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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 30, 2009 3:37 AM. The previous post in this blog was It could be curtains for Yao, y'all. The next post in this blog is Money in the bank -- sort of. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

High school dropout rate takes a leap

It all depends on how you count, but the latest news from Oregon's schools is not good.

Comments (40)

High School graduation rates are meaningless in the sense in that all they track is the number of students who have been institutionalized for 12 years, not the number who have been educated.

There is no standardized or uniform testing to prove that students have actually learned something (been educated). Of course the school administrators and teachers unions don't want any testing whatsoever because they know what the results would be: Very bad.

Right now public schools exist to benefit school teachers and administrators, not students. Until we change those dynamics we had better forget about expecting the public schools to educate anybody.

The article seems a bit simplistic. Learning rates are highly impacted by a stable living situation, language capability, reading capability and disabilities of varing impact. Additionaly after school activities (sports, volunteerism, church, etc) and home learning environment have substantial impacts.

Most experts tell us that you can predict and impact high school success by third grade and before. Pre school learning programs are highly effective in helping kids enter school ready to learn. Reading is key by third grade as is home stability-- staying in the same school for the year. Most agree that in trying to change the drop out rate the emphasis must be made in elementary school to stop the problem before it expands and makes high school a very difficult experience.

When will we start hearing about the factors we can influence like: what % of those who did not graduate could read at the 80th percentile in 3rd and 10th grade? What % could write at the 80th percentile in 3rd and 10th grade? What percentage stayed in the same school during their schooling experience? What % had access to tutoring or mentoring programs?

Learning that the drop out rate is high does not help us solve the problem. Hearing about answers to questions like those above at least tell us what needs to be worked on.

50 years ago teachers gathered to talk about helping the kids. That discussion seems to have morphed into conversations dominated by wages and benefits.

Yawn. This is nothing that renaming all of Portland's high school's won't cure.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2009/06/portland_board_passes_budget_w.html

Unions have ruined the school system. You can't get rid of the bad teachers or reward the good ones. The bad ones stay and a lot of the good ones move onto a new career. I had a teacher that my dad did, he couldn't teach then and 25yrs later still couldn't teach when I had him.

Even worse, the unions are trying their damndest to kill any and all alternative schools because they have no control over them. Lets not forget, they also show just how bad of a job state schools are doing.

Right now public schools exist to benefit school teachers and administrators, not students.

that kind of blanket condemnation is one of the saddest parts for teachers. my wife's a teacher, and let me tell you--public school is a complex challenge, tackled day-to-day by people more dedicated than I've ever seen in the private sector (where I work). teachers operate under so many government-imposed rules, restrictions, goals and "programs" that it's a wonder most teachers don't simply quit and find another way to teach. many do.

in other words, give the teachers a break. my wife often buys supplies--even the most basic, like pencils and paper--out of her own pocket. she has to deal with kids with a WIDE range of problems, challenges, issues, parent rules, home lives and handicaps, all in the same room, and teach them well. grading in the evening, on the weekends, prep and cleaning, dealing directly with hundreds of parents a year, with administrators, with ongoing budget cuts, NCLB, mandatory testing...the list is enormous.

and for this, my own wife makes about two-thirds my salary, which is fairly modest. she's been doing it for a dozen years or more.

so when teachers hear the public complain that "teachers" are the problem, they laugh bitterly. it's so absurd and surreal that it makes you cry.


Unions have ruined the school system. You can't get rid of the bad teachers or reward the good ones.

not really. "bad" teachers are "gotten rid of" all the time. I partly agree that the "good" teachers aren't rewarded nearly often enough. but some sort of MBA-centric "merit based" pay system isn't the answer either.

and here's a key fact: teachers don't run unions, and often don't agree with everything the union organization does. but without unions, most teachers would be financially and professionaly screwed over every year.

ecohuman - "teachers operate under so many government-imposed rules, restrictions, goals and "programs" that it's a wonder most teachers don't simply quit and find another way to teach. many do."

You've answered your own question. Government run daycare centers were doomed from the start to fall to the lowest common denominator.
Those are also union imposed rules. Sadly, I have no doubt they are dedicated, just constrained by what the ultimate bureaucracy a govt entity must become.

Looks to me like the moral of the story is that if you want your kid to graduate from school then move to the suburbs. 80%+ graduation rates in Wilsonville, West Linn, Lake O, etc but about 50% in Portland.

Portland must be too busy with shiny trains and other toys to bother with schools.

Sadly, the fix that today's political lean has in store for public schools is to throw money at the Department of Education.

You know, because that's worked so well for the past 40 years...

Many of the districts that are reporting heavy drop out rates have substantial ESL populations. These kids are showing up and don't even know their ABC's and barely speak English. Some of the families in poorer district battle homelessness, alcholism and drug addiction. Mom or dad may have a serious health problem and no health insurance. I would be that 50% of the kids in the Lake O district are beginning readers before they reach Kindergarten. It's manifestly unfair to blame the teachers in Woodburn, Reynolds and David Douglas because their dropout rate is worse than more affluent districts. Many of the underlying problems are societal. There is room for improvement, but don't lay all the blame on a flawed educational system. Teachers are human beings, they are not miracle workers who wave a magic wands over their classroom and fix all the problems overnight.


"The article seems a bit simplistic."

OK, you tell me what is a good measure. It seems like every time we have a metric that shows schools are getting lousier, then someone comes along and says we can't use that figure for whatever reason.

Meanwhile, schoold get lousier and we keep playing the blame game and just keep on doign what we always have been. Why would you expect different results like schools to get better?

the biggest mistake to date has been to treat education as a consumer good--something a kid can go "get", download to their brain, and bring home. this weird fallacy is perpetuated all the way through grad school: come to school, "get" a degree!

a kid's academic success is more dependent on what happens *outside* of school than inside school. some parents and adults get this; most don't.

and putting all (or even most) of the responsibility for a kid's learning on schools is something like blaming the dentist for your kid's cavities:

Parent: "hey, Dr. Jones, those brushing and flossing instructions you gave Johnny? they didn't work!"

Dentist: "Did you make sure Johnny flossed every day and brushed twice a day?"

Parent: "Well...he said he did."

Dentist: "Did you make sure Johnny ate healthy foods instead of a lot of sugary, nutritionless ones? Did he get adequate vitamins?"

Parent: "...Er, most of the time, I think. I don't know what he eats when he's out with friends and stuff."

Dentist: "Did you remember to bring him in for regular checkups, like I recommended?"

Parent: "Oh, we missed a few, but you know, with work and everything, it's hard to get in..."

Dentist: "Is there a history of dental problems in your family?"

Parent: "Yes, some, but I don't see..."

Dentist: "Mrs. Jones, who's responsible for making sure Johnny has the best possible chance of dental health?"

Parent: "You! You're the dentist! He's got six cavities and it's all your fault! Dentists are overpaid! Dentists get too much vacation! Dentists..."

Dentist: "Good luck, Mrs. Jones. Here's another package of toothpaste, floss, and toothbrush for Johnny."

"the biggest mistake to date has been to treat education as a consumer good"

Great, how did you want to treat it. Again, we're tryign to fix everything but schools and blaming the parents. So what's changed with parents? You have parents that care and those that don't and the percentage is pretty much the same as it was 30 years back.

In the meanwhile, what's changed with schools in the past 30 years to educate kids better? I'd love to see one new breakthrough.

Don't worry, there is a test that last year's freshmen will have to take to pass. These numbers are high right now. Just wait until they have to pass the test.

The unions are the problem. Period. I've seen this firsthand, and instead of ever mentioning quality of education (the kids), all these people focus on are salaries and benefits. The unions work damn hard to convince teachers they're "gonna get screwed" so they can justify their union dues.

As our system collapses, it will be because of the unions that protect teachers and public employees. These unions are the greatest sham of our time.

The unions are the problem. Period. I've seen this firsthand, and instead of ever mentioning quality of education (the kids), all these people focus on are salaries and benefits. The unions work damn hard to convince teachers they're "gonna get screwed" so they can justify their union dues.

you don't actually know why unions exist, do you? and do you know that "salaries and benefits" are only part of what they're "focused on"?

but let's go with your theory. tell us, please, specifically: if unions ceased to exist tomorrow, how would that improve student academic acheivement?


"if unions ceased to exist tomorrow, how would that improve student academic acheivement?"

Fine, then what have the unions done to improve quality of education for children?

By that I mean how have they contributed to making a kid from a unionized school any smarter than one from a private non-unionized school?

Fine, then what have the unions done to improve quality of education for children?

I'll repeat what I said before: do you know what unions are actually for?

By that I mean how have they contributed to making a kid from a unionized school any smarter than one from a private non-unionized school?

The goal of unions is not "make kids smarter than those at schools without union representation". What makes you think that's the case?

By that I mean how have they contributed to making a kid from a unionized school any smarter than one from a private non-unionized school?

and that way of thinking is at the heart of the thinking problem: the purpose of schools is not to "make kids smarter".

schools don't keep a supply of "smart" in the classrooms that they inject students with. learning involves parents, home environment, the *student*, and a host of other things.

I'll say it again--schools are not stores that stock information where students can shop. and folks, try and understand the difference between information and knowledge.

OK, your syntax:

By that I mean how have they (unions) contributed to making a kid from a unionized school any more knowledgable than one from a private non-unionized school?

Now you're just obfuscating. If we don't expect our kids to be any smarter after going to school, then why are we sending them there? They can always learn where to get free condoms from on the street.

"do you know what unions are actually for?"

That is a non-starter, why should I care why unions exist in schools?

The reason we send our children to the public school system is for them to acquire a skill set that will help them survive in today's world. What having ro not having a union has do to with that is unclear.

I didn't think we created schools to give unions one more place to organize.

By that I mean how have they (unions) contributed to making a kid from a unionized school any more knowledgable than one from a private non-unionized school?

same answer. unions don't exist to teach kids or ensure their level of knowledge.

Now you're just obfuscating. If we don't expect our kids to be any smarter after going to school, then why are we sending them there? They can always learn where to get free condoms from on the street.

unions are not schools. unions don't teach students. I'm not sure how to be much clearer than that.

*you're* obfuscating, trying to conflate and equate "union" with "classroom instruction".

That is a non-starter, why should I care why unions exist in schools?

if you don't care why unions exist, then why are you criticizing unions and blaming them for educational problems?

The reason we send our children to the public school system is for them to acquire a skill set that will help them survive in today's world.

there are lots of reasons kids are sent to school. "acquiring a skill set" is only one of them. believe it or not, there's not universal agreement on why education exists and what its goals are.

"if you don't care why unions exist, then why are you criticizing unions and blaming them for educational problems?"

Since it seems non-union schools seem to turn out more knowledgable children. At least to the point where a lot of OEA members sned their kids to private schools.

YOu're right, there are a lot of reasons kids are sent to school. It may be a cheap babysitter for the parents. However, I think we need to agree on a min of things to expcet from schools such as acquiring a skill set. Otherwise, we'll just keep thrashing around while the schools get worse.

Since it seems non-union schools seem to turn out more knowledgable children. At least to the point where a lot of OEA members sned their kids to private schools.

you're assuming that "more knowledgeable" can be measured by "test scores". the fundamental problem with all of that is--the best and most beneficial parts of education have nothing measurable about them.

but if you want to measure, let's create an *overall* measure that includes the kid's parents, their home life, their physical and mental health, and their motivation. because that's the only way you can begin to capture student acheivement.


However, I think we need to agree on a min of things to expcet from schools such as acquiring a skill set.

I agree, but only if we also agree on a minimum set of things to expect from *parents* and *families* that are responsible for the majority of the kid's potential success.

"I agree, but only if we also agree on a minimum set of things to expect from *parents* and *families* that are responsible for the majority of the kid's potential success."

Parents we have no control over, only schools.

"most beneficial parts of education have nothing measurable about them."

So just keep doing what we're doing and if we have a gut feel its getting worse, then just say we can't measure it, so how the heck do we know what to do? Meanwhile we pour more money into schools and get a lower gradutation rate pre the article.

Not much of a solution.

Parents we have no control over, only schools.

thank you, you've made my entire point. what we have no control over is, in fact, the key to a kid's academic achievement.

So just keep doing what we're doing and if we have a gut feel its getting worse, then just say we can't measure it, so how the heck do we know what to do?

funny thing is, in countries where they don't rely heavily on government mandated batteries of tests to measure "success", students do very, very well. often better than here, in fact.

but seriously: if we feel lost without a standardized test to measure our success and progress through life, consider what that says about us, and our society.

and this: if you feel you can't trust schools (and teachers) without continuous, ongoing testing, and that you have to blame schools for what they have no control over, consider what that says about you, and our society.

Not much of a solution.
neither is waving a hand at the key factor in a kid's potential and calling it "out of our control".

At a really high level I'd say that the existing education system seems to work pretty well given a decent set of kids. So schools in areas where the family life is fairly stable and the community has average or higher incomes seem to do okay. What really doesn't work (and hasn't worked for years) is the current public education system in the inner city. Education by government employees just doesn't seem to have the ability to deal with all of the bad actors that you run into in really bad environments. I don't necessarily have a solution to that problem but it doesn't appear that anyone in the education system has a solution either. My solution as a parent is to just move my kids to a better school.

"you don't actually know why unions exist, do you? "

Yes, the purpose of unions is "collective bargaining"; a term used to describe the increased "power" a banded group of employees will have over management. It is this collective power that keeps management at the table, otherwise a strike might ensue...right? This is how union members get increased salaries and bebefits, etc. So, no, unions aren't there to create a better product...just to ensure that employees (teachers) get more.

In my opinion, the concept of a union works quite well in the private sector. When employees collectively bargain for more, it is taken out of either the profits of the shareholder or reflected in higher prices of the product...shareholders and end users have a choice if they don't like deals that unions strike; sell the shares or buy the product elsewhere. In the private sector, unions keep management honest.

Unions in the public sector rot the system and rob the taxpayer. There are no shareholders, there are no end users that have a choice (unions make sure of that), and "management" often consists of elected officials. Why do they need to "collectively bargain" against elected officials? Unions for civil servants should be banned because they're just a ponzi scheme designed to get more share of tax dollars....and the children and other social services suffer tremendously in the process.

I do beleive that when we look at all of the problems with fiscal deficits in hindsight, we will clearly see that the public employee unions sucked the system dry...because we let them.

have a discussion with any member of a public employee union, and their attitude is that they're "entitled" to salaries and benefits equal to (but often greater than) those offered in the private sector. It's fantasy. Public employees often do far better than the Average Joe in the private sector; they have PERS...pensions are all but extinct in the private sector; they're bleeding the private sector for their retirement benefits and high salaries and we're getting a crappy product in the process.

The system is broken!

"My solution as a parent is to just move my kids to a better school."

Well, that's nice if you can afford to do that. As a taxpayer, I resent the fact that I pay thousands of dollars every year to support public schools when they suck so bad.

At the very least, we should have a voucher system where I can use my tax dollars and send my kid elsewhere. But, guess what? The unions fight that tooth-and-nail. Why? THEY WANT YOUR TAX DOLLARS ANYWAY. Even though their employees cant deliver the product, they want no competition.

Is anybody listening? When an education system can't deliver kids that can read...their teachers can't get fired and they eliminate consumer choice. I SMELL A RAT!!!

Putting some distance between high school and the present certainly improves things. If many people had actually been half as smart when they left high school as they apparently remember themselves to be, the world would be a different place.

People complain about today's graduates, with their lack of spelling ability, poor grammar, misuse of the language, and lack of general knowledge about the world. (Things, of course, that we NEVER see on blogs.)

The truth is that today's kids are probably about as smart as we were at their age, are savvier about technology and more street smart.

What they don't have as much of is specific job skills and knowledge about the world of work. That's because we've become so "test crazy" and have diverted so many resources to "basic skills" that can be measured with standardized tests that vocational/technical programs have all but disappeared in many districts. (Or, there are so many required courses that they can't find time for them in their schedules.) These programs helped kids mediate the gap between their time as students and the work years. They motivated kids by providing context for basic skills that's now often missing. But don't blame kids or teachers (or unions) for that. We sat back and allowed our politicians to demagogue education issues instead of coming up with tougher, but more effective solutions.

In the 1980's, when the Commission on Excellence report came out, education was supposedly headed over the cliff. I wonder how many of the geniuses bashing the schools graduated during that era?

Unions for civil servants should be banned because they're just a ponzi scheme designed to get more share of tax dollars....and the children and other social services suffer tremendously in the process.

again, I'd suggest you look at why teacher unions exist in the first place. you're still missing the point--though unions aren't perfect (is there something that is?), unions didn't arise to give teachers cushy jobs--they arose to give teachers a living wage and protection from abuse of power by administrators and businesses.

and if you think teachers have "got it good" because of unions, I'd suggest you go teach for a few years, collect the paycheck, and report back to us.

"and if you think teachers have "got it good" because of unions, I'd suggest you go teach for a few years, collect the paycheck, and report back to us."

I taught for six years, and was absolutely disgusted by the greed and inefficiency that the union fostered in a system that would likely be better off without it.

The union convinces its members that they are victims and that they don't earn a living wage, and that they need to be protected "from abuse of power by administrators".

When I hear that school systems in the US can actually perform and be successful like they do in other countries, then I'll listen to the "boo hoo hoo" from teachers. Take it from one...the system stinks.

When did it become that questioning something means you are anti. If you don't support illegal aliens, you are racist. If you question the performance of schools, you are anti-teacher.

GROW UP!! Or get out and let the adult solve this.

I taught for six years, and was absolutely disgusted by the greed and inefficiency that the union fostered in a system that would likely be better off without it.

I don't buy it. because if you actually were a teacher in Oregon, you'd know fairly clearly the consequences of not having the union actually working for you.

The union convinces its members that they are victims and that they don't earn a living wage, and that they need to be protected "from abuse of power by administrators".

that statement makes me believe you were an Oregon teacher even less.

and of course a teacher's union isn't perfect--but using it as a straw man catch-all for academic ills is ludicrous.

When I hear that school systems in the US can actually perform and be successful like they do in other countries, then I'll listen to the "boo hoo hoo" from teachers. Take it from one...the system stinks.

again, like several others, you're conflating "teachers" with "the system" and "the unions", then castigating the lost as if it were a single entity.

"I'd suggest you look at why teacher unions exist in the first place."

Dear god, just tell us why they exist. Somehow the poor private schools and high-tech industry seem to do just fine without unions.

"Not much of a solution.
neither is waving a hand at the key factor in a kid's potential and calling it "out of our control"."

You know what, if you are doctor, you control what you can and you don't try to stop making what you can control better.

So waving your hands and saying parents are terrible, keep throwing money at schools and expect the same results because parents are terrible is really pretty empty.

So waving your hands and saying parents are terrible, keep throwing money at schools and expect the same results because parents are terrible is really pretty empty.

who said parents are "terrible"? I said parents and home life are the most important factor in a kid's academic success, not schools.

is it really difficult to understand that the problem isn't just "get rid of some financial baggage and then schools will be well funded"?

tell you what--send your concern in a direct e-mail to the head of PPS. ask her specifically to explain the problems that schools are facing.

the problem's complex. nobody wants to approach it that way; they want to condemn something, blame someone--so they pick...*teachers*? what the heck?

ecohuman, I understand your need to protect the concept of the teachers union because you probably benefit from it in some way. I was there once too, and trust me...I desperately tried to understand what good they accomplished. I agree with your point...the union isn't there to crank out a better product, it is there as a protection mechanism against big, bad management.

When the dust clears as we all have clarity on the magnitude of the financial mess on our hands, there will be NO QUESTION about the damage caused by public employee unions. They've doled themselves out way too much (PERS, remember) and it is simply unsustainable.

There is an intellectual FLAW in the entire concept of public employee unions, and that is that school systems and municipalities ARE run by the public. We elect officials to ensure that the public good is carried out, and done so efficiently with our tax dollars. Why on earth do we need unions to protect public employees from publicly-elected officials? If teachers (or other public employees for that matter) need "protection from administration" (your words), then we as an electorate should get rid of these "administrators" you speak of.

What you're really arguing is that public employees need unions to protect themselves from public officials. The real issue is money, and making sure public employees get their share...and the poor taxpayer is footing the bill.

The system needs to change.

ecohuman, I understand your need to protect the concept of the teachers union because you probably benefit from it in some way.

that's not quite it. I don't benefit from it. my point's fairly simple: the "problem" is ill-defined, also complex, and scapegoating unions/teachers/schools (pick any or all) is missing the point.

it's fairly clear that, if teacher unions disappeared tomorrow, and teacher retirement benefits were eliminated tomorrow, schools would still have tremendous problems. a teacher would know that, PD, right off the bat. the problem isn't simply financial, but the public is dead focused on money.

"it's fairly clear that, if teacher unions disappeared tomorrow, and teacher retirement benefits were eliminated tomorrow, schools would still have tremendous problems."

Yes, because unions are so pervasive and insideous that if the did go away tomorrow there would be hell to pay...isn't that their mission statement or something?


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Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

The Occasional Book

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: 259
At this date last year: 107
Total run 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


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