Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
To see teacher and student feelings on this subject watch RHAM News for a follow up story.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Sen. John McCain announced today (incidentally, his 72nd birthday) that his running mate on the Republican ticket will be Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The McCain campaign, as quoted by ABC, said,
"Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president... Governor Palin has the record of reform and bipartisanship that others can only speak of. Her experience in shaking up the status quo is exactly what is needed in Washington today."
His choice of running mate is unexpected, as former Massachusetts Governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty were the favorite prospective VP candidates during the pre-announcement speculation. The McCain campaign, according to National Public Radio, made a risky pick - one that carries great potential reward, but also a significant chance of undercutting the campaign.
Gov. Palin's pro-life and evangelical stances will appeal to the right wing of the Republican party, which has fallen out with McCain in the past. The McCain campaign also hopes to draw disgruntled supporters of Democrat Hillary Clinton by providing a female candidate, according to the New York Times. Democrats, however, disagree. Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California stated, “If John McCain thought that choosing Sarah Palin would attract Hillary Clinton voters, he is badly mistaken. The only similarity between her and Hillary Clinton is that they are both women. On the issues, they could not be further apart.”
The danger that Gov. Palin poses to the campaign is her lack of experience - she rose from PTA to City Council to Mayor of Wasilla (a town near Anchorage, the capital of Alaska) to Governor, a post she has held less than two years. Since the McCain campaign has so strongly criticized Sen. Barack Obama's lack of experience in foreign policy (and also used his VP pick of Sen. Joe Biden, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as evidence for that criticism), his selection of Gov. Palin as a running mate seems inconsistent. She has drawn attacks from Democrats and the Obama campaign:
"John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush's failed economic policies -- that's not the change we need, it's just more of the same," (from Bill Burton, an Obama campaign spokesman, as quoted by NPR).
So where does John McCain take his presidential bid with 66 days until the election? As his running mate pick indicates, he will likely try to shore up support within his own party (especially women and the religious right) and win over undecided voters by pointing to his own military service and foreign policy experience, which Sen. Obama does not posess. He will also endeavor to make the election a contest between himself and Sen. Obama, as he has often criticized the Obama campaign for trying to make the election about President George Bush. The real question, though, is whether he can make enough of a difference in the next two months to gain a decisive victory over Sen. Obama. With a slowly-eroding support base in the South and Midwest, traditionally Republican strongholds, finding key swing votes will be essential to winning the election. But in a politically charged atmosphere, I think there will be few undecideds, and the divisions within the Republican party (not to mention the legacy of President Bush) may keep the McCain campaign from gaining momentum. As with Sen. Obama's campaign, we'll see how it goes.
According to Courant.com, the innocent young boy found the loaded gun in the house, alledgedly picked up the gun and fired it.
This was followed by countless screams and cries for help. Many of these screams were heard from the neighbors. The courant said one neighbor that came over to the house to try to help called the scene, " ... a pretty brutal sight." (courant.com)
According to Msnbc.com, all neighbors were shocked to hear the news. Some neighbors asked why the gun didnt have a lock on it, and others asked the most obvious question. Why was a loaded gun in easy reach of a 2 year old? The State Police will conduct a thorough investigation to make sure that this in fact was an accident. And, according to msnbc.com, investigators will also try to see if any laws were violated, including those about the location and possesion of handguns. For more information visit Courant.com or Msnbc.com
[Picture Source: "The Grammar Vandal"]
Vandalism is a term used to describe the defacing of property. But what happens when a few simple corrections on street signs takes a turn into something much more questionable? Recently, two students that attended the University of Dartmouth have claimed to have found 200 public signs containing a variety of errors. The two discovered these mistakes and decided to just fix them without there seeming to be any problem. They first made a correction to a hand printed sign coming from the 1930's at a Grand Canyon watchtower. They thought they were just doing an innocent favor, but their consequence was not so forgiving..
The two college graduates did indeed plead guilty to "vandalizing" the government's property and they were each sentenced to a year's probation. This statement exclaimed that neither of the two grads could enter a national park or modify ANY public signs. Also, as a lucky bonus for them, they were ordered to pay up $3,035 to repair the watchtower sign.
For public signs to display such errors as incorrect spelling or punctuation is just not necessary. Naturally, whenever someone finds an error, they are bound to correct it right? But does this make it right to correct public signs created by the authorities? According to the law and Kate McCulley an avid "grammar vandal" blogger says that even though the sign makers should be more cautious when making signs, the public has no right to correct the sign even if it does contain mistakes.
So is it ok for people to correct these almost embarrasing mistakes? As the law and Kate McCulley say, it is completely wrong to deface any property or street signs by any matter with vulgar language or offensive material; but if people want to correct mistakes, become a copy editor.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
image credit: Damir Sagolj / Reuters
Barack Obama just finished up his nomination acceptance speech a couple minutes ago.
What struck me about the speech was that it wasn't about politics and it wasn't about policy. The speech, even though it did contain politics and policies, was one of ideology. Sen. Obama made repeated references to the "promise of America" and compared his campaign to just about every hard-hitter in history (e.g. Martin Luther King, Jr., women's suffrage). He emphasized change driven not only by people but also by communities, contrasting himself with Sen. John McCain, whom Sen. Obama described as out of touch with the common U.S. citizen.
But with Sen. McCain's VP pick to be announced Friday, I think it's unlikely that Sen. Obama will be able to ride the wave of popularity his speech will generate for very long. Both candidates have been their party's presumptive nominees for quite some time now, so the convention does not really represent a turning point in the election. But now, with only two full months remaining until Election Day, there is a strong incentive for both parties to turn on the pressure. This is a very politically charged election, not only because it is the first time an African-American man has had a genuine chance at being elected, but because the campaign has been drawing on the controversial events of the past eight years. In his speech, Sen. Obama specifically cited President Bush's "failed policies", which ought to appeal to critics of the current administration's policies.
So where does Sen. Obama go from here? Despite the close race, I think that Sen. Obama has a fairly broad appeal. At last year's Hebron Harvest Fair, I saw a man walk up to the Hebron Democratic Town Comittee booth and request a form to change his voter affiliation from Republican to Democrat. His reason? He was tired of the Republican party making choices he didn't agree with and wanted to get out in time for the election. While that can't account for a whole lot of Sen. Obama's support, and I'm sure it happens in Sen. McCain's favor as well, it indicates to me that party loyalty is not playing a huge factor in the election. I guess we'll see how that turns out in November.
Despite some harsh remarks the candidates have made about each other's stances (in the speech, Sen. Obama said, "If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have."), they have each made conciliatory gestures. Also during the speech, Sen. Obama praised Sen. McCain by saying,
"The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect... The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain."
Sen. McCain's campaign aired a commercial before and after the speech, in which Sen. McCain directly adressed his opponent, saying,
"Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America. Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, congratulations. How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow, we'll be back at it. But tonight Senator, job well done."
In addition to the hallways, there is an extension being built in the front of the school to house administrative office space for the superintendent (Dr. Robert Siminski), the director of finance and operations (Mr. William Mazzara), and the administrative assistant (Ms. Kathy Mund). The extension is on schedule and due to be completed the week of September 22nd. According to Dr. Siminski, who until now has worked out of an office in Hebron on Liberty Drive, which is near the center of town behind the post office, a significant amount of time has been wasted in transit between the school and his office, a problem which will be solved by the new office. Dr. Simiski "looks forward to enhancing cooperation" between the school and district administration in his new, more accessible location.
(Thanks to yahoo.com and popularmechanics)
UPDATE: I'm closing the blog to the public until you've all had a chance to remove your full names. I'll re-open it after the names have been edited.
Please edit your Google profiles so the Display Name does not show your full name - for security reasons. Also, please do not include other personal information such as your actual photo, address, etc.
Great news everyone! The Hebron Harvest Fair is coming to the Lions Fairground on Route 85, in Hebron, Connecticut. The fair is open Thursday, September 4th through Sunday the 7th. The Hebron Harvest Fair is a fun time for the whole family, consisting of all sorts rides, vendors and other interesting attractions. Some of theses attractions include Antiques Building, Arts and Crafts Building, and the Better Living Building, along with places to look at various farm animals.
According to hebronharvestdfair.org, the Hebron Harvest Fair originated 37 years ago, a small district fair located on donated grounds near the center of Hebron, which bloomed quickly. The small fair that ran for only three days gathered thousands of people and in the years to come, became a large state fair. In 1972, the Hebron Lions club purchased over 70 acres of land that would soon be presented as the Hebron Lions fairgrounds. The fairgrounds and its huge popularity made the Hebron Harvest Fair the fun filled attraction it is today.Its biggest attraction from the past year was new to the fair. Last year, the first rollercoaster was added to the many rides available. Also, there are always musical performances, free of charge, while the fair is going on. According to courant.com, highly known band America and local rock band Columbia Fields will be playing during the fair. As for this year, other surprises may be in store, you will just have to visit and see.
(picture taken by the Hartford Courant)
Back on August 9th there was a parade in upper Hartford on Main Street. The person that was suspected to have done the shooting has been caught and placed in custody. He turned out to be a 17 year old named Michael Ledbetter and he has a $1.4 million bond. Ledbetter is believed to be a part of a gang known as West Hell and he was caught on Wednesday near Bowles Park. He is charged with murder, criminal possession of a weapon, aiding and abetting (not sure what that is), unlawful discharge of a firearm and risk of injury to a minor. Sadly, a 21 year old man named Ezekiel Roberts was killed as well as injuring a 7 year old boy, four teenager, and others. Police Chief Daryl Roberts says 3 suspects were taken into custody and 3 guns were recovered. The police expect to make several more arrests related to the shooting at the August 9th parade.
For more information go to
However, after the speech was delivered, there could be no doubt that the former president now stands behind the soon-to-be Democratic nominee. During his speech, he said "Clearly, the job of the next president is to rebuild the American dream and to restore American leadership in the world... [and] Barack Obama is the man for this job."
By setting aside the differences between himself and Obama, Clinton was trying to unite the party behind a single candidate in order to ensure that a Democrat was elected to the White House in November. This alone will not be enough to win Obama the presidency, though. According to Andrew Dowdle, assistant professor of political sciences at the University of Arkansas, "The Democrats need to win the independents and the undecided voters to take the White House, and those people likely weren't even watching this convention." Dowdle says that Obama will need to continue to tour the country and make the American people familiar with him and his policies if he wishes to gain the White House. A few electrifying speeches at the Convention alone will not be enough to push him over the top.
Clearly, Obama still has a ways to go, but the action at the Democratic National Convention was no small part of what will need to happen for Obama to win. The Convention continues tonight when Barack will formally accept the Democratic nomination and deliver a speech of his own.
Mr. Helwig, a new P.E teacher at RHAM had a very interesting summer. He ran a 25 hour race from Mt Hood in Oregon to the Pacific Ocean, or "The Coast" of Oregon. Helwig got the idea from a friend in college who was interested in the race and Helwig decided that this year he wanted to participate. The race consists of 12 relay members and each member runs about 3 legs which equals out to about 4-8 miles. It is 197 miles long running from Mt. Hood Oregon all along the Pacific Coast. The runners will switch off every leg and there are vans which carry relay members 1-6, and 6-12. There are restroom facilities and buildings along the way for the runners to use and take a break. The race itself is actually 26 hours and 45 minutes as Mr. Helwig says. But he did not run it all himself; with the help of his teammates he was able to accomplish this goal and finish the race confidently. The gym teacher says that this is only his second year of participating in the event and that he enjoys running and as well as taking part in a race in a very nice location.
For more information on the race and Mt. Hood log on to
Thursday, August 21, 2008