With All Due Respect #44

With All Due Respect #44

9/12/2021 8:30 AM

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welcome to another episode of With All Due Respect
the podcast that although it was born with two left feet
was considered by some
…to be quite the
…Casanova at Ponce DeLeon High

Greetings I am Gerry Fleck
your host for this
blue ribbon of a podcast

With me as always
is my co-host with the most
…my chief collaborator
…Cookie?
…Cookie Googleman?
…it’s my main man Van Sanders

Mr. Sanders
…how are you today?


Excellent.

As always we’d like to thank….


…and we would once again like to thank you
…our listeners
…by the time you hear my voice we will have
…reached 60,000 downloads in only 44 shows


On today’s With All Due Respect



…in politics


In Federal politics…
The campaign for Alaska’s lone congressional seat
Who is Nick Begich?
Now Young silent

We’re gonna talk about why

I think this entire race is a con job


And not a cool con job like in
the Sting with Robert Redford

In state politics
…a public commission has voted to limit
…the amount of per diem lawmakers can claim
…hallelujah!
…For heaven’s sake we’ve been incentivizing
…legislative gridlock at a cost of $500 grand per month

In local politics…

A recap of Mayor Dave Bronson’s revolving door
like the mariners that never return home
we ring the bell



…in life

Alaska’s public schools demand attention
They are hemorrhaging staff
They are struggling to recruit staff
and the system is at a breaking point

Today we are going to reseruct
…a groundbreaking education study
…and ring the alarm bells for teachers



…in entertainment

…we review a great book
…about how a
…famous Italian fashion family
…was destroyed
…by greed, jealousy and murder

…spoiler alert
…the book was just released
…as a major motion picture


…In closing comments

Last week emails released
…showed Anchorage City Manager
…Amy Demboski
…attempted to cut
…the live public feed
…during a recent raucous
…assembly meeting

I’m not sure what bothers the podcast more
…the fact that Demboski tried to cut the feed
…or the fact that Demboski tried to cut the feed
…of the highest rated assembly meeting of the season

…this would have been 1968 outrage all over again
…to show Heidi
…when the Super Bowl was  on


So…

Places to go
people to see
podcasts to host

….let’s get started by talking some politics



(Van plays politics bit)

In federal politics

Rep. Don Young running for his 26th term
and something just ain’t stirring the kool aid right

Faced with a challenge from Nick Begich 44 years old
grandson of a former Alaska Congressman

Meanwhile…Young has stayed errily silent about his opponent.

The last time Young was seriously challenged was in 2008
when then Lt. Gov Sean Parnell surprisingly jumped in
which prompted the response I beat you dad now I’m going to beat you

But it’s not just Young’s silence.
His biggest supporters are abandoning ship
and no one is saying a word
…Truman and Ashley Reed
…saying time has passed for Young

Okay so this young dude steps up with no pushback?

Begich’s sickly staged announcement a Wasilla cafe
I’m conservative more right than Young
Painting the picture
– viable alternative to the aging Young
…Don’s heir apparent

voice of the past Fritz Pettyjohn
…chimed in from wherever he’s living now
…about how Begich is a suitable replacement
…but mentioned nothing about Begich’s actual
…accomplishments

we have our thoughts and a potential conspiracy theory
there is no way Don Young makes it to the November election
this is a set up
This is clearing the deck if I’ve ever seen it
It’s poetic right…Begich…Young…Begich
…the position comes full circle complete
…with a Republican transformation
…of a member of one of the most
…prominent political names in history

…it’s all to Hollywood
…but
…it’s all to possible

…so my advice to those of you
…who want to run for Congress
…this is your year
…because your host does not believe
…for a minute that Don Young
…plans to serve another term



In state politics
…a public commission last week
…voted to limit the amount of per diem
…state lawmakers may claim

Okay
…as a recovering politician
…this issue is near and dear to my heart
…while no one is getting rich being a lawmaker
…unended per diem is an incentive for gridlock

…the 14 lawmakers who held the legislature hostage
…under the guise of conservatism
…were the largest per diem leeches in the bunch

…$293 per day / 60 lawmakers equals over $500k per month

…Example of abuse
…Vic Kohring (even Christmas)

Raise their yearly salary but
curtail their per diem.

In local politics


Mayor Bronson’s revolving door
…firing of 15 year employee
…reproductive health official




(Van plays politics bit)


In Life


…eight years ago
…one of the largest
…and most comprehensive
…studies of Alaska’s public school
…student population was conducted

The study was ignored and brushed aside
…by public policy makers
…but today
…after eight years of students leaving Alaska
…this podcast resurrects that study
…and rings the alarm bells again

In order to put this into context
…we need a history lesson

…In January 2013
… I was hired as president
…of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce
…I was faced with a membership
…that had serious concerns about
…graduating students

…we’ve all heard the complaints
…no math, no soft skills,

So
…in order to find a path forward
…I reached out to the NEA
…we collaborated with the United Way
…and others
…which included both superintendent and teacher of the year


In concert with Northern Economic
…we created one of the most comprehensive
…studies of the student population ever

This report documented
… the results of a nearly 1,200 Alaska teachers
…and an 800 person statewide survey of Alaska households
…on issues facing teachers, students,
…schools, and communities.

The study’s purpose was to
…provide some of the information
…necessary to advance statewide conversations
…on education policy and programs
…in a way that
…supports student learning,
…engagement, and performance

The study allowed for
a look inside the K-12 pipeline
of what was happening
at the beginning, middle and the end
of the pipeline in the eyes of teachers and the public.

And the most fascinating
…was we broke down the categories
…into urban and rural as well
…so you could evaluate every segment
…of the K-12 population
…through the eyes of rural
…and urban teachers

Now one thing was clear
…Teachers and households speak a different language
…with respect to how to prioritize issues

…In particular, households focused
…on societal issues that are largely external to schools,
…such as drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence,

…while teachers focused on societal issues
…as they express themselves inside schools,
…such as chronic absence,
…the lack of supportive home environments,
…and prior student preparation.

Also
…the consumers of the public school experience are more positive
…about the job schools are doing
…than those who do not have children
…in the school system

This is the difference between
…go out and play
…and stay off my lawn


So what are teachers seeing?

When you look at the beginning of the pipeline
…you see what’s entering into the system
…over half of Kindergartners are not
….ready to learn on the first day

Different skills – some can hold a book right
…some cannot not
…regardless
….by third grade 80% of the kids in that class
…are expected to learn how to read






When we think of our student population
…we cannot forget we lead the
…nation in almost every bad health categories

…domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse
…sexual assault, child endangerment
…we are not a healthy population

…Add to the mix ASD
…is the most diverse school district
…in the country with
…with a host of cultural
…and socio-economic challenges


Ladies and gentlemen…
…there is a reason why
…South Anchorage hosts
…a 4 yr graduation rate of 94%
…and my alma matta East Anchorage
…hosts an 80% 4 yr graduation rate
…and it has nothing to do with teachers
…it has to do with student population
…and the complexities they present


I remember years ago
…researching a column I
…was writing on education
…when Carol Comeau
…the former ASD School Superintendent
…told me the story
…of how she had just enrolled
…five Hmong children
…and not one of them spoke English



When you think about all of these challenges
…think about this
…there is an unprecedented amount
…of teacher’s leaving the ASD this year
…which will create an unprecedented amount
…of openings next year

…One local educator told me
…he knew twelve teachers that were
…leaving …even those in their first of second years
…because it’s not only these challenges
…but Covid has brought things to the extreme
…from student conduct to parent conduct
…it’s simply a difficult time to be an educator


We need leadership on education
…A superintendent leaving next year
…an unprecedented amount of people
…leaving the school district this year
…we need a vision on education

…When was the last time you heard Governor Dunleavy
…mention education?

…The only time I’ve heard him mention education
…was when he sued to stop education funding

…Next year we are electing a new governor

…We need a governor with a vision on education

…We need a governor that will finally
…acknowledge that we’re losing students
…were losing teachers
…and we currently have no plan
…to attract and retain either of them.


In entertainment:

Today we review a book
…that was just recently released as a
…major motion picture
…starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver and Al Pacino

March 27, 1995
Maurizio Gucci was shot
The investigation would take 2 years
Patrizia arrested with other
This is their story
…or is it?

The book is called…
House of Gucci
Sara Gay Forden
348 Pages


And while the cinematic previews
…center around the relationship between Maurizio and Patrizia
…surprisingly in the book it is very limited

…In fact
…Patrizia disappears for 100 pages in the book
…and only returns in any substance
…after she is arrested for the murder


the book focuses more on the family
…the growth of the Gucci business
…the public legal struggles
…and the endless
…power plays within the family

Very little in the book is actually dedicated to
…the marriage between Maurizio and Patrizia
…it was predominantly a historical account
…of the rise and fall of the Gucci business

…Judging from the movie previews
…of the House of Gucci
…This book was more like eating vegetables
…but the movie looks like an elegant dessert

Now
…this is the second fashion related book
…I have reviewed on this podcast

…the first was about
…the fabulous Cocoa Channel

I like these books not for the fashion
…business decisions
…legal maneuvering
…global expansions
…strategic decisions
…all of this is fascinating to me

…Gucci similar to Channel

– hats, both made it big in USA only to see their brands dilute until rescue

Once again the book is the House of Gucci…
…if you want to skip the vegis and go right to dessert
…I wouldn’t blame you

(Van plays politics, life, entertainment)


In closing comments:

Last week a string of emails was released
that showed City Manager Amy Demboski
attempted to cut the live
public feed of the assembly
meeting during one of the
Bronson administration’s bring your
objectionable supporter to work day


Apparently Demboski
…believed that instead of calming the crowd
…the same crowed
…she stoked weeks earlier
…at Bronson’s Covid pep rally

…instead of calming the crowd
…or at least requesting the mayor
…to calm his own supporters
…she decided to simply cut off public access

The Anchorage City Manager decided unilaterally
…to cut the public broadcast feed
…during one of the most contentious
…assembly meetings of the year
…in direct violation of the law

…Yes.
…The city code mandates assembly meetings be broadcast
…and here’s the city manager is clearly interfering

Unfortunately I find myself asking this question far too often
what the hell is wrong with these people?

Why hasn’t Amy Demboski been fired yet?
Why?

Because it’s clear Mayor Bronson
is happy playing the part of the enuche
on the eighth floor


Why isn’t there any accountability within the Bronson administration?


First his legislative aide tries to sneak into a local hospital
…to create a scene
…and now his City Manager tries to cut the public feed
…to create a scene

His entire eighth floor is littered
…with morally and intellectually
…bankruptcy cases

This was a blatant attempt to restrict
public access.

Where the hell is Doc. Russell Biggs at?

What was even more aggregious
was the response from the Mayor’s communication team
…I swear they all remind me of Bagdad Bob

…first
…last week when asked about the incident
…the Mayor’s office vehemently denied
…that Demboski attempted to have the feed
…cut

“I’m not aware of anyone in the administration attempting to make the fire department stop the livestream,”
Corey Allen Young, the mayor’s spokesman said

…then when faced with the emails
…Young replied that
…“the livestream was not shut down at any time.”



I know these folks don’t
have much to work with
but I have to wonder
how they sleep at night

Amy Demboski should be fired.

Any Mayor with an ounce of integrity
…or credibility would have
…fired Amy Demboski

But Anchorage doesn’t have a mayor
…with an ounce of integrity
…or credibility
…instead we have a mayor
…who is happier playing the role
… of the chief eunuch
…rather than the chief executive

Demboski was not only unqualified for this position
…but it’s clear she’s pretty much unqualified
…for any position that requires the public trust.


And there is the closing music

program note…
…we will be off for the next few weeks
…but will return with a Year end special show
…before beginning our regular schedule next year

…Van how about your website details…






Other recent stories from Andrew Halcro/With All Due Respect:

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