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Grillin' season arrives with Scott's roast

Grillin' season arrives with Scott's roast nasa-0216final.jpg
By G. Michael Dobbs Managing Editor April 4, 2011 Can you pinpoint a moment in your life when that little light flipped on in your head? And someone or something said to you, "This is it." There may have been some of those moments going on last week during a wonderful event. There was indeed an air of excitement — and some nervousness — at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) last week when students from three schools — the McMahon School from Holyoke and the Kelly Elementary and STEM Middle Academy from Springfield — had the opportunity to speak live through a video link with Dr. Catherine Coleman, a Western Massachusetts resident no less, who is spending six months aboard the International Space Station. Coleman clearly moved these kids. Her enthusiasm for the mission was contagious. I'm of an age that I remember when every space launch was carried live by all three networks. It was a very big deal. I also remember how Sen. John Glenn made an appearance at STCC — I think back in the '80s — and there was palpable electricity in the room created by people getting to see an American hero. The benefits we've enjoyed in advances in technology stemming from the exploration of space have been well documented. One can only wonder if one of these students will be pushing the envelope in science in another 10 years. Congratulation to STCC and UMass for making this event happen.
I'm looking forward — with some admitted trepidation — to the roast of Holyoke Police Chief Anthony Scott that will be at the MassMutual Center on April 7. I've been told that more than 700 people have bought tickets for the event that will feature "roasters" including Dr. Bill Cosby, Sen. Scott Brown, State Sen. Michael Knapik; Bax and O'Brien from Rock 102; former Holyoke Mayor Michael Sullivan; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni; Attorney Meghan Sullivan; Chicopee Police Chief John Ferraro; Brad Shepard and Bo Sullivan of WHYN AM's "Morning Show"; WTAG Talk Show Host Jim Polito; WWLP television news anchor Barry Kriger; and abc40 and FOX6 reporter Ray Hershel. Two representatives of the Valley Press Club — Peter Goonan of The Republican and yours truly — are also scheduled to speak. With all of those speakers I wouldn't be surprised if by the end of the evening, the least famous people — Pete and me — were cut. The Valley Press Club, through Scott's generosity, will be receiving part of the profits of the evening for its scholarship fund. Thank you sir! We've written a routine that is intended to do what roasts are supposed to do, but without too much profanity or tasteless humor — damn! Despite those prohibitions, I think this will be a stellar evening.
The School Committee in Springfield recently evaluated its school superintendent with at least one member criticizing the instrument used and the process. Now, the East Longmeadow School Committee has evaluated its superintendent and members of that committee aren't too happy about the grading procedure they used. In East Longmeadow, the top mark is "Distinguished," the next is "Exceptional" and the next is "Outstanding." One member noted the dictionary classifies these as synonyms. Here's a thought: junk these tests with their numerical grades. Evaluate the superintendents through an essay on his or her performance. Hand school committee members a blue book and tell them to come back next week with a written evaluation that touches on specific points. Hey, if writing an essay is appropriate for students, it should be appropriate for them.
There's a very interesting story at wwwhttp://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/03/27/111113/strong-corporate-profits-amid.html#storylink=misearchthat is about the rise of corporate profits. In a nutshell, corporate profits are up due to money made through foreign operations and because the workers here in the U.S. who have been retained are doing more for less — undoubtedly a by-product of the fear you could lose your job. The traditional increase in hiring because of more profit has not yet happened and consumers are cautious about spending in light of soaring oil costs, the story reported. I know we are watching our pennies since gas is so expensive, but being frugal, according to this article, might slow down the economic recovery. Being in debt is also a bad thing, though. We're supposed to save, right? Isn't that also good for the economy? My head is spinning; is yours? Hey, agree with me? Disagree? Drop me a line at news@thereminder.com or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper. Bookmark and Share
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