UF Proposes to boost tuition fees by $1K/year

Pensacola, FL (AHN) – Florida’s Board of Governors unanimously approved a University of Florida tuition increase of $1,000 per year in a vote Thursday. The additional fee, which is intended to be used to hire more teachers and advisers, must be approved by the Legislature by May. The university’s Board of Trustees will then vote to make it official.

But here’s the catch; several news stories have made the statement that this fee increase will not be covered by either Florida’s Bright Futures scholarships (75% of florida resident students typically qualify), nor by the guaranteed Florida pre-paid college tuition plan. I’ve scoured news accounts on the web, and I cannot find a good attribution for this statement. I don’t know if it is a condition imposed by the University of Florida, or if it is a declaration of policy by other Florida officials.

Linda and I bought in to that pre-paid plan for 100% coverage back when Gina was born, and its somewhat unlikely Gina would actually attend UF Gainesville. But if this develops as it is being reported, it could be grounds for some serious litigation or class action, and I would want to get involved. It is a tenuous precedent for Florida higher education. I’ll be watching the legislature’s action on this proposal closely when they convene next May.

Head of the St. Johns

Last weekend Linda and I volunteered to help with the local regatta, the big race hosted by WPHS. Heavy winds curtailed the racing. Several boats swamped and some kids had to be rescued. Complete photo set available on flickr.

[ Embedded code courtesy of http://paulstamatiou.com]

http://www.flickr.com/slideShow/index.gne?user_id=15972774@N00&set_id=72157594391237829

You can also go directly to the photo set with captions and get larger copies of the photos here.

Beach Walk

HaroldWalk3382Harold invited me to join him on a beach walk friday on the Canaveral National Sea Shore. Its a long desolate stretch that bridges two counties out by the space center. We walked this together back in the late 80’s and again in the 90’s. I had to decline because of a caroling gig friday afternoon, but I was happy to drop him off early in the morning and then go fishing myself.

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If Harold’s willing, we may do this again after the new year.

Turkey Trot II

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I did it again, and this time I had family company. Gina ran the holiday 5K along with one of her crew friends, Linda and Hiba walked it. I ran it and met Seth prior to the finish line (he’d already finished in competitive time). Seth crossed the finish line with me, and helped to round up our party. We celebrated with a breakfast at IHOP. The weather was crisp and beautiful.

more on rowing, from the Sentinel

GREAT ADVENTURES!

All in a day’s row
Heralded Winter Park girls head to Lake Monroe.
Kyle Nelson
Special to the Sentinel
November 16, 2006

With 26 state championships since 1971, the Winter Park High School crew team has reached a pinnacle matched by only a handful of high-school sports programs.

WPHS wildcats in practiceThe Wildcats’ skill and power will be on display in the waters of Lake Monroe Saturday in the second annual Head of the St. Johns Regatta at the Sanford RiverWalk. Racing begins at 7:30 a.m. More than 100 teams from across the nation will race, starting in 30-second intervals. Continue reading “more on rowing, from the Sentinel”

wedding cinematography

Nice article in the NYT about a wedding video company that eschew’s video and shoots exclusively on celluloid, from super8 to 35mm. They hire film school grads and have a somewhat lofty clientele.

The Times has some nice media excerpts on their site and it appears to me that the celluloid angle is not such a big deal; its the technique they use, from shooting angles and camera movement, to editing and music. The end result is kind of independent-film looking, and could be accomplished with video technology just as easily. But the cachet of ‘filmmaking’ is undoubtedly what sells.

Here’s a full length sample of their product I found on youtube. This is part 1 of 3.

Human Development Index (HDI)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standards of living for countries worldwide. An HDI below 0.5 is considered to represent low development and an HDI 0.8 or more is considered to represent high development.
HDI map from wikipedia

This is a color coded map of HDI ratings worldwide. The spectrum runs from dark green (high) to dark red (low) A complete color key is available on the wikipedia page for HDI. This shows at a glance where is the 3rd world, and also, the US is not at the top of the heap. Norway, Iceland, Japan, and Australia all have higher HDI’s than the US.

Sunrise Sprints

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WPHS had a local regatta today at Lake Fairview. It drew HS teams from all over the state. Gina’s freshman 8 placed a respectable 2nd in the morning sprint, and 3rd in their afternoon race. She got medals!

What a massive production this is. It takes considerable real estate and coordination to keep things moving and get the 60′ boats in and out of the water. Plus the spectators and the food tents. No one could really see the start of the races but the finish was right up front. For Gina its a 7am – 7pm activity. We go to pick her up later this evening. Next Saturday, I’ve volunteered to help out on the docks at her regatta in Sanford.

See a couple more photos here, including one of Ted Issen whose freshman team smoked the competition in his afternoon sprint.

Election 2006

Orange County Supervisor Bill Cowles leading poll worker training.I worked Orange County precinct 520 again yesterday for the general election. It was not without its problems. We were crushed at 7am with impatient voters on their way to work, and we had a few stalk out in disgust. As usual, I had some great workers on the staff, and some that needed extra attention. This year, Supervisor Bill Cowles benefited from a UCF grant that resulted in nearly 100 students recruited to help at the polls, a welcome resource — and it skewed the poll worker demographics considerably. I had one cheerful student in my precinct and he handled the new touchscreen equipment.

Orange County introduced touchscreens this year as an option. We had one unit. Some voters were thrilled to try it out, others were hostile to the very concept. Too bad, it will probably be the only option at the polls in 2008.

The rains came in late afternoon, and influenced turnout a bit, but worse, our power went out at 6:30pm, and we had to open our emergency ballot box and help our final voters with a couple of flashlights. The image I will remember is that of several voters completing their paper ballots using their cellphones as the only illumination.

We wrapped up later than usual, my books didn’t balance, I mispacked some items at the end of the night, got stopped behind a stalled freight train, and came home in a cranky mood. I should focus more on the high points, like my novice pollworker Sheila who initiated and led a boisterous round of applause for each of our first time voters after they stepped through the process and submitted their ballots to the optical tabulator. One young women even took a little bow for the room.

Altogether, I’m glad its over for another two years.