Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.







Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!






E-mail us here.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 17, 2007 3:14 PM. The previous post in this blog was Obama's loaded. The next post in this blog is From quick T's to tee times. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
TaxVox
Tax.com
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Conglomerate
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
myCorporateResource.com
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

We know, we know

In press releases, the Portland School Board is now referring to itself as "the volunteer Portland School Board." This is to remind us that the board members are not paid for their time and effort.

We appreciate their dedication. But why the reminder? To soften us up so that we won't look critically at the policy decisions they are making? Nice try, but that's not how it works.

Comments (29)

This is to remind us that the board members are not paid for their time and effort.

We get our money's worth.


Actually, a lot of people don't know that board positions aren't paid - including many PPS parents.

Yeah, really.

Yeah, I didn't know that until early last year? I mean who has that kind of time if they're not being paid? Considering the amount of budget dollars and major stakes involved, don't you think the positions SHOULD be paid? Would that attract wider range of candidates (note that I specifically did NOT say "better" candidates). Would we have more candidates from economically "challenged" area of town if they were being paid?

But then again, what's up with a part-time legislature?

Nice generosity of spirit, Ricky. Where do you spend your own volunteer time and effort? You appear, from your comments on this board, as someone who would begrudge another penny going to the school system from your own pocket.That makes your criticism of the school board doubly mean-spirited. Or is it just a knee-jerk libertarian reaction to take a poke at anyone who tries to do something for the community, through government or otherwise?

There's a number of unpaid volunteer boards and commissions available for citizens to get involved - the Portland School board is but one, albeit a high profile one. And I know from my own involvement that the examples rolled out in this blog of hand-selected committees rubber-stamping pre-ordained outcomes, are the exception, not the rule - we can and do send things back or make decisions that run counter to the original intent of the bureau.

Here are the lists for Multnomah County and Portland.

rr is quick to judge a board that is forced many times to make very difficult decisions, but I would challenge him/her to suggest improvements.

Allan,

You amaze me. Your ability to infer, assume, conclude and judge is without parallel. Your knowledge of the nature of mean-spiritedness and knee-jerk reactions unassailable. I do, however, detect a whiff of (dare I say its name) self-righteousness and its concomitant defensiveness in your comment. I hope that's not too, too ad your hominem. The "have you stopped beating your wife" bit was a nice touch, too.

Where I spend my time or money is entirely beside the point of my comment on Jack's post. Your "nuclear option" reaction is typical of the apologists for the status quo in education nationwide. Been there, done that.

And, just to pull your chain, it turns out all that new money isn't "for the children" after all - most of it's "for the teachers". Not quite the moral equivalent.

rr is quick to judge a board that is forced many times to make very difficult decisions, but I would challenge him/her to suggest improvements.

Forced to make difficult decisions? Were/are they unaware of what the job for which they volunteered entailed? That doesn't bode well for correct, informed decisions, does it?

As far as suggesting improvements, maybe paid positions would help - I'll think about it. But not having the answers doesn't mean I can't pose the questions.

Last time I looked, anyway.

So, Ricky, calling the incumbent Portland school board worthless is how you "pose the questions"?

And, just to pull your chain, it turns out all that new money isn't "for the children" after all - most of it's "for the teachers".

Yeah, the children would be sooo much better off if we got rid of the teachers and just gave them the cash -- to spend however they wanted in their classrooms.

Well, I've been churning out releases for the school district (and School Board) for two and a half years, and the practice of noting that they are volunteers in those releases pre-dates me. Sometimes I leave it out, but the template I inherited includes it and last night, as the clock crept toward and past 11 p.m. and the Board members were still meeting . . . it ended up in the release.

No matter what commenters may think of their decisions, Board members spend an incredible number of hours guiding the school district and working to do right by our students.

rr: Forced to make difficult decisions? Were/are they unaware of what the job for which they volunteered entailed? That doesn't bode well for correct, informed decisions, does it?

My choice of words, perhaps inappropriate. A better way of wording this is that they often have to decide matters by choosing the lessor of many evils.

As far as suggesting improvements, maybe paid positions would help - I'll think about it.

The rewards are small, the budget management responsibility level high, so the position would have to have a significant salary attached to it. That attracts guys like Kohler or Goldschmidt or their ilk. No thanks, I'll take the unpaid volunteers any day.

But not having the answers doesn't mean I can't pose the questions.

You didn't pose a question; you simply called them worthless, as has already been pointed out by Allen.


the lessor of many evils.

Let's leave Joe Weston out of this.

My neighbors and I spent several months lobbying the board last year over the closure of our local school. In the end they still closed it. I think that was the wrong decision but I walked away with an enormous amount of respect for all of them. They put in a vast number of hours (at least one took a year of work to do it full time) and were willing to make changes when faced with a good argument. In our case I think they got bad advice from the district and our PTA leaders made some odd decisions.

They knew that without closing some schools the levy wouldn’t pass and the chance of some stability would be gone. No matter what they did they knew that they would receive hundreds of emails from angry parents. I got replies (and one phone call) from them at bizarre hours of the day and night. I like to say that I’m interested in making this city work, but there’s not the slightest chance I would put in that much effort even if it was paid.

rr’s response was expected but sad. Instant cynicism when it comes to politicians has become the norm. They asked for it so who cares. In this case it’s just embarrassing, not that I would ever expect him to acknowledge that.

"it’s just embarrassing"

It's more than embarrassing; it's corrosive. People who are sensitive to this kind of knee-jerk criticism are unlikely to be willing to serve, and that's the wrong sieve for selecting public servants. What's more, as some smart person once observed, "any jackass can knock down a barn; it takes some skill to build one".

Well said, Allan (and sorry about miss-spelling your name yesterday). And there's no need for anyone serving in this capacity to take it personally or to stop serving because of such criticism. I get it at regular intervals because my area is land use, and to me, it's one indication that the commission I'm on is doing its job. If we were never criticized, I'd worry.

So, Allan, from your perspective, the kind of public servants we need are so sensitive that my little jab, stuffed and dressed like a voodoo doll with your preconceptions, will drive them away? Hyperbole is both too weak a word and has far more letters than the two necessary. The pushing and pulling from parents, unions, interest groups and taxpayers isn't going away, so a thick skin should be a prerequisite. Leadership is what's missing - Phillips is trying but has tenuous backing from the existing board. As with many publicly financed endeavors locally, it seems, firm priorities are either nonexistent or not adhered to. The PC weather vane that the board frequently emulates is not working.

If my comments are "corrosive", perhaps the Magi (Allan, Sherwood & Rettig) will set out the truth. Is everything OK with PPS? What needs changing? How should we proceed? How much is enough? What should the educational standards be? Measurable goals?

BTW, I'll happily acknowledge that you're embarrassed, Sherwood.

Good questions, Ricky.

rr: I'll let the other two speak for themselves, but I never professed to have the solution; I merely challenged you to be more constructive in your comments. It's a tough job, and they should have our support.

And I'm not sure why you just picked out the three of us for this honor, other than we confronted you directly on the first comment you posted. No one else in these comments appears to share your views, it would appear.

and?

John,

It's a tough job, and they should have our support.

It is a tough job, but the tough issues are well known and need to be dealt with. I do and will support anyone with what I consider to be the right attitude - like Phillips. Support for those with whom I disagree or whose attitudes I believe ineffective, if not counter-productive (let alone destructive), simply because they're "volunteers", would be a betrayal of the students. That same "logic" is what is used to justify every new contract in which salaries and bennies increase. It is also the "logic" used in dismissing and demonizing those who advocate merit pay, vouchers, charter schools or ANY idea that might jeopardize the current, fiscally irresponsible, "system". Simply and reflexively castigating anyone who questions the status quo - including the last couple of farcical contract "negotiations" is no more productive than name-calling - which, incidentally, seems to have originated on your side of this discussion. Inconceivable as it may be for some, not all taxpayers who question current and past actions, inactions and policies of the board are "knee-jerk libertarian(s)" or "doubly mean-spirited" - however convenient, if worn, that cant is. An honest appraisal of the system would raise many questions about its effectiveness and efficiency. These two words are not code - they're the first and most important two things that the public has a right to expect from its schools. If that expectation requires a look at contracts, bennies, work rules, outsourcing, etc. then that's what the school board ought to do. Failing that, they fail. That some groups will be pissed, and do whatever they can to keep change from happening, simply demonstrates what's wrong with the system.

Teachers deserve whatever they can get through negotiations - not whatever they want. When a PPS board gets its priorities in order, that will be self-correcting.

I though we'd been over this part, but OK: As a start, let's set out to address the problems faced by PPS with a constructive attitude, rather than engaging in tactics such as declaring the board worthless, and proceeding to argue about that part of it for 24 hours.

The questions at the end of your second-to-last post are a good start.

My previous comment was directed at your 12:55 posting, not the most recent. Sorry for the lack of context.

rr, sparkling wordplay as always. A pleasure to read and, dare I say, almost Wildian. If only your powers of perception were as strong. I believe the consensus was that you have nothing to offer but hackneyed phrases and a sub-sarcastic cynicism that you mistake for intelligence. How you got “hey everybody, wouldn’t it be jolly if we had a debate” from that I don’t know.

Sherwood,

I'll be sure to consult you in all matters hackeyed in future.

As for "consensus" about my intelligence, well, anyone who can extrapolate and interpolate with your evident facility and recklessness won't be impeded by the mere lack of basis for his judgements. Why you feel compelled to persist is confounding, however. All this from a single sentence - you never cease to astound me, Holmes.

But "jolly"; I never use the word "jolly".

"hackeyed" is the hackneyed spelling of "hackneyed"

the shame

rr,
Once again, great stuff. Pure gold from start to finish. I hereby surrender. Please accept my humble apology for wasting your time.

Sherwood,

When this becomes a waste of time I'll be ready for my grave.

Jack started it.

wow. the pps communications speaks. if sarah ames says it, the correct information has yet to be mentioned. it was julia brim edwards to coin the "volunteer school board" talking point. anyone that's been in the besc for a week knows that.

It appears that it's impossible for karla to express herself fully without profanity.

How constraining.


Sponsors


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 92
At this date last year: 144
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


Clicky Web Analytics