Saturday, March 31, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I intend to use that figure often in my campaign. It compares rather neatly to the $0 paid by, say, our superintendent (who rents). Last year, Paul obtained the tax expenditures for every board member. You could add most of them together and not equal the amount we pay.
I guess we must be rich. Or something.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
It's clear that if we really want a revolution in this country, we've got to catch the other side abusing small pets.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Last night at the BOE meeting, Dr. Simons and Mary Ellen Bossack requested a .25 art teacher and a .25 music teacher for Freeville to equalize specials in the elementary schools and create better equity (phys. ed. is actually out of compliance at Freeville, and adding part-time music and art teachers will help improve scheduling and alleviate that issue as well).
It remains to be seen whether the BOE will agree to this, but they'd better put their money where their mouths are. Nearly all of them supported the expensive renovations of the outlying schools. Now they need to cough up the bucks to support the education they provide. And so, sadly, do the rest of us.
It's a tough battle for the traditional chocolate bunny. . . .
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
A glance at the October 10th post shows a reference to a commercial Web site that bases itself on a book DZ and I wrote that is still in print. Many years ago, the owner of that site approached us with a flat fee proposal for using the material. Our publisher turned him down and said they would send him a cease and desist order, which either did not happen or made no impression.
It should be pointed out that this was not our original publisher, ARCO/Simon & Schuster, which did all it could to protect us. It was a publisher, Peterson's/Thomson, that bought ARCO, divested itself of many of its titles, and turned the rest into crappy versions of themselves, which they then tossed onto the market without any plan other than to reap any benefits remaining before letting them go O/P. I have been in communication with comptroller Daniel Toto for some years over Italian and Indonesian foreign rights that I discovered had been sold (or perhaps they weren't sold--either way, one of my books has been translated and sold there). I never received a dime for either sale, despite having a contract in hand.
The good news, perhaps, is that Peterson's is on its last legs and most of the people we had dealings with there have been fired. The bad news is that I'll have to get a lawyer to deal with all of the mishandled misuses of our various written works.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
LATER: Journal reporting notwithstanding, it appears that there may be enough absentee ballots to make a difference in the results. We'll have to wait and see.
STILL LATER: There were, and it did. More to come. . . .
EVEN LATER: Well, Mike has called the candidates, so it's probably OK to post the bad news. After the absentee ballots were counted, Lisa lost by 1 vote to Bob Witty. Unbelievable. Eight votes is bad, but 1 vote makes you question everything--if only we'd made two more phone calls, registered another couple of voters, driven another two people to the polls, etc. Poor Lisa.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Paul, on the other hand, wonders why legislators can continue to give our money to churches.
Our Assemblywoman has a brief editorial in the Journal today about redistricting, which seems to me a no-brainer. Although Texas got a lot of press about their redistricting in 2003, anyone who looks at the election figures for NYS incumbents can see that Texas is not alone. (And do try "Donkey Con" on that last link--very funny.)
Monday, March 19, 2007
If nothing else, it's a great rationale for having national standards. The fact that there's SO much overlap, yet everyone reinvents the wheel to have "local control" is really illogical. In all of IL Grade 6, I have only four lessons (6%) I couldn't manufacture from existing lessons elsewhere.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Simon mentions this Laurel on his blog, but I feel the need to point out its "unfortunate" timing three days prior to an election in which some of us hope to replace some of that Village administration. There are a lot of "unfortunate" events surrounding this election that go beyond the usual scope of small-town politics. Irk.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
But this U.S. Attorney thing has that same feel--a ho-hum story that just keeps growing, hour by hour, spinning faster and faster, drawing more and more (bad) people into its funnel. Could this be the final storm that brings down the whole House of Bush?
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The Board had got rid of some items already--among them a lot of equipment requests, which they may be able to purchase with monies left over from the 2006 budget; a proposed transfer to the capital fund; some bus garage repairs; and staff development for exempt employees.
I did not see any additions of personnel, but the way Dryden presents their budget, it's often hard to tell.
It appears that they're trying to get down to a 4% increase, but that seems dubious. In Dryden, 1% of the tax levy = $130K.
Monday, March 12, 2007
I'm not very happy about how the Dems are doing. I know (with more experience than you) that their thing is mainly to go off in all directions at once. Many of the things the Congress is doing are good things, but it would be preferable to have a united face. I don't think they're likely to gain a lot of votes for '08 by following Murtha's lead. But then, I'm an OLD Dem.I am the first to admit that I have not the slightest idea what we should do about Iraq, although my knee-jerk reaction is to pull everyone out now. Nor am I tied to holding candidates accountable for their original vote on authorizing the executive branch to do whatever it wanted to do; I'd rather look at what they're doing now. Perhaps paradoxically, I would like to see Congress exercise its subpoena power, get rid of Gonzales, and start looking into the many impeachable offenses committed by this administration. Whether they can do that while moving the country forward remains to be seen, but I don't think the issues of the past six years can just be swept aside. We need to learn from them so as not to repeat them.
So I went on the radio, and the Dryden GOP had their County Rep talk about negative campaigning and diversions from the issues. But ultimately he did apologize on behalf of the candidates for using a campaign piece that looked like an official newsletter from the village government. And I tried to soften the blow by pointing out that I had complained just as bitterly when Democrats on the Freeville Board sent out opinions on a school referendum with their water bills. Wrong is wrong. Pointing it out is right. This I believe. . . .
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Knowing he has power may prevent our little freshman from responding as quickly as he recently did to a constituent complaint. I sent a letter on behalf of the school district to as many representatives as I could think of--County Reps, Assemblyperson, State Senator, and Arcuri--regarding the need for a stoplight at the entrance of the high school. I heard from no one local who might actually have helped in the situation, but the new Congressman wrote to say this was a matter of concern and that he'd sent his own letter with my note to the head of the NYS DOT and would let me know the moment there was a response.
I like having a newbie representing me. I live in fear that a high power ranking may undermine that freshman spirit and the will to respond at once to the most minor of constituent issues. Don't let it swell your head, Mikey, we need you here in the hinterlands!
Saturday, March 10, 2007
I think this is foolish. Debating on Fox opens up the audience. Do the candidates really think Fox is going to film up their noses or run a squib commenting on their makeup and wardrobe? Now, predictably, Fox is calling them out for fearing to appear on any venue that won't present them favorably, and they all look as lame as GW does when he packs his audience with pro-Bush donors. And all the debates will be candidates preaching to the converted, while the uncertain watch "American Idol" and hear the candidates' opinions only as voiced by Fox newscasters. Just stupid.
Friday, March 9, 2007
Before the midterm election, I wrote that what the election was really about could be summed up in two words: subpoena power. Well, the Democrats now have that power, and the hearings on the prosecutor purge look like the shape of things to come. In the months ahead, we’ll hear a lot about what’s really been going on these past six years. And I predict that we’ll learn about abuses of power that would have made Richard Nixon green with envy.Meanwhile, I will be on WHCU Monday morning to talk about the Village newsletter mini-scandal.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
I'll take it out instead on the Village Board GOP candidates, who have resurrected the long-defunct Village Newsletter as a campaign organ. So wrong, despite their tiny notation "produced and printed by your friends neighbors (sic) on the Dryden Republican Committee."
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
LATER: One ringneck died. The others were unhappy but fine.
It remains to be seen how this cold snap and closure will affect the Ithaca school bond vote today.
What sets Mr. Obama apart is the way his training has been at the grass-roots rather than in the treetops. And that may be the richest kind of background of all, yielding not just experience, but also wisdom.
Monday, March 5, 2007
"If nothing changes [by 2040], the federal government's not gonna be able to do much more than pay interest on the mounting debt and some entitlement benefits. It won't have money left for anything else – national defense, homeland security, education, you name it.
"The Medicare problem is five times greater than the Social Security problem.
"The prescription drug bill was probably the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s. With one stroke of the pen, the federal government increased existing Medicare obligations nearly 40 percent over the next 75 years. We’d have to have eight trillion dollars today, invested in treasury rates, to deliver on that promise."
Asked how much we actually have, Walker says, "Zip."
Sunday, March 4, 2007
Saturday, March 3, 2007
Friday, March 2, 2007
Can't you set up your mail merge so that you don't refer to everyone as Dear [Last Name]? It's awfully prep school. I will say, however, it's better than referring to us all as you did before--by number, which was awfully Nazi death camp. Seriously. Just say, "Dear New Yorker." Otherwise, people will be annoyed, and will, as I have, remove themselves from your list.
Thursday, March 1, 2007
LATER: Well, this is SO par for the course. The school board noted in the February 27 Shopper that they were looking to fill this position. That Shopper reported on their February 13 meeting. Then, at their February 26 meeting, they filled the position with a board member (SUCH a conflict of interest). Thus, by the time the opening was public, it was already filled. Perfect.