by Martha Rose Woodward
Beegreener is a local, small business that specializes in designing and building outdoor living spaces. Beegreener provides fountains, stone walkways, outdoor rooms, ponds, rain harvest systems, fire pits and bowls, and hundreds of other projects for your gardens, yards, and homes. They can help the DIYers with ongoing projects or begin from zero and go from there.
Beegreener’s motto: “If you can dream it; we can do it.”
Steve and Nick Rhule are a father-son team located amidst the mountains and streams of East Tennessee.
Steve Rhule said, “Beegreener is proud to be an American small business. We are followers of Jesus Christ and are surrounded and inspired by His creations. His gift to us in creativity and our love of art and nature comes together and allows us to do what we love which is to make really cool places and things.”
The Rhule’s said that, even through this harsh economic climate, their business has done well. They are grateful to their customers for their support and look forward to meeting new customers.
Beegreener has been selected as the topic of a new TV show by HGTV. The program is currently in production and will be seen within the next year. Rhule said the experience has been great fun. “It is an awesome feeling to know that a television crew is looking to me for directions. Nothing happens until I arrive and share my ideas,” he said.
Call Steve Rhule at 865-323-6496. He will be happy to discuss your needs and provide you with information and quotes. He can also share addresses of homes and businesses where examples of his work are on display.
Changes for The Knoxville Woman’s Club
Founded in 1928 in Knoxville by Mrs. Walter Starnes Nash, the Knoxville Woman’s Club has been an integral part of the social scene as well as being a trusted friend in service to the community in a wide range of activities. However, as membership declined and expenses grew, keeping the clubhouse, located at 3930 Kingston Pike, became impossible. The lovely Colonial-style home was recently sold and will become a private residence. The exquisite antiques, dainty dishes decorated with pink dogwoods, silver punch bowl and fading photos of past-presidents that hung in the hallways were also sold, but the memories remain.
Even though the membership is low, the club plans to continue with activities and will meet at the Orangery.
Knoxville Woman’s Club is a member of the City Association of Women’s Clubs and the Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs. It is governed by by-laws, a Board and officers.
Monthly meetings are held September through May each year as members hear from a variety of guest speakers. Club members also meet for social interactions such as cards, games and crafts. Each club member is assigned to a Standing Committee and service projects for the club focus on six departments of study: arts, conservation, education, home life, international affairs, and public affairs.
Through the years, the ladies in the club have helped and continue to help the community through such projects as providing scholarships, docents for the TN Valley Fair, decorating tree for Fantasy of Trees, donating food to local food banks, providing a yearly Christmas party for the Cerebral Palsy Association, sending gift boxes to needy children, sending packages to service men and women, volunteering their time when called upon, and hundreds of other ways.
As a part of the opening for each club meeting, the women recite the following Collect by Mary Stewart:
“Keep us oh God from pettiness.
Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault finding and leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense and meet each other face to face without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgment and always generous.
Let us take time for all things; make us to grow calm, serene, gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straight forward, and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create difference, that in the big things of life we are at one.
And may we strive to touch and to know that great common human heart of us all;
And oh, Lord God, let us forget not to be kind.”
According to his web site (written by Douglas Young-May 12, 1949- December 4, 2012) and used by permission, “James Pasqual Bettio F.R.P.S.* is an internationally known photographer, educator and winner of over 30 international awards.”
Bettio’s photographs don the covers of more than 100 national magazines. He was honored with a *Fellowship of theRoyal Photographic Society of Great Britain for the creation of the art of Artography, a process that adds texture and depth to photographs.
As the founder of Sharing Friends of the Arts with over 2000 members he is much involved in the art world. Many an artist has been trained by him in photography and Artography at the Artography Academy of Photographic Arts now located at his studios at Park Labrea in a campus surrounded by 167-acre garden. The studio is a wonderful example of Pasqual’s Environmental Art Combining the skills he acquired over the years with his artistic talent for sculptures, paintings and assemblages, he created a whole new environment, out of discarded materials.
Pasqual is Founder/Director of Park Labrea Arts Council. The Council sees to the social, educational, and cultural needs of the 12,000 residents of Park Labrea and the residents of the surrounding community. It organizes many annual and special occasions entertainment and cultural events involving members of the greater Los Angeles Art Community to cater to the needs of all levels of the community from children to seniors.
Pasqual is the
publisher of Eye on the Arts Magazine, which informs the community of the events and brings before them aspect on art creating a bridge between the artists and the community.
Upon hearing the news of the death of his friend, Doug Young, Pasqual Bettio, award-winning artist from Los Angeles, California, sent the following message and asked that we publish it in this newspaper.
“When we heard about Douglas Young’s passing all we could do was cry. I will never forget his extra effort for humanity and his love for beauty, art and writing. The law was his passion and music guided his heart. He would always say he was a truth seeker.
Indeed he was all of that and more. So much more there are not enough words to capture the true feelings of a very special life dedicated to justice for all.
I personally learned so much from this man and shared monuments of creation with him. One instance comes to mind in reference to Salute America which he founded and wrote about while he was on the phone I was creating a piece of art I named The Statue of Unity.
The world has lost a great force. Douglas and I created so many projects together. Douglas and two others founded the first Celebrity Gala to End World Hunger in 1983 in LA. We developed the American Communities of Friendship. Douglas nicknamed Los Angles the “ Creative Capital of the World“—a title that was certified in 2001. We worked on Sharing Friends of the Arts, and the Hollywood International. Check out
www,.TheArteryUSA.org, a web site he wrote. We also did a number of various projects with the Hollywood Arts Council. Douglas created the Miracle Mile Civic Coalition, a project that connected Oak Ridge,Tennessee’s city government, fire department and city council to the Los Angles Fire Department. These two cities shared ideas and expertise. Douglas headed the Rose Breast Cancer Society. He did projects for the Department of Recreation and Parks in LA. He was one of the founders for The Living Museum Of Artography and Assemblage. He also worked on a project that connected the Oak Ridge Museum of Science and Energy to our museum in LA exchanging art and a portrait of Albert Einstein from artist, Emmanuel Snitkovsky, that continues to stand in the lobby.”
Bettio continues, “As I write this I am realizing I could go on for hours. Please go to www.salute. America.org and appreciate the creation of so many sayings that we all use today. ‘EXTRA EFFORT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.‘ ‘THERE’S A WINNER IN YOU’ to name two. Douglas’ writings include one hundred motivational poems and several books, hundred of articles, scripts, and briefs. He also created the Dance Hall Of Fame with noted chorographer Joe Cassini. There is more as others will bring up things I can not recall due to my grief.”
Other comments from some of Young’s friends in LA:
I wish I could do more for Doug at this time. The first thing I did this morning was go out in our backyard and offer more prayers in his memory. I am sure what he would want us to do now is to carry on the mission that he envisioned to the best of our ability. To promote love, peace and global harmony is what the higher consciousness (God) of which we are all a part wants. It is our job to do our best to be our best and to serve each other.
Carmelita, Director of the Rose Breast Cancer Society
I can not believe he is gone. He was dear friend for over 30 years. I will miss him terribly. Freda
All I can do is cry.
We are EXTREMELY sorry to hear that Douglas has passed. We know he must have suffered a great deal.We all shared our love for Doug. I went out in our backyard this morning to do my early prayers and Doug was definitely included. We shall miss him, but treasure and honor his memory.
Marilyn & Dan
by Martha Rose Woodward
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, at Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel with Pastor Steve Sparks officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service.
Douglas Lindley Young, also known as D. Lindley Young, and Doug Young, 63, passed away on Tuesday, December 4 at his home in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He was suffering from throat and neck cancer.
Young was preceded in death by his father Carlo Young, brother, Allen Young, cousin, Dr. Van Vandergriff and wife Judge Maxine Thomas. He is survived by his mother Barbara Mason, of Daytona Beach, FL, son, Scott Young and grandson, Gabriel Young, both of Knoxville, sister and brother-in-law Rob and Tonie Bayman, of Houston, TX, sister Stephanie Wilson of FL, brother Jeffery Young of NC, uncle Fred Young, aunt Ruby Vandergriff, cousins Pat Wrinkle of Knoxville, Becky Loree of Brentwood, Nashville, Jean Blanton, of KY, and friend, Barbara Arfa Slaughter of Florida. Longtime friends from Los Angeles, CA included artist James Pasquale Bettio, choreographer Joseph Cassini, and singers Freda Payne and Sherri Shirelle.
Doug Young grew up in North Knoxville, and graduated from Fulton High School in 1968 where he was a member of the winning football team, a member of Who‘s Who and was awarded honors for leadership. He met his lifelong, best friend, Herb Newton, at Fulton High School. Young attended the University of Tennessee for two years before moving to Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles and attended the California College of Law. He passed the bar exam on his first attempt in California and practiced criminal law in Los Angeles for numerous years. Young’s clients included Marvin and Frankie Gaye, Freda Payne, Ike Turner, Sly Stone the former wife of writer Harold Robbins and members of the Billionaire Boys‘ Club. Young moved to Florida due to health reasons, returning to Knoxville to take care of his ailing father.
While living in Los Angeles, Young created the Salute America Organization and The Winner in You Award and organized and hosted an event that was the “largest national day of award giving in history.” Young’s theme was “There is a winner in you.” Young was also one of the founders of the Annual Super Celebrity Event to End World Hunger, organizing and planning the first gala held in Los Angeles in 1983. One of the joys of his life was to see others receive awards for merit and achievement.
In 2003, Young, known on air as Wild Bill Lindley, began the radio show Salute America at Horne Radio Station 850 AM. The show was a political talk show that focused on national and international news, but, also included guests from the local political arena. Doug’s son, Scott Young, was the producer, the board was handled by Tracy Meares, and the co-host, who was added September 2007, was Martha Rose Woodward, writer with the Knoxville Journal. He was also founder of the Modern Tribune, an on-line news site.
Due to that show, Young met Renee Wheeler, owner of the Knoxville Journal and Martha Woodward, writer, who would become his dearest friends.
Young’s numerous hobbies included computers, writing, lecturing, reading, politics, studying history, giving awards, hosting radio shows, walking and he was an ardent fan of University of Tennessee sports.
Young was most recently employed by Renee Wheeler of the Knoxville Journal Newspaper as political writer and spokesperson.
Time to Winterize Your Yard and Gardens
Although Spring and Summer are the most popular times of the year for working in lawns and gardens, the fall and winter months are just as important. Josh Shipley, owner of A 2 Z Landscaping and Lawn Care, says that there are two keywords for winterizing your lawns and gardens: preparation and maintenance.
Shipley’s tips for winterizing your lawns and gardens include: l. Think long-range and plan for the future. In order to have numerous flowering shrubs, flowers and/or vegetables, you must prepare the soil as well as design each space in your yard or gardens. 2. Use good soil. Use good compost. Use good mulch. 3. Add as much as 6 inches of the best compost you can find to all flower beds both in the spring and winter months. 4. Study the needs of each plant. Be sure to understand which plants need a lot of sun and which prefer little or no sun. 5. Dig weeds up all the way down to the roots or they will just grow back. 6. Learn the correct methods for planting trees, shrubs and flowers. “In short, dig deep when planting,” Shipley said. 7. Imagine what you want the end result to look like and plan accordingly. 8. Remember to maintain or take care of your yard all through the year. 9. Be sure you know the difference between perennials and annuals or you will waste a lot of time and spend money unwisely. 10. Watch for seasonal sales. The best time to buy trees and shrubs is in the late summer and early fall when stores are clearing space in order to get ready for Christmas sales. A tree that might have cost $50 in mid Summer will sell for less than $20 in November. 11. Small changes can make a big difference. 12. Cleaned and cleared yards add value to real estate. Think curb appeal. Get rid of dead wood, dead plants and trash. 13. Start small. Work on one area of your yard and get it looking really good, then tackle another area. Before you know it, your yard will be stellar. 14. Plant seeds in small cups several weeks in advance so the seedlings will be ready to plant in the Spring. 15. Do not hesitate to hire professionals to help you. Seek advice from people who know what they are doing.
Contact Shipley at 865 235 9353. E mail JOSH.SHIPP@aol.com His prices are reasonable and he will be happy to discuss your lawn and garden needs. He provides landscaping, mowing, weed eating, and all kinds of lawn care. He also does light carpentry, repairs flooring, will haul appliances or furniture, repairs guttering and will help with moving and other odd jobs. References are provided on request.
by Martha Rose Woodward
Holiday season is a time to remember that scam artists are out in full force hoping to catch us off focus while we are in the midst of our busy schedules.
Beware—-a scam involving your telephone has become popular as a method of separating you with some of your money.
IF you search on-line for Costly New Area Codes you can learn more about the scam that uses the area code numbers 809, 284 and 876.
Here is how the scam works: First, you get a message on your answering machine from a friendly sounding woman. The woman will say something like: ‘Hey, this is Karen. Sorry I missed you- get back to me quickly. I have something important to tell you. It involves your family.’ She may tell you that someone you know has been injured, or that a loved one is ill or in trouble.
Sometimes the caller will tell you that you have won a prize, and, lately, they are telling people that there is a web site that has located money owed to them and all they have to do is log on and get the cash. Another method they use is to tell people they have a package ready at Fed Ex and need to pay for it to be released.
The caller will repeat a phone number beginning with area code 809, 284 or 876 and tell you to phone immediately. Since most folks rarely think about the numbers they are dialing, the scammers have you in their greedy hands before you can blink an eye.
Rule One: Never return a call from a number you do not know. If it is a legitimate person, they will call you back. Rule Two: Never believe a message from a stranger unless the person begins the conversation with their identification. Rule Three: Never call numbers that begin with 809, 876 or 284. These area codes are from the Dominican Republic or the Caribbean Area. Phoning these numbers could cost you as much as $10 to $100 per minute.
One of the main reasons this scam works is that they get the person in the USA to actually make the phone call. Once they get you on the phone, they will try and keep you on the line as long as possible in order to increase their fees. Some folks have reportedly gotten long distance bills for thousands of dollars.
Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true. If a loved one is in trouble, ill or injured, you will get a call from a nurse, doctor, police officer or someone in a position of authority. Be vigilant. We can not out think scammers. We have to constantly be aware of their dirty tricks.
Pass this advice along to your family and friends so they will not become victims.
Douglas Lindley Young, former radio host of the Salute America Show that aired on 850 a.m., passed away at his home in Oak Ridge on Tuesday. Young had suffered from throat and neck cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Young, 63, grew up in North Knoxville, graduated Fulton High School in 1968, attended UT for two years. He moved to Los Angeles where he graduated from law school at The California College of Law. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1980 in Los Angeles where he practiced law for five years. During that time he wascounsel to some high-profile clients including writer Harold Robbins, Ike and Tina Turner and Frankie and Marvin Gaye. After leaving California, he relocated to Florida due to his health, before returning to Knoxville to care for his ailing father.
Young has served as public relations consultant and feature writer for the Knoxville Journal for several years.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
Josh Shipley (left) owner of A 2 Z Landscaping and Design—reasonable rates and great work ethic.
2012— A Year of Changes for Habitat for Humanity
Change was the keyword in 2012 for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, both in the Restore and the Thrift Store
Moving the Restore from 1501 Washington Avenue to 314 Merchants Road brought an increase in foot traffic, donations and profits. Sales have more than doubled, even tripled for some months. A loyal customer base has made stopping by this location a part of their routines.
The Restore focuses on selling building supplies, appliances, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, lawn and garden wares, paint and large furniture. Customers are encouraged to check in once a week because you never know what you will find on the sales floor. Donations come from a variety of donors and popular items fly out the doors as soon as they go on sale. Many items are new. The Restore is found at Merchants Village Shopping Center, 314 Merchants Drive, phone 865-688-8807, Hours: Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The store manager is Neal Cameron.
The Thrift Store saw two major changes. First, the executive director, Bert Sams, resigned in order to spend some of his retirement years traveling with his family. Sandy Savage was tapped as Sams’ replacement and the transition has been harmonious. Next, since much of the larger merchandise was shifted to the Restore, the sales floor was remodeled. After sending the building supplies, paint and appliance segments to the Restore, more floor space was added by tearing down walls and reconfiguring the location of the various sections for merchandise. Charlie Hewston continues in the role of pricing coordinator, while Robert Moss and Bobby Vaulton continue as truck drivers who pick-up merchandise and work to display thousands of donated items.
Both the Thrift Store and Restore offer frequent promotions such as the Bag Sale, Gambler’s Choice, and Customer Appreciation Sale. A large selection of Christmas items are currently on display and for sale at great prices. You will find the Thrift Store at 2209 N. Central Avenue. Contact information is: 865-521-4909 Hours: Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
As I was shopping at a small, general merchandise store in a strip mall, a woman, 25 to 27 years in age, came into the store with two little girls in tow. I’d guess their ages to be 4 and 5 years. The girls were little cuties. Dressed in pink skirts and tops, hair was combed, and both were clean and energetic. They began picking up items and throwing things around—more less bouncing off the walls.
Their mother was doing her best to guide them along. I heard her say, “Stop” and “Put that down” several times. She also explained to her children that she only needed a few items and they needed to stay by her side and to be good.
As it so happened as few minutes later, the mother-daughter trio were in the check-out line ahead of me. The girls were begging for the candy that was spread all around the shelves and the mother told them no, they were going to dinner soon and didn’t need candy. The check-out line was moving slowly, but in a few minutes, both girls stopped fidgeting grew calm and quiet.
What happened next demonstrated that mothers really do have laser vision. This woman was also psychic.
“Give it to me,” she demanded.
I looked at both girls and didn’t see anything in their hands.
“No,” the larger girl said.
“Oh, yes you will,” said the mother. She grabbed the girl’s hand and wrestled her fingers open to display one of those chocolate drops that costs 99 cents each.
“I am really disappointed in you,” the mom said. “It is wrong to steal.”
Next, her eyes moved to the hands of the second child and she repeated her demand, “You give it to me, too.” Once again it was necessary for her to forcibly remove the chocolate drop from the girl’s hand.
“Don’t move,” the mother said.
In my head I was telling myself, “Stay out of it. This isn’t your business. But, suddenly the words to that Merle Haggard song popped into my head. Mama Tried.
“And I turned twenty-one in prison doing life without parole
No one could steer me right but Mama tried, Mama tried
Mama tried to raise me better, but her pleading I denied
That leaves only me to blame ‘cause Mama tried.”
I could not help myself. I said to the lady, “Ma’am, I just want to thank you for doing your best to raise your children with morals and values. We do not see this much anymore. Most people would just let their kids steal and ignore the consequences.”
“Why, thank you,” she said. “I do try, but they are a handful.”
I encountered the trio again outside in the parking lot. I had to walk past their car to get to my car. I grinned to myself when I saw that the young mother had the two girls lined up in a row and she was talking to them like a coach to a losing team. I heard her say, “If these people wanted to call the police on you for stealing, they could.”
What happened next was my shocker for the day. Remember, these girls were 4 and 5 years old. “Police won’t bother us. We are too young. They don’t take little kids to jail,” replied the older girl.
“Wow!” I thought. “How bold?”
Once again, my head was telling me to stay quiet and move along, but I thought, “It takes a village.”
“Oh yes there is jail for kids,” I blurted out. “It is called Juvenile Detention Center and it a real place that deals with bad kids all the time.”
“Thank you,” replied the mother. I could tell she was glad for the support.
As I drove away, I kept thinking, Merle Haggard had it right, “Mama tried.”
by Martha Rose Woodward
Beardsley Community Farm sends this invitation: Volunteers of all ages and experience levels are invited to help Beardsley Community Farm on November 17 to get ready for winter during the last Saturday workday of the year. The workday will begin at 9 and end at noon, and will be followed by a Cold Weather Gardening Workshop which will last approximately one hour.
The Cold Weather Workshop will give gardeners some tips for extending the growing season. The workshop will address cold weather growing techniques, with a primary focus on building low-tunnels and cold frames with salvaged materials. In addition to showing how these systems are built, workshop attendees will also get some tips on when and what to plant in early spring and late fall.
CAC Beardsley Community Farm is an urban demonstration site that has promoted food security and sustainable urban agriculture through practice, education, and community outreach since 1998. The half-acre main site sits on the former grounds of Beardsley Junior High School. In 1996, the City of Knoxville provided funds to convert the abandoned school grounds into a garden and build a greenhouse.
Beardsley Farm has raspberry and blackberry brambles; muscadine grapes and blueberries; a young orchard of fruit and nut trees; and a community garden, all situated on six and a half acres of a public park—in addition to the half-acre demonstration site. The Farm is maintained by a farm manager, a small team of AmeriCorps members, and numerous volunteers from the Knoxville community.
CAC Beardsley Community Farm has several goals within the community. (10) To educate people of all ages about the possibilities and methods of organic and sustainable urban gardening. (2) To give support and tools to community members to help them grow their own food, and teach about the financial and environmental benefits of home food production. Volunteers at the farm can learn for free in structured workshops on such specialized skills as vermicomposting, beekeeping, mushroom logs, urban hen-keeping, and more. And (3) To provide fresh produce to people in need. On-going programs donate the vegetables raised at CAC Beardsley Farm to Family Crisis Center, Bridge Refugee Services, Knoxville Area Rescue Mission (KARM), and Western Heights Baptist Center.
If you want to learn about organic gardening, you can volunteer. You can also sign up to maintain your own plot in the community gardens. Space is assigned on a first come, first serve basis, however, there is usually a spot available for those wanting one.
Beardsley Community Farm is located at 1719 Reynolds Street which is just off Western Avenue a few blocks passed University Avenue.
http://www.beardsleyfarm.orgPhone: 865 556 2299
by Martha Rose Woodward
After months of struggling with fire codes and regulations from the Public Building Authority, Tony Cappiello has opened the Icon Ultra Lounge on the 5th floor of the Sunsphere.
Cappiello, who has exclusive rental rights to the space on the 5th floor of the 30 year old theme structure of the 1982 World’s Fair, said he has invested an estimated $450,000 to renovate the space. The capacity is now 120 making it three times larger than its predecessor, The Skybox.
Cappiello said he chose to light up the floors, bars and tables so guests could be “wowed by the experience.”
Cappiello said that his plans took into consideration the panoramic view and placed seating in special areas so guests can enjoy the sunsets. He added two-seat tables near the windows and large, over-stuffed booths to round out the new theme.
A new electrical system was installed, the floor was reworked and stained sky blue and a fireplace was added to create a cozy corner. A DJ booth, a second bar and two additional restrooms were also added.
The Rain Bar, which has a continuous stream of water that flows through the bar top and into a nearby water wall, is on one side. The Sun Bar is on the other side and is topped with onyx and covered with gold tufted panels aimed at capturing the look of the famous gold glass panels.
Cappiello said that he studied other bars in cities such as Chicago, Las Vegas and New Orleans. “We wanted to make it an upscale, higher-end establishment,” he said.
Cappiello is an attorney and developer who also purchased the Lord Lindsey, another downtown landmark that he plans to convert into a nightclub. Cappiello said that he enjoyed designing the Icon Ultra Lounge himself. “Choosing the colors, materials and furniture is one of my favorite parts in the process,” he said.
Since parking is always a problem at the Sunsphere, Cappiello said spaces are available at the nearby Knoxville Museum of Art, in the lot next to Church Street United Methodist Church and the Locust Street parking garage next to the YMCA. He says he will provide a golf cart to circle the grounds and plans to add a valet service in the future.
Icon Ultra Lounge is closed on Mondays and is open 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
The 4th floor of the Sunsphere contains the Observation Center and is open from dawn to dusk most days of the year. It is free to the public, however, shoes and shirt are required. Children must be accompanied by an adult. No swimwear allowed. The 6th floor of the Sunsphere is open for rental through Sara Spangler and can be used for small to large parties, weddings, and other events. Call 865 363 9538 for information about how you can rent the space.
The new movie, Flight, staring Denzel Washington is the kind of movie that makes me want to demand my money back. If I was to rate this movie on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 2, only because Denzel Washington was the main star and I usually love Denzel‘s movies.
Do not, I repeat, do not, take your children to this movie. Why? Because in the first 30 seconds of the movie, you see a totally naked woman—full-frontal nudity. In the same scene there is cocaine use and pot smoking, and it goes downhill from that point. The nudity adds nothing to the plot line and could have been avoided. It is harsh and feels like being slapped in the face.
The so-called plot involves airline captain William “Whip” Whitaker, played by Denzel, who boards a plane to fly it from Orlando to Atlanta after partying all night with a flight attendant using booze and drugs. After experiencing intense turbulence, the copilot flies the plane while Whip discreetly mixes himself a drink of vodka and orange juice and then takes a nap. Near Atlanta, the plane enters a steep dive, awakening the drunk pilot. Even though the plane does crash, Whip pulls off a miracle by steering the plane away from heavily populated areas and into an empty field where a group of Christians just happen to be worshipping God.
The movie has two story lines that switch back and forth—-Whip’s alcoholism and the mystery of what caused the plane to go into a nose dive and crash. Mostly, the film has scene after scene in which the pilot promises his friends and co-workers that he will stop drinking and using drugs, only to fall off the wagon time and time again. The mystery of why the plane crashed to begin with finally gets solved near the end of the movie, but there has been so much alcohol and drug abuse by that point that all the viewer wants to do is leave the building.
Moral to the story seems to be—do not drink and pilot a plane. Also, anyone who watches this movie will never want to fly again.
All in all, this is a horrible movie that wastes the talents of many excellent actors. I do not understand why a fine actor like Denzel Washington would ever agree to act in this kind of movie. The story line is weak and the alcoholism of the main character and the “flight” have very little to do with one another. This movie has too many scenes showing drug usage and alcohol abuse and not enough scenes of anything interesting.
Usually, I might suggest that the viewers wait to rent the video, however, for this movie, I say, never see this movie. Keep it away from your children. It is a bad movie—do not waste your money or your time on it.
by Martha Rose Woodward
After 22 hours of deliberation the jury found former judge Richard Baumgartner guilty on 5 of 6 counts of misprision of a felony. Because he is now a convicted felon, the judge immediately lost his pension. Many say this is truly justice since the judge was allowed keep his pension after entering an Alfred plea to charges brought by the state.
The case in Federal Court against ex-Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner got under way last Tuesday in the court of Judge Ronnie Greer with a jury of ten women and two men being seated by Wednesday. Opening statements wrapped up around 10:30 a.m. as both sides explained their cases to the court.
Prosecutors are charging the ex-judge with 7 counts of misprision of a felony. One charge was tossed out by Judge Greer. Prosecutors said that Baumgartner was a drug-addicted judge who committed federal crimes by using his power to cover up drug sales and drug usage by himself and his drug-dealing mistress. The attorneys said that Baumgartner concealed his crimes, fearing that discovery would cut off his access to drugs and sex.
They also said that they would show proof of Baumgartner’s lies to other judges, Knox County staff members and hospital employees as part of the cover up.
Baumgartner’s defense attorney, Donald Bosch, argued that the former judge was “a man of many demons.” “This case is not about drug addiction or infidelity,” he said. Busch said that the ex-judge had reasons for lying and was not concealing an alleged drug conspiracy. Bosch said Baumgartner was trying to help Castleman as he had developed true feeling for her.
Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner was arrested in May 2012 and charged with seven counts of concealing and not reporting a felony. The charges of misprision came from an alleged relationship the judge had with Deena Castleman and his attempts to cover up drug purchases.
Rumors had been flying in the courthouse for many months as to the erratic behavior of the judge. He was seen falling asleep on the bench and was known to be associating with Castleman in ways that were far-reaching as to what the typical judge-criminal relationship would be.
Former judicial assistant and court clerk of 15 years, Jennifer Judy, is set to testify against the ex-judge in this trial.
Baumgartner’s mistress, Deena Castleman, a felon seen in his court, was first to take the stand. She said she would not be there unless she had been forced to by law. She is currently serving a six year term in the Anderson County Jail.
Castleman testified that she was at the City-County Building in 2009 and asked Baumgartner for a job. The Criminal Court judge had often worked with drug addicts to help keep them out of jail . However to Castleman’s surprise, Baumgartner told her that he liked opiates and asked if she could get some for him. She agreed that she could, thus beginning the alleged pill transactions.
Castleman said he gave her $250 to $300 twice a week and he purchased as many as 25 to 30 pills at a time. She said Baumgartner often drove to her trailer or welcomed her into his private chambers at the court house and even came to the hospital to see her. She also said that the two developed a sexual relationship. She was referred to as his “mistress,” and it has been said that the married, ex-judge developed true feelings of love for the pill pusher.
Castleman said that Baumgartner used Hydrocodone and moved on to the stronger drugs Percocet and Roxycodone.She described how she and the ex-judge took pills and even snorted drugs together.
Castleman was given a cell phone per a program from the court so that she could be reached by court officials. Baumgartner used the government-issued cell phone hundreds of times to contact her concerning purchases of drugs. Cell phone records for Castleman’s and Baumgartner’s drug court cell phone were entered as evidence in the case.
She claimed he would call other judges (Stan Briggs and Don Elledge) to help her when she got in legal trouble. She said he told the YWCA she passed a urine test when he knew that she didn’t, so she could remain available to him.
Knox County Drug Court Director Rob Hanaver was the next witness called.
On the stand, Hanaver said Baumgartner dismissed Castleman from drug court in 2007 as recommended per the staff. Hanaver testified that the judge called him to ask about a possible false positive for Castleman’s YWCA drug test.
Hanaver said in 2009, Baumgartner asked him for a drug court cell phone so he could make calls to staff. After viewing the records for the cell phone, Hanaver said he found that most of the calls were made to Castleman’s phone number. He also said he could not remember a time when Baumgartner used the phone to call him. This cell phone cost the taxpayers as much as $1,000.
Hanover was asked if he ever confronted Baumgartner, a question many wanted to ask of the court house staff. Hanaver said he had asked him about the rumors of sex and drug use between him and Castleman and claims Baumgartner told him he was trying to “help her let rumors die”.
Bosch asked Hanaver ask about the cell phone usage. Hanaver explained that he saw the excessive number of minutes used and thought Baumgartner was calling other staffers.
Bosch, who used the same closing arguments used at the trial of John Edwards, has been friends with the judge, a fellow Democrat, for many years.
Baumgartner faces as much as a 3 year sentence for each of 5 counts. Many are wondering if the judge will get off with a light sentence.
by Martha Rose Woodward
According to USA Census data:
Top 10 states that paid the LOWEST in taxes:
l. Alaska 2. South Dakota 3. Tennessee 4. Louisiana 5. Wyoming 6. Texas 7. New Hampshire 8. Alabama 9. Nevada 10. South Carolina (Most of these states have Republican governors.)
Top 10 states that paid the HIGHEST in taxes:
l. New York 2. New Jersey 3. Connecticut 4. California 5. Wisconsin 6. Rhode Island 7. Minnesota 8. Massachusetts 9. Maine 10. Pennsylvania (More registered Democrats live in these states than Republicans)
USA’s 10 Poorest Cities: State: Percent of People Living in Poverty or Below
1. Detroit , MI - 32.5%
2. Buffalo , NY - 29.9%
3. Cincinnati , OH - 27.8%
4. Cleveland , OH - 27.0%
5. Miami , FL - 26.9%
5. St. Louis , MO - 26.8%
7. El Paso , TX - 26.4%
8. Milwaukee , WI - 26.2%
9. Philadelphia , PA - 25.1%
10. Newark , NJ - 24.2%
What do the top ten cities having over 250,000 in population with the highest poverty rate all have in common? Democrat mayors.
Detroit, MI (1st) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961.
Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1954.
Cincinnati, OH (3rd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1984.
Cleveland, OH (4th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1989.
Miami, FL (5th) has never had a Republican mayor.
St. Louis, MO (6th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1949.
El Paso, TX (7th) has never had a Republican mayor.
Milwaukee, WI (8th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1908.
Philadelphia, PA (9th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1952.
Newark, NJ (10th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1907.
It is the poor who habitually elect Democrats, yet they are still poor.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong or bring about prosperity by discouraging saving.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
If Obama is re-elected each person who gets a paycheck will see $163 more per month deducted to pay taxes as the Bush tax cuts will expire. A vote for Obama is a vote to cut your own wages. Can you survive on $163 less per month?