[LCSD] Quick Thought

In light of the nasty, nasty budget situation that was talked about last night – and the gloomy mood in the room, and the pleas from Riverview and Ag/Welding, wouldn’t it be nice to have, oh, an extra $415,000 or so (plus who knows how much in attorney’s fees) lying around right now?

I’m just sayin’.

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39 Comments on “[LCSD] Quick Thought”

  1. Nobody Special Says:

    It would be nice to have back over $150k of Attorneys’
    fees, $400k plus on compensation for an employee that is not working and $20k on fees for private investigations, and much more fees created by Rick and the current board.

    There was only one board member that saw the waste and voted against, but are we going remember that and re-elect the same board that gave away all that money

  2. Amy Says:

    It is a shame that the board cannot help but spend money unwisely. I hope when it comes to program cuts they take a long look at the cost of programs. I know there are some sacred cows, especially in programs at the high school, but they should look at how to best benefit the most students. For example, while I support the ag and welding programs, it is a fact that Mr. Callison left in part because his welding program was cut to half-time. Somehow the half-time teacher is now full-time. This should be changed back to half-time at least if not eliminated. When they look at programs, if a program serves 100 students but costs so much that we could support two or more other programs that would serve 300 students. Cut the one program to save the other three. We have to look at how to benefit the most students, even if it means that some long cherished programs are cut back or eliminated. Some programs only have one teacher so eliminating that teacher eliminates the program. If a program has more than one teacher save the program by cutting a teacher. At least the program would survive even if in a limited form. When the funding improves we can restore the program, hopefully. I would prefer that no programs or jobs be cut but that does not look like a possibility. I do not see any clean way out of the mess. Maybe, our school board will begin to realize that the funds they waste on investigations that lead nowhere are best not spent. Any issues of “climate” at the high school could be addressed by a strong leader. Hopefully Mr. Yates will be that leader.

  3. Dennis Says:

    Amy…. I would be careful about most of the comments, were I you. There’s a lot more going on with programs that you (or I) are aware.

    Personally, I have zero interest in Welding or Ag, but I think they have tremendous value. I think cutting either would be a bad idea. And as for how the teacher is now full-time, I assume she teaches classes outside Welding.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Oh… You are lurking in the staff lounges. So many times so many of us have voiced that same sentiment!

  5. Amy Says:

    As I said I would prefer that no programs be cut, none. However, I also believe that we should minimize that numbers of electives and teachers eliminated across the district not just at the high school. I know there is tremendous support for ag/welding/construction/and other programs. But I think the district should look at what benefits the most students and not tradition in making these decisions. I think all the current programs provide the students with benefits and do not want any of them eliminated. But too often when these decisions are made a cost-benefit analysis is not made. For instance, eliminating the music program in an elementary school is a common practice. That one teacher serves several hundred students. Or the P.E. teacher under the same circumstances.
    At the high school they are currently projecting eliminating 11 teachers. What programs should go? As I said, none in my opinion. But if they can save a program that has three teachers by cutting it to two I would rather do that than eliminate an entire program. Can the district teacher all the math with fewer teachers? If so cut some of those, again to save other programs. The same with the other core subjects.

    As far as the welding teacher goes, I think she is doing a great job. She has put great effort in encouraging students. But the fact remains that the position was only half-time at the start of the year. In the fall they made it full-time by making her the detention person. Then added, note added, classes to the schedule to make her full time. In a period where we are facing a budget shortfall, this should not happen. It is also unfair to the previous teacher who left, in part, because he was told it would remain half-time. I believe the union has also brought up this issue. I repeat, I do not want any programs cut. But if jobs must be lost, I want as many programs saved as possible.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Amy,

    I’m not sure where you get your information from. The welding teacher (1/2 welding teacher/1/2 Ag. teacher) also teaches horticulture classes which Mr. White taught before he left. Also, if she has detention duties (which I’m unaware of), all teachers have different duties; detention does not occur during class time.

    Anonymous

  7. Amy Says:

    For the welding teacher in-school suspension(detention) was used to fill out her schedule in the fall. She was not scheduled to teach the Ag classes until after the year started, in essence they made a half-time position into a full-time position. Do not get me wrong I like the welding teacher and hope we can keep her. She has done a lot to upgrade the program and integrate more of the FAA into the program. I do not fault her for the situation.

    I think the goal was to get rid of Mr. Callison who rubbed some board and district members the wrong way. He tried to upgrade the program and was fought all the way. I think it was because he emphasized the industrial side of the welding and not the Ag. Regardless, it is not a proper to do what was done to Mr. Callison. This has nothing to do with the current teacher other than the expansion to a full-time position being a place where the district could consider cutting. I really think it is a union issue. If the district can decide to change a position to half-time and then change it to full-time after the current teacher leaves, it raises some real employment issues.

    Again, I want to limit the number of staff cut throughout the district. If it means making some positions half-time and cutting the size of some departments I am in favor of that rather than eliminating entire programs. I firmly believe we need to maintain as many elective courses as possible. School should be a time to experiment with different interests. If we start eliminating entire programs, that experimentation cannot occur. We haven’t even looked into extra-curricular positions that might be eliminated. Can we do with golf? Or tennis? Most of the savings comes from not paying the coaches and the substitute money. But again, this limits the exploration that students can do and I do not want this either.

    We need to find a balance between what we can afford and what we want to have. I want us to work together to find the best possible solution for the students and staff. I have no power in the district other than my one vote. I have my opinions and I am sharing them here and with others in town. I am not against any particular teacher, administrator, board member, or community member. But I do want us to look at all options with the goal of keeping as many programs available for students and jobs for people as possible. Nothing should be sacrosanct and off the table for consideration, except in my mind, this goal.

  8. anonymous Says:

    Maybe Mr. Callison was offered the same split of 1/2 welding and 1/2 something else and he was not interested or not qualified to teach something else that was available. He may have had additonal schooling to continue, or family issues, or any number of things.
    Or maybe at that time things were different in the projected budget then when the new teacher was hired.
    We don’t know all that goes on between a particular teacher and the job offers/losses.
    Sometimes the way things appear on the surface is not all there is to a situation.
    Unless you are either of those two teachers you can’t know all the details.

    I agree that it would be good to keep as many programs as possible even at a reduced level, however not at the expense of core programs.
    When any of us have to cut our own personal budgets we don’t cut the main things we cut the extras.
    No one enjoys having to do without things we have become accustomed to, but life is not always fair or fun and sometimes we have to suck it up and deal with a less than pleasant reality.
    We don’t have to like it.
    We don’t have to find any enjoyment in the pain of others or ourselves.
    But we do have to deal with what IS, not what we wish it was.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    It was just announced that it is Rob Hesse as our new Supt. So, explain to me please why we paid $400K to get rid of Rob’s co-writer and friend and then hire a guy with the same philosophies? And the rumor is that Hesse was Alexander and Lynden Brown’s preference. Why? Why??? I can’t help but think that doesn’t bode well for the community. What promises were made to Alexander?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Rob Hess may have co-wrote a book with Robinson but Robinson somehow made sure he gets all royalties from the book. His philosophies are nothing what Robinsons were, for one Rob is an honest guy, Robinson wasn’t. What promises could possibly be made to Alexander and who would make these? You are grasping at straws because once again the CARES group has lost another battle. Well, hold on they will continue to lose as there are many people in the community who are finally fed up with their mentality. Didn’t the 2-1 recall for Rich and Josh show them anything, or do they want to spin that one as dishonest? We as voters spoke with our votes, because many of us have seen the damage the CARES group has done to the few who have spoken up publically in favor of Rick or Josh. If Rob Hess wasn’t picked you guys would have bitched that he wasn’t picked because he was a Robinson person. So I have finally figured out that you guys will never be happy no matter what. Its time to move on and give the new people a chance.

  11. Tre' Kennedy Says:

    Anonymous at 6:59, own your words by putting your name next to them and maybe we could have a discussion. This is the biggest problem with anonymous blogging, people feel they can say anything, regardless of how unsupportable and ignorant it might be. Don’t get me wrong, you have the right to remain anonymous, and maybe you even have a good reason to stay anonymous, but that type of hate and ignorance is what this community needs to get beyond.

  12. anon Says:

    Well said, anonymous at 6:59 April 10. Rob Hess reportedly left the district because he was run out by Robinson. He has experienced the recent mess at the high school as the parent of a high schooler. He IS an honest and straightforward man, in my experience. I had a child at Pioneer for two years while he was principal and I can tell you he was a breath of fresh air! Never in my wildest dreams would I have dared to hope he would come back as Superintendent! He is Quality. He and Rick Alexander get along WELL, I hear. CARES…get off your high horses. It is time to move forward!

  13. Dennis Says:

    Anon at 6:59…. you’re insane. CARES had nothing to do with the Superintendent. AFAIK, they don’t oppose Hess.

    Can I have some of what you are smoking? Please?

  14. Dennis Says:

    Oh, and Anon @ 6:59 – if you think CARES opposes the pick of Hess (by the way, I have nothing to do with CARES), then why does Tre’ Kennedy have a blog post congratulating the pick?

  15. Tre' Kennedy Says:

    Anon at 9:07, it’s almost like the Rick followers don’t know what to do without a fight, so they try and start one. I personally have no objection with Mr. Hess and think he was an excellent choice. I’ve talked with teachers and administrators who look forward to the opportunity to work with him. He has an excellent reputation and his ties to the community are a huge asset. Stop trying to create conflict where there is none. If we can all agree to support Mr. Hess, maybe we can help him create something wonderful here.

  16. anon too Says:

    Actually, I assumed anon at 4:01 was anti-Robinson and was upset the board hired someone with similar philosophies. Yet anon at 6:59 took it another way. Perhaps anon at 4:01 could clear that up for us.

    I think it’s important to remember Rick is only one vote out of five. It’s not as though he personally chose the new superintendent.

    I also don’t know anyone who supported the recall that is opposed to Mr. Hess. Quite the opposite.

    To anon Says at 9:07. Mr. Hess has always been very ambitious. He left the district for a central office position of a much larger district. It was an excellent career move. He was not run out by anyone.

  17. Anon Says:

    Of course Rick did not single-handedly choose Hess, and I think it’s important for the Rick haters to consider (gulp) actually giving the guy credit for supporting Hess. Rick haters might realize that they and Rick BOTH are behind Hess — they might actually want to admit that they and Rick AGREE about Hess.

    And Tre — Rick agreed to resign IF Robinson just pain resigned, vs. resigned as part of a buy-out. To suggest Rick resign since Robinson left in the only way this district was able to free itself of him, is just unfair. Talk about keeping the hate going…sheez.

  18. Susan Says:

    You fail to see that it is not about hating Rick. It is about hating the choices that Mr. Alexander made and makes.

    You have a responsibility as a board member and three of the 5 existing board not only allowed it, they pushed through each others personal agendas at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to ALL the children they were supposed to serve.

    There IS a legal boundary that is set for everyone. When a district contracts with a law firm, you trust that what they tell you is correct. I do not believe that the district lawyer would have told them they were going about it the wrong way, without informing them of the right way.

    I dislike “buy-outs”. If certain members of the board were so right and Mr. Robinson so remise, then what the heck were they doing NOT standing by their mouths or their votes?

    Why did they agree to wipe Mr. Robinson’s record clean if he agreed not to sue them?

    A buy out with all the conditions involved says to me that board members could not support their position or their words.

    Do I hate them??? No. Do I want them off the school board ? Yes.

  19. anon Says:

    ok.. so you would rather save the money and let Robinson continue to continue what was in my opinion a reign of terror upon many school employees. Let’s just keep him and save money, say you, no matter about his dishonest (IMHO) and chaos-creating reign that ultimately hurt kids. If a buy-out was the only way to dump him and help the district begin to move forward, you would rather he stayed so the district could stay stuck but save money…. my oh my. Sometimes we have to spend money to get out of a mess and move forward for kids.

    I agree about trusting what a law firm you hires says…I just believe there are way more respected firms with attorneys who would completely disagree with the district’s atty-buddy of Robinsons, who of course would not want his long-friend and person who hired him, to be fired. We WOULD have saved money, I believe, if we had hired a major employment law firm experienced in hiring/firing issues…but instead we have a good-ole’-boy OSBA type firm I believe is more focused on representing school administrators than the school board we the public elected to represent us.

    I do agree that board members would have been better off to not renew his contract, but of course their legal eagle said that’s illegal so they blinked. Nope, you are right, I’m not a lawyer. But I know there are many who this our district’s attorney is far from among the best and the brightest, and a quite expensive one to boot. I would have preferred they have a legal firm investigate the heck out of Robinson and convince him to resign without paying him a nickle…I don’t like buy outs either, but I guess I liked Robinson even less.

    I think Rick did us all a favor by having the courage to forge ahead to get Robinson out and a collaborative and honest leader in as superintendent. No, he didn’t do it alone, but I doubt if it would have happened without him…same with getting an effective principal for the high school.

  20. Susan Says:

    You can make someone “ineffective” without it costing a considerable amount of money.

    You can take power away and build a file that would be so unattractive as to make it difficult for any district to “want” someone in Mr. Robinson’s position.

    What did the board do when they bought out his contract, THEN wiped his file clean?
    They passed him on to another district. How wrong is that? It makes it right because we are talking about teachers but not ours?? It makes it right because we are talking about children, but not ours?

    I have the ultimate respect for our teachers. No teacher should be victimized by the person that is supposed to be supporting them and leading them. A union is a very powerful tool and can be used to right many wrongs.

    I would have had more respect for the board members involved if they would have had him sit in an office painting his toenails all day, and standing by and up for what the union and parents brought to them, than buying him out with conditions.

    If you feel that strongly that right is on your side, then fight it. Buying out with the conditions that someone is going to make your file look pretty for the next position in the next district is wrong. Buying out with the condition that the person involved has to agree not to sue a couple of board members becomes self serving to the board members involved….but what does it say to the taxpayers who had to work hard to pay it…

    What Mr. Alexander did may have been a favor for some, but I have yet to see a couragagous (that is only my opinion, and I know yours differs and respect that), act for all….sorry.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    To Mr. Kennedy,
    This is exactly why people do not like you. You come across as someone who thinks everyone is ignorant. For those of us who love this town we are tired of the “elitist” crowd talking down to us. You may have a college degree but you have no common sense. Your not as intelligent as you think you are so stop talking like you are.

  22. Dennis Says:

    “ok.. so you would rather save the money and let Robinson continue…”

    Hold on. The way the buyout was handled was not the only option, so this is a false choice. There were plenty of other ways to handle the situation that would have resulted in Robinson leaving and the district not being out $400,000 or vulnerable to a lawsuit. The problem is that Alexander did not know or choose those other options – for example, participating in Robinson’s performance reviews early on and building a case that he did not deserve to have his contract non-renewed using the established process. He handled Robinson so clumsily that Alexander put the district in a position to either do something illegal (not for the first time, either), let Robinson stay, or buy him out at full cost.

    Is this designed to defend Robinson? No. It is designed to point out that Rick Alexander is not a very good board member.

    Second, this:

    “I agree about trusting what a law firm you hires says…I just believe there are way more respected firms with attorneys who would completely disagree with the district’s atty-buddy of Robinsons…”

    Really? Can you provide one shred of evidence that the current law firm retained by the district offers bad legal advice or isn’t respected? No? Then politely stop making silly claims that you can’t back up. Look, I’m open to the possibility that there are different options for legal counsel, but I’ve seen no evidence that changing legal counsel is warranted except a lot of claims that this particular firm can’t be trusted because it doesn’t agree with the anti-Robinson crowd. That’s not reasoning; that’s shopping for a legal opinion that a barely competent board member – yes, Alexander – agrees with. It’s petty, childish, and increases the chances that the LCSD will end up facing more potential lawsuits.

  23. Dennis Says:

    “What did the board do when they bought out his contract, THEN wiped his file clean?
    They passed him on to another district. How wrong is that? It makes it right because we are talking about teachers but not ours?? It makes it right because we are talking about children, but not ours?”

    Susan, my best guess is that Robinson didn’t feel that certain board members took Robinson’s evaluations seriously and thus did not produce an accurate result. If that were the case, I would want that particular item stripped from my file too. Besides, there’s no way another district won’t learn about the last several years of Robinson’s time here, especially not if it’s in Oregon.

    Just to be clear, I don’t think the settlement wiped his file “clean.” AFAIK, it just removed the last board evaluation.

  24. Dennis Says:

    Anon @ 11:19… I love sentences that make cracks about someone’s intelligence but contain spelling and/or grammar mistakes. It sort of takes the wind out of your sails, don’t you think?

    I think Kennedy’s point about certain people in Lebanon always looking for fights is correct. Kennedy agrees with you – and, supposedly, Alexander – so you personally attack him? Are you serious?

    Oh, and if you think that my wanting people to be able to follow basic spelling and grammar rules – in your case, basic middle-school-level English language literacy – is ‘elitist’, you might want to consider a) just how low your standard is, but more importantly, b) why you are even weighing in on anything to do with education, since you seem more interested in ad hominem attacks than anything else.

  25. anon Says:

    Susan — Anyone thinking of hiring him these days would likely google his name and pull up all the newspaper articles about his time here, as well as the blogs. In today’s world, wiping a file clean is pretty meaningless I think.

    Interesting idea to just strip him of his power and keep him employed, but I’ve got to believe he would also have legally screamed that was a violation of his contract, and it likely would have been. I can’t even imagine all the CARES group screams if the board had attempted that.

    I don’t like the buy-out. I don’t agree with every vote Rick places. But Robinson needed to be moved out, and if you and I had all the information the board members had, we also might conclude the buy-out was the best way. Maybe not, but maybe so. It might have cost even more money to hire investigators to document all the issues to allow the board to fire him for cause, and for all the legal fees.

    I think it takes courage to forge ahead to do what needs to be done when authority figures (district legal counsel, OSBA, some other administrators) are saying it can’t be done or shouldn’t be done due to their own self interests (though some of it might have been simply honest differences of opinion).

    But I too whinced when the buy-out happened, vs. a resignation without a payoff to leave.

  26. anon Says:

    Dennis — Attacking the 11:19 anonymous for spelling/grammatical errors just demonstrated the petty elitist attitude many in this town find offensive. Thanks for just demonstrating the point this person was making, though he/she directed it towards Tre. People do not need to have your skill set to have valid opinions or intelligence.

  27. Dennis Says:

    Wow! Great comeback! So what’s the appropriate level of English literacy here? (Since apparently a middle-school level is too high….)

    Listen carefully to this part: I actually think it is possible for someone with zero formal schooling to be on a school board, even today. And I think that everyone, regardless of education level, has the right to weigh in on a community-wide issue like the LCSD. However, that does not mean I think that education counts for nothing; certainly it counts for something. Otherwise, why are we even bothering to educate people at all?

    As well, education level is not the only qualifier in play here. The relationship between formal education and intelligence is just not that simple – I’ve met smart and not-so-smart people in both spheres. Moreover, I’m not evaluating people’s statements based on their education level – how could I, on this blog, since most of you are anonymous – so much as I am what people actually say. And therein lies the rub: Some statements are more intelligent than others. They make better arguments, they provide more evidence, their reasoning is tighter, they have a better grasp of the relevant facts, etc. While everyone deserves an opportunity to say something, that does not mean all things said are equal. Arguing that I have to treat all arguments and statements equal regardless of content is, ironically, akin to the strawman that movement conservatives often employ about affirmative action: That it creates equal outcomes, when the goal is to create equality of opportunity (hence giving everyone the opportunity to speak, run for office, get involved, etc. but not guaranteeing that everyone can serve on, say, the Superintendent Selection Committee). Besides, if not the criteria I’ve laid about above, on what criteria are we supposed to evaluate the various claims being made in the LCSD? And if anyone wants to say “common sense,” you’re going to have to define it without using the term and without simply referring to the way you think, since not everyone’s common sense is the same.

    In terms of modeling behavior, though, I also don’t think we “adults” (as a broad generalization) are doing ourselves any favors when we make the same spelling and grammar mistakes for which students are called out. That’s not helpful – nor is impugning the general value of education. If I’m a student and I see adults in the district consistently saying things that sound suspiciously like “going to school is not important,” then why would I try hard in school?

    Bottom line: Don’t mistake my consistent claim that people should be more careful about their spelling and grammar with a claim that formal education is some sort of magical panacea that automatically makes people better. It’s not (but it does have some clear value), and I’m not saying that – and anyone who is getting in a tizzy because they think I am should chill out and think about why they’re in such a tizzy. Good grief.

    UPDATE: Grammar error fixed.

  28. LT Says:

    “I agree about trusting what a law firm you hires says…I just believe there are way more respected firms with attorneys who would completely disagree with the district’s atty-buddy of Robinsons, who of course would not want his long-friend and person who hired him, to be fired.

    This is a lie, perhaps intentional or perhaps because the commenter is relying on gossip rather than facts. Robinson inherited the law firm; it was selected by the school board before Robinson was hired. Also, the law firm represents a huge number of school districts, which means either (1) there is some cartel controlling the thinking process of school boards throughout the state in order to screw the working class (or fill in the blank with whatever group is being screwed), or (2) the firm actually is expert in its field. We don’t buy the vast left-wing conspiracy theory.

    “I believe, if we had hired a major employment law firm experienced in hiring/firing issues…but instead we have a good-ole’-boy OSBA type firm I believe is more focused on representing school administrators than the school board we the public elected to represent us.

    Part of the $100,000 in legal fees accumulated by the board was for the hiring of an attorney who specializes in finding ways to get rid of people on the cheap. The board couldn’t find a less expensive way out of the mess because Robinson had not violated his contract and both the board and individual board members had amassed an amazing record to justify Robinson being able to continue as superintendent and collect money for all the wrongs that had been done to him.

    “Rob Hess may have co-wrote a book with Robinson but Robinson somehow made sure he gets all royalties from the book.

    Another lie. Hess was the senior author on the book, something Robinson agreed to in order to help Hess’ career. Under the terms of their respective contracts, Hess got 5% more of the royalties than Robinson. Where do people come up with these things? And why are they so irresponsible to republish them without checking for accuracy?

  29. Amy Says:

    Anonymous on April 9, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    I knew Mr. Callison and have talked with Ms. Whitcomb. Mr. Callison was only offered the .5 welding position with no possibility to be full-time. When I talked with Ms. Whitcomb at the start of the year she indicated that she was only half-time and was getting a second job so that she could have full-time work. She did not anticipate the job being full-time but was going to work to see if she could get it there by expanding the offerings in welding. Regardless, the argument is against the district not the teachers involved.

    As for Mr. Hess, I wish him the best of luck. There are many factions in this district and I hope his experience in-district will guide him. I do hope that he does not pick sides, but looks out for the best interests of the students. As I said before, if there are to be cuts made in programs throughout the district, nothing should be off the table, with the guideline being what is best for the most students.

    In my opinion, this means keeping a P.E. teacher in an elementary school to maintain the program is more important than having three Spanish teachers at the high school. Or a counselor in the middle school over keeping eight math teachers at the high school. Again, what would benefit the most students is my guideline. While I think computer skills are important, do we really need so many teachers teaching it at the high school? The electronics program serves many and is taught by one of our better teachers, but at the expense of music in the elementary school?

    These are very hard decisions. Hopefully we will find a way to keep every program at its current staffing levels. Maybe there are other funds that can be found or contract negotiations that can help eliminate the budget gap. I do not envy Mr. Hess but with his experience in this district, he has a very good opportunity to be successful.

  30. Anonymous Says:

    Hey Dennis Reread this sentence. “I also don’t think we “adults” (as a broad generalization) are doing ourselves any favors when make the same spelling and grammar mistakes for which students are called out.” Do you see your grammatical error in this sentence. So stop with the “I have a college degree and I’m smarter than you” attitude. We’re all tired of it.

  31. Dennis Says:

    Hm. It appears I forgot a word. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Note the difference – I think it’s a good thing when commenters/bloggers correct each other. I don’t take offense, because I a made a mistake and am happy to have it corrected, no matter who does the correcting. I would rather someone else catch it and call me out than let it go unnoticed. And I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to be corrected, either.

    Since when I have I said that having a college degree makes me smarter? I’m not all that convinced that it does, actually.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    Who are you kidding Dennis? You constantly comment on how dumb Rick is, how dumb anyone who opposes anything you say. Go back and read all your blogs. Your a 20 something wanna be teacher who wants to show the world how intellegent you are. Well, guess what we’ve all know people who were smart but had no commonn sense and that would be you and Tre’ and your buddy LT

  33. Dennis Says:

    To the anonymous who submitted comments at 5:14 and 5:23 PM –

    You don’t seriously think I’m going to publish that first one, do you? Had you just omitted the gratuitous personal attack, I probably would have.

    I might publish and respond to the second, but not today. I need to think about it, and I have better things to do first.

  34. anon Says:

    I would wager that most who post here have at least an undergraduate degree. At least some of us find the focus on correcting spelling and/or grammar tiresome and elitist. I’m glad to know you don’t think you are smarter because you have earned a degree, as there does seems to be a wide range of intelligence among those with or without degrees.

  35. anon Says:

    Lt — Excuse me…I have questions about that law firm and I am not, as you assume from your arrogant response, a right-wing nut….I am more liberal than most in this town..think LIBERAL on pretty much all scales. Your stereotypical assumptions do not become you or help us move forward.

  36. anon Says:

    Amy — Enjoyed reading your thoughts. I, too, think Hess has his work cut out for him and very much wish him the best. I can’t think of anyone more likely to be effective than Hess in this position at this time, and I am encouraged that 1) He applied, and 2) He was selected. It reminds me of how I felt when Obama won!!

  37. Susan Says:

    anon 11:19, 12:03, annnndddddd 5:06 *taking breath*. Look up “ad hominem”, really…..it will help (It’s Latin). Now can we move off the subject of attacking Mr. Kennedy, and Dennis and move on to more important things….*geeeesh*

  38. Anonymous Says:

    Wow you can say whatever you want about anyone you want whether its true or not but you censor any one who says anything that might make you look bad WOW.
    Not a hypocrit or anything.

  39. Dennis Says:

    Heeeee….. *sigh*. At least I can take solace in knowing that this is the worst sort of thing, usually, that shows up in my comment queue.

    So I decided to publish the above comment because of the first few sentences. The last few I could do without, but since the personal insults (wannabe teacher? really?) are directed at me, I’ll deal. (You may consider that an admission that I have been crying over this comment for days. Honestly.)

    On to the first few sentences: Yes, I have called Rick Alexander dumb on this blog. No sense in denying that; however, I don’t think it’s accurate to say that I think “anyone who opposes anything I say” is dumb. So I’ll own up to the former, but not so much the latter. And you know what? Maybe I should be making more of a distinction between calling Alexander dumb and calling his statements and decisions dumb, but sometimes, especially when liveblogging, I don’t take the time to think things clearly. And I’ve not been terribly impressed with Alexander, as I think I’ve made clear. That said, I’ve heard – and believe – that he is very good with machines and mechanical engineering. Credit where credit is due…. but those skills don’t translate well to sitting on a school board, do they?

    As for the personal insults:

    1) I would like to teach at some point in my life. Does that make me a wannabe teacher? Technically, I suppose it does. Do I have any illusions about my current skills as a teacher? Hopefully not – and I don’t think I’m all that great. In fact, subbing made me realize how much more I had to learn than I used to think.

    2) I want to show the world how intelligent I am? This barely makes sense – the world isn’t defined by the boundaries of Lebanon or the conflict in the district, so if that was really my goal, you can bet I’d be in a different venue. And as for my intelligence…. I’d offer up only that I can be a quick thinker, but not necessarily a smart one, and certainly not a wise one. There are lots (and lots and lots and lots) of people more intelligent than me in the world, and I have no problem admitting that. Furthermore, I have little problem with being ignored. I say what I think in a place where others can come read it if they want, but I don’t seek a whole lot of publicity or try to make myself the center of attention at, say, board meetings. So I’m not sure how I’m supposed to be convincing the rest of the world how smart I am without, you know, trying to make sure lots of people hear/read me. Hell, this blog gets daily readers measured in the high dozens or low hundreds, and I’ve never made an effort to increase that.

    3) “Commonn” sense? I have none of that. Guilty as charged. Neither do I have common sense, but since I have no idea what that is (besides conventional wisdom – which is made to be proven wrong – in a shinier package), I’m not sure I care very much.


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