Wednesday, September 20, 2017





Whole Foods will open in Kennesaw Oct. 6th
   Whole Foods Market is set to open a new store on Friday, Oct. 6 in Kennesaw at 1300 Ernest Barrett Parkway.

   A relocation of Whole Foods Market’s Harry’s Farmers Market store in Marietta, which will close October 5, the new store will feature offer opening day product demonstrations and samples, and the first 500 customers will receive free gifts cards ranging in amounts from $5 to $50 with one $500 card.
   Five percent of opening day sales will be donated to the Swift-Cantrell Foundation, which supports the development of Kennesaw’s Swift-Cantrell Park.

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From: Kennesaw2017@aol.com
To: deasterling@kennesaw-ga.gov
Sent: 9/20/2017 4:51:16 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

Subj: More Fees for Trash and Stormwater -

Kennesaw should never have gone private with garbage and laid off city workers.

I always wondered who got paid off for that little maneuver. It smelled then and even now, years later it still reeks to someone getting paid off. 

In Canton I pay $10.50 monthly for garbage and $2.25 for stormwater, billed by City of Canton. They use the firm Waste Management firm for garbage. They take anything, you put out a dead body or two and they would take them no questions asked. 

Kennesaw residents are getting totally screwed by the mayor and council. 

https://www.facebook.com/TheKennesawWatch30152/ 


http://thekennesawwatch.blogspot.com/

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9/14/17

Whole Foods will open in Kennesaw next month. / (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Restaurant, food and dining news

Whole Foods Market is set to open a new store on Friday, Oct. 6 in Kennesaw at 1300 Ernest Barrett Parkway. A relocation of Whole Foods Market’s Harry’s Farmers Market store in Marietta, which will close October 5, the new store will feature offer opening day product demonstrations and samples, and the first 500 customers will receive free gifts cards ranging in amounts from $5 to $50 with one $500 card. 
Five percent of opening day sales will be donated to the Swift-Cantrell Foundation, which supports the development of Kennesaw’s Swift-Cantrell Park.
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Expense Report for Council/Mayor and Youth Council

During this time the Council representative for the Youth Council was Yvette Daniel, who as you can see likes to spend City money.

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Lopez et al v. Castle Lake Homes Corp - Case 15-1-1129

The Final Approval Hearing is still pending but the proposed order granting preliminary approval of the stipulated class action suit against Castle Lake Homes Corp, Masal Partners Ltd and Amak Partners LP is now published on the Cobb County Superior Court site.

The Pleadings and exhibits run 52 pages and were filed 8/22/17.


Members of the class are current and former tenants who paid Castle Lake for water and sewer charges and those who paid any fines to Castle Lake.


A 'Settlement Fund' of $125,000 will be provided by the Defendants to the Plaintiff's lawyers to be held in escrow pending approval of claims.  


Plaintiff lawyer's costs and assorted fees are the responsibility of the Defendants.


The recently published documents are to large to publish here but the filing and other court documents are available at the Superior Court Site


Here is a sample of the latest documents.


If you were (or are now) a tenants of CLMHP during the covered dates you should contact the Carroll Law Firm at their below address.  If you are in contact with others who may be covered, please forward the information about the coming settlement to them so that they can put in their claims.












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Kennesaw to increase sanitation fees Oct. 1
Beginning Oct. 1, Kennesaw residents will pay more for their sanitation pickups and possibly more each year.
The Kennesaw City Council voted Sept. 5 to charge $14 per home per month with Republic Services remaining the provider — the same provider since 2013. The council also agreed to allow for annual rate increases by Republic Services without council approval. By April each year, Republic Services must provide city officials with notice of an increase based on market pricing.

Information: kennesaw-ga.gov.
CAROLYN CUNNINGHAM FOR THE AJC
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Friday, September 8, 2017









GRAND OPENING SET FOR OCTOBER 6thOf course it is always possible that they open a day or so earlier so as to work out all the bugs THEN hold the 'Grand Opening' and ribbon cutting.  Here are photos of what it looks like today and you might note that in the parking area there are 4 spaces set aside for charging electric cars.

BEER WINE AND SUNDAY SALES License application -
A hearing before the Mayor and Council of the City of Kennesaw shall be held on the 18 Day of September 2017 at 6:30 pm.  All interested persons take notice.  Place:  City Hall Kennesaw, Ga.

Hearing held for Kennesaw’s 2018 budget


  •   MDJ 9/7/17
The first of two public hearings was held for Kennesaw’s 2018 operating budget Tuesday evening, and city officials say the city’s finances are finally back to pre-recession levels.




















Kennesaw’s $29.4 million total budget is about $1.7 million more than last year’s and based on an 8.0 millage rate adopted by council members in June.


While the city has not increased the millage rate since 2007, Kennesaw is expected to generate about $600,000 more than it did last year — the result of a growing tax digest spurred by increased property values. Taxes are set to make up 76 percent of Kennesaw’s 2018 budget, about $17 million, said Gina Auld, the city’s finance director.


“With this billing we’ll be sending out Oct. 1, the value of our tax digest is finally getting back up to where it was nine years ago,” she said, noting that the city will be able to store more in reserves and fund projects that were put off through the economic recession and subsequent recovery.


Though the city’s budget is up about 6 percent from last year, Auld told council members it was the result of rising group insurance costs, which are expected to increase more than $300,000 this year.


The city’s 252 employees will not receive raises under the proposed budget, which features eight fewer full-time positions than last year — the result of 10 jail positions being cut when the city outsourced its inmate housing to Acworth, and two full-time code enforcement officers hired as part of an initiative to reduce blight.


The proposed budget allots $6.5 million for Kennesaw’s police department, an increase of more than a million dollars from last year, though the number of full-time officers is set to remain at 66.


Auld said Kennesaw also has about $42 million remaining to be spent on future SPLOST projects, though just $23 million has been collected so far.


A second public hearing will be held Sept. 18 ahead of the council’s vote whether to adopt the budget. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at Kennesaw City Hall, 2529 J.O. Stephenson Ave.

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THE GENERAL

The very nice engine on display in the Civil War and Railroad Museum in Kennesaw has only 2 original pieces of the locomotive from the Great Locomotive Chase.  Those are 2 large heavy pieces of the under carriage, the rest of the engine is the result of very many restorations over the years.

It is a very nice and impressive engine, but it bears very little likeness to the actual engine from the chase.

Here is a photo FYI:

This 1864 photograph made in Atlanta by George Barnard shows an engine thought by many to be the General. (From: The Photographic History of the Civil War: in Ten Volumes, vo. 8, 1911, p. 278. Online at Internet Archive.  (http://railga.com/ondispl/kennesawloco.html)



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8/30/17
David Blinkhorn, Candidate Kennesaw City Council Post 5

1)  Should the city enact 'term limits' for all elective offices?  If so how would configure them?

I am a firm believer in our political process. All citizens are given the opportunity to elect who they want as their representative. Representatives should be held accountable to the communities they represent. If the voters decide the representative is doing a good job, then the representative should remain in office. If not, then the voters have the opportunity to elect someone else. Enacting term limits does not enhance the process nor encourage accountability.

2)  Should City taxpayer funds continue to support the Museum and The Gardens, keeping in mind that neither has ever, nor will ever, generate any worthwhile funds by themselves?  If you favor continued support, at what level?

Museums, public gardens, parks, and city events are important parts of our community that may or may not generate significant income for Kennesaw. When promoting Kennesaw to the tourism industry and businesses, it is important to present a vibrant community offering a multitude of cultural and civic opportunities.

I am all for looking at these things from a fiscally responsible position as well as assessing the value they add to our community. Too often these issues center on the idea of cut or don’t cut.  Until we have exhausted all the ideas of increasing revenues and partnerships in these areas of cultural importance, I am for continuing the financial support.

3)  Should those in elected City positions be subject to suspension (with or without pay) for any criminal acts involving 'moral turpitude' which resulted in their arrest during their term of office.

First and foremost everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I do believe we should have a process in place to deal with this issue as it opens the city up to financial risk and liability. Regardless of the criminal activity involved, elected officials should be able to do the job they were elected to do AND defend themselves of charges against them at their own expense. If the situation becomes too much of a distraction or interferes with city business, then I am for suspension with pay until such time as the criminal case is resolved.

4)  Should the outdated method of running for Council 'posts' be eliminated in favor of those candidates receiving the highest vote totals being elected?  (i.e.:  if 7 people qualify to run for 3 posts, the 3 with the highest number of votes are elected.)

Residents should feel comfortable knowing that when they vote and elect their representatives they will be fairly represented. If that is at-large positions, top vote winners, or post representatives, I think it is up to the communities to decide.  I do not favor having everyone run against each other and take the top vote winners. The potential for one or more area or group of our community being under represented would be too great.  I favor a variation of what we have now with Posts but instead of at large you should have to live in the Post you represent.

5)  Should inquiries be made to determine if the City would benefit financially by merging the KPD with the Cobb Police?  If there were a worthwhile savings, would you favor such a merger?

Kennesaw is proud and blessed to have such a skilled and professional police force. To suggest Kennesaw might be better off by merging with Cobb Police would be overstating the possible financial gains against the safety and well-being of the residents of Kennesaw. I am all for doing due diligence in exploring any and all options for the betterment of Kennesaw, but the conclusions and results of that due diligence cannot be exclusively financially driven.

6)  Kennesaw has up to now considered itself to be a major player in Georgia's support of Southern independence during the War Between the States.  Now there is a backlash against anything 'Confederate'.  Will you support efforts to ban anything Confederate from City property.  Such things may include, flags, historical markers/plaques, cemetery markers, re-inactors use of City property.

This is such a highly controversial topic, and it is my hope and desire that Kennesaw will peacefully resolve this issue and, yes, be a model of how a community should act in times of such a charged atmosphere.  However, the question being asked here is not the question the Kennesaw City Council is currently being asked to address.

Kennesaw City Council is being asked to remove the Confederate Flag from the Memorial Park downtown. Legally the city is not able to do that, so they passed a resolution to ask the Georgia legislature to take up the issue and remove the restrictions so individual cities can make these decisions on what should or should not be displayed at the local level by local representation.

I fully support the Council’s decision to seek a resolution from the Georgia legislature to change the laws so that local communities can decide what symbols are appropriate to be displayed by the city. It was the right decision to follow the law and process to resolve this issue peacefully and not subject the city to undue lawsuits and expenditures.

To answer the question posed more directly, I am for removing the Confederate flag from Memorial Park in downtown Kennesaw. Flying such a controversial and divisive symbol on city property does not send a clear message that we are a community of inclusion, diversity, and unity.

While I am for removing the Confederate flag from Memorial Park downtown, I am adamantly against arbitrarily removing any and all Confederate memorials, statues, plaques, or even forbidding re-enactors on city property.

These are two separate issues. The flag is not a reflection of Kennesaw city values of presenting a welcoming environment for visitors and business. Statues and plaques and re-enactors are not meant to denigrate, threaten, or intimidate but rather educate and provide a record of our history good or bad.   The Confederate flag today is overwhelmingly seen as a symbol of hatred and violence and should not be flown in Kennesaw Memorial Park.

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8/28/17
FROM MY DAVEY CROCKETT POST ON FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/TheKennesawWatch30152/


2 MONTHS AGO I ASKED THE KENNESAW CITY CLERK:


"What happens if an incumbent council person chooses not to run again and no one files for the election to that post?
Has this ever happened in Kennesaw?"

Never got a reply, not real unusual for questions to the City Clerk.

Let's approach this from a recent filing.

2 'Posts' get 3 candidates, one post gets only 1.  Obviously the one Council position with just a  single filing gets the job. ( Post 5)

OK, let's change this a bit, say NO ONE filed for the Council position.  So you have 2 posts with 3 running for each BUT one post, where the current office holder isn't seeking re-election, and that post has ZERO people filing.

I would like to know what happens with that post.  You can't simply have the mayor appoint someone for 4 years (6 months yes, more than that no).  So is there a special election called for about 20K?

I have said for years that running for stupid and meaningless POSTS needs to be fixed.  Might have to change the Charter and that means going to the legislature, but sooner or later there will be a 'post' where there is no candidate.

My suggestion was/is that the posts are scrapped and the top vote getters take the positions.  If 6 are running for 3 openings then the 3 with the most votes are elected.

Just FYI, the last time out for the posts 3, 4, 5, that race had elected candidates with the 1st, 2nd and 4th total votes.  No great tradgedy there, but really should someone be elected with fewer votes than another candidate running for another post?  Common sense should say:  NO.

Time to change the system and dump meaningless posts.

See what I mean when I say there is and hasn't been any LEADERSHIP in recent years from the elected positions at City.


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8/26/17

Questions for candidates for Kennesaw City Council posts.

1)  Should the city enact 'term limits' for all elective offices?  If so how would configure them?

2)  Should City taxpayer funds continue to support the Museum and The Gardens, keeping in mind that neither has ever, nor will ever, generate any worthwhile funds by themselves?  If you favor continued support, at what level?

3)  Should those in elected City positions be subject to suspension (with or without pay) for any criminal acts involving 'moral turpitude' which resulted in their arrest during their term of office.

4)  Should the outdated method of running for Council 'posts' be eliminated in favor of those candidates receiving the highest vote totals being elected?  (i.e.:  if 7 people qualify to run for 3 posts, the 3 with the highest number of votes are elected.)

5)  Should inquiries be made to determine if the City would benefit financially by merging the KPD with the Cobb Police?  If there were a worthwhile savings, would you favor such a merger?

6)  Kennesaw has up to now considered itself to be a major player in Georgia's support of Southern independence during the War Between the States.  Now there is a backlash against anything 'Confederate'.  Will you support efforts to ban anything Confederate from City property.  Such things may include, flags, historical markers/plaques, cemetery markers, re-inactors use of City property.


 


8/25/17
LOOKING UP CANDIDATES (or Neighbors, etc) FOR RECORDS CHECKS

For Federal Court records such as Civil, Criminal, Appeal and Bankruptcy you will find the PACER site useful.

Go to:  https://www.pacer.gov/

This site requires registration with a credit card in order to get a login and pin number.  The good news is that you can get 150 free pages each quarter and your card won't be charged.  Over that amount you do get charged at ten cents a page with notification of the charge via email.

Here is a general caution on ALL such records checks. 

You should have as much info going into it as possible.  A full name to include a middle initial/or full middle name, last 4 of the social security number, age (DOB is better).

Here is further caution along these lines, not everyone uses their actual legal name, sometimes people use their middle names or a diminutive of their name (ie: Bob instead of Robert).

As an example the current mayor of Kennesaw:  If you look up Derek Easterling you will find only one 'Civil Result' in this PACER system.  It is for Easterling, Derek J, a NY civil filing from 4-11-02.  This is NOT the Kennesaw mayor, so the info is useless.

However the Kennesaw mayor uses his middle name these days.  If you look up Easterling, Charles Derek you come up with the actual bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 filed 1-31-08 in the Northern District of Georgia.

Here are 2 Cobb County sites you can use to obtain information locally:

Cobb County Superior Court, both criminal and civil cases:  
https://ctsearch.cobbsuperiorcourtclerk.com/

Cobb County Magistrate Court, criminal, civil and judgments for both businesses and individuals:
https://courtconnect.cobbcounty.org:4443/ccmag/ck_public_qry_main.cp_main_idx

If you can find prior residences for the person of interest, you can look at the various courts for those areas.

Also generally available are sites that have inmate information.  

The Federal Bureau of Prisons look up site is: https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/

and the Georgia Department of Corrections site is:
http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/

On the above Georgia site you can find out where our former mayor, Leonard Church, is currently residing for his 20 year sentences.   (CHURCH, LEONARD LEROY, GDC ID: 1001688600)  

Or just look at:  http://leonardchurch.blogspot.com/

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FROM THE MDJ - ELECTION INFO KENNESAW

The final day of election qualifying in three Cobb cities saw one city’s incumbents remain unchallenged, while another city will see two of its council members face one another and a challenger for one council seat.

Kennesaw’s qualifying had perhaps the most volatility in its final day of qualifying, with current Post 5 Councilman Jim Sebastian qualifying not for re-election to his seat, but rather for the Post 4 position held by Jimmy Dickens * , who qualified Monday. Also seeking the Post 4 seat is Chris Henderson, a senior research engineer for Georgia Tech Research Institute, according to his campaign website.

Sebastian in July told the MDJ that he would not seek re-election, saying he did not “want to be associated with those only interested in self-promoting their personal/financial interests and unethical or illegal actions,” though declined to provide specifics.

The sole qualifier for Sebastian’s seat is David Blinkhorn, a buyer for Kennesaw State University.

Kennesaw will see another three-way race on the Nov. 7 ballot, as Antonio “Tony” Jones was joined on the final day of qualifying by Pat Ferris and Jeffrey Oparnica. The seat is currently occupied by Councilman Nimesh Patel who is not seeking re-election.

Jones previously described himself as a “serial entrepreneur” who owns a landscaping business and a logistics business and consults with other small business owners on website design. Qualifying information listed Ferris’ occupation as a manager, with Oparnica listed as a brewer.
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* http://jimmydickenskennesaw.blogspot.com/


Jimmy Dickens Kennesaw Election History:

Jimmy Dickens first try for City Council was for the November 2011 City Council race where he lost to Tim Killingsworth for the Post 2 spot.

He ran for his current Post 4 seat in a Special Election on Nov 3, 2015 where he took the unexpired council seat of Debbie Williams.  
This seat was vacant when Debbie Williams quit the Council to make an unsuccessful run for mayor, where she was defeated by Charles Derek Easterling.

In his 2015 race Dickens was opposed by Bruce Jenkins and Jon Whitmer.  The results were:

JIMMY DICKENS 40.44% 725
BRUCE JENKINS 35.47% 636
JON WHITMER 23.48% 421
(Write-in Votes          0.61%      11)
Total Votes Cast:          1,793

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2017  KENNESAW CITY COUNCIL RACES:

The candidates who registered are:

Patrick Marlon Ferris (Post 3)
Antonio Jones (Post 3)
Jeffrey Peter Oparnica (Post 3)
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Christopher Henderson (Post 4)
James Sebastian (Post 4)
Jimmy Dickens (Post 4)
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David Blinkhorn (Post 5)

MISC COMMENT:  

I have said for years that running for meaningless 'posts' should stop.  Take this years election and consider that for post 5 there is only 1 candidate, that means Mr Blinkhorn wins even if he is the only one casting a vote for post 5.

You will notice that the other 2 races have 3 candidates each.  This sort of line up is complete nonsense.  The top 3 of the 7 candidates should be elected.  Last time around a 'losing candidate' had more votes than a candidate in running in another post.

There is a total lack of common sense in how Kennesaw selects its council.  Will any of the new candidates show some leadership?  Probably not.

You will note that 2 candidates are running for 're-election'.

Pay particular attention to post 4 where Sebastian has filed there instead of running for his old post in 5.  And also read up on the other incumbent in that race for post 4, it is Jimmy Dickens and you might be surprised to find out about his legal issues.  If these had come out last time he ran he would NEVER have been elected.  


See:  http://jimmydickenskennesaw.blogspot.com/


Kennesaw passes resolution asking lawmakers to allow cities to make decision about Confederate flags



































    MDJ   8/21/17 
The Kennesaw City Council passed its resolution Monday that asks the Georgia Legislature to revisit a law prohibiting cities from removing military memorials, including Confederate flags.
Monday’s decision comes a week after 19-year-old Kennesaw resident Reid Jones began a Change.org petition to remove the Confederate battle flag from a flagpole in the city’s Commemorative Park, which is located next to the Southern Museum at the corner of North Main and Cherokee streets. As of Monday evening, the petition had more than 4,600 supporters.
Kennesaw council members passed their resolution by a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Jim Sebastian the sole vote against it.
“This resolution, at this point, is nothing but a temporary action, placating the proverbial squeaky wheel,” said Sebastian, who was not in attendance but took part in the meeting and cast his vote by phone. “Until the legislature takes action, it’s still going to come back to all the municipalities to deal with and will most likely not be what was requested or intended by any individual or municipality, and then it’s going to become the responsibility of each of those municipalities to have to confront this individually and all the other issues.”
Sebastian, who made public comments on the issue over the phone during the meeting, said he believed the city, as well as other municipalities, needed to listen to the voters on the flag issue, but did not express his personal opinion on whether the flag should remain in the park or be removed.
“In this particular case, we should be pursuing the ability and the right to have referendums,” Sebastian said. “We can’t do that today, so we should be pushing something like this so our voters can speak to us, and we in the city can act according to their views, not the views of individuals or small groups and their personal agendas.”
The resolution does not take down or otherwise have any effect on the flag that is displayed in the city’s Commemorative Park, as state law prevents officials from state or local governments or any agency to remove monument, plaques, markers or memorials regarding military service of any personnel from the state, the United States or the Confederate States of America.
“I’m uncertain about the need to move Confederate or other historical monuments of any type into a museum or secluded venue,” Mayor Derek Easterling said before the resolution was introduced. “I am certain, however, of the need to change the direction of our history, the history we are creating today. We cannot change the events that brought us to this place and time, but we can certainly change the direction we travel from this point forward. Symbolism is not our enemy — our enemy lies deep in the hearts of these people who use these symbols to express or represent their alternate views.”
The law preventing removal of the Confederate flag from the Kennesaw park or other displays was passed when then-Gov. Roy Barnes was in office. In 2001, Barnes pushed for the Georgia General Assembly to change the state’s official flag, which featured the Confederate battle emblem on two-thirds of its space with the state seal on a field of blue on the remaining third. It had been Georgia’s official flag since 1956.
Barnes could not be reached for comment Monday.
The earliest state law could be changed regarding the Confederate flag or other displays would likely be in 2018, as the Georgia General Assembly is not scheduled to return to the capitol until January. If legislators approve a measure on the issue, it would have to be approved by Gov. Nathan Deal in order to take effect.
Jones told the MDJ last week that he sees the flag as a symbol of racial division, white supremacy and segregation. On Monday, he led about two dozen protesters who opposed the Confederate battle flag’s display from Commemorative Park to Monday’s city council meeting. He called the council’s passage of the resolution a good first step, with the next step being a push for state leaders, from legislators to gubernatorial candidates, to consider changing state law.
“It’s definitely progress in getting proper treatment of Confederate and Union monuments put into all facets of our community, and also because the law that protects the flag is the same law that protects Stone Mountain, it also is going to be challenging that on a state level, so this is a big push and this is exciting,” Jones said.
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Kennesaw (MDJ 8/21/17 Election Summary)  

Council posts 3, 4 and 5 are up for grabs in Kennesaw. They are currently served by Councilmen Nimesh Patel, Jimmy Dickens and Jim Sebastian, respectively.

In July, Patel said he was undecided on whether to run again. Dickens said he will, and Sebastian said he will not. (Blog Author: I heard he will run, guess we will find out soon)

Qualification will run from today through Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a break from noon to 1 p.m. It will be held in a training room at City Hall, located at 2529 J.O. Stephenson Ave.

The qualifying fees for all of the positions are $360. Candidates must be at least 21, be a registered voter in the city and have been a resident since at least one year before Election Day, Nov. 7. 


More info on Dickens at: http://jimmydickens.blogspot.com/ his prior Felony criminal record will be a factor.

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8/20/17
Kennesaw’s Confederate flag on agenda




































Councilwoman says it should come down; Demonstration planned for Monday


































Kennesaw Confed Flag 02.JPG
Cut rope on the ground next to one of the flagpoles in Kennesaw's Commemorative Park where the Confederate flag would normally be flown. The flag was not on the flagpole Wednesday morning, with city officials saying it had been removed in an act of vandalism.
One Kennesaw City Council member is not shying away from making her feelings about the Confederate flag known — even if most of her colleagues are.
Yvette Daniel, an Army veteran and former law enforcement officer, said Friday the flag that flies in a downtown Kennesaw park is divisive and should be taken down.
At her request, the City Council will discuss a resolution Monday asking the state Legislature to revisit a law prohibiting cities from removing military memorials, which would give council members the authority to decide whether the Confederate banner should remain on display at the city’s Commemorative Park.
A petition calling for its removal received more than 4,400 signatures as of Saturday afternoon and a demonstration against the flag has been planned outside City Hall ahead of Monday’s council meeting.
 Online petition aims to remove Confederate flag in Kennesaw
When reached by phone, Councilman Doc Eaton refused to discuss the matter altogether—as did Mayor Derek Easterling, who said the subject would be taken up Monday.
Councilman Jimmy Dickens weighed in on the issue Wednesday, telling the MDJ he would rather see the flag in a museum than flying publicly. He said he was inundated with calls, texts and emails since last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I’ve had some reach out to me that want to keep the flag, and I’ve had a lot more who reached out to me who want to have the flag removed,” he said.
Even if the majority of council members want the flag removed, the city’s hands are tied by a state law prohibiting the removal of any memorial dedicated to honoring the military service of past or present military personnel of Georgia or the nation, including the Confederate States of America. Daniel hopes Monday’s resolution will be the first step in changing that.
The discussion over whether it’s appropriate for the city to fly a Confederate flag was re-ignited last weekend when an Ohio man drove his car through a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, killing one woman.
Someone apparently took the matter into their own hands following the weekend violence, cutting the flag from its pole at the corner of Main and Cherokee streets, Kennesaw police confirmed.
“I do not feel that it should be there,” Daniel said. “It is divisive and if Kennesaw is going to move forward, I don’t think that’s any place for it to be.”
The veteran said she’s all for people’s right to fly the flag on private property, but doesn’t think Main Street is an appropriate place for it.
“I fought for a flag that says justice, not for a flag that says ‘just us,’” Daniel said. “That’s basically the way I feel about that.”
She said the city should be concerned with the safety and well-being of its residents and oppose any symbol that could spur violence or make people feel they aren’t welcome.
She also called the Confederate flag “crippling” from an economic development standpoint.
“No business wants to come into the city and sit next to something like that,” she said. “Take a look at all the businesses that have passed on coming to our downtown because of it.”
Council members Nimesh Patel and Jim Sebastian did not return requests for comment by press time.
Reid Jones, the 19-year-old resident who started the petition to have the flag removed, is also organizing Monday’s demonstration.
He said the response to his petition has been overwhelming and that he would like to “keep the ball rolling” until the flag is taken down for good.
“This is the right thing to do,” he said. “To suggest (the flag) isn’t racially motivated is just being ignorant of its history.”
Daniel said she believes Kennesaw’s residents should have a say in whether the city continues flying the Confederate flag, and would not oppose putting the matter up for a vote.
She also said she stands behind the demonstrators planning to rally, so long as the event remains nonviolent and does not impede the flow of traffic or the city’s operations.
The demonstration is planned for 6 p.m. Monday at the flag pole in downtown Kennesaw. The council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 2529 J.O. Stephenson Ave.
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For information on Council member Daniel see:
http://councilmemberyvettedaniel.blogspot.com
http://catcherfreeman.blogspot.com/
http://yvettedaniel.blogspot.com/ 

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Shared from the 2017-08-19 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution eEdition
GUEST COLUMN
Leave Confederacy’s old monuments alone

By Lyn Vaughn

I’ve had it with the people who choose to be offended by the symbols and memorabilia from the nation’s past.

First it was Confederate flags. Now monuments and statues have to go. What’s next? The carving at Stone Mountain? Oh yeah, now someone wants that wiped out!

What the hell is wrong with us? Have we lost all sense of reason, all common sense? There’s no erasing history. Our children have only cursory knowledge of it today. “The past cannot be cured,” said Queen Elizabeth in the 16th century. Philosopher George Santayana penned the most famous quote warning against tossing out history, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

The absurdity of the attempt to erase the past was never more apparent than in Henry County this year. It was reported a Henry County Commissioner — on behalf of a constituent, she says — complained about the flying of the Confederate flag outside a Confederate museum in a house on a Civil War battleground — land owned by the county. So the museum owners took it down. Then the commissioner complained that the flags in the window were visible from the distant roadway and asked that they be removed. That was it for the owners. They shut down the museum. Couldn’t the complainers have just found another route?

Do you imagine as the museum curator Bill Dodd noted, that there are no Nazi flags at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington? How about the National Museum of African American History and Culture? I’ll just bet you’ll find in more than one exhibit Kente cloth, featuring the red, black and green colors that adorn flags of many African nations. What if white people decide Kente cloth — popularly worn by African-Americans at graduation ceremonies — should be banned? What if extremists decide the statues of Civil Rights heroes are offensive to them and should come down?

We are living in dangerous, kooky times, but it has nothing to do with Confederate statues or flags or museums. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. must have passed quite a few on his way to Washington, D.C., in 1968. But his eyes, mind and heart were on the bigger picture. To be “offended” by what someone has flying in his or her yard, or in a museum or memorabilia store, or when a white person utters the “N” word, as we now ridiculously say (as if a word can do you harm), is infantile and petty.

What happened to these other people’s free-speech rights? I can’t think of a better way to alienate and drive blacks and whites further apart than perpetually asking others to change themselves to make yourself feel better. What if they’re offended by dreadlocks, or corn-row braids or rap music? Are you going to stop wearing them, or listening to that?

Here, by the way, in no particular order, is what offends me:

■ Violent home invasions, robberies and carjackings in which metro Atlantans are murdered senselessly every single day, and the nightly TV news parade of mug shots of those responsible; 
■ The lack of acknowledgment and anger by some at dictator Vladimir Putin’s efforts to sabotage our presidential 2016 election; 
■ Men and boys, pants sagging and walking like penguins; 
■ Songs and other forms of pop-culture entertainment that denigrate women; 
■ Blaming someone else for your failure to thrive.

We’re never going to convert the 10 to 15 percent of folks in America who hate black people. They aren’t the majority anymore, far from it. So, let the bigots hold their marches. When there’s no one there, they’ll do what they always have — retreat until the next generation of racists appears. They’re right about the statues and monuments, though. After you tear them down, then what? Trump will still be president and all you’ve done is create turmoil where none was necessary.

Former WXIA-TV and CNN Headline News anchor Lyn Vaughn is a freelance writer whose opinion pieces appear online at CBS46.com. An Atlanta resident since 1983, she currently lives in Marietta.


‘The past cannot be cured,’ said Queen Elizabeth in the 16th century.