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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Warren Wood will be new Hickory City Manager

Warren Wood, former Hickory Assistant City Manager, will assume the position of Hickory City Manager on April 10, 2017. Warren, as many of you know is a Hickory Native. He has been the City Manager of Waxhaw, NC for the past couple of years after leaving the Assistant City Manager position he had held in Hickory.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

On behalf of Billy Sudderth - Hickory City Council - December 6, 2016

I stand here again tonight with a heavy heart over the loss of a friend and an associate. Billy Sudderth was a great man who went above and beyond the call of duty seeking justice and equality for people who have many times been forgotten and not accounted for in this community.

I came to meet Billy during the issue with the pools that were demolished by Hickory Incorporated back in 2011. I would like to thank this very body for helping bring together the circumstances that created the Citizens for Equity in Government movement during that time. If not for those circumstances, I wouldn't have gotten to know Billy Sudderth, Walter Witherspoon, Jesse McArthur and other gentlemen of Color and their perspective, the way that I was allowed to. I had associations with Larry Pope prior to that time, but these circumstances took our relationship to a whole new level.

When President-Elect Donald Trump has spoken about rebuilding the inner cities of our nation, which let's be honest, the poor state of inner cities has mostly effected minorities, he has stated that these minorities should give the populist movement a chance, because what has been going on is not working.

Eight men met at Starbuck's in Viewmont just to talk and come to an understanding about what we had seen. The gentlemen I mentioned above along with Joe Brannock, Harry Hipps, Cliff Moone, and myself were the precursor to what Mr. Trump espoused. 'What did we have to lose?'

This body didn't take us seriously at the time, but we all know that you learned to take us seriously.

But I'll get to Billy. Billy was the founder of the Citizens for Equity in Government. He's no longer with us and y'all haven't heard from the CEG in a while, but please do not mistake this and think that the CEG movement is no longer with us. It is very much alive in this room tonight. Billy and Larry are in this room with us tonight.

I was at Billy's funeral last week. It was another uplifting celebration of another man who lived a life for others. It was spoken from the Bible, Romans chapter 12, which is a Book about Man versus Government in relation to God:

The chapter is about Love in Action

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


I don't think anyone in this room can say that Billy didn't show this body respect. Larry Pope and Billy Sudderth had different methods in dealing with the government here in Hickory. Larry would many times be openly militant and bristle with hostility standing at this podium. Billy was soft spoken, mild mannered, courteous, conciliatory, and overly respectful to this body.

Larry was told that it's easier to attract Bees with honey than vinegar and that was Billy's exact approach -- 'the attitude of gratitude' and both were summarily dismissed by this community.

The other day, Billy's pastor talked about fighting the power and doing the right thing. This was in reference to Ridgeview's relationship with y'all. I felt the energy, the room crackled, during this part of the service. The emotion was palpable.

You could feel Billy's spiritual presence in this moment. Billy always seemed to enjoy the struggle. Billy focused on the perpetual battle. I don't think he even cared about winning or losing. Larry Pope wanted to win. He always thought that one day we would win. He told me exactly that. Billy and Larry both thought that government would provide an eventual victory, if it ever came, probably through the court system. Personally, I don't consider the circumstance of a court ruling to ever be a victory.

Personally, I don't enjoy the struggle. Life is too short to struggle. I would openly ask Billy, Why do you expect the very government that is mutually viewed as an opponent to provide you an ultimate victory?

Billy would reply in his cool manner, "HaHa... I know man. I know." You have to go into a battle with an expectation of victory. You have to fight to win.

But, I can never pretend that I went through what gentlemen like Billy and Larry went through and completely understand their perspective.

Billy's pastor the other day said you gotta love yourself before you can love others. What I learned from Billy is that you've gotta love your neighbors before you can love yourself. Billy and Larry took the hit to their personal being and welfare to move the ball forward. They were sincere team players. They were sincere community members. They were leaders. It was never about them. It was always about others.

God has always used imperfect people, imperfect actions, imperfect processes to demonstrate his power. Billy was that person... Larry was that person... I am that person on this night.

Numerically this is an ending year 2+0+1+6 = 9. The end of so many things. Next year is a beginning year 2+0+1+7 =10... 1+0 = 1 ... a new beginning. It is time for a fresh start. It is time for reconciliation.

Billy came before this body over the past couple years seeking your help in building a Multi-Cultural Resource Center in Ridgeview next to the library. Billy looked at this Multi-Cultural Resource Center as a way of our local government reconciling with Ridgeview for what happened with the swimming pools. I don't know where that issue stands, but let's give Billy and this project the respect it deserves. Billy showed you respect, let's have mutual respect.

At some point in time, I hope we can give him a spiritual victory that he didn't get to enjoy when he was physically present.

Feel the Power... Do the right thing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

"Mainstream Media" just isn't getting it - New York Times on President Elect Trump

OK, I've taken the year off basically and there have been reasons for that, but I want to weigh in on the subject of Traditional Media that has evolved into Corporate (shill) media and their personal biases against anyone and anything that doesn't toe their line. They don't represent a spectrum of opinion and they have chosen a role of Issue Creationism. Instead of providing information about the relevant current events that effect the public's lives, they are trying to create issues and formulate public opinion based on the issues they create.

I've also been hearing and reading a lot about what the Establishment and Status Quoers define as "Fake News" and "Fake News Sites". This all has evolved because people are seeking alternative sources of information, because the Establishment media has done what I describe above. The Establishment Media has narrowed their focus to the issues that define the Global Corporatists' agenda and seek to delegitimize anything that doesn't have a viewpoint through that prism. Make no mistake, those who push the "Fake News" meme are outing themselves as Global Corporatists. They should be called out on it.

I had the opportunity to listen to an audio from President-Elect Donald Trump's meeting with the New York Times (NYT) today. NYT felt a need to do a play-by-play description of the interview, which is fine, but goes a lot to the heart of the issue of what we saw with the traditional press's reporting of the elections this year.

What we have seen is that the traditional press has blurred the line between what should be editorial content versus the newsworthy actions that have taken place. There is a pride with traditional "old school" media that leaves no room for the reality of evolution and new technology. It is a sword that they are in the process of falling upon.

Mr. Trump believes he was treated unfairly by his hometown newspaper -- and as he states other media outlets. NYT and other media seem to take umbrage with the depiction, feigning innocence, teling the reading/listening world that they were only doing their job. Well, that would be perfectly fine, if they had covered the Hillary Clinton campaign with the same fervent gusto in editorializing Mr. Trump on every issues he brought forward or was brought forward against him in this campaign, instead NYT chose to fill a role as advocate for the Hillary and the Democrats.

Personally editorializing, I have no issue with NYT, or any other media outlet, being an advocate for a candidate, candidates, or issues; but they should be honest and upfront with the utmost transparency about where they stand. NYT, and other media outlets, have made the mistake, it seems, to believe that the news is about them and not the subject they are reporting on. Think about an artist. That is what a journalist is supposed to correlate with -- literature. Think about the portrait they are painting. Think about a fine work of art. In the Mona Lisa, I don't see Da Vinci's face in the picture. Yet, these self-important "journalists" seem to believe that part of their job is to now interject themselves into every subject.

NYT's presentation drips with the irony I describe above. We, the public, are supposed to look up to NYT, because of who they are. Their reporters tell us so in the lead up to the excerpts of this interview. The reporter (Ross Douthat) says that (his personal opinion, but he doesn't say it is his personal opinion - so is he speaking for everyone?) their is a fundamental surrealism about the man, Donald Trump. The reporter says he doesn't have a disrespect for the man, then he goes into Mr. Trump's background as a celebrity and businessman. Then he talks about how this meeting wasn't a formal and traditional meeting of a President and they aren't in awe of him.

Right there, from the get go, shows how biased and disrespectful this whole situation is. What made a Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or Bill Clinton seemingly so awe inspiring? versus Mr. Trump? You see, that is this journalist's opinion, and it shows that the reporter isn't going to give Mr. Trump a fair shake, because he is essentially saying he doesn't respect him.

The reporter, Mr. Douthat states that he expected Mr. Trump to come in and be gracious (to the NYT) in a way he wasn't gracious to other media outlets in a recent meeting. Personally, I have learned, that isn't part of being a journalist. It is about having some sort of respect commodity. You earn respect by producing relevant information that has value. When you produce worthless opinionated tripe, then you aren't going to be respected. You are even entitled to have an opinion, if it is fair, justified, and constructive creating value.

To show the NYT's representative conceit, the reporter goes as far as to say that he expected Mr. Trump to be conciliatory showing deference to what a jewel the NYT is. Why should Mr. Trump be conciliatory. He won the Presidency in spite of all your newspaper did to try to keep that from happening. Your paper should be the ones who show conciliation in some form by at least going back and showing some humility in how wrong you had it about this election on so many accounts.

Mr. Trump even says that the NYT is a jewel. Not to put words in his mouth, but I believe he is speaking to what NYT was and represented, not the current iteration of what I believe are entitled, self-important pseudo-journalists who seem to feel that just because they work for the NYT they have been anointed as experts in the realm of whatever it is that they are reporting on. It doesn't work that way in the real world. In the real world you earn your position by creating value. Journalists create value by having credibility. Credibility comes from getting "it" (the news) right more than you get it wrong. The NYT got it completely wrong when it came to this election and that sinks their credibility rating. It doesn't matter what you have done in the past if you self-destruct your present.

I can go on and on, but you can go to the link to the article below and listen to the tone. It's basically another round table discussion on Trump. This is much of what personality and issue information has become. The media plays snippets of events and a group of people sit around and hash the subject matter out based upon a context they create through personal opinion. This is the echo chamber. This is where the lack of depth on issues comes from. Why not just throw a camera/microphone up in a bar. This is fine as an adjunct to news issues for further discussion of pertinent issues, but this is not news reporting.

I'll be back...

Audio: Inside the Room With President-Elect Donald Trump [The Run-Up]
- New York Times - Michael Barbaro - November 23, 2016

Edits had to be done because my batteries were running low on my keyboard and so I had to proof read and re-edit. Peace to everyone on Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Real Hillary Clinton - Bill Still report

Good afternoon, I’m still reporting on - NBC Crew - Crooked Hillary’s Massive Meltdown at Sept. 7th Forum

Remember the Sept. 7 Commander-in-Chief Forum where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton appeared separately but back-to-back for 30 minutes each?

According to an email forwarded to us late last night, which originated from a Comcast email address, the technical crew for NBC which produced the event is now speaking out about what took place moments after Clinton walked off the set – a massive profanity-laced tirade aimed at NBC’s host, Matt Lauer.

It turned out that Clinton had been fed all the questions for approval in advance of the forum.
But then, after the approval, Matt Lauer had had a change of heart and he started his questioning with an unapproved line concerning Clinton’s use of an illegal private server for her sometimes classified, work-related emails.

According to a Comcast official (the parent company of NBC Universal) who apparently was quoting those on the set:

“When Matt posed the one legitimate question about the FBI investigation concerning her homemade server and the unsecured emails, we could see she was beginning to boil.”

According to an NBC Associate Producer of the Forum, as soon as Clinton got off the set, she exploded.

“Hillary proceeded to pick up a full glass of water and throw it at the face of her assistant, and the screaming started.”

“She was in a full meltdown and no one on her staff dared speak with her – she went kind of manic and didn't have any control over herself at that point.”

“How these people work with this woman is amazing to me. She really didn't seem to care who heard any of it.”

“You really had to see this to believe it. She came apart – literally unglued; she is the most foul-mouthed woman I’ve ever heard … and that voice at screech level … awful!”

“She screamed she’d get that f… Lauer fired for this.”

Referring to Donald Trump, Clinton said:

“If that f - - - ing bastard wins, we all hang from nooses! Lauer’s finished...and if I lose it’s all on your heads for screwing this up.”

So, Crooked Hillary fears the gallows, eh? Interesting.

Her dozen or more aides were visibly disturbed and tried to calm her down when she started shaking uncontrollably, as she screamed to get an executive at Comcast the parent company of NBC Universal, on the phone. Then, two rather large aides grabbed her and helped her walk to her car.

Matt Lauer was massively criticized for the rest of the week on air by the Clinton campaign and the rest of the MSM as having conducted:

“an unfair and partisan attack on Clinton.”

According to the email, calls were made to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Huffington Post and Twitter executives with orders to crush Matt Lauer.

One staffer on the Clinton campaign told the NBC staff that they all fear Clinton’s wrath and uncontrollable outbursts, and one described Hillary as “an egotistical psychopath.”

Since Hillary does not allow any staff to have cell phones when she is in their presence, no footage is available.

Interim DNC chairman Donna Brazile, the first black woman to hold the position, was singled out by Hillary during the rant. She screamed at Donna:

“I’m so sick of your face. You stare at the wall like a brain dead buffalo, while letting that f - - - ing Lauer get away with this. What are you good for, really? Get the f - - - to work janitoring this mess - do I make myself clear?”

A female NBC executive said that Donna Brazile looked at Mrs. Clinton and never flinched, which seemed to enrage Hillary all the more. The executive continued:

“It was the most awful and terrible...and racist display – such a profane meltdown I have ever witnessed from anyone, and I will never forget it.

“That woman should never see the inside of the oval office I can tell you that. She was unhinged and just continued to verbally abuse everyone – she was out of control.”

Why did Lauer ask his rogue question? According to sources close to Lauer, because:
“… the American people deserve an answer from the former Secretary of State.”
I’m still reporting from Washington. Good Day.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hickory, NC in the national news again

How the China Shock, Deep and Swift, Spurred the Rise of Trump

Many assumed the U.S. would withstand the import threat as it had with Japan, Mexico; devastation in Hickory, N.C.

HICKORY, N.C.—In the late 1990s, this furniture-making hub seemed sheltered from the disruptive forces of globalization. Laid-off steelworkers from West Virginia, Tennessee and beyond streamed here for new jobs building beds, tables and chairs for American homes. The unemployment rate fell below 2%.

These days, Hickory is still suffering from a series of economic shocks, none more powerful than China’s rise as an export power. The invasion of imported furniture drove factories out of business, erased thousands of jobs and helped drive unemployment above 15% in 2010.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Buffalo's Sinkhole resolved update - WMNC-FM radio 92.1 - Richard Garrison report

Hickory City Council held a regular meeting Tuesday night, the open session was only about 15 minutes to deal with an 11- item Consent Agenda, and two informational items along with a Public Hearing concerning a proposal to designate the former Lyerly Full Fashioned Mill as a Historic Landmark in Hickory, the "mill" was constructed in 1930, and operated until 1957 according to city officials, and has mostly been unused in recent years, and in 2007 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A recent Catawba County Tax Office assessment shows the property to have a tax value of 2-million, 840-thousand, 100 dollars.

No one in attendance spoke for or against approval of the Public Hearing, and city council voted 6-0 to unanimously approve the measure. Council member Jill Patton was absent Tuesday night. Next after approving several appointments to Boards and Commissions, Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright motioned for city council to go into a Closed Session, and after more than one hour, Council members returned to open session to announce a decision to authorize the taking of the "sink hole" property along Highway 70 in Hickory, to begin to make repairs along with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, with an estimated cost of 2.2 million dollars, Hickory City Council decided in Closed Session as an economic development to appropriate $550 thousand dollars of the $ 2.2 million dollars to make repairs to the property.

This property is the former site of a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, where in 2002, a brand new Chevrolet Corvette was consumed by the first sink hole, and some time later a second sink hole opened on the property in which the restaurant was closed due to an unstable foundation on the property. Many longtime Hickory residents will remember when this sink hole and loss of the restaurant occurred, along with lawsuits from the former owner of the restaurant filed against the city, as well as an apparent lack of understanding between the restaurant owner and the city as to who was responsible to "FIX" the sink hole and allow Buffalo Wild Wings to resume business. This was never resolved to the satisfaction of the property owner and Buffalo Wild Wings closed permanently at this location as a result. Due to the "Loss" of a brand new 2002 Chevrolet Corvette, "swallowed" beneath the property, this sink hole episode received International attention from various internet sources at the time. Later, the North Carolina Department of Transportation was forced to "close" the portion of roadway in front of the restaurant during heavy downpours due to unusual flooding conditions.

This area was for many years "signed" by the NCDOT, "Roadway" subject to flooding, drive carefully, as a warning of potential dangerous driving conditions during heavy rain in the immediate area.

According to Mayor Wright, these "repairs" beginning in the near future with the start of the process Wednesday, should improve driving conditions along Highway 70 in Hickory when completed. This highway is heavily traveled due to its proximity to Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard in Hickory, along with many busy shopping areas, and businesses.

For WMNC News, I am Richard Garrison reporting.

Richard Garrison

Buffalo sinkhole issue to finally be resolved after a decade

According to sources, City of Hickory will spend $2.2 million in conjunction with the NCDOT to fix the former Buffalo's sinkhole out on Highway 70 Southeast. The sinkhole originally occurred in 2002 and was fixed before re-occurring in 2006 and worsening over time. Flooding has happened in that immediate vicinity due to blockage and that flooding has caused intense damage to adjacent properties near the site. No timetable was given about when work will begin.