As the Vietnam War raged in the late 1960s and early ′70s, potent heroin called “Blue Magic” flooded into Harlem and Newark from a mysterious Southeast Asian connection. It destroyed lives, and it turned a black gangster named Frank Lucas into one of America’s most notorious drug kingpins.
His life of crime — rising from poverty to riches in an enterprise that succeeded beyond his wildest dreams — was portrayed in 2007 in Ridley Scott’s film “American Gangster,” with Denzel Washington as Mr. Lucas and Russell Crowe as the prosecutor who brought him down.
The movie was a Hollywood composite of fact and fiction, depicting Mr. Lucas as a daring, imaginative criminal who set up the Asian connection, smuggled heroin in the coffins of service personnel killed in action and broke into the Mafia’s long domination of narcotics in the New York area — all claims made by Mr. Lucas that have been challenged by investigators and journalists.
Even so, the story of Frank Lucas, who died on Thursday night in Cedar Grove, N.J., at 88, is a larger-than-life tale of ambition, organization, and ruthless brutality.
At the peak of his empire, he claimed he was taking in $1 million a day, had $52 million stashed in Cayman Islands banks and $300 million in stockpiled heroin, and owned office buildings in Detroit, a cattle ranch in North Carolina and apartments in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Puerto Rico.
It all collapsed in 1975. Arrested at his New Jersey home, where $584,000 in cash was found, he was convicted of federal drug charges in New York and state charges in New Jersey and sentenced to 70 years in prison.
His death was confirmed by his nephew Aldwan Lassiter in a telephone interview.
Mr. Lucas’s survivors include four daughters, Francine Lucas-Sinclair and Ruby, Betty and Candace Lucas; two sons, Frank Jr. and Tony Walters; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; two sisters, Mattie Lassiter and Emma Moye; and three brothers, Ezell, Lawrence, and LeVon Lucas. His wife, Julie, and another son, Ray, died before him.
Richard M. Roberts, who led the prosecution of Mr. Lucas in New Jersey, had befriended him in recent years but was under no illusions about what he did long ago. “In truth,” Mr. Roberts told The New York Times in 2007, “Frank Lucas has probably destroyed more black lives than the K.K.K. could ever dream of.”
Frank Lucas was born in La Grange, N.C., on Sept. 9, 1930, to Fred and Mahalee (Jones) Lucas. He had almost no formal education, and as a boy he mugged drunks. At 15 he assaulted a man, stole $400, and fled to New York. He was soon gambling and selling drugs in Harlem; his crimes later escalated to armed robberies.
He established street credibility in 1966 by shooting a notoriously tough drug dealer on a crowded sidewalk four times in the head. “Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!” he told Mark Jacobson for a 2000 New York magazine profile that was a basis for “American Gangster.” He was never prosecuted for that crime, which he later denied committing.
But he had caught the eye of Ellsworth Johnson, who controlled gambling and extortion rackets in Harlem. Mr. Lucas claimed that Mr. Johnson, who was known as Bumpy, became his mentor. Others disputed this. But after Mr. Johnson died in 1968, Mr. Lucas developed his lucrative criminal enterprise.
In accounts to the authorities, he said that to break the Mafia monopoly on heroin supplies, which were sold in Harlem and Newark by black dealers, he flew to Thailand and met Leslie Atkinson, known as Ike, a North Carolinian married to one of Mr. Lucas’s cousins. He said that Mr. Atkinson, who ran a Bangkok bar and sold drugs to black soldiers, agreed to help.
Mr. Atkinson later disputed Mr. Lucas’s account; the heroin, he said, was smuggled in teak furniture in an operation he controlled. Ron Chepesiuk, the author of the book “Superfly: The True Untold Story of Frank Lucas, the American Gangster” (2007), contended in a 2008 article in the online journal New Criminologist that Mr. Atkinson, not Mr. Lucas, had made the connection. He also quoted investigators as saying that many of Mr. Lucas’s claims were bogus.
His “Blue Magic” sold primarily on West 116th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and the area became an open supermarket for drugs.
Investigated by task forces of federal, state, and city authorities in New York and New Jersey, Mr. Lucas was arrested in a raid at his home in Teaneck, N.J., on Jan. 28, 1975. Despite the murders of two witnesses who had testified against him before a grand jury, Mr. Lucas was convicted in federal court in New York and in Essex County, N.J.
His cooperation in a wider inquiry led to his release in 1982. He was convicted of new drug charges in 1984 and imprisoned until 1991.
His illicit assets were confiscated by the government in the 1970s, and he lived anonymously in the federal witness protection program for years. He was a paid consultant for “American Gangster.” With Aliya S. King, he wrote an autobiography, “Original Gangster,” published by St. Martin’s Press in 2010.
Living in Newark and using a wheelchair in recent years, he professed remorse for his crimes and helped his daughter in an organization that aided the children of imprisoned parents. He promised to use the proceeds from his book to promote education, and dedicated the book to his family and to “all the kids who will read it.”
Rottweiler Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits
Not recommended for first-time owners, the rottweiler needs extensive and continuous socialization to be a good family companion. However, this intelligent, confident dog is easy to keep despite its size.
Rottweiler At a glance
Male: 85-135 lbs.
Female: 80-100 lbs.
Height at Withers:
Male: 26 in.
Female: 24 in.
Floppy ears (naturally)
Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Cattle drover, guardian, draft
Colors: Black with tan markings
Overall Grooming Needs: Low
Energy Level: Bred to work
Longevity Range: 8-11 yrs.
Rottweilers rank as one of the most ancient breeds. They accompanied the Romans through Germany, driving their cattle and guarding outposts. Many were left behind and, in the town of Rottweil in southern Germany, they became the breed we know today. Rottweilers are considered to be in the mastiff family. Rottweilers were instrumental in the development of the Doberman Pinscher much later.
Today they work in security and herding.
This issue of being legislators and salaried employees at the same time is a dilemma for Kenya
It is not possible to be, physically, found in different places at the same time. You cannot have your cake and eat it.
The work for members of Parliament and county assembly is part time. The Constitution does not oblige them to be salaried (full time employees).
They should only be remunerated by being paid appropriate allowances whenever they avail themselves for representation, legislation and oversight activities.
Earn Appropriate Allowances
Therefore, MPs, rightly, earn appropriate allowances but use their privileged position to steal from the public by making themselves salaried.
It is unconstitutional and irregular for legislators to be salaried. The Constitution presumes that those offering themselves for election or nomination.
To legislative Chambers are patriotic leaders, ready to sacrifice for Kenya without strings attached.
Required To Renounce
This is why they are not required to renounce their means of earning a living unless they are public service employees who must, voluntarily, resign.
In this context, those who offer themselves for election or nomination to Parliament and County Assembly should be the unemployed. Resignees, retirees, self-employed, or consultants in their own professional fields.
They have the power and authority to allocate their time to allow for representation, legislation and oversight roles of elective offices.
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Lack of Quorum
Lack of quorum experienced in political Chambers is, mostly, a result of the absentee legislators having prioritized their time on personal ventures as opposed to legislative duties.
Full time employees/workers answer to their employers for all the 30 days in a month. They cannot leave their places of work.
To engage in political office work for which they also get remunerated. It is double standards and double payment.
The MPs and MCAs
The MPs and MCAs who are still on payrolls of their former institutions are stealing time from their former employers by being paid salary for 30 days.
Of work per month while some of those days are spent in political Chambers for which they are also paid salaries and allowances.
In short, salaried people are full time employees. They do not qualify to offer themselves for election or nomination.
To Parliament or County Assembly
To Parliament or County Assembly unless they resign from their salaried posts. Or take leave of absence without pay that guarantees them to get back their jobs in future.
They cannot be in political Chambers and other designated offices at the same time. For public information, we have already petitioned the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
To abolish salary for MPs and MCAs and only recommend payment of appropriate allowances. In strict compliance with Article 230 (4) (a) of the Constitution.
On Remuneration and Benefits
On remuneration and benefits of State Officers. This is read with Article 230 (5) (a) on public compensation as a fundamental principle in fiscal sustainability.
This is in line with the understanding that among elected leaders, only the Presidency is, constitutionally, barred from holding any other office (Article 131 (3)) and, therefore, entitled.
To earn salary for a livelihood. Unfortunately, the tenure of the pioneer SRC commissioners expired in December 2017. The new team has not been constituted to consider this long overdue petition. What do others say on this sensitive but grave matter?
Read more at https://thebigissue.co.ke
How to Have a Cat If You Have Cat Allergies
Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. But contrary to what you might think, it’s not the fur or hair that’s the real problem.
Cats are avoided by people because they fear or dislike them, there is some hope for those who avoid cats because of fear of allergic reactions. A lot will depend on the nature of your allergies. If yours are of the sneezing, watery eyes, and running nose variety, you may be able to slowly and gradually build up your tolerance to cats.
However, before getting a cat, you should undergo allergy testing first, particularly if you suffer from asthma. For example, about 30 percent of people with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs, but studies show that cat allergies are far higher than that.
Here are tips to help you gain control over your cat allergy symptoms while enjoying the lifelong companionship of a feline.
Cat Allergy Symptoms
It’s tough to miss cat allergy symptoms. They tend to happen whenever there’s a feline nearby or you’ve encountered some cat hair lingering on furniture. Your body’s immune system is reacting to the proteins that are found in a cat’s urine, saliva, or dander. Here is a list of typical cat allergy symptoms you may experience:
- Skin rash
- Nasal congestion
- Trouble breathing
- Runny/stuffed nose
Rid Your Home of Other Allergens
If you’re considering bringing a new pet into your home, first rid your home of as many other allergens as possible, including mites, dust, and mold. Most airborne allergens (including cat dander) cling to soft materials such as curtains and drapes, upholstery, and floor coverings. Here are common ways to clear your home of allergens:
- Substitute blinds for window coverings. If you rent, and can’t get permission to switch them, keep the curtains washed and frequently vacuum the drapes.
- If possible, replace overstuffed upholstered furniture with leather.
- Eliminate decorative scented candles, potpourri, and plug-in air fresheners, all of which can exacerbate allergy symptoms.
- Consider replacing wall-to-wall carpeting with wood or tile floors. Otherwise, thoroughly vacuum carpeting regularly.
Consider Allergy Medication
Medication is often the first thing people consider when dealing with a cat allergy. Over-the-counter or prescription medication, natural remedies such as BioAllers, or a series of allergy shots (immunotherapy) are all worth investigating. Keep in mind that you should always check with your physician or allergist before embarking on a new treatment.
Visit Friends With Cats
Choose to visit a friend with an outgoing cat to allow you to get up close and personal with a feline, but on a limited basis. Ask your friend to choose a time when the cat is fed, comfortable, and relaxed. Ask your friend permission to use an allergy relief spray or wipes on the cat if necessary while you’re visiting.
Use your allergy medication half an hour before the arranged time. When you arrive, let the cat set the pace. You may be greeted by being sniffed at your feet and legs at first. You can dangle your hand to see if the cat rubs up against it, which can indicate petting is acceptable. If your allergies are still under control, you might allow the cat to jump onto your lap. Make your visit about 15 minutes at the most to keep both you and the cat comfortable.
In another week or two, visit again with the same cat, and stay longer, up to half an hour. Begin to branch out and visit other friends with cats.
Consider Hypoallergenic Breeds
There are a few breeds of cats considered to be hypoallergenic, or at least helpful to those with allergies, including the following breeds:
- Sphynx: These cats have very fine, sparse hair.
- Rex: Certain rex breeds, like the Devon Rex have fine, wavy or curly hair that may not trap dander the way thicker coats do.
- Siberian: These cats lack the Fel d 1 protein in their saliva that becomes dander after grooming, a characteristic that may be good for those with allergies.
To find out more information about these specific breeds, see if there’s a local cat show you can attend where you can observe them. Many cat breed clubs hold shows highlighting individual breeds.
Visit Your Local Animal Shelter
Once you feel that your allergies are under control, consider adoption. Here’s how to navigate a trip to your local animal shelter or a cat adoption event.
- Dress in comfortable, casual clothes.
- Remember to take any allergy medications beforehand.
- Prepare to spend an hour or so at the shelter or event.
- Take a few cats, one at a time, into a private room, if available, and spend some time with each one.
It’s often been said that cats usually chose their humans, so let a cat’s actions guide you in your choice. You may need to visit the shelter several times before you find the cat that fits your lifestyle.
Make sure your home is completely prepared for a new pet. Once you have made your choice, talk to the personnel, tell them about your allergies, and ask if the cat may be returned, as a last resort, if your allergies are aggravated once you bring the pet home. As a last tip, try to restrict your new cat from going into your bedroom so you can sleep free of even the faintest of allergy symptoms.