Monthly Archives: March 2011


Do you own a pair of Mezlans?

When it comes to the Insite shoes of the week, that honor goes to FOX 26 morning anchor Chris Stipes.  His shoes stood out in the morning editorial meeting Monday morning.  And I was like, “Chris you have the coolest shoes of the day.”  With a little prodding I was able to get Chris to allow me to feature them on the Insite.  He tells me they are Mezlan which are made in Spain.  However, Stipes didn’t a world over to buy them, he actually picked them up at the local Nordstrom.  I did a quick internet search and they retail for about $200.  Way to go Chris for having the Insite Shoes of the Week! 


Judge Amanda F. Williams

The best way I can describe it was captivating.  Monday evening on my drive home I stumbled across a program on public radio that just was the best piece of journalism I’ve heard in a long time.

The report examined the Drug Court system in Glynn County Georgia.  It focused on the judge identified as Amanda F. Williams.  The program ‘This American Life’ weaved a tale of the drug court system like I’ve never heard before.

It paints a picture of a judge who traps defendants in a treatment system that’s unending and punishes them for challenging her dictatorship like authority.  It defies all the good I’ve heard about Drug Courts around the country.

After hearing the journalist and defendants’ evidence I thought to myself this judge could destroy the Drug Court system as we know it through her alleged strong arm tactics from the bench.

If you do only one thing this week, make sure it’s listening to this program.  It’s eye opening!

Here’s an excerpt and a link to the full report:

Ira Glass reports from Glynn County Georgia on Superior Court Judge Amanda Williams and how she runs the drug courts in Glynn, Camden and Wayne counties. We hear the story of Lindsey Dills, who forges two checks on her parents’ checking account when she’s 17, one for $40 and one for $60, and ends up in drug court for five and a half years, including 14 months behind bars, and then she serves another five years after that—six months of it in Arrendale State Prison, the other four and a half on probation. The average drug court program in the U.S. lasts 15 months. But one main way that Judge Williams’ drug court is different from most is how punitive it is. Such long jail sentences are contrary to the philosophy of drug court, as well as the guidelines of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. For violating drug court rules, Lindsey not only does jail terms of 51 days, 90 days and 104 days, Judge Williams sends her on what she calls an “indefinite sentence,” where she did not specify when Lindsey would get out.

Link to hear the full report:


Baton Rouge native and Rice Graduate Cliff Ghorman

Lawrence “Cliff” Ghoram is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  He has a strong background of being a positive role model as well as a community leader.  

The Zachary High Graduate was the Student Government Association President of his high school all while allowing basketball to help him get to where he wanted to go.   

Cliff Ghoram chose Rice University because it would allow him to get a great education while playing in the competitive Conference USA. 

While at Rice, he majored in Sociology and Business because he felt it would give him a great insight on the world for becoming a businessman.  

During his junior year at Rice, to gain an even better perspective of the business world Cliff Ghoram and two of his teammates started their own personal basketball training business called Dreamarkable, LLC.  

From the Basketball court to the boardroom!

After graduating from Rice in May 2010, Ghoram continued to pursue basketball professionally while providing basketball training through his business Dreamarkable.   

After realizing that playing professional basketball may not happen when expected, Ghoram began working for Mass Mutual Financial Group while staying in touch with basketball by coaching St. John’s School 9th grade basketball team.   

He continues to be a positive role model today by volunteering at YES Prep North to mentor 5 young men every week.  

He also continues his connection to sports by also coaching the Houston Select AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball team. 

As far as his career, he is very open to opportunities that come his way.

With all of that said make sure you keep an eye on Cliff – he’s the Louisianian in Houston to watch!


Harris County’s Taxman Don Sumners
Annise Parker Mayor of Houston

Press Release: After repeated requests to the City of Houston for information about the calculation of the Proposition One drainage fees, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners must comment on Mayor Annise Parker’s proposal of limited exemptions for churches, schools and Harris County government.

The exemptions are part of the proposed ordinance, which was revealed Friday and is scheduled for a vote this Wednesday.

Sumners said:

“The mayor’s announcement that, all of a sudden, possibly $10 million of exemptions can now be granted out of the blue proves my point, that all the residents of Houston would have been overcharged by the proposed rates in the first place.

“The Harris County Tax Office’s public information requests were valid, and the Mayor should have responded with accurate information weeks and weeks sooner. If she had done so, the citizens of Houston would have known about the overcharges well before the overcharges were used to pay for these limited exemptions.

“Last week, representatives of Harris County, Houston Independent School District, Spring Branch ISD, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, former Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt and the Houston Pastors Council testified for State Senate Bill 714 by Sen. Dan Patrick. It would allow full exemptions for all churches, schools, charities and county properties. Passing this bill is the only way to prevent the City of Houston from taxing even the Harris County Hospital District and, in effect, the indigent patients it serves.

“I join with my predecessor in calling for the City to do the right thing in helping pass SB 714, as only state law can make these exemptions full and permanent.”


Lloyd Gite former KTSU Radio Employee

The phone for the Insite began ringing off the hook last week.  Everyone on the other end of the line wanted to talk about the unexpected firing of Houston journalist Lloyd Gite from KTSU radio.

Here’s how the story supposedly went. Gite, who was a talk show host for KTSU, apparently was a panelist for a seminar held at the radio station’s studios last Tuesday.  It was an event put on by the Houston Association of Black Journalists to mentor young students on TSU’s campus.  It’s my understanding Gite is not a member of the organization but volunteered with this particular session.

Gite was among the list of journalists and media professionals scheduled to address the college students. The speakers were suppose to give realistic advice on the broadcasting industry.  According to those who attended the meeting Gite reportedly gave the students much more.

Sources say Gite tore into the university claiming the school and its faculty and staff were unprofessional.  Some even claim Gite personally attacked the journalism students in the room saying they couldn’t speak or write properly.

The Insite was told prominent TSU journalism professor Serbino Sandifer-Walker and some of her students walked out.  Others in the audience defended the university against Gite.

Keep in mind this entire episode allegedly happened on the campus of TSU at KTSU studios with lots of school and radio staffers around listening.  

By Thursday morning Lloyd Gite was no longer on the air at KTSU radio where he hosted a program called Straight Talk.

As any journalists would do the Insite wanted to get Gite’s side of the story.  Early Monday morning he responded with this email and was willing to offer more insight into the matter.

What Gite makes clear is he was not fired.  He resigned from the radio station.  Here’s his statement:

I actually resigned my position at ktsu.  I went there after I was assured by the president of the university that he wanted to change things at the radio station.  I was there for three months and nothing changed.  There is a serious lack of professionalism at that institution and nobody seems to care.  Those who are suffering are the students and the community at large.  Once again, we have an African American institution that is failing all of us.  As for me, I learned a lot about why we as a people are in serious trouble.”

The Insite also placed a call to KTSU’s General Manager George Thomas.  He referred me to TSU spokesperson Eva Pickens for a comment.  But Thomas did offer some perspective on Gite.  Thomas said, “he resigned is all I can say…He said some very nasty things about all of us…He was very unprofessional…”

George Thomas, KTSU Radio General Manager

I followed up with Mr. Thomas by asking was Gite asked to resign from KTSU.  Thomas says if that were the case I would have to get that answer from Gite’s immediate supervisor who I have yet to reach.  

So one thing is very clear.  Gite was not fired from KTSU.  Radio station officials confirm he resigned.  But the question some still have is was he pushed?  

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Police arrested two celebrities this weekend in Downtown Shreveport.

KSLA News 12 is reporting the rapper known as “Rick Ross” was arrested in Shreveport Friday night for possession of marijuana. His real name is William Leonard Roberts II.

According to the police records, a strong odor of marijuana was detected from his room at the Hilton in Downtown Shreveport. No word at this hour of how much marijuana police found.

Shreveport police also arrested Philadelphia Eagles star Jason Peters. He’s from Queen City, Texas and played college football at the University of Arkansas. He is charged with loud music and disturbing the peace.

Both were booked into Shreveport City Jail, summonsed, and released. Roberts was in town to perform at the Bay Bay Birthday Bash at the Kokopellis nightclub. Peters was one of the celebrity guests.

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Nestor Rivera allegedly set up a Facebook page in his old Principal’s name!

There was a time in social media when you could be anyone you wanted on the internet.  But in 2009 the laws changed and you will pay the cost if you claim to be John Doe and you’re Jim.

That’s what happened to a Pasadena, Texas man who set up a Facebook page and claimed to be his old high school principal.

Now 19 year old Nestor Rivera is facing criminal charges.

Not only did prosecutors say he took on his principal’s identity on Facebook, he was down right crude and mean spirited.

Rivera, using his own name according to prosecutors, even pretended to have an argument with the principal on Facebook.  Rivera claimed to have had a relationship with the principals wife and wrote, “pussy fucken raccon looking ass bitch.”

Never mind the misspelled words the principal identified as Joe Saavedra read the comments and had enough.  He subpoenaed records from Facebook and the internet provider Comcast.  That lead him to his former student.

Rivera was arrested and charged with online harassment.  He’s now facing 10 years in prison with a $5,000 bond.

That’s quite a price to pay for an alleged prank on Facebook.  Remember charges are only allegations until proven in court!


LA TIMES: Chris Brown issued an apology of sorts for his backstage outburst Tuesday at “Good Morning America” after anchor Robin Roberts questioned him during an interview about the continuing aftermath of his assault two years ago of former girlfriend Rihanna.

In an appearance on BET’s “106th & Park,” Brown said he was sorry if he startled anyone at ABC with his behavior, adding that he was “disappointed” in his actions. He said he was “thrown off” by Roberts’ questions about Rihanna when he thought he was there only to promote his new album.

He said he felt deceived and that the producers primarily wanted “to exploit me” whereas he wanted to focus on the “positivity and creativity” of the album. He later “let off steam” in the back, noting that he didn’t physically attack anyone.

A “Good Morning America” representative said Brown trashed a dressing room and broke a window.
Brown said he had heard fans had sent threats to Roberts and advised them to be more positive.