Posts Tagged ‘Ross Reily’

Doiron prepares for flooding with new event

May 5th, 2011 Comments off
Runners take off at the beginning of a recent Cotton Classic 10K road race in Greenville, including a much bigger and slower me on the far right.

Runners take off at the beginning of a recent Cotton Classic 10K road race in Greenville, including a much bigger and slower me on the far right.

I was chatting with my buddy, Phillip Doiron, this morning via text.

Phillip is the CEO if the Hodding Carter Memorial YMCA in Greenville, and we have been friends for several years dating to my tenure as editor of the Delta Democrat Times.

Phillip Doiron, CEO of the Hodding Carter Memorial YMCA in Greenville.

Phillip Doiron, CEO of the Hodding Carter Memorial YMCA in Greenville.

••• Learn more about the Cotton Classic 10K in Greenville…

Anyway, I was texting him this morning to give him a hard time about one of his biggest events of the year, the Cotton Classic 10K road race.

I missed last year’s event and have felt bad about it. So, this year is a must. This Saturday is a must.

But word from MDOT is that U.S. 61 is going to be closed due to flooding as are parts of U.S. 49W, the two main routes to Greenville from Jackson.

I asked him if I am going to be able to make it Friday night. After a couple of serious comments back and forth, Phillip suggested I might need to bring a swim suit with me for the event.

Sure, I said. Maybe we can make it a biathlon.

“Amen brother,” Phillip replied.

Amen, indeed.

Media: We are easy targets

October 11th, 2010 Comments off

Somewhere along the line, it’s lost that I am a member of the media. Either that or the e-mail lists I wind up on are meant to send a message.

In actuality, I suspect, neither is the case. But I get a chuckle out of the stuff that gets sent around with particular venom and general mean spirit about the media.

We in the media, according to most of the e-mails, are anti-America, anti-military, anti-business, anti-family … basically, just “anti.”

One I got not so long ago referenced the death of a Medal of Honor winner, who lived in Boise, Idaho.
The e-mail goes into great detail about his experience in Ia Drang Valley during the Vietnam War.
Ed Freeman, against orders, flew his helicopter into a firefight to save pinned-down infantrymen. Actually, he went back and forth 13 times for men that would have perished otherwise.
Then, the kicker … “I bet you didn’t hear about this hero’s passing in the media.”

But the e-mailer was sure we had all seen lots of reports of celebrity antics and brushes with the law.
The final line read, “Shame on the American Media!”

Lazy and presumptive

Well, this kind of stuff drives me crazy. So, I immediately began to look up Mr. Freeman with this new, fancy technological tool, called “Google.”

After exhaustive research of the woeful American media archives, and with my (media-hat-wearing) head hung low, I responded to the e-mail:

Just a quick search shows that the media did a fine job in covering this story, below are three stories that I found. I am sure there are more, including local television and radio, which I did not look for.
Even a Mississippi post office may be named after this war hero, I read in a newspaper account.
I believe people are too quick to jump on the media. If folks will take about three seconds to look for it, generally you will find that the media has done its job.

And yes, this is a great story about a great American that served his country well, and I am glad the media did a good job in reporting it. Best, Ross.

I included several links to the stories. Three seconds. That’s all it took.

I know the media is an easy target and sometimes rightfully so as Howard Kurtz pointed out in his book “Media Circus: The Trouble with America’s Newspapers.”

Kurtz, the long-time Washington Post media critic, who last week jumped to the web’s “Daily Beast,” points out a bias toward bad news, and an emphasis on scandal.

But, by and large, the media — the middle-of-the-road media — does it right most of the time.
While we might not like everything we read or see, the media serves a great purpose in our society, which we would miss dearly were it not available in an objective form. I only hope we at the MBJ can live up to the other great journalism being practiced in every form of the profession.

Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at or (601) 364-1018.

Riverwalk a project we can’t afford to skimp on

March 25th, 2010 Comments off

When Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson gets the keys to the car that is the Jackson Riverwalk, be sure it is him that will decide whether that car is a Rolls Royce or a Yugo.
In a story in this edition of the Mississippi Business Journal, staff writer Clay Chandler talks with Jackson developer David Watkins who came up with the ambitious project that would feature a mile-long, concrete-lined canal that starts at Farish Street and ends at Court Street, where it would empty into a 35-acre lake that connected to the Pearl River.
Watkins, who developed the renovated Hotel King Edward and who is currently renovating the Standard Life Building, said then he hoped to turn the project over to the City of Jackson and its redevelopment authority within 30 days, which would have been the middle part of January, which still hasn’t happened.
But, Watkins says he is ready to hand the project over to the city and he believes something will be happening with it in the next five years — even saying the project could be near completion.
Wait a minute. Is this just a pie-in-the-sky notion that will never happen?
That’s what a lot of folks said when Watkins rescued the King Edward Hotel.
That’s what a lot of folks said when he got involved in the Standard Life Building.
Far be it for me to call David Watkins a hero, but the man has a track record of making the unthinkable happen.
You won’t read words in these pages that doubt David Watkins.
If his vision can be seen through to the end, the face of Jackson will be changed forever.
If Mayor Johnson can find a way to make this happen, he will be viewed as the mayor who put Jackson on par with some of the great small cities in America.
In our story this week, Clay Chandler writes about the financial burden that Jackson has. The city, as he points out, is in the middle of a nosedive in tax collections that have forced leaders to make some politically unpopular decisions and is just starting to cause some workers at multiple levels of government to lose their jobs.
And the city’s involvement in the $300-million project is nonnegotiable, Watkins told the MBJ, because there will have to be public financing, probably in the form of bonds, to pull it off.
But this is the project that Johnson cannot afford to pass on. This is the game changer.
This project, if done correctly, will turn the tide on “white flight” and make Jackson a destination for everyone in Mississippi as well as so many others throughout the Southeast and across the nation.
Good luck, Mayor Johnson. The keys are in your hands.

Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at or (601) 364-1018.