Quantcast

Back to profile

Merdies Hayes

Stories by Merdies

Tease photo

California Poppy Festival will usher in colorful spring season

Scheduled April 18 and 19 in Lancaster

It’s time again to break out the sun hats, walking shoes, short pants and binoculars to capture the breathtaking beauty of the 2015 California Poppy Festival set for April 18 and 19 at Lancaster City Park, 43011 N. 10th Street West.. Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, the annual showcase of multi-colored poppies is said to be one of the nation’s most picturesque events as thousands of visitors are expected flock to the region to catch a glimpse of the brilliant, beautiful blossoms.

Tease photo

Weekend heat wave expected to be precursor to extra dry year

With the mercury again rising throughout the southland this weekend, the ongoing drought will only be exacerbated. That’s the latest assessment from climatologists from U.S. Drought Monitor and other forecasting agencies which reported this week that California is about to enter its driest season without any immediate prospects for rain.

New play remembers music impresario John Dolphin

In the late 1940s—a full decade before Motown Records—John Dolphin opened his world-famous record shop at Vernon and Central avenues in South Los Angeles. It was an immediate hit with teenagers of all colors as Rock ’N Roll and Rhythm & Blues began to supplant the Big Band and Jazz sounds once favored at sock hops and record hops that were so popular among the high school set.

Tease photo

Third annual ‘Stand Down’ will address issue of homeless veterans

Set May 20 throughout L.A. County

Goodwill Southern California, in partnership with a number of cities in Los Angeles County, will host on May 20 its Third Annual Veteran Stand Down for homeless veterans and their families.

Tease photo

‘Ghettoside’ sheds light on LAPD South Bureau

The screenplay could develop into one of Hollywood’s most provocative and politically-charged films. Lots of cops. Plenty of bad guys. Loaded with pathos and sentimentality for those wishing to find justice. But the aspect of “suspended disbelief” would be too taxing on the audience. The tears too frequent. The neighborhood too close. The reality far too depressing.

Tease photo

Lancaster continues ambitious push toward ‘Net-Zero’ energy status

Dream rapidly becoming reality

In case you haven’t heard the news, all new single-family homes in Lancaster will be outfitted with solar panels. And energy-efficient plumbing. And gas-saving heaters. And eco-friendly insulation. Even drought-tolerant landscaping is part of the plan to effectively transform the town into one of the world’s most environmentally-concious municipalities.

Tease photo

El Nino has arrived but is much weaker

El Nino is here. Rather, “poquito” El Nino is here. It seems the vaunted weather pattern that brings with it coastal showers will be much weaker this year. Climatologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggest its influence on weather patterns will likely be diminished. Researchers gave the conditions a 50- to 60-percent chance of lasting through the summer.

Tease photo

ACA, Covered California note increased enrollment

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Tuesday that nearly 11.7 million consumers have either selected or were automatically re-enrolled in Affordable Care Act insurance coverage as of Feb. 22. Of those, 8.84 million persons were in states using the HealthCare.gov platform and another 2.85 million were in the 14 states using their own marketplace platforms, including Covered California.

Tease photo

Angels great Alex Johnson dies

Alex Johnson, who in 1970 became the first player with the then California Angels to win the American League batting title, died early this month in Southfield, Mich., following a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. He was 72.

Covered California extends enrollment

April 30 is new deadline

Covered California is offering a special, extended enrollment opportunity for consumers who did not know there would be a tax penalty for being uninsured in 2014, or for those who learned they may face a penalty later this year.

Rare agreement statewide: Drought is ‘serious’ concern

Virtually all Californians say the drought is serious. The results of a new Field Poll released Thursday found that the water shortage and supply is the top concern statewide as the drought enters its fourth year.

Tease photo

Next-generation bomber could boost aerospace industry

nBoeing, Northrop battle for contract

The Pentagon is ready to spend billions to build a new stealth bomber in the Antelope Valley. Two teams of defense contractors, Boeing Co. and Northrop-Grumman, are vying to win the coveted contract to return large-scale aerospace manufacturing to Los Angeles County. Boeing opted to team up with Lockheed-Martin—the latter being the Pentagon’s most frequent contractor as well as Boeing’s primary sub-contractor—in bidding against Northrop to build the world’s latest and fastest high-tech bomber. The winner is expected to be announced this spring.

Fight continues against ‘big oil’ role in Carson

In a continuing battle against the interests of “big oil,” the Carson Coalition on Tuesday met before the city Planning Commission to chart exactly what methods they may take to prevent further oil exploration and well stimulation from taking place within the community.

Covered California extends enrollment

April 30 is new deadline

Covered California is offering a special, extended enrollment opportunity for consumers who did not know there would be a tax penalty for being uninsured in 2014, or for those who learned they may face a penalty later this year.

Tease photo

Parris lays out lofty goals during state-of-city address

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris recapped a number of innovative and environmentally-concious projects taking place in the city as part of his annual State of the City address.

Tease photo

Restaurants prepare new water rules

Will limit amount of water for diners

It’s an old practice that has been given new meaning in wake of the ongoing California drought. Years ago many restaurant chains along the West Coast decided to forgo placing a glass of water on the dining table, because it was discovered patrons didn’t drink it right away. They’d have water during the meal, of course, but would often request that the original glass be replaced by a fresh, cold serving. That meant pouring water down the drain.

Tease photo

Palmdale sets quest to provide summertime jobs for local youth

County teen unemployment at record high

It’s never too early to start a job search—particularly if you’re a teenager. As the national employment figures continue to tick up, young people looking for work this summer may have an even more difficult time trying to secure a steady paycheck because more experienced workers are re-entering the job market.

Tease photo

Lots of rain in the north, more pain in south

The great state divide continues. If it is not the Dodgers vs. the Giants—or apples vs. oranges—it’s something else like the weather threatening to further split the quality of life in the Golden State. Rainfall averages in practically every community in Northern California are reportedly at 100 percent or above their historic averages, and reservoirs are steadily filling.But rainfall totals in the South are anemic, and said to be falling further behind as each major storm skips the southern part of the state. If the trend continues, California may experience two droughts with a mild one in the north that is now barely noticeable, and a severe one in the south that places this area at more risk of strict conservation, fines, fires, smog and increased groundwater pumping.

Tease photo

Californians meet call for conserving water

Thanks to a wonderfully wet December, Californians were able to meet Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for a 20 percent reduction in monthly water consumption. More restrictions may loom, however, as the state adapts to long-term drought conditions.

Tease photo

Measles outbreak spreads; no cases so far at AV schools

Health officials stress vaccinations

Stretching from the streets Disneyland to the steps of Capitol Hill, the measles outbreak and resultant commentary has returned focus to a generations’-old discussion of why and when children should receive vaccinations.

Tease photo

Vaccinations are best way to prevent infectious diseases

Measles, whooping cough, influenza and other infectious diseases were once believed to be largely contained and/or erradicated in America. Now some parents, teachers and medical pratictioners are at odds over what are the best safeguards against communicable illness while maintaining a balance of community wellness and personal choice.

Tease photo

Two months of storms not enough to end drought

The storms that wafted their way through the Los Angeles Basin this month--with more light showers expected today--have not had a discernible effect on the drought now entering its fourth year.

Tease photo

‘Roots of the Soul’ takes audience on search for identity and place

Feb. 21 at Legacy Commons

In a nod toward service to his community, noted actor/director Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter on Feb. 21 will host the Caribbean American Repertory Theatre West’s production of the play “Roots of the Soul” at Palmdale’s Legacy Commons senior facility. The production, set for 2 and 7:30 p.m., is part of Palmdale’s continuing Season of Service campaign as well its celebration of Black History Month.

Tease photo

Foreign places, familiar faces:

Young Blacks and the allure of jihad

Within some American communities, the foreign faces of terror can look familiar. Last week in Paris two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, and a lone gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, brought the city’s most famous thoroughfare, the Champ-Elysees, to a standstill. In the end, these latest converts to jihad had murdered 18 persons as part of their fight against Western imperialism, shouting proudly that their deadly campaign was both commissioned by ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and consecrated by God.

Tease photo

Arts education provides outlet for free expression, ownership

Lancaster museum fills void

Friday morning was something to look forward to. Not only did the weekend beckon, but on that day Dorothy Hansen provided a one-hour respite from the daily academic grind. A little blue-haired lady wearing those “cat-eye shaped” spectacles popular among women then, Mrs. Hansen was a stern taskmaster and a virtuoso on ... the autoharp.

Tease photo

Slow but steady gains half a decade after Haiti quake

Five years after the devastating earthquake in Haiti that killed more than 200,000 people and destroyed a minimum of 100,000 buildings, there are small but positive signs of hope that the impoverished island nation is rebounding.

Tease photo

Lancaster ‘Season of Service’ offers volunteer opportunities for all ages

Community spirit on display Jan. 17

Lancaster continues to be among the leading Southland cities in supporting community outreach. This year its Eighth Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service will include 30 projects designed in still community pride while providing residents an opportunity to enhance not only their neighborhood, but also to begin the year with a renewed spirit of service.

Tease photo

Civilian oversight commission may add stability to Sheriff’s Department

Board of Supervisors unanimous on ‘working group’

In a widely anticipated move, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last week voted 3-2 to establish the first-ever civilian oversight commission to periodically review the embattled Sheriff’s Department.

McCarthy leads delegation to Middle East

Helps Boehner pass spending bill

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy earlier this week returned from leading a congressional delegation to the Middle East to examine the unfolding campaign against ISIL and to confer with some of America’s partners about regional security threats.

Tease photo

Civilian oversight commission may add stability to Sheriff’s Department

Board of Supervisors unanimous on ‘working group’

In a widely anticipated move, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last week voted 3-2 to establish the first-ever civilian oversight commission to periodically review the embattled Sheriff’s Department.

Tease photo

Covered California unveils latest efforts to boost Black enrollment

Navigator Grants prove effective

Thousands of Angelinos each week continue to enroll in California Covered, the Golden State’s version of the Affordable Care Act, but African Americans locally remain just on the fringe of regular health care services, even as the process is being continually tailored to include more persons of color into its ranks.

Latest drought not the result of mankind’s ‘handiwork’

Greenhouse gas has played role

Scientists and environmentalists have been debating the issue for years. Are droughts the result of man-made carcinogens lofted into the air by way of the Industrial Revolution, or are they part of natural weather patterns witnessed by man for the past 200,000 years?

Tease photo

Storms bring welcome relief but drought far from over

McCarthy backs new water bill

The welcome rain this week saw about 14.5 inches of precipitation fall on the San Barnardino Mountains, but the drought status remains unchanged as 55 percent of California is still considered in the most extreme category. Up to 99.7 percent of the state still lies within moderate to severe drought status.

Tease photo

Covered California in second phase; L.A. County leads all state regions

Black enrollment lags behind

Enrollment for the second phase of Covered California got underway two weeks ago with Los Angeles County expected to again lead all state regions in sign-ups. In March, more than 200,000 persons in the county had enrolled, far outpacing the nearest region, the San Francisco Bay area, which saw 164,000 consumers opt for state-run heath care coverage. Since Nov. 15, more than 100,000 additional Californians have submitted coverage applications for the latest enrollment period.

Carson hosts enrollment center for Covered California sign-ups

Also at Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza

An enrollment center for Covered California is open through Feb. 15, 2015 at the South Bay Pavilion in Carson. Open to all legal residents of Los Angeles County, interested parties may visit and sign-up for healthcare coverage from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Kelly Rolfe Financial Services, adjacent to JC Penny, will conduct the enrollments.

Tease photo

‘Black Friday’ is now obsolete as retailers open earlier for dollars

AV Mall in sales marathon

Today may be the last “Black Friday.” Department stores have decided not to wait for the last balloon float down the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route, they’ll forgo the final football whistle, and they are providing less time each year to digest even the last slice of pie. American retailers want you in the stores as early as...yesterday.

Tease photo

‘Black Friday’ is now obsolete as retailers open earlier for dollars

AV Mall in sales marathon

Today may be the last “Black Friday.” Department stores have decided not to wait for the last balloon float down the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route, they’ll forgo the final football whistle, and they are providing less time each year to digest even the last slice of pie. American retailers want you in the stores as early as...yesterday.

‘Water Year’ off to slow start; San Diego goes ‘toilet-to-tap’

The U.S. Drought Monitor reported this week that the brief rains in central and northern California were not nearly enough to provide relief to three years of extensive dry weather. In fact, the state’s water reservoirs are at critically low levels, and the mild start to the rainy season in the Sierras suggests conditions may not improve this winter.

Tease photo

Cool, clear water: AV officials work to protect valuable supply

Conservation projects underway

Although much of California remains parched as big cities and little towns devise plans to find and/or conserve water, the Antelope Valley is managing its way through the drought with relative ease. That’s not to say that water conservation is a low priority, but this section of northern Los Angeles County undertook measures years ago to manage its water affairs which apparently are paying off under the latest statewide restrictions.

Power plant comes online to help reduce water costs

nDry-weather runoff more appealing

With an eye toward future water conservation and cost savings to customers, the Castaic Lake Water Agency (CLWA) and SunPower on Wednesday announced completion of the new 3.5 megawatt photovoltaic solar plant that is touted to use less water to produce electricity for tens of thousands of residents of northern Los Angeles County. In combination with the CLWA’s existing 1 megawatt SunPower solar plant, electricity costs may be reduced by as much as $20 million over the next 25 years.

Tease photo

Lynch, Harris, Lacey: Latest icons for American girls

Leaders in county, state, and the national government

President Barack Obama’s nomination Nov. 8 of veteran prosecutor Loretta Lynch for the position of attorney general may mark a bigger social milestone than his 2008 election to the White House.

Tease photo

Lynch, Harris, Lacey: Latest icons for America’s Black girls

Leaders in county, state, and the national government

President Barack Obama’s nomination Nov. 8 of veteran prosecutor Loretta Lynch to the position of attorney general may mark a bigger social milestone than his 2008 election to the White House.

Tease photo

Child adoption: One of life’s most unexpected miracles

Adopting a child can be one of the most momentous events to ever bless a household. Every year in the United States, tens of thousands of infants, toddlers and teens are welcomed into warm and supportive families. Los Angeles County is one of the nation’s leading regions for adoption as the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) embarks yearly to find loving homes for those who simply need a guiding hand navigating a previous life sometimes devoid of joy and hope into one that promises familial love and kindness. Inner Circle Foster Care and Adoptions Services in Palmdale is one of the county’s many adoption agencies.

Proposition 1 passes overwhelmingly; NASA says food supply threatened

While waiting for Mother Nature to provide drought relief, California voters this week decided to pay for it. Proposition 1 passed overwhelmingly, 67 to 33 percent, to approve $7.5 billion to fund measures related to water conservation, recycling, ecosystem and watershed restoration, drinking water protection and groundwater cleanup, as well as to invest toward two new major storage reservoirs.

Black military leaders uphold a proud tradition of service

As the nation pauses this Veteran’s Day to honor past and present members of our fighting forces, a brief review of the long list of African American men and women in the military reveals faith in country, courage within and outside of battle, and above all personal strength and spiritual conviction.

Tease photo

Arnett Hartsfield succumbs at 96

Fought to integrate fire department

Arnett Hartsfield, deemed the “eternal rookie” of the Los Angeles Fire Department because he never got a promotion, died Oct. 31 in Los Angeles of natural causes. He was 96.

Tease photo

Bullying robs self esteem, dignity before it consumes young lives

Antelope Valley schools take action

We’ve seen the statistics, and they are troubling. We’ve seen the participants, and they are younger each generation. We’ve seen the results, and they are often tragic.

Tease photo

AV commuters may soon have easier trips in and out of town

Welcome relief for weary drivers

Travelers from the Antelope Valley have for years been popularly referred to as “extreme commuters.” In fact, the commute from Palmdale into Los Angeles may be considered among the worst nationwide in relation to time spent, route efficiency, road quality and, most of all, money.

Tease photo

Black gun tradition reveals courage and torment within 2nd Amendment

‘Ol Betsy’ and armed self defense

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Bessie Winchester. Companions throughout the ages have often called me ‘Ol Betsy.’ I was born in 1866, serving as the assault weapon of my day, and conceived from an urgent need to fire more rounds more accurately against my enemy than any weapon prior. Although I have cousins with names like Colt, Remington, Smith & Wesson, Glock etc.—some of which preceded my birth and many others born after—I came to represent self defense to my bearers when confronted with imminent threat and danger. I was there unexpectedly in 1850, just after passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, to protect runaway slaves against violent oppression and to provide them with a viable, confident pathway to freedom.

Tease photo

Latino accomplishments abundant as are hopes, dreams of future

Remain ‘backbone’ of state economy

In the southwest United States, persons of Latino origin have probably had more influence in settling the region than anyone else. You never have to look far to see the stamp these neighbors have embellished on American culture, from the names of big cities and small towns, famous thoroughfares and little roadways and even historic houses of worship that dot California.

Prev