Grand Rapids School Board Pulls Plug on Union Payroll Deductions

I have family that live near Grand Rapids, Michigan. And when it comes to teachers unions, you might say my research interests and writings have not exactly put me very high on their Christmas card list. Take these two things together, and I found this story from last Friday rather interesting:In Grand Rapids, the school board today took a no-confidence vote in the leadership of the district's teachers union. The board also said it will no longer deduct and transmit dues for teachers' paychecks, effective May 30, the next pay period. Ladies and gentlemen, for the uninitiated, please understand that union leaders surely view this action by the Grand Rapids school board as equivalent to a nuclear weapon detonation. Ending automatic … [Read more...]

Denver Teacher Sick-Out … An Action Not Exactly “For the Children”

Some Denver schools are suffering today because unionized teachers organized a sickout, reports the Rocky Mountain News (H/T Complete Colorado):Not a single classroom teacher showed up for work today at Academia Ana Maria Sandoval in northwest Denver, forcing the principal to scramble to cover classrooms. All 16 classroom teachers plus a music teacher and the librarian called in sick, said Principal Debra Lucero Kraft. "I didn't have any warning," Kraft said. "I don't know what the goal is so I can't really speak to whether or not that accomplished their goal ... but certainly I'm not sure if leaving your students without a teacher is a way to address contract negotiations." Substitute teachers were found for all but five classes … [Read more...]

Introducing The Next Right

The Next Right is officially launched today. From the About page:The Next Right is the place for wired activists to build a new Republican Party and conservative movement. As a community-driven grassroots action website for the right, we'll feature in-depth political analysis, on-the-ground reports, and strategic discussion and debate. The site's founding editors are Soren Dayton, Jon Henke, and Patrick Ruffini. Read each of their posts announcing this new venture here: Soren | Jon | Patrick These are the brightest minds in new media that our side has to offer. I encourage all limited government conservative bloggers and blog-readers in Colorado to sign up and join The Next Right network. Our state has been on the front line of … [Read more...]

Memorial Day 2008

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife, Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine, Till all success be nobleness, And every gain divine. Today, pay your respects to a fallen soldier, sailor, airman, Marine - and to their loved ones still with us. And don't forget to thank the troops you meet for their service to us all. Happy Memorial Day! Other local Memorial Day written and visual remembrances from Michael at Best Destiny, Jim at Thinking Right, Joshua at View from a Height, and Rossputin. From farther afield, Maggie Thurber shares the history of Memorial Day, Fort Hard Knox posts the President's Prayer for Peace, and Chuck Muth recounts the … [Read more...]

Ethiopian Journalist Tells Story of His Persecution and Flight to U.S.

A month ago I made a very unique friend in Habtamu Dugo, the persecuted Ethiopian journalist who had just fled to the United States from the repressive regime in his homeland. Today, the Independence Institute has released a 5-minute video in which Habtamu tells his compelling story. More on the video at Jon Caldara's blog. … [Read more...]

Conflicted Interests Behind Lawsuit Against Online Charter School?

Face The State has an interesting story today about possible conflict of interest behind a school district's attempted lawsuit to get rid of an innovative online public charter school:An education official involved in a lawsuit against an online charter school and the state school board is acting with conflicted interests, say some of those impacted by the legal action. Critics charge that Michael Poore, the assistant superintendent for Colorado Springs School District 11 and chairman of Colorado's Online Learning Advisory Board, faces a conflict when it comes to his district's legal action against Hope Online Learning Academy and the Colorado State Board of Education. Specifically, they object to the fact that he has been permitted … [Read more...]

Another Reason for Right-to-Work… from a Union Leader’s Own Words

Denver Post business writer Al Lewis made an interesting revelation yesterday (H/T Labor Pains blog):What's so great about being in the union? Half of Colorado's United Food and Commercial Workers would stop paying union dues if they could, according to the group's local president. In a May 1 letter to members, Ernest Duran warns that the right-to-work initiative headed for Colorado's November ballot would decimate his ranks of dues-paying members. "If this amendment passes, we will enter all future negotiations divided," Duran wrote. "In my opinion, we will enter with less than 50 percent of the workers as union members." Do you wonder now why union leaders are so frightened of Amendment 47, the statewide ballot initiative that … [Read more...]

Remember Weld County Tornado Victims and Give to Help Those in Need

The hearts of Coloradans are struck by the extensive destruction wrought by yesterday's Weld County tornado. The Rocky Mountain News has a rolling feed of live coverage on events in Windsor and the surrounding areas - truly a 21st century newspaper feature. Fellow blogger Bob Agard has posted video from the opening of last night's MSNBC News coverage - reminding us how truly amazing it is that the storm resulted in only one fatality. Meanwhile, of most importance, if you are able to do anything to help our neighbors in need - the Centennial Chapter of the American Red Cross is collecting donations for local relief. And please remember to utter a prayer for those whose lives have been turned upside down. We should also be reminded … [Read more...]

Colorado State Workers Get Union Ballots, Rocky Reprints Ritter’s Error

Yesterday, as reported by the Rocky Mountain News, ballots were mailed out to 21,000 Colorado state employees for the purposes of choosing exclusive representation. Workers vote yes to be represented by the Colorado WINS labor coalition or vote no to keep the status quo and the right to represent themselves if they so choose. Unfortunately, the Rocky ended their story with a misleading statement:[Gov. Bill] Ritter has emphasized that his order bans strikes, prohibits binding arbitration and bars unions from charging dues to nonmembers. It makes you wonder whether Bill Ritter has read his own executive order. The order does not bar unions from charging dues to nonmembers - it leaves the door open to coercive fees being charged on … [Read more...]

Deconstructing Republican Folly, Reconstructing Constitutionalist Hope

Two of Colorado's most established center-right bloggers weigh in on what's happened to the Republican Party brand and what can be done about it. Michael at Best Destiny takes a look at a Face The State story on the Republican's recent plight in Denver's northwest suburbs and opines loudly about what needs to be done to overcome messaging problems:. . . .TALK TO EVERYBODY, NOT JUST THE BASE; TALK TO THEM ABOUT KITCHEN TABLE ISSUES, NOT GOP MEAT AND POTATOES; KNOW WHAT MATTERS TO PEOPLE like the economy, stupid; like education, stupid;... Michael should get paid for his political consultant's work. I concur that messaging is part of the problem, but in some ways the problem runs even deeper. Meanwhile, Joshua at View from a Height … [Read more...]