Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday Countdown to 2014!!

Doing a COP 24/7 Yearly 360

What a hell of a year 2013 has been and continues to bang out breaking news and such until its final bow at 11:59 tonight. Where has all the time gone and just how can this forum really recall all the lowlights and highlights that may have made the cut on our platforms. However, as tradition would have it, COP 24/7 will do a "360" in its effort to pick a few headlines that signified "what was really going on."

The Vote: President Barrack Obama was re-elected to a second term to continue to build on his
legacy to guide the nation to being a better union. However, this long and winding road has been wrought with defying obstruction from Republican opponents to "anything favored" by Obama. Yet through the morass of a do nothing Congress, the President has been ardent force since his first term with the National HIV AIDS Strategy, appointing LGBTQ members to administration post and now his signature legislation the Affordable Care Act. As of 12/24/13 up to 1 Million people have signed up for coverage. Just so you know it is reported that at least 48 Million people do not have healthcare insurance. Its not been perfect, but his vision has been laser focused on increasing social justice for all.

Marriage Equality:
Commonly mentioned as "gay marriage," this issue morphed into "Marriage Equality" which found itself surging among the masses with surprising outcomes. The vote heard around the world was the Supreme Courts striking of the Defense of Marriage Act that set in motion a flurry of legal actions across the nation.

Including a recent move by Kendall and Julia Wright of White County whom filed a July 2013 lawsuit challenging Arkansas' own ban on such marriages. Cheryl Maples, attorney for Kendall and Julia Wright, has said she filed the lawsuit in circuit court, rather than federal court, because she think it stands a better chance of being successful there.

Currently the motion is under consideration of Judge Piazza. Meanwhile there were also other actions from groups Arkansans for Equality seeking a ballot repeal and Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality that would amend the states constitution.

To date 19 states have moved forward with the matter with Massachusetts in 2003 which among the first and most recently Utah that have either affirmed the issue or awaiting court decisions.

Community Wide: This category is a full one which will not catch all that happened but certainly note some highlights. In June Gay Pride activities entitled Our Diversity 2013 took to downtown with a day long festival like event featuring local organizations such as The Living Affected Corporation (www.livingaffected.com) , entertainers and supporters. Unfortunately Mother Nature had her way with a torrential rain storm that sent organizers into a "plan B" mode while securing participants safety and determining how to move forward with planned activities.

The city also hosted its first Annual Gay Pride Parade that snaked it's way into the River Market area to awaiting crowds. Numerous other community based organizations such as Center for Artistic
Revolution (www.artisticrevoltion.org ) provided exciting programming ranging from its Summit on LGBTQ Health to a gala celebration of Bayard Rustin held at the Mosaic Templars Museum in November.

And of course their was pageantry galore with all manner of crowns and sashes being passed out to the best of the both female and male impersonators plus lots of award winning Renegades for a Cause fundraising that served many entities.

Congrats to all who competed and their sponsor/supporters who shelled out some big bucks to make it so. Also big shout out to the emerging Arkansas Leather Alliance as it plans to host the first ever Mr. Leather Arkansas contest, June 20-22,2014 as culmination of Gay Pride Week. The event will also hosted by Mr. Michael Kaplan,  Mr. Heartland Leather 2014 and Team Friendly promoter.(pictured right)

HIV/AIDS: The Arkansas HIV Planning Group continued its collaboration with the Arkansas
Department of Health's HIV/ Hep C section in an effort to move forward with Arkansas' Jurisdictional Plan.
 At the group's helm is this forum's Executive Producer, Cornelius Mabin whom was elected in 2012 and reaffirmed in the leadership capacity through 2014. Other changes departmental changes for 2013 was the arrival of new Section Chief, Ralph Wilmoth. Since taking the position in June he has moved to garner a greater understanding of issues and challenges that have plagued ADH's effectiveness and credibility in addressing HIV and AIDS in Arkansas. HIV Arkansas also continued to serve its membership base in Northwest Arkansas and Jefferson

Kicking It in the City: On the bar scene, even though the there was a revolving door of managers at Miss Kitty's, the venue broke new ground with dinner theatre, comedians, assorted shows and a dizzying array of promotions. A nerve was struck with the departure of former manager L. Henley as he and crew staged a munity of sorts as they "walked," in support of allegations that are still raw in come circles. COP 24/7 alluded to this "kitty cat" fight in an earlier post and has learned additional details that we will muse on about later this week.

The 7th street area also saw additional changes late 2013 with the "re-launch" of The New 610, in an effort to revive the venue to its past luster. Now managed by a syndicate of owners, the bar added short order food items and beer on tap, which they cited as demanded by its clientele. Reviews have been stellar from those who have decided to make this haunt a destination stop for the socializing

On the north shore, TRAX's continued as a staple for die heart supporters although amidst catcalls and ballyhoo's of constant personnel changes, inventory shortfalls and assorted missteps that keeps supporters wondering out loud, WTF! and then some.

Late 2013 ushered in a "soft opening" of CHAPS ( 2619 Pike Avenue) as another alternative venue for local seeking  what's been haphazardly described as a"muscular" vibe joint. However, other sources have described the place as a "dive," it appears to COP 24/7 as a place that could get some traction with the right attractions. Currently this venture as well as its sister entities are now under the management of Mr. Brandon Allen. Stay tuned for more updates on this outpost and other developments on the nightlife scene in 2014.

And there you have it, but not all of it as 2013 becomes a faded memory. COP 24/7 has done its best in covering the community highs and lows, not to mention staying on point with updates, observations, links, video and so much more. With 2014 just hours away, I hope that each of you will find peace, prosperity and maybe even a partner in 2014.

 If you have not subscribed, then do so and please tell your friends. You can catch us on your mobile devices, RSS feeds, email or either by bookmarking the site. Don't forget to check out our advertisers and affiliate partners. Plus if you want to contribute the production of this site, let us know and we can make that connection.  Got some creative talent to share?, hit us up in our comment section to let us know how we can make that take off. And by all means, come on back because we know that we are giving you more of what you are looking for!

No comments: