It's been a difficult time here in Nevada. A couple of weeks ago President Obama again offended the Mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman, when he told people at a town meeting in Nashua, NH, "You don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices."
Hearing that, Goodman said the president is not welcome in our state. Obama is due here on Friday. What will happen if he shows up in Goodman's city? Stay tuned.
Our beleaguered governor, Jim Gibbons, saw fit to address the education and ever-growing budget shortfall. In a January 6 press release, Gibbons' office* said, "It's time to stop whining that education in Nevada doesn't work because of lack of funding."
Then, this week, we were treated to the State of the State address by our Governor Gibbons. He took a firm stand against raising taxes and, even, had a novel proposal of sorts.
With the Silver State's schools ranked 49th in per pupil expenditures and the state's students falling near the bottom in achievement as compared to other states, Gibbons took a stand.
He announced, thus, a program of Education Gift Certificates (above) whereby Nevada residents would be able to make donations to pay teachers' salaries. Yes, you read that correctly.
This is really all beyond my comprehension. But it concerns me.
No, the President shouldn't have said what he did. Yes, it was the second time he pointed at Las Vegas in this manner and it was foolish. To make the same point -- that people have to make choices in these economic times -- he could have singled out Atlantic City, for example, as a place where one can go to "blow a bunch of cash." But he didn't. He did apologize. I'll accept it.
And the Governor? Our children deserve the best education possible. If it means a small raise in taxes, do it. People here, who are losing their homes at a faster clip than in anyplace else in the country, probably cannot afford to make donations. I understand all the lobbying groups who are sensitive to the needs of their constituents. But schoolchildren are all of our constituents. We must provide for their most basic needs. And, in this country today, education is one of those.
These are both heavy issues. I don't want my president to feel unwelcome in my state and, as noted above, solving Nevada's education crisis is a must. But it's been bothering me that I cannot do anything to help in either case. But there is something that's bothering me, albeit on a lesser scale, that perhaps I can change.
Maybe I can help Ugly Betty stay on the air.
A few weeks ago, ABC announced that the show has been canceled and I was much more disappointed than I've ever been about such news. After all, that's showbiz, isn't it? But Betty is different, special.
The story of a young woman who is making her dreams come true is a lovely one. Add to that the specifics of this show and it becomes unique on today's television landscape.
First, the show takes place in New York City -- a New York City (and Queens) shown like it is in real life. The story of the magazine business is interesting and the characters -- even the ones like Wilhelmina who aren't very nice -- are fun to watch. And, that's another thing. Betty is an hour-long dramedy in which the combination of drama and comedy makes for some real drama and real comedy.
So, what happened? ABC tossed the show around it's schedule -- Thursday, Friday, Wednesday -- like it was created to fill a void in the schedule. But it had -- at least on Thursday, a loyal following. Some of those people even managed to follow it into its Friday night graveyard time slot. Now, on Wednesday, it's doing better.
So, I went to Google and searched for Ugly Betty petitions and to the Save Ugly Betty website. Then I spent spent a few minutes signing all the petitions. If you like the show I hope you will, too. Hopefully, at least one wrong that a citizen finds outrageous can be set right by citizen action.
(*Despite the quotation marks I inserted above, there were no quotes attributed to anyone in that release, even though Gibbons was mentioned repeatedly and it said in big fat letters next to the state seal that the release came from "Governor Jim Gibbons." Could it be that his press staff is a reflection of the education level in this state?)