Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Out of Town

Tomorrow morning I am headed to Boise and will be out of town until late Saturday night, early Sunday morning.

Just a fair warning.

I'll more than likely post something about my adventure while I am away and will have great things to say by Saturday morning. I'm meeting a guy Thursday, quite possibly a guy who is going to offer me a sweet gig, and I plan on going to see the new film Evening while I am in Boise.

Fifty bucks says I won't make it an entire weekend near good bookstores without purchasing the Bugliosi book released this past May on the Kennedy assassination. Another fifty bucks says I'll be coming home with the new Bon Jovi CD as well. Maybe something a little more peppy to keep me awake as well.

I am completely worn out today after a long night, though typical, with my fourteen year old brother. Do fourteen year old boys never sleep?

Today I intend on completing the processing, cataloging, and preparation of Box 41 (Wilderness Issues) in the Stallings Collection so don't plan on hearing much out of me until at least Friday morning. Until then, check out the link on my sidebar to the Hesperus Press blog!

Peace out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Pocatello Community Charter School

Several weeks ago I had the very unique and wonderful opportunity to be a judge on a couple of passage panels at the Pocatello Community Charter School.

Prior to the passage panels, Marjanna Hulet, one of my all time favorite people in Pocatello, emailed and asked if I would be willing to do this. She has been for some time "talking up" the school to me and I have been immensely curious what it is exactly that goes on there so this was my chance and I jumped at it.

My first impression as I walked into the building was simple amazement. Each of the students I encountered were very polite, helpful, and pleasant. The PCCS is one that requires uniforms, though they appear casual and unlike many uniform-enforced rules at other schools, they have options in their attire and the students don't appear to be at annoyed by the uniforms. Students who don't complain about uniforms? Yes, it's true.

The charter school was very organized in how they were doing these passage panels (presentations given on the work each of the students have done for the year) and had assigned judges to specific rooms. I was a bit early and had plenty of time to observe as I waited in the hall for the panels I would be attending. Next to me in the hallway sat a young man, second-grader, who was very nervous for his panel. He kept looking at his watch which I found hilarious mostly because I'm twenty-two years old and I've never in my life worn a watch! I asked him for the time and spoke with him about his panel. He explained to me each aspect of his presentation, well rehearsed, and surprised me with how bright he was for such a young age.

One of the projects going on school-wide this year was an exploration of the history of Pocatello. In the classroom where I was judging presentations there was a time line of Pocatello with great articles from the Idaho State Journal. I thought it was wonderful that the school had taken advantage of the great historical pieces that had been appearing in the paper about Pocatello and the railroad. The classroom I was in was very well organized, typical of that age group, and the teacher was phenomenal. Her name escapes me now, but she carefully explained to me (the newbie) how the panels worked and gave me a little background on the children I would be encountering. As I sat there I pondered in my mind how much the younger version of me would have enjoyed being in that classroom participating in those activities, even the presentation itself.

I was scheduled for two passage panels, one with a second-grader and one with a sixth-grader. The first student came in with her parents and was absolutely a riot. Very cute, very bright, and very prepared. I was so impressed! One of the projects her age group had undertaken was a personal time line. She had to make a time line of her own, very short, life and did a wonderful job of addressing the major events in her life (i.e. her birth, her brother's birth, and picking berries with her uncle). The second student was equally bright, a bit unorganized, but quick to respond to our questions. What impressed me most about his is that as a sixth-grader he already had an idea of his strengths and weaknesses and wasn't shy to express his love for math and disdain for reading. These are things students need to realize right away or they will spend their entire schooling struggling with one while excelling in the other. He commented that he had put in a great deal of work on a report because he knew he wasn't good at writing. His math portfolio was nothing short of amazing. At his age he was doing algebra that I'm not even capable of doing now and even better yet he was enjoying it! Something that struck me with both students was how seriously they took these presentations and how prepared they were.

After the two presentations I spoke briefly with the teacher whose classroom I was scheduled in and she told me about the waiting list for the school and the success rate of their students.

As I was leaving the school I couldn't help but notice the number of teachers who had tracked down their own students who were giving their presentations. Each of the teachers were genuinely interested in their success and even a few of them were talking to the teachers in the classrooms where the presentations were being conducted. Their pride in each of those students surprised me. There were many parents attending their children's presentations and you could tell by their nervousness that they were very involved in their children's education and growth. The parents seemed to be very aware of each of the projects going on and many of them had spent quality time in those classrooms helping out.

I suppose the way to best describe the entire setting is with the concept of community. The Pocatello Community Charter School really incorporates all aspects of the community in the way they educate these children. Parents, teachers, and community members all participate in these passage panels as they must also do with the every day goings-on at the school.

When I left PCCS the day of the passage panels I sat in my car for a long while contemplating how different my public education was in comparison to the education being offered at PCCS. Those students are challenged in ways I never was. They have a framework of support that I didn't have at that age. And you could see their individual growth. Very bright kids who had come a very long way to be as grounded and put together as they were in the moment they gave those presentations.

Whatever reservations I had going into the situation--not reservations about PCCS specifically, but charter schools in general--were completely erased in this opportunity. Perhaps in the bigger picture I have always understood the need for charter schools in large urban areas and never really understood the need in rural areas where education on the whole was decent, but following this experience I see the merits of charter schools in any setting.

My sincere thanks to Marjanna Hulet for the wonderful opportunity and my complete respect and appreciate to the students I encountered who opened my eyes to a whole new world of education. If any of you are in Pocatello and have the chance to be judges on these panels next year or just have the opportunity to be in the school for whatever reason, jump at it. You won't regret it.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Kennedy: Magazine & Miniseries

The upcoming edition of TIME will feature the 35th President of the United States in an issue titled "What We Can Learn From JFK." The entire issue is wonderful, I've read each of the articles numerous times over the weekend, but two superb articles by David Talbot appear in the issue, "Warrior for Peace" and "The Assassination: Was It a Conspiracy? stand out." With the second piece by Talbot comes an opposing view by Vincent Bugliosi author of Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

This past week I got an email from Nick who asked for my opinion on Bugliosi's book. I have not read the book (surely because it is 1612 pages long) and I don't subscribe to Bugliosi's thesis, but I plan on asking an assassination insider this week on his feelings about the work.

Something else interesting about Bugliosi's book that I failed to mention to Nick in my response to him--JFK Lancer, an organization that prides itself on continued research and speculation surrounding Kennedy's death, sent out an action alert with attached petition to numerous historians as well its length mailing list asking everyone to sign a petition stating opposition to an HBO series in the works with Playtone that would turn Bugliosi's enormous book into a ten-part miniseries debunking the biggest, most famous Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories.

As far as I know HBO is still working out the details with Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, and Bill Paxton as executive producers. Check out Bugliosi's website for more information. Still no word on when it will air. Still no decision on my part whether I will be watching. I suspect I will, but I tend to side more with Oliver Stone on this one. Scary isn't it?

I just checked back on an eBay link sent to me by Serephin of 43rd State Blues at it appears bidding remains open on the shirt worn by Kennedy to his inaugural. The opening minimum bid is just over $2 million which excludes most of us from participating in the auction, but it is a rare piece of history and with its listing is an accessible video of Kennedy's inaugural as well as information on the seller's voluntary contribution of 10% of the proceeds to Special Olympics (an organization the Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded). Check it out!

The other Kennedy, no not Teddy, Bobby, is also in the news with a Discovery Channel clip circulating on YouTube. This recording is of his death has been hidden for thirty-nine years.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Housekeeping

Just a note so you are all aware: As you will see on the right sidebar below my profile, I have added an element titled "Political Game Series Spotlight." Here you will find a link to each of the posts I have written regarding the construction of a new Bright Tomorrows child advocacy facility in Pocatello and a link to each of the posts I have written titled "This Day in History." Please take advantage of these links to get caught up on the evolution of the Bright Tomorrows facility and to learn a little history via The Political Game! ;)

Katona & Bright Tomorrows

Today's Idaho State Journal features an article about Pocatello Police Detective Jeff Katona who has served as an investigator into child abuse in Pocatello for the past seven years.

Katona had very nice things to say about Bright Tomorrows, the child advocacy center that is building a new facility behind my home:
"Katona sings the praises of Bright Tomorrows...The center has a specially prepared interview room for children of all ages and a homey feel that helps put them at ease the moment [they] walk through the door."
Katona not only sings the praises of this children's center in Pocatello, he exhibits a great deal of dedication to the protection of Pocatello's youth.

The ISJ article really made me consider yet another aspect of this facility going up right behind my home. For those of you who work in or know something about organizations that deal with child abuse victims, it is a very difficult position for those children to be in, because not only have they been hurt, often violated, they have in many cases been hurt by those that should love them most. They are often protecting their own parents, families, and friends. The interview itself, the interview much life those Katona conducts, is often more difficult than surviving the actual act of abuse.

With every new bit information I learn about Bright Tomorrows I am even more impressed. Certainly this organization deserves recognition and every bit of support they have received and continue to receive from this community.

First Piece at ArmChairGM

As I mentioned this week, I have taken on an added gig over at ArmChairGM.com writing sports commentary. Please check out my first piece on the Braves feud at this link. Feel free to add your own comments and I look forward to what you all have to say!

Braves Baseball

In case anyone else is completely confused as to the Braves schedule today, the Braves/Tigers game will be on EPSN at 6pm (Mountain time). On my calendar at home I have it listed as 11:05 on TBS, then a different time on the revised schedule posted earlier in the week here on this site, and now I've finally tracked down the correct information. And in case anyone else was also confused about Detroit--it is located in the Central Time Zone!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Smorgasbord Saturday

Another beautiful Saturday has rolled around. Last Saturday was incredibly windy in the Gate City, but today seems to be calm, warm, and perfect for the Riverfest.

In political news--the Idaho State Journal is carrying on its first page a story about Pocatello Mayor Roger Chase considering a bid for Congress. I'm assuming he would be running in the 2nd CD, but I'm not sure how serious he is. Does this mean Mayor Chase won't be running for reelection? Quite possibly. Which rules out the rumored match I've heard planned between he and Stephanie Palagi of the Old Town Pocatello organization.

Looks like we're in for a shakeup here in Pocatello. I foresee a drastic change of the makeup of the Pocatello City Council within the next year. And it wouldn't surprise me if the upcoming council election brings out a handful of newcomers to city politics, both in the election and in the actual positions. I have often considered a run for Pocatello's City Council, but if the shakeup is going to occur sooner, rather than later, I don't see my chances of running (or success) improving any given my current workload and school schedule.

Thanks to former Congressman Stallings (and current Pocatello councilman) I'm firmly tied to my desk in the library attempting to get through his congressional collection in time for its opening to the public this coming January. Seems like an impossible task, but I'd like to reassure you, as well as me, that it is going to happen--perhaps in stages, but it will open in January come hell or high water!

There are perks to being stuck in the library on a Saturday--it's cool, quiet, and there's internet access. My internet at home has been down for three days which is killing me. Hopefully Qwest can fix the problem today. Or I'll be in the library again tomorrow.

The downside to a day in the library? I'm going to miss the Braves/Tigers opening game as well as a few others I was hoping to keep tabs on like the Padres/Red Sox game. But I'll live. I can do without a baseball game or two without much physical pain.

Here's a question for those of you "in the know" in or around Arco, Idaho. Yes, I said Arco. I have run across this very curious undated listing of projects across the state. The projects are listed by county and congressional district. The projects include the project title (all of which seem to be parks/recreation oriented), the sponsor (generally a city or organization such as the Fish and Wildlife Service), and the amount requested. I'm assuming these are grant or funding requests and given the place of origination I'm assuming they are requesting federal funding. Now for the question: Listed in Butte County is an entry titled "Bottolfsen Memorial Service." The project is sponsored by the City of Arco at a cost of $31,743. Now, there was a governor of Idaho, Clarence A. Bottolfsen who died in 1964. He happened to be from Arco, a longtime newspaper publisher there, and I'm wondering if this listing could be in fact the city of Arco paying for his funeral. Seems odd on a list of parks and recreation issues, but I know there is a Bottolfsen Park in Arco and it isn't listed as a park, this entry is specifically for a memorial service. Anybody have the scoop on this? I've called the city office in Arco numerous times as well as the Butte County clerk, but they either are avoiding my crazy question or they really, truly aren't around. Whomever tracks this info down wins a prize.*

*Winner will be my best friend for life. **
** Restrictions apply.

Bright Tomorrows Update

(Back side of the building.)

(Lovely brick work.)

(Front door of the facility.)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Go to the Newsstand!

Do it! Go to the newsstand and pick up the June 25th edition of Newsweek magazine. Why? There is a wonderful article by the one and only Morgan Freeman about golf, life, and not letting age keep you out of the game. Go. Now.

You know the Yankees are having a bad year when...

...they get swept by the Rockies!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New Writing Gig & Sammy's 600th

First, congratulations to Sammy Sosa! It's not every day you see a man hit his 600th career home run. In fact it has only happened four others days before today in the history of baseball. Pretty impressive.

No comment on my Braves losing big time to the Red Sox at home on Turner Field today...

And, last, but not least, I would like to announce here that I will be writing sports commentary over at ArmchairGM.com. I will either cross-post my articles here at TPG or I will make sure and point you in the right direction over there. I know it is a huge sports blog and many people write for it, but I was pleased (and honored) to be asked to contribute. And it should cut back on the high number of baseball posts I place on what is supposed to be my political blog...

Look for my first article soon!

Just Yesterday

Just yesterday I was saying that the Atlanta Braves needed to send their relief pitcher, McBride, back to Triple A ball.

They didn't.

Just today the Atlanta Braves traded McBride for the Detroit Tigers' left-handed reliever Wil Ledezma.

Ledezma pitched for the Red Sox at the beginning of his career, went on the DL, worked his way back up into the Detroit line up and last season had a 3.58 ERA (three wins, three losses) and currently has a dreadful 4.79 going for him.

Ledezma's stats aren't all that different from McBride's stats (current ERA of 3.60), but with Ledezma you can see him making progress--McBride seems to be sliding backwards. I didn't like McBride's pitching, but it's always sad to see a Georgia boy traded away especially after such a short career with the team he grew up watching.

My bet is Detroit will do what Atlanta should have done with McBride--send him back down to the minor league, making room on their roster for their starter Kenny Rogers who comes off the DL on Friday to pitch against Atlanta.

Evolution of Bright Tomorrows

Parade of Homes Details
Bright Tomorrows Grand Opening
Bright Tomorrows in Parade of Homes
Smorgasbord Saturday (3)
Katona & Bright Tomorrows
Bright Tomorrows Update
Weekend Snapshots
More Bright Tomorrows
Smorgasbord Saturday (2)
Barn Raising Snapshots
Barn Raising Celebration
Bright Tomorrows Progress
Smorgasbord Saturday Snapshots
My Only Complaint
Smorgasbord Saturday (1)
You Know It's Serious When...
Bright Tomorrows
Now They Are Pouring Concrete
Now It's a Hole
Distracting Me From Serious Baseball Watching

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

From Today's Coffee Cup...


...Isn't it cute? (Click to enlarge.)

All-Star Voting

Yesterday while watching the Braves/Red Sox game (you can catch the next televised game on ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball) I cast my ballot in the MLB All-Star voting. Here's my ballot:

American League

1st Base: Justin Morneu (of the Twins)
2nd Base: Robinson Cano (New York Yankees)
Short Stop: Orlando Cabrera (Anaheim Angels)
3rd Base: Eric Chavez of Oakland (since I didn't have the presence of mind to vote for him last year)
Outfielders (3): Torri Hunter of Minnesota, Ordonez of Detroit, and Gary Matthews, Jr. of the Angels
Catcher: Pudge Rodriguez of Detroit (one of my all-time favs)

National League

1st Base: Tie--Prince Fielder (Brewers) and Scott Thorman (Braves)
2nd Base: Chase Utley of the Phillies
Short Stop: Tie--Edgar Renteria (Braves) and Jose Reyes (Mets)
3rd Base: Tie--Garrett Atkins (the God-forsaken Rockies) and Chipper Jones (Braves)
Outfielders (supposed to be 3): Matt Holliday (Rockies), Matt Diaz (Braves), Andruw Jones (Braves), Mike Cameron (Padres), and Jeff Franceour (Braves).
Catcher: Brian McCann (Braves)

Notice I have a major problem picking in the National League?? I can't help that I'm a National League kinda girl. And, I love the Braves, what can I say? I think they are all all-stars...well most of them. I think they should send McKay McBride back to Triple A.

Also notice I didn't list Barry Bonds? I couldn't do it. As hard as I try, I just can't be on his side. It's Hammerin' Hank for crying out loud. I just can't fall on the side of Bonds.

Monday, June 18, 2007

In Other Baseball News

Lots of baseball news over the weekend including home run number 748 for Mr. Barry Bonds. As I've mentioned before I am not entirely okay with the idea of Bonds* passing up Hank Aaron's record, but the time is coming regardless.

One of my all-time favorite players (whom I've watched since his 1993 debut) got his 2,000th career hit yesterday. Congrats to Chipper Jones!!

Seems Tom Glavine is in a holding pattern. Stalled at 295 wins, I'm wondering when Glavine might hit the 300 career wins as did Smoltz earlier in the season.

Glavine is not doubt bogged down in what seems to be a fall from grace on the part of the Mets lineup. They got their asses kicked by the Yankees last night in their last subway series game of the regular season.

Neither the Mets or the Braves (two of my favorite teams) did well over the weekend. Yesterday the Braves got beat by the Indians despite Chipper's hitting and yet another Superman-like catch by Andruw Jones (who is in a hitting slump). I don't see the Braves picking it up in the series that begins tonight with the Red Sox or the weekend series with Detroit. The Red Sox are red hot and Detroit is moving on up.

The Braves play tonight on ESPN and the Detroit series has encountered a change up (forgive the baseball pun) since the schedule was printed. The revised schedule has the Braves playing on Friday at 7:35, Saturday at 3:55, and Sunday at 8:05 (pm) all of which I think Eastern time zone.

It was interesting watching the Indians and the Braves because the Indians capitalized on the fall of the Expos (my second favorite team in the history of baseball) and really made something of their lineup when the Expos were sold to Washington.

Oh...and the Nationals won yesterday. That sure doesn't happen much these days!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Smorgasbord Saturday

Drink a lot of soda? Drink Coke products? Well, as you may have noticed all of the Coke products (at least in the 20 ounce variety) have new lids. Much smaller. Much lighter. Much more annoying lids. Check them out...you'll see what I mean. I'm having trouble with them.

News from the U.S. Postal Service--on August 31st, 2007, a new postage stamp will be released. Unveiled this past week by Vice President Cheney in the presence of the Ford children, the Gerald R. Ford stamp is a beauty. I plan on buying a sheet or two.

Have some extra time this summer to read? I would highly recommend a series of books--all the same topic really--by Cronkite, Graham, Bradlee, and Brinkley. The memoirs of the media giants are wonderful and the coverage of Vietnam is a stark contrast to current trends in the media in regard to Iraq. Just this morning I finished reading Brinkley's memoir and I was thoroughly intrigued by his coverage and commentary on political conventions. For you political buffs it's a must.

Yesterday I was in Idaho Falls for a doctor's appointment and picked up the new Big & Rich cd. I know, you are all rolling your eyes, but I must say this is the best of their three albums. They must have taken the hint that listeners wanted to hear their more mellow stuff (none of the "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" circus music) and they delivered. "Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace" is a great album with a couple of decent collaborations and some pretty smart, somewhat religious lyrics. I say religious because this album seems to capitalize on the Catholic undertones that their second hit, "Holy Water," brought to listeners. Really a decent album and unlike the first album (and parts of their second, "Coming to Your City) I didn't feel like it was a trainwreck I couldn't look away from. I was actually impressed. My favorites: "Lost In This Moment," "Faster Than Angels Fly," the title song, and a great remake of "You Shook Me All Night Long." It's just hard to believe that the tame Rich, formerly of Lonestar, has become the solid partner in this bizarre group.

I work in a library. So what do I do on my day off? I visited the public library. I generally do this on Saturdays when I'm feeling well and am in town. I spotted an interesting installment in the "Dummies"series--this one by the baseball great Joe Morgan. "Baseball for Dummies" looked like an interesting read just by the cover and I certainly know my stuff when it comes to baseball. But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read something by Joe Morgan.

In other book related news, this past week while discussing my ongoing short story project (I think I've mentioned that I am trying to gain a better understanding of why I, and so many other readers, struggle with short stories) I mentioned to my co-worker, a former librarian, that the short stories of Virginia Woolf are nutty. More so than her novels that I love. He marched upstairs in the library to find a copy of her "Monday or Tuesday" collection and he returned with a gorgeous edition that I'd never seen. After a little research we discovered this wonderful publishing company called the Hesperus Press. I was, of course, interested immediately by the name--I assume taken from Longfellow's great poem, and the subtitle on their website, "et remotissima prope" (from the latin--to bring near what is far). After perusing their website both my co-worker and I were VERY impressed by the titles available and the beautifully designed covers. The England-based company has a limited, but impressive listing of books, all of which have great new forewords. My level of appreciation and awe for this company spiked as I read the last listing in their catalogue--"Zastrozzi." For those of you with no interest in literature, Percy Byshhe Shelly wrote two novels prior to publishing his works of poetry. His lesser known novels are not readily available, but Hesperus has his first, "Zastrozzi." Unbelievable.

I am going to have some time on my hands beginning Wednesday afternoon, so I am hoping to get caught up on the posts I have been talking about for awhile (i.e. the one on the charter school). Keep an eye out.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Quote of the Week

"Ich denke immer, wenn ich einen Druckfehler sehe, es sei etwas Neues erfunden." — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

State Legislature Program

Dear Tara:

Thanks for your note. The program is not currently available for home video use. It is only available for purchase by educational institutions. The producer is also taking names of people interested in home video purchases to see if it is feasible to offer that. Here is his contact info:

Zipporah Films, Inc.
One Richdale Avenue
Unit #4
Cambridge, MA 02140
F: 617.864.8006
Phone inquires to:617.576.3603
e-mail at:info@zipporah.com

I hope this information is helpful.
Ron Pisaneschi

Director of Broadcasting
Idaho Public Television
1455 N. Orchard Street
Boise, Idaho 83706
208 373-7220 Voice
208 373-7245 Fax
ron.pisaneschi@idahoptv.org

Friday, June 8, 2007

Endless Array of Acronymns

So I was sitting in the basement of the library this morning, sorting and cataloguing a box of files in the Stallings Collection on the Balanced Budget Amendment and ran across two press clippings from Idaho publications I wasn't familiar with. Stallings' staff has simply labeled them "MCN" and "M/News."

After coming to the conclusion that I didn't know either of these publications, but could reasonably reject the idea that MCN was either Motorcycle News or the Maryland Cow Nipple (humorous publication of the University of Maryland at College Park), I got to wondering about press clippings in current legislative offices.

Do you think current legislative offices are trolling for blog posts and printing them off like Stallings' staff used to troll for press clippings and photocopy them?

If so, the Idaho blogs would be popping up in acronym form, RSR, 43SB, TPG, MGR, etc. It would be a lot easier for me to remember RSR than it is for me to get it in my thick head that LT is not a staffer's initials, but the abbreviation for the Lewiston Tribune!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Cassia County's 5th District Court Judge Monte Carlson Dies

News from my hometown, sort of, Cassia County judge Monte Carlson has passed away.

From the South Idaho Press you can read of his passing or a better article about Carlson's role as founder of the drug court can be found on the Times-News website.

In my experience with Carlson I never had a single word of criticism. This was one of the most decent men I have ever met. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Holy Cow! Wellman Ejection

Army Wives

It must first be known that I despise Lifetime television. Perhaps it is the girly-girl, drama queen nature of the shows on Lifetime.

But...I had been seeing the previews for this new show called Army Wives for some time and thought it looked sort of good. Mostly I was happy to see Catherine Bell (of JAG fame) and Kim Delaney back on the small screen.

There were the drawbacks, the least of which was the fact that the show was on Lifetime. I was afraid of having war thrown in my face. I assumed, given the reviews, that it was a conservative show addressing the issues faced by Army families. All my assumptions were completely off base.

The show revolves around a handful of wives on an Army post, each with their own struggles and secrets. There's a much gossiped about woman carrying children that aren't hers (a paid surrogate hoping to help her family get out of debt despite her husband's outrageous spending habits). The former doctor, still very much in love with her Army husband, but hiding a secret from him--her son is beating her. There is a socialite with what appears to be the perfect family and perfect house, but she seems to be having quite the feud with another wive on the post. There's a bar tending, fiery woman who has known her husband for a grand total of seventeen days and doesn't quite fit in on the base. And last but not least there's the husband who attends the wives' events. His Army wife just returned from Afghanistan.

Since it premiered last night at 8pm, I have watched the pilot three times and I just love it. I can't help but laugh at the insanity of it all.

And then I pretend like I don't like it so I don't have to admit I actually watched something on Lifetime...

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Purchasing a Piece of History

Over the weekend in Albion, Idaho an auction took place. The item up for bid? The historical campus of the once Southern Idaho College of Education (also known as the Albion State Normal School).

After a push by then Governor Len Jordan, in 1951 the Idaho State Legislature agreed to discontinue funding of the campus as well as what was at the time the North Idaho College of Education in Lewiston (now Lewis & Clark State College).

Since its closing, the campus has been the home of a few other institutions, but by and large it has been left to deteriorate.

Nestled against the hills at the entrance into Albion, the campus itself is not on a large plot of land, but is composed of six buildings, a few of which are 104 years old and are listed on the National Historic Register.

What has amazed me about the campus, other than its size because as a kid I thought it was much larger with more buildings than are actually there, is the lack of preservation that has taken place. I know the City of Albion has attempted on numerous occasions to restore the buildings with very limited funding, but all in all they have fallen into disrepair and many of them have serious structural and environmental problems. It seems to me that National Historic Register listings should be protected from this very thing, but unfortunately the campus is not protected.

I was relieved to learn that the auction was indeed successful in that the highest bidders turned out to be three Idahoans who have every intention of restoring and protecting the historic campus--unknown at this point is what the buyers intend to do with the campus once restored.

The Albion campus has always been a piece of Idaho history that I've never felt we should be at all proud of (similar, though not as severe, to how I feel about the Hunt Relocation Camp). The closing and degradation of the Albion campus stands as an ever present reminder of how little care and concern goes into the funding of education throughout the state.

A piece of Idaho history was purchased this weekend for a mere $810,000. I wonder what the cost will be when the dairy interests win out and purchase the site that once stood as a camp illustrating our racism after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.