Thursday, January 14, 2016

School Day in Detroit

See: Sunday Globe Delivered 

I can see why the kids wouldn't want to go back to school:

"Teacher protest forces dozens of Detroit schools to close" Associated Press  January 12, 2016

DETROIT — A wave of teacher absences described by an activist as ‘‘rolling strikes’’ shut down more than half of Detroit’s 100 public schools Monday, keeping thousands of students at home as the union action entered a second week.

(Amidst kids cheering blog editor asks "What?")

Several high schools were forced to close last week due to teachers calling in sick. But the action Monday was more dramatic as more teachers stayed home.

The Detroit district, with 46,000 students, has been in turmoil, struggling with millions of dollars in debt, poor morale among staff, and families that have other school choices for their children.

Ivy Bailey, interim president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, displayed photos of mold in schools.

‘‘This is why those sick-outs happened,’’ she told reporters, adding that classes have too many students and rodents are plentiful.

Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican, wants to pay off the debt and spin off a new district, but he lacks support so far in the Legislature. There are no ongoing negotiations between teachers and schools, which are run by a Snyder appointee, emergency manager Darnell Earley.

‘‘We understand and share their frustration,’’ Earley said in a statement, referring to teachers. But the absences make it ‘‘more challenging’’ to reach a political solution with state lawmakers in the Capitol, he said.

It's like they burned down the schools.


"Detroit mayor says he saw dead mouse, cold kids, bad floor in schools" by Ed White and Corey Williams Associated Press  January 12, 2016

DETROIT — Mayor Mike Duggan said he saw a dead mouse, children wearing coats in cold classrooms and a gym floor too warped for play during a tour of some Detroit public schools Tuesday.

He pledged to quickly come up with a plan to improve the condition of the buildings. The visits occurred as two dozen schools were closed because of a sick-out by teachers who are upset about pay, class sizes, rodents and mold.

‘‘Our children need our teachers in the classroom. ... But there’s no question about the legitimacy of the issues that they’re raising,’’ the mayor said.

Say again?

The number of closures was not as high as on Monday when more than half of the 100-school district was shut down and more than 31,000 students stayed home. Spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said the number of kids affected Tuesday wasn’t immediately known.

Unlike some big-city mayors, Duggan has no control over schools. Detroit’s debt-ridden district of 46,000 students has been under state oversight for nearly seven years. The district is run by an emergency manager appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

But the city can inspect the buildings to make sure they comply with city code. Duggan said the condition of schools is a ‘‘mixed bag’’ with some in good shape.

‘‘We’re still gathering information and we’ll have a plan’’ Wednesday, he told reporters at Fisher school on the east side.

‘‘We’ve seen a couple of school buildings that are well-maintained and then saw some conditions that were deeply disturbing, including a school where the children have no gym class because the gym floor is buckled from roof leaks,’’ Duggan said.

He said it was ‘‘heartbreaking’’ to see some kids wearing coats in the morning until classrooms warm up by lunch.

The governor has called for the state to commit $715 million over a decade to address the district’s $500 million debt and relaunch the district under a new name. But his plan has yet to receive support in the Legislature, which is controlled by fellow Republicans.

During a visit to the Detroit auto show Tuesday, Snyder said the sick-out by teachers was ‘‘really unfortunate.’’

‘‘There are other venues and ways if people have issues. ... They shouldn’t be doing that at the expense of having kids not in class,’’ the governor said.

No fan of unions he.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers is not part of the sick-out, but union officials have been very vocal about school conditions.

Zdrodowski said ‘‘there’s no denying’’ that some schools need attention, adding that problems are investigated as soon as possible. Nonetheless, the district is deeply troubled by the wave of teacher absences.

Yeah, blame them, not the Wall Street thieves that have bankrupted cities with their phony deals and looting schemes.

‘‘We’re investigating all of our options. Kids need to be in school,’’ Zdrodowski said of teacher absences.

And debt service to banks and "investors" is the first line item on the budget.


Just don't go near the water fountains, kids:

Mich. governor activates National Guard amid Flint’s water crisis

The print dried up us so fast the web didn't even bother with that crime. 

Now we are being told its Legionnaires'?

And I don't want to seem to be nitpicking as Flint's water is poison and as Detroit school kids suffer neglect, but yesterday Obama authorized the State Department to access up to $70 million from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund ‘‘for the purpose for meeting unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs related to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program’’ -- with the U.N. doing the vetting! 

Readers, the New World Order doth hath arrived. 

How ungrateful, 'eh? 

Time for me to hit the cafeteria. 


Schools must have been closed today, huh?


"New Mexico is first to issue plans to sue EPA over mine spill" Associated Press  January 14, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico plans to sue the federal government and the owners of two Colorado mines that were the source of a massive spill last year that contaminated rivers in three Western states, officials said Thursday.

The New Mexico Environment Department said it filed a notice of its intention to sue the US Environmental Protection Agency over the spill, becoming the first to do so. The lawsuit also would target the State of Colorado and the owners of the Gold King and Sunnyside Mines.

An EPA cleanup crew accidentally unleashed millions of gallons of contaminated waste water in August at the inactive Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colo. It fouled rivers in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico with contaminants including arsenic and lead, temporarily shutting down drinking-water supplies and raising concerns about long-term effects to agriculture.

The spill sent a yellow plume through the Animas Valley and into New Mexico and the San Juan River, forcing farmers and municipalities to shut off their taps. Farmers and ranchers on the Navajo Nation were left without a key water source for their crops and livestock for weeks.

The New Mexico regulators said they will sue if the EPA does not begin to take meaningful measures to clean up the affected areas and agree to a long-term plan that will research and monitor the effects of the spill.

‘‘From the very beginning, the EPA failed to hold itself accountable in the same way that it would a private business,’’ said Ryan Flynn, state Environment Department cabinet secretary.

The federal agency is reviewing New Mexico’s plans to sue, spokeswoman Christie St. Clair said.


I thought we were all on the same side.


Also see: End of the Road

Was the last time the water was checked.