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Fair and Balanced Discussion from Southern Oregon

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Things I am reading today and updates! 

Around the blogs on lunch hour and after school.

This from the Diaries on dKos about the incursion of the Cessna into WaDC airspace...

Kos on the front page on Army Recruitment...

Talking Points Memo on recent Dem accomplishments...

another dKos diary, this time on a First Amendment issue...

Finally, the ongoing launch of the Oregon House Dems' blog...


In the AM, we had a new candidate for the school principal job do a walk-through. Hoping we get a good one! Today was also the aftermath of WWI in History and a review day on elections in Government class. Tonight is dinner at the future father-in-laws... busy day for moi.

Still have one job opportunity lurking and fear the trail has gone cold on the other FOUR I was pursuing in Phoenix/Talent.

If you are a Medford-area soccer fan, Rogue Valley Cup is this weekend - North Medford HS, Fichtner Mainwaring Park, and Ashland Middle School are the most-used venues.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Mad as hell! 

Back in 2004, I was a candidate because it was PERSONAL. All this CRAP that comes out of Salem under the guise of governance is ri-effing-diculous!

Today, we get news of two of THE MOST BASIC & NECESSARY things to a sound future for this state and the House GOP continues to vote down both of them.

#1 School Funding - The Dems are proposing at $5.4 billion, the GOP is countering at $5.1 As someone so sensitively noted over on the House Dems Blog, that is "only 6%"...well, 6% of the 1/2 million Oregon school kids is around 35,000, thanks. Shall we just draw them by lottery for no services and then use the provided funds to adequately educate the group that remains?

#2 Rainy Day Fund - today's Press Release from the House Democratic Office

House Joint Resolution 53 would have proposed an amendment to establish the Oregon Reserve Fund, which would operate without the limitations imposed on the present Education Stability Fund.
Money for the fund would come from the half the amount raised by the capital gains tax, as well as half of the ending balance of the state’s general fund.
The proposed amendment to the Constitution would go to the voters at the next general election, and if approved, would take effect in 2007.

So what did the Republicans do with the concept of creating a Rainy Day Fund? Leadership has denied it a hearing in the House.

I don't know about what Karen Minnis said when SHE was convincing people to vote for her, but MY opponent voiced the idea that a Rainy Day fund was a decent idea - looking to appear all moderate in moderate Medford. And he was the voice of experience and some such other garbage, despite the fact that he provided ZERO policy details anywhere in any campaign lit, despite the fact that his legislative experience was an appointment to a seat entirely during a recess, and despite the fact that when he DID offer something of substance, it was largely inaccurate or anecdotal and counter to data trends.

Of course to figure out how full of it the elected GOP seems to be, we need an informed and aware electorate. How very convenient that underfunding schools will produce exactly NOT that.

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Oregon Legislators BLOG!!! 

Welcome to the Oregon House Democrats’ Blog—an exciting new way to engage in truly open dialogue with the Democrats in the House of Representatives.

In today’s hot political climate, information is everything. But it’s not enough simply to read newspapers, magazines and websites, or to watch cable news. Legislators need a way to participate in a no-holds-barred exchange of ideas, opinions and views on a 24/7 basis. And the people need a way to make their voices heard. That’s what this blog provides, and it’s open to everyone who has a view to express.
With those opening words, Democratic House Leader Jeff Merkley gets the ball rolling with a "Welcome" post on http://oregonhousedemocrats.blogs.com/. The official LAUNCH comes today.

Freshman Peter Buckley(D-Ashland) follows up with a report on the Democracy for Oregon Summit, an outgrowth of Oregon's Howard Dean campaign effort, now redirected to 2006 and beyond. Mary Nolan (D- Portland) sounds off on the Republican moves on education funding (ooooh look, they won't support a funding level that some argue is treading water, at best...again! They'd like to cut MORE... almost makes me think I should run for something).

This is a great opening salvo from the the Oregon House Dems, moving forward as a group blog and reaching out to the voters of Oregon. Go, Engage, Commend and Critique.

It is OUR Democracy - it is a government of the people, by the people, for the people... the door is open people. Let's go on in.

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Monday, May 16, 2005

...but his Muppets will live on... 

May 16, 1990 - days before I graduated from college - we lost Jim Henson. PBen over at DailyKos triggered my rememberence in a comment posted earlier today. Paul Williams wrote these lyrics to an amazing song - and Jim provided the voice...

Why are there so many
songs about rainbows
and what's on the other side?

Rainbows are visions
but only illusions
and rainbows have nothing to hide

So we've been told and some chose to believe it.
I know they're wrong
wait and see

Someday, we'll find it
the rainbow connection
the lovers, the dreamers,
and me
For pretty much everyone my age, the Muppets, and particularly Henson's Kermit and Rolf, occupy a precious space in our hearts. As Stephen Lynch says (in the only family-friendly lyric he ever wrote), "Jim Henson's dead and gone, but his Muppets will live on, and Kermit's still hot, cuz it's still not easy being green..."

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Phoenix High Hits a Winning Note 

I've spent the past two weeks sitting in on rehearsals for Oklahoma! at Phoenix High School, so I was very aware that there were some outstanding voices in the music program, but I didn't know they were this good!

Shown here in a Mail Tribune / Roy Musitelli photo, Durene Putney directs the choir - the smallest to compete at the 3A level in the state, and as of this past weekend, also the BEST! Putney has been at Phoenix for about a decade (sorry, I don't exactly know) - she's the only performing arts staff who hasn't been there since my STUDENT days, though that will change next year with Mike Wraight and Bill Horton both retiring.

Many of the voices involved in this win are also on stage this weekend and next, as Oklahoma! opens tonight at the Rose Street Theater. Jared Thigpin - who was the fourth place tenor in the state-wide soloist contests the weekend before the ensemble contest - starts the show off, as Curly, praising the "...beautiful morning..." as he arrives at Aunt Eller's (Claire Rodgers, also in the choir) farm.

So Huzzah! to the choir... and Good Show!to the Thespians... I will be in the house on Saturday evening. I hope a few of my readers will take the show in, as well!

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Loss - discovered late... 

Henry Span was my housemate at 54 Home Ave during our senior year (along with Claude Szyfer, Jimmy Esquea, and Dave Hernandez). All of them majored in social sciences and I think I am the only one in the house that didn't end up a lawyer. I wasn't in contact with any of them after graduation. I ended up with this group because Claude was my frosh year roommate, and he and Henry both were part of a successful intramural soccer dynasty - midfielders on a team I was goalkeeper for. Today, my first notice of Henry's January passing came in the form of an email from the Alumni Relations Office that a Memorial for him has been added to the schedule for the 15th Reunion coming this May 20th weekend. Henry is the third member of the class of '90 who I was close to and has passed away.

J Peter (JP) Adler lived down the hall from Claude and I in "Gingerbread House" our freshman year. I last saw him at a corned beef and cabbage party celebrating St. Patrick's Day, just after I'd moved to Massachusetts to work for FTP Software. JP died later in the spring of 1995 in a collision with a truck while driving home to New York from Texas on the very afternoon he completed his graduate studies. His email announcing the completion and indicating his plans for the next two weeks (including seeing us all at the reunion) wasn't downloaded to my machine until several hours after the accident. His service was a week before our fifth reunion in 1995.

Steve Cohen lived in C1 LowRise, next door to me sophomore year. The Super Bowl party was at his place - in the hot tub they build from scrap wood and heavy plastic and duct tape. Several of that C1 population went on to live with me in B7 the following year, while Steve and George Bevis (my Best Man at wedding #1) got a place off-campus, so they could keep Kinneson, Steve's wonderful big black dog. George phoned me after I'd moved back to Oregon ('98? '99? I only remember that it was after I'd moved to my current home) to tell me Steve died in the ocean currents off Central America when he went in to save Kinneson, who'd fallen from a seaside path and into the waves. Kinneson survived and was rescued by a boat.

All too early.

The remainder of this post is taken intact from the George Mason School of Law website...


Law School Mourns the Loss of Professor Henry Span

Henry Span On Sunday, January 30th, 2005 former George Mason law professor Henry Span passed away at his home in New Jersey. Professor Span had been in cancer treatment for the past thirty months. The law school community and his friends and family mourn the loss of this remarkable individual.

"Henry learned of the illness that took him from us the very same week he began his appointment here at George Mason. Though he knew of its gravity almost at once, he remained an outstanding colleague and teacher throughout the painful course of treatment. His students praised him for his clarity and thorough mastery of Property and Environmental Law -- subjects that he had never taught before but that his capacious mind allowed him quickly to grasp. To his colleagues, he was a treasure. He came to our many workshops with a tough, skeptical mind, yet he was always civil and often funny. Until last fall when matters took a turn for the worse, he never allowed his health situation to slow him down. He was, in fact, the most feared racquetball player on our faculty.

When he left us last fall to return to his family, Henry was painfully missed, and we miss him still. Our hearts go out to his parents, sister and family. "

Comments from: Dan Polsby, Acting Dean and Foundation Professor of Law

Henry Span was born in 1968, and he was a graduate of Yale Law School where he served as editor of the Yale Law Journal and the Yale Law & Policy Review, in addition to being named an Olin Fellow. He also held a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Henry Span served as law clerk to Justice Virginia Long of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Services for Henry Span were conducted on Monday, January 31st in Westfield, New Jersey. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to Wesleyan University, 318 High St., Middletown, Conn. 06459.

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