Colleges, community and heroes

On town meetings and colleges

  • Thursday, August 28, 2008 4:55pm
  • Opinion

Kris Passey

On town meetings and colleges
The good news is that we are going to have a four-year college in or very near to our communities in the near future. Arlington School District Superintendent Linda Byrnes put it in those words last Wednesday at the town meeting about the proposed college held at the Everett Events Center.
The bad news is that there will probably be a local struggle on where that college is sited. It may not be on the site(s) that straddle the Arlington/Marysville boundary. Two Everett sites and one site that touches Lake Stevens and Monroe UGAs are also being looked at.
In the interests of full disclosure (see column below) I must state that I have given personal money to the group advocating the Marysville site.
I openly admit my bias that, of course it should be sited in our communities. But there is actually more than community pride involved in my thinking.
The site will not be chosen based on which community shouts the loudest about wanting it or turns out the biggest crowds decked out in t-shirts or buttons.
It will be chosen based on how a number of criteria fit together: the site specifications themselves, the opportunity for what the experts call experiential learning close at hand, the characteristics of the students expected to attend, and the curriculum focus designed to meet the needs of those students.
Unfortunately many community members who opted to speak at last weeks Everett town meeting got off on the wrong foot by addressing none of these things and taking way too long to do even that.
A few did hit the target by providing examples of local internships at current workplaces that would be available to students, discussing how older students looking at retraining or additional education would be served better by one location than another, particularly those who might have to drive to the college after work from Island and Skagit counties, as well as Snohomish.
Those who went on and on did a real disservice to their cause, both for their long-windedness and because they may have prevented others with sound arguments from making them.
It wont be news to long time readers of these columns but one of our strong suggestions for curriculum that should/could be linked to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) emphasis currently favored is a local civics application that trains local populations to provide more relevant input at public meetings like this.
That kind of training might go a long way to solving many other local problems related to intelligent traffic planning and land development.
P.S. Anyone wishing to repent and send something that will actually get evaluated as useful can send an email message to rshockey@shockeybrent.com which is the collection site for emailed comments. But do it soon. The process moves forward.

On celebrating our successes
Last week we sent this paper, instead of our Express Shopper, to our readers because we wanted everyone to get a copy of our reprise of the Olympic Avenue rebuild in Arlington. The newly finished main thoroughfare for the city gives it an Extreme Makeover finish and if you have not yet had a chance to walk the downtown blocks and check it out, pick out the next good-weather day and do so. It is impressive and Arlingtonians are rightfully proud. Extra copies of our makeover edition are available at the City of Arlington offices or the Arlington Times office directly across the street on the 200 block.

On local heroes
This week we are running our annual salute to local firefighters. These are the people who routinely risk life and limb merely to keep our property in one piece. That occasionally entails also protecting our heinies and the lives of our children and loved ones of all description including pets and livestock.
You really cant thank these folks enough. Ask anyone who owes their life or that of their child to one of these local heroes. Some are paid, some are volunteers when push comes to shove it really doesnt matter.
We have inserted our Firefighters section into the Express Shopper as well as the Globe and Times. You will probably recognize some of the faces. A thanks in passing at the grocery store or coffee shop would not be out of order.

A word on whats coming
It wont be too long until both the Globe and Times will be delivered to everyone in our communities by carrier. This means more people will be able to know all the things happening down the block, in the kids schools, on the local sports fields and at your respective city hall. This has been in the works for months. While we dont actually expect it to go into effect with no snags, we are working hard to minimize them. And we will try and keep you posted on our progress.

Kris Passey

To contact a member of The Marysville Globe/Arlington Times editorial board Kris Passey or Scott Frank e-mail forum@premier1.net.

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