The man with the answers?

NOTE: IT’S BEEN DELAYED TO 8PM

About 4 or 5 years ago, Mike Robinette, formerly of MVRPC, brought Richard Florida into town to speak. It was at the Ponitz center (bldg. 12 of Sinclair). The room was packed with every mover and shaker in town (not that they accomplish much moving or shaking). And next thing you know, everyone is talking about the “Creative class”- and “Tool town” soon became “Tech Town” etc. etc.

So, if you missed the first shot of Richard Florida’s cool-aid, you can get it again tomorrow night at Wright State:

WSU: Presidential Lecture Series – Richard Florida
Richard Florida

Thursday, March 1, 2007
7:00 p.m. DELAYED TO 8PM!

Apollo Multipurpose Room
WSU Student Union
Free & Open to the Public
No Tickets Required

Social theorist and public intellectual Richard Florida will join the WSU community in celebrating its 40th Anniversary as a Presidential Lecture Series speaker, in collaboration with the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education SOCHE.

Author of The Rise of the Creative Class, named a leading breakthrough idea by the Harvard Business Review, Florida believes that human creativity is the engine of economic growth and that for the first time in history, economic growth depends on the further development of a wide spectrum of human capabilities.

As to my opinion of “the creative class” (of which by profession I am a part)- creatives without strong, visionary leadership are as clueless as the next group.

If you want progress and change, there is nothing like a benevolent dictator.

Tenure in teaching- or I’m glad I’m not Steve Jobs.

Teaching is one of the last honorable professions left. At least that’s my opinion. Underpaid, overworked, asked to do the impossible daily- teaching is a profession of underdogs- and underdogs should have a union (just like NCAA atheletes should- but that’s another can of worms).

Steve Jobs is getting blasted for his position on tenure- and although unions consider tenure a key bargaining position, I believe it is as outdated as buggywhips and slide rules.

No one should be guaranteed a job- unless they are performing it well. Especially, if you want a quality product. I remember the teachers who were great influences on me- the ones who instilled the love of learning for me: Mr. Lynn Canfield taught band at Roxboro Jr. High School- and embodied the beauty of music in everything he did. Mr. David DiCarlo who coached football and taught comparative government at Cleveland Heights High School and challenged me more than any college professor- and made me sweat harder than any sergeant  I encountered in the Army. Mr. Steve Young who taught English at the same high school- I disliked him, but he introduced me to more great authors in one year than any other teacher- he made me put into words what I liked and disliked about them in a way that has stuck with me (you’re reading this now- hint). Dr. Michael Cleary at Wright State- could make statistics fun, memorable and even understandable- an amazing gift- not because I understand basic quality concpets now- but because I saw a master teacher practicing his craft.

None of these people were there for the money- or because they had tenure. It was because they had a passion for what they did. Paying them a scale based on seniority instead of on results is a crime. If we had a school system full of teachers like these- we’d have the results we want for the limited dollars we are willing to commit.

So, when the California Teachers Union goes after Steve Jobs- I ask this: why not bargain for technology for all students in exchange for trying it without tenure? Make Steve put his money where his mouth is- and see if we can’t really change education?

Here is a link to a story with comments about the Union and their misplaced attack:

The California Federation of Teachers has invited Apple CEO Steve Jobs to either attend an annual CFT convention next month or offer a public apology for his “insulting comments” to California’s teachers. Should Jobs fail to apologize or neglect to attend the conference, where he is encouraged to speak with the people who educate California’s children and hear from them what the situation is like, the CFT will create a new award specifically for Apple’s chief. “We’ll call it the Rotten Apple, for the individual who best personifies the need to think differently about public education and teacher unions,” California Federation of Teachers president Mary Bergan wrote in a letter to the executive. Bergan aggressively rebuted Jobs’ statement to an educational reform conference last week, where he expressed belief that the schools have become unionized “in the worst possible way” and that the unionization with lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is “off-the-charts crazy.”continue reading: MacNN | Jobs to get “Rotten Apple’ award without apology

The economic impact of snow days

I grew up in Cleveland. Driving in this snow is actually fun for me (and no, I don’t drive an SUV or 4WD vehicle). But, I have to say this: we do a lousy job of clearing the streets in Dayton and there should be no excuse.

Yes, I am well aware of the number of miles in Dayton. But, thats a cop-out. When the going gets tough, the tough get plowing. How could we fix this? Ask a naive 27 year old who works for me: “why don’t they just sit a pot of money aside to hire everyone with a plow to jump in on snow days” he says.

Hmmmm. There’s a creative idea. Or, maybe we should have plow mounts on every SUV the city owns, and train cops, firemen, trash collectors, water meter readers and bureucrats how to plow? How about all the school bus drivers who aren’t working anyway? We need a better sollution

Hmmmm.

The fact is- while we don’t have hurricanes, floods (anymore- knock on wood), wildfires, drought (yet), wonky electricity or other problems other places have- we do have snow- and not that much of it (this ain’t Buffalo). So when we get hit, we need to have a mobilization plan that works- and here’s why: the economy suffers when people can’t move.

Businesses close, schools can’t do count weeks (an absurd concept thought up by bureaucrats), people can’t get to the hospital as quick, etc. It screws up cash flow for our poorest people, and it makes TV news unwatchable (as well as normal programming- I’m so sick of seeing shows squished on my big screen HD set which I bought just so I could see the “big picture”)

So- where is the leadership in Dayton on this? How many years are we going to let this BS continue? Figure out a better strategy, because we can’t afford a 4 day wait to see plows on our side streets and a week off every time it snows more than 6 inches in 24 hours. Days off mean less tax dollars collected- hell, the county even gave everyone a 2 day extension, this is an investment that pays for itself.
How about a goal for next year: never more than one consecutive snow day. And for the year after- no snow days. How about this as an economic development pitch: our workforce shows up 24/7/365 without the problems you have elsewhere- like wildfires, hurricanes, wonky power….

yeah, that’s economic development.

It’s back… Dayton Politics is alive… again.

I’m not sure what’s going on- but www.DaytonPolitics.com is back, and it either stole, or is the same people as www.daytonwatchdog.com (same post- both sites)- note: daytonwatchdog now seems to be down…
Last we heard before it went down- it was up for offers for a takeover. I offered to host it- and to help with setting WordPress to work properly- I guess I was ignored. But, they must like my site- they are using the same K2 Theme I use-

I’m going to have to change my header or something now… damn.

Political nepotism and duplication: Branding Dayton

Am I the only one who questions this?

Of course it’s easy to spend money and duplicate effort when you hire the wife of the Congressman:

Coalition polls region to find brand – Dayton Business Journal:
That’s the question the Dayton Development Coalition wants to address after deciding the region needs an identity of its own.

The coalition is in the midst of a campaign to brand and market the Dayton region. The $1 million project now is in the research and information-gathering phase. Marketing materials will be unveiled in September followed by a rollout to the communities within the region, said Maureen Patterson, project manager.

Coalition leaders are working to raise $200,000 to leverage a matching grant from the Ohio Business Development Coalition that will go toward the project, said Edward Burghard, executive director of the OBDC….

A lot of the work is being done by expert volunteers, but the coalition has hired a few groups: the University of Dayton is helping with research, Turner Effect is working on marketing, and Real Art Design Group is doing the creative marketing materials.

The coalition isn’t the only local entity working on a regional branding project. The city of Dayton in the next three weeks will choose a marketing company to brand the city, said City Spokesman Tom Biedenharn. The city’s request for proposals indicates it will work in conjunction with the coalition’s effort.

For the record: I own The Next Wave, an ad agency in Dayton. We decided not to bid on the Dayton proposal when we saw that the city wasn’t smart enough to know how to e-mail the rfp- and it had questionable past-performance requirements built in.