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.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

An Insider's Surprising Look at Kennth Kitts & UNA

We asked if any our regular readers could clear up any of the seemingly odd financial situations, as well as administrative problems, at the University of North Alabama. Almost immediately we received this from a university employee:

In response to your recent post about UNA, I have some observations as a long-time employee there. First, federal grants are determined by the federal government and students qualify based on their financial aid application. Most UNA students just don’t meet the criteria set by the government to receive grants. The College of Nursing, however, has received millions of dollars in special grants to allow under-represented groups to attend nursing school. This program has been going on for years and, to my knowledge, is quite successful.

As far as UNA crime, I believe it is lower than the City of Florence. Because UNA is inside the City of Florence, I believe there would be a strong relationship between the two and crime statistics. If you look at other universities our size, our crime rate is very low.

That still leaves UNA with its largest budget in the history of the school, but still seemingly struggling to keep its head above water. What is wrong? I have a few observations:

Killing the Golden Goose – A couple of years ago, UNA was receiving a lot of donations from the outside public in support of its capital campaign. The person who coordinated all of this was Dr. Dan Hendricks, Vice President for Advancement. Dr. Hendricks was so good that he made the $25,000,000 goal even before the official kick-off dinner. So, what did Dr. Kitts do to show his appreciation, he fired Dr. Hendricks and replaced him with Debbie Shaw. Look at how little money she has brought to the campus. Oh, and by the way, was there even a search for that position once Hendricks was forced out? Likewise, Clinton Carter, as the institution’s Vice President for Business and Finance, did a lot in his short period of time to put UNA in a better financial position. His reward? You guessed it. Kitts fired him. UNA hired Vice President for Enrollment Management, Dr. Thomas Calhoun, to address declining enrollments. After years of hard work under his leadership, UNA finally saw a substantial increase in enrollment. That same year, Kitts fired Dr. Calhoun.

Tuition Discounts – Many years ago, UNA’s dimwit of a provost, Dr. John Thornell, made the decision that UNA would offer deep discounts to students with ACT scores as low as 21. He created the Vanguard Scholarship. This is not really a scholarship because no money is coming in from an outside source. It is just a discount in the tuition. If you check, many students come in with these scores. The result is that the new freshmen are paying far less than the rest of the student body and tuition has to increase annually so that current students can keep paying for these discounts. Let’s say you are a store that sells milk. Your cost for milk is $2.00 and you sell it for $3.00. However, to get more people to come into your store, you offer new customers milk at $1.50 which is less than you paid for it. Therefore, you must now raise the regular price of your milk to $3.50 in order to cover the difference. Why should your loyal customers pay for the new ones?

Wasting Money – Bottom line, UNA should have never moved to Division 1 Athletics. The students, faculty, and staff were not for it. However, the Board actually believes we will receive a huge revenue stream from television contracts. If they speak the truth, why are they so worried about the budget now? I mean, we should be rolling in the dough right now. The truth is that UNA will not see any media revenue for years. By that time, it will be ten years or more before we actually break even from all of the costs and higher salaries associated with the D1 move. UNA has also hired two marketing consulting firms and one individual marketing consultant (a friend of Kitts). After tens of thousands of dollars for these contracts, UNA has only made minor changes to its logo. Either UNA is not listening to its consultants, or I should go into logo design. Seems more lucrative than what I’m currently doing.

Inflated Salaries – When Dr. Gregg Carnes was hired as the Raburn Emminent Scholar, he was brought in because of certain skills UNA wanted. The emminent scholar is money given by an outside donor to “sweeten” the pot for good professors. This money is added to the regular salary that the professor would normally be paid. In this case, Carnes was making over $170,000 while all of the other accounting faculty were making less than half this amount. Now, there is nothing wrong with the Emminent Scholar program. It is designed to bring in top-notch faculty who have a special skill in teaching or research. However, when Carnes was promoted to Dean, he retained his Emminent Scholar position even though deans typically do not teach or do research. That is why he is the second highest paid administrator at UNA at over $225,000 a year. Nobody other than the president should be making that much at UNA. How about Tammy Jacques? What was her academic qualifications to become the Title IX coordinator? Yet she gets a big raise while her boss (Mr. David Shields) and her husband (Dr. Kevin Jacques) are currently being sued for, guess what, discrimination and Title IX violations. Interesting. Also, Ms. Catherine White and Ms. Cindy Conlon were promoted years ago from their director positions to assistant vice presidents, yet they only supervise one department and their responsibilities did not change. How does this happen?

Too Much Overhead – Over the past five years, look at the increase in staff positions at UNA. Student enrollment has not increased that much. Yet, UNA still finds the money to hire more staff positions. The last time I checked, UNA should be “teaching” and not “administering.” Most administrative assistants who work within the academic departments should be placed on nine-month contracts with the faculty. During the summer, hardly anyone can be reached within the academic departments, including the administrative assistants. These salaries should go down. While other institutions are either shutting down services, merging with other institutions, or eliminating positions, UNA is operating at status quo. For example, there is a director position open within the Sponsored Operations department. They are the folks who help you apply for grants and government contracts. About 12 years ago, this department was housed with Institutional Research. Why can’t they do that now and eliminate a director position? UNA spent numerous hours and vast resources in a recent cost containment/program prioritization plan. However, nothing has been done. It is time for UNA to become leaner so that our students will not have to pay to fatten the calf more.

Teaching Quality – UNA has many good and talented faculty. We also have our share of faculty who just don’t care. Many of these are tenured. We need to get rid of them. I will not tell you how many times students approach me to complain that, after turning in a homework or other assignment, they have to sometimes wait up to six weeks before receiving a grade or any feedback. Sometimes the student never receives feedback. If I’m not mistaken, about a year ago, UNA participated in a national survey and this was one of the major issues bought out by our students. Shouldn’t the objective of class assignments and homework be to generate quick feedback as to how the student is doing in the class? This is not a good example to set by a school who says it has small class sizes and caring faculty.

I love UNA and most of the people who work here. However, the administration has got its priorities all messed up and it is hurting everyone. The Board needs to recognize that nothing can be done without the upper administrators taking control. However, Kitts has shown that he has made some stupid decisions and he is quick to anger (i.e. Florence Middle School property and the first response letter attacking the student who was raped by a UNA professor). It is time for the Board to act and make some serious changes.


A new administration? Now it's wait and see. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

",,,To Put it on the Back of the Students."

In June, the University of North Alabama increased tuition by 4.9%. In other words, what 1,000.00 would buy last fall now costs 1,049.00. This increase failed to solve UNA's money woes, and board member Steve Pierce stated: We also felt obligated not to put it on the back(s) of the students.

Yet, a great deal of new funding is on the backs of students...or their parents. Total revenue from the increase amounts to 1.4 million dollars a year. A university which once touted its low tuition can no longer do so. It can advertise its trees, fountains, squirrels, and lions. What it can't advertise is adequate parking, transparency, or low crime rate. In fairness to the university, very few institutions of higher learning can tout a low crime rate in the 21st Century.

So who will get a bonus this year? We await...


Now here's an interesting tidbit: UNA offers less grant money each year than the average public or private college in Alabama. More students on average apply for student loans. Seemingly that would logically follow. 

Why doesn't UNA offer at least the average amount of grants each year? Perhaps one of our regular contributors can enlighten us.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Recusals?/A Great Man?

Paperwork has been filed for a new trial in the Chris Martin case; the request was based on a connection between Judge Jackie Hatcher and the family of victim Thomas Grant Campbell. We fervently believe Chris deserves a new trial; however, we consider it doubtful Hatcher will admit she should have recused herself.

If Hatcher refuses to order a new trial, there will be more appeals. All the while Chris Martin sits in jail. Yet we call our justice system the best in the world.


A Great Man?

* He served his country in the military.
* He took care of his family, especially his widowed father. 
* He was always there for those who worked for him, helping in any way he could.
* He gave generously to others, even paying mortgages when homeowners were faced with eviction.
* He stood up for what he thought was right.
* He lost his life to a man of questionable mental state who later committed suicide.
* At his funeral, thousands of admirers came to pass by his bier.

Who was this great man?

John Dillinger 


The above anecdote illustrates that even those who make grave mistakes in life can be described in glowing terms. Simply because a man does good, that does not mean he's incapable of evil.

We've received a letter from a friend of Lexington baseball coach Cole Mitchell. We're attempting to verify a few points, but expect to post it within a few days.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Arrest David Randall Nix for False Statements to Law Enforcement

In less than a week, Robert DeShawn Childers will have been missing for one year. The last person to see Mr. Childers was his unwanted housemate David Randall Nix. 

While there's always hope, it's logical to assume after all this time that Childers is unable to return to his friends and family. We know that it's difficult to make a case for murder when there is no body; however, we do know that Nix has been discovered in several lies to Lauderdale sheriff's investigators. The powers that be have the ability to hold Nix accountable for at least some of his sins. We hope they do so.


Now something no one likes to talk about - rising gasoline prices. Shortages are expected to reach the Shoals as early as Tuesday. Orange Beach has reported some stations asking 6.00 per gallon, and AG Steve Marshall has announced this is price gouging and will be prosecuted.

Prices cannot legally rise over 25% unless the supplier has upped their charges. All very nice, but that means we could see 3.13 a gallon fuel? Perhaps we should all fill up tonight?

No matter the immediate rise in prices, the long term doesn't look good after Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Katia. Nothing wrong with cocooning during football season, is there?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Roy Moore "Won't Kiss the Ring?"

Kissing the ring? What does it mean? If you look up the expression, you'll find it usually refers to paying homage to popes, kings, and dukes – all individuals who wear a ring signifying their position.

We don't have any kings or dukes in our country, but we do have those who owe loyalty to the pope of the Catholic Church. Is that what Roy Moore is referring to when he says he “won't kiss the ring?” Luther Strange is an Episcopalian and Doug Jones identifies as a generic Christian.

Just when you thought Roy Moore couldn't get any stranger...

Not working in the hallowed halls of academe, we had no idea what would constitute grounds for a complaint against a school administrator, particularly by someone who doesn't work in said system. Here they are:
  1. Violation of American Disabilites Act
  2. Violation of Human Rights
  3. Violation of Title IX of Civil Rights Bill
  4. Violation of Other Civil Rights
We're guessing number four is the choice of a certain former volunteer at a Lauderdale County school. The salient question is: Does everyone have a right to volunteer at local schools? We're also guessing such complaints are laughed at, wadded up, and quickly forgotten.

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Lexington Letters aka The Truth about Jeff Cruse

Today we're publishing our first installment of comments about controversial Lexington preacher Jeffrey C. Cruse. We hope the Lauderdale County School Board takes note:

Reader One: You need to do a background check on Jeff Cruse. For 25 years he preached at congregations in the same area of Kentucky then came to Lexington. Pretty big change unless he had to leave.

Reader Two: I live in Elgin, but close enough to know what goes on in Lexington. My kids went to school there. They always complained about Mr. Will Joiner's discipline, but now when they come home they always ask how he is. That should tell you something.

Reader Three: Jeff Cruse is volunteering 15 to 25 hours a week? Where does he get time for his family? My guess is he doesn't and you can't tell me God likes that.

Reader Four: Cruse was a minor league ball player. He never made it very far so now he wants to “help” others learn to play ball. He overstepped his bounds and was told not to come back. End of story except this “man of God” won't let it go.

Reader Five: Any Baptist can tell you the problem. The Joiners go to church at Clements and not FBC of Lexington. Cruse doesn't get the Joiners money or prestige so he's always been jealous. And he wants to clean up Lexington. I didn't know we needed to be cleaned up, at least before he came.

Reader Six: I really can't stand the Freedom from Religion Foundation but turns out they're good for something. I've reported Cruse to them so now we'll see what happens. Sorry he brought such publicity to a nice little town.

Reader Seven: Don't know the preacher involved, but I can attest to the fact that Wiseman and Joiner have been into it with each other for years. I've had dealings with Joiner and can honestly say I was treated respectfully and responsibly. Joiner has never, in my experience, aired any dirty laundry about another teacher. That CANNOT be said for Wiseman. I would think that, if there is a protocol or a process for raising a protest against a school administrator, that ALL channels would be exhausted. THEN you should go public if no resolution is reached. Why were certain Lexington staff members giving "press conferences" when some hadn't even filed a grievance? It would seem to me that if you call yourself a Christian, you would show respect for the process and the law.

We mentioned earlier that we had received some anonymous letters (poison pen letters) about the administration at Lexington School. We went back and checked our e-mail, only to discover they began soon after Jeffrey C. Cruse says he was let go as a volunteer coach.

None of this paints a pretty picture of Jeff Cruse, does it? Perhaps the church deacons need to practice some discipline?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Wisconsin Firm to Design New Colbert County High Gym?

Let me get this straight. Colbert County superintendent has employees stand before the county commission and try to guilt the commissioners because the drama department at Colbert Heights doesn't have adequate facilities OR air conditioning? And, yet another one says he needs money to put a hotel inside Cherokee school?

What about Muscle Shoals superintendent Coach Lindsey saying he needs a new floor in a gym while the football taj mahal is kept in pristine condition sparing no costs. Not to mention all the high paid employees that never step in a classroom - something like a coach to watch over the new athletic facility or assistants to assistants and secretaries to secretaries? How bout that travel expense account? Principals and wives traveling to Pennsylvania?????

Satchel and Lindsey get caught lying to the county commissioners on several issues. What is wrong when they are exposed in the newspaper and their board members stand behind them? Exactly what are they teaching children in those schools? LYING is fine as long as it gets you what you want?

Beware parents. When superintendents have board members cheering them on to LIE, it says a lot about THEM and the LACK OF MORALS and INTEGRITY. As MSCS board president Rudolph says, "Lindsey is to be commended". Ms. Rudolph, BULLYING and LYING is NOT TO BE COMMENDED, PERIOD.  It's interesting that one of your goals for Lindsey is to pressure the county commission for more money. Is that something you are proud of? The last time he "met" his goals (which were another story as well) you gave him a big bonus and increased his salary/contract. Now, if the commission doesn't let him bully them, he still gets a big bonus? We all know the answer to that one.

Back to Colbert County - How bout the new renovations at Colbert County High School?


Inline image 2

Colbert County Superintendent Satchel's latest SPENDING OF YOUR TAXES!!!

Does this kind of extravagant renovations and decorations by an interior design OUT OF TOWN firm set well with you taxpayers while Colbert County, Tuscumbia, and Muscle Shoals superintendents say they need YOU to pay more taxes for their spending?

That doesn't quite rank up there with the MSCS football taj mahal and track that is under lock and key so those destructive people in Muscle Shoals won't destroy it by walking on it, but equally as extravagant in its own rights.

MR. COMMISSIONER, our money is on you. We think you have too much sense to buy into the same worn out song those two superintendents are singing. Look at Muscle Shoals extravagance, Colbert County extravagance, and wonder why Tuscumbia superintendent got mixed up with the two of them.

Leslie M. Shoals

Special: One Lexington Mom's Take on Jeffrey C. Cruse

We've begun to receive mail on some of the problems at the Lexington School. Here's a letter from one mother, a lifelong resident of the northern Lauderdale town, who knows what cooks with the 48 year-old would-be coach: 

The preacher should keep his mouth shut and just worry about his congregation instead of what's going on at the school.  He and his oldest son caused a whole lot of drama on the field, on the court, and in the dugout this past year at Lexington School.  They argued with each other and screamed and yelled at each other to the point where other players, parents and fans were asking for this situation to be handled. The preacher had ZERO respect for Mr. Joiner or his position which I always felt was wrong on so many levels. 
I have always liked this preacher and think he has done a good job for the church he pastors, however, I feel he has given not only his church and congregation a black eye, but also the entire community. He should have opted to take the high road but instead he has tried to fuel this entire situation by holding secret meetings at his church to discuss Mr. Joiner and sending out group text messages bashing the school and the principal.  That doesn’t seem very Christian like in my opinion, but I am not Baptist nor am I Church of Christ either.  It boils down to his feelings have been hurt and he has allowed it to spill over into other people's complaints and this has escalated to this dreadful situation now.  

From what I have heard, Mr. Joiner has been trying to get these “complainers” to do their job, and that makes them mad.  So instead of just doing their job, they want to complain and call him a bully.  The biggest problem I have ever noticed in the world of education is that most educators have never worked in a job outside the school system.  I dare say if some of these “complainers” should have to work in another job outside the school, they would have a rude awakening when a big boss tells them to do their job or hit the road.  Regular workforce people do not have tenure, nor do we get off work at 3 pm or have 2 months off in the summer. 

Secret meetings at the church building? Deacons, are you taking note?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Public Schools Should be Neither Baptist, Methodist, nor Church of Christ

Several months ago, this blog received a series of anonymous e-mails about Lexington School. The correspondence talked all around anything specific, and when we questioned the sender, he (it appeared to be male) deleted his account. In other words, this person couldn't back up his accusations even anonymously and chose to turn tail and run.

Now we have a small group of people who are questioning some administrative actions before the Lauderdale County school board. One is using his title of "Baptist pastor" in order to have more clout. He says he was terminated as a volunteer.

Jeff Cruse on Left

While we don't know the circumstances of his dismissal, we do know that he should not have been using his religious beliefs as a volunteer. It's very interesting that Jeff Cruse, of Mayfield, Kentucky, pretends to follow God, but doesn't want to follow due process before the board. 

It's also interesting that some of these accusations go back ten years. Really? Just why has this so-called egregious behavior not been reported in ten, we say ten, years?

No, something else is afoot. We welcome all comments as long as they can be civil and not libelous.


That brings us to another point. We're sure you've noticed that when a young person is arrested for any crime, it's never his or her fault. Sad how our police officers make these stories up, isn't it?  

No, this is why school administrators and law enforcement personnel can't do their jobs. Parents have only perfect children in the 21st Century. Sigh...

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sessions & Moore: Working for Something v. Having it Handed to You

No matter what you may think of former senator Jeff Sessions' policies, he knew his stuff. He may not have come to the same conclusion as you on a particular issue, but he could tell you about the issue and why he came to that conclusion. 

A would-be replacement for Sessions is not as a long shot. If asked about DACA, we're sure most of us could have enumerated at least some of its points even if we didn't agree with the law via executive order. On the other hand, Roy Moore recently had to be told by Dale Jackson what DACA was, just as he earlier had to be told what a national right-to-work law meant. 

Sure, there's a learning curve for any new office holder, but just as a candidate to work for Acme Widgets goes into a job interview knowing something about Acme Widgets, an office seeker should know something about the position he's running for and the laws he's expected to create, uphold, or expand upon.


A spokesperson for Moore has said: People don't care about acronyms. Really? Here's a few most of us know: 



We could go on, but you get the idea. Acronyms are part of our daily life. Roy Moore didn't know what DACA was even when it was spelled out for him. No, the former judge wants glory without the work that goes with it. It would be funny if there wasn't a chance that this grandstander could be Alabama's next senator.

Pray for our state.

Monday, September 4, 2017

It's That Time! Labor Day Beauty Contest 2017

Yes, later today there will be a new Miss Shoals Labor crowned. Let's look at this year's field of candidates...

1. Susie McFloosie - Susie represents the newest Shoals union, Quad-Cities Brewers Network. Insiders say platinum blonde Susie is a favorite if she can just manage to make it up the platform steps without tripping.

2. Cecile Trudeau - Cecile is representing local tourism. Detractors are calling the French speaking Trudeau a ringer and are demanding to see not only her union card, but social security card and passport as well.

3.  Betsy Harbert-Dunn - Busty Betsy is representing local construction unions. She's a long-shot since she was originally only visiting the area to pick up a finders-fee on the Veterans Park tennis courts, but was then stuck here when the deal fell through.

4. Mimsy Kitts-Shields - Petite Mimsy is representing post-secondary office workers. She's another long-shot, but known for a wicked left hook. Her claim to fame is never having been sexually assaulted on the job. 

5. Billy Overwood - Billy competed last year, but this blog inadvertently left him off the list. Instead of the traditional one-piece bathing costume, Billy will wear an Armani suit as he represents the Shoals Legal Union. 

There's the rundown, and if you're like us you can hardly wait to see who captures the sash and crown this year...or to grab your second helping of barbecue and beans. Here's hoping each of you, especially local union members, enjoys a fun and fulfilling Labor Day!

All of us at Shoalanda Speaks

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Some Truths/Clarifications about Roy Moore

We've seen some extremely negative ads about Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore recently. We personally don't like negative ads, but are they untrue? Let's look at some facts about Moore that are and are not included in the ads.

1. Is Roy Moore entitled to be called a judge? We've seen this in many elections by a great many candidates and had no idea. The answer we found is very interesting in that it applies to so many people. If someone retires from office, as in retires completely, he or she is entitled to be called "Judge, Senator, Representative, etc." If the person retires and continues to work in some manner, he or she is not entitled to be called by that title. We assume political ads could correctly use the expression "Former Judge Roy Moore." 

2. Did Roy Moore and his wife take over one million dollars from the Foundation for Moral Law? Yes, but over a nine year period. Their combined salaries and travel expenses amounted to (on average) just under $115,000.00 a year. Is this an overly large salary to be paid by a charity? We leave that to our readers' individual discretion.

3. Does Roy Moore use private jets for his charity travel? Yes and no. There has been, as far as we know, only one such incident documented. Moore hired a private jet to take him from Montgomery to Pensacola for which the Foundation for Moral Law paid an undisclosed sum (by undisclosed, we mean the figure is not readily available online).

4. Did Roy Moore really question Alabama's mad cow disease outbreak as political? A resounding yes to that. The first documented case of this disease in Alabama occurred in 2006 at a time the federal government was attempting to implement an interstate tracking system. Two more cases rapidly followed, and Moore openly questioned the state veterinarian Tony Frazier's truthfulness. Even Ron Sparks weighed in on Moore's bizarre behavior in calling members of Alabama government "liars."

5. Did Roy Moore actually tell acting Chief Justice Houston Gorman Jr. that he was going to Hell and that Gorman could not ever redeem himself in God's eyes? Another resounding yes. Houston's crime? He covered the Ten Commandments that Moore had placed in the state supreme court building. 

6. When did Roy Moore install the Ten Commandments monument in the supreme court building? The date was August 2003; however, he did it at night and the only news outlet he called to cover the event was a "conservative" religious cable channel. 

7. Did Roy Moore say some northern states practiced Sharia law? Yes. He stated in a Vox interview that "There are communities under Sharia law right now in our country. Up in Illinois. Christian communities; I don’t know if they may be Muslim communities." For the record, Moore later backtracked on this statement when questioned about it. While some communities, especially in Europe, have roving gangs of Muslim thugs attempting to enforce Sharia law, there's no community in the United States where the government is under Sharia law.

8. Did Roy Moore slander a drag queen? That would depend on the definition of slander. Just as with the mad cow and Sharia law statements, Moore made a statement that wasn't true. He became embroiled with a male entertainer who performs as a female in what's commonly called a drag queen show. Of eight speakers at a rally against Moore, including ministers and various businesspeople, the former chief justice singled out Starling as the "ring leader." He stated in a speech that "Ambroisa Starling" was performing same sex wedding ceremonies at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Tuscaloosa in January 2016. The U.U. minister of the church states that while Starling was there, she in no way took part in any ceremonies. Why would this not be slander? Slander has to actually hurt a person monetarily or socially, and Starling would have to prove this. Slander or not, it was totally untrue.

9. Is Roy Moore a more immoral candidate than Luther Stange? This is not a question that can be answered in any empirical way. Our personal opinion is yes, but each voter has to make up his/her own mind. If any reader disagrees with any facts presented here, we will be more than happy to publish your rebuttal.

See you at the polls!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

So Sheffield Wants a Five Million Dollar Loan?

Inspiration Landing will need new roads, drainage, and a fire station. Sheffield wants to borrow five million dollars from the USDA. It will take some months for the loan to be approved...just how long seems uncertain. That begs certain questions.

1. If the loan is approved, will Sheffield begin this project before any construction is begun on the Inspiration Landing project?

2. If the money is held in a Sheffield account until the start of construction, what happens if construction never begins or is halted?


Now we have John Elkington schmoozing with Tuscumbia mayor Kerry Underwood about what a wonderful area we have...but we have no news on funding for his much hyped project or any starting date for the amphitheater which is to be completed by next spring, or in approximately six months. Elkington is calling it a "city within a city." We've seen this concept work in Huntsville which has a much larger population. Will it work in Sheffield?

Detractors are saying this new city will be strictly non-locals who will use it for recreation...if it comes to pass. Is this a bad thing? We truly don't know. We do know that Superintendent Lankford is touting how good this will be for Sheffield schools; however, aside from more property tax income, we doubt that it has any other affect.

Perhaps we shouldn't dwell on these issues until actual construction begins.