360 Fireworks Party

Friday, August 24, 2012


by Michael Monks 
Oakley Farris, whose contributions to the people of Covington are well documented by several city monuments, posted this message to The River City News Facebook page:
To whom it may concern,I would like to share some more information regarding our education system. We are all now aware that Covington faces difficult challenges when it comes to education. The statistics on poverty and performance speak for themselves on this challenge. Recently we have had some good news as the ACT scores show a small increase in our average composite score to 15.7. Also Harvard University has had some wonderful things to say about the improvements that Kentucky has seen in Public education over the last ten years. I will save the Harvard report for a later date. For now I would like to share my perspective on the good ACT news, because as I have learned in this life, good news can sometimes come with a sales pitch.Our performance on the ACT determines how bright our student’s future is. We have been told that the scores can be poor indicators of student performance because some students are simply not motivated to attend college. But I feel that we should not so easily dismiss those students, for they deserve a chance to succeed on a level playing field. We must not consign them to permanent second class status as a way of explaining a poor showing on the ACT. We cannot allow a good sales pitch for poor performance to confuse the issue.Now our recent improvement to 15.7 is encouraging, but we cannot forget the students behind it. Around three hundred students appear to have entered Holmes High School as freshmen, but only 181 took the test in grade 11 last year. So, already 120 students have fallen out of the system somehow. Those 181 who took the test scored an average of 15.6 last year. However 20 more students dropped out of the class between taking that test and graduation. The 161 who graduated bear the stigma of that 15.6 score even if their individual scores were higher. Do we really want to accept that among those 161 students, who stuck with the system for 12 years, that there were enough who were so uninterested in college that they intentionally did poorly on the test? Or will we admit that there is a possibility they were doing the best they could? We know that 45% of their classmates dropped out in some form since entering high school; presumably they were the least motivated and lowest performing. The 55% who are left must represent the most motivated and best students in Covington. Yet those few students who are left…..just 161 out of a district population of 4000 are still scoring poorly on the ACT….the test which most determines whether they have a future in higher education. Can this really be the result of low motivation?So the question before us is a difficult one. Do we accept, as we are told, that these low scores are the result of low motivation? To do so would mean that we are admitting that we are failing some portion of our students every year. That we have spent 13 years and about $180,000 on each of them without managing to instill in them the most basic of human desires the desire to succeed. Or will we make it our goal to find in each of them the person who wants to succeed who wants the tools they need to go forward in life as a well-rounded individual. And that begs the question, how can it be that they give us 13 years to educate them and in return we give them the lowest average ACT scores in the state as a graduation gift?
Sincerely,Oakley Farris
There is yet another update involving the vacant seat on the Covington School Board as the member who originally resigned now wants her seat back; A conviction in the murder of a Covington teenager; Jeff Ruby talks about being kicked out of an Illinois courtroom; An abandoned home in Latonia is causing problems; Plus, has your dog made you mad? Shame him on the internet! Shame him!
Full story: The River City News 
Rick Robinson, the independent author whose latest book is Writ of Mandamus(which you should buy immediately!) penned a new column this week that touches on the recent "legitimate rape" comment made by a US Senate candidate in Missoure. Robinson compares Rep. Todd Akin (R)'s gaffe to some of the bigger gaffes in history:
But Akin is not the only person to open his political pie-hole and insert his foot. His gaffe, however, does rank as one of the biggest career-ending utterances in modern American political history. Before last Sunday, what were the top 10? 
10.) Edwin Muskie’s snowflake tears: An emotional outburst on a cold and snowy morning ended the presidential bid of Edwin Muskie. The Maine senator was the Democratic front-runner when a New Hampshire newspaper ran two scurrilous editorials, one accusing Muskie’s wife of hard drinking and off-color humor. Muskie held an impromptu press conference on the steps in front of the newspaper’s offices, offering an emotional rebuttal to the attacks. The press said he cried. Muskie’s aides said it was melted snowflakes. Whatever it was, Muskie was done and Sen. George McGovern won the right to face President Richard Nixon in 1972. 
9.) McGovern: “I am 1,000% for Tom Eagleton”: Speaking of George McGovern and the 1972 presidential campaign, when a story broke that his running mate, Sen. Tom Eagleton, had been hospitalized for depression and treated with electro-shock therapy, McGovern said he stood “1,000% for Tom Eagleton.” Eagleton was dumped from the ticket after 18 days and replaced by Sargent Shriver. It was all downhill from there. 
8.) McCain/Palin: It’s hard to imagine that a gaffe-free campaign could have stopped the Obama juggernaut, but the 2008 GOP ticket still had plenty to offer. McCain made the mistake of saying in the middle of the financial collapse that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” And Palin looked like a moose-in-the-headlights in her initial television interviews. Her responses regarding the “Bush Doctrine” and reading anything other than the Wasilla Gazette gave way to “Saturday Night Live” skits that, fairly or unfairly, forged her image in the eyes of many voters.
See the rest of the top 10: The Daily Caller 
SEE ALSO: Robinson had a terrific radio interview on WGN 
Pat Barry, the local TV and radio personality, reported on Facebook that Bruce Dale Sommers, better known to radio listeners as The Truckin' Bozo, passed away this morning. He was 68. You can share your condolences in a Facebook group and learn how to give to charity in his name at the Truckin' Bozo website.
A Kentucky man who has launched a write-in campaign for President wants to see President Obama removed from the ballot here because he claims Obama is not an American WFPL 
The geography of homes whose mortgages are underwater The Atlantic Cities 
Gov. Beshear announces expansion, rebranding of state innovation network (there is an office in Covington) press release 
NKY Community Action Commission rekindles micro-enterprise development Soapbox Cincinnati 
NKU announces its Six at Six lecture series NKU 
From Rick Hulefeld, founder and executive director of Children, Inc:
There are exciting things happening at Children, Inc. The board of Visions Community Services, a United Way agency located in the West End neighborhood of Cincinnati, has voted to become part of Children, Inc. This merger will take effect on January 1st of 2013. It is important to know that in this merger, no one will lose their job and the program of Visions will continue as it has for the foreseeable future. We are excited about this opportunity because the unique strengths of Visions will allow Children, Inc. to explore some new and expanded services for the children and families we currently serve.

This is a union of two respected and collaborative agencies that have the best interests of young children at their core. Our partnership will allow for a broader, deeper impact across our community. The outstanding services that Visions has provided for the past 22 years complement the work of Children, Inc. Together we will provide comprehensive high-quality services for children and families in Greater Cincinnati.

Both agencies share a common history serving inner city children and families as well as teen moms. We are excited to welcome the Visions staff, teachers and administration into the Children, Inc. family and will keep you informed over the coming months as both agencies continue along this path.
The official website of the City of Louisville won first place at the Center for Digital Government's annual Best of the Web competition:
The Best of the Web awards recognize outstanding government portals and websites based on innovation, functionality and efficiency. Louisville’s website took the top prize for its focus on making city services and government widely available online.
In its 15th year, the Best of the Web awards recognize outstanding government portals and websites based on their innovations, functionality and efficiencies. Louisville has been entered in the awards since 2006. This is the city’s highest finish to date. The website finished 3rd in 2009.
Full story: Louisville.com 
So what makes Louisville's website so great? See for yourself by clicking here.
Covington, on the other hand, is in dire need of a new city website. Have you ever played on the Internet Way Back Machine? Click the link below and there will be some calendar dates that you can click on to see how little Covington's website has changed in the past EIGHT years. Plus, it's fun to look at what any website used to look like in the late nineties. Click Here 
A new website is supposed to be on the way for Covington. There have been hints that a new city website will be forthcoming as part of a new marketing and rebranding effort. Let's hope!
The Holmes Bulldogs welcome the Scott Eagles to campus tonight at 7:00. It's the first game of the season for Holmes while Scott is coming off an easy win over Lewis County. 
Holy Cross travels to Cooper for an 8:00PM game.
What are te top 10 NKY high school football games to see this year? NKY Fan 
Famous brands weren't always known for what they're known for now:
1. AvonDavid H. McConnell started Avon in 1886 without really meaning to. McConnell sold books door-to-door, but to lure in female customers he offered little gifts of perfume. Before long, the perfume McConnell was giving away had become more popular than the books he was selling, so he shifted focus and founded the California Perfume Company, which later became Avon.(snip)
15. Abercrombie & FitchWhen David Abercrombie founded the clothing store in 1892 in New York City, he wasn’t dreaming of clothing high school and college students everywhere. The store was originally a sporting goods shop and outfitter; Abercrombie even outfitted Charles Lindbergh for his famous flight across the Atlantic. The version Abercrombie & Fitch you see in your local mall started to come about after Limited Brands bought the company in 1988.
Read more: Mental Floss  

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