Around the web: Arlington street names, ads on school tests, economy and puppet shows, Jerry Bartos

A regular roundup of stuff that wouldn’t necessarily make it on the blog, but is worth noting:

• Apparently, we’re not the only ones who like to argue about street names. Hundreds of people are expected in Arlington to show support to honor Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, and the Muslim and Vietnamese communities through special street sign toppers. Expect lots of arguing. Says one councilman opposed to the proposal: "I think all of us working together to bring our community together is a far better goal than segmenting and labeling sections of our city in any geographic or demographic manner."
• Ads on web sites and blogs, so why not school tests? "Tough times call for tough actions," says the San Diego school teacher whose budget for supplies was cut to help his financially scrapped district. He had to make up some $200 in expenses used to copy tests, so he started selling ads on his test papers: $10 for a quiz, $20 for a chapter test, $30 for a semester final. Says the principal: "It’s not like, ‘This test is brought to you by McDonald’s or Nike.’ "

• A Los Angeles children’s tradition is also experiencing financial woes. The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, which has been entertaining kids for generations, is in debt and may not survive. The economy has played a role, since Southern California is especially suffering, says baker. But he shoulders much of the blame: “I am more of an artist than a businessman.”

• Jerry Bartos, who represented North Dallas on the old 11-3 city council, died last week. The obituaries describe Bartos as outspoken, and I can attest to that. I still have a letter he sent me almost 20 years ago, after I wrote a piece questioning the council’s wisdom. It is a bunch of outspoken. Bartos was difficult to define politically, which seems to be true for many council members from that part of town, up to and including Mitch Rasansky. At times, he was a real neighborhood guy, and yet often voted with the downtown majority at the expense of the neighborhoods.


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