El Mitote

By: Bill Whaley
30 January, 2013

Forget the lies they tell you in the headlines and at the meetings. The game’s afoot and it’s called a new generation of candidates for mayor and town council, etc., et al. The younger generation—like the minority of three at the Coop–believes in public service, not in hijacking the public purse. Friction sources say young Darien Fernandez will make an announcement—officially—in a couple of months as the 2014 candidate for Mayor of the Town of Taos. The race can’t start too soon. Hope springs eternal in the hearts of the populace, led by the Sign Man.

We don’t know what plans former Mayor Fred Peralta has or whether incumbent Mayor Darren Cordova will try again. But the younger generation seeks support from one and all, including the organized opposition, led by gadfly  Jeff, who is unafraid of Mayor or Commissioner, Cop or Judge. But nobody wants Jeff as Mayor–unless Fred and Darren are the only alternatives.

We hear but have not confirmed that longtime legislator New Mexico Representative Bobby Gonzales might retire (and he is not retiring, according to his supporters). Still, Taos County Commissioner Dan Barrone has been asked to throw down his work gloves and run for Bobby’s seat. Coop activists say they are looking for a second woman to run for the KCEC board to keep Luisa company and so she doesn’t have to bring her Papa to the meetings to keep the male chauvinists in line. TMS is  considered a hopeless and semi-failed institution.

Ostrich Syndrome

If you’re interested in the Coop, see Suitors. He is seeking a few good men and women to run for the KCEC Coop board this spring. Apply in person at the Haberdasher’s Shop. You can buy a warm coat for the campaign or a visor to shade your eyes. Benefits for board members include multiple monthly meetings here in Taos and the surrounding area at $150 a pop and include innumerable travel opportunities to warm and hospitable places where the words “Walt Disney” and “Las Vegas” serve as the antidote to ennui in northern New Mexico. Help out your cuates with complimentary woodpiles or your cronies with construction contracts.

Potential Coop candidates include Teresa’s man, Manuel Medina and Luis’s chosen one, David Torres. But challengers might include Pennie Wardlow, Andy Vargas, Erminio Martinez, Cliff Bain, Dennis Mondragon, Flavio Romero, Flavio Martinez, Flavio Rodriguez, and Flavio Romo.

But bring a big mop and a mop bucket. The Coop is $85 million in debt and eight of the current 11 members are floating down the Rio de Nial (River of denial). The energizer bunny is working hard to shift the burden of the yearly loan payment at the Command Center, $115,000, from the Coop to the Town and County via the E911 merger and acquisition–one of the great cons of this or any era.

(Kit Carson Propane sells for 2.69 a gallon; NM Propane sells for $2.61, and Pendleton sells for $1.79 to $2.26 depending on volume. The CEO and current board are betting the Coop’s assets on the future of the $60 million Broadband project. Google, google; giggle, giggle. They are going one on one (basically) with Century Link while local yokels remain loyal to Taos Net.)

Meanwhile, TRI-State G&T, the Coop’s partner in energy exploitation, has jumped into federal court to avoid regulation at the NMPRC. Similarly, the KCE Coop jumped into district court to avoid confronting their own disgruntled members, claiming they wrote their own by-laws vaguely.

According to a KCEC trustee, the Coop’s representative to Tri-State, Art Rodarte (again) hid behind a woman’s skirts and abstained (again) from voting against the Tri-State rate increase. But once you sell your soul to the devil–like the board did to Art–well, you can see how Art laughs all the way to Denver and back home where he deposits his ill-gotten gains estimated at $50 grand a year for the pleasure of picking the members’ pockets. Eh Art? Viva, Viva Rodarte.

The CRAB Hallettes

Despite the federal lawsuit(s) that resulted from a disagreement over the 2008—2009 budget and audit, both financial and systemic, no public announcements or clarifications of the controversy were ever forthcoming. When the prior board, especially the Cantankerous Cordova and Rattlesome Ruiz, called for accountability, the administrators responded with ghostly allegations and a federal lawsuit, signed onto by 11 Crab Hallettes. Though the allegations were reprinted and reported in the media no news mavens ever followed up to tell us the rest of the story. A federal judge threw the aministrators’ nonsensical claims out of court. The sound and fury added up to nothing but another cover-up, which seems to define the role of school board members.

For years the Taos Municipal Schools jiggered and misrepresented the number of Special Ed students to collect vast sums from NMPED, while not delivering the services. Administrators kept their salaries high—spending their squeaky dollars in local casinos, according to resident witnesses.

The conflicts of interest at TMS serve reporters and board members, their kin and the virtual image of the community but not the reality referred to below by a Friction Contributor. Yesterday’s Albuquerque Journal detailed how the Martinez administration managed to reevaluate tests and test scores so as to insure that virtual graduation rates went up. The “cover-up” in NM schools is a statewide issue.

We say why vote for board members to cover up the flaws in the system or a bond issue that throws good money after bad because the schools have no maintenance program? Average folks, parents and students, are voting with their feet to join charter schools or classrooms, where the GED offers an antidote to the stifling atmosphere of the public schools. It’s time for a new generation of administrators at the public schools but nobody’s talking about that or the money wasted and opportunities lost.


By Contributor

It’s like sports… there’s the coaches, the players, the umps, the owners and the press. Of course in the back, the gamblers, the casinos, the TV contracts and the guv’mint. Then, there’s the fans… the ones who finance the whole shebang and smile under the load. Wrap it all up, a neat package, self-sustaining entertainment for the people.

In Edjucashon, there’s the teachers, the admin, the district, the press and the lobbyists. Of course in the back, there’s the Cabinet Secretaries at every level and the consultants. Then there’s the taxpayers… the ones who finance the whole shebang and stagger day to day. Wait, what about the students? Not a neat package but how are they? Does anyone really know?

Ask any player the secret to sports… it’s relationships, luck, ability and “time on task”… Ask any student the secret to Edjucashon… some know, many do not, some don’t care. Those who know, do well in any Edjucashon system… from roll your own to royal tutors. The common denominator is the same, it’s relationships, luck, ability and “time on task”.

Everything else, all the theories, the systems, the studies, the teachers of teachers the politics, the buildings, the real estate, the scoring, the tests, the certifications, the credentials, the preferred parking, the curriculum and the academic schedule matter far less than the relationships, luck, abilities and “time on task”. Deep down, You knew this…?

One-on-One time with a coach, a teacher, a friend, a parent, or a mentor tilts the scales. Cut the fluff, double the “time on task”, double the One-on-One time, test less, learn more. Marvel at the performance of our public learnin’ game. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Joy. Simple primer from the likes of Yogi Berra and the seniors of the human species.

Too Simple, maybe not, humans are designed to learn. Edjucashon tries to sabotage it. Maybe luck is an acquired skill. Trust intuition to find it. Ability thrives via inclination. Measure it, “time on task” is the driver. Document the relationships be they teachers or others. Easily tallied. Whatever is measured, improves… Bank on it!

GMF 1/2013.


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