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    Stricter shelter policies may lead to family evictions

    Wed Jul 29

    A new policy went into effect yesterday that gives NYC homeless shelters more latitude in evicting families for breaking trivial rules, the Times reports. While families could always be ousted for serious infringements like bringing in weapons and drugs, they can now be pushed out for 28 minor violations, such as not signing in and out. Of course there are valid reasons for the stricter rules—like ensuring shelters aren't used as permanent residences—but it also means families who really need help may end up back on the streets. Do you think the pros outweigh the cons? Or are the new policies completely heartless?

    Bloomberg is officially back in charge of NYC public schools

    Fri Jul 24

    No matter how you feel about Bloomberg and the DOE, I suspect it will come as (an admittedly small) relief that Bloomberg is once again in charge of New York City public schools. After weeks of uncertainty, and the sudden reconstitution of the Board of Ed, a deal was just reached that extends the mayor's control over public education. Perhaps "relief" is not the word I'm looking for. It's just nice to know that someone's in charge...even if that person seems to value test scores over actual kids. My daughter will enter the public school system next year in East Harlem, so I have to be honest, aside from what I've read and heard about Bloomberg's tenure from my fellow parents, I don't have firsthand knowledge of how great/god-awful the schools are, and I'm sure it differs from district to district, school to school. So parents with public school kids, what do you think? Is this the outcome you were praying for? Did you hope that this would shake things up and pave the way for...

    Candy Land gets a makeover

    Thu Jul 23

    Attention classic board game aficionados (and yes, we know you love playing them as much—if not more so—than your brood!): Candy Land is being revamped in honor of its upcoming 60th birthday. (Suddenly you feel young, huh?) A sweetly simple game along the lines of Chutes and Ladders, it's hard not to get addicted to its colorful charms as players race to get to King Candy's castle. The updated version, dubbed Candy Land Sweet Celebration , ups the ante: The first one at the royal door wins a party (strictly imaginary of course. Good luck explaining that to Junior). Plus, players will be able to build a freestanding board with interlocking pieces, so the path can be varying lengths. The makers are also throwing in two new destinations--Captain Kidd Cone's Ship, the SS Neapolitan, and the Chunky Chocolate Mountains) and 3D "Sweet Spots"—to heighten the vicarious sugar rush. We have to say, in an era of healthy eating, it takes chutzpah to keep Candy Land, well, filled with...

    Share your parental wisdom with other moms and dads

    Thu Jul 16

    Our friend Brett Berk, a.k.a. everyone's favorite gay uncle, alerted us to this opportunity for opinionated parents which, being New York moms and dads, we're going to assume you are (I know I am!) A writer named Heidi Stevens has launched a new column for the Tribune papers, The Parent 'Hood, in which real moms and dads write in with questions, and get answers from their peers. That's right: You no longer have to quietly cluck at the bad mommies in your neighborhood. You can tell them what you think (well...if they happen to live in an area that's serviced by Tribune publications). If you have a succinct solution to any of the issues listed below, e-mail your answers to parenthood@tribune.com. Be sure to include your first and last name, your hometown and a mention of the question you're responding to. Upcoming topics: 1. You've gotten in the bad habit of buying your child a "special treat" every time he/she behaves at Target. Now he/she expects a gift every time you enter a store....

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