Sunday, June 3, 2007

Talk of the Town: "Q & A: The immigration reform bill"

Well, maybe I'm just more interested in "local, local, local" than the editors. For the second day running we have a "ToT" lifted from a radical-right doublethink-tank. Background here and here, have a look for yourself. Just do your homework and check out their numbers at the sources, these people are very slick.

And what might be the point of having a New Yorker comment on immigration policy in a local Arizona paper under a "local" slug? Consider the implications....

Editorial: "Survey says: People like photo radar"

Today we get the gratuitous reference to moldy pop culture in the headline, where it is thankfully brief. Other than that there's nothing new here on Friday's A1 dictation job, except perhaps a little more effort to cover up the holes in the methodology. Should readers take that to derive from simple ignorance of statistical science, or semi-conscious effort to prove out the Courier editor's bias?

Cartoon: War bill pork

I notice that the plane still seems to be flying OK.

Like most people outside of Congress, I agree that our rules for making legislation are way too permissive about unrelated amendments,and the culture that's developed is horrible. But it's not OK to only bitch about it when your favored team is out of majority.

Letters: The Kestrel walkout

Three views from a parent, a student and one of the founders of Kestrel High. Nobody's happy with the administration.

A1: "Frustration, low pay drive teachers away"

We knew this was happening, but I hadn't seen the alarming turnover rates before. It's really a strong indictment of how our schools are being run, and the blame can probably be widely distributed among the legislature, the various boards and education authorities, and school administrators. This also puts a slightly different spin on how less desirable teachers are getting into our classrooms.

Even though teachers cite pay as an important factor, Shari Lopatin didn't give us any numbers on that. It's been covered before to an extent, but it should have been here. According to the American Federation of Teachers, Arizona ranks 31st among the states in teacher pay, averaging just under $40K. That's not terrible, a little below the midline, until you compare with California at #1 and approaching $56K on average, with a comparable cost of living.

I was pleasantly surprised to see number agreement in the headline where it's been reliably out of sync before. Progress?

A1: "Townsend plans to sue assessor"

The various bits of information here add fun to a continuing story, but they're not really hanging together into anything informative.

The headline bit is that Townsend will sue Hambrick over $2.9 million that she says he owes and he says he doesn't, related to a Safford real-estate deal. But we learn nothing about why the sum is in dispute. Are both parties being coy about that, or is Joanna Dodder not asking the question? I expect the former, but as a reader I'd like to know that a question remained unanswered. Without that, the story does more backhand damage to both parties, and one of them is probably less deserving of that.