Archive for Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Baldwin School District voters give nod to bond issue

Tony Brown, standing left, and the Rev. Ira DeSpain, campus minister standing right, watch as the results came in Tuesday night at an election watch party at Baker University's Harter Union. Brown, a pyschology professor at Baker for 18 years, won his election bid for 10th District House of Representatives. Brown supported the $22.9 million bond issue that Baldwin School District patrons approved Tuesday night, too.

Tony Brown, standing left, and the Rev. Ira DeSpain, campus minister standing right, watch as the results came in Tuesday night at an election watch party at Baker University's Harter Union. Brown, a pyschology professor at Baker for 18 years, won his election bid for 10th District House of Representatives. Brown supported the $22.9 million bond issue that Baldwin School District patrons approved Tuesday night, too.

November 4, 2008, 7:29 p.m.

Updated: November 4, 2008, 10:20 p.m.

Despite tough economic times, Baldwin School District voters gave approval Tuesday to a $22.9 million bond issue by a slim margin.

There were 2,087 votes for the bond issue to 1,775 against it. That margin of 54 percent to 46 percent didn’t surprise Supt. Paul Dorathy.

“I would say in these tough economic times, this is a big statement for the community to make for the school district,” said Dorathy. “These are tough times, but this was the right thing for our schools.

“I expected it to be close,” he said. “I really thought it was going to be in the 50 percent range either way. We had to wait to the end to see how that would go.”

With it’s passage, the lion’s share of the money — $14.7 million — will go to build a new Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center to replace the 50-plus-year-old building currently housing students. The other big-ticket item is a $3.7 million performing arts auditorium at Baldwin High School.

Also in the plans are four new baseball and softball fields for BHS and a practice track. Money will also go for a new roof and air conditioning and heating units at Baldwin Junior High School. Upgrades will also be made district wide for technology and student safety.

“I’m just really thankful that I live in a community that thinks enough in these tough economic times to do what’s right for their children,” said Ande Parks, a member of both the Baldwin School Board and the facilities committee the board put together to make recommendations on the bond issue.

Another member of the facilities committee who went on to lead the Kids First campaign to promote its passage was Baldwin City Council President Amy Cleavinger.

“We are very grateful to the community for their support of kids and our schools,” said Cleavinger. “This benefits all of us, our entire community, and we’re thrilled with the results.”

The measure passed easily in two of the three city precincts, failed in the other, and was defeated in two outlying areas, while a third passed it by a slim margin.

Comments

Torch 5 years, 11 months ago

Just goes to show that the world is full of suckers.

Look at the national election - America is clueless.

I'll call it right now - mark my words - the middle class is going to crumple under this leadership.

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cranky 5 years, 11 months ago

America is not clueless and the world isn't filled with suckers just because tonight didn't go the way you wanted it to. I'm so tired of hopeless people like you who do nothing but bitch and moan.

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Still_Pool 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks Baldwin!

You won't regret it. Our kids are worth it.

SP

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bc 5 years, 11 months ago

The American thing to do it so support the result of our elections. All of my votes didn't go the way I had hoped, but I'm simply glad that I live in a country that allows me the freedom to vote.

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thelongestnameonthespeakoutttt 5 years, 11 months ago

So if Tony Brown wins the 10th Kansas House, is he going to put his "Kansas, as bigoted as you think" sticker back on his car?

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Torch 5 years, 11 months ago

No...really - you're all fools.

College educations for the middle class costs $80,000. Where do you think this 'free' health care is going to come from? Santa Claus?

The only class able to pay for all this glib is the middle class - the poor don't have it and there aren't enough rich to finance it.

You're a sucker if you voted for either Obama or this idiotic school bond.

Mark my words. It's going to get ugly...and as usual Baldwin pays no attention to what is happening outside its 100 acre sphere of reality.

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Still_Pool 5 years, 11 months ago

Torch,

There's going to be another election in 2010. Why don't you put yourself on the line and run for office?

I'll even let you put a sign in my yard.

Just one of the fools...

SP

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TheOnlyGreyghost 5 years, 11 months ago

Good posts, Cranky, SP, & BC! Don't worry about Torch. If Torch didn't have something to whine and cry about, his life wouldn't be worth living.

I'm glad the sensible people won out--on the bond issue here in Baldwin in the presidential election, and in so many other races around this country in which Republicans were thrown out on their ears. Finally, after 8 long, miserable years, the silent majority stirred and their voices rang out.

Obama is inheriting a festering stinking mess from that abject failure, Bush--who has already faded into "nonentity" status. He is already going down in history as one of the worst--if not THE worst--

It will take a lot of work to get our country back on track but Obama has the intelligence, ability, and character to do it. And--thanks to the American people--the support of a largely Democratic Congress that will help rather than hinder Obama's efforts to forge accomplishments.

Raise your hand if it gave you a warm fuzzy feeling to see the half-baked Alaskan lose her smug smirk!

Oh-- whoever kept stealing the Obama signs from my yard: be proud of how you aided the Obama campaign.

It's good to know that the extra money I kept donating to get new signs helped them get the word out and ensure the election results we are now enjoying. Thanks, hon!

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curbmanundaunted 5 years, 11 months ago

Yippee! Higher taxes just when I needed them. Lower property values, increased unemployment, economic woes, more commercial inventory of land and locations than we can fill in ten years, bond issues we still haven't paid for, declining retail sales, businesses going out of business, more houses on the market in Baldwin City than ever and those that have been on the market forever, highest city utility rates than any I've seen before, declined enrollment in our schools, and we want to build schools and ballfields. Good luck Baldwin City. Enjoy the highest taxes, highest utility rates, electricity service that is sporadic at best and fails us on a clear sunny day with no harsh weather - on a frequent basis, highest rental vacancy rate, and most houses for sale on the real estate market in all of Douglas County. Business/commercial vacancy rates are extreme. We are pricing ourselves out of the market for move-ins. Can you not see that? Sad. I hold you accountable for higher taxes on a school we can fix without the pork spending for add-ons like ballfields and an un-needed running track. Open your wallets and pay for something with no infrastructure to assist. My taxes have already increased by 30% in the last four years. Thank you for your support. I will do everything in my power to oppose you during the next four years.

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cranky 5 years, 11 months ago

"I will do everything in my power to oppose you during the next four years." Now THAT'S sad.

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reparmn37 5 years, 11 months ago

I guess some people here in this town can see the future. There must be some kind of crystal ball involved. Well, we should not be too sad. We have a new direction and I myself will wait to see what happens. I bet the kids might get the benefit of it all. Oh, how FOOLish.

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baldwinfan 5 years, 11 months ago

Does anyone know where the plans to the school are located? I hope that it is built for effeciency rather than gold plated door nobs.

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andeparks 5 years, 11 months ago

There are no concrete (no pun intended) plans for the new school or auditorium yet. The architect gave us general ideas about size, facilities to be included, and placement on the property. You can see those drawings at the district office. The specifics, though, are still to be nailed down. Now the process of gathering input from staff and patrons begins, and we’ll start looking at plans. Our construction manager will work closely with the architect to eliminate waste and maximize our value. We will also be working on the safe room grant, and (hopefully, pending grant approval) getting those improvements into the plans.

Thanks to everyone in the community for your passion and time. I’m thrilled that the bond passed, but I have respect for those of you who didn’t feel you could support it. Now, I’d like to think that we can all pull together to make the path our neighbors have chosen work for our children, our staff, and our entire community. I see from some of the comments here that we’re going to have less than unanimous support there, but we will get it done.

Thanks again, Ande Parks Board Member- USD #348 594 3292

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reallybcsandyc 5 years, 11 months ago

I would like to add my congratulations on passage of the school bond issue. Although the economic times are difficult, I believe this is a plan to help our children prepare for the future - theirs and ours. I know there are many who opposed it, but it seemed that it was better to bite the bullet now and be proactive instead of reactive on school needs. Perhaps, when the real estate market rebounds (as it will - it always has) this will make our town an attractive option for new residents and businesses.

Sandy Cardens P.S. In case you missed it, I didn't write the comments on the earlier blog attributed to bcsandyc. Some pond scum did it and in doing so, not only tarnished my reputation, but also the Lumberyard Arts Center. Now, whoever you are, you can go back to the basement and giggle - if you get your jollies being deceitful, cowardly and hurtful to people who try to help the community.

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TheOnlyGreyghost 5 years, 11 months ago

Sandy~ I feel your pain. It was possibly the same cowardly, unimaginative pond scum (a term too nice for them, IMO) who stole my name and a few others.

Anyway... look at all the chicken littles coming out to squawk about how terrible it is to invest in our children. Such dire predictions! Baldwinfan (the name must be his/her idea of a joke) even suspects that money will be squandered on golden doorknobs instead of efficiency--or "nobs" and "effeciency," as s/he seems to think. Obviously, here is a person for whom education has been a high priority. Or not.

To name just one factor (that hasn't already been beaten to death) that will have impact on Baldwin's near-future educational needs:

Anyone who thinks the Gardner-area BNSF intermodal facility is not going to raise the housing demand and enrollment levels in Baldwin, while providing a high number of job opportunities, has not been paying attention.

Because of proximity and the straight shot down Hwy 56 to the new warehouse acreage, Baldwin is uniquely positioned to gain many new working-age residents--many of whom will have kids who must be absorbed into USD 348. Despite the passing of this bond issue, we may still find ourselves bursting at the seams within the next 5 to 10 years.

Anyone need a refresher on what this project entails?

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/nov/21/bnsf_worker_says_intermodal_complex_sure_mean_grow/?city_local

A few highlights from that article:

--1000-acre facility shipping hub --13,000 jobs created --largest economic development program in KS in 45 yrs --1.7 billion pumped into KS economy over the next 20 yrs

If not for this behemoth heading our way, I might agree with some of curbmanundaunted's points, although I still would've voted "yes" for the kids who are already in Baldwin. They deserve the best facilities and opportunities we can give them.

The intermodal just gives one more big reason to look ahead instead of sticking our heads in the sand and pretending this is going to remain a sleepy little podunk town. We are poised to see things turn around in a big way when the intermodal starts hiring--and we need to be ready for its impact.

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Still_Pool 5 years, 11 months ago

Sorry about all the Obama signs GG, but they're so colorful in my basement rumpus-room. Now, if I can find some of those gold door knobs.

Have to say I only agree with part of your assessment about Obama's election. I'm happy with the outcome, and AM looking forward to the possibility of a new way of things in DC. Obama does have a lot to recover from, but not all of it is of the Bushies doing.

The economic mess we're in owes a lot to poor oversight of the subprimes by BOTH sides of the aisle in congress, not to mention the American people who seemed to believe that the Bill of Rights includes an amendment guarranteeing " a 3000+ Sq Ft. home with a 3 car garage (one for the Bass boat) on a wooded 5 acre lot - all at a no money down ARM scheduled for interest-only payments". Then, instead of socking away the $ they ought to be putting into principal, they blow it on jet Skis, HDTVs and other adult playthings.

We the People have a lot of "splaining to do" for our free living, and we can't just assume things are going to change now that a new tenant's moving into the White House.

Still, I think we;ve got a good chance ahead of us, as long as the Democratic majorities in congress doesn't take the Obama win as their mandate for a "Democratic Revolution". If they don't follow Obama's call for bipartaisanship, we may see a sea-change in the 2010 midterm elections. The GOP made that mistake and lost it all, but I'm not so sure that Pelosi & Co. have learned from from history either.

Still, it's a great day to be a 'Murikin!

Anybody got any Green Party signs? I'm trying to do an accent wall...

SP

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TheOnlyGreyghost 5 years, 11 months ago

Shoot, SP, if I'd known it was you stealing the signs, I would've just bought you a few for yourself. I won't report you to Baldwin's Finest, if you promise to invite me to your next rumpus-room party.

I agree 100% on your assessment of the economic mess.. As you say, we all share in the blame for that. (Hanging head, surreptitiously glancing up at home-theatre HD jumbotron..)

I was referring to the Shrub's general anti-Midas touch--by which everything he's ever touched, from baseball teams to bicycles & Segways to the hunt-down-the-architects-of-9/11 assignment to delicious salty pretzels, has turned to wreckage and abomination in his hands (or mouth). Everything!

Aren't you euphoric that after January the only thing he'll be able to screw up is post-hole digging, dogie branding, and the stray load of laundry Laura allows him to start? ("George!!! How many times have I told you to put down the bleach?! Just look at my pink and orange capris! And--oh, no--you shrunk my cashmere sweater!")

Oh, hey--I'll trade you 2 Greenie signs (never mind where they came from) for a vintage yellow dog Democrat poster! We're redoing the 4th bay of the garage (where we keep the jet skis in the winter) in a fun political theme. The yellow dog poster would look really sharp next to the "I am not a crook" Nixon collage.

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ksmax 5 years, 11 months ago

BOTTOM LINE......these kids are our future and and least I KNOW where my tax dollars are going! I personally don't mind investing in our childrens educations.

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ibelieveinmapleleaf 5 years, 11 months ago

"Anyone who thinks the Gardner-area BNSF intermodal facility is not going to raise the housing demand and enrollment levels in Baldwin, while providing a high number of job opportunities, has not been paying attention."

Grey, I am certainly a believer, but please remember the study that the District released last year that stated there would be no significant growth from the project. This was seconded by the Landplan assessment by the City.

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Torch 5 years, 11 months ago

"bottom line……these kids are our future and and least I KNOW where my tax dollars are going! I personally don't mind investing in our childrens educations."

You KNOW where your tax dollars are going? Have you read the breakdown in detail? I don't think so.

Besides, you've already demonstrated that you just don't get it. You didn't just invest in 'our childrens educations' - you just invested in shiny new toys and a nifty place for the USD 348 Mafia to go to work. Not only that - you'll be 'investing' in this education well after these children of yours are parents themselves....and how many more bonds are there going to be between now and then?

Not one penny of this money is going to prevent bullying, stop the nepotism, eliminate bad teachers, or help the good ones. Nope...what you have now is a nice little palace for Johnny to go to while someone sticks his face in their crotch or he can watch kids whose last names are 'important' get by while he struggles.

Until you solve the problem with the enviornment in the school it won't matter how many millions of dollars you throw at it...you're not going to 'improve' it.

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cranky 5 years, 11 months ago

Torch, you sound bitter. Obviously the bullying issue hits home for you, and for that, I'm sorry. The problems you speak of are universal, I'm afraid, and deserve attention as well. But if we can improve the atmosphere that our children learn in, that can't be a bad thing. I wouldn't call the new school a "palace", nor the necessary additions "shiny new toys". A track, a stage, and new HVAC equipment? It's not like we're installing Wii games in every classroom.

I guess we could have stayed in the old building and hoped that the mold would choke the bullies to death.

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Still_Pool 5 years, 11 months ago

Torch,

"Not one penny of this money is going to prevent bullying, stop the nepotism, eliminate bad teachers, or help the good ones."

My wife is one of the "good" teachers, and this bond issue is going to help her a great deal.

She's going to be able to teach her classes and laboratories in a facility that will be clean, have adequate light and ventilation, have enough space and contemporary safety features, and her students will be able to perform their work in a facility that is state-of-the-art for 2008- 12 not 1958.

She's worked hard, darned hard, to keep her students motivated with failing, inadequate resources for years because her students need her. She gave "her kids" everything she has, even when the community was saying to these same kids their educational needs weren't important.

Once the new facitities are on-line, she'll continue to give her all, but the diference will be that her effort will be amplified by a proper learning environment. Her students will now be able to focus on striving for excellence rather than just treading water in a struggle for academic survival.

She never asked for "shiny new toys", just decent working tools. We're going to be among those paying the additional taxes, but we feel it's a just cause.

And not to push the point, but if you asked her, she'd tell you that ALL of the children's last names are important, because all of them are good human beings deserving of respect, care, and a decent school.

We don't need pennies to stop the bullying, nepotism or bad teachers. What we need are parents and community members who are proactive, concerned, and willing to step up and shoulder some of the responsibility of the leadership of the schools - through PTA or other activism.

You could even find out which school board member represents the section of the district in which you live, and challenge him or her in the next election. perhaps if we can get some fresh blood with strongly held beliefs and ideas like yours, we can have a board that ends some of these problems within the schools.

It's worth a try, no?

SP

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ksmax 5 years, 11 months ago

Hey Torch, I have gone to school here and my children are and my relatives are.....we are NOT one of the popular names, but I DO want the BEST for my children. Being a competetive school is one way to give that to them. What I meant by I know where my tax dollars are going is that when you pay federal and state taxes who know where it is really going! I am sorry for the problems that your child has gone through and I agree that something needs to be done about the bullying, but this is not the cause and effect of that.

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andeparks 5 years, 11 months ago

If any patron in our district feels that there is an issue with bullying in our schools that is not being addressed by our extensive policy on the matter, I would hope that they follow up with district personnel, right up to the superintendent and the board.

I know this issue is a top priority for everyone in the district. If you know of an issue that is not being resolved, go the building administrator. If you're not satisfied there, go to the superintendent. If you're not satisfied there, go to a board member or come to a meeting and speak to all of us. I don't recall ever getting a call or hearing from a patron in open session on the issue of bullying. If we have problems there- policy that needs to be addressed, or policy that is not being followed- I would like to hear about it.

I don't want anyone to think that, because someone throws out allegations in this forum, that there are rampant problems in our schools that are not being addressed because we simply don't care. We have people who do care in this district, at every level. If you know of a problem, speaking about it here is certainly an option. I hope, though, that speaking here doesn't take the place of coming to district personnel and board members, so we can work on it directly. We can't do much with generic allegations. We can do a lot with genuine concern and specific information.

Back to the issue originally at hand- we will be hearing from our architect at our next meeting. I would encourage anyone interested in what happens next to attend. We meet at the district office Monday evening, at 7pm. I believe the architect and financial advisor will speak at the beginning of the meeting.

Best, Ande

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greyghost 5 years, 11 months ago

Just to clarify, I am not the pond scum that stole/misrepresented SandyC.

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Bloggerboo 5 years, 11 months ago

So why did you steal greyghost's moniker then?

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greyghost 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, bloggerpoo, I am pond scum. I'm just not the pond scum that stole bcSandyC. Sandy Cardens is not hiding behind an anonymous username. TheOnlyGreyghost is completely anonymous. Even though TheOnlyGreyghost thinks very lowly of me for "stealing" her moniker, I would not publicly pose or misrepresent anyone's true identity. I believe that could be grounds for a lawsuit. I don't enjoy this enough to gamble with the notion of being sued for slander and/or libel. See the difference?

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Bloggerboo 5 years, 11 months ago

"See the difference?" Oooh, is this a lecture? I better get my pen and paper so I can take notes and learn this wisdom you have bestowed upon me. What can you teach me about ethics and morals? Anything? Didn't think so.

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greyghost 5 years, 11 months ago

"See the difference?" is actually what you asked me in another post, jackass. I was being sarcastic. Here's the link: http://signal.baldwincity.com/news/2008/nov/06/these-times-they-are-changin/

Here's a quote from one of your ignorant posts: "Well, I will get behind the country, but I won't support socializing American any more than it already is. Yes, Greyghost, some things are state run, but not everything. See the difference?"

Ooooh, is this a lecture? Stoopid MF'r.

"What can you teach me about ethics and morals?" Well Bagopoo, I'll have to answer this another time. Right now I have to go paint my neighbors cat. Then I've got to go get my "Salvation Army" costume ready for the holidays. You know how hard it is to find one of those bells?

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Bloggerboo 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, if your comments weren't so ignorant, I wouldn't have to teach you as if you were a child. You probably are a child though, so maybe you do need a few lessons. I am going to guess somewhere in the 16-19 age range, considering your lack of vocabulary and overall ability to be rude and crude.

I feel sorry for you. Keep struggling to reach the top, though. You can do it!

Here's a gift just for you to help you on your way: http://www.jeremyinc.com/images/complaint_department_toilet_paper.JPG

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greyghost 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm not trying to be "rude and crude", but are you retarded? If so, I will stop.

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Bloggerboo 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes, yes, Greyghost, we all can see your ability to put down others. Fabulous! Amazing!

How about actually adding something of value to society? Or even just to these forums...just an idea.

What will you call me next, Biggerpoo? Get those super-creative juices flowing...I wait with bated breath!

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greyghost 5 years, 11 months ago

You should settle down.
"How about actually adding something of value to society?" You don't know anything about me, do you?

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