2 years later: still an unsolved murder

Dayton Daily News cutting about SGM Woodall Murder

Gone, but never forgotten. SGM Woodall, US Army Special Forces

On the wall, in front of my desk- I have a lot of things taped up. A full page ad remembering David Ogilvy, a full page ad recognizing Lee Clow for getting into the Advertising Hall of Fame, Kurt Vonnegut’s eight rules for writing fiction, Seth Godin’s “Where ideas come from” and some of my ads- that may or may not have been produced.

Then there is the front page of the Wednesday, July 29, 2009, Dayton Daily News- “Veteran of 3 wars, 85, dies in home invasion.”

It’s been a year (2 years). The killer of Sgt. Maj. North E. Woodall is still missing.

via 1 year later: still an unsolved murder.

It still bothers me. SGM Woodall served in WW II, Korea and Vietnam- in my former unit, Special Forces. Two Silver Stars. Shot dead by some punk- like the following guy:

Especially today- while a bunch of “ministers” scream about the “killing of Kylan English” and people accuse the police of tasering the statutory rapist (English was 20- the girl whose apartment he was trying to kick in the door of, was 16) and ignore the video evidence of English saying “Do you believe you go to heaven if you kill yourself?” Where were those ministers for SGM Woodall?

We have a genuine American hero- whose murder is still unsolved- yet, a whole ruckus going on about a punk kid who did a hands-tied-behind-the-back swan dive to meet his maker at the bottom of a bridge?

Something is screwed up in the African American Community in Dayton, Ohio.

Bishop Richard E. Cox, head of the Dayton chapter of the SCLC, said he did not believe the coroner’s determination that the death was the result of suicide….

The Rev. Jerome McCorry, head of the faith-based Adam Project that works with ex-convicts, joined Cox in denouncing police and the coroner’s report following the news conference.

Cox and McCorry called for police Chief Richard Biehl’s resignation.

via Suicide ruling based on reports and video.

Where are Cox and McCorry when it comes to SGM North Woodall? Silent.

Now, it turns out that a pedestrian not only saw English do exactly what the evidence said- he posted it to his Facebook account. Which was seen by friends and family- who didn’t report it immediately to the police.

The investigation into the possible wrongdoing of the punk is now closed.

I call for the resignation of Bishop Cox and the Reverend McCorry. There should be an investigation into what they knew, while pushing their hateful agenda against our police department.

The Dayton Daily News has actually done a pretty good job of reporting this dog and pony show. Making the video available to the public is what the paper should be doing (that it’s in Flash- instead of an HTML5 compliant format will be overlooked).  However, it still bugs me that Kylen English got more press than and attention than SGM Woodall- and that’s a crime.

Now that we’re done glorifying a suicidal punk- let’s get serious about finding a decorated war hero’s killer.

Until the killer is found, and brought to justice, I’ll still have the article, with the SGM’s scowl- looking over my monitor. I’ve not forgotten you, Top. We’ll get the bastards.

Time to spank the petty politicians: raid their campaign kittys

The two-party system is broken. The standstill in Washington over the debt ceiling is proof that petty politicians will do almost anything to posture instead of proceed to solve the problem at hand. We’ve already seen the FAA stop collecting taxes on airlines, soldiers are having essential training cancelled (while still being asked to go to war) and financial markets (which are already a mess due to lack of a spine to reel in wild speculation and dangerous practices) are again starting to react to uncertainty.

But, now, Tea Party Republican Jim Jordan, R-OH, is being threatened with having his district redrawn according to the Columbus Dispatch:

Jim Jordan’s open defiance of Speaker John Boehner’s efforts to solve the debt-ceiling crisis could cost the Urbana Republican his safe House seat in next year’s election.

Two Republican sources deeply involved in configuring new Ohio congressional districts confirmed to The Dispatch today that Jordan’s disloyalty to Boehner has put him in jeopardy of being zeroed out of a district.

“Jim Jordan’s boneheadedness has kind of informed everybody’s thinking,” said one of the sources, both of whom spoke only on condition of anonymity. “The easiest option for everybody has presented itself.”

Jordan’s rural 11-county district, which has a 60 percent Republican voter index, “is easy to cannibalize because it stretches so far,” the other source said….

After The Dispatch posted the story on its website today, Jordan linked to it on Twitter and posted it on his Facebook page, telling followers and friends: “I would be interested to hear your comments on this article suggesting that my vote will result in my congressional district being eliminated.”

Breaking up and parsing out Jordan’s 4th district and throwing him into a new one that is competitive would solve a dilemma for GOP congressional map-drawers who, because of population shifts, must reduce the number of Ohio congressional districts from 18 to 16 before the Feb. 8 candidate filing deadline for the May 3 primary election….

One of the Republican sources said Jordan, a former state legislator, became inoculated against compromising by his comfort in a district he has represented since 2007 and which he typically wins with more than 60 percent of the vote.

via Payback may be coming for congressman’s ‘disloyalty’ | The Columbus Dispatch.

This crass suggestion of those in power that they should be able to override the wishes of voters as easily as redrawing the map- as opposed to the people of Jordan’s district having the right to vote him out of office for his actions shows how petty our two-party system has become- and how meaningless our system of “election” has become. Even if we move to a more democratic system like instant runoff ballots, we’re still at odds thanks to the oddity of letting the foxes have the key to the hen house door.

Here is a better way to solve the impasse- before a single U.S. debt payment is missed, all members of Congress and the president- those who have brought us to the brink of bankruptcy- or at least, default- should have to forfeit their campaign chests- and start amassing debt against their campaign fund raising ability for every dollar that isn’t made right by our government. This would almost guarantee passage- or a complete transformation of our government. Accountability would begin instantly.

It’s time for a solution to this partisan BS. It’s our country- not John Boehner’s, not Jim Jordan’s, not Barack Obama’s. Get to work you jackasses- or we’re going to take your bribe money away.

Bonds for Charter Schools that can’t write English

If the Dayton Public Schools sent out an 8-page newsletter like the “Horizon Science Academy,” a congressman would be crawling up their behinds questioning why they are allowed to teach our children.

However, this charter school is about to get tax-exempt bonds to finance their little money-making “non-profit” skool. Oh, did I misspell that?

“This newsletter is only a few pages from your neighborhood school” opening line of the “Director’s Letter” on page 2.

“Having only about 200 students, we know all the students and their parents with their names and personalities”

“Horizon schools are good for all students at different academic levels: if your child is behind the grade level, our teachers spend extra time with them via after school tutoring and Saturday schools.

“to give our students a breath from hard work”

“Another breath that our students take is when it’s time for our elective classes”

Signed- “Mr. Matt”

Then we have a “Parent Comment” on “would you recommend other families to Horizon Science Academy – Dayton Downtown”

“Yes, because I seen an instant change in my child’s grades, wanting to go to school, she is happy here.”

I’ve attached a PDF of this “newsletter” for you to see for yourself:Horizon Science Academy newsletter

The vote will be Tuesday, July 26-

Deputy County Administrator Joe Tuss said the resolution was pulled from the commission agenda Thursday because of significant interest in the Horizon Science Academy and the way its new school building would be financed.

“We want to make sure we’ve got all the information together before we put it before the commission for consideration,” Tuss said.

via Dayton Daily News Archive of Past Articles | Montgomery County.

The original article on the vote:

Montgomery County commissioners will decide Thursday whether to approve the issuance of $9.2 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to expand a controversial charter school in Dayton. Deputy County Administrator Joe Tuss said the county would have no liability for the issuance of the bonds, but commission approval is required under the Internal Revenue Code.

The bonds would be issued by the Industrial Development Authority of the County of Pima, Ariz. Proceeds of the bonds would be loaned to New Plan Learning, Inc., an Ohio nonprofit corporation, to finance the expansion of Horizon Science Academy — Dayton High School at 250 Shoup Mill Road.

Chicago-based Concept Schools runs 19 Ohio charter schools, including three Horizon Science Academies in Dayton. One of the state’s largest operators of publicly financed charters, it was founded by Turkish educators inspired by religious leader and scholar, Fethullah Gulen.

The commissioners unanimously approved the same issuance of bonds in June 2010, but the process is being repeated because the approval expired before bonds could be issued, officials said.

Concept Vice President Salim Ucan said the plan calls for moving students from an elementary school at 545 Odlin Ave. to the Shoup Mill location to create a K-12 campus by the 2012-13 school year.

Part of the school would be renovated to add classrooms, offices, labs and a cafeteria, and a new gymnasium also would be built.

School officials also want to purchase 3.26 acres of adjacent property for athletic fields.

via Dayton Daily News Archive of Past Articles | Charter seeking $9.2M to expand.

A very quick investigation of Concept Schools- on their own website, finds them rebutting a TV news story in Cleveland about the recruitment of Turkish teachers using H1B visas to teach at Horizon Schools. In a state where we are extra finicky about who teaches in unionized public schools- it’s odd that we are now so short of qualified Americans to teach at HS and below- that we have to go to Turkey.

But the true zinger is that our property values that are so low and their business model is so untested that banks won’t lend to them in Dayton:

Fourth, such reports raise concerns about the Horizon Science Academy in Dayton, which is leasing its facility from an Ohio limited liability company that is owned by a Turkish businessman who was willing to take a risk on the development of this property as a school, when Dayton area banks and others were not. The Dayton school leases the property for $3.78 a square foot, which is a bargain compared to medium grade office space in Dayton, which is leased for $10 a square foot or more. News stories that make this sound like hundreds of thousand of dollars go oversees is nothing but part of an agenda of sensationalizing their stories.

via Concept’ s rebuttal of recent news stories in Ohio – Concept Schools.

This means that the tax-free bonds that Montgomery County is about to issue- are to help pay a foreign investor off. Can I sign up for that deal? And- even more confusing is that according to the article- which is clear as mud- the Industrial Development Authority of the County of Pima, Ariz is issuing them? Huh? Right on their website under the non-profit area it says:


The Industrial Development Authority of the County of Pima (the “Authority”), in conjunction with Wells Fargo Bank, is committed to supporting the development and expansion of the local community by awarding low interest rate loans (“Non-Profit Loan”) to nonprofit organizations in Pima County.

via Pima County Industrial Development Authority.

Is Pima County breaking its own rules?

Why is Mr. Tuss even wasting time on this deal? Is he creating more of his famous “high tech jobs”- to be imported from Turkey? Considering the state has already created a charter high school focusing on STEM- the Dayton Regional STEM school– which just bought and is remodeling the former Value City Department Store on Woodman- where is the essential public need for this school that can’t spel?

Hint for the Montgomery County Commissioners- just vote Know, I mean NO. Otherwise, we’ll have to start digging into this more and find out who is getting paid off for this dumb deal.

I need a breath from all this hard work.

UPDATE- 10:20PM- I took a breath- and then dug a little deeper:

The IDA does not act as a lender but as a “conduit,” allowing a lender to issue tax-free bonds on behalf of the borrower, Russo said. The conduit role earns the IDA fees and brings money to its partner in many projects, the Community Investment Corp.

The IDA receives a $3,000 fee for each successful application, and gets a fee of one-tenth of 1 percent of the principal of each bond issue every year. That money can help the IDA with other programs it runs, such as a nonprofit loan program and a program that helps single-family home buyers, Russo said.

The Community Investment Corp. acts as the administrator of the IDA’s charter-school financing projects. For its services the corporation charges a set-up-fee of $1,000 and an annual fee of $8,000 or $12,000, depending on the size of the bond issue. That money can help the corporation’s charter-school-finance program and other activities, such as investments in local start-ups, said executive director Frank Valenzuela, also a director of the IDA.

via Financing group’s practices questioned.

When you look at the site for “The Community Investment Corp” you find a shell of a site- with pages still under construction- even though this non-profit was set up in 1996. From their “Site”

The Community Investment Corporation (CIC) was founded in 1996 as a non-profit 5O1(c)3 agency to assist small businesses and provide public purpose services. Working in collaboration with other agencies, CIC has provided investment in new and existing businesses for start up and business expansion.

Once again, smoke and mirrors. So what we have is the Montgomery County Commissioners, voting to approve a tax exempt bond issued by a development authority in Tucson AZ that subcontracts to another Tucson non-profit to administer the bond, which is floated by a Wall Street bank (like Wells Fargo) to an Ohio non-profit, for a Chicago based firm, owned by Turks to put a school in Dayton.

And we wonder why the country is about to head into default?



Ohio Smoking ban finally gains teeth

Our legislators are really good at coming up with new laws, regulations and restrictions- without figuring out the costs of enforcement. When the smoking ban went into place it was totally unclear about who would enforce the ban.

As some establishments chose to ignore the ban, thinking fines were just going to be a cost of doing business- the state finally has figured out a way to take that idea out of the equation:

A handful of area businesses owe tens of thousands of dollars in dozens of unpaid fines for smoking violations, which under a new state initiative could put their liquor licenses at risk in the future when they are up for renewal.

In a precedent-setting move, the Ohio Division of Liquor Control this month denied the liquor permit renewal of the Hamilton County business Peg’s Pub, on the grounds that it repeatedly disregarded state law by incurring about 18 fines and failing to pay $55,900 they owed, said Jen House, spokeswoman with the Ohio Department of Health.

Until now, Liquor Control never used smoking-ban violations and unpaid fines as criteria when evaluating renewal requests for liquor licenses.

Although no local businesses owe nearly as much as Peg’s Pub in Evendale did or accumulated as many smoking fines, the Miami Valley Sports Bar in West Carrollton owes $32,000, Webster Station in Dayton owes $27,000, Coyote’s Pub & Grub in Dayton owes $20,100, and the Harem strip club on North Dixie Drive owes $15,000, according to the state health department…

Through March, Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County had issued 158 smoking violations, worth more than $220,000, to local businesses. Owners have only paid about $16,000, the agency said.

In Montgomery County, at least 10 businesses owe $5,000 or more in fines, according to the state health department….

Bill Wharton, spokesman for Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County, said his department has issued about $28,000 in fines to Ziggy’s Ritz Night Club and $17,500 to BoJangles Nightclub. He said the fines may be still under review or appeal.

via Smoking fines could shut down local bars.

Considering the ban went in place back in 2007 and we are now just starting to find the way to enforce the law is yet another example that our politicians have hugely been rendered impotent by big money influence. Ohio has already diverted the anti-smoking money from the big tobacco settlement away from its primary mission.

HHS required cigarette package design 3

Coming to your smokes in 2012, new package designs

New packaging to “scare off” smokers will be introduced in 2012- yet the only thing that has proven to reduce smoking has been raising taxes on cigarettes to painful levels.

While libertarian commentators on this site will scream about personal freedom and personal choice, tobacco consumption has huge costs to society. If, in order to purchase and use tobacco, you sign away all rights to any public or group health care, and becoming 100% liable for your own smoking-related illnesses until you die- cigarettes and tobacco users should be taxed to cover their real costs.

Also, since smoke isn’t the same as sticking a needle in your own arm- the locations that are acceptable to partake in the filthy habit, should be restricted to your private property, and nowhere else. I’m tired of walking through a wall of smoke to enter public buildings- and I’m tired of seeing the trash that smokers seem to feel they have the right to generate by discarding their butts at will.

It’s time for Ohio to join New York in putting real teeth into the public smoking ban- and to raise the cost of tobacco to the painful level. We also need to ban the sale of singles- in both cigarettes and cigars, which are straight plays to the poor, who can least afford the health costs.

Taking away liquor licenses for smoking violations should have started years ago- that it’s happening now is a good sign.


Local media doing local TV?

Queen City TV show promo shot

Queen City TV show coming to Cincinnati

With all the horsepower under the Cox Media Center- it’s surprising they haven’t attempted more totally local programming. In the day of media overload, unique, local content is the only competitive advantage they can “own” and really sell.

It’s happening in Cincinnati:

Coming to WXIX-TV (Channel19) this fall is a reality series shot on the hills and in the valleys of the “Queen City,” about four active, young professional women. Fox 19 will officially announce the show later this week, but you can find details here on Facebook.

The weekly series promises to give viewers a look at “life in the Q.C.” through the activities of Tracey Conrad, Katie Cassidy, Lauren Brown and Adhrucia Apana. Shooting started in April; Fox 19 executives gave a green light to the series on Friday. The local production likely will be done with some college students…

via New ‘Queen City’ Show Debuts In July | TV and Media Blog.

We’ve seen how voice tracking and programming from Texas has all but killed local radio (WYSO being the major exception). At one time, Dayton’s CW, Ch 26 was hosting “The Daily Buzz” which was syndicated nationally- meaning you could produce quality original programming locally. We’ve seen enough studio set shows- like Hi-Q and talks on a couch- how about getting out in the community?

There are stories galore- that deserve more than a 2-minute bit on the evening news.

For a while WYSO was doing a local weekly radio journal show with Aileen LeBlanc, but, we’ve yet to see the cameras go out in the community. The most prolific option so far, is Drexel Dave Sparks with his Dayton Informer site. At least one other person gets it here.