Received yesterday on the Obama political front (more on Keys schools hearing and visual aids further along today, and some suggestions for improvement):
Subject: The President wants to talk with you
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2012 16:35:05 +0000
The President wants to talk with you. I suggest you get on the phone.
At 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time today, President Obama is speaking with some of his earliest supporters — people like you who played a huge part in building this movement from the start.
He’ll speak about the state of the race so far, about how this movement we built together has grown — and where it’s going from here.
He may also talk about some big news you may have heard yesterday.
You should be on this call.
Sign up for it here.
Once you RSVP, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to join the conversation.We’re entering the home stretch of this campaign. We’ve been here before: This is where the rubber meets the road. Four years ago, we came together and made history, building a grassroots organization unlike any the country had ever seen.
There’s no question this campaign has brought new challenges, as well as new opportunities. We’re facing an unprecedented influx of outside money, and we need to close the gap between special interests and ordinary people.
We all need to pull together once again.
This is the President’s last campaign, and he appreciates everyone who has poured their hearts into this work for the past five years. I know he’s looking forward to speaking with you about this work, and what lies ahead.
Join President Obama for a special call at 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time today, Friday, June 29th.
Obama for America
I opened the link, and saw an alleged simple question: 18+5, I was to answer to prove I was not spam. I finally figured out it was an addition question and entered 23, which would have allowed me to submit this question, if I had figured out the simple question before the deadline:
Will President Obama ever refund my $2,300 contribution made to his campaign in 2008?
23, $2,300 – coincidence? In my numero-cosmology, 2 is Jesus, 3 is The Holy Spirit, 5 is the feminine, which is an emanation of The Holy Spirit.
I made this simple-minded reply to the soliciting email:
Dear who/what-ever you are:
Here’s my landline, if President Obama really wants to talk with me.
305-872-8705, which is different to talking to me.
Finally, a human called me because, he said, I was one of the early financial contributors ($2,300 worth), to see if how I felt about how Obama was doing? I said I wanted my $2,300 back, and I told him why: I had been promised a dialogue with Obama and it didn’t happen. The human asked if I was serious? I said hell yeah, I was serious. I had been lied to. I wanted the $2,300 back, and I wanted off the artificial intelligence email mailings. The human said he would look into it and would get back to me.Maybe two weeks later, the human called me back, said he had looked into it and he thought I would get the $2,300 back. I didn’t get it back. I kept getting artificial intelligence emails. Finally, I got that stopped by getting another human to reply.
After President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace prize for waging the two insane (should I have said evil?) wars of this predecessor, I had almost no bowel movements for a month. That ended after I had written several articles about him on my blog.
Now here I am getting yet another artificial intelligence email. I wonder if my reply will even be seen by a human, much less read? If it is read, tell the President I still want to talk with him. I’m not one of the dummies he’s trying to persuade. I thought his predecessor worked for the devil, and his entire administration, too. Maybe President Obama and I can have a real conversation, the kind two men have who put aside the posturing and pretensing and simply be real.
Who knows, maybe I will hear or be shown something in my sleep, which might be helpful to America, if President Obama used it. Maybe I will hear or be shown something in my sleep which might be helpful to President Obama politically or personally. I already heard he should have stayed out of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. And US AG Eric Holder should have stayed out of it, too.
Won’t surprise me if America has a civil war, if Zimmerman gets off. Won’t surprise me if whites flee to Romney in the meantime, fearing what will happen to them if President Obama remains in office.
Little Torch Key, Florida
That would be in the Florida Keys, aka The Asteroid Belt
The artificial intelligence sent this back:
Your registration is confirmed for the following conference:
“National Call with President Obama”
Call-In Number: +1 (949) 202-1057
Your PIN: 602871#
Please do not share this PIN; it is unique to you.
Please send your questions, comments and feedback to:
Made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. What you wanna bet I hear from a human?
Down here in so-called Paradise, District 3 school board candidate Larry Murray replied to yesterday’s rock star lands school superintendent job – Florida Keys post:
Considering yesterday’s debacle when the television feed of the School Board meeting failed, I am happier than ever that I pressed for online video streaming. All reports that I have received said that the online transmission was successful. There are a few kinks to work out, but the only place citizens could view the superintendent selection process was on their computer.
Kudos to Matt Gardi for his work in getting the job done. The response from the District to my request for online video streaming was that it was too expensive and too complicated. Matt cut through the b.s. in an hour! I thought it amusing today that John Dick told Bill Becker that he’s been in favor of online video streaming for several years. Begs the question as to why John never made it happen.
My expectation is that the kinks, minor issues will be worked out before the next meeting. The most significant kink is sound and the problem has nothing to do with online streaming. The problem is the same when the telecasting works. The District staff does not know how to properly “mike” the room. Another kink is that the camera never moves. Again, the problem is the same when the telecasting works. You commonly have people speaking who are not on camera. The District staff is too lazy to move the camera whether for telecasting or video streaming. The bottom line is that the IT staff, like so many other District employees, simply doesn’t give a damn. They get paid whether it’s a good job or a bad job.
It always was hard for me to hear what anyone said at school board meetings I attended in person. Every government body known to me in the Keys provides microphones for the elected officials, staff and citizen speakers, except for the school board.
I was unable to hear anything John Dick said during the candidate selection part of yesterday’s school board meeting. During a break, I told him that. He looked at me like I was daff, said he always talked loud. I said I could not hear what he was saying and I doubted many others in the audience could either. He was the hardest to hear at the dais. He made an announcement when they reconvened that they all needed to speak louder, then he continued to speak so low that I could not hear him. So I moved over behind the school board attorney, where John faced somewhat toward me when he spoke to Dr. Shine, who was sitting where Jesus Jara usually sits, next to Robin Smith-Martin. Sitting that close to John, you could hear him okay. Maybe he should get a microphone. Well, he did have one nearby, but it didn’t seem to amply [amplify] what he said.
Yes, Kudos to Matt Gardi. Perhaps the school board will make good use of what he has started. Not holding my breath, for reasons you stated so eloquently. Todd German told me today that a new beginning occurred at yesterday’s school board meeting. I said I truly hoped so. I am darn glad I am not Mark Porter. I did all I could at the last candidate meet and greet to warn him just how really messed up this school district is. I didn’t get the impression he took any of it in. Neither did Thomas Gay seem to take any of it in, when I told him the same thing. Looked to me Dr. Shine had the situation pretty well sized up, though, by the time he went before the school board last night. Maybe Matt can put Shine’s interview, and Porter’s, on a disk and create a link for it on his website. I feel it would be quite valuable to the people of the Keys to be able to watch/hear just those two interviews. Am copying this to Matt.
Larry replied, and brought in a heap of other folks, including who appears to be our new schools superintendent Mark Porter.
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2012 19:22:36 -0700
Subject: Re: rock star lands school superintendent job
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; John.Dick@KeysSchools.com; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
There is nothing wrong with your hearing. Sitting in the peanut gallery, especially at MHS and CSHS, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to hear what the Board and Superintendent Jara are saying. John Dick, as you note, is the worst offender as you can barely hear him. I become especially annoyed when they talk amongst themselves and the audience is unable to hear the conversation. It almost amounts to a Sunshine violation.
The complaint that you made about not being able to hear the Board and Superintendent Jara is a frequently made complaint. If you recall yesterday, even the audience hollered “We can’t hear you!” and were ignored, much as you were.
It is such a simple thing to provide microphones which, again as you note, is commonplace at other public meetings throughout the County. It is beyond me why the School Board can’t do it. But, as John Dick did, to deny that the problem exists is absolutely absurd.
I guess all we can do is keep complaining until they do something about it. I have found in virtually all of my dealings with the District that the only way you get anything done is to be persistent, persistent, etc. You know from personal experience that the first recourse of the District to anything is to ignore, be they Public Records Requests or whatever. As a service organization, something discussed in yesterday’s Q&A’s, the District’s definition of “service” is the same definition that was explained to me when I attended the agricultural college in East Lansing. I am sure you can translate that analogy.
Then, Larry sent this just to me:
As you can read, I have shared our exchange with the “world”, including Mark Porter. I thought he would enjoy reading your blog for today. We might as well “bring him up to speed”.
I replied to Larry:
You are a hard man, Larry. A hard man. I hope God goes easier on Mark than God has gone on me
Here is The Key West Citizen welcome wagon for Mark Porter today:
Porter: I’m on board
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staffgfilosa@keysnews.com
Mark Porter, chosen by the Monroe County School Board as the county’s first hired superintendent, said Friday that he has started contract negotiations with the district and plans to sign a deal by next week.
“We met this morning to begin a conversation,” Porter said a few hours before he and his wife, Jane, were due to return home to Woodbury, Minn.
The board appointed a three-person committee to hash out the contract with Porter: City Attorney Shawn Smith, district Human Resources Director Cheryl Allen and Clerk of Court Danny Kolhage.
The contract negotiations will continue over the phone, said Porter, who plans to return to the Florida Keys at some point in July to begin preparing for his first day on the job in August.
“We have not signed a contract; I don’t know that I was expecting to before I left today,” said Porter, 56, whom the board chose Thursday night in a 4-1 vote. “We’ll have it taken care of in a few days.”
Porter said he plans to start work Aug. 1, just as the board requested when it started a national search in late March. The board set a salary range of between $125,000 and $150,000, plus benefits.
Superintendent Jesus Jara, appointed to the helm in August, said he will stay on the job until November. Jara earns $135,000 a year.
Porter, who became a lawyer after starting out as a schoolteacher, spent 32 years in a South Washington County school district in his native Minnesota, becoming superintendent in 2009.
But in December, his school board voted 5-2 to fire him, later citing disappointment with his communication and leadership skills.
Five board members went after Porter when the district decided not to expand a Spanish “immersion” program serving about 420 non-Spanish speaking students in a system of 17,000 kids, a board member said Friday. The year after the board voted against the expansion — which included moving the students into their own school — a few board members set out to fire Porter.
“He was a very popular superintendent,” said Jim Gelbmann, a 16-year board member who works as deputy secretary of state for Minnesota. “It was a very vocal minority of parents that rallied together.”
Porter rebounded and finished out his contract with the district, which ended Friday. He was a candidate for the superintendent’s job in Seminole County earlier this year.
“In some ways it was an unexpected departure,” said Porter of his dismissal by the board. “It certainly has opened up a tremendous door of opportunity for us. We thought at the time it was unfortunate. Maybe it’s not.”
Asked if he was certain that he would become Monroe County’s superintendent, Porter replied, “There is absolutely no doubt. I’m thrilled with the outcome.”
The School Board chose Porter from a short list of four finalists, the others being: Jara; Thomas Gay, who runs a private school in Broward County; and Ed Shine, a 22-year veteran superintendent.
As a backup in case Porter didn’t take the job, the board made Shine its No. 2 choice, Jara No. 3 and Gay No. 4.
Most of Jara’s tenure was spent closing the budget’s multimillion-dollar shortfalls, with $13 million in cuts over two fiscal years.
Jara said after the vote Thursday that he saved the district from bankruptcy, and that he wouldn’t have changed a single move he made to balance the budget.
“Jara coming in third was not fair treatment to him,” board Chairman John Dick said Friday. “Dr. Jara was doing a tough, tough position in a very tough environment. For the board to abandon him completely like that … .”
Dick said he welcomes Porter as the board’s majority choice.
“I think he will do a great job,” Dick said. “I’m very happy with Mr. Porter.”
Perhaps John Dick should have mentioned the times Jara was caught not being entirely honest about his machinations, and Jara’s dictatorial, retaliatory management style, which alienated him in the administration, teacher and principal ranks.
Perhaps it’s time for a new school board chairman.
Perhaps it’s time a career educator has that position. Someone who has forgotten more about running Keys schools and teaching in them than the other four board members know all put together.
Might help Mark Porter a heap to have someone at the top of the school board heap who actually knows something about running Keys schools and teaching in them. Might help improve principal, staff and teacher morale, too.
Enter Ron Martin.
I believe if he were asked, Ron might say the school district needs to seriously increase its vocational training for students who are not headed off for college, in keeping with the school district’s mission statement: “Career or college ready.”
I believe if he were asked, Ron might say it will be a really good idea for all Keys students to be fluent in Spanish. This ain’t the Minnesota twin cities. This is a school district in which many full-time residents’ native tongue is Spanish.
Seems a bit racist to me that Keys school kids are not required to be fluent in Spanish. And a bit unwise, given how many people in the Keys, and in America, speak Spanish.
Buenos dias, Senor Porter. Habas Espanol? Doctor Shine’s students way up there in Rye, New York are learning Spanish. Wish I could speak it. Darn would that open lots of doors I can’t open because I don’t speak it.
If you don’t believe me, ask Jesus Jara, who is Venezuelan. How do you think he got in so deep with the Conchs? Do you think his being fluent in Spanish helped?
begged, borrowed, stolen, written by Sloan Bashinsky, District 3 write-in school board candidate and otherwise general flunky