Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why I support Holli Woodings for Idaho Secretary of State: The Rational Choice

Every once in a while, there is an election in Idaho that is so critical to the welfare of the state, that anyone concerned about our overall well-being must stand up and take notice.


"I’m running for Secretary of State because your freedom to vote should not be infringed by anyone’s agenda at any time. Voting should be easy, fair and open, period. That’s what I signed up for when I registered to vote for the first time and that’s what I want for my children and my grand children. Easy, fair and open voting for all." Holli Woodings

In all my interactions with this great candidate, she has been "spot on" about issues, concerns, and the needs of Idahoans.
Who is this stellar individual?

I am one of those fortunate souls who's life has been filled with great female leaders. That joy makes me think of this quote: “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures." said 
Jane Austen, in Persuasion.  "None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives."  

Holli Woodings is shaking the waters.

Woodings  grew up as the youngest of three sisters in a Southern Oregon logging family. Her mother, Julie, was a hairstylist and raised the girls in Eugene while her father, Chuck, was an auto parts salesman who settled in Boise. Spending holidays and summers with her father, Holli fell in love with Idaho and chose BSU after graduating from high school. She was the first in her family to graduate from college. 

After graduation, Holli went to work as a project manager in Idaho’s renewable energy industry. She had a knack for wearing multiple hats within the industry; working development, public relations and public policy issues before founding Woodings Group, an energy development consultancy. Active as an organizer for TechBoise and co-founder of Energy Drinks (a networking group for energy development professionals), Holli developed a passion for the economic development issues facing Idaho. Community involvement was an inevitable choice from that point on. 
Holli served three years as President of Boise’s oldest neighborhood association while starting a family with her husband, Ryan, founder and CEO of a local technology company. She helped grow the family business from 5 employees to 26 and win several “Idaho Best Places to Work” awards along the way. She helped pass the Yes! For Boise Schools supplemental levy and was elected to the State Legislature in 2012. In 2013, she was named an Idaho Business Review Woman of the Year. Holli serves on the State Affairs, Energy, Environment and Technology, and Commerce and Human Resources committees. 

Her work focuses on providing high-quality education, growing innovative businesses, preserving personal freedoms, and increasing accountability in government. She has served on the Idaho Council on Industry and helped found the Idaho Clean Energy Association. Holli lives in Boise with her husband and two children, Mary and Arthur. They enjoy hiking, camping and snowshoeing with friends and family.


Also, I love her positions on the issues. Here are just a few of them
Protecting the Freedom to Vote
We were very fortunate for many years to have strong non-partisan advocates—Democrat and Republican—as our Secretaries of State. They did a great job putting fairness and the interests of the people first because they recognized that voting is a fundamental freedom where partisan and special interest politics have no place. In their view, ensuring that our elections are easy, fair and open was a moral responsibility they were sworn to protect.

And that is exactly how she looks at it too. Woodings is running for Secretary of State because your freedom to vote should not be infringed by anyone’s agenda at any time. Voting should be easy, fair and open, period. That’s what she signed up for when she registered to vote for the first time and that’s what she wants for her children and  grand children. Easy, fair and open voting for all eligible voters. 

Investing in Education
There is no more important issue than education in Idaho. We rank dead last in the country in education spending per child. Only 35% of our children have access to pre-school or educational daycare when the national average is almost 50%. Only one in ten of our high school freshmen eventually graduates from college. Which also makes us dead last in college attendance too. This is not putting us on track to fill or attract the skilled jobs our modern economy needs right now. And every year Idaho falls a little further behind. That is nothing to be proud of. It’s an urgent problem that needs an even more urgent solution. The Secretary of State is one of five members of the Idaho Land Board, which has a constitutional obligation to administer state lands for the long-term public good. One of the specific beneficiaries is our public schools—which over the years have been starved of millions of dollars from the Land Board. All of us are looking for ways to make our schools better That’s why as Secretary of State, Woodings will push to use excess revenue from the Land Board to reinvest in our schools so that we can attract more businesses and good-paying jobs to Idaho.

Growing the Economy
Woodings is the rational choice
Woodings deeply believes that the greatest investment Idaho can make in economic competitiveness is through education. Yet there is also much we can do to make our state more business friendly. Simplified business licensing, easy-to-navigate online filings and state agencies with a commitment to can-do, problem-solving business assistance are a low-cost way to start. Seamless partnerships with the Idaho Tax Commission, the Department of Commerce and Bureau of Occupational Licenses (just to name a few) will help small businesses navigate the system and get down to the business of serving customers faster. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we need to help them in every way possible, every day. Less paperwork, more service. 

Holding the Special Interests Accountable 

One of the key responsibilities of the Secretary of State is monitoring lobbying activities in our state. Woodings believes lobbying should be transparent, legal and ethical on every level, and she will fight to keep it that way. Safeguarding the openness of our political system, protecting your freedom to vote and ensuring that our lands are managed for the benefit of all will be my job description from Day 1.


On 10/5/14 The Idaho Statesman Endorsed Holli Woodings:
Our concerns about Denney revolve around past partisan dealings and future plans to tinker with voting. Denney's failure as speaker to take action against former Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, who stole state timber and refused to pay $600,000 in back state and federal taxes, has us questioning his impartiality.
His priority, if elected, "to work on measures to enhance the security of the election process, such as new technology that scans either signatures or fingerprints," is a solution in search of a problem. Denney seems too willing to spend money on phantom voter fraud and authorizing expensive second legal opinions that bolster the belief that Idaho has standing to take over federal lands through lawsuits.
Do not miss this election. Vote for Holli Woodings. Idaho's future depends on it.

I'm voting for Nels Mitchell. You should too. Now, you can vote early!

He is clearly the best candidate. - Michael


Skip the rush and vote early!
The Voter Resources section of our website is updated with new tools to assist with early voting. You can now search for an early voting location with the Polling Place Locator plugin! Information on voter registration status, absentee voting, and your polling place for Election Day is also available.
Remember to like Nels Mitchell for Idaho on Facebook and follow on Twitter!
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dear White People ... Justin Simien creates a film seeking a sincere dialogue about race


Issues of race, class and gender are never easy. And among them, the mere mention of race can inflame people's passions.


Dear White People.jpgDear White People, a film that started with a self-funded concept trailer for an immensely successful crowd-funding project, is getting a lot of talk these days, according to Web Pro News. The film is a work by a new and impressive director, Justin Simien. It follows characters on the fictional college campus of Winchester University as they interact in different racially charged situations. Dear White People centers around the character Samantha (Sam) White, played by Tessa Thompson, a provocative radio DJ who hosts a show called Dear White People.

Coming on like a fresh breeze amid the hot air that so often accompanies talk about race, "Dear White People" is both a conversation piece and a calling card, announcing writer-director Justin Simien, in his feature debut, as an invigorating voice, someone original from a new generation, according to the Los Angeles Times.

 From the recent events in Ferguson, Mo., to the media dust-up over an essay on television in the New York Times, the broad subject represents a minefield no matter the arena. The playfully incendiary satire of "Dear White People," set amid a racially charged college campus, takes it on, head-on, while diffusing tension with wit and humor.

 Cast of 'Dear White People' hopes the satire makes people think Cast of 'Dear White People' hopes the satire makes people think Saba Hamedy Opening Oct. 17 in limited release from distributor Roadside Attractions before a national rollout later this month, the film won prizes at the Sundance and San Francisco film festivals and was selected for the prestigious New Directors/New Films program in New York City. A companion book of essays written by Simien, with the lighthearted subtitle "A Guide to Inter-Racial Harmony in 'Post-Racial' America," will also be published this month. 

 Dear White People met with critical acclaim from critics upon its premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 100% rating based on reviews from 9 critics, with an average score of 7.1/10. Justin Chang, in his review for Variety, said that the film "provokes admiration for having bothered to ask some of the hard questions without pretending to know any of the answers" and praising the cast said that "Williams, Thompson, Parris and Bell all make strong, distinctive impressions, with Thompson perhaps the standout as the film’s sharpest and most enigmatic figure." Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter praised the performances of cast, saying, "Thompson’s conflicted student activist, which she pulls off with practiced composure.

Williams manages to consistently dial up Lionel's nervousness and bewilderment throughout the film to a point of heightened tension that necessitates decisive resolution. As lovers, then rivals who must eventually seek mutual accommodation, Parris and Bell understand that for Coco and Troy, discovering humility is just the beginning of these characters' realigned journeys." He further added, "An edgy premise and memorable cast make for a potent first impression." Zeba Blay of Indiewire gave a positive review and said, "With its vividly drawn world and characters, the movie doesn’t presume to encompass the entirety of what it means to be black, but it does give one of the most entertaining and honest depictions of black life in a so-called “white” world in years."

Terence Johnson of ScottFeinberg.com gave a positive review to the film and said that "Dear White People is a perfect film for today’s generation".

Monday, October 6, 2014

Shirley Ringo is is running for Congress to be a voice for Idaho’s working families in Washington, D.C.

Shirley Ringo is a retired public school teacher now finishing her 14th year representing the people of Moscow in the Idaho House of Representatives. She is running for Congress to be a voice for Idaho’s working families in Washington, D.C., and to restore responsible leadership to the House of Representatives. 

Shirley is a teacher, an organizer, a public servant, and a proud Idahoan. Shirley's values are Idaho's values. Give everyone a shot at the American Dream. Reward hard work. Build an economy that's fair and lifts everyone up. Insist on accountability in government. And protect Idaho, the best place on earth, for future generations.

Shirley's a leader for all of Idaho. After 14 years in the Idaho House, her colleagues chose her to co-chair the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee -- even though she's a bright-blue Democrat in a deep-red state.

In my latest blog, Shirley takes the lead: Election 2014: Shirley Ringo Points Out Labrador's Severe Flaws.

There is also the glaring fact that Conngressman Labrador Agrees: Americans Don't Know What Republicans Stand For.

Therefore, Shirley Ringo will give Raul Labrador a Real Fight.


The doublespeak being spewed by her opponent, Raul Labrador, is bad for Idaho.  In 2011, Congressman Labrador cosponsored legislation that would direct the Department of Defense to transfer at least 10% of eligible military equipment to state agencies including a drone called the MQ-9 Reaper.

And in September, Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson (GA) introduced legislation called the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act after the horrific violence witnessed in Ferguson, Missouri. Congressman Labrador is a cosponsor on the bill.

“In an act of political expediency, Congressman Labrador has demonstrated what he will do get elected. One year he cosponsors legislation to arm law enforcement agencies with tactical military equipment like missile firing drones, and this year he cosponsors legislation to limit access to tactical equipment,” Shirley said. “He either has truly changed his views or he is playing politics.”

“I must point out that the legislation was penned by a Democrat, who had the foresight to seek
bipartisan cooperation,” Shirley said. “The leadership shown by Congressman Johnson is what Idaho needs. I support the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act, and I bring will high quality ideas to Washington D.C. and provide for bipartisan collaboration.”

Congressman Raúl Labrador is pursuing an extreme agenda, chasing the national media spotlight, instead of focusing on the challenges of Idaho's working families. Let's send Shirley to Congress, and send Raúl packing. The only way to do that is with an outpouring of grassroots support. It starts with you.

(Questions? Contact the Ringo campaign at 208-301-2272.)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

BREAKING: Book Release Party for Story about Historic Redwood Grill in Baltimore on October 15!

How many of y'all remember the Redwood Grill, the downtown Baltimore restaurant and nightlife spot owned by three fun loving and ambitious brothers, Antonio Rod Womack, Cleveland Jarrett and Edwin Avent during the late 90's. If you're like many people, you had a good time and created lots of memories!

Now, Womack, has written a book about "The Grill" called "Redwood" that's sure to become a best seller. He's having a book release party on October 15, 2014 at the Frederick Douglas Isaac Myers Museum, 1417 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD 21231 from 6-9 pm.
"Come out and join us!" they say. "Lets reminisce and have a good time! But before you do that post your best Redwood Grill memory below and/or tell me who should play me in the movie...LOL! See you at the party!"


Redwood is a gripping true story of a once successful and popular Baltimore restaurant known for its great cuisine, vivacious musical entertainment, radiant atmosphere, and lavish celebrity events. So what happened to the Redwood Grill? What caused its demise? The book dives into the incredible story of three young entrepreneurs who bought the business and worked tirelessly to make this restaurant the pinnacle dining experience.

The story takes many twists and turns, leading the owners through a maze of surreal challenges along the way. The conflict intensifies when they discover that they've been employing a serial killer.
A. Rod Womack

The journey is riveted with humor, intrigue, mystery, conflict, relationship, drama, and many takeaways for future restaurateurs. Just as the dust seemed to settle the entrepreneurs were challenged again by a charming and charismatic con-artist.

A. Rod Womack is a talented writer whose motivation and passion for storytelling distinguishes him from many of his contemporaries. Redwood is his first book. A. Rod co-owned his first company at 18 years old. His entrepreneurial experience spans numerous industries including; restaurants, real estate development, construction, concert promotions, and more.

 In 2010 he left the private sector and worked as a Business Liaison for Baltimore City Schools and was later appointed Managing Director of Food and Nutrition for Baltimore City Schools. His many years of experience as an entrepreneur, combined with his fascinating life experiences, bring an uncommon thread of realism to his material. His writing style has been called “uniquely visceral”. Womack’s love of writing has led him to the development of his next intriguing book entitled “Central Office”; which he promises will leave his readers craving for more.

Womack holds a B.A. Degree in Philosophy from University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

BlueStreak will deliver the "high lonesome" sounds of traditional bluegrass harmony at The Panida Theater

"Bluegrass has brought more people together and made more friends than any music in the world. You meet people at festivals and renew acquaintances year after year."-  Bill Monroe

Come on down to The Pearl Theater on Saturday, September 28 and enjoy a fabulous evening of live bluegrass music! The Pearl Theater is proud to bring you BlueStreak, a  five member bluegrass band featuring traditional bluegrass acoustic instrumentation with three part vocal harmonies.
BlueStreak represents one of the more veteran crews of the entire northwest bluegrass scene, with a unique sound anchored around the powerful vocals and guitar work of Doug Bond of Sandpoint, Idaho. Bob Asbury, (banjo) and Dave Hackwith on standup bass are experienced players from the long enduring northwest group, Custer’s Grass Band. Terry Ludiker, a household name in northwest acoustic music, plays fiddle and mandolin. Steve Bauer completes the circle with his unique arsenal of crisp mandolin chops. Steve began his playing career in the Fort Collins Colorado area, a hotbed of bluegrass in the seventies. Together the members of BlueStreak deliver the “high lonesome” sounds of traditional bluegrass harmony on a rock solid foundation of acoustic instrumentation.
- See more at: http://www.thepearltheater.org/?p=575#sthash.P3tDJu40.dpuf
Come on down to The Panida Theater  on Thursday, October 9 and enjoy a fabulous evening of live bluegrass music!
 

BlueStreak, a  five member bluegrass band featuring traditional bluegrass acoustic instrumentation with three part vocal harmonies,  represents one of the more veteran crews of the entire northwest bluegrass scene.

Their  unique sound is anchored around the powerful vocals and guitar work of Doug Bond of Sandpoint, Idaho. Bob Asbury, (banjo) and Dave Hackwith on standup bass are experienced players from the long enduring northwest group, Custer’s Grass Band. Terry Ludiker, a household name in northwest acoustic music, plays fiddle and mandolin. Steve Bauer completes the circle with his unique arsenal of crisp mandolin chops. Steve began his playing career in the Fort Collins Colorado area, a hotbed of bluegrass in the seventies. 


Together the members of BlueStreak deliver the “high lonesome” sounds of traditional bluegrass harmony on a rock solid foundation of acoustic instrumentation. 

More info: http://www.panida.org/event/poac-presents-bluestreak/

Come on down to The Pearl Theater on Saturday, September 28 and enjoy a fabulous evening of live bluegrass music! The Pearl Theater is proud to bring you BlueStreak, a  five member bluegrass band featuring traditional bluegrass acoustic instrumentation with three part vocal harmonies.
BlueStreak represents one of the more veteran crews of the entire northwest bluegrass scene, with a unique sound anchored around the powerful vocals and guitar work of Doug Bond of Sandpoint, Idaho. Bob Asbury, (banjo) and Dave Hackwith on standup bass are experienced players from the long enduring northwest group, Custer’s Grass Band. Terry Ludiker, a household name in northwest acoustic music, plays fiddle and mandolin. Steve Bauer completes the circle with his unique arsenal of crisp mandolin chops. Steve began his playing career in the Fort Collins Colorado area, a hotbed of bluegrass in the seventies. Together the members of BlueStreak deliver the “high lonesome” sounds of traditional bluegrass harmony on a rock solid foundation of acoustic instrumentation.
- See more at: http://www.thepearltheater.org/?p=575#sthash.P3tDJu40.dpuf
Tickets are $16 General and $12 for POAC Members.  They ar  $10 for 18 and under.

Doors Open 30 minutes before show

The Panida Theater  300 North 1st Avenue, Sandpoint, ID 83864 United States
Phone: 208-255-7801


If you know someone who doesn’t know bluegrass—a young picker, maybe—do that person a favor and gift him or her tickets to this Bluestreak performance. It will not only open new ears to some first-rate picking and singing, but may prompt that person to circle back for more.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Andy Warhol – The Complete Picture

I have been fascinated with high-art demigod Andy Warhol since David Bowie sang about him. His art took people to new arenas, and i have always been fascinated by his ability to draw in a wide variety of audiences. Even people who have never been inside a museum know his name.

9780811857215_p0_v1_s260x420Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. It is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist.

Warhol’s art encompassed many forms of media, including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music.

 He was also a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1984, two years before his death. He founded Interview Magazine and was the author of numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties. He is also notable as a gay man who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement. His studio, The Factory, was a famous gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons.
Recommended Reading:
Andy Warhol’s Colors Board book – May 17, 2007 by Susan Goldman Rubin (Author) Learning about colors has never been so hip! In Andy Warhol’s imagination, horses are purple and golden monkeys wear pink baubles on their tails. Through Andy Warhol’s Colors, children willlearn their colors as they discover that in modern art, anything is possible.
Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. He coined the widely used expression “15 minutes of fame”. Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is US$105 million for a 1963 canvas titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)”. A 2009 article in The Economist described Warhol as the “bellwether of the art market”. Warhol’s works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold.

What I appreciate most about this icon is that he was one of the most most prolific and popular artists of his time, using both avant-garde and highly commercial sensibilities.