School kitchen manager fired for giving lunches to hungry students


Della Curry says she was fired from her job as kitchen manager at Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, Colorado, after giving school lunches to students who couldn’t afford them. KCNC-TV

Della Curry is out of work — and unashamed — after being fired by a school district in a Denver suburb.

A married mother of two, Curry is the former kitchen manager at Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora. She lost her job on Friday after giving school lunches to students who didn’t have any money.

“I had a first grader in front of me, crying, because she doesn’t have enough money for lunch. Yes, I gave her lunch,” Curry told CBS Denver station KCNC-TV.

 In the Cherry Creek School District, students who fail to qualify for the free lunch or reduced lunch program receive one slice of cheese on a hamburger bun and a small milk.

According to Curry, that meal is not sufficient. She said she often paid for students’ lunches out of her own pocket.

“I’ll own that I broke the law. The law needs to change,” she said.

To qualify for the free lunch program, a family of four would have to have a household income of around $31,000. To qualify for a reduced lunch, the threshold is below $45,000.

Curry said the students she helped did not qualify for either program.

“Kids whose parents make too much money to qualify, but a lot of times they don’t have enough money to eat,” she said.

Parent Darnell Hill told KCNC-TV Curry had helped out his son when he forgot his lunch money.

“Do something different than fire her,” Hill said. “She’s trying to help.”

Curry said she understands the school district was just following policy when it fired her. Now she’s hoping her story will lead to some changes.

“If me getting fired for it is one way that we can try to change this, I’ll take it in a heartbeat,” she said.

The Cherry Creek School District said they cannot comment on personnel issues, but said “anyone who has ever been terminated has violated some kind of written policy.”

Curry acknowledges that did happen in her case, but said she is looking forward to addressing the school board about making changes in the lunch policy.

Cherry Creek School District released the following statement about KCNC’s story:

The law does not require the school district to provide the meal to children who have forgotten their lunch money, that is a district decision. According to our practice, we provide hot meals to students the first three times they forget their lunch money and charge their parents’ accounts. The fourth time, we provide a cheese sandwich and milk.

The district has worked to keep lunch prices low and still meet the federal nutrition requirements. The costs of our lunch program are not covered by the prices we charge. At the end of the year, any unpaid accounts revert back to the general fund which also covers instruction, security, building maintenance and overall operations.

I have said it before and I will continue to say it the school systems really suck these days and my guess is that hungry student was white any other race it would have been racially motivated.

People really suck these days.

Dipshit of the day: State of California senate hired drivers for drunk members

The California State Senate is defending the hiring of two employees whose job duties include providing overnight transportation for its members.

Senate payroll records show two “special services assistants” were hired in February at $2,352 each per month. Both employees have Facebook pages showing they previously worked as peace officers.

According to the Sacramento Bee, a legislative chief of staff confirmed the employees were hired to prevent drunken driving by members following the arrest of four senators for drunken driving in recent years.

“There’s also hiring a cab. What’s wrong with that?” asked Katy Grimes, president of the Sacramento Taxpayers Association. “It’s elitist government at its ugliest.”

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon would not take questions during an appearance at a labor event Monday on the Capitol grounds, but his press secretary provided a statement from Senate Chief Sergeant-at-Arms Debbie Manning justifying the two positions:

It’s the primary protective mission of the Senate Sergeants-at-Arms to ensure the security of our Senators and staff when they are working – which frequently entails long days and late hours. It’s a 24-hour-a-day responsibility. Earlier this year, with that mission in mind and after thoroughly assessing our current response capacity, I brought on two part-time security employees on staff to provide overnight emergency services in the Capitol, including in-building security, re-fueling of Senate vehicles, transporting Senate and staff and escorting Senate and staff to their vehicles after dark. These functions are comprehensive and important. Any suggestion otherwise from unnamed sources in media reports is inaccurate and unfounded.

I noticed that no comment was made about the law makers drinking and making decisions while under the influence of alcohol. If they are too drunk to drive are they ok to make important decisions?

This is simply more of Guvments mentality they have thinking taxpayers need to pay for all their sins.

Americans say money has too much influence in campaigns

As the 2016 presidential race begins, 84 percent of Americans think money has too much influence in political campaigns now. Criticism of the role of money cuts across party lines – large majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents all think money has too much influence.


Most Americans see widespread problems with how election campaigns are funded in the United States. Forty-six percent think the system for funding political campaigns has so much wrong with it that it needs to be rebuilt completely, and another 39 percent think that while there are good things in the system, fundamental changes are needed. Just 13 percent of Americans think only minor changes are needed.

Americans across the political spectrum are critical of the way campaigns are financed, but independents are the most negative. Fifty-one percent of independents think the system must be completely rebuilt. And 46 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of Republicans agree.

Will campaign funding in the U.S. change?

Most who think changes are needed are not optimistic that such changes will be forthcoming: 58 percent are pessimistic that changes will actually be made.

Nevertheless, very few Americans prioritize campaign finance over other domestic issues when asked to name the most important problem facing the country today. Americans’ top issue priority continues to be the economy and jobs; health care and immigration follow. Less than one percent volunteer campaign fundraising as the most important issue facing the country.

Limiting campaign contributions

Seventy-seven percent of Americans support limiting the amount of money individuals can contribute to a political campaign. Majorities of all partisans think individual campaign contributions should be limited, but Democrats are the most likely to hold that view.

Most Americans would go even further. Although a 2010 Supreme Court ruling allows unlimited spending for political advertisements by groups unaffiliated with a candidate – sometimes known as Super PACs – 78 percent of Americans think such expenditures should be limited. Majorities of Republicans (73 percent), Democrats (85 percent), and independents (77 percent) all agree.


Seventy-five percent also think contributors to groups unaffiliated with a candidate should be publicly disclosed. Just 22 percent think the sources of such funding should be allowed to remain private.


One argument for allowing unlimited contributions to political campaigns rests on the belief that such money should be protected as free speech under the U.S. Constitution. Most Americans don’t see it that way. While 41 percent of Americans think political donations should be protected as free speech, 54 percent do not. Republicans are divided, but most Democrats and independents do not see this as free speech.

Who benefits under the current system?

Americans view the current system of campaign finance as favoring the wealthy. Two thirds think wealthy Americans have a better chance than others of influencing the election process, while just 31 percent say all Americans have an equal chance to do so.

And majorities across the political spectrum think the wealthy have more of a chance to influence elections, though Republicans (55 percent) are less likely to think so than either Democrats (73 percent) or independents (68 percent).

Americans see a frequent quid pro quo when it comes to contributing to an election campaign and receiving benefits once a candidate is in office. Fifty-five percent of Americans think politicians enact policies to benefit their financial contributors most of the time, while another 30 percent think this happens sometimes. Just 13 percent think this only happens rarely or never.

Most Americans – 58 percent – think both parties reap the rewards of the current system equally. Among the rest, more people think the amount of money in political campaigns today benefits the Republican Party (23 percent) than the Democratic Party (14 percent). Fifty-two percent of Democrats think it favors the Republican Party.

President Obama and Congress

President Obama’s overall approval rating has dipped since early May. Forty-two percent now approve of the President’s job performance, down from 45 percent. The percentage that disapprove have ticked up to 48 percent. Mr. Obama’s approval rating has mostly hovered in the low- to mid-40s for the past year.

President Obama’s overall job rating

More specifically, the President has taken a bit of a hit in his handling of foreign policy. Thirty-seven percent now approve of his handling of that issue, down from 41 percent last month. These ratings are now similar to what they were in March.

The President’s ratings on the economy are largely unchanged: 45 percent approve of his handling of it, while 49 percent disapprove.

The public continues to give Congress decidedly negative ratings. Only 15 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, while three in four disapprove.

The economy

Evaluations of the nation’s economy are similar to last month: more negative than positive. 54 percent think the economy is in bad shape, while 45 percent say it is good. Earlier this year, views of the economy were more positive.

The public’s outlook for the economy isn’t especially optimistic either. Only 27 percent of Americans think the economy is getting better, and just as many say it is getting worse (27 percent). More than four in 10 think the economy is staying the same.

In addition, most Americans continue to say the country is off on the wrong track.

 

Big money has always been an issue in politics and now with recent Supreme Court rulings about unrestricted campaign donations, there seems to be an appearance that votes and politicians can be bought. And I think it has been more than a appearance for a long time.

I personally think that was what we were trying to get away from in the beginning of this country.

Locks of love no more(like the lovers)

The padlocks that weigh heavily on the sides of the Pont des Arts tell stories dear to the lovers who affixed them to the celebrated bridge’s iron grillwork.

And just as many romances melt away, now many of the locks will most likely suffer the same fate as the Paris city fathers try to preserve the bridge.

City workers, using a crane and wheeled dollies, began to dismantle the wire mesh panels on which hundreds of thousands of lovers expressed their affections in what they thought would be an ironclad statement: a metal lock, usually etched with the couple’s initials, attached to the bridge, and the key tossed into the Seine below.

Bruno Julliard, the deputy mayor in charge of culture, who supervised the removal of the locks, tried to be sensitive to the feelings of those who had placed them there, saying that Paris was still “the capital of love, the capital of romance.”

City officials have for months discussed removing the locks and protecting the bridge, first built in the early 1800s and reconstructed in the 1980s. Worries about seeming insensitive or oblivious to the popularity of such a lasting declaration of affection were one factor officials considered when they tried to figure out how best to restore the landmark bridge.

 

Mr. Julliard said the removal of the locks, however unsentimental, was necessary for security and aesthetic reasons.

The city will temporarily replace the bridge’s lock-laden grills this week with panels painted by street artists, and it will later replace those with custom-made plexiglass to protect the historic iron grillwork. The plexiglass will allow pedestrians to once again see the Seine through the grillwork. The locks had obscured the view.

When locks first began to appear more than five years ago, some “could be seen as rather pleasant, but as years passed they took on such proportions that they were no longer acceptable for the cultural heritage” of Paris, Mr. Julliard said.

Most of the locks look rather flimsy, bought for 5 or 10 euros ($5.50 to $11) along the quays on either side of the Seine, but with hundreds of thousands hanging on the bridge, they were too heavy for its elegant ironwork. There was a constant risk that batches of the locks or even a whole panel could have come crashing down on the boats passing beneath. For some time, the city has periodically replaced whole sections of the bridge, only to see them fill again with locks.

On Monday, there were places where the locks had torn the metal grillwork out of its frame and the locks had scattered onto the bridge.

The locks still affixed to the bridge weigh an estimated 45 tons and will be kept in a city warehouse after they are removed until the officials decide what to do with them. Some are likely to be melted down, meeting the same fate as the love of some who attached them to the bridge, but others may have a second life.

Mr. Julliard said the city was looking at recycling some of the panels as works of art or giving them to charities. There is no plan, for now, to fish out the more than 700,000 keys at the bottom of the river.

Scores of tourists, blocked from going onto the bridge (and adding their locks), watched, cameras held aloft, as the operation commenced at midday under a cloudy sky. There was an air of wistfulness among many onlookers.

Anthony Boccanfuso, 52, a tourist who runs a nonprofit in Washington, had wheeled his suitcase up to the edge of the river to get a glimpse of the lock-laden bridge before it was dismantled.

“From a distance, you don’t know that they are locks. Close up, they may be visually ugly, but they tell stories,” he said. “It’s like carving your names on a tree or putting your names in wet concrete.”

 

“I understand the reasons for removing them, but I’m glad I saw it,” he said.

Janice and Samantha Clay, a mother and daughter from Atlanta, visiting Paris on a graduation trip, were a little regretful.

“It’s sad,” said Janice Clay, adding, “If it had never been there, it wouldn’t be a bad thing, but it’s on your bucket list for Paris: See the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the bridge of love.”

One person who was unabashedly pleased with the city’s move was Lisa Anselmo, who with a friend, Lisa Taylor Huff, championed the removal of the locks and started nolovelocks.com on the web.

“It’s an important first step for Paris,” Ms. Anselmo said. “Paris is ground zero in this trend” of attaching locks to architecture. Berlin, London and New York have all seen similar phenomena.

“As a tourist, the most important thing is to be respectful of a place’s culture,” she said.

However, it looks as if Ms. Anselmo and Ms. Taylor Huff, as well as the Paris mayor’s office, still have lots of work ahead. Although city officials are also removing locks from the nearby Pont de l’Archevêché, the locks have already spread like barnacles onto several other bridges. The city has no plans to fine tourists who use love locks, but it will remove them from other locations.

The next bridge up the Seine, the Pont Neuf, already has a scattering of locks along grillwork where the bridge joins the quay. No doubt that with the Pont des Arts now out of bounds, those intent on locking their love in metal will find other places to do so.

But if you think about it most of those people are not together anymore anyway……….


80’s Retro TV

M*A*S*H
Original Run: 1972-83
Creator: Larry Gelbart
Stars: Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Mike Farrell, Harry Morgan, Jamie Farr, William Christopher, David Ogden Stiers
Network: CBS
The best part of M*A*S*H’s run was in the 1970s—by the time Reagan rolled into office, we’d already lost Henry Blake, Trapper McIntyre, Frank Burns and even Radar O’Reilly. But with replacements for all but Radar firmly in place, there was still enough momentum in the end to make the season finale the most-watched TV episode up to that point in history with 125 million viewers. Alda, as both star and executive producer, steered the show into more serious waters with episodes like “Follies of the Living” and “Where There’s Will, There’s a War” without ever losing the sharp wit at its heart

Retro of the day: Neil Young

“Old Man” is a song written and performed by Neil Youngon his 1972 album Harvest. “Old Man” was released as asingle on Reprise Records in the spring of 1972, and reached no. 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for the week ending June 3.

The song was written for the caretaker of the Northern California Broken Arrow Ranch, which Young purchased for $350,000 in 1970. The song compares a young man’s life to an old man’s and shows that the young man has, to some extent, the same needs as the old one. James Taylor played six-string banjo (tuned like a guitar) and sang on the song, and Linda Ronstadt also contributed vocals