"A Greensboro man died Thursday of injuries suffered the previous night when he was struck by a southbound car on North Church Street.
"Kenneth Herman Cales Jr., 34, stepped in front of rush-hour traffic Wednesday south of East Cornwallis Drive.....Cales was wearing dark clothing and was in a dimly lit section of the road....No charges were expected to be filed in the accident."
I've loved watching the two blondes go at it in the boardroom on 'The Apprentice.' It's the corporate version of a Miller Lite commercial. Last night, Trump just let them go at it for a while before firing the one on the right.
I didn't miss it because the N&R's forum on school discipline let out on time. Was anything accomplished there? I don't know.
In a way, it was like a glorified school board meeting, because Terry Grier and Alan Duncan did most of the talking. The issue was also discussed in the abstract. Still, the views of the other speakers, which included a principal, a teacher, a couple of students, not to mention N&R editor Allen Johnson, were valuable.
In fact, Johnson spoke very straightforwardly about the discipline problem:
"We're sending problems to the schools, and we're expecting the schools to deal with them."
That was basically the theme of the night: Discipline problems in schools reflect the "coarseness of society," as Duncan put it.
Questions were taken from the audience and , in my opinion, each questionner took too much time telling the panel how much they knew before asking the question. So each question and its response took on a philosophical tone.
But probably the question that seemed to draw a buzz from the audience was this one, which was e-mailed:
"Do you see a correlation between a lack of discipline and a lack of faith-based activity?"
Debbie Gamble, the teacher from Southeast, was the only one weughed in seriously. She definitely saw the connection.
"When we don't know what our morals and values are, we can't teach them to our children."
Gamble, who was featured in the N&R's series on school violence. She said the photo and caption of her presented imagery of school as a police state. she was photographed talking to two students, and the picture was shot from behind the bleachers, making it look like they were behind bars or something.
The caption read, "Debbie Gamble corners two students at Southeast Middle...."
"I've never cornered a student anywhere," Gamble replied. "I don't like that issue being portrayed as what we do at Southeast Middle."
Grier had problems with a coule of headlines, saying they "seemed to be more sensational than the content."
He's got a point. I was a little surprised at the N&R's front-page, above-the-fold headline after Tuesday's meeting: "Discipline big concern, parents say." Technically true, except there were all of four parents speaking out.
In fact, it was pretty funny because all the TV media was at the meeting waiting for the board to address school violence. They got pretty impatient when the board slogged through attendance policy, new attendance zones and magnet school assignments.
Then, when they finally got around to it, the board discussed it for maybe 30 minutes.
Anyway, just a few highlights. It seems to me that the schools are now challenged with reforming society from the inside out, instead of the individual coming in from the outside and being reformed by school.
One last quote from N&R editor Johnson:
"If I got in trouble in school, I was the one who had to prove my case."
Thursday, December 09, 2004
I was disappointed in George Will's tepid response
to baseball's steroids scandal.
The way I read Will's column, which sometimes is tantamount to translating a foreign language, baseball fans need to concentrate not only on the majority of players who don't use steroids but on the great players of the past, namely Hank Aaron who set records without cheating.
It's clear Bud Selig is going to turn his back on this matter. Okay, they're going to set up a testing plan — big deal. I still think Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi should be banned from baseball. At the very least, Selig should call Bonds into his office and invite him to retire. Then they'll just call it even, and Bonds will take his place in the Hall of Fame.
When Will asks if you would cross the street to watch him break Aaron's home run record, he's suggesting that the fans will be have to be the final judges on the matter. Once again, our only recourse will be to give the sport up.
But it's not that simple. My buddy Dave can't understand this, but baseball is an addictive pastime, one that has had a "durable hold on the country," as Will writes. No matter how much baseball fans get slapped around, we always come back for more. We can't walk away from the sport.
So instead of letting rage against steroid users get the best of us, we'd just better focus our thoughts on the positive aspects of the game. It's going to be hard as we watch Bonds hits home run 715 next season and creeps closer to 755.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Red-letter day: I heard the leaf truck coming down the street and was able to get both cars out of the way. Now the curb is nice and clean.
Like many fans and pundits
, I'm over the BCS. College football has screwed up the bowl system beyond repair, and there's still a good chance we won't have a definitive national champion.
What I hate is we're being denied a great New Year's day of football under the traditional bowl alliances. Here's what it would look like:
You'd start out flipping between Texas and California in the Cotton Bowl (yeah, I know there's no more Southwest Conference, but I'm pretending). Next, the Rose Bowl with USC and Michigan, which is generally a pretty good game
. Then, to top it all off, the evening would be spent flipping between Auburn and Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma and either Georgia or Miami in the Orange Bowl. If you're industrious, you'd set up two TVs in the living room so you wouldn't have to flip.
I realize this leaves Utah and Boise St. out in the cold, but they're being left out anyway. Does anyone care?
Not perfect, but as good as we're getting anyway. Besides, who wants to watch a bowl game on Jan. 4?
I have a theory: Fonzie is a metrosexual. In yesterday's episode of "Happy Days" he was ironing his T-shirts; in today's episode, he's shining his boots.
Checked out the somewhat-new Guilford County Board of Education tonight. The meeting was such a snoozer I don't know where to begin.
To illustrate my point:
"We need to make a decision about whether or not we're going to make decision tonight," said school board chairman Alan Duncan.
Duncan was re-elected chairman. Board member Deena Hayes abstained, saying Duncan had not "been attentive to the needs regarding racism. Many of the needs that I have brought to you both publicly and privately have not been addressed."
Like his predecessor Garry Burnette, new board member Walter Childs was pretty quiet. But the other new member, Amos Quick, was pretty active on his first night, asking superintendent Terry Grier some direct questions about the school's proposed work-study program for troubled students.
But he did use the "d" word earlier in the evening. Quick was worried that student assignment plans for next year were resegregating the schools.
"Moving minority students into traditional minority schools does not respect diversity," he said.
Those comments, of course, sparked a discussion about how the board would define diversity.
But with at least 80 languages being spoken in Guilford County schools, is it not fair to say there's plenty of diversity there?
But here's the other thing: Students themselves have more mobility within the school system.
The board's poised to set a pretty liberal attendance policy regarding change of domicile. So a kid could move from a black school district to a white school district but still choose to go to the school in his old neighborhood.
Furthermore, as board member Nancy Routh pointed out, more and more students are allowed to opt out of schools that don't make Annual Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind act.
"When you get into that situation, trying to define diversity is going to be more difficult," Routh said.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Trying to help Packers fans cheer up ....
In his N.Y Times review
, Joe Queenan says Lou Sahadi's "Johnny Unitas: America's Quarterback" is a little too rah-rah for Johnny U. at the expense of other Hall of Fame QBs.
Queenan writes that in the 10 years between the Colts' legendary 1958 championship victory and its equallly-legendary 1969 Super Bowl loss,
"Unitas compiled innumerable statistical records, but the Colts were forced to cede pride place to Vince Lombardi's Packers, generally thought to be the greatest football dynasty of them all. The Packers were led by Bart Starr, who set few, if any, records. He merely won."
Monday, December 06, 2004
One more bellyache, and then I'll be back to normal.
For me, playing with computer language is like plumbing. I just don't say to one of my buddies, "Yeah, I'll go mountain biking with you as soon as I fix the sink." It doesn't work that way. Once I shut the water off, I'd best settle in for the afternoon.
As a result, got nothing done today, and I have work that pays this week. I still don't know why previous posts change to a different font and get more narrow on the page. Any help out there?
Ronald Curry's breakout season ends
with a torn Achilles tendon.
Curry was "having a career game" with nine catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns vs. Kansas City when he took a hard hit from Chiefs' safety Willie Pile.
Curry was leading the Raiders with 50 catches and six touchdowns for the season.
One more, absolutely last, test to make sure things are going the way they should. I'm concerned that earlier posts are going to go to the narrow-line format, and that bothers me.
One more test post to see if things are going right. Hopefully, things will be back to normal from now on.
Now here's the question: I've spent so much f***ing time trying to install Haloscan comments, will I be able to make any money at my "day" job?
Oh, what we do for blogs.
One more test post to see what's going on. Hopefully, things will be back to normal.
It was definitely worth the perilous journey
, navigating the river of onrushing vehicles, to watch the Panthers keep driving toward a playoff spot
But as I watched the Packers get spanked, hard,
I thought to myself: I might die on the way home for this?
Sunday, December 05, 2004
My buddies diss me and go mountain biking early to get back in time for the 1p kickoff. Due to prior commitments, I'm held up here at the house.
That's OK, I'll pedal over to Dave's house later with a pannier of Ice House. I wander if it'll be safe, considering we live in the seventh-most dangerous area for pedestrians and bicyclists?
I'll risk it.
Saturday, December 04, 2004
So the Triad is rated dangerous for pedestrians
. As a veteran Greensboro pedestrian, who has been walking and cycling around this city for 16 years, I had to check it out and see if it was really that bad. I personally have found Greensboro to be a very walkable community.
My problem with Mean Streets
,, the report issued by the Surface Transportation Policy Project
, is it places responsibility for pedestrian safety on everyone but the pedestrian.
Granted, a lot of pedestrians die in this country:
"A total of 51,989 pedestrians have died over the ten years from 1994 to 2003. In raw numbers, pedestrian fatalities have declined over this period by approximately 12.8 percent. This is good news, except when you consider that the rates of walking have declined over this period by approximately 12.8 percent."
Of course, the problem is funding:
"STPP's analysis shows that the states are not investing enough of their federal transportation dollars to protect people who walk....No state spends more than 2.5 percent of their federal transportation funds on sidewalks, crosswalks, traffic calming, speed humps, multi-use paths or safety programs for pedestrians or cyclists."
But the problem there is the only place where those expenditures are feasible are streets where it's already safe to walk. Besides, a sidewalk doesn't do a whole lot of good if some nut jumps the curb and nails you. Yes, that happens, but now you're talking about idiocy behind the wheel, a problem no one knows how to solve.
The report also doesn't provide any context to complement the numbers on pedestrian deaths. I find it hard to believe that all these deaths were exclusively the fault of drivers. Were the pedestrians drunk? Jaywalking? (We have laws against that in this city, you know.) Walking down the wrong side of the road at night wearing a black shirt? Trying to cross Wendover Avenue at rush hour?
But here's what gets me: To help improve the situation, transportation agencies should "promote walking by emphasizing the public health, economic development and transportation benefits of walking, including more focused attention and greater resource commitments to encourage people of all ages to walk more."
Are they kidding? A person could get killed.
Friday, December 03, 2004
Now comes this breaking story on Bonds
While we're on the subject of baseball.....
The Baltimore Sun's Laura Vescey is all worked up over Jason Giambi, calling for his banishment from baseball:
"Banished, expelled....That what the commissioner of baseball ought to declare for the New York Yankees' steroid-slugging slugger."
I'll take it a step further: Ban Barry Bonds, too. Bonds obviously hasn't admitted using steroids and, as of yet, there's no hard evidence he has. But Giambi has admitted he got the steroids from Greg Anderson, Bonds' personal trainer. If anderson was passing them out to Giambi, is it not logical to assume he was dispensing them to his own client? That's enough evidence for me.
People don't realize that Major League Baseball is not a court of law. There's no innocent until proven guilty. Remember, the Black Sox were cleared of all legal charges relating to 1919 World Series fix before Commissioner Landis banned them for life.
Then there's Pete Rose. OK, we know now that Rose did indeed bet on baseball abd his ban from the game was justified. Whether or not he should be reinstated is still a matter up for debate, even though baseball pundits seemed dead set against it in the wake of his admission.
But would the charges against Rose have held up in a court of law, where baseball would have had to present hard evidence that Rose bet on baseball? Would a jury have found that Rose was guilty? That's debatable, as well.
So I say that Giambi's admission is more than enough evidence to ban Bonds as well. Let him prove his innocence.
Everyone seems to be taking for granted that the Expos are going to be the Washington Nationals next season. But some research reveals the situation has become quite complicated
Legislation financing the stadium project is working its way through the D.C. city council. The final reading is due Dec. 14. At the last reading, three Democratic council members abstained from voting in order to add amendments to the legislation, which basically seek concessions from both Major league Baseball and the ballclub that would protect the city financially in case of cost overruns
With those amendments added, it is expected the three abstaining council members will support the legislation.
MLB hasn’t seen any legislation, so it is “unenlightened,” as VP of administration John McHale Jr. put it. MLB also has to deal with Orioles owner Peter Angelos. Owners still have not officially approved the move, but are expected to do so today. But they have not settled on compensation for Angelos. The key here is Camden Yards was built with bond funds, so Angelos and the Orioles have the state of Maryland behind them, which could make legal opposition to the move quite formidable.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
You could've guessed: Yow and Arnold are the only votes against the Dell incentives package.
Go Triad is a regular Thursday morning read just so I can marvel at the straight-faced political correctness of its content.
In this morning's "Saturdays with Sage" column, Vishal Khanna bemoans the evil corporate influence of Krispy Kreme inside the Children's Museum of Winston-Salem.
"Although we parents nearly always think our children are the cutest beings in the world, there is nothing cute about this......
"The last thing I need is for the Children's Museum to validate this corporate sponsorship of my son's education and entertainment. He's 3 years old, for God's sake. Let the kid be a kid, not a future target market.....
"I'm sorry, but the Children's Museum of Winston-Salem can keep its throwaway replicas of deep-fried flour."
Maybe I'm weird, but I think a little corporate indoctrination is good for a kid. With any luck, little Sage will grow up to become an executive for Dell.
Anybody get a look at the cover of today's Go Triad? (No online version yet.) I hope the young lady on the left didn't go out dressed like that on such a chilly morning. She'd catch her death of cold.
Where there's smoke, there's fire: Jason Giambi testifies he used steroids
, and he got them from Barry Bonds' personal trainer.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
This is really weird. I know I saw an article on the Charlotte Observer's Web site where the Panthers had released kicker Jeff Chandler. I thought this was odd, since John Kasay needs probably just another week to rest his calf.
When I didn't read anything about it in the News & Record, I figured I'd fill my readers in since the N&R's coverage has shifted to college basketball. But when I clicked on the article in my history bar, nothing came up.
Nothing on the Observer's Panthers
page, either. Nor on the NFL's transaction list
Am I in the Twighlight Zone?