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Longtime employee Linda Lassen 1 of 2 laid off at Penn House on Friday

Linda is an incredibly warm, wonderful human being who genuinely cared about the people she dedicated herself to at Penn House. She is great with people and loved by a community in which she has helped thousands get through tough moments in their lives. In many ways, Penn House was central to her life. She deserved more respect, recognition and better treatment than to be summarily dismissed in this fashion. Larry too deserved at least more notice, especially considering they are being fired without cause and for budgetary reasons (i.e. budgetary mismanagement by a dis-functional organization with a heavy concentration of salaries at the top). Or perhaps the institutional incompetence is so high that this decision was made very quickly and without the foresight to allow proper treatment and notice...that is possible too. Either way it is unacceptable.

40 years of dedication, and a 4 hour notice. That is the only thing you need to know regarding how morally bankrupt the leadership of Ballard Community Services is. Kyle will likely be solely hung out to dry for this, which is unfortunate. I could be wrong and be shocked however, if the CEO of the organization could, just once, take responsibility for bad decisions made by the organization (sorry about being the fall guy Kyle).

Full disclosure: I worked for Ballard from Nov 2009 until I, like many others before me, was fired in July 2011. I was fortunate to be Linda and Larry's supervisor for a little over a year of that time. I feel badly for both of them, but incredibly sorry for Linda, who should have had her decades of service lauded, not marred, when her career at Penn House ended.

January 7, 2013 at 12:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Positive step

Privatized health care costs more:

http://www.visualeconomics.com/health...

The waste of redundant inefficient private bureaucracy combined with the absurd salaries made by insurance company CEOs and corporate execs are two important reasons for this. Could you imagine if there was a proposed nationalized alternative that included paying the people at the top 10-30 million dollars in salary, with umpteen million more in benefits and ownership privileges (stocks in the private sector)? The health-care haters would riot, even as they have no problem with a wasteful broken private system creating this same irrationality.

Extremely top heavy salaries are a huge social burden and an economic risk. Even within companies, they pose a great moral hazard. In such situations, the individual with the power in the situation will often be incentivized to act in a way that benefits the self, even to the detriment of the company.

You make some good points Clark, but unfortunately I think our governmental structure is ultimately too strongly influenced by the same corporate and private interests they are feigning to reform in order for such laws to be effective.

March 18, 2011 at 4:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Adopt-A-Family still hoping to help more than 250 families for Christmas

"Please help guys! It doesn't take much money."

Just wanted to send a quick note to say this is much more true than people think, especially if they let the agency they are working with know they are on a limited budgets. Some families have more expensive needs than others (for instance, gifts for teens simply cost more than gifts for young kids, on average)...but we can do all we can to have a family with needs that fit in your budget.

Also a quick thanks to the community supporting us in our work, and for gatekeeper for the bumps =)

We are down to 40 families at Ballard, and I am very confident we will have everyone taken care of easily at our current pace. Keep contacting us at any of the sites...we deeply appreciate your support.

December 15, 2010 at 11:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Adopt-A-Family still hoping to help more than 250 families for Christmas

Hi everyone,

I would like to thank everyone in the community that is involved with supporting families in this program and our agencies in general. We do greatly appreciate it...we adopted over 20 families today at the Ballard Center alone, and I know Penn House, ECKAN, and Salvation Army have been busy adopting and serving families too.

Great thanks to all of you...

- Paul from the Ballard Center

December 14, 2010 at 10:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

About 400 Lawrence area families waiting to be adopted through Holiday Bureau

Just wanted to send a quick thank you to the community and the LJW. Ballard has adopted over 50 families since this article went up, most adopters directly mentioning reading this article. Though I haven't verified the exact number, I'm betting we've adopted at least 100 families between Ballard, Penn House and ECKAN...and excellent outpouring of support from the community we all deeply appreciate.

Even with 300 families left, getting 100 families the help they need has been huge. Your support has been absolutely vital to our ability to help all of the families we serve.

A great big thank you to everyone involved!

December 2, 2010 at 11:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )