superwizbang (Ken Schmidt)

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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 )

Fans gather, wait overnight, for Late Night in the Phog

As a Williams Fund member, you would know from your Annual Membership Guide that approximately 584 members donated $10,000 or greater last year. Those members are allowed two tickets, if they RSVP'd and were able to attend. That number would equal 1168 total free tickets at most for this program. Given that the total Field House capacity is 16,300, that leaves 15,132 unclaimed seats. I do not have the ability estimate and/or deduct saved seats such as for the band or family members. While I will not justify the treatment that past donors received when Lew implemented the current points system today, I will say it is the system the University has chosen to stand by.

The monetary sacrifices that your father made as well as any donation received, whether large or small, comes as a gift borne from hard work. As I am sure you might attest, just because a donation of $10,000 seems like a large amount, not everyone in that list of 584 can just open a checkbook and sign that payment without pause. It comes with dedication and desire to keep our program strong. It is the same passion that drives a person to give free time to help others in need--when they might be doing something more selfish.

You do not know, it is possible, as a surgeon, that your father is quite acquainted with me and my family. Likewise, you might be a familiar patient too. All the same, I find it nice that once per year, the University makes an effort to say thanks. All the same, there are 16,300 seats in Allen Fieldhouse and that will not change. The true debate is only beginning; how admission for Late Night next year is handled will be determined by the outcry we saw last night. Yes, I agree that it is unfortunate that the Las Vegas graduate did not get in, but we have all waited in those lines and know there is the possibility of the doors being locked. It is unlikely the availability of the extra assigned seats would have changed that reality this year.

October 5, 2013 at 10:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Fans gather, wait overnight, for Late Night in the Phog

Elliott, thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, you might be unaware of what this family does for other charities as well; not the least of which has anything to do with money, but rather actual time and physical service.

October 5, 2013 at 4:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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