Kudos to sports mom Sandi Flint for challenging the Commerce Board of Education to hire more coaches.
Flint’s words carry weight. She’s a 27-year teaching veteran, coached 14 years and all four of her kids attended (or attend) the city school system. And she did her homework, presenting evidence that participation in sports improves academics and behavior.
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On Sunday afternoon, Jon and I were quickly making last-minute plans for our upcoming summer vacation, which begins in less than two weeks.
We have known for several months that our family would be traveling to Jackson Hole, Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for a week of sightseeing and family bonding, but have just finished making all the final arrangements.
We complain of “special interest” groups that influence politicians and decry all sorts of prejudices, but every human is susceptible to countless influences and prejudices that color how we view our world. And often as not, we’re not aware of those things that shape our outlook.
In “Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave,” Adam Alter recounts scores of experiments that demonstrate how susceptible we are to being influenced by the known and unknown keys, to signals we’re not aware are being sent or received, to cues that on the surface seem absurd.
Driving through downtown Commerce will get a lot more challenging starting Monday, May 20.
That’s when crews under the Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin milling about four inches of pavement off Hwy. 98 in a project that will ultimately result in new pavement and striping. The work will continue through the downtown and out to Hwy. 334 near Ingles.
“They will be working at night, but it is going to cause major interruptions during the day because of the uneven pavement,” city manager Pete Pyrzenski told the Commerce City Council during its work session Monday night.
The last time the DOT milled down Broad and Elm streets it created an obstacle course of raised tops to water valves and sewer manholes that caused many a vehicle to need a new front end alignment.
Also on the topic of roads, the city manager reported that the DOT has responded to a request for yet another modification to the intersection of Hwy. 98, Broad and Elm streets and South Broad Street Extension that will allow drivers approaching from the east on Ila Road to turn left on South Broad Street Extension. The DOT’s recent change to the intersection made the left turn illegal.
Turning left onto South Elm Street will still be illegal.
The Commerce City Council appears ready to trim about $5,000 off the cost of building a house or commercial building in the city.
The council voiced support during its work session Monday night for a recommendation by city manager Pete Pyrzenski that the city reduce the combined cost of its basic water and sewer tap fees — currently $2,500 and $4,000 respectively for a single-family residential structure — to a combined $1,500.
Pyrzenski told the council he’s “noticed right away that our water tap fees and sewer tap fees were really astronomical in price.” He also pointed out that during 2012 the city sold zero water or sewer taps.
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The Commerce Board of Education faces the task of finding a new superintendent of schools since James “Mac” McCoy is taking a job in Alabama. Finding the right person to guide the city school system will be the board’s most important task for the foreseeable future and ought to be done very carefully.
During McCoy’s tenure, the Commerce School System built the wonderful new CHS building and greatly increased the number of Advance Placement courses available at the high school, but CHS students continue to lag behind other area schools — and often the dismal state average score — in the Scholastic Assessment Test, and the system continues to produce too many graduates who elect not to pursue post-secondary education.
The Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce is losing its most senior employee.
Linda Foster, vice president for member services for the past nine years, will leave May 21 to become the executive director of Family Connections.
“Linda facilitated the Leadership Jackson program for the past five years, organized and directed the annual awards banquet, STAR and Teacher of the Year, Jackson Derby, Chamber golf tournament, Partners in Education, Taste of Jackson and Woman of the Year Luncheon,” noted an announcement on the chamber’s Web site. “She also facilitated programs and committees of the chamber, such as, Education Committee, Women in Business, chamber breakfast, Tourism Development Council, and Drug-Free Workplace seminars.”
Foster is the third key chamber official to leave in the past year. Former president Shane Short resigned in August, and Courtney Bernardi, the chamber’s director of economic development, resigned effective April 12 to take a job in Newton County. Neither has yet been replaced, but the chamber has combined those positions in the hopes of attracting more applicants for the president’s job.
For the full story, see the May 1 edition of The Commerce News.