From Trashy to Classy

Fred, I enjoyed the article. I agree that "artificialy induced" self esteem such as the practice of schools to make sure every student receives a award sometime in the school year is counterproductive. An award for "most energetic" or "friendlist student" may even encourage negative behaviour. The self esteem gained from a job well done is certainly a much more positive goal. You said, "Working while going to school (something I did myself) is NOT always a good idea. Here's a study that shows why:" I agree, not always a good idea. In the case of the young people with Urban Corp they are students that had already dropped out or were going to drop out anyway. For many, if not most of them working is a necesity. The benefit of being able to work with a organization that wants to promote their High School education is great for them. You also said, "The intertwined justifications for paying extra for the clean-up crew, summed up as "self-esteem through work leading to academic success", ought to be questioned." Golden Hill is not "paying extra" by contracting with Urban Corp. I was merely stating that I felt that picking up trash does build self esteem. Three bids were received and Urban Corp had the lowest bid. In addition to what is contracted for Urban Corp is providing two extra employees through their program at no charge to Golden Hill. They will also provide tree planting in parkways and have given us a source of free trees. This is over and above the contract. They have sent teams on our community clean up days at no charge to us and will continue to do so above what the contract requires. Urban Corp has also offered to let members of the community go on ride alongs while they are working in the community. If you are looking for more information I suggest you contact Alia at 696-9992 (the CDC office) and arrange to go on a ride along. I havn't gone on one yet but I hear it is a informative and positive experience.
— September 4, 2008 11:14 a.m.

From Trashy to Classy

Fred, You wrote, "Does picking up trash build character and self-esteem?" Yes! Picking up trash builds character and self esteem. Learning how to do a job and being expected to do that job well builds self esteem. Whether the job is stuffing envelopes, picking up trash or waiting tables there is much to be learned. Self esteem can be earned by a job well done. Fred, "Is it required for academic success?" Self esteem is required for success in almost anything we do. Young people don't drop out of high school because they think too highly of themselves. When they value their contributions to society they work to acheive more out of their lives. Fred, "I'm not sure this is true. Rather, such work might be seen as demeaning or "working for chump change" and actually deter some of those who most need academic assistance from participating in the program." These young people receive training in how to hold a job and the education they need to complete High School through the program. Most, if not all of the graduates of the program are proud of their accomplishments as a result of their participation and would likely take issue with you calling what they learned "demeaning." Without the things they learn in the program most of them are likely to be working at minimum wage job for the rest of their lives. Urban Corp is providing many services in addition to the contract with the MAD at no additional charge to the community. The city requires that the lowest conforming bid be accepted and theires was the lowese for the services outlined by the engineers report.
— September 2, 2008 3:42 p.m.

Two-for-One Special on Mediators

Fred, Barbara Houlton, a member of the MAD committee, was one of the main proponents of Mediation. The purpose is to improve communication and promote cooperation, not to stifle any opinions. South Park, "I sit here once a month for nothing,” responded MAD member Hilsdorf. “Yes, but you volunteered for this,” responded NCRC’s Barbara Filner. is a drastic misquote. Bill said "I sit here once a month for free,” when asking how much mediation would cost and why it wasn't free. Barbara didn't answer, Robin did and her full answer was "Yes, but you are a volunteer, I am a paid consultant." Jack, Thanks for your comments and support. SouthPark is correct about there being no matching funds. You were correct on your other statements. No-one on the CDC board is paid and if improvements to the community bring them any benefits they are equally shared by all residents and business owners in the community. One of the main misunderstandings is that the CDC staff is responsible for everything that goes on in the neighborhood from code compliance to crime issues. People get angry when they call the CDC about a sign going up that is to large or a neighbors property getting run down. They blame the CDC. The staff and board try to route that information to the proper agencies but cannot enforce results on most of these issues. Just like with prejudice, people get angry at what they don't understand. ________________________________________________________________
— August 25, 2008 8:40 p.m.

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