Sunday, March 1, 2015

CIAA A Different Sort Of Meaning To March Madness

The highlight of Charloote's CIAA Basketball Tournament for the second year in a row has not been the shooting from the 3 point arch but rather a shooting at a club.
The location of this year's shooting was at Lable a part of the Music Factory Uptown.
The shooting occurred as a "day party" was wrapping up around 7 PM, leaving two women slightly injured and seeking treatment at CMC Main.
A video surfaced within moments of the incident:
Thugs and Hoodrats were sent scurrying sort of to safety sort of....

The club also offered a statement:
"Please be advised that an incident occurred this evening at Label following an event. The exact circumstances concerning the incident have yet to be determined. Officials at Label are cooperating with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department concerning their investigation of this matter. Tonight’s events at Label will take place as scheduled. It should be noted that there will continue to be very substantial security for all Label events during tournament weekend. And, Label remains fully committed to the safety and security of its patrons."
The race card was immediately delt by local dimwit @kimlawson22


The local minority online publican not to be confused with QNotes added this little gem:
Parties around the CIAA tournament and the festivities in and around uptown Charlotte are typically not violent. But last March, two men were shot in the leg during a party that featured music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs at the Sheraton Hotel. The party took place after the CIAA tournament had ended. It was not a CIAA-sanctioned event but was one of many party venues around the city.
Finally TMZ took the story to a global audience, highlighting the video and Charlotte

Not long after the "double shooting" a "double stabbing" took place at the "Oasis Tent" on College Street. The tent which has long had history of trouble has an interesting yet rumored connection to CMPD.  Officers working the tent and nearby both off duty and on duty assignments have told the tale that there is a standing "no arrest unless approved by CMPD Command" for patrons attending "da tent". Apparently the rumor persists that CMPD's own Vicki Foster has some "skin" in the game, some going as far as saying she's a primary organizer. Efforts to review the "Fire Permit" issued for the Oasis Tent by The Charlotte Fire Department meet an unusual amount of push back.
Cedar's Take: Thank you again CIAA for helping stain the image of my once well behaved southern city. 
In other CIAA news, patrons around Charlotte are upset with certain high end venues, clubs, restaurants and parking lots that are adding surcharges, automatic gratuities or charging inflated prices. 
The Ritz Carlton took the straight up approach in an effort to persuade the less affluent to move along. 

Can't really blame the Ritz, as CIAA patrons are notoriously cheap, often guility of the dine and dash. Parking fees soared some spots the would charge $15.00 for a Hornets game were charging as much as $60.00 for the entire day.

Cedar's Take: Around Charlotte the CIAA crowd seemed smaller than usual this year. At Del Frisco the usual SouthPark crowd dined without the slightest trace of CIAA fans and the prices were just as outrageous as they are every Saturday night I've been there. 

Charlotte City Council Takes on Mrs. Doubtfire

Clearly transgendered Charlotteans are much maligned, ridiculed and troubled individuals.

I can't begin to imagine the emotional pain, confusion and shame of being cornered in a men's bathroom by a gang of thugs because of your appearance. I understand that the safety of a women's bathroom might seem appealing to a small handful of gender confused souls.

But we can't keep writing rules of convenience for a small, micro segment of the general population. Transgendered are protected by existing laws that define hate crimes and assault and battery, as well as attempted murder and if the case warrants first degree murder.

Maybe the middle ground is to decriminalize using the women's restroom either by mistake or upon invitation (yes I was young once), I think women are considerably more comfortable with a man dressed as a woman in their restroom than men are with a crossdressing freak standing next to them against the wall.

But giving special validation to this micro class of citizens is just wrong.

The amount of time the Charlotte City Council has expended on this subject is revolting. Vote no and get back to things that matter.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Hobby Hose Dragger Tim Conatser Kills Neighbor's Labrador Retrievers

The story about a Texas firefighter who shot two dogs who were “trespassing” on his property has gone viral after he posted a gruesome image of the dead dogs to Facebook and Twitter. 

Tim Conatser, says that he warned the dogs’ owner to keep the dogs off his property, but the warnings were not heeded. Therefore, he says he shot the two labrador retrievers when they “attacked” his cattle. 

According to Fox News, Pulido Rodrigo is the owner of the two labrador retrievers that were gunned down by the hobby hose dragger in Hunt County, Texas. 

Rodrigo says he found out about the death of his dogs after seeing a photo uploaded by Tim Conatser on Facebook. The image showed his two dogs, Gordo and Spike, lying on the snow covered ground that can be seen stained with blood. Rodrigo says he is “in shock” and “doesn’t understand these people.”

Not surprisingly Conatser has received countless death threats and has apparently been fired from the local fire department. 

As anyone who owns a Lab will tell you they are the most timid dogs on earth. Conaster's story that they were attacking his cattle in his barn just doesn't pass the smell test. It doesn't help that he posted a photo of the dead dogs in a field and not his barn,

The story wouldn't have gained much traction if they were Pit Bulls or Huskeies, but Conaster whose IQ equals the rural speed limit might as well of shot a couple of Chihuahuas. 

Yet there is no need for death threats, as Conaster is doomed to the same fate. That is just how karma works. A macabre end to his life a culling or purge of sorts, time and place yet to be determined.     

Wheels On The Bus Go Round and Round

Like a giant corporate conglomerate releasing bad news after the stock market closed, Charlotte Fire Department released a statement at 5:00 on Friday announcing the abrupt retirement of imbattled Deputy Chief Jeff Dulin.

The statement formally kills the 32 year carrer of Chief Dulin, who had shared an image of a now reportedly transgendered Bruce Jenner on his personal Facebook page. Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee had told news outlets that he found the posting “highly offensive” as the review continued during the past week.

CFD Chief Jon Hannan in a prepared statement said Jeff Dulin, a 32-year department veteran who oversaw emergency management and homeland security for the city and county, retired effective 5 p.m. Friday.

“I want to thank Deputy Chief Dulin for his 32 years of service to Charlotte and the Charlotte Fire Department,” Hannan said in a news release. “From fighting fires to his dedication, to emergency management and homeland security, he has served the city and its citizens well, especially in his leading role in planning for the Democratic National Convention.”

With this announcement the City of Charlotte, Ron Carlee, The Charlotte Fire Deprtment and Chief Jon Hannan effectively toss the veteran under the proverbial bus, in a effort to continue the myth that the department had fired former CFD investigator Crystal Eschert for a similar offense.

Cedar's take: Let your common sense prevail, nevermind that The Charlotte Observer had already called the policy of firing city employees for tasteless social media posts, shortsighted and costly. Forget the reported fact that Dulin's apparent homophobic ills may be unfounded since his son is apparently an opennly gay man living in Canada, that he apparently has a very good relationship with.

If even a tiny dose of common sense is used it is clear that Dulin's forced retirement is just another troubling move by a chief and city manager who believe they are exempt from public oversight. 

And the bus rolls on Beep! Beep!

Read more here:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

National Media Media Picks Up On Charlotte Fire's Internal Misdeeds

The Charlotte Fire Department has placed Deputy Chief Jeff Dulin on administrative leave while the department looks into posts made on his social media accounts. 

Cedar's Take: The old saying where there's smoke there's fire is pretty common. But Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee continues his mantra of denial. Understandably when you tell someone their house is on fire there is a brief period of disbelief, but sooner or later reality sets in. Mr Carlee it's time.

A meme was posted on Dulin's Facebook account that many deemed offensive to the LGBTQ community.

Dulin is also under fire after a city-wide audit revealed he was one of 37 city employees whose expenses and reimbursements were reviewed. The audit found that Dulin had taken reimbursements that he should not have.

A statement from the city said:

“The Charlotte Fire Department is committed to ensuring it's accounting practices are clear and accurate, and conducted its own review before the City's internal audit. During that internal review, the fire department discovered the first item listed in today's audit report, which included reimbursement for airfare, hotel and baggage fees totaling nearly $1,600. Chief Dulin immediately reimbursed the city.

“The item regarding the $666.56 advancement was not discovered during the fire department's review because that was funded through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. However, as soon as that was noted, Chief Dulin repaid it.

The examination of Dulin's social media post is what has him on leave, however. According to the city, the Department immediately looks into all concerns that are brought to its attention.

A second statement issued read:

“Each fire department employee deserves to have issues raised about their performance thoroughly investigated. That is true whether it is a personal or professional matter, and whether an employee is in a leadership position or not.

Deputy Chief Jeff Dulin has been placed on administrative leave, starting today, while the department investigates the concerns about posts on his personal social media account.”

Dulin also issued a statement apologizing for the material posted to his social media account and asking for the community's forgiveness. That statement reads:

“I first want to apologize if anything that was shared on my social media account caused hurt feelings for or offended anyone, whether in the LGBTQ community or the community at large. While I did not create the picture that was widely circulated on the “Internet and Facebook, it was posted to my account. I take full responsibility for the lapse in judgment and am truly sorry for that.

“I want everyone to know that I am by no means a person who holds any prejudicial feelings toward any member of our community. This is incredibly personal to me, and while I will not go into details, I want to assure everyone that I respect people of all backgrounds and sexual preference.

“My life for the past 32 years has been dedicated to the Charlotte Fire Department, which means I have dedicated 32 years of my life to equally serving and protecting the citizens of Charlotte – all the citizens of Charlotte. I hope those decades of service are a more accurate reflection of my character than this one brief lapse.”

Monday, February 23, 2015

That Big THUD You Heard Uptown - Was The Proverbial Other Shoe Dropping On CFD Chief Dulin

From the Charlotte Observer:

And in the latest blow to the Charlotte Fire Department, Deputy Chief Jeff Dulin – who is under investigation for allegedly posting an offensive picture to his Facebook account – had to repay $2,750 worth of expenses for which the city said he was wrongly reimbursed, according to the audit and City Manager Ron Carlee.

Carlee said he believes the incorrect payments identified by the audit were the result of inattention and an outdated expense policy, not malicious behavior. He said the city didn’t identify any instances of a city employee willfully taking money.

“While I don’t believe the violations in this report were done purposely or maliciously, I do believe they reflect a lack of understanding of the policy, a lack of judgment and lax enforcement,” Carlee said in a statement.

The audit, released Monday, covered 27 top executives and the 10 non-executive employees who were reimbursed the most for travel in fiscal year 2013.

In the single-biggest overpayment, Dulin was reimbursed $1,600 for airfare, hotel and baggage fees that he used his city-issued payment card to book, according to the audit and Carlee. Dulin also submitted a reimbursement request. Dulin was also paid about $458 in incorrect per diem amounts for four other trips, and advanced $667 for a 2012 trip that was canceled. He also was reimbursed $26.58 for two purchases made at local retailers with his city-issued payment card.

The full Observer report is here:

A link to the full report is on the City of Charlotte webpage which is here.

CP's Take: Ron Carlee has now exceeded CP's greatest expectations, in that he has graduated from "Dumbass" to "Jackass".  Only a jackass would expect taxpayers to believe that CDF Chief Dulin stole $2,750.00 from their pockets because of a lack of understanding of the policy. Given the "pending" review of his facebook posting I forecast Carlee and Hannan throw Dulin under the bus before the end of the month. They won't fire him, he'll just retire. Because that is how they "roll"

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Charlotte Observer Gets In On The Jeff Dulin - Facebook Posting

From The Charlotte Observer's Editorial Staff:

It is very possible that Charlotte Fire Department deputy chief Jeff Dulin will be fired as soon as Monday for sharing on Facebook an offensive image about former Olympian Bruce Jenner.

City Manager Ron Carlee has left himself little room to choose any other action.

Carlee fired Charlotte fire investigator Crystal Eschert in November for a Facebook post made in the wake of the Ferguson, Mo., police shooting. In that post, Eschert questioned whether the White House and civil rights advocates would have spoken up if the Ferguson victim were white. “So tired of hearing it’s a racial thing,” Eschert wrote. “If you are a thug and worthless to society, it’s not race – You’re just a waste no matter what religion, race or sex you are!”

Carlee said then that Eschert’s post was “inherently discriminatory” and “inflammatory.” The comments, he said, were in conflict “with our responsibility to serve all members of the community.”

The same is true of Dulin’s post, in which he shares an image that shows Jenner on the cover of a Wheaties box in 1976 juxtaposed with a photoshopped recent image of Jenner – who is believed to be transitioning to a woman – on a box of Froot Loops cereal.

It’s offensive and hurtful. It’s harmful to the city’s image. Perhaps worst of all in Carlee’s mind, it allows a group of people to wonder if the fire department or city might discriminate against them in some way.

But Dulin, a 32-year department veteran, should not be fired for his post. Eschert should not have been fired for hers.

Make no mistake, both posts were out-of-bounds, and both posters should have known that the minute you hit send on Facebook or anything else, what’s private is no longer private. And no, it doesn’t matter that Dulin was merely sharing someone else’s offensive creation. If you repost it, you endorse it, unless you signal otherwise.

But did this post, as well as Eschert’s, rise to the level of a firing offense? No. Both merit a suspension, along with sensitivity training and a public apology.

That didn’t happen with Eschert, who says her firing was in retaliation for her complaints about the quality of renovations at a Fire Department building on Graham Street. Carlee and department officials deny this, but her termination – the first for violating the city’s social media policy – seemed excessive.

Certainly, judgments like these are subjective. Some Facebook posts could be grounds for dismissal, like any abhorrent speech would be. But by setting the bar for firing so low for Eschert, the city has done so with all of its employees. One-time poor choices will result in termination when they should result in severe but lesser punishment.

Carlee should hit the pause button now. Suspend Dulin. Give Eschert back her job. Craft a new approach to social media and speech that punishes mistakes, but does so more reasonably.

Cedar's Take: Well the Observer is dead on, except they missed the real point here.

Eschert wasn't fired for her posting it was simply retribution for her speaking up out about how CFD Chief Jon Hannan runs the department.

Further it is painfully clear that she can't return to work at CFD, any job she would be given would be nothing more than "window watching". Charlotte City Council woman Claire Fallon has the correct approach clean house because "the fish sinks from the head".

As for Facebook, if the Charlotte "Local Media" would crowd source this, they would find 100's of Dulin like posts. Fire, CMPD, CMUD and CMS staff "own" Facebook and the posts range from racist and bigoted do down right scary.

Trouble is you can't fire them all. The cost of training each firefighter and police officer is upwards of $100,000.00.

Carlee's shortsightedness, coupled with Jon Hannan's temperament, lack of leadership skills and deceit have created an insane environment of distrust.  

How long can they both hold on? We shall see.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

WSOC Drops The Hammer On Charlotte Deputy Chief Jeff Dulin

Relations might be getting a little strained between Charlotte Fire Department Command and City Manager Ron Carlee after this story aired last night.

If that's the case, based on what has popped up in the Cedar Posts gmail account, its only going to get worse.