By Ken Jackson Posted on 05/06/13
Only in America can you receive money for “practicing” something. Depending on your definition of what you could call “practice” – repetition, rehearsal, exercise, run-through, drill, routine, procedure, try, attempt, to carry-out, the list goes on. Usually this term is reserved for the medical and legal professions. Doctors and lawyers “practice” their professions. Let’s be honest: everyone’s practicing from the auto mechanic to the barber.
If you have a relationship with any medical-service provider, you just can’t call them and say, “My eye is popping out of its socket.” If you don’t have insurance, you often can’t participate in their “practice.” No, you have to get money to pay these practitioners or risk losing everything to medical debt. Then you are prescribed something... Continue
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Posted on 04/23/13
Was there ever a time in our history when guns weren't part of our American culture? As television debuted some 60 years ago, we were enthralled with getting the bad guys in epic TV shows such as The... More Posted on 04/23/13
In Syracuse despite our Abolitionist past, we’ve endured a rocky road to equality. Our area has Locations on the Underground Railroad, Freedom Trails and is known for freeing fugitive slave in “the... More Posted on 04/23/13
At Cicero-North Syracuse High School, a controversy has erupted over the casting of whites in the traditionally African-American version of The Wizard of Oz called The Wiz. There are those who’ve... More Posted on 04/23/13
Last month the Supreme Court began hearing arguments challenging certain aspects of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. People need to know what’s at stake in this battle over key provisions of the Voting... More Posted on 01/25/13
When school children were killed in a horrific shooting spree by a lone gunman the nation was stunned, a visceral shudder went through our collective consciousness. How could someone target school... More Posted on 12/31/12
Voting rights have been under attack as state legislatures across the United States passed voter-suppression laws under the false assertion of widespread voter fraud. Voter-suppression laws take on... More Posted on 12/31/12
The Alliance Network held their annual reception Saturday October, 20th at the Crown Plaza Hotel Horizons Room (701 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY) at 7:00 pm. The following are excerpts from remarks... More Posted on 10/03/12
The 2012 Presidential Campaign has produced memorable moments, entertaining until it’s realized that one of these men can become president of the United States someday. After a weird Republican... More Posted on 09/03/12
I was approached by a woman who said she was concerned about the number of memorials that have been erected to victims of violent crime. This is a prickly subject because can anyone tell another how... More Posted on 07/01/12
The announcement that the current phase is the final piece of what was once touted as a place like no other, a destination "DestiNY USA" is disappointing regardless of what our elected leaders are... More Posted on 07/01/12
Criticism of Miner’s appointment like pot calling kettle black I remember Lee Alexander, the late mayor of Syracuse, the catchy phrases and behaviors that optimized his campaigns and solidified... More Posted on 07/01/12
Until you’ve gone without you’ll never know what it’s like to be poor — not to have enough for basic functions of life and the expectation that your nonexistent bootstraps are giving you leverage to... More Posted on 07/01/12
Yikes! It’s that time again — another birthday. I was told that after the age of 25 the years would just tick, tick, tick away, and they do. It seems like it was just yesterday when college bound... More Posted on 07/01/12
In this day and age of tight budgets, getting a contractor of any kind is a guess, especially when you start talking about specialties. I’ve written about the “private” sewer which our block owns and... More Posted on 07/01/12
There wasn’t a large snow melt so we can’t blame the snow banks, but it’s now spring and it’s time we went outside and just picked up our general area — we’d see a tremendous change in our immediate... More Posted on 07/01/12
It started with an odor reminiscent of my many visits to the Metropolitan Sewage Facility on Hiawatha Boulevard. Or, quoting Michael Jackson's Thriller, "The funk of forty thousand years" was... More Posted on 07/01/12
There’s a current movement by some politicians to assess a fee or derive an assessment from not-for-profit organizations to offset the large percentage of properties that are tax exempt. This is a... More Posted on 07/01/12
Growing up in the 1960s, if you were black there was a “conversation.” This discussion came before “the birds and the bees” and “stranger danger.” We were told how to carry ourselves as young black... More Posted on 07/01/12
As the political season heats up so does the political rhetoric. Recent declarations from Republican candidates for the presidential nomination are enough to make you wonder out loud, what other... More Posted on 02/25/12
It was with great sadness that I recall my niece as she described the situation she faces at Roberts School where her child attends. It’s bullying. Her child has to cope with being degraded on a... More Posted on 02/25/12
What do Marylyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger Amy Whinehouse, and Whitney Houston have in common? Allegedly they’re all dead due to the use of prescription drugs... More Posted on 02/25/12
As a graduate of a local catholic high school I am familiar with the value of a parochial school education. However, as a citizen of the United States of America I take issue with the Church's... More Posted on 02/25/12
It was disturbing to see the Occupy protester's removed by city officials due to the conditions in the encampment. Mayor Miner, to her credit, personally went to the site, something that most... More Posted on 01/16/12
At this time of year we are reminded of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Major corporations will pour out their best commercials featuring smiling kaleidoscopes of multicultural cherubic... More Posted on 01/16/12
As a writer and resident of Syracuse I've watched as program after program that are designed to assist low-moderate income homeowners fail to live up to promises. They have failed to provide value... More Posted on 12/30/11
The City of Syracuse continued its renaissance this year, evidenced by the number of cranes jutting in the air signifying new construction. Take a drive through each of the city’s neighborhood... More Posted on 12/30/11
Republican candidate for President Ron Paul got a little prickly when asked by various reporters about the alleged racist writings in his long shuttered Ron Paul Newsletter. “Those things were... More Posted on 12/30/11
It's Christmas time again and I, like many people, hold on to that old concept of decorating the house with lights for the holidays. There are traditional lights that are clipped to the gutters or... More Posted on 12/30/11
Christmas season is upon us, and one of the best gifts people have chosen to give is their time and money to help children enjoy this festive season. We tend to forget that many of our area’s... More Posted on 12/30/11
As we watch this new presidential election cycle take shape it is clear that class warfare, it’s on! Many Congressional and Senate Republicans have signed a pledge that overrides the United States... More Posted on 11/30/11
If you watch television news you wouldn’t know that we’re in the midst of our annual holiday season. District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick openly fighting with Police Chief Frank Fowler and the city of... More Posted on 11/30/11
These individuals and groups mentioned in this column made major contributions to their craft and industry; however, they were never recognized by winning awards in their respective fields. Perhaps... More Posted on 11/30/11
Finally, Election 2011 is over and with the boring coverage on local television it’s a wonder how we were ever able to stay awake for the conclusion. The reportage’ that takes place around local... More Posted on 11/30/11
It came as no surprise when a story was published about the lack of diversity on the Syracuse City School Board which controls an over 350 million dollar school budget. Their reach is vast and powers... More Posted on 11/30/11
It came with surprise and great sadness that Clear Channels has decided to pull the plug on the popular Jim Reith Show on 570 WSYR/106.9 WSYR. In the land of conservative talk radio, Mr. Reith’s show... More Posted on 11/30/11
As we've listened to reports of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s death, perhaps no community has felt the impact of his state-sponsored terror more than the local families who lost relatives on that... More Posted on 11/30/11
As the beginning of Fall arrives there’s an air of confusion - and at times confrontation - in our city, state and nation.
Look at the small encampment of people protesting Wall Street and the... More Posted on 11/30/11
As a child, I really wasn’t particularly fond of collard greens or their importance in the diet of African-
Americans. Not only were they culinary, they also epitomized the "tough" of a collard... More Posted on 09/30/11
We’ve come a long way in the roughly five years since I moved to this far-west outpost near the city’s edge. The freshly painted houses, new windows, added porches and even tiny landscaping projects... More Posted on 09/30/11
I recall in elementary school when we had the entire building participate in a Civil Defense exercise. Instead of leaving the building as we did during a fire drill, we were to leave wherever we were... More Posted on 09/30/11
The Ida Benderson Center, a fixture for seniors in Syracuse since 1974, will soon be closed due to the more than $100,000 per year cost of renting the facility, and because the staff is not equipped... More Posted on 09/30/11
Since almost succumbing to pneumonia two years ago, I greet each day differently than most. After being unconscious for 10 days on Diprivan and being on a respirator there is no weather formation... More Posted on 09/30/11
As I travel our urban landscape I’m amazed at how negative people are about their own hometown.
I’m not talking about those who’ve relocated and now call Syracuse their home, I’m talking about... More Posted on 09/30/11
From YouTube to the local news, we've been shown images of a man being led to a Syracuse police car as a neighbor’s cell phone camera recorded his head being slammed into the awaiting patrol car... More Posted on 08/05/11
I’ve had it with the Teapublicans.
That’s right, “Teapublican.” These operatives masquerading as a movement are the same anarchists who stormed the health care discussions, being disruptive as... More Posted on 08/05/11
This economic ditch has caused most people to change the way they live, what they spend and where they spend -- if there's any spending at all. In some extreme cases, the Great Recession has forced... More Posted on 08/05/11
On occasion, when I’m out on the road, I’ll stop and grab lunch at a local restaurant. Many times it has been a local deli, famous for their sandwiches and homemade soups. Having them right around... More Posted on 08/05/11
Like a canary in a coal mine, where the tiny birds demise signaling dangerously low levels of air to breathe, the opposite occurs when you see dog mess on an urban streetscape.
Oh, first comments... More Posted on 08/05/11
It’s that time of year when the temperature goes up and the clothing comes off and I’m inspired to write my annual “What Not to Wear” column. I don’t pretend to be an expert in haute couture (top... More Posted on 06/15/11
I lost my father 10 years ago June 8th it was close to Father’s Day so for me it’s a reminder of how blessed I was to have a man as a father since my biological dad died when I was 2 years old. ... More Posted on 06/15/11
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney has done something that is virtually impossible for a Republican, and that is to snag an endorsement by a major black political organization.
At a bed... More Posted on 06/15/11
I recently had the experience of being directly involved in the treatment of someone who was in need of services offered by the Veterans Affairs. Like most Americans, I didn’t have a clue as to how... More Posted on 06/15/11
It is spring in a local election year and just like the crocuses, you have to catch candidates early or they’ll end up like our friends on TV’s “Survivor.”
“The tribe has spoken, now it’s time to... More Posted on 06/15/11
Watching Donald Trump force the President of the United States to produce a no longer recognized document proving birth was painful, especially painful for black men. You see we - black men have... More Posted on 06/15/11
It happens every year when at Mountain Goat Race time ability to access churches that are located in a cluster are unreachable on race day. Streets have been closed in some cases dead end streets... More Posted on 04/27/11
It was a political event in the heart of downtown Syracuse at Perseverance Park (next to Chase Bank near Salina St. and Washington St. downtown). Khalid Bey announcing his candidacy for 4th Common... More Posted on 04/26/11
“There’s nothing to fear but fear itself” was once stated boldly by a President faced with global upheaval and national economic depression. Programs were put in place that guaranteed a... More Posted on 04/26/11
Most property owners in Syracuse are responsible people, picking up after themselves and disposing of trash, construction debris, yard waste, etc. But in every neighborhood there seems to be a... More Posted on 03/25/11
It was a crisp bright sunny Sunday in Syracuse on March 20th and as thousands left their morning services, clipped to the windshield of hundreds of vehicles was the call for action by Syracuse... More Posted on 03/25/11
I’m sitting here and my ear is hurting. Why? Because I have to where a Bluetooth hands-free device in order to speak on my phone in the car. Great idea, but aren’t there Gamma Rays or something being... More Posted on 03/25/11
Monday morning, the snow created a drift merging my car with the road below and it was just what the Weather Channel and others stated when they talked about the potential of up to a foot of snow... More Posted on 01/28/11
Twenty-four years ago when Langston McKinney took office as City Court Judge his election was not greeted warmly by some skeptics in law enforcement, who tagged him as being too “liberal."... More Posted on 01/28/11
I remember standing at the entrance of Pan-African Village with then-Congressman Jim Walsh as the Hillary Clinton entourage arrived. We were practically trampled by the crowd clamoring to get a... More Posted on 12/31/10
It’s been said that Christmas is a child’s holiday and that it’s important for children to have toys and gifts. There’s nothing worse than a child whose parents didn’t plan for their obligations; the... More Posted on 12/23/10
One of my best Christmas memories is having a parent work for Crouse-Hinds and attending the company's annual Christmas party at Loew’s Theater downtown. The place was packed and for a few hours on a... More Posted on 12/17/10
On Dec. 3 the group called 100 Black Men held their 3rd annual dinner. The theme for the event was “Setting New Standards in Health and Wellness."
100 Black Men of Syracuse Inc., sponsor of the... More Posted on 12/17/10
With increasing frequency local news programs have shown candle light vigil after candle light vigil for victims of violence in the city of Syracuse. I have to respectfully say that perhaps we’re... More Posted on 12/17/10
It’s become a regular occurrence as we watch the evening news or glance at the morning paper’s local headline announcing the gun related death of another city of Syracuse resident. Most are... More Posted on 12/17/10
After the initial shock of coming face to face with an American Stafford Terrier (large pit bull) I had to reconsider my previously held notions of what to do if your dog is attacked. It’s even more... More Posted on 10/24/10
As a kid I remember the east side neighborhood bordering Syracuse University was gone. Also gone was Madison School and my own Washington Irving elementary school, Urban Renewal had stopped just a... More Posted on 10/24/10
Here we are at the latest running of the Election Derby.
See electoral competitors trot around a one-mile dirt track. While these riders are seasoned, not all of the horses in this contest have... More Posted on 10/24/10
An important date just passed and unless you’re plugged into the ARRA funding stream it will go unnoticed. The Recovery or Bailout (depending on what side of the aisle you sit on) has officially... More Posted on 10/24/10
Politics as they apply to the black community has never been based on anything other than getting “them” to the polls to get those black votes. It is well known that African-Americans vote... More Posted on 10/24/10
The recent accident on Onondaga Lake Parkway brings to light the hazards of the bridge, which a Megabus rammed into, killing four people and injuring others.
The tragedy was seen on cable news... More Posted on 10/24/10
Syracuse has lost another one of its political pioneers.
Laura Hawkins Turner passed away recently, and services were held the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Syracuse, Friday... More Posted on 10/24/10
It wasn’t frightening enough when Dr. Laura went on her N-word tirade and go on to gain the support of former republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin. It’s Palin who believes along with Dr.... More Posted on 10/24/10
With fanfare, the State University of New York has purchased the defunct high-rises Harrison House and Townsend Towers.
As an aging native Syracusan I’ve watched this place go from a college town... More Posted on 10/24/10
I was standing in line at McDonald’s. At the front of the line was a woman attached to her cell phone dropping F- bombs into the receiver.
At the end she proclaimed a loud "I’m sorry, please... More Posted on 10/24/10
As we enter the dog days of summer there are cranes in the air once again in Syracuse.
Projects in construction, along with those on the drawing board, guarantee this city will look and feel... More Posted on 08/01/10
With increasing frequency, our television tips to the right when The Fox News Channel is selected from your cable or satellite provider.
Have you also noticed the hatchet job the self-crowned... More Posted on 08/01/10
Once upon a time in a city far- far away there was a center that served the population on a troubled side of town. When South Wind Community Center was constructed there were no homes for blocks, the... More Posted on 08/01/10
In the true spirit of video games and in light of the ailing economy Nintendo has invented the ultimate in gaming satisfaction “Feeding Frenzy.”
Feeding Frenzy is best viewed in High-Definition.... More Posted on 08/01/10
After my last piece on unemployment a colleague told me, “Ken, 92 percent of people are working, so what’s the big deal? We forget the fact that most people are employed.”
What my colleague... More Posted on 08/01/10
Most stories you read about unemployment and the unemployed are written by the working. Rarely are we given a glimpse into the lives of those who have suffered the loss of a job, which can be as... More Posted on 06/17/10
For the most part the community has been in favor of the efforts of Jubilee Homes and those interested in opening a grocery store on South Ave.
Before you purchase your first box of Corn Flakes... More Posted on 06/15/10
As oil gushes into the Gulf of Mexico and beyond there have been some interesting ideas floating around regarding what to do about the big oil slick in the water. These are the top ten:
10. Bunker... More Posted on 06/15/10
Recent news reports showed You Tube footage of pre-teens singing a provocative bump and grind version of Beyonce’s All the Single Ladies.
All the single ladies (7x)
Now put your hands up
Up... More Posted on 06/07/10
America’s “Minorities” or people of color have fought and died in wars since our nations’ birth. There are hundreds of thousands who fought in WWII and other conflicts and never were recognized for... More Posted on 05/16/10
(inspired by Captain Andy’s Ballyhoo from the musical Show Boat)
(The band is heard in the distance)
Here comes the State Fair parade!
(presenting candy, etc., to DAN)... More Posted on 05/16/10
As you may know some of the recently bailed out companies have begun to post their quarterly results. Earnings of banks effected by the melt-down and subsequent bail out have skyrocketed and in the... More Posted on 05/16/10
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
We’ve been told of the Great Recession and its... More Posted on 05/16/10
This column is a parody of the legal profession no individual lawyers are mentioned (or harmed) in this column and any familiarities with commercials airing, actual cases or lawyers marketing efforts... More Posted on 03/25/10
Now that the dust is beginning to settle on Health Care reform the facts need to be sorted out for the American people. Lies and half-truths have been the hallmark of opponents to a bill that would... More Posted on 03/20/10
Every year at this time Syracuse takes on a sullen shade of gray as people tire of the snow and cold. At last the snow has melted in most places and will soon be gone altogether. After that final... More Posted on 03/12/10
Spoon out 10 level teaspoons of sugar to see about how much sugar (actually high-fructose corn syrup) is in a 12-ounce can of regular soda pop. Spoon out 17 teaspoons for a 20-ounce bottle. Can... More Posted on 03/12/10
If every American repeated mistakes made by the banking and mortgage industries we’d be bankrupt and out on the streets. But thanks to the Congress of the United States global economic calamity was... More Posted on 03/01/10
As New York State scurries further down the fiscal rabbit hole, Gov. David Paterson has few options from which to choose as he’s decided to close up to as many as 55 New York State Parks in his... More Posted on 02/18/10
When I purchased my home the first person I met when I got out of the moving truck was my neighbor Bruce Sawyer. He lived in the corner house and every day like clockwork we’d exchange waves as I... More Posted on 02/18/10
Every time I get behind a school bus and smell diesel fumes I get flashbacks to the days of being bused. When they closed Washington-Irving Elementary School my neighborhood was not much different... More Posted on 02/18/10
After the Super Bowl Undercover Boss premiered on CBS. The show puts a Chief Executive Officer of a large company in the shoes of its employees. It was inspiring to watch how Waste Managements’ CEO... More Posted on 02/01/10
“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.”
Carter G Woodson
“Imagine a world in which... More Posted on 01/29/10
This is a story about control, my control
Control of what I say, control of what I do
And this time I’m gonna do it my way
I hope you like this s much as I do
Are we ready? I am
‘Cause it’s all... More Posted on 01/17/10
Like the chorus of a Patsy Cline song, "I’m sorry….so sorry ….please accept my apology …"
Annually like the arrival of winter, racially toxic comments spill out of the mouth of a public official... More Posted on 01/17/10
1. Re-branding Upstate Medical Center, University Hospital, SUNY Delight, or whatever the one million dollars went to get that message across. Yeah, “Knowing makes all the difference” but how many... More Posted on 01/06/10
On Dec. 17 the Miner administration made one of its most important announcements; Frank Fowler had been selected to become the next Police Chief of the City of Syracuse. As Deputy Chief of the... More Posted on 01/06/10
I gave up on public pronouncements of New Year’s resolutions when one year a relative reminded me, “You said the same thing last year.” Therefore from that year forward I never gave anyone a clue as... More Posted on 12/22/09
They made us sing this song in elementary school that sticks to you like hot oatmeal on a cold winter morning.
“Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him you... More Posted on 12/08/09
The news has been saturated with stories about Tiger Woods and his alleged infidelities that supposedly caused the ruckus at his Deacon Circle home in Isleworth, Florida. Images of a mad housewife... More Posted on 12/08/09
My favorite holiday of the year is coming, Thanksgiving a time to see friends and family all in the same place. Usually a peace full time but for some, holiday time is not the bringing of good... More Posted on 12/08/09
I discovered Syracuse spent a portion of their allotment of stimulus funds to tear down deteriorating buildings. Using special funds for demolition became additional food for thought as I wonder how... More Posted on 12/08/09
I congratulate Stephanie Miner in her victory in the recent mayoral contest. My letter is an observation from what could be considered an African-American’s point of view. Not representative of any... More Posted on 12/08/09
Stop the presses, wake your neighbors and call your friends P & C is filling Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. If some company doesn’t buy the entire chain or pieces, P & C will fade into Syracuse supermarket... More Posted on 11/11/09
If Stephanie Miner lost the mayoral election this past Tuesday it’s not entirely her fault. The Kimatian Campaign effectively placed diversity at the forefront of their last minute effort to wrest... More Posted on 11/03/09
As some of my readers may know by now the month of September was transformative to say the least. Losing more than 30 lbs., while fighting off death was simultaneously life affirming and life... More Posted on 10/23/09
Remember when you were a child and at Thanksgiving time you were relegated to the kids’ table. Yes, the table in the kitchen or at the end where there were folding chairs and a card table. Oh, what a... More Posted on 10/12/09
Immediately upon the announcement from the Nobel Prize selection committee of Barack Obama as their choice for the Nobel Prize for Peace pendants started criticizing the selection.
From Joe... More Posted on 10/05/09
After the smoke cleared regarding the outcry by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) Director Julius Edwards and the future of the "commission," I took some time to examine the facts as I see them. This... More Posted on 10/05/09
As we move closer to the election of a new Mayor I’m astonished at words uttered by some of their supporters.
"If__________ doesn’t win I’m leaving."
Another chimed in, "I have a young family... More Posted on 10/05/09
It began as a normal day – feed the dog, let him poop in the backyard, and my day began.
Nothing unusual, but suddenly, out of nowhere, I started to wheeze. Soon after it became increasingly more... More Posted on 10/05/09
One has to hearken back to a time in the early to late sixties when George Wallace and Richard Nixon scared "the-be-Jesus" out of the average middleclass white American by playing the law and order –... More Posted on 08/15/09
I Need a Beer
President Obama, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Sgt. James Crowley and Vice President Joe Biden sat down and had a little chat presumably about the events of the last week when... More Posted on 07/31/09
– During this time of budget tightening the Federal government could contract with the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County to transport all remaining detainees to the new facility. A... More Posted on 07/27/09
It's close to election night and Politicians lurking in the dark
Under the streetlight you see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream but neighbors are so loud they can not hear... More Posted on 07/21/09
Oh great, another study on whether to take down the elevated portion of 81 and reroute traffic via a renamed 481 to divert traffic around the city. This move (if you believe the experts) will spur... More Posted on 07/21/09
It was a usual Sunday as I parked in front of a local store known for dairy products. The Sunday paper and a Win for Life ticket and I’m done. In front of me was a big African American kid about 19,... More Posted on 07/21/09
Are cows actually happier in California? I’ve watched those commercials and wonder what New York has to say in response to the aggressive advertising being produced by other states. We need to ask... More Posted on 07/21/09
It’s that time again when the weather turns hot and the fashion police take a holiday. Don’t know the reason but how attractive does it look to appear in a blouse that’s two sizes two small? But, as... More Posted on 07/21/09
Here we are once again with another spectacular season of Political Idol. Our judges from left to right are Pat Richoski from United Neighbors In Syracuse( UNIS), Mary Pestly of TNT, and Spike my... More Posted on 07/21/09
As the race enters its final turn, it’s Miner on Temperament with Nicolleti faltering at the curve, Alfonso Davis on Star Buck is a distant third and way in the back it’s a late scratch as Bea... More Posted on 07/21/09
It’s raining on the track as the horses, er … um candidates, have few days left before they have to appear in front of their respective party committees.
Back in the stands, away from the wagering,... More Posted on 07/21/09
As we head for the halfway mark in our race there’s a new horse entering on the republican side, Broadcasting executive Steve Kimatian has tossed in his broadcasters microphone.
"I’ve worked for... More Posted on 07/21/09
As you may recall from our last episode the race for city hall dominance is in full swing. The democrats has placed their money at the betting window on Temperament ridden by Stephanie Minor. Not to... More Posted on 04/22/09
inspired by James Brown’s Get up! (I feel like being a Sex Machine)
Brothas’, I'm ready to get up and do my thing (yeah go ahead!)
I wanta get into it, man, you know (go ahead!)
Like a,... More Posted on 03/04/09
...It’s Stephanie Miner on Temperament the runaway Mule, hey ya! Hey ya! She continues her aggressive attacks on her opponent. Oh my God, ladies and gentlemen she’s bringing out the crop. Thwak, "Get... More Posted on 03/04/09
[this is part 2 of a series for parts 1,2 please see The Hall Monitor page View all]
As they head towards the first turn on this beautiful spring night, from the far side of the track comes….a... More Posted on 02/18/09
It's time for the Syracuse version of the Kentucky Derby. Imagine ladies decked out in their finest spring hats and men dressed in their best for this annual equestrian event. Traditional "derby"... More Posted on 02/18/09
You'd have to be hiding under a rock not to know that our world, our nation, and our local economies are literally in the toilet. Banks, mortgage brokers and speculators in derivatives have created... More Posted on 02/18/09
I first met Emanuel Henderson when I worked for the city of Syracuse, office of minority affairs as a staff member. Our duty was to monitor contract compliance with the city's minority and women... More Posted on 02/18/09
It was with great excitement that I emerged from my slumber before dawn to take a short trip from my home to the city's Pass Arboretum (that's where they keep fancy trees). It was Ground Hogs Day,... More Posted on 01/21/09
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've... More Posted on 01/14/09
Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll and Police Chief Gary Miguel announced a multi pronged attack on the increased number of murders in Syracuse, “Operation Impact patrols which utilize troopers from... More Posted on 01/14/09
Help ! Caroline (to the tune of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline)
How to begin
I can’t begin to knowin
National debt has grown so long
We have no spring
And winter becomes the summer
Who’d... More Posted on 01/14/09
Recent news clips from President Bush's Afghanistan and Iraq visits show our president ducking shoes being thrown at him by a reporter. In the Middle East, I guess, the greatest insult is to toss... More Posted on 12/02/08
Okay we were promised increased economic support when deals were made to enhance the mall formerly known as Carousel Center. In a slick graphic on their Web site (that has since been taken down)... More Posted on 11/25/08
We watched in horror as the Syracuse Police Department described the beating and subsequent murder of a 20-month-old child Imani Jennings. According to reports this little girl was beaten for much of... More Posted on 11/18/08
It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which political leader after political leader has stood before this community and applauded our education system. These words are usually said at forums... More Posted on 11/12/08
On election night shortly after 11:00 P.M. my phone started to ring, some of my friends we’re actually crying once the election was called for Barak Obama. “We did it man” as one 40 year old male who... More Posted on 11/04/08
Barack Obama is poised to become the 44th president of the United States. Not only this but also making history by putting together a coalition of states that defies conventional wisdom. Obama's path... More Posted on 10/28/08
I've listened to Talk Radio for years. First there was my astonishment that people would actually say "that" on the air. Now, I'm stunned that these purveyors of hate find a warm fuzzy comfortable... More Posted on 10/14/08
Joe Mareane has decided to leave Onondaga County to take a position as Administrator for Tompkins County. I remember back when Joe and I worked in the same suite of offices when I worked in the... More Posted on 10/07/08
Autumn is here and there’s evidence of summer’s end as the heat reluctantly is turned on, and that air conditioner that’s still in the window, it’s time to take it out.
It’s during these times... More Posted on 09/30/08
Where do I begin, the last few weeks have been tumultuous with the initial slide of Wall Street firms to the absolute meltdown of our financial system. Something smells nasty when you look at the... More Posted on 09/17/08
Barack Obama by not choosing Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential running mate may have implemented one of the worst political strategic moves in history. Granted there was a bruising primary... More Posted on 09/10/08
I’m continuously amazed at the subtle messages emanating from the 2008 Presidential Campaign. Republicans and Neo-Conservatives gleefully refer to Barack Obama as “A Community Organizer”,... More Posted on 08/26/08
When I heard the news about the Lottery Shrine being relocated I wanted to shout for joy. For those who follow this column I pointed out this Lottery Shrine complete with lit numbered... More Posted on 08/13/08
We are being asked to fork over funds to replace an electronic scoreboard at Alliance Bank Stadium. Before we reach into our pockets to fund such things perhaps we could "pimp out" our facilities in... More Posted on 08/13/08
The Syracuse Common Council in their infinite wisdom discussed placing a moratorium on Lamar Advertising's electronic billboard. Claims of these signs being a distraction to drivers prompted the... More Posted on 08/13/08
The city of Syracuse along with politicians crowed like proud roosters after the adoption of legislation approving the massive Syracuse City School Renovation Project. Now the cameras are gone the... More Posted on 08/13/08
As we careen towards the dog days of summer our local political leaders are about to vote in a new law that increases fines for "quality of life" type infractions. Crimes like drug possession,... More Posted on 08/13/08
The New Yorker Magazine has Mr. and Mrs. Obama on their cover depicted as terrorists, as well as not very 'patriotic' complete with an American flag burning in the fireplace and a picture of Osama... More Posted on 07/11/08
Sometimes when we give advice we fail to follow it ourselves. This wasn't coined by some philosopher it's basic common sense that entraps many who are called upon at times to help someone out of a... More Posted on 07/11/08
It came as no great surprise when it was announced that the Vivian Teal Howard Facility (VTH) would be de-funded by Medicare and Medicaid in effect shutting down the Nursing Home.
Several... More Posted on 07/11/08
It was early Friday morning when it happened. The knock at the door seemed like the entire Syracuse Police Department wanted in. The simultaneous action of banging and doorbell ringing sent the dog... More Posted on 07/11/08
Before you get out your patriotic bunting in anticipation of unmanned flying drones stationed at Hancock there are several concerns that need to be addressed by Congressman Walsh and others.
The... More Posted on 07/11/08
Growing up a couple of blocks from Thornden Park was an adventure in urban living accentuated by fond memories of walking up Harrison Street.
Towering Dutch Elm trees created a shaded canopy past... More Posted on 07/11/08
I broke my promise and actually attended a TNT meeting at Delaware School recently and it reinforced my reasoning for not attending in the first place. Our Tomorrow's Neighborhoods Today is a classic... More Posted on 07/11/08
My roof looks as though a giant sat on it and left his butt mark. Since it was in an area that I never bothered to inspect, the extended sag went undetected until a friend noticed the concave action.... More Posted on 07/11/08
Sometimes you write a column or story and you hope the information presented is not as it appears. So was the story about the Vivian Teal Howard Residential Care Facility. For those who don't know... More Posted on 05/11/08
Vanessa Williams will be in Syracuse this weekend to receive her degree from Syracuse University. And already those in the Internet bloggosphere have pounced on the fact that Ms. Williams left school... More Posted on 05/11/08
In recent months plenty has been written about the Black Church complete with snippets of Barack Obama Pastor Rev. Wright's sermons' all over the internet and television news.
It ain't pretty... More Posted on 05/11/08
Can someone please tell me why we have 90 minutes of local news? (Crickets chirping) I grew up watching local news anchored by the venerable Ron Curtis and nationally CBS' Walter Cronkite followed by... More Posted on 05/11/08
I met Jean Daugherty when as a 14 year old Pompeian Player she interviewed me as the youngest cast member of "Show Boat." It was a friendship that lasted until her recent death.
On one occasion... More Posted on 05/11/08
Perhaps it's time to revisit remnants of past City of Syracuse mayoral administrations as we deal with the issues of diversity, nooses and vocalized anger rising from the Black community.
The... More Posted on 04/06/08
Chickens have come home and are roosting on the front steps of City Hall. Perhaps those who make Housing and Community Development policy can now understand the feeling of hopelessness that permeates... More Posted on 03/11/08
(Inspired by Somewhere Over the Rainbow)
Somewhere over the drumlin
Way up high
There's a 'hood that I heard of
Once in a landlords cry
Somewhere over the drumlin
Skies... More Posted on 03/11/08
I used to work in an office where one day the manager came to me in tears, "there are crows all over the front lawn. Somebody's gonna die."
She was so shaken that she sat down and had to compose... More Posted on 03/11/08
It's basic human behavior to want vengeance when aggrieved. When vengeance becomes part of government policy it becomes problematic. In his most recent budget Governor Spitzer increased financial... More Posted on 03/11/08
As we segue from Dr. King Day to Black History Month some have simply reduced the Civil Rights Movement to several acts and then poof! Like Jiffy Pop, "We Shall Overcome" and then Oprah.
I've... More Posted on 03/11/08
First I couldn't find the polling place I'd been there before but I just can't find it in the dark. Hmmm? The effect of aging, these days I couldn't recognize a close relative on a dark rainy night.... More Posted on 02/22/08
Over several years the Syracuse community has witnessed a steady deterioration in the relationship between the city and representatives of Onondaga County.
The most recent example of the... More Posted on 02/22/08
When Time of Jubilee began there was concern that land speculators would flood the inner-city buying up parcels of land gentrifying the area. Land Trust was a concept that would create a disincentive... More Posted on 02/13/08
Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.
-Carter G Woodson
Imagine a world in which... More Posted on 02/01/08
As Democrats on the national level debate the relevancy of experience, I cringed when Dr. Martin Luther King was mentioned and the attempt by the Obama forces to claim that Hillary Clinton down... More Posted on 12/18/07
Before Dr. Maulana Karenga’s invention of Kwanzaa, there was Christmas in the black community. Yes, Christmas, not Xmas, not the Holiday Season, but CHRISTmas. Traditions that date back to being... More Posted on 11/02/07
Early in my career as a journalist, I was a regular on Time-Warner Cable's Reporters Round Table. This was a biweekly program where I, along with Walt Shepperd of the New Times, Sheryl Nathans of... More Posted on 10/26/07
It’s difficult to get a “read” on this year’s Onondaga County Executive race. Unconfirmed polls have Republican Joanie Mahoney up by 4 percentage points. The Magnarelli campaign has stacked up... More Posted on 10/26/07
As the primary election draws to a conclusion, it’s time to do some Wednesday morning quarterback analysis. Joanie Mahoney’s campaign resembled Roy Bernardi’s rise to power as Syracuse Mayor. But... More Posted on 10/26/07
As the primary election draws to a conclusion, it’s time to do some Wednesday morning quarterback analysis. Joanie Mahoney’s campaign resembled Roy Bernardi’s rise to power as Syracuse Mayor. But... More Posted on 09/23/07
As I interviewed and listened to people of the Que Reunion reminisce about the past, it dawned on me that this group of black men and women endured the hardship of segregation the indignity of the... More Posted on 09/23/07
It’s an annual event with landmarks so established that some people could walk the grounds blindfolded. That’s our New York State Fair. As you tour the grounds no one is aware of what it took to... More Posted on 07/05/07
Back in the 1980s, I had the opportunity to work in city government in the City of Syracuse’s Office of Minority Affairs. The goal of that office was to increase the capacity of minority businesses... More Posted on 07/05/07
I picked up pieces of paper left behind by those who rummaged through my car the other night. On a routine weekday morning, I was disappointed to discover someone had gone through the vehicle and... More Posted on 06/11/07
In this week's column, just like "South Park" (but cleaner), any characters/characterizations real or imagined, visualizations and conjectured speech are for satirical entertainment purposes... More Posted on 05/09/07
Like many Syracuse and Central New York residents I cringed when informed of the death of dogs and cats from something in their food. From rodent poison to plastics authorities still don’t know... More Posted on 04/12/07
I listened carefully to your show on Monday April 9 at about 5:25 p.m. Your conversation turned to radio shock jock Don Imus and comments he made about the Rutgers woman's basketball... More Posted on 04/09/07
It’s Easter time. And like the Bunny, colored eggs and crisp church clothes for children, the budget for the Syracuse city school district is due. And just as in years before there’s the argument... More Posted on 04/09/07
Recent radio advertisements paid for by Moveon.org give us a real fish story…you know, telling a big one about the fish that got away? Moveon.org’s ad reeled in the listener providing a... More Posted on 04/09/07
There was a collective sinking feeling in the stomachs of those who supported our former City of Syracuse Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henry Williams. Recent revelations of corruption at the highest... More Posted on 02/18/07
Finally people can stop complaining about the weather. First it was, “It’s too warm.” Then, “it’s too cold” and “there’s not enough snow.” Now, it’s “We’ve had enough!” Living in Central New York... More Posted on 02/18/07
When we live in Syracuse and most cities there’s a hidden assessment, a charge and some might go as far as calling it a tax on goods and service delivery in the inner city.
From signage on faded... More Posted on 01/31/07
I brace myself for the inevitable achievements that will occur during Black History Month in February.
Harvard Scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson is credited with creating black history as a focal... More Posted on 01/28/07
When you travel around your neighborhood, depending on where you live there are commercial businesses that have been there for generations. Corner stores, bars and restaurants in the commercial... More Posted on 01/28/07
As we celebrate another Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it’s important to remember the road taken to achieve what many take for granted today, our civil rights.
Poll taxes, state laws designed to... More Posted on 01/12/07
It’s rare that you get to work with people you admired growing up but I was fortunate enough having been influenced by Nancy Duffy.
I learned what I know about The Onondaga Nation from Nancy... More Posted on 01/03/07
When Elvis Presley died I thought “how can so many people be moved so much by one man?” This week I learned the answer when news spread early Christmas morning that James Brown “the Godfather of... More Posted on 12/28/06
They made us sing this song in elementary school that sticks to you like hot oatmeal on a cold winter morning.
"Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him you... More Posted on 12/01/06
The elections are over. Now the Monday morning quarterbacking will begin.
Revelations by Congressman Jim Walsh that he had "a little hole" in his heart because of the close election drew sighs and... More Posted on 11/01/06
You'd have to be living under a rock to escape the barrage of negative campaign ads on display this election season. To add special flavoring to this "dish" personal attacks have taken on new meaning... More Posted on 10/01/06
I recall five years ago while working as Director of Development at the New York State Fair, I ran into Congressman Jim Walsh visiting the Pan-African Village. He didn't glad-hand vendors as Senator... More Posted on 09/01/06
With great sadness I watched as the late news showed visuals of dogs who'd been shot by Syracuse City Police. The dog pack had neighbors running for their lives. Thereafter a calm family friend... More Posted on 08/01/06
It ‘s been a long ordeal for the Williams family, having to watch as their son who lives with Down Syndrome got caught up in the legal system. The ordeal that's lasted 17 months placed a strain on... More