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Bits and Pieces
11/19/2014 4:56:58 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

OLD MAN WINTER- Winter is beating its path to my door and I don’t like what lies ahead. I am a warm weather girl. I like being able to navigate outdoors without layering on tons of clothes to keep warm. Yesterday, it felt like a brisk summer day and today started with near freezing temperatures. The weather man constantly reminds us to bring in the plants, pets and check on the old folks. Somebody had better bring me in. Well, I am sure things could be worst. I could be waking up in the Midwest with single digit temperatures.

SHAKE UP IN OFFICE- In recent weeks, Former House Speaker Bobby Harrell and Former Senator Robert Ford were found guilty of misconduct while in office. Harrell agreed to a plea deal and pled guilty to six counts of misusing campaign funds. He will serve three years’ probation, pay back almost $100,000 and agree to work with Solicitor Pascoe on uncovering other possible legislative misconducts. The thing with powerful politicians with money that I find hard to understand is how much is enough. It’s just plain ole greed.

Former Senator Robert Ford fell right into the legislative entrapment that has been the downfall of other powerful legislators. Ford constantly boasts about being jailed seventy three times during the Civil Rights Movement. If anyone knows jail, Ford does. You can’t get caught with your hand in the cookie jar and cry foul. Ford is being charged with eight counts of misconduct in office and one count of forgery. According to news report, Ford could get up to 21 years in state prison. Ford has maintained his innocence and charged his alleged misconduct in office to “sloppy bookkeeping”. I just don’t see how Ford can explain away his purchase of “boy toys” and male “enhancement pills” as “sloppy bookkeeping”.

Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon was sentenced to nearly four years for using his office to personal financial gain. Cannon who served less than four months as mayor resigned and pled guilty to one count of wire fraud. He is accused of accepting bribes while serving on Charlotte’s City Council and as the newly elected mayor.

The connection that I found between former Speaker Bobby Harrell and former Mayor Patrick Cannon is greed. I didn’t see that in Ford’s case. Ford lived a simple life. Perhaps Ford’s missteps came more from sustainability than greed. Ford’s support declined in the black community when he aligned himself with Senator Glenn McConnell, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

UNIVERSITY OF SC STUDENT SLAIN- When will the killings stop? Diamoney Green, USC student, was killed by a former boyfriend who later killed himself. What is wrong with our children? If you don’t want to live that’s one thing but to take the life of someone else is another. Diamoney had a right to live and pursue her dream of a degree and working in law enforcement.

CHARLESTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT TESTING FOR MOLD AT ANGEL OAK- Since Charleston County School District is looking into mold and allergens at Angel Oak, the district should also look at Lincoln High School. Lincoln High School is long overdue. It’s been 25 since Hurricane Hugo flooded the school. Although late, the district is moving in the right direction in considering the health and well-being of its students.

NORTH CHARLESTON AUTO PROFILING- We know about, walking while black, talking while black, driving while black, riding a bike while black, chewing gum while black, but do we know about profiling certain cars driven by blacks. When North Charleston Police pull over a car for some minor infraction “so they claim” like no license tag lights, or failing to signal when changing lanes, they are requesting that the passengers produce their driver’s license or ID. If I am riding in a car and the driver is being cited, unless there is some extenuating circumstances, why do I have to show my ID? The officer runs a check on the passenger as well as the driver. What are the passenger rights?
Know your rights!

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