A street sign was unveiled Friday, July 12, honoring legendary photographer and Community Journal contributor Harry Kemp, the “Gordon Parks” of Milwaukee’s Black community. Family members and a number of dignitaries from the city and county, including photographers influenced and inspired by Harry, were on hand for the ceremony, which took place in the middle of King Drive. The sign is located across the street from the Community Journal’s offices (where Kemp contributed a multitude of photos for over 30 years) at the corner of King and sixth street. Standing in front of a Milwaukee County Transit Bus (Harry’s preferred mode of transportation to assignments throughout the community) with a picture of the photographer in the front window are his brother and sisters (left to right) Yvonne Kemp, JoAnne Kemp and William Kemp.
(Christian Science Monitor)
The street shooting Friday morning near New York’s landmark Empire State Building, in which an ex-employee killed his former boss, is a tragic reminder that workplace-related violence remains a consistent, if sporadic, problem – one that more American companies have sought to address by adopting more humane firing policies.
The shooter, who was killed by police officers as he tried to leave the scene, has been identified as Jeffrey Johnson, 58. Authorities say he lost his job with Hazan Imports, which imports budget women’s purses, about a year ago when the company downsized.
Although Mr. Johnson apparently targeted one individual, chaos ensued in the Empire State Building vicinity, a major New York tourist district, as police confronted him and, when he pulled his gun, fired in his direction, killing him. Nine bystanders were wounded, either caught in the line of fire or hit by richoceting bullets.
Most large companies have an established policy for firing workers, says employment expert Chris Lawson, CEO of Eli Daniel Group in Dallas, a staffing company. “The HR department has you come in and sit down, they walk you to your desk, let you get your belongings, and walk out calmly with you,” he says. “We know it’s emotional, and people get blind-sided all the time.”
Smaller companies, he says, often don’t have much expertise with firing employees. “In reality, there are managers across the country who are not properly trained in how to manage the termination process,” he says. “The last thing you want to do is send someone out the door in a fit of rage.”
At this stage of the investigation into Friday’s shooting, it’s not clear why Mr. Johnson shot his former boss, a vice president of sales for Hazan, or why he acted now. A usual motive in such cases, say experts on violence in the workplace, is revenge.
The Villard Avenue Business Improvement District #19 will be holding its free 2012 neighborhood street festival on W. Villard Ave. between N. 35th and N. 38th Streets on Saturday, August 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Alderman Ashanti Hamilton said the family friendly festival has consistently grown in scope and fun since it was founded eight years ago. “The Villard Avenue Day Festival offers great opportunities for family fun, for meeting neighbors, and for connecting with the friendly business owners and organizations which help bring commerce to the area,” he said.
The festival has two stages for live music and other performances, and there is plentiful food, games and prizes as well. This year’s event will feature a first-ever Kids Zone Play Area.
Fore more information about the festival, please contact Gracelyn Wilson at 414-444-8204.
(Photo caption: The new jewel along Villard Avenue, Villard Square as viewed from the avenue.–Photo taken from Celsus: A Library Architecture Resource website)
Question of the week: “Lately we have had several young children hit by automobiles while trying to cross the street, resulting in serious injury and even death. What do you think can be done about this?”
Photos and question by Yvonne Kemp
Camille French: “Crossing guards can be placed in more locations and neighborhood watches should be more alert.”
Desmond Jenkins: “Because of the type of drivers we have today, we have to train our kids the most basic rules (for safely crossing the street): cross at the corner; look both ways; utilize walk signals. This is definitely a problem that we, as a community, have to address.”
Maurice Raye: “We need to have: block awareness; parental control; (street signs that say) ‘Kids Playing.’”
Paris Wilborn: “I think we should have more speed bumps added to the residential streets, especially on the one-way streets. Considering that drivers only see cars on a one-way, speed bumps will cause them (to) not speed (or) mess up their cars.”