for Krispy Kreme.
If I remember correctly, the business media (of which I was a member at the time) was pretty rah-rah over KK's meteoric rise. The only person who expressed any skepticism was my father-in-law, who said, "I don't get it. It's flour and grease."
My thoughts these days have been scattered and inconsistent.
But I had a feeling Dave Miley wouldn't last the season
as Reds' manager. Pitching coach Don Gullett got the axe, too, a necessary move considering the team has no pitching. Zero.
Miley joins Tony Perez, Ray Knight, Bob Boone and ( I can't believe I'm writing this) Jack McKeon on the list of Reds managers who have been fired in the last 12 years. I'm not sure if Davey Johnson counts because it was agreed upon beforehand that Johnson would make room for Knight because he was a favorite of Marge Schott's.
The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Daugherty is pretty damn doom-and gloom about the Reds' future:
"The Reds are a dysfunctional organization. Top to top.They're ranging closer and closer to 1990s Bengals irrelevance. (My note: Aren't the Bengals still irrelevant?) During the Lost Decade, we stopped cursing the Bengals and started laughing at them."
Daugherty urges the Reds to "make Miley's firing mean something" by hiring a decent manager, not someone "loyal, humble and cheap."
I don't know what, if anything, can be done about the Reds' pitching situation short-term. There are bright spots, though, the brightest of which is Wily Mo Pena. And though the team batting average is modest, they don't seem to have trouble scoring runs.
So it might be possible that a seasoned manager might turn things around quickly, as McKeon did in 1999. But who's available? One crazy thought: Art Howe may be ready to return to a small market after he was run out of New York. But he worked with Billy Beane
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Congressman Howard Coble not only rips
George Pence for his letter to the editor
, but also takes the N&R to task for publishing such scurrilous accusations:
"....I have never had a newspaper publish such an accusation against me....Perhaps the News & Record published such an irresponsible letter because, under North Carolina law, state legislators can still pocket their campaign funds when they retire, but ignorance of the law is no excuse to print this letter accusing me of a criminal act when I retire."
So what responsibility do the editors have to fact check the letters they print? Every now and then, you see a tag line correcting a fact a statement a letter writer has made, but obviously a few slip under the radar.
But how closely should the editors monitor the opinions of its readers? I'm amazed by the apocolyptic visions of our country that many citizens express in letters to the editor. Surely the powers that be down at the N&R can't believe this, I often think to myself.
A good example is today's letter from from Vickie Currin of High Point, who writes:
"Michael Jackson has been found not guilty. O.J. Simpson was found not guilty. What does this tell us about our justice system?
"I love my country, but I fear my government."
This does letter does not make sense to me, because Ms. Currin is comparing apples and oranges, right? True, government lays out the template of our justice system, but the ultimate fate of accused criminals is in the hands of citizen jurors just like you and me. So, in my mind, Ms. Currin should fear her neighbor more than her government. So why did the editors think this was a letter of interest?
I don't necessarily agree with the Jackson verdict, either. To paraphrase David Letterman, it's as clear as the nose on Michael Jackson's face that the dude's not right. But, despite troublesome comments from some jurors that indicated a personal distaste for the accuser's mother, I believe the jurors took their responsibility seriously.
Contrary to what many believe, "we the people" still have the power in this country. We just don't use that power enough.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
A college football playoff isn't such a far-flung fantasy, says
Adam Russell of Sports Central. (Scroll to the middle of the page.) They're some pretty powerful organizations out there who don't care for the BCS and have voted with their feet.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Grunkle Guru strikes a chord
with the N&R.
N.Y. Times article
on John Madden's deal with NBC's Sunday night football telecast, which starts in 2006:
"Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports, said that after the NBA finals, he expected to speak to Al Michaels, ABC's lead pro basketball announcer and Madden's play-by partner" on Monday Night Football.
It's pretty interesting that Ebersol is lining up network football deals six months after surviving the serious plane crash
the killed his son.
Ebersol on Madden:
"I've always been blown away by his passion. His and Arnold Palmer's passion for what they do is manifest; they're out there among the people. They don't jump in their SUV's with a security guard and pull away."
Flexibilty of schedule will be the key to NBC's Sunday night broadcast:
"For now, NBC will be able to choose, about 12 days in advance, one game each week from CBS or Fox's Sunday afternoon schedule and shift it to prime time."
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
praises the N&R for putting springsteen above the fold instead of the Jackson verdict. I'm not so sure. The verdict, which I considered somewhat surprising, is still a big story. Perhaps not a banner headline, but certainly above the fold, at least in this subscriber's opinion.
I know our jury system's not perfect, but it's all we have. The Jackson jurors deliberated longer than OJ's jurors, which would lead anyone to believe they considered the matter carefully.
But is it unreasonable to be disturbed by comments from jurors following the case? One believes Jackson has molested children in the past, while another expressed personal disdain for the accuser's mother.
Better that a guilty man go free than an innocent man be locked up.
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Cone wishes John Edwards a happy birthday
, while Guarino, in the comments section
of this post
on the state of medical malpractice legislation in N.C., has an interesting view of our former senator.
I was watching the Braves-A's game
last night when Chip Carey and Joe Simpson began a broader discussion of interleague play. True, there were some intriguing matchups this weekend, including Cubs- Red Sox, meeting for the first time since 1918, and Giants-Indians, meeting for the first time since1954. But other matchups such as Marlins-Rangers and Rockies-Tigers were a little flat.
The other major issue is the unbalanced schedule. The most glaring inequity is in late June, when the Braves and Marlins play a crucial home-and-home series
. But sandwiched between that series is the last round of interleague play where geographic rivals square off. The Marlins get Tampa Bay (20-41) while the Braves play Baltimore (36-24). Who has an advantage there? Then again, who could predict the Orioles would be so strong this season?
Carey's solution: Balance the schedule so that everybody plays everybody, period. Two home-and-home series against division rivals, one home-and-home against league rivals and then a single series against teams in the other league. The Braves go to Boston one season and the Red Sox come to Atlanta the next season, for example. If you're going to do interleague play, then do it, Carey reasons.
I like it, because interleague play is just a reality we pruists have to accept. It will also make crucial games between division rivals a hotter ticket, so to speak.
Friday, June 10, 2005
on the salary gap between men and women:
"But if the salary gap is to close at last, the persistence of gender stereotypes alos must be recognized — and challenged— by men as well as women."
I can't say I've ever been a champion of women's rights, simply because I believe women don't need my help to make it in this world. It's obvious — every day I see women who make more money than I do and hold more high-powered positions.
Besides, is it not a form of chauvinism to assume that the only way women are going to make more money is if men recognize the disparity?
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Katie Couric's interview
with British prime minister Tony Blair
I was surprised she didn't press him harder on the intelligence issue. She did ask him to compare Presidents Bush and Clinton. Fair question? I guess.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Busy, busy day. Now I've got to finish an article on the possible consolidation of Chapel Hill-Carrboro with Orange County Schools. Basically, Chapel Hill has a special school tax that generates $12 million more in funding than county schools. So many believe merger will address the inequity in funding. More here
Monday, June 06, 2005
Just who is Greg Popovich? Gr8ful Coach tells us.
Take one guess about who had a hand in shaping Popvich's coaching career. Then find a copy of the book.
Trust me, it's a great read.
Unfortunately, I gave a copy to my dad for his birthday, and he refuses to read it.
More tears over the demise of the BI building, literally. Am I the only person who was happy to see that symbol of evil corporate domination go down in a cloud of dust?
Actually, Donna Combs of Gibsonville, in her letter to the editor in this morning's N&R (can't find it), sheds tears over the trees that were sacrificed in the process:
"I was traveling down Northline Street behind the property. A large bulldozer was pushing over one of the mammoth trees. My stomach lurched, tears actually came trickling down my face. I was physically sick."
Ms. Combs should go have lunch at the City Club sometime so she look out over out city and see just how green it is.
Oops, I just remembered
.That symbol of evil corporate domination's gone, too.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
More problems than just water in the basement:
Sidebar to N&R story
on the International Civil Rights Museum:
Executive director Amelia Parker said "no one has been hired to replace Robert Haynes, who was hired last year but let go after several months. Officials declined to discuss the reason for the dismissal."
Curator. That's a pretty important job in a museum, isn't it?
Anybody see the irony in the fact that psychiatric services director Larry Ray ($176,232) is the highest-paid Guilford County employee? Who are the patients? Who should be the patients?
Friday, June 03, 2005
Panthers tackle Kris Jenkins on
his adversary Warren Sapp:
"He's ugly. He stinks. His mouth stinks. His breath stinks and, basically, his soul stinks. Too many people can't have personalities like that like that and survive in life. I don't know how he does it. I guess because he's big and went to Miami."
Meanwhile, Ricky Williams has some calories to consume
if he's returning to the NFL. No munchies allowed.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Politically speaking, Jay Ovittore
and I hardly agree on anything. But I was glad to see where he leveraged his blog into a piece
in Yes! weekly.
Then I read over at Hoggard's
where Yes! didn't pay Jay anything for the piece. No publication deserves such a favor from its contributors. You're helping them fill copy space without digging into the ad revenue. Too sweet a deal. Hold out, Jay.
An old writing teacher once told me told me never to write for nothing. Make the rag pay you something. I was once a struggling writer (check that: still am
) and I would have gladly written just for a byline. I was never paid for work I did for TV Party
, but president Billy Ingram took me out for dinner and drinks a few times.
But after that, I made a resolution: No pay, no piece. I remember I submitted a review of a book on the siege at Waco to a local publication. "On spec" if you will, admittedly a sign of amateurism. I got a call from a lady at the publication who said they were interested in running it. I asked how much they paid.
"Oh," she said, "we don't pay contributors."
As bad as I needed the clip, I thought about what my teacher said. Don't run it, I told her. I haven't written for nothing since.
The publication? The Rhinoceros Times. The writing teacher? Scott Yost.
Duncan has the killer instinct
; Spurs reach the finals.
Lowell Ponte puts Woodward, Bernstein and Deep Throat in context
"The coup that overthrew President Nixon......had unexpected consequences. It led to the election of Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1976. Carter withdrew support from America's key ally the Shah of Iran, which led to a medieval Islamist dictatorship in Iran, the 500,000+ deaths of the Iran-Iraq war, the militarization of Saddam Hussein, the destabilization of the Middle East and Islamic world, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the creation of Al Qaeda under terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, and bin Laden's eventual attacks of 9-11 on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. All this and more has come from the media coup that removed an overwhelmingly reelected President Nixon."
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
City councilman Tom Phillips
comments on Hoggard's post
regarding water quality near the FedEx construction site:
"We do have a water treatment plant."
I'm doing an article on a possible trend toward school system deconsolidation in North Carolina. Mecklenburg County is leading the way. Here
are a couple of primers
on the movement in Mecklenburg, including the rejected legislative bill
that would allow for a countywide referendum.
Here's the question: While Guilford's school system is not growing at the rapid rate of Mecklenburg's, it's growing nevertheless. At 650 square miles, it's already a large school system geographically, a point school board members have brought up many times. How long will it take for deconsolidation to become part of the debate in Guilford, considering the fact that county and city schools merged a mere decade ago?
Deconsolidation would wrangle control of the schools from our bureaucracy-riddled administration and school board, which means they'd probably fight it all the way.
The N&R weighed in
on the subject back in March.