Two predominantly black schools, Carol City Senior High and Miami Norland Senior High, are on probation for earning failing grades on the state FCAT exams for the past two years. Community forums are being held to discuss the prospect that the schools will be closed down. Parents and residents are mad, and rightly so. But where was this outrage for years as these schools graduated students who had no idea what a chalk board was, not to mention what was written on it? An uneducated person has a high probability of falling into a life of crime, and spending time in prison. Poor schools are often times nothing more than prison, prep centers in disguise, for the profitable criminal injustice system. These two schools will likely survive, but neither they, nor any other schools should continue to operate as proving grounds for the private corrections and incarceration industry.
President-elect Barack Obama visited the White House to meet with outgoing President George W. Bush, and boy what a meeting it must have been. Just the thought of the worst president ever breaking bread with the most impressive presidential candidate in history boggles the mind. Hopefully, Obama was able to convince Bush of the need to immediately move forward with an economic stimulus package, but I doubt it. Bush is in lame-duck mode, but at least he should consider the plight of the people in these dire times, and work with Congress to get the legislation passed before Thanksgiving, but again I doubt it.
A helicopter belonging to the West Palm Beach-based WPEC Channel 12 TV station had a brutal crash landing this week, and the two people on board were rushed to the hospital with non-life threatening, and unspecified injuries. Authorities have not disclosed the cause of the accident.
Say a political goodbye to Lauderdale Lakes Commissioner Levoyd Williams, who was defeated by fellow Commissioner Barrington Russell in the mayoral race. Russell is an astute businessman, who is a stickler for ethical behavior and quality public service. He will make a fine mayor. Gloria Lewis, a longtime civic and political advocate, has been elected to the Lauderdale Lakes City Commission after numerous previous runs that fell short.
NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN
Palm Beach County commissioners approved a $13.9 million retroactive budget amendment to formally account for the costs associated with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office’s assumption of police service for the city of Lake Worth. PBSO actually began policing the city on Oct. 1. At that time, the department’s more than 100 employees, comprising sworn officers, administrative personnel and crossing guards, began merging with the sheriff’s office.
A ridiculous fight is brewing in the Broward Democratic Party, where select individuals are being targeted for expulsion over their support for Republican candidates during the last election. One of them is John Labriola, a precinct committeeman in Lauderhill. He supported Republican Al Lamberti for sheriff and Sen. John McCain for president. Party chairman Mitch Caesar oversaw a hearing last week in which formal charges were presented against Labriola. No decision has been made, but Labriola says he believes he is being singled out, and he may have a point. There is little or no party loyalty in Broward County, and going after Labriola is laughable. If he is ousted, you can only imagine who is next, because half the party officials have supported and/or worked on the campaigns of Republicans.
After 20 years it will be strange, but a relief on the ears, to no longer hear his bellicose diatribes, but we can now call him former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Carlton Moore. His resignation took effect Nov. 4. Moore joined his fellow commissioners in a compromise vote to appoint educator Magdeline Lewis to serve out his term, which ends after the March 2009 elections.
During the campaign season, Gov. Charlie Crist was seen “palling around” with now defeated Republican Party presidential nominee Sen. John McCain and his hapless running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Some of those campaign stops showed Crist on stage, grinning with them as insults and racially demeaning comments were made about now President–elect Barack Obama. It’s not Crist’s fault that the McCain campaign chose to engage in such despicable acts, but he should have repudiated the conduct. In any event, it will be no surprise if the well-oiled campaign machine of President Obama that won Florida targets Crist for defeat in the 2010 mid-term elections. Furthermore, Crist may hurt himself with the coalitions of Democrats, blacks and Hispanics who swept him to victory in 2006 by gluing himself to the McCain/Palin campaign. It is unlikely that Crist will switch to the Democratic Party, which could mean he will have a tough time getting re-elected governor.
MORE BAD NEWS
Deutsche Post AG, the parent company of DHL, announced that it is shutting down much of its United States operations, and laying off thousands of workers. Circuit City, the nation’s second-largest electronics retailer, has filed for bankruptcy, closing stores and cutting jobs. These are just two of the many well-known firms that are slashing jobs, which means more people are finding themselves in financial peril. We’re in a real mess, and it looks as if it will only get worse before it gets better.
Thomas “Tommie” McClenney, 30, is being sought after shooting and killing Victoria Williams, 33, and injuring Maria Gibson, 29, who is recovering from gunshot wounds. The incident occurred during an argument that took place in front of the home where McClenney lives in northwestern Miami-Dade County. McClenney is an ex-felon who was also convicted along with another man in a 1998 incident in which shots were fired into an apartment complex, wounding the mother of a man they were pursing. He is considered armed and dangerous, and anyone with information is urged to contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 305-471-8477.
WHITE HOUSE MUTT
During his victory address to the nation and the world, President-elect Barack Obama promised his daughters they would get the puppy they’ve earned, at their new address in the White House. At a press conference a few days later, Obama said the family had not settled on any particular breed, but did remark it would come from a shelter, noting that many of the dogs there are “mutts” like him. Nice quip, but I hope they don’t end up getting one of those sausage dogs. It just wouldn’t look right.