superwizbang (Ken Schmidt)


Comment history

Police: 4 men now in custody following morning incident involving guns, masks

So much has been made of questionable spending by the city from many different angles. Whatever your stance, the purchase and training of the newest 4-legged members of our police force is a welcome expense. As an owner of a professionally trained shepherd, I can say these are highly intelligent animals and will prove themselves invaluable for years to come!

August 19, 2015 at 10:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Carrying his weight: Juco transfer Ke'aun Kinner no stranger to being asked to ‘step up’

The way he ran last weekend gives every bit of credibility to all that is said here!

August 13, 2015 at 9:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Key Kansas lawmakers defend plan to issue pension bonds

Hmm. I like it. Great time to issue bonds to raise money. Nothing like purchasing stocks when the market is at an all-time high. We wouldn't want to gamble with the retirement money of folks when there is a chance the market could crash again. *-facepalm-*

March 30, 2015 at 9:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

New bill would end state’s Teacher of the Year Program

Andy's post below demonstrates my original intrigue with the legislation. Your question about the DoE oversight was my point of reference. All I can assume, is as Andy points out, the Legislature must think that the DoE promotes a popularity contest and believes neutral oversight must be needed? Unfortunately, the proposal creates an unbalanced panel ratio of educators to non-educators. This, thereby, could create an environment of partisan promotion. I do not think having non-educators who are part of this board as a bad idea. I would merely assume that they should at least be represented by an equal number of peers as reviewers.

While Joe or Jane Public is not an educator, they maybe their experience in the business world brings a new perspective to the achievements for the reviewed educator. Again, I don't have the answers but I will be interested in what the stakeholders would say.

March 13, 2015 at 2:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

New bill would end state’s Teacher of the Year Program

Maybe to be clear, I am not stating that I support the measure, but that I am undecided. I also agree that professional educators are potentially the best source of oversight for such a panel. I can also see how those outside the field could interpret the system as being skewed in the form of a popularity contest.

When I say "interesting," I am referring to the mere fact that I am confused regarding how such a panel *should* be bias-neutral and how this would remain so over time. I am not oblivious to the fact that the bill might have been created to give legislators more control over who is rewarded and potentially reward those who fit party guidelines. There are groups in this state who pay big money to place potential candidates in such a position. I would hope this is not the case but after the flurry of legislation this year and last, my hopes are dim.

If the goal is to reward teachers who truly make a difference, and not teachers who are the most tenured and beloved, then yes, I am intrigued with where this might go. Let it be known that I feel teachers have a difficult job and are severely underpaid in many cases. This is a principle I will stand by firmly until the matter is resolved--if ever.

March 13, 2015 at 1:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

New bill would end state’s Teacher of the Year Program

Interesting idea. I will also be interested to see what educators think of this proposal. I am sure there will be those who push back because it is new and it comes from the legislature. What I find interesting is that 8 panelists are potentially partisan voters, as the legislature gets to choose the business leaders participating. What happens if non-partisan ethics gives way to "good old boy" politics and money promotes these business leaders to this panel of decision makers? While I find the idea intriguing, and the idea of significant reward for hard work is long-past needed, I can see this as a way to entice educators to be "one of our team" to get the reward. I can also see how the current system *might* promote a popularity contest today. I will enjoy learning from the following discussion.

As an aside, I find it interesting how the legislature continues to talk about becoming less involved in our personal lives yet also continues to place themselves in positions of authority where once, independent boards had jurisdiction. *shrug*

March 13, 2015 at 12:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

WOW to double Internet speeds in Lawrence by January

To follow up, let's imagine the future of television lies not in copper, but fiber. This is not a profound argument or unlikely scenario. Truly, most industry experts agree that delivery of entertainment in the future will be network bound. In such a scenario, cable companies are now not limited by competition in the local market, but are competing in a global market. Continue to imagine how much you love your DVR or plan to have 3 or 4+ streams going at once (DVR for one show, IPad in child's room watching another stream, you in the living room watching football, another family member watching a different channel in another room)...there are 4 streams simultaneously using ~40Mbps. Now imagine the smart electronics in the house also using bandwidth to communicate, both in the home and to the outside world, your usage will add up quickly. Again, notwithstanding the advancement of 4K TV if you plan to stream from your favorite online service. Many will simply say they won't buy those smart devices. We yes, and they probably said 15 years ago that they would never own a cellular device. Unfortunately, their car may now come equipped with that capability standard today, whether they like it or not.

We *need* competition in our marketplace, if only to force current providers to improve their services. If not service improvement, then improved prices. Raise your hands if you love your current $125+ cable bill? Even better, Google offers *free* 20Mbps basic internet service to its customers. Food for thought.

September 24, 2014 at 10:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

WOW to double Internet speeds in Lawrence by January

The problem is that many residents in our community, including those most outspoken on this forum, have no idea what they are fighting about. Let’s remove Wicked from the conversation for a moment.

Using your UVerse service as an example, what do you think IPTv (like AT&T) is? Wiki describes it best: “Internet Protocol television (IPTV) is a system through which television services are delivered using the Internet protocol suite over a packet-switched network.” The reason they provide a router is to eliminate using all of your bandwidth on your personal internet (intranet) network.

On average, to stream a “best quality HD stream” you will need ~10Mbps for 1080p and Dolby 5.1. Broadcast TV is limited by law to 19Mbps signals. All this does not matter until you understand that more and more people are viewing their television shows on sites such as Amazon, Vudu, Netflix or Apple TV. The cable companies know this too and are taking DRASTIC lobbying measures to severely limit your ability to watch HD content on their networks using these sites or charging a “gate fee” for priority streaming on those networks. This completely disregards the idea of fledgling 4K TV and ignores the concept of stagnant compression protocols for network transmission.

Enter (1+Gbps fiber network provider Google/Wicked): The ability to possibly choose your cable delivery method and move away from cable to an over-the-net provider scares the XYZ out of cable companies. Of course they will scramble to protect their monopolies. With the advancement of everything from refrigerators, coffee makers, IP security system cameras, and yes, even television based upon network connectivity, our generation of network traffic will increase exponentially, much as electricity use did in the youth of our parents and grandparents.

Stop fighting about, ‘I don’t like/trust ZYX person’ because of what someone told me about them and begin to ask yourself whether a $1 million pilot program could spur enough competition to get us ahead of the curve and not behind it. Just this small threat of competition has forced the hand of WOW executives. Imagine what a functioning network might bring. Also research where the future of networking is headed and understand it *WILL* advance and connect your home, whether you bury your head in the sand or not.

September 24, 2014 at 10:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City to deliver recycling carts on Monday

Thanks for the link to request a second cart. Somehow I missed that and thought that we could only request a smaller cart.

Additionally, will Deffenbaugh continue to have their full-sized recycling dumpsters in town now that they are discontinuing curbside service?

September 6, 2014 at 12:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City to deliver recycling carts on Monday

I don't get it. I fill up my 65 gallon Deffenbaugh container to the brim each week. I generally only fill my trash container once every other week or third week. Will they deliver a second cart for those of us who faithfully recycle already?

September 6, 2014 at 12:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal )