Daily Archives: June 18, 2013

And maybe showing up drunk is no worse than merely showing up with a teaching certificate

Washington Post: first analysis of teachers colleges show abysmal results. 

The vast majority of the 1,430 education programs that prepare the nation’s K-12 teachers are mediocre, according to a first-ever ranking that immediately touched off a firestorm.

(The Washington Post)

While debate swirls about the validity of the ratings of individual schools, there is broad agreement among educators and public officials — from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to governors to unions — that the country is failing to adequately train the 200,000 people who become teachers each year.“We don’t know how to prepare teachers,” said Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College at Columbia University and author of a scathing critique of teacher preparation. “We can’t decide whether it’s a craft or a profession. Do you need a lot of education as you would in a profession, or do you need a little bit and then learn on the job, like a craft? I don’t know of any other profession that’s so uncertain about how to educate their professionals.”Many education schools suffer from the same maladies, Levine said. “Admission standards are low, no connection between clinical work and academic work and some of the faculty haven’t been in a school for years,” he said.

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Seems it’s tough for drunks all over

Attention, shoppers: Blue Light Special in beer aisle number 2

Attention, shoppers: Blue Light Special in beer aisle number 2

Alaska: Man arrested for DUI in a shopping cart.

Moses has apparently driven motorized shopping carts while intoxicated numerous times in the past and would attempt to run over any employee who tried to stop him.

The average speed of a motorized shopping cart is roughly 5 mph.

UPDATE: And Alaska is the toughest spot of them all. Man mauled while feeding a bear barbecue had been drinking, police say.

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A sale, an accepted offer and a new listing

Listings here.

38 Breezemont

38 Breezemont

38 Breezemont, Riverside, sold for $1.055 million. This house had a number of issues but none that, in my opinion, couldn’t have been corrected with a wall or two shifted around and maybe some upgrades. A half – acre in Riverside, even if close to the Thruway, seemed like a good deal to me but I couldn’t get any of my clients to share my enthusiasm, and neither could other agents, apparently for  a long time – this started at $1.225 back in May, 2012, and even when it dropped to $1.075 this February it still took months to find a buyer. Personally, I think someone did well here.

21 Mackenzie Glen

21 Mackenzie Glen

21 Mackenzie Glen (off North Street, near Clapboard Ridge), asked $3.1 million and has an accepted offer 36 days later. Seems about the going price for this era, this level of house.

And 10 Knoll Street, Riverside, is new to the market (pictures haven’t been posted as of this writing). $2.395, old house, 1/4 acre, decent street. For this market, that’s probably about right; imagine that.

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Old charm still has its following

63 North Street

63 North Street

And aren’t we lucky it does? 63 North Street, asking $2.995 million, has a contract just 13 days after being listed. It was purchased  last year for $2. 775 and these sellers spruced it up; I hope they made a nice profit, because that will encourage others to see the value in these houses and keep them, rather than replace them with another carbon copy builder’s special.

This was built in 1864, a year after Gettysburg and still a year away from Appomattox, and you don’t have to want to live here- I would – to appreciate the beauty this house and its sisters add to the northern entrance of our downtown.

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Apple to apple to apple, the path of the Riverside market

62 Wesskum Wood Road

62 Wesskum Wood Road

62 Wesskum Wood Road. Same house, same condition, three sales, each four years apart:

2005: $2,205, 750

2009: $2,025,000

2013: $2,305,000

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Send Katie to camp this summer!

Kat Fountain, Brown Chicken Brown Cow

Kat Fountain, Brown Chicken Brown Cow

Well not quite, but daughter Kat’s band, Brown Chicken, Brown Cow, is competing for a slot at the Northwest String Summit and one of the criteria is the number of viewers of their video.

So you know what to do.

As an aside, daughter Sarah visited the band down in West Virginia last week and recounts how some old curmudgeon of a musician, a guy who’s performed all over the world for decades, had insisted that girls had no place in a true bluegrass band, until he heard Kat play: “best harmonica I’ve ever heard”, he said, and a friendship was born.

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Nice to know: somebody still wants to live in the back country

 

557 Round Hill Road

557 Round Hill Road

557 Round Hill Road (up near Sumner Road) has an accepted offer. 407 days on market, asking $3.8 million. Not my favorite house, but four acres, pool and a lot of space for less than you’d pay in Riverside, for sure. Of course, Riverside has what School Superintendent McKersie in an unguarded moment yesterday called” far and away our best-performing school.” There will always be a strong demand for that, at least until redistricting strikes.

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We’ll want it after the fact

 

Sunset

Sunset

Congressmen introduce bill to harden our electrical system.

Amid growing fears of a massive electromagnetic pulse hit from either a solar flare or a terrorist nuclear bomb, House Republicans on Tuesday will unveil a plan to save the nation’s electric grid from an attack that could mean lights out for 300 million Americans.

Dubbed the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act, the legislation would push the federal government to install grid-saving devices such as surge protectors to protect against an attack.

Electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, has come into focus because of fears the sun is pushing out unusually big solar flares that can disrupt the electric grid. Defense officials are also worried about a terrorist attack, possibly in the form of a small nuclear bomb exploded overhead.

“This is serious stuff,” said former Pentagon officialFrank Gaffney, who heads the Center for Security Policy. But, he added, there is a growing bipartisan consensus to protect the electric grid.

Any EMP attack could be damaging, said Gaffney. He cited a new Lloyds of London report that determined that the area from Washington, D.C., to New York could be without electricity for up to two years in a major solar flare-up.

For a fraction of what we’re spending to provide fireboats to Greenwich and armored assault vehicles to rural New Hampshire towns, let alone the trillions spent on “stimulus” funds we devoted to extending art teachers’ employment a year, we could do this. Will we? I doubt it: it’s like our weather prediction system slowly failing as satellites reach the end of their useful life – that’s been predicted for years, and it’s happening now, but there’s no political will to do anything to avert it.

If you enjoyed the chaos of 13 days without electricity after Sandy, you’ll love what’s coming.

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It’s us against them, and them’s winning

$2.2 billion for free Obama phones: sell for drugs, new sneakers and bottles of rye. Hey, it’s other people’s moey and that’s free, right?

Undercover video shot in May by a conservative activist shows two corporate distributors of free cell phones handing out the mobile devices to people who have promised to sell them for drug money, to buy shoes and handbags, to pay off their bills, or just for extra spending cash.

The ‘Obama phone,’ which made its ignominious YouTube debut outside a Cleveland, Ohio presidential campaign event last September, is a project of the Federal Communications Commission’s ‘Lifeline’ program, which makes land line and mobile phones available to Americans who meet low-income requirements.

Lifeline was a $2.19 billion program in 2012.

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