Postman’s UPS and Downs

My friendly postman – always happy, funny, and gruntled – had me sign for a very large box (an amplifier) he had to lug up to the house. Since it was too heavy for me to even budge, he offered to lift it into the living room.

“Hey, next time you guys are going to order something like this,“ he admonished with mock seriousness, “why don’t you use UPS?!”

Palefaces On Warpath

Here’s one for the books – the law books – and wouldn’t you know? It happened in Santa Barbara.

In what may have been the first reverse discrimination case in our county, three people sued their employer for firing them simply because they were not American Indian.

In the three-week trial, the chairman of American Indian Health & Services (AIHS) admitted that during board meetings comments were made about how Indians were repressed, negative comments were made about Caucasians, and inquiries were made to the board’s attorney about whether or not it was permissible to fire non-native Americans to make room to hire Native Americans.

Board members testified that white treatment of Native Americans was an historical fact and something that they live with everyday, and a number of witnesses testified that it was American Indian Health & Services’ agenda to have an all Native American facility devoted entirely to serving Native Americans.

Now, it would seem good to have a staff reflective of the special population it serves – with a personal sensitivity to the innate problems and issues. And interestingly, it is legal under federal law for these centers to make such racial preference in hiring – but not in firing. AIHS argued the three were fired as part of an agency reorganization and it was just a coincidence that they were Caucasian.

After one and one-half days of deliberations the jury found that race was the motivating factor in the firing and awarded damages of $384,000 for lost earnings, plus legal fees. (Attorney Eric Woosley, said his clients were pleased to be vindicated and hopes the verdict sends a clear message that all employers are required to treat all employees equally, regardless of race.)

Pamper Her Pink

Santa Barbara High School junior Rebecca Chapman was a highlighted entertainer performing her latest songs at a recent Hollywood-celebrity charity fundraiser,

The “Pamper Me Pink” gala at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was a fundraiser for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The other featured performers were Grammy winner David Pack and rock violinist Lili Hadyn. There were special appearances by the General Hospital cast and other celebrities, such as AJ McLean of Backstreet Boys fame, who commented “Rebecca has great stage presence, and an incredible voice. She’s a new talent who is going to go a long way because she has learned early to give back.”

(You can see and hear Rebecca locally during the upcoming Fiesta, crooning at the Mercado del Norte in Mackenzie Park.)