A Citizen Comments- Oak Harbor School District is a textbook example of long-term money mismanagement + Video “Teachers’ Unions Explained”

Author:Publius

UPDATE (below, within article): Have you recently heard these local cries from the Oak Harbor School District (OHSD): “We have no money for textbooks!?!” and “Our paper supply is being rationed!?!” How can this be? This certainly is NOT due to lack of funding.  What it has to do with is money mismanagement and the diversion of funds AWAY from the children and into the adult pockets that oversee children. This year, the money managers of the OHSD will burn through $57 MILLION dollars for 5,400 students. 

 

In WA State statutes specific amounts of monies are set aside specifically for things like textbooks.  Yet, during this levy campaign in the Whidbey News-Times we find a letter from a 12-year-old middle school girl reporting that “In our World History class, over half of our textbooks are in poor condition.  Several are held together by duct tape.”  What a better ambassador for a levy could the school district want?  The school district should make her their levy poster child, along with the high school girls, who, last summer, were out collecting reams of paper from the community, because, they had been told at school, that the school district had “no money” for paper. The school district obviously wants everyone, including the teachers and each of their students to “feel the need”, but “the need” is contrived.

Those same money managers who are crying that they have “no money” for textbooks are presently housed in a $4.5 million dollar administration building, a final cost after OHSD immediately made extensive post-purchase renovations costing well more than the entire “bargain price” of $1.8 million they paid for the old Alaska Federal Credit Union building itself!  Was that a “need”? To this day, OHSD “insiders” misleading brag to people about the supposed “bargain price” they paid that building! The OHSD has also obviously have had more than enough revenue to hire and continue to pay a “Communications Director” to interface with the public, at a salary of $70,000 per year.  Is that staff position a “need”? They also somehow, just last summer, found an extra $9,600 to spend on public art for the high school, right after it became apparent that additional federal matching funds were available.  Was that a “need”? Much better to have public art than new World History text books, eh?

These same money managers have also annually given teachers almost $2 million dollars cash from their local discretionary budget to supplement teachers’ WA State-provided salaries. Is that a “need”?  14 of those 19 of the “extra days” given them are the infamous “TRI-Days”.  These are, simply, across the board “bonus” salary payments.  I think the teachers used “grading homework” or “after-hours work” as the latest reason for this alleged  “need”.  The currently proposed levy would increase that bonus TRI-Day money by 39%, and it would certainly help the teachers’ union president, Peter Szalai, continue his personal annual “bonus pay” rate of $33,000. I was totally disgusted when I learned about that figure of $33,000.  During these years, as we are going through tough times, how can the teachers feel that asking for a 39% increase to their bonus pay is perfectly okay? Is that a “need”? How about taking away their “bonus pay” to pay for textbooks?

The school district tries to deflect all suggestions about using local funds for textbooks instead of “TRI” by claiming that “textbooks” and “TRI” come from a different “pots” of funds. Specifically, they differentiate between whether the money comes from Maintenance and Operations (M&O) levy money or Federal Impact Aid. Whether they do or do not is actually irrelevant, since local M&O levy dollars and 95% of all Federal Impact dollars OHSD receives are fungible revenues. Such disingenuous deflections by OHSD underscore perhaps the greatest problem of all within the school district:  the lack of transparency.  The stewards of these $57 MILLION dollars actively try to keep these numbers and facts away from the public, who may very well not agree as to why they have made these expenditure choices.  The ongoing mismanagement of our money and the attitudes of our school district money “managers” are outrageous. Every time we have attempted to hold schools accountable in any way, such as via standardized testing, the paths towards monetary accountability and transparency come under attack.

I have long been a proponent of student vouchers.  Give the parents the money and let them spend it for their children at the school of their choice.  If we simply did this, a lot of this school district money management nonsense would go away.  Instead, at this time, across the nation, the public school systems have mostly simply become a way to extract more and more cash from the federal government, the state government and from local property owners:  the more cash, the better.

Why is it that we do not see the school district advertise statistics on how our local kids are doing compared to national averages? It’s mostly likely because they have little to brag about. One-out-of-five freshmen in the OHSD –  this $57 MILLION system –  NEVER graduate. Our local high school has even been labeled a “Dropout Factory” by US News and World Report.  Perhaps we simply should have shown the folks at US News and World Report our new $11 million dollar stadium? I am sure they would have been “impressed”.

However, we, the public, are partially to blame.  We, the public, vote for the members of the school board, the “head” money managers, and they, in turn, hire the school district Superintendent.  The school board exists, in theory, to oversee this public “machine” or “corporation.”  It seems, however, that these board members quickly become indoctrinated into believing whatever they are told by their employee, Superintendent Rick Schulte.  What has voting “yes” on past proposed levies for school maintenance & operations and levies for construction bonds taught the school district superintendent and the elected school board?  Simply, it has taught them that there is even more money to be taken from the public.

Are administration buildings, stadiums, teacher bonus money and art more important than textbooks?  No, they not, so please send a message – vote “no” and continue to vote “no” as, otherwise, these local money “managers” will simply come after more local property taxes again and again and again, as they cannot do this to the federal or state governments as easily.  If teachers are being underpaid, let them run their own levy for TRI-days, and let the public decide whether or not their salaries should be increased on the backs of local property owners rather than be paid by the state.

It is far more difficult to get out the “no” vote, because the school district even uses some of that $57 MILLION revenue to deliver levy flyers directly to voters’ mailboxes.  Moreover, they have permanently tied these proposed levies to promises of increased teacher bonuses, so now we even have teachers at our doorsteps trying to get people to vote “yes”.  Additionally, if, during this campaign, a business owner is found to be one of those “no” voters, the teachers’ union will quickly blackball that business and attempt to rally a community wide boycott of anyone supporting your business.  Shouldn’t this make people just a bit nervous?

A “no” vote isn’t an anti-child vote, and it isn’t an anti-teacher vote.  It is a vote against the money “managers” that oversee the funding.  I would like to see the money get past the adults’ pockets and into the classroom, but it has become obvious that, the more money we give these school district money “managers”, the more money they simply squander.

Please vote “no”.

(Author requested name to be withheld).

UPDATE

This above article is one of a number of submissions sent to the Whidbey News-Times against the 2013 Oak Harbor School District school levy which never saw the light of day in that publication.

In Seattle, the Seattle Times actually prints op-ed pieces against the school levy. In Oak Harbor, the Whidbey News-Times suppresses such articles, and, instead, people are forced to “pay up” if they want something substantial printed that speaks against the school district’s local property tax proposals:

Here’s a Seattle Times op-ed piece against the Seattle School District levy.

“Op-ed: Vote no on Seattle’s school levies Propositions 1 and 2: By continuing to support the lack of accountability at Seattle Public Schools, we are actually hurting our students”

END UPDATE

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48 comments

  1. avatar

    Voting NO the Air Farce Schools And Children way is not the best solution. We’ll just have a ton of colleteral damage.

    This is way better:

    https://portal.sao.wa.gov/SAOPortal/Public.aspx/Hotline

    According to a blog report at IslandPolitics.org under “A Citizen Comments- Oak Harbor School District is a textbook example of long-term money mismanagement + Video “Teachers’ Unions Explained”” it came to my attention that:

    1a) The Oak Harbor School Board at http://www.islandpolitics.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/OHSD_Levy_Propaganda.pdf released a statement on page 3 that, there is now “no money for textbooks or for tutoring”.

    1b) A 7th grade student wrote the Whidbey News-Times at http://www.whidbeynewstimes.com/opinion/letters/187534201.html, “Oak Harbor schools flourish with levy support | Letters”, “First of all, we have many outdated and/or damaged textbooks. In my World History class, over half of our textbooks are in poor condition. Several are held together by duct tape”.

    2) Actually, this shouldn’t be the case. Substitute House Bill 2776, passed during the 2010 Legislative Session, specifically allocates revenue on a per FTE student basis including funding for textbooks.

    Just doesn’t make sense to this IslandPolitics.org reader and semi-retired watchdog of public education.

    You don’t need two guesses who fired this off.

    GO NAVY LEAGUE!

    1. avatar

      It’s actually way past time to vote any way but “no”. It is the ONLY REAL solution. If simply talking about the proposed levy was actually “better”, the budgetary nonsense and campaign lies in the OHSD would have stopped long ago. Moreover, there is no justification for the OHSD to request to DOUBLE the existing the M&O levy local property tax rate. A true “replacement” levy, at HALF the proposed estimated tax rate would more adequately fund the OHSD. This proposed levy derives from GREED, and claims of “collateral damage” by rejecting it are scare tactics that should be ignored.

      1. avatar

        Sure Bill.

        I have a better idea – target the waste and make it an election issue, replace the School Board and quit the nonsense of bowing down to the WEA local’s demands to spend Other Peoples’ Money.

        1. avatar

          Your idea is simply more deflection and delay of actual action for THIS election at hand, and it reminds me of the US Congress “kicking the can” further down the road instead of taking real action that will make a difference.

          Your suggestion is, frankly, very much, a RED HERRING argument.

          “A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to “win” an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic.

          This sort of “reasoning” has the following form:

          Topic A is under discussion.

          Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).

          Topic A is abandoned.

          This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious because merely changing the topic of discussion hardly counts as an argument against a claim.”

          The ONLY thing that will make a REAL change is a “no” vote on this unnecessary proposed DOUBLING of the local M&O property tax levy. The topic at hand here is this local M&O levy – NOT school board elections.

          I have seen before your strategy of deflection and delay, from people who are decidedly very “pro-levy”, during each and every previous M&O levy campaign.

  2. avatar

    Is it bad that I just sent my ballot in with a ‘yes’ vote on the levy?

    1. avatar

      Is it bad? Well if you voted yes you either did so from a position of ignorance or you work in some capacity for the school system. So yes, I would consider your vote a bad choice for the citizens and children both.

    2. avatar

      Trent, Let me guess, you’re a teacher or a non-homeowner. Next time do a little research before you vote. Don’t be swayed by employees of the “Drop-out” factory. Remember, 1 out of 5 freshmen don’t graduate from Oak Harbor. Maybe more money will fix it, ya think?

      1. avatar

        OAK HARBOR SCH 201 Oak Harbor School District No. 201 – Proposition 1 – School Program Levies School Program Levies
        Measure Vote Vote %
        Yes
        4,533 53.68%
        No
        3,912 46.32%
        Oh, the Humanity!

  3. avatar

    What is so amusing are the foolish residents voting YES under the pretense that throwing more money into the public school system equates to kids getting a better education. Private schools, on the other hand, are doing a far better job of educating our youth with less money. Why? Because if the school isn’t performing, then parents will take their money and kids elsewhere. I am very grateful that my parents were able to provide me and my four siblings with a private education while still paying tax dollars to support the substandard public education system.

  4. avatar

    The teachers and student are out in force. Waving signs, screaming and pretty much being a nuisance. They were standing so close to the street and waving signs I was a bit afraid of hitting one of them. or one of the signs hitting my car.

    I guess if I was looking forward to a big pay raise and by waving signs thought I could increase the odds that I would get that raise I would be there also. On second thought, no I wouldn’t, I have always receved my raises from accomplishement and hard work not by whoring myself in public on a street corner…

  5. avatar

    Hm-mm….how would it make you feel if you started getting phone calls and/or emails from your EMPLOYER because, well…maybe you had not yet voted in an ongoing public election?

    What if…say, for example, your EMPLOYER thought that you SHOULD be voting, and…even more interesting, what if the vote maybe did not go the way your EMPLOYER wanted, and you had NOT voted? What then?

    I only ask, because, this posting over at the OHEA Facebook page has a pretty CREEPY feeling to me about exactly this issue. It says:

    “I received a phone call from Superintendent Rick Schulte asking me to encourage OHEA members to return their ballots. A review of ballots received so far indicates that “a surprising number” of OHSD employees have not yet returned their ballots.

    Please do so immediately—the sooner the better—but no later than postmarked on Tuesday, February 12.”

    Apparently, having your EMPLOYER checking upon on your PERSONAL VOTING ACTIVITY is simply A-OK over in OHSD/OHEA-land.

    See for yourself: http://www.islandpolitics.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/OHSD_checks_votes.jpg

    Yup…voting to get other people’s money to pay for things that YOU want: it’s the K-12 machine at work:

    “The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions”
    http://youtu.be/mVyNlJUKgug

  6. avatar

    I don’t live in Oak Harbor, but with that caveat I can tell you my own father was a public school teacher in Seattle all his adult life. He sent ME to private school, even though we lived in Bellevue (this was the 50s and 60s) in a very upscale area. Do the math, people: $57M for 5400 students is $10,555 per child, not even considering those who drop out. Talk about monumental waste — this is truly the poster child. My tax dollars do contribute to such nonsense, albeit in a smaller way that those who live in Oak Harbor and face endless levies and property tax increases. All I can say is GRRRRR.

    1. avatar

      $1172.77 per month per student for the 9 months they are in school. At that price you could darn near hire a private teacher and you certainly could if you had 2 or 3 children…if the school district didn’t suck this money from your children that is.

  7. avatar

    I would like to add to this discussion, that the OH School have been strong arming their teachers to vote, Letting the Teachers and Staff Clearly know that they are fully AWARE of those teachers and staff who have not voted. Just one day prior to the last day of the vote, the OH School leaders mentioned to the Teachers and Staff that they better get out and vote. With a We are watching you tone.

  8. avatar

    I hear:

    “IT PASSED!! THE LEVY PASSED!! 53.68% YES!! ”

    Okay fellas. I have the coffee pot on.

    Now what?

    You guys want to cut government waste.

    So do I.

    So let’s start getting some good recon runs.

    Let’s start getting some good intel on OHSD waste, fraud, inefficiency, and abuse of resources.

    Then let’s drop it on the SAO with a loud BANG they won’t recover from for a long time.

    Sound good, eh?

    1. avatar

      There is no “we” on this issue. You have recently openly opposed all articles posted on here which opposed this levy.

      1. avatar

        Well sure the only reason why I supported that damn thing was because of federal impact aid at risk.

        Now my friend either you can cut the waste, inefficiency, fraud and abuse by sending in the State Auditor… or we can watch the jokers in that $5 mil admin building keep taking money from Oak Harbor, Sedro-Woolley, Seattle and the like… and wasting it.

        Call the ball.

        1. avatar

          “the only reason why I supported that damn thing was because of federal impact aid at risk.”

          Please STOP trying to come on here and make claims that are entirely BOGUS. You are NOT believable.

          “Now my friend..”

          STOP misrepresenting our relationship.

          “we can watch the jokers”

          If you actually really believed they are really “jokers”, you would NOT have supported this levy.

          You are duplicitous. Please STOP making overtures to “join” with me on this issue.

          1. avatar

            I’m sorry you feel that way.

            1. avatar

              I doubt it. Your signal: BINGO.

        2. avatar

          And your vote had an effect on that Impact Aid?

          I fail to understand your logic in voting for something because something else MAY be taken away.

          Are you going to take your vote back if impact aid does not go away?

          Or is that just an excuse? You can use that as an excuse when your landlord raises your rent to cover the increased bond levy. It may not be factual but it is sure to make someone like yourself feel warm and fuzzy inside, hopefully your pocketbook feels warm and fuzzy also.

          1. avatar

            I know if and when I move out to Oak Harbor…

            a) I’m going to face higher rent for joining the pack herd of my fav club in supporting this tax increa$e

            b) I’m going to want to prevent the next tax increa$e

            c) I didn’t want the Navy kids to get a double whammy of sequestration’s federal impact aid gutting + school levy takeaways.

            1. avatar

              “I’m going to face higher rent.”

              Maybe, maybe not. However, as a property owner I KNOW my property taxes are now going to increase by about 10% OVERALL as a result of this ONE levy.

              “I’m going to want to prevent the next tax increa$e”

              Empty words.

              The so-called “double whammy of sequestration’s federal impact aid gutting + school levy takeaways” is nothing more than reiteration of part of the levy campaign theme and is UTTER FANTASY.

              When you are able to tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined, you will start having the first iota of credibility on here.

              You signal was “BINGO”. Just because you showed up again overhead does not mean anyone has given you a “Charlie”.

              1. avatar

                BillB, Joe’s ok and harmless, BUT, lives in fantasy land; you’ll never change Joe or his way of communicating

                WHY?…NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder

                Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an excessive sense of self-importance, an extreme preoccupation with themselves, and lack of empathy for others.

                Cause of this disorder is unknown. Early life experiences, such as particularly insensitive parenting, are thought to play a role in the development of this disorder.

                Symptoms…
                …A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

                •React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation
                •Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals
                •Have excessive feelings of self-importance
                •Exaggerate achievements and talents
                •Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love
                •Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
                •Need constant attention and admiration
                •Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy
                •Have obsessive self-interest
                •Pursue mainly selfish goals

                1. avatar

                  “Joe’s ok and harmless”

                  I don’t think that persons who purport misinformation, which Joe continues to do, are either “ok” or “harmless”.

                  Joe is, however, simply following the lead of folks like our elected school board directors in Oak Harbor, a number of whom wrote purposefully misleading letters-to-the editor that got printed in the local school district propaganda paper (aka the WNT) about the school levy, on issues which they should be well-informed. Doing so purposely is called lying, and lying to the public to obtain other people’s money is unethical.

                  So, mimicking the behavior of unethical people? Sorry, such behavior is neither “ok” nor harmless, but it’s what passes for “leadership” in this corrupt locale.

            2. avatar

              “I didn’t want the Navy kids to get a double whammy of sequestration’s federal impact aid gutting + school levy takeaways.”

              Federal Impact aid has NOT been taken away.

              Your excuses are laughable at best.

              The only “double whammy” here is you swallowed the propaganda from the school district and did so taking the hook, the line and the sinker…

  9. avatar

    Joe, I am trying to figure out what is going on with you. All I really know is that you have no dog in any fight here. It seems to me that either you are retired military and yearn for the “good old days” or you were rejected by the military and exist as an antithesis to another rejectee, Garrett Newkirk.
    So which is it?

    1. avatar

      Gents;

      I am going to respond to this onslaught in a very terse yet civil way. Then I think we shall move forward, methinks.

      First off, I do not have NPD, thanks. I understand some are angry at me, and it’s understandable after a close election that had federal impact aid not been at risk you guys should have won. It also would help if the Whidbey News-Times would fisk the OHSD budget like you guys. If it’s any comfort, I know for a damned fact I didn’t sway more than possibly one or two votes and I am pissed about the low turnout after I specifically last Monday a) Quoted this blog verbatim to relay the opposition side to give you more words than them and b) Told my readers to go vote whichever way to honor our troops – http://www.growlernoise.com/2013/02/about-that-school-levy-just-vote-dammit.html .

      First and a half, I was rejected by the military due to multiple disabilities such as Aspergers, bad left eyesight, PTSD and a bad back. So flying jets is out and serving those who serve is in. GO NAVY LEAGUE!

      Second, BillB I wish you would thank me for dropping your blog post on the lap of the State Auditor’s Office. See http://www.islandpolitics.org/?p=8772#comment-2739 for a reminder.

      Third, I am and remain fully committed to giving the full Malloy to those that take spare taxdollars and spend them on ego-trip complexes. It is not like I am a spokesperson for the school district, I am quite frankly somebody who should keep them up at night if they want to waste money.

      Fourth and finally, if you wonder why I hear politicians think you guys have an agenda it’s because of outbursts like today’s. Think about that while I stick up for you guys in the past, in the present and hopefully in the future. After all, GrowlerNoise.com has linked to you guys many a time, I have plugged IslandPolitics.org many times and I again gave you guys a lot of airtime in opposition knowing damn good & well the Whidbey Newsgroup muffles dissent to the progressive agenda.

      Off hot. I hope we are all satisfied with my answers.

      1. avatar

        “… had federal impact aid not been at risk…”

        And Joe, you just keep REPEATING and REPEATING the BOGUS campaign CLAIMS made by the school district!

        “BillB I wish you would thank me for dropping your blog post”

        Why? Because you did so you could be praised by me for your actions? You did so while using that action as a justification for voting “no” on this levy. Your point is simply a redux “red herring” from above.

        “..if you wonder why I hear politicians think you guys have an agenda ”

        NEWS FLASH! We HAVE agendas! Likely, MANY of them! We have ALWAYS had agendas! So, too, do politicians. Maybe the name “Island Politics” would have been at least a CLUE to you on this point?

        “Off hot.”

        There’s not a chance that you ever even made it to the rendezvous on this “strike”. Your gadget obviously got broken right off the cat. Now, you are still back at Mom making no-grade, wave-off passes at the deck during blue water ops. You couldn’t plug it at Texaco and now you’ve got a fuel state that mandates you should already be in the barricade. I hope you know in which direction to reach next – and be sure to pull hard. You should have BINGO’d when pigeons were still an option. Better hope the helo crew is still airborne – they don’t get TRI-Days, you know.

        If you want to stick up for what is said on here, do so because you think the information being provided merits support – not to appease us or appeal to us. Save that kind of disingenuous behavior for your Navy League buddies…the Rotary..etc…the various local groups and places where all the politicians – professional and otherwise – converge to tell each other how wonderful they are while they come up with ways to control the people more and/or take more of their money away from them at each new opportunity.

        1. avatar

          LOLZ!

          I do stick up for you guys “because you think the information being provided merits support”. I do feel the WNT has a good man in Justin Burnett but some of his bosses frankly worry me…

          Also the Oak Harbor Navy League does not “converge to tell each other how wonderful they are while they come up with ways to control the people more and/or take more of their money away from them at each new opportunity.” Oak Harbor Navy Leaguers are there to learn about the Navy and support the troops.

          I’m landing this plane.

          1. avatar

            The Navy League is full of politicians who do exactly what I allege they do. Your “fearless leader” there, for example, has an aggressive political agenda that deserves to be squelched. He uses Navy League as a political platform – for HIMSELF as way to get back into the mayor’s office.

            Your favorite female Navy Leaguer, also presently on the OH City Council, is a duplicitous politician who joins with the likes of Almberg and Servatius when it suits her on contentious issues.

            You flamed out three minutes ago. Dead-stick is not an option in fly-by-wire. Your SEAWARS failed. Your parachute dragged you under. Davy Jones says “hello”.

      2. avatar

        Joe, First off, I do not have NPD, ”
        You don’t, DUH?
        None of these?

        •React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation
        •Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals
        •Have excessive feelings of self-importance
        •Exaggerate achievements and talents
        •Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love
        •Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
        •Need constant attention and admiration
        •Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy
        •Have obsessive self-interest
        •Pursue mainly selfish goals

        OK, Whatever Joe, BUT,
        “Don’t believe everything you think”

        1. avatar

          Bill,

          Are you a psychologist?

          I don’t take advantage of other people. I also don’t exaggerate my talents nor pursue mainly selfish goals nor “be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love” nor “Have obsessive self-interest”. I have also been psychologically assessed, in part due to symptoms from high school bullying diagnosed to be PTSD so that kinda explains the short temper.

          I can go on. You really need to fire up the Corvette and burn some rubber. You’re a good man, me I’m not so sure.

          1. avatar

            “Are you a psychologist”

            NO

  10. avatar

    Joe,
    From an outsider looking in….. I just wanted to tell you that you lost all credibility in my eyes when I saw that video of you addressing Garrett Newkirk at the Island Commissioner’s meeting. What were you thinking? No wonder the commissioner’s don’t want to hold evening meetings and have more of their time wasted by people who are basically just full of hot air and an over-exaggerated self-importance.

    Bill (both of you), Cliff, Ken, and the rest of you “voices of reason”….. keep it coming! I enjoy reading what you have to say and sometimes I even agree with you! ;-)

    1. avatar

      Thanks Army Mom! That does mean a lot.

    2. avatar

      Army Mom to me: “What were you thinking?”

      Time to kick some ass since “Army Mom” wasn’t up to flying a sortie or in your case driving a Stryker through the wall of lies, misinformation and smears against the Military & their families. That sortie was really several months in the works not just Newkirk’s eruptions. There were other people like Wendy Campbell Dewinter and Becky Spratzar (sp?!?) who were going up there, giving blatant misinformation to the Island County Commissioners. Most have been cowed apparently by IslandPolitics.org, the threat of 2nd Amendment-loving patriots coming after them, GrowlerNoise.com, and Commish Price-Johnson ruling out a new EIS.

      I know speaking to all three of my fellow Navy Leaguers the three Island County Commissioners appreciated the airshow – and Commish Emerson & I found each other yesterday at a NAS Whidbey event. Even Commish Johnson who really didn’t like me laughing at Garrett directly liked the rest of my comments. Frankly I admit I got out of hand there with the giggling towards Newkook.

      I hope you can keep the allegations coming… me, “of hot air and an over-exaggerated self-importance”? Sure, who else is going to stick up for NAS Whidbey Island behind that podium. Since you think I lack credibility to do so, may I nominate you miss?!?

      1. avatar

        Joe, I rarely agree with you on a variety of subjects but I do commend you for the involvement and energy that you put into the issues you do believe in. We need more people like you, not less.

        That said. All’s we need to do is work on getting you to understand and live by a few simple conservative principles….

        1. avatar

          Thank you Cliff, that means a lot. Especially since I joined Navy League to get close to the NAS Whidbey flightline :-). Then all this crap started over the Growler noise last summer so I got into the fight. No way am I going to mouth the words when I can back them up with deeds.

          I also grew up in a Democrat household so I’m on the moderate wing of the Republican Party. I somedays wish I was more conservative.

          BTW, file away please that I will be at the invite of an acutely senior Island Transit official thanks in part to my speech touring the new Island Transit campus next to the OLF. As much as water is wet, I will be asking about how much coordination was there w/ the USN considering the proximity to the OLF.

  11. avatar

    Joe, Feb 22, is change of Command at NAS Whidbey and, on Feb 18 the Navy League is hosting a social honoring Capt J Johnston who departs for Washington DC and his replacement, the new NASW base commander
    Be sure to take videos and lots of pictures of your performance at both of these events
    They will fit well on your blog site and be great items for your EGO wall for a trip down “Memory Lane” years from now

    No need to post them on lsandPolitics site; we’ll survive fine without your contribution

    Also County has scheduled changing their laws re guns & parks as OH had to do to be in concert with State law

    The County Commissioners approval will be in the day time.
    Maybe this time you could get Navy to do a fly over for that event since your to efforts to have them fly over OH City Hall when they were fighting the gun battle at the Council meeting failed

    1. avatar

      Make sure to tell me when you need the flyover for the 2nd Amendment, I’ll try a little harder.

      1. avatar

        Joe, I think you have good intentions with your support of our military. That is one area that most conservatives feel strongly in favor of. However, and unfortunately, your liberal side comes through in your comments on this blog and that is what is drawing fire from the authors. Like Cliff said, “All’s we need to do is work on getting you to understand and live by a few simple conservative principles….

        Back to the original subject

        A Citizen Comments- Oak Harbor School District is a textbook example of long-term money mismanagement + Video “Teachers’ Unions Explained”.

        I pity the OHSD resident homeowner who is not a government employee and does not recieve the annual Cost of Living Increase. They just took a big hit.

        1. avatar

          Thanks Larry. I pity those w/o COLAs as well.

          1. avatar

            Joe,
            I honestly had to go back and watch that video all over again to hear the message you intended to get through. The theatrical beginning had the effect of setting my eyes rolling and stuffing my ears with cotton.

            Turns out you really did have a message worth listening to! Perhaps you should perform your theatrics on Growlernoise.com and not in the commissioner’s meeting if you want to be taken seriously.

            Go Navy (I did in the 1980′s) and Go Army (son in Afghanistan)

            1. avatar

              Thanks Army Mom. I will certainly keep my giggling at Newkirk’s ignorance to me in the future :-).

              Go Navy and Go Army. Hope your son comes home safe…

              Growler Joe

              P.S. I really wanted a YouTube to fire people up, hence the FSX effects. If the IslandPolitics.org readers would prefer not to see that as well, okay.

  12. avatar

    I happen across your blog while trying to catch up on the news of OH and the Island. I really don’t know how long you all have been OH or Island residents, but I know that when I was going to school at the Clover Valley Elementary and later OH Middle School; the annual levys were always pushed on by the OHSD, teachers and OH School Board. Along with the little blue cards for federal matching funds for all the federal employees of the base. Yet every year I was going to school (from 86 to 92), I remember all sorts of miss management. From buying a bunch of books that had “British English” spelling in them to teach basic reading to the dropping of the phonetics program to the elimination even cafeteria services in all of the older schools. The other constant drumbeat was that OHHS needed to grow or we needed to build another HS to reduce class sizes. That was until the finances cut into some OHSB member’s pet project then the OHHS was perfect. That like the almost constant HWY 20 improvements (which were finally funded and finished almost 40 yrs of bitching by the Island residents), something everyone talked about in places like “For Pete’s Sake” or the CPO club yet no one could get a rally behind to do or fix.
    THe OHSD seriously needs to have, IMHO, the state auditor come on and rip them a new one. We need to have accountability to where the money is coming from and where its going. Yet, this is also WA state where for the last 40 yrs we have been throwing good money after bad in nearly all of the school districts. Now I live down in Seattle and am watching the people in Seattle come around to ask “Why another Levy” and “Why do we have schools that have lead pipes and Abesotes in it?” and “What are we really paying for?”

    1. avatar

      I also went to Clover Valley elementary and Oak Harbor elementary when it was in the brick building on Midway. I am totally amazed at the new buildings they have built for the schools. We had good schools back then, or so I thought, now we have mansions built for kings. I remember the big issue in Junior High was the portable classrooms that was a huge concern for the teachers but no so much the students. Now we have some of the finest most costly facilities in the State with some of the finest architechture outside of Washington DC. Our school system has certainly lost the respect of the peoples money with the huge fanciful facilities they have built. I was recently at the High School and was blown away at the facilities. It reminded me of the Microsoft campus in Redmond where no money had been spared on building. When I look back at the buildings that we had when I went to school here it is quite the shock. And then to see the school district always crying for more funding it really does make one wonder why and brings the message home that the school has been so disrespectful with the peoples money…

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