PBS Kids Writing 2012 Contest

That time of year ... an FYI about a writing contest sponsored by PBS. Home scholars are welcome ...

ARLINGTON, VA, January 30, 2011 – PBS KIDS GO! is kicking off the new year with its annual PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, a national initiative designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning. The Contest, managed by member station WNED, partners with PBS stations nationwide to encourage children grades K-3 in communities across the country to celebrate the power of creating stories and illustrations by submitting their own original work.

Beginning January 16, 2012, PBS stations throughout the country will work with schools, public libraries and other literacy organizations to implement the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest in their communities. Children will be encouraged to write and illustrate stories and submit them to their local stations, which will select winners and award prizes. These winners will then be entered into the national level of the Contest where a panel of judges will select the winners. National winners will be announced and prizes, including tablets, e-readers and MP3 players will be awarded during summer 2012.

For the first time, stories can be digitally submitted to the Contest through a tool developed by new sponsor, StudentPublishing.com. Every participant that uses the tool will receive a free animated digital book of their story that they can share with others, including parents who can purchase bound copies of the entry as a keepsake for years to come. More information on participating local stations, general entry rules and contest resources can be found here.


Sat Sighting: Montanore Mining Permits

Go here to see the bookcase of documents needed to obtain a 'government permit' to mine in Libby, Montana (in the Cabinet Mountains). This economically-depressed area could certainly use the jobs that such a monumental natural resources project would generate.

HT: Ken Miller


Of Hooters and a Paradox

There's a "surplus" of snowy owls in the North Country. As a result, some of these elegant-looking feathery friends are also starving.

'Mother Nature' is cruel and beautiful.


Homeschoolers & NRA Youth Hunter Events

In Missouri and in Oklahoma.

New England's One Percent

I visited Massachusetts this past weekend. One observation: The dead of winter makes New England feel bleak in a way that northern Michigan does not (even in the dead of winter).

Maybe the bleakness is spiritual.

HT: Melanie


He's Toast, er, Tostada

Thanks to Joe H. for passing along this clip of Mayor Joe "I might have tacos tonight" Maturo of East Haven, CT.

+ =


Weekend in New England

Taking a few days off from blogging as I am traveling and tending to family matters.


Let the Interviews Begin

Politico has complied a "Top 10 most competitive contests for the 2011-12 cycle."

Montana's gubernatorial race holds the numero uno spot on this list.

To that end, I'm going to be interviewing all the candidates in that race. My first Q&A is with Ken Miller, a Laurel businessman and former state senator, and a former rodeo competitor. Go here. Yeehaw.


Opportunity for Environmental Entrepreneurs

This just in: "Applications are now being considered for 16 Enviropreneur Institute fellowships sponsored by the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC). This annual, two-week training for conservationists will be held in Bozeman, Montana, from June 24 - July 6, 2012.

The mission of PERC's Enviropreneur Institute (PEI) is to empower environmental entrepreneurs in the application of property, contracts, and markets to enhance environmental assets. The program features lectures by experts in the fields of economics, business planning, marketing, and project management. Discussion sessions, lectures, field trips, and individual mentoring with PEI faculty and alumni highlight the experience and give fellows an opportunity to develop business plans linking economic opportunity with environmental quality."

Newbie entrepreneurs welcome.

For more information: 888.406.9532, perc@perc.org


Social Safari to Bay Harbor

The Village at Bay Harbor is a northern Michigan enclave where the 1% live, part-time. The homes, apartments, yachts, shops, sights, and amenities are both splendid and over-the-top.

Bay Harbor's Ice & Spice Festival took place this weekend. Ice carvings and a chili cookoff were the featured events. Some photos:

This pretty ice sculpture lists this event's sponsors. Mitt Romney would approve of this tribute to venture, crony, vulture, and no-adjective-to- describe-it capitalism.

The s'more-roasting pit.

A griffin or a phoenix. I get those two mixed up.

One of the palatial multi-million dollar seasonal homes ...

... that faces Bay Harbor.


Bill Belichick 2012

In which a Flyover Country team enters the liberal northeast matrix and learns that Morpheus is an unflappable Patriot: "As far as they went this season, the 45-10 whipping the Broncos received on a bitter cold Saturday night from ruthless coach Bill Belichick and his world-class New England Patriots proved the Broncos still have a long, long, long way to go."

A somewhat bumbling, but very funny attempt, to explain why Coach B. should be president of the United States. (Note: A few naughty words.)


One More Time for North Dakota

My New American Q&A with Charlene Nelson, homeschool mom, municipal judge, and property-rights advocate.


Friday Fun: Going Nuts

We are not bakers or a large family or survivalists or subscribe to a faith that encourages food stockpiling, and Santa Claus has come and gone. So how did 25 lbs of roasted, salted, mixed nuts sneak into my kitchen?


Michael Moore & Occupy Traverse City: What a Joke!

"Capitalism, in the last year, has proven that it's failed." Michael Moore, in 2009

Documentary filmmaker Michael "1%" Moore recently addressed Occupy "99%" Traverse City (MI). His credentials/expertise to do so? He owns a massive vacation home near TC.

Among the advice he dispensed to those gathered at a (pro-capitalism) bookstore: "Most people can’t pitch a tent or do civil disobedience. So one thing that we’re trying to do now across the country is, there are these yard signs, like campaign yard signs, that say, 'We Are The 99 Percent.'

And the idea is to get this in as many yards and as many neighborhoods across the entire country and this is really starting to grow now. Maybe you’ve seen pictures on the Internet. It’s really cool. You just drive down street after street and it just says 'We Are the 99 Percent,' 'We Are the 99 Percent,' 'We Are the 99 Percent.' "

The local icon, I assume, didn't personally run with his own ho-hum suggestion (although how hilarious would that have been if he did).

How out-of-place, after all, would a lone '99%' sign look to recreational boaters (the only folks that might see it), at his bodacious $2 million home (photo below) located on tony and very white (not due to lake-effect snow) Torch Lake.

click on it

This is a small photo of Moore speaking to the Occupy Traverse City crowd. If you click here, you'll see, up close, that this crowd doesn't appear down-n-out. Maybe some of these liberals, also, own homes on Torch Lake. Maybe the liberals who 'reported' this story could act less like breathless stenographers and more like reporters.


Searching for a 'Vampire': Moises Ramirez-Matias

Twilight is set in Forks, Washington. As almost everyone knows it is a quirky romance tale whose protagonist is an ancient vampire who falls for a mortal teenage girl.

Alas. A real-life drama - a terrible one - has occurred in this rainiest of cities, also featuring a teen in a relationship gone awry. KOMO reports: "A search is on for a man suspected in the stabbing death of an 18-year-old Forks mother who died after a domestic violence incident early Sunday morning, police said.

Moises Ramirez-Matias (pictured) is sought in connection with the death of his girlfriend, Laranda Konopaski, said Forks Police Sgt. Ed Klahn.

Konopaski's 4-year-old daughter called 911 just after 5 a.m. Sunday to report her mom was hurt, Klahn said. Medics rushed to the Rainforest Mobile Home Park where they found Konopaski suffering from multiple stab wounds. She was taken to Forks Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead."

I can't imagine a little child having to make this call. Very brave and very smart but how utterly awful.

The suspected perp, who is Guatemalan, hasn't been caught yet, but the U.S. Border Patrol is investigating his immigration status given that he also goes by the names Dario Ramirez Moises and Jose Luis Ramirez Pablo. (Forks' not-small illegal alien population mostly 'work' as leaf harvesters for the floral industry.)

My question: Can the American public, who cares about this law-and-order issue, trust Mitt Romney to be the nation's Sheriff Arpaio? Because it's high noon in the U.S.A.

Update: Alleged killer is still at-large. More about the victim, Laranda, who became a mom at age 14 and hoped to have a nursing career.

Another update: The alleged killer - Moises - is in custody. He is an illegal, and he returned to the U.S. after being deported once before. Incredible.


Sorry, Troy Polamalu

Photo finish (80 yard pass!) in overtime for Timmy and the Broncos!

Ward Hines was "stunned." Love it!

Sunday Inspiration: Collin Klein

Overall, a very touching article, from the MSM, about one of those isolationist homeschoolers.

Young Mr. Klein (pictured, right) is a mandolin player, the Kansas State QB, and a true leader.

Of his educational/familial/meager 'foreign intervention' experience, he gratefully says, "It was a huge blessing. I wouldn’t trade it.”


Saturday Sighting: Yo-Yo Quilts

This video explains how to sew circles into yo-yos. Scraps are most welcome.


Students For Life of Michigan

Christen Houck

If you are a Mitten State college student and would like to join SFLM on their annual trip, to participate in the National March for Life on January 23rd in Washington, D.C., please contact them at sflmichigan@gmail.com.

Their Facebook page is here.

The current president of Students for Life of Michigan is Christen Houck. She is studying political science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and has been involved with the pro-life cause, since she was in high school.

"I have always had a deep-seated sorrow regarding abortion and consider it my calling to prevent it from happening," says Christen. "Wherever that takes me, I am willing to go."


True Grit: From Young Widow to Crimefighting Momma

A teenage mom and real-life Mattie Ross has become a heroine for exercising her right to defend her home and child: "Just days after a widow laid her husband to rest, she's forced to shoot a pair of intruders who showed up to her Blanchard (Oklahoma) home, threatening her and her 3-month-old baby.

One of the alleged burglars was killed in the gunfire.

Now, individuals are calling the Blanchard police, anxious to help the young woman and her baby.

They say an Oklahoma City law firm and a gun rights group have called to give financially.

Many others have stepped up to start funds and even give long-term support for the two.

Sarah McKinley, 18, (pictured) welcomed detectives in her home once again.

This time, it wasn't to collect evidence or to ask her questions about the recent shooting at her house.

Instead, it's to give her bags of gifts for her 3-month-old son."

Go Castle Doctrine!

More here and here.


Truckers Can No Longer Use Cell Phones

And bus drivers: "A new federal rule that bans truckers and bus drivers from using handheld cellphones took effect Tuesday, triggering the prospect of thousands of dollars in fines for drivers caught using their mobile phones.

The ban announced in late November calls for penalties of up to $2,750 against drivers caught talking on their handheld phones, and fines as high as $11,000 against their employers."

Three thoughts: 1. Outrageous fines!

2. Bluetooth-type manufacturers stand to make an even greater profit from this new law.

3. Why are only truckers and bus drivers being singled out?


Just Cause: The Workforce Fairness Institute

A site dedicated to equity in the workplace and a watchdog of Big Labor.

Here's Barbara Comstock, of the WFI, talking about union bosses who live large (and look large).


Like a Psychic Hotline

A so-called A-list blogger named Penelope Trunk makes some remarkably silly predictions about homeschooling, Generation Z, college, feminism, and the e-workplace.