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Posts from the ‘Current Events’ Category

26
Jul

Yoho is a Yahoo

Over the past few days the public has watched and listened to the back and forth discussions about the incident that allegedly happened between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Ted Yoho on the steps of the Capitol.  It’s a she-said, he-said kind of moment that goes to the heart of the hatred and intolerance some people have for others who have differing opinions, except that it went too far. Read more »

26
Jun

The IUPA, the IUPA Call Center, and Office Space in Sarasota, FL

The IUPA (International Union of Police Associations) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (5) based in Sarasota, Florida.  A labor union representing the police, IUPA is also the largest police union in the AFL-CIO with an estimated 23,000 members.

From 2005 to March of 2020, IUPA rented office space in Sarasota to house their employees (about 25 over the past few years). Occupancy costs in recent years (based on the Form 990’s the IUPA submitted to the IRS) ran about $400,000-$450,000 annually.

In November, 2019, IUPA closed on a 17,400 square foot office building in Sarasota they purchased for $2.6 million, putting down about $500,000 and obtaining a mortgage for about $2.1 million. In March of 2020, IUPA moved from their previously rented space (1549 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota, FL) to the newly acquired and renovated office space at 5632 Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota with the intention to occupy about 10,000 square feet and lease out the remaining 7,400 square feet. Read more »

10
Jun

Why Educators For Justice Need to Rethink Their Argument

Recently, a group called “Educators for Justice” (@educatorsforjustice) posted a chart (shown below) entitled “NYPD VS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION” on Instagram that calls for supporters to defund the NYPD.  Whether or not the public believes it is in the best interest of New York to defund the NYPD, it is in the best interest of the public to know the facts and understand that the message below does not support their argument: Read more »

9
May

Daisy: 2007-2020

Last Sunday, my dog, Daisy passed away.  When I first started writing this essay about losing her, the focus was on everything that happened in the last 17 hours of Daisy’s life:  from the moment she had the first seizure to the moment she died in my arms. The story was so sad that I just cried as I read it and decided to start over. Daisy’s life was so much more than what happened at the end.  Her death was tragic but her life was not so the focus had to be on the 13 years, 4 months and 2 days she lived on this earth.

Daisy was born in Interlaken, Switzerland on January 1, 2007 ringing in a new year with her arrival. We were “allowed” to purchase Daisy because we were living in a small town outside Geneva at the time and her breeders couldn’t show her (she had faults, namely her tear ducts were blocked). To us, she was just perfect: a Pembroke Welsh Corgi that looked like a chubby little fox.  Her name was chosen by our daughter because she loved to eat daises in the spring fields. Read more »

15
Apr

I Want Miguel Almaguer’s House

One of the strangest things about the coronavirus is how the pandemic has allowed the public into the private homes of people whose voices we may have recognized but whose names we were not as familiar with, until their faces were broadcast into everyone’s family room from their very own personal residence.

Allow me to clarify something:  I am not interested in celebrities. I don’t follow any of them on social media and probably don’t know who most of them are anyway since I rarely watch television. Instead, I tend to follow friends and family, plant-based restaurants (Vedge, Nix), and restaurants that excel at making nutritious but delicious food (Le Botaniste, Christopher’s Kitchen).  I also appreciate organizations that make beautiful things, like Italian dinnerware (Match Pewter) English roses (David Austin), and posh hotels (Firmdale).  But, when I started watching the nightly news over the past month, I noticed  the backgrounds were different and much more interesting because the newscasters were broadcasting from their homes. Read more »

7
Apr

Corona Beer, Jared Kushner, and the Coronavirus

It must really suck to be Corona beer right now. A pale lager loved by beer drinkers, Corona beer has the unfortunate distinction of being associated by name with the worldwide pandemic of the coronavirus. How did this happen?

The word “corona” refers to a crown or the gaseous envelope that looks like a glowing circle of light (a halo) around the sun or stars:  a fitting name for a beer bottled in clear glass that  would go on to become the top selling imported beer in the United States.

Now owned by Anheiser Busch (a multinational drink and brewing company based in Belgium), the maker of Corona beer, Grupo Modelo has temporarily suspended production of Corona beer in Mexico because the government has ordered nonessential businesses to close in response to the spread of the coronavirus (note:  there are those who believe the making of beer is essential even if the government doesn’t agree) but having a product labeled “Corona” when a virus called “coronavirus” is wreaking havoc upon the world doesn’t make for a happy retail situation. Read more »

1
Apr

Executive Compensation at the Greater New York Hospital Association

Listening to Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, talk about the logistic nightmare of working with hospitals in the greater New York area made me curious to know more.

At the core of the problem is a hospital system where there are 2 types of hospitals:  public (which tend to be more overwhelmed right now) and private. These two separate hospital systems don’t generally work together since public hospitals are tax-exempt while private hospitals are driven by profitability.

Although public hospitals are usually referred to as non-profit hospitals, the words “non-profit” refer to their tax exempt status, not a propensity to avoid making a profit. A non-profit can report a profit; they just don’t pay taxes on the profit. Instead, the profit is treated as an addition to the general fund or what many people refer to as the endowment. In a non-profit, the wealth stays in the organization for the ultimate benefit of those served while in a for-profit, the wealth is shared by the owners or shareholders. Read more »

25
Mar

A Novel Idea for Non-Profits: Continue to Pay Your Employees

Watching this country fall apart from the devastation of the coronavirus has made me realize how shockingly fragile all our lives are. It doesn’t matter what socio-economic group people are in because the virus doesn’t discriminate but for those who are barely making ends meet or don’t have a safety net, the effects of this virus are disastrous economically. Read more »

23
Mar

Some Humor in These Times

Last week, my television started acting up which normally isn’t a big deal but with being isolated at home, the television has become more important. In truth, CNN has been my lifeline to the outside world keeping me informed.

The picture started changing into static lines of multicolored rainbows and I kept getting a message telling me to check the connection with the receiver, an error referred to as “771.” After verifying the cables were hooked up correctly, my husband called the cable company and spoke to a guy in the technical assistance department who walked him through all sorts of troubleshooting options before deciding we need a service call. Read more »

17
Mar

Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About Wet Markets and the Coronavirus?

We are being inundated with information about the coronavirus…what it is (a virus), what it does (primarily attacks the respiratory system), how fast its spreading (too fast), whose most susceptible to the danger of the virus (the elderly and health compromised), how to get tested (still unclear and varies depending on location), and how the healthcare system is treating it (primarily with supportive care so the immune system can do its job) but hardly anyone is talking about how the coronavirus started and more importantly, what can be done in the future to avoid another world pandemic. Read more »