Sunday, September 11, 2011

The bus stops here...NOT!

As long as we have lived here, our driveway has been the bus stop for the high schoolers. We also had the city bus stop here for half of the time. We are not on the corner but the owners of that house had petitioned the powers that be to have all the bus stops moved to our house instead as the riders were disturbing their dogs. (Of course having their dogs disturb us was never addressed. For 5 years, their idiotic Great Dane would charge our fence snarling at our kids if they dared use our own back yard. The owners themselves would have regular screaming matches calling each other every word in the book. They eventually moved out and now illegally rent the house to large groups of loud young adults. Fortunately, the mosquitoes have kept them inside for the past month. But I digress.)

Tax revenues are down so the schools are scrambling to make budget cuts. They did vote to increase the pay of the new superintendent by 50K (we need to attract the best...yeah that has worked so well in the past). Freshman sports have been eliminated and busing has been drastically reduced. So many high schoolers drive to school; certainly they can all carpool or something.  Ann Arbor is a community of extremes: have a whole lots and have hardly anythings. There are large pockets of people where not even the parents have cars much less having a spare one for their teenager to tool around in. Well they can just walk in the darkwhile toting a heavy back pack sometimes on roads with no shoulders and in the winter, no snow removal, for a half hour or more then wait for a bus that delivers them well before school starts, . This might solve the achievement gap, which seems to be more along economic lines than anything else than the black/white gap. The poor just won't come to school. Until this busing crisis is solved, community leaders have been advocating for no-shows on Count Day. Each of these bodies is good for $6500 from the state. That will send our school district even further into the red.

Much to Naomi's chagrin, I didn't let her drive until she was 18. I really feel that most 16 year olds do not belong on the road. Just this year some 16 year old girl with lots of friends in tow, decided to play chicken with me while I was running on a slippery street. I've been watching her carefully having tracked the car to her house: one more incident and I will speak to the parents though probably they will defend their bear cub's right to maim people with all their might which is why I have left this alone.

So it is quiet now at 6:45 am in front of my house. If Naomi still went to high school, she'd have a 20 minute walk to the middle school so she'd have to leave before 6:25. Some of the kids in the condos will have another 20 minutes tacked on while crossing a street that the drivers mistake for the entrance ramp to US23. The city was going to put special flashing lights for the very dangerous crossing but instead opted to buy German public art for its new city hall. They can't do both.

It has finally stopped raining after 5 days. Many of plants are moldy. I spent a good part of the morning finally dealing with the wild blackberries that have sprouted everywhere. With the ground so wet, it is easier to pull them out.

I have to admit to losing faith with the UM football team. It didn't look good at all versus Notre Dame. But somehow they came alive and won. Even though Josh never went to UM, he follows the football team with rabid interest. His chief concern about going to Brazil was that he'd miss the games, which we are taping for him. He throws UM parties on Football Saturdays. Naomi threw her own last night.

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