Tuesday, May 27, 2008
People have been complaining about this woman in Tinian forever. Factoring in that it's Tinian, which let's face it, is a hard place to live and to recruit people to, makes the situation even stranger. I'm surprised this situation goes on.
Some of the people that become principals or vice principals in PSS are absolute dolts who shouldn't be running a children's mango stand on the side of the road -- and they're the ones empowered with hiring and firing responsiblity with little oversight. It's ridiculous, and it has been ridiculous for years. Of course, it wasn't until a pissing match occurred between a principal and a board member that this became an issue.
THE Board of Education will revisit the existing policy on the hiring and
firing discretion of school principals. During a special BOE meeting, Rota board
member Denise Tanya King questioned the existing procedures and policy of the
Public School System regarding the “authority” given to school principals.
“If the only person who will evaluate the teacher is her/his principal, I think
the system is giving our principals a tremendous power,” King told the board. It was earlier disclosed that 31 teachers have either resigned from their posts or their contracts were not renewed.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
I flat out saw Harry Blalock's daughter get robbed four years ago and not even place when she should have won outright. The mere fact that Diego Benavente was a judge that year raised questions given Harry's relentless criticism of the Babauta administration. I read last year's winning MCS speech and didn't find it all that great, and it seemed people put words into that Filipino kid's mouth that pandered to this island's irrational federalization phobia and bias that I doubt would otherwise have come out of him. I said that to Galvin, and he insists no. He's a good man and a friend, so I'll take him at his word, but that's how it struck me. I was there in Rota and the Mt. Carmel kid seemed to get a warmer reception from the refs than Michael Jordan in his broken down and ill advised return engagement to the Washington Wizards. It just seems plain unlikely that in something as subjective as this, Mt. Carmel is tops seven years in a row. In the NFL All-Pro voting, with far more scrutiny, players get chosen on reputation.
Galvin offered this: “We're the ones that people are out to get, which makes it harder every year. But we treat each year as if it's the first year. We don't see ourselves as defending a title, we see ourselves as winning it anew each year.” You've got that pegged. Mt. Carmel, at least when it comes to the AG Cup, is quickly becoming more unlikable than Bill Bellicheck's Patriots, though G is better dressed and is nowhere near as grim and lugubrious as Bellicheat.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Many of my students began the year thinking "Baby Ruth" was the first African-American in major league baseball, the governor determined the price of gas and World War II occurred in 1860 or 1960. Many expressed these thoughts in giant uni-paragraph essays with his and he's mixed up and subjects and verbs that agreed less often than Bruce Bateman and Lil Hammerhead. Those problems haven't been completely eradicated, but progress has been made. These students are also putting together a powerpoint presentation for the first public speaking engagement of their lives, and they will conclude the year by creating a podcast.
While I was on paternity leave I gave these students a giant research project. I asked them a series of questions, fifty to be exact, from all branches of world awareness. I had them find out for themselves everything from how to make chicken soup and better tasting coffee to details on the Kyoto Protocol to awareness of what mutual funds and equity derivatives are and what they can do, to the reasons for tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. I'm hoping they learned they can find things out on their own, and more importantly, I hope it lights a spark that ignites a raging intellectual curiosity. There are now many things they know something about that I didn't know at all until I was twice their age.
I have many faults as a teacher. I'm fairly impatient, I'm not as warm and fuzzy as I probably should be, I get frustrated and I'm from an area of the world where people talk quickly, so I have to remind myself to slow it down. I don't know whether this is a good or bad thing, but I don't talk to them like they are little kids or be any less honest and forthright with them than I am with anyone else. I think they appreciate that aspect, and the humor, which tempers the fact that I'm a demanding and sometimes tough SOB. I also brood about the state of education overall on this island too often, but in reviewing recently the progress these kids have made in these last ten months, I feel good about it today. A teacher needs those days.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Number two is that I'm otherwise focused on my new baby and other personal tasks I have at hand. Three is that I've almost completely lost hope that this place can be turned around, and I think a lot worse is yet to come. An honest appraisal of this situation is just too depressing, and I don't want to be that guy -- at least repeatedly. Prices have gone up, and they are going higher. The one good thing about the garment factories is the shipping containers that would come here for export. Those will be gone and the shipping to our remote rock in the ocean will be even more expensive and less common and that brings the supply of goods down, which will make things even more expensive. I think we are a long, long way from the economic bottom. Oil is on an inexorable march upward, with many experts seeing it headed toward $200 per barrel. This place simply isn't set up to manage that situation. I think $7.00 a gallon gas and .70 cent a KWH power turns this place into Beirut circa 1983, and there is no reason to think those prices won't head there. If there was real risk management going on, we would have prepared for the inevitable spike in oil, but we didn't even find it wise to maintain the power plant, but we did keep the municipal councils, we do string along those same workers and "save" their jobs every couple of months instead of just paying them a severance to go get retrained for a useful job. Beyond that, we still hire PIOs, we still have the various affairs offices, we still hire useless lobbyists and we still have almost two years left of Governor Fitial, who is ascending the ladder to Bushian levels of incompetence. While this island suffers from expensive and unstable power, he still has his eyes on this revolting and decided minimum wage and federalization issue. I bet the ranch he uses his reprogramming authority to enrich some connected law firm with whatever corporate welfare he can get away with distributing from the CNMI's meager coffers to take on the U.S. Congress -- with our sordid reputation on labor and wages. He gives every indication of grasping at straws in his public comments. His stand on this PEW monument is but the latest revolting decision he has made. I read his letter to President Numbnuts, and it is an exercise in shoddy reasoning and petulance.
Why do we turn a blind eye to the past damage and continuing harm these fishing
interests and WESPAC are doing? Because there are liars and cheats among us,
people willing to twist the facts and prey on fears and prejudices to get what
they want, to keep their pockets full while emptying us of our world’s natural
resources. Twist the facts to pretend we’ll lose control that we don’t have.
Prey on fears about the federal government, when WESPAC, which is now in
control, itself is a federal agency.
It is the governor who is shutting down the process, not letting us be heard! Where is the due process and public involvement in the governor’s way of handling this?
There is NONE.
The decision is too important to be left to Charles Reyes Jr. or Governor Fitial, or our Legislature who have not listened. It is ironic that John Gourley complains that Pew Charitable Trust hasn’t listened to him — he is one voice, speaking with and from the experience of an advisory council member for WESPAC. If you want to be heard, then let the process continue so that we can all have a voice on the matter. Please make the stupidity stop. Make corruption stop. Make the devastation of our natural world stop!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
- Yogi Berra
It is indeed over and hurrah for that. All the CNMI lobbyist money went for naught. The forces of douchebaggery: Abramoff, DeLay and his corrupt minions, as well as the vast majority of the imbeciles making up our local government lost. President Numbnuts signed the bill to federalize immigration in the CNMI. The CNMI will now be forced to do the things necessary to turn this place around instead of just running the same old immoral and unsustainable play from their tired out cheap labor, no viable private sector playbook. The fact that Governor Fitial, with the reverse Midas Touch, will be crying tomorrow is a guarantee that this is the right thing. Just by following the near flawless "Do the opposite" approach with the CNMI government, we have the paradigm for improvement. Even funnier is that a lot of the people who should be happy will be angry, like Greg Cruz, and the people who should be concerned will be celebrating, like the guest workers.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
So a friend of mine was telling me the other day that he has decided to start a
group called HaoHao Haole on island, and well, since its his idea I guess that
means he's the president...no, of course there were no elections, but I'm sure
all of its members will agree that he should be president. Oh and did I mention
that HaoHao Haole represents all the haole's on island. That's right all of the
mainlanders in the CNMI will now be represented by the HaoHao Haole group,
shoot, you don't even have to be white, see we're not racist, and no...I know
you didn't ask for our representation you're just going to get it anyway.So as
the HaoHao Haole spokesperson, that's me, I just appointed myself...see how easy
this is...I would like to question the blueness of the sky. That's right those
of us on the HaoHao Haole board have decided that the sky over the CNMI has not been blue enough as of late and we feel that this is, of course, the governments
fault and that they should look into this situation immediately as it may soon
have some adverse effects on our most prized tourist industry.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Maybe Angelo should be more careful in general.
A woman accused of running down a man in her car after a Red
Sox-Yankees argument in a bar never hit her brakes as she accelerated toward
the small group he was in, a prosecutor said Monday. "She never braked, and she
accelerated at a high speed for about 200 feet. She went directly at this group
of people," prosecutor Susan Morrell said of Ivonne Hernandez, who is charged
with reckless second-degree murder in the death early Friday of Matthew
Authorities won't describe the argument beforehand in
Slade's Food & Spirits, but witnesses said it heated up when Hernandez
identified herself as a New York Yankees fan. Bartender Tanya Moran said the argument spilled outside, and at least one person in a group that included Beaudoin began chanting "Yankees suck!" when they saw a Yankees sticker on Hernandez's car. Hernandez, 43, allegedly gunned her car and struck Beaudoin and his friend Maria Hughes, 21. Hughes had only minor injuries, which Beaudoin's sister Faith said was because her brother shielded his friend.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
I am starting to get more into shore diving. The price at least can't be beat, and it's good exercise. I dove Wing Beach today with Mark Robertson, who took this picture. It was clear, calm and perfectly pleasant today. There isn't a permanent rope there yet, but Mark brought one. There are some triggerfish that are a bit territorial hanging out over there, so be mindful of those SOBS.
I'm also getting over my Grotto worries, as I did three dives there this week, the last with Saipan Bev, who is heading to Palau and then heading home for good. I also did a Lau Lau dive during the week - a place I'm a bit tired of diving. Scott Eck is going on vacation in late May and taking the Aquajet out of the water for several weeks, so I'm hoping to get in a Bonzai/Spotlight dive next weekend May 10 or 11 before he takes off. Leave a comment or send an email if interested in getting on that trip. There is also a lecture at American Memorial Park Monday night at 6:00 pm on Underwater Archaeology that looks fascinating.
There is a new gourmet shop next to Coffee Care where the old Wine Shop was located. I got some good quality Jasmine Tea over there, as well as some pate. They have some nice cheeses as well, and deli meat is said to be on the horizon. The place is worth checking out.