Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sour Grapes for Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Welcome USS Curts
Supremes say figure it out yourselves
Well the day was appropriate; April 1st marked the day the Supreme Court declined to answer teacher representative succession questions posed by Bennett (ex rep and wanna be new temporary Rep) and Benevente (ex board chair). The Supreme Court ruled their request did not meet the constitutional requirements for answering official questions, as they were both on the same side of the issue.

After all this bickering and interference back and forth from several sides, maybe the teachers can go back to deciding for themselves who they want to represent them. Maybe they already have. Maybe not. If not, one would think a ballot sent around to each teacher to be marked and returned sealed when they pick up their pay checks, or by such and such a date certain, would solve the issue once and for all. The newly elected rep could then begin attending School Board meetings to make sure PSS teachers have some input there.
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Glowing report
On a positive note, a CUC line crew working in the area, when asked to, replaced the light sensitive switch on the street light near my house. Now it shuts off during daylight hours as it is supposed to. Before it was lit all the time. This is one small step toward saving some power currently being paid by all of us CUC customers as ‘line losses’ or ‘public use’.

I'm sure that light burning 24/7 chewed up a lot of kilowatt hours. A reader told me “if it's the typical 175 watt street light, @ 24/7 would be 126kWh per month. at .41/kWh, that’s $51/month, or $1.72/day.” I’m not sure of those figures but it sounds reasonable.

$612 per year for just one street light burning means we should all keep our eyes peeled for lights burning in the daytime and report them when seen. We can save half that amount by having them fixed to light up only at night. The CUC crews are happy to repair them, as long as they have the parts and are close by.

I'm betting there are lots more of them out there. Now that I am looking, I have noticed several already.

Thanks CUC crew!!
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More equal than others
A few days ago in the Philippines the elected President of Palau was asked to submit to a standard pre-boarding security check along with his fellow passengers. He was flying on a public flight back to Palau along with some tourists and his fellow countrymen. He reportedly took umbrage and left the airport in a huff rather than be security screened and have his baggage scrutinized.

It brings up some interesting questions. For one, many cultures including many from Micronesia, Asia and SE Asia are rooted in showing respect to elders, hereditary leaders and key family members. This respect is as integrated as breathing or eating and most would not think of ignoring it. But does that unquestioning respect extend to elected political leaders? Good ones, bad ones, indifferent ones? Would that respect extend to all political leaders from all countries no matter how bloodthirsty or avaricial? Should that universal respect be shown by everyone from any other country for any leader of any other country? Hardly.

On the other hand why would it be disrespectful to be checked just like all the other passengers he was about to ride with? How so? Should he, or any other elected leader be above the law? Are they saying “Sorry citizens, we dignitaries don’t have to put up with the rude and mostly useless security screening WE bureaucrats put in place. That stuff is designed to give you citizens a feel-good sense of security but is beneath the dignity of us higher up politicos.” I don’t think they would want to put it that way. I don’t think most of them feel that way, including the President of Palau.

If security exceptions are to be made, where do they stop? What about the President of Continental Airlines? When he flies public instead on his own corporate jet should he be exempted from security checks? What about the President of Exxon, or Enron or Ed’s Barber shop? The former two are, or were, much bigger deals than the Republic of Palau (or Brazil or most other countries for that matter) the latter one differs only in degree. Should the President of Ed’s Barber Shop not be security screened because he is a President? Huge multinational companies have more workers and represent far more wealth and power than a lot of independent countries. Should their Presidents all be exempt?

Perhaps perceived disrespect is not why he elected to leave the airport instead of having his baggage inspected. He had just met with the President of the Philippines (not exactly universally respected by her constituents) who, with her family, is currently accused of some pretty shady cash-under-the-table business dealings. Maybe it had less to do with disrespect than with not wanting his carry on baggage checked. Maybe he was just having a bad day. Maybe he would rather ride on the later proffered private jet back home with a nice bottle of free champagne. Maybe he forgot his toothbrush.

Truthfully, I don’t see any disrespect in Continental’s actions at the Manila airport. I don’t think it is any different to perform security checks on a President, or a Governor than on a Mr. or a Mrs. or anybody else, or even a nobody else. What about you?

Now if they want to exempt me from further checks the next time I fly, well then I’m all for it! (J)

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Make mine neat, no rocks

Thanks to a survey done earlier and reported back to maritime authorities and thanks to recent additional work accomplished in our shipping channel by the Officers and Crew of the USNS Safeguard, US Navy ships and other large vessels can once again enter our harbor safely.

Most recently docked and still in port today is the US Navy Frigate Curts. Welcome to Saipan to her Officers and Crew!

Each of these R&R visits gives our military men and women a much needed rest and introduces them to the wonders of Saipan and the CNMI. Much need revenue comes to our shores but more importantly, we send out ambassadors who tell friends family, neighbors and fellow personnel on other ships and shore stations what a great place the CNMI is for liberty, rest and relaxation. All who come here for liberty enjoy the diverse culture, friendly residents, great food and world class sporting activities found here. US military personnel are always welcomed with open arms here and they appreciate that. They like the diving, the golf, the entertainment and the weather. We like them. Please come again.
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Quote of the week:
The long unmeasured pulse of time moves everything. There is nothing hidden that it cannot bring to light, nothing once known that may not become unknown. Sophocles (496 - 406 BC)
Photo above stolen shamelessly from the Saipan Tribune. Credit to Jacqueline Hernandez.


Jeff said...

We chose Betty Miller long ago. Bennett threw a hissy fit because he wasn't so popular from day one, and some wanted him out earlier -- Betty had nothing to do with that sentiment, but he took it out on her. Anyway, the net result is Bennett created such a stir that we've had no official representation for several months. The governor makes the appointment, but he obviously doesn't care much about this and simply hasn't appointed anyone, and frankly only a small number of teachers care, either.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

I think he probably wanted a lifetime appointment, and a halo.

The real loser in all this is that important items from the teacher's viewpoint that should be brought to the Board's attention are not being aired.

Yes, the Governor makes the appointment, but it would be nice if the teachers themselves elected someone whom the Governor then appoints. Betty Miller was the choice late last year but as I remember the voter turn out was pretty slim. Maybe that is indicitive of your observation that most teachers don't care much about this issue.