Tuesday, June 9, 2015






By Cash Michaels

            NBA FINALS – Wow! No matter what team you’re rooting for, you have to agree that the NBA Finals are shaping up to be some of the great games of all time. LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors have been leading their teams gallantly, giving us, for the first time in history, two back-to-back overtime games in the finals.
            Both teams are rendering solid defenses, and we’re watching the best of the NBA claw and fight, and play their hearts out. Certainly, whichever team wins, it won ‘t be easy. There’s tremendous determination on both sides.
            The TV ratings are proving it…these NBA Finals are ones for the books.
            NORTH CAROLINA’S ROLE IN “BIRTH OF FUNK” – For lovers of popular music, have you ever wondered who created the funky sounds of James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Parliament Funkadelic? And what was North Carolina’s role in creating the funk?
            All of that and more can be answered at the NC Museum of History’s new exhibit, Hey America: Eastern North Carolina and the Birth of Funk, which runs now through Sunday, Feb. 28th, 2016. It’s free and open to the public. The eastern NC tie-in is musical artists like Nathaniel “Nat” Jones, Sam Lathan, Dick Knight and others who joined James Brown’s Famous Flames in 1962. Some of Brown’s best musicians, like Maceo Parker, Melvin Parker, Levi Rasbury and Dick Knight came from Kinston, NC.
            The exhibit case features:
            A green jumpsuit, ca. 1970, and Pierre Cardin dress shoes, ca. 1965-1970, that Brown wore during his unforgettable live performances. Both objects are on loan from the Estate of James Brown.
The saxophone that Maceo Parker played with James Brown in the 1970s.
The set of drums that Melvin Parker performed with in the 1970s.
The original 1962 album “Pure Dynamite.”
A saxophone played by Nat Jones.
A poster featuring a performance by the Nat Jones Orchestra on Aug. 4, 1967. (Jones led this orchestra, as well as the James Brown Orchestra.)
In addition, you can hear eight songs that Brown recorded, such as “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World;” “Superbad, Superslick;” and “Make It Funky.” 
            Certainly a great exhibit that reminds us all what Black Music History Month is all . So go by the NC Museum of History near the State Capital in downtown Raleigh to see this outstanding exhibit case.  Go to http://ncmuseumofhistory.org for more information.
            JURRASIC WORLD – Looking forward to taking my daughter to see “Jurassic World,” the sequel to the sequel to the sequel to the sequel of the original 1993 Steven Spielberg dinosaur classic, “ Jurassic Park.” KaLa and I both love superhero/adventure stuff on TV and the movies, so these father-daughter movie outings are great! Last two movies we saw were “San Andreas” with Dwayne Johnson and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” We saw the first Avengers movie together two years ago as well.
            I know, I know…in a few years KaLa will have a boyfriend to take her to the movies, so I better enjoy it while I can. By the way boyfriend, my daughter likes extra, extra butter on her popcorn.
            It’s been seven months since my debilitating stroke with temporarily disabled my left leg and impacted my left arm. My neurologist told me that it will most likely be a year before my leg gets back anywhere near normal. My arm is virtually one hundred percent (in fact I favor driving  with my left arm, and do so with confidence).
            I write this because the past seven months have been a battle to keep weight off, build muscle and develop coordination. Even though I hobble a little because my left leg, though very strong, still has to rebuild its connection with my brain (that’s what the stroke badly damaged), I’ve been able to drive to and work by myself in Winston-Salem, Wilmington (when I’m in Raleigh), Fayetteville. I’ve also been able to do five-camera on-site video production for three films, and go on multiple location shoots for a new product commercials as well, again all by myself.
            So it certainly took me long enough, but after a stroke and two heart procedures I’ve definitely finally learned at the ripe old age of 59 that your health is the most important aspect of living. Yes being a good and godly person is as well, but how can you go on so-called “serving GOD,” but take pity-poor care of the body that He gave you to serve him in?
            GOD got my attention last November. Be smarter than me. Don’t wait for the Lord to lay you out on your back before you realize that your blood pressure and blood sugar are too high, and that you’re eating too much fatty food and your cholesterol is probably through the roof. Don’t be hardheaded like I was. Trust me, it will catch up with you.
            And when it does, it will change your life. The question is will you be able to recover when it does? Don’t wait to find out. Make those changes NOW!
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.waug-network.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).
           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.


            [CAMERON] It’s a strange story that continues to get stranger. Days after the Moore County Board of Education fired a tearful School Supt. Robert Grimesey for reasons unknown, followed then by three members who voted for the termination  resigning afterwards, the five remaining board members on Monday voted 4-1 to rehire Grimesey amid angry teachers and parents. Following that vote, yet a fourth member of the school board resigned, saying that the original termination was justified. The Moore County School Board is now seeking four new members.

            [GREENVILLE] After over 40 years of federal government oversight, the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has released the Pitt County Public School System from a 1965 desegregation order. By a 2-1 decision, the appellate court was satisfied that Pitt County had successfully integrated its schools. Judge James Wynn, the dissenting opinion, wrote that he was not as satisfied with what progress Pitt County has made, and felt that it needed more time. 170,000 residents, 34 percent of whom are black, live in Pitt County. 24 percent live at, or below the poverty level, higher than the state average. 48 percent of school students there are black, and 60 percent of the school population is at free and reduced lunch.

            [ELIZABETH CITY] By order of the UNC Board of Governors, Elizabeth City State University has cut $2.8 million from its budget for the coming year, effectively eliminating 34 positions at the 124-year-old historically black UNC System campus. Some of those positions affected were already vacant, university officials note.  Enrollment continues to drop at ECSU, falling below 1,900 for the fall. The school, which has cut $5 million from its budget over the past three years, will further save money with less technology maintenance and better energy usage.



            As of this month, the town of Cary is accepting 911 texts. Customers with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile can text in emergency by entering 911 as the recipient. Photos and other images cannot be transmitted, and officials ask that exact addresses and locations be used. Officials add that the 911 texts should be used only when making 911 calls by telephone is not possible. Situations may arise where using one’s voice is not possible, and thus, the 911 text. Cary is the only municipality in Wake County with the program. Durham also has it.

            After 29 years, Cary Police Pat Bazemore, the first woman ever to serve in that capacity, is retiring as of July 31st. Bazemore’s career is marked by a series of first in the department, being the first female lieutenant, captain, major and deputy police chief. She joined the Cary force in 1986, when there were only 31 staff members. Today, 230 employees report to the Cary Police Dept. to watch over a community of 153,000 residents. In a statement, Chief Bazemore, 53, said she was proud to have served the citizens of Cary.

            In the aftermath of civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore, Md., citizens and public officials gathered at Martin Street Baptist Church last week to discuss the state of race and police relations in Raleigh, and to identify areas of improvement where needed. Participants said it was important for communities to be proactive, instead of reactive, and that law enforcement must establish strong bonds of trust with the communities they serve.


NEW FUNK MUSIC EXHIBIT AT HISTORY MUSEUM - Want to know more about the birth of funk music, and it's connection to North Carolina? Then visit "Hey America: Eastern North Carolina and the Birth of Funk Music." Learn more reading Cash in the Apple on page *** [photo courtesy NC Museum of History]


            Nine months after a Superior Court judge declared then innocent of 1983 rape and murder charges that sent them to prison over thirty years ago, Gov. Pat McCrory pardoned Leon Brown and his half-brother, Henry McCollum. The pair had been released last September, but were legally unable to apply for state compensation until the governor issued pardons of innocence. They had been falsely convicted of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in Red Springs. Prior to his release, McCollum was the longest serving inmate on death row. A reinvestigation of the case revealed DNA that belonged to a known rapist who lived close to the murder scene.


By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            The new chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, Hasan Harnett, is  blunt as to why he feels he is the right leader for right now.
            “We have a lot of work to do going into 2016,” the Cabarrus County native stated on his website. “We can crush the Democrats next year if we have a plan, and proper leadership to fulfill that plan.”
            Indeed to read many of Harnett’s writings online, or listen to his many speeches, one has to be impressed with his aspirational vision.
            “Success is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, planning, and focused effort,” Harnett once wrote. It is hard to believe, after seeing, hearing and reading the 39-year-old small business owner, former All-American track star, and former campaign manager for failed 12th District Congressional candidate and black conservative Vince Coakley, that the Republican elected power structure – Gov. McCrory, senators Burr and Tillis, and even GOP leadership in the state Legislature – were all against his election as party chairman, instead endorsing establishment party loyalist Craig Collins of Gastonia.
            Delegates, like blogger John Gjertsen, resented the idea of party leaders handpicking their choice, and charging them $75.00-a-head to just ratify it. So they took a closer look at Harnett.
            His outspoken Christian values are good for the party, offering a much-needed perspective on the empty promises of excessive government,” wrote Gjertsen.
            Last Saturday during the annual NC Republican Party Convention in Raleigh, Harnett attracted an impressive base of delegate supporters who, once a third candidate dropped out, swung his way, giving him a 700 to 562 victory over Collins that was not supposed to happen.
            In that moment, history was made, and Hasan Harnett, who also served at the state GOP’s minority outreach director, was elected the first black chairman of the NC Republican Party for the next two years.
            “Congratulations to Hasan Harnett for his election as the new chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party,” said outgoing NC GOP Chair Claude Pope, who did not run for re-election. “As a former campaign manager and outreach director, Hasan has the right experience to raise the funds necessary to grow our grassroots army and lead our party to even greater electoral victories.”
            Even national GOP presidential candidates like Sen. Rand Paul [R-Kentucky] sent regards.
            “Congratulations to @HasanHarnett on his victory! I look forward to working with him and the @NCGOP in the near future,” tweeted Sen. Paul.
            Published reports say that Harnett, who had been campaigning for leadership slot since January and made over 4,000 personal telephone calls soliciting support, attracted much of the Tea Party and Libertarian vote to his side, which means that party leaders may have a problem dictating terms to the new party leader.
            If some of the posts on local conservative websites are any indication, grassroots conservatives are hailing Harnett’s election as a definitive break from “the establishment” of McCrory, Burr and Tillis, and the lobbyists that conservatives allege control them.
            The Republican establishment already has the short knives out for him,” wrote one poster named “Cotton” at the “jonesand blount.com” blogsite. “He is being warned that he had better lay hands on the GOP treasury quickly, before it is looted by the establishment. Likewise, they are planning quick rule changes that will forbid him from firing their cronies that are on the NCGOP staff.”        
            The icing on the cake is that they are also appealing to their corrupt, big money donors to send their money to establishment PACs instead of the party. These clowns are real villains and need to be purged.”
            Another poster named “Republican Wildcast” called Harnett “a Tea Party favorite.” Others have urged him to immediately conduct an audit before state party funds are secretly moved.
            Clearly, party unity going into an important election year will be one of Harnett’s tasks.
            As state Republican Party chairman, Harnett’s job boils down to raising as much money as possible for GOP candidates, and then getting those candidates elected.
            During his campaign for the post, Harnett, who once called himself a “servant-leader” and “constitutional conservative,” cited the need for the Republican Party in North Carolina to be “re-invigorated,” even though the party dominates both houses of the NC General Assembly, occupies the Governor’s Office, and dominates the Congressional delegation and owns both US Senate seats.
            He also called for the party to “listen to the grassroots” and hold itself “accountable.”          
            During the candidates forum sponsored by the Lee County Republican Party last month, Harnett told attendees that even though Republicans hold the majority in state government, they shouldn’t stop there.
            Harnett said that the Democrats have a “well-oiled machine” and he accused them of “swooping in an stealing votes” in various neighborhoods, according to a video of his remarks on Youtube.
            He also that across the nation, “…the liberal agenda” has people “turning their backs to God.” During an April online interview on the program “The Recap,” Harnett urged Republicans to “…fight to stand up against evil,” though he didn’t go further in defining exactly what “evil” he was referring to.
            In his campaign videos, Harnett espouses traditional Republican values of low taxes, limited government, free markets and Second Amendment gun rights. Married with three children, Harnett also espouses the importance of God to the Republican Party, again suggesting that Republican values are closer to biblical teachings that Democratic Party policies.
            Clearly, as chairman, Harnett’s top priority is fortifying North Carolina’s GOP for the 2016 gubernatorial and presidential elections. With a Republican Gov. Pat McCrory vulnerable and a public increasingly unhappy with the direction the Republican-led General Assembly is going, Harnett’s work will be cut out for him.
            But his biggest challenge may be the one thing his very election symbolizes, namely broadening the base of the North Carolina Republican Party.
            Even one of his interviewers stated that the GOP was known to be a party dominated by “old white men,” and that persona needed to be changed in order for more people of color and women to join. Harnett has made it clear during his campaign for chairman that he sees broadening the party as one of his priorities beyond raising money and electing candidates.
            The problem is where Harnett’s party is on issues like voting rights, Medicaid, health care and criminal justice. More times than not, the Republican Party is seen as an adversary to policies that were born out of the 60’s civil rights movement, and have helped bring about a degree of equality in areas where African-Americans were previously locked out.
            The Carolinian left word at the NC Republican Party and Harnett's campaign for comment, but did not hear back from him by press time Wednesday.
            How Harnett convinces the black community that the Republican Party has its best interests at heart, all the while supporting GOP efforts to restrict voting rights, eliminate Medicaid and Obamacare, and clear the way for more guns to be on the streets, will perhaps be his ultimate challenge.
            Pointing to his election as a “good start,” Harnett added, “…there’s much more work to be done.”
            Our focus is to defeat the Democrats and the Clinton machine in 2016,” Harnett wrote in a letter of thanks to his supporters after his victory. “As I said in my speech, teamwork makes the dream work. The Republican Party is the only party to keep the American dream alive.”


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