My New Oncologist — Preliminary Appointment

I met my new Oncologist and his Czech nurse this afternoon. And the Infusion nurse.

While my hormone therapy is technically a form of chemotherapy, the medical establishment doesn’t see it that way. Doc wants to stop my current hormone suppression to confuse my cancer and then throw some Zometa at it, too. Zometa will help my bones get stronger while helping suppress my cancer.

There are supposed to be few side effects so I consented to the treatment. I know I didn’t want to get chemotherapy but my objection was to the debilitating effect of the therapy.

Since I already had an appointment with my GP next Wednesday, we piggybacked my infusion (A method of putting fluids, including drugs, into the bloodstream. Also called intravenous infusion. ) for the same day.

And Doc wanted my catheter removed. My Urologist had mentioned a surgical solution in his comments to my new Doc. So, as soon as I got home, I called and set up an appointment for tomorrow.

Then the icing on my medical cake: I am having sharp abdominal pain. It seems familiar. Like I am passing the kidney stone found during my January CATscan. And my pee bag has pink liquid.

Advertisements

My New Oncologist — Intro

This will be the first time I have had a real oncologist since August 2010! That was when I switched my cancer therapy to my urologist. But  my rapidly rising PSA scared him off!

The new guy has decades of experience and I got two good reviews of him. He only works one day a week in Salida but normally that is adequate for cancer treatment. My appointment today is called a  “preliminary”, a legal requirement for us to actually meet before our relationship is official.

My appointment is at 2 PM.

The unemployment rate: 19.9% or 8.3%?

This is a long, math-strewn article I am basing this on and will quote sparingly from it. But statistically it is quite accurate. Basically it analyzes where 9 million US working people went from the Labor Department statistics.

 

 

As we will explore herein, a detailed look at the government’s own data base shows that about 9 million people without jobs have been removed from the labor force simply by the government defining them as not being in the labor force anymore.  Indeed – effectively all of the decreases in unemployment rate percentages since 2009 have come not from new jobs, but through reducing the workforce participation rate so that millions of jobless people are removed from the labor force by definition.

In an extraordinarily cynical act, the government is effectively saying that because the job situation has been so bad for many millions of unemployed people in their 40s, 30s, 20s and teens, they can no longer be considered to be potential participants in the work force at all.  Because there is no hope for them – they no longer need to be counted.  And it is this steady statistical cleansing from the workforce of the worst of the economic casualties – of these very real millions of individual tragedies – that is being presented as a rapidly improving jobs picture.

Us geeks have long known that the commonly quoted U-3 employment figures the BLS presents are skewed. This began under the Clinton Administration and Washington so liked it, they have amped it up. Essentially, those who are long-term unemployed are simply declared “unemployable” and not counted. A more accurate measure of un- and under-employment is U-6

 

But the U-6 chart looks very different.

 

 

The gummint is blaming the Boomers even though they really aren’t retiring much right now. It is the young people taking the hit.

 

There is a lot here to digest but the main point, IMO, is that there are a lot more hungry people out of work than the Gummint wants to admit. And someday there will be a reckoning.

Water

Donna has scheduled a load of water today because my future is murky at this point. It is hard to manage the transfer of over 1000 gallons of water with just one of us and the truck driver. And our water supplier has a new truck and driver; who we get is the luck of the draw. Or the whim of the owner! Lol. If it is the new guy, we will have some [minimal] training time.

 

We have no idea what my new doctor will do or how I will feel after he does it! So she has a “better safe than sorry” attitude. In any case, tomorrow will be a pivotal day in my life as we meet him in Salida. It has “only” taken a month for this appointment to come to fruition!

 

Anyway that is the big deal of the day around here. I feel as if I am on hold which I guess I am. Sucks.

We Meant Well

This is about a book,We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People telling of Peter Van Buren’s experiences in Iraq. I loved his writing style, both descriptive and snarky. But now, years later, the State Department is trying to fire him! How dare he actually tell the truth!

From a TV interview:

JUAN GONZALEZ: We end today’s show with an update on a story we first covered in November. The State Department has taken steps to fire a longtime employee who publicly criticized the U.S. government’s so-called reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The employee, Peter Van Buren, has worked at the State Department for 23 years. In 2009 and ’10, he headed two Provincial Reconstruction Teams in rural Iraq.

AMY GOODMAN: After returning from Iraq, he wrote a book called We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. Van Buren has also exposed State Department waste and mismanagement on his blog, wemeantwell.com. He has been facing a State Department investigation for over six months, but it appears the Department only moved to fire him once he filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint with the Office of Special Counsel.

 

When I bought this book, little did I realize I would be watching history unfold as the DC bureaucrats tried to cover their asses!  You go, Peter!

Update

I am still struggling with blogging with my laptop. Anyway here is an update.

Yesterday PM, my catheter plugged and off the to ER we went again! Donna is becoming a good “ambulance” driver for these crises! By the time we got to the ER, I was in a lot of pain and I had taken one of my Vicodines az we were leaving! I was surprised to see the same nurse there who treated me earlier! She had had a couple of days off but was still ill.

This time she was able to clear the cath with a back flush and I was soon good to go. She also gave Donna a kit for doing this at home ans instruction in how to do it without injuring me. Th place was busier than our other visits but we got done quickly. Once I was functional again, I was ravenous for, of all things, a chili cheese dog! So Donna took me to the drive up at Dairy Queen and treated me to dinner! Even with all that, we got home about dark, Sure beat getting home at 3 AM! Lily was happy too!

Donna went and got the mail which had two surprises in it: a card from my Boss and the office staff up in Salida. And a bottle of pills! I have no idea who sent them but will try them. They are Astaxanthin, an antioxidant. I have no idea who bought them for me but will give them a try. One claim for them is wrinkle removal! I assume one of my friends ordered me the bottle; whoever it was, I appreciate it!

I got my doctor appointments sorted out. My next one is with my new oncologist Wednesday PM; will he be surprised to learn about my cath! I hope he can bail me out on that!

I am still kicking

but medical problems are preventing me from updating my Blog! I can’t sit!! I cannot figure out how to lay in my bed and use my laptop! I have two days off from my problem then it will start again Thursday.

I have some prostate scar tissue blocking my plumbing and my urologist can’t get it to clear. We are gonna try again Thursday. I think using a corkscrew or something. And another catheter will be inserted.

I am getting a lot of reading done! And texting.

I WILL be back!

Giant Formerly Extinct Bugs

Well, almost extinct; at one time there were only 24 in the whole world, on an island in the South Pacific.

Not real cute! And they are rumored to smell bad, too! But their survival is a great story.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/02/24/147367644/six-legged-giant-finds-secret-hideaway-hides-for-80-years

And romantic, too.

Cotopaxi Cell Tower

This project is on again! The AllTel contract never went anywhere and everything they did has expired. Then the school got word that AT&T had transferred rights for the cell tower to Mercury Towers of Frisco, TX. This site is on school property overlooking the “city” of Cotopaxi (pop. 47).

The school campus is at upper left; the county road wanders through it. The town is across the bottom with the commercial district south of the river. Southwest of the school is a faint blue “T” which marks where the new cell tower will be.

The green circle is approximately where the tower will be. The original permit called for an eighty foot tower but Mercury wants to make it a 100′ tower if the county will approve it. I think so they can hang more antennas on it later! Any carrier can use the tower.

Looking east (or downcanyon), the power source is visible through the trees at bottom. On the next ridge, the tall white pole is a radio mast for the Sheriff’s office and the CDOT facility on the other side of the ridge.

This is the back of the school; the closest building is a utility building and the field to the right is the leach field for our septic system.

The school will get a lease payment for the plot of land and Cotopaxi will get cell service (AT&T) for the first time!

Our Escape Non-Repair

I had an appointment to get another front axle bearing replaced on Wednesday. I was early so had even more time to sit in their waiting area. Then I heard Mark, the manager, talking about MY vehicle on the phone! He hung up and said they sent the wrong part.

Later they had another conversation and I was sure this was not good news. And it wasn’t. The bearing is called the “RH axle Carrier Bearing”. Except it isn’t replaceable by even mechanics! It only comes pressed onto the shaft. Along with the LH one!

And they didn’t have any in stock. And cost $200 instead of $70. I will be going back next week for another try.

The noise, to me, is very annoying especially at 45 MPH when ear plugs would be nice! But Mark assured me it was OK to keep driving the vehicle!

The Fiber Optic Project: Grooming. Again.

The actual fiberoptic portion of this project was completed in mid-January. Later someone had regraded the ditch along the road to make it deeper and more sharply defined. I assumed it was the county.

But, as I was leaving for town on Presidents Day, I saw two trucks with equipment trailers at the “phone booth”. Like an old fire dog, I HAD to know what was going on!

The ditch the fiberoptic cable was in had been regraded. But I didn’t see it was any smoother driving across it!

I eased in among the trucks and trailers to see whose they were.

LCI and Lowery Contracting are the same outfit and the ones who did the project.

I was impressed with the quality of their equipment: The pickup is a Ford F550, a bear of a vehicle, and the semi tractor is a Kenworth TT02, generally used as a logging tractor. These people do buy good equipment! Now to find the stuff the trailers brought in.

Here is the one the pickup dragged up there: a Bobcat trackhoe. This guy is grooming driveways. And not happy; I assume this was supposed to have been a day off. I guess one of the seven property owners complained about the condition of their driveway. Or Fremont County is just harassing the contractor. Neither operator looked happy so I didn’t stop and ask!

These are grader “signs”. By grading back and forth over the same area, it both smooths and firms the road surface. This is taken just below the “curves”.

And here is the grader turning around. Notice how clean all the equipment is. I guess these two get to clean everything up when they get back to Salida!

I wonder if LCI made any money on this rush job. Maybe this extra work can be billed to CenturyLink. This so reminded me of a certain sewer inspector in Colorado Springs who would keep flunking jobs until he got a bottle of whiskey! Just saying . . .

A Sign of the Season

As I was returning home from shopping Thursday, I could see the highway advisory sign was on. This is on the west side of the hogback that marks the west side of Canon City

At the south end, US 50 (right) turns and suddenly you are in Cañon City next to Old Max, the first prison in Colorado.

The Hogback is behind the prison. This was a natural barrier to escapes.

I got near the sign and read the message. Then turned back at the next crossover at the white house in the distance and went back down to the one south to retrace my route.

There had been avalanche warnings earlier and assumed the Pass was a mess.

This a picture of the east side of the Pass in April 2008. This is between Salida and Gunnison.

Interplanetary News — Just In!

This arrived in my inbox this morning. I do have connections in strange places!

EARTH FIRST!… THEN MARS!!!

This is IUMMA, your QUAKER FRIEND, i found the moment
to comunicate with you about the Egiptian pyramids and
the recently discovered real environment in Mars planet…
well my friends i dont know if you know that the real
Mars is mostly like Egipt, Nile and Red Sea, or just
like the Arabian Peninsula, with similar vegetation and
with huge seas, that is not all… threre are jungles too.

The Mars photos that NASA use to show us all this
years are taken with radiotelescopes that are not
able to detect the mars living matter and fluids
cause those organic molecles are not of the same
biology than in earth planet, they only detect
innert matter as stones and minerals (as a X RAY
of a planet), so everithing seems to be so desolate
and inert there, but that is not the real truth,
they have technology only to detect water molecules
and Mars seas and biology are not of water are of
a diferent sustance, and you can be sure the ozone
there is not blue… the troposphere real colour
is orange, it is exactly the same colour than the
Earth orange Sunset clouds, the Martian oceans
are also Orange.

Newest research about Mars shows that NASA and
international establishment astronomers were wrong
or hiding the true facts that Mars is with atmosphere,
natural ecosystems and environments… there are
forests, jungles and oceans, that is not all there
are antropomorphic inteligent life too!.

The martian humanoids are primary amphibian froggoids
although we need to consider that Dragons and reptilian
humanoids [Reptiloids] are from Mars as well, the
martian animals are mainly dinosaurs, there is insectilian
life forms all around Mars and the most powerful are
Praying Mantis humanoids and small bulb head grey
insectoids who control the Mars surface and its beings
from a Shape-Shifted huge Mothership known in Earth
as Phobos Asteroid… the biggest insects are spiders and
scorpions.

The reality is that the human satellites from Earth only
were programmed to detect water molecules then they
only watched deserts and innert matter because water
is not in Mars, they are making just X Ray pictures
from the planet… the bones are the stones and the
metaphorical flesh, the martian living nature, does not
appears like the X Ray pictures of a body.

Although the anti-stablishment disident astronomers have
made public in esoteric silent ways that there are other
basic liquid molecule in Mars and it is not water, and
that is the source of life there, they in their photos
detect green living vegetation and really huge oceans,
big cities and Mars atmosphere is with clouds as well.

The links below will show you that this information
is true:

http://www.marsanomalyresearch.com/
http://www.projectmars.net/
http://www.projectpegasus.net/
http://www.anthonybeckett.com/

)+(

Andromeda Council Communications

*********************

The Real Mars is Bigger than Earth

The Real Mars

Native from Mars

Mars Disclosure Project – Martian Froggoid Humanoid

The Real Mars with Atmosphere

Martian Interplanetary Base

Grey Orionite Insectoids GO Home!!!

Blowin’ In the Wind

I came back from town on Monday and enjoyed watching the wind rearranging the snow on the Sangres. This was why there was an avalanche warning out! These were taken from our fire station parking lot.

Closer views.

Fascinating how the snow blows in the wind up there.

My Trip to Denver: Day Three

This was a two part day: tours of the capitol and the trip home. It began with a breakfast meeting about all those school related bills, including one from the Agriculture Committee about eliminating transfats from school cafeterias. For reference, most fast food places have gone to a 0 transfat standard. Interestingly, the breakfast fare was the highest cholesterol and saturated fat stuff of the meet: scrambled eggs, sausage, and bacon!! I am sure the cupcakes and such were harboring transfats!

Everyone was warned about grumpy politicians since most of the legislature had been up until the wee hours on committee hearings. The current status of bills were reviewed with a few updates from the late night. Also the rules of visiting the legislature were reviewed with emphasis on floor lobbying which will get you evicted! It is OK to give your opinion if asked, though.

I opted out of touring knowing I would not be able to finish. Our Superintendent, John, and Donna went. Our legislator was out of his office so they had some fun posing at his desk!

While they were clowning around, a woman came into the office and thought they were part of Mr. Massey’s staff! Then she suggested they both get in the picture.

I can’t figure out the black square thing at the front of the desk; to me it looks like an aircraft attitude indicator.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch motel, I showered, packed, and sat in the lobby reading my Kindle and watching the human carnival passing through! I did get some great pictures out my 11th floor window before I settled in.

You can see the infamous “brown cloud” between the tall buildings in the distance. The warehouse looking building in the pictures is a parking garage for both the Brown Palace and the Comfort Inn, both of which are owned by the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa. It is accessed through the alley behind the Comfort Inn.

The tall brown building on the left is the CenturyLink building. That is, and has been, our phone company for years. This was a small company that took over a huge one when Qwest went broke.

That is the Brown Palace on the right in these two pictures. There is a skywalk connecting the two buildings.

This is one of the many ambulances to passed by on their way to St. Joseph Hospital a few blocks away.

The rest of this is more of a reminisce as a major chapter of my life closed.

We got under way about 11 for the trip home. Well, three of us; the Super headed for Mom’s house. Our trip began by sitting for an hour on the Interstate! And I began to feel depressed as a part of my life ended. I realized I would likely never be in Denver again. I mused and commented (like an old codger) about the many changes I has seen in my visits to Denver over the years. I have lived in Colorado since 1968, mostly in Colorado Springs.

To “help” me reminisce, our driver joined in. I eased into a mild depression as part my history seemed to roll up behind us. Particularly poignant was our passage through The Springs where I lived for decades. My boys still live there so I am sure I will visit sometimes. But it has grown beyond my comfort zone so is no longer “my town”. At least I can get around there whereas in Denver, I was perpetually lost.

I got quieter, partly from fatigue, as we drove down CO115 past Fort Carson which was how I came to be in Colorado. When we reached Penrose, we got on US50 westbound. This was now my world: Cañon City, Cotopaxi, and Salida. It is interesting that, as my life ends, so do my horizons shrink. My wanderings used to take me deep into Texas; now a “long trip” is to Pueblo or Salida. And those primarily for medical care.

I have found the last two posts here about my Trip to Denver have been difficult to write. It would have been so easy to skip this time but it would not have been honest. This is as much a memoir as a blog. Some of the struggles at this time in my life are difficult.

So thank you, my readers for joining me on this turning point in my life. It isn’t ending as much as changing in ways I foresaw but don’t like.

My Trip to Denver: Day Two

This was the day of the CASB Winter Legislative Conference. I was awake when the Super texted me that his room had no water but he had a plumber in the tub. Lol. I offered my shower but they were moving him to another room. It seemed this delegation was cursed. 🙂

The first meeting of the day was for Board Presidents. I actually managed to get there early! Mostly for food and coffee! And to say good bye to Randy Black, a CASB employee.

But I was surprised when my #2, Donna, our Vice President, came in and joined us. Each Prez (and two VPs) took turns telling their problems and what they thought was most important to their district (money!). I was amazed how different we all were; some districts are small cities while some make a good sized class! Donna was very articulate; I was proud of her. And hearing their tales of woe made me feel much better about my own district! And I told them that!

One would think each district was the center of the Colorado educational universe. Maybe I am not cut out for this job!

Afterward, I told Randy I would not be at any more CASB events and that I would miss him. I explained why when he asked; he was a bit incoherent, as most people are when the subject of cancer comes up.

Afterward Donna went to the next session and I went back to bed. But woke up for lunch, dressed and went back downstairs. Turns out this was the best meal of the conference. With the added bonus of having to listen toColorado Lieutenant Governor Garcia speak. It sounded like a campaign speech! Lol. But he is a former educator so could speak authoritatively to us.

Back to my room for more rest. This being so lethargic sucks. My last event of the day was a marathon session reviewing the legislation pending in the legislature.

Finally it wound down and I went on to dinner with a friend at Annie’s on E. Colfax.

It seemed odd to be winding up my life already but there was no doubt by now that I am limited in what I can do. Thank the Goddess for the Internet to keep in touch. Little did I realize the next day would be even more significant.

My Trip to Denver: Day One

There were four of us (three BoE members and the school Super) going to a Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) Winter Legislative Conference. This is a one day thing primarily about legislation affecting schools.

But the logistics were more complex than I expected. Our Superintendent, at the last minute, decided to not drive the school sedan. He wanted to drive his own SUV so he could go hang with his brother and also stay over a day or so. So I called the other Board members going and recruited one of them to drive.

So we eventually all met at the school for the journey to Denver. Little did I know this trip would be a life changing event for me.

The trip up took much longer than we planned due to traffic as we arrived in The Big City during rush hour. As we neared our destination at the Downtown Comfort Inn, our Super took the lead and we seemed to circle around for a while before pulling into the valet parking at the hotel.

We checked in and went to our rooms with plans to meet in the lobby in a half hour. It didn’t work out for me!

My room was a mess!

The tan bag on the bed is mine.

At first I thought the hotel had left a meal in lieu of a fruit basket but quickly realized the beer bottles in the ice bucket were empty! How rude!

There was crap everywhere yet the bed looked unused. I texted the Super that I would be changing rooms since this one was used. His reaction was, “I hope there isn’t a dead hooker in the bathroom!”. There wasn’t. 😉

I called the “Operator” who called the front desk to move me. This is the first Choice Hotel, my usual chain of choice, I have been in where the “Operator” on the phone is NOT the front desk! Soon a succession of staff came by; the first hardly spoke English and apparently was to verify I wasn’t pranking the hotel! The one who actually helped me move wore full livery with lots of braid. I told him if the beer bottles had been full, I would have stayed! My first room was on the 8th floor; my new one was on the 11th.

He did as I told him: toss my stuff (four small bags) on the bed then handed me my new room cards. I unpacked a few things then went down to join the group to go to dinner.

We walked the two blocks to the 16th Street Mall. Out-of-towners like us get confused expecting an enclosed shopping center but this is literally a “mall”: a place where you walk. It is over a mile long and the only vehicles allowed on it are cops and electric buses. The buses are very unique since RTD decided to build the things themselves to their specifications when no one would even bid on the project!

It turns out, the Super wanted to go to the brewpub on The Mall and we all hopped a bus for a several block ride (It is free.). It was called the Rock Bottom Brewery but was much better than the name implies! And the place was packed on a Wednesday night! Weekends most have a waiting line. This is actually a chain of brewpubs all over the US. I had LOBSTER & SHRIMP TACOS (Two housemade tacos with Pepper Jack cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, and citrus sauce in a crisp blue corn tortilla, wrapped with a soft flour tortilla. Served with black beans and Red Ale rice.) and a glass of KÖLSCH.

By the time our meal and conversation was over, I was done in. We went to the bus stop across the street; I leaned against the map sign while they stood nearby and chatted. A young man came over and asked if he could “pray for me”. I declined so he asked again! After he left, the Super asked if I still had my wallet! (I did.)

At this point I realized I had become part of the 16th Street Scene! That was reinforced when I got on the bus and a young lady began to tease me about having a “big evening”. I just told her I was tired; she laughed. I must have looked like I had overindulged! Wow! One beer and I was over my limit. Even the bus driver nagged me to get out from in front of the doors! I moved across the aisle, alarming a guy hanging from the next strap. He checked his wallet and moved over a bit! We got to our stop and I am sure some people were watching to see if I would go face down on the sidewalk. I didn’t.

Turns out we had gone a block too far so had to walk a block back to our street! Needless to say, when I got in my room (and I actually remembered which was mine!), I quickly got ready for bed and went right to sleep.

I had gained a new persona as a 16th Street Mall street person! That wasn’t even on my bucket list!

Valentines 2012

I had library duty this day so left before anyone was awake. But I did find a Valentines card on my keyboard.

I left mine on her keyboard! It had a cheesy poem that ended in “cute butt”. 😉 So both our cards were about her sexy body!

I went on to school and had a very quiet shift. A couple of teachers and some older kids who checked out books. Mostly I read my Kindle.

I did have an In School Suspension (ISS) to watch. This is a student being punished and is restricted to the library. Or wherever I give him permission to go. 😉 My prisoners don’t suffer and, since I don’t have any instructions, I am not violating my orders.

None of my charges have ever been a problem. This is an interesting way to meet members of the student body.

Eventually lunch arrived. I usually eat at the teachers’ tables but only a couple of teachers were there. Soon a few more appeared but one came over and said they should be at an inservice. So they all got up and left! I asked if it were something I said and one teacher said it was and I should be quiet!

There is no doubt that the staff was stirred up! I hope the Board’s eventual decision will calm the emotions.

Emotional Reactions to Dehydration

Those of us who are prescribed with diuretics for blood pressure control and other reasons are normally very aware of what happens when we get dehydrated. But for those not taking diuretics, the results are less familiar. Now it is official.

Cranky? Even mild dehydration can alter our moods

Even mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood, energy level, and ability to think clearly, according to two studies recently conducted at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory.

The tests showed that it didn’t matter if a person had just walked for 40 minutes on a treadmill or was sitting at rest – the adverse effects from mild dehydration were the same. Mild dehydration is defined as an approximately 1.5 percent loss in normal water volume in the body.

“Our thirst sensation doesn’t really appear until we are 1 [percent] or 2 percent dehydrated. By then dehydration is already setting in and starting to impact how our mind and body perform,” says Armstrong, an international expert on hydration who has conducted research in the field for more than 20 years. “Dehydration affects all people, and staying properly hydrated is just as important for those who work all day at a computer as it is for marathon runners, who can lose up to 8 percent of their body weight as water when they compete.”

Much more interesting details at ScienceBlog.

Board Meeting 2/13/12

This meeting brought back memories of last February’s meeting and the rockslide which interrupted it. Also that day we finalized the short list of candidates for our Superintendent search.

This time we didn’t get interrupted by the lights going out! We had a full agenda including several executive session items. The most important one was declaring a “fiscal exigency” (opens PDF).

The courts have recognized two general categories that might give rise to a “justifiable decrease” in the number of teaching positions: fiscal exigency and program change. A fiscal exigency may occur any time a school district is unable to maintain staffing at existing levels for financial reasons. This may be due to a decrease in student enrollment, increased costs, or budgetary cuts. A program change refers to any elimination, curtailment, or reorganization of curriculum, or a reorganization or consolidation of schools. A program change may or may not be related to a fiscal exigency. Declining student enrollment across the entire school district is not required to justify the cancellation of teachers’ contracts. If enrollment in a particular program has declined, the board may justifiably eliminate teaching positions in that program.

It is the board’s role to determine when a fiscal exigency or need for program change exists. When the board makes this determination, the board’s decision is considered a legislative act. Ring v. Springfield Sch. Dist. RE-2, Case No. 90CV37 (Baca County Dist. Ct. 1992); Snyder v. City of Lakewood, 542 P.2d 371, 375-76 (discussing legislative v. judicial authority). Due to the constitutional separation of powers between the different branches of government, the board’s legislative acts are
subject to limited court review and may only be challenged on constitutional grounds for an arbitrary abuse of authority. Snyder, 542 P.2d at 375.

Accordingly, as long as there is a rational underlying basis for the board’s determination that a fiscal exigency exists or program change is necessary, the board’s determination will withstand a legal challenge that the determination was merely a pretext for the teacher’s dismissal.

This is in preparation for our having to fire some teachers. 😦 Our policy states that the Superintendent has 30 days to present a plan to the Board to reach our objectives. I was really surprised by the reaction of the teaching staff toward me. Suddenly none of them wanted to talk to me! Like anything they say will be used against them. We had managed to not have to actually fire anyone up to now; there were enough retirements to reduce staff “naturally”.

So this and other issues about layoffs were stressful. There were also a few stressful executive session items, as well.

Toward the end of the Executive Session, I excused myself to go potty and handed control over to my #2, Donna Nicholas-Griesel, the Vice-President. By the time I got back, the meeting was adjourned!