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09 March 2013

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Russ Steele

The Nevada City Elementary Schools have a Tech Plan and have computer labs in the their schools, but this may be the problem:

Approximately 50% of staff responded to a technology survey in the Spring of 2011. Rated on a scale of 1-5, 1 being low proficiency, 5 being expert almost all respondents rated themselves at an average of 2 on the scale with regards to general software such as email, Microsoft Word, PowerSchool etc. 30% of respondents preferred one-to-one training only, 18% of respondents preferred group training only, 52% were willing to use some form of electronic training such as videos or WebEx in addition to Group and one-to-one.

31% of respondents prefer technology training to be offered during the school day only, 26%
preferred after school only, 21% preferred during the school day or after school, while the rest
preferred some combination of the above or evening/weekend offerings. Only one respondent
wanted technology training on an in-service day only.

Interviews with staff indicated that most would like to use more technology resources in
teaching, but they felt limited by several factors:
• An overwhelming emphasis on teaching academic content and maintaining or raising test
scores;
• Wanting even more than 10 hours of on-site training time to acquire needed knowledge and
skills, and to do the planning required to integrate technology into current curriculum;
• Insufficient knowledge of software applications and web sites specifically related to teaching
California Content Standards. Since little time is available for one-on-one training teachers feel
that they cannot devote any time to learning technology skills however, these skills could
increase their productivity.

The teachers admit they do not know how to use the technology. There is lot of emphasis on how to use the Internet safely in the plan, which is good, but not much emphasis on using the tools, writing with Word and calculating with Excel. If the teachers do not have the expertise to use the technology tools, how will the students ever lean the power of these tools in their future. Those who can use Word and Excel have a leg up in the job market. By 8th grade they should have mastered familiarity with these two tools.

Steve Enos

STEM should be the focus and core of our education along with "votech" options.

Here's a good piece on municipal bankruptcy as a tool to address unfunded pension costs and some other issues. I provided this under another story, but it fits here. It's worth the read. The story covers LA and their explosion in pension costs:

http://www.governing.com/topics/finance/gov-bword-stigma-municipal-bankruptcy-going-away.html

George Rebane

SteveE 1012am - Do you have any idea why the Left finds antithetical the notion that aggressive private sector growth is the ONLY way out of the financial mess we find ourselves in (both California and the nation)?

Steve Frisch

The "Left" as you so characteristically labeled it monolithically, does not find the notion of 'private sector growth' is antithetical; The difference of opinion is largely over HOW we stimulate and support private sector growth, and whether it is 'the only way' out of our 'financial mess'. I will note however that California's economy is significnatly picking up, employment is on the rise, advance manufacturing, foreign trade, tech, and bio-medical industries are booming, and we are even increasing service secotr jobs.

Walt

Doc.. We have seen how local Lefties handle needed "private sector" growth.
If it isn't a head shop, hydroponic supply, or general tourist trap, ( and with less than ten employees) They are not interested and do they best to keep that company out'a here.
BTW,, has GV recouped the loan from the "high tech" shop that was paid to move here? (If they are even still in business.)

Maybe Enos can shed some light on that.


If they county had a lick of sense, they would find a place for a world class shooting facility. Just think of the outside income from that! Just think of the tourism that would be generated. Good shooters travel far and wide for a great place to shoot. NRA shooting competitions bring in good money to the local communities.
Heck.. Maybe someone with a good parcel of land in the right spot, looking to make a buck, would consider building one.

From what I have found (or haven't) there isn't a good 500 yard+ range anywhere near here.

We have plenty of great shooters right here looking for a safe(er) place to shoot.

Paul Emery

Walt
Walt

Here's a great idea. Let's make it a tank range. The first in the country. You can fire up the neighborhood tanks and blast away at surplus government vehicles for added realism and practice for the big day.

I'm sure if we had tanks in every neighborhood like you prefer the cost of ammo would go down. Capitalism you know. We can also have grenade pits and why not rent a drone options. I'm sure you feel that the 2nd Amendment entitles us to personal drones. Nukes would be restricted because of space limitations. You'd have to go to Nevada or the Pacific to practice those

George Rebane

SteveF 1055am - No such antithetical claim. I attempted to emphasize the conditional ONLY by putting it in all caps. And, of course, I agree that the Left does have a place for the private sector, and even for its growth. But could you also review for us why you may disagree with my use of "aggressive" and "ONLY"?

BTW, the real indicator of Calfornia's resumption of adequate (not aggressive, and most certainly not feeble) growth is when Moonbeam and his merry morons stop making tax hikes their job one.

PaulE 1203pm - Walt makes a valid point as any Nevada County shooter will testify. Your little fun time with tanks, the ownership of which was brought up in another context, doesn't elevate the discussion. BTW, even if you allowed widespread ownership of tracked combat vehicles, no one could afford to do much with them, except keep them for display purposes. Every jurisdiction bills the owner of vehicles which damage roadways and other infrastructure; and you can bet your last tax dollar that tracked vehicles do a serious number on pavements and bridges.

Steve Enos

Walt... I don't know of any Grass Valley City loans to a high tech compamy but I do know the City loaned a fair amount of money to Goomba's Restaurant a while back to do their expansion. Do you have any facts/info regarding the GV high tech loan you talked about?

And local "lefties" in business? Think again as the most sucsessful and most money making business person in Nevada County is a big "lefty"... that being Mr. Michael Funk.

"Gunsight" is in AZ for a reason. Year round weather and flat, cheap land. Can't wait to see what the lines at Miwall look like this Father's Day. I hope they do not advertise this year... no need to considering.

Scott Obermuller

Steve E - Funk tried to work with the local govt to consolidate and expand his business here in Nevada County and ended up having to continue making money in another county. He is successful and wealthy. I'll believe he's a lefty when I see that he has voluntarily paid those high state and fed taxes that lefties say they want to pay. When it comes time for the left to actually reach into their own pocket and give money to the govt, the rhetoric doesn't quite match the actions.

Paul E - Drones are just UAV's. They are not illegal for a person to own. Folks have been flying them for decades. Are you referring to weapons on a privately owned drone? Now that is a good question. Would a black powder 50 caliber rifle on a privately owned drone be illegal? How about a shot gun on a drone? You could fly it over to Biden's front door and follow his sage advice.

Bill Tozer

Concerning LA and other California municipalities in deep doo-doo:

Been following the bond market for a few years now. LA is having trouble finding buyers (lenders) for their bonds (IOUs) as well as other CA cities. It is getting more expensive for our cities to borrow money, which mean less goes to the city and more goes to interest. LA almost was unable to find suckers...er...buyers of their bonds a couple of years ago and had a mega crisis going on behind the scenes when nobody wanted to buy what they were peddling. Moodys has given ample warnings that it will downgrade many cities and school districts and special districts, namely most all of them in California, lol. It looks like the can they have been kicking is being kicked back straight at them.

In the current atmosphere to scorn success and punish the rich, the Obama Administration is once again proposing the elimination of tax free municipal bonds. After all, only greedy shameless wealthy folk buy tax free bonds to escape paying their fair share. Scum of the earth tax invaders like teachers' pension funds, old widow pensioners themselves, and those looking for safety. That will really help our cities get financing on the open bond market, NOT!

Why does this rumor about Uncle Sam looking at our 401ks as a source to gobble up...er...seize and pay ya back with interest.... keep coming up again and again lately? One thing that drives a lib more batty than rick folk is having a pile of money sitting around that they haven't been able to get their hands on. All that money sitting in 401ks is unfair! Greedy people stashing money away little by little year after year for their selfish retirement when we have so many people starving to death daily on every street corner in America. All that money could be used to hire more IRS agents.

Russ Steele

StevenF@10:55AM

The California economy maybe improving, but at the rate it is improving it will be 2016 before it is in full recovery. On the other hand, Nevada County is not participating in the recovery. I got the latest issue of Nevada County Business News today and the Top 50 Employers Survey indicates in the last 6 month, employment is down by 99, from 4909 to 4810. The big losers were Raw Materials (-79) and Food Beverage and Accommodations(-22), Manufacturing/Construction was down 20. In Jan of 2008 Nevada County’s Top 50 employed 5400 and by July of 2008 approaching 5600. And, it has been all downhill since the election in 2008. I wonder why?

Bill Tozer

Nationally, construction and manufacturing took the biggest hit of The Great Recession that we have been told ended over two years ago. Those industries took a 60% drop in employment. Thank goodness that is over, Our rebounding economy has gained 22% of the workers in those industries back. Roll out the barrels, Happy Days are here again.

Steve Enos

Scott... the real reason People's Mt. Warehouse moved to Auburn was location, location, location to major road transportation (Highway 80) and getting below the winter snow. A MAJOR distribution business like PMW that served the entire USA and beyond, one that relies on roads can’t work in Grass Valley, it's really that simple. After PMW was moved to Auburn it was sold and merged and their BIG facility in Auburn, at the airport was closed and it's been empty and for lease ever since. The second move was also a result of their business growth and the need for an even better location for that type of MAJOR distribution business/center.

If you don't think Mr. Funk is a “BIG lefty" as defined by most folks here you ask George or Todd. As an example, Mr. Funk provided 1 Million dollars to start the Sierra Fund and he donated another 100K to Sierra Fund a couple of years ago. Mr. Funk is a wonderful man and he and his family do much seen and unseen for our community and far beyond. His efforts about GMO foods and GMO education is just one example of his "lefty" ways. I'm sure George can back me up that most here would consider Mr. Funk a "BIG Lefty" as defined by this blog. Mr. Funk and his family are caring folks that contribute much far and wide, wonderful, local “lefty’s” as defined here.

Russ Steele

Our local liberal have mention the influence of the Koch Brothers multiple times, but I cannot recall any mention the the Tides Foundation a very left wing organization. . Here is some insight:

Here’s a couple of data points that bear serious thought this week by transparency advocates celebrating Sunshine Week and by everybody else who cares about protecting and preserving a free and independent press:
1,130 – Number of results for search term “Koch Brothers” on The New York Times web site. 64 – Number of results for search term “The Tides Foundation” on The New York Times web site.

For the few stray souls out there who don’t know, the Koch Brothers are Charles and David, principals of the Koch corporate conglomerate and chief bete noirs of President Obama, liberal journalists covering national politics and Citizens United obsessives everywhere.

It’s equally certain that few reading this post know anything at all about the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation, even though its roots go deep into the radical student movement of the 1960s and it has helped fund or startup virtually every significant liberal, progressive and radical cause in the years since. . . . Consider these numbers, derived from multiple searches of foundation grant databases, IRS Form 990s and other public records:

Three Koch foundations made a total of 181 grants worth $25,405,525 in 2010 (most recent available records). The one Tides Foundation made a total of 2,627 grants worth $143,529,590 in 2010.

Put otherwise, for every one grant made by a Koch foundation, Tides made more than five grants.

So, why have we not heard about the influence of the Tides Foundation? Oh!

TheMikeyMcD

And it just hit the fan (again). Imagine the implications as ALL municipalities have and continue to understate their liabilitiies to bond holders....

"The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed securities fraud charges against the Illinois state government, charging that the state defrauded investors by not giving them proper information about its pension funds."


http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/11/news/economy/illinois-fraud-sec/

George Rebane

MikeyMcD 1022am - Exactly. That is a tsunami of megafraud that has been going on for some years. Perhaps a note to the Nevada County BoS is in order here. Good call.

Walt

Now that I got my computer back from the Grand kids that where here over the weekend.
OK Steve E.,, Selective memory loss isn't going to fly with me.
You know full well what I was referring too. GV "loaned" about a million bucks
to drag (relocate) some " high tech" outfit here in the heat of the IMM tar and feathering. As I recall,, you were all for that expenditure. What was it? all of 12 or 15 jobs worth? Excuse me if I forget the name of the Co.

Steve Enos

Sorry Walt no go.

You raised the issue and made a claim above about some GV loan to a high tech company. I served on the City Council in GV and I can't find ANY info about such a loan, big or small provided to bring a high tech to GV. But I did raise the issue of a City loan to Goomba's to expand. How do you feel about that City loan to a provate business?

You made a claim and you can't provided any facts or information about your claim. Again I know of no such loan made by the City of Grass Valley. Provide facts to back your claim or eat your words.

Walt

So your claiming deniability because The Union's archives are no longer available? Hell! Just type in "IMM" into The Union search spot and see what comes up... ( Nuttn'... I will save you the trouble)
You would think even that would have a story pop up. No wonder I didn't re up my subscription.
If I had the time to go into the Unions morgue and dig up the info I would.
Hell.. If I did, and found the story, you would still deny saying anything about it.

And speaking of your handiwork with the city,, I notice two buildings that "someone" demanded being built after the fact, that held up a project for well over a year are still unoccupied. ( Walgreens)

And that roundyround you love so much is sure an eyesore. See all the contamination running down the thing?

George Rebane

Walt 1046am - Administrivia: your launch into a response to an unknown commenter kinda isolates your own good words. The reader has to be real interested in the comment thread to try to dig out who your "your" is referring to, and what is the topic being pursued. Most of these comment streams are made up of multiple active comment threads that are interwoven in the stream. To bring more readers along, please use some unambiguous referent convention (e.g. like mine or make up your own) to point to the preceding remark to which you are responding. BTW, you're not the only one doing this, I'm just picking on you ;-)

Steve Enos

Walt you are lost. Let's review:

I posted 09 March 2013 at 10:12 AM supporting George's thoughts on STEM education. I also posted and linked to a good story about municipal bankruptcy and unfunded public pensions, also supporting George's thoughts on this issue and both on topic.

Then you post... "has GV recouped the loan from the "high tech" shop that was paid to move here? (If they are even still in business.) Maybe Enos can shed some light on that".

I responded to your question and provided a rational, factual response. You responded with a rant that offers no facts and you made claims about what "I know".

Your ranting post was... "OK Steve E.,, Selective memory loss isn't going to fly with me. You know full well what I was referring too. GV "loaned" about a million bucks to drag (relocate) some " high tech" outfit here in the heat of the IMM tar and feathering. As I recall,, you were all for that expenditure. What was it? all of 12 or 15 jobs worth? Excuse me if I forget the name of the Co."

I respond to you under "11 March 2013 at 04:42 PM" and asked you for some info about your claim about some loan that you say the City made.

And your response was another factless rant... "So your claiming deniability because The Union's archives are no longer available?... "If I did, and found the story, you would still deny saying anything about it."

And then you go off on another personal attack, off topic rant about the roundabout and Walgreens.

Walt... try to stay rational, factual and on topic. Please stop trying to claim what I know and don't know or think. Speak for yourself and what you think. When making claims like the one you made about some big loan you say the City made to a high tech be able to offer some facts regarding your claim.

And once again Walt... You made a claim and you can't provided any facts or information about your claim. Again I know of no such loan made by the City of Grass Valley. Provide facts to back your claim or eat your words.


Walt

Steve. I happen to have a pretty good memory of things that went down over the years. Especially where local Liberalism comes into play. ( BTW,, is there more than one Steve E.?) Yes,, G.V. bribed a company to come here.Med. device maker if I'm correct?( in the form of a loan of close to 1MIL.) Probably the 1MIL IMM gave the city as an extortion payment..Excuse me... "fees"... And a certain demographic pipes up,, " see? We don't need a mine. We got 25 jobs to show up." And 20 came with the Co. when they moved.

Yes it's a little difficult "to show proof", when our local information center ( The Union archives)are no longer operational. So let the denying continue.

And since you want to play that game, I may just have to call your bluff
and make a trip to the archives myself and do what I do best. Dig for the gold.

The real question is what YOUR response will be when I find it.
Probably along the lines of " OK,, so you found it. So what? At least I got you to waste a few hours of your time." It wouldn't be the first time I did, just to prove a point. It would be worth it just to force feed ya' some crow.

Sorry Doc,, I should have named Steve right out of the box. But he figured it out. ( despite the selective memory loss) You can pick on me at any time.( I'm a big boy. I can hack it..)
I was up at your clubs shooting range on Sun., and I guess it was your day off as range master. I gave my name to the gentleman that had the job that day, and volunteered my services to help out with the upgrades that are going on.
( free of charge of course)
If the small fee that the club charges in more than nice. So I figure a day or two of my time to help with the upgrades is more than worth it.
Like I told the gent at the Sportsman's club,, "supply the small tractor, and just tell me what ya' want done."

Steve Enos

Walt, please try to have an adult conservation.

Walt, I'll be awaiting your facts about some 1M dollar loan you say the City of Grass Valley made to get some high tech company to move here. I know of no such effort or loan made by the City of Grass Valley as you claim.

There are more sources for past information than The Union. Can you find anything on the world wide web about this City provided 1M loan? I would think The Union would not have been the lone reporter of something this large.

You keep making the claim the City loaned 1M to some high tech company to get them to move here. Here's an idea.... call the GV City Manager and ask him if the City ever made some million dollar loan to get a high tech company here. Ask him if the City has ever made any loan, large or small to get a high tech to move here.

Dan Holler is the City Manager, his phone number is 530-274-4312. Mr. Holler can help you with your quest for the truth vs. your "memory of things". The City Council would have reviewed and approved any such loan. You can review past GV City Council agendas back to 2005 on line at the City of Grass Valley website:

http://www.cityofgrassvalley.com/cgi-bin/bbu/B040/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topics&forum=City+Council&number=9&DaysPrune=1000&LastLogin=

I do know about other loans the City made like the one to Goomba's to expand. How do you feel about that loan of public money?

George... sure is hard to have an adult, on topic discussion here some days. So much for trying to comment on the topic at hand. And again, I agree with you that unfunded public pension costs are likely to be the death of some muni's. The facts in the story I posted above about this are more than a little disturbing.

Steve Enos

Walt, any news yet on that 1M loan you say the City of Grass Valley gave to some high tech company to get them to move here?

waly, did you give Grass Valley City Manger Dan Holler a call? I provided his phone number for you above. I'm sure the City Manger would know about a 1M loan the City made to some high tech company to move here,

Walt, you made a number of claims and statements like... "G.V. bribed a company to come here... in the form of a loan of close to 1MIL". Walt, you also made a number of statements about me in your posts above.

I'm looking forward to your response about the 1M City of Grass Valley loan you say took place as I have no knowledge of such a thing. I do know about a number of RDA loans the City made, like the one to Goomba's to expand on Colfax Ave.

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