Issue #81 — Friday, September 26, 2014
September 26, 2014
by Arnaud and Naja Girard….
It’s 7:30 am at the bus stop on Truman and Emma. Eleven-year old Dimitri is about to climb into the morning school bus. Like him, most of the kids sitting on the bus are African American. Like them, he has a mere 40% probability of graduating from high school with his classmates; a stark difference from his white brothers, who have an 83% graduation rate [2013 data].
When we interviewed parents in Bahama Village about this disparity their responses raised an unexpected red flag.
“I didn’t want my son to go to HOB,” says the mother of a fifth grader, “He’s going to the white school.”
BP: “The white school? What do you mean? What white school?”
Let us be clear that Mosquito Control’s focus is to keep the mosquito population at a minimum which is labor intensive and necessary to protect the health of both our residents and our visitors. Election season is upon us, and as Chairman and an 18 year elected commissioner at Florida keys Mosquito Control I would like to address some statements being made during this election season.
When I was elected to the FKMCD board there was a management change and a change of practices. These changes we put into place to control larvae (as opposed to blanket spraying insecticide for adult mosquitos) thus dramatically reducing biting adult mosquito numbers. In addition to the immediate health advantages, these changes resulted in saving County residents millions of tax dollars and reduced the use of adulticides (pesticides) by approximately 80%.
Is George Neugent on the take?
First, George. Second, are the Keys corporate media in full defend-the-powerful mode? Third, are the 60% of voters for George in full denial? Numbers two and three, I’m sure of. About George, what do you think?
George is certainly doing his best to make me believe he has used his votes on grinder pumps and the waste contract to feather his own nest. I reported two weeks ago about the mysterious $ 150,000 increase in his bank account from $ 50,000 in August 2013 to $ 200,000 in June 2014. In print, I asked anyone to explain how it happened. I also sent respectful letters to George’s 16 biggest donors begging them to defend George.
I have not heard a word of defense or explanation from George or his supporters. Realize that public documents like the Financial Disclosure Form exist in order to expose suspicious irregularities like this to us, the public. This is exactly how we would find out about a financial kickback: a public servant who reports only his $ 40,000 government salary, and no gifts, somehow adds $ 150,000 to his bank account at a time when mega-million-dollar contracts have gotten his votes.
I am sure that you all have read the press release from Coral Shores High School touting student accomplishments on the various Advance Placement (AP) tests. Kudos to the Hurricanes for a job well done.
I noticed that neither Key West High School nor Marathon High School published or otherwise broadcast their AP results. Curious, I requested the AP scores from each of the principals and they promptly replied.
As you might expect from the absence of public commentary, the results in Key West and Marathon were mixed and by no means a cluster of high achievement. To the contrary, there were instances of certain classes where the results can only be described as poor, if not downright abysmal. As often as not, fewer than 50% achieved the coveted “3”, which the principals refer to as “passing”. To be fair, I did not read any class by class results for CSHS and it may be that they had their deficiencies as well.