Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

I always seek a local 'gourmet' restaurant when traveling.  Chain restaurants never!  I'd never heard of a 5-star rated catfish restaurant until I arrived in Russellville, AR.  My local research led me to Brown's Catfish restaurant 1804 E. Main. There it was. Everybody who'd eaten there had given it a 5-star review on Yelp. And gourmet it was.  On the lunch menu our attention was immediately drawn to Al's Catfish Po' Boy. It is a mouthwatering treat just to read its ingredients on the menu:  Catfish, Creole cole slaw, fried green tomatoes, jalapeno-pepper spiked 'angry' tartar - remoulade on a classic roll. Green tomatoes?  Is that a side, we asked?  "No. It and the cole slaw is on the sandwich.  The side is French fries."  That caused us to let out a silent, but collective 'WOW!' to ourselves.  "We'll take that and unsweetened ice tea with lemon." When the waitress left, we discussed green tomatoes on a sandwich.  Al came by and we inquired where he developed such a 'concoction' for a catfish sandwich. "That's the way we used to eat 'em down in Louisiana when I was growing up, so I started it here," he explained, adding he first opened the restaurant 24 years ago,but has remodeled recently and he's now opening for lunch. He has numerous cajun specialities from back home and offers a large buffet at dinner. Anyone passing with 50 miles of Russellville should visit the laid back, comfy little southern town of Russellville where the mayor has a monthly coffee with the citizens in city hall and council agendas are posted on the web for all to see - proud of their transparency. Home of the state's only nuclear power plant, Russellville is also the home of Arkansas Tech University. It is the county seat of Pope Co. and has a population of only about 27,500 people with only 6,182 living in the city. There are always residents of note in these little burgs.  In Russellville's case notables include Scott Bradley, an American composer noted for his works in Tom & Jerry cartoons; Russellville high graduate, actress Natalie Canerday who played in Sling Blade, October Sky, Walk the Line; Jeff Davis, thrice-elected governor and later U.S. Senator; and Brooks Hays, U.S. representative and adviser to both Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. To the notables, I have to add Al Brown and his catfish restaurant. For more information go to http://www.browns-catfish.com.
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Nye at Democrat breakfast

VIRGINIA BEACH - - 2nd District Rep. Glenn Nye is running for re-election.  And he appears to be running scared. At a Democrat breakfast appearance Saturday, his campaign handlers were totally unprofessional and the appearance, while it didn't come unglued, it was certainly rusty around the edges. The red meat attack on his opponent, promised in a city committee email announcing Nye's appearance, failed to materialize. The announcement said, "Also come learn more about millionaire car salesman Scott Rigell’s pro-Cuccinelli agenda and why we must win in November." To begin the meeting two staffers sought to stifle media coverage of by asking the city Democrat chairwoman Susan Mariner, a very nice, attractive woman, to ban media recording of Nye's remarks. Ms. Mariner said, "The request was made by his press staffer because she is very nervous and this is her first campaign." Informed that VNS would leave the meeting or would force the Democrats to throw us out before we would refrain from recording the event. Mariner said, "The Republicans don't allow you to record."  The editor replied, "I have been in the media since 1960 and I have never been banned or asked to not record a meeting. "In fact,"  he replied, "the Republicans encourage the media's participation." Mariner said she didn't know what to do as the deadline for starting Nye's presentation passed. VNS sought out Nye's handlers, press girl Jennifer Koch, and Eric Anderson, identified as political advisor. The editor explained and Ms. Koch said they would arrange an after the event interview or anything if the media didn't record the meeting. VNS stated that it had never honored such a request at a public meeting.  Ms. Koch lamely said, "This isn't  a public meeting."  It was quickly pointed out that it was a public meeting, the public had been invited, and Nye is a big boy and public figure capable to operating in a media environment. It was also pointed out that as X-2nd District Rep. Owen Pickett's press representative that the editor had 'written' the PR game book that Nye is trying to follow except in trying to censor the media.  Nye thanked the editor for that. At that point, 15 minutes past starting time, the editor asked Nye, "Do you have any objection to our recording the meeting?"  Nye tossed it back to Ms. Mariner.  "It's Susan's call," he said and when pressed refused to change his position. At that point the editor again talked with Mariner.  "What would you do if this was WAVY or WTKR television?"  "We'd do the same thing," Mariner said. VNS then told Ms. Mariner, since she continued to waffle, "We are going to record the meeting and to stop us, you'll have to throw us out." The whole media debacle was just rough, unprofessional, amateurish and Ms. Mariner admitted that she had no policy. Nye obviously modified his planned remarks with a slight display of annoyance and made no controversial comments about his opponents nor about substantiative issues. He abruptly ended his remarks and departed.  An attempt to talk with him was refused by his staff on the grounds 'he's in a hurry to leave.'

Armpit shows Nye's stress

The editor got the distinct impression that without his people having total control, Nye was unsure of himself and ill at ease. The building was well air-conditioned, but Nye was sweating profusely, soiling the armpits of his shirt. VNS' impression?  Nye will try to avoid all confrontation with any opponents by rejecting debates; will only appear before soft, supportive audiences, where his staff can have control. He doesn't appear to have the confidence to expose himself, his comments, or his positions to a mixed party or objective audience where he can't control the environment or questions. He seems like a really nice guy, but unwilling to debate his opponents.  Watch and lets see.
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VIRGINIA BEACH - - It ain't gonna to be Mayor Will Sessoms: Who ya  gonna call when you want somebody to save your tax dollars?  Why Vice Mayor Louis Jones and Councilman Bill DeSteph - that's who. Jones & DeSteph went head to head Monday with HRT chief Phil Shucet over HRT's attempt to get Virginia Beach citizens to help fund Norfolk's light rail study costs.  They saved the taxpayers of Virginia Beach almost $250,000 in 1-brief meeting Monday morning.  They're the heroes of the day. Shucet withdrew the request deciding to take the funds out of HRT's own pockets after Jones told him he needed to find the money 'in house' instead of looking for it from resort city taxpayers. While Jones and DeSteph were fighting to prohibit Virginia Beach tax dollars from going to Norfolk's grossly and criminally mismanaged light rail project, what was Mayor Sessoms doing? He was trying to break the arms of other members of council to get them to vote to give the money away.  Never once did Sessoms challenge the legality and integrity of the HRT request. Instead Sessoms was working feverishly trying to force his colleagues to vote approval of the request.  Of Shucet's turn around after meeting DeSteph & Jones,  Sessoms said, "That to me is HRT building credibility pretty quick." The resort city's stupidest mayor, who had been rallying council members to approve the money doesn't have the ability to be a leader! DeSteph on the other hand, went after the alleged documents City Manager Jim Spore's staff said required approval of the payment  to Norfolk. All DeSteph and Jones found was a 15-page document, negotiated and signed by Spore in 1999, but never approved by city council.  And  even if  it had been legally executed,  it did not require the beach to pay for any Norfolk study. It limited participating funding to capital 'acquisitions' such as …"vehicles, administration and maintenance facilities, bus stop signs, bus shelters, computer systems." The project is now sitting on almost $108 MILLION in cost overruns in 1-year.  The original document - HRT's grant application for light rail - states that any costs over $50 MILLION in federal grants have to be paid by NORFOLK - not Virginia Beach and the other cities. It cries out for a federal investigation to determine where $108 MILLION - Plus went, where, when, to whom, why, and did it disappear legally or illegally.  Only then can the corrupt, mismanaged agency restore its credibility.  Not from more shenanigans like this in conspiracy with an incompetent mayor who can't see past his nose. This has caused some to wonder, whether the project may not force Norfolk into bankruptcy or at least trash its credit rating. No member of the Virginia Beach city council except Jim Wood, HRT's chairman, and DeSteph have seen or read the governing documents. Sessoms was ready, willing and able to give away his city's tax dollars to a project - way over cost and behind schedule - without EVER SEEING THE DOCUMENTS GOVERNING VIRGINIA BEACH'S RESPONSIBILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS,  That should constitute malfeasance and be prosecuted by the Commonwealth's attorney. [Just in case:  Did any of you read the preceding paragraph? Read it again.] In fact, Wood had been unable to obtain a copy of the original grant document himself, even as chairman, because the X-dirtbag HRT administrator REFUSED to give it to him, until it was requested by Virginia News Source. It is hard to believe that as chairman of the board, you have no control over your employees - except for the fact that X-chief Michael Townes screams "racism" every time he is questioned about something he wants to hide or fails to perform to normal, acceptable, responsible standards. He had the board scared to death to challenge him one board member told VNS. But now he's gone.  A new day has dawned, but not without lingering storm clouds that only a federal investigation can drive away.
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The Incredible Shrinking Virginian-Pilot newspaper. Is this just the first move in its eventual disappearance? A front page story Sunday announced that the Pilot is going to shrink by an inch in the next two weeks and the tabs, such as the Beacon, etc., will also shrink in size. Then on Page 15, the publisher wasted a full page of news space on an ad talking about what a good job the Pilot is doing, how it's being responsive to the needs of its readers, how being smaller will allow it to keep the reporters who tell us everything we need to know. Read the rest of this entry »
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Like the ole country song, “...the girls all get prettier at closing time,...” it seems that GOP politicians all get dumber at election time.
Bob McDonnell

Bob McDonnell

As the liberal establishment get their panties in a bunch over GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell’s current predicament involving an old thesis he wrote in the 1980s espousing strong conservative values, the candidate has spent 2 days tripping over his own shoe strings working on damage control. Bob has not been noted for his street smarts or political intellect. He violated Moe Rowe’s No. 1 campaign axiom. Back in the early ‘90s 2nd District Rep. Owen Pickett had problems. He was best known for being anti-media. Media unfriendly. He was a good legislator, having served years in the General Assembly before going to Congress. But the media was the enemy. And he had a stupid, paranoid chief of staff who was terrified of the media. She didn’t know how to handle media relations so she kept Pickett secluded, unavailable for the most part. Read the rest of this entry »
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