Thursday, August 13, 2015

Early Lunch

It should be just about that time when I finished with this. 

Sorry for serving this summer fare up so late:

"Boston public schools working to upgrade the cafeteria; City is exploring changes in menus, kitchens, and leadership" by Monica Disare Globe Correspondent  July 29, 2015

Hot dogs and fruit juice would disappear from Boston school menus this fall, and chicken breasts and fish would often replace chicken nuggets under proposals by the School Department and a community advisory council to provide students with healthier dining options.

These potential changes are part of a broader effort to overhaul the schools’ food program, school officials said this week. Other changes include hiring a new executive director of food and nutrition service, potentially expanding in-class breakfast to every school in the district, taking a hard look at improving kitchen facilities, and developing a long-term plan for defining and implementing healthy food options.

The possible menu changes “are some baby steps toward a much larger discussion in terms of how we deliver, how we provide, how we support food service,” said Kim Rice, assistant superintendent of operations.

It all smells real good, huh?

Since the district has not identified all necessary changes, a price tag has not been set.

The proposals, which are being evaluated by school officials, follow a period of rising criticism of the food service by parents, students, and even some employees.

Oh, yeah, when was that?

An external review last year found widespread dysfunction in the food program that was leading to millions of dollars in annual losses and creating an apparent “hostile work environment” for workers.

More recently, in April, the district slashed some food options at all schools, but those with cafeterias saw the largest reduction in variety to save money, drawing complaints from parents.

Under those changes, dishes such as chicken broccoli pasta and a garden salad with chick-pea and cheese came off menus. Hot breakfast was reduced to two days a week, and 37 food service workers lost their jobs.

At least the administration was able to party over at the Park Plaza or Convention Center.


School officials say they must balance healthy food, student preferences, and fiscal concerns. The trio of responsibilities, which often tug administrators in opposing directions, makes progress slow, officials said.

Ooooh, poor, $elf-$erving bureaucrats have such a hard time feeding you the agenda. 

Related: Why is Boston fitness funded by Coke?


You see the drink they gave you!!

Christy Mach Dubé director of the Eos Foundation, which is providing grants to the district to improve food services, said, “It’s not going to happen overnight.”

That explains the cold plate.

In the meantime, school leaders are making incremental changes.

It makes the hypocrisy go down better.

The Eos Foundation is piloting a program in the Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain to fund breakfast in the classrooms.The goal is to increase the number of students eating breakfast, said Andrea Silbert, the president of Eos. While some schools already serve breakfast in classrooms, Silbert said she hopes the policy will soon be districtwide.

Brought to them by.... ???

The foundation is also assisting Boston in a nationwide search for an executive director of food and nutrition services, as well as providing technical assistance and scouring the nation for best practices, Silbert said.

The crowning transformation in the district’s nutrition project is a long-term plan with the lofty goal of becoming the “best program in the country,” Rice said....

I'm sorry. I can't eat any more shit.

No matter the district’s intentions, the school food program is a recurring budgetary problem, said Sam Tyler, president of Boston Municipal Research Bureau. The district traditionally has had to spend some of its own funds to make the federal program sustainable, he said.

You damn kids!

Parents, community organizers, and administrators were encouraged by Superintendent Tommy Chang’s early remarks about his wish to improve the food service. On his first formal day on the job July 1, he heard a group of students disparage the quality of school food.

What about the parents?

Chang told students that, he too, had eaten lunch at Boston public schools and said he agrees that something should be done.

Then he was brave and dug in


Here are some leftovers:

Boston proposes pay raises for school principals

That a joke, or.... 

Study of Boston charters should open some minds 

I'm starting to, yeah!

A necessary fix for teacher hiring law in Mass.

They are paying "unneeded" teachers.

Teachers in short supply nationwide


So what's the real rea$on for the lies?

Teacher training effort called expensive waste

While you kids line up for loans with grandiose ideas about improving the world. Then they won't need you, unless you want to join military.

Glitches delay Boston school assignments

More crappy software!

Boston schools’ language barriers persist

That's what comes with being a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.

Boston needs legislative fix to aid English-language learners

So sayeth the Globe from on high.

Despite Scholar Athletes program, Boston still fails student athletes

Maybe they need new uniforms?

"Calendar for school is fixed — but not for back-to-school sales" by Taryn Luna Globe Correspondent  August 03, 2015

When it comes to back-to-school sales, retailers and shoppers are not on the same calendar.

The old strategy of holding special sales months before the start of a season is catching up with stores. Shoppers are much more comfortable waiting, largely because retailers are constantly adding new sales through the year. So while some retailers started back-to-school specials as early as June, those pencils, backpacks and other supplies are likely to be even cheaper in the late summer, just before school resumes.

“The best sales are in September right after school starts because everyone already got their stuff,” said Daphne Alerte of Northbridge as she shopped at a Target store in Dorchester on Friday.

Look at how they explain this hollowed-out, funnel-all-wealth-to-the-top economy and lack of back to school sales!

This year, many retailers began selling school products before families took their first summer vacation. But those goods will be on clearance by the time shoppers start thinking about buying clothes or rulers, which will hurt overall retail sales, said Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at NPD Group in New York. “Retailers are heading in one direction and consumers are heading in another,” Cohen said.

Indeed, a recent study from the National Retail Federation estimated back-to-school sales will fall 9 percent this season. And the overall shopping climate remains soft for retailers. IHS Global Insight expects retail sales to grow 3.5 percent, to $608 billion, from July to September — the weakest increase for the period since 2012.

How can that be in the midst of a booming stock market and improving job conditions??

Consumers surveyed by the retailers group said they plan to shop later in the summer than last year; 80 percent will wait until a month before school starts or later.

Or will not at all.

Lauren Gillihan of South Boston said her family is still in summer mode. She won’t start buying supplies for her two daughters until school begins. 

Nights are getting a little chilly though, and that never used to happen. Kids needed new digs before school year. It was a statement to other kids, you're looking fine, walking good.

“We are not looking for school supplies right now,” Gillihan said Friday, standing in a toy aisle at Target with her children. “We are kind of relaxing.”

For decades, stores rolled out the next season’s products months in advance. Cohen said it started as a way to beat competitors with the latest trends, and to end up with less leftover inventory later on. It is why department stores sell swimsuits in February and winter coats in the middle of the summer.

But the savvy shopper of today isn’t buying into the old retail model. The recession taught shoppers to hunt for deals and wait for sales. Now consumers buy based on price, not the calendar, Cohen said.

As if it ever ended for the rest of us outside the top 10%, of which 9.99% of them are feeding off crumbs that have fallen from the .01% table. That's where is the big buffet.

Buffett’s company reports 37 percent drop in second-quarter earnings

And when he got there....

"Kraft Heinz Co. is cutting 2,500 jobs as part of its plan to slash costs after the food companies combined. A spokesman said the affected workers are in the United States and Canada; 700 of the cuts will be in Northfield, Ill., where Kraft had been headquartered. The company would not specify where other cuts will be but said all the jobs involved are salaried and no factory workers are affected. The merger was engineered by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate and the Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, which is known for tight cost controls. Bernardo Hees, a 3G partner, is now CEO of Kraft Heinz. The two US food giants are facing sales challenges amid changing tastes. The merger was nevertheless seen as attractive because of the opportunity to combine functions. Executives expect to save $1.5 billion in annual costs by 2017."

Don't order the tuna without looking inside the can first!

Another concern for retailers is a lack of new gadgets to entice shoppers to stores.

That's fun once or twice, but after that.... I don't want or need all that $hit. 

I don't even think it is that. The problem is the AmeriKan consumer has NO MONEY!

Last year Apple released the iPhone 6 in September, but there are no major releases of smartphones or tablets this summer. In fact, global tablet and smartphone sales are slowing.

As if the newspaper had anything to do with "facts." That's an offensive statement coming from them at this point after all the $hit-$hoveling propaganda.

Back-to-school is typically the second biggest shopping period of the year behind the winter holiday season.

And the holidays have sucked the last few seasons!

Analysts say the “Christmas Creep,” where holiday sales are starting earlier each year, is hurting back-to-school sales as the two shopping periods bleed together.

Another rea$on to tune out. Tired of having to be $OLD EVERYTHING! Have to be $OLD on an agenda, $OLD on a politician, $old a  story, $OLD a point of view, $OLD diversion and propaganda, $OLD goddamn near everything. 

You might as well stop selling unless you are gonna change the tune.

In recent years retailers have bumped up the Christmas shopping season, with many introducing holiday sales in early November.

Try right after Halloween.

Oh, I guess that is early(iest) November, and sometimes they actually pair them these days. Halloween exhibit over here, Christmas exhibit over there.

Some shoppers are postponing computer and other electronic purchases for school, hoping to find better sales during the holidays, said Chris Christopher, an economist with IHS.

And PUT THE KID BEHIND while making them a TARGET of RIDICULE?? 

What kind of parents are these? Poor?

“People have learned that if they wait a little bit longer that new cellphone or laptop will be discounted pretty heavily during the holiday retail season,” Christopher said. “That’s been playing a stronger and stronger role in the back-to-school season.”

The Fed and the(ir) bu$ine$$ pages tell us that is bad and holding back the economy!


Okay, I'll leave you kids alone while you eat your lunch or surf your phone(!)

"Cyberbullying on rise, particularly for teen girls, study says" by Monica Disare Globe Correspondent  August 03, 2015

A study of more than 16,000 Boston-area high school students suggests cyberbullying is on the rise, most sharply with girls as victims and abetted by the prevalence of smartphones among teenagers.

Save that text for later.


At the same time, reports of in-person bullying decreased by 3 percent over the period.

Better save 'em all.

Specialists said the study, which will be published in September in the Journal of School Health, reflects the spread of technology that enables harassers to spread information quickly and often anonymously, and to target victims any time of the day.

I know where this is going.

“I am not surprised in the least that cyberbullying has gone up,” said Rusty Sullivan, the co-producer of the Boston vs. Bullies program, an antibullying program used in schools throughout Massachusetts. “Cellphones, the Internet, and everything that goes along with it is such a bigger part of kids’ lives today than it was 10 years ago.”

Got the message.

Increased cyberbullying “raises the stakes considerably” for bullying since the audience is virtually unlimited, Sullivan said. “Once the kid hits send, there’s no way to control it,” he said.

That is what this is all about. Control of the Internet, control of kids, control of speech. It's a backdoor way. Who could be for harassing kids?

Shari Kessel Schneider, a project director at Waltham-based EDC and the lead author on the new study, agreed that the instantaneous nature of cellphones probably has contributed to the rise in cyberbullying. Websites that allow for anonymous posts, or messages that can disappear after they are sent, are also prime vehicles for dissemination, she said.

You guys really want the name, don't you?

In 2010, Massachusetts passed a law heralded as one of the nation’s toughest antibullying statutes. It mandated antibullying training for faculty and students and required every school employee to report cases of bullying. Preventing cyberbullying, which is defined as “bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication,” was a key element of the bill.

I've suppressed those memories, and where does lying war propaganda fit in to that anyway?

It takes only one embarrassing photograph to constitute cyberbullying, whereas in the past bullying often took a pattern of repeated behavior, said Gershon Ben Keren, head instructor at the Situation Effective Protection System program in Boston, which helps people predict, identify, and avoid violence. The relative ease of cyberbullying may help explain its increase, Ben Keren said.

(Blog editor holds palms toward ceiling; I rarely ever post photos, and all of them are from the Globe)

Gone are the days when a child could walk home, close his or her bedroom door, and escape being bullied, he said.

Can't turn the phone off and unfriend people?

The study collected survey answers from four different years, beginning in 2006. It was funded by the MetroWest Health Foundation. Because the surveyed students hailed from the suburbs west of Boston, the report cautions that results may not be generalizable to other regions.

But the findings are consistent with other research, said Elizabeth Englander, a professor of psychology at Bridgewater State University and director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center. She and other specialists said it is well known that cyberbullying disproportionately affects girls.

Girls tend to be more peer-focused than boys, and therefore more prone to forms of bullying such as exclusion and rumor spreading, said Jon Mattleman, director of Needham Youth Services.

Look, cat fight!

“It tends to be very personal and very devastating,” said Mattleman, who called it “emotional, right to the core.”

The study also highlighted a reluctance by many youths to seek help. In 2012, only one-third of cyberbullying victims told an adult about their experiences. Girls were almost twice as likely to seek help than boys. When the teenagers did seek help, they more frequently sought someone outside of school.

Young adults are hesitant to involve parents because they think they will either overreact or take away their technology, Mattleman said.

Nonheterosexual teenagers reported higher instances of cyberbullying in the study. In 2012, 31.5 percent of youths who are members of sexual minorities — such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual — reported being cyberbullied, compared with 20.3 percent of heterosexual youths.

“Even today, after marriage equality, they are still marginalized by their peers and in their schools,” said Emily Greytak, director of research at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network in Boston.

Greytak also noted the benefits of the Internet for LGBTQ youths, who go online for positive social support.


So what are you kids passing around at the table?

"Taunton officials seek creators of online page with nude photos" by Sara DiNatale Globe Correspondent  July 30, 2015

(Blog editor slumps in his chair. He went to school in wrong era)

Taunton officials want the creators of an anonymous Facebook page prosecuted for posting nude photos of underage girls — an action that tormented teens and their families for three days.

I'm not for that, but where did the pictures come from?

Mayor Thomas C. Hoye Jr. said Taunton police, who are handling the investigation and trying to identify the people behind the Facebook photos, got several calls about posts on the page called “Tauntons PurgeisBack.”

“It was a communitywide effort to have this site taken down,” Hoye said. “My hope is that the people responsible are prosecuted.”

NSA had to have known who they are, so WTF? 

Unless.... the contractors all get a good look at 'em, too?

People who said they saw the page said it singled out girls by posting their names, along with insults, sexual comments, and photos. Parents in Taunton flagged the page so Facebook would remove it. The social media site acted by Tuesday, after the page collected nearly 600 followers.

Gee, I only have 36 that I love with all my heart.

Amber Ryan, a 17-year-old Middleborough high-schooler, has been consoling a 15-year-old, who she says was one of the page’s victims. A nude photo of the teen was posted, including her name, Facebook profile, and Instagram account, Ryan said.

“I think people need to think twice before they go out and do this stuff,” Ryan said.

The 15-year-old received more than 200 friend requests from people who saw the nude picture, which does not show her face, Ryan said. Ryan suspects an ex-boyfriend leaked the photo as an act of revenge.


The name of the page refers to the 2013 film “The Purge,” which portrays a society that allows a day of crime and anarchy without punishment.

Or you can go down to Washington or Wall Street and get year after year of it.

On Sunday, the first entries to the page were photos from the film. Then, images of girls were posted. Later, messages appeared saying that once the page got 50 Facebook “likes,” another girl would be exposed. The creators of the page wrote, “Whoever keeps reporting my page do everyone a favor and kill yourself.” They also sought a video of a specific girl and offered $50 for it via PayPal.

Ryan said she was horrified to find a topless photo of what was believed to be a 12-year-old girl. She said the photo was later removed. Hoye said it is possible those responsible could be charged with trafficking child pornography.

AI says that has to be brought into legal light.

This is not the first time such a page has popped up targeting Taunton-area teens, according to Ryan. The Brockton Enterprise reported that the mother of a 14-year-old girl said her daughter died of an apparent suicide about a year ago after a Facebook page similarly shamed and embarrassed her.

Pardon the pun, but she never even made it to lunch.

Annemarie Matulis, an anti-bullying advocate who founded Taunton’s Silver City Teen Center in 2008, said the community is still in shock about that teen’s death.

“So when it popped up again,” Matulis said of the page, “it got pounced on.”

Former Harvard professor John Palfrey, who has studied cyberbullying and is head of school at Phillips Academy in Andover, said it may seem like social media bullying is becoming more common than in-person bullying, but that is because it is often easier for parents to see what is happening online. He and other specialists said in-person bullying remains more frequent.


Whatever serves the agenda at a given point, right?

Hoye, Taunton’s mayor, said he was not sure who the victims in the photos are, or if they are from Taunton, but that police are investigating. The Taunton police did not return requests for comment Wednesday.

Taunton Public Schools superintendent Julie Hackett said schools, families, law enforcement, and local officials need to educate teens about the dangers of cyberbullying.

Never you mind real-life authority in your face or the rash of perverts populating school systems.

Hackett said if students in her district are responsible for the “Tauntons PurgeisBack,” any action by the school district will depend on the gravity of criminal charges the page’s creators might face.

“My biggest advice to people with middle and high school-age children is to monitor social media accounts, know who they’re talking to, and be proactive,” Hoye said.

Thanks for coming, readers.


Related: Minnesota School Field Trip

Oh, no, that's considered "love(??)." Makes me want to puke up what I just ate.

Also seeSchool survey startup Panorama Education nets $12m investment

You learn$ anything there, kids?

Oh, right, I forgot. There is no lunch today.