You will not prevail," he said in a statement.
Gen. John R. Allen, commander of ISAF, said the "face of the peace initiative has been attacked."
"This is another outrageous indicator that, regardless of what Taliban leadership outside the country say, they do not want peace, but rather war," Allen said in a statement.
The loud explosion heard in the attack on the home prompted temporary lockdowns at the nearby U.S. Embassy and ISAF headquarters as officials investigated the source of the blast.
Personnel at the U.S. Embassy were instructed to take cover late Tuesday afternoon due to an incident outside the embassy's perimeter, an embassy spokesman said.
"It appears at this time that the embassy was not the target of the incident," spokesman Gavin Sundwall said in a statement. "We are working to account for all embassy personnel and staff."
ISAF headquarters was on lockdown for about 30 minutes, an ISAF spokesman said.
People at the headquarters heard a couple of deep booms followed by sirens, the spokesman said.

Now isn't this interesting? The Supreme court decided this case should be reconsidered yesterday as well as them deciding Troy Davis should go ahead and be executed. So you are telling me that you couldn't halt both executions yesterday? Really? Again I must say that the "God Theory" that we have been trained to believe in cannot be accurate! please read this case and my blog on troy davis earlier this morning. smh NOTE: They actually found this man's DNA inside the woman. that means they found evidence people.. something is terribly wrong with our justice system. Oh i know what it is our justice system is "God" when it comes to who should die, how they should die, when they should die, and if they get a second, third, and fourth chance!! hmmm

Texas death row inmate granted another Supreme Court reprieve

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer
updated 6:42 PM EST, Tue September 20, 2011
Cleve Foster, 47, was scheduled to die for the 2002 murder of a Sudanese woman.
Cleve Foster, 47, was scheduled to die for the 2002 murder of a Sudanese woman.
  • Court grants Cleve Foster his third stay of execution
  • The order came just 2 1/2 hours before the scheduled lethal injection
  • He was scheduled to die for the 2002 murder of a Sudanese woman
  • Court said it needed more time to rule on his claims of ineffective counsel
Washington (CNN) -- The Supreme Court for the third time this year has stopped the pending capital punishment of a Texas inmate, giving lawyers for the man more time to file their appeals.
The justices on Tuesday issued an order granting a stay of execution for Cleve Foster, about 2 1/2 hours before his scheduled lethal injection. The Gulf War veteran was convicted along with another man of the 2002 murder of Nyanuer "Mary" Pal, a Sudanese immigrant he met at a Fort Worth bar.
The court indicated it would need more time to rule on the inmate's claims of prior ineffective assistance of counsel, and related claims of innocence of the murder.
This is the third time Foster, 47, has been granted a high court reprieve. His previous scheduled execution was stopped in January and April, once after he had already been given his last meal.
His April procedure was to be the state's first execution using a new sedative, the first in the lethal drug cocktail. A nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental forced corrections officials to announce they would use pentobarbital, a barbiturate that has alternately been used to put animals to sleep. Foster's lawyers had challenged that change, saying Texas foisted the new protocols so late, with little time for legal or medical review.
The state has since executed several inmates with the new drug mixture, without noted complications.
Foster has blamed his co-conspirator for the murder. His lawyers in their Supreme Court appeal presented letters from three fellow inmates who said co-defendant Sheldon Ward told them he acted alone in Pal's murder. The state countered Ward's statements to a psychologist implicating Foster as the mastermind behind the killing. They also said DNA from both men were found in the victim.
Texas has a planned lethal injection Wednesday. Lawrence Brewer, 44, was one of two white men convicted in the 1998 dragging death of James Byrd Jr., an African-American. That widely reported crime led to national movement to step up prosecutions and penalties for hate crimes.
Brewer has no pending appeals. It would be the 11th execution this year in Texas, the most active death-penalty state.
The current case is Foster v. Texas (11-6427).

SMH... It's 2011 and women are still looked upon as second class!!! And whats even more sad is that Ms. Taraji P. Henson is the only woman in the lead cast and african american thats a double minority!!! I guess my question is did they choose her for this role because they wanted to be politically correct on both ends or was it simply because she was the best actor for the part? if she was the best actor for the part then why in the heck was she not on the cover of TV Guide with her fellow cast members? Either way it is apparent that she was left out of the photo on purpose smh And this is why I support Tyler Perry Studios he does not cancel you out of a photo shoot because you are a woman...or a minority as a matter of fact he encourages his people to be the best they can be and he in return will make sure you get noticed....



Taraji P. Henson is pretty upset with TV Guide. Why? Oh, they just so happened to forget to include her in their cast photo shoot for the CBS drama series Person of Interest. Somehow Henson (who plays Detective Carter, the female lead role on the show) was not informed and left out of the loop. Once she found out, the Karate Kid actress took to her Twitter and Facebook page to vent about her disappointment:
She even let out some steam on her Facebook fan page:
“WOW!!!! TV Guide is NOT including me on the cover with my cast members……..I am the female lead of a 3 member cast and I’m not included on the cover!!!!!! Do you see the shit I have to deal with in this business…..I cram to understand!!!!” [Source]
On a positive note, you can catch the premiere of Taraji’s new show, Person Of Interest on Thursday, Sept 22 at 9/8pm CST on CBS.
( Photos: Getty Images / )

Re examine the "God Theory"

To be quite honest right now, My whole theory on GOD has changed. Not my belief in something higher than myself but my theory or what I have been trained to think as a child and young adult about GOD and Religion. I saw hundreds of people yesterday and the weeks prior to Mr. Davis execution. I saw people with shirts that read "I am Troy Davis" , I saw Arch Bishop Desmund TuTu, Pope Benedict XVI, and Rev. Al Sharpton go against this case. I saw where 650,000 people signed a petition to grant clemency for Mr. Davis, I saw people gathered in Jackson, Ga. holding vigils and prayer sessions for this man. Now I know that some will not agree with me here and that religious people will deny to infinity that "the lord knows best". But what if this has nothing to do with God? What if what we have been taught for years, and decades and centuries about faith, religion and God is not what it  really is? What if religion and the different sectors of religion was truly designed to create a false hope and a false belief? What if the belief in "God" as man has set forth for us to believe is actually all a lie?  How could a "God of a second chance" let anything happen to someone who is innocent? How could "the lord" not hear the hundreds upon hundreds of people praying for this man's life to be spared? I thought the saying is that "there is power in prayer" and "faith without works is dead" and "God is a forgiving God" WTH? None of this makes sense and you know why? Because the God of a second chance yesterday for Mr. Troy Davis was the supreme court justices and they waited three hours after this man was scheduled to die still strapped to a damn gurney waiting his fate and DENIED him his second chance. The supreme court justices were our Gods last night people. I am not trying to make anyone angry but the "THEORY" of God can not be accurate based on what happened yesterday and the weeks and months and years (22yrs to be exact) that this case has been fought in the court systems. We must re examine what it is to believe in a higher power that might truly only exist within us as human beings. It is clear to me that my theory on God is not accurate. I urge everyone to stop following what it is you think is correct based on what another human being "interpreted" in a book that is over 1000 yrs old. I urge us all to do our own research and see life for what it is not for what we hope it might be just so that we can be excused for everything we do "wrong" or is considered a "sin". A sin? really? They just found 35 bodies in a truck in Mexico where some of the bodies were  falling out of the truck on to the fucking highway!!!!!! 35 bodies!!!!!  The God that is watching all of this and allowing all of this after his "son" died for our "sins" makes no sense. So if you died for my sins that you know I was already going to commit then where is the second chance in that? I am not saying there is no GOD or we should give up as a human race but something just aint right about this "theory of God". I believe that the people that came up with this theory got exactly what they wanted. It has gotten people seperated and divided on things from the death penalty to the seperation of state and church. If its one nation under God how can anything be seperate?  Please believe in yourself and all that you do because if God exist it exist within each and every human being on this planet and it is up to us a human beings to allow the God in us to shine through in all that we do. THIS POST IS MY OPINION AND MY OPINION ALONE IT IS NOT MEANT TO DISCOURAGE OR DISRESPECT ANYONE OR ANYTHING. PLEASE INTERPRET WITH AN OPEN MIND AND OPEN EYES AND AN OPEN HEART.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Now what I am not understanding is why is it shocking that college grads would be filing bancruptcy? This is why I constantly stress that a college degree means nothing if you don't have a back up plan like entrepreneurialship(sp?) anyway you have to know a little bit about everything in this day and age.. and stop thinking that you are not included in this mess thats going on with the debt crisis...

Bankruptcy among college grads grows

@CNNMoney September 13, 2011: 8:39 AM ET
bankruptcy collegeMore college graduates are filing for bankruptcy, according to the Institute for Financial Literacy.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Bankruptcy has gotten more educated over the past five years, as financial distress spread to more of the population with college degrees, according to study results released Tuesday.
"The Great Recession has had a dramatic impact on the bankruptcy filings of American consumers across the economic spectrum -- including college-educated, high-income earners," said Leslie Linfield, executive director and founder of the Institute for Financial Literacy, which conducted the study.
While those who didn't graduate from college make up 70% of debtors, the study found that the rate of college graduates filing for bankruptcy increased by 20%.
"While less educated, low-income individuals continue to represent the typical bankruptcy filer, this report underscores a sophisticated evolution of the profile of the American debtor that now extends to disparate age, income and ethnic groups," Linfield said.
The study involved more than 50,000 respondents and ran from 2006 to 2010, tracking the financial status of debtors since the passage of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act.
Not surprisingly, the rate of unemployed Americans filing for bankruptcy increased by 21% since 2006. But since the study was first conducted in 2006, there has been a gradual shift in bankruptcy filings toward higher income earners.
In 2006, only 5.5% of the debtors participating in the report made more than $60,000, but this income bracket shifted to more than 9% by 2010.
Married Americans were hit particularly hard, experiencing a 12% increase in bankruptcy filings since 2006.
Married people represent more than 60% of all filings. Of those filings, nearly 35% were joint petitions, the study said.
"Married was the dominant marital status of those seeking bankruptcy protection between 2006 and 2010," read the report.

How I saved $50,000 in college costs

When asked about the causes of their financial distress from 2006 to 2010, increasing rates of respondents reported that they were overextended on their credit, had experienced a reduction in income, or had lost their jobs.
Other causes, such as unexpected expenses, death of a family member, illness and injury, showed a decrease over five years.
The study also explored the racial demographic of debtors. The rate of whites and Native Americans filing for bankruptcy was little changed over five years.

Paying the bills with 'blood money'

But the percentage of Asian- Americans who filed for bankruptcy more than doubled, from 2.1% in 2006 to 4.5% in 2010. The percentage of Hispanics filing for bankruptcy also increased, to 8.7% from 6.5%.
African-Americans were the only ethnic group to show a significant decline in bankruptcy filings, to 11.3% from 15.4%. To top of page


The new face of the U.S. post office

September 12, 2011 10:14 a.m. EDT
Click to play
New 'village' post office
  • The U.S. Postal Service, facing $9 billion in debt, is looking to slash operating costs
  • It opened its first "village" post office at a mini-mart in Malone, Washington
  • Some 3,700 other post offices may be turned into village post offices, Postal Service says
  • The couple that runs the mart earns $2,000 a year to let the post office use its store
Malone, Washington (CNN) -- The post office in the tiny Washington town of Malone sells beer and cigarettes. Live worms for fishing, too. The boxes for fixed-rate shipping are wedged between racks of beef jerky and $6.99 sunglasses.
The Malone location is what the U.S. Postal Service has dubbed a "village" post office. It's inside Red's Hop N' Market, the town mini-mart where locals like to buy lottery tickets and a case of beer before the weekend.
It's the only village post office in the country, but soon a similar hybrid may be coming to a town near you.
As the Postal Service buckles under a $9 billion debt, the mail agency has looked for ways to slash operating costs.
"The primary thing we look at is how much revenue they (post offices) generate (and) has that revenue been going down," said Ernie Swanson, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service in Seattle.
"(At) a lot of these offices, there's a postmaster and no other employee. So do they have an hour or two of work a day, and we are paying them for eight hours?"
Some 3,700 post offices may soon face being turned into village post offices, according to the Postal Service. Last week, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe testified at a Senate hearing that as many as 220,000 post office employees could lose their jobs in the restructuring.
Postmaster general's warning to Congress
For Malone -- the test ground for the first village post office -- having mail service quite literally put the town on the map.
Search for Malone on Google Maps, and the only landmark that comes up for the entire town is the original, now closed, post office.
Cheryl Kim and her husband, Johnny, own the Red's Hop N' Market, where the village post office is located.
When the couple received a letter last year from the Postal Service inquiring whether they would incorporate the post office into their store, Cheryl Kim said they were confused.
"We didn't know what to make of it," she said. "So we put it on the back burner."
Big, blue mailboxes a thing of the past
Kim said she was convinced after a visit in June by post office officials, who she said, mentioned the possibility that the town could lose its ZIP code if there were no post office.
"If we didn't do this, then the Malone ZIP code was going to disappear," Kim said. "Malone's identity was going to disappear. I didn't want that to happen."
The village post office opened in August in the Kims' store. The couple is paid $2,000 a year to let the post office sell stamps, shipping supplies and place mailboxes alongside the store that residents can access with a key.
According to Swanson, the Postal Service is saving $42,000 with the village post office in Malone.
Future village post offices could be located in malls, town halls or drugstores, according to a Postal Service statement.
Opinion: Why we need the Postal Service
Bringing in some of the post office's customers hasn't been bad for the Malone mini-mart's business either, Kim said.
"We've noticed a lot of new faces," she said. "They come into see what the village post office looked like and what we did in here and what kind of postal options they could get."
Those "postal options" are slim. If customers want to do anything more than to buy stamps, send a package with fixed rate shipping or pick up their mail, they have to drive about four miles away to the closest full service post office.
But Swanson said increasingly post office customers are seeking fewer services.
"Eighty-five percent of our retail sales involve the sale of just postage stamps," he said.
(At) a lot of these (post)offices, there's a postmaster and no other employee.
--Ernie Swanson, U.S. Postal Service spokesman
While some residents have grumbled about the lack of services, others were glad that they can still pick up their market from individual locked mailboxes that run along the side of the market, Kim said.
Some disabled people and town residents who don't own cars, she said, would have a hard time getting their mail otherwise.
Malone may have the distinction of being the first American town to have its post office downgraded to a "village" location, but few residents said they see any slight.
"I have been in some towns smaller than Malone; they still have post offices, but I guess you got to start somewhere," said Ron Johanson, a local auto mechanic.
So far, Johanson said, fellow residents don't seem to mind retrieving their mail from the outdoor boxes placed against the wall of the mini-mart during the summer.
It might be different story though, he said, once the drizzly weather returns to the notoriously rainy Pacific Northwest.
"Come back in March," Johanson said. "That will be the real test."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Mentally ill sisters freed from chains in West Bank

By Kevin Flower, CNN
September 1, 2011 11:38 a.m. EDT
Click to play
Family: Chaining our daughters necessary
  • Nedaa Dawabsha was chained up for 10 years; sister Mohedeye for the past two
  • The Palestinian Authority: more help should be offered to the mentally illl
  • Doctor who treated girls calls their treatment "immoral" and "unacceptable"
(CNN) -- We first met Mohedeye and Nedaa Dawabsha sitting quietly on the floor of a small room in their family's modest house in the dusty West Bank village of Duma. Neither of the sisters were able to leave the room.
Connected to harnesses around their waists was a meter-and-a-half of chain links, binding them to a heavy metal locker in the corner of the room.
According to their family Nedaa, 21, had been confined like this for the past 10 years and her sister Mohedeye, 25, for the past two.
Mohedeye and Nedaa suffer from severe mental disability, their older sister Intesar Dawabsha told us, and are incapable of functioning without constant care. Mental illness ran in the family, Intesar explained, but her sister's condition was particularly severe.
"They need someone to take care of them 24 hours, to give them food because they cannot eat properly, they cannot do their basic needs, they cannot change their clothing, they cannot clean themselves, they need someone 24 hours," Intesar told CNN.
The sister's parents, Uthamn and Houda Dawabsha, are both battling illness and are not up to the task of caring for Nedaa and Mohedeye, according to Intesar.
Houda is laid up in bed most of the time and Uthman, who works as an itinerant farmer, says jobs are few and far between and that he's lucky if he makes over fifteen dollars a day.
The Dawabsha family members say the lack of resources mean they were not able to provide the girls with the necessary care -- and it was when the two girls began leaving the home in the middle of the night and entering neighbors' houses that the family resorted to tying them up.
"I'm very worried for my sisters, especially because sometimes they leave at night and they cannot make any difference if anyone will attack them," Intesar explained. "I am very afraid that one day they will be sexually attacked, I'm very afraid they will be raped."
And in this conservative Palestinian village of just over 2,000 people, there were also concerns about tradition and family honor.
"I prefer that they will stay in the chains," said Majeda Dawabsha, the girls' cousin told CNN.
"Because the other option is that someone could rape them and you know that the question of honor in this society is very important and the fact that she is disabled doesn't ease the penalty," Majeda said. "All that we have in this place is honor ... to be bound is better than to be killed."
Mohammad Dawabsha, a local council member and distant family relation, said the residents of Duma had great sympathy for the plight of the sisters -- but beyond the occasional donation of money, there was little they could do to help. He said the family was faced with an impossible situation.
"If something bad will happen the family will be accused with not being responsible, so the only solution for the family is to tie them," he said. "And yes it is not human and yes it is bad, but with no solution from the government to put them in institution, to tie them up is the only solution."
Intesar said she sought help for her sisters on several occasions from the Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank, even going as far to visit the office of the Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, but that her pleas went unanswered.
"I want that Mr. Fayyad will come and visit us in order to see the condition -- he cannot understand the situation until he sees it," she explained in frustration.
"I don't think there is another house in the West Bank where the mother and the father, the brothers and the sisters are all mentally ill and I am the only one who is taking care of them, and I cannot do this anymore."
Dauod al-Deek, an assistant deputy minister in the Palestinian Authority ministry of social affairs, acknowledged to CNN that the government should have done more to help the Dawabsha family.
He said that the sisters' years-long confinement might have been avoided had the ministry done a better job of making Palestinians aware of some of the social services available to them.
"Frankly we have this cultural problem, we still feel that the disabled in general are stigmatized," he explained. "We need to work a lot in the social marketing to change such a perception in the people."
Al-Deek said the ministry is in the process of adopting a rights-based approach to the treatment of mental illness rather than a needs-based approach -- and that the ministry is increasingly buying services from third-party care providers to make up for the lack of government-run treatment facilities.
Just days after we visited Nedaa and Mohedeye at their home and made official inquiries about their case, the Palestinian Authority managed to find spaces for the sisters in the Bethlehem-based Four Homes of Mercy, one of only two West Bank facilities offering 24-hour care for the mentally impaired.
The center's medical director, Dr. Arafat Eidi, said it was clear when the girls arrived that they were in desperate need of proper care.
"They had no social interaction, something that made our first few days with them so difficult," Eidi said.
The severity of their condition was no excuse for the family's treatment of the sisters, which Eidi called "immoral."
"It is unacceptable, absolutely, behavior from family or anyone who deals with such people in such a way," he told us.
The Dawabsha sisters are now unchained and receiving round-the-clock specialized care, but it's not clear how long the arrangement will last. The cash-strapped Palestinian Authority depends on donors to fund government services, and facilities like the Four Homes of Mercy are deeply in the red.
The facility's general director, Osama Khalayle, said they have only received one payment from the Palestinian Authority this year for $15,000 which amounts to less than 25% of their monthly budget. The annual cost of care for the Dawabsha sisters alone is expected to amount to over $20,000.
Khalayle said they are able to keep the 75-patient center operating based on the generosity of the community, but worries about the future.
"Our debts are around 400,000 shekels ($115,000) -- people can wait, but they cannot wait forever," he said.
So while Nedaa and Mohedeye are currently being looked after, their future is uncertain -- as is that of other Palestinians requiring treatment for mental disabilities.

How does this affect people in prison and those that are trying to visit them? smh sidenote: why charge the families to see the inprisoned what does that have to do with arizona being in financial bind as a state?

Families of Arizona Inmates Must Now Pay to Visit Loved Ones

black men in prison - arizona
Your Black World reports

New legislation in the state of Arizona now requires that all adults pay $25 to visit inmates in any of their 15 prison complexes.  The “background check fee” is the first in the nation, and has angered civil liberties groups, who argue that the families of inmates are already being asked to shoulder an enormous economic burden.  They lose the income of the relative who has been incarcerated, they must pay a large expense in order to visit the relative, and loved ones are also expected to work for the state for sub-standard wages.
David C. Fathi, Director of the National Prison Project of America, said that the fee is “mind boggling.”  He also says that such fees could threaten public safety.
“We know that one of the best things you can do if you want people to go straight and lead a law-abiding life when they get out of prison is to continue family contact while they’re in prison,” he said. “Talk about penny-wise and pound-foolish.”
One inmate’s sister said that with the family already being out of state, the cost is going to make it even more difficult for them to see her brother.
“What will happen is that people will just stop visiting?” She asked, noting that most inmates “live” for visits from relatives.
Wendy Baldo, chief of staff for the Arizona Senate, said that the fee was designed to make up for the $1.6 billion budget deficit being faced by the state of Arizona. 
“We were trying to cut the budget and think of ways that could help get some services for the Department of Corrections,” Ms. Baldo said. She also said that the department “needed about $150 million in building renewal and maintenance and prior to this year, it just wasn’t getting done and it wasn’t a safe environment for the people who were in prison and certainly for the people who worked there.”

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

SMH ... Now how the Post Office Service going to be in default? It might be time to get more digital Post office people...

Postmaster general warns Congress about default, possible insolvency

From Paul Courson, CNN
September 6, 2011 2:02 p.m. EDT
Click to play
No mail on Saturday?
  • The U.S. Postal Service faces "insolvency" by this time next year
  • A deadline looms this month for making a big payment to a retiree fund
  • Officials vow no interruption in payroll, mail or payments to suppliers
  • The agency is asking to run its own health care and retirement plans
Washington (CNN) -- Using strong wording to underscore what's at risk, the nation's postmaster general is telling Congress the Postal Service could face insolvency by this time next year, unless lawmakers grant dramatic financial reform.
In remarks prepared for delivery at a Tuesday afternoon hearing in the Senate, Patrick Donahoe warns that "without legislative change this year, the Postal Service faces default, as available liquidity at the end of this month will be insufficient to meet our financial obligations."
Donahoe believes the Postal Service will have to miss a September 30 deadline to pay $5.5 billion into a health care benefits fund for future retirees. He will tell lawmakers that part of his agency's financial crisis is because of those payments, mandated by Congress in 2006 -- payments he believes no longer match Postal Service revenue nor its smaller workforce.
The Postal Service Board of Governors previously decided to suspend employer contributions to a retirement fund because of critically low cash on hand. Although that fund currently has a surplus, Donahoe planned to testify Tuesday that his agency needs more control over health care and retirement costs, which are now fixed by regulation and agreements in labor contracts.
Running its own programs for health care and retirement benefits would save money, his testimony asserts.
Among the lawmakers planning to address the financial crisis at the Postal Service, Delaware Democratic Sen. Thomas Carper will tell the hearing the agency's "cash will be completely exhausted by next summer and the Postal Service, absent any lifeline from Congress or the administration, will likely be forced to close its doors."
Carper is on a Senate panel that has been monitoring the looming crisis at the Postal Service.
Donahoe planned to testify that the agency's long-term revenue prospects are bleak, but by cutting costs, the Postal Service could turn a profit within four years. Payroll and benefits comprise 80% of operating costs, he noted, and to at least break even, the Postal Service must cut more than 200,000 career positions by 2015.
Other possible money-saving reforms to the service include proposals to close smaller post offices and discontinue the delivery of mail on Saturdays.
How did the Postal Service lose its way? Among the reasons, Donahoe planned to highlight the rising popularity of electronic communications in his testimony Tuesday.
"Instead of buying stamps, many consumers pay bills online, send 'e-vites' to friends and family, and simply press 'Send' when they want to communicate," his prepared remarks said.
"These shifting customer habits will continue to add to the migration away from traditional First-Class Mail," he said, and the revenue it has represented.
Donahoe, in his pitch to allow the Postal Service to run its own health care plan and retirement system, planned to tell lawmakers that "even with growth in our package business, we cannot replace the profit contribution of First-Class Mail that has been lost over the past few years and will continue to decline in the future."
But even with the likelihood of a cash crunch in just a few weeks, Donahoe and other postal officials are not planning on any interruptions in deliveries, payroll, or paying suppliers of fuel, electricity and other services the post office needs to stay open.
In concluding his prepared testimony, the postmaster general summarized progress already under way to get the books balanced, and will say that "even with monumental expense reductions, we continue to maintain excellent service performance. That is quite an achievement -- one that belongs to every employee in the organization."
CNN's Alan Silverleib contributed to this report