Friday, August 18, 2017

Baron Coleman & Takiyah Thompson: Two Sides of Hate/Josh Moon


Baron Coleman and Takiyah Thompson are polar opposites in almost every way. Coleman is an affluent, college-educated male with an above average IQ. Thompson is a young black female who may not have finished high school, much less attended college.


Coleman is very good at multi-tasking. He's a Montgomery attorney, something of a shock-jock at a Montgomery radio station, and heavily involved with Mike Hubbard and the recent court case involving corruption in our state legislature. On Sunday he tweeted the following:

 "When you protest in the street, sometimes you get hit by a car. #Charlottesville"

Coleman later complained that the public was taking his Tweet in the wrong way. Well, Baron, an innocent woman died; that does make people just a little sensitive when you ridicule her death. 

Baron Coleman, if not an actual hater, is indifferent to both the first amendment and human life. Yet that same first amendment allows him to ridicule the dead. What that first amendment doesn't do is allow one to destroy property, especially state property.

That's where Takiyah Thompson, 22, comes in. She toppled a statue in Durham, North Carolina, honoring those who served in the C.S. Army. If anyone has missed it, there's a growing number of ill-informed individuals who consider the 18 year-old dirt farmers who were forcibly conscripted into the War Between the States to be as evil as Simon Legree.  


Thompson was part of a rally that included members of the Triangle People’s Assembly, Workers World Party, Industrial Workers of the World, and Democratic Socialists of America. She's been charged with felonies...which she may be able to plead down to misdemeanors. Still, things don't look good for Thompson's future job possibilities. 

No matter which side of hate a person is on, he/she is wrong. Want to change the world? Do it legally. Don't like a person's politics? Try to change their way of thinking using logic, not vehicular assault. 


*****

Josh Moon is a writer who has been affiliated with several publications based in Montgomery. Originally from Decatur, Moon sometimes offers brilliant journalism...as in about 20% of the time. The other 80% he's condemning the status quo, anything conservative, and most recently Confederate monuments.



He's stated these monuments represent both bad ideas and bad people. See above reference to 18 year-old dirt farmers. We replied to one of his Tweets with the above graphic. Strangely, his answer to us was seemingly lost in cyberspace, but we are left to infer that if the bad people were Nazis, it's completely fine to forgive them...just don't offer that same forgiveness to our brothers and sisters.





Thursday, August 17, 2017

Additional Colbert Sales Tax? To Tax or NOT To Tax...



Three superintendents in Colbert County presented to the County Commission (after months of back room meetings) a proposal to raise our taxes. The three (Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, & Colbert County) asserted:
      1. All Superintendents were in support - LIE. Sheffield Superintendent was NOT in support.
      2. All City Councils were in support -  LIE. NO city council member had or is willing to vote on the tax - or support the tax.
      3. All Mayors were in support - LIE. NO mayor has come out in support
     
These three superintendents are ALL in their first term as superintendent, coming from being Federal Programs Coordinators, and Coach & Principal.

What we have here is "Failure to Perform".

IF these three would have had the experience needed to effectively manage a budget, capital improvement planning and discipline in cutting the "Fat", we would not be having this conversation.

Mr. Lindsey - THERE IS NO PIE. The people of Colbert County - and yes, even Muscle Shoals, are NOT buying your story about old buildings and repairs. We are also NOT buying a story of not enough money.

YOU, Mr. Lindsey, just gave an additional pay raise to employees LAST YEAR that is costing the citizens of Muscle Shoals $850,000.00 A YEAR till the end of time.
 
Do you think those buildings that Mr. Pearson (aka grass cutter) was referring to just aged 50 years since you gave that big raise ON TOP of a state raise.
 
You also are continuing to hire coaches and pump more money to that coach and the football facility. How bout those buses (3) that run all day carrying students from the high school across the street to the career tech building - what about that cost?

Superintendents - quit your EXCESSIVE TRAVELING and FAT.
 
Boards - If you want to help your school system - give back your monthly paycheck and quit your excessive travel.
 
Assistant Superintendents - quit your excessive travel and shadowing the superintendents everywhere they go. Can't the superintendent understand without you taking notes?
 
Principals - LORD HAVE MERCY - is there a trip that YOU have ever passed up? - EVEN GOING OUT OF STATE WITH THE 1st WIVES for a group outing (BTW - how can a second wife be a 1st wife? More of that funny business in MSCS?)
 
MSCS - What about all those affairs that result in making cushy upper level positions for the guilty persons that further fattens the payroll for the taxpayers?

It is quite obvious from those who spoke at the hearing last night were all employees in one way or the other or kin to you bullies. Ms. Rudolph who should know better was once an assistant superintendent. Of course, she was another one of those hired because of her connection.
 
Where does all the money go that is collected from the parents for football fees? Football games? Fund raisers? Sales of Ads? and on and on.

How embarrassing that Mr. Pearson had the gall to whine about the buildings in Muscle Shoals. What an ingrate. His pompous elite attitude is beyond comprehension while your schools are telling a different story when '"selling" yourself. Which is it? The same LIES as you are well known for?

There absolutely should be an INCREASE by the COUNTY COMMISSION and CITY COUNCILS for our FIRST RESPONDERS. The FIREMEN - POLICE - EMERGENCY WORKERS that serve ALL the CITIZENS of Colbert County.

You have many sources of income - state, federal, local, property taxes, liquor taxes, sales taxes, grants, fees, football game revenues, and the list goes on and on.

Have all of you, the Boards, City Councils met together and reviewed budgets and your "Christmas stocking list'?

Stop the LIES. Stop the WHINING. Stop the BULLYING.

If you can't figure out a budget and cut the waste - do us all a favor (for the children's sake) GET OUT NOW - RESIGN NOW.

Confession is good for the soul - just ADMIT YOU CAN'T DO THE JOB.

How do you know if the three superintendents are LYING? THEIR LIPS ARE MOVING.
 
 
Leslie M. Shoals

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Calling Lynn Greer/Background Checks?


The Certificate of Need Board has again reared its ugly head in the Shoals. It's taken five months for the board to okay a 20 unit transfer of psychiatric beds between ECM and Shoals Hospitals. If the board were no longer extant, we're sure some body would be required to approve the small transfer, but it wouldn't have taken from April until August. 

Where's Lynn Greer, you know, the state representative from Rogersville who promised to have the board either abolished or at least remodeled to better serve the state in the 21st Century?

*****

We've had several questions on background checks, both generalized and specifically relating to UNA. All large companies employ agencies to do background checks. An institution like UNA may pay for these individually, but probably pays a company a monthly fee for unlimited checks due to the volume of employee turnover.

How do these checks work? Arrests as well as outcomes are usually included. Each prospective employee would be evaluated individually. A shoplifting conviction might prevent someone from securing a job as cashier in the cafeteria, but not bar someone from working in groundskeeping.

Why did Jane Doe's attorneys know about David Dickerson's arrests for assault and rape and UNA didn't? Now there's an interesting question. UNA should have known if they did any kind of background check. Miss Doe may have paid for a check on Dickerson before she saw an attorney, or the attorneys could have gone on a fishing expedition. Remember, the attorneys probably don't employ background checks that often, but common sense told them that a then 43 year-old man who had allegedly committed assault and rape probably had previous problems with women.

Would the background check tell what happened with the charges against Dickerson? Certainly if he'd been convicted, that would have shown on any check. Not all states have grand juries, but it's possible a grand jury failed to indict him or that he pleaded to much lesser charges. He could have pleaded to a misdemeanor assault and received probation, never doing any jail time. It would be interesting to see the actual documentation...and we're working on getting it.

In short, if Jane Doe and her attorneys found David Dickerson's previous charges, UNA certainly should have. That brings us to another reader question: Would UNA have hired Dickerson knowing his background? We're pretty sure the answer is “No!” We can't imagine any university of other school taking the chance even if Dickerson swore on the proverbial stack of Bibles that he was innocent.

Remember, the university let four students travel alone with Dickerson to the Florida conference/sales meeting. That brings us to a question of our own. We have to ask just who at UNA thought a single, 43 year-old man was adequate chaperon for two young men and two young women? Sure, college students are supposed to be adults. We all know that they always act like adults, right? Uh...no, they don't, and it would seem in this case, rape charges aside, David Dickerson didn't either.

*****

 




Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Does the TimesDaily Cover Up Rape Culture at UNA?


Another great editorial from "Reader/UNA Insider":


So, there was actually a real story in the TD covering the Title IX issue. However, this story was overshadowed by two stories concerning the economic impact of UNA and what it would mean to lose UNA. The pro UNA propaganda campaign on this smells suspicious and even Joseph Goebbels would be proud of this crafty maneuver. Heil Kittsy! 

Here, you have UNA being sued by a student claiming Title IX infractions based upon her alleged assault by a university professor. Unfortunately, this is nothing unique nation-wide and, if UNA had followed procedure, it would have nothing to fear. However, in the egocentric idiocy that has plagued this president since he came into office, he decides to berate the student in an official statement rather than say, as any other professional would, that the university can’t comment on pending litigation.

His stupid, self-centered actions have raised national awareness of this issue and has placed UNA in a very bad light. So, what does UNA do to counter the Kitts kerfuffle? It tells the TD to publish economic impact data from a study that was conducted way back in May. Why was this story not published then? Coincidence? Not on your life! It also back-peddles the Friday statement with a new statement this weekend. The statements clearly contradict each other.

It is clear where the TD is throwing its allegiance. If the TD were so concerned about hurting economic engines, then why cover negative stories on our hospitals or our schools within the Shoals community? Has Papa Anderson threatened to pull his advertising if anything negative is printed about UNA? Maybe Shoals residents need to boycott certain businesses until Kitts is removed (BAM and TNT come to mind).

Any reasonable person is aware of what it means to have an institution of the high caliber and standing of UNA within our community. To insult our intelligence by implying that we don’t want UNA is unbecoming of you, TD. Nobody wants to see UNA leave and I believe the community support of its recent $25 million capital campaign makes a convincing argument of this fact. Personally, I am an alum of UNA and I have been a long-time supporter of this wonderful institution. With all of this going on, maybe I need to stop writing my checks until something is done.

To suggest that the removal of Kitts, Shields, or others from their jobs will hurt the health of the institution is both ludicrous and shortsighted. It is also clearly in line with the inflated ego of Kitts himself. Let me offer this bit of advice. If the Board does not do something to address these horrible events, then UNA will become a far weaker economic engine as it addresses more lawsuits, further loses talented, tax-paying citizens to our community who used to work at UNA, and loses the financial support of people like myself.

Kitts and Shields are bad for UNA’s continued growth in our community. It is time that the board realize this and do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of UNA’s students, staff, and faculty. It is time to remove Kitts from office.

*****

Our prediction is David Shields is first in line to be sacrificed. If you read the article in today's TimesDaily, you'll notice that Kenneth Kitts was included in the executive session. In other words, they weren't discussing his good name. Did the name of David Shields come up, or was it other current and former employees? 

No one is championing Shields, but our mail is running 4 to 1 in favor of ditching Kitts as well. We'll see very shortly.




Monday, August 14, 2017

Special: For All You Democrats/UNA


Alabama elections are always crap shoots. A current theory among political pundits is that if Roy Moore, hated by many both conservative and liberal, wins the Republican nomination, a Democrat will win the general election. It could happen.

So who's the best in the Democratic field. We pick Doug Jones or Robert Kennedy Jr. Both have a head on their shoulders and seemingly care about the state. 

Our, ahem, chief Democratic advisor tells us he's voting for Doug Jones. We're predicting a runoff with Jones and (probably) Kennedy. If Moore should win the Republican primary, let's hope a strong Democratic candidate can beat him.

*****

Did you hear about the first UNA football scrimmage of the season yesterday? Did they have a fistfight? No...they had five fistfights. If these guys can't refrain from hitting their own team, how many penalties will the university be seeing this season?

What is wrong with UNA? 

***** 



So far the university hasn't gotten any good press over its "sexual misconduct" press release. Sexual misconduct? That's when a pimply faced boy attempts to accidentally on purpose touch his date's breasts as he pretends to assist her with buckling her seat belt. Sexual misconduct is slapping a co-worker on the backside. Sexual misconduct is looking at porn on the office computer. 

Rape is just slightly more than "sexual misconduct." No wonder the majority of our mail is in favor of riding Kenneth Kitts and David Shields out of town on a barbed wire stretcher.




Huge Backlash Against Kenneth Kitts & David Shields?


From Concerned Citizen 101:


Just when you thought it couldn't get much worse... well you haven't been following the actions of the current Administration at the University of North Alabama. With this group it could get worse and has.

So what about the Saturday, August 12th updated statement from UNA about the Jane Doe lawsuit. First it never happened, then all of a sudden it did happen and UNA investigated, saw that the Professor's actions were wrong and so they fired him. What????


Who are these people? Where in the heck are they getting their advice? How do you post a page long statement on August 11th saying the entire lawsuit is a lie. That Jane Doe is just trying to extort money and tarnish UNA's good name. Then the very next day post an entirely new statement saying this did happen but you investigated properly and followed all procedures and protected Jane Doe. UNA posted this August 12th as if the August 11th statement does not exist.


It's called backpedaling. The public is not stupid. The August 11th attack statement does exist and the only reason you removed it was because of the huge backlash and outrage from the public, students and alumni.


So let's talk about Times Daily. What the heck? Talk about insensitive and downright bad timing. Now we all know UNA asked Jennifer Edwards to do this article. But where are the Times Daily Editors? Are you kidding me "What would we lose if UNA wasn't here"? The question everyone should be asking is what was UNA hoping to gain with this article. Was it supposed to be a threat? Or was it supposed to be smoke and mirrors?


So are you saying that because you create jobs and generate all this revenue for the area we should overlook these lawsuits? We should turn a blind eye to the blatant violations of Title IX, numerous complaints of racial discrimination, bullying tactics and very questionable internal controls. Should we be so grateful to UNA that these illegal actions just don't matter? Really UNA. I see you.

 
No, Kitts!!! It doesn't work that way. Let me put it into perspective. It's like someone posted on FB under the comments concerning this article. "It would be like saying to a batter woman ... You should be grateful your abusive husband brings home a check." His check doesn't give him the right to break the law and treat his wife any type of way. And UNA creating jobs for people in the community and generating all this revenue doesn't give it the right to break the law then try to cover it up by any means necessary.


This community is tired of this Administration. I don't recall anyone asking UNA to pack up and leave Florence. However, we are asking and demanding an unbiased investigation into these publicly known lawsuits and other complaints that are not publicly known and get rid of any employee that is guilty. Even Kitts. Heck especially Kitts if he's in the least bit involved.

 
So let's talk about yet another incident that will end up in court if UNA doesn't handle it properly. Given UNA's current track record this will end up in court. I was told today that Dr. Kimberly Greenway who was Director over Student Conduct which includes judicial was involved in a situation where she said some very racially derogatory statements to four African American students who were on dance team. Dr. Greenway ultimately sent the girls to a student conduct board over a video that they posted on social media that a white student on dance team said she found threatening and harsh even though her name was never called and you couldn't prove the video was directed at anyone in particular. The white student said she found the video aggressive. Several people on staff have seen the video and stated it was in no way threatening or aggressive. Some of the statements that Dr. Greenway said to these black students were something like... I don't know what it's like to be a black female thank God. And we will not put up with thuggish behavior. The girls mysteriously didn't make dance team this year.


Here's where bad turned worse. Dr. Greenway supposedly was removed from Student Conduct, but get this. She was made Executive Director and moved to Housing and Residence Life. Sound familiar? It should - that's where Audrey Mitchell, in the Mitchell v UNA lawsuit, now works. Per the Times Daily article and court documents, in February Ms. Mitchell was forced to go back under Student Affairs where David Shields is Vice President. Her office, Housing Facilities Management, was forced to join with Residence Life office which is supervised by Dr. Kevin Jacques. Remember that name? You should; he's named all through Ms. Mitchell's lawsuit.


So Kitts and the staff attorney, Amber Fite-Morgan, thought it would be a good idea to force Audrey Mitchell back under the supervision of David Shields and join offices with Kevin Jacques while there is a very heated lawsuit involving Kitts, David Shields, Kevin Jacques and a lists of others. Then if that wasn't bad enough, move Kimberly Greenway out of Student Conduct for stating to students she's glad she's not a black female and make Ms. Mitchell report to her. Who is a black female???!!!


Kimberly supposedly officially retired July 31st but has told several people Kitts is keeping her on payroll to continue working at UNA.


This is the Twilight Zone, right? Who are these people? Can you imagine Ms. Mitchell's treatment now? If Kimberly was removed from Student Conduct because of questionable actions how does she get a promotion to Executive Director? Is Kitts rewarding discriminatory behavior now? Well UNA allegedly allowed a rapist to continue to work out his contract, so I guess anything is fair game at UNA.


Where is the Board of Trustees? It's clear that Kitts is not capable of running a University.


I agree it's time to drain the swamp but add Dr. Kimberly Greenway to the list. If an ounce of this is true she should be fired immediately. Heck, she retired. Tell her to pack her bag and send her on. Keeping her on payroll just added fuel to the fact that UNA covers up questionable activities and lacks internal controls.


Kitts, David Shields, Kimberly Greenway, Catherine White, who's head of HR, and Kevin Jacques should do UNA as well as the community a favor and have the decency to resign. Let's start calling the Board of Trustees and demand their resignation or termination.



Concerned Citizen 101 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Special: What's Wrong with Mo & What's Right?/Inspiration Landing


First, apologies to readers for the delay in discussing Mo Brooks, one of three senatorial candidates who have a chance to make the Republican runoff on Tuesday. So, what's wrong with Mo and what's right with him?

The main criticism we see about Brooks is that he's a Mormon. Rep. Brooks has stated he is not a Mormon, but does worship in the Mormon faith with his wife and family. We ask: Have you known a time when Brooks' vote in the House of Representatives has been swayed by the Mormon faith?

Second, here's some interesting remarks from a reader:

Luther Strange is working to get national reciprocity for carry permits, just as we have it for drivers licenses and marriage licenses. Mo Brooks, on the other hand, after the recent congressional shooting attempted to get reciprocal carry just for himself and other members of Congress, the public be damned. There is one other thing that nobody has mentioned. If Mo Brooks is elected then we'll have to pay for yet another special election to fill his old seat.

We agree with our reader that Brooks' attempt to arm U.S. legislators and not average citizens is elitist. Is this the worst thing anyone has ever done? No.

We don't think Brooks comes even close to perfect; however, he did acquit himself well during the congressional ball park shooting. We think of the three, he's the most innocuous candidate. Yes, American politics have come down to that...

We plan to vote for Mo Brooks on Tuesday and hope you will also.

***** 

Keith Lankford

Inspiration Landing? A reader writes:

How much are Keith Lankford and the Sheffield Board of Education paying Russ Corey to keep Sheffield City Schools featured in the Times Daily? Kids have ALWAYS been nervous to start kindergarten and parents have been anxious to send them. Why is this "story" worthy of two consecutive days' coverage? Gee, you'd think Sheffield leaders are trying to sell something.....Inspiration Landing, perhaps?

In reference to Russ Corey's story concerning Inspiration Landing in today's TD: Why does each "update" on this "proposed project" sound as if city leaders are starting over from ground zero? Why do they need money for new roads when in the last "update", Clayton Kelly reported that no new roads would be needed for the project? What are Russ Corey's journalism credentials? Three-fourths of his way into this story, he references "Scales". As a Sheffield resident, I know he means Gary Scales, but much of the Shoals area does not know that. Where is John Elkington? Anyone? Anyone?


Shoalanda Loves the Shoals!


Concerned Citizen 101 Weighs In On UNA Rape Case


We've heard previously from Concerned Citizen 101; now CC101 has some very interesting comments on the Jane Doe/David Dickerson rape case:

It's been awhile since I posted. However, after seeing the latest legal developments at the University of North Alabama (UNA) and the Top Administration's reactions, it's time. While I'm very proud of the community and especially the students and alumni outrage at the very angry, aggressive and borderline bullying statement that UNA recently made concerning the more recent lawsuit filed by Jane Doe. I'm also happy to hear that the students have taken the initiative to plan a peaceful protest on the first day of class which is August 23rd. However, I'm simply disgusted at UNA's position. This statement shows that this President and several members of his EC will do anything to protect its precious reputation. Even cover up mistakes and very illegal activities.

Let's not forget UNA has yet another lawsuit that I told you about much earlier and was finally reported on the front page of the Times Daily on August 4th.   

http://www.timesdaily.com/news/local/suit-against-una-alleges-discrimination/article_d583fa3b-e1f4-5d41-b4ea-0d9b0122a509.html

If that wasn't enough, remember my previous blogs listing several others since 2013. And if that wasn't enough. I've been informed that there other EEOC charge notifications filed by employees as well as other possible lawsuits filed by students that Kitts has received that will probably show questionable practices by HR and/or everyone's favorite Vice President, Mr. David Shields and staff that reports to him. And let's get that cleared up. David Shields does not have his doctorate. He's a Mr. Shields, not Dr. Shields.



David P. Shields Jr.
Everyone on social media sites and even on this site are asking the obvious questions. However, the more important question that every taxpayer as well as every parent and student who has paid/will pay tuition to UNA should ask is where is the Board of Trustees (BOT). The BOT is placed at UNA by the Governor of the State. Their sole purpose is the governing control of UNA. While the BOT cannot overstep their bounds and get involved in the day to day activities of the University, as the fiduciary the BOT can and should step in when there are legal matters.

That means unless Kitts and the rest of his Administration have been lying and withholding information from the BOT (which at this point would not surprise me) then the BOT has been aware of these two lawsuits that have made been public, as well as all the other EEOC/OCR charge complaints as well as the all other Federal Lawsuits that UNA has received over the last few years that haven't been made public. And let's get that straight. Just because it didn't make the news doesn't mean there aren't others. I'm just glad these were reported to finally shed a light on what's been going on at UNA for years and both of these cases show just how deep the corruption and cover up is at UNA.

Back to my point. If the BOT has been made aware of these cases then what's their position? Okay one lawsuit...it happens. But allegations of this magnitude and involving Presidents, Vice Presidents, head of HR and audio recordings, pictures and videos? Read the actual lawsuits. And in the lawsuit involving Audrey Mitchell v UNA, the audios and video have been filed with Federal Judge. So no question they exist. (Side note...I hear copies of these recordings exist in other places. If you have access or know who does, let me know. I know Ms. Mitchell does but I don't want to approach her especially since I plan to post these recordings publicly.)

Back to my point. Then the Friday, August 11th published statement that Kitts approved to be posted on the official UNA website. What the heck is the BOT doing as the governing body?!!!! Does Marty Abroms, Joel Anderson, Steve Pierce, Libby Jordan and the rest of the BOT condone these activities? Are their heads buried in the sand? Are they just taking the word of HR, Kitts and David Shields who are named in these lawsuits and complaints? Seriously, does the BOT condone these activities and are they in support of this statement against Jane Doe? Heck Marcus Maples who is a fairly new BOT member is a practicing Attorney. Is this how these BOT members live their personal lives and conduct their personal business and careers?

I think it's past time for the BOT to "govern" and to bring in an outside company to conduct an unbiased investigation into the activities of HR, cases in Student Conduct and Title IX, Mr. Shields, President Kitts, retired President William Cale and Past Interim President John Thornell's activities to start. I have a feeling these will lead to many, many more.

And that brings me to my actual point. Maybe that's why the BOT is so quiet. Fear that things at UNA from Kitts down are truly out of control and an investigation would reveal years and years of questionable practices, lack of internal/operational controls and outright illegal activities that they would now be liable to address. It would also reveal to the Governor that this group of BOT members have not been conducting the business of the State and living up to their sworn duties for years. So instead they help Kitts and the past president and administration cover up and play politics. According to one of the documents filed in the Mitchell v UNA lawsuit there's an audio where past Vice President Clinton Carter told Ms. Mitchell that she better learn how to play politics as he threatens her about filing complaints. I'm sure everyone recognizes that name. In case you don't read this.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/350375204981651/permalink/1597317146954111/

Somebody pleeeaasssseee get me a copy of these recordings.

It's time out for politics and trying to protect yourself. BOT. It's time to admit you've made mistakes and been too complacent. It's time to step in and take the bull by the horns, get to the root of the problem at UNA and let the chips fall where they may. Meaning start handing out termination letters if the evidence shows these allegations in these two lawsuits are true as well as all the other EEOC/OCR complaints and lawsuits that have not been made public. It's also time to publicly apologize to those whose rights have been violated, step up and make things right instead of continuing to waste taxpayers and student tuition dollars on high price law firms who try to bully and threaten the complainant when you know the allegations are true.

I'm asking the constituents who have a vested interest in UNA and human decency to start calling the BOT members and asking for answers and demanding a change in the current culture at UNA. University of North Alabama Board of Trustees members, my attention is set on each of you. It's crystal clear that Kitts' judgment is way off. I'm watching and waiting to see who you really are. Your next moves within the next few days will be very crucial to the tone and direction of UNA's future as well as your own.

Let's get UNA back on track.



Concerned Citizen 101

*****

A protest against Kenneth Kitts and David Shields? Will the TD cover it? Let's wait and see. Also, several readers have written to inform that David Shields does not have a doctorate, but will often allow others to believe he does. The board? It hasn't been that long ago that Mr. Sam Pendleton sought to have the entire board replaced.

There are many who seek to obliterate names of those who fought on the losing side of the War of the Secession; however, the name "Stonewall" is coming to mind more and more...




Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sending Kenneth Kitts & David Shields Down the Swamp Drain?


Before we present today's guest editorial, we have to ask where is the TimesDaily coverage of this devastating lawsuit against the University of North Alabama? Oh, well, we probably missed it. Wait, we see it now...seven sentences. Now a reader/UNA insider writes:


I wonder if the Jane Doe lawsuit against UNA will finally blow the top off an institution that has more cover-ups than layers of paint on an old house. I don’t want to write a lot here. However, I need to point out some interesting things:


1.       No matter what UNA has tried to do, the Audrey Mitchell lawsuit ain’t going away. Here, you have mainly two, powerful white guys (Drs. Shields and Jacques) who have done everything to intimidate this poor woman. Yet, she will not back down. I think when the court hears all the evidence, it will be clear that Ms. Mitchell was discriminated against.


2.       In the Jane Doe issue, you have a woman who has made a claim that UNA did not adequately follow procedures when she claimed she had been raped by one of their professors. Normally an institution would claim that they can’t comment on a pending case. However, in this instance, they have attacked this poor student. Rather than state that they are looking into the matter, they have raped her again with insults. Again, UNA is clearly trying to intimidate.


3.       I guess my most obvious question is this – What the heck is a professor doing going in a pool or hot tub with his students anyway? I don’t teach, but that seems a little weird and awkward to me. Does UNA condone this behavior?


4.       As to the official statement from UNA, I find it suspicious that there is no name attached to it. While it comes from UNA’s department of communication, there is no signature from Drs. Kitts, Shields, or Amber Fite-Morgan (who, as the diversity officer,  has taken the Elizabeth Warren tactic to use her partial American Indian heritage to prove to people that she a minority – yeah right!). Normally people tend to stand by their strong statements. Kitts is not.  I wonder if someone will be thrown under the bus for writing the response once UNA loses the lawsuit.


5.       UNA claims that there is no evidence of a criminal charge against the professor and that Jane Doe waited “years” before she filed a complaint. UNA, use simple math. According to Jane Doe, the rape happened in 2015. That is a couple of years not “years.” Also, don’t you think if UNA had helped this student and not dismissed her, this scared little girl would have been more likely to have gone to the police? Instead, they tell her to not come to class and not show up in the downtown area. That is intimidation again.


6.       I’ve heard through my colleagues that a big report was done over a year ago on UNA’s minority students and why so many of them are leaving. But the report has never been shared with anybody. Is UNA trying to cover something else up by showing that they intimidate Black students along with Black administrators?

Now, this lawsuit is happening when a ton of people, good people, are leaving or mysteriously disappearing from UNA. Dr. Gafford left. Dr. Thomas Calhoun was fired from his enrollment management position shortly after record fall enrollment. Dr. Hendricks and Clinton Carter left after doing many good things for UNA. The library dean is going. And the registrar, who only worked for UNA for a year, left town to get a job at a two-year school in the state. There are others too numerous to mention.  I wonder if they know something I don’t. I wonder if I need to look elsewhere for a job! Forget Washington. Someone needs to get rid of Kitts, Shields, and others and drain this swamp right here!

*****

There you have it from a UNA insider. Not pretty, is it? Rape, corruption, and cover-ups never are.




Friday, August 11, 2017

The David Braxton Dickerson Rape Charges


Instead of profiling Mo Brooks today, we're going to place him on a back burner for a while. Are most of our readers aware that a former student at the University of North Alabama claims she was raped by a professor in November 2015? She's now filed suit against the alleged rapist David Braxton Dickerson, 45, and the University of North Alabama. 

When the university attempted several months ago to take land from Florence City Schools, we were accused of hating UNA. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Several of us who blog here attended the local university and still take continuing education classes there. It's a beautiful campus. We correspond occasionally with a university administrator and have found him to be both intelligent and honest...a joy to talk with. Still, we feel the university took a wrong turn after Dr. Robert Potts left the helm.


One fact of the case that cannot be smoothed over by juris doctor snake oil is that Dickerson had a previous charge of assault and rape brought against him. According to Jane Doe's attorney, the university didn't do a background check. We honestly cannot see how they did and still hired him. Is there anyone out there who thinks the lack of a criminal record check is a false claim? Assault and rape aren't like a little reckless driving or embezzlement that can be glossed over under certain circumstances. Rape is a true crime of moral turpitude. 

As for Jane Doe, yes, she made some serious errors in judgment on the Orlando trip, but nothing ever justifies rape. This isn't even a case of he said/she said. What Jane Doe says is that she was drugged, ala Bill Cosby. This brings up another serious point. Did Braxton use a UNA credit card for the dinner and drinks on that fateful night? Did he provide drinks for two underage girls? Who approved his expense report once he turned it in? 

Now the university attorneys have issued a statement. Let's look at a few of their talking points:

* Despite the passage of years, UNA is aware of no criminal charges against the professor the plaintiff accuses of sexual assault in her civil lawsuit seeking money damages from UNA.

Passage of years? No matter if anyone thinks the wait was too long, it's been one year and nine months. Isn't it sad that UNA's attorneys can't do simple math?

* Our courts are even open to those who may misuse their right to initiate litigation for the purpose of extorting money with baseless allegations calculated to damage reputations and inflame public opinion.

See what they did there? They didn't say Jane Doe is attempting to extort money, only that our courts are open even to such individuals. Are you liking these Kenneth Kitts/David Shields stooges as much as we are? 

* Student safety is and has always been a top priority, and campus officials are deeply offended by unfounded accusations that suggest otherwise.

Campus/student safety? The UNA campus extends to Orlando? These pettifoggers aren't good at geography either. If UNA truly cared about campus/student safety, why wasn't a background check done on Dickerson? How many others are working at the university without being vetted for a history of sex crimes?

* ...the University (is) at a disadvantage in responding to meritless claims... 

Yet you just responded. According to this statement, Jane Doe's claims are meritless.  

Jane Doe says there are photographs of Dickerson groping her in the hotel pool. If there are, that's a bombshell. If receipts for the dinner that night show that Dickerson purchased two 19 year-old girls alcoholic beverages, that's not exactly brochure material for the university. If any UNA records even partially back up Jane Doe's claims to have reported this rape in detail, she will win her case.

And if her story is totally true? We hope she owns the university.





Thursday, August 10, 2017

Luther Strange: Mr. Corruption Himself?


Randy Binson, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has dubbed his opponent "Mr. Corruption." Others simply see Luther Strange as tainted by accepting former Governor Bentley's appointment to replace Jeff Sessions.

Strange has never been the most popular of candidates. When he ran for the office of lieutenant governor in 2006, one opponent asked first for the public's vote and second, barring that, that they vote for anyone but Big Luther.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler has often lambasted Strange. Carl Rove has often praised him. 

We're asking voters to do their own research. As for us? We find him preferable to Roy Moore, but just barely. He may have been called the "Big Bunny" in college, but we find him to be the big enigma.


*****


What would we have done if offered the office of senator by Gov. Bentley? It would certainly have been a great temptation to have accepted, but we would hope that we would have declined under the circumstances.

What would you have done?


*****

A reader has sent us some pithy comments on Roy Moore:

There is one thing that Roy Moore has done. By continually ineptly pushing his losing battles into the federal courts he has established a lot of legal precedents that makes it much easier for someone who is against religion in general and Christianity in particular in public life to win their battles in court. Before Roy Moore started seeking the spotlight anyone anywhere could probably display the ten commandments, for example, and not hear a peep from the courts. 
There's an old joke about how the bootleggers were the biggest supporters of prohibition candidates. Maybe atheists who want all religion removed from public life should support Roy Moore because he's done more to ultimately remove religion from public life than anyone I can name in recent memory.

*****

That basically leaves Mo. To be continued... 




Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Just Say "No" to Roy Moore


Do you know what Roy Moore really stands for? It's easy to say we follow God and then go completely against His teachings. Don't let Roy Moore con you into hating your fellowman and giving him a place in Washington government.

Roy Moore: Making Hitler Look Good Since 1980


Roy Moore says: Rights come from God, not government. Is he correct? Can you own an operable machine gun in the U.S.? The answer is yes under certain conditions. Can you own an operable machine gun in Australia? The answer is no under any conditions. Has Australia taken away a right that God gave us? How about having your moggy declawed? It's legal in the U.S., but illegal to have your cat declawed in the U.K. How about that right? Hint: Cats aren't even mentioned in the Bible, much less declawing.

No, all rights are not given us by God. The government makes the laws and is sanctioned as one of the three institutions God ordained. Apparently Roy Moore's J.D. doesn't keep him from making inane statements.

From an earlier blog:

1. He called the state's first case of mad cow disease a plot to help pass an animal identification system.
2. He told his replacement Chief Justice Gorman Houston that he was going to hell.
3. He placed a granite monument depicting the Ten Commandments inside the state judicial building...complete with the wording "c. Roy Moore." (We're pretty sure God doesn't like plagiarism.)
4. He said in 2005 that homosexuality shouldn't be tolerated in Alabama. (We're not weighing in on the right or wrong of that particular orientation. We just want to be sure Moore doesn't decide to not tolerate them with gas chambers.)
 
Do you want Roy Moore in Washington? Does he have anything to recommend him to the general public? Well, maybe that he makes Luther Strange look good. We'll be addressing Big Luther next.
 
 
 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Lauderdale County School Board: "Probably Just a Coincidence"


From a reader:

Just a quick update on the Lauderdale County School Board issue last spring...

If you remember, a parent asked a principal and the superintendent to adhere to the Parent-Student Handbook 2016-2017.  They refused to do so and the superintendent even stated that he refused to answer any questions about policy.


The 1st update is that the policy at issue has now been changed and the 2017-2018 update has a stronger disciplinary action for the infraction.  I find that interesting.  If they wanted harsher consequences for the infraction they should have changed the policy PRIOR to changing the disciplinary action.

The 2nd update is that the new Parent/Student Handbook Acknowledgment signature page included in the 2017-2018 Parent-Student Handbook DOES NOT contain the line: "an awareness and agreement to follow all local school policies."  (**The Acknowledgment form in the School Mint Online Registration system DOES contain the line.  Parents, be careful!)


If you will remember, at that time the parent advised not to sign the Acknowledgment Form agreeing to follow policies until or unless the Board agreed to do the same.  Interesting that the line has now been deleted.  Of course it may just be a coincidence.  Or it might be that the parent wrote the following excerpts to the superintendent on 2/23/2017:

“I have consistently asked you to follow the PARENT/STUDENT HANDBOOK 2016-2017 or produce policy which supersedes the handbook and you have consistently refused to do so.  I have followed your policy explicitly...please be advised that neither I nor my children will sign the...ACKNOWLEDGMENT form in the future until or unless the...statements include an agreement of the Lauderdale County Board of Education system to do the same...
Any attempt to coerce my children into signing this agreement will result in the lawsuit you and your attorney are so fearful of.  As you know, the law only requires that students, parents, guardians, or custodians “read the plan and sign a statement verifying that they have been given notice of the discipline policies” (Act 94-784(e)(1))...be advised for your future dealings with parents and students that your civil liability immunity is limited to “any action carried out in conformity with state law and system or school rules regarding the control, discipline, suspension, and expulsion of students” (Act 94-784(f)(3)(g)).
I will forward a copy of the documentation I have gathered along with your verbal responses to the appropriate authorities for their review...has certainly brought cause for concern regarding underlying reasons for dishonesty.”

The last update is that information came to light in the parent’s investigation which caused the parent to report concerns to the Alabama Department of Education as well as the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts.  On July 5, 2017 the Lauderdale County School Finance Chief was put on administrative leave and then resigned after 19 years of service.  Probably just a coincidence.


*****

Many adages present unimpeachable truth. What does the above account bring to mind?

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely! 




Monday, August 7, 2017

Where Is The Missing Veterans Park Money?



Budgets? There's a new one every year, and the City of Florence is no exception in planning how to use its revenue for a 12-month period. Part of the Florence budget is obviously allotted to park and recreation upkeep/expenses.

It's easy to understand why the city didn't wish to perform an excess of maintenance on Veterans Park; part of it could have been bulldozed over at any time to make way for the long-awaited and almost mythic attraction. Still, there was money allotted for upkeep each year...of should have been.



What happened to the money set aside for Veterans Park maintenance for the past ten years? Did it go to other city parks/recreation areas? Why now is there a struggle to find funding to upgrade the park once a new attraction is built? What can former District Three council member Hermon Graham tell us about the funds and where they are and why he didn't better support the park in his district?

Citizens have questions. Who has answers?


We have to ask why Chuck Norris of Walker Texas Ranger, martial arts, and meme fame is involved in the Alabama senate election. Want to hear whom my cocker spaniel endorses? No, we thought not.

We're always reading that it's time to step up our game...whatever game that might be. Maybe it's time to say if you don't have a certain minimum IQ you shouldn't be allowed to comment here?

Comments from intelligent readers always welcome.




Sunday, August 6, 2017

Return to Inspiration Landing/"You're Banned!"


When was there last official word from Inspiration Landing's John Elkington? From what we can ascertain, the last positive word came in April. Is that unusual? 

In the Shoals, where projects are often lost in the Northwest Alabama Triangle, it's not unusual at all. It would reassure everyone concerned, and that should be all caring local residents, if Sheffield city council members would at least mention they have regular communication with Elkington. It would take only a few seconds during city council meetings, and area residents would then know at least that the mega real estate deal was still on a reasonable schedule.

***** 



Over the years, we've banned several readers due to their vulgar comments on our Facebook page. In case you missed some recent events where a group (including one proved liar and one unrepentant career criminal) attacked a link we posted, it wasn't pretty. We ultimately banned two individuals. In hind sight, we should not even stoop to attempt to reason with the dregs of society who seem to think a computer keyboard makes them both literate and socially acceptable.

Therefore, we've pinned our banishment policy at the top of our FB page. Break it once and you're gone. No second chances.  

*****

Have you been "accused" of blogging here? Let us hear. Two unfortunate local writers were accused last week, one we had never even heard of. More on this later... 



 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Blow Off Your Court Date?/Try This Experiment


Why does someone fail to appear at a minor court date? Sure, there can be reasons, but one can usually reschedule. Failing that, one can pay the fine in advance if it's a simple misdemeanor in municipal court. Why would anyone simply fail to go and not make arrangements to avoid an arrest warrant?

You may say that municipal arrests don't show up on AlaCourt. You'd be correct, but they usually show up on credit reports, online news sites, and the Hard Times. Think about it. 

*****

Try this experiment if you think misdemeanor arrests don't hurt a person's chance at a better job. The next time you see that John Doe, a former bank robber, was arrested for failure to pay a fine, bring up his name in casual conversation with someone, preferably a human resources manager. Ask what John was arrested for this time. Likely as not, the HR manager will mistakenly comment that it was for robbing a credit union or breaking into a payday loan store. Now ask the manager if the person stands a chance of getting a job in the company?

*****


How reliable is niche.com. One of our regular critics was unhappy we used niche.com statistics in our article on local school safety yesterday. No survey is ever 100% accurate, but here's some information about the company behind the website: