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July 2008

Leonard Pitts on the stupidification of Americans

We're losing the ability to think

Posted on Sat, Jul. 26, 2008

By LEONARD PITTS JR.

lpitts@miamiherald.com

I love comic books.

For 41 years, I've studied them, collected them, written and read exhaustively about them. So I hope you'll agree I'm qualified to judge the merits of a comic book created by one Brent Rinehart as a tool in his campaign for reelection as a commissioner of Oklahoma County, Okla.

It is really, really bad. You may see for yourself by clicking the link to be found at www.anorak.co.ukanorak-in-new-york/185867.html.

Now, you may think my less than glowing appraisal stems from its rank anti-gay bigotry, including a depiction of a gay man with horns. Or from the artwork, which looks like something scrawled by a gifted 6-year-old.

Well, yes. But here's the main reason Rinehart's work offends: It is astonishingly stupid. [More]


School Board and Superintendent Tension May Come to a Head

MIAMI-DADE SCHOOLS

Board showdown set over Crew's job

The Miami-Dade schools superintendent and board members appear ready to face off next week over money woes and growing displeasure with the chief.

Posted on Fri, Jul. 25, 2008

BY KATHLEEN McGRORY

kmcgrory@MiamiHerald.com

Dr. Rudy Crew, superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Photo credit: JOHN VANBEEKUM / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Rudy Crew may be facing the fight of his career as tensions between him and School Board members appeared to escalate this week.

One board member announced plans Friday to legally challenge whether Crew has lived up to the terms of his contract -- creating a road map to potentially fire Crew from his $315,000-a-year job. [More]


Tenants of Liberty City apartment buildings living in squalor

Tenants rally, demand bank fix buildings

Posted on Thu, Jul. 24, 2008

BY PETER BAILEY

pbailey@MiamiHerald.com

Most nights, Cynthia Wilson and her brother and sister sleep with tissue tucked inside their ears. She hates the routine, but it's necessary.

It blocks out the roaches that nest in her bed.

On a particularly rough night recently, she said, the pests invaded her breathing machine, causing the 15-year-old to have an an asthma attack.

Such is the daily existence of the tenants in two Liberty City complexes, at 6901 NW Eighth Ave. and 825 NW 70th St., who for eight years have suffered with roaches, rats, mildew and other inhospitable conditions while their landlord resided in France and collected rent.

The buildings are now in receivership. On Thursday, about 40 tenants and activists rallied outside the Coral Gables headquarters of Great Florida Bank, which holds the $850,000 loan on the property. They demanded the bank be held accountable for the building's conditions. [More]

 


CBS4 Survivor show looking for contestants

CBS4 Seeking Contestants for Upcoming Edition of Survivor
Suvivor2
WHO and WHAT:


Survivor fans take note! CBS4 can assist all those interested in competing in an upcoming edition of the ever-popular reality-adventure series.  The station will be helping would-be players to make a videotape for submission to the program's producers.  Applicants must be 18 years or older, bring a blank V-H-S cassette and a passport size picture.  CBS4 personnel will be on site to hand out applications (which are also available on the CBS website, www.cbs.com), videotape the applicants and forward the completed application and videotape to the producers.

Those selected will be flown to an as yet undisclosed location where they will compete against other participants in a series of physical and emotional challenges.  The sole survivor will win a guaranteed prize of $1 million.

WHEN AND WHERE:

Sunday July 27, Noon - 4 p.m.
The Improv at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Resort
Hollywood, Florida

WHY:

These tapings provide individuals with a convenient way to apply for the opportunity to compete in the CBS hit show.  This is the first step in the process.  After the videotapes are sent to the show's producers, a group of semi-finalists will be selected for a sit-down interview.

HOW:

Applicants must fill out an application and make a videotape in which they describe the reasons they should be chosen for "Survivor."   CBS4 staffers will videotape the presentations, attach them to the completed applications, and forward them to the show's producers for judging.

CONTACT:

Deborah Lile 305-639-4104 or go to cbs4.com

Press contact: Lee Zimmerman, Director of Communications, WFOR-TV and WBFS
Phone: (305) 639-4426    
e-mail: zimmerl@wfor.cbs.com

WFOR-TV/CBS4 and WBFS/My 33 are part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corporation. CBS4 is "always on." For local news, sports scores, weather updates, traffic reports, entertainment news and the best video experience available on the web 24 hours a day, go to CBS4.com.

Football, community and the future

It was disappointing to read that three Miami Northwestern football players recruited to attend UM in the Fall, have not yet met the academic qualifications required by the NCAA and will attend prep school in New York. The disappointment, partially, is that these young men become statistics that feed into the stereotype of black student-athletes who are more athlete than student.

The reasons for the nation's love affair with sports and the economic opportunities sports offer are complex. With the dropout rate of black students from high schools at about 50% nationally, young lives lost to crime, AIDS, and other dismal facts; it's really time for the community to do something to save itself. Not all is dismal but it's definitely time to re-order our priorities.

So how do we get from an article about UM local football recruits to an issue about the community and individual responsibility? Well, all of these issues are connected. The state of our community is tied to a quality education or perhaps lack of it. Education is connected to economic challenges that are in turn connected to health challenges and so on and so on and so on.

We pray for a bright and promising future for these young men at UM and for all of our young people. It may seem corny but they are our future and we must do all we can to help them succeed.


Dispute over school board candidate’s residence decided by State

MIAMI-DADE SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS

State says Dade schools candidate's boat is home

State prosecutors this week found no evidence that a School Board candidate does not live within his district boundaries; his boat qualifies as his permanent residence.

Posted on Thu, Jul. 24, 2008

BY KATHLEEN McGRORY

kmcgrory@MiamiHerald.com

With a month to go before the Miami-Dade School Board elections, incumbent Martin Karp is questioning his challenger's address.

In fact, Karp insists the man vying for the seat he now holds in District 3 -- in the northeast end of Miami-Dade -- does not live within its boundaries, or worse, has committed tax fraud.

School Board candidate Shawn Beightol, a high school science teacher, maintains he lives full-time on a sailboat docked near 7910 West Dr. in North Bay Village -- well within the district -- and owns a condo in North Miami, outside the district. [More]


City Commissioners to vote on Grove Waterfront Plan

Today, Miami City Commissioners will vote on a controversial waterfront master plan for the Coconut Grove area. Plans call for the demolition of the Coconut Grove Expo Center, adding possible storefronts and getting of the City's only public boat ramp.

As expected, boaters oppose the plan. Not expected is the advancement of the plan with no source of funding. With so many mega plans in place in this area and the County's mega plan still not decided; one has to wonder how all of these plans will actually be realized.

Our nation's downward spiraling economy, overbuilding of condos and troubled public transportation system cannot be ignored as these plans are considered.

Just because they sound good and look, good doesn't mean they're good for the community.


Washington Post to Own TV Duopoly in South Florida

Post Co. to Buy Miami TV Station

 

 

By Frank Ahrens

Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 19, 2008; Page D02

The Washington Post Co. is buying a second television station in the Miami market, NBC Universal's WTVJ, The Post Co. said yesterday, creating a two-station group designed to increase revenue while lowering costs.

Post-Newsweek Stations owns six television stations and has not bought a new one since 1994. NBC Universal, owned by General Electric, was shopping the Miami station as part of a cash-raising plan by the network, which is cutting costs from its broadcast television side to bolster its online efforts.

The Post Co. has owned Miami's top-rated WPLG, an ABC affiliate, since 1969.

The purchase price was not disclosed. The Post Co. hopes to close the deal by the end of this year. [More…]