Archive for Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First Bell: What if a school board candidate withdraws, then wins?; state grants available for “Safe Routes to School”; Department of Labor to check for mold at Kennedy

February 9, 2011

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A few education-minded items from around the area:

Governments and other entities looking to improve ways for children to walk or ride bikes to school can apply for grants to help get the work done.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is accepting applications for grants through the federal Safe Routes to School Program.

Financing is available for projects in two categories:

• Infrastructure, such as sidewalks, traffic-calming devices, pedestrian and bicycle crossings, on- and off-street bicycle features, secure bicycle parking, and traffic diversions.

• Noninfrastructure, including the launching of public-awareness campaigns, creation of “walking school buses” and “bike trains,” education and enforcement regarding traffic laws, training students in pedestrian and bicycle safety, and training for volunteers and other personnel.

Applicants also can seek money to help develop plans for providing safe routes to schools, with the potential available for getting more money later to implement such plans.

For more information about the grants and the application process, visit KDOT’s program page online, or e-mail Rebecca Pepper, state bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, at rpepper@ksdot.org.

•••

Diane Lindeman may not be running for Lawrence school board, but her name will remain on the April 5 ballot.

And if she gets elected? Members of the school board itself would be the ones to choose her replacement.

“The members of the board fill the vacancy,” said Jamie Shew, Douglas County clerk. “They publish a notice, and then — after the notice — they have to wait 15 days, and then they fill that vacancy.”

Lindeman announced this week that she no longer intended to campaign for one of four seats on the board, saying that she would be unable to commit the time and energy necessary.

“For personal reasons I have decided to withdraw my name from … the school board race,” she said.

Winners will be expected to take office in June, and serve for four years. Should Lindeman win and not take office, board members would choose someone to fill the vacancy — and that person would serve a two-year term, until voters would elect a board member to serve out the remaining two years of the term.

•••

State officials definitely plan to check for mold at Kennedy School, but folks from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment won’t be the ones running the instruments, collecting the air or writing the reports.

“We do not do mold assessments at all,” said Jonathan Larance, public information officer for the department.

Larance called Tuesday afternoon, seeking to clear the air after his department caught wind of the Lawrence school district’s plans to have KDHE inspectors check for mold at the school, 1605 Davis Road.

District officials have discussed mold concerns during meetings of the Lawrence Elementary Vision Task Force. Each time, they have discussed KDHE as being the state agency that would be following up on private tests that show the school has no mold problems.

Larance points out that the Kansas Department of Labor actually would be the department conducting any such inspection and/or testing. He actually confirmed that fact with the Department of Labor’s Division of Industrial Safety and Health late Tuesday afternoon.

“They’re the ones doing the test,” Larance said.

— The First Bell e-mailbox is always open: mfagan@ljworld.com.

Comments

Synjyn Smythe 4 years, 6 months ago

Sad that the administration of this school district doesn't know the difference between KDHE and KDOL! Obviously, Mr. Fagan is getting his information from the administration who has no idea what is going on here!! It took a correction by KDHE to get this straight. This reflects poorly on the accuracy of the information Fagan gets from this administration, and on the concern that this administration has for the mold problem at Kennedy!!

Clevercowgirl 4 years, 6 months ago

Actually, instead of KDOL, NIOSH would probably be the appropriate agency to address this problem. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2009-167/

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