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Summit Neighborhood Tour

Still getting to know my new town… This video, created by a local Realtor, was a nice YouTube find. I hope you enjoy it.

Summit Mourns Slain Restaurant Worker

Murders are a rare thing in Summit, NJ. That is what makes the inexplicable killing of 47-year-old father-of-four Abelino Mazariego by a group of teens all the more shocking.

Details from NBC New York:

Mazariego, a native of El Salvador, finished his shift as a cook’s assistant at Dabbawalla Indian restaurant in Summit, N.J., and took a seat on a bench in the Summit Promenade, prosecutors claim.

A pack of teenagers approached him, and two started to beat him, prosecutors say. One recorded the attack. The second attacker, a 17-year-old, was also arrested; the teen who got it all on tape has not been charged.

Colin Crasto, manager and chef at Dabbawalla, said the fact that the beating was taped “makes it more horrific.” Crasto added that he’s never felt unsafe in the area, and that teens hang out outside in the summer just like anywhere else.

“We are totally shocked at what happened,” said Crasto.

Police then found Mazariego with severe head trauma and took him to Overlook Hospital in Summit. He never regained consciousness and died three days later, according to the New Jersey Local News Service.

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Hello Summit!

Welcome to Summit Peace, a creation of Grateful Dread Peace Media, a nonprofit community service endeavor whose primary goal is to inform the public and inspire progressive-peace citizen action for a better world. We’ve been doing this since 1996, when GDPM was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, and under the name ALL FACTS AND OPINIONS. Now, we reside in Summit, New Jersey, and man oh man, we are thrilled to pieces to continue our worldchanging mission here.

I’m your host, Natalie Davis, a journalist, broadcaster, author, speaker, organizer and activist who has been in the peace/social justice arena practically from the womb. My relationship with Summit goes back two decades, when I married a Jersey boy born and bred here.  Having spent a good bit of time here over the years, I’ve loved Summit for a long time. Finally living here feels as natural to me as breathing. This is a beautiful community of fine people, so it makes sense to share my life’s mission with them.

The idea behind Summit Peace (subtitled All Facts and Opinions) is simple: Here, we present all sorts of material of interest to people committed to peace, the environment, and progressive values. As the site develops, you’ll see news items, resource links, event info, counterculture stuff (hey, we are everywhere!) and more. Some of what we share will be serious, some will be silly, some will be stuff I think is just plain cool… I hope you will find it informative, interesting, inspiring, and (when appropriate) perhaps a wee bit humorous or fun. One never knows; I certainly don’t.  You’ll have to visit us to know. But I see this as a chance to fix a broken world while building community with likeminded souls — and wouldn’t it be groovy to have Summit’s progressive-minded citizens come together? Just think of the good we could do and the camaraderie we could share.

Now, if you’ve read AF&O for years, no worries. We’ll still cover the same stuff and with more regularity, so this is a win for all involved. I so appreciate your past support and hope you’ll stick around for our future. Bottom line: We have a world to save, and that’s going to take folks in Baltimore, Summit, New York, the Bay Area, Chicago, London, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Johannesburg, Tokyo… you get the idea.

Please join us regularly and tell your friends. Be sure to follow @summitpeace on Twitter as well as the nationally focused @allfactsandopin Twitter, which will continue as is. And do peace — that’s what it’s all about.

Pax vobiscum!

Femme Fun: Girlpower and GPS

Doing something a wee bit unusual today: The following has little to do with politics and activism… or does it?

I received an email today about a contest sponsored by a MarCom, a company looking to get women more involved in the super-hot phone application craze. It offers a smartphone app called waze, which provides free crowdsourced GPS navigation to users. This is totally cool:  Waze includes voice-guided turn-by-turn directions while offering fun and useful social elements. Users can send live road reports to other users, tweet from the road, share pictures of hazards to let people know why traffic is slow, chat with other drivers, check in to Foursquare, and more. What makes it even more interesting to me is MarCom’s story and how it seeks to do good while spreading the word about waze. My new gal pal Alli explains.

“We’re a technology start up that loves our users, but there’s a small problem – they’re almost all boys! We’re talking, like, 98%,” she says. “We’ve been asking ourselves about where all the waze girlpower is for a while now, and today we’ve finally decided to take action.”

The action: a cool contest just for the ladies (yeah, said in SJP’s voice).  If you’re a girl gadget geek who loves getting involved in trendsetting technology projects, then waze wants you. The goal is to entice women to become wazers and to start adding female voices and contributions to the driving communities in their areas. As an incentive to help attract more female attention to the waze app, MarCom will give a free iPad to a randomly selected wazerette on June 17!

To make yourself eligible to win the iPad:
1-      Be a woman. We don’t suggest you do this especially for the contest, if you’re not one already.
2-      Retweet this message on Twitter:  Ladies: Help bring girlpower to waze’s free social GPS app for your chance to win a shiny new iPad! Details here: bit.ly/cqg2Rn
3-      Download waze, if you haven’t already. Make sure to register your email address in the registration process, or in yours settings, so we’ll be able to contact you, should you be the lucky winner!
4-      Post one ‘chit chat’ on the waze map with the message “Girlpower!” Note that to send a ‘chit chat’, all you have to do is to click the ‘report’ button, click the purple and blue ‘chit chat’ icon, type your message, and then click send.

The contest starts June 7  and ends June 17. Learn more about waze at www.waze.com/guided_tour or check out the site at www.waze.com.

Help High School Students Become Radio Pros

The radio bug hit me during my last year of high school and led me to two great college broadcasting experiences, at the University of Maryland’s WMUC and at Towson University’s WTMD. I’ve worked in radio and media ever since — to this day, the debt I feel to those two institutions and to college radio in general is infinite. And I am proud to know that both schools are still hard at work creating the next generation of quality broadcasting professionals.

Right now, WTMD is going public with a cool new effort to give invaluable hands-on experiences to kids attending high school. Here is the info:

We all know that arts education in schools is under pressure–and that includes teaching kids about radio.
WTMD wants to help one high school buy the equipment they need to make sure their students can learn about how important radio and music are in people’s lives.

KLIK, a high school Internet radio station based in Ft. Collins, Colorado, teaches students from five schools in the community. This revolutionary project is looking to upgrade its equipment and the Pepsi Research Project is willing to fund it–as long as the public votes for it.

KLIK is ranked #28 among Refresh grant candidates; however, only the Top 10 will receive a $5,000 grant when the voting ends on May 31st.


It just takes a few clicks to help KLIK crack the Top 10. Thanks for helping out and maybe some day someone graduating from KLIK will be on the air at [a station near you]!

Isn’t that the coolest? You know what would be cooler? Give to the college radio station nearest you. These efforts — usually local in nature, listener-supported, and grassroots-progressive-public in format —  perform a valuable and necessary service for up and coming radio people. But college radio’s greatest beneficiaries are the communities they serve. All the stations are getting around to their big spring pledge drives — now is your chance! Do some good.

On the Use of “Teabagger”

President Obama is feeling some heat from the Left and Right for allegedly bashing the Tea Party. Progressive commentator Jonathan Alter’s new book, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, features the commander-in-chief opining that the GOP’s kneejerk refusal to cooperate with Democrats over the stimulus package “set the tenor for the whole year … That helped to create the Teabaggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where [the radical conservative element] now controls the agenda for the Republicans.”

Many of these Tea Party reactionaries are plenty steamed. Even Democrats as highly placed as Rahm “Non-Lipsticked Pitbull” Emanuel found Obama’s use of the controversial title ill-advised. This is not surprising: The term teabagger has an alternate meaning that can be seen as rather rude in polite circles, and there are many on the Left who use that double entendre to mock the New Millennium Know-Nothings.  But many on the Left employ the term because it is accurate.

The reactionary Right proudly embraced the term Teabagger at the beginning.

The reactionary Right proudly embraced the term Teabagger and obstructionism almost from the start of the Obama presidency. Photo from Brendan Calling

Yes, accurate. Did that group employ tea bags in its protests? It did. Look at the above photo. Thus, as far as I am concerned, those protesters are Teabaggers. I do not in any way refer to a sexual practice; it is not my style. So when I say Teabagger, I mean one who uses tea bags to protest against the Dusky President, progressive values, and equality for all. Period.

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