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Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: School Board race making Dems nervous?

Editor’s Notebook: School Board race making Dems nervous?

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We had an editorial a month or so ago, wondering aloud if there would come a time when Democrats could find no takers willing to run for School Board in Arlington.

Their field for the upcoming caucus is actually two – Mary Kadera and Miranda Turner, who will face off in May – but whispers are that Democratic insiders are terrified, nonetheless.

Turner is a back-in-class activist, so she’s no fan of the current Democratic oligarchy that runs (or maybe “runs” in quotation marks is appropriate) the School Board and school system.

And even Mary Kadera, the more establishment of the two, has Democratic leaders worried that she’s got far too much of an independent streak, as well as some scores to settle with incumbent board members and staff. (Those are just rumors, not facts, but a score-settling candidate is my kind of candidate, indeed!)

As Huggy Bear used to say on “Starsky & Hutch”, you didn’t hear it from me, but word on the street is … that the power structure in Arlington Democratic-land tried and failed to convince others who might be more in tune with the status quo to make a run, and got turned down all over town.

And who can blame those who did so? School Board is, in the recent words of an incumbent elected official in Arlington (no hints to his/her identity from me), “the absolute worst job in politics.” The pay stinks, the hours stink, the public hates you 100 percent of the time (50% of the time for good reason, 50% of the time probably just because), the County Board looks down on you as an annoyance to be endured, the local media craps on you for the sheer joy of it (guilty!), and these days, there’s almost no chance to use the seats as a springboard for political advancement, as Barbara Kanninen and her former colleague James Lander can attest.

And that’s why three of the five people who were on the board just a few years ago have either left or are leaving (Van Doren, Talento and O’Grady); a fourth has tried to get out (Kanninen, who attempted to win a County Board seat but failed and may now be salivating for the Biden administration to come a-calling); and a fifth (Goldstein) who started out with an independent streak but found himself flogged into docile submission.

More power to Kadera and Turner, and to anyone who plans on running as a full-fledged independent in the November general School Board election. And good luck. The winner will deserve battle pay.

SPEAKING OF ROCKING THE BOAT: Those of you who remember back to last week recall that I couldn’t remember the 1970s song I wanted to provide a link to, as the title summed up the candidates for School Board.

It took a couple of days, but the ol’ cranium came through for me. I was thinking of “Rock the Boat” by the Hues Corporation, which is considered a precursor to disco and hit the top of the Billboard charts in July 1974.

CLICK HERE for the link or see it embedded below.

Oh, mid-1970s, come back – you were so much more fun, apparently! Glorious (in some ways) music, Mel Brooks movies, better drugs, better sex, “Match Game,” “Welcome Back Kotter” and “Chico and the Man,” the Bicentennial, and no cable news or social media. Of course, on the down side there also was Watergate, the Cold War, energy shortages, gas lines, inflation, the Jimmy Carter presidency, Legionnaire’s disease … on balance, decidedly a mixed bag.

ON THE EDITORIAL FRONT: We will be weighing in this week on the editorial page of the Arlington paper on the issue, which rose up last week, of high-school athletics and accusations of racist behavior.

The editorial will try to put the matter in its broader context, and offer opinions on what school officials need to do to address it.

Will they listen? Time will tell.

But for now, let us forget the woes of the world and groove to “Rock the Boat.” As they say: Rock on with yo bad self!

  • Scott McCaffrey
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