Archive for the ‘Donald Moulton’ Category

Bessemer…it really is OK (if you ignore the negatives)

November 14, 2007

Maybe I should say “If you address the negatives.”

I get a lot of email from readers of my columns in The Western Tribune and readers of this blog (from people who do not want to post comments). Most of it is supportive, but some is not. One question I hear from time to time is why do I focus so much on negative stuff about Bessemer.

So I went back through the archives a few weeks, and while I admit some things may be negative to me and positive to others, and vice versa, it comes out about even. I mean, a column about a shooting could also have information about efforts to reduce crime…so is that a positive or negative article about Bessemer?

Anyway, “negative” stories usually reveal some type of inappropriate activity, be it crime or hypocrisy or plagiarism or inaccurate reporting by newspapers, and those types of activities need to be made public. Not reporting on these types of things is equal to participating in it. That is why The Western Tribune out performs the Western Star in every instance. If you report “news” in Bessemer, which is what “newspapers” should do, there are going to be “negative” stories. At least there are stories…

So I am going to comment on this report aired last night on Fox 6. It is about Donald Moulton, who already has a breach of contract suit against him filed by a former business owner in Homewood, and federal charges of identity theft and mail fraud as reported on Bessemer Opinions and now theft of services charges filed by former employees at the Broken Vessel Church.

I still have hopes that this church can become a postive thing for the community, but not under his “leadership.” A prominant area pastor is considering taking over the ministry. I have not said this about the church before, but let’s just hope that whoever takes it over will be open and accepting of all the communities of Bessemer, including the gay community. Maybe that is why the Baptist church there dwindled, because “they” pick and choose who God should love (although in their case it had more to do with racism than homophobia).

Another community that is picked on is the latino community. My column in The Western Tribune today is about immigration, and here it is, minus possible editing. Stop now if you want to wait and read it in the paper. I refered to testimony of Sam Brooke in the column. If anyone wants to read the entire testimony I will email it to you.

This could easily have been an 800 word column, and been more informative, but space restrictions limited it.

*******************************************************************
Immigration is a hot topic but wouldn’t it be nice if everyone knew the facts before forming opinions and voicing them on talk radio and such?

The state’s Joint Interim Patriotic Immigration Commission held a public hearing recently and some little known facts were revealed during the testimony. Sam Brooke, Law Fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, took the opportunity to dispel several myths, as the following examples from his testimony point out.

One myth is that immigrants without legal status cause a rise in criminal activity. The fact is that an increase in immigrants – with or without legal status- generally causes a reduction in crime. This was proven in court in Hazelton, PA, when anti-immigrant ordinances were being challenged, and testimony brought the true facts out.

In addition it has been shown in our own state that immigrants are more likely to be the victims rather than the perpetrators of criminal activity. We only need to look as far as Lipscomb where Hispanics were recently being targeted to realize this, but an article from the Montgomery Advertiser (October 16, 2007) also backs this up.

Another myth is that immigrants drain public health dollars and put a strain on medical services. A recent study in Georgia estimated that undocumented immigrants contribute between $215 and $252 million to the state’s coffers, and in Texas it is estimated they contribute $380 million more than they use in relation to state-provided services. While similar numbers are not available for our state, it can be concluded that immigrants who lack legal status do not cost our state money.

Immigrants without legal status have been made scapegoats over these issues. To combat this, the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice and the ACLU of Alabama are encouraging the Immigration Commission and our Legislature to treat immigrants with respect and dignity as they find solutions that are inclusive of this growing community.

And they should remember that only the federal government can regulate employment and presence of immigrants. Laws in other states that have attempted to challenge this authority have not been upheld. It would not make sense to have a hodge-podge of laws that differ from state to state regarding who can come into our country.

The federal government has failed to address the immigration issue, but that does not mean we should attempt to solve the problems on a state by state basis. Rather, we should be encouraging the Congress and President to find workable solutions without stereotyping or making scapegoats of people. Solutions that allow well intentioned immigrants to live and contribute to our society as they move toward full citizenship are solutions we can all live with.

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>Bessemer…it really is OK (if you ignore the negatives)

November 14, 2007

>Maybe I should say “If you address the negatives.”

I get a lot of email from readers of my columns in The Western Tribune and readers of this blog (from people who do not want to post comments). Most of it is supportive, but some is not. One question I hear from time to time is why do I focus so much on negative stuff about Bessemer.

So I went back through the archives a few weeks, and while I admit some things may be negative to me and positive to others, and vice versa, it comes out about even. I mean, a column about a shooting could also have information about efforts to reduce crime…so is that a positive or negative article about Bessemer?

Anyway, “negative” stories usually reveal some type of inappropriate activity, be it crime or hypocrisy or plagiarism or inaccurate reporting by newspapers, and those types of activities need to be made public. Not reporting on these types of things is equal to participating in it. That is why The Western Tribune out performs the Western Star in every instance. If you report “news” in Bessemer, which is what “newspapers” should do, there are going to be “negative” stories. At least there are stories…

So I am going to comment on this report aired last night on Fox 6. It is about Donald Moulton, who already has a breach of contract suit against him filed by a former business owner in Homewood, and federal charges of identity theft and mail fraud as reported on Bessemer Opinions and now theft of services charges filed by former employees at the Broken Vessel Church.

I still have hopes that this church can become a postive thing for the community, but not under his “leadership.” A prominant area pastor is considering taking over the ministry. I have not said this about the church before, but let’s just hope that whoever takes it over will be open and accepting of all the communities of Bessemer, including the gay community. Maybe that is why the Baptist church there dwindled, because “they” pick and choose who God should love (although in their case it had more to do with racism than homophobia).

Another community that is picked on is the latino community. My column in The Western Tribune today is about immigration, and here it is, minus possible editing. Stop now if you want to wait and read it in the paper. I refered to testimony of Sam Brooke in the column. If anyone wants to read the entire testimony I will email it to you.

This could easily have been an 800 word column, and been more informative, but space restrictions limited it.

*******************************************************************
Immigration is a hot topic but wouldn’t it be nice if everyone knew the facts before forming opinions and voicing them on talk radio and such?

The state’s Joint Interim Patriotic Immigration Commission held a public hearing recently and some little known facts were revealed during the testimony. Sam Brooke, Law Fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, took the opportunity to dispel several myths, as the following examples from his testimony point out.

One myth is that immigrants without legal status cause a rise in criminal activity. The fact is that an increase in immigrants – with or without legal status- generally causes a reduction in crime. This was proven in court in Hazelton, PA, when anti-immigrant ordinances were being challenged, and testimony brought the true facts out.

In addition it has been shown in our own state that immigrants are more likely to be the victims rather than the perpetrators of criminal activity. We only need to look as far as Lipscomb where Hispanics were recently being targeted to realize this, but an article from the Montgomery Advertiser (October 16, 2007) also backs this up.

Another myth is that immigrants drain public health dollars and put a strain on medical services. A recent study in Georgia estimated that undocumented immigrants contribute between $215 and $252 million to the state’s coffers, and in Texas it is estimated they contribute $380 million more than they use in relation to state-provided services. While similar numbers are not available for our state, it can be concluded that immigrants who lack legal status do not cost our state money.

Immigrants without legal status have been made scapegoats over these issues. To combat this, the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice and the ACLU of Alabama are encouraging the Immigration Commission and our Legislature to treat immigrants with respect and dignity as they find solutions that are inclusive of this growing community.

And they should remember that only the federal government can regulate employment and presence of immigrants. Laws in other states that have attempted to challenge this authority have not been upheld. It would not make sense to have a hodge-podge of laws that differ from state to state regarding who can come into our country.

The federal government has failed to address the immigration issue, but that does not mean we should attempt to solve the problems on a state by state basis. Rather, we should be encouraging the Congress and President to find workable solutions without stereotyping or making scapegoats of people. Solutions that allow well intentioned immigrants to live and contribute to our society as they move toward full citizenship are solutions we can all live with.

FBI Should Spend More Time In Bessemer

October 4, 2007

This is not a gossip blog, and I am not here to bring anyone down, but this is news and it is in the public domain, so I am sharing it.

Remember this , in April of this year, when I reported the South Highland Baptist Church had been sold, and how good it was for the city that the historic church was being restored and used.

Then remember this, when I reported that the Western Tribune was reporting that pastor Donald Moulton had a suit filed against him by a Homewood man over a breach of contract.

Now the FBI is involved, and he has been indicted over identity theft, mail fraud and other charges in U. S. District Court in Birmingham. U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin, Martin Phanco, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Special Agent in Charge and Carmen S. Adams, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge announced the indictment in this FBI Press Release .

You never really know about anybody, but remember this, from the press release:

“Members of the public are reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.”

While I hate to imagine someone violating the trust of others, my main concern still is the church itself. As someone reminded me yesterday, the building is positioned overlooking the city, and has been prominent throughout most of the 20th century. Because of it’s history and stature, it deserves to be used only for the most worthy causes.

There are so many questions regarding the church and what might happen to it, that will be answered over the next few (or many) weeks and months. My understanding is that for now, church activities will continue as before and the Bessemer Neighborhood Association will continue to meet there as well (next meeting is Monday, October 8).

I think the FBI could have a field day in Bessemer, as could the DEA, the EPA and theDOJ.

Here is where I was going to insert a video of Danny Bonaduce throwing Fairplay over his shoulder but who cares? I mean …well, I mean, I really mean, who cares? Z-list.

But there is more to report from Bessemer. Council person Jimmy Stephens, as alluded to two council meetings ago, has filed suit against the City Council on which he sits to try to stop payment of $2 million in “incentives” to Jordan Frazier Chrysler Jeep Dodge. The council voted to give the money to Frazier to expand the dealership. The dealership produces more than $21 million in sales tax revenue according to Frazier’s attorney, Laveeda Battle. Can that be right? That’s what the Birmingham News says.

Anyway, the money is sitting in an interest bearing account until Judge Eugene Verin makes a ruling as to the legality of the deal. That will be within 30 days

The Western Tribune reported this story first, but The Birmingham News has it online.

Sunday the Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association will have Potluck in the Park Sunday at 5:00 at Jonesboro Community Garden. All you need to bring is a chair and a dish and an appetite. Come see our new gazebo and how the plants have fared through the drought.

Got a couple of extra minutes? Look at what people with too much time to spare can do with their time. Here . Thanks Drew.

>FBI Should Spend More Time In Bessemer

October 4, 2007

>This is not a gossip blog, and I am not here to bring anyone down, but this is news and it is in the public domain, so I am sharing it.

Remember this , in April of this year, when I reported the South Highland Baptist Church had been sold, and how good it was for the city that the historic church was being restored and used.

Then remember this, when I reported that the Western Tribune was reporting that pastor Donald Moulton had a suit filed against him by a Homewood man over a breach of contract.

Now the FBI is involved, and he has been indicted over identity theft, mail fraud and other charges in U. S. District Court in Birmingham. U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin, Martin Phanco, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Special Agent in Charge and Carmen S. Adams, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge announced the indictment in this FBI Press Release .

You never really know about anybody, but remember this, from the press release:

“Members of the public are reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.”

While I hate to imagine someone violating the trust of others, my main concern still is the church itself. As someone reminded me yesterday, the building is positioned overlooking the city, and has been prominent throughout most of the 20th century. Because of it’s history and stature, it deserves to be used only for the most worthy causes.

There are so many questions regarding the church and what might happen to it, that will be answered over the next few (or many) weeks and months. My understanding is that for now, church activities will continue as before and the Bessemer Neighborhood Association will continue to meet there as well (next meeting is Monday, October 8).

I think the FBI could have a field day in Bessemer, as could the DEA, the EPA and theDOJ.

Here is where I was going to insert a video of Danny Bonaduce throwing Fairplay over his shoulder but who cares? I mean …well, I mean, I really mean, who cares? Z-list.

But there is more to report from Bessemer. Council person Jimmy Stephens, as alluded to two council meetings ago, has filed suit against the City Council on which he sits to try to stop payment of $2 million in “incentives” to Jordan Frazier Chrysler Jeep Dodge. The council voted to give the money to Frazier to expand the dealership. The dealership produces more than $21 million in sales tax revenue according to Frazier’s attorney, Laveeda Battle. Can that be right? That’s what the Birmingham News says.

Anyway, the money is sitting in an interest bearing account until Judge Eugene Verin makes a ruling as to the legality of the deal. That will be within 30 days

The Western Tribune reported this story first, but The Birmingham News has it online.

Sunday the Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association will have Potluck in the Park Sunday at 5:00 at Jonesboro Community Garden. All you need to bring is a chair and a dish and an appetite. Come see our new gazebo and how the plants have fared through the drought.

Got a couple of extra minutes? Look at what people with too much time to spare can do with their time. Here . Thanks Drew.