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Over the summer of 2010 I began to ask myself, "what do you do if two of our Rights, as citizens of these United States, are diametrically opposed?" I came to the only viable conclusion: you compromise. Our great Nation works when there is compromise.

Right now most of you will agree with me that our political system is broken. What we currently have is: the politics of destruction; special interest groups who have the power and money to dictate policy; politicians who must spend their time raising money for the next election instead of doing the People's business; and, there are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats.

The attacks that we were inundated with during the this election cycle belittled the democratic process. Shame on everyone involved. And, shame on the political obstructionists who are more interested in gaining and maintaining power than doing the people’s business. During these very difficult times all of us should be supporting our President. The challenge for all of us is, how do we improve upon this imperfect union that we call the United States of America? One thing I know for is not by dividing us.

I can remember when I was sixteen years old there was a day when my father called out to me, "Jackie, come quickly. You have to hear this. It's Winston Churchill. Come listen." I raced to the radio and for the first time heard a recording of Churchill's speech to a Nation standing alone against the greatest evil the world has ever known: "...we shall defend our island no matter what the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; and we shall not surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God's good time, the New World, with all it's power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of The Old."

That day my hero was born. Where are our heroes today? jkt

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Domestic Violence

I began researching domestic violence after a man in Whitehall shot and killed his wife and two children and then turned the gun on himself. I was on City Council at the time and I began asking myself what we could do to try to prevent this from ever happening again in our town.

What I learned about this horrific crime was:
-There were 3 guns in the house.
-The man had been arrested for domestic violence years before.
-A 1994 federal law, reconfirmed and expanded by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in February, 2009, prohibits domestic violence offenders from gun ownership. The Court ruled that the law applies even to people guilty of misdemeanors involving physical attacks on spouses, ex-spouses and other household members, regardless of whether the State law used the term domestic violence. And yet, even though he was banned from owning guns because of his conviction, he not only had the guns, he also was issued a concealed carry permit.
-The wife wanted to leave him. He would rather see his family dead than split up.
-Someone knew there was danger, but failed to notify anyone.

Did you know that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime? An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. 85% of domestic violence victims are women. Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew. Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. And, one in three teenagers has experienced violence in a dating relationship.

According to The Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence, "Domestic violence is real violence, often resulting in death or permanent injuries and making home one of the least safe places for victims to be. It accounts for more injuries to women than rapes, muggings, and automobile accidents combined. Unlike crimes by strangers, domestic violence is likely to be repeated and often involves an abuser who will go to great lengths to impede the victim's escape. Domestic violence is a crime that uses violence as a tool to intimidate and control the behaviors of another person. Domestic violence has been the primary factor in almost one quarter of all homicides committed in Franklin County, (Ohio) since 1990."

Access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner homicide more than five times more than in instances where there are no weapons. In addition, abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners.

After gathering together all of the facts, I worked up a proposal of some steps we could take to prevent domestic violence in our community. It included:
-The City had left the Domestic Violence Coordinator position vacant to save money. I recommended that someone be immediately hired and that the job description be expanded to include conducting educational programs about domestic violence throughout the community.
-Given the fact that people are hesitant to get involved in family disputes and because involving one's self might be dangerous, I recommended that the City establish an anonymous phone line. I also suggested a city-wide campaign, a "get involved, save a life" campaign.
-Children who live with domestic violence face increased risks: the risk of exposure to traumatic events, the risk of neglect, the risk of being directly abused, and the risk of losing one or both of their parents. All of these may lead to negative outcomes for children and may affect their well-being, safety, and stability. I recommended the formation of a coalition between the City and our schools to offer age-based education about domestic violence, to offer a safe haven within our schools for children in abusive homes and to offer counseling. Children with poor coping skills are more likely to experience problems than children with strong coping skills and supportive social networks.

[Domestic violence misdemeanor convictions and restraining orders were the second most common reason for denials of handgun purchase applications between 1994 and 1998. From 1998 to 2001, more than 2,800 people with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions were able to purchase guns without being identified by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.]

-The Columbus Dispatch put it better than I when it recommended that, "Sheriffs and other officials who administer the concealed-carry permitting system in this and other states should cross-check the names of new domestic-violence convicts and other offenders against these lists. State and local police and court officials should get the names of DV offenders onto the federal background-chick databank. And high-tech tools should be employed to cross-check public records to improve the accuracy of this reporting."
-And, lastly, when I made my recommendations to Council, I asked the very narrow question, "how do you get guns out of the hands of the abusers?"

Violence against women is a national epidemic. I will work tirelessly to end this scourge. -jkt-

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Parks, Our Natural Heritage

Central Ohio has a wonderful park system. Our parks are teeming with wildlife and offer scenic vistas that can take us far away from the hectic clamor of our everyday lives. Everyone should have access to the parks. They are our Natural Heritage.

Our parks fulfill the longing in our children for adventure and exploration. By cultivating the natural curiosity and sense of wonderment in our children, we prepare them for the future. It is from a childhood well spent...days and nights filled with dreams, both real and imagined; of curiosities and longings (for what, we do not always know); of adventures, awaiting, around the next bend. It is from these children that our future leaders, our inventors and innovators, our writers and philosophers will emerge. Our parks are an integral part of the fabric of our Nation.

I was so entranced by my winter walk earlier this year, that I wrote to my friends:

"I woke up at about 8 this morning and concluded that today was the day I was going to take a long-overdue winter walk at Three Creeks Park. We'd just had new snow, but the roads were passable. I threw on my winter wear and off I went…..temperature 19 degrees. What a glorious day it was!!!

When I arrived, not another person was there. At first the sun shone down upon the frozen landscape and tiny snowflakes drifted to the ground, like sparkling diamonds falling from the sky. As I entered into the woods, the sky turned grey, enveloping me in solitary silence. I wandered off the beaten path and onto Confluence Trail, which leads to where three creeks converge into one.

I was walking along gazing left and right into the forest hoping to see deer. I turned just in time to see one leaping across my path and away, a fleeting moment....almost lost. Next I passed by geese and ducks bobbing calmly in an icy waterhole. Further on I paused to view the joining of the creeks and listened to the gurgling of water as it traveled on downstream.

Suddenly, I sensed motion to my left. I saw another deer running away from me. Then another and yet another raced by, finally stopping at a perceived safe distance from me and turning to stare. In all, there were seven of them.....6 girlies and one boy. Three of them stood their ground as I gazed upon them in awe. We stayed there for minutes studying each other, their white tails flicking as they contemplated my presence.

Finally I walked on as they disappeared amongst the trees. The trail was rough and my eyes were focused on the ground as I meandered along. Next I looked up, there stood a doe in the middle of the trail. Once again we two stood our ground, immersed in our own thoughts. She finally wandered off. Before I could move on, to my amazement, I spotted a baby deer just to the side of the trail, camouflaged by the brush. I remained a frozen observer in this frozen world of snow and ice and watched this sweet darling as she crossed before my eyes.

She and her mama finally moseyed off, while I continued upon my way. I emerged from the woods onto the main trail and headed back towards my car. The mama and baby deer raced by me one last time, as if following me to my destination. As I passed by the marsh, to my right I espied yet three more deer frolicking and prancing across the ice.

Now out of sight, I journeyed on through a stand of pines and at last crossed the foot bridge. A flock of geese flew overhead in formation, honking their goodbyes. No man did I encounter. Today, Three Creeks was all mine." [I guess I never lost that sense of wonder.] -jkt-                                    


We have the income tax, the property tax, the sales tax, the estate tax (Well, except for this year. If you're rich and you die this year your estate won't have to pay it.), the luxury tax, the corporate tax. But another, and more insidious tax, is what I call the addiction tax.

When our government is facing a revenue shortage, it starts raising taxes on the things people are addicted to. Why? Because no matter what the cost, an addict will pay or play. Booze and cigarettes...addictive. Gasoline...addictive in America. Gambling...addictive. And, the more reliant the government becomes on the income from the addiction taxes, the less enthusiastic it becomes to cure the addiction. In fact, in one case, it encourages it. Gambling.

As of February 1, 2010 the Tax Foundation reported that the State of Ohio addiction taxes are: Gasoline tax (per gallon) $0.28; cigarettes tax (per 20 pack) $1.25; spirits tax (per gallon) $9.04; table wine tax (per gallon) $0.32; and, beer tax (per gallon) $0.18. That's just the State taxes! There are federal taxes loaded on top of that.

Now casinos are coming to Ohio. According to the Columbus Dispatch (February 27, 2010), "The casinos approved in the fall for Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo each will pay taxes equal to 33 percent of their gross revenue. It will be distributed as follows, based on the new constitutional amendment:
-- 51 percent to Ohio's 88 counties, based on their share of the state population. If the biggest city in a county has more than 80,000 residents, it gets half its county's share. (Columbus would get $16.2 million of Franklin County's estimated $32.4 million.)
-- 34 percent to Ohio's public-school districts based on their enrollment. ($22.9 million estimated to Franklin County districts)
-- 5 percent to Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo as the host cities for casinos. ($8 million estimated for Columbus)
-- 3 percent to run a new state agency that will regulate casinos.
-- 3 percent to help Ohio's horse-racing industry, which fears that casinos will hurt its business.
-- 2 percent to a state fund that will pay for police training.
-- 2 percent to a state fund to support treatment of gambling addiction and substance abuse.
[Sources: Ohio Constitution, Penn National Gaming Inc.]

Columbus City Councilman Andrew J. Ginther, who chairs the council's finance committee, said he worries that the new tax revenue might not boost the budget in the long run. Ginther fears that state legislators might use the flow of casino taxes to Ohio cities and counties as an excuse to reduce local governments' share of state income taxes. That's what happened with Ohio Lottery money, which replaced previous state support for schools instead of adding to it."

So, let the feeding frenzy begin as various government entities fight over the millions of dollars gambling will bring to the State. But the real quesiton for our elected officials should be, "Have we ceded our moral compass to balance the budget?"

Trains, Planes & Automobiles

I love Cleveland. The first time I drove from Columbus to the City on the Lake was to visit the Cleveland Museum of Art. It was springtime and the cherry blossoms were in bloom. As I turned the corner and first saw the stately marble building, there sat Rodin's great sculpture, The Thinker. It was love at first sight.

Since then I have made many trips to Cleveland, always discovering some new gem each time I would visit. Cleveland has buildings by two of the greatest living architects:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, by IM Pei

and, the Case Western Reserve law library, by Frank Gehry.

Each time I would get in my car and drive to Cleveland, I would discover another hidden jewel in the City on the Lake. But here's the point of my story. Each time I want to visit Cleveland, I have the dreaded two and a half hour drive to get there. The anticipation of the destination was enough to sustain me for the first three or four trips, but that wore off a long time ago.

I never go to Cincinnati. It's a wonderful city with lots to see and do. But the freeways terrify me. On one trip to Cinci, I ended up in Indiana when I missed my exit. The last time I visited I got stuck on the freeway in five o'clock traffic. It was terrifying. I haven't been back.

What's the alternative? It's crazy to think about going by airplane. The wasted time at the airports and the thought that I might be stuck in a steel tube on a runway has been enough to turn me off to flying.

The solution? Trains. I want trains to take me away to Cleveland and Cincinnati and points in between. And none of those wimpy trains that the governor is proposing. I want fast trains, like they have in Japan, France, Germany, Sweden and England. The question becomes, are we building the foundation for the future, or stagnating in the past? As our highways become more and more congested and gasoline prices continue to rise, what are we doing in the present to fast forward Ohio into the future?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hate in Ohio

The Southern Poverty Law Center
(Fighting Hate, Teaching Tolerance and Seeking Justice)

A list of hate groups in Ohio:
-Aryan Nations Revival Christian Identity
-Blood and Honour Racist Skinhead Salem
-Brotherhood of Klans Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Marion
-Creativity Movement Neo-Nazi Chillicothe
-Diehard Records Racist Music Chesapeake
-European-American Unity and Rights Organization White Nationalist
-International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Cleveland
-ISD Records Racist Music Lancaster
-Nation of Islam Black Separatist Cleveland, Youngstown, Dayton,
-National Alliance Neo-Nazi Parma, Cincinnati
-National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Logan
-National Socialist American Labor Party Neo-Nazi Toledo
-National Socialist Movement Neo-Nazi
-National Socialist Movement Neo-Nazi Cincinnati
-Supreme White Alliance Racist Skinhead
-Supreme White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Van Wert
-The Creativity Alliance Neo-Nazi
-United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
-United White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Dayton
-United White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
-Vinlanders Racist Skinhead
-Volksfront Racist Skinhead Cleveland
-White Boy Society White Nationalist


Prescription Drugs

ABC reported this evening on Diane Sawyer World News, that "the cost of the most popular brand-name drugs used by older Americans soared 8.3 percent in the past year, according to a new report by the AARP.
Even though the consumer price index fell last year, the cost of those 217 drugs surged. Over the past five years, the retail price of brand-name drugs rose 41.5 percent. The consumer price index rose only 13.3 percent during that same period."

In my assessment of the new universal health insurance plan, I wrote that under the new plan there will be no negotiating with the drug companies for lower drug prices . The Veterans Administration negotiates with them and keeps drug costs down. By not negotiating lower drug prices, it is forecast that the there will be a 35 percent increase in the Medicare drug plan's 10-year cost estimate. Why won't the government negotiate for Medicare, Medicaid, and the new health care plan? Because the drug companies are the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill.

Since corporate health insurance plans first began covering prescription drugs, drug prices have soared. One can only wonder if this latest increase is due to the industry's expectations that the government will continue to pick up the tab no matter what the cost of the drugs. Ultimately it's the senior citizens and the taxpayers who will pay. This is unadulterated greed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Freedom & The Internet

I read an article in Newsweek (August 16, 2010) called "Needles in a Haystack, (how) a 20-something named Austin Heap found the perfect disguise for dissidents in their cyberwar against the world's dictators."

It's almost like something out of the movies. Austin, a computer programmer, was sitting at home on his computer playing videogames as he usually does in the evenings. His boyfriend asked him if he was following what was going on in Iran, but he was busy "killing dragons". When he checked his twitter account later that evening he learned about the growing number of Iranians claiming that the recent election (June, 2009) was rigged. The oppressive Iranian government was censoring the internet and other media outlets, preventing protestors from communicating with each other and spreading the word.

The internet is another one of those great equalizers that gives unfettered access to news and world-wide events. Well, almost...except in authoritarian regimes, such as China and Iran. To retain power, they censor any information that might plant the seed of liberty. Austin believes in the power of the internet to advance Democracy, so he rolled up his sleeves and said "OK, game on".

He literally took on the Iranian government! The end result was that he and a friend created Haystack, the anti-censorship software that hides someone's real online destinations so that censors will think you're visiting harmless websites. It turns out that there is a new generation of "hactivists" fighting against internet censorship. God bless them all!

There is another danger lurking and the outcome could decide who will ultimately control the internet – large corporations or net users. The internet was designed to place control with users and all web destinations are treated equally. It's called "net neutrality", and has existed from the beginning of the internet phenomenon. But now internet service providers want to profit even more from the net by establishing a tiered system pay-for-use similar to that of cable TV.

Heck, I can't even afford cable. So, what will this mean for me and others who can't afford to pay? To learn more, go to:

In it you'll learn about the recent agreement reached by Google and Verizon, out of the public eye, on how internet traffic should be managed.

As you read more about the threat to internet neutrality, keep in mind that until recently, Google embraced the censorship policies of China in order to do business in the country, using filters nicknamed "The Great Firewall of China".

Get involved. Write your Congressional leaders and demand laws that will protect network neutrality.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wages and Benefits

Ohio currently has a 9 billion dollar budget deficit. You cannot begin to balance the budget without tackling the issue of State employee wages and benefits.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics October 2009, National Compensation Survey for Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and surrounding areas the mean (average) hourly earnings are:

Civilian Workers                   $20.55 per hour
Private Industry Workers      $19.58 per hour
State & Loc Gov't Workers  $26.93 per hour
USA Today reported in 2007:
"The nation is dividing into two classes of workers: those who have government benefits and those who don't. The gap is accelerating in every way — pensions, medical benefits, retirement ages.

Governments' generosity could have serious consequences for taxpayers and pensioners. Some states — including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia — have troubled retirement systems that may require huge tax increases, spending cuts or even defaulting on promised benefits. The U.S. government has a bigger unfunded liability for military and civil servant retirement benefits ($4.7 trillion) than it does for Social Security ($4.6 trillion).
Contrary to a widely held notion, the extra government benefits aren't compensation for lower pay. Most government workers are paid more than private employees in similar jobs, and the wage gap is growing. Elected officials (are to blame) for awarding unsustainable retirement benefits to win support from employee unions."

I can only imagine what the consequences are going to be in the aftermath of the 2008 crash. The State needs to get its own house in order, and that will be one of my first priorities, along with focusing on jobs and education.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Health Insurance

There has been a lot of heated debate about the new Health Care reform bill that Congress recently passed.
I support health care reform. It would drive down health insurance costs and provide insurance to over 32M of the uninsured. Following are, as I see it, some pros and cons of the new health insurance reform bill:

+ There are not going to be any "death panels" deciding who will live and who will die. Where did this come from?

+ Getting treated in an emergency room is 3-4 times more expensive than a trip to the doctor’s office. When hospitals provide emergency care to rhe uninsured, they absorb millions in uncompensated costs. They must recover that money, meaning everyone’s costs go up. Tens of millions of insured Americans—and employers—pay a hidden tax, in the form of higher insurance premiums, higher deductibles, co-pays, and out-of-pocket expenses. Universal health insurance will cut those costs.

- Under the new plan there will be no negotiating with the drug companies for lower drug prices . The Veterans Administration negotiates with them and keeps drug costs down.  By not negotiating lower drug prices, it is forcast that the there will be a 35 percent increase in the Medicare drug plan's 10-year cost estimate. Why won't the government negotiate for Medicare, Medicaid, and the new health care plan? Because the drug companies are the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill.

- I support a "public option", or government-run insurance plan similar to Medicare and Medicaid. Competition drives down insurance costs. Why won't the government offer a "public option"? The health insurance industry is another powerful lobby that spent millions on Capitol Hill.

+ According to an updated Congressional Budget Office estimate, the new plan will reduce the deficit by $143 billion over the first ten years.

There is so much misinformation out there that I have included this link to a summary of the new health care reform bill:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Extremism in America

After the Oklahoma bombing, I wrote:

When I was sixteen, I read a book abour the uprising of Polish Jews who were being systematically slaughtered by the Nazis during World War II. When I had finished the book, I remember saying to myself, "No one told me." Among my parents, teachers - all of the adults I relied upon for information - no one told me of the near extinction of an entire race. From that day forward, my life was changed, for at 16, I learned of the evil inherent in man.

I have since become a student of that war. It was of global proportions and what I believe to have been the ultimate battle on earth between good and evil. Never before or since in the history of man were so many people prepared to step forward in our darkest hour to drive the devil back into the burning pit from whence he came.

We won the war, but the battles against evil rage on. One need look no farther than to these United States, which are threatened from within. Look to Oklahoma City and weep for our nation. To those people who accuse our government officials of being jackbooted Nazis, I say, "you don't know what you are talking about." Adolf Hitler and his followers were nothing but a bunch of thugs who had the capability to arm themselves and then proceeded to terrorize a nation into submission. Hitler gained power by sowing the seed of fear, promoting intolerance and making false promises. He spewed forth his hatred to cast its pall over an entire continent.

I see no difference between Hitler and these fanatic groups that have sprung up around the country. They're armed and dangerous. They cloak themselves in secrecy and rant and rave about their constitutional rights, while plotting the overthrow of our elected government.

As we approach the day upon which we celebrate the founding of this great nation, let us remember how precious are the freedoms that we enjoy. We must remain vigilant. jkt

You may read more about the latest resurgence of extremist groups and militias at:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Our Libraries

We have some of the best libraries in the country. According to Hennan's American Public Library Ratings, by population, in the 500K category Ohio has 3 of the top 10 libraries in the whole country!

-No. 1  Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, OH
-No. 2  Columbus Metropoliotan Library, Columbus, OH
-No. 8  Cincinnati and Hamilton County, PL of Cincinnati, OH

Wow. In Central Ohio Bexley, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Grandview Heights and Worthington have also made the top 10 list. You can see the entire list, including libraries throughout the State ranked in the top ten at

This is something Ohio does very well. I personally frequent the Bexley library one or two times a week. I have always loved rooting through the shelves and coming across some gem of a book or magazine that tweeks my curiosity. And I admit, I'm a sucker for a good murder mystery or courtroom drama.

When I got laid off from work many years ago, I practically lived at the downtown branch of Columbus Metro. I learned how to use word processing there and created my resumes on their computers. I searched for jobs using their resources. I learned how to sculpt using the wonderful art books available at Metro

Libraries have expanded my knowledge and introduced me to places and cultures that I would never be able to afford to visit. And the libraries are open to everyone. They are one of the great equalizers in our society. Libraries introduce our children to the joy of reading. They educate, they teach tolerance, they entertain us and we need them more than ever right now.

During this horrible economic downturn people are relying on their libraries, just as I did when I lost my job. And yet the State drastically cut funding to our libraries just when our citizens need them the most. If elected, I will push to restore funding. We need to enthusiastically support what is working, and rid ourselves of what is not. We'll just have to find other ways to balance the budget.


I listen to Public Radio WCBE 90.5 FM during the night. I heard an interview they broadcast last night with a woman who spoke about her happy memories of visits to her family retreat in Monteray, Mexico.  She then told of a recent conversation she had with a relative who told her that they never go there any more. It's not safe, he said. She went on to tell horror stories about the Mexican drug cartels and how everyone now lives in fear. No one ventures outside after dark because they are afraid. She spoke of murders, beheadings and mass graves. But it was her parting words that caught my attention. The Mexican drug cartels cross freely into the United States to buy their guns. We are arming the Mexican drug cartels.

According to David Ignatius of the Washington Post, "When Mexico's President Felipe Calderon addressed a joint session of Congress in May, he all but pleaded with lawmakers to help stop the flow of assault weapons. His call to action produced little more than a shrug of the shoulders in Washington." As Mr. Ignatius puts it, "The administration and Congress are scared of the gun lobby." To read the entire article, go to

There are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats. Well, I am here to tell you that I am not willing to cede our country to violence. jkt

Saturday, August 14, 2010


My Alma Mater
A former high school classmate of mine recently opined, "we received a college-level education when we attended school in Grandview." Not anymore. Our current public school system is failing our children. U.S. News & World Report (January, 2010) ranked the top 100 high schools in the U.S. Only 6% are public schools. Ohio had just one gold medal school, Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnatti. The kids attend classes in a building constructed in 1932. Does Walnut Hills want a new building? Of course they do. But they have still managed to rank 66th in the country in an out-of-date building. New buildings are not going to solve the educational failures of our public school system. Here's a copy of a speech I made two years ago:

"Here's what I would do to begin fixing (our schools). I would have high school and junior high students attend classes all year long. I would raise teachers’ salaries and weed out all of the bad teachers. I would become an educational academy and I would change over to Charter School status, if necessary, to accomplish all of this. I would get rid of the football and basketball programs. I would have mandatory gym class every day. I would make sure that all of our students were immersed in the arts. I would make sure that all meals served were healthy and I would teach children about living a healthy lifestyle. I would have strict discipline and present a professional environment. I would insist that all parents be involved in the educational experience.

I believe that every child has a hidden potential that makes him or her special and it is up to us, as a society, to teach all children that they are precious, they are valuable. Then it is up to us to find that gift, nurture it and provide them with the educational and emotional means to lead a life that is both productive and satisfying. And, that includes a free education all of the way through college, if the desire is there. We need ongoing programs to counsel, and intervene for: the physically and mentally abused; those who abuse drug and alcohol; and, provide a support group to instill in the children a life that is sober and safe. Alcohol and drugs rob people of the desire to meet their God-given potential.

I would have classes until five PM and offer after school homework assistance. I would get rid of the school board and look to other means to set the agenda and maintain educational excellence. I would look to the successful schools for guidance. As a matter of fact, in the Newsweek article that I just read from, it mentions a “wildly successful chain of 57 charter schools called the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP)”.
Our educational system is failing and is a root cause of the decline of this country. Not only is our country in danger economically, but an uneducated citizenry puts our Democracy in grave peril. If a school could promise my children a first rate education in old dilapidated buildings, over new buildings failing to educate, which would I choose? Which would I spend my tax dollars on? It's a no-brainer. It is time we put our children first in this country. Until we do, the ideals upon which our country was founded will continue to wane and our place in history will have passed.

Now, there will be the naysayers who will spend a lot of time refuting what I have just proposed. They will spin their wheels telling us why we can’t stir up the pot and get this done. Well, I am here to say, once again, that “We can do it…..yes we can”." jkt