"Say Goodbye To RAFT. It's Goin' Down For The Last Time."

OTBL TV Presents: The Official RAFT Theme Song

City Hall Starts City Wide Christmas Decorating Trend

OTBL Heros of the Past - Where Are They Now?

General Jack Bauer, the OTBL hero and freedom fighter who lead the 101 st Skunk Brigade in the Battle for New Richmond.
Last Report Jack was "Missing in Action". A true OTBL hero.

Global Warming Makes Reserve Fund Slushier


OTBL TV Trivia: What's A Major Ingredient In Fruitcakes?

Shop " The Borderline Nut Farm" It's less taxing

Looking for the "Special Gift" for your favorite internut "Naysayer"? Save time and tax money by shopping at the Borderline Nut Farm online emporium.
Every Nutfarm gift pack is filled with that special hatred of government schools and socialist scum that's guaranteed to make your borderliner nastier than ever.
We stock a large variety of gifts for that special someone in your life. She'll love you more than ever when she discovers her 1700 Carat Rock under the tree.
Order before you make that midnight threat call, so you don't forget.

Click here to see our Catalog:

OTBL TV Explores The Topics Of Violence and Intimidation

"It appears as though Devin Willi is claiming another “threat” on his life. We all remember 1 1/2 years ago when Willi received an anonymous “threat” letter aimed at he and his family. This letter was splashed all over the front pages of the Hudson Star Observer and then dropped like a bad habit when it was discovered that the actual perpetrator in the case was more than likely Willi himself or someone very close to him.

Since Willi is feeling the heat about the banner debacle in downtown Hudson, he is attempting to deflect any accusations that he is incompetent by accusing a citizen of “threatening” him. It appears as though the thin-skinned Willi is developing a pattern of behavior which makes him unsuitable to be employed as the city administrator. It is time for the city council to do what is right and send Mr. Willi packing."

from ontheborderline.net
City Administrator Claims 2nd “Threat”
Filed under: Politics Local --- playboy roy @ 11:45 am

It Snow Wonder Hudson Supports Public Schools

This Christmas Contribute to OTBL TV's Free-Market Freeloader Drive

On Main Street, it's not a banner day for everyone!


An OTBL TV News Flash

Columbo Finally Reveals Identity of Hudson Threatmonger

ACLU - Dictates New City Hall Holiday Decor

OTBL TV News Presents:

The Weekly Hot Tub Roundup

Here's just a taste of the no-holds-barred dialogue in this week's episode:

Playboy Roy: "Stay tuned on this matter as it looks like heads will roll at city hall in the near future."

Columbo: "Therefore Mr. Willie should be spanked immediately."

Playboy Roy: "It is time for the city council to do what is right and send Mr. Willie packing...and I don't mean that in the Biblical sense."

Citizen Joe: "How can Willie be packing? I thought Doyle vetoed the conceal and carry law?"

Lil Bill: "Don't forget about me in Illinois."

Citizen Joe: "Have you guys ever noticed that the sticky stuff in this hot tub tastes a lot like licorice?"

Playboy Roy: "Joe, how many times have we told you not to play with your gun in the hot tub?"

Columbo: "Rumor has it that Mayor Whiplash is going to shutdown our club outhouse because someone reported to the chief that we had a Baby Ruth floating in our hot tub."

Citizen Joe: "Gulp...not any more."

Playboy Roy: "Joe, wipe that shit-eating grin off your face. Here use my pink head band."

Admin: "Hot tub rule number four states...No profanity or quasi-profanity. I hate it."

Luke: "I herd they hired a gummerment injunear to dew ah feces-ability study on destroying our club outhouse. He said it wood take a nuclear bomb just to santa-tize the area around the outhouse and make it habitable for skunks to live here. Global warming will be long over by the time those evil community members could ever think about using the outhouse again."

Lil Bill: "Luke, you are starting ramble incoherently and communicate in long sentences of absolute non-sense. In other words, you are treading on my turf. Knock it off."

Beagle666: "Yea, I heard the council is going to hold a referendum to see if the community will spring for the bomb. They might even put a banner up on Main Street."

Luke: "I hope it's a yellow banner. That's the color of my tooth."

Lil Bill: "Enough of this. Let's talk about Ayn Rand."

Citizen Joe: "Hey look at my fountain head..."

Luke: "Are there anymore Baby Ruth's floating around?"

Don't Miss OTBL TV's Way After Dark Movie

What the reviewers are saying:
Michael Moore: "Mr. Peanut definitely has two thumbs up his good, I'm mean back, side..."

Al Gore: "The kind of methane produced by Mr. Peanut could easily make our country energy independent. However, the smell will make you want to move to China and get a good job."

Mayor Jack: "I always thought Mr. Peanut was crazy. Now you can see he's nuts!"
Lil Bill: "With friends like that, who needs enemas?"
Dick Cheney: "Mr. Peanut makes the Dark Ages look fun."
President Bush: "Of course I read the book. What do you take me for? An OTBL blogger!"

They are only guidelines...

A note to blog readers in the St. Croix River Valley. If you happen to venture over to the dark side of the local blogoshpere and are reading a post at ontheborderline.net titled: "Willi In Hot Water Again," you may notice the following phrases:

"gubment shitters"
"pretty shitty implications"
"the shit will hit the fan"
"all the shitty details"
"maddeningly confusing, and shitty"

May we remind OTBL readers that the admin there is quite opposed to the use of such profanity. Point 4 on anal retentive blog guidelines clearly states:

4) No profanity or quasi-profanity. I hate it.

Also note that a local cultural warrior gone south and back north and who really cares where, did his parental due diligence and reminded the commenter: "Max, your comment had to be slightly edited, hope you don’t mind. Double check the yard in question on your way to the Y and you’ll see my point…"

It is clear that the lights are off at the OTBL Club Outhouse and everybody is home huddled in their hot tub of despair listening to Bob Seger, polishing their silver bullets and plotting their next nocturnal mission to the sounds of "Night Moves."

As Count Floyd would say, "Scary! Very scary!"

Another letter that didn't get published in the HSO

To The Editor:

In a recent letter, Curt Weese threw out a few figures about health care costs for retired teachers. With these numbers, he tossed in a speculative dash of the conspiracy and concluded that the elected sorcerers on local school board have formed a secret pact with the group of Hell Angels known as the “teachers' union.” Their goal is to force local taxpayers to spend money on teachers’ health insurance instead of getting a Play Station 3 for their starving children this Christmas.

Weese implies that a teacher retiring at 55 gets a free ride on health insurance for the rest of their life. I don't believe this is true. The amount of health insurance covered by the school district is based on a combination of years working as a teacher and the age of the teacher. I.e., if I start my career as a rookie teacher at age 50 in the Hudson school district, I doubt I will be retiring with full health and retirement benefits at the age of 55.

Granted, retirement benefit packages have come under attack in public and private industry. Health care costs have increased, people are living longer and modern medicine is squeezing more time out of the average lifespan at a higher and higher costs.

Whenever somebody starts putting down how much something costs today, I go to my handy inflation calculator. For instance, I recently bought a small cone at the Dairy Queen. With tax, it cost $1.28. When I graduated from Hudson High School in 1973, a small cone cost 10 cents. My inflation calculator tells me that a 10 cents cone in 1973 should cost 44 cents today. There’s an 84 cents gap (1.28 - .44) is the price of my cone. What gives Dairy Queen?

When Weese says health insurance premiums are $18,532 per teacher and the district will be paying "in the neighborhood of $176,000 per teacher over the next 10 years," I say compared to what? What did the district pay in 1973? What benefits were offered then? Have the benefits packages changed that much or is Weese just batting around a couple of numbers to make people say "Gee that's a lot of money."

I believe public school teachers play an increasingly important role in our country’s future and need to have the kind of benefits and financial compensation that attract qualified, dedicated people to this important profession. I don't trust the taxpayer-supported private school agenda being pushed by Weese and the folks who continually chant "limited government, lower taxes and more individual freedoms." I think they are pushing for a "separate but equal" agenda they what financed by the taxpayers to support a religious agenda that opposes the concept of a "melting pot" that is the heart and soul of a progressive, compassionate United States.

James P. Nelson


Bannergate At City Hall!

Breaking News:
WOTBL reports that Hudson City officials are scrambling to cover up the 40 foot "Vote Yes" banner they allowed a PAC to hang from the front of City Hall. City officials claim they were duped into thinking it was just a Christmas decoration. Film at 11.

Business Week: More Ammo For A Higher Minimum

New research says a ripple effect would hike the pay of a lot of family bread winners

If you want to pick a fight with a free-market economist, say something nice about the minimum wage. Democrats in Congress want to raise it next year. As they gear up, economists in the opposition are arguing that it will make unskilled workers too expensive to hire. They also say it's an inefficient way to help the working poor, since a lot of the people who make the minimum wage, now $5.15 an hour, are teenagers living at home.

But the economics profession is far less united against the minimum wage than it was a generation ago. Since the early 1990s an influential group of economists has poked holes in the once strongly held belief that the minimum wage is a major job killer. And now there's economic research disputing the rest of the conventional wisdom. Some economists are saying that minimum-wage increases have a ripple effect, bumping up the pay of a large portion of the working poor. If they are right, that would strengthen the political appeal of a minimum wage hike by increasing the number of potential voters who are helped.

Read more!

Breaking News:

WOTBL reports that No Voters are more charitable than Yes Voters.

More Film at 11:00.

Parasitic Liberaltarian Leeches look to "Progressives" as New Host

Talk about opportunism. In a matter of weeks libertarians priviously praising the glories of George Bush and the GOP now slither away looking for new blood sucking prospects by courting socially liberal fiscally consevative "Progressives".
From the New Republic

"The conservative movement--and, with it, the GOP--is in disarray. Specifically, the movement's "fusionist" alliance between traditionalists and libertarians appears, at long last, to be falling apart. To understand what's happening, look at the Democratic gains made in previously Republican strongholds on Election Day.

Libertarian disaffection should come as no surprise. Despite the GOP's rhetorical commitment to limited government, the actual record of unified Republican rule in Washington has been an unmitigated disaster from a libertarian perspective: runaway federal spending at a clip unmatched since Lyndon Johnson; the creation of a massive new prescription-drug entitlement with hardly any thought as to how to pay for it; expansion of federal control over education through the No Child Left Behind Act; a big run-up in farm subsidies; extremist assertions of executive power under cover of fighting terrorism; and, to top it all off, an atrociously bungled war in Iraq.

To date, Democrats have made inroads with libertarian voters primarily by default. Yes, it's true that Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos fame caused something of a stir by proposing the term "Libertarian Democrat" to describe his favored breed of progressive. And the most prominent examples of his would-be movement--first-term Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana, fellow Montanan Tester, and Virginia Senator-elect Jim Webb--have sounded some libertarian themes by being simultaneously pro-choice and pro-gun rights. At the same time, however, their anti-nafta, Wal-Mart-bashing economic populism is anathema to free-market supporters.

In short, if Democrats hope to continue appealing to libertarian-leaning voters, they are going to have to up their game.

Furthermore, it has become increasingly clear that capitalism's relentless dynamism and wealth-creation--the institutional safeguarding of which lies at the heart of libertarian concerns--have been pushing U.S. society in a decidedly progressive direction. The civil rights movement was made possible by the mechanization of agriculture, which pushed blacks off the farm and out of the South with immense consequences. Likewise, feminism was encouraged by the mechanization of housework. Greater sexual openness, as well as heightened interest in the natural environment, are among the luxury goods that mass affluence has purchased. So, too, are secularization and the general decline in reverence for authority, as rising education levels (prompted by the economy's growing demand for knowledge workers) have promoted increasing independence of mind.

Yet progressives remain stubbornly resistant to embracing capitalism, their great natural ally. In particular, they are unable to make their peace with the more competitive, more entrepreneurial, more globalized U.S. economy that emerged out of the stagflationary mess of the 1970s. Knee-jerk antipathy to markets and the creative destruction they bring continues to be widespread, and bitter denunciations of the unfairness of the system, mixed with nostalgia for the good old days of the Big Government/Big Labor/Big Business triumvirate, too often substitute for clear thinking about realistic policy options.

Kids Say The Darnest Things: Bill O'Reilly V. The Kid

The culture warrior slapped down...

Kabuki v. Kooky

Student: School's air is sickening

Cystic fibrosis sufferer forced to stay home, but officials can't find a problem

Nichole Frye just wants to go to school. But the 17-year-old junior said the air at Hudson High School is making her sick, keeping her away from her friends and her studies. School officials empathize but said that while air-quality tests show there is room for improvement, the school has a clean bill of health.

Her friends and family aren't convinced. Fifteen students were suspended for taking part in a protest on her behalf. And her mother, Tracy Frye, said she is going to continue to push school administrators to find and fix the problem.

"I have no idea what it is in that school that is harming her, but it is at that school," she said.

Read more in St. Paul Pioneer Press story by Kevin Harter.

U.S. jobless claims fell 34,000 last week

WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - The number of U.S. workers seeking first-time jobless claims plunged last week, as expected, after surging the prior week during the start of the holiday season, a government report showed on Thursday.

First-time initial claims fell by 34,000 to a seasonally adjusted 324,000 in the week ended Dec. 2, down from a revised 358,000 in the previous week, the Labor Department said.

The decline was in line with Wall Street economists who had forecast they would fall to 325,000 from the originally reported 357,000 for the week ended Nov. 25.

The weekly report is typically volatile during this time of year, a Labor Department official said, adding that there were no special factors leading to the decline.

Read more @ Reuters.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The number of new filings for state unemployment benefits declined sharply in the latest week, reversing a large increase in the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. Initial jobless claims fell by 34,000 to 324,000 in the week ended Dec. 2. The drop was in line with economists forecasts. Claims rose a revised 35,000 to 358,000 in the previous week, compared with the initial estimate of a rise of 34,000 to 357,000. This was the highest level of claims in over a year. The volatility in claims is typical around holidays, a Labor Department official said. The four-week average of initial claims, which smoothes out weekly noise and distortions in the data, rose 3,500 to 328,750. This is the highest level since May. The number of people collecting state unemployment benefits over the past four weeks rose by 57,000 to 2.52 million in the week ended Nov. 25. This is the highest level since January.


Ink Shortage at HSO Leaves Letters Unpublished

Unless you're the administrator of a booming internet blog profit machine, in the midst of an economic boom, most people these days are struggling to stay within their budgets. I guess that goes for small town newspapers as well. To our surprise, we were informed by several Hudson School District residents who submitted letters to the Hudson Star Observer in support of the
upcoming referrendum that their letters missing in action when they opened the pages of this weeks issue. The reason is a mystery. We can only surmise that because of budget contraints, The Hudson Star Observer must have run out of ink and were unable to print these letters. We know that they would never deliberately ommit citizen letters, (or would they)????

President Bush In The News

More toons @ oggtoons.

HSO Publishes OTBL Enemy List

Signators Beware: Expect a Late Night Call!

Anti-gay group eyes hetrosexual divorce law

Fresh from their successful fight to ban same-sex marriage in the state constitution, supporters are now ready to turn to what they see as the next biggest threat to the institution of marriage: Wisconsin's no-fault divorce law.

"What was highlighted in this campaign is that marriage is indeed under attack and no-fault divorce is one of those attacks," Julaine Appling, CEO of the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin and president of the "Vote Yes for Marriage" campaign, said Tuesday night.

Appling said the Family Research Institute, which took the lead in fighting the same-sex marriage ban, would "judiciously" examine Wisconsin's no-fault divorce law and eventually approach legislators about introducing changes. Under the law, spouses can request termination of the marriage without having to prove marital misconduct. Appling said she could foresee proposing a longer waiting period for divorces and implementing required premarital counseling.

Read more @ Capital Times.

Turnip Trucker Finally Supports Community Schools!

Andersens build lumber business into diverse holding company

Founded in 1903 by Danish immigrant Hans Andersen, his wife Sarah, and children Herbert, Fred and Mary, the Andersen Lumber Co. got its start in Hudson, Wis. The location enabled Hans and his family to use the logs arriving via the St. Croix River to make wood windows and doors. Andersen is credited with streamlining the window construction process by standardizing the sizes of frame pieces so windows could be assembled at home sites in less than 10 minutes.

The company expanded rapidly and moved to a larger location in south Stillwater in 1913. The area became the city of Bayport in 1922, and still serves as the headquarters of Andersen Corp. (the company changed its name in 1929).

Read more.


Cut - Putt and Puff- Laid Back Golf Willie Nelson Style

Willie, Town crybaby and the goils out for some "laid back golf".

Beginning with the name. The official name of the course is the Pedernales Country Club. But around Central Texas many also know it as the Cut ‘N Putt, which is also printed on the scorecard. Most just refer to it as "Willie’s Course." Or "The Golden Reefer Country Club".

The latter is probably the most accurate of the three. It’s definitely all Willie, starting with the rules.

No, these aren’t USGA rules. These are Willie Rules that were created and perfected by Nelson and his musician friends. And just like Nelson, they were created with the "laid back" golfer in mind.

No more than 12 in a foursome. If you have an unexpected guest or six in town, don’t worry. Bring them, too.

Richest 2% own 'half the wealth'

The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of all household wealth, according to a new study by a United Nations research institute.

The report, from the World Institute of Development Economics Research at the UN University, says that the poorer half of the world's population own barely 1% of global wealth.

There have of course been many studies of worldwide inequality.

But what is new about this report, the authors say, is its coverage.

It deals with all countries in the world - either actual data or estimates based on statistical analysis - and it deals with wealth, where most previous research has looked at income.

What they mean by wealth in this study is what people own, less what they owe - their debts. The assets include land, buildings, animals and financial assets.

Why does it matter? Because wealth serves as insurance against times when income tends to fall, such as unemployment, sickness or old age.

It is also a source of finance for small businesses, a particularly important point since it is the countries with lower levels of personal wealth which also tend to have weaker financial systems without the funds, ability or inclination to lend to small firms.

Workers notified of big layoffs at Andersen Corp.

BAYPORT, Minn. - Workers at Andersen Corp. said they were notified Tuesday that the window and door maker will lay off more than 400 workers by the end of the year, news reports said.

Andersen - the world's largest maker of wood windows, patio doors and storm doors - employs more than 9,000 people worldwide, including its Bayport window and door factory, according to a corporate profile posted on its Web site. Annual revenue at the privately held company has been estimated at more than $2 billion.

Company officials declined to comment Tuesday, saying they needed to communicate with employees first before releasing any information. A spokeswoman said the company planned to make a statement Wednesday morning.

Read more up to the mintue news.

Accross the nation...
November layoffs rise by 11 percent
Jump in layoffs led by large round of auto industry cuts

NEW YORK - Planned U.S. layoffs rose 11 percent in November from the previous month, led by a heavy round of job cuts in the automotive industry, an independent report showed on Tuesday.

Announced layoffs totaled 76,773 in November, up from 69,177 in October but down from 99,279 a year earlier, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an employment consulting firm.

The pick-up in planned layoffs was evidence that U.S. economic growth is slowing, as companies trimmed payrolls in anticipation of weakening business conditions.
Interesting video.

This Winter Take A Cruise...

And Now: A Word From Our Sponsor - TheTriple Bogey Gift Shop

Don't Bogart Me - By Elliot Ingber

Don't bogart that joint, my friend
Pass it over to me.
Don't bogart that joint, my friend
Pass it over to me.

Roll another one
Just like the other one.
This one's burnt to the end
Come on and be a friend.

Don't bogart that joint, my friend
Pass it over to me.
Don't bogart that joint, my friend
Pass it over to me.

Ro-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oll another one
Just like the other one.
You've been hanging on to it
And I sure would like a hit.

Don't bogart that joint, my friend
Pass it over to me.
Don't bogart that joint, my friend
Pass it over to me.

Recorded by The Fraternity of Man in 1969, popularized by the movie Easy Rider. Later recorded as "Don't Bogart that Joint" by Little Feat.

Watch the "Blog Hopeless Golf Classic" on WOTBL

Tune in Saturday @ 1:00AM
Live from the Reefer Country Club.

Carnac on Middle Aged Joggers

Question: What do you call runners who wear fuzzy, pink headbands?

Answer: Huh? Wha? Repeat the fricken' question. I'm stoned out of my mind, man.

The teenage monsters are loose in the village!!

OTBL Ruthless says the children are turning on the liberals who have liberated them from the rule of adults.

So get your pitchforks and torches!!

Attack of the Wal-Martyrs

(Fortune Magazine) -- It's the week before Thanksgiving, and Chris Kofinis, the never-at-a-loss-for-words communications director for Wake Up Wal-Mart, is going through his organization's secret holiday campaign plan.

We're in his drab, windowless office in downtown Washington, D.C., surrounded by handmade posters, press clippings and assorted flip charts full of ideas and scheduling details. "You know, I probably shouldn't be doing this," he says as his cell phone rings. "If this got out, it would screw everything up. Wal-Mart would know too much."

The PowerPoint presentation entitled "Hope for the Holidays" details how the 1 1/2-year-old union-backed group plans to rattle Wal-Mart's carefully crafted image precisely when Americans are frequenting the mega-retailer most. It includes a ten-part timeline for attacking the company from mid-October through the end of the year.

The week before Christmas, for example, the group plans a mini-campaign titled "America, Pray for Wal-Mart to Change." It calls for reaching out to religious leaders and groups, targeted media buys and candlelight vigils in front of the stores, with families and children asking for health care. It's topped off by a national day of prayer.

Read more.

Down To Business: A (Legit) Reason To Take Wal-Mart To Task

Note to Wal-Mart: Get your act together. You can do a lot better. But first, a clarification, as this won't be your standard-issue screed about how Wal-Mart is destroying small-town America or running a sweatshop or shipping manufacturing jobs offshore.

Companies are beholden to their customers and shareholders, not to special interests. And for the most part, customers and shareholders love Wal-Mart, as they're both richer for the relationship. At some level, I can relate to the Wal-Mart resistance, as I'd rather shop at the local grocer and movie rental store than fight the hordes and line the coffers at Super Stop & Shopbuster. But this is a choice I get to make. It isn't up to some pencil-necked politician or public advocate to decide for me that Wal-Mart or some other big-box retailer isn't worthy of my community or dollars.

OK, so much for the disclaimer. Now for how Wal-Mart is really behaving badly ... by letting down its customers and shareholders. Specifically, it's bungling e-commerce and doesn't seem all that concerned about it. That's right: The company that put RFID and inventory management and point-of-sale automation and enormous-scale data warehousing on the map can't get its Web site right.

Read more.


Hudson Schools Go Private

Breaking News

After years of confrontation with Hudson's Pro-business/Anti Government Educational Intervenionism/Anti-Socialist/ Anti Union Thug/ Anti Teacher/ Anti-Extra curricular activity/ Anti-Tax / Anti-Cadillac Health Care/ Anti- Retirement/ Anti - Hudson Star Observer/Anti-Referendum/ Anti- December Election Date/ Anti-Fishing Class/ Anti-Pop Machine/Anti-Special Education/ Anti-Leftist/Anti-Two Names Second Choice/Anti-Democratic/ Anti-Teacher Spouse/Anti-Authority/ Anti-Liberal/ and Anti-Disestablishmenterrianism blog the Hudson School District has succumbed to the pressure to privatize. The District will float it's initial public offering on Wall St. Dec. 13th 2006 after it's anticipated referendum defeat. Shares are rumored to hit the street at $0.02 a share and expected to plummet precipitancy from there after the first trading day. OTBL bloggers were ecstatic upon hearing the news and immediately demanded a tax rebate from the anticipated non-profits earned by the public offering. WEAC Teacher Spouse/Thug Representatives reacted to the news by stating:
"What a Bunch of Bull".
Stay tuned to WOTBL for further developments as the happen.


Let board members do their jobs

Since when do school board members have to set aside their belief systems to run for office? Fair representation does not mean a group of people who think alike, who believe the same things and have the same ideas. How would a group of homogeneous people generate new ideas and solutions for our school? A school board should be a fair representation of the community and the school for which it serves. We need fair representation for all, not just a subset.
What does it matter what Wendy Day posts on her Web log? What she posts is not illegal, immoral or unlawful. It all falls under our First Amendment freedom of speech. If you do not like it, then don't go online and read her blog. Simple as that.

The First Amendment freedom of speech should not be taken away the minute someone accepts a school board position.

How can people be true to themselves and yet set aside their values and belief systems to serve their school? It is a package deal. It is hard to be true to yourself and not mix the two.

Read more.

D.A. looks at blog accusations

Web journal says schools leaders guilty of malfeasance

Gwinnett County's district attorney has asked one of his investigators to gather information about allegations made through a Web journal accusing some Gwinnett public school administrators of malfeasance.

District Attorney Danny Porter said the investigator has talked with one person associated with the Web journal and plans to interview at least two more people about the claims. Porter declined to disclose the names of the people being interviewed.

"I don't want to say I'm conducting an investigation," Porter said. "I'm talking to some people to determine if there should be an investigation."

School district spokeswoman Sloan Roach said Friday the district hasn't received any inquiries from Porter's office.

The Web journal, also called a blog, started about a month ago. The site (www.gcps.blogspot.com) accuses Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks and other school district administrators of mismanaging the district and also questions their ethics.

"This blog was created for the purpose of displaying the facts about the leadership of Gwinnett County School District ... ," the site posts in its introduction. "It is time for the citizens of Gwinnett County to know the truth about their educational leaders and how their tax dollars are being wasted. It is time to clean out the sickness and corruption within GCPS."
Read more.

School building plan unfair, but not unneeded

The Greater Clark County schools want an extra $165 million, surely the single biggest tax bite ever around here.

It is not fair.

It is not fair to property owners. A jump of hundreds of dollars is foreseeable for taxpayers. That is good money, as those of us without good money tend to say.

It is not fair to the school board, which inherited schools obsolete in most every way they can be. The board proposes a new high school in Charlestown and overhauled high schools for Jeffersonville and New Washington. Every envisioned science lab, furnace and cafeteria table should have been replaced long ago.

Then again, it is not fair to students to learn in atmospheres miles from ideal for teaching. Plus schools reflect communities. They shout an area's priorities.

Read more.

School district: $16.4 million would fix buildings, athletics

HIGHTSTOWN — For $7 million, buildings could be properly maintained and upgraded over three years in the East Windsor Regional School District. For another $9.4 million, the athletic facilities would pass muster.
Those are the conclusions district Business Administrator Kurt Stumbaugh passed on to the Board of Education at its meeting Monday night. His presentation was part of the district's plan to inform taxpayers of its needs in advance of the 2007-2008 budget presentation in March.
He presented a summary of a three-year plan for capital projects at all but the new Ethel McKnight Elementary School. Voters who turned thumbs down on the last two spending measures might be asked to approve $1.9 million for capital projects next April, he said.
"In a large district like this, management has a very high priority in protecting the significant investment that the community has made in our physical plant infrastructure as well as upgrading all of our equipment," Mr. Stumbaugh said. "To defer those maintenance costs is really a short-sighted prospective."
He said neglect of facilities is common in the so-called Abbott districts in the inner cities.

Read more.

Expansion of Wrightstown schools studied

WRIGHTSTOWN — The Wrightstown School Board's Facilities Committee met Thursday with architects and engineers and got a better handle on the costs of the building a new school or adding on to two existing schools.

The committee had up to eight options, but narrowed them down to three earlier this month:

Build a new school for students in grades 3-5, with the current K-4 elementary school to become a K-2 building.

Build a new school for students K-5, turn the current K-4 building into another K-5 school and operating two K-5 buildings.

Add a gym and classrooms on to the elementary school and add classrooms to the middle school.

Read more.

Little Chute eyes public input on proposed school referendum

LITTLE CHUTE — School officials have called for an informational meeting Wednesday night concerning a proposed referendum that could go on the ballot Feb. 20.

The meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Little Chute High School/Middle School commons, gives the Board of Education a chance to get the public’s take on the referendum plans.

Conceptual designs and cost estimates by Miron Construction and Bray Associates Architects Inc. on Tuesday put work such as fixing two roofs, renovating areas at the high school, adding classrooms, restroom facilities and kitchen at the elementary school and improving the outdoor athletic complex under $10 million.

The board is eyeing a December meeting to consider two resolutions. One calls for bonding to finance the project. The other seeks permission to exceed the district’s revenue limit to pay for the district’s technology program.

The design at the elementary school shows renovations to 7,475 square feet. That would include two art rooms, a computer lab, classrooms and office and storage space. The elementary school would also get two restrooms each for boys and girls, additional storage space, a kitchen and four classrooms. The building additions, with re-roofing, a handicap accessible playground and equipment are estimated at $4,753,258.

At the middle school/high school complex, plans are to renovate the science classrooms and technical and family and consumer education areas for about $4,582,275. The work includes other items such as re-roofing, reworking the parking lot and bleacher pads, redeveloping athletic complex, making technology and locker room upgrades, adding electric bleachers, field house lighting, new secure entrance and building a concessions.

Middletown School District set for vote on $33M plan

Middletown — Voters in the Middletown School District will decide Tuesday on a proposed $33 million construction project. The proposed project is divided into three propositions.

The first proposition focuses on roof replacement, building upgrades and improving athletic facilities throughout schools in the district.

The bulk of the cost will be covered by state aid. The district's federal reserve fund balance will cover the rest of the cost of proposition one. Repairs made under proposition one will not cost local taxpayers, Superintendent Kenneth Eastwood said.

"We are worried that down the road something may happen to the state aid," Eastwood said. "We are very concerned that if we don't take the opportunity that sits in front of us, we may lose it."

Propositions two and three will allow repairs for school playgrounds, sidewalk replacements, athletic additions and renovations to Chorley Elementary School. Combined, these two propositions will cost the average homeowner an extra $6.50 a year, according to district officials. The completion of the second phase of the Middletown High School renovation and restoration of the Twin Towers auditorium are also included in the vote.

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Lack of room affecting all aspects of school life

YORK -- Under the fluorescent lights and wooden dome ceiling of the York Comprehensive High School gym, the varsity girls' basketball team hustled across the floors and practiced shots on a recent afternoon.
They couldn't practice for long. An hour and a half later, it was the boys' turn to use the space. The high school only has one gym, and the two varsity basketball teams take turns using it for practice.

Senior Whitney Sanders, a player on the girls' basketball team, said that as a result, practice sometimes feels rushed. "It can be frustrating at times," she said.

Steve Boyd, York High's athletic director for 11 years, said he and the coaches coordinate with other schools and local recreational facilities to use that space for practice. Six athletic teams share one gym, which means that some of them are often relegated to practicing at York Junior High or at York's elementary schools.

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