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Author Topic: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids  (Read 2571 times)

sarge712

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For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
« on: August 19, 2012, 08:01:12 pm »
This good lady wasn't asking for a government handout or entitlements; she was just trying to make a difference on the ground level when a stuffed shirt jerk on city council pegged her as an outlaw. Man, I was pissed when I read this and yet touched when I saw yet another good person trying to swim upstream and make a difference. What a mad world we live in when a politician pegs her as in the wrong. Techmically maybe she is in violation but is everything in their burg else so squared away that they have time to screw her over?
-sarge712


A Pennsylvania woman has vowed to continue doling out free lunches to children in her hardscrabble neighborhood, even though officials there have threatened to fine her $600 a day.

Angela Prattis, 41, was ordered by the Chester Township Council to wind down the makeshift dining room she runs in the driveway of her modest home during the summer for the hungry kids who come to her daily in search of a good meal. Under pressure from the community, the local leaders agreed to let Prattis finish her mission this summer, but told her she would need a zoning variance to resume the operation next summer.

"I'm going to continue to feed the children," Prattis told FoxNews.com. "I'm just doing this for the kids. I don't want a big fight.

"I just want to be in right standing with the town," added Prattis, who feeds 20 or more kids on some days. "I know how to follow protocol, as long as it's clearly defined."

The mother of four, who works as a massage therapist, says she serves up the lunches while the kids are out of school because many are too poor to get good lunches at home. Prattis gets the food from the Philadelphia Archdiocese, which makes daily deliveries of pre-packaged lunches, drinks and snacks to her doorstep. She pointed out that the archdiocese required her to take a preparatory class focusing on nutrition -- and other essentials -- before serving kids.

"I'm not working with some fly-by-night operation," she maintained. "This is the archdiocese, for crying out loud."

Prattis, her husband, Derrick, and their children recently moved into the home after living for years in the Delaware County Housing Projects in nearby Woodlyn. She says her new neighborhood isn't affluent, but the people are salt of the earth types.

"This isn't a working-class neighborhood," she quipped. "It's a hardworking-class neighborhood."

The neighborhood kids enjoy the lunches and benefit from the nutrition, she said.

"We have tons of children, here," Prattis said. "There's a lady who baby-sits a bunch of kids and she brings them around because the parents can't afford to have them in day care and feed them at the same time.

"We had a nasty storm last Wednesday, and I only set up one table because I didn't think the kids would come in the pouring rain," she said, before adding, "They all came. I served 20 children in the pouring rain."

On a typical summer weekday, neighborhood men set up three plastic tables in Prattis's driveway, along with about 25 folding chairs donated by The Church of The Overcomer in nearby Trainer, Pa. Food from the Archdiocese's "Feeding Program" arrives around 9:30 a.m. truck. Prattis said the eager children are usually on hand when the Archdiocese truck arrives, and help unload their own meals.

"They know that I'm committed and going to be there at that particular time for them. "It means a lot for them to have a friendly face that they know will be there every day. And for me, I know when they're with me, at the least, they are safe and having fun, and out of harm's way, and not getting into trouble."

But on July 31, Councilman William Kennard showed up at a meeting of the neighborhood civic association and told the gathering Prattis' free lunch program was unlawful. At the town council meeting two days later, elected officials voted to levy a $600-a-day fine for each day Prattis fed the kids.

Kennard could not be reached for comment.

Prattis continued to serve the meals, and, although no fine was levied, on Aug. 10 she received a letter from the township saying she could serve kids until Aug. 24, but that she must apply for a variance next year. It costs $1,000 to apply for the variance, she said, and there is no guarantee the council will accept it, Prattis said.

One way or another, she said she'll be feeding kids next summer.

"What's in my heart?" she asked. "I feel like they could be focusing on a lot of other serious issues that are taking place in my neighborhood, instead of something I think is very positive and keeping our kids on the right side of the law."



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/18/mom-who-serves-up-lunches-from-driveway-vows-to-keep-feeding-kids/?test=latestnews#ixzz242VnFILU
North CarolinaBe without fear in the face of thine enemies.
Be brave and upright that God may love thee.
Speak the truth always even if it leads to thy death.
Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong.
That is thine oath.

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    Gunnguy

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 08:26:54 pm »
    It NEVER fails!
    No GOOD DEED goes UN-punished when it comes to City or County Councils and politicians!
    Lemonade stands, Free Lunches to homeless people, and so on.
    These people are nuts!
    And WE voted these asshats into office and allowed them to legislate away simple freedoms.
    Want to give some poor people a free lunch, on YOUR property, at YOUR expense?
    Better pay the bribe fees so the good people of the City/County Council can feel good about themselves.
    They protected the City/County area from evil people like you by legal extortion.
    Makes me sick.

    Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

    scarville

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 08:54:51 pm »
    I don't know the back-story on this case but I'll wager more than a few people in the the area complained.  There have been a few similar cases here in California -- mostly involving the "homeless" -- where he authorities generally looked the other way as long as the operation was peaceful and there were no complaints.  However, once there were some phone call complaining about it then the wheels of the state start rolling.
    CaliforniaOf course I carry a gun!  It gives me a chance against the sinners and protection from the righteous.

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    Gunnguy

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #3 on: August 19, 2012, 09:09:07 pm »
    Yeah, those mysterious complaints.
    "Sorry, but we cannot tell you who complained because we are bound to protect their privacy."
    Right.
    You do good. Feed the poor. And some mysterious person(s) file a complaint.
    Every time you turn around you get these little idiotic and stupid policies and regs that drive you up the wall with stupidity.

    Officer: "I'm sorry, Sir. We've had complaints about this crowd of people and you feeding them free food. So you'll have to stop and move on."

    Free lunch giver: "I'm feeding them because they are poor and hungry."

    Officer: "Sorry, Pal. I know you think you are doing them a favor but this is getting a bit crowded here and it's better if everyone goes home or goes elsewhere."

    Free lunch giver: "They are lost and need someone."

    Officer: "I don't care. You and your boys will have to vacate. These people have to be broken up and moved along. You understand?"

    Free lunch giver: "I understand everything."

    Officer: "I'm going to have to take down you full name for the record. What is it?"

    Free lunch giver: "Jesus Christ."


    "If it neither breaks my leg or picks my pocket what does it matter to me?" - Thomas Jefferson
    Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

    RevDisk

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #4 on: August 19, 2012, 09:23:32 pm »

    All it takes is one chucklehead to do something stupid. Stepping on flowers, taking things off porches, breaking something. I'd be less than pleased if a neighbour was running a soup kitchen.
    To know the darkness is to love the light,
    to welcome dawn and fear the coming night.
    - Book of Counted Sorrows

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    Gunnguy

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #5 on: August 19, 2012, 09:29:39 pm »
    Yeah, well I understand the orderly part.
    But they (the politicians) never stop there.
    They've continued until now you can't pass gas sideways without some dammed permit or variance or license.
    Hell, handing your neighbor a sandwich and coke for helping you repair a front porch step might get you jail time someday!

     >:(
    Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

    wyatt

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #6 on: August 19, 2012, 09:45:34 pm »
    This story was featured on The Five on Fox News Friday. Eric Bolling pledged to pay the $1,000 to apply for the variance.

    I think this woman is a Patriot. She saw a problem and did something about it. I'm proud of her.

    sarge712

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #7 on: August 19, 2012, 09:49:22 pm »
    Same here wyatt. She didn't ask for a government dime but instead worked through a private religious charity to get the job done. She didn't blame Uncle Sugar for not feeding hungry kids and instead did something about it.
    North CarolinaBe without fear in the face of thine enemies.
    Be brave and upright that God may love thee.
    Speak the truth always even if it leads to thy death.
    Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong.
    That is thine oath.

    RetroGrouch

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 02:35:28 am »
    Had something similar happen here in the Phoenix area, a woman was handing out bottles of water to people during the recent heat warnings (daytime temps in the 110-115 F range).  Not selling, just giving them to people who might need them.  Got told to stop doing it by the police at the behest of a city official with threats of fines and/or jail time.  Guess someone wasn't getting their cut of the sale of bottled water.  Disgusting.
    Arizona

    Panhead Bill

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #9 on: August 20, 2012, 05:32:04 am »
    I don't really know where I land on this. I'm admittedly all over the map. Quite a few years ago, a group I was involved with was giving away water at a summer street festival, but got shut down - the admitted it was because a guy down the street was selling water, and we were cutting into his sales. We actually ended up working something out so we could keep getting away with giving it away - if I remember correctly, we couldn't offer it, but if people asked, we could give it to them.

    A few years later, I was working with another guy founding the local rescue mission. We started out simply giving away sandwiches and soup to homeless in a vacant lot on Sunday afternoons each week. That grew into a rescue mission operating 7 days a week, 24 hours per day. However, we had to jump through appropriate hoops, get permits, have inspections, etc, to make sure we complied with health codes. When I was last involved with it, we were still trying to get permits and comply with what we had to in order to actually provide emergency mens' shelter facilities. Unfortunately, since then, the original director/founder that I had helped start it with retired and stepped down (moving to AZ - and I think going to work for a shelter there - I don't think you ever retire from that type of work), and the mission struggled through poor leadership. Last I heard it's kind of gone seriously downhill.

    When we first started, some nearby businesses tried to stop us out of fear that we would attract the homeless, what they didn't realize, was that they were already there - just not out in the open. "out of sight, out of mind.".

    These people we were serving wouldn't eat otherwise. They didn't care if the soup was prepared on a stainless steel counter top with certain dimensions of sinks, stoves, and countertops. But, on the other side, if the city allowed us to ignore H&S requirements, who's to decide what entities or restaurants had to meet the health code and which ones could bypass the regutations? 

    It sounds like the city in the original story is being pretty flexible with this lady, they've not levied any fines, allowed her to finish the summer, and [at least it sounds like] they're coaching her along with what she's got to do to comply with the code. They didn't just shut her down or tell her to stop - they've said she could continue, but has to apply for a code variance (in order to feed dozens of people food in her driveway in a residential neighborhood).

    Ultimately, there's a reason for places being zoned certain ways. Imagine if you will, you save and buy a house in a quiet residential neighborhood away from loud schools and businesses, so you van enjoy some peace and quiet - then all of the sudden every afternoon there are 20 kids hanging out next door, being kids (loud and annoying). 6 months later that grows to 40 kids, the lazy parents who figure out there's a place across town where they can dump their kids in the afternoon and they won't have to fix them lunch. Then you end up with "kids" of all ages (because ultimately the lady running the operation can't find it in her heart to say "no, you're too old," she sees someone that's hungry and in need), hanging out all hours of the day. I know - it's a slippery slope - but that's exactly what happens.

    I would actually place a lot of blame here on the Arch Dioces (sp?). They're big enough, and experienced enough that they likely know perfectly well that the poor lady's going to be cites for violating zoning codes - but it looks like they're just dropping off food and washing their hands of the situation (and I admittedly could be reading waay to much into this). They found someone to do the hard work, they just drop off the food, don't have to worry about spending money on things like special use permits, or fighting with neighbors, city councils, etc

    Told you I'd be all over the map here. I can sympathize with the woman - I've been in her shoes. Buy I can also see the view from the side of the city powers, neighbors, etc. Make her get a permit, then they can keep an eye on things, make sure things don't get out of hand, and the food meets minimal health standards.

    A little side note, at the time our weekly feeding started to get bigger, a guy working with us broke off - out of principle he refused to get the govt.'s permission to feed the needy. I wouldn't touch the food he prepared because of the things he would do to try and avoid govt oversight (real or perceived) - the stuff he prepared literally scared me.

    So, I dont know what the answer is - I really don't like the idea of the govt oversight - especially when you're just trying to do something good for your community - but unfortunately, sometimes it's necessary. Problem is finding the proper balance, without the govt getting in the way.

    Bill
    California

    Gunnguy

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #10 on: August 20, 2012, 07:32:47 am »
        I see the necessity of making sure the food is safe. (Which the Arch Dioceses prepackaged). And I understand the orderly part because, as you said, people get lazy and will drop there 12-17 year olds off anywhere because THEY can be annoying little prigs. Whining and complaining that they are bored or they like getting into trouble or can make trouble in a heartbeat. (If you don't want teenagers DON'T have sex!).
         But the issue is that the .gov threatens first then seeks to come to a gentle resolution only after some seriously bad publicity. That's the point. They threaten without regard for diplomacy or even seeing what needs to be done first if anything. They just threaten. I see this over and over without fail. Few exceptions to that rule unless you have someone in the local .gov that actually cares and values doing their job right.
         Like you said. If you GIVE something away to help people in need someone mysteriously complains. If these people ASK for something, then it's ok because you are exercising your freedom how .gov wants you to. That vendor you mentioned was paying city taxes and fees and license fees. So he already paid his bribe money.
         Even when we have the most honest intentions .gov gets in the way of good people simply helping neighbors in need. Like I said earlier. Be careful to whom you give a sandwich and a coke for helping redo a front step. You might get jail time someday.
         Sorry for being so cynical but my Dad, my brothers and I are dealing with the county on how we have to dispose of grey water at his little camping area. Because of a neighbor that complained that he was running a commercial campground. He had to spend $75 for a building permit because we put in a shed and a toilet that flushed into an existing septic system. All moveable buildings btw. AND they wanted us to permanently place drain pipes in the ground for each camping trailer or out building we'd have there so no grey water could be spilled on the ground (Like that doesn't happen at State camp grounds all the time.). Now understand that this is in farm country. We have farmers dumping tons of pig slurry all around us. Literally pig refuse (Urine/Poop/waste) being used to fertilize the ground around us as far as the eye can see except for a narrow patch of woods that belongs to a lumber company and the single acre we actually camp on.
    And they begrudge us throwing some dish water on the ground or recycling it to water the small trees my Dad has growing. However, if I went out and just pissed on the ground, that isn't covered by any regulation that can be enforced.


     





    « Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 07:52:28 am by Gunnguy »
    Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

    Kaso

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #11 on: August 20, 2012, 08:02:41 am »
    Ultimately, there's a reason for places being zoned certain ways. Imagine if you will, you save and buy a house in a quiet residential neighborhood away from loud schools and businesses, so you van enjoy some peace and quiet - then all of the sudden every afternoon there are 20 kids hanging out next door, being kids (loud and annoying). 6 months later that grows to 40 kids, the lazy parents who figure out there's a place across town where they can dump their kids in the afternoon and they won't have to fix them lunch. Then you end up with "kids" of all ages (because ultimately the lady running the operation can't find it in her heart to say "no, you're too old," she sees someone that's hungry and in need), hanging out all hours of the day. I know - it's a slippery slope - but that's exactly what happens.
    That would be my concern.  Like RevDisk, I would not want this happening next door.  Next thing you know, all of these kids will start to hang out closer to your house, in order to not have to travel as far.



    Kaso

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #12 on: August 20, 2012, 12:14:29 pm »
         But the issue is that the .gov threatens first then seeks to come to a gentle resolution only after some seriously bad publicity. That's the point. They threaten without regard for diplomacy or even seeing what needs to be done first if anything. They just threaten. I see this over and over without fail. Few exceptions to that rule unless you have someone in the local .gov that actually cares and values doing their job right.
         Like you said. If you GIVE something away to help people in need someone mysteriously complains. If these people ASK for something, then it's ok because you are exercising your freedom how .gov wants you to. That vendor you mentioned was paying city taxes and fees and license fees. So he already paid his bribe money.


    You're right - they could've handled that a lot more diplomatically. I'd bet they hoped that the threats would be enough to make her stop, although they knew they wouldn't likely impose the fines immediately.

    On the water example, from a different angle, the guy paid his fees, and made an investment in a booth to sell items - I'm sure he didn't appreciate that a non-profit that only had to pay half the fees he did undercut his profit.

    And good luck in dealing with your issue Gunnguy.

    Bill
    California

    Gunnguy

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    Re: For Shame: Bureaucrat hammers woman feeding hungry kids
    « Reply #13 on: August 20, 2012, 09:40:53 pm »
    Well it ain't easy being this cheesy. So. No worries.
     :P
    Just bureaucrats being dips as usual.
    Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

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