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Selected Editorials from the Editor

Suns & Shields Christian Inspirational Writings by Rachelle Hamlin

Selected editorials from Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


The Roberts Trap is Sprung

By:  Bill Dunne
One of the most overlooked aspects of the year just ended is the vindication of Chief Justice John Roberts -- a vindication that showed up as the national catastrophe known as ObamaCare got rolling.  Roberts may have also doomed Hillary Clinton's chance to live in the White House again... click here to read whole editorial


Bureau of Labor Fines Fort School System


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, September 17, 2014


   The Maine Bureau of Labor recently conducted an inspection of the Fort Fairfield school system.  This is the second inspection in nine years.  Both times they inspected, the school did receive some write-ups on violations.  “This year was much better than the last time we got $2550 in citable offenses,” said Superintendent Marc Gendron.

   The issues revolved around documentation of training records to verify that employees were qualified to do certain types of electrical work, CPR documentation, written procedures for “lockout/tagout” and failure to follow “lockout/tagout” procedures.

   The citations weren't for anything that was immediately dangerous to the staff or students.  For example, one mundane, bureaucratic offense was the Lock Out/Tag Out policy wasn't updated, where it has to be every five years.  Lock Out/Tag Out is a procedure used when working on the electrical system where a circuit must be shut off, locked with a padlock and a tag placed on it indicating it is being serviced. 

   The bureaucrats fined the school system because the policy booklet describing the process hadn't been updated.  In this case, nobody was in any imminent danger, nor would they likely have been simply because the policy book wasn't updated, but it was an excuse to generate a fine because paperwork wasn't in order - a favorite offense of clipboard-toting bureaucrats.  According to the Department of Labor, the Lock Out/Tag Out procedures in Fort Fairfield weren't being done correctly according to the current State-accepted policy. 

   The town of Fort Fairfield a few years ago had received a similar offense when the Dept. of Labor discovered there was no safety policy on the use of the electric grinder at the Public Works' garage.  The grinder is a simple tool everybody in Public Works knows how to use safely, but because there wasn't a booklet with paperwork in it describing the safety policy, they considered that a violation - not the improper use of the tool by anyone there.

   Another citable paperwork offense was the school did not document their CPR training even though the training had taken place.  “We know we did it, but there was no documentation anybody could find so we got dinged on that.”

   Gendron says the visit was a surprise, like most inspections.  “They don't tell you why they come.  There probably was a reason they came.  We're doing a lot of the work in-house for our lighting project.”

    The last inspection they did nine years ago ended with the fines being waived upon appeal.  “This year we're praying that the same thing happens.”

   The school board recently approved amendments to the Lock Out, Tag Out policy at which point Gendron said the school has complied with everything the Dept. of Labor had cited.  “Did we do it perfectly?  We'll find out.  They'll come back to us.”

   Gendron says overall the violations weren't that bad.  “We have a lot of exposure here.  I think we did alright, we corrected it, so hopefully we'll get all that waived.”







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