****[PLEASE NOTE - IN "CASH IN THE APPLE" AND THE ITEM ABOUT REV. WRIGHT AND THE WILMINGTON TEN DOCUMENTARY, I MISTAKENLY WROTE THAT THE FILM WOULD PREMIERE IN MARCH 2014. THE FILM IS ACTUALLY SCHEDULED TO BE RELEASED IN FEBRUARY, 2014. THAT WAS AN ERROR, PLEASE CORRECT ON YOUR PAGES, AND THANK YOU MARY ALICE FOR POINTING THAT OUT.]****
****[NO STATEWIDE STORIES THIS WEEK, JUST LOCAL TO RALEIGH]
MAYOR MCFARLANE SAYS
SE RALEIGH SHOULD SHARE IN
By Cash Michaels
The city of Raleigh needs to look at progressing in a more “holistic way,” says Mayor Nancy McFarlane, and that means predominately-black Southeast Raleigh must better share in the growth and benefits that are making the Capital City a success story.
“ I think we need to make sure that when we are sending out economic development recruiters, we need to make sure that we’re looking at the whole city,” McFarlane told The Carolinian in phone interview Saturday.
For instance, noting the closing of Kroger Supermarket over a year ago, Mayor McFarlane suggested attracting kid-friendly businesses or activities to struggling shopping centers in Southeast Raleigh that would attract families, and thus, “increase foot traffic” to area stores.
That’s what it’s about, increasing foot traffic,” she maintained.
With municipal elections Oct. 8th, and early voting starting this week, McFarlane is seeking her second term in office after succeeding Charles Meeker, who spent five terms leading the city towards tremendous growth with major renovations in downtown, and improvements to the park system.
“The city is in great shape,” McFarlane said. “We continue to have people [moving here; we continue to attract business; we have a Triple A bond rating; we’re growing…all in all when you compare us to cities across the country, we’re doing well.”
“But of course we can do better,” McFarlane quickly added, especially since Raleigh is expected to double in size in the next 25 years.
The closing of Kroger’s is but one of several challenges that have cropped up during Mayor McFarlane’s first term in office. The recent controversy about the Raleigh police stopping charitable groups from feeding the homeless in Moore Square made national headlines.
Mayor McFarlane moved quickly to have the City Council suspend the city regulations authorizing that police action, and vowed to have a new, more flexible policy in place by November.
And allegations of corruption have now closed the once heralded Raleigh Business and Technology Center, the over decade-old business incubator that featured the successful Pacesetters program for new entrepreneurs, that allegedly was mismanaged.
As Raleigh police detectives continue their forensic investigation of the RBTC’s financial records, the center’s officials have filed suit against the city.
Because of that litigation, Mayor McFarlane couldn’t say much more than that “it was a shame” that an “invaluable” program like Pacesetters “got wrapped up in all of this other stuff,” and that the “pieces that were working well” need to be somehow preserved so that the efforts of creating new businesses continues in some form apart from the RBTC.
But that can’t happened, McFarlane maintained, until “everything shakes out in court and the District Attorney’s office.”
The quality of life in Raleigh is good these days, says Mayor Farlane, and the tremendous growth has played a key role in that. But with growth comes challenges, and the need to meet them head on.
She points to the need for an improved public transportation system, saying that it’s essential to get people to their jobs more efficiently, and cutting down on the traffic congestion currently on the road. A really good public transportation system also helps “guide how we grow,’ Farlane said.
Protecting the city’s water supply and providing affordable housing amid rising housing prices are also two key challenges the next mayor and City Council must continue to wrestle with.
“You have to really work hard to plan to keep ahead of those things,” Mayor McFarlane says.
The key towards moving Raleigh effectively forward, Mayor McFarlane said, is securing an experienced and visionary new city manager.
“We really want someone who understands that the city is here to serve the citizens, and we really want someone who can look at the city holistically,” McFarlane said.
Though it is apparent that former Raleigh City Manager J. Russell Allen did not leave on the best of term, when his contract was not renewed after 12 years, McFarlane nonetheless expresses admiration and regard for how far and how fast Raleigh grew under his leadership.
“Russell was a very good manager for the 12-year-period that he was manager he was very detail-oriented, his work ethic was legendary…but Raleigh has changed, and it’s at the point where it needs to change systemically,” McFarlane said.
“It really was time for a new set of eyes for the city,” she maintained.
Mayor McFarlane’s chief critic is her primary challenger to re-election, Venita Peyton, who has run for mayor before.
In a recent forum, Peyton blasted McFarlane for both the termination of city manager J. Russell Allen, and some of the decisions made by the City Council.
“I have lived in Raleigh almost thirty years, and I am so disappointed in the leadership that we have now, “ Peyton told a forum audience at Martin Street Baptist Church two weeks ago.
Peyton said she wants to determine what the city’s plans are for vacant properties in Southeast Raleigh; work to get more jobs for local residents with local businesses and large projects; and if she could get five votes on council if elected, would “fire” any new hires until she got answers about what happened with Allen.
Besides McFarlane and Peyton, the third candidate in the race is Robert Lewis Weltzin. Weltzin, A US Army Reserve officer who moved to Raleigh in 2010, is a chiropractor who is throwing his hat into the political ring for the first time.
RWCA Endorses School Bond Referendum, Candidates
Special to The Carolinian Newspaper
The Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association, M-PAC recently voted to support the 2013 School Bond Referendum in the upcoming election, calling it "vital to the Wake County community."
In October, voters will decide whether the referendum will provide funds totaling $983.754 million for capital projects in Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS), the largest in North Carolina. The amount is made up of $43.8 million of funds currently available and $939.9 million of new funds financed by a combination of general obligation bonds and cash funding to be appropriated.
Under the School Bond Referendum, WCPSS has plans to build 16 new schools by 2018 and add additional seats in six major school renovations.
"While the RWCA is deeply concerned about the increase in property taxes for those who may be experiencing a tough time, we also believe that passage of the upcoming bond is vital to the Wake County Community," according to RWCA President Dr. Earl C. Johnson.
"It is projected that 8,158 new elementary students will arrive by 2017 and another 11,700 middle and high school students will arrive by 2018. The proposed building program will address this continual growth. It is an opportunity that our citizens cannot afford to ignore."
RWCA also announced its candidate endorsements for various races, including Raleigh's Incumbent Mayor Nancy McFarlane.
"The RWCA is delighted to endorse the following candidates for mayor, school board and city council seats," said Dr. Johnson, who is Pastor of Martin Street Baptist Church in Southeast Raleigh. "The residents of Wake County have very specific concerns that are vital to improving their respected communities. We believe that each of these candidates will represent the needs of all citizens in Wake County."
Other endorsements include:
CITY COUNCIL-AT-LARGE: Mary Baldwin and Russ Stephenson
CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT SEATS:
District A: Randy Stagner
District C: Eugene Weeks
District D: Thomas Crowder
District E: Bonner Gaylord
District 1: Tom Benton
District 2: Monika Johnson Hostler
District 9: Bill Fletcher
District 7: Zora Felton
WAKE COUNTY SCHOOL BOND: Yes
TRANSPORTATION BOND: Yes
CASH IN THE APPLE -09-26-13
By Cash Michaels
REV. WRIGHT – Last weekend on the statewide TV show, “NC Spin” hosted by Tom Campbell, Tom asked his “panel of experts” – one of which, by chance, was me – to tell him something he didn’t know.
So when it was my turn, I shared something he and the rest of the panelists found interesting, indeed.
In 1977, a group of ministers from the United Church of Christ came to Raleigh to meet with then-Gov Jim Hunt, to ask him to grant pardons of innocence to the Wilmington Ten.
The UCC had put up over $500,000 to help pay for the legal defense for the Wilmington Ten during their trials in 1972.
One of those UCC ministers was the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright Jr., pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Ill., and church, under his leadership, that taught “Black Liberation” theology.
And yes, it would be that same Rev. Wright who would be made infamous by the big media in this nation when a prominent member of his congregation, Sen. Barack Obama, announced he was running for president in 2007.
So what does all of this have to do with what Tom Campbell asked me on his program?
About a month ago, Rev. Wright back came to Durham for a two-day session at the Apex School of Theology. The school placed an ad announcing Rev. Wright’s appearance there in The Carolinian, and the rest is history. I did everything I could to contact Rev. Wright through AST to ask him for an on-camera interview for our Wilmington Ten documentary.
And he very graciously granted it. Thank you, Rev. Wright.
That interview is just one of the many powerful moments we’re producing for “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten,” the first documentary ever to document the entire Wilmington Ten story. Watch for it when it makes its premiere in Wilmington the first week of February 2014.
The film is presented by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and produced by CashWorks HD Productions.
OBAMA AND THE REPUBLICANS – If you’ve been watching the news (and I know it’s been mighty painful to do so in recent weeks), then you know that once again, the extremists in the Republican Party are about to, attempt to get their way by black mailing the country.
All because they want to show up President Barack Obama. Actually, that’s not accurate.
The Republicans want to DESTROY President Obama, and they way they want to do it is to force him and the Democrats to stop the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare.”
So last week, the House Republicans passed a law that would forestall a government shutdown until December (the federal budget is supposed to be renewed by September 30th), but also defunded Obamacare.
That law was then sent to the Democrat-led US Senate, which is expected to strip the Obamacare provision out, vote up the temporary funding mechanism, and send it back to a GOP House which will most likely not to ratify the Senate version unless the “end Obamacare” provision is put back in.
This is fiddling while Rome burns, and the president knows it.
He’s been traveling the nation, telling everyone what the Republicans are up to, and why it’s all about trying to cripple his legacy.
The president is doing all he can do. He can’t stop the Republicans from acting like idiots (especially the rabid Tea Party members who have clearly taken over the Republican Party), so all he can do is leverage the American people to pay attention to what is going on, and brace themselves in the event of a government shutdown.
But the calamity doesn’t stop there.
The Republicans are holding the nation’s ability to pay its bills hostage by demanding that Obama kill Obamacare if he really wants the country’s debt ceiling raised. We are told that if that happens, our struggling economy will be enormously harmed, and the negative economic ripple worldwide will be substantial.
The president needs this mess like a hole in the head. He’s got the economy, and Syria and gun control…and so many other issues that are filling his already overflowing plate of problems.
So as much as it may bother you, as much as it may pain you, pay attention to what happens next in the political drama. It does matter, and it does affect you and your family.
If the government is shutdown, or the debt ceiling is not raised, or Obamacare is somehow stopped, ALL of us will feel something one way or another.
The question is, how long will we tolerate it?
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 09-26-13
BANK OF AMERICA ORDERED TO COMPENSATE DENIED BLACK JOB SEEKERS
[CHARLOTTE] The ruling can be appealed, but for now, a federal judge has ordered Bank of America to compensate over a thousand qualified black Charlotte job applicants $2.2 million who were unfairly denied employment at BofA banks because of the color of their skin. The US Labor Dept. made the announcement this week. Qualified blacks were denied teller, entry-level clerical and administrative positions in 1993, and again between 2002 and 2005. BofA insists that the company values diversity, but hasn’t said whether it will appeal the federal court ruling.
TRIAL FOR MURDERED FIVE-YEAR-OLD’S MOTHER POSTPONED
[FAYETTEVILLE] Add two weeks to when the first-degree murder trial of Antoinette Davis, mother of slain five-year-old Shaniya Davis, will begin. The Davis trial was originally scheduled to begin Oct. 14th, but now has been pushed back to Oct. 28th. Davis is charged with selling her young daughter to drug dealer Mario McNeil to satisfy a drug debt. McNeill, 32, was convicted last May raping the child, and then killing her, leaving her body in the woods. The delay is to provide more time in getting the transcripts of the McNeil trial for the Davis trial.
AUGUST JOBLESS RATE DROPS IN NC
[GREENSBORO] The good news is that the statewide unemployment rate dropped in August to 8.7 from July’s 8.9, according to the state Dept. of Commerce. The bad news is North Carolina is losing more jobs than it’s gaining, signaling that economic recovery is slow indeed. The jobless numbers shrank simply because more people stopped looking for work, a bad sign of lackluster growth, state economists say. Nationally the jobless figure is 7.3 percent.
TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS 09-26-13
SHAW UNIVERSITY BEGINS SEARCH FOR NEW PRESIDENT
Once again, Shaw University President Dorothy Cowser Yancy has made it clear that her second tenure as interim president is coming to a close, so a 22-member search committee, led by Rev. Dr. David Forbes, is now looking for who will take over the reins permanently. Dr. Yancy took over after Dr. Irma McClaurin resigned in 2011, the second time Yancy filled breach, having served as interim for 15 months before McClaurin arrived. Though no date has been given for Dr. Yancy’s departure, she issued a statement saying that she was “proud” of her accomplishments while leading “this great university.”
DURHAM POLICE KILL EMOTIONALLY DISTRAUGHT MAN
Durham police fatally shot an emotionally distraught man who friends say “snapped” under the pressure of a child custody battle. Derek Derandre Walker, 26, held a handgun as he stood in Durham’s CCB Plaza downtown Sept. 17th. Walker pointed the gun to his head at times. A police negotiator tried to talk Walker out of harming himself, but when he pointed the weapon at police, he was killed by a sharpshooter. Friends say Walker was a good man and father who had given up fighting for his son’s custody, and wanted to die.
SEARCH FIRM HIRED FOR NEW WAKE COUNTY MANAGER
A Tallahassee, Fla. search firm has been hired to find Wake County’s next county manager in the aftermath of David Cooke’s announced retirement in July. Cooke, who ha been at the helm of managing the county for over a decade, will step down in November. The firm, Bob Murray and Associates, will be paid $24,000 plus expenses for a comprehensive executive search. The Murray firm was chosen from among three finalists. Officials hope to name a permanent replacement for Cooke in early 2014.