Interview and Omission



Politician's Diary
- December 2001

The first paragraph of each day's entry follows the dated link to the full text.

I'm Back! 11-28-2001  Dear Political Diary, The snow has arrived! In short order I must begin sculpting something. For the first time in several years I've had an idea in mind in advance of the snow, although I've not drawn any models. Too bad that the two foot snow fell short of Duluth by fifty miles. Our six inches will raise the public's expectations but does not yet give me the quantity my idea requires.

11-29-2001 Semper Fi Dear Political Diary, I got a call yesterday from one of the parents on the planning committee worried that the superintendent was about to march them off a cliff. Julio at the direction of the school board is trying to speed up the planning process so that the Board can start grappling with school closings and other decisions quickly. I assured the parent that their appearance before the board next Tuesday, two weeks earlier than originally planned, was not an attempt to side step them. 

11-30-2001 TGFO Dear Political Diary, Its amazing how little I managed to get done today. The Christmas tree I put in my son's room last night while he was out he put back out into the hallway. He hadn't asked for me to put it in his room and he evidently didn't see the humor I had in its sudden appearance in his space. Everything was a little like that today.

12-3-2001 Delegate Assembly Dear Political Diary, Saturday night I finally got out the modeling clay and made a model of a possible snow sculpture to honor George Harrison. The weather has been warm and the sculpture would be easy to make but it wouldn't last long. It may not be topical by the time the weather cools appreciably for me to bother. If I make this one it will be a first for me- a sculpture with lots of color. 

12-4-2001 And I thought I was an Optimist. Dear Political Diary, I spent a couple hours catching up on my newspapers from Sunday on and writing a column about the Duluth Schools for Twin Ports People. I had been asked by Howie Hanson to write something a week earlier and had roughed out an essay that still needed some tinkering. I submitted the rough draft and asked for another day to complete it. Its too bad the paper doesn't have a wide readership because I enjoyed taking aim at Brad Bennett.

12-5-2001 Sleight-of-Hand Dear Political Diary, I have a confession to make. This diary is just a little contrived. It is, after all, intended for the general public. I want it to be interesting but I don't want it to be a cheap exercise in exhibitionism. It appears to be chronological but its contents can be changed long after the apparent entry date. Embezzlers do that kind of thing too. Furthermore, people who are aware that I write this have requested that I keep their comments to myself and not publish them. This certainly puts the unknowing at a significant disadvantage. It also means that people could start withholding information from me and that I will miss the candor I crave to get the best feedback and analysis. 

12-6-2001 Budget Reserve Dear Political Diary, Man o man. I just spent two hours typing this up and my computer crashed without my having saved the document. 1500 words into the ethers! I'm bummed. 

12-8-2001 Sell the Oil Dear Political Diary, For the most part I sat back this weekend and enjoyed the cars slowing down out front while their drivers took a good look at my yellow submarine. Its been remarkably warm however so the dye in the snow will probably put a quick end to my sculpture since the color will absorb the sun's heat so readily. Our school budget will be absorbing a little heat too this December.

12-10-2001 Birthday Boy Dear Political Diary, I'm a full year into my second half century today. At fifty-one I've earned all the gray in my beard. Of course, its just a fraction of the gray I've given to others.

12-11-2001 Cutting Off Debate Dear Political Diary, The Trib summed up the difficulties the school district faced at tonight's  budget presentation. Two questions remain.  What would the Administration recommend and would the Board act on these recommendations prior to the seating of Mary Cameron in January?

12-12-2001 Clearing the Air   Dear Political Diary, I stewed about last night's meeting anew while I read today's news story about it. I hope Laura gets over Eileen's defeat. Bashing me every month will not change the election's outcome. In November Laura decried my use of a metaphor which she found too vivid and swooned when I equated our budgeting task with that of an executioner. I'm sure she's assigned reading for her students with similar figures of speech. Last night she tried to shut me up by closing debate off when I suggested we needed to close a high school. Though not referred to in the story that's what had gotten my goat.

12-13-2001 Machinations Dear Political Diary, The Trib's reporter Steve Kuchera interviewed late yesterday and I was curious to see what he'd written up in this morning's paper. I was pleased to see that  I'd been quoted extensively at the end of the story. For those few that read it all the way through my opinion will jump out at them. I want to close a high school.

12-14-2001 If I had an hour  Dear Policital Diary, I spent much of today sitting behind my keyboard banging out possible Op Ed pieces for the News Tribune. When I wasn't doing that I was ferrying heaps of paper from my office to my daughter's old bed room so that I could clean my office. Its been two months since I've had an orderly environment. 

12-18-2001 Unkindest Cuts Dear Political Diary, I had coffee with a pal this morning and got a chance to grouse about the school board. I won't tell you who. Its not the first secret that I'll keep from you in this all too public diary. Of course, today's story in the Trib about the cuts we have to make tonight was a primary topic of conversation.

12-19-2001 Cooling Off  Dear Political Diary, Its the day after our budget cutting meeting and I'm glad to say I waited before writing yesterday's diary entry. Had I written it last night I would have been quite bitter that the administration had been ordered not to do the research I'd requested. Upon reflection, however, I was impressed with the Board's effort to make serious cuts.  We authorized over 2 million dollars of them. 

12-20-2001 Blow with the Wind Dear Political Diary, I spent my usual hour devouring the Trib. My ill omens are catching Ron Brochus' attention. I pasted the story from the Trib's web page into mine. A second story, about Jesse's Ventura's Apology to school administrators, wasn't on their site. I found it elsewhere on the web and pasted it in my page as well. Its hard to believe that Jesse ever called himself the "Education Governor." I even did Ventura the honor of sculpting him as such shortly after his election. What a joke.

12-21-2001 Op Ed Dear Political Diary, I spent the morning composing a potential column for the Duluth News Tribune. I worked on it till noon then called Jim Heffernan to tell him to look for it on his email. 

12-28-2001 Sam Dear Political Diary, Sam Solon died this afternoon.

12-29-2001 Interview and Omission Dear Political Diary, Sam Solon's legacy was spread across the front page of today's newspaper. It included a fair listing of the accomplishments and mentioned a couple blemishes. The Governor announced that he would set a time for a special election to fill Sam's vacancy to take place in about a month's time. As I type these words I can see a car across the street in Sam's District waiting to cross 21st Avenue to reach my district. I seem to be separated from a run for his seat by twenty feet.

12-31-2001 Ring Out the Old Dear Political Diary, Along with one email, I got four calls of note today on this the last day of the first year of the new millennium. 

Go to the entries for January 2002