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Posts published in “Day: September 6, 2014”

Underground school support

idaho RANDY

Here's a concept to get your mind around: On-line physical education in schools. That is, taught from outside of school. Or something.

This unlikely idea surfaced at the Lapwai School District after voters there on August 26 turned down a quarter-million dollar one-year levy. It wasn't close; just 41 percent of voters approved it. It was the second recent levy failure, after voters rejected a larger one in May.

Afterward, District Superintendent David Aiken said the effects will include elimination of in-person physical education. The school gym and equipment will remain available but, he told the Lewiston Tribune, “the teacher is on the other side of the computer.”

Try for a moment to imagine how well this is going to work.

Threats to athletics traditionally have been one of the last-ditch and most successful maneuvers to get patrons to cough up additional school money, but the Lapwai example suggests that in Idaho, at least in some places, even that isn't enough.

Levies and bonds failed in a number of other places as well, but Lapwai was one of the few places in Idaho where a financing proposal failed to pull well over 50 percent of the vote. That's all most levies need to pass, but bonds (because of longer-term indebtedness) require two thirds. In Lapwai, a majority opposed the tax increase. In how many other districts last month was that true?

Voters in just one district passed bond issues with the required two-thirds-plus: New Plymouth. But others cleared the 50 percent mark, sometimes easily. West Ada (formerly Meridian) proposed a truly massive bond measure, $104 million for a range of projects broad enough voters could be forgiven for not wrapping their minds around all of them. The bond plan failed – but it picked up 63 percent of the vote, a strong majority. (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Middleton council member faces sex charge (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
Natural gas costs rising again (Boise Statesman)
Concerns about explosion at Teton Dam site (IF Post Register)
State denied dismissal of ag-gag suit (IF Post Register)
Luna talks about pay raises in department (Lewiston Tribune)
Students back, lots of Moscow cop calls (Moscow News)
Palouse found to have nuisance nematodes (Moscow News)
College of Idaho Coyotes football is back (Nampa Press Tribune)
Middleton drops sheriff contract (Nampa Press Tribune)
New York play named for Pocatello (Pocatello Journal)
State panel will consider teacher pay (TF Times News)
New state Republican leaders seeks end to fights (TF Times News)

Big brush fire threatens Corvallis homes (Corvallis Gazette)
Director of old Majestic Theatre resigns (Corvallis Gazette)
Veneta call center adds 100 employees (Eugene Register Guard)
Groups discuss elections reforms in OR (Eugene Register Guard)
Court review stops klamath water shutoff (KF Herald & News)
Kitzhaber proposes splitting up Cover Oregon (Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune)
OR-7 and pups determined to be all wolf (Medford Tribune)
Deal reached on Monsanto wheat release (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Exchange miscalculated some tax benefits (Portland Oregonian)

State cuts mobile home dealer license (Bremerton Sun)
Snohomish pays $575 in public records suit (Everett Herald)
Snohomish reviews finance employee actions (Everett Herald)
Lots of bicycle thefts this summer (Olympian)
Tree-crash survivors win $10m from state (Seattle Times)
Ben Burr bike trail at Spokane nearly done (Spokane Spokesman)
State prepaid tuition financially recovers (Tacoma News Tribune)
Rivers proposes new pot bill (Vancouver Columbian)
Yakima looks to grow its mental health court (Yakima Herald Republic)
Yakima attorney disbarred (Yakima Herald Republic)