Wed, 20 Oct 2021 19:03:28 GMT
Six candidates vying for three at-large positions up for election on the Cobre Consolidated School District Board of Education on Nov. 2 joined the two running for election in District 4 on the Silver Consolidated Schools board for a Zoom-broadcast Daily Press candidate forum Tuesday night. Michelle Diaz, incumbent District 4 Silver board member, opened the forum by saying the COVID-19 pandemic had given her “a newfound sense of urgency to move beyond mediocrity.” “Let’s do more,” she said. “Our kids deserve more.” Diaz’s opponent, Heather Stephens, said she agreed with much of what Diaz said throughout the forum, adding that, if elected, she hopes to “give the voice that’s needed right now. Parents aren’t involved enough, and we need to get back to that. PTAs and those kinds of things need to come back.” With Grant County Sheriff Frank Gomez not running for reelection to the Cobre Schools Board of Education, Serena Murillo, a Cobre teacher, and Albert Holguin, a former board member, are competing for his Position 1 seat. Murillo said that, if elected, she would make it a priority to support teachers within the district. “Being a classroom teacher, I hope to bring a different perspective to the board,” Murillo said, adding that “there’s a crisis in education. There’s a teacher shortage. We can’t even call in sick right now because there’s no substitute teachers.” Albert Holguin, who noted that he was “born in Santa Rita, born in space,” and graduated from Cobre High School, said that he would use his lifetime of experience in teaching and school administration to improve the quality of learning in the district, if elected. “When I was going to school, Cobre was one of the 10 top schools in the state, and we have dropped considerably,” Albert Holguin said. “I asked students that I know that hang around with my kids, my grandkids, if they were prepared to go to college when they graduated from Cobre. Most of them said, ‘No.’” Gilbert Guadiana, who has raised contentious issue after contentious issue at Board of Education meetings since he was first elected four years ago to Position 2, and often stirring debate that sometimes descends into personal attacks among the board’s five members during public meetings, said that the last four years had “been an interesting time.” “These are dire straits,” he said. “We can’t go on [like this]. Just because we’ve been in a board position for a million years doesn’t mean that’s the right thing. It certainly means there’s a time for change. “We don’t do strategic planning,” said Guadiana, who has advocated for the board to do such work. “We don’t do audits. We do very little in terms of budget preparation. We don’t do anything in the curriculum. Our transparency is like lead.” Guadiana’s challenger, Reynaldo Maynes, was formerly the head coach for Cobre’s wrestling program. “As a coach, I achieved three New Mexico state titles,” said Maynes, who noted he was also Santa Clara’s municipal judge from 2014-16. “My main priority is providing students with equitable education opportunities and meeting their needs.” In the Position 3 Cobre race, incumbent Gabriel Holguin said he has spent the last four years of his first term “trying to make improvements” while serving on what’s widely regarded as a dysfunctional school board. “We’re trying to bring our school board up to a level of a highly reliable, functioning organization,” Gabriel said. “It’s been a challenge, no doubt. We’ve had our issues. There’s lots of opportunity for growth and improvement. I want to see communication on tough issues that our school, our community, our students, and our parents face — and come up with solutions that really do benefit our kids.” Gabriel’s opponent, Hurley resident Doug Miranda, addressed the board’s dysfunction head-on in his opening statement. “The constant squabbling and bickering on the board has to end,” he said. “I think there can be more teamwork and unity. I see a heck of a job the teachers are doing — they’re the finest teachers in the state. They need a board to support them, and the board needs to work with the superintendent. There’s too much infighting going on.” Daily Press reporter Hannah Dumas asked the candidates how they would work to improve access to digital classroom technology and pursue improvements to the broadband internet that students came to rely on during the pandemic. “Let’s make sure we don’t lose what we’ve capitalized on during COVID, and look for opportunities to fund this,” Gabriel Holguin said, adding that it behooves the Cobre District to “work with partners like Freeport-McMoRan, or whoever, and to secure grants — it’s not going to be cheap — and find the right contractors to implement this.” Guadiana said the current board had dropped the ball somewhat on helping teachers adapt to the new hybrid and remote learning environments, despite Lt. Gov. Howie Morales having helped to secure plentiful Chromebooks for students. Cobre Schools is still “lacking in innovation,” Guadiana said. “We didn’t make teachers’ jobs easier, but they did what they can.” Murillo said the pandemic had a “silver lining. It pushed us into the 21st century. “I think the Cobre board and the district did a good job equipping our children with what they needed,” the Position 1 candidate said, but noted the need for “training for teachers to use the new programs. I think the administration could have done a better job helping us that way.” Stephens said Silver Schools did a good job in offering vouchers and devices to families who needed help paying for additional broadband capacity, but due to a lack of communication, “not many parents and guardians knew about that.” Diaz, who said truancy and remote academic interfaces suddenly became huge issues that her district was forced to address during the pandemic, agreed with Stephens. “We found a way to make modifications,” Diaz said. “But the other thing we learned through the COVID process was good intentions only work if people are aware of the opportunities they can access. So that communication has to be ongoing.” The candidates were asked about the 2 mill Public School Capital Improvements Tax question on which voters in the Cobre District will decide, and the 1.5 mill Public School Buildings Tax question that voters within the Silver school district will decide — and also asked how each candidate has advocated for the taxes while campaigning. Every candidate supported the approval of their respective district’s tax. Guadiana explained that Cobre’s mill levy “was put out in February, and, for the first time since 1974, it failed by a small margin. Usually it passes by a big margin. “The overwhelming concern was the lack of transparency,” he said. “We had just gone through a $7 million bond issue, and questions were raised about projects that haven’t been done.” Maynes — and every other candidate — said he promotes the bond question at every opportunity. “I tell people it’s an investment in our community,” he said, addressing the fact that property owners all get taxed for school costs, whether they have children or not. “For those without school-aged kids, I would say it’s an investment in your future,” Miranda said. “Our children are our future.” Diaz took the opportunity to remind voters that approving the Silver Schools tax question won’t raise costs for property owners, since it’s a continuation of an existing tax. “What is the purpose of education?” one audience member asked, adding that they wanted to know how the 2018 Yazzie and Martinez v. State of New Mexico decision plays into the question. Cobre Position 1’s Murillo said that “education makes students productive members of society and helps them achieve their dreams, no matter what they choose to do. It’s important we give all students the tools they need to be good members of society.” Position 1’s Albert Holguin said he hadn’t heard about the Yazzie-Martinez lawsuit, which essentially claimed — successfully — that the state’s public education system was discriminating against low-income and disabled students, as well as those from certain cultural and ethnic communities, among other groups, by not providing equal access to education for all. But, Albert said, “We have to educate them. They need to become productive members of our society.” Maynes, running for Position 2, said that the Yazzie-Martinez decision brought “equity to the forefront of education, and it’s imperative we bring access to all students,” with “no discrimination, no matter what disabilities and so forth.” Diaz indicated that Silver school board members had attended workshops relating to the decision, and that, in essence, districts can no longer use funding shortages as an excuse not to provide equal access to all students. Stephens said she “sees my students struggling in Silver City,” where inequalities still exist. “We’re preparing students to be better people,” she said. “Free and public education is for everybody.” The next Daily Press candidate forum, featuring incumbent Silver City Mayor Ken Ladner and his opponent, Magnus Amelia Waters, as well as District 2 council candidates Nicholas Prince and Lonnie Shoup and District 4 incumbent Guadalupe Cano and her opponent, Georgia Rivera, will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday. The final forum, featuring David L. McCauley and Nancy Lee Stephens, the two candidates for the contested Position 3 supervisor’s seat on the Grant Soil and Water Conservation District board, will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 28. Join the Zoom broadcasts for both upcoming events via dailypressforums.com, and visit the Daily Press Facebook page to view recordings of past candidate forums. Geoffrey Plant may be reached at [email protected] press.com. Posted on October 20, 2021
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 15:58:21 GMT
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange (Marvel/Disney) In a surprising move on Monday, Marvel Studios shifted almost all their 2022 and 2023 releases back by everything from a few weeks to five months. The first move was only by five or six weeks, as Sam Raimi‘s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, was moved from March 25, 2022, to May 6, 2022, basically making it the prestigious Summer 2022 kick-off movie. That position is one Marvel has claimed for a number of years, but that also meant bumping Taika Waititi‘s Thor: Love and Thunder back two months to July 8, the post 4th of July slot which Marvel has also claimed in recent years. In turn, Ryan Coogler‘s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is moved out of the summer and back four months to Nov. 11, 2022, and that knocks Nia DaCosta‘s The Marvels (the sequel to Brie Larson‘s Captain Marvel) back three months to Feb. 17, 2023. This is where it gets interesting, because James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 is sticking with its Summer 2023 launch date, so that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which is thought to be an important part of Phase 4, moves back over five months to July 28, 2023. In fact, later on Monday, Marvel Pres. Kevin Feige was interviewed by Variety on the red carpet of Marvel’s upcoming Eternals movie about the moves, and he said they were due to “production shifts and changes, and because we have so many slots, we can just shift slots.” Which they did.
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 10:59:21 GMT
Keyword “gender diversity”: You are the first female leader of the EU Commission, Kamala Harris the first female US Vice President. Do we need a women’s quota, and would such a quota really deliver greater equality? 'We must strive for a system where women can always reach for the top, if this is what they want. The first step for this is to give equal opportunities to women and men. And for this, we are working to ensure quality education for all girls and women, to ensure parental leave for mothers and fathers alike, to guarantee equal pay for women, and to strengthen child care. We have created, for instance, a Child guarantee, so that children in need have effective and free access to early childhood care and education. All parents, from all social backgrounds, should be able to send their kids to child care and school. This is women empowerment at its most basic. As President of the European Commission, I have put up a team that is fully gender balanced. Yet today, fewer than 7 percent of top companies’ CEOs are women. So yes, years ago in Germany I have pushed for quotas for women on board. And it worked. Clearly, we need to incentivize companies and organizations to open up and give women their fair chance. We simply cannot exclude half of our talents from leadership positions.' Many young people take a democratic, peaceful and united Europe for granted. How can we enthuse young people about the European idea, or put another way: Why is Europe “nice”?