Yorktown Crier | Poquoson Post newspaper is delivered weekly in York County, Virginia, including Yorktown and Poquoson. Online at www.YorktownCrier.com. April 12, 2018 Edition.
Opinion Editorials Page 8 April 12th-18th, 2018 If You Want to Kill Drug Dealers, Start with Big Pharama At a recent rally in New Hampshire, Donald Trump called for the death penalty for drug traffickers as part of a plan to combat the opioid epidemic in the United States. At a Pennsylvania rally a few weeks earlier, he called for the same. Now his administration is taking steps toward making this proposal a reality. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo on March 21 asking prosecutors to pursue capital punishment for drug traffickers — a power he has thanks to legislation passed under President Bill Clinton. Time and again, these punitive policies have proven ineffective at curbing drug deaths. That’s partly because amping up the risk factor Last Tuesday’s New York Times – still considered by many to be America’s Newspaper of Record – carried a remarkable essay by retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens arguing for repeal of the Second Amendment. Justice Stevens’ pitch in a nutshell: the Second Amendment has outlived its usefulness and is now out of sync with 2018 realities and public sentiment. Let’s stop nibbling around the edges with gun control legislation; it’s time to get rid of it altogether. Justice Stevens is 97 years old and still fighting hard - yet another indication of the emotional reach of this issue. His argument deserves attention. The reaction to the Stevens essay was predictably partisan. To progressives it was a credible and widely publicized reminder that the 2008 It's heartening to see, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica revelations, growing skepticism about how Facebook handles data and data privacy. But we should take this opportunity to ask the bigger, harder questions, too — questions about discrimination and division, and whether we want to live in a society where our consumer data profile determines our reality. In the spring of 2016, a Facebook executive gave a presentation about the success of Facebook's then-new "ethnic affinity" advertising categories. Facebook had grouped users as white, Black, or Latino based on what they had clicked, and this targeting had allowed the movie "Straight Outta Compton" to be marketed as two completely different films. For Black audiences, it was a deeply political biopic about the members of N.W.A. and their music, framed by contemporary reflections for traffickers makes the trade all that more lucrative, encouraging more trafficking, not less. But it’s also because these policies don’t address the true criminals of the opioid crisis: Big Pharma. If Trump really wanted to help, he’d put the noose around drugmaking and selling giants like Purdue Pharma, McKesson, Insys Therapeutics, Cardinal H e a l t h , AmerisourceBergen, and others. The president knows this, in a way. These companies “contribute massive amounts of money to political people,” he said at a press conference in October 2017 — even calling out Mitch McConnell, who was standing beside him, SCOTUS ruling confirming the right of individual Americans to bear arms - Heller v. District of Columbia - was narrowly decided and remains controversial. Conservatives pounced: there it is, proof positive that the other side really does want to take away our firearms. The US Constitution is a marvel of history, the bedrock on which our nation has flourished through two and a half centuries of global turmoil. But Stevens’ essay points out the difficulty of applying that 260 year-old roadmap to ever-changing conditions and circumstances. On the Second Amendment, Stevens argues that its authors had no way of foreseeing today’s gun violence or knowing that their model of a ‘well regulated militia’ would become archaic. He’s right on both points. But at its core, the from Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. For white audiences, it was a scripted drama about gangsters, guns, and cops that barely mentioned the names of its real-life characters. From the perspective of Universal Pictures, this dual marketing had been wildly successful. "Straight Outta Compton" earned over $160 million at the U.S. box office. When we saw this news in 2016, it immediately raised alarm bells about the effect of such categories on civil rights. We went straight to Facebook with our concern: How was the company ensuring that ads for jobs, housing, and employment weren't targeted by race, given that such targeting is illegal under the civil rights laws? Facebook didn't have an answer. We worked with officials from the company for more than a year on solutions that, as it turned out, were not properly implemented. Facebook still makes it possible for for taking that money. Pharmaceutical manufacturers were “getting away with murder,” Trump complained in the same speech. For once, he’s wasn’t wrong. The pharmaceutical industry spends more than any other industry on influencing politicians, with two lobbyists for every member of Congress. Nine out of ten House members and all but three senators have taken campaign contributions from Big Pharma. It’s not just politicians they shell out for. Constitution is a statement of principles. Times change and language evolves, but principles hold fast and they’re not particularly difficult to understand. The underlying principle in this case is perfectly clear: free people have the right to defend themselves from external or internal threats and therefore it’s OK for them to have the means (i.e., guns) to do so. I suspect that if the founding fathers had an advance glimpse into the worldwide chaos of today they might have worded the amendment differently, but they surely would not have left open the possibility that legislators would someday mandate a defenseless citizenry. advertisers to target based on categories closely linked to gender, family status, and disability, and the company has recently gotten sued for it. To make matters worse, the government is actively turning a blind eye. The New York Times reported on Thursday that, under Secretary Ben Carson, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development dropped its investigation into whether Facebook's ad targeting system violated the Fair Housing Act. That means that HUD, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of that law, is choosing to put its head in the sand rather than investigate whether civil rights laws have been broken. It's not illegal to market "Straight Outta Compton" differently based on race (as opposed to say, a housing or employment ad). Nonetheless, that tactic creates a distinction among people and treats them differently as a Opioid pioneer Purdue Pharma, the creator of OxyContin, bankrolled a campaign to change the prescription habits of doctors who were wary of the substance’s addictive properties, going so far as to send doctors on allexpense-paid trips to pain-management seminars. The family that started it all is worth some $13 billion today. From 2008 to 2012, AmerisourceBergen distributed 118 million opioid pills to West Virginia alone. That’s about 65 pills per resident. In that same time frame, 1,728 people in the state suffered opioid overdoses. McKesson — the fifth largest company in the U.S., with profits over $192 billion — contributed 5.8 million pills to just one West Virginia pharmacy. Meanwhile, five companies contributed more than $9 million to interest groups for things like promoting their Judge Stevens’ essay indirectly calls attention as well to the unsettling ambivalence attendant to any Supreme Court decision carried by a narrow majority. In rulings on other controversial 21st century issues that the framers could not have anticipated, the court has resorted to much more extreme contortions than on Heller. In 1790, childhood diseases were endemic. Keeping children alive was their parents’ constant challenge. Who could have imagined that today millions of women would choose, often for convenience, to end the lives of their unborn children? Four decades after Roe v. Wade, I remain astonished that the US Supreme Court decided that right to privacy somehow trumps right to life. Similarly, it probably never occurred to them that one day in the future two men or two women would want to marry. But five of the nine Supreme Court judges ruled just two years ago that the right to do so had result. And these kinds of distinctions have realworld effects: Think about what it means to white teenagers to see a trailer with yet another image of criminal Black men, instead of hearing Dr. Dre reflect on police brutality in the 1980s and today. Then magnify that effect hundreds and thousands of times. In today's world, a huge proportion of the advertising and media that we see reaches us based on accumulated data about us. If ad targeting means that my family and yours hear and read about different movies and TV shows, will that make it impossible for America to have another cross-racial Roots moment? (In 1977, 130 million Americans watched at least part of the famous miniseries tracing a Black family's journey from Africa to slavery to the present day.) Targeting, of course, does enable advertisers — including the ACLU — to efficiently painkillers for chronic pain and lobbying to defeat state limits on prescribing opioids. These companies don’t stop at promoting opioids. They also spend big on stopping legislation that would actually help curb opioid use. I n s y s Therapeutics, a company whose founder was indicted for allegedly bribing doctors to write prescriptions for fentanyl (a substance 50 times stronger than heroin), spent $500,000 to stop marijuana legalization in Arizona in 2016. In response, cities and states from New York City to Ohio are suing Living with our Creaky Old Constitution been in the Constitution all along. We’ll never know for sure, but I think the framers would be scratching their heads at that one. In theory, the U.S. Supreme Court is an apolitical, non-ideological panel of jurists charged with keeping the Executive and Legislative branches on solid Constitutional ground. That is not the case today. The Stevens essay points out the inherent downside of mixing politicking and judging, not just on gun control but on all critical matters facing the nation. On gun control, I believe that Stevens’ underlying premise is wrong. Our nation grew out of the frontiers. Guns have been an integral part of American culture since the very beginning, long before the Constitution, and they remain so today. Mass killings have not been part of our culture until very recently. reach particular audiences with messages that are tailored to them, and that can sometimes be a good thing. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't acknowledge what's lost with that efficiency: that people outside of the expected audiences won't see these messages or know they exist. Ad targeting can make the world look different to different people. Some find the web full of job ads for high-paying CEO jobs, while others see mostly ads for sneakers or payday loans. Our news also reaches us and our pharmaceutical companies for their role in the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans every year. It’s time for the fed- By Domenica Ghanem eral government to get behind them. Of course, going after these companies isn’t going to eliminate opioid abuse on its own. That will take combating the root social and economic causes that lead to so many deaths of despair. But it’s clear who the real profiteers of the opioid epidemic are. If Trump wanted to get real about curbing incentives for selling opioids, he’d turn away from street dealers and target the real opioid-producing industry. Domenica Ghanem is the media manager of the Institute for Policy Studies. Distributed OtherWords.org. by By Jack DeVine The Second Amendment is significant because it is explicit proof that the founding fathers considered the right to bear arms to be one of the fundamentally important rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. The Second Amendment didn’t cause gun violence; its repeal would not eliminate gun violence and would not make our children safer, as Justice Stevens maintains. But for those who simply do not support the right of individuals to own and bear arms, Justice Stevens is correct: the proper path is repeal of the Second Amendment. Go for it. The result will confirm the predominant view of Americans nationwide, no doubt with far more clarity than a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling. Facebook’s Targeting System Can Divide Us on More Than Just Advertising By Rachel Goodman networks through ad targeting. How can this not have huge implications for our ability to exist in a cohesive society? How can we agree on the policies that should govern our world when there are no common reference points for what that world looks like? It's not just foreign interference and voter suppression campaigns that make this kind of targeting so dangerous for democracy. Join the Conversation! Have a thought about a national or local issue? Do you feel passionately about something that you feel is not getting proper coverage? Submit Letters to the Editor and Opinion Editorials to: News@YorktownCrier.com
Obituaries April 12th-18th, 2018 Page 9 Obituary: Sandra Kay Martin Sandra Kay Martin (Momma, Nanny, and GranNanny), 82, a native of Richmond and Poquoson resident for over 66 years, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, April 1, 2018. She was educated in Lutheran private schools, and then graduated from Poquoson High School Class of 1952. She was a Transportation Supervisor and later a School Bus Driver with Poquoson City Schools for over 40 years, retiring in 2010. Sandra loved driving the school bus and working with her fellow drivers and staffs at the Poquoson schools and in the community. She loved her family. Life was simple for Sandra. Her diamonds were her family. Her gold was her dear poodle Brutus. Sandra supported many charities, and they would send her address labels or calendars, and she would send them a check. Her joy was playing rummy. Her glee was catching Dottie with a handful of cards, and winning. Through her many hospital stays these recent years, “so sweet” is how the nurses described her. Sandra had a strong faith through all of her challenges. Her passing has left another scar on the Martin family’s hearts and a poodle that cries for her. Sandra was preceded in death by her mother, Dorothy Hogge; husband, Elwood Lemuel “Buster” Martin Sr.; and son, Elwood Lemuel “Buster” Martin Jr. She is survived by her daughter, Dorothy “Dottie” Martin; grandchildren, Sandy Martin, Jake Martin (Alicia), Jenny Martin, and Jessie Ocasio (Randy); great-grandchildren, Marissa, Natalie, Anabelle, Ruby, Oliver, and Luna; and daughter-in-law, Shirley Martin. The family will receive friends Thursday, April 5, 10:30-12:00 PM, immediately followed by a service celebrating Sandra’s life at 12:00 PM led by Pastor Brent Staul, all at Claytor Rollins Funeral Home, Poquoson. Interment will follow at Parklawn Memorial Park, Hampton. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Peninsula SPCA, 523 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, VA, 23601, the Animal Aid Society, 80 Butler Farm Rd., Hampton, VA, 23666, or the Poquoson Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 2099, Poquoson, VA, 23662. Online condolences to claytorrollins.com . “Special thanks to Dr. William Newcomb; Dr. Paragkumar Amin; the nurses and staff at Riverside Regional Medical Center; Rachel and John in the Surgical ICU; and Poquoson Rescue for their care through these last four years.” Obituary: Bruce McAllister Ballard Bruce McAllister Ballard, 57, a native & lifelong resident of Poquoson, passed away Monday, April 2, 2018 after a short battle with cancer. He graduated from Poquoson High School Class of 1978 where he lettered in football and wrestling. Bruce was a self-employed construction contractor for most of his life. He enjoyed the outdoors, loved music, and had a large album collection. Bruce was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Irma & William Landrum, and paternal grandparents, Mable & Harry Ballard. He is survived by his parents, Joyce & Gary Ballard; brother, Gary K. Ballard (Valerie); sister, Janet Goodman (Eric); nephews, Mason Ballard (Lisa), Ryland Ballard, Aaron Goodman (Kristin), Daniel Goodman (Kate), and Jonathan Goodman; a number of greatnieces & great-nephews; good friend and cousin, Joey Micalizzi; and longtime friend Rita West. The family will receive friends Friday, April 6, 1:30-3:00 PM, at Claytor Rollins Funeral Home, Poquoson, immediately followed by a procession to Parklawn Memorial Park, Hampton for a Graveside service at 3:30 PM led by Pastor Brent Staul. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society (donate3.cancer.org). Online condolences to claytorrollins.com Obituary: Braden Carlton Compton-Amory Braden Carlton Compton-Amory, 16, a native and lifelong resident of Newport News, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, March 30, 2018. He attended St. Andrews Episcopal School and Trinity Lutheran School. Braden attended First United Methodist Church. He was a “computer junkie” and loved video games. Braden was preceded in death by his grandmother, Koko Compton. He is survived by Jeanne and Guy Amory, Phill Compton, and Mary Ellen and Glen Compton. A Celebration of Braden’s life will be held Sunday, April 8, 2:00 PM, at Claytor Rollins Funeral Home, Poquoson led by Rev. John LeGault. Interment will follow at Parklawn Memorial Park, Hampton. Memorial contributions may be made to CHKD, 601 Children’s Lane, 2nd Floor, Norfolk, VA, 23507. Online condolences to claytorrollins.com Obituary: Helen Pampolina Oldenburg Helen Pampolina Oldenburg, 79, passed away peacefully in her home on Saturday, March 31, 2018. Born in the Philippines, she married Korean and Vietnam War Veteran, Earl Oldenburg, in Manila in 1964. They were stationed at several Navy bases before settling in Newport News in 1978. During this time, she became well-known in her family as an excellent cook, specializing in her signature Filipino dishes, pancit and lumpia. Helen is survived by her husband of 53 years, Earl, her three children, Maritess, Cheryl (James), and Mark (Teresa), and ten grandchildren. The family would like to thank the Hospice of Virginia all the CNAs at Riverside and BrightStar for their dedication and service during the final years of her life. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, April 5th at 11:00am in St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. Amory Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Obituary: Goldie Violet Wilson Goldie V. Wilson, 82, passed away on Easter Sunday April 1, 2018. Goldie was a native and lifelong resident of the Peninsula. She attended Warwick High School and was a member of Menchville Baptist Church. She enjoyed gardening, ceramics and needlepoint. Goldie was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years Wilton S. Wilson and her parents Hudson Smith, Sr. and Ida Caroline Rowell Smith as well as a brother Hudson Smith, Jr. She is survived by three sons, Willis E. Wilson (Christy), Eric Wilson (Alicia), Jeffery Wilson (Kelly); two daughters, Brenda Sinclair (David) and Sharon Miller (Brian); two sisters, Bootsie Taylor and Annetta Beard (John); an aunt, Peggy Powell; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. A funeral service will be held at Noon on Friday, April 6, 2018, in the chapel of Amory Funeral Home, Grafton, with Rev. Jim Weston officiating. Interment will follow in Peninsula Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 6-8 pm on Thursday, April 5, in the funeral home. The family requests that expressions of sympathy be made in the form of a donation to the charity of your choice. Obituary: Francis Eugene (Gene) Hilbert Francis Eugene (Gene) Hilbert, formerly of Springfield, OH passed was on April 2, 2018 in his home in Yorktown, Virginia surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Springfield, Ohio on August 12, 1940 the son of Charles E. and Florence E. (Conway) Hilbert. Gene was retired from the Steel Products Company after 30 years of service and also retired from the Assurant Group. He was a member of Saint Bernard Church, Union Club; the Notre Dame Club of Springfield, FOE, and Machinist Club. Gene was a member of the Catholic Central High School class of 1958, He served proudly in the United States Marine Corp. Gene is survived by his three Daughters Lynn (Michael) Mutlu of Liberty Township, OH, Lori (Carl) West of Yorktown, VA, and Andrea Stout of Oak Harbor, OH; grandchildren, Mathew, Andrew, Madison, and Jake Mutlu, Mallory(Dustin) Cordell, Ryan (Brittany) West, Jon Michael West, Molly, and Anthony Stout; great-grandchildren, Connor and Kaiah Cordell and; and many nieces, nephews and other family. Gene leaves behind his sister and brothers to cherish his memories, Kathy Hilbert Carl, Daniel (Chris) Hilbert, David (Kathy) Hilbert and Paul (Natalie) Hilbert. His family would like to acknowledge some of his many friends that meant so much to Gene throughout his life and shared his life: Mike Whitacre, Jack Simonton, Jim Simonton, Bobby Decker, Jim Picolo, Tom Brennen and the “Boys of Lacey’s. Gene was an avid golfer who played at many of the local courses in and around the Springfield area as well as throughout the United States. He was a dedicated participant in local best ball matches. In addition to golf, Gene was a staunch supporter of Notre Dame football and the University of Dayton basketball. Gene was also a supporter of local sporting teams. Gene was preceded in death by his parents Charles and Florence Hilbert, brother James (Tank) Hilbert, Janie (Worrell) Hilbert as well as many very dear friends. Friends may call at the Conroy Funeral Home between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 9, 2018. A mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Bernard Church at 10:00 a.m. on April 10, 2018. In lieu of flowers donation can be made to the Charles E. and Florence E. Hilbert Scholarship at The Clark State College.