Monday, April 9, 2012

Ed Robinson kills the Florence City Gym Project

Councilman Ed Robinson was the swing vote in killing a resolution for a new city basketball complex on the north side of Florence today. Despite the resolution being presented about 6 months ago, there having been 2 work sessions since its introduction and the council ordering the City Mgr to come up with the proposal within 90 days, Robinson wasn't ready to vote on it yet. After his motion to defer the matter lost 4-3, Robinson voted against the resolution. (Robinson, Powers, Brand and Willis voted against it while Ervin, Williams-Blake and Mayor Wukela voted in favor of the resolution).

Robinson stated:
“When it comes down to doing this gymnasium it needs to be the best, just like with everything else we do,” Robinson said. “To commit to that, I don’t think its something we can do. I don’t think we can afford it without giving people false promises.”

Take a second to read that. Robinson, who is now running for Mayor on a campaign decrying the disparity between North & East Florence versus the West & South side of town,* doesn't want to build the gym because he only wants "the best."'s a proposed $4-$7million facility, Councilman. It would immediately be one of the nicest basketball complexes in the region and certainly one of the nicest projects to grace the North side of town in quite some time.

The simple truth is that Robinson does not want the city to move forward with this project as it would hurt his campaign narrative that the City has done nothing for his side of town. Robinson's contention that he's concerned about it hurting other funding to neighborhoods is just as much of a smokescreen as his concern about the quality of the facility proposed. The city already has money in the budget for that type of funding. Robinson is simply doing what he does best and what he's done for all his years on council: looking out for his best interests. And this man wants to lead the entire city...

*Interesting enough, this was a disparity Robinson conveniently ignored when he publicly endorsed former Mayor Frank Willis 4 years ago. Willis, you may recall, unconvincingly claimed not to see such disparity when presented with precisely that argument from Mayor Wukela during their election. Nice to see Robinson has at least finally discovered the blight and poverty over in East & North Florence. Suppose late is better than never. Of course, we're sure Robinson finds no irony in the fact that one of the most neglected districts in the city is the one he has been representing for about 20 years.

Mayor Wukela's State of the City address...

Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela will deliver the 2012 State of the City address this coming Thursday evening (April 12th) at the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation Library. The event is scheduled from 6:00 pm until 7:30 pm. Come out and hear first hand what has been accomplished and what is on the horizon for the City of Florence.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mayor Wukela representin'...

With Mayor Wukela facing challenges in both the primary and general election this cycle, hows about we take a moment to watch the Mayor representing the City of Florence on the Carolina Business Review recently.

Raise your hands if you think the two folks challenging the Mayor could come off anywhere near as knowledgable as Mayor Wukela did. Oh...and he didn't even need several months and a committee or multiple work sessions to help him out...

(Mayor Wukela's appearance begins at 12:01 of the video)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thanking the Romans for our 4-day work week...

Suppose we ought to throw the Christians in here too. We pick on religion a good deal, but hey...thanks for the holiday tomorrow.

Let's add Good Friday to the list (aqueducts, wine, peace, public sanitation, etc)...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In the name of love...

April 4th marks a terrible anniversary in the history of our nation. On this day in 1968, James Earl Ray gunned down Civil Rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. (For a wonderful book on the assassination and the manhunt that followed, read Hampton Sides' "Hellhound on His Tail").

King's assassination prompted widespread rioting around the country. One major metropolitan city was spared such riots: Indianapolis. The reason widely believed, was the speech Robert F. Kennedy gave upon learning that King had died as the result of Ray's attack. RFK was warned not to take the stage and that the police did not believe they could protect him if he took the stage and informed the audience of King's death. What followed was arguably one of the greatest political speeches in American history.

Historian Evan Thomas on the speech:

“My favorite poet was Aeschylus,” Kennedy told his audience, not many of whom had graduated from high school, but who now listened with rapt attention. “He wrote, ‘In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

“What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or black.

“So I shall ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, that’s true, but most importantly to say a prayer for our country, which all of us love—a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke …

“Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and to make gentle the life of this world.

“Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.”

That night, as the news of King’s death spread through the blighted parts of the land, there were riots in 110 cities causing 39 deaths and injuring 2,500. But in the city of Indianapolis, where Kennedy had spoken, it was quiet.