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Statehouse Live: Governor's task force on school efficiency starts work; chair promises to keep politics out

I'll believe they leave politics out when I see the final report. The fact that they have KPI kicking the task force off with a 2.5 hour presentation tells me we define the "distraction" of politics differently.

October 8, 2012 at 12:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence man hospitalized Monday

Any update on this news blurb? How is Mr. Prather?

September 19, 2012 at 11:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Town Talk: Therapeutic autism ranch may develop south of Lawrence; Knology e-mail issues resolved; Lawrence lands on Mother Earth list; tree cutting near Kaw levee

I've noticed that a bunch of tree's have recently been cut down north of the Bowersock Dam (or more accurately, north of the trailer park by Johnny's). Chad, is this part of the same project of the Corps of Engineers?

They did something similar to this a couple years ago in that stand of woods, but I do find it curious, since all of the tree's cut down this time appear (to me) to be below the levee. And most of them seem to be at least 12 inches in diameter (which would seem to me that the worst of any potential damage from these roots to the levee occurred in years past.)

Any idea how these roots destabilize the levee? I always thought roots were good for soil stabilization.

September 14, 2012 at 12:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School consolidation working group won’t pursue specific closings

No I don't wish for them to move forward with the charge just to move forward with the charge. But, so long as the charge stands, it should be followed, per the implicit agreement of everyone who volunteered. If the charge has changed or is no longer valid, that should be made clear by the folks who issued it in the first place (the School Board). To issue a charge with no intention of following a recommendation (or only the intention of following a specific recommendation) is not really a charge, but a waste of time, energy, and good-will.

Would you not agree?

I think a lot of people would be happier to have the charge changed or cancelled then to take it to the end only to realize that minds were made up months ago and that the original charge has no bearing on current realities, which is what it now appears.

February 14, 2012 at 10:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

School consolidation working group won’t pursue specific closings

Trevor articulates the stance of SONS from the beginning - Our way or the highway. The reps from Hillcrest/Cordley/New York have been willing to work with the others all along, so long as the others toed their line. And now, aryastark says the same thing.

It's interesting that H/C/NY entered this process, agreeing to a charge, only to work feverishly to undermine and circumvent it. Then, when they realized that not everyone was following their agenda, they cried foul and asked their minions to call, harass and pressure their friends and neighbors who lived in the other three school districts. Way to politicize a public process, SONS! (And ironically, a process that SONS originally asked for to ensure the affected schools would have a say in how consolidation might take place, all with no intention to actually follow-through with.)

And kudos to the school board members who did their political backers proud by allowing this charge to go forward only to undermine it by first telling them that a consensus wasn't necessary (thereby removing any necessity to actually work toward a consensus), then whispering privately that only one school closure was likely then later, none at all, while at the same time being unwillingly to say the same thing publicly.

This whole process has been an exercise in manipulation. One has to wonder if that was the plan all along? RIck? Vanessa? Keith?

February 14, 2012 at 9:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City allows fake grass at apartments

I think they asked the Commission to flip Lawrence the bird on their behalf, and on a 4-1 vote, the Commission complied.

February 8, 2012 at 10:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City allows fake grass at apartments

+1
Great idea, but they'd never get Mr. Fritzel's permission to do that.

February 8, 2012 at 10:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City allows fake grass at apartments

“I’ve heard people say that it is easier in this town to ask for forgiveness instead of permission,” City Commissioner Mike Dever said. “If that is the case, we need to change that mentality. But tearing up all this material seems like a waste of resources and energy. That is not being good environmental stewards.”

- Way to go Mike! Because you and the rest of the Commission are spineless, it truly IS easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. It's got to make you wonder whether Dever, Cromwell et al. run their businesses the same way - cut corners and put the full court press on for special consideration after the fact.

Shall we start a pool on when the next rule-breaker comes in for foregiveness from this crew and cites Tuckaway as a precedent? I'll take February 28.

February 8, 2012 at 10:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Firm maps out school consolidation group's proposals

Yet there are like 80 ESL eligible children in our district who don't get ESL education. Why? Probably multiple reasons unique to individual families, but one that I've heard is the parents want their child to go to their neighborhood school so they know the kids in the neighborhood, and not be bussed off to a school further away. Many of our Elem. schools don't offer ESL and EVERY school should offer it.

Perhaps for some languages, a small cluster should be offered, but for languages like Spanish and probably others, there are probably enough children in most school boundaries where they wouldn't be alone.

And like Kookamooka notes, ESL education is good for all students. There are low SES students in our district that enter school with very low language schools. Getting these students up to speed language-wise is a similar process in getting non-native speakers up to speed. They would benefit from ESL-trained teachers.

We need to quit treating ESL clusters as a sacred cow and have a district policy on how this is going to be offered in the years ahead. Doll stated that ESL would be offered at more schools in 5-10 years, perhaps even at the expense of the cluster. The Board needs to officially adopt a strategy and keep that in play during this consolidation process. To not address it and offer a solution, will end up not being a solution, but another issue that will need to be addressed down the road.

January 31, 2012 at 10:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal )