Quantcast

Back to profile

Merdies Hayes

Stories by Merdies

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.

Tease photo

Drones may hold key to finding fresh water

nLess rain results in better wine

It’s an old idea with a new twist. Cloud seeding by way of drones may be in California’s future as scientists, politicians and the business sector are considering just about any plausible idea to find fresh water.

Stanford team finds link to global warming, drought

A team of scientists at Stanford University on Thursday reported that the lingering California drought is “very likely” linked to human-caused climate change.

Tease photo

Palmdale Amphitheater presents music, fun, excitement galore this fall

Wounded Warrior concert on Oct. 4

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the Palmdale Amphitheater this fall will offer a variety of concerts and events that are practically guaranteed to peak the interest of fine arts fans and those who owe a debt of gratitude to military veterans. Marie Kerr Park will also feature a number of events to coincide with the music venue anniversary.

Tease photo

U.S. to dispatch 3,000 troops to Liberia

Will help combat Ebola outbreak

The Obama administration is preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to supply needed medical and logistical support to assist overwhelmed local health care systems in managing the Ebola pandemic.

Tease photo

Lancaster Grand Prix promises downtown thrills and excitement

Annual event attracts thousands

Lancaster will be roaring and revving with high-powered excitement Sept. 26-28 as the sixth annual Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix winds its way through downtown. Each autumn, Lancaster hosts one of the west coast’s largest and most prestigious professional KART street races. The event draws hundreds of North America’s elite drivers, all vying for the title of “fastest street course racer.”

New USC Village in 2017

Largest development project in South L.A. history

University of Southern California officials were joined by counterparts from city and county government on Monday to break ground on the new $650 million USC Village project.

Tease photo

The power of the pen: Obama and the history of executive orders

Why presidents love to bypass Congress

“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary ...” —United States Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, July 1776

Water bond measure set, will appear on November ballot

Conservation methods are working

The Metropolitan Water District (MWD) board this week threw its support behind a $7.5 billion water bond that will appear on the November statewide ballot. The bill may be a crucial step for the state to survive the continuing drought.

Tease photo

The power of the pen: Obama and the history of executive orders

Why presidents love to bypass Congress

“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary ...” —United States Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, July 1776

Tease photo

Water bill passage unlikely

Democrats, GOP at odds on drought relief

Negotiations on Capitol Hill regarding much-needed legislation on a water bill for California finds the state’s two Democratic senators—as well as House and Senate Republicans—struggling to find a balance between sympathy for Central Valley farmers and concern for environmental protection.

Tease photo

Garcetti minimum wage hike is city’s largest anti-poverty plan

‘Good for city, good for economy’

Citing stagnant wages for a shrinking middle class, and a low-income population that is working full-time for near poverty-level income, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday announced plans to increase the city’s minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017.

Tease photo

Community initiative may reduce gangs, help ‘redefine’ Black youth

New pathways to progress, not prison

“We have decided to stop complaining and to get up and do something about the problem.” That’s Ansar “Stan” Muhammad commenting about the nearly-unrelenting stories about “troubled,” “at-risk,” “wayward” and “angry” Black youth here and nationwide who have come to represent a so-called “lost” generation that American society believes may be pre-destined for unemployment, despair and ultimately prison, if adults fail to recognize and act on the many social maladies that plague them.

Tease photo

Exposition Park

From dinosaurs to space shuttle: a walk through time

Exposition Park has for 100 years been a destination point for millions of Angelenos and visitors to Los Angeles. Whether you’re a sports fan, music fan, history bug, sci-fi enthusiast or even a naturalist, Exposition Park likely offers something of interest to all visitors.

Tease photo

Lancaster city officials at odds with CPUC

Water bills much too high

Lancaster city officials say they are fed up with unfair utility rates. With the drought serving as a reminder to conserve as much water as possible, city officials last week expressed displeasure and dismay toward a decision by the state Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA) which recommended that water rates be raised for some Lancaster residents who claim they already pay more than the prevailing market value for water.

Tease photo

Local funding, Common Core among latest strategies for secondary schools

Minority enrollment is new ‘majority’

Although Labor Day has traditionally marked the end of summer, students in the Palmdale School District headed back to class this week. Long gone are the days of the three-month vacation, and many public school campuses have opened this week for the new year.

Tease photo

AV YouthBuild latest grant guides young people to success

Reviving vocational education

Antelope Valley YouthBuild, a Palmdale-based leadership development program that offers vocational training and helps 16 to 24 year olds earn their high school diploma, received a grant of $6,500 from SunPower Foundation this month. The foundation is the not-for-profit arm of SunPower Corp., a world leader in solar technology and energy services.

Tease photo

Recent thunderstorms bring little relief to parched state

A series of thunderstorms that hit Southern California last weekend delivered torrents of rain and caused flash floods, but did practically nothing to ease the worsening drought. The soil throughout the state is simply too hard and dry to absorb the rainfall which washed away down gullies and ravines almost as most as fast as it hit the ground.

Tease photo

‘Get On Up’ captures life, spirit of James Brown

Chadwick Boseman embodies a legend

Well into the storyline of “Get On Up,” Imagine Entertainment’s latest Hollywood biopic, James Brown in 1968 ponders the dilemma of either meeting with President Lyndon Johnson at the White House, or with Black nationalist H. Rap Brown in New York City. Such attention to Brown’s social influence during the turbulent decade is part of the appeal of director Tate Taylor’s film. It is an engrossing, surprising and thoroughly rewarding film for fans of “The Godfather of Soul.” By the way, L.B.J. won out.

Tease photo

Lancaster lauded for community service efforts

Cited by League of California Cities

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris is an advocate of building a strong community by means of regular input and volunteer participation from residents. This is taking place daily in Lancaster as the city council commended recently three volunteers from the AmeriCorp and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) programs for their efforts to “lead, inspire and connect” with one another.

July driest month in state history

Pasadena: ‘How are the roses?’

It’s official. California is now under the most severe level of drought since the federal government began issuing regular drought reports in the late 1990s. The U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday reported that July was the driest month ever with 58 percent of the state experiencing an “exceptional drought,” the harshest finding based on a five-level scale.

Tease photo

Supervisors postpone vote on increasing services to mentally ill

Children focus of UCLA study

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week postponed voting until Sept. 6 on a motion authored by Mark Ridley-Thomas (Second District) to allocate $20 million to fund diversion of persons with a mental illness away from jail and into community treatment programs.

Tease photo

Palmdale, Lancaster reach out to find homes for shelter pets

‘Four-footed friends’ can make good companions

Pets may be the great equalizer of mankind. It seems no matter where you live nor what culture or station in life, people naturally gravitate toward a loving companion. Sometimes they’ll have four legs, other times two wings or maybe they live in water.

Tease photo

Drought exposes new social divide

Wealthy have ‘more green’

The ongoing drought has revealed a startling economic division within California—residents who live closer to the shoreline reportedly have greener grounds than do persons who reside in the eastern regions. It seems these coastal residents are using much more water—at least eight percent more—to keep their lawns green, while others residing inland or near the Nevada and Arizona borders may have to contend with more brown landscapes.

Tease photo

Steeper fines now ordered for state ‘water-wasters’

Lady Gaga lends voice

Water regulators in California this week issued stringent new conservation measures to limit outdoor water use, including authorizing local agencies to levy fines of up to $500 for using a hose without a shutoff valve. That means no more washing a car, hosing down the driveway, rinsing windows or practically any familiar activity using an old-fashioned water hose. Non-circulating water fountains are now prohibited until further notice.

Tease photo

Palmdale continues to lead region in renewable energy sources

LED lights, solar shades part of ‘green’ initiative

The city of Palmdale is continuing its quest to become one of the nation’s most energy-efficient municipalities by virtue of its Energy Action Plan (PEAP) which in four years has resulted in a significant reduction in energy costs for residents and businesses. Carbon emissions are reportedly as low as any city on the West Coast, thanks in part to a series of policies and programs put in place to reduce the output of greenhouse gasses (GHG).

Tease photo

Antelope Valley Fair presents the best in R&B, Rock music

Don’t miss tonight’s fireworks show

The city of Lancaster, Antelope Valley Fairgrounds and Lancaster Auto Mall will present this afternoon from 4 to 7 p.m. its annual Pro Bullriders Tour followed by the yearly Fireworks Extravaganza tonight beginning at 9 at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, 2551 W. Avenue H. Grandstand tickets for the rodeo range from $5 to $20 and may be used for the otherwise free fireworks show

Tease photo

Landowners are auctioning ‘water banks’

Money needed to pay bills

The state drought has taken its toll the past three years on everything from fallowed fields, to dry lawns and increased water bills. Now a few landowners in the Central Valley are selling the rights to their water holdings—some claims dating back 100 years—in order to pay bills.

Tease photo

LPAC has it all for 2014-15 season

Music, circus, ballet, and animal trainer Jack Hanna featured

From classic Rock ’n Roll, to the best in Country music, and legendary Soul sounds, the Lancaster Performing Arts Center has introduced a 2014-15 lineup for practically all modern music tastes. There will also be performances by Cirque Zuma Zuma, Cedar Street Theatre, the Antelope Valley Ballet and a late-season show by animal expert Jack Hanna.

Tease photo

Fireworks on sale tomorrow in Palmdale; steep fines levied for illegal use

“Safe and Sane” fireworks will go on sale at noon tomorrow in Palmdale. These are the only fireworks that may be used legally by persons 18 years and over within Palmdale city limits. If they are purchased in Palmdale, they can be used only in Palmdale.

Tease photo

McCarthy named new House majority leader

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-23rd) continued his near meteoric rise in politics yesterday by assuming the House majority leader post vacated by Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor who lost his primary bid earlier this month.

Tease photo

Blacks overcharged, forced more often into plea bargains

Residents decry Antelope Valley’s ‘Hanging Courthouse’

Minority defendants in the Antelope Valley are being overcharged and forced to agree to plea bargains at a much higher rate than at any regional court in Los Angeles County. According to the Antelope Valley branch of the NAACP, this practice of bypassing the Sixth Amendment has become typical of judicial proceedings at the court which has gained infamy as the “Antelope Valley Hanging Courthouse.”

Tease photo

‘Spice,’ and other synthetic drugs latest worry for law enforcement

By the time Jonathan Brown or “Big Papa”—as he was so warmly referred to by kids in the community found out about the spice invasion—it was too late. His grandson was addicted.

Tease photo

Palmdale officials launch assault on ‘spice’ and other synthetic drugs

City council passes ordinance

A new and potentially lethal drug has been sweeping the nation during the past decade. “Spice,” sometimes referred to as “K2,” “Bombay Blue,” “Blaze” and “Zohai,” is on the radar among deputies at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Palmdale station to such an extent that law enforcement urged passage of a city ordinance that will severely crack down on the possession, distribution and sale of this and other illegal synthetic drugs.

Tease photo

Low home sales, brown lawns, latest effects of state drought

Bees may swarm water parks

Even in the best climates, homeowners usually have a hard time keeping their lawns and gardens green in the summer. The California drought has made that chore more difficult, and now realtors have had to curtail their expectations of “curbside appearance” as the brown lawns, wilted plants and a lack of flower blossoms are reportedly driving down the prices of homes that are on the market.

Tease photo

Marshall Broadcasting Group purchases three community-oriented TV stations

Black ownership on the rebound

It’s been nearly 70 years since American families were introduced to television. According to experts from Stanford University, television must take on an active role in the promotion of economic development and equality for minorities. Through the creation of Black-owned television stations and networks, viewers are more likely to see positive images of themselves.

Tease photo

Anti-fracking bill defeated

Mitchell vows to press on

California Senate Bill 1132, the anti-fracking measure introduced last year by Sens. Holly Mitchell (D-30) and Mark Leno (D-11), was shot down last week by the State Senate in Sacramento in a 16-16 vote with eight abstentions. The bill would have placed a seven-month moratorium on fracking, the controversial method of oil exploration that forces huge amounts of pressurized water and chemicals underground to tap petroleum deposits.

Tease photo

Summer youth activities planned in Antelope Valley

Outrun the “zombies” tomorrow

Although school will end soon for the summer break, a variety of youth activities will be scheduled over the next three months throughout the Antelope Valley that are designed for physical fitness, academic enrichment, community involvement and just plain fun.

Anti-fracking bill defeated

Mitchell vows to press on

California Senate Bill 1132, the anti-fracking measure introduced last year by Sens. Holly Mitchell (D-30) and Mark Leno (D-11), was shot down last week by the State Senate in Sacramento in a 16-16 vote with eight abstentions. The bill would have placed a seven-month moratorium on fracking, the controversial method of oil exploration that forces huge amounts of pressurized water and chemicals underground to tap petroleum deposits.

Tease photo

Mental illness remains one of nation’s most acute, misunderstood diseases

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

The mystery of mental illness has perplexed society since the dawn of man. Modern scientists, mental health professionals and, most important, the troubled individual and their families have had to grapple with the causes, effects, medical treatments and how to care for the person whose daily life is often confined within a sphere of confusion, anxiety and separation from society.

McDonnell says new perspective best solution for troubled LASD

Jim McDonnell believes an “outside set of eyes” is the best answer for the troubled Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. McDonnell, the current chief of police in Long Beach, entered the race for sheriff in January determined to bring an outsider’s perspective to the nation’s largest sheriff’s department.

Tease photo

War On Poverty: Success and failure of America’s commitment

Merits of program still debated by liberals and conservatives

“This administration today here and now declares unconditional war on poverty in America.” --President Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address.

State agriculture profits may not suffer from drought as expected

Groundwater eases burden

The proverbial “good news-bad news” scenario presents itself this week with indications that the California drought may not cost the agriculture industry as much as was believed. The industry will reportedly incur less than half the losses forecast in March as groundwater supplies have eased the burden on farmers and ranchers. The California Farm Water Coalition said losses are expected to reach $3.4 billion for farming and related activity (trucking and shipping), far below the predicted $7.8 billion.

Tease photo

War On Poverty: Success and failure of America’s commitment

Merits of program still debated by liberals and conservatives

“This administration today here and now declares unconditional war on poverty in America.”

LAUSD candidates square off as District 1 race nears finish

Common Core, more funding, safer schools mark debate

They’re heading into the home stretch in the campaign for the District 1 seat with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The seven candidates, Genethia Hudley-Hayes, Alex Johnson, Rachel Johnson, Omarosa Manigault, Hattie McFrazier, George McKenna and Sherlett Hendy Newbill fielded wide-ranging questions Tuesday evening at the California African American Museum in Exposition Park before a crowd of 200 or so District 1 stakeholders. The special election will be held on June 3 to replace the late Marguerite LaMotte.

Tease photo

New retail center, AnyWind Power may bring more jobs to Palmdale

BYD open in Lancaster

The Rancho Vista Specific Plan in Palmdale got another boost this month as construction began on the Rancho Vista Town Center, a long-anticipated retail development at the intersection of Rancho Vista Boulevard and Town Center Drive. Adding to the economic revitalization of Palmdale was the announcement that a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) has been signed to help lure AnyWind Power Electric Inc. to town to manufacture wind turbine systems.

Rogers, Hellmold square off for community support

It was a smaller debate than usual, but steeped in community interest and concern as the Los Angeles Area Chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. hosted a forum on May 7 at Inglewood City Hall, to hear from the candidates for Los Angeles County Sheriff heading into the June 3 election.

Prev