Wednesday, September 13, 2006

School boards, investment opportunities, and homophobia: Wednesday morning roundup

Wednesday, September 13 is:

Knabenschiessen (Zurich)

Here's a key example of the problem with automatic translation: I googled Knabenschiessen and translated this page, which makes the holiday seem a bit morbid:

359 days, 15 hours and 23 minutes up to the boy shooting


Thankfully, this page gives a better explanation:

On the second weekend in September each year, about 4'000 Zurich boys, ages 12 to 16, (and since 1991 girls too) take part in a marksmanship contest. They use a modern rifle like the one they will later be issued in the army. The winner, who generally is picked in an elimination round on Monday, is named King of the Marksmen and holds the spotlight for a day.

That makes me feel a little better. Here are the news stories holding the spotlight for today:

The Register has two stories on new school board member Teree Caldwell-Johnson. Here are some quotes I found concerning:

Caldwell-Johnson said she will work to get a grasp of the issues.

She is chief executive officer of Oakridge Neighborhood and Oakridge Neighborhood Services. She has volunteered on many boards and has been an administrator for Polk County and non-profit agencies. But she has little experience with schools.

Most voters had sought out information, but some went in with little knowledge, going on name recognition or the tidbits they'd seen in the news. Betty Borzo, for example, whose children have graduated, said she knew little of the issues this year.

"I voted for the person of color and not the incumbent. I always believe in new faces," the west-sider said.

She (Caldwell-Johnson) comes from a privileged background and received her bachelor's degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, a historically black liberal arts college for women. But Caldwell-Johnson says she has become more in touch with the needs of poor and minority students through her work at Oakridge.

Supporters said they think her experience as a CEO and as an African-American will be beneficial to the board.

Combine those quotes, and it sounds like Des Moines voters picked someone who hasn't yet developed an understanding of the issues and has no education experience, and they made the decision based on the color of her skin and anti-incumbent sentiment. That worries me. By the way, voters still reelected Connie Boesen, the other incumbent.

Moving on. WHO-TV, probably the third best of Des Moines' four news channels, is up for sale. I scraped the bottom of the barrel this morning and found about $200 to put up towards its purchase. If anyone out there would like to float me the rest, let me know.

A follow-up on last week's news about the performance of the Laramie Project at Valley: Apparently members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas have decided to come protest. I had kind of hoped Ted Sporer would be the only crazy right-winger I'd have to deal with for a while.

That's all for now, I'll probably be back with more later today, but my Brewers are playing a doubleheader in an hour and a half, so it may be a while.


1 comment:

The Real Sporer said...

And you thought it was just the Iowa Gay& Lesbian Alliance that got to protest.

Have you ever noticed how much more protesters of all stripes seem so much more committed during warm weather or resort locations?