Servers need to make a living, too
My daughter is a server at a nice but expensive restaurant. The other night she got tipped with a pile of quarters. Another couple paid their bill in cash and said they had her tip money out in their car and would go get it. They never came back. The average dinner price for a couple is $200 with drinks and/or wine. For this amount a 15 percent tip would be $30; a 20 percent tip would be $40. If you cannot afford to leave a proper tip, you should not be eating out and spending $200.
Servers make only $4.34 an hour? That's only $173.60 a week or $694.40 a month. They have no health, dental or vision insurance or 401K plans. Could you pay your monthly bills using this figure? They too have to pay rent or mortgage, utilities, phone, car payment, insurance, student loans, groceries, etc. They depend on tips to make up the difference and to pay their own bills.
A recent web survey shows that Americans most frequently tip 15 percent, followed by 20 percent. For reasonable service, they suggest the standard 15-20 percent. If you're dissatisfied, it's better to alert the manager to the problem instead of stiffing the server. Remember, it's not always the waitress's or waiter's fault.
Waiting tables is one of the hardest occupations in this country. They are standing their entire shift and carry heavy trays of food while being pleasant and accommodating to patrons. I doubt most of us could do it. So, next time you go out to eat, tip your server appropriately. They are trying to make a living too.
For those of you that do tip, thank you! For those of you that don't, perhaps you should go to a fast food restaurant.
True spirit of Longmont
Near the top of a long list of great things about the city of Longmont are the community organizations and their supporters who provide much-needed human services and support.
Earlier this month, the Longmont Symphony Orchestra had the idea to collaborate with one of those organizations, the OUR Center, on a concert promotion, with part of the proceeds going to benefit the OUR Center's food program. The response from the community far exceeded our expectations, resulting in donations sufficient to provide about 750 meals to men, women and children in need in our community.
The donation the symphony was able to make through this first-of-its-kind effort, with the funds raised from this year's Empty Bowls benefit and other contributions, will give the OUR Center's food program a greatly needed boost to assist with the food shortage it has been experiencing this year.
Although the need for food remains great, these funds are providing tremendous assistance to the OUR Center at a critical time -- a true manifestation of the kind of neighbor-helping-neighbor spirit that is characteristic of our community. Individuals, businesses and groups throughout our community step up to do something when a need is made known. In this case, we saw one nonprofit organization doing just that -- stepping up to help another organization in its time of need -- demonstrating the true spirit that is Longmont.
Many thanks to all who came out on March 3 to lend their support.
Salute to Gordon Pedrow
At the end of March, for the first time in almost two decades, Longmont will experience a change in leadership in the office of the city manager. Along with the City Council, city employees and other Longmont residents, we want to publicly thank Gordon Pedrow for what he's meant to this community.
Gordon has worked tirelessly to ensure Longmont's residents have a safe, friendly and progressive environment in which to live. His leadership has affected all departments within the city. Longmont has continually offered its residents reliable services even in difficult economic times. We enjoy a standard of living in Longmont that is enviable.
A "tip of the hat" to Gordon for almost 20 years of exceptional leadership, and our gratitude for his contributions to our quality of life, public safety and a strong local economy. We hope the community continues to enjoy leadership in the city manager's office that approximates the standard set by Gordon Pedrow.
Tim and Janie Waters
Out of Afghanistan
The soldier who allegedly killed innocent Afghan citizens is another victim of a failed U.S. war policy that has devastated the lives of millions of people in Afghanistan and back here in the United States.
More than 10 years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, I see little evidence that the current U.S. military strategy is helping to bring peace or stabilizing that country. I am heartened by reports that our country and our European allies are considering accelerating the withdrawal of military forces and focusing on the long-term development both inside Afghanistan and in the region.
I was delighted to learn that one-fifth of the House and nearly a quarter of the Senate have now written President Barack Obama to urge an expedited withdrawal of U.S. military troops. I hope our representative and senators will join the chorus in favor of a withdrawal of the U.S. military.
Why I'm a Democrat
I have a page-long list of why I'm a Democrat, but one reason strikes me now: Democrats are polite, respectful ladies and gentlemen.
Most Democrats have no respect for George W. Bush, but I never heard of one booing Laura in public; no Democratic congressperson ever publicly ridiculed her physique or called George a liar during a State of the Union address (although George lied about why he invaded Iraq). No Democratic congressperson ever contemptuously avoided George's State of the Union address or sneeringly called it "absurd" before hearing it. No Democratic judge has been reported to joke that Barbara might have had carnal knowledge of an animal. No Democratic candidate ever called a Republican president a "snob" for wanting every youngster to have the chance for post-high school education.
I can't recall a Democrat questioning John McCain's nationality, although he really wasn't born in the United States (he was born in the Canal Zone, land leased by our government next to the Panama Canal). Finally, no Democratic president ever questioned the patriotism of those who disagreed with him, saying, "If you disagree with me, you want the terrorists to win."
Democrats prefer to discuss issues.
Dems not so polite
It seems to me that when Democrats are in trouble they cry for civility. Allen Peacock, in his letter, "Why I'm a Democrat," tells us that Democrats are "polite, respectful ladies and gentlemen."
The "polite and respectful" Harry Reid called George Bush a liar in 2005 and refused to apologize for it. The "polite and respectful" Hillary Clinton just this past weekend compared the GOP to religious extremist around the world. Congressmen and women (and reportedly even the president) have not only called those who disagree with the president "racists," but have also repeatedly used a crude sexual expression to describe people in the Tea Party. And, almost 12 years after his election, Democrats are still claiming that George Bush was an illegitimate president (see "Fahrenheit 9/11").
I will be glad to join Mr. Peacock's call for discussion of the issues, but one should never argue with a donkey; it will just frustrate you and annoy the donkey.
Why I'm a Republican
In Mr. Peacock's letter "Why I am a Democrat," he wrote "Democrats are polite, respectful ladies and gentlemen." Since when?
Democrats have called every Republican female candidate, commentator or speaker the most vile, filthy names. Democrats wished for Mrs. Reagan to die, they talked of killing President Bush, impeaching him with no grounds for doing so. Democrats celebrated when President Reagan died while most of the country mourned.
He said President Bush lied about Iraq, but Democrats like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi all said Iraq had WMDs. Saddam Hussein's own generals thought he had WMDs. The intelligence may have been flawed but to say Bush lied is not being factual. Some intelligence experts believe the WMDs were moved to Syria.
Democrats insulted Sarah Palin's family and said the most despicable things about the governor of one of our states and a candidate for the vice presidency. Mr. Peacock wants Republicans to respect President Obama, and I say "practice what you preach."
I am a Republican because they tell the truth and that is sadly lacking in the Democrat Party and in the national media that kowtow to Obama and the Democrat National Committee and print DNC press releases as if it were news. Democrats do not prefer to discuss issues; they prefer insults, lies, character assassinations, distortions, slanting of news and every other dirty trick in the book.
I don't know where Jerry Day gets his news, but to say that Democrats celebrated when Reagan died, wished for Mrs. Reagan to die, or talked of killing President Bush, I can only wonder. He acts as if the lack of civility started with Bush. I guess his Repub elephant's memory is too short to remember eight long years of continual bashing of President and Mrs. Clinton from his first day in office, even going to the ridiculous lengths of accusing Hillary Clinton of murder.
Yes, there are individual Democrats who have said vile things about Republicans, and vice versa. Only one sitting Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, issued a memo in 1996 urging his minions to use specific terms when referring to Democrats: cheat, corrupt, decay, destructive, disgrace, failure, greed, hypocrisy, incompetent, intolerant, pathetic, shame, steal, traitors, etc., and this is only about 25 percent of the list.
As for the Democrats who voted for the invasion of Iraq, perhaps he should take into consideration the intense desire of Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the PNAC group to invade Iraq since at least 1998.
They got their chance after 9/11 by parading one after another of Bush's cabinet in front of Congress to lie about WMDs and the imminent threat of Iraq. Saying that "some intelligence experts" believe the WMDs were moved to Syria is a weak argument. Of course they would say that to save face.
Telling Democrats to "practice what you preach" sounds pretty silly coming from someone who supports a party that actually created an instructional memo on how to smear Democrats with insults, lies, character assassinations, distortions, slanting of news and every other dirty trick in the book. Doesn't it?
Party system divisive
Reading these letters about how horrible the Democrats are to Republicans and how horrible the Republicans are to Democrats just reinforces my belief that the current political party system does little more than divide us as a nation. True, there is plenty of blame to go around. Regardless of your party affiliation, race, color, creed or any other attribute, we are all Americans, and if we allow the elected to divide us this easily, we shouldn't be surprised when they take the next step to conquer us.
Why I'm an American
The recent letters regarding "why I am a Democrat/Republican" are the perfect example of what is wrong with American politics. The polarizing nature of these letters, lambasting the "other side," simply mirrors the fallacies of both parties spewing the same disheartening accusations as the politicians themselves.
Instead of boasting about the superiority of one political party, perhaps one should ask "why am I an American?" How can parties work together to benefit all and what candidates will actually work for Americans, rather than a polarizing political agenda? When will we again have a president who will inspire, unite and make us feel proud to be an American? God bless the souls of JFK and Ronald Reagan. When will we have leaders with a goal of serving Americans before a political party?
To all Americans, we are on the same team folks.
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