Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tom Sherak reelected Academy President; Annette Bening gets post

Tom Sherak
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) or "The Academy," announced late Tuesday evening that Tom Sherak was reelected as President of The Academy by its Board of Governors. It's his second straight one year term of office in AMPAS.

Previously, Sherak served as treasurer of the Academy, and has started his eighth year as a governor representing the Executives Branch.

Joining the wave of good Academy news, Sid Ganis, the Public Relations Branch governor and past Academy president, was elected first vice president.  James L. Brooks and Phil Robinson, both of the Writers Branch, were elected to vice president posts, with Robinson being reelected. It's Brooks first election to a post.

Annette Bening gets post
Annette Bening

Actress Annette Bening, wife of Actor Warren Beatty, was elected to the post of secretary.   It's her first Academy-elected position.

Perhaps Bening will be Academy President one day?

Tom Sherak paid his dues

The reelection to AMPAS as President is a complement to Tom Sherak and his long standing relationships in the Academy and in Hollywood. For 40 years Sherak has been a marketing, distribution and production executive, and currently is a consultant to Marvel Studios and Relativity Media.

The Green Hornet Black Beauty Chrysler Imperial is a real, drivable car

While Comic Con patrons (on the trip sponsored by The Kings Inn Hotel in San Diego) didn't go Lady Gaga over the presentation for the 2011 The Green Hornet movie, that was not the case for the car.

The 1968 Black Beauty Chrysler Imperial that was parked on a pedestal at the entrance to San Diego's Gaslamp District was a hit.

But the even bigger news is The Black Beauty was not a prop, but a real, drivable car.

After Comic Con was over and the crowds died down, a crew unhooked The Black Beauty from its Comic Con outdoor home and a man got in, fired up the 400-plus horsepower engine, and drove it to the truck that would take it back to LA. Here's the video:

One of the work crew told me The Black Beauty car is one of five created by Sony Studios, and not George Barris, as I'd thought. And you can buy the car yourself and this space will have more information on how and how much.

Oakland City Council: Jennifer Pae in District 2 race gains 36K and new website

Jenn Pae
District 2 Oakland City Councilperson Pat Kernighan officially has a competitor in the race for her Oakland City Council District 2 seat: Jennifer Pae. The 26-year-old Korean American has amassed over $36,000 in donations from 300 people as of this writing.

Jennifer Pae's also launched a new website at JenniferPae.com, but who's Jenn Pae?

This blogger personally knows Jenn Pae. She's person who has been heavily involved in various Oakland political and community efforts, and is a member of the Oakland Community Policing Advisory Board.

Jennifer is one of those new Oakland young women who, like Frieda Edgette of the East Bay Young Democrats, is very popular and has pockets of friends and associates in disparate groups that she can call on for support and direction.

"We need to invest in Oakland by bringing fresh solutions, a bold vision, and new leadership into City Hall," says Pae in her press release. "We need to make fiscally and socially responsible investments in Oakland neighborhoods, jobs, and residents. Now is the time to make local government work effectively to improve the quality of life for all Oaklanders."

Omar Thornton - Hartford Distributors shooting about race

Omar Thornton 
Omar Thornton, the Hartford Distributors, Manchester, Ct shooting suspect was reported to be "not violent" according to his former girlfriend Kristi Hannah. She also said he was the target of racism at the workplace.

That does not in any way excuse what Omar did, but it serves as a warning sign regarding what can push a person to the edge. If it was racism that pushed Omar, then that should be studied so that such a climate is not allowed to exist in the workplace.

Reportedly offered the chance to quit or be fired from the beer distributor because he was an alleged discipline problem according to a Teamsters Union Official, 34-year-old Omar Thornton opened fire and hit eight people, seven have died and one was critically injured according to news updates.

Thornton was the last to die, and according to HLN on television, he called his mother to say "goodbye" after he shot the employees (UPDATE: CBS reports he said to his mother he "killed the five racists who were bothering" him). But how he died is still a source of conflicting reports: some say he was killed by police officers when he refused to drop his gun and others claim that Thornton turned the gun on himself.

Whatever the case, it's clear Omar Thornton snapped. His former girlfriend said he was not a violent person. While he purchased two guns, Omar Thornton had a legal gun permit, and was going to teach his girlfriend how to use guns, according to the Associated Press.

Teamsters official Christopher Roos is wrong about race

Teamsters official Christopher Roos said the shootings had nothing to do with race because Omar Thornton never filed a complaint with the union or any government agency. But what Mr. Roos didn't consider is that some people don't know where to go to file a complaint of racism.

Teamsters official Christopher Roos' statement that "it had nothing to do with race" is both cowardly and irresponsible and wrong. What's the fear in saying that it did have to do with race, when apparently it did? To avoid the chance that maybe they did something to make Omar Thornton snap? Saying that what Omar Thornton did was awful is obvious. But there's a less to be learned here that's being covered up thus far.

Thornton's girlfriend said that he, to quote the Houston Chronicle, "complained of racial harassment and said he found a picture of a noose and a racial epithet written on a bathroom wall." When that happens at work, some people don't know what to do. Perhaps that was the case with Thornton.

But obviously Thornton had also not been instructed on how to deal with race. If he were made to be a mentally stronger person, this story would not have happened.  African Americans have been the victims of racism for centuries, but we're not known for killing anyone as a reaction to it.   This is disturbing.

There's is much to know, still.  What was the discipline problem (on HLN the allegation was theft)?  Did he have any friends within the ranks of the Hartford Distributors beer distributor company? Why did he break from his girlfriend of eight months?

A very sad story of a person who went on a rampage and killed people he worked with.

Vikings: no word from Brett Favre on retirement

Brett Favre ...again?
While the Internet and television and sports talk radio is abuzz with the news that Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Brett Favre plans to retire from the NFL, the Vikings say there's no official word to them as of this writing. That means the news, which came from texts to teammates, can't be considered true or real until Brett Favre steps in front of a mic with cameras pointed at him and says that this time he's done.

According to CBS TV affiliate WCCO reporting from Mankato, Minn, players started texting him , but this paragraph is telling:

Favre reportedly started texting teammates that he wasn't coming back Tuesday morning, however, some of the players and coaches closest to him say they haven't heard anything like that.

Ouch. Could all of this be an overreaction or worse, a trick? Someone may have taken a text out of context. Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said "You know, it's fluid. We text back and forth all the time. I'm not aware of that. Somebody told me that when we were coming off the field. And our players, as teammates, those guys text back and forth all the time, so I'm not aware of any of those reports."

So until Brett Favre himself makes an official statement that he's retired and before cameras, it's not good to take a text we didn't see seriously.

Ron Dellums prediction: Oakland Mayor will run for reelection

On Friday, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums will announce his intentions regarding running for a second term as Mayor of Oakland. Will he or won't he?

Frankly, the simple fact he's waited until the last possible day says that he's going to run for reelection. That's the solid prediction here.

Moreover, the Joe Tuman for Mayor Campaign seems to know this, as they're working to make sure you know Joe's your other choice for Oakland's next mayor.

I conducted two interviews with Tuman, but one of them, the long one, was done on a new HD camera I'm having tech issues with, and so there's the delay.

Fortunately, I'm camcorder-rich now, but it's the high dollar ones that always give you the headache. A bigger headache is the Oakland Mayor's race. The Tuman campaign wants me to post that interview - a good one - on Friday, and just to let you know Joe's out there.  Problem is the video won't be ready by then.    But Oaklanders know Joe's out there, and he's got company. Still Tuman was the favorite in the last public forum:

Of course, there are a number of people to select from as of this writing (I expect news that someone's going to drop out this week): Greg Harland, Terraance Candell, Orlando Johnson, Rebecca Kaplan, Jean Quan, Don Macleay, and Don Perata, in addition to Joe and Ron. A lot of not just good, but great candidates, the best selection Oakland's ever seen, at least in my time here.

Dellums adding to this race will make it even better. I never counted him out.

Strategically, the reason Ron Dellums will run again in the Oakland Mayor's Race is he's now been able to see the field of candidates. Waiting until the last day of filing to run for Mayor of Oakland was politically smart.

Now, Dellums doesn't have to worry about a surprise new entry into the Oakland Mayor's Race. Plus, he's seen the field. Dellums also knows that Don Perata has not debated any one of the candidates because Dellums did not announce his intentions.

Ron Dellums has been knocked down, picked on, made fun of, and disrespected.  I've said Dellums should not run for reelection, but that's just my opinion. For all of his mistakes, Ron Dellums is a fighter. Mayor Dellums will not just go away. Mayor Dellums will not go quietly into the night. Ron Dellums will battle and claw and because he has something to prove.

Dellums will ask for time to finish the work he started. He will also remind you he's the only experienced candidate for Mayor of Oakland.

Ron Dellums will run for reelection as Mayor of Oakland.

Brett Favre retirement burns up Twitter with misspelled name

Brett Favre ...again?
Brett Favre has said he will not return to the Vikings for the 2010 NFL Season. Instead, Brett Favre will retire, finally. Maybe. Ah, not many are buying it.

As this is written "Brett Farve" is the second highest Twitter trend, surpassing all but "Avara Kedavra," and that's the misspelled version of his name, Brett Favre!

At any rate, be the spelling Brett Farve or Brett Favre, the Twitter comments indicate most don't believe he's actually going to call it quits.

After all, this is the third time we've seen this retirement stuff from him. This blogger thinks Brett Favre will return to the Vikings in the middle of the 2010 NFL Season, when the team's posting a .500 record. Here's what some other Twitterers think:

ashleyjwall If you're tweeting about Brett 'Farve' and not Brett 'Favre' you have no right to have an opinion or be tweeting about the subject.

andyroddick anyone else notice " brett farve" is trending?...... you know u are bigtime when the misspelled version of your name is a trending topic
37 minutes ago via web

jmarley So Brett Farve is retiring........again!
half a minute ago via TweetDeck

Upstateprep Brett Farve to retire, I don't believe it. I need a press coverage of him saying it twice lol
2 minutes ago via Echofon

Personally, it will be sad to see him go...and come back again! I just think he needs to add one more year to make it 20 seasons. 19 is an odd number to leave on.

Hartford Distributors Manchester, Connecticut shooting deaths at 9

According to The Hartford Courant in Hartford, Connecticut, Omar Thornton, who faced disciplinary action at Hartford Distributors, Inc., opened fire and killed what is now said to be nine people in Manchester, Connecticut, then was shot by police.

Earlier reports were that Omar Thornton shot himself; he did not. It was called a "cop shooting" because Omar Thornton did not put his gun down, so police opened fire.

According to Fox CT News video on the Hartford Courant page, and via the mother of a woman, Kristi Hannah, who dated him for eight months, the shooter, 34-year old Omar Thornton, who's African American, complained of racism to his employers, but they did nothing.

John Hollis, a Teamsters Union official said that Omar Thornton, who was a driver with Hartford Distributors, was a "discipline problem" and the union was bringing Thornton in to "remedy" the problem.

Thornton shot a number of people, and as of this writing, it's not known how many because what once stood at seven killed just rose to nine killed, so we don't know how many were injured in some kind of way. Here's the exact quote from the Hartford Courant regarding Omar Thornton's possible motive for the shooting at Hartford Distributors:

Joanne Hannah, who lives in the Enfield neighborhood where Thornton lived until about a month ago, said her daughter Kristi had dated Thornton for eight years. Thornton, who is black, had complained about being racially harassed at work. Thornton brought his complaints to his superiors, who did nothing about it, she said her daughter told her.

A New Trend: blacks who kill over racism

It seems there's a new and to this blogger, disturbing "small" trend of late where black men are as likely to commit workplace shootings as any white male.

Stephen Hill
The last person that comes to mind was was porn star Stephen Hill in Van Nuys, California, who, in June, went off and killed one person and stabbed another at the Ultima DVD office. Hill was black, and like Thornton, was about to be fired from his job. In Hill's case, he was called a "wacky guy" and no one mentioned racism. But then, no one who was close to him was interviewed at the time.

This is disturbing because I and my generation (I turn 48 tomorrow) was raised to be hardened and to expect racism, to point it out, but to not react violently to it.

Because racism is a mental illness, people who are racist are to be treated with pity and avoided.  That's the way I'm conditioned to think.

Frankly, you just didn't hear of someone black who would open fire and kill anyone over racism. We were instructed that it was a sickness that's "just part of the deal" and something you needed to overcome to be successful.

This small trend says nothing good about the overall mental strength of the next generation of black men. If one who's black and make expects to be successful in America, reacting violently to racism can't be considered an option.

Stay tuned.