Monday, July 16, 2012

Article brought to our attention

This was just sent to us - we've printed bits and pieces of the article - comments added in brackets.

Occupy PGA to protest Senior PGA, demands compensation
Friday May 18, 2012 Golf Digest

...Benton Harbor is $5 million in the red," Pinkney said. "Our goal is that we can knock off some of that $5 million if they decide to come and help the city."

...Julius Mason, senior director communications for the PGA of America, provided this statement regarding the planned protest:

"The PGA of America is excited about it collaboration with a broad section of Benton Harbor in bringing the 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid to this community, and its positive impact on its citizens. [citizens and businesses felt no impact - possibly even a negative impact: businesses had fewer customers than usual, and some residents of BH were harshly treated by cops, altho that's nothing new.] The residents of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph have welcomed the Senior PGA Championship as an opportunity to showcase the area's vibrant history, culture and economic transformation on a national stage." [Mason is correct about the transformation - BH has been the scene of a genocide.]

"Golf is a big job provider in the State of Michigan where more than 50,000 people make golf their career," he wrote. "So too does the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid which created more than 250 temporary jobs for people in this community. We're pleased with our work with the Consortium for Community Development to identify and train qualified individuals for positions requiring certain skills. We hope to see this lead to some of these individuals securing future full-time positions in a related field following the Championship. [Is there ANY truth in that paragraph?]

..."Golf is very proud of its positive environmental impact [golf is the biggest polluter of the Great Lakes] as well managed open green space that provides jobs, tourism, tax revenue, recreational benefits and uses national resources efficiently. The 530-acre Harbor Shores development, a former brownfield and Super Fund site, is a prime example of how golf can improve a community's land assets." [It's amazing that Golf Digest could print this without any challenge.]

Pinkney said the Occupy the PGA movement already has proven successful. "They've been giving away tickets," he said, claiming responsibility. "Regardless what happens, we've already basically won this battle. Now they have to realize how serious we are and we're also going to be planning for 2014."

The Senior PGA Championship is scheduled to return to the Golf Club at Harbor Shores in 2014. The course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and was partially built on a portion of Jean Klock Park that the city sold to the Harbor Shores developers. Three of the holes are on park land that Harbor Shores leases from the city. [After the lease is up, we're certain that the land will be converted to the natural habitat it was before...]

UPDATE: Jeff Noel, corporate vice president communications and public affairs for Whirlpool and the president of Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment, said in an email that Pinkney has never requested a meeting. "I am always happy to meet with any local community leader...Unfortunately, despite our seeing each other occasionally in the community, Reverend Pinckney has never requested a meeting with me or our organizations," Noel wrote. "If he did, I would welcome the chance to discuss the benefits of the Sr. PGA Tournament as well as ways in which the Harbor Shores development and the not for profit organizations associated with the project have helped raise over $7.5 million to build 3 new facilities for the Benton Harbor Boys and Girls Clubs and First Tee and have provided the private matching funds to help build and or renovate over 600 affordable homes in the community."

Noel also noted that two Harbor Habitat for Humanity homes "are currently under construction near the golf course thanks to volunteers, funding and land donated by Whirlpool Corporation and Harbor Shores." [Noel spoke at the U. of Mich. business school and told the students, "If you want land, but have the peace and justice community on your back, just bring in Habitat for Humanity to build a few homes and donate some appliances. You'll get your land." (close paraphrase)