Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Hip Hop School Funding Proposal

While fake, compromised "activists" are "acting"; brought lock, stock and barrel politicians “politicking”; and everyone else figuratively scratching their heads trying to figure out a solution or simply paying lip service to the issue, the fix in the form of culture has always been right in front of our nose. Please help us to help our boys by building an alternative, Hip Hop School they actually enjoy attending. Once they realize what hit 'em they will be well educated by all objective standards.

The fifth edition of the Schott 50-State Report on Public Education and Black Males presciently entitled “Black Lives Matter,” reports once again that “Black male students were at the bottom of four-year high school graduation rates in 35 of the 48 states as well as the District of Columbia where estimates could be projected for the 2012-2013 school year (Latino males are at the bottom in the other 13 states).

This fact provides clear evidence of a systemic problem negatively impacting Black males rather than a problem with Black males per se.” (Schott, 2014) There is cause for optimism, though. Over the past three years, the dropout rate for black males has decreased by 56 percent. Between 2007 and 2010, the rate declined from 11.9 percent a year to 4.9 percent a year, meaning that 593 black males dropped out last school year compared with 1,439 three years before. The dropout rate for all [Baltimore] city students is 4 percent, half of what it was in 2007.

Maryland and California alone provide graduation data that is detailed, up-to-date and post these data sets on their websites by the number of graduates by district for gender within race/ethnicity. There have been a number of studies about how to “rescue” African-American male students from urban school districts, which are often under-resourced and seen as a prison pipeline for good reason, moreover: many of these studies have been funded by criminal justice agencies that have a vested stake in negative outcomes. Most have concluded the lack of success in providing tangible solutions fails to ameliorate systemic joblessness, crime and poverty, employing a deterministic, circuitous logic notable for its collective failure to propose viable interventions, moreover.

African Americans, a mere 13 percent of the population, constitute half of this country’s prisoners. A tenth of all black men between ages 20 and 35 are in jail or prison. Blacks are incarcerated at over eight times the white rate. The effect on black communities is catastrophic: one in three male African-Americans in their 30s now has a criminal history record, as do nearly two-thirds of all black male high school dropouts (emphasis), which is why we have focused our attention on this at-risk age group.

Black relationships and families fail at high rates for many socio-economic as well as interpersonal reasons. The resulting absence of fathers — some 70 percent of black babies are born to single mothers — is undoubtedly a major cause of juvenile delinquency and youthful offenders, though. “Black Lives Matter” arrives on the fiftieth anniversary of its most important predecessor: a slim, influential government report written by an obscure Assistant Secretary of Labor and first printed in an edition of a hundred. The author was Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and the title was “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.”

At first, the historian James T. Patterson has written, only one copy was allowed to circulate; the other ninety-nine were locked in a vault. Moynihan’s report cited sociologists and government surveys to underscore a message meant to startle: the Negro community was doing badly, and its condition was probably “getting worse, not better.” Moynihan, who was a PhD sociologist, judged that “most Negro youth are in danger of being caught up in the tangle of pathology that affects their world, and probably a majority are so entrapped.”

He returned again and again to his main theme, “the deterioration of the Negro family,” which he considered “the fundamental source of the weakness of the Negro community”; he included a chart showing the rising proportion of nonwhite births in America that were “illegitimate.” (The report used the terms “Negro” and “nonwhite” interchangeably.) And, at the end, Moynihan called—briefly, and vaguely—for a national program to “strengthen the Negro family.”

Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson echoes this theme in his latest 700 plus page tome entitled “The Cultural Matrix,” where contributors argue persuasively that despite school dropout rates over 40 percent; a third spending time in prison; chronic unemployment; and, endemic violence with 20 percent of Black drop outs committing 99 percent of all murder, assault, manslaughter, sexual assault, rape, robbery, negligence, endangerment, kidnapping (abduction), extortion, and harassment, Black youth are among the most vibrant creators of popular culture in the world (emphasis). We here at ENY do not want to merely explain this contradiction but to harness that unbridled energy and creativity by creating the world’s first Hip Hop School. We are well positioned to spearhead this innovative initiative.

EastNYManagement, Incorporated is a boutique multi-media Management Company located @ www.eastnymanagement.net, which produces and manages multimedia projects from conception to inception to fruition. We need savvy investors, financiers and/or benefactors to purchase, rehabilitate and renovate vacant underperforming warehouse stock in Baltimore city. We want to build full service (“low-power” FM) radio, (local access channel) television, production and recording studios where we employ hip hop as an incentive to get at risk youth off the street especially between 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM when the vast majority of crime is committed.

Students will learn multimedia, which encompasses skill sets and competencies – i.e., engineering, IT/MIS, recording, production, editing, filming and broadcasting in a “live” working studio – that complements those advanced placement (“AP”) or vocational-education subjects taught in a traditional high school and/or two year college curriculum. But they will learn these skills in a dramatically more creative, safe and, thereby, productive environment; one that draws on the boundless energy of these children and youth to drive creativity not only for them but for ENY as well. For this is a public-private partnership that we propose, not strictly another non-for-profit that cannot provide tangible job skills and, more importantly, a check to La crème de la crème – program graduates we eventually hire who will be requires to avoid criminal justice contacts, complete GED and attend college to maintain employment with ENY.

The underperforming warehouse (we have identified a number. Our first choice is a 100200 sq/ft warehouse located at 1220 Curtain Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21218 on the market for $442,900) will be completely renovated, brought up to code, and wired for ultra-high speed connectivity enabling us to transfer large data sets, media files, VOIP telephony, host servers and live video feeds in collaboration with one or another post-secondary educational institution interested in what we are doing and providing us dedicated bandwidth on their Internet2 hub or, that failing, dedicated T-3/ DS3 connection provisioned on a fiber optic network (which is another invaluable learning opportunity as we do all networking in house). 

The building will held in Joint Tenancy with majority investors holding a pre-determined voting stake. We plan on leasing flex/open space (an incubator) to similarly situated small businesses at below market rent, converting the remainder to lofts that will be leased at market rate with return on investment (ROI) being realized by the rent roll and, the success of our graduates, and revenue generating projects.


We can fund this initiative for as little as $500,000 but need $1,000,000 for the reasons detailed in the proposal (http://gofund.me/plz2mo). We cannot hope to attract this level of funding without your enthusiastic support in promoting it, however. Our community has always been driven – literally and figuratively speaking – by charismatic figures. We are eliciting the support of charismatic figures both within and without of our community for obvious reasons. That is where the resources are.

Ironically agency has always been typified by grass root movements and, more importantly, the people supporting these movements - not by charismatic figures, though. The contradiction between those two competing interests inevitably create tensions that often prevent initiatives such as ours from gaining traction necessary to realize fruition.
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Consequently, we wind up relying on failed K-12 models that do not capture (no pun intended) or serve the population with which we are targeting. Please change this by promoting this initiative. We need to help ourselves to help our boys. We rather see them coming into our homes through positive images on television not in negative news pieces...

ENY will manage the property: rent, security, maintenance and physical plant. We look forward to hearing from savvy investors interested in being part of an innovative private-public partnership project, which addresses crime, delinquency, education, training and employment in an integrated program. For more information contact Dennis @ dennis@eastnymanagement.net or John @ john@eastnymanagement.net. (Due to sheer volume of calls we have received expressing interest in this project, we urge you not to leave voice mail but to send us an e-mail with your contact information.)


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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Open Letter To Amazon Founder Jeff Bezo

Order # 116-1774013-2488258

Dear Mr. Bezos,

One of two critically needed automotive parts was delivered Tuesday, opened Wednesday but was “cracked.” We immediately contacted Amazon to again try and explain that this situation is causing a major imposition - not to mention spiraling out-of-pocket costs (hundreds of dollars in uncredited payments, taxicab fare for the last two weeks, and shipping costs on items going only a mile or two by either USPS or UPS). The customer service representative asked us to buy another part instead of taking ownership for this service failure, and clearly represented that she would overnight the part, which we have been awaiting since April 9th.
After we stupidly ordered the part, she tells us that she cannot overnight it. The earliest we can expect it is by Friday. (The truck has been sitting in Delaware for the last two weeks.) We told her as we have ECR that is unacceptable. We cancelled the order. We were told our money could take up to seven days to be credited back to our account though we cancelled within an hour of placing the order.
We have no shop truck, no means of transportation, no means to service clients, which is critical to our business, and have not had one since April 9th when the technician took it apart anticipating these parts being shipped in a day or two – not one going on two weeks, and are out hundreds of dollars in costs directly related to not having our truck. We believe the customer service representative knew that she did not have authorization to expedite this shipment, which cost us additional time, money and, more importantly, grief. And that she deliberately lied to us.
We have lost substantial business every day with the shipping delays on these two parts, which Customer Service falsely claimed they could not expedite once they entered into the supply chain. It is another brazen misrepresentation. Amazon expedites critical shipments all day, every day for favored clients and large customers.
We are just a small, boutique mom and pop operation the company improperly and disgracefully feels it can ignore and, ultimately, disregard. Typically, in an ethical company, when a service failure occurs, a customer will expect to be compensated for the inconvenience in the form of any combination of refunds, credits and apologies.
In this particular case, not only has Amazon refused to take ownership for this inexcusable service failure, it has refused to offer any type of consolation whatever beyond demanding that we pay more money, wait for a refund on two parts that have been shipped to our technician, and tough luck about the wait.
We have informed Amazon that our losses are significant, mounting – e.g., $300/day – and that if Amazon does not make this us whole, we will be pursuing a small claims action in either Delaware or Maryland - both states where the company has properties. We do not want to litigate.
But we will not allow Amazon to continue ignoring a catastrophic service failure, refuse to compensate us, which can be easily accomplished by overnighting (same day delivery) the correct part at the company’s cost, immediately crediting our money for the damaged part, and picking up the damaged and/or unwanted parts with instructions for UPS to bring a return label (we have no way to get one to the mechanic who is in another state and may or may not have internet access).
We have had it. We are tired of respectfully requesting consideration for an unaddressed disruption to our ability to engage in commerce. We will be escalating today, Thursday, April 16th if Amazon does not take responsibility for this service failure and make us whole.

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