Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Society • BART Station Agent Axed for Compassion

(Oakley, CA.) Jim Stanek (66) was a station agent for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). By all indications, he was a dependable model employee. He was and is also a compassionate man.

A 16 year old boy whose father died last year, was taken in by his grandparents in Oakley. The grandparents manage to get by but barely. Their grandson goes to school in San Francisco which requires him to take the BART. The ticket is $11.00 a day,or $220.00 a month. Plus he has to take a bus to and from BART. This is difficult for a low income family to meet each month.

The teen’s grades had droped after the death of his father which put him on a path to failure. He managed to enroll in Flex Academy in San Francisco, a tuition-free charter school that offers customized learning plans and where more individual attention is given. His grades were improving. That is what made the Oakley commute necessary.

When Stanek learned of the youngster’s plight he began to round up tickets tossed in the trash that still had some fare value and gave them to the boy to assist him.

Supervisors went into a hissy fit and fired Stanek.  Jim Allison, a BART spokesman said, “Our by-laws state clearly that tickets with value left on them are supposed to be turned over to Lost and Found which will turn them over to the general fund.”

Since Stanek did not do that, but gave the tossed tickets to the teen who needed to get back and forth to school, he lost his job. Saith Allison: “Even though Stanek’s decision (to give the discarded tickets) may have been made in compassion, it was NOT his decision to make.”

Whoa… hold on there! BART tickets that have been tossed in the trash must be given to Lost and Found to be put in the BART General Fund? How’s that again? The tickets had already been paid for. How would they be used in the fund?  For the teen to use the discarded tickets takes no money away from BART but uses the rides already paid for but forsaken.

So they fired Stanek claiming he improperly took tickets (discarded ones from the trash) with a value of $300.00.

Californians are generous. They also are very protective of animals. This is why I love it here and make it a point to hug a liberal every day.

An anonymous woman in The Bay Area came forward immediately, contacted the school and said she will pay his complete transportation, $15.00 a day, until he graduates.

BART must reinstate Jim Stanek. If that $300.00 they fired a man for, that they never paid out or lost, is still an issue, we are sure that our readers will step up to take that $300. to Jim Allison with full instructions regarding its application.

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