|We all live in his dream: it turned out to be a nightmare|
The Transportation Security Administration identifies many, many official threats to our skies, from contact lens solution to gel shoe inserts to throwing stars. Even in the wake of the "Underwear Bomber," though, boxer shorts have been considered generally safe — unless, that is, as New Mexico safety Deshon Marman discovered Wednesday at San Francisco International Airport, airline personnel can see a little bit too much of them:
On Wednesday, San Francisco police got a call about 9 a.m. that someone was exposing himself outside a US Airways gate, Sgt. Michael Rodriguez said.
An airline employee spotted Marman before he boarded Flight 488, bound for Albuquerque, and complained that Marman's pants "were below his buttocks but above the knees, and that much of his boxer shorts were exposed," Rodriguez said.
The employee asked Marman to pull up his pants before he boarded the plane, but he refused, Rodriguez said. Marman allegedly repeated his refusal after taking his seat on the plane.
"At that point he was asked to leave the plane," Rodriguez said. "It took 15 to 20 minutes of talking to get him to leave the plane, and he was arrested for trespassing." Marman allegedly resisted officers as he was being led away.
Rodriguez told a local TV station that the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Marman, 20, "was not threatening anybody directly," but the airline's dress code forbids "indecent exposure or inappropriate" attire, and "being disruptive" in any fashion once on the plane may interfere with the crew. He was charged with trespassing, battery and resisting arrest, and was being held on $11,000 bail ahead of a scheduled arraignment Thursday afternoon.
Marman's mother told the San Francisco Chronicle that her son was in "an emotionally raw state" after attending the funeral of a recently murdered high school friend on Tuesday, and was targeted by authorities "because of the way he looks - young black man with dreads and baggy pants." She also said that Marman, an incoming juco transfer to New Mexico from the City College of San Francisco, hoped to honor his friend's memory by making it to the NFL. She called him "a good kid trying to make it, and he's going through a lot. And then this happens." For what it's worth, his official New Mexico bio describes Marman as a "true leader with a winning mentality."
Ed Schultz said he is worried about right-wing rhetoric after playing a clip of a talk show host calling for the streets of Atlanta to be "littered" with "dead thugs."
Speaking on his Wednesday show, Schultz challenged conservative talk show host Neal Boortz to appear on his MSNBC show and defend controversial comments he made about Atlanta on Monday:
BOORTZ: We got too damn many urban thugs, yo, ruining the quality of life for everybody. And I'll tell you what it's gonna take. You people, you are - you need to have a gun. You need to have training. You need to know how to use that gun. You need to get a permit to carry that gun. And you do in fact need to carry that gun and we need to see some dead thugs littering the landscape in Atlanta.
"There's something very ugly and dangerous going on in this country," Schultz said. "Right wing talk show hosts seem to be amping up racist and reckless rhetoric like never before ... the level of racist and violent rhetoric on hard-right wing radio today is off the charts."
He said that, in his opinion, Boortz "just advocated murder in the streets of Atlanta," and guessed that "Neal wasn't thinking of white thugs." Schultz also called Boortz "reckless, stupid and a racist."
Richard Janikowski and Phyllis Betts don't look as if they're inclined to stir up trouble.
He is tall, a sharp dresser who laughs easily. She is short and motherly. They live in suburban Countrywood with two dogs and three cats.
Yet stir up trouble the couple did when a long article in the July/August issue of The Atlantic -- "American Murder Mystery" by Hanna Rosin -- brought to national attention their theory that shifting patterns of crime in Memphis can be linked to or at least run parallel with the demolition of old public housing in inner-city neighborhoods -- Lamar Terrace and Dixie Homes, Hurt Village and LeMoyne Gardens, Lauderdale Courts and Fowler Homes -- and the transfer of former inhabitants to new neighborhoods on Section 8 vouchers.
In other words, crime follows poverty wherever it goes.
"Well, that's a bit of a simplification," said Janikowski, associate professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Memphis and director of the Center for Community Criminology and Research, "though that's the way our studies have been interpreted. Crime and poverty are inextricably linked, there's no question, but it's not that poverty causes crime. Poverty creates a contact point that exacerbates all sorts of stresses on people. It's not that there's any one cause. It's a confluence of stresses."
The 2010 census makes it clear that there is a modern-day migration underway, as black families leave Atlanta and relocate to the suburbs.
But contrary to what a lot of people thought, it's not the displaced poor who are behind those numbers.
During the last decade, the city's urban landscape underwent a profound metamorphosis, as the public housing projects were demolished one-by-one. In many cases, new upscale developments replaced what were basically dangerous crime factories.
But in order to do that, thousands of residents had to be uprooted and displaced.
The conventional wisdom was that they left the city and went to suburban communities like Clayton, Cobb, and Gwinnett counties, all of which saw large population spikes among African-American residents.
But researchers say that's a myth, quite literally an urban legend. Because most of the former public housing tenants stayed in Atlanta.
"80 to 85 percent of the people in our study moved within the city limits," said Georgia State University sociology professor Deirdre Oakley. "And typically they moved within three miles. That's the average moving distance from their public housing homes. So we didn't find very many at all that moved outside the city of Atlanta
Professor Oakley says the reason people stayed put is simple: Public transportation.
Most relocated near MARTA lines.
While some of the displaced residents returned to the new and improved developments, many more simply took their vouchers from the Atlanta Housing Authority and relocated to other places. Typically these were still poor communities, but respondents to the survey felt the neighborhoods also had less crime and fostered less fear.
After a rash of violent episodes, including the beating of a Forest Park High School teacher by three students, school officials implemented precautions, such as random use of metal detectors in the system’s high schools, searches by drug-and-gun-sniffing dogs and new dress codes that ban baggy, oversized pants. Police presence had to be increased at football games after several shooting incidents last fall. A teenager was charged when two men were shot after a Riverdale-Lithonia football game in September. A month earlier, two people were shots after a game in the Morrow High School parking lot. Finally, the system as a whole did not meet “adequate yearly progress” as required by No Child Left Behind.
Riverdale is Georgia's most affordable housing market, according to a new Coldwell Banker Real Estate's 2011 Home Listing Report.
The report, released Wednesday, looks at the average listing price of a four-bedroom, two-bath home in 2,300 North American markets between September 2010 and March. The survey examined 97 real estate markets in Georgia and found Riverdale, with an average listing of $61,618, was the most affordable. Dunwoody is the state's most expensive market, with an average listing of $379,866. Nationally, a four-bed, two-bath home averaged $293,251, well above the Georgia average of $180,373.
Nationally, Riverdale's housing market was second only to tourist magnet Niagara Falls, N.Y. where the average list price was $60,820. Two other Georgia cities made Coldwell's top 10 list of most affordable U.S. markets: College Park was fourth ($72,477) and Lithonia was eighth ($77,385). The report noted that all three cities are within a 20-mile commute of Atlanta, which had an average list price of $255,000