Jan 172015
Kelvin Cochran, Former Atlanta Fire Chief

Kelvin Cochran, Former Atlanta Fire Chief

The story is based on a recent action by the City of Atlanta in which they fired Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran for the publication of a religiously themed book, and how it was distributed within the department. The book included some pretty strong anti-gay comments, so of course the main characters in anti-gay, inc. are all grifting on Cochran’s martyrdom. I’d like to offer some reminders to these staunch defenders of “free speech.”

Let’s lay out the facts of the case (and not the overwrought screeching of the ‘phobes). First, as part of taking an executive level job with the City, Mr. Cochran had to agree to and sign a work agreement. One requirement imposed by the work agreement was that Cochran (like anyone else in a similar position) had to get the City’s permission for anything he might publish. This is not at all unusual. Cochran didn’t bother to get this approval.

The grifters have tried to make the claim it was all innocent, as the book was written for a bible study group in his church (in one explanation), or, was just given to a couple of friends who asked for it. Actually, it was given out by Cochran to several of his subordinates in the fire department. Let me remind you, he was the Chief, therefore had direct influence over the employment status of these people. This just isn’t acceptable in any work environment, let alone in the public sector. Continue reading »

Ex-Atlanta Cops Sorry for Killing 92 Year Old

 Corruption, Crime, Society  Comments Off on Ex-Atlanta Cops Sorry for Killing 92 Year Old
Feb 242009

You might remember the story of the Atlanta Police Departments execution of 92 year-old Kathryn Johnston a couple of years ago. Three of the detectives involved in the killing and subsequent cover-up are now in court for sentencing. The account in the Atlanta Journal Constitution refers to the three as “tearful” as they stood before the judge.

As you might imagine, a parade of family, friends, pastors and colleagues took the stand to praise them for being good parents and dedicated public servants. I have to wonder exactly what they were dedicated too. The “dedication to public service started in November of 2006 when officer Jason smith falsified an affidavit to obtain a “no-knock” search warrant.

That allowed the narcotics detectives to bash in Johnston’s door. Thinking her home was being invaded, Johnston fired a single shot from a rusty revolver. The “public servants” responded by firing 39 rounds, with five or six of them being fatal shots.

It seems that at least Det. Gregg Junnier did finally go to the FBI three weeks after the raid and fess up. According to the AJC story, Arthur Bruce Tesler said when moved to the Narcotics unit,

He was told to “sit, watch and learn” from superiors who cut corners to meet performance quotas for arrests and warrants. “I was a new part and plugged into a broken system.”

Tesler later testified he saw Smith planting baggies of marijuana in Johnston’s home to make it look like a drug house, and that he falsified the report and lied about the raid because Smith told him to follow the script.

May 142007

The following are odds and ends from the news this week ending May 13, 2007.

Minister Arrested, Charged With Cocaine Possession (from TBO.com)

TAMPA – A 70-year-old minister faces drug charges after police said he was found with 16 rocks of crack cocaine at his church Sunday.

David Brian Anton of Land O’ Lakes was approached by an officer in Living Word Fellowship church’s parking lot at 8216 N. 13th St., according to an arrest affidavit. Anton agreed to be searched and the officer noticed a plastic baggie with 16 rocks of crack cocaine in Anton’s left shirt pocket, the affidavit states. Police also recovered a crack pipe, according to the affidavit.

I’m just never really sure about these stories. If you knew you had a bag of crack and a crack pipe on you, why would you submit to a search? These kinds of incidents just always sound fishy to me.

No Time to Collect News

I just did not have much time last week to collect news. Heck, I didn’t even have time to read much news. I was on the road from Monday afternoon until about 1pm Saturday morning. This week was Chicago and Atlanta to work some software user-group conferences.

Not being clear what time we could take down the exhibit Friday afternoon at the Atlanta conference, I’d scheduled my flight for 8:15 getting home about 11pm. We were able to tear down fairly early, so we got to the airport about 4pm. The other guy with me had choices to get back to New York on a pretty much hourly basis, and plenty of seats available. There were only two earlier flights to Tampa, and both were book solid, as was my flight.

I don’t have status on Delta, so not only was I in the last row of seating, I knew I didn’t have much chance of being on one of the earlier flights. I tried to check in at the automated kiosks, and had some trouble. I got in the line for the agents, and noticed that my 8:15 flight was already delayed by 45 minutes. This is never good, and the delay is never just 45 minutes.

Lay called while I was waiting, and he had a good suggestion. We decided I’d probably wind up getting home about the same time if I rented a car and drove. Sounded like an OK idea with me. I had a good Audio Book (The Camel Club) on my phone, and new hack that will let me listen through a blue-tooth headset. I rent from Avis all the time, and called them, however they were saying they had no cars for one-way rental. I asked the supervisor to call the manager at the Atlanta station and ask him or her directly. I then got a car.

The drive went pretty well, and I was home about 1:30am, Saturday. I did get some traffic getting out of Atlanta, and I stopped to eat. I talked to a guy today that was on that flight, and he didn’t get home until nearly 1am taking the flight. It was further delayed.

The smoke from the wildfires was really thick in south Georgia and several miles into Florida. I stopped at GA exit 2 buy lottery tickets (Mega Millions was $122m…I figured I could get by on that if I won.), and just walking from the car into the store and back out made my clothes smell like smoke. It was really thick.

Nov 272006

We had a pretty typical Thanksgiving. As I’ve already reported, I drove to North Carolina last Monday, and then met friends up in Boone/Blowing Rock on Tuesday. Wednesday I stuck close to home and spent the day with Mom, and had dinner with her and some of her friends. It was overcast and rainy most of the day Wednesday.

Lay flew up Thursday morning, and my sister Robin and her husband came over Thursday night for dinner. We had all the usual Thanksgiving fare with Turkey, cornbread stuffing and some sausage stuffing. Mom made Lay a sweet potato casserole, and we had the classic pumpkin and pecan pie. Robin had some sort of pumpkin roll. This was a sheet caked rolled with an icing in it. It was great.

My other sister and her family had gone out of town, as they did last year. I must admit to being a bit perturbed about that, as Lay’s never even seen the new baby, and I’ve only seen her once a couple of months ago. And then my sister acted aggravated that we even came by. I’m not sure what’s up with her, but she’s certainly gotten uppity lately.

Thursday was a nice day weather-wise and the temperatures got warmer as the week wore on. We did a little shopping Friday, and put flowers on my Dad’s grave up in Boiling Springs. Friday night, Lay and I went to see the movie Bobby. I’ll post my review of that later. Suffice it to say, we were disappointed.

We drove home Saturday, and made pretty good time. At first Lay wanted to drive as straight through as possible, just eating drive thru’s. But then he wanted for a bigger late lunch. So, it took us about 11 hours, but we really didn’t hit any major traffic backups. Often we’ve run into problems on the return trip south of Atlanta, but I think I found a way around most of that.

Sunday, our friends Mike and Jeff called to go with them for lunch at Hurricane’s in St. Pete Beach. We went over there and it was a gorgeous day over on the beach. We also drove to Treasure Island beach. It’s still considered something of the gay beach. I was wearing an Appalachian State Univ. t-shirt, and a guy at the beach came up asking if I was from North Carolina. As it turns out, he lived in Greensboro, not too far from where I lived. He now lives in Temple Terrace (north Tampa).

I took a few pictures with the camera in the phone while over at the beach. You can click on the photo here to see them all. That is probably the only thing I have a real problem with on this phone. The camera sucks…but then again, it’s a phone…not a camera.

Speaking of cameras. The battery in my digital would run down after eight or ten shots, so we did stop Friday for a replacement. That was $40. I hope it is just the battery.

Anyway, we’re home, and back that the usual grind.

Stuck At The Airport

 Business, General  Comments Off on Stuck At The Airport
Apr 192006

I am due to fly into Atlanta this evening. About 3pm a friend advised me to turn on the news where I learned that a suspicious package left at a security check point had resulted in Atlanta airport being evacuated.

Before leaving the house, I did the correct thing, and called their reservation number. I got a call center in India (yes, I confirmed that with the guy). He had to call his U.S. based supervisor to see of flights were delayed. As usual, he insisted the flight was operating on-time.

Now here I sit with my 6:09 scheduled departure now pushed to 8:30. I should have done what I first thought of doing and rented a car and drove to Atlanta. If I’d left here at 4pm, I’d be at the hotel about 11:30. As it is, if the flight actually does leave at 8:30, I’ll get to the hotel about 10:30.

I understand shit happens, but I wish they’d been honest about the delay. I could have gotten a lot more work done.