Thumbs up: Back to school days
Making good use of extra funding from voter-approved Proposition 30, the Santa Rosa Board of Education erased three furlough days from the calendar. Students and teachers in Sonoma County's largest school district will be in class on March 29, April 1 and April 29.
That's half of the six furlough days originally built into the calendar for 2012-13 as a hedge against midyear budget cuts, which were headed off by Proposition 30.
Next year, we trust the district will return to 180 instructional days. Eventually, we'd like to renew consideration of a longer school year for California students. In many industrialized countries, the school year is much longer. Perhaps that's why American students lag behind on some subjects.
Thumbs down: Separation of powers
Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman and Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero may be candidates for a remedial class in constitutional law.
Allman belongs to a Texas-based group called the Constitutional Sheriff's and Police Officers Association. Some members vow to resist rather than enforce new gun laws. Allman recently hinted that he might do the same: "I certainly will defend the Second Amendment. But I'm not going to sit here and puff up my chest." How about a pledge to enforce the law, sheriff, while lobbying for any changes you consider necessary?
Rivero has been the source of numerous controversies during his brief tenure. The latest is his decision to take Lake County News off an email list for press releases. A lawsuit is pending, and the county is trying to settle. The Board of Supervisors, meanwhile, is drafting a media policy intended to ensure even-handedness. Will the sheriff comply?