Word of the Week

Fetcher bill: n. “legislative bills that would take money from various persons or groups, and then withdraw them once (constitutionally protected) payments are made. These bills go by different names. In California they are called ‘juice bills,’ referring to their ability to squeeze those who would lose from taxation unless they pay up. In Illinois, they are called “fetcher bills,” for their ability to fetch money from otherwise victimized taxpayers who pay to avoid the greater financial pain. ‘Milker’ bills is another term used, for obvious reasons.” Retrieved from A Way with Words at https://www.waywordradio.org/fetcher_bill_1/

I came across this term in Crain’s Chicago Business in an article about politics and how pending legislation, which may never pass, is souring potential businesses from coming to Illinois because there are so many possible drawbacks.

 

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Memorial Day Concert

I watch this marvelous PBS concert every year. The tributes to individual members of the service and their spouses are outstanding and represent the many who sacrificed just as much. The music is superb and very fitting. The cast includes “Joe Mantegna and Mary McCormack and features an all-star lineup of actors and musicians along with top pops conductor Jack Everly and the National Symphony Orchestra.”

Take a look. Have some tissue handy as you may need to wipe away a tear.

Reference

PBS.com on YouTube.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about going to a dinner Saturday and then a party Sunday for my niece who just graduated high school and nephew who will soon graduate 8th grade. Her older brothers and sister-in-law were able to come in to town for the festivities and it was great to catch up with them. The dinner was at Ruth Chris so it was extra special. The party was a barbecue despite a slight chill in the air. The dinner was just family so it gave me a chance to talk more, while the barbecue had a larger guest list including lots of friends and neighbors.

I’d tell you that Wednesday, when I had to go get my fingerprints done for the Census job was exasperating. The office was way off the beaten track and took me twice as long to get to. I’d missed the appointment time, but hoped I could get squeezed in. No such luck. The small office had a sign saying they were “off site” and I should call Priscilla. I dialed the number and Priscilla told me she wouldn’t be back for 4 hours. So I had to reschedule for tomorrow. I could not believe the location for this service. It’s inconveniently located far west. Near downtown makes so much more sense for just about everyone who’d apply.

I discovered the upcoming deadline (May 31st) for a writing contest from NBC called Writers on the Verge. I’m scrambling to enter. The first writing sample they want is a current TV show from a list they’ll consider. I am trying to find a spec script I wrote in 2018 and it’s vexing because I didn’t dream writing a script but it’s not easily found. It’s somewhere and I’ll have to search my Time Machine and box.com accounts.

I went to my playwrights’ group and was glad a member, who’s working on her play about Maria Montessori showed up. I really like this play and was happy to see it’s progress. I read my work last time so I didn’t bring pages this. We’re off for the summer so I hope by the time we meet again in spring, I’ll have something new.

I’m continuing to watch Flambards episodes. Now I’m on the last few episodes and I’d forgotten what happened after Christina got married. It’s such a good series. I have to say I like it more than Downton Abbey, though it isn’t as polished. Flambards has the right amount of conflict and there’s a lot of interesting points about the early days of aviation, which I’m enjoying.

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about going to a party for my niece’s birthday and nephew’s confirmation at my sister-in-law’s brother’s home where I got to see his newest additions to his menagerie/home. Marty now has a cavy named Bucky and a hyacinth macaw named Baby Blue. For years Marty has had an aviary in his basement. I never even heard of these species till yesterday.

Saturday I had lunch with my old friend Luzanne. It’s tough for us to find time that’s good to meet so I’m delighted that we succeeded. After lunch we took a free walking tour of Chicago’s Riverwalk given by the Chicago Architecture Center. Though rain cut the tour short, it was a fun experience. Afterwards I took Luzanne to Uniqlo, which she’d never been to before. She loved it. I’m cheered as I’m a big Uniqlo fan as they have quality basics for good prices. They have lots of sales, so if you see something great there, wait a week or two because it’s sure to be marked down.

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Another bird in Marty’s basement aviary

I was delighted by Doris Day’s Lucky Me and disappointed with the film Like Someone in Love. There’s no love in the film and if you watch I just bet 12 minutes from the end you’ll be urging the silly girl to go see a doctor and for the girl or old man to “Call the police!” which any sensible person would do. Ugh!!

I’ll watch more Flambards episodes to counteract the disappointing effect of Like Someone in Love. 

I’m reading a biography, geared for children, on E.B. White. I’m learning a lot from this charming book on the author of Charlotte’s Web. 

As I can’t go on forever with just a part time library job, I applied to the Census office for work a few months back. Now they’re hiring and I just had a phone interview and job offer for full time work. If it makes sense for you or someone you know, people can apply at 2020Census.gov/jobs. Pay is above average and varies according to locale.

24%?

rich parent

I live in the New Trier school district which is one of the best high schools in Illinois. The district is affluent and parents, most of whom are professionals, can easily afford tutors and summer enrichment programs. I was stunned to learn that a whopping 24% of these high school students get extra time on the ACT test. In discussing this matter, one mother I spoke with told me that there’s a high school college counselor at New Trier whose main task is to manage all these requests for extra time or accommodations.

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New Trier District’s Average Income

Reported in the Chicago Tribune in 2012, New Trier is one of many well-funded schools with a higher than expected number of students with special needs. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, New Trier spent $29,272 per student, which is

New Trier students tend to come from homes that offer advantages other than wealth. Their parents tend to be married (82%) and to have completed college if not graduate school (90.9%).

The Varsity Blues college entrance scandal has made this matter return to the spotlight. I’ve figured that this investigation in Los Angeles is just one of many and that gaming the system is rampant among parents without morals who’ll do anything to get their child into a school with status.

What really goads me is that parents are teaching their children to seek additional advantages to gain status.