Tuesday, February 9, 2010

There has been so much stuff going on over the past few months, I can barely keep up with the (dismal) news. There are a few bright spots, that can give even my normally pessimistic self a glimmer of hope:

The Kennedy spell was broken when a Republican won the seat. He was quickly confirmed by the Senate-and the results of that election are starting to ping through the Democratic party. Good, I say. I am not foolish enough to think that either party has "our best interests" at heart, but at least the voters back east were heard :)

Another bright note was the USDA scrapping plans for implementing NAIS. Yay! Double yay! Naturally, Sec. Vilsack (Agriculture Secretary) has all sorts of other plans in the works and those require careful vigilance from all of us who own livestock in a small way. Naturally, they still have not addressed the true food safety risks: the processing end by large agribiz. Watch for more regulations coming down the well greased (lobbyist) pike.

The Tea Party is gaining national recognition. Of course, the state media outlets would have you believe that the folks who are vocal about this, are a tiny fraction of the American voters. Um, not. There are millions whose voices are never heard over the clamor to praise the sitting President. I am hoping this is one instance where the tail is not going to wag to dog ;)

On Capital Hill, careful observers are seeing signs that the juggernaut of "my way (spend, spend, spend, spend us into collapse) or the highway" might be coming to an end. I can tell you that at least the Democratic Senator from Alaska, does not listen to his constituents whatsoever. He votes the Pelosi way in all things. I hope that when re-election time comes for him, people will remember what Sen Begich has *not* done for us. Thankfully, we have a loud and raucous talk radio presence here, and these guys are not going to let his misdeeds be swept under the rug. You know, stuff like the budget shortfall for Anchorage and so forth.

Just yesterday I was listening to a popular radio show on the way home. It seems that the Anchorage School District has asked 4th graders to go out and shovel snow to earn money for "school supplies". Another caller (a teacher) said that the budget for supplies was just a couple dollars a student. The Superintendent should be ashamed at this situation. 700 million dollar budget and they need to ask children to earn money for supplies??? Say what??? As a parent, I can tell you that you are given a listed or required supplies to purchase every fall. Filling those lists generally costs at least $75 per student, even with the big back to school sales. They bring to school paper, pens, pencils, scissors, glue, folders and notebooks and a variety of other items....WHY does the school need more supplies? And WHY are teachers digging into their own pockets too? Shame on you, Carol Comeau and the Anchorage School Board for not cutting administrative expenses! How about trimming some supervisory staff and getting paper and pencils into the classroom, eh? Or even better yet, stop hiring those taxis to shuffle kids from school to school every day-that would save several hundred thousand right there.

Things aren't much better in the MatSu School District either, unfortunately. If you aren't actively demanding performance from the staff, your student will be schlepped along without attention. As Anchorage does, the MatSu soon follows, so expect to see even more bloated school budgets in the coming years here :(

On the home front, I smell DIRT! Yippee, hooray!!! I have over two dozen flats started, with more to come shortly. We got a new plant starting rack and like it so well we are getting another one, haha Each rack holds at least 16 flats, so hopefully I won't end up too blasted crowded here in six weeks or so. I still have my work one of course, and plan to use that for a few specific items that take up a lot of rack space-like the sweet corn and squashes I think. In a few weeks, we will be setting up the table for the big light too, which should help. May even end up with a couple racks in the garage itself, time will tell.