A raise for Lathan? Not surprising
To those who’ve watched the board of Peoria’s School District 150, it wasn’t a surprise when members approved an unusually lengthy and wealthy package for Superintendent Grenita Lathan. Despite a “no confidence vote” by teachers, financial problems, poor classroom performance, challenges with bus transportation, and no previous experience as a superintendent, the board handed Lathan a yearly wage and benefit package worth a reported $248,000 with increases over the next four years.
To put this extremely rich package in perspective, Harry Whitaker, who was district superintendent from 1974 to 1988, was paid $78,000 in his final year. In the minds of many, Ms. Lathan couldn’t carry Whitaker’s briefcase. But, don’t blame Ms. Lathan. She obviously is a terrific negotiator. Blame board members including one who three days before the board meeting acknowledged to the newspaper he had not read the benefit package or the gum-chewing former board president who has no management or administrative experience as is the case with others. They were no match for the former San Diego resident. It’s amazing how gratuitous some elected officials are with taxpayer money.
Compare the credentials of today’s board with those of Whitaker’s days. Back then the community was represented by people like Dr. Len Costa, Dr. Ed Glover, Betty Cleaver, attorney Espey Williamson and Ed Hoerr, who served as chairman of the board at Methodist Medical Center and was later named President of Beloit College.
Need I say more?
“Interesting People” is a half-hour program on WTVP-TV hosted by Peoria attorney Ed Sutkowski. A former Wisconsin University football player, Sutkowski has been doing radio and TV talk shows for close to ten years starting first on WOAM-AM. He’s very good at it too. Since he began on television several years ago, Ed has interviewed such “interesting people” as Hall of Fame jockey, John Rotz; All Big Ten Northwestern football player, Ed Sutter; former NFL coach, Mike Ditka; artist, Lonnie Stewart; famed pianist, Jim Brickman; the late General Wayne A. Downing, former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Special Forces; and many more; 66 personalities in all.
Royce Elliott and I were invited to be guests with Ed for his program that aired twice in June; 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14, and again at 4:30, Sunday, June 17, Father’s Day. We thank Ed and his outstanding PBS staff for not only the invitation, but the wonderful and laugh-filled time we had. The laughs abounded before, during and after the taping. You can see this program and any others aired previously by going to the PBS web site,www.wtvp.com.
It was a stunning victory not only for Governor Scott Walker and running mate Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch in the Wisconsin Recall Election, but for the entire country. It was the first time a gubernatorial recall election had ever been held for reasons other then alleged corruption or criminal behavior. It was the result of pure vengeful politics by liberal and radical elements of the Democrat Party. And they lost. Big time. Walker defeated the same opponent he beat some 18 months before and by a larger margin. It wasn’t even close as Walker held at one time a 13 point margin. Even the liberal media was stunned after predicting a “very, very close race.”
MAJOR GOOFS BY THE PRESIDENT(S)
As if the Wisconsin GOP victory was not enough for Republicans to rejoice, President Obama gave them something else to crow about. During a news conference (again) on the failing economy, he (wrongly) announced the private sector of the economy “is doing okay.” He was back-tracking on that false and erroneous statement for days.
And former President Bill Clinton didn’t help by stating that Obama should extend the Bush tax cuts and if he didn’t it would damage the economy further. Clinton and Obama spent more time trying to eat their words than Dan Quayle tried spelling potato.
It’s a shame that today you can’t believe anything said and/or reported by the national media. Countless books have been written documenting the outright lies by the media. MSNBC with Ralph Maddow and company are probably the worst with ABC close behind. ABC-TV reported that George Zimmerman had suffered no injuries in his struggle with Trayvon Martin. Later video clearly showed Zimmerman had a bloody head. NBC-TV broadcast an alleged 911 audio call from Zimmerman that later was revealed the network had “doctored” the recording. MSNBC, with Democrat activist news reporter Andrea Mitchell, broadcast a report of Republican George Romney at a grocery store talking about a unique vending machine. The report was found to have been “doctored” by the news department making Mitchell’s personal attack totally false. And remember when the national media and comedians panned President George H. Bush about comments he allegedly made about a grocery store scanner? Turns out that report, too, was “doctored.” His comments were actually made about a new and innovative scanner.
What was really disappointing on the local scene was the failure by WEEK-TV to give the Wisconsin election results the next day on its noon news. The union anchors completely ignored the story.
LOCAL MEDIA NOTES
Speaking of the local media, it seems personnel changes are taking place almost daily. At WMBD-TV, sports reporters have been coming and going with regularity; not sure why. WEEK-TV has a bevy of new, news reporters.
The day after the District 150 board gave its superintendent a nice salary, WMBD-TV made one of the funniest goofs I’ve ever seen. While the noon anchor read the report about the board meeting, the director ran video of the board with the inadvertent headline, “Rabbits Are Living Livestock.” I fell out of my chair laughing.
Rush Limbaugh fans in the local area get angry when WMBD radio dumps his program in favor of St. Louis Cardinal day games. But, Limbaugh can be clearly heard in Peoria and central Illinois at 890 on the radio, Chicago’s WLS. As a matter of fact, you can hear the conservative’s program from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. on WMT out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at 600 on the AM dial.
Recently, satellite radio was made available on certain car radios for a no charge trial period. All kinds of programming could be heard with a spin of the dial from sports news to a variety of music. It was amazing.
However, I enjoy commercial radio. I like local personalities and voices. To me, satellite radio is sterile in its appeal. I would rather slip in my own CDs than listen to someone broadcasting from Dallas or New York.
FAREWELL MARY HAYNES
Peoria City Clerk Mary Haynes was honored for 27 years of service at a retirement reception in City Hall. She was first elected in 1985, the first female to hold the office. She served longer in that post than any other. Mary was also active in many community causes and programs. We wish her well.
METHODISTS STUFF LIBERAL CAUSES
The United Methodist Church recently concluded its General Conference in Tampa, Florida. At every meeting liberal clergy and others attempt to change the church’s stance on such issues as same sex unions and gay clergy.
The global 12 million member United Methodist Church, the 9th largest communion, once again refused to alter its official disapproval of homosexual practice unlike the Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. According to “UM Action,” a Methodist newsletter, “United Methodism, unlike these other historic denominations that once dominated American religion and liberalized in the early 20th century, is now a growing church and has a record number of members.” While the U.S. Methodist Church is losing about 100,000 members a year, the African church is gaining 200,000 annually. 61% of the Methodist delegates supported the church’s opposition to homosexual practices.
It seems female politicians lately are behaving rather strangely. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she could’ve arrested Republican Karl Rove many times and had him placed in prison. If that wasn’t crazy enough, she later went before cameras and announced the House Committee seeking documents from the embattled Eric Holder, Attorney General, was nothing more than a Republican conspiracy to suppress voters in the November election.
If you think Pelosi’s behavior is strange, Florida’s State’s Attorney Angela Corey, might be one up on her. Well-known liberal Alan M. Dershowitz criticized Corey for the way she handled the Zimmerman-Martin submission of evidence. Dershowitz said Corey withheld key evidence favorable to Zimmerman. That ticked off Corey who called the Harvard Law School where Dershowitz teaches demanding that he be fired. During her 40 minute phone tirade, she threatened to sue the school and Dershowitz for libel and slander. Crazy.
It’s no secret Mayor Jim Ardis is a Republican. And it’s no secret Ardis has no problem supporting Democrats. That’s why it was no surprise that the Mayor hosted a fund-raiser Thursday, June 21, at Weaver Ridge for Democrat Jerry Brady who was appointed to replace Kevin Lyons when he left to become a judge.
Could someone explain why the Supreme Court had to wait weeks before announcing whether Obamacare was illegal? 43 states filed legal briefs opposing the Obama health plan, some after the Court secretly voted. Meanwhile, the Court issued rulings on other questions. It makes no sense to have such a foolish delay. I also wonder why one of the justices did not recuse herself since she helped craft the health plan for the Obama administration.
QUOTES OF THE MONTH
“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” – Erma Bombeck
“May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country.” —Daniel Webster
HAPPY JULY 4TH!