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Fair and Balanced Discussion from Southern Oregon

Monday, May 24, 2004

Some fall election races could get interesting 

Saturday, May 22, 2004

DONATE to DfSO!!!! 

I keep saying I can beat this guy - let's have a look...

Esquivel Spent: $11,078
Doty Spent: $827

Yes, he outspent me 13:1 - what did it get him? Virtually identical performance from his base as I got from mine.

Votes (both uncontested primaries):
Esquivel: 4,962 79.29 %
GOP Undervote: 1,225 19.57 %
Doty: 3,555 73.97 %
Dem Undervote: 1,220 25.38 %

A Dem has never held this seat before. Local HS Teacher vs 7 year City Councilman. The 1200 Dems who didn't vote for me don't have a clue who I am.The 1200 GOP who didn't vote for him know EXACTLY who he is.

Donate via Paypal here, or use the same link to get a snail mail payment path. (it's also over there on the left side of the site)

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Friday, May 21, 2004

Wal-Mart 

Threats, eh? "We're not going to go away" is the final quote from Medford council rejects Wal-Mart in today's Trib.

I gotta say, I am not at all saddened to hear that the City Council rejected the proposal. After years of being a homey, yet somewhat rundown facility, Miles Field has been improved over several years to a sharp little ball park - so of course it makes perfect sense to turn it into an austere grey, navy, and red box of a Wal Mart.

What better place for a family to spend a nice summer evening eating a hotdog? wait...

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Music student laments cuts 

The Mail Tribune continues to track the Medford school cuts story. Today, the focus is the loss of elementary music programs.

I cannot begin to tell you how much this wrenches me - music was MY THING in school... and how many students discovered something good about themselves when they had that opportunity to try a trumpet or a clarinet?

The future solid musicians aside, the benefits impact every student - studies abound corrolating musical exposure to higher math scores in classes and on standardized tests.

The school year is winding down - the "end of the year concerts" are happening at South, at Lone Pine, at McLoughlin. How different will those concerts be next year? In five years? I'll tell you at Lone Pine, they won't happen - at least not under the current proposal. While Hedrick and McLoughlin will still have them next year, that won't last - identifying the musicians won't be happening at the elementary schools anymore... and in five years, the high schools will start feeling it, too - and the great Tornado and Panther bands that came down the street at the Pear Blossom or that share the field at the Black and Blue game will weaken and diminish... And I shouldn't have to be thinking about this. This consequence is the result of nearly a decade and a half of the state legislature keeping their collective heads firmly in the sand on funding in the wake of measures 5 and 11. It was their job - it shouldn't have to be mine. But since they haven't done it, I am ready.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Jackson County Results 

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Open Thread 

Added a link to the Dean Dozen over on the right column.

Chat it up about whatever - more on the Medford Schools / Teachers stuff in today's Trib, and some things lining up on RVTD funding. I'll try to get to those items tomorrow or this weekend. Tonight is Prom for my school, so I am off to be a chaperone in a couple hours.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Sidewalks 

One thing I discover as I walk neighboorhoods in this town is that parts of it aren't very friendly for walking. Streets with no sidewalks are a problem - do you want your children hiking to school in traffic? Are you going to hoof it to the grocery store if you are walking in the street?

One of the air quality issues in this valley is the number of vehicle trips, and frankly, there are parts of this town where I would ALWAYS drive out from, if I lived there. And more unfortunate, is that some of these neighborhoods are actually close enough to stores that with the addition of some sidewalks, things would be conveniently close (like Quality Market - I love that place... they were the only place in Medford that sold my favorite soda (Stewart's Ginger Beer) - too bad the distributor stopped making it).

Walking to local services is better for our health, gentler on our pocketbook, and helps us in developing relationships with those who live around us.

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Jeff Golden - Terrific Show today 

I mentioned I would be commenting on the Jefferson Exchange (linked in the permalinks on the right) when I had the chance.

If you have a radio and are able to listen from 8 - 10 (am or pm) in the State of Jefferson, listen to this guy (actually, if you have high speed internet, you can do the AM show anywhere via iJPR). Way back in the day, he was a County Commissioner and he has run for the Leg, too. He is basically an audio blogger for the first hour, in that he cribs his base news from a decent array of local sources (Medford, Eugene, and Sacramento papers) - then he offers great comment and opens up the phones for the community to join in a great dialog. Second hour, he has a guest. Today in the first hour, he tags the Legislature - a fairly lame quote from the Senate President about concensus on taxes / revenue being absent statewide triggered a well-reasoned snipe at what exactly legislatures are for - ehem - LEADING. The basic thesis repeats some themes of my race and other entries on this blog. We are electing this group of people to DO SOMETHING and their response is to sit around and wait for all of US to actually agree on a thing. PUH LEEEEEZZZZZ. Jeff, does your show endorse? Like the Ed Board of the Trib? (I know it can't - public funding and all).

I know we pay the Leg. crap, and thank them not at all...and knowing that I am RUNNING, but still. It's a job description, people. Try to do it.

I kinda wish I had a job that allowed me to listen more than my under 4 minute commute. At least today, I got to stay in my truck in the parking lot since it's my Bus Duty day.

The rebroadcast is great, but I can't call in!!! grrr!!!

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OPEN THREAD and Thought for the Day 

"Truth is incontrovertible. Ignorance may deride it, panic may resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is." Winston Churchill

This also recalls the Rob Cordry segment on the Daily Show where he utters the amusingly sad line "The facts in Iraq have an Anti-Bush bias"

And when I get home tonight, some comments on Jeff Golden's show this AM - listen to the 5/11 8pm rebroadcast for his gem on the Oregon Legislature - should be around 8:15...

Click on "Comment" and add your voice!

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Monday, May 10, 2004

More on Schools 

The Medford Schools were given Gates Grants for to create Small Schools - the MMT Editorial board has an opinion on what it all means.

Bringing us back to discussions of class size on this blog earlier in the week, we see the extrapolation that beyond class size - school size is an issue, too. Staff knowing who students are is a benefit to the overall quality of education. Back in the days of University of Medford, even with just two grades in attendance, it was the largest school in the state. I know students got lost in the crowd at Phoenix - I can't imagine how that feels for a student in a larger school.

Maybe I have a smaller school bias, having attended Phoenix, and having selected an undergraduate university with an enrollment of 2400 and only one true 'lecture hall,' and now teaching with a student body of 180.

The Gates "Small Schools" are a great idea, and we need to be looking beyond the Gates dollars for ways to make Medford, Rogue Valley, and Oregon schools great!

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Friday, May 07, 2004

Medford School 'Solutions' 

Promoted forward to keep discussion going Between Carl Schroder's letter in yesterday's Trib ("Trimming days should be last", 3rd letter on the page), and the comment posted tonight, I thought I'd move this to the top of the line again...

Original Post, 27 Apr
I'll comment on this article when I get home from the dentist (Drs. Wu, on Barnett - they are GREAT). I'll need something to do while my tongue is too numb to speak to voters at the doorstep or on the phone...

Update, also 27 Apr: So the dentist is done for the day (today it was actually a hygeinist, and a wonderful one, too!) and I am going to put out some signs. (since that doesn't require talking)...but let me just say this on the school article noted above. There are two solutions put forth - the district wants to cut a ton of staff, the teachers want to cut a ton of days. Both solutions technically SUCK (that is an expert political and educator term). The one that sucks LESS is the teachers' position. You will accomplish more teaching for less time in an adequately staffed environment than you will teaching more time in an inadequately staffed environment. I may not get to all the desired curriculum in a shortened year, but the content I DO deliver will be heard, understood, and retained for recall in future testing settings. If you give me a full year and a crowded room, I cannot be sure a SINGLE THING will be heard, understood, or retained. Why do I think they both suck? cuz neither one is good for EDUCATING our youth (oh yes, that is the goal - not employing teachers or containing children in school buildings for a mandated number of days). We shouldn't cut days OR staff - we should find a stable funding mechanism that will be able to provide adequate funding for a full calendar with full staff.

(Update, 7 May: The Schroder letter calls the union's move selfish - to which I respond the teachers aren't getting 20 days paid leave here - they are getting a 20 day LAY OFF, which ranges in Medford from a loss of $3150 for a first year teacher with no additional education beyond their degree to $6400 for a 14+ year veteran with MA and Doctorate... I don't think there are many of those in 549c, but there are a few). You tell me if eating a personal shortfall like that is selfish.

More later. I have DAYLIGHT and SIGNS!

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Open Thread 

We're 11 days out from the Primary.

In the local races, the Sue v Sue contest is getting a tad hot, but otherwise, things are calm - only one other race is contested (Buckley v Uherbelau) and it is running very clean.

Comment as is fitting.

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Thursday, May 06, 2004

SWEAT - a new Independent Film 

This is the story of a guy who was coaching for the St. John's U Soccer Program when the school "went NIKE". He refused to wear the gear (moral reasons - worker exploitation, etc...) and was fired. Lawsuits and much other stuff. Looks good. Prolly won't show here. The website is still being built, but it is worth being 'aware' of. It's an intersting tie-in to my other life.

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Sunday, May 02, 2004

So You Want to be a Science Teacher... 

So You Want to be a Science Teacher... asks "Is Oregon the future of public education in America?"

I suggest you read the argument and see what conclusions you draw from the presented information

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