Monthly Archives: July 2009

Teenagers and success

A national survey of 1,817 teens, conducted by Search Institute – Teen Voice 2009: The Untapped
Strengths of 15-Year-Olds – finds that a majority of 15-year-olds lack high levels of each of the
concepts: “sparks,” “teen voice” and “relationships and opportunities.” These three factors, when
experienced at high levels and combined, provide young people the support they need to set and keep
a positive course in the midst of a critical time in their lives. More…

Mississippi one of 10 states to add to employment in June.

The Bureau of Laabor Statistices reported that the largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in North Carolina (4,700), Mississippi (4,500), Arkansas (3,400), and Montana (2,700). Montana (+0.6 percent) experienced the largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment, followed by North Dakota (+0.5 percent) and Mississippi (+0.4 percent). More…

What did we do without air conditioning?

What did we do before air conditioning? Some say the South would have not developed without the cool stuff. Here’s a link to an interesting article on the subject of air conditioning. By the way, why do men still wear neckties?

For new leaders, a missed deadline is more than a missed opportunity.

President O’Bama, like many who run for and get elected to an executive public office, is discovering that managing and leading skills are interwoven and yet separate.  A leader has a vision, communicates it and gets followers on board, while a manager implements the vision and related goals.  When the managers miss deadlines set by the leader, it is the leader who has to explain.  Take the case of the missed deadlines.


At his first cabinet meeting, held on April 20, 2009, the President imposed a 90-day deadline to his cabinet members and said, “I’m asking for all of them to identify at least $100 million in additional cuts to their administrative budgets, separate and apart from the work that [Office of Management and Budget Director] Peter Orszag and the rest of our team are doing, to go line by line with the budget and identify programmatic cuts that need to be made.”  That deadline has passed.  Read more in the Fox Business story….


President Obama also acknowledged the administration will miss its own Tuesday deadline to submit a report detailing its policy on detaining terror suspects.  Read more in this CNN story…

SEC Schools Athletic Budgets & Success

When it comes to success in athletics there is a strong correlation between total budget and championships as this article in the Huntsville Times points out.  From the article:

It can’t be considered a coincidence that the two SEC programs that have never won a national championship in any sport also are the lowest in overall revenue. Just below in-state rival Ole Miss, Mississippi State ranks last of the 12 schools, saddled with an athletic budget hovering near $30 million.

On the other end of the scale is Florida, which has a budget more than three times that of MSU. The Gators own national titles in nine sports, the most of any SEC school.
And more:

Southeastern Conference schools routinely toss hundreds of thousands of dollars into football recruiting each year, but only one program is burning more than $1 million a year. Continue…

And even more:

With rare exceptions, most major- college athletic budgets resemble that of Alabama’s, which for the 2007-08 fiscal year, had only one sport budgeted to make a profit – football. It was slated to earn in excess of $11 million.

Other sports ranged from a break-even margin for men’s basketball to a loss of more than $2 million for women’s basketball. Crimson Tide baseball had an expected deficit of about $1.5 million. Continue..

Over 100 New Mayors

The recent municipal elections in Mississippi held quite a few surprises, the biggest of which for me was the number of incumbent mayors not reelected.  Although I’m still attempting to determine the exact number in that category I can tell you that there are over 100 “new” mayors.  I say “new” because there were a couple of instances where a former mayor ran again and was elected, Harvey Johnson of Jackson being the most well-known of these.  There are approximately 327 municipalities in Mississippi, which means that almost a third of them have new mayors.  That’s quite a percentage.

America’s Meanest Cities

This week has seen the release of two more lists of places.  Usually, these “places” are of the “Best” type, as in Best Place to Lve, Best Place to Retire, etc.  For example, Money Magazine’s Annual Best Places to Live 2009 was about America’s best small towns.  But this week also saw release of another list, which was dubbed America’s 10 Meanest Cities.  It was released by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.  It ranked cities based on their criminalization of laws relative to the homeless.  Below are the two lists.  First, guess which list goes with which ranking, and then click on the links about to find out whether you guessed correctly.

1. Los Angeles, CA

2. St. Petersburg. FL

3. Orlando, FL

4. Atlanta, GA

5. Gainesville, FL

6. Kalamazoo, MI

7. San Francisco, CA

8. Honolulu, HI

9. Bradenton, FL

10. Berkeley, CA

5. Milton, MA
Warren, NJ
7. Keller, TX
8. Peachtree City, GA
9.  Lake St. Louis, MO
10. Mukilteo, WA

City flags

The Mississippi Municipal League conference on the Gulf Coast opened with a parade of city flags.  Some of the city officials in towns without flags wished they had a city flag.

What makes a great flag?  The answer to that question can be found in a great little booklet compiled by Ted Kaye and published by the North American Vexillological Association.  Here are the five basic principles to create an outstanding flag for your organization, city, tribe, company, family, neighborhood or even country:

1.  Keep It Simple – the flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory;

2.  Use Meaningful Symbolism – the flag’s images, colors or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes;

3.  Use Two or Three Basic Colors – Limit the number of colors on the flag to three, which will contrast well and come from the standard color set;

4.  No Lettering or Seals – Never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal; and

5.  Be Distinctive or Be Related – Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.

What was Washington Post thinking?

The Washington Post’s publisher apologized to readers Sunday for a plan to charge business leaders and lobbyists for intimate dinner discussions with government officials and the newspaper’s journalists. A flier surfaced last week promoting a plan to charge $25,000 to sponsor one of a series of dinner parties that would include off-the-record conversations with Post journalists and access to Washington insiders.  More . . .

Click here to read the publisher’s apology.

Coach Bob Stevens

Today I will be sending a small financial contribution in honor of my high school coach and beloved friend to many to:

Bob Stevens Memeorial Scholarship Fund
Southern Mississippi Athletics c/o Athletic Foundation
118 College Drive
P.O. Box 5017
Hattiesburg, MS  39406

Click here to read his obituary.  So long, Coach.