Friday, May 29, 2009

Dear City Of Easton Public Officials

I voted FOR the charter change.  I did.  And when I got my tax bill this year, I was pretty upset.  I know you need some money.  I get it.  Things are tough for everyone, not just the city of Easton.  But to raise my taxes from 1% to 1.75% is pretty unconscionable.  My house (and many other houses) in Easton is virtually unsellable because.  My beautiful wife and I have worked hard to improve our house by painting it, remodeling a kitchen designed in the 1890s, and relandscaping the yard.  Why would someone bother looking at our wonderful, historic home when they could go over the hill in to Forks and buy a brand new house with none of the maintenance and a LOWER tax rate.  Why aren't they paying more taxes?  Don't their kids go to the same schools?  Don't they use the same roads (mostly MY road)?  Don't they get water from the now newly privatized Easton Suburban Water Authority?  Why are their taxes lower yet they get to use all the things that I pay for? 

Despite this, I still will volunteer to help Easton prosper and look its best.  I will shop locally, I will eat food from the Farmer's Market, and I will frequent local restaurants.  I will pay to park my car on the street, I will attend Council Meetings, and I will buy tickets for the Home Tour.  I will pay to run in local races, go to local festivals, vote for what's best for Easton, and be a member of my neighborhood association.  Your response to these actions is to raise my taxes.  This is unconscionable.  Reduce the tax on people who CHOOSE to live in Easton.  Find a better way (sales tax?) to fund the city.  I am outraged by this, and I hope you make a change for the better.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Orleans is always on

Playing for Change has a few videos highlighting music and musicians from around the world.  In this clip, there are 3 musicians from New Orleans even though it was filmed just after Katrina.  What does that say about the importance and quality of music emanating from there?

I am pretty sure I will be buying the CD before the end of the week.

Walking the walk

I went to a meeting in New York City this week to learn about New Leaders for New Schools.  This organization is committed to improving scores in underperforming schools by training new principals.  They generally like to run charter schools, and I know there is quite a bit of criticism regarding charters in New Orleans. It seems that the goal of NLNS is to get 90% proficiency by 90% of the students - an admirable goal.  I am not sure that I subscribe to the assessing of students/schools/staff/districts by standardized testing. 
Passing a test is only one thing that students can take from an education.  There are many more goals that can't be assessed from a test - commitment to community, caring for one another, working hard for its own sake, etc.  Nevertheless, I went to an informational meeting to see if I was the right person to move to New Orleans, become a principal, and help begin healing 40 years of neglect of the education system.  I may not have the personality or background to become a principal, but there was no harm in checking it out.  I need to look closely at my own skills, determination, and commitment before moving forward.  They have some very special requirements for New Leaders for New Schools, and I plan on spending some time contemplating my next move.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Civil Defense

How cool is this?!  I always wondered what was going on under that mountain on West End...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Don't be one

Someone showed me this today.  I particularly like the Santa Claus entry because it refers to David Vitter.  Not for viewing in the company of children.  But really funny.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I don't really drink it

But yea! for Dixie Brewing.  No one wants a flood (or deserves one).  But if you make it through, you deserve to celebrate a little, no?  Thanks, Dixie, for getting the brand out there in the proper way.  And if you live in Fargo, thank your lucky stars. Floods suck.  We were rooting for you!

My post JazzFest update will be coming soon, but it's probably not going to be very complimentary.