Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kunta Kinte Festival

After suffering the ultimate embarrassment last post by initially stating that a bill had passed when it really failed, I phoned the city clerk to verify the passage of O-24-08 on Monday night, an ordinance that authorized the lease of the city dock for the 2008 Kunta Kinte Festival.

The public hearing for the bill was the same night as the final vote, which means that the bill's passage was a foregone circumstance. Somebody decided that it was necessary, and I promise you that anything short of a riot would not have prevented this bill from passing. You will have to believe me when I tell you this, but the use of the dock was advertised on the festival's web site before this lease was even proposed.

The theme of this post is "Downtown businesses get screwed because the Kunta Kinte Festival needs money". The festival is to take place between 11 am and 7 pm on Saturday September 27, which are probably the busiest 8 tourist hours of the entire year for downtown Annapolis. The Festival will occupy the Dock from the visitor center down to the water, as well as the seating area where the dinghies are docked and the seating area next to the market house. The cost of renting these spaces: $1. At least the Festival has to pay for the fire, police, and public works, right? Only if they make enough money! The lease reads:
...that Lessee shall assume any and all financial responsibility for any such
other services that may be required by Lessor. However, if the Director of
Finance is satisfied that the payment of charges would result in expenses
exceeding revenue the Director shall waive such part of the charges as may be
necessary to prevent expenses exceeding revenue for the event.

For any of you familiar with business, or life, you will know that this sweetheart lease does not exist. In fact, Mrs. Politics asked to move in with me and I told her I would need 3 months' rent up front.

So, is the Festival going to make money? No. The 2006 event was short about a quarter of its $90,000 cost for the event. How the event costs $90,000 is beyond me, as they charge an admission fee as well as fees in the hundreds of dollars for both vendors and exhibitors.

I've never been to the Kunta Kinte Festival. I'm sure it's a good time. I'm sure it's educational. The trade off is that the city has to subsidize the event, and local business suffer heavily on what would otherwise be one of their busiest days of the year, as downtown patrons eat food from outside vendors and take up the space that would be utilized by businesses downtown. If downtown businesses want to compete, they must submit an application to be a vendor and shell out $500 to sell food where they are already allowed to sell food. Does the trade off sound worth it to you?


Republican Democants said...

another reason no many blacks are republicans, no moh free hand outs like this one.

johnson said...

I see White people !!!

Anonymous said...

The rub here is the city accommodating the festival without considerating plans already made by businesses around the dock. Did anyone book a room for a wedding? party? family reunion? If so, they did it before any festival was scheduled.

Most people don't object to public events at the dock as long as the city is compensated for expenses, and everyone knows well in advance. That didn't happen. this was a deal made behind closed doors, with others notified when it was done.
No way to run a government. No way to block off a public facility for special interest use

The Man said...

the problem is those people don't be buying stuff from the businesses downtown, they be lousy tippers and have a tendency to be loud and unruly.

Could they not just have the festival on Clay St. it would enrich the neighborhood and add even more 'color' to that area. Clay St and Kunte---sounds good huh ?

ellis said...

As a resident on Clay Street, I think it would be a wonderful idea to have it down in the neighborhood. However, the Roots memorial is at the docks and I see having the festival down there a much better idea.

Certain areas of Clay St are also very deplorable and within 5 years, all of that public housing is being torn down anyway. Hope VI at work.

Anne Arundel Crime said...

I agree that the City needs to be reimbursed it's costs for police, fire and medic service along with public works and trash removal. I am OK with the $1 lease and waiving of any permits.

But it does smack of a backroom deal (wow, is anyone surprised?)

And Brian---where did you come up with September 27th being THE busiest tourist day of the year? Not saying it is not, but I certainly can think of some others that would make more sense.

Brian Gill said...

The heat of the summer keeps some people away, plus many locals are on vacation at the beach. In September, the weather is nicer, and more people are around.

Some of the other nights that I assume you are talking about (boat show, new year's eve) come with their own vendors so the shops don't necessarily benefit as much.

To answer your question, I pulled the "busiest tourist day" assertion out of thin air, but I'd be it's one of the top 10.

Thomas McWickity said...

God Damn Liberal Guilt is going to ruin everything for the mostly white owned down town businesses. Let the Kunte crown take a risk like all other good red blooded american capitalists. When will those people be satisfied, when we tied ourselves up and stuff ourselves like sardines below decks and sail back to Europe ?

Nest thing you know they are going to want public transportation from Baltimore to Annapolis' city dock

White Liberal Democrat Wuss said...

I don't think there was anything wrong with this lease. Why should a minority run enterprise be expected to sustain itself without help from our caring government. These good folks have been through so much, they deserve special treatment, perhaps for another one hundred or two hundred years, however long it will take them to pick themselves up. I don't think the agreement with the city goes far enough, I think the downtown businesses should have to give up a share of their profits on top of the taxes they already pay and donate that money to the Kunta Kinte Festival, lets make it official.

Minorities deserve the Welfare State we dems are creating for them, they shouldn't have to work or compete they're special and deserve to be treated so. Good work city government, I commend you on your fairness and good judgement in this matter. You have this city on the right track.

As a democrat I'm glad to have provided so much to the african american community, though I can't really bring anything to mind at this time, but I know that we can forever count on their vote no matter what. Thanks again and sorry for what my great great granparents did to your great great grandparents. If you are african american please post your email on this blog and I'll be happy to send you a check. Again, I'm sorry.

White Loving Republican said...

I think we need to give them all 40 acres and a mule as we promised them. Or instead we could give them each a 40 of Colt 45 Malt Liquor. These people may never be able to 'pick themselves up' as they are not adapted yet. Perhaps many of them will never adapt or become totally self sufficient. But as long as we keep the republicans in power, blacks will always have a home in the US military a place where the Socialist Model is alive and doing quite well.

God Bless America.

White Liberal Democrat Wuss said...

I would gladly give up all my freedom and liberty to live the socialist model that is so successful in the military. I want to be told how high to jump, when to eat, when to sleep, when to walk, when to go to the bathroom, and when to wake up. I think the government should take care of everything just like in the military. I mean its created a successful machine of uniform thought and procedure for killing and domination I don't see how that couldn't work for an overall application to a peacful society. Look at the shining examples of North Korea and Cuba, people are risking life and limb to get to those countries. Oh how I wish for the day of a total application of the socialist model. In the meantime I can only dream of those halcyon days.

In the meantime we dems will continue to our part to make america a little bit more socialist program by welfare program. At least thats what we tell minorities for votes. I don't think they've figured out yet that we really don't do anything for them, aside from promise to make their lives easier with welfare program. Lets hope they don't look at history and realize we actually haven't done squat for them. Man do we love those votes though. Keep'em coming folks.

Non-Partisan History Hawk said...

Actually it was the military not the republican administration that made the 40 Acres promise. General Sherman made the promise, and a mule was never mentioned. So your beloved socialist military is to blame, not the republican administration.

While you're demonizing that republican administration please remember it also created and enacted the Emancipation Procla...whats the point you're going to blindly vote for any democrat even though they're just as guilty as not doing anything for minorities, in particular blacks, as most republicans. Do you really think they're looking out for blacks or the poor? They're just pandering to you for a vote, after the dust has settled on the coming election you'll be in the exact same situation as before. The only way blacks are going to make things better is by doing it themselves and not depending on government hand-outs and special treatment. Unfortunately as a people, they've shown little inclination to do this, though there are huge exceptions.

Lonely Black Republican said...

I still see white people, THEY know what is best for us.

RepublicansAreRaciallyDivisive said...

"they've shown little inclination to do this, though there are huge exceptions."

non-partisan history hawk--you are a oxyMoron

Jesus is Saviour said...

All Local republicans should gather together on the day of the Kunte Kinte Extravagana to protest the event as it was arranged.

Be careful though, it could be misinterpreted as a KKK rally.

non-partisan history hawk said...


I'm talking about a people, not either of the american political parties, so actually the example you cited is not partisan at all.
Black doesn't automatically equal Democrat and White doesn't automatically equal White. You are a plain moron.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested to hear from the person who keeps posting the link to the MD Republican Party website why exactly he/she is a democrat?

Also, did you ever think that the reason the Republican Party in Maryland doesn't have a lot of blacks is because the Democrats in this state have done such a good job of bamboozling them for votes time and time again. Yet things haven't gotten any better for blacks. So they keep on voting Democrat again and again...oh yeah keep hitting your head against that wall. Next time things will be different. Just keep telling yourself that.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how some people who decry racism make so many judgements based entirely on race.


I apprecate your desire to print all comments. But, at a certain point such nonsense becomes nothing more than harassment.

Bob McWilliams

Zimbabwe OON dabbi said...

Is it nonsense that all the above people are white ? Or is it something that should be discussed ?

I guess it go without saying that the local republicans do not represent the concerns and interests of the African American Populace.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dabbi obviously forgets who was President, during the Civil War. He is also obviously unaware that that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by Republicans. For that Act, 80% of Republicans in the House voted yes; whereas, only 63% of Democrats supported the bill. In the Senate, 21 Democrat Senators voted against the Civil Rights Act; only 6 Republicans voted no.

If Mr. Dabbi thinks the Dems are such friends of the black population, the why doesn't he visit a few of the public housing units in Annapolis, and ask them what wonderous things the Dem controlled City and State have done for them lately. From what I can see, the Dems are more interested in maintaining dependancy and less concerned about freedom and self-determination.

Mr. Dabbi aparently thinks that the color of someone's skin is the sole determination of one's character. I wish he'd take his racist statements elsewhere. I'm sure Martin Luther King would find his comments highly offensive, as do I.

Mr. Dabbi's "anonymous" cowardace is eclipsed only by his stupidity regarding this subject.

Bob McWilliams

Black Rich Guy with little to no typing ability said...

though we be grateful to our white republican rulers for our liberation that was a long , long time ago, Now republicans are not so kind and gas is no longer 5 cents a gallon.

All republicans are not so racists, but there is a certain good ole boy southern mentality alive and well in our fair city. Alive and Well, my white republican middle class friends . But the trult wealthy in these here parts are not Republicans, they be democrats and they be smarter and less harsh.

God Bless Kunte Kinte

and do forget to support your black own real estate agencies and businesses.,

Power to the People

Brian Gill said...

Hi Bob (and others),

It's not that I want to necessarily print all comments, it's that I don't want to get into editing them. You are correct that some of the comments have crossed the line to harrassment, and I have contacted Blogger/Google for instructions on how to idendify these IP addresses. I did the research, and should somebody so choose, they can sue the IP adress which would compel the owner of the IP address to be unmasked and face any applicable consequences.

If however, the comments are more general, I think they may be useful. For example, the above comment correctly points out the tale of two cities that was recently highlighted in the paper. It also suggests that it is OK to support a business based on the race of the owner. Is is acceptable to support local businesses? Probably. Is it acceptable for a certain race to promote businesses owned by people within that race? Would it be different for black-owned businesses than white-owned businesses. What if I started White Entertainment Television to rival BET?

Interesting questions, even though the comment is obnoxious.

Anonymous said...

Zimbabwe OON dabbi said...

Is it nonsense that all the above people are white ? Or is it something that should be discussed ?

I guess it go without saying that the local republicans do not represent the concerns and interests of the African American Populace.

I guess it goes without saying that blacks blindly vote and support democrats to such a ludicrous degree they ignorantly assume that republicans don't care about them. They don't bother to question whats in the kool-aid before they drink it. Annapolis has been democratically controlled for a while now, Maryland as well, and look what they've done for the black community. Take a hard look and then ask yourself why you vote democrat and refuse to explore your options and what another political party may have to offer. Do a little critical thinking and make up your own mind. Or just keep believing what your being fed and wake up 5-10 years from now with the black community exactly where it is today. The democrats put out a little window dressing in Maryland and blacks fall for it hook, line, and sinker.

The above poster exemplifies this ignorant view. He is going to vote on the fact that there are more faces of color on one web page than another. Don't look at the issues or proposed policies, just look at the faces and make up your mind purely on race, that's a sure path to success, or so Dems would have you believe.

zimbabwe oon dabbi said...

" I did the research, and should somebody so choose, they can sue the IP adress which would compel the owner of the IP address to be unmasked and face any applicable consequences."

Truth is an absolute defense.

Brian Gill said...

very true

ellis said...

Yeah, I'm a white republican. And proud of it. I used to be a very dedicated Democrat but I was tired of being lied to and taxed heavily.

Come to my neighborhood on Clay St to see the GOOD that all of my neighbors and I are doing.

For instance... the last Friday of every month is the Clay Street Supper Club. It's kinda like a potluck dinner. All of us make a dish and then we sit down for a few hours to share amongst each other. We set tables out on the corner of Clay St & West Washington St and take back OUR corner from the drug dealers in a passive-aggressive way. There's only one rule... ya gotta bring food to participate and if you cant, then you can eat "with" us. You can't take the food home to eat.

We've been doing this months with great success and our club is growing. In fact our last supper club involved going door to door in the Clay Street area to promote the Supper Club and to hand out ice cream.

You can find out more about what people like me are doing at Republicans & Democrats... Liberals & Conservatives... Black & White... Old & Young... unifying with a vision of prosperity and safety for one of the poorest areas of Annapolis.

But hey... I'm just a evil self-centered white republican. What do I know about unifying a neighborhood for the better... ;)

Write Power said...

Be careful what you say my Friends. Big brother is watching and can reveal your true identity !!! Of course, I personally care not who you are I am only interested in what you say, and protecting your right to say it. *

* the above is an opinion and not necessarily fact.

Anonymous said...

ellis ,
you are just looking for a good real estate investment with dreams of future gentrification.

Nonetheless, I went to the clay street site and found an announcement for a dialogue on race.

Very cool.

Annapolis does not listen.

ellis said...

I make very little money. I found a house through my "friends on clay st" who encouraged me to purchase it. It also happened to be about 2 blocks from my work & would save me a lot of gas money. I've always wanted to buy a house but could never afford it by myself. I got lucky & found one I could afford by myself. So anyway... I'm here for good & I love my neighborhood. My neighbors are great & the kids are awesome.

Throwing negativity or stereotypes around will not diminish our progress to make a better environment for children to grow up in. I'm very proud of that progress. I'm really excited at how the community has rallied around the progress in the last 2 years.

To anyone who wants to make a postive change & help with the progress my community has already made, you are all more than welcome to join & we would greatly appreciate it. We have many projects going on. Just check out the site I posted above. We encourage having more people involved.

As for the dailogue on race, I'm really excited about that film project. I've helped with it in a minor role. It will be a great opportunity for open dialogue on race issues in Annapolis. In fact, it's one of my favorite projects the community has done so far.

Anonymous said...

Any wonder why there is so much activity and comment (good, bad, awful) on this blog and painfully little reaction to Paul Foer's? No matter what he rags on, there are goose eggs instead of comments.

AP's discussion is dynamic,even with ignorant red herring rants from Paul's natural constituency.

Can't they muddle through the ads and self-promotions and respond to him once in awhile?

zimbabwe oon dabbi said...

Paul Foer makes it too hard to make comments. Brian Gill has the correct idea, no editing, no censoring so secret handshakes.

zimbabwe oon dabbi said...

so secret handshakes ? No secret handshakes.

Anonymous said...