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No more name-calling, cancer-causing baby shampoo, Anti-Valentine’s Cards

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Good Morning!
Hope you all had a good start to the day. Here’s a few of the things we were talking about this morning.

Bullying gets the Boot
With a name like Dix I can speak to at least part of the need for this kind of legislation.
I have to say, though, I struggle with making it a law. How about just a rule or some common sense on the local level?
I guess the counter argument is born out in the debate over this bill. Republicans were arguing that the bill should simply outlaw any kind of bullying and not name specific categories.
That seems to make sense. But I get the feeling that the motivation for that line of thinking was less about inclusion and more about shutting out of a specific category listed in the bill.
It’s about sexual orientation. If you don’t name it, you can pretend harassment of kids who are gay doesn’t happen or that it doesn’t rise to the level of bullying covered in the bill. That’s also likely the reason Democrats wanted some of these listed out.
I have to ask…are we really worried about including this list in the bill? You can’t bully. that’s it, bottom line. There should be a policy so a school administrator can’t take the liberty of deciding that the insults, slights or other harassment don’t rise to the level of bullying.
I’ll put it in terms that more of us can probably relate to. What if a school administrator decided that anti-christian sentiments directed at a student weren’t bad enough to be bullying? When the kids are calling your son or daughter a “Jesusfreak” or a “bible beater” for their religious beliefs would you feel like that might send the message that your family’s faith wasn’t something to be proud of? Might it cause some kids to be ashamed of their faith? Now apply that to any of these categories. Good thin religious beliefs were listed as one of the categories.
It’s too bad we’ve got to put this one on the books. It worse that there are people out there who make it necessary.

I think the tough thing for schools must be enforcing this kind of stuff. A lot of kids “affectionately” call their friends some pretty mean nicknames. Drawing the line between kidding around and bullying may not be easy.TS

Polk County Property Taxes
I was at the meeting and listened to all of the debate over whether to raise the property tax rates to pay for financing of the new jail. It’s a nightmare for the entire Board of Supervisors. They backed the construction of the new jail and the Sheriff’s argument that this would save the taxpayers in the long run. See yesterday’s post for a little more on that.
Now, All five are cringing at the idea of raising taxes to pay for the financing of the jail. The hike isn’t enough to wreck most household budgets. We’re talking about 17 bucks a year on a 100-thousand dollar home. It’s the idea that they’ve got to bail out the Sheriff that’s got most of the Supervisors hot under the collar.
There was a debate over whether the county should dip into it’s savings account of Prairie Meadows money. They’ve got about 15 million dollars, eight of which isn’t committed yet. Two supervisors argued that they can’t stomach a tax increase to pay for the jail. They argued taxpayers won’t understand why the county is raising it’s taxes when it has the money in the bank to cover the financing.
The other three sups argued that the PM money only delays the question. The eight million covers next year’s financing and this year’s financing, but the County is right back where it started when the budget comes up next year. The tax increase covers the payments for the jail over the next 20 years. And the majority argued, the PM money is still in the bank in case the Sheriff decides the jail costs millions more than he first thought, to operate. That question is still up for debate, but Sheriff Anderson did give estimates that he’s be over budget by anywhere from 2 to 11 million dollars after the jail opens.
that also means the jail will sit empty after it’s built. The Jail will be completed by February. After the County takes a month or so to do touch up work and correct any problems…the Sheriff has to train staff. They could move prisoners into the jail by April or May. the only problem? There’s no money in the budget for it. Oh Boy.

Baby Shampoo causes cancer?
A headline like that sure gets my attention! A news conference planned for later today will accuse lots of common products – including brand name baby shampoos – of containing a dangerous carcinogen known as 1 4 Dioxane.
Read more about the stuff here. Activists have been sounding alarms about this chemical for a long time. Apparently it’s found in a lot of cosmetics and shampoos.
Here’s what the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition says about the ingredients you should look for in your products to see if they have this chemical:

1,4-dioxane may contaminate products containing the following ingredients (ethoxylated detergents): polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, PEG,or polyoxyethylene, or ingredients with part of their names ending in “-eth-“(such as sodium laureth sulfate) or “-oxynol” (such as nonoxynol and octoxynol). Searching for these ingredients in the National Library of Medicine’s Household Products Database will show a list of products that contain it. “

Can we stop talking as if NASA needs an overhaul of it’s Astronaut program? One astronaut in more than 50 years of space flight gets into trouble and people are acting like we’ve got a mental health crisis at the nation’s space agency. This is a terrible story. It’s sad. It’s not a reason to panic about the future of space flight. Generally speaking the people who fly for NASA are some of the country’s best. I guess the only thing this makes me think is that none of us are immune to the kind of apparent emotional or mental breakdown that happened here. Lay off. let NASA review it’s procedures and make recommendations, but it’s no time for panic over the space program.

Air Force 3?
I saw a short bit on Speaker Pelosi asking the Pentagon for a 757 jet on stand-by so she can get back to her district quickly.
The Air Force wing that flies our dignitaries around the world has made a plane available to the Speaker of the House since 9/11, but aparently it can’t get from DC to California without refueling. So Pelosi wants a plane that can get her there.
Seems kind of extravagant. And by the way what is the Air Force flying her home in The Spirit of St Louis?
Don’t we have some sort of smaller business type jet that can get the Speaker home quickly? Something between the two seater she’s flying now and a 757 seems appropriate.

Hope you all have a good day. I’m going to ask my boss for a driver to get me to and from work. I get to tired on my seven minute commute between Downtown and the West side of the City.


Picasso at work

It’s Trisha again!

I wanted to share a few of these artistic treasures from Calvin that I mentioned yesterday! My hilarious 4-year-old artiste has filled up 2 whole notebooks with his attempts at faces! Before anyone psychoanalyzes him based on his art, I should explain that Cal is trying really hard to draw eyebrows, but doesn’t really get it. All of his people tend to have a very worried look, but he tells me they’re “happy.”
I need a bigger fridge to display all his work!
Hope that made you smile – have a good day –

1 Comment

  • Heather R.

    Calvin is the next Picasso! Those drawings are great. Hay Pat, I agree with the whole 757 thing. I think a small plane will take less fuel and get them there in sufficent time if they plan accordingly. People are so spoiled these days!!!!

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