Scott Matusick Claims Interracial Dating Led to Termination from Erie County (NY) Water Authority

Scott Matusick files discrimination lawsuit against Erie County, NY, Water Authority, saying he was terminated due to interracial relationship with black woman.

Scott Matusick has accused the Erie County (NY) Water Authority of discrimination in a federal lawsuit. He was fired in April 2006 and claims the firing was in retaliation for his interracial relationship with Anita Sparks, a black woman, according to the Buffalo News. Matusick, who began working at the Water Authority in 1993, said he never experienced any problems with his coworkers or supervisors until 2004, when he started dating Sparks, who he later married.

After his co-workers knew about the relationship, he was subjected to crude racist remarks and harassment from more than a dozen co-workers for two years, according to Matusick. He said some frequently used the “n-word” in his presence, and he claims his complaints to superiors went nowhere.

Matusick was fired in April 2006, and he claims in a federal lawsuit that the firing was in retaliation for his interracial relationship with Starks, whom he since has married. His lawsuit seeks to paint a disturbing picture of a government agency that has responsibility for a vital community service — providing water to more than 550,000 area homes, businesses and other customers. The Water Authority’s response is that Matusick is lying and that none of his allegations should be believed.

“The allegations by Mr. Matusick are a desperate attempt by a disgruntled former employee to extract money from the [Water Authority],” the agency said in a written statement to The Buffalo News. “This matter is currently in litigation, so we cannot respond to each specific allegation, other than to say they are baseless and without merit.” Source: Buffalo News

It will be very interesting to see how this is played out in court. It should be noted that Mr. Matusick has a less than stellar track record at the Water Authority, which makes his assertions questionable. According to the Buffalo News, he admitted in court papers that, on occasion, he slept on the job, which led to his termination, and also admitted that he was one of the dispatchers who used the black box to block the camera’s view. He was also fired for failing to properly respond to two emergency calls from citizens, according to the Buffalo News.

Read more: Worker Claims Interracial Dating Led to Firing | Buffalo News

Fiachra O’Luain, Who Has Ties to Massachusetts, Injured in Israeli Commando Raid on Gaza-Bound Flotilla

Man with ties to Massachusetts, Fiachra O’Luain, injured in Israeli commando raid of Gaza-bound flotilla.

Fiachra O’Luain, a man with ties to Brewster, Ma., was injured and is in police custody after Israeli commandos waged a deadly nightime raid on a flotilla of ships carrying activists trying to get supplies into the blockaded Gaza Strip. According to the Boston Herald,  Brewster resident Joseph Bangert said he learned via Facebook this morning that his son was being interrogated by Israeli officials. Local activists are also claiming that a Bay State woman, Katherine E. Sheetz, was also on the flotilla. The commandos killed nine and dozens are wounded, along with six Israeli soldiers.

Read more:  Man With Ties to Cape Injured in Israeli Attack | Boston Herald

Nicholas Fomby-Davis, 14, Murdered by Two Suspected Gang Members on Public Street in Dorchester, Mass.

Nicholas Fomby-Davis, 14, pulled off his scooter and murdered by two suspected gang members in Dorchester, Ma.

Gang violence reportedly claims the life of Nicholas Fomby-Davis, 14, of Dorchester, Ma. According to the Boston Herald, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said Fomby-Davis was wrenched off his scooter on a public street before sunset by two suspected gang members. He was reportedly held down by one and repeatedly shot in the chest by another, Davis said.  It is unclear whether or not the victim knew his attackers, but there is no evidence that he was connected with any gangs in the area. Gangs are wreaking havoc in neighborhoods across this country. This kid did not deserve to have his life snatched away by a bunch of ruthless thugs. The dirtbags in custody for this heinous act have been identified as Crisostomo Lopes, 20 and a 16 year old male, both Dorchester residents. According to the Boston Herald, the two were arrested just feet from the scene of the crime by Officer Anthony Williams, a gang unit officer who was patrolling in an unmarked car and noticed the pair acting suspiciously.

Read more:  Police Commissioner Davis: Gang Unit Saw Murder of 14 Year Old | Boston Herald

Arlington Superintendent Jack Metzler, Jr. to Retire, Amid Army Probe of Missing Black Civil War Soldiers’ Graves

Arlington National Cemetery Superintendent Jack Metzler Jr., to retire July 2, amid investigation into misplaced graves of black civil war soldiers.

Jack Metzler Jr., Arlington National Cemetery’s superintendent will retire July 2, ending a tenure dotted with historical achievements and marred with controversy. A Salon.com series uncovered misplaced graves, unidentified bodies and messy record-keeping at Arlington, under Metzler’s watch. The Army, which operates this historic cemetery, has launched an investigation into what has been called “lost accountability.” Though mainly Metzler’s subordinates were the subject of the Salon series, he did not escape sharp criticism.  To that he said, “About a fourth is somewhat factual, and the rest isn’t even close,” the superintendent said. “Nobody here is doing anything malicious. … Sure, mistakes get made. … Does anyone run a perfect organization?” It should also be noted that he has been interviewed on many occasions by interviewers, but Army Secretary John McHugh never called for his resignation.

Here’s an interesting take on his tenure by AOL News, which shows that Salon wasn’t the first media outlet to scrutinize his actions:

Expansion.When Metzler championed expanding the cemetery to avoid running out of burial space by 2025, environmentalists and historic preservationists howled. He kept pushing, though, to raze the nearby Navy Annex to eventually add more than 70 acres that will allow burials for another 50 years.

Waivers. When U.S. ambassador to Switzerland Larry Lawrence, a major contributor to Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, died in 1996, his widow asked that he be buried in Arlington based on his claim of being wounded in combat on a Merchant Marine vessel in World War II. When the Army failed to turn up his records, it granted a waiver. Only later did it surface that the story was fake, leading to congressional hearings and a government probe. Lawrence’s remains were eventually disinterred.

“Before that, we took people’s word” about military service, said Metzler, who emerged from the scandal mostly unscathed. “It taught us we couldn’t take anything for granted.”

Tomb of the Unknowns. Soon after Lawrence was dug up, stories surfaced that the identity of the Vietnam service member in the Tomb of the Unknowns might be known. When Pentagon officials decided to unseal the tomb to conduct DNA tests, Metzler called in the firm that originally built the historic sarcophagus.

“We didn’t know if we could actually do it. It was not built to be reopened,” he said. “There was a lot of stress with everyone to do the job quickly, to do the job without damaging anything and obviously to get the remains out intact. We had some real unknowns. We just didn’t know how we were going to proceed with this, and all this happened in a matter of 12 hours.”

Workers toiled overnight to remove the remains — without incident — in time for the exhumationceremony on May 14, 1998. They were later identified as those of Air Force 1st Lt. Michael J. Blassie. The Pentagon announced that the Vietnam crypt would remain empty.

It’s time for a changing of the guard and Jack Metzler’s replacement must correct the myriad of problems created under his watch. The disappearance of the graves of black Civil War soldiers is a slap to the men and the sacrifices they made for this country.

Musicians, Including Kanye West, Boycott Arizona to Protest Anti-Immigration Law

A group of musicians, including Kanye West, Cypress Hill  and Sonic Youth, have signed onto the Sound Strike, a movement to boycott the state of Arizona over its controversial anti-immigration legislation, also know as SB 1070, which calls for racial profiling. The movement was organized by Zack de la Rocha, frontman for Rage Against the Machine.

“Fans of our music, our stories, our films and our words can be pulled over and harassed every day because they are brown or black, or for the way they speak, or for the music they listen to,” de la Rocha wrote in a press release announcing the strike. “We are asking artists the world over to stand with us, and not allow our collective economic power to be used to aid and abet civil and human rights violations that will be caused by Arizona’s odious law.”

Read more:  Musicians Boycott Arizona to Protest Immigration Law | CBS News

Israeli Commandos Storm Pro-Palestinian Aid Flotilla, At Least 10 Dead

Israeli naval commandos stormed a flotilla of ships carrying aid and pro-Palestinian activists to the blockaded Gaza Strip Monday. At least 10 passengers were killed. The incident has sparked worldwide condemnation and a diplomatic crisis is looming. The Israeli commandos claim they were attacked with knives, clubs and live fire from two pistols, wrestled from soldiers after they rappelled on board one of the vessels from a helicopter. Seems that the pro-Palestinians were out-gunned, so this was a one-sided fight at best.

Read more: Deaths as Israeli forces storm Gaza aid ship | BBC News

Lang Sias, Denver Republican Congressional Candidate, Hasn’t Voted Since 2000

Isn’t it hypocritical to run for public office and have a record of not voting in elections? Well a political flip-flopper, like Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), former Democrat Lang Sias, who lives in Denver’s 2nd Congressional district, hasn’t voted since 2000 and is running for Congress in the nearby 7th District as a Republican. According to the Denver Post, his supporters tout his unorthodox political resume, a stellar military record, among other things, makes him the perfect person for the job. The reality is that his political record should be bothersome to the voters in his district. If you can’t take the time to vote in so many years, how can you be trusted to work for the people of your district, including voting in Congress on the issues that affect them most? Sias and his opponent,  Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier, are in a battle to unseat U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) in November.

Secretary of state records show Sias in 2000 registered as an unaffiliated voter, became a Democrat in 2003, switched back to unaffiliated in 2006, and registered as a Republican on Dec. 3, 2007. He donated $250 to the re-election campaign of then-U.S. Rep. Mark Udall in 2002. Sias addressed his previous party affiliation when he announced his candidacy last December. “Try as I did to fit myself into that party, I just couldn’t get comfortable,” he said. Secretary of state records also show Sias hasn’t voted since 2000. Source: Denver Post

His voting record speaks for itself and it doesn’t matter what other niceties he brings to the table. If you can’t vote in an election, then how can you be trusted to vote in Congress on the issues that affect your constituency? Voting is the privilege of a democracy and I am mystified as to why people don’t take this right more seriously, especially someone who is seeking the votes of others to represent a Congressional district in Washington D.C. He didn’t care to exercise this right, why should others do it for him?

Stand-Off of Sorts Occurs Between Press & NOI’s Louis Farrakhan’s Security Detail in Obama’s Chicago Neighborhood

A stand-off of sorts occurred outside a Chicago-area home where the Obamas were attending a barbecue, between the U.S. Secret Service, the members of the press and Nation of Islam’s leader  Louis Farrakhan’s security detail. President Obama’s friend, Marty Nesbitt, lives across the street from the home of Louis Farrakhan, described as ornate yellow-gold. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a pool report noted:

As a dozen reporters and photographers following Obama stood on the sidewalk in front of Farrakhan’s home, someone’s foot touched the city-owned curbside grass. Immediately, a polite man in jeans and T-Shirt emerged to ask the press to stay off the grass, the report stated. Soon he was pacing and talking on a cell phone. He went inside the mansion’s black wrought iron fence, crossed the well-landscaped yard, lifted a water bucket behind rose bushes and retrieved a walkie-talkie. He was heard to refer to “the CIA.”

Soon he approached the secret service agent minding the press and asked him to move the van and its occupants. “How is this a security breach?” the agent asked. He asked if the house was government property. Neighbors all over Hyde Park and Kenwood have learned to deal with streets being blocked off and having to show ID to approach their own homes since Obama ascended to the presidency.

The man said something else and at that point the agent stuck out his hand to shake hands and introduced himself as a Secret Service agent. He added, “Sir, I can assure you that we will do nothing to interfere with whatever is going on in there.” The man paced and talked on his cell phone, walkie-talkie in hand. Three more men in T-Shirts reading “Wide or Die!’’ joined the man from the Nation of Islam. A reporter asked one of the men if this was Farrakhan’s house. The man just stared back. Asked again, he said, “I don’t have no comment.”

Eventually a dozen “Fruit of Islam” agents arrived. As each casually dressed man arrived, he exchanged elaborate handshake/hug/double air-kisses with others. Two walked by a reporter, chanting “Islam.” Source: Sun-Times

It’s safe to say, this wasn’t the first time the Obamas have visited their friend’s home, so it’s really ironic that Louis Farrakhan and his goons could have an issue and engage in such petty behavior. What’s equally ironic is that the “Fruit of Islam” security personnel, reportedly filmed and photographed the reporters, the van and its license plates their cell phones. Oooh, I am sure they were scared. Give me a break. This was much ado about nothing or maybe Farrakhan was mad he wasn’t invited to this chowdown.

Carl D’Andre Johnson, 48, Becomes the 10th Person to Die in Maryland Since 2004 After Jolt from Taser

Carl D’Andre Johnson, a resident of Windsor Mill, became the 10th person to die in Maryland since 2004 from being tasered, state officials have disclosed. Johnson, 48, was an accomplished architect and his brother told the Baltimore Sun, that he was not the type of person who would challenge police officers. It is a mystery why he died after being shocked by an electronic stun-gun. Baltimore County police have said he got into a fight with officers Thursday after crashing his pickup truck near a busy highway interchanged and continued to fight after being a dose of pepper spray and an Taser, according to the Baltimore Sun. He lost consciousness after he was jolted a second time and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Read more: Architect, 48, dies after police struggle leads to Taser use | Baltimore Sun

Hispanic Chicago Aldermen Introduce Resolution to Ban Red-Light Cameras Installed by Arizona Company

Hispanic aldermen from Chicago are pushing for a boycott of just about everything from Arizona, that includes the city’s 189 red-light cameras that were installed by Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems, which installed the cameras and road sensors. The company also operates the software and mails out the $100 tickets along with photographic evidence of the alleged red-light traffic violation, according to the Chicago Sun Times. The city signed a five-year $52 million contract with Redflex in 2008.

In 2008, the Daley administration signed a five-year, $52 million contract with Redflex that cut the cost of each camera system from $100,000 to $24,500. It also included maintenance for cameras installed after Oct. 22, 2008. But the “proprietary nature of the technology” kept the city from including operations and maintenance for the 136 original camera systems. That’s why Redflex has a separate five-year, $32 million contract just to maintain those 136. Chicago’s Hispanic aldermen have introduced two resolutions responding to Arizona’s immigration crackdown. One would condemn an Arizona law they view as “racist.” The other calls for a boycott. City Council hearings have not yet been scheduled.

Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) acknowledged that the push to boycott Arizona companies might not be financially feasible even after 2013, when the Redflex contracts are due to expire. “The idea is to boycott Arizona with the expectation that it will hurt them financially, not to do the reverse,” Maldonado said. “To the extent it’s gonna hurt us, it wouldn’t make any sense.” Source: Sun Times

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out in Chicago in the coming weeks. Though I agree that something drastic must be done to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, racial profiling will occur and lead to lawsuits, which could cost the state millions.