Monday, June 18, 2012


By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            During the over 25 years that Anthony Tata served in the US Army, defeat, or failure to complete his mission, was not an option.
But not even two years into leading Wake County Public Schools, Supt. Tony Tata is seeing more than his share of operational breakdowns that have caused many in the community to question his ability to properly steer the 16th largest school system in the nation back to the success it once had.
This week, Tata saw his biggest.
Early Wednesday morning, Tata’s bosses, the Wake School Board, after hours of debate, voted 5-4 along party lines to alter the new school choice plan that the rookie superintendent has worked so hard to implement.
“The Wake County Board of Education voted Wednesday to ask WCPSS staff to revise the district’s student assignment plan,” a terse news release from Tata’s administration stated afterwards. “Board members have directed WCPSS staff to create an addressed-based plan that would go into effect in the 2013-14 school year.”
The release added, “Tuesday’s vote by the board does not affect school assignments or transportation for the 2012-13 school year.”
That means that despite assurances from Tata that the overwhelming majority of families with children in the 150,000-pupil school system are happy with his new school choice plan, the Democratic majority on the school board didn’t believe him - even after giving Tata six months to straighten out any problems the plan would present - and ordered him and his staff to come up with a new strategy that incorporates diversity and student achievement in student assignments.
To the Republican minority on the school board - members who came in in 2009 on a mission to discard Wake’s previously much-hailed socioeconomic student diversity plan in favor of neighborhood schools - the change by the Democratic board majority bordered on not only an affront to Supt. Tata, who the Republicans hired in December 2010, but a sacrilege against the cherished changes they bulldozered into policy shortly after taking office.
Wake School Board Chairman Kevin Hill, along with Vice Chair Keith Sutton, both Democrats, patiently listened as GOP members Chris Malone, Deborah Prickett, John Tedesco and Debra Goldman relentlessly tried to stop any vote on the directive, approved by the board’s Executive Committee, that would cut the throat of their school choice plan.
Their arguments ranged from “Our plan hasn’t had enough time to work,” to “You’re only doing this because your political backers told you too.”
At one point, after one in a series of blistering attacks by Goldman, Hill calmly replied, "Thanks for sharing."
There were warnings of hurting parents who will now have choice unfairly taken from them, and will be at the mercy of a school system telling them where they will send their children, like years before, the Republicans alleged.
Republican board member John Tedesco of District 2, who actively conspired with former Wake School Board Chairman Ron Margiotta to get rid of the system’s diversity policy immediately after taking office in 2009 without any review, ironically begged the Democratic majority now not to make the same mistake he now admits the Republicans made three years ago.
He even asked how much would scrapping the choice plan for a base assignment plan would cost, even though three years ago, when Chairman Hill, part of the then Democratic minority, posed the same question to the Republican majority about the costs of high poverty schools that a neighborhood schools plan would create, he was ignored by Tedesco and GOP company, who voted Hill's motion down.
In an exclusive interview with The Carolinian, Chairman Hill confirmed that he has seen convincing data that Tata’s school choice plan currently in place, would create more high poverty schools with over 50 percent of the school population categorized as underachievers.
The expense in terms of dollars and personnel turnover was simply not worth the risk, Hill said. If a change of course was to happen in time for the 2013-14 school year, the board had to act now, even though the school choice really hadn’t had a chance to become fully operational.
            Despite assurances by Supt. Tata that his staff was dealing with minor drawbacks, there had been complaints from real estate agents that they couldn’t assure newcomers to Wake of what schools their children would attend.
            While those with children already in the school system pretty much  got the choices they wanted, newcomers were left with schools they didn’t want, because popular schools were filled to capacity.
            And projections about the creation of more high poverty schools, based on projections of what schools were being chosen, were daunting.
The move, Hill assured, had to be made now.
The pressing question is, will Tata indeed carry out this new directive? Hill says he was assured by Tata that he will, and the chairman expects the former military man to be as good as his word.
“Tony is a professional,” Chairman Hill told The Carolinian.
But Hill also made it clear that, in the final analysis, it is Supt. Tata’s decision to carry out the change that has been directed, and to be a part of it, pointing out how former Wake Supt. Del Burns resigned two years ago when he decided he couldn’t be a part of the Republican-led board’s drive for racially segregated neighborhood schools.
Tata, at press time, has made no public comment as to what he intends to do.

MRS. WILLIE E. JERVAY, PAST PUBLISHER OF THE WILMINGTON JOURNAL, PASSES - Mrs. Jervay, seated, surrounded by her family (l to r) Kitty Jervay Tate; Mary Alice Thatch; Shawn Thatch; Johanna Thatch-Briggs and Robin Thatch Johnson [Photo courtesy of the Wilmington Journal]

By Cash Michaels

            [WILMINGTON] They came to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Tuesday, to say goodbye to a champion for equal rights, devoted mother and community leader.
            Mrs. Willie Etha DeVane Jervay, the publisher emeritus of the Wilmington Journal - the port city’s long time African-American newspaper - was being funeralized. Her interment was at Greenlawn Memorial Park.
            Mrs. Jervay died Saturday, June 16th at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, after a long illness.
            On June 27h, she would have been 91-years-old.
            In a church service filled with family, friends and admirers, Mrs. Jervay, a St. Mark’s member, was fondly remembered by Reverend Canon Victor Fredereriksen as a quiet, yet courageous leader in the community who loyally worked at the side of her pioneering husband, Thomas Jervay, Sr., founder and publisher of the Wilmington Journal, until his death in the mid-1990s.
            Mr. Jervay was also the older brother of the late Paul Jervay Sr., founder and publisher of The Carolinian Newspaper in Raleigh.
            During those early years, Mrs. Jervay worked in the business office of the Journal, in circulation and advertising. After her husband’s death, she took over the leadership of the paper, maintaining its stated purpose of giving voice to Wilmington’s African-American community.
She also took time to donate her time and energies towards helping the needy, especially those living in the Brooklyn section of Wilmington.
            As a diligent wife and mother, Mrs. Jervay raised three children - Kitty, Mary Alice, and Thomas “Tommy”, Jr., who has preceded her in death.
            Mrs. Jervay’s obituary states that she was the daughter of Maggie DeVane Herring.
            She was born in Harrells, NC, located in Sampson County, on June 27th, 1921.
            Willie Jervay attended the public schools of Sampson County, and, upon completion of her education, married Thomas C. Jervay Sr. in 1942.
            At a very early age, Willie Jervay gave her life to the Lord, joining Ward’s Chapel Baptist Church in Harrells as a child, and later joining St. Mark’s Episcopal Church as an adult upon moving to Wilmington.
            For years, Willie Jervay was a member of Eastern Star, and a charter member of the Business and Professional Business Women’s Club. She gave many hours of service as a “foot solder,” soliciting door-to-door for various charitable organizations.
Mrs. Jervay was a charter member of the Wilmington Chapter of Jack and Jill, Inc., and held a life membership in the NAACP.
            During the 1960’s civil rights movement, Willie Jervay was a vibrant voice against social and economic injustice. She made sure student demonstrators were well fed, and supported her own children as they were arrested for their role in demonstrations, picketing downtown businesses for job opportunities for black.
            She also had several hobbies - gardening, reading, fishing, cooking, sewing and traveling extensively.
            “[My mother] loved the Lord, and she loved people,” Mary Alice Thatch, publisher of the Wilmington Journal said. “She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her.
            Mrs. Willie E. Jervay leaves behind a loving family consisting of two daughters, Mary Alice Thatch and Kitty Jervay Tate, along with their spouses; six grandchildren, Robin Thatch Johnson; Lacy Tate, Jr.; Mona Jervay; Shawn Thatch; Robert Tate and Johanna Thatch-Briggs, twenty-one great grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.


            [RALEIGH] Craigain L. Gray is looking for new work this week, ever since he was fired Tuesday as the state’s director of the Division of Medical Assistance, in charge of the troubled Medicaid program. According to Gray, who had headed up the program since 2009, North Carolina ‘s Medicaid program may show a budget shortfall of over $400 million for this year. Gray was shown the door by State Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Al Delia. Gray has been replaced by current DHHS Chief Deputy Secretary Michael Watson.

            [RALEIGH] In a letter dated June 19, 2012, the NCNAACP and the HKonJ Coalition has asked NC Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, leader of the Senate Republican majority, to, “…match the NC House's budget appropriation to provide compensation to the living victims of forced sterilization by the State of North Carolina through 1974.” Last week, the $10 million bill passed in the state House to compensation victims of North Carolina’s forced sterilization program was not included in the Senate’s proposed budget. Senate leaders, in fact, said that the bill will not be taken up by the Senate this year.
            “Our taxes were quietly used to sterilize men and women because they were poor,” wrote Rev. William Barber, president of the NCNAACP to Sen. Berger. “Now we have the chance to give them a modest payment for the pain the state caused them.”
            At presstime Wednesday, Republican leaders in the state House and Senate released a proposed $20.2 billion budget plan, that may be voted on  Friday, that did not include compensation for eugenics victims. Senate leader Berger said Republicans in his chamber did not support it. House Speaker Thom Tillis, who passed the measure first, and tried to save it during budget negotiations, called the deletion of the bill from the budget "a personal failure" that he will continue to trty and have passed in a future session.

            [RALEIGH]  Citizens who oppose the merger of Progress Energy and Duke Energy may be allowed to sound off Monday during a special hearing in Raleigh of the NC Utilities Commission. But only those from the group NC Waste Awareness and Reduction Network will be allowed to speak. Concerns have been raised about the cost of electricity of Progress Energy and Duke Energy become one company.



By Cash Michaels

            Among the seventy-seven resolutions adopted at the NC Democratic Party State Convention last weekend in Raleigh was one calling for Governor Beverly Perdue to grant pardons of innocence to the Wilmington Ten.

            This resolution is the first for any political party, and comes on the heels of the national NAACP Board of Directors, which unanimously adopted a similar resolution on May 19 support pardons for the ten civil rights activists who were falsely charged and convicted with conspiracy forty years ago in connection to racial violence in Wilmington.

            It also comes just over a week before the “Faith Community Rally Supporting the Wilmington Ten,” scheduled for Tuesday, June 26th, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at a new location - St. Stephen's A.M.E. Church, 501 Red Cross Street in Wilmington.

            The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the NC NAACP, is the featured keynote speaker.

            Under the title of  “Civil Rights,” the 43rd resolution adopted June 16th by the NC Democratic Party Convention reads:

            WHEREAS, a group of ten civil rights activists were charged with inciting the violent Wilmington race riots in 1971; and WHEREAS, the racist organizations, the Ku Klux Klan and the Rights of White People, were the primary perpetrators of the violence during the race riots; and

         WHEREAS, the Wilmington Ten case is one of the most glaring travesties of justice in North Carolina history; and WHEREAS, the Wilmington Ten were convicted as the result of a highly controversial trial held in Burgaw, North Carolina; and

         WHEREAS, the State produced three eyewitnesses at the trial who testified to the guilt of the Wilmington Ten; and WHEREAS, two of the State’s witnesses were coerced and coached into presenting perjured testimony at secret meetings held at the private residence of the Grand Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan; and
         WHEREAS, the prosecuting attorney bribed State’s witnesses to coerce perjured testimony; and WHEREAS, the Trial Judge prevented certain crucial facts from being placed before the jury; and WHEREAS, Amnesty International declared the Wilmington Ten to be political prisoners in 1978; and WHEREAS, all three State’s witnesses recanted their testimonies; and
         WHEREAS, the Wilmington Ten served considerable time in prison; and WHEREAS, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of the Wilmington Ten citing “prosecutorial misconduct;” and WHEREAS, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals discovered that the misconduct of the prosecutor was aided and abetted by the Trial Judge; and
         WHEREAS, the impact of prosecutorial misconduct aided by the miscreant Trial Judge resulted in wrongful convictions for the Wilmington Ten; and WHEREAS, distinguished civil rights attorneys have filed a petition for pardon for the Wilmington Ten; and
WHEREAS, the Wilmington Ten have presented their petition for pardon to Governor Beverly Perdue; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we, the North Carolina Democratic Party, call upon Governor Beverly Perdue to grant pardons for the Wilmington 10 in advance of the 40th anniversary of the original conviction in September 2012.
In a statement, the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project thanked the NC Democratic Party for its support.


            The Raleigh City Council Monday  passed a $681 million budget that maintains basic city services and invests in new capital projects, while still supporting the arts and nonprofit causes. City employees get a $1000 merit pay bonus. Residents get increased fees for sewer and solid waste, and a 0.91-cent property increase. And city councilors receive a $5.000 per year raise, spread over five years.

            When five members of the Cary YMCA Superskippers appeared on the “Live! With Kelly” TV recently, they had no idea that they would be sharing the stage with First Lady Michelle Obama. Taped May 30th and aired nationwide last Monday, the SuperSkippers - Nick Higgins, Morgan Adams, Nicole Enright, Graham Boothe and Matthew Russell - were surprised to see that Mrs. Obama needed no lessons, and already knew a few double-dutch tricks of her own. The Cary YMCA Superskippers are nationally known, and tied for second place in last year’s USA Jump Rope Nationals.
            If a survey on a health and wellness website is any indication, the Triangle area is the six best place in the nation for wedded bliss. According to RealAge website, Raleigh-Durham is sixth among the top ten cities in the nation for a happy marriage. Charlotte ranked fifth, and Salt Lake City was Number One. Raleigh-Durham was cited for a “vibrant, academic spirit and high employment level,” factors which, RealAge says, “…go a long way in avoiding marriage troubles.”

By Cash Michaels

            GOODBYE, MRS. JERVAY - The black newspaper world has lost a champion, and dear friend.
            The publisher emeritus of this newspaper, Mrs. Willy E. Jervay, passed last weekend here in the port city of a prolonged illness.
            Mrs. Jervay was a woman of courage, dignity, commitment and strength. After the passing of her beloved husband, Wilmington Journal founder and publisher Thomas Jervay Sr. in the 1990’s, Mrs. Jervay guided the Journal during turbulent times, as the paper became a target of more and more adversaries determined to stop any effort to speak truth to power.
            It takes a special kind of leader to stand strong for her community no matter what the cost. That love of community, and determination to challenge any and all who would do her community harm, is what made Willy E. Jervay so special, and so cherished.
            On behalf of black journalists everywhere, our prayers, condolences and best wishes go out to Mrs. Jervay’s family, and Journal Publisher Mary Alice Thatch. Mrs. Jervay will be, just like her husband, remembered as one of the greatest African-American publishing legends in our history.
            RODNEY KING - What can be said about the untimely death of Rodney King, the black man whose 1991 videotaped beating at the hands of LAPD spawned major reforms in police and black community relations.
            King, 47, was not perfect, and never claimed to be. But over 20 years ago, his brutal beating at the hands of Los Angeles police symbolized the racist treatment people of color received at the hands of law enforcement in most major American cities.
            And when King partially recovered from his injuries, and asked the world, “Can we all just get along?” it was a simple, yet insightful request of a society that, quite frankly, was well invested in keeping police brutality its dirty little secret.
            Rodney King didn’t like being a symbol. It was a hard standard to keep up with. He wallowed in alcohol and drugs, having subsequent run-ins with the police over the years. He was broke, couldn’t keep a job, and unhappiness was his closest companion.
            Last weekend, he was found dead in a pool at a home he shared with his fiancée’ in Rialto, CA.
An autopsy, at presstime, had not determined the cause of death.
Those who knew King say he was looking forward to getting married and welcoming a new grandchild into the world. But he was also looking for peace.
They say now, only in death, has Rodney King found real peace.
May GOD, indeed, give him rest and comfort.
DIRESPECTING THE PRESIDENT - The moron’s name is Neil Munro and he is a blogger with the Daily Caller, a right-wing online rag directed by Tucker Carlson, another moron you’ve seen on MSNBC and Fox News who talks a lot of right-wing crud, and wears a bowtie as if he’s someone special.
If my words seem to have an edge, you are very correct.
Munro, you see, broke all rules of decency and decorum last Friday during Pres. Obama ‘s Rose Garden address about his new immigration policy.
Let’s put aside whether you agree or disagree with the policy for a moment.
What Munro did, namely rudely interrupt the president while he was still speaking with a stupid question, when no questions were being asked or answered, is the obscenity here.
Even those mongrels at Fox News had to blast Munro for that nonsense. Be my guest in not liking Pres. Obama. Heck, that comes with the office.
But ALL of us are taught to respect the office of the presidency, meaning we all stand when the president enters a room, we don’t interrupt him while he is making remarks, we always refer to him when addressing him as “Mr. President,” and we stand again as he leaves the room.
That demonstrates civility, that no matter what our political differences are, we have a common interest in respecting our institutions, and the leaders we’ve elected to serve in them.
By Munro rudely and deliberately interrupting the president as he made remarks to the nation, he showed a complete disregard for even the pretense of respect.
Why, why would Munro do this? And why would his boss, Tucker Carlson, defend him saying something stupid like, “Reporters are supposed to ask questions,”?
Let the record show that analysts and pundits all agree on the following - Pres. Obama’s skin color is the reason.
There is just no question that there are some people who just can’t bring themselves to accept a black family in the White House. They just can’t stand it that a black man is commander-in-chief.
Indeed, they are so filled with rage over it, they do the unthinkable, feeling that it is their patriotic duty to disrespect Obama.
Just like in 2009 during the State of the Union address, when Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, a Tea Party Republican, screamed out, “You lie” during the course of the address.
This is why this is going to be an exceptionally rough presidential campaign year. We are going to see and hear things that not only make no sense, primarily because they’re damnable lies. So keep your blood pressure handy. There is more disrespect for the president, and for us, on the way.
So pray for us all.
THANK YOU - This is a special shout out to my friends at First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church in Raleigh, where the esteemed Dr. W. B. Lewis is the longtime pastor.
I was honored to deliver the Annual Men’s Day message on Father’s Day last Sunday, and I had a ball “preachin’” the Word of GOD along the theme of “Men of Valor.”
In a nutshell, I preached that, just like in the Holy Bible, it will take black “men of valor” who are first steeped in GOD, moral strength and courage, to save our dying community. We own little, our children are killing each other, and we are disrespected the world over. If they can treat our president like dirt, then you know what they think of us. So we must fight hard to save our families and communities, but we must first ask the Lord for guidance, blessings and salvation in order to see the mission through.
Folks at First Cosmopolitan say they enjoyed the message.
I enjoyed delivering it, and I wish my church family there nothing but peace and GOD’s goodness.
 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 And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” ( I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.


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