Road Trip

My PCV sent me a text from his new phone at about 3:30 AM and was shocked when I responded at that early hour. I congratulated him on successfully mastering new skills. We have communicated through the morning. He is a little alarmed at all the blather I have posted and what I describe as my “diarrhea of the fingers.” He’s stuck with me and my flaws, foibles and a long history of doing things my own damned way (emphasis on damned). We had a little spat over truth vs. honesty when he mention “Harry’s truth.” I claim only to be honest not necessarily truthful. Beside’s the truth is subjective and so am I. I hope, however, that I am fairly scrupulous about making my honest thinking clear. My hero was “Honest” Abe not Truthful Abe. He said of truth, or in this case “the right,” in his Second Inaugural: “with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right. As Lincoln’s suggests, that right, that truth, is ours only as God gives us to see it and there is no assurance God gives the truth to us to see in the same way all God’s other adherents see it.

My PCV and I may get together briefly this afternoon and he has given me an assignment to fish out some names for him to call for the campaign while I’m in St. Louis. Mostly, I’d like to rest up for the trip. September is a way off yet and while the rushing around that I’ve done over the past couple of days has paid off it doesn’t need to be replicated immediately or every day of the campaign.

I’m taking my cars in to be serviced before our trek to keep them road worthy. While they are being looked at I’ll be having coffee this morning with a current school board member, Art Johnston, an old ally from Let Duluth Vote days who has some challengers on his heels this election. I may also go over and fuss over my daughter’s yard unless the newly rain soaked clay deters me. Most importantly, I’ll try to get a good night’s sleep this evening. We’re packing the U-Haul tomorrow and starting our road trip. While I’m behind the wheel I don’t want to space something as critical as depositing money in my campaign account like I did yesterday after that night’s insomnia.

My life in the afternoon not politics

Yes, I have a life outside of the chills and thrills small-time local politics gives me.

I was quite pleased with myself after the KBJR interview. My PCV will get a week or so to play with and learn the many secrets of his new phone before I’m ready to mail out a campaign fund raising letter. In the meantime I’ve got a little trip planned. Claudia and I will join a caravan with my son, his steady his buddy and two drugged cats of two cars and a U-haul truck. We are traveling to St. Louis where my son will begin his PHd studies for perhaps the next five years and his steady will become a medical professional.

We had invited them over for dinner so I wanted to have a light lunch and sit under the sun umbrella on our patio through the afternoon as though politics was the last thing on my mind. We fixed some lunch meat sandwiches and I pulled out Warmth of Other Suns and read for half an hour until the hour and a half’s sleep the previous evening caught up with me.

That evening Claudia cooked lambchops, nice thick ones. “Ummmmmmmmmmmnnnngggggggh!” as my hero Homer Simpson would droolingly say. We sorted through stuff in our attic and he chose to take an old black trunk of my grandfather Robb and a painting of my Mother’s that Claudia used to have up in her offices. Mom titled this one Light in the Forest:

I’ve always felt a little bad because he only has one other of her paintings – one that suited his cat fancy inclinations.

My son is as stubbornly independent minded as me. I’ve always wondered how difficult his public school life was because I served as a School Board member through all of it from fourth grade on. I have one particular memory of an assistant principal who seemed to take a passive aggressive delight in letting me know how uncooperative he was. For my son’s sake I took sides with the District employee’s who most aggravated him. I know that sounds ironic. I didn’t want him to be persecuted subtly because I interceded too much on his behalf.

He was also victim to the worst of the state’s meddling at his most ornery when the state forced our District to organize something it called “Outcome Based Education.” That involved a hideous reworking of our District’s curriculum that was so obtuse that a mother as bright as my wife could barely make hide nor hair of it. Robb, took his sweet time graduating and I didn’t have the delight of handing him his diploma with the rest of his graduating class (one of the few perks of being a School Board member) because he hadn’t finished earning it and couldn’t have cared less about any Pomp and Circumstance.

After his technical graduation a few months later he knocked about a bit playing music and washing dishes for four years before he tip toed back into academia. He did everything from that point on on his own until last week he successfully defended his 119 page thesis on shooting laser beams into viscous liquids to test the rate of diffusion of the contents. He’d cringe at that description of his work but I understand he’s been ardently courted by several chemists in the graduate program at the University of Washington where he is headed on Wednesday. He has mad skills and particular knowledge that they will need to conduct their own research. I couldn’t be prouder and I heartily approve of his doing what he wanted when he was ready to do it.

Today he stands as a testament to me that public schools ought to bend themselves around students as much as students bend themselves around school. All too often it is only the students who are expected to bend.

Welty for School Board Committee

The first thing I did this morning upon leaving my house was to head to my daughter’s construction site. (She really wants me to leave her poor contractor alone and find my own projects to do but I’m a Dad and can’t help myself.) She found me and I gave her some pointers (which she politely endured) on what I thought she should do next.

Then I went to the bank. I ended up taking my PCV’s advice and opening a generically named account under the name of this post’s title. Easy as pie….or so I thought. I had only fallen asleep at about 5:30 that morning having gotten keyed up writing the fund raising letter until midnight that so enthused my PCV. Sleep deprivation is bad news.

I headed to pick up my PCV to get a cell phone when I realized I hadn’t given my banker any starter money to put in my new account. After picking him up we headed back to the bank to deposit the money we would need to buy a cell phone. My PCV begged me not to introduce him to my banker as My campaign’s Karl Rove. Probably because he’s a self professed Trotskyite.

Money secured we headed to Best Buy/Verizon and looked at phones. Here’s the deal.

I hate to campaign. I like to blather on my blog. I hate to ask people for favors unless it is by mail which can be disposed of without any twinge of conscience by the receiver. But, I do need someone to follow up with a little prod. My PCV agreed that he would call my lists of potential friends (all 1500 of them) and see if they would take a lawnsign or help in some other way. The challenge is this. He has no personal cell phone and never has used one.

I had no idea what could my campaign could afford so I was intrigued to find out with him. We were up against a deadline. I needed to be at KBJR by 1PM and we didn’t have as early a start on our shopping as I had hoped. Still we managed to find a month by month phone and package that gave him almost the same plethora of toys that I have on my Samsung 4G. (he had only wanted a simple phone) Bwaaa Ha Ha, PCV. Not good enough! You have to join the rest of the non Luddite world! We talking such unfamiliar things as texting, voice recognition and you tube to name a fraction of them.

The next backwards post – My PCV or some set of initials

The prospect of a crazy serious volunteer has me almost giddy:

Here are a couple emails between us prior to the KBJR interview to give you a flavor of our getting aquainted courtship.

From the PCV:

Today would have been a perfect day for a campaign volunteer, or even a crew of campaign volunteers, to go door to door lit dropping. Studies show that nothing (except for actual face to face campaigning) is more effective in drawing voters to a candidate. Campaign flyers delivered door to door at the precinct level give you, as the candidate,the opportunity to introduce and/or reintroduce yourself to voters. They typically have a picture of you, sometimes a picture of you and your family, a few words about your background and experience, and a few words about what your viewpoints are and a few words about what your aims and goals would be as an officeholder. They can be single sided or double sided, in your case most likely double sided.

They’re also perfect for street fairs, festivals, and block parties. I know you probably won’t be set up to do any of this until after the September 10th primary, but I did want to mention it now because it would be quite meaningful to me if you and I, and perhaps some others could walk around the Pride Festival handing out literature. Pride this year is on Saturday, August 31st, in Bayfront Festival Park, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event is free and open to all, including the anti-gay protesters whose presence is tolerated for some strange reason. If they can be there, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t be there.

In all seriousness,
****
a.k.a. PCV

From Me:

I’ll give serious thought to attending this event with you.

I’ll Also give some thought as to what to pass out. I have some ideas already. It won’t be a generic flyer.

Harry

From Me:

PS. we need a new acronym for you. Give it some thought.

From the PCV:

Well, if you don’t mind sharing with the reading public what your campaign volunteer’s political ideals and ideologies are like, you could call me LDT for Latter Day Trotskyite. Or SFP for San Francisco Progressive. Or UMD for Unemployed Minnesota Democrat. It’s your call.

From Me:

PCV,

Do not show this attachment to anybody. I cranked it out just now the same way I cranked out the TMI posts without looking back or doing any proof reading. I’ll show it to you only to keep you in the know. You are the only other person at present in the know.

This (edited like crazy) will go out to about 1500 addresses of folks who donated to Let Duluth Vote.

I’m probably going to drop the TMI schtick. I wrote those in a daze from a couple sleepless nights after I had worked myself to a bloody pulp.

I’m leaving on Wed to take my son to St. Louis where he will begin PHD studies .I ‘ll be gone until Saturday.

If I get myself organized I’ll set up a checking account tomorrow. I may have a television interview (for rebroadcast probably) tomorrow at 1. I’ll meet with an old School Board ally for breakfast Tuesday. That’s this week then I’m out of town.

I find typical campaign brochures uninformative and forgettable. I love to tell stories and pull people in. Its how I raised $20,000 to pay for Let Duluth Vote’s lawyer.

Even if I don’t have a checking account ready we could go to Verizon and look at phones. tomorrow if you like. I might get you started on a starter phone without all the bells and whistles. If we raise more money we can get a higher end model.

What say you?

From PCV:

Great fundraising letter, Harry. There were actually very few mistakes, grammatical or otherwise. The only thing I noticed is that you weren’t clear about the name of your campaign committee. As I’m sure you’re aware, campaign finance law can be a tricky and complicated thing that could potentially get one into real legal, as well as political, trouble. May I suggest the simple and easy to understand “Welty for School Board”?

Since your email came in at 12:07 a.m., I’m not sure if by “tomorrow” you meant today, as in Monday, or tomorrow, as in Tuesday. Either way, yes, I am ready to go shopping. Please call me at 218 *** *** (the resident line) or you can also try going through the office at 218 *** ***. I will check messages and email throughout the day, today, Monday. I look forward to hanging out with you again.

Banking on meetings

Everything worked out Monday for the KBJR/KDLH candidate interview. All three of the first batch of candidates agreed to meet at 1PM. Annie Harala wrote out an accomodating email. Henry Banks said he was in and I chimed in with an all clear myself.

We all showed up simultaneously and held the doors for one another as we filed into the waiting room to sit for a couple of minutes. Henry wanted to make something clear to Annie and me. Henry told us that he had been told that some other at-large candidate had been claiming that he had not been attending school board meetings. He said this was not true and he meant to find out just who was behind the unfounded rumor.

I smiled and told Henry I hadn’t attended a School Board meeting in four years and I could only applaud anyone with the common sense to avoid them. Annie admitted that they could be tedious. If this is the worst that anyone is going to say about any of the candidates (and I think I can guarantee it won’t be) then we’ve all got it made in the shade.

Barb Reyalts greeted us warmly and explained that she would be interviewing all the school board and city council candidates at large and for districts. That’s probably at least twenty candidates. Unsurprisingly, that meant we would all get but a few minutes to answer her softball questions. We were outathere in no time. I showed up a little worried about the limp summer shirt I was wearing. I’d planned to change cloths for the Interview. My PCV (potential campaign volunteer or something like those initials) had assured me I looked fine. We had met earlier to consummate our political shenanigans. But I’m getting behind myself. That is the next post)

About that Reader column

Its been three days since the last TMI post and I’ve been dreading that it was way too too much. Also I forgot what I’d written about. It wasn’t that bad.

The Reader Publisher got hold of me late in the day to say that I could submit the column to an alternative email address that was still working. I joked that with his recent declaration about having kicked my column off the Reader the last time I ran for public office he’d probably have to do it again. He said he probably would but that he was in no hurry. I told him I didn’t plan to write about the School District or Board politics until after the election but that I would understand if he froze me out. He said I was too valuable a property for him to kick me off indefinately but anyway he’d probably let me get another column in after this one before he got around to it.

As for my next column you can read the first couple sentences here. I won’t fully post it until it has appeared in the Reader’s print.

TMT and backward blogging

Woke up at 3AM after reasonably good six hour nap. I decided not to write with a bright computer screen in my face knocking my serotonin out of whack. It worked wonders and I woke up with dozens of things backlogged in my little mental blogging drawer. I wonder how many I’ll get to?

TMT (too much time) vs. TMI (too much information)

About the last two blog posts. I believe in truth in advertising. I titled them TMI because they were too much info. They were both the result of sleepless or near sleepless nights. Also, I wanted to spill out lots of random thoughts for my new potential volunteer. We have a lot of catching up to do and when we first met we both interrupted each other so much with ideas that we never finished I took my insomniac mental state and finished them without fear of his interrupting me. We’ve had another meeting since and things are going swimmingly so there will be no need to spit out so much disconnected stuff at a single sitting again.

I’ll also add that he did comment on the terrible state all that back breaking work seemed to imposed on me. (That may be in part because he says he’s terribly lazy himself and all that description was a little like a blow by blow account of wolfing down live earth worms)

I told him I enjoyed feeling sorry for myself not to pay my grumbling too much mind. A lot of us old fahrts (I think the “h” makes that word look pleasantly eccentric rather than crude) love to whine about how awful we’ve had it. I’ll admit it. No false humility from me. I worked very hard and paid a price but my daughter’s been trying to get me away from her yard for a couple days and I keep ignoring her……so I can whinge about it in the blog, I guess.

Besides, in no time I was feeling very pleased with myself. I’ve gone back a couple of times since those posts and done a little more work……up to my exact standards.

Backward blogging

Ah but no to attend to the second half of this posts title.

One of the peculiar arrangements of blogs is that they are backward. They are written from a beginning that started with the first post and continue. Yet, when readers get to them they are always reading them from last post of the day to earlier posts or backwards.

I’m going to experiment this morning by skipping the the most recent things that have happened and writing backwards until today’s reader gets to this post which I may very well copy and put at the end of this morning’s writing as a beginning in my backwards posting today. You’ll see. It will be fun.

TMI from HRW #2

Too much information from Harry Welty #2 – Sat. 7/27/2013

It will not be necessary for me to send this as an email to my prospective volunteer. He’s in. He’s now also clued in to read the blog in all its TMI glory. We have sent private emails to each other concerning some of the many points I raised. He, unlike me and perhaps wisely, is not inclined to a TMI life and I will respect his privacy. We knew each other pre-Osama bin Ladin and a lot of water has flowed under the damn for both of us.

I did him a good turn. It wasn’t much really but apparently he’s inclined after a long absence from Duluth to return the favor. I am likely to reap a much greater return on my investment in human decency than I deserve. Hooray for me!

We had a long meeting a few days ago and as in any case were two loquacious people have fifteen years to catch up on we left many “threads” as I called them untied. There was just too much ground to cover and I used the first TMI email/blog post to catch him up. Of course, he could just read my blog from its beginnings in 2006 to the present but if he attempted its several million words he’d be dead from boredom and in no condition to help me campaign. So, I will continue the TMI from HRW posts for the time being to both catch him up and any new readers of the blog as well.

Notes on my MO (Method of Operation) Continue reading

TMI from HRW #1

What follows is an email I’m composing in the blog to be sent to a potential campaign volunteer for the Welty for School board campaign. It may very well decide him against helping me. It will be longish thus TMI (too much information) as for the HRW. That’s me, Harry Robb Welty. If my PCV agrees and continues to volunteer this might become a regular feature of this blog for the duration of my campaign for school board.

Dear PCV, (potential campaign volunteer)

My dithering is putting me at risk of losing your help. After our cup of coffee at Sara’s Table it appeared you were eager to commence. I’m afraid that it now appears to you that I am not eager to commence and you are already looking for other avenues to spend your time and talents. Arrrrrgh! Continue reading

Meanwhile the union is pushing for larger class sizes…

…while asking for ways to make them smaller.

That’s my take from this story in today’s DNT about the status of the Contract talks.

“The Duluth teachers union is attempting to lower class sizes through contract negotiations by way of a capped number of students in a teacher’s day in middle and high schools, or more pay if the number goes beyond that. It also wants more money for teachers willing to work in low-performing schools and who juggle two grades in one classroom.”

Union President, Frank Wanner, wants to use the District’s meager resources to bring down the secondary class sizes. There is only one practical way to do that. Raise the number of students in elementary classes. I know damn well the banks who were glad to take operations money to repay their bonds will take a dim view of our reneging on the debt repayments. The banks and our contracts with them take precedence over our schools and our children.

One alternative would be to ratchet back health insurance coverage and raise deductibles. Perhaps with so many senior teachers retiring the younger teachers could assert themselves and demand this concession to lower class sizes.

Mern’s take on the schools

At our outdoor church service today an old school administrator mossied over to ask me if I had my talking points ready for the School Board campaign. My friend paraphrased a recent letter from School Board member Mike Miernicki which my fellow congregant suggested implied that only people who loved kids should run for the Board. I said I hadn’t read it.

So, I came home and found it. It was a paean to a recently departed County Board member, Steve O’Neil. Steve was one-of-a-kind. I remember taking left over food from our church years ago to homes he helped set up to house homeless people.

The part that raised hackles with my fellow congregant was this:

Let us endorse and support candidates who want to improve our city and school district. We need to elect caring, compassionate people. We need public servants who want to work hard to improve what we have.

We should turn away from candidates who are angry and vindictive and who aren’t concerned with moving forward together.

We have a beautiful city with a bright future. The July 17 editorial brought hope. We can all work to continue Duluth’s long legacy of caring.

I have always liked “Mern,” as he was affectionately called by by his students. I occasionally substituted for him thirty years ago. As a School Board member I was extremely impressed with his work as an Athletic Director turned “Activities” Director when all of East’s student activities were put under his care. I was also glad when he won a spot on the Duluth School Board.

That said I think its a bit unfair of Mike to use a fond remembrance of a saintly politician to cast aspersions on as yet unknown candidates. There is a recent history in Duluth which leaves little doubt as to what Mike is driving at – the Red Plan. More specifically for Mike, now a School Board member, is the terrible ratio of students to teachers in classrooms. In the high schools its about ten more kids per class than when I served on the Board seven years ago. Mern’s a retired teacher and he’s been there. He knows a solution is needed and yet the bitterness over the Red Plan’s undemocratic imposition on voters, which led to several years of increased taxes including a 12% jump last year, prevents the passage of an excess levy which could mitigate the pain.

I have a hard time imagining Duluth’s voters agreeing to pass a referendum this fall no matter how critical it is to alleviate the trauma in our schools. Mike’s tactic of shaming apparently unsupportive voters will only infuriate them as it did my friend at church.

And yet Mike is not guilty of imposing the Red Plan. He was, in fact, elected two years ago without having to declare whether he had been supportive of it or not. He’s come to the School Board with a long history of loving the schools and our kids and his hands tied by past decisions he had no control over. I feel his frustration. And yet I think a very different approach is needed to win support from the voters who are so disaffected. No one has apologized to them. Not the old Superintendent who skipped town when the class number began skyrocketing. Not the old Board members who hid behind their lawyers and their head start on critics who began challenging them too late. Not the local paper which keeps harping on how bad the old facilities were despite genuine skepticism that their condition necessitated the biggest school building plan in State history. Not the former supporters of the Red Plan that called themselves “Move Forward Duluth” and who kept saying that not being for the plan was anti-child. Now its more obvious that Duluth was sold a bill of goods that was great for Johnson Control’s pockets but not our own. We got new schools and families who are able have been jumping ship like rats on a burning boat ever since.

That’s Mike’s dilemma. I hope it will be mine too. Then I hope to help solve the problem.

These are our schools, our children and our city’s future. Mike’s right about that even if he uses the Pro Red Planner’s catch phrase “move forward.” That’s a phrase in dire need of retirement.

Background, First endorsements made, First comments on my campaign

I’m busy with company, my Father-in-law is in town for the week. I’ll not campaign other than to blog a bit but I don’t want to shirk my hosting responsibilities while he remains with us. I haven’t decided whether I’ll campaign. A few weeks ago I was certain I wouldn’t. I began to have second thoughts about that a week ago or so. When Nancy Nilsen filed I had a reaction not dissimilar to the one I experienced the year I planned to retire from the School Board after eight years service. At the end of that year a noisy controversy broke out about taking the coaching duties away from East High school’s hockey coach. You don’t get much closer to the status of Pope in Northern Minnesota than by coaching a winning hockey team.

I kept getting calls from hockey fans (short for fanatics) who told me that if I didn’t vote to keep the coach they would defeat me in the next election – the one I had no interest in running for. I was damned if I was going to let folks think I was retiring because I was fearful of the hockey crowed. So, I filed for reelection. Then, when it was too late to take my name off the ballot, I realized that it was pretty stupid for me to run for another four-year term when the only reason I had for doing so was to prove I wasn’t afraid of the hockey crowd. I told a DNT Editorial Board that was eager to endorse me (for only the second time in 15 elections) that I only had one disagreement with my challenger and it was of little consequence. I added that I thought he’d make a good school board member. I wasn’t about to endorse him because he was part of the hockey crowd but I never spent a dime or campaigned. The Trib editors reluctantly endorsed the other guy. Continue reading

The race for the School Board got interesting today

I filed this morning. Then one of the old board members, Nancy Nilsen, who caught a lot of my most pointed criticism filed after me. Let’s hope its not just a grudge match. There were a truck load of other last minute candidates as well.

Let me stipulate first that I know of no school board candidates in previous Duluth elections who had anything other than the best interests of the schools at heart. Certainly that is true of Nancy. I disagreed with her profoundly on pushing the Red Plan through without a vote. It cost her reelection a few years ago. But then again, as I told the reporter for the Trib today, I’ve just lost my last TWO school board races so we can both be accused of being retreads.

If this is a bid on Nancy’s part for vindication I think she will be disappointed. If she admits the methods her Board used were highhanded. If she acknowledges that the results of this insensitivity resulted in voter antipathy to the District and large class sizes I will be pleasantly surprised. I’ll wait and see how she explains her wish to be placed on the Board again by the voters.

In the meantime I’ve got a long memory and so does this blog. If anyone wonders what I’ve said about Board member Nilsen in the past you’ll find it here in the blog.

I also told the Trib reporter I was looking forward to reading the Trib editorial board’s perennial observation about me – that I’m a “perennial” candidate.

If they also acknowledged that I have been significantly more accurate in my predictions for the Schools than their editorials (Who can forget the hilarious $32 million windfall prediction?” …….Well, that would be very gratifying. That kind of editorial goof-up about the Duluth schools is another perennial phenomenon.

Not a Kazan movie

I belly laughed at this movie trailer. Same thing has happened to me a dozen times watching the new CGI movies always at their most dramatically impossible scenes. As an example that shot of the Lone Ranger diving while riding his horse from the top of a train just as they enter a train tunnel.

With this trailer you’d never know that sharks are nearing extinction because Far Eastern consumers have the money to catch them just to cook their fins in soup. It would be a lot less destructive to buy viagra. Fortunately, the antler velvet from deer is not in short supply.

America, America

On our last night of the recent vacation Claudia and I were watching a PBS presentation on Elia Kazan. He’s one of the handful of great directors who produced a handful of great films, On the Waterfront, East of Eden, Face in the Crowd among others.

He was a controversial figure in 1960’s Hollywood because he had named names. His movies often hinted at his reaction to the disapprobation by his liberal colleagues. Double A may have too by providing an explanation for his naming names. The protagonist in his movie suffers such deprivation that he’ll stop at very little to achieve his goal of reaching America. Perhaps Kazan wanted to show that sometimes you can’t let niceties like not ratting out your friends get in the way of your life’s goals. I’m glad I was never in Kazan’s shoes. Oops! That’s almost a spoiler.

I told Claudia that I’d seen America America when my folks took us to see it when I was in junior high school. It was apparently his favorite and something of a family biography. I only recalled the part where a rich woman took him as a lover on shipboard as he finally sailed to America. That turned out to be a very small part of a movie which was not unlike the book Warmth of Other Suns which we’ve been reading.

It reminded me of the movie Zorba the Greek which was made the following year 1964 black and white with bouzouki music and even a few dance scenes. It was long. It was also the best depiction of the travails of immigration to America. I don’t remember much about the Bergman film the Immigrants either, other than the tortured death of the hungry Swedish child who ate the unleavened bread before it has risen. Death and sex. Just the kinds of things adolescents obsess about. Too bad I haven’t grown out of that phase.

I file tomorrow

This afternoon I finally broached the subject of my filing for the school board with Claudia. There is much I could write about this. She hates politicking. She’s not eager for me to yet again be a perennial candidate or I guess, not taken seriously. She ended by telling me something she’s said just before I filed for a couple other offices. “Your’e going to do what you want anyway.” I’m selfish and I am.

I may not be elected. I thought about writing that “I planned to campaign like crazy” in the blog to throw people off. I plan, at least right now, not to campaign at all other than the formalities that are expected of me. I’ve campaigned for office over the years in Duluth more than anyone else I know of albeit not terribly effectively based on a wins loss column.

I won’t run to rehash the Red Plan. I won’t run for revenge. If elected, a big if, I’ll work on the thing that drove me my first four campaigns for the school board. I want teachers to call the shots or at least to call shots as they never have before. I never had a prayer of getting that done before. today. The odds of getting it done or working toward that end are still very long but I’m intrigued by the opportunities the Red Plan Debacle has opened up. Another 50 senior teachers are retiring. The remaining teachers are struggling with large classes. Given an opportunity to show there stuff at a time when all the state and federal mandates are under assault and the School District Administration is chastened by successive failures it may be time for a Hail Mary pass.

My mind was made up after my talk with Claudia. I’m an idiot, although an idealistic one, and she’s a saint.

After watching an old movie on Netfix streaming I found out from the 10PM news broadcast that Tom Casper will not be running for the School Board.

Its a wide open field with no incumbents. I like my odds perennial though they may be.

Decent and Boring old white guys…

…my kind of Republicans.

Sadly, they were drummed out the the GOP years ago. Here’s a story about one of the old GOP President’s I liked a lot long before the GOP adopted the Dixiecrat’s ethos and methods of operation to limit the vote.

PS. Now that our trip to the Black Hills is over I’ve resumed reading the Warmth of Other Suns to Claudia. Got another 75 pages read yesterday. What a good read it is.