Wage rage

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Have you ever noticed how much professional athletes get paid compared to the average American doing manual labor? The highest paid American athlete in 2015 earned around $300 million dollars in 2015, meanwhile the minimum wage is $7.25. Minimum wage jobs like fast food cooks, cashiers and dishwashers are daily, hard working, manual labor jobs and the benefits usually aren’t great. Professional athletes like boxers, basketball players and football players do their job occasionally and get paid millions of dollars and the benefits are endless. 

I believe that this is quite a big problem. Workers who do hours of labor get paid very little and have to support themselves, and maybe even a family while earning just over $15,000 dollars annually. This seems quite unfair compared to athletes who have weekly games where they do their job and get paid millions for very little labor.

Now, I do understand that you have to be in excellent shape to be a professional athlete, and there are some risks while playing these sports, but it doesn’t seem fair that they are being paid millions of dollars when many manual labor jobs also include those risks. For example in order to be a quick and efficient waiter/waitress you do have to be in shape as well.

These jobs do require different skills and different types of hard work but the difference in the amount they get paid is far too large. Now, of course I do not think minimum wage jobs should earn millions of dollars but neither should professional athletes.

 

Kissing Valentine’s Day goodbye

On January 29th, the StarTribune reported that Scott Masini, principle of Bruce Vento Elementary School, decided that the school would no longer celebrate “dominant holidays”. Of these holidays are Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day.Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 10.47.06 AM

In late January, principle Scott Masini sent a letter to the students’ parents saying that the school would no longer be celebrating dominant holidays. “I have come to the difficult decision”, Mansini stated in the letter, “to discontinue the celebration of dominant holidays until we can come to a better understanding of how the dominant view will suppress someone else’s view”. Mansini’s student body is largely non white, filling the school with a majority minority population. Mansini explained in the letter that he wants to “honor and engage in holidays that are inclusive of the student population”. These dominant holidays will now be just another day at Bruce Vento Elementary School.

Most of the holidays listed make sense to most people. Halloween could be seen as satanic to some religions, Thanksgiving suppresses Native Americans, and Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

But Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day, although often portrayed as a day of love and commercialism, has Christian roots. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia there were at least three Saints by the name of Valentine, all of whom were martyred on February the 14th. The most well known of the three was Saint Valentine of Rome. Saint Valentine of Rome was a priest who lived during the ruling of Roman Emperor Claudius II. During his ruling Valentine reeling against the rules of the emperor helped arrange marriage for soldiers. Valentine also healed sick children and through his journey converted people to Catholicism. When Claudius found out he was outraged and Valentine was sent to death.  While Valentine was awaiting his death in prison, Valentine received cards and letters from many Roman children. Knowing the common roots of Valentine’s Day, it’s plain to see how the story of the Christian Saint Valentine could suppress other religions if the day were celebrated.

Although Scott Mansini is trying to enhance the celebration of holidays for minorities that fill his school, what about the children in his school who do celebrate dominant holidays?

It’s very likely for a student to be a minority and celebrate at least one of the canceled holidays.

So, what if Saint Paul Public elementary schools didn’t necessarily celebrate all holidays, including dominant ones, but rather educated the students on the holidays? This way the beliefs of every culture are outwardly acknowledged, but not celebrated in a way that would suppress other cultural groups. Students could learn the history of everything from Hmong New Year to Cinco de Mayo to Chanukah to Ramadan to Valentine’s Days. By acknowledging all holidays, all students are honored. Educating students on all cultural celebrations from a young age would build cultural respect and understanding, which you can never have too much of.

Bruce Vento Elementary School should at least recognize and honor the fact that Valentine’s Day, along with all other holidays, are very likely celebrated holidays among their student body.

Iowa Caucus

With the next presidential election just 8 months away, polls and primaries have begun to spur hot debate around the country about who will be leading us come next year. On February 1st, the first of many polls to come took place during the Iowa Caucus. During the Caucus, representatives from the Democratic party spoke about their campaign and had a delegate vote based on which candidates had the most support.

The Democratic candidates that received the most delegate votes were Hillary Clinton with 23, Bernie Sanders with 21, and Martin O’Malley with 0. Hillary Clinton was predicted to win the Democratic vote, but by a much larger margin than she did. Three months ago, Sanders and Clinton faced off in Iowa, and Sanders trailed Clinton by 30 points.

It is clear that his campaign has been making great progress over those 3 months, and the race between these two candidates in the coming months will be quite interesting.

The Republican party had a more competitive race on their hands in Iowa. With a record setting attendance, there were more than 180,000 tallied votes for the Republican candidates. Coming in first place with 51,666 votes (27.6%) was Ted Cruz, followed by billionaire Donald Trump (24.6%), and Marco Rubio (23.1%).

Going into the Republican Caucus, it was expected that there would be a close race between those three candidates, however Donald Trump was the projected winner going into polling day. Unexpectedly, Ted Cruz pulled off the win for the Republicans by defeating Trump by 2%.

imagesThe Iowa Caucus has been a great indicator of which candidates stand a chance at gaining their respective party nomination, and the upcoming primaries will be an even better way of seeing who will be on the ballot come election day.

No more parking tickets during snow emergencies

Have you ever been confused where to park when the City of St. Paul calls a snow emergency? In this article I would like to inform you on helpful information about parking during the times we get a lot of snow. When the city of St. Paul calls a snow emergency due to too much snow, the city needs to plow all the side streets so that the streets are clear to drive on. There’re places you’re allowed to park during the night time and then during the day you’re allowed to park in the areas you weren’t allowed to park at night.

But how do you know where to park during the different times?

How do you know when there is a snow emergency?

Me, being a teenager, and a recently new licensed driver, I am not too aware of where I can and can’t park during snow emergencies. The last time there was a snow emergency, when I walked out to my car, the next morning, to come to school, there was a parking ticket waiting for me on my windshield.

You’re probably wondering why my parents didn’t notify me as to what side of my street to park on. They did tell me what side to park on, but they disagreed on what side was the night side and what side was the day side. I decided to listen to my dad and park on the side he told me to park on because he does work for the city of St. Paul and I thought he would know before my mom would. Turns out he was wrong, and it is going to cost $56.00 now to pay for the ticket.

Now I know which side to park on, and now I can prevent ever getting a parking ticket for such a simple thing. Because of what happened to me, I want to help all of you other licensed drivers, who aren’t too familiar with these parking policies, on making sure you don’t get a parking ticket like me.snowplowsignstpaul

Usually beginning at 9 p.m. on a snow emergency the plows start plowing the night side of the side streets. There’re signs on side streets that do tell which side is the night plow route, which means during the night (starting at 9 p.m.) you don’t park on that side and you’re allowed to park on the opposite side of the street.

By 8 a.m. the following morning all cars are expected to be moved to the opposite side of the street, otherwise they will be ticketed and towed.

On busier streets, you typically are not allowed to park on either side of the street. On streets like this there are signs that say “No parking anywhere during a snow emergency”.

If you do not see a sign, there is a phone number you can call to check and ask if your car is parked in an okay spot. If you do not have your car parked on the correct side of the street, you will be ticketed and possibly towed. If your car does not get towed the plowers will plow around your car which leaves your car buried beneath snow, and it’s a real big hassle on getting your car out.Harlow_1391631849_plow

 If you’re still not sure on where to park your car during snow emergencies there’re many resources you can use to find out and prevent yourself from getting a ticket. You can call 651-266-PLOW to know when there is a snow emergency, or you can text STPAUL SNOW to 468311 to receive text messages when there is a snow emergency in effect.

Online at http://stpaul.gov/snow is another resource to check when there is a snow emergency.

If you ever have any complaints on how the snow plowing was on your street you can submit any complaints to SnowEmergency@ci.stpaul.mn.us or by calling 651-266-9700.

Next time there is a snow emergency I will know where to park and I won’t get a parking ticket. Hopefully, I helped any of you new licensed drivers who also weren’t sure on where to, and where not to, park during a snow emergency! Here are some websites for more helpful information.

https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/public-works/street-maintenance/snow-emergency-information

http://kstp.com/news/stories/s23075.shtml

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/snow-emergency-information/

Thank You!