The used lunch trays Emily Fox took home about four years ago from the loading dock outside her elementary school were gross, some still plastered with ketchup. Emily stacked the trays in piles of 10. She wanted to know just how many polystyrene lunch trays Piney Branch Elementary School students went through in a day. “Three hundred and twenty-five,” said Emily, now 12... On Friday, the Hermosa Beach City School District in Southern California started replacing foam trays with recycled paper trays once a week, thanks in part to the advocacy of Max Riley, a fourth-grader at Hermosa Valley School, and his sister Reece, a second-grader. “No Foam Friday” will run through the end of the school year, and the siblings say they’re pushing for permanent change. Max said he worries about the health repercussions of littering Earth with foam.
Posted on December 11, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty
Posted on December 10, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty
Meet the Kulle family: mom Helen, daughter Ann Kulle-Helms, son-in-law Douglas Helms, son Albert, daughter-in-law Michele Kulle and Michele’s brother, Jeffrey Thacker. They all worked for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. All at the same time.And what about Dad, I wonder. No job for Dad? Anyway, officers of the agency don't seem perturbed by the story.
“There were no clear-cut guidelines,” said MWAA board member H.R. Crawford, who will leave the board next month when his term expires. Crawford, who has had at least three relatives, including a daughter-in-law, work at the agency, said family members are employed frequently, particularly among board members. “If you ask a third of those folks, their relatives work there,” he said. “I never thought that we were doing anything wrong.”... “This is a government town and an agency town,” Crawford said. “If there’s a possibility that you can hire a relative .?.?. it was the norm.”... “This is not a patronage mill,” said Davis, whose daughter worked in the fire department for two months in 2011. “Dozens of employees’ kids worked there.”At this point the response of good-government liberals is always: Pass an ethics law. Yeah, that ought to work.
MWAA’s ethics code prohibits employees from hiring, supervising or working with relatives. They also cannot supervise family members — directly or indirectly — or “have influence over their work.”
Posted on December 9, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty
Prohibition isn’t a subject that should be studied by historians alone, as this failed experiment continues to have a significant impact on our nation. Groups like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, a key force in the passage of Prohibition, survive to this day and continue to insist that Prohibition was a success and advocate for dry laws. Prohibition-era state laws, many of which are still on the books today, created government-protected monopolies for alcohol distributors. These laws have survived for three-quarters of a century because of powerful, rent-seeking interest groups, despite the fact that they significantly raise costs and limit consumer options. And because of these distribution laws, it is illegal for millions of Americans to have wine shipped directly to their door. To learn more about the history and legacy of Prohibition, check out my podcast and watch the live webcast of Cato’s policy forum, “Free to Booze: the 75th Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition."
Posted on December 5, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty