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Fair and Balanced Discussion from Southern Oregon

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

It's a marathon, not a sprint... 

Wil Wheaton is someone I read for the sake of reading, not because he's a policy wonk, or always has something important to say, but because whatever he's saying, it interests me, and often moves me.

Today, he started a brief chronicle of a marathon he and his wife Anne took part in as a fundraising effort to support a friend with leukemia.

The substance of the post, and the spirit of the post are both moving - and because I can be non-linear (more often than not) in my thinking, I really latched onto the small part of the piece that dealt with making it through to the end of the 26 miles. The How, the mental focus, the mantra.
Just keep going. Just keep going.

Yeah! That works. Nothing to really think about, nothing to trick myself into believing. It's just a simple but effective motivation in three short words.

Just keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going.

I looked up at the horizon, relaxed neck and shoulders, and just kept going. I filled my conscious mind with my new mantra, and let my subconscious mind find a way to let my body continue moving forward. After a few minutes (I think) I put myself into a sort of trance.

Just keep going.

That is where I am, too. The election is November 2. I've been running since last December... I have to keep going, keep focused, and press forward. Like Wil and Anne, who undertook a challenging run to benefit and try to change something beyond themselves - something they care about, I am also running to benefit and work to change something I care about - government and public policy in Oregon. And the race I am in certainly qualifies as a challenge.

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let's look at some numbers... 

The Chalkboard Project is the first collaboration by Foundations for a Better Oregon, which is five Oregon charitable foundations brought together by a common goal — a better state for all of us to live in.

The Collins Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, JELD-WEN Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, & The Oregon Community Foundation

Let me call your attention to data from an April 2004 survey of Oregonians - some key points:
  • 80% of Oregonians feel the state's K-12 public education system should be the very best, or among the very best in the nation.
  • 45% felt Oregon's K-12 public schools were doing an OK (21%) somewhat bad (16%) or very bad (8%) job; while 36% said somewhat good, and 9% said very good.
  • 61% felt Oregon needs a group of independent, non-partisan organizations to convene to improve the state's K-12 public education system.
  • 69% of Oregonians said the ability to do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division should be a requirement for graduation. 63% said strong reading, writing and speaking skills should also be a requirement for graduation.
  • Oregonians felt the top two obstacles for public school success were "lack of direct parental support" (83% combined very big and big ratings) and "lack of stable and adequate funding" (82% combined very big and big ratings).
  • 1 in 3 Oregonians said they would get involved in an independent, non-partisan effort to improve the state's K-12 public education system.

  • So thing #1 on that list that caught my eye, over 30% don't think basic math skills are needed to graduate and nearly 40% think language skills aren't needed, either.

    Um...

    ?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Also key on the list is the rating of the two obstacles. So if 82% agree that schools are being hampered by the funding situation and 80% feel we could have the best schools in the nation, why has it taken the legislature over a dozen years to accomplish nothing substantive to address the funding situation in the aftermath of the Measure 5 passage?! It's not like the political support wouldn't be there for you if you would show some LEADERSHIP on the matter...

    Grrr...

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    Sunday, June 27, 2004

    Kerry Houseparty Sat PM 

    Saturday was a houseparty hosted not too far from me. they were expecting 50 people - they got 70. They were expecting $500, they got $1500.

    Two candidates (myself and John McColgan, running for the OR-2 US House dist) and Jamie Auchincloss spoke.

    Much fun, good food, good connections made!

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    Saturday, June 26, 2004

    Buckley joins the Dean Dozen!! 

    Announced via email and on Blog for America, the latest iteration of the Dean Dozen includes fellow So Or Dem Peter Buckley, running in neighboring District 5!!

    Show Peter and DFA v 2.0 some love (after donating to moi, of course)

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    Wednesday, June 23, 2004

    Could it be? Yes it could.... Something's coming, something good... 

    Apparently, there is an exploratory effort underway... some funds are being raised so some polling can be done, so someone can run as an Independent to keep us from doing "the same things in the same way with the same people" in Salem.

    Hrm.

    In case no one has noticed, I am not in Salem, and I sure don't fit the profile of more of the "same", so if anyone is interested in change in Salem and progress to benefit Medford schools, jobs, roads, air, water, and parks, you already have a candidate:

    Hint - the one who hasn't served in Salem. Recently or ever.

    John Doty.

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    Thursday, June 17, 2004

    Summer Plans 

    The lesson of my last two weeks is not to make any firm plans.

    CrossRoads cancelled summer school for the first time in a long time a week before school ended - since we are on 216 day contracts instead of the 190 standard in most schools, this meant a loss of income looming. But I found another job (Thanks HUGE to the Britt Festivals and Mike Sturgill) and all seemed like it would work.

    Then summer school was resurrected. Lots of backstage mojo on that effort, apparently, and I am far too low on the food chain to know the details. So I resigned from Britt (after working 5 or 6 days), and geared up for summer session.

    Which was again cancelled yesterday.

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    Wednesday, June 09, 2004

    Last Day of School and Open Thread 

    After today, I will be done with students until summer session in July. So the campaign gets more attention as of this afternoon.

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    Wednesday, June 02, 2004

    No Special Session 

    I will update this later today or tomorrow, but the short version is that the 'special session' called by Speaker Minnis w/o support from the Senate or the Dems lasted a whopping 13 minutes on Tuesday.

    Jeff Golden talked about it, there is some good stuff in the Register Guard and the Statesman Journal (links when I get a chance)

    Overall, seems like a good plan to NOT have one and the charges of "Political posturing" seems to stick much more firmly to the GOP House leadership and not much of anyplace else.

    update - clearly, I didn't get to it this weekend. Real life and school funding and local philanthropy have combined to complicate my life, but we will have a seperate post on that MUCH later, once dust settles and all.

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