It’s Miller time at DMR!

I’ll be honest and say I was not disappointed but there is little Gov Phil can do to disappoint me more than he already has during his term as Gov. So along those lines I did not feel any particular rush to roll anything out on new DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller, who was confirmed to that position earlier today by the Mississippi Senate.

If there is a silver lining here it is that the gang is listening and Miller promises to have the DMR Audited every year along with the standard Mississippi state government throwaway lines of being transparent and accountable.  We’ll see.

Meantime Miller is a tweep of Slabbed New Media and likely reads us closely, so if there is anything you guys want to say I feel sure he is listening. For my part Miller’s close connections to Team Palazzo makes me dubious, especially since our fluffer Congressman’s daddy benefited from the friends and family program and the Palazzo family seems the type to loot whatever is not nailed down from the treasury. Along those lines if Miller wants to walk the walk of transparency he should immediately release the names of the politically connected land owners that were bought out with CIAP funds along with the amounts paid for the land.

Let’s chat about all these untimely DMR passings…….

I woke up this morning to a plethora of commentary on all the people connected to DMR that have died since the scandal broke late last Summer and was somewhat stunned by it.  It appears all the interested parties are gathered here in the Slabbed internet community. It is an awesome responsibility due to the delicacy of the subject matter and having crossed this bridge once here on Slabbed last year it is one I do not take lightly.

Slabbed has heard from several sources that Phil Bass took his own life.  His name has previously appeared on these pages in connection with his close connection to former DMR Executive Director Bill Walker.  Walker is currently at the epicenter of a federal grand jury investigation into wrongdoing at Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. There is much speculation out there in the community that Bass’ untimely death is related. The rampant speculation about both Bass and Jessica Upshaw exists because transparency is still a foreign concept at the DMR.

From reading the commentary on Slabbed, it appears some of the relatives of the deceased still have unanswered questions.  Perhaps in time with a bit of luck, those questions will be answered.

Those interested in Mr Bass’ funeral arrangements should click here.  His obituary via the Clarion Ledger appears here.

Welp, I just got a bat signal that explained all the recent Phil Bass site searches here on Slabbed

At this point I really do not want to believe what I just read but I have no reason to doubt its veracity.  I’m looking for confirmation in comments or via email. Thanks.

The Sun Herald calls for the resignation of the entire Commission of Marine Resources

We have seen and heard enough. It’s painfully clear the Commission on Marine Resources and the Department of Marine Resources need a clean break from the past and need new leadership.

The crisis of public confidence in the commission and the agency requires a change in both.

We see no one on the commission who is willing to step up and take responsibility for idly standing by during the years of questionable practices and spending. No one to say they, as commissioners, are ultimately responsible for the agency that seems to have misplaced millions of your dollars. Continue Reading………

DMR Scandal Day 122: Sun Herald reports Tina Shumate the catalyst for DMR purchase of former DMR Executive Director’s son’s lot

Anita Lee is a champ as she and Karen Nelson tag team the next installment of as The Land Trust Turns.  In what turns out to be a weird cosmic twist of fate, I too spoke with Melanie Allen with the Land Trust in her capacity as an individual board member not speaking for the Entire Board of Directors or organization. The information she conveyed to me greatly enhanced my understanding of the events surrounding the purchase of Scott Walker’s lot by the Land Trust, acting in the role of financial intermediary for DMR at the behest of CIAP Administrator Tina Shumate, also on the Land Trust Board of Directors.  There was one question that Ms Allen could not answer for me but before I get to that I want to emphasize the Land Trust Board is taking this very seriously and have engaged the issues the transaction has brought to the fore.

That said it is also true the same board still contain a cancerous element because the people at the top of the Land Trust have/had financial relationships with DMR. Let’s start with the comment I just left on Anita’s story:

Absolutely these financial relationships were ignored in their decision making. The majority of the board allowed themselves to be led down the primrose path by people with a financial stake at DMR. And there is no doubt they had to know the connection between the seller and DMR.

The question they should have asked themselves is, if the money were not being provided to do this deal, would we buy this parcel over the lot next door that was still relatively pristine? The money being provided to make the deal work was a red flag.

And that perception dates back to the fact set I highlighted back on day 99:

A reader that knows the lay of the land at the Land Trust sent me a few of the connections to Walker on the Land Trust’s Board of Directors as the reasons for the organization conspiring with Walker to allegedly perpetrate a crime comes into sharper focus:

Laura Bowie – Board President; works in an office in the DMR Bolton building at the pleasure of Bill Walker. She is paid by a different group.

In that same office is one of Bill’s long time best friends Phil Bass. Bass retired from the state and went to work for the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program. He is on loan from them.

John Bowie – Advisory Committee member, Laura’s husband. Works for the EPA.

Grant Larson – worked for Tina Shumate at the DMR

William Corky Perrett – worked for Bill at the DMR

On Corky Perret, Anita explains the relationship: Continue reading “DMR Scandal Day 122: Sun Herald reports Tina Shumate the catalyst for DMR purchase of former DMR Executive Director’s son’s lot”

Chaos theoria adhiberetur: Vehuntur Ursus

“Primus homo per parietem semper est cruentatus … semper”

The above is a rough translation of the subject header on a congratulatory email I received on December 19, 2012 from a successful, highly respected trial lawyer. I think most everyone reading this recalls the events of that day. For the lawyer that wrote me, making US legal history prevailing in the first decision of its kind in the Nation was meaningful. The decision under the US Speech Act even made the news on several new media outlets in two countries along with a Canadian newspaper but nary was heard any word from the local main stream media.

But this trial lawyer was talking about more than just my court victory because the guy is a consummate thinker/technology visionary. By harnessing the power of this medium called the internet I’ve lost track of how many high achieving high quality individuals I’ve met, first on the Yahoo Fiance Boards and later through my 5 years plus doing Slabbed.  Occasionally, we’re even blessed such people stop in with us and comment, sharing their rich life experiences with the community.  There is a magic here that is undeniable, in large part due to a diverse community of sincere commenters that are mostly what Sly termed “everyday people” back in the day.  Somehow, in today’s day and age when media outlets are branded as conservative or liberal, Slabbed manages to attract (and occasionally piss off) both demographics but since we’re equal opportunity muckrakers no one seems to hold it against us for long.

I mention all this because my post yesterday discussing attribution got a response from Gordon Russell.  We agreed that it was worth sharing since some of ya’ll may make like The boy named Sue and come away with a different point of view since we were hard on NOLA Media Group yesterday.  It also gives me a chance to remind everyone commenting here that people are paying attention and by people I mean the high end demographic that forms the majority of the readership, along with various and sundry Goatherders.  As I told Nowdy back in 2007 the key to difference making wasn’t the quantity of readers, rather their quality. Yesterday’s email chat with Gordon, in light of a few links that were left on the post I did make it a good time to tackle the general subject of the secular change occurring in the media industry, which has been an occasional topic here since since the advent of the “Sometimes Picayune”.

Yesterday Steve and Whitmergate nailed it in comments and understood the connection I was making involving what most people would consider obscure applied mathematics. Let’s start with ‘Gate:

Power, sex, politics, money, corruption, death … fractals all– complex, universal and chaotic

And what do fractals have to do with Chaos Theory? The link ‘Gate left explains it far better than Wiki:

Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on. These phenomena are often described by fractal mathematics, which captures the infinite complexity of nature. Many natural objects exhibit fractal properties, including landscapes, clouds, trees, organs, rivers etc, and many of the systems in which we live exhibit complex, chaotic behavior. Recognizing the chaotic, fractal nature of our world can give us new insight, power, and wisdom. For example, by understanding the complex, chaotic dynamics of the atmosphere, a balloon pilot can “steer” a balloon to a desired location. By understanding that our ecosystems, our social systems, and our economic systems are interconnected, we can hope to avoid actions which may end up being detrimental to our long-term well-being.

Do these concepts apply to Slabbed? How about other blogs and forums? Do they apply to the media as a whole? Absolutely. In fact during our days covering the post Katrina wind-water insurance litigation we applied those and other concepts to organizations like insurance companies, which in turn attracted a group of high quality nationally known trial lawyers along with the creme of the local bar both here on the coast and Louisiana to this blog. There is a method to the madness publishing Slabbed. So with all this in mind here is the story behind the story: Continue reading “Chaos theoria adhiberetur: Vehuntur Ursus”

Ask not what your community can do for you…………

Ask what you can do for your community…..

It is important because the work of these appointees is important. They oversee a vast array of public assets and activities — from airports to libraries to schools, from occupational licenses to historic preservation. They are almost all volunteers, most of whom serve without pay.

But that does not mean they should serve without scrutiny. The best place for that to start is when they are first nominated, but it must not end there.

Again, these are for the most part civic-minded individuals who are volunteering their time and talent, and we greatly appreciate their willingness to serve.

But serve they must.

Over two weeks ago the Sun Herald received over 22,000 pages of public records on DMR. Been awfully quiet since except for a hiccup or two. When a muckraker is quiet it means they are to something. And today we get an editorial that uses the Ocean Springs School Board as a backdrop.  It’s application applies across the entirety of the scandal.

So I get this feeling…….