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I'm a Dork 4 Jay Brannan to see his links click here:

"The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported."

Fight the H8 in Your State"A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity."

~ Honorable James Madison, Jr., President, The United States of America, 1809–1817. The Father of the Constitution, Author of the Bill of Rights, Co Author of The Federalist Papers


Come On People! Is your life really worth the risk? Wrap It Up!
Scroll down to the bottom of the page in order to view the Public Service Alert from Chi Chi La Rue
or to view all four videos and see the latest updates in this series click here please

31 October 2007

Capture The Moat

This was found on Fort Wayne Observed's.
Please feel free to caption the picture in the comments.


Only in Fort Wayne do you see this or a cop trying to jimmy his own squad car open while it is sitting at the bus station. And people complain about living in Fort Wayne, come on there is humor all around you in this City, take time to stop and laugh a while it will all be better in the morning! Oh and by the way people, Happy Halloween!

There is more to come out (no pun intended) tomorrow, stay tuned, muwahahah!

Car plunges into 8-foot Calhoun hole

By Rebecca S. Green The Journal Gazette

A 61-year-old Fort Wayne man found himself the unwanted center of a lot of attention late Wednesday morning after he drove his car into an 8-foot hole on a closed downtown street.

Charles Farrell turned from Washington Boulevard onto Calhoun Street, thinking the road had been reopened. Instead he drove his silver Chevrolet Lumina into the hole right as the downtown lunch crowds hit the streets.

With cell phone cameras snapping photos and passersby debating how Farrell’s car would be salvaged, Farrell stood impassively on the curb in front of the Hilton Hotel as crews worked to pull the car out of the hole.

Safety officials from Brooks Construction, which is doing excavation work on the street, said they were taking statements from witnesses about how Farrell was able to turn onto the street. Barrels are placed at the Calhoun Street and Washington Boulevard intersection, but they are spaced wide enough apart to allow construction equipment to pass in between, officials said.

The car was eventually removed from the hole and a high-voltage electrical line running under the street was undamaged, officials said.

Farrell was also uninjured, with the exception of a small cut on his left hand.

Photo credit Tim Bristow

Frost Illustrated pounds home Libertarians across Front Page


City election could prove unpredictable;
Libertarians might be the hole card
By Dan Jehl

We'll probably remember this year's local election for years. There have been a number of twists this year that make the upcoming Nov. 6 mayoral and City Council elections difficult to predict.

This year's election has had few periodic stints of normalcy. Almost weekly, something out of the ordinary has happened. Normally, incumbency would help get someone elected or the person's political party could most likely secure a win, but not this time. Incumbency could hurt someone's chances since there's an anti-incumbent mood among many voters who are upset over the smoking ban, or Harrison Square, or being blocked out of a big public hearing—or just because.

This year, it's hard to tell how much weight political party affiliation carries, with some Democrats sounding like Republicans and some Republicans sounding like Democrats and Libertarians—who fielded nearly a full slate of City Council candidates—sounding like Libertarians.

By now, independent polls on who's "leading" the races traditionally would be all over the papers. Not this time. Polls are being taken by the parties with results kept under wrap; and no one is putting any faith in the on-line polls being done by the papers and the TV news channels due to unreliable results caused by the Rep. Ron Paul effect of "poll-stacking" or "cyber-jamming," a new political phenomenon made possible by the Internet.

The key to who will win is in which groups will show up with the greatest numbers. Will it be the pro-Kelty, pro-Henry, pro-Libertarian, antiincumbent, anti-smoking ban or other candidate-specific groups? Whoever and whichever group shows up with strength in numbers will win.

Just consider these highlights—or lowlights depending on your point of view—which could impact voter turnout this year:

  • Election year starting off with accusations that a Kelty billboard was too big.
  • Citizen complaints that campaign signs were causing traffic problems on busy intersections.
  • Former Notre Dame football coach Jerry Faust getting involved in local election politics by verifying that Kelty did practice and try out to be a Notre Dame punter.
  • Presidential contenders speaking at the party convention in Fort Wayne of a third party, the Libertarian Party.
  • Kelty winning the Republican primary for mayor in an unexpected upset.
  • Democrat primary winner Henry firing his campaign manager before campaign ever gets started.
  • Both Henry and Kelty being accused all summer by media of hiding out on the issues and having a low or no profile.
  • A Democratic Council candidate changing his mind and dropping out of race.
  • An anti-incumbent coalition fueled by the citywide smoking ban forming and endorsing a slate of candidates.
  • The leader of the anti-smoking ban group being discovered previously guilty of voter fraud and leaving the city, apparently not coming back since.
  • Kelty changing his initial campaign finance report to clarify and address questions of party leaders.
  • Henry's top advisor—his father, Jerry Henry—offering his son the sage advice of running his own campaign and staying out of the competition's.
  • Republican Party Chair Steve Shine working overtime to mend party factions and volunteering to get "dunked" for local charity after lingering bitterness over Kelty's upset of party favorite Nelson Peters in the primary election threatens Republican unity.
  • The Allen County Elections Board investigating possible campaign finance reporting irregularities by Kelty and finding no wrongdoing with two Republicans topping one Democrat on the board in a 2-1 vote.
  • Common Cause of Indiana getting involved by filing complaint with Allen County to investigate possible Kelty campaign finance irregularities.
  • The Republican Allen County Prosecutor punting the case to out-of-county independent inquiry—Dan Sigler, the same special prosecutor who filed campaign violation charges against former Democrat Mayor Win Moses during the 1980s.
  • A grand jury indicting Kelty on his campaign finance report, leading to Kelty being handcuffed and taken to jail in full view of cameras rolling.
  • Conspiracy theories playing out in private opinion articles casting blame on either Steve Shine, the Republican Executive Committee, the Democrats or Democrat Election Board member Andy Downs for Kelty's situation.
  • The Republican Party split over supporting Kelty for the mayor's race and the Executive Committee being abolished.
  • Party faithful of both mayoral parties splitting ranks, with "Republican for Henry" and "Democrat for Kelty" signs appearing.
  • Stop Crawford (the At-large city councilman who authored the smoking ban legislation) bumper stickers appearing.
  • A political satire birthday cake receiving two weeks of press coverage nearly topping coverage of the war in Iraq.
  • Popular and powerful Republican Congressman Mark Souder withdrawing his Kelty endorsement, resulting in Souder supporters being angry at him over endorsement withdrawal—given that many of same people supporting Kelty also put and kept Souder in office.
  • Libertarians fielding nearly a full slate of City Council candidates, so that for the first time ever in history, voters have three partycandidate choices for eight of the nine council seats.

Interestingly, another unexpected factor that makes this election different is this campaign's clean and even friendly public tone-so far. Both mayoral candidates publicly have been speaking highly of each other's families. City Council candidate public forums also have a friendly tone. The forums have been marked by professional common courtesy and candidates voicing positions without interruption and potshots. No jeering or tasers either.

When the above events are taken together or even in bits and pieces, the city's 2007 election sets the bar at an unprecedented height for a really strange and unpredictable election year. Will the absence of "normalcy" in this election turn people off or help get out the vote? There are a whole lot more registered voters than in the election four years ago. As of October 24, there were 172,800 people registered to vote or 34,207 (24.6 percent increase) more than the 2003 election due to three annexations and a city population increase. But, of all these people, who will actually show up? It really is up to us. We do hire them, and fire politicians. We make a difference in the direction of our city. And, we can put our mark on it again by showing up on Nov. 6. As always, it's up to us.

Discrimination In Dallas

In Dallas, a Hip-Hop Plea: Pull Your Pants Up

Morning Edition, October 24, 2007 · Saggin' — young men wearing their pants with the waistband closer to their knees than their hips — has been around for years. But a growing number of adults are deciding they've had enough. In Dallas, an interesting mix of politicians, hip-hop artists and white businessmen are announcing a citywide campaign with a simple message: Pull Your Pants Up.

Deputy Mayor Dwaine Caraway's work life usually involves economic development, crime, housing-code enforcement and stray dogs. But the drumbeat of anger from South Dallas, the predominately black part of town, got so loud that Caraway decided to take a little detour into law enforcement work — fashion police.

"This is not just a teenage problem," Caraway says. "There are people sagging ... in their 30s. You know, where's your mind? You're not a teenager."

Caraway says that at first, saggin' was about showing your boxers. Then it was about showing more of your boxers. Then dirty boxers were cutting edge. And now there are guys walking around with no boxers on at all.

"You have some folks that don't even have on underwear, period," he says. "And who's to say what the generation that's looking at this generation will do after these guys?"

Two weeks ago, Caraway called a news conference and proposed a new saggin' ordinance. Unfortunately for Caraway, lawyers then called with some potentially bad constitutional news. So Caraway backed off a bit on the legal front, but he didn't give up.

"The No. 1 mission is very simple: pulling up your pants. That's all we want," Caraway says. "We don't want to throw folks in jail because they wear their pants low. So we're going to make it man's law and not city law."

And here is where fate stepped in to rescue the deputy mayor's crusade. In his barbershop in South Dallas, a rapper named Dewayne Brown saw Caraway on TV. Brown is called Dooney, and Dooney was suddenly very excited because he had been thinking about writing a new song. He already had a title: "Pull Your Pants Up."

After the 10 o'clock news was over, Dooney ran to his recording studio in the back of his barbershop and by 3 a.m., he had written an anthem — a hip-hop plea to America's youth.

Dooney says that most of the boys and young men who are saggin' don't know where it really comes from. But another word for saggin' is jailin'.

"They don't know why their pants are low ... They think it's a fad, or it's something to do or it's cool. And I say, 'Well, No ... it come from behind the bars.'"

Clear Channel has agreed to donate billboard space around town and Dooney designed a billboard showing him with his arms crossed, standing in front of downtown Dallas.

Dallas is not the first city to confront saggin'. Shreveport, La., Atlanta and Stratford, Conn., have discussed passing laws. But Dallas is taking a different approach, trying for the hearts and minds of its young people.


Song Links Saggy Pants to Being Gay

The Bryant Park Project, October 26, 2007 · A new campaign by the city of Dallas targets the hip-hop style of wearing your pants low enough that your boxers are showin — and part of your posterior, too.

The campaign has a signature song, "Pull Your Pants Up," by Dooney Da' Priest, that links so-called saggin' with being gay. After the BPP blogged NPR's original report on the public service announcement, listeners objected to lyrics they consider homophobic.

Andrew Jones commented on a line about living "on the down low" — common slang for a man who has secret sexual encounters with other men.''It's cute when homophobia is part of a citywide campaign," Jones wrote. "Shaming the youth by calling them gay, love that from the government."

An accompanying billboard says it's rude to be "walking around showin' your behind to other dudes." The song's refrain is "Be a real man — pull your pants up."

In an interview with a local television station, Dooney explained that saggin' comes from jail, where he argued that showing your boxers has a very particular meaning. "You're letting another man know that you're available," Dooney said.

Mark Anthony Neal, professor of black popular culture in the Department of African American Studies at Duke University, parses the lyrics and explains why they'll hit some young men hard.

Throw your two cents in on our blog. See the open thread, "Dallas Saggy Pants Song: Homophobic?"

Saggy Pants Songwriter Sort of Says He's Sorry

The Bryant Park Project, October 30, 2007 · Dooney Da' Priest's rap song "Pull Your Pants Up" is meant to shame young men in Dallas from wearing saggy britches. It's the signature tune of a Dallas city campaign against so-called saggin'.

After listeners pointed out the homophobia inherent in taunting men for looking like they live "on the down low," Da' Priest says he apologized to the gay community on his MySpace page. Da' Priest says that the song isn't an attack on gay people, and that he was "dealing with the N-word, too."

"Whether their sexual preference is to be a homosexual or being gay, that's their problem," Da' Priest says. "I'm the street, I'm the street priest, and I have real good Christian values on what I believe in, and I am against homosexuality. But this is not the reason why I wrote the song."

On our blog, an open thread: So what if Dooney Da' Priest believes being gay is wrong?


Frost Illustrated in its 24 OCTOBER 2007 Edition also covered this issue:

Black leaders: Sagging low has got to go!

By Gordon Jackson
Special to the NNPA
from the Dallas Examiner

DALLAS (NNPA)-From a city councilman to a school board trustee and a college president, a decision made by black community leaders to dramatically uplift fashion and get rid of a controversial image in their community has brought them both high praise and strong criticism. Undaunted, they strive forward to regain control of their slice of urban America.

Dallas District 4 City Councilman Dwaine Caraway officially declared war on "sagging," the highly discussed fashion statement expressed mostly by young black males, where they wear their pants well below their waistline, exposing a portion of their underwear, or in some occasions, their buttocks.

"We are in discussion as to how and what it is we need to do," Caraway said at an Oct. 4 City Hall press conference. "It is something where we will have to collaborate with the different authorities in the city."

Caraway will meet with representatives of DISD and all the various law enforcement agencies in hopes of implementing a strong anti-sagging policy and resolution by the beginning of 2008.

DISD trustee Ron Price, who challenged the City Council on the same issue last year, also says that sagging low has got to go. He is more so targeting young adults going into their early 30s that sag, who he said is setting a poor example for the younger generation.

"That's the issue, it's not the kids. It's the adults who are bad role models for the children. It's not a race issue, it's a issue of decency and respect," said Price, who led the implementation of school uniforms in DISD. "It has nothing to do with race or gender, it has to do with our society as a whole and that we are demanding excellence out of all our citizens of the United States."

Price has proposed the saggers be fined $50 for a form of indecent exposure. Caraway fights away his critics, who say that every young generation finds different ways to outlandishly express their individuality and that possibly using a city ordinance against them is a violation of an individual's freedom of expression.

"There are organizations that want to protect the fact that they have the right to show their dirty underwear," Caraway said. "Well, who's protecting the eyesight of the three-year-old girl that left to go to the playground, protecting her right of seeing something she did not want to see? Or of the 89-year old grandmother getting her medicine at Wal-Mart?

Critics have also noted that the problem with young black males, believed by many to already be targets of profiling by law enforcers, would be further perpetuated when looking for saggers.

"Rest all thoughts about incarceration, about arresting them and tying up police time," Caraway said. "We don't want to go and attach a criminal history behind a person wearing sagging pants. At the same token, we want to be as tough, respectful and educational as we possibly can so that we can ensure that folks get our message."

Sagging has been going on since about the early 1990s and has been mixed in as one of the negatives elements of the hip-hop/gangsta culture, along with misogynous and profanity-laced rap music. The issue is also being aggressively addressed in other large urban cities like Baltimore, Trenton and Shreveport. In Atlanta, City Councilman C.T. Martin also is spearheading a campaign. He flew into Dallas on Caraway's invitation.

"We're not trying to attack young people. We're trying to create a connectivity to them to say 'let's talk about this,'" Martin said. "We have a right to teach and nurture our young individuals to as to what it takes to be successful in society. It's not about profiling."

It's about business, said Caraway.

"If a young gentleman, sagging, were to come in seeking a job, would he have an opportunity to get the job?" he inquired.

Martin said it's also about responsibility, especially among the older generation to guide the younger generation in the right direction.

"All we want is what our elders throughout the tradition of family, all the way back to Abraham wanted. We decided that when nobody else would speak up, we will come forward and tackle an issue," Martin said. "It's about the code of the streets and public policy."

It's also about education, said Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell.

"We are taking back our students, our streets, our kids. We're not going to advocate our responsibility," Sorrell said. "It doesn't have to be positive or neat and tidy, sometimes leadership is messy."

Sorrell is executing his own policy on the Paul Quinn campus. This semester, he instituted a business casual dress code during regular business hours Monday through Thursday. No jeans, t-shirts or sneakers while students are attending classes. Sorrell is focused on the school teaching his students both the job skills and life skills it takes to make inroads in the workforce.

"We are going to teach our students every minute we're on our campus," Sorrell said. "We're in the business of taking back our community, sometimes you have to teach people how to dream."

Paul Quinn's dress policy caught the attention of educators and other organization across the country, including C-SPAN, the political and public affairs cable television network that provides 24 hours-a-day coverage of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Representatives of their C-SPAN Campaign 2008 Bus toured through Dallas and the Paul Quinn campus Tuesday to witness a debate on the dress code held by students.

"Our dress code has helped reduce discipline problems and develop responsibility," said senior and physical education major LaShonda Hunter, the lead debater. "When you walk into an interview, employers will be pleased with the professionalism of your appearance. It improves morals and values. It tells others that you are prepared to learn and work."

Kenneth Boston took helm on the opposing side.

"Just because I might have on jeans and a t-shirt, it doesn't take away from who I am intellectually," Boston said. "Some people work better relaxed and perform better when they're comfortable. If you have a student that doesn't necessarily agree with the dress code, that doesn't mean that they're going to leave just because of that.

"No matter how you dress, you can have high morals and values."

Brandon Clay, a freshman from Little Rock, also said he was influenced by friends.

"I had friends that did it and I did it because they did it," Clay said. "I always reserved the other side of dressing to make me feel better."

Both approve of Paul Quinn's dress policy.

"I think that in our community as blacks and individuals, we try to feel like a victim why we're in the position we're in and trying to make excuses," said Clay. "But one of the reasons why we're not moving forward is because of how you dress. I think they're making a great movement with this."

City Councilman Tennell Atkins remembered when his two now grown twin sons started sagging when they were teenagers.

"The first time I told them to pull their pants up," Atkins said. "The second time I pulled out my belt and I whipped [one's] butt. I did it because I love my kids."

Caraway gave an alarming vision of what could happen if the issue is not resolved now.

"Maybe the next generation may decide they want to wear no pants at all."

MY COMMENTS
When I get a copy of my editorial I will reprint it here but for now to give you the basic gist with a picture.

While I have no issue with a basic sag, as an issue of comfort and it can look down right sexy at times, which should not be restricted or legislated against. Because that is bad government and slaps in the realm of censorship and personal constitutional privacy privileges and rights. However when they sag below the buttocks, then it lends one to wonder "Why dont they just wear a kilt or a skirt to get the breeze that is so desired?", but alas it should still not be legislated or deemed something to be dealt with by community leaders. It needs to be dealt with by raising the self esteem and respect of the individual and group members by giving them a reason to present themselves in a more professional, less obtrusive manner, and that starts at home and in the workplace not in city hall or at the courthouse.

MRev. Kenneth White, Jnr.

Thanks to Michael Patterson
Publisher, Frost Illustrated
for sending me a copy of my editorial

the life and times of gay youth and young adults

I need to also catch up on some interesting news that I have been sitting on for a week:

Royal yes to diversity at Davis Senior High

Gay boys are voted princes of junior event, cheered by fellow students, adults.

By Kim Minugh - Bee Staff Writer


Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the royalty of Davis Senior High School's junior class: Brandon Raphael and his prince, Kiernan Gatewood.


For what appears to be the first time in school history, the Davis Senior High student body has elected a gay couple into homecoming royalty. With each boasting a white sash declaring his title as "Prince," the two 16-year-olds rode through the city of Davis Friday afternoon in the school's annual homecoming parade.

They stood in the back of a pickup truck, arm-in-arm, smiling warmly despite the rain.

"People were so excited for us," Gatewood said of the couple's victory, announced a few weeks ago. "We were a little surprised, but Davis ..."

"Is a liberal town," interrupts his boyfriend of four months, Raphael. "Go 10 miles in any other direction and you'll get some other feeling."

Indeed, the news might surprise few in Davis, a city embraced and, at times, mocked for its liberal leanings.

But students and adults cheering on the boys recognized their election as a meaningful milestone.

Lai-San Seto, advocacy coordinator for the San Francisco-based Gay-Straight Alliance Network, said the Davis Senior High homecoming election is not the first case of gay students bucking tradition.

But it remains far from the norm, Seto said.

And usually by the time she hears about such things, they've become a controversy within their community.

"It's a sign that LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) people are getting recognized everywhere," she said. "LGBTQ are considered vital members of the school community and are able to participate in school events in the same full way that their straight fellow students are able to."

Seto applauded the Davis Senior High student body for their acceptance -- and the school administration for being "open-minded."

In the weeks since officials announced the homecoming court, there's been no public outcry -- not by campus leaders, not by students and not by the community.

Students said they were encouraged that the election was not an issue for campus administrators. They said they were less surprised that a gay couple would win than they were that officials allowed it to happen.

"I thought the administration would have more to say about it," Raphael said.

Principal Michael Cawley declined to comment Friday on the boys' election, saying only that he hoped to keep the issue "low-key."

Students, however, were eager to talk. They piled atop floats and lined the parade route to show their school spirit, armed with air horns and fistfuls of candy.

Some have been celebrating their friends' landmark victory for days.

"I think it's just such a good thing for our school. Just knowing that the other kids recognize them as a couple and would vote for a gay couple to be prince and prince of homecoming. ... I don't know, I just think it's awesome," said senior Chandler Fox, co-president of the campus Gay-Straight Alliance. "I want people to know about it so maybe it can happen at another school."

Decked out in Davis Senior High's colors of blue and black, sophomore Charlotte ter Haar and two friends agreed that the election was significant because it came straight from the students -- Raphael and Gatewood won in a write-in ballot election.

Couples could campaign for their class titles -- king and queen for seniors, prince and prince(ss?) for juniors, etc. -- but no names appeared on the ballot. Students wrote in their own candidates.

"The students voted for who they wanted to win," ter Haar said.

Parent Lorna Bernard said she was taken aback by the news -- only because in her day, a gay couple stood to be harassed by their peers, not elected.

But Raphael and Gatewood, she said, are "not just accepted, they're popular -- popular enough to be elected as homecoming princes."

And that, she said, is "really cool."

As for the boys, they said they campaigned hard in anticipation of the election. But their goal, they said, was not to make a political statement.

"We wanted to be nominated and win," Raphael said.

Added Gatewood: "Just like anybody else."

source of pictures Michael Allen Jones of the Sacramento Bee

30 October 2007

Allow me to emplode my ghetto redneckness for a moment

Gosh Kasey Kahne is a cutie pie and if you have a half hour to kill make sure to watch the rest of the videos that come after this one.



Source of information credit Brandon Baker's Adventure In Being

28 October 2007

Frost Illustrated gets it right on review of Candidates for City Council

Voters to choose who will play ball
on nine-member City Council team

By Dan Jehl

It's like choosing a major league baseball team. And, we, the voters, will soon choose who plays. The entire nine-member Fort Wayne City Council is up for reelection on Nov. 6, and it will be interesting. One local bar and restaurant has an outdoor sign already welcoming new council members and bidding farewell to present incumbents.

Although the public spotlight has focused on the two candidates for mayor, Tom Henry and Matt Kelty, the council plays a large role on many issues. From closeto- home issues like zoning variances and honoring the Scouts, to big issues like the smoking ban, Harrison Square, the city budget, and tax relief, the City Council is right there playing in the World Series weekly. And this year some of the Council decisions like the smoking ban has fueled an anti-incumbent voter mood. As always, who wins will depend on who shows up to vote.

The winners will receive exactly $21,414 annually beginning Jan. 1. Their job is to represent us. We hire them; we fire them. That's how representative democracy is supposed to work.

There are 26 candidates vying for the nine roster spots. That's nearly one for every 10,000 Fort Wayne citizens. Six slots are based on district or area and three slots are earmarked for at-large candidates. The candidates range in age from 22 to 70 and range in public experience from zero experience to 36 years. The candidates include full and part-time students and full and part-time plus retired employees. Their top priorities embrace improved neighborhoods, tax changes, less government, more affordable housing, reverse brain drain incentives, more green space, a river project and much more.

The 26 candidates include 21 men and five women. There are four African American male candidates, one African American female candidate, and one female Hispanic candidate.

The minority candidate percentages mirror the city's population, given that there are five minority candidates of 26, with minority groups comprising more than 25 percent of the city with 16 percent African Americans and eight percent Hispanics as the two largest according to the Census Bureau. But, the gender breakdown is way out of whack. Fort Wayne's estimated 2007 population is 129,044 females and 121,042 males. The current council has no female members.

Who are they? The candidates for this four-year term roster are presented by the six city council districts and then by the three at-large positions.

THE DISTRICT CANDIDATES

1st District:
Tom Smith vs. Kevin Boyd vs. Byron Peters

The 1st District is Fort Wayne's northeast area, consisting of an estimated 2,055 African American residents. Incumbent Republican business-owner Tom Smith-is running for his third term. His interests include more greenspace, trails and bikeways. He votes his constituents' wants on the issues and promotes the purchase of the OmniSource property for the North River project. Developing community resources is a top priority.

His Democrat opponent is pastor and insurance representative Kevin Boyd. His priority is economic development and instilling positive and constructive ideals into the public issue dialogue.

The Libertarian candidate is business- owner and executive Byron Peters. Many candidates are talking up the use of the rivers as a resource, and only Peters is bringing up ceasing sewage dumping into the rivers, which occurs now 100 days each year. He opposes any use of public dollars on out-of-town consultants.

2nd District:
Don Schmidt vs. Karen Goldner vs. Jonathon Bartels

The 2nd District, the north central area, has an estimated 2,214 African American residents, and has the fastest growing minority population district. The incumbent is 10-term seeker and current Council President Don Schmidt. A recently retired IPFW engineering faculty member, Schmidt favors city-county consolidation and limiting government and tax growth to the rate of inflation. His voting pattern shows fiscal restraint and resistance to government growth, as evidenced by voting behavior on city budgets and opposing proposals such as refurbishing the animal shelter, forming the Women's Bureau and creating a flood control district.

His Democrat opponent is business executive Karen Goldner and current member of the Redevelopment Commission . Goldner has 20 years of community development experience, including three as the City's director of Economic Development. She said her style would reflect fiscal prudence, an emphasi-Fort Wayne" initiative was the first of the non-incumbent Council candidates' new proposals.

The third candidate is Jonathon Bartels, representing the Libertarian party. Bartels said he would stress neighborhood and individual advocacy and also reigning in the government's role in public affairs.

3rd District:
Tom Didier vs. Debra McBride vs. Gloria Diaz

The 3rd District consists of the northwest area of Fort Wayne and an estimated 1,958 African Americans. Republican Tom Didier aspires to his second term. National Anthem- singer and businessman Didier stresses strong neighborhoods, business growth and city upkeep of its downtown and all around town to attract tourists, retain families and build communities.

Debra McBride, the Democrat contender, has very similar views and emphasizes overall economic development supported by her financial background as a business accounting director.

The Libertarian candidate is Gloria Diaz, who said she would advance new ideas to address the "brain drain," promote physical fitness and pursue less taxes and less government

4th District:
Chris Stewart vs. Mitch Harper

The 4th District is the city's southwest area with about 1,614 African American residents. This area will have a new representative since Dr. Tom Hayhurst is not running for reelection. This is the only contest with two, not three, candidates. Democrat Chris Stewart, a business owner and business executive, got a late start due to the withdrawal of the former Democratic candidate Charles Langley. Stewart said he would be active on economic issues, like the local business climate, job growth and personal income growth. He favors homeowner tax incentives to keep homes upgraded.

His contender is Republican Mitch Harper, a former 12-year state legislator, and youngest ever Indiana state legislator when first elected at age 22. Attorney Harper has interests in environmental issues, transportation, and running and supports the Port-to-Fort cross-state transportation initiative.

There was no Libertarian candidate listed for the 4th District.

5th District:
Timothy Pape vs. Ron Buskirk vs. Robert Fuller

The 5th District is the city's south central area with an estimated 8,216 African Americans and 4,300 Hispanics with minorities accounting for 29.9 percent of the district. Incumbent Democrat Timothy Pape seeks his third consecutive term. Attorney Pape is a proponent of ideas to attract highpaying jobs and to curb the decline in city residents' average income. Pape has demonstrated Council leadership and ability to make unpopular decisions which favor economic development in the long term.

Ron Buskirk, the Republican contender, is a certified healthcare compliance officer for St. Joseph's and Dupont hospitals. Buskirk is a 30-year Fort Wayne police officer. He said his priorities would be public safety issues, adequately equipping police and firefighters and reinventing community-oriented policing. Buskirk also said economic development to create more jobs for the community is a top priority.

Robert Fuller, the Libertarian candidate, a computer technician, promotes neighborhood and individual freedoms as paramount. He said his priority is to address economic struggles in the district. He cited the tax crunch on homeowners and renters, grocery stores and small businesses leaving the area and the City's lack of attention given to the increasing minority population's need for jobs, affordable housing and community resources as problems.

6th District:
Glynn Hines vs. Joe Smith vs. Robert Enders

The 6th District is the southeast area with just over 50 percent African American residents and a just under 10 percent Hispanic population. Glynn Hines is the Democrat Party candidate and is seeking his third consecutive council term. Hines, a leader of the Southeast Strategy, has had results. This district has seen resource development with the coming Police Training Academy, new major retail stores at or near Southtown Centre and the new Lifetime Sports Academy Facility at McMillan Park, which opened this past summer.

Joe Smith, the Republican contender is the national chairman of Pastors and Elders Council. Smith has 27 years at Dana Corporation and more than 30 years involved in city charitable and religious community organizations. He favors fiscal constraint by curbing or reducing property taxes and promotes community collaboration to get things done.

Robert Enders, the Libertarian candidate, a security officer and treasurer of the Allen County Libertarian Party, favors less government, less taxes and more attention to all city neighborhoods including downtown.

City Council At-Large:

There are nine candidates, one from each party, campaigning for each of the three at-large positions. Each voter can vote for three candidates in the At-large race. At-large candidates are citywide representatives. The three at-large seats were created years ago to ensure an odd number for council voting, to give citizens other kicks at the cat besides their district representative, and to provide "swing" council voters on issues where council members tend to vote by party allegiance or loyalty to the mayor.

The At-large candidates are:

John Shoaff

Democrat Shoaff is seeking his second term to go with his eight years on the Fort Wayne Park Board and 12 years as president of Headwaters Park Commission. Shoaff is very active on greenspace, North River project promoting and transportation issues. He favors coordinating traffic planning with community planning and developing more trails.

Denise Porter- Ross

Democrat Denise Porter- Ross has served as the city's Northeast Area Advocate for the past eight years. She has served on or with various community boards and organizations. She is known for her abilities to organize people and neighborhood groups and to advocate the peoples' interests. She has strengthened the city's Partnership program and has enhanced the importance of Community Development Action Plans.

William Larsen

Libertarian William Larsen is a mechanical engineer and promoter of less government. He questions whether there is a brain drain problem while others forge ideas to address the problem. He is almost the sole candidate raising the issue of the more than $200 million unfunded liability attributable to the police and fire pension fund and argues that the city should work down this debt.

Douglas Horner

Libertarian Douglas Horner is a medical transporter and part-time student. He favors less government and less public spending. On economic development, he contends government involvement usually means failed projects. On jobs, he stresses that jobs are created by private businesses and not by government.

Thomas Essex Jr.

Democrat Tom Essex is a Fort Wayne attorney. He has public experience as a twoterm Wayne Township Trustee and three years as a county prosecutor. Essex stresses public safety, including resurrection of community-oriented policing. He is the only candidate suggesting the pragmatic use of the city's 18 fire stations as possible satellite or substations. On the City Utilities surplus, he supports Tom Henry's idea of seeking citizen input; and on property taxes, Essex advocates an appropriate distribution of the multiple tax streams.

Dr. John Crawford:

Republican Dr. John Crawford is seeking his fourth term as an atlarge Council member. He is more than just the architect of the smoking ban. His interests entail city development both downtown and what he terms the "infield" or the downtown's surrounding areas. He was also architect of the Brain Drain Loan Repayment program, and espouses working down the city's debt even if it means using part of the City Utilities surplus. Due to the smoking ban, Crawford is the main target of the anti-incumbent movement. Even his detractors, however, concede he does his research and listens to his constituents before making up his mind.

Elizabeth Brown

Republican Elizabeth Brown has been active in civic affairs. She is one of the few non-incumbent candidates to propose a new initiative through her "Angel Fund" proposal to attract and retain young people by using part of the City Utilities surplus interest. She promotes development and use of green space by starting downtown and working outwards. Brown favors purchasing the land for the North River Project and developing a greenway consortium.

Marty Bender

Republican Marty Bender will have 33 years experience with the Fort Wayne Police Department on Jan. 1. He stresses working down all city debt, including the police and fire pension fund. He argues that the city must cut red tape to foster business growth. On property taxes, he advocates a modest increase in the sales tax with corresponding relief in the property tax. Bender sees the greenway trails as a good start and argues for cleaning up the rivers and developing them as a natural resource.

Michael Brightbill

Libertarian Michael Brightbill is in restaur a n t management and an IPFW student. He advocates city growth through the free-market economy . Brightbill favors less government interference in business and in people's lives, and states his top priority would be stopping the city's anti-business and anti-individual policies. He supports increased citizen involvement in public decision- making.

That's it. Now it's up to us. And, yes, it's big. Like the mayor, who lives in the public spotlight like it or not, the council too is a major player with a critical role in shaping the direction of the city. A good example is Renaissance Pointe, the premier housing development project of the year, which will provide 600 new or rehabbed housing units on formerly smoldering land. The mayor couldn't do it by himself. It took the citizens and it took the council to get it done.

It's time for the voters to choose. We hire them; we fire them. They work for us. Best of luck to all; and remember Colts-Patriots game Nov. 3, and then three days later, it's Nov. 6, Election Day-and we decide the winner of the game.



Copied From Frost Illustrated 2007-10-24

27 October 2007

Scratching the surface of Fort Wayne politics


I know that at least some people glance at what I have to say at a distance based on some of my stats for off site views which typically means that they have me referenced on an RSS feed of some type. So therefore for what it is worth if anything here are my endorsements for the municipal elections in Fort Wayne. My Choices are in order of preference.

Mayor

WRITE IN= William Larsen
(L)*

City Council

At Large

1. Douglas Horner (L),
2. William Larsen (L)*,
3a. Elizabeth Brown (R),*
3b. A. D. Porter-Ross (D),*
4. Martin Bender (R),
5. Thomas Essex, Jr. (D)
This is an equal split issue I am not exactly sure of either candidate between Elizabeth Brown and A. D. Porter-Ross but I feel we need a woman on the City Council and Debra McBride annoyed me and there is no way in hell I am voting for Gloria Diaz! On a side note if Karen Goldner was running At Large and not in the Second District she would have topped the list .

1st District

Byron Peters
(L)

2nd District

1. Jonathan Bartels
(L)
2. Karen Goldner (D)

3rd District

Tom Didier (R)

4th District

1. Mitchell Harper (R)
2. Christopher Stewart (D)
I am equally still split between them but Mitch has a slight edge because of previous political history. Chris has the business sense and is a hunk of flesh.

5th District
Robert Fuller (L)

6th District

1. Joe Smith Sr.
(R)
2. Robert Enders (L)?
While Glynn Hines is pretty much an issue of old Democratic politics and I can discard him hand over fist it was hardly an even toss up between Joe Smith and Robert Enders.

Robert is a very intelligent and intellectual person and in my opinion has a rough time handling criticism and conveying facts when agitated. Robert on an intellectual tirade is the last thing any citizen needs to be exposed to when dealing with personal sensitive situations. His emotional response conflict is the last thing we need on City Council; but, I was willing to let that all slide as a personality issue. He can be retrained, eventually, lol.

What finally drew the straw for me to pick some one other than Robert was the report I read in my other line of work and involves inner party drama which has been made public over the last couple of days. That being said it shows a pattern of failure to comply with basic set rules or laws and since all three incidents are directly attached to one particular person in multiple positions, it makes it worse. As a judgment of character, let alone the ability of that person to live inside the context of the law; alas much like Matt Kelty, I can not endorse without reservation, Robert Enders at this time.

City Clerk

ABSTAIN Sandra Kennedy (D)
(is in an unopposed race, she needs to be voted out)
or WRITE IN=
1. Debra McBride
(D)*
(She did well with those invitations imagine how detailed minutes will be.),
2. John Crawford
(R)*
(Let's make him City Council's bitch boy for four years.)

(*optional)

photo source unknown

26 October 2007

Fort Wayne Citizens Deny Revitilization Plan 60 Years Ago

taking from the past to make the future better

This picture and story has come up every few years or so and I am surprised that it isn't hanging up at a Meijer Store or Pizza Hut anywhere. In all actuality the way it is designed versus the way the city is laid out now we got the better deal for the most part. I mean seriously it still only takes less than 20 minutes to cruise from Glenbrook Mall to Pettit Avenue except during rush hour. The ideas presented in the drawing though not in the specific location are worth reviewing

+Underpass or overpass some of the more obsolete intersections (eg: Wallace to Crieghton north on Lafayette and south on Clinton) where this could really prove beneficial is an underpass inerchange system for the intersection of Coldwater Rd.- SR 327@ Coliseum Blvd.- SR 930, one of Fort Wayne's deadliest intersections.


+ The use of service access roads (like Barr Street is now between Main Street and Washington Blvd.)

+There are two major roundabouts in the design of this picture one is south of Pettit at Fairfax and what was supposed to be US 27/33 not to mention the big one in the heart of town at what would have been Clay and Breckenridge. One could surmise even back in the 40's that FW drivers don't like roundies but they work! I have often thought that if we had roundies at some of our less important and secondary intersections we so would be better off and we would have fewer multi car accidents, as long as the roundies stay at no more than two lanes wide, ask any IPFW student about that one.


One last comment and I will quit.

+The idea of cutting off the neighborhood access to major roads is a good idea that really should be reviewed again for possibilities. If neighborhoods had fewer access points to or between major roads it would cut down on people zipping through your neighborhood and possibly hitting your child that just stepped out on to the street to go after a ball. If neighborhoods could only be accessed from secondary streets it would also reduce congestion during rush hour on the major roads.


Thanks for reading.

Source of Origin:
What Might Have Been by John Good of Fort Wayne Left

24 October 2007

Lt. Governor of California skims across State's Rights issue



CHRIS MATTHEWS: Is the federal government doing what it has to do here?

JOHN GARAMENDI: Well, they’re doing a lot and we appreciate what they have done thus far. Resources are coming in. The U.S. Forest Service, 70 units from Arizona and Nevada and all that’s good. I got some doubt about the value of President Bush coming out here . .

MATTHEWS: Do you think it’s public relations rather than action?

GARAMENDI: Of course it’s public relations. The action’s taking place by the hard-working firefighters, the men and women and the police that are out there on the line and the community that’s pulling together to support each other, that’s where the action is taking place. I know—okay, President Bush comes out, we’ll be polite. But frankly, that’s not the solution. How about sending our National Guard back from Iraq? So that we have those people available here to help us?

story and video source from Say Anything Blog

22 October 2007

Catching up on Desperate Housewives



Visit ABC to view a lot of different shows including the web exclusive episodes of VOICEMAIL. I do have one recommendation that you use Internet Explorer to use the streaming Full Episode Player.

Journal Gazette Announces Endorsements and Establishes Bias

Before I start rambling on about why I think the Journal Gazette Editors made the biggest faux pas in endorsement history let me thank them for giving a minor mention to the Libertarian candidates for City Council. Even as dismal as their theories and anticipation of failure are, at least they bothered to mention the third party option, where as before it was a fleeting chance of a swine in flight or the nether regions precipitating at a reduced enough temperature to induce a sealing effect, as to our candidates even being brought up. So the limited mention and commentary as to the chances of them succeeding, being described in the same manor as to our previously described chance of being mentioned at all, is found to be refreshing or at a minimum validating to a certain degree, that we are definitely creating fear in the Old Boys Club and they don't want the wave of change in how business is done in the Summit City.


Also on the ballot are three Libertarians: Doug Horner, in his first race for public office; William Larsen, who has unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for U.S. representative; and Michael Brightbill, who has been absent from campaign events.
And from another article:
The possibilities are even more complex because of the presence of three Libertarians on the ballot. Though none of the Libertarians is likely to gain significant numbers of votes, their totals could be larger than the difference between the No. 3 vote-getter (who takes office) and No. 4 (who doesn’t).
And even though Fort Wayne/Allen County elections have an historic track record of stacking the vote or manipulating outcomes by getting people to vote certain ways it is pretty sad when the Newspaper Editors are telling voters how to sway the vote the way the Editors want it to go:
Voters can choose up to three candidates in the race.

Voters who favor one candidate above all the others may consider “bullet voting,” casting a ballot for only one candidate and reducing the chance that casting ballots for two others could actually help defeat the first choice.


Article sources are both from the Journal Gazette:
Crawford tops at-large field http://www.jg.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071021/EDIT08/710210442/-1/EDIT
Importance of City Council At Large races http://www.jg.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071021/EDIT07/710210443

20 October 2007

Now this can get some light: Same-Sex Marriage in Prison


California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has begun allowing conjugal visits for gay and lesbian inmates registered as domestic partners: "The change will allow gay and lesbian inmates the same rights as other inmates, who are eligible to spend up to three days with family members on prison grounds. Corrections officials say they are responding to legislation signed by former Gov. Gray Davis that awarded more rights to registered domestic partners and prohibited state agencies from discriminating against domestic partners...The changes were prompted by complaints from Vernon Foeller, 40, who was serving a 20-month sentence, convicted of attempted burglary, at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. Foeller's request to have his domestic partner visit him last summer was denied, leading him to contact the ACLU."


And from Canada


(Montreal, Quebec) Two men in federal prison in Quebec will marry later this month in the first same-sex marriage at the Cowansville Penitentiary. David Bedard, 22, is serving a 10-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter. Sony Martin, 26, serving a life term for second-degree murder.

The two men met while behind bars. While Bedard will be eligible for parole in a couple of years, Martin, under the terms of his sentence is ineligible for parole before 2020. "Gay weddings have been legal since July 2005 and the first union between same-sex inmates occurred in November 2006, so it's not frequent," prison spokesperson Jean-Yves Roy told the Montreal Gazette.

The wedding is planned for October 29 the paper reported. It will be performed by a judge in the prison chapel and like other weddings behind bars will last about 10 minutes. But when it is over the couple won't be getting a honeymoon. They won't even be allowed to live together in the same cell. In fact, each man has been assigned to a different cell block, and there is nothing stopping Corrections Canada from moving either of the men to a different prison. They will not be allowed conjugal visits and will get to be together only when prisoners have common time - at the gym, outdoor activities, and meals.

Canada is one of five countries where gays can marry. The others are the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and South Africa. The only area in the United States where same-sex marriage is legal is the (*Commonwealth) of Massachusetts.

*original text: state, Massachusetts is a Commonwealth not a State, there is a difference.
1st article news source Difiens'
Queer Focus
pic source StakeandCheese
2nd article news source 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Military Accidentally Recruits on Gay Web Site


The Army, Navy, and Air Force advertised for new recruits on a gay Web site until told of their error. According to USA Today, the military recruiters were advertising on GLEE.com, a site for gay and lesbian professionals. However, the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy prevents gays and lesbians from openly serving in any branch of the armed forces, so the recruiters have since pulled the ads.

Most of the military jobs posted were hard-to-fill positions requiring advanced training, although some ads sought to fill core combat slots at a time when the Iraq War has challenged recruiters to meet goals. They included:

•Thousands of Navy openings for doctors, dentists, intelligence analysts, Arabic translators, and others.

•Hundreds of Air Force jobs for optometrists, social workers, physician's assistants, and nurses.

•Nearly 1,000 Army National Guard and active Army positions, including infantry and artillery.

The ads were placed through GLEE's parent company, New York–based Community Connect, as part of an alliance with jobs-listing giant Monster.com.

news source http://advocate.com
pic source unknown

19 October 2007

Kelty has repeatedly shoved my *Head 2 Brick Wall*


Unfortunately I am now left with no choice but abstain from voting in the Fort Wayne Mayoral Race because of certain incidents. These other incidents at initial light could be considered novice mistakes like a slip up on a form or a cake decoration being taken just a little to far in satire and offending everyone elses sensibilities. But the recent incident has no excuse for its self and it is not even the initial incident that I have issue with but the response or more important is the lack of response on the part of the Matt Kelty for Mayor Campaign.

He was informed of the advert at 21:10 the evening before the day he gave the interview to Pat White and the fact that he stated he was informed of it only that morning is a direct and bold face lie. It is poppy cock for him to say that he did not have the opportunity to here the advert throughout that day when I in fact told him where to go to listen to the advert. Plausible Deny Ability doesn't tread water on this one.

In regards to the radio advert by the AFA IN PAC against Gays and Tom Henry.
AFA IN PAC President, Micah Clark, had this to comment (s: Dan Turkette,)

As the person who wrote the ad, allow me to explain what the ad is about and why it is not negative, for those who do not understand the difference between an issue contrast ad and a negative ad.

I wrote the ad based upon specific ordinances Councilman Henry introduced and actual votes that he cast on others. It was not deceptive. It was not about about anything he has merely said, or speculation of what he may do as mayor, nor was it a personal attack on him. It concerns his record, whether or not that record is a negative or controversial matter is up to the voters to decide.

Unlike a negative ad, this issue ad is not a distortion of those votes. Again, the ad is not an attack, but a reminder to a specific audience who cares deeply about these issues.

I believe that is why the far left blogosphere is so upset. They can’t deny Mr. Henry’s record, and they know what groups are supporting him. (This info was posted on this blog weeks ago, and is fairly common knowledge.)

People who are upset with us for focusing on these votes claim it is negative to remind people who would strongly disagree with these legislative actions from any politician, of these specific actions, at a time when the media is focused on cake, a congressman and other sensational matters that one could argue matter less to a city office than the city ordinance issues raised in our ad.

Many voters (particularly parents and people of faith) are concerned about the culture of Fort Wayne. They wonder why Constitutionally allowed regulations of adult businesses designed to reduce the verifiable negative effects like crime and lowered property values, were never passed years ago by the FW city council, even though similar regs were adopted in South Bend, Mishawauka, Indianapolis, and dozens of other Hoosier cities.

It is our role to bring up those issues people care about during elections. That is largely why our PAC, (or anyone else’s) was formed. If the NRA has a PAC it is to bring up Second Amendment issues in an election and to educate their supporters of those issues and where candidates stand on firearms freedoms or restrictions.

By the way, for those on the lefty blogs who took issue with the sentence that as a parent, Matt Kelty understands the dangers of our sex-crazed world. As originally written, I used the term sex-saturated, but thought that the voice over might stumble on that, so I changed it to sex-crazed. Some person either without children or living in another reality, said in reporting about the ad, that they did not think we lived in a sex-crazed world.

There are currently an estimated 447,000 people on the sex-offender registry in the United States. There are 11,274 in Indiana. (Many pedophiles and rapists violate the law and do not register.) The porn industry in America, each year brings in more in revenue than ABC, NBC, CBS combined. In another example, it more money in the US is spent on porn than is spent on the Superbowl.

According to the CIA, each year in the United States over 50,000 people, mostly young girls and children are trafficked through the country as sex slaves.

I’d say we are a nation that has become sex-crazed and responsible parents know it and fear for the safety of their kids. (What parent in their right mind today, says to their child getting on a bicycle, what those of us over 30 routinely heard as kids . .. “Be back by dark” or “Be Back By Supper”? )

The ad is about issues aired in a forum of people who care about those specific issues. A good way to prove this fact, is to watch people who disagree with those issues, talk about the ad, smear it as negative, but shy away from quoting exactly what the ad really says for fear that people reading the ad might actually consider it and agree.

Lastly, in case someone wonders, this ad is from the American Family Association of Indiana PAC. The Kelty campaign knew nothing of, nor had anything to do with its content or any other factor regarding the ad, its placement, duration, etc. I have no idea what Mr. Kelty thinks of the ad, or if he’s even heard it on the Christian station. We ran the ad for our own reasons in accordance with our own purposes regarding family values issues and our many supporters who listen to that station and care about these topics.

Agree or disagree with us or our ad, we did nothing unusual, unethical, negative, cruel, untruthful or even uncommon to a significant political race of this size.

You can find a rendition of the interview Matt Kelty did with Pat White on WOWO's The Big Show this afternoon regarding the advert on American White Guy's Blog.

I am extremely disappointed in these statements in the advert and lack of action or response by the Matt Kelty Campaign and while I cant fault Matt personally I also can no longer endorse Matt without reservation due to the fact that those whom he has chosen as advisors in office will be as incompetent then as the ones he has now for the campaign. My prayers and thoughts, go out to Matt and his family. My heart wishes he would win because between the both of them he is down right the better choice but the likely hood of that happening is slim pickings of sour pickles.

17 October 2007

UTSCC is starting to issue damage control

*singing (to the tune of jingle bells)
"... Oh what fun it is to watch the drama unfold. Hey!

UTS, UTS, UTSCC, Come down off your blind old horse and join the jubilee.
UTS, UTS, UTSCC, Open the books, Throw out the crooks, and make us happy... as can be"

[EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS POST IS A FOLLOW UP TO A PREVIOUS POST]

The UTSCC's real name is the Fort Wayne Community Educational Center Inc. in order to have the Educational as part of their corporate title their primary objectives and functions must meet the titles name eg. Community Education. The primary source for that title or function before 1997 flows from one source Charles Miller, and therefore the source must be reimbursed.

Let me give everyone a basic rundown of the Charles Miller matter. It goes back to the fact that old Chuckmiester is the head of the CAAT program which receives funding from two original sources (as the story goes) one is the Annual AIDS Benefit, which has raised a crap load of doughage that "has stayed in local hands *cough*" and the other is the State of Indiana for some Health program to minority at risk group members who cant receive assistance from normal (read hetero) channels.

The second part of the controversy comes into play when you look at at the fact of how much he did make for no accountability of hours worked in the field. The time sheets were not just rubber stamped they were hardly never turned in and therefore for several years Aunt Chucky was improperly reimbursed with full knowledge by the Board of Directors.

Back in early 2005 when I went after both Charles and Donald Archey I was stopped by the UTSCC by both the Treasurer and Chairperson at that time and threatened with libel, slander, and defamation of character, amongst many other charges.

So if you look in the March issue (pg 20-21, ip 5-6, 8-9) that year of The Rainbow it clearly shows the infringement when one reads between the lines. The last monthly article of that issue was mine. Which was followed by Chucky giving (pg 22) the Annual Service Award (in his own name of course) to Archey to blow over the chaos I had started by uncovering the corruption on both sides.

By September I was forced by the Chairperson to stop running HORIZONS since it was me protecting the kids from those who would assault them that started everything in full swing even after the Archey/Miller issues somewhat subsided. The fight continued throughout the year, until I was banned from the UTSCC under false pretenses because I was uncovering more and more corruption and to top it all of the Center had known felons of certain varieties working with youth and young adults. They sacrificed our kids safety by banning me and others to keep a 75,000 dollar gift
which never materialized from a violent sexual offender.

So much for ethics.

More To Cum... eer .... Come!

[EDITOR'S UPDATE: THE UTSCC RESPONDS]

The UTSCC board has not publicly responded to the JG article as we have been working on plans to address some of the issues raised in that article. However, since questions have been asked, they deserve answers.

First, there is no money missing. What the writer failed to state in his article is that month over month for the period of 2000-current, all accounts balanced to the penny. All bank accounts were reconciled to the statements and at no time did any discrepancies appear. We are working to again try to determine why the tax forms showed variances.

Second, as for our "refusing" or "declining" audits as the article stated, we have never refused or declined an audit. Instead, we have not been able to have an audit simply because the center could not afford the cost (estimated to be in the thousands of dollars) of what an extensive audit would cost. We also have not found a CPA who could do this for us either at no cost or greatly reduced cost.

Lastly, we have started working with the Non-Profit Resource Center at the Allen County Public Library. This organization has already given us a wealth of information that we plan to use to reorganize the operation to make sure that UTSCC is not the subject of another article such as the one this month.
28 October 2007 courtesy The Rainbow Reader Yahoo Group without signature attached.

14 October 2007

As you pull your Sunday paper off the curb you will find that

Up The Stairs' books are off
Non-profit declines audit despite discrepancies
By Dan Stockman
The Journal Gazette

A local non-profit group cannot account for more than one dollar of every 20 it has received in the last seven years, including nearly $17,000 in one year.

A Journal Gazette analysis of income tax returns filed by the Up The Stairs Community Center found the group had money missing year after year - including one year when nearly a quarter of the group's budget vanished. The year before, thousands of dollars suddenly appeared in the group's coffers - also without explanation.

Donors who looked at the group's federal tax returns, which are required by law to be open to anyone who asks, would have found forms riddled with errors, major omissions and reports of missing money.

The tax return for a non-profit group is often the only way for donors to ensure their money is going to a cause that will spend it wisely.

But board members for Up The Stairs never ordered an independent audit or informed authorities that money was missing. Up The Stairs officials say there was no malfeasance, only unrevealed accounting problems.

The group's treasurer, Greg Kroemer, said no money was stolen, it just couldn't be accounted for.

“I never looked at it as money missing,” Kroemer said.

The group reported to the Internal Revenue Service that it had no idea where the money went.

“In-depth review of all financial reports does not indicate reason for variance,” the tax return said in 2004. “Unknown variance not found after in-depth review of all reports,” it said in 2003.

Other board members said they had never heard there was money unaccounted for.

“That's news to me,” board President Dwight James said. “I'm unaware of those overages.”

The tax forms also show the group bought a building but not the $87,000 resulting debt.

“I will admit there's a lot we need to do to get things back in line,” Kroemer said. “At the same token we don't know where to start.”

‘Money was spent'

Up The Stairs Community Center, which operates at 514 E. Washington Blvd., is the business name for the Fort Wayne Community Educational Center Inc., run by a five-member board. The group advocates for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals in Fort Wayne. Its budget has averaged about $57,000 since 2000.

In the last seven years, the group at least twice incorrectly reported financial losses as gains, artificially inflating the group's assets. Another time, Up The Stairs overstated its losses by reporting a gain as a deficit.

In 2005, the group had $1,772 more in income than it did in expenses. That should have added to the assets of the group. But it also had $16,653 missing - nearly a quarter of its revenue for the year, and triple the donations it received.

The group reported an $18,425 loss to the IRS, however, because officials recorded the $1,772 profit for the year as a loss and added it to the missing amount.

Kroemer said that after The Journal Gazette began interviewing board members about the group's finances, he looked again at the 2005 figures and discovered what was wrong.

Up The Stairs received a $14,000 grant to pay for computer technology that year, Kroemer said, and when he was posting the numbers he accounted for the income but not the spending.

“The money was spent and the expenses weren't accounted for,” he said, adding that he now intends to amend the group's tax return for that year. He did not offer an explanation for the remaining $2,000 that was missing.

Dave Bennett, executive director of the Fort Wayne Community Foundation, confirmed the foundation had given Up The Stairs a grant of $14,613 for computers.

Because the expenses were not recorded by Up The Stairs, there was no way to know whether 23 percent of the group's annual budget had been spent properly.

‘It's not my job'

James, who has been a board member for more than a decade and became president in 2006, said he would look into the situation.

“Like I said, this is news to me, so I can't answer the questions,” James said.

James said he had never seen the group's tax returns.

Kroemer, the treasurer, said board members were aware of the problems and saw the tax forms.

“Everything that I do financially is reported to the board,” Kroemer said. “The 990s forms, all that's been presented.”

Fred Hefter, who said he has been on the board since the 1980s, first said he was not aware the group had reported an $18,000 discrepancy to the IRS, then said he had forgotten about it, then said he had read last year's return, then said he couldn't remember whether he had read any returns since 2002.

Hefter was treasurer before Kroemer took over in 2000.

“No, I haven't tried to solve the problem; it's not my job,” Hefter said. “I'm assuming the board will be taking a look at it.”

Trent Stamp, the executive director of Charity Navigator, a New Jersey-based watchdog that helps donors ensure their money is well-spent, said there is no excuse for financial sloppiness.

“It's a shame that it takes a reporter poking around for them to see where they misplaced a quarter of their budget,” Stamp said. “You'd like to think a board member would ask why Column A doesn't equal Column B.”

Robert A. Katz, a law professor at the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, said board members are legally responsible for the money in their organization's care.

“The directors have a ‘duty of care' to pay attention to the organization's affairs, and also to supervise the people to whom they delegate tasks,” Katz said. “So that's who you look to first.”

Mary Clifford, who was board president in 2005 and 2006 but has since left the board, said the discovery of accounting irregularities prompted her in July 2006 to propose an audit, but the idea was met with resistance. She said she contacted both the Indiana Attorney General's office and the Allen County prosecutor, but both said an audit needed to be performed before they could investigate.

Clifford said board members then tried to remove her, and she resigned from the board at the end of 2006 because of health reasons.

Rob Grayless was on the board for two months in 2006 but was kicked off, he said, because he was asking too many questions about the group's finances. He confirmed Clifford's account.

“I was told you're a probationary board member for six months,” Grayless said. “If you do anything in that first six months they don't like, they throw you out. They don't want outsiders to know what's going on.”

James said it was true that Clifford and Grayless pressed for an audit but he opposed it because there was no money to pay for it. He said Clifford and Grayless were removed from the board for bylaw violations.

The 2005 loss was explained on the tax return signed by Kroemer this way: “In-depth review indicates possible bounce-back from positive (overage) Results from prior 2-to-3 years.”

Except the group did not have overages in the prior two or three years. The year before, 2004, it had an overage - when it could not explain where $5,859 came from - but the year before that, in 2003, it had a $1,072 unexplained loss. It also had similar losses in 2000 and 2001. In 2002 it reported ending the year on balance.

Even if it was counting the 2003 loss of $1,072 as an overage - it was incorrectly reported to the IRS that way - the two years of overages in 2003 and 2004 would have covered less than half of the $16,653 reported missing.

“The general rule of accounting is inputs should equal outputs. This isn't like trying to run the Red Cross where you literally have billions of dollars in investments. You're talking about a five-figure budget,” Stamp said. “If you can't measure what comes in the door and what goes out the door it seems to me you can't measure what kind of impact you're having on the community, either.”

The 2002 tax return shows the group's land and building assets increasing from $25,000 to $94,600, and explains that the increase is due to the purchase of a building. But the line for liabilities that year - and every year after - is blank, even though a land contract for the purchase shows the group owed $87,000 on the building it bought.

That could lead a potential contributor to think the group was financially strong, with almost $111,000 in net assets at the end of 2002. In reality, the net assets were less than a quarter of that.

Kroemer said he didn't know he needed to list the debt on the tax returns.

“When I took this over, I just followed the same form that had been used year after year,” he said. “Show me what I'm doing wrong, and I'll fix it.”

Charity Navigator's Stamp said inexperience or a lack of knowledge is no excuse for financial misstatements.

“They've either omitted or forgotten about their largest liability,” Stamp said. “If you're omitting it for whatever reason, either because you want people to think the situation is better than it really is or because you're not with it enough to keep a basic checkbook, this is irresponsible at best.”

Can't afford an audit

Board members say the group can't afford an outside audit. Audits generally cost about $3,000.

“It's nice to say you need to do whatever you can to get an audit but you can't pull the money out of a rock to do it,” Kroemer said.

Board member Hefter said he might have tried harder if he had been aware of the problems.

“We have always wanted to” get an audit, Hefter said. “We have not felt we could afford to get one.”

Stamp said the group owes its donors and the community an outside audit, whatever the cost, because of the trust they hold.

“(Tax-exempt status) really is a perk, and it's a perk given out by the taxpayers. In return, you promise to us that you will serve the public trust,” Stamp said. “You have an obligation and a commitment to run your organization that befits the honor of that public trust. Keeping fast and loose books is not the way you honor that public trust.”

Marilynn Fauth, coordinator of the Paul Clarke Non-Profit Resource Center at the Allen County Public Library, said groups like Up The Stairs don't have to struggle on their own.

The center offers board training to non-profits, ranging from sessions on accountability to individual training on accounting practices.

“I'll sit one on one with people,” Fauth said. “And if we don't have (what the group is looking for), we find the information for them.”

Kroemer said the accounting problems have led to allegations in the community of financial impropriety at Up The Stairs, but that is not the case.

“There's people out there whose insinuation is there's something sneaky going on at the community center and that's not true. Everything's ready for an audit. My files are in order,” Kroemer said. “I'd welcome an audit, simply because if I am making mistakes in accounting I want to know what I'm doing wrong.”

Dan Stockman may be reached via email dstockman@jg.net

Federal tax returns (pdfs) for the UTSCC can be found with the Journal Gazette article.

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thanks to the sacrifice of many the scourge of Dont Ask Dont Tell in the land of the free and home of the brave will be gone by the end of June!!!!