Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bossier School Board - Attention Deficit Disorder?

11 comments:

The first meeting of the Superintendent Application Screening Committee will be held next Tuesday. The idea of having a committee is to get input from the public, as the committee will have no say on actually screening the candidates.
It is just as well, because the people who have been picked for the committee, while fine individuals every one, are not likely to tell the Board anything it doesn’t want to hear. If the board wanted real input, they would have appointed at least one or two dissident voices to the committee.

The main question in most people’s minds is whether or not D. C. Machen should be the next superintendent. Machen has been the Assisitant Superintendent for Administration. It was under his watch that School Board Administration paid $291,266 to Ark-La-Tex Air Repair, Inc., for overcharges, replacement costs covered by warranties, installations that did not occur, and one missing unit.
It was on his watch that Administration may have violated the Public Bid Law for air conditioning purchases and installation totaling $254,598.
In addition, the School Board may have violated Public Bid Law through a $1,067,000 emergencymold remediation contract.
Also under his watch, School Board Maintenance Department employees authorized credit card transactionstotaling $1,833 with Ark-La-Tex Air Repair, Inc., for air conditioning duct cleaning andsanitizing and the replacement of a control board that did not occur.
One current School Board employee performed work and received $3,894 from a current vendor of the School Board in possible violation of Louisiana ethics laws. One former School Board employee may have violated Louisiana ethics laws by receiving $105,769 for services performed for the School Board within two years of the end ofhis employment. (Louisiana Legislative Auditor's full report)
Yet incredibly, despite all of this, several board members have already expressed their support for Machen as the new superintendent.
The fix is in.
We believe that the board is totally out of touch with public sentiment, and that they should consider all applicants equally, particulary those from out of the area. The good old boy network has so infiltrated our school system that it is almost impossible to break it up with anyone local.
Let your board member know what you think today by taking a moment to call or email them.
Your kids’ future is at stake.

jack.raley@bossierschools.org

brad.bockhaus@bossierschools.org

allison.brigham@bossierschools.org

tammy.smith@bossierschools.org

michael.mosura@bossierschools.org

bill.kostelka@bossierschools.org

jw.slack@bossierschools.org

kenneth.wiggins@bossierschools.org

eddy.presley@bossierschools.org

julian.darby@bossierschools.org

lindell.webb@bossierschools.org

mack.knotts@bossierschools.org

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Larry & Chubby fight to join Bubba on Bossier City Council

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Larry Hannisee and “Chubby” Knight are facing off in the race for the District 5 Bossier City Council seat Saturday.
Knight has just come back to the area after retiring. He is reminding everyone of his Airline High School (class of ’67) roots to establish his bone fides as a Bossier City boy.
Larry Hannisee is running on his earlier record as a council member.
This one is hard to call; it would seem that Hannisee should have the advantage, but the primary numbers would call that into question.
One thing was pointed out to me by a friend. Bossier City already has a ‘Bubba’ on the council and if Knight is elected, will have a ‘Chubby’. Seems to me that, out of fairness, we should assign some other nicknames to even the playing field.
Tim ‘T-Bone’ Larkin and David ‘Deuce’ Montgomery are the two at-large members of the council.
Running unopposed in this election are Scott ‘Doodles’ Irwin, Jeff ‘Doc’ Darby, David ‘Smooth’ Jones and of course, Bubba himself, Don Williams.
Other elected officials are Mayor Lorenz ‘Lo’ Walker (we’ll leave that one alone), and City Marshal Johnny ‘Jawbone’ Wyatt.

DOD announces New Pentagon Cyber Command

1 comment:
How will this affect the Air Force Cyber operations and ultimately our $100,000,000 investment in CIC?

From the Wall Street Journal:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates plans to nominate the director of the National Security Agency to head a new Pentagon Cyber Command, which will coordinate computer-network defense and direct U.S. cyber-attack operations, according to a draft memo by Mr. Gates.
The move comes amid rising concern in the government about attacks on U.S. networks. The command will run military cybersecurity operations and provide support to civil authorities, according to the memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
NSA Director Keith Alexander, a three-star general, is expected to earn a fourth star when he moves to his new job at the Cyber Command. The memo doesn't state that directly, but says that his deputy at the new command will be of a three-star rank. It isn't clear who will succeed him at the NSA.
The Department of Homeland Security is charged with securing the government's nonmilitary networks, and cybersecurity experts said the Obama administration will have to better define the extent of this military support to Homeland Security. "It's a fine line" between providing needed technical expertise to support federal agencies improving their own security and deeper, more invasive programs, said Amit Yoran, a former senior cybersecurity official at the Homeland Security Department.
The new command is necessary, the memo says, because "our increasing dependency on cyberspace, alongside a growing array of cyber threats and vulnerabilities, adds a new element of risk to our national security." At least initially, it will be part of U.S. Strategic Command, which is currently responsible for securing the military's networks and waging attacks on the Internet.
An announcement of the new command is expected after the Obama administration finishes its recommendations for cybersecurity policy, which could come as soon as next week.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Mr. Gates is "planning to make changes to our command structure to better reflect the increasing threat posed by cyber warfare," but "we have nothing to announce at this time." The NSA referred calls to the Pentagon.
Mr. Morrell said cybersecurity is a major priority for Mr. Gates and his 2010 budget proposal calls for hiring hundreds more cybersecurity experts.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Legislative Auditor releases Bossier School Board audit

19 comments:
From the report:

The scope of our audit was significantly less than that required
by Government Auditing Standards; therefore, we are not offering an opinion on the School
Board’s financial statements or system of internal control nor assurance as to compliance with
laws and regulations.

Air Conditioners
The Bossier Parish School Board (School Board) Administration paid $291,266 to Ark-
La-Tex Air Repair, Inc., for overcharges, replacement costs covered by warranties, installations
that did not occur, and one missing unit.
On two occasions, the School Board Administration may have violated Public Bid Law
for air conditioning purchases and installation totaling $254,598.
Haughton Middle School
The School Board may have violated the Open Meetings Law by discussing the
Haughton Middle School roof and mold remediation contract during executive session. In
addition, the School Board may have violated Public Bid Law through a $1,067,000 emergency
mold remediation contract.
Credit Card Charges
School Board Maintenance Department employees authorized credit card transactions
totaling $1,833 with Ark-La-Tex Air Repair, Inc., for air conditioning duct cleaning and
sanitizing and the replacement of a control board that did not occur.
Scrap Metal Sales
The School Board Maintenance Department is missing $1,472 from the sale of scrap
metal and may have violated record retention laws through discarding records of scrap metal
sales and the subsequent purchases with the proceeds. In addition, the Maintenance Department
did not comply with Louisiana law when disposing surplus movable property.
Ethics
One current School Board employee performed work and received $3,894 from a current
vendor of the School Board in possible violation of Louisiana ethics laws.
One former School Board employee may have violated Louisiana ethics laws by
receiving $105,769 for services performed for the School Board within two years of the end of
his employment.
Professional Services
A School Board attorney may have violated the Rules of Professional Conduct during the
time he performed services for the School Board. In addition, the School Board Administration
did not execute a signed contractual agreement with its external contracted attorneys.

Read the Full Report

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bossier School Board lacks vision

34 comments:
The Louisiana Legislative Auditor has announced that its audit of the Bossier Parish School Board will be delayed for another week.
There really is no rush: the board apparently has not implemented the recommendations of the last one, which was done seven years ago.
Had some of these procedures been put into place, it would have been much more difficult for employees to swindle nearly a million bucks from the board.
Meanwhile, the board is ‘searching’ for a new superintendent. A lot of people believe that the new super will be D. C. Machen, the assistant who was in charge of administration during the great swindle. Several school board members believe that he is just the man for the job.
The good old boy system that created this mess needs to be broken up, and this can only be done by hiring a superintendent from outside Bossier Parish. One school board member believes that Machen is the right choice because of his intimate knowledge of the system.
This is a specious argument when one considers the realities facing the board. This intimate knowledge of the system, and the people therein, is the very thing that should disqualify Mr. Machen.
I have very little confidence that the board will do the right thing in hiring a superintendent, just as I have little confidence that they will implement the recommendations of the new audit.
Sadly, their track record is just not good enough and does not inspire confidence.

Note: In case you don't read our comments section, I am including the first comment as it proves the point.
Jim, I spoke to Dan Daigle today, he is the LLA auditor that handled this audit, and a party named in the report asked for an additional week before it's release. The question will be, how is the original draft different than the final report?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Montgomery, Larkin return to council: Hanisee, Knight in runoff

1 comment:
David Montgomery, Jr. and Tim Larkin will return as members at large on the Bossier City Council. The numbers came in pretty consistently, giving Montgomery about 41% plus, Larkin 38% plus, and Marsha McAllister at a pretty steady 20%, not a bad showing for a first time candidate.
In Bossier Council District 5, Chubby Knight and former councilman Larry Hanisee will be in a runoff.
Mayor Lo Walker and the other Councilmen went unopposed.

Election Day for Bossier City offices

2 comments:
Today is the primary election for Bossier City offices. The only disputed positions are the District 5 seat where Dr. Rogers is retiring and 3 contenders are seeking the spot.
This is a 3 way race featuring Candidates Hannisee, Knight & Estess.
There are two at-large seats on the council, currently held by David Montgomery and Tim Larkin. Marsha McAllister jumped into the mix adding the only excitement to an otherwise bland election.
Mayor Lo Walker and the other councilmen have no opposition.
We will report the winners and/or runoff candidates tonight.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Think we're still free?

1 comment:
Tired of hearing the same old rhetoric from the Democrats and Republicans in Washington? "The Republicans are Fascists!"
"The Democrats are Socialists!"
Yep, I'm tired of it too. The problem, however, is that due to the actions of the very people in our government who are throwing these charges across the aisle at one another, the problem is - it's all true. Both sides are correct, and they caused it.
"...The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone.... " Benito Mussolini
Think we’re not there yet? For starters, look at the government’s intervention into the private market place. Trillions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts (not government bailouts, the government has no money) give the government control over operations of all the major banks and many corporations.
The main evidence of economic fascism is that private property and business ownership are permitted, but are in reality controlled by government through a business-government "partnership." Needless to say, the government is the senior partner in this enterprise.
You still think we’re not there? Of course, the central government has to maintain order and suppress dissent, otherwise the ‘bailout’ won’t work.
". . . It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Josef Goebbels



Still think we're not there, that this is an isolated case? Plan to send us a postcard from your summer vacation this year.
How about one of these? The TSA is using these same exact scanners now for our "security". These images are from Reuters, supplied by the maker of the machines.
On the left is a female and on the right (obviously) a male, both fully clothed but 'stripped' by the government scanners available at airports.

This is what we have allowed to happen in our country, all in the name of national and economic security. Benjamin Franklin once said that if we give up our liberty for security, we deserve neither. Soon, we will have neither.

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings."
Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

Huey P. Long explains the bailout

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Thanks to Central La Politics