Went to the bidders conference, Tuesday afternoon. One of the bidders asked the obvious question, "How come Pike and the City split?" Basically the City staff had this blank stare, but no information. When it came to comments about how to finish the job of opening the marina to the river, The city staff was again not helpful in their comments, "We would rather leave it to you the contractors to figure/decide how to best do the job." This leaves the contractors on the hook, if something goes wrong, even if Pike realized the issues and shared them with the city when they parted. I personally asked two questions. First why did the City focus on listing a series of five 1982 test boring points as the best of their research see "Subsurface Investigation Summary Package", they offered no answer. This report would appear to take the focus away from the reality that bedrock in many areas is 100 feet or more and is supported by newer boring tests by Hadley and Aldrich. See the Predevelopment Subsurface Conditions Analysis investigation Report pages 301 to 391. I believe there is a serious risk in opening the marina to the river causing the river to erode the marina area via the flow of the river. Second question was "Why did someone doctor Figure 3 of the Environmental Management Plan showing the overview of the boring and test pit sites to make it look like many more tests were done". The answer was the it was not doctored. I had in my possession at the meeting, copies of the figures blown up proving my claim. This again would lead someone to believe plenty of test borings had been done. One can compare that diagram to the one on page 256 of the Predevelopment Subsurface Conditions Analysis investigation report and see a drastic difference in the number of test points. Likewise if you have a good enough copy of Figure 3 that you can blow the image up, you see the same label for test sites used multiple times to clutter the document. Again, the City engineer denied any changes have been made as to "doctor" the document. I have requested a better copy of the document from Labella to allow them prove their point.
I will be the first to agree that most of the information provided seems very complete and helpful, but why did the City/Labella not provide good information which they had in regards to the boring tests on these documents makes no sense.
To not provide all the known information about why Pike walked away is at best not allowing good contractors to know what the problems are. If I were any of them, I would walk away due to the unknowns and the risk.
Frank I bet the reason Pike did not speak out is because the city threatened to sue if they speak out. This would not be the first time that the city gagged the contractor on this project. There is a serious problem at the site. More information on the issue will come out after the bid conference on Tuesday.
"On inequality, labor, infrastructure, public health, and civil rights, liberals are more closely aligned with the interests of low and middle income Americans than Republicans are." Without picking apart each item here, this election would seem to indicate that any and all critical issues to the average citizen who cared to vote, were positions support by the Conservative and Republican right. Otherwise the Democrats would not have suffered such a TERRIBLE lost. You went on to say Climate Change should be an item high on a voter's concern list. Yet, if you Google "polls us citizen", climate change does not even show up on the first page. If you Google "polls us citizen climate change" every article I checked, and there are many, were written by climate change groups and they all believe at least 67% of all Americans think it is important. Maybe you personally should broaden a bit what you read. You go on to criticize those "Democrats" who abandoned the President and his policies. Just maybe they read articles by others than those who are part of the Progressive and Extreme Left, who at least somewhat tell the truth about the President and his policies, they are failing. The leader you love has failed over and over, in one issue after another. What is worst, most of those failings are linked to a scandal. Mary Ann, you go on the say that "Hope and Change" helped pass the Affordable Care Act. This happens to be the latest Presidential scandal. The architect of the Affordable Care Bill has been exposed via videos that he, closely working with the White House, specifically lied about "Keeping your Doctor, Keeping your Insurance", "Paying for insurance who used it by those who did not use it", "You will pay $2,500 less with the act" and "It is not a tax" SO THAT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WILL PASS IN CONGRESS. He even went on to say that HE WAS COUNTING ON THE STUPIDITY OF THE AVERAGE CITIZEN to pass the bill. Mary Ann you end with "What Obama and the Democrats do in the next two years is not irrelevant, though. They can do what they've done in the past two years. Or they can do unite around the progressive issues that got Obama elected in 2008, remind Americans of how closely their own goals align with those of traditional Democrats and seek common ground with moderate Republicans...." First of all what Democrats have done in the past two years is exactly what they have been doing since this President was elected in 2008. They have gained their support from the voters using phrases and promises they never keep. To even dare to call a "traditional Democrat" a progressive is terribly offensive. Traditional Democrats were for majority rule and care of the poor. The Progressive of today believes "they know best" what society needs and plan to create an America based on that philosophy. In other worlds, "the ideas of the few to control the world of the many". The biggest problem the Progressive Democrat has today is that they have run out of "HOT BUTTON" items to cause the "uninformed voter" to get excited about. Same sex marriage is being accepted. Climate change has been exposed as opinion and not science. Abortion and contraception is no longer an issue which can be construed as the most important issue for women. Women are not one issue voters. The word "racism" has been over used by the Democrats in describing the attitudes of Republicans and Conservatives and even the average citizen has seen through that lie. As I see it, with no hot buttons, the progressives may just loose a lot more elections and again maybe recede into the far distant pass, in the political eyes of this country. Other than that, please Mary Ann keep pushing your Progressive agenda, it gives me something to respond to ....
Mark, I understand your frustration with the city school system and its failing students. What Raleigh seems to have done is create an environment which changes the mathematical distribution of families by creating magnet schools - thus scores/number of graduates improves. That would be expected. But it does not solve the underlying problem, it only dissolves it a bit. If we don't develop a plan to educate both child and parent from the poor neighborhood, they who are poorly educated will continue to exists. It is the lack of respect for education in our city homes which creates an environment for failure. If a parent failed in school, and has no use for that facility, you can't get the kid there. If a parent can't read, he or she can't help a kid to learn to read, if they can't do math, they can't help their child do math. If the parent never developed a good value system and ethics, they can't teach/re-enforce a good attitude in their kids. I have to laugh at the State, District and U of R solution to the East High problem. They are attacking a aspect of the facility, the teaching faculty, which will not improve the student outcome. Not one parent of a failing student will be affected by this new approach and thus the real problem related to the failure of students at East will not be solved. Lastly, more money in the wrong place also solves no problems, a beautiful well equipped facility with a teaching staff with a list of suffixes after their names cannot fix a problem which they have no contact with, parents...... Not sure what you really learned in Raleigh, but until we figure out how to change the culture of the city family, nothing can be accomplished in the classroom.
Let me start with the actual words of our first amendment of the US Constitution:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
It is clear that this amendment states "Congress" shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Has Greece attempted to create a law respecting any specific "establishment" of religion? NO!!!! The amendment goes on to state that "Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech". Thus it would be a violation of our Constitution to stop the Greece board from praying at the meetings - a specific right to free speech.
Now I know there are millions across this country including Mary Anna Towler who choose to make this simple statement of rights a million other meanings. Sorry, I read it simply and with that there is no law broken yet. If the Supreme Court rules against the Town of Greece, then they would create a ruling which is counter to the US Constitution......
One additional note: Mary Anna's reference to Mark's Gospel has been misinterpreted .... Jesus did not want people to "pray in public" in such a way as to gain praise from their peers. Jesus prayed in public as did the apostles. Our founding fathers often prayed in public - often it was to ask for guidance. Somehow today our Progressives and Liberals are doing exactly what Mark's Gospel was suggesting should not be done ..... that is "attempting to tell all that their government is better than God and can offer all we all need on earth" ..... thus telling everyone how great they are ....
Martin Miller in his comment last week has it right, you will find a way to put Obama in the best possible light no matter what. You have done it again.
Lets start with the Red Line on gas weapons, maybe there has been an implied red line by the world on gas weapons for a while, but Obama used the phrase with stated consequences. He has tried to wiggle out of the statement as has Secretary Kerry in the last weeks, but there are just too many copies of the original statement to make it disappear.
You, in your editorial did not once mention who the rebels are which are fighting Assad. If they wore WHITE HATS maybe the decision to take Assad on would be easier. They not only wear BLACK HATS, but their hats are darker than Assad's. If the rebels had the gas weapons, they would use them without thinking ..... remember these guys like to cut people's heads off. and worst ..... and yes, they happen to be related to a group of terrorist which dropped the two world trade buildings, killing 3000 plus, put a big whole in the Pentagon and killed another group of people in Pa. That was just one strike on this country. If we add the others, there are probably a few more thousands of people killed who are directly related to the US. So exactly how hard is it to make this decision to strike? If we strike, we may be attacking the wrong organization (Assad), helping the wrong organization (Al-Qaeda) and putting the gas weapons in the hands in a group of terrorists who would not hesitate to use them on anyone. My last point, we could start World War III ....... there may be a time and a true enemy of the US in the future ..... AL-Qaeda is not the revolutionary group we should ever defend ..... for they will not hesitate to turn around and use that new found gas weapon on our country.
Anna Towler, I read your editorial each week and can always provide a different opinion with facts, figures and references to support my position. This week presents special challenges because you are speaking about a world which I truly believe does not exists.
So, lets start with "what we ought to feel is shame" when listening to King's speech. We should only feel shame if we ignore all that came from that speech, that man, all who marched with him, black, white, Asian, etc. We should only feel shame because of the race baiting comments made by Sharpton and those like him who want division only to continue their purpose in life.
Next, "Racism thrives today just as it did when King spoke", you really need to tell us where you live? I have not seen police beating up large numbers of black people just because of the color of their skin in any recent media report. I have not heard of any large numbers of black students being turned away from college in the media reports. I have not seen one service station with toilets for both white and also black folks. I have not sat in any restaurant where there was a separate section for the black community. Exactly where have you seen any of this? We really need to get some media coverage and AG Holder on it ......
You mention assaults on voting rights, I presume you are speaking about the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia in the 2008 election. Yes there was a clear violation which the Attorney General's office looked into, found real evidence for prosecuting a case, but decided not to for unknown reasons. One of the assistant attorney generals who did the investigation even provided details on 60 minutes and later resigned when the case was dropped. You can't be talking about requiring a voter id or removing from the voting polls dead people which only ENFRANCHISES the registered voters no matter what color their skin is .... Again, if we went back to the days of the march, it was just about impossible for Blacks to vote in the south. That is not the case today! If you have seen hundreds of Blacks being turned away in any of the recent elections, please lets get the media to report on it!
Mary Anna, if you lived 50 years ago and were writing this editorial then, I would agree the concentration of poverty has much to do with racism. Today, sorry I can't agree. I live in the city on the Greece border and work in Gates. I interact with Black families daily who have done exactly the same things may white families have done in regards to the city. If where they live in the city is a bad place, they find a way to escape. This flight to the suburbs is all about escaping the poverty where you lived. It has much less to do with racism. President Johnson started a program long ago called the War on Poverty. It was too little to help both the white and black poor communities. In many ways the government welfare programs have only helped increase those who are dependent.
Then you asked friends for examples about how they experienced racism in this country. Did you ask any person other than your Black friends if they had ever been discriminated against or looked down on. I personally am bald and a group of teenagers choose to call me names and yes I did not like it. With the latest opportunities for bullying, discrimination will continue unfortunately, but to use these few examples and state nothing has changed since 1963 is anything but accurate.
Lets start locally, leadership from our black community includes our police chief, our president of city council and other members of the council, members of the school board, four members of the county legislature, Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox, Carol John Davidson, Trustee, University of Rochester. What was the likelihood we could list without much effort this number of individuals from the Black community back in 1963.
Now lets look at national positions, President of the United States, both Democrat and Republican members of our Congress, our Federal Attorney General, Ben Carson, noted brain surgeon, Herman Cain, Successful Business Entrepreneur, Allen West, Professor Carol M. Swain, Ph.D., Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell, Niger Innis, Condoleezza Rice, Deneen Borelli, David Webb .... all stand out leaders from our Black community just to start .....
Are there big problems which need to be solved in our communities yes. But, Mary Anna Towler please tell me how this is not real progress for our Black community!
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