Category Archives: Publications

Soldiers Without Faces

They May Be Faceless on The Streets, But They Still Have a Voice 

When you think of veterans the word honor, courageous & sacrifice comes to mind; you also think of how they fought for our country and remember the times when they were once saluted and celebrated.

flag

Photo by Cambridgema.gov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, today we simply pass them by as they lay in the streets with no place to go.  We don’t celebrate them anymore, we merely tolerate them.  Shouldn’t there be more success stories? Why does it take so long for vets to get help?  Shouldn’t help already have been provided prior to being discharged.  This photo couldn’t have said it better; “If America is the home of the brave, why are the braves homeless?”  Now that’s a Good question.

 

Homeless_Vet_Cartoon1

Photo by butnotyet.com

So, why is it more often than not that we hear more stories about homeless vets?  According to Military.com, “it has been estimated that fewer than 200,000 veterans may be homeless on any given night and that twice as many veterans experience homelessness during a year.”  But, the question is, why are there still so many homeless vets out there with so many programs that are readily available? Those numbers are staggering and something must be  done about it.

 

Here are some facts about homeless vets in the U.S. today.  What’s being done to help combat this crisis?

Photo by blog.endhomelessness.org

 

 

There is something so wrong about this and it must change, and with the help of the National Coalition for Homeless Vets (NCHV) and the support from communities all over the country coming together in collaboration, homelessness among the vets can stop, but it must began by the restructuring of public policies.

According to the NCHV  they say they  “will end homelessness among veterans by shaping public policy, promoting collaboration, and building the capacity of service providers.”  NCHV also states that HUD had published a notice on December 12, 2013, in accordance with the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, Federal Register identifying Federal buildings and other real property HUD has reviewed as suitable for use to assist the homeless. This is a big new for the homeless vets.  This will create more opportunity for space to house the vets in need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frantz Fortune Takes the Initiative to Help Get Homeless Vets Off the Streets

Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia (VEO) & Frantz Fortune

VEO for Homeless Vets from Dawn on Vimeo.

Frantz Fortune is the Executive Director of Veterans Empowerment Organization, also known as (VEO).  This organization was created & founded by Frantz Fortune, a social worker with years of experience working directly with the homeless population.  40yr old Frantz Fortune is a dedicated husband who has been married 17 years and a father of two, ages 8 years and 16 years old.  Fortune is a native of Haiti and has resided in the states for the past 22 years. Prior to running the VEO Program, Fortune was a real estate investor that began in 1999, up until the economic crash in 2008.  During that time Fortune took advantage of the crash and created an opportunity to build the Veterans Empowerment Organization.  He says it keeps him very busy, but it’s something he loves doing.  Fortune stated “I’m a selfless person and I have a desire to help.”

Frantz

Frantz Fortune, Founder and Executive Director of (VEO) Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia, seeking support to help get homeless vets off the streets.

Frantz made a point to say that “I don’t let trouble bother me, I just do what is needed to help.”  He even explained to his     children “you’re going to have to share daddy” knowing that the time spent away from home will be time invested in helping   feed, clothe and shelter the homeless vets and to help them to regain their independence and dignity.  “I have an awesome wife who allows me to be away while she takes care of home, so I can work” says Fortune.  His passion for serving others is a part of who he is but, he also remembers when he left a third world country to come to the United States, how he was afforded opportunities when he needed it; looks like he’s paying it forward, literally Fortune has used most of his own money to develop this program, but he can’t do it alone;  any support is always welcomed and appreciated.

Frantz has big ideas, big dreams and a desire to see a VEO opened in every city and/or state in the U.S.  He would even like to see other organizations like VEO help to solve what he calls a crisis, stating that there are 300,000 homeless vets in the U.S. and 2,000 in Atlanta alone.  He Spends time getting to know the Vets, which helped him to learn the man and understand them as humans and not just homeless.  Fortune is very ambitious in his dreams and desires to help the homeless; he also has a desire and goal to open a canteen to feed the homeless.  According to VEO, today Fortune is helping Atlanta to solve its homelessness problem through his work with The United Way and the Positive Outlook Foundation.  “We seek to create living conditions that will promote independence, dignity, and a sense of purpose for veterans who are currently under served and in need, including the mentally ill, those who have substance abuse problems, or physical disabilities.”

To help Frantz Fortune in his quest to get homeless veterans off the streets, don’t hesitate to stop by the VEO of Georgia to  lend a helping hand or donate food, money, or your time.  They can also be found on Facebook and Twitter, every little bit  helps, so be a blessing.

 

 

 

 

 

The Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Family

 

 

DSC00466

Donations for AIDS (c) 2013

 

Prevention is the Best Protection

CarolineTolbert, The wife of Gospel Recording artist, Terrell Tolbert of Atlanta Ga. briefly discusses how the family has to deal with the heartache and trials of losing not just one, but two loved ones to the devastating Disease of HIV/AIDS.  According to Mitchell both brother and sister died of the AIDS virus in the same year of 1989, just months apart.  When a family member becomes sick or even dies everyone suffers, very rarely does it happen to two members of the same immediate family at the same time, which is a double impact.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention “African Americans are the racial ethnic group most affected by HIV in the United States.”

 

DSC00422

(c) 2013 Photo taken at Caroline’s home by D. Garvin

In 2010 an estimated 44% of all new HIV infections cases among adults and adolescents were African Americans, and although African Americans only represent a small percentage 12%-14% of the country’s population, African Americans account for a higher proportion of HIV infections at every stage of the disease. This epidemic has been increasingly growing, HIV is commonly transmitted through anal, vaginal sex or sharing needles with an infected person.  So, the question would be what is being done to address these concerns and where are they in the curing of the disease?

DSC00481

Sewing a quilt to leave a part of you behind after gone from AIDS (C) 2013

There has been recent talk of a cure for HIV/AIDS in some patients, however they are still In the research phase, however there is more room for the hope for a cure today, then ever before.  Just as Caroline has mentioned about certain men not wanting to wear protection, until a cure is found be sure to protect yourself at all times.

DSC00452

AIDS Walk Sign (c) 2013

 

 

 

Insurance Just May Be Your New Best Friend


The Value of Insurance, Protect Yourself

This an audio documentary about the value of having insurance as a part of our everyday needs and insurance agent, Richard Horton of American Family Insurance in East Point Georgia discuss how vitally important it is in today’s world to have Insurance.  Insurance today is more than just a basic need; it’s become a vital part of our everyday existence.  You may have never thought about how much you need insurance and for what, however when you really understand how it all works you’ll realize that you need insurance as protection, just as you would protect yourself in your home or a covering over your head, remember to cover yourself with insurance.

There are so many options out there today and now with extra added person attention with some.  There are so many to choose from, but do your homework, be smart and protect yourself with health, everyone needs health insurance, you never know when that medical emergency will happen, life insurance is important because you not only protect yourself, but the your family’s future, and there is car, everyone may not have a car, but remember, if you have a car that’s ten years old or more, full coverage isn’t necessary, so you can pocket what’s left and all business should be covered when you’re dealing with people and the public, it’s to protect yourself.  So, no matter how you look at it, protect and cover your assets, know that there is value in you.

 

Evanjahlist “The Music Man” Of Midtown Atlanta at Little Five Points

Evan, fondly known to the Little Five Points community in Midtown Atlanta as Evanjahlist, who’s a celebrity in his own right.  Evanjahlist says his first name is Evan and he created the add-on “Jahlist” as a last name and prefers to be called Evanjahlist (as in Evangelist).  The name represents the biblical term to spread the good word/message and reaching many people.

Evanjahlist sits on the streets of Atlanta's Little Five Points district stopping to take a break away from the drumming in order to stop & talk with  his drums while a spectator. August 10, 2013

Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013 Evanjahlist sits on the streets of Atlanta’s Little Five Points district stopping to take a break away from the drumming in order to  chat a moment with a spectator.              August 10, 2013

Evanjahlist is a 44yr old man who is currently homeless, he says he use to do art, stones and jewelry, but he doesn’t do it anymore and prefers to do music.  He has played drums since he was 12yrs old and he also sang in the choir.  Evanjahlist moved to Atlanta from Miami, during the 1996 Olympics, but has visited Georgia regularly every summer from childhood.  He says “although he lived in Miami, he grew up in Atlanta.”

He believes that Atlanta has the best culture, art and music scene around and says “that’s why I love Atlanta so much.”  Evanjahlist loves all genres of music and finds peace of mind and joy spreading love through his music to the community he plays in.  As he plays his homemade drum set made from two 5 gallon water jugs, a milk crate for a seat and a wooden spoon to hold his symbol in place and beating the drums with his hand and a wooden stick, Evanjahlist creates wonderful music.  Evan has been a part of the community for the past 17 yrs and is very well known by most people in the community.

Evanjahlist, the man of the community tells a little bit of his story as to why he plays on the streets of  Little Five Points in Midtown Atlanta He reminisces w/a pleasant memories. Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist, the man of the community tells a little bit of his story as to why he plays on the streets of Little Five Points in Midtown Atlanta
He reminisces w/a pleasant memories.
Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

He was forced to move from one location, stating that he was told that he needed to get a permit to perform.  “It’s very hard to get a permit” says Evan, “so I moved to this location, where the spirit led me and I love this location.”

Evanjahlist, looks on talking to the people when they stop to ask questions.  Little Five Points, August 10, 2013 Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist, looks on talking to the people when they stop to ask questions. Little Five Points, August 10, 2013
Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist states that “he is not out robbing people, but is making an honest living.”  Although Evan is currently homeless and struggling, he keeps a great spirit and sees beauty in the world around him and just wants to share the good news and his music to the world while bringing a smile to the faces around him.

Evanjahlist watches as a young girl drops money into the bucket as he sits in front of a building playing his music.  August 10, 2013 Atlanta, Midtown's popular Little Five Points. Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist watches as a young girl drops money into the bucket as he sits in front of a building playing his music. August 10, 2013 Atlanta, Midtown’s popular Little Five Points.
Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist, the music man stops to count his money after the bucket gets a little full and puts it away to prevent any temptation of theft. Midtown, Atlanta Little Five Points district.  August 10, 2013  Photo by: D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist, the music man stops to count his money after the bucket gets a little full and puts it away to prevent any temptation of theft. Midtown, Atlanta Little Five Points district. August 10, 2013 Photo by: D. D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist bucket is slowly filling up, but a little more help is always good.  He can always be found in Midtown Atlanta's Little Five Points district. August 10, 2013 Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist bucket is slowly filling up, but a little more help is always good. He can always be found in Midtown Atlanta’s Little Five Points district.
August 10, 2013
Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

So, the next time you’re in Midtown Atlanta in the Little Five Points district, don’t hesitate to drop by to say hello to Evanjahlist and Bless him with a little drop in the bucket.

 

Multi-Media is Changing the Way Consumers Experience the Content they Consume

Multi-Media is Changing the Way Consumers Experience the Content they Consume

Is TV slowly going away?  That’s a question that’s being posed.  According to Oregonlive.com, back in 2011, they claim people in the U.S had cancelled cable and satellite TV in record numbers.  In 2010, subscription TV showed a small loss, but the in 2011 the loss had become more substantial.  It’s assumed that the decrease was due to the unemployment rate and the declining housing market, which made people more frugal with their spending. Question, why spend on cable when there’s free online streaming?

Netflix (23M)   Online Streaming (83M)   Cable (114M)   Movie Goers (1.5B)

graph

© 2013 By D. Garvin

According to Jeff John Roberts of Paid Content, he claims “the number of Americans who pay for cable-like TV products is declining.  Also says that research forecasts claims that subscriptions peaked at nearly 101 million in 2011, but will decline to less than 95 million by 2017.” However, The NPD Group/2013 Online Gaming Study shows that when it comes to watching TV the issue is not television alone, it’s deciding what device to watch them on.  Gaming devices is not just for games anymore, people are using them to watch YouTube, play DVD’s and blue ray discs.  Either way you look at it, the way we watch TV is changing.

Not long ago, consumer options were very slim for higher end content viewing. But, today there is a vast array of options for the pickings.  There’s Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple and host of technological devices, including, PC’s, tablets and smart phones.

Technology is getting even smarter and they’re making it more convenient to watch anywhere via the cloud.  According to Laura Williams, employee of Comcast Cable stated“I don’t see cable TV going anywhere anytime soon, however cable sales has dropped drastically this year, but Internet sales has had a tremendous increase.”

Is Pay TV becoming a Thing of the Past?

Netflix monthly viewing exceeded 1 billion hours for the first time ever in June.  January 2012 Netflix experienced almost 50% increase in streaming hours.  Then It streamed 2 billion hours previously to the three-month quarter.  Market opened in July 2012 and Netflix experienced a continuous rise in stock, an increase of $70.45 to $81.72 by the end of the next trading day.

The Department of Justice announced that it will require Verizon and four of the nation’s largest cable companies to make changes to a number of agreements involving sales and services.  Companies include, Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

Well, not according Brian Stelter and Amy Chozick  of The New York Times.  As of May 2013, they say TV isn’t going anywhere, but with Video-on-Demand VOD it’s actually slowly gaining notable recognition.  With VOD, cable and satellite subscribers can now tune in “on demand” with their set-top boxes that goes on the television.

Now consumers can view TV episodes, movies, Networks shows from Fox, ABC and more.  Cable companies like Comcast understands the value of integrating the cable with online media and smart TV’s that’s internet ready.   It’s time to work together because the consumers are moving on with or without them; technology is making the consumers options easier than ever before.

Larry Magid of Forbes shares his thoughts on the direction of television.  He says he uses the Roku Boxes on TV’s throughout his home to stream HD.  The Roku box is another alternative to online streaming, while still watching TV on your flat screen at home.The box start at $50, you just plug it into your TV using your home network.  You have access to 100 free channels; you also get Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Disney, on-demand for a fee. The best part is you can take it with you wherever you go.

So, who says online streaming will take over? TV definitely isn’t going anywhere fast, also four major networks are working on streaming local & Network programming to mobile devices.

 

 

 

 

 

Female Directors Rank Higher in Numbers for the Sundance Film Festival While Still Seeking to Find their Place in Big Budget Hollywood Film Industry

According to The Atlantic the Sundance Film Festival hit a record high with half of the U.S Films were directed by women.  There were 119 films this year alone at the Sundance film festival and 34 percent were directed by women and for two years in a row a woman has won for best director.  These winners include Jill Soloway and Ava DuVernay.  Woman are making headway in the independent world, however the task of infiltrating the big budget or Hollywood films that will be the challenge.

Since the Academy Award’s first meeting back in 1927, the organization still remains majority white and Male dominated today.  Out of the Academy Awards 85 years of history, there have only been four women nominated for best director, not even speaking of winning; but, simply nominated.  Does that sound like a time for change to you? And according to The Atlantic only 4.4% of studio movies were directed by women, but 50 percent of Sundance films in 2013 were also directed by women, which is an encouraging leap in comparison.

However, according to a study done by the Women in Film Los Angeles   they “found that 23.9% of directors at the Sundance Film Festival from 2002-2012 were female, compared to 4.4% of directors across the top 100 box office films each year from 2002 to 2012 that were female.”

Thanks to the independent film and Sundance, women may soon see changes in the mainstream big budget film industry.  According to Flavorwire “Only four women have ever been nominated for Best Director”  Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1976), Jane Campion for The Piano (1993)Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation (2003), and Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker.”  However, only one has actually won for best director, and that was Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker” in 2009.  She has become the first and so far the only woman to win the Oscar.”   There is just a hand full of female directors that can catch the Academy’s eye due to the large budget & distribution and Bigelow is one of those people.

Here is a list of the top ten female directors according to GalTime.com:

1. Kathryn Bigelow                    5. Catherine Hardwicke        9.  Julie Taymor

2. Jane Campion                       6.  Mira Nair                       10.  Nora Ephron

3. Gina Prince-Bythewood         7.  Amy Heckerling

4. Caire Denis                           8.  Sofia Coppola

Women Directed Narrative Film at Sundance- 8 out of 16 films were made by women in 2013

Women nominated for best Director- (Only 4 women)

Percentage of Female Directors in Documentaries (39%)

Female directors of Top Grossing Films (only 5%)

 

The Effects Of Internet, Technology And Social Media On The Music Industry

The Effects of the Internet, Technology and Social Media has had on the Music Industry

As social networking and technology evolve, more people are online adding more challenges for the music industry.  Has social networking become a problem for the music industry?

It can be hard for the recording industry to make money because so much of the music is readily available online free of charge. However, this doesn’t put the record label out of business; readjustments and strategic planning with marketing must be made in order to make money and become of value to the artists and the industry as a whole.

Bands and Artists are finding new ways to stay relevant and to make money. They seem to be doing just fine because they are keeping up with technology and social media, which is valuable tool and much more affordable, especially for new artists. Social media had made it possible to create, promote and sell in the comfort of your home.

As I watch Tour Manager, Andre Washington setup, he says “Artist’s still make a major part of their money touring and states that technology will never replace the love of music and the human connection artist’s makes with their fans during live performances”.

Andre

Photo compliments of Andre Washington (C) 2013

Today, online skills should automatically become a part of every artist requirements for the industry.   It allows artists to become closer to their art because they’re not tied to what the record labels would normally do to create a product.  Just as YouTube has made people famous without a label, success is still at your reach while simply working in the comfort of your own home.

IMG_4243

(c) 2013 Photo by D. Garvin

According to Wade Jones, CEO/Co-Founder of Peach City Records, he stated that being a newly formed label, social media help to make the journey exciting. “To have the opportunity to get my artists exposed to a wider audience on a very low budget would not have been possible just a few years ago.”

Digitization of content has become inevitable in this age of technology. From the creation of music to the consumption of music, it all demonstrates how it has become digitized. Take IPOD’s, smart phones and tablets for example, and even apps created for these devices, they’re all the creation of digital technology.

IMG_4258

(c) 2013 Photo by D. Garvin

According to Pandodaily,  “popular digital music services have been criticized for not paying enough in royalties to the rights holders.  It escalated into a debate with Congress in the form of the Internet Radio Fairness Act, a bill that aims to change the way royalty rates are set.”

Because the labels and digital music are helping each other today, digital music sales have gone up drastically.   Services like Song Kick and bands in town are platforms that bring people to shows, which is how most artists make their revenues.  Technology has definitely shifted the control of the record label to the control of the artists.

Social media had made it possible to bring all sides together, and allow more freedom for artist’s creativity.  But, don’t get it twisted, record labels are still needed and used today because someone has to do all the legwork.  In the end it’s a lot of work, and the coming together of the old and the new as a team can be very profitable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanta’s Traffic Can Be a Horror However, Alternative Ideas Make For Interesting Travel

Atlanta’s traffic has been a major concern for many years, as the population grows so does the traffic.  Places that should only take 10 to 15 mins to travel can take up to an hour during certain times of the day, specifically during your commute to work.  That alone takes away time away from home, having to leave an hour earlier just to get to work on time.  Traffic is bumper to bumper during the morning commute and just as bad on the return home which is commonly known as the five o’clock traffic jam.

Atlanta’s traffic has been the reason why some businesses refuse to make Atlanta its home.  According to some public officials, bad traffic has had a negative effect on the economy by company’s refusal to come to Atlanta due to its horrible traffic, which creates a spiraling domino effect.  If business is lost, then jobs are lost, which causes lack in the economy.  Gas prices are high alone and fuel is being wasted just sitting in long hours of traffic and not to mention time lost from being spent at home.

infograph

(c) 2013 Infographic by Auto Insurance of Georgia

After speaking with Atlanta resident, Anthony Barr, he tells the story of how difficult it is driving long distances to work and has  resorted to riding his bike and catching the train to save time in his commute.  Barr say’s “I can get to work faster on my bike and  on the train than I can in a car.”   According to Barr, he state’s that it can also become a bit dangerous on the bike because of the    traffic as well.

According to Randy Golden of Randy’s corner, Sonny Perdue, former governor of Georgia has come up with the idea of coordinating traffic lights back in 2012, which would smooth out the flow of traffic.

However an organization called The Atlanta Biking Coalition had come up with a very interesting alternative to driving, not to do away with driving altogether.  But,  to lessen the congestion of traffic, the idea of what is called bike share feasibility to get around small areas in town doesn’t sound like a bad idea.  It’s safe, a great way to exercise and a convenient way to travel once the whole plan is put into place and implemented.

The idea of the program is to open a cyclist lane for travel and there’s even a place to park a bike or pick up a bike to get to your next stop. You wouldn’t have to transfer to a bus, you can just pick up a bike at the next kiosk. The idea is to expand the idea and attract more people to cycling.

The idea has spread to a few universities and other smaller residential communities and are hoping to grow into larger communities, but for now is considered a great start to a good idea that will be good for people in the communities, which can be cost effective, beneficial to businesses, pleasing to residents and a welcome feel for visitors.

 

 

 

 

 

Understand your Rights with Copyright Infringement

 

Understand your Rights with Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement  is when a person reproduce, publically display and distribute someone else work without permission from the owner.  Bottom line, when you take something that doesn’t belong to you simply put, it’s stealing! That’s how you know that you’ve broken the copyright law.   Most people don’t realize that they are breaking the law everyday just by downloading & uploading music, movies, sharing photos, video clips, copying, ripping and burning CD’s & DVD’s.   Some have questioned whether it’s considered copyright infringement if not done for a profit.   

IMG_0843

Think you’re saving money? Think again, copyright Infringement cost a whole lot more. (c) 2013 Photo by D. Garvin

How do you know when you’re breaking the law?

The copyright infringement law is so complex, that it can make it hard not to infringe on some people’s legal rights. Being new to blogging or simply a part of the social networking community makes it difficult for the average person to realize that they’re breaking the law because it seems everyone’s online doing it. Here are a few tips to avoid copyright infringement on social media.

If you don’t know what the law entails before you break it, then you will quickly learn it once they slap that lawsuit on you. Take casual blogger Roni Loren, she tells her story on her blog site about being new to blogging and being sued for copyright infringement.  She had a photo on her page that was not attributed and according to Loren, she didn’t know the rules and did what most people she saw do.  She assumed that under the Fair Use standard, that it was OK not attribute.  She didn’t know and unfortunately learned the hard way.

photo (6)

Breaking the law comes with a price

photo (5)

Photos by D. Garvin (c) 2013

According to eonline, the children of the late musician David Pryor recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Kanye West for millions, after sampling their father’s song (Gold Digger) without getting consent.  Pryor passed in 2006, but his children Trena and Lorenzo ascertained that their father’s work has been sampled numerous times and by various artists.  However, they made it clear to all record companies involved that if they don’t stop exploiting their dad’s song (BusStop) without requesting permission, will be next in line for a lawsuit.

OntheFlipSideofCopyrightInfringement

Former Film Student Pattie Clark was director on a class film that was to be shot for their final project, but to her surprise several months down the line, found out that part of their story had been copied, re-shot, and uploaded to YouTube, with the exact same storyline and Title.  Because the script was never copyrighted and protected, all rights were lost.  “Now that’s a lesson well learned on copyrighting. Wish I knew to do it sooner.”  Chuckling, Clark says “Take it from me, even if you’re still in school protect your work and get it copyrighted.” “Don’t let all of your hard work get snatch right out from under you.”

According to PCMag, in August 2012, Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that linking & embedding video is not considered copyright infringement. Posner explains in great length how linking and embedding works and they that watch the videos are not violating copyright infringement law, nor are they who are embedding & linking violating the law.  However, they who are uploading copyright infringing videos are in violation.

photo (7)

Embedding & Linking is no longer considered copyright infringement (c) 2013 Photo by D. Garvin