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Category: Government

Rev. Dr. James Steele Receives Honors for Service to Community

by Katrina Siverts


I met the Rev. Dr. (Bishop) James Steele almost three years ago, and have worked with him on many of his (and my own) charitable endeavors.
Known more casually as “Father James,” he is an ordained minister/ priest in the Orthodox Church Tradition in the Greek Faith, with such notable titles to his credit as missionary, chaplain, HAM radio operator, and CEO of the non-profit MOSAIC.

His character of moral integrity, honesty, credibility, work ethic, and having an excellent relationship and knowledge of all faith denominations/ non-denominational and World Faith Groups has been well-established in our local area over the past three years.

Fr. James focuses on empowering individuals, families, caregivers to create recovery solutions for those who are underserved, downtrodden, homeless, and are affected with challenging conditions (e.g., debilitating chronic-disease(s) such as HIV / AIDS, mental illness, and/or any disabilities).
He has character of moral integrity, honesty, credibility and work ethic of giving it one’s all, along with having an excellent relationship and knowledge of all faith denominations / non-denominational and World Faith Groups (WFGs).

As a Filipino missionary, he has experience working with those with leprosy established a compassionate World Faith Groups outreach to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Fr. James also had executive positions in companies such as Office Depot, where he was a problem-solver, including challenging customer service issues and striving for customer satisfaction, with skills in leadership stability, supervision and direction to operational activities of staff, sales and payroll forecasting, financial operations of the store, and enhancing store management team support functions.

As a hockey player he was the unmasked goalie of the California Western Hockey League leading Rebels, is worldly. Because of his penchant for financial success, a non-denominational, self-help program eventually will benefit underprivileged people throughout the globe. He later became a hockey agent for a few professional and NHL players.

In addition, Fr. James was instrumental in patenting inventions of Dr. Wallace Shute for the Parallel Forceps (for a better, safer way for mothers giving birth to their child), and also the Tri-celco instrument. He also made the injection molds for these items.

Through his non-profit, MOSAIC, Fr. James has assisted many businesses and organizations with creating business plans to take them to a higher level of success in their respective industries or fields.

The concept of MOSAIC is to assist All World Faith Groups, Community Faith Agencies & Organizations, Corporations and Industries with a Master Business Plan (MBP).

MOSAIC has successfully created, developed and implemented many MBPs, for the VFW, Veterans SSVF & Medical Services, numerous Faith Denominations such as UMC, and assisted USC KECK School of Medicine in an HIV & AIDS Program, and for Corp.’s/ Businesses such as Siverts Publishing/ MRV News Group, and many others.

Through MOSAIC, Fr. James has worked with government agencies and private charities to help with providing jobs/careers, training, mental health support and adapted residential homes / communities for our veterans and their families in support of the U.S. Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF), a Department of Veteran Affairs, which offers a continuum of services to eligible homeless Veterans and much more.

The Senior News and Desert News Post has published several articles to bring attention to the good work done in our communities by Fr. James.
These include: “Land of the Free” Veterans Monument Installed by Spring Valley Lake Vets Club; USS IOWA Restoration Volunteers Hold Reunion; MRV TEAM conducts Needs Assessment Survey Results outlining areas of public concern, USS Iowa Survey for Health & Wellbeing; Spring Valley Lake Amateur Radio Club; Fiesta Educativa (Autism Parent Education Program); Emergency Preparedness Program given at RCA Meeting; Day of Prayer Celebrated by Interfaith Council; Amateur Radio Enthusiasts Enjoy Palm Springs Hamfest; Spring Valley Lake Amateur Radio Club; First Annual Banquet Held for Spring Valley Lake Veterans Club; and Bishop James Welcomed to the High Desert.

Many certificates have been bestowed on Fr. James for his volunteer efforts both locally and nationally, including one from President Trump for “Volunteer of the Year 2018.” Fr. James will be speaking at the Friday, Feb. 1 meeting of SWIM (Seniors With Inquiring Minds), at 1pm at Redeemer Church, 22434 Nisqualli Rd, Apple Valley, CA 92308.


Fr. James accepts an award from the Town of Apple Valley Mayor Art Bishop, Fr. James, Councilman Scott Nassif, and Councilman Curt Emick.
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Barb Stanton Honored for Years of Service to MDAQMD Board

By Trina Siverts
MDAQMD-Stanton
Barb Stanton (center) was honored by MDAQMD for her years of service.

Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District’s governing board recognized board member Barb Stanton for her years of service to the agency at the board’s regular meeting on Sept. 24.

Stanton, whose status as an elected Apple Valley Town Councilwoman offered the opportunity to serve on the Air District board, announced in July she would not run for reelection in November. Her retirement from the Town Council also means she’ll vacate the Apple Valley seat on the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District board dais.

Stanton represented Apple Valley on the Air District board from 2011 to 2012 and again from 2015 to 2018.

MDAQMD Executive Director Brad Poiriez presented Stanton with a plaque commemorating her years of service to the Air District, including a stint as Vice Chair in 2012.

“During her time on our board, Barb’s contributions have shaped the policies of our district and helped forge a plan for continued success in the future,” Poiriez said during the plaque presentation. “She has always been thoughtful, attentive and fully engaged. As an executive director, it is rewarding to see a board member show the same compassion for air quality, and the residents throughout our district, as she does for those who elected her to serve in Apple Valley.”

Stanton plans to retire to 16 acres in Tennessee where she’ll transition from councilwoman and governing board member to bee keeper.

“As you step out a new door, or into a new door, it’s difficult and it’s hard to leave this wonderful agency,” Stanton said at Monday’s meeting. “But I’m proud of the work that we’ve done and that this agency will continue to do.”

Stanton called Poiriez a “breath of fresh air” since becoming MDAQMD’s Air Pollution Control Officer in 2016, and verbalized her admiration for several longtime MDAQMD staff members as “the glue” of the agency.

“Sometimes this is a thankless job, we all know that, for employees too,” Stanton said. “I encourage you all to keep up the good work. I’m going to miss everybody and thank you for your generosity toward me.”

MDAQMD is the air pollution control authority and permitting agency for the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County and the Palo Verde Valley in Riverside County. It’s governed by a board of 13 members representing nine incorporated municipalities and two counties within its boundaries. Visit www.mdaqmd.ca.gov or follow us on social media @MDAQMD.

Update on Air Force C-123's and Agent Orange

Hello Mike,
What a long time since we last wrote one another. Sure, I’d appreciate the article getting broader coverage as we certainly have many of our vets in Arizona. Plus there is such attention given the boneyard and its role in destruction of the old airplanes.
I think the last coverage on our airplanes was by Dennis Wagner in 2014 when there was some attention given my presentation at the Society of Toxicology at which I challenged VA ethics. In 2012 VA made a poster presentation at that organization’s conference in which they redefined the word “exposure” in a very precise manner which excluded our agent orange exposure claims. The report I’m holding laid waste to that peculiar MVA unique redefinition of a fundamental term of science.
Be well,
   Wes

 

 

 

—–Original Message—–
From: Wes Carter <c123kcancer@gmail.com>
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Sent: Sat, Oct 22, 2016 4:35 pm
Subject: Patches & the IOM C-123 Agent Orange Report – Oct 14 2016

note: our association’s work continues on the issue of retroactive disability awards and compensation, with legal representation from the firm of Fregre-Baker Daniels

“Patches & the IOM C-123 Agent Orange Report”

Visiting the USAF Museum, Wright-Patterson AFB and home of “Patches,” our Agent Orange-contaminated C-123. 14 Oct 2016

To all post-Vietnam C-123 Veterans
: if you haven’t already, contact VA and arrange your Agent Orange Registry physical. This is a free comprehensive exam looking for any possible Agent Orange exposure medical issues and it is vital whether you have any such illnesses or not. The first friend I talk into having the physical was found to have a life-threatening heart problem, and the physical perhaps saved his life. Call VA now!I’m holding the report from the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences that convinced the VA our aircraft had been contaminated, we were exposed to Agent Orange, and we were harmed greatly by that exposure. Behind me is Patches, now decontaminated, of course.

The report summary can be downloaded free at https://www.google.com/url…
The archives at the museum revealed the evidence of testing back in 1979 and 1994 and 1996, and the evidence that USAF bioenvironmental scientists concluded the airplane was “heavily contaminated with dioxin on all test surfaces, STILL after its last spray missions in 1968 during the Vietnam War.
We started flying Patches in 1972 and were exposed to the Agent Orange residue for the next decade. Although the CDC informed VA and USAF that the aircrews and maintainers had been exposed, officials at VA continued to insist otherwise and stated VA had “an overwhelming preponderance of evidence” against any harm being done.

In 2014 it became clear, based on the IOM study and the report I’m holding, that VA’s position was based solely on its policy decision to block additional Agent Orange claims like ours. Policy, not science. Policy, not law.

The US Senate agreed. Under leadership from Senator Burr of North Carolina and Senator Merkley of Oregon the Senate blocked all VA confirmations until the C-123 issue was resolved. The national commander of the VFW testified to Congress that that full benefits for C-123 vets must be authorized,  All six major veterans organizations insisted VA act, with the Vietnam Veterans of America leading their joint efforts.

The media was behind us all the way. The first press coverage was in early 2011 in the Air Force Times where reporter Patricia Kime detailed our USAF Inspector General complaint wherein the service was asked, but refused, to notify our veterans of their potential exposures. Subsequent articles appeared in the Washington Post, Springfield RepublicanAmerican Legion Magazine, the OregonianAssociated Press, CBS News, Pittsburgh GazetteNPR All Things Considered, Boston Globe, Air Force Magazine, plus Military.Com and other Internet outlets. Air Force Times and the Springfield Republican both ran editorials insisting VA act in our behalf.

In 2009 Dr. Alvin Young, VA’s principal consultant on Agent Orange, had strongly recommended to the USAF the immediate destruction of all C-123s stored in a hazardous material quarantine section of Davis-Mothan Air Force Base because, among other reasons, our already exposed air crews and maintenance veterans might approach the VA seeking care for Agent Orange illnesses. Destruction of the aircraft would help prevent such claims, especially, as it was pointed out, if the aircraft disappeared without public attention. Preventing claims seems to of been awfully important to the VA and so many others. It seemed so important to Dr. Young because in 2011 he denigrated us as “trash haulers, freeloaders looking for a tax-free dollar from a sympathetic congressman.” The VA certainly found the right voice to help it oppose our claims – VA had found a man who holds us in contempt to help VA avoid treating our illnesses.

In 2013 Dr. Young was in the middle of his unique VA two year $600,000 no-bid sole source Agent Orange consulting contract. He urged Mr. James Sampsel at the VA Agent Orange desk to “hold the line” (his words) against our claims. For his part, Mr. Sampsel informed his VA colleagues and supervisors that all proof confirming our exposure submitted to VA by independent scientific authorities and other federal agencies (CDC, DOD, USPHS, NIH)  was merely the real “problem” for VA – proof Mr. Sampsel and others in VBA would ignore despite VA regulation VAM21-1MR and despite the Veterans Claims Assistance Act.

Dr. Terry Walters at the VHA Post-Deployment Health Section, told the Associated Press that a line had to be drawn against our claims. Hold the line, indeed!

For too many years the VA “held their line” and denied every single claim submitted by our veterans of the post-Vietnam C-123 spray aircraft. While being paid by VA Dr. Young testified before the Institute of Medicine C-123 committee against our exposure claims. He even attacked the IOM report after its publication in January 2015 using arguments similar to ones used earlier when Dow and Monsanto sponsored him. But the committee saw through that. The committee also criticized VA and USAF for routinely dismissing, ignoring or minimizing  proof of veterans’ exposures

In June 2015, the Institute of Medicine report I’m holding in the photo was acted upon by Secretary McDonald. He brought truth, science, law, and compassion into the process at last. The 2100 of us who volunteered to serve our country by flying and maintaining our aircraft willingly accepted the hazards of aviation service and now are acknowledged to have also endured hazardous toxin exposures for which the VA will now care.

As VA Secretary McDonald said to me at the White House, “We won.” He meant “We” the veteransand “We” the VA, No longer adversaries.

Let’s not let this happen again to other veterans facing toxic exposures.

 

 

 

    Wes Carter, Chair

    (971) 241-9322