Our windows have been grimy for a while, and I’ve been trying to think of a solution that would involve me waking up one sunny morning to discover they were clean and shiny, one that wouldn’t require the household’s primary breadwinner to climb a ladder to the second floor. And lo, one was revealed to me when I saw a guy washing windows at the house across the street. He was obviously not the owner, and my steel-trap mind made the deduction — he was a window-washer.

A couple of phone calls later, he and his partner arrived at the house today, on a fine sunny morning. Washer No. 1 was morbidly obese. Washer No. 2 was older and walked as though he needed double hip replacements. The thought of either one on a ladder was a little heart-clutching, but as it turned out, they used their stealthy technique of “doing the outside from the inside” and managed to avoid it. Their copious compliments on our decorating choices made me feel a little better about them; everyone enjoys flattery. They got it all done and at the end, made a pitch for an every-six-months visit, which I guess I’ll go for, because who doesn’t want someone else to do that chore.

“All our clients are getting old,” Hip-Replacement Guy said. “The last one said she couldn’t see the dirt anymore, so why bother.”

I’ll take your place, old lady. I will keep this duo squirting and polishing into 2013.

If the stray dogs and cats of the world ever figure out what a soft touch I am, they’ll all develop hip problems and come a-calling.

A fascinating story to kick off the bloggage today, which it took me all day to read in bits and pieces — “The Lying Disease,” about a phenomenon I’ve read about before, but not in such detail. That is, Munchausen syndrome by internet. That is, people who fake illness on the internet. Fascinating, and another big swing for the fences by The Stranger. Gotta love an alt-weekly that still kicks it ol’-skool.

For you Michiganians, especially those with kids in schools, Bridge has a nice little package on the school-choice plans being rolled out this month. How choicey are these choices? Pretty choice-er-iffic:

Imagine a world where your teenage son chooses high school courses like picking dishes in a cafeteria – a serving of Advanced Placement chemistry in the white collar enclave across the river, Spanish online at the dining room table, an English class at the local community college, band at his home school.

Now imagine that same world, but where schools act less like cafeterias and more like department stores. Billboards promote quick high school math credits at an online branch. A new charter school operating in the old Sears building offers iPads to the first 100 students who enroll. Your son’s home public high school drops its football team in a downsizing caused by lost revenue from plummeting enrollment.

More here, and still more here.

Great moments in mugshots, local version.

Great Lakes at record lows. Arizona? If you ever entertained any thoughts about that trans-national water pipeline, better give ’em up now.

And now it’s Wednesday, and the week struggles over the hump, dragging me along. These post-holiday weeks are a bitch, ain’a?

Posted at 12:51 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

59 responses to “Squeaky-clean.”

  1. Dexter said on November 28, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Was it this guy at your house, nance?
    “Cleaning Windows”

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  2. alex said on November 28, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I’m on Clindamycin for a root canal. Know anybody who cleans toilets?

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  3. beb said on November 28, 2012 at 8:04 am

    A school plan where your classes are scattered across toown in multiple buildings? Have I misread the article or is this the most insane idea yet for improving schools?

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  4. nancy said on November 28, 2012 at 8:08 am

    They could be. If a student wanted it that way.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 28, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Eee-lec-tronic, ma’am. Welcome to our brave new virtual world of virtual learning (emphasis on the first three syllables). A levy at one of our county school districts failed, the fastest growing and most economically challenged mixed together in a district that last made sense in 1946, boundary-wise. As of this week, busing is *over* so the high schoolers have to find their own way to school, which is in the center of the district, in a cornfield, miles from the nearest subdivision.

    I learned yesterday that 20% of the HS student body has at least started the paperwork to “go electronic” and enroll in virtual academies. And that was as of the day before Thanksgiving. As I’ve been trying to tell our county superintendents for years, the whole punitive, “we can take you to court” approach to attendance has to go, not because I’m such a liberal softy (let’s all laugh together, shall we?), but because it’s not working, and it’s going to work less well as virtual education becomes more accepted by parents.

    Well, the future is now, Cassandra (the mild-mannered one) is laughing into his beer, or coffee at this hour, and pressure on parents to improve attendance to meet state standards on which administrator’s hineys are dependent — just pushes them faster than ever to expedite paperwork for their truant and recalcitrant child. Which pulls funding from the building, for which they also get heat from above.

    Hey, guys, how about a collaborative problem-solving approach? Hi, here I am, still waiting! (Slurps coffee angrily.)

    And that, Beb, is how you end up taking five classes from three districts, and never leave your entertainment center console. You can take your calculus on your Xbox, finish World Lit on your Wii, and text your “teacher” a question in history on your iPhone, all while playing “World of Warcraft” on the 50 inch Samsung.

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 28, 2012 at 8:21 am

    (Oh, and improve schools? No one actually cares about that. Grad rates, test passage, attendance targets — the perfect storm means we’re going back to the old 50% grad rates of the 50’s & 60’s, because if you get your challenging kids to simply electronically disenroll, you have less state funding coming in, but the calculus is in your favor to avoid having to add staff and programs to teach outside of the 1933 building/classroom/periods model we’re still using in the brick-and-mortar HS’s. Rather than change education entirely to actually follow through on the intention of offering a free public education for every child resident in your district, no matter what their skills, capacity, or handicaps, we’re using the new technology to peel off those kids who don’t do classrooms and rows of desks and period bells, and move them out into the educational modality that’s probably *least* likely to work for most of them, i.e. sitting on their sofa and desultorily logging on when the mood strikes and aimlessly poking at answer grids, rarely engaging with their assigned E-luminate advisor through the built-in message box. Stop me before I rant more . . .)

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  7. Mark P said on November 28, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Jeff (tmmo), I sometimes disagree with you, but in this case, I’m afraid you have cassandrially hit the nail on the head. We pay lip service to education, the way we pay lip service to the military. We say education is important but we won’t pay for it. And then we attack the teachers every chance we get.

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  8. Danny said on November 28, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Gawd, that is depressing, Jeff. I shudder to think of how I would have turned out without a formal classroom environment.

    Nance, I thought for sure it was “Michiganders” and looked it up to only to find out that y’all have a plethora of demonyms to choose from. And to think that I was momentarily salivating at the chance to correct you. You are soooo Lucy van Pelt with the football sometimes!

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  9. nancy said on November 28, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I have always said “Michigander,” but Bridge style is “Michiganian,” and I’m trying to get used to it.

    I, of course, am a Michigoose.

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  10. brian stouder said on November 28, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Semi-unrelated to the public education discussion – but here in good ol’ Indiana, the Superintendent of Public Education is an elected official.

    Our last guy, Tony Bennett, took his election as a mandate to implement all sorts of destructive “reforms” to public education….and the voters of Indiana actually fired him three weeks ago, and elected a woman named Glenda Ritz as our new Superintendent of Public Education.

    Mind you, this was a statewide election, just as our Republican Governor-elect won, and our Democratic Senator-elect won. Ms Ritz specifically ran against Bennett’s oddball choice of standards and metrics, and for supporting public schools (as opposed to for-profit voucher mills)

    In fact, Ms Ritz received the votes of 100,000 more Hoosiers than Governor-elect Pence did; a clear mandate – yes?

    Well, not according to our Republican governor-elect, amongst others.


    The lead:

    Indiana Republicans could not prevent Democrat Glenda Ritz from being elected state superintendent of public instruction. Whether they will fire her is the subject of much political speculation. The idea that the state schools chief should be appointed by the governor rather than elected by the people has come up in the past. But it seems certain to be discussed now that a Democrat opposed to many of the state’s new education policies is responsible for enforcing them.
    With Republicans holding the governor’s office plus super-majorities in both the Indiana House and Senate, GOP lawmakers – if they are so inclined – could easily make the superintendent’s position appointed.

    See, according to Hoosier Republicans, democracy is fine up to a point – and then after that, to hell with it!

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  11. Danny said on November 28, 2012 at 10:21 am

    We have super-majorities the other way in California and we will have to see how that works, I guess. One thing is for sure, the system is broken here too. California Teachers Association is the most powerful special interest group in the state and it basically sets up that they and a few other public employee unions are puppet-masters for the Democrats. Even if one of the the D’s had an independent thought and decided that they did not want to toe the line, they’d quickly be cajoled back into the fold by the threat of a lack of funding for their re-election campaign and combined with a formidably funded primary challenger.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on November 28, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Here in Indiana the governor and legislature drank the education choice KoolAid, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett drank deepest of all. Then he was defeated soundly by Glenda Ritz, who had more votes than the new governor, Mike Pence. They are insisting that doesn’t mean anything and that they can continue to push through their agenda. It’s gonna be interesting.

    And speaking of right-wingers, our favorite at the N-S reminded me of this in the Lincoln credits–a shout-out to the Lincoln Collection here at the good old ACPL. http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121127/NEWS/121129709/0/SEARCH
    We like to sit all the way through the credits, partly to honor everyone who made the movie, and because sometimes we want to hear the music. This time we were rewarded and it was nice to have some kind of movie reference that wasn’t negative.

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  13. Julie Robinson said on November 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Edit: Brian beat me to the punch.

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  14. del said on November 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Electronic coursework has its place, especially in rural districts, but local schools (that “all” the neighborhood kids attend) are a big part of community.

    I’ve been thinking on this since my 30th high school reunion last Saturday. I went to a parochial high school with kids from all over metro Detroit, and not having attended either of its two feeder schools I knew almost no one when I started there. It was that way with most of the others as there weren’t that many feeder school kids. I realized at the reunion that not only had I missed out on having that old elementary school history with my classmates that would have added richness to our relationships, in high school I’d lived too far away from them to socialize much with them after class.

    My kids are so lucky to walk to our local public school with their neighbors, I love it.

    The reunion was fun, of course, the full catastrophe of life, shared.

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  15. Danny said on November 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

    del, I had my 30th earlier this year and you are correct about the added richness. My closest friends to this day are people from the old neighborhood whom I went K-12 with.

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  16. Little Bird said on November 28, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Alex, you have my deepest condolences for both the root canal and the Clyndamicin. I’ve had both, at separate times, and each was about as fun as the other. I can’t imagine them together.

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  17. Dorothy said on November 28, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Whew, I just finished reading The Lying Disease article. I can’t even find the words to describe what that made me feel. Sad for the liars, who can’t conceive of how their deceptions hurt other people; and sad for those taken in by them, and will forever after have trust issues with anyone they encounter on the Internet. I know so many people who are fighting cancer these days – seems a week doesn’t go by when we hear about another. My hubby has a PET scan scheduled tomorrow (it’s two years since his cancer scare), so it’s right in my own house. Thanks for the article and all the teaching it provides to us.

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  18. Sherri said on November 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I’m sure you’re all shocked to hear that K12 Inc., the country’s leading provider of full-time online education, doesn’t do very well at actually teaching kids: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/students-in-k12-incs-online-classes-lag-academically-study-finds/2012/07/18/gJQAMdvPuW_story.html

    You can buy stock in the company, though. It’s probably a growth stock. States only seem to really care about performance in public schools where teachers are represented by a union.

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  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    del makes a good point, which is part of what upsets me so much over how the educational landscape is being bulldozed. The rise of distance learning can make schooling in rural, low population, or deeply impoverished districts a better set of options, where almost any kid can learn higher math from MIT profs and study languages with native bilingual instructors, no matter what their school’s surrounding property values. Instead, we’re getting a fire hose of more of the same, but with recent graduates who couldn’t get a regular position with a real contract supervising thousands of students through text boxes and video conferencing, which works in large part because the formula *counts* on the majority of students not to participate.

    I’m watching the development of seminary education through virtual tools and two week intensives each semester, and I have to say I’ve been convinced that this can be an effective way to learn and grow as a ministerial candidate. I spent four years in a “residential” seminary, but the amount of time I spent “in residence” immersed in my professors’ wisdom and fellow students’ struggle with spiritual growth? Not so much, because I was always leaving, as were most of my classmates, for the far flung congregations where we worked to pay for the seminary experience. Lots of miles, lots of time in the field doing ministry, and precious little time to reflect and draw on shared wisdom. The students doing intensives say the community they build in outline, online, is fleshed out and embodied deeply in the time they spend, at length and without outside interruption, as a class. The rest is content mastery and proficiency of expression, which can actually happen faster and more efficiently online.

    So I’m not “agin’ it,” it’s just how the technology is used. And for high school education, I’m seeing what I’d call abuse of it. I’ve got my own storehouse of teachers’ union stupidity stories, but they don’t match, for all the years’ worth I’ve got of them, to the pile o’ stupid I have in five years trying to dance with the devil of virtual learning in for-profit charters.

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  20. Deborah said on November 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Very cool link about the Lincoln collection, Julie. We too sit for all the credits after movies, it’s amazing what you can learn sometimes. Occasionally we see names of people we actually know. Little Bird has made a friend in Santa Fe who’s been in a few movies filmed there. They’ve been just bit parts but his name showed up in the credits of one that we watched while I was in Santa Fe. The movie was “Men who Stare at Goats” with a stellar cast (Clooney, Spacey, Bridges etc). It’s actually not a bad movie either.

    Also, I bought the first season of Breaking Bad while I was away, but left it in Santa Fe unwatched so far. I hope to watch it there over the Christmas holidays. Apparently, according to Little Bird’s friend they are no longer actually filming the series in New Mexico anymore, he says because of the Republican governor and something about taxes which I didn’t understand. I think Nancy mentioned something similar about filming being curtailed in Michigan or maybe it was just Detroit?

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  21. LAMary said on November 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Between my two kids we’ve had three charter school experiences and three magnet school experiences. Magnets were fine. Charters, not so much. One was very rigorous but the two women who ran the place were deeply neurotic. One was just disorganized, underfunded and bad, and the third one, which uses a lot of online and self study, which is followed up with frequent quizzes on site at the school, is working spectacularly. I think it’s the best fit for son number two. He wanted to just get a GED but I held out for a diploma, and he’s done well. He’s got about four hours a day of offsite work to do, and he does it. His current GPA is 3.8. That is by far the best he’s ever done.

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  22. Sherri said on November 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    It’s possible to do online education well. It’s cheaper to do it poorly.

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  23. Catherine said on November 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    The good thing about online education is what LAMary describes — for some kids and families, it is the perfect fit. And the promise intrinsic in having more choices is that more kids will find their perfect fit.

    The bad news is twofold: 1) there are few reliable, data-based models for predicting where a child will succeed, so parents are left to try different things and hope; and 2) as Jeff points out, there’s basically no one besides parents monitoring kids’ success. I really hate to say this but I don’t think a lot of parents have the tools to figure this out for their kids.

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  24. Dexter said on November 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I noticed many years ago that the people who say “Michigander” also call the city by the bay “Frisco”. My old pal from the army, who I still email several times a week, still calls his native New York City “The Apple”, a reference to to the old jazz musicians’ calling the place “The Big Apple”. Now, he is the only one I ever hear referencing “The Big Apple”.
    While Chicago’s name “The Windy City”, shortened by truckers to “The Windy” in CB radio days, has stuck, only sports writers call Toledo “The Glass City”.
    I live in Ohio’s “Fountain City”, Bryan. Radio stations and event organizers are the only folks who use this moniker.

    It’s sad to hear Detroit being called “The Motor City”, because last time I checked there are only two car factories left in Detroit: Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant on the east side, and General Motors’ Hamtramck assembly plant. I think these two places are still functioning.

    Cincinnati used to be called “Porkopolis” but that was many , many decades ago. Those Germans loved their metts and brats.

    When I played baseball on the team that rode that big red bus all over the eastern USA, the African American players always called the town we called “Indy” “Nap-Town”. I imagine people still say that, but I haven’t heard it forever.

    When a little town in the Midwest has a history of being a mecca for southerners searching for factory work, people not-so-fondly add a “-tucky” to the town name. For years I have heard Swanton, Ohio, near Toledo Express Airport, called “Swan-tucky”. Recently I found a page where residents and natives of Kendallville, Indiana post memories of the old days. The Facebook page is “Kendalltuckians Unite”. As a child, I once lived in a rural house with a Kendallville RFD address .

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  25. Dorothy said on November 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Deborah that sounds like wrong information to me, about Breaking Bad no longer being filmed in New Mexico. I found a link that says filming picks up again for the last 8 episodes in December 2012. I hope you’ll like the show as much as we do! In April or May this year, AMC re-ran all the first four seasons and we recorded them all, keeping up by watching two per night when we could. If we hadn’t kept up, our DVR would have been full in no time. We were almost all done with the episodes when the new season debuted in mid-July. I bought the Rolling Stone magazine this summer that had the two male leads on the cover and no where did it say they would be filming elsewhere.


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  26. Prospero said on November 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Ken Cuccinelli, asshole AG of the Commonwealth of Virginia has devised a brand new form of logical fallacy:


    Because, Cuccinelli claims, Obama fared poorly in states with voter ID laws, the President’s campaign must have been cheating and counting fraudulent votes in all of the other states. Ask me, that’s a psychedelics-induced variation of Post hoc ergo propter hoc.Gutdom, that is convoluted. Matter of fact, Stanky Coochie is not even setting out from a sound premise:


    How ’bout that. MI and OH both have voter ID laws, and RMoney didn’t win either. That ignorant bozo named for a female body part must really make Virginians proud. Neh Hempsha, CT, RI, DEL, CO? Holy shit Ken. The President won all those too. Of course, to the minimal extent that there is any truth to Cuccinelli’s claim, it makes more sense to posit that states in which GOPers were positioned to fuck up turnout and suppress the vote, RMoney already had a leg up.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on November 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Sherri, you’re so right.

    And something else that isn’t mentioned much in these discussions is how much work it is to put together a school from scratch. A teacher friend in Illinois has been part of a start-up run by her district, and the entire first year was chaotic. From desks to books to a classroom, things changed daily, and then the first Principal was replaced halfway through. It was difficult for her to teach effectively. And it was obviously rough on the kids. Anyone who wants to start their own school could benefit greatly by spending an hour or two listening to her.

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  28. Heather said on November 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I hate, hate, hate “Chi-town” for Chicago. Only suburbanites and out-of-towners say it.

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  29. Sherri said on November 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Julie, it is a lot of work to do a startup school. Our district just opened a new STEM high school (Science, Technology, Math). Fortunately, since STEM is hot, the district got a grant from Microsoft to spend a year prepping the opening. The principal, who had been the principal of a choice school in the district for many years, took a year off to prepare for the opening, and a core group of teachers who were going to the school spent extra time working on the curriculum, getting some release time from their regular duties to do so. They also only started with two grades, with about 150 students total.

    If I recall correctly, the grant was on the order of $500K, and that was just for startup. We’re only a few months into the first year, but so far, I haven’t heard any complaints about chaos. The major problem is the school is in portables right now because of a delay in the permitting process for the new building.

    (Part of the impetus for a new choice high school was to lure students away from a couple of overcrowded comprehensive high schools in the district, because it was cheaper to build a small choice high school than another comprehensive high school after a larger bond measure failed a few years back.)

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  30. Deborah said on November 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Dorothy, Breaking Bad is still going to be produced as I understand but just not filmed in New Mexico anymore. I think a lot of it was filmed in Southern California anyway. The landscape around Albuquerque is very similar to some parts of So CA. My info could be wrong though.

    Why any government entity would want to quash movie production is beyond me. The residual spending that happens in the communities where the filming happens has to be considerable. I’m not sure if residual is the correct word. I think there is a specific word for it that escapes me.

    I’m with you Heather when I hear people say Chi Town I could puke.

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  31. Prospero said on November 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Al of those city sobriquets that natives and fully acculturized newbies find so odious (do not call Boston “Beantown” in Boston, unless you seriously aspire to pariah-hood)? The obnoxious Jim Rome is probably the worst practitioner in all of public media. He never heard one he didn’t think made him sound hip. Lame as can be:


    Reminds me of Tyson talking about an opponent making “little wimmen noises”.

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  32. Mark P said on November 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    There are some very identifiable scenes in Albuquerque that could be establishing shots made at any time, while everything else was filmed on a sound stage or on a nondescript, industrial street in LA. But for the sake of the NM local workers, I hope they do continue to film around Albuquerque.

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  33. nancy said on November 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    There’s another side to film-subsidy questions; it usually hinges on how much the state is shelling out. But I did a big story about that a while back, and don’t want to rehash it now.

    When “E.R.” was filming, they shot exteriors in Chicago over a few days, then hightailed it back to L.A. for the interiors. I always thought they did a good job at drawing the city into the show, even though 90 percent of it took place in the hospital. With one exception: They had one early episode entirely devoted to the carnage caused by a heavy snowstorm, with people being brought in with terrible injuries, etc., from auto accidents. It’s like no one told these California-based writers that when the snow flies, accidents do indeed soar — but they all happen at 20 mph or less. It’s hard to suffer serious harm sliding into someone’s bumper at a stop sign.

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  34. brian stouder said on November 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    To me, the insuperable problem with public dollars going into these damned vouchers, thence into the pockets of for-profit voucher-mills is: Private Enterprise is all about success and profits, period. That’s the end-goal.

    What will we do, after we have crippled or killed large portions of the publicly-owned school systems, when private enterprises here and there implode and/or call it quits?

    Who ends up holding the bag, then?

    Forget “Too big to fail” – our civilization simply cannot watch our schools flounder and implode. It is too important to fail (just as our police and fire and defense department are)

    And since we, the people, ultimately WILL end up holding the bag, it strikes me that there is no rational reason to surrender public ownership and governance of our elementary school systems, period.

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  35. Sue said on November 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Heather, I grew up in the NW suburbs, and I’ve never heard anyone outside of a radio or tv station refer to it as Chi Town, ever. It’s a stupid nickname, even suburbanites know that.

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  36. Connie said on November 28, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Alex and Little Bird, root canals are miracles. Truly. And I’ve not had a problem taking clyndamyacin either. Too each his…

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  37. Mark P said on November 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Brian, I think it has been mentioned here before, but for at least some in the conservative movement, killing public education is an actual goal. Hence the sneering references to “government schools.” They don’t want to spend their money educating someone else’s kids, especially if those someone elses have dark skin. Besides, they and all their friends can afford to send their kids to private schools.

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  38. Kirk said on November 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    What district is that where the kids are signing up for vortual high schol?

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  39. Kim said on November 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Nancy, I remember that E.R. episode and everyone who lived in Chicago (hate Chi-Town and hate Chicagoland to describe everywhere else even more) just rolling their eyes at the ridiculousness of it. The only way to get killed in a snowstorm is to slip and fall under a bus.

    Cuccinelli seems to have a straight shot at the GOP nomination for governor here in Va. The lt. gov. just dropped out.

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  40. Kirk said on November 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Or virtual high school.

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  41. Prospero said on November 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Current hardcore GOPers in the USAare a lot like the Brits that exacerbated the Potato Famine and fostered Black 47 (the deaths, not the band).

    Interesting critical take on the Spielberg Lincoln movie.

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  42. Heather said on November 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Mea culpa Sue, my urban bias is showing. For what it’s worth, I grew up in the northern suburbs.

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  43. Sue said on November 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Ah, sorry to snap at you Heather. Not nice of me.

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Kirk, Licking Heights is where I’ve been told the stampede is on to electronic instruction, all post-election day failure of their levy (and cancellation of busing as of this last week) — but I think it’s been brewing some time. Lots of parents, when pressed on their child’s attendance, would “threaten” to withdraw their child and transfer to electronic (Trecca, ECOT, VST are the biggies around here outside of the districts’ own digital academies), but you could usually count on them to not mean it, and never get around to finishing the paperwork.

    But now, parents are more comfortable with the idea, they’ve all heard from someone who’s done it, and as LAMary points out, there are not a few for whom it’s a blessing — but also, the digital schools are doing all they can to make the transfer easy and simple. They used to be somewhat picky (well, the better ones were), but now, you can finish most of the process in a short afternoon and one trip to the office.

    What will the final actual withdrawal number at Licking Heights be? Under 20%, no doubt, but I wouldn’t want to bet money on it being too far under. We will see come next week.

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  45. alex said on November 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Well, I lived in Chicago for half of my life and I never heard any objection to Chi-Town. In fact it seemed to be of a piece with Boyztown, Oldtown, Bucktown, Uptown, etc.

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  46. Bitter Scribe said on November 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Nancy – The worst Chicago-related howler in a TV show I ever heard of was on something called (I think) “Chicago Hope,” where they had the sun setting over Lake Michigan.

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  47. Kirk said on November 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks, Jeff. Thought that was the one.

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  48. Deborah said on November 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Nancy, if you have a minute can you post a link to what you wrote about movies and taxes. I remember reading something you wrote about it but don’t remember the particulars. I will try your search feature, perhaps I can find it that way.

    The woman who owned our place here in Chicago before us told us that the diner exterior that was supposed to be across the street from the hospital in ER was her Dad’s Greek restaurant that he owned back in the day.

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  49. LAMary said on November 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    “It’s like no one told these California-based writers that when the snow flies, accidents do indeed soar — but they all happen at 20 mph or less. It’s hard to suffer serious harm sliding into someone’s bumper at a stop sign…”

    Most of the writers are probably from Chicago, New York, Boston. I’m trying to think of one film business person I’ve met who is local and I can’t. There’s a Hillary Swank movie being filmed here this week. My office might be used as a doctor’s office. The TV show Scandal has been shooting here for the past month or so. If you see an episode that’s set in a hospital, that’s where I work.

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  50. MichaelG said on November 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I don’t know about “only 20 mph” in the snow. There are some pretty wild and wooly wrecks in the snow on 50 and 80 here in Northern CA with people doing 2 and 3 X 20. Mostly jerks heading to or from the ski slopes.

    There’s a matching one here, Bitter Scribe, with someone describing the sun rising over the Golden Gate Bridge. I had a view of the bridge for years from our place in Berkeley and never saw it happen once.

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  51. Rana said on November 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Heather, Prospero, I’m with you. In a similar vein, spending a fair portion of my growing up in the Bay Area, I never heard anyone, ever, refer to San Francisco as “Frisco.” “San Fran” maybe, but never “Frisco.” That was the stuff of cheesy old movies, not life.

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  52. basset said on November 28, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Del@14, I never went to school in the same town I lived in till I got to IU… rode a bus an hour and a half each way in elementary school, then went to different schools in grades 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 without ever moving out of the district. Long story, but at least I’m not bothered with friends from grade, middle, or high school trying to find me.

    Dexter@1, I think this was the window cleaner Nance had in mind:


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  53. Deborah said on November 28, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Judy Busy, how are you doing?

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  54. Deborah said on November 28, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Basset, that cleaning windows link is hilarious.

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  55. Deborah said on November 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    When do they announce the Powerball numbers?

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  56. Kirk said on November 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    10:59 EST

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  57. Kirk said on November 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    5-16-22-23-29 and 6

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  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 28, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    So close. By which I mean . . . I didn’t buy a ticket. Stupid statistics class in college.

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  59. Basset said on November 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Deb, search “George Formby” and “I’m a Froggie”…

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