Wednesday, September 07, 2011

7 SEP 11: Judge Teresa?

Maybe the Columbus Charter Review Commission is missing the target. We don't need a mayor with the power to fire the city manager. We need one who will take over as presiding judge when the situation demands it - and we currently stand at one judicial opening, heading for two.

Mayor Teresa Pike Tomlinson sounded like a prosecuting attorney Tuesday, if not a judge. Appearing on WDAK's "Viewpoint," she strongly suggested the management of a Columbus apartment complex is working in tandem with drug gangs. The mayor could have said the neighborhood is "going to pot" - but I think these drugs are more potent than that.

Mayor Tomlinson went one step beyond her comments in Sunday's newspaper - saying the managers of a complex on Decatur Court are working with drug gangs. She actually called it a "joint venture," which must have given high school dropouts in the listening audience a good chuckle.

The complex in question on Decatur Court received a certified letter from the mayor in the last few days. It listed several police calls, and warned the city may intervene unless dramatic improvements are made. Maybe Bibb City residents can go there, and share the flower garden tips the Office of Crime Prevention offered back in May.

(Uh-oh - I can hear the critics now. The mayor paid extra for a certified letter?! But then again, she's trying to keep the U.S. Postal Service from shutting down.)

Tuesday's comments by Mayor Tomlinson left the impression drug gangs may be paying off KC Brown Properties, which owns the Decatur Court complex. The management has yet to respond to the mayor's certified letter. But if the complex really was making that much drug money in 2011, shouldn't it have a business website?

(Do you think the complex managers haven't responded to the mayor yet, because they're waiting to consult an attorney - and Mark Shelnutt has been busy with other cases?)

It doesn't help the manager's cause that when the Google Maps camera car drove around Decatur Court, the entrance to the controversial complex had scattered assorted trash on the curb. But at least the pictures don't have bullet holes in them....

Mayor Tomlinson defended a possible city intervention at the Decatur Court complex, by saying businesses have the right to operate as they wish in a "capitalist society" as long as they're lawful. She said "capitalist" twice in about a minute - enough to scare local Democrats into thinking she really has converted.

The last time Columbus city officials staged a high-profile intervention against a crime-riddled property came five years ago, when the Firehouse bar on Armour Road was shut down [18 Apr 06]. The building there was bulldozed this summer. You'd think a public bonfire would have been more appropriate....

I was only able to listen to a few minutes of the WDAK interview, so I don't know what Mayor Tomlinson said when host Mike Gaymon brought up recent late-night crimes on Broadway. Gaymon mentioned a line I first heard from football coach Tony Dungy: "Few good things happen after midnight." Does he want downtown bars to close earlier -- or maybe have Country's Barbecue stage the "Ten O'clock Express Run?"

By the way, who would have guessed the Columbus Mayor is a NASCAR fan? Teresa Pike Tomlinson revealed her father took her to Talladega several times during her youth, for the old "Winston 500.... before that name became politically incorrect." Hmmmm - is that a hint the mayor plans to propose a local cigarette tax?

But maybe this topic came up because the mayor has a grand plan. Take over several apartment complexes in the middle of town, then propose a bond issue to build a new raceway for NASCAR. Why should Ladonia have all the fun? Let's get bored cruisers out of city parks, and onto the Trip and Teresa Tomlinson Track.

BLOG UPDATE: Columbus National Alliance leader Michael "Weaver" Carothers was granted a $10,000 bond Tuesday. So he's out of jail, to prepare for his aggravated assault trial -- and that means he probably won't send us a historic "Letter from a Columbus Jail."

Shortly after I read about Michael Carothers receiving bond Tuesday, I found an untitled e-mail from him in my InBox. I went to a secure undisclosed computer to call up the web address in the message -- but it only led to a site selling Canadian prescription drugs. That tells me it's spam, because I'm not sure a "white rights" advocate like Carothers even supports Canadian imports.

-> We were too busy Tuesday to post the results of our weekly local poker night. They're coming, we promise -- and you'll find them at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: East Alabama received a lot more rain than Columbus from Tropical Storm Lee. But some Phenix City drivers may have received other things....

These photo's are from Tuesday on Lee Road 240 - seems that the road was like this on Monday also, and the rain did not help it any.

Some are saying that this is the only way to slow the traffic down on 240,

I'm a bit puzzled by this picture. Didn't Lee County receive enough rain to have a moat in the middle of the road?

Let's stay in that vicinity, to start our review of other news....

+ WLTZ reported the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in favor of Phenix City, and against the city school district. City officials have the legal right to subpoena information from the school board. That's the conclusion I reached when I reviewed the city charter earlier this year [30 Jan] -- but I wasn't enough of a genius to enter law school in the first place.

+ The high temperature in Columbus was a sensational 70 degrees F. It's a welcome change from the 100-plus summer heat. But did WXTX really have to respond by putting a story about Christmas trees in the 10:00 p.m. news?

+ Auburn University head football coach Gene Chizik admitted his team has to "be more physical" this weekend against Mississippi State. Why is it that football coaches never talk about being more mental? Do players have to save that stuff for passing classes?

(Alabama coach Nick Saban says his team is preparing for Penn State this weekend by practicing indoors, where it's "less humid." Aw c'mon - getting a football team ready for dry air?! That's a little like Republican Presidential candidates doing deep study before an interview with Sean Hannity.)

+ Jeff Gordon won the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Atlanta. Mayor Tomlinson might know, but I can't tell you the last time NASCAR had a major stock car race on a Tuesday. And it happened too quickly for Troy University to schedule a football game to follow it.

(Gordon moved into third place in all-time NASCAR "Cup series" wins, with 85. Hey, there's another reason for a big new track in Columbus. We could have had the Gordon One-85.)

+ Instant Message to WLTZ: Huh?! Do you mean Dee Armstrong isn't good enough to replace Oprah Winfrey? You had to bring over Ellen DeGeneres from WTVM to appear at 5:00 p.m.? Admittedly "Ellen" openly is what some people have rumored "Oprah" to be....

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