Posted: August 31, 2011 Filed under: collective bargaining, morning reads, Republican politics, worker rights | Tags: ATF, Gov. Scott Walker, Koch Brothers, Labor Unions, teachers, Wisconsin
Good Wednesday Morning.
Let’s start this morning’s post off with a bang…Or should I say long skirts and tea bags?
Longer Skirts and No Coffeemakers: How Gov. Scott Walker Wants WI School Boards to Save Money | Crooks and Liars
Instead of union contracts, Wisconsin teachers now have to abide by local handbooks suggested by Gov. Scott Walker. What does refusing to allow workers to help a sick colleague or longer skirts have to do with saving money? And just listen to the nasty wingnuts in the audience at the New Berlin school board meeting. Via the Blue Cheddar blog:
The “tools” Walker has handed to local governments are supposedly meant to help cut costs. However the changes to the New Berlin school workplace approved August 29 don’t look like mere cost-savings to me. New Berlin Education Association President Diane Lazewski agrees in MJS: “I would be surprised to see any other handbook as punitive as ours,” I should note that all details aren’t available until 9/8 and changes occur 10/1 according to a document from the blog Teachers Against Walker
Update: This 51 page Draft of School District of New Berlin Employee Handbook – Parts A and B states that it goes into effect 9/1/11
A few of the changes:
–A ‘sick bank’ which allows teachers to donate sickleave to seriously ill colleagues will be eliminated.
–No set pay for overtime; only stipends
–Elementary teachers work an added 205 hours without added pay.
–Secondary teachers work an added 95 hours without added pay.
and there are odd restrictions such as
–Dress Code: Skirts below knee, no sweatshirts, no jeans, no large logos, no open shirts, etc. and
–The loss of all microwaves, refrigerators, and coffeemakers.
I called a young teacher, E., from Racine just before the meeting. E. said New Berlin’s handbook is the worst of a new crop of handbooks he’s seen. Handbooks now serve in lieu of contracts for public school employees where contracts have expired.
So now that the handbooks replace the union contract, what kind of review process do you think is allowed under the new law?
Greenfield aside, teacher protests over benefits, handbooks seem rare – JSOnline
When I interviewed School District of Greenfield Superintendent Conrad Farner a few weeks ago for the handbook story, he said that they interpreted the new law to mean that allowing teachers to review handbook drafts or offer input on the changes being made would fall under the definition of collective bargaining. That was illegal under the new law, Farner had said.
The teachers cannot even review the handbooks…It really is unbelievable that these school boards have free rein when it comes to any new handbook regulations that affect the teacher’s salary, health care and planning.
Morning State News Briefs: | Pierce County Herald | Ellsworth, Wisconsin
As police looked on, hundreds of people on both sides cheered-and-booed last night as the New Berlin School Board unanimously approved a new employee handbook for its teachers. Like others throughout Wisconsin, it was developed without teacher input under the new state law which limits most public union bargaining. But New Berlin became a lightning rod after teachers in nearby Greenfield argued with their school board last week over a new employee handbook – and police were called to settle things down. Last night’s meeting in New Berlin was moved to the district’s auditorium. Teachers from other districts came in support of New Berlin’s union, while taxpayers held up signs saying “Collective Bullying – Stop Union Bullies Now.” Union president Diane Lazewski said she believed the work rules set by the school board are more restrictive than others throughout the state. They include longer work-days, new limits on sick leave benefits and post-retirement health benefits, no more pay for substitute teachers while they prepare for classes, and two evaluations per year without prior notice. School Board member Art Marquardt said his panel was not trying to be punitive. But he said the elected officials are now the dominant voice instead of the union and quote, “That’s hard for some people to swallow.”
What the hell is wrong with these people? The teachers are the bullies? No, the Koch Brothers and Gov. Scott Walker are the ones forcing the teachers into this ridiculous regulation of handbooks. Of course, now that the teachers are “at-will” employees, they can be fired with no cause or reason…and with the new Wisconsin school year starting in the next couple days, let’s see if this gets any attention in the MSM. It really is a sad state of affairs for these Wisconsin educators, but I feel that what they are going through is only a preview for many other school districts in states that are looking to do away with collective bargaining and teacher unions.
The estimated death toll has been released by the Libyan Rebels. Rebel leaders put Libya death toll at 50,000 – Africa, World – The Independent
An estimated 50,000 people have been killed in Libya since the start of the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s rule, according to the rebels’ military leadership.
Details of the death toll come as the Transitional National Council (TNC) gave Gaddafi supporters – increasingly pushed back to loyalist strongholds such as Sirte – four days to surrender or face a full-scale military assault.
I would not be surprised if that number goes up. The stories of mass graves are very disturbing to read.
In a few days a new exhibit will be opening at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. ‘September 11: Remembrance and Reflection’ at National Museum of American History | History News Network
SOURCE: WaPo (8-16-11)
Within weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Smithsonian Institution began collecting a wide range of artifacts recovered from the three sites where the hijacked planes went down.
In an exhibit opening Sept. 3, the National Museum of American History will let visitors get much closer for a more intimate experience. The museum plans to depart from the usual glass-covered displays and assemble the objects on open, uncovered tables.
“September 11: Remembrance and Reflection” contains about 60 objects from the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa.
We still have the suit and shoes my husband was wearing when he ran when the second tower fell…that was the first thing he did when he got home that night, he took the suit off and put it in a big black plastic trash bag. It was covered in the dust from the towers, and no doubt the incinerated remains of the victims of the attack. If you are in the DC area, please go take a look at the new exhibit, and let us know what you thought of it.
I guess Obama is making some changes in the ATF, due to the Fast and Furious scandal. A.T.F. Chief Is Replaced After Failed Gun-Trafficking Inquiry – NYTimes.com
The Obama administration on Tuesday replaced two top Justice Department officials associated with an ill-fated investigation into a gun-trafficking network in Arizona that has been at the center of a political conflagration.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced the resignation of the United States attorney in Phoenix, Dennis K. Burke, and the reassignment of the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Kenneth E. Melson.
The two officials became the highest-profile political casualties yet in the fallout from a disputed effort to take down a weapons-smuggling ring based in Arizona and linked to Mexican drug cartels.
Give the NYT link a click to get the update on the investigation into this “operation” if you haven’t kept up with it.
Lastly, there are 20 new endangered crocodiles in the world today. Rare Siamese crocodiles hatched in Lao PDR
A recently hatched Siamese crocodile at the Laos Zoo, part of an effort by the government of Lao PDR and the Wildlife Conservation Society to replenish the wild population of this critically endangered species. (Credit: M. Douangmyxay/WCS Laos Program)
Working with the government of Lao PDR, the Wildlife Conservation Society has helped to successfully hatch a clutch of 20 Siamese crocodiles, a species threatened across its range by hunting, habitat fragmentation and loss, and other factors.
Hatched from eggs taken from the wild and incubated at the Laos Zoo, the baby crocodiles represent a success for a new program that works to save the Siamese crocodile and the wetlands and associated biodiversity of Laos’ Savannakhet Province.
Isn’t that a cute little critter?
I always thought the sound those baby alligators and crocodiles make is such an endearing cry…
…but just wait until they start to answer back!
Well, I know it is a lame morning post, but I am on my third day with this massive migraine, and the exhaustion is getting to me.
If you have any links be sure to share them…see you later in the comments.
Posted: June 3, 2011 Filed under: SDB Evening News Reads | Tags: Gov. Scott Walker, John Edwards, Sarah Palin, Wisconsin
Whoops, I dozed off and next thing I know…it is 7:15! So, here are your evening news reads.
John Edwards has been indicted…After meteoric rise, Edwards takes a fall like few others – Politics Wires – MiamiHerald.com
The rise of Johnny Reid Edwards from mill worker’s son to vice presidential candidate can be measured only against the stunning plummet that culminated Friday with a criminal indictment, which accuses Edwards of using trickery, deception and a pair of wealthy benefactors to hide his affair and love child from American voters.
…he was undone by his own foibles — and by a blonde campaign hanger-on who had his child and whom he allegedly allowed supporters to pay vast sums of hush money to in order to maintain his family-man image. All this, of course, while his wife was dying of cancer.
“He’s a man of enormous talents, and to see him throw it all away based on a series of decisions he made two to three years ago, it’s sad at that level,” said Joe Sinsheimer, a former Democratic political consultant and political watchdog in Raleigh, N.C. “He’s thrown away his reputation, his legal career and his political career.”
Take a look at the link there is a list of his bad deeds…that reads like an Enquirer front page…Oh yeah, they did break the story didn’t they?
I hated the nickname Dr. Death…So sad how he lived his last few years…in jail. ‘Dr Death’ Jack Kevorkian, advocate of assisted suicide, dies in hospital | World news | The Guardian
Jack Kevorkian, better known as ‘Dr Death’, has died aged 83 in hospital in Detroit. Photograph: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Jack Kevorkian, the pathologist known as Dr Death who claimed to have helped 130 people commit suicide when terminally ill, died on Friday in Detroit. He was 83 and had been in hospital since last month with pneumonia.
Kevorkian’s rise to fame, or infamy, in the 1990s led to a national debate in the United States on assisted suicide. He built a suicide machine, known as the Mercitron or Thanatron, which he operated out of a Volkswagen van to inject a lethal drug dose for people who sought his help in dying.
So Wisconsin waited till Friday to drop the other shoe…Wis. budget panel targets police, fire benefits – USATODAY.com
Wisconsin’s Republican lawmakers re-opened the fight over collective bargaining rights Friday, proposing new police and firefighters pay more for their health insurance and pension benefits.
- A protester is removed from a meeting of the Joint Committee on Finance at the state Capitol on Friday in Madison, Wis.
A protester is removed from a meeting of the Joint Committee on Finance at the state Capitol on Friday in Madison, Wis.
The change, approved by the Republican-controlled budget committee on an 11-4 party line vote, would force some police and firefighters to make the same contributions toward their benefits as other public workers under a bill pushed by Gov. Scott Walker and passed by the Legislature in March.
Which makes this announcement by Wisconsin Democrats all the more interesting.
Wisconsin Dems to announce that they will try to recall Scott Walker – The Plum Line – The Washington Post
There’s a long way to go, and the goal seems like a very tough one to reach, but Wisconsin Democrats are set to go for it: They will announce at their annual convention later today that they intend to launch an effort to recall the ultimate target — Scott Walker himself.
And lastly, what is it with these people and their horrible knowledge of history.
Sarah Palin’s History Lesson: Paul Revere Warned The British | ThinkProgress
Seemingly moved by the historic importance of Boston, Palin decided to recognize the city’s own Paul Revere and his famous “Midnight Ride” in which he hung two lanterns and rode to Lexington to warn Patriot leaders that the British army was arriving “by sea.” Palin, however, offered her own take on the revolutionary tale:
PALIN: He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed.
What are you finding in the news tonight! Lay it on me and I will try to stay awake!