Friday, October 31, 2014

Is the city of Amarillo being honest about fixing animal control?

The city of Amarillo and its city councilors continue to assure the public that all is well and the city is making great progress on cleaning up problems what was formerly called the Animal Control Department.

But that isn’t true, according to two former officers at that department. Those officers spoke exclusively to ProNews 7 and, in a report that aired at 10 p.m. Oct. 30, these former city workers discounted the city management’s contention that things are better. Niki Niimi and Brittainy Hall did something rare in Amarillo. They bravely came forward to and spoke out against the powerful city government.

The city knew this report was coming and at 5:39 p.m. Oct. 30 issued a press release that was the city’s attempt at a pre-emptive strike against the truths to come from ProNews 7. The extensive release tries to put lipstick on a pig; other than the two top managers being gone, the below-par employees remain. And the two top managers were, disgracefully, allowed to retire instead of being fired.

And, ProNews 7’s David Grasso-Ortega, one of ProNews 7’s investigative reporters, has promised to probe the news release further. Stay tuned.

City press release 2014-10-30

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Close enough for government work?

A few days ago, I was floating around on Facebook when I saw a logo for the Alliance Defending Freedom for Faith and Justice. This is inarguably a fundamentalist oriented Christian organization that — with cleverly vague language — advocates for its views to be pushed into our secular society.

But, what interested me about the Alliance’s logo is how it struck me as similar to the City of Amarillo’s logo. You know, the second logo after the city learned the first one proposed was plagiarized from a firm in the Middle East. You know, the logo the city chose after a contest it held during one of the city’s many rolls in the hay with the Amarillo Globe-News.

So, tell me, folks, it the “A” too close for comfort?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Amarillo animal control still flawed

This is the first of two reports on the City of Amarillo's animal control department. It would seem the city is not only having trouble making the positive changes needed at the shelter but also having trouble controlling the message. Kudos to KVII Pronews 7 and David Grasso-Ortega for not backing off on this story.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Amarillo Globe-News pick for guv insults decent Texans

The countdown to the mid-term elections continues and, with it, the editorial endorsements for candidates by the legacy media — newspapers. Those endorsements usually come after visits with the “editorial board.”

So, the Amarillo Globe-News, a tired vestige of what was once a newspaper, backs the Republican candidate for governor, Greg Abbott, the current Texas Attorney General. The Globe-News did so with the title of its endorsement “Editorial: Abbott best reflects Texas values.” The basis of the endorsement is this, from the editorial: “Voters choosing the next governor of the state of Texas have a simple question to ponder: Which of the two major party candidates best reflects their values and beliefs related to government?”

Sunday, October 19, 2014

How Not to Handle a Crisis -- Hospital Style

About 47 years ago, I sat a University of Iowa classroom and listened to, Gerhard Hartman, the head of the Graduate Program in Hospital and Health Administration snidely criticize a story on a local health issue in the Iowa City newspaper. In the five decades that have passed since earning my Master’s, I’ve often thought about that classroom experience; and, more so, in the past 18 years as a professional journalist — reporter, editor and publisher.

Working Against Another Corporate Screw Job

I’ve always loved to travel, as much for the journey as for the destination. As a kid, I fell in love with trains and planes — less so with automobiles, owing (perhaps) to the interminable two-hour rides to my grandmother’s house.

My first plane ride was at age 9, when we flew from New Orleans to Montpelier, Vermont to visit my uncle and his family. I still remember the smell of the DC-3 from what was then Moisant International Airport to Atlanta.