Waiter claims anti-LGBT message left on receipt

A server at a local Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant said he was shocked to see an anti-LGBT message left on a receipt by a customer and hopes the incident serves as a learning experience for others.Kyle Griffith said he was working at the restaurant's location on Westport Road on Tuesday when he got the returned receipt, which featured no tip and the messages, "I don't tip faggots," "sorry," and "#uneedjesus."He described his interactions with the female customer, who he did not know, as "perfectly normal." "She could have simply left a zero and I wouldn't have minded," he said.Griffith - who has worked for Buffalo Wild Wings for more than five years and at the Westport the location for about two months - said it was at least the tenth time he's experienced anti-LGBT sentiments as a server. After sitting on it a few days because he was afraid of potential backlash, he opted to share the photo on Facebook Thursday night. ►RELATED: LGBTQ students feel unsafe in Ky, Ind schools ►SEE ALSO: Trump inauguration energizes Ky. supporters The original photo had been shared more than 200 times in the 13 hours since it's been posted. It was also shared more than 100 times by Kentucky's Fairness Campaign, a local civil rights organization, with the message "#discriminationdoesnthappen?""I wanted to stand up for myself and the gay community," Griffith said. "I was too fed up about it this time."After he received the message, Griffith said he immediately notified his general manager, who said the woman and a friend she was with would be banned from the store immediately.Eric Titus, franchise owner and operator, acknowledged the incident in a statement Friday evening.“We’re disappointed to learn about the comment left on a receipt by a Guest at one of our independently owned franchise locations in Louisville recently," the statement said. "Because Buffalo Wild Wings is about creating a great guest Continue Reading

City’s Catholic schools continue success stories in tough environment

It's nothing short of a miracle that Cardinal Hayes High School, in the poorest congressional district in America, has a 99% graduation rate. And that fourth graders at East Harlem's Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School had a 100% passing rate on statewide math tests, while only 55% of public school kids in the same district passed. And that all of the Mt. Carmel kids passed the English Language Arts exams, while only 43% of their public school peers passed. So as Catholic Schools Week arrived, we search for the key to their academic successes and wonder if public schools will ever be able to unlock it? It's not the draconian strictness from back in the day that produced Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Mary Higgins Clark, Regis Philbin, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes. "No one's getting slapped on the knuckles with rulers anymore," said Susan George, director of the Inner City Scholarship Fund, which gives financial aid to Catholic school students, many of whom live in poverty. "On the other hand, in Catholic school, every kid is tucking in his shirt as the principal walks by. And they're not being greeted at the door by a New York City police officer." "There are great public schools," said Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary Principal Suzanne Kaszynski. "But public school students sometimes feel anonymous. They don't think anybody cares about them." The dunce caps and paddles might be gone - and the number of Catholic schools continues to shrink from lack of money - but the teachers still convey the message that much is expected of the kids. "Students and faculty know that there is a curriculum we have to follow, and that we take that very seriously," said Sister Mary Theresa Dixon, principal of Hell's Kitchen's Holy Cross School. Critics contend the Catholic school principals simply expel students who act up or aren't up to snuff, making their ratings higher. "I have never put out a student who is Continue Reading

James Cameron uses Earth Day release of ‘Avatar’ DVD to promote environmental crusade

The biggest battle of "Avatar" is happening a lot closer than the fictional planet of Pandora. It's no coincidence that the film's DVD is being released Thursday, on Earth Day. Director James Cameron has been on a crusade the last few weeks to tie the publicity surrounding the sci-fi blockbuster, the highest-grossing movie of all time, with the environmental issues that have fired him up since he was a teenager growing up in the turbulent 1960s. "I certainly feel a personal sense of responsibility because I made a movie on these issues," Cameron told the News. "Why? Because they were personally important to me. It's not like the studio said, 'Jim we want you to make a movie about the environment.' No. … They said, 'We really like the big epic science fiction story, but is there any way we can get this tree-hugging crap out of it?' ” Last week, he was in Brazil, bringing attention to the plight of the indigenous Kayapo communities -- "real life Na'vi" he says -- whose way of life is threatened by a massive dam project. By the weekend, he was at Brooklyn Tech high school, joining actress Sigourney Weaver to launch an essay contest on what the environmental message of 'Avatar' meant to them -- for $12,000 scholarships. In a few days, he'll be back in New York, speaking before a United Nations committee on aboriginal rights. Coinciding with the DVD's Earth Day release, Cameron announced an initiative to plant 1,000,000 trees around the world. From opening night, the movie's blunt anti-corporation - and arguably anti-military - allegories have had many conservative critics seeing red, not green. Those pundits dispute the idea that the film's huge worldwide box office gross was a barometer of moviegoers' political leanings. "The environmental message might be too subtle for most audiences," said Ben Lieberman, senior policy analyst on energy and environment for the Heritage Foundation. "How many people watching the movie Continue Reading

Starting a new job? Tips for keeping things professional, creating a healthy work environment

When an infant wants something - anything, really - he or she will cry. Parents typically leap into action, and the infant learns from the experience.Soon enough, parents train their child to find other ways to communicate. This usually works well, but not if the parents wait too long. It's difficult for a child to unlearn bad behavior.When there are "problem children" at work, the last thing you want them to learn is that bad behavior gets a positive response from you. The earlier you train the people around you about behavioral expectations, the better.From the first day on the job, a worker needs to think about how he or she wants to present themselves, and what boundaries to set. Here's how to go about it. START WITH YOUTake an honest look at your past workplace behavior. Is there anything you regret? If you've had problems with office relationships, disorganization or other poor work habits, now is a great time to reform. You have a clean slate with new co-workers, and you're in a great position to leave any bad aspects of your personality behind. FIRST STEPSBe friendly and professional, yet cautious with new co-workers. Sneakier types will make themselves known. This is when the testing will begin. Gossips, complainers and malingerers love company, and they'll quickly gauge whether they can recruit a new employee to their ranks.It's essential to rebuff their approach in a friendly but firm manner the first time it occurs. This will often be enough to send the message that you're not that kind of worker. How do you choose the right words to maintain a friendly atmosphere without encouraging bad habits?Say little and redirect the conversation as soon as possible. If cornered by a complainer, absolutely refuse to make supporting comments. The person will eventually get the message and move on. STAY FOCUSED ON WORKA workplace is not a support group meeting. It's not where you should presume to spill all of life's problems and challenges.While there's nothing Continue Reading

Roger Clemens tells Web site he’s looking forward to day in court

Roger Clemens - the target of a federal perjury investigation - says he's looking forward to going to court because it may be the only place he can definitively prove he never used steroids. Clemens, responding to questions posed by readers of the Houstonist, an east Texas news and lifestyle Web site, said he may write a book to present his case if he doesn't get his day in court. "Do you believe that you will get a chance to present your side of the story in a court of law?" a Houstonist reader identified as Cinderelly25 asked. "And if you do not, what will be your recourse, if any? Will you write a book?" "I sure hope so," Clemens responded. "I think that's the only place that we will be able to fully and fairly tell our side of the story. If I don't get that opportunity, I'm not sure how we'll go forward. That is something to be handled if, or when, the time comes. "I've already written one book earlier in my career with Peter Gammons, and I enjoyed that," Clemens said, referring to his 1987 autobiography entitled "Rocket Man." "At this point there have been many conversations about me sitting down to write another one, and I guess that is a real possibility." Clemens offered to answer questions from Houstonist readers last month after he was widely criticized for repeating his steroid denials on ESPN Radio in response to the release of "American Icon." The book, from the Daily News sports investigative team, is drawn from interviews from scores of sources, including people in Clemens' camp. Clemens decided to leapfrog over the mainstream media by offering to answer questions directly to Houstonist fans. Houstonist editor Jason Bargas hoped to talk to directly with Clemens, to present him with questions from his readers, as well as a few of his own. But Bargas and Clemens could not find time for the Q&A, so Bargas decided to e-mail readers' questions to Clemens instead. Gene Grabowski, a crisis management expert who is advising Clemens, Continue Reading

Best and worst of Summerfest Day 5: Pink, Steve Miller Band return to town in style

Sunday's shows at Summerfest were briefly dotted with rain. Luckily, mother nature decided against a repeat performance of day one's washed out weather. Before Summerfest takes a day off from its merriment, let's recap the best and worst of what our writers saw on day five. Pink at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater After a three-year absence, Pink performed her first major North American concert Sunday at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater for Summerfest's 50th. She ended up where she left off, flying higher than her pop star peers — literally and figuratively. By pop show standards, things were a bit bumpy. But pop shows are never, ever bumpy. They're well-oiled machines, at the expense of genuine spontaneity. By comparison, this concert was raw and alive with possibility. It felt like anything could happen at any moment. And it was exhilarating watching an out-of-commission pop star of Pink's caliber become re-acclimated with her talent on the spot. — Piet Levy, RELATED: After three-year absence, Pink returns with an exhilarating and unpredictable Summerfest show Steve Miller Band at the BMO Harris PavilionIn the Steve Miller Band's half-century of existence, the eponymous frontman has played plenty of homecoming shows in his native Milwaukee. Sunday night at Summerfest's BMO Harris Pavilion, Miller and his four bandmates were once again treated to a warm family reunion.Dressed in a dapper suit coat and collarless shirt, Miller was in a playful mood, his fingers sliding with ease up and down his guitar's fretboard in the 1980s post-disco pop of "Abracadabra," a harmonica riff soon dancing from his lips with a bluesy stomp after dedicating "Living in the U.S.A." to all of the country's service men and women. As the song broke down into an a capella singalong between the band members and the crowd's rising voices, Miller leaned into an effortless and inspired guitar solo. Continue Reading

Tully: A conservative with a message for the media

Chris Hirschfeld shot me an email Monday afternoon. He’d read IndyStar's front-page editorial a day earlier, the one titled “Let’s Stand Against Hate,” and while he thought it was another example of liberal media overreach and sermonizing, he liked a section that encouraged all of us to reach out to people with whom we might disagree.On politics, Chris and I disagree on a lot. Not on everything, but a lot.He’s a nuanced conservative who shoots for common sense. He didn’t vote for Donald Trump, and that was a big deal for him. A 53-year-old father of two, and the son of a conservative former Illinois state lawmaker, he had never before not voted for the Republican presidential nominee. But he had problems with Trump, despite seeing value and validity in parts of his message, and decided to write in the name of Carly Fiorina, a Republican businesswoman who ran in the 2016 primaries. More Tully: 5 questions about Indiana’s crazy Senate race More Tully: America’s horrible president More Tully: A new home, a new dog and a dream come true Chris' email included a suggestion: Let’s get together for a meal to build a bridge between a conservative and a liberal, and so that he could let me know how the mainstream media is blowing it with those on the right. He said he was concerned about generalizations being made about conservatives, most recently in the wake of Charlottesville, and wondered if I’d like to hear his perspective on politics and share mine.Sixteen hours later, Chris and I sat down for breakfast on the north side and chatted for the next two hours. I found his thoughts on Charlottesville interesting because they were coming not from a Trump apologist but a conservative trying to explain what he believes many Trump critics are missing.“Trump did not handle it right — I get it,” the Indianapolis resident said. “But there was Continue Reading

10 great movies to celebrate Labor Day

A lot of people look at Labor Day as just a nice day off or the end of summer, but the real reason for the holiday is an acknowledgment of the organized labor movement, which brought us the eight-hour workweek, overtime pay, sick days, vacations and holidays, not to mention safe working conditions. Schools don’t take a lot of time talking about the history of the labor movement, but there are some terrific and entertaining films that deal with the topic. In fact, some of them are among the cinema’s greatest works. Here are 10 great movies to spend time with on Labor Day. 1. 'Matewan' (1987)One of the best, and most overlooked, films of the 1980s is this story of what is known as “The Battle of Matewan,” in which Sid Hatfield (played by David Strathairn), a sheriff in Mingo County, W. Va., decides to stand with the residents of his town, rather than side with the coal company that has taken ownership of it. The event, which happened in 1920, was a pivotal moment in starting coal miners organizing in Appalachia. Director John Sayles pays close attention to the details of the region. Chris Cooper stars as an idealistic union organizer who opposes Kevin Tighe, playing one of the most immediately despicable villains ever put to film. James Earl Jones and future cult music favorite Will Oldham have standout performances as well. The movie has the setup of a classic Western and builds to a bloody shootout. “Matewan” is hard to find, but you won’t be disappointed. It’s likely to start you researching the entire history of coal mining in America. 2. 'Norma Rae' (1979)Sally Field earned the Academy Award for her portrayal of a young woman who becomes a union organizer at a textile mill.The film was inspired by Crystal Lee Sutton’s campaign to organize the J.P. Stevens Mill in North Carolina in the early 1970s.The story, and Field’s performance, illuminated working conditions at textile mills around the country Continue Reading

Back in Yankees closer role for day, Dellin Betances whiffs all 4 batters he faces

BOSTON — Andrew Miller, the so-far unhittable closer, had thrown all of eight pitches on Friday night to earn his ninth save with Rivera-like efficiency, and the Yankees were off Thursday. So in his mind he was as green-light ready as he could be on Saturday. “I was absolutely fine,” was the way he put it. Yet for the first time this season Joe Girardi gave the ball to Dellin Betances, his so-far unhittable set-up man, in a save situation. And all the 6-foot-8 righthander did was strike out all four batters he faced — in 14 pitches — to lock down a 4-2 win as the Yankees have knocked off the Red Sox in the first two games of this series. Along the way they’ve sent a message that they can survive without Masahiro Tanaka — for now, anyway — with solid starting pitching and a killer bullpen that is putting opponents in the position of knowing they better score early or it could be game over. “That’s the environment we’re trying to create,” catcher Brian McCann said. “We’re bringing out stuff after stuff from the pen. There are a lot of uncomfortable at-bats late in games. On this day Betances was so electric with his fastball-curveball combination that McCann didn’t hesitate when asked what his approach as a hitter would be against him these days. “I’d ask for a pinch-hitter,” McCann said. Yes, after struggling a bit in March and early April, Betances is back to his 2014 form, throwing 98 with his fastball, producing the ugliest swings imaginable with his breaking stuff. So now Girardi has the late-inning options he imagined since the Yankees chose to sign Miller as a free agent rather than re-sign David Robertson. And if Saturday is any indication, the manager is going to do what it takes to get the most out of his two-headed monster. That starts with preserving both pitchers. And though Miller had enjoyed an easy outing on Continue Reading

CARIBBEAT: Fulbright scholar and a new university president are making some modern-day history during the 2015 celebration of Haitian Heritage Month

MAY’S CELEBRATION of Haitian Heritage Month — full of events and activities commemorating the nation’s rich culture — has gotten some contemporary significance with Haitian-American college student Carlsky Belizaire winning a prestigious Fulbright award and Haiti-born C. Reynold Verret becoming the new president of Xavier University of Louisiana. A Valley Stream, L.I., resident, Belizaire, a senior at CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College at Queens College, won a 2015 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award and he’ll be helping English instructors teach the language to non-native English-speakers in Taiwan. The Fulbright honor comes just before Belizaire's graduation from Queens College — capping a spectacular scholastic stint for the Valley Stream, L.I. resident. A Hertog Scholar at Macaulay Honors College and a member of the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity, Belizaire has been on the Dean's List each of his four years at the college and spent a month in China Japan through Queens College's QC's Study Abroad program. The stellar senior has studied Japanese business and culture in Japan and Asian business in China, relishes the opportunity to teach and live in China. “These two experiences have allowed me to visit world wonders and Fortune 500 companies, learn how to communicate despite a language barrier, and ultimately see deeper into my own culture as well as the ones I interacted with,” said Belizaire, a political science major who is also fluent in Haitian Creole. The other 2015 Fulbright awardees from Queens College are Karissa Caputo, Eric Becker, Carla Spensieri, Sarah Chung, Katherine Cox and Alyssa Blumenthal. “We are very proud that our students are being recognized so frequently by the Fulbright Program,” said Queens College President Félix Matos. “These honors speak highly of both the quality of the students that Queens Continue Reading