Roy Exum: Sterling ‘Not A Racist?’

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Donald Sterling, who is a heavy favorite in the early voting for the year’s Most Repulsive Person, asked the nation for forgiveness Monday night after a racist’s rant cost him the ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team. The problem remaining is that, at age 80, current mortality tables indicate the one-time lawyer will never outdistance the scurrilous life he has lived for so many well-documented years.

Appearing with Anderson Cooper on CNN, Sterling spouted, “I’m a good member who made a mistake and I’m apologizing and asking for forgiveness. Am I entitled to one mistake, after 35 years? I mean, I love (the NBA), I love my partners. Am I entitled to one mistake? It’s a terrible mistake, and I’ll never do it again.”

Sterling told Cooper, “I’m not a racist. I’m here to apologize,” and when the news reporter asked Sterling what took him so long, this after the NBA has booted him from its ranks, Sterling said, “The reason it’s hard for me, very hard for me, is that I’m wrong. I caused the problem. I don’t know how to correct it.”

While the NBA has banned him for life and levied a $2.5 million fine, his family has turned against him and publicly blamed the patriarch for the overdose death of his 32-year-old son last year. It is also reported Sterling has cancer.

* * *

Did you notice that not one player from the University of Texas was picked in the recent NFL draft? That hasn’t happened since 1937.

* * *

I think it is sad that the city of East Ridge is considering a ban on electronic cigarettes, which emit vapor rather than smoke. All that knee-jerk reactions do is kick people and prudent minds never rush to judgment until scientific evidence can be obtained.

Here’s another gripe -- I attended church Sunday where a loving, all-inclusive greeting was part of the welcoming process … (drum roll) … on its smoke-free campus. Admittedly, I smoke cigars and am constantly on guard that my open-air smoke may offend others so I abstain at church. Then again, I left three delicious Hoyo Montereys under the preacher’s windshield wiper and I’ll guarantee that he enjoys them as much as I do.

Ain’t it awful? The crazy zealots among us are having a jolly good time in their efforts to force smoke-free salvation on an estimated 42.1 million people, or 18.1 percent of all adults (aged 18 years or older), in the United States who enjoy tobacco. The last laugh? Folks who smoke will simply go to another church.

* * *

After years of bemoaning the fact our best citizens never seem to run for public office, I am thrilled beyond measure that Signal Mountain’s Patsy Hazlewood will announce her campaign team today in her attempt to run for a seat on the State Legislature.

Patsy, who had a stellar career with BellSouth and AT&T, has been a tireless worker in our community and has the first-hand knowledge of what it takes to accomplish anything! She has served as the president of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau and – most recently – managed economic development for the state in our 10-county southeastern region.

She will be one of the best representatives of District 27 ever if she is elected – I’ll guarantee it – and is exactly the caliber of person that is so desperately needed in politics right now.

* * *

On Monday I wrote that Lizzy Cheek, who directs the heart-tugging Double-G Ranch for Orange Grove clients and other physically/emotional challenged campers, was being forced to tell some who have attended for years that they would be turned away after scholarship monies haven’t been forthcoming.

Whoa, get this! By noon yesterday there were already glorious promises that several full scholarships ($500 each) will be funded by the end of the week and that any gifts, from $1 and up, will be combined to allow others to have one God-sent week in the sun.

Anyone who wants to take part in our one-week miracle should send tax-free donations to The Orange Grove Center, 615 Derby Street, Chattanooga, TN 37404. Please designate the gifts to “GG Ranch Scholarship Fund” and mark the envelopes “Attn: Lizzy Cheek.”

Would it help you to know some of the kids have already got their duffel bags packed?

royexum@aol.com



Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)

A Haven For Small Business Owners

With the latest incentive recently announced by the City of Chattanooga, the community is becoming a haven for small business owners and entrepreneurs.     The small business incentive program is a win-win for both business owners, while at the same time promoting an incentive for hiring full time employees. We all know that small businesses represent the primary ... (click for more)

Sewell Says City, EPB "Close" On Amount Owed By Utility To City On Street Light Overbilling

City Internal Auditor Stan Sewell told City Council members on Tuesday that EPB and the city are "close" on the amount owed by the utility to the city on street light overbilling. Mr. Sewell said the city computed the amount at about $1.2 million, while he said EPB's auditing firm, Mauldin and Jenkins, has it at $1.5 million for an 89-month period that was audited. Mr. Sewell ... (click for more)

City Council Votes 5-4 On New Process For Naming IDB Members

The City Council voted Tuesday night 5-4 to set up a new process for naming members to the Industrial Development Board (IDB), which currently has four vacancies. The process includes three City Council panels: A (Districts 1, 2, 3), B (Districts 4, 5, 6), and C (Districts 7, 8, 9). Group A will fill two of the vacancies and Groups B and C one each. Agreement ... (click for more)

Hixson Claims Top Spot In 6-AA With Win At Central

Hixson and Central entered their volleyball match on Tuesday tied for first place in District 6-AA as both were unbeaten in three matches. The Lady Wildcats have that top spot all to themselves after pinning a 3-1 defeat on the Lady Pounders in a match held at Brown Middle School's Carole Wilson Gymnasium. Hixson won the first set with ease by a score of 25-12 before winning ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Whips Silverdale, 3-0, In 5-A Volleyball

The effects of losing six straight matches – a league loss to Grace Baptist and five in the Tennessee Tandem tournament – were still bothering Silverdale Baptist Academy in a District 5-A volleyball match at Boyd-Buchanan. But not nearly as much as the Lady Bucs’ sterling play. Boyd-Buchanan (23-13, 5-1 District 5-A), which also lost to Grace last Thursday, gained momentum ... (click for more)