Bared Baron


Now that everyone has had time to think about my post earlier this week regarding a WISD land deal facilitated by the WEDC, it is probably time to add a little salt to that injurious wound.

It would seem, that a serious conflict of interest exists with regard to this property. You see, the squeeky clean Mitch Herzog is at the heap of this dog pile this time.  Mr. Herzog serves on the Wylie Economic Development Board (WEDC) as well as serves as a Trustee on the Wylie ISD Board of Education.  How's that a conflict, you ask? 

Perhaps readers should be enlightened as to who Mr. Mitch Herzog is emplyed by.  He is employed by none other than another of Wylie's land barons, Mr. Richard Parker.  You remember him.  He's the dude that purchased the actual 3.99 acre "useless piece of land that is +/- 1.5 acres" as misrepresented by the WEDC to WISD. 

I don't give a fracking fart in a windstorm if Mr. Herzog excused himself from any and all of the votes on this deal, it smells worse than chicken turds on a chicken farm.

Why the hell did the Superintendent, Dr. David Vinson and the newly deigned Bobbleheads, the Trustees, allow the sale of a piece of land to one of their own Trustees' employers?  Do they not know that ultimately Mr. Herzog benefits from the sale of this land, especially when it is developed?  What the hell is going on around here? 

Oh, I'm sure the WEDC did this all legal-like, they seem to be good at staying just barely passable under the radar, exept for that one time they were called out for holding secret meetings and they got in trouble for it.  I'm sure they buried an advertisement in a newspaper offering it for sale, to which nobody without X-ray glasses could read.  Somehow, miraculously, only Mr. Parker placed a bid.  Well, of course.  It really chaps me that the WEDC purposely holds their meetings at 6 freaking thirty in the morning, like who the feck is going to be up at that hour other than those who want to hide something.

I'm sure that if Herzog benefitted from the sale, it really doesn't matter because it is negligible and the paper trail stops there because like the City Council, I am certain the Trustees are allowed a certain negligible amount of profit from sitting in their positions. Once the deal is done, his culpability is over, even if for example, the land is sold off as part of the larger piece and he makes a million dollar commission on it.  

Sad.  I think it's time for the WISD Trustees to slap the glazed look out of their eyes and stop pledging eternal love and companionship with the Superintendent and other City Leaders.  It's time the WEDC be slapped for completely misrepresenting a 3.99 acre tract of land as  +/- 1.5 acres, knowing full well how dirty the whole deal looks.  It's time for Wylie's citizens to slap themselves for putting these people in office.  We need to wake the hell up and begin holding these people accountable or they will continue behaving in the manner they do.

Election Deflection


Something stuck in my craw yesterday.  In my Wylie News was an article on the happenings with the WISD school board and under the section about elections, it was stated that the President of the school board, Stacie Gooch, announced there wouldn’t be any election this year because Trustees Lance Goff, Barbara Goss, and herself were unopposed. 

Now hold on there, little doggie.  Every year before election season, there is a notice in the Wylie News that applications can be picked up for the various seats.  Now I realize that our unwise and not so wonderful State Senate decided some time ago that they would fudge around with elections and they forced our little Podunk elections to be held in conjunction with some other larger more important entity, such as the County. 

It was at this time the WISD Trustees voted to hold their elections with Collin County and our City Council voted to hold their elections with Rockwall County . Rockwall County elections were being held in May, which is why we all ran, and not walked, to vote for our City Council.  Collin County is holding their elections in November, so it was decided by the Trustees that they would hold out on a couple seats just a tad longer to make it to November.  No biggie, that made sense.

What is disturbing, however, is that I don’t recall seeing any hoopla about running for the school board.  Now I must admit, I don’t pay attention to the entire school dribble in the newspaper because frankly, it bores me.  I mean, these trustees are really not quite as titillating as the City Council.  Also, I don’t pay much mind any longer because I only have 2 more years of the infliction called WISD and then my kids are so outta there.

Lacking any real hoopla about an election, I would have expected to see it in this paper or the next.  I mean, in the past you have to toss your hat in the ring somewhere about 2 months before the actual election.  So how did WISD pass this one off without any notice?  I actually do read the emails I get from the district, and I don’t recall seeing any announcement.

I find this scenario very disturbing that it is announced publicly on August 29, 2012 that no election will be held November 6, 2012.  There is certainly nothing about it on the WISD webpage.  Are they foshizzle?

Holy Shrieking Schizballs


I happened upon some interesting information over the weekend.  I was looking up meeting minutes on the Wylie Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Sam Satterwhite’s boffo annual bonus of 12.5%, and I stumbled upon a set of meeting minutes dated 4.27.12 that caught my attention. 

In these WEDC minutes, Executive Director, Sam Satterwhite had discussed a property labeled as “WISD 1.5 Acre Tract” owned by Wylie ISD.  It stated that a Mr. Parker had been the sole bid to purchase this piece of land. 

Piquing my interest, I then found the WEDC meeting minutes dated 2.17.12 stating it was attached to 33 acres owned by Parker/Scholz on FM 544.

Then I found the WEDC meeting minutes dated 9.15.11 where the land was discussed in Item #5 whereby WEDC board member Mitch Herzog excused himself because he is also a WISD Trustee and incredibly, because of his “relationship with Richard Parker Real Estate.”  Hmmmmm this just keeps getting better.   The minutes went on to state that the land was of no use to Wylie ISD should Mr. Parker begin developing his land.  The WEDC voted in favor of spending up to $2800 for the survey and appraisal.

The WISD minutes from 4.16.12 authorize sale of real property.  In an information request I made to Marcia Coker at Wylie ISD, I discovered that the sale price was $28,100. 

Upon further inspection, I found out the property in question is located on FM 544 and is actually 3.99 acres according to the Collin County CAD tax assessment. Holy fuzzy schizballs, you mean to tell me 3.99 acres equals plus or minus 1.5 acres according to the world of  WEDC?

Do you mean to tell me that 3.99 acres sold for a paltry $28,100?  WTF?  Holy crap, I’m in the wrong business.

Talk about your sweet deal.  I decided to check a little further into this dude that purchased the land in question.  I’m guessing he is one of the good ole’ boys in Wylie, who has been buying up land all over the place.  His name is Robert Richard Parker and he is listed as an officer in Parker/Scholz Properties, Ltd. In fact, this guy has land all over FM 544 , including a nifty little property owned by another one of his companies called Parkarosa.  Well at least he has a sense of humor. 

I wonder how he stumbled upon this sweet land deal and why WEDC Executive Director Sam Satterwhite was acting on his behalf?  Why the hell would almost 4 acres of land, which was misrepresented to WISD by the WEDC as +- 1.5 acres on FM 544, sell for so cheap? My opinion is that this whole deal screams dirty schizballs and I am saddened that it would appear WISD was hosed in the deal.

Wylieland's WEDC

I don’t know about you, but something smells funny in Wylieland.  When Wylie City Council asked City Manager Mindy Manson to find a 5% permanent raise for all City of Wylie employees, it was suggested by "staff", or in other words Manson to the Wylie Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) board that their administrative assistant receive the same increase as City employees.

Even though later that 5% was reduced to 2.5%, it was decided that the WEDC administrative assistant  would get to  keep the rate at 5%, even though the City employees would not get that rate, because, after all, she was so useful to the WEDC.  Give me a break.   

Oh, I like Gerry and all, she is a lovely and quite beautiful lady, but isn’t that special of the City "staff" and the WEDC board folks to give the finger to the City employees and their measly 2.5% raise and make the executive decision that one person deserves more money than the others because she belongs to some sort of “elite” organization within Wylie?  Do the City employees not work as hard as Gerry or are they not as useful as Gerry? 

Then to add insult to injury, wouldn’t you think that in Executive Director Sam Satterwhite’s annual review that he would be held to the 2.5% or at least the 5% since he is, in all actuality, a City of Wylie employee?  Nope.  


Interestingly enough, Satterwhite's increase was painted with yet another brushstroke altogether and he was actually authorized a 12.5% bonus.  Well I guess the WEDC can get away with that since it isn’t a permanent raise and all.  The double standards are amazing. 

How insulting is it to Gerry, the WEDC assistant who is the life-blood of the WEDC to watch her boss get 12.5% when she only gets 5%.  Satterwhite was also bestowed an annual physical at the esteemed Cooper Clinic to be paid for in full by the WEDC.  Nice. 

So at this point, after you have all picked yourselves up from the floor, my estimate is that the WEDC board gave Sam Satterwhite about a $20K bonus of taxpayer funds.  Nice, huh? Now if I were a lowly City employee, I would be some serious pissed right about now. 

The equality within Wylie is truly a sight to behold.  Almost better than Disney, isn’t it?

All this fun can be found in the telling WEDC meeting minutes here:  



Enforcing the Unenforceable

Perhaps I draw upon this fighting spirit from my anarchist, punk rock college days of yore.  I mean, you don’t get much more anti-establishment, eff-you, in your face, than when you are sporting a Mohawk, black makeup, multi-colored hair, and multiple safety pin piercings. Yes, I was known to wear dog collars, my grandmother’s rubber rain booties over kitten heels, and shocking white tights.  My hair was red, blue, green, and black, sometimes all at the same time.  Now that you know, you are not surprised, are you?  The crazy thing is, as an adult and a staunch conservative, I have no trouble admitting to my wild past.  Why should I?  I have witnessed and lived and learned early on that I did not have to give up conservative values for individual style, or whatever you call it.  To be honest, it wasn’t so much style as it was a means to overcome the quiet, shy, goody two shoes I felt I had to be as a youngster.  It was a way to not only yell to the world, but to scream, “I exist.”   The stories are a great source of embarrassment for my conservative husband, but because of my history I know what I will and will not accept in my life.  I cannot accept the homogenization and lack of creativity that socialism ultimately brings. Conversely, I cannot accept the perverse anarchist stance either.

It is pretty likely that my past, which screams don’t box me in, causes me to bristle when I see basic liberties being encroached upon.  I find it amazing that when our liberties are taken away from us very slowly over time, and rules and regulations creep on us in the form of some fictitious “help”, that we accept these changes as a new normal.  We often lie down complacently and let people make decisions for us rather than hold those decision-makers accountable and ask them to explain themselves.  We do this unwittingly because we didn’t see this large, ominous black cloud labeled “change” blow in.  Rather, it showed up like a soft mist and slowly gathered more steam until it became a heavy dangling piece of scud overhead. 

Often these “changes” are wrapped up and packaged as if they are good for us.  You know, as if we somehow need protection from ourselves because we are just too stupid to police our own lives.  I disagree vehemently that we need a nanny state guarding us from ourselves, and I disagree vehemently that we need a nanny state taking care of our needs as well.  We are.  We exist.  We are perfectly capable of taking care of our own needs rather than becoming a burden to each other.  I am often reminded of that motivational speaker missing arms and legs, who makes us all feel shameful for wallowing in our own self-pity, for he lives a life of hope. 

An example of covert loss of our liberty, is the liberty-raping idea called the WISD Standardized Dress Code.  I lament this topic again, though it has been in place since the 2005-2006 school year, because it has been a thorn in my side and every year that passes since.  To be honest, the enforcement of it pissed me off but also the continual change away from it really pisses me off to no end.  I can say without any hesitation, “I told you so.”  I was against it from the very beginning.  I wrote to the newspaper about it.  I wrote to the superintendent about it.  I tried to get the WISD trustees to see the error of their ways.  My arguments were right because with every passing year, this code has been dumbed down further and further.    

Like sending in the clowns, the WISD trustees donned their cheerleading outfits and siss-boom-bahed their way into our homes , taking over our parental decision making powers.  They packaged the change with awe-inspiring phrases like the preposterous, “Don’t the students look so much better?” Um, no.  The girls still wear shirts so damn tight you can see the outline of their freaking nipples, and the boys still show their plumber butt, hidden by a hoodie.  There was the statement, “The students will focus on their studies and not their clothes.”  OH-EM-GEE, look around you as the students shop, dye their hair, and apply gobs of thick black eyeliner, making them look like 13 year old streetwalkers reminiscent of the Pretty Baby years.  What moron bought the statement that the students will not focus on their clothes?  They certainly haven’t been living with teenagers, have they?  Then there was, “Oh it will be cheaper to buy than the expensive clothes the students are wearing.” Evidently those people never went shopping at Holister to buy their ever popular polo.   Trustees went on to use the scaremongering statement, “Lookie, we won’t have any gangs anymore.”  As if.  I heard the completely asinine, “They will learn how to dress when they get older.” Ya, as their parents walk into Wally World in pajama bottoms.  Like standardized dress will help.  Finally there was my personal favorite, the ever twisted socialist, “Everyone will look the same and kids won’t feel left out because they can’t afford what the other kids have.”  Oh hells no, where do I start with that flaming liberal statement? 

The WISD trustees and administration came into our homes and made off with our liberties, and parents stood idly aside and handed it over because, well, I suppose the obvious premise must have been that these good Christian conservative peeps all over Wylie thought, “These people should know better than we do how to raise our children, I mean, they are after all degreed experts.”  Uh, right.  Rather than use what would seem to be common sense by strictly enforcing the dress code that was already in place, administrators allowed the students to run completely amok to prove some sort of point.  Girls were coming in with midriff baring tops, and boys were coming in with pants on the floor.  Who the hell was in charge?  Certainly it wasn’t the administrators, and frankly policing student dress should not be a teacher’s responsibility.  The administrators lost control and clearly had no idea how to gain it back.  In fact, I’ll take the sentiment a step further and propose that the trustees purposely used the lack of administrator enforcement to beat down the parents, step into the nanny role, and ultimately take over our decision making process. 

The parents, God love them for their ignorance in the matters of socialism at the time, let them do it because they were scared at all the talk of gangs.  Recall at the time that we had a conservative in the White House and had not yet been properly schooled in the socialist way that Obama has enlightened us with.  The parents, the boobs, went along with the idea without truly thinking this through, and another liberty bit the dust when it all finally settled.  Another governing body stepped into our closets and made the daily decision for us as to what our students can wear. 

So who can we thank for this unfortunate misstep by WISD?  To be honest, I have no idea who first proposed the hair-brained idea.  Probably some weak as water school administrator who had no clue how to enforce a dress code because they were too busy trying to look “cool” to the students.  We now have a principal that writes and talks like he is 14 just so he can be friends with everyone.  Let me know how that one turns out. 

However this massive acceptance of a socialist idea occurred, the consequence of uniforms, or standardized dress which is the favored term used by WISD in order to get away with it without taking it to vote, is that the students were homogenized.  Or were they? 

I agree that there are some seriously misguided parents in Wylie who should have kept it zipped in the first place. These morons let their children do what they please and the rest of us are punished for the stupidity of a few.  The majority must pay for the mistakes of the minority because those in charge are too afraid they may be trampling the minorities’ liberties but rather, they end up stomping on everyone’s.  Believe it or not, there are far more parents in Wylie who are perfectly capable of parenting their children, but you wouldn’t know it from the way WISD trampled us in the name of standardized dress. 

I like to use a phrase from Thomas Jefferson, “When the government is afraid of the people, there is liberty.  When the people are afraid of the government, there is tyranny.”  Though it is not an exact quote because I updated it to make sense in the use of the English language as we know it now, it should be a rule of thumb.  People are afraid to stand up against their government and tell them, “Hey, you work for us, not the other way around.”  Rather, people stand in the shadows and sulk about the activities, saying and doing nothing to stop it.  It has been the way of the American people for as long as I’ve been on this earth.  As long as the activities of our government do not sway too far left or right from the fulcrum, people don’t seem to get overly grumbly about it.  Only when perceived rights are being trampled, or some other catalyst pushes the American people over the edge such as September 11th, and forced nationalized healthcare, do we see the American spirit come out swinging, or at the very least, conspire to erode what is wrong.

There is an erosion taking place with regard to the dress code.  Even our principals are changing the rules by allowing far more than the allowed “jeans” days than originally penned by the collective fingers of God, or what our then Trustees liked to think they were. 

Each school seems to be doing their own thing now.  Where once only white, black, maroon, or grey hoodless and zipperless sweatshirts were allowed, now just about anything can be worn at some schools, including hoods, stripes, and patterns.  Where once no rivets were allowed on pants and many a pant were ruined by ripping rivets out of them, they are allowed now.  Where once no carpenter pants were allowed, that rule has been abolished as well.  Where once, only white socks were allowed, now students wear whatever socks they want, even mismatched.  Where once high school badges had to be worn, now they simply have to be on the student’s person.  Do you see a clear path to erosion here?  The more the parents and students push back, the more the “change” is accepted.  You see, change is a two way street and Wylie’s parents are allowing their students to buck the system in order to abolish it. After all, it was enforced without taking a vote from the parents.

In my personal opinion, WISD did nothing more than waste my fricking time and money by forcing me to find clothing that fit the criteria for years, rather than enforcing the damned dress code that was already in place.  The standardized dress code was the most socialist, liberty stealing, money sucking mandate that our Trustees could have possibly wasted their time on, and starry-eyed parents all over Wylie bought the premise prettily packaged hook, line, and sinker, all in the name of fear.  We can thank former Superintendent John Fuller, and his posse of bobbleheads, Trustees Ronnie Fetzer, Ralph James, Sue Niklas, and Susan Schuler for their undying love of all things proposed by the misguided Fuller. 

Standardized dress will surely go by the wayside.  It has saddened me that socialism has crept into our lives without anyone noticing, and it is being rejected without anyone noticing.  Perhaps I had it right back in the early 80s.  Perhaps I needed the freedom to dress like a freak in order to learn how to dress as an adult.  I can tell you, I most assuredly did not need a standardized dress code to teach me how to dress.  As time marches on and our administrators and trustees cling to their forced homogenization of students for what they claim is their own good, they will learn that pushing a socialist idea is like enforcing the unenforceable.  It seems the will of the American people has spoken and Wylie’s parents are taking back the liberty WISD attempted to rob us of. 



That Wylie Band March-a-thon

video

It's that look, it's that sound,
it's That Wylie Band!

Thank you to the students who came out to march this morning.  Even though it was a bit rain delayed, and the parade route had to be modified at the last minute, there were a lot of people in Quail Meadow who couldn't wait to see them.  Many neighbors followed them down the street.  I put money in the hat and I hope a lot of other people did too because they deserve the support.  Well done wTb!

So Much to Say, So Little Time

Once again I find myself overburdened with the child unit's school activities.  Hopefully I will find a new normal once they head back to school and I can begin tackling important topics again such as the WEDC, Parks and Rec, and the Code of Conduct.

In the meantime, here is yet another post from my personal blog to tide some of the fans over that appreciate my sick and twisted humor:

Love is Blind

Why is it no matter what time I rush to get ready for work in the morning, my husband wants to kiss me goodbye when I am at my worst?  I tried rushing in the bathroom as soon as I wake up, I tried waiting until after he leaves when I'm all cute and cuddly in my PJ's.  It doesn’t matter what time I get in the bathroom and attempt to repair myself into something quasi acceptable, the hubs is there with his cheerful lips ready for the kiss du jour. 

Can’t he wait until I am fully dressed and rocking the heels?  Can't he wait until my face is made up and at least look situated enough to present to the public?  Oh heavens no, rather he has to seek me out for a smooch when I have one eye made up with liner and shadow, or even worse on one of those occasions when I was too tired or too lazy to remove my makeup the night before and I wake looking like a dope addict.   
 Some mornings he pops in as I am trying to nix the mustache with that smelly white cream on my upper lip, and I wonder why he would even want to look at me in this state let alone kiss me on the forehead before he traipses across town to work. 
I have grown horrified at the thought of a goodbye morning kiss now.  I am gun shy from surprise attacks while in the shower with my hair wrapped turban style.  No woman looks good with her hair in a turban, especially when all that excess, over 40 skin is pulled back Joan Rivers style like a really bad facelift. 
I've gotten into the habit of not allowing him to witness me in anything but what I deem to be pristine shape.  I insist he wait until my hair is sans a towel.  I make him wait until both eyes are made up.  I make him wait because the last image I want to leave him with each morning is me at my worst. 

He tells me he doesn't care what I look like and that he doesn't even notice.  Wow, perhaps love truly is blind.  Just in case love isn't truly blind, I find a good lock on the bathroom door helps too.



Erasing a Mark

Interestingly enough, I received a phone call today from the new Wylie High School Principal, Virdie Montgomery.  He seemed to have no trouble finding out who TXun is and obtaining my phone number.  Gee I wonder who gave him the 411.

It seems that Mr. Montgomery wanted to speak about my blog post from last weekend.  He wanted to explain why he wrote in the fashion he did, and he did actually apologize.  He said he did not want to embarrass the community, but he also padded his ego by stating that he heard from at least 50 people who said they enjoyed his letter.  In the end, his philosophy is that he is who he is and he isn't going to change.  Certainly he won’t change for one little blogging gal. 

Now I don't want to put out the fire with gasoline here, but I still hold fast to my assertion that the casualness of his emails is inappropriate and sending the wrong message about Wylieites. I caution that for every 50 people that Mr. Montgomery received accolades from; there were at least 50 who did not appreciate it and were left wondering WTF.  He won't know this because they will simply ignore it and laugh at those old rednecks in Wylie.  

I can certainly appreciate Mr. Montgomery's sense of humor.  I can also appreciate his need to reach out to the students who will relish his casual demeanor, and I even understand he has a difficult job.  However I still cannot accept official correspondence that makes me feel as though the IQ level of the bulk of Wylie’s parents is a whopping 70.  

When I read the offending letter to my sons and husband, they were honestly aghast.  The tone is not something we have ever received from the likes of former Dodd Principal, Scott Winn.  We never received anything so casual from Davis Intermediate Principal, Barbara Rudolph.  Though I chuckled at the grammar in a few of McMillan’s Principal, Mr. Peters' emails, they still upheld a certain level of decorum. 

Then again, perhaps I'm just a snob and the level of professionalism among Wylie's leaders is leaving me feeling a tad tainted, a bit dirty, and definitely embarrassed. I have a difficult time believing that everyone found the letter acceptable, for if they did then it is absolutely time for me to leave Wylie for I have completely outgrown Wylie’s mentality by leaps and bounds. From the level of intelligence of all of my Wylie friends, I have a difficult time believing that. 

I don’t mind a little levity in correspondence, but frankly, I’m just too damn busy to read the inane ramblings of someone who is attempting to speak at some fictitious level of fan appreciation or perceived parental intelligence or combination thereof.  As a leader in the community and a leader of a great school, I ask that Mr. Montgomery carefully consider the image and tone he is setting for all of Wylie ISD.  Once it is written, it cannot easily be erased.

Wylie Needs Hope and a Prayer


I really have to take my hat off to Wylie’s Candy Arrington.  She is the mastermind behind Wylie is HOPE, a group formed to assist others less fortunate within our community (http://wylieishope.com/).  Candy, with the help of WISD Trustee Stacy Gooch, continues to raise the bar and serve ever increasing numbers of Wylie’s impoverished students by providing them with free backpacks, supplies, and services such as haircuts and donated school clothes.  Every year I am amazed at the hard work, unwavering dedication, and community effort that is put into this event. 

That said, I wonder if anyone reading this blog understands the gravity of our poverty levels in Wylie. I wonder if anyone realizes what the income levels are of those 800 served the first 30 minutes the event was opened according to The Wylie News article in today’s paper.  The papers that are provided and the news articles that are written about the food program seem to spare the families of embarrassment by not listing the income criteria, but I have always wondered what that income level is so I looked it up.  According to the Income Ineligibility Guidelines chart for free and reduced food and nutrition programs in the schools (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-03-23/pdf/2012-7036.pdf), a family of 4 would have to make $29,965 annually for the students to qualify for free lunches and a family of 4 making less than $42,643 would qualify for reduced price meals.  Those numbers are really quite sad.  I cannot imagine how someone with a household income of $29,965 could even pay rent, let alone utilities, insurance, and food for 4 people, especially at dismally inflating rates in this new economy. 

The poverty rate according to that nifty chart is a scary $23,050 for a family of 4, so does Wylie really house that many families that are sitting eerily close to the poverty level?  Can I equate that number solely to illegals living here?  Not exactly.  I will relate back to a blog post I made some time ago about the number of students on the food program in Wylie (http://befuddledbytheclowns.blogspot.com/2011/11/crime.html).  I listed data on the number of and ethnicity of the students partaking of the free and reduced meal program and it was not evident in any way that the bulk of them might be here illegally.  Still, we can agree that there exist a certain percentage of people here in Wylie that are illegal, and in my opinion, don’t deserve the freebies.   

There is no way to define whether those signing up for the free and reduced meal programs deserve the assistance.  According to the documents the school district hands out to parents who wish to sign their students up for free and reduced meals, there is no requirement that they be legal residents of the United States.  The Federal Government refuses to discriminate against illegals by allowing them to sign up for the food program even if they cannot provide a social security number.  Since Wylie is HOPE wanted to narrow down the list of those they serve, they had no choice but to follow those same guidelines by pre-registering families and requiring proof of eligibility in the free or reduced fee food programs, as well as requiring a utility bill or ID showing residency in Wylie.  Wylie is HOPE could not discriminate either, nor should they really be caught up in that red tape.  It is, however, an issue and one which our community needs to deal with unless our leaders intend to make Wylie a sanctuary city, or safe haven for illegals.

Though I could spend time writing about the ills of illegals sucking our system dry, I won’t at this time.  The real point of this post is that Wylie is holding an awful lot of impoverished families in its bosom and that list appears to be growing each year.  I cannot fathom the plight of the families of these 800 students that were assisted in the first 30 minutes the event was open.  I cannot imagine what it is like to swallow one’s pride to sign children up for free meals or even free backpacks and supplies.   At last reporting I received from the district, there were 3541 students in Wylie signed up for free or reduced price meals.  I will be interested to see how many sign up this coming school year.

Any way you slice it, we have a growing poverty problem in Wylie.  It doesn’t matter who we blame for the situation as there are many factors contributing to this.  Despite the circumstances, I am glad we have some citizens taking an active role in helping to provide for their needs.  Thank you Candy Arrington and Trustee Stacy Gooch for helping ease the burden of these families.  With increasing need in the community, we will need more than hope, we will need a prayer too.

Meddling Mollusks: Creatures from Hell

Who knew a tiny mussel could turn out to be a real pain in the backside?  I suppose we can thank Russian ships for depositing this creature into the Great Lakes during the late 80s.  Foreign ships were supposed to empty their ballasts prior to entering the waterways leading to the Great Lakes and it is highly likely these invasive pests were introduced by a ship that emptied too late or one that carried them in on anchor or some other area. 

Once in the waters near Michigan, they spread throughout the Great Lakes like a bad rash.  They multiplied and have now layered the bottom of the Great Lakes and other areas.  Massive drifts of their detrital bodies 2 to 3 feet deep lie along areas of Lake Michigan.  The lake is so clear, having been filtered dry of phyto and zoo-plankton, it has become a hostile environment for fish and other wildlife.  The mussels can drift and attach to anything floating through the water, and it is likely that barges and watercraft aided in spreading them south throughout rivers.  They are located in most of the major rivers from Michigan spreading outward.  You may locate a map from the USGS here:  http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=5
According to the map, the mussels made it to Lake Texoma in 2009 and in 2010 they were found established in Sister Grove Creek a mere handful of miles from Lake Lavon.  They were even collected in the marina at Lake Ray Hubbard in 2011.  At this rate, it’s only a matter of time before they call Lake Lavon home. 

Unfortunately, they wreak havoc by colonizing in and ultimately clogging pumps and pipes, so I wonder then how is it our North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) believe they will pump water from Lake Texoma to a new plant in Wylie and treat the water here?  Something seems awfully awry with that thought process, don’t you think?

I write about this topic because of a Letter to the Editor of the Wylie News written by Larry Martin of Van Alstyne.  I’m sure some people read the article, rolling their eyes thinking, “There goes another naysayer radical.”  Mr. Martin’s argument is that the NTMWD is stealing people’s land away from them at less than fair market value, through the brute force tactics of eminent domain, in order to build this pipeline from Lake Texoma to Lake Lavon.  I can only think perhaps Mr. Martin has land that is being affected by this situation, yet he has a very valid point when we examine this complex picture a little deeper. 

I sat through a Wylie City Council meeting a year or so ago where this very topic was discussed.  Many options were considered as a means of controlling the mussel population in Texoma.  Sand filtration was one option, but it was very expensive, adding high levels of chlorine was another option but it wasn’t prudent.  The most obvious option was to just plain shut off the water source from Lake Texoma to Lake Lavon and buy themselves some time to come up with a cost effective solution.  Council made the decision and the water source was turned off.  Soon after, very tight water restrictions were set in action all over North Texas communities that receive their water from Lavon. 

Now think back to this time last summer.  We went to our boat slip at the lake to find our boat sitting in the mud at the bottom of the lake.  Quite literally, there was no water in Lake Lavon’s outer reaches.   All of the ramps had been closed.  We were out of the state when the notice came to get our boat out of the water, and we could not get back in time so we were in it for the long haul.  There our boat sat in the mud for the next 4 months until the spring rains helped us out.  The surrounding communities who tap into the water at Lake Lavon had nearly sucked it dry, all because the traffic of water from Texoma to Lavon was stopped up in order to keep the zebra mussel at bay.  Dry and parched, the Lake remained nothing more than a cracked desert because the suggestion that adding filtration that would not get clogged by the mussel minutiae at Texoma would be cost prohibitive.  Now think forward to this Letter to the Editor at how the NTMWD is building a pipeline to treat the water here.  Currently being built is possibly a hundred miles of pipeline ripe for the mollusk clogging.  Now there’s some good old-fashioned horse sense for you.

I believe Mr. Martin is on to something with the NTMWDs underlying rationale behind building this pipeline.  How does the NTMWD intend to keep this pipe from getting clogged with this pest, rendering it useless?  Over the years, will they be pumping infested water through breached and broken pipes caused by our highly expansive soils, risking dumping these invasive species, as it would seem?  Are they playing with fire in order to gain control of the waters of Lake Texoma before some other entity does?  It seems to me that where the NTMWD is involved, there must be some big money to be had.  NTMWDs motive for this pipeline and subsequent eminent domain land seizures absolutely comes into play in this discussion.  What exactly are they up to and what is the underlying motive because pipelining the pipe-clogging mussels isn’t it?  They are up to something, they always are and I am not the only one to see this.

God Smacked


Below is a letter sent to the parents of Wylie High School students from the new principal, Virdie Montgomery.  To be honest, this letter has me more than a tad concerned about the direction of Wylie ISD.  

It is one thing for a blogger such as myself to write in the vernacular and slang up our posts, however it is completely disconcerting to see the principal of Wylie High School do it in an official letter.  In my humble opinion, it looks like something my 13 year old would have typed, with his feet, while wearing combat boots, and THIS from a college graduate with  Master's Degree? 

You can read more about Mr. Montgomery here:  http://www.wylienews.com/articles/templates/news.asp?articleid=4043&zoneid=4


I am certain I will be vilified for pointing out how unprofessional this letter appears, and I'm sure Mr. Montgomery is a truly decent man, though I have not meet him, but somehow reading his musings leaves me concerned that perhaps he is not sending quite the right message to the community.  

Not only is the composition of the letter an issue, but it also contains Superintendent David Vinson's name stamped on the letterhead as well.  As a parent of a Junior attending Wylie High School, this letter is incredibly and undeniably embarrassing to me.  Can you imagine the principal of Highland Park sending out such a letter to the parents?  Holy hell would break loose.

I realize people make errors and heaven knows I make plenty of typos in my own musings, but this letter is from a high level school administrator and is wrought with not only grammatical errors, but composition better left to his personal Facebook page.  

I highlighted some of my personal favorite passages below, but you be the judge:




WYLIE HIGH SCHOOL

David Vinson, Ph.D.                                                                                                  Virdie Montgomery Superintendent                                                                                                           Principal                    



8-3-12



Dear WHS Stakeholders,

            I guess I will start off this letter as virtually every principal in the state of Texas is doing at present with the obligatory “I hope you have had a spectacular summer” and go ahead and add the “but, it is time to get in the frame of mind to come back to school” line as well.  I really do dislike just doing what everyone else is doing, but those words so seem to be most appropriate.  I personally just wish we had school all year long.  We could just take all the Fridays off during the year and have long weekends all year long.  That would take us up to the end of July and then we could take a week off the first of August to recharge our emotions and just start the next year.  Seniors would have a little time to go to Europe or something like that before they started college and I think it would work just fine.  I even think teachers would stay where they are teaching and not move around so much.  Those long summers get people anxious and the influences around them make them do weird things.  Oh, well….we can all dream.  I know there are flaws in my plan and I am just thinking out loud.  But here we are!  Ready to begin the 2012-2013 School Year!
            I am really excited to begin this year and to get kids back in the building.  I love being around kids and watching them grow as people and seeing them be successful.  They have energy about them that I feed off of and to see them grow over a period of time into mature and caring individuals is a rush.  I see kids that are developing their skills and interests that will inspire themselves to pick that spot in the world where they will make a difference.  They are unique and they motivate me.  I see them handle adversity and I see them strive to make a mark in the world.  I believe the country is in good hands and these young people will likely do a better job of managing it than we ever could.  I have faith in them and long to be someone in their lives that is positive and someone they can trust and know that I am in this for them.  With that said there are some things about the start of school that I wanted to get out there with this letter.  There will be some things that are a little different from last year that we want to get a head start on by letting you know of them as best we can.  I do apologize already for the length of this letter.  I am very wordy when I begin something like this and my wife always tells me to cut the thing down.  She is likely right, but this is who I am and I really like to do this so I will just ask that you bear with me on this character flaw.  I look at these two paragraphs already that you have worked through and I see that I really haven’t told you anything yet that you need to know.  I get that, but man I have had fun writing this so far.
            The dates have now officially been set to have students come up to school to get ID badges made and for those that have need of parking.  Those dates will also be for setting up Family Access, Off Campus Lunch Forms (seniors only), and gathering other information that you might need.  Below is the schedule for these mentioned items.

Wednesday, August 15th – 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Closed from noon to 1:00 p.m.)

Seniors and Freshmen  - ID Badges – Family Access –
Seniors – Parking – Off Campus Lunch Forms

Thursday, August 16th - 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Closed from noon to 1:00 p.m.)

Sophomores and Juniors – ID Badges – Family Access – Parking
Seniors who missed Wednesday can come as well.

Friday, August 17th – 8:00 a.m. – Noon

Any student who missed their day can come during this time.

            That is the basic schedule and I am sure we can get information you need anytime with a call or visit if that is all that is needed.  The big thing is to get as many ID badges made as possible before school starts.  They use them first day for lunch and other identity needs at school.  I am highlighting specific information below that you will need to know as school begins.  I know this cannot be all inclusive but here are things we know that get asked about extensively. 

Badges:

All students must have a badge.  They are used for identifying purposes and we are asking each student to have it with them at all times.  We are not going to make them have it visible or that it be a part of the dress code, but it is important that they have it and be able to present it upon request. 

Students must be in dress code for the picture on the badge.  They will not be allowed to have their picture made if not in all aspects of the dress code including the shirt in the picture, hair color and facial piercings. 

Dress Code:

An updated version of the dress code for 2012-2013 is located on the WISD website.

Parking:

Parking will be considerably different from the past.  Students will purchase a parking sticker to park at WHS.  It will have a number and it will match a number on the parking lot.  This spot will be their spot for the year.  They may come in groups and purchase parking spots close together.  They may paint their spot.  We are asking that they paint a primer before adding the colors and scenes to the spot.  All painting of course must be school appropriate.  The same will be true for the teachers.  There will be teacher parking in the front and 20 spots in the back.  Teachers may paint their spots as well.  It is expected that students park in their spot upon arrival at school each day.  They should leave their car once parked and come into the building.

In order to obtain the parking spot the student must have proof of insurance, a driver’s license and $35 dollars.  Checks need to be made out to WHS.

We are asking parents to drop off students and pick up students in the back of the building in the student parking area.  We are trying to create more exits for students leaving the parking area at the close of school.  We are now staging the busses in the front of the building and there will be no place for parents to pick up students there.  We are asking that parents form a line in the back and pull forward as space avails itself.  This should allow quicker access to exits from the back parking lot.  Please remember though that one of the things we do in society that there is something inherently wrong with is that we put hundreds of 16-18 year old drivers in close confinement with cars.  So, be careful out there!  They are used to it, but you may not be.

Schedules:

Now this is the one that I know you are not going to like too much, but I am going to go ahead and get this out there.  You need to know that 3 of our 5 administrators from last year are new and we have diligently been working hard to get ready for school and we want things to be as accurate as possible.  In order not to send out inaccurate information and get the kids and perhaps parents in a tizzy about things we are not going to post schedules this year.  It is amazing….I can actually hear the groaning, weeping and gnashing of teeth with that sentence being read.  I am sorry, but we will have their schedules first day when they arrive.  We will have class meetings throughout the day and correct mistakes on schedules as quickly as we can.  We really think there will be less by having the extra time to prepare.  Thank you for your understanding and patience as we prepare for this event.


            There is likely other stuff I ought to put here, but this is already too long and most of you quit reading as soon as you saw who it was from.  To those of you who are still reading; thanks for sticking with me and pat yourself on the back for having the fortitude to complete this task.  You Are Awesome!  If you still have questions just let me know and I will do my best to answer them.  I hope you have a great day!  We are getting close!  AHMO!



                                                            May God bless,




Is he freaking for real?  Texas Tech and Sul State University should be absolutely ashamed of themselves for graduating someone with a Bachelor's and then a Master's that writes at an eighth grade level.  The tragic part of this letter is that it is not the first one I have received from him.  When I received the first email several weeks ago I thought it was a joke.  In fact, this letter came as an email attachment titled, "Summer Letter for school opening stuff".  The reason I find this tragic is that nobody has stepped up to tell Mr. Montgomery that he truly needs to let one of the English teachers proof his emails before he sends them.   This is not a freaking Facebook page; this is the education of our students and I take this matter serious, as I suspect many of my readers do.

I hope these emails are not a precursor to a completely befuddling experience for the students attending that high school.  Will someone, anyone do him a favor by reaching out to him? 

Today, it is highly likely that I leave you as God smacked as I am.