Monday, 8/16/10, Public Square

Elvis has left the building. (January 8, 1935 โ€“ August 16, 1977)


Filed under The Public Square

36 responses to “Monday, 8/16/10, Public Square

  1. Yesterday the local newspaper’s front page article was about crime. It showed the stats for where crimes happened, where they were on the rise and what areas had improved.

    I can’t find an online link to one part of this article that was called “CRIME HOT SPOTS,” but I am concerned about the info provided under that heading. It said, “These are the blocks that were listed most often in several crime categories during the two years. Where possible, the source of at least some of the crimes is listed in parentheses.

    The two years they’re talking about are 2008 and 2009, at least I think so because all the comparisons were for last year vs. the year before. So under this heading, “CRIME HOT SPOTS” they listed eight categories —

    1. Residential burglary
    2. Robbery
    3. Theft
    4. Auto Theft
    5. Assault/battery
    6. DUI
    7. Domestic violence
    8. Disturbing the peace/fighting

    Then, under each of the categories they listed a few locations and a number which I take it was the number of crimes reported at that listed location. This would have been easier if I could have found an online link so you could see this, but I’m finally getting to the part that has me very upset. FOUR of the locations listed as CRIME HOT SPOTS are schools.

    Under “Assault/battery” we see this:

    300 North Market (homeless drop in center) 90
    1200 North Broadway (businesses) 79
    1100 North Dougherty (Hadley Middle School) 79

    A middle school listed as a CRIME HOT SPOT!

    Further down under the heading, “Disturbing the peace/fighting,” three more schools — South High School, Mayberry Middle School and Mead Middle School — are listed.

    Does having four of our schools listed as CRIME HOT SPOTS concern anyone? It concerns me A BUNCH! Middle schools are for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. This would be children 10 – 14 years old. Just WOW! Honestly, these are crime hot spots? I think I need more information!

    • Sorry, fnord, I’m past concern. The surprise to me was that there weren’t more schools listed, especially in the Assault/battery and Disturbing peace/fighting categories.

      Middle schools are prime territory for gang “wanna be” activity. That is what I see reflected in the numbers. Considering the SES of the student bodies at the respective middle schools, I’m sure that the only reason that some of them were not in the robbery category, too is that there is nothing of intrinsic value possessed by many of the students to rob, which, BTW, might contribute to the physical harm (attempted or otherwise) offenses. And, these are just the ones reported to the authorities from the buildings; what is of some further concern to me is the number of incidents that were handled internally without involvement of the civil authorities.

    • paulasayles

      Without knowing the details, I have to agree that it is alarming.

      However, I am thinking about the way schools operate now, as opposed to the way they operated when I was a child. Instead of having a principal or teacher, or even a counselor, DEAL with a child’s outburst of anger or poor decisions, they just call the cops now. Whereas fights that used to happen on school grounds or just off school grounds when I was a junior high aged student used to end with a principal or teacher detaining a child or a group of children in the office and calling their parents, now it ends with the police being called and charges being filed.

      I find it fairly ridiculous, and I think it sends the kids the wrong message–that disciplinary problems can’t be handled by the adults in charge and that the authorities must be called in. But then, I don’t work at a junior high school, so I don’t know if we just have a larger subgroup of juvenile delinquents menacing the larger population or incompetents in leadership positions. (The latter seeming more likely to me as it would mirror what appears to be happening in the corporate world and in government.)

      • paula, the schools in 259 are, by policy, to report physical assaults, etc., to the authorities. This came about as the result of some unfortunate confrontations in various buildings which led to serious injury. Additionally, the middle and high schools have had a police officer (known as a School Resource Officer) in the buildings for a number of years and if that officer sees a crime being committed then there is no “discretion” for the administrators; the police handle it, period.

        What you describe is the way things were done “back in the day” where I went to school. However, back then there was little to no chance one or more of the students involved had a weapon (firearm or otherwise); now, the odds are that at least one will. This results in situations where teachers and administrators are not willing to get in the middle of many of these altercations (properly so, IMHO).

        That said, I am aware that there are many incidents of the type reported which are handled without the involvement of the authorities. A number of these are the “young bull” kind of altercation over the attentions of a young woman. However, there are more battles erupting in the schools (and the society as a whole) involving drugs, weapons, perceived “dissing”, etc., that are very contentious and very dangerous, not only to those directly involved but the larger student body.

        Parental failure is a part of this, but not the sole and only part. It is an unfortunate commentary on our society at large, as schools reflect the larger world surrounding them.

      • paulasayles

        I do see your point, 6176, but I ascribe some of the societal breakdown on the inability of people to communicate in an adult way and the tendency at knee-jerkedness (is THAT a word??) that results in folks calling cops first and asking questions later.

        I understand that there is a reason in many cases that this happens. I have been in a situation myself once, where it would have been fruitless and perhaps even counter-productive for me to have tried to speak to the parent in the situation and therefore had to bring in authorities. I just object to this prosecute first, ask questions later mentality that seems to permeate our society and by extension our schools.

        Perhaps I am naive, (and I realize that there are exceptions to every rule) but I believe that if you set your expectations higher, children will have a tendency to live up to them. If you set your expectations on juvenile delinquent, your expectations are also met. I have no proof of this, except that when I have dealt with children, I have utilized this theory with positive results. Children aren’t perfect, they will slip sometimes. But it is a big shock for children to go from being treated with dignity and respect in elementary school to being treated as suspects in middle school.

  2. Children don’t seem to want to be children as long today. Maybe adults who exhort them to “stop being so childish” have contributed. Maybe child like behavior is less tolerated because they’re inside more often and their exuberance isn’t spent outside.

    Seems like not long ago when young girls who were dressed seductively led to us questioning the parents. Remember how we mostly disapproved of JonBenet Ramsey being allowed to dress and behave well beyond her years? Look around today and see how much more acceptable it must be, at least I see too much of it!

    In fact, I read an article (I think at NPR) recently that said the age of puberty was going way down — to around 8ish if I remember correctly. So we have emotions and hormones that aren’t easily dealt with in younger and younger children.

    Do you think this plays any part?

    • There are many, many issues at play here. One, arguably, is the use of various hormones in cattle which contributes to early physical onset of puberty.

    • paulasayles

      I do. My daughter was just telling me yesterday that some of her friends are not allowing their children to drink milk because they read somewhere that it is the hormones in milk that are causing early puberty in girls. [As an aside, my sister told me that in talking with her pediatrician, he told her that girls generally stop growing about three years after onset of menstruation. If all the girls are starting early, I guess women are going to start getting shorter again.]

      I wonder how many other ways our nation’s poor nutrition is affecting our kids?

      • Or, there’s going to be a whole lot of very tall 11 to 12 year old females.

        An attempt at a more serious thought: I was married for some 36 wonderful years to a woman who had experienced puberty “early”; our two daughters repeated their mother’s experience. In conversing with their pediatrician, he was of the thought that the nation’s nutrition did play a role; but, in his view, it was due to there being “plenty”, of good quality (from a historical perspective), and this led to earlier physical maturity. Genetics did (do) play a role as well. Both the girls (as well as their mother) were, in about the 5th grade the tallest, or among the tallest, of their classmates. The others “caught up”, and none of the three are (were) in the same category upon high school graduation.

        Being of average height myself (just ask me; I’ll tell you so), I “got there” in the 9th grade; my feet stopped growing (mercifully) in the 8th grade. I was quite disappointed that unlike my siblings and me, neither of my children were taller than I. Oh, well; that’s life.

      • 6176, you’re above average height by several inches!

  3. Annually when the police budget comes out here in Wichita one of the cuts is those school resource officers. If I remember, the school and police budgets share the costs for these officers. Adults who obviously don’t understand what has changed from the time they were in school to today are always in favor of taking the policemen out of schools where they aren’t (or shouldn’t be) needed.

    Guess they are needed if four schools are among the CRIME HOT SPOTS!

  4. paula,

    As a number of posters here know, I’ve been a member of the Site Council at Northeast Magnet High School for 16 years. At that particular site, the students are treated with dignity and respect, which minimizes disciplinary problems, especially serious ones.

    While it would appear that the treatment of students in such a manner works, that is not correct by itself. I believe a major key to the success of that school is due, in great part, to the fact that as a magnet school, there is a substantial majority (my estimate: 85 to 90%) of the student body who are there because they want to be, with the remainder there because their parents want them to be. This latter group shrinks dramatically during the first year, due to transfers, etc.

    Another important piece of the puzzle is its small enrollment (< 600). The faculty, staff, and students all get to know each other, making it difficult to "hide" or to go unnoticed. This contributes to a culture of "family".

    With the abolition of forced busing, and the new enrollment policies regarding students from the former Assigned Attendance Area, there has been a small increase in enrollment by those who are there because it's close. Many of these students are not ready for the more rigorous academic expectations of the school, and the efforts of the faculty, volunteers (students and adults), and peers to tutor them before school, after school and at lunch have met with limited success. Translated, this means that if the student doesn't care, if her/his parents don't care, the student will and does fail. The frustrations of these students (again, all of this is my opinion only) result in assaults, etc., the number of which has shown a small increase with the enrollment changes. Given the short time, this could just be coincidental, but I doubt it.

    What you describe as a prosecute first mentality is incorrect in my experience. Bluntly, the schools resisted the current policy until forced to adopt it by (1) legislative action; (2) threats of litigation. I am not unsympathetic to the potential plaintiffs. To me, the safety of the student body, and each member thereof, is of the highest importance. Without safety, nothing else of meaning can occur. I would note that the current expulsion/suspension policy (which reduced the numbers of each) adopted under pressure of the minority community has, regrettably, apparently contributed to the increase in ‘violent’ incidents.

    Sorry to be so “windy”. The issue that fnord raised is truly complex, not subject to easy response or resolution. I can understand your perspective, but “it isn’t your parents’ (or grandparents’) school anymore”.

    • paulasayles

      Not windy at all. I am glad to know of your first-hand experience in this. As I noted, I am no expert in this. My experience comes foremost as a parent and secondly as a daycare provider. It comes as a concerned citizen as well. But it doesn’t come without sympathy and empathy for the difficulties that educators are faced with in today’s society. And I am aware that the increased risk in schools is not necessarily that there is MORE violence, but that dangerous weapons are used more often when the violence erupts.

      I think there is a place for school resource officers. And I had one in my high school. I just don’t think that over-reliance on those officers should be the answer. Sounds like your magnet school embodies most of the educational theories that I support and is doing the best they can under the circumstances.

  5. wicked

    Well, gee, I thought you all were going to talk about Elvis. I had comments all ready for that. I don’t and never have liked Elvis. My oldest is a huge fan, although he was long dead before she was born. She and the daughter of one of my best writing friends dragged us to Graceland, which was a HUGE disappointment and extremely b-0-r-i-n-g.

    I don’t have enough experience with big city schools, so I’ll abstain. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • paulasayles

      It is just scary how alike we are, wicked. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I remember going to school (won’t say what year I was in) after Elvis died and so many of the girls were crying. And I thought, what the heck is all the fuss about, really? Much more a Beatles fan, Rolling Stones, etc. and, eventually, the most relevant Elvis to me was an Englishman named Declan Patrick McManus who changed his name to Elvis Costello and became an international star.

      • Ahem. paula, when Elvis died, I had just finished my 4 years of active duty in the USAF and returned to Lawrence to resume Law School (and my wife to attend graduate school). So; you are just an infant! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • paulasayles

        “So; you are just an infant!”

        So does this color your opinion of me in any way?

        Honestly, I always think of physical age as much less an important thing than intellectual age. I was born old and am also the kind of person that relates just as well to some teenagers as I do to people fifteen years my senior.

        By the way, my aversion to stating what year of school was just to avoid dating myself in any way.

      • No, paula, it does not. I was just trying to poke a bit of fun at someone apparently sensitive about her age for no apparent reason – that’s all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. When Elvis died I was the single mother of four and didn’t have time to think about anyone beyond those four very important people!

  7. Speaking of performers —

  8. indypendent

    When Elvis died, I thought the world had lost its mind by all the media coverage.

    But I think the media outdid themselves when Michael Jackson died.

    I liked Elvis but I would not consider myself a devoted fan. My grandmother, on the other hand, continued to be a fanatical fan for many, many years after his death.

  9. tosmarttobegop

    I let my parents borrow my scanner and after three days my dad brought it back.
    He said he had thought they lived in a safe and quiet neighborhood.
    Until he sat and listen to the calls within three blocks of the house.

    He was anti gun having carried one everywhere he went in Korea and had enough of that.

    He started thinking of buying a shotgun after learning about the area he thought he knew.

  10. tosmarttobegop

    An update, went to the specialist today and after he became alarmed about what he saw.
    He sent me to one of the other specialist in the building who dealt with diabetic eye problems.
    Stating if something is not done I would lose the sight in my left eye.

    The other specialist said he actually saw nothing that should be with a diabetic eye problem.
    But more a sign of the eye is not getting enough oxygen and formed new veins.
    But he did not know why that would be so I am being sent back to my M.D. to have some tests ran to look for blockage in my neck arteries.

    BUT that if that was the case since that feeds both the brain and the eyes there should have been signs of a stroke. But there has not been any that I have noticed or anyone else has?

    Anyway he said that he would rather wait and see what was found by the M.D. before he treated it.
    Which would be using laser surgery to burn holes a round the outer edge to make the blood flow focus on the center of the eye. But as a result will lose any side vision in my left eye.

    Back to the not sure what is happening so we S.W.A.G.?

    A side note, I had enough drops and poking and prodding on both my eyes today it feels like I had sand poured in them.

    Otherwise I feel fine and wish it was over one way or another.

    • I don’t like any of those options! This is sad news, I’m sorry. I admire your attitude a bunch! If it was me in your shoes I’d be whining. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    • Uh, not necessarily, tstb; blockage of the carotid (partial, at this point would be my wild guess) artery/ies occurs slowly and gradually. The adaptation to reduced oxygen in the eye by additional veins being “grown” likely happened over time, too. No stroke needed.

      Not a doctor; just thinking aloud

      • tosmarttobegop

        LOL that is one of my problems I think too much. When my wife and I was told that they were going to do a quadruple by-pass on her. She did not know what all that meant while I knew what it meant.
        She was not frighten since she did not have the idea they were about to split up open like dressing out a deer. And playing connect the plumbing here and there about her heart.

        I on the other hand was so frighten that it cause me to stumble because my legs was turning to putty!

        Since he said that I have been reviewing in my head what it meant and how likely it was that there would have been a blockage in the same artery. But to me it is more likely that the blockage was within the artery that branches off to the eye.

        But again the impression he gave was that was not likely or the other eye would have the same condition.
        LOL I often have a better understand of plumbing that life!

        But he said that the dye test showed that over all the blood flow within the eye is weak pointing to the image and saying that there are the veins and they are showing up white and with no real fullness.

        Some time ago when I had a CT scan and later a MRI on my head there showed up a triangle about 3cc.
        The possible cause was said to be a minor stroke though I had not signs of every having one.
        Even my M.D. said I had never complained of such symptoms.
        But then qualified it with it is possible to have a mini stroke and not even know it or show symptoms.

        Often those who have major stroke have had mini strokes as a precursor that went unnoticed.
        I donโ€™t know, looking back over all I seemed fine and this was coming much like when I was told two years ago I had type two diabetes. It like OK?

    • prairie pond

      TSTBGOP, please take care of yourself. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re all rather fond of you here. And I know Mrs. TSTBGOP is too!

      Seriously, I’ll send good thoughts your way, my friend.

  11. tosmarttobegop

    No, paula, it does not. I was just trying to poke a bit of fun at someone apparently sensitive about her age for no apparent reason โ€“

    I have a new one for the quotes…..One of the signs you are getting older then you think.

    You find yourself setting in a Doctorโ€™s waiting room and look around thinking to your self you must be the youngest person in the room! Or Perhaps not? My birthday was last Friday and I am getting the feeling I am not getting older I am simply falling a part!

    • Happy late birthday! I didn’t know. Born on the 13th, huh? I’ll bet you’ve celebrated a few on a Friday.

      • Yes, a Belated Happy Birthday!


        Is it better to be one of the youngest in the doctor’s waiting room than one of the oldest at kindergarten parent-teacher’s conference?

    • prairie pond

      Heh, I have that same thought when I see people on the tv machine. I listen to them and look at them and think they must be waaaay older than I am, and then, it says “Mrs. Blah blah blah, age FORTY!”

      WTF????????? Most of you know, I passed 40 a looong time ago! That woman on tv is considerably younger than I am?

      Then I run to the mirror and go “Holy crap! Why didnt someone tell me I’ve gotten fat and gray????”

      hee hee hee!

      • tosmarttobegop

        Yeah that face I see in the mirror does seem older then the person in my mind!

        But it does give ms. TSTBGOP a good laugh when she notices a growth of gray hair and when I have not shaved for awhile the amount on my face.

        Of course I then blame her for giving me the gray.

    • indypendent

      Happy belated birthday! Also – take care of yourself and hope everything works out for you.

  12. tosmarttobegop

    Thank you all I got a new wheel barrel for my birthday.

    I mentioned to my best friend when he called how birthday gifts seem to change with getting older.
    When I was younger it was fun things and things I would use when not doing anything.

    But as the years pass they have changed to things to make something or do some kind of work and they are at my request too!

    Ahhh Maturity sucks!

  13. tosmarttobegop

    I about fell of my couth this morning watching Morning Joe, Joe Scarbough was going off about what Newt had said and over all what many of the leading Conservative have been saying.

    It started out with:

    When I was elected to Congress I was considered one of the most Conservative members.
    Fiscal Conservative and small Government Republican. But I do not even recognize the party anymore!
    The ideologists with there delusional statements and the denial of reality and it has so grown that it has become that the party is nothing but a joke.

    He after spending about ten minutes off and on with coming back to the topic several times.
    He then did bash President Obama for using fear tactics with talking about how the Conservatives want to privatize Social Security. using it to frighten the elderly against the Conservatives.

    When brought back to the same subject and Grassley he lambasted him too!