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Author Archives: WSS News

African-American’s Buying Power Projected to be $1.1 Trillion by 2015…

Is AA Consumerism a tool for improving AA quality of life?

Should African-Americans use their communal spending power (one trillion dollars plus annually, Nielson Co.) to influence how corporations and small local businesses treat them? Jobs and contracts for services could be a goal of negotiating consumer support for one company instead of another. My focus is on providing support for businesses that you like because of how they treat your community, as well as realizing the power of “selective spending”, when done by a group.

It is common knowledge that the more units that one purchases, the greater the potential discount. Think about “fleet sales” in the auto business or insurance for a group that represents the million, plus people in your national religious and social organizations. Think about the development power of a one thousand people (we have churches larger than that) whom each pledge to spend $50 a month with a small business. Choosing the business each month could be based on shared economic and social values. I would be concerned about hiring practices and general support/giving back to the community.  Local small businesses would be elated to receive that business support.

So two thoughts, first consider the national power that could be generated by focusing/negotiating one trillion dollars for increased delivery of products and services as well as jobs and contracts, and second, create small spending focus groups designed to empower small businesses that help train and employ our children as well as support community activities. Let’s talk about it. Email me at walleniv@yahoo.com.


Inland Empire Resident, Joshua Robinson, Competes for $10,000

KODAK Digital Still Camera

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- WSS News intern, Noelle Lilley, recently interviewed Rancho Cucamonga native Joshua Robinson, 32, who is competing for $10,000 on CMT’s ‘Steve Austin’s The Broken Skull’. Robinson is a youth athletic trainer with plans of buying top of the line equipment for his youth training program if he wins.

“Slow feet, don’t eat, that’s why we compete, and I’ll be damned if I fall victim to defeat”, is the motto that Mr. Robinson lives by for the show.

During the interview, Robinson discussed how he got into sports, his future endeavors and what inspired him to get apply to be on the show. For those that are interested in watching an episode or two, Broken Skull Challenge comes on each Sunday at 8 p.m. on CMT.

To view the interview, click here.

Swimming Pools: Hidden Dangers Lurk Below the Surface


Faulty pool lighting and bad wiring are the greatest electrical threats to safety, but can easily be eliminated by regular inspection, maintenance and adherence to local and national codes.

By Paul Netter

Don’t swim with shocks.

It’s a nice play on words in a Consumer Product Safety Commission fact sheet, but there’s nothing nice about the hidden dangers it warns of in and around swimming pools with the summer in full swing. The spring electrocution of a 7-year-old boy in his family’s Miami swimming pool is a tragic worst-case example, but another non-fatal Miami accident where three children were badly shocked is instructive as well.

Faulty pool lighting and bad wiring, respectively, are suspected in both accidents. In fact,underwater lights and their wiring are the greatest potential electrical hazards inside a pool since it can’t be said enough that water and electricity don’t mix. A pane of glass and a rubber seal are often swimmers’ only protection from electrical wiring.

Any water inside the underwater light fixture — the presence of mold or rust, buzzing noises or flickering lights is a tip-off — is very dangerous, but so is a power system that is not well-grounded and aging or corroded wires. These risks are only heightened if lighting and circuits aren’t protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). And older pools may not only have degraded lighting fixtures, but also may not have GFCIs on underwater lighting circuits. If these issues exist, they should be updated immediately.

“People should have a qualified electrician inspect their underwater lights to make sure that junction boxes and wiring connections are properly and safely installed,” said Don Neal, director of Corporate Environmental, Health and Safety at Southern California Edison (SCE), which also offers a pool-pump rebate program to assist customers. “In addition to fixing any problems, that electrician should upgrade your pool, as well as your hot tub or spa, in accordance with local codes and the National Electrical Code.”

GFCIs should also be used on pumps and electrical equipment, such as heaters, used with pools, spas and hot tubs and on all outlets within 20 feet of the water’s edge to protect people from shocks.

These are all very important steps because there have been 60 electrocutions and nearly 50 serious electrical shocks in and around swimming pools in the U.S. since 1990, according to the safety commission. The commission said some of the deaths and shocks occurred during attempted rescues of shock victims because the rescuers were unaware of the electrical hazards.

Another safe move is to have an electrician downgrade pool lighting from a potentially deadly 120 volts to 12 volts. The 120-volt lighting systems are particularly prevalent in older pools and GFCIs are recommended on any lighting system 15 volts or greater.

“The lower voltage is simply less dangerous,” said Neal “In case of a broken glass or leakage into an underwater light, you should avoid having 120 volts introduced into your water. Landscape lighting should also be powered by a low-voltage system to prevent shocks on a rain-soaked lawn.”

A well-ground power system is also very important since it adds critical protection by guaranteeing that if something goes wrong, the power flows to the ground and not to those in the pool.

“Pool owners should also make sure that electrical wires and junction boxes are a minimum of five feet away from water, as also required by the National Electrical Code,” said Neal.

As for other hazards outside the water, a permanent or storable pool should never be built or set up underneath power lines (if this exists, there are clearance requirements, but pool owners should consult their local inspection agency). Long-handled cleaning tools also should be used away from power lines and electrical cords should be kept at least five feet away from the pool.

Neal offers an additional warning on the electrical cords, suggesting that, “When possible, people should use battery-operated appliances and not cord-connected ones in and around a pool, spa or hot tub.”

Meanwhile, pool owners should always have an emergency plan within view of pool users and power switches should be labeled for pool, hot tub and spa equipment and lighting so they can be turned off quickly during an electrical emergency. In addition, a fiberglass Shepherd’s crook should be used to remove any victims from the water, CPR should be administered and 911 should be called.

As for rescuers not taking these precautions, they risk serious injury if they touch a conductive fixture or enter the water before the current is stopped.

“Pool electrical accidents are easily prevented,” said Neal. “But pool owners must follow state-mandated codes, conduct proper inspection and maintenance and use qualified electricians to achieve that prevention.”