I would like to wish readers, fans and foes, best wishes for a healthy, peaceful, and Happy New Year. May the upcoming year bring the change we all hope for. RedEye
Top 10 Countdown Part 1
Topper Birney said that, despite the money Moore's been paid over the past six months, keeping the former superintendent on as a consultant likely saved the district much larger costs with a possible lawsuit.Question, what is the difference between appointing a campaign contributor to a board, and paying someone tax dollars not work in exchange for not filing a lawsuit?
"This was probably, in the long run, the most cost-efficient way to handle it," Birney said.
David Blair, who was not on the board when Moore was ousted, agreed. Blair pointed out that, until the board decided to fire her, Moore had received nearly perfect performance reviews.
"In my estimation, the system had (legal) exposure," Blair said. "It was the best resolution for both parties."
|Former state Rep. Sue Schmitz (Huntsville Times file photo)|
Former congessional candidate and long-time Huntsville resident Wayne Parker is throwing his hat in the ring for Madison County Commission Chairman.
"We have decided we're going to jump in, and we're going to run to win," said Parker, who narrowly lost the 2008 Fifth Congressional District race to former Congressman Parker Griffith. "A lot of folks have approached me about jumping in this race. To be frank, I've been approached by both Republicans and Democrats who share my concerns, and they know that I have a passion for this community."But THIS is the kicker
Commissioner Strong issued a statement regarding his new competitor Wednesday night.
"I welcome Wayne Parker to this race," read Strong's statement. "My goal is to lead Republicans to take control of the commission, and I believe I'm the candidate with the new ideas and proven leadership to make that happen. Wayne is a seasoned politician and a veteran campaigner, and I'm sure he will run a good and clean campaign."
The Republican primary is set for March 13. Outgoing Chairman Mike Gillespie announced that he would not run for re-election earlier this year after 30 years in office. The Democrats have yet to field a candidate for chairman.
Martin Luther King, Jr said:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
But he also said:
When we view the negative experiences of life, the Negro has a double share. There are twice as many unemployed. The rate of infant mortality among Negroes is double that of whites…
You're darn Skippy we should be very careful, or Alabama will end up like Florida where the Charter School Industry is running amok with taxpayer money.The charter school concept may soon come to Alabama. Gov. Robert Bentley intends to push for charter schools in the 2012 legislative session. Jennifer Ardis, Bentley's press secretary, said the governor wants to try charter schools on a small scale in Alabama.
The Legislature has shot down charter school ideas in the past, but with a new Republican majority, the idea may pass this time. The success of any charter schools Alabama gets may be dependent on how well the Legislature crafts a law allowing charter schools to operate here. Recent studies have shown that how states set up the enabling legislation for their charter schools can have a big impact on their success.
"My concern is that when the Legislature and the governor put in bills that they are very careful because I am completely opposed to charter schools run by non-citizens or private chains," said Betty Peters, a state school board member. "I believe that charter schools are supposed to be public schools, and if schools are going to be run with public money, we should be very careful."
It's not about the children, it's about the bottom line.These days, it is the burgeoning charter school industry that is reeling in taxpayer dollars. As two Miami Herald reporters discovered, the charter school industry in Florida, which has been given the political stamp of approval of a thoroughly conservative state legislature and a series of conservative governors, allows charters to "play by their own rules."
According to an investigative report by The Miami Herald's Scott Hiaasen and Kathleen McGrory, the managers of charter schools in Florida, a project championed by former Governor Jeb Bush, are running amok.
As billions in taxpayer dollars have been shifted from traditional school districts to independently run charter schools, the charter school industry has become "one of the region's fastest-growing industries, backed by real-estate developers and promoted by politicians."
Now we know why the AlaGOP is pushing for Charter Schools.While there are arguments to be had over the efficacy of charter schools, there is no disputing the facts presented by The Miami Herald's reporters that, in part due to a lack of oversight and accountability, Florida's charter schools have become a veritable gold mine for a number of corporations.
Remember this mantra, Charter Schools are back door privatization of education.But charter schools have also resulted in a "freewheeling system" with minimal oversight that "has given rise to a cottage industry of professional charter school management companies that-along with the landlords and developers who own and build schools-control the lion's share of charter schools' money."
These management companies are reeling in taxpayer dollars in several ways: they receive "roughly $6,000 per student from the state" and they "also get some state funds for facilities and maintenance." In fact, "Most schools rent their facilities-in churches, shopping centers, or brand-new school buildings erected by real-estate developers," and these properties are "exempt from property taxes."
According to Hiasson and McGrory, "Many of the highest rents are charged by landlords with ties to the management companies running the schools, [and] .... At least 56 charter schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties sit on land whose owners are tied to management companies, property records show."
Just last Thursday Ron Sparks told the Madison County Democratic Women, "I am against charter schools in Alabama. ... I will not start dividing our children and segregating our children in Alabama." Today a release from the Artur Davis campaign accused Sparks of flip-flopping on the issue, appearing with Newt Gingrich and Al Sharpton to highlight the Obama administration's education reform efforts and seeking to "help rally support for lifting restrictions on the growth of high-quality charter schools."
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- She was considered a woman of strong will, and she had to be to do all that she did during one of the most socially turbulent periods in the history of the Deep South.She was a white woman, one of the few from Alabama, who marched from Selma to Montgomery, belonged to the NAACP and attended strategy sessions at the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Rest in the peace you deserve for a life well lived beyond the Pearly Gates.
Late in her life, she still lived by the motto she had adopted when she was active in the civil rights movement: "Not to have taken part in the actions and passions of your time is to have never lived.''
Davis spoke candidly about Black political power in a state like Alabama and his unsuccessful 2010 Democratic primary bid in Alabama. And the former Congressman fended off whispers that he may be considering a party switch and future run for office, particularly in light of his recent change of heart on Voter ID. ”When people say that, they mean it to be some kind of a smear, or some kind of attack. I don’t believe in that kind of politics,” adds Davis. “I don’t have any plans to run for office.”
Stupid White Men ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! is a book by Michael Moore published in 2001. Although the publishers were convinced it would be rejected by the American reading public after the September 11, 2001 attacks, it spent 50 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list (eight weeks at #1) for hardcover nonfiction and is in its 43rd printing. It is generally known by its short title, Stupid White Men.
It's so much easier
To avert our eyes
From all the suffering
That permeate our lives
To be in the midst of
Sickness and pain
And always keep our
Eyes fixed ahead
Can only be explained
Away by killing
Because we all know
That what we can't see
Is of no consequence
There is some truth to the doctrine
That ignorance is no excuse
By knowing nothing you are
A silent partner in their abuse
So just close your eyes,
So you don't have to see
Suffering out of sight,
Is more action out of mind
Knowing what i know
About man's inhumanity to man
I could only hate myself
If i left these words unsaid
Don't be paralyzed by
You're partnership in these crimes
We have the chance to redeem
Ourselves for those who've died
To ignore all the signs
That man is so unkind
And partake in this culture of death
Makes all who don't acknowledge
Just as guilty
There's still so much to fight for
Even though this world
Seems rotten to it's core
I know that life can spring anew
From it's remains
It's worth all we can do
To see it through
To better days
if all political figures experienced the same level of injustice and misfortune as average American citizens, the former would be more empathetic towards the latter and make better leaders.