Category Archives: Education

The Land We Live On

Science Fiction vs. Reality

I don’t believe the land we live on is combined with the surrounding oceans and all rolled into a giant ball, let alone having the whole thing spin on an axis at nearly 1,000 miles an hour on the surface at the “equator” and whirling through “space” around a sun that is supposedly 93 million miles away, all at the rate of 67,000 miles an hour.

And you shouldn’t either. Why? Because the real physical evidence available to all of us screams, “The land we stand on is stationary!” and “Water seeks its own level!”

While the land varies in slope and in altitude and depth relative to sea level there is no evidence of spherical curvature anywhere on land or sea consistent with the numbers we’re taught concerning the size of the “globe”.

This should be a huge sticking point with everyone. Folks should be appalled, disgusted, and downright pissed off upon learning this, not turning a deaf ear and blind eye only to stick their heads in the sand and continuing with life business as usual.

If the globe model is true, then it should be able to be proven with actual physical measurements, but the fact is there is none. And if there is none, then every Tom, Dick and Harry should be crying foul at every mention of it in each and every sector of their lives.

Silent No More

For months now I have been silent on this issue, not wanting to run everyone off with my rants on the matter, but I’m tired of knowing the truth, yet not talking about it. I don’t intend on talking about it constantly, since I don’t feel it’s my life’s mission to campaign against it 24/7, but I am going to speak out when I see others bring it up in my daily life.

Schools need to dismantle and discard their solar system mobiles along with their spinning globe models donning every classroom as replicas of reality, and Teachers need to rip the “Planet Earth” pages from their textbooks as factsheets.

I have some Facebook friends who are teachers in the public and private sectors and many who are homeschooling parents. You all should not be teaching the “globe model”, let alone the “heliocentric model” as Fact/Truth if you can’t prove it to your students. If you want to teach it as “theory”, then so be it, that’s what I do. But for the love of Truth and all that is right in the world stop perpetuating falsehood…especially in the minds of our impressionable youth! They are counting on us for guidance and instruction. We at least owe them some intellectual honesty.

Scientists need to scrap all their material based on that false notion and head back to the drawing board. I don’t have a beef with real science, but this pseudo-science that pushes an astronomical fantasy of a planet earth as the basis for all other “earth science” or “astronomy” needs to be kicked to the curb. Start with some real physical, measurable and repeatable observations and go from there.

Churches need to tear down their spherical maps displaying where their missionaries are located, and any mentions of “global” ministries need to be revamped to represent the land and seas as their Bibles portray, not what the popular culture purports.

Businesses need to redesign their “worldwide” logos, Nature-preserving Organizations need to ditch their “Save the Planet” slogans, and Social Media Outlets needs to alter their “public” icons.

WAKE UP, PEOPLE! Truth matters.

We didn’t get here in this globe mentality overnight. It was a series of incremental acceptances of deviations from truth over time. But we need to stand against the tide of popular opinion and political propaganda for the sake of our fellow man and posterity.

The simple truth is that the sky or heaven is high above our heads, the stable ground is just beneath our feet, and there is water all around us. Anything beyond our reach is merely speculative.

I find comfort in knowing the Creator is just up there beyond our view as opposed to being beyond the galaxies far, far away. And there is nothing to fear from “outer space” but the mighty hand of the Creator above.

This land we have been given is our domain. Let’s not shirk it, let alone misrepresent it. Rather, let’s embrace this gift, and do our due diligence to be fruitful and multiply and fill up the land and subdue it.

Imagine the Potential of One Life

My all-time favorite movie is Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, primarily because of its premise. Each life has extreme potential and significance to the lives of those around them, impacting society in ways we can never fully fathom. If you haven’t seen the film yet, rent it today…in fact, go ahead and buy it…it’s a keeper.

Well, there’s a video clip put out by CatholicVote.org that speaks volumes concerning the potential of life, and I’d like to share it with you here:

As a side note, this ad was submitted to play during the SuperBowl and was rejected by NBC because it was too political in nature.

Fluvanna Superintendent Smith Discusses New High School

I was pleased to find that the Fluvanna County School Superintendent, Dr. Tom Smith decided last fall to begin a new way to communicate with the Fluvanna Community by starting his own blog. His introductory message gave a status update to the progression of plans on the new High School, among other things.

“The School Board has approved design specifications submitted by the architects and hope to consider and approve the final construction drawings at the December, 2008 School Board meeting. Once approved, we will then advertise for construction bids. It is still hoped that we can break ground sometime around the first part of 2009.”

I took it upon myself to respond in light of the new economic climate we are all facing and the discovery that school enrollment is down this year (since rapid enrollment growth is the basis for the urgent need of this new high school). I had hoped I would see a response, but never fully expected one.

To my surprise, a month and a half later I found he indeed responded to my concerns only a week after I expressed them. He indicated the numbers I had stated were misleading and the growth trend was about 60 students/year. Specifically he stated, “we have continued to increase our enrollments by approximately 60 students each year” and again at the School Board meeting on January 14th 2009 he stated, “We are down. But again we have seen about an increase of about 60 students. This the October enrollment…“[SOURCE]

His figures confused me, so I asked for clarification. I also reminded him of the economic climate we are in on the federal level and how this will affect us here in Fluvanna. In his response he had also stated that he feared there was “a danger in waiting to begin the building program” and that we “can expect the costs to be significantly higher”.  I explained that I did not see that as sufficient cause to press forward given the magnitude of the situation.

I was pleased to see that my comment was posted on his blog after awaiting moderation for several days, but he had not responded again. So, I emailed him (and copied the School Board & Board of Supervisors) asking that he reply in order to settle my concerns. He replied early this week that he would respond to me within the week. And he did.

He did not address the economic climate, but rather gave me enrollment figures from 2006/07 and 2007/08 as proof of his 60 student growth trend and referred me to a construction link on the Fluco.org website for further reasoning on continuing with the Domino plan given in September 2005.

Okay, I was getting a little frustrated because it seemed like he was ignoring the current situation…as if he was holding his ears and going “la, la, la” to drown out the present day facts. While I appreciated him taking the time to respond to me, I don’t think he was hearing my most pressing concerns, that enrollment is down and our economy is in the tank. Here was my response to him: Continue reading

Barack Obama’s Agenda in the White House

Have you seen Obama’s Agenda yet? It’s on the WhiteHouse.gov website, and quite frankly I find it revolting. Governor Huckabee had Matt Staver (from Liberty Counsel) on his show this weekend and here they discuss just a few of the social issues under the category, “Civil Rights”. Watch it and then head on over and read the Agenda put forth by Mr. Obama yourself. [WARNING: Content may cause severe nauseau…read at your own risk.]

Fuel Efficient Vehicle Parking at New Library

Fuel Efficient Parking SignI just went to the new library yesterday for the first time and I was baffled by the “Fuel Efficient Vehicle Parking” signs reserving the spaces right in front of the door. There were about 3 or 4 6 of them (in addition to the 3 or 4 5 handicapped spaces). What’s up with that?

When I went inside and asked about it at the front desk, I was told it was because the buildings were “green”. I asked who qualified to park there…she said she wasn’t sure herself. People who drive “fuel efficient vehicles” would know if they qualify.

What about moms carrying a van (or minivan) load of kids? Or very pregnant women who have great difficulty getting in and out of their cars?

When I was coming out yesterday, my husband was inside checking out books and I was trying to get my 18 month old in his car seat while my 3 and 5 year old were supposed to be standing on the grass, but they were running back and forth next to the edge of the lot. Meanwhile there was another woman also parked across the lot toting a baby carrier and I thought I saw another child or two milling around her. I couldn’t tell if she was coming or going. All the “FEVP” spots were open so cars coming in drove right up to the front (thinking there were available spots, I suppose), but when they saw that they didn’t qualify to park there, they proceeded to find a spot around the other side of the building. Maybe it’s just me but I perceived this to be a safety concern.

To me this concept is absurd. This is a public facility and the idea that many men, women and children are being discriminated against because they don’t drive/ride in a “fuel efficient vehicle” and have to park at the back of the bus, uh, I mean lot, is wrong. It discourages non-fuel efficient vehicle owners from coming to the library. Is that the kind of message we want to send to our community?

What do you think?

UPDATE 01/15/09: I received a phone call this evening from the fellow who heads up the Department of Public Works. It seems a letter I wrote last night concerning this issue raised some eyebrows and folks are re-thinking the use of these parking spaces. I was told a formal written response may be forthcoming. I’ll keep you updated as to what I hear.

UPDATE 01/21/09: I received the following email this morning:

Dear Mrs. Wigal,

After conferring with John Robins, Dir. Of Public Works; Garland Nuckols, Dir. Of Buildings and Grounds; and Cyndi Hoffman, Library Manager, we have decided to leave two parking spots for energy efficient vehicles and label them as being for cars having over 30 mpg, to reduce confusion.  The other four parking spots will have new signs.   One will be labeled “Senior Parking,” two will be labeled “Reserved for parents with small children,” the final one will be labeled “For Expectant Mothers”.  These four new signs will replace the signs directly adjacent to the uncovered sidewalk extending from the Library entrance.  Until the new signs can be ordered and put in place, the present signs will remain in place. 

I hope that this will be more in line with the needs of the citizens of Fluvanna County.

Curtis Putnam
Energy Technician
 
Fluvanna County
Buildings and Grounds Deparment
P. O. Box 540
Palmyra, VA 22963
 
cputnam@co.fluvanna.va.us
434-591-1925 phone
434-591-1924 fax

There has also been a healthy discussion on this subject concerning this issue at FluvannaOnline. It’s nice to see the County respond to input from her citizens. Now, if we can just get more citizens to share their input on various issues (such as out-of-control spending) in a respectful and responsible manner and have other factions of our County Government listen to her citizens, sincerely considering their concerns and responding in a swift and appropriate manner…


					

Full Speed Ahead: New Fluvanna High School or Bust

Uncle Sam has Dollar Signs in his eyesWhat is it with our Board of Supervisors? Are they insane??? I thought this idea of throwing taxpayer money around was just a fancy of the federal government’s, but it seems that there are folks in Fluvanna County who are equally reckless in managing our pocketbooks…four folks in particular. Their names are John Gooch, Charles Allbaugh, Mozell Booker, and Marvin Moss.

It seems there was a special meeting called Monday night to discuss the bonds for the new high school project. While I was unable to attend, I assumed the purpose was to deliberate over the reasonableness of pushing forward the search for bonds to fund the $100+ MILLION DOLLAR building project and that sound logic would win out. Evidently I was wrong. It was determined by a handful of folks that despite a HUGE external change of events (you know, the Economic Crisis we are all facing), AND evidence that the projected population growth has reversed (enrollment is DOWN this year), our local government (in little ole Fluvanna County) wants to still SPEND, SPEND, SPEND.

Maybe it’s just me, but I saw the fact that we had not yet obtained any bonds for this monumental capital project when our economy tanked over the past few months (and is still continuing to drop) was a blessing in disguise.

For Sale By Owner Sign

We weren’t yet obligated to pay anything when this disaster ensued: when it was obvious that many of our residents’ retirement accounts were under seige, that the bottom of the housing market fell out…including here in Fluvanna (has anyone else noticed that building has virtually halted in various developments all across the county let alone all the “For Sale” signs?), that major companies have gone belly-up, and that many folks are rightfully fearing the loss of their jobs. Phew…thank God, we hadn’t signed on any dotted lines yet for the “new high school”.

But NO! These elected officials of ours have gone loopy. And where is the School Board on all of this? Over a year ago, there was a public outcry demanding the School Board call for a referendum on this Domino Plan when it was discovered that the price tag had jumped to over $100 MILLION DOLLARS…the largest county expenditure in our history…we’re talking over 12 TIMES the cost of expanding our existing high school. People came out of the woodwork (myself included with a 3 month old baby in tow), pleading for the opportunity to have a say in this lavish expenditure. “Put it to a vote”, is all we asked. But the School Board plugged their ears!

They have been consistently turning a deaf ear to the many folks who have continually cried out against this plan…pointing out that the premise for which this plan was pushed is bogus…our school population is NOT growing at the rate the School Superintendent would like us to believe. In fact this year it is dropping, but the folks that are supposed to care about the EDUCATION of our youth are insisting on ramming this BUILDING PROJECT through when it is abundantly clear that the basis for the project is seriously flawed.

And now, with this “Economic Downturn” and Washington continually spending money we don’t have, weakening our dollar by the second, a handful of folks in our rural community insist on making these huge financial decisions without us!

STOP THE INSANITY! I’m calling on all of my neighbors to speak out NOW. Pick up the telephone and call each of our Supervisors today…right now, walk over to the phone, pick it up and dial their numbers starting at the top and tell them that it is their duty as an elected official to act on OUR behalf. With this large of a sum of money and the economic conditions we are living in (historical in nature), tell them it is COMPLETELY reckless of them to act without our consent and that you respectfully but firmly request they stop moving forward.

Then, dial the number for each of the School Board members, and tell them also that it is COMPLETELY reckless of them to continue pushing forward with this HUGE CAPITAL PROJECT considering this historical economic period without putting it to a vote from the people who are expected to foot the bill. Call for a Referendum Immediately!

Here is the contact information for our Supervisors and School Board members:

>> Board of Supervisors

Board of Supervisers

Back row: Gene Ott, John Gooch, Charles Allbaugh. Front row: Donald Weaver, Mozell Booker, Marvin Moss. *photo by Nancy Miner

COLUMBIA:
Marvin F. Moss, Chairman
home: (434) 589-4839

RIVANNA:
Charles W. Allbaugh, Vice-Chairman
home: (434) 589-5015

FORK UNION:
Mozell H. Booker
home: (434) 842-3311

PALMYRA:
John Y. Gooch
home: (434) 589-2971

RIVANNA:
Gene F. Ott
home: (434) 589-4876

CUNNINGHAM:
Donald W. Weaver
home: (434) 286-2687

Additional contact information can be found online at: http://www.co.fluvanna.va.us/

>> School Board

FORK UNION:
Mrs. Bertha Armstrong, Chair
842-3649

RIVANNA:
Mrs. Vivian Leach, Vice-Chair
589-5856

COLUMBIA:
Mrs. Shirley LeVines
589-3923

CUNNINGHAM:
Mr. R. J. Searcy
286-2720

PALMYRA:
Mr. Thomas Muir
295-3585

RIVANNA:
Mrs. Barbara Gibbons
589-6878

Additional contact information can be found online at: http://www.fluco.org/schoolboard.htm

Finally, there is a School Board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, December 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room of the School Board Office (located in the Old Palmyra School on Route 15). Please come! It is the School Board’s intention to consider and approve the final construction drawings at this meeting. Once approved, they will then advertise for construction bids. They hope to break ground the first part of 2009. Time is of the essence.

We need to show up in droves, bring as many folks as we can, and demand a referendum.

School Choice: Homeschool, Public or Private

This fall I’m excited to be homeschooling my two preschoolers. A few months ago I met with some homeschooling parents from my church and decided to dive in myself.

Several years ago I had considered homeschooling our oldest when we moved from Oklahoma, but shortly after we closed on our new house I discovered I was pregnant. With the move, and some of the stress we experienced with the purchase of the house and a 9-month already in tow, the added pregnancy was the straw that broke this camel’s back. So we sent him to public school.

When the time came for him to go to middle school, we preferred to send him to a private school (particularly a Christian school). After some poking around we settled on a small Christian school not too far from here. This past year my daughter demonstrated a strong desire to go to school herself and my heart sank at the thought of her “leaving” me and the additional cost for another private tuition. Sorry folks, but I can’t bring myself to send her to Central Elementary.

So, I started toying with the idea of homeschooling again. Our oldest claimed he wanted to be home-schooled as well, since many of his friends at church were, but I wasn’t too sure about that. While I did consider it, I realized there was a better alternative for him at this point in his life, so we sought that opportunity. Thank God, the door opened and he’ll be attending an excellent Christian Academy starting next month.

Meanwhile, my daughter has been chomping at the bit to start school herself. So, we’ve been actively planning the start of our homeschooling year in just a few more weeks. I have a school room set aside for this purpose, and we’re having fun getting it ready. Also, I’ve found a Biblical Preschool Curriculum that I’ll be teaching them. I’m so excited about these opportunities and I look forward to the journey we are all embarking upon.

To read more about my homeschooling escapades, visit Homeschooler Mom. If you’re a homeschooling parent as well, I encourage you to sign up for my email updates over there and let’s stay in touch. It will be fun to bounce ideas back and forth and share our experiences with one another.

Tot-Teaching Trailers Still Abound

Primary School ChildrenFluvanna County has had problems of over-crowding in the elementary and middle schools for several years now. The band-aid solutions have been to install trailers on the two campuses, but these were only meant to be temporary. Well, another school year has gone by and still no reasonable solution has been provided by the School Board for the near future.

Last fall funding for the controversial Domino Plan was granted by the Board of Superintendents despite a public outcry to the School Board for a referendum. This is the LARGEST expenditure Fluvanna County has ever seen at a whopping $100 Million and the decision was left up to six individuals to make the call. Now just two weeks ago a significant problem surfaced with the proposed site calling for another multi-million dollar expenditure in order to proceed as scheduled.

I am outraged that the School Board seems hell-bent on pushing this plan through and that more members of the Board of Supervisors aren’t saying “WHOA!”. Where is the accountability?! Continue reading

Movie Review: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Expelled the MovieThe movie, EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed was released last Friday and the critics have been vocal.

First let me say, a few weeks ago in my post entitled, Intelligent Design Under Attack, I wrote about this soon-to-be-released movie claiming:

“The premise is that it’s a documentary about how the idea of Intelligent Design (a.k.a. Creationism) is coming under attack in the academic arena.”

I quickly received a comment from Benjamin Franklin stating:

“Intelligent design is not under “attack” by anyone, but that is what the proponents of the intelligent design and the Discovery Institute merely want you to believe.”

He went on to quote Dr. Ken Miller and suggested I know more about the facts before promoting the movie. I indicated it was the subject matter that peaked my interest and that is why I “promoted” it here on my blog.

Then shortly after the movie was released, C. Muench left his comments on the movie. He agreed with Mr. Franklin that I was wrong on the premise and set me straight.

“…the major premise is not about intelligent design. It is about academic freedom to ask questions.”

He went on to bring up some very intelligent insight. Can I just say, I love it when people are able to discuss controversial subjects in an intelligent manner without resorting to name-calling and belief-bashing. Thank you, Mr. Muench. I encourage you to read what he had to say.

While I still have yet to see the movie myself (I have 4 kids, 3 of which are 4 yrs old and under…and the nearest theater showing the film is over an hour away), I tried to find some “intelligent” reviews. Continue reading