Golden Press

U.S. Policy Examines Somalia

WASHINGTON — Somalia is still in the pits.

At a congressional hearing experts, said 2.85 million Somalis are in need of humanitarian aid. This year’s drought in Somalia is the worst the Horn of Africa or East Africa has seen since the 1950s.

And things are not looking up said experts.

“Our experts at FEWSNET and FSNAU have studied the most recent data they have collected, and they expect the perilous situation in the Horn of Africa to worsen through the end of the year,” Nancy E. Lindborg, assistant administrator for Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian said.

The data examines the limited labor opportunities, the dwindling food stocks, and sky-high cereal prices, which is causing households to go hungry.

Many Somalis have left their country in hope of better assistance and food in refugee camps spread throughout East Africa: Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia.

These camps have been experiencing their own wave from the drought. Malnutrition is at an all time high in Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya and Boqolmayo refugee camp in Ethiopia.

“One out of every two Somalis now arriving in Ethiopia is acutely malnourished, and one out of three arriving in Kenya is acutely malnourished,” Lindborg said.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Reuben Brigety, II of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration said the camps are so over filled with refugees from Somalia that Ethiopia opened a 6th camp and has announced an opening of a 7th camp along with Djibouti.

Is it because there hasn’t been an existing government since the 1991 or terrorists groups funded by al-Qaida?

Experts debate that both have been the reason for the flux in the country.

“The increasing piracy problem off the coast of Somalia stems from years of instability, lack of governance, and economic fragility on land,” Yamamoto said. He added, the U.S.plans to work closely with the Transitional Federal Government Parliament Prime Minister Abdiweli M. Ali for the next 12 months.

For the 2011 Fiscal Year, the proposed level is about $21 million to support the Dual Track Policy.

The Dual Track Policy developed by the State Department has two paths. One path is to continue support of the Djibouti Peace Process, the Transitional Federal Government, its National Security Forces, and the African Union Mission in Somalia. Path two is outreach. Don Yamamoto, assistant secretary bureau of African Affairs, said this path broadens the U.S. engagement to include communication with Somaliland, Puntland, and regional and local anti-al-Shabaab groups throughout central Somalia.

With this Dual Track Policy set in place additional funds will also be given to Somalia this year and Somalia refugees.

“The U.S. Government is also providing $48 million in humanitarian assistance to help those in Somalia, as well as over $76 million in humanitarian assistance for those who have fled Somalia,” Yamamoto said.

This will be the first time in two years the UN has delivered aid to south central Somalia, an area controlled by the group al-Shabab.

To Learn More About the issues discussed in this article refer to links below:

Huff Post World –

BBC News Africa –

*I also encourage you to do your own research on current events happening in Africa as well as past events.


July 13, 2011 Posted by | AFRICA and its countries, Health, International, Life In DC, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Fight for Medicaid

American citizens convene on the Hill in a forum for Medicaid.

July 12, 2011

By Jarondakie Patrick

American citizens and organizations gathered to send a message to congress that Medicaid is a need resource for those who work, have disabilities, sick love ones, and health administrators.

Washington — Over 200 Americans citizens and members of organizations as ADAPT, Caring Across Generations, National Domestic Work Alliance, Planned Parent Hood, and others joined forces in a forum on Medicaid to send a message to congress that ‘Medicaid Saves Lives’.

Six tax-paying citizens shared stories and personal experiences of how Medicaid helps and gives those with disabilities freedom.

Sarah Watkins, 26-year-old Austin, TX native and member of ADAPT, shared her daily routine with the audience. She receives home community-based services funded by Medicaid. Watkins is just one of many citizens with a disability and depends on Medicaid assistance.

Without these services, which allows someone to come into her home daily for six hours to help her dress and prepare for work she said, “I’ll be in a nursing home.” It would require additional funds, she added. But Watkins is not in a nursing home. She lives in her own house, volunteers in her community, works a full-time job, and is a tax-paying citizen.

Sarah Watkins, 26 of Austin Texas, pictured in the wheel chair testifies that Medicaid assistance has allowed her to have freedom. She has been a member of ADAPT since 2005.ADAPT is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage.

With the help of Caring Across Generations’ campaign these citizens and members hold signs reading “Medicaid Matters for: seniors, parents, kids, and for America.” The signs are raised high in their hands every time something is said that encompasses the message “Medicaid Saves Lives.”

Volunteers stand behind the podium holding the signs that read Medicaid Matters. The same signs can be found in the audience.

Also in attendance were senators Claire McCaskill D-Missouri, Al Franken D-Minnesota, and Sheldon Whitehouse D-Rhode Island.

Mamie Grimes, 88, is a senior citizen living with her daughter and son-in-law in Richmond, VA. She joined the Virginia Organizing organization because she was interested in attending the forum. Grimes recently lived in Harlem, NY.

Sen. McCaskill said the question is not how do we stop taking care of Americans because as Americans we care for our sick, but how can we use less money in certain places?

To those lawmakers thinking cutting Medicaid is going to make it less expensive Sen. McCaskill said no it’ll eventually make expenses higher, increase the loss of lives, and make quality of life higher.
Arlene Holt Baker, AFL-CIO Executive VP, said quality jobs and quality care go hand in hand.
“We hope by telling the stories to the elected officials, that they will understand how critical this is,” Baker said. “This is not a time that we should be taking away from the most vulnerable among us.”

The deficit is a problem, but a short-term problem, Baker added.

July 13, 2011 Posted by | Life In DC, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Howard Students Support Marathon

Bryant St. NW Washington, D.C.

On March 26 at 7 a.m. I could hear cheering and the sounds of Michael Jackson outside my cracked dorm window. It was coming from Bryant street. D.J. Big Will was spinning Lady GaGa and the heavy pacing of runners intrigued me. I jumped out of bed and grabbed my recorder and camera. It’s not everyday a student journalist wakes up to a story.

When I made it down stairs I realized the people lined along Bryant street that were cheering were my fellow peers. Howard students were dressed in long sleeves, hoodies, and sweats — cheering on and motivating runners participating in: the Sun Trust National Marathon, Carefirst Bluecross Blueshield National Half Marathon, and United Way National Team Relay.

Some students were the average “joes”, but most of the students made up the Lady Bison’s Basketball Team.

Lady Bison India Bradford, junior psychology major and Washingtonian, says the ladies came out to give back to the community during their off-season.

The ladies were in deed giving their support by giving high-fives to the runners and shouting encouraging words.

For some participants this early morning rise of support had its own benefits. Physical education professors like Debbie Johnson gave her fitness students extra credit for participating.

Debbie Johnson is in charge of organizing events for students  to per-take in externally and internally within the Howard community. 

Lance Maxey, Lecturer in the Department of Health and Leisure, says the students are receiving extra credit for cheering on D.C. participants and believes it unites the students with the D.C. community.

April 21, 2011 Posted by | Life In DC | Leave a comment

Cool Jazz Played at Tryst in Adams Morgan


By: Jarondakie Patrick, Location: Washington- Adams Morgan, Tryst - March 2011

The outside noise of 18th St, NW fills Tryst’s front window. It’s wide-open, folded and pushed to the side like a room divider. In the rear of the lounge and to the right of the bar The Peter Edelman Trio begins to setup for their routine Tuesday night gig.

Just one year ago Peter Edelman was playing with Bill “Magic” Lavender-Bey on bass and Percy Smith on drums. Now the trio has two different faces: Jim West, a long-time friend, on the drums and legendary bassist Butch Warren.

Inspired to put together another trio, Edelman has finely done so and these musicians are skilled in their craft. Warren’s eyes closed as the top of the double bass rest in his left palm lightly and his right fingers glide the strings upward and back down. The repetition is so quick, creating a soft rhythm. West moves in a steady pace on the drums, and Edelman glances just over his left shoulder and simultaneously presses the keys on his electric piano. The band members complement one another while playing Walking and The Theme by Miles Davis.
This is definitely a step up from The Peter Edelman Trio that played at the Columbia Station in February of 2010. The drums drowned out the sound of the other instruments with a hard beat throughout one of the songs.
It seemed to be no pressure at Tryst, but just as before the band has selected another venue with dim lighting. It hindered capturing a good video and the view of the band members by the audience.

The candles placed on each table influences the diners to become too mellow and relaxed, causing attention deficit. Cool jazz and the ballot Battle of Flames is mixed with sirens from an ambulance, chit-chat, laughter, and clicking computer keys.

March 29, 2011 Posted by | Life In DC | Leave a comment

Biking It In DC…..

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Georgia Ave. Washington, DC


Just the other day I bought  a silver and green bike. I was told by my father not to waste my money and in turn I found it used for $80 bucks. Now, I have not rode a bike in probably four years, which is a long time when you are accustom to driving. I thought this could save me money on the metro since the Metro Stystem increased by $0.10 in February.

 I estimate next year that there will be another increase within the DC area. As well a new bike I could use for exercising for the mornings I am too exausted to go for a run. It never occurred to me that I would have to invest in a bike lock. The bike seller said that a good bike lock will cost about $30.00. I remember growing up when I could leave my bike out and the only thing I was afraid of was the rain turning my shiny 2-wheel ride into a rusty accident.

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Columbia Heights, Washington, D.C.

Back home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana if you are a certain age usually above 17 there is no more bike riding. Since being in DC it is no longer uncool to pedal to your destination. I see many individuals with all kinds of bikes. One had a banana seat, another a basket, some skinny wheels, and others thick wheels. 

I had to ask where are these individuals finding these bikes. Now I know residents of DC do not have bikes from the 80s stored in their basements and now that its 2010 they have decided to sell them or have they? And I know not all of the Residents of DC are in the Bike Olympia? Nah, I just refuse to believe it. There must be a bike shop. WOW! I use to think that a bike store was the local Wal Mart.

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Georgia Ave. Washington, DC

Hot Bike Shop In Adams Morgan -City Bikes

Mon-Wed,Fri-Sat 10am-7pm
Thurs 10am-9pm
Sun 11am-5pm

Take X3, 90, 92

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: National Mall-Washington, D.C.

December 9, 2010 Posted by | Fun, Fun Topics, Life In DC | 1 Comment

American’s Proud to Reclaim Dr. Kings Dream

Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network and long-time civil rights leader, stood at the podium at Dunbar High School in Washington on Saturday, August 28, 2010. Dunbar High School is the first public high school in the U.S. that allowed African-Americans to attend doing integration.   

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Dunbar High School, Washington, D.C. "Reclaim the Dream" Rally

“When we announced this gathering, they said to me , why go to a school,” said Sharpton? ” We must close the education gap.”   

Dunbar High School students and Howard University students stood at the rally cheering on Sharpton and chanting for justice and peace. These students were thinking about past history and future history when they planned to attend the “Reclaim the Dream” march and rally.   

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Howard University

Corine Jackman, 19, sophomore of Howard University, thought participating in the march represented history and would leave an impact in Washington.   

 “I am proud I was able to wake up out of my bed today and take part in history,” Jackman said.   

Jackman says we have to look back to know how to move forward for the future.   

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Vince Gray at Dunbar High School for the "Reclaim the Dream" Rally

 The students of Washington were not alone.   

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Tom Joyner at Dunbar High School, Washington, DC for "Reclaim the Dream" Rally


Speakers like Tom Joyner, Mayor Fenty and running mate Vince Gray, and presidents of well-known organizations were some of the few that spoke to remind residents of the D.M.V., out-of-towners, and students why the march was important.   

Washington residents were just as proud to see so many people of different races come together to represent change and a dream spoken over 47 years ago by Martin Luther King Jr.

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Washington, D.C.

 Chris Bennett, broadcast designer and resident of NW Washington, was one of the residents.   

“I am so excited,”  said Bennett. “I am happy to see so many people celebrating and remembering the dream.”    

The march ended at the location of where Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mounment is being built.   

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: SW Washington, D.C.

August 31, 2010 Posted by | Life In DC, Politics | Leave a comment

How Much Money Do We Make Mommy and Daddy [parents]?

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick June 2010

Remembering my father returning home from a day’s work and jumping in his arms are all the good memories of being a little girl. But renting my first apartment in NW, DC and attending college out of state has left me to ask one question; “How much money did my parents have growing up?”

I thought my family owned the world when it came to things like buying a home, furnishing the home, and deciding to buy a new car. When it came to things like X-mas I always got what I wanted and my mother always bought me nice things. Neither of my parents attended college and that was not important to me. The importance came when I decided to attend college and realized how many of my peer’s parents had degrees and the rest of the world. I guess when you are a little girl you live in a bubble.

Lately I have noticed that the college expenses have begun to catch up with my spending habits when before I always relied on daddy’s money or mother’s good taste.

Specifically I remember sitting in the dealer ship with my parents asking “will I still get my allowance” referring to them deciding to buy a new car and them replying “yes”. Than I knew it was okay for them to buy that car.

Growing into my teens and being the last person I thought on earth to ever get a cell phone I remember bugging my parents for a cell. When it came to me getting a cell my mother explained to me that I would pay my own  bill with my allowance. I did not even have a job. These are the financial lessons I learned as growing into the 21-year-old young lady I am today.

I must admit now those lessons fade in and out. I am not always responsible with my money so I have decided to implement a budget and leave other women out there with some tips on how to manage money.

– Ladies it is never to late to have an emergency fund: The fund consist of 3 months to 6 months of living expenses aside from your regular savings account.

– When coming up with a Savings Plan calculate all of your incoming income and additional money you may make.

– Figure out your fixed expenses such as rent, car insurance, cell phone bill, loan payments, credit card payments.

– Leave out money to provide for a savings account and  a little more to put away to your emergency fund.

– Estimate how much you may need for day to day, week to week, or month to month living expenses.

When making out your budget pay yourself first. This means put money into yours savings, not go out and shop! Pay yourself say 5 percent or ten percent of your paycheck. Next, deposit the money into the savings account and than pay your bills. Do this at the beginning of each month or pay peiord so that your entire check will not slip through your fingers. Regardless  job, title, or education you have or your income, this system works!

Another way to save money is to empty your change into a jar each day or week. At the end of the month take the coins to a bank and deposit it into your savings account.

Good money management is the way I see it, when thinking about my parents and growing up. No, we were not rich, but we survived economic times because of a system called saving.

 To budget when it comes to shopping in fashion visit  The Budget Fashionista.  

 If your children are inquiring and curious as I was as a child check out the article “Daddy Are We Rich” and other Tough questions by Ron Lieber. The article deals with parents explaining to their children the significant of money and how to spend.

July 11, 2010 Posted by | Life In DC | Leave a comment