Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"The Ithaca Journal Cuts Jobs"

It's hard to believe there were any left to cut. They asked for comment, so here's what I wrote to their "content" editor.

Ten years ago, everyone I knew subscribed to the Journal. Today, I am the only person I know who does. On my street, the red paper boxes have disappeared. You may think that this fall in subscriptions is the cause of your layoffs, but I believe that it is the effect. The IJ staff is spread so thin that this is no longer a local paper at all. Meanwhile, school districts and municipalities are gleeful because nobody is attending their meetings and reporting on their activities. The Fourth Estate is dead, long live corruption and mismanagement. I remain a subscriber out of loyalty and inertia, but it’s harder every year to justify the expense.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer Winds Down

On Thursday we visited the Altuchers at the lake, tonight we'll head to Taughannock for the last summer concert (nearly every other one was rained out!), and Sunday O and I fly to CA. School starts in 2 1/2 weeks!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cool School

The Sierra Club bestowed that title on Cornell, not for its average temperature, but for its commitment to green technology and sustainability. Fairly cool.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Jeb Jab

As the right continues to recoil from the Common Core State Standards, Jeb Bush is the latest to get caught in the undertow, according to Politico. There's a lot wrong with Florida education, but little of it has to do with Jeb's fondness for the new standards. The fact that the standards have gotten tangled up with testing and with teacher accountability is what caused the original flap, and now we're hearing alarm bells about the demise of local control (as if there were any local control at a level below state control). We're in big trouble when right-wing hysteria over the overreaching of government merges with teachers' union hysteria over the overanalysis of teachers merges with parental hysteria over the overtesting of children. Fact is, the Common Core emerged from a consortium of governors and state education leaders, members of both parties, and Jeb was just one tiny cog in that machine. The fact that the sensible plan to work backward from community college and employment requirements so that our kids might actually be prepared for college and career was then co-opted by multi-billion-dollar testing companies and then pinned to NCLB's desire for teacher accountability is neither the fault of the standards nor of Jeb Bush—but both may go down in flames if the hysterics have their way. It's hard to feel sorry for a Bush, but I sort of do.

Friday, August 9, 2013


I was in a TCAction meeting off Elmira Road last night when we got a call that Groton Head Start was underwater. By 8 PM, driving up Elmira Road toward the city already required staying out of the right lane to avoid the rushing streams. Hunt Hill looked like a plague of frogs. But the worst flooding was along the lake and in Cortland, it appears. At the Hangar Theatre, water was up to the wheel wells in cars in the parking lot.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Reading List

Just wonderful.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Svante and His City

Our Boy Mayor finds his way onto the front page of the NYT....
Such high-mindedness — and Ithaca’s seemingly steady prosperity through hard times — has attracted attention to Mr. Myrick’s own political future, something he deflects, saying that keeping Ithaca running is his only job. “I still to this day don’t know what I’m going to do when I grow up,” he said.