Pharos-Tribune

Columns

January 7, 2014

MARCUS: Odds and ends for the New Year

To begin the New Year, I want to apologize for an error in last week’s column. There I wrote that the personal property of commercial and industrial firms was assessed at the state level. That is not true. County assessors remain responsible for such assessments.

That error was not commented on by any of my readers. This lack of response indicates a) I have no readers, b) I have no readers who know anything about the assessment of business personal property, c) I have no readers who care enough to put me on the right path or d) your kindly local editor corrected my mis-statement.

• On Feb. 9, Lake Central High School, in Lake County, dedicates its new $120 million complex. This is a renovation and extension of its existing structure. The public will be invited to see what their money is buying and learn how education at Lake Central will be enhanced by new facility.

For all of us, this is a good reminder that in some areas of the state progress is being made in reinvigorating education. Some citizens do not see the need for structural improvements. They will testify that “What was good enough for me when I went to school, ought to be good enough for today’s students.” At the other extreme are those inclined to say, “There is nothing too good for my child and the school in my area ought to reflect my values.”

Between these extremes are the many who recognize the quality of facilities influences the education students receive. Further, school buildings are community assets that influence the location of families and businesses alike. The one-room, unheated wooden school with the two-seater privy has become a romanticized artifact of a time best forgotten. Structures and facilities adequate 20 year ago, are out-of-date, as are teachers who have not modernized their methods and curriculum.

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Columns
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  • KITCHELL: Tax bills show what smoke & mirrors don't There's a price to be paid for the decline in what we call civic engagement -- and local property taxpayers are paying that price. In case you haven't received your 2014 Cass County property tax statement yet, be prepared for a bit of sticker shock w

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  • LYONS: How we devalued the 'R' word At the risk of angering somebody like MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, I sometimes used to joke that I only look white. Actually, I'm Irish. Meaning basically that I wasn't raised to think the man in the big house had all the answers, nor deserved all t

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  • HAYDEN: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards. That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation

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  • KNISELY: Adventures in cat spaying If you're a regular reader of this column, you know I have a cat. I got the cat to deal with the mice. Even if you only pop in on this column from time to time, you still likely know I have mice and that I hate them. I complain about it quite regular

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  • CEPEDA: Baseball's sacred temple Call it a character defect, but I don't like baseball. And I especially don't like the Chicago Cubs -- losers I never found lovable. I grew up less than a mile west of Wrigley Field and games there represented summer-long inconveniences such as midda

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