October 25, 2012

By MESFIN FEKADU | Associated Press


NEW YORK (AP) — Alicia Keys, after giving birth to her son two years ago, said she wanted to create tools for children. Now she's launching an app for kids.

“The Journals of Mama Mae and LeeLee” is about a young New York City girl’s relationship with her wise grandmother. Keys produced music for the interactive app, which will be released Thursday for $3.99.

“It’s a new adventure for me, and I’m really enjoying it,” the Grammy Award winner said in an interview Wednesday.

The app is loosely based on Keys’ relationship with her grandmother. It’s centered in LeeLee’s bedroom, and it allows users to read books, play music and write in a journal.

“It does remind me of my world,” the New York-born singer said. “The piano, the journal, music’s such a big part of my life, the city, all of that.”

Keys is launching the app through her company AK Worldwide and Bento Box Interactive. She said raising her 2-year-old son, Egypt, was part of the app’s inspiration.

“I was just getting introduced to kind of the TV shows and the DVDs and all the things you start kind of introducing your kids to, and I thought how cool it would be to be a part of something that really allows them to hear music from different places, different cultures, different sounds,” she said. “That’s what we’re able to do with this.”

Keys is a 14-time Grammy winner. Her fifth album, “Girl On Fire,” is out Nov. 27. Maxwell, Jamie xx, Bruno Mars and John Legend are among the featured acts and songwriters.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 25, 2012


An unexpected clash may arise this week from an unlikely area. Try to maintain a position as mediator, rather than joining the fray. Loyalties may be stretched, but they won’t break. What you need is within you. Go there and get it.  Soul Affirmation: My spirit will fill me with gladness.



Co-workers or customers may be grumpy this week. Don’t take it personally. Dwell in your peaceful inner space and the space around you will reflect the peaceful vibrations.  Soul Affirmation: Jewelry reflects the beauty of my feelings about myself.



You feel centered this week and full of efficient energy. Use this week to accomplish tasks, make plans, and finalize arrangements that need to be made. Face into personal responsibilities with love and pleasure now.  Soul Affirmation: I enjoy discovering new territory this week.



You can build a bridge with your imagination to reach the person you want to meet. Build the very best bridge your imagination can afford. Your soulmate will then cross over to you. Your intentions are warm and sincere.  Soul Affirmation: Being true to others is the way to be true to myself.



You need to relax. The urge to do everything will take a toll on you this week unless you make a concerted effort to slow your own vibes down. Think peace love and happiness and let them be real values for you. Feed your soul.  Soul Affirmation: I calm my emotions by forgetting about the past.



You’ll be efficient and productive this week if you got some rest. Slow down. Sometimes less is more, and you’ll see you’re doing better than most. Use your talents to create some free time for yourself.  Soul Affirmation: I go inside myself to find peace and joy this week.



Someone wants to argue, and it’s up to you to walk away. It’s easy to let go of any idea of control if you remember that you are only responsible for your own feelings. Act healthy this week and enjoy your life.  Soul Affirmation: As chances come around again. I take advantage of them.



Be flexible as others present changes and new schedules for a group activity. Your easy-going attitude will allow you to reschedule appointments easily. Watch the sun rise it’ll be good for your spirits! Soul Affirmation: I release internal pressure by enjoying the beauties of the world around me.



Give your busy brain a rest and work your body this week. It’s a great day for physical activity that can loosen up muscles and relieve tensions. You’ll receive some practical advice from a distant relative.  Soul Affirmation: Newness of outlook helps me deal with the monotonies of life



Family responsibilities may feel like a chore this week. If you relinquish control of the situation, a natural order will occur, and things will organize themselves. You can let people be who they are.  Soul Affirmation: I call on my creative talents to pay my bills.



A secret may be revealed in a casual conversation. Your confidence is valued and appreciated. Take it all in! There’s no returning to what has been once you realize the gift you’ve been given.  Soul Affirmation: Helping others is the true measure of my worth.



A friend from the past could suddenly appear in your life. This could be a highly beneficial reunion for both of you. Let bygones be bygones, and renew this friendship. Love isn’t used up just because it’s shared.  Soul Affirmation: Charm is my middle name this week.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 18, 2012

By Kenneth Miller

LAWT Contributing Writer


The massive  ‘Taste of Soul’ African American celebration that’s “All About Community Love” is an epic experience of exquisite culinary dishes, world class entertainment and the meshing of cultures far and near, but at the root of this transforming event is the partnership and collaborative efforts of individuals and organizations who work cohesively before and after to make ‘Taste of Soul’ the success it has become.

These individuals don’t sing or dance on the various stages on display, they don’t cook or serve the mouth watering barbeque or fish you may eat, their names and performance are oblivious to the hundreds of thousands who cram onto Crenshaw Blvd.

However, they are the most significant of them all.  They are for the most part the real stars and heroes of ‘Taste of Soul’ and have been for the past six years, and this year will be no exception.

Before the hordes of people make it to their favorite vendor or stage, the Department of Public Works Street Maintenance Division will have already begun its work more than 24 hours before.

The Street Maintenance Division is one of the oldest divisions within the Bureau. They commit to the cleaning and maintenance of Crenshaw Blvd., routing traffic and closing locations, in addition to performing a range of other functions.

Hundreds of dedicated city of Los Angeles employees, including the Street Maintenance Division work in collaboration with The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), which is a multifaceted fire and life safety organization.

The LAFD provides ‘Taste of Soul’ with fire apparatus, and other specialty equipment and ensures the safety of the spectators at the event.

Safety is the top priority of ‘Taste of Soul’ organizers and throughout its history has been fortunate to have the services of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Nation of Islam working together to prevent crime and ensure a fun environment.

Under the guidance of Chief Charlie Beck the LAPD deploys units of officers to ‘Taste of Soul’ to extend the services of community policing where uniformed officers are out of their patrol cars and on foot walking and working hand in hand with the citizens of the city.

The LAPD is joined by the male-only paramilitary wing of the Nation of Islam (NOI) which is a unique display of unity for safety, the distinctive uniforms of the LAPD can been seen with the stylish and laser focused units of the Nation of Islam canvasing and protecting the patrons on Crenshaw Blvd. during the largest African American celebration in the history of Los Angeles.

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff of the city of Compton will also join the collaboration to work and respond to medical emergencies and transporting patients to the hospital as needed. 

The EMS maintains two Advanced Life Support (ALS) units that respond to life-threatening emergencies, and two Basic Life Support (BLS) that respond to non-life-threatening emergencies, and in situations where more hands and resources are needed, such as a heart attack or multiple-casualty incidents, the ALS and BLS units may assist each other on scene; or they may request assistance from an available engine company.

These dedicated public servants are the engines that drive ‘Taste of Soul’ to a destiny that some thought were not attainable.

It is because of them hundreds of small business receive their most significant economic boost during ‘Taste of Soul.’

It is because of them that businesses, large and small along the Crenshaw corridor experience the gold rush of ‘Taste of Soul’ business overflow.

There isn’t a stage large enough that could contain the love and appreciation that we have for them.

There isn’t a meal that is tasteful enough or filling enough that could demonstrate how much they mean to us.

So, as we munch or crunch, dance or sing in basking in the glory of an African American block party which embraces its neighbors, remember why it is what it is, and be thankful to our “Collaborative Partners of Love.”  After all they are how we got here!




Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 25, 2012

Despite rumors of massive debt when he died, Jackson is proving that he is still the king; his income from the grave proves it.

When it comes to dead celebrity earnings, it's hard to beat Michael Jackson. The pop singer, who died in 2009 at the age of 50, earned more than any living artist in the past 12 months: $145 million.

Dubbed ‘Music’s postmortem cash king,’ he has earned more than any single living artist since his death. Jackson continues to rake in revenues from the work of other artists (through his 50% stake in the Sony/ATV publishing catalog), his own material (the Mijac Music catalog), a Cirque du Soleil show (the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour) and other sources. His total would be even higher if FORBES hadn’t credited the advance for the latter to last year’s $170 million total.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 18, 2012

LAWT Wire Service 


Academy Award® nominated actress Viola Davis lent her voice to raise awareness about rape and the sexual abuse of children by hosting the annual brunch to benefit the Rape Treatment Center (RTC) at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center October 14, at Greenacres in Beverly Hills. The event honored American television icon writer and producer Norman Lear while spotlighting the RTC’s national leadership in advancing the care of rape victims and sexually abused children, establishing model prevention programs, advocating for victims’ rights, and changing the nation’s consciousness about rape.

RTC Director Gail Abarbanel welcomed Davis and Lear, along with Rape Foundation board members David Schwimmer and John Varvatos. Eric McCormack, Jayma Mays, Sophia Bush, KaDee Strickland, Jason Ritter, Jacqueline Emerson, Matt Lanter and Tamara Taylor were among the almost 800 guests in attendance.

Schwimmer opened the afternoon by introducing Davis, who addressed the crowd with a powerful and heartfelt speech praising the RTC for its work in the treatment and care of rape victims and sexually abused children. RTC Director Gail Abarbanel introduced the afternoon’s honoree Norman Lear who spoke about his commitment to the Center that began in 1977.  Clients of the RTC and Stuart House also spoke, sharing personal experiences with sexual assault and of finding hope and healing at the RTC.

Abarbanel spoke of Stuart House, the RTC’s internationally recognized model program for sexually abused children. Through this unique multi-agency program, the RTC provides comprehensive psychological, medical and advocacy services for child victims in a therapeutic environment designed to make children feel welcome and safe.  Stuart House is a public/private partnership that brings together in one facility police, prosecutors, and child protective services workers and child forensic interview specialists to facilitate investigations and prosecutions of child sexual abuse cases.

Davis’ work with the Rape Treatment Center arose from her portrayal of a rape victim counselor in the film “Trust,” directed by Schwimmer. Davis spent time at the center and collaborated with the staff in preparation for her role in the film.

Lear is a pioneering male voice advocating for victims of rape. His contributions began in 1977 when he created an unforgettable episode of All in the Family in which the beloved character, Edith Bunker, was confronted by a rapist. The Emmy Award-winning, one-hour special, “Edith’s 50th Birthday,” reached forty million people and forever changed the nation’s consciousness about rape.

Lear continues to stand up for rape victims, lending his voice and talents as a dedicated RTC board member. He has taken the stage at countless events to educate and raise money for RTC services and programs.  He also helped build Stuart House, the Rape Treatment Center’s model program for child victims. His guidance and example have been invaluable in changing discriminatory attitudes towards rape victims and has inspired other men to stand up.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

Page 48 of 61