From My Corner: February 22, 2023

Fiorentini’s breakfast

Haverhill Mayor James F. Fiorentini had a breakfast on February 11, 2023 that he called a Thank You Breakfast; it really turned out to be a retirement announcement.  See some pictures on page 6 of this edition.

After 20 years at the helm transforming the city, it’s time that he takes some time for himself and enjoys the fruits of his effort.

Mayor Fiorentini was a blessing for the city and anyone who knew him is well-aware of his accomplishments.

We wish him and Martha a long retirement full of health and happiness.


Working in the dark

I was happy to attend the opening of Casabe at Lawrence General Hospital because I don’t get out often and get to see people that I missed for a long time.  Among them, Sarah Perez, someone I always enjoy sharing my time with and she is a delightful person.

Part of our conversation was about the Federation of Businesspeople in Lawrence which has been in operation for the past five years.  There was a time that only Sara and Sonia Terbullino were left in the organization and at Sonia’s insistence, she agreed to work hard to bring it back – and they did!

I said they have been working in the dark because they have not received local press and they have never sent me any information about their work.  I think the public wants to know more.

They have been successful getting funding from different sources and have helped several businesses.  Sarah promised me that she would be sending me more information but I have not received it.


Draining the blood out

In the past, I’ve written about the situation faced by service personnel that depends on tips as part of their income.  This is something seldom written about but their reality is very somber.

We’d like to think that waitresses and waiters earn $200 a day but most people ignore the fact that they earn about $3.00 per hour.  Their tips are supposed to make up the difference to bring them over the minimum wage.  If the tipping doesn’t amount to that, the employer must make up the difference.

Many years ago I worked as a hostess in a restaurant and witnessed, after serving a big party of 8 to 10 people, that they left only $5.00 for tip to the worker.  Worse than that was when a customer would leave a card saying, “I don’t believe in tipping; see your manager.”  That was criminal!

That means he or she paid tax on a tip they didn’t receive because when the restaurant reports to the IRS the amount they sold for the day, the government assumes they received a tip for that total.

The average tip is 15% of the total so if you spend $100 a minimum of $15 would be appropriate.  If you are satisfied with the attention received, then be a little more generous.

During the last elections, we voted to increase taxes on the wealthy and it sounded so good that most people agreed.  Part of the propaganda was that President Joe Biden said repeatedly then and even now, that “No one making less than $400,000 would pay one cent more in taxes.”

But, times have changed.  Now, Biden wants the IRS to go after employees who receive tips because they may be lying about how much they really earned and wants to make the company responsible for controlling it.

The IRS hired 87,000 new armed agents that will be looking into this.  My advice to restaurant goes is to make sure to give the tip in cash and let these hard workers decide if they want to pay more in taxes.


Reversed discrimination

Last week I wrote about how “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” (DEI) is affecting our schools and the subjects they teach.  Now I found out that “The National Education Association (NEA) removed its resources on Presidents Day from its websites in 2020, according to a Daily Signal review of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Three years later, the teachers union still has not updated the page.

Presidents Day lesson plans included “George Washington: A National Treasure,” which celebrated Washington as an American hero, and “George Washington: Centerpiece of a Nation,” where students studied the characteristics that made the first president a great leader.

Now, the Presidents Day resources site yields a “Page not found” result, instead referring users to NEA’s resource library. The library includes Black History Month lessons from Learning for Justice, the education branch of the Southern Poverty Law Center; a report on how teachers can advocate for abortion services; resources for teaching about Indigenous people; an article about implicit racial bias; and posters, bookmarks, and stickers for celebrating “banned” books.

They are changing the history of this country and we are asleep.  It’s not clear who is suggesting or demanding these changes but apparently, no one is complaining.

One last example I’ll leave you with; Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation revised the eligibility for its three-year, $300,000 grant to advance “healthy food equity” after The Daily Signal reported on the program’s stringent race-based limitations.  We now have Racial Quotas!

Under the original rules, some organizations that employ a majority-nonwhite staff and have a majority-nonwhite board of directors were automatically disqualified from the grant because the CEOs in question are considered white.

Perhaps that explains why minorities are being placed in those positions while they may not be the real decision-makers but it’s one way to make sure and get money from those foundations with these mannequins.


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