Tag Archives: children

License Plates for Bicycles Sought by NJ Lawmaker

UPDATE (01/13/11): Big Gov’t Bureaucrat Back Pedals on Bike Bill

"Can I see your license and registration, please?"

"Can I see your license and registration, please?"

A New Jersey democrat is using her political muscle to force citizens across the state to register their bicycles with the Division of Motor Vehicles. The ridiculous maneuver would help the state offset its $10 billion budget deficit by enforcing a $10 per license plate fee and fines up to $100 for those, including children, caught riding unregistered bikes.

Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex) said balancing the state’s budget isn’t her motivation for the outlandish proposal; it’s protecting senior citizens from getting run over by kids on bikes.

Affixing license plates to every bicycle in the state would help these vulnerable senior citizens identify and rattle off the license plate numbers from the kids’ bikes to the police, ensuring the rascals are brought to justice, says Tucker.

Tucker’s proposal has been met with opposition by a diverse group of interests including bicyclists, environmentalists, business owners and even her own colleagues in the State House.

“That’s an outrage, for sure,” said Paige Hiemier, vice-president of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition. “Basically, it’s outrageous for a number of reasons, and most of them are: Who is the legislation aimed at? Who’s going to administer it? How are they going to pay for it? Who’s going to stop the bicyclists and check their registration?”

Send Tucker an email reminding her not to make the same mistake twice: AswTucker@njleg.org

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Elementary School Ponders Drug Testing Youngsters

Are preschools and daycare centers next?

Are preschools and daycare centers next?

Here’s a story that should make your head spin: Officials at an elementary school in N.J. say the best way to ensure young children steer clear of drugs is to make them afraid of being randomly drug tested:

A proposal to conduct random drug tests of young students in one New Jersey town is raising some eyebrows.

Students at Belvidere Elementary School could be adding drug testing to their list of lessons when they move into middle school.

The Board of Education will vote Wednesday on a plan to randomly test sixth, seventh and eighth graders to see if they are under the influence of drugs. School administrators said they were confident the proposal would pass.

Elementary School Principal Sandra Szabocsik said school officials want to use the testing “as a deterrent.”

“We’re hoping that the students if they’re at say a party or someone’s house or just hanging out somewhere, that they’ll say ‘I don’t want to get involved in drinking or using any drug because tomorrow could be a drug testing day,'” she told CBS 2′s Christine Sloan.

The program is voluntary and both parents and students must consent. School officials said it was important to note that if a student tested positive, they would not be suspended or have the results sent to the police.

Instead, those students would get counseling or even be referred to a rehab facility …

Read more and let us know what you think about this story.

Got some advice for Principal Sandra Szabocsik? Email her: SSzabocsik@belvideresd.org

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US Border Agents Silently Confiscating Kids’ Candy

Wouldn't it be nice if U.S. border agents did an equally amazing job catching terrorists, drug smugglers, and those criminal elements hell-bent on illegally infiltrating our nation's porous borders?

Wouldn't it be nice if U.S. border agents did an equally amazing job catching terrorists, drug smugglers, and those criminal elements hell-bent on illegally infiltrating our nation's porous borders?

Just when you thought catching terrorists, drug smugglers and illegal alien invaders were among the top priorities of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, there comes news from the Canadian border that agents have also been tasked with confiscating kids’ contraband candy.

Linda Bird, a Canadian woman who recently attempted enter the U.S., was stunned when CBP agents seized a $2 chocolate egg that has been deemed a “choking hazard” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The confection marketed towards children is commonly know across the globe as a “Kinder Surprise,” and contains a small toy safely embedded inside a chocolate covered plastic shell.

Canadian health officials have repeatedly said they are not concerned about the potential for youngsters to choke on the tiny toys hidden inside the eggs because the plastic shells are difficult for children of any age to open, especially toddlers that simply do not have the manual dexterity required.

Across the border in the Nanny States of America, the FDA and CBP remain committed to ensuring that contraband candy eggs never infiltrate our nation’s northern border and needlessly put a single American child’s life at risk.

“The U.S. takes catching illegal Kinder candy seriously, judging by the number of them they’ve confiscated in the last year,” reports the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). “Officials said they’ve seized more than 25,000 of the treats in 2,000 separate seizures.”

Undated warning label from a Kinder Surprise warns parents of tiny tots about potential choking hazards.

Undated warning label from a Kinder Surprise warns parents of tiny tots about potential choking hazards.

International confectioner, Ferrero, introduced the Kinder Surprise in 1974, and since then, more than 30 billion eggs have safely been devoured by children across the globe. In fact, Ferrero notes on its website that it has taken extra precautions to ensure that “Kinder Surprise toys are designed and developed with safety in mind, rigorously observing international regulations as well as extra safety criteria voluntarily adopted by the Ferrero Group.”

Despite a thriving global market for a seemingly innocent and safe confection that has yet to be threatened with extinction by a frivolous class action lawsuit in any nation, the Kinder Surprise remains on the CBP’s list of items that, if found being smuggled in to the U.S., could result in a $300 fine and legal headaches.

Accused Kinder Surprise ‘smuggler,’ Bird, said she recently received a “seven-page letter” from the U.S. government asking her to “formally authorize the destruction of her seized Kinder egg” or pay $250 for it to be put in storage while legal matters are pursued.

“I thought it was a joke,” Bird said. “I had to read it twice. But they are serious.”

Do you support CBP’s silent crackdown on contraband candy or prefer they stick to performing the agency’s “priority mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S.?”

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NY Democrat Seeks to Dethrone Bloomberg as State’s Top Nanny

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz is intent on dethroning Mayor Michael Bloomberg as NY's #1 Nanny.

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz is intent on dethroning Mayor Michael Bloomberg as NY's #1 Nanny.

New York State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) is on a roll, and we’re only 11 days in to the New Year. Earlier today we reported that he wants to install mandatory breathalyzers in New Yorkers’ automobiles by 2015, and now we get wind that he’s proposing a tax on kids’ rice cakes and video entertainment.

Our friends at Reason.tv are reporting:

Ortiz has noticed that kids are getting kind of fat, so he’s slapping a wee little tax—one quarter of one percent—on sales of all the foods listed as sweets or snacks in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, plus a tax on sale and rentals of video games and movies and game controllers. (A faint silver lining: Reading this bill taught me what DVD stands for. Digital Versatile Disk, apparently. Who knew?) That money goes to an “Childhood Obesity Prevention Program Fund.” But the tax fails to distinguish between good and bad snack, and good and bad video games. So in the name of obesity prevention, education games will get hit, as will these USDA-listed snacks …

Here’s another blooper from Ortiz’ proposed ‘anti-obesity’ tax: Kids and adults intent on purchasing Nintendo’s Wii ‘Fit’ games would be penalized with a sin tax. According to People magazine, First Lady Michelle Obama encourages her two girls to engage in Wii’s virtual physical fitness games on a regular basis.

Got some advice for Ortiz before his next attempt to legislate the behaviors and eating habits of New Yorkers both young and old? Contact his office.

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Santa Ban Prompts County to Consider De-Funding Head Start

"This may affect my willingness to fund money for them," said Supervisor Bill Russell. "That's just the way I am."

"This may affect my willingness to fund money for them," said Supervisor Bill Russell. "That's just the way I am."

A local Mississippi Head Start program that enforced a ban on Santa Claus from visiting children last month is now at risk of losing funding in the upcoming year. Concerned members of DeSoto County’s Board of Supervisors say the ban conflicts with Head Start’s “set of core values which … respects families, cultures and diversity.”

Prior to Christmas, a memo from Head Start state headquarters in Holly Springs implored employees in the program’s 367 pre-school centers to refrain from displaying Santa Claus and Christmas-themed decorations. Specifically, Head Start’s Virda Lee warned, “Please DO NOT invite Santa to your center.”

A “Winter Wonderland” theme featuring snowmen and snowflakes, however, was suggested by Lee as a suitable alternative during the season otherwise known as ‘Christmas.’

While Christmas was shunned in the name of promoting ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ to Head Start’s young participants, it was revealed by Gov. Haley Barbour’s spokesman this week that the ban on all things Christmas appears to be the handiwork of a naughty elf, aka Virda Lee, because it’s definitely not the “official position” of the statewide program.

DeSoto County’s Board of Supervisors said they want answers from Head Start regarding its official position on Christmas before making critical funding decisions later this month.

“We have an American culture, and every time we turn around it gets chipped away and chipped away, and I’m getting tired of it,” said Supervisor Allen Latimer.

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Pennsylvanians Now Free to Gratuitously Drop ‘F-Bomb’

Hey, kids! The ACLU and Commonwealth of Penn. say it's okay to fire away, as long as it's "non-threatening!"

Hey, kids! The ACLU and Commonwealth of Penn. say it's okay to fire away, as long as it's "non-threatening!"

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) secured a victory Tuesday for Pennsylvanians who enjoy dropping the ‘F-bomb’ without fear of reprisal from law enforcement officials.

ACLU lawyer Mary Catherine Roper says Penn. state troopers issued “more than 700 disorderly conduct citations for cursing in a recent one-year span, and local police hundreds more.”

Roper claims citizens’ newfound freedom to use expletives in common “non-threatening” conversation will cut down on needless legal costs endured by violators and the court system.

How do you interpret this ‘victory’ for civil liberties if you’re a parent or teacher? Afterall, this is a victory for protecting freedom of speech as prescribed by the 1st Amendment.

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Bureaucrats Transforming Schools into “Sweet-Free Zones”

"Yes" is not in nanny state food cops' limited vocabulary.

"Yes" is not in nanny state food cops' limited vocabulary.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the St. Paul school district will make all public schools “sweet-free zones” by the end of the school year. Opponents of the plan say “there is little proof such policies work” and that “it’s a school’s role to teach — not force — students to eat healthy.”

The school district’s unproven and experimental anti-obesity crusade is being fueled by “a series of state and federal grants, the largest of which will end this school year.”

Agree or disagree with St. Paul Public Schools’ crusade to rid all “sweet, sticky, fat-laden [and] salty treats” from kids’ lunchboxes and cafeteria trays?

Contact Superintendent Valeria S. Silva if you think parents, not bureaucrats, should determine what’s best for their own children to consume in school cafeterias:

Email Superintendent Silva: supt.silva@spps.org

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