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Will usually ship within 1 business day of receiving cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab. Here, my friends, is the bracket you’re up against in your effort to win a free Landmark subscription.
FIRST ROUND WINNERS: Kentucky, Purdue, Buffalo, Valparaiso, Texas, Notre Dame, Wichita State, Kansas, Wisconsin, Oregon, Wofford, North Carolina, Mississippi, Baylor, VCU, Arizona, Villanova, North Carolina State, Northern Iowa, Louisville, Providence, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Virginia, Duke, St. SWEET SIXTEEN: Kentucky, Buffalo, Texas, Wichita State, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Baylor, Arizona, Villanova, Northern Iowa, Providence, Virginia, Duke, Stephen F. ELITE EIGHT: Kentucky, Wichita State, Wisconsin, Baylor, Northern Iowa, Virginia, Duke, Gonzaga.
Grab a snack and your favorite beverage and settle in near a TV during some of the tournament games. If hired, your first assignment is to interpret this email sent out recently by Beverlee Roper, first district county commissioner in Platte County.
Heard an interesting observation recently by someone in regard to the wild and crazy growth projections school districts like Park Hill and Platte County R-3 have been spouting recently. When even those observers on the left side of the aisle are questioning projections of exploding enrollment, you know the school districts have a bit of a credibility problem on their hands. Guy Speckman, publisher of the Savannah Reporter, has been on a roll with observations about public school spending, hitting home runs on a weekly basis. The book entitled The Silence, The Series and The Season of Sungwoo by our man Chris Kamler becomes available this week. While many of us see an intersection of two state highways and think that would be a great place for a revenue-generating, respected public-serving entity like a QuikTrip, many folks at Parkville see an intersection of two major highways and think that would be a great place to plant a pawpaw tree or build a tribute to the hummingbird. Oh, and there’s more than just a scathing state audit facing some folks within the St. As Guy Speckman, publisher of the Savannah Reporter, wisely says in his column in our Other Voices item on this page, it should be a wake-up call for all local governments and the elected officials who serve on governing bodies.
It’s time for those who serve on boards to stop nodding heads in agreement at every proposal placed in front of them and start asking some tough questions of those who serve underneath them. Based on what I’m about to remind you, there would seem to be reason to at least put this topic on your radar. In a story we did last April, The Landmark reported that Platte County R-3 had re-hired Westbrook and Co.
Reik explained he used a rubric to determine which company was the best firm to meet the needs of the district. In that same Landmark article from last April in discussing why he recommended taking Westbrook over the lower bidder, it was reported that Reik said Westbrook officials are very helpful.
Congressman Sam Graves came walking into The Landmark office Friday afternoon carrying his lunch, which was a bag of fast-food from Sonic. We saw this play out in 2011 and 2012 when projections of rapid and enormous growth in student enrollment at Platte County R-3 were making the rounds.
If that’s the case, Park Hill is now projecting a growth rate of as high as 666 students per year.
We do know of a common denominator involved in those earlier wildly incorrect growth projections made at Platte County R-3 and the new ones being made at Park Hill. Architects make good money off of the construction of large, new, expensive buildings, am I right?
Even one of the biggest government bureaucrats around, first district Platte County Commissioner Beverlee Roper, has been known to preach repeatedly against public debt. Check out the letter to the editor on this page for the first return volley against Reik’s comment. My guess is that if R-3 had a very low amount of debt per student, proponents of the proposed tax increase would be touting that as a very positive sign of the district’s fiscal health and past financial management practices. After many hours of thoughtful deliberation (in other words, in a 30-second conversation that consisted of yelling to each other while walking out separate doors of a building), Chris Kamler and I have decided upon a date, place and time for his book signing event in Platte County.
His book is about the Kansas City Royals and that Korean dude who flew in during the Royals’ magical 2014 season. We’ll have the official Landmark Newspaper Plinko board set up for anyone willing to give it a whirl. You’ve read stories in this fine newspaper about crimes occurring at Platte County hotels in what is known as the KCI corridor along Interstate 29.
Last week’s event that you saw on our front page featured gunshots when perpetrators fired at a person who had spotted someone in his pickup in a hotel parking lot. If hotel staff members are debating whether a situation warrants a call to 9-1-1, that’s when they need to call 9-1-1, Lewis said.
Sheriff Owen backed up the KC police official’s concerns about shoplifting in the corridor.
So public transportation, the lack of which is cursed by economic development officials who blame it in part for a perceived shortage in available workforce, has its downside in the law enforcement arena. FYI, Lewis mentioned the Kansas City Police Department’s North Patrol division leads the Kansas City metro area in the number of vehicles stolen while the engine is running with the doors unlocked.
Does the Quality Platte County R-3 Schools committee realize the owner of the consulting firm they hired has compared their election campaign to O-rings under a toilet? A reader sent me this question: If the Platte County R-3 proposal is so great why do they need a nationally-known political consultant to make their case? Word on the street is that the Quality Platte County R-3 Schools committee will be using a political consulting firm in an effort to help it pass the proposed 43-cent tax levy increase in the April 7 election. The political consulting firm that has been contacted by Quality Platte County R-3 Schools? Laura Hulett, deputy treasurer for the Quality Platte County R-3 Schools committee, would not verify whether the committee has hired a consulting firm.
Two weeks ago I reached Roe on his cell phone to ask him whether his company has struck a deal to assist the R-3 pro-tax group.
Roe told me he didn’t know if his company has a deal in place with the R-3 pro-tax committee.
These are the types of conversations that two guys who generally don’t give a crap have with one another. If you take some time to digest the situation in its entirety, let’s not be totally shocked by the alleged partnership of R-3 pro-taxers with the normally anti-tax firm of Axiom.
Axiom did work for a Kansas City zoo tax proposal not too many years ago, so this wouldn’t be the first time it has consulted on the pro-tax side of an issue. Sources inside the administration building say Nancy Armstrong, new county clerk, has disposed of at least one of the employees she had inherited from previous clerk Joan Harms. Check out the coverage of a couple of important local business stories on our front page this week by assistant editor Valerie Verkamp. And what about the gunfire outside a Platte County hotel after a witness approached three black males who were allegedly performing smash-and-grabs upon vehicles in the parking lot?
No matter how hectic a day I might be having, when I see someone about to walk in the front door of the local license bureau office I realize my day isn’t so bad after all. There are some interesting-looking dudes and dudettes doing business at that location every day. Kansas City-area community centers are throwing out vending machines and switching to healthy food snack options, so from now on you’ll have to sneak in your own Twinkies and Ho Hos.
Some of the early reaction by county commissioners to the four proposals for Shiloh Springs Golf Course that came in from potential management firms is fascinating.
Beverlee Roper, first district county commissioner, must have had a good night’s sleep the night before because she actually seemed focused and on point for most of the Shiloh discussion. Other than that Groundhog Day reference which thankfully was ignored by the other two commissioners, Roper made some common sense comments and observations, which means by next meeting she’ll be ready to run from the stances she took this week. Roper pointed out it looks to her that Shiloh was designed postage stamp style on a piece of property, rather than flowing in a more unlimited manner that a golf course designer probably would have liked.
Duane Soper, second district commissioner who is a golfer and user of the Shiloh course, countered that he thinks Shiloh can one day make money. Now is the time to start focusing on ways to cut losses, move on and get rid of the annual financial drain.
There’s a lot of studying that will need to be done to sift through the gory details of Martin’s proposal, but my first reaction? And here’s another benefit, especially for supporters of the parks department who may not be avid golfers. As you’ll see in our story inside this issue, Parkville and Platte City have police budgets that amount to an expenditure of $229 per resident. According to information gathered by DJ Gehrt, city administrator for Platte City, Riverside’s police budget equates to $1,006 per resident of Riverside. As your Landmark heads to press Wednesday, we’re being told the thermometer will hit 70 degrees later this afternoon. That being said, I wouldn’t mind having to kick my pickup into four-wheel drive at least once this winter. The Quality Platte County R-3 Schools committee, the campaign organization promoting passage of the 43-cent tax levy question on the April ballot, is already at work.
In 2012, Platte County R-3’s levy increase proposal was soundly defeated 55% opposed to 45% in favor. We will assume that’s a Platte City address, though the paperwork does not list the city, state or zip. Deputy treasurer is listed as Laura Hulett, who is employed as a public relations person by the school district. Missouri Ethics Commission finally posted a copy of the agreement it reached with the Park Hill School District after Park Hill was found to have committed an ethics violation (see Landmark front page in Jan. Conditions were a little weird covering President Obama’s trip to the region Thursday. I don’t know who was in charge of deciding in what setting this speech would be held, but it turned into a barn-like event inside what they called the Anschutz Sports Pavilion.
This was my fourth time covering an Obama appearance in the KC area, Valerie’s third.
Tuesday night I headed to City Hall in downtown Platte City for a meeting of the economic development subcommittee. These various Platte City subcommittee meetings, while often newsworthy, are also often very short. We did get to hear a presentation from Bo Woodruff about AMVETS’ fundraising efforts to acquire a tankchair, which is a heavy duty off-road wheelchair.
If you’re wondering how acquiring a tricked out wheelchair for community use winds up being tagged as an economic development discussion, join the club. While I strongly support the acquisition of the contraption, hope the fundraising effort is successful, and agree the wheelchair would be beneficial to local disabled persons, I would not anticipate a flood of new economic activity being generated because of it.
Next on the agenda for the economic development subcommittee was an item dealing with shredding of older city documents.
Platte City Mayor Frank Offutt let it be known that the city turns 175 years old in 2015 and there will be some kind of celebration--or at least an observance of some sort--tentatively set for Saturday, July 4. The mayor also informed the economic development subcommittee that an anchor from the USS Platte, a former fleet oiler vessel, is available to the city. The mayor indicated the anchor will be placed in the city’s small park next to the Platte River at the foot of Main Street, which has a name but most of us only know it as the small park next to the Platte River at the foot of Main Street.
It has been great to have the skills of assistant editor Valerie Verkamp back on The Landmark news beat the past couple of weeks. Occasionally it becomes time to clean out my news notebooks, review those sticky notes attached to my desk and place any news nuggets into this column space before I forget to get them distributed to the fine readers of this newspaper. If you wish to cancel your order you must write to us within 7 days of receiving your order to advise us of this. Contact the seller- opens in a new window or tab and request a shipping method to your location.
You hear that term quite often this time of year when the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee is making choices for at-large berths into the men’s college basketball championship tournament. Unless the city has evidence of wrongdoing--which it apparently does not have at this point, despite some occasionally unsavory accusations--Nan should let this one go. The eye test also says the current mayor squirms a bit in her chair when Jones speaks up at meetings. Roper fired off the email to a circle of friends and alleged supporters, at least one of whom wanted to be sure that I saw it.
Either way, if you’re a taxpayer to the Platte County R-3 district you helped pay the tab.
This observation came from the Line Creek Loud Mouth blog, a blog not known for conservatism, by the way. We pay people administrative salaries, yet give them menial job tasks that could be done by far less expensive employees. We’ll have some available for purchase in The Landmark office, 252 Main Street, Platte City. This time, there is no McDonald’s included in the site plan for the intersection of Highway 45 and Highway 9.
Joseph School District had been using the same auditing firm, Westbrook and Company, that Platte County R-3 has used for years? Employees who work at management levels inside school districts and other units of government often develop friendly relationships with particular firms.
The district chose an auditing firm with a price 26% higher than an equally qualified bidder.
Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen dropped in our office Tuesday afternoon and commented he was on his way back to his office and had lunch sitting in his car.
The Landmark was at a meeting of the Park Hill School Board in December when it was remarked the district has grown by about 150 students per year over the past 30 years. That seems the stuff of fairy tales, fantasies, and revenue projections at the county golf course. The common denominator is that there has been input in developing those projections by the architectural firm Hollis and Miller. If you don’t know what The Landmark Plinko board is, check out a recent picture posted on my Facebook page.
Thugs are breaking into vehicles and stealing items in what the police call smash-and-grab crimes.
It was recovered near 82nd and Troost in Kansas City, unoccupied, obviously with holes in the windshield. It pisses me off,” said Major Roger Lewis, division commander of the North Patrol Division for the Kansas City Police Department, about the rising number of crimes in the KCI corridor. Owen says since the public transportation bus stop was put in near Wal-Mart on Barry Road shoplifting in that area has seen a marked increase.


Kansas City police and the Platte County Sheriff’s Department have formed a task force to study the issue of crime in the KCI corridor and what steps can be taken by law enforcement to prevent incidents and to solve the ones that do occur. The only sources declining the opportunity to confirm it are the official spokespeople for Axiom and the campaign committee.
Axiom Strategies has built a name for itself by fighting against things like tax increases, not in favor of them. Roe was in Texas that day, a state where he is spending much time in helping to guide the likely presidential campaign of Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Not only did it have an ill-advised, poorly-timed proposal it was trying to sell, but to make matters worse R-3’s pro-tax increase campaign was outfoxed and unprepared in 2012 when its levy question was hammered by voters 55-45%. Dairy Farmers of America announces it is moving out of Platte County the same week that Valerie was already doing a feature story on efforts the Platte County Economic Development Council makes to retain existing businesses in the county. Gotta say I think a reality show or video podcast based on the adventures of the attorneys and defendants who enter the hallowed halls of the Owens Lee Hull Jr. See our front page story for more details, but I’ll summarize some of the highlights that hit me while sitting in on their discussion Monday.
A couple of times she actually sounded like the promising 2012 candidate Roper instead of the hugely disappointing officeholder Roper. Like many of us with no emotional investment in the sport of golf, Roper doubts Shiloh will ever make money. He also said he does not want the county to sell Shiloh, using the defense that taxpayers have already spent $10 million over the years at the golf course. That fits the wishes of Soper and others like him who don’t want the course to go away.
Getting rid of Shiloh frees up many $$$ that can be used on other park projects, projects that wouldn’t be developed by private industry.
Based on some questions they’ve posed in an online survey, it looks like the Vote Yes side has determined its magic number is 2,000, as in they believe it will take 2,000 yes votes for the issue to pass. That same address on NW 126th is listed as the address for the organization’s treasurer, Vic Perrin. 14 issue) in last year’s laptop levy campaign that was hammered by voters 61% opposed to only 39% in favor. Under the deal, Park Hill must adopt a procedure that, in the future, the superintendent or his designee will review all publicly-funded informational items related to ballot issues prior to distribution. As you know by now and can see on our front page, the president came to Lawrence for a speech at Kansas University. Yes that sounds indoors, I understand, but there were doors open on the backside of the audience next to the media tables. Of course since we featured Bo and this topic on the front page a couple of weeks ago, Landmark readers are well aware of this topic.
It did seem like an odd setting for Bo’s fine presentation, but apparently the city leadership believes every potential topic for the full board of aldermen needs to be vetted by some subcommittee. On Tuesday night there was at least one piece of newsworthiness to come out of that hour of our lives that we’ll never get back. Please duly note the dates of the Big 12 Tournament and let’s not schedule your book signing to conflict with those days. If you missed her byline there for a bit, it’s because Valerie was enjoying a winter-time tropical vacation to an undisclosed location. There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that her boss back at The Landmark ordered the attack by the squishy fish assassin as some sort of payback for leaving him temporarily overworked. A But he promised me on his returnA back to the United States I would be the first media personality to interview him in New York City.A  I never will forget how confident he was that he would return victorious. If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable.
Check out the ample parking space available on Platte City’s Main Street at most hours of the day.
Do you know how much money the park tax will generate this year if it ends 14.6% ahead of 2014? Second place gets an autographed copy of Landmark columnist Chris Kamler’s new book The Silence, The Series and The Season of Sungwoo. Basically, our contest is won or lost in the later rounds because later round victories are rewarded with more points than the early rounds. Parkville--home of golf carts legalized as street vehicles, parks, nature areas, parks, nature areas and did I mention parks--can be a bit quirky when it comes to proposed development. You were elected to lead, not to be led by the paid professionals on staff at whatever public entity you’re serving. Don’t just list the elected position on your resume and think warming a seat at meetings is all you need to do.
But Westbrook’s reputation is no doubt taking some hits after what has been revealed in St. Joseph School District’s experience, it might be time to re-evaluate some things like longstanding relationships with particular firms, not only in the field of auditing but in other service categories. So incorrect, in fact, that the district has trashed those earlier numbers and toned down its most recent predictions of growth to a level less likely to trip the crazy meter. The tone at Park Hill has changed in recent weeks, not surprisingly at a time when the district is now pushing the need for a major facility expansion (see last week’s front page). This thing better have some pictures in the early pages or I’m going to need a shock collar to get through it. The plan is to set up shop on the sidewalk in front of The Landmark office that Friday afternoon, maybe around 2-ish or 3-ish, and hang out through the early evening hours. Suspects--police say there were four black males involved--opened fire at the witness through the windshield of the suspects’ stolen Mercedes. Lewis made the comment Friday morning while addressing a group of hoteliers in a meeting called for the purpose of talking about the recent criminal activity that has occurred on and around their properties. The more public knows the better steps they can take to protect themselves and their property.
That’s why the type of vehicles most often hit are pickups and SUVs--vehicles most often driven by folks who would have a weapon inside. One night last week, Lewis said, a clothing store in Zona Rosa was hit with a $10,000 loss in one shoplifting incident. Axiom is a very successful multimillion dollar company now with a national presence and a lot of irons in the fire. Armstrong had walked out of the office, apparently so she wouldn’t have to see the carnage she had ordered. Well, except the part where she announced for no apparent reason that she went to college with the daughter of the mayor of Punxsutawney, Pa. Martin wants to run Shiloh by aligning a group of investors to operate the course as a non-profit for a few years, then mentions he would make a $1.2 million offer after three years to buy the course from the county. The private sector has done a fine job of handling golf courses in Platte County in recent years. My guess is we’ll be back again the next time a president, Obama or otherwise, comes to the area. Give me a meeting that is not time-consuming yet has some news value in it and all is right with the world.
Despite the 87 other things I needed to be doing at the time, I headed down there anticipating--hoping for is probably a more accurate description--a 30-minute meeting, tops. After the mayor’s presentation about the 13-ton anchor from the aptly named USS Platte--which has been out of commission since 1999--being available, the committee recommended the city spend the $3,000 to have the big-ass anchor shipped here from New Orleans. If past performance is any indication, Landmark office manager Cindy Rinehart is considered among the front runners to come in last, but if that happens any potential prize will go to someone else. The portion of the letter that needs explanation deals with some bizarre remarks Roper makes about development potential at KCI Airport. It has taken six years for the housing market to recover and the trend for the next generation is marrying later and not having more than one kid. Anyone that thinks public education is not a train off the financial tracks is simply ignoring the facts that are in front of us every single day. Also, Chris is hosting a book launch party this Friday night, March 13 at Dirk’s bar and grill in Platte Woods. Read the contents of a blistering state audit that was just conducted on that school district. Realize that the paid professionals don’t have the same level of ownership in your entity that you do.
Reik said it is Westbrook’s thorough audit and helpful attitude that makes them the company many school districts turn to for their auditing needs. Change can be inconvenient for some staff members but overall change is a good avenue of protection for patrons and taxpayers. A stray bullet traveled through a first floor hotel room window and struck a sleeping guest in the leg.
I’m not sure how somebody gets away with $10,000 in one night of shoplifting, but police say it happened. A local school tax levy campaign is small potatoes in Roe’s world, as he let me know in our phone conversation.
The question is, will the campaign have enough contributed money available to throw to Axiom for the firm to do the campaign any good?
Getting Shiloh off the county parks department books would free up tax dollars for other amenities and services not offered by the private sector. If the district commits any further violations within a two year period , then Park Hill will be required to pay the remainder of the fee. Double garage-sized industrial doors--which allowed a pretty damn crisp wind to blow through on a cold day.
It will require a crane to unload and place the massive object, and Absolute Crane of Platte City can do that for $800, the committee heard. It is unbelievable that there are still folks who want to fight when it is suggested the rate be cut slightly to allow a portion of that half cent sales tax to fund more basic services, such as law enforcement. Public education insiders were quick to totally destroy the last education reform issue on the ballot, and probably for good reason. Some things in there will anger you, frustrate you, amaze you, and most of all should put you on alert. Realize that those paid professionals you may have come to believe will always be there are often thinking of their next step on the career ladder, the next job that they may see as bigger and better.
Particularly in a case like this one, where a change would also have meant saving significant taxpayer dollars. Justice Center and the Pool Hall, with the hope being that borderline nut jobs and some slightly boozed-up folks will be more likely to buy a book. It seems like the incidents are getting more violent each week,” the sheriff told me later. Axiom can work wonders but it takes significant dollars, not chump change, to put its recommendations into action. Roper also was strong in expressing her desire to have the county explore the idea of selling the Shiloh property to a developer rather than mandating it be kept as a golf course. It should be noted this is not a lot of $$, but it sends a message that leadership at the district is not living up to ethical standards in elections. And keep in mind because of the security factors involved in presidential visits, the media must be set up and in place for a couple of hours in advance of the speech. Yet I don’t see these same insiders promoting any plans that will curtail the squandering of millions of dollars on public education waste that has been created nationally, regionally and locally. It’s your job as an elected official to look out for your local taxpayers and patrons because your paid professional is looking out for number one.
Based on the established growth trend of 150 students per year, that level would be reached about the year 2030. I wish I had a buck for every time this newspaper has had to put a verbal squeeze on law enforcement spokespeople to get basic public right-to-know information from them. This is never good for an administrator’s job security nor for the district as a whole in trying to win over the hearts and minds of the taxpaying patrons it serves. So, yes, assistant editor Valerie Verkamp and I were basically locked in a deep freeze for hours that day. Your Landmark editor, crazily thinking, you know, that the president would be speaking in normal indoor conditions--in other words, not with an Alaskan wind blowing on the media tables--didn’t even wear a coat into the place. At least someone had taped a letterhead with the presidential seal on it on the door of the media’s porta potty (a unisex porta potty, pity the poor ladies, this thing had been abused if you know what I mean) to add a touch of class. Whatever the reason, if we can effectively judge the caseload of the courts by the number of cars parked out front, the caseload has decreased noticeably.
A My second week at the course I got in early and became bored while waiting for my homeboys. A My teammates and coaches were often challenged by my "Just give me the ball and get the hell out of my way" attitude. A I was not the best athlete on the field or on the court, but I thought I was.A When the game was on the line I wanted the ball in my hands. A A It was a hot evening and the constant in and out of the woods was not a pleasant undertaking. What I thought would be a nine-hole outing turned into eighteen holes and a White House visit and a Presidential appointment in 1969. General William Rogers, Hattie, President Nixon and HBA Petey and I would become great friends and in 1965 we would meet again. A The United Planning Organization a self-help community organization was hiring "Neighborhood Workers." A They hired three, me, Petey and H. A Two years later Rap would be named Chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.
A I would become a Roving Leader (Youth Gang Task Force) for the DC Recreation Department and Petey would find his new home in radio at WOL. A Three UPO "Neighborhood Workers" would go on to establish their own independent idenities. A Petey would win 2 Emmy Awards and in 2007 there was a feeble attempt to do his life story on the big screen.
He is now in jail serving a life sentence for the murder of a black Deputy Sherrif in Fulton County, Georgia. Brian McIntyre.A  He was sitting almost alone and there was no one waiting in line (compared to today's media circus).
A  I looked down and notice that all the white media were seated on one side of half-court and all the blacks were seated on the other side of the half-court line. He stepped in front of me and said "I got it."A It would be the start of the 4th quarter that Mark returned to the press table table and apologize for his unprofessional actions. A There were other mistakes like someone thought a black Judy Holland was VP material---far from it.
A It took a minute but in the meantime, he was making an effort to bring about change in his own way.
A But according veteran (32 years) sports writer Bill Rhoden of the New York Times, progress in sports media pressrooms around the country are on a slow boat to China.A His recent appearance on the widely acclaimed television news show Meet the Press, he said, "the NBA, NFL and MLB are still dragging their feet. Media pressrooms at Deadline are still the last plantations.A A Pioneering broadcaster and former NBA CBS basketball analyst Sonny Hill and now a sports talk show host on WIP Radio in Philadelphia said, "I am not surprised by Rhoden's statement, very little has changed in media pressrooms.
A One of the problems there is no networking among blacks who have moved it up the ladder." A That is an understatement. A  The copy rights for Inside Sports is own by News Week Magazine and it is own by the Washington Post.
A A First, there was a a problem with the PR Men from hell, Brian Sereno and Matt Williams. A A It was brought to my attention that Sereno was disrespecting the ladies of The Roundball Report. A The meeting was set before a Wizard's game in the press louge but Scott Hall was the lead man.


A He listened and we disagreed on some points but when we walked away from the table we were on the same page. A The community and everyone in it was a friend, the old and the young, the black and the white and the healthy and the lame. A I was honored to speak at his retirement held at the arena just before the Bullets moved to Washington and changed their name to the Wizards.A Denny Gordon was in ticket sales and it seem like he knew everyone who brought a ticket.
A He was made the scapegoat after being sold out by his assisstant coach Bernie Bickerstaff and others. A The meeting revolved around a charity all-star game scheduled for the Bahamas, the island home of NBA star Mycal Thompson.
A Magic Johnson was one of All-Stars participating.A Representatives from the NBA included VP Ron Thorne, Legal Counsel Gary Bettman and head of security Horace Balmer. A A Gary Bettman is the Commissioner of the NHL, Thorne is somewhere lurking in the NBA, Balmer has since retired and Magic is a role model for Black America?
A A The short lived existence of basketball legend Michael Jordan as a Wizard's player and Executive in the front office.
A After the story broke he and several teammates made light of it during introductions of a game.
A He was eventually suspended for most of the 2009a€“10 season.A The thing that I find disturbing about this Donald Sterling charade is that folks are acting like they were surprised by his rants against blacks. A A I also notice the same "Old faces and voices" are called on to respond to the racist acts by men like Sterling---when they are a part of the problem . A He and Sterling were good friends because "Birds of a feather flock together." A  Check Magic's history out and you will discover the two have a lot in common. A Magic's claim to be a minority owner of the LA Dodgers is another sham (token black face). James Brown (CBS Sports) another mis-guilded brother claiming to be a minority baseball owner and an expert on racism. A He did finally admit on the late George Michael Show (Sports Machine) "I have no say in making baseball decisions as a minority owner." A His role as a minority owner is to be paraded out on Opening Day as the black face to read the starting line-ups. A A This is the same Michael Wilbon that I had at least two recent conversations about the use of the N word as a term of endearment. A I have to give him credit, he will at least talk to me face to face and not behind my back.
A I tried to explain that his rationale that his grandfather's use the word as a term of endearment does not make it right today. A I told him he should not go on national television saying it is okay to use the N word among friends and family. A It gives bigots like Donald Sterling the Green Light to do the same among his friends and family. A Plus, Michael told me he was not going to appear on the ESPN Show Outside the Lines because the white host had no horse in the race!
A A I wish that Magic, James, Michael and the rest of the media experts would defer to black men like Hank Aaron, Dr.
A But they wear the battle scars and have been on the front lines of the civil rights movement in real life and in the sports arenas of America. A In other words, they have been there and done that.A I guess that is wishful thinking, especially when everyone wants to be an expert on television. A In the meantime, they don't know their asses from a hole in the ground but the beat goes on and on. A Auerbach would go a step further in the 1966-67 NBA season, when he stepped A down after winning nine titles in 11 years, and made Bill Russell player-coach. A A trailblazers, RED AND DOTIE AUERBACHi»? ON INSIDE SPORTSA Russell would eventually be the first black to win an NBA championship. A There are far too many crying "Foul" and playing the victims in this charade, to include some NBA owners.A Let me start with my homeboy, the great Elgin Baylor who was the Clippers GM for over 2 decades. His teams were perennial losers on the court and in attendance, but he picked up his check every two weeks and kept his mouth shut.
A A In his deposition, Elgin spoke about what he called Sterling's 'plantation mentality,' alleging the owner in the late 1990s rejected a coaching candidate, Jim Brewer, because of race. A Talking about an organization needing a change of name and a face-lift---meet Leon Jenkins.A Jenkins seen above at a press conference trying to explain why the li»?ocal branch was honoring Sterling during the 100th Anniversary of the organization next month.
A A He explained the previous award had been approved by the man he replaced and he just went along to get along. A A Sterling won't be the first to sleep black and think white when it comes to sex, politics and money.
Slave owners lived by the credo and in modern day history there was the late Senator Strom Thurmond. A Nike NBA rep John Phillips and I met with VP Rod Thorn, League Counsel Gary Bettman and Head of League Security, Horace Balmer. A The meeting centered around whether Magic Johnson, Mycal Thompson and a group of NBA All-Stars would be allowed to travel to the Bahamas for a charity basketball game without league approval.
The game had been played in the Bahamas the previous year without incident or controversy.A It was obvious that there was a power-play being made by the league office to cancel the game. Thorn open the meeting by asking who was going to be responsible if one of the players was hurt during the game? A Magic suggested that the topic of conversation just might be centered around an injury to a player.
I tried to explain that playing the game was no different then one of the players participating in a pick-up game on a New York City playground in the off season. A What is this some kind of plantation?"A The room went silent and Horace Balmer the only other black in the room just shook his head and seem to be lost for words.
A Thorn called off the discussion and promised to get back to us but he never did.A In the meantime, Magic Johnson disappeared and changed his number. A Mycal was a class act but his hands were tied when Magic decided to do his Houdini act.A Gary Bettman now runs the NHL, Ron Thorn is still in the NBA somewhere calling the shots, Horace Balmer has since retired and Magic is the face (black) in the middle of the Donald Sterling charade. A When all is said and done, the real victim despite all of her baggage is the girlfriend (The Whistle Blower) V. A NBA Commissioner Adam Silver during his annoucement as it related to the punishment of Donald Sterling apologize to black NBA pioneers Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper and Magic Johnson. A He reminds me of the controversial Celebrity Chef Paula Deen who alledgely use The N word to describe her love for black folks. A  How should we expect her to know if she has never walked in our shoes ?A  When it is a part of your DNA it is difficult to rid yourself of the gene.A  A One morning I was watching Ms.
This award was longed overdue and I wonder why it took the NAACP so long to finally recognized Mr.
Belafonte in accepting the award asked, "Where are today's black leaders?A  Our children's blood is still running in our streets---there is work still to be done. The coalition stated it will urge President Obama to mention an urban jobs plan in his state of the Union speech on February 12th----Good luck! Ben Carson of John Hopkins University Hospital.A  His prayer and message was centered around health care, the economy, American debt, and tax reform, thus taking dead aim at President Obama's platform for the nation. Carson spend 25 minutes talking about the nation's ills and solutions with the President sitting less than 5 feet from him.A  When all was said and done, President Obama was not looking so Presidential!
Carson set the record straight from the very beginning.A  He made it clear he was not taking any wooden nickels. In 2010, he became that series' youngest driver and the first black driver to win a race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. A close friend of mine that has been partially paralyzed by strokes, pays for aids to "help". If they show up, they usually just sit and do nothing, root through her jewelry and personal effects, and some have been caught stealing jewelry. One was there when she collapsed with another stroke, and instead of calling for help, she called her boyfriend and left, leaving her patient to manage on her own.
It runs M - F from 10am - Noon and starting on Monday July 22 will repeat from 4pm - 6pm each day. My opinions about Tiger Woods or any other issue are mine and I could give a damn about what Feinstein or anybody else things about them. In their prime at theA Washington Post, they were among the best sports writers in the country.
A I was up close and personal with the sports department.A Kindred and Chad were talented writers but you could not trust them, Cornheiser and Feintstein's talent, they easily blended in with the landscape of the paper.
A Feinstein called Wilbon the biggest ass kisser in sports media, if that is true he had great teacher in Cornheiser. A When Solomon tried to kick Cornheiser to the curve (fire him) in the 80s he was able to move to the Style section of the paper.
A One black female Washington Post columnist wrote a book titled "Plantation on the Potomac." A She was describing her employer.
A Hopefully, they were asked to participate and were of the same mindset as Wilbon not comfortable with Mr. A Goodell makes more than any player in the NFL and he never has to make a tackle or catch a pass.A The owners recent pay out to the players for injuries suffered on their watch was peanuts compared to the billions they make year in and year out.
A When he refused a request by his mother to cease using the word and a similar plea by poet Myra Angelo.
Martin Luther Kinga€™s 1963 march on Washington and 46 years since his assassination in Memphis, Tenn.
With the high-scoring Macauley, elite passer Cousy, and new prodigy Sharman, Auerbach had a core that provided high-octane fast-break basketball. In the next years until 1956, the Celtics would make the playoffs every year, but never won the title. Brown was desperate to turn around his struggling and financially strapped franchise, which was reeling from a 22a€“46 record.[5]A The still young but already seasoned Auerbach was made coach. A Nike NBA rep John Phillips and I met with VP Rod Thorn, League Counsel Gary Bettman and Head of League Security, Horace Balmer.A The meeting centered around whether Magic Johnson, Mycal Thompson and a group of NBA All-Stars would be allowed to travel to the Bahamas for a charity basketball game without league approval. A He was right on point.A To this day I think Magic had a previous discussion with the league office. James Gholson, Red Auerbach, Biff Carter, Jessie Chase, Morgan Wooten, Everett Cookie Payne Sr., Frank Bolden, Dr. Leo Hill, Roper McNair, Earl Alfred, Maxwell Honemond, Tilman Sease, William Roundtree, Charlie Baltimore, Jaky Mathews, Ferdinand Day, Nick Turner, Walter Brooks, Ted McIntye, and my saviors, Dave Brown and Bighouse Gaines.A  They knew their Xs and Os, but more important, they were there for our highs and lows.A  Where have all those flowers gone? We never could have made it without them.I have given up on the Pigskin Club, but keeping hope alive for the DC Recreation Department and the Roving Leader Program. BELL 12-25-1940---8-1-2013A A GOOD COP WHO BROKE THE CODE OF SILENCE IN THE WASHINGTON, DC POLICE DEPARTMENT. A The real Serpico is seen leaving the Bronx Courthouse alone after testifying before the Knapp Commission on wide spread police corruption in the department. A In the old days police A would carry a "drop knife---an inexpensive weapon cops would bring along on patrol to drop onto or next to suspect that they had taken out so that they could say that he had threaten them.
A Today you don't even need to do that; all that you have to do is justify the use of deadly force if you are a police officer is to say that you feared for your life, for whatever reason.
If the victim dies, that just means there will one less witness around to contradict the test-lie. A In the case of Officer Michael Slager of the North Charleston police, it appears he was being extra-carefulto cover his tracks. A Probably he could have gotten away with simply declaring, as he did in the radioed report, that Walter Scott "took my taser," and that would have probably have sufficed to exonerate him.
A But Slager having shot Scott eight times in the back--as everyone can see in the now famous video--perhaps felt that he needed a little help explaining what he was up to.
A So apparently dropped his Taser next to Scott's body, which would obviously help to make the case that Scott "Took my taster."A If you think that what happen in North Charleston is a unique case, its not. A Only recently, in another case, a policewoman in Pennsylvania first Tasered a black man then shot him twice in the back as he lay face down in the snow. A Unless honesty is rewarded more often then corruption, the police will lose credibility altogether.
A I wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton in 1994 addressing this very issue, saying that honest cops have never been rewarded, and maybe there ought to be a medal for them, he wrote back but nothing change. A If enough testi-lying is uncovered, then who is going to believe the police even when they are telling the truth? A A Until now the shoot first fear of my life mantra has eliminated any cause for concern in the taking of life by police. A When a civilian committs a crime, every nuance is looked at, the better to "throw the book at" the suspect.
A The other day I got a letter from a journalist in Argentina who was complaining about police and judicial corruption there.
A I wrote back to him, there are good cops, even where you live, but if the good cops don't want to be painted with the same broad brush as the bad cops, they need to come forward and expose the guys who are doing bad things.
A Take New York City detective who was caught on camera recently abusing an Uber driver with threats and foul language, A This was truly disgusting behavior. Yet predictably enough the detective union leader, Michael Palladino, was out there making excuses for him, suggesting that, well, it was only one incident, and everyone has a bad day. A Afterward Police Commissioner William Bratton announced he was removing the detective's shield and placing him temporarily on desk duty while an investigation is conducted .
A But this man needs to be demoted to uniform at the very least, or "back in the bag" as we use to say.
A Imagine what he is capable of doing under the cover of darkness if he can talk to someone like that in broad daylight. A There are plenty legitimate incidents where police believe, correctly, that their lives are in danger. A I was in a few of those situations myself during the course of my career.A But unless the police forces and society as a whole take action we're not going to be able to distinguish between the legititimate claims and made-up testimony.
A A long time ago Norman Rockwell painted a famous picture of a friendly neighborhood cop bending down to help a little boy.
A For example; I could name someone who is a great athlete but a lousy human being or I could name someone who is a great human being but not a great athlete.
A Heading the list is Muhammad Ali (The Greatest), Red Auerbach (NBA), Dave Bing (NBA), Lenny Moore (NFL), Bert R. Sugar (Boxing), Lee Jones (NBA), Roy Jefferson (NFL) and Harold McLinton (NFL), finding pro athletes like them today are far, few and in-between. A And that is a sad commentary when you think about the hundreds of men and women I have interviewed on Inside Sports and worked with as a youth advocate (Kids In Trouble). Moore, LB Dave Robinson (2013 NFL Hall of Fame inductee) and WR Roy Jefferson host KIT toy party.
A Sam Jones (NBA), Lenny Moore (NFL) and Roy Jefferson (NFL) participate in KIT clothing drive for needy children at Union Station. A Bert Sugar (Boxing) receives KIT Life Time Achievement Award and Dave Bing (NBA) pays tribute to KIT Saturday Program All-Stars.I had the opportunity to hear an interview on Sirius A XM Radio (channel 126) on the Maggie Linton Show recently, her guest was NFL Washington Pro football player, wide receiver Peirre Garcon.
A I have not been very impressed with todaya€™s pro athletes and their give back commitment to their family, friends and community. A He has three older sisters making him the youngest and the only one born in the United States.His father died when he was 4 years old leaving his mother to raise him and his 3 sisters alone. A My background is similar to Peirrea€™s, my mother had to raise 4 boys alone with an assist from Grandma Bell.



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