Tuesday, September 13, 2011


By Cash Michaels

            At 9:37 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, a terrorist-hijacked American Airlines Flight 77, flying at an estimated 530 miles an hour, barreled into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., exploding into an enormous fireball, killing 64 onboard, and 125 military and civilian personnel in the building.
            Christina Jones of Garner was almost one of them.
            The Virginia native’s office was close, very close to the crash site, and in the panic to get out of the intense flames and smoke, the young woman almost ran towards the destruction. If not for a nearby contract worker forcibly grabbing her, forcing her to come with him as she violently tried to fight him off, Jones is certain she would have perished.
            Jones has never been able to return to the Pentagon since that horrific day ten years ago, nor ride a plane.
            Nor had she been able to talk about the deep pain and anguish she has felt all these years since, not even when friends and family would encourage her to do so.
            But finally, last week, as the nation paused to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York, Christina Jones, through her deep faith in God, found the strength and courage to finally tell her story for the first time.
            Telling it, in hopes that through her long held struggle, she can help others deal with theirs.
            Jones, who was in her twenties at the time, began her career working at the Pentagon in 1989, moving up the ladder to work for General Ralph “Ed” Eberhart, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) from 1998 to 2001.
            “The Pentagon was like my family, my home,” Jones recalls. Both her mother, Gilbretta Ashton-Jones, and her sister, Crystal, had also worked there. Even though the Pentagon was huge, everyone knew each other, she says.
            Her office was on the fourth floor. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, a beautiful day weatherwise as she recalls, Jones came to work at 7:30 a.m.
            At 8 a.m., her coworkers were in a meeting. Within the hour, her mother called from home to say that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.
            The staff was quickly gathered. Jones’ supervisor informed everyone, and advised them to remain calm until more information was forthcoming.
            But Jones says she knew inside that something else could occur, and that the Pentagon was a likely target.
            “I feel very uncomfortable,” Jones remembers telling her supervisor. “I think we’re next. I think this is a terrorist attack.”
            Jones wanted to leave right then. She wanted to evacuate the building.
            Her supervisor tried to dissuade her fears, and advised that Jones go back to her desk and worked. Jones felt so strongly that something would be happening at the Pentagon, she began shaking. She called her mother, told her she loved her.
            Jones had no doubt.
            “I saw pictures of my life just flash before me,” she recalls. Jones began singing hymns from church to give her comfort, began saying prayers and reciting Bible passages to herself to calm her spirit.
            Then it happened.
            Jones heard a loud, explosive noise.
            “I didn’t know where the plane was, but I knew it was very, very close,” she says.
            Jones cried out, “Jesus, Jesus, I’m ready.” Her office shook. She was thrown out of her chair, bumping her head on the ground, where she laid in shock.
            Moments later she realized her co-workers had fled the scene, leaving her behind.
            Amid the smoke and noise, Jones runs in front of her office, and tries to fins a way to the fifth floor to get her sister. A contract worker, seeing her, stops Jones, telling her she had to leave with him for immediate safety.
            She struggles with him, screaming, determined to find her sister, but he refuses, and hauls her out of the burning building.
            Jones recalls seeing people wounded, crying, laying down in exhaustion. She is in a mess, confused and frightened.
            Who was this man trying to save her, a man that she only refers to today as ‘my angel”?
            The contract worker takes Jones to his car, gets a number to call her mother to assure her that she is OK, and drives Jones home.
            Before she heard from him, Gilbretta Ashton-Jones was certain that her daughters had perished.
            Crystal had gotten out as well.
            Along the way, Jones continuously tries to escape his car in motion. He has top lock the doors to keep her safe.
            In the years since, Jones hasn’t been able to watch any news about 9/11. It was too painful. Jones had lost church members, friends, even a nice person she called “the Candy man” who handed out pieces of candy to co-workers.
            Jones credits her faith in GOD, and her family for helping her deal with the aftermath. She felt guilty that others she knew died, but she didn’t. She went to counseling.
            She found ways to cope with the darkness, ways through “knowing the Lord.”
            Today, Jones believes that her superiors should have realized after the second plane hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center that an attack was underway, and they should have evacuated shortly after.
            A timeline of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 show that hijacked airliners hit the twin Towers of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. and 9:03 a.m.
            The first crash into the North Tower was mistakenly considered by all to be a tragic accident, with no terrorist intent at all. But the second crash, at 9:03 a.m., removed all doubts that America was under attack.
            At 9:05 a.m., President George W. Bush had been alerted as to the second attack.
            At 9:25 a.m. the Associated Press reports at federal officials confirm that both Twin Tower crashes were terrorist attacks.
            At 9:26 a.m. all military bases are ordered to increase threat status to Delta.
            At 9:33 a.m. Reagan National Airport tells the Secret Service at the White House that  "an aircraft [is] coming at you and not talking with us," referring to Flight 77.
            At 9:36 a.m., Vice President Dick Cheney was being evacuated from his White House office for safety. The White House and Capitol Hill are being evacuated as well.
Amid all of these warnings, what did the Pentagon do?
            Records show there were no evacuations ordered there until after Flight 77 hit the military facility at 9:37 a.m., over thirty minutes after the president of the United States had been alerted.
Why, to this day, is not clear.
            Today, Christina Jones is still dealing with the trauma, but she wants to become a motivational speaker to tell her story, and inspire others to overcome their struggles. She studies the Bible for direction and purpose, and truly believes that God spared her to serve others.
            “I don’t feel that I’m lucky,” Jones says. “God allowed me to live for a reason.”

UNTOLD STORY - Christina Jones of Garner tells, for the first time since 9-11, how she escaped the deadly terrorist plane attack on the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and how she has had to struggle in silence with that experience ever since [file photo]

                                                               DONNA WILLIAMS

By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            Editor’s Note: For the next several weeks up to the Oct. 11th Wake School Board elections, The Carolinian will take a look at key candidates to evaluate how they would change board policy, if at all.
            This week, a look at Donna Williams in District 6, currently represented by Dr. Carolyn Morrison.
            District 6, located in the Cameron Village, Millbrook, North Hills and the Crabtree Valley areas, is home to Broughton and Sanderson High Schools; Carroll, Daniels and Martin Middle Schools; and Brentwood, Brooks, Douglas, Green, Joyner, Lacy, Lynn Road, Millbrook, Olds, Partnership, River Bend, Root, Stough, Underwood and Wiley Elementary Schools and Mount Vernon School.

            When Donna Williams, founder and former president of the Northern Wake Republican Club, addressed those attending the Wake School Board District 6 candidates forum last week, she declared, “ I will take a nonpartisan approach as I serve on this board.”
            “To me this is not a red or blue issue, this is about our children, it is about all of our children,” Williams assured, pledging to work with “all” school board members to improve the schools.
            But it didn’t take long for the conservative activist and mother of four grown children to show that despite her pledge to be nonpartisan and work with all, Williams’ conservative heart was solidly with the Republican Wake School Board majority at every turn.
            Interestingly, her pledge to be “nonpartisan,” for the sake of not scaring off any moderate voters, flies in the face of the very statement she issued when Williams announced her campaign August 11th.
            A statement with the very partisan title of, “Northern Wake Republican Leader Seeks School Board Seat.”
            “I want to make sure that the policies of the past two years are continued and extended during the coming term,” she stated, adding that, again, she could work with all of the members of the school board.
            That maybe because when the smoke clears after the Oct. 11 school board elections, the former Northern Wake Republican Club president fully expects there won’t be but one or two Democrats left, giving the GOP the super-majority they’ve admittedly desired.
Indeed, to Williams, Republican Wake School Board Chairman Ron Margiotta and company can do no wrong. Her Northern Wake Republican Club worked hard to elect the GOP school board majority in 2009. When members of the NAACP protested the board eliminating Wake’s successful student socioeconomic diversity in July 2010, it was Williams who organized a counter protest in front of the school system’s then Raleigh headquarters, claiming the board’s actions had “nothing to do with resegregation.”
            It surprised no one that none other than Margiotta was among the first to endorse her candidacy.
            “Donna Williams is one of the most respected and hardest-working leaders on the Wake County political scene,” Margiotta, who is running for a third term, wrote in his endorsement of her. “She will be a tremendous asset to the Board, and I know she will wage an exceptionally vigorous and issue-oriented campaign. I look forward to serving with her in the years ahead.”
            Even the board’s Republican vice chair, John Tedesco, is leading the social networking chant for Facebook “likes” in support of Williams’ candidacy.
During last week’s forum, while the three other candidates in the supposedly nonpartisan race - all Democrats - consistently blasted the school board for fracturing the community with divisive tactics, Williams, who was originally supposed to be attending a Republican fundraiser that night for fellow conservative Heather Losurdo in the District 3 race, would have none of it.
            Williams, 56, tried to credit the Margiotta Five with improvements in Wake’s graduation rate.
            “In the last year, they’ve actually improved,” she declared.
Problem is Wake graduation rate was steadily improving before the board’s GOP majority even got around to addressing academic achievement, which was virtually two years after it took office.
She also tried to credit the GOP majority with instituting programs like the Wake/NC State University STEM Early College High School, which was in development long before the Republicans took office.
A questioner from the audience had to correct Williams for her overreach.
During the forum, Williams said Wake County schools were still dealing with “many of the same issues occurring today [that] were happening thirty years ago…,” due at an “unstable assignment model, and poor policy choices.”
This week, she issued a statement trimming that alleged problem period from 30, to 20 years, without explanation of why.
Williams charge flies in the face of the school system’s tremendous success just ten years ago, when it was being nationally hailed for its academic achievement through socioeconomic diversity by Forbes Magazine and the New York Times.
George Morgan, a former assistant principal, said if elected to the District 6 seat, he main focus would be on the students and making sure that they had all of the resources they needed to succeed.
Mary Ann Weathers, another former Wake educator and District 6 candidate, said in order for the Wake School Board to change, the “special interests” controlling the board had to be removed. She added that those same special interests were controlling the Republican-dominated Wake Commission Board.
            Christine Kushner, another District 6 candidate, says confidence needs to be restored in the Wake School Board, which must “move beyond the acrimony” and partisan politics of the past two years. She promised, if elected, to “...get to the issues of academics, curriculum, and put the focus back on students and teachers.”
            “I will come to the board as a parent, a leader and an advocate…,” Kushner said, adding that her children had had a “wonderful experience” in Wake County schools for the past 11 years, and she wanted that “for every child, in every school in Wake County.”
            Then, in an apparent slap at Williams, Kushner said, “I’m not an angry parent running for the school board with a personal or political agenda. I am someone who wants to advocate for public education in Wake County.”

**NNPA STORY - Analysis of President Obama's Push for New Jobs (Please add the following Editor's Note at the beginning of the piece)
     Editor's Note: President Barack Obama came to the Triangle Wednesday promoting his proposed $449 billion American Jobs Act. He visited WestStar Precision in Apex, a small company the White House says would benefit from Obama’s jobs proposal. Then the president spoke to thousands during a rally at NC State University later in the afternoon. Obama says Congress must pass his jobs act now for the economy to recover.

By Cash Michaels

            The five candidates for the Raleigh City Council District C currently held by appointed Councilman Eugene Weeks all want the best for the growing, predominately black area. But Tuesday night, during the nonpartisan candidates forum sponsored by Wake Up Wake County, the North Carolina Center for Voter Education and the Wake County League of Women Voters, it was clear that despite their collective lack of experience in city government, they all had different visions for the future of the predominately black area.
            One candidate even felt that if the Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center, which is to house Raleigh’s police, fire and emergency communications departments for the entire city, is ever built, it should be in Southeast Raleigh on Martin Luther King Blvd. to “help lower crime” there.
            That candidate lives in predominately-white Heddingham, not Southeast Raleigh.
            During the two-hour forum held at Fairmont United Methodist Church in West Raleigh, the five candidates - Corey D. Branch, Shelia Jones, Paul Terrell, Councilman Weeks and Racquel Williams - gave their views on how to create jobs for Southeast Raleigh’s low-income population; whether, if elected, they would support construction of the controversial $200 million Lightner Public Safety Center; support a public referendum for half-cent sales tax increase to improve transportation; push to upgrade the district’s aging water and sewer infrastructure: promote healthier lifestyles in Southeast Raleigh; and encourage young people to get more engaged in voting and the political process.
            The special challenge for whomever wins the District C seat on Oct. 11th (unless there is a November runoff) - carrying forward the fight to bring more business opportunities and economic development to Raleigh’s poorest district; more affordable housing; and enhanced public safety services to further reduce crime.
            Corey D. Branch, an engineer and manager of Network Support at AT&T, grew up in Southeast Raleigh, graduated William G. Enloe High and is an alumnus of NC A&T University Class of 2000. Bringing about better economic development, and citizen collaboration on important issues are his goals for District C.
            “Until we start working together, nothing will improve,” he says.
Branch says one way to bring more jobs to Southeast Raleigh is to work with struggling businesses already there, helping them improve and grow, thus increasing employment. Branch is fully for attracting more economic small business development to the district as well, involving residents to the process. Branch agrees that in order to facilitate growth, District C’s aging water and sewer infrastructure must be upgraded, as do all of the candidates.
            Regarding the long stalled construction of the Lightner Public Safety Center - stalled by City Council since last year because of its hefty price tag, and design concerns that the 17-story structure housing police, fire and emergency communications services would be too vulnerable to terrorist attack - Branch says if elected, he would have to review the costs and design feasibility, and he would want the police, fire and communications departments at the table to further weigh-in.
            Branch says he regularly engages young people on both St. Augustine’s College and Shaw University campuses on topics ranging from engineering to voter registration. He also believes that that a healthier Southeast Raleigh is one where children eat better food prepared by their parents, as when he was a young man, and they have good recreational fun.
            Rev. Shelia Jones, who vied to be appointed to the vacated District C seat when Councilman James West left last October, only to lose to Eugene Weeks, says job training, gentrification and improving public transportation are her top issues as a candidate.
Rev. Jones said Southeast Raleigh residents need to undergo retraining, and have their skills redirected in order for them to take advantage of any new jobs developed there. Rev. Jones, who mentors students through her nonprofit agency, raised terrorist attack concerns with centralizing the city’s key public safety services in the Lightner Center, and recommended a “sufficient and suitable plan” of protecting those services before she could support moving forward.
            As District C councilor, Jones, a Shaw University alumna, would work to make sure district parents are better educated about healthier foods for their children to combat obesity.
            Paul Terrell, a self-described “compassionate conservative,” ran for the state House District 33 seat last year, losing to Rep. Rosa Gill. He lives in the upper-middle-class, predominately white Heddingham section of District C, but says if elected, he would represent the entire district.
            His top issues are improving transportation, lowering the city’s debt, and increasing public safety.
            Terrell said if elected, he would work with business and community leaders, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, and local community colleges, among others, to help develop and attract more jobs to District C. He, too, said that more job training was needed.
            On the Lightner Public Safety Center, Terrell said there were “too many problems,” with location and financing” being just two of them. He suggested putting the matter to a public referendum to determine whether it should be funded with bonds. 
Terrell then complained that city officials were, “…picking some of the most expensive real estate in the city of Raleigh to build this place. Why can’t they build it where it’s needed? Let’s say parts of Southeast Raleigh…Martin Luther King Blvd. If they can find the real estate suitable, that would be the perfect place for it. The best visibility helps lower the crime rate.”
“If we have police in the area,” Terrell added, “We’ll have less crime.”
            While Terrell agreed that children should be educated early about proper fitness and eating healthier, he warned that that wasn’t the role “ of the nanny state,” and that people should be allowed to “live their own lives.”
            Councilman Eugene Weeks, who is finishing out the unexpired term of former Councilor James West, says he deserves a full two-year term in office to build on the experience he’s already received, and the service he’s already rendered. His top issues are public transportation, small business development and youth initiatives.
            To develop more jobs for Southeast Raleigh, Weeks says he wants to further evaluate what is needed to spur business growth, help provide greater access to business loans for small businesses, and work to create skills and training centers.
Councilman Weeks was fully supportive of the Lightner Public Safety Center - named by the Raleigh City Council in honor of the late Clarence E. Lightner, the city first black mayor - even before he was appointed to the council. He says with the old Raleigh police headquarters closed down, and officers in temporary facilities spread throughout the city, he believes that the design plans can be modified and the center built more cost effectively.
Weeks says several community organizations and nonprofits, including the Hargett Street YWCA, area churches and the Southeast Raleigh Assembly, are already promoting healthier eating and physical activities throughout the district.
And regarding getting young people more politically involved, Weeks credited students at St. Aug’s and Shaw University campuses for their past political activities. He suggested that high schoolers could be better shown how to become more involved.
Racquel Williams, a small business owner, also vied for the District C appointment last October. She has been a community advocate for 13 years. Economic development, capital investment, and crime and public safety are her top issues.
Williams wants to use Shaw and St. Aug’s as “community resources” to help those with criminal histories be rehabilitated and trained for meaningful work and opportunities. She calls this “Hustleman University,” and believes this will help spur economic growth in Southeast Raleigh.
Regarding the Lightner Public Safety Center, Williams told Paul Terrell that his was a “really good answer’ regarding locating the facility in Southeast Raleigh. She feels the council was “getting a little out of hand with the money that we were spending” on the center, objecting to the $200 million projected cost of construction. Williams said she was “ a little disappointed” with the lack of public opinion on the center (even though the issue generated lots of public comment, and even a demonstration for it by the black community over a year ago).
Williams also suggested breaking down the plans for the Lightner Center in laymen’s terms so that the public can better understand it.
Per promoting healthier eating and lifestyle in District C, Williams says there should be more recreational after-school programs in the community, and more outlets that sell nutritious foods to those on public assistance.
Williams criticized District C’s traditionally low voter turnout, and said more must be done to engage young people in the political process, like citizen advisory councils (CAC). She also suggested modernizing participation through technology so citizens who can’t participate physically, can still be plugged in.

By Cash Michaels

            DID YOU KNOW? - The new fall season is here on the broadcast networks, which means some of the lousiest TV shows on earth are set to crowd your widescreen HD TV screen if you let them.
            There are few really good shows left, and one of those is “NCIS” on CBS Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. Now going into its ninth season, as I’ve written before, this show shows no signs of slowing down or losing ground. Instead, and contrary to all conventional wisdom, this show is actually gaining audience each year, averaging 20 million viewers each week.
            I bring this up now because one of the talented men responsible for making NCIS the number one drama on television is Charles Floyd Johnson.
            Johnson, an African-American, is an executive producer on the show. You’re more likely to see his name listed in the opening credits as “Chas. Floyd Johnson.”
            What you also may not know is that Johnson has worked in television for many years, and has been partly responsible for some of your favorite shows, like “The Rockford Files,” “Quantum Leap,” “JAG,” “Magnum P.I.” and “Black Sheep Squadron.”
            But Johnson is also a producer of the upcoming major motion picture “Red Tails” about the Tuskegee Airmen, the all-black fighter squadron from World War II. George Lucas’s LucasFilm Ltd., which famously made the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” movies, is the production company behind  “Red Tails.”
            So when you see “Red Tails,” or watch any of the above shows, remember the name Chas. Floyd Johnson. This brother is one of a handful of successful black producers working in Hollywood, and his track record simply cannot be denied.
JACKIE NO - Like most Americans, let alone most African-Americans, the Kennedy name means something. President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert Kennedy, Sen. Teddy Kennedy…all are heroes, of sort, who stood for what we all mightily believe in - freedom, justice and equality.
            Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of President John Kennedy, is also someone we have always cherished. She raised the president’s two children after his death, and then went and remade herself when she married Greek industrialist Aristotle Onassis, and then joined the publishing world.
            But recently, some startling passages from a 1964 interview with Jackie - a year after her husband’s assassination - have been made public, and they’re not pretty.
            Published in the newly released book, "Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life With John F. Kennedy," Jackie apparently had hard things to say about Lyndon B. Johnson, who succeeded her husband as president after the November 1963 assassination.
            But the eye-opening quotes were about how Jackie felt about civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The former First Lady called him “tricky” and a “phony.” She accused Dr. King of mocking her husband’s funeral, and Jackie believed the dirt FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reportedly had on Dr. King’s alleged personal life.
            Some may say that all of this makes Jacqueline Onassis an evil woman.
            I disagree.
            I think it makes her a protective wife who saw and believed what she wanted to because she loved her husband, even a year after an assassin’s bullet took his life in front of her. If you read other assessments by Jackie of other political figures of the time, she didn’t particularly care for too many of them either.
            Over time, her daughter Caroline says, Jackie Kennedy came to admire Dr. King, and what she stood for.
            As a reporter, I can state the following with certainty - many of the celebrities and politicians that you see on TV smiling, laughing and getting along famously, can’t stand the sight of one another once they get behind the scenes. You would be shocked to discover who really hates whom.
            That’s why Jackie’s remarks about Dr. King, though disturbing at first, weren’t surprising. I’m pretty sure that Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s widow, had some choice words about President Kennedy, and the way her husband had to drag the man kicking and screaming to finally come out from under a rock and say something meaningful about civil rights when it was needed.
            Cut Jackie, who died in 1994, some slack. As she grew older, she knew better.
 THE MAN WE “MARRIED” - That’s right. When you and I vote for a political candidate, we, in essence, exchange sacred vows.
The candidate promises to be faithful to the promises he (or she) makes to us to serve us, protect us, fight for us, and do all he can to improve our quality of living better than before. All the candidate asks of us is to put our trust in him, and do so by voting him into office.
We, the voters, in turn, promise to come out in large enough numbers to indeed elected said candidate, so that he (or she) can do all that he promised he would. Our responsibility, after he is indeed elected, is to keep him accountable to the promises he made when he asked us for our vote.
Do we, as voters, expect said candidate to keep all of his promises made? Common sense says no. Many times, once the candidate actually takes office, he finds that what he promised, and what is possible, are miles apart. Thus, he has to fight for things to fall into place in order to bring about the change we seek.
And that’s the very least we, as, voters, expect of our elected leaders. If they can’t immediately deliver the policies they promised because of conditions beyond their control, that they at least begin to fight to change those conditions so that one day they can fulfill their promises.
It’s what we expect from our elected leaders, and it’s what we expect from each other in our interpersonal relationships, like marriage.
So what’s the last six paragraphs have to do with anything? Like the disappointed wife who has told her suddenly uninspiring husband, “You are NOT the man I married,” Democrats have reluctantly been saying the same to President Barack Obama in recent months (actually for the past two years).
When Obama campaigned for office, he set the world on fire with catch phrases like “hope,” “change,” and “believe,” thus capturing the imagination of voters, young and old. That was his pact with them, his solemn and sacred vows with them. He also promised to “change” Washington from its old ways of dog-eat-dog and backroom dealmaking, instead offering a new transparency in how government works.
But above all else, Barack Obama promised to “fight for the change that we believe in.”
Indeed, candidate Obama talked a superb game, but President Obama, who got many of his initiatives through a Democratic Congress during his first two years in office, seemed to throw that script out even before the Republicans took over. Instead of fighting for the principles that constituted the faithful “marriage” he had with his supporters and the American people, Obama saw greater value wooing the “other woman,” namely the Republicans. Coming to a bipartisan agreement on issues, and being willing to give away and compromise, in “good faith,” what he had promised his “marriage” vows to his supporters, was seen by him as a mark of courage.
It took nearly three years for President Obama to realize how wrong he was.
And that’s why, after repeatedly being burned, and lied to and suckered on virtually every issue he’s tried to work with the Republicans on, Obama is now hitting the road, telling the very people who have begun to lose faith in him, not to trust Congress anymore, and force them to pass his major jobs package…RIGHT NOW!
That’s why, after a rousing, defiant speech before Congress last week, Pres. Obama is going across America now, in full campaign mode, telling folks after “the other woman” has kicked him to the curb, he’s back home now, wants to save his “marriage” with the American people, and is now willing to fight.
Don’t get me wrong, President Obama is a noble and forthright leader, not to mention a good man. But even the Bible tells us that good must conquer evil before there ever be any peace in the land. Obama never believed the Tea Party Republicans were evil, only misguided, so he assumed that if he put enough on the table he was willing to bargain with, they would come to their senses and deal for the good of the nation.
He was the last to find out that that simply wasn’t true. These people were willing to crash the economy of this nation just to get their way and personally destroy the president. It took a lot to convince Obama, but I believe, now, that convinced he is.
So that President Obama, through visits like the one he paid to Raleigh and Apex on Wednesday, can repair the damage to his broken “marriage” with the American people. They still like the guy, but found themselves sorely disappointed that he wasn’t doing what he had promised - fighting for them as they struggled to make ends meet.
He’s doing that now, and the president needs to keep doing that. And even if the economy doesn’t improve before the 2012 elections, President Obama needs to go down fighting, not compromising. That is the only way that faith, and promise, can be restored to the American psyche.
We want the president we “married” in 2008 back, full-time, fighting for us.
Let’s see what happens.
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at www.Power750.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html). I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, by Cash Michaels, honored this year as well by NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.


            Those who aren’t registered to vote, and intend to cast a ballot in the Oct. 11th Wake School Board, Raleigh City Council and Cary Town Council elections, must be registered to vote by this Friday, Sept. 16th. In addition, One Stop/Early Voting for the Oct. 11th elections is scheduled for Sept. 22 -23; Sept. 26- Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Wake Elections Board, 337 S. Salisbury Street in Raleigh, and on Saturday, Oct. 8th there from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.. In Cary, Early voting is scheduled at the Herbert C. Young Community Center at 101 Wilkerson Ave. Oct. 5-7 - 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and on Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information call 919-856-6240.

            The Wake Voter Education Coalition, in association with the NC Black Women’s Empowerment Network and Alpha Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  presents the 2011 Candidates Forum, Thursday, Sept. 22, 6 - 8:30 p.m. at the Martin Street Baptist Church Family Life Center. Candidates in the Raleigh City Council, Cary Town Council and Wake School Board races will be showcased.

            Voter turnout will be a key issue in elections now and in 2012, and yet there are those who choose not to vote. Why and are they correct? That will be the question when two teams debate, “ Why Should I Vote?” Saturday, Sept. 24, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Poplar Springs Christian Church, Fellowship Hall, 6115 Old Stage Road, Raleigh. This event is free and the public is welcomed. Moderated by Carolinian Newspaper reporter Cash Michaels.


            [RALEIGH]  Two black Democrats joined the Republican majority Monday in approving the NC constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages in the state. Rep. Elmer Floyd (D - Cumberland) and Rep. Garland Pierce (D-Hoke), a Baptist minister, along with eight other House Democrats, gave the anti-gay measure beyond the three-fifths vote it needed, passing it 72-42. Several black pastors from across the state supported Republican efforts to constitutionally restrict marriage to a man and a woman. The amendment, also passed by the state Senate this week on a 30-16 vote, will now appear on the May 2012 ballot as a referendum.

            [RALEIGH] The NC Department of Transportation will cut 400 positions over the coming months in an effort to reduce its budget, according to published reports. NCDOT Secretary Gene Conti sent an email to employees Monday indicating that, “Those positions will no longer exist in this department as of June 30, 2012.” Conti promised that those affected would be given plenty of advanced notice to be to plan accordingly. Thus far, over 13,000 state government positions, which includes over 6,400 filled jobs, have been eliminated as a result of mandated budget cuts.

            [RALEIGH] At press time, President Barack Obama was scheduled to come to the Triangle Wednesday to promote his  $449 billion jobs package as he pressures the Republican-led Congress to put politics aside to pass his measure. The president was expected tour WestStar Precision in Apex, a small company that the White House says would benefit from Obama’s jobs proposal. He was also scheduled to speak to thousands during a rally at NC State University later that afternoon. A full report on the president’s remarks next week.

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