Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tuscumbia Tribal Wars 2017 or Know Your Cherokees

The State of Alabama recognizes the following indigenous Indian tribes: 

(We'll pause in our narrative here to ask for public comment; we have no idea how these tribes compare. Which ones are just in it for the gambling? Which ones for federal funds? Which ones for whatever glory the name "Indian" might bring? We'll publish all comments.)

Why are these tribes important now? Some or all of these tribes have at least partial control over Tuscumbia Landing. In fact, some or all may have total control. We'll take comments on that also.

We have removed a photo of Robert Perry who does not wish to appear here even though we did not comment on who might be correct in this war party. We can see that any negotiations with him will go well.

Robert Perry is a local who's on the Tuscumbia Landing Authority board. He's also a member of the Chickasaw Tribe and has worked as a lobbyist for various other tribes. From past news accounts, we may infer that Sheffield and John Elkington have accepted him as a spokesperson/liaison between Tuscumbia Landing and the Inspiration Landing project. 

But talk about your chiefs...there's a new one in town, or at least he was here some days ago. The TD gave his visit less space that a UNA rape du jour.

So we hope all our readers are now clear on who's dealing with Sheffield and Inspiration Landing? No. Neither are we. And where was Sheffield mayor Ian Sanford while Tuscumbia mayor Kerry Underwood received all the press?

More legal battles if this project ever gets off the ground? We may never get a finished Inspiration Landing, but we certainly see a reality show coming out of all this.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

What Guidance Do School Boards Need? Sex Education, Maybe?

If any school boards need guidance from the public, it's not in decreasing the administrative reach of the principals and similar staff. No, it's pertaining to teacher/student sex.

Yes, that was teacher/student sex as in a story could break any minute. So, let's see, an employee loses a job. If that employee is licensed, he or she loses that license. The school board is possibly sued. 

What were they thinking?


Other rumors? We can at least answer a question from a reader. No, we haven't heard of any sale of a major Shoals banking institution, but that would be the norm. Stocks often split as a result of the sale, so everything is hush-hush until the ink is dry on the contract.

Do we expect it? The Shoals has always been a volatile market for banking, so while "expect" may not be the word, it wouldn't surprise us. Thirty years is about average for most brands.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Too Good to Speak a Certain Language? One Boy Was!

We had one persistent critic from yesterday who said that those of us in Lauderdale County were too good to listen to (or apparently speak) another language besides English. We were reminded of this charming true story...

A five year-old boy lay ill at home; his parents called the local physician who in that era made house calls. The physician began to speak to the Cajun child who looked perplexed. It finally dawned on the old country doc that the little boy couldn't speak French.

Why, it was child abuse he told the boy's parents. A boy that age who speaks only English? Outrageous. 

The little boy's parents told the physician that they would teach their child French after he had started and become acclimated to school. So how did the child turn out?

He was Jimmy Yves Newman, who performed professionally as Jimmy C. Newman - the "C" was for Cajun. If you've sadly never heard of him, you've missed something. One of the things most people in life miss are the right priorities. Jimmy's parents didn't.


Remember when high school language teachers fought over Latin or French being the most useful? We'll give you a really is Latin.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

"An Increasing Hispanic Population"

"(Russellville) school district has an increasing Hispanic population, currently about 40 percent."

The above quote came from a recent TimesDaily article. Is it disturbing? Assuming the author of the article knows what Hispanic means, yes. It means that new immigrants are arriving faster than they're being assimilated. 

We may also infer that work visas aren't being given these immigrants to toil at local chicken processing plants. In order to receive one of those highly coveted visas, the immigrant must have specialized skills.

It also means the task for local educators will become harder each year. More money will be spent on remedial education, and less on college prep courses. 

Franklin County has always been poor. Removed from any major traffic artery, Russellville has only a modicum of industry. 

Try this experiment: Google the term Franklin+County+Alabama+New+Industry, then specify an entry within the past 12 months. Unless you really want to try it for yourself, the only new industry was 11 months ago and it was a company dedicated to fracking, or extracting oil from sand deposits. Most counties would cast voodoo spells to keep this kind of "industry" away. And remember, this new industry wasn't located in Russellville, just Franklin County.

Should we be concerned about this? No one who blogs here lives in Franklin County; therefore, any concern we have is from a humanitarian slant. Those who have chosen to remain in Franklin County and stick it out will see their children leave for college and never come back except to visit. Physicians and attorneys may practice in Franklin County, but they'll reside in Colbert or Lauderdale.

Is there an easy answer?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Who Is Selfish in the "Kingdom of Kitts?"

From our guest blogger of three days ago, Dick Tracy:

To paraphrase from Lincoln, is it altogether fitting and proper for the Board of Trustees to give Kitts a raise while giving nothing to the staff and faculty who worked hard to help the President meet his goals? Let’s look at some important leaders in history to see how they treated the people below them.

For years, Fidel Castro was the Communist leader in Cuba. He wanted everybody to believe that he was living sparsely in the same type of substandard quality as the rest of his people Yet, the leader actually earned millions each year. He even had his own private island where he could shelter his wife and five children from the reality of what he created. In comparison, Kitts is trying to create is only little island of power while putting on the mask of the caring, smiling president.

Timur was a leader in western Asia during the 1400s. Part of his regime included modern-day Iran and Syria. It is said that in present-day Afghanistan, Timur ordered the construction of a tower made out of living men, one stacked on top of another and cemented together. In comparison, Kitts was given a raise because he met the goals that the Board set for him. However, these goals were actually achieved, in large part, by the blood and sweat of the faculty and staff below him.

Joseph Stalin’s leadership in Russia during 1930s was of the iron fist variety. He brought about collectivism, mass starvation, the imprisonment of millions, and the “Great Purge” of the intelligentsia, the government, and the armed forces. Likewise, Kitts, has either fired or run away many of the good people that made UNA the great institution she is today.

Now, I can’t speak for all of the faculty and staff at UNA. But I can say that most of us didn’t request or expect a raise this year because we just recently got one. We also know that a huge cost for UNA are salaries of its workers and most of us remember this fact every day when we work with students. We are not a selfish or greedy group. We actually love working here and enjoy seeing our students succeed.

What bothers us is the fact that Kitts has the audacity to accept bonuses and raises when the institution is struggling financially and we are now starting to loose enrollment again. On top of all of this, UNA is building a new nursing building (very much needed) and, according to the TD, is talking about purchasing Gary Baker’s studio and block of buildings for over 2 million dollars. Is there an influx of money that I’m unaware of? What kind of message does this send to the staff and faculty, many of us who will be here far longer than Kitts?

Do we need to start lining up to become the sacrificial lambs to the Kingdom of Kitts? Do we need to lay down our lives so that Kitts can have a little extra spending money and his smile become a little wider (he doesn’t pay a mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc.)? It looks like a few on this campus have already felt the stinging blow of Kitts's sacrificial sword.

The time for talk is over. If Florence wants UNA to change, it is going to have to send a loud message to the Board through economic sanctions. That is the only thing the Board seems to care about. So, what can you do?

If you don’t like the high cost of UNA’s tuition and (especially fees), then go elsewhere.

If you don’t like what Kitts is doing to UNA, cut off your gifts to the institution.

If you don’t like where UNA is going, there are plenty of other places to buy insurance, buy your books and fireworks, buy your cars, and invest your money (listen up, Board!).

If you are fine with everything, then do nothing.

I just heard in the news today that Harvard University, one of the most liberal institutions in the US, had to yield to pressure from the alumni, donors, and the overall community over a recent appointment. It seems that they hired Chelsea Manning to a position there. Manning was the soldier who was convicted of espionage and had the sentence commuted by President Obama. The protests of the people who hold the purse strings over Harvard was so great, they had to rescind this person’s appointment.

We can cause the same change. We can demand accountability. But we have to act now. Let’s take a stand to stop this insanity.


Two addenda: We wish to apologize for a lack of editing in Dick Tracy's previous editorial. We had intended to remove one descriptive comment that we felt was unjust, but failed to do so when we transferred the text.

Also, we noticed the TD editorializing on how UNA should proceed with its recruitment endeavors. We were reminded of the story of the Baptist preacher who tried to tell seasoned educators how to run their schools...

Friday, September 15, 2017

Paradise Drive/Recycling

From a Waterloo Resident: We got good news, the commission decided Monday 9/11/17 to remove the 1981 resolution keeping Paradise Drive from being maintained as all other county roads were maintained. We have tried to get this resolution removed since 2006. The county has also settled a lawsuit for the death that occurred on Paradise Drive in 2012. We will now, hopefully get this dangerous road maintained and made safer for the citizens of the county. The previous Lauderdale County Commission and their Chairman, would never consider to do this, nor put the removal of the resolution to a vote. We appreciate what the new Chairman through his leadership accomplished for Paradise Drive.

The removal of the resolution will not cost the county any money. The only costs it will occur is if and when the county road engineer decides to make improvements to the road. With the resolution in place he could only do "Passable Maintenance" to the road. The removal now removes the excuses used by the previous chairman and commissioners.


Note to Casey Glover of the Florence Fire Department: If our house burns down, please don't identify the papers and plastic bottles by the back door as "trash." It's called recycling and something your employer (the city) encourages. 


Tomorrow we'll have a new guest editorial on the financial situation at UNA. It's another doozy, so stay tuned.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

What Timing!

A few hours after our guest blog on Kenneth Kitts and UNA published yesterday, the TD ran a story on Kitts receiving a bonus from the cash strapped university. We sincerely hope one, or all, of our three guest writers who toil at the university will pen an editorial on their thoughts concerning this outgo.


A reader commented yesterday that Kenneth Kitts had terminated more high profile employees in his short tenure at the university than William Cale did in nine years. This reader was in the process of compiling the number of lawsuits against the university and promised to forward the information to us. We know it stands at at least a half dozen--not a small number for UNA having to pay through the proverbial nose to defend.


From another reader: My daughter started UNA this fall and when we got the bill, 25% of it was fees. It comes out to 2300$ a year in fees on top of tuition. This seems extreme.


We're still receiving mail on the brouhaha the Lauderdale County Board of Education recently experienced; however, a highly placed individual believes these unmerited attacks are finished and asked that we refrain if possible from any new blogs about the town involved. We're happy to comply with that request as long as these attacks are truly over. We are saving all correspondence for future publication if warranted.