Claire Hertz's Blog

Well you know what they say, everything is big in Texas, and TASBO is no exception.  In February, Angie Peterman, Executive Director of Oregon ASBO and I traveled to Austin to experience their Annual Conference.  When we arrived to the airport, there were beautifully painted guitars everywhere.  It set the tone of what we had in store for us for the rest of our visit.  Austin is a cultural center with beautiful artwork and live music playing in the local venue any night of the week.

I come from the Portland, Oregon area, and we have signs telling us to “Keep Portland Weird.”  Well Austin is a sister city with signage to remind us to “Keep Austin weird”.  If you’ve ever seen the TV show Portlandia, you know what I’m talking about!

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In December, I visited our Alaska ASBO members during their annual conference.   As I left Oregon, my friends teased me about going north at the worst possible time of the year.  I anticipated being colder than I had ever been, and was pleasantly surprised. 

When I arrived, the polar vortex had created an unusual phenomenon.  There was snow on the ground, but Anchorage was twenty degrees warmer than home.  I had bundled all up, and didn’t need it!  The sun didn’t come out for more than a couple of hours a day, but it was still very pleasant.  I was reminded that one of our ALASBO members – Tammy White from the North Slope School District in Barrow, Alaska – had watched the sun set in November and wouldn’t see it return for months!   Ok, so maybe we complain about the endless rain in Oregon, but at least we do get to see the sun on a regular basis.

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