Sunday, July 17, 2011

17 JUL 11: You Forgot Somebody

If you didn't stay up for the big moment, Casey Anthony was released from jail shortly after 12:00 midnight ET. I think the authorities in Orlando could have handled this better -- by waiting to release her until 4:30 a.m., and requiring her to wear funny glasses and a fake red beard to avoid being noticed.

SUNDAY SOAPBOX: Columbus City Manager Isaiah Hugley was under his own heat lamp this past week, for his comments on the Parks and Recreation scandal. But a couple of readers seem to think other people aren't broiling enough. Here's the first e-mail which reached us....

Thanks to the Council members who told Hugley,"it is not over."..He makes the whole city government look bad and untrustworthy. I don't think he is guilty of anything criminal, but perhaps of ignoring something he didn't want to hear.I just don't think he was doing his job..After all he is right at the top of the chain of command for watching out after Muscogee tax payers money. He represents us just as much as the Mayor and the Council ...We are trying to encourage companies to locate here and bad city government has to make them look else where..Another issue in this scandal is MCSD ..How dare a representative of the administration reprimand a coach who is blowing the whistle on something illegal that is going on in the city government. This was most unprofessional and should violate the whistleblower law of protection.

Hmmmm -- do you think a "no confidence" is coming on the city manager? Or will this be handled like college football coaches? You know -- an order to make changes in his assistants.

I read the city auditor's final report on "Rec-Gate" from April for the first time Saturday night. John Redmond admits in the ten-page report "the average fraud goes undetected for over two years and certain types for much longer periods." Some Republicans will take that phrase and conclude President Obama is on borrowed time....

But this e-mail points out what happened to a coach who tried to alert authorities to what former Parks Director Tony Adams was doing. The Ledger-Enquirer revealed the Muscogee County School District reprimanded then-Carver High School basketball coach Richard Mahone. This obviously was in the era before Carver's athletics program became respected and untouchable.

Talk about a tangled web -- the school district official who reprimanded Richard Mahone was assistant superintendent Brenda Dozier. Her husband happens to be former Police Chief Willie Dozier. So for all we know, the police could have been reviewing Tony Adams's activities years ago - assuming Brenda Dozier ever took her work home with her.

But maybe "bad city government" isn't driving companies away from Columbus after all. Mayor Teresa Pike Tomlinson has called a Wednesday news conference, which will include Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. Either that mysterious business in Germany has decided to locate here - or the governor has found a place in Columbus which holds test "erasure parties."

Our next e-mail points out someone else overlooked in the "15-year conspiracy" involving Georgia Blazers basketball....

Must have overlooked the previous Director. 15 years ago Richard Bishop was in charge of all the shenanigans in Parks and Rec.

Ah yes -- and Richard Bishop was Parks and Recreation Director in 1998, when the son of City Auditor John Redmond was fired from a Parks and Recreation job. The final report from the auditor doesn't name Bishop at all. But then again, we never heard about the Georgia Blazers playing basketball games at the downtown YMCA.

Let's move on to another city controversy - and it probably has the attention of a lot more people....

Hey Richard,

Although I agree that Columbus needs to stop sounding sirens for anything other than a tornado, the "tornado siren" didn't go off. The sound I heard Wednesday afternoon was for a severe thunderstorm warning, as described on the Columbus EMA website:

Keep up the good work!

The reader is right, as best I recall. But the two noises start the same way, and sound awfully similar. Maybe the severe thunderstorm warning siren could be adjusted, to begin with a calming message from Kurt Schmitz.

The link to city sirens mentions a couple I didn't know existed. If there's a release of hazardous materials, a "whoop tone" will go off. Now there's a tone which ought to stand out from the others....

Let's take one more e-mail - which is a follow-up to last Sunday's language lesson:

I knew that I could count on you to get to the bottom of The Word of the Day. It is amazing when you receive emails from people that you consider "educated" and somewhat informed and the info in the email turns out to be false. I'm sure that people in general are frustrated over issues in the news and look for answers or solutions to the problem without investigating whether they are in fact true. Thanks again!


Some of those "chain e-mails" and online postings can be not only false, but dangerous to your computer. To bring this full-circle, I read a warning this past week against clicking on reported "Casey Anthony confession" videos. They only add malware to your computer - and for all we know, the creator might use your credit card number to build Anthony's defense fund.

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