Friday, October 6, 2017

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno slams librarian who called Dr. Seuss racist, invites Trump family to visit Seuss Museum

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has come to the defense of hometown hero Dr. Seuss, slamming the Cambridge school librarian who rejected First Lady Melania Trump's donation of 10 Dr. Seuss books as part of National Read a Book Day.
Cambridgeport Elementary School Librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro turned down the books in an open letter, saying both that the donations should have gone to schools in greater need and criticizing Seuss as racist.
Seuss -- birth name, Theodor Geisel -- was born and raised in Springfield, and is one of the city's foremost celebrities. The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden has drawn children and their parents to the Quadrangle for 15 years, and this summer the city celebrated the opening of the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Melania Trump Donated Books to a School Library. Here’s Why the Librarian Rejected Them

by Alana Abramson 2:55 PM ET - 9/28/2017

A school librarian in Boston rejected a box of Dr. Seuss books sent from First Lady Melania Trump, saying the choice of literature was "cliche" and her school was not in need of them.

The Office of the First Lady announced on Sept. 6 that in honor of National Read a Book day, Melania Trump would send Dr. Seuss books to schools across the country that had been recognized for educational excellence. One school in each state received a package of 10 books. Liz Phipps Soeiro's school was the Massachusetts recipient, and she wasn't satisfied.

"School libraries around the country are being shuttered," Soeiro, a school librarian in Cambridge, wrote on the Horn Book's Family Reading blog. "Are those kids any less deserving of books simply because of circumstances beyond their control? Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos?"

But Soeiro also criticized the First Lady's choice of literature, calling Dr. Seuss "a bit of a cliche" and arguing that the late author's illustrations are "steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes." She did, however, suggest a list of 10 books that she hoped would illuminate the impact she said the Trump Administration's policies were having on certain children.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

All about the Jones Act, an obscure shipping law that’s stalling Puerto Rico’s recovery

What the Jones Act does: It requires that ships going from American coast to American coast be American — built, owned, flagged and crewed. That means goods going from the mainland to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam, or even from Texas to New England, have to travel on U.S. ships, even if they're not the most economical transport or readily available.

Why that matters to hurricane relief: The law means than foreign ships in nearby countries can’t just zoom over to Puerto Rico with aid supplies. They either have to pay tariffs for landing at a U.S. port, or they would have to go to Florida first to drop off their goods with a Puerto Rico-bound U.S. ship.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Puerto Rico's American Dream Is Dead
Tyler Cowen / Sep 26, 2017 / BloombergView

The underlying reality is that the political and economic model for the island just isn’t working anymore, and the dream of Puerto Rican economic convergence has been laid to rest once and for all. That, in turn, says something bad about the rest of this country, namely how quickly we will give up on the possibility of transformational change.

The traditional American dream is that the poorer parts of this country would, sooner or later, start catching up to the richer parts. The American South, after an extreme divergence, gained on the North after World War II. But Puerto Rico never made the same leap, and in relative terms has held roughly steady since 1970.

Real estate concern: Google reveals Houston flood zones

Meteorologist Brooks Garner , KHOU 10:06 PM. CDT September 25, 2017
HOUSTON - ... we have a problem. Google Maps has outed us as a city that floods. Anyone using it on their phone can now browse our neighborhoods to see who got flooded and who stayed flooded. For Houstonians continuing to suffer even today, facing a months-to-years long recovery after Harvey, this is more bad news because it may result in, or perpetuate lower home values. Simply put: Prospective buyers who see these maps may run the other way rather than risk it. Demand could become lower in these areas leading motivated sellers to reduce their prices.  
This is no criticism of Google and their mapping software because their updates are based on scheduled updates by an unbiased eye in the sky (low orbit satellite). According to most tech sites I've found, Google updates these views once every 1-3 years and it just so happened to catch us at a most inopportune time.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

How Austin Beat Uber

The ultimatum was Uber and Lyft’s third and fatal mistake. We don’t take kindly to threats. Right before the election they announced that if they didn’t get their way they would maroon all the customers and leave. As my friend Mark Seiler said, “That just brought out my inner gorilla.”
Will the Battle of Austin become a model for other cities looking to regulate ride-sharing companies? Maybe. What it does show, though, is that Uber and Lyft will have a harder time bullying cities with strong local identities, places where convenience is not the same as necessity, especially when the price is selling out a large chunk of public control.
If nothing else, folks in Austin are feeling pretty good about themselves this week. We may be slackers, but we’re not pushovers.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mississippi River continues to rise

The Mississippi River continues to rise, so much so that its tributaries are starting to flow backwards" - Why is this not affecting New Orleans?