Saturday, May 23, 2015

On this Memorial Day weekend...

taking a moment to thank those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  

And a continued THANKS to all who have served and are serving today!

May God continue to bless the United States of America and those who protect it!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

BOHICA! It never ends...

If citizens of Chicago thought the relationship between Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union was contentious during their last contract negotiations, I have a feeling they ain't seen nothing yet.

Here's a quick reminder of what teachers gained during their last contract...
  • Working 45 minutes longer very day
  • Working 10 more school days every year
  • An evaluation system that is more complex than the reading of the Magna Carta
  • And of course a raise! A RAISE that amounts to about $1.00 more per day (and that's before taxes).  Many teachers bring home less money now than they did three years ago.

So, where do negotiations stand now?  The Board of Education said last week that they would not extend the Union's current teachers' contract for one more year because they can't afford the 3% raise that was part of that agreement.  Now, to make matters worse, they not only want to "not give teachers a raise" (which would amount to less that the cost of living adjustment) , they want them to take a 7% PAY CUT in the form of their pension pick-up.  

Teachers, police, and firefighters are always first on the chopping block.  Teachers, police, and firefighters who have faithfully put in their part of their pension from day one are being vilified as the bad guys because the "city that works" has worked so hard at NOT honoring its part of their pension responsibilities.  Every time Rahm and his ilk "find" money, they can't wait to waste it on other city services, or perks, or whatever.  They work extremely hard to make sure they are NOT funding the pensions.  No one can tell me that this is not a purposeful strategic plan that is being played out here.  We will have to keep our eyes on the Chicago Teacher's Union and see what unfolds in the coming months.

If I understand the math correctly, doesn't losing a 3% raise and having an extra 7% taken out of your paycheck really amount to a 10% pay cut???????

I wonder how many teachers kept their strike signs from 2012?

The Chicago Board of Education is asking teachers and other union members to take what amounts to a 7 percent pay cut in its upcoming contract by not honoring the pension pick-up, the Chicago Teacher's Union said in a five-page email that outlined their contract demands.

The pension pick-up is a payment the Board of Education has made since the early 1980s, which covers the majority of teacher pension costs. The teachers themselves pay a smaller portion. Ending that pick-up would mean the teachers have to pay the full freight of their pension contributions.

The CTU said in the release that it is "insulted by the BOE's demand."

Late last week, the board told the union it would not offer an optional fourth year of its existing contract that expires June 30, saying the district could not afford the $105 million in raises guaranteed in that deal.

Negotiations have been underway since the fall of 2014. The CTU says it wants to reduce class sizes and set an enforceable maximum, staff all public schools with full-time art, music and physical education teachers, unionize charter school teachers and reduce the amount of time students devote to taking standardized tests. The board has already challenged some of those items as beyond the scope of the contract.

Many of those issues were also on the table in September of 2012, when teachers went on strike for the first time since 1987. The pension issue, however, is new to this round of negotiations, and increases the tension between the board and the union.

The CTU says it has planned a press conference addressing the contract negotiations for Wednesday.

You can find Karen Lewis response by clicking here...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

In the news...

It is a rare thing to hear of Hegewisch happenings in the news, but this week Hegewisch has made headlines twice.

Last week the Lebanon Lutheran Church was broken into and the criminals ransacked the church and did much damage.  It's reported the criminals also ate the Communion hosts from the chalices before breaking the chalices.  I don't know how it's known that the hosts were eaten and not disposed of in another way, but regardless, what kind of low-lifes breaks into a church.  The police are investigating, but at this time, the culprits have not been caught.  If they don't have to answer for their crimes in this life, I am certain they will in their next one.

Church leaders discovered a broken window and said the thieves got away with laptop computers, a microwave and a stereo system.

To read more about this, click this link...

And then there is this - 

A man crashes car into a Hegewisch home.  According to the news, the homeowner was a paramedic and worked on the driver, but unfortunately, the driver did not make it.  School children were out at recess during this time, but no children were hurt.

 <span class=meta></span>

Click links for more...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Going, Going, Gone...

I usually don't write book reviews for books that are disappointing, but since Gone Girl seemed to be "such a hit", I thought I'd add in my two cents.

I finished this book last week and have been debating on how to write this review.  I think the best way to describe Gone Girl is that it was a book I loved to hate. 

The book was given to me and, at the time, the only thing I knew about it was what I read on the back cover.  I knew it was made into a movie, but I never read a review about it.  That being said, as I read Part I of the book, I thought it was a bit slow moving.  After Amy's disappearance, I felt sorry for Nick, but when it was revealed that Nick was cheating on his wife, I felt he deserved whatever came to him.  At this point, I loved to hate Nick. 

Part II really captured my interest and I was glad I continued reading.  Many more layers of Amy are revealed and without saying too much, believe me when I tell you, you will begin to feel sorry for Nick and love to hate Amy.

By the time I arrived at the third part of the book, I was ready for some true justice or straight out revenge, and this is where I became very disappointed.  As I read the last page, all I can say is, I loved to hate the ending.  ( I actually read it twice thinking I missed something.)

I give Gillian Flynn 3.5 stars for her writing style (some of her word choice was crass and I could have done without the quizzes) , 4 stars for twists and turns in the middle of the book, and 1 star for her ending.  

Gone Girl is 555 pages long and that's way too many pages to invest in a story that leaves the reader feeling short-changed.