Friday, January 30, 2015

The Forge Celebrates Pi Day

From Joel Leonard at The Forge:


"Saturday, March 14th, (Open to the public.) We'll be celebrating Pi Day (3/14)  by hosting a Career Exploration event spotlighting math-intensive jobs. We will have employers in the workshop area focusing on aviation manufacturing, machining, and welding jobs and in the “soft space” we will have employers looking for talent in IT and code-related jobs. If you know of an employer that would like to exhibit, please contact Joel@skilltv.net to reserve a table. Event starts at 9:26 a.m. and runs to noon.

The Forge is located @ 115 W Lewis Street, Greensboro, NC 27406

Sign up to the Forge Newsletter for more details on upcoming events at http://www.forgegreensboro.org/  "

The First Trial; "Injustice in the justice system", "What happened after November 3, 1979?"

"...A public that had watched news footage of the shootings was left surprised and confused by the acquittal of the Klan and Nazi members charged with murder in the Nov. 3, 1979, violence.

...an all-white jury was convened in the trial of Klansmen and Nazis.

...In a capital case involving multiple defendants, each defendant has 14 peremptory challenges while the State has only a total of fourteen challenges. As a result, where six defendants are on trial, the defense team has 84 peremptory challenges, which provide a better opportunity to reject those jurors who are found to be most objectionable by the defendants.

...In this case, jury selection information tends to show that a large number of African Americans were included in the original jury panel. Those who were not excused by the court for cause were accepted by the State, but the defendants were able to use their large number of peremptory challenges and challenges for cause to effectively select an all-white jury. As stated above, in 1979, this racial discrimination in jury selection was entirely legal. However, it was clearly morally wrong, as further evidenced by the fact that this practice was prohibited in 1986.

...Former members of the CWP have told the GTRC that the hostile and distrustful relationship between the CWP and the justice system led to their decision not to testify in the state murder trial.  They said they did not have confidence in the District Attorney’s good faith to win the case and felt that if they took the stand they would suffer more attacks on their politics, which could ultimately land them or their comrades in jail for rioting.

...prosecutors did not call government intelligence sources Eddie Dawson or Bernard Butkovich as witnesses, which the CWP saw as evidence of collusion to cover up any government involvement in the shootings.  ...When Dawson met with prosecutors to ask them to quash his subpoena, he threatened to “blow the lid off the GPD” if he took the stand.

...Questions linger about the existence of an adequate investigation into potential criminal charges relating to police involvement.

...CWP members and their allies wanted the trial to investigate the wider role of institutions other than the Klan and Nazis, but that information was not relevant to the murder case against the five Klan and Nazi defendants indicted for murder.

...Juror Robert A. Williams told the press that ultimately, their decision turned on the question of self-defense. “From the very beginning, it was the Communists who did the attacking,” Williams said. “It was the Communists who started beating the cars with sticks. From then on, it was a case of self-defense.”

...Upon seeing the bodies of his dead and wounded friends at the intersection of Carver and Everitt streets on Nov. 3, 1979, Nelson Johnson began to make an angry speech to the assembled
Morningside residents, “We declare war on the Police Department, war on Jim Melvin, war on the city of Greensboro …”

Officer Bell, one of the officers on the scene, recalled Johnson’s words this way, "(A) black male (was) waving his arms and yelling to the crowd in front of us to, ‘Kill the Police. Mayor Melvin and the Police set this up. They told the Klan where we were so they could gun us down. They let them slaughter us on purpose. Declare war on the Police. Kill the pigs. Arm yourself."

...Another officer on the scene, Lt. Daughtry (the officer with his foot on Johnson’s neck), recalled Johnson’s words as, “Go home and get your guns and attack the police.”

Lt. Spoon recalled, I can’t remember exact words but he was talking in terms of the police allowed them to get shot. So ‘You all go home and get you’all’s guns and come back and we’ll kill us some police officers.’

...The footage of Johnson’s speech, however, shows no such statements. Nevertheless, Johnson was arrested for incitement to riot. No riot in fact occurred as a result of Johnson’s speech, making any charge for incitement against him unfounded and the charge was later dropped.

...In May of 1980 a Grand Jury issued indictments for Johnson and four other CWP members...

Assistant District Attorney James Knight asked the court to raise Johnson’s bail from $15,000 to
$100,000 because of Johnson’s actions after Nov. 3, 1979, to disrupt City Council meetings, hold
demonstrations in front of the police department, disrupt a press conference by Gov. Jim Hunt in July 1980 and cause a disruption on the first day of the murder trial.

...Flaws in the system, which amounted to institutional racism, undoubtedly affected the jury
makeup by allowing potential jurors to be removed on the basis of their race and drawing
potential jurors from sources that under-represent the poor and people of color: tax rolls, voter
registration and driver’s license records.

...the fact that four of the five demonstrators shot to death (one of whom was shot in the back) were unarmed seems to us to make the defendants’ argument and the jury’s decision of self-defense that much more difficult for the community to understand.

...we do find that inconsistencies in the GPD’s own reporting, the flawed Internal Affairs Division
report, and the false statements by the city manger (see Police Investigations), appear to indicate reluctance to vigorously investigate the government’s role in the tragedy.

Certainly there was a deliberate attempt by the city manager to mislead the public."

http://www.greensborotrc.org/post1979_justice.pdf

Hartzman's Rhino Watch; January 29, 2015

"the City Council...former system [had] six councilmembers elected at large and mayor elected separately at large...

...Greensboro in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s had a bunch of referendums to go from the system where all the councilmembers were elected at large to a district system that would ensure people who lived all over the city were represented, as well as ensuring minority representation on the council.

...The good old boys defeated every district system that was proposed.  In one election those opposed to the district system and minority representation outspent those in favor of the district system by a 6-to-1 margin.

One of the most outspoken opponents of the district system was former Mayor Jim Melvin, who was mayor from 1971 to 1981.

Who would have thought?

...in 1981, the city wanted to annex an area with about 15,000 residents in the northwest.  One piece of correspondence said the annexation would increase the white population of Greensboro by 13,000.  The US Justice Department refused to allow Greensboro to annex that territory as long as the City Council was elected at large because it would make it so much more difficult for a black candidate to win.

...The Justice Department did agree to allow Greensboro to go ahead with its annexation after Greensboro notified the Justice Department of the new district system, but there is no indication in the correspondence that the Justice Department ordered the current method of electing the City Council.
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"John, I was one of the ones fooled by your arrest-for-taking-pictures article.  I think the fact that the article was believed by me and so many others shows how sorry the bureaucrats and the police are viewed in Greensboro by a lot of people."

"Obama is trying to denigrate the United States, 
not raise it up.

...He doesn’t even want the US to lead; 
he wants to follow the lead of other countries."

John Hammer

"Following the heinous atrocities of the murdering Muslims in France, the major propaganda organ of the left, national progressive radio, followed up with various hushed and revered interviews of American Muslims and American Muslim sympathizers.  And what is interesting is during all of these interviews, national progressive radio, much like President Obama, could never bring themselves to utter the words Islamic terrorism."
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"Shame on you for printing the Bicentennial Garden story without noting that it was a fictional piece of work.  I won’t be able to trust anything I read in The Rhino anymore."
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"Let me get this straight.  There is a group of people who want the Aycock building’s name changed because it was named after a 1912 North Carolina governor who rubbed elbows with a few white supremacists?  That same group wants a KKK, Neo-Nazi, five-person slaughter site memorialized?  Even Otis is confused."
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"I noticed Al Sharpton likes to point the finger at the problems of the world.  For example, not enough diversity in Hollywood films.  Why doesn’t he talk about the 500,000 blacks-on-blacks killing each other?"
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"I’m calling about taking the photos in the park.  I would like to personally apologize to Mr. & Mrs. Callahan for the way that they were so unfairly treated.  A verbal warning would have sufficed.  The police officer should be reprimanded and the city councilmember should be fired for not knowing what goes on in the city.  Do they even know that there’s a camera on every street corner and on every policeman’s head?  Probably not.  They’re a bunch of sorry – well, thank you."

Editor’s Note: I would be glad to apologize to Liam and Bridget Callahan, but they don’t exist, nor does the policeman.  But the sign is real and the councilmembers are real also."
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"I just wanted to say that the grandest thing about king Hussein Obama’s speech tonight was the fact that Sister Kay Hagan was not in attendance.
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This is in response to the person that called in and said we are not a Christian nation.  We are a country that was founded on Christianity.  And because we are one nation, under God, we have risen to greatness.  If you notice, when the liberals start to take God out of everything, our level of life in the country goes downhill, and downhill fast... I don’t remember any teachers having sex with students.  I don’t remember any of the bad things that’s going on in the school system now.  It didn’t happen then.  The graduation rate was higher."
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"Your ill-conceived column of Jan. 15 was, and is, a slap in the face of all law enforcement, and particularly the Greensboro Police Department.  Satire in the era of quote, hands up, don’t shoot, end quote was just stupid.  Shame on you, John Hammer.  A former loyal follower."
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"It’s nice to know that people at the Rhino Times and other people that call in when they go to work, they work the whole time nonstop.  They don’t stop to talk to anyone.  They don’t stop to text anyone...  Same with a cop who’s sitting in a parking lot texting.  He might be on his break.  He might be texting someone back at the Police Department.  You have no idea what they’re doing.  So, until you spend the whole shift with them, you need to hush up about it."
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"This is in reference to the word massacre for the historical marker in Greensboro.  If you want to use the word massacre, Rev. Johnson’s name, Rev. Nelson Johnson’s name should be attached to that.  It should be Rev. Nelson Johnson’s massacre."
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"...these people at Natty Greene’s, it sounds to me like they want some sort of handout from the City Council or the county commissioners, you know?  It sounds like they’re just begging somebody for something like a forgivable loan."
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I believe the overwhelming majority of Greensboro could not care any less about what occurred on Nov. 3, 1979 and is tired of the continuing discussions on the topic...

“The bigger issue for me 
is that in a city of almost 300,000 people, 
we continue to have just a handful of people 
who live their lives looking in the rearview mirror.

...That’s what holds Greensboro back 
— a small group of people
 who make an industry of racism and unhappiness, 
marketing all that’s unpleasant and negative 
no matter how long ago these things occurred.”

Mike Barber

...Nelson Johnson issue the challenges and dares on the days leading up to Nov. 3 but continues to deny any responsibility or recognize the consequences of his own actions.

There is no need to furnish a plaque for the KKK rally,
which has caused this city so much strife 
over these many years.  

It is one of the darkest days in Greensboro history.

John Hammer 

I personally disagree with the placing of any state historical marker to recognize the radicals on either side of the fight or the tragic event of Nov. 3, 1979.

Anonymous

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Better Picture Of What Is Going On In Glenwood

Bulent Bediz, his business partner Nellie Jones and Bulent's son David Bediz own almost every house in the 800 block of Lexington Avenue pictured below. Bulent has restored 30 historic Glenwood homes in the last 40 years and has sold and given away several of them.




This next picture is the City of Greensboro's Glenwood Neighborhood Plan passed by City Council on September 13, 2011. Note that the 800 block of Lexington Avenue is surrounded on 3 sides by properties marked as Mixed Use Residential and Parks Open Space.

(Click on photo to enlarge.)


Also of note is the fact that according to the Guilford County Property Tax Records, those same properties marked as Mixed Use Residential and Parks Open Space are owned by UNCG, the State of North Carolina and Capital Facilities Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

This information was gleaned from City of Greensboro Public Information Release #4171-- any questions?

333 North Greene Street

In the block surrounded by Greene Street, Battleground Avenue and Lindsay Street stands a single brick office building known as the Suntrust Building. On the front of the building facing the Marriott Hotel is a sign that says Northwestern Mutual but it wasn't always that way.

In the 1990s there stood other buildings in that block. One of them was a Firestone tire dealer and garage. No, the tire store didn't go out of business, the City of Greensboro exercised eminent domain to give the property to Greene Street Llc who later sold the property to its current owner, Johnson Properties.

Greene Street Llc was owned by the same Mr Johnson.

The owners of the tire store were daily customers of mine, I watched as the fight took place and they were powerless to stop it.

Just another story of the corruption that has ruled Greensboro for decades and why your homes and businesses-- especially those in downtown-- will never be safe here until the old guard is toppled.

The Rhino's John Hammer on the News and Record's Joe Killian; "he makes things up and puts them in the paper"

"There was a reason why, when he was chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and she was a commissioner, Skip Alston and Linda Shaw announced publicly on television that they would never speak to News & Record reporter Joe Killian again.

It’s because he makes things up and puts them in the paper.

He’s very good at it and people believe him.

Didn't John Hammer lie about Roy Carroll 
being involved in slashing City Council seats?

This week he wrote about the City Council discussion of the historical marker for the site of the Klan-Communist shootout in 1979.

Didn't John lie about Greensboro's police
and photography at Bicentennial Park
for which he apologized?

He described the discussion as “a fight so passionate it was as though the deadly clash had just happened,” – it wasn’t.

Joe made up an opinion?

The City Council had a heated discussion about a topic that councilmembers had different opinions.  This happens at almost every work session.  This council has a lot on which it doesn’t agree...

"a heated discussion"?

Hammer used an adjective, Killian used adjectives.

How was it made up?

The truth is that what councilmembers were most upset about is the same thing that has upset every council I have ever covered, and that is being blindsided with controversial issues.

"most upset"?

"blindsided"?

How does that make Joe's description not true?  

Councilmembers other than Sharon Hightower and Yvonne Johnson, who had written letters in support of the sign, said that they had only found out about the sign the day before the meeting and didn’t have any information.

There is no need to furnish a plaque for the KKK rally,
which has caused this city so much strife 
over these many years.  

It is one of the darkest days in Greensboro history.

John Hammer

It wasn't until the presentation was over that the councilmembers found out they had veto power.  Much of what was said was said in frustration over the fact that a sign commemorating something that most councilmembers would rather forget was being put up in their city without their permission.

"frustration"?

There’s no telling what Killian is going to write when the council does get in a really passionate fight about some issue."

"passionate"?

http://www.rhinotimes.com/rhino-shorts.html
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As I recall, Hammer made no mention of Skip Alston last week, after Alston lined up speakers to lobby for the Civil Rights museum bailout that could line Skip's pockets.
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No mention of Skip Alston lining up civil rights speakers by Roy's Rhino's John Hammer

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2015/01/no-mention-of-skip-alston-lining-up.html

"Police Internal Affairs investigation", "What happened after November 3, 1979?"

"...our review of material from the GPD and other sources demonstrate that the commitment to
“make the facts known” was unmet. Documents reviewed include previously unreleased IAD interviews and transcripts of testimony by GPD and city officials to a Federal Grand Jury and at the civil trial, as well as their responses to the civil suit discovery interrogatories and depositions and other discovery material collected by the plaintiffs. Rather than an effort to fully explore and communicate all the facts in an impartial manner, we find evidence of deliberate manipulation and concealment of the facts that we can only interpret as intended to sever the GPD from any responsibility.

...the IAD report shows a pattern of playing down certainty of information relating to the risks of violence and/or dismissal of the possible threats. This distancing strategy is consistent with public statements by GPD and city officials to the press and the Citizen’s Review Committee regarding knowledge of planning for the march.

...regarding the actual operations of the parade protection on Nov. 3, 1979, there are inconsistencies in police narratives regarding alleged “communication failures,” a pattern of removal of officers from the area at critical time points, inconsistencies that are not revealed or examined in the IAD report.

More troubling, there are deliberate omissions of important facts from the IAD investigation report, which were dismissed as “irrelevant” by Chief Swing, who had ultimate authority over the final report content. These omissions obscure the advance information police had and their failure to take adequate steps to prevent violence, as well as the failure to apprehend suspects and criminal evidence as cars fled the scene.

...The city of Greensboro’s Director of Public Safety, Hewitt Lovelace, repeatedly and emphatically claimed to the city-established Citizens Review Committee that, prior to Nov. 3, 1979, neither the city nor the police had any information about the China Grove confrontation between the WVO and the Klan. In fact, he repeated this assertion a remarkable seven times during his interview with the committee.

...his assertions are not borne out by the GPD’s own evidence. Almost as soon as Dawson
began providing information to Talbott and Cooper, GPD records of their conversations show that
he began talking about China Grove, a confrontation he personally found particularly galling. In an IAD interview, Talbott recalled that on Oct. 15 Dawson met with him and Cooper (only their second meeting), and in the course of discussing his desire to disrupt an RCP meeting recounted that the WVO sponsored an anti-Klan rally and march in China Grove. The incident, he said, “almost turned into a riot.”

...In his sworn Federal Grand Jury testimony, Lt. Spoon recalled that after the WVO march in Greensboro was announced, an intelligence memo on China Grove was circulated around the
Department.

...Lt. Ford, upon hearing from Dawson that the Klan planned to come and confront the WVO’s
anti-Klan rally, went to meet with Deputy Chief Burch to discuss the “potentially explosive situation” posed by such a confrontation. During this conversation Ford says he specifically mentioned the nearviolence at China Grove as one of his concerns regarding the security of the situation.

Both Capt. Hampton and Capt. Gibson recall that this volatile recent altercation in China Grove was also specifically mentioned by Cooper in the Nov. 1 executive planning meeting.  In addition, according to tactical officers Dixon and Clark, Cooper mentioned China Grove in the 10 a.m. line-up briefing on Nov. 3, 1979.

...The most clear cut and significant aspect of the GPD’s denial of knowledge the likelihood of violence is its downplaying of the number of Klansmen they expected to come to Greensboro from what informant Eddie Dawson reported as 85 to “approximately 10,” and even denying any “reliable information” that anyone would come at all.

...the potential discrepancy in starting locations was discussed on at least five separate occasions
by police planners, and on one occasion was discussed and clarified directly by Nelson Johnson to
Capt. Gibson.54 Further, in the police transcripts on the day of the shooting there was no discussion of confusion. Comer, although he and his men were waiting at Windsor, told his men that they might have to escort the demonstrators gathered there to Everitt and Carver at 11:30 a.m. to start the parade.

...The discrepancy was discussed at the Oct. 31 staff meeting.

It was discussed again at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 1.

Again at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 1.

And a fifth time at 10 a.m. Nov. 3, 1979.

...the failure to provide safeguards at both locations is inexcusable and the claim that officers were confused about where the parade would start is simply not credible.

...officers were repeatedly called away from the area immediately around Everitt and Carver. Shortly before 11 a.m., officers Wise and Cundiff were on the block from that intersection on an unrelated domestic call when they were told by the frequency operator to “clear the area.”85 Additionally, at 11:03:15, OfficerMcMillan was at Dudley High School (four blocks away) and was called by the F3 operator from to police headquarters to pick up a reserve officer.

Further, Spoon sent Comer and Williams back to Windsor Center to look for Nelson Johnson at 11:01:36, even though the agreed starting point for the parade and the meeting point arranged between Johnson and Hampton were both at Carver and Everitt.

...the radio transcript shows that one second after Cooper announces the caravan is parking on
Everitt and Willow – just two blocks from the designated parade starting point – Spoon asks Daughtry, who was about three blocks from Morningside, to meet him at the train station, some 20 blocks in the opposite direction.

...Chief Swing admitted that the radio transcript released publicly in the IAD administrative report was altered and information deleted that was not deemed “relevant.”89 Among the omitted transmissions that were in earlier transcriptions but not in the final report are those of Wise and Cundiff being told to clear the area just before 11 a.m.

...Wise’s later radio transmission reporting that someone in a blue Ford Fairlane using a shotgun to threaten pedestrians on Gillespie Street immediately after the shooting was also omitted from radio transcripts in the report.

...city officials and the GPD:

denied information about prior volatile confrontation between the WVO and Klan and
Nazis in China Grove, in which the Klan and Nazis brandished large firearms;

downplayed the information about the number of Klansmen and Nazis that they expected;

dismissed information that Klansmen and Nazis might have guns;

concealed repeated discussions about the apparent discrepancy in parade starting points;

falsely attributed the “low profile” approach solely to Capt. Hampton;

concealed inconsistencies in claims of communication “failures” at key moments;

omitted important information regarding police presence at Everitt and Carver and the failure to stop fleeing caravan vehicles.

Taken together, these facts lead us to conclude that both the GPD and key city managers deliberately misled the public about what happened on Nov. 3, 1979, the planning for it and the investigation of it. It is difficult to view these statements as sincere efforts to “make the facts known.” To the contrary, these statements can only be interpreted as a tactic to deflect blame away from the police department."

http://www.greensborotrc.org/post1979_investigation.pdf

The Rhino's John Hammer on Susan Ladd's "factually inaccurate" article on Earl Jones and Mike Barber

[Susan Ladd's] column in the Sunday N&R about Earl Jones and Mike Barber is simply factually inaccurate about both of them.

What was factually inaccurate?

"...As far as Earl Jones goes, there has been a lot of discussion about changing the focus of the museum...

“It’s my speculation that there’s a part of the mayor’s group
that would like to see the museum taken over 
so the history and integrity of the civil rights movement
can be undermined and whitewashed.

I think that’s what it’s about.”

Earl Jones from Susan's article

Jones calls that watering down the message.

Others call it changing the focus of the museum.

What was inaccurate?

I’ve heard other people say that if that if international is going to be the name then make it international.  ...But the way it is now, once you go through, why would you ever go back?

As far as Mike Barber is concerned, anybody who has been around the City Council, the Board of commissioners or any other political body for longer than an hour knows, Barber wasn’t saying there isn’t any racism today, he was talking about Nelson Johnson and his followers.

“The bigger issue for me 
is that in a city of almost 300,000 people, 
we continue to have just a handful of people 
who live their lives looking in the rearview mirror.

...That’s what holds Greensboro back 
— a small group of people
 who make an industry of racism and unhappiness, 
marketing all that’s unpleasant and negative 
no matter how long ago these things occurred.”

Mike Barber

Johnson has made his living these past 36 years off the shooting that he helped orchestrate, but when it came down to actually fighting the Klan, he hid under a car.  Five of his comrades gave their lives for the cause and they gave Johnson a way to make a living for the rest of his life.

There is no need to furnish a plaque for the KKK rally,
which has caused this city so much strife 
over these many years.  

It is one of the darkest days in Greensboro history.

John Hammer 

...What I have never seen from Johnson is a rejection of the Communist Workers Party plan for a violent overthrow of the United States government.  What I have heard from him is a constant celebration of the communists who were killed that day.

Where does John say what Susan Ladd wrote 
was inaccurate?

Perhaps Ladd doesn’t know that sometimes people don’t say exactly what they mean.

Where is John's quote of Susan Ladd
that shows what she wrote was inaccurate?

Women don’t actually go to “powder their noses” and men don’t really go to “see a man about a horse.”  Sometimes you have to read between the lines."

http://www.rhinotimes.com/rhino-shorts.html
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Susan Ladd on Jones and Barber's comments;

"Both are prime examples of the rhetoric that keeps Greensboro from having a meaningful dialogue about race relations.

Both statements shut down productive conversation by demonizing others and drawing sweeping conclusions based on little more than opinion and suspicion.

Both take the extreme view and generate mostly anger.

Both statements are offensive.

And both are wrong."

Rhino; "The UNCG 3 continue to be vindicated."

"Associate Vice Chancellor Paul Mason – who was over the University Relations Department and had the UNCG 3 fired and arrested – announced his resignation effective Feb. 6.  Mason was hired in April of last year, and 10 of the 16 university relations employees he supervised are gone.

Three – Chris English, David Wilson and Lyda Carpen – were not only fired, but Mason had them arrested for improperly filling out timesheets. The cases were dismissed by the court with English and Wilson agreeing to reimburse the university for a week’s salary each for time they improperly recorded on their timesheets.  The judge in the case did everything but apologize.  Carpen’s case was dismissed without any discussion at all.  There was no time for apologies.

Mason is in charge of public relations for the university.  From a public relations standpoint he created a firestorm of bad publicity out of something that could have been handled with a couple of private conversations with his employees.  UNCG Chancellor Linda Brady has also announced her retirement.

Carpen’s attorney, Seth Cohen of Smith, James, Rowlett & Cohen, said that Carpen would be reinstated and would be working at UNCG long after Brady had gone, and it appears that has a good chance of coming true."

http://www.rhinotimes.com/rhino-shorts.html

Wednesday, January 28, 2015