Friday, February 20, 2015

2 Teenagers Were Eager to Shovel Snow. Then the Police Paid a Visit.

 So much for entrepreneurial spirit....

From the New York Times

One evening last month, the night before a blizzard that threatened the Northeast with a lot of bluster, two young men in central New Jersey decided to take action.

Armed with about 100 fliers, Matt Molinari and Eric Schnepf, both 18 and seniors at Bridgewater-Raritan High School, went door to door in Bridgewater and then headed to Bound Brook, a neighboring town of about 10,000, to offer snow-shoveling services for a reasonable price the following day.
The ensuing combination of neighborhood vigilance, community policing, social media, local and national news coverage, libertarian ideology and the New Jersey Legislature swirled into an unexpected narrative about small-town living, or media fishbowls, or perhaps snowstorms.

After handing out about 40 fliers with their names and cellphone numbers, around 5:45 p.m. on Jan. 27, the two teenagers were stopped by police officers responding to a call that some suspicious characters were traipsing through yards, going door to door.

Mr. Molinari and Mr. Schnepf met the description and were told that soliciting without a permit was “technically illegal” according to a town ordinance, Mr. Molinari said. They were also violating the town’s travel ban, which had gone into effect at 5 p.m., six hours before the state’s.
The teenagers were not charged, or given a written citation.

“We weren’t trying to break the law, and we only knew about the state travel ban at 11 p.m.,” Mr. Molinari said.
Solicitation permits in the town can cost up to $200, and are valid for a year. Nonprofit groups are exempt from the fee but still have to apply for a permit before going door to door.
The ordinance does not apply to political campaigns, volunteer firefighters or real estate and insurance salesmen who have state licenses.
The officers told the snow shovelers to go home because the roads were not safe and said the teenagers could come back the next day if their services had been requested.
The snowfall did not live up to its billing, and so they got only two requests for shoveling, and made about $50 each.
Mike Bal, a town resident whose home the boys visited, saw the police stop the shovelers. After hearing the boys’ account of the police encounter, he took to the “Bound Brook NJ Events” Facebook page, a town-affiliated forum, to express his outrage.
“Are you kidding me? Our generation does nothing but complain about his generation being lazy and not working for their money,” Mr. Bal wrote on the page. “Here’s a couple kids who take the time to print up flyers, walk door to door in the snow and then shovel snow for some spending money. And someone calls the cops and they’re told to stop?”
Josh Schroeder, who runs the Facebook page, posted the boys’ flier, because he “wanted to help them make money.”
Both posts “went viral,” he said.
News media vans descended on the town; Glenn Beck talked about it, calling the situation a confrontation between young American entrepreneurship and the limits of an overly bureaucratic government.
Since the two shovelers had put their cellphone numbers on the flier, which had been published in USA Today along with an article (the flier has since been removed), Mr. Molinari and Mr. Schnepf kept their phones off for a while, they said, because they were getting hundreds of texts and calls from people who wanted to express their support or hire them for snow removal.
“It was meant to be a good deed,” Mr. Schroeder said of posting the flier on Facebook.
He said other news media outlets had skewed the story: “They twisted this into an antipolice thing,” he said. “It wasn’t the police’s fault — they were just doing their job.”
Michael Jannone, chief of the Bound Brook Police Department, said the verbal attacks on his department from outraged people across the country had been “vicious.”
“We’ve been called everything from fascists to Nazis to Gestapo,” Chief Jannone said.
“Our officers were never going to give them a ticket for that,” he added. “I can’t even count the number of times I’ve paid $5 for a cup of lemonade from a lemonade stand — I didn’t tell those kids to get a permit either.”
Chief Jannone said the danger from the storm was real: About three minutes after the officers had left the shovelers, their patrol car slid in the snow into a telephone pole, causing $11,000 worth of damage.
He also worried about the situation’s effect on community policing: “There are already disheartening relations between communities and police around the country, and then you have something like this. It doesn’t help.”
State Assemblyman Michael Doherty, a Republican whose district includes Bound Brook and Bridgewater, said he thought the law “sends young people the wrong message” when it came to hard work and entrepreneurship.
“People have been shoveling snow for their neighbors for decades, if not a few hundred years,” he said in a telephone interview. “A law like this just shows how overbearing government can be.”
So Mr. Doherty brought a bill before the Assembly this month, which stipulates that ordinances related to soliciting would not apply to snow-shoveling services offered within 24 hours of a predicted snowstorm.
In a statement about the bill, Mr. Doherty said, “We shouldn’t let government criminalize harmless childhood activities that were once rites of passage for tens of millions of American kids.”
Mr. Doherty is a frequent critic of Gov. Chris Christie, a fellow Republican, on policy issues — “I’m probably his No. 1 critic that speaks publicly,” Mr. Doherty said — but he said he thought Mr. Christie would support something like this.
Mr. Christie’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
On Tuesday, the teenagers had another snow day and got back in business, shoveling about four inches of snow from two houses.
One of the houses where they had cleared snow, a two-story, light-blue home, belonged to Daphne Ruben, a special-education teacher at their high school. By the late afternoon, the driveway and sidewalks in front of the house were clear.
Ms. Ruben said she had heard about the teenagers’ encounter with the law from another teacher. And on this morning, she said, she phoned Mr. Molinari at 8:30 to ask if she could hire the duo.
Her husband had recently had surgery, and she could not shovel the snow herself. She said she paid the two, who used shovels and snow blowers, with a check for $50, and gave them hot chocolate and chocolate-chip cookies before they left for baseball practice.
The police were not involved.

Jason Grant contributed reporting.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Parents Under Investigation for Neglect After Allowing Kids to Walk to Playground

Rafi and Dvora Meitiv. Photo by Andrea McCarren/WUSA9

From Yahoo

A Maryland family is under investigation for child neglect this week after allowing their kids, ages 6 and 10, to walk together, but without adults, to neighborhood playgrounds.
“The world is actually even safer than when I was a child, and I just want to give them the same freedom and independence that I had — basically an old-fashioned childhood,” mom Danielle Meitiv told the Washington Post. “I think it’s absolutely critical for their development — to learn responsibility, to experience the world, to gain confidence and competency.” Danielle, who grew up in the 1970s in New York City and was allowed to roam freely along with other neighborhood kids, told WUSA9, “The only thing that’s changed between then and now is our fear.”
But officials disagree. In late December, Montgomery County Police picked up the kids, Rafi and Dvora, walking just half a block from home after being alerted by an observer. Six cop cars soon showed up at the family’s house, and the incident spurred Montgomery County Child Protective Services to investigate Danielle and her husband Alexander for child neglect. This week, CPS officials visited the parents at home and also interviewed the children at school — without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
CPS spokesperson Mary Anderson told Yahoo Parenting she could not comment on the specifics of the case, but explained that CPS is bound by law to “follow up on every complaint” it receives, using the Maryland Unattended Children Law for guidance to determine whether a parent “has provided proper care and supervision.” But the law doesn’t address the outdoors, stating that a child under 8 must not be without someone 13 or older while “confined in a dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle.”
Danielle, a climate-science consultant and fiction writer, and Alexander, a physicist at the National Institutes for Health, could not be reached by Yahoo Parenting. But Danielle recently told Reason via email that she and her husband have been left “frightened and confused” by the situation. She added, “We are good parents, educated professionals, and our children are happy, healthy, well-adjusted, and academically successful. As difficult as it is for us to believe, all of these events occurred as the result of allowing our children to walk along public streets in the middle of the afternoon without our supervision. My husband grew up in the former Soviet Union. Now he wonders if we have to just go along with whatever the authorities want us to do. I keep reminding him that we have RIGHTS in this country and that neither the police nor the bureaucrats can arbitrarily dismiss them.”
The Meitivs consider themselves “free-range parents,” basing some of their parenting philosophy on the book “Free-Range Kids” by Lenore Skenazy (author of the Reason article), Danielle contacted Skenazy for advice and help with publicity in December.
“I agree that sunshine is a great thing when something is going on in the shadows,” Skenazy, whose new reality show “World’s Worst Mom” premiers on Discovery Life on Jan. 22, tells Yahoo Parenting. She has a clear take on the situation — and many others like it, including a Texas mom investigated by child protective services after allowing her 6-year-old to play alone across the street from home in September, a Florida mom arrested for allowing her 7-year-old to walk to the park alone in August, and a South Carolina mom arrested for letting her 9-year-old play alone in a park in July. “We believe our children are in constant danger,” Skenazy says. “Once you believe that, then seeing a child unsupervised for any amount of time…will look like negligence, even when it’s absolutely rational and loving, as it is [with the Meitivs].”
She blames the cultural shift on “a 24-7 media cycle has to appall and scare us” and “a marketplace that’s bent on scaring us,” using major fears like “kidnapping” and “kids not getting into Harvard” to sell parents just about anything.
A much-buzzed-about article in the Atlantic, “The Overprotected Kid,” touched on many of these issues in April, noting, “It’s hard to absorb how much childhood norms have shifted in just one generation. Actions that would have been considered paranoid in the ’70s — walking third-graders to school, forbidding your kid to play ball in the street, going down the slide with your child in your lap — are now routine. In fact, they are the markers of good, responsible parenting.”
Tim Gill, the UK-based author of “Rethinking Childhood,” finds this attitude worrisome. “The basic danger is that by overprotecting children, we leave them less safe — because we deprive them of the very experiences that will build their confidence and help them learn how to deal with everyday challenges as they grow up,” he tells Yahoo Parenting in an email. He agrees with Skenazy that scaremongering is largely to blame (despite crime stats showing that children are safer than they’ve ever been), along with fear of lawsuits and a “zero risk” mindset, or a belief that “it’s our job to protect children at all costs rather than to help them to be resilient.” That belief has a particularly strong hold in the U.S., he says, noting that, in other countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, it’s practically the opposite.
“I’ve been told that in Switzerland,” says Gill, “parents are judged badly if they DON’T let their children walk to kindergarten (yes, kindergarten) on their own.”

Just another item that is contributing to the fall of modern society as we know it.....
Both your and my parents would have been arrested and hauled off to jail. We would have be assigned to some foster family , you know the rest.
I guess that the more regulation they put on, the more true it becomes that the state is raising your children....


Friday, June 6, 2014

What have we created in the US of A?????

Texas Mom Red-Faced Over School Sunscreen Ban

When students at a San Antonio, Texas, school went on a field trip this week, parent Christy Riggs wanted her daughter to bring sunscreen along to protect her from over six hours in the sun. To her dismay, the North East Independent School District has a ban restricting students from bringing sunscreen to school or on field trips because it is considered a toxic substance.
"The school wants us to lather our kids up in sunscreen before school, but when they're outside all day or swimming, they need to be reapplying every couple hours," Riggs told ABC News.

Riggs' daughter got a sunburn after the field trip, her mother says, something she has been able to avoid over the years because of consistent sunscreen use.
"Our family has very pale skin, and my father actually passed away from skin cancer earlier this year," Riggs said. "What sort of message is the school sending when they tell us to leave sunscreen at home?"
School district spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said allergic reactions to sunscreen are one of the numerous reasons the district does not allow sunblock in its 72 schools.
"We don't want students sharing sunscreen," Chancellor said. "If students get it in their eyes or react badly to the sunscreen it can be quite serious."
Chancellor said the district treats sunscreen like a medicine and that children need a doctor's note to have it at school.
"If there are extenuating circumstances," she said, "students are welcome to keep sunscreen in the nurse's office and go there to reapply."
Parents, including Riggs, have expressed frustration at the policy. "We want to teach our children to eat healthier, yet we have them outside and let them burn," Riggs said.
Indeed, studies show that if children have one bad burn, their chances of getting melanoma double, prompting Riggs to be all the more careful.
"I'm not saying all children should be required to bring sunscreen," Riggs said. "But skin cancer is on the rise and reapplying at school shouldn't be an issue."
District officials review school policies yearly, and spokeswoman Chancellor said there is a chance they will revise their ban on sunscreen. Until then, students will have to come lathered in sunscreen and will not be allowed to reapply unless they have a doctor's note.

Is there anything more asinine that this?  Sunscreen a TOXIC substance.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Your Racist Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich....


PBJ racist
Did you know that eating or even talking about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich could be considered racist?
That’s right.
Apparently, it’s because people in some cultures don’t eat sandwich bread. Verenice Gutierrez, principal of Harvey Scott K-8 School in Portland explained in and interview with the Portland Tribune:
“Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year,” the Tribune said.
“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” Gutierrez asked. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”
…The Tribune noted that the school started the new year with “intensive staff trainings, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations and other initiatives,” to help educators understand their own “white privilege,” in order to “change their teaching practices to boost minority students’ performance.”"Last Wednesday, the first day of the school year for staff, for example, the first item of business for teachers at Scott School was to have a Courageous Conversation — to examine a news article and discuss the ‘white privilege’ it conveys,” the Tribune added.
Gutierrez completed a week-long seminar called “Coaching for Educational Equity,” a program the Tribune says focuses “on race and how it affects life.” She also serves on an administrative committee that focuses on systematic racism.
“Our focus school and our Superintendent’s mandate that we improve education for students of color, particularly Black and Brown boys, will provide us with many opportunities to use the protocols of Courageous Conversations in data teams, team meetings, staff meetings, and conversations amongst one another,” she said in a letter to staff.
You can read more about principal Gutierrez’s sandwich-sensitivity philosophy here.
Next time you’re in the bread aisle at the grocery store, you may want to think twice. Sensitive liberal educators are now recommending the “torta” or the “pita” as a more culturally inclusive alternative.
Now that you've been made aware of the evil of PB&J, There's only one question left to answer:
Is White Bread More Racist Than Whole Wheat? What about Russian Dark Rye?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

You asked for it , You got it!

The left's over-sexualization of children, causes charges against 6-year-old

The Left's over-sexualization of children is starting to result in more absurd behavior in our school systems. Now a public school in California brings sexual battery charges against a 6-year-old boy.

In another stupendously stupid move by the politically correct education system, a friendly game of tag amongst 6-year-olds, resulted in a sexual battery charge against one of the little children.

How innocent are our children? Not very, according to the rabid left who see sexual connotations in every move as they try to ram down their sexual mores on the rest of the citizens.

According to witnesses, a group of youngsters was playing tag on their elementary school playground, in Hercules, California. Of course, the very essence of the game of tag involves touching, so an innocent move by one young boy resulted in him touching another child's leg.

But since radical leftists have convinced the State of California to treat 5- and 6-year-olds as if they are sexually active, this innocent touch in the course of a child's game, turned the boy into a sexual predator in the eyes of school officials.

Read more:

After the allegation of illegal touching, the child was interrogated in the principal’s office for 2 hours, without his parents presence, until he confessed to his "crime." This resulted in school officials charging the little boy with a sexual battery charge, which will be on his school record. Additionally, the little boy was immediately suspended from school.

The child's father spoke to the local news media about the situation and said his son was accused of brushing his best friend’s leg while they were playing on the school’s playground. In the American education system, particularly California, it seems the far left thinks it’s perfectly normal to make a 6-year-old child register as a sex offender with a record.

In order to right a serious wrong however, the boys father was forced to hire a lawyer to explore legal avenues. After the threat of litigation hovered over their heads, school officials quickly backed down and dropped the ridiculous charges against the little boy.

It is becoming a popular battle cry that bullying amongst children is an epidemic problem in America's schools. But many Americans are starting to see the left's influence on school policies as absurd bullying. Our schools are turning into politically correct, hermetically sealed environments that don't prepare our children for the real world.

 Only in the USofA.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What's next? Jail?

Point a Pencil to Jail

From Yahoo

A 7-year-old boy, who was suspended for two days after playing a game of make-believe with his friend, returned to school on Wednesday. 

On Friday, Christopher Marshall, a second grader at Driver Elementary School in Suffolk, Virginia and his  classmate were playing with their pencils, pointing them at each other and making machine gun noises when a concerned teacher pulled them into the principals' office.

"I got a call from Christopher's school at 12:30 on Friday," the boy's mother, Wendy Marshall, 34, a stay-at-home mother of five, told Yahoo! Shine. "His teacher told me that Christopher and his friend were playing with pencils, making machine gun and 'bang bang' noises. I asked if they were pointing the pencils at anyone else, if they were angry or hostile, disrupting class, or refused to stop when asked and the teacher said no. I told her that I would speak to Christopher but his teacher said she was under obligation to report them anyway."

Wendy immediately picked up her son from school and when she got there, the principal explained that due to the school's zero tolerance policy against weapons or anything that resembles a weapon, Christopher would be suspended on Monday and Tuesday, allowed to return on Wednesday. Bethanne Bradshaw, a spokesperson for Suffolk Public Schools could not be reached for comment but according to a report from Fox43 she said, "A pencil is a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made" and that "Some children would consider it threatening, who are scared about shootings in schools or shootings in the community. Kids don't think about 'Cowboys and Indians' anymore, they think about drive-by shootings and murders and everything they see on television news every day." According to the Suffolk News-Herald, the school had received hundreds of emails and on one day fielded about 75 phone calls per hour regarding the matter. Bradshaw wrote in an email to the paper that the reaction to the incident was overwhelming. “Opinions were very strong and mean-spirited, and often included abusive language and profanity.”

"I told the principal that Christopher's father is an ex-Marine and he was just emulating his dad," said Wendy. "Apparently the students were told at the beginning of the year that they couldn't pretend that objects were guns—there are only four weeks left in school. How could they remember that? Kids need to be reminded to bathe and brush their teeth. Besides, they were just being boys. The disciplinary report will be on Christopher's record forever." The report, below, was provided by the Marshall family.
Wendy took her son home and asked him to explain what happened. "He was shaking with fear and didn't understand why he was in trouble," she said. "So we reenacted the scene and I told him that he did nothing wrong." Christopher's father alerted the local news station and Wendy and Christopher spent the next two days eating ice cream, playing Mario Go Kart on Wii, and cleaning the house. "I let him drink soda too," she says. "I'm not going to punish him."

Wendy did not want to identify Christopher's friend but she says she believes he got a similar punishment. "I would understand the school's point better if the kids were older and they were being hostile toward each other," she says. "But these kids were laughing and playing and Christopher is being made into an example, which isn't right."

Friday, April 5, 2013

Alex Cross' Movie Complaint Prompts United Flight Diversion

A United Airlines flight was diverted and a family with small children met by the FBI and removed from the plane, all because the parents asked that the movie "Alex Cross" be turned off from the overhead movie screens on their flight.
In a letter to The Atlantic Magazine, the family -- who have not been named -- said that on United flight 638 from Denver to Baltimore, the PG-13 movie was "Alex Cross," about a homicide detective that has violent scenes. The parents believed the movie was inappropriate for their 4- and 8-year old boys, but because it was being shown on drop down screens, they couldn't turn it off themselves.
"Alarmed by the opening scenes, we asked two flight attendants if they could turn off the monitor; both claimed it was not possible," the letter reads. One of the flight attendants said it was not possible to fold up the screen.
The letter states other passengers and even flight crew agreed the movie was not appropriate. Still, it could not be turned off. The family asked for the captain's name and were not given it, being told they could ask when they disembarked.
"Throughout these interactions the atmosphere was collegial, no voices were raised and no threats, implicit or explicit, of any kind were made. The flight continued without incident, while my wife and I engaged our children to divert their attention from the horrific scenes on the movie screens."
An hour later during the February 2 flight, the captain came on the PA and said the plane was being diverted to Chicago for "security concerns." The flight landed and a Chicago police officer boarded the plane and asked the family to come with her. The family was then questioned by the FBI.
"The captain, apparently, felt that our complaint constituted grave danger to the aircraft, crew and the other passengers, and that this danger justified inconveniencing his crew, a few of whom 'timed out' during the diversion, and a full plane of your customers, causing dozens of them to miss their connections, wasting time, precious jet fuel, and adding to United's carbon footprint. Not to mention unnecessarily involving several of Chicago's finest, two Border Protection officers and several United and ORD managers, and an FBI agent, who all met us at the gate."
The letter states the FBI questioning lasted less than five minutes and they were let go.
In a statement to ABC News, the airline only said, "United flight 638 from Denver to Baltimore diverted to Chicago O'Hare after the crew reported a disturbance involving a passenger. The flight landed without incident and the passengers were removed from the aircraft. We reaccommodated the customers on the next flight to Baltimore and have since conducted a full review of our inflight entertainment."

What is happening to logic and common sense?  This is nutso!