Author Archives: Rebecca Aguilar

There is nothing like being a reporter in the snow

Reporters aren’t afraid of bad weather, not even snow storms. After a while you have to think on how to keep warm and how to make the next “live shot” interesting.

KAYAKING IN A PARKING LOT

Reporter in Charleston got creative with a kayak, rope and the news car. She found a good snow covered parking lot and had some fun.

SERVE UP THE COFFEE PLEASE!

Reporter Tracie Strahan got a nice surprise as she was being pelted with freezing rain and snow on her face. It wasn’t a Starbucks delivery but warm coffee is welcomed.

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TIME’S UP unites women against sexual assault, harassment, and inequality in the workplace, and raises 15 million dollars for legal fund

TimesUp_2018

It feels good to see women unite on different fronts. Now we start 2018 with a new movement called TIME’S UP. More than 300 women, many well-known, united to start this mission.  The TIME’S UP website explains the why:

 

The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It’s time to do something about it.

 

This isn’t just women of Hollywood. This movement is involving women from all backgrounds and workplaces, from actresses to female farm workers.

 

TIME’S UP is a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere. From movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike, we envision nationwide leadership that reflects the world in which we live.

 

TIME’S UP is also creating a fund to help women fight back legally.  Here’s a link to the TIME’s UP Legal Defense Fund. >>Fund. The goal is 15 million dollars.

 

Powered by women, TIME’S UP addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential. We partner with leading advocates for equality and safety to improve laws, employment agreements, and corporate policies; help change the face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite; and enable more women and men to access our legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable

 

LETTER TO “DEAR SISTERS”

 

 

TimesUp_DearSisters

 

“Dear Sisters” is the organizer’s message and goals. They also gave credit to the women who work the farm fields.

Alianza Nacional de Campesinas’ members are Latina farm workers. They wrote a letter of solidarity in November to Hollywood men and women who had step forward to expose the sexual harassment they had experienced.  Here is part of their letter published in Time magazine: 

 

We wish that we could say we’re shocked to learn that this is such a pervasive problem in your industry. Sadly, we’re not surprised because it’s a reality we know far too well. Countless farmworker women across our country suffer in silence because of the widespread sexual harassment and assault that they face at work.

 

TIME’S UP WEBSITE RESOURCES CAN HELP YOU NOW

Check out the website TIME’S UP has put together. It has many resources and facts:

1. Know your Rights

2. What to do

3. TIME’s UP Legal Defense Fund 

 

Create change for all women in 2018.

Join TIME’S UP with your voice and financial support. Happy 2018!

 

 

Geraldo Rivera calls news a “flirty business”, and tweets guidelines on when women should report sexual harassment. No joke.

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Screenshot: Facebook

Fox News is distancing itself from Geraldo Rivera, one of its high profile correspondents.

Rivera got on Twitter and gave his opinion on the firing of Matt Lauer, sexual harassment and even came up with suggestions on when women should come forward and speak out on being sexually harassed.

Let me warn you, what Rivera has to say is going to make you angry, especially if you are a woman. Believe me, I have steam coming out my ears.

The 70-year-old called Matt Lauer, the fired Today Show anchorman a, “great guy, highly skilled…real gentleman to my family and me.” Lauer has been accused of sexually harassing several women.

I’m not sure what that has to do with sexual harassment.  Rivera went on say, “News is a flirty business…”

Wait is that suppose to justify sexual harassment in the workplace?

Geraldo1

River then gave his definition of sexual harassment, making it sound like some accusers may be taking out some kind of revenge on former bosses or ex-husband or boyfriend.

“Shouldn’t be used to get even w bad bosses or hated ex’s.” tweeted Rivera.

Geraldo2

When women on Twitter suggested an all female morning show Rivera said “unacceptably retro.”

There you go another man telling us what we can and cannot do.

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Things got worse when Rivera decided to tell women when we should come forward if we have been sexually harassed.

He even came up with guidelines.

Geraldo4

Once again he called the news business “flirty.”

As a journalist for more than three decades I am insulted by this comment. I insulted by all of his tweets.

Do we meet people in this business and marry them? Yes, I did. That does not mean I was “flirty.”

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Finally after Rivera was slammed hard on Twitter, he did apologized.

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Rivera made journalists look bad, victimized the victims again, and as a Latina also embarrassed my people.

Fox News didn’t like what he had to say on Twitter. In a statement obtained by Deadline Fox stated:

Geraldo’s tweets do not reflect the views of Fox News or its management. We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him.

 

News consultant says a**hole managers poison newsrooms and cost the company money; they must be dealt with

A--hole managers poison a newsroom

If you ever get the chance to sit in on Kevin Benz’ session “No more A**holes in the Newsroom” you will quickly learn these type of managers poison a newsroom, cost the company money and force good workers to leave.

Benz is a former news director with many years of experience in management. Today as a news consultant he teaches managers how to be productive leaders. He’s also the former chair of RTDNA.

I attended his session at Excellence in Journalism conference in 2016. “We can’t expect things to change if we don’t get help changing it” Benz told a packed room. His session was based on a book called, “The No A**hole Rule.”

Part of it included a test, “Are you an A**hole?”

Benz reminded managers “You’ve got to remember the power of the words you use with people.”

Benz says the number one reason people leave newsrooms is because of their immediate supervisors and it has nothing to do with pay or job location. He also urges news directors to watch the relationship between managers and other employees.

Louis CK admits to sexual misconduct “These stories are true.”

Louis CK is now admitting to sexual misconduct after The New York Times talked to five women who say he masturbated or asked to masturbate in front of them.  The Times asked CK for a comment before the story was published but he did not respond.

How things changed in less than 24 hours.

Today he released a statement with words of  “remorse” and “regret.”

Finally, CK stopped denying the rumors.

CK told Vulture magazine in 2016 “No. I don’t care about that. That’s nothing to me. That’s not real.” after Gawker published a story about him in May 2015 about rumors he pleasured himself in front of women.

 

Louis CK statement:

I want to address the stories told to the New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not.

These stories are true.

At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.

I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.

I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn’t want to hear it.

I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it. There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with. I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work.

The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else. And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them. I’d be remiss to exclude the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with and have worked with who’s [sic] professional and personal lives have been impacted by all of this, including projects currently in production: the cast and crew of ‘Better Things,’ ‘Baskets,’ ‘The Cops,’ ‘One Mississippi,’ and ‘I Love You Daddy.’

I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused. I’ve brought anguish and hardship to the people at FX who have given me so much The Orchard who took a chance on my movie and every other entity that has bet on me through the years.

I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother.

I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.
Thank you for reading.”

DUMPED, CANCELLED, REMOVED 

Louis CK is finding that his sexual misconduct has consequences.

What’s next for CK? Will he go to rehab like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey? To be continued.

Eight Men Arrested in Fort Worth on Federal Child Sex Trafficking Charges

Web

Eight men are in federal custody on charges of sex trafficking of children. They were arrested following an investigation by the Fort Worth Police Department’s VICE Unit. The men went before a federal judge in Fort Worth on Tuesday and were officially charged and remain behind bars.

  • Pierre Lagrone, aka “P” or “Pedro,” 33
  • Robert Roseberry, aka “King Rose,” 29
  • Herman Sanders, aka “Pooh,” 29
  • Reginald Smith, aka “Green Light,” 28
  • Demarcus Davis, aka “Zigg,” 25
  • Kentrell Davis, aka “Zeal,” 24
  • Cederrick Clarkson, aka “Ced” or “Spazz,” 25
  • Terroderick Watts, aka “Silk,” 27

According to an affidavit in March of 2017, the Fort Worth Police Department’s VICE Unit conducted a recovery operation in response to a lead sent from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in reference to a suspected victim of Child Sex Trafficking.

Fort Worth police found a Backpage.com ad containing photographs of a minor female, Jane Doe 1, that advertised commercial sex acts. As a result of the operation, Jane Doe 1 was recovered. Additionally, two other minor females were also found in a closet located in Jane Doe 1’s hotel room at the time she was recovered.

The three females, and others, were victims of a child sex trafficking organization. Investigators say Lagrone, Roseberry, Sanders, Smith, D. Davis, K. Davis, Clarkson and Watts were members of that organization and recruited, advertised and sold several women, both adults and underage for the purpose of sex.

The suspects worked together as an organization by using some of the same underage and adult female victims to engage in sex acts, often working out of the same hotels. They transported female victims for the purpose of commercial sex acts, utilizing and sharing cellphones that were used to post ads for commercial sex on Backpage.com,

They also took pictures of the girls and women either nude or in their underwear and posted them as Backpage.com ads . The defendants were also frequently violent if the females angered them or did not follow their directions.

If convicted, the men face life in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

Source: U.S. Justice Department >>U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Texas

CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING IS MODERN DAY SLAVERY

Backpage.com is where many child sex traffickers do their business according to this mother called Nacole. She says her teenage daughter became a sex slave and ended up “in the hands of a very evil man.” He posted her daughter’s photo also on backpage.com.  Listen to this very emotional story.

 

Mika Brzezinski threatens to pull book deal with Weinstein unless he resigns, Lisa Bloom quits his legal team

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Photo courtesy: MSNBC

 

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski is taking a stand. She has a three-year book deal with Harvey Weinstein’s publishing company, but she’s ending that relationship if he doesn’t resign. Saturday morning she took to Twitter to explain why.

 

Mika_tweets

 

A New York Times investigation “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades” uncovered three decades of sexual harassment allegations and at least eight legal settlements with accusers. They were everyone from  two actresses to assistants.

Weinstein put together a legal team before the New York Times story came out.
It came as a surprise to many women that attorney Lisa Bloom had joined his team. She is known as a crusader for victims of sexual harassment who represented several of Bill O’Reilly’s accusers.  Maybe she had a loyalty to Weinstein since his company is planning to turn Bloom’s book on Travyon Martin into a miniseries.

Bloom took a big turn on Saturday afternoon when she also quit Weinstein’s team of lawyers and consultants. She said the following on Twitter.

 

Lisabloom

 

It is not known if Bloom’s decision was influenced by the backlash of angry women and no word yet on whether she still wants Weinstein’s company to produce the miniseries. I did send her a tweet with those questions since she made her resignation statement on Twitter.

Weinstein took a leave of absence after the Times published its story. He put out a statement trying to explain himself,  blaming his behavior on growing up in the 60’s and 70’s when according to him the workplace culture was different. Here is part of his statement:

 

I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces
were different. That was the culture then.

I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.

I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with
the people I work with have changed.

 

The New York Times story has had a domino effect. Board members have quit the Weinstein Company board of directors as reported by the Times.

So far, Weinstein has only threatened to sue the New York Times for its investigative report. To be continued…

 

SOURCES:

New York Times (10/5/2017) Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades.

Los Angeles Time (10/5/2017) Harvey Weinstein to take a leave of absence amid sexual harassment claims, threatens lawsuit over report.

The Hollywood Reporter (4/19/2017) Attorney Lisa Bloom Declares Victory After Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News Exit. 

Harvey Weinstein Statement 

New York Times (10/6/2017) Company Scrambles as Weinstein Takes Leave and a Third of the Board Resigns

 

 

Vivian Castleberry: trailblazer for women in journalism, dies at 95

Castleberry

Archive photo: Vivian Castleberry

95-year-old Vivian Castleberry passed away Tuesday morning at her daughter’s home in Georgia. The former newspaper editor will always be remembered as the woman who opened doors for females in journalism starting in the 1950’s.

Journalism was always in her blood. She was determined to have a career at a time when most women stayed home to take care of their families.

Castleberry was a journalist at her high school in East Texas. She went to Southern Methodist University (SMU) where she joined the newspaper. There she started as a writer and eventually moved up to feature editor and then to assistant editor.

From 1956 to 1984, Castleberry held the position of women’s editor for the Dallas Times Herald’s Living section. She was known for being objective and exposing cultural taboos and didn’t let resistance from other editors at the Times Herald stop her.

She was one of the first reporters who wrote about topics like domestic violence, inequality at work, and child abuse. Castleberry also became the first woman elected to the newspaper’s editorial board. She won numerous awards for her work.

The JFK Assassination 

Castleberrry covered many interesting stories during her career.  She was working the day President John F. Kennedy visited Dallas on November 22, 1963. She got first hand information of Kennedy’s assassination from her cousin who was standing next to Abe Zapruder. He was the photographer who took what has become the most important film documentation of Kennedy’s assassination.  Castleberry said her cousin was Zapruder’s assistant but was never interviewed by the Warren Commission which looked into the case.

The many stages of Vivian Castleberry

Castleberry was one of the first women to show that a mother can work and raise her children. She and her husband had five children, and Castleberry kept on working.

She wrote four books: Daughters of Dallas, The Texas Tornado, Sarah the Bridge Builder, and Seeds of Success. In 1984, Castleberry was inducted into the Texas Woman’s Hall of Fame.

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Vivian Castleberry & Anita Marcos, President of Peacemakers. Photo courtesy: Lucy Huffstteter

Castleberry also founded Peacemakers Incorporated. In 1988, she served as Chairwoman of Peacemakers’ First International Women’s Peace Conference, which was attended by over 2,000 women from 57 countries.

In 2010, the University of North Texas established the Castleberry Peace Institute. Today it offers cutting-edge research and educational programs on the causes of war and peace.

Vivian Castleberry will always be known as a true Texas Trailblazer.

More sources on Vivian Castleberry

The Portal to Texas History: Oral History Interview with Vivian Castleberry

Castleberry Peace Institute

The Senior Voice

CalBuzz “Oswald’s been Shot”

Dallas Morning News:  Vivian Castleberry

Peacemakers, Inc.

Jimmy Kimmel calls out Republican Senators after the Las Vegas massacre

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Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Once again it takes Jimmy Kimmel to make us sit back and think about gun violence, the politics behind gun control and the senseless murders of innocent people.

Kimmel has become the voice of reason on late night talk shows. A few weeks ago taking on Republican lawmakers on a health care bill that he believed was not good for Americans. It appeared his influence had an impact. The Graham-Cassidy bill died when Republicans decided not to vote on it because they they didn’t have enough committed votes.

Monday night Kimmel opened his monologue choking back tears as he reminded us about the deaths, injured and wounded left behind in Las Vegas by one gunman.

Here is a transcript of Kimmel’s powerful and emotional message:

“No way to know why a human being would do something like this to other human beings”

As you know, at least 59 people are dead, hundreds of people are wounded in what they’re saying is the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history coming about a year and a half after the previous deadliest mass shooting in modern American history in Orlando when 49 people lost their lives. And of course we pray for the victims and for their families and friends and we wonder why, even though there’s probably no way to know why a human being would do something like this to other human beings who are at a concert, having fun and listening to music. Jason Aldean was on stage, Luke Combs who was here with us tonight, he played the show, too. And obviously no one could have ever expected that something terrible would happen, but it did.

“…we have children without parents and fathers without sons…”

A very sick person smuggled 17 guns into his hotel room and smashed out the windows, started firing indiscriminately from the 32nd floor into a crowd of 22,000 people across the street. And as a result of that, this morning, we have children without parents and fathers without sons, mothers without daughters. We lost two police officers. We lost a nurse from Tennessee. A special ed teacher from a school here in Manhattan Beach.

It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up, it’s too much to even process. All these devastated families who now have to live with this pain forever, because one person with a violent and insane voice in his head managed to stockpile a collection of high-powered rifles and use them to shoot people. The guy was an accountant, he has no criminal record. His brother who lives in Florida seems totally shocked, genuinely dumbfounded, he said he saw no sign of any of this. The owner of the store that sold the killer some of the rifles said he passed the government-mandated background check when he was in the store. He wasn’t on any watchlist. He didn’t seem to have been a religious or political extremist. Came out of nowhere.

“Of course there’s something we can do about it”

Because of that, because there weren’t any of the usual signs, I’ve been reading comments from people who say, “This is terrible, but there’s nothing we can do about it.” But I disagree with that intensely. Because of course there’s something we can do about it, there’s a lot of things we can do about it. But we don’t, which is interesting. Because when someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls, we take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can about that.

The Second Amendment, I guess, our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s is the argument, I assume. Orlando, Newtown, Aurora, San Bernardino, every one of these shootings the murderer used automatic or semi-automatic rifles, which are not weapons you use for self-defense. They’re weapons designed to kill large numbers of people in the shortest possible amount of time. And this guy, reportedly he had 10 of them in his room, apparently legally. At least some of them were there legally. Why is that allowed? I don’t know why our so-called leaders continue to allow this to happen. Or better question, why do we continue to let them allow it to happen?

“…we’ll move on to the next thing, and then it will happen again and again”
Five people got shot in Lawrence, Kansas, last night, three of them died, it didn’t even make a blip because it’s just a regular part of our lives now. And you know what will happen, we’ll pray for Las Vegas. Some of us will get motivated, some of us won’t get motivated. The bills will be written, they’ll be watered down, they’ll fail. The NRA will smother it all with money and over time we’ll get distracted. We’ll move on to the next thing and then it will happen again and again.

Last night, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said this is not the time… actually it was today, this morning, she said it was not the time for political debate. I don’t know, we have 59 innocent people dead, it wasn’t their time either. So I think now is the time for political debate.

“lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because NRA has their balls in a money clip”

President Trump is visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday, he spoke this morning, said he’s praying for those who lost their lives. In February, he also signed a bill that made it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns legally. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a number of other lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because the NRA has their balls in a money clip, also sent their thoughts and their prayers today, which is good. They should be praying. They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country, because it’s so crazy.

“These are the faces of the senators…voted against a bill that would have closed those loopholes”

Right now, there are loopholes in the law that let people avoid background checks if they buy a gun privately from another party, if they buy a gun online or at a gun show. So I want to show you something. These are the faces of the senators who, days after the shooting in Orlando, voted against a bill that would have closed those loopholes. These are the 56 senators who didn’t want to do anything about that.

“So with all due respect, your (Senators) thoughts and prayers are insufficient”

Ninety percent of Democrats, I’m not talking about politicians here, I’m talking about people and 77 percent of Republicans support background checks at gun shows. Eighty-nine percent of Democrats and Republicans are in favor of restricting gun ownership for the mentally ill. But not this gang! They voted against both of those things. So with all due respect, your thoughts and your prayers are insufficient.

By the way, the House of Representatives is voting on a piece of legislation this week. It’s a bill to legalize the sale of silencers for guns, this is what they’re working on. We have a major problem with gun violence in this country, and I guess they don’t care. If I’m wrong on that, fine, do something about it. Cause I’m sick of it.

“It feels like someone has opened a window into hell”

I want this to be a comedy show. I hate talking about stuff like this. I just want to laugh about things every night, but that it seems to becoming increasingly difficult lately. It feels like someone has opened a window into hell. And what I’m talking about tonight isn’t about gun control, it’s about common sense. Common sense says no good will ever come from allowing a person to have weapons that can take down 527 Americans at a concert. Common sense says you don’t let those who suffer from mental illness buy guns.

In June of last year, the NRA fought to make sure people on the no-fly list can buy guns. They aren’t allowed to get on a plane; they’re allowed to own a very dangerous gun. Who thinks that makes sense?! Them, I guess, the people who voted with the NRA. Maybe I’m nuts, but I would like to think we could put politics aside and agree that no American citizen needs an M-16 or 10 of them. And maybe that way, we don’t do this again. And that seems very reasonable to me.

You know, in 1980 we had a big fire at the MGM in Las Vegas. It was horrible, 85 people died, you could see the fire. I was 13 years old, I’ll never forget it. A man jumped out the window, it was a terrible thing to see. Then a few months later there was another fire at the Hilton and five people died. So you know what they did? They changed the laws. They made major changes to the fire safety codes and it hasn’t happened again. Why would we approach this differently? It’s a public safety issue, and something needs to be done already.

“Tell your congress people to do something”

So tell your congress people to do something. It’s not enough to send your love and prayers. We do, we send our love and support and whatever else is needed to Las Vegas, and to the families from all over the country and Canada who had the worst night of their lives last night.

Vegas is a funny town, it’s easy to forget people live there, but they do. Lots of good people. These people showed in droves today to donate blood, because it’s the only thing they could do, and so they did it. But there is more that we could do, and we need to do it.

“Don’t forget them”

Thank God for the police in Las Vegas, who risked their lives trying to locate the man with the gun. Thank God for the doctors and nurses and firefighters and paramedics who rose to the occasion, as they always seem to do when we need them to. And the concertgoers themselves who helped each other, who threw their bodies on top of each other, who drove their private cars full of people who were bleeding to the hospital. Don’t forget them.

“…don’t forget what’s going on in Puerto Rico…”

And don’t forget what’s going on in Puerto Rico, either. Just because they’re not the lead story today, they still need help. And if you want to help either one a good way to do that is to give to the American Red Cross … and we send all our love to our family and friends in Las Vegas and everyone affected by this terrible event.

I’m sorry for getting emotional, I’m not great with this kind of thing. But I just think it’s important, you know?

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Google tools provide updated information to locate earthquake victims and property destroyed in Mexico

 

Google has created a map that shows where the destroyed and heavily damaged buildings are located in Mexico City after Tuesday’s earthquake. It is constantly being updated.

 

Google has also created a locator site. Visitors can share who they are looking for or information they may have about a victim or survivor of the earthquake.

Google Locator

Google-localizer