We’re Number One!

Cal Trans530It’s official. This editorial cartoon in The Union took first place from the California Newspaper Publishers Association for 2013. If you don’t recall the issue, it was about Cal Trans over spending $800,000+ on the La Barr Meadows/Highway 49 interchange. The money was supposed to come from Federal “stimulus” funds, but when they came up short they billed the county for half the amount. Thanks, Government!

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33 Responses to We’re Number One!

  1. Michael Anderson says:

    Great cartoon, Bob.

    Thankfully no rusty bolts at the new interchange.

  2. Greg Goodknight says:

    Excellent. Does that mean you’ll help pay the bill with the big bucks that come with the prize?

    For the younglings who don’t remember the inspiration, we have…



  3. Chris Peterson says:

    You keep racking up the well-deserved awards, Bob. This one might be particularly impressive, when you think of the sheer number of possible cartoons published across the state.
    Well done. The best of the best, actually.

  4. GregPZaller says:

    It would help me to understand RL, if you would suggest where “Uncle Sam” is supposed to come up with the funds to pay for overruns. Print it?

    • rlcrabb says:

      They’ve been doing that for years. Maybe you could help me understand, Greg, why Cal Trans felt the need to line the roadway with redwood decking? How sustainable!

      • GregPZaller says:

        I wince at the decking as well. I wonder what type of preservatives they must have put on it to keep it natural looking and not rot away in time. The only good answer for all of this is to not only vote intelligently yourself but to vote for ways to help others to vote intelligently so that you won’t be in the minority. Implementing the common core is a way to get started on this. Strange, it is those who would benefit the most who are the ones being mislead to oppose it.

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          “The only good answer for all of this is to not only vote intelligently yourself but to vote for ways to help others to vote intelligently so that you won’t be in the minority. Implementing the common core is a way to get started on this. ”

          Only if Common Core does what its most committed detractors think… cause a meltdown that really forces a basic reorganization of public education. The Standards themselves aren’t that bad; they are weaker than the California Content Standards they replaced, and those of states like Massachusetts, but will put something OK in place for those states who didn’t have good or explicit standards in place; with the standards implicit in the various nationally normed tests from elementary grades to the Graduate Record Exam having been in place for decades and well understood, *all* states have had some standards for decades.

          What California has lost with the CCSS is the review process, where texts to be bought with state tax monies would be evaluated by true subject matter experts who would rate the texts on how much of the mandated material was actually in the book, and how coherently it was sequenced. For example, 4th grade arithmetic, or Algebra 1, is a concept or skill assumed on Page 31 not actually introduced until page 56? Now, we can only hope the companies selling books, the schools buying them and the teachers using them have a clue this time; they didn’t when whole math and whole language were the rage a decade or two ago.

          We’ve also lost the STAR exams, which measured how well students and schools were doing according to the standards. The educational darlings of the local left, Yuba River Charter and Grass Valley Charter, have high socioeconomic status kids, with parents having far more college education than the state as a whole. They also have decent raw test scores compared to the state as a whole, but compared to schools with similar SES, they’re at or near the bottom of the barrel: YRCS is last among its 100 Similar Schools, GVCS is at the 2nd decile. Alta Sierra school, with lower parental SES, is at the 7th decile for Similar Schools and has higher raw scores than the progressive charters.

          With the Common Core adoption, we’ve also lost the STAR evaluations and the Similar Schools indicies. The Common Core is a train wreck for participative democracy, not its salvation.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      Not sure that was the point of the toon, but seriously? You could repave and rebuild every road and bridge in the country just from the taxes owed by the top 200 corporations on the profits they hide overseas, let alone the rescinding of subsidies they receive to create those profits.
      And I guarantee you that if a road leads to a refinery, or say the corporate office of Comcast; it’s good as gold. Where’s your particular priority; in the overall health of our society, or in increasing the overabundance of the top tier at the expense of those below?
      We have become a country that subsidizes wealth from the paycheck of the workers; the more you make, the more we give you.

      • GregPZaller says:

        The common core is focused on 21st century thinking skills necessary today for successful employment instead of the ability to remember facts or apply plug and chug math skills that earned a high score previously. They might be a train wreck, as you say, but not because they are weaker than the old content standards, but because they require thinking skills that have atrophied within our culture over the years and will be hard to recover.

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          “The common core is focused on 21st century thinking skills necessary today for successful employment instead of the ability to remember facts or apply plug and chug math skills that earned a high score previously.”

          Empty rhetoric that could have been lifted right from the Mathland promotions from 20 years ago; it’s the promise of Romanticism in education. When tried, it has always failed as at its core, it’s the Socratic method, only without a Socrates guiding the process. When the GVSD went whole hog constructivist 20 years ago, they went into the tank academically, not revealed until the STAR exams circa ’98, after which they tried various bandaids until, as a remedial, they tried a more traditional approach.

          Then there’s the problem of a teacher corps mostly taken from below average college students… you can’t teach “21st century” thinking if you don’t have a handle on the 20th century. Or the 17th century (calculus), with the “Common Core” not aligning with AP (or any other) Calculus. Or maybe 9th century Persian algebra; one can become a teacher in California without having a handle on that, as the CBEST teacher’s test, probably best considered as a test for admission into a weak high school, can be passed without algebra proficiency.

          It wasn’t easy ensuring my son actually did get an education appropriate to the 21st century in western Nevada County schools, but he got it, despite the Romantic inmates controlling the asylums.

  5. Congratulations! When I heard you were one of the two finalists, I figured you were a shoe-in for the top prize.

  6. Russ Steele says:

    Congratulations. Job well done!

  7. george rebane says:

    My hat’s off to you again. Keep up the good work.

  8. Breen says:

    Congratulations, Bob.

  9. Todd Juvinall says:


  10. rlcrabb says:

    Thanks to everyone, except the grinch who will take any opportunity to denigrate any honor bestowed on those he despises. http://sierrafoothillsreport.com/2014/04/04/local-newspaper-revolving-door-is-costly-to-our-community/
    Raspberries to the haters. I got better things to do…

    • Chris Peterson says:

      He should rename his publication the Town Whiner. Years after this self-acclaimed literary genius gets fired for incompetence from the “small market” local newspaper, he continues to rant about it, as if anyone shares his obsession of that action.
      Having watched a Charlie Rose interview with the online editor for the New York Times last night; the difference in professionalism and journalistic integrity is nothing short of stark. But I’m sure that, in his head, the readership of his quaint online wine and cheese review is right up there with the big boys.

  11. Todd Juvinall says:

    I just read the link. What a negative person. If he only knew who got FREED going he would have to do a Mea Culpa!

  12. Michael Anderson says:

    Who started FREED?

    • stevefrisch says:

      I think Sam Dardick started FREED?

      http://www.freed.org/news/ (read down to the center of the page)

      Sam is still one of my here’s…I did not know him well enough but I loved that man, a font of interesting and innovative ideas, and an inspiration for people who believe in democracy. I loved his story remembering the day FDR died.

      Todd, did you cross over with Sam on the Board of Supervisors? If I remember correctly he was quite an articulate critic of your particular world view.

      • stevefrisch says:

        Well of course that should read “heroes”. I think I may finally turn ‘auto spell’ off on my Mac.

      • Michael Anderson says:

        That’s what I remember as well. Todd?

      • stevefrisch says:

        Please note, I cited a source for my understanding that Sam Dardick founded FREED

        (Although I must admit these stories are often simplified in lore. In my experience most organizations get founded by a number of people working together. A modest man, if there to clarify the record, would almost never take sole credit. To our entire community’s loss, Sam is not here to clarify.)

        So Todd, if you believe otherwise please step up with the story and/or data.

  13. rlcrabb says:

    Looks like “The Tea Party Express” isn’t the only one to question the accepted wisdom of the ruling class… http://www.salon.com/2014/05/08/louis_c_k_is_right_about_common_core_and_opposition_does_not_make_him_a_tea_partyer/

  14. Barry Pruett says:

    Congratultiona Bob!

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