-May 20, 2013-
3:00 -- The head of the IRS's labor union met with President Obama the day before the IRS launched its targeted program of Tea Party groups. Surely, it's just a coincidence.
4:00 -- Is Obama a flake? Here's an analysis that supports the conclusion that he is.
5:00 -- Shariah law in North Carolina - is it needed or are Republican lawmakers just scaremongering?
-May 21, 2013-
3:00 -- The Asheville TEA Party protests outisde the local IRS offices. Plus, french fries & curly fries.
4:00 -- French fries, curly fries, drive-ins, and radio frequency waves. Plus, if you had to pick a species of infestation, what would it be?
5:00 -- Pete's battles flies in his apartment. Plus, trivia!
-May 22, 2013-
3:00 -- Highlights of today's congressional hearing on the IRS scandal.
4:00 -- Belgian racing pigeons and pot-fed pigs who get the munchies.
5:00 -- The Charlotte Bobcats will change their name back to the Hornets. Because that'll make them be less sucky?
-May 23, 2013-
3:00 -- We start off with trivia! Then, a city in New Hampshire seeks a court order to prevent citizens from getting too close to parking meter enforcement, after the citizens launched a campaign to feed meters for strangers. Plus, a stolen poptart in Charlotte leads to an arrest, and the UN urges us all to eat insects to fight obesity.
4:00 -- Kevin King, Managing Editor of the Asheville and Hendersonville Tribunes, joins us to talk about the latest issue on news stands today. Also, the 38 signs you're from North Carolina.
5:00 -- Pete convinces Producer Tank to eat a fried grasshopper for $10.
-May 24, 2013-
So, here's an interesting little item from the last Buncombe County School Board meeting...
The Board voted 5-1 to require any request for information by a board member be approved by the Chairman of the Board, rather than the Superintendent.
Board member Pat Bryant said it's inappropriate for him or his colleagues to have staff provide information to them without approval from the Chairman. He said the staff doesn't work for individual board members.
Frankly, either approach is ridiculous. If a board member wants information, he or she is perfectly allowed to make that request.
In other districts, board members are free to speak with staff and get answers to questions.
In other districts, staff provides all information to all board members.
Apparently, board member Lisa Baldwin asks a lot of questions.
Her colleagues say she's micromanaging the professional school system administrators.
This week, Baldwin sought funding information. Staffers say it took about 20 hours of total time to compile the data on the day of the board meeting.
Also, the staff did not like the way Baldwin asked for that information, either, because Baldwin suggested she'd go to the NC Department of Public Instruction if she didn't get the information. Her colleagues on the Board and the district administrators say that was a threat.
Now, Baldwin needs to give staff time to compile data, of course. But preventing board members from speaking with staff to get information short-circuits the very role of a school board member.
Just because it takes time to compile data doesn't mean the board member needs to get approval from Chairman.
Staff will always bristle at oversight that questions their proposals and expertise. But that's the role of all elected bodies. The politicians are accountable to the voters, and the staffers are accountable to the politicians.
Baldwin suggested the Board schedule informational work sessions before the meetings. This would be a good idea, lest the meetings get bogged down in incessant questioning of staff by the board.
During the meeting, Supt. Tony Baldwin (no relation to Lisa Baldwin) said board member Lisa Baldwin is disrespectful to his staff.
One thing is obvious: Lisa Baldwin is not well-liked among her colleagues on the Buncombe County School Board and in the administration of the district.
Listen to the audio beginning here (Tracks 41 - 44).
So from now on...
A board member wants to find out how many kids are on Free/Reduced Lunch? Gotta' go through the Chairman.
Wondering if Buncombe County is paying for drop-out prevention programs? Make sure the Chairman gives his blessing, or you won't be allowed to ask.
Curious about the salaries of the top staff? Tough! Get it approved by the Chairman.
Come to think of it, I made a request for this exact information and received it. I didn't go through the Chairman. I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Perhaps school board members could provide better oversight of the district by filing FOIAs instead of getting elected.
I'm sure this makes perfect sense somewhere.