Friday, April 17, 2015

Phil Bates: He Can't Teach, But He Can Coach?


Most of us are familiar with ACT; we took this test to get into college. In the world of 21st Century education, ACT also provides the Aspire Program. From their website:

ACT Aspire and the ACT measure student development of knowledge and skills in the same academic areas from grades 3 through 12. The scores from these assessments can help educators monitor students’ academic growth over time. ACT Aspire maps learner progress from grades three through high school on a vertical scale, anchored to the scoring system of the ACT.

Phil Bates, a UNA grad who has coached at Deshler and now at Colbert County High School, teaches world history at Colbert Heights High School. He recently administered an ACT Aspire test. Such administration is also called proctoring and comes with certain rules and restrictions. Among these is a prohibition against electronic devices. In other words, even the proctor can't possess any devices connected to the Internet, or even a calculator. Those we know who have taken such tests for advanced certifications tell us that they have been required to remove their wrist watches. In other words, any possible means of cheating is highly frowned upon.

Bates obviously knew this, yet he...what? We're guessing checked his smart phone for messages, ball scores, important phone calls (hey, maybe the Braves would be in desperate need of a new coach that day).

Anthony Olivis
So now he's suspended by Supt. Anthony Olivis for ten days...oh, and the county school board was not informed until after the suspension. Wait, he's suspended only from teaching history. He still gets to coach. There's a play-off going on right now; what a coincidence.

We're not surprised at the limited nature of his suspension. What we would love to know is who reported Bates. Someone obviously entered the testing/class room, or was at least passing by an open door, and saw Bates engrossed in some frenzy of electronic activity...or was it one of the students?

Rules are rules. Will the test have to be given over at school expense? Will the board investigate further? Will Anthony Olivis issue any more imperial commands? Stay tuned for the next episode of Colbert Heights Turns the Stomach.

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We had some comments concerning Percy Sledge's song When a Man Loves a Woman. Who knew we were infidels for not thinking it the most romantic song evah? Here, try this one:



Feel free to send more suggestions.



Shoalanda

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ryan Anthony Allen Gets 15 Years for "Worst Case of Child Abuse"


This is Ryan Anthony Allen in a selfie taken last month:


He doesn't seem too concerned about anything, does he? Well, we bet he is now.

This is Noah Pounders, the two-month old child Ryan Allen abused until it was doubtful he would live:


Ryan has claimed he was in a relationship with the child's mother; the mother says he was simply watching the child. Tony Logan says it was the “worst case of child abuse he had ever seen."

Now Allen has taken a plea which netted him a 15 year sentence on a Class B Felony. In other words, if he's good, he'll complete his sentence in five years and be eligible for parole in as little as 20 months. Noah Pounders is forced to endure a life sentence of brain injuries that can't completely be cured.

We'll publish Allen's AIS# and other data when it's available.

Related: Allen Indicted

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Trivia for the day: Anyone remember who Jackie Coogan was? A little known fact from his early adulthood was that he took part in the lynching of the kidnapper/murderers of his best friend, an LA department store heir.

It's not for us to say what some miscreants deserve, but thoughts do cross our mind...



Shoalanda

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Russellville Killers/Math Challenged at Arc?


If you missed it, Jason Dewayne Green was sentenced earlier today to 19 years for the shooting death of Shay Ledlow.


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Hershel Graham, the killer of Red Bay husband and father David Andrasik, has finally made it out of the Kilby Infirmary where he had been held for weeks. He is now in general receiving at Kilby and should be transferred to his permanent location soon.

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Arc and mental health programs? We support these tax-funded programs 100%, or at least usually do. We realize some funds from city, county, and state revenue are ear-marked and just can't be handed out in any direction. After all, the world also seems to need more plazas with fountains and bell towers (insert Charlie Whitman joke here.)

What would Arc do if funding is cut? We hope it doesn't have to find out, but we also have quite a bone to pick with Murray Townsend, state and local Arc board member. He recently stated:

The mental health funding rates have increased by 4 percent in the past 15 years, while in the same time period the rate of inflation has been 41 percent.

Really? 41%? Just how did you come up with that figure, Mr. Townsend? We're going to say that after checking, the highest rate mentioned by any watchdog site was 36%. That was somewhat higher than we had anticipated. So, Townsend just fudged by 5%? Or is Arc not getting enough bang for its buck. Plus, the 36% is an average that includes everything from a gallon of milk to a Cadillac to a McMansion. 

In other words, some items purchased by Arc might have even gone down in price over the last 15 years; in fact these staples would not be subject to the same inflation found in the automotive or construction world. Not only that, the rate of inflation also includes precious metals; we sincerely hope that Arc is not indulging in those purchases.

Here's a very thorough article that compares inflation between 1999 and 2009:


We have always supported Arc in the past (and still do--just not some of its leadership at this point), but somehow we're sure those Minnesota orphans are looking better by the moment to many. Much more attractive confabulation...

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It can be said that Percy Sledge put Muscle Shoals on the map...or not. No matter, no history of Shoals music is complete without several paragraphs related to Sledge and his greatest hit, "When a Man Loves a Woman." 

Don't miss our friend Dino's tribute to Sledge: Percy Sledge

Was his signature song one of the greatest love songs in history? Another friend is doing a guest blog on that, but in the mean time, here's one sent personally from Shoalanda:




Shoalanda

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pick Your Pate for Charity!


Now you can vote for your favorite Pate Brother, or all of them. Just be sure to remember to donate to HASRA or Safeplace each time you do. Here's the line-up:



#1 is William Pate. William is a Deshler grad who currently lives in Florence. He's married to the former Pam McVay.


#2 is Shaun Pate. Shaun lives in Sheffield.


#3 is Joey Pate. Joey is a grad of both Deshler and the Alabama Fire College. He lives in Muscle Shoals where we understand he runs the entire fire department, so those who live in Muscle Shoals are super safe. He is married to the former Kim Lindsey.


#4 is Dan Pate. Daniel is a Deshler grad who was a star football player, single-handedly winning a state championship. He's currently in the Alabama Air National Guard where he keeps us safe from Communists (well, you haven't seen any lately, have you?). He is married to the beautiful Stormy Lee Pate and they have three super intelligent and attractive children.


So how do you vote? There is a poll in the left sidebar where you can vote for your favorite Pate. We do hope that everyone who votes for their favorite brother will make a donation to either HASRA:



or Safeplace:


You may leave comments and recommendations in the comment section. Tell us why you voted as you did. Just keep it light and G-rated. The poll will be open until the end of May so that voters will have their income tax refunds back to contribute to our two extremely worthy causes.


Where's the No-Bid Plaza?/A Truly Fantabulous Contest


The Alabama legislature is considering a no-bid law for public works projects. We chiefly support bids on most everything connected with government spending, but we know that some projects are exempt. The services of an architect is one exemption, and this can be either good or bad. In case you've forgotten:


So how is this project going? We have no idea. The last mention of the project seems to have been in February 2014 when architect Donnie Phillips stated his plans should be finished by May 2014. Once work started, Phillips estimated the plaza would be open in four months.

We feel sure there has to be a parallel universe somewhere in which the College Street Plaza sits side by side with the UNA College of Intergrative Health and a fully operational rail car plant.

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Well, we seem to have missed another holiday...and it was a biggie. How could we have overlooked "National Pate Day?" The Pate family has a long and distinguished heritage in Colbert County:


Now it seems there's a National Pate Day, and we feel so horrible about missing it, we have come up with an appropriate way for everyone to salute the Pate brothers while actually doing something for one of the area's most worthy causes.

Below is a picture of the Pate Brothers, presumably posted for Siblings Day which somehow morphed into National Pate Day. We want you, our wonderful readers to vote on your favorite Pate. This is strictly going to be on an honor system, but if you vote, you need to make a donation to HASRA or Safeplace. We'll have the poll up by tomorrow, but in the meantime, you can be making your selection now.

L to R: William, Shaun, Joey, & Daniel




Shoalanda

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tuscumbia Employee Salutes Park Patron?


The TimeDaily recently offered us its version of muskrat love...er, hate, but muskrats and the light show at Spring Park aside, there seem to be many problems with the park that are being glossed over. We're publishing a new guest editorial today; it's accompanied by photos, so we can say that most of this is documented. Did a City of Tuscumbia employee direct an obscene gesture at our writer? If any employees wish to make a rebuttal, they are always welcome.

From our guest editorialist:

We had an article on muskrats in the newspaper on March 22, where the rec. director told the public, "creek will most likely be down for two weeks" After a period of three weeks, we get another lesson on muskrats, where we are informed that it will take another two to three weeks for repairs to be completed. Again all blame was on the muskrats Might I assume from this that if the rec. director fails to have it ready in two more weeks, we will get another article on muskrats, and how we are having FEW complaints. 


The nice picture in the newspaper shows three people working while the rec. director watches I have been in Spring Park most every day this last month, and have seen the rec. director there only three times, never helping.


Saturday`s newspaper says, "Kendrick said that the other park rides , including the carousel, small roller coaster, and train are up and running. For the most part, we`re full steam ahead right now." The truth is the train is in operational condition only with three cars, The other three are inside in shambles, being used for PARTS.


The huge drive wheels are not on the engine and have not been for three years. The railroad bridge is a total embarrassment from missing boards and the crossing gates are not working properly.


The park was scheduled to open the first weekend in March. Six weeks later the lights on the carousel STILL are not working, still no music. I think I can say that the lights, or lack thereof, is not a muskrat problem. {management, maybe?} It also safe to say that the rusted bathroom door is not muskrat related.


The rec. director believes that the waterfall will be repaired "by the time the light show repairs are done" I suppose TWO to THREE weeks? Now if our rec. director is proud of his part in this, and willing to say the rides are up and running," and for the most part are full steam ahead", we may have an understanding as to why things are in the shape they are.


PS= I was siting in my truck today, enjoying the scenery, when I received an obscene hand gesture from the engineer and conductor. CLASS?

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On the bright side in Tuscumbia, we believe that city has the honor of having the most adept police chief. We understand there may be some news in the Elbert Farley Davis Jr. murder investigation in the immediate future. Prayers for Chief Logan and all involved in bringing this murderer to justice.



Shoalanda

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Phillip Pettus v. David Bronner?


First, who are the highest paid employees of the State of Alabama? For your reading enjoyment:

1) David Bronner
Salary: $572,097.02
CEO, Retirement Systems of Alabama
2) Donald Yancey
Salary: $331,139.64
Deputy director, Retirement Systems of Alabama
3) R. Marc Green
Salary: $306,378.29
Director of investments, Retirement Systems of Alabama
4) M. Hunter Harrell
Salary: $276,069.17
Director of private placements, Retirement Systems of Alabama
5) Dr. Donald Williamson
Salary: $271,516.66
M.D., state health officer, Alabama Department of Public Health
6) Mark Heinrich
Salary: $271,400.00
Chancellor, Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education
7) Julie Barranco
Salary: $255,011.16
Director of fixed incomes, Retirement Systems of Alabama
8) Ronald Jones
Salary: $243,095.12
Chief examiner, Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts
9) Glen Pringle
Salary: $243,002.73
Development director, Retirement Systems of Alabama
10) William Ashmore
Salary: $233,902.05
CEO, Alabama State Employees’ Insurance Board
11) Thomas Bice
Salary: $229,416.60
State superintendent, Alabama Department of Education
12) Randall Hillman
Salary: $225,299.92
Executive director, Alabama Office of Prosecution Services
13) Diane Scott
Salary: $221,610.17
CFO, Retirement Systems of Alabama
14) William Kelley
Salary: $215,314.55
Director of benefits, Retirement Systems of Alabama
15) Dr. Thomas Miller
Salary: $213,216.10
Chief medical officer, Alabama Department of Public Health
16) Dr. Karen Landers
Salary: $207,192.80
Assistant state health officer, Alabama Department of Public Health
17) Dr. Nabajyoti Kakati
Salary: $206,784.90
Psychiatrist, Alabama Department of Mental Health
18) Dr. Sabin Sebastian
Salary: $206,684.90
Psychiatrist, Alabama Department of Mental Health
19) Dr. Marie Glenn
Salary: $206,192.80
Psychiatrist, Alabama Department of Mental Health
20) James McLain
Salary: $205,400.00
General counsel, Alabama State Bar
21) Keith Norman
Salary: $205,400.00
Executive director, Alabama State Bar
22) Dr. Mary McIntyre
Salary: $204,921.80
M.D., assistant state health officer, Alabama Department of Public Health
23) Leura Canary
Salary: $204,831.58
General counsel, Retirement Systems of Alabama
24) Gregory Fitch
Salary: $201,745.00
Executive director, Alabama Commission on Higher Education
25) Samuel Welch
Salary: $200,153.12
Presiding judge, Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

It's been speculated over the past few years that David Bronner's star is falling within the state. The RSA has often been compared to a pyramid scheme. We're not accountants, nor are we going to offer an opinion on these charges at this time.

What we will offer is that a very respected source has told us Phillip Pettus, R-Greenhill, is among a group seeking Dr. Bronner's ouster. We await more on this....

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Our governor? He refuses his salary. Is that just PR or is that true dedication? How many of the above referenced 25 would be willing to forgo his/her salary for a year? How about a month? Two weeks? Didn't think so.

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Want more money? Marry it? Work at a chicken plant? Apply to the RSA?





Shoalanda