Thursday, March 09, 2017

Yay, Luke, and Throwbacks, Oh My!

From a dedicated young educator with Sandpoint roots: Sandpoint High School graduate, author and American University professor, Dr. Luke Mayville: 

Idaho friends, please read and share:

I just now boarded a plane to come home and help organize Save Our Schools, a door-to-door campaign to pass the school levy on March 14th.

Here’s the short version: We need you to join us at Sandpoint Community Hall on Saturday at 10 a.m and knock on some doors.

Here’s the long version: Unlike last summer’s controversial levy, this levy does not raise substantial new funds for the district. This levy is only a *supplemental* levy, which means that it simply *maintains* current levels of spending with a slight increase that amounts to 6 dollars per year for a property valued at $250,000.

Here’s the deal: If this levy does not pass, it is likely that several elementary schools in the district will close *permanently," and that several hundred teachers and other personnel will lose their jobs.

Voters in the district have voted in favor of this type of levy every other year going back many years. In the past, the success of these levies has been almost automatic. Voters understood that when it comes to education the state of Idaho invests very little—currently less money per student than every state in the nation except Utah. Most understood that a minimally adequate school system requires additional funding from local sources.

This year things have changed. This year, there is a highly energized and organized movement to dismantle our public schools. I’ll say nothing more about that movement here. You can Google it. It gets me angry just thinking about it. It will probably anger you too if the Hunger Games is not your idea of a just society.

But what is needed now is action, not anger. An anti-levy vote could mean the end of our school system as we know it, and we know what a tragedy that would be.

Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and Sandpoint native, spoke for many of us when she described what Idaho public schools did for her: “They gave me my mind.” Think of all the less-known minds that were quietly nurtured by our schools. For those without money to travel, our schools were a gateway to the wonders of the world. For those of us raised by single mothers, our schools were a second parent.

We will not let these schools die. Not in 2017 or in 2019 or ever.

Our goal—quixotic, maybe—is to knock on 3,000 doors in a single weekend. There are many ways to get out votes—social media, letters to the editor, sign-waving, etc.—but the political–science research tells us that face-to-face conversation is by far the most effective strategy. Simply put: “Door-to-door wins the war.”

Please join us on Saturday. If you can’t be there, please take a moment and call a friend or a family member and convince them to show up and knock on some doors. We need your help.

Thank you, Luke, Garrett and friends,  for such dedication and caring toward your hometown and for the students and staff of our local school district.  Truly admirable and inspirational. 

Unfortunately, Bill and I will be out of town for Luke's weekend campaign, but we'll surely be with him and his team in spirit.  If you're local and you have time, join them Saturday.

And, in other news, it's Thursday, and my cousin Mary sent me some more goodies, taken at the family's North Boyer farm in 1975.  I view each of these photos as treasures because they allow us to recapture vignettes of our farm and of some more of the beloved horses in our family history.

Thank you so much, Mary. 

Cousin Kenny from the Pasco Skelton family, riding my first horse Tiny and  first horse 4-H project to others.  Then, there's Barbara with her Angel--what a mare she was and what wonderful achievements Barbara had with her in 4-H over the years.  And, next, Laurie on her first horse Sassy and first 4-H project to others.  Finally, that's me on Tonka, a daughter to our Ponderay's Fancy Pants and granddaughter to  world famous Toby I.

Actually, Tonka was my brother Jim's beloved 4-H project.  Each of these horses could fill a book in our respective memories.  Then there's that pickup parked next to the wood shed.

Harold had many pickups over the years, and it's always good to  see them and remember the dinner-table conversations when he felt it was time for a new one.

Definitely an assortment of wonderful memories packed into on photo.

Yup, that's me before hair zapping days.  What's really important in the photo though is the granary where I spent many a summer mornings as a child scrawling temporary sketches in the dirt with a circle of horses' noses nuzzling at my hair.  Golden moments, for sure.  Loved that spot.  

Coming back from a ride with Cousin Kenny down our dirt road, North Boyer, and there in the background on the left is our garage, where we would sometimes gather on rainy days while waiting for the school bus.

Across from the garage is what was once Best's hay field.  The scene is now a part of the Sandpoint Airport runway.  The garage and all those beautiful trees behind it are gone.  No sign these days that we ever lived there.

Just memories and old photos, which often elicit tears of nostalgia toward a precious time long ago.

Annie and I went to Ireland for the first time in early March 2011.  The rest are a few photos of the many taken as we circled the magical island.  What a magnificent place!

This is the Dingle Peninsula.

Kylemore Abbey in Connemara Region.  This place has nostalgic significance  in that it's the place where we had to say good bye to Willie and Debbie three years ago on our Love family trip.

Willie had to go to a journalism convention in San Diego, so  we had to part company.  That was a sad day, as we wished they could have stayed with us for the entire trip.

Happy Thursday, all.  I'm hoping to be able to post some scenery tomorrow, which does not include snow.  Wish me luck!

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