Opinions

“Common Core”…Coming to a School Near You…Educate Yourself Now

In the coming months we will bring a number of articles, videos and personalities to the SML Education Contributor’s page, and the SML radio program.  There is a lot to read and understand about Common Core, when it comes to such a radical change in public education. I voted for the Washington State Charter School amendment.  The reason I voted for Charter Schools is that I believe in choices and autonomy for public, private and homeschool education, that is driven by the local community and elected officials who are accountable to the voters.  As I understand the Charter School Initiative, its goal is to allow communities to have more choices in what curriculum is used and how it is delivered.  Common Core and its close cousins, do not appear to achieve that ideal. That said, let’s start with a small clip taken from an article published by Evan Queitsch, in The Examiner March 27, 2013: Meanwhile, Eli Broad’s education connections rise to power in states (Lillian Lowery is Broad Superintendents Academy graduate and Jack Markell has attended Broad workshops) and even in the federal government (Arne Duncan is a Broad Academy graduate and often a feature speaker for new Academy …

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Saturday Morning Live for April 27, 2013

“The Solution to Pollution is Dilution;” Water Issues in Whatcom County and Jack Petree’s petition to GMHB on the Lk Whatcom Reconveyance Host Kris Halterman hosts a round table discussion of water issues in Whatcom County and Washington State, with Planning Commissioner Dave Onkels and Lorraine Newman. Jack Petree will discuss his petition to deny the WC Council’s request of reconveyance on the Lake Whatcom Trust Land. YouTube video; “Ocean Circulation and Sedimentation in the San Juans”: A compilation of mainstream scientific literature.  Dr. David Hyde

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Whatcom County Planning Department Demands; “Fill in Your Pond!”

Last Saturday, April 20th, I interviewed Joseph Remenar about his dilemma.  In 2007, Joe Remenar constructed a 60 ft. by 120 ft. pond, on a sloped portion of the field within the 3.5 acre lot he purchased. Recently Mr. Remenar had contracted a local construction company and asked that they get any needed permits to construct a 24 ft. by 24 ft. pole building, a shed, for his tractor and other personal property.  During this process the Whatcom County Planning Department noted that the aerial photo showed a pond on the property that the contractor Joe had hired to request a permit to construct the pole building, located on Mr. Remenar’s property.  The Whatcom County Planning Department head, Lynn Morgan-Hill, sent a letter to Mr. Remenar, demanding that he contact one of the contractor’s provided from a 3 page list, as enclosures, to her letter that demanded he have his illegal pond filled in. Before I continue with the rest of the story I’d like to share a little bit about Joe Remenar; Mr. Remenar, originally from the East Coast of the United States, had served as a Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutor, specializing in drug trafficking both domestic and internationally.  …

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“Just Show Up”–A Letter to the Whatcom County Council

There are a lot of items that come before the Whatcom County Council every month, every week and every day.  All of these issues do affect us, whether it is in some form of regulatory tax, or restrictions placed upon our properties. This quote exemplifies why it is time for all good people to “Just Show Up!” “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke Since I am unable to show-up at this Tuesday’s Council Meeting; I wrote to each Council Member and the County Executive, personally.  In most cases you will receive a response from one or more of the Council Members and the Executive.  The response you receive from them may not be to your liking, but it is a good thing to have the opportunity to comment and dialogue with them on a semi-personal level.  In a perfect world we could all have personal one-on-one meetings with all of our political representatives, but that’s not realistic in today’s busy world. I have found that our local County Council members are very open to meeting with us, whenever it is physically possible.  For this I thank each …

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Saturday Morning Live for April 20, 2013

Host Kris Halterman discusses; who-how-why, a pond that improves a wetland is not okay?  Is Joe Remenar, the property owner, being treated badly by the Whatcom County Planning Department?  Glenn Morgan, the property rights specialist at the Freedom Foundation, joins Joe and Kris to talk about it.

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I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate (Video)

Through a world of increased standardization, we are less likely to develop the creative, deep thinkers we need as a society. We increasingly rely on, and are judged by, the results on a standardized test. Those who can’t meet the adequate standards are cast as inferior or damaged goods. Humans are highly complex therefore, cannot (should not) be standardized.  Somewhere along the way someone decided what would be considered a “Smart” person.  Our increasing cookie cutter world is becoming so homogeneous (no thanks to tests like the SAT and the new Common Core standards) that we mold our learning specifically to it. Not doing well on this one test can have lasting effects on your future goals and asperations, because of your number (test score). School is a tool and not the “end all-be all” to learning. Everyday life will teach more, give more knowledge and understanding, than any test can actually measure. This premise is key.  A little tinkering, trial and error brings joy to learning. Whereas we may learn a lot from books and sources like Google, they cannot give anyone a fully fleshed out and developed mind. Remember, we must know where we have been to know where we are going and how to get there. ~ Jacob Deschenes

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A View from the Farm April 2013

I finally got to the the USDA FSA Newsletter on by desk for March/April 2013.  In case you city folks think we are being over subsidized down on the farm you should be happy with the following news.? Four FSA disaster programs were extended through September 20, 2013, however as of this February they have NOT been funded, including: Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) Provides assistance to producers for livestock deaths that result from disaster. Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) Provides assistance for grazing losses due to drought. Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) Provides emergency assistance for livestock, honeybees, and farm raised fish. Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters. The SURE Program was not extended for 2012 or 2013 crop losses.  SURE provided financial assistance for crop production and or quality losses due to a natural disaster. What is funded by the Department of Agriculture Nutrition Assistance More Commonly Known as Food Stamps.   Farm assistance goes to the cities. ~ Lorraine Newman

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Common Core Lacks Common Sense

In 2009 the Obama administration announced Race to the Top, a $4.45 billion contest created to federalize K-12 education. States competed for a slice of the pie, and those that conformed were more likely to “win” additional funding for their public schools. Not surprisingly many states adopted new policies to make their applications more competitive, and 46 states adopted common standards as a result. Washington was one of the states to adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) during this time, but unfortunately did not “win” federal dollars from either of the first two rounds. But the bills for CCSS have been adding up ever since. Apparently state legislators don’t consider it part of basic education anymore, as neither the House or Senate provided specific funds for implementation in their respective budget proposals. That means the burden of paying for CCSS is being kicked down to local school districts instead, along with expansive bureaucracy and stifling federal regulations. However the true cost of CCSS is far greater than that. It also denies us the wisdom, innovation, and accountability that comes from local communities. Even though legislators approved CCSS in 2010,  no one has any idea how they will affect students, …

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Fans and Friends Come to Say “Thank You for being Patti”

Patti Brooks took Whatcom County and KGMI by storm.  She brought a feisty, fearless attitude to speak the truth for conservative, constitutionally principled values.  “The Morning Show with Patti Brooks,” will be greatly missed as our Monday through Friday start your day with Patti.  A few personal and radio friends came together at Glynn’s Irish Pub to say thank you to Patti and let her know that she made a difference in their lives. I first met Patti through the Whatcom Tea Party event at the Mt. Baker Theater and feel fortunate to call her a friend.  In addition to this evenings event, I’ve included a little historical video of Patti at the April 15th, 2010, Taxed Enough Already (TEA) rally on the Guide Meridian, in Bellingham, Washington. ~ Kris Halterman  

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Saturday Morning Live for April 13, 2013

Host Kris Halterman discusses the Catholic Community Services (CCS) project with Emily Weaver and Council Member, Barbara Brenner; to build a 42 unit facility for the homeless, mentally ill and drug addicted. The project is slated to cost $9M over two phases.  Phase 1 is to build the 42 units; 22 units for the chronically homeless and 20 units for the mentally ill and drug addicted.  Phase 2 is for the development and construction of the CCS social service offices. (Click link here for COB resolution 2012-2 for the CCS project)  

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