CASH IN THE APPLE 10-03-13
By Cash Michaels
100 MEN IN BLACK ANNUAL CONCERT – Anytime we can share with you the good work of a nonprofit group that benefits the community, we’re more than happy to do it. In this case the group is 100 Men in Black, Inc., which is sponsoring its 11th Annual Gospel Concert Saturday, Oct. 12th at Wake Chapel Church, 3805 Tarheel Club Road in Raleigh. The program begins at 5 p.m..
Besides music from the 100 Men in Black Choir, special guest performer will be William McDowell.
Proceeds go to aid the 100 Men in Black, Inc.’s youth mentoring program, where young black males are helped to find their way, and are given important direction and purpose.
For more information, go to www.100mib.org, or call 919-872-7776.
CONGRATULATIONS – Hats off and congratulations to Grady Bussey and the crew with the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department for helping the Capital City leap into the record books once again.
Last weekend, during the 75th anniversary of John Chavis Park, Grady and company organized the longest Soul Train line in Guinness Book of World Record history, with 317 dancers from the community.
The previous record was in Philadelphia with 291 people.
But what was even more important was that throughout the day last Saturday, the entire community came out to the Chavis Recreation Center and grounds to play, eat and be with one another. True community, enjoying each other.
I wish we could have duplicated last weekend at john Chavis Park, and shared it with everyone.
Great job, Grady!
And great job, community.
NEW SHOWS – So far this new television season, some breakout hits are emerging.
Over on Fox, “Sleepy Hollow,” which is filmed in Wilmington, is holding a solid audience of at least 9 million after three weeks. Based on the old “headless horseman” story from the 1800’s, the show, which stars Nicole Beharie (who played Rachel Robinson in “42: The Jackie Robinson Story”) and Tom Mison as “Ichabod Crane.”
On CBS, “The Crazy Ones” starring Robin Williams (“Mork and Mindy”) and Sara Michelle Geller (from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) drew 15.6 million viewers in its premiere episode last week. Produced by David E. Kelley (“The Practice”), “The Crazy Ones” is the perfect comic vehicle for Williams to return to television with. He may be older, but Williams is still a sight to see, laugh with, and enjoy.
On ABC, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is delivering a younger audience with one of the best series premieres since 2004. From Joss Whedon, the man who brought us ‘The Avengers,” “S.H.I.E.L.D” is milking it Marvel superhero pedigree in hopes of big ratings. Hard to do when you’re up against television’s Number One show, “NCIS” on CBS. But thus far, “SHIELD is holding its own. Let’s give it a few weeks to see if the audience stays with it.
And finally, on NBC, the biggest new hit thus far seems to be the Monday night thriller, “The Blacklist,” starring James Spader (“Boston Legal”) as a master criminal who aids the FBI. It’s been pulling 10 million viewers every Monday night at 10 p.m., across from ABC’s veteran series “Castle” and CBS’s new drama “Hostages”, which is pulling only 6 million viewers.
We’ll know by the end of October which series will get the hook. Expect a lot of them.
SHUTDOWN – Well, well, well…what a great week to be an American. A crazy bunch of (you fill in the blank) decide that they are going to stop the Affordable Care Act, even if it means shutting down the federal government, throwing tens of thousands of federal employees temporarily out of their jobs, and hurting a still struggling American economy that is barely off its knees.
And all because these misfits, a minority for sure, are willing to do anything to stick it to an African-American president they just can’t find any other way to beat.
This is not governance, ladies and gentlemen.
This is pitiful.
These people, who proudly call themselves “Tea Party,” say that all they are doing is following the “will of the American people.”
Nevermind that when Barack Obama was first elected president, and promised voters that he would bring change by way of healthcare reform, that he was elected.
Nevermind that the then Democratic Congress passed the Affordable Care Act at the president’s behest to make healthcare more affordable.
And nevermind that just last year, despite a now Republican-led House in Congress, voters saw fit not only to re-elect the president, but help the Democrats pick up five seats in the US Senate.
So the 30 or so Tea Party members in the US House can talk about “…the American people re=elected us to Congress to do away with Obamacare…” all they want. Compared to the number of voters weighing in on the presidency and the Us Senate, those elect Tea Party voters are but a drop in the bucket.
A minority, and the will and needs of this nation should not be held hostage by a bunch of political terrorists.
Yes I used the “T” word because these folks, purely for political (and I suspect racial reasons dealing with the president) have done a superb job of promulgating false fears about “socialism” and “death panels,” and other foolishness to scare the daylights out of average Americans.
One Republican congressman actually said that Obamacare was “… worst than slavery.”
When you work overtime to strike unmitigated fear in the hearts of men (and women), for political reasons, I don’t know what else that makes you.
So what do we, the law-abiding citizens of this nation, do about fixing this problem? We can’t vote these trolls out. Their districts have been redrawn to be virtually bulletproof politically, meaning that no Democrat can win the seat.
Yes, I ask the question, because I really don’t know the answer…except to pray, and everyone stays engaged.
Clearly the future of the nation depends on what people of good will do…or don’t do.
So what will we do, ‘cause this clearly isn’t over!
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.myWAUG.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my 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. 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.
STATE NEWS BRIEFS 10-3-13
FEDERAL GOV’T SHUTDOWN AFFECTING NORTH CAROLINA
[RALEIGH] Because many agencies in state government depend on federal funding to help pay for programs and salaries, the federal government shutdown by Congress earlier this week has already forced the NC Dept. of Transportation and NC Dept of Health and Human Services to begin furloughing employees until the shutdown is resolved. At presstime Wednesday, at least 22 NCDOT workers had already been furloughed, and more are expected across state government.
Across the state, thousands of non-essential employees at military bases like Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune have been given their furlough notices. At military hospitals, some elective medical procedures have been postponed. Many federal employees who have been furloughed were already negatively impacted by the earlier budget sequester cuts, thus they were suffering from cuts in pay.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IN NORTH CAROLINA BEGINS
[GREENSBORO] All over the nation on October 1st, people began applying online to qualify for the low-cost health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Numerous health insurance companies in several states that have setup exchanges compete to provide health coverage at low costs, thus driving the price down. But in Republican-controlled states like North Carolina, the exchanges are run by the federal government because Republican governors and lawmakers are actively blocking any assistance one needs. As a result in North Carolina, only two companies are competing on the federal exchange, and one of those companies doesn’t even cover all of the state. For more information go to www.healthcare.gov.
FORMER NCCU COACH CLEARED BY JUDGE, WANTS JOB BACK
[DURHAM] A Durham judge has ruled that former NCCU head football coach Henry Frazier III in innocent of charges that he violated a protective order in contacting his estranged wife, the reason why NCCU then fired him in August. Now that he has been cleared, Frazier says he wants his coaching job back. The school has already turned down Frazier’s appeal, citing the criminal arrest. Attorneys for Frazier say they will now appeal once again. Frazier had been arrested in May 2012 after a domestic dispute with his wife.
TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS 10-3-13
RALEIGH COULD UNVEIL NEW CITY MANAGER FRIDAY
Published reports say once all of the paperwork is done, the Raleigh City Council may unveil its new city manager Friday. The contract of previous 12-year City Manager Russell Allen was not renewed last spring. Mayor Nancy McFarlane said while Allen did a good job, the city needed someone with the vision to take the city to the next level. Four finalists were chosen from among 80 applications from across the nation.
FORMER SCHOOL HEADMASTER FOUND GUILTY OF SEXUAL BATTERY
The former school headmaster found guilty Monday of sexual battery on a school employee will serve 120 days in jail. Brandon Smith, the former top administrator at East Wake Academy, was also convicted of assaulting a female employee. Smith must also register as a sex offender. Smith was fired last year after two teachers alleged that he inappropriately touched them, and made lewd remarks.
TWO SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED IN MEMORY OF SLAIN NC A&T STUDENT
Two Wake County students, Courtney Dunn and William Lashley IV, will receive the $1,000 Derek E. Hodge II Memorial Scholarships each to attend NC A&T University during the foundation banquet this Saturday, October 5, 6 p.m., at the Crabtree Valley Marriott in Raleigh. Derek Hodge was a NC A&T student who was murdered during an off-campus robbery. His parents promised to honor him with scholarships to deserving students attending NC A&T.
NCNAACP HAILS FEDERAL
LAWSUIT AGAINST NC
By Cash Michaels
Having filed its own lawsuit against North Carolina’s new voting restrictions, the NCNAACP hailed the US Justice Dept. announcement earlier this week that it will also be suing the Tar Heel state for its new voter photo ID law.
"We need every resource, including the U.S. government, to help us expose the national conspiracy behind this movement to suppress targeted constituencies in the new southern electorate,” Rev. William Barber, president of the NCNAACP, said during a press conference in Durham Monday, shortly after the announcement was made.
“The good people of North Carolina are disgusted when they learn that the far-right created the myth of voter fraud, then repeated over and over again, intentionally creating the main pretext for this naked power grab by the extremists,” Rev. Barber continued.
It was indeed expected, especially after the US Justice Dept sued the state of Texas in August for its allegedly discriminatory voter photo ID law, that North Carolina would be next. US Senator Kay Hagan and Congressman G. K. Butterfield of North Carolina, both Democrats, had written US Attorney General Eric Holder shortly after the Republican-led NC General Assembly passed their omnibus elections reform bill, asking him to litigate against it for what they believed to be its unconstitutionality.
The bill, which Republican NC Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law, not only mandated voter photo ID starting in 2016, but also cut the early voting period in half, stopped same-day registration, “Souls to the Polls” Sunday voting and straight ticket voting, and empowered registered voters in a county to challenge voters they suspect of voting illegally.
When he announced the federal lawsuit Monday in Washington, Attorney General Holder said the NC General Assembly was actively trying to suppress the voting rights of African-Americans.
“The Justice Department expects to show that the clear and intended effects of these changes would contract the electorate and result in unequal access to participation in the political process on account of race,” Holder told reporters in prepared remarks.
“In the 2008 and 2012 general elections, African-American voters dramatically increased their participation rates across the state – and more than 70 percent of African Americans who voted in those elections cast ballots during the early voting period,” Holder later continued. “Just months after North Carolina saw the highest overall turnout in sheer numbers in its history – in November 2012 – and within days of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision to strike down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act – the state legislature took aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights of African Americans. This is an intentional attempt to break a system that was working. It defies common sense.”
Governor McCrory was not pleased. Within two hours of Eric Holder’s announcement, the governor rushed back from Asheboro, telling reporters that the lawsuit was politically motivated and “an overreach.” He added that North Carolina’s voter ID law was legally sound, and reminded all that in the 2012 presidential elections, President Obama had to show his voter ID in Illinois when he went to early vote.
“If its good enough for the president, then its good enough for North Carolina,” McCrory told reporters, adding that the state would secure legal counsel beyond the Democrat-controlled NC Attorney General’s office to fight the federal lawsuit in court.
NC Republican legislative leaders also expressed outrage.
Black conservatives with the right-wing think tank Project 21, blasted Holder’s announcement as well.
"For Attorney General Holder to sue North Carolina for trying to make sure the state has fair and honest elections is insane," said Project 21's Council Nedd II, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Missionary Church. "It seems apparent that Holder must think his department has run out of meaningful and substantive issues to address. Really? After all, President Obama — Holder's boss — routinely usurps congressional authority in the implementation of ObamaCare. Prosecute that before prosecuting a good government measure such as voter ID."
But attorney Irving Joyner, professor at North Carolina Central University’s School of Law and chair of the NCNAACP’s Legal Redress Committee, applauded the US attorney general for his action.
“The decision of the United States Justice Department to file a legal challenge against newly enacted voter suppression legislation by the North Carolina General Assembly is a huge contribution to efforts by the North Carolina NAACP to declare these laws as illegal and unconstitutional,” Joyner said in a statement. “
“By its action and statements, the Justice Department recognizes that these regressive enactments have absolutely nothing to do with any legitimate effort to identify properly registered voter, but instead, is a carefully orchestrated campaign to suppress minority voters and to allow right wing forces and their supporters to intimidate minorities whenever they attempt to vote in the future.”
Prof. Joyner continued, “The Department of Justice's decision to join with the NAACP, plaintiffs and lawyers in this legal challenge evidences their legal conclusion that our claims are meritorious and adds significant resources and muscles to our case. Of importance is DOJ's conclusion that these right-wing voter suppression laws demonstrate an intentional pattern by forces to negatively impact minority voters and that these efforts violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act.”
“We have always believed strongly in the merits of our case. That faith and determination is significantly strengthened by this intervention by the Department of Justice,” Joyner concluded.
LOCAL ELECTIONS FEATURE
SCHOOL BOND, CITY COUNCIL
AND SCHOOL BOARD RACES
By Cash Michaels
With Election Day, Oct. 8th, finally here, voters in Raleigh and Wake County have some key decisions to make concerning the future of school construction, four seats on the Wake School Board, and the races for mayor and District C, among others on the Raleigh City Council.
The big ticket issue on Tuesday’s ballot will be Wake’s $810 million school construction bond referendum, where voters will be asked to approve bond funding to covert the costs of constructing sixteen new schools, major renovations to six existing schools, and standard renovations to 79 other schools in the system.
Bond supporters and school system administrators say the bond funding is needed in order to adequately meet the increasing number of students that are being added to the system’s 150,000 pupil population.
Administrators estimate that at least 20,000 new students are expected by 2018, so new school construction must begin shortly.
The Democrat-led Wake County Board of Education and Republican-controlled Wake Board of Commissioners, despite their deep differences, are united in pushing passage of the bond referendum, even though the conservative Wake Taxpayers Association and Wake County Republican Party have come out vehemently against it.
Their objections range from the Wake School System wants to build “palaces” to the system’s growth projections are way off, to simply admitting that they don’t like the bond referendum because the Democrats still control the school board.
Voters get to decide on Tuesday.
The four races for the Wake School Board will only decide whether Republicans increase their number on the nine-member board, but they will not threaten Democratic control of the board in what are supposed to be nonpartisan races.
In District 1, incumbent Tom Benton, a Democrat and retired school principal, is fighting to hold onto the seat he was appointed to earlier this year when former board member Chris Malone, a Republican, won election to the NC House. Benton is being challenged by attorney Don McIntyre, a Republican.
In District 2, Monika Johnson-Hostler, a Democrat, is up against auto executive Matt Scruggs, a Republican to claim that seat. Johnson-Hostler is the executive director for the NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She believes in “putting students first.” Scruggs says he wants students to have the same good opportunities he had growing up. The GOP incumbent, John Tedesco, decided not to run for re-election after one term.
In District 7, Republican incumbent Deborah Prickett, a state education consultant, is being challenged by Democrat Zora Felton, a retired teacher. Prickett was one of the four Republicans who took over the majority of the Wake School Board in 2009. The resulting controversy from their ending the system’s student diversity policy resulted in Democrats reclaiming the board majority in 2011. Felton promises that if elected, she will promote sound educational policies, “not politics.”
And in District 9, two Republicans are running, though one is seen as a moderate. The Wake County Republican Party refused to endorse incumbent school board member Bill Fletcher because of his support for the student diversity policy, and instead endorsed conservative businesswoman Nancy Caggia. Caggia says she will be nonpartisan if elected, despite the Wake GOP support.
In the race for Raleigh mayor, incumbent Nancy McFarlane is hoping that the city’s tremendous growth and good standard of living is something voters want to see more of, and will re-elect her for a second term. Challenger Venita Peyton has blasted McFarlane, especially for the firing of former City Manager J. Russell Allen. The third challenge in the Raleigh mayoral race is Robert Lewis Weltzin. Weltzin, A US Army Reserve officer who moved to Raleigh in 2010.
In the race for the District C seat on the Raleigh City Council, there are two challengers to incumbent Councilman Eugene Weeks – Marcus Hill and Racquel Williams.
Hill, 36, a researcher at NC State University, is a strong believer in protecting property rights from corporate interests.
Williams, 37, is an author and motivational speaker. She says the city needs to come together to work for a common vision for all.
Councilman Weeks, 72, is vying for his second elected term in office. He says in his short time in office, he has delivered for Southeast Raleigh, and wants to continue to do so.
Mary Ann Baldwin and Russ Stephenson are also running for re-election to their at-large seats.