Wednesday, 4-17-2002


Dear Political Diary,

LTNT. (Long time no type) You are a luxury my friend. I've had such a pregnant month that there's been no time to fill you in. I should start with last night's fiasco. The School Board voted 5 to 4 to proceed with the boundaries and turn our back on a two high school proposal. The 500 petitioners in upper Woodland got no hearing. Half a dozen thanked me for my help in trying to sidetrack the plan. One fellow called this morning and told me it was my finest hour. Yeah, but I lost. 

One of the things which has cut into my diary time is a rival writing assignment. My column for the local tabloid the Reporter is only once every other week. Still, putting a passable column together takes me a couple days. I really enjoyed writing the one I submitted today. Unfortunately, it will probably cost me votes. You can't make friends by making light of abortion.

I got an email late tonight from the Reader's editors. They've had one complaint so far that my column is a crass attempt to promote my political career. I offered to let them cancel me anytime they wanted but they told me that until they gave their journalistic ethics some serious consideration they'd keep me on. Too bad. I'll probably end up promoting myself back to private life. Oh, they also gave me a little grief for being lousy about honoring their deadlines. Oh well, Its only homework.

I headed over to the Northeast Regional Corrections Center again this morning to pass on my tips for reading to kids to the inmates. I read them Noisy Nora and lent them some of my books to read to their own kids. As usual I strongly encouraged them to abandon themselves to their inner child. Of course, that may be what got them to NERCC in the first place.

I thought I was through reading to classes this year but I got a call from Chester Park and will read to Mrs. Marsman's class tomorrow. I've felt bad that Chester Park hasn't invited me over to read that often in recent years. Chester was my own kids school but some of the faculty still harbor resentment against me for letting the Edison school set up shop in town. I may not look so bad now that some of Chester's erstwhile friends on the Board are pressing so hard to shut down additional elementary schools.

I got two calls from television stations this afternoon. WDIO just wanted me to explain how the fee based, all day kindergarten was going to work but KDAL dropped by to interview me about the status of the seven hour day proposal of the teachers. I was cautiously optimistic for the camera. but frankly I'm losing hope.

Last night the teachers sent us what amounted to a counter offer just before the school board meeting. Evidently the Union's executive board wasn't comfortable with my suggestion of doing the same thing they did as last year so they upped the offer to finance not just the seven hour day but all day kindergarten and other goodies. Unfortunately they wanted to finance it with part of the staff development budget that is already designated for important school programs. I suspect they don't think that the teachers will approve what we suggested and have given us something which they are hoping we will turn down so that we, the Board, end up looking ungenerous rather than them. This has become a hot potato but with luck we can both set it down before either of us gets our hands burned. Officially we will try to negotiate a counter-counter offer that they will find acceptable. I don't think it will go much further than this.

My new computer showed up this afternoon. I left it sitting in a box downstairs. Robb was appalled that I could leave such a treasure sitting there unopened. It will be good to have it since this one has gotten very buggy in short order.

Before Choir practice I set myself down for my piano practice. I got a little better than half an hour in. I started lessons with Nancy, our choir director, one week ago. I haven't missed a practice yet. I told Nancy that I wanted to learn piano to help keep my brain flexible and stave off the affects of Alzheimer's. I can now report with absolute confidence that it is physically impossible for a human being to play the piano. Its just like the School Board.