Angry parents = Bad call

After reading an article title “SCS supt. Hobson to angry parents about weather decision: “Tough call” did not want to lose “opportunity for teaching and learning.”  I was shock by how many parent and comments were post.  Many of my facebook friends was upset and shock.  Here is one of my favorite comments so far :

” When your system includes schools from Millington to Collierville and you walk out on Hollywood and say , looks good to me, you got a problem. I thought this super was a Lawyer, obviously not. If there are any bus accidents today, I would hate to see what happens next. As far as these folks above, they obviously do not have children.”


I  believe that the schools should have been closed today.  there was no reason for the schools to be open.  There were over 132 reported accidents today because of a wintry mix.   It blows my mind that the schools were closed when there was nothing on the ground a month ago.  Some parents complained how it took over three hours to get their children to school.   I believe this was a bad call and a big mistake made by the school system.

Kansas State House Passes Bill Allowing Refusal of Services to Same-Sex Couples

When initially seeing the title of this article, I thought for sure this could not real, a practical joke at most. I clicked the article and began to read and I was in disbelief. On Tuesday, Kansas State House advanced a bill aimed at granting public and private employees the right to deny services, including unemployment benefits and foster care, to same-sex couples on the basis of religious freedom. The bill must pass a final House vote, which would occur today, and then go on to Senate (Huffington Post). After reading this line, I had no choice but to read further. The article was absolutely absurd to me to say the least. As a people, I think we have taken things a bit too far. Ones sexual orientation should not infringe upon the rights they have as a human being. This is discrimination at its finest. The bill is basically saying that public and private employees have the right to deny services to homosexuals based on their personal religious beliefs. I myself am a Christian believer, and although I am not in agreeance with homosexuality, I do not think I have the right to deny a HUMAN BEING any services because their sexual orientation does not line up with my religious beliefs. That is like denying someone services because they are wearing orange, but blue is your favorite color. It makes no sense and I am appalled that this bill was even taken seriously. I happen to be very close to quite a few homosexual families, and even they are infuriated by this although it does not directly affect them. This is discrimination at it’s finest. I cannot believe at this day in age, we are willing to stoop so low as to nearly exile a group of people because we do not agree with the way they live their life. What people choose to do in their everyday lives should not matter to anyone else but them unless they are directly affecting others. So what if you do not agree with who they choose as their partner, it makes no difference. Since we want to talk about religious beliefs, are Christians not called to a higher standard? Any religion for that matter. We as people are called to love one another, regardless of what you believe or who you pray to.  I cannot take part or side with any part of this article, or the state of Kansas for even creating and potentially passing a such bill. Same-sex couples should be awarded the same privileges, protections, and services as any other person. They are still people, they eat just like we eat, they drink live we drink, they breathe like anyone else breathes, so why in the world would you deny them what they should be rightfully given, which is freedom to love who they want to love, because their sexuality does not line up with your beliefs. People really need to grow up and face the music that everyone is not the same. Discrimination hurts, and if I lived in the state of Kansas, I would be disgusted with the idea that I could possibly loose service opportunities because of my sexual orientation.

Understanding Crisis and Transfomation of Welfare states

  welfare crises and transformations.

Rather than developing intentionalist accounts that explore ways in which elites use ideas as strategic tools, we should also pay attention to how ideas are expressed in public philosophies, collective memories, and logics of appropriateness. Second,  Crisis narratives are too often discussed in terms of ‘times of crises’. In other words, crises are seen as events frozen in time and that a more temporally nuanced approach to crises is required in order to achieve a deeper understanding of their role in welfare reform. As the role of individual responsibility increases and the role of the state decreases, ideational accounts of welfare crises need to take seriously the impact of reform on everyday lived experiences of the citizenry.



Student Loans

I work as a financial aid officer here in Memphis and if anything gets me heated it is this student loan chaos.  I myself have racked up quite a bit of student loan debt but only because I have never been eligible for a Pell Grant…because I actually work and make a decent living.  The fact that I’m an independent woman (and no, I don’t say that with an attitude..just husbandless) with no children and  support myself just enough to get by every month, the government says they don’t want to let me in on this freely flowing money so many are able to get semester after semester.  Did you know that if you can truthfully answer yes to the question, “Do you receive food stamps?”, you are automatically eligible to get the FULL Pell Grant?!  Have you ever been at risk for being homeless?  Not sure what that means but yea…full Pell Grant there too.  The kicker is, even if you don’t answer questions such as these truthfully, there is a 50% you will still get away with it and receive this hefty “award” all throughout your college career.  So I guess besides having an income and not having any children, you have to be honest too.  Not saying all people that qualify for grants are the opposite of these things because I have witnessed responsible students.  I guess the thing that gets to me the most is that so many people take this privilege for granted.  You know how I know this? On top of getting a Pell Grant that can pay for more than HALF of your tuition (and the amounts are increasing yearly), people are still choosing to max out their student loans on top of this so they can live off of that refund check every semester.  Working full time and going to school is just out of the question.  What once was meant to help students avoid the black hole of life-long debt  has now become an enabler to do just so.  I am a daily witness to people literally depending on these checks to keep the lights on…a loan that is meant for education.  The same loan that I will soon run out of (there is a lifetime max of undergrad loans) to actually pay for my education.  I am sitting here worried that I won’t be able to finish my college career before I hit the limit while others are waiting on that money twice a year to buy the newest flat-screen.  It’s just crazy that people are voluntarily building debt when our government that everybody hates is actually willing to help.  Take advantage of this hand-out people!!! Because there are those of us out there that will never know the feeling. That is all:)

School Closures in Memphis

When I think about public administration the first thing that comes to my mind is people. People all over the world developing new ways to make wherever we are a better place, somewhere that people want to go and feel safe bringing their family/children. That is why I chose this topic of school closures in the city of Memphis.

In this article, parents and officials met up to discuss Riverview Middle and Riverview Elementary being on the chopping block when it comes to closing their school. Which would lead to job cutting and competition between teachers. In the article, one lady states that, “I had grandchildren that went there, great grandchildren that went there, all of them went there.” I think this statement fully explains why this school should be shut down, for the simple fact that it is too old which is the point that everyone is missing. When you think about what ways they can keep these schools open there is no transparent solution still to this day even after numerous Shelby county school meetings.

The schools are old, they are falling apart, by the looks of them I don’t think anyone would want their child attending these schools. This is where the old saying, “if its broke, fix it” comes into play. Shelby County schools need to use their resources and develop a plan to get these schools demolished and rebuilt or in the end they are going to get closed and jobs will be lost. People fear what might happen to the surrounding area if the buildings are left empty. All of this boils down to safety, money, and the steps they are going to take to make these schools and this area a better place.


You Paid Over $250 to Hunt and Fish?!?!


It’s 4:00AM, 7 Degrees Fahrenheit, and you’re carrying 40-50lbs of gear for a mile or more, while wearing clothes that restrict your field of motion. To top it off, you know that when you reach your destination, you will stand in 4 feet of water for 3-4 hours.  Nope! You’re not in Army Basic Training, you’re duck hunting. If you are not an outdoorsman, chances are that you know one. Outdoorsmen like myself can easily spend upwards of $1000 on licenses, gear, weapons, and ammo every season. This year, in Tennessee, I paid a total of $112.00 to fish, as well as hunt deer, ducks, and small game animals on Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Land. This year, in Mississippi, I paid $96.58 to hunt ducks and small game, and paid $10.29 for a 1-day fishing license, coming to a grand total of $106.58. In Arkansas, I paid $23.00 for a 3 day fishing license and a yearly trout stamp. In addition, to the state license fees, I had to buy a $15 federal duck stamp in order to be eligible to purchase a waterfowl license in any state.  In total, in the 2013-2014 year alone, I paid $256.58 just for licenses. This does not include the cost of any equipment.


Now, most, if not all outdoorsmen that I know buy every license they will need for the year in order to stay legal. Contrary to popular belief, when you buy your hunting/fishing license, you are not cleared to hunt or fish any animal you see. To hunt deer and fish for most fish in Tennessee, you will pay $28. However, if you want to fish for trout in Tennessee, you will have to pay $18 on top of your $28 license. Waterfowl also requires a separate license, although it will cost $48 ($31 for Waterfowl, $2 for migratory bird, and $15 for a Federal Duck Stamp), on top of your $28 hunting/fishing license. Although it can cost a large sum of money, we do this every year, typically without questioning where the money actually goes. After 6 years of being required to pay for licenses, I’ve decided to find out. If I have to pay $250+ to hunt and fish for one season, I want to make sure that my money is being well spent. I will find where my money goes in Tennessee and Mississippi, and federally.




Although hunting and fishing is regulated on a state level, you do have to purchase a $15 Federal Duck Stamp if you intend to hunt ducks in any state. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, for every dollar spent on a duck stamp, $0.98 of it goes directly towards purchasing land for wildlife preservation. This means that $14.70 of your $15 Duck Stamp goes to making sure that ducks have a safe place to live. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, since the creation of the duck stamp in 1934, it has raised over $700 Million that have been used to purchase more than 5.2 million acres of preservation land. Paying $15 per year to keep ducks in good population is one great deal!

Now, we move on to the state level, starting with Tennessee.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is what regulates hunting and fishing in our state. In Tennessee, as stated on the TWRA Website, almost 100% of TWRA’s operating costs come directly from hunting and fishing licenses and federal excise taxes. Hunting and fishing licenses, combined with the federal excise taxes on ammunition and marine equipment and fuel help to pay for many of the restockings, restorations, and preservation projects in Tennessee, as well as many of the other operating costs that TWRA has. Overall, your money spent on a license in Tennessee is definitely not going to waste.



The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks uses their money in similar ways. The MDWFP states that “The MDWFP’s annual budget is unlike that of many state agencies; approximately 90% of this budget is derived from user generated funds rather than state tax funds. Primary funding sources include hunting and fishing license sales, permit and registration fees, and federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment.” With the funding from your license fees and other purchases, they have done great things to help wildlife in Mississippi. They have restored several populations of animals to normal levels, taught the public information on hunter’s safety, as well as information on how manage your land to support wildlife. They have also used the money to help improve parks and enforce daily limits on animals hunted and fished for. Just like the money you pay for a license in Tennessee, your money goes towards a great cause.

As an avid outdoorsman, knowing this makes me happier. For years I’ve wondered if my money is actually used by the wildlife agency in each state that I hunt or fish in. Although I spent over $250 on licensing alone, it definitely helps the outdoors community. The people who don’t buy licenses because they think it is a waste of money are very mistaken. By not purchasing your license, you are stealing money that is used to build habitats and pay for wetlands and wildlife management areas. So, next time you decide to go hunt or fish, remember to buy your license. The little bit of money you spend on a license will ensure that your children… and their children, will have a good population of animals to fish and hunt.





Dumb Starbucks Article……

Summary: This article is about a coffee shop coming under hot water after making a mockery of Starbucks. The coffee shop was shut down due to no permits (health permits) and placing the word “DUMB” in front of Starbucks making it “Dumb Starbucks.” Officials suggest that the coffee shop was mimicking Starbucks because of the similar appearance, smell, and logo. However, the coffee shop denied this only saying it is merely just art…..

I am going to assume that this business was private owned due to the fact that the owners took free will to deem the business as something other than what it actually was. In terms it is indeed a coffee shop but the owners considered it to be an art gallery, and operated it as such. Also, if it were not a private owned business it would have been shut down over falsification/ misleading customers under the premises of appearing one way, but operating in another.  This is what I call false advertisement, however, there is no mention that the coffee shop was federally owned, and in PDAM class we discussed how private owned businesses are not under strict guidelines like federally owned businesses. I could see if the coffee shop was being sued by Star Bucks for slander, however, they simply closed the coffee shop down. It was mention that the coffee shop justified it’s action under the parody law, and there are many laws to protect businesses from issues ranging in many subjects.

Companies  slander each other all the time on commercial’s so why not off camera. The coffee shop was doing a public service by serving the community and also making their coffee affordable. Although in PDAM class we discussed how not all businesses have the same guidelines, however, all businesses have guidelines they have to follow. The fact that the coffee shop did not have permits was only a lack of certification as apart of operating a business. Of course businesses are required to have permits for a reason, but does every business really operate the way that it should?……Also I could see if the coffee shop had an issue such as poor health department scores but this was not the case. It was because of slander and permits, and they could’ve been given a deadline to remove the slander and get the permits. I want know did customers ever know or question if they had permits or not, and the fact that they did not have a health permit indicates they did not have a health score possibly, or if they did it was a poor score. The fact that they did not have health permits did not stop customers from buying coffee there. I guess the coffee shop opposes the idea that expensive brand does not mean better quality, but there can be a similar brand more affordable with just as great quality.

Dumb Starbucks Parody

Today, the “Dumb Starbucks: Authorities aren’t Laughing” article from will be discusses. In this article, the Los Angeles County Health Department shut down a coffee shop that was trying to make fun of Starbucks by simply placing the word “dumb” in front of all the product names.  This was not the final reason for shutting the shop down. The new little coffee shop ended up shutting down because it did not have the necessary permits. The owner’s reasoning for not needing the proper permits are stated below:

“Legally speaking, we’re operating as an art gallery — under parody law, it only covers art — so the coffee you’re buying is the art,” Fielder said, explaining parody law meant he could use the Starbucks logo to make a comedic point. “Because of that we do not have a health permit so we didn’t have to pay those fees and we passed on the savings to the customers.”

This was not the only way the coffee shop was trying to save money. Apparently, they were buying whatever coffee beans their provider had on sale. I think it’s great that the coffee shop wanted to save money, for both itself and the customers, but the main reason why Starbucks can get away with charging so much for their coffee is because it tastes so good. In other words, customers don’t mind spending the money on their coffee if the customers see the purchase as being “worth it”.

Nevada county billing inmates by Michael Landey

  In Reno, Nevada the inmates are going to be subjected to receiving a bill for being incarcerated.  With this new found information the public is finding a lot of concerns but Nevada is insisting on this so it will cut down on the taxpayers of the state by at least millions of dollars a year.  The understanding of the incarcerated is that in jail 3 hots and a cot and one is able to make it through the punishment of one’s stupid mistake.  Nevada though is hoping to justify this situation by charging them  $6 a day for meals, $10 for each doctor visit and $5 for initial booking into the jail.  With this justification the presumed idea behind this is that it may cut down on the incarceration in this state.

There are major concerns with this such as the legal justification and what may conspire of this unpopular situation.  The most talked about concern with this situation is how these matters will be paid for.  Such as is the family of the incarcerated going to be billed or is this going to rely mainly on the inmate.  If this is going to billed to the family, what if the family is unable to pay for these expenditures?  If they are able to pay who say’s they want to pay?  The concern relies on the fact has this family been distraught with this new information or the possibility that they have been notified of this upcoming new bill.  If this is going to be justified by the inmate and they are going to have to work it off, will the employment of the inmate be justified by there just job.  Then there is the concern of the maximum security inmates who are unable to leave their cell at all unless under high security watch.

I have personally worked in the Corrections field in the military at Fort Leavenworth, Maximum Facility and 75% of the inmates incarcerated did work either in the kitchen, janitorial, or maintenance for the post.   Though with this employment that was to ensure there were no idle hands or minds, they were constantly staying busy.  Most of these inmates were banned by the family for their crimes they had committed and even by the public.  While the other 25% were on constant lock down and the only time they left their cell was for recreation and showers.  They constant supervision of these inmates because of either high risk infraction by other inmates or by them being on death row would never allow them to be subjected to an employment status allowing them to pay off these new found expenditures.

New Plans for Highland Row

My interest in public administration began with community development. I’m interested in how the community around an individual can impact and empower that person. With that being said, I am interested in planning also. Before I realized what. I really wanted to do, I had the hopes of becoming a city planner with the City of Memphis/Shelby County government. I have read many-a-things on planing for community development.
According to the Daily Helmsman on Thursday Jan 30, 2014, the recent plans for Highland Row are inspiring. Seeing how the community around the UofM can become a better place is great! It is in a local and safe spot as well. There are many students living in the University District that don’t have cars and that area would be extremely beneficial to them. Highland Row was meant to build social capital to the residents living in the University District. So the proposed plan to have a possible grocery, shops and another restaurant choice are all well needed to achieve the initial goal of the project. However, the planners should probably start with an area closer to the University.
The train tracks separate the campus into two parts: “this side of the tracks” and “the other side of the tracks.” Well, most students park in the parking lot on “the other side of the tracks.” And most of the off-campus housing in Normal Station is that of students, professors or anybody that have anything in relation to the UofM.
Going from “this side of the tracks” to “the other side of the tracks” is a nightmare. The mot unfortunate is the hope that the train isn’t coming or if it is, makes it’s presence known (since some trains are spontaneous). Even when crossing he tracks if it’s raining one needs to have rain boots. The pavement crossing the train tracks is old, cracked, damaged, prone to puddles and trips one if they don’t look down.
The pavement crossing the train tracks is an introduction to the UofM. Unfortunately, it is definitely a sad and financially broken introduction. One doesn’t hear the triumphant Go Tigers Go! fight song as they walk along the pavement but instead they hear sad Memphis Blues. The entire area crossing the train tracks is simply depressing.
This is why the UofM should focus on an area closer to campus instead of completely off-campus. The train tracks along with parking and crossing Patterson are amidst the on-campus problems. The efforts of planning should stick to our campus before we go to Highland Row. Incoming students won’t see Highland Row when they tour the campus but instead they will see the campus and probably cross the train tracks to get there.

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