An occasional collection of vignettes from events and public meetings in Warren County that never make it into news stories because...well, you'll see.
It took a while, but the school board president eventually realized why he and the gentleman addressing the board were at odds. They had approached the matter from different fruits. "I was doing oranges," he said. "You're doing apples."
Fruit of the vine...
We're not sure how applicable the analogy is, but it sounded good. At a recent school board meeting, a representative of the Allegheny Forest Alliance said groups that had previously opposed active forest management were coming on board with some cutting in some areas. He compared a healthy forest to a healthy garden. "If you tend it every year, you have good tomatoes every year," he said. "You don't decide one year not to pick 'em."
When determining the number of people in Forest County, the counters get to about 5,500. Then, they count the people at State Correctional Institute - Forest and get another 2,200. No big deal. In fact, it works out well for the county when the counters are looking at poverty rates to determine certain benefits. During a presentation before the Warren County School board, the board members learned that Warren County really isn't that poor compared to other rural, forest counties. Forest County, however, with 4 out of 10 people incarcerated and not earning a whole lot, is quite poor.
The start of a new school year presents all sorts of challenges to students, teachers, administrators, and parents. When asked how his first day went this year, one Warren County School District principal told the school board, "Everyone got home." Apparently, parents get worked up when their little one winds up in the wrong place. The principal thanked the transportation manager. In his shoes, we're confident we'd just be happy with getting all those kids out the door as quickly as possible. It's probably for the best that someone with more patience and less selfish interests is in charge.
On the subject of the first day of school, sometimes, circumstances beyond the district's control muck things up. The first day was running smoothly for the central attendance area schools. Then, trouble. Due to a community incident, the schools were put on lockdown and dismissal was delayed. The superintendent knew responders were making sure the safety of the kids came first, but things were going so well. "Nothing like the police department to ruin our day."
Keep it simple
The school board was working on setting up a meeting to evaluate the superintendent. He was up for an evaluation, some goal setting, and a raise. The group was hoping to wrap up in 90 minutes, but wasn't having much luck with a good time and date. When the super said he didn't need a raise, one board member said, "That takes an hour off the meeting." The board kept with the original 90 minutes. But, maybe scheduling got a little easier once the members realized they might only need 30.
Where's my thunder?
Sometimes, the superintendent's report includes cool information that the board will be eager to hear. And sometimes, board members report cool things from their areas of specialization in the group and administrators are happy to jump in with details. After that, the superintendent's cool information - expanded course offerings at the career center and the delivery of a fire truck for the school's protective services program - while still cool, receives only a luke-warm reception.
Thunder and credit
After a presenter at the school board thanked the members for lining up representatives of municipalities and the county to participate, School Board President Arthur Stewart used the royal 'we' in accepting that thanks. Hours later, after the reporter covering the story, all the municipal and county officials, and the presenter had all left, Stewart remembered where the credit was due - School Board member Mary Anne Paris.
"From the lakes of Minnesota to the mountains of New Hampshire, fall foliage in the eastern region is spectacular." Cool. What about the ANF in particular? When should one visit to see the leaves at their best? Why are the fall colors spectacular? Are they really spectacular here? The hotline doesn't have specifics for the ANF. The U.S. Forest Service's fall foliage website has a link to the ANF - that links to the ANF home page and nothing about fall foliage.