June 30, 2019

Sunday (Moderated) Open Thread (063019)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

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Positivity: Dog wakes boy in time for him, sister to escape blaze

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Gadsden, Alabama (HT Liftable) — a month-old story worth telling:

Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:20 PM
Updated May 28, 2019 at 7:06 PM

Trent and Jenny Thrasher’s home on Lake Forest Drive in Southside is a total loss after an early morning fire Monday, but he says all will be fine.

Thrasher said the family’s German Shepherd woke his 13-year-old son Tyler, and Tyler went to get a drink of water and found the kitchen on fire. He called for his sister, Chloe, 21, and they got out of the house in the nick of time.

“If it’d been a minute later, we’d be making entirely different plans today,” Thrasher said.

“Me and Jenny were out of town,” he said — gone to New Orleans to celebrate him turning 50.

Thrasher said they got the frantic call that their house was on fire, and he immediately called the kids to find out they were OK.

“We drove home about 110 mph,” Thrasher said.

It took firefighters about 6 hours to put out the fire, he said. “They were still here at 7 a.m.”

Southside Fire Chief Tim McKee said a neighbor called and reported the blaze at 1:27 a.m. Monday. He said the neighbor reported an explosion woke them, and they looked out to see flames across the back of the house.

About the time they called 911, McKee said, the Thrashers’ kids ran to their house.

“They’re still pretty shaken up about it,” Thrasher said. Both were taken to a hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.

“One of them still sounds raspy,” he said.

Thrasher said they lost everything in the home. “Lots of memories,” he added. “It’s sad.”

But he said it will be all right; the home was insured.

“We lost one little Dachshund,” Thrasher said, but the rest of the family pets escaped.

And most importantly, Tyler and Chloe did.

McKee said fortunately, Tyler was sleeping downstairs in his parents’ bedroom. When he awoke, he discovered the fire, which apparently started in the back porch area and was spreading into the house.

Thrasher said the fire appears to have started in the ceiling above the back porch. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 29, 2019

Saturday (Moderated) Open Thread (062919)

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Positivity: Still working for the state after 76 years, 99-year-old woman shares her secrets to health

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Sacramento, California:

June 24, 2019

May Lee drives herself to work nearly every day at 6 a.m. Her job involves saving the state of California millions of dollars every year through audits and analyzing budgets. Oh, and she turned 99 on Sunday, June 23.

Lee, who is of petite stature and moves about with a walker, said she just loves to work. Her philosophy: “If you keep busy, you enjoy life.”

Lee joined the California Department of Finance in 1943. Things were different back then, she recalls. There was no air conditioning. Women couldn’t wear pants to work. Calculations were done using a comptometer.

When the Department of General Services was created in 1963, she was one of the first employees and worked until she “retired” in 1990.

But for her, retirement means working four days a week as a retired annuitant. And, after exhausting her annuitant hours each fall, she continues to work as an unpaid volunteer.

“My license is good until 100,” she said matter-of-factly.

Over the years, Lee has served under 10 governors. She met Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012 and last week met Gov. Gavin Newsom while celebrating 76 years of service. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 28, 2019

Friday (Moderated) Open Thread (062819)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

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Positivity: ‘I’m home’ — Former custodian starts new job as school principal

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Denver, Colorado (video at link):

Published: 5:37 PM MDT June 7, 2019
Updated: 5:37 PM MDT June 7, 2019

Michael Atkins said a relationship he formed with a teacher at the age of 7 led him on a unique career path.

Walking through the playground of Stedman Elementary brings back memories for Michael Atkins.

“Basketball — would be [age] 6, 7 up here playing a pretty physical game of hoop,” Atkins said. “This has been a part of my story — Park Hill, Stedman has been a part of my story, and I’ve learned so much just from walking these streets.”

Atkins recently became the principal of Stedman Elementary, a career that started years ago as a custodian for another Denver Public School (DPS) district school.

Atkins grew up around Stedman, but as a kid he was bused to Bromwell Elementary School where he built a special relationship with a second grade teacher that would ultimately change his life.

“This teacher took the time and the opportunity to form a relationship that opened a door for me,” Atkins said.

When he was bused to Hamilton Middle School in southeast Denver, Atkins said things changed.

“Just the different interactions that I had with the teachers, I had the social intelligence at that time to understand there were differences,” Atkins said.

He said black students like himself were treated differently.

“Teachers telling me that I’ll be dead by the time I’m 21,” Atkins said.

When he got older, he took his first full-time job with DPS as a custodian at Rachel B. Noel Middle School in far northeast Denver.

“I took pride in the bathrooms I cleaned. I took pride in the rooms that I vacuumed,” Atkins said.

Shortly after, he ran into his old second grade teacher from Bromwell, who helped him get a job in the classroom as a paraprofessional teacher.

“It was the relationship that I was able to build at 7 years old that opened up the doors for me in education,” Atkins said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 27, 2019

Thursday (Moderated) Open Thread (062719)

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Positivity: Woodrow grad finds purpose in the battle of his life (‘I Just Knew God Was with Me’)

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Dallas, Texas (HT Liftable):

MAY 10, 2019

At the age of 15, Joshua Suarez went from being an ordinary kid worrying about school to fighting for his life against stage four testicular cancer.

Suarez, who will graduate from Woodrow Wilson High School later this month, still vividly remembers the day he received the diagnosis.

“My heart sunk to the bottom of my chest when I heard the word ‘cancer.’ I didn’t know what to think, what to feel, or what to do,” Suarez said. “It was really heartbreaking to hear, and all I could ask was ‘why me?’”

The cancer spread to his lungs, with approximately 22 tumors in each one. His life quickly became a whirlwind of surgeries, chemotherapy, physical therapy and life-threatening complications.

Although he could no longer attend school due to the high risk of infection, Suarez refused to abandon his education and took on homeschooling during chemotherapy sessions. He always had a strong love of science and was looking forward to taking AP Biology. However, with no certified homeschool teachers for that course, he decided to teach himself.

“It was a struggle, but I had to do it on days that I felt good and on days that I didn’t,” Suarez said. “I’m really proud of myself that I was able to take that challenge and pass with a B plus.”

Suarez was no stranger to cancer. His mother, aunt and grandmother all had some form of it. All he knew was what he had seen; sometimes it was beautiful for the love and tender moments it brought, but most of the time it was difficult.

After all Suarez has endured, he said his cancer experience helped him spiritually grow. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 26, 2019

Wednesday (Moderated) Open Thread (062619)

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Positivity: Pro-life doc behind iconic photo of precious aborted baby’s feet has died

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

This Oregon doctor died as a hero for the unborn — From LifeSite News:

Mon Jun 24, 2019 – 8:40 pm EST

After a fight with cancer, the pro-life movement lost one of its unsung heroes, Dr. Russell Sacco, this June. A father of four and grandfather to eight, he is also survived by Elizabeth, his loving wife of 58 years.

Dr. Sacco, a urologist who practiced in Oregon and one of the founding members of Oregon Right to Life, might not be familiar to you, but his impact on the pro-life movement cannot be quantified.

Oregon first legalized abortion in 1969 under Senate Bill 193. It was only a matter of time before the issue made it to the Supreme Court of the United States.

A long-time Catholic, Dr. Sacco was convinced in his pro-life beliefs but also was concerned about the lack of education he experienced in medical school about fetal development. He started researching the issue whenever he could, having discussions with colleagues along the way.

One afternoon in 1970, at a Portland hospital, he was visiting with a fellow pro-life Oregonian, a pathologist. The pathologist was responsible for destroying the bodies of babies following abortions. He didn’t feel able to do this and had placed some of the bodies into formaldehyde. That day, he showed the remains to Dr. Sacco.

Dr. Sacco was shocked at first but realized this was an opportunity to redeem the short lives of those little humans. He consulted textbooks, determining the age of the babies, then photographed them.

Dr. Sacco’s photo holding the 10-week old baby’s feet

Struggling to show the scale of the babies’ size in comparison to their development, he took one 10-week old baby in his hands, holding its feet between his forefinger and thumb.

“All of a sudden, I saw these tiny feet; these perfectly formed tiny feet, with little toes, little wrinkles and creases and I held them between my fingers and took the picture. I was crying because I felt so bad — it just really got to me,” he said. “I really didn’t think the photo would be anything, but God must have taken the picture because it was perfect, and I knew that this would be one powerful way to send a message to the world, as this unborn baby was only about 10 weeks along.”

The babies’ bodies remained with the pathologist but Dr. Sacco took their photos with him and shared them with many, spreading the humanity of other such tiny lives. One of the people he shared them with helped the photograph become famous.

Described by some as the father of the pro-life movement, Dr. John Willke founded Cincinnati Right to Life in 1970 and Life Issues Institute in 1991. In 1971, he was giving a talk to the California Pro-Life Council. Dr. Sacco was in attendance. Afterwards, he showed his pictures to Dr. Willke.

Dr. Willke also recognized that these images were incredible tools to help advocate for the lives of the unborn. He printed them in his book, “Handbook on Abortion,” and in brochures and pamphlets.

Other pro-lifers followed suit, using the images. On January 22, 1974, Ellis and Virginia Evers opened their local newspaper, The San Diego Union, to see a full-page ad featuring the photo of the tiny feet. Inspired, Virginia carefully modeled the iconic “Precious Feet” pins.

When Dr. Sacco saw the pin, he was impressed by the accuracy of the design.

“They did it perfectly and designed it to match the size of the tiny feet I held, and was made of metal,” he said. “I was so surprised that this happened and very pleased. I am told that these pins and this picture have helped save lives and that makes me happy.”

The Precious Feet design was elected the International Pro-Life Symbol at a symposium in Ireland in 1979. To date, more than 20 million Precious Feet pins have been distributed worldwide. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 25, 2019

Tuesday (Moderated) Open Thread (062519)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

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Positivity: Planned Parenthood to lose $60 million after Title X ruling

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From San Francisco, California:

Jun 21, 2019 / 07:30 am

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that new Title X rules, that prohibit funds from going to clinics that perform abortions or provide abortion referrals, can go into effect.

The June 20 decision, issued from the bench in San Francisco, means that Planned Parenthood will stand to lose about $60 million in federal funding, though the abortion provider will continue to receive close to half a billion dollars in federal funding from other programs.

In late February, the Trump Administration finalized the “Protect Life Rule,” which added new eligibility requirements for Title X fund recipients. Shortly thereafter, several states sued over the new policy, and California, Washington, and Oregon received a preliminary injunction that blocked the rule from going into effect. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that earlier decision on Thursday, calling the administration rules a “reasonable” interpretation of federal law.

The court ruled that allowing the injuction to stand would mean “HHS will be forced to allow taxpayer dollars to be spent in a manner that it has concluded violates the law, as well as the government’s important policy interest…in ensuring that taxpayer dollars do not go to fund or subsidize abortions.”

The three judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals who ruled on this case were all appointed by Republican presidents.

Title X is a federal program created in 1965 that subsidizes family-planning and preventative health services, including contraception, for low-income families.

Among other provisions, the Protect Life Rule requires that there be a physical and financial separation between recipients of Title X funds and facilities that perform abortions. Clinics that provide “nondirective counseling” about abortion can still receive funds.

Previous regulations, written during the presidency of Bill Clinton, allowed for health clinics that were co-located with abortion clinics to receive funds, and required that Title X recipients refer patients for abortions.

As a result of Thursday’s ruling, Title X fund recipients are immediately prevented from referring patients for abortion services. By March 2020, health clinics must be located seperatly from abortion facilities in order to be elligable for Title X funding. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 24, 2019

Monday (Moderated) Open Thread (062419)

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Positivity: Student with Cerebral Palsy Gets Out of Wheelchair To Walk Across Stage at Graduation

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From , via Liftable (video at link):

Published June 9, 2019 at 12:50am

Years ago, doctors informed Florida teen Jericho Burroughs that his dreams were out of bounds. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Burroughs was told that he would never succeed in school, let alone cross a stage to accept a diploma.

Since then, Burroughs has been doing everything in his power to prove them wrong.

Burroughs, 18, uses a wheelchair to move. His cerebral palsy impacts his muscles and motor ability, making standing or walking nearly impossible. However, the disability hasn’t stopped Burroughs from becoming one of the most high-achieving and popular students at Edward H. White High School.

Known for his prowess in adaptive track and field and his remarkable vocal talent, Burroughs is well-liked among his classmates.

“I won prom king,” Burroughs told WJXT. “When they called my name, I am telling you, I was literally about to fall out of the chair.”

After years of hard work and dedication, the teen was ready to receive his diploma on May 30, 2019.

When Burroughs told his mother a surprise was waiting for her at his graduation ceremony, she suspected that he was going to perform a song onstage. What she actually saw her son do that day was even more memorable.

Burroughs didn’t just earn his diploma. He stood up from his wheelchair to cross the stage on foot.

“After months and months of preparation and working very hard on my graduation day, it just so happened I walked across that stage and I went to get what I deserved, and that was my high school diploma,” Burroughs said.

“It felt liberating. I felt powerful in that moment.”

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 23, 2019

Sunday (Moderated) Open Thread (062319)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items which they believe need to be known. Rules are here.