Thursday, March 8, 2012

Texas Wesleyan Moot Court Team Advances to National Finals

The moot court team of 3L Jill Smith (oralist), 3L Scott Thompson (oralist and writer) and 2L Amy Herrera (writer) won the title of Regional Champions at the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition – New York Regional held March 1–3, 2012. Thompson also received the 3rd Place Best Advocate Award. The team will advance to the national finals in Chicago April 12–14, to compete for the national title with the other top 25 teams in the nation. Jennifer Ellis ’05, directory of advocacy programs, coached the team. “This team went undefeated in the competition demonstrating outstanding skills, knowledge of the law and record and ability to converse with the judges. They have worked tirelessly for months, and their dedication and hard work was rewarded by a regional championship and qualification for the national finals,” Ellis said. According to Ellis, this is the first time in Texas Wesleyan School of Law’s history that all three advocacy disciplines – moot court, ADR and mock trial – have advanced teams to the national finals.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ace Hardware -- Seagoville

Recently closed a tract in my hometown (Seagoville). Ace Hardware plans to break ground in Janaury 2012'. So thankful for this deal as it will provide badly needed materials and supplies for the community. It fronts Walmart and the numbers for this location should be rock solid.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dallas County Public Defenders Office

I have recently been blessed with an internship through the University of North Texas System (Dr. Blackburn) towards the completion of my undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice. I am interning under Ms. Gail Dawson in drug courts and Ms. Vickie Rice in mental health courts. I'm learning the mechanics of the courts and the law one brick at a time. I am extremely grateful to Mr. Paul Blocker, First Assistant at the PD office for giving me this opportunity.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Honorable Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993) was an American jurist and the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Before becoming a judge, he was a lawyer who was best remembered for his high success rate in arguing before the Supreme Court and for the victory in Brown v. Board of Education. He was nominated to the court by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967. Early life: Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 2, 1908, the great-grandson of a slave.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Have a Dream

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States, and he has become a human rights icon: King is recognized as a martyr by two Christian churches. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S.

Kelly S. Harris

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Carlos Santana - The Gift of Music

Any Carlos Santana biography that you read shows that he has had a clear love for music since he was a small child. He was five years old when he learned the violin from his dad who was a professional Mariachi violinist. Santana was part of a typical large Hispanic family made up of his parents, José Santana and Josefina Barrangán, and six children: Antonio, Laura, Irma, Leticia, Jorge and María.

Santana ended up in Tijuana after his family moved from his native Autlán de Navarro in Jalisco, Mexico. He began playing at clubs and bars with various bands on the Tijuana strip. At the age of eight he decided to trade the violin for the guitar after listening to blues and rock & roll on the radio. He never looked back.

Any Carlos Santana biography tells you that 40 years ago this man, who comes from at least three generations of musicians, took the world by storm with his distinct sound. In an Eye On The Bay interview in 2005, Carlos Santana confessed: “I just knew exactly what I wanted to be, how I wanted to do it.” He also attributes all he knows to his father and to picking up blues records. He studied and emulated the sounds of John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, T. Bone Walker and others.

"Music, more than almost anything else, has the power to bring people together-people of different ages, races, religions. So I'm more clear now as to why I play. It's not just to make people happy or to make them dance-it's to change things: change myself, change the people in my band, change people all over the world, so we can have a clearer vision about life and about ourselves, so we can bring more harmony to the world."..........Carlos Santana.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Greatness of Lillian Wald

Lillian D. Wald (March 10, 1867 – 1940) was a nurse; social worker; public health official; teacher; author; editor; publisher; activist for peace, women's, children's and civil rights; and the founder of American community nursing. Her unselfish devotion to humanity is recognized around the world and her visionary programs have been widely copied.

Young life and education:Wald was born into a comfortable, German-Jewish middle-class family in Cincinnati, Ohio, (her father was an optical dealer). In 1878, she moved with her family to Rochester, New York. She attended Miss Cruttenden's English-French Boarding and Day School for Young Ladies; upon graduation she tried to enter Vassar College but was denied, as the school thought her too young at 16. In 1889, she attended New York Hospital's School of Nursing. She graduated from the New York Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1891, then took courses at the Woman’s Medical College.

Nursing career:
In 1893 after a period of working at the New York Juvenile Asylum–an orphanage where children were kept and conditions were poor–Ward started to teach a home class on nursing for poor immigrant families on the Lower East Side (New York). Not long after, she began to care for sick residents of the Lower East Side as a visiting nurse. Along with another nurse, Mary Brewster, she moved into a spartan room near her patients, in order to care for them better. In 1893 she also coined the term "public health nurse" to describe nurses whose work is integrated into the public community.

Wald extended this mission as founder of the Henry Street Settlement which later attracted the attention of Jacob Schiff, a prominent Jewish philanthropist who secretly provided her the means to help more effectively the "poor Russian Jews" whose care she provided. She was able to expand her work later, having 27 nurses on staff by 1906, and succeeded in attracting broader financial support from such gentiles as Elizabeth Milbank Anderson. By 1913 the staff had grown to 92 people. Ward worked in this area for 40 years.

Wald authored two books relating to this work, the first being The House on Henry Street, first published in 1911, followed by Windows on Henry Street in 1934. Both books went through numerous printings; modern reprints are available in both hard and paperback editions. Today, Lillian Wald is regarded as the founder of visiting nursing in the United States and Canada.

The Henry Street Settlement eventually expanded into the Visiting Nurse Service of New York City. As an advocate for nursing in public schools her ideas led to the New York Board of Health's organizing and running the first public nursing system in the world. She was the first president of the National Organization for Public Health Nursing. Wald established a nursing insurance partnership with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company that became a model for many other corporate projects, suggested a national health insurance plan, and helped found Columbia University’s School of Nursing.

Community outreach:
Not content to improve people's lives just through nursing, Wald also taught women how to cook and sew, provided recreational activities for families, and got involved in the labor movement. Out of her concern for women's working conditions, she helped to found the Women's Trade Union League in 1903 and later served as a member of the executive committee of the New York City League. In 1910, Wald and several colleagues went on a six-month tour of Hawaii, Japan, China, and Russia, a trip that increased her involvement in worldwide humanitarian issues.  In 1915, Wald founded the Henry Street Neighborhood Playhouse to serve as a cultural center. She also lobbied against child labor laws, to allow all children to attend school. She helped establish the United State Children’s Bureau, helped President Theodore Roosevelt create the Federal Children’s Bureau, and advocated for education of the mentally handicapped.

Another of her concerns was the treatment of African-Americans. As a civil rights activist, Wald insisted that all Henry Street classes be racially integrated. She was one of the founders, in 1909, of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The first major public conference to create the organization opened with a meeting at the Henry Street settlement.

An advocate for women's suffrage and for peace, Wald organized New York City campaigns for suffrage, marched to protest the United States’ entry into World War I, joined the Women's Peace Party and helped establish the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. In 1915 she was elected president of the newly-formed American Union Against Militarism (AUAM) and after United States joined the war she remained involved with the AUAM's daughter organizations, the Foreign Policy Organization and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The New York Times named Wald as one of the 12 greatest living American women in 1922 and she later received the Lincoln Medallion for her work as an "Outstanding Citizen of New York.” In 1937 a radio broadcast celebrated Wald's 70th birthday; Mrs. Sara Delano Roosevelt read a letter from her son, President Franklin Roosevelt, in which he praised Wald for her “unselfish labor to promote the happiness and well being of others.”

Wald never married. She died in 1940 of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of seventy-three. Thousands mourned her passing at private and public meetings. Rabbi Stephen Wise of the Free Synagogue led a service at Henry Street's Neighborhood Playhouse. Dr. John L. Elliott led a private service at her Westport home. A few months later, 2,500 people filled Carnegie Hall to hear statements from the president, governor, mayor, and others testifying to Wald's ability to bring people together and effect change. She was interred at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Abraham Lincoln: The Gettysburg Address

President Lincoln rode by train to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania from Washington D.C. The following morning, November 19, 1863 he rode by horseback to the gravesite followed by dignataries and widows of fallen soldiers. He waited for 2 hours, listening to a two hour speech given by famed orator and former U.S. Senator, Edward Everett before delivering his famed speech that lasted only a few minutes. Another great hero: Abraham Lincoln.
Gettysburg Address Abraham Lincoln Civil War Speech: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But in a larger sense we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled, here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here.
It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Monday, March 22, 2010

John Marshall

John Marshall (September 24, 1755 – July 6, 1835) was an American statesman and jurist who shaped American constitutional law and made the Supreme Court a center of power. Marshall was Chief Justice of the United States, serving from February 4, 1801, until his death in 1835. He served in the United States House of Representatives from March 4, 1799, to June 7, 1800, and, under President John Adams, was Secretary of State from June 6, 1800, to March 4, 1801. Marshall was from the Commonwealth of Virginia and a leader of the Federalist Party.

The longest serving Chief Justice in Supreme Court history (see, List of United States Chief Justices by time in office), Marshall dominated the Court for over three decades (a term outliving his own Federalist Party) and played a significant role in the development of the American legal system. Most notably, he established that the courts are entitled to exercise judicial review, the power to strike down laws that violate the Constitution. Thus, Marshall has been credited with cementing the position of the judiciary as an independent and influential branch of government. Furthermore, Marshall made several important decisions relating to federalism, shaping the balance of power between the federal government and the states during the early years of the republic. In particular, he repeatedly confirmed the supremacy of federal law over state law and supported an expansive reading of the enumerated powers."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Playtri Sprint Triathlon

I entered the Playtri Sprint Triathlon on July 5, 2009 at Las Colinas (Irving, Texas). The distances were 500M swim, 12 mile bike and 5K.

Two local great talents took the mens and womens division, Tyler and Ashley Johnson. Both qualified recently at Kansas 70.3 for the world championship in Florida.

The highlight of my day was momma and my daughter Ruth came to watch me race for the first time. Turns out, they wound up volunteering and helping out the race director. Im not surprised, because they are very caring and giving folks.

Dana Lyons, an outstanding athlete from The Woodlands won my age group and was 9th overall. Dana is a great champion and is very deserving.

Jacob Evans, a good friend of mine came in 2nd overall and had a great race. He is self coached and has already been to Kona through sheer guts and determination.

2nd AG / 37th OA

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cleburne Triathlon

I entered the Cleburne Triathlon on May 31, 2009. A sprint distance of 300 yards, 15 mile bike, and 5K. It was put on by Iron Head Race Productions.

Patrick Schuster, former pro and now Grand Prarie Fireman set a course record which was awesome. Adam Wilk, Matthew Ison (young man behind me in picture), Jarrod Stephens and my close friend / training buddy Jerry Lewis rounded out the top 5.

I loved this event with the down home feel and great bike / run courses. I would recommend this triathlon for all skill levels.

I met Brannon Potts, Cody Howell (& his father) -- some up and coming young fellas. They just formed a triathlon club in Cleburne and are really trying hard. Best of luck to them.

I somehow managed to win Masters and came in 8th overall. What a blessing.

Thank you to the City of Cleburne, sponsors, and all the great volunteers.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rockwall Sprint Triathlon

On Sunday May 17, 2009 I entered the Rockwall Sprint Triathlon. A 300 yard pool swim, 14 mile bike and 2.9 mile run. The picture above was taken by Celebrated Images 50 meters from the finish line.

I had a very hectic week leading up to the event with work and family. Honestly, I wasn't sure how race day would work out. Thankfully, everything went well.

Jack Weiss, the race director does an excellent job. We have been experiencing heavy rains in the North Texas area recently and Mr. Weiss and crew had to modify the run course slightly because a portion is cross country -- which I love.

Michael Dawdy, a good friend of mine set a course record at 55:41. That is an incredible time.

I am having a great time and meeting some very nice people by entering local triathlons. My goal is to stay in shape, make improvements in all three disciplines and somehow glorify God along the way.

Hats off to all the volunteers, sponsors and the Rockwall Rotary for a great event.

6th Overall / 1st AG (1:03.40)