Archive for September, 2009

If your one of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of companies that use AIT for web and email hosting then your probably not very happy today. Appears they are down and I mean really down and have been for hours. I was able to pull the following notice off of Google Cache which was at least some information on the issue since you cannot even load AIT’s own servers meaning they don’t have their own product setup in a redundant manner:

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By redundant it’s my take that any company of any major size or that runs a critical 247 business should always have their servers setup in multiple locations across the country so that any single facility failure does not result in a system wide failure. In this case without knowing exactly what has happened I can say that AIT should have been able to at the very least change where their records point so a server in California could come up, explain the problem and show they are alive and kicking.

If your not sure if your an AIT customer as they work through resellers you can go to Network Solutions and enter your domain and if your hosted on AIT you will see some reference to that in the Name Server or other records. As of this writing I know this has taken down at least six businesses in the Winston-Salem area many of which rely on email for business.

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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against Winston-Salem based PACE Airlines. The suit contends Chau Nguyen, an Asian flight attendant, was fired after she complained that only “white” workers were being promoted. The case goes back three years to the prior ownership of Robert Brooks of Hooters fame and the days of Hooters Air. It what can only been seen as piling on the EEOC has been trying to resolve the case for years and filed the suit only after William Rodgers arrest on Felony charges yesterday for failing to make employee insurance payments or provide the required 45 days notice of insurance termination.

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The writing was pretty much on the wall for this one. N.C. Department of Insurance charged William Charges Rodgers with failing to make insurance payments for employee insurance coverage saying he knowingly terminated his group health insurance without providing the required 45-day notice to his 337 employees. William Rodgers is CEO of Winston-Salem’s PACE Airlines which he bought several months back. NCDOI news release (see below) states Rodgers was arrested at PTIA this afternoon although they did not say if he was coming or going from the airport however WRAL in Raleigh reports Rodgers had just arrived at PTIA.

An informational meeting for Pace employees has been scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. More information can be found at the NCDOI’s Web site.

Stuart Carnie was quoted as saying, “The wrong man is in handcuffs. The previous owners of Pace did not pay the premiums, we paid the past three months insurance premiums to Blue Cross-Blue Shield. We just wrote a check last week for $223,000." You may remember the name Stuart Carnie as he is the PACE Executive that had his vehicle broken into and a GPS stolen which Rodgers citied as one of the reasons he was suspending operations, to protect his employees from violence.

PACE Airlines is past due on it’s lease agreements with Smith Reynolds, behind in FAA fees and has as much as $20 million in outstanding bills many of which date back to before Rodgers bought the troubled outfit. Recently they lost their maintenance contract with Continental Airlines with the rumor being Continental was concerned with the financials and the possibility of getting equipment stuck in the mix or plans stranded at Smith Reynolds Airport.

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Reports have surfaced that a “closed door” meeting was held on Friday in which all parties were to finalize everything on the mud bowel, I mean Stadium. At a reported meeting held at Womble Carlyle the final touches were put in place for what is now a $48.7 million dollar stadium project. If all parties agree and the banks sign off the city will be ready to announce on Monday the deal is done and construction will resume.

Of course we don’t know who was at this meeting, who the investors are and what deals are being struck as the Mayor has kept all these meeting closed and private. This is very likely a violation of North Caroline Sunshine Laws which are there to protect the openness of Government. There are exceptions to when a meeting may be closed to the public however considering this is a known transaction and there are no secrets as to the design plans and property assessments it would be this layman’s call that there is no legal right to be holding these meetings behind closed doors. Even if they are refusing to admit the public or the press the law is still very clear that the minutes of such a meeting must be kept and I have personally requested the Winston-Salem Journal to step up and do what’s right for the public and make a request for those minutes. Granted any citizen could make such a request but I think we all know how far the average citizen would get compared to The Journal or one of the local stations. If anyone has a direct line to one of the local stations I urge you to make the same request to them.

What we do know is the deal involves at least four banks and dozens of private investors who have put in at least $50,000.00 each. What we don’t know is who those investors are and what terms they are getting. We know the city has taken out at least another $12.7 million loan but we don’t know what guarantees the city has on ever collecting on their investment. We also know that Prim and Filipowski were the original partners but due to a falling out and messy divorce we don’t know any of the terms or agreements in place between the former partners or Veronica Filipowski. Basically the public has been kept completely in the dark on a deal which is using public money, public tax incentives, public federal money, and so on and so on. Are you seeing a trend here?

Your “public” Government at work.

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In this day and age it amazes me how often people forget that once you put something online it’s out there for life.

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Mayor Allen Joines was in Raleigh and apparently ran a red light and hit a bus on Thursday. According to the Police report Mayor Joines ran a stoplight on South Dawson Street striking the bus in the drivers side rear quarter. Mayor Joines suffered a broken wrist and was treated at the scene along with riders of the bus.

Hope the city carries a good insurance policy.

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In 1999 Mc­Kinsey & Company was commissioned to study the Winston-Salem area and report how the area stacks up against similar cities as well as what objectives need to be met in order for future growth. Of course this was at the start of the Winston-Salem Alliance and it’s hiring of Allen Joines whose prior job at the time was Winston-Salem’s Assistant City Manager for Economic Development not to mention being a director for both Downtown Development Corp. and Winston-Salem Business Inc. The follow up on that report coming ten years later will show not only has Winston-Salem not met goals but is falling behind other cities of similar size and background.

According to Don Flow the new report will say Winston-Salem has fallen behind in three areas, per-capita income, population growth and quality of life. So here we are ten years later, the same business leaders running all the same clichés, The Chamber, The Winston-Salem Alliance with Allen Joines taking over the Mayor’s office yet the report will say nothing had changed for the better, in fact it’s worse. Of course we have Dell now, oh yeah they have yet to meet their hiring goals and laid off hundreds. Oh wait we have a $24, no scratch that $42 million dollar stadium, oh wait scratch that, make that a $42 million dollar incomplete mud bowel. But we have Fedex, oh wait they not hiring as expected either. Well darn there is of course a growing airline service company at Smith Reynolds, oh I forgot PACE Airlines just shut it doors.Well that’s ok because we have United Guaranty, oh I guess I forgot again as they laid off how many so far?

So let’s see, ten years later, same business leaders running the same groups and a Mayor running unopposed. Sounds like Same Song and I expect the Same Dance from these “leaders”. I guess the only change this time around will be there won’t be a Bud Baker to say he doesn’t think the Winston-Salem Alliance would be around in 3-5 years.

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AS the saying goes, "if it sounds to good…”, well it does of course. This is another online scam this time offering a job with Google without every leaving your home. The kits cost anywhere from $1.95-2.95 on these various sites that are popping up and once they have your account into they start billing you $70 a month. These offers have come across from email to Twitter links and the sites can appear very legit. If you see anything like this just hit DELETE!

Google has now opened it’s doors and will be hiring everyday people to work from the comfort of their own homes posting links. The way this works is Google will allow people to signup and receive a package which will contain all the step by step instructions to get setup from home.

This will allow Google to hire talent in places like Canada that would otherwise be unreachable and compensate them based on results on a long term basis.

What you need: A Computer, an Internet Connection and the desire to make a living working from home. No special skills are required other than knowing how to use a computer and navigate the internet.

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