Today’s read is about Andrew Burns who has been teaching eighth-grade social studies at West Middle School (above) in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
“Some of my friends died on 9/11 and I want my kids to know that freedom isn’t free. I just love America. I love the freedom I have here and I know it wasn’t free.”
Read about Burns’ year-round assignment and the entire column here.
Here are my most popular blogs from last week, Sunday – Saturday:
Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.
On this Father’s Day we’re taking off from the no-no in order to celebrate. Here’s a rerun of Culinary no-no #384 from July 13, 2014, that is still timely and worth the read.
My friend, the late Dennis Getto was a very popular, widely-read restaurant critic for many years at the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Getto’s columns were always interesting and highly anticipated.
I met Getto when I worked at WTMJ Radio. He was a regular guest on another friend’s program, Gordon Hinkley.
Getto died in 2007. His Journal Sentinel obituary read in part:
Getto went to great lengths to keep his identity secret, wanting to have the same experience that any other diner would have. He often disguised his appearance, growing assorted beards, wearing awful wigs and even a cowboy hat.
He always made reservations under assumed names and paid in cash. Friends dining with Getto soon realized that he kept a small tape recorder in his shirt pocket, the better to discreetly dictate notes.
And Getto’s face never appeared on the newspaper page. But he did pose with a grocery bag over his head in promotional ads. Yet another classic showed only Getto’s green eyes peering through two Krispy Kreme doughnuts when the franchise hit the Milwaukee area.
Restaurateurs and readers might not have known the face, but they knew the name.
“I think that being anonymous made him really blend in with the people who live here,” Editor in Chief Martin Kaiser said. “It was like anyone else going out. He understood Wisconsin and Milwaukee and the dining experience. He was part of the fabric of the community.
“I’m not sure there was another reporter as beloved by his readers.”
To me and I’m sure many others, Getto’s word was gospel. That’s why I was stunned by a particular review.
Everyone I knew couldn’t say enough about the old Coerper’s Five O’Clock Club, now the Five O’Clock Steakhouse. They drooled and still do over the perfectly exquisite slabs of beef swimming in natural juices, the size of a Brett Favre weapon.
That’s why I will never forget Getto’s scathing April 2003 review of one of the most popular steakhouses in town. Getto wrote of Coerper’s 5 O’Clock Club:
“I’ve visited and reviewed Coerper’s many times and have always been put off by the place.
I dislike its loud, smoky atmosphere (numbers for orders are called over a loudspeaker; smokers are allowed at the bar and all tables), its ban on walk-ins (exceptions made, but who knows when?) and its cookie-cutter approach to grilled meats (they’re all covered with the same dark crust and set in the same dark meat juice).
Coerper’s sticks with an old-time Wisconsin tradition by making you sit down in the bar and order from there (presumably, while you also have a drink). If you are unlucky enough not to know the system, Jimmy will set you straight, pronto. I saw him bark at one clueless group of men who were milling around the hostess stand.
You are not required to ask permission to use the restrooms. If you do, be prepared to negotiate your way around a bottle of disinfectant bleach, a toilet brush and a plunger.
Most of the customers at Coerper’s come for the red meat, and especially the steaks. With options in town like Mr. B’s, the Chop House, Eddie Martini’s, Mo’s and Butch’s Old Casino Steak House, I won’t be joining them.”
As much as I liked and respected my friend, I thought Getto’s review was very unfair. A plunger in the restroom? Thank goodness it wasn’t in the kitchen.
The mere presence of the plunger seemed to taint Getto’s entire review. Once he saw that cleaning device, Coerper’s had a fork in it. They were done. Didn’t matter their reputation, the gargantuan steaks, the popularity. Getto was turned off.
Whether you agreed or not with Getto, if you were in the restaurant business it had to serve as a waker-upper. It’s not just what’s placed on a plate in front of the customer.
Recently, folks in the restaurant business offered their views on what should automatically send restaurant patrons scurrying for the exits a la toilet plungers.
Tim Love is chef/owner of Texas restaurants, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Woodshed Smokehouse, Love Shack and Queenie’s Steakhouse, as well as the White Elephant Saloon. The warning signs you’re in a bad restaurant?
Number one according to Love: “Bad smell.”
Another Love sign…
Dirty kitchen or dirty floor. Filth anywhere is an obvious no-no. Head for the hills. And this finally from Love…
No one there to greet you at the door? Not good.
Pastry chef Waylynn Lucas agrees with Love, and especially on number three.
“If someone greets me at the door with a bad attitude, I don’t care how good the food is, I don’t care who the chef is, I am turning around and walking out the door,” Lucas said.
Restaurateur Joe Bastianich has some additions.
“The first thing, if there’s an aquarium in the dining room, run like hell.”
“Second rule of the restaurant, if the maitre d’ is wearing a lapel pin, run like hell…The third and most vital sign is when they hand you the menu, if there’s any food stains on the menu, put the menu down and leave.”
All three of the above contributors on what constitutes a bad restaurant appear on Restaurant Startup, CNBC’s brand new reality series.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES
A pictorial week-in-review posted every Sunday.
1) Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit leads the first mass in a side chapel on Saturday, two months after a devastating fire engulfed the Notre Dame cathedral. Priests and worshipers wore hard hats to protect themselves against possible falling debris.Photo: AP
2) Police officers fire tear gas during a demonstration against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong on June 12, 2019. Photo: Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters
3) People attend a rally in support of demonstrators protesting against proposed extradition bill with China, in Hong Kong. Photo: REUTERS/Jorge Silva
4) A man carries a child while he watches Mount Sinabung spewing volcanic materials into the air during an eruption, in Kabanjahe, North Sumatra, Indonesia, on June 9, 2019. Photo: AP
5) Migrants from Brazil cross the Rio Grande in Ciudad Juarez, State of Chihuahua, Mexico, on June 12, 2019, before turning themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents to claim asylum. Photo: Herika Martinez / AFP / Getty
6) U.S. President Donald Trump kisses White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders after it was announced she will leave her job at the end of the month during a second chance hiring prisoner reentry event in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
7) A participant swims in a pool filled with plastic bottles during an awareness campaign to mark World Oceans Day in Bangkok on June 8, 2019. Photo: Romeo Gacad / AFP / Getty
8) Lost golf balls are pictured on the floor of the Pacific Ocean in Stillwater Cove near Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. Photo: Alex Weber/via REUTERS
9) Richard Browning, right, of Gravity Industries, who designed and built the world’s first patented Jet Suit demonstrates the technology during London Tech Week 2019 over the Royal Victoria Docks waterway. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP
10) People rest on a swing made in the form of mammoth tusks, during a hot summer day, by the Kacha River in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, on June 13, 2019. Photo: Ilya Naymushin / Reuters
11) Photo: Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
13) Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant sits on the court after an injury during the second quarter in game five against the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals. Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
14) Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard and Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry celebrate winning the NBA Championship over the Golden State Warriors in game six of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Photo: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
16) A France fan photographed inside the stadium before the Women’s World Cup Group A match between France and the Korea Republic at Parc des Princes in Paris, France, on June 7, 2019. Photo: Christian Hartmann / Reuters
17) A young supporter waves a U.S. flag prior to the Women’s World Cup Group F soccer match between the United States and Thailand at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France, on June 11, 2019. Photo: Alessandra Tarantino / AP
18) Alex Morgan (L) of the U.S. celebrates scoring their twelfth goal against Thailand with Megan Rapinoe (R) during the Women’s World Cup. Photo: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
19) Actor Tom Hanks poses with his character Woody at the premiere for Toy Story 4 in Los Angeles. Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Hilarious, but not always.
During Barack Obama’s time in elected office I only wrote positively about him on my blog a handful of times. One of them was about a speech he gave on Father’s Day, 2008, at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago. He was still a state Senator in the Illinois Legislature. From that speech:
“Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation. They are teachers and coaches. They are mentors and role models. They are examples of success and the men who constantly push us toward it.
“But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing — missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.”
Today’s read is from author Andrew Yarrow, a former NY Times reporter.
Don’t get me wrong: Being a father is the most important role that any man can play, just as being a mother is the most important one a woman can. Most parents of both sexes deserve to be honored. I am proud and eternally grateful to be a dad, as are millions of other men.
Yet, sorry for the downer, but something is rotten in the state of American fatherhood. In fact, there are many, often overlapping problems we need to face honestly, lest they get worse.
And it did.
What appeared to be a very nice Saturday quickly turned into a change of seasons. Weather took so many directions today that it changed as often as Imelda Marcos changes her shoes.
Within an hour the temperature plummeted from 75 to 55 degrees. Reminded me of a blog I posted in April.
When I worked at WTMJ the place had some wonderful weather people. I won’t mention the particular meteorologist who told me why a certain forecast had been badly bungled.
“The wind shifted.”
On another occasion when the wind did not shift…
“A front came through.”
And my favorite, when neither of those occurred…
“Kevin, it’s not an exact science.”
About one of his answers: “A front came through.” The Journal Sentinel explains:
“It’s due to a chilly phenomenon weather experts call a ‘back door front’ or a ‘pneumonia front’.”
I submit it’s due to a phenomenon weather experts call CYA.
A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…
HEROES OF THE WEEK
VILLAINS OF THE WEEK
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“OK, let’s put yourself in a position: You’re a congressman, somebody comes up and says, ‘Hey I have information on your opponent.’ Do you call the FBI? You don’t. I’ll tell you what. I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI.”
President Trump set off a Washington firestorm by asserting he would not necessarily contact law enforcement if offered damaging material from an overseas source. Trump later said “Of course, you have to look at it. But of course, you give it to the FBI or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that. You couldn’t have that happen with our country, and everybody understands that.”
“After 3 1/2 years, our wonderful Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas. She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”
President Trump announced the impending departure of Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. She will leave her position at the end of June.
“I am blessed and forever grateful to @realDonaldTrump for the opportunity to serve and proud of everything he’s accomplished. I love the President and my job. The most important job I’ll ever have is being a mom to my kids and it’s time for us to go home. Thank you Mr. President!”
“I got briefed on it yesterday and it looks to me like they’re trying to take away her right of free speech. I’m not gonna fire her. I think she’s a terrific person. She’s a tremendous spokesperson. She’s been loyal, she’s just been a great person. Based on what I saw yesterday, how could I do that?”
President Trump after the Office of Special Counsel (unrelated to Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel) released a letter calling for the firing of White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway for allegedly violating the Hatch Act
“American companies recently made headlines for saying that abortion is good for business and essential to women’s equality. But their actions indicate otherwise.Nearly 200 CEOs and company executives publicly expressed support for U.S. abortion in a full-page ad that appeared in The New York Times on June 10. Since then, others have added their names to the list called “Don’t Ban Equality.” But many of their companies, from Yelp to H&M, not only cater to countries where abortion is outlawed but also to cities where women suffer discrimination – such as the inability to pursue certain careers or even travel without a man’s permission.”
Katie Yoder is the associate culture editor and the Joe and Betty Anderlik fellow at the Media Research Center
“I promise you if I’m elected president, you’re going to see the single most important thing that changes America, we’re gonna cure cancer.”
Joe Biden at a campaign stop in Iowa
“On Sunday, a day we as a nation set aside to honor fathers and the bonds of family, I was among the millions of Americans who watched images of children who have been torn from their parents. In the six weeks between April 19 and May 31, the Department of Homeland Security has sent nearly 2,000 children to mass detention centers or foster care. More than 100 of these children are younger than 4 years old. The reason for these separations is a zero-tolerance policy for their parents, who are accused of illegally crossing our borders. I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”
Laura Bush, who penned an op-ed in The Washington Post in which she decried the Trump administration’s immigration policies
“Frankly, this law was actually signed into effect in 2008 under (Laura Bush’s) husband’s leadership, not under this administration. We’re not the ones responsible for creating this problem. We’ve inherited it. But we’re actually the first administration stepping up and trying to fix it.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
“Some of the things I’ve seen in the files makes your blood boil, to be honest with you. When you’re investigating gangs or the Mafia, we would call some of this conduct a criminal enterprise.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. American bishops gathered for a conference to confront the reignited sex-abuse crisis this week. A nationwide Associated Press query of more than 20 state and federal prosecutors last week found they are looking for legal means to hold higher ups in the church accountable for sex abuse.
“The prevalence of unvaccinated pediatric patients is troubling to physicians. Many children go unvaccinated as anti-vaccine-related messages and advertisements target parents with misinformation. Allowing mature minors to provide informed consent to vaccinations will ensure these patients can access this type of preventive care.”
AMA board member Dr. S. Bobby Mukkamala as members of the American Medical Association voted this week to support state policies that would allow minors to override their parents’ objections to vaccinations
“Today the lawmakers in New Jersey stood up with my co-workers and I to say no more to guests exposing themselves to us, soliciting us for sex, and allowing us to be unsafe as we open the door to a guest room, with no idea what is waiting for us behind it. It’s great knowing I’ll be able to come home safe at the end of my shift. I can do my job without being worried.”
Iris Sanchez, a housekeeper at Caesars. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill Tuesday that he and others said is the nation’s first requiring most hotels to provide their workers with wearable panic buttons they can press to summon help quickly in an emergency.
“I think in the moment, every time we score a goal in a World Cup — you’ve dreamt of it. I dreamt of it since I was a little girl. You know, winning a World Cup and being back there for the third time, we want that fourth star. So tonight we knew that any goal could matter in this group-stage game. And when it comes to celebrations, I think this was a really good team performance and I think it was important for us to celebrate together.”
Alex Morgan of the U.S. women’s national soccer team that faced criticism following its record-breaking 13-0 rout of Thailand on Tuesday night. The win set a World Cup record for goals and margin of victory. Morgan alone had five goals, matching the most in one game in tournament history.
“If anyone wants to come at our team for not doing the right thing, not playing the right way, not being a good ambassador, they can come at us. It was an explosion of joy. If our crime is joy, then we will take that.”
Megan Rapinoe, who drew ire on social media for twirling and turf-sliding after her goal made it 9-0
OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK
MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK
MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK
Trump would accept foreign dirt on opponents
MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK
Here are this week’s highly interesting reads: